Copyright © 2017 Robert B Thompson. All Rights Reserved.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

It appears to me there are two Zions, an earthly one and a heavenly one. Otherwise, we must be prepared to throw out the earthly Zion as being of no account or be willing to accept the monstrous idea that a “Gentile Church” has taken the place of God’s chosen people.

Zion number one:

Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. (Galatians 4:25)

Zion number two:

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24)

After the resurrection from the dead, the new Jerusalem will descend through the new sky to be installed on a high mountain of the new earth. This is a third Zion, in that the first two Zions then shall have become one Zion.

Does the Bible say that Jerusalem will have a role in the future? It certainly does. But which Jerusalem?

Many peoples will come and say,“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)

The question is, when and where does this take place? Is this speaking of a “Gentile” Church? We probably would agree this hardly is a Gentile Church. We know Isaiah will be fulfilled in the new Jerusalem on the new earth.

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. (Revelation 21:24)

But will Isaiah ever be fulfilled on the present earth? My personal opinion is that Isaiah 2:3 will be fulfilled on the present earth, when Jesus returns. Think about the context:

He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:4)

The passage above certainly sounds more like the present earth than it does the new earth of Revelation chapter 21.

But how can the physical land and people of the present Israel experience such glory, when the Apostle Paul says: she is in slavery with her children?

I now will give you my opinion. See what you think of it.

God uses the human body to perfect our spirit. The numerous pains and problems we experience cause us to keep praying for deliverance and otherwise interacting with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Some day in the future we will experience resurrection. This means that our body will be transformed from its familiar metabolism and be activated by the Spirit of God. This will take place after our inner personality has been changed according to the will of God.

I think the same may be true of the two Zions. The Zion that presently is in the spirit world is being perfected. The Deliverer (the Head and Body of Christ) will come in the power of the Spirit of God and deliver earthly Zion from all that hinders the Glory of God.

But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and Jacob will possess his inheritance. Jacob will be a fire and Joseph a flame; Esau will be stubble, and they will set him on fire and destroy him. There will be no survivors from Esau. The Lord has spoken. (Obadiah 1:17,18)
Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion to govern the mountains of Esau. And the kingdom will be the Lord’s. (Obadiah 1:21)
Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. (Micah 5:3)
She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. (Revelation 12:5)
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)

This will take place after the Battle of Armageddon and the cleansing of the earth by Joel’s army. The heavenly Zion will enfold the earthly Zion, cleansing it from every work of the flesh, by the Holy Spirit, from all that is not according to the image of God.

Then the Lord Jesus will govern the nations of the earth from the earthly city of Jerusalem. That which is described in Isaiah shall take place.

Whether the members of the heavenly Zion, having come to the earth and become part of the earthly Zion, will remain invisible I do not know. Perhaps what is seen by the nations of the earth will be only the members of the earthly Zion, now filled with the Glory of God. Remember, the members of the heavenly Zion will be in resurrection bodies, like that of the Lord Jesus after His resurrection. They can be visible to the people of the earth or not visible, as they choose.

It is like that today. There are the visible churches. But working behind them, remaining invisible, are Christ, the holy angels, the Holy Spirit, and we do not know who else. Isn’t it so? If that were not the case, nothing of Kingdom significance would result from the actions of Christian people.

I believe the reason Satan works so hard to keep the Jewish people (and the Gentiles as well) thinking that the Christian Church somehow is Gentile and the Jewish people have their own church separate from the Christians, is that Satan understands that the wisdom and power of the Kingdom of God can come to the earth only as the two Zions become one.

I think the two Zions will be one during the thousand-year Kingdom Age, although, as I stated previously, the heavenly Zion may remain invisible. In fact, it is a firstfruits of the heavenly Zion that will be on earth with the Lord Jesus and the earthly Zion during the Kingdom Age. The majority of the members of the heavenly Zion will still be being perfected in the spirit world.

These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. (Revelation 12:4)

Then, when the new Jerusalem descends through the new sky to be located forever on a high mountain of the new earth, the two Zions will have been made one Royal Priesthood that will bring the rule and blessing to the ever-expanding humanity for eternity.

* * *

When I first became a Christian I was somewhat like Diogenes of old, declaring to the believers that eternal residence in Heaven is not the goal of salvation.

It was not clear what the goal actually is, but I understood that it was not to sit around in Paradise doing nothing of significance.

One thing was clear to me—the Bible did not say we are saved to escape Hell and live forever in Heaven.

I fastened on the idea that our goal is to be made in the image of God in the way we behave. Also, that we are to be at rest in God’s perfect will.

But why?

One time I asked the church of which I am pastor: “What do you want to do in Heaven?”

A hard-working man answered, “Play golf.”

This is interesting, in that there is a golf course in our city. One does not have to go to Heaven to play golf.

But the man was tired, and playing golf sounded pretty good.

However, the Bible emphasizes being brought to the full stature of Christ, and entering the “rest” of God.

But why are such rigorous efforts necessary if we are going to lay around in Paradise after we die?

Or maybe those efforts are not necessary. Perhaps we go to Heaven “by grace” and after we “believe” in Christ, nothing else is necessary in order to escape Hell.

It is possible that most Christian people are under this delusion.

And then there is John chapter 17. What does it mean when it says we belonged to God and now He is calling us out of the world to belong to Christ? Is this what it means to be saved?

What is this mystery actually all about?

At the present time I am working on the meaning of the Kingdom of God. What does that have to do with anything? Why are we to pray “Your will be done on the earth” if we are saved to go to Heaven and live there forever?

And what did the Lord Jesus mean by declaring that He was praying for a small group of people who belonged to Him in a special way, and not for the world?

Is the Kingdom of God the same as Heaven? I don’t believe so.

You know what I think? I think I am gaining some understanding of what salvation is all about, and so I will share my thoughts with you.

Let’s take a look at John chapter 17.

John 17 is written to the Church, not to the people of the world. This accounts for the statement, “I am not praying for the world. I am praying for those whom you have given me.”

The Christian Church, including both Jews and Gentiles, is a relatively small group of people. They are called out from the world, not to go to Heaven but to be trained as a priesthood. Their role in eternity is to govern and bring the Presence and blessing of God to the people of the nations who have been spared from Divine wrath by placing their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and being baptized in water.

