“Some think that this descent of the Lord will be post-millennial — that is, after the thousand years of his reign. I cannot think so. I conceive that the advent will be PRE-millennial — that he will come first; and then will come the millennium as the result of his personal reign upon earth. But whether or no, this much is the fact, that Christ will suddenly come, come to reign, and come to judge the earth in righteousness.” [from Justification & Glory MTP Vol 11, Year 1865, pg. 249, Romans 8:30 (age 31)] – Charles Hadden Spurgeon
After Jerusalem underwent a judgment in 70 a.d., and Jews found themselves under bonds of slavery and dispersed in the earth, a trend began among some to proclaim that the Church had totally replaced Israel. This teaching became more pronounced over time, and especially as the Roman Catholic system emerged as a power structure in the earth.
Of course not all the early Church writers accepted that premise that the Church had totally replaced Israel. In fact, most of the earliest Christian writers fully believed that a day would come when a nation called Israel would reappear on earth.
Take note of several earl Church writers _
#1) Reference to Papias cited by Eusebius (Papias was a disciple
of the Apostle John and a friend of Polycarp; 60-130 ad); “Among
these things, Papias says that there will be a millennium after the
resurrection from the dead, when the personal reign of Christ will be
established on this earth.”
#2) Justin Martyr (c. 160); “There was a certain man with us,
whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who
prophesied by a revelation that was made to him, that those who
believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem.”
#3) Hippolytus (c. 205); “The Sabbath is the type and symbol of
the future kingdom of the saints, when they shall reign with Christ
after He comes from heaven, as John says in his Revelation. For ‘a
day with the Lord is as a thousand years.'”
#4) Tertullian (c. 207); “We do confess that a kingdom is promised
to us upon the earth, although before heaven. Only, it will be in
another state of existence. For it will be after the resurrection for a
thousand years in the divinely-built city of Jerusalem ‘let down from
#5) Victorinus (c. 280); “The true Sabbath will be in the seventh
millennium of years, when Christ will reign with His elect.”
#6) Lactantius (c. 340); “Back then a mortal and imperfect man
was formed from the earth, so that he might live a thousand years
in this world. So, now, from this earthly age is formed a perfect
man. And, being quickened by God, he will bear rule in this same
world through a thousand years.”
#7) Irenaeus (c. 180); “The predicted blessing, therefore, belongs
unquestionably to the times of the kingdom, when the righteous will
bear rule, after their rising from the dead. It is also the time when
the creation will bear fruit with an abundance of all kinds of food,
having been renovated and set free. … And all of the animals will
feed on the vegetation of the earth. They will become peaceful and
harmonious among each other, and they will be in perfect
subjection to man. And these things are borne witness to in the
fourth book of the writings of Papias, the hearer of John, and a
companion of Polycarp.”
#8) Commodianus (240); “The Amen sends flames on the nations.
And the Medes and Persians burn for a thousand years, as the
apocalyptic words of John declare. After a thousand years, they will
be delivered over to Gehenna. And he whose work they were is
burned up with them.”
The Message Carried On – Israel will be a nation
There have always been notable preachers who carried a prophetic insight, knowing that a nation called Israel, would reappear on the earth in order for God’s work of redemption to be fulfilled. Charles Hadden Spurgeon is one of those notable prophetic preachers.
Some may wonder who this man really is. Not so with most studied preachers today. Charles Hadden Spurgeon was penned with the name, ‘the Prince of Preachers.’
Not many people realize that Charles Hadden Spurgeon (1834-92) has more material currently in print that any other Christian author living or dead, and remains the single most published author in terms of volume in English history. [Eric W. Hayden. “A Collection of True and Unusual Facts About Charles Spurgeon.”]
It is no wonder that Spurgeon was called, ‘The Prince of Preachers.’ I became acquainted with Spurgeon’s preaching early in my calling, with just one volume of his sermons. (C. H. Spurgeon had 67 volumes of sermons published.)
It is impossible to read anything of Spurgeons’, that will not deeply affect your thinking. So it was with me. One of my greatest revival messages was based on Spurgeon’s sermon, ‘Miseries, Messengers or Mercy.’ (By the way, my ministry spans close to 50 years. Age 24 to almost 74.)
Of course I am not here to extol C. H. Spurgeon, but to draw attention to this man’s prophetic insight into not only the gospel, but also for his insight into God’s plan of redemption.
Here are some insights to be appreciated:
“We shall at once profess our attachment to the pre-millennial school interpretation, and the literal reading of those Scriptures that predict the return of the Jews to their own land.” (Jerusalem Which is Above, Sword and Trowel, [August 1866])
And when a great many notable writers of his time were declaring that there would never again be a nation of Israel, Spurgeon had this to say –
“There will be a native government again; there will again be the form of a body politic; a state shall be incorporated…” (Spurgeon, “The Restoration and Conversion of the Jews,” MTP, 10:426.)
Here is a summary of Spurgeon’s beliefs about Israel –
- Israel as a nation will come to faith in Christ.
- Israel will have a national or geo-political identity.
- The political system will be a monarchy, “a king shall reign”
- Israel will be in the Promised Land
- The borders will correspond to the promises given to Abraham and David.
