Sermon given 17 December 2005

Jerusalem - The Real Estate

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

I want you to imagine that you are dead! You're not going to imagine very much are you if you're dead - OK - you have been dead, let's put it that way. You have been dead; you've been asleep in the sleep of death. You have been baptised, you have gone ahead and you've kept the faith, you've been repenting regularly, and you are changing and adapting your life in line with what Christ and God the Father demands of us.

And you are resurrected. And the resurrection that you are in - you wake up and you look around and it is dark. It is dark because the moon is turned to blood and the sun is turned to darkness. An angelic being is beside you and you then start to rise - and you are in the first resurrection.

That is the goal that we all have! You rise, you go through the clouds. The darkness fades away as you really zoom up through the clouds. And as you get above the clouds and way beyond the atmosphere and you look back and you can see the circle of the earth. And at the side of the circle of the earth you also see space itself - the sun in the distance, and the moon further over. And in the actual space itself there is a tear. The entire space and stars that you would be looking at on the other side have been rolled back. This tear comes actually in the fabric of reality itself and you can look right into another reality. And you are heading towards this tear.

As you get closer to this tear you can see things within this tear, within space as you start going into that particular area. And there are, Ezekiel called them creatures, let's call them vehicles for want of a better word today. Huge, huge vehicles of some description, folding in on itself. You read the account in Ezekiel about this kind of fire that is folding in on itself. And they have various faces as it is being described.

We were talking in the car as we were coming along and we were talking about, how if you are looking at a vehicle, how would you you describe a vehicle. You are driving along the motorway and you see all these beetles on four legs and they are zooming along this flat paved area and they have got two eyes coming out of the side, the wing mirrors. And there is a face of a man in the two eyes. Because if you look in the wing mirrors you see the face of the driver, driving along. You know, all these kind of descriptions that you'd have and you see then what it was that Ezekiel was actually seeing. This creature, this vehicle, or whatever it was. You are actually led into one of these vehicles and you are then in a room and you are being briefed about what in fact has gone on since your death.

You see an awful lot of other people that have been resurrected at that time as well. And you attend this particular briefing, and then after a period of time; others join that you recognise that have been alive and they have lived right the way through. And they then join you and you are all together then; there will be old friends that you will be able to meet again. And they then will be debriefed and briefed.

And then the whole armada starts to move out. And it moves out towards the earth and it starts to go east to west around the earth and it moves its entire way right around the earth. As you came down, presumably missiles have been fired and they just disintegrated, aircraft have been attacking you; they were disintegrated. There were some kind of rays that were coming out of the side of some of these vehicles, according to Habbakuk.

And then it stops, and perhaps there are even angelic horses of some description. What we would term a horse that Christ is riding on, because it talks about Him riding a horse. Are there angelic kinds of horses that are ridden? I am not sure. But you have seen all this kind of thing going on. These things that you have read about.

And then the whole thing stops and you get out. You get out above the clouds and the whole group starts to descend through the clouds as a one mass to a particular spot on this earth. And there is lightening and there is a huge noise, that would break any natural human's ear drums if they were right beside you as you are actually descending through the clouds there, and the lightenings and the power that is available. And you come down to this particular spot and the actual ground itself splits and all the people that were with you, all the individuals, the angelic beings that are with you. You land on this particular spot. The two sides of this hill that you have just landed on split in two and you are looking across at a piece of real estate. You are looking across at a piece of real estate.

Turn over to Zechariah 14:2. Where are you? And let's face it whether you live or whether you die, this is the kind of thing that you will be looking forward to. If you die it is something along those lines that will happen. If you live, you will rise after the ones that have been resurrected and then again you'll return, again you'll come down in the same way as you saw Christ go, as they saw Christ go, He will return in the same way. That is why I say you get out, and then you descend, and that splits this mountain in two halves. And here it says:

"For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem [this is the bit of real estate, Jerusalem] to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the [Eternal] go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle [after this event you then have the Eternal returning and fighting against these nations that have done this to Jerusalem]. 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 14:2-4)

So it will split east to west as His feet touch and it will go north and south. Half of it will go down south and half of it will move north when that will actually take place. And if we just turn back to Joel 3:2 we find a little bit more as to what is about to happen when we find the resurrected saints with Christ at the very beginning of the Kingdom of God, at this particular time. Here we find it says:

"I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land." (Joel 3:2)

Now put a marker in there, in Joel 3, and let's turn to a place where, I don't know in a sermon if you have ever actually turned there before; and that is the map in the back of your Bible. Most of you have got maps in the back of your Bible, I want you to find a map. Now in my Oxford wide margin Bible, it's the last one, it's map number nine, the one on Jerusalem. If you have got one, on Jerusalem. I will try and describe it to you.{1}

Looking down on the map of Jerusalem, you have got the Temple area on the right hand side, on the east side. On the east of the Temple area there is a valley, that is the Kidron valley today. And that valley runs north/south along the east side of Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives is the other side of that valley. So that is where His feet will touch, that is where the split will occur. It will go north/south. It will split to the north, it will split to the south and the valley will then run east/west. And this valley, this Kidron valley, between the Temple area and the Mount of Olives, that is also known as the valley of Jehoshaphat. Just out of interest while we are here looking at the map, I want you to notice that the south side of the actual Jerusalem, you find the valley of Hinnom. That is also know as Gehenna, that is the valley of Hinnom, which is Gehenna. It is where the refuse was burned and the Dung Gate was at the south side of Jerusalem which allowed the refuse to come out of the Dung Gate and be dumped in the valley of Hinnom. Let's come back to that a little bit later on. If we go back to Joel 3:9 again and read a little bit more, it says:

"Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O [Eternal]. [So mighty ones are actually coming down] Let the [nations] be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat..." (Joel 3:9-12)"

