Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
There is both a spiritual and a physical aspect of Jerusalem. Each aspect is being brought to a place of readiness for rulership in the future. The establishing and perfecting of the spiritual aspect is being conducted in the personalities of God’s elect—Jews and Gentiles made one in Christ. The gathering of Jews from many nations to Israel is the beginning of the physical restoration of Jerusalem. In the days ahead the two aspects, the spiritual and the physical, will converge and the result will be the true Church on earth without spot or wrinkle, a holy Jerusalem that will govern the nations of the earth in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Table of Contents
And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. (Genesis 13:14,15)
The above passage establishes one fact: Jerusalem and the country that surrounds it belong to Abraham and to Abraham’s Seed forever.
God’s eye, His interest, always is on Jerusalem and its environs. The Hebrew Prophets reveal that God will work until Jerusalem is marvelously glorified and is the ruling city of the world.
Who is Abraham’s Seed? Abraham’s Seed is Christ.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Galatians 3:16)
It is not our intention to imply, as so many are doing today, that physical Israel no longer is of interest to God, that God has cast away His people with whom He worked for so many hundreds of years. This is not our purpose. We are aware that the promises of the Prophets will be fulfilled literally.
The Hebrews are the Hebrews. They have been scattered among many nations, according to the Word of God. The Word of God teaches also that they will return from the nations during the closing days of the present age.
In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. (Jeremiah 3:18)
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. (Jeremiah 16:14,15)
And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again. I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them. (Zechariah 10:9,10)
The above passages will be fulfilled literally. To attempt to spiritualize them so they depict a revival among Gentile believers is to introduce chaos into any attempt to derive a straightforward, coherent interpretation of the Scriptures.
Even though the prophecies concerning the Messianic Kingdom are hidden among the earthly statements of the Old Testament Scriptures, the Scriptures still mean what they say. Israel has been scattered among the nations and Israel will be brought back to the land in preparation for the accession of Christ, the Son of God, to the Throne of David in Jerusalem. There will be a convergence of spiritual Israel and physical Israel.
The current attempts to destroy or weaken the fulfillment of prophecy concerning the return of the race of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to the land of promise proceed from Satan.
Satan is not afraid of the Christian churches in their present worldly, fleshly, self-seeking condition. But Satan is mortally terrified at the prospect of the return of Israel to the land; for Satan knows the Scriptures. He understands that the return of Israel to the land is one of the signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. The coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth will destroy the rule of Satan and his angels over the earth. The Lord Jesus Christ will return to rule the nations.
Whoever would rule the world must do so from what is called today the Temple Mount. There is an important Muslim shrine located there at the present time.
Keeping these facts in mind we must consider the teaching of the Apostle Paul. Paul taught in several places that being born of Jewish parents does not make a person a member of God’s Israel. What is born of the flesh is flesh and can neither see nor enter the Kingdom of God until it is born again.
Being a member of true Israel, of the Seed to whom the land of Abraham has been given forever, is by promise. Every member of true Israel is an elect person, having been known of God from the creation of the world. Jacob was known and approved of God before he was born. One cannot become a member of true Israel, of the Seed of Abraham, by being born of Jewish parents. One must be elected to the Seed, to the Divine Olive Tree. Participation in the Messianic Kingdom always is by promise, never by physical birth.
In Christ there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile. There only is the one Israel, the one Body of Christ. The inheritance is by calling. It is by grace, by the foreknowledge of God.
When God spoke to Abram concerning Jerusalem and the surrounding lands, God said: “I will give all the land that you see, on which you are walking, to you and to your Seed.”
The Seed to whom God was referring is Christ and all those who belong to Christ. The land belongs forever to Christ and to the members of His body.
It is the will of God that Jerusalem be the ruling city of the earth, that it be adorned with the most marvelous glory and splendor—in fact, with the Glory of God Himself, that every one of its inhabitants be righteous and holy, and that the nations of the earth come regularly to pay homage to God in His city.
This is the eternal goal of the Lord God of Heaven. It never shall change.
God spoke of the land, of what today is known as Israel.
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: (Genesis 12:1)
God commenced working toward His goal by choosing a man—Abraham. God tested Abraham concerning his confident expectation of the fulfillment of God’s promise, concerning walking perfectly with God, and concerning obedience to God. Abraham passed these three tests.
After the tests had been completed, God blessed Abraham with Isaac, Isaac with Jacob (Israel), and Jacob with twelve sons. From these sons came the nation of physical Israel.
