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PEACE AT LAST IN THE HOLY LAND - THE RESTORATION OF JERUSALEM

           Zephaniah 3:13  “The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”

           At what time will the remnant lie down safely and none shall make them afraid?  Let us read Hosea 2: 15 & 18.

           Hosea 2:15, 18 -- “And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt..... And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.” 

           We see here, that after God gives the “Valley of Achor” (Joshua 7:26) as a door of hope for his church, then he makes a covenant of peace with man and beast and allows them to lie down safely.  The Valley of Achor is just another way of expressing the Purification of the Church, or, the slaughter of Ezekiel 9.  It can be clearly seen that the restoration of Jerusalem takes place after the valley of Achor’s experience.

           Jeremiah 23:5-8 -- Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESSTherefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;  But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

           This is one of the texts that was used by the Jews in teaching that when the Messiah comes He would deliver them from Roman bondage enabling them to live in peace.  Let us examine the following text of Scripture.

           Acts 1:3, 6, 7. -- “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking things pertaining to the kingdom of God:... When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”

           We see here that even after the resurrection, the disciples were still not too clear about this issue of the restoration of Jerusalem.  When they asked Jesus when will He restore the Kingdom of Israel, Jesus did not tell them that they were misinterpreting the Scriptures.  He simply said he would not tell them the times.  They did not know that the Jews had to be scattered among the Gentile nations just as  the other ten tribes, before they were to be united and become one nation.  They did not understand that Jerusalem was to be trodden underfoot for another 2000 years until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.  (Luke 21:24).  Now the time has come for the Lord to “...perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.”  Micah 7:20.  God’s church today, instead of longing for, and praying for the Kingdom are relentlessly opposing it.  Day by day even through the upheavals in the Middle East,  the Lord is making it known that the time has come for the “Lord’s Prayer,” to be answered.  “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.”

           “God is our Father, who loves and cares for us as His children; He is also the great King of the universe. The interests of His kingdom are our interests, and we are to work for its up-building.”  {Mount of Blessing,  p. 107}.

     “The disciples of Christ were looking for the immediate coming of the kingdom of His glory, but in giving them this prayer Jesus taught that the kingdom was not then to be established. They were to pray for its coming as an event yet future. But this petition was also an assurance to them. While they were not to behold the coming of the kingdom in their day, the fact that Jesus bade them pray for it is evidence that in God's own time it will surely come.   {Mount of Blessing, p. 107}.

           What is the time projected here, when this King shall reign and Israel shall dwell safely?

           Hosea 3:4, 5  For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without  teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.” .

           Note:  The time of the reigning of this king when Israel returns to the Holy Land and shall dwell safely is in the latter days.

           Ezekiel  34:13, 25, 28 --“And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and  will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.  And I will make with them a covenant of peace, 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 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.”  

           The unbelieving Jews from all over the world who have been migrating  to Israel since 1948 think that they are fulfilling these prophecies, but unfortunately they have never been able to lie down safely and in peace.  This promise is for God’s Christian believing saints - Jews and Gentiles still scattered throughout the whole world.  Strange it may sound, just keep reading prayerfully, and it will get clearer and clearer.  “Prove all things; and hold fast that which is good.”  (1Thess. 5:21)

THE ENSIGN

           Isaiah 11:1-5.  "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse," prophesies Isaiah in figurative depiction of this glorious triumph of God's purpose, "and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.  And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins."

            In this illustration there are three persons brought to view: Jesse (the father of David), the rod (David), and the Branch (Christ).  The relationship shows that David (the rod) is not Christ (the Branch) for the "rod" sprang from the stem of Jesse, and the Branch from the rod -- a fact which is born out in the cry of the multitude when Christ entered Jerusalem.  They shouted: "Hosannah to the son of David." Matt. 21:15.  Plainly, therefore, the "rod," coming from the stem of Jesse, is symbolical of David; and the Branch, coming from the rod, is symbolical of the son of David -- Christ.

           So though the "ensign" emblematizes the connection  of three persons (Jesse, the root; David the rod; and Christ, the Branch), yet the power and wisdom of Christ is its underlying and controlling  force.  Wherefore says Christ: "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star" (Rev. 22:16), bearing out that He is all and in all.

            Characterizing both the king and the kingdom to be established after the "many days," the prophet Isaiah declares: "...with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.  And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.

