Jerusalem, the Promised Land :: by Joseph Chambers

There is no place on earth both loved and hated as is the city of Jerusalem and the surrounding land promised to Abraham.  The present “State of Israel” is a small part of the final geography that will constitute its completed territory. Jehovah God made an undisputed covenant to Abraham and gave him the basic perimeters of his final inheritance.  The Jewish people, Abraham’s seed, will soon take full possession.  Jesus Christ will be seated on the re-established “Throne of David” and the glory and riches of the world will flow into this “World Capital.”

From this golden city there will be established a righteous theocracy to ensure justice, equality, and mercy on a worldwide scale.  Men have dreamed of a one-world government ruled by man.  This dream has always been the antithesis of God’s future design.  The rebuilt city of Babylon will be the last challenge to Jerusalem as the capital of a worldwide government.  These two cities are the exact opposites.  Jerusalem is the center of all spiritual revelation while Babylon is the springboard of every hateful and evil spirit.

Jerusalem, The Joy Of The Whole Earth
While Abraham was still a wandering Bedouin, only recently having arrived from the land of heathens, Jerusalem had a king/priest named Melchizedek. He was called King of Salem, Priest of the Most High God, King of Righteousness, and King of Peace.  (Hebrews 7:1-28)  God had already chosen the city and its king and priest was described in language befitting a God.  In fact, Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Son, was made a priest after the order of Melchizedek, not after the order of Aaron.  Very simply, Melchizedek predated Aaron and was of a spiritual order too expansive to describe in this article.  It is clear that the Father Himself had chosen this city.  “But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there.”  (II Chronicles 6:6a).

The children of Israel were the chosen heir of Abraham and established Jerusalem as their capital under David, their second king.  The Jebusites had made this city a military stronghold cleverly defended by a strong wall and situated on a hill surrounded by a continuous valley. (II Samuel 5:6-9).  In what appeared to be a military victory without firing an arrow, David took the city and renamed it “The City of David.”  They immediately brought the “Ark of the Covenant” to King David’s new capital with great celebration.  God’s presence was now in the chosen city and it was cause for great joy.  Note the celebration and holiness this event describes.

“And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims.”  “And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.  And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day.  And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?”  “And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.  And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatlings.  And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.  So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.  And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.”  (II Samuel 6:2,5-9,12-16).

Jesus was born in a small hamlet called Bethlehem just a few miles away. Jerusalem was the central city of His life.  He was condemned and scourged in the city of His earlier arrest.  Final death by crucifixion and burial were immediately outside the walls.  He ascended to heaven from a mount overlooking the city and He will return to that same place, called the Mount of Olives.  This golden city will be the location of His residence palace and government headquarters.  While Jerusalem has been God’s chosen city with His name clearly associated in its rise and fall, now the city will see the glory, which the great God intended.  Human minds cannot envision the riches, grandeur, and indescribable glory that will be its fortune.  Only the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of Heaven will eclipse its magnitude and splendor.  In fact, I believe these two cities will be connected and serve to enhance each other.  New Jerusalem will probably be suspended in the heavens above the earthly city and become the light overarching it as the fiery cloud did for camping Israel in the wilderness.

Before arriving in Jerusalem, the returning Son of God will defeat the Antichrist in a glorious display of His position as “Lord of Host.”  Zechariah describes His arrival at Jerusalem.  “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.  And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.  All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.  And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.”  (Zechariah 14:4, 8-11).

The city will be greatly expanded as the topographical outlay is completely altered.  Zechariah’s description points clearly to the mountains moving in a northern and southern direction while the Mount of Olives moves in both of the opposite directions of east and west.  The cleavage of the Mount of Olives will unleash a living fountain of waters that will flow from the great city toward the Dead Sea on the east and the Mediterranean Sea on the west.  These waters actually flow from the Mount of Olives and through the temple altar or from the temple altar through the Mount of Olives and then east and west.  As they flow east to the Dead Sea, Ezekiel tells of the healing of this body of water and of all the deserts in the eastern direction.  It will do the same to the deserts on all sides of Jerusalem.  “Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.  And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.” (Ezekiel 47:8-9).

This will create a great lush valley (“And there shall be a very great valley.”  [Zechariah 14:4]), which will change much of the landscape from mountainous terrain to a prosperous garden-like environment.  Isaiah spoke of this grand day, “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.  It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.”  (Isaiah 35:1-2).  The Garden of Eden was cut off because of Adam’s sin.  Now it is recreated and Jerusalem is its new center.

