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                 WHO IS TRUE MORAL TSIYOWN/ZION?

                                   

             THE REDEEMED HOUSE OF JACOB/JOSEPH!

 There is a word in the Bible that conceals a great mystery. The word is “Tsiyown/ZION.” It appears numerous times in the Old Testament. In the New Testament it appears seven times by name. But its significant implications rise to a fullness of meaning that is beautiful to behold.

 In the sheer weight of its importance, it offers a
historical insight into Scripture that is unparalleled. We shall examine its meanings and purposes – past, present and future. In history and prophecy, few terms can match its grandeur. Not only can it be studied historically, but geographically, culturally, theologically, metaphysically and prophetically.

 As we progress, we’ll touch upon the metaphysical truths associated with ZION and its uses as a symbol of YHWH’s redemptive work among His elect.

 But perhaps the best way to begin this study is to look at the historical ZION, a geographic location associated with a key event in the life of MALKI DAVID. His reign began in Hebron. At the same time, the Jebusites controlled Mt. Moriah. It had long been a choice site, favorably situated on high ground for defense, and possessed of a long spiritual history. A thousand years before, in the days of Abraham, MALKI TZEDIK had presided over this region, known as Salem.

                                             ZION’s Historical Provenance

 ZION is the name of a physical location. Though it never appears on maps of the Holy Land, it is, nevertheless, a well-defined section of terra firma. It defines the city of Jerusalem. Over the long ages of Hebrew history, it has been contested by many pretenders to the throne of world dominion. Biblically, of course, we know that this parcel of land has been promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Twelve Tribes and the throne of MALKI DAVID through the line of Judah.

 With this in mind, let us review ZION’s historical provenance, or line of possession, as presented in the Bible.

 The first time the word “ZION” is used in the Bible, it records MALKI DAVID’s victory over the Jebusites:

 “MALKI DAVID was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

 “In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.

 “And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto MALKI DAVID, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, MALKI DAVID cannot come in hither.

 “Nevertheless MALKI DAVID took the strong hold of ZION: the same is the city of MALKI DAVID.

 “And MALKI DAVID said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of MALKI DAVID’s soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.

 “So MALKI DAVID dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of MALKI DAVID. And MALKI DAVID built round about from Millo and inward.

 “And MALKI DAVID went on, and grew great, and the ELOHIM of YHWH of hosts was with him” (II Samuel 5:4-10).

 The ancient area that would later come to be known as Jerusalem was situated on a plateau. Below, on the west and south side of this low mountain, was the “king’s dale,” mentioned in Genesis 14:17 as the meeting place of Abraham and MALKI TZEDIK.

 Later, Abraham returns to the same place. In Genesis 22,  YHWH instructs him to travel to the “land of Moriah,” and to offer Isaac upon one of the mountains there. This is the Mt. Moriah upon which Solomon later built the First Tabernacle.

 On the east side of Moriah’s plateau was the Brook Kidron. Between them, the valley called Hinnom divided the high ground. Between the brook and the valley was a long, narrow ridge of rising ground. At its southern end, the fortress of Jebus. It was extremely well fortified, and had access to a spring that could be reached from within the fortress by a hidden tunnel.

 This vertical shaft had been cut over 120 feet through solid rock in times so ancient that no historical record exists telling who had accomplished the magnificent feat. Some say that it dates all the way back to MALKI TZEDIK, in the days of Abraham. Whatever its origins, it enabled the residents of the city to supply themselves with water, should their habitation ever come under siege.

 They felt so secure in their rocky fort that one of them had taunted MALKI DAVID, saying that “the lame and the blind” were all they needed to defend themselves. The king responded by proclaiming that whoever should be first to climb up the “gutter” (subterranean aqueduct) into the city would be made commander-in-chief of his forces. The valiant Joab accomplished the deed, and the city was breached.

 In the years following, a wealthy Jebusite named Araunah became important in the development of the site for an altar and the coming Tabernacle. His name means “Lord” or “aristocrat.” He was a nobleman who had apparently helped MALKI DAVID to overthrow the fortified city.

