Throughout 10 Popular Prophecy Myths Exposed , Gary DeMar regularly points to errors made by Dispensationalists and concludes that everything they have taught must therefore be incorrect.
DeMar is correct that some Dispensationalists have made errors, but it does not necessarily follow that everything they have found, in the Scriptures, is incorrect. In fact, it is DeMar’s eschatology, postmillennialism, that consistently takes Scripture out of context. It is DeMar’s eschatology that denies the plain sense, meaning of Scripture.
Amillennialism, Postmillennialism, and Preterism, the related systems that DeMar upholds, have one thing in common; they all assert that Jesus Christ will not come and reign on the earth! This is in spite of the fact that Revelation 20 says, six times, that Jesus will reign on the earth with His resurrected saints for one thousand years! Essentially they are saying that God is a liar! That God says one thing and does another!
Now that is an attitude that dates back to the Garden!
DeMar points out that the Abrahamic covenant, of Genesis 17, is an everlasting covenant, that makes no mention of being postponed. Ultimately he claims that this covenant was transferred to the Church, and thus no longer applies to the physical descendants of Abraham.
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. Genesis 17:8
So Israel was kicked off the land, twice. Does this mean that the covenant no longer applies to them? Is Israel, in diaspora, still a nation? When Israel turned their backs on their God, does it mean that He is no longer their God?
After saying that he had divorced Israel, in verse 8, God turns around and says;
Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: Jeremiah 3:14
So, a divorce does not really end a marriage. Not in God’s eyes. So we can understand from this that, though God allowed Israel to go away for a time, He still wants them back. No. He did not transfer His promises to the Church, never to return them back to Israel.
“A fundamental question remains: Does the everlasting Abrahamic covenant mention anything about the possibility of postponements or delays? Dispensationalists are quick to point out that there are no conditions to the Abrahamic covenant,13 but they seem to ignore the fact that the postponements and delays they propose presuppose a conditional covenant. Where do we find a verse that reads something like this?: “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you although there may be delays or postponements”? If conditions cannot be added ex post facto, then neither should new definitions of everlasting be invented. ” (10 Popular Prophecy Myths Exposed , by Gary DeMar, page 69)
DeMar is forgetting that “context” in the bible means not only the verse before, and the verse after, but the context of the whole Word of God. God’s promise to Abraham must be taken in context of the whole bible. God made his promise to Abraham in spite of knowing that his descendants would abandon Him one day. Therefore, knowing the foreknowledge of God, it is not possible that God transferred his promises to the Church.
And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. Deuteronomy 28:64
Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour. Jeremiah 16:13
DeMar maintains that Jeremiah’s prophecy, that Israel would return after 70 years, is the only prophecy predicting their return, and since that return was accomplished there is no further need for them to return. Zechariah was a post-exilic prophet, who wrote during the reign of Darius, after Cyrus had made his famous proclamation for the return of the exiles. Zechariah speaks plainly of the return of both the Jews, of the southern kingdom, and Ephraim of the northern kingdom. When the tribes returned there were “forty and two thousand three hundred andthreescore” people who went back (Ezra 2:64), but there were millions who went into captivity seventy years earlier.
The majority of Israel never returned, but God Told us through Zechariah that, one day, they would;
6 And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them. 7 And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD. 8 I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. 9 And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again. 10 I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them. Zechariah 10:6-10
Since this passage was written AFTER the end of the 70 year exile, it follows that the return spoken of here is a yet future return.
DeMar points out that Israel did indeed possess all the land that God had promised them, implying that He has no obligation to return them again to it. Given the above quote from Zechariah, and numerous other passages in the bible that say Israel will return in the end times, it would make God a liar if He doesn’t give it to them again.
DeMar, in a sneaky sort of way, is actually calling God a liar!
“The New Testament says nothing about there being a need to fulfill the land promises. In fact, we are told, “When [God] had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land as an inheritance—all of which took about four hundred and fifty years” (Acts 13:19). There is no discussion about re-inheriting the land. The physical land of Israel has no role to play in the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant since the coming of Christ.” (DeMar, page 75)
Of course Jesus said that “not one jot or tittle of the law will fail”, and the land promises are included as a part of the law!
Not only this but a careful examination of one conversation between Jesus and the disciples reveals that God will restore the land to Israel, in His own time;
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 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 1:6-7
While the apostles were thinking in a fleshly way, when Jesus was setting up a spiritual kingdom, the Church, He does not deny that Israel’s kingdom would some day be restored. Actually, He tells them that it will be restored at a time predetermined by the Father.
Even going back to Jesus’ discussion with Pilate, we get a hint that there will be a time when Jesus will restore Israel’s earthly kingdom;
36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
The little word “now” in the last phrase is very important. “Now”, or “at this time” His kingdom is not from here. For the next two thousand years His kingdom is a heavenly kingdom. True believers are in heaven, even as we are on this earth (Ephesians 2:6), but the day is coming when Jesus will return with His raptured, and resurrected saints, and set up His kingdom on earth.
DeMar ends the chapter with the following observation;
“Another major tenet of dispensationalism is that the covenant made with Israel is unconditional. If this is true, then why did God have to suspend the prophetic timetable for Israel? Since modern-day Jews have returned to their homeland in unbelief, and this is said to be a fulfillment of Bible prophecy since, some contend, passages like Ezekiel 36 tell us that Israel will return in unbelief, then why couldn’t God have embraced an unbelieving Israel in the first century? ” (DeMar, page 79)
Evidently DeMar does not believe that the restoration of Israel in 1948 is a fulfilment of prophecy. I wonder what he would consider to be a fulfilment of prophecy?
Acts 1:6 really gives us the answer to DeMar’s final question; The times and seasons have been determined by the Father. God wanted to call out a people for Himself from all the nations of the world.
Once the fullness of the Gentiles comes in, then He will once again revert to dealing through Israel. As I said before, “the fullness of the Gentiles” does not refer to ALL the Gentiles, but to all the Gentiles that will be saved… when the last few stragglers come in! By this time most of the professing Church will be in a state of apostasy!
Jesus is not coming at a time when people are not thinking about Him, or His return. He will come at a time when professing Christians THINK He will not return! He will return at a time when Christians will have latched on to DeMar’s postmillennial idea that Jesus will not physically return to rule the earth! DeMar, as a leader in this movement, could actually be a fulfilment of prophecy, himself!
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Matthew 24:44
I hate to say it, but you will get a better understanding of biblical prophecy from the pages of The Spirit of Prophecy, than you will from reading DeMar’s book! Stepping from Dispensationalism into Postmillennialism is a step backward from a dim light into utter darkness!