This Revelation Timeline Decoded Bible study is about the vision of earthly Jerusalem that is given in Revelation 21.
Abraham was not focused on earthly Jerusalem as being his inheritance, but rather the heavenly Jerusalem.
“For he (Abraham) looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:10
From Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible on Hebrews 11:10:
For he looked for a city which hath foundations – He knew that earth could afford no permanent residence for an immortal mind, and he looked for that heavenly building of which God is the architect and owner; in a word, he lost sight of earth, that he might keep heaven in view.
Paul pointed to heavenly Jerusalem:
“But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” Galations 4:26
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible on Galatians 4:26
But Jerusalem which is above – The apostle still follows the Jewish allegory, showing not only how the story of Hagar and Sarah, Ishmael and Isaac, was allegorized, but pointing out also that even Jerusalem was the subject of allegory; for it was a maxim among the rabbins, that “whatsoever was in the earth, the same was also found in heaven for there is no matter, howsoever small, in this world, that has not something similar to it in the spiritual world.” On this maxim, the Jews imagine that every earthly thing has its representative in heaven; and especially whatever concerns Jerusalem, the law, and its ordinances. Rab. Kimchi, speaking of Melchizedec, king of Salem, says: זו ירושלם של מעלה zu Yerushalem shel malah, “This is the Jerusalem that is from above.” This phrase frequently occurs among these writers, as may be seen in Schoettgen, who has written an express dissertation upon the subject. Hor. Hebr., vol. i. page 1205.
Is free, which is the mother of us all – There is a spiritual Jerusalem, of which this is the type; and this Jerusalem, in which the souls of all the righteous are, is free from all bondage and sin: or by this, probably, the kingdom of the Messiah was intended; and this certainly answers best to the apostle’s meaning, as the subsequent verse shows. There is an earthly Jerusalem, but this earthly Jerusalem typifies a heavenly Jerusalem: the former, with all her citizens, is in bondage; the latter is a free city, and all her inhabitants are free also. And this Jerusalem is our mother; it signifies the Church of Christ, the metropolis of Christianity, or rather the state of liberty into which all true believers are brought. The word παντων , of all, is omitted by almost every MS. and version of antiquity and importance, and by the most eminent of the fathers who quote this place; it is undoubtedly spurious, and the text should be read thus: But Jerusalem, which is above, is free, which is our mother.
The writer of Hebrews reinforced the focus on heavenly Jerusalem:
The city of Elohim is not the physical city of Jerusalem, but the heavenly Jerusalem, which is populated by His set-apart people.
“But, ye came to Mount Zion, and to a city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of messengers, to the company and assembly of the first-born in heaven enrolled, and to God the judge of all, and to spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to a mediator of a new covenant–Jesus, and to blood of sprinkling, speaking better things than that of Abel!” Hebrews 12:22-24
“Wherefore, also Jesus–that he might sanctify through his own blood the people–without the gate did suffer; now, then, may we go forth unto him without the camp, his reproach bearing; For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” Hebrews 13:12-14
From Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible on Hebrews 13:14
The object of the writer seems to be to comfort the Hebrew Christians on the supposition that they would be driven by persecution from the city of Jerusalem, and doomed to wander as exiles. He tells them that their Lord was led from that city to be put to death, and they should be willing to go forth also; that their permanent home was not Jerusalem, but heaven; and they should be willing, in view of that blessed abode, to be exiled from the city where they dwelt, and made wanderers in the earth.
Messiah proclaimed to be the foundation stone.
“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” Psalm 118:22
“And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner.” Mark 12:10
The apostles are the foundation of Holy Jerusalem.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:”
“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Revelation 21:14
The followers of Messiah are the stones which build up the walls.
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,” 1 Peter 2:4-7
John proclaimed that the enemy would trample Holy Jerusalem for 1,260 years.
The narrative of Revelation is the historical battle between the Satan-empowered Roman beast, referred to as the great city (Rome); against Messiah and His Church, known as Holy Jerusalem.
The Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 are the Old and New Testament (two olive trees), and the two church eras of Thyatira and Sardis (two lampstands), who testified against the Popes of Rome for 1,260 years, from 538-1798 A.D.
The two olive trees provided oil to the two lampstands (Rev. 1:20).
