God’s Promises Prove an Earthly Kingdom

God is truth. He always keeps his promises. Do God’s promises prove an earthly kingdom or a heavenly kingdom?

This is the fourth article in the series on Amillennialism. If you haven’t read the previous articles (they build on one another), please read them first:

Will there be a Millennial Kingdom?

Is the Millennial Kingdom a literal 1000 years?

Can There be a Resurrection without an Earthly Kingdom?

If you have worked through these articles you have seen that the Bible contains overwhelming evidence that there will be a Kingdom after Jesus returns, that it will be a literal 1000 years, and that it will be on the earth.

This article provides even further proof of those things, plus it will be begin to add evidence that the Nation of Israel will participate in that Kingdom.

God’s Promises

We term God’s Old Testament promises as “Covenants.” There are four main covenants; and understanding them and the obligations of each party will help us navigate this difficult question. I refer all the readers to the masterful book by Joel Richardson: “When a Jew Rules the World.” This book walks the reader thru the various issues in regard to covenants in a very detailed manner. This article is based on his teachings.

God made ancient promises to Abraham, Moses, David and the houses of Israel and Judah. These four famous covenants are listed below. Some of the Covenants are unilateral; that is God promised things irregardless of whatever Israel did. One of the covenants was “contingent,” that is, if Israel obeyed, they would receive blessings. If they didn’t keep the covenant, they would receive curses.

Covenant Name Unilateral?
Abrahamic Yes
Mosaic No
Davidic Yes
New Covenant Yes

 

Abrahamic Covenant

God’s first covenant with Israel was made through Jacob’s (Israel’s) grandfather Abraham. Many will ask why this covenant applies to Israel alone and not to all the sons of Abraham (Ishmael, and others) and not to the children of Esau since all of these children were technically children of Abraham. But the covenant promise flowed only through Isaac to Jacob.

And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!” But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. (Gen. 17:18-19)

And behold, the Lord stood above it and said (to Jacob), “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. (Gen. 28:13)

The covenant promised the descendants of Israel (Jacob) a “land grant.” The extent of this land grant (from the Nile to the Mediterranean to the Euphrates) has never been occupied in the history of Israel. (The map attached to this article is one artist’s view of this land grant). This covenant land or promised land is detailed in Gen. 15:18, Deut. 11:24, Ezek. 47:17, Josh. 1:4. It was also detailed as the land possessed by ten nations (ten kings) in Gen. 15:19-21. (Are these related to the ten kings of Daniel and Revelation?)

The covenant itself was one of a kind. It is the covenant upon which all the rest of God’s promises of salvation were built. Abraham’s (Abram was his name at that point) faith in the covenant was credited to him as righteousness. Paul frequently referred to credited righteousness as a basis for our own salvation and uses this covenant as a scriptural example.  Shouldn’t every “child of Abraham” have faith in this covenant just as Abraham did?  Especially as Abraham’s faith is a model of the faith that produces righteousness.

Additionally, when God appeared to Moses, he referenced this promise as a reason he would free the Israelites from Egypt (Exo. 6:3-4). He then directly promised the land to the Israelites as an “everlasting possession.”  Other references to Israel as the holder of the covenant is 1 Chron. 16:13-18, 1 Kings 8:35-36, Isa. 14:1-3, Ezek. 11:15,17, and Amos 9:14-15. Many of these are eschatological references to the physical Kingdom that is to come.

Psalm 105:6-12 gives us a wonderful re-enforcement of the promise and its length:

O seed of Abraham, His servant, O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones! He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He has remembered His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations, The covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac. Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant, (Psalm 105:6-10)

The land is Israel’s forever.

God “Cut” a Deal with Israel

When God made this covenant, he caused Abraham (Abram) to fall into a deep sleep. He then cut a heifer, a goat, a ram, a turtledove, and a pigeon into two halves and walked between the pieces. It is very important to note that only God walked between the pieces.

This strange symbolic walk was an ancient middle eastern custom meaning “let what happened to these animals happen to me if I break my side of the covenant.” But God was the only one who walked the path. He was saying, “If either you or I break this covenant, let this be done to me.

