Vague ideas exist about the so-called “gathering” or “gathering of Israel,” but do we really know how the scriptures define what this is? The same applies to the idea of “hastening the work.” As both are an integral part of the same end-time scenario, and as neither has yet occurred according to their scriptural definitions, our misunderstanding their prophetic context may risk turning our zealous labors into the fruits of zeal without knowledge. Are today’s societal constraints God’s way of telling us to go and figure things out on our own?
First, the scriptures define “Israel” as the house of Israel, which today consists of Israel’s natural lineages—the Jews, Ten Tribes, and Lamanites. Israel’s assimilated lineages—identified as “the fulness of the Gentiles”—consist of Ephraimite Gentiles who serve as spiritual kings and queens in gathering remnants of the house of Israel in a new exodus to Zion in God’s worldwide Day of Judgment. Word links in the scriptures identify this end-time restoration of the house of Israel as the Lord’s great and marvelous work that is hastened.
In other words, up to this point it is largely Ephraim that has been gathering so that, when that time arrives, its spiritual kings and queens can perform the work of gathering the house of Israel. As the context of this gathering is God’s Day of Judgment, however, these events don’t transpire until the Ephraimite Gentiles as a whole apostatize. The scriptures make abundantly clear that it is the falling away of God’s end-time people—those who today claim covenantal allegiance—that precipitates God’s Day of Judgment upon the world.
Isaiah and other Hebrew prophets such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel further predict that God does not gather the house of Israel until his people’s shepherds begin to fail in their roles and mistreat the sheep. Those actions, too, form a part of the great end-time apostasy that occasions God’s Day of Judgment. He who gathers the sheep is God’s end-time servant David. With the help of God’s servants the spiritual kings and queens of the Gentiles, he brings about the house of Israel’s restoration that constitutes God’s great and marvelous work.
It is the Ephraimite Gentiles’ rejection of the fulness of the gospel after they have received it that in the end causes it to turn back to the house of Israel. Indeed, this very turn of events heralds the coming of the Lord to his ancient covenant people the Jews, Ten Tribes, and Lamanites as he remembers his covenants with their ancestors and takes steps to fulfil them. His hastening of the work more fully occurs as translated beings among his servants transcend time constraints and accomplish gathering the house of Israel by supernatural means.