The war between light and darkness has raged from the beginning of time, but now is escalating at an unprecedented rate of speed as it draws everyone into the fray. Soon we all will be forced to choose sides and fully engage. What we have watched and witnessed from a distance will soon come knocking on our door. In relative apathy and silence, we have allowed darkness to encroach and shroud every aspect of society. Now the lines of demarcation will clearly delineate the two emerging, opposing global forces: Zion and Babylon. Catastrophic and cataclysmic events will reveal the best and worst which reside within all of mankind. World shaking events will expose the weaknesses of every structure we have tried to invent and erect. What we have been able to cleverly disguise and hide behind will be brought out into plain view for all to see. Who we are and what we believe will be clear to everyone. What is the nature of these two global powerhouses: Zion and Babylon? To whom will you align?
Glimpses of Zion
“Zion” represents God’s global, interconnected “city” – the church of Jesus Christ – established across the nations of the earth. Zion is the extended glory of God on earth; it is the place of His unveiled glory (the Tabernacle of David). It is what Jesus described as a city on a hill (Matt. 5:14-16)…the collective Body of Christ that becomes a beacon of His Glory! Zion is the mountain of God.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth (Psalm 50:2).
For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”) But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel (Heb. 12:18-24).
Through the ages, some have seen glimpses of this Mountain: soon we all will enter one of these mountains forever. Who or what we worship will determine the mountain we will choose for shelter. Isaiah gives us a glimpse into the global city of Zion. Isaiah uses the specific language of this day and time. Remember that Isaiah wrote between 740 and 687 B.C. The terminology “global” has only become a part of daily vernacular in the past twenty years. Isaiah writes:
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore (Isaiah 2:2-4 NKJV).
This passage is pregnant with meaning. It not only tells of the timing of the battle that is to ensue but it tells us how to wage war and how the war is won. What a battle plan the Lord has given us here. If you have studied the many teachings about the mountains of culture, you will readily understand God’s meaning here. The first mountain to be set in order is the religion mountain. Have we not witnessed a continual correction to the Church, His Body, the (ekklesia) for the past 25 years? He is purifying His Bride, giving those who are a part of Him a choice: serve God wholly (holy) or don’t serve Me at all. He is removing the mixture that is in His bride as a result of her association with Babylon (the world system). He is setting His House in order! She (His true bride) will be established in truth and righteousness and will be wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord.
As His house is set in order, it will lead and guide many from all nations to come and behold His truth and beauty. (This is the final harvest). They come to Zion, the mountain of God, to learn to walk in His ways, follow His path and “go forth” leaving Zion and returning to their homeland carrying out His will and ways throughout the nations.
Of course, not everyone will turn to God. Many will be judged.
For the day of the LORD of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up — and it shall be brought low — upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan; upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up; upon every high tower, and upon every fortified wall; upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all the beautiful sloops. The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day, but the idols He shall utterly abolish (Isaiah 2:12-18 NKJV).
God will break down the proud man; He will dismantle every system that has resisted Him and refused to acknowledge Him as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. “The cedars of Lebanon and the oaks of Bashan” represent the pride of man. “The hills lifted up” represent government and society. “Upon every high tower and fenced wall” references the military. “The ships of Tarshish” represent commerce. I believe the “loftiness of man” refers to the “high-minded” and degenerate imagination which rules the media and entertainment world.
We see the same language and the same lines of demarcation drawn in the book of Revelation.
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal (Rev. 21:9-11 NKJV).
The great and high mountain is Zion! This is His fully matured bride/body. The light that now emanates from her in the Book of Revelation perfectly reflects the outshining of the Father who is like a jasper stone (Rev. 4:3). Because the Bride is vitally connected to Him and each other, the dominion of the Head flows through the earth. What we are seeing here is the fruit of the labor of Christ and His Body as fully formed into His image. (Rom. 8:29; Phil. 3:21). It is a complete reincarnation of Christ on the earth. The New Jerusalem is the heavenly city of Zion coming to earth fully and perfectly representing the Godhead. The Bride will shine like jasper.
We know that this city seen by John is the same city seen by Isaiah because the language is the same: “mountain” and “a great city”. The visions are identical in what is seen…unified and dedicated lovers of God immersed in intimate communion with the Lord.
To be a part of this global city/mountain Zion, one must first separate from the other global city – Babylon (Rev. 18:1-4). The world has recognized the need to connect and it is now time for His Body to understand this in a spiritual dimension. Jesus has been completing the work of separation in His Body and now He is bringing His Body together. His Body /Bride must assemble, come together as one connected to the Head. This is the language that Jesus used at the inception of His kingdom. Jesus combines the language of law, architecture and military. He is declaring His legal right to establish His kingdom and He is showing how He will build it.
Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (Matt.16:16-19 NKJV).
Jesus declares His church will be built on revelation from the Father. The word Jesus uses for build here is an architectural term. The architect draws up a plan and the contractors follow the design. We, as His body are placed by the Master carpenter where we will fit according to His design. He places every part; we are living stones (1 Peter 2:5) placed in the wall to grow as a “lively” stone into a holy temple. Then His Glory will shine through us as we reflect Him as He shines out through us to all the nations. His temple both reveals and reflects the essence of God. This Bride who lives for her groom is sent to the world to destroy the power and influence of darkness, harvest the nations, extend His rule in the earth and prepare all for His return. “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth.” (Ps. 50:2).
Throughout the Old and New Testament, His Light shining forth is an indication of His Presence, His habitation and a place where His government is established. He says to His disciples and other followers “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matt 5:14-15) Wherever His people are assembled in unity, His Presence (His glory) shines out. Who is Jesus speaking to here? “You” individually and collectively show forth a light…His light. Even before the inception of His church…He casts the vision of who we are!
We are “a city on a hill” wherever His presence is established, His unveiled glory rests, where He abides in us and we abide in Him.
Jesus brought to earth what was in heaven, the New Jerusalem. Believers are to complete the work Jesus began by extending His rule, His glory and light to all the earth.
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel (Heb.12:22-24 NKJV).
The word Jerusalem is key to our understanding here. Jerusalem, in Hebrew, is Yeruwshalayim. In Hebrew, when “yim” is at the end of a word, it has a dual meaning. By this, I mean there is both a natural and a spiritual Jerusalem, and a natural and spiritual Zion (mountain) within that city. One day they will be connected; but they are not yet. Natural Jerusalem will literally be the physical seat of His throne but the spiritual Jerusalem is now where His rule is exerted. It at one time existed only in heaven. This is what David saw and was the source of inspiration for the Tabernacle of David. This is what Isaiah and John saw in their visions and this is clearly what Jesus declares as the central work of His Body! His Body must gather unto Him in worship and intercession so His kingdom shines out and is extended to all the world. The expansion of His kingdom is a progressive work until the day of His return. The work of His Body is spiritual in nature to bring forth an earthly reality: a physical, permanent change in the earth (His Abiding Presence). His Body operates from the heavenly Jerusalem so that one day, He will come and rule The mountain of the House of the Lord cut out without hands (Dan. 2) that smashes, obliterates all that has opposed His rule.
(Continued next week….)