My provocative response to Dr. Waldron
The following is my initial response to Dr. Waldron’s critique of the Pre-Millennial view. Again, Dr. Waldron was reviewing a book by Barry Horner. The series by Dr. Waldron dealt with many topics which Horner deals with, but this particular post was aimed at the basics of the Pre-Millennial view. Here is what I posted on Illumination.
I appreciate your series while disagreeing with portions of it. I do not agree with Horner’s views, but I am a PreMillennialist. I hope you don’t mind me expressing some views from another point of view here on your website.
Jesus did use logic, this is true. We also must use logic. It is interesting to read an A-Millennialist writing on Ezekiel 40-48 to say what it is not, but I haven’t read what they actually say it is as of yet.
Here is the question: Would the re-establishment of a Levitical priesthood contradict New Testament teachings? No. You cite Hebrews 7:11-24 and then say that the passage says that the Levitical priesthood was replaced by a better hope. I didn’t read the word "replaced" anywhere in the passage. In fact, since Christ is a priest after the order of Melchizedek and not after the order of Aaron, there can be no replacing, only superiority when comparing the two completely differing orders. That’s what the passage is actually saying. So the re-establishment of a Levitical priesthood within a future, restored, ethnic Israel would not contradict this scripture.
As far as the observances of Sabbaths, new moons, and possible religious calendar, we observe the days of the weeks, months (moons) and yearly observances right now. Are you saying that since we observe days of the week, months, and years right now that it is a denial of the person and work of Christ? You see that this is absurd. If there is a re-establishment of Sabbaths during a kingdom established by Messiah here on earth, it will be for the same reason as before, to point to creation. The Sabbath was an observance that God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh day. To observe the Sabbath would not be a denial of the person and work of Christ, but a RECOGNITION of Christ as Creator.
In Galatians 4:8-11, Paul was addressing those who thought they had to observe the law in order to continue in their salvation. The issue is one of salvation by grace through faith. Colossians points out the term that you use, "shadow". You would say that once the object casting the shadow shows up, that the shadow no longer exists. The law was and is fulfilled in Christ. Once Messiah comes again, the law is not done away with, but fulfilled and established. His Word endures forever. You may have dealt with Horner’s view, but as far as PreMillennialism, I don’t feel you have adequately addressed the issue.
For the issue of sin offerings, I would ask how you know that types and shadows cannot serve as memorials? Was the Passover a memorial? Was it also a type and shadow? You know the answer to both questions is "yes". And this is our primary example of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross! But you would say that because we are on the other side of the cross now the rules are different.
The passage you quote in Hebrews 10:8-10 does not state that shadow sin offerings have been abolished, but instead the passage refers to the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Psalm 40:6-8) that the Messiah would be THE sacrifice. He takes away the first, that He may establish the second. Yes the law pointed to Christ through sacrifices which were the shadow. But those OT sacrifices never forgave any sin anyway, it was all by grace through faith, as Hebrews 11 goes on to demonstrate.
So if national Israel is restored, would the reinstitution of sacrifices go against these New Testament verses? No. They could function as a witness to the nations during the millennium (which I know you don’t believe is future, but permit my foolishness). They could function as intercessory sacrifices on behalf of nations which still walk in darkness. They could function as a memorial just as Passover was a memorial with no ability to cleanse anyone of sin.
The observance of the LORD’s table currently is a remembrance of a past sacrifice which serves as a witness that He will come (I Corinthians 11:26, Matthew 26:29, looking both back and forward. If there is a literal 1000 years, we will have a period in time which one will look back to the establishment of Christ’s rule, and look forward to the ultimate consummation. Jesus is the great and final (actually only) sin offering, but God has established many ways throughout the Old and New Covenants to point to Himself.
I’m sure that you have researched your position thoroughly, but I’m afraid that you have only dealt with Horner’s views and not the PreMillennial stance in your post here.
Please understand that I am not a dispensationalist. I am currently reviewing Covenant Theology and Progressive Dispensationalism, but I am definitely a PreMillennialist. I appreciated your series on MacArthur’s Millennial Manifesto and am enjoying this series as well. God bless you as you continue to write.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman