Their Own Land

What are the Scriptures Referring To?


By Dr. Ken Matto


And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:  (Ezekiel 37:21)


Whenever a dispensationalist or a prophecy book obsessed Christian reads the words “their own land” instantly they believe that the words are referring to the modern nation of Israel.  They believe that God is keeping some promise to the Jews that they will have their own homeland where the Jews will migrate to before the final days of this earth’s history concludes.  Nothing could be further from the truth because contrary to what is written in these false prophecy books, the modern nation of Israel is not a re-birth of ancient Israel.  The Bible never prophesies a re-birth of the nation of Israel in the final days.  The problem is that modern Christians and the churches are so obsessed with the modern nation of Israel that true Bible study falls by the wayside and all kinds of fantasy teachings arise as soon as someone mentions Israel. When God destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and had the temple completely destroyed by fire, that spelled the absolute end of the Mosaic system.  No longer would the Mosaic system ever be utilized by God because when Pentecost came, it marked the beginning of the final evangelization of the world through grace and not through keeping the law.  Now that the Lord Jesus Christ had died and rose and returned to Heaven, the gospel would go to the world and the Elect of God would be saved by means of grace alone.  There would be no need for a special nation since God was now evangelizing the entire world as we have read in the history of Christianity and that we see today as many missionaries go to different countries bringing the gospel of grace.  So what do the Scriptures refer to when it speaks of “their own land” since the phrase is used eleven times in Scripture and only in the Old Testament, never in the New Testament? 


For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.  (Jeremiah 29:9)


Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.  (Jeremiah 23:32)


Here we read about the false prophets which were among the people of Judah.  Jeremiah hits them hard as the LORD tells his people that these false prophets are liars and very frivolous, meaning they are lighthearted, story tellers, and jovial just so they could win the emotional affections of the people so the people will trust them. 


But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  (2 Peter 2:1)


Then we read in 2 Peter 2:1 where Peter speaks about false prophets who were among the people of Israel and how he compares it to the fact that there will be false teachers among the church.  Many Christians read this verse about false teachers in the church and instantly relate them to teachers who teach false doctrines such as denying the Trinity, rejection of the person of the Holy Spirit referring to him as a force, Universal Salvation, etc.  We right away believe these verses are pointing to extreme false teaching.  There is another segment of false teachers which is very rarely if ever broached and that is the subject of prophecy.  When you read a prophecy book which is based upon the false teaching of dispensationalism, you are reading a false teacher.  Dispensationalism does not exist in the Bible therefore it must be forced on to many Scriptures thus forcing a wrong interpretation which means it is a false teaching.  Since the majority of churches are dispensational, this means there are more false teachers in Christianity than true ones and that is why when teachers begin to teach truth, they are vilified by the biblically ignorant Christians who prefer lies to truth.  Let us now attend to the phrase “their own land.”


2 Kings 3:27

Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.


The Moabites returning to their own land after a defeat by the Israelites.


2 Kings 17:23

Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.


The LORD gave land to Israel and Judah when they came out of Egyptian bondage and here God is telling us that the ten northern tribes sinned against the LORD right up until the time that Assyria removed them from their own land.


Jeremiah 27:11

But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.


God is speaking about leaving a remnant behind in Judah after the Babylonians carry the majority of the people away for 70 years.  Normally conquering kings would allow some to stay behind so they could till the land and occupy it so wild animals like lions do not roam the area.  They will stay behind because the Lord Jesus Christ was to be born in Bethlehem of Judah so it must be kept a livable area until that time.


Jeremiah 37:7

Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto me to inquire of me; Behold, Pharaoh's army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land.


Pharaoh’s army from Egypt would not be able to help Judah in their time of distress so the Egyptian army will return to their own land in Egypt. 


Ezekiel 36:17

Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.


Ezekiel prophesies to Israel that within the land the Lord gave them coming out of Egyptian bondage they had defiled the land with their evil ways such as idolatry and false religions.


Amos 7:11

For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.


