We continue to explore future events as revealed through the pages of Scripture, focusing on what we can be sure about. We discuss the rejuvenation of Jerusalem, the keeping of God’s promises to the Jewish people, and the millennial kingdom. If we read, hear, and do we shall overcome whatever trials, temptations, and uncertainties might otherwise plague us. Prophecy is a great gift for clarifying what is ours to steward.
Jerusalem will be rejuvenated
Let’s go to Zechariah 14. I think it’s the same event. Let’s start in verse 3.
Then the Lord will go forth
And fight against those nations,
As He fights in the day of battle.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives—
The Mount of Olives is a ridge just to the east of Jerusalem. It’s maybe at 500-foot elevation. It’s not very tall. If you see a picture of the Mount of Olives, go Google it or something, there’s all these graves all over the Mount of Olives because the Jews understood this prophecy to mean Messiah’s going to come, and they wanted to be first. If you get buried at the Mount of Olives, you’re first in line, so to speak.
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west—
The Mount of Olives is a north-south ridge. So this thing’s going to split in two. You get this picture in your mind?
Making a very large valley—
It’s going to split in two and not only just a little crack, but a really large valley.
On the west of Jerusalem is the Mediterranean Sea. To the east of Jerusalem is the Jordan Valley. As a matter of fact, you can see the Jordan Valley off in the distance. Not far in, you can see the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is way below sea level. It’s called the Dead Sea because, why? It’s so salty nothing lives in it except right around the edges where the water pours in, there’s tiny, little life there. It’s kind of a prelude of what we’re about to see.
Half toward the north
Half toward the south.
Then you shall flee through My mountain valley,
For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal.
Yes, you shall flee—
Azal’s about six miles away.
—you shall flee
As you fled from the earthquake
In the days of Uzziah king of Judah.
Thus the Lord my God will come,
And all the saints with You.
Doesn’t that sound like the same episode? The Lord God, and who’s the Lord God? Who is it in Revelation? It’s Jesus, right? Because Jesus is the Lord God.
And all the saints with You.
Here are all these people. He’s got this train of army behind him, all in their white robes on horses.
It shall come to pass in that day
That there will be no light;
The lights will diminish.
It shall be one day
Which is known to the Lord—
Neither day nor night.
But at evening time it shall happen
That it will be light.
And in that day it shall be
That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem—
Right now there’s no waters coming out of Jerusalem, so something new is going to happen here. It’s going to be water coming up here. What’s it going to do?
Half of them toward the eastern sea
And half of them toward the western sea;
In both summer and winter it shall occur.
Some kind of artesian spring is going to happen.
And the Lord shall be King over all the earth.
In that day it shall be—
“The Lord is one,”
And His name one.
All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem.
I’m not sure how far this is. Maybe 20 miles or something.
Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin’s Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses.
The people shall dwell in it;
And no longer shall there be utter destruction,
But Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem:
Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet,
We’ve got Zechariah here. We’ve got Revelation predicting the same event. Jesus is going to come down, and he’s going to strike the oppressors. He’s going to clean things up, and he’s going to install his kingdom.
It’s interesting, too, to look at Ezekiel 47:6. I think it’s talking about this same event.
He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.
When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other.
Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley—This is the Jordan Valley—and enters the sea—That’s the Dead Sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.
It shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.
It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets.
Today, if you go to the Dead Sea, there’s a lot of activity there, but it’s all mining. They’re mining the salts and the minerals out of the sea, and they make beauty products, industrial products, and stuff out of it. There’s no fishing because there are no fish in the sea.
It’s quite an amazing experience. The water is so dense you float no matter what you do.
That’s not going to be the case. It’s going to be alive because of this water flowing down from the Mount of Olives into the Dead Sea.
The reason I’m going through these things is not only just so you can see this event that’s going to take place but also you can see, this is not a new earth. It’s a changed earth. It’s not a new earth. We’re going to study the new earth next week.
The new earth is a different kind of animal. This is the Jerusalem we know, with the Mount of Olives that we know, which this change of this split and this valley, and the Dead Sea that we know except that now it’s been rejuvenated.
The promises to Israel will be kept
One of the things that’s interesting to me in Christianity and theology is that among regular people, most people think that there’s a thousand-year reign and a literal kingdom. Most theologians do not. There’s a very marked bias against the idea of a thousand-year reign. I’m not sure why that is. My opinion is because the reason for the thousand-year reign is to completely resolve all the promises God made to Israel.
His promises and gifts are irrevocable. We, as Gentiles—I think most of us in here are Gentiles—have been grafted in to this root of Israel, but we’ve not replaced it. We’re supplemental.
These promises to Abraham because of the fathers will all be kept. The dominant stream in Christian theology is that God actually changed his mind and revoked all those promises by substituting the church in for Israel because they rejected him.
That’s the dominant theology. It started with Augustine, 500 AD. So it’s been dominant for 1500 years.
That sowed the seeds of anti-Semitism in the medieval church, which was rampant. There were multiple times where the Jews were burnt out as Christ killers. There were multiple times where—well, in Nazi Germany. Martin Luther was unfortunately very anti-Semitic, and his writings formed the basis of this anti-Semitism.
