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Author Topic: The Antitypical Fulfillment of Old Testament Typology Concerning Ancient Israel  (Read 1821 times)

Offline Lysimachus

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The Antitypical Fulfillment of Old Testament Typology Concerning Ancient Israel:
- Conditional Types of Unconditional Antitypes
by Lysimachus

PART 1

Dispensationalists as well as Messianics attempt to derive literal, detailed fulfillments of Ezekiel 38 and 39 and a number of other related prophecies, but I must emphasize, they fail to recognize the differences between conditional types given specifically to the literal, geopolitical, national State of Israel, and unconditional antitypes which will ultimately reach fulfillment through Jesus Christ and His faithful followers--His entire body of saints.  The descriptions in Ezekiel 38 and 39 are types of a much greater fulfillment yet to come. Revelation's version of Gog and Magog is the antitype version as revealed by Jesus Christ to the His Prophet John. The events foretold in Ezekiel 38 and 39 were conditional types of unconditional antitypes. Had Israel remained faithful, God was going to fulfill this prophecy of Ezekiel in "type" (literally, with the Children of Israel). But since Israel did not keep their end of the bargain, God will still fulfill this prophecy, but this time in "antitype" to God's worldwide Spiritual Israel (this includes a literal remnant of converted Jews of course). 

To give an example of types that will never be fulfilled: Notice that according to Ezekiel chapter 38 and verse 5, the nations of Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are mentioned in this great battle as "prominent" world powers.  Let us raise the question: Are we to apply these nations as significant powers in our modern day? Just the fact that these nations were mentioned in Ezekiel 38 only shows that the Prophets were speaking in accordance to the world that they knew at that time. But these nations become symbolic types of Enemies of God. John in Revelation 20 and 21 now simply derives the unfulfilled types of Ezekiel, and Zechariah, and now shows how they are going to be fulfilled in the antitype form--with the Heavenly New Jerusalem at the end of the millennium and the earth made new. Those were conditional types. Had Israel remained faithful, and accepted the Messiah, these prophecies would have met fulfillment in such detailed manner as described in Ezekiel, and they would have destroyed ALL their enemies around the actual city of present-day Jerusalem. The problem with modern-day evangelicals is that they read passages in Old Testament books such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Zechariah, etc., and they take every word so literalistically, that they try to mesh and blend in these conditional type prophecies to the literal nation of Israel with Daniel and Revelation's unconditional antitypes, and it makes the prophecies virtually impossible to understand.  We cannot confuse the two.  We cannot fail to recognize that God's promises to the direct nation were conditional in nature, yet will ultimately and unconditionally be fulfilled to God's faithful people, the seed of the woman!  The New Testament antitypes must be employed as the expositor of the Old Testament types.

Let us ask, what are Types and Antitypes?

Type = "to prefigure; to foreshow; to represent by typical or figurative resemblance; a pattern, emblem, type, image, or imitation"...

Antitype = "the actual fulfillment of the type, but in a much greater form, yet still resembling the type", or better yet, in the actual Greek, "a replacement of the type", or "in place of the type"

Types and antitypes are never identical but only similar. In fact there must be differences in many respects. "As there must be a similarity or analogy between the type and the antitype, so there is also a diversity or dissimilitude between them. It is not in the nature of the types and anti-types that they should agree in all things; else, instead of similitude, there would be identity. Hence the apostle, wilst making Adam a type of Christ, yet shows how infinitely the latter excelled the former (1 Cor. 15:47). So the priests of old were types of Christ, though He infinitely excelled them." "Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopedia," article "Type". The same author mentioned as examples of "Actions Typical", "the deliverance out of Egypt, passage of the Red Sea, sojourn in the wilderness, passage over Jordan, entrance into Canaan, and restoration from Babylon."

An example might be that the sacrificing of the lamb was the Type. Christ dying on the cross was the Antitype.

Did Christ actually literally die by being slain by a priest in the courtyard of the Temple? No, because Israel chose to convict him as a false prophet. They slew him as a convict, not as a lamb. Had Israel accepted Christ as the Messiah, Jesus would still have had to die to pay the penalty of sin. But they would have performed it ceremonially, and he would have been sacrificed in the Temple Court. Though the type came to a fulfillment, it came to a fulfillment antitypically, and it did not occur the same way the type foreshadowed it--yet STILL met its fulfillment!

In the same manner, we are to take these prophecies of Ezekiel 38,39, and many others from the Old Testament and apply them as conditional types of ancient Israel that will now meet their unconditional fulfillment in a "similar, greater, yet not identical manner" in Revelation to modern-day Spiritual Israel, which is realized in the Church, which are the heirs according to the promise (Gal 3:29).

