(Go to Meeting)

Steven Greene—January 11, 2019

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(introduction not transcribed)

Greetings! Welcome everybody!

Psalm 48:2: "…the joy of all the earth is Mount Zion…"

For me, personally, a lot of times when I read Scriptures, especially in the Psalms, I can gloss over some statements like this, because it's not something about growing in our character and as God is showing us. Or it's not about working in us, prophecy, history…

When we think about that simple statement, that "…the joy of all the earth is Mount Zion…" that's an incredible statement to make.

  • Have you ever wondered where that place is?
  • Where Mt. Zion is?
  • Where the joy of all the earth will be?
  • Is it here now?

Today I want to go through and tell you about Mt. Zion: what it is, where it is and even when it is. Let's start by looking at the beginnings of Zion.

Psalm 9:11: "Sing praises to the LORD, Who dwells in Zion…" So, the first key is that Zion is the dwelling place of God! That's what it is.

Psalm 135:21: "Blessed is the LORD out of Zion, Who dwells at Jerusalem…."

2-Chronicles 5:2: "And Solomon gathered the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel to Jerusalem to bring up the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion." That's where it is!

Zion is Jerusalem, or Is it? Let's look at the history of Jerusalem, because if Jerusalem is the key to the location of Zion… We will find that Jerusalem was originally a city of the Jebusites:

Judges 19:10: "But the man would not stay that night, but he rose up and left, and came over opposite Jebus, which is Jerusalem…."

Jebus was the name of Jerusalem before it was taken over by David.

Joshua 15:8: "And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom to the south side of the Jebusite. It is Jerusalem. And the border went up to the top of the mountain that lies before the Valley of Hinnom westward, at the end of the Valley of the Giants northward."

So, Jebus was the name of Jerusalem before David took it. We're going to find that David came up to battle against the Jebusites. So, it says:

2-Samuel 5:6: "The king… [David] …and his troops then marched on Jerusalem against the people of Jebus, the natives of the territory. They however, announced to David, 'You shall not get in here; the blind and the lame can turn you back!', assuming, 'David cannot gain access here.'" They were assuming that David could not get access!

Verse 7: "But David did capture the fortress of Zion, which now is the City of David."

After conquering Jerusalem, David later built his palace in Jerusalem and then brought the Ark of the Covenant into the tabernacle that he had erected in the city. So, prior to the temple, David erected the tabernacle there. (tie in with 2-Sam. 6).

Luke 2:4: "…the City of David, which is called Bethlehem…" That's where David was born, but Jerusalem was the City of David during his reign! So, don't get that confused.

I think that it's kind of ironic, given the history of mankind and especially the Israelites, that Jerusalem means the 'City of Peace.' It's an interesting name, but it's quite appropriate, because if that's where Zion is, the City of Peace is very appropriate to where God would establish himself.

2-Chron. 3—we find more specifics about this. David desired to build a temple. God didn't allow David to build it, but he was able to get the materials and make the plans. It was Solomon who built it.

2-Chronicles 3:1: "And Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in Mount Moriah, where He [God] appeared to David his father, in the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite."

This was built on lands owned by the Jebusites. Even though the region was owned by the Jebusites at one time, the temple was built on a place called Mt. Moriah. This is a very important place in history.

Gen. 22—Abraham took his son Isaac, per God's instructions—'and go into the land of Moriah and offer Isaac for a burnt offering.' Moriah means scene of God, and that was the place where Abraham took Isaac for the sacrifice. That's a little bit of backdrop history on Jerusalem and it's important because Jerusalem is where Zion is.

Now let's look at the connection of Zion with God.

2-Kings 21 is going to tell us something very important, and it is a promise of God that we will read here about Jerusalem.

2-Kings 21:7: "…the LORD had said to David and to Solomon his son, 'In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever.'"

This is an incredible promise. God has said that He will put His name forever in Jerusalem. The place that we are talking about—Zion—was never really a part of Jerusalem before the Israelites.' You will not find any mention of Zion prior to the time that the Israelites were in Jerusalem in control of the land.

