Two Jerusalem’s

By, Apostle John Eckhardt,

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There are two Jerusalem’s in scripture. There is earthly Jerusalem and there is heavenly Jerusalem. A believer must discern between the two in reading the prophets. Failure to do so will result in applying prophecies that are fulfilled in heavenly Jerusalem to earthly Jerusalem. Sometimes it is difficult to determine the difference between the earthly and the heavenly within a prophecy. An example is the prophecy of Zechariah 14 which describes living waters flowing from Jerusalem.

The way to determine what prophecies are fulfilled in the heavenly Jerusalem is to see the Apostolic interpretation. For example John sees the river of life flowing from the heavenly Jerusalem in the Revelation:

Revelation 22 1.And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2.In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

John’s vision corresponds to the visions of Ezekiel and Zechariah. Therefore what Ezekiel and Hezekiah saw were not visions of water flowing from and earthly temple and city, but from the heavenly city.

Zech.14: 4, 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. 5. 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 LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. 6. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7. But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. 8. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

Living waters flow from Jerusalem as a result of the Lord standing on the Mount of Olives, and mountains cleaving. This is also the time of the arrival of the Kingdom, the day when the Lord would be king over all the earth. Many have interpreted Zechariah’s vision as a literal cleaving, and literal waters flowing from Jerusalem.

Duncan McKenzie states: The Jerusalem in Zechariah 14:2 in which the raped women are found is clearly physical Jerusalem. According to the book of Revelation, however, the Jerusalem in Zechariah 14:8 that the “living waters” flow out of is the New Jerusalem, the bride (Rev. 21:9-10). And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one. All the land will be changed

into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security. Zechariah 14:8-11 NASB Again, it is the New Jerusalem bride, not physical Jerusalem, which has these waters of life (Zech. 14:8; cf. Rev. 21:27-22:2). It is the New Jerusalem that would be raised up (on a mountain) at this time (Zech 14:10; cf. Rev. 21:9-10). It is the New Jerusalem in which there would “no longer be a curse” (Zech. 14:11 NASB; cf. Rev. 22:3). It is the New Jerusalem bride that has the water of life flowing out of her, not physical Jerusalem (cf. John 4:10-14); it is the New Jerusalem that is the abode of the remnant (Zech. 14:2). And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls. Joel 2:28-32; cf. Acts 2:17-21 Thus, when the NT is figured into one’s interpretation of Zechariah 14 (something “literalists” consistently neglect to do),3 clearly there is a shift from the raped women of physical Jerusalem in verse 2 to the living waters of New Jerusalem in verse 8.

LIVING WATERS IN JERUSALEM The living waters Zechariah prophesied of in Jerusalem at this time (Zech. 14:8) are of much deeper spiritual significance than a supposed future river in physical Jerusalem. The living waters that would flow out of the New Jerusalem on the day of the Lord symbolize the lifegiving properties of God’s Holy Spirit. Consider Jesus’ reference to the ultimate meaning of the water used in the Feast of Tabernacles (the feast that Zech. 14:16-21 is referring to). On the last day, that great day of the feast [of Tabernacles], Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive . . . . John 7:37-39; cf. John 4:10-14

The living waters that flow from Jerusalem which Zechariah 14:8 speaks of are not composed of literal H2O in physical Jerusalem that will flow sometime in the future; they are symbolic of the life-giving properties of God’s Holy Spirit that are flowing today! And behold I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work . . . And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:12, 17; cf. Matthew 16:27-28 Similarly, the life-giving properties of water from rain that would be withheld from those who would not acknowledge the Lord from this time forward (Zech. 14:16-17) speak of the water of life that is withheld from those who are not part of the New Jerusalem bride today. To take verses 16-19’s statement about the nations of the world going up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in a literal physical sense is grossly misguided. It should be noted that Jesus taught just the opposite. He said the time was coming (and was already beginning) when people would no longer worship in Jerusalem: Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:21-24

Notice how Jesus talks about living water as a symbol of the life-giving properties of God’s Spirit in this context: “Whoever drinks of this [physical] water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

Despite what many dispensationalists say, we are not going back to Temple worship in some future millennium; indeed it would be blasphemy to do so. For that matter, how, logistically, could hundreds of millions, let alone billions, of people all go up to the Temple to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles/Ingathering? There are not nearly enough airlines in the world to physically get everyone to Jerusalem, let alone room for them when they arrived. Such thinking is foolishness! The ultimate sacrifice has been given by Jesus (cf. Heb. 10:11-18). God wants us to worship him in Spirit and in truth, not go back to the elemental things of the old covenant. The

Jerusalem that people need to come to today for living water is the New Jerusalem; they need to become part of the bride (now wife)! There is a crucial principle of hermeneutics here: the NT needs to be factored into one’s interpretation of the OT; often the interpretation that the NT gives is a spiritual one not a literal physical one. So-called literalists often neglect this principle.

