The New Jerusalem
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Please turn in your Bibles to Isaiah, chapter 60, and notice with us this portion of the Word of God that we have been studying for some time. I am going to suggest that you follow as we read the entire chapter, and then we will go back and notice what God would have us see in this passage of Scripture. Notice in verse 1:

Isaiah 60

1Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
2For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
3And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
4Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.
5Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.
6The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.
7All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.
8Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?
9Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
10And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.
11Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.
12For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
13The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
14The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee; The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15Whereas thou has been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
16Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
17For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.
18Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.
19The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
20Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
21Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
22A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.

We would like to remind you, on the basis of everything that we have read, that the subject of the address in Isaiah, chapter 60, is the city of Jerusalem, or Zion, or the Holy City, which it is called.

Christ to Dwell In Jerusalem

There is a city of Jerusalem that is in existence today and, as you well know, it has been all these centuries. It is the same city of Jerusalem except that it will be changed. It will be changed basically because the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth and will have taken up His dwelling place in the city of Jerusalem.

These Scriptures teach us, by virtue of the fact that Jesus Christ will return and take up His residence in the city of Jerusalem, that the city itself will be changed. As a matter of fact, you probably noticed as we were reading this particular portion of the Word of God that God said that at one time the city of Jerusalem was such that no particular man wanted to even go through it. Glance at verse 15:

Isaiah 60

15Whereas thou has been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.

There are some skeptics who do not accept the Word of God at its ordinary face value. I have had some of them say to me, “Do you mean to tell me that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to leave Heaven's glory and come down to the dirty, stinking little city of Jerusalem?” It is all of that. I have been able to say to them, “No, the Bible doesn't say that at all. The Bible says that God is going to take that dirty, stinking little city and make it, as we read here, “a joy of many generations.” Other passages of Scripture tell us that He is going to make it the excellency of the whole world.

We would remind you that the subject addressed in chapter 60 of the book of Isaiah is the city of Jerusalem, and we would emphasize it is the city of Jerusalem, not in this present hour, but in that hour that is yet to come when the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth.

Perhaps you are saying, “When is that expected hour?” I can't tell you any more than Isaiah tells you in the last verse of this chapter. Notice it:

Isaiah 60

22A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation…

All that He is doing there is speaking comparatively. He is thinking of the nation of Israel at the moment as the little one , but by the time God is through, He will multiply them to the strength of a thousand—a small one right now, but when the final end comes, it will be a strong nation. Then notice the last statement in verse 22:

Isaiah 60

22…I the LORD will hasten it in his time.

A better translation is, “I the LORD will bring it to pass in My appointed time.” I can't tell you when, but I can tell you that God will bring it about in His appointed time.

As we go through the chapter, I think you will see some indication that that appointed time is rapidly approaching, for even though we are told in the Word of God that we do not know the exact day nor the exact hour, we are told that we can examine the signs and see the approach of their fulfillment.

Jerusalem to Be Center of the World

I would like for you to notice in this chapter that the city of Jerusalem someday will be the center of the world's spiritual, economic, and political life. Sometimes we wonder where the center of the world is going to be, and down through the years the center has moved from place to place. Perhaps now folk are more concerned with what they think in Washington than anywhere else in the world. Some other nations might like to have it thought that we should be more concerned with what they think in Paris or what they think in Moscow, but regardless of what men may think today, there is coming a day when men will be concerned with what they are thinking in Jerusalem.

This presents a problem to folk who are bound up in a anti-Semitic feeling. People who have fallen prey to anti-Semitism are going to be unhappy at what is here, but we have to believe the Word of God, and let the chips fall where they may.

Glory of the Lord to Arise Upon Israel

The city of Jerusalem is addressed in verse 1 with the words:

Isaiah 60

1Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

Isaiah addressed the city of Jerusalem in this fashion because up to this time, he has spoken of her as a person trampled down into the dust where she had no strength to even arise, and he said, “Get up on your feet. Don't stay down there in the dust because something wonderful and marvelous has happened. Your Light has come.”

We read in verse 20 of the preceding chapter that that Light is none other than the Redeemer, the One who said, “I am the Light of the world.” Of course, Isaiah was speaking to Jews primarily, and he said, “The glory of the LORD is risen upon thee,” and every good Jew knew what he was talking about. We are going to have to understand it, but you remember the story that is recorded in the book of Ezekiel, when God found it necessary to leave the nation of Israel because of their disobedience and their idolatry.

The story is told of the temple over which the presence of God constantly dwelt in the form of a cloud of glory. The cloud of glory dwelt over what we might refer to as the back part of the temple, the inner sanctuary, where the altar was. God said, “Because you have been disobedient, because you haven't kept any of My promises, because you haven't even endeavored to be the kind of people I want you to be, I am going to write Ichabod over the temple.” That means “God has departed.”

No sooner did God make that pronouncement than that cloud of glory lifted up from the place where the altar was and moved from that inner room to the outer room of the temple. It hesitated there as though it was reluctant to leave, and then it moved on out to the court, the outside, the yard, and it hesitated there as though it were reluctant to leave. Then it moved yonder upon the mountain and it tarried there as though it would much rather stay than leave, but there was no sign of repentance. There was no sign that anybody wanted it to stay, so it moved on out of sight, and it was never seen again. The nation of Israel was without any visible indication of God's presence with them. But now the Lord Jesus Christ has returned to Jerusalem, in the thought of our text, and the cloud of glory has come once again. Throughout this chapter, it is emphasized that Christ is present. Notice verse 1 again:

Isaiah 60

1Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
2For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

Get the picture. The rest of the world is in darkness, but over there in the city of Jerusalem is a light, a light that is due, as we shall see, to the presence of the LORD. Above the city is a cloud of glory that can be seen by the whole world. Glance down at verse 14, where we read:

Isaiah 60

14The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee…

Persecutors of Jews to Bow In Submission

What in the world does that mean? It means the descendants of the Germans, for example, who put forth such great persecution against the Jews. That is just one example of many that we could give, but it is a familiar one. The descendants of the Germans of Hitler's day shall come bending unto thee. The idea is that they will come bowing their knees in submission. Notice:

Isaiah 60

14The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee; The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Of course, it is evident why. He is there, and the whole world recognizes it. Speaking of light which is there because of His presence, notice verses 19-20:

Isaiah 60

19The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
20Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

The city of Jerusalem, after the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth, during what we know as the Millennium will be recognized by the presence of the LORD in her midst.

We are told in this chapter that before that time comes and up to that time all the descendants of Israel shall return to the city of Jerusalem. This is one of those things to which I referred in the very beginning of our discussion to suggest that we surely must be approaching the appointed time. Look at verse 4:

Isaiah 60

4Lift up thine eyes round about, and see…

Isaiah is addressing the city of Jerusalem, and He says, “Lift up your eyes round about, and see; all they gather themselves together. Look at the great crowds that are coming. Who are they?” He answers, “They come to thee: thy sons, thy children…” We speak that same way today, don't we? We speak of the sons of America giving their lives on the battlefields. We mean people, American citizens, don't we, and that is exactly what is suggested here:

Isaiah 60

4…thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.

Whenever you see the word nursing in the Bible, the primary emphasis is not so much upon nourishment as it is upon security. The sons and the daughters of the nation of Israel will return to the city of Jerusalem. Do you see why I suggest to you that there is reason to think that the appointed time is approaching? We see them going back already, don't we? We see them gathered there now as a nation—not to suggest that this will be the final regathering, but it is to suggest that they are coming back.

Isaiah's Vision

Look at verses 8-9 where Isaiah, who is a prophet and able to look down through the corridors of time by virtue of the fact that he had a clean-cut vision, asks this question:

Isaiah 60

8Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?

He is saying, “I see great clouds of doves as if they were flying back home. I wonder who they are?” In the next verse he mentions who they are. He said, “Thy sons…”—descendants of Israel.

I certainly would not insist on this, but I do think that it is worthy of consideration. We have learned that the prophets of the Old Testament spoke of things which they saw in visions in terms with which they were familiar. Isaiah had never seen an airplane. He had never seen fleets of airships, but he did see something flying through the air, great crowds of them like clouds. He said, “They look like doves going home.” He didn't say that they were, but that they looked like it to him. I wonder, would it be thinking beyond that which is written to suggest that probably what Isaiah is describing for us is a great airlift taking the Jews back home to their homeland? I am just suggesting that to you, but I will suggest to you that greater men than I and greater minds than mine don't suggest it, they insist that it is so. It is something to think about, especially in light of verse 9, where we read:

Isaiah 60

9Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.

This is God speaking, and when He said, “They shall wait for Me,” He means that they shall serve Him. We have already learned that the isles refers to coastlands, nations which have access to the sea. I would like to suggest to you that we are reading that the ships of Great Britain [that is the meaning of the word Tarshish ] will use their navy to transport the Israelites back home from all over the world. They are already doing it. Here is a prophecy that will be even more definite than what we have been able to see with our eyes. Do you see why I say that we surely are approaching the appointed time?

Jerusalem to Be Religious Capital of the World

Let me suggest to you some proof of what I said in our early remarks when I said that the city of Jerusalem, according to this chapter, would be the center of all religious activity. It will be the religious capital of the world. Look at verse 3:

Isaiah 60

3And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Of course, the light here is a reference to the Savior, and all of the Gentiles of the world will come to receive Christ as Savior when they realize that He is dwelling in the city of Jerusalem. That is the reason the Bible teaches that even though we as Gentiles have been blessed because the nation of Israel has been set aside in God's plan, we are going to be more abundantly blessed when they are restored to their original place again.

Old Testament Sacrifices to Be Re-established

Paul expresses it when he says, “If the setting aside of Israel was a blessing, how much more their fullness when they come back on the main track”, so to speak. Glance down at verse 7 where you will notice another indication of Jerusalem's being the center of the religious world:

Isaiah 60

7All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee…

What is he saying? He is saying that all of these various animals from these various places, (you will notice that they were animals that were used for Old Testament sacrifices) will be brought to the city of Jerusalem. Notice the last phrase of verse 7:

Isaiah 60

7…they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.

