Copyright © 2020, 2023 Philadelphia Church of God
It was in the heart of Jerusalem, in the City of David, that God had made an extraordinary promise to the greatest king in Israel’s history: “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee …. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever” (2 Samuel 7:12, 16).
God promised that David’s throne, his royal line, would endure forever.
Four centuries later, the Prophet Jeremiah traveled the streets of the same city during a dark period of rebellion and subjugation for the nation of Judah. Yet God gave Jeremiah an inspiring vision: “In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land” (Jeremiah 33:15). This was a prophecy of the ultimate King who would inhabit the eternal throne God had promised David.
“In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely,” the prophecy continued. “And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’ For thus says the Lord: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel” (verses 16-17; rsv). This reiterated the promise of an unbroken royal lineage continuing until “the Branch of righteousness” inherited that throne. And God emphasized the sureness of this promise by saying, “If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne …” (verses 20-21). As long as the sun and moon remain, and day and night continue, you can trust that this promise will not fail!
Soon after, the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, and in an effort to stamp out David’s royal line entirely, they blinded and captured King Zedekiah and killed his sons. Even Jeremiah thought God had broken His promise to David! (Psalm 89 was likely authored by Jeremiah; verses 38-51 reflect his doubt and dismay.)
But God had commissioned Jeremiah to preserve that throne. Jeremiah 1:10 describes that commission, in which he removed the throne from its home in Jerusalem—and planted it, with a daughter of Zedekiah—in the British Isles! (This inspiring story is fully told in Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy; we will send you a free copy upon request.)
Though Jeremiah left the cities of Judah, God had no intention of permanently removing David’s throne from Jerusalem. Remember, the Eternal has chosen Jerusalem. So that throne has to return.
Six more centuries passed. In a town about three days’ journey from Jerusalem, an angel appeared to a young woman (and direct descendant of David) named Mary and delivered this stunning prophecy: “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:30-33).
That prophecy described the culmination both of God’s promise to David and of Jeremiah’s prophecy about the “Branch of righteousness.” Jesus Christ will receive that throne and govern from it for the rest of eternity!
Clearly that prophecy was not fulfilled during Jesus’s lifetime in the first century. But it will be fulfilled when Christ soon returns to Earth. God the Father shall give Him “the throne of his father David.”
Just as He promised, God has preserved the throne of David through history. God further detailed how in Ezekiel 21:27: “I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is [Jesus Christ]; and I will give it him.” That throne was overturned three times—transferred, first to Ireland directly by the Prophet Jeremiah, then nearly a thousand years later to Scotland, then almost 800 years later to England, where it remained until very recently. And what would happen then? Ezekiel reveals the stunning answer: “and it shall be no more.” God actually ended that royal line! Yet He still kept His promise to David by replacing it—establishing a new throne of David in preparation for giving it to His Son, “whose right it is”!
The same promise appears in Jeremiah 1:10: The Ferrar Fenton translation reads, “See! I have appointed you to-day over nations, and kingdoms; to pull up, and to break down, and to destroy [three overturns], and to erase [that throne ended]; as well as to build, and to plant”—a new throne.
David’s throne is still on Earth today! As you can read in my free book The New Throne of David, that throne resides in the Church of God today. And God has ensured that it is ready for “he … whose right it is”! It is about to be presented to Jesus Christ at His return.
And where on Earth will that throne be established? Several scriptures show that God’s people will be taking it to Jerusalem. The throne of David is about to be moved back to God’s city.
Prophecy shows that God’s people are about to be sent to the Middle East as outcasts (e.g. Amos 7:12-13). Isaiah 16:1-4 describe them being protected during the Great Tribulation. God says, “Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab”—an area to the east of Jerusalem. Then it says, “And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness” (verse 5). This is David’s throne being established in this area and ruled by a righteous man—someone in God’s Church. God’s people will have that throne with them in the place of safety, very near Jerusalem! (This is also explained in The New Throne of David.)
