A CHANGE OF EMPHASIS

(Trumpet Ministries, Inc. / Word of Righteousness)

A CHANGE OF EMPHASIS Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

All we associate with Heaven, the blessing, the peace, the joy, the wonder, the beauty, the holiness, the music of the angels, and—best of all—the Presence of the Father and the Lord Jesus, are coming to the earth.

Men will speak of the Ark of the Covenant no longer or of any other sacred object. Now we shall have the Person of God among us to love. All we have hoped for in Heaven will have come to the earth. We shall have the best of both worlds for an eternity in which each moment will be more glorious than the preceding.

A CHANGE OF EMPHASIS 

And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. (Jeremiah 3:6,17)

There was no object in all Judaism that approached the Ark of the Covenant in significance, in holiness, in veneration.

To announce "they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord" is to signal a change of emphasis as important, as dramatic, as radical as could be imagined.

The statement marked a change as desirable as it is profound, for now the city of Jerusalem is to be termed the Throne of the Lord.

One wonders if the Jews or the Christians have pondered the implications of this passage from Jeremiah.

Because the Lord Jesus Christ is coming soon, our understanding of the Scriptures is increasing. Knowledge hidden through the centuries is being given to the saints. The seals are being removed from God’s Word.

One of the aspects of understanding being given has to do with the goal of salvation.

What is it we are seeking? What do we hope to gain by accepting the Lord Jesus? By living righteously? What is salvation all about?

Paul says we are hoping for something. 

But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. (Romans 8:25)

We are to "wait for it."

What is "it"?

What are we Christians and Jews hoping for?

The assumption of all Christians, virtually without exception, is that the "it" is eternal residence in Heaven, in the paradise of the spirit realm. We want to go to Heaven when we die.

However, Paul is not referring to going to Heaven as our goal (nor does he ever do so). Paul is speaking of the redemption of our body and of the release of the material creation from the bondage of corruption and futility.

He is thinking primarily of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth, for this is the "Good News" of the Scriptures.

Somehow the Christians have gained the idea that God’s plan is to bring the redeemed to the realm of spirits to live forever with the angels.

Perhaps we got this doctrine from Jesus’ reference to the Kingdom of Heaven, or from His exhortation that we lay up treasures in Heaven; or possibly from the eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews, where we find Abraham looking for the city that has foundations.

But the Kingdom of Heaven is coming to earth. 

And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 3:2)

The treasures we lay up in Heaven will be brought to us with the return of the Lord, not, for the most part, given to us when we die. 

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Revelation 22:12)

The patriarchs are in Heaven with Jesus and the holy angels. But they have not attained their goal. They are waiting to enter the Kingdom with us. 

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: (Hebrews 11:39)

The patriarchs are in Heaven. But they have "received not the promise" because the promise is not residence in Heaven.

Consider the following:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; not the spiritual Heaven, but the material firmament—space, as we term it, with its suns and planets.

This was the beginning of the material creation—that which is to be released through the unveiling of the sons of God. 

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)

What existed before the beginning?

We do not know. It was a spirit realm inhabited by angels, cherubim, seraphim, and other creatures. These beings were not material. They were not in the image of God.

Were there trees, grass, animal, birds, hills, valleys in the spirit realm? We do not know. The Book of Revelation suggests a sea of glass, an altar, thrones, but never the paradise we imagine.

It was a marvelous day when God created the heavens and the earth, the material realm. Satan and the fallen angels hurried to leave their first estate and enter the earth. Why? Because the material realm is more desirable than the spiritual.

When God created the heavens and the earth He did not create a lesser realm, He created a greater. He did not create lesser creatures, He created greater.

Now Christians are hoping God will reverse Himself and bring us back to the prior condition. We want to leave the better realm, the material, and go back to the realm of angels.

God has a much better plan than that.

The material realm was created "very good" and still is very good. The problem is in the spirit realm. Wicked, rebellious spirits have entered the material realm, including our physical bodies. These unclean personalities are destroying everything they touch. Satan, their master, is perverse, treacherous, corrupt, lustful, murderous—abominable beyond all we can imagine.

God has no intention of abandoning His creation to unclean spirits. Rather, God is perfecting a royal priesthood consisting of the spirits of righteous people made perfect. 

To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just [righteous] men made perfect, (Hebrews 12:23)

When these righteous spirits have been prepared fully, Jesus and they will return to earth to drive out the evil spirits. 

And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 4:3)

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)

And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (Romans 16:20)

When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)

There are several such passages in the Old and New Testaments.

When the evil spirits have been driven from the material creation, Paradise will be restored to the earth. Nature, dead for six thousand years, will praise God once again, being made alive by the touch of the Spirit of God.

The creation once again will be both spiritual and material; not a dead physical thing but a living, joyous, singing creation.