Now there existed Jerusalem (made stupendously glorious during the reign of Solomon) and a nation of people. However, it was impossible for the purposes of God to be accomplished through a sinful and rebellious people. The Israelites were filled with sin and rebellion to the point that God delivered them into the hands of their enemies.
To the present hour the Jews are scattered over the face of the earth. The Prophets speak clearly, as we stated previously, that the children of Israel will return to their land in the closing days of the present age. We think that the return of Jacob to his land already is taking place.
Thus far we have presented two apparently conflicting facts. On the one hand we are stating that the race of Jews will return to the holy land in accordance with the declarations of the Prophets. On the other hand we are maintaining that true Israel consists of those who are part of Christ, the Son of God.
The two apparently conflicting facts are reconciled in that God will bring back the Israelites to their land, and then will pour out His Spirit on them so that they receive Christ and become members of the one Olive Tree.
Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. (Isaiah 32:15)
There is coming a sovereign intervention of God among the children of Israel. Israel will be born again “at once” (Isaiah 66:8). Christ will be born in the physical children of Israel and they will enter the spiritual Kingdom of God.
Jerusalem will become a place of glorious righteousness. There is no means by which the physical Jews can become glorious in righteousness. God’s righteousness comes only through the blood, the Life, the Presence of Christ.
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. (Isaiah 62:1)
Earthly Jerusalem and the earthly Israelites are as Hagar. They are the children of Abraham by race only and not by the Divine promise. It is only as the heavenly Jerusalem, the Jerusalem that is by Divine promise, enters the earthly Jerusalem that earthly Jerusalem will become Sarah, the mother of the elect of God.
For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. (Galatians 4:25,26)
Jerusalem will be filled with glory according to the Prophets. How will God do this? God will glorify Jerusalem just as He will glorify every member of true Israel, of the elected Seed of Abraham. God will cause the inhabitants of Jerusalem to be born again of the Spirit of God. He will cause Christ to be born in them.
One may ask, How can God come upon a people and cause them to be born again? The answer is, just as He did the Apostle Paul (a Jew) on the road to Damascus. God is able to convert whom He will, when He will, how He will.
God also will bring the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the fires of tribulation until a remnant has been made holy:
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. (Zechariah 13:9)
Finally, God will raise into glory the city itself and it will rule the nations of saved peoples of the earth throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age. After that there will be a new sky and a new earth. The perfected holy city, the new Jerusalem, will come down from Heaven to be established forever on the new earth. The saints will rule the nations of the saved from the new Jerusalem.
Perfecting the Spirit of Jerusalem
And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people. (Isaiah 51:16)
Plant the heavens.
Lay the foundations of the earth.
Say unto Zion, Thou art my people.
Since His resurrection from the dead two thousand years ago, Christ has been planting the heavens. When we are baptized in water we enter the crucifixion of Christ, and we enter also His resurrection. All us who are brought to Christ by the Spirit of God, whether we are Jewish or Gentile by natural birth, are raised into the heavens. Our lives are hidden with Christ in God.
In the present hour the eternal spiritual Jerusalem is in the heavens at the right hand of God while its fleshly counterpart is in the bondage of the flesh on the earth.
There are two Jerusalems: one in Heaven and the other on the earth. Our spiritual life is in Heaven now at the right hand of God. Every Christian who is abiding in the Lord Jesus is part of the heavenly Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem in Heaven is the mother of all those who have been called to be saints, regardless of whether they are Jewish or Gentile by physical birth. The elect are one body in Christ. They will inherit the land forever that the Lord God may be glorified.
The Jerusalem on the earth corresponds to Hagar, Sarah’s maid, because it is filled with children who were not born according to the Divine promise. The Jerusalem in Heaven corresponds to Sarah because it is filled with children who, like Abraham, have been called according to God’s purpose in Christ. They are children by election, by the miracle working of God, not by physical birth.
As soon as we are risen with Christ, as soon as we are born again, we become part of the heavenly Jerusalem.
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, (Hebrews 12:22) 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)
From this point forward in our lives the Spirit of God begins to perfect our spiritual nature. The Spirit of God employs the gifts and ministries of the Body of Christ, tribulation, our prayers and those of others, and every conceivable grace and experience to transform our spiritual nature, to purge and refine the part of our personality that is capable of union with God’s Spirit. Our spiritual nature is perfected in the Presence of God in Heaven even though we still are alive on the earth.
The new Jerusalem consists of the spirits of righteous people made perfect.
