Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Impact of Jesus on Religion and Politics

From www.irfi.org

by Abdul H. Manraj

Introduction

Jesus is probably the most misunderstood religious personality in the history of the world. He never claimed divinity and was as human as the prophets who preceded him. From a theological perspective, arguments can be made to support any religious dogma regardless of which denomination one subscribes to, and religious texts can be interpreted in any number of ways, some of them quite nebulous, to bolster a particular argument or belief.

That being the case, this article will approach the above subject from a historical perspective, and provide some substantial evidence that is quite irrefutable, using both historical data as well as sacred texts to defend the postulation regarding Jesus. The information presented below aims to prove that Jesus was no more than a revered prophet of God, and his “second coming” is a myth. Jesus confirmed his humanity when he reportedly said: “I can of mine own self do nothing...”(John 5:30) Nevertheless, millions (possibly billions) of people in the world today have a vested interest in the “second coming” of Jesus, the very foundation of their belief is riding on this prophecy. As such, his elevation to godly status has some profound implications not only on religion but also on politics, with dire consequences for the future of all humanity.

The Status of Jesus

Jesus was born a Jew, and since he did not preach a new religion or change any laws (Matthew 5:17), he died as a Jew, supposedly betrayed by his own people, who (according to the New Testament) said: “…His blood be on us, and on our children.”(Matthew 27:25) Jesus’ disciples believed that he was the “Messiah” or “Anointed One.” Other titles applied to Jesus were Prophet and Rabbi. According to both the Bible and the Quran (the divine book of Muslims), Jesus came into being through a miraculous virgin birth, i.e., he was born without the intervention of a human father. Both religious texts concur that God has the power to make such miracles happen.

The two texts differ significantly over Jesus’ status. Whereas the New Testament elevated Jesus to divinity, the Quran emphasized his humanity, comparing his creation to that of Adam. Jesus, the son of Mary, delivered the same message as the prophets before him, i.e., “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.”(Deuteronomy 6:4) Neither the word “Trinity” nor this doctrine is explicitly found in the New Testament. In fact, the ideology developed over several centuries after the death of Jesus. There are many factors that led to the outcome of the Trinity concept, some of which will be briefly addressed in this article.

Pauline Christianity

It is believed that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, located in present day Israel. All of the prophets mentioned in the Bible (and Quran) originated from various areas of the Middle East. Paul, not Jesus, is primarily responsible for the current Christian creed based on the doctrine of the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). Saul was a Jew who reportedly persecuted the early Christians. His name was later changed to Paul, probably because the name Saul was associated with Judaism. One day on his way to Damascus, Paul had a vision that resulted in his conversion. Following this incident, Paul became the most ardent missionary of Christianity.(Noss 466-467) In his book “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History,” Michael Hart lists Muhammad first, followed by Paul, and then Jesus. Hart proposes that the honor for the spread of Christianity has to be shared between Paul and Jesus. Apparently Paul won because he wrote more books of the Bible than any other author, whereas Jesus did not write a single word. It should also be noted that Paul never even met Jesus.

Since Jesus did not write any of his teachings, historians are generally in agreement that the writings that have come down to us in the New Testament have been amplified with the predispositions of the early Christians, thus displacing the original teachings of Jesus.(Noss 446) More than three centuries after Jesus was reportedly crucified, there were many controversies and minutiae surrounding his status. Emperor Constantine called the first ecumenical council of the Christian church in ancient Nicaea (now Iznik, Turkey) in 325 CE to resolve the issue. He hoped that a general council would solve the problem created in the Eastern church by Arianism, a “heresy” first proposed by Arius of Alexandria, which affirmed that Jesus was not divine but a created being. The council condemned Arius and incorporated the non-scriptural word homoousios (of one substance) into what later became known as the Nicene Creed, signifying the absolute equality of the Son (Jesus) with the Father (God). Emperor Constantine then exiled Arius. To differ from the official and final version of this new theology – which essentially stated that Jesus was God incarnate – was blasphemy.(“Encyclopedia Britannica Online”)

Christianity later became the official religion of the Roman Empire under Theodosius, and there were attempts at formalization and uniformity within the church regarding the doctrine of the Trinity. This did not stop the controversy, and there were more ecumenical council debates between western and eastern Christians for generations. Western Christian theology eventually dominated. The result was that Christians, particularly in the East, who disagreed with the newly mandated doctrine of the Trinity, were ostracized and persecuted. In some cases, those who rejected the new doctrine were put to death as the concept eventually took hold.

The Europeans were immersed in paganism when Jesus was born, and it took about eight centuries before all of Europe finally accepted Christianity as their creed. During such a lengthy period, it was only natural that some pagan beliefs and practices were incorporated into the new religion. For example, December 25th was a popular Roman holiday that celebrated the winter solstice as a symbol of the resurgence of the sun, which heralded the rebirth of spring and summer. The birth of the sun became synonymous with the birth of the Son of God, which is now commonly accepted as Jesus’ birthday. The actual birthday of Jesus cannot be precisely determined, as Christians did not begin to reckon time before and after the birth of Jesus until about six centuries after he was born.(Noss 450) Another example of a pre-Christian ritual is the veneration of the evergreen tree in western and northern Europe, particularly in Germany during pagan times, so the “Christmas tree” was added to the birthday celebration of Jesus.

For thousands of years prior to the birth of Jesus, the Indo-Europeans had developed a tripartite ideology. At the highest level was a “sky god,” who sees all human activity from his heavenly abode. The second part of heaven reflected heroic warriors and raiders supported by a war/thunder god. The third part of this Indo-European belief was the pursuit of happiness – a universal human trait.(Winn 4-5) This tripartite scheme was prevalent in many aspects of Indo-European culture, and is evident even today. Examples include many nations’ flags that are made up of three colors, and governments that are divided into three branches – executive, legislative, and judicial.

Pre-Christian Europeans ritually sacrificed humans to their pagan gods.(Winn 45-47) As the Europeans gradually started to move away from paganism and adopt their newly discovered Middle Eastern religion – Christianity – the idolatrous tradition of human sacrifice blended harmoniously with the new theology – the sacrifice of God’s only begotten son for the sins of all humanity. The tripartite hierarchy that was so embedded in Indo-European culture for thousands of years played an influential role in the development of a doctrine based on a triune God, viz., God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Was it a Crucifixion or Cruci-fiction?

According to the Bible, Jesus was not the only “Son of God” – there were others as shown in the verses below (italics mine):

“That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” (Genesis 6: 2)

“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:4)

“And thou shalt say unto Pharoah, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:” (Exodus 4:22)

“I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” (i.e., David – Psalms 2:7)

“They shall come with weeping, and with supplications, will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.” (Jeremiah 31:9)

“Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the Son of God.” (Luke 3:38)

The Bible also states that a man can only die once: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”(Hebrews 9:27) For Jesus to be resurrected shortly after his death, he would certainly have had to be divine. The chronology shown in the verses below are hardly any indication that Jesus died on the cross. According to the New Testament (Matthew 27:45-46), Jesus was placed on the cross by the 6th hour (around noon), and he (God incarnate) supposedly cried out: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He was taken down by the 9th hour (around 3:00pm), only three hours later. This was rather peculiar, in fact, Pilate marveled that Jesus was dead already after being on the cross for only three hours.(Mark 15:44) Since it was Friday and the Jews were anxious to bury Jesus before Saturday – the Sabbath – his crucifixion and burial were apparently expedited.

None of Jesus’ faithful disciples were there for him in his time of need, so they apparently did not witness his death as the New Testament tells us “all his disciples forsook him and fled.”(Matthew 26:56 and Mark 14:50) Jesus was placed into a sepulcher hewn out of rock, and a stone rolled unto the door of the sepulcher.(Mark 15:46) Mary Magdalene, out of whom Jesus had cast seven devils (Mark 16:9), went to visit the tomb to anoint his dead body.(Mark 16:1) This was rather bizarre given that upon death, rigor mortis and decay starts immediately.