And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. (Isaiah 61:6)

You might protest, “But this promise is to Israel.” Exactly. Who are Israel? All who are the Seed of Abraham. Who are the Seed of Abraham? All who are part of the Lord Jesus Christ!

The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. (Galatians 3:16)

The saved from the nations, the “sheep,” are a very large group indeed and their numbers will increase for eternity.

If you understand the preceding paragraph, you will know what the Christian Gospel is all about.

There is an eternal difference between the people addressed in John chapter 17, and the remainder of the people who are saved. John chapter 17 represents the “wall” of the new Jerusalem, so to speak.

The Church is the governing body of the Kingdom of God, and the “sheep” of the nations are those whom the Church, the Royal Priesthood, governs and blesses with eternal life. This is true of the nations of the world today, isn’t it? There is a governing body, and then a populace. But it is one nation.

To be saved from eternal separation from God in the Day of Wrath we must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be baptized in water. Also, we must always obey the Lord Jesus.

To be a member of the Church we must continue in the work of redemption until we are in the full moral image of Christ and at rest in the center of God’s perfect will.

The Church is the new Jerusalem, set forth in the Book of Revelation. The new Jerusalem is the Royal Priesthood, the place of God’s throne. The Royal Priesthood is the Chariot of God, so to speak. It goes everywhere, maintaining the will of God throughout the universe.

As we notice in John 17, each member of the Church is elect, chosen by the Father. This does not mean they are better than everyone else; it indicates simply that they are a priesthood, much like the priests of Israel under the Law of Moses.

The term “church” literally means “called out from” (the world).

As we go through John 17, please keep in mind that Jesus is speaking to His disciples, His Royal Priesthood, His Church.

John 17:1. After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.”

Whenever God chooses to use us in some manner, we immediately are to point toward Christ and God.

Although the Father was dwelling in Christ in His Fullness, He also is in Heaven.

We never are to pray to the Christ who is in us, or attempt to use the Christ who is in us. We always are to pray to the Father in Heaven.

If all the Christians in the world joined hands that they might multiply the power of the Christ who is in them, they would not have more power than one Christian alone. This is important to remember, because Christians in the future may attempt to gain power in this manner. So great is the wickedness of man!

John 17:2. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.

The Lord Jesus has total authority over all mankind. Jesus Christ gives eternal life to those God has given to Him. Bringing people to Christ is to be a God-directed procedure, not like the programs of our day that too often are directed by human thinking and desires.

It absolutely is true that whoever chooses to come to Christ and be baptized may do so and thus be saved from the Divine wrath. But John chapter 17 is written to the Royal Priesthood, to those who are chosen from the ranks of mankind to be part of the Body of the Anointed One, the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 17:3. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Paul emphasized, in Philippians chapter 3, the importance of knowing Christ. What does it mean to know God and Jesus Christ, and why is this eternal life?

Eternal Life is fellowship with God and Christ. I think the man-made doctrine of the Trinity works against our knowing God and Christ as we should. The Trinity is a somewhat incomprehensible Being hidden away up in Heaven. How can one know It or Them?

The truth is, the Father and the Son are People whom we can know as one knows a friend. They are right by us, closer to us than we realize. I think it is true that the role of the Spirit is to communicate to us the will of the Father and the Son.

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. (I John 1:3)

A this time in my Christian discipleship I am cultivating this closeness, this Reality. I speak to the Son and the Father continually. When the Son tells me to do something, or advises me concerning some decision, I take this advice to the Father immediately. I ask the Father to direct His power and wisdom to the advice I have been given by His Son.

One device I use to keep in touch with God is to ask the Lord what it will be like when He takes me home. Then He asks me what I would like to have happen. I tell Him what I really would like to have happen, what it would be like if it would be left up to me. But I always conclude by saying, “Not my will but yours be done.”

In review:

  1. When the Lord Jesus speaks to me, I immediately go to the Father and pray in Jesus’ name that the Father will give me the wisdom and power to do what Jesus has said.
  2. Two or three times a day, and again at night, I pray that Christ will cleanse my mind of my thoughts, and music, and ask to have them replaced with God’s thoughts.
  3. I ask the Lord Jesus what it will be like when He takes me home.
  4. I tell the Lord Jesus what I would like to be true when He takes me home.
  5. I like to remind the Father that Jesus said we are to live by every Word of God. Then I ask God what His Word is to me right this minute so I can live by it. These conversations and interactions are my life at this time.

It is obvious that as these dialogues proceed I am gaining in the knowledge of God and Christ, which is eternal life. I do not know about you, but I must keep asking Christ to remove useless thoughts and music from my mind so I freely can maintain my fellowship with the Lord.

God desires a family of people who have His same Character. From this Character flows behavior in the image of God. Such is the only true righteousness.

The best of all lives is the continual enjoyment of God’s Presence and will. We may be like the prodigal son that Jesus told us about. After numerous accomplishments of no eternal value, we return to our Father and our home. There we find righteousness, love, joy, and peace.

I practice this fellowship continually throughout the day, and the night when I am conscious. The dialogue is continuous. And the Father brings fulfillment of the Words of the Son to me—perfect fulfillment, that which I ordinarily am not able to perform.

I look up to the Father in Heaven. Then I pray: “The Lord Jesus said such and such to me. Help! Jesus said that to me. Help!” Then here comes the desired behavior. Can you see how this constant interaction with the Son and the Father bring ever increasing knowledge of Them to me?

Now, how is such knowledge eternal Life? There are only three kinds of life we can pursue:

  • The demon-driven life;
  • The human life in which we do our own planning according to our own desires;
  • The God-directed and enabled Life I have just described. Such is “eternal Life,” because it forever brings righteousness, love, joy, and peace to all who participate in the heavenly dialogue.

The demon-driven life results in sinful behavior and leads the participant into unimaginable horrors and torment. This is not life but death.

The human life of imagination, scheming, and planning based on human, faulty desires, ends eventually in physical death. There is little or no fellowship with God and Christ during this time—much sinful behavior, little righteousness, love, peace, and joy. It certainly is an undesirable kind of life, if one could call it life.

