“In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.” – Isaiah 54:14-15 KJV
In the above statement, we see a constant and variables. The constant is “gathering”, the gathering is a sure thing! We are designed in such a way that we can’t do without gathering. We would either gather for good or gather for bad. We don’t just gather, we are also gathered.
For everything God wants to do on earth, people will be gathered and for every major occurrence in the world, people will be gathered. These gatherings may not have to be physical but people are usually gathered together for any cause. No man walks alone and no man works alone!
However, there is also a variable. Gathering is constant but the reason for gathering is variable. IF the gathering is not of God, it shall surely scatter! Alternatively, even without giving any command, we can discover that IF the gathering is of God, it shall surely stand.
When we read “of God”, we also need to understand that it can fit in for “by God”. Let’s see how it reads in this regard. “If the gathering is not by God, it shall fall!” What we know it doesn’t mean is “if the gathering is for God…” People can want to gather or be gathered for God but not by God, it doesn’t count here. The Bible is clear on it, “if the gathering is not of God….”
It makes more sense with another translation. Let’s see
“Whoever attacks you does it without my consent; whoever fights against you will fall.” – Isaiah 54:15 GNB
Now, we can see that the word “gathering” is given a vivid meaning. They were gathering for an attack against Israel, without God’s consent and failure was sure!
Anyways, my attempt isn’t to do an exegesis on the above verse, I just want us to see some logics that apply anytime. The logic is found in the variable IF. Since a gathering that isn’t of God will fall, a gathering that is of God or by God will stand as long as God stands… Let’s say, eternity.
I guess we’ve gotten the logic. Now, let’s leave this plane. Clean off the previous verse, we only drew a concept from it. We just got a formula that will help us understand this discussion. Let’s see 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.” – KJV
I told us previously that a gathering can be of God or by God. What we see in the above verse is a gathering by God. He is the one gathering people unto Himself and from the formula, this gathering cannot fall. Let’s see the next verse
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols.”
At first, you are forced to think the Bible was referring to the homecoming of the Israelites but this is actually the homecoming of the spiritual Israelites. Here, being Jew or Gentile doesn’t count. How do I know this? The Bible talks about the clean water that washes filth away!
Remember, the Israelites have always depended on animal covering just like Adam and Even depended on a covering for their nakedness. How come the Bible was talking about the washing of water? A kind of permanent end to filth? There was no provision in the Old Testament that makes the implementation of that promise possible. There had to be a total upgrade. There was a shift from the frameworks of law to the frameworks of grace.
In the frameworks of law, the soul that sins shall die but in the frameworks of grace, Jesus was to die in our place that we might live his life. It was a port from the old to the new. It wasn’t anything different, it wasn’t a change of the Divine, it was just a matter of clarity. Grace made God’s intentions clearer.
Concerning the washing water, Jesus said in John 3:5
“Except one is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom.”
We understand this more when we also look at the words of Paul where he attributes the word of God as the means by which this washing of water happens. Let’s read
“That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” – Ephesians 5:26 KJV
This is the water that Ezekiel wrote about! It deals with filth forever, once and for all! Something happens immediately after this washing, let’s read the next verse of Ezekiel (36)
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”
Glory to God! Would this have been possible in the frameworks of the old testament? No! It only offered a covering but not without a promise of what was to come, a time when the filth will be dealt with once and for all by the washing of water!
It is by this word of God that we heard and believed that we were washed instantly, made new and given brand new heart! Concerning this, the Bible says
“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV
This is how we got born again! We have been given a new heart, a new identity and a new spirit have been put in us. This is the gathering of God’s people, the building of God’s glorious Church. Wait a minute, the glorious Church! Let’s talk about it.
Jesus said, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” – Matthew 16:18-19 NIV
The above statement was pre-death words of Jesus. Many of us have always thought that Jesus is still building the Church but no, the Church, which is the body of Christ has been built! Jesus defeated hell by the reason of his death, burial and resurrection! We can boldly say that the gates of hell didn’t prevail against the Church.
We are the gatherings of God, a gathering put together into one form, identified by one name, Jesus and sealed by one Spirit, the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of Jesus. This is a done deal, it is eternal!