In his primary book on premillennial theology, The Millennial Kingdom, John F. Walvoord wrote, “According to the Scripture, Israel will also be…regathered from all over the earth and brought back to her ancient land, and there blessed spiritually and materially” (p. 182).
The Old Testament indeed does mention God giving Israel land and even bringing them back to that land after their exile, but the clear teaching of the Scriptures is these promises have been fulfilled. God promised Abram that his descendants would, after being oppressed 400 years by the Egyptians, receive the land of Canaan in which he sojourned (Genesis 15:13-21). When Israel was on the verge of receiving this land, Moses, who was instrumental in leading them from Egypt, gave God’s warning that if they disobeyed then they would be “plucked from off the land” (Deuteronomy 28:63). The regathering of Israel to this land is prophesied in Deuteronomy 30:1-10. This was fulfilled in Nehemiah’s day as he says in his prayer:
Remember, I unbeseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. (Nehemiah 1:8-10).
The Bible teaches that God’s promise to regather fleshly Israel to the land of Canaan was fulfilled over two and half millennia ago, not an event for which we ought to be looking today.
While Premillennialists often claim that the land promise was never completely fulfilled, the book of Joshua clearly teaches otherwise. Joshua is a book about Israel going in and possessing the land that God promised to give them (Joshua 1:1-4). Joshua 21:43-45 shows God made good on His promise:
And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.
Though many religious people are taught this will happen again, God driving out other nations so that fleshly Israel can possess the land of Canaan, Joshua 23:13-16 shows that God had not failed to fulfill His promise and if Israel disobeyed He would “no more drive out any of these nations from before you.”
God is no respecter of persons in regard to physical nations (Acts 10:34-35). God does not hold physical lineage above what is in one’s heart (Romans 2:28-29). Physical Jews are no better than Gentiles (Romans 3:9). There is no difference between the two in God’s eyes (Romans 10:12). God keeps His promises both for blessing and for wrath. He has driven wicked people off their land and removed their blessings in the past. We should be thankful for what He has given us and not pursue wickedness, lest we also have the blessings of our land revoked. Not even Old-Testament Israel could keep their land perpetually if they disobeyed God.
The various religious sects peppered Jesus with controversial questions to trip Him up, but He masterfully responded to each, driving home the truth and foiling His enemies’ schemes (Matthew 22). Then Jesus asked, “What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?” (Matthew 22:42). When Jesus went on the offensive, they were not prepared to answer His questions. They thought Jesus was the son of David, but Jesus’ follow up question revealed more.
He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:43-46.)
Jesus quotes Psalm 110, saying “David in spirit” to indicate that David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote this prophecy of Christ (cf. 2 Peter 1:21). In regard to the Psalms, David asserted that the Holy Spirit spoke by him, giving words to his tongue (2 Samuel 23:1-2).
Unlike the attitude of many today, the first-century Jews held the conviction that one who came earlier in a genealogy was thought to be greater. On one occasion Jesus was asked, “Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? (John 8:53). Even the Samaritans held this ideal. The Samaritan woman at the well asked Jesus, “Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?” (John 4:12). Jesus correctly interprets the prophecy of Psalm 110 and applies it to Himself. David, by inspiration, called Jesus “Lord” when “the Lord” (God the Father) “said to my Lord” (the Son) “Sit thou on my right hand…” (Psalm 110:1). Jesus was the physical descendant of David (Matthew 1:1). But He was David’s Lord because He is divine. He is the Son of God.
This truth is the foundation of the church (Matthew 16:16-19). It is the basis of salvation (John 8:24; 20:31). By Jesus’ question, the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians were brought face to face with this truth. They would not answer the question because they rejected anything that would not give them power. When we answer this question rightly, we lose all power. If Jesus really is Lord, as David, by inspiration, wrote, then His word reigns supreme in my life. It does no good to call Him Lord and not do His will (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46). You are confronted with this question every day. You may push it from your mind or refuse to answer it, but by doing that you actually have given your answer. By how you live your life you answer this question. Will you proclaim Jesus as Lord by doing His will? Will you follow the Son of God?