We understand, then, that the Life that God gives to Christ to give to the elect, is truly eternal and greatly to be desired. The Life of continual dialogue with the Son and the Father is what the writer of the Book of Hebrews means by the “rest” of God. During the seventh “day,” as recorded in Genesis chapter 1, our life was ordained in detail.

Three aspects of entering the rest of God:

  • Avoid being immersed in the things of our culture.
  • Confess and turn from the unclean spirits in our flesh.
  • Follow the will of God and Christ rather than our own will.

How can we know what we are supposed to do? We must cease from our own planning and activities and keep looking Christ to see that we are living according to that which was planned for us from the beginning. There is no other acceptable kind of life for the member of the Royal Priesthood.

God is in the process of preparing us to govern for eternity the works of His hands. We are the members of the supreme Ruler, the Lord Jesus Christ. We continually must be speaking and listening to God.

John 17:4. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.

When we come near to the end of our life, how many of us can say, “I have finished the work you have given me to do”? How many of us know what work God has given us to do? Only those who live in the rest of God, who are in daily communication with the Lord Jesus Christ, are keenly aware of what purpose God has for them.

John 17:5. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

None of us can say this, because we were not with the Father when the world began. It is interesting to me that Christ could remember the period before He, the Word of God, became flesh.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:1)

With this memory, it is not surprising that on the cross He cried out: “Why have you forsaken me?”

Perhaps we can see from this interaction that the Father and the Son are two distinct Individuals, although One in some spiritual manner. We also have been called to be part of this Oneness, as we can see toward the end of chapter 17.

We, if we wish to, can have fellowship with these two People and become one with Them as they are One. It is for this reason that I am not fond of the unscriptural doctrine of the “Trinity.” As least for me, the concept of the Trinity does not lend itself to the close fellowship God desires that we have with the Father and the Son.

I desire to be one with Jesus, and I am sure you do also. This is His desire, as He said, “That they may be with Me where I am.”

John 17:6. I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.

This sixth verse is significant. The Words of the Lord Jesus in John 17 are not pointed at the general populace of the world, it appears. They tell of people whom the Father gave to Jesus from the people of the world. These individuals at one time belonged to the Father. Now the Father has given them to Jesus. And they have obeyed the Father’s Word.

It appears there are two categories of people who are to be saved from the destruction that will come from the Divine wrath. The first and by far the largest category is drawn from the general populace of the world—anyone who is willing to believe in Christ to the point of accepting Him, always obeying Him as our rightful Lord.

The second category of people is the Royal Priesthood. They have been chosen to be specially close to God and Christ, and compose one might say a firstfruits to God and the Lamb.

These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. (Revelation 14:4)
You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (I Peter 2:5)

There are many passages that point out the difference between the spiritual Israel, and the saved people from the nations. I have written on this concept so frequently that anyone can pursue the topic in my writings.

Perhaps the clearest presentation of the two classes of saved people is found in Revelation chapter 21. The new Jerusalem is the Church, the Royal Priesthood. It governs and brings the Presence of God to the saved people from the nations of the earth.

Notice the distinction in the following passage:

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. (Revelation 21:24,25)

“Its light” and “into it” refer to the new Jerusalem, the Royal Priesthood. “The kings of the earth” speak of the nations of people who have been saved from wrath but who are not members of the Royal Priesthood. They are the “sheep” from the nations, of Matthew chapter 25.

I hope no one regards this distinction as being a mere theologic detail. It is of great importance when one is seeking to understand the Kingdom of God.

The practical importance is the understanding that the Christian organizations desire to bring the Gospel to the world. However, the Christian centuries to the present hour actually are for the purpose of calling out of the world and bringing to full stature the members of the Royal Priesthood, the Body of the Messiah.

Once this has been accomplished, the Divine Glory will be manifest in God’s Israel, the Christian Church. Then the sheep of the nations will come to true Israel (elect from every nationality, including the Jewish people) and they will be taught to worship and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. (Isaiah 60:1-3)
Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:3,4)

I believe we are trying to teach the world, when God has promised to instruct numerous people as soon as the Royal Priesthood has been brought to maturity.

If we understand the distinction between the Royal Priesthood and the saved peoples of the nations, we should devote a major part of our efforts to bringing to spiritual maturity the church members, and not content ourselves with the task of spreading the Gospel among the unsaved.

We keep on bringing spiritual babies into the churches who are of little threat to the kingdom of Satan. The nations of the earth stagger forward in spiritual darkness, while the denominations are bringing more babies into the churches.

As far as the Kingdom of God is concerned, one believer who is walking in close fellowship with the Father and the Son is worth a thousand “Christians in name only” who occupy the pews on Sunday morning.

From what I have experienced, I believe the Christian leaders of our day are so fanatically dedicated to the idea that they are to seek to “save” every person in the world, that the concept that God has some people in a given locality who belong to Him in a special way (and as a result the Gospel must be forcefully emphasized in that area) will not be received as readily as God’s holy Word should be.

John 17:7. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.
John 17:8. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.

This is to say, we believe that the Words and works of the Lord Jesus Christ actually come from the Father. And this is true. We do believe that the things of Christ come from God. The members of the priesthood have been given that faith. This is why through the centuries Christians have suffered and died as they upheld the cross of Calvary.

The “success” preaching of our day has little in common with the true Gospel of the Kingdom of God. “Success” preaching is more of metaphysics than it is of the Spirit of God.

I was not brought up in church and did not understand the Gospel of redemption. However, I was very curious about the meaning of life. It appeared to me to be an endless attempt to gain material security. I examined some philosophies. The Book of Ecclesiastes of the Bible seemed to me to be the closest repository of truth that I had come across.

I enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of seventeen. There I met a Christian boy who told me about Jesus and His work of redemption. This made a great deal of sense to me, and I began to see some purpose in life. So I began to study the Bible. It was the first presentation of a philosophy that I could not penetrate. In all the other philosophies, I could sense the human agency behind the arguments. The Bible was the first philosophy in which I could not sense a human agency. It had to come from God!

