God is a Covenant Keeping God!
Ezekiel was a prophet among the exiles in captivity and the people of Israel were without hope but through Ezekiel the LORD promised to spiritually and nationally restore His ancient people in the last days leading up to the return of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed Messiah. Through the prophet Ezekiel God made sure that His people understood why they were in exile and pulled no punches in telling them the truth concerning their rebellion and sin but He also told them of their future restoration so that they would not be entirely without hope. Now God is a covenant keeping God and remembers His covenant promises. Many today both within and without Christendom are telling us that God is finished with Israel as a nation and as a people before Him. No one doubts that Israel as a nation on the whole are in a spiritually backslidden state before the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. However, those within Christendom who believe that God has rejected His ancient people need to ask themselves the question “has the Church been more faithful than Israel?” In fact who has had the greater light?
Blessings and Curses
There is no doubt that Israel has suffered more than any other nation in its long and troubled history because they have turned away again and again from the teaching of the Torah which included blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. (Deuteronomy Chapter 28) In this passage from the Torah the curses far outweigh the blessings because sin and rebellion against God and His commandments is a very serious matter. He must deal with all and every sin in the lives of His people.
The Curse has been broken!
In God’s Word the Bible we are told that at the cross the Lord Jesus became a sacrifice for sin and by that sacrifice broke the power of that curse of sin and death. As it is written; “He (God) made Him who knew no sin to be sin (a sacrifice for sin) on our behalf, so that we might become (be made and declared to be) the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) As it is also written of the Lord Jesus; “The anointed Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” He redeemed us so that the blessing promised to Abraham would come to the Gentiles in the anointed Messiah Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” (Galatians 3:13-14) When any Jew or Gentile turn from their sin and rebellion and believe on Him who shed His own blood to personally atone for their sin, the curse of the law over their life in regards to sin and death is broken and they are freed from the power of sin. As it is written; “To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5b-6)
Restoration is Coming!
At the end of this age God is going to spiritually restore Israel as a nation and people in their own right and to this the prophets of Israel testify. Now let’s look at the text.
(Vs.16) “Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Though I had removed them far away among the nations and though I had scattered them among the countries, yet I was a sanctuary for them a little while in the countries where they had gone.”’
Because of their continual rebellion and sin against the LORD, the Israelites were scattered among the nations. Even though they were in exile their identity as Israelites was not lost. The Jewish presence was clearly seen in those Gentile nations to which they were scattered. Because they were Abraham’s offspring they became a blessing to those nations and many led the way in medicine, technology, humanitarian aid, education and many fought in the armies of those nations to which they had been scattered. Even to this day their presence is still clearly felt and seen in the Gentile nations but this is all coming to an end as we see Anti-Semitism rearing its ugly head once again on a global scale especially in Europe where many Jewish people still live and work today unaware of what God has said in His Word concerning their ultimate destiny as a people before Him.
(Vs.17) “Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”’
However, for His own names sake, and because of His covenant sworn in blood to Abraham and continued in Isaac and Jacob, confirmed by Moses and by the Lord Jesus in the New Covenant made with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah He is going to exercise His mercy once again as He also spoke through His servant Ezekiel; “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.” (Ezekiel 36:22-23) Notice what He says “I will give you the Land of Israel.
In 1948 Israel’s national restoration occurred as prophesied by Isaiah the prophet who wrote; “Before she was in labour, she gave birth; before she was in pain, she delivered a boy. Who has heard of such as this? Who has seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be delivered in an instant? Yet as soon as Zion was in labour, she gave birth to her children. Shall I bring a baby to the point of birth and not deliver it?” says the LORD. “Or will I who deliver close the womb?” says your God.” (Isaiah 66:7-9) Their spiritual restoration is yet to come in the future at the end of this present age.
Since 1948 the Jewish people have been returning to the Land of Israel. In 1948 there were around 860,000 Jews living in Israel. Today in Israel there is around 6,589.000 Jews living there. This is around 43% of the Jews living in the whole world today. However, many more are yet to come home. God has a pre-ordained appointment for them to meet their rejected Messiah and it is an appointment they cannot avoid and if they do not want to come back then God will use applied pressure to bring them home again. This is why we see Anti-Semitism on the rise again. The Holocaust was a terrible tragedy but if it had not occurred Israel would not be a nation today.
