End-Time Prophecy

PART 4 - The Eternal Reign of Christ. - The Millennium.


Why do we believe in the Millennium?

1.  Prophecies of the Messianic Age  There is more prophecy concerning the Messianic Age when Messiah will come and reign on David’s Throne over all the earth than for any other period of time.  Whatever sufferings are predicted, the prophets always finish with a glorious vision of restoration (the Kingdom Age).   Practically all aspects of this Age are revealed in the Old Testament and it is still the hope of the religious Jews who rightly take these prophecies literally.  Thus it was not necessary to add much in terms of New Testament prophecy.  One thing not explicitly revealed until the Book of Revelation was its duration (1000 years) - hence ‘Millennium’.

2. Revelation 20:1-6: Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.  But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.  This clearly teaches 1000 years of peace under the rule of Christ after His Second Coming.  There are five times in this passage when 1000 years is given as the duration.   The Book of Revelation also shows how this age ends and moves into the Eternal State.  Thus it neatly completes the prophetic revelation on the subject.

Why 1000 years?    God’s structure of Time is based on a WEEK of seven days (Genesis 1). “1 DAY = 1000 YEARS” (2Peter 3:8).   The Millennium is the Seventh Day of man’s history, and so is 1000 years long.  The Millennium is ‘the last DAY’, which opens with the resurrection of believers (John 6:40) and ‘the DAY of the Lord’ (2Peter 3:10) which closes with fiery destruction of the heavens and the earth.

From Adam to Abraham = 2000 years = 2 DAYS (the Age of the Nations) 
From Abraham to Christ (AD 33) = 2000 years = 2 DAYS (the Age of Israel’). 
From Christ to His Return = 2000 years = 2 DAYS (the Age of the Church). 
This completes the 6 DAYS of man. 
It leaves 1 DAY = 1000 years to complete the Week. 
This is the Sabbath DAY of rest where the earth is at peace under the rule of Jesus Christ.  The Millennium = 1000 years = THE SABBATH DAY of the LORD. Thus the Time structure confirms Revelation 20 that the Messianic Age must last 1000 years.

Confirmations of this: 
*The Passover Lamb was set aside four days before being sacrificed (Exodus 12:3,6) - a picture of the 4000 years leading up to Christ’s death as the Lamb of God.  As the Passover Lamb, He was set apart to be slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).

*From Christ’s Death to His Second Coming = 2 DAYS = 2000 years with Israel cut off, according to Hosea 5:15-6:3, which also describes a third DAY of blessing for Israel in Christ’s Presence (the Millennium).  His resurrection on the third day was also predicted in John 2:19 as the resurrection of the Temple.  This applied literally to His physical body.  But it also applies to raising up of the Millennial Temple on the third DAY (after 2000 years).

*The Good Samaritan of Luke 10 tells of the fall of man (from Jerusalem to Jericho), robbed and left half dead.  He was saved by the good Samaritan (the one rejected by Israel - Jesus) who bandaged his wounds (healing), poured in the oil and wine (the Holy Spirit), lifted him up onto his donkey and took him to an inn (the Church),  leaving him in the hands of the innkeeper (the Holy Spirit).   He went away to Jerusalem and promised to come back.     The time he would be absent is indicated by him giving the innkeeper two Denarius coins (two days wages).  In other words, he paid for the innkeeper to give two DAYS exclusive care of this man. He could have anything he wanted from the keeper (food, drink, etc) because it was paid for.  Likewise, Jesus paid with His blood for our every spiritual blessing for the 2000 years (2 DAYS) that He would be physically absent.    We sit at the Lord’s table and can ask and receive what we need, for Jesus has paid the price.  Thus, Jesus is hinting that He will return after 2000 years.

*The Transfiguration (a type of the Kingdom) was “after 6 days” = 6000 years (Matt 17:1).

It is often falsely assumed that the Church-Age is the Millennium (amillennialism) and that God does not intend to establish a literal Kingdom on earth.  This does not come from the New Testament.

The Jews expected Messiah to establish the Kingdom when He comes. 
But the Messiah was to be Prophet, Priest and King not just a conquering King. 
They did not realise He had to come first as a Prophet.   This ministry began at His baptism when He received His anointing and authorisation - the voice of the Father from Heaven: “This is My Son” (Matthew 3:16). 
Secondly, He became a Priest to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin (Isa 53).   This ministry can be dated from the Transfiguration. Again the Father spoke from Heaven endorsing and authorising Him in this new phase of ministry: “This is My Son” (Matthew17:5).  It should be noted that the topic of discussion with Moses and Elijah was His death and that from this point Jesus is heading to the Cross. 
Thirdly, He will reign as King over all the earth, at His Second Coming.  He has already been given all authority in heaven and earth (Matt28:18, Phil2:9-11).   Again, it was by the Father’s decree: “You are My Son”, that His Kingship was appointed and authorised, especially over the earth (Psalm 2:7-9), which happened at His resurrection (Acts 13:33). 

