9. The Spiritual Significance of Jerusalem

Jerusalem is much more than just the capital of Israel – it is the heart and soul of Judaism, the epitome of their cultural, religious and political life. This city is an essential part of Israel’s existence as the chosen people of God, and all their future dreams are built around Jerusalem and all the promises of its glorious future. The spiritual centre of the city is the Temple Mount, where the temple was the visible expression of the divine mandate which the covenant people held over the city as well as the entire land of Israel. The king of this unique city and land is destined to fulfil a world reforming role in which all nations will rejoice:

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is in her palaces; He is known as her refuge” (Ps. 48:1-3).

The presence of the house of the Lord on Mount Moriah was, for many centuries, the tangible proof of God’s interest in this city, its inhabitants, and the whole land which He gave to them as an everlasting possession. The temple was not only the symbol of God’s presence, and the holiness which He expected of His people, but also of the guarantee of protection against all Israel’s enemies in the neighbouring pagan world: “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and for ever” (Ps. 125:2). God said about this city: “I will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst” (Zech. 2:5).

An important part of the Lord’s involvement with Israel and Jerusalem is the promise that He would send the Messiah to them. To orthodox Jews, the full glory of the city will be manifested when the Messiah comes, the temple is rebuilt, and when, according to Isaiah 2:2-4, the law of the Lord will go out from Jerusalem to the whole world. That will be a time of peace on earth when the Gentiles will feel so secure that they will not even have the need for military training. Israel will be honoured as God’s special servants by all nations. However, orthodox Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah as He did not fulfil the promises of exalting Jerusalem and its inhabitants. To the contrary, He proclaimed judgements upon the city and its people because of their unbelief (Matt. 23:37-39).

But Messianic Jews believe that Jesus is the Messiah, that He will come again to save the remnant in Israel, to restore the throne of David, and rule the whole world from Jerusalem. All Christians who literally believe biblical prophecies also share the expectations of Messianic Jews regarding Jerusalem and its inhabitants. These prophecies commit all of us to love Jerusalem, to conduct a study on this city and its people, and to pray for the fulfilment of the wonderful promises which the Lord made to them (Isa. 62:6-7). During the world-wide revelation of the Messiah when He appears on earth for the second time, Jerusalem and the temple will, more than ever before, radiate the glory of God’s presence, and only then will the remnant of the nations fully realise that they should embrace Him to share in true peace on earth.

Historical development

The divine history of Jerusalem started 4 000 years ago when Melchizedek, a man of God, was the king of Salem. He was such a special priest of God that even Abraham, the father of all believers (Gal. 3:6-9, 14) promptly honoured him:

“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, meaning king of peace, without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually” (Heb. 7:1-3).

Melchizedek was a type of Jesus, or, according to some commentators, an Old Testament appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ. He was the priest-king of righteousness and peace. These are titles of the Lord Jesus as He is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. He is also King of the Jews, and of the whole world, with His earthly throne in Jerusalem (Luke 1:32; Acts 15:16-17). Furthermore, He is our righteousness and peace.

Abraham went to Salem, where Jerusalem was later built on Mount Zion and the Temple Mount (Moriah), to offer a tenth of his spoils to Melchizedek. In like manner Israel would, during subsequent centuries, go up to the “house” of the Lord to offer their possessions and lives to Him.

Abraham later returned to Mount Moriah to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to God. The instruction of God to him was clear: “Then He said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Gen. 22:2).

On this mountain, where the temple of God would be built a thousand years later and where many animals would be sacrificed as a prelude to the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God just outside Jerusalem on Golgotha, Abraham had to sacrifice his only son to God. Isaac was a type of the Lord Jesus as he was made an innocent sacrifice after having carried the wood for the burnt offering on his own shoulders. At the last moment Isaac was raised from the altar and substituted with an animal, as he was only a type of the Lamb of God who would be sacrificed for the sins of the world in the fullness of time (John 1:29; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).