Dispensationalists continue to argue that God will never revoke his "land promises" to National Israel, therefore, 1948 becomes highly significant.

Allow me to clarify: We do believe the land-promises will be fulfilled, but at the end of the millennium. In other words, we believe that the New Jerusalem will descend from heaven and physically settle in Palestine, on the Mount of Olives, and Israel, the embodiment of the saints from all ages, will physically, and literally inherit the land. What we do not believe, however, is that this takes place at the beginning of the millennium. We do not believe it makes sense for wicked people to be amidst Christ and His people for 1000 years. What nuisances--who wants wicked people all over prancing about the surface of the earth in a time of "peace"? I don't believe that the term "reigning" means we will reign over wicked people, because Revelation 22:5 tells us that the saints will "reign for ever and ever" after the earth has been made new.  Unless we are to conclude that wicked people will exist forever, even in the earth made new?  I could not imagine even a less learned dispensationalist concluding such a ridiculous notion.   I believe that every Bible verse that Dispensationalists (or Messianics) use to apply to an earthly reign is to be applied at the end of the millennium, not during the millennium.

It is important to realize that the New Testament employs itself as the antitype of Old Testament types. This means that the New Testament employs itself as the focal point in fulfillment of Old Testament patterns. Exodus 25:9-40 describes on how the Sanctuary materials were made after a pattern, and the Hebrew for pattern is "tabniyth", and it means a form, plan, figure, image--equivalent to "tupos" in the Greek.

In Hebrews 8:5 the sanctuary was an "example" and "shadow" of heavenly things. In Greek, the word for "example" is "hupadeigma", which means an "example, an imitation, a figure, a copy", and the word for shadow is "skia" means an "image cast by an object and representing the form of that object." These words are very similar to "tupos" and "antitupos".

So in essence, the Mosaic sanctuary was a pattern, a type of heavenly things. With this in mind, it becomes clear that the local and literal settings of the land of Palestine, Jerusalem, the Temple, and the Jews, were a type of the worldwide saints with the Heavenly Jerusalem being the capital of the saints. The saints of the New Covenant make up the spiritual Davidic Sanctuary, and the New Testament Saints come to God through the Priestly Ministry of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary--the Antitypical interpretation shows that the literal settings of Ancient Israel served as a Type, or a Pattern, of worldwide Spiritual Israel.

It's important to realize that many of the prophecies, such as that of Ezekiel 36-48 have, been, REDEFINED by the Prophet John. John takes the prophecies of Gog and Magog and Jerusalem, originally meant for national Israel, and now applies them at the END of the Millennium in Revelation 20--which now will be fulfilled when God defends the New Jerusalem against the onslaught of Satan and his wicked hosts. Revelation 20 is also the antitypical version of Zechariah 14.

"When the Jews rejected Christ as the Messiah, God in turn rejected them and commissioned the Christian church as His chosen instrument for the salvation of the world (Matt. 28:19, 20; 2Cor. 5:18-20; 1Peter 2:9,10; etc.). Accordingly, the covenant promises and privileges were all permanently transferred from literal to spiritual Israel (Rom 9:4; cf. Gal 3:27-29; see on Deut. 18:15). Promises not already fulfilled to literal Israel either would never be fulfilled at all or would be fulfilled to the Christian church as spiritual Israel. Prophecies that fall into the latter classification are to be fulfilled in principle but not necessarily in every detail, owing to the fact that many details of prophecy concerned with Israel as a literal nation situated in the land of Palestine. The Christian church is a spiritual "nation" scattered all over the world, and such details obviously could not apply to it in a literal sense. Prophecies of the former classification cannot now be fulfilled because they were strictly conditional in nature and limited in scope, by their very nature, to literal Israel." (Raymond Cottrell, The Role of Israel in Old Testament Prophecy, Section VIII)

Commenting on Types and Antitypes regarding Ezekiel, Bob Pickle insightfully states:

Quote
How should we view Ezekiel's prophecy? Now for the proposal of a fourth explanation. Ezekiel's yet unfulfilled prophecy is clearly a type of the new earth. Therefore we may say that it is a prophecy about a conditional type of an unconditional antitype. Because of Israel's sins, the type will never take place, though the antitype will definitely come to pass. (Bob Pickle, Does Dispensationalism Allow to Be Fulfilled The Very Prophecies It says Must Be Fulfilled?)