But God promised to establish His name there forever. But He didn't establish His presence at that time. So, it's interesting, because in a sense the name of Zion is the place where God lives, but it doesn't necessarily get tied to a geographical location. In other words, wherever God lives that is Zion!

It says that Zion is where God dwells. I liken this to the call sign for Air Force One, which is the plane that the President of the United States flies around in. While the President is on board the aircraft—and it doesn't matter if it's a helicopter or jet—is called Air Force One. As soon as he steps off of that aircraft, the aircraft goes back to its original call sign.

So, if God is dwelling in Jerusalem, then that is Zion. But if He is not dwelling in Jerusalem, Jerusalem is not called Zion anymore, it's called Jerusalem.

As we know, God is not dwelling in Jerusalem right now. I think that's plainly obvious. There must be something that's going to happen in the future for God to dwell there.

Zechariah 1:17: "Cry aloud again, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "My cities shall yet overflow through prosperity, and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem."'"

So, God dwelt in Zion at the time that the Israelites when there was first a tabernacle there and later the temple. But He is not there now, and that's because God is not dwelling there now!

Heb. 7—here we find a description of Melchisedec. If you recall, Melchisedec met with Abraham back in Genesis. So, prior to the Israelites, where was Zion?

Hebrews 7:1: "For this Melchisedec, King of Salem… [Jerusalem] …Priest… [has to be pre-incarnate Jesus Christ, the Word] …of the Most High God… [God the Father] …Who met Abraham as he was returning from his slaughter of the kings, and blessed him and to Whom Abraham gave a tenth part of all; on the one hand, being interpreted King of Righteousness; and on the other hand, King of Salem [Jerusalem], which is King of Peace" (vs 1-2).

So, prior to the Israelites, Zion was also in Jerusalem at the time of Abraham. In the intervening years between Abraham and the Israelites, the Jebusites had control of that region, so God was dwelling in Jerusalem, and it was Mt. Zion.

During the time of the Jebusites, God was not there. God returned when He placed the Israelites in the land of Canaan, specifically in Jerusalem. Then after that, He again left, which we will see in a little bit.

I do want to clarify something. This is an important region, and it is emphasized by the various names. We've heard some of them, and Moriah, for instance, means scene of God. But this area is also called the king's valley.

Genesis 14:17: "…the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's valley."

You find all the names about this region referring to kings or a king. That is quite appropriate if it is the dwelling place of God. There is another key that we need to understand about Zion, it's not just the dwelling place of God. There was something common in the relationship that God had when He was dwelling in Jerusalem with the people. Psa. 74 is very important in understand what Zion is. This is a key:

Psalm 74:2: "Remember Your congregation… [people] …which You have purchased of old, the rod of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed; this Mount Zion in which You have dwelt."

This congregation is the people God had a covenant with. This is not just the dwelling place of God, but this is the place that He dwells with His covenant people.  That was true:

  • in Abraham's time; God had a covenant with Abraham
  • during the time of the Israelites; He had a covenant with them

God only left Jerusalem when the people broke the covenant with Him. So, this is very key to understanding everything about Zion. It's not just the dwelling place of God, but the dwelling place of God with covenant people!

A lot of the names in the area around Jerusalem refer to kings or a king. Matt. 5 is something that is very interesting about Jerusalem itself, and it ties in with Zion.

Matthew 5:34: "But I say to you, do not swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King" (vs 34-35).

Not just a king of the Israelites, but "…the great King." Who is the great King? There are a couple of names in the Old Testament that always refer to God Most High. There are some names in the O.T. for God that refer both to the Word and God Most High, Who is God the Father to us.

Psalm 47:2 tells us of the second name: "For the LORD Most High… [God the Father] …is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth."

When we read in Scripture about "…the great King…' that is a reference to God the Father. It says that Jerusalem is the city of the great King. We know that God is not in Jerusalem. When we read Psa. 74[transcriber's correction], it says You have redeemed; this "…Mount Zion in which You have dwelt."

It's doesn't say that you are dwelling. God the Father is not dwelling in Jerusalem; we know that for a fact. That will happen later, but what happens in the meantime?