This place, where Melchizedek was a priest of God and where Abraham would have sacrificed his son to God, was very special as it was chosen by God to have His name abide there. Five hundred years after Abraham, Moses said to the people of Israel that, after entering the land and having driven out all their enemies, they should worship God on the specific place that would be chosen by Him:

“But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit ... then there will be the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to the Lord” (Deut. 12:10-11).

Five hundred years later, that is approximately a thousand years before Christ, King David captured the city of Jebus from the Jebusites and called it Jerusalem, meaning Founded Peaceful. It was also called Zion because of the hill on which it was built, and the City of David. King David was the most important fighting king who ever ruled in Jerusalem, and he achieved great victories for the Lord. It was also from David’s lineage that the Messiah was born many years later.

David wanted to build a house for the Lord’s name in Jerusalem, but God said that David’s son would do that (2 Sam. 7:12-13). After having built the temple, God said to Solomon: “I have sanctified this house which you have built to put My name there for ever” (1 Kings 9:3). God said that Jerusalem is “the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there” (1 Kings 11:36). By His own decree, God’s Name is forever linked to Jerusalem.

The glory of the Lord

Solomon built the first temple, and the glory of the Lord entered into it. God was worshipped in the temple and He revealed Himself to Israel through the service of the priests and prophets. As long as the people would serve the Lord and obey His commandments, Jerusalem would be a safe fortress. However, times of spiritual decline set in, leading to the neglect of the temple service in Jerusalem. God-fearing kings restored the temple service during their reign, after which decline again set in. Due to the persistent apostasy of the nation and their leaders, the glory of the Lord eventually departed from the temple and He surrendered them to their enemies. During the Babylonian siege of the 6th century BC, the city and the temple were plundered and destroyed and many of the Jews exiled to Babylonia for 70 years.

The destruction of the city and the exile of its inhabitants did not terminate God’s eternal commitment to Jerusalem. After seventy years in captivity, Israel were restored to their land and they rebuilt the temple and re-instituted the temple service. Once again, obstinacy and apostasy set in, leading to the departure of the glory of the Lord. After Malachi, there was a four hundred year long ‘prophetic silence’ in Israel as the Lord sent no prophets during this time. Relying only on their own strength, Israel could not prevail against their enemies. The temple became completely dilapidated and fell into ruins while spiritual darkness prevailed in Israel.

From around 40 BC, Herod the Great ruled as king of Judah. He had a new temple constructed in Jerusalem to win over the favour of the Jews, and also in an attempt to suppress their Messianic expectations. This temple is regarded to be the second temple, or the temple of Herod. As a result of this, the temple service was once again fully restored.

The first coming of Yeshua

By far the most significant revelation of God to Israel and the whole world was the birth of His Son, Jesus, in a Jewish family. According to Messianic prophecies He was not only destined to be the Saviour of Israel (Matt. 1:20-21), but also to be God’s salvation to the ends of the earth (Isa. 49:6). In Jerusalem, that wonderful city chosen by God to reveal Himself there, Jesus proclaimed the message of eternal life. He also taught in the temple. However, Jesus and His message were rejected by the majority of the leaders and inhabitants of the city, thereby bringing great misery upon themselves.

God revealed Himself to Jerusalem and its inhabitants, but in spite of clear messianic prophecies they did not recognise the Messiah and collectively, as a nation, rejected Him. In a planned betrayal of Jesus He was falsely accused, arrested, tried and convicted innocently in Jerusalem. The Jewish leaders insisted so strongly that He be crucified, that the Roman governor, Pilate, conceded to their request for the sake of maintaining popularity among the Jews.

The Lord Jesus was crucified on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Here, He made atonement for our sins by paying the price for the transgressions of a lost humanity to God. Calvary will stand out forever as the expression of God’s condescending love and forgiveness, and as the only door to eternal life. There is no other name under the heaven given to us whereby we must be saved – only Jesus Christ and Him crucified (Acts 4:12). Nobody comes to the Father but by Him (John 14:6).