Then, Jesus Christ will return to Jerusalem in great power! At that time, His saints will be glorified and united with Christ (e.g. Matthew 24:30-31).
Zechariah prophesied that after Christ returns and “the Lord shall be king over all the earth,” people from the world over “shall even go up from year to year … unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 14:9, 16-17). That is where Jesus Christ will return, and that is where He will establish His headquarters and rule the world from David’s throne.
King David’s throne will be planted in Jerusalem. Prior to that, the indications are that God’s people will have the unparalleled opportunity and honor to hand the new throne over to Jesus Christ!
It is in Jerusalem that Jesus Christ will establish His home, and from where He will sit and rule on David’s throne in the Millennium. This is the greatest hope in the universe!
What will happen next with those faithful saints is spectacular beyond human imagination!
In Revelation 19:16 Jesus Christ is called “King of kings, and Lord of lords”—the Supreme Ruler over all the Earth, under God the Father. Now, notice what occurs in that same context. This shows Christ will not rule alone:
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (verses 7-9). Christ will govern with the assistance of His wife—the glorified Church of God! (Ephesians 5:25-32).
Christ promises that His saints who overcome and attain spiritual victory “will I grant to sit with me in my throne …” (Revelation 3:21). He will rule from the throne of David in Jerusalem, and His faithful people—now glorified, spirit-born members of the God Family—will share that throne with their Husband and rule with Christ!
Christ’s Bride is now making herself ready. This is the ultimate calling God will ever give to any human being. There never has been, and never will be, a nobler office in this world or in the world to come than that of the Bride of Jesus Christ, Creator of the universe! Repeatedly, Christ reminds His people that we are His Bride—the very Bride of Christ! Our greatest challenge is to let God’s Holy Spirit expand our minds to comprehend this magnificent calling.
Isaiah 66:8-9 describe the moment God’s Church becomes Christ’s Bride. God’s people today—again, called “Zion”—are a nation in embryo! God compares our trials in life to birth pangs that will result in our being born again into God’s Family. Imagine, a mighty spiritual nation born at once to help Christ rule! This mind-shaking event will stun the whole world. Next to Christ’s coming, it will be the greatest event in history!
Christ will marry His Church, and she will join Him at His headquarters in Jerusalem. Because of this, the Bride of Christ will forever be associated with the Holy City.
Repeatedly you see this magnificent truth depicted in Scripture. In fact, many passages directly identify God’s Church itself as “Jerusalem.” Some passages liken that future Jerusalem to a new mother—which is exactly what Christ’s Bride will be!
“Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her” (verse 10). This is a time for great rejoicing because God’s perfect and righteous rule will emanate from Jerusalem. Throughout its history, blood has saturated the streets of this city—crusade after crusade, terrorist attack upon terrorist attack. But that is all about to change. Jerusalem will rejoice before all the Earth, and all people will see this and learn how to rejoice as well. What a joyous time!
Here God speaks of Jerusalem as a mother nursing children. He is clearly describing the Church, Christ’s Bride: “That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory” (verse 11). This is about Christ and His Bride raising spiritual children in the World Tomorrow!
“For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (verses 12-13). What a beautiful picture! Think of all the suffering, misery, violence and murder plaguing the Middle East today. God is about to stop that! At last, Jerusalem will live up to its name: This city will overcome its bloody history and truly become a city of peace! That peace will spread, flowing out to fill the Earth with peace.
God’s Church is Jerusalem, and we are about to nourish the whole world under God’s family leadership. We will help God comfort all nations and peoples from Jerusalem!
This picture of Jerusalem encapsulates the ultimate purpose of God’s Church. Obviously a physical city does not heal people, comfort people, instruct people, baptize people or counsel people. Jesus Christ and His wife will do these things—from Jerusalem! The entire Earth will look to Jerusalem, and Jerusalem will comfort this Earth! This is a wonderful prophecy for all of us.
God wants us to begin to show the world in a practical way that there is a government and a nation about to rise and rule this Earth the way it should be ruled, and stop all the suffering of this world! Choosing Jerusalem means embracing this calling and doing everything we can today to prepare for this future.
