THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
#03-09103
New Jerusalem #13.
According to Zechariah’s Vision
September 4, 2009
As stated in the previous issue of this series, it is likely that when most Christians read the Old
Testament and see the word Jerusalem , they universally think of the earthly Jerusalem, either the
ancient or modern-day one in the state of Israel. In other words, every mention of Jerusalem is seen as
referring to a physical city on earth, which, by the way, is the great city which mystically is called Sodom
and Egypt, where also the Lord was crucified (Revelation 11:8). This great city is aligned with another
great city called Babylon the great, Mystery Babylon that will fall in one hour (Revelation 18). Sodom
represents the height of immorality, and Egypt represents the height of bondage, two traits that sum up
the mystery city that is the dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, a place of
immorality that has held captive the kings, merchants, and nations of the earth in its seductive power.
We need to study Jerusalem with spiritual sight. Or, as Paul wrote, we need to be taught by the Spirit,
combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words (1 Corinthians 2:13 NASB), or simply, spiritual with
spiritual. For this reason, when we read the Old Testament prophets, we need to transcend the earthly
and physical realm to ascend into God’s realm of spirit to receive God’s vision of Jerusalem.
Now, let us consider Zechariah and his vision of Jerusalem.
(1) Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a man with a measuring
line in his hand. (2) So I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure
Jerusalem, to see how wide it is and how long it is.” (3) And behold, the angel who was
speaking with me was going out, and another angel was coming out to meet him, (4) and
said to him, “Run, speak to that young man, saying, ‘Jerusalem will be inhabited without
walls because of the multitude of men and cattle within it. (5) For I,’ declares the LORD,
‘will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’” (Zechariah 2:1-5
NASB)
Just as John’s Patmos vision was revealed through the activity of angels, so was Zechariah’s vision. A
man was going forth to measure the dimensions of Jerusalem, just as the one speaking with John had a
gold measuring rod to measure New Jerusalem.
The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates
and its wall. (Revelation 21:15 NASB)
The actual dimensions of New Jerusalem will be taken up in a subsequent issue, but at this point, we
need to make note of the walls referenced by Zechariah.
The angel told the young man that Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude
of men and cattle. One might wonder how this could be a reference to spiritual Jerusalem if there are
cattle or livestock within it. We need to be reminded of Paul’s encouragement to the Romans.
(19) For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of
God. (20) For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who
subjected it, in hope (21) that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to
corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (22) For we know that the
whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (23) And
not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves
groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our
body. (Romans 8:19-23 NASB)
In other words, the future of creation is intimately linked with the manifestation of the sons of God, the
new creation in Christ that is represented as New Jerusalem. When Adam was given the mandate to
have dominion over the earth, he was told to rule over the cattle and over every living thing that moves
on the earth, so the cattle within Jerusalem refer to the dominion mandate given to the first Adam
(Genesis 1:26; 28) and recovered in the last Adam. The cattle simply represent all the creatures on earth
that will be set free from their groaning when the conquerors are set free from their groaning.
Although Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls, the Lord Himself declares that He will be a wall of
fire around her and be the glory in her midst. How do we reconcile that there is no wall and yet there is
a wall? It is easy when we see that the wall represents a spiritual boundary and not a physical structure.
A wall represents a boundary, either to keep something out or to protect something within.
Isaiah says that you will call your walls salvation and your gates praise (Isaiah 60:18). Thus,
the wall speaks of those who are saved, and only the saved are included in Jerusalem. But what protects
the saved if there is no physical wall? They are protected by the fiery law of God (Deuteronomy 33:2),
which is the word of the Lord. Through Jeremiah, the Lord declared: “Is not My word like fire and
like a hammer that shatters a rock?” (Jeremiah 23:29). His word or, more explicitly, His law is a
boundary against sin; it is a moral boundary. As John wrote, sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4); that is,
sin is acting apart from and contrary to God’s divine law. It is breaking His law.
John was clear that no one who breaks God’s law will enter New Jerusalem. Outside are the cowardly,
unbelieving, abominable, murderers, immoral persons, sorcerers, idolaters, liars, and all the unclean
(Revelation 21:8, 27). The wall of fire speaks of the Lord’s protection of His dwelling of God in spirit;
only the saved are constituted to be part of His city, and those within His city cannot break His law. It
speaks of protection within and without. Thus, New Jerusalem is bounded by a wall of salvation and a
wall of fire or the law of God. No one can merely walk into God’s dwelling in spirit; one must qualify to
enter through salvation, first, and conquering, second, if one is to be part of it in the next eon.
Continuing on, through Zechariah, the Lord exhorted His people that He had dispersed them to escape
from the daughter of Babylon.
(6) “Ho there! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the LORD, “for I have dispersed
you as the four winds of the heavens,” declares the LORD. (7) “Ho, Zion! Escape, you who
are living with the daughter of Babylon.” (8) For thus says the LORD of hosts, “After
glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you,
touches the apple of His eye.” (Zechariah 2:6-8 NASB)
Zechariah was raised up to speak to the Jews that had returned to Judah to rebuild the temple in
Jerusalem, but his vision was also for a time many millennia hence. John heard the voice out of heaven
saying in reference to Mystery Babylon: “Come out of her, my people” (Revelation 18:4). New
Jerusalem was in view as John heard the cry to come out. New Jerusalem is the apple of God’s eye.
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly [celestial]
Jerusalem…. (Hebrews 12:22 NASB [CV])
We who are saved have come to it, and we need to come out of all that is not of God. Mystery Babylon is
judged, and we need to be encouraged, for a new day and a new song are coming.
(10) “Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell
in your midst,” declares the LORD. (11) “Many nations will join themselves to the LORD
in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know
that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.” (Zechariah 2:10-11 NASB)
According to John, God will dwell among His people, and they will be His sons (Revelation 21:3, 7).
They are the ones who will sing a new song to the Lord, for they have been purchased with the blood of
God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation (Revelation 5:9). They are New
Jerusalem, safe and secure in Christ, and the nations will walk by their light and the kings of the earth
will bring their glory into it (Revelation 21:24).
Isaiah, Zechariah, and John all are in agreement, and we need to have their vision of New Jerusalem.
The Upward Call: #03-0103
by: Stuart H. Pouliot