In our previous words we considered the blessings, benefits, and duties that will be bestowed
upon Christ's brethren who are found faithful at the Judgment Seat upon Christ's
return to the earth. We now wish to focus our attention on the Jewish people as well
as the masses of people in this earth who do not now recognize the Truth of God's word.
What will be their fate? That is what we now wish to consider.
ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE
As we see the nation of Israel now, a nation who is ridiculed and condemned for every action she takes, and as we consider her long past of wandering and unspeakable persecution, we can gain satisfaction from the scriptures that for Israel, the Jewish people, it will not always be so. There is a time coming when Israel will no longer be viewed by the nations of this earth as a nuisance or troublemaker and no longer will the Jew be under the disciplining hand of the God of their Fathers. Though the natural Jew as we speak of him today is unenlightened by the Salvation that comes through the blood of Christ and will not share in the same glory and reward during the 1,000 years as will the Spiritual Jew, as far as the natural course of their lives in the Kingdom and the status they enjoy will be far superior to what it is now.
Zechariah 8:23 states, "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.'"
When Jerusalem stands as the capitol of the world, no longer will the inhabitants of this earth be able to put the Jewish plight out of their minds for the Jewish nation will be the geographic, political, spiritual, and cultural nucleus of God's Kingdom on earth. Though the United States now prides itself as the world's only "superpower", the twelve tribes of Israel who once were scattered and ridiculed, as on the fringe of society and on the verge of extinction will be the very center of world culture, influence, and power. Those of the nations who come up yearly to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple there (Zechariah 14:16) will see of the prosperity that the Jews will then enjoy. They will see the favor that God has upon them and the riches they have gained from their commerce. Though we know that agriculture will be the driving force of the future economy in the Kingdom of God we have no idea what other merchandise may be of value or trade. Whatever it may be we can be assured that the Jews will excel in all matters of trade and commerce and the people of the earth will use Israel as the example to live by. The Gentile will no doubt go home from the yearly "Feast of Tabernacle" not only overwhelmed and refreshed at the spiritual feast they have enjoyed but will no doubt go home to share stories of the great beauty of the Land, the marvels of her architecture, as well as the incredible prosperity of its Jewish inhabitants- both the immortalized saints who live there and the mortal Jewish people. What a stark contrast as we now see Israel and her people, more specifically Jerusalem, as a burdensome stone to the nations of this earth.
As matters now exist, Israel is far from being a righteous nation, but nonetheless she remains God's people and a continual witness to His existence, power, and to His plan for this earth. With this in mind let us consider Jeremiah chapter 30:
Verse 11- "For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations wither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished."
Verse 16,17- "Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured, and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey. For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after."
And Verse 22- "And ye shall be My People, and I will be your God."
The Jewish people rejected Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah some 2,000 years ago and still reject Him as such today. Unfortunately this has helped to fuel the hatred that is pitted against the Jews by the wicked zeal of False religion who has in the past tagged the Jews as "the killers of Jesus" and used such a claim to ruthlessly and barbarically slaughter millions and millions of Jews over the past centuries. But for those who are enlightened by God's Truth we are not to share in such hatred and prejudice, though we admit of their shortcomings we await the day when the remnant of Israel will see things quite differently. As the Apostle Paul reveals to us in the 11th chapter of Romans this blindness on the part of Israel has served a purpose in opening up the way of salvation to the Gentiles. "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, 'There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant with them, when I shall take away their sins."
There is a time coming, clearly and beautifully revealed to us in the scriptures that tell us when such blindness will be taken away and they will recognize their Messiah. There is a time coming as when Joseph revealed himself to his brethren after they had long before rejected him, that Christ will reveal himself to His brethren. We read of this event in Zechariah 12 which the context places it has happening when in the future Israel has just been saved from almost certain annihilation at the hands of the Kingdom of Men.
"And will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. And in that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley
The "mourning of Hadadrimmon" refers to the great mourning that took place among the Jews when their righteous king Josiah was killed at the hands of the Egyptian armies. We are told in II Chronicles 35 that "all Judah and Jerusalem" mourned for Josiah. So will Judah and Jerusalem mourn again when they realize how they have in the past rejected God and His Son. Zechariah 13:3 further reveals to us that "one shall say unto Him (Christ), 'What are these wounds in Thine hands?' Then he shall answer, 'Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.'" Though there will be great joy in Israel for the deliverance they have received, so will they also be grief stricken, as were the brothers of Joseph, when they understand the full implications of their rejection of Christ and the great mercy that has been extended to them. Truly this will be a beautiful and heart rending scene when Jesus reveals himself to his Jewish brethren.
