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Sunday, November 25, 2018

The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH - Part Twelve: Concluding the Old Testament Examination


By James Fire

After eleven articles we are nearing the end of the Old Testament survey on the doctrine of the Millennium. We will examine the primary passages left in the minor prophets (from Hosea to Malachi) and then venture into the New Testament (this will start in Part 13) and see what we can learn about this glorious time in that part of canon.

There are some who believe the promised kingdom of Israel, with the LORD reigning from Jerusalem is over; that all these verses in the Old Testament that declares this promise are null and void under the New Testament because the Jews rejected their Messiah.
Nothing could be further from the truth – as we have seen, and shall continue see!


HOSEA 3:4-5
4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: 5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days
.

At the beginning of this short chapter, the prophet is told to find his estranged wife and purchase her back from the slave market, as she had fallen on hard times after faithlessly leaving him and found herself in bondage. 

Just as the prophet displayed grace towards his wandering wife, and purchased her back, the LORD was speaking to His people Israel – who herself had fallen away from her Beloved. He would redeem Israel, who would be without a king, without a temple, without anything that once was hers, becoming destitute, just like Hosea’s wife.
Such is the situation with Israel today – the State of Israel today is a Socialist Democracy, not a kingdom (“without a king”) and since 70 A.D. the Jews have been without their Temple (“without a sacrifice”). Yet this isn’t the end of Israel because it states “Afterward” – a hopeful future is in store because God foretells that she will “seek the LORD their God” and, very interestingly enough “David their king” which is specified to happen “in the latter days.”

How could Israel seek David their king in the latter days? Hosea wrote this somewhere between 786 and 746 B.C.); king David died two hundred years before this writing!

One could allegorize this passage, but without any justification from the text. The only possible answer is that Israel returns to the LORD, and a resurrected king David (and all the OT saints that expressed faith in the coming Messiah who will likewise be resurrected; HOS 13:14; EPH 4:8-9; 1 PET 3:18-19) reigns once again in Jerusalem. But you might say, isn’t the Messiah supposed to reign? Yes, and the LORD Jesus will no doubt be an overlord of sorts, or emperor if you like: the KING of Kings and LORD of Lords.
I believe this will happen in the latter days, when the kingdom of Israel, the Millennial reign of Christ is inaugurated.

We have already seen many passages in this series that indicates Israel will experience a glorious revival in returning to faith, and expressing allegiance to their true Messiah, Y’shua! They will return and experience the fear of the LORD “and His goodness”!

The people of Israel will no longer serve false gods, or their own ways, but return to the LORD Who has promised His love to them, having turned His anger away (HOS 2:23; 14:4,7-8).

The prophet Joel begins his book much like Hosea – with the pronouncement of impending judgment, specifically addressed as the Day of the LORD, but like Hosea – and most of the Old Testament prophets, especially the post-Exilic prophets, there is the last word of hope and coming expectation of the LORD receiving His people back and restoring them, even exceeding restoration, and blessing them as never before!

The Day of the LORD is declared in JOEL 1:15, a time of distressful and dire judgment upon the land and the people of Israel, as well as the Gentile nations. It is mentioned in  ISAIAH 2:11-17; 3:11-26; 13:6-13; JER 46:10; LAM 1:1-22; 2:1-22; EZEK 7:1-20; 30:1-3 in the major prophets, and multiple verses in the minor prophets as well as verses found in the New Testament. 

The Day of the LORD is when the LORD makes Himself known to Israel and the Gentile nations in judgment and then in mercy – ultimately manifesting Himself when He comes to reign and rule among the people of the Earth. It includes the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy, and the Millennial Reign, at the end of which He destroys those who follow Satan in his last rebellion, and finally consigns the devil to the lake of fire (REV 20:7-10).


The fierceness of the wrath of God is spent, but at the end of it all He draws His people back and He not only receives them but imparts to them His Spirit!


JOEL 2:28-32
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:  29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.


He will bring judgment upon all the nations that stood against Israel, every nation that sought her destruction:

JOEL 3:1-2
1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land
.