Zechariah reveals a dramatic physical transformation that will occur when Christ first descends to Earth: “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:4). The Mount of Olives will split, becoming two great mountains and a deep valley. From the dawn of the Millennium, the entire topography of that area will change.
This is just the start of a stunning renovation project: Christ is about to beautify Jerusalem as this world has never seen. It will become the capital city of the world. In passage after passage, imagination-staggering prophecy after prophecy, the Bible depicts the paradise Jesus Christ will create. This vision shines with brilliance!
“In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them” (Zechariah 12:8). Even the weakest human being living in Jerusalem at that time will be as mighty as King David. And the leaders there—who will be sharing David’s royal throne with the King of kings—will be “as God”—wholly righteous, glorified spirit beings, administering the government of God perfectly!
God is going to correct all humanity by focusing them on God and on Jerusalem. He will reach into the lives of every repentant person on Earth from that city. “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (verse 10).
The whole world is going to recognize and memorialize the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made to purge the world of sin. They will look upon the crucified Christ and mourn as if they had lost a firstborn son! You must know someone deeply before you can mourn for him like that. This world will get to really know God the Father and Jesus Christ! This world’s religions do not know God, though they think they do. But look how deeply and intensely they will know God then. This is the greatest news we could ever hear!
These people will be hungering for true education. And we must be preparing today to work with them.
Zechariah 8:23 reads, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew [meaning, of the spiritual house of Judah—God’s faithful people], saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” I imagine “ten men” means 10 heads of household, or men with families. This means there is a lot of work to be done! Ten men and their families will cling to you because they know God is with you!
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3). Many nations will desire instruction and travel to Jerusalem to be taught. God’s truth—all the wonderful revelation God has given to His people today about His law and His ways—will flow out to all the nations from God’s city! All mankind will walk as God directs, according to His law. As they do, the curses will be removed from their lives, and blessings will be showered upon them.
The greatest opportunity God’s firstfruits could have is to teach these people. These are people who will have experienced the worst suffering imaginable. They will be approaching those teachers for answers on why that suffering happened. We must be preparing now for this heavy responsibility.
In the future, everything will flow out from Jerusalem! For a thousand years, this revitalized and renewed city will serve as headquarters of the whole Earth. God has chosen Jerusalem, and that is where He will be for all eternity! Of course, He will be traveling around all over the Earth and universe, but His headquarters will forever remain in Jerusalem.
God always has a work that emanates from His headquarters. When God has a powerful work, it is always accompanied by impressive buildings at headquarters. Generally a physical house or temple dominates the landscape. God gave beautiful headquarters buildings for the Work under Mr. Armstrong, the greatest of which was God’s house, Ambassador Auditorium. He has done the same for the pcg, especially Armstrong Auditorium. This is where the Father and Christ dwell on this Earth, in spirit. But their goal has always been to dwell in Jerusalem forever. Our goal must be to dwell with them in Jerusalem forever.
Any house built for God in this world is a temporary dwelling. But it is still where God dwells in spirit! God works through such a structure. Any such house is a type of the temple we will help Christ build when He returns—and also a vision of that temple.
However, God’s Work in the World Tomorrow will be titanic compared to what we do today. The King of kings and Lord of lords, and His kings and priests, will not rule from a shack!
Solomon’s temple clearly demonstrates God’s thinking in His building program. The spectacular headquarters temple Jesus Christ and His Bride will inhabit during the Millennium will be the first building to eclipse its majestic beauty—and it will do so by a gigantic margin! Since God is the real architect, you can be sure it will be an inspiring sight like this world has never seen!
Several scriptures describe this structure, but none in such detail as what God revealed through the Prophet Ezekiel. He wrote nine chapters about this temple! They are filled with details and dimensions, and with practical insight about Jerusalem.
