"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH - Part Two

By James Fire

The title of Messiah as expressed in the Scriptures is a title of Kingship; it certainly stands to reason that if one is a King, then there must be a corresponding kingdom over which they rule. It's an interesting point of fact that the very word 'kingdom' is a contraction of the 'king's domain'.

The LORD Jesus, when in the presence of others, heard them speak of the Messiah, and His response was that He Himself claimed to be the One! See JOHN 4:25-26 and MATT. 16:15-16. The apostles looked to Jesus the Messiah to restore the Kingdom of Israel (ACTS 1:6), and His response was that the Father was keeping the time of that blessed event Himself.

Every where in the Old Testament canon, it speaks of the kingdom of Israel with prophetic authority as well as passages that ascribe the Messiah as the One worthy of ruling such. We shall endeavor to examine many of these passages and discover what this kingdom will entail. 


Certainly when the Word speaks of Jesus Christ coming back at His Second Coming, and establishing His righteous reign upon the Earth, we may equitably equate this with His reign from Jerusalem over Israel in fulfillment of God's promises to Abraham (GEN. 15:1-18; GEN. 22:8, 18) and David (2 SAM. 7:8-17; PS. 89:3-4, 20-24, 34-37) via the unconditional covenants that He made with them as well as His rule over the Gentile nations (REV. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15). This descriptive has been given the New Testament appellation of 'the Millennium” ("mille" means a thousand and "annium" means years).

Before the commencement of the Millennial reign of Christ, He will have a bit of unfinished business on the Earth. He will arrive at His Second Coming and approach the Middle East where the Beast and his global armies are arrayed about the nation of Israel, ready to smite the nation and destroy the Jewish people once and for all. Yet the LORD Jesus Christ intervenes and with but a spoken word takes him (and the false Prophet) down (2 THESS. 2:8). He will move against the armies of the nations whose intent was to massacre His people and wreak such vengeance as has never been witnessed in all the annals of history!

ISAIAH 42:13-15

13 The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.
14 I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.
15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.

REVELATION 19:11-15

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

REVELATION 14:19-20

19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.


Once all of this has been accomplished, the reign of rebellious man will be over with and the greater reign of Satan will be summarily dismissed as “the god of this world” (2 COR. 4:4); the title he gained when Adam, God's appointed steward over the world, fell into sin. He and no doubt all of the fallen angels and demons in his domain of darkness will be dispatched to the abyss during the entire time of the Millennium (REV. 20:1-3).

The LORD will then begin to establish His rightful reign and all that this entails, politically, spiritually, even environmentally as the Earth's ecology is transformed, along with the animal and plant kingdoms! We will look into all of these aspects throughout this series!

Previously we left off examining ISAIAH 2:1-5 where we saw the Kingdom of Israel exalted above the nations, and all the nations of the world going to worship the LORD in Jerusalem and how that they will know war no longer. Let's continue with the Messianic Prophet, Isaiah as he relates by Divine inspiration to us on this blessed time to come! 

ISAIAH 4:1-6

And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
2 In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
5 And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.
6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.

“The branch of the LORD” is also named “the righteous Branch” in JERE 23:5 and 33:15 and one of the many titles for the Messiah; in the same verse it speaks of the fruit of the Earth being “excellent and comely” - no more GMO's! Among many other references regarding produce, that during the time of the Millennium such growth will be quite extraordinary (IS. 51:3-4; EZEK. 36:34-36).

Among the entire population of national Jews that go through the “time of Jacob's Trouble” (JERE 30:7), only one third shall survive to it's conclusion (ZECH. 13:8-9) and these “that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem.” Consider verse 4 also in the text above.

The LORD in His magnanimous intentions will prepare the dwelling places for His people and care for them even as He did when Moses led the children of Israel through the wilderness, providing a pillar of fire for them by night and a cloud by day to shade them from the heat.

The following passage in Isaiah is an oft quoted verse that we read a lot at Christmas time:

ISAIAH 9:6-7

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

This child, this 'seed of the woman' (GEN. 3:15), 'the seed of Abraham' (GAL. 3:16) is the Son given to us (JOHN 3:16; GAL. 4:4) and we know His Name, JESUS – (MATT. 1:21) Who came to save us from our sins, for the sins of the whole world and yet also He is called “the Prince of Peace” and the government shall be His, the very throne of David, which shall not have a terminus but endure forever.