They brought the words of Amos to the king where they told him that Amos prophesied that Jeroboam would die by the sword and yet Amos did not say that but he spoke of the house of Jeroboam that God would deal with it.  We read that Zachariah, the son of Jeroboam was killed by Shallum and not Jeroboam himself.  Then they brought the other prophecy that Israel will be removed from the land and taken to Assyria.


The six verses which we looked at were specifically focusing on land here on earth whether it be Israel, Judah, Egypt, or Moab.  So now we are going to focus on five verses which the false prophecy preachers use as their “proof texts” that the modern nation of Israel is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.  We will see that these five verses are linked with salvation and not with some future portion of physical land.


Isaiah 14:1

For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.


The LORD is going to have mercy on Jacob and we must remember that the Messianic line came through the lineage of Jacob.  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.  (Romans 9:13)  God’s love is qualified in that he loves his children, that is, only those who are in Christ.  This is why God loved Jacob because it was the believing line which came through the lineage of Jacob.  Then God states that he is going to choose Israel.  The Israel that God chose is the body of believers and not the physical descendants.  The ones in Israel that God chose were the saved within the ancient nation of Israel.  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.  (Galatians 6:16)  The Israel of God according to Galatians 6:16 is the body of believers.  The name Israel means “prince with God” and no unbeliever can be a prince with God.  To be a prince or child of God, one must be saved.  It is salvation by grace and not by race.  When a person becomes saved does God transplant them to the land of Israel?  The answer is no, when a person becomes saved they normally remain in the country of their birth till the last day.  A person who becomes saved now has dual citizenship.  They are citizens of their earthly country and now citizens of Heaven which is the land which God gives the true believer for an everlasting covenant.  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  (Ephesians 2:19)


{8} He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.  {9} Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;  {10} And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:  {11} Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:  (Psalm 105:8-11)


Notice what is in view in verse 10.  God confirmed an everlasting covenant he made with Abraham and his oath unto Isaac.  Then he confirmed the same covenant which he made an irrevocable law and to Israel for an everlasting covenant.  Which covenant did God make that is everlasting?  It is the covenant of grace which extends into eternity.  The covenant of Sinai which is the covenant of works will extend into eternity in only one fashion and that is through eternal damnation because no one would have been able to keep the law perfectly and those who tried to keep the law have failed meaning they broke the law of God and thus were sentenced to eternal damnation because they had no Savior, in other words, the penalty associated with the first covenant will go into eternity. Then it speaks of the land of Canaan which must be everlasting because the covenant associated with it is everlasting.  The land of Canaan is a synonym for Heaven. 


Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.  (Psalm 33:12)


{3} Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  {4} To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  (1 Peter 1:3-4)


Psalm 33:12 states that God chose a people for his own inheritance and the ones he has chosen are those in Christ.  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:  (Ephesians 1:4) What did Jesus say to the rebellious Jews who faced him?  It is found in Matthew 21:43 that the kingdom of God will be taken away from rebellious Israel and given to another nation that will bring forth fruits.  That nation is the body of believers which is being built until all the elect in the world are saved. Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.  (Matthew 21:43)  Then once all the believers in the world are saved which includes both Jews and Gentiles, then all Israel will be saved.  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:  (Romans 11:26)  Remember what Isaiah 14:1 states that “strangers will be joined to them and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.”  The strangers were the Gentiles in the world.  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  (Ephesians 2:12)  The covenants of promise was the everlasting covenant made by God to Abraham.


1 Peter 1:3-4 confirms the teaching of both Psalm 33:12 and Isaiah 14:1.  Remember that Isaiah 14:1 states that the LORD will have mercy on the house of Jacob.  1 Peter 1:3 speaks about the abundant mercy on those he saved.  The house of Jacob is a synonym for the body of believers because it was through Jacob and then Judah and through his descendants that the Lord Jesus Christ came and those who have become saved are called “spiritual Jews.”  {28} For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:  {29} But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.  (Romans 2:28-29) 


Jeremiah 23:8

But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.