Anyway, as it turned out, the stone covering the tomb was moved (Mark 16:4 and Luke 24:2), the sheets that the corpse was wrapped in were unwound and left in the sepulcher (Luke 24:12 and John 20:5-7), and the body was missing. Mary Magdalene saw a gardener near the tomb who turned out to be no other than Jesus in disguise.(John 20:14-16) He initially jested with her about why she was weeping and who she was looking for. She in turn questioned Jesus (thinking he was a gardener) about the body and asked if he may have removed it. Jesus followed up by just uttering her name: “Mary” and she immediately recognized her teacher and responded: “Rabboni.” The disciples disbelieved when they heard that Mary Magdalene had seen a live Jesus.(Mark 16:11) In fact, Jesus came and stood in their midst (John 20:19), and they were terrified and thought they were looking at a spirit.(Luke 24:37) Jesus assured the disciples: “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” He then proceeded to show them his hands and feet, and asked if they had any meat as he was hungry. Jesus was offered some fish and honeycomb and he ate in front of them.(Luke 24:39-43)

All indications are that Jesus did not die on the cross; the evidence from the New Testament just doesn’t support it. Why was Mary Magdalene going to anoint a decomposing corpse? Why was the stone covering the tomb removed and why did Jesus need his decomposing body (unwrapped from the linen clothes) for his resurrection? In fact, a sympathizer – Joseph of Arimathaea – claimed Jesus’ body from Pilate and laid it in the sepulcher that he (Joseph) owned. He also rolled the stone that covered the door of the sepulcher.(Mark 15:43-46) Why was Jesus so well disguised as a gardener that even Mary Magdalene did not recognize him? Obviously Jesus was not afraid of dying twice, he did not want the Jews and Romans to recognize him since he was a condemned man. Does a “resurrected God” need food? Mary was not looking for a corpse; she was seeking a live Jesus so she could take him (not it) away.(John 20:15)

Muslims posit that the above concurs with the Quran which states: “…They slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.”(Q4:157) Given that the verses cited from both the New Testament and Quran suggest that Jesus did not really die on the cross for the sins of all humanity, should we expect his return? Besides the second coming of Jesus, we should be expecting another prophet too since the Bible tells us: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.(Malachi 4:5)

The Second Coming of Jesus and Armageddon

Armageddon is mentioned in the Bible only once: “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”(Revelation 16:16) The Book of Revelation is also known as the Apocalypse of John, and is the last book of the New Testament. It is the only book in the New Testament that is apocalyptic in nature.(“Encyclopedia Brittanica Online”) Armageddon and the second coming of Jesus have been refined into a terminology known as “The Rapture,” even though the word “rapture” does not appear anywhere in the Bible. It is difficult to decipher and coherently follow the chronology of events that will lead to the expected Rapture, since the Book of Revelation (although attributed to John) seems to be a collection of units by various unknown authors toward the end of the 1st century CE. The “Rapture theory” was developed using books from both the New Testament as well as the Old Testament, in particular Daniel and Ezekiel. According to the Rapture theory, an anti-Christ (who represents the Devil) will emerge and rule the earth, and there will be much tribulation. Jesus, clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, will descend with armies from heaven upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his (Jesus) mouth will be a sharp sword, and with it he will smite the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron.(Revelation 19:13-15)

Christians are not the only group expecting the second coming of Jesus; Muslims are also on the lookout for his return. While the Quran states that Jesus survived the crucifixion, it says nothing about his second coming – though Jesus’ death is implied at some later stage in his life. (Q5:117) Muslims supposedly derive the “second coming of Jesus” theory from sayings attributed to the prophet Muhammad, documented more than 200 years after his death. It is interesting that Muhammad, who claimed to be the last of God’s prophets, would have mentioned Jesus’ return. As Islam spread in the Middle East, the Arabs generally belonged to two groups: Christians and idolaters. No doubt the stories about the second coming of Jesus were circulating. Some of the early Muslims, no less adept at embellishment than their Christian counterparts, took the same stories and gave them an “Islamic twist.” Christians are expecting Jesus to return, destroy an anti-Christ, and save a limited number of Christians who accept him as their savior. The majority of Muslims in the world today believe that Jesus will return and kill an anti-Christ, and save the Muslims who will be going through turbulent times under the yoke of this anti-Christ. At the same time, Jesus will supposedly clear up all of the confusion over his status, i.e., announce to the world that he (Jesus) is only human. Besides Jesus, Muslims are also expecting another leader known as “the Mahdi,” who will appear just before Jesus. This “Mahdi” is the equivalent of Elijah in the Bible, who is supposed to appear prior to Jesus. There is ongoing speculation regarding the identity of the anti-Christ, and the search for this elusive devil continues.

The concept of Armageddon predates Christianity and Islam. Zarathustra, founder of Zoroastrianism, was a Persian, who it is believed was the first prophet to preach monotheism. Estimates of Zarathustra's birth range from 660 BCE to 6,000 BCE. Zarathustra preached that there was a supreme God (Ahura Mazda), and an evil spirit (Ahriman). There was also a serpent king (Zohak) under the influence of Ahriman. The apocalyptic process is remarkably similar in Zoroastrianism, a battle foreshadows the end of the world, then there is a waiting period followed by a second battle that vanquishes all evil, followed by a peaceful era. Zarathustra’s version of Armageddon is derived from an even older version in Indo-European myth.(Winn 209-211)

Current Religious and Political Implications

Many evangelical preachers today allude to our tumultuous times, and advocate that the current global situation is ripe for the second coming of Jesus. TV evangelists reach an estimated 60 million regular viewers (a conservative figure) in the United States, who (according to a Nielsen survey) believe that nuclear war is inevitable because the Bible predicts that planet earth will be destroyed by fire.(Halsell 11) These Christian evangelists are staunch supporters of Israel. They believe that an alliance with Israel is imperative so that they can do God’s work, i.e., help to create a chain of events that is necessary in that region (based on their interpretation of the scripture) for the second coming of Jesus. These Jews and Christians are strange bedfellows indeed, given that according to Christian doctrine, Jews (along with every other non-Christian in the world) are doomed to damnation unless they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Fundamentalist Christians constitute a sizeable voting block in the United States, and no sane politician can ignore them. These fundamentalists exercise considerable sway over the U.S Congress and Executive Branch.(Halsell 163-167) They also influence U.S foreign policy in the Middle East, pressuring the U.S government to perform a delicate balancing act. Since evangelists and their followers believe that peace in the Middle East is against God’s will and counter productive to the emergence of an anti-Christ and the return of Jesus, politicians have to be careful not to appear too much in favor of peace while at the same time try to prevent a global conflagration from igniting in that volatile region of the world. There was a recent media report that one such evangelist – Jack Van Impe – claimed that the Office of Public Liaison for the White House, and National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, contacted him for advice regarding the Middle East.


Conclusion

Throughout history, millions of people have been annihilated due to religious polemic. God’s prophets all preached a consistent message, essentially for us to do good works given that we will all be held individually accountable on the Day of Judgment, based on the universal adage: “as you sow, so shall you reap.” People continuously engage in rabid arguments and violent conflict over the most esoteric of religious differences, sometimes even within the same religion, even though the commonalities among the monotheistic faiths far outweigh the theological disparities. Jews, Christians, and Muslims – or more precisely various sects within the three religions – believe that they have exclusive rights to heaven.

The majority of Jews, Christians, and Muslims are awaiting a savior: the Jews their Messiah, and Christians and Muslims the return of Jesus. It is incomprehensible that the gentle and peaceful Jesus, who reportedly said: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9), and who advised people who are smitten on one cheek to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39 and Luke 6:29), would descend from heaven to save a select group and eradicate millions of innocent people. The “divinity / second coming of Jesus” theory may arguably qualify as the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind, and there is a great danger that the “Rapture” or “Armageddon” could manifest itself as a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Although a minority, hardliners from the three Abrahamic faiths – Jews, Christians, and Muslims – are trying to create an atmosphere of spiraling violence that could possibly lead to massive destruction and conflagration on our planet. If they get their way, there will be no savior on the horizon with a sword protruding from his mouth (somewhat paradoxical), but hundreds of millions of very disappointed – and possibly dead – people.



Bibliography



Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Premium Service Online: Nov, 2003

Halsell, Grace. Prophecy and Politics: Militant Evangelists on the Road to Nuclear War. Lawrence Hill & Company: 1986

Hart, Michael H. The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. Citadel Trade: Nov, 1992

Noss, David S. A History of the World’s Religions. Prentice Hall: 11th ed. 2003

Pickthall, Mohammed M. The Meaning of the Glorious Koran. Kazi Publications: 2002

The Bible: Authorized King James Version. Oxford University Press: 1997

Winn, Shan M. M. Heaven, Heroes, and Happiness: The Indo-European Roots of Western Ideology. University Press of America: 1995



Posted December 27, 2003. The above term paper was submitted for a religion class at George Mason University in the fall semester of 2003.

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Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ Is God!

Based on the prophetic similitude of the two groups of scripture (2 Peter 3:1-13 and Revelation 21:1-3, it appears the word of God is conveying to His creation an even more profound message. That message is that Jesus Christ is God; and, especially when dealing with prophecy and eschatological matters, all expositors should always keep this truth in mind. While many engage in endless wrangling about who God is, who Jesus is, who the Holy Spirit is, whether one believes in the Oneness doctrine, the Trinitarian doctrine or any other related sub-doctrines that continue to fan the flames of biblical debate, the author is thoroughly convinced the word of God has been trying to make His message so much more clear as to who He really is. However, much ignorance and even academic and literary arrogance have caused great confusion among scholar and student alike, so as to drain them of the wisdom needed to fully grasp the reality of the faith that can truly move the mountains that confront us daily. Not only to move these mountains, but also to unlock the message of his true redemption plan. Once this wisdom contained in the word of God is realized, especially in regards to eschatology, the doctrinal wars and debates will hopefully turn into a unified and one-dimensional preparation needed for the impending persecutions that will befall God’s ecclesia.

