“Tenderness in the Wilderness” (Isaiah Chapter 35)
No nation has suffered more on earth than Israel. The nation of Israel was chosen by God to be a unique nation in that it would be a theocracy where God would be the only God and that He would have a nation totally separated to Him, free from idolatry, and one called to be a light to the other nations and a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, reflecting the nature and character of God Himself as a light shining in a dark and sinful world estranged from its creator because of its idolatry, its sin and rebellion against God (Exodus 19:6). In 1948, after almost 2,000 years of exile, Israel as nation was reborn. It was a nation born in a day (Isaiah 66:7-9). Ezekiel the prophets tells us that the nation would be re-gathered to the land and that in the land they would be spiritually revived, a spiritual revival yet to come in the future (Ezekiel 37:1-10).
However, at present the nation of Israel is estranged from God and most Israelis are living secular lives. As for the Jewish orthodox religious sects they also are rejecting the Messiah. Even though there are Messianic fellowships growing in Israel where the Lord Jesus is honoured and worshipped, by and large there is a hardness of heart that prevails in Israel but it is a partial hardness which God is going to have to break apart (Romans 11:25). There is only one way for God to grab Israel’s attention and that is to have them pass under His shepherd’s rod of correction in the wilderness, not a literal wilderness as such, but a wilderness experience as a nation where they are stripped of all reliance upon anyone or anything else apart from a total reliance upon God alone, a lesson God has been seeking to teach Israel from the time when they were wondering in the wilderness after their deliverance from Egypt. The wilderness must come first before the Promised Land. This is true for all who would serve the Lord.
God spoke to Israel through the prophet Ezekiel; “I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you. As I judged your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will take note of you as you pass under My rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant” (Ezekiel 20:35-38).
And again God spoke to Israel through the prophet Amos; “For surely I will command, And will sift the house of Israel among all nations, As grain is sifted in a sieve; Yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground” (Amos 9:9).
Today Israel is back in the land as foretold by the prophets, however, they have as yet to encounter the Messiah who has shed His blood to redeem, to save and to cleanse them from all iniquity to bring them into the unbreakable bond of the New Covenant sealed forever in His blood (Zechariah 12:10-14; 13:1). This was the New Covenant made with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah (Jeremiah 31:31) (Matthew 26:28). At present Israel is still to be spiritually sifted and God is using applied pressure to do this. Israel’s troubles today are multiplying in frequency and intensity, yet the leaders are still looking to the ‘Egypt’ of this world for their national security and not to the Lord. Not only is the nation of Israel being sifted but also the Jewish people dispersed among the nations.
The Holocaust was a terrible genocide that God permitted Satan to perpetrate against Israel. When you consider Europe in the early 1930’s the Jewish people were ensconced within the European nations. They were already in the wilderness of the nations and the sifting of God was to come. Most of the European Jews were very comfortable. They were soldiers, doctors, and teachers, scientists, very accomplished in many endeavours and excelling in the economic and business world. Most of the European Jews were so integrated within the nations that they did not see, or chose not to see, the Nazi regime arising like a dark spectre and coming for them. Even though the Zionists went throughout Europe in the very early 1930’s warning their fellow Jews to immigrate back to Israel, they just refused to leave their comfortable and established lifestyles which by and large did not include the Lord and especially the Messiah. After the Zionists left the hunters came.
God spoke these words through Jeremiah the prophet; “Behold, I am going to send for many fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will fish for them; and afterwards I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks” (Jeremiah 16:16),
While the European Jews to a large degree kept their Jewish religious traditions outwardly, in their hearts they were hostile to the only one who could save them from their sins. Even though the Messiah our Lord Jesus had broken the curse of sin and its power through shedding His atoning blood as the ultimate and final Passover Lamb, the Jewish people by and large rejected Him and so they remained under the curse of the law. Still living in the wilderness of the nations they would be stripped of all reliance upon man and the only means by which this would happen would be the Holocaust. God had no other way of using this terrible time of persecution to get the attention of His people to turn back to Himself because they persisted in rejecting His only way of salvation in the Messiah.
Let’s be clear at this point that God never cursed the Jewish people and the Lord Jesus prayed for them when He was hanging on the cross for their sins. The Jewish people put a curse on themselves and their children at the trial of the Lord Jesus when they said; “His blood is on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:25).
