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What Does the Bible Really Say About the Land? – Part Three

written by Asher Intrater
March 03, 2006

PART THREE: BIBLICAL BASIS of ZIONISM

Some would ask why I am a Zionist?

By Zionism I refer to the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel since 1881 and the reestablishment of the State of Israel in 1948. I am surprised that some sincere Christians do not see the biblical significance of these events. In addition to the many verses about God’s eternal covenant with the people of Israel for eternal ownership of the Land, the re-gathering of the Jewish people to Israel after a prolonged exile is also mentioned repeatedly throughout Scriptures. Here are some excerpts:

Deuteronomy 30:4-5 – “If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you will possess it.”

Psalm 147:2 – The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.

Isaiah 11:11-12 – The Lord will set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left…He will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Isaiah 27:12 – You will be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel.

Isaiah 43:5-6 – I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west.

Isaiah 54:7 – For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you.

Isaiah 56:8 – Thus says the Lord God who gathers the outcasts of Israel…

Jeremiah 3:18 – The house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together out of the land of the north to the land I have given as an inheritance to your fathers.

Jeremiah 12:15 – After I have plucked them out…I will bring them back, everyone to his land.

Jeremiah 16:15 – The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them. I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.

Jeremiah 23:8 – As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them. And they will dwell in their own land.

Jeremiah 29:10 – I will visit you and perform my good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.

Jeremiah 30:3 – I will bring back from captivity my people Israel and Judah. And I will cause them to return to the land I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.

Jeremiah 31:8 – I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the ends of the earth.

Jeremiah 32:37 – I will gather them out of all the countries where I have driven them in my anger…I will bring them back to this place and I will cause them to dwell safely.

Jeremiah 32:41 – I will surely plant them in this land.

Jeremiah 32:44 – Men will buy fields for money, sign deeds and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, in the cities of Judah, in the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the low land, and in the cities of the Negev; for I will cause their captives to return.

Jeremiah 33:26 – I will cause their captives to return.

Ezekiel 11:17 – I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you’ve been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.

Ezekiel 20:34 – I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered.

Ezekiel 20:41 – I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered.

Ezekiel 20:42 – I will bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised my hand in an oath to give to your fathers.

Ezekiel 28:25-26 – When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered…then they will dwell in their own land…they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards. Yes, they will dwell securely when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them.

Ezekiel 34:13 – I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country.

Ezekiel 36:24 – I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.

Ezekiel 36:35-36 – The wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited… I the LORD have rebuilt the ruined places.

Ezekiel 37:12 – All my people I will open your graves…and bring you into the land of Israel.

Ezekiel 37:21 – Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land.

Ezekiel 38:8 – Those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.

Ezekiel 39:28 – I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer.

Hosea 1:11 – Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together.

Amos 9:14-15 – I will bring back the captives of my people Israel. They will build the waste cities and inhabit them…I will plant them in their land and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them.

Zephaniah 3:20 – At that time I will bring you back, even at that time I will gather you.

Zechariah 8:8 – I will bring them back and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.

Zechariah 10:8 – I will whistle for them and re-gather them.

I’ve listed here 35 clearly stated verses concerning the re-gathering of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel in the end times. The fact that this has come true after almost 2,000 years of exile is a historical impossibility. It is an undeniable proof of the truth of the Bible. It is one of the greatest miracles of history. Any Christian claiming to believe in the Bible could not possibly do otherwise than to support the re-establishment of nation of Israel in our day.

As the gospel spreads around the world; and as more Bibles are printed and read; the number of true Christians who will include in their faith an unwavering support for Israel will grow and grow. Starting in the year 2000, I noticed a change in the general public opinion in Israel concerning evangelical Christians. Israelis began saying, “They are our only true friends in the world.” Starting in 2006, the new Pope has even been making clear statements concerning the Catholic Church’s commitment to the Jewish people and the nation of Israel.

The Sign Post
The issue of Israel will gradually become a sign-post, a determining point as to who really believes the Bible. The opposite will also be true. Both the secular humanists and the Islamic world will turn more and more against the State of Israel. Although humanism and Islam have virtually nothing in common, this attack upon Israel will unite them. (Interestingly, the word Zion in Hebrew means sign-post.) In other words, the issue of Zion will become a uniting factor for the whole world, on two sides, either for or against. In Zechariah 14, the phrase “all nations” is used twice. Once for those nations who will be united against Israel, and once for those who will be united for Israel. God will use Jerusalem as a gathering point for all peoples, both those who are for Him and those who are against Him. 

Zechariah 14:2
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle.

Zechariah 14:16
Everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King.

This is both good news and bad news. There will be a two-fold gathering. In every nation, there will be a godly remnant which believes in Yeshua, is waiting for His return to Jerusalem, and thus is also loyal to the city of Jerusalem and the nation of Israel. In every nation, there will also be the national political forces that will attack and invade Israel, not realizing that they are coming against God, and even Yeshua Himself.

Why do we say that Yeshua will also be part of this attack?

Zechariah 14:3-4
Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day, His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives.

The feet of the Lord here refer to the feet of Yeshua returning to the Mount of Olives (compare Acts 1:9-12). At the same time that He returns to the Mount of Olives, He will stand there to fight the armies of the nations who have come to fight against Jerusalem. The same Yeshua who returns in the New Covenant in Revelation 19 is the same Lord that fights in the Old Covenant in Zechariah 14. The same Yeshua who comes back to conquer the earth leading the armies of heaven at the Second Coming (Revelation 19:11) is the same Commander of the Armies of YHVH who conquered the Land of Israel in the first place (Joshua 5:13).