            "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.  And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.  And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Isa. 11 :4-9.  This prophesied era of absolute righteousness, peace, and knowledge of God (in the kingdom)  under the reign of the "rod" (David) and of the "Branch" (Christ), must begin Before the Close of Probation.

            The Scriptures show that the kingdom is set up before, rather than at, the beginning of the  millennium, for "in that day [in the day the kingdom  is set up and peace reigns]...a root of Jesse [the rod and the Branch]...shall stand for an ensign of the people [of the kingdom]," says Isaiah, and "to it shall the Gentiles seek." Isa. 11:10.  And as after the close of probation, the doors of the kingdom will be shut to all, the ensign must therefore be set up before probation  closes: the only time that the Gentiles will have a chance to be converted to the Lord and to His kingdom, -- a conclusion common to the following scriptures:

           "Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee when I returned the captivity of My people.' Hos. 6:11.”

           It is God’s intention to use this re-creation, this peaceful Edenic situation in the Promised Land  to be an ensign to the nations who will in turn seek this ensign and find rest therein; [in probationary time].  This would defy evolution and bring conviction to the atheists.  This then could not apply to the earth made new.  If we continue to read the rest of the chapter, it will be seen that the whole chapter is to be fulfilled before the second return of Christ.

           Isaiah 11:11-16  “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria,  and  from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off, Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall

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spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.

           And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.” 

           These verses need no explanation they mean just what they say.  There is to be a second Exodus of God’s people, not just from Egypt, but from the four corners of the earth.   Millions and millions of  people will then be brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but not until God manifests His mighty power in the land where the gospel started.

           “The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed.” {The Great Controversy, p. 599}.

           “Among earth’s inhabitants, scattered in every land, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Baal.  Like the stars of heaven, which appear only at night, these faithful ones will shine forth when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people.  In heathen Africa, in the Catholic lands of Europe and of South America, in China, in India, in the islands of the sea, and in all the dark corners of the earth, God has in reserve a firmament of chosen ones that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law.” {Prophets and Kings, pp. 188, 189}.

           Let us now return to Jer.23: 2-8 and see how abundantly clearer this subject becomes.

           Jeremiah  23:3-8  “ And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven  them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.  And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name  whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.”

           Can we now see what is God’s plan for the remnant in these last days?  Let us listen to  the God of Heaven reiterate this most vital truth.

           Jeremiah 16:13-15  “Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.   Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The  Lord liveth, that brought up the children of

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Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.”          

           Zechariah 8: 1-8  “Again the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.  Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.  And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in mine eyes? Saith the Lord of hosts.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.”

           These prophecies have never been fulfilled and the time has come for the Lord to perform His strange act.  We will now continue with verses 20-23:

           Thus saith the Lord of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also.  Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

           Why should God speak so much about the restoration and yet not bring it to pass?

           It is logical to conclude that the ten men who take hold of all the languages of the nations in the time of this great ingathering are figurative of a group of people (the church freed from tares in the harvest time), just as the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1) are figurative of the church while the tares are still commingled with wheat.  The ten servants (Luke 19:13), and the ten horns (Rev. 12:3, 17:3) are numbers of universality.  These ten men will speak all the languages as did the Apostles on the Pentecost.

           Let us now quote from the Review and Herald, July 20, 1886.

           “It is with an earnest longing that I look forward to the time when the events of the day of Pentecost shall be repeated with even greater power than on that occasion, John says, (Revelation 18:1).  Then, as at the Pentecostal season, the people will hear the truth spoken to them, every man in his own tongue.” {Review and Herald, July 20, 1886}.

           “There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation.  If Satan had his way, there would never be another awakening, great or small, to the end of the time.  But we are not ignorant of his

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devises.  It is possible to resist his power.  When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God the blessing will come.” {Review and Herald, March 22, 1887}.

           Brethren, this is God’s plan.   The Great Multitude of Rev. 7:9 are the multitude of souls from all nations, kindreds and tongues and people just prior to His coming who will be saved.  14 million SDAs is nothing in comparison to what God is about to do.  The Lord has charted out that when this great influx of saints shall flow into His church the Headquarters of the Gospel would have moved to Jerusalem; bringing the attention of the nations to the cross of calvary.