This wisdom is summed up in eight words: Jesus Christ is God! Whereas the Bible identifies to Him many names (YHWH, God, Lord, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Jehovah, Mighty Counselor, Messiah, Christ, Master, Savior, Friend, etc.), there is only One God! Whereas each of God’s names in the Bible is used interchangeably in different scenarios and in different time frames, Jesus Christ is Our God. Once expositors accept this fact and view scripture in this context, little matters concerning time frames; they all point to one God and to one plan: the redemption of His creation to Himself and the eventual consummation and dwelling of His Kingdom on earth for all eternity.

What these two groups of scripture the author presents (2 Peter 3:1-13 and Revelation 21:1-3, and the Bible as a whole) are really telling us, is that we should not picture the New Jerusalem descending 1000 years after Christ returns at The Second Advent. These two groups of verses are in fact telling us that God (in the person of Jesus Christ) and His Holy City descend to earth at The Second Advent to begin dwelling among His creation, for an eternity, rather than only a literal 1000 year period of time theorists call The Millennium.

The key to understanding prophecy better comes about when we are able to accept in full context that Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit and God are one and the same person. These three manifestations of God to humanity are not three different entities, but rather three personifications of one sole entity, One God! Rather than placing Jesus Christ in one scenario, and the Holy Spirit and God in others, if we can view all three manifestations in a lineal honor and glory protocol, all prophecy will point to the One God. Isn’t Jesus Christ our God? Is not the Holy Spirit God? Does not the scripture tell us this throughout the Bible? Has not the Bible cited numerous and specific verses that clearly and emphatically state that Jesus Christ is our Lord and our God: And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God, (John 20:28, KJV).

Jesus (God in human flesh) himself was convicted (and subsequently crucified) for boldly making that very same proclamation of Himself. Jesus made one of the most profound statements ever when he told one of the disciples that, if you have seen Him, also you have seen the Father: If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him, (John 14:7, KJV). Jesus was telling them (and us) that He is God, and now seeing Him, they have seen God! As John, Chapter 1, verses 1 through 3 clearly state:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

This does not mean that the personification of Jesus (God incarnate) was already in human form when all things were created, this verse is speaking solely about the eternal God who became flesh (John 1:14) to accomplish His plan of salvation for mankind. Albeit the person of Jesus (the sacrificial lamb for the sins of all mankind) possesses equality and warrants the same respect and glory that is due to God the Father (in all sense of the word as God Himself), in his humanity, God, in the flesh man Jesus, experienced the same pain, temptation and anguish that all mankind experiences. However, what many Bible scholars and students fail to grasp is that, when studying the time frame aspects dealing with eschatology, they picture Jesus in one place and God in another, thereby locking them into concluding specific time frames for each that prevents them from deducing an obvious and simplistic picture of what will truly happen at The Second Advent.

Whereas many expositors read varying time frames and different scenarios based on the various appellations used of God in the Bible, they fail to see the clear message that Jesus Christ is God, and that wherever we see the name of God or the name of Jesus or the name of the Holy Spirit, each title is still identifying the one God! Once we can accept this basic premise, our efforts to understand prophecy (especially eschatological issues) will become more fruitful.

We can clearly see that the various appellations and titles used of God throughout the Bible teach us many things about His true character and nature. These names and titles are often prefaced by varying adjectives used to identify all of His characteristic traits. Nevertheless, each of these appellations and titles always identify the One God. Jesus the Christ is God! The manifestation and gifts of the Holy Spirit come from God! The invisible power and presence of the Holy Spirit is God in action! The Son of Man is God! The Lamb of God is God! Christ the Redeemer is God! When we see in the scriptures where Jesus refers to God as His Father, and God refers to Jesus as His son, we are not seeing two different entities, but rather, we are seeing the Word of God presented to us in lineal honor and glory protocol terms. Failure to recognize this aspect of God’s word, especially when dealing with issues of eschatology, has sidetracked many expositors away from the exactness contained in God’s word. Consequently, expositors end up applying differing time frame scenarios for Jesus and others for God. If we can discern this lineal honor and glory protocol aspect contained in the word of God, expositors can glean wisdom that greatly reveals more clearly the actual time frames of His redemption plan for His ecclesia and humanity, as a whole.

One great example of this lineal honor and glory protocol truth is found in Philippians 2:6-8, verses, which, in themselves, testify to the point being made here:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, (Philippians 2:6-8, KJV). [Bold and underlines is by the author, solely for emphasis]

Although God, Himself, came into the world in the form of a man (God in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ), God took upon Himself a servant’s role and responded to Himself in the hierarchal fashion that all created beings must do. The response, acknowledgment and respect toward each title and role God is fulfilling at the precise moment can be addressed in no other manner. In His role as the flesh man Jesus, one of being a servant, God’s omnipotent standard requires He humbles Himself to (himself) the Father. This is what we mean when we say “lineal honor and glory protocol.” In other words, God in the flesh still humbled Himself and paid honor to Himself as only a person of the flesh can do. God in the flesh, in the person of Jesus Christ, could respond to the Father in no other manner than the humility warranted by a man of flesh towards God. God forevermore speaks of bringing glory and honor to the flesh man Jesus that He is; therefore, we are required to give the same glory to Jesus we give to God, because God is Jesus and Jesus is God! Although God humbled Himself by becoming a flesh man and then experiencing physical death to pay for our sins (the perfect standards He Himself established of Himself), the flesh man Jesus had yet to be glorified. Therefore God (in the person of the flesh man Jesus) suffered as a flesh man only can suffer. As God (now as the flesh man Jesus) prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, He still had to pray to God (Himself) as only a flesh man can. He acknowledged God. And God acknowledged Jesus as His son, the only way God could acknowledge Himself in flesh terms. After Jesus (God in the flesh) was resurrected and now glorified, He deserves equal glory as God, because He is God.

Without going deeply into this aspect, each and every name and title of God in the Bible has a specific message for us within its respective title and appellation; but each name represents the various applications and purposes that each title conveys, as well as all the divine attributes of God. Nevertheless, each one title and appellation always speaks of and identifies the One God!

Unfortunately, when trying to discern His eschatological messages, many fall adrift and come short of the time targets when they try to attach or identify different time frames for each holy title alluding to the One God. Plain and simple: Jesus Christ is God, and we should therefore see all prophecy that mentions the resurrected Jesus and or Messiah (Christ) as pertaining to God, rather than separating the prophetic messages that specifically identify Jesus from those that identify God, solely to suit our own time frame interpretations!

There are more than sufficient scriptures too numerous to examine now that specifically, clearly and emphatically state that Jesus is God, the creator of all things. The author encourages the reader to research them again to gain a greater insight of this profound truth: (Isaiah 9:6; 7:14; 35:4-6; 40:3; Psalm 110:1; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:22-23; Acts 20:28; Titus 2:13; II Peter 1:1; I Corinthians 3:16-17; Colossians 2:9; Phil. 2:6; I Timothy 3:16; John 1:1, 14; John 1:10-11; II Corinthians 5:19; John 1:18; Hebrew 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15; II Corinthians 4:4; Hebrew 1:1-3; 10:5; to cite a few).

Without entering into the great Johannine Comma debate and controversy (concerning the validity of 1 John 5:7-8), where several versions omit the profound truth that Jesus Christ (the Word which became flesh), the Holy Spirit, and God the Father are One God, it is this author’s opinion that these two verses in the King James Version are indeed correct; which clearly and without a doubt make the point that Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit and God are the One God:

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one, (1 John 5:7-8, KJV).

The author believes the verses of 1 John 5:7-8 speak profound truth solely because so many other scriptures exist in the Bible confirming this basic and immutable fact. [Underline is by the author, solely for emphasis]

If we can accept this profound reality (that Jesus Christ is God), and will read and discern prophecy scripture in this context, the author clearly sees and believes there is sufficient scripture to prove and corroborate that, contrary to what many theorists surmise, this new Holy City of God can be seen coming down at The Second Advent to begin God’s Kingdom reign on earth, forever, rather than after any literal 1000 years of Kingdom reign on earth after The Second Advent.