Even though the Messiah our Lord Jesus bore the curse of the law in His own body on the cross, the power of the curse needs to be broken in and over the individual lives of the Jewish people (Galatians 3:13-14). The only way for that power of sin to be broken for any human being, whether Jew or Gentile, is through repentance from their unbelief in the Messiah and embracing Him by faith and with a total reliance upon His shed blood which has fully atoned for their sins and for the sins of the whole world (John 1:29) (1 John 2:2). Whenever a Jewish person repents and believes in the Messiah to save them, the curse of the law over their lives is broken and they discover what it really means to be a descendant of Abraham and an inheritor of the Land of Israel! Added to this, when a Jewish man, woman boy or girl believes in the Lord Jesus as their Lord, Saviour and Messiah, it does not mean that they must deny their Jewish identity. Far from it! After all, the Messiah our Lord Jesus is Jewish!
As Paul the apostle writes concerning a true Jew from God’s perspective; “A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God” (Romans 2:28-29).
The curse of the law is a terrible thing as we see the curses listed in the Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 28 and this is what all of us are under, whether we be Jew or Gentile ethnically because of our sin and rebellion against God (Romans 1:18-20) (Romans 2:9-11; 3:9-18, 23). This is why we all need the atoning, justifying, cleansing, sanctifying and protecting power of the Messiah’s blood sprinkled on the altar of our hearts through repentance and faith in Him alone if we would be saved (John 14:6) (Romans 1:16-17). It is only His blood that will protect us from the wrath of God that is soon to come upon the nations (Romans 5:9).
When any Jew or Gentile put their total reliance upon the Lord Jesus, being the only door through which any Jew or Gentile can be reconciled to God, they will be protected from the coming wrath of God upon the nations (John 14:6) (Exodus 12:13) (Romans 5:9). As it is also written; “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4: 12). We all need the righteousness of the Messiah and this righteousness comes through faith in Him and not by a works based righteousness (Philippians 3:7-11) (Ephesians 2:8-9).
As terrible as it was God used the Holocaust to re-establish His covenant people in their own land which occurred in 1948 which He has given to the Jewish people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through cutting the blood covenant with Abraham that guaranteed the land of Israel to be for the Jewish people “an everlasting possession” (Genesis 15:17-1917:8). Once again God is seeking to get Israel’s attention, both in the Land of Israel and in the nations where multitudes of the Jewish people are still living. However anti-Semitism is on the rise at an alarming rate right across Europe and in America as well.
Today Israel is a secular nation, self-reliant, entering into covenants with pagan nations for their security and support and not looking alone to the God of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The modern Israelis are by and large hedonistic, humanistic and living in the same way that the unsaved pagan world is living. There is a lot of religious tradition in Israel but as a nation for the most part they are still estranged from the Messiah. The catch cry; “never again!” is not an exclamation of their trust in the Lord who has brought them back into their own land after the Holocaust, but an exclamation of their own prowess as a nation with the power to defeat all who come against them, an attitude that God must deal with if they are to be eternally saved.
Make no mistake! God is going to spiritually restore Israel at the end of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, being the time of Great Tribulation lasting for three and a half years at the end of this present age, but after the sifting Israel will be saved out of it at the end (Jeremiah 30:1-10) (Daniel 7:25;12:7). They will come into their full national and spiritual inheritance and for the surviving Jews it will be “life from the dead!” (Romans 11:15). Also it will be a time when the only friends the Jews will have will be faithful New Covenant believers that make up the Body of the Messiah (the faithful Church) who love the Lord Jesus and love his brothers and sisters in the flesh the Jewish people. These will also go into the time of Great Tribulation to stand alongside, to support and to succour the Jews in their hour of greatest trial that will eclipse even the Holocaust.
This will be a terrible time of tribulation never equalled in the past and never to be equalled again in the future and Israel will be in the firing line as well as faithful Christians who are standing with Israel (Daniel 12;1) (Matthew 24:21-22). Both Jews and Messianic believers (Jew and Gentile) will be fused together in this time of Great Tribulation when the Islamic Antichrist and his beast empire persecute the saints (Daniel 7:21, 25) (Revelation 13:5-7).
Another wilderness experience is coming upon Israel. The prophet Zechariah writes; “In the whole land,” declares the Lord, “two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on My name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God” (Zechariah 13:8-9).