In conjunction with the article cited in the above quote, I also recommend another article by Bob Pickle entitled Ezekiel's City: Calculating the Circumference of the Earth - Evidence for the divine inspiration of the Scriptures. By comparing Ezekiel's city with Revelation's New Jerusalem, it provides a way to calculate the precise circumference of the earth from the Scriptures. Also, upon close investigation, you will discover that Ezekiel's prophecy concerning the city he saw was a small scale model of the earth made new, while the Temple was outside of the city a minimum of 5,000 cubits away to the north. Hence, in technical terminology, Ezekiel's city, temple, and map were types or symbols of the antitypical New Jerusalem, Temple, and New Earth of Revelation.  Otherwise, if the prophecy is to be fulfilled as it reads to the literal land of Palestine, the Temple  must be rebuilt outside Jerusalem to the north (Ezek. 45:1-6), and Jerusalem would need to be totally rebuilt in the form of a perfect square, with three gates to a side (Ezek 48:31-34). Not to mention the entire reconstruction of the city measurements given by Ezekiel.  Can the entire city of present-day Jerusalem be reconstructed to these dimensions within a period of 3 ½ to 7 years? Sound reason and logic demand this an impossibility, if not wild speculation. Dispensationalists truly have a major problem on their hands, and this is without even mentioning the scores of insurmountable difficulties we have not as of yet even begun to scratch the surface of.

Therefore, when we understand Old Testament prophecies with these lenses, we see therefore how many of these prophecies (such as sacrifices, and feast keeping) will no longer be fulfilled in detail to the literal nation of Israel, rather, "antitypically" to the worldwide body of saints.  The sacrifices have met their end at Christ's death (antitypically), and feast keeping will be kept literally, in heaven, at the great supper of the Lamb. :)

The "New Moons" (meaning, monthly) will be celebrated when we convene at the Tree of Life once a month. :)  (See Revelation 22:2 [Antitype] and crossreference with Isaiah 66:23 [Type])

(To be Continued to Part 2)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 04:05:37 PM by Lysimachus »

Offline Lysimachus

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PART 2

It is important to realize that the New Testament employs itself as the antitype of Old Testament types. This means that the New Testament employs itself as the focal point in fulfillment of Old Testament patterns. Exodus 25:9-40 describes on how the Sanctuary materials were made after a pattern, and the Hebrew for pattern is "tabniyth", and it means a form, plan, figure, image--equivalent to "tupos" in the Greek.

In Hebrews 8:5 the sanctuary was an "example" and "shadow" of heavenly things. In Greek, the word for "example" is "hupadeigma", which means an "example, an imitation, a figure, a copy", and the word for shadow is "skia" means an "image cast by an object and representing the form of that object." These words are very similar to "tupos" and "antitupos".

So in essence, the Mosaic sanctuary was a pattern, a type of heavenly things. With this in mind, it becomes clear that the local and literal settings of the land of Palestine, Jerusalem, the Temple, and the Jews, were a type of the worldwide saints with the Heavenly Jerusalem being the capital of the saints. The saints of the New Covenant make up the spiritual Davidic Sanctuary, and the New Testament Saints come to God through the Priestly Ministry of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary--the Antitypical interpretation shows that the literal settings of Ancient Israel served as a Type, or a Pattern, of worldwide Spiritual Israel.

Dispensationalists like to somehow graft Gentiles all into the same stock for the benefits of salvation, yet at the same time, keep them distinct. If all are grafted into the "salvation" benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant via the olive tree and made possible by Christ's atonement, what point is there to still continue making a distinction? Why reinstitute sacrifices for the Jews in the 70th week when all they have to do is Accept the Messiah just like anyone? Some say this is for land benefits. I don't know about you, but the land of Israel leaves something to be desired. To me it would be pretty irresponsible of God to have the Israelites inherit that warn-torn-down land. That whole land needs to be refurbished--and what better way than to renew the whole earth? Why do you think that Christ constantly told the Jews "My kingdom is not of this World"? (John 18:36)

Take notice to what Hebrews 11:11-16 has to say concerning the land promises:

"(11)Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. (12) Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. (13) These ALL DIED in faith, NOT HAVING RECEIVED THE PROMISES, but having seen them AFAR OFF, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (14) For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. (15) And truly, if they had been MINDFUL OF THAT COUNTRY from whence they came out, THEY MIGHT HAVE HAD OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE RETURNED. (16) But NOW they desire a BETTER COUNTRY, that is, an HEAVENLY: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them A CITY."

If Dispensationalists could only grasp and discern the spiritual implications of this impressive passage in Hebrews! Paul is, without question, establishing how the land promises to literal Israel will now be fulfilled antitypically! It is now going to be fulfilled in a Heavenly Country with a Heavenly City (that's right, NOT in the SAME exact way described in Ezekiel anymore!!!). And yes, this will meet its fulfillment when the Church is taken to heaven in the New Jerusalem for 1000 years, and will reach its acme of fulfillment in the earth made new when the New Jerusalem returns at the end of the 1000 years. The Conditional Types are now meeting their Unconditional Antitypes!

