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Now, it is true that in Hebrews it says he looked for a city whose foundation whose maker was God. That is true.
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He looked for the eternal state but long before the eternal state and the New Heaven and the New Earth are created, he is going to see the promise of the land fulfilled! The land will be inherited by Israel. So, that is Chapter Then, He reiterated His promise with a sacred rite of shedding blood. Then, in the last part of Chapter 15, He enumerates what He means by the land. I talked to one of my friend who is an amillennialist you know, they do not believe that Israel is ever going to inherit the land. I said now, what about this?
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Well, he said it is just heaven. I said it does not sound like heaven to me. All these tribes, wicked tribes it says are in the land. Well, he said it is just Heaven. You see it is an arbitrary, unsupported statement that is absolutely wrong. Israel is going to inherit the land, before they came back to the land. So, we have this sad record here in Deuteronomy, Chapter 28, how the land is going to go to someone else.
They are going to be driven out of it. He is going to bring you back all the diseases of Egypt verse Every sickness and every plague is going to be yours. You shall be left few in numbers, whereas you were as the stars of Heaven and all the multitude because you would not obey the voice of the Lord, your God.
So, be that just as the Lord rejoiced over you do you good and multiple you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring to nothing. Your life will hang in doubt before you. You shall fear day and night and have no assurance of life.
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In the morning, you shall say, oh, that it were evening, and evening you shall say, oh, that that it were morning because the fear which terrifies your heart because of the sight which your eyes see. In other words, Israel is going to suffer and be driven out of the land. That was tragically fulfilled, of course. First of all, in the year the Assyrian armies came in and carried off the ten tribes.
Jerusalem and the two tribes there under Hezekiah were spared. But, then in BC, Babylon came in and they conquered the city of Jerusalem and carried off the able-bodied people as slaves. Again they came, and took many of them to Babylon, especially in the years that followed in and Finally, Jerusalem itself was completely destroyed with its magnificent temple in So, once again, Israel was driven out of the land. But, in the midst of all that, it is amazing the grace of God.
In other words, He told them it would be 70 years and that is exactly what it was. Let me read the verse for you in Jeremiah We have the record of what God promised. Jeremiah ,. Now, does God mean what He says? Is it literally true? Of course it is literally true! God does not play games with us. When He promises something, it is going to be fulfilled. You know what happened?
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Then, a series of other rulers came and went. About that time, Daniel somehow secured the book of Jeremiah. It must have been the original. They did not have Xerox copies in those days. He read this and he came to Jeremiah 29 and he was excited! You should be excited about prophesy! Daniel saw how God was going restore His city and restore His temple and restore His people. Daniel admitted, as we have it in Daniel 9, how the people did not deserve it.
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It was of the grace of God that they went back, but God had promised and Daniel claimed the promise for the glory of God. So, the book of Ezra records the promise. The whole book records the fulfillment. The whole book telling us about how they went back and reclaimed the city and eventually built the temple and the people of Israel restored the city of Jerusalem in the time of Nehemiah. So, we have the wonderful facts that God keeps His word.
Now, Nehemiah came along, you remember, and he was concerned about the city of Jerusalem. It had been in ruins for 90 years and they said for 90 years we cannot do anything about it. Nehemiah organized them and worked it out so that each family would build a section of the wall. They built the wall.
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What they said could not be built for 90 years they built in 52 days. How does the work of the Lord get done?
By one person — no! By everyone doing his part. That is the way they built the wall. Then, they passed a law in Israel that one out of every ten had to build a house in Jerusalem. In those days, they did not haul off the debris. They just leveled it off, as Jerusalem had been destroyed so many times, and built on top of it.
Well, they built the city and the city was a thriving city by the time Christ was born. Then, Israel began to depart from God. As a nation they rejected Christ—although individuals accepted Him. You remember Christ was predicting His coming and the tragic days ahead. The disciples thought he was a little bit too melancholy and they showed him the beautiful temple, in Matthew 24 The temple had been in rebuilding for 40 years already. It was being replaced. It was a year temple that they had built when the pilgrims went back from Babylon.
Now it needed replacements and it was magnificent. It was being built out of huge stones that were quarried in Jerusalem there— sometimes to ten, 15, 20, even 30 tons, we are told. They would take hundreds of people and put these huge blocks of stone on rollers and roll them up to the temple site. They would built earth ramps and just take it right up and drop it in place.
It was cut precisely to fit that place. That is the way the temple was being built. I think they had a right somewhat to be proud about it. You know what Christ said though? The great pyramids in Europe, in Egypt rather, were built about 3, BC and they are still there. Those stones are mostly around two tons, as I understand it. The big stones that form the structure of it.
In 70 AD, the Roman soldiers threw them down in Jerusalem. Because Israel and Jerusalem had a record of rebellion, they broke the walls and came in and slaughtered the people. Some think as many as half a million Jews were packed in the city in the Time of the Feast, and they destroyed the city and burned the temple. They pried the stones out one by one. Now, they are digging up some of these stones outside Jerusalem that were thrown down the hill at the time the temple was destroyed. The wall was not part of the temple.
It was the retaining wall because the properties are up and down there hilly and they built this retaining wall in order to level the surface on the top.
So, that wall is still there, but it was not there when Christ was there. It came many years later.