I would like to know if the restored Kingdom of Israel is the millennial Kingdom. And what is the connection between the antichrist and Islam? Do you believe he will come from there?
To answer your second question first, I have believed the Antichrist would arise from among 10 Arab / Muslim nations since the Yom Kippur War when the Lord revealed to me that the ten kings would be Arab / Muslim, obsessed with a militant hatred of what Daniel will call, “the holy covenant” (Dan 11:28, 30). The general territory from whence the Antichrist takes his rise to power is very clearly denoted in Dan 8:9.
He rises from somewhere within the expanse of territory that was under the Seleucid dynasty of the second century B.C. At its height, this would have reached from Damascus to Babylon. This makes it hard to pinpoint the location exactly, but it does limit the general region of his rise, as it rules out the greater part of the world. This will depend, of course, on a defense of my strongly held position that the ‘little horn’ of Dan 8:9 is none other than the “little horn” of Dan 7:8. Surprisingly, many, perhaps most of the commentaries take the position that the ‘little horn’ of Dan 7:8 is NOT the same person as the ‘little horn’ of Dan 8:9. Therefore, the clue of Dan 8:9 is very largely dismissed from having any future significance.
There are reasons why the list of aggressor nations in Ezk 38:5-6 are not exactly the same as those mentioned in Ps 83. That’s another discussion; but I have always believed that the 10 neighboring nations mentioned in Ps 83 are the very nations that will align with the Antichrist, albeit with the backing of other greater powers to the north.
It is an off topic note, but should we return to this discussion, it is important to note that Ps 83’s mention of the “Hagarenes” does NOT refer to Egypt (see Wikipedia). Egypt is conspicuous for its absence in the list of nations mentioned in Eze 38:5-6. Isa 19 shows why. This is because Egypt is savaged by the Antichrist shortly after he invades Israel.
I believe that Edom, Moab, and Ammon (united today as modern Jordan) “escape out of his (Antichrist’s) hand” (Dan 11:41) because they are sympathetic with his conquest of Israel and he favors them for their profoundly antisemitic, pro-Antichrist sentiment. I infer this on the basis of such scripture as Eze 35:15; 35:5, 10; 36:2-7; Obadiah; Mal 1:4. This is the “ancient hatred” that has boiled in the bosom of Esau since time immemorial.
Now for your first question. The answer is most certainly! The millennial kingdom is the restoration of the Davidic kingdom but now flourishing in the totality of the covenant promises made concerning a particular people and a particular Land. According to the language of the oft reiterated covenant promises, the destiny of the people and the Land are inseparable. God has a point to prove and He will openly vindicate His covenant word concerning Israel, as real ethnic Jews (“natural branches”) in the sight of all nations.
God is going to set forth this astonishing miracle of history on empirical, public display, as the ultimate public demonstration and embodiment of His covenant word, answering forever the great question first put by the Serpent, “hath God really said?” That’s what the cosmic war is all about, the veracity and power of God’s Word, most particularly His purpose “according to election” (Ro 9:11).
He will show His power to bring in, finally and forever, the very nation He first called out of Egypt. He will answer the question that Israel’s historical predicament so eloquently asks. How will a people of such proven inability ever sufficiently keep the requirements of covenant holiness in such a way as to finally realize lasting and secure residence and blessing in the Land?
How will God who first called them out of Egypt and gave them the Land cause them to abide in lasting peace, with no invader ever again threatening? (2Sam 7:10; Amos 9:15, and many more).
It is one thing to bring them in. It is quite another to keep them there! How will such a nation with such a history ever be secure in their own Land as an “everlasting” inheritance, particularly if they are yet in natural bodies as the scripture makes plain? The answer, of course, is the “everlasting righteousness” of the New Covenant (Isa 45:17, 25; 59:21; Jer 31:31-34; 32:40; Dan 9:24).