Ezekiel describes the extent of the city’s new boundaries.  “And over against the border of the priests the Levites shall have five and twenty thousand in length, and ten thousand in breadth: all the length shall be five and twenty thousand, and the breadth ten thousand.  And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange, nor alienate the firstfruits of the land: for it is holy unto the LORD.   And the five thousand, that are left in the breadth over against the five and twenty thousand, shall be a profane place for the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs: and the city shall be in the midst thereof.  And these shall be the measures thereof; the north side four thousand and five hundred, and the south side four thousand and five hundred, and on the east side four thousand and five hundred, and the west side four thousand and five hundred.  And the suburbs of the city shall be toward the north two hundred and fifty, and toward the south two hundred and fifty, and toward the east two hundred and fifty, and toward the west two hundred and fifty.  And the residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward: and it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion; and the increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city.  And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel.”  (Ezekiel 48:13-19).

The city will be approximately sixty miles square with a twelve mile square inner city allowing a twenty-four mile perimeter on all four sides.  This will stretch almost the entire distance from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Many parts of the country are already becoming a garden, but not to compare with its future.

The Psalmist David could see the future glory of his capital city and sung of that day in Psalm 48:1-3.  “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.  Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.  God is known in her palaces for a refuge.”  David even details the hatred kings would feel in envy for this city. “For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.  They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.  Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.”  (Psalm 48:4-6).  He also spoke of the city’s eternal presence as the enduring city forever. “As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.”  (Psalm 48:8).

Jerusalem, as it now exists, shall be attacked by the Antichrist, her temple desecrated by his false religion, and her palace partially destroyed; but, immediately, upon the triumph of the Messiah, she shall start her rise to greatness.  The previous mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek,  stated that he had the greatest task in the world: to prepare Jerusalem for the Messiah.  I believe this is the generation that will witness the final events that lead to the Millennium Kingdom of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and His rulership in this “Eternal City.”  One can almost hear the words of Isaiah as they near fulfillment.  “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.”  (Isaiah 52:1).  Ezekiel prophesies of Jerusalem, “”and the name of the city from that day shall be, (Jehovah Shammah) The Lord is there.”  (Ezekiel 48:35).

The Promise Land Stretching From Jerusalem
The great city of Jerusalem will be the capital of all the territory promised to Abraham.  Its boundaries will eliminate several existing nations and finally experience peace with the two nations left on her borders.  Assyria and Egypt will be her northern and southern allies, while the heirs of promise inhabit the rest of the geographical region between the two.  The God that cannot lie has given His Word.

This is the promise as given to Abraham.  “In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:  The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”  (Genesis 15:18-21).

Not only did Abraham receive this great assurance of his inheritance, but also it was given with the cutting of a covenant unique to this promise.  A great Biblical scholar, G.H. Pember details this covenant experience in breathtaking terms.

“In response, then, to the command of God, Abraham brought the prescribed animals, and proceeded to divide the beasts, laying each half opposite to that which corresponded with it.

“The birds he did not divide, being thus in accord with the later Mosaic ritual, but probably placed one on either side.  And so, having completed his preparations, he waited for the arrival of the Other Party to the covenant, being watchful in the meanwhile to drive off the birds of prey that flew down upon the carcasses.

“Now, when God had called him out of the tent, the stars were shining: at least, therefore, the time must have been very early morning.  Hence the patriarch seems to have waited and watched during the whole of the long day, and still his faith was tried; for God did not yet appear to confirm the covenant.  Just, however, as the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell upon him, in which he experienced terror and great darkness.  Then, the gloom was pierced by the voice of God, and Abraham heard words by no means out of harmony with his direful circumstances, though ending in strains of far distant hope.

“The sun had gone down, and Abraham seems to have awakened to a consciousness of his surroundings.  It was dark, and he saw moving towards the carcasses an appearance in shape like to a cylindrical furnace, from which smoke was issuing, and a fiery flame streamed forth.  It was the sign of God’s presence, corresponding to the pillar of cloud and fire by which He subsequently manifested Himself to Israel. In this form He passed between the pieces; but Abraham was not invited to follow Him.  The reason of this departure from ordinary custom seems to lie in the fact that the covenant, which God was about to establish, involved an absolute promise, the fulfillment of which did not depend upon conditions to be required of Abraham.

“After the Lord had thus passed between the pieces, He defined, in the plainest and most unmistakable terms, the extent of the territory which He had reserved for the children of Abraham.  “Unto thy seed” He said, “have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:  The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”  (Genesis 15:18-21).