It is not that the heavenly Jerusalem primarily is a city to which we go when we die. Rather it is true that the saints are the city. The essence of the heavenly Jerusalem is Christ-filled saints. The form the spiritual Jerusalem may take either now or in the ages to come is a result of what the members of the Body of Christ are.
The heavenly Jerusalem is the Church.
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)
The Church consists of righteous people made perfect. The Church is being created now. The Church, the heavenly Jerusalem, is not only a place where one goes, the Church is what the saints are!
The righteous enter the garden of God when they die, apparently. There they await the Day of Judgment. The Day of Judgment will reveal what they are, what they have become in Christ.
But the Divine redemption does not have as its final goal the entrance of people into the garden of God in the spirit world. The goal of the Divine redemption is a Church without spot or wrinkle, a holy Jerusalem that will govern the nations of the earth in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
If we are living in the presence of Christ now we will continue to live in His presence when we die physically. If, however, we are living a careless, spiritually neglectful life now, it is not true that we will be transported to a city of wonders when we die. Rather, our physical death will serve to open our eyes to our threadbare spiritual condition.
The heavenly Jerusalem consists of the spirits of righteous men made perfect. They are the city, whether they are pursuing their human life on the earth or have died and now are serving the Lord in some area of the spirit world.
An acknowledgment of the facts concerning the atonement made by Jesus, and the declaration of His Lordship, is not what constitutes the spirit of a righteous man made perfect. Rather, the inhabitants of the heavenly Zion are believers who are cooperating with the Holy Spirit in perfecting their spiritual nature.
Only those who actually practice the commandments of Christ have lawful access to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the holy Jerusalem (Revelation 22:14).
The common Christian teaching of our day is pervaded with a misunderstanding. It is that “grace” is a Divinely given substitute for the cleansing and perfecting of our spiritual nature. Imputed (ascribed) righteousness has been emphasized past all reason and benefit, while the all-important transformation to actual righteousness has been neglected.
Because we do not understand what God is doing, what God’s goal is, the work of the Kingdom of God in the earth has suffered loss.
God’s goal is to create a Jerusalem in the earth that He can bless because its inhabitants practice righteousness.
The city of Jerusalem on earth will be the “heaven” of the future. People will pray to God on the earth rather than to God in Heaven. The Throne of God is coming to the earth in the new Jerusalem. This is the role of Jerusalem—to be the Presence of God on the earth.
Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. (Isaiah 60:21)
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)
People who have received only the grace of imputed (ascribed) righteousness are of little use to God’s goal concerning the planting of Jerusalem with a royal priesthood that practices righteousness.
If it were the Lord’s intention to impute righteousness to Jerusalem, rather than to create a nation that can live in His blessing because of the righteous and holy conduct of the people, God could have done this easily in the first century. God could have come down and assigned legal righteousness to Jerusalem just as He sovereignly received Saul of Tarsus and commissioned him to be an apostle.
If God were to populate Jerusalem with believers who were justified by legally-assigned (imputed) righteousness but who still were bound by sin and self-will, how could the righteous and holy God of Jacob dwell among them? Will the Glory of God inhabit a city filled with sin and strife?
Will the nations glorify God when they behold the unrighteous works of the believers in Christ, as is the case in our day? How ignorant we have been of the redemption that is in Christ!
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation [behavior] honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (I Peter 2:11,12)
“Good works, which they shall behold.”
The nations of the earth cannot behold ascribed righteousness. A Jerusalem that is glorious because of ascribed righteousness is not glorious in the sight of the nations.
The nations must behold the “good works” of the saints, as in the preceding passage from I Peter. The nations of the earth are waiting to behold saints whose manner of life gives clear evidence of the Person, ways, will, and eternal purpose of the God of Heaven.
One modern edition of the Scriptures, a creditable and useful work in other respects, reveals the error of current Christian thinking when it presents Isaiah as prophesying that the “imputed righteousness and vindication” (of Jerusalem) shall “go forth as brightness,” and, “the nations shall see… your righteousness and justice [not your own, but His ascribed to you]” (Isaiah 62:1,2).
The expression “imputed righteousness and vindication” is not bracketed, leaving the reader with the impression that the Hebrew text includes the adjective “imputed.”
Imputed, ascribed righteousness cannot be seen. The above interpretation of Isaiah is an attempt of an Christian teacher to support the idea that the Christian salvation is a legal state in the mind of God and not an actual transformation of the character of the believers.