This was the most one-sided covenant in history! God agreed to pay the penalty if Israel broke it (although they only broke the Mosaic Covenant).  And on the hillside of Calvary, 2000 years later, God would pay the price. In Daniel 9:26 it says the Messiah would be “cut off” (KARATH) The Hebrew word for cut in Daniel is the same word used in Gen. 15:18 (the Abrahamic Covenant):

On that day the Lord made (KARATH) a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land”

The word translated “made” in English is actually “cut.” And 2000 years later God would pay for Israel’s breaking their covenant (the Mosaic) with him by being “cut.”

God’s promises prove an earthly Kingdom

Many Amillennialists state that God never intended an actual specific land grant on earth, but rather this is symbolic of a heavenly land grant. They point to this verse in Hebrews as proof:

All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. (Heb. 11:13-16)

At first glance this seems like the Amillennialists could be correct, but careful examination proves otherwise. The city mentioned is the New Jerusalem. It is in heaven now, but eventually God returns it to the earth. Our final living quarters in the eternal state will be on the earth; as will Jesus’s and God the Father’s!!!

I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them and they shall be His people. (Rev. 21:2-3)

Second, the better country the Old Testament saints desired is not in heaven, but a heavenly one; one that abides by heavens rules. “On earth as it is in heaven.” As Jesus told us, “The meek shall inherit the earth;” not heaven after all.

If God promised Abraham a specific tract of land and planned that promise to “symbolize” heaven, why was he so specific defining the exact physical borders?? Even if heaven was “better” than what he promised, not giving Israel what was promised is still breaking that promise: something God cannot do.

The Next Installment

We have now shown that Abraham’s descendants will inherit a tract of land in the Middle East that is roughly twice the size of modern day Israel, and that this will occur after the return of Jesus. Our eternal dwelling will be upon the earth not in heaven.

The next installment will show that Jesus will rule the earth from the earth with the saints. Then in the final installment we will show that the Jewish remnant will inhabit it as well: that these promises haven’t been stripped away from Israel and given to Christians; that there is no replacement and replacement theology is incorrect.

Please hold your questions about these last two segments for the appropriate articles.

20 thoughts on “God’s Promises Prove an Earthly Kingdom”

  1. This may be a bit off topic. If so, I apologize.

    Do you think the future promised land, as shown in your illustration, was the original site of the Garden of Eden?

    The book of Jubilees mentions Eden several times and gives many clues to its whereabouts. East of the tongue of Egypt, Tigris and Euphrates, in the land of Shem, etc. It seems to me that Eden was essentially in the same spot as the future promised land. A land flowing with milk and honey. Since Christ restores all things, the Millennial Israel may well be a restoration of Eden itself. There are many passages about springs of water coming up in the desert and forests in the wilderness. I think that is exactly what Christ will do in the promised land. Return it to the Garden of Eden. Enoch also mentions seeing trees in the Millennial kingdom that give off a fragrance that enters men’s bones and they live ling lives like Adam. I think God intends to blown our minds with His goodness. Just my thoughts.

  2. This is a good study Nelson. Appreciate all your work & writings. When I retired 3 years ago I had the time to investigate areas that concerned me. Especially Eschatology and the reason why the ‘Church’ was all over the place in their belief. My history training led me back and back to the apostolic age and the early church Fathers. The turning away from plain meaning of scripture to Origen’s fanciful allegorical musings, the rise of Allegorical Interpretation along with a radical Anti-Israel/Jewish doctrine and the rise of The Church which became the Imperial Church of Constantine over against the kingdom of the Jewish Messiah. For me it is a heart issue: Am I the stay at home son [Gentile convert offended that the Jew should recieve more grace?] in Jesus parable of the prodigal son to the prodigal returning one [wayward Israel]. Am I humble like the Syro-Phoenician widow …..and recognising the ‘children’s bread’ is not mine by right but the children’s. I only get bread by Grace.

    Reggie Kelly put it well for me………..”It is the issue of the covenant that leads unavoidably to the question of God’s election and sovereign rule, His divine right to choose as he will choose. And this most troublesome of questions presents itself forcibly over the issue of Jerusalem and ’the land.’

    Because God’s choice and declaration is the issue of His authority and rule, it necessarily constitutes a divine ’rub’ calculated to offend humanistic reason (“the natural man”), and to evoke the rage of the powers. This is especially because the wisdom of God expressed in the ’rule of grace’ so utterly opposes any notion that the right of promise and inheritance is in any way predicated on human qualification, virtue, or merit (viz., the relativistic ethics of humanistic morality).”

