What does Zion means?
One Zion or Two?
Is Zion a Real Material City?
The Blessed Material City of the Invisible World
What about the earthly Zion then?
When will the earthly Zion be restored?
Nowadays nobody even in the Church likes to mention Zion because of a lack of revelation. Because the Bible says that Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry as a mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises (Heb 8:6), we must have a better vision of Zion than all the saints who lived during the Old Testament times. If you believe this statement say, ‘Amen’ and God will open your spiritual eyes to His truth!
The Word 'Zion' occurs over 150 times in the Bible. The first mention of the word “Zion” in the Bible is 2 Samuel 5:7.
Wikipedia encyclopedia clearly states,
Zion (Hebrew: ציון; Tiberian vocalization: Ṣiyyôn; transliterated Zion or Sion) is a term that most often refers to Jerusalem and by extension, the Biblical land of Israel. The word is found in texts dating back almost three millennia. It commonly referred to a specific mountain near Jerusalem (Mount Zion), on which stood a Jebusite fortress of the same name that was conquered by David and was named the City of David.
The term Zion came to designate the area of Jerusalem where the fortress stood, and later became a metonym for Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem, the city of Jerusalem and generally, the Promised Land to come. According to the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament, God dwells among his chosen people. 
Jerusalem remained under Jebusite control for many years because the Lord had originally promised to the Israelites saying, “And the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you." (Deu 7:22(C.Ref: Exo 23:30), NKJV). In other words, if the Israelites had been empowered by the Lord to conquer all the Canaanites at once, they would have got in to a terrible situation where the wild beasts in the forest would become very numerous due to lack of human presence, and having complete dominion over the forest lands the wild beasts would have started to kill the Israelites one by one. Finally as promised by the Lord, ‘Jerusalem’ was decisively captured by King David. David was the man whom God used to finally capture the resting place of God where the Israelites could build a temple for Him. So it was called by its name ‘the city of David and the city of God’ (2 Sam 5:6-9; 2 Chron 6:4-10).
Whenever we speak about anything in the Bible, there is one original with God in heaven. The other He has typified on earth as a model of the original in heaven. Why does God always show a model of the reality to us and not the original itself? If we are able to see the original now itself then we do not need spiritual God-materials such as faith, hope and love at all while we live on earth (1 Cor 13:13). God has kept the models on earth in order for us to believe the invisible things in heaven which he has planned and created for us to enjoy right throughout our eternity ahead! Apostle Paul agrees with the above statement when he says, “… it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God." (1Co 2:9-10, NKJV).
Here are two important things we must understand from the above verses. Firstly, God has already prepared a fantastic, unbelievable and an incredible future which we have neither seen, nor heard, or even have entered in to our natural soulish mind. Secondly, God has already revealed to us His children who love Him, all the things which He has prepared for us. This revelation of the Spirit came to us through His inspired word of the New Covenant to build us up to believe all the things. The inspired word was first revealed to us when the Spirit of God started to search out the deep things of God which had been hidden to many saints of the Old Testament in the past and started to reveal all things to the New Covenant saints through the foundational “Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Eph 3:9-11; 1 Peter 1:10-12; Eph 2:20; Gal 1:11-12). So we now have an authentic base to build ourselves spiritually.
The name ‘Zion’ primarily represents the ‘city of God’ in heaven. The entire city of David [i.e. Jerusalem] along with its magnificent temple which gloriously stood in times past is just a pale reflection of the original city which God Himself has built with His own hands in heaven (2 Chr 7:1-3; Ezra 5:15; 6:15-16; Mark 13:1). The Bible says, “[Jesus has become] 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, [in heaven] and not man.3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices... 4 ...on earth, ...[the] priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 ...serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” ” (Heb 8:2-5). Here in the preceding verses we come to understand that God has already built a spiritual material city and a temple in it to dwell even before anything was ever created in heavens or on earth, from which He rules the entire universe. This specific city was the one which Abraham was shown by God in a vision, which the Bible reveals that he also desired to dwell for eternity along with God.