For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12)

The wild animals will graze peacefully with the domestic. Nothing will hurt; nothing will dismay God’s innocents.

What happened? How did man lose Paradise in the beginning?

We lost Paradise because there was no wall around Eden. There was no voice that said with Divine power and wisdom, "Satan, keep out. The wicked, the deceitful, the rebellious, the violent, the drunken, the unclean, the adulterous, the bestial, are not permitted here."

At issue is the throne of righteousness and obedience to God—the throne of power, of authority, of government.

God walked in the garden of Eden but His throne was not in Eden. God did not choose to keep out evil. He did not choose to be the force or wisdom that would prevent innocent man from disobeying the Divine will.

Adam and Eve fell, as God knew they would.

God withdrew to the spirit realm. He placed a "heaven," so to speak, between Himself and His creation.

This condition was not to exist forever. The creation was left bound in the chains of futility in the hope one day God would be able to return to earth and bless His children with His Presence.

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, (Romans 8:20)

God’s plan is to create a royal priesthood that will govern the creation, insuring that rebellion never happens again. They are kings who will rule on the earth. They are priests who will bring the Presence of the Lord to every saved person.

The royal priesthood is symbolized by the wall surrounding the Bride of the Lamb, the holy city, the new Jerusalem.

Our prayer is that God’s Kingdom will come to the earth, and the throne of government, of rule, of law will abide with us forever.

The prayer is of God. It is to be answered soon. His will shall be done in earth as it is in Heaven. There are to be no more rebellions. God’s Son in the sons will make certain of that!

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (Hebrews 1:8)

Notice:

Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? (Isaiah 66:1)

What is Heaven ? Heaven is God’s throne. Heaven is the place of government, of rule, of law. What is the earth? The earth is God’s footstool. It is God’s intention that the throne be joined to the footstool.

God’s will is to be done in earth as it is in Heaven. Why is God’s will done in Heaven? Because Heaven is the Throne of God, the place where He governs.

Let us look once again at the extraordinary statement of Jeremiah.

At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. (Jeremiah 3:17)

"They shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord."

What does this mean?

It means Heaven will be installed on the earth.

All we associate with Heaven, the blessing, the peace, the joy, the wonder, the beauty, the holiness, the music of the angels, and—best of all—the Presence of the Father and the Lord Jesus, are coming to the earth.

The new Jerusalem is the Church, the Bride of the Lamb. It is the result of the work of God among the saints of the old covenant.

And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: (Revelation 21:12)

And among the saints of the new covenant:

And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (Revelation 21:14)

The names of twenty-four Jews are in the new Jerusalem.

As we said before, the new Jerusalem will be perfected in the spirit realm.

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just [righteous] men made perfect, (Hebrews 12:22,23)

"The spirits of righteous men made perfect."

And then descends to the new earth.

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

The holy city is the Church, the Bride of the Lamb.

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. (Revelation 21:9)

The new Jerusalem is "the bride, the Lamb’s wife." The Lamb of God, Christ, has only one wife. The Wife of the Lamb is the Church, the Israel of God, including the elect of the Jews and the elect of the Gentiles.

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Ephesians 2:19,20)

This fact must be established in the minds of the Jews of today. They are being informed incorrectly that if someone has not had the opportunity to "accept Christ" according to the current Christian formula he is not part of the Bride of the Lamb. This doctrine is incorrect. The saints of the old covenant are participating in all the acts of redemption as these acts proceed from the Father through Christ.

Remember, Christ preaches in the realm of spirits as well as on the earth.

By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (I Peter 3:19)

The saints of the old covenant are a part of us and will be made perfect together with us.

God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:40)

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the rest of God’s worthies shall enter the Kingdom of God.

And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 8:11)

The Church, the new Jerusalem, is built on the Hebrew Prophets and the Apostles of the Lamb. It is one Church, one Body, one Israel of God, one eternal Temple of God, one Seed of Abraham.

The Mount of Transfiguration was a preview of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.

Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. (Matthew 16:28)

Moses and Elijah were standing on the earth with the three Apostles of the new covenant and were raising questions concerning the work of atonement Jesus was to perform.

Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. (Luke 9:31)

The old covenant saints are one with us and participate in all aspects of the Kingdom of God. In fact it is we who participate with them, because the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is to the Jew first.

The new Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God, the Throne of God, will be located forever on earth; not in the spirit realm or beyond the clouds but on earth.

It is Jerusalem; not America, not New York, not London, not Paris, but Jerusalem. God’s purposes are centered in Jerusalem—nowhere else. The Kingdom shall come to Jerusalem.

The city of Jerusalem will rule over the nations of saved peoples of the earth for eternity.

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. (Revelation 21:24)

There is one aspect of this city so important it eclipses the other wonders—it is the Throne of God and the Lamb!

