With so much speculation running rampant of the end times and the ambiguous eschatological understandings, it makes me want to run for the hills. Hopefully the Holy Hill in this case. Something that has caught my attention this last week as I read through the scriptures and meditate on it, is the Heavenly Jerusalem. Let’s get right into it;
Gal 4:22-27 KJV
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 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. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
This is talking about the physical, earthly Jerusalem (even in Paul’s time) being akin to the bondwoman but (Heavenly) Jerusalem above as FREE. Not in bondage to a political party or the United Nations or Hamas or the United States or whatever entity. F – R – E – E! She is free to worship Yah in Spirit and in Truth. This brings us to 2 questions:
1. Is New Jerusalem a physical place above us?
2. Galatians mentions she is the mother of us all. Who are her children?
1. IS NEW JERUSALEM/ZION A PHYSICAL PLACE?
This content might be difficult to grasp without a biblical understanding of cosmology. But nonetheless, we can interpret the scripture literally and come to a fair understanding of what the writers understood. John, the revelator, saw the heavens roll open like a scroll and this beautiful city come down from the Father;
Rev 21:2 KJV
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:10 KJV
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
So the Heavenly Jerusalem comes down from the Father. Now, I do understand that this was a vision and most people would say that is why we cannot take this literally – fair enough. But how did the other bible heroes see the city to come?
Heb 11:10 KJV
For he (Abraham) looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Seems like Abraham was seeking a physical city. The patriarchs were aware of this heavenly city and how Yah was building and preparing it. It becomes clearer in the next verses of Hebrews;
Heb 11:16 KJV
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
All these guys were aware that Yah was preparing a city, a physical city for them. But maybe their timing was just inaccurate. The city that Yah is preparing makes me think of what Yeshua said;
Joh 14:2-3 KJV
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Yeshua is participating, with the Master-builder, to prepare the home for the bride. Just like in ancient times the betrothed man will prepare a house for the bride to be. This usually took him a year and when the father is satisfied with the house (heavenly Jerusalem in this case) he sends his son to fetch his bride. What exactly is the place that he prepares for us?
Mat 25:34 KJV
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
It seems like it will be an entire country or kingdom that includes the New Jerusalem if you consider Matthew and Hebrews. But let’s park it there and move on to who stays there.
2. IF NEW JERUSALEM IS A MOTHER, WHO ARE HER CHILDRERN?
Galatians also refers to Jerusalem above as the mother of us all. That implies she has children. Think about the phrase daughters of Zion and often it is using in the OT. For instance;
Isa 4:4-6 KJV
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. And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.
But who are the children? The children, are most probably, the sons of Romans 8.
Rom 8:20-22 KJV
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Almost sounds like a woman in labour. When Sheol releases the captives, like giving birth (first resurrection), and they are changed in the twinkling of an eye they will inherit and inhabit the Kingdom of Heaven, the Heavenly Jerusalem.
Isaiah 66 in light of Paul’s Heavenly Jerusalem revelation knits this beautifully together;
Isa 66:8 KJV
Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
This heavenly kingdom literally comes down through the firmament and manifests on the renewed earth. And simultaneously the sons of Yah will be birthed and revealed in her just like Romans 8 mentions. To my understanding this coincides with the resurrection of the righteous. They are clothed in garments of light and born of the Spirit, born from above (John 3).
We are the building blocks of this city as Peter says. This is where we really need to reconsider some of the verses in scripture in the light of the heavenly city coming down from the firmament. Next time we will have a look at Matthew 5 and what Yeshua meant about the City on a Hill and how it connects to Heavenly Jerusalem.