I believe that God is the greatest realtor in the entire world because He had planned settlement for His friends and children even before they ever came in to existence (Acts 15:18). Knowing this truth made Abraham the friend of God to “seek [for] a homeland” (Heb 11:14) in the most valuable and the costliest city of the entire universe. God also promised Abraham that the prime spot within the capital city of God will be given to him and God assured him many times afterwards about it. He embraced and confessed the promises of God by living with a mindset of a pilgrim and a stranger while he lived on earth by faith (Heb 11:13). The Bible clearly says that because these faith-men desired a better material country built by God as their permanent abode than get satisfied with the earthly ones built by men during their time of life, God became so happy to be called by their name [i.e. God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Matt 22:32; Acts 3:13; 7:32)] and was not ashamed to be represented by mortals like them who were full of faith (Heb 11:16). O what a humble God we serve!
To differentiate this heavenly capital city of God from the earthly one in Israel that was firmly believed by the first century Jews to be Zion, Apostle John when he wrote the Book of Revelation as revealed by God, calls the same heavenly city as “the New Jerusalem” (Rev 21:2). Being called ‘New Jerusalem’ doesn’t mean that it is built newly. It is called as new because it will be newly revealed to all mankind in the new earth only after the destruction of the old one at the end of the Millennium rule of Jesus Christ (Rev 20:7-10; 2 Peter 3:7, 10). This New Jerusalem will be placed by God in the centre of the new earth just like the old Jerusalem is placed in the centre of the present earth. All the faith-over comers will be able to access it in the new earth just like it is in the present earth and in the Millennium time (Zech 14:16; Isa 60:14). The source of this heavenly material city in the time of creation is God Himself. In other words, God was the chief architect, builder and also the engineer behind such great awesome project. He was the industrialist who produced all materials by the “word of His power” (Heb 1:3; [cross ref 2 Pet 3:5]).
Jesus promised his disciples saying, “1 Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; [dwellings] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare [i.e. make room] a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” (John 14:1-4 NKJV). Here in this preceding verses Jesus was not speaking about a new place to be created for the believer but to make room for the believer in the already built Father’s house which is nothing but the New Jerusalem which John speaks in Rev 21:2 .To ‘prepare’ means to make room for the believer in the already built ready to occupy mansions of the Father’s house of Jesus. For example, if we have already built a palace and are living in it for years, say a relatives of ours wants to come and live with us in the palace the rest of their lives. Surely we will make sure that before they arrive in our palace, we will make room for them in a comfortable place so that once they come at the appointed time, they will be able to occupy it immediately and live with us. In other words, just because our relatives have told us that they are coming doesn’t mean that we will start to build a palace again for them to be accommodated.
This is the way Jesus is also preparing the place for us. New Jerusalem has already been built as a heavenly country to live by, and now in that place Jesus is making room for us believers to be accommodated. In other words, as the army of faith over-comers walking in the footsteps of Abraham the whole Church should be looking forward to that heavenly city which is to be occupied to the full capacity very soon (Rom 4:12; Heb 13:14). In the heavenly city of God the ad board hanging before it must have something like this written on it till the rapture of the Church take place, “Vacancy, to let, welcome home to the city of God, the faith dreamers paradise found.”
The Bible speaks of this city as the “continuing city [Note: the present continuous tense in which it describes the city as something present now].” Some of you may not even have a clue of what “continuing city” which the Bible says is the “one to come” (Heb 13:14)? Do you understand which permanent city the Bible is here speaking about? It is speaking about “...the holy city, [of] New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Rev 21:2) Are you looking forward to it or have been seduced by the devil and his demons to be satisfied in this earthly life under the world system of governance itself? For this reason, Apostle Paul has advised every believer living on planet earth to “...seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col 3:1-2). Some people make the word of God void of power by saying “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good.” This is a worldly proverb. It is not in the Bible and so it is of no spiritual use. You can never be so heavenly minded that you come to the point of no usefulness in the earthly realm. Think about Jesus who was so heavenly minded that he said, "I speak what I have seen with My Father..." (John 8:38) and "...the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner." (John 5:19). Such heavenly mindedness produced such a great zeal and fervor in Him that the Bible says, "... [Jesus] went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." (Acts 10:38) The bottom line is, “When you are so heavenly minded you will be of great earthly good just like Jesus.” Your head should be in heaven but your feet should be on earth to be an effective Kingdom citizen of Zion. Praise the Lord!
