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Tag Archives: April 28 in Christian History

What Will Jerusalem Be Like in the Future?

“The Glorious Temple” – Back To The Future – April 28, 573 B.C.

 By Mike and Sharon Rusten

Ezekiel was a priest and prophet who had been taken into captivity in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon in 597 B.C. by King Nebuchadnezzar. In Babylon Ezekiel had seen a vision in which the glory of God departed from the temple in Jerusalem before it was destroyed (Ezekiel 10:1-22). Then in 586 B.C. King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple in Jerusalem in and took most of the remaining residents captive to Babylon.

Ezekiel encouraged his fellow exiles with six messages proclaiming the hope of their restoration to Israel (33:21-39:29). Some of these prophecies looked beyond their return from Babylon to their return from exile throughout the world before the final consummation of history. For example, God says through Ezekiel: “I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your faith will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command” (36:24-27).

The prophet Zechariah gives more details about this future time when God will put his Spirit in the Jewish people. The Lord says through him, “I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on all the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son” (Zechariah 12:10). The book of Revelation quotes this verse from Zechariah and applies it to Jesus’ second coming: “Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him—even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the earth will weep because of him” (Revelation 1:7). In other words, when Jesus returns, the Jews living on earth at that time will literally “look on [Jesus] whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son.” This is when God gives them his Holy Spirit and they are converted, receiving “a new obedient heart” (Ezekiel 36:26). The apostle Paul writes: “So all Israel will be saved. Do you remember what the prophets said about this? A Deliverer will come from Jerusalem, and he will turn Israel from all ungodliness. And then I will keep my covenant with them and take away their sins” (Romans 11:26-27).

Since King Solomon’s time when the Jewish people were under God’s blessing, they had a Temple in Jerusalem in which to worship. This will again be true in the millennial age following the second coming of Christ.

Then on April 28, 573 B.C., God took Ezekiel from Babylon back to Jerusalem by means of a vision in which he showed him the final glorious temple that is to come. More important, just as Ezekiel had had a vision of God’s glory leaving the temple in his day, now he sees the glory of the Lord returning to the future temple: “Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel appeared from the east…And the glory of the Lord came into the Temple through the east gate-way…And the glory of the Lord filled the Temple…And the Lord said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne’” (Ezekiel 43:2-7).

Reflection

Does it surprise you that Israel will be converted to Christ in the future and will again have a temple in Jerusalem filled with the glory of the Lord?

It is easy to accept Bible prophecies that have already been fulfilled and ignore those that are still in the future. But these future prophecies will be fulfilled just as surely as the earlier ones.

Author’s of the Article Above: Mike and Sharon Rusten are not only marriage and business partners; they also share a love for history. Mike studied at Princeton (B.A.), the University of Minnesota (M.A.), Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Th.M.), and New York University (Ph.D.). Sharon studied at Beaver College, Lake Forest College, and the University of Minnesota (B.A.), and together with Mike has attended the American Institute of Holy Land Studies (now Jerusalem University College). They have two grown children and live in Minnetonka, Minnesota. This article was adapted from the April 28th entry in their fascinating book The One Year Book of Christian History, Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2003.

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The Bounty Bible – April 28, 1789

Series: On This Day In Christian History

The English ship Bounty, commanded by Lieutenant William Bligh, journeyed to the South Pacific in 1787 to collect plants of the breadfruit tree. Sailors signed on gladly, considering the voyage a trip to paradise. Having no second-in-command, Captain Bligh appointed his young friend Fletcher Christian to the post. The Bounty stayed in Tahiti six months, and the sailors, led by happy-go-lucky Fletcher Christian, enjoyed paradise to the full. When time came for departure, some of the men wanted to stay behind with their island girls. Three men, trying to desert, were flogged. The mood on ship darkened, and on April 28, 1789 Fletcher Christian staged the most famous mutiny in history. Bligh and his supporters were set adrift in an overloaded lifeboat (which they miraculously navigated 3,700 miles to Timor).

The mutineers aboard the Bounty began quarreling about what to do next. Christian returned to Tahiti where he left some of the mutineers, kidnapped some women, took some slaves, and traveled 1,000 miles to uninhabited Pitcairn Island. There the little group quickly unraveled. They distilled whiskey from a native plant. Drunkenness and fighting marked their colony. Disease and murder eventually took the lives of all the men except for one, Alexander Smith, who found himself the only man on the island, surrounded by an assortment of women and children.

Then an amazing change occurred. Smith found the Bounty’s neglected Bible. As he read it, he took its message to heart, then began instructing the little community. He taught the colonists the Scriptures and helped them obey its instructions. The message of Christ so transformed their lives that 20 years later, in 1808, when the Topaz landed on the island, it found a happy society of Christians, living in prosperity and peace, free from crime, disease, murder—and mutiny. Later, the Bible fell into the hands of a visiting whaler who brought it to America. In 1950 it was returned to the island. It now resides on display in the church in Pitcairn as a monument to its transforming message (The Bounty Bible pictured at left – Article adapted from the April 28th entry in Robert J. Morgan. On This Day: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories about Saints, Martyrs & Heroes. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000.

Also On This Day In Christian History:

1553: The Nestorians chose Sullaqa, superior of the monastery of Rabban Hormizd, to reunite them with the Catholic Church. He made his profession of the Nestorians’ intent to Rome on this day.

1841: The Roman Catholic missionary Pierre Chanel died a martyr in Tonga, where he had gone despite strong Protestant resistance. He was working on an island that had been unreached by Protestants.

1872: Francis Havergal wrote her hymn “Lord Speak to Me that I May Speak” in Winterdyne, England. It first appeared in a leaflet with the title “A Worker’s Prayer.”

1911: Thousands of Genevans demonstated for five hours against a religiously inspired ban on gambling. A shocked Karl Barth was appalled at their mindless slogans and came out in support of the ban.

1955: Christian and Missionary Alliance pilot Albert Lewis died when his seaplane crashed in the pass leading into the Baliem Valley in Irian Jaya (the known as Nederlands, New Guinea). Ten thousand souls came to Christ, owing in part to Lewis’ supportive ministry.

Adapted from the April 28th entry in This Day In Christian History, edited by A Kenneth Curtis and Daniel Graves, Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2012 in Church History

 

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