When Jeremiah was written, the ten northern tribes had already gone into captivity.  Jeremiah prophesied in the years 626-586 BC which means the ten northern tribes were already taken by Assyria 95 years prior.  They were never repatriated to their land but were taken by Assyria and many made slaves and sold.  They were also taken to various parts of the empire so there would be no collusion and threats of an uprising.  The north country would have been referring to the Babylonians because they would have come through the northern part of Israel.  Keep in mind that the empire of Babylon defeated and conquered Assyria in 612 BC at the battle of Nineveh, so in 586 BC Babylon would have come in from the north to completely remove the Jews from the land for seventy years.  So in 516 BC Judah was restored because the Lord Jesus Christ had to be born in Bethlehem.  This brings us to the seed of the house of Israel.  That is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?  (John 7:42)  When we speak of the seed of David being Christ it is speaking of eternality.  Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;  (Acts 2:30)  The throne of David was the throne of a king and Christ is going to be sitting upon the throne of Israel.  Since we are speaking of everlasting things, and in the last verse we saw that Israel consisted of all the true believer both Gentiles and Jews.  And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.  (Luke 23:3)  Jesus was the King of the Jews but not the physical Jews, he was King and is King of the spiritual Jews, that is, the body of Christ where he reigns forever.  The unsaved, Christ rejecting Jews that Jesus faced will be in hell for eternity as they await the judgment this very day.


The terms “Jew, Israel, Circumcision, Abraham’s Seed” all took on new meanings after the cross:

1. Abraham’s seed is the Christian.
2. The true circumcision is the Christian.
3. A biblical Jew is a Christian
4. The Israel of God is the Church.
5. The "all Israel" that God has in view for salvation is not national Israel but it is the
completion of the body of Christ at the last day.

Therefore we can safely conclude that Jesus is not the king of the physical Jews as the pre-tribbers conclude but Jesus is King of the Jews, that is, King of all the true believers who have become born again. Jesus reigns over the body of believers. But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Hebrews 3:6)  Notice that Hebrews 3:6 states that Christ is over His own house, which is the body of believers, where it reads “whose house we are,” which means He rules over the Christians worldwide. This is why He told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world because it would have been limited to one small nation, instead Christ is king over the body of believers on a worldwide scale. Today Christ rules the body of believers from the right hand of God the Father, thus making Him, “King of the Jews,” that is, spiritual Israel, the Israel of God that He purchased with His own blood.  Then Jeremiah 23:8 talks about all countries where the LORD has driven or sent the believers will dwell in their own land.  We must keep in mind that when we are speaking about “their own land” that we are speaking about eternal covenants.  The physical nation was completely destroyed in 70 AD, so there is no way this is speaking of the physical nation of Israel but is speaking about the fact that the true believers will dwell in their own land and that land has to be eternal and only Heaven fits that description because the eternal home of the true believer is Heaven as we read in 1 Peter 1:3-4.


Ezekiel 34:13

And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.


The third location of the phrase “their own land” is located in Ezekiel 34:13.  Here we have a chapter which is dripping with salvation language and not the language of a strip of land.  God states that he is going bring them out from the people and gather them from the countries.  If you notice the words “people” and “countries” are plural.  This means that the gathering of the people will be from multiple countries.  Now to understand who “them” is in the first two phrases of this verse, we must look at the two verses which precede verse 13.


{11} For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.  {12} As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.  (Ezekiel 34:11-12)


In verse 11, the Lord GOD which is the Father will search out his sheep and seek them out.  God is omniscient so he already knows who his sheep are.  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.  (John 6:37)  According to John 6:37, the Father is the one who gives the believer or the sheep to the Lord Jesus Christ.  The sheep of the Father is found all over the world in both friendly countries and unfriendly countries.  They are scattered to the four winds which means the true church of Christ is universal in nature.  Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  (Psalm 100:3)  Psalm 100:3 speaks about the fact that we are his people and again who are his people?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  (2 Corinthians 6:16)  The people of God are true born again believers as God has only one chosen people in this world and that is those chosen in Christ.  To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,  (1 Peter 2:4)  So in verse 12 God states that he will seek out the sheep because he is the only one who knows who they are, we don’t until they become saved.  All the sheep will be delivered out of every country on the last day.  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.  (Mark 13:27)  The cloudy and dark day is the day of judgment on the last day when all the believers and unbelievers will be raised from their graves and those believers who are alive at the time will be brought to Heaven.  The believers will go into glory and the unbelievers will go to judgment.


