The New Jerusalem: The premillennial theatre on earth or the amilennial pie in the sky

Amillennialists (Amils) say that the New Jerusalem will be in heaven, while the premillennialists (Premils) say it will be on earth. Why the controversy, for isn’t the scripture perspicuous on the issue? We read in Revelation 21:1-8 (my emphasis):

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 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. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away….”

If that doesn’t seal it for the Amils, here is one more: Revelation 5:1-10:

1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 6 I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

These two phrases in bold (“coming down” and “on the earth” are perspicuous, but only when you are aware, and hopefully dwell on them, can they become conspicuous. However, even when they stare an Amil in the face, he will spiritualise its earthy import. Here is Leipold Seiss’s commentary on Revelation 5:10:

“Why express themselves thus, just at this point? Because this taking up of the book was the pledge and proof that now He was fully invested and ready to redeem the inheritance, and to carry into effect the blessed promises, that “ the meek shall inherit the earth,” and that “ the kingdom, and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.” (Matt 5:5; Dan. 7:27.). It was now certain to sight that all was about to be literally fulfilled, and that their golden crowns and dignities were not mere empty things, but carrying with them all that such marks import.” “Some people tell us that it is quite too low and coarse a thing to think of the earth in connection with the final bliss of the saints. They preach that we do but degrade and pervert the exalted things of holy Scripture, when we hint the declaration of the wise man, that “ the earth endureth forever,” and that over it the glorious and everlasting kingdom of Christ and His saints, is to be established in literal reality. But if the ransomed in heaven, with golden crowns upon their brows, kneeling at the feet of the Lamb, before the kneeling at the feet of the Lamb, before the very throne of God, and with the prayers of all saints, and the predictions of all prophets in their hands, could sing of it as one of the elements of their loftiest hopes and joys, I beg to turn an deaf ear to the surly cry of “carnal,” “sensual” – “unspiritual” – with which some would turn me from “ the blessed hope.” Shall the saints in glory shout: “We shall reign on the earth,” and we be accounted heretics for believing that they knew what they were saying? Is it come to this, that to be orthodox we must believe that these approved and crowned ones kneel before the throne of God with a lie upon their lips? Shall they, from thrones in heaven, point to earth as the future theatre of their administrations, and give adoring thanks and praises to the Lamb for it, and we be stigmatized as fanatics and Judaizers, for undertaking to pronounce the blessed fact in mortal hearing? Oh, I wonder, I wonder, how the dear God above us can endure the unbelief with which some men deal with His holy word.”

“Shall we then keep silence on the subject ? When the Living ones and Elders fail to sing about it in heaven; when inspired apostles no longer admit the subject into their holy writings; then, but not till then, let it be dropped from the discourses of our sanctuaries, and from the inculcations of them that fear God.”

So, there is no reason that the Amil should think that we Premils are making lame excuses for our position. What happens after the thousand year reign of Christ on earth is, of course, a related, but not a pertinent issue here. (My gratitude to my favourite teacher S. Lewis Johnson, who brought Seiss to my notice. Listen to Johnson’s “Heavens’s view of the atonement” 43rd minute).

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3 thoughts on “The New Jerusalem: The premillennial theatre on earth or the amilennial pie in the sky

  1. Those who think the New Jerusalem comes down after the Millennium have made on big mistake. They have assumed that verse 1 of chapter 21 is the beginning of the vision of the New Jerusalem. Verse 1 appears to be mistakenly placed in the wrong chapter. It appears it should be the last verse of chapter 20 and concludes the vision to John of the end of man’s time on earth.

    The vision of the New Jerusalem starts with verse two. We understand the original writings had no chapters. Those who divided he verses into chapters appear to have made a mistake by making verse 1 of chapter 21 as part of the vision of the New Jerusalem. If you take away this mistake, all of the remaining scriptures in the Bible regarding the Millennium falls perfectly in place as the New Jerusalem coming down with Christ at the beginning of the Millennium. In fact, it appears Jesus will remain in the New Jerusalem (Holy Mount of God/Mount Zion), and we will dwell there with him during the 1000 year reign of the Jews as the fulfillment of God to Israel.

    Rodney Kent

    • New Jerusalem, Inhabitants & Earth Occupants

      In Revelation 20, John is shown a vision of partial events of the destruction of Satan and the wicked, who were trying to advance on Israel and destroy them. This partial vision of the destruction of the wicked continues on through the release of Satan at the end of the Millennium and into the Great White Throne Judgment. Verse 1 of Revelation 21:1 should have been shown as the last verse of Chapter 20, which sums up the vision of chapter 20 and indicates the end of time.

