Replacement Theology and the Time of the End
Translation by the New King’s James Version
By Robert D. Mock M.D.
July 4, 2001
The Plan of Salvation and Models on God Restoring His People
Ellen G. White, a contemporary of the Great Awakening, wrote a book called, the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan. This book vaulted Seventh-day Adventists into a unique position in end-time prophecy and eschatology. Their unique perspective on the 1844 Investigative Judgment of Christ in the Heavenly Temple made them one of the earliest 19th and 20th century End of the World advocates. Therein lays the name, Adventists, those looking for the literal Second Coming of Jesus.
Their unique perspective that the End of Times which began over 150 years ago, gave Adventists a position to be ‘grandfathered’ as End Time Eschatologists. Yet, Adventists are rarely cited or reviewed by the mainstream Evangelical or Messianic End Time prophecy scholars. Why? Seventh-day Adventists are recognized as pre-millennial eschatologists, that is believe that Jesus second coming will be in the future and before the millennium. Even so, they appear to cling strongly to the orthodox Christian belief advocated by the Roman Christian Church since the 2nd and 3rd century, that Christians are Spiritual Israelites and literal Israel has no place in End Time eschatology.
The Roman Catholic Church is the father of the Spiritual Israel concept, though many believe that the Apostle Paul was an advocate of Spiritual Israel. Earlier in this article, the writings of Paul suggest something totally different. A careful look at Paul and his writings, leads one to conclude, he always saw himself as a “Pharisee of the Pharisees” and he returned to Jerusalem to participate in the Spring Festivals and during his last day in Jerusalem, he was purifying himself in the Temple of God as an orthodox Jew.
Through the classic work of Augustine, the Catholic doctor of law, The City of God, the concept of Spiritual Israel was permanently imbedded in Christian theology, for the purpose of promoting the theology that the Millennium was here and now, and Rome was the city of God. This philosophical concept is now called Amillennialism. The City of God was Rome, not Jerusalem, and God’s Chosen People were the Roman Catholics, not the Hebrews, nor its remnant, the Jews. Today, most of Christendom, which include all of the Roman Catholics and a majority of Protestant Christians believe in Amillenialism. Though most don’t necessarily believe the City of God is Rome, they believe under the aegis of humanism that with modern technological advances, we will continue to improve our world towards a better utopia. Look at our world today technologically advanced societies with the promises of future advances in science, this is believable and better yet, we, not God, are the ones who are in control of our future.
Once again, Adventists seem to congregate with strange bedfellows. Though they accept the Catholic theology of ‘Spiritual Israel’ where modern Judaism, House of Judah, nor the Return of the Lost Tribes of Israel, seen by many End Timers as the House of Joseph have no place in End Times events, it does not match their religious philosophy that God will be rearranging all the religious thought systems of the world at the end of the ages.
As the inheritors of the Seventh-day Sabbath, Adventists appear to think that they do not need the Jews. Or better yet, they are a threat to their role in the end times. ‘Spiritual Israel’ is called by many “Replacement Theology”. In other words, Adventists, as ‘spiritual Israelites’, have replaced the literal Israelites as God’s Chosen People. Seeing the restoration of Israel in 1948 and the progressive position of modern day Israel in the geo-political scene, with the forces of Islam (the inheritors of Edom, the children of Esau) as an oncoming Gog-Magog war, the denial of traditional Adventist eschatologists to accept these historical events as prophecy being gradually fulfilled is making the traditional understanding of Adventist eschatology as becoming non-believable and marginalized on the time of the end prophetic scene.
The Protestant competitors in apocalyptic end time’s theology with Adventists are the Evangelical Christians, most of which are Dispensationalists. Dispensationalist, in essence though is a modified “Spiritual Israel” or “Replacement Theology.
Dispensationalists suggest that we have different eras in the growth and development of truth. It is as though, God did not give enough information in scripture. According to dispensationalists, the Jews rejected Jesus and as such, the Christians became the legitimate heirs to the “New Spiritual Covenant” of the New Testament.
Dispensationalists differ from Seventh-day Adventists in that literal Israel (Jews), but not necessarily a return of the House of Israel, will form an era at the end of days, and their literal kingdom under the rule of the Messiah will come to pass after the coming of Jesus and the Battle of Armageddon. Dispensationalists are like Adventists in that Christians replace the Jews as heirs to the Kingdom of God, which is a spiritual kingdom.