Psalm 24 describes His ascension to the Throne of Heaven as the King of glory.  His authority is seen to be over both heaven and earth.  He has already been crowned as King over all, but there is a delay in His exercising His full Kingly authority on earth (due to Israel’s rejection).   He now sits enthroned (installed) upon Heaven’s Throne waiting for the Father’s signal for Him to physically return to earth and sit on David’s Throne in Jerusalem to exercise His full earthly power - to judge the world and rule on earth as King of kings.  The throne belongs to Him now and soon He will come and take possession of it.   Meanwhile in His physical absence He has delegated His authority on earth to His Body - the Church for the purpose of fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt28:18-20).

This is all in accordance with Psalm 110: The LORD (the Father) said to my Lord (David’s King - Jesus Christ), Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.  The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies (v1,2).   At present the enemies of Christ on earth are still active but He is seated on Heaven’s throne, at the right hand of the Father, and ruling over them through the Church (v2,3).   So by resurrection, He is even now installed in the heavenly Jerusalem as the eternal King-Priest of the order of Melchizedek (v4, Hebrews 7:17-21).  At the Father’s signal, He will return, judge the nations and establish His Kingdom upon the earth reigning in the earthly Jerusalem (v5-7).  Thus at this time, His enemies on earth will become His footstool (He will be seated on the earthly Throne with His enemies, both men and angels, conquered and subdued under His feet) and His Kingship will be fully manifested in heaven and earth.  He will be seen as the Melchizidek King-Priest reigning from both the earthly and heavenly Jerusalem.

Israel’s rejection of her Messiah meant the introduction of the Church-Age.   This was a delay of the Kingdom but not a denial.  So in Acts 1:6-8, Jesus implies that the Kingdom will be established at a later time.  Israel will accept Christ and be saved and the Kingdom will be established (Romans 11).

3.  God’s Faithfulness to Israel and the Abrahamic Covenant. 
God made an eternal unconditional Covenant with Abraham (Gen17:7,8,13, 19; 1Chron16:17; Psa 105:10).  The New Testament declares it immutable, solemnly confirmed by the oath of God (Hebrews 6:13-18 with Gen15:8-21).  It must be fulfilled.   God promised Abraham (and his SEED), numerous descendants or seed forming a NATION with a LAND forever, SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS and DOMINION.  Genesis12:1-3 is its beginning: The Lord had said to Abram: Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a LAND that I will show you.  I will make you a GREAT NATION; I will BLESS you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

The covenant included (1) promises to Abraham himself, (2) promises to his seed - national Israel and (3) promises for the blessing of the whole world.It is further developed in Genesis12:7; 13:14-17, 15:5,12-21; 17:7; 22:15-18. It was reconfirmed with Isaac (26:2-5) and Jacob (28:13-15).   It was later confirmed even in the midst of apostasy (e.g. Jer 31:36) confirming its unconditional nature. God has even bound Himself to Israel by His Name.  He calls Himself: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exod 3:15) and the God of Israel.  Thus by Covenant He is eternally joined to Israel.  Jesus used this as the proof that they must be resurrected because: He is not the God of the dead but of the living (Matt 22:31,32).  They must be raised for God to fulfil His covenant to them (Hebrews 11:13, Acts 26:6-8).

The first consequence is that Israel has a future.   God has not finished with her and the Church is not fulfilling the promises to Israel.   The Covenant promises Israel a permanent existence as a nation.   All these promises must be fulfilled.  Although individuals may fail to enter in because of unbelief, the Covenant must be fulfilled to the nation (the believing remnant) of Israel.

Israel’s future depends on God’s character.  God’s faithfulness means He must fulfil His Covenant with Israel.  He is a covenant-keeping God.  Those who say that God has redefined Israel to mean the Church, so that the Church replaces Israel, are attacking the faithfulness of God.   If God dumped Israel like this, what is to stop Him dumping you and fulfilling His promises to you, to someone else instead!  This idea only came later in Church history, not from the Jewish writers of the New Testament.  The people then had a strong national identity, and calling the Church Israel would have been crazy to them.  It would be like suddenly calling the EnglishGermans. Israel never means the Church in the Bible.  In Gal6:16, the Israel of God refers to the believing remnant of Israel, who have the genes and faith of Abraham, the true sons of Abraham, the true Israel (to whom God will fulfil His promises), as Paul explains in Romans (see also Matthew 3:7-12).  Those who replace Israel by the Church end up in a inconsistent situation where they apply all the blessing prophecies of Israel spiritually to the Church, and all the cursing prophecies literally to Israel!    The only nation certain to survive is Israel, for her destiny is established by the Sovereign choice of God expressed in the Abrahamic Covenant.   He divided the nations at Babel according to His sovereign plan for Israel before she even existed (Deut32:7-9).  Israel’s origin as a nation was not because of her works or her size, but because of God’s sovereign choice to set His love upon her and because of the Abrahamic Covenant (Deut 7:6-9).  The same is true of her future destiny.   God’s faithfulness to Israel has been demonstrated in history, in that many great nations and empires have risen then fallen and disappeared completely, yet this small nation still exists even after being thrown out of her land, scattered around the world for 2000 years, persecuted and attacked by those who want to annihilate her.  The Jews are still here and are even back in the land as a nation.  This can only be explained by God’s faithfulness to His Covenant.

God’s Covenant with Abraham not only guarantees Israel’s future but that her golden age is yet to come (the Millennium).   Many of the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant have not yet been fulfilled.  It requires the Millennium, for only in this time can God fulfil all His promises to Abraham.

