There are presently 39 places located within 21 different countries that are named Jerusalem. In America, 11 cities bear this name. (1) This article is going to explore the Jerusalem within Israel that appears over 800 times in the Bible.
Like there is One God in Three Persons, known as the Trinity in Christian doctrine, there is one holy city of Jerusalem, but it appears in three different dispensational time periods. There are:
1. The Present Jerusalem,
2. The Millennial Jerusalem,
3. The NEW JERUSALEM.
The Present and Millennial Jerusalem both have a starting and ending point, but The NEW JERUSALEM will never end and may already exist as a satellite city somewhere in the heavens today.
The Present Jerusalem
The Modern-day Jerusalem appears to be nearing its end. Like the present earth, Jerusalem, Israel also has an expiration date. When this earth gets destroyed at the end of the Seven-Year Tribulation Period, the Present Jerusalem will be left without a planet for its foundation to sit upon.
• Isaiah 51:6 – says that “the heavens will vanish away like smoke” and “the earth will grow old like a garment.”
• 2 Peter 3:10 – informs “the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”
That’s the bad news, but the GOOD NEWS is this earth undergoes a renovation for the MILLENNIUM as per these following verses:
• 2 Peter 3:13 – clarifies that after the earth is “burned up,” that “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
In The MILLENNIUM Prophecies and the NEW JERUSALEM book, I point out that this new earth is not brand new, like the one in Revelation 22:1 will be, but is only a restored earth that will exist throughout the MILLENNIUM.
The Present Jerusalem’s best days may have ended just prior to when the COVID 19 pandemic overtook the world.
“Israel welcomes record-breaking 4.55 million tourists in 2019” (Jerusalem Post on 12/29/19) (2)
As the headline illustrates, in the year prior to the COVID 19 outbreak, Israel was a tourism hotspot. But then, as pointed out in the headline below, tourism decreased dramatically as the Jewish State levied stiff restrictions on tourists entering the country.
“Tourist arrivals to Israel decreased by 81.3% in 2020: Ministry” – (i24 News on (2/2/21) (3)
Additionally numerous Israeli businesses were closed down and according to the headline below, this trend is expected to continue.
“Up to 60,000 Israeli businesses may close in 2021 amid COVID-19 fallout: reports” (Times of Israel on 10/22/20) (4)
All of the above has taken its toll on the holy land of Israel and its historic city of Jerusalem. Perhaps the Jewish state and Jerusalem might rebound and again bolster a bustling economy and thriving tourist industry, but according to end times Bible prophecy, Jerusalem is ultimately destined for disaster. The present Jerusalem is going to need a facelift after the following prophesied events happen. The holy city will become:
1. a cup of trembling to the surrounding Arab nations when they lay a final siege upon it (Zechariah 12:2),
2. a burdensome stone to the international community as it continues its attempts to divide the city (Zech. 12:3),
3. trodden over during the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation Period by the Gentiles, probably alluding to both the clergy and laity of the Harlot world religion, a.k.a., Mystery Babylon of Rev. 17 (Rev. 11:2),
5. split in two from east to west by an enormous earthquake that carves out a very large valley by moving half of the mountain toward the north and half of it to the south. This occurs at the time
of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Zech. 14:4),
6. reduced to ruins from the above events and need to be rebuilt for the return of the Faithful Jewish Remnant (Ezek. 36:38).
The Millennial Jerusalem
The fulfillment of these above events will firstly, render the existing Jerusalem unsuitable for the Messiah to establish His throne there. Secondly, make it uninhabitable for the returning Jews to live there. Thirdly, cause it to be uninviting for the Gentiles to tour there. All three of these are prophesied scenarios expected to find fulfillment in the Millennium. Therefore, Jerusalem will need to be restored for millennial purposes.
We catch our first glimpse of the restored Millennial Jerusalem through the visionary eyes of Ezekiel.
“In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south.” (Ezekiel 40:2, KJV)
Ezekiel appears to get a foretaste of the framework of the Millennial Jerusalem in its early stages. He then devotes most of the content of his last chapters, 40 through 48, to describing the city’s restoration. Below are some passages that describe the city’s forthcoming renovation.
“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised In the city of our God, In His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, The joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, The city of the great King.” (Psalm 48:1-2)
It will be beautiful and elevated on a mountain on its sides of the north. It will become the city of our God and of the great King. This has a double meaning. First, the throne of Messiah, the great King, will be established there as per Jeremiah 3:17 and second, the glory of Jehovah, our God, will reside inside the Millennial Temple according to Ezekiel 44:4.