It should be clearer now why Hebrews 11:13-16 becomes so important, because Paul clarifies regarding the old country (Palestine)--how they would have had opportunity to have returned had they been mindful of it. But now they desire a much better country--which is heavenly--a place where God has prepared for them a City! Then Galatians 4:22-31 make it so clear that the Old Jerusalem is in bondage, and reflects Agar...the bondwoman who was "cast out". Paul unambiguously establishes that Agar represents the Old Covenant, and Sarah (the freewoman) represents the New Covenant. In so doing, he also forcefully drives the point home that the Old Jerusalem was the focal point of the Old Covenant, and the New Jerusalem the focal point of the New Covenant.

Steve Wohlberg from WhiteHorseMedia.com insightfully writes concerning Jerusalem in relation to Galatians 4:22-31:

Quote
When it comes to Christians and Bible prophecy, the hot spot is Jerusalem. Prophecy teachers around the world are talking about Arafat, the PLO, the Jews, the Arabs, the peace process, a rebuilt Jewish Temple, and a final Middle East war of Armageddon. Pastor John Hagee's recently published book, The Battle for Jerusalem (2001), reveals this current focus. An advertisement declares, "Pastor John Hagee explains the heart of Israel's struggle for Jerusalem and the Holy Temple Mount - and why the battle for Jerusalem should be of major concern to Christians around the world." John Hagee Ministries (magazine), March / April 2001.

Should it really? While Christians should love Jewish people (and everyone else), and should definitely support Israel in her struggle against terrorism, we wish to ask - Does the New Testament really say we should focus on the earthly city of Jerusalem? And do New Testament prophecies, as is so commonly taught, really swirl around this location? The answer may surprise you. First of all, there is not one single direct reference in the book of Revelation to the earthly city of Jerusalem! Look for yourself. Jesus referred to "the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down from heaven from my God" (Revelation 3:12). "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from my God" (Revelation 21:2). "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God" (Revelation 21:10). Here the New Jerusalem is plainly called "the holy city," and this is where the saints of God are to live eternally.

Revelation 11:2 also refers to "the holy city." Again, in Revelation 22:19, we read about "the holy city." And Revelation 20:9 describes a final battle at the end of the 1000 years against "the camp of the saints ... the beloved city" (20:9). Christians sometimes apply these verses to the present, earthly city of Jerusalem, but Revelation itself does not do this. As we have already seen, Revelation defines "the holy city" as the "new Jerusalem" (21:2). Thus there is no proof that the book of Revelation has even one reference to earthly Jerusalem!

Concerning the saints of God, the New Testament says, "But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city" (Hebrews 11:16). This city is clearly the New Jerusalem. Paul told his readers, "But you are come to mount sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem" (Hebrews 12:22).

The most powerful New Testament section on this subject is Galatians 4:22-31. An honest and careful study of Paul's words reveals that earthly "Jerusalem which now is" (verse 25) is compared to Hagar, Ishmael, (verse 22), and the flesh (verse 23). Amazingly, it is "cast out" (verse 31) and is no longer an "heir" to the promises of God. But the "Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all" (verse 26).

Christians should love Jewish people, and should seek to thoughtfully share with them the message of Jesus their Messiah. Yet according to the New Testament, our focus should be on the New Jerusalem, rather than the present, war torn city in the Middle East. (Steve Wohlberg, "Should Christians Focus on Earthly Jerusalem?") (some emphases mine)

So no, there is no contradiction when we unite all the Jews and Gentiles into one nation under God, Israel, when we realize that the literal land of Palestine will be inherited by all of us at the end of the millennium.

Now of course when Paul is saying there is neither Jew nor Greek he is talking about salvation. But may I ask, what else is there? Everything else is fleshly. Everything to do with the Law and Christ's death is related to salvation. Christ's death on the Cross paid it all, for all men, one-time. The benefits of salvation were made available, for all men, one time. This in-turn, through the Power of Christ and His atoning blood, imputing His Divine Grace upon us, empowers us and strengthens us to "walk, even as he walked" (1 John 2:6), and keep His commandments, and enabling us to "follow his steps" (1 Peter 2:21).

In New Testament times, John picks up Old Testament terminology, and redefines them on a global scale. It now revolves around Spiritual Babylon. The Harlot Woman which represents the City of Babylon (Rev 17:17). This Harlot Woman (the city) SITS on "many waters" (v.1). In the Old Testament, Babylon literally sat on the Euphrates River which was "dried up". Revelation 17:15 spiritually applies this, and says that these "waters" (the Euphrates River) where the woman sits "are PEOPLES, and MULTITUDES, and NATIONS, and TONGUES".  Yet somehow, Dispensationalists are determined to make the literal Euphrates River applicable to end-time prophecy in the book of Revelation. It leaves one to wonder how they can possibly miss the spiritual application!