Wow, this gets confusing. We have remnants of Creation ex nihilo, the out there heaven (spiritual) and the down hear (literal earth). Both Adventist and Dispensationalists are modified forms of Orthodox Roman ‘Replacement Theology’.
Roman Theology is amillennial, in that the millennium is already here, and the Church of God is literally present here on earth. The Dispensationalists and Adventists are pre-millennialists, in that the millennium is still future and after the second coming of Jesus.
The Dispensationalists differ from Adventists in that as they are ‘Spiritual Israel’, they will be taken away in a spiritual rapture before Tribulation, and a literal Israel is going to take the punishment and the rap of tribulation, persecution and martyrdom. The world of the Dispensationalists is the easy assent, soft landing, the good times and solely because they have faith, forget about how they act. They are ‘out of here’ when the going get tough. They will let the Jews do what history seems to always give them, the punishment.
Adventists believe that they are truly “Spiritual as well as literal Israel”, except there is no land, no temple, no covenant with God except a New Covenant in faith in Jesus. They are the ‘chosen people’, and their replacement with Israel is a spiritual replacement, yet for some reason they have a hard time spiritualizing the Battle of Armageddon around Jerusalem.
Yet Adventists are at least more intellectually honest yet more masochistic. Their beliefs in Revelation are a strange amalgamation of spiritual allegories and literal interpretation. They are eagerly awaiting the trials and tribulations, the punishment and the martyrdoms. They are willing to stay in the thick of the conflict, because they feel they are the “Remnant Church”, with one opponent, the Catholic or Roman Church, who will represent all of our enemies, the Catholics, the non-Adventist apostate Protestants and the Spiritualists/New Agers and hosts of other cults, which they are not. They have an external bravado, especially in defense of the seventh-day Sabbath. Yet for most of the world, they appear to be deluded. Adventists expect that the world will be against them, so that justifies their belief.
John Paulien, professor of Theology at Andrews University, the North American theological seminary for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, wrote a book on End Times Prophecy called, As Speculation builds, let’s keep our eyes focused on What the Bible says about the End-Time. Using this book as a model for the most recent accepted views of eschatology within Adventism, we will review the following models of End Times.
Dr. Paulien is a careful scholar, who is diligently searching for motives and trends in historical eschatological views from Moses to Paul. Since historical eschatology is a specialty of Adventist theologians, his views are most valuable.
The great prophet Moses (Moshe), writing to his people in Deuteronomy 28, outlines the plan of God for his chosen ones. The concept was simple and direct. If you follow the Lord and do His commands (Torah), then Israel will progressively be restored to a position of preeminence in the world. If you do not follow the Lord and do not remain as Torah believing Hebrews, you will be exiled and your life will be one of destruction.
This is what he calls gradual and conditional eschatology. The path of disobedience would be one of ‘reverse eschatology’ or a ‘progressive doomsday’. Either path, progressive restoration to Eden or progressive decline to destruction, was not an individual journey, but a national journey. The nations would be restored or destroyed with no hope of a remnant recovery.
The high point of national prosperity and the greatest extent of her conquered boundaries were during the unified reign of David and his son, Solomon, culminating in the glorious Temple of Solomon. With a king as their representative to God, Israel began a rocky road to decline.
With the division of Israel into a northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah, the national fate of God’s chosen one’s came progressively within the power of the king. Then along came the prophets.
It was the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah who began trumpeting the voice of the Jehovah to His people that exile and national destruction was imminent if they did not return to the Lord. Jeremiah became specific that Judah’s exile would be time specific because they did not honor the injunctions of the Lord to allow the Land of Israel to ‘rest’ every seventh year, the Sabbatical Year. For 490 years, or seventy ‘Sabbatical Sabbaths’, the Children of Israel (and Judah) failed to honor the Torah’s command to allow the Land of Israel to ‘rest’. As such, they were to be exiled 70 years. (Jer. 29) This prophecy was remembered by Persia’s Prime Minister, the prophet Daniel, who prayed to the Lord for the restoration of Judah. (Daniel 8-9)
According to the prophets, the end of times would be a ‘transformed future.’ (Ibid. 55) in which God would intervene for His people and the course of their future would be changed. Unlike the Noachian flood, according to Paulien, which included the full destruction of this earth, the end, according to Ezekiel, Joel and Micah would come ‘within history and geography as they understood it.” (Ibid. pg 56) God’s intervention in human history, like Exodus, would not only transform the society of Israel (Judah) by restoring her to her land, but would transform all human society on earth by Judah’s witness (Ezek. 36: 24,28,33-36).