Now why is it 'up'? Because Jerusalem, this area, this piece of real estate is about 3,500 feet above the Dead Sea, it is 2,500 feet above sea level. It is on the top, it is on the top of the hills. This is why it says come 'up' to the valley of Jehoshaphat. It seems rather strange; but no this is what you do. You actually come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, which is at the side. Remember you are looking at the valley of Jehoshaphat, which is running between the Mount of Olives, which has just split and also the Temple area which is on the other side. Joel 3:12:

"...for there will I sit to judge all the [nations] round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the [Eternal] is near in the valley of decision [the Valley of Decision is the Valley of Jehoshaphat, right on the side of Jerusalem]. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining." (Joel 3:12-15)

As I said, when you are resurrected you will find that it is dark, because; "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the [Eternal] come." (Joel 2:31). And in Joel 3:16:

"The [Eternal] also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem [He'll return with a shout, the voice of the arch angel, with the trump of God; it is the shofar that is blown and this blast that will occur as He descends]; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the [Eternal] will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the [Eternal] your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more." (Joel 3:16-17)

So here we see this particular event taking place and if we go back to the maps again and just start understanding a little bit more. Here we see the Kidron Valley, this valley of Jehoshaphat. We see the actual Temple area, or Jerusalem proper. On the east side we have got the Mount of Olives on that side. Now if you find another map. Go and find another map, {2} and look the entirety of the Holy Land, where you have got Galilee at the north, and you have got the Dead Sea at the south. To find Jerusalem you come to the top of the Dead Sea and you go due west about 20 miles and there is Jerusalem. Where the Jordan River runs into the Dead Sea you go due west and there is Jerusalem, almost due west from the place where the Jordan reaches the Dead Sea.

If you go to the Sea of Galilee which is in the north and you go due west from the Sea of Galilee about in the middle, you come to Mount Carmel on the coast. You find Mount Carmel like a projection on the coast. Now Carmel is, as I understand it, would even have snow on it, it was quite a high mountain. And if you notice from Mount Carmel, going north from Mt. Carmel, going in a south-easterly direction; in other words, going down in a 45 degree angle, that is Megiddo, the Vale of Megiddo. The Valley of Megiddo otherwise known as Armageddon. That is the gathering place. So when it says; come up to the Valley of Decision, they are coming from this area, this Armageddon, this valley of Megiddo and they are coming then up.

Because you are looking at a mountain range, or a range of hills at about two and a half thousand feet where Jerusalem is and they are coming up to that area and that is where as you read; "...and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles..." (Revelation 14:20). It will be in that area, right beside Jerusalem that this battle will take place and the entire "...kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ..." (Revelation 11:15). This is the defining moment at that particular time.

Now what I want to do today, what I want to talk about today is; I want to talk about probably the most important piece of real estate, not just in this world, not just in this world but the most important piece of real estate probably in the universe. When you really think about it, what its future is going to be, you are looking at the most important piece of real estate probably in the universe today. Because this is going to form the point where the New Jerusalem is going actually come down to. It will be the geographic centre of the Kingdom of God for eternity. It is the focal point of prophecy.

Is it any wonder that Satan wants to trash this area. If there is any area that he is riled about it will be this area of the world. So when we see certain of the prophecies regarding Jerusalem then you can see a certain mind at work in this world. And the irony of it - because Satan is wanting this entire area destroyed - is when you look at the name Jerusalem. Do you know what Jerusalem means? It means city of peace doesn't it, yes, city of peace. It is a city of peace. It's a bit more than that because Yarah does not mean city, it is Yarah-shalom. That is the basic breakdown of the word Yarah-shalom. And Yerah means to throw, to shoot, to pour. It is the pouring of peace, it is the pointing of peace. [Strong's H3384 and H7999.]

Do you know another word that is linked to Yarah? It is Torah, it is the Law. Torah comes from the base root of Yarah. It is the pointing, it's The Way. It is going to point the way. It is going to point the way to peace. That is what the very name of Jerusalem means. It is the pointing of the way to peace.

It is interesting also Zion, do you know what Zion was? A Zion was known as a waymark, a signpost. [Strong's H5329.] It points The Way; that is what Zion means. So here you have Jerusalem - Yarah-shalom - the pouring of peace and Zion - being there - the waymark, that will point the way. And even within those names if you turn over to Revelation 3:11 and see the prophecy regarding Philadelphia is specifically:

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (Revelation 3:11)

And that first resurrection is what we are looking at as regarding the crown. "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God..." (Revelation 3:12). And what you see assembled in, where you read in Revelation, where it says you see Christ coming and it also talks about looking into - there within that tear, within that tear in the clouds, where the sky rolls back, is the Temple of God. It is the Ark of the Covenant within there. Because the Ark of the Covenant is central. It is the Law, the Torah, which will be there. Revelation 3:12:

"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." (Revelation 3:12)

So one of the names being written on the people of God specifically linked to the time we are in - not necessarily the times we are in now, but the times we have lived through regarding Philadelphia - is this name Yarah-shalom. This pointing, this pouring of peace. And that is what we are going to have to actually bring to this world in a large degree. So it is very interesting that we can go back and we can see a little bit of the history of this place of Jerusalem.

The Early History (PLAY FROM 20:05)

So going into the earlier history; you are looking at the position of Jerusalem, it's about 2,500 feet elevated above sea-level. Tradition has it that Abraham actually went to Mount Moriah, which was the mountain on which the Temple was built, to offer Isaac. Now in Genesis 14:18, if we notice after Abraham, or Abram here, went ahead and pursued after the kings that had taken his brother's son, Lot, and he came back with booty from that pursuit; and it says here:

"And Melchizedek king of Salem [King of Peace - Salem, is presumably this place Jerusalem and this is the first record that we have within scripture] brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God." (Genesis 14:18)

Now to go into this: to be Priest of the Most High God; and we find out that that He is also perfect, you find that in Hebrews 5:8-10 and 7:1-3. It is clearly that no human being is perfect, but as this Individual was, He must be therefore the Christ, the one who became Christ. And the Most High God would be the Father. He was obviously teaching Abraham about the Father at that time. Genesis 14:19:

