What Is Israel’s Distinct Place in the Age to Come? – DAN JUSTER CHARISMA NEWS
What Is Israel’s Distinct Place in the Age to Come?
DAN JUSTER CHARISMA NEWS
There are so many texts that assert a glorious place for Israel in the age to come. Space only allows us to quote a few.
“Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem for generations and generations. (Joel 3:20).
Indeed, the days are coming, says the Lord, when the plowman will overtake the one who is reaping, and the treader of grapes the one who is sowing the seed; the mountains will drip sweet wine, and all the hills will flow with it. I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant them upon their land, and no more will they be uprooted out of their land which I have given them. The Lord your God has spoken (Amos 9:13-15).“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall go and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more (Is. 2:1-4).
These Scriptures seem to describe conditions on a renewed earth, not in heaven.
Note the parallel in Isaiah 11. After the sword comes from the anointed of the Lord, the Messiah, and He slays the wicked, we read in verses 6-9:
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
This description again is of a renewed Earth.
Isaiah 2, Isaiah 19:20-24, Isaiah 65, 66, Zechariah 14, Malachi , Revelation 11, Acts 15, Romans 15, and Revelation 21. These passages describe a real world with real people who are wonderfully distinct. The age to come is best understood as all goodness, beauty and truth that we have known in this world, redeemed and enhanced at an amazing level beyond our comprehension.
Zechariah 14 says all nations will come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. Those who do not go up will not have rain on their lands. This does not seem to fit the everlasting age of consummation—the eternal state in a new heaven and a new earth.
In addition, there are promises of a restored Levitical priesthood and a restored temple (Ezekiel 40-48, Jer. 33:17-18).
This idea of a restored temple where sacrifices are offered is the most difficult of the millennial text for people whose sensibilities cannot embrace the literal idea. Even some pre-millennialists cannot embrace it.
For pre-millennial thinkers, Revelation 20 provides an interpretive key to these passages, Satan is bound for 1000 years, and the martyrs live again. They rule and reign with Messiah for 1000 years.
If those who have embraced Yeshua are the bride of the Messiah, then who are the guests at the wedding? If we rule with him, who are the ruled?
How will the 12 apostles of Yeshua sit on thrones and judge the 12 tribes of Israel?
We could go on and on. However, one can see how only a pre-millennial view ties together these many passages and makes the symbolism more coherent. We also believe there is an application of these same truths to every tribe, tongue and nation in the millennium. The literal fulfillment of prophecies to the nation of Israel causes most Messianic Jews to embrace pre-millennialism—exactly what was believed by the Apostolic church for the first few centuries.
Dan Juster is the director of Tikkun Ministries International, a Messianic Jewish ministry. He is an author and has been in Messianic Jewish ministry since 1972.
For the original article, visit reviveisrael.org.
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