We know from the Book of Revelation that the dragon (Satan) living on the inside of the Antichrist and controlling the beast empire will go after the woman (Israel) but she will evade destruction and be protected in the wilderness. These are the Jewish remnant chosen by grace (Romans 9:27-29; 11:4). At this time Satan will go after the offspring of the woman, who are New Covenant believers, the faithful Church (Revelation 12:1-6). During this time of Great Tribulation many Jews will be saved by the love and witness shown to them by born again New Covenant believers also being persecuted for the name of the Messiah our Lord Jesus.
Having said this, another partial exile will occur when half of the city of Jerusalem is taken into exile into the Islamic countries surrounding Israel (Zechariah 14:1-3). We are also told that at the end of this time of tribulation for Israel that the Lord will go out to fight Israel’s enemies and that the Messiah will come back with great power and glory to plant His feet on the Mount of Olives. It will bring about Israel’s rescue and the destruction for Israel’s enemies! (Zechariah 14:12-14) We are also told that “Judah will also fight at Jerusalem!” (vs.14) God will also bring the exiles home to Israel where they have been spiritually sifted in the wilderness of the nations (Micah 4:6-8) (Isaiah 49:22) (Ezekiel 36:24-38) (Jeremiah 31:7-14).
Isaiah Chapter 35 is a prophetic passage of scripture which clearly shows the purpose of the faithful Church towards Israel in the time of Jacob’s Trouble also called the time of Great Tribulation. The context of Isaiah Chapter 35 is set in the wilderness, not a literal wilderness, but a situation that is yet to be a wilderness experience for Israel where the only life support for them will be the Messiah, Michael the Principality over Israel, and faithful born again, blood washed New Covenant believers who will stand alongside and support Israel in their darkest hour which is yet to come. At the end of this time of the Big Trouble Israel as a nation will be saved and for every surviving Jew it will be life from the dead! Let’s now look at this passage…
Isaiah Chapter 35
(Vs.1-2) “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God.”
Consider the nature of the wilderness, especially in the Middle-East. It is God’s creation stripped bare of any product of man. It is nature in its most primeval state. You will notice things in the wilderness you will not notice while living in the cities and among the noise of daily living and relationships. It is in the wilderness that one can see things more clearly spiritually than when surrounded by the luxuries and pursuits of daily life. God not only trains His servants in the place of the wilderness but also uses the wilderness experience to strip His servants and His chosen people bare of any reliance upon man. The wilderness is a dry, arid and dusty place where vegetation is virtually non-existent and water barely found.
It is in the desert of the wilderness that God reveals Himself to His prophets and it is in the wilderness experience that God provides spiritual manna from heaven and life-giving water from the spiritual rock, which is the Messiah, to truly satisfy His spiritually thirsty people, a thirst they will not recognise unless they are thrust into the wilderness. God is going to thrust Israel as a nation into a situation which will be for the nation a wilderness experience which they must endure and pass through if they would enter God’s Promised Land, a fully restored Israel and a theocracy where the Messiah reigns on the throne of David in Jerusalem, and where the Torah is the only law governing the nation and the surviving nations of the world (Isaiah 2:1-5) (Micah 4:1-5).
When we see the Israelis today turning the desert places into pastures of fruitfulness this is a picture of what God is going to do for Israel in the wilderness experience. It will require ploughing. The Israelites (I prefer to call them that because scripture calls them by that name) must plough up the hard packed soil of their hearts to receive the seed of God’s Word so that when the showers of spiritual refreshing come from the presence of the Lord the wilderness will be turned into a spiritually fruitful and delightful land where unbridled joy will be common place in Israel (Acts 3:19). It will be for Israel life from the dead! Also we see mentioned the splendour of Israel’s restoration likened to Lebanon, Carmel and Sharon. Lebanon was a mountain famous for its excellent cedars, Carmel was a most delightful forested mountain, and Sharon a most pleasant place for pasture; so that all these added together express the great excellence and beauty that will be the Land of Israel in the Messianic kingdom to come.
Unless Israel is confronted with a wilderness situation where human agency cannot help them and the only recourse is to seek the God of their forefathers, they will not turn back to the Lord. As Hosea the prophet declares to Israel; “Sow for yourselves righteousness and reap the fruit of loving devotion; break up your unploughed ground. For it is time to seek the LORD until He comes and sends righteousness upon you like rain“(Hosea 10:12). The end result for the spiritual aridness of Israel will see the living water of God’s Spirit spiritually renew them and transform the spiritual nature of their wilderness into to a place of spiritual fruitfulness and abundance of provision and into a place where their enemies cannot reach them.