The believers will then inherit the land which the Lord prepared for them.  Remember, these verses are speaking in salvific terms and not temporal which is tied to this earth.  As we have previously learned that the land which the believer will inherit must be eternal in nature and not temporal.  The only place which is eternal will be the new heavens and the new earth and therefore that is the land that God has in view for the believer.  Remember, when a person becomes saved, they are citizen of their earthly country and of the kingdom of Heaven.  Then the Lord speaks of feeding them upon the mountains of Israel.  As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.  (Psalm 125:2)  The mountains in scripture represent the kingdom of God.  So the believer will be fed not through a temporal kingdom but by the kingdom of God.  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.  (Luke 13:29) 


{14} I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.  {15} I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.  (Ezekiel 34:14-15)


Now we come to Ezekiel 34:14-15 which harmonizes with Luke 13:29 that the believers are going to fed with a good pasture.  The good pasture will be in the kingdom of God and those who are saved now will be taught by the word of God which we have in our King James Bibles in contrast to the bad pasture which would be the counterfeit versions.  Then we see that the Christians will be fed on the high mountains of Israel.  It states “their fold” which can be understood as a dwelling place.  To lie down means that there is no fear of anything.  The believer in the kingdom of God is safe and will never have to fear anything from Satan ever again since he will have already been judged and sentenced to eternal damnation.  The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.  (Zephaniah 3:13)  Zephaniah 3:13 speaks about this very thing which is the safety of the believer.  It is a verse which speaks about a person who has become saved when we look at the language, it is the language of salvation.  No deceit, no lies, they shall feed and lie down which means they will eat in total peace without any vestige of fear.  Verse 15 above states the Lord will cause the flock to lie down which means that all the believers will be under the eternal protection of the LORD. 


And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.  (Ezekiel 34:24)


Then further in Ezekiel 34 we come to verse 24 where it mentions David who will be a prince among the people.  Ezekiel prophesied from 595-573 B.C.  David has already been dead for about 400 years so how could he be a prince among them?  And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.  (Ezekiel 37:24)  Then Ezekiel even prophesies further that David will be their king.  David here is a synonym for the Lord Jesus Christ.  The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.  (Matthew 1:1)  Matthew 1:1 states that Jesus was the son of David and the son of Abraham.  Of course, he was not their physical son because David lived 1,000 years prior and Abraham lived 2,000 years prior but Jesus was in the lineage of both.  Remember, we saw that Jesus was king of the spiritual Jews, that is, the true born again believers?  The LORD himself is the God of the true believer and not of the unbeliever.  Remember if you have the Son, you have the Father and conversely if you do not have the Son, you do not have the Father.


And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.  (Ezekiel 34:25)


Further in Ezekiel 34 we come to verse 25 which speaks about the covenant of peace which is the gospel of grace.  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  (Romans 5:1)  When a person becomes saved, the war between them and God is over and there is peace and that only comes by grace.  When Christians partake in evangelism they are called “peacemakers” because when they evangelize and someone becomes saved, then the war between that person and God is over.  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.  (Matthew 5:9)  The “peacemakers” in Matthew 5:9 have nothing to do with people who stop wars or fights or hostilities between people.  They are good things but those things do not make them a child of God.  The ones who send forth the gospel so others will become saved are those who are attempting to bring peace between the unbeliever and God through salvation, that is what Matthew 5:9 is speaking about.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  (James 2:20)  The Christian who builds works upon their faith are showing they are true children of God because they are actively pursuing ministry in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  (Mark 16:15) 


Ezekiel 37:21

And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:


Here the Lord introduces the land again. Remember in Ezekiel 34:12, God says that he is going to seek and search for His sheep wherever they have been scattered. He will then bring them into their own land. Notice He says they will be gathered out from the countries. Where are all the redeemed coming from today? Is it Israel alone? The answer is no, from all nations around the world including national Israel. And of course the nation that God is planting the believers in is the Israel of God or the eternal Israel of Covenant which will dwell in the New Heavens and the New Earth.  Just as in the previous section we must take a look at Ezekiel 37:21 in context with the verses that follow. 


