The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Born in Zion

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 23, 2014

I’d like to share two Old Testament passages that demonstrate that God’s city of Jerusalem/Zion is a spiritual city that has Gentile (as well as Jewish) inhabitants who are born in her by faith. New Testament passages that confirm these truths will also be shared.

We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. (Isa. 26:1-2)

Notice:

1. The strong city of God has walls not made of bricks and mortar, but of salvation. All who are abiding in Jesus are also in the city whose walls are salvation. For we are citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20) and have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22). It does not say we will come some time in the future, but we have come (if we are born again).

2. The gates of this city of salvation are opened to only the righteous nation. (That rules out the Middle Eastern city called Jerusalem–people who live there can join God’s city, but that earthly city is not God’s city!) What nation is righteous? It is the nation that keeps faith! Remember this passage was written before the New Covenant was ratified by Jesus’ shed blood, and yet faith was already the basis for entering God’s city of salvation. What nation keeps faith?–the nation addressed in 2 Pet. 2:9. If you are in Christ through faith, you are a member of this nation and considered the true seed of Abraham and a part of God’s chosen people (Psa. 105:6; Rom. 4:16; Gal. 3:29).

Now we will look at Psalm 87.

He has founded his city on the holy mountain.

The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the other dwellings of Jacob.

Glorious things are said of you, city of God: “I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me—Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush—and will say, ‘This one was born in Zion.’”

Indeed, of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her, and the Most High himself will establish her.” The Lord will write in the register of the peoples: “This one was born in Zion.”

As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.”

Notice:

1. The Lord’s city of Zion is founded and established by Himself. Abraham dwelt in the land of promise as a foreigner, waiting for the city which has foundations whose builder and maker is God. He died in faith not having yet received the promise, confessing he was a stranger and pilgrim on the earth. There was nowhere on the earth that he was not a stranger and pilgrim. There was nowhere on the earth that fulfilled the promise to him. What country was he then longing for?–a heavenly country; therefore God was not ashamed to be called his God for He has prepared a city for Abraham and all people of like faith. (Heb. 11:9-16)

2. Gentiles are said to be “born in Zion,” and God Himself keeps the register of all who are born there. Study Heb. 12:22-24 carefully, and you will find the same truth reiterated–

But you [believers] 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.

Where are the inhabitants of Zion registered? They are registered in heaven in the heavenly city of Jerusalem. And what else is this city of the living God called?–“the church of the firstborn.” Thus the absolute fulfillment of the “city of God” is the Church.

“That’s replacement theology,” someone will complain. Again I say: the Church is the fulfillment of the city of God. The earthly Jerusalem was a type, and the usefulness of that type is passing away in light of the present reality. If this is a replacement at all, it is a replacement of the shadow with the reality it foreshadowed. It is not a true replacement, but rather a fulfillment. Does the plant that grows from the seed replace the seed in such a way that the seed had no value? Or does the plant fulfill what the seed was designed for? The promises have finally and fully been fulfilled in Christ. All the promises are in HIM yes and amen (2 Cor. 1:20), but outside of Him they remain unfulfilled regardless of where one lives. All are invited to enter the city which matters–God’s heavenly city, which is the reality. To those who accuse me of spiritualizing, I say again that the spiritual Jerusalem is the reality. To deny the spiritual Jerusalem is to deny reality. All who enter this city must enter by the door–Jesus. All who enter by the door are the Church. The Church=Zion.

What about Old Testament saints? They are part of the Church too–not by virtue of where they lived or who their parents were, but by virtue of their faith. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets are members of the “kingdom of God” according to Jesus (Lk. 13:28-29). This is the same Kingdom Jesus came preaching–the Kingdom of which He is Lord–and the kingdom which is not of this world (Jn. 18:36)!

We must be born again to even see this kingdom (Jn. 3:3). You may have been born once in Africa, the USA, China, Pakistan, or Israel. Being born there will not give you entrance into the kingdom of God. You must be born again in Zion–God’s heavenly city. Has God said of you, “This one was born in her”? Paul taught Gentile believers that the heavenly Jerusalem is the mother of those who have been born by the power of the Spirit (Gal. 4:22-31). Just as the new birth is spiritual, the Christian’s homeland is spiritual. Is the “Jerusalem Above” your mother? Have you been born in Zion?

