THE OLD JERUSALEM AND THE NEW JERUSALEM

(From Jerusalem to Rome "Why did the Church move to Rome from Jerusalem?..+ The New Heaven and New Earth according to the Messages of the BVM)
The New Heaven and the New Earth
Revelation 21:1
"Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
The Biblical Old Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing."- Matthew 23:37
The Name. The name "Jerusalem" occurs 806 times in the Bible, 660 timesin the Old Testament and 146 times in the New Testament; additional references to the cityoccur as synonyms.
Jerusalem was established as a Canaanite city by the Chalcolithic period (ca. 4000-3100b.c.), occupying the southeast hill that currently bears the name "City ofDavid." Steep slopes on each side of the hill provided a defensible site, and aspring at the foot of the hill provided necessary water. The earliest probable occurrenceof the name appears in the Execration Texts of Egypt (nineteenth to eighteenth centuriesb.c.) as Rusalimum. The Amarna Letters from Late Bronze Age Egypt (fourteenthcentury b.c.), written in the Akkadian language, include the name Urusalim. InAssyrian and Babylonian texts relating to the kingdom of Judah, Ursalimmu or asimilar form appears.
The archaeological investigation of Jerusalem is hampered by continued occupation;thus, even though no evidence exists for the sanctity of the site in Canaanite thought,human nature supports the assumption that the city had a religious center. The nameconsists of two elements: yrw and salem [el'v]. yrwmay signify "foundation" or "city, " while salem [el'v] is thename of a deity. The name means either "the foundation of (the god) Shalem," the patron-god of the city, or "the city of Shalem." Thus, a certainsanctity adhered to the city long before David acquired it.
Jerusalem in the Old Testament. Salem. The first occurrence of Jerusalem is inJoshua 10:1, but an allusion to Jerusalem appears in Genesis 14:18 with the reference toMelchizedek, king of Salem. Poetic parallel construction in Psalm 76:2 ( Heb 76:3 ) equatesSalem with Zion. Theologically, the Canaanite city of Shalem has become the biblical cityof Shalom, Peace. Prophetically, Isaiah spoke of the Prince of Peace (Shalom) who wouldreign on David's throne (in Jerusalem), a reference full of messianic portent ( Isa 9:6 ).
Jebus. At the time of the Israelite occupation of Canaan, Jerusalem was known asJebus, a shortened expression for "City of the Jebusites." References in Joshua,Judges, and 1 Chronicles note that Jebus is another name for Jerusalem. The Romans alsorenamed the city Aelia Capitolina, but in both cases the older name revived.
City of David. Second Samuel recounts David's conquest of Jebus, exploiting thesecret watershaft from the spring Gihon outside the city wall to its exit within the city.From that time on David "took up residence in the fortress, and called it the City ofDavid" ( 5:9 ).His subsequent construction of a palace made Jerusalem a royal city. His decision to rulefrom Jerusalem elevated a city, poorly situated for either trade or military activity, tocapital status. The politically neutral city, belonging to neither the northern norsouthern tribes, also became his personal property.
David transformed Jerusalem into the religious center of his kingdom by bringing intoit the ark of the covenant ( 2 Sam 6:1-19 ).Although David was not allowed to construct a temple, the arrival of the ark foreverlinked Jerusalem with the cult of Yahweh. Solomon, David's son, enhanced the religiousdimension of the city by constructing the temple of the Lord, symbolizing the presence ofYahweh in Jerusalem and Israel. David began the process of establishing the royal andreligious nature of Jerusalem, but it was Solomon who transformed the former Jebusitestronghold into a truly capital and national cultic center. The royal and covenantalfunctions of Jerusalem are linked in Psalm 2:6, where God announces that "I haveinstalled my King on Zion, my holy hill."
Jerusalem is imbued with an eternal nature in several passages in the Old Testament. AsYahweh's spokesman, Nathan promised David a dynasty that would rule in perpetuity ( 2 Sam 7:15 ). Thispromise was extended to Jerusalem because of its function as the royal city. In addition,Solomon described the temple as the place for God to "dwell forever" ( 1 Kings 8:13 ).While both kingship and covenant were to be centered in Jerusalem forever (cf. Psalms 132 ), thepromise was conditional ( 1 Kings 9:6-9 ).
