His foundation is in the holy mountains.
The LORD loves the gates of Zion
More than all the other dwelling places of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you,
O city of God
– Psalm 87:2-3
Mt Zion is synonymous with the city of God, the city of David, the city of Jerusalem. Zion is the “holy mountains” on earth that the Lord loves and dwells with men. Zion means “highest point”. Zion is the hill where David built a citadel … a refuge and fortress. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” – Psalm 91:2. Zion also includes the “temple mount” area, Mt Moriah, the threshing floor that David purchased to build the Temple of God (2 Samuel 24:18-21). Moriah means “seen by Yahweh”.
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” – Isaiah 52:7
Mt Zion is the place where God saw the faithfulness of Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his only son, Isaac (Genesis 22:1-24) and it is the place where David pleaded with God for mercy to stay His hand of judgement for his disobedience and pride (1 Chronicles 21:14-18) and it is the place David purchased to built an altar to the Lord (1 Chronicles 21:18-30) and it is the place where David’s son, Solomon, build the first temple to God (2 Chronicles 3:1) and it is the place “Calvary” where the ultimate faithfulness and sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, occurred (Luke 23:33) to pay for the sins of the world, allowing those who believe in Him to enter into the Holy Place in Heaven (Hebrews 9:12). The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the gospel good news of our Salvation (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)!
Psalm 110:1 The LORD (Yahweh – Father) says to my Lord (Adon – Jesus): “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
2 The LORD (Yahweh – Father) will stretch forth Your (Adoni – Jesus) strong scepter from Zion, saying,“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”
Remember when Jesus rebuked the Scribes as if in a riddle to them, quoting from Psalm 110 to confirm His identity as the Son of God (Luke 20:42). “The Lord – God the Father” said to the Lord and Savior of David – “my Lord – God the Son” … come sit at my right hand. And this is where Jesus is now, ever since He ascended into Heaven … He is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven (Mark 16:19). Jesus is in Heaven preparing a place (the New Jerusalem) for His born again children (John 14:3). Jesus is making intercession for believers (Romans 8:34) as He waits to “rapture His Bride the Church” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) then He will bring judgement and discipline (Jacobs’ Trouble) upon the earth for 7 years (Daniel 9:27) – “The Day of the Lord”.
For the LORD has a day of vengeance, A year of recompense for the cause of Zion. – Isaiah 34:8
Ask now, and see
If a male can give birth.
Why do I see every man
With his hands on his loins, as a woman in childbirth?
And why have all faces turned pale?
Alas! for that day is great,
There is none like it;
And it is the time of Jacob’s distress,
But he will be saved from it. – Jeremiah 30:6-7
Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the LORD is coming; Surely it is near, – Joel 2:1
“And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls. – Joel 2:32
After the 7 year period of Tribulation/Wrath, Jesus will return with His resurrected Saints (Revelation 19:14) from Heaven to reign and rule over the earth from Mt Zion for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:6). And when Jesus returns to earth the remnant of Jews who have been protected during the Tribulation will recognize their Messiah “Jesus” (Zechariah 12:10) and serve Him in a new temple built on Mt Zion (Ezekiel 43:27). ”
Genesis 1: 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
Why are the Jews surprised that God would chose a human body to inhabit (Hebrews 10:5) since He made man in His image (Genesis 1:27)? Today, like during the time of Jesus, many Jews are preoccupied with the thought of their coming Messiah who will rule over the earth from Mt Zion. Unfortunately, the Jews (like most people) remain blind to the fact that Jesus is their Messiah and that Jesus must “first” rule in their heart (Colossians 3:15) before they can rule with Him! People are looking for peace in the world but the only way to have peace in this world is to first have peace with God by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus said “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him (John 5:43). The one who comes in his own name, as a man, boasting with promises that he can bring peace to the world is the Antichrist. Do not be deceived, there is no peace on this earth or in Heaven apart from Jesus … that is why He told us to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33)” not the a Kingdom on this earth. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm” (John 18:36).
In other words, at this time we are to tell people how to enter the Kingdom of God by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9) because Jesus is building Kingdom Citizens during the Church age … He is NOT ruling as a King over His Kingdom on earth at this time. Satan is still the prince of this world (John 12:31), until he is cast out, thrown in the Lake of Fire at the end of the Tribulation period (Revelation 20:1-2). Then at that time, all who have entered the Kingdom of God (Jew or Gentile) will reign and rule with Jesus from Mt Zion for 1,000 years (Revelation 2:26-27, Revelation 5:10, Revelation 19:15). Moreover, this is God’s plan for man from the very beginning, that man would multiply upon the earth, fill it and rule over it (Genesis 1:27-28). God’s plan has not been destroyed … it has only been delayed. After the Millennium period of 1,000 years the Lord will make a new Heaven and new Earth and the family of God’s Grace (those who have put their faith in Jesus) will fulfill God’s purpose that God had before the beginning of time (Genesis 1:28, Revelation 21:1-5)!
Even God signature letter “shin” (El Shaddai – God Almighty – peace and perfection) is clearly displayed upon Mt Zion. Note, in the image at the top of the page the letter shin is outlined in yellow by the three valleys in Jerusalem … from left to right, Hinnom (Gehenna), Tyropoen (Central) and Kidron (Jehoshaphat). These valleys separate Mt Zion (to the left – west) and Mt Moriah (to the right – east). Wow, what a awesome God we serve! Also note, the letter shin was used as a greeting among the Jewish priest … this is where Lenard Nimoy who played the character “Spock” on Star Trek came up with the idea for a Vulcan greeting (see below for more information about Spock and the Vulcan Greeting).
You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 2:5
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame” – 1 Peter 2:6
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, – Hebrews 12:22
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures (Psalm 118:22): ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’? – Matthew 21:42
Daniel 2:44“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45“Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”
Zion is not only a physical mountain in the land of Israel but it is also “Spiritual Mountain” where the “rock” of our Salvation (Jesus) is cut out by God (not human hands) and Jesus will one day destroys man’s Kingdoms (Daniel 2:45) which is depicted by the statue of the Gentile Kingdoms in the picture (head-gold-lion-Babylon, chest-silver-bear-Medo-Persia, belly and thighs-bronze-leopard-Greece and legs-iron-beast-Rome). The final Gentile kingdom represented by the toes of iron and clay are not clearly identified but the iron indicates it’s a revived Roman Empire with a a strong military force and “the clay” may indicate the 10 nations (like a United Nations) who are in league with the Antichrist (Revelation 17:12). The Beast overthrows “the harlot” the one world religion (which is also the great city of commerce – Babylon) who rides the Beast. The point is that Jesus is the rock and He destroys the kingdom of man and sets up His Millennium Kingdom (Revelation 19:15).
Jesus is this the chief cornerstone (1 Peter 2:6, Matthew 21:42) of the New Jerusalem city and believers are symbolized as “living stones” that are built upon the cornerstone of faith in Christ (1 Peter 2:5). As Jesus explained to Peter, our confession of faith in Christ is the “rock” of our Salvation upon which we are to build our lives upon (Matthew 16:18). I have read many commentaries about binding and loosening things on earth and I think Jesus is talking about our Spiritual walk with Him on earth … to bind means “to turn from or deny” the things that do not honor Jesus and to loose means “to embrace or allow” those things that do honor Jesus (Matthew 16:19).