After these events, the salvation of the Jews from complete destruction at the hands of of the invading Gogian Host (Ezekiel 38, 39) and her glorious reunion with her Messiah, we then see the fortunes of Israel drastically change. As it will be the honor of the saints to help Christ in defeating the enemies of God's Kingdom on earth so also will natural Israel be used as a weapon of war and destruction by the hand of God.
Zech. 12:6- "In that day will I made the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf: and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left."
and in chapter 10 verse 3- "for the LORD of hosts hath visited His flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as His goodly horse in the battle....and they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them."
Jeremiah 51:20- "Thou art My battle axe (my hammer) and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms."
Isaiah 41: 14-16- "Fear not, thou worm of Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee,' saith the LORD, and they Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel."
To what extent Israel will be used to put down the nations of this earth we cannot be sure. But we do see Israel, who is now despised and on the defensive, in the future as a dominating world force- not by their own hand but by God's (their God's) strengthening power. This is a perfect example of how God chooses to deal with men. "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence." I Corinthians 1:27-29
BENEFITS TO THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL
We have already touched upon the fact that the Jews will enjoy an elevated status over the nations of this earth during the 1,000 years reign of Christ, but what other things do the scriptures tell us about the Jewish people during the Kingdom Age?
Jeremiah 31:31-34, "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. 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; 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."
How wonderful it will be to again see Israel worship the God of their fathers in "spirit and truth". "I will be their God, an they shall be my People."
Though we have been so blessed to see a restoration of the Jews into their homeland we know that there are many more who are still spread out across this earth. The bringing back of the Jews to their land is not yet complete and it is only in the Kingdom that the Diaspora will be fully brought to a finish.
Jeremiah 23: 7,8- "Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD livith, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 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."
When all of Israel is gathered to dwell in their land they will no longer be divided as they were centuries ago when they dwelt in the Land split in two under two different kings, once divided due to the ambitions of Jereboam and the idolatry he introduced, but all will be united on the land promised to Abraham. "Thus saith the Lord God....And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all." Ezekiel 37:22
We are told that "one king" shall rule over them. The can be no question that the King will be Jesus the Messiah. And though Christ will reign over the entire earth, as sitting upon the Throne of David, his immediate jurisdiction and the one no doubt closest to His heart will be that of His people Israel. We also know, according to the Promise that Jesus gave to his apostles, that it will be the twelve apostles that each govern one of the twelve tribes of Israel. What wonderful leadership Israel will enjoy. Jesus Christ as their KIng in Jerusalem and each one of the twelve apostles acting as governors over the separate tribes. What great wisdom and justice will be found in all Israel! A nation of mortal Jews, ruled by immortal Jews of the highest rank that can be found in God's entire Kingdom. Twelve tribes, ruled by the twelve apostles- TWELVE being the biblical number of governmental perfection. Truly a perfect situation for Israel of the future.
Concerning additional benefits, the Jews will sit upon an enormous Land Grant that will far exceed ancient borders and will dwarf the puny partition they now posses, which was granted by the United Nations and is in threat of even growing smaller due to political pressure. According to the survey and divisions of the 12 Tribes as prophetically provided in Ezekiel 47 and 48, we see a country whose borders will explode from the current 8,500 sq. miles (not including the West Bank) to an inheritance of approximately 300,000 square miles. As John Thomas stated in the book Elpis Israel, "Here, then, is a noble domain, lying between Assyria, Persia, Arabia, the Red Sea, Egypt, and the Mediterranean; capable, when peopled by an industrious, enlightened, and well and strongly governed nation, of commanding the commerce and sovereignty of Asia, and the wealth of Europe and America. Such is the land....concerning which God said to Abram, 'To thee will I give it and unto they seed for ever'".
Though much of the promised Israeli Land Grant is vast desert, the scriptures teach us that environmental conditions will be much different and gives us beautiful descriptions of the Land of Israel as it will be in the Kingdom.
Isaiah 51:3- "He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the Garden of the LORD"
Isaiah 35- "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose...for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes."
We have spoken thus far about the glorious benefits that are to be enjoyed by both the Redeemed (Spiritual Israel) as well as the restoration and future blessing of Natural Israel. Now we turn our attention to the world at large. Though we know that the nations of this earth will suffer greatly at the hands of the LORD of HOSTS (Christ and his saints) and the conquering Jewish army, there will be a time of peace and prosperity reserved to the mortal inhabitants of this earth. Once the proud political systems of this earth are destroyed and the influences of Mystic Babylon are wiped away forever, the remaining people of the earth will be ready to seek after the God of Israel "for they will have heard that He is with them."
Jeremiah 16:19,21 "The Gentiles shall say, surely our father have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit- and they shall know that my name is the LORD."