Many people believe that the saints are the city of Zion. They substantiate their claim by pointing to Heb 12:22-24, “22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 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, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” In the preceding verses we see that the saints are not the city, but have come to the city of the living God. And also the above verses prove that Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem and the city of the living God are all synonymous names used to represent the same ‘Zion’ which is the ‘city of God’. Then these verses point the new believers to the destination of the city of God they have already arrived in the spiritual realm, which is already accessible to them from their spirit-man. The born-again spirit-man has the ability to transcend time and distance to receive instructions and communicate back to this heavenly head quarters of God which is ‘Heavenly Zion’. God already hears, speaks and supplies to the need of all believers from His holy hill of Zion where He resides. This is why David who lived as a new covenant believer in the Old Testament times said, “1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills— from whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2). Like David every new covenant believer need to look at the city of Zion in heaven where their help will come from, each believer's help will come from heavenly Zion because this is the place where the Lord our God resides (Ps 50:2; 99:2; 132:13). The writer of the Book of Hebrews points out that we the saints of God on earth have come to the literal city of the living God which is in heaven because of the legal privilege we now have to connect to the city of our living God through our transcendental born again spirit-man inside us. The spirit-man of a born again believer has the ability to literally connect and receive communication from Mount Zion itself through the Holy Spirit who connects them to the city of God where God resides (1 John 3:24; Rom 8:15-16, 26-27; John 14:23, 26; 16:13-14). So only, now we do not have a God who is millions of miles away in a distant invisible heavenly hood but he is staying nearer to us than the air we breathe (Is 30:21; Acts 17:28). Praise the Lord!
The writer of the Book of Hebrews also points out that the new believers who are on earth, by being born again have now come to Mount Zion in Heaven. By having come to the literal Zion through their God-connection in their spirit-man, they have also come “22...to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church ... to God ..., to the spirits of just men ..., 24 to Jesus ..., and to the blood of sprinkling [from heaven which cleanses us constantly].” In other words, all the people whom we see along with the city are the only legal occupants of the heavenly [New] Jerusalem. They are not the material city but a part of it (Rev 21:22). This is why after knowing the deep meaning of Zion, I now love to sing the song “Come, ye that love the Lord…” from the bottom of my heart.
Come, ye that love the Lord
Join in a song with sweet accord
Join in a song with sweet accord
And thus surround the throne
This prior lyrics of the song says all that we have been relating earlier. In reality we are marching towards our heavenly capital city of ‘Zion’ now and then, often daily to unload ourselves of our problems and anxieties through our prayer done to God (Phil 4:6-7). We also receive from the heavenly capital city of God the answers and provisions for all our needs (Phil 4:19). Every time we pray to God we are marching upward through our spirit-man to Zion in the spiritual realm. We are marching to Zion through Immanuel’s ground which God had opened directly when two thousand years ago at the moment Jesus died and gave up His spirit-man. At that moment, God the Father received His spirit-man in to the Holy of Holies in heaven where He resides (Matt 3:17) and gave evidence about it by tearing up the veil from top to bottom inside the literal temple in Jerusalem indicating to all believers in Jesus Christ that they too can march in their spirit-man to enter the Holy of Holies in heaven like Jesus which have been denied until then (Matt 27:50-51; Heb 9:19-22; 12:22). It is truly a beautiful material city of God. This material city is prepared and expanded in construction for the saints to live throughout eternity. If you ask me, ‘How can you say that it is a material city?’ Nice question we will find the answer from the Bible next.
The number of reasons that I give to firmly say that “Zion” is a material city and not just a spiritual one is because of the following reasons,
Firstly, the reason we can say it is a material city because it has a finite location which is in heaven. Apostle John saw it located in heaven and coming down from heaven at that time (Rev 21:2). But the eternal location will be in the new earth (Rev 21:2-3). It is not a cube as some believe, but I believe it is a broad square with a mountain as a base in which the city is built.