 
Josephus writes of him, that he “…was a wealthy man among the Jebusites, but was not slain by MALKI DAVID in the siege of Jerusalem because of the good will he bore to the Hebrews, and a particular benignity and affection which he had to the king himself” (Ant. VII,III,3).

 MALKI DAVID paid him the large sum of fifty silver shekels for the threshing floor (II Samuel 24:24) and six hundred shekels of gold for the so-called “place” (I
Chronicles 21:25), that is, the top of Mt. Moriah.

 The location is clearly linked to Solomon’s final choice for the Tabernacle site, as given in II
Chronicles 3:1:

 “Then Solomon began to build the house of YHWH at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where YHWH appeared unto MALKI DAVID his father, in the place that MALKI DAVID had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.” (In this verse, “Ornan” is the Hebrew spelling for “Araunah.”)

 Thus, the history of Mt. Moriah is defined from the early days of the patriarch Abraham, who met MALKI TZEDIK, king of Salem, at the king’s dale. Later, YHWH instructed him to take Isaac to Moriah, to the top of a mountain there.

 It was this site that later came into the possession of Araunah and was sold to King MALKI DAVID at YHWH’s own instruction. Mount ZION was not chosen arbitrarily. It was far more than a convenient location for a center of worship. YHWH, Himself, led Abraham and MALKI DAVID to the hill. There was something remarkable about this place.

                                                The Gates of ZION

 Among the many qualities that make Mt. ZION so extraordinary is YHWH’s view of it. From among all the Earth’s beautiful landscapes, seascapes and mountain vistas, He has chosen this place, predestinating it to oversee the establishment of His kingdom. Psalm 87 is a poetic statement of His love for this place. Its seven verses constitute a complete statement of YHWH’s adoration for the historic, holy mountain:

“A Psalm or Song for the sons of Korah.

“His foundation is in the holy mountains.

 “YHWH loveth the gates of ZION more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

“Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of YHWH. Selah.

 “I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.

 “And of ZION it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.

 “YHWH shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.

 “As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.”

 Judahite teaching concerning this Psalm recalls the historic fact that Korah’s sons refused to join in his revolt. Korah, great-grandson of Levi, was condemned to death by divine judgment. By contrast, his offspring were greatly respected. In MALKI DAVID’s era, the offspring of Korah were one of the most renowned families of the Levite Tribe. They were MALKI DAVID’s staunchest defenders. As far back as the days of Moses, they had been elected watchmen over the entrances to the camp. After the Tabernacle was built in the days of Solomon, they were said to be keepers of the Tabernacle gates. They composed this song of praise to Jerusalem. Its prophetic view is remarkable, indeed.

 In Scripture, “gates” refer to seats of authority, administration and courts of justice. Of course, they protect the city from the enemy, but they are also said to be gathering places for the city elders, as in Deuteronomy 21:19, where a rebellious son is to be brought for correction:
“Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place.”

 When Boaz had questions concerning the legalities of his possible marriage to Ruth, he took it before the elders of the gate:

 “Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down” (Ruth 4:1).

 Seen in this light, the “gates of ZION” are the ultimate expression of YHWH’s administration on planet Earth during the Kingdom Age. Of all the territory granted to Abraham for the Twelve Tribes, YHWH loves this place above them all. And no wonder, since Hebrew history tells us that Jerusalem has traditionally had thirteen gates – one for each of the Twelve Tribes, plus one for everyone else who would enter. They symbolize entry points for the redeemed of all the ages.

                                                   ZION, the Excellent Sword

 Prophetically, Psalm 87 is one of the richest of all the Psalms. It begins with a statement about a foundation, laid in the holy mountains.

 It is fascinating that the word “ZION” is inscrutable in terms of a single, express meaning. Etymologically, it is a composite of several Hebrew words that convey the ideas associated with the creation of a lasting structure.

 For example, one of its roots is zoh, meaning “foundation,” “to erect,” or, “a monument.” Other roots are zahah and zih, which speak of “a structure,” or building. It also contains the idea of zihn, [ihz], “to protect.” Some Talmudic scholars say that, by extension, ZION is to be interpreted as mitzuyan, “outstanding,” “distinguished,” or “excellent.”

 Taken together, these ideas are representative of a monumental tribute to YHWH’s power, a structure whose eternal protection encloses the saints of all ages.