      We now start with Revelation 21, verse 2 which is another vision to John and not intended to be sequential to the last vision. This new vision is somewhat like Genesis where there is on story of creation, then followed by another summary of some of the details. This vision is of the New Jerusalem, but it does not come down after the Millennium, but it comes down prior to the Millennium. This will be the dwelling place of Christ and all the saints while we rule with Jesus for the 1000 years.

      There is absolutely no scripture that indicates that the New Jerusalem comes down to the earth after the Millennium, but there are MANY scriptures that indicate the New Jerusalem (God’s Holy Mount Zion) is present during the Millennium. The doctrine posed that the New Jerusalem comes down after the Millennium is advocated by those who use only one word in the scriptures to try and prove their point.

      They claim that the word “And” starting Revelation 21:2 means the New Jerusalem comes down after the vision of Revelation 20. It is preposterous to make a doctrine out of one’s own view and one word in Revelation. It is a fact that all through the chapters of Revelation, John is shown future, past, present visions in no particular sequence. The reader must realize that John is just being shown different visions, some in sequence, but others not in sequence.

      Revelation 21:2–3, 6-8, 24-27 2And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

      Starting with verse 2 of chapter 21, it is dealing with another vision, which is the New Jerusalem. In verses 2-3, the “Tabernacle of God” is Jesus, not the New Jerusalem, because it says, “He” will dwell with them (“he” refers to the Tabernacle of God who is Jesus). It also deals with eternal security and presence with Jesus.

      6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

      In verses 6-8, these verses indicate those who overcome will be allowed into this New Jerusalem, but those who choose their own way of life will experience the second death. This is a description of things to come during the Millennium instead of the New Jerusalem coming down afterwards. There would be no need for verses 6-8 if the New Jerusalem was after the Millennium.

      24And 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 honor into it. 25And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. 27And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

      Verses 24-27 place a nail in the coffin for the Post Millennium appearance. These verses could only be appropriate if the New Jerusalem appears at the start of the Millennium. After the Millennium, all wickedness will be in the Lake of Fire. We know there are 12 gates and 12 Angels which will not let any that defile enter into the New Jerusalem. This would not be needed if this was after the Millennium when all the wicked will be in the Lake of Fire.

      Jesus is the Temple of God. God is so powerful inside of Jesus that he emits tremendous light even though we are partially protected from God by the Temple of Jesus. We could not stand in the presence of God’s power. Remember, he is the source of energy and light that emits from all of the suns in the universe. Jesus would almost have to remain in the New Jerusalem and send his Angels in and out of the gates to do his bidding across the world to communicate with the Nations.

      It seems almost impossible that we Christians who come back with Christ to the world could be dispersed across the nations to sit upon thrones to judge the nations. It seems that we would have to be in the New Jerusalem and not in the sin tainted world. Also, we will have different bodies than the humans. We have become heavenly beings with new bodies.

      The Sun Shall Not Light On Them

      Revelation 7:13–17 13And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, what are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? 14And I said unto him, “Sir, you know”. He said to me, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”. 15Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sits on the throne shall dwell among them. 16They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

      It is a Biblical fact that all saved come to earth with Jesus prior to the Millennium. Thus we must be in the New Jerusalem if the sun does not light on us. We will be inside where Jesus is the light. This has to be a premillennial New Jerusalem. If we are inhabitants with Jesus, we would have to come to the earth with him. If we were outside his eternal habitat and scattered around the world, the sun would shine on us.

      Heavenly Occupants Will Reign with Christ during the Millennium

      Revelation 20:4, 6 4And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 6Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

      Again, it is a fact that we come with Jesus to the earth for the Millennium. We will live and reign with Christ a 1000 years. Since no sun will shine on us, this means the New Jerusalem will be our home during the Millennium. We become priests of Christ when we are saved.

      New Jerusalem, 12 Gates & 12 Angels

      Revelation 21:12 It 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.

      Revelation 22:14–15 14Blessed are they that do his commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.

      There would be no need for the Angels to be at each gate to keep the evil people from entering if the New Jerusalem came after the Millennium. The “Great White Throne Judgment” has sent all the wicked to the Lake of Fire. There would be no evil ones outside the gates after time has expired. The end of the 1000 years is the end of time. We that are saved will be in the New Jerusalem and eat of the Tree of Life. It is possible that those who are saved during the Millennium will be given new heavenly bodies and be able to enter the gates and live the remainder of the 1000 years inside the New Jerusalem.

      Revelation, Chapter 10 End of Time

      Revelation 10:5–6 5And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, 6And swore by him that lives for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer.

