THE MARCH OF CHRIST AND THE SAINTS TO JERUSALEM
It is the purpose of this study to examine the events which will take place following the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ, after the Judgement of the Household of Faith, when the Body of Christ will go into the earth to carry out the judgements upon the Gogian confederacy, referred to in our previous study.
That the Saints will be involved in the execution of Yahweh’s righteous Judgements, we can have no doubt, for the Psalmist wrote:
“let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth; and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people … to execute upon them the judgement written: This honour have all his saints. Praise ye Yahweh” (Ps 149:5-9).
The first thing to establish is, What is the starting point of the sequence leading up to the establishment of Christ’s kingdom? Before we establish this, it must be stated that we do not know the precise details of the order of attack. John saw these in the form of “a little scroll”, which he was to “seal up”, and “write not” (Rev 10:2-4). The full details will only be known upon their execution. But the Lord has not left us in total ignorance, for in the Old Testament, there are places named as being places given over to Judgements. Using this information, we are able to piece together the general order of things, and the following is offered as a suggestion of these events.
JUDGING THE HOUSEHOLD—
The Judgments to come upon the earth shall “begin at the house of God” (1Pet 4:17). The Lord Jesus Christ must therefore return for this purpose before the commencement of the 7th Vial of Rev 16 (v15), and therefore before the “time of trouble such as there never was since there was a nation” (Rev 16:18, Dan 12:1). The saints shall be taken to a place of refuge to be hid from this trouble “until the indignation be overpast” (Is 26:20-21), where they shall be judged, and the Bride given opportunity to rejoice and unite with her Husband (Deut 20:7). Then, the Multitudinous Body shall move forward as Yahweh Tzvaoth to “fight against those nations as when he fought in the day of battle” (Zech 14:3).
This place of judgment, we would suggest, is Sinai, for as we shall see, this is what the Oracles of God indicate. It is hardly likely to be Jerusalem, as some suppose, for as Ezek 38 and Zech 14 shows us, far from being a place of refuge, this city will be the very centre of the worlds’ troubles! The holy writ on the other hand, indicates that the army of Christ will come from Sinai, and go throughout all of the earth.
As “a threefold cord is not quickly broken”, we present 3 passages to show that the beginning of the March to establish the Throne of David at Jerusalem is at Sinai:
Deut 33:2 – “Yahweh came up from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from Mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them”.
This is a reversal of what happened when Israel were delivered from Egypt. Then, Israel went to Sinai to meet with God; but here Yahweh comes from Sinai unto them. He is also accompanied with “ten thousands of saints” (Jude 14). This verse clearly speaks of the Rising of the Sun of Righteousness from Sinai to redeem his people in Jerusalem.
Psalm 68:17 – “The Chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of Changed Ones. The Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the Holy place”
Here, the word rendered “Angels” in the A.V. is never used of Angels elsewhere, and means “Changed Ones”. How appropriate for the Immortalised Saints! Interestingly, the RSV reads: “The Lord came from Sinai into the Holy Place”. And the Companion Bible has it: “from Sinai into His sanctuary”. This also suggests that the Lord Jesus Christ will commence his journey with his Chariots (Zech 2:2-5) at Sinai, proceeding to the Holy Place at Jerusalem.
Habakkuk 3:3 – “God shall come in (J.T.) from Teman (the south), and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise … before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet”.
Again, this is another prophecy yet unfulfilled, speaking of the judgements coming from the South.
The March to Jerusalem, then, begins at Sinai, which would also appear to be the site of the Judgement of the Saints, and the Marriage of the Lamb.
Habakkuk 3, cited above makes mention of “Mount Paran”. So, from Sinai, the Army advances to Paran, as shown in Map 1 (page 15). But Habakkuk also makes mention of Cush and Midian: “I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble”. So it is that the Ethiopians/Sudan area (Cush) will be judge with Midian. Isaiah also speaks of the Arabs prior to Israel’s salvation:
“Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the Rock (Arabian Petra) sing … let them give glory unto Yahweh” (Is 42:11-12).
Then Israels’ deliverance – “Yahweh shall go forth as a mighty man … he shall cry, yea, roar, he shall prevail against his enemies” (v 13 Cp Joel 3:16).
This prophecy has not been fulfilled, for the Arabs to this day do not worship Yahweh. So Midian is to be visited and converted by the Multitudinous Body, as shown on the map.
Egypt also is due to be subdued, as Isaiah 19 shows us. That this chapter has a latter-day application is evident from verses 17 to the end: “The Land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, in that day shall there be an altar to Yahweh in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to Yahweh. And it shall be a sign and for a witness unto Yahweh of hosts in the land of Egypt … and the Egyptians shall know Yahweh in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto Yahweh, and perform it …”. These words have never yet been fulfilled, and can only apply to an national repentance brought about by the Lord Himself.
Verse 1 describes the entry into Egypt:
“Behold, Yahweh rideth upon a swift cloud and shall come into Egypt”.
Compare this description with Rev 14:14:
“And I looked, and behold, a white cloud and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown and in his hand a sharp sickle”
This is clearly a description of the Multitudinous Christ in Judicial Manifestation.
So it is, that from Midian, the Divine Army moves into Egypt, when Cush (Ethiopia/Sudan) also will be visited (Hab 3:7).