The Bible is full of references to the tension confronting the prophets and people ofJerusalem over the "eternal" nature of the city and the conditions. Isaiah, forexample, understood that the Lord would shield Jerusalem ( 31:5 ), but he wasalso aware that certain conditions did apply ( 1:19-20 ; 7:9 b). Althoughpainfully aware of the transgressions of the city ( 1:21-23 ), henevertheless retained a hopeful vision for its future ( 2:3 ). Micah,Isaiah's contemporary, held similar views ( 3:12 ; 5:1-4 ). Theprophets knew that the destruction of the city was imminent, for the cult had becomecorrupt and Jerusalem, the home of the covenant, would have to pay the price. The people'sbelief in the mere presence of the cult as a talisman against harm was not enough to savethem from the discipline of destruction.
The idea that Jerusalem was inviolable persisted, however, no doubt strengthened inpart by the deliverance of the city from the siege of Sennacherib ( 2 Kings 19:20-36 ).Nearly a century later, following the apostasy of Manasseh and the reforms of Josiah,Jehoiakim ascended the throne of David in Jerusalem. The prophet Jeremiah, hiscontemporary, early on dismissed Jehoiakim as a despot worthy of the "burial of adonkey" ( Jer22:19 ). Jeremiah had supported the reforms of Josiah, but in the end the people weretoo hardened to change. They were convinced that the indestructible city and temple of theLord would protect them in spite of their depravity ( Jer 7:4 ). WhenJeremiah denied this and predicted the destruction of the temple, a century-old echo ofMicah, it nearly cost him his life. Jerusalem did not change and the doom of exile was theresult.
The Babylonian exile provided the environment for the transformation of Jerusalem,which lay desolate in ruins, into a spiritual symbol for the Jews. As important asJerusalem had been as a royal center for the kingdom of Israel and, after Solomon's death,for the kingdom of Judah, through the ages its importance has been as "the city ofthe Great King, " the Lord ( Psalm 48:2 ; Matt 5:35 ). Thedemise of the kingdom of Judah brought the political rule of the Davidic dynasty to aclose; thereafter the rule of the Davidic house was perceived in messianic andeschatological terms. Upon the return of the Jews from the exile to the ruins ofJerusalem, they rebuilt the temple but not the palace. The true sovereignty of God wasspiritual rather than political.
Zion. "Zion" is likely derived from a Semitic root related to afortified tower atop a mountain. Its earliest appearance in the Bible equates thestronghold of Zion with the City of David ( 2 Sam 5:7 ). Zion,then, was the fortified hill of Jebus conquered by David.
Zion was originally a geographic term for the City of David, but with the extension ofthe city northward to incorporate the Temple Mount, Zion came also to signify the dwellingplace of Yahweh ( Psalm9:11 ; [ 9:12 ]).The move of the ark of the covenant from the tent in the city to the temple proper mayhave prompted the shift of name.
The name "Zion" is seldom used in historical passages, but it occursfrequently in poetic and prophetic compositions as a synonym for all Jerusalem. In timeZion took on figurative as well as geographical connotations. Jerusalem is called the"Daughter of Zion ( Isa 1:8 ) and the"Virgin Daughter of Zion" ( 2 Kings 19:21 ).Jerusalem's inhabitants are called "sons of Zion" ( Lam 4:2 ), the"women of Zion" ( Isa 3:16 ), and the"elders of the Daughter of Zion" ( Lam 2:10 ). In theseexpressions the city has been personified. The extension of a place name to refer to itsinhabitants recognizes that the character of a city is determined more by the traits ofits population than by its buildings.
A visitor to modern Jerusalem will be shown the western hill rather than the City ofDavid as Mount Zion. Through changing usage over the centuries the name has migrated tothe west, but archaeology has shown that the original site was identical with the City ofDavid. No matter where the name rests geographically, Zion's true significance is in theheavens where God's dwelling will be with his people ( Rev 21:3-4 ).
Moriah. Moriah occurs only twice in the Bible ( Gen 22:2 ; 2 Chron 3:1 ). Therare use of the name, however, belies its theological significance. Abraham was instructedby God to take his son to the land of Moriah and there to offer him as a sacrifice. Theplace was three days' journey from Beersheba. The Chronicler, writing in the postexilicperiod, has connected the place of the offering of Isaac with not only Jerusalem butspecifically with the Temple Mount. This is the earliest evidence for this connectionwhich is also attested in Josephus (Ant. 1.13.1f [222-27]; 7.13.4 [329-34]), Bk. Jub.18:13, rabbinic literature, and Islamic thought (although with Ishmael as Abraham's son).This connection enhanced the sanctity of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount and contributed tothe basis for the Islamic name for the city, El-Quds, "The Holy (City)."
