In this brief series of articles we have examined several of the key OT prophecies of the re-gathering of Israel. We have seen that the promised re-gathering would be when the ensign of Messiah would be raised, and the nations would come to him. Paul affirms that Christ was that ensign, and that Israel and the nations were being called to Christ as promised.
We have seen that the consummation of the in-gathering would be at the judgment coming of Messiah, and that Jesus said– citing Isaiah– that his coming was to be in his generation.
We have seen that the promised re-gathering of Israel from the four winds would also be when “the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out.” We have shown that Jesus posited that re-gathering from the four winds was to be in his generation.
We have seen that two of the key re-gathering prophecies, Isaiah 49 and Ezekiel 37, are specifically quoted by Paul as being fulfilled in Christ and the church, as the righteous remnant of Israel joined with the goyim, the Gentiles, to form one new man in Messiah.
The only conclusion that one can draw from Paul’s citation of Ezekiel and Isaiah 49 is that the fulfillment of these prophecies was taking place in the first century. Paul gives not one single hint that he was citing those prophecies in any other sense than that of fulfillment. He does not say that what was happening in his day was the sign of what would one day, by and by, take place.
He did not indicate that the church was typological of a yet future fulfillment of those prophecies as posited by the modern Dominionist movement as well as many Amillennialists. He most assuredly did not say that virtually nothing foretold by those prophecies was being fulfilled. Instead, he says “you are the temple of God, as it is written” and, “now is the accepted time; behold, today is the day of salvation.” See my new book, AD 70: A Shadow of The “Real” End? for a full refutation of the idea that AD 70 and the first century events were typological of another end time drama.
Paul’s emphatic and undeniable statements force us to re-evaluate modern Zionistic concepts of the “re-gathering” of the so-called “lost tribes” of Israel. Paul had not, and never did abandon his “one hope” which was the hope of Israel (Ephesians 4:4f; Acts 28:20f). The gospel and the one hope that he taught, he taught from the Old Testament prophets (Romans 16:25f).
This means that when Paul cited the OT prophecies of the re-gathering / restoration of Israel that was to take place in the last days, and he says those promises were being fulfilled in the righteous remnant being called into Christ, that through the Spirit, Paul was revealing the true meaning of those Old Covenant promises. And for Paul, that fulfillment had nothing to do with being re-gathered into a geo-centric locale, into a physical city, focused on a pure blood line nation. 1948 therefore had nothing to do with the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The promises were being fulfilled spiritually in Christ and his church. Be sure to read my book, Israel 1948 Countdown To No Where, for a great discussion and demonstration that 1948 and the so-called “Super Sign of the End” had nothing to do with the fulfillment of prophecy.