They witnessed that salvation is by faith in the atoning work of Messiah alone, not by the Catholic sacraments, and not through the Pope. And they testified that the Pope of Rome is the Son of Perdition and the antichrist beast, many times paying for their bold words with their blood.
The Popes of Rome relentlessly sought to burn the Scriptures and wipe out the Church of Messiah. They trampled on them for 1,260 years during the Dark Ages and the Inquisition, killing over 50 million saints.
“But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” Revelation 11:2
The Roman Catholic Church is an apostate church and not part of the true Church, thus they are deemed as Gentiles.
The great city of Rome, the Roman Catholic Church, tread under foot the true Church, Holy Jerusalem.
Here is a study on the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11
John proclaims that new Jerusalem is prepared as a bride.
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 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.” Revelation 21:2-3
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible – Revelation 21:2
New Jerusalem – This doubtless means the Christian Church in a state of great prosperity and purity; but some think eternal blessedness is intended.
John proclaims that the bride of Messiah is the holy city, the new Jerusalem:
“Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” Revelation 21:9-10
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible – Revelation 21:9
The bride, the Lamb’s wife – The pure and holy Christian Church.
Abraham, David, Paul, John and Messiah focused on a heavenly Jerusalem.
I dare say that we should stop looking to earthly Jerusalem and instead we should focus on heavenly Jerusalem, of which Messiah is the cornerstone.
Here are more Bible Commentaries:
John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible on Galatians 4:26
But Jerusalem which is above, This Sarah was a type and figure of; she answered to, and agreed with this; which is to be understood, not of the church triumphant in heaven, but of the Gospel church state under the administration of the new covenant; and that, not as in the latter day glory, when the new Jerusalem shall descend from God out of heaven, but as it then was in the apostle’s time, and has been since.
Particular respect may be had to the first Gospel church at Jerusalem, which consisted of persons born from above, was blessed with a Gospel spirit, which is a spirit of liberty, out of which the Gospel went into all the world, and from among whom the apostles and first preachers of the word went forth everywhere, and were the means of the conversion of multitudes, both among Jews and Gentiles, and so might be truly said to be the mother of us all.
The church in general, under the Gospel, may be, as it often is, called Jerusalem, because of its name, the vision of peace; being under the government of the Prince of peace; the members of it are sons of peace, who are called to peace, and enjoy it; the Gospel is the Gospel of peace, and the ordinances of it are paths of peace; and the new covenant, under the administration of which the saints are, is a covenant of peace. Jerusalem was the object of God’s choice, the palace of the great King, the place of divine worship, was compact together, and well fortified: the Gospel church state consists of persons, who, in general, are the elect of God, among whom the Lord dwells, as in his temple.
Here his worship is observed, his word is preached, and his ordinances administered; saints laid on the foundation, Christ, and being fitly framed together, grow up unto an holy temple in him, and are surrounded by him, as Jerusalem was with mountains, and are kept by his power unto salvation. This is said to be above, to distinguish it from the earthly Jerusalem, the inhabitants of which were chiefly men of the world, carnal men; but this heavenly Jerusalem, or Gospel church state, chiefly consists of persons born from above, called with an heavenly calling, and who bear the image of the heavenly one, whose conversation is in heaven, who are seeking things above, and in a little time will be there themselves; its constitution and form of government are from above, and so are its doctrines, and its ordinances.
Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible on Galatians 4:26
The new covenant, or the dispensation of the gospel, or the Christian church, which is above, or from above, which answereth to Sarah, and is said to be above, because revealed from heaven by Christ, sent out of the bosom of the Father, not as the law was revealed upon earth, upon Mount Sinai. Hence apostates from the doctrine of the gospel, are said to turn from him who speaketh from heaven, Heb 12:25. Or else it is said to be above, because it is the assembly of the firstborn written in heaven, Ga 4:23: hence the gospel church is called the heavenly Jerusalem, Ga 4:22.
Of this gospel church the apostle saith, that it is free; i.e. free from the yoke and bondage of the ceremonial law, or from the covenant and curse of the law. Which church, he saith, is the mother of all believers, they embracing the same faith, and walking in the same steps; from whence it was easy for the Galatians to conclude their freedom and liberty also from the law.
