Home > Book of Isaiah, Daniel's 70 Weeks, Heavenly Jerusalem, The Gospel > When will Jerusalem be a praise in the earth?

When will Jerusalem be a praise in the earth?

September 18, 2011

Jesus referred to the heavenly Jerusalem, when he said to his disciples, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” [Matthew 5:14]  The earthly Jerusalem is not a light to the world, but the gospel is a light. Jesus called Jerusalem “the city of the great King.” [Matthew 5:35] These statements apply to the heavenly city, where Jesus is the king. Isaiah said:

Isaiah 62:1
For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.

God promised that he will make Jerusalem righteous. The Gentiles will see it; her salvation will be a “burning lamp.” The light of the gospel will shine in the earth. Verse 3 says: “Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.”

In the New Testament, the apostle Peter said that the prophets ministered “not unto themselves, but unto us;” that is, their prophecies apply to the Christian church. This includes Isaiah’s prophecy above; it refers to the heavenly Jerusalem.

Isaiah said that Jerusalem, and “the mountain of the Lord’s house,” will be “established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” [Isaiah 2:1-3] The word of God will go out from Jerusalem, he said. This applies to the heavenly city.

John said, in his description of the heavenly city, the bride of the Lamb, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” [Revelation 21:22] The Lamb is the temple of the holy city, which consists of believers, those who are in Christ. Jesus identified himself as the temple of God. [John 2:19] Jerusalem, and mount Zion, were raised up, when Jesus ascended to heaven, to the throne of David.

In Revelation 12, the church is represented by a woman in heaven, clothed with the sun, with a crown of 12 stars upon her head.

Jesus said, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” [Luke 21:24] Again, he did not mean the earthly city, but referred to the heavenly one. Isaiah’s prophecy indicated that Jerusalem would become desolate, and forsaken. His prophecy foretold its restoration. He wrote:

Isaiah 62:4-5
Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

In Acts 15, James applied a prophecy from Amos 9:11, about the ruins of the house of David being rebuilt, to the church.

Acts 15:15-17
And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

The desolation of the church was to occur during the seventieth week, according to Daniel 9:27. The New American Standard Bible states, “… and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction…” [Daniel 9:27]

This applies to the heavenly city, rather than the earthly one. It applies after the earthly temple was destroyed. The mountain of the Lord’s house was raised up, when Jesus ascended to heaven, as described in Acts 1:9. Daniel’s prophecy refers to God’s “holy mountain.” [Daniel 9:20] This alludes to the kingdom of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to which Christians have come. [Hebrews 12:22]

Isaiah showed that Jerusalem would become desolate, but that she would become “a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” [Isaiah 62:3] When he said, “thy land shall be married,” the “land” is not the earthly territory of Palestine, but things that the promised land represents, which are spiritual in nature. The “land” is symbolic of the word of God. Many revelations were given in the promised land, in Old Testament times. The promise given to Abraham was about inheriting the land. John 1:1 identifies Jesus as the “word.” The New Testament shows that “land” in the promises to Abraham is a metaphor representing spiritual, eternal things that Jesus has inherited. For example:

Hebrews 11:16
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Understanding the revelations that God has given to us in prophecy is among the things promised to the saints. Jesus said that he would send the Spirit, and that “he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” [John 16:13]

Isaiah said:

Isaiah 62:6-7
For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,
And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

The promise in these verses is part of the covenant that Jesus confirms in one week, as stated in Daniel 9:27. The seventieth week of Daniel’s 70 weeks did not end in the first century, as the preterists have assumed. Neither is there a lapse in the time during which Christ confirms the covenant. In all the ages of the church, the scripture has been preserved, and there have been saints who kept the faith. The seventieth week spans all the time from the appearance of Christ, to the end of the age, when the church will be raised up in glory. Then God’s salvation will be evident to everyone.

Salvation is in Zion and Jerusalem

In prophecy, a certain time, and a specific place, are connected with God’s salvation. The time of salvation is the present age, and several posts, with links below, discuss the time periods of salvation outlined in prophecy. Jesus encouraged people to seek his salvation in this present age, rather than in the judgment that is to come.

The place associated with salvation is Jerusalem, and mount Zion.

David alluded to Zion as the place connected with salvation when he wrote:

Psalm 9:13-14
Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:
That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.

Another verse connecting Zion with salvation occurs in two Psalms.

Psalm 14:7 & 53:6
Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

Isaiah said God will place salvation in Zion.

Isaiah 46:13
I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

Isaiah wrote about salvation and peace being published upon the mountains, and God’s reign being proclaimed in Zion.

Isaiah 52:7
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

Isaiah said God will not rest until the righteousness and salvation of Zion are accomplished.

Isaiah 62:1
For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.

The message of salvation is proclaimed to the daughter of Zion.

Isaiah 62:11
Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

Jeremiah said Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell safely. This is another repeated verse.

Jeremiah 23:6 & 33:16
In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.

Jesus echoed this when he said, “salvation is of the Jews.” [John 4:22]

Joel said that in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there is deliverance.

Joel 2:3
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Zechariah identified Christ as the one bringing salvation.

Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Zechariah said Jerusalem would be raised up, and then described it as a place of safety.

Zechariah 14:10-11
All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.
And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

History shows that the earthly city has not proved to be a place of safety.

When Jesus ascended to heaven, he began to reign in the heavenly Jerusalem, where he inherited an eternal throne, which is the throne of David. That is when Jerusalem was raised up, as Zechariah had foretold, and also Isaiah. [Isaiah 2:1-3]

The New Testament shows that believers have come to mount Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem. [Hebrews 12:22]

John described the new Jerusalem, and said “the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it.” [Revelation 21:24] He said: “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 21:27]