Scriptures

Premillennialism

Introduction

The foundation of Premillennialism teaching is, simply this, the Jews will return to Palestine. So, let’s go ahead and see what the Scriptures actually teach.

The land promised

Notice God’s promise to Abraham, Genesis 12:1-3. God asked Abraham to leave a thriving world but Abraham didn’t know where he was going.

Notice now God’s covenant with Abraham, Abraham fell into a trance, Genesis 15:17. Normally two people would walk in-between the animals and make a covenant but on this occasion, it was only God who walked through not Abraham, Genesis 15:18-21. This is speaking of a land that isn’t theirs and won’t be for another for 400 years, Egypt. Why?

Because God was preparing them. Remember they were used to living in tents, and so, God wanted to give them stability, Genesis 12:1-3.

In God’s promises to Abraham, there are 7 promises within. Land promise, Possessions, Protection and Prosperity, ‘a son’, Genesis 3:15 ‘And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.’

Premillennialists don’t believe the promise was fulfilled but the Bible says otherwise.

The land promise fulfilled, Joshua 24:13-27 / Deuteronomy 32:7 / Deuteronomy 32:17 / Genesis 15:18-21.

Further proof that the land promise was fulfilled, Nehemiah 9:8 / Joshua 21:43. So very clearly, we see that God kept His promise and gave them the land, so the notion or idea that the promise of land was never fulfilled is flawed.

The land promise was conditional, Deuteronomy 28:58-63. At the end of the book of Joshua, he gives the people a strong reminder that they need to obey the Law, Joshua 23:6. If they fail, the consequence will be exile, Joshua 23:16.

God had made it clear that if Israel were not obedient, He would send them into exile. That is why the exile happened, 2 Kings 17:20. God says if your obedient, good things will happen if you are disobedient bad things will happen.

An object lesson

Israel was supposed to be an object lesson, Exodus 19:5-6. They were supposed to be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. They were to bring the world back to God. They were to act like mediators between the world and God.

The tribe of Levi was chosen to mediate between the Israelites and God, Exodus 32:29. During the captivity, ten tribes never returned home. Two tribes did, Judah and Benjamin, as God had promised, Jeremiah 21:10 / Ezra 1:1-5.

Israel rejected, Matthew 21:33-46. Jesus’ parable signifies the very moment that God rejected Israel.

God’s original plan fulfilled, 1 Peter 2:9-10. Like we looked at earlier, Israel was supposed to be an object lesson, Exodus 19:5-6. They were supposed to be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. They were to bring the world back to God. They were to act like mediators between the world and God and now Peter says all Christians are a holy nation of priests and now the Gentiles would now be the new Israel.

The vine was the symbol of Israel, John 15:1-8.

The Gospel of John is a book of ‘signs’

John 20:30-31 ‘In his disciples’ presence Jesus performed many other signs which are not written down in this book. But these have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life.’

John never uses the word, ‘miracle’ in his Gospel, he always sues the word, ‘sign’. A miracle was the demonstration of power, which creates wonder, which is a sign, signifies. Sixteen times, Jesus does this in John’s Gospel. Eight signs were through the things He said and eight signs through the things He did, miracles.

Salvation

The Bible tells us that all Israel can be saved, salvation is now possible. This way Israel can be saved in the same way, Romans 11:24-27.

Inherit the land

What does it mean when the Bible talks about ‘inheriting the earth’ or inheriting inherit the land? Matthew 5:5. Basically, it means blessings for those who obey the covenant.

There is no concept of heaven in the Old Testament, there were 2 promises. Prosperity and occupancy of the land, eternal life is never promised in the Old Testament, Psalm 73:11.

Jesus brought life and immortality to light, 2 Timothy 1:9-10.

A new land promised, Hebrew 11:13-16. God isn’t ashamed to be their God and He has a prepared city but not here on earth, heaven but in the meantime, Christ must remain ruler until the last enemy is conquered. Christ will conquer death at his final coming, 1 Corinthians 15:25-26.

Summary

God’s Promise to Abraham

The doctrine of premillennialism asserts that God ‘unconditionally’ promised Canaan to the descendants of Abraham. They also teach that the promise has never been completely granted, hence, the claim is made that the Jews eventually will be restored to Palestine in order that the Abrahamic covenant might be fulfilled.