We are a Jewish religion. We’ve been grafted in. One of the opportunities we have is to embrace this. Embracing Judaism is not very easy because the Jewish people are, according to scripture, what? Stiff-necked and unlovable. Right? He said I chose you in spite of what you’re like.
it’s reality. What we’re supposed to do, part of our calling is to bring them back through jealousy, that they look and say, “You know, those goyim, we should be living like them. What do they have that we don’t have?” This is all Romans 11.
This is actually very, very important.
Christ will reign for a thousand years, and then there will be another rebellion
Let’s look at the thousand-year reign. Revelation 20. In the pockets of theologians who don’t like Israel’s promises being fulfilled and don’t like the millennial kingdom they just don’t talk about it.
I saw one website that was reformed. This is usually called reformed theology. They said we’re not dispensational, but we don’t think you can really know that much about the future so we just don’t talk about it.
Chapter 20. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit—the abyss—and a great chain in his hand.
He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old—isn’t this an awesome picture? You get the picture in your mind, this angel with this giant chain? He goes down there. There’s this raging dragon. He says, “Down boy! Down boy! Get here! Here! Here!” Puts this chain around him, goes and throws him in this pit.
—that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; During this thousand-year reign, no Satan.
and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
Amazingly, when he’s released for a little bit—just got a thousand-year reign––we’ll look at a few verses here, how wonderful it is during this thousand-year reign. Satan’s released for a little while. What do people do? They gather up an army and go attack Jesus again. It’s like, didn’t you—? It’s just the way we are.
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them—This is the overcomers—and judgment was committed to them.
We’re supposed to be judging angels because we have learned through faith how to gain the wisdom of Jesus in serving.
Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God—
If you read through 4 through 19, there’s going to be a time of mass bloodshed among believers. Millions are going to come to Jesus in this tribulation period. There’s going to be a massive revival, and many of them will lose their heads as a result of their witness.
who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
This is another way to become an overcomer, to be martyred during the tribulation period.
But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
During the early church, they had a problem that they ran into. The problem was that they had a lot of believers that acted in a very reckless manner toward the authorities because they wanted to be caught and martyred because they understood that was a shortcut to being an overcomer. They had to say, no, no, no. That’s not for you to decide. You need to live and serve faithfully. Let God determine that. They had a little bit of a mixed up idea about it.
You know, there’s a reason why the Muslim jihad and these other things are what they are. Marxism’s this way. Change the world in one generation and make it perfect. Today we have to lie, cheat, steal, kill, but that’s only until we get rid of the enemies, and then we’ll make it better.
It’s the same basic thing that Jesus is saying here except it’s man in charge instead of God in charge.
All evil systems are a perversion of something that’s true. Evil doesn’t exist on its own.
What’s going to be like during this thousand years? Let’s look at Isaiah 2:1.
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
Here’s Jerusalem. Jerusalem’s the center. That’s where the center of the world government is, and all the nations are coming there.
Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law—Do you know what Hebrew word that is? Does anybody know? Torah.
I’ve done a lot of looking at this word Torah, and I’m starting to think that it’s basically the same idea as logos, the word of God. It’s much greater than just the written word. It’s the essence of God himself, that he first gave to us propositionally. Then he’s now writing it on our hearts through the Spirit and, eventually, will completely permeate us and make this wonderful world.
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
And rebuke many people;
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 anymore.
“And they ain’t gonna study war no more.” “Save the children! Save the people!” See, there’s all kinds of songs in the Bible.
Isaiah 11:1-10. There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
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.
His delight is in the fear of the Lord,
And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;
But with righteousness He shall judge the poor,
And decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
This will be him and his throne and all the saints that are doing it with him. It’s going to be a perfect system.
And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins,
And faithfulness the belt of His waist.
“The wolf will dwell with the lamb,
The leopard will lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
A little child will lead them.
The cow and the bear will graze;
Their young ones will lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,
And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’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.
Isn’t that awesome? What’s happened to nature? It’s been redeemed. It’s all vegetarian again. You know there were no meat eaters until after Noah’s flood.
I’m sure there’ll be a blessing in that somewhere. Right now I can’t think of it. [Audience laughter]. Maybe there’ll be some kind of new animal to have barbecued ribs.
There’s no more war among people, and there’s no more enmity among nature.
I love birds. We have martin houses in our backyard, and I just like to go out there and watch those little guys. They get used to you, you know. Every spring when they come in, they’ll sit there, and they’ll chirp, and everything.
It’s just going to be like—you can walk up and say, “Hey! Come on down here and let me talk to you.” They land on your shoulder, and you visit with them for a while. Nature’s going to be restored. It’s going to be exciting.
You get the picture.
What are the big points? There’s a new world coming. It’s going to first be a millennial kingdom where the earth is still the earth. There’ll be people.
There’s a verse somewhere—I forget to look this one up—that says death will be so rare you get a front-page headline when somebody dies. So there’ll still be mortals on the earth.
Justice will prevail. Nature will be restored.
Then, at the end, Jesus goes and lets out Satan for a little time, and they rebel again.
Then you get the new heaven and the new earth. We’ll do that next week.
We’ll end this week with another song. This is music day. This song comes from Revelation 5:12. Let me just read starting in 9.
And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
Remember when we went through Hebrews, we had a better king with a better administration, and a better world, and a better priest with a better sacrifice, and a better covenant. And Jesus, in the book of Hebrews, inviting us to participate in both of those ministries. We participate by doing what? Serving and obeying.
And we shall reign on the earth.”
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”