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  • Does God Still Have Zeal for Zion?

    In all of the discussions about Israel and the validity of the Old Testament promises to the Jews today after the cross and the overall Israeli rejection of the Messiah (percentage-wise) in the first century, I never see any discussion of God's zeal for Zion that transcends in some ways His zeal for the Jewish people (if He has any - but that's a debate for a zillion other threads).

    In other words, the land (in some arguments) seems to be rendered as irrelevant as the people in the current debates that are happening within this forum - without scriptural precedent, in my opinion.

    I think of Joel 2:18, for example - "Then the Lord will be zealous for His land..."

    Is that a temporal reality? Is that zeal for the "land" a thing of the past? By what passage of scripture can we base that assumption on?

    We see that zeal expressed yet again in Zechariah 1 and 8:

    "I am zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great zeal..." (Zech. 1:14)

    "I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy, My house shall be built in it..." (Zech. 1:16)

    "'I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; with great fervor I am zealous for her.' Thus says the Lord" 'I will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain." (Zech. 8:2-3)


    I guess my question, and the discussion I'm interested in, centers around the fact that God in the OT continually expresses His zeal for the land, or the geographic location of Israel. He chose that place to be born over every other place on earth. It seems as if one could argue fairly convincingly that, of all the places on earth, He has also chosen that geographic location as the place in which He will return. In my viewpoint, that logically flows to Israel then being the location from which He will exercise the fullness of His rule over all the nations of the earth (fulfilling every promise in detail in the OT).

    Does the land itself still matter?

    In light of God's expressed zeal and continual choice of that geographic location by which He chooses to have the two most important events in all of history take place (1st and 2nd Coming), whether or not we agree on what happens in Jerusalem after His return -

    Why would the land still matter to God today?

    And then finally, if there is disagreement about the value of the land to the Lord in our time,

    What passages negate this idea?

    Thanks in advance for participating!
    The Rookie

    Twelve is the number of government. Thus, it is quite apropos that I am on my way towards wielding the power of twelve bars - each bar like, say, a tribe.....or a star.....or, maybe an apostle. A blue apostle. Like apostle smurfs. Does anyone remember smurfs? And all the controversy about them being from the devil? It's probably bad that I juxtaposed "apostle" and "smurf" in the same sentence. But then, I probably lost you at "blue apostle". Yes, my friends, this is what "rare jewel of a person" is actually implying. "Rare Jewel of a Person" really means, "Potentially Insane".

  • #2
    What about Jerusalem being given to the Gentiles? Isn't that the period we are in before the return of Jesus?
    sigpic

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Joe King View Post
      What about Jerusalem being given to the Gentiles? Isn't that the period we are in before the return of Jesus?
      Perhaps, and there is probably something there to explore - but from the period of the Judges through, perhaps, to the Second Coming, Israeli land being "handed over" to Gentiles, the enemies of God, etc. does not seem to be a negation of God's zeal for the geographic territory.

      "Losing" possession of the land does seem to be a continual affirmation of God's zeal that the Israelites inhabit the land in the spirit of Deut. 28:1-14 (the blessings that accompany the "careful" observance of the commands of God); but again, Israelite obedience to the law or Israelite rebellion seems to be an issue connected with (but not the same as) God's zeal for the land itself, i.e. Isa. 62:4. Yet regardless of Israel's obedience, God seems to maintain a zeal for the geographic region that I have not seen negated in scripture.

      Jerusalem was in Babylonian hands in 587 for the next 50 years (or so) and then was in Persian (Gentile) hands when Zechariah restated God's zeal for the city and the land, for example.
      The Rookie

      Twelve is the number of government. Thus, it is quite apropos that I am on my way towards wielding the power of twelve bars - each bar like, say, a tribe.....or a star.....or, maybe an apostle. A blue apostle. Like apostle smurfs. Does anyone remember smurfs? And all the controversy about them being from the devil? It's probably bad that I juxtaposed "apostle" and "smurf" in the same sentence. But then, I probably lost you at "blue apostle". Yes, my friends, this is what "rare jewel of a person" is actually implying. "Rare Jewel of a Person" really means, "Potentially Insane".