Had the editor not been so imbued with the current overemphasis on imputed righteousness, the obvious impossibility of viewing a legal state of justification would have prevented any such interpretation. “Ascribed” righteousness and justice cannot be observed. Imparted, inwrought righteousness and justice indeed can be witnessed, for they are the righteousness and justice that are revealed in the behavior of the saints as the Life of Christ comes to maturity in them.
This particular edition is particularly dangerous because the editor’s notes (not your own, but His ascribed to you), although added in brackets, give the unlearned reader the impression they are part of the translation, proceeding either from the Hebrew language or from the context of the Book of Isaiah. No doubt numerous Christians who have purchased the edition would be alarmed if they understood that “imputed” and “ascribed” proceed from human reasoning and are not a part of the Scriptures. (What other harmful additions may be present?)
Editor’s notes included at the bottom or sides of contemporary translations sometimes contain comments that detract from the scriptural emphasis on righteous, holy behavior. Justification is emphasized to such an extent that the scriptural warnings concerning the deadly effects of a sinful life are robbed of their force. The believers should be made aware of this.
Also, current translations sometimes contain questionable liberties, such as the change of “fear” to “reverence,” as though fear and reverence were synonyms.
The spirit of humanism has entered Christian doctrine and on occasion has colored the comments and translations of today’s editions of the Scriptures.
It would be accurate to edit Isaiah as follows: “the nations shall see… your righteousness and justice” (not a righteousness and justice proceeding from your fleshly efforts but from the Divine Life of Christ who is transforming you).
One may say, “But that is what the editor meant.”
Perhaps the editor did mean this in his or her effort to show we cannot save ourselves. But by saying “His (righteousness and justice) ascribed to you” the impression is left that no actual righteousness or justice dwells in Jerusalem, only that which is ascribed by the Lord because of the righteousness of Christ.
This is not true and it strengthens the modern error that the Divine salvation is a legal state and not an actual transformation. It is not possible for the righteousness and justice of Jerusalem to be revealed to the nations if such righteousness and justice exist only in the mind of God.
The “light” of the Christian is the “good works” that he performs (Matthew 5:16).
How can an “imputed” or “ascribed” righteousness “go forth as brightness”? Only true righteousness, true justice, righteous deeds, can go forth as brightness.
The usage of the terms “imputed” and “ascribed” imply there is no righteousness, no justice in Jerusalem except that which God ascribes to it by “grace.” If there were true righteousness or justice being practiced in Jerusalem there would be no need for the Lord to impute such merit.
It is true that no behavior is righteous unless the Lord considers it to be righteous. However, the impression left in the mind of the reader of today is that the behavior of the Christians is relatively unimportant. It is the contemporary misapplication of Paul’s argument against the Judaizers concerning the legal “state of grace” that the believers of today use as the basis for justifying the lack of change in their personalities.
Consider the following: one moment the nations of the earth see every form of sin and self-seeking in Jerusalem. The next moment the nations behold righteousness and justice, not because the behavior of the elect has changed but because the Lord has “imputed” and “ascribed” righteousness and justice to Jerusalem. Can we regard such a position as anything more than an attempt to justify and sanctify ungodly behavior?
So it is today. The Christian churches, because of the overemphasis on “grace” and “imputed (ascribed) righteousness,” practice every form of sin and self-will. According to the Christian teachers, such churches are to have no concern because God has imputed Christ’s perfection to them. What are the nations to behold, the behavior of the Christians or the “perfection” God has “imputed” to them?
In your opinion, which does the world behold in the churches: the behavior of the people or the righteousness God has ascribed to them?
To interpret Isaiah 62:1,2 to mean the righteousness and justice God is seeking in Jerusalem will come by assigned righteousness and not by the cleansing and transforming of God’s elect is far removed from the intentions of the Spirit of Christ in Isaiah.
The concept that God does not regard the actual behavior of Christian people is a severe corruption of the Word of God and results in the destruction of the testimony of the Christian churches.
It is time for a reformation of Christian thinking.
There is a distinction between imputed righteousness (as it is conceived today) and the new creation—a distinction that produces an uncrossable chasm between the contemporary moral disaster and the Kingdom of God.
God has given the land to Abraham and to his Seed forever. Because God cannot accomplish His goal with a city filled with sinful, self-willed people, God is creating a spiritual Jerusalem in Heaven. God is populating the spiritual Jerusalem with righteous people who are being made perfect by the Life of Christ and the working of the Spirit of God.