“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into you own land (….And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws….This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say, ‘”This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden, the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited. Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’”
God would also transform their hearts by giving them a new heart and spirit (vs. 25-27)
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws…and would also transform the earth itself.” (vs. 30, 35)
“You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people and I will be your God. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine…They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.”
“You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people and I will be your God. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine….They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.”
Would this intervention and transformation be to glorify Israel’s name? No, “it is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone….Then the nations will know what I am the Lord, declare the Sovereign Lord, when I show myself holy through you before their eves.” (Ezek. 36:22-23) Yes, God will vindicate His name.
At this point, Dr. Paulien let’s his personal feelings dictate the prophetic messages. He says, “The danger in this is that later readers would try to universalize these early prophecies and expect every detail to be fulfilled at some time in the future.” (Ibid. 57). Well why not? What if the Almighty God (HaShem) has been giving us mini-dramas and vignettes throughout the whole history of mankind, which could in reality be exact portrayals of the end time’s events? The fact that Israel and Judah would go into exile, would not be news to God. The fact that the House of Israel still does not know her identity is not news to God either. The prophets predicted both of these events. For some reason, we think that we, our nation, the Jews, the nations of Jews or anybody else can sabotage or change the way or how God plans to restore mankind back to Him?
Let us look at this remarkable Ezekiel passage (Ezekiel 36) in detail:
This gathering of God’s people would come from ‘all’ countries. This return, in which Ezekiel was a participant, could not have been the Babylonian return of the House of Judah as they were not scattered in all the nations. For the House of Judah this would have to be a future return.
In the days of Ezekiel, the House of Israel was still in exile and were scattered in ‘all’ countries, yet after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the House of Judah would be scattered to all countries.
Yet, this passage is not even talking about Judah at all. Paulien references his remarks to the restoration of the House of Judah from Babylon, yet in vs. 22, it says,
This restoration did not have anything to do with the despicable lives of the Lost Children of Israel. They not only profaned God’s name, they totally lost their identity. Even so, The Almighty God promised their restoration, not because what they did or did not do, but for the sake of God’s Holy Name, HaShem.
The return of the House of Israel would be back to the Land of Israel, which was given as an inheritance to the House of Shem first, usurped later by Ham and his son Canaan, and later re-given to Abraham, only to have it re-usurped again by the descendents of Esau.
The Jews have for centuries been castigated for abandoning their covenant with God and as such are to be removed totally from His presence. A later look at the covenant relationship would suggest that a remnant has always remained in a covenant relationship with HaShem (God). For centuries the Orthodox Jews have been zealous to follow in meticulous detail the decrees and laws of God, but as Jesus, a rabbi and the Divine One, within their midst, was careful to point out to them, following the letter of the Law did not always follow the Spirit of the Law. Even so, Jesus said to the Pharisees, do not do as they do, but do as they say, for they sit in the seat of Moshe (Moses).
The best efforts of the Jews would never be enough, for they too are “sinners and fall short of the glory of God.” God recognizes this. It must be our effort and the Hebrews to align ourselves with the Sefirot or Image of God. When we have taken that step of faith, then it will be God’s effort to give them a new Spirit, a new heart, in order to connect with the World of Divinity.
If the death, crucifixion and suffering of the Holy One of Israel, Jesus, could have been predicted hundreds of years in advance, included the birth in Bethlehem, the spear in the side, the triumphal entry on a donkey, could God not give the same predictive value to end times events. If God could present to Israel, on Mount Sinai, a mini-drama in the Passover festival which would reenact the exact hour for hour drama rehearsal of the last week of Christ’s life, including the timing of the entry into Jerusalem, the trial of Caiphas and Pilate, the exact timing of the death and resurrection, then it may be important to expend with our own judgment and spend our time in prayer studying the type-anti-type dramas that have been given to Israel over the past 3500 years. Has it occurred to anyone that Israel was ‘Chosen’, not because they were the only ones to be saved, but they were to be the actors in the continuous “Drama of the Ages” that would last to the end of all ages. The Lord of hosts would use the Israelites as His vortex or fulcrum in which His immense Divine Energy would invade our three dimensional world. When we see the restoration of not only the House of Judah but also the House of Israel (referred to in many passages as the House of Joseph or Ephraim), we can then know that the End of the Ages is upon us.