This foundational covenant was later developed through three covenants, 
which determine God’s whole prophetic programme:

a)  The Palestinian Covenant - developed the NATION and LAND aspect. 
The Abrahamic Covenant promises Israel permanent possession of all the Promised Land until the end of time (Gen17:7,8).  Therefore, she must yet come into possession of the whole land, for she has never fully possessed it in her history.  This will only happen in the Millennium.  In Genesis 15, God cut covenant with Abraham to assure him of the promise that his seed (Israel) would inherit the land within the boundaries given in v18-21. The title-deed was given to Israel forever and they would possess the land forever.  By putting Abraham to sleep, God made it a gracious, unconditional covenant dependent upon His faithfulness alone.  This answers the issue of whose land it is.  Who was there first is not what counts. It depends on owner.  God is the Owner of the land.  He has decided who can occupy it. He gave it to Abraham and his seed (Acts 7:5).  The boundaries in v18 are the River of Egypt (Nile) in the South and West to the Euphrates in the North and East.  v19,20 which describe the Canaanites on the land, confirm the extent of the land.  Northern Saudi Arabia, Southern Iraq, parts of Syria, the Sinai, Lebanon and all Jordan (confirmed by Genesis 13:14,15) are included.  Israel has never occupied all this land.   She had the legal right to the land but never did not possess it all, because of being too much out of fellowship.  So the promise remains unfulfilled and the Millennium is necessary for its fulfilment.

These boundaries were confirmed in Ex23:31; Numbers 34, Deut1:7,8;11:24; Joshua1:3,4 and were understood literally.  While they were obedient they were on course to possess the whole land (Josh 21:43,44), but because of their sin God told them that they would never possess all the land by their own devices, but that other peoples will be present as well in the land (Judges 1 and 2).  This is true to this day and means that only the Coming of the Messiah can cause Israel to possess the whole land.  The closest they came was for a short time under David and Solomon (1Kings 4:21,24).  In the Millennium Israel will control the whole land and actually settle within the boundaries of Ezekiel 47:13-21.

This aspect of the Covenant was confirmed in the Palestinian Covenant, which is the basis for the regathering of Israel and her permanent possession of the land (Deuteronomy 29:1- 30:20).  In 29:1,10-13, as Israel were about to go into the Promised Land, God announced through Moses a Covenant that was different from the Mosaic Covenant (the Law).  This Palestinian Covenant is unconditional and eternal.  The Mosaic was temporal and conditional.   After summarising their wilderness experience (v2-9), Moses warns them from turning away from the Lord (v14-21).  Then he predicts that they will do this and be dispersed to the nations for a long period of persecution as a result (v22-29). But this dispersion would not be permanent because there will be a regathering (Deut 30:1-10).   This assurance in Deuteronomy is given in the form of a covenant - the Palestinian Covenant.

The order of events given in Deut 30 is: 
(1) Israel’s repentance (v1-3), 
(2) Israel’s Messiah will return (v1-3) 
(3) Israel will be restored to the land - her final regathering from all the nations - (v4,5). 
(4) Israel will enter into the New Covenant (v6) 
(5) The judgment of those nations who mistreated Israel (v7) 
(6)  Israel’s full and continued blessing in the land (v9). 
All Israel will at last be regathered and restored to permanent peaceful possession of the whole promised land.

Israel will be reunited as a nation never to be divided into separate kingdoms again (Jeremiah 3:18, Ezekiel 37:1-23, Isaiah 11:18, Hosea1:11).  The final regathering of a repentant Israel to the Land can also be seen in Leviticus 26:40-45.

The Final Regathering to the Land will only be accomplished by Jesus Himself at the Second Coming and will result in all Israel being regathered.

In Isaiah 11:11-12:6, this final regathering is called the second international regathering: 
It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, from Assyria and Egypt, from Pathros and Cush, from Elam and Shinar, from Hamath and the islands of the sea.  He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth (v11,12 - the first regathering is the present one, in unbelief before the Tribulation). It also predicts that the unity of Israel will be restored (v13,14). They will take control of Jordan and the Gaza Strip (v14).  This is part of the judgment of the nation states. God will do miracles to make the regathering easier (v15,16). They will also enter the New Covenant and the fullness of the Spirit at this time (12:1-6).

Isaiah 27:12,13 emphasises the totality of the regathering: It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will thresh, from the channel of the River to the Brook of Egypt; and you will be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel.  So it shall be in that day: the great trumpet will be blown; they will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria, and they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.  Middle-East nations are specifically mentioned because in the Tribulation many Jews will be scattered there and will have suffered most.  Also the boundaries of the land will be possessed for the first time: the Euphrates in the North to the Suez Canal in the South.   They will be able to settle in the whole Promised Land.

The magnitude of the regathering is also shown in Isaiah 43:5-7: Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, Give them up!, and to the south, Do not keep them back!   Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth - everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.

Jeremiah 16:14,15 and 23:3-8 compares it to the Exodus, displacing it as the high point of Jewish history. 
Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, but, The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them. For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers 
(16:14,15). This will be after the Tribulation (v16-18).