“For I gave them the words you gave me.” After reading the Bible for a while, I became convinced that Jesus Christ had come from God and had spoken God’s Words. I could not detect a human agency behind those Words.

John 17:9. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.

I heard a pastor say, “Jesus did not pray for the world because it is we believers who are to pray for the world.” But this is the same, old, religious emphasis that always misses the truth. The reason Jesus did not pray for the world, but for those God has given them, is that they belong to God in a manner that is not true of the world. In fact, they are the family of God.

The philosophy of humanism that places the interests of man above the interests of God has so permeated Christian thinking that it is a marvel we Christians understand anything about the Gospel of the Kingdom.

It is obvious in verse 9 that some people belong to God in a special way. I do not believe the philosophy of humanism would ever accept this, and so it will never understand that there is a Royal Priesthood that is distinguished from the ranks of saved people, according to the election of God. The pride of mankind will not tolerate such an elite.

And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more (I Thessalonians 4:10)
“For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”
(Acts 18:10)

I think it follows if the Lord had many people in Corinth, then there were also people in Corinth who did not belong to the Lord. It appears that this is the same concept that we found in an earlier part of John 17.

John 17:10. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.

This reminds us of marriage, doesn’t it? This must be true of every genuine disciple of the Lord Jesus. All we have belongs to Him. When this is true of us, then all Jesus has is ours. If we have not already made this dedication, we are wise if we hasten to do so.

We always must be careful that if people begin to be impressed with us, which people often are prone to do, that we insist that the praise and glory be given to the Lord Jesus. After all, this is only fair. He is the One who enables us to do that which is praiseworthy.

John 17:11. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. (John 17:11—KJV)

I think this is the first time the Lord Jesus advances one of the most important concepts of the Christian salvation—that we are to be one body in Christ to the extent that Christ and the Father are one. I do not understand why this idea is not emphasized more than it is in Christian preaching, for it is an awesome statement.

The Father and the Son are One in Spirit to such a degree that it is not uncommon for Christian leaders to teach that they are the same Person. The concept of Christ and the Father being the same Person is not in keeping with numerous Christian passages; nevertheless it often is held forth as a prime thesis of Evangelical theology.

But why are we believers one with the Lord Jesus to such an incredible extent? It has little to do with our adamic personality. Rather, the oneness of all true members of the Royal Priesthood is a product of the fact that we eat the same flesh of Christ; we drink the same blood of Christ; we have the same eternal life—that of the Spirit of God. There is no other way by which our oneness is established.

Certainly not by agreement in doctrine, because agreement in doctrine is not the basis of our oneness. In fact it is our common flesh, blood, and Spirit that eventually will result in an agreement in doctrine, not the other way around. I have learned this through experience.

When it comes to agreement in theology, we Christians argue as much as the Jews do. Perhaps that is because we also are part of Israel, of the one Seed of Abraham.

There only is one true God—the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is our subscription to that one Name, that one God, that is the ultimate basis of our oneness in Christ in God.

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (John 17:12—KJV)

The Lord Jesus did not keep the disciples in His own name but in the name of the Father. Christ always pointed to the Father.

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:17)

It is interesting to note the minimal attention that Christ paid to Judas. He ignored the fact that Judas was being deceived by the lord of darkness as well as stealing from the common purse. Christ knew that the Father eventually would take care of Judas.

And so the Father did. In God’s time, Judas was revealed to the disciples and finally to the whole world as a traitor. The Scripture speaks of the son of perdition. And so the Scripture was fulfilled.

Let this be a lesson to us who pastor not to focus on wicked people in the assembly. Even though we know they are not with us, if we concentrate on the good that God is doing, the evil will be manifest at the proper time. This will ensure that we maintain a wholesome attitude that will bless those in the congregation who have faithful hearts.

John 17:13. I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

Jesus tells His disciples that they are to be filled with joy. Even though He Himself was facing Calvary, He spoke of His joy. So it is that His Word bring joy to His true disciples, even when they are facing unpleasantness of all kinds.

It is not just joy, it is His joy that is so powerful that it keeps us going through difficult circumstances.

John 17:14. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.

Here is a statement we American Christians need to consider. Because our country originally was composed of numerous Christian people, we think of ourselves as being a Christian nation. We no longer are that! The Muslim religion aggressively is seeking to make America a Muslim nation. We Christians take it for granted that we are a Christian nation because of our background. The truth is we are a Christian nation in name only.

We have embraced our democratic culture thinking it is God-centered. It is not. It is money-sex-entertainment centered. If we took away the pursuit of money, sexual excesses, and electronic entertainment, what would be left? Denying ourselves and taking up our cross of deferred desire? Not likely!

We are backslidden, and too soft to overcome the chaos on the horizon. Unless we enter a vital, continual dialogue with the Father and the Son, we are going to slide down into the torments of Hell. We will not be able to save ourselves or others.

Could you and I say we are not of this world? Perhaps not.

John 17:15. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

Here is a verse for those of us who are looking for an any-moment “rapture.” It is not Christ’s prayer that the Father take us out of this world but that He protect us from the deceptions of Satan.

Notice the parallel expression in a “rapture passage”:

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

“…take us out of this world but that He protect us…”

“…keep you from the hour of trial…”

The same Greek language is employed.

It is taught commonly that the meaning of Revelation 3:10 is that God will keep us from the Great Tribulation by carrying us up to Heaven. Actually the meaning of Revelation 3:10 is that if we remain true to the commands of Christ, Christ will protect us from the deceptions of Satan. Christ is not praying that the Father will spare us from the hour of trial by lifting us to Heaven but that He will protect us from the evil one.

It reminds us of the ninety-first Psalm. Thousands may fall on each side of us, but the Divine destruction does not come near us when we are abiding in Christ.

John 17:16. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

Now here is an amazing statement. The members of the Church, of the Royal Priesthood, of the Body of Christ are not of the present world just as Jesus Christ Himself is not of the present world.

For this reason we are exhorted to be holy as God is holy. This means we do not yield to the unclean spirits that are living in our flesh. We are in the world but not of the world.

Satan has captured the minds of the Christian young people with the satanic monsters portrayed on the electronic tablets. We may think these electronic games are harmless.

