Scriptures

The Restoration Of Israel!

Introduction

There are a few religious groups, mainly those of the Premillennial persuasion, who sincerely believe that God is going to restore the land of Israel when Christ returns.

They believe this will take place during the ‘thousand year’ reign of Christ on earth, they believe that Jesus will set up His headquarters in Jerusalem and He will sit on the literal throne of David.

They also believe that Ezekiel 37-38 teaches that all Jews, from all over the world will be miraculously taken back to Palestine in order for them to reclaim their old tribal allotments according to the Promised Land, Joshua 13-24.

Before getting into the land promise, let’s quickly deal with the ‘thousand year reign’.

The Thousand Year Reign

‘Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.’ Revelation 20:6

As I’m sure your aware, the book of Revelation is a highly figurative book and if we’re not careful, we can take things literal when they are supposed to be figurative.

These are the only verses in Scripture that mention a thousand-year reign but from them have come countless ideas to suggest a future thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth.

Notice what the text doesn’t say, Revelation 20 doesn’t mention,

1. The second coming of Christ.

2. A bodily
resurrection.

3. A reign on earth.

4. The literal throne of David.

5. Jerusalem or Palestine.

6. Us instead of they who lived and reigned.

7. Christ on earth.

Does this passage, especially Revelation 20:4-6, teach the establishment of an earthly kingdom and a thousand-year reign of Christ with the saints?

Notice first that the thousand years of this passage corresponds with the thousand years that Satan is bound in the bottomless pit of Revelation 20:2-3.

The number 1000 symbolises completeness or fullness and refers to the complete period of time Satan is bound. However long that is, Christ’s reign is the same period of time.

But who reigns with Christ? Revelation 20:4. These martyrs lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Neither the return of Christ to the earth, the establishment of an earthly kingdom or His reign on earth with His disciples for a literal thousand years is mentioned in this verse or any other verse in this chapter.

God’s Promise To Abraham, Genesis 12:1-3. God promised Abraham that He would bless all the nations of the earth through his family name. He also promised to give land to his descendants and He promised that out of Abraham there would come a great nation. As we move into the next chapter of Genesis, we read that God’s promise is even clearer, Genesis 13:14-17. What we read here is the basis of the promise of a land as an inheritance for Abraham and his descendants. God tells him to go and walk through the length and breadth of the land, for God is giving it to him. God also says that through Abraham, all families of the earth will be blessed.

The Fulfilment Of The Land Promise, Joshua 21:43-44.

Terms And Conditions

Under the leadership of Joshua, the twelve tribes of Israel occupied the land and God’s promise was fulfilled. This means that nothing was left unfulfilled about God’s promise concerning His promise to Abraham about the land.

What people tend to overlook is that the Israel’s land promise came with terms and conditions attached. Moses even predicted their captivity, Deuteronomy 29:24-28 / Deuteronomy 30:16-18. Make no mistake about it, God fulfilled His promise concerning the land, Nehemiah 9:7-8 / Jeremiah 29:11 / 2 Chronicles 36:22.

The Coming Of Christ, Galatians 3:16. When Jesus, the Messiah came into the world, when He went to the cross to die, He offered Himself as a sin offering for all of mankind. God’s promise to Abraham was to bless the nations through him, and they were fulfilled at Calvary. Jesus is the seed of the promise, that is the seed of Abraham, that all nations would be blessed.

The nation of Israel had served its purpose in preserving the seed line from one generation to the next of Abraham’s family, until the Messiah came from that seedline. In other words when Christ came, the Jewish nation ceased to exist as a nation, in fact the temple and Jerusalem were totally destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70.

Think about this for a moment, if we are to believe that God holds a special place for the Jews as a nation and He has something special planned in the future for them, wouldn’t this be God showing favouritism to one set of people from another? Romans 2:11 / Romans 10:12.

It’s clear that when Jesus came and died, He removed any differences between nations, no matter who they were and where they were from. He blesses all who call on Him, regardless of race, religion or colour, Ephesians 2:14.