Any way you look at it, the issue of Jerusalem is a determining factor involved in the Second Coming of Yeshua.

The scattering and re-gathering of the people is as central a theme to the nation of Israel as the death and resurrection of Yeshua is to the international Church. (In fact the two themes are spiritually interwoven throughout the Old and New Covenants.) Just as the crucifixion of Yeshua led to His resurrection after two days, so did the exile of Israel lead to its re-gathering after two thousand years.

God takes responsibility for scattering the people (Leviticus 26:33 – “I will scatter you among the nations”) and for re-gathering them. Ultimately He claims all ownership of the Land to Himself. (Leviticus 25:23 – “The Land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners in it.”) In fact God claims that He has “pre-programmed” the Land so that: “lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you” – Leviticus 18:28. God’s severity is demonstrated through the exile of Israel, and His mercy is demonstrated by His re-gathering them (Romans 11:22). Both are evidences of His sovereignty.

Some might object to seeing modern Zionism as a fulfillment of prophecy because they point to political evils within the Israeli government and society. However, that does not negate the prophecies. God never says that the people or nation will be perfect in this lifetime. To point to social evils in Israel to negate the prophecies would be similar to pointing to the sins within the Church to negate the resurrection of Yeshua. The international Church and the nation of Israel are imperfect vehicles. However, they were birthed by the hand of God.

Restoring the Kingdom to Israel
Others have said that they agree that the return of the people to the Land is a fulfillment of prophecy, but that the government of Israel is not. They believe that the nation as an entity is irrelevant to Yeshua’s teaching in the New Covenant. That is not true.

After Yeshua was raised from the dead, He taught His disciples 40 days about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). At the end of His teachings, the disciples asked Him:

Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? – Acts 1:6.

Yeshua answered them that they could not know the times that were set by His Father in heaven (verse 7). He also told them that they would have to first be filled with the Holy Spirit and preach the gospel all over the world (verse 8). In other words, He changed the time schedule that they were expecting. He changed their priorities to spiritual things. He changed the scope of their world view to include all the Gentile nations.

When they said that the kingdom would be restored, what did they have in mind? To restore is to bring back something that was already in existence. So what kingdom of Israel already existed? – Obviously that of David and Solomon. In other words, God will eventually restore the government base of the kingdom of David, while adding to it multiple new dimensions of spirituality, peace, eternal life, and international reconciliation.

Micah 4:8
Even the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.

Isaiah 1:26
I will restore your judges as at the first and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterwards, you will be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.

Yeshua radically changed their viewpoint of the spiritual aspects of the kingdom of God, He did not deny that their expectation of the kingdom being restored to Israel would indeed take place. Yeshua expanded the concept of the kingdom of David in several dimensions; but He did not disqualify it or take away from it. He will increase David’s kingdom, not decrease it.

Isaiah 9:7
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. Upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forth, even forever more.

Luke 1:32-33
The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.

Certainly Israel is not in the place of being the “dominion of righteousness” today. However, according to the prophecies, the reestablishment of the government and nation of Israel is the beginning of the kingdom of righteousness being restored on the earth. That’s why there is so much conflict concerning this tiny nation. (Israel has 12 political parties in a country of 6 million people. That’s one per every 500,000 people. A similar ratio in the U.S. would give 600 political parties; in South Korea, 80.)

It is important to realize that:
1. Much of the historical books of the Bible deal with the establishment of the government of Israel,
2. Much of the prophetic books of the Bible deal with the influence of prayer and preaching on the political situation of the Middle East,
3. Much of the image of Christ (Messiah) has to do with His being the King of Israel. (Yeshua was born to be “King of the Jews” – Matthew 2:2, John 18:37.)

Thy Kingdom Come
The relationship between the spiritual message of the Bible and the social conditions of the “real” world is a major theme of the Kingdom of God. God’s spiritual authority oversees the governments of this world. God is a God who intervenes in the history of man. Although modern historians may not notice, moral repentance, social justice, and spiritual revival do affect the outcome of historical, political and military events.

Daniel 4:17 (Daniel 4:25)
The Most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He chooses.

Ultimately God’s kingdom will come and totally take over the governments of this word. That is the meaning of the last great revelation of the Bible and the meaning of the seventh trumpet blast. With this the secret plan of God comes to completion.

Revelation 10:7
In the days of the sounding of the seventh angel… the mystery of God will be finished.

Revelation 11:15
The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah.

Not only will Messiah’s kingdom take over the governments of this world, but He will share the rulership of that kingdom with those of us who have been loyal to Him.

Daniel 7:18
The saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever and ever.

Revelation 20:6
They shall rule and reign with Him a thousand years.

We are told to pray unceasingly and relentlessly until God’s kingdom come (Luke 11:5, 18:1). One of our most central prayers is “Thy will be done on this earth as it is in heaven” – Matthew 6:10. 

Let us remember as well, as the Scripture says, to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” – Psalm 122:6. It is urgent to pray for these issues. I hope that what I have written in this booklet will help you understand and pray concerning the current conflicts in the Middle East.

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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