However, the Apostle Paul in the Book of Romans instructed us that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Satan is making sure that the Christian young people in America are having their minds renewed by gazing constantly at the personalities, the monsters, that have been disfigured by sin and Satan.

The fascination with what is being portrayed on the tablets is in preparation for the coming time when Satan and his demons have been cast down to the earth and are visible to us. Satan wants us to receive his monsters as good citizens.

Sometimes pastors mock believers who are seeking a life of holiness by saying, “They are so heavenly minded they are no earthly good.” The truth often is, the members of the congregation often are so earthly minded they are no heavenly good.

The Lord Jesus Christ was the most heavenly minded Person who ever walked on the earth. He also was the most earthly good and the most heavenly good of any other individual who has lived on the earth.

To not be of this world even as Jesus is not of this world takes quite a bit of dedication. Would you agree with that?

John 17:17. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

We are set apart as holy by the Word that the Lord Jesus has given to us. However, many preachers of our day are not preaching what our Lord said but their own traditions.

Probably the most destructive of the traditions is the message that Divine “grace” is an alternative to obeying God because God’s will for us is far too difficult for any of us to obey. This is what I was taught when I first became a Christian.

The truth is, it is Satan who is impossible to satisfy, not the God of Heaven.

God never commands us to do anything without giving us the “grace” to obey (not disobey) Him. This simple Bible-truth is not known to most Evangelical Christians. The result of such ignorance is the moral immaturity of many Christian believers. They are not living righteous lives but instead are “believing” in Christ as a substitute for righteous behavior and a holy life. What a masterful deception.

We are called to obey Christ, not just “believe in Him” whatever that means.

  • There is Divine grace to forgive us of our sins.
  • There is Divine grace to deliver us from our sins, if we acknowledge them and, with Christ’s assistance, turn away from them.

Perhaps the second most destructive doctrine is that of the any-moment “rapture” of the believers to deliver them from trouble. Paul told us to prepare for the “evil day.” But we are told that for us there will be no evil day, so why should we draw close to Jesus today? We won’t be here when the evil day comes!

Do you believe it is Jesus, or is it Satan, who is telling us we do not need to prepare because Jesus is going to carry us to Heaven to protect us? There is no clear passage of Scripture that teaches us that Jesus is going to take us to Heaven to protect us; but God’s people often do not read the New Testament carefully but believe uncritically whatever the pastor says. If they did read the New Testament carefully they would realize that the teaching of an “any-moment rapture” is not found in the Book.

God has given us the present period of time to draw near to Christ and find out what He is doing now. There are marvelous open doors that will be discovered by those who draw near to Jesus today. They will prepare themselves and save themselves and their loved ones throughout the coming days of chaos. The unprepared Christians will leave Christ in the confusion. Those who endure to the end shall be saved.

The “success” teaching is of the False Prophet (read Revelation 19:20), and will lead its proponents to destruction. Jesus has not called us to success in the present world but to the knowledge of the Father.

All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (Matthew 11:27)

The knowledge of the Father is the “rest” into which we are to enter. But instead of the knowledge of the Father we are being taught that there is an incomprehensible Being in Heaven, whether one God or three we are not certain.

What is certain is that it would be quite difficult to have fellowship with an incomprehensible “Trinity.” We are to have close fellowship with the Father and the Son. It is They who will save us during the terrible Day that is ahead for us Americans.

There are other unscriptural teachings in our day, too numerous to mention. If we are wise we will give at least a half an hour each day reading a Bible that we can understand and enjoy, meanwhile asking God to speak to us.

Do not tell me you do not have time to get alone with God. Do you have time for the television? The television will not save you in the Day that is coming to America because of our multitude of sins.

John 17:18. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

I do not know if I have ever thought of myself as being sent into the world. Have you? Of course, Christ was speaking to His Apostles. They were sent to many places, telling of what they had experienced with the Lord of Glory.

From these eleven men, and their helpers, both male and female, the foundation was laid that has brought us to Christ today. As they were faithful to share what they had been given, let us also be true to what we experience with God and Christ so those who come after us will be able to stand on our shoulders, so to speak, and bear witness of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.

John 17:19. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

The Lord Jesus did not live an ordinary life, as a carpenter’s son. Instead He set Himself apart each day, getting up early in the morning and going alone into a place of prayer.

He gave up a normal Jewish life. So it is true that if we are to spend time each day in prayer, sharing in every activity of our culture may not be possible.

Our primary goal in this present life is to obey Christ throughout each day. We may not be able to participate in all parts of the American culture if we are to please God. We are to hold the world lightly realizing that we are called to serve God and glorify Him, not only by our words but also by our behavior.

Because Jesus was faithful in serving God in order that we might come to know the Father, we also must be faithful in serving God if we desire that the people around us also may glorify God and come to know Him.

John 17:20. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.

You and I believe in Christ, thanks to the efforts of the first Apostles. They suffered much, and I think most or all of them were martyred. But they, and those faithful men and women who followed them, gave the Gospel to us.

It certainly is true that the Gospel has fallen on hard times in our day in America. Much error is being preached. But those who seek Christ with their whole heart will discover that the plan of redemption is progressing.

Christians have been through the first two great works of redemption, those typified by the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the celebration of Pentecost. Now God is moving forward to the Feast of Tabernacles.

All that has gone before has been in preparation for Tabernacles. Now it is time for the Father and the Son to make us Their eternal dwelling place.

The church has not been here before. Please let me make clear that this further work of redemption will come to those who are seeking the Lord, not those who are waiting for an unscriptural “rapture” to deliver them from the troubles of the world.

I have written quite a bit about the spiritual fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. My writings can be read free of charge on the Internet at

God has so much more for us Christians. But we must seek for it with all our heart. All who seek shall find. Jesus has kept the good wine until now.

In John 17:20, the Lord Jesus is praying for all of us who believe the Apostles.

The next three verses are among the most important in the entire Bible. Yet, I do not think I ever have heard them expounded. Perhaps the time has come.

John 17:21. that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

One scarcely can believe what the Lord Jesus is stating here.