Jeremiah 23:3-8: But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase (the Millennium) I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking, says the LORD.   Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.  In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that they shall no longer say, As the LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, but, As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.  And they shall dwell in their own land.  Like the Exodus, God Himself will deliver His people from the hands of a ruthless enemy (antichrist) destroying him in the process for his treatment of Israel.  He leads His people out of the lands where they are oppressed and causes them to enter and possess the promised land.   This Second Exodus will be out of all nations!

Ezekiel 20:33-44 describes the regathering in fulfilment of the Abrahamic covenant and Israel’s purification through judgment. 
Zephaniah 3:18-20 describes a reversal of fortune for Israel - to be honoured rather than hated by the nations. 
Zechariah 10:8-12, Isaiah 35:8-10; 49:8-13; 60:4,9; 66:20;  Matthew 24:31 also refer to this regathering.

The abundant productivity of the land, helped by good rainfall and a great increase in light from the sun and moon is described in Isaiah 30:23-26: 
Then He will give the rain for your seed with which you sow the ground, and bread of the increase of the earth.  It will be fat and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed in large pastures.   Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground will eat cured fodder, which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan.  There will be on every high mountain and on every high hill rivers and streams of waters, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall (on the very same day of Christ’s Return at Armageddon, He will renovate the land).   Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD binds up the bruise of His people and heals the stroke of their wound. 
This implies there will also be a restoration of atmospheric protection from radiation and a great improvement in man’s physical condition, just like it was before the Flood.  The deserts will be transformed (Isaiah 35:1,2).  Much of the earth (especially Israel) will be restored to be like Eden in the beginning.   Mankind will enjoy his work and natural lifetimes will be greatly lengthened (as trees which can live 1000 years) for the curse will be pushed back by the Presence of the Lord (Isaiah 65:21-24).

Ezekiel 28:25,26; 34:25-31; 36:8-15,28-38 describe great security and productivity. 
Amos 9:13-15 emphasises their permanency and blessing in the land. 
Joel 3:18 describes abundance, especially of water, in the land. 
Isaiah 29:17, 32:15, 35:1-7; 41:17,18, 49:10; 51:3, 55:13, 62:8,9, Zech10:1, Joel 2:23,24.

b)  The New Covenant develops the BLESSING aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant. 
It provides forgiveness, redemption, regeneration and full spiritual blessings in the Holy-Spirit.  God promised that He would make this Covenant with Israel and that through it, He would give them all new hearts to know Him and that He would use them to bless others (fulfilling Gen12:2).   For Israel to be spiritually qualified to possess the land in the Millennium, the nation must first be converted and regenerated.  God promises to do this (Rom 11:26,27; Deut 30:6, Hos 2:14-23, Ezek 11:16-21).  The regeneration of Israel will be accomplished on the basis of the New Covenant, but this has not happened yet because Israel has not received the Covenant.  It is an unconditional and eternal covenant to Israel (Ezek 16:60, Isa24:5, 61:8, Jer 31:31-36, 40; 32:40, 50:5, Heb 13:20) and therefore must be fulfilled to Israel.  It is called ‘New’ because it replaces the temporary ‘Old Covenant’ (Hebrews 8:6-13).  It is a covenant of grace rather than of law (Isaiah61:2, Ezekiel 37:26, Jer 31:35-37), founded in the Blood of Jesus (Luke 22:20, 1Cor 11:25).  However national Israel will not enter into it (and its blessings) until after Messiah’s Return to the earth (Rom 11:26,27).  Christ will come and personally bring Israel into this Covenant.  Descriptions of the fulfilment of New Covenant blessings for Israel are all set in the Millennium, showing that the Covenant will be realised by Israel in the Millennial Age.  Thus, the promise of the New Covenant to Israel requires the Second Coming and the Millennium.

The basis for this Covenant is Jeremiah 31:31-34: Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah - not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My Covenant which they broke, though I was a Husband to them, says the LORD.  But this is the Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  No more shall every man teach his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD, for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD.  For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.

This is a Jewish covenant and a national covenant (v31) which will replace the Old Covenant (v31).  Of the Jewish covenants, the Mosaic was the only temporary and conditional one.  It did not replace the Abrahamic Covenant made earlier.   So the fact that Israel broke it and that it would pass away does not nullify the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant (i.e it does not mean that God is finished with Israel).  It served to prepare the way for the New Covenant of Grace that was to be brought in by Christ Himself (see Galatians 3).  Israel broke this Old Covenant, because although it revealed a standard of righteousness, it gave no power to the Jew to help him keep it.  The New Covenant is different (v33).   All Israel will be regenerated through it (v34).

The context for this covenant are prophecies in Jeremiah 30 and 31: 
(1) Jeremiah 30:1-3 describes Israel restored to the land. 
v4-7 - the Tribulation in the land; 
v8 - their deliverance; 
v9 - the resurrection of Old Testament saints (David); 
v10,11 - the final regathering.

(2) Jeremiah 30:12-16 is the Tribulation again; 
v17,18 - the Regathering and restoration; 
v19,22 - the New Covenant; 
v20-24 - the Judgment of nations.