"And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all." (Genesis 14:19-20)

So here we see this first account in regarding Jerusalem. Turn then to Joshua 15. You see what actually happened was that in the case of Jerusalem, it was a place. "King of Salem" - Salem was a place on the map. But it wasn't of any significance except that Melchizedek was there, except that God had certain plans for it in that particular area. But you don't see a great deal about it. But here we find in verse 8:

"And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem..." (Joshua 15:8)

Now the valley of Hinnom coming down the side and it says, the same is Jerusalem and that's the border. Go back to your map and have a look at it again, you will find that you have got the Kidron Valley coming down the bottom, the Valley of Hinnom, Gehenna. There is also another valley, called the Tyropoeon valley, the Valley of the Cheesemakers. The Kidron Valley is where the blood is to run to the horses bridles, on the east side of Jerusalem, and the Tyropoeon Valley, the piece of land between those two valleys, which is south of the Temple Mount: that is Zion, that is the citadel of Zion. That is the fortified area. That is the area that being talked about here where it says in Joshua 15:8:

"And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward:" (Joshua 15:8)

So it gives a certain description there. I want you to notice though Joshua 15:63:

"As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day." (Joshua 15:63)

Now what day was that? What day was this particular comment written? In fact, here in Joshua, the chances are that this was actually added by Samuel. So up to the time of Samuel the Jebusites were in that particular area. Now what happened here in Jerusalem? Let me just read a little bit from Josephus, 'The Antiquities of the Jews.' Book 7, chapter 3, section 1, "how David laid siege to Jerusalem and when he had taken the city he cast the Canaanites out of it" - who were these Jebusites who were in here. Remember then this was then from time of Joshua, the time of the taking of this land, all the way through until David. So it was about 400 years? Something around that length of time, you are looking at a fair length of time that these Jebusites were in that particular area.

"Now the Jebusites, who were the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and were by extraction Canaanites [you can find all the details in Genesis 10:15-16 about the sons of Ham, one of whom was Canaan, and the Jebusites came from Canaan], shut their gates, and placed the blind, and the lame, and all their maimed persons, upon the wall, in way of derision of the king..." (Josephus, 'The Antiquities of the Jews.' Book 7, chapter 3, section 1)

This is to David now; here were the Jebusites in their strong hold, this was hundreds of years after Joshua, and they had been there all the way through. And the land of Israel had all been conquered. But here in this citadel were the Jebusites. This was Mount Zion. And here, as I say, this piece of real estate, has been fought over, has got a bloody history to it. Here it says:

"...and said that the very lame themselves would hinder his entrance into it. This they did out of contempt of his power, and as depending on the strength of their walls. David was hereby enraged, and began the siege of Jerusalem [this really riled David, they were really poking fun at him, putting all these maimed and blind and all the rest of it along the wall and saying; these can defend this area - because it was such a difficult place to take]...So he took the lower city by force, but the citadel held out still; whence it was that the king, knowing that the proposal of dignities and rewards would encourage the soldiers to greater actions, promised that he who should first go over the ditches that were beneath the citadel, and should ascend to the citadel itself and take it, should have the command of the entire people conferred upon him. So they all were ambitious to ascend, and thought no pains too great in order to ascend thither, out of their desire of the chief command. However, Joab, the son of Zeruiah, prevented the rest; and as soon as he was got up to the citadel, cried out to the king, and claimed the chief command." (Josephus, 'The Antiquities of the Jews.' Book 7, chapter 3, section 1)

That is how Joab became the commander of the actual armies. It was because he took this area which the Jebusites had had for hundreds of years. All the way from the time of Joshua and as Samuel wrote here in Joshua 15:63 and tacked this within this potion of the book of Joshua saying; "...but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day." (Joshua 15:63). So David took the citadel, turn over to II Samuel 5:4 here we see it says:

"David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah. And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David [he made it then the city of David, that is why it is called the city of David]. And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward [from the tail end all the way back from the valley of Hinnom]. And David went on, and grew great, and the [Eternal] God of hosts was with him. " (II Samuel 5:4-10)

So he then had that stronghold, the City of David, Mount Zion, and all the things you see about Mount Zion, this is the area of land. This is the real estate, which lies from that Valley of Jehoshaphat which will be as deep as the horses bridles when Christ comes; unto the Tyropoeon Valley, which is the Valley of the Cheesemakers. On the other side of the Temple coming down on the side you have this kind of 'V' and that area was known as Zion. In II Samuel 6:3 notice:

"And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart." (II Samuel 6:3)

And then in II Samuel 6:6-10 they came to Nachon's threshingfloor; Uzzah put his hand out and he was killed as a result of it. So David would not remove the ark of the Eternal unto him into the City of David: but David carried it and set it in this particular house and then in II Samuel 6:12:

"And it was told king David, saying, The [Eternal] hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness." (II Samuel 6:12)

Now if you go back to your map again. There you have got the City of David which is south of the Temple and the ark was then brought in and the Temple area then became the place which was crucial, which is north of the City of David. It wasn't until, if you go to II Samuel 7:12, God tells David and says:

"And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever." (II Samuel 7:12-13)

So here was Solomon and the prophecy regarding Solomon and building a house within Jerusalem. Now God has had His hand in the area all the time. He had His hand regarding Melchizedek. Melchizedek was around this area, as the King of Salem. You are looking at Mount Moriah, where Abraham would have sacrificed Isaac; so it was all around this area. And here you see that He allows the Jebusites to stay in the citadel for a certain length of time; and then he gets David in there, and David brings the Ark, and he then commissions Solomon. And all of these are leading step by step until finally Jerusalem will become the very headquarters of the universe. It is the most important piece of real estate that there is, really in this world, and as I say, it could well be throughout the universe - when you are looking at the situation in the longer term.