- Israel will hold a special place among the nations in the millennial kingdom.
- However, Israel remains spiritually part of the church.
- There will be a national prosperity that will be the admiration of the world
- That the prophecies of the Old Testament should not be handled in a non-literal fashion.
For my part, I’m pretty much with Charles Hadden Spurgeon, in saying,
‘Whether or no [PRE-millennial], this much is the fact, that Christ will suddenly come, come to reign, and come to judge the earth in righteousness.’
Now, if you do not think that the Jewish world has no concern with Jesus Christ, take time for these quotes from well-known and greatly respected Jewish men of yesteryear.
Beginning to See Jesus
The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber wrote:
From my youth onwards I have found in Jesus my great brother. That Christianity has regarded and does regard him as God and Savior has always appeared to me a fact of the highest importance which, for his sake and my own, I must endeavor to understand…I am more than ever certain that a great place belongs to him in Israel’s history of faith and that this place cannot be described by any of the usual categories.”
Albert Einstein observed:
“As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene…No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”
The former president of Hebrew Union College, Rabbi Kaufman Kohler addressed Congress in 1893 in the following fashion:
“No ethical system or religious catechism, however broad and pure, could equal the efficiency of this great personality, standing, unlike any other, midway between heaven and earth, equally near to God and to man…Jesus, the helper of the poor, the friend of the sinner, the brother of every fellow-sufferer, the comforter of every sorrow-laden, the healer of the sick, the up-lifter of the fallen, the lover of man, the redeemer of woman, won the heart of mankind by storm. Jesus, the meekest of men, the most despised of the despised race of the Jews, mounted the world’s throne to be earth’s Great King.”
Becoming Christian at a Rapid Rate
I was reading the Jerusalem Post, when an ad jumped out at me. It was by a Jewish rabbi who was coming against Christian missionaries. I thought, ‘What a strange thing for an Orthodox Jewish rabbi to say.’
See what you think. Here is the ad –
What Are We Doing Wrong, and What are They doing right?
Why Have more Jews Converted to Christianity in the Last 19 Years than in the Last 1,900 Years? – Rabbi Tovia Singer – Jerusalem Post
If I were a Jew reading this ad, I would not concern myself with buying Tovia’s ‘anti-Christian’ tapes. I would want to know why more Jews have converted to Christianity in the last 19 years than in the last 1900 years?
Let’s see if we can put a face on this.
Moses reaches across history, and speaks of their scorning the Rock of their salvation; that they would be scattered among the nations. Then he says,
“In the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice.” (Deu4:30)
Hearing the voice of Jesus is the very key to redemption.
Now we come back to our original question. What relationship does the Christian have to the Jewish race? The answer is that God’s redemption plan unfolds itself around this people.
Think about it for a moment – Where did the new covenant have its inception? Did it begin in Rome? Did it begin in China? The new covenant was put in place in Jerusalem.
Where does it complete itself? According to the prophets, according to the apostles, and according to the Lord Himself, the new covenant will complete itself in Jerusalem. It makes a full circle back to its beginning point.
The prophet says that when the Lord returns, His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. (Zech14:4) The Mount of Olives is just east of Jerusalem.
The Wounded and Pierced Messiah –
The pierced Messiah is a major theme of prophecy. Isaiah 53 and Zechariah 12, contain the clearest statements in who the Jewish nation will turn to in the second coming of Christ.
Zechariah said the Jewish people will see the pierced Messiah, and ask where he got those wounds. It says their eyes will be opened and grace will be poured out on them.
Paul said to the Gentiles believers,
“I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery so that you will not be wise in your own estimation that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, etc.” (Rom11:25,26)
Paul cautions the Gentile branches not to exalt themselves over the Jewish branches that have been broken off. He reaches into the distant future to explain a mystery. One day, he says, after the gospel has penetrated all the nations and the full measure of salvation has been preached among the Gentiles, an interesting thing will happen. The Jewish people are going to turn to Jesus with a full heart.
With this the prophets agree. God speaks through Hosea, saying,
“I will go away and return to My place until the acknowledge their guilt and seek My face.” (Hosea 5:15)
What guilt must they acknowledge? They will acknowledge that the Man of the cross was and is the true Messiah of Israel, the Lord God revealed in the Son.
At some point in redemption history all the nations are going to make a stand against Jerusalem. It is in this time frame that the Spirit of grace will once again be poured out on Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:9, says –
I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.”
So again, what relationship does the Church have with the natural race of Abraham? Paul said,
From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.” (Rom11:28)
Strange isn’t it. What other reason can there be for this strange attraction Christians and Jews have for one another?
Rabbi Tovia said it well enough, ‘More Jews are converting to Christianity in last 19 years than in the past nineteen centuries.’
What did Moses say in this regard? He said,
“When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice. For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.” (Deu4:30,31)
The greatest friends of Israel today are evangelical Christians. We know that one day the promise will be fulfilled when, ‘All Israel will be saved.’
Yes, Indeed – One day that nation in the middle east called Israel, will call upon the Lord Jesus.
What think ye?
In Christ always,