Focus On Jerusalem

Title

 

A City on the Edge Of Eternity

By: Gary Stearman

   There are two Jerusalems. On earth, the city in Israel is the center of international dispute. In heaven, there is the home of the saints, a shining jewel that will one day be revealed above planet earth. But both cities embody a single idea: the restoration of this sin-wracked planet and the final, visible presence of Godís glory. The two cities are knit together in a wealth of meaning and insight. Spiritually, they are one. Let us see how past and future come together, how the struggles of Zion become the glory of the Holy City.

   The New Jerusalem is an incomparable house that will be home to the faithful throughout eternity. In heaven, the universe that parallels our own, the Lord has built this house on the basis of His direct promise to His disciples. He told them:

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2,3).

   Presumably, this place has already been prepared in heaven. But it has not yet been visibly presented to the people here. It is a long-awaited dream that the faithful hold as a tangible hope. They view it as their ultimate home Ö a magnificent reflection of the Creator, Himself. It will be everything that He is.

   Johnís testimony shows us that it is a mobile city, capable of navigating time-space in the dimensions between heaven and earth. Perhaps, in this age of science fiction, we can think of it as a kind of space ship, beyond technology as we know it:

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Rev. 21:2).

  Imagine a huge ship, larger than the average asteroid. It is capable of traveling from one place to another! Moreover, its travels are not limited to this universe, alone. The above verse tells us that it is quite capable of moving from the dimension of heaven to the dimension of earth. Its arrival here is the fulfillment of a long chain of biblical prophecy. Without a doubt, its appearing will be the most spectacular astronomical event in the history of this planet. The Bible describes the New Jerusalem as "foursquare." Though we canít be certain of its shape, we can get some idea of its size:

"And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal" (Rev. 21:16).

   This verse tells us that its length and width are about 1,377 miles. This length is based upon the distance marked off by the Greek stadion, the unit of measurement from which "furlong" is translated, which equals 606 modern feet. Twelve thousand times this number equals 7,272,000 feet, which, divided by 5,280 (the number of feet in a mile), gives us the 1,377-mile figure.

   Though we cannot be absolutely certain about the configuration of the New Jerusalem, we can arrive at an approximation of its volume. If, as some believe, it is structured as a cube, the length of its diagonal axis would be about two thousand, three hundred and eight-five (2,385) miles! But imagine its volume, which must be about two billion, six hundred and eleven million (2,611,000,000) cubic miles! That is a lot of living room, and many dwelling places!

  Though we can only guess at its structural and esthetic perfection, it is safe to say that it will literally be the wonder of the universe Ö a place that projects perfection in every aspect. But above all, it is the focus of spiritual truth and perfection, illuminated by the Father and the Son with the primeval light of Creation.

The Long, Long Journey

  In the matter of the Holy City, the Bible takes us on a long and circuitous journey from archetype to fulfillment. As we follow that long road from past to future, we discover that there is much truth to be discovered.

Abraham, the father of the faithful, was told to go to a place far away from his homeland. Following a route laid out by God, he came to Canaan. Doubtless, it was a difficult trek across dusty, gritty and lawless badlands. Traveling with a large company, he was probably consumed with the details of the trip. His obedience to Godís command carried with it a promise Ö a distant promise. He and his household became the first Hebrews. In Genesis 14:13, where Abraham is first called a "Hebrew," it is in the context of his battle against the four kings who represent the empires of the Gentiles:

"And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram" (Gen. 14:13).

   Abram, a son of nobles, now renounced his native territory and its idolatries forever in favor of obedience to the true God. With his commitment came the responsibility for defending it against the enemies of his great faith. Bear in mind that at this point, it was still in the infancy of its founding. Still ahead lay the Lordís promise to him, the ratification of the perpetual covenant and the offering of Isaac. Though his eyes were preoccupied with a myriad of earthly difficulties, the vision of Abraham, the spiritual man, was steadfastly locked upon the far future, and a city of divine origin Ö New Jerusalem.

"For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Heb. 11:10).