Secondly, the city itself has been built on the mountain. God is a mountaineer. So only He has built the capital city of the universe on a high mountain. Zion itself is called as “Mount Zion” in many places (Ps 48:11; Is 4:5; Joel 2:32), so Mount Zion is indeed a mountainous city. I believe this City itself is a series of mountain hills [i.e. low foothill] increasing in height until the highest peak which is the capital building of God where God is already sitting as the supreme civil moral governor of the universe. When John described this city, it was under renovation as promised by Jesus Himself, but now I believe it is all ready now and very soon Jesus will come to take away the Church which is His bride to this eternal city (John 14:2-3; 1 Thess 4:15-18). The highest peak in which God resides will be 1500 miles high. It increases step by step with a slow and steady increase to the top. It is 1500 square miles (Rev 21:16). John clearly describes this city as “a great and high mountain” (Rev 21:10).
Thirdly, around the mountainous hills are the “foundations of the wall” and “construction of its wall” which has been laid and built (Rev 21:18-19). The wall is 1500 miles high. This wall is not spooky spiritual thing of the figment of imagination that God has described, but material things with which the wall, city have been built. It has literal material with which the Bible describes it to have been built and fixed. The city itself is pure gold (Rev 21:18). The foundations of the city wall are done with precious, costly and valuable material stones (Rev 21:19-20). The material stones used in the construction of the city wall is “jasper” (Rev 21:18). The city has twelve gates, each gate designed with a huge single stone of pearl.
Fourthly, the city has river, streets, gates, foundation, trees, fountain of water, glory of God as light and angels as guards in the gates as any other city in this planet earth. The river of water is clear as the crystal throughout the city (Rev 22:1).
Fifthly, I believe that there will be a banquet hall in the midst of the city where the marriage supper will be conducted. Jesus spoke of this banquet hall in heaven often in parables (Matt 9:15; 22:10). Even though parables are heavenly truth explained through earthly things, here the parable is exactly represented by a wedding that is going to take place after the rapture of the Church (Rev 19:7, 9). The bride is symbolically represented as the Church of Jesus Christ with the bridegroom represented by Jesus Himself. So I believe there will be this hall in the centre of the heavenly city of God, which will be present with the central purpose of Lamb’s Marriage as the very purpose of its existence (Luke 14:15-24). Every material thing in the city will be kept fresh always by the very presence of God (Rev 21:23). Each street in the city will go through one gate, broadways criss-crossing each other throughout the city. One pearly street gate is connected to each city street which is made of pure gold, like transparent glass (Rev 21:21). As there are twelve main outer gates mentioned, there will be twelve guarding angels with one guarding angel stationed at each one (Rev 21:12). There will be twelve main big broadways as there are twelve gates to the city.
Sixthly, because John the Apostle in Rev 21:22 says, “ ...I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” Many believe that there will be no temple in Zion the city of God. But it could not mean no literal temple as many scriptures in the other part of the Book of Revelation reaffirms that there is a literal material temple in heaven where God resides. The literal temple of God in heaven is mentioned in the city of God in all these following scriptures (Rev 3:12; 7:15; 11:19; 14:14; 16:1-17; 15:5). So the meaning of “I saw no temple in it” by John the Apostle means that God’s presence in the city of God will not be just confined to only the literal material temple in heaven. But it will be accessible to all its citizen everywhere and every time because of a spirit-connection they will have in their spirit-man. It will be like God is personally present with everyone at all times in heaven because of His glory presence present in all its citizen (Is 30:21; 58:9; Rev 21:4, 7; 22:17). Because God is present tangibly in all the places in the city of God, He Himself will be the chief dwelling and worship place (Rev 7:15; Acts 17:28). Because true worship in spirit and truth will take place in heaven all the time (John 4:23-24), there will be no literal specific place of temple worship present in heaven. This is the reason Rev 21:22 says, “…the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”