 The central idea of ZION is the expression of YHWH’s faithfulness toward mankind, and man’s righteous perseverance toward the final perfection of faith.

 Yet it is more than just a metaphor; it is a city. It is Jerusalem. And ultimately, it is the New Jerusalem.

 The third verse of Psalm 87 hints at these glories to come. Here, it is called the “city of YHWH.” This is another reminder of Abraham’s faith. As given in Hebrews 11:10, “… he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is YHWH.”

 The future glories are mentioned as a reminder to the faithful that the present struggles to establish ZION are far from complete. At the end of Psalm 87:6 is the word “Selah.”

 It is a reminder that the reader should pause, remember and meditate upon the foregoing idea.

 The splendor of ZION is the subject of the Bible, reaching its height in the New Testament city called, “New Jerusalem.”

                                                 The World System

 Psalm 87:4 speaks cryptically of Rahab and Babylon. Here, YHWH, Himself, takes up the discourse, making mention to the wise. After all, a word to the wise is enough. Those who have studied Scripture know that the rise of ZION means the fall of the nations.

 In Hebrew, rahab [cvr] means, “arrogant.” But it is also a metaphor for Egypt, which is the Bible’s leading type of the world system. Historically, Egypt was allowed, by YHWH, to help Israel in times of famine. But their help came with a price. Israel became enslaved to their system.

 Egypt is referred to as the southern power. In Isaiah 30:6 and 7, we see YHWH’s view of Egypt:

 “The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.

 “For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.”

 Here, the word “strength” is translated from rahab. This verse says that the Egyptians core of strength is Rahab.

 The Jews teach that Rahab is the monster of the deep sea, who represents the world system of the latter days. Isaiah 51:9 speaks of Rahab in this very way:

 “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of YHWH; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?”

 Psalm 89:9 and 10 speak of Rahab’s destruction in the context of YHWH’s final judgment of the nations:

 “Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.

 “Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm.”

 Rahab is finally seen in Revelation 13, as John watches him rise to power before his final judgment. He is the ultimate expression of global power, a serpent, in league with various great nations:

 “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

 “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Rev. 13:1,2).

 Psalm 87:4 also mentions Babylon, the northern power, and the birthplace of pagan idolatry. The gods of Babylon gave birth to the mystery religion of Ishtar and Tammuz. Its occult worship of death and rebirth established the pattern taken up in Egypt, Greece and Rome.

 In the New Testament, “MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT” is the “mother of harlots.” It is the antithesis of the New Jerusalem, the Holy City called ZION in the Old Testament. The mystery city of Revelation 18 is to be interpreted symbolically and allegorically. Some have called it Rome; others have stated that it has a global presence. But its two intertwined parts – corrupted religion and fraudulent commercialism – are destroyed almost overnight.

 Taken together, Rahab and Babylon represent the latter-day internationalist despotism, finally taken into control by, none other than, the Antichrist. They represent the worst in politics, religion and commercialism.

 Psalm 87:4 continues by mentioning three other types of Gentile world power:

“... behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.”

 First come the Philistines. These ancient “sea people” came to Israel from the isles of the Mediterranean. They represent outside invaders who attempt to take over the Land. The original Philistines were lovers of battle. Though they faded from history around the 9th century B.C., their name became indelibly imprinted on the Holy Land.

 The world insists upon calling Israel “Palestine,” in memory of the Philistines, to this very day. Others, who have come in contemporary times to make the same claim as their ancient namesakes, are relying upon the world to forget that theirs is a false heritage. Interestingly, the modern “Palestinians” are also invaders from outside the Land.

 Tyre, mentioned next, is the seat of the ancient Phoenician traders. They are called the “merchants of Tarshish.” They are the Bible’s perfect symbol of arrogant globalism. Tyre’s traders spurned the laws of any land, preferring to live by the law of the sea, that favored their own accumulation of wealth and power. They were rich and proud, and are the symbol of this class of Gentile despotism.

 Finally, we come to Ethiopia, which is translated from the Hebrew, “Cush.” Isaiah 18 envisions Ethiopia as a faraway nation, which fell into disrepute. In the end, however, some of them returned to ZION. They seem to represent a dispersed mixed people, fallen on hard times. Modern Cush encompasses the Sudan, Ethiopia, and parts of Egypt and Libya.