The end result of transforming their wilderness into a fruitful land will be that they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God. God is going to fully restore Israel, not for their sakes, but for His own sake and for His glory to be exulted in the nations, especially during the Messianic Millennial reign of the Messiah our Lord Jesus (Ezekiel 36:19-23).
But how will God do this for Israel in their time of the wilderness experience? Through whom will He do this?
In Isaiah Chapter 35 from verse 3 we see a transition in the text where another group of people is mentioned that speaks to Israel and encourages them as they are passing through their wilderness experience. This group is born again, New Covenant believers, the Body of the Messiah, the faithful Church, who know the Messiah and will show His love and preach the gospel of the kingdom to His beleaguered and forlorn Jewish brethren. In the time of Great Tribulation the only friends Israel will have will be Bible believing, blood-redeemed born again believers, who know God’s prophetic purposes for Israel, and who know that unless they reach out to the Jewish people in their time of wilderness experience and extremity during the time of Great Tribulation, many Jews will not spiritually survive in the coming holocaust!
Today we have many Christians enamoured with Israel and all things Jewish and telling them that God is blessing them and that Israel will keep prospering and having victory over their enemies. While these things are true Israel has yet to pass through the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. While Israel will excel in their military endeavours and win some victories militarily and strategically over their immediate militant Islamic neighbours, a time will come when the very survival of the nation will be at stake. In that day there will be cries of fear and terror and where every strong man will grip their stomachs in fear of what is coming upon Israel and every face turned deathly pale. At the end of this time of the Great Trouble Israel will be saved out of it (Jeremiah 30:1-6).
In that day of the Big Trouble only those New Covenant believers who have understood the wilderness experience themselves and God’s redeeming purposes in the wilderness experience, will be able to come alongside the Jewish people and bring them the real comfort of God which in their extremity will lead them back to their Messiah. It is vital that they understand the Gospel of the kingdom as their spiritual survival depends on understanding and embracing this great Biblical truth received by faith in the Messiah as “their Passover Lamb who has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7).
Even before the Great tribulation really starts a time is coming where Jews in every nation, especially in Europe, will be dispossessed and displaced from their homes and livelihoods and turned out into the streets. They will experience the sifting of God in the wilderness of the nations. Many New Covenant believers will have to take these displaced Jewish people into their homes to protect them, even at the risk of their own lives, as they did in Europe when the Nazis were hunting down the Jews.
It’s so easy to comfort the Jews when everything is going well, even though they are daily confronted with their enemies. Multitudes of Christians in their exuberance with all things Jewish cannot envisage a time when Israel will be on the verge of annihilation as a people. Well-meaning believers think that they are comforting Israel by sharing with them all of the good things God has promised them as a nation, and it is right to do so. However, to really comfort and to bless the Jewish people Biblically speaking, is to preach the Gospel of the kingdom to them, because if they do not turn back to the Messiah through repentance and by faith in Him alone who can save them, they will surely perish in the coming conflagration that is to hit Israel and the faithful Body of the Messiah (the faithful Church) spiritually grafted into Israel.
When Israel enters once again into the wilderness experience they will be stripped of all reliance upon the Egypt of this world and totally abandoned by the nations they have relied upon. Who then will stand beside them in their affliction and extreme adversity which will be great? We, who know the Messiah as our Redeemer, Saviour and Lord, will have to come alongside the Jewish people to support them in their time of extremity and at the same time sharing the good news of the Kingdom with them. This is what we are to say to them in their extremity. And then we read…
(Vs.3-4) “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Everyone remembers the pictures of the Nazi death camps and the state of the survivors, bedraggled, skin and bone, gaunt faces, non-emotional empty gazes in their eyes, without any hope, bereft of all earthly comforts, a forsaken and forlorn people, totally dejected and weary of life itself, hungry, thirsty, naked without hope and in their deep minds feeling that they were indeed without God in this world.
A time is coming very soon when in the nations of Europe, America, Great Britain, Russia, China and in Muslim countries that Jews will be driven out of their homes, their livelihoods, marginalised, rejected and totally decimated, emotionally, mentally and even physically abused. Many will not all be able to get to Israel. It is at this point that those of us who really love Israel will befriend them and be able to share with them the gospel of the coming kingdom and their role in it once they have embraced their Messiah. Many will be out on the streets without any food or shelter and open to abuse as they were in Germany in the early 30’s when Nazi youth gangs harassed them continuously. Their only hope will be truly born again believers who will befriend them and take them onto their homes to care for them spiritually and practically and if necessary give them a hiding place.