A point we shall return to later, is that Egypt at this stage is in the hands of the Northern Army (Dan 11:42, Isa. 19:4), but as there is a overlap between events (which are not strictly sequential, but contemporaneous to a degree), affairs in Edom and Bozrah begin the initial confrontation against God, not those in Egypt. Egypt shall be delivered from the hands of Gog after the events in Edom and Bozrah.
EDOM AND BOZRAH
The next place referred to is Bozrah, which will be the initial confrontation with all nations, resulting in a great slaughter. Isaiah speaks of this:
“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel … I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel … ? I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the people, there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments” (Is 63:1-3).
That this speaks of the Body of Christ we can be of no doubt, for in Rev 19:13-15, these words are alluded to in order to describe the Army and it’s Commander:
“he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood … the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean … and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God”
This event is also spoken of in Isaiah chapter 34:
“For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse to Judgement. The sword of Yahweh is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness … for Yahweh hath a great sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea” (34:5-6).
And so, the advancing Gogian confederacy will be confronted at Bozrah by Yahweh’s great army. As we indicated earlier, this would appear to be synchronous with Gog’s occupation of Egypt, for there, “tidings” shall reach him “out of the east and out of the north” which “trouble him,” spurring him on to “destroy” and to smash the new Power in great fury (Dan. 11:44). The news of the mighty overthrow of Idumea in the east and north will greatly trouble Gog’s army, which shall go forth with great fury. But Joel tells us that he will be driven back (see map 2):
“But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the East Sea (The Dead Sea), and his hinder part toward the utmost sea (Great sea)” (Joel 2:20).
So the northern army, no longer facing southwards, will be turned to face the Dead Sea, with those at the rear towards the great sea, as shown on Map 2. That is to say, the army will be driven back into the Barren and Desolate land – the land which he has made Barren and Desolate (Joel 1:10,12,2:3).
THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL
Being driven back from Bozrah to Israel, the army comes to its end upon the mountains of Israel, as Ezekiel tells us, “Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou and all thy bands; and the people that is with thee” (Ezek 39:4). And so the confederacy shall be removed from Israel, far away to the grave:
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel … and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it the valley of Hamon-Gog” (v 11).
Such would appear to be the general order of things when the Lord comes. In describing the sequence of events, there is a difficulty in that those events do seem to overlap considerably. It is clear that whilst each event follows the previous one, the previous events do not end, but overlap the events to follow.
Following the defeat of the Gogian host, the Christ-Body will come into Jerusalem from the east. This fits with Ezekiel 43:2:
“behold, the glory of the Elohim of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters, and the earth: and the earth shined with his glory” (Ezek. 43:2).
“the Elohim of the east is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: hand he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee …” (Deut. 33:27).
In the latter reference, the AV reading is “the eternal God”, but the Hebrew for the word “eternal” is better rendered “east”, as per it’s usual usage in the Old Testament
The Ezekiel reference has the Elohim of Israel coming from the East into the Temple—which means that whilst the judgments are going on throughout the earth, the Millennial Temple is being built, to open it’s doors at the commencement of the Kingdom Age.
This again shows that there is significant overlap between events, with a lot of work going on at the same time. It is interesting to note that Isaiah puts the opening of the Temple at “the last days,” (Isa. 2:1) and not, as we might think, “during the millennium.” This would indicate that the Millennium proper will commence sometime after the temple has opened for service.
PREACHING THE GOSPEL
Another work, contemporary with the above, is the preaching of the Gospel to the world at large, as described in Revelation chapter 14:
“I saw another messenger fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people …” (Rev. 14:6).
So it is that, whilst the armies of the heathen will be decisively defeated by the omnipotent power vested in Messiah and his army of brethren, on another front the Gospel will also be being preached to men and women throughout the world. Evidently, it is their acceptance of this Gospel that enables them to survive as part of the mortal population which will continue to exist until the end of the 1000 years.
THE WORK OF ELIJAH
Whilst the Gospel is being preached internationally, there will be a special mission sent to the returning exiles of Israel. Described as the work of Elijah, the mission will commence before the day of judgment, and be completed after it.* So Malachi spake:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh, and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Mal. 4:5)
Elijah, it is testified, shall “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers” – that is, to join together the hearts of the Sons of Israel to become at one with that of their Fathers, that they may rejoice together in the covenant made with them. And this work, as is evident from the present decadent state of the children’s hearts, is a work for the future, which must be accomplished in order for them to inherit the blessing promised to their Fathers.
This, then, will be the mission of Elijah – to “restore all things” (see Mat. 17:11), that is to restore the remnant of Jacob to their God, and effect the second exodus, the final restoration to the land. Involved with this work, will be the bringing of the dispersed Israelites through what the prophet describes as “the wilderness of the people,” (Ezek. 20:35—see context), and a time of persecution to drive them back into their land. Again, we see that these things are contemporary: whilst Elijah mission takes place, Jerusalem will be being delivered from her foes, and provide a wonderful rallying place for the people to return to, to receive strength and salvation at the hand of their Messiah.
In this short study, we have sought to bring together just some of the many threads that run throughout Scripture, which together present a wonderful picture of how Christ’s Kingdom shall be established. As we have said, is difficult to be certain of the sequence in which things will be done. But considering these passages together, we can see that the setting up of the Kingdom of God upon earth will not be instant: it is a process involving many things, to subdue all the earth before it’s Great Creator. May we think deeply on these things, and make preparation to be part of those events to come.