After Abraham was prevented from slaying Isaac, and the ram was provided as asubstitutionary sacrificial victim, Abraham called the name of the place Yahweh-jireh,"The Lord sees." Even so, the name never attained common usage.
The connection of Jerusalem with the sacred mountain of Yahweh is implicit in many ofthe references to mountain (Heb. har) in the Old Testament. The concept of a sacredmountain as the abode of deities was common in the ancient Near East. At Ugarit on theNorth Syrian coast, Mount Zaphon to the north was the sacred mountain. The most active ofthe gods of Ugarit was called Baal-Zaphon. Psalm 48:3 ( Heb 48:2 ), refersto Jerusalem as "the utmost heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the GreatKing." The poet has drawn on Canaanite imagery to enhance praise of the Lord.
Isaiah saw that ultimately the mountain of the Lord would be the goal of nations. Inthe last days "Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to themountain of the Lord'" ( 2:3 ). The word ofthe Lord will go out from Jerusalem; nations will convert weapons into agriculturalimplements and men will not learn war anymore. Then Jerusalem shall become the city ofpeace indeed.
Ariel. "Ariel" occurs five times as the name of David's city only inIsaiah 29. The meaning of the name is obscure. Perhaps it means "the hearth of God," compared to Ezekiel 43:15, or the "lion of God, " or, by a slightemendation, "the city of God." Another emendation would yield "the mountainof God, " congruent with similar references noted above.
Postexilic Jerusalem. The restoration of the Jewish people to Jerusalem wasdecreed by the Persian ruler Cyrus following his conquest of Babylon in 539 b.c.Sheshbazzar, a prince of Davidic descent, led the first group of exiles back in 538 b.c.,but there is no hint of the renewal of the monarchy. Persian political policy dominatedthe returnees. During this time a meager attempt at rebuilding the temple was undertaken.A second group of returnees arrived with Zerubbabel around 520 b.c. and work on the templewas accelerated through the prodding of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah; the structurewas completed and dedicated in 516 b.c. The city's walls were rebuilt under Nehemiah'sleadership (ca. 445 b.c.). Ezra instituted religious reforms based on the "Book ofthe Law of Moses, " probably the Pentateuch, which he brought back with him fromBabylon ( Neh 8:1 ).With this, the cult of Yahweh was fully reestablished in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem in the New Testament. New Testament Jerusalem is Herodian Jerusalem, acity four centuries beyond the time of Ezra-Nehemiah. In those four hundred years,Jerusalem witnessed the demise of the Persian Empire and the domination of the Greeks.Under the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt, the attractive influence of Greek culture affectedJerusalem and its people, weakening religious devotion and practices particularly amongthe priestly ruling elite (cf. 1 Macc. 1:14). The Syrian Seleucid dynasty wrested controlof Jerusalem from the Egyptians in 198 b.c. Finally, after Antiochus IV desecrated thetemple by sacrificing a hog on the altar, devout Jews led by the Hasmonean family(Maccabees) rose in rebellion to reclaim Jerusalem in 164 b.c. The Hasmoneans attainedpolitical independence and became a dynasty of priest-kings who ruled until Herod theGreat became king of Judea.
The Romans ended independent Jewish rule in 63 b.c. They place Herod on the throne in37 b.c., and he began the greatest building program Jerusalem had known. He constructed anew city wall, a theater and amphitheater, athletic fields, and a new palace. Hisreconstruction of the temple and the expansion of its platform made it the crown jewel ofJerusalem. At the same time, the Dead Sea Scroll community who deemed the Jerusalem templedespised by God, contemplated a New Jerusalem, completely rebuilt as a Holy City and witha new temple as its centerpiece (Temple Scroll). Herodian Jerusalem survived until the warwith Rome in 66-70 a.d.; the city then suffered siege and destruction. It is in thecontext of Jerusalem before the destruction occurred that New Testament references areset.
Jesus and Jerusalem. In the Synoptic Gospels Jerusalem is first mentioned inconnection with the birth stories of Jesus: Zechariah's vision in the temple ( Luke 1:5-23 ), thevisit of the Magi ( Matt2:1-12 ), and the presentation of the infant Jesus ( Luke 2:22-38 ).Luke records the visit of Jesus to the temple at age twelve ( 2:41-50 ), and infact New Testament references to Jerusalem are predominantly in Luke-Acts. