FREE EBook – THE FIRST AND THE LAST by Ira Surface 1921
Republished by TheBibleGuy Thomas Spencer 2014
THE REGATHERING OF ISRAEL
“Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision,” Dan. 8:16. “So he came near where I stood,” Dan. 8:17 “And he said, Behold, I will make thee to know what shall be in the last end of the indignation; for at the time appointed the end shall be,” 8:19.
Again, after the marvelous prayer recorded in Dan. (;3-20, Gabriel came to Daniel and touched him, saying, “O Daniel, I am now come forth to give, thee skill and understanding,” 9:22. Let me again quote the words of this mighty angel, who at the call of Daniel, the faithful servant of God, came forth to answer his prayer. Dan. 9:24-27 says:
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon they holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
We have already defined the time value of these seventy weeks, and spoken of the indefinite period of grace between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks. Now we wish to take up the seventieth week, or the time which Gabriel designated as “the midst of the week . . . . even until the consummation.” Space will not permit us in this volume to deal fully with all the incidents of the tribulation wee; so we shall confine ourselves, principally, to the regathering of Israel, which will commence even before the seventieth week, and reach the zenith of power by the middle of the week. We hope to locate the middle of the week in Revelation and define some of the remarkable things which will befall Israel at that time.
You can refer to many who have given satisfactory comments upon the incidents recorded in the book of Revelation, so we will speak more particularly of the things which cluster around the divisions of the book.
1. Israel Will Return in Unbelief
That Israel will be gathered back to their own land is one of the facts of prophecy. We read in Ezek. 36:24, 25: “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.”
Let us now notice a more direct reference to their state of unbelief, in Zeph. 2:1-3:
“Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.”
This gathering of which Zephaniah speaks will be the gathering before God’s time. “Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as chaff (the day of His indignation), before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you.” We can plainly see there will be a gathering, but not by the Lord. It will be their return to take possession of their inheritance while they are yet rejecting Jesus as their Messiah.
“And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
The covenant of Almighty God with Israel can not admit a third party; but this alliance with the Antichrist will be made by Israel while she is still in unbelief. Israel’s perverse spirit rejected Christ when He offered himself to her as her king, and it will be this same perverse spirit that will receive the Antichrist.
“From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you; for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night; and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.”
At the first of the week, at the beginning of their identity as a nation, we see them entering into a covenant with the Antichrist. Dan. 9:27 says, “And he (Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.” That is, the Antichrist will form an alliance with them on the basis of the covenant which God made with them. Doubtless the treaty will be that Israel is to maintain her form of worship, the greater part of which will be the daily sacrifice. Israel will not enter a league of nations; but this treaty with the Antichrist will be her covenant with death, of which Isaiah speaks in chapter 28:18, 19:
You will note that the marginal reference reads, “O nation not desirous,” or a nation which has despised the overtures of grace, offered by Jesus Christ. We read of Israel in Isa. 65:2, “I have spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walked in a way which was not good” – or in the way of unbelief.
“Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you.
This is only one of many prophecies which establish the regathering of Israel. But you will notice there is an intimation that they will gather in unbelief, for the twenty-sixth verse says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.” This promise is given after God said He would bring them from among the heathen.
“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
2. Israel Will Come in Great Wealth In the time of Israel’s bondage in Egypt, God promised her she should not go out empty handed, so she was filled with the gold and silver of the Egyptians. As the Israelites were thus ladened with gold and silver when they came into their prominence at Sinai, so will it be at the time of her regathering from among all nations. She will have accumulated great wealth, which will be in the possession of individuals. It is stated as a fact that even now the Jews are in possession of one fourth of the wealth of the world. Like the mustard tree of Christ’s parable, Israel has reached tremendous proportions, and the Gentile nations (birds) will seek alliances with her (shelter in her branches).
Israel is also like the unjust steward who tried to make a home with his lord’s money. She has made herself a national home, but it shall fail because it will be built in unbelief.
This will make Israel’s national identity tremendously significant. She will probably lead all nations in the financial world, and will, doubtless, be a great factor in international politics. This will be a great handicap to the Antichrist, who will be the political head of the federated nations. The covenant Antichrist makes with Israel will become very distasteful to him as time draws near the middle of the week, and he sees the prominence and power to which they have attained. The time for the revelation of the Antichrist has not yet arrived, so he is still manipulating affairs deceitfully. He fears to make himself known because of Israel’s great influence.
3. Israel’s Prominence Will Provoke the Nations
Even now no nation can achieve the mastery of sea and land, in the financial world or the commercial world, without provoking the jealousy of other nations. There is no international question about which the nations are so sensitive as about this one. All the great powers of the world are watching, with a jealous eye, any measure which will give to another the least advantage over themselves.
All this will be very distasteful to the nations, and, like Pharaoh of old, they will try to devise some means by which they may weaken Israel. Great pressure will be brought to bear upon the Antichrist, and he will be forced, perhaps willingly, to break his treaty with Israel. Now he has the angry nations with him, and he can reveal himself.
This treaty with national Israel will be broken in the midst of the week, Dan 9:27. Israel will then revolt, and no doubt open war will then be declared.
We are told in Rev. 11:18, that at the time of Israel’s prominence, “The nations were angry.” What has made the nations angry? The angry nations are the Gentile nations who are federated under the Antichrist. Israel is not federated; she stands alone in her majesty. She is proud of her achievements over the nations. By her successes, diplomatic and otherwise, she has aroused the ever-present spirit of jealousy in the nations, and they are angry because the Antichrist, their leader, is in treaty relationship with her. The nations were angry because Israel had prospered more than they. They were angry because Israel sat in great prominence. She is the woman closed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.”
This national Israel, clothed with majesty and power, possessing wealth and influence. She has God’s promises; for, although she has rejected Jesus as her Messiah, she still has the light of faith I God, and the covenant He made with her fathers.
This will be the beginning of the travail of national Israel, of which we will now write more fully.