“Also He brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple; so I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord; and I fell on my face.”
As a result of these two features, the restored Jerusalem in the Millennium will be given a new name entitled, THE LORD IS THERE!
“For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns. The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name.” (Isaiah 62:1-2, NKJV; emphasis added)
“And the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.” (Ezek. 48:35b)
Life in the MILLENNIUM
With Jesus Christ reigning upon His throne in Jerusalem and Jehovah God’s Shekinah Glory filling the Millennial Temple, life in the MILLENNIUM will be amazing. A summary list of the high points of Millennial life is provided below. The following tabulations are not listed in any sequential or prioritized order. During the Millennium there will be:
• No more war – (Isaiah 2:4) According to Revelation 20:7-9, there will be one last major battle spearheaded by Satan, which gets supernaturally defeated by God, but that takes place after the Millennium.
• No remembrance of the bad events that happened on the past earth – (Isaiah 65:16-17).
• Advanced aeronautical methods of air travel and transportation – (Isaiah 60:8).
• A pure singular language – (Zephaniah 3:9).
• A theocratic global government that is ruled with a rod of iron by a just and righteous monarch, (the Messiah), Who maintains world peace – (Isaiah 9:6-7, Psalm 2:7-9, Revelation 2:27, 12:5 and 19:15).
• Children intermingling with dangerous animals and venomous snakes – (Isaiah 11:8-9).
• Instantaneous answers to prayer – (Isaiah 65:24).
• Crippled that walk and leap and mute who talk and sing – (Isaiah 35:6).
• Waters gushing from the wilderness and streams flowing in the deserts – (Isaiah 35:6).
• Grain and grapes that grow faster than they can be harvested – (Amos 9:13).
• Plant life flourishing – (Isaiah 35:1, 2, 7).
• Robust construction and farming industries – (Isaiah 65:21).
• Adequate housing supplies – (Isaiah 65:22).
Although some of the above conditions will be more prominent in Israel, it is likely that many of the same conditions will be prevalent throughout the world. However, more specific to Israel there will be:
• Only gladness and rejoicing taking place in Jerusalem and no more crying or weeping – (Isaiah 65:18-19). The only exception will be when the Jews mourn for the Messiah whom they pierced in Zechariah 12:10-14. However, this technically appears to happen prior to the Millennium during the Seventy-Five Day Interval Period.
• Vineyards that drip with sweet wine – (Amos 9:13).
All the above sounds great right? However, there’s a fly in the ointment. The monkey wrench in the millennial machinery is that mankind maintains his sin nature in the MILLENNIUM. Ultimately, the 1000-year Messianic Age will end and give way to the ETERNAL ORDER and just before it does, the restored earth and the Millennial Jerusalem will vanish.
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.” (Rev. 20:11)
The NEW JERUSALEM
Sin has to be entirely eradicated from the planet in order for the ETERNAL ORDER to be put in place. This is because the actual Personage of Jehovah God, and not just His Shekinah Glory, will dwell among men. Thus, not even the slightest hint of sin can exist in His Presence.
“And there shall be no more curse (of sin), but the throne of God (Jehovah) and of the Lamb (Jesus Christ) shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.” (Rev. 22:3-4, NKJV; emphasis added)
“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of (Jehovah) God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And (Jehovah) God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things (in the MILLENNIUM) have passed away.” (Rev. 21:3-4, NKJV; emphasis added)
Jehovah God and Jesus Christ have saved the best for last. No more sin curse, or things associated with it, like death, sorrow nor crying will ever exist in the ETERNAL ORDER. However, what will exist is the glorious city of gold called, The NEW JERUSALEM.
“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2)
“The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.” (Rev. 21:18)
Can you imagine watching an entire city descend downward from the sky, rather than being built from the ground up? Not just a city, but according to Rev. 21:18 a city made of pure gold and Rev. 21:16 informs it’s the largest city that will ever be known to man? Some estimates place the size of the city to be comparable to about two-thirds of the United States.