The Time of David and Solomon (PLAY FROM 32:15)

If you notice over in I Chronicles 22:14 you find here is David describing to Solomon and he says:

"Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the [Eternal] an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents [a million] of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto. Moreover there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work." (I Chronicles 22:14-15)

So here was David preparing the materials for the building of the Temple itself. You have got the City of David in the south and you have then got the Temple area north of that.

It is something that my wife and I can certainly look back on, because we worked there for a number of months through the archaeological dig that was down there and we were working on that corner. It was on the south-western corner of the Temple Mount. It was around that very area, round the City of David. We used to go through the Dung Gate, the Arab bus would come up to the Dung Gate, and we would then take the bus back, or we would run through the old city. We were actually having digs on the northern side of the city. So we know the geography to some degree - mind you it was quite a few years ago, to say the least!

But here David prepares the materials and he gets Solomon to make sure that he then uses those materials and adds to them and in I Chronicles 23:1:

"So when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel. And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. [Notice in verse 6] And David divided them into courses among the sons of Levi, namely, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari." (I Chronicles 23:1-2,6)

So not only did he provide the material for the Temple, he also organised the singing. He organised the Temple worship. David was the one who put all these things together and got the vision of the Temple and what the Temple was going to do and the place where the Temple was going to be within Jerusalem, within this area of Jerusalem. If we go over to I Kings 6:7 again and we look at this time of David and Solomon:

"And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building." (I Kings 6:7)

So we can see here that this entire house was put up, and put together without any sound, without any problem as far as the stonemasons and so on were working. And if you notice in I Kings 6:38, it says:

"And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it." (I Kings 6:38)

So the the house of God, this Temple area took seven years altogether to put together and build. Now what then happened as you know, is that they relied on the Temple area, they relied in the fact that it was a piece of real estate; their faith was on the real estate. It wasn't on the God that was behind it all; the one who in fact made the place holy. They caused no end of problems and finally what happened over in Jeremiah 52:1 was:

"Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem [they had the division of Israel, and Judah remained and Jerusalem stayed within the hands of Judah]. And his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. And he did that which was evil in the eyes of the [Eternal], according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For through the anger of the [Eternal] it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, till he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon." (Jeremiah 52:1-3)

And down in Jeremiah 52:12 notice:

"Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem, And burned the house of the [Eternal], and the king's house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, and all the houses of the great men, burned he with fire [basically he destroyed, and the army destroyed this area of Jerusalem]: And all the army of the Chaldeans, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down all the walls of Jerusalem round about. Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive certain of the poor of the people..." (Jeremiah 52:12-15)

And the entire area of Jerusalem went into rack and ruin. The actual wall that went right the way round was broken down, so it was no longer fortified.

Again go back to your map, you will see that the wall goes all the way round the entire area of Jerusalem. But the wall was broken down and in fact what is actually written, it is described as a ploughed field. They made such a good job of this particular destruction that is was virtually a ploughed field when they got through with it. And they destroyed this area completely. So here is this area of real estate that is going to become the area that will inhabited for eternity and yet it is destroyed completely because of the attitude of the people within it.

Now the only reason why the Jerusalem to come is going to hang on there is because of the attitude of the people within it. The attitude of the ones which God will be placing in there. The change of the mind within those people. The Zion to come, is not going to be just relying on the walls like the Jebusites did, and sent the poor, the blind, and the lame because we have got these wonderful walls. And what the Jews said, we have got the Temple and they went ahead and put their trust in all those kind of things.

God is preparing each and every one of us to understand that; no, you don't put your trust in physical things. We have had buildings, we had a house dedicated to the honour of the Great God, and what happened to it? It was taken over by people who have got a mindset which is different. You see Jerusalem, Yarah-shalom, means something. It is a name and it means something. Zion, the way-mark means something. It is not just the real estate. The real estate has got to be accompanied. So we see here when we are looking from Babylon to the time of Christ, Nebuchadnezzar destroyed this completely.

Daniel and the 70 Weeks Prophecy (PLAY FROM 40:30)

But when you go over to Daniel 9:1. Daniel understands by reading the books of Jeremiah- and you are looking at hundreds, in fact, thousands and thousands of years of history that are going through here; when we are looking at this particular time. And all of the time God is looking at this piece of real estate, this particular area that He is going to have for His people throughout eternity. Here it says:

"In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the [Eternal] came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem." (Daniel 9:1-2)

So it was coming close to the end of this seventy years and he could see that this is the prophecy. Now we are going to finish the prophecy. Now Jerusalem will be rebuilt. Daniel 9:3:

"And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the [Eternal] my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:" (Daniel 9:3-5)

And he set his mind to seek God and the answer that came, notice over in Daniel 9:20:

"And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the [Eternal] my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation [evening sacrifice]. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy." (Daniel 9:20-24)

And he goes into a prophecy about Christ. So here was Daniel, who was seeking God, and asking about Jerusalem and saying; "Establish Jerusalem, the 70 years is now finished." He was looking at it physically. But what was the answer? The answer wasn't just the physical restoration of Jerusalem, the answer was, as Daniel 9:24 says here;

" "...to bring in everlasting righteousness [this is the Second Coming now], and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks..." (Daniel 9:24-25)

So he gives the actual prophecy about the Messiah and it is even looking forward into the Second Coming. There is a great deal more here than merely what Daniel was actually asking for.

Jerusalem Rebuilt (PLAY FROM 44:01)

Now what happens then once they actually go back and they rebuild Jerusalem, and Jerusalem then becomes a city once again. Before Christ comes onto the scene a fair amount of history goes over that particular area.

First of all Alexander the Great comes into the scene because he takes over from the Medes and the Persians; and he was welcomed by the Jews, they actually went out and met him. Alexander the Great had this vision of these white robed priests who would come out to actually meet him. And he saw these white robed priests coming out in their robes, coming out to meet him and he saw the result of his vision; and he spared Jerusalem. Also they went to meet him because they had read in Daniel and they had certain prophecies about Alexander the Great. He saw the prophecies that were written in the books of Daniel, and this is what encouraged Alexander the Great. And he ruled for a mere ten years in that area and died aged 32. That was Alexander the Great. In fact we don't really have much in the way records. The records were written many, many years after Alexander actually lived. We don't have much in the way of records, in fact I don't think we have anything in the way of records of that particular time at all.