God grabbed Ezekiel’s attention (Ezekiel 40:1), and He wants to get ours. God’s hand was on Ezekiel and he knew it. This is the origin of the temple subject. “In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south” (verse 2). Here God begins to unfold this glorious vision of His millennial headquarters.
An awesome angelic architect gave Ezekiel the measurements of the temple. God told Ezekiel to “set your mind upon all that I shall show you” and declare all that he saw to the house of Israel (verses 3-4; rsv). However, Ezekiel couldn’t declare this message to the nations of Israel: He was a Jewish slave in captivity to Babylon. This is obviously a message for the end time. God gets very specific about a modern-day type of Ezekiel measuring the temple in the latter days.
God has taught His Church in this end time a lot about this temple—and its predecessors, Solomon’s and Zerubbabel’s temples—to help us declare this vision. He commands the pcg to deliver this specific message. We are the only ones who have had these chapters revealed to us, so nobody else could have delivered this message. Mr. Armstrong understood very little about the vision of Ezekiel’s temple. God has revealed that truth and a lot more to me. The pcg members have been chosen to support that message. If we fail to deliver this message, Ezekiel will have lived in vain!
This includes knowing precisely where ancient Jerusalem was and where those temples were built. This world is in darkness about their location. Our Herbert W. Armstrong College students have been digging where those two former temples were built and where the Ezekiel temple will be built in the future. You can read about this in my free booklet Jerusalem’s Temples. God has commanded us to declare our message in precise detail.
Dr. Eilat Mazar has discovered David’s palace and Nehemiah’s wall—enormous discoveries from the first and second temple periods. Archaeological digs had previously uncovered very little that was truly significant from those periods. That is because they were digging in the wrong places.
Through these recent digs, God is showing us more exact dimensions of ancient Jerusalem. Nehemiah knew, and he built his wall around it!
I believe one of the main reasons we are digging in Jerusalem is to give us an understanding and a focus on Ezekiel’s temple. We need to focus on that because society is about to fall apart and there is no human government on the horizon that is able to lead this world! (And apart from God, there never will be.)
We must know where the Ezekiel temple is to be built. Through the Jerusalem dig, God is showing us. Mr. Armstrong paved the way for our archaeological dig today. Like he said, they cleared away the rubble that had accumulated for centuries.
We must show the world where David’s throne will be located—the throne from which the Messiah will rule the world, helped by the firstfruits—the Bride of the Messiah.
This is a practical plan, so wonderful and filled with hope for the world. But I believe we couldn’t really deliver this Ezekiel temple message without having been on the Jerusalem dig.
The Eternal has chosen Jerusalem. We participate in this archaeological project with this vision in our minds. Christ is trying to get all of us to focus on His return and our rule with Him.
The most awesome temple in history is about to be built. It will be built on the exact place where the other two temples were built. We want to show the Jews and other nations of biblical Israel where that is. We must give them this hope! People need a new picture of the Ezekiel temple and the Jerusalem that Christ is about to establish. God wants us to declare the temple to give the nations of biblical Israel the inspiration and hope they need, just before the greatest trouble any nation has ever experienced!
We have to declare Ezekiel’s temple and its exact dimensions. That means first etching this picture in our minds so vividly that we are greatly inspired and able to convey our hope to the world. We must make the World Tomorrow real—it is almost here! The Messiah is coming! We must get ready!
Already God is laying plans for a building where Christ’s headquarters will be for 1,000 years! And that is only the beginning of the God Family’s rule of the universe from Jerusalem forever!
“It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there” (Ezekiel 48:35). Jerusalem will also be called by another name: The Eternal is there! The Son of God will rule from there. Christ will dwell there personally. The Father will dwell there in spirit.
This temple will alter the course of this whole world! It will capture the imagination of all earthly inhabitants. The whole world will have this temple as its major focus! Such a magnificent structure will help everybody look to where Christ is. The whole world will be looking to that place for Christ’s direction. It will give the whole world a vision of God’s plan on Earth and for eternity. By focusing on this temple, all people will be stirred and inspired to obey God. Their thinking and way of life will be revolutionized! God will finally become real to all humanity.