Jesus was buried outside the gates of Jerusalem but rose from the dead three days later. On the Sunday of His resurrection He preached to His disciples in Jerusalem in what can be described as the first service of the dispensation of the Christian church. A week later, He delivered the second sermon (John 20:19-29). Forty days after His resurrection Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives. Just prior to His ascension He gave the Great Commission to His disciples. That ministry would only commence after another very important event took place in Jerusalem. Jesus said to them:

“Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:46-49).

That was the promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out over the disciples, the process of world evangelism began. On that day, three thousand souls were saved and became members of the body (or church) of Christ in Jerusalem. From that day onwards, the gospel of salvation would be preached in Jerusalem and beyond.

Prophecies by Yeshua

Many people argue that the divine purpose of Jerusalem expired with the moving out of the disciples to preach the gospel in the rest of the world. But what about God’s decision that His name would forever dwell in Jerusalem? Was that decision rescinded when Israel rejected Jesus and crucified Him? Not at all! The long-term future of Jerusalem was always, and still is, securely fixed in the divine counsel and purposes of God.

The prophecies of Yeshua should be studied, both before and during His famous Olivet Discourse, to gain more clarity on the role and significance of Jerusalem. He described both the first and last generations of the present dispensation between His historical first coming as humble Saviour, and His future coming as mighty King. These generations are directly related to events that occur in and around Jerusalem. The future of this city is as certain and firm as a rock!

We first have to define the term “generation” since the Lord Jesus has placed these two series of events each within the framework of a generation which will not pass away until all the things prophesied about it have been fulfilled. There are different definitions of the concept “generation”, depending on the context in which the Bible uses it. In the original languages the word “generation” often refers to a group of people – a kinship group, a tribe, or various other groups with specific characteristics, e.g. an “evil generation” (Luke 11:29). However, in most cases “generation” refers to an age group within a particular society, tribe or nation. In this application of the term there is a chronology of generations as younger ones succeed the older ones. It is in this context that Matthew 1:17 says: “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations”.

In the prophecies of Christ, reference is made to chronological generations as both of them have a time framework with a clear indication of a beginning and an end. However, it should be kept in mind that a generation is only an approximate indication of time which cannot be used for fixing a specific date. A complete generation (the lifespan of a person) may, according to the Bible, be anything from 70 to 80 years (Ps. 90:10). In some cases reference is only made to an adult generation, as they are the decision-makers who are held responsible for the actions of a community or nation. In this case, a period of about 40 years is implied, as political and religious maturity is only reached at the age of 30 in Israel (cf. Num. 32:13; 1 Chron. 23:3; Luke 3:23).

When the Messiah’s prophecies are read we should at least be able to clearly discern the two critical generations of this dispensation, without trying to arrive at specific dates. As far as the first generation is concerned, the Lord Jesus in His capacity as the Son of Man, addressed His contemporaries in Israel who brought severe judgements upon themselves and the entire nation for rejecting the Messiah:

“Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate” (Matt. 23:32-38).

Many of Christ’s earthly contemporaries were indeed still alive when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD and its surviving inhabitants carried away to other countries as captives of war. That generation was held accountable for the cumulative iniquities of Israel over a very long period – they filled the measure of their fathers’ guilt.

A large part of the first generation was a transitional period between Israel and the church, during which they coexisted. The church of Christ among all nations was gradually established during that generation, while the writing was on the wall for Israel because of their unbelief and rejection of the Messiah. Jerusalem would be destroyed and the nation dispersed before that first generation had passed away.

The first generation would be followed by a long period in which Jerusalem would be trodden down by the Gentiles “until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Rom. 11:25). At the end of the dispensation of world evangelism Jerusalem again features strongly, but this time in the situation of the last generation:

“And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. ... Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. ... Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:24-36).