Many Jews will be embittered because of what they have experienced at the hands of the so called ‘Christian’ nations especially in Europe. Many will remember the Holocaust. It is said that Martin Luther’s book “The Jews and their Lies” greatly impacted the ideology of Adolph Hitler. Many Jewish people will be filled with fear and trepidation because of what they have experienced and bereft of all sense of comfort. It will be only faithful believers in the Messiah who will need to go out of their way to befriend these dear brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus. It may even mean hiding them in our homes at the risk of our own displacement or even at the risk of our very lives. It will not be primarily what we will say but how we will demonstrate God’s love to them through our actions.
They will also see us sharing in their wilderness experience yet rejoicing in the bounty of God and in the Messiah even though we, like them, are hard-pressed, yet full of the joy of the Lord that can only be given supernaturally by the Holy Spirit in such adverse circumstances (James 1:2-3) (Nehemiah 8:10). Remember brothers and sisters that the dragon (Satan) not only goes after the woman (Israel) but also goes after the rest of her offspring, “those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus,” that is faithful New Covenant believers in the Messiah, the faithful Body of the Messiah (the faithful Church) (Revelation 12:1-6).
In their darkest hour we will need to say to the Lord Jesus’ brethren, “strengthen your feeble hands and steady the knees that are giving away” and to stand firm and to not to give up because the Lord has plans to prosper them and to give them a hope and a future but requires of them that they seek Him with all of their hearts to be found by Him (Jeremiah 29:11-14). We will need to encourage them not to give into fear and we ourselves will have to have learnt not to give into fear, because they will need to see us in this way when we are confronted by the same calamity they are confronted with. If we learn to cast our anxieties on the Lord daily and learn to trust Him when we are fearful this will strengthen us for the future when fear and anxiety will be paramount everywhere.
The time is coming when in every nation Bible believing New Covenant believers who will not compromise on the Word of God, who like the Jews will also be experiencing rejection not only by the pagan world but by an apostate backslidden Church in league with a hostile anti-Christ government. Added to this even in Israel there will be apostate Jews who will side with the secular government and persecute Messianic believers as we see happening already in Israel today. This will mean for us taking up the cross of the Lord Jesus, knowing the power of His resurrected indestructible life but also sharing in His suffering. He was willing to lay down His life for His Jewish brethren as well as for us and for the whole world for that matter and we also must be willing to lay down our lives as a witness to our Jewish brothers and sisters of the sacrifice their Messiah made for them. This can only be achieved by the power of the blessed Holy Spirit. It is the Messiah in us which is the hope of glory! (Colossians 1:27).
Not all of us will necessarily face martyrdom, but we will face deprivation and loss of material things and other necessities and some of us end up in prison. How we react to our circumstances will directly affect those Jews looking at us in our adversity. We may have various kinds of troubles and difficulties at present to a greater or lesser degree in our daily lives, and how we react to them now is preparing us for what is coming down the line when persecution and adversity really heats up.
We also need to have the hope of the Second Coming of the Messiah to deliver us and to establish His Messianic kingdom and convey this to the Jews with whom we have contact. They also need to know that the Lord will vindicate them as His people. Always remember it is the resurrected indestructible life of the Lord Jesus that our Jewish brothers and sisters will need to see living and at work in us (Hebrews 7:16).
This is why we must allow the Holy Spirit to put to death in us all that is displeasing to God. For us this is where the rubber hits the road spiritually speaking. And so we see what will be the outcome for our unsaved Jewish brethren. They will come to salvation when they see our love for them while sharing in their adversity. Ultimately when the Lord Jesus returns every Jew still alive on earth will see Him and in that day “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26-27). And then we read…
(Vs.5-6) “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.”