    1 Cor 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the [message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    For me to preach ‘Christ crucified’ is to teach the second coming and the millenial reign …. ‘the reason for the season’ .. as it were.

  3. Well stated, Afo. But your straight-forward post will not be heeded by the one who needs it most.

    So sad.

    But I applaud your fine efforts and Nelson’s as well.

    Blessings!

  4. Christopher: It’s a bid confusing to understand your perspective from your commentaries, however I do see your tendency of wanting to promote, “Replacement Theology”.

    Unfortunately I have not yet heard of any scholar who believes both in replacement theology and Christ’s literal 1000 year reign after the Tribulation.

    All you need to read is Romans 11:1 and understand Paul expository explanation of where Jews stand in their final outcome, and that should clearly explain to you that first you need to fix your Apostacy theory of liberation theology, and then discuss the millennium kingdom with unbiased assumptions.

    The Church has not replaced Israel, as you claim in your commentaries.

    Only Christ can remove the Antichrist from ruling this world, after he opens all 7 scrolls. The rulership vacuum will be filled by Christ only.

    Yes the church is also part of the seed of Abraham, and in the end the Church will make the Jews to become jealous and finally see the suffering messiah as their conquering messiah as well.

    Christ will save the Jews from Antichrist’s deceit and oppression and finally the Jews will unite in faith with the Church. Christ’s current spiritual kingdom will also merge with his literal physical kingdom. Re-read Ephesians ch:2 with the perspective of church uniting with the Jews.

  5. You are right Nelson, it’s about God’s promises, and he never brakes them.

    In Luke 24 the two on the road to Emmaus thought Jesus would establish the kingdom at that time, like those who waved palm leaves, they certainly were looking for an earthly kingdom.

    It would be interesting to know how Christopher reconsiles the child dying at 100 in the new heaven and earth as per ISA 65 , and the fact that there is no more death when new Jerusalem comes.

    It only makes any sense when we have the thousand year riegn earthly kingdom,
    when all the promises of God are fullfilled to Israel.

    Thanks

    1. Greetings Linda,
      Thanks for the question. As you may know by reading Nelson’s article, I understand the verse in Isaiah 65:20 to be literal in the new earth. The new heavens and earth are mentioned earlier in the chapter. I think God was hinting at the plan for eternal life that came through Jesus Christ. Just as God hinted at the salvation of the gentiles in the old testament as well, which is in the first part of Isaiah 65.

      Some passages should be understood literally and some figuratively. It takes discernment to know which is which.
      To give an example lets look at John 6:53-Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

      Did Jesus want his followers to literally be cannibals? Or was he signifying his future sacrifice? The Bible said”that upon hearing this many of his disciples left him.” They thought he was literally a mad man. His disciples later went to him privately and said, “Lord this is a hard saying, who can hear it?”
      Only the true believers will seek God and ask him to reveal his word. That’s why the book of Revelation is written in symbols.

      Jesus always spoke to the people in parables, but to those who are his own, his word and it’s meaning will be made known.
      Amen.

      1. linda, I hope you don’t mind if I join into this conversation as well.

        Christopher. “Discernment” requires being able to judge well. There are two things in the passage in question that we are specifically told will not happen in the Eternal State: death (v. 20) and childbirth (v. 23). One can’t symbolize eternal life or being “like the angels” with death and childbirth, they are exact opposites. The example you gave CAN be symbolized; this one can’t be. Discernment is knowing the difference.

        Second, discernment requires a full knowledge of the scriptures. Isa. 65 doesn’t occur in a vacuum. We have just spent the last four articles proving from the scriptures that a literal 1000 year, earthly Kingdom will precede the eternal state. We must use that knowledge in interpreting Isa. 65. It appears that these aricles, although not refuted, have fallen on deaf ears.

        1. Not at all Nelson it’s your website😊
          You actually made my point, there is no death or indeed child, birth in the finalised eternal state.

          Christopher

          I agree with you on:

          ” I understand the verse in Isaiah 65:20 to be literal in the new earth.”

          It is literally the new earth, we are NEW CREATURES in Christ, but as it were not in our eternal state, that will happen at the resurrection, the new heavens and earth begin when Jesus returns, yet it’s eternal state happens when New Jerusalem descends.