PEACE AT LAST IN THE HOLY LAND - THE RESTORATION OF JERUSALEM

           Zephaniah 3:13  “The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”

           At what time will the remnant lie down safely and none shall make them afraid?  Let us read Hosea 2: 15 & 18.

           Hosea 2:15, 18 -- “And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt..... And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.” 

           We see here, that after God gives the “Valley of Achor” (Joshua 7:26) as a door of hope for his church, then he makes a covenant of peace with man and beast and allows them to lie down safely.  The Valley of Achor is just another way of expressing the Purification of the Church, or, the slaughter of Ezekiel 9.  It can be clearly seen that the restoration of Jerusalem takes place after the valley of Achor’s experience.

           Jeremiah 23:5-8 -- Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESSTherefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;  But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

           This is one of the texts that was used by the Jews in teaching that when the Messiah comes He would deliver them from Roman bondage enabling them to live in peace.  Let us examine the following text of Scripture.

           Acts 1:3, 6, 7. -- “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking things pertaining to the kingdom of God:... When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”

           We see here that even after the resurrection, the disciples were still not too clear about this issue of the restoration of Jerusalem.  When they asked Jesus when will He restore the Kingdom of Israel, Jesus did not tell them that they were misinterpreting the Scriptures.  He simply said he would not tell them the times.  They did not know that the Jews had to be scattered among the Gentile nations just as  the other ten tribes, before they were to be united and become one nation.  They did not understand that Jerusalem was to be trodden underfoot for another 2000 years until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.  (Luke 21:24).  Now the time has come for the Lord to “...perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.”  Micah 7:20.  God’s church today, instead of longing for, and praying for the Kingdom are relentlessly opposing it.  Day by day even through the upheavals in the Middle East,  the Lord is making it known that the time has come for the “Lord’s Prayer,” to be answered.  “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.”

           “God is our Father, who loves and cares for us as His children; He is also the great King of the universe. The interests of His kingdom are our interests, and we are to work for its up-building.”  {Mount of Blessing,  p. 107}.

     “The disciples of Christ were looking for the immediate coming of the kingdom of His glory, but in giving them this prayer Jesus taught that the kingdom was not then to be established. They were to pray for its coming as an event yet future. But this petition was also an assurance to them. While they were not to behold the coming of the kingdom in their day, the fact that Jesus bade them pray for it is evidence that in God's own time it will surely come.   {Mount of Blessing, p. 107}.

           What is the time projected here, when this King shall reign and Israel shall dwell safely?

           Hosea 3:4, 5  For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without  teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.” .

           Note:  The time of the reigning of this king when Israel returns to the Holy Land and shall dwell safely is in the latter days.

           Ezekiel  34:13, 25, 28 --“And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and  will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.  And I will make with them a covenant of peace, 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 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.”  

           The unbelieving Jews from all over the world who have been migrating  to Israel since 1948 think that they are fulfilling these prophecies, but unfortunately they have never been able to lie down safely and in peace.  This promise is for God’s Christian believing saints - Jews and Gentiles still scattered throughout the whole world.  Strange it may sound, just keep reading prayerfully, and it will get clearer and clearer.  “Prove all things; and hold fast that which is good.”  (1Thess. 5:21)

THE ENSIGN

           Isaiah 11:1-5.  "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse," prophesies Isaiah in figurative depiction of this glorious triumph of God's purpose, "and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.  And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins."

            In this illustration there are three persons brought to view: Jesse (the father of David), the rod (David), and the Branch (Christ).  The relationship shows that David (the rod) is not Christ (the Branch) for the "rod" sprang from the stem of Jesse, and the Branch from the rod -- a fact which is born out in the cry of the multitude when Christ entered Jerusalem.  They shouted: "Hosannah to the son of David." Matt. 21:15.  Plainly, therefore, the "rod," coming from the stem of Jesse, is symbolical of David; and the Branch, coming from the rod, is symbolical of the son of David -- Christ.

            So though the "ensign" emblematizes the connection  of three persons (Jesse, the root;

David the rod; and Christ, the Branch), yet the power and wisdom of Christ is its underlying and controlling  force.  Wherefore says Christ: "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star" (Rev. 22:16), bearing out that He is all and in all.

            Characterizing both the king and the kingdom to be established after the "many days," the prophet Isaiah declares: "...with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.  And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.

