Home In The Hills [Or New Jerusalem]
Bible 1611.Com / Sluice Box Adventures.com / Old Paths Baptist Mission © 2014
Everybody is going home someday.
Everybody is going to their LONG HOME.
When you die, you are going to go to your “long home” whether, it be in “Heaven” or in “Hell”. Do you realize that truth? “Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:” [Ecclesiastes 12:5].
The life that we have here on this Earth is known as our SHORT HOME. It is a “temporary home”, and points to the brevity of our life. "For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." [James 4:14b]
Our life, here is brief, like a vapor, or like smoke. “Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? Are not his days also like the days of an hireling?" [Job 7:1] We are born, and then we will die! Everybody is going somewhere someday. Everybody is going to their LONG HOME. Where are you going?
We are told to “not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord.” [Deuteronomy 8:3] [Matthew 4:4] [Luke 4:4] The focus is to be on “every word”. [Proverbs 30:5] “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”
Therefore, the words of God are absolutely critical for you and I to have … in order to survive. It is our very sustenance. For those of us living now in the times of the Gentiles [Luke 21:24], which is the age of grace, we have a BOOK with all the words of God. This BOOK is the Bible.
The Bible in the English language is the Authorized Version of 1611, or any of its editions [1613, 1644, 1676, 1680, 1701, 1767, and 1769]. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” [Romans 10:17]
Let’s read the word of God in the book of First Kings chapter twenty, verse twenty-three.
“And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.” [1 Kings 20:23]
When the people of this world perceive a truth you can virtually “count on it” that their perception of the truth is a jaded view of the truth. So it is here with the servants of the king of Syria in First Kings chapter twenty. They had a perceived notion that the GOD of the Bible is only a LOCAL god ... a weak god. They thought HE was a god ONLY of the hills. This JADED perception [a corrupt perception] lead them to think, that the God of the Bible was weak in the vast fertile plains because he was [one of many gods] ONLY a god of the hills.
Let’s read it again! “And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.”
Now, skip down to verse twenty-eight, and see the response of the God of the Bible to their [the servants of the king of Syria] misconception of WHO HE really is. Are you ready for this? “And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” [1 Kings 20:28]
Over and over again, the people in this old world have seen their various conceptions and theories concerning the God of the Bible … blown to bits! When will they learn?
Now, where did they [the servants of the king of
Syria] get this notion that God of the Bible is a
God ONLY of the HILLS?
Where did they get this half truth? This jaded
corrupt perception is derived from somewhere. The
“somewhere” is way deep down in the bowels
of men, and [as all half truths] must be based at
least on a “grain of truth”.
Here is my question to you. How did these servants of the king of Syria identify GOD with the hills? Does the BOOK reveal to us any possible connection, or interest of GOD … for the hills? The answer is yes, it does! It has something to do with a HOME.
Let us start to trace this thing out with Israel. The Bible shows us that the GOD of Bible is very interested in a particular piece of “real estate” on this earth. It is a piece of ground [THE LAND] that HE has in mind for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants forever more. It is a HOMELAND for the Jew. “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:" [Genesis 12:1].
Let me repeat. God has … in mind … a HOME for HIS people Israel. This “home” is a GOOD land. The “home” HE has for Israel … is a land of brooks of water that spring out of the valleys and hills. Turn to Deuteronomy chapter eight. God had brought the people of Israel OUT of the house of bondage [Egypt] to bring them into a GOOD LAND for their HOME. Verse seven: “For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;” [Deuteronomy 8:7].
Now to chapter eleven, verse eleven and twelve: “But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: A land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.” [Deuteronomy 11:11-12] The LORD loves a land that has hills and valleys. That is HIS kind of land. This is HIS opinion. It is HIS opinion that matters. Our opinion on this matter of THE LAND [yours and mine] does not count. Amen!
Now, let me get real personal here. I [Rick St.James] am kind of partial to God’s opinion in the matter, because I live in the hills and valleys of eastern Tennessee, and what a land it is. It is also, a land of brooks, and it “drinketh of the water of the rain of heaven”.
This brings something to my mind from my distant past from over forty years ago. I went to a high school … in the hills and valleys of northern Vermont. And something else; I lived for years after that in the hills and valleys of northern New Hampshire. More than that all, I lived for years in the hills [mountains] and valleys in far-off Alaska.
Now with all those years of living in the hills and valleys, I can contrast them all … with all those years I lived in the vast fertile PLAINS of central Illinois. Now, mind you, the American Midwest has a beauty all of its own. Talk about flat earth! Yet, when it is all said and done, I will have to admit, that I still have the greatest propensity and desire … for a land of hills and of valleys. The hills and valleys of Tennessee are for me. Here I am. I am a RIDGE RUNNER now.
