The Old Testament Foundation for the New Jerusalem

The Old Testament Foundation for the New Jerusalem


Isaiah saw a future kingdom in which Jerusalem will be the religious, political, and economic center of all the earth.  The Word of God will go forth from Jerusalem, Isaiah 2:3.  That’s the religion of the kingdom.  The LORD will rule from Jerusalem in glory, Isaiah 24:23.  That’s the government of the Messiah.  The people of Jerusalem will cultivate the earth and enjoy its fruits, Isaiah 65:21-23, as well as partaking of the wealth of Gentile nations, Isaiah 60:14-16.  That’s the economy of the future.


Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.


When the New Jerusalem descends, it will shine forth its light to the entire world, since the true light will be reigning from in its midst.  Isaiah 60 would be a good place to start to read about the place of “the city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel” and her place amongst the Gentile nations during this Messianic Kingdom.  Gentile nations will come to the light which the New Jerusalem shines forth during the Messianic Kingdom. 


Isaiah 65:17 For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy.


This new heavens and new earth are further described in Isaiah 65.  A new and improved Jerusalem is also prophesied to exist during this time of a new heavens and new earth.  We see that death will be severely hampered, but not completely defeated.  Animals will live at peace with each other during this kingdom in the places where the LORD’s reign is established.  Isaiah 66:20-24 closes Isaiah’s prophecies of the Messianic Kingdom stating that Israel’s offspring will continue with her priests and Levites continuing as well.  Yet there are carcasses of men who have transgressed against the LORD which will be able to be viewed by those that go forth.


Isaiah 62:1 For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns. 2 The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name. 3 You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem In the hand of your God. 4 You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the Lord delights in you, And your land shall be married. 5 For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.


This New Jerusalem was prophesied of in Isaiah 62.  It would be the crown of glory in the hand of the LORD as well as being the bride which God rejoices over.  It is this New Jerusalem which Gentiles will see in its glory.  So we see in Isaiah 62 a future kingdom whereby there is a New Jerusalem which is the bride of the LORD existing here on the earth which Gentile kings will walk in her light.  How much more can I show the parallel of the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21 and 22 with this prophecy in Isaiah 62?  Those who live in this New Jerusalem will be called “the holy people, the redeemed of the LORD”, Isaiah 62:12.


I know because of the order at the end of Revelation that many believe that the New Jerusalem descends after the Millennium.  John sees a vision of the very end after the thousand years, but the vision turns back to the main focus which is THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST AT HIS COMING.  The marriage supper of the Lamb has occurred and the wife of the Lamb descends to the earth to be with the LORD during the thousand years.  Remember that Jesus promised the overcomers will rule with Him as He rules the nations, Revelation 2:26-27.  They will live in the New Jerusalem which comes down from heaven, Revelation 3:12. They will sit with Him in His throne, Revelation 3:21.  They will rule with Him for the thousand years here on earth, Revelation 20:4-6.


The Millennium is promised to be for 1000 years and I believe this is the time when Messiah will rule the nations with a rod of iron.  This is the time prophesied in the OT when all nations will flow unto Israel, Isaiah 2:1-4.  In short, Messiah will be here on earth with the governments upon His shoulders, Isaiah 9:7.  The earth will be transformed into a paradise during His earthly rule, Isaiah 11.  The New Jerusalem will descend at the beginning of the Millennium and will be the city from which Messiah will rule the nations, but some will still be sinful.  See Revelation 22:14-15 to see that outside the New Jerusalem are still some nations who have not believed on the Messiah.


The earth will be renewed at the time of Christ’s coming at which time occurs the Day of the LORD when the earth and heavens will burn with fire, II Peter 3.  The new earth that will begin when Christ returns will be that place where righteousness dwells because Jesus will be here.  The thousand year kingdom will exist in the new heavens and new earth which Christ will establish at His coming. 