          Some one said you could view the 1000yrs earthly riegn as an interim period that brings us into the finale of things.

          If you believe ISA 65 is the literal new earth , then you must believe in a thousand year earthly riegn, for as has been pointed out there is no death in the eternal state. The chapter does not I believe hint at anything, it simply states that a child will/could die at 100.

        2. Nelson,

          This series of articles have not fallen on deaf ears. IMO you are presenting your scola scripture, let scripture interpret scripture, in a methodical and credible manner. In many ways you are merely verifying what so many of us have understood to be true through faith and our own understanding by studying scripture ourselves. IMO ..There is a big difference between questioning a thesis, seeking clarification for better understanding, or just being obstinate and argumentative.

        3. Nelson,
          The Jews of Jesus’ day were looking for a messianic kingdom because according to their expert knowledge of the scriptures it says there will be a king in the seat of David. They totally missed the passages of the suffering servant and the whole timing and context of God’s kingdom.

          Nelson you wrote that discernment requires a full knowledge of the scriptures. You didn’t see the plan for God’s salvation of the gentiles in the old testament until several commenters, including myself pointed it out to you. You can have a full knowledge of the scriptures but that does not mean you have full understanding.

          1. None of us have complete knowledge or understanding Christopher. I learn something new every time I open the Bible. That’s a good reason to open it every day.

  6. We have now shown that Abraham’s descendants will inherit a tract of land in the Middle East that is roughly twice the size of modern day Israel,
    Is it not much larger than twice that of Israel today?

    Also I believe the quoted verse Ps.10:6-12 is wrong.

  7. Nelson,
    I am sad to say it but when a Jew Rules the world, it will be the Antichrist giving you what you have been teaching is an earthly kingdom. He will win battles for earthly Israel and make them a prominent nation once more. He will extend their borders, called Greater Israel, and everyone small and great will take his mark. Except those whose names are written in the book of Life. He will have a great image that people will worship, the newly built temple in Jerusalem.

    The Antichrist will look so much like Jesus Christ that most will not even realize who they are serving, save those who are his sheep.

    Augustine warned that premillenialism could not be safely taught and that the doctrine originated with Jewish Chiliasm. Jesus warned of the leaven of the Pharisees and that is what is being taught by you and Joel Richardson.

    God fulfilled all promises to Israel. They were given the land, had the power of God’s kingdom in their stewartship, fulfilled by David and later lost the covenant because it was indeed conditional. The conditions were to obey God and dwell in the land or disobey and be driven from it.

    God took the kingdom from the physical Israel and gave it to spiritual Israel, aka the church. Jesus clearly taught it! Undisputable. Matthew 21:43.

    You also left out the part in Galatians 3:16- “The promises were made to Abraham and his seed. Scripture does not say ‘and to seeds’ meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed’ meaning one person, who is Christ.”
    In otherwords you cannot be in covenant with God without Christ. Jesus is Israel.

    God is sending a strong delusion to make clear the sheep from the goats. You can look for an earthly kingdom with those claiming to be Israel or be part of God’s true Israel, which is those in Christ, whose kingdom has already come both spiritually and physically. Those are in this kingdom will inherit the new earth because fire will consume this one. Amen.

    1. Christopher,

      First you make many comments about whether Israel is the recipient of the promises of God. This article doesn’t address those issues. We address them in article #6 which will be published in two weeks. I promise I will answer all your questions in that article rather than in a comments section so all can benefit from reading.

      Second, you mention that the Antichrist will deceive many with an earthly kingdom. Yes, he will; this is decreed. The deception will be so great as to deceive even the elect if that were possible. That is why Jesus was so specific in in Matt. 24:27-29 in giving the sign of the parousia of the Son of Man. In that way, his sheep are not deceived.

      That deception will come from false prophets (plural) and false messiahs (plural). What that will exactly look like, no one knows. Personally, I expect both Jewish and Islamic pretenders to the Antichrist throne; and maybe others. That is why Jesus is so insistent that the one who sits in the temple as if he is God is the AC. It may be hard to tell at first.

