VI. THE RESTORATION OF ZION AND JERUSALEM
Isaiah 66:7-14 speaks of the restoration of Zion and Jerusalem. These verses indicate that the time of the restoration will be a wonderful time. For example, verse 12 says, "I now am extending to her / Peace like a river, / And the glory of the nations / Like an overflowing stream." Here glory denotes the riches and produce of the nations (cf. Gen. 31:1, 16; Esth. 1:4), which will be brought to Jerusalem. Furthermore, whereas the hand of Jehovah will be made known to His servants, He will be indignant toward His enemies (v. 14).
VII. JEHOVAH GATHERING THE NATIONS
TO WORSHIP AT JERUSALEM
Jehovah will gather the nations to worship at Jerusalem, and they will bring with them the scattered children of Israel as a meal offering to Jehovah, of whom Jehovah will take some for priests (cf. 61:6) and some for Levites (66:18-21). Today we offer sinners to God as sacrifices (Rom. 15:16), but in the restoration the nations will bring the scattered Israelites as a meal offering to God. Just as in the ancient time, some will be appointed to serve as priests, and others will do the Levitical service.
VIII. CONSUMMATING IN
THE NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH
According to Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22-24, the restoration of Israel and of all things brought in by Christ as the Servant of Jehovah consummates in the new heaven and new earth. The book of Isaiah covers many things, including God’s chastisement and judgment, but it consummates in the new heaven and new earth. After so many things have passed away, what will remain will be the new heaven and new earth with the New Jerusalem.
In the millennial kingdom the Jews will be priests on the earth, and the believers will be priests in the heavens. At that time, the holy city, New Jerusalem, will comprise only the overcoming Old Testament and New Testament saints, but not the Israelites who will be saved at the Lord’s coming back. At the end of the millennium, Satan will stir up opposers, mainly from Gog and Magog, to attack the camp of the Jews and the city of the saints, but fire will come down out of heaven to devour them (Rev. 20:9). In the new heaven and new earth after the millennium, the Jews who were saved at the coming of the Lord Jesus will be mingled with the New Jerusalem. Therefore, in the new heaven and new earth, there will be only two peoples. First, there will be the New Jerusalem, composed of the believers and the Jews, God’s sons as the royal family to rule over the nations and as the priests to serve God forever. Second, there will be the nations, who will not be regenerated but only restored and who will live on the earth outside the New Jerusalem to be God’s people (Rev. 21:3).
(Life-Study of Isaiah, Chapter 32, by Witness Lee)