Introduction | Table of Contents | Chapter 1

Now the son of the slave woman was conceived according to the flesh, but the son of the free woman was conceived through a promise. This is being said as an allegory, for these women represent two covenants. The one woman, Hagar, is from Mount Sinai, and her children are born into slavery. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to present-day Jerusalem, because she is in slavery along with her children. But the heavenly Jerusalem is the free woman, and she is our mother. (Galatians 4:23-26 ISV)

John wrote of this new city at the culmination of this age when the Israel of God (Romans 2:28-29) fully inhabits it.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." (Revelation 21:1-5 ESV)

Just as God makes all things new in us, so we are also being made ready as members of His New Jerusalem. He dwells with us there. The degree of direct intimacy here is beyond anything we have ever known on this earth. In that city, the days of mourning will be over. God Himself will be so close and so intimate that He will personally wipe every tear from every eye. When we reach that city the former things will have fully passed away. The voice of God resounds within its gates, saying, "Behold, I make all things new." All old things are passed away. Even the memory of them will end with the wiping away of our tears.

It is God's will for His kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. His kingdom and His presence are inseparable. The kingdom resides where He resides-Jerusalem the city of the great King and Zion the habitation of God. In that regard the earthly Jerusalem was to be a representation on the earth of the heavenly Jerusalem. At its best, the earthly Jerusalem was the foreshadowing of the heavenly Jerusalem. Jerusalem should be a witness of a Heavenly reality. The long shadows of Jerusalem were to silhouette and forecast the coming of a greater reality.

Shadows are the longest and most distinct in the morning when the light is emerging and the darkness is fleeing. In those early hours the light is indirect and the shadows are disproportionately long and clear. As we move on into the full day the shadows slowly become less distinct and shorter until they gradually vanish from sight. There are no shadows at high noon. So goes the proverb, "But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day" (Proverbs 4:18 ESV). It is in the context of light, darkness and fleeting shadows that we see the path before us all to be one of fewer shadows and more Light, until all the shadows of religion and worldliness are gone and the full day of the realization of all God's purposes in Christ Jesus has come. Even those religious things that may now be held dear are nothing but shadow compared to the reality that is in Christ Jesus. Even the much debated "law"-the centerpiece of faith for many-possessed only a shadow of good things to come and not the very image of the things (Hebrews 10:1). The reality is in Christ. Therefore we find these words in the prologue of John's gospel: "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17 KJ2000). There may be arguments regarding the meaning of this passage but a comparison between the Law of Moses and grace and truth is crystal clear. In this comparison we see that law and truth are two different things. The law had only a shadow of the truth. It forecast a reality that was to come in Christ.

The Greek word for truth here means reality (aletheia -the reality lying at the basis of an appearance; the manifested, veritable essence of a matter. -- W.E. Vine). The only truth in shadow is that it silhouettes something or someone that is very real and substantive. You cannot hug or even touch a shadow. You can pass right through it and all you can sense is marked decrease of light and heat.

There is no substance in a shadow, but there is a definite lack of light. James wrote, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17 KJ2000). Light does not cast a shadow; the thing that blocks the light does. As long as men cling to the shadow of the Old Covenant, they resist Jesus the Light and they miss out on every good and perfect gift that God has for them. The reality lying at the basis of all Old Testament shadows is Christ. He is the substance. He is the Truth. He is reality! Only those who are in Him and in whom He abides know the essence of Truth.

Let no man therefore judge you in food, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17 KJ2000 - emphasis added)

The tabernacle, its trappings and its priesthood were only shadows of heavenly things. They weren't reality or truth. They simply foreshadowed truth. They are fleeting shadows and from a heavenly viewpoint they have no substance. And so the author of Hebrews wrote:

For if he were on earth, he would not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, says he, that you make all things according to the pattern showed to you in the mount. But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. (Hebrews 8:4-6 KJ2000 - emphasis added)

It is with this understanding that we approach the subject of the New Zion, or more appropriately, the heavenly Zion. The heavenly Zion predates the earthly Zion, but the full realization of the heavenly Zion is increasingly new to us. When Paul wrote, "first the natural. . . then the spiritual," it is something of a foregone conclusion that these spiritual things existed in eternity, in the Father's heart, long before He gave us the natural picture of them. The Lamb was slain from before the foundation of the world. We were chosen in Him before the world began. And as for Jesus, "He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you" (1 Peter 1:20 NKJV).

It is the spiritual manifestation of Zion that is new to us. The natural Zion was a prophetic fore-type and earthly representation of the spiritual Zion. The primary characteristic of natural Zion was that it was chosen to bear God's name and character. It would thereafter be referred to as ". . . the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, to mount Zion" (Isaiah 18:7).

The significance of Zion is eternal. Zion was not chosen by David or any other man, but was selected by God himself as the place of His dwelling that, in His view, was not a temporary but an everlasting dwelling place. "For the Lord has chosen Zion, He has desired it for His habitation: This is My resting-place forever [says the Lord]; here will I dwell, for I have desired it. I will surely and abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread. Her priests also will I clothe with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. . ." (Psalms 132:13-16 AMP - emphasis added).