“The dimensions and descriptions of the city stagger our imagination. “Foursquare” means “equal on all sides”; which may mean the city is a perfect cube, a “holy of holies” radiant with the presence of God. Or, it could be a pyramid. In either case, the city measures about 1,500 miles each way, or two-thirds the size of the United States!” (Warren Wiersbe) (5)
This city comes down at the beginning of the Eternal Order, but it could possibly already exist. John sees the actual city, not a blueprint of a city that is not yet built. Some believe that it is the city that Abraham waited for as part of the covenant that God made with him.
“By faith he, (Abraham), dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:9-10, NKJV; emphasis added)
This above verse says that Abraham awaited for a city, which has foundations, as if to suggest the city, or at least its foundations, may have existed as far back as about four thousand years ago when Abraham lived.
Will the CHURCH be CAUGHT UP into the NEW JERUSALEM
If this city already exists, is it possible that this is where the Church goes in the twinkling of and eye when it gets raptured? Below is a relevant quote from The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament about the possibility that the NEW JERUSALEM may already exist.
“Many expositors regard the promise of Christ in John 14:2, “I am going there to prepare a place for you,” as referring to this city. The suggestion has been made that if the New Jerusalem is in existence during the millennial reign of Christ, it may have been suspended in the heavens as a dwelling place for resurrected and translated saints, who nevertheless would have immediate access to the earth to carry on their functions of ruling with Christ. J. Dwight Pentecost, for instance, quotes F.C. Jennings, William Kelly, and Walter Scott as supporting this concept of the New Jerusalem as a satellite city during the Millennium. In the Millennium the New Jerusalem clearly does not rest on the earth, for there is an earthly Jerusalem and an earthly temple (Ezek. 40-48). The New Jerusalem then will apparently be withdrawn from its proximity to the earth when the earth will be destroyed at the end of the Millennium, and then will come back after the new earth is created. Though this possibility of a satellite city has been disregarded by most commentators and must be considered as an inference rather than a direct revelation of the Bible, it does solve some problems of the relationship between the resurrected and translated saints to those still in their natural bodies in the Millennium, problems which otherwise are left without explanation.” (6)
This above quote starts with this intriguing comment, “Many expositors regard the promise of Christ in John 14:2.” This passage of scripture is worth quoting and explaining in its full context to see how it might apply to the Church Saints, the Rapture and the NEW JERUSALEM.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” (John 14:1-4, NKJV; emphasis added)
Firstly, please note that these four verses convey a very personal message from Jesus Christ to His believers. He uses the words you and your nine times to qualify who He’s addressing and comforting. If you are a believer, then let not your heart be troubled because these promises are for you!
Secondly, the mansions being prepared for you as a believer are in My Father’s house, which places their location where Jehovah dwells. According to Rev. 21:2-3, 22-23, God the Father will dwell in the Eternal Order among His people in the golden holy city of NEW JERUSALEM. Perhaps, this is the zip code that Jesus Christ is presently preparing a place for you.
If the NEW JERUSALEM already exists, and if this is the place Jesus Christ is preparing for you, then when you are Raptured, whether you are asleep in Christ or alive and remain on the earth at that time, then the instant you are caught up to be with Christ, this is likely where you are going. According to 1 Corinthians 15:52 this happens as fast as the “twinkling of an eye.”
In other words, “Here today, in NEW JERUSALEM tomorrow,” alluding to the unknown tomorrow when the Rapture occurs.
Lastly, it’s important to note that the way to be carried over the threshold of your mansion, which may be located in the NEW JERUSALEM, is through the Preparer of your mansion, Jesus Christ.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Rev. 21:2 uses the illustration of the NEW JERUSALEM “as a bride adorned for her husband.” This may be a hint that this is where the Church Saints go after being Raptured because in 2 Cor. 11:2 the Church is pictured as the Bride of Christ.
(1) Jerusalem city count was taken on 8/25/21 from this website: https://geotargit.com/called.php?qcity=Jerusalem.
(2) JP headline came from this weblink: https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/israel-welcomes-record-breaking-455-million-tourists-in-2019-612456.
(3) I24 headline was taken from this weblink: https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/1609448004-israel-in-severe-hit-by-covid-19-crisis-tourism-decreased-by-81-3-in-2020.
(4) Times of Israel headline taken from this website: https://www.timesofisrael.com/up-to-60000-israeli-businesses-may-close-in-2021-amid-covid-19-fallout-report/.
(5) Wiersbe’s expository outline on the New Testament.
(6) Quote from Dr. John Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck.