14-3 The Millennium

Isaiah 65

The only spanner in these works may be Is. 65:20: "The sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed". Firstly, how can this be reconciled with a punishment of the wicked by fire? And most importantly, Is. 65:17-25 is describing the state of the mortal people during the Millennium. The passage makes no reference to the state of the saints. The people are described as being obedient, blessed and righteous. But the fact that some will be rejected at the second judgement at the end of the Millennium shows that not all will be like this; even during the Millennium the sinner will not receive the blessings of long life, and will be "accursed". Thus there will be a more public divide between the seeds of the woman and serpent, as there was in early times (so Genesis and the nature of the discussion in the book of Job implies).

Is. 66:24 concludes that the rejected "shall be an abhorring to all flesh"- the Hebrew text of Dan. 12:2 concerning the punishment of the responsible at judgement suggests some allusion to this: "some to shame and everlasting contempt".

Thus we have Biblical justification for seeing the Angel-controlled punishment of the "sinners in Zion" in Hezekiah's time as pointing forward to the punishment of the unworthy by the Angels at Jerusalem. With the unworthy out of Jerusalem, the Kingdom starts to be established. Seeing that there will still  be  mortal  Jews in Jerusalem, it is worth speculating whether the judgement will take place in the old city of David ("Zion")- where Christ will sit on David's throne. The Arab invasions prior to the Lord's return of Zech. 14 will have wiped out a fair proportion of the natural Jews in the area, so the problem of there being many mortals in the vicinity is not significant.

There is much evidence that the Kingdom starts initially in Jerusalem and then spreads worldwide slowly. Many of the prophecies concerning it are addressed to "Jerusalem" and "Mount Zion". The stone of Daniel 2 hits the earth and grows from there to cover the earth. It is logical if it hits the earth at Jerusalem, where all the kingdoms of men represented by the metals will be present, gathered together against Jerusalem. It appears that the unworthy having been destroyed, a colony of saints is established around Jerusalem, living in Kingdom conditions. They live in "the land of unwalled villages. . dwelling safely all of them. . . without walls, and having neither bars nor gates" (v. 11)- Kingdom language. The Angels give Gog the "evil thought" of invading the "land of unwalled villages", apparently after the invasions of the land as a whole. The people living there are "gathered out of the nations"- capable of reference to the saints (Mt. 25:31-34) who have just been gathered from all nations. The great wealth which attracts Gog must be due to the Kingdom conditions there- the Arab invasions of Zech. 14 (which must be before the second coming, seeing that Jerusalem is ransacked) will have devastated the land of its present wealth. The sudden prosperity reported around Jerusalem will no doubt intrigue the world, and prove a fatal attraction. "The desolate places that are now inhabited" (v. 12)  probably refers specifically  to the temple area/old city of Jerusalem which will have been the scene of much bitter Israeli/Arab fighting.

Thus the final onslaught of Gog and his followers occurs, this time with Christ and the redeemed in Jerusalem, thus fulfilling Psalm 2: "The kings of the earth (cp. Is. 24:21) set themselves. . . against the Lord, and against His anointed (Christ). . . yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion". Any who find it hard to imagine Christ and the saints temporarily giving ground to Gog and allowing themselves to be besieged in Jerusalem by him should reflect that an almost   identical  situation  will  occur at the end of the Millennium, when another (how different?) Gog and Magog will push the saints back into Jerusalem with Christ, until He breaks out upon them again.

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