            "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.  And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.  And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Isa. 11 :4-9.  This prophesied era of absolute righteousness, peace, and knowledge of God (in the kingdom)  under the reign of the "rod" (David) and of the "Branch" (Christ), must begin Before the Close of Probation.

            The Scriptures show that the kingdom is set up before, rather than at, the beginning of the  millennium, for "in that day [in the day the kingdom  is set up and peace reigns]...a root of Jesse [the rod and the Branch]...shall stand for an ensign of the people [of the kingdom]," says Isaiah, and "to it shall the Gentiles seek." Isa. 11:10.  And as after the close of probation, the doors of the kingdom will be shut to all, the ensign must therefore be set up before probation  closes: the only time that the Gentiles will have a chance to be converted to the Lord and to His kingdom, -- a conclusion common to the following scriptures:

           "Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee when I returned the captivity of My people.' Hos. 6:11.”

           It is God’s intention to use this re-creation, this peaceful Edenic situation in the Promised Land  to be an ensign to the nations who will in turn seek this ensign and find rest therein; [in probationary time].  This would defy evolution and bring conviction to the atheists.  This then could not apply to the earth made new.  If we continue to read the rest of the chapter, it will be seen that the whole chapter is to be fulfilled before the second return of Christ.

           Isaiah 11:11-16  “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria,  and  from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off, Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall

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spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.

           And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.” 

           These verses need no explanation they mean just what they say.  There is to be a second Exodus of God’s people, not just from Egypt, but from the four corners of the earth.   Millions and millions of  people will then be brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but not until God manifests His mighty power in the land where the gospel started.

           “The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed.” {The Great Controversy, p. 599}.

           “Among earth’s inhabitants, scattered in every land, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Baal.  Like the stars of heaven, which appear only at night, these faithful ones will shine forth when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people.  In heathen Africa, in the Catholic lands of Europe and of South America, in China, in India, in the islands of the sea, and in all the dark corners of the earth, God has in reserve a firmament of chosen ones that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law.” {Prophets and Kings, pp. 188, 189}.

           Let us now return to Jer.23: 2-8 and see how abundantly clearer this subject becomes.

           Jeremiah  23:3-8  “ And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven  them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.  And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name  whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.”

           Can we now see what is God’s plan for the remnant in these last days?  Let us listen to  the God of Heaven reiterate this most vital truth.

           Jeremiah 16:13-15  “Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.   Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The  Lord liveth, that brought up the children of

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Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.”          

           Zechariah 8: 1-8  “Again the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.  Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.  And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in mine eyes? Saith the Lord of hosts.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.”

           These prophecies have never been fulfilled and the time has come for the Lord to perform His strange act.  We will now continue with verses 20-23:

           Thus saith the Lord of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also.  Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

           Why should God speak so much about the restoration and yet not bring it to pass?

           It is logical to conclude that the ten men who take hold of all the languages of the nations in the time of this great ingathering are figurative of a group of people (the church freed from tares in the harvest time), just as the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1) are figurative of the church while the tares are still commingled with wheat.  The ten servants (Luke 19:13), and the ten horns (Rev. 12:3, 17:3) are numbers of universality.  These ten men will speak all the languages as did the Apostles on the Pentecost.

           Let us now quote from the Review and Herald, July 20, 1886.

           “It is with an earnest longing that I look forward to the time when the events of the day of Pentecost shall be repeated with even greater power than on that occasion, John says, (Revelation 18:1).  Then, as at the Pentecostal season, the people will hear the truth spoken to them, every man in his own tongue.” {Review and Herald, July 20, 1886}.

           “There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation.  If Satan had his way, there would never be another awakening, great or small, to the end of the time.  But we are not ignorant of his

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devises.  It is possible to resist his power.  When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God the blessing will come.” {Review and Herald, March 22, 1887}.

           Brethren, this is God’s plan.   The Great Multitude of Rev. 7:9 are the multitude of souls from all nations, kindreds and tongues and people just prior to His coming who will be saved.  14 million SDAs is nothing in comparison to what God is about to do.  The Lord has charted out that when this great influx of saints shall flow into His church the Headquarters of the Gospel would have moved to Jerusalem; bringing the attention of the nations to the cross of calvary.

