by Wade E Taylor
“For many are called (Spiritual Jerusalem), but few are chosen (Spiritual Zion).” Matthew 22:14
Another way to express this verse is: “Many are called, but few will pay the price in order to be chosen.” Being chosen is based on our submission to a process of qualifying, or overcoming.
“To him that overcomes (Zion) will I grant to sit with Me (Bride) in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His Throne.” Revelation 3:21 (comment added)
Within the Body of Christ are two levels of relationship to the Lord. One can be saved (Spiritual Jerusalem) and not become an overcomer (Spiritual Zion). One cannot be an overcomer without first being saved. Thus, there is a church within the church.
The first level (Spiritual Jerusalem) is made up of all those who are satisfied with the “fact” of being saved, but seek to go no further. These are saved, but view their salvation as being like “salt” that only flavors, rather than permeates their life style. They are satisfied with the promise of a future heaven, but have stopped short of the full work of the cross to bring them into spiritual maturity.
“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” I Peter 2:2 NKJV
“Till we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we may be no longer children….” Ephesians 4:13-14 ASV
The second level (Spiritual Zion) is made up of those who are being moved upon by the Holy Spirit, especially at this present time. These have a “single eye” toward the Lord, and can say with David:
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4
They have taken up their cross and have submitted their lives, and all that pertains to them, to His Kingdom rule, and can say with Paul:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me….” Galatians 2:20
These are a called out “people within a people” (Spiritual Zion) – those who are being dealt with and have qualified to become His Bride.
“The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of You, O city of God. Selah …And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the Highest Himself shall establish her.” Psalm 87:2-3, 5
Zion is a high place within Jerusalem that originally belonged to the Jebusites. It was taken by David and became known as the city of David.
“Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.” II Samuel 5:7
Zion, in the eyes of the Lord, is a very special place.
“Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” Psalm 48:2
Zion speaks of the place of David’s (and our) spiritual and governmental authority.
“Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion.” Psalm 2:6
Zion is the place of His anointing and provision.
“For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for My anointed.” Psalm 132:13-17
The Lord has a singular love for Zion.
“The Lord shall count, when He writes up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.” Psalm 87:6
David set up a tent in Zion to hold the ark of God.
“And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent.” I Chronicles 15:1
This tent became the abiding place of the Lord.
“In Judah is God known: His Name is great in Israel. In Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion.” Psalm 76:1-2
There were no separations between the Lord and those who worshipped in this tent in Zion. There was no Outer Court, Holy Place, or Holy of Holies into which a representative Priest entered once a year to make atonement for the people. All within the tent were on “common ground” (no platform – elevation of the clergy ) where the Lord Himself continually dwelt among His people.
“They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appears before God.” Psalm 84:7
Zion is a place set apart for the high worship of God.
“That I may show forth all Your praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in Your salvation.” Psalm 9:14
Zion also speaks of a spontaneity and harmony in worship.
“As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all My springs are in You.” Psalm 87:7
Pure worship, as in Zion, is the “key” that will unlock and open the door into His manifest presence.
“When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory.” Psalm 102:16
This “building up of Zion” is a prophetic indicative concerning the return of our Lord Jesus Christ in His manifest glory.
“When He (Jesus) shall come to be glorified in His saints (Zion), and to be admired in all them that believe (Jerusalem) …” II Thessalonians 1:10 (comment added)
Zion signifies the atmosphere in which the Bride will be made ready for the coming of her Heavenly Bridegroom. It speaks of those who have a consuming zeal to be brought into the highest that the Lord has. At the heart of this process is the cultivation of a personal relationship with Jesus, and a submission in every aspect of their lives to His Kingdom authority.
Chapter six of Isaiah relates to this special working of the Lord in Zion. It begins with the year in which King Uzziah died. Isaiah had been looking to an earthly king (Jerusalem) and is now turning to a higher throne (Zion). In the presence of this heavenly throne are Seraphim who resound in pure worship.
“And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.” Isaiah 6:3
As they continued in worship, the posts of the door began to move.
“And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke (glory).” Isaiah 6:4 (comment added)
This “door” leads from Spiritual Jerusalem, and all that pertains to it, into Zion and all that relates to it.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20
This “door” that Jesus speaks of relates to the “posts of the door” that Isaiah saw move. These “posts” speak of that which holds this door either closed or open. The unity in the audible voices of these worshippers (one cried to another) caused the removal of the hindrance that had held this door closed.
As the door opened, there was a lifting up from Jerusalem (type and shadow, structure, earthly government) into Zion (impartation, enabling, heavenly government) and into His manifest presence (throne). This manifestation of His glory is seen by Isaiah as being “smoke.” In II Corinthians 3:18, the glory of the Lord is likened to a mirror. As Isaiah beheld this glory, in the reflection of it, he saw himself as he had never seen himself before.
“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5
Isaiah had been serving the Lord before this experience, but in this visitation of glory, he saw himself as never before, and sought to be changed.
Nothing will change us more than a visitation of the Lord’s glory. To enter Zion means that we have moved through the barrier that exists between the temporal and the eternal. It is in Zion that we see ourselves as we truly are. Here, we are enabled to repent and cry out to be changed.
“Then flew one of the seraphims to me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar.” Isaiah 6:6
This speaks of the Baptism with Fire.
“…He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire: Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor….” Matthew 3:11-12
Multitudes have received the infilling of the Holy Spirit (Jerusalem) and have spoken in tongues, but few have tarried until the “fire” came (Zion) and purged them.
“And He laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.” Isaiah 6:7
As this coal of fire comes and touches our lives, we will be transformed, and our expression purified. There will come within us a quality that will have a spiritual “ring” to it of the very life of God.
“That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” Proverbs 8:21
Zion was the place of His abiding presence. He yet longs to be there. As we move beyond our being satisfied to abide in the blessings and gifts He has given us, and seek the purifying “fire” of His manifest presence, Zion will be built up and the Lord will come in His glory.
In Old Testament times, there were those who saw His glory within the tent in Zion. These told their children about it, and they in turn told their children. In time, Zion became as only a dream.
“When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing….” Psalm 126:1-2
We must go beyond our present level of spiritual understanding and experience, and again enter David’s tent. We cannot do this literally, but in spirit we can. As we ask the Lord to purify our lives, and voice our worship to Him, again, the “posts of the door” will move and we will enter His glorious presence.
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up….” Isaiah 6:1
No longer will “Uzziah” (Jerusalem) provide the comfort we seek, but we will see the Lord upon His Throne (Zion) and make Him Lord of our lives. And, in the reflection of His glory, we will see ourselves and be changed.
We must allow this “coal of fire” to have its full work within us, until nothing is left but that which pertains to Zion.
Then, Jesus will come forth in all His glory.