Zion is a “Spiritual place in the heart of God” consisting of those who already do believe in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and those who will believe in Jesus in the future.
Zion is also like a “woman – mother” who gives birth to a believer of Jesus.
And Zion is like a “virgin Bride” who marries Jesus.
A believers body is also the temple of Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Our physical body is compared to a tent that will be destroyed but one day believers will have a Heavenly building, a resurrected body that is eternal! (2 Corinthians 5:1). Believers are also called the “body of Christ” on earth … Jesus is the head and we are His body with many members (1 Corinthians 12:12).
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; – 1 Peter 2:9
Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives. – Galatians 4:19 (NLT)
Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children. – Isaiah 66:8
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. – Revelation 12:1-2
Zion is also personified as a “Spiritual” person, a woman who gives birth to children, a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9) “prior” to her labor pain (Isaiah 66:8). Some see this woman who is clothed with the sun (Revelation 12:1) as Zion who gives birth (Rapture/Resurrection) to a man child (the Church) while she is in labor (danger within and without Israel) which begins the 7 year Tribulation period (Jacob’s Trouble). The Church is the “wild olive branches” that are grafted into the true vine of Jesus Christ, while the cultivated branches (Israel) have been temporarily broken off (Romans 11:17). Therefore, the Church shares in the promise of Salvation that comes from the Spiritual mountain of faith that is represented by Zion. The woman in (Revelation 12:1) also represents the believing remnant of Jews, Israel, who will flee into the wilderness and be protected during the Tribulation period (Revelation 12:6). At the end of the Tribulation, the nation of Israel will look upon Jesus and morn for Him whom they pierced and they will be saved …. the Jews will have a Spiritual birth “after” they go through the Labor pains of the Tribulation (Zechariah 12:10).
In contrast to the faithful woman of Zion is the whore of Babylon, the woman who rides the Beast. She represents the One World Religion of the Beast Kingdom, called the mother of harlots (Revelation 17:5) because she commits Spiritual adultery, allowing people to worship anything and anyone, except Jesus!
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. – Zechariah 9:9
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. – Matthew 23:37
Though she is beautiful and delicate, I will destroy the Daughter of Zion. – Jeremiah 4:31
The woman (Zion) gives birth to the man child (the Church) but Zion’s first born child is the daughter of Zion (the believing Jews). It is obvious from scripture that Jesus is the king of the Jews. It is Jesus who rode into Jerusalem on a colt on Palm Sunday (Zechariah 9:9, John 12:14) on the very day the Passover lambs were selected for sacrifice according to the Law (Exodus 12:3). And He was observed for 5 days according to the Law and He hung on the cross as our Passover Lamb and shed His blood at the very moment the Passover lambs were being sacrificed on the temple mount. It is Finished Indeed! (John 19:30) And Jesus rose from the dead on the day of the First Fruits festival! Jesus has fulfilled the Law which man is unable to do and because the Daughter of Zion does not acknowledge her Messiah which frees her from the condemnation of the Law, she is disciplined by God, as though God will destroy her but really He is bringing her to Salvation in Jesus!
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. – Revelation 21:2
for he (Abraham) was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. – Hebrews 11:10
Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children (those who try to keep the Law). But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother (those who are born again by faith in Jesus Christ). – Galatians 4:25-26
Not only is Mt Zion personified as a Spiritual Mountain and a Woman who gives birth but the “new Jerusalem” (the place that Jesus is preparing for those who believe in Him – John 14:3) is also personified as a bride adorned for her husband (Jesus) and the new Jerusalem will come down from Heaven and rest upon earth on Mt Zion! Paul spoke about presenting the Church as a Bride to Christ “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin”. – 2 Corinthians 11:2. I think “all” the Saints, even the Old Testament Saints will be included in the new Jerusalem city because by faith Abraham lived as an alien in the land of promise looking to one day live in the city whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:9-10). The Bride, the new Jerusalem, is finally complete when the age of mortal man is complete (after 7,000 years) and the Heaven and earth are redeemed … then all the “redeemed” (resurrected believers in Jesus) will come down to the new redeemed earth (Revelation 21:1) in the new Jerusalem city to live with Jesus forever!
The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. – Isaiah 33:5
|In other words, Zion is the “throne of God” on earth! When God thinks about real estate … location, location, location … He is thinking of Zion! It is no wonder that this place is desired by so many nations and has been the most sought after and fought over piece of real estate on planet earth. This is why nations play “king of the hill” for Mt Zion, so they will be seen sitting on the throne of god, ruling over the earth.|
Ezekiel 28:13 “You (Lucifer) were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The ruby, the topaz and the diamond;
The beryl, the onyx and the jasper;
The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald;
And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets (timbrels and pipes)
Was in you.
On the day that you were created
They were prepared.
14 “You (Lucifer) were the anointed cherub who covers,
And I placed you there (Garden of Eden).
You were on the holy mountain of God (Zion);
You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 “You were blameless in your ways
From the day you were created
Until unrighteousness was found in you (Satan).
*Note, I have added the names in parenthesis (click here for the reference)
Mt Zion is especially desired by Lucifer/Satan, who once “guarded over” the garden of Eden, on the holy mountain, as the anointed cherub until unrighteousness was found in him (Ezekiel 28:15). There is little written about when Lucifer held this position of righteous on the holy mountain (Zion), dressed like a Jewish priest with an “ephod” breastplate of 9 precious stones but when Satan shows up in the garden of Eden he has already fallen in sin and he is no more covered in his royal appearance but he has the body of a serpent and a tongue speaking lies (Genesis 3:1). As I say, it is unclear when Satan fell from righteousness and lead 1/3 of the Angles to fall with him. Some think Satan walked upon a “first” earth that God created in Genesis 1:1 and then God destroyed that earth because of Satan’s rebellions, which resulted in the formless and void earth described in Genesis 1:2. This idea that there was a previously existing heaven and earth between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 is called the “gap theory”. I don’t know if this is true or not but I tend to believe the Angels in the Spiritual realm didn’t have anything to fight among themselves about until they saw a woman, the wife of Adam … “Eve”!
The Jewish priest wore a ephod breastplate of 12 stones, which represented the 12 sons of Jacob/Israel (Exodus 28:21). The Jewish priest carried over their heart the names of the children of Israel as they interceded in prayer and made sacrifices before God for the children of Israel. Perhaps Lucifer’s originally position was to act like a priest, praying and interceding for man. It’s unclear why Lucifer had a breastplate of 9 stones instead of 12 stones, perhaps Lucifer’s stones represented 9 orders of Heavenly beings that he “covered” before his fall? The KJV translation states that the body of Satan had pipes and tambourines (Ezekiel 28:13), like a musical instrument … so perhaps Lucifer lead the Heavenly Angels in praise to the Lord before he fell from this position. Note, we have liberty in Christ to discuss and disagree on topics like this that are not essential to the doctrine of Salvation which is by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Second Order: Powers, Dominions, and Virtues
Third Order: Principalities, Archangels, and Angels
At the time of creation of heaven and earth all the Angels (sons of God) shouted for joy. I think the Spiritual realm of God (His throne room) and the Spiritual beings (the Angels) were created by God “prior” to the creation account of Genesis. I think the Spiritual realm is the third Heaven that Paul was caught up (2 Corinthians 12:2). I think the Spiritual beings enjoyed God (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) for an unknown period of time in Heaven … since there was no time (rising and setting of the Sun) prior to the creation of the physical realm – time and space. Moreover I think the creation account in Genesis 1:1 “the heavens and the earth” is talking about the first heaven (the sky – the atmosphere of earth) and the second heaven (the cosmos – outer space of planets and stars) but not the third Heaven (God’s Spiritual realm). I think the Angels were in agreement with the God (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) during the 6 days of creation when God announced that everything was “very good” (Genesis 1:31) … in fact they shouted for joy (Job 28:7)!