Let me leave my personal testimony, and get back to the thing [about those hills]. There is something special inside us all … for those hills. How do I know this to be true? Well, it is plain B-I-B-L-E! What does it say in Psalms? “I Will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” [Psalm 121:1] David’s help came from the hills. The Bible shows our HELP comes from the hills, too!
Now, I want to point out something to you. The Bible is primarily a book about a particular King and a particular Kingdom. This is very important for you to understand. You and I need to understand that the Old and New Testament is filled with hundreds of verses that point to a future one-thousand year Kingdom of Heaven which is referred to as “the regeneration” in Matthew nineteen, verse twenty eight. “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Matthew 19:28]
During the time of the REGENERATION the earth will have its REST for one thousand years, after the six thousand years of ruinous rule by MEN [and the god of this world]. Jesus Christ will rule [in an absolute monarchy from Jerusalem] the nations of the world in the MILLENIUM.
With this backdrop in mind, let me go into the subject of the hills. I love those hills!
Now, GOD has in mind … a particular high HILL … which is a mountain. We can see it in Psalm sixty-eight: “Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the Lord will dwell in it for ever.” [Psalm 68:16]
Now, let’s look at Isaiah chapter two, verse two, to see more about that mountain: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” [Isaiah 2:2] One MOUNTAIN will be in the top of the mountains … with all the nations flowing towards it. What a thing this will be!
Here is another view to be found in Joel chapter three, verse eighteen: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim.” [Joel 3:18]
What have we learned here from the BOOK about Israel? We have learned that Israel is not done as a nation [as the world believes it] but has a beautiful future … a HOME in the hills. The prophet Joel gave it straight to all … who will believe. My friends let the word of GOD sink down into your minds and hearts by FAITH in the BOOK. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
There is something else here that is true! The Prophet Joel [in Joel 3:18] gives the “straight skinny” to all who will NOT believe, also. In other words, these things [Bible prophecy] shall all come to pass … whether a person believes it will happen, or whether a person believes it will not happen. Bottom-line, it does not matter a “hill of beans” what you and I think. The BOOK is true! Amen.
Now, here is question for you. Do you see that
word: “JUDAH” in the book of Joel,
chapter three, in verse eighteen? Can you give me an
account of all those rivers of JUDAH
flowing from those hills without coming to the
conclusion that “Judah” is for the Jews; and can you
give me an account of all those hills flowing with
MILK without faith?
Here is a BASIC TRUTH concerning Israel. The Bible gives us prophecy, and prophecy becomes history. Can you see this now, my friend … through the eyes of FAITH? The future for the Jew involves a physical earthly home … during both the millennium, and for all eternity. This will all become history.
Now, you say: what about us? What about the final “home” for the Christian? Before I give you this, we need to realize that two different things are not the same thing. The Christians [in contrast to Israel] are a heavenly [spiritual] people involved in a heavenly [spiritual] kingdom. This spiritual kingdom is called the Kingdom of God, and in this age is the Church of the Firstborn. The Church of the Firstborn [Hebrews 12:23] is primarily composed of “saved” Gentiles who have been “born again” [spiritually]. You cannot see this spiritual kingdom by observation with your eyes. Luke chapter seventeen shows us that truth. “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:” [Luke 17:20]
Now, I am ready to discuss the “home” for us … the believers in this age.
“Home” for us, [that is, the believers in this “age of grace”] is the holy city called New Jerusalem. This is a heavenly city. Our “home” for us … is coming to a “new Earth”. You can count on it. This event will transpire after the millennial [one thousand years] reign of Jesus Christ on this earth … is complete. The millennial reign of Christ [called the Kingdom of Heaven] will be the time of the “restitution of all things” [Acts 3:21].
“Home” for us, [the bride of Jesus Christ, which is the Church] is seen coming to the new Earth as shown in Revelation chapter twenty-one. Here it is in verse two: “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” [Revelation 21:2]
To prepare for our “home coming”, God will first destroy this present Earth with fire. This is prophesied in Second Peter: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” [2 Peter 3:10-13] God destroyed the Earth, the first time with a FLOOD, and God will destroy the Earth, the second time with a FIRE!
New Jerusalem will be “our final home”. Amen! We will rejoice forever more in it. If you have trusted Jesus Christ for your salvation then you will be there, too, my friend. Amen! Yes, all those who have been re-born [or born again], or quickened [made alive], will reign with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven, and then we will see, as the Apostle John saw it, in Revelation chapter twenty-one, our home “descending out of heaven from God” to the new Earth.