   Following his lead, the faithful now look toward the same place. They have never seen it but know it exists. Since it was promised by God, its existence is unquestioned. But the journey toward this city began long ago, when young Abram and his retinue crossed over the Jordan River into Canaan. The very word "Hebrew" is said to have originated from the Semitic term that refers to one who has "crossed over" from the other side. The word is eber [rcg], meaning "to pass," "to cross," "to go beyond."

   In crossing the river, he symbolically stepped into the future. It was as though he leaped from one state of existence into another. This is, in fact, the essence of faith. Abram, a noble of Chaldea, gave up his earthly citizenship in favor of a new world. He had not yet seen it (nor would he ever see it during the long years of his earthly life). But it was never hidden from his spiritual vision. He was the first to regard it as real. But since then, those who have caught his vision also operate on the basis that their true destiny is that of spiritual citizenship:

"But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city" (Heb. 11:16).

   This idea is often expressed in the New Testament. In the most literal terms, Paul states that the Christianís concept of national identity should be that of Abraham. We are now literally citizens of heaven:

"For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Phil. 3:20).

   In this verse, the word "conversation" comes from the Greek politeuo, which literally means "national identity" or "citizenship." Of course, it is the root word for our modern English "politics" or "political." In other words, the Christian identifies himself with heavenly interests. Thus, he sees beyond the earthly power which will ultimately be concentrated in the evil leadership of an international consortium, headed by the "man of sin" (II Thes. 2:3).

   Much as in the days of Abraham, the Gentile world powers are arrayed against the household of faith, not in favor of it. The four Gentile kings he fought foreshadow the last great battle ó Armageddon.

   The Apostle Peter, speaking of the faithful, uses much the same terminology to identify the household of faith with their heavenly association:

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

"Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy" (I Peter 2:9, 10).

   Here, the spiritual status of believers ("priesthood") is interwoven with their national status. In the passage above, "nation" is a translation of the Greek ethnos, meaning "a nation or people." It implies national status. Peter is quite clear in his identification of Christians as a spiritual nation, whose home is in heaven. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that they will be residents of the Holy City, New Jerusalem.

  For believers, the implications of this citizenship are awe inspiring. And they begin with the journey of Abraham toward the city built by God. His first contact with the Holy City came in conjunction with a war.

Salem

   Genesis 14 relates the episode of the invasion of Canaan by Amraphel (of Babylon), Arioch (representing the future Greece), Chedorlaomer (the territory that would become Persia) and Tidal (symbol of the fourth empire ó Rome). Their invasion of the territory of Sodom in southern Canaan resulted in the kidnapping of Lot:

"And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

"And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.

"And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

"And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.

"And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

"And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

"And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all" (Gen. 14:14-20).

   It also resulted in a transaction at the Holy City. Here, we find that a victorious Abram, after vanquishing the four kings, returned to a specific place, called "the valley of Shaveh." The location of this place is key to the understanding of prophecy. It lay a few hundred yards west of what later became the city of David and the Temple Mount.

   Its king-priest, the mysterious Melchizedek, presided over the surroundings. Even at this early date (perhaps 1900 B.C.), the Lord had placed His unction upon the Holy City. Here, it was known as "Salem." Its name means simply, "peace." Later, as "Jerusalem," it becomes identified as, "the city of Godís peace." As New Jerusalem, it is simply Godís city.

   Melchizedek is, in fact, one of the greatest types of Christ in the entirety of Scripture. He is made the representative priest of the "most high God." This title reflects God in the totality of His power and sovereignty. El Elyon [iuhkg kt], the "God Most High," is thought to be one of the Deityís most ancient titles:

"For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;

"To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;

"Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually" (Heb. 7:1-3).

   Later, when the "Most High God" directly addresses Abraham, it is as "Lord." This, of course, is the English translation of Jehovah [vuvh]. This title is used when God addressed the faithful. One is formal, the other is personal. Yet, when the two titles are compared, they obviously describe the same Divine Person.

   When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, He used the same title, Jehovah:

"And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

"And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

"Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God" (Ex. 3:4-6).

   Notice that when Jehovah addresses Moses, He makes reference to Abraham, father of the faithful. Throughout the Bible, faith is always exemplified by Abraham. Godís promise to him reaches out across the ages:

"And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

"Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt" (Ex. 3:15, 16).