      The Mighty Angel (essence of Jesus) roars with the voice of judgment. This is another vision to John, but out of sequence as it is somewhat repeated in Revelation, chapter 20. It is referring to the time after the Millennium and the end of man’s time. The reference of “time no longer” means “time no more”.

      John 14:1-3 1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

      We will always be with Jesus wherever he might be.

      1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be “caught up” (Raptured) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

      We will always be with Jesus wherever he might be.

      Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we shall also appear with him in Glory.

      His Glorious Appearance is at the beginning of the Millennium. This means we will come with him at the beginning of the Millennium.

      2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

      We will always be present with Jesus.

      1 Thessalonians 4:16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (raptured) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

      We shall always be with Jesus wherever he might be.

      1 Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may establish your hearts un-blamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

      Again, we are his saints and will come with him at the beginning of the Millennium.

      Isaiah 2:2–5 2And 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. 3And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against another nation; neither shall they learn war any more. 5O house of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

      It is not difficult to understand that Isaiah is referring to the Millennium in these passages. It appears that Mount Zion is the New Jerusalem which shall be suspended above the top of the mountains of existing Jerusalem.

      In Chapter 60-62 of Genesis, we see that during the 1000 years, the Israelites will be brought from all parts of the world to once again gather around and in the Old Jerusalem. We also see that the Old Jerusalem will be the center or capital of the world, where all the other nations will honor Israel. This 1000 years will fulfill the promise of God to Israel that they will become his people (nation) and they will prosper. Notice in verse 13 below that the Old Jerusalem will be the footstool of God, but he will reign from the New Jerusalem.

      Isaiah 60:13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.

      Isaiah 65:19–25 19And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 20There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. 21And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. 24And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in my entire holy mountain, says the LORD.

      The above is from Isaiah’s prophecy of the Millennium. This is outside the New Jerusalem in the Old Jerusalem where the light from the New Jerusalem lights up Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. This area will be a well-protected region due to the glory of God’s light emanating from his Holy Mountain (New Jerusalem). This cannot be at the end of the Millennium as these actions are on the earth during the 1000 years of Israel’s reign.

      Isaiah 66:1 The Lord says, “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me”? And, where is the place of my rest?

      This indicates that the New Jerusalem is the place of the throne, and the Old Jerusalem is the footstool. God’s throne would not be in the Old Jerusalem built by mankind. Many of the remaining verses of Isaiah 66 declare that all the nations around the world will honor the Israelites and lavish them with goods. It also states that the nations will come to honor the Holy Mountain (probably New Jerusalem), and Israel will honor the Holy Mountain (Abode of God and his Son).

      Psalm 2:1-12 1Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? 2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4 He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 5Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 6Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. 10Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindle. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

      This appears to be the New Jerusalem (Holy Mount Zion) during the Millennium. Jesus will rule the world with an iron hand. Satan has been bound and the whole world has to live under the laws of God. However, there are many people during the Millennium throughout the world who are wicked and greedy and do not like the idea that they cannot manipulate the finances of the world.

      I also have a personal view that the wicked of the world during the Millennium will be glad when Satan is released and they can get together and attack the New Jerusalem and try to destroy it with Jesus and the saints inside of it. My thoughts are the wicked of the world will believe the great lie told by the wicked that the New Jerusalem and all occupants are aliens who have come down from another world to rule this world. The movie industry is filled with new movies depicting aliens coming here to take over this world. Since God will allow the destruction of the wicked during this time, they will say the aliens are out to destroy their world. The final attempt by Satan and the wicked will be to attack the New Jerusalem with all the modern weapons they have developed, but God will send down fire to destroy them when they attack.

      Revelation 19:13–14 13And he was clothed with vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

      I am not sure this is an army of warriors, but the army of saints, they were clothed in white which indicates they are the saved. Everything still leans toward all of the saved coming with Christ at the beginning of the Millennium. All other references to clothed in white linen indicates the saved of heaven.

      Micah 4:1–2 1But 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. 2And 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.

      This appears to be the New Jerusalem which also appears to be the Holy Mountain of God (Mount Zion).

      Zechariah 14:4–9 4And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. 6And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. 8And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

      Verse five states that all the saints in heaven will come with Jesus to the earth to rule with him during the Millennium. This also repeats other scriptures regarding the light of Jesus for our habitation and the river of the New Jerusalem that will come from the throne and cleanses all the rivers of Jerusalem and then on into the oceans to cleanse all the waters of the earth that was polluted during the Tribulation. Jesus will be the King of the Earth during the Millennium and reign from his heavenly throne.

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