It will be in the wilderness experience that the remnant in Israel chosen by grace will receive spiritual insight and spiritual hearing and a mouth full of the praises of God. The burning thirst of the unsaved spiritually desolate soul will be filled with the spiritually refreshing, resurrected, indestructible life of the Messiah by the blessed Holy Spirit. Also in those haunts deep within their souls where the ‘jackals’ of Satan’s minions held sway, these enclaves of principalities and demons will be swept clean by the power of God through the sprinkling of the Messiah’s atoning and cleansing blood applied to the doorposts of their hearts! The arid lands in Israel we see today that have been turned into fruitful pasturelands are the harbinger of what will come, not by Israel’s own ability but by the power of God after the Messiah has returned and taken away their sins and offences. In that day the entire land will be like the Garden of Eden before the fall of man! God’s glory will be displayed to all of the nations that survive the time of the Great Trouble!
In that day the desert will bloom abundantly and its splendour and glory will be the envy of the whole earth as it reflects the awesome splendour of the Messiah in His Millennial glory as He sits on the throne of David at Jerusalem. At present Israel has prospered to a degree and God has been watching over them because of the blood covenant He made with Abraham. However, the nation have yet to pass through the furnace of affliction where they will be purified as a people that will ultimately see a remnant immerge, full of the glory and power of their Messiah, and where, at the end of this time of divine pruning, they will enter into their full inheritance in the land of Israel under the reign of the Messiah. In that day there will be no place on earth to even compare with the state of Israel! And then we read…
(Vs.8-9) “And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there”
It is written of the Lord in scripture that; “Holiness adorns Your House forever O Lord” (Psalm 93:5). In the Messianic kingdom the remnant of Israel, fused together by the Spirit with the resurrected Body of the Messiah, will be one flock under one shepherd and they will be a kingdom of priests serving the Lord in His Messianic kingdom on earth. These redeemed saints will have direct access anytime day and night to the very throne room of the Messiah Himself reigning on the original Mt Zion in the City of David. There the redeemed of all the ages will have direct access to the holy of holies in the Millennial Temple, where as a kingdom of priests, they will see face to face the one who has redeemed them and Israel from all her sins.
In the Messianic kingdom to come only those who walk in the light of God’s presence, who have been cleansed by the blood of the Messiah and now reside in their immortal glorified bodies, will have direct access to Him. Nothing unclean will be able to enter His presence nor into the Millennial Temple. As for Satan, that roaring lion who had his teeth plucked out at the cross, will be nowhere to be found, having been imprisoned in a pit deep in the heart of the earth without any access to humanity for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3). As for the demons, those spiritually fallen ‘jackals’ and ‘ravenous beasts,’ they will not be found anywhere in the Messianic kingdom. God’s law the Torah will be the only law governing the world. Only the redeemed of all the ages will have abundant liberty to travel across the length and the breadth of the earth to spread the Word of God to the generations of those who will be born during the Millennium. And then we read…
(Vs.10) …”and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”
Once the Messiah has returned and destroyed all opposition and established His messianic reign, those Jews who had been exiled to foreign nations will return to Israel to receive their allotted inheritance. These will have been saved and will return to Israel and to Jerusalem singing with unbridled joy about the salvation and cleansing from sin they have received from the Messiah. Indeed we are told in the prophet Zechariah that 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).
This fountain was opened at the cross which resulted in the restoration of David’s fallen Tabernacle, a partial spiritual restoration that occurred on the day of Pentecost but will have its ultimate fulfilment in the Messianic kingdom where there will be no Jew on the face of the earth who is not saved! This redeemed company will be both Jew and Gentile, being one flock united together under one shepherd (John 10:16) (Amos 9:11-12) (Acts 15:12-18). All who return to Israel will enter Jerusalem with singing and crowned with everlasting joy and gladness and that joy will overtake them in abundance and sorrow and sighing will flee away!
When the city of the New Jerusalem in heaven descends to earth at the end of the Millennium after the final rebellion of Satan has been put down and the Great White throne judgement has finished its judiciary purpose, the old heavens and earth will pass away and the new heavens and earth established for all of eternity and the New Jerusalem the city in which those redeemed by the blood of the Messiah and clothed with His righteousness will be able to enter it. Nothing spiritually defiled and unclean will be able to enter that eternal city (Revelation 21:1-14).
As New Covenant believers we have an awesome responsibility to the Jewish people with whom we come into contact with. The best way to bless any Jewish person is to share with them the Gospel of the kingdom and that a fountain has been opened up to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. Furthermore, they need to know that their works based righteousness will never make them acceptable to God (Ephesians 2:8-9) (Romans 3:19-20). The one mark they need to see in us as New Covenant believers is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).
