Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The mountain of the house of the LORD is already exalted above the hills! (Micah 4; Isaiah 2)

Dear in Christ,

There is a popular notion that on some future date the Kingdom of God would be established on earth as an earthly kingdom, headquartered at Jerusalem and vaster than all the kingdoms in the entire world history. Many do use Micah 4 (and Isiah 2) to support their views.
Mic 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
Mic 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

① Jesus' testimony against the worship in Jerusalem and the mountain thereof.

Many insist that the events in Micah 4 have to happen in the future, literally, physically and materially. But, there are quite a few problems there, starting with the following words of Jesus.
Joh 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Joh 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

What does this entail?

  • In Jesus' scheme of things, neither Jerusalem, nor the mountain thereof has any importance, relevance or preeminence in worshiping God.
  • Jesus unambiguously contrasted the worship on the mountain on which the temple existed and worshiping in spirit and truth. [BTW: worshiping in the temple is not part of the truth, because it was part of the Law, which came by Moses, whereas grace and truth came by Jesus. (Joh 1:17)].
  • While playing down the importance of Jerusalem and the mountain thereof, and playing up the acceptability of worship in spirit and truth, Jesus said that it had already started at the time at which he spoke those words and would continue in the time to come as well. (“The hour is coming, and now is”. This is a rare expression, found only in Joh 4:23 and Joh 5:25, where the discussion is about the timing of resurrection of the dead.)
Let me ask you this: If God were so keen about establishing a temple based worship, why did he allow the temple to be burned down in 70 AD? Please remember that while God was still seeking a temple based worship and sacrificial system, he got the temple reconstructed or reinstated within a century of its destruction in the sixth century BC.

② Will God resume dwelling in a temple made by human hands?

Act 7:47 But Solomon built him an house.
Act 7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
Act 7:49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?
Act 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Rev 21:22 And I saw no temple therein (New Jerusalem): for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
So, according to futurists, at some point of time, God and the Lamb would give up being temple and would allow themselves to replaced by an edifice! (Don't forget that they believe that Rev 21 has to unfold in the future. Probably, they will have to decide as to which one among Micah 4 and Revelation 21 will come to pass first.)

③ Will God replace you with a building made of lifeless building materials?

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
After giving me all these glorious and precious promises, if God were to discard me and relocate himself into a building, I would be deeply disappointed. What do you call such an action? Deceit?

the word of the LORD has been going forth from Jerusalem since the first century!

Have you noticed the last clause of Mic 4:2?
Mic 4:2 ...for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Mic 4:1 says this is one of the things that has to be happening in the Last Days! This has been happening since the first century!
Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Even Jesus' last words to his disciples, it appears, gave priority to Jerusalem in their preaching itinerary:
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
It is a well known fact that the disciples used to have Jerusalem as the headquarters of their ministry activities and often used to return there, before heading to new destinations. Often doubts and complaints were brought to the attention of the senior disciples there, and the latter used to pronounce resolutions. (E.g. Acts 15).

So, thank you, dear futurist, who brought to our notice that the days when the word of God proceeded from Jerusalem were the Last Days!

⑤ ... in the top of the mountains, ... exalted above the hills.

Mic 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains,and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
So, the mountain of the house of the LORD has to be on the top of an unspecified number of mountains. Since we have mountains all over the globe, in all probability, this house has to be like an outer covering (still looking for a better term: shell, probably) for the planet. Since the mountains are hundreds or even thousands of miles/kilometers apart, and are of varying heights, from the shortest Mount Tenpō (5 meters) to the tallest Mount Everest (8,848 meters), it would be an architectural marvel to construct a house that sits atop all these mountains. (Yes, with God everything is possible.) I don't want to get started with how this house has to be exalted above all hills, knowing that many of the hills are taller than many mountains.

⑥ The tallest edifice in the Bible - the New Jerusalem, which is Zion.

