"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, July 31, 2016

The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH - Part Seven

By James Fire


We are just about done with the book of Isaiah, however we have a few more verses to consider in the last chapter (66) but then there is much to consider in the Old Testament Scripture regarding the Millennial Reign of the Messiah before we turn to the New Testament Scripture!
One vital point to be made regarding this time period is that it is inextricably linked to the Gospel message. The whole point of salvation is redemption from sin and rescue from the kingdom of darkness, and for fellowship with the LORD and reservations made in the kingdom of God for all who will receive Christ as their Savior.



We won’t be ‘strumming on harps’ in heaven for all eternity saints, there will be sacred work to be done in the name of the LORD; blessed, satisfying work that will glorify God – and this will transpire during the Millennial Reign of Jesus the Messiah of Israel, as well as in the eternal kingdom where He shall reveal the new heavens and the new earth (see vs. 22), and the New Jerusalem!
Exciting times beyond imagining, don’t you agree?

 Let’s look at these last few verses in Isaiah . . .

ISAIAH 66:1-2
Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Indeed, the Eternal and Infinite LORD Who “inhabits eternity” (ISAIAH 57:15) could hardly be contained in any house of man’s own building. His ultimate dwelling is within the hearts of those that He makes His own – via the spiritual rebirth.
And yet during the Millennial period, there will be a temple built in Jerusalem in which the Levitical priests will officiate in their sacred duties (see vs. 21); these verses are found almost exclusively in the book of Ezekiel, with precise dimensions of the temple and the ceremonies that will be conducted there.
For an excellent video tour of this amazing structure, let's visit BIBLIA PRINTS web site and learn about this temple as described in EZEKIEL Chapters 40-43 (click on the preceding link).
And then there is the New Jerusalem where no temple will be found, because the glory of God and of the Lamb will dwell within all of its holy walls and they themselves be the temple (REV. 22:23).

God has, and will always be pleased to dwell with those who are “poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at [His] Word.”

REV 21:3
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

In this last chapter of Isaiah, the LORD issues His reassurance to His people: He who has brought His people back (the second time, ISAIAH 11:11) as a nation, will fulfill all of His promises to them by establishing His King in Zion and the Kingdom of Israel (PSALM 2:6; ACTS 1:6-7).

ISAIAH 66:5-9
5 Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
6 A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompence to his enemies.
7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.
8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.

Israel’s “brethren that hated” them – I believe is a reference to the ‘half-brother’ of Israel, branching off from Isaac, that is, Ishmael; and even in a spiritual sense in as much as Jacob was God’s chosen, while Esau was “despised” (MAL 1:2; ROM 9:13) – the nations that are Semitic but not in lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The LORD will certainly fulfill all of His good Word to Israel, which has been brought back to her national land, and even now, in a condition of unbelief and comprising of a socialist state, will one day embrace their Messiah and have their kingdom restored as the glorious and actual Theocracy with Jesus reigning from the throne of His father, David!

ISAIAH 66:12-16
12 For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.
13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
14 And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.
15 For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.

Not since the days of King David, and even more so his son, King Solomon, have the Gentile nations lavished Israel with gifts, blessings, alliances and admirations; yet these shall pale in comparison to the nations when Jesus reigns as Messiah “and the glory of the Gentiles [shall be] like a flowing stream”. The LORD by His Spirit will bring comforts to the nation, as a mother does her child.
See the tender care and love that Almighty God has for the people He has chosen for Himself – not that they are deserving of such love, but He is glorified by such display of love according to His grace (unmerited favor) towards them.
Such is His love for all of us, through the Person of Christ Jesus, without Whom, there would be no such grace extended towards us undeserving sinners. All of us are recipients of God’s love according to His grace, both Jews and Gentiles, through the LORD Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel.

Note verses 15 and 16 and how these cross reference to other passages like ISAIAH 63:1-3; 2 THESS 1:8 and REV 19:15.

ISAIAH 66:22-23
22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.
23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.

While the old Earth and heavens will be wrapped up and tossed aside, so that they are no more (ISAIAH 51:6; REV 20:11), the New Heavens and Earth will be eternal and never pass away; nor according to God’s Word will the seed of Israel and His name ever pass away – but remain forever in the Kingdom of God!
Yet before then, during the Millennial Reign, all the nations shall come before the LORD in Jerusalem, to Mt. Zion and worship the LORD (“from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another” see MICAH 4:1-3).

