The Battle for Jerusalem Part 4

“The LORD Prevails!” (Zechariah 12:6-13)

(Verses 6-9) “In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place—Jerusalem. “The Lord will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah. In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”

The Great Bonfire! 

(Vs 6) “In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place—Jerusalem.”

At the Battle for Jerusalem the surviving remnant of Israel will fight with their Messiah against their enemies. The forces of Israel will fight under their commanding General the Lord Jesus Christ. Accompanying them will be the angelic armies of heaven including the glorified saints. The leaders of Israel will also be there and they will be like “a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place—Jerusalem.” The surrounding armies of the nations will be devoured as it were by the onslaught of the Israelis and their Commander in Chief the Lord Jesus Christ. Gaza will be taken and Hamas destroyed. Hezbollah will cease to exist. The PLO extinguished. The Arab nations will be decimated beyond recovery. The great army that has attacked Jerusalem will be pulverised by the rider on the White Horse as their blood will flow like grapes pressed down in the winepress. The firepower of Israel in that day will be so great that it will devour their enemies in wholesale lots. As for Jerusalem it will again be inhabited and re-established as the capital of the world. (Isaiah 2:1-4)

The exiles return once again

After the battle is over those who were exiled by the forces of Antichrist will return to Jerusalem. The LORD will bring them back to the city He Loves. As Isaiah spoke the word of God; “Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west. “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth, Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” (Isaiah 43:5-7) Isaiah also wrote; “In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to Him, and His resting-place will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of His people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:10-12)

The LORD will shield Jerusalem

(Vs. 7-9) “The Lord will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah. In that day the Lord will defend (shield) the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”

On that day when the armies of the nations seek to use their weaponry upon Israel the LORD will shield Jerusalem. Iran may send missiles but the LORD will deflect them. Indeed Isaiah the prophet writes; “This is what the LORD says to me: “As a lion growls, a great lion over its prey— and though a hole band of shepherds is called together against it, it is not frightened by their shouts or disturbed by their clamour— so the LORD Almighty will come down to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights. Like birds hovering overhead, the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem; He will shield it and deliver it, He will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.” (Isaiah 31:4-5) In fact the Iranian army is destined to perish along with the armies of Islam and with the armies of the many nations with them. Into the Valley of Jehoshaphat they will all go to their destruction. God will see to it personally. In that day even the feeblest of the Israelis will be as bold and courageous as David was when facing the lions, the bears or Goliath and the Philistine army. They will be God’s army and like the Angel of the LORD decimate their enemies through the power of the Spirit of God.

The Battle Standard (Banner) of the LORD!

It is also written in Isaiah the prophet; “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in, like a flood the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a (battle) standard against him.” (Isaiah 59:19) God Himself will destroy all the armies of the nations that come against Jerusalem. This is an appointment He has personally arranged. He will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat to sit in judgement on them for the way they have treated His people Israel. God Himself speaks through the prophet Joel when He says; “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land. “They have also cast lots for My people, Traded a boy for a harlot And sold a girl for wine that they may drink.” (Joel 3:1-3) The LORD will judge all the nations for the way they have treated Israel. He will put hooks as it were into their jaws. God said through the prophet Ezekiel about what He will do with these nations; “I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.” (Ezekiel 38:4) There on the mountains of Israel the armies of the Antichrist will fall at the command of the Rider on the white horse! Whose armies will go forth to fight as on the day of battle!

His feet will stand again on the Mount of Olives 

When the Lord Jesus Christ comes back there will be a great earthquake unlike any other earthquake in previous history. His feet will once again stand on the Mount of Olives and the mountain will be split in two. The Lord will open a way through the very centre of the mountain as He opened a path through the Red Sea when the Israelites were fleeing from Pharaoh. The Mountain will be cleft in two with the two parts moving north and south allowing the remnant of Israel to escape the forces of Antichrist. The Lord will have opened a great valley running east and west by which the Israelites can flee to safety. Zechariah records this vision; “Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before 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 He comes back He will be accompanied by the armies of heaven and the glorified saints. Once more His feet will stand again on the Mount of Olives to proclaim victory over the nations of the world! We are also told that His coming will also be with that great earthquake unlike any earthquake that has previously occurred.

The Apostle John saw the same vision

The Apostle John also saw this in his vision of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. John records this; “I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”(Revelation 6:12-16) Notice that this occurs when the constellations were not giving their light. This corresponds to Matthew 24:29.

John also writes; “Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, *came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.” (Revelation 16:17-21)

“All Israel will be saved!” 

(Vss. 10-13) “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves.”