It is simply amazing to me that with such blatant passages as these, that there are still some professing Christians who will deny that Israel has any destiny as the long awaited kingdom which Messiah will rule over. As observed previously, what is a King – a Jewish King – without a kingdom of Jews? Yet there are myriad other Scriptures to be examined that proclaim the very same things!

Certainly the apostles were to go forth and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (ACTS 1:3-6) but not to the exclusion of waiting for the restoration of Israel's own kingdom!

Isaiah Chapter 11 is a profoundly recognizable Messianic chapter:

ISAIAH 11:1-3

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

This rod is representative of rule, out of the “stem of Jesse” as in the Davidic line; here again we see the reference to the “Branch” and then in verse two we recognize the passage which our LORD Himself found when He was in a synagogue, deliberately quoting the first portion (vs. 1-3) and leaving the remaining passage off (LUKE 4:16-21). “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears,” He said. 

The LORD didn't go on reading the rest of this passage quite simply because the time of its fulfillment was not yet. One could justifiably say that the LORD Jesus was a dispensationalist, because He taught that certain aspects of the Word would be fulfilled at different times, apparently under different modes of God's operation. In this first half of the passage, it deals with the Spirit of the LORD Who has anointed the Messiah with this seven fold ministry with which to serve the people according to grace. In the second portion however, there is “the smiting of the earth” and pronouncement of judgment and destruction of the wicked – which the LORD certainly did not do during the time of His earthly ministry, nor is He doing such now, but He will on the day appointed.

ISAIAH 11:4-5

4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

This is a blessed reassurance to know that when the LORD returns, injustice, corruption, iniquity and oppression will not be tolerated in the least; that righteousness shall be the absolute rule from the throne of David! He will judge the poor with righteousness, He will reprove on behalf of the meek, those would be oppressors! He is the righteous and faithful One whose reign will be glorious and a fantastic joy for the saints!

ISAIAH 11:6-9

6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

There are those who would claim the above passage as mere allegory, but if one takes the account of Genesis literally, there is no reason to assume these verses are anything but literal. When the LORD created the animal kingdom there was no death (prior to the fall of mankind), and thus there would be no predators and prey. All was harmonious and peaceful, and there was no blood shed. The above passage portrays predators like wolves, leopards, and lions (and tigers?) and bears (oh my!) are laying comfortably along side of lambs, calves and other would-be prey – yet all of them feeding on grass like an ox and willingly being led by “a little child”; such will be the passivity of such creatures, even such lethally vicious things like the asp, upon whose dwelling a nursing child shall play! Not only will the animal kingdom be at peace among its many members, but also with mankind as well. They shall no longer have the fear of man in their souls!

The LORD declares that nothing shall hurt or destroy in all of His holy mountain (again, mountains may be considered symbolically as kingdoms). The last portion of this verse states that the “knowledge of the LORD shall cover all the Earth just as waters cover the sea! How profound is that statement! Where in all the seas isn't there water? Just as thoroughly as the seas are covered by water, just so will the knowledge of the LORD inundate the populace of the world! Atheism, Agnosticism, skepticism will all finally be dead and gone!

ISAIAH 11:10, 12

10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

In verses 10 and 12 we find that “the root of Jesse” the Messiah of Israel will stand as a standard for the people (Israel). Standards or ensigns (flag staffs) were often used in ancient cultures, and even as late as the Civil War period in guiding troops along the way. Here, the LORD Himself is the guide for His people Israel, but not only Israel; the Gentile nations likewise will seek out His guidance and leading – and find them in the Person of Jesus Christ “and His rest shall be glorious”!

Even today, the LORD is gathering His people into the land, however there are still about two Jews outside the borders of Israel for every Jew living there now. One could well imagine that during the time of the Tribulation (“the time of Jacob's Trouble”) that these numbers within Israel's borders will greatly diminish as Jews flee for their lives from the Beast and the global forces under his command, when once he is intent on Israel's destruction!

However, He shall assemble the “outcasts of Israel” and “gather together the dispersed of Judah” from the all the world over! Just as a faithful shepherd gathers together His flock, so the LORD lovingly and tenderly will seek out His people and bring them into such rest and blessedness and “abundance of peace” that they have never before experienced in all of her long history! How I long to see this nation so blessed like this, and there is every assurance that this will be their heritage, granted by the LORD God Almighty!
Sandwiched in between verses 10 and 12 we have verse 11: this is a most notable and pivotal prophetic utterance, a hinge pin upon which most all other last days prophecies swing!