The author is not attempting to interject a new theory, here. The author is merely allowing scripture to validate and reveal other scripture more clearly. This conclusion is not an inference or conjecture to establish a new theory to the eschatological debate; but, rather, it’s a verifiable deduction based on the prophetic similitude of these two scripture groups (2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21:1-3), which we examined carefully in the last chapter. These two groups of scriptures are telling us basically the same message: “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, (2 Peter 3:13, KJV).” After God burns the heavens (skies) and the earth, He will immediately thereafter restructure the earth and the heavens into a completely different and glorious state, one so glorious we can’t even begin to imagine. More importantly, the restructured heavens and earth will be newly formed in such a new and holy magnitude, basically in the same glory-filled manner He will transform our former corruptible bodies, making everything suitable and appropriate for righteousness to dwell amongst His creation, inside His descended Holy City! Jesus Christ, our God, is not going to administer His Kingdom from some earthen parcel of land in the Middle East, in the City of (old) Jerusalem. Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, will dwell amongst His people, He will rule the remaining nations of the earth from inside His Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which descends from the upper heavens to earth at The Second Advent!

Theorists such as Hal Lindsey love to use Zechariah 14:5 as one of the scripture verses to paint a picture that Jesus Christ returns at The Second Advent (after seven years of tribulation) with His saints (inferring that the word saints is speaking about the Christian Church) and lands on the Mount of Olives (close by the old city of Jerusalem, in the country now known as Israel), while God is supposedly still in heaven watching with great pride and joy. What Lindsey and other theorists fail to recognize is that it is God, Himself, that lands on earth with His angels (not church saints,) bent on slaying His enemies (verse12) and thereafter begins His Kingdom reign, forever! Astonishingly it is that theorists fail to see and comprehend what it clearly states in verse 9, of that same chapter: “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one, (Zechariah 14:9, KJV.)” Who is that one Lord? Is it not God? Is it not Jesus Christ our God? What will be that one name? Will we call Him God? Jesus! Master! Lord! Christ! [Bold is by the author, solely for emphasis]

If we can continue examining the word of God, and now do so through lineal honor and glory protocol-colored glasses, whenever or wherever it specifically mentions the name Jesus and or the name Lord, it is speaking about the one and the same one God. When we remove ourselves from the tendency to compartmentalize the glory due to Jesus, whenever we are trying to envision the various time frames and supposed hierarchal roles of God, we can let scripture validate scripture into their proper perspectives. Many do not see this yet. But many will soon recognize this glorious observation. When this epiphany befalls those whose lives are dedicated and committed to the study of eschatology, it is then that scripture will begin to illuminate itself with greater clarity. A. R. Fausset, of the JF&B trio of great expositors, is one who recognized this aspect and had these comments about the following verse, Zechariah 14:9:

“One Lord . . . name one--Not that He is not so already, but He shall then be recognized by all unanimously as "One." Now there are "gods many and lords many." Then Jehovah alone shall be worshipped. The manifestation of the unity of the Godhead shall be simultaneous with that of the unity of the Church. Believers are one in spirit already, even as God is one (Eph 4:3-6.). But externally there are sad divisions. Not until these disappear, shall God reveal fully His unity to the world (John 17:21, 23). Then shall there be "a pure language, that all may call upon the name of the Lord with one consent" (Zephaniah 3:9). The Son too shall at last give up His mediatorial kingdom to the Father, when the purposes for which it was established shall have been accomplished, "that God may be all in all" (1Cr 15:24.). (Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, 1871, THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER 14, Commentary by A. R. Fausset [Bold and underlines is by the author, solely for emphasis]

Notwithstanding, as clearly and incisively these commentaries by great expositors of antiquity and the scriptures unveil God’s truth, theorists would still have us believe that this descending city does not come down until the completion of a literal 1000 year reign of Christ they call The Millennium. However, when Peter speaks about the Day of the Lord (which all would agree comes before the so-called Millennium), he clearly states that:

“… 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, (2 Peter 3:10, KJV).” [Underline is by the author, solely for emphasis]

The heavens and earth will be burnt by God’s fervent heat, and both will be loosed and changed from their present physical state, and then they will be reconstructed into a new and glorious existence. He goes on to say in verse 11: “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness? Peter answers the question for his audience (the disciples) by emphatically stating that we (called out ones) should be:

Looking 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? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless, (2 Peter 3:12-14, KJV). [Underline and bold is by the author, solely for emphasis]

Peter, seeing that God will be reconstructing new heavens (the outer atmosphere) and a new earth, wherein this new condition of glory is the only type that is worthy for His righteousness and His Holy City to dwell among us, is hereby advising the called out ones that we need to be found in peace, without spot and blameless. Therefore, it is obvious that the called out ones will be here on earth waiting for God’s arrival!

Theorists will stubbornly continue to insist that the Holy City, New Jerusalem, is not seen coming down from heaven to earth until after the supposed 1000 year Millennium, where Jesus will supposedly have been ruling and reigning for only 1000 years. They say God does not come down until after those 1000 years are finished, as they interpret what it states in Revelation 21:1-3). Let’s read this group of scriptures, again:

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. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 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, (Revelation 21:1-3, KJV). [Bold and underline portions are by the author, solely for emphasis]

One of the most interesting aspects of verse 3 is where it states “God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” If this be the case, one must therefore ask this very profound question: “Whether or not this verse is speaking about New Jerusalem coming down at The Second Advent or after a literal 1000 years, where is Jesus Christ in Revelation 21:1-3?” The profound answer is that Jesus Christ will be right there where He belongs, with the descending New Jerusalem, the Holy City of God, because Jesus Christ is God! Jesus Christ, our Lord and our savior, our God, arrives at The Second Advent, and Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, will dwell with them, and they (called out ones) shall be his people, and Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, Himself, shall be with them and be their God. While theorists picture Jesus Christ secretly catching up the Christian Church (seven years before His final return, through the so-called Rapture) to a stationary Heaven, there is nothing in scripture that states that called out ones cannot have that great meeting with the Lord in the air, and that meeting place can very well be held inside the descending New Jerusalem! (See Matthew 13:30; Isaiah 26:17-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13)

If we can accept (as we demonstrated in Chapter 10 of this book) that called out ones do not immediately go to heaven after they die, nor do they experience a secret escape to Heaven, then both groups of called out ones (those asleep in Christ and those who are alive when He returns) will be changed and be caught up to have a meeting in the air with Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God! The dead in Christ also rise. As we have proven in previous chapters, this rising of the dead (in Christ) is The Resurrection!

Although the author wants to clearly state that he is not proffering a new theory here, is it not possible that the meeting in the air could actually occur inside His descending Holy City, New Jerusalem? It would present no scriptural conflict whatsoever to see the called out ones being changed and caught up to have that meeting with Jesus Christ, our God, inside the New Jerusalem, on its descent to earth at The Second Advent, rather than the ecclesia being caught up to a stationary Heaven. While the famed verse that theorists use to formulate the majority of their Rapture myth - Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord - 1 Thessalonians 14:17 does not state where that meeting in the air is to be held, although theorists believe it will be up (and) inside a stationary Heaven. The exact location of that meeting place is never specified. If (as we believe scripture clearly states) there is not going to be a secret escape to Heaven three and a half to seven years before The Second Advent and, if, instead the ecclesia is changed (during the resurrection) and caught up to have a meeting in the air with the Lord during The Second Advent, and if New Jerusalem comes down at The Second Advent, there would be no scriptural contradiction to see the ecclesia being caught up half way to meet the descending New Jerusalem and have that meeting inside God’s Holy City. This scenario could very well satisfy the Rapturists’ contention that the ecclesia is caught up to have that great meeting in the air in “Heaven.” The only difference is that the “Heaven” the meeting will be held at could very well be the New Jerusalem that’s on its downward flight to dwell among mankind: And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, (Revelation 21:2, KJV); Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven, (Matthew 6:10, KJV).

As the author stated, he is not proposing a new theory here, however, since no exact location in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is specifically mentioned as to where the “meeting in the air” will be held, this observation is no better or worse than what has been proposed before, by those who assume the catching up will be up to mansions in Heaven. If we can use the Greek word ouranos (heaven) in the plural (heavens) as mentioned here in Revelation 21:2, we see that New Jerusalem (and God) is coming down from (Gr. apo, of a state of separation, that is of distance) from the heavens, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (master), who is none other than Jesus Christ, our God!