Seventhly, the Bible says that there will be no night in the city of God there and also the city has no need of sun, moon and stars because the purest of the purest and the brightest of the brightest light from the glory of God will radiate the whole city right out of the thousand five hundred miles high God’s residing throne which is the highest place of the entire universe and the city of God (Rev 21:23-27; 22:5). Water will be in abundance throughout the city. A river with crystal clear water will flow throughout the city supplying water in abundance. There is no stagnant water bodies like lakes and ponds, rather fresh running water with serene tree of life which has the ability to bore every month twelve different variety of fruits in it will be present at both sides of the river (Rev 22:1-2).This tree of life will also be planted in the middle of the street to sit and relax under its shade and also eat its fruits. The leaves of these trees are supernaturally medicinal to heal all the natural peoples sad and sorrowful memories of the life on earth particularly during the millennium rule of Jesus Christ on earth. I believe these leaves will be taken by the saints in heaven progressively to make earthly millennium saints to forget all the hurts (Rev 22:2). In the new heaven and new earth the former life of sadness and hurts will not be remembered or come to mind as promised by God. God will reprogram the mind of every saint who lives in the city of God with memories of only the faithfulness of God in their past lives (Rev 21:3-4; Is 65:17). So there is no need of the healing leaves for the saints in the city of God. God eats food too along with the angels in heaven whenever they choose to eat and enjoy (Ps 78:25; Luke 22:28-30; 24:41-43). So definitely the saints in the city of God will eat the fruits of the tree of life which is watered by a crystal pure water of life, the source of the water of life is right from the throne of God and of the Lamb (Rev 22:1). There will be fountain set up for all the saints in the city of God to freely drink the water of life everywhere at all times whenever they want it (Rev 21:6). If God had promised beforehand that “...everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken." (Mic 4:4) during the Millennium rule of Jesus Christ on earth, how much more the saints will live at the same period of time in the heavenly city of God and will rule the earth along with Jesus Christ (Rev 20:4; 2:26; 3:12, 21)? The glory and honor of the nations who are the saints of God with the resurrected body will come to back to God’s city in heaven to praise Him often and then return back with new command from Zion to rule the earth during the Millennium rule of Jesus Christ (Rev 21:24, 26). Praise the Lord!
Finally, in this material city of Zion, the very tabernacle of God will be with resurrected men who will hold the Spirit of God in their bodies as the real temple of God. In the body of the saints, God the Spirit will make His home for eternity ahead (Rev 3:12; 22:3-5; 21:2-8; 1 Cor 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16; John 14:23).
Some people say that the nation of Israel and the city of Zion which is Jerusalem has been replaced by the Church and God’s celestial spiritual city of Zion. To this what does Apostle Paul say who wrote nearly one third of the New Testament because of receiving revelation directly from Jesus Christ (Gal 1:11-12)? Paul himself starts with the question, “1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew..." (Rom 11:1-2).
When the Israelites rejected Jesus the only heir and the rightful king of the city of God on earth (Matt 5:35; 21:33-42), God by His sovereign choice took the kingdom of God and placed it upon the gentiles around the world and considered them as God’s nation which is the Universal Church in the present dispensation until the second coming of Jesus Christ (Matt 21:43-44; 16:18-19; 18:18-20; 1 Peter 2:9). God added all the believers from earthly Zion to be registered as citizens of heavenly Zion by laying Jesus as “a chief cornerstone” (Rom 11:5; Heb 12:23), and then made Jesus as the “stone of stumbling and a rock of offence” (1 Peter 2:8) for all unbelievers who are religious namesake hypocrites. The believers started to build their life by faith in the finished work of Jesus as their foundation to reach the true heavenly Zion, upon the unbelievers the stone fell and crushed them to powder through the prophetic words of Jerusalem’s destruction that Jesus released before he died on the Cross (Luke 7:47-48; 1 Cor 3:11-15). The religious hypocrites of the first century A.D. believed that as long as they dwell in the earthly city of God which is Jerusalem, they will be safe because the temple of God is present in it. And God will not allow the temple to be destroyed by the enemies of the nation of Israel. Jesus clearly predicted the destruction of the earthly Jerusalem when the disciples spoke about the glory of the earthly temple (Mark 13:1-2; Luke 21:20-24). These unsaved hypocrites who rejected the teachings of Jesus were really rejected from entering the heavenly city of Zion and were thrown in to the prison of Hades where there will be deep darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth continually, they will be awaiting the white throne judgment which will be conducted only after the millennial reign of Jesus, in which they will be thrown them in to the everlasting lake of fire and brimstone prepared for the devil and his angels (Luke 13:22-30; Rev 20:11-15; Matt 25:41). Apostle John said all unbelievers will be “tormented day and night forever and ever” in this lake of fire for eternity (Rev 20:10). This is the same place which was described in the Gospel of Mark as “hell” where the fire is never quenched and their worms present in it do not die (Mark 9:43-48).