(3) Jeremiah 31: 'At that time' (v1), 
He will restore them in love (v1-6) and regather them as a Shepherd gathers His flock (v7-10). 
They will enjoy abundance in the land (v11-14).  God gives further encouragement to suffering Israel regarding her restoration to the land (v15-29).  He promises that He will give them the New Covenant (v31-34) when they are regathered to the land for the Kingdom.

Then God gives the strongest of promises that Israel’s future is guaranteed forever because it is based on the unconditional covenant to Abraham, which disproves replacement theology: 
Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, and its waves roar (the LORD of hosts is His name): If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the LORD, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever.  Thus says the LORD: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the LORD
This predicts that man will never be able to measure the size of the universe however advanced his telescopes become.  How true this has proved to be!   With our recent discoveries of the immensity of the Cosmos, this seems to be a special word to our generation that God has not finished with Israel. 
v38-40 describes the rebuilding of Jerusalem for the Messianic Kingdom.

Jer 32:37-41 describes Israel first fully regathered then brought into the new Covenant.

Jer 24:7:  Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.

Ezekiel 11:14-18 describes the regathering as a prelude to entering the New Covenant described in v19,20: 
Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.

Ezekiel 36:24 (the regathering) is followed by the New Covenant in v25-27:  Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;  I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Ezekiel 37:1-14 is the regathering to the land and then the regeneration of Israel followed by life in the Millennium (v15-28).

Ezek39:17-29 describes Armageddon (v17-20), 
and the judgment of the nations (v21), 
the regathering of Israel (v22-28) 
and their regeneration in the New Covenant (v28,29).

Isaiah 12 describes New Covenant salvation resulting in praise 
after the Return of Jesus and the Regathering of Israel in Isaiah 11:10-16.

Isa 29:22-24: Thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: 
Jacob shall not now be ashamed, nor shall his face now grow pale;  but when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they will hallow My name, and hallow the Holy One of Jacob, and fear the God of Israel.  These also who erred in spirit will come to understanding, and those who complained will learn doctrine.

Isaiah 44:1-5: Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen. 
Thus says the LORD who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you: 
Fear not, O Jacob My servant; and you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.  For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring. 
They will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses (fruitful).  
One will say, I am the LORD’S; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; another will write with his hand, The LORD’S, and name himself by the name of Israel
 (this indicates their loyalty to God).

v21-23 (New Covenant forgiveness): O Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant;  I have formed you, you are My servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!   I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.  Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it!   Shout, you lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it!   For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel.

Isaiah 45:17: Israel shall be saved by the LORD with an everlasting salvation; you shall not be ashamed or disgraced forever and ever.

Isaiah 59:1-11 describes Israel submerged in sin, and injustice, but in v12-15 they acknowledge that they have created their own problems and confess their sins.  As God responded to Israel’s pleas under Pharaoh’s bondage, so He will when they cry to Him under antichrist’s oppression in the Tribulation. This leads to the Return of Christ because there is no other who can intercede (intervene) and save them and put the situation right: 
Then the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice.  He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.  For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.   According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; the coastlands He will fully repay 
(v15-18).  He will judge the wicked: So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun (in the Millennium); when the enemy (antichrist and his armies) comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard (of the armies of Jesus Christ) against him.  The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, says the LORD (v19,20).

Jesus will return to save the believing remnant of Israel.  Then the nation will enter the New Covenant together: 
As for Me, says the LORD, this is My Covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants, says the LORD, from this time and forevermore
Paul quotes from Isa 59 in describing the future salvation of Israel fulfilling the New Covenant: And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Deliverer will come out of Zion (the Second Coming), and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins (Romans 11:26,27). 
ALL ISRAEL will be saved indicates a national salvation. 
National Israel will enter the New Covenant only after Christ’s Return.

Isaiah 60.  On the basis of the New Covenant, Israel enters a time of great blessing and glory (the Millennium): 
Arise, shine; for your light has come! and the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people (the Tribulation); but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you (60:1,2).    Israel will be the centre of Gentile attraction. 
They will come to see God’s glory and worship Him (v3,6), 
they will assist in Israel’s regathering (v4,9), 
they will bring to Israel the riches of the world as an offering to the Lord, to beautify His Temple and to help bless and rebuild Israel (v5-7,9,11,13,16). 
They will come by ship and by air (v8,9). 
They will help rebuild Jerusalem and Israel after their devastation in the Tribulation (v10). 
The Gentiles realise that the key to their own blessing is to worship the Lord and to bless Israel (v12). 
Israel will no longer be the focus of persecution but will be favoured by the Gentiles and their blessing and possession of the land will be permanent (v14-16,21). Israel will all know the Lord as their Saviour through the New Covenant (v16,21). It is a time of great joy (v5), prosperity (v17), justice and peace (v17) with crime eliminated (v18). 
Walls of Salvation will surround and protect them and those who enter must go through the Gates of Praise. Immigration will only allow praising believers in! (v18). 

God’s glory will be so great upon Israel that it will outshine the sun and moon with a constant light: 
The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the LORD will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory.   Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended (v19,20). There will be a great population growth in Israel (v22).  All this will be accomplished by the Christ.

Isaiah 61:  The First Coming of Christ (1,2a). 
The Second Coming of Christ to judge the unbelieving world (2b). 
Then v3-11 describes the natural and New Covenant blessings in the Millennium for Israel. These are the fulfilment of the Year of Jubilee for Israel which Jesus proclaimed (v1,2).

