The past few weeks, I haven't done a lot because of vacation, and the news was changing everyday. But I have been studying in Ezekiel and share the following thought. Feel free to pass on.
Ezekiel 28:20-26 (KJV)
20 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
21 Son of man, set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it,
22 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her.
23 For I will send into her pestilence, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
24 And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
25 Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.
26 And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.
God says, "I intend to regather Israel." Satan cannot disturb His plan and program with the children of Israel. Neither can any theologian today dismiss God's plan to restore Israel to the land in peace. One reason that so many theologians are believed when they say that God is through with the nation Israel is because God's people are not acquainted with Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, the minor prophets, and Revelation. The theme song of these prophets is that God is not through with Israel as a nation. For this reason they should be studied. They throw new light on the Word of God so that it is no longer a jigsaw puzzle, but everything falls into place.
Neither has the Church (replacement theology) taken over the place of the nation of Israel.
There is a powerful movement afoot called Replacement Theology which states that the church is Israel and the promises given to Israel were primarily for the church. This movement is incurring the wrath of God, as it increasingly condemns the nation of Israel as illegitimate, which is natural for folks who
believe the church has replaced Israel. Even among those who still hold to Israel to one degree or another, there seems to be a propensity for yanking Old Testament promises out of the Bible
-- and, I might add, out of context -- and indiscriminately applying them to modern church situations.
In verse 25. God says, "When I shall have gathered the house of Israel"—God was talking about their long captivity. During this time of captivity, God had been preparing the land for them so as to make it a safe dwelling; and hence he executed judgments on all the heathen nations round about by means of the Chaldeans. Thus Tyre and Sidon were destroyed, as were the Ammonites and others who had been the inveterate enemies of the Jews. Judgment first began at his own house, then proceeded to the
heathen nations; and when they were brought down, then he visited and redeemed his people. Thus God's ways are proved to be all equal; partialities and caprices belong not to him.
God will be glorified in the restoration of his people to their former safety and prosperity. God had been dishonoured by the sins of his people, and their sufferings too had given occasion to the enemy to blaspheme (Isaiah 52:5); but God will now both cure them of their sins and ease them of their troubles, and so will be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, will recover the honour of his holiness, to the satisfaction of all the world, v. 25. For,
(1.) They shall return to the possession of their own land again: I will gather the house of Israel out of their dispersions, in answer to that prayer (Psa. 106:27), Save us, O Lord our God! and gather us from among the heathen; and in pursuance of that promise (Deu. 30:4), Thence will the Lord thy God gather thee. Being gathered, they shall be brought in a body, to dwell in the land that I have given to my servant Jacob. God had an eye to the ancient grant, in bringing them back, for that remained in force, and the discontinuance of the possession was not a defeasance of the right. He that gave it will again give it.
This happened in May 14, 1948, by the Balfour Declaration. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balfour_Declaration
The next is future.
(2.) They shall enjoy great tranquillity there. When those that have been vexatious to them are taken off they shall live in quietness; there shall be no more a pricking brier nor a grieving thorn, v. 24. They shall have a happy settlement, for they shall build houses, and plant vineyards; and they shall enjoy a happy security and serenity there; they shall dwell safely, shall dwell with confidence, and there shall be none to disquiet them or make them afraid, v. 26. This never had full accomplishment in the body of that people, for after their return out of captivity they were ever and anon molested by some bad neighbour or other. Nor has the gospel-church been ever quite free from pricking briers and grieving thorns; yet sometimes the church has rest, and believers always dwell safely under the divine protection and may be quiet from the fear of evil. But the full accomplishment of this promise is reserved for the heavenly Canaan, when all the saints shall be gathered together, and every thing that offends shall be removed, and all griefs and fears for ever banished.
One needs to take note of Luke 21.
Luke 21:20-32 (KJV)
20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.