PEACE AT LAST IN THE HOLY LAND - THE RESTORATION OF JERUSALEM

           Zephaniah 3:13  “The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”

           At what time will the remnant lie down safely and none shall make them afraid?  Let us read Hosea 2: 15 & 18.

           Hosea 2:15, 18 -- “And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt..... And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.” 

           We see here, that after God gives the “Valley of Achor” (Joshua 7:26) as a door of hope for his church, then he makes a covenant of peace with man and beast and allows them to lie down safely.  The Valley of Achor is just another way of expressing the Purification of the Church, or, the slaughter of Ezekiel 9.  It can be clearly seen that the restoration of Jerusalem takes place after the valley of Achor’s experience.

           Jeremiah 23:5-8 -- Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESSTherefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;  But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

           This is one of the texts that was used by the Jews in teaching that when the Messiah comes He would deliver them from Roman bondage enabling them to live in peace.  Let us examine the following text of Scripture.

           Acts 1:3, 6, 7. -- “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking things pertaining to the kingdom of God:... When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”

           We see here that even after the resurrection, the disciples were still not too clear about this issue of the restoration of Jerusalem.  When they asked Jesus when will He restore the Kingdom of Israel, Jesus did not tell them that they were misinterpreting the Scriptures.  He simply said he would not tell them the times.  They did not know that the Jews had to be scattered among the Gentile nations just as  the other ten tribes, before they were to be united and become one nation.  They did not understand that Jerusalem was to be trodden underfoot for another 2000 years until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.  (Luke 21:24).  Now the time has come for the Lord to “...perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.”  Micah 7:20.  God’s church today, instead of longing for, and praying for the Kingdom are relentlessly opposing it.  Day by day even through the upheavals in the Middle East,  the Lord is making it known that the time has come for the “Lord’s Prayer,” to be answered.  “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.”

           “God is our Father, who loves and cares for us as His children; He is also the great King of the universe. The interests of His kingdom are our interests, and we are to work for its up-building.”  {Mount of Blessing,  p. 107}.

     “The disciples of Christ were looking for the immediate coming of the kingdom of His glory, but in giving them this prayer Jesus taught that the kingdom was not then to be established. They were to pray for its coming as an event yet future. But this petition was also an assurance to them. While they were not to behold the coming of the kingdom in their day, the fact that Jesus bade them pray for it is evidence that in God's own time it will surely come.   {Mount of Blessing, p. 107}.

           What is the time projected here, when this King shall reign and Israel shall dwell safely?

           Hosea 3:4, 5  For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without  teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.” .

           Note:  The time of the reigning of this king when Israel returns to the Holy Land and shall dwell safely is in the latter days.

           Ezekiel  34:13, 25, 28 --“And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and  will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.  And I will make with them a covenant of peace, 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 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.”  

           The unbelieving Jews from all over the world who have been migrating  to Israel since 1948 think that they are fulfilling these prophecies, but unfortunately they have never been able to lie down safely and in peace.  This promise is for God’s Christian believing saints - Jews and Gentiles still scattered throughout the whole world.  Strange it may sound, just keep reading prayerfully, and it will get clearer and clearer.  “Prove all things; and hold fast that which is good.”  (1Thess. 5:21)

THE ENSIGN

           Isaiah 11:1-5.  "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse," prophesies Isaiah in figurative depiction of this glorious triumph of God's purpose, "and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.  And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins."

            In this illustration there are three persons brought to view: Jesse (the father of David), the rod (David), and the Branch (Christ).  The relationship shows that David (the rod) is not Christ (the Branch) for the "rod" sprang from the stem of Jesse, and the Branch from the rod -- a fact which is born out in the cry of the multitude when Christ entered Jerusalem.  They shouted: "Hosannah to the son of David." Matt. 21:15.  Plainly, therefore, the "rod," coming from the stem of Jesse, is symbolical of David; and the Branch, coming from the rod, is symbolical of the son of David -- Christ.

            So though the "ensign" emblematizes the connection  of three persons (Jesse, the root;

David the rod; and Christ, the Branch), yet the power and wisdom of Christ is its underlying and controlling  force.  Wherefore says Christ: "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star" (Rev. 22:16), bearing out that He is all and in all.

            Characterizing both the king and the kingdom to be established after the "many days," the prophet Isaiah declares: "...with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.  And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.