Isa 66:1-24: 
The Temple worship in the Tribulation will not please God since it is external ritual without faith (v1-4). 
The Lord will return to save the believers in Israel and to punish the wicked (v5,6). 
Israel’s restoration will follow quickly: Before she was in labour, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child.  Who has heard such a thing?  Who has seen such things?   Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?  Or shall a nation be born at once?   For as soon as Zion was in labour, she gave birth to her children.  Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery? - says the LORD. Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb? says your God (v7-9).   She had already given birth to the man-child Jesus (v7, Rev 12:1-6) and now there is another miracle - immediately after the labour-pains of the Tribulation, the whole nation, as soon as she comes to repentance, will be born of the Spirit through the New Covenant upon the Return of Jesus (v8,9).  God will not delay for a major purpose of the Tribulation is to bring Israel to this birth through repentance and faith, so He will surely complete the work He started. These words could also apply to Israel’s sudden and miraculous natural birth in 1948 after the labour-pains of the Holocaust.   But primarily they refer to Israel’s spiritual rebirth at Christ’s Return, when the whole nation will receive forgiveness and the Holy Spirit in one day.

Zech 3:8-10 also shows the Messiah removing Israel’s sin in a day in preparation for the Millennium (also 13:1). This is the necessary condition for her to enter the Kingdom, just as Israel’s acceptance of the Old Covenant at Sinai was necessary for them to enter the Promised Land as one nation under God. 
Then v10-14 describe the blessing of Jerusalem in the Millennium after the Lord destroys His enemies at Armageddon (the Second Coming, v14-17). 
Then it is time for the judgment of the nations - for all to come before His throne of glory (v18, Matt25:31). 
The repentant survivors of these armies are sent back to the nations with a miraculous sign, to declare God’s glory (v19) giving them a final chance to receive Christ as King.  The believing Gentiles will bring the scattered Jews back to the land as an act of worship, assisting in the final regathering of Israel (v20) and some will be rewarded by being made part of the Temple worship (v21).

God then guarantees Israel as a nation (as well as individual believers) an eternal future: 
For just as the new heavens and the new earth  (the Eternal State) which I make will endure before Me, declares the LORD, so your offspring and your name (Israel) will endure (v22). 
The whole world will come to worship the Lord at Jerusalem throughout the Millennium (v23) and see the dead bodies of those killed in the Battle of Armageddon and the judgment of nations (serving as public examples and warnings against rebellion), whole souls will suffer eternal torment in the Lake of Fire, because they rejected the Lord (v24).  Thus Isaiah concludes his book by contrasting the eternal states of the righteous and the wicked.

Hosea 1:9-2:1:  Then God said: Call his name Lo-Ammi, for you are not My people, and I will not be your God (Israel cut off and suffer decimation). Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered (restoration and population growth in the Millennium).  And it shall come to pass in the place (regathered to the land of Israel) where it was said to them, you are not My people, there it shall be said to them, You are sons of the living God (New-Birth through the New Covenant).  Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and appoint for themselves one head (reunified); and they shall go up from the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel!   Say to your brethren, My people, and to your sisters, Mercy is shown.

Hosea 14:4-8: I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him.  I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall grow like the lily, and lengthen his roots like Lebanon.  His branches shall spread; his beauty shall be like an olive tree, and his fragrance like Lebanon.  Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall be revived like grain, and grow like a vine.   Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.   Ephraim shall say, What have I to do anymore with idols? I have heard and observed him.   I am like a green cypress tree; your fruit is found in Me.

Micah 7:18-20:  Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?  He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.  He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.  You will give truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham, which You have sworn to our fathers from days of old.

Zeph3:9-13: Then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one accord. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshippers, the daughter of My dispersed ones, shall bring My offering.  In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds in which you transgress against Me; for then I will take away from your midst those who rejoice in your pride, and you shall no longer be haughty In My holy mountain.  I will leave in your midst a meek and humble people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.  The remnant of Israel shall do no unrighteousness and speak no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth; for they shall feed their flocks and lie down, and no one shall make them afraid.

Isa 29:22-24; 30:18-22; Jer 50:19,20 also describe the New Covenant and its results.

The New Covenant is also God’s Remarriage Covenant with Israel (Jer 31:31-34). Marriage is the closest analogy we have of the covenant union God wants with His people.  It speaks of spiritual unity, love and loyalty between man and God.   The Old Covenant (Marriage) failed to establish this but the New Covenant can and will.

1.  Betrothal and Marriage   At Mt. Sinai God entered into a Covenant with Israel (Deut5:1-3) which the prophets viewed as a Marriage Contract (Ezek 16:8-14, Jer 2:2).  Deuteronomy summarises this Contract.  From this time, as the Wife of Jehovah, when she worshipped other gods she was guilty of adultery.  God warned her, in Deut 6:10-15, that as her Husband He would be jealous over her and take action.   Deut 7:6-11 describes Israel as the one chosen by God, Who set His love upon her, and she is obliged to be a faithful wife.