“Such then, is the memorable promise in which the boundaries of the land of Israel were defined, and its full extent made known.  As we have before remarked, it was given without any conditions: consequently, no possible circumstances can prevent its ultimate fulfillment.”  (The Great Prophecies of the Centuries Concerning Israel and the Gentiles, G.H. Pember, M.A., original publisher, Hodder and Stoughton, London, England, 1909, pp. 52-54.)

The extent of the boundaries was set in unmistakable terms.  Israel was to drive out all its inhabitants and inherit this entire territory when she returned from bondage in Egypt.  Instead, she bargained with her neighbor, started serving their gods, intermarried with the heathens, and, finally, ended in destruction and rejection by God.  Nothing that has happened in the 3,000 plus years since Abraham heard from God has annulled God’s faithfulness.  Israel will be chastened and scourged until her heart is humbled and then the Messiah will come.  “Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.”  (Ezekiel 36:31).  That day is fast approaching.

Several additional Scriptures will help define the land expanse involved in these promises.  “From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.”  (Joshua 1:4).  “Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.” (Deuteronomy 11:24)

We can clearly define several areas: the wilderness (Arabia, present Saudi Arabia, and several small Arab nations), Lebanon (controlled by Syria), to the river Euphrates (the portion of Iraq west of the Euphrates river), land of the Hittites (described below) with the Mediterranean Sea for the western boundary.  “All the land of the Hittites” includes a large portion of eastern and southern Turkey and all of Syria is included in this promise.  Other areas are described in the text from Genesis 15:18-21.  “From the river Egypt” is believed to represent the area from the north end of the Gulf of Suez going in a northwestern direction toward the Mediterranean Sea.  It appears that the whole of the Sinai Desert and all of Jordan will belong to the Promise Land. The tribes of the Canaanites, all of which lived in Palestine were dispossessed, either partially or entirely by Joshua and no longer exist in any natural form. This presents a fairly clear picture of the future possession of Israel.  With the Mediterranean Sea as a western border, the southern lines of the Sinai and Arabian Desert as the southern border and going north along the Persian Gulf and the Euphrates River to embrace at least the southwestern half of Turkey from the Euphrates River to the regions running north of Syria and Lebanon and then ending again at the coast of the Great Sea.  For Israel to speak of this kind of territorial design would be an act of war.  Yet, God’s promises that cannot fail are unquestionable in declaring Abraham’s seed as the rightful heirs.

There are some areas of this territory that are to be judged and uninhabited at least until God creates a New Heaven and a New Earth and the former things are forever vanquished.  I believe that the New Creation begins at the start of the Millennium and will continue until all things are made new, and God the Father, Himself, dwells with men in the New Jerusalem.  It will all be final by the end of one thousand years when the Bridal City descends from God to dwell among men.  As the millennium kingdom is established, righteousness, and prosperity will fill the whole earth beginning in the new, greatly enlarged “State of Israel.”

Jewish People to Return After the Millennium Begins
Immediately after the return of Jesus Christ to end the Battle of Armageddon and to inaugurate His kingdom, there will be an influx of Jewish descendants from every corner of the globe.  The return of the children of Abraham has begun, but is only a trickle compared to the future.  The following prophecy given by Isaiah is clearly dated after the beginning of the “thousand years of Christ’s reign.”  A remnant is going home at present, but the entire seed of promise is soon to follow.  “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.  But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.  And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.  And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.”  (Isaiah 11:10-16).

The multiplied city of Jerusalem and enlarged “State of Israel” will easily incorporate millions of Jewish citizens.  The people of Israel represent a level of expertise and brainpower unknown in any culture on earth.  This intellectual and creative ability will be mightily enhanced by the spiritual transformation of serving the Glorified Messiah and now their new king, Jesus Christ.  The glory that King David and Solomon dreamed about will be a stark reality as wealthy Jews bring all their riches to the “Land of Promise.”  No longer will they be required to leave their accumulated possessions in the country from which they immigrate.  It will now serve to increase the wealth of the “Zion of God.”

Information is now surfacing that there are millions more Jewish people in many countries of the world than previously believed.  Debate has raged for decades over the ten tribes (Israel) that were deported into the Assyrian kingdom before the destruction of Jerusalem (Judah) and the deportation of its inhabitants to Babylon.  I”m not an authority on this subject, but I do believe millions will respond to the call when the Millennium kingdom is established. Isaiah clearly distinguished between the two groups with his prophecy.  He said, “and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”  (Isaiah 11:12b). He called Israel “the outcast;” that could refer to their rejection even by the present “State of Israel.”  All of that will change when the Messiah is seated on the Throne of David.