Louis F. Were succinctly puts it:

Quote
The New Testament writers apply the names and designations of national Israel to the church--the spiritual Israel. The things which first belonged to national Israel in Palestine are lifted out of their national and local Palestinian setting into the larger fulfillment--the antitypical--which is world-wide in connection with the church. The last application is definitely connected with the first application--except that it is not limited in the old national sense, but as extensive as Christ's spiritual kingdom--the world. Thus the church is now said to be "a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices". Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation." 1 Peter 2:5, 9. (Louis F. Were, The Certainty of the Third Angel's Message, p. 165)

Many hundreds of expressions employed by the Revelator are quotations from the Old Testament. In the Old Testament those passages were used to describe national Israel and the overthrow of their national enemies. When the Revelator makes use of those same texts he lifts them out of their literal and local setting and gives them a world-wide and antitypical meaning. In the Old Testament they described literal factors in connection with God's national people, and their national enemies. The Revelator employs those Old Testament pictures of the conflicts of national Israel and her enemies to provide the descriptive imagery of the conflict of the Church of Jesus Christ with her foes.

The doom of old, literal Babylon is clearly forecast in Isa. Chapters 13 and 14. Isa. 14: 12-14 sets forth Lucifer as the invisible ruler of ancient Babylon. Babylon was overthrown because it had become the sea of Satan's worldly dominion. In describing the overthrow of spiritual, or antitypical, Babylon, the Revelator employs imagery obtained from the prophetic pictures given in the Old Testament of the overthrow of ancient Babylon.

The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem, burned down the magnificent Temple of Solomon, which was the center of their religious and national life, and took the national people of God into captivity. Lucifer, the invisible king of spiritual Babylon, unites his forces to attack and destroy the church--God's temple. (See 2 Cor. 6:16; Ephes. 2:20-22; Rev. 11:1-2, etc.) The type of the antitype must never be lost sight of in the study of the Apocalypse, or the meaning of the symbols will not be understood in their proper sense. (Louis F. Were, The Certainty of the Third Angel's Message, pp. 167, 168)

Adding to the principle of types and antitypes, we see that King Cyrus of Persia was called  "the anointed" (Isaiah 45:1). Cyrus came from the "east" (Isaiah 44:26-28; 46:11) Cyrus came and dried up the Euphrates River, conquered Babylon, and delivered Israel. Cyrus was a type of Christ. When King Jesus comes in the clouds of Heaven, He along with his mighty angels will come from the "east" (Rev 7:2; Matthew 24:27). He will come as "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (Rev 19:14,16).

At Armageddon, He will "dry up the river Euphrates" (destroy all the wicked people's and nations that have not "come out of her [Babylon]"), and deliver God's people, the Church, from Babylonian captivity (this world of sin). This is when that great "Wicked" will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming. (2 Thess 2:8 )

Therefore, we see, with clarity of vision, as divine light from heaven illuminates these pages, penetrating the souls of men with the power of the Spirit of God with conviction as the truth seeps forth like sap from the living vine of heaven, that a literal application of Israel, Babylon, Jerusalem the Euphrates River, the Harlot Woman, are NOT to be interpreted literally.  All the happenings in the Middle East are Satan's counterfeit prophecy to the real issues God wants us to focus on.

The prophecies of Ezekiel 36-48 have, been, REDEFINED by the Prophet John. John takes the prophecies of Gog and Magog and Jerusalem, originally meant for national Israel, and now applies them at the END of the Millennium--which now will be fulfilled when God defends the New Jerusalem against the onslaught of Satan and his wicked hosts. Revelation 20 is also the antitypical redefined version of many elements found in Zechariah 14.

It is my prayer that the reader will be able to discern what I believe to be heaven-sent truths that the Lord has called me write about. Thus far, I am bound by the word of the living God. I believe that the only way we can properly interpret scripture is if we compare "precept upon precept, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little, line upon line, line upon line" (Isaiah 28:9-13)

It is time to get our minds OFF of Palestine. The events revolving that land are Satan's counterfeit prophecy to draw the minds of God's people away from the real issues at hand. Prophecy now is focused on 1. The United States of America, and 2. Rome. Not the Middle East. Satan is just making events occur over there that seem to reflect Old Testament prophecies to divert the attention of the minds of people away from ascertaining what is really going on behind the scenes as world leaders unite to bring about a New World Order. And who is behind the New World Order? Who is the real head running everything?  It's the Papacy through its Jesuit Order!  Although they may pretend on the outside that they are not involved, the overwhelming evidence most certainly points to the Papacy as the culprit pulling the strings to achieve world domination.