      Comment


      • #4
        I believe the land was important as one of the means to the ends that was accomplished at Christ's coming. Once Christ came however, and the Holy Spirit began to go out and be received in all the lands of the world (for the first time), the focalized area's scope changed from a small limited area; to worldwide.

        The useage of that small area and people, that was promised to Abraham, (the land and the descendents that would number throughout the nations as the stars of the sky), began to see it's fulfillment following Christ's resurrection and the outgoing into the nations; and their repentence found around the entire world for the first time....and ever since.

        Israel (landwise) was the starting off point, which now encompasses the entire globe; or as Jesus explain:

        John 4:21 "the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father."

        and

        Acts 1:8 "ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."


        God used the land between Abraham and Joseph/Mary to bring Christ into the world; then that land fulfilled it's role; and the land of importance became the Fields of Harvest, white and ripe for the reaping, reaching around the entire globe.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by vinsight4u8
          I add to your list of passages about Zion - Isaiah 62
          I agree with Isa. 62 (which is why I included it above) - I think that there are many, many passages that can be added to the discussion; I just wanted to begin with the most (IMO) irrefutable ones and go from there.
          Last edited by the rookie; Sep 22nd 2008, 04:36 PM. Reason: other responder deleted his off-topic points...
          The Rookie

          Twelve is the number of government. Thus, it is quite apropos that I am on my way towards wielding the power of twelve bars - each bar like, say, a tribe.....or a star.....or, maybe an apostle. A blue apostle. Like apostle smurfs. Does anyone remember smurfs? And all the controversy about them being from the devil? It's probably bad that I juxtaposed "apostle" and "smurf" in the same sentence. But then, I probably lost you at "blue apostle". Yes, my friends, this is what "rare jewel of a person" is actually implying. "Rare Jewel of a Person" really means, "Potentially Insane".

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for responding David. It seems as if you are either, IMO, taking those verses out of context to make your point or making them state something far more than what they were intended to communicate.

            Originally posted by David Taylor View Post
            I believe the land was important as one of the means to the ends that was accomplished at Christ's coming. Once Christ came however, and the Holy Spirit began to go out and be received in all the lands of the world (for the first time), the focalized area's scope changed from a small limited area; to worldwide.
            But the zeal that was expressed in Zechariah 1 and 8 (and Joel 2:17-3:21) and beyond) seems to have a "timeline" attached that transcends the 1st Coming. All three passages seem to have an end-times application and a 2nd Coming (and beyond) terminus point, since the drama of the judgment of the nations takes place in that "small limited area" that God expresses such intense emotions about. Why did God have such intense emotions about a geographic location?

            The useage of that small area and people, that was promised to Abraham, (the land and the descendents that would number throughout the nations as the stars of the sky), began to see it's fulfillment following Christ's resurrection and the outgoing into the nations; and their repentence found around the entire world for the first time....and ever since.
            So then, the zeal of God was related to "practical usage"? Not to trivialize what you are saying - I am going to ask this for my own understanding - but is it like having zeal for my car because it helps me accomlish my ministry? Then, once the job is done, I discard the vehicle and have no further use for it?

            Israel (landwise) was the starting off point, which now encompasses the entire globe; or as Jesus explain:
            But it seems as if Israel is also the "ending point", according to the book of Revelation (knit to the earlier passages I referenced).

            John 4:21 "the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father."
            As I noted above, you seem to be changing the context of this conversation a bit, as Jesus was talking about Samaritan worship practices versus the current Temple worship in Jerusalem. IOW, Jesus was speaking of a centuries old "rivalry" between Samaria and Judah related to the Temple location and the Davidic promises (i.e. Hosea 1 and Hosea's oracle about the disdain Israel had for David, etc.). Jesus was speaking of worship that would flow in "spirit and in truth" or love of God rather than human pride and competetiveness.