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? …. When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? – Job 38:4-7
My understanding of Ezekiel 28:13 is that Lucifer at one time guarded over the garden of Eden and he walked in the midst of the stones of fire … which may represent the company of other Angels. I think it’s possible that Lucifer’s origin duty was to watch over Adam and Eve on Mt Zion in the garden of Eden and train them in righteousness. Perhaps Lucifer’s job was to warm them NOT to eat from the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil but at some point Lucifer became jealous of the love and care that God poured out on these two weak and lowly creatures, especially in comparison to his splendor and capability. It’s hard to know what caused God’s most intelligent, talented and beautify creature, Lucifer, to fall from his position of glory as the chief praise leader for God to assume the position of number one trouble maker and abomination toward God.
Note, I discuss more about the two trees in the garden of Eden, the Tree of Life and the Knowledge of Good and Evil under the heading of Trees in the Bible (below).
But ever since the fall of Lucifer’s, his name was changed from “Light Bearer” to Satan, “the prince of the power of the air” of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience – Ephesians 2:2. Satan “masquerades” as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) but he has no light of life, only deception that leads to death. In fact Satan is a murderer and a liar (John 8:44). Satan murders and lies in order to “rule” over Zion and be it’s king. He pits nations against each other, to war against each other to be king of earth. Satan desires to bring the rule of “peace and safety” to earth under a false gospel of “humanism”, a global New World Order and a global One World religion. In a sense, Satan does rule in Zion when he rules in the hearts of people who believe the lie that man is good and they have not been “born again” in Christ Jesus. But Satan’s days to rule over Zion are numbered.
After Satan is cast out of Heaven (Revelation 12:9) and he commits the Abomination of Desolation in the temple in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), declaring himself to be god, at the mid-way point of the Tribulation, then he has only 3 1/2 years left before he is locked up for 1,000 years … only to be released for a short while and cause another brief rebellion on earth. Finally Satan, the Fallen Angels and all those who did not want Jesus to rule over them (unbelievers) will be finally thrown into the Lake of Fire to suffer for all eternity (Revelation 20:1-3).
This is what SIN is … it’s a Self Indulgent Nature that we inherited from Adam and Eve, a condition of Spiritual separation from God where we think we know what is best for us and we rationalize and we justify our actions to our self, to others to prove we are good before God. Even the rich young ruler who thought he kept the law perfectly was actually trusting in his ability and riches for his daily bread, not God (Matthew 19:16–30). Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Jesus didn’t debate with the young ruler or expose the immoral thoughts and actions of the young ruler, as He did with the Pharisees but He made it a personal issue (follow Me) … which made the young ruler think about who he was really trusting and following.
The Law reveals that we cannot follow God perfectly or love God perfectly … more specifically God did not create us to live a life apart from Him, trying to prove that we are worthy of our life. Each person is born a sinner like the rich young ruler, thinking we are rich and we can rule over our life deciding for our self what is good and evil. But the Law testifies against us and condemns everyone except Jesus who lived a perfect life before God (Matthew 5:48). It is our Self Indulgent Nature (SIN) that tries to justify our life before God but instead we need to surrender our life to God and allow Him to rule over our life and make us rich in Christ. That is why Jesus Christ came and died for us … He paid the penalty for our sin … He told us to loose our life and receive His life (Matthew 10:39). If we believe in Jesus Christ we acquire His righteousness before God (2 Corinthians 5:21) and we become redeemed and reconciled to God through Him … in Christ we have eternal life! Yet, if a person remains in a state of Spiritual separation and rebellion toward God and then when he dies his sin debt remains upon his our own head and he will face the judgement of God (Hebrews 9:27), eternal suffering in the Lake of Fire!
Indeed, the LORD will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places. And her wilderness He will make like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness will be found in her, Thanksgiving and sound of a melody. – Isaiah 51:3
‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’ – Revelation 2:7
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, – Revelation 21:10
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations – Revelation 22:1-2
But for those who love God … the faithful Angels and the believers in Christ … they will live eternally with Christ in the new Heaven and earth. God will restore the paradise lost with a new “Eden” and those who love God can drink freely from the “river of life” that flows from Mt Zion and eat freely from the “tree of life” that grows on both sides of the river! Amen.
Mt Zion is God’s holy mountain which represents the place where God came down to earth (as a man), to redeem man from his own reasoning (sin) so that man can be Spiritually united with God and enter into Heaven. Mt Babel is man’s counterfeit idea of a holy mountain, a way for man to reach up into Heaven by his own works and be accepted by God based on his own reasoning and works. The tower of Babel was built in the land of Shinar (Genesis 11:2) but it’s not clear where it was located, other than it was “east” of where Noah’s ark landed on Mt Ararat (Genesis 8:4). These two mountains, Mt Ararat and Mt Babel, seem to represent represent Gog/Magog (the rebellious end time army of man-iron) and end times Babylon (the rebellious end time spirit of man-clay). The tower of Babel was located in the region of Mesopotamia, either north or south of present day Babylon in Iraq (click here).
There is the epic story of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian leader in Mesopotamia, who fits the description of Nimrod, the architect of the first “ziggurat”, which means “to rise high”. A ziggurat is a temple tower which resembles an Egyptian pyramid. Note, I think all ziggurats and pyramids except the Great Pyramid of Giza were built to worship false gods of deception … Satan. I have more information about the meaning of the Great Pyramid below in this article. The point is all the false gods of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome like Baal, Bel, Zeus, Marduk, Isis, Osiris, Horus … etc have their origin in the story of Gilgamesh, which is a “counterfeit” story of the baby Jesus born to the virgin Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit. In the counterfeit story the baby is Tammuz (the resurrected spirit of Nimrod) who is miraculously born to a woman, Semiramis (the widowed wife of Nimrod – Queen of Babylon) from the Heavenly seed of Nimrod, after Nimrod was killed (click here).
Nimrod is a type of Antichrist, because he inspired people to work together to make a mountain out of a mole hill … the tower of Babel. The tower of Babel represents the gospel of humanism … if we just get together and get along we can build a utopia for man that doesn’t acknowledge our need for God. Our very breath is in His hands, yet in defiance of God many use their breath to profane the One sustaining them! God blessed Noah and told him to multiple and fill the earth (Genesis 9:1), just as He had told Adam and Eve after He created them (Genesis 1:28). Noah’s family was a new start for man to multiply and call upon the name of the Lord, after the seed of Adam had been corrupted by offspring with the fallen Angels (Genesis 6:1-3). God destroyed those on the earth by a flood, except Noah’s family of eight, to preserve the bloodline of Adam, in order to bring in the promised Messiah (Genesis 3:16).