Paul re-iterates over and over and over that the Church are now "heirs according to the promise". What promise? ALL those promises made to Israel! This so easy to understand: WE ARE THE HEIRS according to the promise. We, who are individuals. Not a piece of Real-Estate in old-warn-down Jerusalem. Any Jew can join and be grafted in.

I want the reader to take notice what Philip Mauro said in his book "The Gospel of the Kingdom", pages 24, 25:

Quote
"Did He (Christ) come to re-institute the bond woman and her son in the family of Abraham? And to make the son of the bondwoman to be heir with the son of the free woman? Did He come to raise up again, and to make permanent, that middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile, or to take it away entirely and forever? Did He come to restore the shadows of the Old Covenant, or to abolish them" (Philip Mauro, The Gospel of the Kingdom, 24, 25).

This alone should settle it for anyone who sees a fleshly re-establishment of the State of Israel.

It is time to get our minds out of the flesh, and into the spirit. Thinking that God has some special third plan for the national state of Israel is to think in fleshly terms, not spiritual.

(To be Continued to Part 3...)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 04:47:14 PM by Lysimachus »

Offline Lysimachus

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PART 3

Dispensationalists try to accuse Historicists of God not really meaning what He says.  But this is a diversionary tactic to avoid the real issues that are involved pertaining to these promises. 

The question we should be really asking is: Does God ever break a promise or covenant with anyone? Or is it the people that choose to break covenants with God? Quite frequently we find the conditional element of the word "IF" and "THEN"associated with God's promises to Israel. You will find numerous phrases scattered throughout the Old Testament such as "If ye hearken unto me, THEN...I will...", which clearly demonstrate that all God's promises are conditional based on Israel's faithfulness to Him. This becomes embarrassingly simple logic that Dispensationalists have chosen to ignore. 

One of the strongest examples can be found in 1 Kings 9:4-7 -- "And IF thou wilt . . . do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever -- But IF ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or YOUR CHILDREN, and will not keep my commandments -- Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people."

We see here how the conditions to these promises are clearly laid.

I ask the question, do dispensationalists really grasp the deep implications involved with these conditions?  Or are they going to conclude that God's conditions really don't mean conditions?  I propose that when the Lord establishes conditions for promises to be fulfilled, he means just what he says!  And God has NEVER changed his conditions.  God has always placed before all mankind the options of life or death.  To have it any other way is to excuse the sins of national Israel, calling evil good and good evil, and making light of Israel's rejection of the Son of God.

The verses cited cast but a small glimpse on the example of conditional promises given to Israel in the Old Testament. But there are many more. In Jeremiah 18:6-10, we see God addressing Israel and then comparing it to any nation that will repent or do evil in His sight. In Deuteronomy 7:8-12, we see Moses instructing the Children of Israel that if they would keep the commandments, the Lord would keep unto them the covenant which he swore unto their fathers! And on the other hand, continuing in Deuteronomy 8:1, 19 and 20, if they disobeyed God they would perish like the nations that they were to dispossess.  This is not to mention the warnings that the land would spue them out also, as it had spued out their predecessors (Leviticus 18:26-28; 20:22).

Take specific note to the statements of the conditional nature of a great number of promises and prophecies made to the literal nation of Israel. In each case the fulfillment of the promise was conditioned on obedience: (a) their status as the chosen people, Ex. 19:5, 6; Deut. 28:9; (b) a great nation, Deut. 28:1, 7, 9, 10, 13 (compare verses 15, 25, 48); (c) a holy nation, Ex. 19:6; Deut. 28:9; (d) blessings, Deut. 7:9-14; 28:1-14 (compare verses 15-68); 30:16, 19; (e) the land, Deut. 8:1, 7-9; 30: 19, 20 (compare Lev. 18:26-28; Deut. 28:15, 64); 1 Kings 9:3, 6, 7; 1 Chron. 28:8; 2 Chron. 7:16, 19, 20; Eze. 33:24-26; 36:26-28; (f) the Davidic line of kings, 1 Kings 2:3, 4; 8:25; 9:4, 5; 1 Chron. 28:4-9; 2 Chron. 6:16; 2 Chron. 7:17-22; and (g) blessing to the nations, Eze. 36:23, 33-36; 37:23, 28. 

