By Mark Robinson
When dispensational teaching and Israel in the future are considered, we are primarily talking about the coming kingdom age of 1,000 years (Millennial Kingdom). The still future Tribulation period, in the dispensational motif, is considered part of this present dispensation of Grace. Dr. Charles Ryrie notes, “The dispensation [Grace] will end at the second coming of Christ since, as suggested, the tribulation period itself is not a separate dispensation but is the judgment on those living persons who are Christ rejecters at the end of this present dispensation.”1 Israel’s future in the final Dispensation of the Millennium is bright and glorious.
Israel’s Covenants Will Be Fulfilled
God gave to Israel a number of biblical covenants that are unconditional in nature. That is, the fulfillment of these promises is wholly dependent upon God’s faithfulness, not the Jewish people’s faithfulness. The Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3) is the main covenant given to the people of Israel. It has three basic promises that are expanded in additional (unconditional) covenants.
The first promise (Genesis 12:1) is a land that belongs to the Jewish people. There are around 170 Scripture references concerning the land (Israel) that God gave to the Jewish people. No less then fifty-five times the Bible records that God confirmed the gift with an oath. Some twelve times He states that the covenant is everlasting. What has usually been referred to as the Palestinian Covenant (Deuteronomy 30:1-10) is better understood as the Land Covenant.
The second promise (Genesis 12:2) is that there will be a people (Jewish people) God will make into a nation. The Scriptures develop this people though Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and promise from them a king who will be their ruler. This promise of a king is expanded in the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:12-16).
The final promise (Genesis 12:3) concerns salvation. This promise embraces “all the families of the earth,” and is expanded on in the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34.
Israel in the final Dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom will have all the land God promised her, live safely in and be ruled over by their Messianic King (Jesus), and all who enter into the Millennium are redeemed people (Zechariah 12:10; Romans 11:26-27; Matthew 25:31-34, 41).
Israel will be the Center of the world-wide kingdom
The reign of Jesus over the world will be based in Israel, specifically Jerusalem. His reign will be characterized by peace, righteousness and justice. Nations will be at peace, anti-Semitism will be no more, and Israel will be the head of the nations and not the tail, Deuteronomy 28:13; Isaiah 49:22-23. The reign of the King from Jerusalem is expressed wonderfully by Isaiah:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isaiah 2:2-3
Israel will be restored and exalted
Israel’s disobedience and rebellion through the millennia has resulted in God’s hand of discipline upon her. This is clearly seen in the Babylonian captivity of 586 B.C., 2 Chronicles 36:14-21, the world-wide captivity of 70 A.D., Luke 19:41-44, 21:24, and the coming 7 year Tribulation period, Jeremiah 30:7-11.
But, just as God promised to discipline Israel for her sin, and did, so has He promised to bless them one day with prosperity, peace, righteousness and glory as the nations will seek her blessings.
“For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.” Isaiah 62:1-4
Israel will be a blessing to the world
The locus of God’s blessing has always been with Israel and the Jewish people. At the very beginning of their birth when God called Abram from Ur of the Chaldees and promised a nation would come from his loins (through Isaac and Jacob), there was the promise of “blessing” for “blessing” Israel and the Jew, and “cursing” for “cursing” Israel and the Jew.
Since that promise the satanic guided activity of nations and many individuals have cursed Israel and the Jew. Yes, Israel and her people have been remiss in obeying the God who birthed them.
But, the tide of time and the designs of the demonic cannot and will not thwart the plans of God. Israel’s future in the final dispensation is secure and guaranteed.
“And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.” Zechariah 8:13
“Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” Zechariah 8:22-23
Israel will lead the world in worship of Jehovah
The promise of the coming kingdom is that “…the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea,” Isaiah 11:9b. The knowledge of God throughout the world, the one true God, Who is holy and glorious, will demand the worship of the God of eternity!
The plan of God is that in the coming Millennium worship will be centered in Jerusalem (Israel), because that is where the King of glory (Psalm 24, Zephaniah 3:15-17) resides. This King, Jesus, will be ruling from the throne of David.
“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Zechariah 14:16
The Temple will be rebuilt for millennial kingdom worship, Ezekiel 40-43, different days of special worship will be established (Feast of Tabernacles, Zechariah 14:16; Passover, Ezekiel 45:21; and perhaps other Feasts, Ezekiel 46:9). Temple sacrifices will be practiced according to Ezekiel 43:13-27, 46:4-7, as well as additional texts in Ezekiel 40 – 48; Isaiah 66:20-23; Zechariah 14:16-21; and Malachi 3:3-4.
Many have asked why are there sacrifices in the Millennium in light of Hebrews 10 and the abolishment of sacrifices. First, the Hebrews 10 passage is talking of the abolishment of sacrifices that were required under the Mosaic Law. The entire Law of Moses was abolished with Jesus’ death and resurrection, including the sacrifices. Second, the scripture is clear that in the Messianic kingdom worship system, sacrifices are done in the rebuilt Temple.
The purpose of these are, most likely, at least two-fold. First, the sacrifices are a ceremonial cleansing (Ezekiel 45:15, 17, 20) to prevent pollution of the Temple where Jesus is residing and a part of the worship ritual. Second, it likely is illustrative of what Jesus has done in His death and a reminder of the penalty (death) of sin. The millennial kingdom is as perfect an environment as there has been since the Garden of Eden. In a society of peace, the absence of war and natural disasters, etc. the death of these “innocent” animals is a graphic picture of the penalty of sin and its consequences.
Although similar to the Mosaic system, the millennial kingdom worship system is not the re-establishment of the Mosaic system.
Israel has some dark days ahead of her. Not only the coming 70th week of Daniel, but the time prior to the start of that period. We see the anti-Semitic darkness in Europe, Islam, the U.N., increasingly in the Democratic party of the U.S., as well as other areas of the U.S. The lies, distortions, and hypocrisy concerning Israel is well documented. So why the hatred and animosity? Very simply, Satan knows God’s plan for Israel and the Jewish people. It is his hope to stop the blessings for Israel and the Jewish people because then he has defeated God.
Satan’s plans will end up for naught. God’s plans will be carried out. Israel will be blessed. And, the final dispensation in God’s plan for the world will be fulfilled. At the time of the Messianic Kingdom, with one voice, all will proclaim: “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen,” 1 Timothy 1:17.
1. Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism