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FAQ - ISRAEL/JERUSALEM
Can you explain the first three verses of
the sixth chapter of Hosea? (`Hos 6:1-3`)
<ANSWER>--These verses, doubtless, refer to Israel's judgments and their final repentance and reconciliation. The three days we understand to be the days of the larger week, one thousand years to each day. In this larger week the seventh day will be the seventh thousand-year period--the Sabbath of rest from sin and Satan. Recognizing time from this standpoint and applying to each thousand years the parallel day of the week, we find that, as over four thousand years had passed and the fifth thousand had begun at the time the Jews had experienced the judgments of the Lord in the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, it was therefore at a time corresponding to the fifth day of the lesser week, namely Thursday, the first day of the three mentioned. Friday the second day, and Saturday (the seventh day Sabbath) the third, in which the Israelites will be revived and raised up to Divine favor and life. It is to be early in the morning of this third day--the thousand years of Messiah's reign--that "all Israel shall be saved"- -`Rom. 11:26`. Then will be the seasons of refreshing which shall come from the presence of the Lord as indicated in the "rain" mentioned in the third verse and referred to by the Apostle Peter--`Acts 3:19-21`.
Will the New Jerusalem (`Rev. 21:2`) be a literal city of gold and gems, and
will it come floating down through the sky and locate somewhere on the earth? If so, how,
when, and where?
<ANSWER>--We are aware that quite a number seem to hold the thought of an actual city, with all of its walls, buildings, towers and turrets, coming down from above and locating in the land of Palestine. Those who have this thought should try to bear in mind that much of the Bible is written in highly symbolic or figurative language. The dimensions of this city are given in furlongs in this same chapter. If we reduce these to miles, we have for the dimensions fifteen hundred miles in length and breadth and height. A city of this magnitude could scarcely be placed in the small land of Palestine, which measures less than two hundred miles in its greatest length. By noting the expressions of the `9th verse`, it will become apparent to all that not a literal city is referred to, but a symbolic one is meant. The angel showed St. John "The Bride, the Lamb's wife," in symbol, as a beautiful city. Surely no one would so far ignore the faculties of intelligence and reason as to say that the Bride of Christ is to be a literal city. This Bride is the same one represented as saying, in almost the closing words of the Bible, "Come and partake of the waters of life freely." The Bride is the Church class composed of the faithful followers of Christ, of whom the Apostle Paul speaks, saying: "I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (`2 Cor. 11:2`).
What is meant by the New Jerusalem referred to in `Rev. 21` and `22` chapters?
<ANSWER>--A close reading of these chapters will convince any student that a literal city was certainly not meant. In symbolic prophecy a "city" signifies a religious government backed by power and authority. Thus the "holy city, the New Jerusalem," is the symbol used to represent the established Kingdom of God, the overcomers of the Gospel Church exalted and reigning in glory. The Church is also, and in the same connection, represented as a woman, "the bride, the Lamb's wife," in power and glory, and backed by the power and authority of Christ, her husband. "And there came unto me one of the seven angels... saying Come hither, I will shew thee the bride the Lamb's wife. And he . .. shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem." (`Rev. 21:9,10`.) It is evident that we should "spiritualize" this narrative because St. John himself did so, for he says "And he carried me away in spirit." (`Rev. 21:10`.) That is to say in a spiritual sense he viewed the wonders of this great city, and not actually, in a literal sense. The dimensions of the city are given in furlongs, which, if reduced to miles would mean that it measured 1,500 miles in length, and breadth, and height! Surely no such literal city will ever be established on this little globe of ours. Recognizing the meaning of the symbols we have a beautiful picture representing the gradual establishment of the Divine Kingdom of the Heavens on the earth, when the Church, the Lamb's wife, is ruling in royal majesty with Christ, "the Prince of Peace."
Will Jerusalem ever be rebuilt and for what purpose?
<ANSWER>--The most remarkable movement ever occurring amongst the Jewish people since the time of the destruction of their capital city, Jerusalem, is now in process of development, and is known as "The Zionist Movement." The primary object of this movement is the establishment of the Jews in their own land under a government of their own. This would mean the rebuilding of the city in the event of the success of this movement. There are many prophecies which show that the Jews shall return to Divine favor and shall again be established in their own country, and that the City of Jerusalem will be rebuilt. We cite but one--`Jer. 31:27-40`. The clear intimation of the teachings of the Scriptures is that Jerusalem will become the Capital City of the world, "for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem," "And many people shall go and say, Come ye and let us go up to the mountain (Kingdom) of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob: and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths." (`Isa. 2:3`.) For a remarkable confirmation of this, in the words of the New Testament, see `Acts 15:16,17`.