God is creating righteous people. God is perfecting the spirit of Jerusalem, and He is doing so by creating a spiritual Jerusalem in the heavens. God’s whole intention under the new covenant is to create a righteous Jerusalem, a Jerusalem that will govern the earth with the eternal moral law of God. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem that is on earth is in spiritual bondage with her children. Earthly Jerusalem is in bondage because the adamic nature of man cannot serve God satisfactorily. We must be born again of the Spirit of God.
Our flesh and blood personalities are spiritually corrupt and cannot please God. Flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom that is from Heaven, as the Apostle says. Flesh profits nothing. Only the Substance and Virtue of Christ are eternal Life. Only that which is born of Christ can inhabit Jerusalem forever.
Converting the Soul of Jerusalem
The Scriptures do not always differentiate clearly between the spirit and soul of man. Therefore we will not attempt to make a strong case for such a distinction.
We think of the spirit as the part of our personality that goes out from us and enters union with God. When we are joined to the Lord we are one Spirit with Him. Our life becomes part of the greater Life of Christ in God. Perhaps our spirit is the same as our mind, or close to it.
As soon as our inner spiritual nature is reborn it is brought in Christ to the right hand of God. From that point forward our spiritual nature, being filled with God’s Spirit, seeks to govern the appetites of our soul and body. Our reborn ascended spiritual nature is a firstfruits of our whole personality.
When our spirit is not one with God’s Spirit we are spiritually dead. The human spirit apart from God is like a little pool of water that has been cut off from the ocean. It soon becomes stagnant and filled with uncleanness. There is no life or renewal in it.
Our soul is our identity as an individual person. Our reborn spiritual nature, which is in Christ at God’s right hand, must control our decisions until our soul has been converted by the Virtue and power of the Divine redemption.
Our soul (heart) is deceitful and wicked. If we would possess our soul, if we would make it part of our reborn spiritual nature, we must endure patiently as God deals with us, testing all that is in our soul. Perhaps it is true that our spirit is our life while our soul is our character, and that our spirit must act as a referee until our soul is converted..
Our soul is troubled with the desire to satisfy the appetites and lusts of the body, the desire to possess the things of the world, and the desire to be someone of importance and power. As we take up our cross, deny ourselves, and follow Jesus, our soul dies to these strong desires and the Virtue and Life of the Lord Jesus then are able to transform the soul.
The Divine Seed of Christ is planted in our soul by the Spirit of God. It is a living Seed and will grow. It is our responsibility to pray, to read and meditate in the Scriptures, to have fellowship with fervent saints as much as possible, so that the Seed of Christ is nourished and grows in our soul.
As God reveals His Glory to us our soul is changed from the adamic nature into a tree of eternal life. As the transformation occurs we are able to receive increasing amounts of God’s Glory, which in turn results in further transformation. The process of change from Adam’s image into God’s image takes place command upon command, rule upon rule, until the new creation comes into being.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Corinthians 3:18)
The Presence of Christ entering us causes our self-life to die and Divine Life and Character to take its place. If we abide in Christ, cooperating with the Holy Spirit as the transformation takes place, the old creation passes away. There is a new creation and all things of it are of God. Our soul is converted from our old nature to a new nature that is born of God in every aspect of its being.
This is what will happen to Jerusalem on the earth.
In the present hour the soul of Jerusalem is unconverted. It is filled with self-seeking, self-will, self-centeredness, just as is true of the soul of the unconverted human. Jerusalem on the earth is filled with “Jacob”—the guileful nature. It never can please the God of Heaven.
The Scriptures, both Old Testament and New Testament, teach that in the last days God will turn again to physical Israel.
In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. (Isaiah 4:2-4)
Although directed at the nation of Israel, the above verse applies to every member of God’s elect, whether Jewish or Gentile by race.
The Christian churches of our day are filled with sin and self-will. Divine judgment will serve as a baptism of fire that will separate a remnant from the worldly churches and then purify the remnant until it is a spotless bride for the Lamb.
Isaiah 4:2-4 is meant especially for the children of Israel and for physical Jerusalem. We praise God for the return of Jacob to the holy land. After Israel returns there must come a baptism of fire on the inhabitants of Jerusalem and a revelation of Christ to them that He is the Son of God and Lord of all.
There must come a restoration of the one Body of Christ before Jesus returns. The elect Jews and Gentiles were one Body in the beginning of the Church Age. The elect Jews and Gentiles shall be one Body at the conclusion of the Church Age.
There is but one Body. There is no such entity as a Jewish church or a Gentile church. These two labels are the creation of men who are not heeding what the Apostle Paul taught concerning the one new man (Ephesians 2:15). How can there be two Israels? Two Zions? Two olive trees?