God ruined the plan of Nimrod by confusing the language of men and scattering the 70 nations of Noah’s seed over the face of the earth (Genesis 10:1-32). God, from the beginning, had a plan to create nations, tribes and tongues of people and to bless them with Salvation though His Son, Jesus Christ. At Pentecost, God reversed the curse of tongues and all the people in Jerusalem were able to hear the good news of the gospel in their native tongue from the mouth of 120 Jews as the Holy Spirit descended like tongues of fire on each of them (Acts 2:3). Note, God has not abandoned His plan to have man to fill the earth and rule over it (Genesis 1:28) … this plan has only been delayed until after 7,000 years when God makes a new heaven and earth (Revelation 21:1) … and then those who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior will fulfill God’s plan to reign and rule with Christ over the earth.
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. – Revelation 22:1-2
Note, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Humanism) is no longer present in the New “Restored” Eden on the new “resurrected” earth (knowledge puffs up but love builds up), only the tree of life (Christ) is present and it stands on either side of the river of living water that flows from the throne of God. The leaves of the tree are a reminder that the nations are now healed, there is no division or curse upon the people because they are united in Christ. The leaves are perhaps different colors? It is likely that we will retain our racial identity in Heaven but we will not see it as a cause of division but of a cause of celebration for the diversity of our awesome creator God. Also, for those who think there is no time on the New Earth, there are 12 different fruits that come forth from the tree of life, one each month! This is the fruit of the month club you want to belong too.
Hebrews 7: 1For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. 3Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.
Mt Zion is also the location for the city of Salem before it was known as Jerusalem. Salem means “peace” which is derived from “shalom” and “Jeru” is derived from Jireh which means “provide” … Jerusalem is there the place where God “provides peace with men” … “The City of Peace”. Melchizedek, whose name means “king of righteousness,” was the priest/king of Salem and he blessed Abraham because God gave Abraham victory over 4 kings who had conquered 5 kings and captured his nephew Lot. Abraham in return gave Melchizedek a tithe of the items gathered from the victory as a thank offering or peace offering.
1 Corinthians 11: 23For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
Melchizedek was the pre-incarnate Jesus, a person of no earthly linage at that time (Hebrews 7:3). Abraham recognized Melchizedek as a priest who was Spiritually superior to himself, and Melchizedek recognized Abraham as his friend and shared in communion of wine and bread with him (Genesis 14:18-20). And this is the same thing we do today, when we share in communion of bread and wine, we recognize that Jesus Christ is our high priest in Heaven. Jesus gave his body and blood to pay for our sin, He was buried and rose from the grave. By belief in Jesus we have eternal life and fellowship with God and He is our eternal friend!
Zion vs Zionism
The love God has for Zion and “Zionism” are not the same thing. Zionism is a national movement of the Jewish people that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel. Zionism is good, to the extend that it recognizes that God is bringing the Jews back into Israel to raise up a “remnant” of believers in the last days (Jews who will look upon the Messiah they pierced, Jesus). Zionism is bad, to the extend that it is a movement of non-believing Jews and Gentiles to implement Noahide Laws to rule over the world from Zion in defiance of God by the false Messiah who will conqueror the world by force and trickery … i.e. the Antichrist!
The signs are evident that we are living in the last days when the Church is being compromised by apostasy and it’s Godly influence is diminishing in the world … at the same time the Jews are being “built up” and their influence is increasing in the world. God has a plan for the Church, His Bride, to be removed by the “Rapture” and then the seven year Tribulation will begin which is the time of Jacob’s trouble. The Jews at this time are preparing a temple to welcome the Antichrist Messiah who will declare himself to be god at the midway point of the Tribulation. God’s wrath will be poured out upon the earth for the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation period, while the remnant of Jewish believers are supernaturally hid in the wilderness.
At the end of the Tribulation period, Jesus will return to earth with His resurrected “Bride” and resurrected Tribulation Saints and set up His Millennium Kingdom. When Jesus returns the remnant of Jews will look upon Jesus who they pierced and receive Him as the true Messiah and the OT Saints will be resurrected on earth to attend the marriage supper. Then a magnificent temple will be built in Jerusalem and Jesus and His resurrected Saints will rule and reign with Christ from MT Zion for 1,000 years over the “sheep” people who survived the Tribulation.
God signature letter “Shin” – outlined on Mt Zion!
It is amazing to look at the Zion mountain valleys in Jerusalem that trace God’s signature letter “shin” and realize this is the place where the ultimate sacrifice for the sin of man was made by Jesus Christ. As you can see from the picture, there are also three primary mountains that are part of the city of Jerusalem, Mt Zion to the west, Mt Moriah in the middle (where the temple will be located when the Dome of the Rock is destroyed by God) and the Mt of Olives to the east. The “walled” city of Jerusalem and the temple mount is built upon the middle mountain of Mt Moriah but these three mountains are referred to as the Zion mountains, similar to the way the Appalachian mountains consist of several mountain ranges that stretch from Georgia to Maine (click here).
The highest point of Mt Moriah is Golgotha, or Mt Calvary, where Jesus was crucified. There is some controversy concerning the location of Golgotha … as you can see in this picture Golgotha is depicted as being “inside” the Jerusalem city wall, to the west of the temple area but it the location for Golgotha is most likely “Gordon’s Calvary” which is depicted “outside” the city wall, north of the temple, fulfilling scripture (Hebrews 13:12). Golgotha mean “place of the skull”, so named at that time because the Romans had excavated this area of the mountain and exposed the sheer face of the mountain, using the dirt to level the area for their Fort Antonia. The Romans then used this elevated area of Mt Calvary like a stage so everyone would see the crucifixions from the city below and be terrified of rebelling against their rule.
Numbers 19: 1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 “This is the statute of the law which the LORD has commanded, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel that they bring you an unblemished red heifer in which is no defect and on which a yoke has never been placed. 3‘ You shall give it to Eleazar the priest, and it shall be brought outside the camp and be slaughtered in his presence.
Jesus was crucified “outside” the gate of the city, on this hill, to fulfill the type of the Red Heifer that was sacrificed outside the camp (Numbers 19:3-9), taking our place for the death we are due because of our sin nature which is selfish, legalistic and rebellious toward God. Repentance toward sin is the “first thing” a person needs and the last thing a person wants. Repentance and Faith which grant a person Salvation are “all” a gift of grace from God (Ephesians 2:8-9) but the person “must be willing” to have Jesus be the Lord of their life (“to believe”) in order “to receive” these gifts and become a born again in Jesus Christ (Matthew 23:37).
Hebrews 13: 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.