   In the two verses above, the Lord God makes sure that Moses remembers Abraham. Even Moses, the deliverer of his people and the bringer of the Law is enjoined to remember Abraham. Abrahamís faith is particularly denoted by his interaction with Melchizedek in Salem. His meeting with the priest-king marks the first mention of Jerusalem, the spiritual capital of the world. It gives to believers an opportunity to observe the origin of the earthly city that is a counterpart of the Holy City mentioned in Revelation 21.

   It later became the home of the Davidic throne and Solomonís Temple. Wracked by sinful leaders and numerous invaders, including Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Rome, Jerusalem was sacked again and again. But its true destiny, as the home of the Davidic throne and the Temples of the Lord, was never lost. Salem not only became Jerusalem. It also acquired the title, "Zion." As seen in Psalm 76:1,2, its earliest name is closely associated with this title of its political and spiritual destiny:

"To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song of Asaph. In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel.

"In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion" (Ps. 76:1,2).

The Assault Upon Zion

   Zion seems to be the name the Lord, Himself placed upon the hallowed ground of the Temple Mount. Its meaning comes from a cluster of ancient roots. Zion [ibhm] means "structure" or, "to protect." In later usage, it can mean "sign" or "landmark." Certainly, all of the aforementioned meanings apply to the site of the Holy Temple, centerpiece of Jerusalem. Psalm 87 shows the incredible value that the Lord places upon this real estate, the forerunner of the final, heavenly city. It is depicted as the foundation of His work and the object of His love. It is a place destined for glory. More importantly, it is associated with spiritual birth. To be "born in Zion" seems to be a metaphor for spiritual birth. Zion then becomes emblematic of the heavenly lineage of the saved, and of their spiritual struggle. However, it also carries future implications. Zion is a heavenly hope.

"A Psalm or Song for the sons of Korah. His foundation is in the holy mountains.

"The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

"Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.

"I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.

"And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.

"The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah" (Ps. 87:1-6).

The Bibleís first mention of Zion comes during the history of a significant battle. It recounts Davidís challenge to his men, who stormed the mountain, securing the holiest spot on the face of the earth for the kingdom of David:

"Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.

"And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.

"So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward" (II Sam. 5:7-9).

   Davidís men bravely ascended a crevice in the cliff ("the gutter"). The Jebusites had insulted them as lame and blind, but he won the day against tremendous, seemingly overwhelming opposition. But, David did more than take the mountaintop by force. He also bought the ground that would later become the location of the first Temple. He paid its owner, Ornan the Jebusite, fifty shekels of silver. But, that was only the beginning.

   Additionally, he bought the ground that would become the site of the Holy of holies, paying Ornan three-hundred shekels of gold, saying, "Ö I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings without cost" (I Chron. 21:24). Thus, from that day to this, the ownership of the holy ground has officially remained the property of the Davidic dynasty. It is important to remember that Mount Zion was literally bought and paid for by the king. No subsequent transaction has transferred ownership to any other individual or group.

   Three thousand years have passed since then, and many conquerors since then have set themselves up as the owners of Zion. But they were only temporary custodians. They never really appreciated the value of this, Godís beloved ground. They were only interested in founding a competing dynasty. Certainly, they had no idea of its timeless promise. That goes especially for the present era, when the followers of Mohammed have invented a series of tales that supposedly give provenance of the mountain to the prophet of the Koran. Try as they may to destroy its divinely-ordained history, they will never succeed. In fact, its true destiny is only now about to be unfolded.

The False and the True

   Probably the most famous usurper of the Temple Mount was Antiochus IV Epiphanes. In 167 B.C., he erected an image of himself as the Olympian Zeus, in the very place that David had purchased hundreds of years before. This evil despot is commonly viewed as the forerunner and archetype of the Antichrist. In fact, the eleventh chapter of Daniel documents him in precisely this way. This key chapter chronicles the succession of Greek kings who followed the conquests of Alexander the Great. His four generals divided the empire: Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy and Seleucus ruled the four corners of Alexanderís domain.