 After mentioning these five national types (Rahab, Babylon, Philistia, Tyre, and Ethiopia), we find the curious note that, “… this man was born there” (Psalm 87:4). Since the subject has been the world system, we must assume that YHWH is noting those who are born to this system. In the light of the verses that follow, we assume that this is a final accounting of those condemned to be counted part of the world system.

 Then, in Psalm 87:5, by contrast, we come again to ZION, city of YHWHand home of the redeemed. Here, YHWH is accounting those elect who will make up His kingdom. We are reminded of Daniel 7:10, in which YHWH takes up the work of the final judgment of the nations. There, we find the words, “… the judgment was set, and the books were opened.”

 The phrase, “this and that man” (Psalm 87:5) is translated from a Hebrew expression that means “each and every single individual.” Among the redeemed, each individual will be given special care and consideration. It is in this final tally of the people that the foundation of ZION will, at last, be brought to fulfillment.

 Psalm 87:6 depicts YHWH writing up the people. Clearly, this is the accounting process that will discriminate between the living and the dead:

 “YHWH shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.”

 There will be a day, perhaps most clearly seen in the book of Revelation, when the redeemed will be placed with finality in the book of life:

 “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

 “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before YHWH; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life...” (Rev. 20:11,12).

 Note that Psalm 87:6 is followed by a second “Selah.” As we pause to consider those born in ZION, it becomes obvious that the fortress of ZION is a magnificent symbol of safety for those who receive YHWH’s salvation, and are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 Psalm 87:7 brings us to a scene of great jubilation, in which “singers and players” mark the deliverance of those safe in Mashiach. Perhaps we are looking at another view of Revelation 14, in which heaven celebrates the deliverance of the 144,000:

 “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

 “And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

 “And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth” (Revelation 14:1-3).

                                          The Remarkable Number 153

 There is a remarkable witness to the spiritual qualities evoked in references to ZION. It lies in the interesting fact that the word “ZION” is used 153 times in the King James Version Old Testament. (Parenthetically, in the KJV, it is seen two additional times, spelled as “Sion.” Once, in Deuteronomy 4:48, it is a different word, used as a designation for Mt. Hermon. On the other occasion, in Psalm 65:1, it is a designation for YHWHin heaven.)

 What makes the number 153 interesting is that it has long been thought to have great spiritual significance. Perhaps its most significant appearance is in the last chapter of John’s Gospel. There, he tells the extraordinary story of YEHOWSHUA’ post-resurrection meeting with the disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The heart of the encounter is a miracle, in which professional fishermen are given a spiritual lesson about fishing.

 “After these things YEHOWSHUA showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise showed he himself.

 “There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

 “Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

 “But when the morning was now come, YEHOWSHUA stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was YEHOWSHUA.

 “Then YEHOWSHUA saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.

 “And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

 “Therefore that disciple whom YEHOWSHUA loved saith unto Peter, It is YHWH. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was YHWH, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

 “And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.

 “As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.

“YEHOWSHUA saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.

 “Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken” (John 21:1-11).

 This incident, in addition to being a touching account of the relationship between YEHOWSHUA and His disciples, is the remarkable depiction of His plan to spread the Gospel.

 Here, the Sea of Galilee is called by its Gentile name, “Tiberias.” This foreshadows the going forth of the Gospel into the Roman Empire and the Gentile world at large.

 This brief description of a fishing trip at night is the remarkable symbol of things to come, as the disciples go forth with the good news. Then and now, it is not uncommon for fishermen to spread their nets at night, using lantern light to attract the fish. Peter, doubtless still under enormous self-reproach for the public denial of his YHWH, wants to return to his former occupation as a fisherman. Through the night, he and his partners labor in the flesh, only to come up empty-handed.

 The next morning, YEHOWSHUA appears on the shore. He directs their fishing efforts, and in a single moment, they experience a miraculous harvest of fish … big fish. It is Simon Peter who drags the net to shore. Though he doesn’t realize it at the moment, the enormous catch is the symbol of the work that he and others will do in the founding of the church. His accomplishment comes in the strength and direction of YHWH. The Redeemer directs His redemption.

