Israel, in the Land Today
The Beginning of God’s Promised Restoration?
Or, Is This Jewish Presence in the Land Something Else?
Because of continued Israeli disobedience extending over centuries of time, in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C., God, remaining true to His Word, uprooted the Jewish people from their land and drove them out among the nations (Leviticus 26:21ff; Deuteronomy 28:15ff), with the “Times of the Gentiles” then ensuing. And He drove them out among the nations for a purpose. It was there, among the nations, in subjection to the nations during the “Times of the Gentiles,” that God had decreed He would deal with His people relative to repentance, followed by restoration (Leviticus 26:40ff; 2Chronicles 7:12ff).
In short, the disobedient Jewish people would be driven out among the nations and not be removed until they had repented. God drove them out among the nations to effect repentanceby and through persecution at the hands of the nations, and He would not restore them to their land until His purpose for removing them had been realized.
With that being the case, how could remnants of Jews return at two periods in history? Following the seventy-year Babylonian captivity, three remnants, over time, returned to the land from Babylon (between 538 and 444 B.C., forming the nucleus for a remnant still there over four hundred years later when Christ was on earth); and the other has returned during modern times (forming the present nation of Israel, over 6,000,000 strong).
Since God drove His people out among the nations to effect repentance, why has God allowed these remnants to return prior to repentance?
The answer, in both instances, is evident: There had to be a remnant in the land in connection with Christ’s first coming, and there has to be a remnant in the land in connection with Christ’s second coming. But, just as the remnant in the land at Christ’s first coming was driven back out among the nations, so will it be with the remnant in the land in connection with Christ’s second coming.
The remnant presently in the land, though comprising some two-fifths of world Jewry and a recognized nation, is going to one day be uprooted and driven back out among the nations. They have to be, if for no other reason than the fact that they have to be in the place where God has decreed that He will deal with the Jewish people relative to repentance.
And, according to Scripture, this is exactly what will occur in the middle of the coming Tribulation when the man of sin, the beast, the Antichrist, breaks his covenant with Israel and seeks to destroy the nation from off the face of the earth (Matthew 24:15ff; Luke 21:20ff).
The nation of Israel, as we know it today, will cease to exist at this time as a recognized nation among nations. And God will then deal with all of the Jewish people out in Antichrist’s kingdom relative to repentance.
Jonah, a Type
This is set forth in type in the book of Jonah, relating the story of a disobedient Jewish prophet, running from the Lord, along with that which then occurred.
Jonah had been commanded to go to Nineveh, a Gentile city, and proclaim God’s message to those in that city. But Jonah, in disobedience, went in an opposite direction. He booked passage on board a ship headed west, to Tarshish (Jonah 1:1-3).
Once out on the Mediterranean Sea, a severe storm arose, one so intense that the ship and crew found themselves in danger of being destroyed. And the crew finding that a Jewish prophet, asleep in the hold of the ship, was responsible for the storm, did the only thing that could be done to save the ship and crew. They, at Jonah’s direction, cast him overboard, into the sea. And, with Jonah off the ship and in the sea, “the sea ceased from its raging” (Jonah 1:4-16).
Then, it was in the sea that God both protected Jonah from destruction and dealt with him relative to repentance. God prepared “a great fish” to swallow Jonah to protect him from destruction, and God then dealt with him relative to repentance while in “the belly of the fish.”
Repentance occurred after two days, with God then raising Jonah up on the third day and placing him back in the land of Israel (Jonah 1:17-2:10).
(Note how Scripture deals with the expression “three days and three nights,” found in Jonah 1:17 and referenced in Matthew 12:40. Scripture deals with the matter quite differently than man often does in his Western way of thinking. Scripture deals with the matter in the sense of any part of a day forming the whole of that day, along with the corresponding night period; and Scripture even references the expression found in Jonah 1:17 and Matthew 12:40 two other places in the Old Testament where the matter is clearly dealt with after this fashion [1Samuel 30:1, 12, 13; Esther 4:16-5:1; cf.Genesis 40:12-20; 42:17, 18; 2Chronicles 10:5, 12; Matthew 27:62-64].
Thus, Jonah had to be raised on the third day, as Christ not only had to be but was raised on the third day as well [Luke 24:7, 21, 46]. To be raised after a full three days and three nights [72 hrs.], within man’s Western way of thinking, could only be a resurrection no sooner than the fourth day within the way Scripture handles the matter.
Since Christ was raised on the first day of the week [our Sunday, on the Feast of First Fruits], the day of His crucifixion, from a biblical standpoint, cannot be open to question. The first day of the week was the third day from the sixth day of the previous week [our Friday]. “Friday” was the first day, “Saturday” the second day, and “Sunday” the third day. The matter is really that clear and simple if one allows Scripture to interpret itself.
Christ, as Jonah, was in the place of the dead “three days and three nights,” exactly in line with the way Scripture handles the matter in the Old Testament. And to handle the matter any other way [e.g., a Wednesday crucifixion, as some attempt to do, having Christ raised on the fifth day] is completely out of line with Scripture.
And not only is the preceding the case, but all these attempts to align Jonah 1:17 and Matthew 12:40 with our Western way of thinking destroys the septenary structure of Scripture. Dating from the crucifixion, all three of God’s firstborn Sons [Christ, Israel, and the Church following the adoption] are going to be raised up to live in God’s sight on the third day, the third 1,000-year period.)