Isaiah 26:7- "for when they judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."
Those who are left of all the nations will enjoy an existence that no others have ever enjoyed in the history of the entire earth. No longer will they be ruled by the pride of men, no longer will they have to endure the continuous stream of broken promises made by this world's leaders, no longer will they be influenced by the lies of false religion that only lead to death, and the learning and making of war will become a distant memory. Peace, prosperity, perfect government, and perfect religion will be the order of the Day.
Isaiah 2- "And many people shall go and say, 'Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths:' for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
No longer will the poor and downtrodden of this earth be at the mercy of the wealthy and powerful. No longer will justice happen by accident (or as the justice of our day- it creates more problems then it solves). For the authority of the future age will make decisions on a totally different foundation and man's faith in the power of government will be completely restored by the perfect government lead by Christ the King. Isaiah 11- "And He (Christ) shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove (set or make right) with equity for the meek of the earth..........and righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins."
The same passage found here in Isaiah continues to beautifully tell us of the peaceful environment that will exist that stands in direct contrast to the laws of nature that we now experience and that the Gentiles will no doubt enjoy. "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. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice's den. 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."
What wonderful imagery Yahweh gives us here. To some this may seem like a fairy tale or think that we may need to find some deeper meaning in this passage. We can be sure that this language no doubt has deeper applications, but the simple language and visions of the Kingdom that we are given by Isaiah such as this and others throughout the scriptures are not difficult to understand. Scriptures such as is found in Isaiah and many other places in the Bible speak very plainly on the matters of the future Kingdom.
GOD AND HIS SON
Finally, we have considered the beauty of the Coming Kingdom and the beneficial effects it will have on the Redeemed, on Israel, and also on the nation of this earth. But we cannot forget that God and His Son will also directly benefit. We do not mean to imply that God or His Son is dependent upon the establishment of the Kingdom for any personal welfare, but it will be an occasion of great joy and satisfaction when these events are consummated, and God's promises are fulfilled.
"For as truly as I live all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD" awaits fulfillment. It was for God's good pleasure that the earth and its inhabitants were created. But surely in its present condition, a world steeped in sin and death and in flagrant and rebellious denial of the Creator, this world can bring no pleasure to God. But in the Age to Come the whole world will recognize God, they will seek to understand Him, and for the Redeemed they will be the perfect manifestations of God Himself in that they will be granted the immortal nature that only comes from God and will reflect the Divine character. Both mortal and immortal will recognize and sing the praises of God for His mercy, His loving kindness, His righteousness, and His greatness. The Psalms prophetically exclaim, "Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."
The scriptures, especially the Psalms are full of samples of the kind of praise that will be directed to God in the Kingdom. "Praise ye the LORD: For it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely." "Sing unto the LORD a new song, and His praise in the congregation of saints." And as the last verse of the Psalms states, "Let every thing that hath breath praise THE LORD. Praise ye the LORD." This only happens on a very, very small scale now, but in the Kingdom ALL will offer up the praise to God that has been so long due Him for all that He has done and all the He is.
And to His Son, finally comes the supreme position and reward of the throne of David in the Kingdom. It was for "the joy that was set before him" that Christ endured the sufferings and shame of the cross. Though Jesus now enjoys immortality and a position at the right hand of His Father, he awaits the day as was prophesied before His birth when "the LORD God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end."
Jesus rose to heaven for a purpose, as he told his followers, "I go to prepare a place for you". We know that "place" which is being prepared is not for the intent of giving us an eternal habitation in the clouds but to prepare for the day when God's Kingdom will again be established on earth. As Jesus stated in the last chapter of Revelation "behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me."
When Christ distributes the reward of eternal life to His faithful followers we know that this will have to be a time of great pleasure and satisfaction for Christ when He is united with those who have faithfully carried his through suffering and persecutions. Those who have not denied His name, and by loving Him have kept His commandments. Christ has been able to see his brethren through all they have been through but they have not been able to visibly see Him. For Joseph, the containment of his identity to his brothers must have been almost unbearable, with such a thought we know that Christ must very much look forward to delivering and rewarding his followers and being united with them in glorious fellowship in the Kingdom of God. We know, on a much smaller scale, how pleasurable it is to deliver good tidings or help to someone. No doubt it will be most pleasurable for Christ at his Judgment Seat to bear good tidings to those he considers His brethren. "Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
And to Christ, there will be no short supply of Praise. From the saints, Natural Israel, to the Gentile nations all will have reason to bless the Righteous King who sits on the throne of David in Jerusalem and to His Father who sits in the heavens. To Christ and His Father, every Gentile knee will bow in submission and to them will the saints sing eternal Praise.