And then you have the generals begin ruling and in the time of the generals you also have some problems. Now as I said about the Jebusites - remember how the Jebusites were in control of the City of David? Well during this time of the generals, Antiochus Epiphanes - which you have obviously read about offering swine's blood on the altar - Antiochus Epiphanes came and took over this area as a successor of one the generals.

And the Maccabees brothers then lead the revolt against what he was doing. If I quote from the Book of Maccabees - now I don't normally quote from the Apocrypha but the Apocrypha as a historical basis is fine. It is not one of the Books of the Bible. They are not Holy books, they are not anything to do with scripture. But as far as a historical basis is concerned, yes, they are fine to read the historical side. I Maccabees 1:11 says:

"In those days went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us: for since we departed from them we have had much sorrow. So this device pleased them well. Then certain of the people were so forward herein, that they went to the king, who gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the heathen: Whereupon they built a place of exercise at Jerusalem according to the customs of the heathen [remember the Greeks had the Games and they built an amphitheatre for the the Games]: And made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen, and were sold to do mischief." (I Maccabees 1:11-15)

So the actual Jews themselves started going aside. I Maccabees 1:16:

"Now when the kingdom was established before Antiochus, he thought to reign over Egypt that he might have the dominion of two realms. Wherefore he entered into Egypt with a great multitude, with chariots, and elephants, and horsemen, and a great navy, And made war against Ptolemee king of Egypt: but Ptolemee was afraid of him, and fled; and many were wounded to death. Thus they got the strong cities in the land of Egypt and he took the spoils thereof. And after that Antiochus had smitten Egypt, he returned again in the hundred forty and third year, and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude, And entered proudly into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar, and the candlestick of light, and all the vessels thereof, And the table of the shewbread, and the pouring vessels, and the vials. and the censers of gold, and the veil, and the crown, and the golden ornaments that were before the temple, all which he pulled off. He took also the silver and the gold, and the precious vessels: also he took the hidden treasures which he found. And when he had taken all away, he went into his own land, having made a great massacre, and spoken very proudly. Therefore there was a great mourning in Israel, in every place where they were; So that the princes and elders mourned, the virgins and young men were made feeble, and the beauty of women was changed." (I Maccabees 1:16-26)

And it goes on and says in I Maccabees 1:29:

"And after two years fully expired the king sent his chief collector of tribute unto the cities of Juda, who came unto Jerusalem with a great multitude, And spake peaceable words unto them, but all was deceit: for when they had given him credence, he fell suddenly upon the city, and smote it very sore, and destroyed much people of Israel. And when he had taken the spoils of the city, he set it on fire, and pulled down the houses and walls thereof on every side. But the women and children took they captive, and possessed the cattle. Then builded they the city of David with a great and strong wall, and with mighty towers, and made it a strong hold for them." (I Maccabees 1:29-33)

So here were the Syrians coming into the city of David, this same area that the Jebusites were in. And they rebuilt the strong walls, they made it a citadel again. Again you have the area which is the Temple Mount, you have got the Kidron Valley, you have got the Tyropoeon Valley, you have got this area; the City of David. The area just south of where we were digging. I Maccabees 1:34:

"And they put therein a sinful nation, wicked men, and fortified themselves therein. They stored it also with armour and victuals, and when they had gathered together the spoils of Jerusalem, they laid them up there, and so they became a sore snare [because they had water, food, armaments and everything else]: For it was a place to lie in wait against the sanctuary, and an evil adversary to Israel." (I Maccabees 1:34-36)

So anybody going up to the Temple - the City of David was actually higher, they had built it up, and they were able to get up on the walls and they could fire straight into the Temple area and kill people. They also came out at night, and they would massacre people and then come behind the citadel again. They were doing just what the Jebusites had done. This is why David ruled in Israel for so many years and then he ruled in Jerusalem because Zion was being used in this way. Was tgus Jerusalem, Yarah-shalom? It is anything but, it is the antithesis that is actually happening. I Maccabees 1:37:

"Thus they shed innocent blood on every side of the sanctuary, and defiled it: Insomuch that the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled because of them: whereupon the city was made an habitation of strangers, and became strange to those that were born in her; and her own children left her." (I Maccabees 1:37-38)

So this actually was happening, and Antiochus was the one who started the process. It was the Syrians that were actually in this area, the Sicarii; I think they were so-called because the sicarii was a small sword that they would carry, concealed in the garments. They would murder people and then come back inside. Murder, rob them and then come back inside the citadel. And that is what used to happen.

Now that was until an individual appeared - now the Maccabees were fighting against Antiochus, and the Jews that had aligned themselves with him - and the younger brother was called Simon.

If you go down to Jerusalem today, suppose you go down to where we were digging and you actually go to the site and you look down towards Gehenna, down towards the south. Behind you have got the huge stones, you have got the Wailing Wall which is over on your right round the corner, and you go up onto the Turkish wall that is just in front of you, and you start to look down into the valley of Hinnom. And you are looking down at Mount Zion. It is not there. Mount Zion has gone missing. It's gone missing, and there is a reason it has gone missing. How do you get rid of a mountain? Because this thing was towering above the actual platform of the Temple that is behind you, and it isn't there today - it has gone! The whole mountain has disappeared. And in this Antiquities of the Jews, book 13, chapter 6, section 7, Josephus describes what actually happened during this time. It says:

"But Simon, who was made high priest by the multitude, on the very first year of his high priesthood set his people free from their slavery under the Macedonians [the Syrians]...He also took the citadel of Jerusalem by siege, and cast it down to the ground, that it might not be any more a place of refuge to their enemies when they took it, to do them a mischief, as it had been till now..." (Antiquities of the Jews, book 13, chapter 6, section 7)