For the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb is the Temple!
One continuing and disturbing inference by theorists is their constant compartmentalization of Jesus Christ. For example, they believe that Jesus Christ, our God, touches down on the Mount of Olives at The Second Advent, and they envision Him beginning to rule and reign from the Middle East City of earthly Jerusalem, in the State of Israel, rather than inside the New Jerusalem, the Holy City of God. Should we believe that Jesus Christ, our God, is not worthy of living in the glorified New Jerusalem until God’s Holy City supposedly descends 1000 years later? Jesus Christ, our God, now has to wait 1000 years before He can receive (and sit on) His true (throne of) Glory? Now theorists will have Him living inside an earthly or man-made temple (on The Temple Mount at the Dome of The Rock?) rather than inside His New Jerusalem, the Holy City of God, the Bride he marries (possesses) in Revelation 19:7? Of course not! Jesus Christ, our God, will live inside His Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which descends to earth, immediately after the old heavens and the old earth will have been restructured anew, a supernatural transformation that will have to be so magnificently suitable and gloriously worthy of residence for the New Jerusalem, the Holy City of God, where righteousness will dwell amongst mankind, (1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chronicles 6:18). And God’s called out ones, which are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, will rule and reign and live with Jesus Christ, our God, inside New Jerusalem, on earth, forever. [See also Ezekiel 37:28]

Jesus Christ, Our God, will rule and reign on earth; however, He will not be merely residing in some ersatz edifice made by men in the city of old Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish State of Israel. He will be the temple and the light therein:

And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 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. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life, (Revelation 21:22-27, KJV) – [Bold and underline is by the author, solely for emphasis]

There will be many people living on earth (outside of God’s Holy City) who did not perish during God’s wrath, who will go up to New Jerusalem and pay honor and tribute to the living God after The Second Advent, (Revelation 21:24; Isaiah 2:2; 52:1; Ezekiel 43:7).

If we are to see the great conflagration of the present heavens and the earth, and new ones formed, and (as some theorists profess) all of the unjust have been slain by God’s wrath, from where do these people we see pictured in Revelation 21:24 come from? Is it not the kings of the earth bringing their splendor into it? If the called out ones are the only ones who can reside inside New Jerusalem, and God has supposedly destroyed everyone besides His ecclesia, then who are these kings of the earth we see bringing their splendor to New Jerusalem, if not the survivors of God’s wrath?

If all humanity has been completely destroyed by God’s wrath (as theorists contend), and only called out ones whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life can enter into the Holy City, are we to believe we are here seeing only a royal remnant of the twelve tribes of Israel who supposedly received a special and totally different type of salvation unto Christ? Who are these kings and nations? Don’t confuse these kings of the earth with the called out ones who will be living inside the Holy City of God, simply because verse 24 says, And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. Whereas the word saved (Gr. sozo, rescued) is used in verse 24 to describe these nations, this verse is not identifying those who experienced the salvation (Gr. soteria, deliverance, preservation, salvation) which speaks of the spiritual and eternal deliverance granted immediately by God to those who accepted His conditions of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus, in whom alone it is to be obtained, (Acts 4:12), and upon confession of Him as Lord, (Romans. 10:10). Verse 24 obviously indicates there will be hundreds of thousands of people who will not be destroyed but who will be those nations who will be rescued (Gr. sozo, rescued). There will obviously be other groups of people that will be left over, who will remain, including their leaders, earthly kings who obviously have mortal subjects they rule.

Does it not plainly state the “the nations will walk by its light and the kings of the Earth will bring their splendor into it”? So who are these survivors of God’s wrath who pay this great homage to the living God, who is now on earth? We clearly can see the answer in Zechariah 14:16: And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles, (Zechariah 14:16, KJV). This aspect will be expanded further in this chapter, but first, who is the Lord of Hosts if not Jesus Christ, our God? [Underline, bold, italics is by the author, solely for emphasis] Also, to whom do these kings and nations bring their splendor to if not the Lamb, Jesus Christ, our God, who is the temple of that Great New City, New Jerusalem, the Holy City of God? Please read the following verses very carefully:

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve Him! (Revelation 22:1-3, KJV.) [Underline, italics and bold are by the author, solely for emphasis]

Theorists and others as well will point out that the aforementioned scripture is speaking about two entities in verse 3, where it states, “The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the City; however, the remainder of verse 3 also concludes by stating, “and his servants will serve him.” If this is so, and if we should infer it is speaking about two separate entities, why does it not say “and his servants will serve both God and the Lamb?” The Greek word for Him or He is autos, which according to Vine and other Greeks scholars is defined, thusly:

846, autos, "he himself and no other," emphatic, e.g., Matt. 1:21, where the RV brings out the emphasis by the rendering "it is He;" Matt. 3:11 (last clause), where the repeated "He" brings out the emphasis; in some cases it can be marked only by a circumlocution which would not constitute a translation, e.g., Matt. 8:24; this use is very frequent, especially in the Gospels, the Epistles of John and the Apocalypse; see also, e.g., Eph. 2:14; 4:11; 5:23,27. See, SAME, SELF, THIS, VERY. (W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Thomas Nelson Publishers, page 531) [Bold and underlines is by the author, solely for emphasis]

The Greek word autos is always defined to mean one person. Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit are one entity. God has manifested Himself in three different forms for a myriad of reasons, as Father, Son and The Holy Spirit, each title being equal in glory and honor to the other in its revelation and personification; but, yet there is only One God! The Father is God! Jesus is God! The Holy Spirit is God!

The fact that the verse (Revelation 22:1) states that the throne of God and of the Lamb is in the city does not mean that there are two separate thrones. It is speaking about the title of the one throne of God. We also do not see two separate entities (Jesus apart from God) sitting on the same throne, but we are to see Jesus Christ, our God, sitting on His throne! The same could be said for Revelation 20:6, where it states, Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Whereas it states the called out ones shall be priests of God and Christ, that verse ends up by saying they shall reign with him (not them, implying two persons) a thousand years. Obviously it is not speaking of two different entities here; but, rather, it uses (in lineal honor and glory protocol) two of the titles of God to identify this one God!

Many theorists interpret various scriptures to justify their time frame chronologies by identifying Jesus in one scenario and God in another, thereby denying Jesus His (God’s) due glory. They do this with their various interpretations and usages of the phrase, right hand of God, found in Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33; 5:31; 7:55 and 56; Romans 8:34; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 10:12; 12:2 and 1 Peter 3:22. For example, they use Acts 7:56, where we read that martyr Stephen looked up and as he was dying said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. They believe this verse is evidence that Jesus should be viewed in a separate context apart from God in their eschatological conclusions. Theorists believe Stephen saw two entities, Jesus standing next to and along the right side of God. What they fail to see is that Stephen saw the glory of the one God, Jesus Christ, our God!

In Luke 22:69, we clearly see where Jesus received all power and dominion from God: Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. What theorists fail to understand is that the word used in this phrase “right hand” is the Greek adjective dexios, which is metaphorically describing the power (Gr. dunamis, power) of God. When used with the preposition “ek” (“on”), it is stating that Jesus Christ is the one sitting on the throne of God (because He is God, Himself), and these two verses should not be viewed as seeing two entities (Jesus apart from God) sitting along side of each other on the throne. The description of Jesus sitting on the “right hand” of God is given to us in lineal honor and glory protocol to identify Jesus Christ, the Son of Man. However, it is not describing two different entities; rather it is truly describing only the one true God, our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ is our Lord and our God and He is sitting on His (God’s) throne! As Acts 2:33 clearly states, Jesus (the Son of Man) has been exalted to His rightful position of authority, Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God, (Luke 22:69, KJV).

Theorists have always used various titles when dealing with persons, times or places to engender a different emphasis on the verses they use to arrive at their eschatological conclusions, such as “the Day of the Lord” is speaking solely of Jesus’ millennial itinerary, and “the Day of God,” supposedly describes the Father’s descent to earth 1000 years later, in attempts to portray different persons, chronologies or time framed scenarios. They develop one scenario for Jesus Christ and another for God. They continually forget that Jesus is God! For example, in Revelation 7:13-17, they attempt to build on their theories that the Christian Church is already seen in heaven when they try to identify those who come out of great tribulation, those who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (verse 14); and they interpret this scene as being in heaven because these martyrs are bowing before the throne of God. Of course they are. But, if God’s dwelling place is already descended, as we believe these scripture verses in Revelation 7:13-17 clearly state is the case, then there should be no problem in seeing these martyred saints serving and bowing before Him, Jesus Christ, our God, in an earthly scene. This is made more probable by virtue of the preceding verses (Revelation 7:1-13), which clearly paint an earthly picture. Read them! More importantly, verse 15, in chapter 7 of Revelation, which specifically states that: “Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them, (Revelation 7:15, KJV).” According to this verse, who is that ‘he’ that ‘sitteth’ on the throne, dwelling among them? Does it not say that they are before the throne of God? Does it not say that He that sitteth on the throne will dwell among them? Who is dwelling where? Does not this verse clearly state that the martyred saints are before God’s throne, serving Him night and day, as He dwells among them, not them dwelling up in Heaven with Him? [See also John 14:23] Can there be any doubt this is an earthly scene?

More importantly, whether what is spoken of in Revelation 7:15 is viewed in heaven or on earth, we have to ask this important question: Where is Jesus Christ in this verse? Are we to interpret in this verse that it is only speaking about the martyred saints serving God before His throne in Heaven, and that Jesus Christ is now somewhere else in His own special compartment, in some back room inside New Jerusalem, and not receiving the glory and honor that is due to God? Never! Jesus Christ is God! Once again, to inappropriately interpret and present scripture that even comes close to denying Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, of His glory, solely to pad weak theories, is anathema.

