Zionism and the Postponement of the Kingdom #2
If the doctrine of Zionism and postponement of the kingdom elucidated in the first article is correct, should not just the opposite be true? If, “God determines what will happen and when it will happen,” this should mean it would have been impossible for the Jewish rejection to prevent the establishment of the kingdom. Zionism and Postponement are clearly not Biblical doctrines.
On this thought read Psalms 2. In that great prophecy, Jehovah not only knew of the rejection of His Son, He foretold it, and said He would laugh at man’s efforts to defeat Him. He said that in spite of man’s unbelief, “Yet have I sat my king on My holy hill Zion!” Key in on that word “Yet,” because it means that in spite of Jewish rebellion God would accomplish His purpose. God did not have to postpone the kingdom to fulfill His promises! That rebellion was part of God’s determination to enthrone His Messiah.
Very clearly, there is a huge disparity between the two tenets of millennialism. It is totally inconsistent on the one hand to say that God is in control and determines what will happen and when it will happen, and then to affirm that God determined when the kingdom would be established, but could not accomplish His task. Those are two polar opposite positions, 180 degrees opposite to one another! How does the millennialist respond to this problem? He comes up with another idea that contradicts his idea about Jesus’ mission!
You will notice in the first article that Ice says Jesus came to establish the kingdom, and that if the Jews would have accepted him, the kingdom would have been established. However, perhaps feeling the heat of a doctrine that impugns the wisdom, veracity, and reliability of God, Ice, and others, claim that, in reality, Jesus did not come to establish the kingdom after all!
Zionism and Jesus’ Original Mission
Ice says the reason the Jews rejected Jesus is because he did not conquer the Romans. As a result the Jews were disillusioned. They, “did not realize the prophecies related to his future kingdom would be fulfilled at his second coming, and not his first. He came instead to suffer for their sins, die on the cross, and rise again without which there would be no forgiveness of sins, or eternal life.” (Charting The End Times, 26). On page 30 of the same work he says, “The purpose of his first coming was to announce the period of grace and salvation we are living in, not the time of judgment that is yet to come.” Do you catch what he has done? Ice says that Jesus did not actually come to establish the kingdom at all! He actually came to die and announce the period of grace we are living in now.” What does that mean, though?
Well, to grasp the significance of this little bit of information, you have to understand that the Millennialists claim that not one Old Testament prophet ever foretold the establishment of the church. Spargimino (195) says the Old Testament prophets, “knew nothing about this phase” of God’s plan. They knew only of God’s kingdom. Ice says that the church “was an un-revealed mystery in the Old Testament.” So, per Ice, Jesus did come to establish the kingdom, but, on the other hand, he did not come to establish the kingdom! This is a blatant, inescapable and fatal self-contradiction!
Okay, with this in mind consider what Ice said about Jesus “coming to announce the period of grace and salvation we are living in,” and not to establish the kingdom. If Jesus came to announce the period of grace we are living in now (i.e. the church age), then Jesus came to establish the church! However, what did Jesus say in Matthew 4:17 and Mark 1:15? He said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” and Thomas Ice says that this was the kingdom foretold by the Old Testament prophets!
If Jesus came to die to establish the period of grace we are living in now, and the time of grace we are living in now is the church age, then patently, Jesus came to establish the Church. However, Jesus came to offer the kingdom! Thus, in coming to establish the Church, and by offering the kingdom, Jesus was offering to establish the Church as the kingdom. But if this is true – and it patently is – then Zionism is falsified.
The religious Zionists / Millennialists cannot have it both ways. Jesus either did come to establish the Messianic kingdom or he did not. They try to say that he did, but, then again, he didn’t, not really. Which is it? If he came to die and establish the church, then he was wrong to offer the kingdom, and get Israel’s hopes up about something he did not intend to do for 2000+ years. On the other hand, if he came to establish an earthly kingdom, then patently, his rejection and death were a horrible failure and defeat. The establishment of the church was in fact, a sad reality after all. The contradiction here is very real and very substantive. It cannot be lightly dismissed. So, how does the millennialist respond? He offers yet another contradiction.
To explain why Jesus could not establish the kingdom—but hey, did he really come to establish it anyway??–in the first century, we are told that the Second Coming—when the kingdom was to be established—was, or at least is now, a conditional promise. Actually, Ice goes so far as to say that the Second Coming was supposed to happen in the first century but was postponed! So, the kingdom was supposed to be established in the first century, but it was conditional, dependent on Jewish acceptance, and since they rejected it, it was postponed,
However, on page 24 of Charting, these same men say that the Second Coming is an unconditional promise: “Before our Lord left the world, he gave an unconditional promise to his followers; ‘I will come again’” (John 14:3, my emphasis)! Thus, out of the same keyboards comes the doctrine that the Second Coming is unconditional, and that it is conditional!
So, which is it? There are only so many choices in regard to whether the kingdom and Second Coming were conditional or not. Let’s take a quick look at the choices and the implications.
Conditional then and now. The establishment of the kingdom at the parousia was or could have been, conditional when promised in the Old Testament prophets, and could still be conditional now. However, if the kingdom and parousia was and is conditional, then if the Jewish rejection in the first century delayed the kingdom then, it can most assuredly postpone it in the future!