God will command them to come and they will come back to the Land. As He spoke through the prophet Isaiah; “Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone called by My name and created for My glory, whom I have indeed formed and made.”(Isaiah 43:5-7) Israel’s ultimate destiny that will see the whole nation spiritually and nationally restored by the LORD will be completely fulfilled in the Messianic Millennial Kingdom. In that day Israel will be the head and not the tail. In that day we are told that “All Israel will be saved” because “the gifts and call of God is irrevocable.” (Romans 11:25-29) And so Ezekiel continues…
(Vss.18-20) “When they come there, they will remove all its detestable things and all its abominations from it. And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.”
When you consider the Gay Pride celebrations and gross immorality in Israel, the non-therapeutic abortions done for convenience sake, the hedonistic lifestyles of multitudes of young Israelis chasing pleasure and careers, the religious pride and arrogance of many religious Jews and the chronic idolatry in the land they are in desperate need of a spiritual revival. The only way this will come about is when their backs are against the wall because of the enemies on all sides seeking their destruction. Many young Israelis are becoming frightened by the increasing aggression of Hamas in Gaza and by the threat from Hezbollah in Lebanon and by the Iranian presence across Israel’s Northern border in Syria, not to mention the impending threats perpetrated by the Iranian regime. Many in Israel no longer feel safe anymore.
However, God has planned things this way to bring the leaders and the people back to Himself but until they are faced with a situation they cannot handle and one that is beyond human help they will not come to Him. Jeremiah the prophet spoke about the Time of Trouble for Jacob that will bring about the nation’s most severe trial ever and then its spiritual restoration and ultimate deliverance. Jeremiah writes; “For thus says the LORD, “I have heard a sound of terror, Of dread, and there is no peace. ‘Ask now, and see If a male can give birth. Why do I see every man With his hands on his loins, as a woman in childbirth? And why have all faces turned pale? ‘Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it.” (Jeremiah 30:5-7) God is going to sift His people to separate the wheat from the chaff. As the Lord Jesus said; “His winnowing fork is in His hand to clear His threshing floor and to gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:12)
Once the Jews are back in Israel the LORD will spiritually circumcise their hearts and they will obey Him. (Jeremiah 31:31-37) (Zechariah 12:10- 14) Once He has done this their idolatry and hedonistic and immoral ways will be completely banished and they will become a Holy nation once again. “They will remove all its detestable things and all its abominations from it.” As Zechariah the prophet writes; “In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “HOLY TO THE LORD.” And the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the bowls before the altar. Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the Lord of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts in that day.” (Zechariah 14:20-21) And so Ezekiel continues…
(Vs.21) “But as for those whose hearts go after their detestable things and abominations, I will bring their conduct down on their heads,” declares the Lord God.”
God is going to purify His people and bring them through His refining crucible and this will also happen to the professing Christian church because by inclusion and extension they are part of the Commonwealth of Israel. (Ephesians 2:11-22) As for Israel we are told what will happen. The prophet Zechariah writes; “It will come about in all the land,” Declares the Lord, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it. “And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people, ’And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” (Zechariah 13:8-9)
The Day of His Coming
As the prophet Malachi also prophesies concerning the Second Coming of Jesus the Anointed Messiah; “…But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire, like a launderer’s soap. And He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will present offerings to the LORD in righteousness. Then the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will please the LORD, as in days of old and years gone by.” (Malachi 3:2-4)
Everything that can be shaken will be shaken!
God is going to shake everything that can be shaken on earth and in the heavens. Everything that God has not established will be shaken and every level of society effected on that day. (Isaiah 24:1-3) The prophet Haggai writes; “For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. ‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the LORD of hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the LORD of hosts.” (Haggai 2:6-9)
“I will give you the Land of Israel”
God has spoken and says to His ancient people; “I will give you the Land of Israel” not because they have earned or deserved it but because of His promise sworn to Abraham in a covenant of blood. As He said to His servant; “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”(Genesis 17:7-8)
Raving and Ranting!
Let the UN and the EU and the and those in the replacement theology camp and the whole world for that matter gang up on Israel and rave and rant they will find themselves ganging up and raving and ranting against God who has promised the descendants of Isaac and Jacob, that He will give them the Land of Israel to be for the Jewish people “an everlasting possession” God will ‘gang up’ on all who seek to persecute and destroy His people. In the last days God will make the City of Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the nations and those that seek to lift it from its place will be torn apart. (Zechariah 12:3)
He who argues against Israel argues against God!
In the Messianic Millennial Kingdom Israel’s sovereignty over all of the nations that have survived this Time of Trouble for Jacob will be fully realised. Ultimately the New Jerusalem will descend to earth and God will bring about the new heavens and the new earth that will last for all of eternity. His covenant promise to the Jewish people still stands today and He says to them; “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”’ He who argues against this argues against God!