The phrase in II Peter 3:4 “Where is the promise of His coming?” links the events of the judgement specifically to the coming of the Messiah.  It is a period of time during which God pours out His wrath BEFORE the thousand year reign of Messiah here on the earth.  The context is quite specific which refers to the transition between the old heaven and old earth and the new heaven and new earth.  The flood of Noah serves as the type.  The difference is that at Messiah’s coming, the heavens and earth will be destroyed by FIRE, not by water.  This is not an extensive period of time; it is a specific period of time when the earth and heaven are transformed into the new heaven and new earth which will exist.  This new heaven and new earth which Messiah will institute at His coming will be the place where righteousness dwells as the context states.  We as Christians look forward to this transformation since we will be in Messiah being without spot and blameless.  To see this as an extensive period of time is to force an idea onto the text which simply isn’t there.


Simply put, the New Jerusalem is linked to the new heavens and new earth, which are linked to the coming of the Messiah to rule in glory.  Before studying the New Testament teachings on the New Jerusalem, build your foundation on the Old Testament passages of the New Jerusalem.  One aspect of this kingdom will last for 1000 years, but in some ways this rule will last for all eternity.


Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13


-The Orange Mailman

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4 Responses to The Old Testament Foundation for the New Jerusalem

  1. I am very confused by all of the different views on the end times and just given up on understanding it. I just plan to stay ready for what ever comes. But I came to this site hoping to find out who builds the New Jerusalem? A Jewish friend says its angels and a Christian friend says its Jesus (“I go to prepare a place for you . . .” I can’t find a scripture that directly states who or what builds the New Jerusalem. Is there one?

  2. Thank you for directing the question my way. I confess that there is much about the scriptures that I don’t understand. That prompts me to delve deeper and ask God for understanding as I read.

    I suppose in the above article that I have emphasized Jerusalem as a city. We think of cities in the traditional sense, with streets, homes, stores, etc. However, there is a sense in which we, as the church, are the New Jerusalem. Read Hebrews 12:22-23 to see how the church and the heavenly Jerusalem are synonyms of a sort. See also Revelation 21:2 which pictures New Jerusalem descending as a bride. Then the angel states that he will show John the bride, the Lamb’s wife, see Revelation 21:9. So what does the angel show John? He shows him the New Jerusalem, see Revelation 21:10. So the New Jerusalem is the bride, the wife of the Lamb.

    As far as who builds the New Jerusalem, the only scripture that I can think of is Hebrews 11:10. Abraham looked for a city whose builder and maker is God. I see a correlation that we also should be looking for that city whose builder and maker is God since we should be living by faith. The writer to the Hebrews is making correlations all throughout chapter 11. So it seems that Abraham was looking for that New Jerusalem (later mentioned in Hebrews 12:22-23) whose builder and maker is God.

    So that’s the short answer. God is the builder of the New Jerusalem. Now whether He decides to use angels, or His Son, I’d be interested to hear the arguments. John 14:2-3 is compelling, but I think Hebrews 11:10 is a more direct answer and it would accord with Psalm 102:16. Remember that Jerusalem was built upon Mount Zion. But it would seem that the appearance of the LORD here would be a Messianic reference, making Christ to be the builder. So that leans the other way. I hope that helps some anyway.

    Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

    -The Orange Mailman

  3. Lynette Gautier says:

    I believe the Orange Mailman is absolutely correct. God will build, or has already built this fabulous city – that’s what Hebrews 11:10 says. What I try to imagine is what it will look like – possibly too glorious for us to be able to comprehend.
    I have a question – where God says He will draw all His people to Jerusalem from all corners of the world, could/would that mean His intention is to the New Jerusalem and not in current Israel? This is something I’m pondering quite often.

    • Thanks for the comment. As far as your question, it depends on which scriptures you are talking about. If you mean Zechariah 14:2, that’s a prophecy whereby nations on earth will be gathered and then the LORD fights against those nations. That’s talking about the earthly Jerusalem since women are mistreated there, people go into captivity, etc. If there is another scripture you are referring to, it may have a different context.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

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