Thomas Ice and Tim LaHay claim that the restoration of “Israel” in 1948 constitutes the greatedst proof possible that we are living in the last days. Of course, they conveniently fail to mention to their readers that their entire time line has now been falsified, since 40 years– a Biblical generation– has come and (long) gone since 1948! This completely falsifies their claim that the generation to see the restoration of Israel would witness the parousia.
This is the third installment in a series examining some key OT prophecies of the restoiration of Israel. In these articles we are showing that the NT writers all affirm that the restoration of Israel was being fulfilled in Christ, and fulfilled spiritually. Be sure to read the first article and the second, as lead ins to this one.
Also, be sure to read my book, Israel 1948: Countdown To No Where, for a definitive refutation of the idea that 1948 was the fulfillment of prophecy.
The next prophecy we will examine is Isaiah 43.
“Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
This fascinating text is found in the context of YHVH’s promise to redeem Israel. Notice that He said He would gather Israel from the four corners of the earth. Jesus alludes directly to this prophecy in Matthew 8:11f: “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Notice the seeming paradox of Jesus’ statement. On the one hand, the promised gathering of Isaiah would take place. The promised Messianic Banquet (cf. Isaiah 65:13f), would take place, which means resurrection. However, the blessed event would also occur when “the sons of the kingdom will be cast out.” How can this be? How could God both re-gather and cast out at the same time?
A full discussion of these two seemingly contradictory themes is beyond the scope of this brief article. However, let me just briefly say that we have here the implicit concept of the salvation of the remnant, at the time of the casting out of the nation. This concept is found throughout the entirety of the Old Testament prophetic corpus. YHVH never promised to save the entire corporate body of Israel. It was ever and always the corporate body of the righteous remnant that would enter the kingdom (cf. Isaiah 65:8-19).
The one thing that is clear in all of this is that the gathering, the redemption, promised in Isaiah and cited by Jesus is that it would take place when the sons of the kingdom were cast out. In the parallel text of Luke 13, this is made even clearer than in Matthew: “But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. 29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.”
Paul also believed that the reception of the inheritance would be when the sons of the kingdom, Old Covenant Israel after the flesh, would be cast out. In Galatians 4 Paul discusses the two covenants and covenant people. He says that because Old Covenant Israel was persecuting the children of promise, i.e. the followers of Christ, they were to be cast out, and “But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” Very clearly, the reception of the inheritance of Galatians 4 is the Messianic Banquet in the kingdom of Matthew 8. Thus, again, we have the salvation of the righteous remnant, and the casting out of the corporate majority.
When one couples Isaiah 40:11 with this prophecy, it becomes very apparent that the gathering / salvation of Israel would occur at the coming of the Messiah in judgment, and this would be when Messiah came in judgment of Old Covenant Israel. That is when the sons of the kingdom were cast out. More to come.