Some actually teach that, with the establishment of Israel as an independent government in 1948, the Jewish restoration was begun, and this is a signal of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. As we looked at earlier, this idea isn’t in line with the what Scriptures teach. Concerning Canaan, God promised Abraham, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’, Genesis 12:7

This land covenant with the patriarch involved all that land ‘from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates’, Genesis 15:18 and it was pledged to his offspring ‘for ever’, Genesis 13:15

Was the Promise Ever Totally Fulfilled?

When the law of Moses was given, provision was made for the establishment of cities of refuge where the manslayer who had killed without premeditation might flee for the preservation of his life. Initially, three cities were to be set aside for this purpose. Moses declared, however:

‘If the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he promised on oath to your ancestors, and gives you the whole land he promised them, because you carefully follow all these laws I command you today—to love the LORD your God and to walk always in obedience to him—then you are to set aside three more cities.’ Deuteronomy 19:8-9

Thus, six cities of refuge would be evidence of the substantial fulfilment of the land promise to Abraham’s seed.

A reading of Joshua 20:7-8 reveals that the cities of Kedesh, Shechem, Hebron, Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan were assigned as havens of refuge—six cities. Thus, ‘all the land’ had been given, the land covenant has been fulfilled!

This is further demonstrated by Joshua 21:43. This refers principally to Canaan. There was to be some expansion later. Scripture specifically states of Solomon’s time, 1 Kings 4:21 / 2 Chronicles 9:26.

Finally, Nehemiah rehearses the fact that God brought Abraham from Ur of Chaldees to give him the land of Canaan, and, says he, ‘You are the LORD God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham. You found his heart faithful to you, and you made a covenant with him to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and Girgashites. You have kept your promise because you are righteous.’ Nehemiah 9:7-8

It is tragic that the premillennial theory implies the opposite.

What Is the Meaning of ‘Forever’?

But millennialists contend that Palestine was promised to Israel ‘for ever’, Genesis 13:15. This fails to recognise, of course, that the term ‘for ever’ isn’t always used in the Bible in a completely unlimited sense.

For instance, circumcision was an ‘everlasting covenant’, Genesis 17:13; the Passover was an ordinance ‘for ever’, Exodus 12:14; and the Levitical system had an ‘everlasting priesthood’, Numbers 25:13. These Old Testament institutions, however, passed away with the abrogation of the law, thus demonstrating that ‘for ever’ sometimes has a temporary significance.

Was the Promise Conditional?

The truth of the matter is, the Old Testament clearly indicates that Israel’s possession of Palestine was conditioned upon their faithfulness to God, a condition which they violated repeatedly, hence, it was foretold, Joshua 23:16. That time eventually came, and the Jews lost their ‘deed’ to the Promised Land!

God’s Visual Aid

In the nineteenth chapter of the book that bears his name, the prophet Jeremiah was instructed of God, ‘Go and buy a clay jar from a potter. Take along some of the elders of the people and of the priests and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. There proclaim the words I tell you, and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, you kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Listen! I am going to bring a disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle’. Jeremiah 19:1-3

Subsequently, he was told to go to the valley of Hinnom and prophesy to the inhabitants of Jerusalem concerning their sins and their eventual destruction. As a symbol of this promised punishment, Jeremiah was commanded to ‘break the bottle’ and to proclaim its meaning, Jeremiah 19:11.

This prophecy was partially fulfilled with a siege of the Babylonians in 586 B.C. 2 Kings 25, but was completely and ultimately fulfilled with the destruction of national Israel by the Romans in A.D. 70.

After the Jewish nation was destroyed, it was so permanently scattered by the providence of God that it ‘cannot be repaired’. Regardless of the fact that some Jews are migrating back to Palestine, they will never be restored as God’s nation!

The Pronouncement of Christ Further evidence that national Israel will never be restored is found within the teaching of Christ himself. In Matthew 21, Jesus told what is called the parable of the wicked husbandmen, the design of which was to emphasize how wretchedly the Jews had treated God’s prophets, such rebellion reaching its zenith with the crucifixion of Christ. Because of their rejection of Jehovah’s precious stone, the Lord said to the Jews: ‘Therefore, I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Matthew 21:43

The inspired apostle Peter unquestionably declares that the ‘nation’ to be henceforth so blessed is God’s ‘holy nation,’ the church, 1 Peter 2:7-10.

The Bible is exceedingly clear, Christians are the seed of Abraham, Galatians 3:26-29. Christians are the Israel of God, Galatians 6:16.

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