            It doesn't seem as if Jesus was negating His Father's zeal for a geographic location in this passage; though He was negating human loyalty to current (in that day) worship structures and locations in the same manner He did in Matt. 24:1-2.
            and

            Acts 1:8 "ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
            This speaks to me of human function or a divine mandate / mission - that they as a team would go out from Jerusalem and take the good news to the ends of the earth. How though, does this negate the earlier expressions of zeal that God has for Jerusalem and the land of Israel?

            God used the land between Abraham and Joseph/Mary to bring Christ into the world; then that land fulfilled it's role; and the land of importance became the Fields of Harvest, white and ripe for the reaping, reaching around the entire globe.
            So the role of the land is done? God has no more zeal for the land itself? What scripture states this? Why does the prophetic scripture seem to imply that the land has a role to play in events to come? Where does Jesus "come" to the 2nd time?
            The Rookie

            Twelve is the number of government. Thus, it is quite apropos that I am on my way towards wielding the power of twelve bars - each bar like, say, a tribe.....or a star.....or, maybe an apostle. A blue apostle. Like apostle smurfs. Does anyone remember smurfs? And all the controversy about them being from the devil? It's probably bad that I juxtaposed "apostle" and "smurf" in the same sentence. But then, I probably lost you at "blue apostle". Yes, my friends, this is what "rare jewel of a person" is actually implying. "Rare Jewel of a Person" really means, "Potentially Insane".

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by the rookie View Post
              Thanks for responding David. It seems as if you are either, IMO, taking those verses out of context to make your point or making them state something far more than what they were intended to communicate.
              Probably so.

              Originally posted by the rookie View Post
              So then, the zeal of God was related to "practical usage"? Not to trivialize what you are saying - I am going to ask this for my own understanding - but is it like having zeal for my car because it helps me accomlish my ministry? Then, once the job is done, I discard the vehicle and have no further use for it?
              Israel (landwise) is apart of the entire world mission now. It isn't discarded; but now then entire world has a useage it didn't have before.



              Originally posted by the rookie View Post
              But it seems as if Israel is also the "ending point", according to the book of Revelation (knit to the earlier passages I referenced).
              Revelation shows the "ending point" for the entire planet in its present sinful and cursed condition.


              Originally posted by the rookie View Post
              As I noted above, you seem to be changing the context of this conversation a bit, as Jesus was talking about Samaritan worship practices versus the current Temple worship in Jerusalem. IOW, Jesus was speaking of a centuries old "rivalry" between Samaria and Judah related to the Temple location and the Davidic promises (i.e. Hosea 1 and Hosea's oracle about the disdain Israel had for David, etc.). Jesus was speaking of worship that would flow in "spirit and in truth" or love of God rather than human pride and competetiveness.
              true....
              Originally posted by the rookie View Post
              It doesn't seem as if Jesus was negating His Father's zeal for a geographic location in this passage; though He was negating human loyalty to current (in that day) worship structures and locations in the same manner He did in Matt. 24:1-2.
              Sure He was, He very matter-of-factly told them that the time was come that it didn't matter where (location-wise) people worshipped the Father. Jerusalem was no more special than Samaria.

              Originally posted by the rookie View Post
              So the role of the land is done? God has no more zeal for the land itself? What scripture states this? Why does the prophetic scripture seem to imply that the land has a role to play in events to come? Where does Jesus "come" to the 2nd time?
              Jesus comes to the Earth and restores it all. Not just a small portion of it.
              All the Land is restored for His people; and His people are the focal point of His return. The Prophets many time had their sights limited to Israel alone; and not the greater expanse that God had in mind that would include the restoration of all peoples of all nations (including all lands) to Him.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by the rookie View Post
                Does the land itself still matter?
                I do not think that it does. I suggest that one of Paul's central insights was that a number of the promises, ostensibly made to "national Israel" are in fact promises to another group "true Israel". Furthermore, I suggest Paul sees that the "thing promised" - in this case the land - is not really what was promised after all. In the case of the land, Paul discerns that the promise never really was about the land of Palestine, but about the entirety of creation.

                Note the following text from Romans 8. Paul clearly identifies "true Israel" (a group containing both Jews and Gentiles) as the real heirs to the covenant promises. And he sees that those heirs do not simply get Palestine, but all of creation.

                Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that[i] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by the rookie View Post
                  In all of the discussions about Israel and the validity of the Old Testament promises to the Jews today after the cross and the overall Israeli rejection of the Messiah (percentage-wise) in the first century, I never see any discussion of God's zeal for Zion that transcends in some ways His zeal for the Jewish people (if He has any - but that's a debate for a zillion other threads).

                  In other words, the land (in some arguments) seems to be rendered as irrelevant as the people in the current debates that are happening within this forum - without scriptural precedent, in my opinion.

                  I think of Joel 2:18, for example - "Then the Lord will be zealous for His land..."

                  Is that a temporal reality? Is that zeal for the "land" a thing of the past? By what passage of scripture can we base that assumption on?

                  We see that zeal expressed yet again in Zechariah 1 and 8:

                  "I am zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great zeal..." (Zech. 1:14)

                  "I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy, My house shall be built in it..." (Zech. 1:16)

                  "'I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; with great fervor I am zealous for her.' Thus says the Lord" 'I will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain." (Zech. 8:2-3)

                  I guess my question, and the discussion I'm interested in, centers around the fact that God in the OT continually expresses His zeal for the land, or the geographic location of Israel. He chose that place to be born over every other place on earth. It seems as if one could argue fairly convincingly that, of all the places on earth, He has also chosen that geographic location as the place in which He will return. In my viewpoint, that logically flows to Israel then being the location from which He will exercise the fullness of His rule over all the nations of the earth (fulfilling every promise in detail in the OT).

                  Does the land itself still matter?
                  No, I don't believe it does.

                  Why would the land still matter to God today?
                  I don't know why it would. I don't believe it does.

                  And then finally, if there is disagreement about the value of the land to the Lord in our time,

                  What passages negate this idea?

                  Thanks in advance for participating!
                  Hebrews 11
                  8By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
                  9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
                  10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
                  11Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
                  12Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
                  13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
                  14For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
                  15And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16But 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.

                  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all knew that they were strangers on this earth. They realized that the land was not what mattered. So, they looked for a city whose builder and maker is God. They desired a better country, a heavenly one. Why should we be any different? Is it physical things like land that matters to God or is it a heavenly city, new Jerusalem, and a heavenly country, the Israel of God, that matters?

                  Hebrews 12
                  18For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
                  19And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
                  20(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
                  21And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake
                  22But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
                  23To 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 men made perfect, 24And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

                  I believe the Zion for which God now has zeal for is the heavenly Zion rather than the mountain that can be touched. I believe His zeal is for heavenly Jerusalem, the mother of us all (Gal 4:26) and not the earthly Jerusalem which is in bondage (Gal 4:25). Notice that it says the city of the living God is heavenly Jerusalem, not earthly Jerusalem. I believe God is zealous for His people in His heavenly kingdom and not for earthly land.

                  2 Peter 3
                  3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
                  4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
                  5For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
                  6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
                  7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
                  9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
                  10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
                  11Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
                  12Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

                  I believe Peter teaches here that we are looking forward to the appearance of the new heavens and new earth at His coming. I believe Peter tells us here that Christ is not coming to Jerusalem, but He is going to burn up the earth and remove all wickedness and the new earth will result from that. So it is the new earth that He will return to, a place "wherein dwelleth righteousness" and, IMO, a place wherein only dwelleth righteousness.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by David Taylor View Post
                    Probably so.


                    Israel (landwise) is apart of the entire world mission now. It isn't discarded; but now then entire world has a useage it didn't have before.
                    Makes sense. So you would say that, like the peoples of the earth, the land no longer has any special place in God's heart - that what was true in Joel, Isaiah, and Zechariah's day is no longer true and that the geographic location is no different than New York City or London? What scriptures prove this assertion?

                    Revelation shows the "ending point" for the entire planet in its present sinful and cursed condition.
                    Sure, but a few questions:

                    1. It seems possible that the temple in Jerusalem in Rev. 11 could be the actual, physical location of the two witnesses at the end of the age.

                    2. It seems possible that the "Mount Zion" of Rev. 14 is the actual "Mount Zion" referenced dozens of times in the OT as a literal, physical location not a heavenly one.