 This vignette takes us back to the original calling of the disciples in Matthew 4. YEHOWSHUA took ordinary fishermen and promised to make them into something new. They would, henceforth, fish for the souls of men:

 “And YEHOWSHUA, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

 “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

“And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

 “And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them” (Matthew 4:18-21).

 The final chapter of John shows them trying to return to their “normal” lives. By His actions, YEHOWSHUA graphically demonstrated to them that their true calling was spiritual in nature.

 From the earliest days of biblical commentary, thoughtful readers have been amazed at the simple and direct way that YEHOWSHUA allows us to know His thoughts. But most especially, they have wondered at the mysterious nature of the catch – those one-hundred and fifty-three great fish. Why that number? Why 153?

 At no time does the Bible ever include the slightest fragment of wasted information. Numbers, in particular are freighted with meaning. One is the Creator; two is division; three, the Godhead; four, the Kingdom; five is grace; six, the number of man; and seven, the statement of completion.

 But 153? It must have great significance. E. W. Bullinger, in his groundbreaking 1894 book, Number in Scripture, commented upon Augustine’s idea about the mysterious number. “He and other commentators see in this number some connection with the saved, as being definite and particular down even to the last one, making up not a large round number, but a smaller and odd number, 153. They saw in this a proof of the fact that the number of the elect is fixed and pre-ordained.”

 Bullinger comments further on the matter. “Jerome also sees there is some deeper meaning in the number, and says that there are 153 sorts of fish, i.e., all kinds of men enclosed in the Gospel net.”

 He writes that many numerical schemes have been generated in a series of attempts to bring meaning to the divine number. In one example, Augustine took the sum of all the digits up to and including the number 17, beginning with 1+2+3, and so on up to 15+16+17=153. This curiosity emphasizes the number 17, but does nothing to explain the meaning of the number, itself.

 But then, in an amazing burst of insight, Bullinger discovered that the Old Testament phrase, “sons of YHWH” contains the same, mystical number. In Hebrew, each letter is also a number, so that words and expressions add up to meaningful numbers. In the case of “sons of YHWH,” the letters of the Hebrew b’nai ha’elohim add up to exactly 153!

 Bullinger reasoned that this expression is nothing less than, “the number of the Sons of YHWH.” He quite rightly reckoned that since the redeemed are called, “joint-heirs with Mashiach” in Romans 8:17, they are also to be seen as the sons of YHWH.

 To further illustrate the point, Bullinger noted that “amongst the multitudes who received direct blessing from Mashiach there are recorded exactly 153 individual cases.” In his book, he goes on to mention them by name and Scripture verse.

                                      ZION, the Redeemed of All Ages

 As we have seen, the historical “fortress of ZION” is also the city “whose builder and maker is YHWH.” The city of Abraham and MALKI TZEDIK is the foundational city of redemption.

 As a descriptive term, ZION illustrates both the foundation of redemption, and the final, finished structure. Isaiah 28:16, written to the apostate northern tribes of Israel, is YHWH’s proclamation that He will not allow them to destroy His plan:

 “Therefore thus saith YHWH YHWH, Behold, I lay in ZION for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”

 Both Houses realize that the foundation is more than a physical stone. It is YHWH, who came and was rejected, as in Psalm 118:22, where we read, “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.”

 The Tabernacle of Solomon, torn down and rebuilt again in the days of Herod’s  “Second Tabernacle,” is the physical model of the heavenly Tabernacle. On a future day, the millennial Tabernacle will be built by YHWH, Himself. In fact, the name of that place will ultimately be YHWHShamah, “YHWH is there” (Ezekiel 48:35).

 The awe-inspiring conditions which will mark the entry into that period are given in Isaiah 24:23:

 “Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when YHWH of hosts shall reign in mount ZION, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.”

 The final disposition of ZION is to be the home of the redeemed. The House of MALKI DAVID will, at last, come to their promised place and live in peace:

 “Therefore the redeemed of YHWH shall return, and come with singing unto ZION; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away” (Isaiah 51:11).