And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:  (Ezekiel 37:22)


Notice in verse 22 that the LORD is going to make Israel one single nation again and they will not be divided.  There is not going to be two kingdoms but there is going to be one kingdom where they will dwell.  Remember that Ezekiel prophesied between 595-573 B.C. and at this point the northern kingdom was already taken captive 126 years and they were never repatriated to their land because they were widely dispersed.  To understand what the two nations are, we must go back to Jeremiah to get understanding of what is in view here.  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:  (Jeremiah 31:31)


In Jeremiah 31:31 God states that he is going to make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.  The key word in that verse is “new.”  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:  (Hebrews 8:8)  Jeremiah 31:31 is restated in Hebrews 8:8 and the following verses speak about the essence of the new covenant which is the covenant of grace.  In Jeremiah 31:31, if we superficially read it, it looks like the covenant will be only with the nation of Israel but that cannot be because the new covenant will be worldwide in its scope.  When it speaks of the house of Israel and the house of Judah it is speaking about the entirety of the kingdom of Israel and that is not the country of Israel but the Israel of God which is the body of believers.  Israel and Judah here are speaking about the completeness of the body of Christ which contain both Jews and Gentiles.


{25} For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.  {26} And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:  {27} For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.  (Romans 11:25-27)


In verse 25 is states that blindness has happened in part to Israel which means not all who are of ancient Israel would be blinded to the truth but many would be saved.  Then this blindness continues until the fulness of the Gentiles come in, that is, when all the Gentiles in the world that God named before the foundation of the world becomes saved, then in verse 26 it states that all Israel will be saved.  I realize that Romans 11:26 is another of the dispensationalist’s so called “proof text” that all the Jews will be saved at some further time but that will never happen because they are under the same condemnation as unbelievers in any other country in this world.  Verse 26 further states that the Deliverer will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.  Remember it was the lineage of Abraham to Isaac to Jacob which was the line that contained the true believers in Israel eventually leading to the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Then in verse 27, we are told plainly what the covenant is, God shall take away all their sins, not just cover them but remove them.


As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.  (Psalm 103:12)


{13} And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;  {14} Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;  (Colossians 2:13-14)


For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.  (Hebrews 8:12)


{16} This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;  {17} And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  (Hebrews 10:16-17)


And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.  (Jeremiah 31:34)


I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.  (Isaiah 43:25)


These eight verses carry with them a common theme in that the sins of the believer are not just covered but have been removed because of the new covenant that God would make with the complete house of Israel, that is, the entire body of believers.  When we speak of the new covenant we must always include the mediator of the new covenant. 

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.  (Hebrews 12:24)  It was Jesus who was the mediator of the new covenant and his sacrifice was so powerful it removed all sin from the soul of the believer making them ready for Heaven the moment they become saved.  This is why Peter stated that there is a place reserved in Heaven for the believer because while they live on earth, their reservation in Heaven is sure.  Heaven is the land which every believer will be brought into as we have seen on the last day of history or by our home going prior to that day.


And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.  (Ezekiel 37:24)


Then finally in this section we come to Ezekiel 37:24 where it plainly states that the completed nation of Israel will have one king over them and once again the name of David comes up and if you recall he has been physically dead for about 400 years and so the one who is in view is the Lord Jesus Christ who will be the one ruling shepherd over the entire body of believers.  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  (John 10:11)  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.  (John 10:14)  Jesus is the King of the Jews, that is, the spiritual Jews which are the members of the body of Christ.  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.  (Philippians 3:3)


Ezekiel 39:28

Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.