John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible – Revelation 21:2
And I John saw the holy city, The same with the beloved city in Re 20:9 the church of God: sometimes the church militant is called a city, of which the saints are now fellow citizens, governed by wholesome laws, and enjoying many privileges; but here the general assembly and church of the firstborn, or all the elect of God, are intended, the whole body and society of them, being as a city, compact together; called holy, not only because set apart to holiness by God the Father, and their sins expiated by the blood of Christ, or because he is made sanctification to them, or because internally sanctified by the Spirit of God, which now is but in part; but because they will be perfectly holy in themselves, without the being of sin in them, or any spot of it on them: and John, for the more strong ascertaining the truth of this vision, expresses his name, who saw it, to whom God sent his angel, and signified to him by these Apocalyptic visions what should be hereafter; though the name is left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions:
new Jerusalem; the church of God, both in the Old and New Testament, is often called Jerusalem, to which its name, which signifies the vision of peace, agrees; it was the city of the great King, whither the tribes went up to worship; it was a free city, and a fortified one: the Gospel church state in its imperfection is called the heavenly Jerusalem, and the Jerusalem above, which is free, and the mother of all; and here the church in its perfect state is called the new Jerusalem, where will be complete peace and prosperity; and which is called new, because it has its seat in the new heaven and new earth: the inhabitants of which will appear in their new and shining robes of immortality and glory; and to distinguish it from the old Jerusalem, and even from the former state of the church; for this will be תליתאה “the third time” that Jerusalem will be built, as say the Jews, namely, in the time of the King Messiah:
Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible – Revelation 21:2
The holy city, new Jerusalem; that is, the whole chorus or number of the elect of God, answering God’s chosen people in Jerusalem.
Coming down from God out of heaven; not locally coming down, but who had their original from heaven, and were all persons of heavenly minds.
Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; in their best robes of glory, such as brides use to wear, when on their wedding day they adorn themselves for their bridegrooms.
John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible – Revelation 21:10
And showed me that great city; which is no other than the church, the bride, the Lamb’s wife; just as the apostate church, all along in this book before, is called the great city, Re 11:8 but now that being demolished, there is no other great city in being but the church of Christ, called a city before; Re 21:2 here a “great one”, not only because of its prodigious large dimensions, Re 21:16 but because of the number of its inhabitants, being such as no man can number; and because it is the residence of the great King, the tabernacle of God will be in it; though this epithet is left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Vulgate Latin and all the Oriental versions: “the holy Jerusalem”; called “the new Jerusalem”, Re 21:2 here “holy”, in allusion to the city of Jerusalem, which was called the holy city, Mt 4:5 on account of the temple in it, the place of divine worship; but here this city is so called, because it is the residence of the holy God, Father, Son, and Spirit, inhabited only by holy men, made perfectly so, and encompassed by holy angels.
Matthew Poole’s Commentary on the Holy Bible – Revelation 21:9-10
I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife; I will show thee the whole church, (invisible heretofore), the glorious state of the church triumphant, under the representation of a great city.
And showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God; there he caused me to see the whole triumphant church, answering as the antitype to Jerusalem, but more holy; being not of the earth, earthly, but from heaven, heavenly; founded, built up, and adorned by God.
No language could give a more striking or beautiful representation of the heavenly state than that which is here employed.
“and the city hath no need of the sun, nor of the moon, that they may shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp of it is the Lamb;” Revelation 21:23
The followers of Messiah are the true Hebrews, the true Israelites, the true Jews, and they make up the true Holy Jerusalem.
Romans 2:28-29 tells us that a Jew is one inwardly, whose heart is circumcised.
“For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”
Romans 9:6-8 says Abraham’s fleshly descendants ARE NOT the children of Elohim.
“For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are NOT the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.”
Galatians 3:7 tells us that ONLY those who are of faith are the children of Elohim.
“Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.”
Galatians 3:16 tells us that the seed of Abraham is Messiah.
“Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say,“And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “and to your Seed,” who is Christ.”
Galatians 3:28-29 tells us that followers of Messiah(Jew and Gentile) are Abraham’s seed who receive the promises made to Abraham.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Paul is clearly telling us that true Israel, true Jews, believe by faith, and so inherit the promises made to father Abraham.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Everyone who believes in Messiah by faith, are the Chosen People of Elohim.
David Nikao Wilcoxson
Related Study: A 3rd Jerusalem Temple Is Not Biblical