Most people consider the Bible confusing regarding many of its topics, and particularly regarding eschatology. Presumably, today’s churchgoers rely on their favorite passages, or those repeated to them by a loved one, friend, or their favorite Bible teacher in order to develop their personal belief system and view of end-times. In recent years, ministers primarily present object lessons about feelings and social needs, and avoid the more complex matters. End-time events are left to scholars and eccentric thinkers while the rest hope for the sweet by and by, not knowing what it really means. Youths of today view the best seller book, the Bible, as mythological judgment and damnation.
One must search the scriptures for concrete answers to the mystery surrounding the “Last Days.” Despite the fact that approximately forty authors from three continents in the span of two thousand years composed the Bible, it seems to have the same futuristic view. Problems arise when the Bible isn’t taken seriously enough to place the events in proper order. This can be reconciled when mirrored with the Feasts of the Lord.
Premillennial and Amillennial are the two most accepted views among the church today. The conflict started when Gentile believers separated from Jewish believers early second century and lost the connection needed to understand the Bible, whose authors were Jewish with a culture unique to them. Additionally, the Gentile church wanted nothing to do with anything Jewish…until the last century as a result of the Charismatic and Zionist Renewals. The return of Israel to her homeland, to us, pointed to the soon return of Christ. Then, a more careful pursuit into the apocalyptic verses that clarified misunderstandings began. This is not to say anyone has it all figured out! I am guessing there are many surprises in store.
On the other hand, amillennialism relies on allegory, which became the interpretive method of the Bible, beginning late second century as many Christians began to consider the Jews to be a forgotten people by God. And now, the church is their replacement. By the fourth century, Christianity became the mandated religion of the Roman world and lasted through the Crusade era. By that time, the errant doctrine shaped the church of the future and much of today’s end-time thinking. Here is an excerpt from an article written by John F. Walvoord (Amillennialism in the Ancient Church):
“With the close of the third century, the evidence indicates a distinct increase in power in amillennialism and a corresponding loss of power for the premillennialists. In the church, it is clear that the rising tide of amillennialism comes almost entirely from the Alexandrian school, in particular, from Clement, Origen, and Dionysius, all of this locality. Accompanying this change in the church was the corresponding political change under Constantine, which became effective more and more in the fourth century. With the coming of Augustine a new day and a new chapter in the history of millennialism was written.”
A pure premillennial view means that there will be a 1000-year Kingdom rule on this earth after the Great Tribulation (completion of Daniel’s 70th week) when the Lord returns on the Day of Atonement. (Zech. 14:4; Rev. 20). At the end of the millennial reign, there’s a final battle, then comes the new Heaven and new earth, which fulfills Simchat Torah (“rejoicing with the Torah”), the eighth day eternal Sabbath at the end of Feast of Tabernacles (Revelation 21). The last three Feasts of the Lord: Feast of Trumpets (Rapture and Tribulation), Atonement (Second Coming), and Tabernacles (1000 year reign), followed by Simchat Torah are yet to be fully completed.
The Christian sees the first four as fulfilled in Christ on the exact days of the spring Jewish feasts: Passover, Unleavened Brad, First Fruits, and then, Pentecost. With that in mind, why would God break His calendar and not fulfill the last three exactly on the Jewish Feasts—the Feasts of the Lord? “These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons” (Lev. 23:4). To not believe this, one would have to allegorize the entire Bible, as do the amillennialist. Be assured, Amos wrote of a future time when he wrote the words from the Lord: “And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be plucked up out of their land which I have given them, saith Jehovah thy God” (9:15). He wrote those words after the chapters of the Lord’s anger towards Israel, His people. Those who hold a “replacement” theology fail to read to the end of the book of Amos, and the entirety of other minor and major prophets. God has been very angry at Israel for not fulfilling her vow of faithfulness to Him and His Land, and to bring His light to the world. But, she is being restored just as prophesied. That gives the world great hope! (Romans 9-11)
In part 2 through 4 of this series, I will offer proofs, through our eschatological alignment with the Feasts of the Lord, that the Church did not replace Israel. The proof text is the Bible.
Tommie Coleman – 8.Nov. 17