A City on the Edge Of Eternity
By: Gary Stearman
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
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
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"
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
"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"
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"
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,
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.
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
"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
"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 mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of
life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually"
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"
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
"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
"To the chief Musician
on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song of Asaph. In Judah is God known: his name is great
"In Salem also is his
tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion"
The Assault Upon 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
"The LORD shall count,
when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah"
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:
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
"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.
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
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
"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"
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
"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
"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:
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"
Zion in the New Testament
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.
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
"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"
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
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"
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
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"
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.
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"
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!"