"Why do folks put such an emphasis on physical Jerusalem in end times prophecy?"
[Isaiah 11; 27; Jeremiah 30; 31; Ezekiel 36; Joel 2; 3; Micah 4; 5; Zechariah 14:8-21]
You have been severely mislead with regard to the Lord's future intents with His nation of Israel by others that you follow .... preterism's replacement [that the Lord's church is now national Israel] theology, historical allegory, and teaching against the Lord's next intervention is bogus .... a twisted ruse
When this is done much of the literal and specific unfulfilled portion of the Bible prophets is ignored by making it without effect .... turning the truth into fables and spiritualism
The behavior of those who do this reflects a standing "against" Jesus Christ ["anti"-christ] while at the same time they claim to be "christian" .... total deception is in the making by pretenders who deliberately meddle with the Lord's Word for self gain
..... do not follow their course because you can be taken by the insidious motives than are hidden in their teaching [Matthew 24:4-5; 2Peter 3: 3-12] ..... some are deliberate, and others have been deceived by those who know what they are doing
You can be drawn away to the extent that you will not inhabit the Lord's eternity
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
I believe this is a reference to Messiah and His earthly ministry. The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord... And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain:
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest
shall be glorious.
I don't think this is literally wolf and lamb, leopard and kid, calf and young lion or that a child will literally lead them somewhere. I believe this is a prophecy about the mystery Paul spoke of.. Jew and Gentile joined together as one in Christ. And the child symbolizes Jesus' words about the humbling of oneself as a little child and those who would be great among them would be servants of all. It appears to me that the animals are clean and unclean, as was considered the Jew and the Gentile. Because Peter had that vision about the unclean
creatures being let down and heard a voice saying, "what God hath cleansed call not thou common." Peter, after pondering what it meant, realized the vision was of the cleansing of the Gentiles
. Also, Jesus says those who come to Him will have His rest
. In God's holy mountain
, they will not destroy one another because they live by the Law of Love and are one in Christ Jesus. (See Heb 12:22)
And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil
them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.
I believe this is the gathering of God's elect as the gospel went out in the first century. I believe the spoil is actually speaking of the conversion of former enemies, not war of some sort. Jesus is said to divide the spoil
among the strong and Paul is likely to fulfill the Benjamite wolf prophecy in that he first killed the elect of God but afterward he shared in the dividing of spoil
, the victory in the gospel, as he won many converts to Christ.
And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make [men] go over dryshod. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
I believe this also speaks of the highway that John the Baptist was to prepare:
Isaiah 40The 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.
Isaiah 35And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness: the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon.. but the redeemed shall walk there.
I don't think this is a literal highway, but the Way, the truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Him.