Psa. 2 is very interesting, because  God the Father being the great King is not in Zion, in Jerusalem. So, there must be something going on that we don't have spelled out, yet.

Psalm 2:4: "He… [referring to God the Father] …Who sits in the heavens laughs; the LORD scoffs at them. Then He… [God the Father] shall speak to them in His wrath, and in His fury He terrifies them. 'Yea, I have set My King… [Jesus Christ] …upon Zion, My Holy mountain'" (vs 4-6).

So, God the Father is the great King, but He has established Jesus Christ as His King on this earth in place of Him.

Now we are going to complete the thought. This is one of those places where we are referencing God the Father and Jesus Christ. As you read it, instead of the word Lord, or Eternal, or God, I'm going to tell you what it's referring to:

Psalm 110:1: "The LORD… [God the Father] …said unto my Lord… [Jesus Christ] …'Sit at My… [the Father] …right hand until I make Your [Christ] enemies as Your [Christ] footstool.'" That's a promise of Jesus Christ!

Verse 2: "The LORD [the Father] shall send the rod of Your [Christ] strength out of Zion… [which is now in heaven] …saying, 'Rule… [as My King in My (the Father) stead] …in the midst of Your enemies.'"

The promise of God is that He will dwell in Jerusalem and it will be in Zion at that time. It is not that way now. In the interim time, when Jerusalem was Zion, the King that resided there was Jesus Christ. I think everyone can understand that, it's pretty plain.

Jesus Christ visited Jerusalem once already, in the flesh when He was here as a human being. There is a prophecy in Zech. 9 that pertains to that. But it's a prophecy that if you don't understand that Jesus Christ was flesh at the time of this prophecy, it doesn't make sense to you. But I think everyone understands what this is going to refer to.

Zechariah 9:9: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion…" That's an interesting term! It's not the real Zion. This is a daughter of Zion on earth.

"…O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, your King comes to you. He is triumphant and victorious, yet meek and riding on a donkey…"

This is a reference to Luke 19 where we see the entrance of the King into Jerusalem, the King being Jesus Christ in the flesh.

Luke 19:28: "And after saying these things, He [Jesus] went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. Now, it came to pass that as He approached Bethphage and Bethany, toward the mountain called the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples,  saying, 'Go into the village across from you. Upon entering it, you shall find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat; loose it, and bring it to Me. And if anyone asks you why you are loosing it, this is what you shall say to him: "Because the Lord has need of it."' And those who had been sent went and found it exactly as He had said to them" (vs 28-31).

Verse 33: "And as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, 'Why are you loosing the colt?' Then they said, 'The Lord has need of it.' And they led it to Jesus; and after laying their garments on the colt, they put Jesus on it. Now, as He [Jesus] went along, they spread their garments in the road. And as He drew near to the city… [Jesus Christ entering Jerusalem] …already being at the descent of the Mount of Olives, all the multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and to praise God with a loud voice for all the works of power that they had seen, saying, 'Blessed be the King, Who comes in the name of the Lord…. [Jesus Christ coming in the name of God the Father] …Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!'" (vs 33-38).

Verse 41: "And when He came near and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, 'If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things for your peace; but now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you that your enemies shall cast a rampart about you, and shall enclose you around and keep you in on every side, and shall level you to the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in you a stone upon a stone, because you did not know the season of your visitation'" (vs 41-44).

In both the Hebrew and the Greek, the word visitation, a reference to a visitation by a high-ranking official. a case where the official is taking account. In the sense of visitation, Jesus Christ came to Jerusalem to take a account of the situation, the people. He did find them lacking. This is the same thing that happened when the Word visited Abraham to tell him that He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.

Remember that the Word said that He came to see for Himself. So, before judgment is ever passed, Jesus Christ or the Word—New Testament or Old Testament—makes a visitation, an official visitation, to establish the state of affairs. So, He comes as an overseer to see as a precursor to His return as a King in the full Spirit of God and Judge, because He will judge all.

When He came to Jerusalem, He didn't come as an official King, a sitting King, it was strictly a visitation!