Therefore, if we can place the so-called a thousand years in their rightful perspective, then the a thousand years represent the indeterminate amount of time that Satan is prevented from deceiving the nations, and the time called out ones began reigning (from a spiritual perspective) in Christ by virtue of what He accomplished on Calvary. The a thousand years should not be viewed as 1000 literal years of chronology, beginning after The Second Advent. What we see in Revelation 19:7 through 16 (where theorists see only Jesus Christ and not God descending to earth), is the same thing we see in Revelation 21:1-3. In both groups of scripture, the Bride of the Lamb, New Jerusalem, has been made ready and has been possessed (married) by the Lord, comes down from heaven, and the tabernacle of God is forever with men. Then He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God.

Our Lord Fights For The City He Loves!
The author believes the scriptures we have presented clearly show that this New Holy City of God will come down from the upper heavens with God, in the visible person of Jesus Christ. Before Satan will be loosed for a short season, his power has been bound for a thousand (indeterminate amount of) years by the atoning work of Christ on Calvary. Since the day of Calvary, Satan can no longer deceive the nations as he did before. Before Calvary, Satan controlled the world. During this binding (a thousand indeterminate span of years), and especially beginning on the Day of Pentecost, God’s ecclesia has been built (Gr. oikodomeo, embolden, strengthened) from on high with newfound power gifts from the Holy Spirit. From that day forward, Satan has been bound for a thousand (indeterminate span of) years and God’s ecclesia (through Holy Spirit power gifts) can no longer be deceived by the diabolical wiles of Satan. However, after being bound for an indeterminate amount of (a thousand) years, Satan will be released for a short season and will be allowed to wreak havoc on earth. He will give all the power he has in his diabolical arsenal to the man of lawlessness, at which time he will try to destroy the called out ones. For a certain amount of time before The Second Advent, the Satanically imbued man of lawlessness begins his reign of terror on God’s ecclesia, beginning subtly at first to deceive all the nations with his counterfeit miracles: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, (2 Thessalonians 2:9, KJV). He will succeed with those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Those without faith in the Messiah will become susceptible to his cunning ways and will fall victim to his diabolical ploys, capturing the nonbelievers in his intricate web of financial, social and political dependency to him through the mark of the beast, (Revelation 13:17). It is toward the end of this period of persecution that we see the unannounced (as a thief in the night) intervention by Jesus Christ, our God, who shortens (Mark 13:20) this period of intense persecution (at the hands of the man of lawlessness) by descending to snatch (Gr. harpazo, pluck) the called out ones to meet Him in the air, to be housed in their private chambers:

Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. (Isaiah 26:19-21). [Underline is by the author, solely for emphasis]

Notwithstanding this miraculous End Times Passover rescue, Satan, along with his heathen minions (personified as Gog and Magog) devises one last diabolical plot to attack the Lamb of God and his ecclesia, by compassing the newly arrived City of God, which now houses the called out ones and the Lamb of God. Revelation 17:14 clearly paints the picture of the ecclesia being with the Lord on earth, as it states, these shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful, (Revelation 17:14, KJV). This verse clearly shows His chosen and faithful called out ones are already with the Lamb of God, on earth, after their brief meeting with Him in the air. [Underline is by the author, solely for emphasis]

Now Satan imbues his vast armies (Gog and Magog) with diabolical power, which clearly can be viewed in Revelation 17:9-14 as gathering together to make war against the Lamb:

And here is the mind, which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when He cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. 12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful, (Revelation 17:9-14, KJV). [Underline is by the author, solely for emphasis]

Where (and how) does Satan make one final attempt to destroy the Lamb of God and his ecclesia? Revelation 20:7-9 clearly and concisely tell us:

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them, (Revelation 20:7-9, KJV) [Underline is by the author, solely for emphasis]

Several major questions beg to be asked, here. If Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God is not on earth with His ecclesia inside of His Holy City at this point in time, what beloved city does this speak of? What saints are camped here? This certainly cannot be speaking of newly converted Jews (tribulation saints?) in old Jerusalem, as theorists contend. If this scene is supposed to depict what is supposed to happen 1000 years after The Second Advent, then who are the saints encamped in this holy city? Does this verse speak of nationalistic Jews who have received a special and different salvation than the church? If so, then where is the ecclesia?

Revelation 20:7, 8 and 9 clearly depict the greatest diabolical conspiracy and military build up ever imagined by mankind against the Lamb of God. In these three verses, we see that Satan has been loosed from his binding status, and pursues his diabolical plan to conquer God’s ecclesia, and for the most part (during the reign of the man of lawlessness) he will succeed, (Daniel 7:23; 8:24; 12:7-9). However, the intervention by the Lamb of God provides the End Times Passover rescue of His called out ones, through translation and resurrection of those asleep in Christ, along with those who are alive and waiting for His return. The man of lawlessness is destroyed by the brightness of His coming (2 Thessalonians2:8). Then Satan commences to get into the act himself, and:

… shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them, (Revelation 20:9, KJV).

Revelation 19:19 says the same thing, where John states, And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army, (Revelation 19:19, KJV).

Notice, very carefully, that these two verses depict an earthly scenario that specifically speaks about these diabolically induced armies, gathered from one end of the earth to the other, surrounding the camp of the saints and the beloved city; however, fire comes down from the heavens to destroy them all!

There are many theorists who also believe that after The Second Advent, Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God immediately destroys all mankind and that earth is void of any humans for 1000 years. Some even believe those who come up against the Lamb of God are the rest of dead, who Satan supposedly resuscitates from the grave for a short season to do his bidding. Then after God slays them, they are supposedly resurrected again to stand before the Great White Throne judgment 1000 years later. They believe that it is only after a 1000-year period of complete desolation on earth that God destroys the old earth and the heavens, conducts the great white throne judgment (supposedly in Heaven), and then creates a new “Heaven” and a new earth, where Christians supposedly will thereafter spend eternity up in this new Heaven. This is the problem many eschatologists experience when they interpret the phrase a thousand years in literal and chronological terms, rather than understanding that phrase represents the indeterminate binding time of Satan that was accomplished by Jesus Christ by virtue of His atoning works on Calvary. They fail to connect the scriptural dots together and fail to see the word of God plainly states that New, Jerusalem, the Holy City of God, comes down at The Second Advent.

Inside the beloved city are they that do his commandments, which have right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. Outside of the Holy City of God are the unrepentant who have been deceived by Satan. These (Gog and Magog, and all of the unjust) are they who are spoken of in Revelation 22:15: for without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie, (Revelation 22:15.) This latter part of Revelation 22:15 is not identifying solely the character of unrepentant sinners (a great throng of dogs, sorcerers and murders) from throughout history who did not qualify for salvation, as opposed to the redeemed who qualified to have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of life. This verse is identifying those who are outside and surrounding the recently descended New (beloved city) Jerusalem, ready to do battle with the Lamb of God! These are the ones who wish they could get inside of the beloved city; but the only ones who have access to the Holy City of God are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. This Holy City of God has descended already. It does not descend at the same time that the man of lawlessness begins his reign and terror against the called out ones, but towards the end of this persecutory campaign to destroy God’s ecclesia. The diabolical campaign of the man of lawlessness is cut short (Matthew 24:22), whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, (2 Thessalonians 2:8, KJV).

At The Second Advent, Jesus Christ, our God, is on His descent to earth on mounted white steed, with His vast army of powerful angels, as He leads the procession for the Holy City of God to earth. The Bride that theorists believe is the Christian Church in Revelation 19:14 is actually God’s holy city, New Jerusalem, accompanying Him on His downward flight in Revelation 19:14. The Bride of the Lamb is not an army of Raptured Christians, it is the Holy City of God, New Jerusalem, the city that is to come, (See Hebrews 13:14). Upon its arrival, the man of lawlessness’s reign of persecution upon God’s ecclesia is shortened, as God smites him by the brightness of His appearance. Herein is God’s End Times Passover! On His way down to earth, He resurrects all of the dead. First by snatching those who were asleep in Christ along with His live called out ones to meet Him in the air, to be housed inside the New Jerusalem, then shortly thereafter the rest of the dead to face the judgment of eternal damnation while He sits on His great white throne (1 Thessalonians 4:17):

Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain, (Isaiah 26:20-21).

This surely cannot be depicting a scenario that supposedly happens after a 1000 year reign in old Jerusalem; this is what happens at The Second Advent. This verse specifically speaks about the Lord coming out of His place in the upper heavens to punish the inhabitants of the earth. Therefore, the exhorting of His people to enter their chambers (while He commences to pour out His wrath) has to be speaking about The Second Advent

But the battle is not over with, yet. Outside of the recently descended Holy City are the dogs, sorcerers, murderers, which are led by the obstinate devil, who will gather this great hoard of evil armies (Gog and Magog) from throughout the entire world, to launch the largest military assault ever witnessed by mankind. Satan believes he will still have a chance to defeat the Lamb of God and His ecclesia; however, fire comes down from above to, once and for all, and destroys him and his demonic forces. Then God commences to cast Satan into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever!