The Ezekiel temple will have water flowing from under the altar (Ezekiel 47:1-5). Ezekiel describes the water running eastward from the temple and rising continually until it becomes a river too large to pass over.
Living waters will stream out from Jerusalem and empty into the Dead Sea, rejuvenating and reviving it, turning it into a living sea, filled with fish and supplying pleasure and satisfaction to everybody. All this richness will pour out of Jerusalem!
This water symbolizes something far more powerful that will impact the entire Earth: God’s Holy Spirit, bringing life spiritually (verse 9). Everything will live as God intended from the beginning.
God’s truth will fill the world like the ocean beds are covered with water (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14).
“And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat … 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). God’s Spirit will provide a dual healing, spiritual and physical: It will spiritually heal people of human nature and wrongful thinking, as well as of physical ailments.
And notice: The water will flow right out of the holy of holies in that millennial temple! That is a symbol of the very salvation of God bubbling up from His throne! God’s throne room is the true fountain of eternal life (e.g. Psalm 68:24, 26). God is “the fountain of living waters” (Jeremiah 17:13).
Just as there is a fountain within the heavenly temple, there will be a fountain within the physical replica of God’s house in Jerusalem.
Josephus wrote about how, even in the tabernacle in the wilderness, the priests in Israel purified themselves in spring waters. So there is always a spring associated with the sanctuary. Springs supplied abundant water in Gilgal, where the tabernacle was first established in Canaan, and then at Shiloh. Jerusalem has only one fresh water source: the Gihon Spring. This spring must be special to God. David placed the ark of the covenant—this symbol of God’s throne, from which God ruled the Israelites on Earth—directly over the Gihon Spring. Zadok anointed Solomon king there (1 Kings 1:38-39). The temples of Solomon and Zerubbabel had the Gihon’s water flowing within their walls. (The location of the Gihon also disqualifies the Dome of the Rock as being the site of the temples of Solomon and Zerubbabel.)
The Bible likens spring-fed water to living water—God’s Holy Spirit. It is pure water that hasn’t traveled through strata of soil where it can be easily contaminated. Spring-fed water is pure.
We don’t believe it is a coincidence that there is a spring on the Church’s headquarters campus in Edmond, Oklahoma. Spurlin Lake is a spring-fed lake. God’s spiritual life is flowing from this campus. The law goes forth, even now, from God’s headquarters campus. God has even given His Church the very throne that Jesus Christ will sit on. We are getting ready to rule in Jerusalem forever!
During His ministry, Jesus visited the temple in Jerusalem during “the last day, that great day of the feast”—the holy day that immediately follows the Feast of Tabernacles. That festival pictures the Great White Throne Judgment, when God will resurrect and call all human beings who have ever lived but have never known God! (Revelation 20:11-12). “Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38). Today, most of humanity does not even have access to the Holy Spirit (John 6:44). Soon every person will have access!
God is saving His people today—and is about to offer salvation to the whole world! “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3). We will inhabit eternity—we will have life forever! That is what the wells of salvation are about. The Gihon Spring is a symbol of God saving all humanity!
What symbolism could be more important? God gives us physical symbols to help us understand, and many of these symbols will be present in the World Tomorrow.
Christ and His Bride will rule the world God’s way. Those faithful to Him now will be married to Him and govern with Him.
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21). God’s people are now being trained to rule with Christ from Jerusalem. Will you be among that group? “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (verse 22). Are you listening to God’s Spirit?
“And the chamber which faces north is for the priests who have charge of the altar; these are the sons of Zadok, who alone among the sons of Levi may come near to the Lord to minister to him” (Ezekiel 40:46; rsv). Zadok was the priest who remained loyal to David and David’s throne in spite of defections and insurrections. God uses “sons of Zadok” as a term of high honor. He says He is going to bring these faithful saints near to Him in the millennial temple.