That all members of the Church, the Royal Priesthood, should be one. And not just one. But one as the Father is in Christ and Christ is in the Father. More than that, they may be one in the Father and the Son.

If there is a more profound statement in the Bible, I have not read it!

But perhaps even more surprising is the statement that we of the Christian Church are to be one in the Godhead as the Godhead is one, so that the world may believe it is the Father who has sent the Son into the world.

Now here is something to think about. Most or all of the Christian organizations seek to move Heaven and earth that the world may believe that it is God who has sent Christ. But I have not heard much teaching about how this belief depends on the Royal Priesthood being a part of the Oneness that is God. Have you?

Now, the scriptural oneness is not that of all believing the same theologic facts. Rather it is a oneness that naturally occurs as we come to maturity in the fullness of the stature of Christ. And this is not going to take place until the ministers of the Gospel preach the Word instead of their traditions.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:13-16)

I do not believe the people of the world are going to believe that it is the God of Heaven who sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world, when what they can observe is a hundred competing organizations.

What then is the solution to the problem? It is that each pastor and teacher return to the Bible, particularly the New Testament, and preach what the Apostles wrote. Each pastor and teacher may be subjected to scorn from other church leaders, but it matters only that we please Christ. I know you agree with that statement.

We would have a difficult time justifying the present teaching of “grace” after what the Apostle Paul stated in the Books of Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians about the sins of the flesh. He did not say grace would cover them. He said these sins must be acknowledged and turned away from.

Big difference here, isn’t there? Paul said if we practiced such behaviors we would not inherit the Kingdom of God. Perhaps we should preach what the New Testament says!

I spoke before about the advancing of the Divine redemption. What is being emphasized now is the recognizing of our sins and our turning away from them. The Lord Jesus will help us cease sinning if we ask Him to. Try it and see for yourself. Things are moving in the spirit world.

Christ is coming now to the members of His Church and is declaring war on His enemies that dwell in our flesh. The Lamb is standing on Mount Zion, the Christian Church, and is no longer sitting at the right hand of God.

John 17:22. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.

Another of these “preposterous” statements. Christ has given His Church the same Glory that the Father has given Him! The true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ will not be made one by the strivings of church leaders. It will be made one, and only can be made one, by the Glory of Christ that was given to Him by the Father. The Oneness is not human but is the Oneness of the Father and the Son.

John 17:23. I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity, perfected and completed into One. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

From the language employed in these three verses, I would say that God is enlarging Himself. It is not that we become God, although we have been given the Divine Nature through Christ.

God is supreme, and has given Christ His total authority. Christ can give some of that authority to us, as He chooses. But the authority always is subject to Christ.

It is for this reason that we must gladly accept God’s dealings with us as He removes all love for the world, all the evil personages dwelling in our flesh, and all of our self-will (our greatest enemy).

We are speaking here of a lot of inconvenience and suffering. But if we are to remain in our office as a royal priest, we must be totally free from worldliness, from the sins of the flesh, and from exercising our own will.

As I wrote before, all we are and have must be given to the Lord Jesus Christ. Then all He is and has shall be given to us. We must be called, chosen, and faithful. Apparently Judas was called and chosen, but he was not faithful. If we are to be like our Lord, we must be true and faithful. God will not accept anything less, or cover up our lying and disobedience with grace.

The teaching of “grace,” that the Apostle Paul presented, is for the purpose of freeing us from the Law of Moses, not for the purpose of making it possible for us to live in our adamic lying and disobedience and still be received by the God of Heaven.

The teaching of lawless grace and an any-moment rapture of the carnal believers has destroyed the character of the Christian churches and has caused it to present a false testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is possible the catastrophes of the last days in America will sweep away the unscriptural, pleasure-loving doctrines so prevalent, and result in the coming forth of a true Church made up of cross-carrying believers. If we suffer enough, such a change is possible.

John 17:24. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

In John chapter 14, the Lord said, “That you may be with Me where I am.” Do you know how we interpret that statement? That we will be in Heaven.

That is not what is going on here. It is that we will be with Jesus. The Christian religion does not always bring us into the warm fellowship with the Father and Christ that They desire. In many instances we do not love Them. We just want to escape Hell and go to Heaven where we will be comfortable.

Here is the line that stands out to me: “I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see my glory.” This is so “human”! It is what we would want, isn’t it? Jesus wanted His friends to see what He was like when He was in Heaven with the Father.

The idea that God and Christ actually love us and want to be with us may not be known to us. The unscriptural doctrine of the unapproachable Trinity may be partly responsible for this. How can one have fellowship with a trinity when we are not certain whether it is one Person or Three?

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. (I John 1:3)

It is my hope that many of us will come to have a continual fellowship with the Father and the Son, so when the days of judgment are upon America, we can hear directly from the Lord as to what we and our loved ones should do to be kept safe.

John 17:25. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.

Christ came to earth to teach us about the Father. I believe that sometimes we forget that and speak often about Heaven but not about the Father.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6,7)

People who do not know their Bible will take this to mean that Jesus is the Father. It signifies, rather, that Jesus is the express image of the Father. Those who have seen Jesus have seen the Father because the Lord Jesus is like the Father in every respect.

Man was created to be in the image of God. As we press forward in the plan of redemption, we will find that God is making us in His image such that we think, speak, and act like Him. It is Christ in us who is behaving in this manner.

This does not mean we are the Father or Christ. It means that through Their power we have been made like them in our behavior. Such is God’s purpose in man—to be in His image in being and behavior.

God will not be satisfied until His goal for man has been accomplished completely, perfectly in detail, if it takes a million years of our time. This is what Christ came to earth for, and died to accomplish.

If we are willing to keep pressing into Christ, we will come to a greater knowledge of the Father. We can see, from the verse above, that a principal goal of our salvation is to come to know the Father. Such knowledge is what eternal life is.

John 17:26. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.

What an extraordinary statement! We speak so much about going to Heaven. Going to Heaven is not our goal. Our goal is to come to an ever greater knowledge of the Father.

A greater love for the Father will create in us the love the Father has for Christ. Christ Himself will be in us in His fullness.

