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Chapter 33

 

Israel was alive again. Farmers happily planted crops in its regenerated fertile soils. Houses and factories rose where once lay the rubble of war. New roads were under construction and industry's well oiled cogs began churning out new products. Tourism became a thriving success, as survivors from the closer nations came to visit and worship. All nations knew of the edict Jesus issued, stating all must come to Jerusalem once each year to worship, otherwise rain would not water their own lands. Every nation had to take part in the Feast of Tabernacles held in the month of Tishri on the Jewish calendar. This would be held to celebrate peace and prosperity experienced in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.
The land of Israel, divided amongst twelve tribes in 1416 B.C. when Joshua followed God's instructions, had now been divided into three major portions. The most northern portion was divided between seven of the Jewish tribes and the southern portion between the remaining five tribes. The central portion, approximately 34 miles square, was set apart for the Lord Jesus Christ as His place of residence.(1) The new temple and all administrative functions was also located there. The temple itself sat splendidly in the centre of an area where a high mountain had been miraculously raised up at the time of the second coming of Christ. This was the Lord's house where many came to learn His ways and do the things He taught them.
Simon and David worked with Sol rebuilding Granright, while Rod, Ari and Nicholas, under the watchful eyes of trades people, enjoyed their new found carpentry skills. Four homes close to Granright were nearing completion, and very soon Simon, Ari, David and Sol would move from flimsy sheds into these permanent homes. Nicholas called his father and the other men for a well earned break, "Coffee's ready."
The men downed tools and sat together under the fruit laden olive tree.
"What indescribable joy I feel knowing peace fills this land, as our homes rise out of the ruins like the fabled Phoenix," marvelled Simon.
"I am amazed when I see crops being harvested already," remarked one of the builders.
"The great fertile plains that replaced the mountains, supply more than enough food for all Israel. Increased river flow from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea and Mediterranean Sea, summer and winter, have certainly made a difference to the land."(2)
"The land and all the earth has been restored," remarked Simon.
"What do you mean?" asked Nicholas.
"God cursed nature when Adam sinned. As a result, man's paradise was marred and has been until now. Some animals, once vegetarians became meat eaters. Roses suddenly had thorns and weeds began to grow, choking crops. Animals, plants and the whole physical world suffered sickness and death, just as we humans once did, for we are all part of the same creation. Just as Jesus came to save and restore mankind from death and decay, creation itself is now restored and will never again suffer pollution and decay."(3)
Nicholas thought for a moment before replying.
"In other words, the curse that was there throughout all human history has been lifted. The earth and all in it has been renewed?"
"Perfectly correct Nicholas." "Did you see that big bear near the edge of the fields this morning?"
"He was there when I started work Nicholas," continued the builder.
"There is also peace in the animal kingdom, just as Jesus said. Even snakes will not harm us anymore," replied Simon.(4)
"My heart sings, now that Jerusalem is raised up and has a new name, Jehovah Shammah."
"What does that mean Simon? " asked Nicholas, who knew little Hebrew.
"It means THE LORD IS THERE." This will be the name of the Lord's new city. God dwells with us because we are His Holy people."
Nicholas found it exciting discovering new things about Jerusalem and its temple.
"I heard someone say the Priests who minister at the temple are descendants of Zadok, who was in charge of the temple long ago?"
"I believe so Nicholas. They are there to teach us and receive our offerings and morning sacrifices."(5)
"Simon," interrupted one of the builders, " Why has the table of shewbread, lampstands, ark of the covenant and the veil been omitted from the new temple?"
Simon thought for a moment before replying.
"Rabbi Einson told me these are not required, as Jesus Himself is now with us. These things, once in the old temple, served only as substitutes to represent Him."
Ari was puzzled about the new temple sacrifices.
"Why do we still need animal sacrifices during the Millennial Kingdom, now Jesus is here?"
"This is a hard question to answer. We are now living in a time when there is limited sin, sickness, sadness or suffering and Satan is locked away for one thousand years. Children will continue to be born to parents who survived the tribulation. Despite our present environment, these children will require eternal salvation. They will grow up not knowing fear, pain and hardship as we experienced it. We need the sacrifices to teach them of the necessity for their own new birth as Christians, with Jesus as their Saviour. The sacrifices are to remind them of His suffering and death. They need to know the awfulness of sin and the perfect holiness of God.
"Everything is so different now Simon. It will take a while to get used to our new way of life. I am surprised that all people now speak a unified language."(6 )
Robert, one of the tradesmen who had been with them at Petra, laughed, "Talking won't finish these houses. If Simon and the others are to move in tomorrow, we had better get back to work." Simon could not help wondering when Robert would marry Louise, a delightful young lady he had befriended at Petra.(7) They had only just announced their engagement. Both were sole survivors from their families. Their parents were too frail to survive the harsh conditions. With Israel restored and blooming, now seemed the perfect time for them to start their own family. Simon smiled as he fondly remembered days long gone when he built homes for the newly weds at the Kibbutz on the Sea of Galilee.
The NovelNotes Feature

These are a helpful feature of this novel. Their use is optional. They may be used if you want to understand more of the underlying Biblical aspects of the story, or the historical and factual material. However, you do not have to use these to follow the story line of the novel.


Chapter 33 NovelNotes

1. The new temple and the residence of Jesus Christ will be approximately 30 miles north of present day Jerusalem adjacent to Shiloh, where the tabernacle of Moses was pitched in earlier times. See Ezekiel Chapters 40, 41, 42.

2. The wilderness, wasteland and desert will blossom in a way never before seen. See Isaiah 35:1-2.

3. From the time of the original sin, the earth has never produced as originally intended by God. But now a difference! Paul tells us in Romans 8:19-22 that the creation itself, the earth, the land, is now also delivered from the bondage that was upon it for thousands of years. And because it is free, it can now produce as originally intended. Although the Green movement do a great job in trying to preserve what we now have, God will restore it.

4. Isaiah tells us that 'the wolf shall dwell with the lamb... the lion eat straw like the ox.... the nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole.' Animal violence between themselves and with man will be a thing of the past. See Isaiah 11:6-9.

5. Because Zadok was loyal to King David in his reign, he was promised his descendants would be assigned priestly duties in the Millennial Kingdom.

6. Up until about 2200 B.C there had only been one language on earth. At that time, and because of the sin of mankind, God confused the language and scattered the people all over the earth. New languages were then formed. In the millennial period, God will make it possible for a common language to be spoken once again all over the earth. See Zephaniah 3:9.

7. The small percentage of earth's population who survived the tribulation and have natural bodies will be able to marry and produce children. Those who were either raptured or died before the tribulation will not be able to marry and produce children. See Jeremiah 30:19-20 and Ezekiel 47:22

Continue to Chapter 34