Even though God’s called out ones have been changed into their new resurrected bodies, caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and now housed in New Jerusalem, this hoard of evil armies led by Satan himself, in their diabolical obstinacy, truly believe they can overcome the Lamb of God! This planned battle is Armageddon! This is that war! This scene is not depicting a scene of a Russian army (supposedly Gog and Magog) preparing to do battle with Jews in old Jerusalem in the Middle East state of Israel, before The Second Advent! This is the picture of Satan who has gathered all the heathen armies of the world, along with his unleashed supernatural demons (Revelation 16:14), in one last attempt to defeat the Lamb of God. However, the fire-filled wrath of God comes down from the upper heavens to destroy Satan and his diabolical hoard, once and for all.

Yet, modern day theorists (who, like lemmings, follow after any and many soothing and fanciful theories) will deny what God’s word clearly state, believing they have a better interpretation. They believe the 1000 years are literal, and they will insist on forcing their square scripture pegs into round mythology holes. As 2 Timothy 3:7- states, they will be,

… ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their's also was, (2 Timothy 3:7-9, KJV). [Bold and underline is by the author, solely for emphasis]

The truth is that Jesus Christ, our God, returns one final time to establish an eternal reign on earth. Before He descends with His Holy City, Satan imbues the man of lawlessness with diabolical powers to persecute God’s called out ones, who eventually destroys most of them. After several years of persecuting God’s ecclesia, Christ intervenes and destroys the man of lawlessness by virtue of the brightness of His appearance. After the Lord arrives with His new Bride, the Holy City of God, Satan himself prepares to make one last desperate attempt to defeat the Lamb of God, (Revelation 17:9-14). This city is the bride He married (possessed) before He began His descent to earth. This city is not the church, but it’s the heavenly country Abraham and his faith-believing descendants looked for (Hebrews 11:10,16), a heavenly city that is to come to the earth (Hebrews 13:14), the Promised Land that will house all those called out ones whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life! The Bride of the Lamb is the Holy City of God, His beloved city!

Matthew Henry gives us clear insights about this beloved city, and the role Gog and Magog represent in Revelation 20:8, insights which refute theorists’ postulations that this Gog and Magog (whom most theorists claim is the country of Russia) precipitate a pre-Second Advent attack on the modern-day, Middle-East country known today as the State of Israel.

“We have the names of the principal commanders in this army under the dragon—Gog and Magog. We need not be too inquisitive as to what particular powers are meant by these names, since the army was gathered from all parts of the world. These names are found in other parts of scripture. Magog we read of in Gen.10: 2. He was one of the sons of Japheth, and peopled the country called Syria, from which his descendants spread into many other parts. Of Gog and Magog together we only read in Eze. 38:2, a prophecy whence this in Revelation borrows many of its images. 5. We have the march and military disposition of this formidable army (v. 9.): They went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city, that is, the spiritual Jerusalem, in which the most precious interests of the people of God are lodged, and therefore to them a beloved city. The army of the saints is described as drawn forth out of the city, and lying under the walls of it, to defend it; they were encamped about Jerusalem: but the army of the enemy was so much superior to that of the church that they compassed them and their city about. 6. You have an account of the battle, and the issue of this war: Fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured the enemy. Thus the ruin of Gog and Magog is foretold (Eze. 38:22), I will rain upon him and upon his bands an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, and fire and brimstone. God would, in an extraordinary and more immediate manner, fight this last and decisive battle for his people, that the victory might be complete and the glory redound to himself. 7. The doom and punishment of the grand enemy, the devil: he is now cast into hell, with his two great officers, the beast and the false prophet, tyranny and idolatry, and that not for any term of time, but to be there tormented night and day, for ever and ever. (Matthew Henry Commentary on Revelation 20) [Bold and underlines is by the author, solely for emphasis]

Scripture clearly states (more so than conjecture and inferences by theorists) that the city He loves, New Jerusalem, God’s dwelling place, does come down when Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, returns at The Second Advent to subdue all of His enemies and delivers the Kingdom over to God, Himself: Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power, (1 Corinthians 15: 24, KJV).

Many theorists interpret this verse to mean that Jesus delivers the Kingdom up to God in heaven; however, the Greek word for “delivered up” in this verse is paradidomi, which means to deliver over, and does not use the Greek word anadidomi, which means to deliver up. This correct rendering of this word (paradidomi) proves that theorists cannot infer that Christ is delivering up (to heaven) a completed 1000-year Millennial Kingdom reign to God the Father. This means that Jesus Christ is turning a complete and totally victorious Kingdom over to Himself on earth, because Jesus Christ is God, Himself!

More importantly, theorists will counter and say they believe that a clear distinction in this verse is being made between Jesus Christ and the Father, in that Jesus (supposedly a separate person) delivers the Kingdom up to the Father in heaven. What they fail to see is that in 1 Corinthians 15: 24, we can see (Christ’s turning over the Kingdom to the Father) a profound example of lineal honor and glory protocol, which is being presented thusly for one specific reason. God the Father wants all of mankind to see Him in the person of the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, in His humanity, in order for them to see that it was God Himself they pierced and rejected. God wants mankind (which had trouble recognizing Jesus as God when He was among them) to see it was He, God, who humbled Himself by transporting Himself from Heaven to earth, becoming flesh, to die on the cross in order that all of His creation may be saved, (Hebrews 2:14).

Revelation 1:7 tells us why God wants mankind to see Him in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, so there will be no doubt whatsoever for any human being not to know who is responsible for grace, mercy and salvation. God will drive this point home to mankind, ever so clearly and succinctly. When all of mankind realizes it was God Himself, in the person of the human flesh man Jesus, who walked among them, bearing the same temptation, pain and anguish all human flesh can experience, this reality will strike home more convincingly than anything they have ever realized in their entire life. And, they will wail, deep wailings, because they will then know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was not just some mythical character or a famous prophet or religious leader who walked among them, but it was He, God, the creator of all things. It was almighty God Himself who walked amongst humanity, His creation. God humbled Himself before humanity, before His own creation. It was God who died and paid the price for sin: Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen, (Revelation 1:7, KJV). [Underline is by the author, solely for emphasis]

Then, after the Son of Man (God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ) has defeated Satan and his cohorts, once and for all, obviously He delivers the Kingdom of God to the Father, Himself! This turning the Kingdom over (not up) to God is done solely for one profound purpose, to convey to all mankind that Jesus Christ is our Lord and our God, And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one, (Zechariah 14:9, KJV). As A. R. Fausset (mentioned earlier), stated there shall be “One Lord . . . name one--Not that He is not so already, but He shall then be recognized by all unanimously as "One." Now there are "gods many and lords many." Then Jehovah alone shall be worshipped. The manifestation of the unity of the Godhead shall be simultaneous with that of the unity of the Church. Believers are one in spirit already, even as God is one (Eph 4:3-6.). But externally there are sad divisions. Not until these disappear, shall God reveal fully His unity to the world (John 17:21, 23). Then shall there be "a pure language, that all may call upon the name of the Lord with one consent" (Zephaniah 3:9). [Bold and underline by the author, solely for emphasis]

Jesus Christ is our Lord and our God! Christ is Messiah! Messiah is the Savior! The Savior is God! Jesus is God in the flesh, as only humans can perceive God! Jesus Christ is our Lord and our God! Once again, we encourage the reader to discern the above verses through lineal honor and glory protocol glasses.

But, yet, theorists will insist on more scriptural proof before they will abandon their unproven mythologies. Scriptures abound that clearly prove Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God is He who comes to set up an eternal Kingdom reign on earth at The Second Advent. This glaring fact is found in the very same book of Thessalonians that theorists love to quote from and use in vain attempts to pad their secret pre-Tribulation escape to heaven theories:

Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. 12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you. 13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints, (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13, KJV.) [Bold and underline by the author, solely for emphasis]

Don’t these Bible verses clearly state that called out ones will be in the presence of God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His *holy angels?

[*As we demonstrated in Chapter 7 (He Comes With His Holy Ones), the word saints in 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 needs to be rendered as being God’s holy angels rather than church saints]

Who is to be found blameless and holy in the presence of our God, when Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, comes to earth with His holy angels? Is it not the called out ones who Paul is addressing here? And for those theorists who will still cling to their belief that God does not come down until 1000 years after The Second Advent, supposedly after He conducted His Great White Throne Judgment in Heaven, do we not also see Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, coming and then sitting on His throne after He arrived on earth, to finally judge the world from His throne, as it states in Matthew 25:31:

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory, (Matthew 25:31, KJV). [Bold and underline is by the author, solely for emphasis]

Are we to interpret that the throne on earth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, is any less deserving of glory than the throne in heaven of God the Father? Is the glory of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, going to be any less wondrous than the glorified throne of God? Did not Jesus Christ, when He ascended to the right hand of God receive dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, as is stated in Daniel 7:13, 14? Are we to believe that the reigning on earth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God (supposedly lasting only for a 1000 year period of time) will be any less glorious than that of God the Father, in heaven? Once again, view these verses through lineal honor and glory protocol-colored glasses and see if you can make a time frame or a separate entity distinction between Jesus Christ and God the Father.