What happens at this point? There's a promise in Ezek. 37. Let me summarize a little bit:

  • Zion is where God dwells
  • Zion is where God dwells specifically with His covenant people
  • we know that Jerusalem was Zion with Melchisedec
  • we know that Jerusalem was Zion with the Israelites

But the covenant was broken under King Manasseh, and God has not dwelt in Jerusalem since that time. Jesus Christ came as a visiting king when He was on earth. Prior to Him coming, we have another promise that He made:

Ezekiel 37:26: "Moreover, I [God] 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 their midst forever. And My tabernacle shall be with them. Yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (vs 26-27).

There's going to come a time in the future when God is going to establish a covenant with the people! Again, it's all about a covenant.

Micah tells us about the future of Jerusalem and the King; Micah 4:1: "But it shall be in the last days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come and say, 'Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths'—for the Law shall go forth out of Zion, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people…" (vs 1-3).

Verse 7: "And I will make the lame into a remnant, and she who was cast off into a mighty nation; and the LORD shall reign over them in Mount Zion from henceforth, even forever."

So, we know that Jerusalem is going to be Zion again. At the point that Christ returns Jerusalem will be called Zion! It is a place where Jesus Christ will establish His covenant with the people, and it is a place where He will dwell!

When Jesus Christ returns, what about the firstfruits? Where will we be? We're going to find that the saints play into Mt. Zion in ways you may never have realized before! Let's begin to understand where the saints will be at the beginning of Christ's reign.

Psalm 50:1: "The mighty God, God, the LORD, has spoken and called the earth from the rising of the sun to its going down. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shined forth. Our God shall come, and He shall not keep silent; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, so that He may judge His people: 'Gather My saints unto Me [Jesus Christ], those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice'" (vs 1-5).

  • Where is Jesus Christ going to be dwelling? In Jerusalem!
  • What is Jerusalem going to be called? Zion!
  • Where are the saints going to be? Gathered to Christ!

That's not quite so specific as far as the name Zion goes, because it says, v 2: "…Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shined forth."

Isaiah 30:19: "For, O people, who dwell in Zion at Jerusalem, you shall weep no more; He will be very gracious to you at the voice of your cry. When He hears it, He will answer you. And though the LORD gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet, your teachers shall not be removed into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers" (vs 19-20).

Now we have it specifically stated that God—Jesus Christ—will dwell in Zion/Jerusalem with the firstfruits.

A lot of times we focus on the Tribulation and the first resurrection. There are many things that happen after that to establish the Millennial rule of Jesus Christ. One of those is pictured by the Day of Atonement.

Ezek. 20 talks about the completion of the vengeance of God, the Day of the Lord, and the very beginnings of His rule in Jerusalem. He has to bring people to Jerusalem. The world has been devastated and those that survive are scattered all around. In fact, there's a Scripture that actually talks about that He will bring them in ships across the water. They are all over the world, but He gathers them to Jerusalem, and that's what it says:

Ezekiel 20:37: "And I will cause you to pass under the rod…"—how you not only count your flocks, but also how you divide them up! Remember that Jacob and Laban had this ongoing 'contest' of who will get the best of the sheep and who got the spotted ones and brown ones, etc. this is "…passing under the rod…" It is a filtering process.

"…and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant" (v 37)—to Zion and to God; all three of those are tied together.

Verse 38: "And I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. And I will purge out from among you the rebels and those who transgress against Me. I will bring them out from the land where they reside, but they shall not enter into the land of Israel."

God first eliminates the rebels from those that survive the Day of the Lord, the Tribulation, etc.! That leaves all of those who are not rebels. What happens to them? That's what Zech. 8 tells us! We're going to see that God brings the captives along the way, after He purges the rebels.

Zechariah 8:1: "And the Word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury."' Thus says the LORD, 'I have returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts, the Holy mountain'" (vs 1-3).

Verse 7: "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Behold, I will save My people from the east country, and from the west country. And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be My people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness'" (vs 7-8).

This is where the people end up. In the Millennial rule of Jesus Christ, the saints will be in Jerusalem. He will gather those who are not rebellious, those who cry out to God during their affliction, during the Day of the Lord and will bring them all to Jerusalem and establish a covenant there.