“But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me …” (Ezekiel 44:15). When most of God’s people rebelled against God during the Laodicean falling away in this end time, the sons of Zadok remained loyal to God’s government. They clung to God’s truth and to the teaching about David’s throne.
These verses clearly show what these faithful saints’ obedience and loyalty mean to God. God gives the sons of Zadok great distinction and special responsibilities within the temple. He wants them to know where they will be stationed in that temple: in a chamber that faces north. This is detailed information. Ruling from that temple with Christ, these glorified saints will be on the highest level of spiritual leaders. Only they will come near to God.
God must prepare these very elect leaders before the headquarters temple is built. He has been doing so throughout the ages. But it appears most of them are from this end time. Only the Philadelphians from the last two Church eras and some firstfruits from previous eras will rule from Jerusalem. The Laodiceans lose that precious reward.
The sons of Zadok are the only ones delivering God’s message in these latter days! God gave these sons of Zadok this vision of His love for Jerusalem, and they took hold of it. That is why they receive such a wonderful reward! Clearly there are many individuals in God’s Kingdom who will hold offices of greater authority. But as a body and as a group, the Philadelphians receive a truly unique and spectacular reward! We must qualify for these positions today.
Christ gives His end-time Philadelphians a key of David vision (Revelation 3:7). In Zechariah 3, God focuses on the Eternal choosing Jerusalem, which enriches and expands our understanding of the key of David message. The Eternal has chosen Jerusalem is the key of David vision expressed in a way that enhances our understanding on a practical level. It is the most awesome vision in the Bible.
The whole world will revolve around Jerusalem in the Millennium. And the whole universe will revolve around Jerusalem after the Millennium. Why? Because an even more dramatic change will come when the Millennium is finished.
First will occur the second resurrection, when God will resurrect and call all human beings who have ever lived but not known Him. Astoundingly, that includes 99 percent of all human beings in history! This world does not know God! This Great White Throne Judgment will bring practically all people to repentance and offer them eternal salvation.
At the end of that period, this planet will be purified with fire. “[T]he elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). All the incorrigibly wicked who refused to submit to God’s law will be consumed in this “lake of fire” (Malachi 4:1, 3; Revelation 20:13-15). Earth as we know it will pass away (Revelation 21:1).
Even the beautiful temple in Jerusalem will be destroyed. But it will quickly be replaced by a temple at least a million times more beautiful! At that point, God the Father will personally come down to Earth.
Jerusalem above is the mother of us all (Galatians 4:25-26). That is the spiritual headquarters of God’s true Church today—from where we receive our new revelation. Heavenly Jerusalem is where God’s Church on Earth receives its power (Hebrews 12:22-24). After the Millennium, our Father will bring that “Jerusalem above” to Earth!
“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. 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 21:1-2). This is the city from which God the Father will rule the universe with His Family.
There is a vision here that God wants us to get! You need to see everything through this prism—the vision of new Jerusalem!
“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” (verse 3). God the Father yearns to be with His Family. After the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment, when Jesus Christ has removed the sins from this world, and Earth has been purified, our Father will come to dwell with His Family from a new and perfectly built Jerusalem.
God the Father has chosen Jerusalem. He has long-cherished plans to make His eternal home on Earth. Once all people who are going to make it into the Kingdom have been converted, the Father will come—and then off we go as a Family spiraling upward and onward! From this magnificent city, the Family of God will repair and govern the whole universe.
“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” (verse 4). Who can even imagine how awesome and wonderful this will be? A marvelous work and a wonder, bringing wonder to all of us!
“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife” (verse 9). Note this: God is about to offer a glimpse of Christ’s Bride, and what does John see? “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God …” (verses 10-11).
When God looks at new Jerusalem, He sees the Bride of Jesus Christ! The same detail appears in verse 2. God describes this resplendent city as “a bride adorned for her husband”! Why? Because new Jerusalem is the home of the Bride of Christ! That is where we will live—and so we will forever be directly linked with this city!