2.  Adultery   But Israel committed repeated adultery, as described by many prophets (Jeremiah 3:1-5,20; 5:7; Ezek 16:15-34; Hosea 2:2-5, 3:1).  This resulted in the breaking of the original marriage contract (Jer 31:32).  Her adultery made it null and void even though God was a good Husband.

3. Separation   Therefore there was a separation between God and Israel in the days of Isaiah (Isaiah 50:1).   Israel’s sins had caused the removal of blessings and protection described in Deuteronomy but God had not divorced Israel yet.

4.  Divorce  The separation lasted about 100 years but Israel still failed to return to God and so He was forced to divorce her (Deut 24:1). The Bill of Divorce is in Jeremiah 3:6-10.

5. A time of discipline.    Deuteronomy declared there would be punishment for her unfaithfulness for the purpose of stopping her sinning.   Ezekiel 16:35-43,58,59; Hosea 2:6-13 reveals her long program of punishment, including invasion, destruction, and eviction from the land (the marital home).  Jeremiah and Hosea predicts she will come back to the land (home) again and not commit adultery with idols again but that she would not be ready for remarriage (Hos3:1-3).  This was proved when she rejected Christ which caused this period of waiting to be lengthened and for her to be evicted from the land again.  Hosea 3:4 accurately describes the present phase of her time of discipline, and Hos 5:15-6:3 reveals how many days (how long) this phase will last.  During this whole time (which she is still in) God is calling her back to Him in repentance, promising He will again be a husband to her and restore her and provide for her again (as a husband should) when she returns to Him (Jer 3:11-18). This will happen in the Millennium after she repents. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God and David their king.  They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days (Hosea3:5).  The fact that she is partially back in the homeland again is a sign that this time is near.

6.  The Remarriage with restored blessings.  The prophets spoke of a coming day when Israel will be the restored wife of God.  This will require a brand new Marriage Contract.  This is in Jer 31:31-34 (the New Covenant!).  This is why Israel has to accept the New Covenant in the Blood of Christ before she can enter the blessings of  the Millennium. The same prophet who announced the Bill of Divorce also announced the New Contract that would come!  God would be faithful to Israel and not turn to another to replace her. 
Ezekiel 16:60-63 confirms that this covenant will not be broken like the old one.  The new covenant is eternal. This will happen at the start of the Kingdom. 

Isa 54:1-8 also describes Israel’s restoration as Jehovah’s wife. The result will be the bearing of many new children (population explosion).  Until now she had produced few children of God, for most of her children were born out of wedlock (with the Lord).  But now she is remarried to the Lord, this would change and she will enlarge in numbers with many more believing children.  Israel will become the chief nation and God will forgive her past unfaithfulness. 

In Isa 62:4,5 God rejoices over His restored wife, who is also fully restored (regathered) and reunited by covenant to the land (the marital home) which she had lost because of her adultery.   Although Israel is in the land presently it is not by right of marriage but by God’s mercy in preparation for marriage (as in Hosea3:3).

The theme of Hosea is God’s Marriage with Israel.  Hosea’s marriage with faithless Gomer was used as a picture of  God and Israel.  He described the marriage, the adulteries of Israel, the divorce and her punishment (1:2-9, 2:2-13, 3:1), but also of God’s continuing love for Israel leading to her reunion with Him (1:10-2:1, 2:14-23, 3:5) after a time of discipline (3:1-4).  God will propose to her and she will agree and enter into marriage (the New Covenant) and the whole repentant nation will be regenerated and reunited to her God with all blessings restored (see  Hosea 14).

The Church is the Bride of Christ.  The picture of marriage is used also for the Church as well as for Israel, but she is a different group of covenant people joined to God through the New Covenant.   At present she is betrothed but not yet married (2Cor11:2), with the Bride-price having been paid.  She is now in the process of sanctification and preparation to be ready to be presented at the wedding as a glorious virgin to Christ, without spot (no visible defilement), without wrinkle (no sign of age or corruption) and holy without blemish (no evidence of sin).  See Eph 5:25-27.   The next event is the fetching of the Bride when the Bridegroom comes and takes her to his home in a wedding procession (the Rapture -1Thess 4:13-18).   Then immediately comes the private wedding ceremony.  This will happen in Heaven after the judgment seat of Christ.  Rev19:6-8 describes this as having happened before the Second Coming.   Then comes the public Marriage Feast which can last a week.   This will be on earth after the Second Coming (Rev19:9).  This Feast will begin the Millennium.   The eternal abode of the Bride is described in Rev 21:9-22:5.    So in the Millennium, the Church as the Bride of Christ has a heavenly home; Israel as the Wife of Jehovah has her home on earth in the Promised Land.  Remember that Marriage is but an earthly picture of the close covenant unions of God with Israel and the Church.

Joel 2:18-27 describes the repossession of the land and its resultant increase in productivity. 
Then Joel 2:28-29 describes the New Covenant: it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions, and also on My men servants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. 
Thus this is yet to be fulfilled for the nation of Israel, at the start of the Millennium, when all Israel will be saved - the whole nation will be in the land and be baptised in the Holy Spirit.   The Old (Mosaic) Covenant was temporary, given to prepare Israel for the permanent New Covenant which Christ would personally bring (Hebrews 8:13).  It is necessary for the nation to accept this Covenant before God can fulfil the whole Abrahamic Covenant to Israel because it qualifies them spiritually for the Kingdom (just as when they accepted Moses and the Covenant he mediated, God could bring them into a typical fulfilment of the Land and Throne Covenants).