This transformation would come within history of the people of Israel, but not necessarily how the prophets knew this history.
Micah 4:1-5- “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains….Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out form Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem….They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore….All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.”
Isaiah 2:2-5 - “In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s Temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law (Torah) will go out from Zion, the Word (Jesus as the Living Torah) of the Lord from Jerusalem. He (Jesus as Torah in the flesh) will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”
Isaiah 33:20-22 - “Look upon Zion, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved; its stakes will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes broken. There the Lord will be our Mighty One. It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams. No galley with oars will ride them, no mighty ship will sail them. For the Lord (Jesus) is our judge, the Lord (Jesus) is our lawgiver, the Lord (Jesus) is our king; it is he who will save us.”
“But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me. Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you. See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you. Lift up your eyes and look around; all your sons gather and come to you. As surely as I live, declares the Lord, ‘you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on like a bride.
“Though you were ruined and made desolate and your land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people. And those who devoured you will be far away. The children born during your bereavement will yet say in your hearing. ‘This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in.’ Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who bore me these? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought these up? I was left all alone, but these-where have they come from?”
“This is what the Sovereign Lord say; “See I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on the shoulders. Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet? Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
Isaiah 49:14-26 - Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives rescued from the fierce? But his is what the Lord says; ‘Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save. I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
This prophetic era is not how the prophets saw Israel and Judah in their day. There has never been an era since Cain, Abel, and Nimrod, when swords were not destroyed and there was not any war? Did not the prophets say, in the last days, the end of this age, that at that time, the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains.” Are we unwilling to accept that the Lord speaks in literal terms? Yes, we can spiritualize these statements. This has been done since the 1st century, and especially since Orthodox Roman Christianity developed the concept of “Spiritual Israel” and at that time, Rome was ‘Spiritual Jerusalem, the City of God.” It is no wonder that evangelical Christians believe they will be “spirited away in a rapture”, while the Jews will be “Left behind’. Yes, they must truly live in the ‘spirit’ world and leave the literal Israel behind.
Let us consider another model. Literal Israel is forgotten or does not literally exist in biblical terms and evangelical Christians will become the apostate and spirited away in rapture, which will be the delusions of Satan. With this model, Adventists will be the remnant of Christians or “Spiritual Israel”. It is they who will be ‘Left Behind’. How is it that each denomination thinks that it is the final ‘remnant’ left at the end of times?
Ezekiel 36:24 - “For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.”
Deuteronomy 30:1-5 - “When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again form all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant lands under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. He will bring you to the land that belonged to your fathers, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers.”
Deuteronomy 30:6 - “The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.”
Ezekiel 36:25-27 - “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean, you from all your impurities and from all you idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Jeremiah 31:31-34 - “‘The time is coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,’ declares the Lord. ‘This is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after that time,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.’”
After these words in vs. 38 say, “ ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when this city will be rebuilt for me …’ Consider the fact that the House of Israel has not been restored and the covenant will be made with both the House of Israel and the House of Judah. Did the House of Judah ever leave the covenant? What if, a remnant of Judah, the Orthodox Jew, has always been in covenant with the Lord? With the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., they internalized the covenant and the law of God within their heart, kept themselves as a separate people, and meticulously kept the Torah as has been revealed to them for 3,500 years. The Orthodox Jews recognize that secular Judaism and secular Zionism are not in covenant with HaShem (The Name). Today the prayers of the Rabbabim, especially the mystical rabbis, at the Wailing Wall, are for their people, for the Lost Tribes of Israel and for the whole world to be lead to the Torah, the revelation of God (Hashem Himself) to the whole of His creation.
If the House of Judah is still in covenant, in spite of what Orthodox Roman Christianity has led us to believe, and the House of Israel still has to have the law (Torah) re-put back in their minds and rewritten in their hearts, then a future fulfillment of all of these prophecies before the End Times will occur.