And while the Red Heifer burned … cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet material were cast it into the midst of the burning heifer (Numbers 19:3-9). Then the ashes of this burnt offering were used to make purifying water for the congregation of the sons of Israel, who shall keep it as water to remove impurity; it is purification from sin. Isn’t it an interesting fact that there were 6 containers that held the purifying water at the Cana wedding and Jesus changed this water into wine (John 2:1-11)! Jesus is saying, I am the purifying water. I can change the sorrow of your sin into joy, if you will marry Me and cling to Me alone. I also think the 6 containers speak of the number of man (created on the sixth day) and the 6,000 years for sinful man to rule. I also see that this wedding occurs at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry with his disciples gathered with Him, which reminds me of the Rapture of the Church to a wedding in Heaven at the start of the Tribulation. After the Tribulation, the Jews will recognize Jesus as their Messiah Groom and there will be a marriage of the Lamb on earth (Revelation 19:7) and a Millennium honeymoon.
Genesis 22: 1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance. 5 Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” 6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.7 Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.
From the above passage we see that after “three days journey” Abraham and Issac and the “two young men who accompanied them” stopped when they reached Mt Moriah. I think the three days are reference to the three days that Jesus was in the grave before He rose from the dead (Matthew 16:21)! After the four stopped, just the two of them (the Father and the Son) went up up to the highest point to make the sacrifice. I think the scripture is saying that all four of them stopped at the Temple Mount of Mt Moriah and and only the Father and Son when to the highest point, or Mt Golgotha to make the sacrifice. The two other young men who waited behind represent “two witnesses”, like Moses and Elijah who were seen transfigured in glory with Jesus Christ (Matthew 17:2) and whose bodies will lay in the street of Jerusalem for 3 1/3 days and then rise in a resurrection/rapture at the mid-way point of the Tribulation (Revelation 11:7-13).
Issac carried the wood for the sacrifice, as a type of Jesus Christ who would later come and carry the cross to Calvary. Of course, Issac, Abraham’s only begotten son, was not sacrificed but God provided the animal sacrifice just like Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together” – Genesis 22:8). In this story, Issac represent a type of Christ, and Jesus, the only begotten son of God, who did sacrifice His life for the sin of man on Golgotha in 32 or 33 AD, the perfect lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
And Jesus did carry the wood for the sacrifice up the hill but He also had help from Simon (the father of Alexander and Rufus) from Cyrene, which is situated in modern-day Libya, on the northern coast of the African (Mark 15:21). Simon was a Jew and may have also been a black man. He was probably also a strong man who was up to the task of carrying the cross. Simon didn’t even know Jesus since he had just arrived into Jerusalem for the Passover festival, yet his name means “he has heard”. Though Simon was ordered to carry the cross by the Romans, later we see in scripture that he and his household became believers (Romans 16:13-14).
It is a bit of a mystery why God had Simon carry the cross but the cross represents the will of the Father for our life and Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. – Matthew 16:24“. It is not God’s will for our life that we should suffer and die on a cross to pay for our sins and it is not Gods’ will that we should try to do good works to pay for our sins but it is God’s will that we should identify with Jesus and the cross. When we deny our self, our self indulgent nature (sin), and do the will of God for our life then we identify with Christ, we suffer with Christ as we seek to do the right thing, even as we endure the shame and persecution of the world. In other worlds, our cross represents God’s will for our life and we “carry our cross” when we “trust and obey” God’s will for our life.
Of course we must first be “born again” to have the Holy Spirit in us … then we can fellowship with God and know His will for our life … and then we can carry our cross. This is the Die 2 Live theme of this web site. “In Christ” we live a “shared life” with Jesus … Jesus shares in our suffering as we strive to live righteously in this wicked world and we share in Christ’s suffering as we stand up for the righteousness of Christ. In reality it is Jesus who is carrying the believer up the mountain (by Grace through faith) … NOT to Calvary but Jesus is carrying His Bride up Mt Zion to the New Jerusalem, our eternal home!
Philippians 3:7But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
The Temple Mount
The Dome of the Rock is an Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was initially completed in 691–92 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik during the Second Fitna on the site of the Second Jewish Temple, destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Dome of the Rock is an abomination toward the God of the Bible who clearly brought the promise of His redemption through His only begotten son Jesus, from the linage of Abraham through the son of promise “Issac” from his wife Sarah (the Jews), not from the first son Ishmael, born from Hagar (the Arabs – Muslims). The religion of Islam, their prophet Muhammad and their god Allah are all demonic counterfeits of the one true God of Israel and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Note, the Second Jewish temple that was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD had been significantly upgraded and expanded by the half-Jewish, half-Edumean Herod, the Roman-appointed king of Judea in 20 BC. The disciples of Jesus pointed out the temple’s size and beauty but Jesus knew it would be destroyed because of their rejection of Him (Matthew 24:2). The First Jewish temple was build in the 10th century BC by King Solomon (1 Kings 5-9). It was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king in 586, when most of the Jews where taken captive to Babylon. After the fall of Babylon, the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to the Land of Israel, beginning in 538 BC and a rebuilt temple, the Second temple, was dedicated in 515 BC (I’m not sure about the accuracy of these dates).
Note, in this picture of Solomon’s temple the poles of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies are like nostrils, where God smells the sweet smelling offering from the golden altar of incense in the Holy Place (click here for more info). In Heaven, the golden altar represents the prayers of the Saints (Revelation 8:3-4), which are a sweet smelling offering to God.
Today, the Jews are anxious to build a Third temple, which they think will usher in the Messiah but this temple will be a place of desecration by the Antichrist at the mid-way point of Tribulation (Daniel 9:27). The Antichrist will declare himself to be god in the temple which is the Abomination of Desolation (Matthew 24:15). This is similar to what Antiochus (the Greek successor of Alexander the Great) did in 168 BC when he sacrificed a pig on the altar at the temple, inciting the Maccabean Revolt.
Actually NO temple should be built on the temple mount until “after” Jesus returns set up His Millennium Kingdom. During the Millennium Kingdom there will be a beautiful temple built on Mt Zion (Ezekiel 40:1 – 48:35) and the nations will come to offer an animal sacrifice there as a remembrance of sin and to worship of the Lord Jesus who takes away the sin of the world (Isaiah 56:7, Zechariah 14:16). Until Jesus returns to earth, believers are to remember Him by sharing in a communion of bread and wine, which represents His body and blood that paid for our sin (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
Jesus referred to His body as the temple of God that would be destroyed and raised up in 3 days! (John 2:19) and Paul said believer’s body are a temple where the Holy Spirit dwells (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Where is Temple mount really located? Where is the threshing floor that David bought and the place where Solomon built the first temple? There is increasing evidence that the Dome of the Rock does NOT sit upon the Temple mount but the real location is between the City of David and the Western wall.
According to Bob Cornuke the current location of the Dome of the Rock is NOT the location of the Temple mount where Solomon’s temple was built. There is very good evidence that the temple mount that Solomon’s temple and Herod’s temple stood upon is “south” of the current Dome of the Rock, in the northern part of the city of David. Furthermore, it is likely that the “Western Wall” is not part of the wall that enclosed the the Herod’s temple area but it is a wall that was part of the Roman “Fort Antonia” that was used during Jesus’ time. According to Josephus the historian of 70 AD, the temple and the stone walls were torn down. This fulfills what Jesus said, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down” – Matthew 24:2.