Jeremiah 31:31: "Behold, the days come,' says the LORD, 'that I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.'"

Zion is all about the place where God dwells with His covenant people!

We know right now that Zion is not on earth. So, where is Zion now? Earthly Zion is God where God dwelt with Abraham and the Israelites. But it is soon to be the home of Jesus Christ when He returns. But this is not yet.

Hebrews 12:18: "For you… [speaking to the Body of Christ; those who have received the Holy Spirit] …have not come to the mount that could be touched… [referring the Mt. Zion] …and that burned with fire, nor to gloominess…" A reference back to Moses' time when God was on top of the mountain, and they were told not to come near the mountain, nor to touch it.

Verse 19: "And to the sound of the trumpet, and to the voice of the words…"

Verse 20: "(For they could not endure what was being commanded: 'And if even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned, or shot through with an arrow'; and so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, 'I am greatly afraid and trembling'). But you have come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem…" (vs 20-22). This is talking about Zion being in the heavens right now!

How do we come to Mt. Zion, the heavenly Mt. Zion? When we pray! That is the place that we desire to dwell with God, because we are in covenant with Him. But how can we dwell in Mt. Zion if we're not there. Zion is the heavens! Regardless of whether or not we have a covenant, we're not there, so how do we dwell in Mt. Zion with God in covenant with Him.

Galatians 2:20: "I have been crucified with Christ, yet, I live. Indeed, it is no longer I; but Christ lives in me…." So, if Christ is living in us, where is Mt. Zion?

Philip. 3:20—Paul is talking about citizenship, which is a place of a person's residence pertaining to the nation with legal boundaries. Citizenship is our legal residence.

Philippians 3:20: "But for us… [the saints] …the commonwealth… [citizenship] …of God exists in the heavens, from where also we are waiting for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."

Our citizenship is of God, because He is the legal Ruler, the Ruler of that nation, that boundary of defining Zion in the heavens. He gives us citizenship in the heavens. It's basically saying that we have our citizenship in Mt. Zion in the heavens because of this.

Hebrews 11:13: "All these died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them from afar, and having been persuaded of them, and having embraced them, and having confessed that they were strangers and sojourners on the earth"—referring to foreigners; people without legal residence!

We are foreigners without legal residence on the earth. I'm not talking about the country that you live in. I'm talking about the earth. We do not any longer have legal residence here on the earth. We have legal residence in Zion in the heavens.

Verse 14: "For those who say such things make it manifest that they seek their own country, as promised by God."

Verse 16: "But now, on the other hand, they are aspiring to a more excellent country—that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God because He has prepared a city for them."

The firstfruits are not residents on the earth. We are foreigners. We have, when we receive the Holy Spirit, essentially applied for citizenship in heaven. God created that citizenship by giving us His Holy Spirit in us. In doing so, Jesus Christ lives in us, but He also lives in the heavens. He lives in Mt. Zion with God the Father.

The fact that He is living in us, and that we have citizenship in heaven, we have established our residency in the heavenly Mt. Zion by His Spirit, by His dwelling in us.

We read about the promises that God Most High, the great King, will dwell on earth. At some point, Jerusalem will again be Zion. In other words, God will dwell in Jerusalem again.

Isaiah 9:6: For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulders…"

Verse 7: "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and over His Kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with righteousness from henceforth, even forever…."

Beginning with the Millennium and continuing on to the Great White Throne Judgment, the Government of God is going to increase and grow. This is, for me, kind of reminiscent of Daniel, where Daniel saw an image and the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. Then it was broken; a mountain that was not cut out with hands came down and crushed the feet of that image.

God told Daniel that the God of heaven shall setup a Kingdom that shall never be destroyed or left to other people! This is that same reference to when Christ returns, that His government will increase forever and ever. In order to complete this, we're going to finish up the promises of God in regard to Mt. Zion.

Psalm 132:11: "The LORD has sworn to David in truth; He will not turn from it: 'Of the fruit of your body will I set upon the throne for you. If your children keep My covenant and My testimonies which I shall teach them, their sons shall also sit upon your throne forever.' The LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation: 'This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it'" (vs 11-14). This is God saying that He is going to dwell in Jerusalem forever!

