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Thy Kingdom Come (3): The Regeneration of Israel (cont.)

J Griffiths, Port Talbot

Their Capital City

Its Elevation

"Beautiful for situation (elevation), the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King" (Ps 48.2). Jerusalem, the metropolis of the world, the geographic (see Mercator’s Projection), religious, and political centre of the globe, is seen as elevated physically, elevated before the nations of the earth, and elevated also in the hearts of the children of Israel.

Great changes to geography and topography take place as the judgments of God target planet earth throughout the Great Tribulation. A great earthquake is predicted such as has not been experienced before. Islands are lost. Cities fall. The mount of Olives is cleft in two at the return of Christ (Zech 14.4,8,10) indicating that Jerusalem becomes a seaport. Fishing will take place in the Dead Sea (Ezek 47.10), and "All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon…and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited" (Zech 14.10). God will alter the configuration of the land so that it may be distributed amongst the tribes as outlined by Ezekiel (chs. 47-48).

The throne of Messiah will be in the temple. The temple will be set on mount Zion, the highest mountain in the millennial world, and the way of holiness will provide the route from Jerusalem city to the temple itself.

Its Environs

"For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about and will be the glory in the midst of her" (Zech 2.5). "And they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel" (Is 60.14). This is a city which, according to Ezekiel’s reed measurement, will have a 40 mile perimeter and an area of 100 square miles. Indeed, a worthy metropolis for His Divine Majesty: "The name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there" (Ezek 48.35).

No alien will be allowed to pass through it; sickness and destruction will be a thing of the past. Conditions will be like Eden, the paradise of God. The people of Jerusalem will be as heroes, likened to noble war steeds. The weakest inhabitant will be comparable with David and the house of David will be as God. The tenor of the greeting of one to another will be, "The Lord bless thee as he has blessed Zion". The curse on the city (Lk 19.42ff), will be lifted! The curse on the temple (Mt 23.38) will be lifted! The curses on the land (Deut 29.27) will be lifted! And, yes, the curse on the nation (Deut 28.15-20) will also be lifted!

The God, whose presence left the temple, left the city, and left via the mountain to the east, Olivet, for Glory, will return along the same route as He took at His departure. David reminds us in Psalm 24 that the Lord will present Himself at the gates of the city of Jerusalem. He visualizes the guard calling out, "Who is this King of glory?", as if Messiah has to identify Himself! He is the Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. The gates are opened and the King enters His capital city - Jesus shall reign: "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion" (Ps 2.6).

Their call to Service (Micah 4.2; Is 66.18-19)

During this golden age the gospel will be conveyed amongst Jew and Gentile from Zion. Jews will spread it, though it appears that Gentiles will evangelise their own peoples, too. The people of Israel will be called, "the Ministers of our God" (Is 61.6)!

The Role of the Nations

The King’s Subjects

The Gentile nations will no more be governed by the prince of the power of the air, the god of this age, as he is in the abyss. They will be the subjects of His Majesty, the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ; loyal citizens of His global empire. James, quoting from the prophets at the council of Jerusalem reports, "After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David…That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord" (Acts 15.16-17). "In that day…Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance" (Is 19.23-25). "I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there" (Ps 87.4). The psalmist suggests a roll-call of those entering the millennial kingdom, but ultimately the glory goes to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

The Gentiles will be Israel’s servants, Messiah’s subjects: "And they that are afar off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord" (Zech 6.15; see 14.16). "Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him" (Ps 72.11).

The Kingdom’s Society

To summarise: illness will be virtually eliminated (Is 35.3ff). Longevity will be normal (Is 65.20). Social righteousness will be enforced (Is 11.4-5). Large cities will be a thing of the past (Micah 4.4). National boundaries will be equitably decided (Acts 17.24). Equality of rights will be established (Is 19.25; Zech 2.11). Global disarmament and recycling of war materials proceed (Micah 4.3; Joel 3.10). All will agree with the last recorded song of the Scriptures: "Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of nations" (Rev 15.3, AV margin). What a wonderful society it will be! Only the Church experiences anything better.

The Role of the Church

Returning with Christ

The believers of this Church era will be raptured to glory at the coming of Christ to the air. Subsequent events in heaven relate to the rewarding of saints at the Judgment Seat of Christ and the union of Christ and the Church at the Marriage of the Lamb. Following these events in heaven, the Lord returns to earth, to the mount of Olives. We will be with Him - "Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints" (Jude v.14) i.e. in kingdom manifestation and glory.

Reigning with Christ

"And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on (over) the earth" (Rev 5.10). "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him" (2 Tim 2.12). "Ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Lk 22.30). To the genuine believer in the assembly at Laodicea the Lord promises, "I (will) grant to sit with me in my throne" (Rev 3.21).

Ruling with Christ

The overcomer at Thyatira is promised "power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron" (Rev 2.26-27). Paul asks the question, "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" (1 Cor 6.2). The parable of the pounds indicates that rewards given for faithful discharge of our duties now will result in our being rewarded with authority over millennial cities in the future (Lk 19.12-27).

Residing with Christ

To the Philadelphian overcomer Christ says, "I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God" (Rev 3.12). This city is seen to be the residency of God, Christ, and the Church, in relation to the Millennium and the Eternal State in Revelation 21.1 to 22.5. This city has descended from God, out of heaven and hovers over the earth giving light to it: "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it" (Rev 21.24). The Church is thus depicted as administering the earth in conjunction with the Prince of the Kings of the earth.

A pyramid of power is to be observed. God and the Lamb have full executive power. The Church shares with Christ in administering affairs on earth from the city. Israel has first nation status on earth in the Millennium and operates a form of devolved government throughout the Gentile world: "Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth" (Ps 45.16).

To be continued.


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