Visions of the Future Glory of Jerusalem

Apr 22, 2024 | Israel, READ

The LORD will rise upon you,
and His glory will appear over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn. (Is. 60:2b-3)

As we look at Jerusalem today, how far off Isaiah’s vision of its future glory seems. I have been heartened in recent days, however, by remembering that when the Lord declares, ‘Behold I am coming soon,’ (Rev. 22:12) that the phrase is also often translated as ‘I am coming quickly.’ In other words, once the time has fully come and His journey is under way, He will arrive on the clouds and the transformations will unfurl very swiftly. The stage is being set . . .

For now, the path toward the outpouring of God’s glory still often appears to be running in the opposite direction to that which we would hope and expect. That is why the call remains for believers to humble themselves, and seek God fervently and unitedly for the revival of many souls all across the planet. Currently, from the world’s point of view, there is precious little light shining out of Israel today to draw the nations of the world to its light, but the day will dawn when an incredible glory will be manifest in Jerusalem, and every eye will see it. Can I suggest that you reread Isaiah 60, to remind yourself how glorious Jerusalem will be when the Messiah returns?

At that time, there will be no debate as to the nature of the State of Israel; all that is secular will be set aside when Jesus alone regins as the undisputed ruler of the world. I was intrigued to read this article in The Conversation concerning the fact that the Jewish people are considerably less united than one might have expected about the role of the Jewish state. On the face of it, the central theme in this article is the controversial and increasingly contested issue of whether the numerically significant ultra-Orthodox should be exempt from military service. These Harada Jews are well aware that the Messianic age the prophets foretold will not come about through the (largely secular) modern day State of Israel, but only as the result of the Messiah’s coming.*

This simple realisation can go a long way to challenging certain overly optimistic outlooks. It is not ‘Dominion theology’ (which believes that the Church will rule the world) but Jesus’ Return that will bring about the ultimate transformation that so many Scriptures point us to. It is not a deeply divided Israeli state which will establish the Kingdom of God, or even ‘dominionist’ Christian nationalists, but the Messiah Himself. In just the same way as He left it, Jesus will return to Earth – and His second coming will be as unexpected as His first, even, for many, as a ‘thief in the night.’ This is why we pray unendingly, ‘Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus, come’ – for it is only at His coming that all Israel will be saved and able to finally fulfil its true purpose.

In the meantime, as the cascade of end times events loom ever larger on the world stage, we continue to ask the Lord to mercifully pour out His Spirit in ever greater measure, and to ‘pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son’. (Zech. 12:10) One day, the Prince of Peace will come to His warring land, and all wars will cease. Yes, Lord, let many to cry out to You, the Living God, who delights to cleanse and renew by the blood of His Son Yeshua!

The stage is set – but the real play hasn’t yet started – A Reflection on Isaiah 60 by Linda Entwistle
Isaiah 60 is a passage that highlights the contrast between the present-day situation and what will suddenly happen and all that it will become. The reality today is that since the official creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the land remains subject to scenes of violence and chaos, and decision-making at a governmental level that is so far from perfect that the peace spoken of by Isaiah seems like nothing but a distant dream. Perhaps one could compare the current state to one of bronze and iron and inferior materials, symbols of weaponry and used prophetically to describe a secular state (secular as in man-made and time-limited) rather than of gold and silver – materials that symbolise beauty and splendour. But the final verses bring hope that when the time is fully come, these things to change, and very quickly.

For the Lord will be your everlasting light.
    Your days of mourning will come to an end.
All your people will be righteous.
    They will possess their land forever,
for I have planted them there for display of My glory Your people will be righteous

    and they will possess the land for ever.
They are the shoot I have planted,
    the work of my hands,
    for the display of My splendour . . .
I am the Lord;
    at the right time in its time I will do this swiftly.’

The thing is, when this happens, will we be ready ourselves??