This had happened before with the Jebusites, and here it was happening with the Sicarii, it was happening with the Syrians and he made the decision; we are not going to have this happen again. Right beside the Temple Mount there is this citadel, this fortified area that we can not get in if it ever get taken by an enemy. And it continues:

"...And when he had done this, he thought it their best way, and most for their advantage, to level the very mountain itself upon which the citadel happened to stand, that so the temple might be higher than it. And indeed, when he had called the multitude to an assembly, he persuaded them to have it so demolished, and this by putting them in mind what miseries they had suffered by its garrison and the Jewish deserters, and what miseries they might hereafter suffer in case any foreigner should obtain the kingdom, and put a garrison into that citadel. This speech induced the multitude to a compliance, because he exhorted them to do nothing but what was for their own good: so they all set themselves to the work, and leveled the mountain, and in that work spent both day and night without any intermission, which cost them three whole years before it was removed, and brought to an entire level with the plain of the rest of the city. After which the temple was the highest of all the buildings, now the citadel, as well as the mountain whereon it stood, were demolished. And these actions were thus performed under Simon." (Antiquities of the Jews, book 13, chapter 6, section 7)

So here we see what actually happened to Mount Zion. Mount Zion isn't there physically. So you find prophecies regarding Mount Zion, how it will stand forever. So what is it talking about?

You and I are Mount Zion. You and I are the Zion of God. The way-marker. The ones that point the way in the future. As I say, it is not a piece of real estate, it is who is going to be there. That is what is important. And when you look at this particular account over in 139 BC, when he literally cut that mountain down. Three years it took him and he scrapped the whole thing down and you can stand on the wall today and look down towards the Gehenna, the Valley of Gehenna, and you will find that there is no mountain there; it is gone. There were some Arab buildings there when we were there in the lower part of the valley.

The Time of Christ (PLAY FROM 55:51)

When you are looking at Jerusalem, when you think of the time of Christ, and you think of what kind of city it was at the time of Christ - well Herod the Great actually had made the entire city into a Hellenic city.

And there's a reason why they wanted this; we say when we have some cow on our plate we have some beef, we only have beef because the language which was being used years and years ago was that it was posh to say; 'le boeuf,' which was French, rather than 'le cow' which was English. So we don't eat cow, we eat beef. It was the same kind of thing in the time of Christ, they looked at anything that was Greek - this was the Roman world now - as being cultured, refined and all this kind of thing. And it's Hellenic culture and it was a Hellenic city. It was Hellenic around that area of Greece.

And so the Jerusalem when Christ was actually there, they actually enlarged he Temple platform, the bedrock, they laid these huge stones down, these stones which presumably now form the Wailing Wall. They expanded the entire platform, which is there to this day. They diverted the Tyropoeon Valley river - the conduit - they built a huge hippodrome for the Games, that was down towards the south, and there was a whole load of other palaces and expensive buildings. It became quite a centre of culture. And this was the centre that Christ actually came into. And this was the city that Christ walked through and dealt with people within. Turn over to Matthew 23:33. He is describing the Pharisees and their attitudes of mind, He says:

"Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Matthew 23:33-39)

That's looking down into His Second Coming. Matthew 24:1:

"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple [Also, He came up after that riding on an ass, I think that is what he is referring to]. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." (Matthew 24:1-2)

So here was this Hellenic city, this beautiful Temple that had been built by Herod at great expense and all the various buildings associated with it, but Christ makes that prophecy that not one stone was going to be left upon another. Now in 70 AD Titus destroyed the area and Josephus actually made the comment that no-one could even believe that there'd been was a city there, once erosion that filled the valleys. Now this was going a little bit further on:

A small city was then allowed by Rome and 132-135 the Bar-Kokhba revolt was squashed by Hadrian. It became Aelia Capitolina and literally you could plough the ground where the city had been and the Jews were banned for twenty miles. So again you are looking at an attitude of mind within people and how God allows these physical things - they are not what counts. It is what is going on with God's people that is so vitally important.

The Christian Period and the Present Day (PLAY FROM 1:00:26)

You then go into the Christian period; and various times where you have a Byzantine city, you have the Muslim period and basically the Dome of the Rock is around 638 AD and the Al-Aqsa mosque and you have the European Crusades. And finally you have the Turkish rule.

And that goes right the way through to a particular date. And that date was the 8th December 1917. Now the 8th December 1917 was the time that Allenby was given the keys to the city, that particular date. Now why is that specifically an important date to remember? Turn over to Haggai 2:10:

"In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the [Eternal] by Haggai the prophet, saying, Thus saith the [Eternal] of hosts [I have read this several times, about]; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying, If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment...[but in verse 15] And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the [Eternal]: [from this day consider it, it says in verse 18] Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the [Eternal's] temple was laid, consider it." (Haggai 2:10-12,15,18)

Just notice it. You see when Allenby took the key for the city, that 8th December 1917 was this day, this specific day. {3}

Now, you say, what actually happened then? It was the foundation of the Jewish state. It was the foundation of the city under the present situation and that would last then from that particular date all the way through until when? Until you have the prophecies that regard the 1335 days that start and all the prophecies flow into the return of Christ. And it was the specific day of the year. Do you now what day it actually falls on this year, I looked it up just before I came? It is Christmas Day 25th December 2005, this year. This particular day in 1917, it was the 8th December, this particular, specific day and the foundation of the state of Israel was being laid. And the Gentile rule was being removed. It was a quite profound situation.

Also what was going on then within the Church at that particular time? You start to think, what was going on then, what was Mr Armstrong doing? Well he hadn't been baptised. He had just got married and do you remember that dream that his wife had, it was roundabout this time. I say round about this time, I think it was actually before this particular date but it was around this time that God started working with Mr Herbert Armstrong and the foundation for the Church was also being laid around this same date 1917, 8th December.