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: (Revelation 22:3)

The Throne of God will have moved from the spirit realm and come to earth.

The Throne of God Almighty will be on the earth. All we hope for in Heaven will then be on the earth.

Redeemed mankind is not destined to return to the spirit realm, except temporarily while we wait for the coming of the Lord. All that Heaven means to us is coming to the earth. When all God spoke into being during the six days of creation will have come to pass, Heaven will be on the earth. Heaven will be a city. Heaven will be Jerusalem.

Jerusalem will be the Throne of the Lord.

Jerusalem will be Heaven.

Now we understand the importance of the resurrection from the dead. We are resurrected so we may be able to go to Jerusalem to be with the Lord.

Therefore prophesy and say unto them, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. (Ezekiel 37:12)

We are not destined to live forever in the spirit realm. We are destined to live forever in the physical realm on a redeemed earth. This is why our bodies will be redeemed.

And not only they [the material creation], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:23)

Because God and the Lamb are dwelling in the Church, in the new Jerusalem, the Church will have become Heaven. This is God’s eternal plan.

What does this mean to the nations of saved peoples of the earth?

It means they will not pray to God above the firmament but to God in Jerusalem. People will be able to go to Jerusalem and receive the Word of the Lord. They will receive eternal life and be healed by the leaves of the tree of life.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2,3)

The nations will not pray to God above the stars, they will go up to God’s house, to the Church. God in His Church will teach the nations. God will have come to the earth.

Let us look once more at Jeremiah.

At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. (Jeremiah 3:17)

Jerusalem will be the throne of the Lord. In the city of Jerusalem will be all that man associates with Heaven, with Paradise.

The Old Testament teaches us that the Glory of God will come to Jerusalem.

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. (Isaiah 65:17,18)

Somehow the Christian churches have lost sight of this. The removal of the Old Testament doctrine of the goal of redemption may have come about because of the rejection of the Jews by the early Christian leadership. At some point, the idea that the goal of salvation is to live forever in the spirit realm became the assumption of Christian believers. This change of goal probably came from the teaching of Gnosticism, which emphasizes that matter is inherently evil and spirit is inherently good.

Throughout history the large Christian organizations have hated the Jews. This hatred is of Satan who understands that the world will be governed from Jerusalem. It is no coincidence that there is a Moslem mosque constructed at the site from which the world will be ruled.

The leadership of the Jews has responded to this hatred by rejecting all Christians. Unfortunately the Jewish people associate Christianity and the Christian churches with the Roman Catholic Church and other large denominations. Many Jews think gentile and Christian are synonymous. Christians realize this is not a balanced viewpoint. The Jews do not understand what a true Christian is.

However, the Word of God shall stand. God in His sovereignty already is delivering Jewish people from their misconceptions and prejudices against Jesus and the true Christians, and is giving Christian people a love and appreciation for the Jews. The end result will be that the elect of God, Jewish and Gentile, become one in God’s hand. Christ will be King over them. There is no power that can prevent the written Word of God Almighty from being fulfilled in its entirety.

And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. (Ezekiel 37:22)

The two nations refer to Joseph (the marriage of Jew and Gentile), and Judah (the elect Jews).

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10:16)

Today the leadership of the Christian churches as well as the leadership of the Jews might not accept the doctrine that the elect Jews and the elect Gentiles will be one fold on the mountains of Israel. Nevertheless such a union certainly shall come to pass. The day is coming when the Jews will discover the strongest supporters their nation has are the devout Christian saints, the true Christians—the believers whose life is one with the Lord Jesus.

The Ark of the Covenant represented the Presence of God. The Ark will be seen at the beginning of the thousand-year Kingdom Age because the Ark signifies the warrior remnant who will be raised as a firstfruits to rule with the Lord.

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. (Revelation 11:19)

At the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age a far grander gift will be given. The entire Church will descend from the spirit realm, having been perfected there. The warrior remnant will be a wall around the greater Bride. All the elect will be present. In them will be the Throne of God.

For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. (Isaiah 62:1-7)

What will be left in the spirit realm? We do not know—or care. All that interests us will now be on the earth for eternity.

Will people still pray as they used to, now that Heaven is on the earth? Certainly. The Lord Jesus prays, and He is in Heaven before the Throne of God!

God will be everywhere as He always has been. But His throne, His place of government, the center of His Presence and the revelation of Himself through the Lord Jesus, will be forever on the earth.

We shall see His face. We shall rule over the nations of the saved, and the nations will come to be blessed by us who are the members of the royal priesthood.

Men will speak of the Ark no longer or of any other sacred object. There is no temple in the new Jerusalem other than God and the Lamb Themselves. Now we will have the Person of God among us to love. All we have hoped for in Heaven will have come to the earth. We shall have the best of both worlds for an eternity in which each moment will be more glorious than the previous.