Israel’s promised land, described as a land of milk and honey, and the seventh day sabbath, are both types of the rest that Hebrews 3-4 encourages believers to enter. Entering this rest requires belief.
After the children of Israel were delivered from Egypt, they endured 40 years wandering in the wilderness. At the end of that period Joshua addressed them, and he spoke of their promised inheritance as rest. “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The Lord your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.” [Joshua 1:13]
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:
The land promise to Abraham is connected with the promise that he would be the father of a multitude, who will number as the stars of heaven, and the promise of a seed in whom all nations will be blessed, who Paul identified as Christ. [Galatians 3:8, 16]
There are three components to the promise to Abraham: an innumerable number of descendants, land, and a seed, who is Christ. The three components are inseparable. A vast number of descendants specified in the promises to Abraham would require a large area of land, but the land of Canaan was one of the smallest countries. The three part promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are presented in the following tables.
In a blog post titled More on Acts 1:6-7 etc, “mac” argues that those verses support the idea of an earthly materialistic kingdom, and he says that Acts 1:6 “challenges the supercessionist view.”
What does Acts 1:6 teach? After the resurrection of Jesus, his disciples asked if he was about to establish his kingdom, which was a very natural question for them to ask. At that time, the Holy Spirit, which would later enlighten their understanding, was not yet given. Very likely, the disciples were thinking in terms of an earthly, political kingdom, and the restoration of national Israel.
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Revelation 16:17-21 describes the events that occur when the seventh angel pours out his vial with the last of the seven last plagues. In verse 19, John wrote of a great earthquake, unprecedented in scale, and connected with it, he said, in verse 20: “And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” The earthquake must be viewed as spiritual in nature, just as the mountains and islands are spiritual.
In his Olivet Discourse, Jesus exhorted those who are in Judea to “flee to the mountains.” This implies that they are able to find the mountains. In each prophecy, the mountains meant are not literal mountains, but they represent promises of God to the saints, who are represented by “them that be in Judea.” The mountains Jesus intended us to seek are invisible ones.
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
What were the keys of the kingdom given to Peter?
Did the apostles teach that the kingdom had come?
What is meant by the key of David?
Who reigns 1,000 years? Christ, or the saints?
What is meant by a thousand years?
How does Rev. 20:1-7 connect with Ezekiel?
Did John say χίλιοι ἔτος, thousands, in Revelation 20:1-7?
In prophecy, are years literal, but days figurative?
What does John intend to teach in Revelation 20:1-10?
When he returns, will Christ reign for a thousand years?
When do the saints become “a royal priesthood”?
Is part of Revelation 20:5 spurious?
Where can I see the Codex Sinaiticus manuscript?
What is the first resurrection?
What is Discrete Millennialism?
What happens when the thousand years end?
What is the territory of God’s kingdom?
In the 10th of his 15 arguments against the idea that Christ reigns upon the throne of David now, in this article, George Zeller commented on the prophecy of Amos 9:11-15, which James applied to the church in Acts 15:16. Zeller wrote:
In the sixth of his 15 arguments against the idea that Christ reigns upon the throne of David now, in this article, George Zeller declared that the territory of Christ’s kingdom is upon the earth. His judgment is executed on earth, at Jerusalem, he said. Zeller wrote:
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:
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…
In Romans 8:32 Paul wrote: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” But there is something that many Christians adamantly deny that God has ever given to the church: the land and mountains of Israel. Therefore, they implicitly reject the above statement of Paul; they do not believe it. 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…
Several connections between the mountains and rivers of prophecy were identified in this post. Where mountains and rivers are, there must be a land. If it is true that the mountains and rivers described in prophecy are spiritual, rather than natural ones, they are associated with a spiritual land, or country. 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…
The New Testament describes God’s covenant with the church as an everlasting covenant. The covenant is like an agreement to enter into a marriage, where Christ is the groom, and the church is the bride. This everlasting covenant is mentioned in Hebrews.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Read more…
In Hebrews, the promised land and the sabbath day both represent the rest that is promised to the Christian. This rest is something that has to be believed, and it is something that the saints are encouraged to labour to enter. [Hebrews 3:18-19 & 4:9-11]
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
In the verses quoted above, and as the context shows, the rest that the saints may enter is believing the word of God. This is also the symbolic meaning of the promised land. Believing the word of God, corresponds to entry into the land of promise. This is supported in other scriptures too. Read more…
In his commentary on Isaiah 30:20, where the English translation reads “yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more,” John Calvin translated: “Thy rain shall no longer be restrained.” Calvin viewed ‘rain’ as better suited to the immediate context in the verse itself, (‘the water of affliction’) than the word ‘teachers.’ Read more…