His wife was pregnant with their fist child - born then in May the following year in 1918. They had just been married I think in June, they had just got married. They had that dream some time around that time. His wife had this dream that Christ was returning and they were being called. They were being called for a specific purpose.

So when we are looking at these things, God doesn't do things by halves and it was the fact that Allenby, who was of Ephraim, and Allenby walked into the city, he was given the keys on that specific day. So it is quite a profound situation when we look in fact at what happened. It wasn't until about 1927, ten years later, that Mr Armstrong was actually baptised and started his study of God's word. And you come all the way through to today and you find that Jerusalem is in a contentious position. Turn over to Zechariah 12:1, it says:

"The burden of the word of the [Eternal] for Israel, saith the [Eternal], which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem [who is it that is making Jerusalem, this real estate, who is it that is going to make Jerusalem this way?] a cup of trembling unto all the people round about... " (Zechariah 12:1-2)

What are they wanting today? They are wanting a Palestinian state. Where is the capital that they want? They want it in Jerusalem. What does God say? "...I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling..." (Zechariah 12:2). And this area, this real estate in the world today is a real meaningful place, it is a real place. It is a place that God has a great deal of interest in. It is something that the prophecies have a great deal to say about. He has had His hand in it for thousands or years. And here Zechariah 12:2 says:

"...when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." (Zechariah 12:2-3)

So even though the entirety of the earth gathers against this one area of real estate; God says they are going to be cut to pieces. Doesn't make any difference because God says that this is what is going to happen. Now I have got a quotation here from the Palestinian Authority Chief says:

"No Jerusalem, no peace." This is coming from Israel National news.com and it says: "No Jerusalem, no peace," declared Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei at a special cabinet meeting of the Palestinian Authorities Government on Monday [this was dated Tuesday 13th December 2005]. Qurei also known as the name he used as a PLO terrorist, Abu Alaa is a senior Palestinian official second to the chief Mahmoud Abbas. He promised that the Palestinian Authority would never give up its demand for sovereignty over Jerusalem and goal of making it the capital of a Palestinian state. That goal, he said has been his primary consideration for peace with Israel."

In other words, they are not going to let go of that particular request - not request, demand; and he goes on in that particular article. Now what is going to happen? It says; "... Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it..." (Zechariah 12:3). This is going to be causing problems. It is going to be causing problems within that area, and problems within the world.

Another area of people that are burdening themselves currently with it. This is coming from Eye on the UN.org this is coming from someone called Al Levy, it says: "The United Nations held a day of solidarity with the Palestinian people last week." This was again the beginning of December; 8th December 2005, this is dated. "A large map of 'Palestine' with Israel literally wiped off the map featured prominently in the festivities. The ceremony was held at the UN Headquarters in New York and was attended by the Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Presidents of the UN security council and the General Assembly."

Now you just think about that. The UN is getting involved and is tacitly giving support to the Palestinian Authority. They have a map, and I have a picture of it here, a very small picture there; it was behind the speakers and there is no Israel on the map whatsoever. Who do you think controls Jerusalem? Yet is says here in Zechariah 12:3:

"And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people..." (Zechariah 12:3)

And it will carry on being a burdensome stone all the way through until those feet touch the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives split. One goes north and one goes south and the blood in that valley of Jehoshaphat is up to the horses' bridles.

The Future of Jerusalem (PLAY FROM 1:09:21)

We are living in momentous times at this particular time, we really are. We are looking for the emergence of this area of the world as being utterly, utterly crucial. And how many people in Jerusalem? I looked up the statistics, what is the population of Jerusalem. It is 662,000 people. As a city it is nothing, 662,000 people. It is not a large city by any stretch of the imagination. But nevertheless it is something that God has got a distinct eye on and He will in fact make sure that His prophecies are maintained. Notice Zechariah 13:8, it says:

"And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the [Eternal], two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The [Eternal] is my God." (Zechariah 13:8-9)

Now there are other scriptures that talk about a tenth of Israel, this is Judah. It talks about a tenth of Israel actually surviving. But it looks with Judah there will be about a third which will survive in that particular area, it appears. Go on into Zechariah 14:5; we have read this section about His feet standing on the Mount of Olives and it says:

"And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the [Eternal] my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the [Eternal], not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light." (Zechariah 14:5-7)

In other words the light will presumably be there, presumably as Christ actually descends and will light the area, when He is actually there fighting, and this final battle takes place. Zechariah 14:8:

"And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea [the Dead Sea], and half of them toward the hinder sea [Mediterranean, so it is going in both directions, going through that valley which has been created when the Mount of Olive splits and the water pours through that valley down to the Dead Sea]: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the [Eternal] shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one [Eternal], and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it [Jerusalem] 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." (Zechariah 14:8-10)

Here it give specific areas, the entire area around Jerusalem is going to become a plain. Now if you go and find where Geba is - that is 5 miles north of Jerusalem. And if you go and find where Rimmon is, it's 30 miles south of Jerusalem. So you are looking at an area 35 miles which is flat, which was made into a plain - this area which is the area around Jerusalem. Yet Jerusalem itself is going to be raised up. So at the time when Christ actually returns, the earthquakes and the topology of the land is going to change and there is going to be a flat area; the huge flat area that will actually be constructed and the mount at Jerusalem will be lifted up. Turn back to Ezekiel 45:1, you find here that the area that will be surrounding this particular area of Jerusalem will in fact be part of this holy area:

"Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the [Eternal], an holy portion of the land [this is in the Millenium now]: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand. This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about." (Ezekiel 45:1)

And it depends on what, in fact, they are assuming is a reed. Now if that is the case, six cubits is about 10 feet. It works out at about 47 x 19 miles. So it goes beyond this area that we mentioned. You are looking at about 35 miles north to south. You are looking at about say, 47 miles, so it goes into the hill country on the outer side as well. Presumably you are looking at about 19 or 20 miles wide this plain will be. So this is a huge plain area that will be constructed; and Jerusalem itself will then be raised up. So you will come into the area of Jerusalem in the Millennium and you will see this vast plain and you will see this city.