And to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)

I think I mentioned previously the spiritual fulfillment of the third great Jewish celebration, the Feast of Tabernacles. The main event of the Feast of Tabernacles is the coming of the Father and Son to make Their eternal dwelling in us.

The last great celebration of the Church we have experienced was Pentecost. Now we have arrived at the platform of redemption for which all the former Divine steps were preparatory.

The climax of the Divine plan of redemption occurs when God and Christ make Their permanent residence in the Royal Priesthood. The very throne of Almighty God will be here in the new Jerusalem. All the chariots of God will be present. No longer will cherubim be needed for the transportation of the Divinity. The thousands upon thousands of chariots will be in Mount Zion, the Christian Church. Those chariots are the saints!

All else is religion—necessary, perhaps, but too often the murderer of the prophets. There is the religion of Judaism and the religion of Christianity. They are high hills, to be sure. But then there is Mount Zion!

Has your church brought you to Christ? If so, know that when you have Jesus, you have the Father. There is a simplicity here that sometimes becomes complex because of the complications of theology.

Actually, all there is of importance is to have continual fellowship with the Father and the Son.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

Is that what you desire? Me too!

* * *

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
“The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 59:20)

The elect who compose the heavenly Zion, including those in the heavens and those still on the earth, must be made perfect in righteous conduct. This is why in our day the Holy Spirit is leading those who are listening to the Lord Jesus to confess and turn away from their sins by the power of Christ.

Then they will be able to join with the Lord and His armies from Heaven and remove the sins of the earthly Zion (physical Israel). These are the “good works” which we are saved to do, according to Ephesians 2:10.

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
“The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” (Romans 11:25-27)

This does not mean take away the guilt of the sins, it means remove the sins of worldliness, the lusts of the flesh, and self-will. People who are still bound by sin have not partaken of the full work of the Divine redemption, even though they have been forgiven. They have eaten half a loaf, we might say.

“The Law will come from Zion and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” The Law already has come from Zion and Jerusalem. It is the Sermon on the Mount spoken by the Lord Jesus, and shall be enforced with iron righteousness in the Day of the Lord that we are describing.

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, (Hebrews 12:22,23)

The verse above refers to the heavenly Zion, whose destiny it is to deliver earthly Zion (the physical people of Israel) from worldliness, the sins of the flesh, and disobedience to God.

Now, precisely how will the Deliverer come from the heavenly Zion and turn godlessness from Jacob?

I will tell you what I think I have seen with the Lord, and then you can determine if it is true and factual.

First, we must think of Mount Zion in two dimensions. The first is Jerusalem in the land of Israel on the earth. The second is the heavenly Jerusalem, as per the verse above.

When Jesus comes from Heaven He will bring the elect of the heavenly Jerusalem with Him, and also gather a few members from the earth. These are they who have prepared themselves by learning to live in total dependence on the Lord Jesus.

The concept that all the carnal believers of today are going to be caught up to Heaven when Jesus comes is unscriptural.

Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:30,31)

The following describes the ELECT, the elect from Heaven and the elect from the earth, standing together as the army of the Lord on the heavenly Zion.

Not sitting at the right hand of God, but standing!

They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers. (Revelation 17:14)
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. (Revelation 14:1-5)

At some point the heavenly Jerusalem will clothe the earthly Jerusalem just as our heavenly body will clothe our earthly frame. The members of the heavenly Jerusalem may remain invisible, as will the throne of God.

When Jesus brings the heavenly Jerusalem with Him, He will raise their earthly bodies from the grave and clothe them with incorruptible Divine Life. Also, the elect who are alive on the earth at that time will be clothed with Divine Life, and join together with the elect who have come from Heaven.

Then the entire army of the Lord will ascend to meet the Lord Jesus in the air.

Waiting in the air will be the army of angels. When the ascending army of saints join the waiting army of angels, they will compose Mahanaim, the double camp.

Come back, come back, O Shulammite; come back, come back, that we may gaze on you! Why would you gaze on the Shulammite as on the dance of Mahanaim? (Song of Songs 6:13)

Then the “double camp” will come down from the staging area in the air, the location at which Satan formerly governed.

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” (Revelation 19:11-15)

This marks the end of the rule of the great lords of darkness over the earth, and only a mopping up is left to be accomplished.

It is my understanding that the saints are the “political” arm of the army. It is the angels who do the actual fighting.

After Antichrist and the False Prophet have been thrown into the Lake of Fire, and Satan has been bound in the Bottomless Pit, the two armies with Christ at the head will go through the earth, judging the nations and demolishing all the works of Antichrist.

Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste—nothing escapes them. (Joel 2:3)

Now the Lord and His two armies, the saints and the angels, will return to earthly Jerusalem. All the visible earthly forms of Jerusalem will be present, I believe. The physical people of Israel will be there.

Dwelling in the same place with them will be the perhaps invisible heavenly Zion, the Deliverer who has come from the heavenly Zion, as the Apostle Paul has stated.

This is possible because spiritual forms require no space, even though in resurrection bodies, while they may occupy space on the earth as in the case of Jesus eating fish with His disciples after His resurrection.

The Deliverer (Christ and those who are called, chosen and faithful) from the heavenly Zion will remove ungodliness from the human beings of the earthly Zion. This will be accomplished by an unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will accompany the Deliverer.

Worldliness, the sins of the flesh, and self-will shall be removed from the people of the earthly Jerusalem, as the Spirit of God coming from the heavenly Jerusalem inundates them. They shall be delivered from all sin and self-seeking in a moment, as God has promised.

Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion to govern the mountains of Esau. And the kingdom will be the Lord’s. (Obadiah 1:21)

All that is not of God shall be removed from physical Israel. Jacob then shall possess his inheritance.

Ultimately, the turning of earthy Israel to righteousness and holiness will affect the nations of the earth.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. (Isaiah 60:11)

The Glory of God coming from the heavenly Jerusalem will be manifest in the earthly Jerusalem.

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. (Isaiah 60:1-3)

So we see, then, that God’s promise to Israel shall be wonderfully fulfilled, as their worldliness, the lusts of their flesh, and their self-will shall be removed from them by the overpowering Presence of the Spirit of God flowing through the deliverers that have come from the heavenly Zion.

