The name Jerusalem, as a city, has had its highs and lows from almost the beginning of man’s history. What is it about Jerusalem that makes many want to live in it, own it, or conquer it? After all, isn’t Jerusalem the same as any other city? Evidently not! Not as far as God is concerned anyway. We see in the news that there are three dominate religions wanting to claim the city as its own. The Jewish, the Christians, and the Muslim all want Jerusalem turned over to them to legitimize their faith and religion. What is the seemingly magical hold Jerusalem has on the world? This is the city where God choose to put His name there forever, compare 1st Kings 9:3; with 1 Kings 8:1. Jerusalem was the city where Jesus said who had killed the prophets sent unto her, Luke 13:34. Yet, Jerusalem/ Zion/ City of David, is referred to in Psalms 137:5-6 as a place and is remembered because it was the,” desire of their heart”. Psalms 37:4.
Psalms 137:1, By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
Even today, we are admonished to flee Babylon/ confusion, by God in Isaiah 48:20, and Revelation 18:4; and the people were to go forth with singing. The people couldn’t help but be sad or rejected while in Babylon because the reality of being in Jerusalem had evaded them.
Psalms 137:4, How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?
They knew that they were strangers and pilgrims in a strange land.
Verse 5, “If I forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning,” 6, “IF I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth.”
Jerusalem was a place they had in their heart, yet at times, it seemed like an earthy place, just the opposite of its meaning, City of Peace. As long as there is strife and struggle in Jerusalem and its inhabitants don’t recognize that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, paid the redemption price, it will remain a conquered land, conquered by God’s adversary, the god of this world, Satan, Matthew 24:15; 2nd Corinthians 4:4.
Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 says that there are those who say they are Jews and are not.
We wouldn’t know this fact except that it is revealed by Jesus Christ in the Book of Revelation.
The Controversy over Zion, City of David, or Jerusalem
Since the restoration of the Earth we read about in Genesis 1:1-2, there has been a struggle between God and His adversity, Satan. Not a contest between two equal parties, but a call to all men and women, to choose life, or choose death, God granting us life, and Satan as the author of death.
Deuteronomy 30:19, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed shall live: 20, That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou may cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy day’s: that thou may dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
We need to recognize God in all His sovereignty as the ultimate creator, even as the creator of languages with their meanings. The name Jerusalem, has within it, its own magical understanding, as God had intended it to have.
Jerusalem, its Meaning
Hebrews 11:8, By faith, Abraham when he was called to go out to a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out not knowing whither he went. 9, By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10, For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker was God.
This city, was it Jerusalem? Scripture doesn’t give the name of the city but if we look to understand the meaning of Jerusalem, we will certainly not struggle and fight for it as others did in the past and as they are still doing, but we, who by faith, as Abraham had faith, are looking for the same city, not to conquer it by bloodshed, but to search for it, and to live in it because it is God’s city in which He dwells. The word city 5892 in the Hebrew dictionary says; a place guarded by waking or in a watch. The word comes from the root of the word 5782 which means through the idea of opening of the eyes, a waking up.
Roman’s 11:8, ( According to as it is written, “God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear) unto this day.
Many today, need to close their physical eyes and ask God to open their spiritual eyes to wake up from their sleep or slumber.
Isaiah 52:1, Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: from henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. 2, Shake thyself from thy dust; arise and sit down, O Jerusalem, loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
God’s calling to Abraham was the opening of his spiritual eyes producing his faith. Whenever God wakes someone or those who have a heart for God, God helps by giving them the gift of faith, to believe in Him. It’s when we open our physical eyes, and look around at the physical world, we can become doubters. We might think, is His calling real and of God or just our imagination?
Matthew 20:16, ” So the last shall be first and the first shall be last: For many be called but few chosen.”
The Hebrew name of the City of Jerusalem is Yerushalsyim, and comes from 2 Hebrew words, Ir, which means a city, and the word Shalem which comes from the word Shalom, which means peace. The word Shalem above comes from a Hebrew word which means, to complete, or to be perfect. Shiaimut in Hebrew means to fulfill oneself. When taken together, these words pertaining to the City of Jerusalem means, it is God who wakes us out of our spirit of slumber and He expects us to pursue peace and perfect ourselves unto being complete or a perfect individual. It is God who designed this name with it’s meaning for Jerusalem. The earthly Jerusalem will never fulfill God’s purpose. Why? Because it thinks it can make men perfect by ruling over them. God does not want perfect men and women even if it were possible. God’s intent is to create sons and daughters outwardly in His image as Genesis 1:26 says. And today, He is filling many inwardly, through His Holy Spirit, producing His Divine Nature as vessels of honor. This is the true Gospel, the Good News.
2nd Timothy 2:21, “If a man purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Masters use, and prepared for every good work.
It was said earlier that there is a controversy between God and Satan. Satan will subtly portray godlike qualities upon others who are ignorant of his ways. Consider the wars and religious wars down through the centuries. These wars are from men who think they have a right to rule over others, Ecclesiastes 8:9.
James 4:1, “From whence come wars and fighting among you? Come they not hence, even from your lusts that war in your members?
God is love, and never uses force, and allows us to choose. Division is Satan MO. I was baptized into a church domination when I was an infant as so many others have been. Isaiah 52:2 tells us to break the bands off of thy neck. Fortunately, when I was older, I made a choice, and broke those bands that were forced upon me and I did what God says to do, choose. I was one of the lucky ones. I choose life, God’s life. Now I believe I am a resident of the heavenly Jerusalem seeking peace, God’s way, within myself and with others. Not the earthy Jerusalem which exists in the Middle East today, but the heavenly Jerusalem which the Apostle Paul mentions in Hebrews 12:22, and the heavenly Jerusalem the Apostle John writes about in the Book of Revelation 21:2.
It is important to realize that a city is where many inhabitants live and work. These will all be vessels of honor, filled with the righteousness of God and of Jesus Christ, 2nd Peter 1:1. The heavenly Jerusalem is opened to all, Jew as well as Gentile. It is a city where God’s Holy Spirit educates all men and women.
John 14:26, But the comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you.
The heavenly Jerusalem is a peaceful place because of what the Apostle Paul teaches.
Ephesians 4:4, There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5, One Lord, one faith, one baptism. 6, One God and Father to all. Who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
With all this oneness, and all of it coming from the same source, how can there not be peace among men? This is the heavenly Jerusalem and the desire of all men.