   Daniel 11 is particularly devoted to following the lineage of Seleucus, who took the eastern portion of the territory, including Aramea (Syria) and the land of Israel. Many generations of his descendants ruled under the title "Antiochus," finally becoming absorbed into the legions of Roman nobles, some of whom achieved ruling statues in Rome. Daniel 11:21 mentions Antiochus Epiphanes as the pretender who comes in as a savior and rises to invoke the dark powers of demonology:

"And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries."

This is the way of the pretender to the throne. He appears benign, even blessed. But he conceals an inner lust to be worshipped as God.

"And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

"And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits" (Dan. 11:31,32).

   Here, we have the evil act of Antiochus, as he profaned the Temple with an "abomination." This insult is coupled with the exploits of the heroic Jewish warriors who subsequently overcame him. On a larger scale, it is important to remember that what we are seeing here is the first attempt by pagan Gentile forces to overthrow the Davidic throne, replacing it with the despotic rule of a Gentile world empire.

   The phrase, "abomination that maketh desolate," refers to the wicked act of Antiochus in the distant past. This interpretation is easily established, because of the verses that follow it. They foretell the centuries of Jewish diaspora and martyrdom that were to come before the "time of the end," and the judgments of the Tribulation Period.

"And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.

"Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.

"And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed: (Dan. 11:33-35).

   The abomination mentioned in verse 31, is past. It describes a documented event in the history of Israel, meant to establish a precedent, and mark out a recognizable pattern for the future. In the same context, verse 36 follows the Seleucid lineage into the far future:

"And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done" (Daniel 11:36).

   This verse has been called the "prophecy of the willful king." Clearly, it refers to the latter-day Antichrist. But both spiritually and genealogically, he is the offspring of Antiochus Epiphanes. Historically, the dynasty of the Seleucids intermarried with the families of Roman nobles, who became the kings, queens, dukes and duchesses of the Holy Roman Empire. Their descendants are alive today, embedded in a variety of royal lineages. In particular, one of them will rise to power as the infamous "man of sin."

   As has been retold again and again, Daniel prophesies that the people who destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple would be the ancestors of the "prince that shall come" (Daniel 9:26). Antichrist will be of Greco-Roman descent. He will come to finish the work left undone by his ancient ancestor Antiochus IV Epiphanes:

"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Dan. 9:27).

Zion in the New Testament

   The progress from ancient Zion to its final realization has now taken some three thousand years. Since David bought it from Ornan, the ancient mountain has witnessed the coming and going of two Temples and two major dispersions of the Jews. But there are several New Testament prophecies that highlight the importance of Zion. The most obvious is Jesusí own quotation of Daniel 9:27. In the famous conversation with the disciples, He explains the timing and context of Danielís prophecy:

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

" Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains" (Matt. 24:15,16).

  Here, sitting at the feet of Jesus, we learn that He took Danielís prophecy quite literally. He told His disciples (and by extension, the twelve tribes of Israel) that the future would bring a horrible event to Israel. He mentions Judea by name. Traditionally, this is the territory south of a line from Joppa, east to the Jordan River. It would include todayís Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Hebron, Beersheba, and other desert areas in the south.

   To "flee into the mountains," probably indicates an escape route to the east, into the mountains of ancient Ammon, Moab and Edom. Jews (not Christians) are explicitly told to watch for the horror that would appear in the "holy place." There is not the slightest doubt about its location. It is the same piece of real estate once conquered, then purchased by David for three thousand shekels of gold. The abstract for the purchase is Holy Scripture. If it is recorded there, it is a permanent, eternal transaction.

   The legacy of David, Jerusalem and Zion is summoned up in Acts 15, where James recalls the prophecy of Amos:

"After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up" (Acts 15:16).

   In this prophecy, Amos links the first and second arrivals of the Tabernacle of David on the Temple Mount. This ceremonial arrival is recalled in I Chronicles 16 and Psalm 105, when the Ark was brought up to the mountain and placed there, within the Tabernacle that David had built for it. Whether the Tabernacle will be the desecrated holy place mentioned by Jesus, or whether it will be a temporary Temple, is unknown. But one thing is known for sure. The holy place will once again be located, dedicated and consecrated. We know this because of another New Testament prophecy written by Paul.