Even Jesus mourned over the earthly Jerusalem saying, “34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! 35 See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’”” (Luke 13:34-35). When will the Jewish people will say from Jerusalem “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” to Jesus? This will happen as the Bible says only when the evil armies of all nations led by the Antichrist will finally come to annihilate Jerusalem from the face of the earth during the battle of Armageddon (Ezek 38:22-23; Zech 14:1-5; Rev 19:19-21). At this time as the Bible says the people in Jerusalem will cry out to Jesus whom they will spiritually see and realize as the one whom they have rejected when He came as their Messiah in His first coming to the nation of Israel and pierced Him to death (Zech 12:10-11; Matt 24:30). This self-realization of the true Messiah will happen because the spiritual blindness will be removed from them and the “Spirit of grace and supplication” which comes as a result of faith in the atoning death of Jesus on Calvary, like the Church saving-faith will be given to the all the remnant of Israelites left at the second coming of Jesus as a gift to them (Zech 12:10; 13:9; Rom 11:25-27, 30-31).
As the earthly city of Zion is a replica of the heavenly Zion of God, we will continue to compare both to find what really awaits it? Rebellion in the beginning happened in the heavenly places and God the Father threw out all of the rebellious angels along with Satan their gang leader and made them in to ashes (Ezek 28:14-19). The “mountain of God” is situated in the city of Zion. This is place from which God says he threw Satan out in the beginning after God created the heaven and the earth (Ezek 28:16; Gen 1:1-2; Job 38:6-7). This implies that the place where the Book of Job says the sons of God assembled on a particular day must be the second heaven from which the angels operate under the sovereign instruction of “the presence of the LORD” (Job 1:6, 12; 2:1).
The humans who continue to rebel against Jesus will be banished forever from the earth. As the heavenly city of Zion is the headquarters of the entire universe, in the same way from the day of the second appearance of Jesus Christ on planet earth, Jesus will make the earthly Jerusalem as the headquarters of the entire earth for a whole millennium (Matt 5:35; Rev 20:9). The judgment of the whole world in righteousness will start from Jerusalem with the judgment of all the nations of the world and will continue throughout the millennium from the earthly Zion (Matt 25:31-34, 41, 46; Ps 9:7-8, 11). All the rebels and unbelievers will be completely annihilated from the earth in the judgment of nations. Only the believers in their physical body will enter the millennium reign of Jesus.
The earth will be reformatted by earthquakes during the great tribulation and mainly by the unprecedented earth quake that the Bible says will happen when Jesus will arrive on earth to defeat the Antichrist and his cohorts (Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11; Rev 6:12; 11:13; 16:18; Zech 14:3-5; Ezek 38:19-23). I believe that the axis shift that has happened during the flood and aftermath of the flood during the “days [in which] the earth was divided” will be revoked and earth will return to its former position as before the flood of Noah’s days and will perfectly stand with no lagging axis-shift. Before the axis shift the post-flood migration of animals and humans also must have happened all over the entire earth because of the confusion that God sent in to human kind when they tried to rebel against Him (Gen 8:14; 10:25, 32; 11:1-9). All these things will be rectified and return to its normality during the millennium rule of Jesus.