Have you noticed that Mic 4:2 contains the clause: “...for the law shall go forth of Zion” in other words “...because the law shall go forth from Zion”? The sole purpose of placing the house of the LORD, atop mountains is to let the law proceed from Zion. (No, this is not about the reestablishing of the Law of Moses. we are not getting into the details for the sake of brevity.)

Now, let us examine a couple of passages from the New Testament about mount Zion. In this section we will, by the grace of God, establish that Mount Zion is New Jerusalem.

Whereas the highest point on earth, Mount Everest, is 8,848 meters (or 5.5 miles) from sea level, the height of the New Jerusalem is 1,500 miles.
Rev 21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand (12,000) furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
Eight furlongs make a mile, therefore 12,000 furlongs is 1,500 miles (2414 kilometers). Since John could not have measured the height of such a huge cube shaped edifice, we assume that this measurement is of one side. (Otherwise, the height would come down to 375 miles. Nonetheless, measuring the height of such an edifice would still be an impossible task for John to accomplish).

Surely, such an edifice would stand above all the mountains and hills.

Unless one can successfully prove that the New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven is not heavenly Jerusalem, the New Jerusalem is Zion, mentioned in Mic 4:2 and Isa 2:3! Compare these passages:
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion[G4622], and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
If you have any doubts as to whether Sion in Heb 12:22 is the same as Zion, here are the Strong's definitions:
G4622 H6726
Σιών (Siōn, see-own')
Of Hebrew origin [H6726]; Sion (that is, Tsijon), a hill of Jerusalem; figuratively the Church (militant or triumphant): - Sion.
צִיּוֹן (tsı̂yôn tsee-yone')
The same (regular) as H6725; Tsijon (as a permanent capital), a mountain of Jerusalem: - Zion.

It would take infinite amounts exegetical acrobatics and temerity to prove that mount Sion/Zion, the city of the living God and the heavenly Jerusalem are entirely different entities.

⑦ Is there anything earthly or physical about the New / Heavenly Jerusalem?

Though Revelation 21 says that John saw the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, will it be a 1,500 miles x 1,500 miles x 1,500 miles cube placed on planet earth? (I have already written about the impractical structure.)

The author of the book of Hebrews tells the first century recipients of the epistle that they are come (have come or came in other versions, always in present perfect or past tense) to (apart from Sion and heavenly Jerusalem):
  • an innumerable company of angels (Heb 12:22)
  • God the Judge of all (Heb 12:23)
  • and to the spirits of just men made perfect (Heb 12:23)
Please tell me, which of these entities are physical? Did the first century recipients of the epistle come to some things that are physical and some entities that are spiritual? Dear in Christ, God is not the author of confusion and there cannot be a mix up of spiritual and physical here.

But, but, but ... you want to sit under under vine and under under fig tree, right? (Mic 4:4). Come to Electronic City, Bangalore, India, we have lots of vine and fig plantations here and I can assure you that you will get to sit under the vine and fig, (But, if you want to sit under your own tree, you will have to shell out monies.) Alternatively, you may read 1Ki 4:25, to realize that the usage is about peace and tranquility!

Again, beating swords to plowshares (Mic 4:3) is another expression indicating the prevalence of peace. In warlike situations the usage is “beat your plowshares into swords” (Joe 3:10).

[Please remember that the talk about peace, tranquility and absence of war is within the perimeters of Zion aka New Jerusalem.]

⑧ On present perfect and past tenses.

No, this is not a blog on English grammar! All that I say is: please notice the tense of a passage while studying it. God has provided for our education, make sure that we utilize it while studying His Word.

Even if Heb 12:22-24 were written to us, who are living in the 21st century, “you have come” or “you are come” or “you came” to “... the heavenly Jerusalem” implies that the heavenly Jerusalem exists even before we came to it. In other words, heavenly Jerusalem aka, the New Jerusalem is not in our future.

You are the temple of the living God, the church collectively is the spiritual temple of God (Eph 2:22) and you will never be replaced with a physical edifice.

In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal

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