After all of Jerusalem’s bloody history, God has gloriously good news. “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain; And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field” (Isaiah 40:3-6). This is describing an Elijah type so was to bring this message before the Messiah. “Every mountain and hill shall be made low” is obviously a prophecy for this end time.
There is still another job to be done. “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” (verse 9). The margin reference in my Bible gives the correct translation: “O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion” and “O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem.” This is the job of God’s people today We deliver good tidings to sinning Zion and to Jerusalem. We are to “say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” We are doing that today—right now!
Herbert Armstrong thought God would have him fulfill this prophecy of Isaiah 40:9. Here is what he wrote in his “Personal” in the October-November 1980 Plain Truth: “The Arab world wants the Old City of Jerusalem back into Arab control. Some nations contend Jerusalem should be made an international city. But the State of Israel has control, having wrested it from Jordan in the war of 1967.
“What has been happening in Jerusalem since the Israeli takeover in that war?
“I have been somewhat personally involved in events there since that war.
“Immediately after the death of my wife of 50 years, April 15, 1967, I flew to Jerusalem. I had two urgent reasons. I had seriously wanted to buy time on Radio Jerusalem, then owned and operated by the State of Jordan. Also I wanted to get away from Pasadena immediately into a totally different environment to ease the grief of losing the companionship of my beloved wife and partner in God’s work.
“I wanted not only to go on Jerusalem Radio, I wanted to manipulate the increase of its power to 1 million watts to give coverage over the entire Middle East. At Amman, Jordan, and in Jerusalem, in conference with the Jordanian government and its radio management, I arranged for a price for a choice time on an extended contract whereby our monthly payments for that time would finance the Jordan government in the purchase of German Telefunken equipment to boost the station power to this maximum wattage. It was one of the largest contracts for purchase of radio time ever signed.
“On Sunday morning, June 4, 1967, I left my home on our campus in England for London airport to fly to Amman to broadcast in person that evening, the first broadcast on this new contract. En route to the airport we heard on the car radio the sensational news that the Six Day War had started early that morning. No planes were allowed to get through to Beirut or to Amman. My broadcast on Jerusalem Radio never got started. By the following Friday, June 9, the Old City of Jerusalem was in Israeli hands ….
“A message (Isaiah 40:9-10) is yet to go by a servant of God to the cities of Judah. In whatever way God wills, it shall go.”
Mr. Armstrong was trying so hard to fulfill this prophecy. He knew a servant of God had to do it in this end time. God prophesied it would happen! Now we have been commissioned by God to do this job.
This prophecy shows we are very close to the end. We are already introducing God to the cities of Judah. You don’t introduce someone unless He is about to appear! That is how wonderful our message is. We are already introducing the new Ruler who is to rule Jerusalem for 1,000 years!
The fact that this prophecy is being fulfilled means the Messiah’s return is imminent. We are feeling the intensity! This is Jerusalem’s only hope! This is mankind’s only hope! This is more tremendous than anything mankind has ever imagined. Isaiah does more than just call it “good tidings.” He says, “Behold your God!“
If we can catch this vision before Christ returns, we will be given a magnificent reward. “Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him” (verse 10). God has a reward for you if you do His work.
The Glory of Jerusalem
God will choose Jerusalem yet. “Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem” (Zechariah 1:17). As we will see, this choice will extend into new Jerusalem and eternity. The whole universe will be ruled from Jerusalem. When God chooses a city, expect it to be spectacular beyond anything man can even imagine!
Once the Messiah comes, He will establish His headquarters in Jerusalem. For a thousand years, this revitalized and renewed city will serve as the headquarters of the whole Earth. “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain 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: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).
It’s almost time to start rejoicing. “Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her” (Isaiah 66:10). Soon everybody will be rejoicing over Jerusalem. She is going to have an “abundance of … glory” (verse 11). “For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees” (verse 12). Peace, instead of blood, will flow out of Jerusalem like a river! Jerusalem has been flowing with blood for most of the last 6,000 years. What a glorious change we are about to see. “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (verse 13). In this present evil world, there has been unparalleled suffering in that city. Shortly, the whole world will look to Jerusalem for comfort. What a change!
“And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies. For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many” (verses 14‑16). God is pleading with man now to hear His Word. Soon He will appeal to them with a sword—the only language man seems to understand. If only man would listen now and escape the nuclear sword!
God is offering you a chance now to live and rule in this city with Him in the near future! That is exciting enough to make us faint, if we truly understand it.
God will reach into the lives of every repentant person on Earth—from Jerusalem.
“In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them” (Zechariah 12:6-8). Those leaders in Jerusalem then are going to be “as God.” That means Christ and all of His rulers speak as God does!
“In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart” (verses 10‑12). God will correct all of humanity by getting them focused on God and Jerusalem!
You must know someone deeply before you can mourn for them like that. This world will finally get to really know their God! This world’s religions do not know God. They think they do. But look how deeply and intensely they will know God then! This is the greatest news we could ever hear!
Earth Then Ruled by God
Daniel 2 gives us a broad view of the prophetic progression of the ruling governments over this world, right up into this time when the Messiah will rule. In verse 44 we read: “And in the time of those kings [the kings of the north in this context], the God of Heaven will establish a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, a kingdom that shall not be transferred to another people. It will crush and wipe out all these kingdoms, but shall itself last forever.”
We are extremely close to the end of man’s governments, which have brought utter corruption, misery and death upon the Earth. God is about to step in and establish His government, led by the Messiah, administered by His faithful people, a government that will last forever. Daniel 7 also speaks of this time. Verses 13-14: “As I looked on, in the night vision one like a human being came with the clouds of heaven; He reached the Ancient of Days and was presented to Him. Dominion, glory, and kingship were given to Him; all peoples and nations of every language must serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and His kingship, one that shall not be destroyed.”
This is that Messiah who will rule forever! He, of the line of King David (Isaiah 11:1, 10-11) will fulfill God’s promise to David of an eternal line ruling on his throne (2 Samuel 7:13; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 33:17).
“But wait for Me—says the Lord—for the day when I arise as an accuser; when I decide to gather nations, to bring kingdoms together, to pour out My indignation on them, all My blazing anger” (Zephaniah 3:8). Indeed, we continue to wait, patiently, for that final coming of the Messiah to bring justice to the surface of the Earth! He will establish His temple in Jerusalem, and from there instruction and peace will be spread across all the Earth.
And the many peoples shall go and say: “Come, let us go up to the Mount of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob; that He may instruct us in His ways, and that we may walk in His paths.” For instruction shall come forth from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Thus He will judge among the nations and arbitrate for the many peoples, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not take up sword against nation; they shall never again know war (Isaiah 2:3-4)
Rule From Jerusalem Never Ends
The glorious future of Jerusalem will not end after the thousand years of the Millennium. God tells us it will serve a special purpose for all eternity. The promise that was made to David and reconfirmed by the Prophet Jeremiah will be fulfilled. God will rule upon the throne of David, which is actually His throne (Isaiah 9:6). Verse 7 states, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
After the Messiah returns, the throne will be moved back to Jerusalem. There will be endless growth of God’s government. It will grow forever!
“Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby” (Isaiah 33:20-21).
At that time, Jerusalem will be a quiet habitation. Some may think these verses refer to the Jerusalem of the Millennium, but notice: Jerusalem is described as a “tabernacle that shall not be taken down.“ The Jerusalem of the Millennium will be taken down. But the Jerusalem described in Isaiah 33 is a tabernacle that shall not be taken down. This can only be referring to a new Jerusalem, which will last forever. From there, God’s rule will extend out into the universe—from the very throne of David in Jerusalem!