And so closes the book of Isaiah! So without further delay, let us now turn to the book of Jeremiah where we shall learn yet more about this incredible, awesome time that we saints are destined for!

JEREMIAH 23:3-8
3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.
5 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.
7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
8 But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

Again, when it comes to the prophetic, there is often a lack of chronological order – things in the near future are spoken of (like the regathering of the nation of Israel the second time (ISAIAH 11:11; vs. 8)) but then events in the distant future are mentioned previously (such as the reigning Messiah Jesus over the nation (vs. 5-6). In the regathering of Israel, God brings them from all nations, but specifically mentions the north country.
There was a remarkable immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union – “the north country” into Israel that exceeded 1.5 million Jews. Certainly this verse refers to this hugely significant event.

It was the LORD Himself that drove His people to other countries some two thousand years ago, using the Roman Empire to accomplish this; and He did so as chastisement of Israel for rejecting their Messiah King, Jesus of Nazareth.
Yet the same God Who drove His people out has and is drawing His people back to the land. This process is ongoing, and I believe that once the church is raptured out of this world, it will increase exponentially until the Messiah arrives – at which time, He will use faithful shepherds to tend to their needs so that they will experience no lack whatsoever. It states that they will no more fear or be dismayed, that they “shall be saved” and “dwell safely” (vs. 6) – which to me suggests that this isn’t something occurring presently, as the people in the land are experiencing all sorts of violence such that they have reason for fear. This is yet future “. . . in His days . . .” (vs. 6).

Then the Scripture here addresses the righteous Branch, a descendent of King David, of the House of Judah as mentioned in vs. 5 (See ISAIAH 11:1; JER 33:15; ZECH 3:8; 6:12) which is a prophetic symbol of the King of Israel, Who will reign and prosper and execute justice throughout all of the Earth. All corruption and injustice will then be brought to an immediate end and promptly judged without any chance of reprieve. The justice of our Holy God is a formidable thing indeed!

JEREMIAH 31:6-8
6 For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God.
7 For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.
8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.

I am finding that as these days continue, my yearning and hope are kindled to well-nigh fever pitch for Israel’s King to come and establish His holy government, and to hear the call for people the world over to come to Zion and there praise the holy King, “glorious in His apparel” (IS 63:1) “traveling in the greatness of His strength. . . [Who] speaks in righteousness, mighty to save.”! It will be such an astounding time of unparalleled grace, peace and joy and love that this world has never experienced before!

Here again, there is mention of bringing His people from “the north country” – as well as the coasts of the Earth (from lands across the seas). The LORD’s tender compassion will allow no blindness, deafness, sicknesses and crippling during His glorious reign, even though the Jews were gathered in such conditions as these in days not long past.

JEREMIAH 31:9-11
9 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
10 Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
11 For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.

The LORD has refused the stewardship of faithless shepherds that did not care for His flock (EZEK 34:1-10) and takes Israel in Hand personally and leads them (EZEK 34:11-16) to their glorious destiny! His care for them as a father is true to the very nature of God, a father to the fatherless and caregiver to the widow – and so He shall lead them in “the straight way” (JOHN 14:6) and “by the rivers of water” (JN 7:38).

The LORD our REDEEMER is still in the ministry of redeeming lost souls, both Jew and Gentile, and He shall continue to do so until the end of the ages, but there will come a time when His redemption according to His grace will be a finished work, and judgment will be conducted upon all those who reject that offered redemption.
Even now, Israel is experiencing redemption in the sense of being restored to the sort of nation that the LORD intends for them; and He is the Defender of His people Israel as a faithful Kinsman Redeemer and Avenger of Blood (see article above).

He is redeeming His people from “the hand of him that was stronger than he (Israel)” and this certainly includes Satan, the chief adversary of Israel as well as the church, but it also includes those entities that our enemy is using against God’s people – such as the UN, the EU, traditionally and soon to come – the Russian nation, the Islamic nations, and even – sadly – the United States these days. Yet all of these enemies of Israel will be vanquished by the LORD Jesus Christ (PSALM 2) and our God will establish the Messiah’s throne in Jerusalem, in Zion.

JEREMIAH 31:12-14
12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
14 And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord.