But since the conditions laid forth were only partly met, the promises were only partially fulfilled in Hebrew history.  We also see that Solomon was chosen "to be king over Israel for ever" (1 Chron 28:4), along with many more promises that his nation would prosper and stand for ever, yet after Solomon sinned against the Lord, these conditional promises were not fulfilled. After Solomon apostatized, and although he saw the folly of his ways before he died, his kingdom was divided and ten of the tribes were permanently lost to his dynasty. Now while it is true that his descendants ruled Judah as long as it lasted as a nation, the kingdom did eventually come to an end and the crown of David's dynasty was removed "until he come whose right it is" (Ezekiel 21:27).  This is referring to the divine Son of David (Matthew 21:5,9).  Although Solomon and the royal line of David failed to realize and live up to the conditions of the promises laid forth, the prophecy of David's seed meets its antitypical, unconditional fulfillment in Christ, who will yet rule over an eternal kingdom (Ps. 89:3, 4; Isa. 9:6, 7; Jer. 23:5; Luke 1:32, 33).

Take note to the following from Dr. Froom:

Quote
"Christian Church continues the Seed of Israel.--Jerusalem knew not the time of her visitation, and consequently her house was left to her "desolate" (Matt. 23:28), and the rejected Lord wept over her fate. Though the destruction was delayed forty years, there was no repentance to avert the nation's doom. There was no assurance, as before (Jer. 5:10, 18), that the destruction was to be only temporary. The servants who had repeatedly abused the prophets had finally crucified the Son of the Owner of the vineyard, and consequently were dispossessed. The Son Himself had pronounced sentence upon them: "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof" (Matt. 21: 43). Many were to come from the east and west to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the place of the rejected children of the kingdom (Matt. 8:11, 12). These were to come from among the Gentiles and would prove themselves "Abraham's children" more truly than the Jews because they "would do the works of Abraham" (John 9:39).

When the great body of the professed seed of Abraham--the official body--rejected their King, the Mediator of the new covenant, they inevitably cut themselves off from the Messianic kingdom and the covenant relationship. The only Jews who retained these relationships were the remnant (Rom. 11:5), those who accepted their Messiah and became the nucleus of the Christian church; these were the true children of Israel. To them were added the Gentile converts, the "wild olive" branches who were grafted into the parent stock in place of the natural branches that had broken themselves off (Rom. 11:16-24).

Thus the rejection of the nation of Israel did not invalidate the prophecies or cut off the line of God's chosen people. "Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect" but "the children of the flesh" were replaced by "the children of the promise" (Rom. 9:6, 8 )--the spiritual seed of Abraham. (Questions on Doctrine, pp. 226-227)

(To be Continued to Part 4...)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 04:55:03 PM by Lysimachus »

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PART 4

Dealing with the issues of principles of prophetic interpretation, Dr. Raymond Cottrell insightfully writes in his article "The Role of Israel in Old Testament Prophecy" the following:

Quote
VIII. Conclusion: Principles of Interpretation: In general, Old Testament promises and predicts were addressed to literal Israel and were to have been fulfilled to them, conditional on obedience. Partial compliance on their part with the will of God made possible a partial fulfillment of the covenant promises on God's part. Yet many of the promises, particularly those concerning the giving of the gospel to the nations and the establishment of the Messianic kingdom, could not be fulfilled to them because of their unfaithfulness, but would be fulfilled to the church on earth preparatory to Christ's return, particularly to God's remnant people, and in the new earth.

When the Jews rejected Christ as the Messiah, God in turn rejected them and commissioned the Christian church as His chosen instrument for the salvation of the world (Matt. 28:19, 20; 2Cor. 5:18-20; 1Peter 2:9,10; etc.). Accordingly, the covenant promises and privileges were all permanently transferred from literal to spiritual Israel (Rom 9:4; cf. Gal 3:27-29; see on Deut. 18:15). Promises not already fulfilled to literal Israel either would never be fulfilled at all or would be fulfilled to the Christian church as spiritual Israel. Prophecies that fall into the latter classification are to be fulfilled in principle but not necessarily in every detail, owing to the fact that many details of prophecy concerned with Israel as a literal nation situated in the land of Palestine. The Christian church is a spiritual "nation" scattered all over the world, and such details obviously could not apply to it in a literal sense. Prophecies of the former classification cannot now be fulfilled because they were strictly conditional in nature and limited in scope, by their very nature, to literal Israel.

The fundamental principle by which we can tell unerringly when any particular promise or prediction of the Old Testament made originally to literal Israel is to meet its fulfillment with respect to spiritual Israel is--when a later inspired writer makes such an application of it. For instance, the prophecy of the battle of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38,39 was never fulfilled to literal Israel; but John the revelator assures us that in principle, though not necessarily all details (such as those of Eze. 39:9-15), this battle will occur at the close of the millennium (Rev. 20:7-9). But to go beyond that which is clearly set forth by Inspiration---in the immediate context of the passage concerned, in the New Testament, or in the Spirit of prophecy--is to substitute personal opinion for a plain "Thus saith the Lord." Where Inspiration had not thus clearly spoken it is our privilege to compare scripture with scripture in an endeavor to understand more perfectly the mind of the Spirit. But here, as in all exposition of Scripture, we should avoid affirming as the explicit teachings of the Bible that which is our private, finite view, however plausible it may appear to be. Furthermore, Old Testament prophecy must first be examined in terms of its historical application to literal Israel before the validity of a derived application to spiritual Israel may be undertaken.

