JERUSALEM AT THE END OF THE AGE
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins (Isaiah 40:2).
With all our focus on the New Jerusalem, home of the Church, we sometimes forget there will still be an “old” Jerusalem here on Earth during the Millennium.
Paul was the first to make reference to both cities when he said the current Jerusalem is symbolic of the Old Covenant, but the Jerusalem that’s above symbolises the New Covenant (Galatians 4:24-26). I think it’s also the first mention of the New Jerusalem being above the Earth, not on it.
I’ve written about the New Jerusalem several times, how it will be the exclusive home of the redeemed Church. At about 1400 miles tall, wide, and deep it will be much too big to fit on Earth. In fact, it will be almost 2/3rds the size of the moon. Put in a different perspective, if the entire world population, currently about 7,000,000,000 people, lived in one geographic location with the population density of New York City, it would be a city the size of the state of Texas.
The way it’s described in Rev. 21:16 leads many people to believe the New Jerusalem is either a cube or pyramid shaped. But if it was a sphere, like the moon, the New Jerusalem could easily accommodate 22 cities this size on its surface area. That’s 22 times the total current population of Earth. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not big enough for the Church.
It won’t require the light of the Sun or the Moon because its light will come from the Glory of Lord. It will never be night there, but will provide light for the Earth during the Millennium (Rev. 21:23-25).
But the purpose of this article is to describe the Jerusalem on Earth at the End of the Age. In Zechariah 12:3 the Lord warned that He will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. Listen to what follows.
“On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place” (Zechariah 12:6). “On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:9).
Because Jerusalem isn’t threatened in these verses, and since Israel will consume the surrounding peoples, I think these verses will find their fulfilment in the Psalm 83, Isaiah 17, and Ezekiel 38 battles. If they turn out the way we think, Israel will regain all it’s Biblical lands and will think they have no more border issues to deal with. The land on which Ezekiel’s battle will be fought is called the mountains of Israel in Ezekiel 38:8. Today we know this land as the Golan Heights, currently contested by Syria and Lebanon/Hezbollah, and central Israel which is where the boundary of the so-called West Bank meets Israel proper. To me this gives us a hint that Ezekiel 38 may in part be an attempt by the Islamic attackers to regain territory their brothers in arms will have lost in Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17.
Also, the burial ground mentioned in Ezekiel 39:11 and called the Valley of Hamon Gog in Ezekiel 39:15 is just outside of Jericho, the current Palestinian headquarters. Ezekiel 39:11 says it will be part of Israel at the time of this battle, giving us another hint that the Palestinian issue will be resolved in Israel’s favor before Ezekiel 38 begins.
“And I will 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 (Zechariah 12:10).
According to Ezekiel 39:22 Israel will return to the Lord after the battle of Ezekiel 38 for the last seven years of the Old Covenant, which was interrupted some 2,000 years ago by the Church Age. This period is also called Daniel’s 70th Week.
Toward the end of the Great Tribulation, which is the last half of the 70th Week, the Lord will finally open Jewish eyes that since the first Palm Sunday have been blinded to the fact that Jesus has been their Messiah all along (Luke 19:41-45).
“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity” (Zechariah 13:1).
I think this will happen just before the Battle of Armageddon when the remnant will be sequestered in Petra, which is its Greek name. It’s called Bozrah in Isaiah 63:1-6.
Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.”
Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?
“I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing.
For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.”
Having defeated the armies who will attack His people in Petra, the Lord will turn toward Jerusalem for the final showdown. Let’s go back to the prophecy of Zechariah to see how that unfolds.
A day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city (Zechariah 14:1-2).
As the battle for Planet Earth begins, the armies of the anti-Christ will attack and this time will control the Holy City for a little while. It will be a terrible time for those who didn’t heed the Lord’s earlier warning to flee into the desert (Matt. 24:15-18). Their belongings will be taken from them and distributed to their enemies right before their eyes and half the city’s population will flee from the invaders.
Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. (Zechariah 14:3-5)
When it looks as if all is lost, the Lord will descend to the Mount of Olives, to the very place He departed from nearly 2000 years ago just as Acts 1:10-11 foretold. As He does, an earthquake will cause the Mount of Olives to split in half forming a deep valley that extends to the Mediterranean in the west and to the Dead Sea in the east. It will run straight through the current Temple Mount, which is due west of the Mt. Of Olives. The Temple Mount along with the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aksa Mosque will disappear into a pile of rubble at the bottom of this valley.
The Lord’s return will cause the immediate defeat of His enemies, after which He’ll make His triumphal entry into the city followed by His legions of Holy Warriors.
On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name (Zechariah 14:6-9)
From Matt. 24:29 we know that immediately after the Great Tribulation the Sun and Moon will go dark. Normally, temperatures would begin dropping immediately and the world would soon become unbearably cold. But in the passage above we see that although it will be totally dark, there will be no such temperature drop during the time when the world awaits the Lord’s return because He’ll maintain the Earth’s temperature. At the end of the day of His return, there will be light, probably because of the New Jerusalem descending down out of Heaven to take its place in the vicinity of Earth (Rev. 21:2). Remember, during the Millennium Earth’s light will come from the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:24 ).
By connecting Ezekiel 47-48 to Zechariah 14:6-9, a growing number of scholars have come to believe that the next Temple will be built just north of Jerusalem in Shiloh, and not on the current Temple Mount. In his vision, Ezekiel saw a great river flowing from beneath the south side of the Temple and Zechariah shows it doing so on the day of the Lord’s return, meaning the Temple will already be in place. Since the earthquake will have destroyed the current Temple Mount earlier in the same day, we can see why this northern location makes sense. When the cascading water reaches the newly created valley, half will flow east into the Dead Sea and half will flow west into the Mediterranean, drowning the rubble from the current Temple mount beneath its crystal depths.
This will also be the day of fulfilment for Philippians 2:9-11;
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
But that’s not all. Psalms 2 and 110 will also be fulfilled along with a host of other prophecies, as the Messiah-King takes possession of that which He’s paid for, Planet Earth. In the process the topography of the land surrounding Jerusalem will be forever changed.
The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses. It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure. (Zech. 14:10-11)
The Arabah contains the Jordan River valley and the Dead Sea and continues to the Red Sea. It’s the lowest place on Earth, over 1300 feet below sea level at the Dead Sea. The area south of Jerusalem will be lowered to match it, while the city itself will be elevated. And finally, for the first time in thousands of years, it will be secure, a City of Peace at last. Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. (Joel 3:20)
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. (Isaiah 62:1-3)
About 150 years after Isaiah wrote these words, the Lord revealed Jerusalem’s new name to Ezekiel. Ezekiel 48 describes how the Promised Land will be divided among the tribes in the Millennium and includes the allocation for the Temple and the Holy City. In the very last sentence of the last verse in the book, the Lord had Ezekiel write;
And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE (Ezekiel 48:35)
You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 02-11-12
THERE’S A NEW DAY COMING
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
A day of the Lord is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle.
On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.
Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime-a day known to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. (Zech 14:1-9)
In view of the current emphasis on peace in the Middle East, we should take another look at how (and when) this conflict between Israel and the rest of the world will be resolved. Let’s take these nine verses individually to see what they say.
1) A day of the Lord is coming when your plunder will be divided among you.
By the time we get to verse 4 it will be clear that Zechariah is speaking of the time leading up to the actual day the Lord arrives on the Mount of Olives to establish His Kingdom. The plunder spoken of is Jerusalem itself, and the phrase “among you” literally means in your midst or in front of your faces. As we’ll see, the city will be divided yet again, not by negotiations but by force.
2) I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.
The phrase “all the nations” points to a time still in the future when all of Israel’s allies will have abandoned her. This could only happen after the Rapture of the Church, when the Christian influence that keeps the US and some other western countries at least nominally allied with Israel is long gone. This is the final battle of the age, Armageddon.
3) Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle.
This is a clear reference to the Lord’s role as Israel’s real commander-in-chief just as He was through out the Old Testament.
4) On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.