The day is coming when being Jewish will not be popular but will bring adversity to the Jews living in our cities. We who support the Jewish people will also be required by God to partake in their affliction and in that affliction be reflectors of the joy and glory of the Messiah. Only in this way will the Jews be moved to envy when they see Messianic believers rejoicing in the same afflictions and rejection they themselves will be experiencing. Satan knows that his time is now short and he will stop at nothing to dispossess and even destroy Jews and faithful Christians who stand with and support the Jewish people. Ofg course he will never succeed! For Israel’s ultimate national and spiritual restoration to happen it will take the time of Great Tribulation, the wilderness experience that will result in an abundant spiritual harvest that will last for all of eternity.
In Matthew Chapter 25, after the Lord Jesus has come back and inaugurated His Messianic kingdom and is sitting on His throne engulfed in heavenly glory, He will assemble before Him the nations that have survived the time of Great Tribulation. He will separate the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats He will put on His left. Those on His right are the ones blessed by His Father and who will take up their inheritance in the kingdom prepared for them since the creation of the world because they ministered to the physical and spiritual needs of His brothers and sisters in the flesh, being the Jewish people during their time of great adversity as they passed through the time of their wilderness experience during the time of Jacob’s Trouble. These ‘sheep’ responded voluntarily to the love of God for Jesus’ brothers and sisters in the flesh in their time of extremity and great adversity.
As for the ‘goats’ they will be cursed and consigned to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels because they did not care for or even consider meeting the physical and spiritual needs of Jesus’ beleaguered and persecuted brothers and sisters in the flesh. The goats went away into to eternal punishment but the righteous to eternal life. The implication is that if we are really saved and love the Lord Jesus we will also love His brothers and sisters in the flesh being the whole house of Israel and Judah. According to the words of the Lord Jesus it is a salvation matter.
If we are saved then we will want to reach out to the Jews with the gospel of the kingdom and to support them in any way we can especially when the Time of Great Tribulation really kicks in. In that day the Jews will need the Christians. Those who profess to love the Lord Jesus but reject Israel will find themselves among the goats and not the sheep. I did not say this but the Lord Jesus Himself said it and made it a salvation issue! The judgement was based on what people did or did not do towards His brethren the Jewish people. Those into replacement theology and denigrating the Jews and Israel as an apartheid state, and calling for the re-establishment of a so called ‘Palestinian state,’ and a two-state solution, are in danger of hellfire for all of eternity even though they profess to be believers!
While we are saved by grace through faith and not of ourselves, that is our faith being the gift of God and not by works we produce, if we are saved then we will have works along the line of the faith we profess to have (Ephesians 2:8-9) (James 2:14-26). These “works” will include seeking to meet the spiritual and physical needs of Jesus’ brothers and sisters, the Jewish people. The whole Bible is Jewish centric, not Gentile centric. Israel is at the centre of the whole Bible and everything that happens in the Bible is related to Israel’s place in the world and its importance is only eclipsed by the Messiah our Lord Jesus who is Himself the glorious, grand and central theme and personage of the whole Bible. It is all about Him and the salvation He has brought to the world and especially to His brothers and sisters in the flesh the Jewish people. The whole Bible is a Jewish book and must be understood from the Jewish perspective and in the way a believing Jew would understand and interpret its truths. It is not a western book, neither is it to be interpreted with a Hellenistic western mindset. As for Bible prophecy it is all centred in the Middle-East, not Europe and the west or in the orient.
So then Israel as a nation is to pass through the wilderness experience one last time and the only companions in tribulation they will have will be the assembly of Bible believing, born again, blood justified, blood-redeemed, blood cleansed, blood sanctified, blood protected Spirit-filled New Covenant believers. Their goal towards Israel in the time of Great Tribulation will be to comfort Israel with the gospel of the kingdom. God has given this responsibility to His faithful Body on earth, the Assembly (Church) of the living God. This then will be the primary role of the faithful Church in the time of Jacob’s Trouble.
As Isaiah the prophet declares; “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, and that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins… The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures for ever.’ You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’ See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and He rules with a mighty arm. See, His reward is with him, and His recompense accompanies Him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young“ (Isaiah 40: 1-2, 8-11).
The way to really bless Israel is to preach the unadulterated Gospel of the Kingdom “to the Jew first!” (Romans 1:16). This will prove to be for Israel the tenderness in the wilderness! On that day when the Messiah judges the nations on how they have treated His brethren will you be numbered with the sheep or with the goats? Selah.