After the end-time restoration of Israel and their capital, Jerusalem, we are in a situation described as the last generation. The tables are now being turned, as Jerusalem is progressively restored for the resumption of Israel’s role in God’s plan of salvation, while the church should prepare herself to be taken away at the rapture to escape the coming judgements. We are, therefore, once again in a transitional period during which Israel and the church coexist. This generation will not pass away before the church has been glorified and caught away, Israel and the unbelieving nations have been subjected to the tribulation period, a remnant of Israel has been saved by the Messiah, and Jerusalem as well as Israel has been fully restored.

Jerusalem as world capital

After the second coming of Christ, Jerusalem will be elevated to become capital of the whole world. The Lord Jesus will be the King of kings and lasting peace will prevail everywhere (Isa. 2:3-4). It will be a time of absolute and unprecedented peace on earth: “At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart” (Jer. 3:17). Satan will be bound during the millennial reign of Christ and consequently be unable to deceive the nations into hating and fighting one another (Rev. 20:2-3). They will seek the favour of the Lord in Jerusalem and also honour His people, Israel:

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, inhabitants of many cities; the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, and seek the Lord of hosts. I myself will go also. Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you” (Zech. 8:20-23).

During this time, Jerusalem will be a city of brilliance and glory as never before in history. Every child of God should earnestly look forward to this time of divine harmony and peace on earth when Jerusalem will rise from the ashes of shame and deprivation: “Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city” (Isa. 52:1).

“Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet home, a tabernacle that will not be taken down; not one of its stakes will ever be removed, nor will any of its cords be broken. But there the majestic Lord will be for us a place of broad rivers and streams. ... For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us” (Isa. 33:20-22).

“The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. ... Your gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day or night, that men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles, and their kings in procession. For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish, and those nations shall be utterly ruined. ... Also the sons of those who afflicted you shall come bowing to you, and all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet; and they shall call you The City of the Lord, Zion of the Holy One of Israel. ... Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise” (Isa. 60:3, 11-12, 14, 18).

Prayers for Jerusalem

Because Jerusalem will be a blessing to the whole world after the second coming of Christ and the setting up of His millennial reign, we should join Isaiah in exclaiming: “For Zion’s sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns” (Isa. 62:1). In these dark days of hostility and attacks against the City of the Great King we should constantly remind the Lord of His promises to bless Jerusalem. He commanded us to intercede for Jerusalem: “I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, who shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isa. 62:6-7).

We should never forget Jerusalem as a place of divine revelation – not its past, neither its wonderful future. David said: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love you” (Ps. 122:6). The struggle for the control of Jerusalem is a struggle between light and darkness. The Lord Jesus will return to Jerusalem and rule the world from this city: “In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east” (Zech. 14:4). The kingdom of darkness does everything in its power to avert this situation and tries to conquer Jerusalem with a view to estranging it from Israeli control and transforming it into a non-Jewish, pagan city.

Let us pray for the peace of Jerusalem in the words and in the deep longing of the Jewish captives at the rivers of Babylon: “If I for get you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her skill! If I do not remember you, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth – if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy” (Ps. 137:5-6).

Jerusalem has an eternal future because the Lord has decided that His name will forever abide in this city. Not only will it be the world capital during the millennial rule of Christ, but on the new earth we will dwell in the New Jerusalem which the Lord Jesus is now preparing for us. This magnificent city with its golden streets and pearly gates will descend from heaven onto the new earth, and the bride will forever dwell in it with the Lamb. John said:

“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:2-5).

Long ago the promise was also made to Israel that after the resurrection of the just a wonderful future awaits them in the presence of the Lord: “He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken. And it will be said in that day: Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” (Isa. 25:8-9).

Be sure that you are born again and by virtue of that a member of the bride of Jesus Christ and a future resident of the New Jerusalem. You will then share in the eternal glory and joys of the kingdom of God. The great deeds of God’s salvation that were done and revealed in earthly Jerusalem should be proclaimed in the whole world as that is the only doorway to heavenly Jerusalem.