“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;”
What Israel and the Church of the Firstborn, the Bride of Christ, will have for “homes” will virtually mirror one another. As the tabernacle and the sanctuary in the wilderness mirrored the one in Heaven [Hebrews 8:2,5] so will this earthly Jerusalem in Israel in the new Earth mirror the New Jerusalem coming down from Heaven. This New Jerusalem will descend to the New Earth, and touch the Earth at the exact physical location of the Jerusalem in Israel of the new Earth.
“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.”
Everything about this city will be of a perfect design. It will be a perfect home … a home in the hills, so to speak. [1 Corinthians 2:9] “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
There will be “many mansions” [John 14:2] there for the whole multitude of the believers in Jesus Christ! Let’s consider the dimensions of the city of New Jerusalem. According to the Bible, there is eight furlongs to a mile. And since the given dimension is twelve thousand furlongs on a side, it means that this city is 1,500 miles on a side. Do you not think that this city of New Jerusalem, which is a cube with the sides of the cube being 1,500 miles in length, cannot contain the “many mansions” for the Bride of Christ throughout all eternity?
“And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.”
The half cannot be told! The opulence of Jerusalem in Solomon’s day will not even begin to touch the beauty, and abundance of the gold, and precious stones that will be in the city of New Jerusalem. When the queen of Sheba came to see King Solomon in his day, what she saw … left no spirit in her. When she saw: “the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord; there was no more spirit in her.” [1 Kings 10:5] What the queen of Sheba saw in Solomon’s day was nothing in comparison to the beauty of New Jerusalem, and if we could see the New Jerusalem today … right this very minute … we would have no spirit left in us.
Now, let’s drop back for a “spate” from the ETERNITY FUTURE [of the New Jerusalem] to TIME, [tick tock … tick tock] and specifically to the seventh millennium of time, and let’s take a look in the book of Ezekiel and see a very different city, and a very different temple, and yet they are both related.
First, let’s look at the city. In Ezekiel there is described in detail a city [which is Jerusalem] that is to be re-built in the Kingdom of Heaven [during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ]. This city will be the capital city of the world. This will be a physical city, and is different from the city of the New Jerusalem, that is, the New Jerusalem that comes down to the New Earth. We see this city in Ezekiel chapter forty. Let us read from verse two: “In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south.” [Ezekiel 40:2]
This city is not the New Jerusalem of the New Earth. You must not get this thing confused in your minds. Again, this is a literal, physical city [whose location will be on Mount Zion … in the present day nation of Israel], and will be built in the Millennium, which is a one thousand year period of time before the destruction of this present Earth by FIRE. Yet with all this being said, these two cities are very, very, SIMULIAR.
In Ezekiel, there is something else there, that is described in a very intricate detail. It is a temple that is to be built in the Kingdom of Heaven [during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ]. This is a literal, physical temple that is measured in units of measurement stated called the “cubit”. [Ezekiel 41:1] “Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the breadth of the tabernacle.”
Now, let’s FAST FORWARD to eternity future to the New Jerusalem, and the new Earth, by flipping back to the book of Revelation. We need to consider the walls, and the foundations, and gates, of that city that is seen here: “And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.”
There will be no physical temple in New Jerusalem. There will be no need for it! There will be no need for it, because GOD and the LAMB are the TEMPLE. “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” This is not so in the case of the temple shown in Ezekiel chapter forty through chapter forty eight. Remember, two things that are different are not the same!
There will be no need for the sun … in the New Jerusalem [of the new heavens and of the new Earth]. There will be no need for it! There will be no need for the sun, because the glory of GOD and of the LAMB will be the LIGHT for it. “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” This is not so in the case of the city in Ezekiel forty through forty eight. Check it out! Two things that are different are not the same.
In eternity, there will be nations. These nations will be composed of saved individuals [or people]. Just imagine what it will be like to be there. There will be no more sickness, nor death nor disease. It will be EDEN restored. The LIGHT from GOD and the Lamb will even provide light to all the nations of the NEW EARTH. “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.”
Everything will be pure, honest and right … forever, forever and ever … in the city of the New Jerusalem, which will be hovering over [or touching] the New Earth at the Jerusalem of Israel.
Everybody will be there! Who is everybody? This “everybody” is everybody who has their name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? Listen to this: “And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.” [Revelation 21:10-27]
Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? Will you be there? If so praise God!
If not, then, you need to be saved! Then, why not trust Jesus Christ, NOW! “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” [Romans 10:13] If you … call upon Jesus Christ’s NAME … your name will be written in the Lamb’s Book. You will then, have a HOME forever in the HILLS. HOME IN THE HILLS! You will be forever, and ever, and ever in the New Jerusalem. Amen! Amen! Amen!