You look at the Walt Disney ideas of castles and all the rest of it; and this is the idea that the people have had. And here it is described within Zechariah and also in Ezekiel. And this area of this plain will be the area where you and I will dwell. It will be a holy area. It will be a reserved area. There will be certain people that will be living in that area who will be linked to the Temple. The Levites will be serving in the Temple. But it will be an area that is holy, it will be an area for oblation to the Eternal and God Himself. Turn over to Revelation 21:1. We see Jerusalem right into the future now, it says:

"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. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle [or dwelling] of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Revelation 21:1-3)

So this Jerusalem in the Millennium will be a type for the New Jerusalem, and the New Jerusalem will be the antitype. Revelation 21:4:

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." (Revelation 21:4-6)

Again you are looking at the Millennium. The waters are going to both seas, literally, yet in here we are seeing it is a type, a type of what will come at the end of all things when the New Jerusalem will be there as a spirit city and that spirit city will in fact rule the entire universe. Revelation 21:7:

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." (Revelation 21:7)

It is the people that are there that are going to be the true Zion, the true way-marker, the marker of 'The Way'. That is what we are here to learn. That is why it is so important. In Revelation 21:10:

"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, [Here we see this city that comes down and verse 16 says] And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs [about a thousand miles by a thousand miles, again this area is even more huge than what you will find within the Millennium, the Millennium will be fairly tame in regard to this]. The length and the breadth and the height of it are [proportional it should say rather than equal]." (Revelation 21:10,16)

It doesn't mean to say that it is going to be a thousand miles high and you have got this thing going round the earth every time it goes around the earth; that is not what it is talking about; proportional. And in Revelation 22:1 notice:

"And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it [the passage of it, or river bed of it], and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits..." (Revelation 22:1-2)

And it goes does to Revelation 22:5:

"And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:5)

From this area, from this area of Jerusalem. And in Revelation 22:14 notice:

"Blessed are they that do his commandments [His Torah, Yarah-shalom, using the Torah as part of that], that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (Revelation 22:14)

This city is a crucial area, a crucial piece of real estate. Because we go through life and we have all the problems and difficulties that we face, this city is to give us the release and the relief that we are looking for. As it says here in Isaiah 66:1 notice it says:

"Thus saith the [Eternal], The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest [where is the Mount Zion, where is the Mount Moriah, where is the Temple]? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the [Eternal]: but to this man will I look [this is the house, this is the one he is looking to], even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:1-2)

It is a certain individual with a character, with an attitude of mind, an approach that is necessary. This is the true Temple. This is the true one in which the Godhead will dwell for eternity. In Isaiah 66:9 notice, it says:

"Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the [Eternal]: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. Rejoice ye with Jerusalem [with Yarah-shalom], and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:" (Isaiah 66:9-10)

And it is the people that are going to be there. We look at the Church, you look at this shattered Church, we do mourn for the Church; we do. But God will sort this area out. Isaiah 66:11:

"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 [because we will actually see the glory of this area, this area of real estate]. For thus saith the [Eternal], Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river [pouring peace, Yarah-shalom], 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 [this area that you are looking at, something like 47 miles x 19 miles, and somewhere in there there will be a place for those that are God's sons]. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem." (Isaiah 66:11-13)

That will actually happen to God's people and it goes on beyond there if you go back to the preceding chapter in Isaiah 65:17, notice:

"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind [even the Millennial rule, even this Millennial Jerusalem won't even come into mind]. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem [Yarah-shalom] a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem [Yarah-shalom, this river of peace], and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying." (Isaiah 65:17-19)

That is the future that we have; and that is our future as far as this piece of real estate, the most important piece of real estate probably in the universe at this time. And it is to be ours as the very family and Kingdom of God for eternity.


Footnotes:

{1} This map can be found at: https://www.bible-history.com/maps/jerusalem.html

{2} This map is found at: https://www.bible-history.com/geography/maps/map_canaan_tribal_portions.html

{3} Mr Bowles has added these notes to this point:

Note on Fall of Jerusalem - 8th-9th Dec 1917 In the sermon given on The Jerusalem Real Estate (given Bristol UK 17 Dec 2005) at www.cogiw.org, I state that General Allenby came into the city of Jerusalem on 8th Dec 1917 - which was 24th Kislev, as mentioned in Hag 2:10,15,18,20 - and was given the keys to the city on that day.

This is not strictly correct! My apologies, but I had written the wrong day in my notes - the 8th, instead of the 9th - which is the 24th Kislev. And though the city fell to the British on the 8th-9th December, Allenby himself did not actually enter Jerusalem until the 11th.

According to the account written by Allenby (see: http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/jerusalem_allenby1.htm) "the Turks had withdrawn during the night" of the 8th December 1917 - the beginning of 24th Kislev (as days within God's calendar begin at sunset) - leaving the city to the British (Ephraim). Then in the morning of the 9th (the daylight part of 24th Kislev) a group of local leaders brought the keys of the city to the British forces (but not to the general himself).

This date (8th-9th Dec - 24th Kislev) was the date given in Haggai for the laying of the foundation of the temple to which Christ came the first time. By passing the control of Jerusalem away from the Turks and into the hands of the British - the house of Israel (Ephraim - see Gen 48:16) - the foundation for the present position of the state of Israel was also laid. This is the region to which Christ will return the 2nd time. Though not the major fulfillment, the laying of this foundation, on this specific date, fits remarkably with the prophecy found in Hagg 2:18 "Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth [month, even] from the day that the foundation of the LORD'S temple was laid, consider [it]."

Finally, two days later, Allenby made his formal entry into the city. But the city had already fallen during the 8th-9th Dec 1917 - the exact date specified in Haggai 2:10,15,18,20. My apologies for any confusion, Jon Bowles