And if so, how has being born and registered in Zion changed the way you perceive the world and your place in it? Where do your loyalties lie? To whom and to what will you swear your allegiance? Are you a patriot in an earthly kingdom, fighting for its goals, or are you an ambassador from the heavenly kingdom with a message of reconciliation for “everyone who thirsts”?

If indeed we have been raised with Christ, may God help us to seek those things which are above, and set our minds on things above, not on things on the earth (Col. 3:1-2).

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3 Responses to “Born in Zion”

  1. […] Born in Zion […]

  2. scythewieldor said

    There are many natural meaning Biblical scenarios that have been left out of the general presentation of scripture as managed by denominations. Here are a few.
    *Jacob inseminated 4 women resulting in 12 sons. Jacob gave the birthright to Joseph which made Ephraim and Manasseh equal to Joseph’s oldest brothers. That means there were 13 tribes that came from Jacob through five different moms. One of the moms was the Egyptian that gave birth to Joseph’s sons.
    *Jacob got 2 blessings: 1 from his progenitors and 1 from the Lord. He used one of the blessings to establish the house of Judah; the other, he used to establish the house of Israel.
    *David was king of Judah 7 and a half years before he became king of the 12 tribes of Israel. 10 tribes of Israel were taken from David’s seed, and, given to Jeroboam. Benjamin and Levi remained in Judah. The other ten tribes were sent into exile for breaking covenant. As they were being prepared for exile, the Lord promised to bring them back into a new covenant.
    *Jeroboam did not allow Levites to be priests in the Samaritan religion. (Maybe, this is the source of the Samaritan Targum.) Only one man (a Samaritan priest) of the 10 exiled tribes of Israel was brought back to Samaria.
    *The only tribes to return from Babylonian captivity with Judah was Levi and Benjamin. In Esther we learn that many gentiles became Jews for the wrong reason: fear of the Jews rather than fear of God. Since those Judaized gentiles had no inheritance in Judea, they had no reason to leave Babylonia.
    *Jesus was not sent for any but the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Benjamin and Levi were the only tribes still in Judea while Jesus was ministering. He told us that He had sheep that were not of the Judean fold, that those sheep not of the Judean fold would hear his voice, and, that He would gather them all into one.

  3. scythewieldor said

    I appreciate that you resist being labeled as a replacement theologian. Actually, Replacement Theology was an invention of the Jews (Is. 48:1).
    One of the things I try to make clear to people is that, at the trial of Jesus, the chief priests declared “We have not king but Caesar”. Thus, they broke their covenant with God leaving no Jew with any way to get atonement for sins. Since Jesus was the only Jew who hadn’t sinned, He was the only Jew to survive the priestal apostasy. (Possibly, the sins of the world, which He took on Himself, were prepared for removal from Him when He had John baptize Him.)
    When Paul pointed out that God made His promise to establish covenant with Abraham and Abraham’s singular Seed, he was not whistling Dixie.
    *The nation of Israel degenerated when God divorced Israel.
    *The nation of Judah degenerated when Judah killed her Husband. With the death of the Husband of Judah, the Old Testament died.
    *When Pilate declared the public reason for the execution of Jesus (King of the Jews), he gave to Jesus the kingdom that the chief priests had given up.
    *Jesus drank the fruit of the vine on the cross, the new covenant (the handling of which Jesus had committed to His disciples a little earlier) was ratified, and, Israel was re-generated as a nation under that new covenant.
    I call it Regeneration Theology.
    All that remained was to re-populate the commonwealth/citizenry of Israel. The disciples began to do that by making disciples in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. They extended their reach by writing the decrees that Paul and those with him delivered to the gentile gatherings (Acts 16:4-5).
    As Paul was so committed to the principle that a thing could not be made certain without 2 or 3 witnesses, I would not be surprised to find out that the New Covenant writings that bear the names of apostles were actual letters Paul carried with him to the gentiles (considering that they made many of the same points).

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