 This beautiful prophecy becomes fully realized in the New Testament book of Revelation, where the one-hundred and forty-four thousand are seen standing on Mt. ZION. They are the brilliant gem of redeemed Israel, and the realization of Old Testament prophecy.

 When He came the first time, the Chief Cornerstone (Mashiach) was rejected, and He became the Foundation for the church. Thus, the concepts of ZION in the New Testament are metaphysical, spiritual and prophetic.

                                          ZION in the New Testament

 In the New Testament, “ZION” appears exactly seven times. In the King James Version of the Bible, it appears as “Sion,” in accordance with its initial letter, as spelled in the Greek language. Though it appears this way, it is used in the same spiritual sense as its Old Testament counterpart. As might be expected, many of its uses are direct quotes from the Old Testament.

 In the Gospels of Matthew and John, the long-awaited MALKI TZEDIK Messiah - is announced to the “daughter of ZION.” This call to the Judahites elders should have alerted them to all the Old Testament prophecies having to do with His Coming.

 In Romans 9:33, ZION is mentioned in a reference from Psalm 118:22. Paul uses this as an reminder that Israel failed to receive their Messiah, instead perceiving Him as a “stumblingstone and a rock of offence.” In Romans 11:26, Paul quotes from Isaiah 59:20, “There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”

 ZION is also seen in the figurative language of Paul’s writings. Recalling that one of ZION’s chief meanings is “foundation,” it makes perfect sense that Paul would describe his ministry and the outworking of salvation in the language of ZION:

 “According to the grace of YHWHwhich is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is YEHOWSHUA HaMashiach.

 “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble” (I Corinthians 3:10-12).

 This thought is also found in Ephesians, the epistle dedicated to the believer’s position in Mashiach. In the second chapter, Paul describes the body of Mashiach as being spiritually incorporated into the very structure of YHWH’s Tabernacle. Though it is impossible for mere humans to imagine being engineered into the very structure of a building, it is, nevertheless, a metaphysical truth. In the Kingdom of Heaven, the physical and the spiritual become one.

                                    This is the New Testament ZION:

 “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of YHWH;

 “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, YEHOWSHUA HaMashiach himself being the chief corner stone;

“In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy Tabernacle in YHWH:

“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of YHWHthrough the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22).

 The Apostle Peter also sees the church as a living structure – spiritual ZION:

 “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of YHWH, and precious,

 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to YHWH by YEHOWSHUA HaMashiach.

 “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

 “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner” (I Peter 2:4-7).

 This idea is mirrored in a wonderful statement directed toward the Philadelphian church. Revelation 3:12 connects the statements of Paul and Peter with the ancient dream of ZION and the prophesied New Jerusalem:

 “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the Tabernacle of my YHWH, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my YHWH, and the name of the city of my YHWH, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my YHWH: and I will write upon him my new name.”

 The book of Hebrews was written to persuade Hebrew-Christian believers of the superiority of Mashiach as High Priest, and the efficacy of His blood offering. In the process, it contrasts Mt. Horeb, the place of the Law, with Mt. ZION, the place of grace and truth:

 “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living YHWH, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22).

 Here, at last, is seen the beautiful city of YHWH, and the final dwelling place of all the redeemed. With his spiritual eyes, Abraham saw this city, and knew that YHWHwould bring him there in the end. The Apostle John was blessed with a vision of this city, which he wrote about in Revelation 21:10-14:

 “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from YHWH,

 “Having the glory of YHWH: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

 “And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

 “On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

 “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

 Here, at last, is the heavenly ZION. Beautiful beyond comprehension, its gates and foundations bring together the leaders of both houses of Israel and the assembly. It is the summation of YHWH’s long-term plan to redeem the broken universe because of satans rebellion. Its Tabernacle is a living structure – a vital union of El-Elohe-Isreal and those whom He has chosen.

 It is illuminated by His light, and is a source of continual blessing to the nations on the Earth below. ZION, home of the redeemed, is our destiny.

 As we think about the house today under siege, we should always remember that this world, under the despotism of the nations, is not our home. We are aliens here; our true citizenship is yet to be realized in ZION, home of the redeemed. Wonderful things await the faithful.

          

 
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