|Jerusalem and the Holy Land|
For centuries, the city of Jerusalem, and the Holy Land itself, have been treasured in the hearts of Christians, and sacred in the beliefs of many religions. To Jews Jerusalem is the place of David’s ancient throne, and the indivisible capital of the modern nation, whilst the land of Israel stands as the treasured homeland of Jews who have come through the holocaust, returned from lands of exile, or have been born under the Star of David. To Moslems the city is a sacred place of worship, centred on the Dome of the Rock at the eastern wall. To Christians, the city is significant as the place of Christ’s crucifixion, and the pivot of Bible history. But the Bible reveals that tremendous environmental and spiritual changes are in store for both city and state. It claims that the man who was crucified in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago will soon return to become its great monarch; that the land today known as Israel is to become the first State in all the world; that a great temple-city will be established in Jerusalem, where all mankind will find true direction, and from which will flow careful, protective and equitable laws for the benefit of mankind.
In this booklet we desire to set before the reader, a dramatic, yet perfectly reasonable, vision of the kingdom that is about to be established throughout the earth. We invite your careful examination of our comments, and would be happy to answer any questions, or to further assist in any way to a better understanding of God’s wonderful purpose.
What the World Really Needs
Yet the Bible has the only logical solution. It has been presented within its pages for 4,000 years. It foretells that the day must come when there shall be one supreme ruler over all mankind: a united world worshipping the one true God and rejoicing in a strong, wise and caring monarch over all mankind. Then all the armaments of the world will no longer be needed. The inconsistent laws and directions of governments shall be discarded. Dictators, governors, prime ministers and presidents will transfer their authority to the mighty king of heaven who takes to himself “his great power and shall reign.”
The Bible declares that the king promised is identical with the one crucified on a stake with the superscription: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. But when Jesus Christ returns to the earth, he will command the respect of all nations. This is evident from the testimony of 1Corinthians 15:24-26 which teaches that Christ: “shall put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
In order to accomplish this wonderful result, he will take control of all governments, so that: “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
The Jews anticipated their Messiah to appear as a mighty king. But when Jesus Christ first appeared on earth, 2,000 years ago they rejected his claim as king. They did not understand that the Messiah would first come as the Lamb of God to open the way to life eternal by providing a sacrifice for sin. And so they played their part in the purpose of God by crucifying him.
The Lord Jesus declared to his disciples regarding his impending death, resurrection and ascension into heaven: “I will come again” (John 14:3). His teaching was endorsed by angels when he later ascended to the right hand of Almighty God, for two such told the apostles who assembled with him on the mount of Olives, just outside Jerusalem: “This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Notice the definite, terms of that statement. It is not ambiguous, and teaches clearly that the Christ who ascended will return in exactly the same manner: physically, literally, visibly.
Jesus Christ is coming to set up on earth, and to reign over a divine kingdom which shall absorb all other powers. Under his universal rule, humanity will enjoy that which it now vainly seeks: complete freedom from fear, annihilation and starvation, providing widespread peace and goodwill. Consider carefully the following Bible teaching: “The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed; the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44). “Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and He (God) shall send Jesus Christ” (Acts 3:19-20).
Under Christ’s rule, conditions on earth shall drastically change. War will be outlawed; sin restrained; vice suppressed; and men will acknowledge the majesty of the Creator, and the benefits of His way of life. There shall be “glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.” Luke 1:32-33 declares of his rule: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom THERE SHALL BE NO END (Luke 1:32-33).
Control of the earth will never again be in the hands of corrupt men, nor will people be subjected to the awful conditions of a global distress; of a perishing environment; of a hopeless future for young and old, unable to find security – as is the case in the world today.
Jerusalem: The City of Salvation
Jerusalem: Centre Of Universal Worship
This formed part of the teaching of the Lord at his first advent. On one occasion, when visiting the temple in Jerusalem, he found the outer court thronged with traders gathered together to make profit from sales to the worshippers. Their commercial designs destroyed the very principle of divine service. Full of indignation at such desecration of so holy a place, the Lord scathingly rebuked the guilty traders, and prophesied of the time of true worship to come: “Jesus went into the temple and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, ’My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer.’ ’ hut ye have made it a den of thieves” (Mark 11: 15-17).
The incident may be well-known to many, but the real significance of the Lord’s words is usually overlooked. Notice that the record states: “He TAUGHT, saying unto them… My house SHALL BE CALLED OF ALL NATlONS the house of prayer.” The Lord Jesus thus identified the temple in Jerusalem as “his Father’s house,” and taught that the time will come when “all nations” shall recognise it as such.
That time is now imminent, for world events, according to Bible prophecy, indicate the return of Christ is at hand.
On another occasion, Christ predicted that the temple of his day would be completely destroyed (Luke 21:6), and that Jerusalem would be “trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (v. 24).
This prediction required that:
Points [a], [b] and [c] were fulfilled in AD70 when the Romans destroyed the Jewish state.
Both Jews and Gentiles in Jerusalem
The veil of darkness at present over the eyes of both Jews and Gentiles (Isaiah 25:7; 2Corinthians 3:15) shall be removed and all nations will accept the truth in Christ Jesus: “Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit” (Jeremiah 16: l9). At the same time “the deliverer shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:26).
How will that be accomplished? By the divine worship to be set up in Jerusalem at Christ’s coming (Micah 4:1-4).
A Changed World Under Christ
Concerning those who attain unto life eternal, it is said: “They shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years”
Obviously the immortal redeemed will not reign with Christ in heaven as some claim. Clearly the Bible shows it shall be on earth. Christ will occupy “the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:32), and that throne was in Jerusalem. In that city Christ shall establish the nucleus of his earthly rule and Zechariah declares that he shall be “king over all the earth” (ch. 14:9).
Notice the clear evidence of the Bible:
(1) The Lord is to return personally and visibly to the earth:
(2) He will raise from the dead and bestow immortality on those who have lived according to his precepts:
(3) He will destroy the military might of the nations:
(4) He will redeem the land of Israel from violence:
(5) He will set up his power in Jerusalem:
(6) He will proclaim his law from Jerusalem requiring the obedience of all nations:
(7) He will completely restore scattered Israel, and regenerate the nation as the nucleus of his world power:
(8) He will supervise the building of a glorious Temple in Jerusalem as a centre of universal worship:
(9) Representatives of the nations will make constant pilgrimage to Jerusalem for worship:
(10) This will result in one thousand years of peace on earth with humanity delivered from the problems and frustrations of today:
All the Bible passages quoted above, emphasise that the earth is the arena of God’s future purpose with humanity, and that His plan envisages a time when present conditions will be replaced by a divine order, the kingdom of God on earth. Christ is to return to set up his power and reign from Jerusalem.