“Now it shall come to pass in the latter [last] days that 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 come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain [Kingdom] of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob [Israel]; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:2-3, NKJV).[i]
This scripture gives us a powerful glimpse into the Kingdom of God, yet there remains confusion within the church about what exactly is the Kingdom? We have answered many of these questions in other teachings, so here is a short summary.
The Kingdom of God is not some intangible spiritual place in the clouds. No, the Kingdom of God will be established right here on the earth, in Israel, from Jerusalem.[ii] Yeshua is the king and we are His royal subjects—the ecclesia—a congregation of people from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue.[iii] The nations do not replace Israel, but are joined with her.[iv] We together are the Kingdom of God, and the foundation of this great Kingdom is God’s eternal law that was given to the Jewish people.
So when exactly will the Kingdom be established? Yeshua said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). This would imply that the Kingdom of God is a present condition. However, the commonly accepted pre-millennial view is that when Christ returns to the earth, He will at that time usher in and ultimately establish the Kingdom of God. The remnant of unsaved Israel will see the one whom they have pierced, and they will all come to faith in their Messiah.[v]
Until such time, Israel is subject to God’s judgement, which culminates in the great tribulation—the last three and-a-half years before Yeshua touches down on the Mount of Olives.[vi] Then in one instantaneous moment, everything gets fixed. The church comes to her senses about Israel, and Israel comes to the reality that Jesus is actually their God and Savior. In other words, the Christians had it right after all. This scenario implies that the Kingdom of God is a future condition.
Unfortunately, this view not entirely accurate. It is true that the return of Christ ushers in the Kingdom of God in the earth, and begins the one-thousand year rule of the Messiah (the Millennial Kingdom). But there is considerable biblical prophecy that must be fulfilled prior to Yeshua’s actual return. The study of this prophesy is called eschatology—study of the end-times.
Now, lest you think this topic is unimportant, Yeshua sternly warned his disciples in all four gospels and the book of Revelation, to be watching with eager expectation for His imminent return. Conversely, He promised a blessing to those who were found watching when He returned.[vii]
Yeshua had many things to say about the Kingdom of God, and we see that the disciples were deeply curious about the end of the age and the restoration of the Kingdom. Listen to their inquisitive hearts, and the answers Yeshua gave them:
“Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:3-14).
These verses give us quite a bit is information about the last days, but unfortunately this subject is considered by many to be irrelevant. But is it?
This time period that Yeshua describes is called different things, including: the last days, the latter days, the time of sorrows, and the end of the age. The last days are not the end of the world, nor are they the day that Yeshua returns to the earth. That day, which is known only to the Lord, will be unique in every way, and is called “the day of the Lord.”[viii] This is the day that Yeshua physically returns to the earth.
The time and season leading up to this great day—the latter days—should be recognized by the church, as it says, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-6).
So, are we in the last days leading up to the return of Yeshua? Very likely, but it is impossible to speculate just how long we have since no man knows the day or the hour.[ix] The Lord moves at a pace that seems slow to man, and a day to Him is like a thousand years to us.[x] So if we don’t know exactly how long, then we should at least be aware of prophetic events unfolding in the earth during this time.
Yeshua said, “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near” (Matthew 24:32). We know from scripture that the fig tree represents Israel, and since He gave Israel His biblical calendar, she is the Lord’s timeclock.
Yeshua also revealed many signs of the end: deception, false Messiahs, wars and threats of war, kingdoms rising and falling, famine, pestilence, and powerful earthquakes. But all this He says is just the beginning.
Oh, and it gets worse. Listen to these words: “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens” (Hebrews 12:26). Everything in the world is going to begin to fall apart, but in the midst of this chaos, there is a prophetic promise that God has made to Israel: “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you” (Isaiah 60:2). This scripture speaks about the restoration of Israel. “Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side” (Isaiah 60:4). But wait a minute. I thought the Lord was done with Israel until the end of the tribulation?
Apparently not. There is different picture here than what many theologians have taught you. As the earth falls into greater darkness, Israel will begin to rise and shine as a beacon of light in the earth. Let’s go back to our opening scripture from Isaiah. It says “these things” shall come to pass in the “latter days,” meaning the days leading up to the return of the Lord.
What things? Specifically it says that the Kingdom of the Lord’s house, which is His holy temple, shall be established over all the kingdoms of the earth, and shall be exalted over all the nations. It says that all the nations shall flow up to Jerusalem to the Kingdom of God, and Israel will teach the nations how to walk in God’s paths according to His laws.
We know that “all” who are in Christ Yeshua, Jew and gentile, are both the temple and the Kingdom of the living God. I am specifically referring to Messianic Jews (true Israel), and believing gentiles who have been grafted in amongst us. I am speaking about the Lord’s church—His ecclesia and congregation comprised of every nation, tribe, people, and tongue. And I am speaking about the “one new man” in Christ Yeshua who have been brought together by the blood of the Lamb.[xi]
Paul says, “But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles” (Romans 11:11). He is not speaking exclusively of the gift of salvation, but speaking about the calling to share the New Covenant and the message of salvation with all the nations. This calling, which was originally for Israel, has for a season been given to the gentiles; but only until Israel’s temporary blindness has been lifted, and the fullness of gentiles has come into the Kingdom.[xii]
These two things are to work in tandem. As the gentiles accept Christ and provoke Israel to jealousy, Israel is then restored to her spiritual foundation and becomes a light to the nations.[xiii] This so that the message of salvation would ultimately reach the ends of the earth, in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.[xiv] This is also when we would begin to see the restoration of God’s Kingdom.