When the Lord Jesus Christ comes back those Jews who have not perished will see their Messiah coming in the clouds with great splendour and power to defend them. They will realise He is the one that they have rejected. At present Israel has a partial hardening of their hearts and the veil of spiritual blindness regarding their Messiah remains to this day. However, the veil will be removed when Jesus comes back. It will take the Time of Jacob’s Trouble to bring about the circumcision of their hearts by the Spirit of the LORD. On that day when they look upon Him whom they have pierced they will finally understand the true meaning of the Passover Lamb and the power of His blood to purge their consciences from dead works to serve the living God. For Israel it will be life from the dead!

Tears of mourning and joy

The Valley of dry bones that came together in 1948 will be filled with life and power again by the Spirit of the LORD! The very Breath of God will have entered into them and they will have become a mighty army again! The tears of mourning and joy will be great across the Land of Israel as they see their Messiah coming in the clouds to save them and deliver them from the hands of their enemies and from the hands of all that hate them. All of the tribes of Israel will be there, clan by clan. The tears of heartfelt repentance and deep sorrow will be great among the clans of Israel for the way they have treated their long lost brother Yeshua Ha Mashiach. As Zechariah writes; “they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem.”

A Unique Day! (Zechariah 14:6-21)

(Zechariah 14: 6-11) “In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one. All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security.”

The glory and splendour of God

When the Lord Jesus has comes back and destroyed all of His enemies and set up His capital in Jerusalem day and night will no longer exist. We are told in the Bible that God is light and that there is no darkness in Him. We are also told that Jesus is the Light of the world and the true light that enlightens everyman. We are also told in the Bible that darkness is as light to the LORD. When the Lord Jesus sits on the throne of David the splendour and glory of God will go forth to all of the nations that have survived His return. There in Jerusalem He will reign with the glorified saints and the remnant of Israel over those surviving nations. Jerusalem will become a living fountain of spiritual life and power to the nations. All of the nations will receive the life-giving sustenance of the living water of the Holy Spirit of God. The word of God will go forth to the nations for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9b).

Jerusalem will be the capital of the world

In the Bible Mountains represent kingdoms and their capital cities. (Revelation 17:9-10) The Mountain of the LORD’S Temple is in the City of Jerusalem. In the Millennial Kingdom Jerusalem will be the most prominent capital city in the whole world. Isaiah spoke about this when he prophesied; “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in His paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more. Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” (Isaiah 2:1-5)

“Year by year the nations will go up!” 

(Zechariah 14:16-19) “Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles). And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them. If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the Lord smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.”

The Feast of Booths (Tabernacles)

The Feast of Tabernacles or Booths is one of the seven annual biblical festivals (holy days) of God, introduced to Israel at the time of the Exodus. (Leviticus 23) The Feast of Tabernacles was one of the annual pilgrimage festivals, when the people journeyed from all over the nation of Israel to keep the Feast in Jerusalem.  It was to be a joyous celebration, to be observed throughout the generations. It is an autumn festival, celebrating the abundance of God’s blessings in connection with the ingathering of the autumn harvest. It is also a memorial of the Exodus, when the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, living in tabernacles, or tents, on route to the Promised Land.  It is, therefore, a representation of faith in God’s protection and promises in this life and of the life in the kingdom to come. Spiritually speaking, the feast represented that fact that all true believers are not at home in this world but like the children of Israel are temporarily dwelling in this world. Their real destination is the Kingdom of God on earth during the Millennium and their eternal dwelling in the New Jerusalem to come. True believers are aliens and strangers in this world and their live down here in this present age is temporal. The Bible makes a distinction between those who dwell on earth from those who dwell in heaven. We are either “heaven dwellers” or “earth dwellers.”

Not of this world

The fact that the Israelites dwelt in these makeshift booths was to constantly remind them that they were not of this world but a heavenly people whose destination was the promised land, a foreshadow of the Millennial Kingdom of the Messiah. Egypt represented this world. The final destination for all true believers in Jesus is not to be permanently dwelling in this life.

A perpetual reminder

In addition, the Feast of Tabernacles looked forward to the great ingathering of believers after the Lord Jesus has come back. They will co-reign with Him over the surviving nations. During the time of His millennial rule on earth the survivors of the nations will have to go up to Jerusalem from year to year to worship the LORD and to keep the feast of booths. It will be a perpetual reminder to them of the sacrifice the Lord Jesus made for the sins of the world and they will be forced to keep this feast. A refusal to do this will have dire consequences for them. As it is written of the Lord Jesus Christ that; “He will rule the nations with a Rod of Iron!” He will be calling the shots!

“God is with you”

Zechariah also writes; “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, “Let us go at once to entreat the LORD and seek the LORD Almighty. I myself am going.” And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat Him.’  This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, “Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.”’ (Zechariah 8:20-23) In that day Israel will be “the head and not the tail” and “possess her possessions” from the Wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River

The Millennial Kingdom 

(Verses 20-21) “In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “HOLY TO THE LORD.” And the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the bowls before the altar. Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the Lord of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts in that day.”