I think we have covered enough of that to make it clear that Zion is returning to this earth, and in the end it will be the residence of God the Father.

Rev. 21 is an interesting view of where God resides. I gave a Got to Meeting sermon : Vision of the Kingdom, and part of the description of Mt. Zion is that is where God's Throne is. There's actually a temple…

Remember, the temple in Jerusalem was a 'shadow' of the things of heaven. There's actually a temple in the heavenly Mt. Zion. But that is going to change.

Revelation 21:22: "And I saw no temple in it… [New Jerusalem] …for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city has no need of the sun, or of the moon, that they should shine in it; because the glory of God enlightens it, and the Light of it is the Lamb" (vs 22-23).

God and Jesus Christ are not going to have the same kind of temple that is there now. There is a different temple, and it is going to be God and Christ. God is going to dwell in His temple. We're going to find out something very interesting as to what the temple is made of.

In this life right now, those who have received God's Holy Spirit and are baptized have received a citizenship. But it's more than that. It says that Jesus Christ dwells in us (Gal. 2:20). Eph. 2:20 continues that thought:

Ephesians 2:20: You are being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone."

What's a cornerstone? The foundational rock that was laid on bedrock! They had to dig the dirt away to lay the cornerstone. If the cornerstone is not set on solid rock, then there's always a risk that the dirt would shift and cause the building to fall. The cornerstone is what makes the building stable.

Verse 21: "In Whom all the building, being conjointly fitted together, is increasing into a Holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit" (vs 21-22).

  • Where is God dwelling? In Zion!
  • What's happening with us? We're being built into a habitation where God built upon the pillars of the apostles, who are built upon the Cornerstone of Jesus Christ!

2-Corinthians 6:16: "And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols? For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said: 'I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'"

The temple that is coming in the future to Zion, to Jerusalem, is not going to be a temple structure built of materials. It's going to be built upon Jesus Christ, the apostles, the saints; we are the temple of God!

That's truly an amazing thing when you think about it. We are part of the structure of God's residence. That's how He lives in us. He will be living in us as He rules over all! We will be the House of God!

Is there anything more amazing than the House of God? This is one of those things that is so amazing that it's been repeated over and over by the apostles. Listen to how many times it's said:

John 17:23: "I in them, and You in Me, that they… [the firstfruits] …may be perfected into one…"—Temple of God!

1-Corinthians 3:16: "Don't you understand that you are God's temple…"

2-Corinthians 6:16: "…For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said: 'I will dwell in them and walk in them…'"

Ephesians 2:20: "You are being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets… [v 21]: …in Whom all the building, being conjointly fitted together, is increasing into a Holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit" (vs 20-22).

Hebrews 3:6: "But on the other hand, Christ was faithful as the Son over His own house; Whose house we are…"

We're the household of God; He lives in us! That's where He dwells!

1-Peter 2:5: "You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house…"—for God!

The Temple of God the Father, the great King Who will rule over all peoples from Mt. Zion, from Jerusalem. Who will have His Throne in that temple, "…Whose temple we are…"!

We talked about the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven. But it says that the New Jerusalem is the Bride of Christ.

  • How does that work?
  • Aren't people the Bride of Christ? We just talked about it!
  • Where does God dwell? In His people, the firstfruits!

The New Jerusalem is the Bride of Christ, because we are the temple! The temple is in New Jerusalem that is coming to this earth. New Jerusalem is the Bride of Christ, they're one and the same!

Revelation 21:3: "…'Behold, the tabernacle… [the dwelling place where God lives] …of God is with men; and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people; and God Himself shall be with them and be their God.'"

In the end God will dwell in Jerusalem, it will be called Zion, and there will be His Temple where His throne will be.

  • We will be that temple!
  • He will live in us!
  • We are becoming the House of God!

Right now there is a temple in Mt. Zion, the Scriptures describe it. I talked about that in the sermon: Vision of the Kingdom.

Verse 10: "And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, Holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God…." (vs 10-11).

Why does it have the glory of God? Because God is in it!