On the other hand, Derek Walker rebukes alternate Temple locations theories and says the Dome of the Rock is the place where Solomon’s temple and Herod’s temple was located and it will be the place where the third temple of the Tribulation period is built. He said the Roman fort would have been located north-west of the Temple mount, not on the temple mount. Also check out this article by the Oxford Bible Church supporting the fact that the Dome of the Rock sits over the Holy of Holies (click here).
Anyone looking for serious, factual archaeology and history on where the Temples stood, would do well starting with Dr. Leen Ritmeyer’s book, The Quest: Revealing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Among the rich illustrations and archaeological facts, the book also lists many old and outdated theories of where the Temple stood.
Spock and the Vulcan Greeting has Jewish roots:
In his autobiography I Am Not Spock, Lenard Nimoy who is of Jewish decent wrote that he based the Vulcan greeting in Startrek on the Priestly Blessing performed by Jewish Kohanim with both hands, thumb to thumb in this same position, representing the Hebrew letter Shin (ש), which has three upward strokes similar to the position of the thumb and fingers in the gesture. The letter Shin here stands for El Shaddai, meaning “Almighty (God)”, as well as for Shekinah and Shalom. Nimoy wrote that when he was a child, his grandfather took him to an Orthodox synagogue, where he saw the blessing performed and was impressed by it. Note, this information is provided from the Wikipedia entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulcan_salute.
The Mount of Olives
We have looked at Mt Zion, Mt Moriah, Mt Calvary and Mt Eden which is the mountain of God’s glory but to the east of this location is the location of God’s groaning. If you want to experience the glory and wonder of God go to the temple mount at Mt Zion but if you to know the heart of God go to the Mount of Olives. If you want to know God’s power and share in His suffering go to the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives and pray. The name Gethsemane means “oil press” and this is where Jesus was pressed upon to do the Father’s will. It’s also the place where Jesus gave His greatest revelation of the Father for us through the “The Sermon on the Mount – The Beatitudes – Thy Will be Done” and “The Olivet Discourse – Thy Kingdom Come”.
The Mount of Olives was the favorite place of Jesus … second only to the house of Mary, Martha and Lazarus in Bethany, which was also located on the Mount of Olives. It’s the place where Jesus renewed His strength with God in the garden of Gethsemane as He prayed alone in the evening and something through the night. The Mount of Olives is located to the east of Mt Zion, just outside the city gates of Jerusalem, separated by the Kidron Valley but just a few hundred yards outside the city. The Mount of Olives is part of the Zion mountain range in the heart of Israel. In Jesus time it was the place of many olive trees and the olive oil press was located in the garden of Gethsemane, at the base of the Mount of Olives.
Note, at the overlook area on the top of the Mount of Olives (the overlook area is shown in the picture above) on Sept 26, 2019 a lamb was sacrificed and burned on an altar by a person who represented a “Gentile” from a 70 Nation Organization who have agreed to follow the 7 laws of Noah or the Noahide law. The Jewish Sanhedrin are trying to replace the United Nations (UN) which is hostile to Israel with a 70 nation organization that operates under the covenant of 7 Noahide laws and will be friendly to Israel so that the Nations will receive a blessings from God and if possible advert the Gog/Magog war (click here). The Jewish nation is growing in strength and importance in the world, and many orthodox Jews are showing an interest that the Nations need to recognize the God of Israel … yet the Jews are not talking about the real Messiah Jesus but they are looking for a false Messiah, the Antichrist, who will deceive the world and bring judgement upon it for 7 years!
Jesus wants us to be joined to Him in prayer for His Kingdom to Come and His Will to be Done on earth as it is in Heaven. Our real life is NOT defined by what we have on earth or what we do on earth but what we have committed to God and agreed with God in prayer concerning His will for our life … our real life is hid in Christ (Colossians 3:3). Jesus told us to take up His yoke because His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:29).
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6
Jesus wants to carry our burdens and give us rest but He can’t do this if we insist on carrying our burdens and trying to deal with them our way, instead of trusting His way (Proverbs 3:5-6). Jesus doesn’t want us to remain under the condemnation of sin or under the anxiety of wondering if we will have enough food, clothing and shelter. Jesus provides for our needs and He carries our burdens. This doesn’t mean that we don’t suffer and feel the pressures of this word but it means Jesus suffers with us and comforts us in our suffering.
Jesus is interceding in prayer for us pleading with us to abide in His Grace and His rest as we endure the trails upon this earth. We groan on this earth because Jesus is groaning in Heaven (Romans 8:26). Jesus desires for everyone to be saved from sin and be free from the power of sin in their life. Jesus desires that everyone will know Him and everyone will know the joy of the life He has planned for them. Jesus longs for God’s Kingdom to come to earth so His will will be done on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10). All of creation groans for redemption from sin (Romans 8:22) and Jesus longs for the groaning to cease and for those who are slaves to sin to turn to Him. And those who do come to Him will have their tears of pain turned into shouts of joy when they have their redeemed body that is free from sin and death … an eternal life with Jesus that we can only imagine!
So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. – John 18:6
Jesus sweated blood in the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives … this is a rare condition when under extreme duress (Luke 22:44). The victory over sin was won in the garden when Jesus agreed to drink the cup of wrath from God for our sin (past, present and future). For those who put their faith in Him there is no condemnation from God (Romans 8:1). Jesus was betrayed in the garden by one of his disciples, Judas, with a kiss. And a cohort of Roman soldiers, between 300 to 600 came to arrest Him. Yet when Jesus claimed to be the great “I Am” these mighty soldier suddenly fell down on the backside, helplessly looking up at Him as though they had been conquered (John 18:6)! Obviously, it was Jesus who prepared Himself for His sacrificial death and He gave Himself over willing for this purpose.
Jesus’ body was placed in a garden tomb, not on the Mount of Olives but outside the city, near Golgotha (John 19:41). The tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, Joseph and Nicodemus were members of the Sanhedrin, who were secretly followers of Jesus. Jesus rose from the dead from this garden tomb, assuring us we too can have victory over death! It is in the quiet garden where we discover God’s will for our life, bury our own will and are resurrected in glory with Jesus!
Mountains in the Bible
Hebrews 12: 18 For you have not come to a mountain (Mt Sinai) that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, “IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT WILL BE STONED.” 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR and trembling.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
Mountains represent Spiritual governments on earth. In Hebrews chapter 12, Mt Zion is compared to Mt Sinai where Mt Zion is the mountain of Grace that brings forgiveness of sin, blessing and eternal life while Mt Sinai is the mountain of the Law that bring condemnation of sin, fear and death. There are also two other interesting mountain “Mt Hermon” to the north of Mt Zion and “Mt Nebo” to the east of Mt Zion. I think it’s provocative that these four mountains form a “Cross” along the Jordan River.
Psalm 68:15 A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan. 16 Why do you fume with envy, you mountains of many peaks? This is the mountain which God desires to dwell in; Yes, the Lord will dwell in it forever.