A perpetual ordinance

During the Millennial Kingdom there will still be sacrifices and offerings in the Temple before the LORD and his Son the Lord Jesus Christ, Israel’s Messiah. They will not be sin offerings as such because the sacrifice on the cross has done away with the need for any more sacrifices or offerings for sin. The sacrifices and offerings in the Millennial Temple will be memorials to the salvation provided by the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross, the Passover Lamb who has been sacrificed for us. These sacrifices will be a perpetual ordinance throughout the 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom, much like the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper which for believers in this present age is also a reminder of what the Lord Jesus has done for us. During the Millennial reign there will be those born who will need to be taught from infancy the laws and commandments of God and to know the Messiah of Israel and what He did in the previous age to redeem men. In the Millennial Kingdom idolatry will not exist.

Holiness and righteousness

Holiness and righteousness will be the standard of the Millennial Kingdom. The idols will have been banished from the Land of Israel and especially from the City of Jerusalem. This Millennial Kingdom pre-figures the New Jerusalem to come. The conditions on the earth at this time will not be perfect but the earth will fulfil the purpose for which it was originally created, namely for the benefit of mankind. Satan will have been removed from human contact.

Prayers will be answered 

In the Millennial Kingdom of God many of the unanswered prayers of the saints in this life will be answered. After his act of disobedience in the wilderness Moses pleaded with the LORD three times to let him enter the Promised Land but the LORD did not permit him to enter it in his lifetime. He saw the land but did not enter it. Did the LORD answer Moses prayer? He most certainly did but not in Moses lifetime on earth. On the Mount of Transfiguration Moses appeared with Elijah and the Lord Jesus in glory and they all shone with the same brilliance. Moses did get to enter the Promised Land. When he was living on earth he had no idea what lay ahead for him in the future regarding his request. He only saw through a dark glass very dimly what was to come but in the transfiguration he saw his Messiah face to face!

A Personal word

In this life there are many faithful saints who are suffering and dying without seeing their prayers and requests answered. Many are languishing in prison or in labour camps while their brethren are being tortured and murdered because they will not deny their Lord. Many are desperately praying and longing for freedom and release while others lay upon a bed of sickness but relief and rescue elude them. They are perpetually aware that those who suffer according to the will of God should continue to commit themselves to their faithful creator who works in all things for their good according to His good will, however, in the Millennial Kingdom of God they will be amply rewarded and see how their prayers lined up with the will and purposes of God and they will be abundantly satisfied! It may be you are a believer in the Lord Jesus and you are facing a terminal illness with only six months to live but be encouraged you have six months to live followed by a thousand years to live and following that eternity to live in the New Jerusalem! All of us are dying physically but we are all heading towards the rapture and resurrection at the appearing of our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The Transfiguration

When the Apostle Peter wrote about his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration he wrote about it with the Second Coming of Jesus in view. He saw in the Transfiguration the rapture and resurrection of all faithful believers at the end of this present age. He had a foretaste of the Millennial Kingdom to come. This is why he wanted to build booths for them. At that time on the mountain, with James and John also present, Peter, with his limited revelation at that point, actually thought the Millennial Kingdom was about to be established on earth.

Raptured and resurrected!

However when he wrote his epistle many years later he understood its eschatological significance in that it directly related to the Second Coming of Jesus in the future. Moses and Elijah both appeared together with the Lord Jesus in the eternal realm. They all shone with the same brilliance. Moses represented those of us who die or fall asleep in Christ while Elijah represents those of us who are still living when Jesus comes back. Together whether we sleep or are alive in this body we will all be changed at the sound of the last trumpet and in the twinkling of an eye. The rapture and resurrection are one and the same event. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) (1 Corinthians 15:52)

“And they will reign on the earth!”

Our destiny as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and the destiny of the remnant of Israel are to co-reign with Him over the nations of the world that have survived the plagues and judgements of God. We, like our Lord Jesus, are destined to also rule the nations with a rod of iron! The Apostle John spoke about the overcomers in this life when he wrote what he heard the Lord Jesus say; “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations— ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ as I also have received from My Father.” (Revelation 2:26) John also writes; “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; And we shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9-10)

An eternal kingdom

The Lord Jesus now reigns in the heavenly realms and every faithful believer also reigns with Him in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 1:19-23; 3:6) In the Millennial Kingdom His heavenly reign in the unseen spiritual realm will be manifest physically on earth. The Kingdom of God will be visibly revealed to the surviving nations. In that day the saints will inherit the Kingdom. Both the faithful remnant of Israel and the faithful Body of the Messiah will inherit the Kingdom of God. As Daniel the prophet foretold when he wrote; “But the saints of the Most High will receive (inherit) the Kingdom and will possess it forever-yes, for ever and ever.” (Daniel 7:18)

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