God calls Zion "My resting place forever," but we know that few of these things currently apply to the natural Zion. That Zion is presently desolate. The eternal resting place and habitation of God is the spiritual Zion that embodies everything that the natural Zion only foreshadowed. It is there that the provision of the Lord is abundant. It is there that the poor and hungry are satisfied with the Bread of Life. It is there we find His rest. It is there in this eternal habitation of God that His spiritual priests are clothed with salvation and the holy worshippers shout aloud for joy. The Lord still dwells in Zion! It is the place of His habitation forever. The only thing that has fallen down is the outward, natural Zion and the natural tabernacle of David. These two terms can be used somewhat interchangeably, because the presence of the tabernacle of David on Mariah's crest is what made Zion the habitation of God.

We do not intend here to cover in depth the journey of the Ark, its stay in Philistia, its nights in the temple of Dagon and its return to the people of Israel and the joy and celebration which eventually accompanied its ascent to Zion, but simply to say that Zion was at the center and zenith of natural Israel's history. The ultimate glory of it was not seen in Solomon's temple, but in David's tent. The Ark of God's presence lived in that small, open-faced tent for 40 years and everything since represents a departure from a more glorious state of things, or more concisely, the falling down of the tabernacle of David. Even the magnificent period of Solomon's kingdom and temple that dazzled the queen of Sheba was rubble and ruin compared to the glory of that simple tent. The tabernacle of David and all that it represented was and still is the crowning glory of Zion.

Amos prophesied of its restoration:

On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, And rebuild it as in the days of old; That they may possess the remnant of Edom, And all the Gentiles who are called by My name," says the LORD who does this thing. (Amos 9:11, 12, NKJV).

The tabernacle of David is a fore-glimpse of Christ and His Church, in which Jews and Gentiles become one new man. James acknowledged this when he quoted the prophecy of Amos, "After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up" (Acts 15:16). Solomon's temple was destroyed and there is no prophecy of it being rebuilt, yet men did their best to restore that mere shadow on more than one occasion. Christ is the only one who has restored the Tabernacle of David according to the pattern and the will of the Father.

James quoted this passage in reference to the Antioch Church-a Gentile Church, which was walking in the grace and reality of Christ without law-keeping and the trappings of Judaism. God had not only brought Israel unto Himself as a holy nation, just as he had promised Abraham, but He has included the Gentiles in this holy new humanity.

The Tent of David

During the peak of natural Zion's history, the tent of David rested atop Mount Zion and the presence and power of the living God resided there. This was something of an illegal act because the Ark was supposed to be in the holy place in the tabernacle of Moses over on Mount Gibeon. During that 40 year period, God permitted a prophetic fore-type that perfectly silhouettes the nature and scope of spiritual Zion. David's tent only had three sides. The fourth side was open and the ark could be seen by all. It was open to Jew and Gentile alike. Jesus is the door to the sheepfold. He is the door to the Father's house. It is no more complicated than this. Jesus is the tent, the tabernacle, the temple, even the veil of the temple and all that was represented as the dwelling place of God. In Him, God tabernacled among us! In Jesus God is with us (Emmanuel). But more, in Jesus, we have also become the dwelling place of God. All the types and shadows of the natural Zion and the tabernacle of David are fulfilled in Him. Jesus is the substance. He is the reality. He and all who dwell in Him are the new Zion. All else is shadow.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. (Revelation 21:2-6 NASB)
"I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. (Revelation 21:22 NASB)

Satan's most effective means of leading the Church astray is to deceive her into forfeiting her heavenly inheritance by endeavoring to finish what God has begun in the Spirit by the energies of the flesh. He tries to dissuade her from answering the heavenly call. He tempts her to approach life and service on an old creation basis and by old creation resources. He bewitches her to abandon the new creation altogether and forsake Him who ministers the Spirit and works miracles and return to a more "responsible" and lawful religion that sets out rules of conduct and calls on natural energies to perform them (Galatians 3:1-13). He wants to lead her away captive with a seemingly "practical" and "responsible" approach to the Christian life that constitutes the abandonment of the finished work of Christ (for redemption) and the continuous work of the Holy Spirit (for sanctification). He wants to trick her into replacing the governance of the Spirit with natural laws of organization and temporal rulers. He wants to supplant Divine growth (God adding to the Church through sovereign election, travail and new birth) with church growth seminars and church membership drives. He wants to replace the gospel with good moral preaching. He wants to discourage trust in the divine nature as the only hope of empowering right behavior by bolstering fleshly confidence in personal piety. He wants to replace trust in Divine transformation (the workmanship of God) with an exaggerated belief in Christian responsibility. The lie that he whispered in Eve's ear over six thousand years ago still echoes in the ears of those who aspire to be self-made Christians, "You can be like God. You can do it. You can be self-made. You can do it yourself."

The humble creature who is the workmanship of Him who said, "Behold I make all things new," stands in sharp contrast to that. Our being and purpose flow out from God Himself. Such is the new creation. Such is the new creature.

We who are of Christ, the New Jerusalem of God, have been made new in every way: a new heart, a new mind, a new spirit, and we will receive new bodies. We are of the New Covenant and a new priesthood with His new law written in our hearts, the law of love. There is nothing man can add to this.

Peace and mercy be upon all who walk according to this rule!

The New Creation Rule will be available in book form in July, 2010. Please see our Books in Print page.

Introduction | Table of Contents | Chapter 1

to top