Jerusalem – city of God
The Bible has nearly 800 references to Jerusalem- called “the City of our God” (Ps. 48:1,8) Jerusalem is God’s city, the city of Zion, he has invested his name there (Daniel 9:19).
Jerusalem is called the city of the great King (Matt.5:35). Yahweh is called “the God of Israel,” He is NOT called the God of any other nation in this manner, The God of Jerusalem is key to the Jewish people, to Jesus and to the end of the age.
Ps. 87:5, Ps 149:2: (Song 3:11 Isa. 33:14, Isa. 33:20; Jer. 9:19, Jer. 30:17; Zech.9:13; Isa. 59:20, Isa. 60:14 and they shall call you The City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel).
The evidence of the creator uniquely affiliated with Israel is Abraham (who was Chaldean) was brought out of his country (Ur). The covenant God made with Abraham was about the land and the people. Speaking to Abraham Gen. 12:1-3: “Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Notice that is God that will do these things, it is an unconditional covenant, it does not depend on man but God. He will give them the land and make a great nation from Abraham. And indeed all the families of earth have been blessed, as the Messiah- Jesus, came through Abrahams lineage, born in the land God gave to Israel (Gal. 3:14-16).
He gave them the land of Canaan “from the river of Egypt unto...the river Euphrates” (Gen. 15:18)God has declared that the land of Israel was His land never to be sold (Lev. 25:23) and that all nations would be punished for dividing His land (Joel 3:2). The tribulation period is about this punishment for disobeying what God has spoken.
Deut. 32:9-10: “For the LORD'S portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance. "He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; he encircled him, He instructed him, he kept him as the apple of His eye." You don't want to poke what God has his eye focused on.
Zion is called the city of God. Isa 60:14: “and they shall call you The City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” It is where the Lord has and will dwell again. Joel 3:21: “for the LORD dwells in Zion.” When the temple permanently replaced the tabernacle and was built in Jerusalem it became the place of his dwelling, his presence was there, thus name Zion.
Ps. 132:13-14: “For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for His dwelling place: “This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.” Ps. 87:1-3: “His foundation is in the holy mountains. The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God! Selah”
Psalm 147:12: “Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! (2 Kings 19:21,31 1 Chro.11:5; Ps.20:2, Ps. 48:11, Ps.65:1; ps.78:68, Ps.84:7; Ps. 87:5, Ps 146:10; Isa.33:5, Isa.52:7; Jer. 8:19 Jeremiah, Lamentations, Joel, Amos, Obadiah; Micah, Zechariah all speak of this.
Matt 2:1-2: The wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." Why Jerusalem because they knew the king is to eventually rule from that city.
Nearly all Jesus had done centers around this city. "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately” (Luke 19:10-11)
The scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus to challenge him, (Mt. 15:1) Jerusalem killed the prophets (Mt.23:37)
Mt. 20:18: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death”
When that day came: Luke 23:28 But Jesus, turning to them, said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”
Mt. 21:2-6 Jesus asked his disciples to go into the city and find a donkey and its colt and bring them to Me. Fulfilling what was spoken by the prophet, (Zechariah 9:9) “Tell the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
Israel is told Psalm 9:11: “Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people.” So John records in 12:13-16: they “took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' The King of Israel!” Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt.” His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.”
He rode into His city and was worshipped and celebrated only to be abandoned when he did not establish his kingdom then.
Isa. 28:16: “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily.” Peter quotes this passage and applies it to Christ, he goes on to say: “Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed” (1 Peter 2:7-8).
Rom. 9:32-33 Speaking of Israel “For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” This stone was Jesus According to Peter and the apostles, and it was laid in Jerusalem.
Jesus instructed them to go to Jerusalem to receive the Holy Spirit, the place where the presence of God dwelt in the temple would now dwell in man (1 Cor. 3:16 and 2 Cor. 6:19) each individual believer’s body is a temple of God. Luke 24:49: "Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Act 1:4-5).
God has called Jerusalem (ZION) his home and those who fight against those who keep it will fight against God on that day. It is Satan who opposes all that God has written. Zech. 8:2-3: “Thus says the LORD of hosts: '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 shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the LORD of hosts, the Holy Mountain.'
God himself returns to fight for his people and land:
Isa 31:4-5: “For thus the LORD has spoken to me: “As a lion roars, and a young lion over his prey (When a multitude of shepherds is summoned against him, he will not be afraid of their voice nor be disturbed by their noise), so the LORD of hosts will come down to fight for Mount Zion and for its hill. Like birds flying about, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, He will also deliver it; passing over, He will preserve it.”
Isa. 62:11: “Indeed the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the world: “Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Surely your salvation is coming; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.'“
“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the east” (Zechariah 14:4). The prophecies in the Bible say that He comes to rescue Israel not destroy her-- Zech 14:1-5: “Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, for the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, and all the saints with You.” As Enoch prophesied in Jude 1:14: “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints’ (also 1 Thess. 4:14).
At Armageddon it is a call to war Joel 3:10-13 “Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, 'I am strong.'"
In the Millennium:
Later when the Messiah establishes his throne the same phrase is used in reverse
He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4; (repeated in Mic.4:3)
The Lord comes back to save his people Israel Joel 2:32: “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls. Paul quotes this verse in Romans 10 and applies it to Jesus.
Ez.47:13 48:29 Israel will receive all the promised land v.13-14 in v. 15-20 we find the actual borders of the land which are all of Lebanon the Mediterranean to Euphrates river going south for a few miles to the Golan heights. The sea of Galilee and the Jordan river. Enlargement of the land is found in Isa.26:15; Obad. 17:21 there will be reconstruction of the land Isa.64:4,5; Amos 9:14 there will be renewed fertility and productivity of the land Isa.35:1-2, Isa.55:13 Ex.36:29-35.
Ps. 48:1-2: “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.”
Ps. 76:1-2: I King 11:32: Ps 69:35-36: “For God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah, that they may dwell there and possess it. Also, the descendants of His servants shall inherit it, and those who love His name shall dwell in it.”
Ps 102:15-16: “So the nations shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth Your glory. For the LORD shall build up Zion; he shall appear in His glory.”
Isa. 27:12-13: “And it shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will thresh, from the channel of the River to the Brook of Egypt; and you will be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel. So it shall be in that day: the great trumpet will be blown; they will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria, and they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.” One day all the nations will know that the God of Israel is the true God and will worship and worship him together in his holy city.
After the Millennium
Gal. 4:25-26 “for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children--but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Heb. 12:22-24 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.”
Rev 21:2 “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 21:10-14 “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”
The Holy city will still be called Jerusalem and will be connected to Israel with the 12 tribes names and the apostles names. It is this city that will exist throughout eternity.