      However, this in no way negates teaching the truth! Augustine has been proved incorrect about Amillennialsim. There have been four articles in the series so far and no one has been able to refute a single point from the scriptures. If you wish to claim Joel and I are teaching error, you need to back it up from the scriptures starting with article one through this article four (they are cumulative). To date you haven’t been able to refute a single point. So in these four articles we have arrived at conclusive evidence that there will be a literal 1000 year kingdom and it will be on the earth not in heaven.

      In the next article, we will address whether Jesus and the saints rule that kingdom from heaven or from earth. In the final article we will address whether the Jewish remnant will participate and live in the Kingdom.

      1. Nelson,
        You state, ‘Augustine has been proven wrong about Amillenialism’. How so? He can’t be proven wrong until the end times come to pass, just as premillenialism can’t be disproven.
        Premillenialism and amillenialism are two end times theories that have existed side by side since the creation of the church. You can just as easily make points to discredit the theory of premillenialism, but still people believe it.
        Your articles paint a broad stroke of amillenialism and in my opinion completely misrepresent the view of a non earthly millenial reign.
        You didn’t like me grouping you with the dispensationalist but you didn’t make an effort in distinguishing the differing views within amillenialism. You told me you didn’t want to discuss my ‘flavor of amillenialism’.

        You and Joel keep promoting an Islamic Antichrist and are using Islam as a red herring to promote your end time theories. You must realize the Antichrist will be Jewish in order to understand anything else related to the end times. Daniel clearly spoke that he will not follow ‘The God of his fathers’. When geneaology is given in the Bible it is always to show lineage of the Messiah, who was Jewish. Moses and the patriarchs went to rest with their fathers before them. Jesus warned, ‘I come in my father’s name and you receive me not, but if another comes in his own name, him you will receive’. The Antichrist will be Jewish.

        Amillenialism is the promotion of materialism. It is promoting an idea created by the Jews of a Jewish kingdom that will reign over the nations. Ask an Israeli how will they know the Messiah has come. When Israel becomes a powerful kingdom and he restores the temple they will say, and the shofar will sound. They don’t want a savior. They want a military leader. God will give them exactly that only so they will see the error of their ways.

        Your idea of not discussing a topic until you write an article is silly. You obviously don’t have an open discussion if you are controlling the conversation until you have authoritatively addressed the topic. I see Donal and kensme bring up totally unrelated conversation but yet you entertain their questions.
        Question: Who is helping you write these articles?

        1. The articles are already all written Christopher and I wrote them myself. If I relied on another’s material, I gave credit as this article’s credit of Joel’s book. This is a complex subject with a hundred rabbit holes one can go down. That is why I systematically approached it the way I did in a series of six articles. To focus attention and discussion on one issue at a time rather than a scattered approach where comments can jump around here there and everywhere. That scattered approach is why the issue may not be proven in the minds of some. This systematic approach is showing what is true via the scriptures. This grouping of comments under each topic is helpful for future readers. There are 10,000 views a day on this website; many are of articles that a couple years old. For future readers, this grouping is extremely helpful.

          Originally, prior to this series, you asked me why I supported a 1000 year kingdom on earth. I have now shown you in the last four articles. In the next I will demonstrate why I think Jesus and the saints rule it from the earth. In the final, why I think the Jewish remnant will be included. Where you agree or disagree with me or traditional Amillennialism or Replacement Theology I frankly can’t tell-and it doesn’t matter. These are general articles on the subject for everyone. They are not aimed at you or Sam Storms or even Augustine personally.

          Everything doesn’t have to wait till the end times to learn the truth about it. Somethings are very clear in the scriptures. An earthly Kingdom for a literal 1000 years is one of those things. The biblical evidence is overwhelming. Now as for the ethnic identity of the Antichrist, it is not so clear. The scriptures do say he will be from one of the four horns of Dan. 8 and in multiple places it says he will be an Assyrian. However, it is only inferred that he will be Islamic. I am probably not as convinced as Joel. This article isn’t about the AC however.

        2. Christopher, BTW, donal asked me some questions about the saints reigning from heaven or from earth and I asked him to wait as well as that is the subject of the next article. It just makes so much more sense to read what is already written rather than repeat it in a comment and then in the article. For instance, you asked about Gal. 3:16 and Matt. 21:43. Both verses are included in the final article, and explained fully there. It just makes so much more sense to get the complete answer rather than a brief one in a comment.

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