                    3. It seems likely that the Valley of Meggiddo is the same Israeli valley referenced elsewhere as "the Valley of Jehoshaphat" in Joel 3, located near Nazareth northwest of Jerusalem.

                    4. It seems probable that the final conflict of Jesus with the nations is settled there in the manner in which Rev. 19:11-21 parallels Isa. 63:1-6, which places Jesus at His return in the land of Israel striding towards the literal Jerusalem to deliver her from the nations that are gathered in Meggiddo.

                    5. It seems likely that, when the New Jerusalem descends to the earth it will be located on top of the "Old Jerusalem" geographically; which then means that it is also likely that Jesus will rule the earth from that geographic location.

                    That's alot of attention in the book of Revelation given to a geographic location in the midst of a global scenario.

                    Sure He was, He very matter-of-factly told them that the time was come that it didn't matter where (location-wise) people worshipped the Father. Jerusalem was no more special than Samaria.
                    Yes, no more special in context to the Temple worship scenario that concerned the Samaritan woman. This doesn't render Jerusalem inconsequential in totality, nor does is negate the earlier passages noted expressing God's zeal.

                    Jesus comes to the Earth and restores it all. Not just a small portion of it.
                    All the Land is restored for His people; and His people are the focal point of His return. The Prophets many time had their sights limited to Israel alone; and not the greater expanse that God had in mind that would include the restoration of all peoples of all nations (including all lands) to Him.
                    Agree (with the first sentence) and disagree (with the rest). The prophets had a global view of God's restorative plan with a central focus on the "headquarters" of that global transformation.
                    The Rookie

                    Twelve is the number of government. Thus, it is quite apropos that I am on my way towards wielding the power of twelve bars - each bar like, say, a tribe.....or a star.....or, maybe an apostle. A blue apostle. Like apostle smurfs. Does anyone remember smurfs? And all the controversy about them being from the devil? It's probably bad that I juxtaposed "apostle" and "smurf" in the same sentence. But then, I probably lost you at "blue apostle". Yes, my friends, this is what "rare jewel of a person" is actually implying. "Rare Jewel of a Person" really means, "Potentially Insane".

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by drew View Post
                      I do not think that it does. I suggest that one of Paul's central insights was that a number of the promises, ostensibly made to "national Israel" are in fact promises to another group "true Israel". Furthermore, I suggest Paul sees that the "thing promised" - in this case the land - is not really what was promised after all. In the case of the land, Paul discerns that the promise never really was about the land of Palestine, but about the entirety of creation.
                      Suggestion noted, but where does the broader view of God's plan negate the details of it's execution? In other words, why would it be either / or instead of both / and? The passage you reference below doesn't negate one reality - it affirms the other.

                      Note the following text from Romans 8. Paul clearly identifies "true Israel" (a group containing both Jews and Gentiles) as the real heirs to the covenant promises. And he sees that those heirs do not simply get Palestine, but all of creation.

                      Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that[i] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
                      That promise was already clear in the Abrahamic covenant - but again, where does this negate the emotions God expresses in the passages I referenced earlier?
                      The Rookie

                      Twelve is the number of government. Thus, it is quite apropos that I am on my way towards wielding the power of twelve bars - each bar like, say, a tribe.....or a star.....or, maybe an apostle. A blue apostle. Like apostle smurfs. Does anyone remember smurfs? And all the controversy about them being from the devil? It's probably bad that I juxtaposed "apostle" and "smurf" in the same sentence. But then, I probably lost you at "blue apostle". Yes, my friends, this is what "rare jewel of a person" is actually implying. "Rare Jewel of a Person" really means, "Potentially Insane".

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by John146 View Post

                        Hebrews 11
                        8By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
                        9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
                        10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
                        11Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
                        12Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
                        13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
                        14For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
                        15And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16But 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.