When Judah was taken to Babylon in 586 B.C. it was only going to be for seventy years and they would be returned to their land because according to the prophecies found in the Hebrew Scriptures the Lord Jesus Christ must be born in Bethlehem since it was through him the New Covenant would be initiated.  When the Jews returned to Judah from Babylon they fixed up the temple and rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem through the work of Nehemiah and the prophecies of Haggai.  They were returned physically to the land which God gave them but eventually because of their rebellion against God in killing the prophets and killing their Messiah, they would be destroyed in 70 A.D. by Titus which was prophesied by Daniel.  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.  (Daniel 9:26)  For us to gain insight into Ezekiel 39:28 we must factor in other verses which harmonize the meaning of Ezekiel 39:28


Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;  Ezekiel 39:25


In Ezekiel 39:25, we read that God is going to have mercy upon the “whole house of Israel.”  Previously we saw that the whole house of Israel consisted of Judah and Israel which represented the entire body of believers.  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.  (1 Peter 2:10)  1 Peter 2:10 states that the body of believers have obtained mercy as the people of God.  It is important to note that in 1 Peter 2:10 God uses the word “the” in the phrase “the people of God.”  That is important because “the” is a definite article which means that there is only one people of God.  In times past we were not a people of God because the Gentiles were steeped in idolatry and false religions.  For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;  (1 Thessalonians 1:9)  Now that we have been engrafted into the body of Christ as true believers we no longer are a people estranged from Christ.  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  (Ephesians 2:12)  The Gentiles were not part of the covenants of Israel but the covenant of grace through Christ completed the entire house of Israel which is worldwide in scope and included the Gentiles which make up the “all Israel” of Romans 11:26.


Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.  Ezekiel 39:29


The true believers have the Holy Spirit indwelling in them as God poured his spirit out upon the house of Israel.  This is not speaking about the physical Jews because then they would all be saved and when we look at how they opposed Christ when he was on earth, there is no way they were saved.  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.  (John 8:39)  The unsaved Jews always claimed to be the children of Abraham but by their deeds they showed they were of the devil as Christ told them in John 8:44.  So the pouring out of the Spirit is done only on the true believer in Christ and there were some true believers in Israel but the majority were unsaved and they remained in spiritual darkness when the patience of God ran out and they were completely destroyed in 70 A.D.  God states that he will not hide his face anymore from them and that is not speaking of God revealing his glory or else they would be consumed where they stood.  God would eventually be revealed to his people, the true believers, but only those who are in Christ will see him work until the day we see him face to face in glory when we will be qualified to see him without fear of being consumed.  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?  (John 14:9)  Everything we needed to know about the Father would be revealed to us through the Lord Jesus Christ.  The mystery which is revealed to us from the Old Testament is Christ himself.  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:  (Ephesians 3:9)  So those in Christ will be taken to the land of Canaan where the believer will dwell eternally because of Calvary Heaven is “Our Own Land.”



We have come a long way in studying the Scriptures concerning the phrase “their own land” and we have found many biblical teachings that the land in view is the eternal land which is Heaven and not a temporal strip of land.  When we look at the context of these six verses we saw that the land in view is a synonym for the final dwelling place of the true believers in Christ and we have studied it deeply and all six verses harmonize with that teaching and we did not have to force any teachings upon any verses because the Bible shows its great harmony in all subjects when studied correctly.


Your Own Land


In the Scriptures there is another phrase which carries with it the same focus as the phrase “their own land,” it is “your own land” found in five verses in the Hebrew Scriptures.  I wanted to include it so I am not accused of omitting something because it may not make my case.


2 Kings 18:32

Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, The LORD will deliver us.


Ten years after the captivity of the ten northern tribes, Sennacherib, the king of Assyria had taken some of the cities of Judah and King Hezekiah had made an attempt to appease the king and made him offerings of tribute.  Sennacherib then sent Tartan, Rabsaris, and Rab-shakeh to speak with King Hezekiah.  They had told the people of Judah not to listen to Hezekiah and they would be taken like the ten northern tribes to Assyria and they would be placed in a land like theirs with much capability of producing much agriculture.  In 2 Kings 19 the LORD stepped in to protect Judah after Hezekiah prayed to him and the LORD preserved Judah plus this being 711 B.C., Judah was not to go into captivity until 586 B.C. with Babylon.


Isaiah 36:17

Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.


Isaiah 36:17 also speaks of the same scenario spoken of in 2 Kings 18 & 19.  Hezekiah had spoken with Isaiah when the emissaries of Sennacherib threatened Judah with invasion but was turned back and Isaiah 36:17 was the same words spoken in 2 Kings 18:32


Jeremiah 42:12

And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land.


