The claims of dispensationalists, who say that prophecy should be viewed as literal, are discredited by the history of the throne of David. Although the promise to David through Nathan the prophet said, “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever,” [2 Sam. 7:16] after a few centuries, the line of kings of the dynasty of David ceased, and his throne disappeared.
The Temple-River of Ezekiel 47:1-12 implies that there is a land through which it flows, and which is healed because of it. What land is it? Not the literal territory of Canaan. It may be the better land mentioned in Hebrews 11:16.
The story of Moses striking the rock in the wilderness which brought forth water has a profound significance, and the theme of water and rivers as symbols of the Spirit flows like a river throughout both the Old and New Testaments. The Jerusalem temple was built above the site of a spring, called Gihon, which was also the name of one of the rivers in Eden. Solomon was crowned king there. [1 Kings 1:32-35]
The prophecy of Ezekiel chapter 34 distinguishes between the mountains of Israel, and the mountains of other lands.
Ezekiel 34:6 says, “My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.”
God’s sheep are scattered upon the face of the earth, in tens of thousands of sects and denominations, and ministries, with many different beliefs.
In his commentary on Ezekiel, George Currey (1816-1885) discussed the relationship between Ezekiel and the Apocalypse of John, and he pointed out some striking differences.
One of the ways the accounts differ is in their respective descriptions of God’s throne. Currey notes some differences between the accounts in the following paragraph. 
Isaiah said in the last days, referring to Judah and Jerusalem, that the mountain of the Lord’s house would be raised up, to the top of the mountains, and exulted above the hills.
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
When we compare this with Ezekiel’s prophecy about the river flowing from the house of the Lord, a paradox appears. Any tectonic event that would elevate Jerusalem in a literal sense, would increase the slope in the surrounding area. But in Ezekiel’s description, the river in the vicinity of Jerusalem is shown to have a very gentle gradient, comparable to that of a football field, where a minimal slope is needed for drainage. In about half a mile, the depth of the river increases by only about three feet. [Ezek. 47:1-7]
Bible scholars have suggested various meanings for the mountains of Israel in Ezekiel 36:1-15. These include (1) the land; (2) the people of Israel; (3) either the land or the people; (4) they are metaphors representing God’s promises. Correctly interpreting the mountains is key to understanding the prophecy. Daniel I. Block wrote on the theological significance of this prophecy:
David wrote, in Psalm 36:6, “Thy righteousness is like the great mountains.” The great mountains of the earth are regions of snow and ice, that remained inaccessible to men until the nineteenth century when adventurers developed mountaineering skills, and began to discover routes to the tops of the high peaks of the European Alps, and other mountains of the world.
The reason David compared God’s righteousness to high mountains must have to do with their altitude, and their metaphorical connection with high and lofty thoughts, such as the prophet Isaiah referred to when he described God’s thoughts as higher than those of man.
Israel was promised blessings in their land, if the people kept the law. [Leviticus 26:3-5] If they abandoned the law, however, the land would no longer yield her strength to them. [Leviticus 26:18-20]
In many prophecies, the land is described as desolate. Isaiah connected the desolation of the land with understanding and believing the words of the prophets. In response to his question, how long will it be before the people of Israel understand with their heart, and convert, and become healed? Isaiah was told, “until the land be utterly desolate.”
In his Ezekiel 36 Commentary, Bruce Hurt quoted from the works of numerous authors who support dispensationalism. However the author identified himself as a literalist rather that a dispensationalist. In his comments on verse 1 he wrote:
Paul explained in 2 Corinthians 1:20 that all the promises of God are made available to us through Christ; he wrote: “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” In the Old Testament, these promises were given to God’s people Israel, but the New Testament shows that those who believe in Christ share in them, as they have become part of the true Israel of God through faith. Some of these promises are listed in table below. The notes in the right hand column suggest how they are fulfilled by Christ and his church.
The prophecy of Ezekiel 39:11-16 describes the burial of the slain corpses of the armies of Gog and Magog. The following particulars are given:
- Burial location: east of the sea, in the valley of Hamongog
- Identity of those who are burying: the whole house of Israel
- Duration of the work: seven months
- Results: God is glorified, and the land is cleansed
In the 7th of his 15 arguments against the idea that Christ reigns upon the throne of David now, in this article, George Zeller raises the question of God’s perpetual covenant with the Levites. Taking this literally, Zeller argues that the prophecy requires the restoration of both David’s throne and the Levitical priesthood in a millennial temple. He wrote:
In the prelude of the 70 weeks prophecy, Daniel tells us that he was praying for “the holy mountain of my God.” [Daniel 9:20] The 70 weeks outline the duration of the warfare and desolations of the holy mountain, which in Daniel 2:35 is the kingdom of God. The first two sections of the prophecy, 7 weeks and 62 weeks, and the first half of the final section, are times that apply to the earthly Jerusalem, and the units are earthly units such as years, and leap years, but the last half-week applies to the heavenly city. Jesus is represented by the stone cut without hands in Daniel 2:35. He was cut off, crucified, in the mist of the final week. When he was resurrected and ascended to heaven, the mountain of God’s house was also raised up, as foretold by Isaiah, who wrote, “And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” [Isaiah 2:2] The mountain of the Lord’s house, mount Zion, and Jerusalem, were at that time established in heaven, and exulted above the hills. Hebrews 12:22 says, “ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” Read more…
The following is Frederic Gardiner’s commentary on the prophecy about Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 & 39, together with an Excursus, where he makes observations on the character of the prophecy in these chapters, which he views as a kind of parable, depicting the struggle of the world with the kingdom of God, an interpretation in agreement with Revelation 20:7-10.
Could the burial of the hordes of Gog and Magog described in Ezekiel 39, and the earth swallowing up the serpent’s flood in Revelation 12, depict the same event? Each prophecy is about removing a threat to the church. Each alludes to the symbolic significance of the land. In Revelation 20, the hordes of Gog and Magog come from all parts of the earth, and compass the camp of the saints, and the beloved city, terms that apply to the church. In Revelation 12:14 the woman who flees to the wilderness is the church. In verse 16, the word γῆ or gē is translated earth in the KJV, and in most other translations, but the word also means land. The land that swallows up the serpent’s flood, and the land where the armies of Gog and Magog are buried, are metaphors, which represent spiritual and eternal things which the church inherits. Read more…
The land of Canaan promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is a type of something greater, the permanent inheritance of those who believe in Christ. The New Testament refers to this inheritance as a heavenly promised land, a “better country.” [Hebrews 11:16] The promised land represents the spiritual inheritance of the saints. Read more…
The scriptures say that God is around his people like the mountains around Jerusalem, and like broad rivers and streams.
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever
But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.
In many other scriptures, like the above example, mountains and rivers of a spiritual nature are related. Read more…
Proverbs 18:4 says, “The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.”
When God was about to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites, a select group was chosen from the people, and the manner in which they were selected was based upon how they drank water at a well. Read more…