                        Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all knew that they were strangers on this earth. They realized that the land was not what mattered. So, they looked for a city whose builder and maker is God. They desired a better country, a heavenly one. Why should we be any different? Is it physical things like land that matters to God or is it a heavenly city, new Jerusalem, and a heavenly country, the Israel of God, that matters?
                        Would it be more accurate to say that they understood that the "current" (in their day) configuration of the land was not the issue, but the "future" expression of the "better country"? Melchizedek blessed Abram as a priest representing the "Possessor of heaven and earth" with the understanding that Abram would, covenantally, also "possess heaven and earth". I mean, you do believe that heaven is coming to earth through Christ, don't you? This promise wouldn't negate God's zeal for Zion - it would clarify it.

                        Hebrews 12
                        18For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
                        19And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
                        20(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
                        21And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake
                        22But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
                        23To 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 men made perfect, 24And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

                        I believe the Zion for which God now has zeal for is the heavenly Zion rather than the mountain that can be touched. I believe His zeal is for heavenly Jerusalem, the mother of us all (Gal 4:26) and not the earthly Jerusalem which is in bondage (Gal 4:25). Notice that it says the city of the living God is heavenly Jerusalem, not earthly Jerusalem. I believe God is zealous for His people in His heavenly kingdom and not for earthly land.
                        It seems as if you are confusing concepts here. Of course He would have a zeal for the "heavenly Zion" - but why and how would that negate His zeal for the earthly one? Didn't God have zeal for the heavenly Zion when He inspired Isaiah, Joel, and Zechariah? Was God being disingenuous to them or did they misinterpret God?

                        2 Peter 3
                        3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
                        4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
                        5For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
                        6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
                        7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
                        9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
                        10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
                        11Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
                        12Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

                        I believe Peter teaches here that we are looking forward to the appearance of the new heavens and new earth at His coming. I believe Peter tells us here that Christ is not coming to Jerusalem, but He is going to burn up the earth and remove all wickedness and the new earth will result from that. So it is the new earth that He will return to, a place "wherein dwelleth righteousness" and, IMO, a place wherein only dwelleth righteousness.
                        I fail to see the relevance of this passage as proof that it negates God's zeal for Jerusalem / Zion. I also fail to see how this passage proves that Jesus is not returning to Jerusalem.
                        The Rookie

                        Twelve is the number of government. Thus, it is quite apropos that I am on my way towards wielding the power of twelve bars - each bar like, say, a tribe.....or a star.....or, maybe an apostle. A blue apostle. Like apostle smurfs. Does anyone remember smurfs? And all the controversy about them being from the devil? It's probably bad that I juxtaposed "apostle" and "smurf" in the same sentence. But then, I probably lost you at "blue apostle". Yes, my friends, this is what "rare jewel of a person" is actually implying. "Rare Jewel of a Person" really means, "Potentially Insane".

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by the rookie View Post

                          Sure, but a few questions:

                          1. It seems possible that the temple in Jerusalem in Rev. 11 could be the actual, physical location of the two witnesses at the end of the age.
                          Revelation 11 doesn't mention the 2 witnesses within the temple, and it also tells me the temple being described is the heavenly temple.

                          Revelation 11 "And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail."

                          So when I see John being told to measure the temple, and to leave out the Gentiles, then it is telling me that when John was given the vision, at the beginning of the NT Harvest 2000 years ago, the Gentile had yet to come in; and the holy temple in Heaven was not yet complete.


                          Originally posted by the rookie View Post
                          2. It seems possible that the "Mount Zion" of Rev. 14 is the actual "Mount Zion" referenced dozens of times in the OT as a literal, physical location not a heavenly one.
                          Revelation 14 tells me that Mt Zion is heavenly.

                          Revelation 14 14:1 "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. "

                          Originally posted by the rookie View Post
                          3. It seems likely that the Valley of Meggiddo is the same Israeli valley referenced elsewhere as "the Valley of Jehoshaphat" in Joel 3, located near Nazareth northwest of Jerusalem.
                          Actually that isn't so. Recheck your geography. The modern name for the valley of Jehoshaphat is the Kidron valley which runs southeast of Jerusalem between Jerusalem and Bethany.

                          The Valley of Meggiddo is as you say, northwest of Jerusalem in Galillee, just to the south of Nazareth.