When Christ came and died on the cross, he removed the barrier, the diving wall, which was the law of Moses. There are no longer Jews and no longer Gentiles, because Christ has made them one.

If we return to the Old Testament for a moment, we see the fulfilment of prophecy which was made to the Jews before and after their Assyrian and Babylonian captivities.

The Scriptures tell us in 2 Kings 24-25, after Solomon had died, the kingdom was divided, there were ten tribes in the north and two tribes in the south. The text tells us that the Assyrians captured the northern tribes and took them away to ‘Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes.’ 2 Kings 18:11, in 721 B.C.

The southern two tribes of Judah were taken by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon around 586 B.C., although some of the captives escaped to Egypt, 2 Kings 14:25-26.

It’s important to point out that before and during their captivities, two prophets, Daniel and Ezekiel foretold the exile would happen and also promised a return to the land. When we read these passages, there is no doubt that all of these prophecies were completely fulfilled.

There is no promise of a future restoration for the Jews to go back to the land, because the promise was fulfilled many years before Christ came.

What Jesus Said About The Nation Of Israel, Matthew 21:33-46. Now it’s clear that the tenants are the Jews, Matthew 21:45, and it was them, the Jews, who killed God’s Son and as a result of them killing Him, the kingdom of God would be taken away from them. It was God who took the blessings away from fleshly Israel and gave them to the Gentile believers.

In other words, Israel as nation was going to be replaced by something new, which is the church. Hence why the temple and Jerusalem were totally destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70.

What John Said About The Nation Of Israel, Matthew 3:7-10. John the baptiser makes this very clear, that the ‘ax is already at the root of the tree’, in other words, John is speaking about God’s overthrowing wrath against the Jewish nation because they rejected the Christ.

This meant their entire religious system was coming to an end, which again was in A.D. 70 when the Romans totally destroyed the temple.

What Paul Said About The Nation Of Israel, Acts 13:44-47.

When we read these passages it’s clear that the Jews as a nation, totally rejected Jesus the Messiah, Acts 18:5-6.

What James Said About The Nation Of Israel, Acts 15:14-19. Notice that James quotes from Amos 9:11-12, which tells us that this is a prophecy that the rebuilt tent or tabernacle of David is the Lord’s church where both Jew and Gentile can find salvation.

What Paul Again Said About The Nation Of Israel, Romans 9:6-8. Paul clearly teaches that being a descendant of Abraham, that is through his bloodline, won’t save anyone. This is because the children of the flesh aren’t children of God, Romans 11:1-5.

Paul here teaches us that some Jews, that is a remnant, were accepted because they became a part of the elect of God in the church, Romans 9:27 / Romans 11:25-27.

We all know that the Deliverer is Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Paul tells us that the Jews haven’t been thrown away because they too can be saved like the Gentiles, Romans 11:23-24 / Galatians 3:23-29.

When Paul writes to the Galatian church he tells them that the Law of Moses, which was for the nation of Israel, was only to last until the Seed, that is Jesus should come. Because of Christ, Christians are now all one in Christ, Christians have become descendants of Abraham by an obedient faith, not by physical lineage.

The Church Is Now The True Israel, Galatians 4:21-31. In the very next chapter, Paul tells us that physical Israel, that is present Jerusalem, was cast out and replaced by spiritual Israel, which is the church. The Israel of God can’t be fleshly Israel because the Israel of God walks according to Christ, Galatians 6:15-16 / Philippians 3:3 / Colossians 2:11-12.

Conclusion

We’ve clearly seen that the land promise to Abraham was fulfilled during the leadership of Joshua and we’ve seen that God nowhere promised to restore Israel back to the land sometime in the future.

We’ve also seen that God doesn’t show favouritism because Christ died for all, Jew and Gentile, His death on the cross has brought the two groups together as one in Christ.

We’ve also seen that the Jews, that is fleshly Israel, aren’t God’s chosen people today, rather, the church, the spiritual Israel, is God’s special people.

‘But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.’ 2 Peter 2:9-10

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

Matthew 5:16

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