We are often asked by people if we have been to the Holy Land, Jerusalem, or Israel. As if this were some kind of proper goal. Some kind of pilgrimage which must be accomplished in ones life time.
FYI: Dispensationalist teach that a literal physical kingdom has been delayed or is yet future and therefore Israel must again rebuild the temple and resume sacrifices.
Just in case some haven’t noticed God abandoned that place and the rituals that were in it, for a more spiritual habitation, our souls. We no longer have need of a religion of form and custom. Ours is a religion of faith and action. We no longer look to physical manifestations, we walk in a mystical sacred devotion of our convictions.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; 1Cor. 6:19
John Bunyan was right when he wrote his great Pilgrim’s Progress, ours is a spiritual walk or halakh. It is fraught with pit falls and false trails that we must avoid, or not having avoided them, make our way back to the right and true path that leads to the Jerusalem from above.
The New Jerusalem
For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come. Heb 13:14
Ours a spiritual journey not a physical one, for the physical is one of slavery.
25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. Gal. 4:25-16
The kingdom that has been given to us is not of this world.
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, Heb. 12:22
28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire. Heb 12:28-29
The City Bride
9 Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,
. . . And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. Rev. 21:22
The bride is not bricks and stone but symbolically represents living people. We are that bride. We are to walk in a way that prepares us for our one true Husband. So when that day comes we will be, we must be ready.
I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband. 2Cor. 11:2
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; Rev. 19:7
The kingdom of our Lord has come, the problem is that it is not of this world, it is one of spirit and not bricks and stone. Any other interpretation makes both John the Baptist and Messiah Himself out to be liars.
John the Baptist
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 3:2
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 4:17
. . . and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15
. . . but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.” Luke 4:43
. . . nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” Luke 17:21
The idea that the Kingdom of Heaven is a future, physical place of fabulous luxury and wealth, a place of peace and well being, of health and longevity, is just not here in the Bible. These attributes are never mentioned. As we study the parables we will find no future kingdom of perfection but we are repeatedly told, that the Kingdom is already here, it is hidden, partly corrupt, and full of persecution and tribulation. (See Also: The Kingdom Parables)