The Bible makes it very clear that when Jesus returns with the resurrected saints to defeat the Antichrist at the Battle of Armageddon, He will set up His Kingdom in a totally reconstructed Jerusalem.
This commences the Millennial reign of Christ on this earth. He will rule and reign with the resurrected saints, and with a rod of iron, for 1000 years. The Adamic curse has not been lifted so people will die, although they will live longer. People will still have to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, just as we do now, in order to receive eternal life. Also, we know that Satan is released at the end of the Millennium and is still able to raise an enormous army to come up against Jesus.
“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:7-10
The video below is instructive and inspirational but it has one major error. The new heaven and the new earth which only the saints inherit is created by God after this earth has been consumed by fire and the White Throne Judgement.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”Revelation 21:1-4
Nevertheless, Ezekiel’s 48 description of the Millennial Kingdom is correct and as I said before is inspirational as well as instructive. Well worth the time and effort.
The Lord revealed to all of the O.T prophets that He would restore the Jews to their land and have a descendant of King David to rule the nations from Jerusalem at His preordained time. Here are just a few of the Scriptures.
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgements and do them. Then you shall dwell in the Land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God (King).” Ezekiel 36:25-28
“My temple will stand in Israel for all time, and I will live among My people and be their God. Every nation on earth will know that My temple is in Israel and that I have chosen the Israelites to be My people.” Ezekiel 37:24-28
“I the Lord God, will protect Jerusalem. Even the weakest person there will be as strong as David, and David’s kingdom will rule as though My very own angel were its leader. I am determined to wipe out every nation that attacks Jerusalem. I the Lord, will make the descendants of David and the people of Jerusalem feel deep sorrow and pray when they see the one, they pierced with a spear. They will mourn and weep for him as parents weep over the death of their only child or their first born” Zechariah 12:8-10
“I, the Lord, have an agreement with day and night, so they always come at the right time. You can’t break the agreements I made with them, and you can’t break the agreements I have made with David’s family and with the priests from the Levi tribe to serve at my altar. A descendant of David will always rule as king of Israel, and there will be more descendants of David and of the priests from the tribe of Levi than the stars in the sky or grains of sand on the beach.” Jeremiah 33:20-22
“Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God (King); then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me (righteousness). Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this Land, with all My heart and with all My soul.” For thus says the LORD: “<b><i>Just as I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them.” Jeremiah 32:37-42
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when 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 lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34
“In the future, I will rebuild David’s fallen kingdom. I will rebuild it from its ruins and set it up again, just as it used to be… I’ll make Israel prosper again. You will rebuild your towns and live in them. You will drink wine from your vineyards and eat the fruit you grow. I’ll plant your roots deep in the land I have given you, and you won’t ever be uprooted again. I, the Lord God have spoken.” Amos 9:11-15
Listen to what Moses said to all Israel even before they entered the Promised Land
“Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.Deuteronomy 30:1-6
Paul also confirms that God has a wonderful end to the story for Israel – “and so all Israel will be saved”.
“A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so, all Israel will be saved. From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:25-26, 28-29
Finally, after the Millennium reign of Jesus there will be the second resurrection and the Great White Throne Judgement: “Then I, John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride for her husband.” Revelation 21:2
Make no mistake during the End-Times, God will focus His attention on bringing to fulfilment the covenants that He made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David.
Most of Daniel’s visions focus on the Gentile kingdoms in history, and on their rule over the people and land of Israel. It was revealed to Daniel that the Gentile kingdoms would have dominion over Israeluntil the time of the endand the coming of their Messiah. He was given understanding that the nation of Israel, and their Land, is going to be embattled and fought over until the end. There will come a time, however, when that season of the Gentiles’ dominion will come to an end; a time when the Land will be given back to the people of Israel; a time when they are going to be restored to the Land.
The Bible clearly says that His divine activity will be both “great and terrible” as He zealously works to persuade the peoples of the Gentile nations to turn from their evil ways and accept His “redemptive plan” as it will be expressed in history through the manifestation on earth of the everlasting covenants that He made with Israel. At the same time, God will be working dramatically among Jewish people, and for the nation of Israel, to turn whole-heartedly to Him—accepting the Messiah that He has already sent to make a way for their salvation. We are told that by the end of this age, the surviving Jewish people will believe on and receive Jesus as their Messiah and King!
Throughout the New Testament, the prophecies written about the End-Times and the return of Jesus are focused on Israel and other key nations of the Middle East. The Book of Revelation portrays the cities of Babylon and Jerusalem as the two most prominent cities in the End-Times drama.
The nations of the Middle East will be the “stage” upon which God completes His activity of redemption in this age and ushers in the next age, which will be a time of renewal and restoration that will affect the whole world.
In mercy the throne will be established; and One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness. (Isaiah 16:5)
The way to be righteous for those who would partake of God’s Kingdom is “through faith in Jesus Christ.”
“But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)
Righteousness is not through our works. It is a gift that we receive and that we live by through faith in Jesus.
“God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (Corinthians 5:21) Awesome! This verse is one of the most “astounding” verses in all of Scripture.
It is important to emphasise here that there is only “one-way” of salvation; only one-way to become a Righteous citizen of God’s Kingdom.
“To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father—to Him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-6)
Sadly much of the apostate church believes Jesus is not the only way to God. This is heresy and leads only to destruction.
Also, this issue of “identity” has become a concern for many Jews who are now “Messianic believers;” those who believe in Jesus (Yeshua) as their Messiah. They struggle with what they should do with the Law—and with the covenant that was made with Moses and with the children of Israel at Mount Sinai. They often identify themselves, as Jews, with many of the things that they were taught under the Law, as well as from traditions that have sprung up throughout their history. Paul made it clear that Jews must also submit to God’s perfected way of becoming Righteous, which is only through believing in Jesus, the Messiah:
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:1-4)
It is important to pray for the Messianic community, so that they may come to accurately understand God’s heart and God’s Word. This difficult situation, most likely, will only increase in the last days, when the Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem and a revived Levitical priesthood institutes daily sacrifices and offerings again.
Extracts from Tom Craig’s book, Living Fully for the Fulfilment of Isaiah 19: When Egypt, Assyria and Israel Will Become a Blessing in the Midst of the Earth