Israel in Prophecy
Gary DeMar writes: "There is not a single verse in the New Testament that supports the claim that there is prophetic signifiance 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" (DeMar, Last Days Madness, 398).
The futurists argue that there remain outstanding promises made by the Lord to Israel and therefore those promises will have to be fulfilled in the future.
Gary DeMar writes that "The Bible tells a different story...God kept all of His promises to the letter. God is not obligated to do more than He pledged" (Ibid., 388).
We will see that Gary DeMar is wrong because if the ideas of the preterists are right then God did not keep all of is promises in regard to the Davidic Covenant.
I Will Not Lie Unto David
From the very beginning the throne of David and the Davidic kingdom were both earthly in nature, as witnessed by the following words:
"Then sat Solomon upon the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly" (1 Ki. 2:12).
Solomon sat upon the throne of David on the earth and his kingdom which was established was one which was earthly.Now let us look at the Lord's promises made to David in regard to that throne and kingdom:
"I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever...And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever" (2 Sam.7:12-13).
Since the throne and the kingdom were both "earthly" in nature then we can know that God established the earthly throne and the earthly kingdom FOR EVER. God also said that He would not "alter" the promises which He made to David:
"I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant...Nevertheless my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David" (Ps.89:3,33-35).
The preterists say that God did "alter" His promise to David because the "throne of David" was changed from an earthly throne into a heavenly one.
According to them God did lie when He promised David that He would not "alter" his promises because the teaching of some Christians is based on the idea that God changed the throne from an earthly one into a heavenly one.
The Land Promises Under the Davidic Covenant
Let us look closely at Gary DeMar's writings in regard to the "land" and "Israel". First he quotes Joshua 21:43-45 and then he makes comments on those verses:
"So the LORD gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. And the LORD gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their hand. Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass" (Joshua 21:43-45).
Now let us look at the "land" promises of God under the Davidic covenant:
"Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David...I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime" (2 Sam.7:8,10).
"And move no more"! This promise according to the Davidic covenant is restated later by the prophet Jeremiah:
"For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up"(Jer.24:6).
"And not pluck them up"! The prophet Amos says the same thing:
"And I will bring again the captivity of my people ...And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God"(Amos 9:14,15).
Therefore we can understand that the Lord has made promises to David in respect to the promised land that have not yet been fulfilled. There has never been a time when the children of Israel have been brought back to the promised land and have not "been pulled up out of their land" (unless that is being fulfilled now).
Here we can see a prophecy which speaks of the time when the Israelites will be brought back to the promised land and move no more:
"Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land...And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have...Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (Ez.37:25-27).
Here we read that the Lord will set His sanctuary in the midst of the Israelites for ever. And the Israelites "shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob.." Therefore, in the future the Lord will set His sanctuary in the midst of the children of Israel for evermore at the time they will dwell in the land that God gave to Jacob.
Therefore, it is obvious that not "all" of the promises made to Israel in regard to the promised land were fulfilled in the first century. Despite this Gary DeMar states:
"Non-dispensationalists like me would say that all the promises made to Israel have been fulfilled, and the redemption of Israel according to those promises made it possible for Gentiles to be grafted into an already existing Jewish assembly of believers that the Bible calls the Church"( DeMar, Answering the 'Replacement Theology' Critics, Part 4; http://www.americanvision.org/articlearchive/10-14-05.asp).
Again, the Lord says that He will not "alter the things that have gone out of" His lips regarding the promises that He made to David.Therefore it is certain that in the future the children of Israel will be brought back to the promised land and "they shall no more be pulled up out of their land".
However, Gary DeMar's eschatology has no place in the future when these promises can be fulfilled. He stated that "not one of the promises God made to the house of Israel failed. " Since these promises have not yet been fulfilled and he has no place for their fulfillment in the future then he must believe that these promises will indeed fail.
Will the Kingdom be Restored to Israel?
The Apostles were with the resurrected Lord Jesus for forty days while He spoke about the kingdom:
"To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3).
Certainly the Apostles would know the most basic things about the kingdom and they believed that it would be "restored to Israel." They asked Him:
"When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6).
If the Apostles were in error about something so basic He would certainly correct them. After all, they were commissioned to go into the world to preach the gospel of the kingdom. Common sense dictates that He would never allow them to go into the world preaching the gospel of the kingdom of the had a false idea about that kingdom. And the fact is that He did not correct them but only told them that they were not to know the "time" when it would happen:
"And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power" (Acts 1:7).
It is inconceivable that the Apostles could spend forty days with the Lord Jesus while He spoke of things concerning the kingdom but yet they failed to understand even the most basic things about the kingdom. Gary DeMar thinks that he knows more about the kingdom that did the Apostles. Not only that, but Gary DeMar's eschatology is entirely dependent on the idea that God altered His promises to David about the earthly throne and earthly kingdom and the land. In other words, if Gary DeMar is correct then that means that God lied to David.