                          Originally posted by the rookie View Post
                          4. It seems probable that the final conflict of Jesus with the nations is settled there in the manner in which Rev. 19:11-21 parallels Isa. 63:1-6, which places Jesus at His return in the land of Israel striding towards the literal Jerusalem to deliver her from the nations that are gathered in Meggiddo.
                          I have no doubt that John drew much from the grandious imagery of Isaiah when depicting the final return of Christ and great battle. However, for myself, I believe Paul and Peter was a little more simplistic in their description of His return and the subsequent results; showing that the wicked would be 'destroyed with the brightness of His appearing' and that the earth would melt with fire at His coming.

                          I'm not really expecting a final battle with spears, and horsemen, and chariots, and arrows as Isaiah and his contemporaries used to describe warefare....but I could be wrong.

                          I see Jesus' return as having an immediate worldwide effect; both for the righteous and the wicked; so his exact location really is meaningless to me. That the Earth will be restored and removed of Sin and the Curse really is sufficient for me. Maybe New Jerusalem very will descend right down ontop of old Jerusalem....or maybe that's just verbose figurative language describing the indescribably.

                          Originally posted by the rookie View Post
                          5. It seems likely that, when the New Jerusalem descends to the earth it will be located on top of the "Old Jerusalem" geographically; which then means that it is also likely that Jesus will rule the earth from that geographic location.
                          I don't see a 'rule of Jesus' (as in having subjects, and running an earthly government) in the manner that mankind's kingdoms and governments have been handled in the past. Again I may be wrong, but when Jesus returns, I see all sin and death removed from the planet; and therein dwelleth rightouesness; with the wicked severed from among the just and cast into the fire. What remains afterwards will be Jesus and His redeemed children only; and no rulership; just unity and everlasting life.


                          Originally posted by the rookie View Post
                          Yes, no more special in context to the Temple worship scenario that concerned the Samaritan woman. This doesn't render Jerusalem inconsequential in totality, nor does is negate the earlier passages noted expressing God's zeal.

                          Agree (with the first sentence) and disagree (with the rest). The prophets had a global view of God's restorative plan with a central focus on the "headquarters" of that global transformation.
                          I see Earthly Jerusalem as inconsequential going forward; I guess my eye is too much on Jerusalem from above; the heavenly Jerusalem to consider any special relevance for any earthly city once Christ returns. I really don't see a headquarters; other than the Earth and its inhabitants will be in perfect eternal harmony and peace with their Lord; seeing Him face-to-face, and being like Him; with all the wicked removed and cast into the fire.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by the rookie View Post
                            Would it be more accurate to say that they understood that the "current" (in their day) configuration of the land was not the issue, but the "future" expression of the "better country"? Melchizedek blessed Abram as a priest representing the "Possessor of heaven and earth" with the understanding that Abram would, covenantally, also "possess heaven and earth". I mean, you do believe that heaven is coming to earth through Christ, don't you? This promise wouldn't negate God's zeal for Zion - it would clarify it.
                            It is the new heavens and new earth that Abraham looked for, not a millennial earth where people would still be sinning and at the end of which a number as the sand of the sea would rebel.

                            It seems as if you are confusing concepts here. Of course He would have a zeal for the "heavenly Zion" - but why and how would that negate His zeal for the earthly one? Didn't God have zeal for the heavenly Zion when He inspired Isaiah, Joel, and Zechariah? Was God being disingenuous to them or did they misinterpret God?
                            Neither. I believe you are misinterpreting Isaiah, Joel and Zechariah.

                            I believe Hebrews 12:22 tells us the location and nature of the Zion and the Jerusalem for which God is zealous.

                            I fail to see the relevance of this passage as proof that it negates God's zeal for Jerusalem / Zion. I also fail to see how this passage proves that Jesus is not returning to Jerusalem.
                            It's relevant because if the earth is burned up at the coming of Christ, as I believe, then that means earthly Jerusalem will be burned up at His return. I hardly think He would burn it up if He was zealous for the land. But 2 Peter 3:10-13 indicates, IMO, that the coming of the Lord brings with it the burning up the entire earth, including Jerusalem, and results in the new earth "wherein dwelleth righteousness".

