Okay, here is the question: Is the nation of Israel going to see a restoration to God in the Millennium? Amillennial theologians teach that national Israel is not going to have a restoration in the Millennium and, for that matter, they teach that there is not going to be a future millennium on this present earth. Amillennialists teach that all of the promises made to Israel about a future restoration need to be understood as being figurative words that get fulfilled by the church in the present age. This theological position is driven by the false presuppositions and not supported by sound exegesis.
A Premillennialist is one who believes the following basic ideas: (1) There is going to be a future seven-year tribulation period that comes at the end of this age (Dan. 9:27; 1 Thess. 5:1-9; 2 Thess. 2:1-8; Rev. 6-19). (2) Based on a Pretribulation view (the view held by this author), this tribulation period (aka The Day of the Lord) begins immediately after the rapture of the church (1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:1-9; 2 Thess. 2:1-8; Rev. 3:10). (3) The tribulation period comes to an end with the physical return of Jesus Christ who brings an end to all the nations that were seeking Israel’s destruction (Rev. 19:11-21; cf. Deut. 30:7; Joel 3:1-17; Zech. 14:1ff.). (4) Having purged the earth of all unsaved men and all demonic powers, Christ then brings the Kingdom of God to this world for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-10). The Kingdom of God extends into eternity future in the New Heavens and New Earth with all of God’s redeemed, elect saints being in glorified resurrection bodies (Rev. 21-22). Thus, the Premillennialist believes that the promises made to Israel, especially all of these national promises in the OT, get fulfilled during the Millennium.
In the Book of Isaiah, God predicted that His Servant (Christ) would come to His people, but also that they would reject Him and put Him to death (Isa. 52:13-53:12; cf. Luke 19:41-44). Israel’s rejection of her King would cause her to forfeit the blessings of the messianic kingdom at that present time, for she “did not recognize the time of her visitation” (Luke 19:44). This continued rebellion against God would also result in a terrible destruction from the armies of Rome, culminating in another invasion against Jerusalem and the destruction of her second temple (Luke 19:41-44). All of this happened just as the Old and New Testaments predicted. The question still remains, is Israel going to have a future restoration as outlined above? The answer is YES.
Isaiah 54 describes the immense spiritual harvest that national Israel is going to experience during the Millennium. The people of Israel will have a population explosion of redeemed saints such as they have never seen in their history and the entire land will once again be possessed, resettled, and rebuilt (vv. 1-3; cf. Isa. 9:1-7; 49:18-21; Jer. 32:36-44; Zech. 10:10). When the kingdom comes, the Victorious Suffering Servant will have His “seed” (Isa. 53:10; cf. Pss. 22:30; 110:3) with a redeemed Israel and a redeemed church (Matt. 16:16-18; John 10:16). God’s promise to Israel is that of restoration, and for this reason He tells the nation of Isaiah’s day to not be afraid of the present judgments that have fallen upon her because of her covenant rebellion (54:4). She need not fear, for the sovereign Lord of the universe is the God who has promised that He will call her and restore in a New Covenant (Isa. 53:5-8; cf. Jer. 31:31-34). God has sworn the promise, and He will fulfill it, for He cannot break His promise (Isa. 53:9-10), and Israel will experience a most-beautiful restoration (Isa. 53:11-17). Is God serious about this promise? Is He really able to do this? The answer is YES!
For those who would try to deny these restoration promises, God rebukes them and tells them that they need to put their thoughts in line with His eternal purposes: “8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. 12 “For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up, and instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up, And it will be a memorial to the LORD, For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off” (Isa. 55:8-13). God’s “thoughts” (v. 8) and God’s Word which He has spoken (v. 11) are nothing less than the message He has been repeatedly declaring since 40:1 that He is going to restore His fallen nation.
The promise is certain. Unbelieving Jews who feared the future needed to believe these promises and so do unbelieving theologians of our own day who deny these restoration promises to the nation. God speaks through Jeremiah 100 years after Isaiah about the certainty of these restoration promises and says, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jer. 32:27). Zechariah speaks about 100 years after Jeremiah with the same certainty: “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?’ declares the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 8:6). The answer to both Jeremiah and Zecharia is this: No, it is not too difficult for the Lord. He will restore His nation Israel, a promise reaffirmed multiple times in the New Testament (Matt. 19:28; 21:43-44; 23:39; 24:9, 22, 31; 25:31-46; 26:29, 64; Rom. 11:1-2, 12, 15, 25-32; Rev. 7:1-7; 12).
The Bible is very clear: God is going to restore His nation Israel under the New Covenant for He has sworn He will (Jer. 32:31-34; 33:14-26; Hos. 1:10-11; 2:14-23; 3:1-5), and the certainty of God’s promise is what also gives you and me the certain hope that our own salvation is secure (John 10:27-30; Rom. 8:28-30). Let these truths encourage your hearts.
Love, Pastor Tim