The earth was also having an air-conditioned climate before the flood. Due to this kind of comfortable optimal climatic condition, the human physical bodies were able to continue with the original creation time cellular multiplication and regeneration process which must have made the humans on earth even after the fall to live hundreds of years. God's water vapor barrier kept the most harmful ultra violet rays from entering our atmosphere and contaminating the cellular regeneration process. As a result of it, it kept the body's cells to stock up and sustain themselves for much longer periods of time. Initially when God created the wide area of what was later called by God as heaven on the second day (Gen 1:6-8); He divided the waters under it from the waters above it. Then He collected the waters on earth at one side of the planet and called it as Seas, and then He spoke the dry land in to existence on the other side of the planet and called it as the Earth. The planet as a whole had two division only, the mass of dry land on one side and the collection of seas on the other side (Gen 1:9-10). God caused to rain on the earth only from the time of the Noah’s flood, before that time “a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground” (Gen 2:6; 7:11-12). So there must have been this water-vapor canopy which would have covered the whole earth from the harmful radiation of harmful rays from the outer space that usually have a life shortening effect upon human body. This shielding was made obsolete when “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened” and as a result of it “the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights” (Gen 7:11-12). At the end of it the waters both above and below were stopped and restrained (Gen 8:2-3). By this time the shielding was completely changed in to a thinner one progressively day after day as we now see. Bible Scholar Jack Kelley says, “At the time of the flood it [i.e. the water vapor canopy] collapsed and fell to Earth. It provided a lot of the water for the flood. Genesis 7:11 describes this as the floodgates of the heavens opening. After the flood the ocean floors sank and the mountains were elevated to contain the excess water. About that time the Earth’s single land mass was also split up into the continents we see today. ”
The electro-magnetic invisible field covering that is right now present are shielding at least a little bit of ultra-violet cosmic radiation and other harmful rays from the outer space, though not as well as like that of the water vapor canopy which once would have done a flawless absolute perfect shielding, which were later totally made obsolete during the flood. I believe during the millennium this water vapor canopy and its succeeding air conditioned climate will be restored which will once again make the humans live longer due to much better cellular regeneration and perfect shielding of all harmful rays of the sun. The brightness of the sun will increase seven times during the millennium, this points to the fact that the covering over the earth will surely be a water vapor canopy (Is 30:26). The agricultural yield will be fantastic due to the optimal temperature and the brightness of sun light all over the earth.
The air during the millennium will be fresh like a fragrance without any sign of pollution which contaminates it. The sun light will be seven times brighter than our times which will come to earth filtered through the water vapor canopy in the millennium. The water will be revived and restored to its Eden’s purity by Jesus (Gen 2:10-14). Again like in the beginning “a mist… [will go] up from the earth and will water the whole face of the ground” (Gen 2:6) along with the rain that will come along with it as a double blessing of God if all the nations obey to attend the festival of the Feast of Tabernacles each year in Israel (Deut 28:12; Zech 14:18-19). O what a blessedness!
This is a question that comes to every believer’s mind these days after seeing the nation of Israel get revived after nearly two millenniums of exile. The emergence of the nation of Israel in the world map as a legitimate nation is also a sure end-time Biblical sign of the imminence of the second coming of Christ (Matt 24:32-33). The Apostles in the first century did not understand the exile of the nation of Israel that God had already pre-planned for nearly two millennia, which God has also clearly revealed will happen to the nation of Israel through Jesus. They never understood this truth of Israel’s exile for two millenniums, until they were all filled with the Spirit after the ascension of Jesus Christ on Pentecost (Luke 21:20-24). This is the reason even just minutes before His ascension the Apostles and the believers with them were asking Jesus, “…Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). In other words they were asking Jesus, “Will you defeat the Roman government [which ruled Israel at that time] now and establish a worldwide government of God to be set up from Jerusalem as its headquarters?” This misunderstanding was because they had not the veil of the flesh lifted up till the day of Pentecost in which the Holy Ghost was given to be upon them, to give them understanding regarding the prophetic truths of the scriptures which Apostle Peter not only understood but expounded to thousands of people through a sermon. These following verses are the promise of Jesus to his disciples regarding the spiritual understanding about the kingdom of God on earth, which actually Jesus promised to reveal to them through the Holy Spirit right from the day of Pentecost. Jesus promised before His death on the cross in the Gospel of John which says, “12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:12-14), this promise of Jesus was exactly fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.
