This is the tenth in a series of posts dealing with the proper interpretation of Old Testament Kingdom Prophecy (OTKP). If you’re new to this subject (or to my blog), you’ll want to read the essay with which I introduced the series (just click here).
My goal in these eschatological adventures is two-fold.
First, I want to open up something of the Christ-centered truth and beauty of OTKP to my brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Secondly, I want to reason a little with my premillennial brethren. In particular, I want to make the case that we all will best understand, enjoy, and profit from OTKP when we see that its true sphere of fulfillment is: 1) Christ, 2) the New Covenant he instituted by his blood, 3) the two-staged spiritual Kingdom he has already introduced (and will soon consummate), and, 4) the New Covenant community he is creating out of elect Jews and Gentiles: the Church.
In short, I would like my premillennial brothers to reconsider the amillennial approach to the interpretation of OTKP.
Since the end of the age will soon be upon us, it is important that we stand together as much as possible. Seeing eye to eye on eschatology would definitely help. These essays—and the book in progress from which they are extracted—represent my best effort at contributing to that worthy goal.
Because the prophetic texts I deal with are quite long, I have not reproduced them here. You will need to bring an open Bible to each blog. My hope and prayer is that you will enjoy them all.
Ezekiel’s Oracles of Good News (Ezekiel 33-48)
This is the first of several blogs in which we will tackle some of the most challenging OTKP’s prophecies in the entire Old Testament. Because of their great difficulty, we are going to have to dig deep, so brace yourself!
Moreover, when the going gets rough, you have to promise me you won’t give up! Again, I recognize that these texts from Ezekiel are controversial, even among the scholars. However, if you will persevere, I believe you are in for a joyous surprise. That’s because the New Covenant Hermeneutic wonderfully opens up these daunting passages (passages you may have avoided for years), so much so that folks actually begin to catch a glimpse of the shape of biblical eschatology as a whole, and also of the winner in the Great End Time Debate!
My purpose in today’s post is to equip you for the journey ahead. The goal is to give you a feel for the context of the prophecies we will be studying; for their place in the overall flow of Ezekiel’s prophetic ministry. Happily, it turns out that this is relatively easy to do, since the book falls neatly into four well-defined sections.
Commentator Iain Duguid outlines them as follows:
Part I: Ezekiel’s Call and Commission (chapters 1-3)
Part II: Oracles of Doom (i.e., prophecies of coming judgment, spoken against apostate Jerusalem and her homeland, chapters 4-24)
Part III: Oracles Against the Nations (i.e., prophecies of coming judgment and redemptive mercy, spoken over Israel’s hostile neighbors, (chapters 4-24)
Part IV: Oracles of Good News (i.e., prophecies whereby Ezekiel arouses the hope and expectation of God’s people, chapters 33-48)