In the passage above (Psalm 68:15-16) the mountains of Bashan (Mt Hermon) taunt Mt Zion because they are higher in elevation that Mt Zion, yet Mt Zion is where God dwells. The “mountains of Basha” are Mt Hermon, in the Golan heights which is in present day Lebanon and Syria. Mt Hermon is the place of the Canaanite worship to the god Baal because to the pagan the higher the elevation the closer it was to reaching Heaven. This is similar to the mindset of Nimrod and those who built the tower of Babel, they were trying to make a mountain in order to reach God in Heaven by their works.
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” – Revelation 4:1
Man in his sinful nature tries to reach up to Heaven to prove himself acceptable to God but it is God who is reaching down to earth by Grace through His Son, Jesus, in order to redeem man so he can be brought up into Heaven. And by Revelation from Jesus, John the apostle was taken into the throne room of God though a open door into Heaven, where he heard a voice that sounded like a trumpet … “Come Up Here” (Revelation 4:1). Note, the similarities of this account where John is “caught up” to Heaven before describing the events of the Tribulation and the account of Paul concerning what will occur at the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)!
Another picture of a doorway to Heaven was seen by Jacob in a dream at Luz, which he renamed to Bethel, the house of God (Genesis 28:10-17). Jacob was on his way from Beersheba headed north toward Haran where his uncle Laban (the brother of Rebekah his mother) lived to take for himself a wife. In his dream Jacob saw angels going up and down a staircase that reached from Heaven to earth, with the Lord (pre-incarnate Jesus) at the top of the ladder. The Lord spoke to Jacob and confirmed the promise He made to Abraham and Issac, that his descendants would one day be in the land where he was resting, numerous like the dust of the earth spread out in all directions and though his descendants would all the families of the earth be blessed. Most commentators believe Bethel is north of Jerusalem but some think Bethel is Mt Moriah, the place of the temple mount, the city of God, the gateway to Heaven! When Jacob returns to Bethel, God blesses him and changes his name from “deceiver” to Israel (Genesis 35:10) “because you have struggled with God and with men, and you have prevailed.” (Genesis 32:28). Jacob did not win the wrestling match with God by his strength but he because He clung to God for His blessing … the promise of his inheritance … this was Jacob’s victory clinging to God’s promise (Genesis 32:26)
And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” – John 1:51.
And what does Jacob’s dream mean and why does Jesus tell his disciples that they will see this dream of Jacob’s come to fruition? I noticed that there is a subtle difference between Jacob’s dream and Jesus promise. Jacob sees Jesus in Heaven at the top of the staircase but Jesus tells his disciples that He is the Son of Man who has come to earth at the bottom of the staircase … and the Angels are now ascending to Heaven and descending from Heaven upon Him on earth. The “House of God” from Heaven was on earth in the person of Jesus Christ! The promise of the blessing to Jacob that all the families of the earth would be blessed was fulfilled in Jesus who was standing before them!
John 10: 7So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8“All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Jesus is the door to Heaven (John 10:9) and the good angels come to earth and minister to man under the direction from Jesus for the purpose of bringing Salvation to men (Hebrews 1:14). Jesus is also the door that man enters by Grace through faith in Jesus to have eternal life in Heaven. It is my opinion that the promise that Jesus made in John 1:51 was not fulfilled at His first coming but will be fulfilled at His Second Coming, when Jesus reigns and rules upon the earth for 1,000 years. At this time angels will come and go from heaven to earth from Mt Zion where Jesus reigns and it’s a good possibility that the Saints that reign and rule with Christ in their resurrected body can come and go from earth to Heaven too!
Note, some commentators believe Mt Hermon was the location where Jesus was transfigured along with Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1–8) but some commentator believe Jesus was transfigured at Mt Nebo! Note, Mt Nebo is the location where Elijah was taken to Heaven by the chariots of fire and Mt Nebo is the location where Moses was taken to Heaven by God since it is said that God Himself buried Moses and no man knows his burial place (Deuteronomy 34:5-7).
Mt Hermon was the home of the 5 nations that Israel did not conquer that were left to test Israel (Judges 3:3). This is the land where the giant Goliath lived along with his four Nephilim relatives (2 Samuel 21:22) who were probably related to Og the king of Bashan (Deuteronomy 3:11). My Hermon is said to be the place where the “watchers”, fallen Angels gathered during the pre-flood period. I think Mt Hermon could represent the home turf of the Antichrist in fulfillment of the Assyrian king who conquers Jerusalem (Isaiah 10:50-6). God uses the high peaks of Mt Hermon to teach a lesson that it’s not great appearance that please God but great character. Remember when Israel wanted a King, it was not Saul who was tall in statue that God’s blessings of leadership rested upon but David, a youth, who as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).
To the east of Mt Zion is “Mt Nebo”, the place where Moses saw the promise land of Canaan but he wan’t allowed to enter into it. Moses was not allowed into the promise land because he struck the “Rock” when he should have only spoken to it (Deuteronomy 32:51). Remember Moses was told to strike the rock, the first time, at Horeb which is Mt Sinai (Exodus 17:6). Jesus is the “Rock” of our Salvation and He was struck for our sins at the cross. When Moses struck the Rock on another occasion this was like crucifying Jesus again on the cross which is an abomination … “It is finished”! After you have been “born again”, don’t strike Jesus with words of repentance as if He needs to save you again or with works of repentance as if your need to do something to keep your Salvation but walk daily with Jesus, trusting His Grace for the good works He wants to do in you and through you (Philippians 1:6) and confess your sins to keep your conscience cleansed in fellowship with Jesus (1 John 1:9).
And He (the Lord) buried him (Moses) in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day. Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated. – Deuteronomy 34:6-7
Moses is said to have died on Mt Nebo when he was 120 years old but he still had the vigor of life … this seems contradictory to a person’s condition before death. And it was the Lord who buried Moses in place that no man knows about (Deuteronomy 34:5-7). So did Moses die on earth or did God take Moses to Heaven as He did Elijah? Why was there a dispute between the archangel Michael and Satan concerning the body of Moses (Jude 1:9)? There are many things that are a mystery to us at this time that will be revealed to us as we approach the end times or we will known these things when we are with Jesus before the end times Tribulation begins. Many believe the two witnesses that preach in Jerusalem for the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation are Moses and Elijah and these two witnesses will be Raptured/Resurrected at the mid-way point of the Tribulation (Revelation 11:1-13).
Genesis 17:7-8 I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Isaiah 62:4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
Psalm 121: 1I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
Isaiah 2:2 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Revelation 17: 8“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. 9“Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, 10and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. 11“The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction
Also some say that Jerusalem is the city of 7 hills (Revelation 17:9) where the woman (the false prophet) rides the beast kingdom (of the Antichrist) for the first 3 1/2 years until the woman is overthrown by the Antichrist (Revelation 17:16). http://www.biblestudy.org/maps/map-of-jerusalem-and-its-seven-hills.htm
Here a study of how God used three mountains (Mount Ararat, Mount Sinai and Mount Zion). in three Dispensations Ages (Patriarch believers, Jewish believers and Church believers) to teach the three timeless principles of (Salvation, Sacrifice and Promise). https://www.simplybible.com/f30l-magni-three-marvelous-mountains.htm
Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow Him
Our cross is the will of God for our life, just as the sin of man was the cross and will of God for Jesus to carry. We do not carry our sin but we are to walk with Jesus and allow Him to carry our sin and sanctify our life, to make it holy. God has prepared good works for us to do in the name of Jesus. We are to deny our old sin nature and follow Jesus in the Holy Spirit of our new born again nature in order to do the works that God has prepared for us. This is the “Die2Live” life that Jesus has called us to walk in until we are free from the presence of sin in, with Him in our resurrected body!.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. – Matthew 16:24
Have I have written a song about our walk with Jesus up Mt Calvary, which is leading us to the future city of God.
