Tag Archives: proselytes

The Christmas Story and the Regathering of Israel

The Re-Gathering of Israel

What does the Christmas story tell us about the re-gathering of Israel? Many Christians today are following those who teach that the modern state called “Israel” is the fulfilling of Biblical prophecy regarding the return to the land and the re-gathering of the nation. But look at what the Bible actually says.

It was promised in Genesis 49:10:
Genesis 49:10 KJV – 10 “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].
Isaiah 11:10-12 KJV – 10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”

Proselytes Could Become Naturalized Citizens:

There were many who qualified as ‘Jews’ who were not necessarily of the genetic bloodline of Abraham, but followed his faith, and kept the Covenant :

Exodus 12:48-50 KJV – “48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. 49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you. 50 Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.”

Numbers 15:14-16 KJV – “14 And if a stranger sojourn with you, or whosoever [be] among you in your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD; as ye do, so he shall do. 15 One ordinance [shall be both] for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth [with you], an ordinance for ever in your generations: as ye [are], so shall the stranger be before the LORD. 16 One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.”

Galatians 3:28-29 KJV – “28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

The Christmas Story Says That Jesus Birth Is In Fulfillment of These Promises”

The Angel’s Message to Mary:
Luke 1:31-33 KJV – “31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

Luke 1:54-55 KJV – 54 “He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of [his] mercy; 55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.”

Zecharias’ Prophecy:

Luke 1:68-74 KJV – 68 Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear.”

Devout Jews And Proselytes From Every Nation Witnessed the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit:

Acts 2:5-11 KJV – “5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”

Jesus Gathered Together All of His Own

John 11:49-52 KJV – “49 And one of them, [named] Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”

Ephesians 3:3-6 KJV – “3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”

Who Is A Jew? – The Purity (?) Of The Jewish Race

Revelation 2:9; 3:9:  “… them which say they are Jews and are not.”

Is there a promise of “eternal security” to all of the physical seed of Abraham? No.

Romans 11: 1 is so often quoted out of context, ignoring the following verses. The point here is that at that time the nation of Israel had been greatly reduced to a bare remnant. (See the many references to the “remnant” in the Old Testament prophets.) Many had been “cut off” and/or “blinded” because of sin and unbelief. The writer of Romans, Paul, compares it to the time of Elias when the remnant had become so small that Elias thought he was the only one left. But Paul says that, like it was in the time of Elias, there is “even so then at this present time,” a relatively small remnant. This remaining remnant is “the elect” according to the grace of God in Christ.

Only a Remnant returned from the Babylonian Captivity

In fact, after the Babylonian captivity, (500+ B.C.) only a remnant had returned to Palestine, Romans 9:27-29, quoting Isaiah 10:21-22; 1:9. Those returning to Palestine after the captivity considered themselves the purified remnant of Israel, whom God had redeemed from bondage and made heirs to the promises.*Those who remained in Babylon went into the false interpretations of Rabbinic Judaism which became known as the “Pharisees” of the New Testament era.

Jesus became the Heir of all things: Hebrews 1:2.

So are those who were “cut off” and “blinded” still Israel? No. Paul quotes from the Old Testament to show that their “cutting off” and “blindness” had been foretold, Deuteronomy chapters 29-32; Psalm 69:22; Isaiah 11:11, 12, 16; Jeremiah 11:16. But they may be grafted back in if they turn from their unbelief. If and when they are grafted back in to Christ, and also with the inflow of the Gentiles, then “all Israel will be saved as it is written,” and he quotes Isaiah 45:17, 25 and Jeremiah 31:31 where the New Covenant was promised. They can only be saved through Christ.

So what happens to those unbelievers who refuse to be grafted back in? Jesus answered that question in John 15:1-6; they will die and be burned. Christ is the only living Branch of the Old Vine. The Old Covenant passed away when there were none left to qualify under its terms. Only in the New Covenant is there opportunity to be born again to a new life.

Old Israel died.

When Old Israel refused Jesus as their Messiah Savior, it died. The doom on the Temple was pronounced in Daniel 9:26; Micah 3:12; Matthew 24:1-2; Mark 13:2; Luke 19:41-44. The curse upon the fig tree, Mark 11:13 was symbolic of the curse upon the nation that was not bringing forth fruit for God. The parable of the fig tree, Mark 12:1-12 was to show that the “vineyard,” Israel, was to be taken from the wicked rulers and given to those in Christ, the Christians.

The New Israel was constituted of those who were in His Body, Matthew 26:26-28; ICorinthians 10:16-17.

But the true “Temple” would be raised up again as promised, Amos 9:11; Matthew 26:61; Mark 14:58; John 2:19-21; that is the Temple of Christ’s Body, the Church, Ephesians 1:22-23.

The Promised Regathering of Israel

The regathering of Israel, as promised by the Prophets, came in the ingathering in Christ, Ephesians 1-10-11. Those who were “in Christ” were no longer strangers and foreigners, but had become Israelites in the true sense of the word, Ephesians 2:11-22. So far as the genetic blood from Abraham was concerned, the Jews were making proselytes in the New Testament era, Matthew 23:15; Acts 2:10; 6:5; 13:43. These proselytes need have no drop of genetic blood from Abraham, yet claimed to be “Jews”.

From the time of Christ on, forever, only those “in Christ” are truly Jews by the Biblical definition.

*(See also John Bright, A History of Israel, Westminster Press, 1959. Pp.379 and 431)

This lesson is an edited excerpt from my book, Revelation in Context, available locally at the Living Word Bookstore in Shawnee, Oklahoma or www.Amazon.com, or www.XulonPress.com.
Free downloads are also available at www.revelationincontext.sermon.net.