            "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.  And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.  And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Isa. 11 :4-9.  This prophesied era of absolute righteousness, peace, and knowledge of God (in the kingdom)  under the reign of the "rod" (David) and of the "Branch" (Christ), must begin Before the Close of Probation.

            The Scriptures show that the kingdom is set up before, rather than at, the beginning of the  millennium, for "in that day [in the day the kingdom  is set up and peace reigns]...a root of Jesse [the rod and the Branch]...shall stand for an ensign of the people [of the kingdom]," says Isaiah, and "to it shall the Gentiles seek." Isa. 11:10.  And as after the close of probation, the doors of the kingdom will be shut to all, the ensign must therefore be set up before probation  closes: the only time that the Gentiles will have a chance to be converted to the Lord and to His kingdom, -- a conclusion common to the following scriptures:

           "Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee when I returned the captivity of My people.' Hos. 6:11.”

           It is God’s intention to use this re-creation, this peaceful Edenic situation in the Promised Land  to be an ensign to the nations who will in turn seek this ensign and find rest therein; [in probationary time].  This would defy evolution and bring conviction to the atheists.  This then could not apply to the earth made new.  If we continue to read the rest of the chapter, it will be seen that the whole chapter is to be fulfilled before the second return of Christ.

           Isaiah 11:11-16  “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria,  and  from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off, Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall

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spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.

           And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.” 

           These verses need no explanation they mean just what they say.  There is to be a second Exodus of God’s people, not just from Egypt, but from the four corners of the earth.   Millions and millions of  people will then be brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but not until God manifests His mighty power in the land where the gospel started.

           “The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed.” {The Great Controversy, p. 599}.

           “Among earth’s inhabitants, scattered in every land, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Baal.  Like the stars of heaven, which appear only at night, these faithful ones will shine forth when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people.  In heathen Africa, in the Catholic lands of Europe and of South America, in China, in India, in the islands of the sea, and in all the dark corners of the earth, God has in reserve a firmament of chosen ones that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law.” {Prophets and Kings, pp. 188, 189}.

           Let us now return to Jer.23: 2-8 and see how abundantly clearer this subject becomes.

           Jeremiah  23:3-8  “ And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven  them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.  And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.  Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name  whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.”

           Can we now see what is God’s plan for the remnant in these last days?  Let us listen to  the God of Heaven reiterate this most vital truth.

           Jeremiah 16:13-15  “Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.   Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The  Lord liveth, that brought up the children of

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Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.”          

           Zechariah 8: 1-8  “Again the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.  Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.  And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in mine eyes? Saith the Lord of hosts.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.”

           These prophecies have never been fulfilled and the time has come for the Lord to perform His strange act.  We will now continue with verses 20-23:

           Thus saith the Lord of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also.  Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”

           Why should God speak so much about the restoration and yet not bring it to pass?

           It is logical to conclude that the ten men who take hold of all the languages of the nations in the time of this great ingathering are figurative of a group of people (the church freed from tares in the harvest time), just as the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1) are figurative of the church while the tares are still commingled with wheat.  The ten servants (Luke 19:13), and the ten horns (Rev. 12:3, 17:3) are numbers of universality.  These ten men will speak all the languages as did the Apostles on the Pentecost.

           Let us now quote from the Review and Herald, July 20, 1886.

           “It is with an earnest longing that I look forward to the time when the events of the day of Pentecost shall be repeated with even greater power than on that occasion, John says, (Revelation 18:1).  Then, as at the Pentecostal season, the people will hear the truth spoken to them, every man in his own tongue.” {Review and Herald, July 20, 1886}.

           “There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation.  If Satan had his way, there would never be another awakening, great or small, to the end of the time.  But we are not ignorant of his devises.  It is possible to resist his power.  When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God the blessing will come.” {Review and Herald, March 22, 1887}.

           Brethren, this is God’s plan.   The Great Multitude of Rev. 7:9 are the multitude of souls from all nations, kindreds and tongues and people just prior to His coming who will be saved.  14 million SDAs is nothing in comparison to what God is about to do.  The Lord has charted out that when this great influx of saints shall flow into His church the Headquarters of the Gospel would have moved to Jerusalem; bringing the attention of the nations to the cross of calvary.

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