"…And her radiance was like a most precious stone, as crystal-clear as jasper stone" (v 11).

Verse 22: "And I saw no temple in it…" Why? Because that's where God's people are! And God's people are the temple!

"…for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it" (v 22).

Where does God dwell? In us! We're being built as a habitation for God!

Verse 23: "And the city has no need of the sun, or of the moon, that they should shine in it; because the glory of God enlightens it, and the Light of it is the Lamb. And the nations that are saved shall walk in its light; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor into it" (vs 23-24).

In the end God will dwell with His people; not just Jesus Christ but God the Father will dwell with His covenant people in Jerusalem, reigning from His Temple who are built of the firstfruits!

That's just a stunning and magnificent promise! I can't even put into words the visions in my mind, the pictures that I have of this are too astounding to truly grasp and understand, because we're talking about a spiritual temple, spiritual body, spiritual people.

Those firstfruits will be the Temple of God. They will be Zion, because God is dwelling with His covenant people! That's what Zion really means. It is the dwelling place of God with His covenant people!

In the dwelling place of God that is coming, is something beyond what we can imagine. But it is a promise of God for us! Can we imagine anything more joyful, more magnificent, more glorious than to be the House of God?

Zion started out on this earth during the time of Abraham, because the Word was dwelling with Abraham with the covenant. In between that time and the time that David took Jerusalem, God was not there. There was no Zion.

The Word established a New Covenant with the Israelites. They had their tabernacle, the temple, God dwelt there, the Word dwelt there for a brief period, but then they broke the covenant under King Manasseh. Without the covenant Zion cannot be with the people.

But we have one thing left to look forward to. Zion is going to return to this earth from heaven, and the promises from God are that we will be the House of His residence! The New Jerusalem is coming and God will forever dwell with His people.

We need to establish God living in us by our prayers, by our faithfulness, renewing that covenant at Passover each year.

Revelation 3:12: "The one who overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall not go out anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem…"

This s what this means. When He says that He will write upon us the name of God, that makes sense, because we will be His children. But the name of the City of My God, New Jerusalem?

Now it makes sense because we will be God's habitation! We will be the House of God! This is not a name that will be written on the people that enter into the Kingdom in the White Throne Judgment. This is a name only for those who are the House of God, because that is where God dwells, and He is dwelling in us.

We will have God's address! That's the name of the city that will be on us!

  • How amazing is our calling?
  • How glorious is our eternal home to be?

Scriptural References:

  • Psalm 48:2
  • Psalm 9:11
  • Psalm 135:21
  • 2 Chronicles 5:2
  • Judges 19:10
  • Joshua 15:8
  • 2 Samuel 5:6-7
  • Luke 2:4
  • 2 Chronicles 3:1
  • 2 Kings 21:7
  • Zechariah 1:17
  • Hebrews 7:1-2
  • Genesis 14:17
  • Psalm 74:2
  • Matthew 5:34-35
  • Psalm 47:2
  • Psalm 2:4-6
  • Psalm 110:1-2
  • Zechariah 9:9
  • Luke 19:28-38, 41-44
  • Ezekiel 37:26-27
  • Micah 4:1-3, 7
  • Psalm 50:1-5, 2
  • Isaiah 30:19-20
  • Ezekiel 20:37-38
  • Zechariah 8:1-3, 7-8
  • Jeremiah 31:31
  • Hebrews 12:18-22
  • Galatians 2:20
  • Philippians 3:20
  • Hebrews 11:13-14, 16
  • Isaiah 9:6-7
  • Psalm 132:11-14
  • Revelation 21:22-23
  • Ephesians 2:20
  • 2 Corinthians 6:16
  • John 17:23
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16
  • 2 Corinthians 6:16
  • Ephesians 2:20-22
  • Hebrews 3:6
  • 1 Peter 2:5
  • Revelation 21:3, 10-11, 22-24
  • Revelation 3:12

Scripture referenced, not quoted: 2 Samuel 6

Also referenced: Go To Meeting:
            Vision of the Kingdom (Steven Greene)

SG:bo
Transcribed: 4/5/20

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