The image I have is of a stage on which the set is still being built, but on which various actors are strutting around ahead of the appointed time, performing their own version of the script. The trouble is, this script has blotted out the name of Jesus the Messiah and replaced it with the word ‘Zionism,’ at best hoping for the coming of the One who has already come. To a large extent these actors are in the dark because the full glory of the stage lights has not yet been switched on. Some, but by no means all in the audience remain expectant that things will change – but the lights will only be fully turned on when the Lead Actor Himself appears. When He does, the set will suddenly be instantly transformed! Peace will reign instead of chaos as Yeshua sets up His entirely new Kingdom, which inevitably does away with many fallacies and false perspectives in Israel, even as it overturns false religion and values all around the world.

This will then be a show that everyone with a heart for God will want to come and see and be part of! By the way, I do have a spare bedroom for one of the saints if I’m still alive when they return!! 😀

Robert adds: What a fascinating view of Isaiah 60 Linda offers us. The picture of the shoot God has planted coming up to possess the land is a beautiful one. The analogy of a darkened stage set reminds us how the Kingdom of God is advancing now all around the world, but largely in secret, and many don’t yet perceive it. What we see on the surface (and where the news media place their focus) isn’t where the real action is, let alone the spiritual growth.

Perhaps some of us catch glimpses of the earthly preparations for Jesus’ return – but have you ever thought about preparations being made in Heaven for that day? When you think of the logistics involved in the saints returning with Him, not to mention all the white horses, surely such a thing cannot come to pass without much planning? I am reminded of all the preparations that were involved before the Allied troops embarked for the reconquest of Europe in 1944: the huge numbers of men who needed housing, and the vast amount of military equipment that had to be kept concealed in Britain’s southern ports and counties.

In addition, Allied Intelligence was coming up with an extraordinary and successful plan to deceive the German High Command that the landing would happen in the Pas de Calais. It was not until the ships were in sight off the coast of Normandy that the German forces discovered the extent to which they had been misled. Let’s be alert – the day of Jesus’ return will likewise take those who are not ready by complete surprise.

I have been heartened in recent days by remembering that when the Lord says in Revelation 22:12, ‘Behold I am coming soon,’ that the phrase is also sometimes translated as ‘I am coming quickly.’ In other words, once His journey is begun, He will arrive very swiftly. It is a wonderful phrase to spend time with, pondering each word individually:

I

AM

COMING

QUICKLY!

How wonderful that on the day that God has determined for the times to reach their fulfilment, He will move to bring all things together on Earth and Heaven together in unity under one head, even Christ Jesus. (Eph. 1:10) Each one of us who belongs to Him will have a treasured testimony to tell of God’s faithfulness to us, and the ways in which He has kept us.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You are coming again soon, and that You are wonderfully preparing Your plans and marshalling Your troops. Let Your preparations continue apace both here on Earth and in Heaven, in order that Your Kingdom can come on Earth as in Heaven, and Jerusalem be the joy of the whole earth. (Ps. 48:2) Amen!

*See also reading and/or listening to this detailed sermon on The Future Glory of Jerusalem.

The general consensus amongst many religious Jews is that before the Messiah can return there needs to be a strict observance of Torah, that the third temple will have to have been built and Jerusalem must be in a state of peace. In that case they will be getting worried about the prospect of this war escalating. For many there is a sense of time running out, and tensions are rising between religious and secular Jews as a result of the current war. May the Lord be preparing many Jewish hearts to receive their living Messiah now.

Concerning the prospect of a third temple being built – on a site just to the south of the Al Aqsa Mosque – preparations are indeed advanced in terms of preparing such things as the furniture and the Menorah for it. But, and this is a very big but, even if this is built, it does not mean that it is the Lord’s perfect will, for there is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ Himself: no dual covenant by which Jewish people can be saved without Christ simply as a result of being Jewish. The book of Hebrews makes it abundantly clear that the whole sacrificial system has been superseded by the work Jesus has done for us on the cross.

Photo by Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash

0 Comments

Welcome to the Blog

ARCHIVE

Subscribe