Israel’s position in the Millennium

From Israel’s point of view, it is very obvious that the promised Messianic reign has not yet dawned, and that the blessings and glory for which Jerusalem is destined have not yet been bestowed upon it, due to the following four reasons:

1.   According to the prophets, the Messiah’s millennial reign will bring unprecedented blessings to Israel. Biblical prophecies confirm that Israel will be re-gathered to their land, spiritually revived, elevated above all nations, and abundantly blessed in every sphere of life (Deut. 28:1-14; 30:1-4; Ezek. 36:24-28; Isa. 60:1-22; Hos. 14:5-8; Rom. 11:26-27), but none of these blessings were fulfilled during the past 2 000 years. To the contrary: during their international dispersion there was no other nation that suffered as many continuous afflictions as the Jews. Even during the 40 years prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, their land was a cauldron of conflicts, hatred and revolt against the Roman oppressors.

2.   During the Millennium the Messiah will, apart from His world-wide kingship, also be King of the Jews. The fact is that the Jewish nation has never accepted Jesus as their King and Messiah. Their leaders have not yet had their eyes opened to enable them to recognise, as their Messiah, Him whom they have pierced (Zech. 12:10). If Jesus has already accepted His position as King on the throne of David (Luke 1:32; Acts 15:16-17) then He, as King of the Jews, is a King without a people. To interpret prophecies in this way, practically amounts to the rejection of the Bible’s basic meaning and to ascribe other meanings to it in accordance with replacement theology.

3.   In the promised thousand-year reign of Christ, Jerusalem will be exalted above the hills as capital of the world. The nations shall flow to it to be instructed in the ways of the Lord (Isa. 2:2-3), and Israel will be honoured by the international community (Isa. 60:10-15). However, during the past 2 000 years Israel was dispersed and Jerusalem has been trampled by the Gentiles.

4.   During the coming Millennium, Israel will fulfil their calling as the people of God, and evangelise the whole world. They have thus far as a nation not yet accepted the Messiah, and could therefore not proclaim His praises among the Gentiles.

Israel’s position in the Millennium, when the Messiah will rule from Jerusalem, is strikingly described by the prophet Isaiah:

·      “In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious; and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped. And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy; everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgement and by the spirit of burning, then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering” (Isa. 4:2-5). Before the Lord reveals Himself in all His glory to the believing remnant of Israel, there will be a time of judgement in which the wicked will be destroyed.

·      “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse [the Messiah], who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious” (Isa. 11:10). The nations will specifically seek the King of the Jews so that they can share in the glory which He bestowed upon Israel.

·      “And in that day you will say: Praise the Lord, call upon His name; declare His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His name is exalted” (Isa. 12:4). Israel will first have to be revived spiritually before they will be able to proclaim the praises of Messiah in all the world and thus be a blessing to all nations.

·      “In that day a man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. 17:7). People all over the world will then have complete insight to the fact that Jesus, the Holy One of Israel, is the Creator and Saviour of all people. He is the great God and our Saviour.

·      “In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in” (Isa. 26:1-2). Jerusalem will have unrivalled glory as the city which contains the Messiah’s government. No other city in the world will be able to compare with it.

·      “Those who come He shall cause to take root in Jacob; Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit” (Isa. 27:6). The message of salvation (the gospel of Christ) will be proclaimed throughout the world during the millennial reign of the Messiah, since all mortal people will still be born with the sinful nature of the first Adam. In this future dispensation Israel will be the evangelists and they will, in a spiritual sense, fill the world with fruit.

·      “In that day the Lord of hosts will be for a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people” (Isa. 28:5). Israel’s glory will not be of themselves, but of the Messiah, and they will find their greatest joy in His virtues.

These and many other blessings will characterise the Messiah’s millennial kingdom when He will reign from the throne of David in Jerusalem. His glorified church will reign with Him, and righteousness will prevail on earth. Israel will play a leading role in world affairs, and will be the Lord’s special witness among all nations.