There is far too much disputing in the Middle East about who has right to the land of Israel. The Jews say one thing, the Palestinians another. There is NO controversy. According to JOEL 3:2, the land belongs to GOD, and He decided on His own sovereignty to give it to the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and NO ONE ELSE!
There is that prophecy with which we are quite familiar, and typifies that condition that Israel will find herself in:

JOEL 3:16-21
16 The Lord also shall roar out of Zion and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. 17 So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. 18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth out of the house of the Lord and shall water the valley of Shittim. 19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. 20 But Judah shall dwell forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. 21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwelleth in Zion
.


Then in the book of Amos, we find the following passage:

AMOS 9:8-15
8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord. 9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. 10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us. 11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: 12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this. 13 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. 14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them. 15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God
.

This is what is known as “the remnant” as has been expounded upon earlier. Of the many (the general population of Israel), the few come out, “a third” Scripture states (ZECH 13:9), from the fiery furnace of this Time of Jacob’s Trouble. After this tremendous hardship “as a woman in travail” (ISAIAH 13:8; JER 4:31) with blackness on every face (JOEL 2:6) the LORD will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen (vs. 11 in our text), prosper the land (vs. 13,14) and build the waste cities (vs. 14); He will extend His mercy and grace and His great kindness (JOEL 2:13) to those who will rend their hearts in repentance.

The LORD concludes that at this time of prophecy, He will plant them upon their land and “be no more pulled up out of their land which I have given them” – but we know that Israel was pulled up again out of the land at 70 AD. So, this must speak of another time, and it does: in the 20th century, May of 1948 when the nation was established (“the second time”; ISAIAH 11:11).

Let us turn to Obadiah:

OBADIAH 1:15-21
15 For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. 16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been. 17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. 18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it. 19 And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.
20 And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south. 21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord's.

Once again, the Day of the LORD is mentioned here – a time of darkness and distress, but immediately after all these dire events, there is the breaking of the Son-rise! The travail is finally over with and there is joy for the Son that has come into the world (the second time, and this time as the LION of the Tribe of JUDAH, not the LAMB that was slain), just as the LORD indicated in JOHN 16:20-22.

The persecutors of Israel, such as the long-time adversary Esau will be wiped away (vs. 18); there will be no one left of her oppressors! And Israel will finally know peace and rest and dwell in safety from all her enemies! Thank You LORD!


And from Micah we have the following:

MICAH 4:1-4
1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. 2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.

As has been demonstrated several times before, “mountain” is often a symbol for a kingdom; most notably the kingdom of God. And certainly, the house of the LORD shall be established just as the mountain; which is to say that the Temple will be re-established (in Jerusalem) just as the Kingdom of Israel will be.

It’s worthy to note that war and violence will become a thing of the past; swords and spears will be beaten into plows and pruning hooks!

I find myself longing with increasing fervency for the time when nations will encourage one another with holy excitement to go to the mountain of the LORD and to the house of (the) God (of Jacob/Israel) so that they will “learn His ways” and they shall obediently “walk in His paths” (ZECH 8:20-22). His Law shall proceed from Zion (imagine that! God is a Zionist (but in the purest sense of that word)! See PSALM 2). There are those who state that the Law is done with, that we are in the age of grace now; and to this I fairly agree; however, consider the words of the LORD Jesus Christ in one specific instance:

MATTHEW 5:17-19
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Every government has its laws; the kingdom of Israel no less, which at that time will be a genuine Theocracy – “rule by God” because the LORD Jesus, the Messiah, will be ruling and reigning from the throne of His father, David. And the law of the land will be the Law and the prophets as prescribed in the Old Testament.

How do I know this? Because the LORD stated that the Law will not pass away until all be fulfilled, and the heavens and the earth pass away. The breaking of the Law will incur punitive actions by the ruling throne of God, but the guilty party will still be a member (albeit “least”) in the kingdom of (“from”) heaven, that is, the inaugurated kingdom of Israel commenced by the arrival of the Messiah.

We know that the heavens and the earth  [“the elements”] will depart “with a great noise” (2 PET 3:10) when once the Millennium is completed (1,000 years), but not until then. So, the Law will be in effect up until then -not to the abrogation of grace or the efficacy of Christ’s atonement, but as the governing rule of the kingdom of Israel. See REV 20:4-15).