If we study the history of both Israel and the church, we will discover this common parallel—that God has been working for centuries to restore both of them. While seemingly on different and even diverging paths, at some point not far into the future, the Lord will bring the two together as one.
The Jewish enlightenment period began in the late 19th century. This led to the Balfour declaration in 1917, and ultimately the Council of the League of Nations agreeing to restore the Jewish homeland in 1922. This vision would not be fully realized until after the ashes of the Holocaust, when the United Nations General Assembly would vote in 1947 to partition an area of Palestine for the Jewish people.
On May 14, 1948, a gathering of Jewish leaders in Tel Aviv signed a proclamation that declared the establishment of a Jewish state, to be known as the State of Israel. Nineteen years later in June, 1967, during the six-day war, Israel regained control of the Temple Mount for the first time in nearly two-thousand years. The Lord’s prophetic words had been at least partially fulfilled as He began the restoration of His Kingdom.
And what of the church? Starting with the Protestant reformation in 1517, the Lord began to restore His written word to the body of Christ. The term “reformation” derives from the Latin word reformatio, and means “restoration” or “renewal.” From the 1730s through the 1800s, the Lord brought the first and second great awakenings to the church, and restored the power of His Holy Spirit to His people.
The third great awakening began in the 1850s and continued through the 1900s. The crescendo of this movement is commonly referred to as the “Azusa Street revival,” and birthed the Pentecostal church that moved in great signs, wonders, miracles, and healings.
And lastly, from the 1960s through the 1970s, the church experienced the fourth great awakening and the explosion of the Messianic movement. This initiated the last phase of God’s restoration to the church—to bring the Messianic Jewish people together with their gentile brethren as “one new man.” This movement was divinely timed with the restoration of east Jerusalem and the Temple mount back to the Jewish people in 1967.
With the restoration of God’s word, the power of His Holy Spirit, and the awakening of many Jewish people back to their Messiah, the church today is poised to receive the Lord’s next great outpouring of His Spirit, which will culminate in the final restoration of Israel and the church, and the greatest harvest of souls the world has ever seen.
Yeshua’s disciples no doubt had many questions for Him, but one in particular stands out to me: “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Yeshua kindly rebuked them and said that the time and season was not for them to worry about, that they had one immediate task at hand—to receive the power of the Holy Spirit from on high, and to preach the message of the gospel in every nation.
The fact that Yeshua’s disciples asked this question reveals they understood that the Kingdom of God belonged to Israel. And we the church should understand the same—that God is restoring His Kingdom to the Jewish people, and we are part of His plan of restoration.
The other noticeable point is that the gospel was to be preached through Israel from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. The clear indication here is that it will be Israel, not Rome, America, or any other nation that will ultimately be stewards of God’s word, or stewards of God’s assignment to bring and teach His word to every nation. This again confirms the calling given to the Jewish people, but for this season has been entrusted to the gentiles. Paul says, “What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God” (Romans 3:1-2).
As God’s eyes have been gradually turning back towards His chosen people and His chosen land, the church must be cognizant of the work the Lord is doing. And we need to get our eyes pointed in the right direction—to Jerusalem. Because this is where the Lord will restore His spiritual foundation and heritage, and this is where the center of Christianity will once again return in these last days before Christ returns. Therefore, it should be no surprise that the Lord has drawn so many influential Messianic leaders back to His land over the past decade. He is completing the restoration of His Kingdom.
The church has been given the opportunity to join the Lord is the great end-times endeavor. But will she respond? The Lord said, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2). “And He [Yeshua] went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted” (Mark 3:13). “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
Yes, the Lord chooses those He Himself wants. But how are we qualified to be chosen? First, I believe we must be willing; “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8). And I believe we must have the Father’s heart to fulfill His will.[xv] Therefore it is imperative we understand God’s heart for Israel, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3). And it is imperative we understand God’s heart for His land, “a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year” (Deuteronomy 11:12).
This is how we are qualified, and I pray you read and understand the word of the Lord so that you also will be qualified and chosen to fulfill His great commission regarding Israel and the nations, “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25).
[i] All Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Bible (NKJV) unless otherwise noted, Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982.
[ii] Deuteronomy 11:12.
[iii] Revelation 7:9.
[iv] Zechariah 2:11.
[v] Zechariah 12:10.
[vi] Jeremiah 30:7, Zechariah 14:4.
[vii] Luke 12:37.
[viii] Zechariah 14:7, Matthew 24:36, 2 Peter 3:10.
[ix] Matthew 24:36.
[x] 2 Peter 3:8.
[xi] Ephesians 2:11-16.
[xii] Romans 11:25.
[xiii] Isaiah 42:6.
[xiv] Acts 1:7-8.
[xv] Matthew 7:21.