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

"Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (II Thes. 2:3,4).

   Here, Paul plainly states that the day of the Lord will be timed to follow the general revelation of the "son of perdition," the Antichrist. This passage clarifies Danielís statement about the desecration of the Temple, later quoted by Jesus as the "abomination of desolation."

  As Paul describes this consummate act of blasphemy, he refers to the Antichristís act as taking place in the "temple of God." The Greek word translated as "temple" is naos, a specific term used only in reference to the Holy of holies Ė the spot reserved for the placement of the Ark of the Covenant. Once again, we are brought back to ground purchased by David for an altar of sacrifice.

   Thus, the Antichrist stands in the place usually reserved for the High Priest, and then only once a year, on the Day of Atonement. Even worse, he presents himself as God! This assault upon Zion is an ultimate act of sacrilege.

   All this suggests that in the near future, the location of the Holy Place must be rediscovered, marked and agreed upon by Israeli religious authorities. Currently, there are active steps being pursued by both the Jerusalem Temple Institute and the newly-refounded Sanhedrin.

   In Revelation, we see what appears to be a survey of the Temple Mount, no doubt centered around the idea of precisely locating the Holy Place. It appears that this will be done in preparation for the Temple worship that is later usurped by the Antichrist.

"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

"But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months" (Rev. 11:1,2).

   This "court of the Gentiles" seems to be an artifact of the Tribulation Temple. We shall see that both Ezekiel and Revelation refer to it. Just as the ancient Antiochus IV Epiphanes, garbed as the Olympian Zeus, placed an image of himself there, the coming Antichrist will revisit the evil act:

"And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed" (Rev. 13:15).

The Third Temple

   The Antichrist Ė representative of the final Gentile world empire Ė will desecrate a restored Jewish sanctuary, to be sure. But apparently, it is only temporary. It could be the ancient tent fashioned by David, or it could be a temporary building. But the real and lasting Third Temple will be built by Messiah, Himself. This lengthy and detailed development is described by Ezekiel in chapters 40 through 48. Among the significant aspects of the process is the confirmation of the Holy Place:

"So he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said unto me, This is the most holy place" (Ezk. 41:4).

   After this, there is an interesting detail that reminds us of Revelation 11. Ezekiel speaks of the return of the Shekinah glory. But he also refers to a "profane place" that is apparently provided for Gentile use.

"He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place.

"Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east:

"And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory" (Ezk. 42:20 Ė 43:2).

In Revelation 11, John also sees where a court for the Gentiles is specifically laid out.

Jerusalem Rebuilt

   The Kingdom Temple described by Ezekiel in great detail is often referred to as the Third Temple. It will be the greatest and most detailed municipal plan ever undertaken. "Jerusalem, the Golden" will be its rightful name. It will be the seat of the Davidic throne. Perhaps Ornanís ancient threshing floor somehow will be preserved and displayed as the site of the Holy Place.

   A thousand years of Messianic rule will bless the earth. During that time, everyone on earth will pay homage and tribute to the reigning house of David. Satan will have been bound, and the earth restored.

   But at the end of the Millennium, Satan will be released, and there will come a new rebellion and judgment. Following the divine retribution of the Great White Throne, and the renewing of heaven and earth, Jerusalem will finally realize its destiny:

   It will suddenly appear above earth (perhaps in stationary orbit above the site of the old Jerusalem?) as a gleaming gem. Its very structure is freighted with meaning, with twelve foundations for the Apostles and twelve gates for the tribes of Israel.Its streets of transparent gold beggar the imagination. But, most amazing of all, it is illuminated by God:

"And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

"And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

"And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it" (Rev. 21:22-24).

   Notice that New Jerusalem has no temple. The redeemed, the Lord God and the Lamb become one. They are literally the new temple, as given in Revelation 3:12:

"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."

   Abraham and all the faithful will have eternal, complete and irrefutable identity with the living God. Like the Jews, let us remember the heartís cry of our destiny: "Next year in Jerusalem!"

 









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