After getting this spiritual understanding Apostle James announced clearly that the Church will be the first program in the prophetic time table of God to get established (Matt 16:18). When the Church has fulfilled its God ordained purpose on earth to propagate the gospel of Jesus Christ all over the earth (Matt 24:14), then Jesus will return to take away the Church first to heavenly Zion and then after the Tribulation is over will come to earth and rebuild the “tabernacle of David” which is the earthly Zion (Matt 24:29-30; 1 Thess 4:16-18; Acts 15:13-17). The end time Tribulation will be for the disobedient nation of Israel and the luke-warm believers [i.e. nominal-christians] to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (Daniel 11:35; Zech 13:8-9; Rev 3:15-19).
From this point of time, the whole of mankind including Christians who are called by His name on earth will seek the Lord who will dwell in Zion and rule the whole earth “with a rod of iron” (Rev 19:15) in God’s authority. This millennium rule of Jesus Christ on earth was called by Apostle Peter as “the times of restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21) because all the earth will be reformatted and restored back to Edenic conditions from that point of time. Apostle Paul says, “… [spiritual] blindness in part has happened to [the nation] of Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Rom 11:25). So when does the fullness of the Gentiles will come in to God’s sheep fold (John 10:16; 17:20). The spiritual blindness of rejecting Jesus Christ as their Messiah will go only after they receive the Antichrist as their messiah and will come to realize their folly on the verge of annihilation of the whole nation of Israel in the hands of Antichrist on the day of Armageddon (John 5:43). On that day in their hopelessness when they call for their real Messiah to come and rescue them, then He will appear on earth and will rescue and rebuild it from that point of time onward, this is the event we usually call as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to planet earth (Zech 12:10-11; Matt 23:38-39; 24:29-31). So the “fullness of the Gentiles will come in” till the time of Jesus’ Second Coming to the earth (Acts 2:20-21; Matt 24:29-31). Both “fullness of the Gentiles” (Rom 11:25) and “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) are synonymous. Both of them end at the time of Second Coming. The only difference between them is that the "fullness of the Gentiles" started with the Church age on the day of Pentecost, while the times of the Gentiles started with the Kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar in the Old Testament Book of Daniel (Acts 2:14-21; Daniel 2:37-38). The city of Jerusalem will be trampled by Antichrist until the Armageddon in which this prophecy will be fulfilled, after which none on earth will be able to trample it even up to the end of the millennium rule of Jesus Christ on earth. At the end of the Millennium rule of Jesus Christ, Satan will be released from his prison and he will go out in to all the earth and will recruit an army of rebels to destroy the beloved city of Zion on earth, but will be altogether burnt by fire from heaven (Rev 20:7-9). During the Millennium rule of Jesus Christ the Church will stay in heavenly Zion and will rule the earth from earthly Zion. You may ask how this can be. Because the new resurrection body of Jesus and all the believers who will get resurrected in the rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus will have a supernatural celestial body, it will supersede and transcend the earth bound time and space limitation of our present physical body (1 Cor 15:40). Hence the Church along with the Tribulation saints who have died as martyrs will rule the whole earth with Jesus Christ for a Millennium (Rev 19:7-8, 14; 20:4-6; Daniel 7:14, 27). This will be a true heavenly kingdom rule on earth (John 18:36; Daniel 2:35, 44).
So saints what you are you waiting for? The future belongs to us. The present time of distress in this world is but a little time in comparison to the eternity of glorious future ahead of us. Fight the good fight of faith as long as you live in this earth as a soldier-warrior of the army of the heavenly Zion which we have seen and meditated in a glorious way (1 Tim 6:12). When you live by faith in the promises of God day in and day out, "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matt 18:18). In other words, the whole army of the “Lord of Hosts” (Ps 84:12; 89:8) from the heavenly Zion will be behind you to make your life victorious as an over-comer of all evil things on earth. Live by faith and become a God-pleaser who makes the heart of God to rejoice and sing over you for eternity ahead. Cause, for a little time of hardship you are inheriting an eternal benefit of God’s favor and reward.