There exists in our day a wall of separation between the Jewish elect and the Gentile elect. Satan has caused this misunderstanding because he knows that the Kingdom of God will result from the transformation of both Christians of a physical Jewish background, and Christians of a Gentile background.

The two Zions will be one in Christ in God, having been redeemed by the same blood of Christ, and having the same eternal Life of the Spirit of God.

It is time now for us to think seriously about what Paul wrote in the Book of Galatians. We, Jewish and Gentile Christians, are one body in Christ. This union is absolutely essential if the full power of the Kingdom is to be realized.

I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. (Ezekiel 37:22)
I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. (John 10:16)
It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” (Romans 9:6)
The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. (Galatians 3:16)
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:28,29)

There is no Jewish Church and there is no Gentile Church.

There are no Messianic Jews and there are no Messianic Gentiles. There are only Christians.

If a Christian church is filled with Jewish believers, they are Christians, not Messianic Jews.

Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. (Acts 11:25,26)

The “disciples” were both Jews and Gentiles.

Now let’s think about the Day of Pentecost when the Christian Church was born.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. (Acts 2:5)

The original Christians were Jews. On the Day of Pentecost, the Spirit of God fell on Jews who were in Jerusalem because of the feast of Pentecost.

Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. (Acts 2:22)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. (Romans 1:16)

And then:

The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. (Acts 10:45,46)
When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.” (Acts 11:18)

I believe that the formation of the Catholic Church may contribute to the fact that at some point in the History of the Church, the Church lost its Jewish foundation. The Apostle Paul made a comment relative to this.

If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. (Romans 11:17,18)

Have the branches become the root? God forbid. Are we indebted to the Jew, Paul? I think so. Then let us realize the Gospel of the Kingdom is to the Jew first, and it is upon them that the Fullness of the Glory of God will be revealed in the Day of the Lord. They will be the witness of Christ to the nations.

The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name. (Isaiah 62:2)

We Gentiles, being filled with self-love, have made Divine grace an excuse for lawless behavior. How then could we turn away ungodliness from the Jewish nation if we ourselves are lawless?

This confusion never will end until we recognize that the Jewish people are the natural heirs of the Kingdom, and we, who have been brought to Christ by Jewish Apostles, ought to rejoice that the children finally will receive their bread.

He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs” (Matthew 15:26).

Jesus said this to a Gentile woman whose daughter was sick, who had asked the Lord for help.

Let us dogs walk humbly with God!

But notice this:

No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. (Romans 2:29)
Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. (Acts 13:26)
“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.” (Acts 15:19-21)
When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly. The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs.” (Acts 21:17-21)
After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. (Genesis 25:26)
Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” (Genesis 25:31)
Esau said, “Isn’t he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he asked, “Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?” (Genesis 27:36)
Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” (Genesis 32:28)
But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. (Genesis 33:4)

Which one, Jacob or Esau, was the most upright?

But according to the Lord, it is Jacob who is Israel, the “prince with God.” So it is true that God’s ways are not our ways, and we must accept that if we are to get anywhere with God.

Jacob prevailed through God. Esau prevailed through brotherly kindness! Yet it is Jacob (Israel), who is the star in God’s firmament. Something to think about in an age of humanism!

Notice that the Jewish elders, involved in the spreading of the Jewish Gospel to the Gentiles, realizing the Gentiles did not have the rich background of the Jews, the Prophets and the Law, offered us a few crumbs. We are to avoid fornication, food offered to idols, meat from strangled animals, and drinking blood.

Little did they realize in those days the exceedingly great riches that would be offered to us Gentiles by the Jew, Paul. I refer to these concepts:

  • The Body of Messiah.
  • The eternal life we gain as we learn to live by the body and blood of Christ.
  • The power of the new covenant to overcome sin.
  • The supreme revelation: We are crucified with Christ that we might live as an integral part of His Life.

After the explosion of Divine Glory described in Isaiah chapter 30, we are ready for the thousand-year Kingdom Age. Christ will be governing the earth through His saints. I guess we still will have the two Jerusalems expressing the will of Christ, the earthly Jerusalem, and the invisible spiritual Jerusalem in the earthly Jerusalem.

We must keep in mind that the saints who came from Heaven with Christ were victorious believers, not all the people who were saved from Hell. In like manner those who are drawn to the newly resurrected saints who came with Christ must also be those who have overcome Satan with the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and had loved their own self to the point of death that they might serve Christ perfectly.

The saints from Heaven and the saints from the earth will be the firstfruits, mentioned in Revelation chapter 14.

At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire. The dead from all ages, those in Heaven and those on the earth, will be resurrected and stand before the Divine Judgment Seat. They then will go to their appointed destinies.

A firstfruits of the Royal Priesthood had attained to the first resurrection. They had been ruling with Christ throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age. Some of the firstfruits will have worked with those of the Royal Priesthood who did not attain to the first resurrection and were waiting in the heavenly Zion.

Now the firstfruits will rejoin the majority of the Royal Priesthood who still were in the heavenly Zion.

Down through the new sky will descend the new Jerusalem. The new Jerusalem will include the firstfruits, the elect of physical Israel, and the previously immature members of the heavenly Jerusalem, having been made one in Christ.

The new Jerusalem will be the great Head and Body of the Messiah. Here is the Royal Priesthood, the family of God, the household of God, the Temple of God, His eternal habitation, that shall govern an ever-expanding mankind. The Glory of the new Jerusalem as it takes to its place on a high mountain of the new earth will give light to the entire new earth throughout the eternal ages upon ages.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Thus has God fulfilled His promises to His chosen people.

The vision of the last days that has immature church people being “raptured” to Heaven is unscriptural. It is a false hope. The true vision is that of the Kingdom of God coming to the earth. It is the answer to the prayer, “Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on the earth as it is in Heaven.”

Now let us prepare ourselves for the day when we are called upon to repay our indebtedness by bringing the fullness of the Divine redemption to the principal heirs of the Kingdom of God, the Jewish people.

After all, our eternal home is a new earth governed by a new Jerusalem!

(“Two Zions”, 4306-2, proofed 20210725)

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