ZEPHANIAH 3:8-20 speaks of the battle of Armageddon (vs. 8); how the Hebrew language will be revived in the last days (which it has of course! Vs. 9); the restoration of God’s people in righteousness is spoken of (vs. 10-13). The King of Israel (the Messiah) will reign in the midst of Israel, that is the LORD (YHWH) as stated (vs.14-20; see also ZECH 12:9-10). His promise to the nation is that they will never again experience trial and tribulation, sorrow and violence at the hands of any would-be oppressor! Thank You LORD!!

In ZECHARIAH 6:12-15 we have the following:
12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: 13 Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. 14 And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the Lord. 15 And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord, and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God.

“The Branch” is a representation of the Messiah; four times He is referred to as the Branch,  but each time with different allocations of powers or roles: as King, as Servant, as Man and as God which corresponds with the Gospel accounts and their views of Christ: in Matthew He is King of Israel; in Mark He is the Servant; in Luke He is Man and in John He is God. 

In this passage it specifically says that the Messiah will build the Temple (vs. 12-13) and rule on His throne (vs. 13); He will be a priest (vs. 13) and that others will come from far away and assist in the building of the temple of the LORD (vs. 15).

ZECHARIAH 8:23
Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you
.

Anti-Semitism is at an all-time high these days, rivaling even the days prior to and during WW II. To my utter dismay I am finding it even in the church of Jesus Christ! Yet in this passage it plainly declares that the Jew will be highly esteemed among all the people of the world. This is not because of the extraordinary virtue and goodness of the Jewish people, but because of God’s favor upon them, and that because of the grace that Abraham found with the LORD because he expressed his faith in Him.

Yet why should the LORD show favor to Abraham and not others? He did in fact show favor to his contemporaries like Job and Melchizedek, and He expressed an offer to bless the people of the world if they would follow and obey Him, but instead, there was rank rebellion against the LORD, revealed by the erection of the Tower of Babel, a monument to the treason of mankind against his Maker (GEN 11)! No one chose the LORD! So, the LORD by His grace chose a man, from the city of Ur of the Chaldees! Abram and his wife, Sarai.

ZECHARIAH 9:9-10
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.

This passage reveals God’s prophetic eye, how He sees events across the span of time all at once. In verse 9 we see the LORD Jesus coming lowly upon a donkey to Jerusalem, that happened just as prophecy indicated. This same passage reveals His dominion which shall stretch from sea to sea and “to the ends of the Earth” which speaks of His Millennial reign, which after two thousand years after His visitation to Jerusalem on that donkey, still hasn’t arrived – yet! That blessed time will be unprecedented in peace and a complete absence of war and violence among the nations.


ZECHARIAH 14 is the ‘go-to’ passage to view what will transpire at the commencement of the Millennial reign, that immediately follows the Battle of Armageddon (vs. 2-3) and the Judgment of nations (vs. 4; circa MATT 25:32) which will render reward or punishment of the nations in regards to their treatment of the LORD’s people Israel during the tribulation era. Once the Millennium begins the cosmetology will change (vs. 6-7); the Dead Sea will be brought to life (vs. 8); the land will be rejuvenated  10-11); the nations of the world will go up annually to Jerusalem to worship (vs.16) and those who refuse will suffer lack of rain (vs. 17-19); and everything concerning the city of Jerusalem and her inhabitants will be sanctified, right down to the bells on the horses and the pots and bowls of the sanctuary (vs. 20-21). The interim between vs. 11 and vs. 16 describes the last aspect of Armageddon and the absolute ruin of the armies of the Beast that sought the destruction of Jerusalem.

The chapters examined throughout the Old Testament aren’t all there is regarding the subject of the Millennium, there are others that more or less state the same things as those we have shown.


For more on the MILLENNIAL REIGN of CHRIST, watch this video from The JOHN ANKERBERG SHOW - 

The Millennial Kingdom
After the second coming of Jesus, Revelation 20 speaks of a
millennial kingdom on earth where Jesus will reign with His
people for a 1,000-year period. What is the importance of this?





The next part of this examination concerns the New Testament, which likewise has much to say concerning this time period of 1000 years, and the visible, physical, actual reign of Jesus Christ the Messiah over the nation of Israel and the Gentile nations from Jerusalem whose destiny is to become the capital city of the world!

We are expectant of this time, because the Scripture speaks plainly concerning it, and we, as the bride of Christ get to participate in this glorious era of God-inspired peace and prosperity!

Until then, may the LORD continue to bless your own study of His most precious Word!

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