After describing the judgments at Christ’s Second Coming (Amos 9:8-10), Amos says: 
On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom (the sheep), and all the Gentiles who are called by My name” says the LORD who does this thing
The Davidic throne and worship will be raised up by Christ -the Greater Son of David.   From this throne He will rule the whole world and guarantee Israel’s blessing in the Millennium (v13-15).   In particular in the Millennium, the believing Gentiles will also enter the New Covenant, be received as citizens of the Kingdom, be called by His name and thus have the Spirit, without having to become Jews through circumcision). 
James quotes these verses in Acts 15:14-18, to prove that Gentiles could be received into the Church without becoming Jews.  God had already shown them this by giving them His Spirit in Acts 10: 
Simon (Peter) has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.  And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up; so that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the LORD who does all these things.  Known to God from eternity are all His works.
The Millennial Gentiles will be called by His Name, have His Spirit and be citizens of His Kingdom.  So what God was doing in the Mystery Program (the Church-Age) was consistent with what the prophets said about the Millennium.  The Early Church was discovering that although the Millennium had not yet come, the Millennial New Covenant spiritual blessings were being poured out in the Mystery Age - not just for believing Jews but also for Gentiles.  Thus the New Covenant is now equally in place for all believers (Jew or Gentile) just as it was prophesied to be in the Millennium.  On this basis James accepts the outpouring of the Spirit upon the believing Gentiles as a work of God (the Jewish legalists had believed that Gentiles had to be circumcised before being accepted).  Although the Mystery was not revealed to the prophets, God knew about it from eternity and prepared the way for it through the prophets.

Acts 3:25,26:  The New Covenant was offered first to Israel and if they would have received it, they would have entered the full Abrahamic Blessing then.  But God’s program through the Abrahamic Covenant is not just to bless Israel but: in your seed (Christ) shall all the families of the earth be blessed (with salvation).  The Covenant offers universal blessings to those who are not the natural seed of Abraham.  These spiritual blessings were made available to all, through the New Covenant in Christ in this Age (Gal 3:6-14,26-29).  But the national promises to Israel can only be fulfilled by Israel.  Because believing Gentiles are made the spiritual seed of Abraham, it does not mean we are his physical seed.  Thus the New Covenant awaits future fulfilment to national Israel at Christ’s Return.

c)  The Davidic Covenant develops the DOMINION aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant. 
Israel is not just promised spiritual blessings and possession of a land but dominion - a kingdom and throne. The basis for this is the Davidic Covenant. It promised that from David would come an everlasting Throne, an everlasting King and an everlasting Kingdom. The Kingdom would be restored to Israel through the Messiah-King.  It promises that this One born from David (the Son of David) would personally reign on David’s throne in Jerusalem, over the whole earth.  Through His rule, Israel would enjoy dominion as leading nation and the earth will enjoy a time of righteousness prosperity and peace.  David’s Son, Solomon, was a type of this Messiah-King.  Jesus Christ had to become the Son of David to fulfil this Covenant (Matthew 1:1).

The basis is in 2Samuel 7:11-16 and 1Chronicles 17:10-14: 
I will subdue all your enemies. Also I tell you that the LORD will build you a house.  And it shall be, when your days are fulfilled, when you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom.   He shall build Me a house, and I will establish His throne forever.  I will be His Father, and He shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him who was before you.  And I will establish him in My house and in My kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever.  According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

It is also confirmed in: Psalm 89:3, 4, 34-37; Psalm 132; Jeremiah 23:5,6; 30:8,9; 33:14-26; 31:35-37; Ezekiel 37:24,25; Daniel 7:13,14, Hosea 3:4,5; Amos 9:11,12, Isaiah 9:6,7; Zechariah 14:4,9.

The Covenant is eternal and unconditional (2Sam 7:13,16,19, 23:5, 1Chron 17:12, 22:10; Isa 55:3, Ezek 37:25) and therefore must be fulfilled.   Although Jesus sits on His Father’s throne in Heaven, He is not yet seated upon David’s throne on earth.  The Davidic Covenant has not yet been fulfilled and cannot be fulfilled until Jesus Christ physically returns to Jerusalem as King of kings (Isaiah 9:6,7; Luke 1:32-33) and takes His place on David’s Throne (the throne of the earth).  Then the Lord’s prayer: “Thy Kingdom come on earth as in Heaven” will be answered completely.  Hence, the fulfilment of the Davidic Covenant requires the Second Coming and the Messianic Kingdom (the Millennium) when Christ will established on the throne of David forever. The prophets agree and characterise the Messianic Kingdom as a time when the Lord, the Son of David, the Messiah will rule the earth from Jerusalem.

So, the Millennium is necessary for God to keep His Covenant to Abraham (as enlarged upon in the Palestinian, New and Davidic Covenants), and thus it is the climax and high-point of earth history.  These covenants can only be fulfilled in the Millennial Kingdom, and conditions in the Millennium are basically determined by these Covenants coming to pass.



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