The Lord in this reference is King Jesus, returning like He said He would, to the very spot from which He left (Acts 1:10-11). According to Isaiah 63:1-6, He will be coming from Bosrah (Petra) where He will have just fulfilled His promise to protect the believing remnant of Israel from their enemies. His return will trigger an earthquake that creates an East / West cleft as the Mount of Olives is split in two. The geological fault line along which this split will occur has been discovered and runs from the Mediterranean in the west to the Dead Sea in the east. Its presence prohibited the Intercontinental Hotel (now called the Seven Arches Hotel) from being built on the brow of the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem as originally planned. It was re-located to the south and built on more stable ground where it stands today.
5) You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
The cleft creates a route of escape for those fleeing the battle. They will flee in fear for their lives, just as their ancestors did in the ancient past (Uzziah reigned from 792-740 BC in the time of Isaiah). The phrase Holy Ones is used 13 times in the Bible: 6 times its translated saints, 4 times holy and 3 times holy ones. Rev. 19:14 calls them the armies of Heaven. so I think Zechariah had angelic warriors in view. Also, the Lord didn’t build the Church to become His army, but to become His bride.
6-7) On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime-a day known to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light.
Even a day without light from the Sun would normally cause freezing temperatures, but this day is unique in all of creation: warmth without light. The fact that evening brings light is reverse to all we know, but Matt. 24:29 says that one of the signs that the Great Tribulation has ended will be the absence of light from the Sun, Moon or stars. Rev 21:23-24 explains that the New Jerusalem has no need for the Sun or Moon for the Glory of God gives it light, and that the nations of Earth will walk by the light of the New Jerusalem as well. The phrase “on that day” means that Zechariah is describing the actual day the Lord arrives. He’ll be followed by the New Jerusalem, which will arrive at the end of the day to give light to the Earth.
8) On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter.
Ezekiel 47:1-12 tells us that fresh water will flow constantly from under the south end of the Temple and will fill the newly created valley with water that becomes a great river flowing west to the Mediterranean and East to the Dead Sea. A line drawn due west from the place on the Mount Of Olives where Jesus departed would pass through the Eastern Gate of the Temple Mount. That means the earthquake triggered by the Lord’s return will destroy the Temple Mount, consigning it forever to the bottom of the great river. Only a Temple constructed some place to the north of the current Temple Mount could survive to provide the flowing river on the Day that the Lord arrives. And sure enough, a comparison of the boundaries outlined in Ezekiel 48 with ancient maps of Israel reveals that the coming Temple will be built in Shiloh, where the Tabernacle once stood. (Read The Coming Temple The Coming Temple for a complete explanation.)
9) The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
This verse looks forward to Phil 2:9-11 which says,
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Together they tell us that eventually there will be peace in the Middle East and indeed the whole world, for the Prince of Peace will have become King of the whole Earth. Until then mankind will struggle in vain, grasping at one false hope after another, because if the truth be known the very existence of Israel is a cause for war in the Middle East.
But the Lord promised that after He re-gathered His people to Israel for the 2nd time He would never disperse them again (Isaiah 11:11 & Amos 9:11-15). This re-gathering began in 1948 and continues to this day. One day soon He will use an unexpected attack against Israel to reveal Himself to them and to the world in an undeniable way (Ezek 39:1-7) drawing every living Jew to Israel (Ezek 39:28) to re-establish His covenant, re-build His Temple, and complete the remaining 7 years of the Dispensation of Law (Daniel’s 70th Week).
But during that time a false messiah will emerge and lead the world astray again. Standing in the new Temple, he’ll claim that he is God and millions will be deceived (2 Thes.2:4). For a time it will appear as if he’s brought peace to the world, but while people are saying “peace and safety”, destruction will come upon them as suddenly as labor pains on a pregnant woman and they will not escape (1 Thes. 5:3). This is the Great tribulation, a 3 ½ year long period of judgment unequaled from the beginning of the world and never to be equalled again (Matt. 24:21).
At its end the Lord will return to defeat this false god and those who have joined him. On that day the Lord will finally be King over the whole Earth, having taken possession of that which He redeemed with His own blood, and peace will flow like a river throughout the land. If you listen carefully you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 06-20-09