First of all, the House of Israel is still lost; they still do not know who they are, either literally or spiritually. If Orthodox Roman Christianity, evangelical Christianity or Fundamental Adventist Christians think that they are ‘Spiritual Israel”, than this prophecy is fulfilled, but why is not Jeremiah 31:38 and the restoration of the city of Jerusalem, rebuilt for God, not fulfilled? Prophecies will be fulfilled intact, by the will of the Lord, by the timing of the Lord, according to how the Lord states that they will be fulfilled.
Joel 2:28-32 - “And afterwards I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Yours sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls.”
Joel 2:3:1-2 - “In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment (Second Coming and Armageddon) against them concerning my inheritance, my people, Israel.”
Over and over, in the Old and New Testaments, the Jerusalem, the Mount of the God of Jacob is spoken about. Even after the millennium, when this earth is fully destroyed, a New Jerusalem will emerge. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob not once speaks about preserving New York, London, Tokyo or even the Vatican.
A Davidic rule will be restored, and under the direct sovereign of God.
2 Samuel 7:12-17 - “The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring (Jesus as King of Kings) to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He (Jesus) is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son... When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.”
The Shoot of Jesse and the Branch will fulfill the above in the following:
Isaiah 11:1-2 - “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch (Jesus) will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord – and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.”
Isaiah 11:3-5 - “He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.”
Isaiah 11:1-5 (parts) - “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him…., and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. With righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth….Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness and sash around his waist.”
Isaiah 11:6-9 - “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them….They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain.”
Isaiah 10:20-23 - “In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the House of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous. The Lord, the Lord Almighty will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land.”
Isaiah 19:23-25 - “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, ‘Blessed by Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.’”
Micah 4:8 - “As for you, O watchtower of the flock, O stronghold of the Daughter of Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to the Daughter of Jerusalem.”
Zechariah 9:9-10 - “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! Se, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim (House of Israel (Joseph)) and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.”
between the House of Judah and the House of Ephraim.
Zechariah 9:11-14 - “As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisons from the waterless pit. Return to your fortress, prisoners of hope, even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. I will bend Judah as I bend my bow (The House of Judah will become the Lord’s bow) and fill it with Ephraim (The House of Israel (Ephraim) will be the arrow). I will rouse your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword. Then the Lord will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. (Second Coming of Jesus) The Sovereign Lord will sound the trumpet (the 7th Trumpet of the 7th Seal of Revelation): He will march in the storms of the south and the Lord Almighty will shield them. They will destroy and overcome them (the forces of Armageddon) with sling stones.”
Isaiah 60:1-3 - “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”
Isaiah 60:9-11, 14-17 - “Surely the islands look to me; in the lead are the ships of Tarshish, bringing your sons from afar, with their silver and gold, to the honor of the Lord your God, the Holy one of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor. Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings will serve you. Though in anger I struck you, in favor I will show you compassion. Your gates will always stand open; they will never be shut, day or night, so that men may bring you the wealth of the nations, their kings led in triumphal procession.
For the nations or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined. The Glory of Lebanon will come to you, the pine, the fir and the cypress together, to adorn the place of my sanctuary; and I will glorify the place of my feet. The sons of your oppressors will come bowing before you; all who despise you will bow down at your feet and will call you the City of the Lord, Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Although you have been forsaken and hated, with no one traveling through, I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generation. Your will drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts. Then you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. Instead of bronze I will bring you gold, and silver in place of iron. Instead of wood I will bring you bronze, and iron in place of stones.”
Zechariah 8:22-23 - “And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him.;…This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, “Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you’ ”
will become spiritually reformed because of Israel
Isaiah 19:23-25 - “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, ‘Blessed by Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.’”
Isaiah 33:23,24 - “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame, leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy”
Isaiah 65:20 - “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; (in the millennium, death will still occur, but longevity for those who follow the commands of the Lord may reach the years of the pre-diluvium Patriarchs) he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed”
Isaiah 65:25 - “The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,’ says the Lord.” (Isa. 65:25) (Many scholars refer to this theme as the New Earth, but compare this with the verse above when men will still die, but longevity will greatly increase.)
Hosea 2:18-23 - “In that day, I will make a covenant for them, with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.”
“In that day, I will respond,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people; ‘You are my people; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”
Secondary to God’s Covenant with His people.
Ezekiel 34:25-31 - “I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of wild beasts so that they may live in the desert and sleep in the forests in safety. I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. (Temple Mount) I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops. The people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they the House of Israel, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am you God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
Isaiah 35:1-7 - The Kingdom or Malkhut will be restored secondary to God’s covenant with His people. “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our god. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the Haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.”