1. Up the hill to Calvary with Jesus and the cross
He carries things that weigh me down and only bring me loss
He reaches down to pull me up each step along the way
And burns up all my burdens in His all consuming flame
Up the hill to Calvary, my Jesus carries me
Up the mountain, to my home in that city made of gold
2. I see so many weary as we press along and climb
Your way Lord it is easy but the storms blow all the time
As I journey through this life as did the prophets old
I set my eyes upon You and that city made of gold
3. For that altar on that hill David paid a price
And Solomon build a temple there and gave a sacrifice
Abraham and Issac climbed, the Father and the Son
And offered there a sacrifice “God, Thy will be Done”
Climb, Lord, climb Praise God, You are mine
On my way back home to that city made of gold
Trees in the Bible
Trees in the Bible represent a Spiritual person or a Spiritual people group. The “Tree of Life” represents the person of Jesus Christ who gives life, both physical and eternal. The Tree of Life represents Spiritual “revelation” from God to man that brings reconciliation between God and man, which brings life. On the other hand the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” represents man’s reasoning, apart from a relationship with God, which brings death. It is not knowledge that brings death, but knowledge that is pursued for the purpose of glorifying self, outside the will of God that brings death. Knowledge that is pursued to know God, to serve God and make God known is “wisdom” … this gives God the glory and rewards the believer. However, knowledge that is pursued to “enlighten” men to do something without God for their own glory is “humanist” … it’s building of a New World Order of the Antichrist spirit in rebellion to God.
Jesus is also identified as “the grape vine” and believers in Jesus are the branches of the true vine who are meant to bear the fruit of repentance and good works in Jesus Christ (John 15:5). The believing Jews are the original branches of the grape vine and the Gentiles are the “wild” branches that are grafted in by grace through faith grace in Jesus Christ. Most importantly Jesus is represented by the “Tree of Calvary“. Jesus hung upon a wooden cross to pay for man’s sin debt and He provides a “way” to “reverse the curse” of death that began when Adam and Eve chose to eat from the forbidden fruit. Jesus is the Tree of “new” eternal Life, He gives life to those who receive Him by grace through faith.
The fig tree represents the nation of Israel which Jesus cursed when He found no fruit on it (Mark 11:12-25). The mighty oak represents the life of the faithful believer, standing strong and bearing much fruit and a faithful believer is also like the cedar trees in Lebanon which represent righteousness. The palm tree represents praise to the Lord, like a hand lifted up to Heaven and the unusually large mustard tree represents the church in the last days, puffed up in size because of apostasy teaching (leaven) and filled with both believers (wheat and sparrows) and unbelievers (tares and black birds). People are like “fruit trees”, the believer bears the good fruit that comes from abiding by Grace through faith in Jesus but the bad tree bears the bad fruit of humanism that is burned up! “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. – Matthew 7:17
It is not knowledge that brings death but knowledge that is pursued for the purpose outside the will of God that destroys and brings death. It what “seems” right to man but it is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12). Satan’s continues to tempt people and deceive people with the fruit from this tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, promising that the pursuit of knowledge of the world or knowledge from secret societies or knowledge from demonic rituals can “enlighten you” so you can have the good things in this world that God seems to be withholding from you.
And Satan can deliver success in this world and things that “seem” good … if you put your trust in the world, the flesh or the Devil. Satan even tried to temp Jesus in this way but Jesus overcame Satan with God’s word (Matthew 4:1-11)! Ever since Adam and Eve ate of this forbidden fruit all mankind is plagued with a fallen Self Indulgent Nature (SIN) that makes man think he can figure out what is good and what is evil on his own, without acknowledging God’s way (Isaiah 55:8-9). This demonic teaching is found in humanism, globalism and rebuilding of the tower of Babel … the New World Order. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me” – John 14:6. There is no wiggle room with Jesus … you are either in Jesus’ camp as a Spiritually “born again” child of God or you remain in Satan’s camp, as a Physically born child of Adam.
Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly. – Proverbs 3:18 NLT
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs – 3:5-6
You must first be “born again” in Jesus Christ to be spiritually re-connected to God and then God can instruct you with knowledge that is applied for the purpose that is “in the will of God” … this is called “wisdom”. The pursue of knowledge and the application of knowledge within the will of God will be rewarded by God. God is the giver of Light and Life, though a born again relationship with His Son Jesus Christ! God is the giver of all things good and He is the only One who is able to purpose knowledge so it can be used for good. Therefore man can learn to use knowledge for good, if He trusts and obeys God, or he can use knowledge for evil if he trusts his own reasoning.
Also have you ever noticed how the “Menorah” resembles the branches of a tree? Jesus is the “Branch” (Zechariah 3:8) and the “vine” (John 15:1). The 7 branches of the Menorah have 22 Almond blossoms. The Almond tree is the first tree to bud with new life in the Spring and it was Almond buds that appeared on Aaron’s staff to prove that the tribe of the Levi represented God to the Jews. The end of each branch has a cup which shines the light of the word upon my path (Psalm 119:105) by the oil of the Holy Spirit. The believer is also like a branch that is grafted into the true vine of Jesus Christ. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. – 1 John 15:5
Mold me like a Live Oak Tree by Rogersings +8^)
Oh mighty live oak, tall and old
How lovely do your branches fold
So long and bended by the wind
Yet strong to stand and not give in
You rise in beauty from the test
And shade the folks in need of rest
In Fall you do not shed your leaves
In winter you’re still evergreen
It’s hard to stand and forgive sin
But truth and love are found in Him
So Lord come do Your work in me
And mold me like a live oak tree
The seven branches of the Menorah represent the divine number of God, His 7 days of creation, His 7,000 years for sinful man on earth, His 7 Dispensations, His 7 feasts, His 7 Spirits, His 7 Churches, His 7 angels, His 7 years of Tribulation and His 7 (seal, trumpet, bowl and thunder) judgments. Wow, this is just another amazing piece of evidence that we have an Awesome Creator God! [youtube id=”LufsjQqYx-U”]
Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn. – John 21:11
The number 153 has some fascinating mathematical properties and most commentators think the large number of fist has something to do with the large harvest of Church Age believers. I found that the word “Zion” is referenced 153 in the Bible so perhaps this is an amazing way that the Lord is confirming His love for Zion which is like the net that holds all the believing Church.
Jesus, the Example Hebrews 12
1Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
A Father’s Discipline
4You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
5and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD,
NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;
6FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
7It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
12Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
14Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.17For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.
Contrast of Sinai and Zion
18For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20For they could not bear the command, “IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT WILL BE STONED.” 21And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR and trembling.” 22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,23to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
The Unshaken Kingdom
25See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. 26And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” 27This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29for our God is a consuming fire.