THE MOUNT OF OLIVES SPLIT IN TWO? As for Zechariah’s images of the Mount of Olives being split in two to make a large valley (vv. 4-5) and Jerusalem being raised in elevation (v. 10), these are yet more examples of the symbolism found in prophetic language. DeMar writes the following along these lines: In Micah 1:3 we are told that God “is coming forth from His place” to “come down and tread on the high places of the earth.” How is this descriptive language different from the Lord standing on the Mount of Olives with the result that it will split? Micah says “the mountains will melt under Him, and the valleys will be split, like wax before the fire, like water poured down on a steep place” (1:4) . . . [Similarly] Isaiah 40:4 is descriptive of earth-moving events that did not literally take place. “Clear the way of the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley.” 4 In Revelation, when John is shown the New Jerusalem bride she comes down out of heaven to an elevated place, to a high mountain (Rev. 21:9-10; cf. Zech. 14:10). Jerusalem being in a high place speaks of both her prominence and her closeness to God (he actually dwells in the midst of his bride today, Rev. 21:1-3; cf. 2 Cor. 6:16). Her elevation is no more literal than the whole world becoming a mountain at the AD 70 full establishment of God’s kingdom in Daniel 2:35, Daniel 2:44. Daniel and Revelation both use symbolic changes in geography to portray this time of the full establishment of God’s kingdom on earth. When the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven, the sea ceases to exist (Rev. 21:1-2). If literal, this would be catastrophic, as we get most of our rain from the oceans. Without the sea this planet would quickly become a desert wasteland. What Revelation is portraying is that at AD 70 the whole world became the Land (i.e., the Holy Land) as the sea (the domain of the serpent, cf. Is. 27:1; 51:9-10; and abode of the Gentiles, Is. 60:5) ceased to exist at that time.5 This is the symbolic language of apocalyptic Scripture. Just as the mountains did not literally melt nor the valleys literally split at the coming of God against the northern kingdom of Israel in the eighth century BC (Mic. 1:1-6), neither did the Mount of

Olives literally split in two at God’s coming on the ultimate day of the Lord at AD 70 (Zech. 14:4-5). As to what the splitting of the Mount of Olives symbolizes, I believe the seventeenth-century Puritan, Matthew Henry was on the right track: These verses are dark and hard to be understood; but divers good expositors take this to be the meaning of them: God will carefully inspect Jerusalem, even then when the enemies of it are laying it waste: His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, whence he may take a full view of the city and temple, Mk. 13:3 . . . The partition-wall between Jews and Gentiles shall be taken away. The mountains about Jerusalem, and particularly this [the Mount of Olives], signified it to be an enclosure, and that it stood in the way of those who would approach to it. Between the Gentiles and Jerusalem this mountain of Bether, of division, stood, Cant. 2:17. But by the destruction of Jerusalem this mountain shall be made to cleave in the midst, and so the Jewish pale shall be taken down, and the church laid in common with the Gentiles, who were made one with the Jews by the breaking down of this middle wall of partition, Eph. 2:14. Who art thou, O great mountain? . . . A new and living way shall be opened to the new Jerusalem, both to see it and to come into it. The mountain being divided, one-half towards the north and the other half towards the south, there shall be a very great valley, that is, a broad way of communication opened between Jerusalem and the Gentile world, by which the Gentiles shall have free admission into the gospel-Jerusalem, and the word of the Lord, that goes forth from Jerusalem, shall have a free course into the Gentile world. Thus the way of the Lord is prepared, for every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and plain and pleasant valleys shall come in the room of them, Isa. 40:4. 6 Henry’s suggestion that the Mount of Olives splitting speaks of the wall of partition between Jew and Gentile being broken down fits well with the symbol of the sea (the abode of the Gentiles) ceasing to exist and the whole world becoming the Land at AD 70 (Rev. 21:1-2). Likewise Ezekiel’s vision of living waters flowing from the Messianic temple must be interpreted through the Apostolic hermeneutic. This is not a literal earthly temple: Rev.21: 21, And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22.And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. The Lord is the temple of the heavenly Jerusalem. In other words this is not a future, earthly temple, but a present reality. Living waters flow from this temple, the heavenly Jerusalem, bringing healing to the nations. The kingdom is a present reality, and living water is available to all. All are invited to come and drink.

Ezekiel also prophesies the arrival of the Kingdom: Ezekiel 37: 24And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. Ezekiel also prophesies the arrival of God’s tabernacle: Ezekiel 37:27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be m y people.

Ezekiel then sees the release or life giving waters: Ezekiel 47 1. Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. 2. T hen brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. 3. And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. 4. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. 5. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. 6. And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. 7. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.

9. And it shall come to pass, that everything that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh.

When these prophesies are seen through the lens of John’s Revelation, they must be applied to the heavenly Jerusalem; to apply them to the earthly Jerusalem is to misinterpret them and delay there fulfillment to the future, and regulate kingdom prophecies to the earthly, physical realm, and neglect the spiritual, and heavenly nature of the kingdom of God.

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