“Waters of the Dead Sea will be purified” (Ibid. 62)
Zechariah 14:6-8 - “A day of the Lord is coming when your plunder will be divided among you….Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. (To the eastern (Dead Sea) and the western (Mediterranean Sea) you will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah King of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the Holy One with him.” (Second Coming) On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea (Dead Sea) and half to the western sea (Mediterranean Sea), in summer and in winter. (Artesian or subterranean River not affected by the seasonal weather.”
Ezekiel 471-12 - “The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple (before the second coming of Jesus) toward the east (for the temple faced east.). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was flowing from the south side.
As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off anther thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. Me measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measure off anther thousand but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in – a river that no one could cross. He asked me, ‘Son of man, do you see this?’
Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Sea. (Dead Sea) When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because the water there and make the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shore from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds, - like the fish of the Great Sea. But the swamps and marches will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. They fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
Isaiah 41:18-19 - “I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valley. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedars and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will et pines in the wasteland, the fire and the cypress together, so that people my see and know, my consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.”
Isaiah 42:16 - “I will lead the blind by ways they have not know, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.”
Isaiah 55:13 - “Instead of the thorn bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.”
by this mighty transformation” (Ibid. 62)
Isaiah 30:23-26 - “In the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall, streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill. The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.”
Zechariah 14:6-8 - “On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. (Crustal shifting up to 15 degrees south towards the equator. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime (rotational skidding) – a day known to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light. (Polar reversal) On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter.”
Isaiah 60:19-20 - “The sun will not more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.”
Isaiah 24:18-23 - “The floodgates of the heavens are opened, the foundations of the earth shake, the earth is broken up, the earth is split asunder, and (the continental plates are separated again. The earth is thoroughly shaken. The earth reels like a drunkard, (lost its magnetic bearing in a polar reversal) it sways like a hut in the wind; (Orbital rotations are changed) so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls - never to rise again. (Second Coming of Christ?) In that day the Lord will punish the powers in the heavens (Planets or the Powers of Darkness that seek to wreak havoc with the planetary forces) above and the kings on the earth below. They (powers in heaven or the kings of the earth or both?) will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison and be punished after many days. (Satan bound for a thousand years?) The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; (solar system will be altered or the earth’s orbital cycle will be altered) for the Lord Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, (all Mount Zions and Jerusalems appears to relate to the earthly not heavenly site) and before its elders, gloriously.”
“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Psalms 102:25-27 - Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”
The war will take place in conjunction with the return from exile.
Joel 3:1-2 - “In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment (Second Coming and Armageddon) against them concerning my inheritance, my people, Israel.”
Joel 2:28-29 - “And afterwards I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Yours sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls.”
Joel 2:32 - And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls.”
In the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
Joel 3:1 - “In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
Joel 3:12 - “Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.”
Joel 3:16 - “The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; and earth and the sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.”
Joel 2:17-21 - “Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her. In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will glow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house and will water the valley of acacias. …Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations.”
Revelation’s image after the Second Coming
Revelation 20:1-6 - “And I saw an angel coming down out of Heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, which is the devil, or Satan and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him (Satan) into the Abyss and locked and sealed it over him to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
“I saw thrones on which were seating those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus (death of the saints during the NT era) and because of the word of God. (death of the saints during the OT era.) They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. (death of the saints during Tribulation) They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
Isaiah’s Image after the Second Coming
Isaiah 66:15-16,18,19 (parts), 20) - “See, the Lord is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury and his rebuke with flames of fire. For with fire and with his sword the Lord will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by the Lord. (not all will be slain.) …. And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory. I will set a sign among them and I will send some of those who survive (survive the Armageddon war) to the nations….that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord…they will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the Lord on ceremonially clean vessels.”
Sequential Events in the Book of Joel (Ibid. 62-63)
Fulfillment of Prophetic Eschatology
So! Is it our understanding that fulfillment means we have to do everything right? Maybe Israel was to portray the consequences of disobeying God. In the final end of days, the eschatology of the Time of the End, the people of Israel will get it right. Restoration will be done, in time, place and in history, just like the prophets stated. Compare the New Testament revelation about the Time of the End with the Old Testament revelation.