If the reader needs more scriptural proof that New Jerusalem is destined to be on earth, forever, in the following five verses we clearly see a description of the descended Holy City of God, New Jerusalem, where ‘the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations,’ a description that clearly shows ‘the throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve him.’ It doesn’t say ‘serve them’ because God and the Lamb are one and the same.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever, (Revelation 22:1-5, NIV.) [Bold and underline is by the author, solely for emphasis]

Also, what nations will need this great healing provided in the leaves of the tree of life mentioned in Revelation 21:2? Of those that need this great healing, does it not include those kings of the earth who bring their glory and honor into it, as stated in Revelation 21:24? Or (if this is not an earthly scene) will these great kings of the earth be transporting their glory and honor up to heaven in some form of spiritual space shuttles?

While many expositors from antiquity and contemporary times have debated the messages contained in the Book of Ezekiel, many claiming they are Pre-Millennial in nature, or mere visions of exhortations to national Israel that never came to pass, there are several verses in the Book of Ezekiel (especially in Chapter 47) that allude to many of the attributes of God’s Holy City, which can be viewed in an earthly scene. For example, the New Jerusalem spoken of in Revelation 22:2, which describes the healing aspects of the fruit and the leaves from the Tree of Life, is almost identical to Ezekiel 47:12:

And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine, (Ezekiel 47:12, KJV).

In Ezekiel 48, verses 30 through 34, we can also see described what is clearly stated in Revelation 21:12, in regards to the gates of New Jerusalem that are named after the twelve tribes of Israel: And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel, (Ezekiel 48:30, KJV). But, even more important, verse 35, the final verse in the Book of Ezekiel, possibly the most profound verse regarding The Holy City and God’s eventual presence on earth, is clearly stated by the new name this Holy City will henceforth be known by: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there! It is interesting to note that this phrase (the Lord is there) in Ezekiel 48:35 is the Hebrew phrase Yehovah shammah, which is so glaringly significant as to its importance that it is only used once in the entire Bible!

Whereas the Old Testament origin of the word Jerusalem is derived from the Hebrew words yeruel (founded by God) and shalaim (peace), the vision of God has always been from the beginning for the holy nation He founded to be called out from amongst the world to eventually rest in eternal peace with Him in the true Promised Land, which is His Holy City. As Matthew Henry so eloquently quotes from his commentary of Ezekiel 48:35,

The name given to this city: From that day, when it shall be newly-erected according to this model, the name of it shall be, not, as before, Jerusalem—The vision of peace, but which is the original of that, and more than equivalent to it, Jehovah Shammah—The Lord is there!

So there will be no doctrinal confusion as posited by Pre-Millennialists, who believe the Lord’s reign will be a geopolitical one headquartered in the present day country of Israel, as well as A-Millennialists, who view the Kingdom of God will be solely a spiritual one in heaven, Ezekiel 48:35 is not speaking about an indwelling of the Holy Spirit in His ecclesia. Instead, it clearly speaks about the beginning of Lord’s presence on earth at The Second Advent. The author cites from Ezekiel 43:1 through 9, verses which paint a clear picture of the Lord’s return to supernaturally dwell among His people, forever:

Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: 2 and, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. 3 And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. 4 And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. 5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. 6 And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. 7 And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcasses of their kings in their high places. 8 In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger. 9 Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcasses of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them forever, (Ezekiel 43:1-9, KJV).

Obviously, these verses above (and other comparable verses attest and) clearly speak of the visible glory of the Son of Man coming from the east at The Second Advent (Matthew 24:27-30), prepared to take His place on His throne (Matthew 25:31). His feet on that day, shall stand upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:4), to begin dwelling in the midst of the children of Israel (not the Middle East state known today as Israel), but with the children, (Gr. huios, sons) of the faith-believing Israel of God. He will reign for eternity, as verse 9 of Zechariah, Chapter 14, clearly proclaims: And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one, (Zechariah 14:9, KJV).

After carefully examining the scriptures, to determine whether God burns the heavens and the earth twice, or if the Christian Church comes down from heaven twice (or if it ever goes up to heaven to begin with), or if God’s Holy City descends to earth before, during or immediately after Christ begins His Kingdom Reign, the author believes he has presented scriptures that do answer these questions more clearly and concisely than what theorists have presented in the past. The author recognizes this presentation herein goes against much of the doctrines and traditions that have been taught by greater Bible scholars than he, throughout history. However, the author believes the scriptures and the commentaries by the many great Bible scholars of antiquity the author has trusted upon during his research and presentation herewith, offer a much more convincing argument than those that are being postulated by a myriad of contemporary theorists. God and His Holy City descend at The Second Advent, rather than 1000 literal years after the return of Christ.

The scripture-bending, postulating inferences and hypotheses which theorists and dispensationalists present, concerning when God and His Holy City descend to earth, those based primarily on conjecture, rather than on trusting what the word of God truly and explicitly says, stand on shaky ground. For it appears to this author that scripture clearly states that God burns the old heavens and the old earth once, during or immediately after The Second Advent, that God reconstructs them to a glory that will be appropriate for His righteousness to dwell amongst mankind (2 Peter 3:13); and, all the while, God’s ecclesia, his holy called out ones will not be caught up to heaven for seven years. But, rather, those asleep in Christ will be resurrected into their new spiritual bodies, and those alive and awaiting His return will also be changed at the same time, into immortal bodies, and both will be caught together to meet, greet and escort Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, upon His visible and glorious return to earth.

Once again, Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, who is presently in the upper heavens, preparing rewards and a positional status for each of His called out ones, those levels of authority and status that each will be rewarded with for their spiritual endeavors. They will be assigned special roles as kings and priests in His new heavenly administration, the Kingdom of God. They will be housed inside New Jerusalem, which descends to earth, as He patiently waits that more of His creation will accept the gift of salvation before His final return!

As it states in 1 Corinthians 2:9, KJV, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. Only those who love Him, those who have the faith, those who have accepted His gift of salvation, those who do the will of the Father, will inherit these things:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful, (Revelation 21:4, 5, KJV).

Only those of faith will have access to this heavenly city on earth, only those who obey Him will be of the Blessed are they that do his commandments…that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city, (Revelation 22:14, KJV). While outside of the descended Holy City of God (ready to attack the Lamb of God, one more time) will include those spoken of in Revelation 22:15, For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie, (Revelation 22:15, KJV).

Yes! The Bride, New Jerusalem, the Holy City of God, the Tabernacle of God, is adorned for her Master, to be finally married (possessed) by Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God. Yes! God, will dwell among His called out ones, on earth, forever!

Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore. (Ezekiel 37:26-28, KJV) Underline and bold is by the author, solely for emphasis]

When does God’s sanctuary descend to be in the midst of them forevermore? When Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God returns at The Second Advent!

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. 2 And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 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. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death; neither, sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, write: for these words are true and faithful, (Revelation 21:1-5, KJV). [Bold and underline is by the author, solely for emphasis]


Yes! Jesus Christ, our God, currently residing in heaven, definitely has an earth-bound journey. His called out ones are hoping and praying that He will come soon. Yes! A myriad of uninformed or deceived called out ones today are praying they will be caught up to heaven at any moment, primarily to escape the woes predicted throughout the Bible. Unfortunately (for those whose ‘Blessed Hope’ lie solely in a secret escape to heaven), the reality is that the Christian Church will have to remain on earth awaiting His arrival. Not realizing that to spend an eternity, as co-inheritors of the Kingdom of God, and all that it entails, this is our true Blessed Hope. Scripture upon scripture clearly state, that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God, (Acts 14:22, KJV). There will be no secret escape to heaven before The Second Advent. Therefore, and unfortunately, many called out ones will not be prepared to experience great tribulation and the many horrific persecutions from anti-Christian forces prophesied in Revelation 11:7: 13:1, 4, 11, 12, 15, 17, and 18. Many called out ones will fall victim to his terror. Why? What’s the purpose? Jesus? Why tribulation?

God’s word has already provided answers to these questions, but most Christians don’t want to know. His answers are probably the most important knowledge and wisdom that all Christians should be aware of, and they will be revealed in the next book, which will be published within the next three months. Until then, we must remember those precious words of Romans 8:28-39:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:28-39, KJV)


In His Peace,

Joe Ortiz