Gary responds to a recent article by Dr. Michael Brown that claims the promises made to Israel in Joshua 21 are not the fullness of what God was promising to the Jews.
There is not a single verse in the New Testament that supports the claim that there is prophetic significance in Israel’s restoration as a nation. Beyond A.D. 70, Israel as a nation plays no prophetic role. The New Testament only addresses Israel’s near destruction never its distant restoration. There is no mention of a temple being rebuilt or Jews returning to their land as was predicted in the Old Testament. The Jews did return to their land as prophesied (Jer. 29:14), “when seventy years have been completed for Babylon” (29:10; cf. Dan. 9:2). The temple was eventually rebuilt as predicted (Ezra 5:16; John 2:20). These prophecies have been fulfilled. Isaiah 11:11 does mention Israel returning to their land “the second time.” A remnant of Israelites returned to their land after the Babylonian captivity. The first time was “the day that they came up out of the land of Egypt” (11:16). There is no mention of a third time. If the Old Testament is the pattern, then we should expect to see specific New Testament prophecies regarding the future re-establishment of Israel as a nation and the rebuilding of the temple.
Some futurists maintain that the land promises were never completely fulfilled. Walter Kaiser offers his opinion contrary to what the Bible actually says.
Oftentimes students of the Bible point to three passages that appear to suggest that the promise of land to Israel has indeed been fulfilled: Joshua 21:43–45; 23:14–15; Nehemiah 9:8. These texts assert that “not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled” (Josh. 21:45; cf. 23:14).
However, the boundaries mentioned in Numbers 34:2–12 are not the ones reached in the accounts of Joshua and Judges. For example, Joshua 13:1–7 and Judges 3:1–4 agree in maintaining that there was much land that remained to be taken.
The Bible tells a different story: “So the LORD gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it” (Josh. 21:43). To establish this point, we read, “Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass” (21:45). Could the Bible be any more clear? God kept all of His promises to the letter. God is not obligated to do more than He pledged.
Last Days Madness
In this authoritative book, Gary DeMar clears the haze of "end-times" fever, shedding light on the most difficult and studied prophetic passages in the Bible, including Daniel 7:13-14; 9:24-27; Matt. 16:27-28; 24-25; Thess. 2; 2 Peter 3:3-13, and clearly explaining a host of other controversial topics.Buy Now
Gary responds to a recent article by Dr. Michael Brown that claims the promises made to Israel in Joshua 21 are not the fullness of what God was promising to the Jews. There are logical and historical problems with this—aside from Biblical ones—that are not being answered.