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by David Taylor View Post
                              Revelation 11 doesn't mention the 2 witnesses within the temple, and it also tells me the temple being described is the heavenly temple.

                              Revelation 11 "And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail."

                              So when I see John being told to measure the temple, and to leave out the Gentiles, then it is telling me that when John was given the vision, at the beginning of the NT Harvest 2000 years ago, the Gentile had yet to come in; and the holy temple in Heaven was not yet complete.
                              Sure, but that places the transmission of the vision prior to Acts 10, when John was still in Jerusalem - not Patmos. And wherever you place the temple in Rev. 11, John clearly places the two witnesses in Jerusalem (11:8) and so did Zechariah (4:11-14).

                              Revelation 14 tells me that Mt Zion is heavenly.

                              Revelation 14 14:1 "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. "
                              Sure, but it tells me that it's earthly.

                              When one reads it carefully, it's the "harpists" singing that are before the throne of God not Jesus or the 144,000. The phrase, as it appears the second time, (after "without fault") isn't in the original text.

                              Actually that isn't so. Recheck your geography. The modern name for the valley of Jehoshaphat is the Kidron valley which runs southeast of Jerusalem between Jerusalem and Bethany.

                              The Valley of Meggiddo is as you say, northwest of Jerusalem in Galillee, just to the south of Nazareth.
                              Maybe so, but then we have TWO locations of Israel figuring prominently in the end-time scenario, not one.

                              I have no doubt that John drew much from the grandious imagery of Isaiah when depicting the final return of Christ and great battle. However, for myself, I believe Paul and Peter was a little more simplistic in their description of His return and the subsequent results; showing that the wicked would be 'destroyed with the brightness of His appearing' and that the earth would melt with fire at His coming.
                              So you believe that Paul and Peter negate John's detailed description? You also believe then that their simplicity negates the earlier passages referenced?

                              I see Jesus' return as having an immediate worldwide effect; both for the righteous and the wicked; so his exact location really is meaningless to me. That the Earth will be restored and removed of Sin and the Curse really is sufficient for me. Maybe New Jerusalem very will descend right down ontop of old Jerusalem....or maybe that's just verbose figurative language describing the indescribably.
                              The question isn't whether or not the location is meaningful to you, the question is about what is meaningful to God.

                              I don't see a 'rule of Jesus' (as in having subjects, and running an earthly government) in the manner that mankind's kingdoms and governments have been handled in the past. Again I may be wrong, but when Jesus returns, I see all sin and death removed from the planet; and therein dwelleth rightouesness; with the wicked severed from among the just and cast into the fire. What remains afterwards will be Jesus and His redeemed children only; and no rulership; just unity and everlasting life.
                              Are you saying that Jesus won't be King after His return? That we won't be subject to His rule? What does the title "King of kings" mean? Will Jesus be located in any physical location after His return? Does the bible have anything to say about His physical location?

                              I see Earthly Jerusalem as inconsequential going forward; I guess my eye is too much on Jerusalem from above; the heavenly Jerusalem to consider any special relevance for any earthly city once Christ returns. I really don't see a headquarters; other than the Earth and its inhabitants will be in perfect eternal harmony and peace with their Lord; seeing Him face-to-face, and being like Him; with all the wicked removed and cast into the fire.
                              Again, I'm not concerned with what you see, I'm concerned about what the prophets saw and whether or not their observations are relevant for us today.
                              The Rookie

                              Twelve is the number of government. Thus, it is quite apropos that I am on my way towards wielding the power of twelve bars - each bar like, say, a tribe.....or a star.....or, maybe an apostle. A blue apostle. Like apostle smurfs. Does anyone remember smurfs? And all the controversy about them being from the devil? It's probably bad that I juxtaposed "apostle" and "smurf" in the same sentence. But then, I probably lost you at "blue apostle". Yes, my friends, this is what "rare jewel of a person" is actually implying. "Rare Jewel of a Person" really means, "Potentially Insane".

                              Comment

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