The Philadelphians receive a headquarters position when Christ returns because they had the incredible vision of new Jerusalem to keep them inspired. Also, having a God-inspired headquarters today prepares us for an eternal headquarters with God. It is this vision that causes us to overcome. We need this vision to endure the hardships ahead. And it will project us into a glorious future!
The verses that follow show how this city will extend nearly 1,500 miles in each direction! It is made of pure gold and adorned with precious stones. No city in the universe will ever equal it in beauty and importance.
“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 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” (verses 22-23). Think of that: God the Father and Jesus Christ will provide light for all the universe!
The vision of this future has inspired God’s saints for millenniums—starting with our forefather Abraham.
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise” (Hebrews 11:8-9). These faithful men knew this world and everything in it is temporary. Like them, we must have a vision that reaches beyond this life—and even beyond the Millennium!
“For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (verse 10). Abraham saw new Jerusalem and God’s Family. Paul states that he looked for a city with foundations. The Williams translation says “sure foundations.” God will make the foundations of this city sure. Abraham focused on the tremendous hope in the city made by God that will last forever!
Abraham is known as the father of the faithful (Galatians 3:7). He set an example in righteous obedience. He fixed his mind on a city that was coming down out of heaven with God the Father. That is why he could sacrifice his covenant son; he knew the grave could not hold Isaac. Consider the spiritual depth of this man! He was able to look past the present world, look past even all of God’s abundant physical promises, and focus on the fantastic spiritual promises of new Jerusalem.
God’s Family will reside in that city that will go on and on and on forever! Can you imagine?—project Earth completed! God will have re-created Himself into multiple billions of family members. It will be a high and royal family. This vision carries within it the goal for every human life. God even gave us the type of physical marriage and physical family to give this vision deeper meaning for us. God the Father’s vision of the future is a family vision. This mind-stretching family goal is the only vision that can give deep meaning to God’s plan now.
Abraham lived for the time when God’s government and throne would spread throughout the universe. What a breathtaking vision! What glory! This is not easy to get into your mind. But that is what God wants us to do. True sons of Zadok have this vision! Like Abraham, we must come to see all the way to new Jerusalem. We must keep working and struggling and doing all we can to see beyond the Millennium, beyond human beings—to when the Father comes to Earth.
God’s goal is to get us, and this world, into new Jerusalem. That is what God has His mind on. How far-reaching is your goal? Does it extend to new Jerusalem? If our goals are selfish, then we will be miserable and unhappy. But this vision will fill us with joy.
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7). Jesus Christ is going to sit on that throne forever in Jerusalem. There will be endless growth of God’s government and the peace it creates. It will grow forever! It will extend out into the universe—from the very throne of David in Jerusalem!
God’s people today have this universe-shaking vision of God’s eternally growing Family. They recognize that the Father is the Head of His Family. They believe and obey their Father. They submit to Him and His government. That means God can trust them implicitly and use them to help spread that government forever.
During the Millennium, we will focus on beautifying the Earth and preparing for the second resurrection. Beyond the Millennium, the work conducted from new Jerusalem will be one of restoring the universe and expanding the God Family.
Mr. Armstrong explained this beautifully in Mystery of the Ages, “What are we going to do then?” he wrote. “These scriptures indicate we shall impart life to billions and billions of dead planets, as life has been imparted to this Earth.”
“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19; rsv). All those planets are in a state of decay that God never would have created Himself. Something terrible happened, and we must make it right! The universe is personified here—and it is yearning for the revealing of the sons of God—longing for those sons to set things right!
What a job awaits us! “We know that the whole creation [the universe] has been groaning in travail together until now” (verse 22; rsv). We have a lot of work ahead of us once we are spirit beings! The whole universe is groaning for the Family of God to get out there and beautify and build the way God intended when He created the angels. When we are spirit beings, we will be experts at removing decay, building and beautifying, and making the creation blossom as a rose.
The Eternal has chosen Jerusalem. He has chosen His Family, sons of God, to correct all these problems.
And as Mr. Armstrong wrote in concluding that book, that is the beginning. God’s eternal plans are just getting started!