There only is the one olive tree, and that tree is Christ.
For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? (Romans 11:24)
One day soon the Kingdom of Heaven will enter Jerusalem. The Kingdom of Heaven consists of Christ and those whose life He is, including both elect Jews and elect Gentiles—the one Body of Christ. These are Mount Zion, the spirits of righteous men made perfect.
The Lord’s holy ones will descend with Him to the Mount of Olives.
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east,…. (Zechariah 14:4)
… and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. (Zechariah 14:5)
From the Mount of Olives the saints will go forth to destroy Antichrist and the wicked nations of the earth. The holy ones will save the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Now will Christ make Himself known to His brothers of physical Israel and they will be born again.
And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (Romans 11:26)
Christ will ascend the throne of David surrounded by His victorious saints, His mighty men, His saints whom He has found worthy to walk with Him in white. The heavenly Zion now has entered the land that the almighty God has promised to Abraham and his Seed.
Just as the entrance of Christ into us converts our soul, so will it be true that the entrance into the natural Jerusalem of the heavenly Jerusalem will convert the soul of Jerusalem.
The Prophet Isaiah described the perfecting of Jerusalem on the earth, the building of its walls, the adorning of it with precious stones, the establishing of the light of its righteousness, the placing of it as the ruling city of the world.
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. (Isaiah 54:11)
And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. (Isaiah 60:10)
Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. (Isaiah 62:3)
The conversion of the soul and the establishing of the governing role of Jerusalem will take place during the thousand-year Kingdom Age, the interval between the return of Christ and the final judgment of the White Throne, and is the central purpose of the interval. The Apostles of the Lamb will sit on thrones governing the nation of Israel.
The thousand-year interval is the kingdom-wide spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, of Yom Kippur. It is the reconciling of Jerusalem to Christ. It is the perfecting of the Body of Christ. It is the marriage of the Lamb.
The conversion of Jerusalem begins with the spiritual perfecting of a company of overcoming saints, a holy Zion. These have received a double portion of Christ’s Spirit and are responsible for the well-being of the whole family of God. They are as a wall to Jerusalem. They are pillars in the eternal Temple of God and will “go no more out.”
Jerusalem will be perfected in Christ and established in righteousness; not in an imputed or ascribed righteousness but in a true righteousness of deed, word, and thought that has been created by the entrance of the Life and Substance of Christ into each member of His Body.
The spiritual dimension of this perfecting and establishing is being conducted in the present hour in the personalities of the Christians, Jews and Gentiles alike, who are cooperating with the Holy Spirit as He strives continually to perfect and establish them. The endless dealings of God with His elect is for the purpose of one day making Jerusalem, which is the inheritance of Abraham and his Seed, the Divine radiance in the earth—a model of righteousness and praise in the sight of the nations of the saved.
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:11)
The Resurrection of Jerusalem
A human being receives spiritual life from Christ. Then the Spirit of God changes him or her into the image of Christ. Finally his mortal body is redeemed. It is raised from the dead and filled with eternal life.
So it is with the city of Jerusalem. In the present hour the nucleus of its spiritual life is hidden with Christ in God, and is being perfected as the saints endure the tests and tribulations of life on the earth.
When Christ comes and His holy ones with Him, the work of converting the soul of Jerusalem will take place. The full perfecting of Jerusalem, of the Bride of the Lamb, will require the thousand-year Kingdom Age.
All who are to constitute the eternal Jerusalem, all the elect of God, will be made perfect in and through Christ. The Bride of the Lamb, the Body of Christ, the eternal Temple of God, the Christian Church, will be brought to absolute, spotless perfection. It will contain no blemish whatever. It will be brought into union with Christ and with the Father. It will attain the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
When Jerusalem finally has been brought to the Divine standard of perfection there will be no more need for the present heaven and earth. They will be discarded as worn-out clothes. Christ will create a new sky and a new earth.
On the new earth will be placed the nations of peoples whom Christ has saved.
Then, down from the new heaven will come the resurrected Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb. This is the eternal Tabernacle of God, the Throne of God and of the Lamb. The spirit of the earthly Jerusalem will now have been perfected. Its soul will have been converted. It will be time for its resurrected form to be clothed with its glorified, heavenly counterpart.
There will be no Canaanites (unholy people) in the house of the Lord of hosts forever. Every pot in Jerusalem will be holy to the Lord. Every word that the Prophets spoke will be fulfilled for all the world to behold. To Abraham and his Seed will have been given the land forever, just as God has promised.
Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 14:21)
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 65:18)