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Israel

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that:

  1. Unfulfilled prophecy given to natural Israel is to have fulfilment in “spiritual Israel,” the Christian congregation (the church) [1]
  2. Jehovah’s purpose does not include the restoration of natural Israel [2]

Q1. What does the Old Testament indicate as to the future restoration and blessing of the nation of Israel?

Answer: Restoration theology (including Christian Zionism) teaches that prophecy is being fulfilled on literal Israel.

Replacement theology on the other hand, (also called supersessionism), the mainstream Christian view, teaches that the Old Covenant has been completely superseded by the New Covenant; the church therefore replacing Israel in God’s plan (Matt 21:43).

Dispensationalism though, teaches that while God may be focusing His attention primarily on the church in this dispensation of grace, God has not forgotten Israel and will one day restore Israel to His intended role as the nation He has chosen (Romans 11).

Additional Info here

Gen 17:7-8 I [Jehovah] will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” [The Law added later did not annul this covenant with Abraham for eternal possession of the land – Gal 3:17]

2 Sam 7:16 Your [David’s] house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’”

Isa 25:6-10 He [Jehovah] will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.

Isa 45:17 But Israel is saved by the Lord with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity.

Isa 66:20-22 And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. … “For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your offspring and your name remain.

Jer 33:14-16 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

Ezek 37:25 They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever.

Hos 3:5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days

Joel 3:20 But Judah shall be inhabited forever, and Jerusalem to all generations.

Amos 9:14-15 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,” says the Lord your God.

Mic 4:1-4,7 It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem shall judge between many peoples and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore … the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion from this time forth and forevermore

Hag 2:6-9 I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’”

Zech 14:3-4,16-17 On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east … Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them.

(Also, Gen 3:15; 13:14-15; Isa 2:1-4; 11:9-12; 27:6; 33:20,24; 35:5-10; 52:1; 65:17-24; Jer 3:17-18; 23:3-8; Ezek 16:60; 21:25-27; Joel 2:32; Obad 15-17; Zeph 3:8-9,14-17; Zech 2:10-12; 8:20-23; 12:9-10)

Q2. What does the New Testament indicate as to the future restoration and blessing of the nation Israel?

Answer: Restoration is dependent on their believing in Jesus as Messiah (Zech 12:10; Rom 11:23).

Matt 19:28 “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Matt 23:38-39 See, your house [Jerusalem, vs 37] is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Luke 1:32-33 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

Luke 21:24 Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Acts 1:6-7 “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”

Acts 3:19-21 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.

Rom 11:25-29 I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Rev 12:1,5 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars… She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne.… [Cf. Gen 37:9-10 Then he [Joseph] dreamed … Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” But when he told it to his father and to his brothers [the 11 other tribes], his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?”]

(Also, Matt 10:23; Rev 7:14; 14:1; 20:9)

Summary

  • Unfulfilled prophecies given to natural Israel will have fulfillment in natural Israel
  • The restoration and blessing of natural Israel is a critical element in the outworking of Jehovah’s purpose

Endnotes

  1. Reasoning p 225
  2. Ibid. p 224

Article Credits: KevinQuick.com

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