We do not have time to get into this now, but there is ample Scripture to prove that Old Testament sacrifices are going to be re-established during the Millennium. That is all that I am going to say about it, because that is all I have time to say, but even if I could not prove that from the Word of God, this verse of Scripture would still mean the same thing, for Isaiah would be speaking in terms which he understood, and the only terms that he understood in relation to worship was an animal sacrifice, so what he is saying is, “All the animals of the world will be brought to the city of Jerusalem at the time of sacrifice. This is another proof that the city of Jerusalem will be the center of all religious activity.

Look down at verse 18:

Isaiah 60

18Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.

We sometimes build a building in which we are going to worship and we might put something over the door like Church , or Chapel . We let folk know that it is some kind of religious building. In this case, it is not a building which is the center of all this religious activity. The entire city is the center of all religious worship, and so the words praise and salvation are written upon the city walls.

Jerusalem to Be Commercial Metropolis of the World

I said to you that this city of Jerusalem would be the center of all commercial and economic activity. It will be the commercial metropolis of the world some day, and that is borne out if you will look down at verse 5:

Isaiah 60

5Then thou shalt see, and flow together, [this would be better translated by the words be happy or be radiant ] and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged [or amazed at the mighty works of God, then you will notice the reason for their being radiant and amazed by all of this] ; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.

Actually, you could capitalize the word sea , and if you did, you would have a reference to the Dead Sea. Many Bible scholars see this statement, “the abundance of the Dead Sea shall be converted for your use,” as the suggestion of what is going on in the land of Palestine today. Here again I would not be dogmatic to the point of insisting that you accept that, but it is worthy of your consideration, for it has been discovered that the Dead Sea, in our time, has such tremendous chemical wealth that the nation of Israel is literally converting it to its own use, and Russia, whom the Scripture says will someday march down into the land of Palestine to take the spoil, is more cognizant of the wealth of the Dead Sea than any other nation, and they are looking with envy upon it.

Here we are told that at this particular time, the wealth of the Dead Sea will be converted to the use of the nation of Israel. Are you thinking with me? If the tremendous resources of the Dead Sea are just now beginning to be tapped, and this passage of Scripture says that it will all be there by and by, wouldn't you begin to think that the appointed time that we read about in verse 22 is about to come to pass? It is pretty close, don't you think?

Notice verse 6:

Isaiah 60

6The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.

Isaiah, speaking in the language that was peculiar to his time, is suggesting that all the nations of the world with their camels, their dromedaries, their caravans, as Isaiah would think of them in that day, will be transporting all of these various commercial goods in and out of the city of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem to Be Center of Political and Government Activities

I mentioned that the city of Jerusalem would be the center of all political and governmental activities. Glance down at verse 10, where we read:

Isaiah 60

10And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.
11Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.
12For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.

That makes it pretty definite, doesn't it? Here again we see an interesting suggestion that the appointed time is getting close, because we read here, “The sons of strangers shall build up thy walls.” Have you investigated all of the advancements that are now being made in the land of Israel? They are being made with foreign capital. The sons of strangers are building up her walls. The sons of strangers are bringing about all of the unusual and unique advancements that you see in the land of Palestine. Look at verse 17, and notice more evidence:

God Will Change Men's Attitudes

Isaiah 60

17For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.

Everything is going to be an improvement over what was said before. God has promised that Israel will be the center of attention some day, and He is basing that upon the promise of His Word. Notice in verse 16, He said:

Isaiah 60

16Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings…

That statement is saying, “Your security will be due to the friendliness of the Gentiles.” That seems almost like an impossibility with the anti-Semitism that is abroad today, but God said that He is going to change the attitude of men so that the Gentiles will make possible this tremendous change. Of course, the real reason for this and the reason for all fulfilled prophecy (if you forget this, you have forgotten everything) is found in the last part of verse 16, where He said:

The Real Reason for All Fulfilled Prophecy

Isaiah 60

16…and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

I want to emphasize that, for our study of prophecy should not serve merely to feed our desire for knowledge. If it does, we are wasting our time, But if we can see the fulfillment of prophecy on every hand and our hearts can be caused to rise in praise to God, and we can say out of our hearts, “God, I know you are real. I know the Book is true. I know that Jesus Christ is Lord of Lords and King of Kings,” then the study of prophecy shall have accomplished its purpose.

I want to suggest to you that when we meet together for the study of prophecy, if you go away with the feeling that you have learned something that you didn't know before, and that is the only feeling that you have, we haven't accomplished very much. But, if you go away with the feeling that you have learned something perhaps you hadn't thought of before, but more than that that God's Word is true and the time for the fulfillment of all things is at hand, and you can lift up your head knowing that your redemption draweth nigh, when other men are concerned and worried about the end of all things, and you can say, “I'm not concerned, I'm not worried, for I know how it is going to end,” then we have accomplished our purpose.


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