The “sea” where Jonah was cast is used in Scripture in a metaphorical manner to signify the nations; and Jonah being on the “ship” instead of in the sea in the first part of this account could only be seen in the same symbolic manner to show Jonah in the land of Israel rather than out among the nations, i.e., as being on the ship was the only place removed from the sea, being in the land of Israel would be the only place removed from the nations.
Because of his disobedience, Jonah eventually found himself in the sea, which is where God dealt with him relative to repentance. Within the framework of that which the type is about — Jonah as a type of Israel — God could not deal with Jonah on board the ship. Jonah had to be cast into the sea before God could deal with him in the respect seen.
And this is where Israel has been for the past 2,600 years — in the sea, scattered among the nations (i.e., aside from remnants in the land), experiencing persecution at the hands of the nations, with God using the persecuting nations to ultimately bring Israel to the place of repentance.
The picture in Jonah though doesn’t cover the entire 2,600 years, just the last 2,000. The account forms a dual type of both Christ and Israel, with the “three days and three nights” taking one back only to the time of the crucifixion.
Thus, the account deals with the last 2,000 years of Man’s Day (two days, the present dispensation) and merges into the 1,000-year Lord’s Day (one day, the third day, the Messianic Era).
For two days (for 2,000 years, beginning with the crucifixion) Israel, as Jonah, is seen in a disobedient state, in the sea, scattered among the nations. But then comes the third day, the third 1,000-year period when a repentant Israeli nation will be removed from the Gentile nations, be placed back in the land, and takes God’s message to the Gentiles, exactly as seen in God’s dealings with Jonah in the type.
God’s Dealings with Israel
At Christ’s First Coming, Second Coming
At the time of Christ’s first coming, a remnant was in the land. And Christ dealt with this remnant relative to repentance while they were still in the land.
And this would seemingly be contrary to not only God having driven the Jewish people from their land in order to deal with them but the type as seen in the book of Jonah as well. As will be shown though, such is not the case at all. It couldn’t be the case, else God would be acting contrary to His Word.
In the same respect, Since Christ dealt with the prior remnant in the land, could God not leave the present remnant in the land and deal with them relative to repentance while still in the land? And the answer to that could only be a resounding, “No!” There is a major, marked difference in conditions pertaining to the two remnants that would prevent such from occurring.
The remnant in the land when Christ came the first time was in the land under Gentile rule. Rome was the world power in that day, with the Jewish people in the land subjected to this power. Rome even had rulers in the land of Israel, ruling over the Jewish people.
The situation was similar to a number of instances seen in the book of Judges where the Jewish people, because of disobedience, time after time, found themselves under subjection to surrounding Gentile nations while still in the land. And this was, in turn, followed by repentance and God sending a deliverer.
That was the situation in Israel during Christ’s first coming, with the Deliverer sent, calling the Jewish people to repentance. In effect, with Israel subjected to the nations in the land — with the land under Gentile control as well, in keeping with that which is seen in the book of Judges — God could only have looked upon the matter in a similar sense to His people removed from their land and scattered among the nations.
Thus, because the Jewish people found themselves under Roman rule in their own land at Christ’s first coming, He could deal with them relative to repentance while in the land. Then, once they had rejected not only the offer but the re-offer during the period covered in the book of Acts, God allowed Titus with his Roman legions to come in, uproot His people, and scatter them throughout the nations, with the same end in view.
The situation today though is quite different. The remnant in the land today exists apart from Gentile rule. Thus, God cannot deal with them relative to repentance while still in the land, unless, of course, He brings Gentile powers into the land and subjugates his people (as 2,000 years ago when Rome ruled).
But, as previously seen, this is not what is going to happen. God is going to bring matters to pass in the only other way which He can and remain true to His Word.
God, remaining completely in line with His Word — whether in the type from Jonah or other related parts of His Word — is going to uproot His people from their land and scatter them among the nations. Only then can He deal with them relative to repentance.
The Israelites have returned to the land in an unrepentant and disbelieving state through a Zionist movement, not through God restoring His people in accord with His numerous promises, for such a restoration can occur only following repentance and belief. Israel today is as Jonah on board the ship, with the sea (the nations) raging, though the nations raging in complete fulfillment of Psalm 2:1ff will not be seen until the Tribulation.
The only recourse is as seen in Jonah. Israel must be driven back out among the nations, where God will protect them, deal with them, and bring them to the same place that He brought Jonah — repentance, belief, restored to the land, and then taking God’s message to the nations.
(As seen in the type, the sea raged as long as Jonah was on board the ship. “Jonah” was the catalyst. And once he had been cast overboard into the sea, where God could deal with him relative to repentance, the sea quit raging.
Israel in the land today, in the same disobedient and unrepentant state as Jonah, is the catalyst for the unrest seen among the surrounding nations. The Jewish people, as Jonah, must be removed from their land [from the ship] and placed back out among the nations [in the sea]. Only there, among the nations, exactly as in the type, will God deal with the Jewish people relative to repentance and restoration.
In the type, the sea quit raging once Jonah had been cast into the sea; and, in complete keeping with the type, one could only expect the turmoil among the nations to cease as well once Israel has been removed from her land and driven back out among these nations.
However, the opposite will seemingly occur, for the turmoil will continue, becoming even greater among the nations at this time. But, though Israel will still be the catalyst, the reason for this turmoil will be different. This continuing, greater turmoil will have to do with anti-Semitism of a nature unseen in the world up to this time.
And this anti-Semitism will be of such a severe nature that after 2,600 years of Gentile dominance and rule, the Jewish people will ultimately be left with no recourse other than to repent, calling upon the God of their fathers for deliverance.)