One of the main objectives of the Bible commentator is to reconstruct the historical setting in which the declarations of the prophets were originally made. Christianity is a historical religion, and its inspired messages are anchored to the hills and valleys, the deserts and rivers, of the ancient world, and to literal men and women who once walked the earth. There is no surer protection against the speculative vagaries of religious visionaries than a clear knowledge of the historical context of Scripture.

Though the prophet looked at events about him, he also could see far beyond his own day. In a mysterious way known only to God the prophet's words were sometimes intended to meet their fulfillment in the then far-distant future. At times they had an import, not only for the age in which the prophet lived, but also for a day far future; in other words, they had a dual application. Similarly, the way sin which God dealt with men in crises of the past are often cited as examples of the manner in which He will deal with all the world in the last day (see on Deut. 18:15). For example, the judgment that came upon Sodom and Gomorrah, literal cities of the ancient past, is used by Bible writers as descriptive of the judgment God will eventually bring upon all the world.

The student of the Bible who hopes to secure it from the greatest help will first proceed to reconstruct the historical context of each passage. He will listen to the prophet speaking to Israel of old and endeavor to understand what his words meant to the people who originally heard them. But he will listen also for the further import the prophet's words may have for later times, particularly, our time. Indeed, this secondary application is for us today the more significant. But it is only against the background of the original historical context of the message that its meaning and value for us can be established with certainty.

A study of the Old Testament prophets that consist primarily of lifting selected passages here and there out of their historical context and arbitrarily applying them to our day--as if the prophet spoke exclusively for our benefit--is fraught with grave danger. In fact, this procedure is responsible more than anything else for the fanciful interpretations that distinguish the teachings of certain religious groups.

In an age when every wind of doctrine is blowing it is well to make certain that our understanding of Bible prophecy rests upon a positive "Thus saith the Lord"(see Deut. 29:29; Isa. 50:11; Jer. 2:13; Matt. 7:24-28; 1Cor 2:4,5,12,13; Eph. 4:14; Col. 2:2-4,8; 2Peter 1:16; Rev. 22:18). In so doing we shall be secure against the fanciful explanations given certain Old Testament prophecies. We shall be protected against the grossly literal explanation of some expositors concerning the return of literal Israel to literal Palestine to rule the world for a thousand years prior to the close of human probation, and also against other equally unscriptural interpretations that propose to apply allegorically to the church all the details of the promises originally made to literal Israel. Both of these extreme methods wrest the obvious intent of the Scriptures and render a sound understanding of the passages of the prophets for the church today unattainable. (Raymond Cottrell, The Role of Israel in Old Testament Prophecy, Section VIII)

Cottrell then goes on to offer some following simple rules that he suggests as a safe approach to the study of each prophetic passage of the Old Testament:
  • Examine the prophecy in its entirety. Note by whom it was spoken, to whom it was addressed, and the circumstances that called it forth. Remember that--generally speaking--it was originally given with respect to the historical circumstances that called it forth. It was ordained of God to meet the needs of His people at the time it was given and to remind them of the glorious destiny that awaited them as a nation, of the coming of the Messiah, and of the establishment of His eternal kingdom. Discover what the message meant to the people of that time. (This rule does not apply to those portions of the book of Daniel that the prophet was bidden to "shut up" and "seal," or to other passages whose application Inspiration may have limited exclusively to our own time.)
  • Observe the conditional aspects of the prediction and ascertain whether or not, or to what extend, the conditions were met.
  • Discover what application later inspired writers make of the prophecy, and on this basis determine its possible significance for God's people in this time.
  • Remember that the record of God's dealing with His people in ages past has been recorded for the benefit of all later generations to the end of time. Our study of messages originally proclaimed by holy men of old to the people of their day is not to become an end in itself, but a means of discovering the will of God for all who would render Him truehearted service now, at the climax of the ages. The voice of God through the prophets distinctly speaks to us today. (ibid, Section VIII)
He concludes by stating that if these rules are consistently followed, the resulting interpretation can be accepted with confidence. In the inspired utterances of the prophets of old, the sincere seeker for truth will thus find messages of inspiration, comfort, and guidance for today.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 04:59:36 PM by Lysimachus »

 

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