That is when the Family of God really begins to do the spectacular things we will be doing for all eternity! That is why God gives us plenty of work to do today: This is how we prepare to beautify the universe!
What glow the word Jerusalem ought to have for all of us. This city and its future keeps God very happy and motivated and stirred. During the Millennium, He will pattern the city of Jerusalem after new Jerusalem above. Then He will bring new Jerusalem to Earth and govern the universe from here. It will all be done from this one city! God vividly sees what He is going to accomplish for His Family from Jerusalem. Nothing will hinder or change God’s plan! It will happen precisely as He says.
God is trying to implant this vision in each one of us so we see that future just as clearly as He does.
“Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby” (Isaiah 33:20-21).
This passage describes the wondrous beauty of new Jerusalem. Notice: Jerusalem is described as a “tabernacle that shall not be taken down.“ The Jerusalem of the Millennium will be taken down in the final fire just before Christ delivers the Kingdom of God to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24; 2 Peter 3:10-12; Revelation 20:14-15). Earth’s whole surface will be burned up, including the beautiful headquarters city. The Jerusalem of Isaiah 33 can only refer to new Jerusalem, which will last forever. Psalm 46:6 also makes this point—in a psalm that describes this same vision in poetic detail.
How well do you “see” that Jerusalem today? God is helping us. He keeps giving us more insights into this vision all the time.
This is why God inspired us to build Him a house—Armstrong Auditorium: to focus our minds on new Jerusalem. The splendor of this building helps us better appreciate the glory of God and His truth! That house is about the universe and eternity! God isn’t really interested in a physical building: He is creating a spiritual temple—a house of truth, a house of prayer that reaches Him effectively because it is fervent and faithful. He is building an eternal Family! And His physical house is a tool to help Him do that. This house has all the depth of new Jerusalem!
The projects in Jerusalem that God has opened up for His Work today are directly connected to the vision of new Jerusalem. Considering our future, isn’t it logical God has our work involved in Jerusalem today? It is our city forever! God has given us a presence there already to concentrate our thoughts on our future work in heavenly Jerusalem!
Our future in Jerusalem is even directly connected to our weekly Sabbath observance. In Jeremiah 17:24-25, God says that if we observe the Sabbath properly, “Then shall there enter into the gates of this city [Jerusalem] kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever.” This is clearly referring to new Jerusalem. Understanding how the Eternal has chosen Jerusalem will powerfully enhance your Sabbath-day worship and Sabbath-day vision. You will not only look forward to the Millennium, but you will also cling to the hope of the time beyond that, when new Jerusalem will be established.
God really wants to build the new Jerusalem vision in your life. Do all you can to help Him! The Laodiceans have turned their backs on God because they lost sight of new Jerusalem. They no longer see that the Eternal has chosen Jerusalem. We must learn from that failure and work diligently to capture the deep vision of new Jerusalem! If we stay with Christ and let Him lead us in that vision, that ensures we will never be conquered by Satan the devil!
Cling to this vision! You need it in this evil world. This gives tremendous hope to anyone who comes to understand and believe it. It is impossible to get discouraged when we are filled with the vision of new Jerusalem. This is not to say we won’t experience rough patches in our lives—we all face trials and difficulties. But we can avoid discouragement and sadness if we have this vision. We can endure trials—even rejoice in them—by setting our hearts and minds on new Jerusalem!
We all need to really think about new Jerusalem and the time when human beings, and all the problems we face on this Earth, will be gone and forgotten. God the Father will be here, and the whole universe will be inhabited by the Family of God.
The Eternal has chosen Jerusalem. Now the Eternal’s sons must also choose Jerusalem! Choosing Jerusalem means embracing this dazzling, luminous future! It means choosing the way of life today that will qualify us to be part of the Bride of Christ and heavenly Jerusalem.
New Jerusalem should be our greatest goal! It is the vision of another world—another universe—spent forever with our Father and our Husband and the rest of our wonderful Family! What inspiration there is in that! What joy!