Much has been described in the Old Testament of the promises to the Israelites of restoring the Land of Promise to them at a future time. Some who have felt this promise was overdue have come to the conclusion that this must mean that God has withdrawn these promises. These promises are prominent in the early activities scheduled for this 1000 year period, so it is important for us to understand this. Paul, writing over 1900 years ago states the following:
Rom. 11:25-29 -- I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins
(Paul quotes from Isaiah 59:20,21 and 27:9)
As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.
Paul states that, because of the rebellion of the Israelites in refusing to recognize Christ as their Savior, He caused them to have a spiritual hardening to this understanding and this was to remain until the last Gentile was called in; following which God was planning to bring a spiritual awakening to those so designated, immediately prior to the Second Coming (after the last Gentile is called in). Ezekiel describes this very event in the chapter before the description of the Second Coming:
Eze. 36:22 -- This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy Name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.
Vs. 24 -- For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land (Bringing the exiles home).
Vs. 25 -- I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
Vs. 26 -- I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Removal of the spiritual hardening).
Vs. 33 -- This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt.
Vs. 34 -- The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it.
Vs. 35 -- They will say, "This land that has laid waste has become like the Garden of Eden.
Vs. 36 -- Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate.
I the Lord have spoken and I will do it.
We know from what Paul stated earlier that this cleansing of the Israelites from sin and replacing their heart of stone with a heart of flesh could not take place until the last Gentile has come in, which all agree is a very late end-time event. Now, let's consider some of these events which are scheduled to occur following the Second Coming.
Isa. 4:2-6 -- In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. (These are the ones who have been trampled by the Gentiles for 42 months)
Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, ALL who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. (These are the ones Paul is speaking of when he states that all Israel will be saved.)
The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; He will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. (This is when He cleanses them from their sins and replaces their heart of stone with a heart of flesh.)
Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.
Isa. 30:25,26 -- In the day of great slaughter (Second Coming) when the towers fall, streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill.
The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.
This doesn't sound like a giant compost pile, does it? It sounds very much like an instant upgrading of the earth such as we have never witnessed before.
Jer. 23:3-8 -- I myself will gather the remnant out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the Lord. (The exiles being brought back immediately following the Second Coming.)
"The days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord our righteousness."
This passage makes it clear that the redeemed, in the Land of Israel following the Second Coming, will be fruitful and multiply in numbers. The King that will rule them will be called, The Lord our Righteousness -- Jesus Christ himself.
Jer. 31:38-40 -- The days are coming," declares the Lord, "when this city will be rebuilt for Me from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate. The measuring line will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah.
The whole valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown, and all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the Horse Gate, will be holy to the Lord. The city will never again be uprooted or demolished.
Christ states very plainly that the days are coming when Jerusalem will be rebuilt for Him, and that never again will it be uprooted or demolished. We know for certain that it is completely demolished at the time of the Second Coming when every wall will fall from the great earthquake, which results from His presence. This has to be one of the first projects scheduled at the onset of the Millennium.
Before we take seriously anyone who says that these promises to Israel were withdrawn due to Israel's rejection and crucifixion of Christ -- consider the words of Paul:
Gal. 3:26-29 -- You are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Christ doesn't have an affirmative action plan where a certain number of literal Israelites are required in order to keep from aborting His plan. If anyone is born again and Christ dwells within, through the Holy Spirit, then we are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. Christ knew from the beginning exactly how many literal Israelites would be represented in the final number, but in His sight they are all one group -- sons and daughters of God.
Zech. 1:16,17 -- Therefore this is what the Lord says, "I will return to Jerusalem with mercy and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem, declares the Lord Almighty."
Proclaim further: This is what the Lord Almighty says: "My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.
The Lord could have chosen any spot on earth for His dwelling place, but He again will choose Jerusalem. This shows His special love for this city.
Zech. 2:1-5 -- Then I looked up -- and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand! I asked, "Where are you going?" He answered me, "To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is."
Then the angel who was speaking to me left, and another angel came to meet him and said to him: "Run, tell that young man, Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of men and livestock in it.
And I myself will be a wall of fire around it and I will be its glory within." declares the Lord.
Vss. 10-12 -- Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the Lord. Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the Holy Land and will again choose Jerusalem.