Here we have a scenario where God told them that when they are taken to Babylon and if they live there without any attempt to rebel, then God will have mercy on them and return them to their own land.  In the previous verse we read that it is speaking directly about the seventy year captivity and the people of Judah were not to fear the king of Babylon.


Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand.  (Jeremiah 42:11)


The LORD eventually did deliver Judah out of the hand of Babylon as they were conquered by the Medes and the Persians.  Cyrus the king of the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. just 26 years before the seventy year captivity would expire and it was Cyrus that started repatriating the Jews back to Judah.  However, Cyrus started sending them back before the full seventy year period was up because Haggai had prophesied against those back in Judah about 520 B.C. that they were to rebuild the house of God.  So we see in Jeremiah 42:11-12 is it speaking about the return of the Jews to the land in the 6th Century B.C. and is not speaking about the modern nation of Israel because Babylon is specifically mentioned giving us the timing of these verses in no uncertain terms. 


Ezekiel 36:24

For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.


In Ezekiel 34:13 and 37:21, in the first section of this study, we read similar language as we read here that God is going to bring them out of the heathen countries and will bring them into their own land.  To gain understanding of this verse we must do what we did with the other verses and look at the context surrounding them.  If we isolate these verses, it may make our case but it will not lead us into truth. 


{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.  {26} 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 an heart of flesh.  {27} And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.  (Ezekiel 36:25-27)


Now we look at the verses following verse 24 and what we find is the language of salvation and not the focus on a strip of land.  In verse 25, we read that God is going to sprinkle clean water on them and they shall be cleansed from all their filthiness and idols.  God speaks of cleansing and there is only one thing that can cleanse the sinful heart and that is the eternal gospel.  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. (Revelation 14:5) Revelation 14:5 states that the believers are so pure that not even guile, which is craftiness or deceit, is found in their mouth and because of them being redeemed by the blood of the Lamb they are without any fault before the throne of God. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. (Romans 8:33)  Romans teaches us that God justifies His children so who can bring any type of accusation against a person whom God has saved and justified? The answer is no one, especially since the accuser of the brethren was thrown out of heaven. This verse teaches us that the atonement of Christ was so complete, that these believers do not even sin with their tongue. But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. For the believers in glory, their tongue has been tamed. (James 3:8) 


Then in verse 26 we are reading about the new heart that a person gets when they become saved.  It is a heart which is no more hard toward God but now it is soft and fleshy.  The new heart is given to the believer by God and does not earn it.  The new heart now has a new focus and that is the glorification of God and service to him.  The stony heart was the heart of wickedness which was taken away.  Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.  (2 Corinthians 3:3) 


Then in verse 27 we read that God is going to indwell us with his Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit.  Then when the true believer is indwelled by the Holy Spirit, he or she will be empowered to be able to keep the spiritual laws of God, not the Mosaic law because that was done away with in Christ.  {16} And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  {17} Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  (John 14:16-17) 


And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.  (Ezekiel 36:28)


Now that we have looked at the verses in context, in verse 28 there is a direct statement that the believing element in Israel will dwell in the land that God gave to their fathers.  If you recall Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were sojourners and if you recall that Jacob and his entire family wound up in Egypt.  So then what is the land that God gave the fathers?  It was Heaven which is the abode of every believer.  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. (Matthew 8:11)  The east and the west would include the entire world because if you went north, you would eventually go south after you hit the North Pole.  If you went south, you would eventually go north once you hit the South Pole but if you went east or west continually, you would wind up in the same place you started without even changing direction.  God then states that they would be his people and he would be their God.  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.  (1 Peter 2:10)  If you recall, 1 Peter 2:10 states that those in Christ are “the” people of God because there is no other.


Ezekiel 37:14

And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.


