Chapter 6: Millennial Government
The new government of Christ and His saints will have a familiar yet all new headquarters. Jerusalem has been chosen to be the “city of the great king” (Ps. 48:2). He will “choose Jerusalem again” (Zech. 2:12).
Jerusalem is a city with a long and impressive history. In the hearts of the Jewish people, Jerusalem was a city of special regard and honor. Even after the Jews were dispersed following the fall of Jerusalem, they still retained a feeling of reverence for their city.
And Jerusalem shall be “the city of the great King” (Ps. 48:2).
A certain rabbi tells this story of Jerusalem:
“Our father Abraham prepared to sacrifice
his son Isaac on that very mount Moriah. David captured the city and
made it the capital of his kingdom. Solomon built the first temple there
on this very spot. After the exile the second temple was built there.
Ever since the city was destroyed in AD 70, we have prayed that God’s
presence would return to the city.
“The state of Israel was declared in 1948, including half the city. In 1967 our people recaptured it and tore down the wall that separated the old and new. I have been to Jerusalem several times. You just don’t like to leave it. It’s the Holy Land and Jerusalem, the Holy City. Jerusalem means ‘city of peace.’ When Messiah comes, a blessed state will follow and Jerusalem will be a city forever.”
What does the Bible tell about Jerusalem past?
God Himself chose Jerusalem (Deut. 12:5; 1 Kings 11:13). His “name” was there (2 Chron. 6:6). All the people gathered there (Deut. 12; 14:24), and the annual Hebrew festivals were held there (Acts 20:16). The Israelite people brought their offerings there (Deut. 12:13-14). They paid their vows there (Deut. 12:26). They sounded their trumpets there (2 Chron. 29:28). They played their harps, sang praises, bowed their heads and worshiped there (2 Chron. 29:30). They heard the word of the Lord there (Neh. 8:8; Matt. 26:55).
Those who felt a dedication to God did not forget Jerusalem (Ps. 137:6). They talked about it; “glorious things” were spoken of it (Ps. 87:2-3). They prayed for it (Ps. 122:6); they loved it (Ps. 137:6): they rejoiced over it with great joy (2 Chron. 20:27-28). On one occasion they shouted so loud that the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away (Neh. 12:43; see also 2 Chron. 30:26-27).
But Jerusalem also has a future. God will again choose Jerusalem. It will not be forever trodden down by foreigners who know not God, or by Jewish nationals who do not recognize Him. “The Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again” (Zech. 2:12).
The prophet Isaiah pictures this “new Jerusalem” as the center of law and government for the new Kingdom. “And 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” (Mic. 4:2; see also Isaiah 2:3).
The prophet Joel also speaks of Jerusalem as the capital: “So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more” (Joel 3:17).
Isaiah pictures Jerusalem restored as a tabernacle that will never be taken down. “Not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken” (33:20).
The Psalmist describes Jerusalem as “the city of our God,” and “the mountain of his holiness,” the “joy of the whole earth.” “Great is the Lord,” he writes, “and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King” (Ps. 48:1-2).
Jesus also mentioned it in His first sermon: “Swear not…by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King” (Matt. 5:34-35).
But the future Jerusalem Christ chooses will not be the war-torn ruins of antiquity or even the rebuilt city of modern times. The prophet Zechariah says of the returning Christ that 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 ye shall flee to the valley…and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee” (Zech. 14:4-5). In this new valley, created by a physical earthquake and the removing of the mountains currently on the site of Jerusalem, a new capital will be built, in which the new government will set up its headquarters.