“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1, NASB)
THE LORD’S MILLENNIAL REIGN
The Lord’s return is just around the corner. The signs are all around us, but there’s so many people in the world, including in the church, who are not preparing for His return. There’s a great deal of half-truth, error, and deception that’s being widely taught in the dominant American church in regard to what the Bible teaches.
ISRAEL’S COMING RESTORATION
But Yeshua (Jesus) is coming back soon to finish establishing His Kingdom here on earth where He will rule and reign for a thousand years from the city of Jerusalem, Israel. And it will be during His reign when the expansion and the restoration of the two kingdoms of Israel – the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah – will be restored back into one Kingdom under One King, Messiah, that God has been working on for the past two thousand years will finally be completed.
ISRAEL’S COMING PURIFICATION
Not only has God promised to bring Israel back to their Promised Land, but He has also promised to purify the people as well. This coming purification will happen at about the same time that God will be bringing people back to the Land:
For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and you shall keep My judgments, and do them. And you shall live in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleanness:… (Ezekiel 34:24-29a)
Here we see that at some point during the time that God is returning Jews to the land of Israel, He promises to purify the people by “sprinkling clean water upon you, and you shall be clean.” Christians would like to say that this happened when Yeshua (Jesus) was crucified by Rome, but the Jewish people were not being brought back to the land at that time. Also, it also says that at the time that God will purify them,
Thus says the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. (Ezekiel 34: 33-36)
When Yeshua (Jesus) lived and ministered in Israel, the land of Israel had not become a desolate, waste place yet. That didn’t happen until the Jews had been forced out of Israel by the Romans beginning in 70 C.E. to May 14, 1948. Therefore, for a period of 1,878 years, Israel lay desolate and in ruin. It has only been in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that we have watched the “desolate and ruined cities” in Israel become rebuilt, “fenced, and are inhabited.” We are now living during the time when Israel will experience their purification. How God will do this? I don’t know. We will just have to wait and see.
THE COMING TEMPLE
Perhaps, we will see this when the next Temple will be rebuilt and Temple worship began again. According to the same prophet, in the “Vision of dry bones” (Ezekiel 37), I see two parts to Israel’s restoration: a physical restoration (Ezekiel 37:4-8), but then God tells Ezekiel to “prophesy to the wind.” However, the word translated “wind” is the Hebrew word ruach, which means “wind, breath, or spirit.” So I’m wondering if in this second part of the prophecy, if it is not a spiritual restoration for Israel (Ezekiel 37:9-10). And my wife, Karen, and I are wondering if what Ezekiel describes in this chapter could also be the resurrection of the dead:
Then He said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall you know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, says the LORD. (Ezekiel 37:11-14)
Having the resurrection of the dead happen at about the same time that Israel comes to faith in Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah would also fit with Rav Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) tells us in the book of Romans:
For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but LIFE FROM THE DEAD? (Romans 11:15)
Here again we have a connection between Israel’s spiritual restoration and the resurrection of the dead. So could this come before the Lord’s return and the establishment of His Messianic Kingdom?
ISRAEL’S COMING COVENANT
In the book of Ezekiel, there’s a prophecy of yet another covenant that God has promised to make with His people Israel after Messiah’s return:
And I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their G-d, and they will be My people. And the nations will know that I am the L-RD who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever. (Ezekiel 37:26-28)
This prophesied covenant is not the “New Covenant” prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34, and that is taught in the New Testament. Why? Because there are elements in this yet future covenant that are not addressed in the “new covenant.”
“THE BIBLE ISN’T FINISHED?”
This was my response when I discovered this and other prophecies in the Tanakh (i.e., “Old Testament”) regarding yet another future covenant, which I am entitling “the Millennial Covenant,” because it will be the one that will be made and maintained during Messiah Yeshua’s (Jesus’) 1,000-year reign on the earth as King, Prophet and High Priest over Israel and the other nations of the world. And, of course, with each new covenant that God makes, there are more instructions and teaching, thereby more Scripture.
PROPHECIES ABOUT THE COMING COVENANT
A Covenant that Reunifies the Two Houses of Israel
The first thing we should note about this coming covenant is that its purpose does not deal with spiritual issues – but with national issues. God tells us in the book of Ezekiel,
Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will take the children pf Israel from among the heathen, wherever they have gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: … so shall they be My people, and I will be their God. And David My Servant shall be King over them; and they all shall have One Shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgements, and observe My statutes, and do them. (Ezekiel 37:21-22, 23d, 24)
God says that He is going to bring His people back to the land from wherever they may be upon the face of this planet, and then He will enter into covenant with them upon “the mountains of Israel,” and the One King shall be king to them all, and there will no longer be two Houses of Israel anymore, but they shall all be united once again into One Kingdom, One nation, One people.
And as we shall see, this is not the “new covenant” that is being discussed, because the issues here do not deal with the Ten Commandments being written on our hearts and mind, nor does it involve at all the forgiveness of sins. The main focus here is on reunification of the two houses into one, as well as security, blessing, and safety. For example, in Ezekiel 34, we read,
The Messianic Kingdom – Safety from Wild Animals?
And I will set up One Shepherd over them, and He shall feed them, even My servant David; He shall feed them, and He shall be their Shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and My Servant David a Prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it. And I will make them a covenant of peace [Heb. b’rit shalom], and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. And I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:23-26)
Not only will Israel become a place of peace and safety, but it will even be safe for people to sleep in the woods and be safe from wild animals.
The Messianic Kingdom – Safety from the Gentiles Nations of the World?
But not only that, but they will also be safe from the Gentiles and nations of the world:
And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely; and none shall make them afraid.
ISRAEL – A LAND OF BLESSING?
…and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of tree, and the increase of the field, that you shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Not only will the land be blessed by God, so that their yearly crops will become abundant, but they will have a special crop from God.
ISRAEL – A FINANCIALLY PROSPEROUS CROP?
And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. (Ezekiel 34:28-29)
God is going to give Israel a financially prosperous crop that will not only feed those in Israel, but it will also make Israel highly sought after by the other nations of the world as well.
ISRAEL – GOD’S PEOPLE?
Even though Israel has been scattered all over the earth, they are still the people of God. They have never lost that position. God says here in His word:
Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, as My people, says the Lord GOD. And you My flock, the flock of My pasture, are men, and I am your God, says the Lord GOD. (Ezekiel 34:30-31)
So as we can see, along with the Lord’s Return, there will also be a new covenant made with the two houses of Israel that will reunite the two kingdoms, as well as bring about many blessings and changes in the world. But this coming “covenant of peace” (Heb. b’rit shalom) will not replace or do away with the “new covenant” prophesied by Jeremiah, just as the “new covenant” (Heb. b’rit chadasha) did not replace or do away with any of the previous covenants that are described in the Hebrew Scriptures. Therefore, each of us are looking forward to a better world that is coming with the return of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) and the coming “covenant of peace” (Heb. b’rit shalom).