I would like to offer a preliminary observation on this verse. If Ezekiel 37 was a prophecy of national Israel then something is wrong. God says He was going to place His Spirit in them. Who is God’s Spirit? He is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one who bears witness with our spirit to the person and work of Christ. The modern nation of Israel is in rebellion against God as they reject and hate Christ. This condition has persisted since 1948, it is obvious that God did not place His Spirit in the unsaved Jews or else they would be walking in Christ and not rejecting Him as they continuously do.


Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.(1 John 2:23) So since they reject the Son, they are also rejecting the Father. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Romans 8:9)


Here God returns to the land again emphasizing that the land is not a physical land but it is the kingdom of God.  Let us refresh our memories a little


{24} For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. {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. {26} 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 an heart of flesh. {27} And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. {28} And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:24-28)


Here God says that He is going to bring them into their own land and then sprinkle "clean water" on them. What is the clean water he is going to sprinkle on them? Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22)  The water which is sprinkled on us is the water of the true gospel. This is how we are given a new heart and a new spirit. Our old dead spirit is made alive through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  (Ephesians 5:26)  Here we see that the washing of water comes by the word of God which brings the true gospel to its hearers.


Let us now return again to the term "your own land," as so many choose to assign this to the modern nation of Israel. Let us go back to the beginning and see where the idea of a land for Israel came from and how it has been misinterpreted and misapplied.


{1} Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: {2} And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: {3} And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3)


And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. (Genesis 12:7)


Based upon these 2 sets of verses we can safely conclude that national Israel will have a homeland and that came to pass when they left Egypt and the land of Israel was divided among the 12 tribes which as a whole became one nation. Now let us ask the question, is this what God had in view? Again we must let the Bible be our guide.

For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. (Genesis 3:15)


Here is another insight as we see two words which must be factored into the equation and they are" for ever." God is now beginning to add an eternal dimension while simultaneously speaking in the physical dimension. The only people in Scripture that will be dwelling in an eternal land will be the redeemed of God, therefore God does not have national Israel in view when He speaks of eternal things. Now of course, there are those who God saved out of national Israel and he is still saving many physical Jews today and bringing them into the Spiritual Israel. Let us look at one more verse which enforces this teaching and we have already looked at this verse already but it does bear repeating.


And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. (Genesis 17:8)


Any time you see any of the covenants in Scripture which have words in them which speak of eternity, you will automatically know that God is not speaking of a physical covenant but is speaking of the gospel which is an eternal covenant. God has already fulfilled His promise to Abraham in connection with the physical land. Here are some Scriptures which reveal this.


{43} And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. {44} And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. {45} There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass. (Joshua 21:43-45)


{1} And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age. {2} And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age: {3} And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that hath fought for you. {4} Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward. {5} And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you. (Joshua 23:1-5)


Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. (1 Kings 8:56)


{7} Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; {8} And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous: {23} Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it. (Nehemiah 9:7-8, 23)


We see that the Scriptures teach that God fulfilled His word to the Patriarchs concerning the promised land. The Israelites went in and possessed the land according to the promises of God. When prophecy preachers and teachers write books and say that God still owes Israel a land, they err greatly because they are calling God a liar by evading these passages. God promised them the land, they received it but what happened?


{25} Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? {26} Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour's wife: and shall ye possess the land? {27} Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. {28} For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. {29} Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed. (Ezekiel 33:25-29)


God simply removed them because they became wicked and ran after false gods. This is why their land was taken from them and their disobedience does not constitute a debt of land being owed to them. They broke the covenant which resulted in the penalty of losing the land. Therefore, God owes them nothing and prophecy moguls who produce these false beliefs in their books are simply lying and are taking flight from the truths of the Scripture which we have seen.  Then we must never forget that God himself had the nation of Israel destroyed in 70 A.D. along with the temple and all its records and the land was laid flat because of total devastation.


We have come a long way in this study and we end up showing that God gave Israel the land and fulfilled his promise to the fathers but Israel rebelled against God and went into idolatry and false religions and therefore they breached the covenant God made with them and lost the land forever.  So God owes them nothing and any prophecy “expert” who teaches that God does owe them is lying and has no knowledge of what the Bible teaches.  Just like in Jeremiah’s time.  I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.  (Jeremiah 23:21)  The same situation exist within the church today.  But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  (2 Peter 2:1) 


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