Israel to Possess Inhabitants of Babylon as Slaves
Citizens of Israel will not only be wealthy, they will possess the heathens for an inheritance.  It will be a Godly rule of justice and fairness, but they will be their servants.  Isaiah spoke of this day when Babylon would be destroyed as Sodom and Gomorrah.  His words are as follows, “For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.  And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.  And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.  He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.  The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.”  (Isaiah 14:1-7).

The Psalmist David saw this same reality in his prophetic utterances.  He ties this historic future to the time when the King would set upon the holy hill of Zion.  “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.  I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.  Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.  Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”  (Psalm 2:6-9).

Our twentieth century minds cannot grasp this kind of thinking.  We forget that God is just and all of us will reap exactly what we sow.  Not only do individuals reap the fruit of their labor, but families and nations also answer for the corporate action of their past.  The Tribulation Period will purge the earth of its wickedness, but those who survive this holocaust will be judged by their individual and corporate treatment of the Jewish nation.  Their lot in the millennium will be decided by their action during Israel”s darkest period of all history.  Remember, these are natural people who manage to survive the “Seven Year of Tribulation.”  Three classes of people will share the millennium kingdom: the Jewish nation, the glorified saints, and the natural people. Israelis will rule the new State of Israel, the saints will rule the rest of the world and the natural people will serve both.

Assyria and Egypt to be Partners with Israel
The promise land will stretch from Egypt on the south to Assyria on the north and east.  The heirs of Isaac and Jacob will possess everything between these two nations.  The Moabites, Ammonites (parts of Modern Jordan), and Edomites will share the land given to them, but Israel will rule over them.  A partnership will develop between Israel, Egypt, and Assyria that will give them control of the entire Middle East.  Peace will finally come to this “Hotspot of the World.”

Isaiah gave specific prophecy of this day.  “The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.”  “And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts.”  “In that day shall Egypt be like unto women: and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the LORD of hosts, which he shaketh over it.  And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the LORD of hosts, which he hath determined against it.”  “In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD.  And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.  And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it.  And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them.  In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians.  In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land:  Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.”  (Isaiah 19:1, 4, 16-17, 19-25).

Prophecies of this magnitude always overwhelm me.  When I was in Egypt in February 1990, my heart melted at the depression hanging like a cloud.  When I arrived at my hotel the first night, after a day of sightseeing and research, the Holy Spirit miraculously led me to these verses.  Suddenly, the hope of my Messiah’s (Jesus Christ’s) coming was more than escape.  It was renewal, re-creation, and glory for every part of God’s earth, including Egypt.

These verses show that after Egypt and Assyria are judged, God will renew both and make them the followers and worshippers of the King of Israel.  They will share with Israel the blessings of the eternal kingdom.  Israel will be a blessing in the midst of Egypt and Assyria.  Egypt He called “His people,” Assyria He called “the work of His hands,” and Israel He called “Mine inheritance.”  Assyria and Egypt will be possessed by Israel”s King and not by Israel as a nation.  It will be a unique partnership for eternity.

The New Center of Creation
Jerusalem, the Golden City, and the Nation of Israel will be the center of God’s new world.  Its King will be the triumphant one who trod the winepress of God’s wrath at Calvary and earned the right to rule.  The old center of creation was Eden and the land of Shinar (Sumer).  The people forfeited their position and God called a new nation by Abraham.  Jerusalem took the place of Eden or Babylon before Abraham arrived in the land.  Finally, after centuries of human failure, the promise will be final.  The promise land will become the “center of God’s New World.”  For one thousand years it will be perfectly ruled by the King of Kings.  The followers of the Second Adam will enjoy what God designed for the First Adam.  “And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.  Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.  (Ezekiel 36:35-36).

It does not end with the millennium kingdom.  That’s only the prelude to an eternity in the presence of God.  The “Earthly Jerusalem” and “New Jerusalem” coming down from God out of heaven will be the focus of God’s entire cosmos.  The Father, Himself, will be with us for eternity.  We will enjoy a “New Heaven” and a “New Earth.”  The glory of God and of the Lamb will enlighten and fill the sinless eternal existence of mankind.

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”  “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”  “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” (Revelation 21:1, 3, 22-23).