ISAIAH 11:11
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea

One important thing to consider where prophecy is concerned: our GOD is a GOD that dwells in eternity (IS. 57:15) and so for Him, the past and present and future are all virtually the same thing. So when prophetic utterances were given to the seers and prophets of the Old Testament, they were often mystified by the Word of the LORD, particularly where they concerned the Messiah of Israel. Many passages seem to contradict one another, or appear out of sequential order. Such is what we find here in ISAIAH 11:10-12. Verses 10 and 12 are specifically about the time of the Kingdom under the Messiah, which will transpire during the Millennium; verse 11 however is a prophecy that has and is taking place today.

From 70 A.D. Up until May 14, 1948 Israel did not exist as a nation. The same could be said during the time of the Babylonian captivity centuries before. At this earlier time, under the order of King Cyrus of the Medo-Persian empire, Israel was permitted to go back to the land from which they were taken by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. That was the first time that the Jews were regathered into the land. In 1948 they were regathered into the land – the second time and that's what this passage is addressing!

Where in Scripture does it speak of Israel being regathered a third time? What about a fourth? Or a fifth? Search as you may, you won't find any such passage. Israel according to prophecy will be regathered a second time and that is it! Once regathered, they will not be dispersed again when once the Messiah returns and reigns from Jerusalem.

This is why we understand that May 14th 1948 is so crucial prophetically; it indicates that since Israel is finally regathered the second time, with no further diaspora in store in the future, that all of the other prophetic declarations regarding this nation must then be fulfilled in proper order and fashion. The next course of prophetic utterances that we see concerning the nation are found (predominantly) in the book of Revelation. We may soundly conclude therefore that since the Jewish people have in fact been regathered the second time into the land, that we are currently living in the last days prior to the coming of Christ Jesus, the LORD and Messiah of Israel!

Now let's move on to the next passage found in ISAIAH:

ISAIAH 30:18-21

18 And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:
21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

The Prophet Isaiah warned Israel of impending judgment and sought by the Spirit of the LORD to admonish them to change their ways (IS. 30:1-9), but the people, especially the leaders rebelled against the word of the LORD (IS. 30:2, 6, 10-12, 16) and so the warnings intensify and increase (IS. 30:7, 13- 14,17).

Then there seems to be a break that is at once applicable to the situation at hand, but also foretells of a time yet ahead as written in vs. 18. From vs. 19 the LORD speaks of the people who will dwell in Zion at Jerusalem which shall no longer weep though they had gone through such ordeals of affliction and adversity (vs. 20). This is certainly reminiscent of other Scriptures denoting the time of Jacob's Trouble following which is that time of rest, blessing, graciousness and Divine guidance.

The second half of this chapter addresses the various issues of the LORD's chastening of the nations (vs. 27-28, 30-33) and Israel's utter rejection of idolatry and the worship of false gods (vs. 22); also healing and blessing for His people (vs. 23-26, 29); note in vs. 26 that the Scripture speaks of the light of the sun and moon intensifying by a multiple of seven. Has this ever happened in all the history of the world? Not so you'd notice! This in itself indicates that this time period is something yet ahead. 

Not to mention the fact that this time speaks of rest and peace for Israel: certainly nothing like this has ever happened in that nation, not since well before Isaiah's time during perhaps the reign of King David, and more probably in the reign of his son, Solomon (though towards the end of his reign, he fell into compromise in rearing up false gods to please his Gentile wives!).

ISAIAH 32:15-20

15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.
16 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
19 When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.
20 Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.

Here in this passage we recognize that the land of Israel will by the LORD's command become a “fruitful field” and everywhere within her borders there shall be righteousness, assurance and quietness. The LORD's people shall dwell in peaceable habitations. 
There will be no further ravaging of the nation, nor any false claims by usurpers as is too, too common today. It's encouraging to know that even while Israel is going through continual pummeling and propaganda ploys by nefarious leadership and media, these will ultimately be silenced and removed by the hand of the LORD! 

Here we must stop in our examination of Scriptures as they relate to the exciting and joyous time known as the Millennium, but we shall continue very soon and look at more passages from Isaiah and all of the other pertinent prophets of the Old Testament, and then move forward to see what revelations we have in the New Testament. Until then, the LORD bless and keep you! Keep your eyes on the skies and don't believe the lies: JESUS CHRIST RETURNS SOON from the skies!

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