In all the dealings that the LORD has with sinners, His primary and chiefest goal and affection is their salvation. He sows the seed of the Word, which brings forth fruit (“for wheat”), He has delivered His own Beloved Son, He Who is the Messiah of Israel as an offering for sin by blood (“the wine”) and thus has the Holy Spirit enabled to dwell in the hearts of those who express faith in the Gospel (“the oil”).
He is that faithful shepherd that tends to His flock, He is that diligent husbandman that seeks His garden to flourish.
Far from being a God that wants to deprive people of joy and contentment, He only desires to bless and edify and prosper, but in His Holy Wisdom, He understands that ‘sin isn’t really fun’ – pleasing to the flesh, yes, but ultimately it brings forth nothing but destruction and ruin and death – in its own good time. The satisfaction and blessing that the LORD seeks to bless us with is not in ‘stuff’ that He can – and does offer – but with His very own goodness! That is, Himself.

JEREMIAH 31:23
23 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The Lord bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness
.


This is an intriguing prophecy that relates to the language (“this speech”) in the land, referring to Hebrew; for some thousands of years, the common people of the nation didn’t speak Hebrew, but mostly Aramaic, a blend of Hebrew and other Semitic languages. During the earthly ministry of Jesus, the only people who spoke Hebrew were the priests of Levi. Yet here the LORD declares that the Hebrew language shall once again be spoken and so it has come to pass!

ZEPHANIAH 3:9
9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent
.

Today the Hebrew language is spoken with various ‘upgrades’ and revisions, to include the expressions of modern experiences – previously there was no Hebrew word for “television” or “nuclear physics” and so on. The language is in full use, but the remaining aspects of these prophecies are yet – YET! – to be fulfilled:

There will be justice and holiness in the people of Israel, they shall all serve the LORD “with one consent” and that will be a blessed day and cause for rejoicing! As the apostle Paul stated in ROMANS:

ROMANS 11:12
12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
 

Continuing on then in JEREMIAH . . .

JEREMIAH 31:27-28
27 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.
28 And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the Lord.

The LORD’s attention never waivers from His people Israel; He may place them ‘on the shelf’ as it were, for a time, when they are in a period of chastening, during such periods – He plucks them up from the land, and breaks down their religious practices (their pagan as well as the authentic, but the latter when mixed with pride is just as unacceptable), throws down their government and destroys their military might – everything that they might depend on rather than the LORD God Himself.

Yet the LORD with just as much fastidious watchfulness keeps His eyes on His people to bring about their rebuilding and their replanting, and to establish both nation and government under His own beloved rule, which is soon to arrive! All of this hinges, not on the old Mosaic covenant (note vs. 32 below), but rather on the (then) new covenant, the covenant we have had in this world for the last 2000 years!

JEREMIAH 31:31-34
31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

This new covenant, this New Testament, has always been intended for Israel; the fact that we Gentiles have the opportunity to partake of this sacred pact is because Israel has initially rejected it, because they rejected the Messiah by which the new covenant is established:

ROMANS 11:11-12,15-17
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

Israel shall indeed receive the Messiah and His new covenant, though now they are blind to both Him and it (ROM 11:7-8); that blindness shall be removed one day – at the time of “the fullness of the Gentiles” – that is, when the church which is the bride of Christ is completed (when the last soul is saved that God intends to make part of His church). Then Israel will receive her Messiah, and enter into this new covenant and receive the Spirit of God just as the church has done for her entire history (See EZEK 36:26; ROM 11:25-27). At that time Israel will be just as intimate with the LORD as we who are the church are, having the Spirit indwell them – how I can’t wait for that Day!!

I know that the LORD’s covenant with Israel is still valid and that He has not cast away His people because the sun and moon and stars are still with us today and they are still as unfathomable as the day when God first created them. What do I mean by this? Let’s read this final passage before we close this article:

JEREMIAH 31:35-37
35 Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name:
36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever.
37 Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.

The LORD here is saying that if these things “depart from [Him]” then may Israel cease from “being a nation forever”. This is much in the same spirit as the words of the LORD Jesus Himself when He declared,

MATT 24:35
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away
.


That is how solid, sure and dependable God’s Word is, and if He states that He will remain faithful to Israel and keep them, then we can be assured that He will do so; we must also bear in mind that not all of the descendants of Abraham are inheritors of the promises of God, but only those who express the same faith in God that Abraham did, not faith in religion, or traditions, or even the Law – in regards to salvation or in maintaining salvation (See ROMANS 4:1-16).


And so, we shall end this article and pick up once again another time, peering into the wondrous Word of the LORD, discovering (or re-discovering as the case may be), His awesome promises to Israel, and also to the Gentiles, when the LORD returns and reigns from Jerusalem, over all the nations; glory to His Holy Name!

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