When this will be established, not only with a remnant, but with “all Israel” (the whole of the nation), then will Israel lie down in safety, none making them afraid again forever. Then will His covenant “with THEM” be satisfied of all its specific promises and implications.
When will He do this?
When the Deliverer comes out of Zion to end the times of the Gentiles (Isa 59:20-21; Dan 12:1-2; Zech 3:9; 12:10 Mat 23:39; Lk 21:24; Acts 3:21; Ro 11:25-26).
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
This can only happen at the “set time” (Gen 17:21; 21:2; Ps 102:13; Dan 11:27, 35).
Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion:
for the time to favour her, yea, theset time, is come.
This appointed time is everywhere shown to be the great day of the Lord, often described as “that day”. It is the day of great transition between this ‘present evil age’ and the millennial day of the thousand years. It is the time when “the mystery of God is finished” with His return at the last trumpet (Isa 27:13; Mt 24:31; 1Cor 15:52; Rev 10:7; 11:15-18).
Why will He do this?
There are two main reasons that are inseparably related:
The first is stated in Romans 11:27
For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
The second is stated in 11:28-29, as further drawing out the implications of the great foundational purpose set down in Ro 9:11, 16, 18.
As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him who calls)
Romans 9:16, 18
So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. … Therefore He has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens.
So covenant election is why God has loved, appointed, preserved, and yes, predestined Israel. They are His means of demonstrating that His salvation is conducted along the lines of an eternal purpose that is not based on works, but upon His sovereign prerogative to choose on a wholly independent basis. This, since only on this basis can the promise be made “sure to all the seed”. And since only in this way is the glory for the fulfillment of all the requirements and conditions of salvation God’s alone through grace alone.
He MUST fulfill His covenant with them on a basis that brings no credit at all to them, but all the glory to His special initiative in grace towards them in particular (Eze 36:22, 32),
Now here’s an exercise I highly recommend.
Go through the Old Testament. Look for every reference that speaks of the climax of the covenant with Israel, that great time of ultimate transition between their constant exposure to covenant discipline and the great reversal that redeems and exalts this blinded, profoundly chastened people once and for all. Invariably this will always be the day of the Lord, whether or not that specific term is used.
It is always found as the climax of an unparalleled time of affliction and distress, called by Moses, the prophets, and Jesus, the great “tribulation”, a time like no other, ending in the day like no other. This is very simple and plain.
Now do this: see the conditions that prevail before this time and mark how radically Israel’s experience on this earth changes after this time. Observe all the radically transformed conditions that are described in such notable detail. Now ask yourself. How can words be preserved of their original intent and meaning and all of this be transferred, either to a present mystical experience in the Spirit or to the new heavens and earth of final, imperishable perfection? It just can’t be done!
No, quite clearly, if plain, non-figurative language means anything, these unprecedented, never before fulfilled conditions are realized on this present earth. And this, of course, demands an intermediate period between this age and the final perfection, the very millennium of which John gives the duration.
But even before a definite duration was revealed, it would have been clear to anyone that these post-tribulational conditions can only be fulfilled on this earth, in the presence of abiding imperfections that point on to yet another stage of even greater change.
The question is, where and when are all of these highly descriptive details of prophecy and promise to be fulfilled? Is this in a mystical realm?, or a new heavens and earth of ultimate, final perfection? The question answers itself.
Just note what a massive volume of scripture is devoted to Israel’s restoration. Where and when do such conditions prevail that have never before existed? Unless we are willing to discount the plain meaning of plain words, these yet imperfect conditions prevail on this earth AFTER the great and notable day of the Lord.
This simple observation of the radical ‘line of demarcation’ between what lies BEFORE the DOL and what follows AFTER will go far towards keeping the interpreter on course. It will establish, to some real degree, the soundness of one’s hermeneutic (method of interpretation), as the only sensible means of demonstrating the credible harmony of the whole of scripture in what I am fond of calling, “the glory of the story.”
In His great grace, Reggie