This is the ninth in a short 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.
Since 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
The Holy City Shall Be Built
Jeremiah 30-33 contains a great many OT prophecies of the Kingdom, strung together like the pearls of a beautiful necklace. Owing to its concrete historical imagery, this one is especially difficult. Is it amenable to a spiritual, New Covenant interpretation, or must we look for a literal fulfillment in a future millennium?
The Problem in a Nutshell
On the one hand, we can see from verse 40 that this is indeed an OTKP. God is clearly speaking of his eschatological City, a City that will not be plucked up or overthrown any more forever. In other words, according to the New Covenant Hermeneutic, he is actually speaking of the Church.
On the other hand, because this prophecy specifically mentions a number of geographical landmarks familiar to the Jews of Jeremiah’s day, it hardly seems possible that God could be referring to the Church; that he must instead be predicting a latter day restoration of physical Jerusalem, perhaps along the lines anticipated by premillenarians.