Gives them a developing picture not a full picture of the end of times.
Maybe instead of accusing God of waffling, consider the idea that God is providing us with vignettes or multiple pictures from many different angles of what all the End of Time events will be like. Maybe God is giving us progressive pictures or progressive revelations, but the Time of the End may include all of these models in a cascading event of overwhelming magnitude. God is not telling us what we want to hear. If he is giving us only a partial picture because of our human limitations to comprehend, then what was given by God to each generation of Israelites and must be only a piece in the whole puzzle.
Isaiah 65:17,20 - “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth (future tense to the description of the millennium). The former things will not be remembered (past tense before Armageddon), nor will they come to mind (present tense in the time of the millennium) …Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days (post-natal mortality), or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be a mere youth (longevity of the ancients, but still there will be death); he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.”
Is there any consideration that ‘there will no more death” (Rev. 21:4) is after the millennium, and it, Isa. 65:20 is to be fulfilled during a millennial kingdom? Consider the tense that “I will create” as being a future time when the new heavens and a new earth will be created. In the next verse (vs. 18), God changes the tense again with “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create. The present timing of the millennial will be looking forward to the future event of the creation of new heavens and a new earth.
Compare Isaiah now with this passage in Rev.20:1-6.
Revelation 20:1-6 - “I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore (what nations if all of the people are destroyed?) until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. I saw throne on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge (who are they judging if all the peoples of the world are destroyed?). And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (who are they reigning over?)
If we seriously look at Revelation, we see two things happening:
(1) Satan, during the thousand years cannot deceive the nations anymore. Why? Because there are no nations or because Satan is bound up and prevented from deceiving the nations. The latter appears to be the intent of this passage.
(2) The second thing, John saw thrones set up and those beheaded or killed for the cause of the Lord were given authority to judge. Who are they to judge? The dead wicked who killed them? The verse continues, they (the saints) were brought to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. You are not a ruler unless you have subjects to rule over and you cannot rule over dead enemies.
Dr. Paulien has made the assumption, as do most Adventist theologians, that the earth will be desolate during that thousand years, because Satan is bound here. There is no Biblical indication that this is true. Yes, Satan is bound in the Abyss, yet this is a very different place than a desolate earth.
The Biblical picture of the Abyss is the abode of the demons and evil angels. This is the Gehenna (Heb.) in the Old Testament and the Abussos or Tatarus (Gr) in the New Testament, which was generally contrasted with the sky and the earth as a place unfathomable to the human eye and discernible only by God. It was the abode of the evil Ones and the demons (Rom 19:7, Luke 8:31) It is also the abode of the Antichrist (Rev. 11:7; 17:8) and Abaddon, the angels of the underworld (Rev. 9:11). It is also a place capable of being sealed by a higher or transcendent force. (Rev. 21:1, 3)
During this time, in the millennium, Adventist theology assumes that the saints are safely tucked away in another dimensional world, yet they are setting up thrones to rule?
The question is, if thrones are set up, who are they going to reign over? A ruler must have subjects, or he is not a ruler. This reign will last only a thousand years, whereas Paulien is comparing with these passages with Rev.21 and an eternal existence. Paulien should rather be comparing this passage in Rev. 20 with the O.T. prophet’s vision of a millennial kingdom. Yes, death will still be here, but if the inhabitance lived a life in accordance with Torah observance, then he would potentially be able to live a life span comparable with the antediluvians.
The context of these texts is that all the nations of the world will be participating in an invasion to take control of God’s earthly capital, Jerusalem. These texts have the imagery of a confederation of nations in a One-World Government invasion force. These forces are actively assaulting God and His people. In Revelation, with the death of the two witnesses in Jerusalem, it appears that the Antichrist will succeed in his mission. It appears that there will be three types of people remaining prior to the coming of Jesus. These include, those with a mission to destroy any visible representation of God on earth, those who are actively resisting the One-World Government of the Antichrist and then there are ‘some of those who survive” (Isa. 66:19), from the War of Armageddon, who will be sent to the nations. Yes, nations will survive the battle of Armageddon and the wrath of Jesus upon this invasion force at Armageddon. It will be these nations that “will bring all your brothers (Israelites) from all the nations, to my Holy Mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord. (Isa. 66:20)
Summary of New Testament End Time Models
The End Time Model of Jesus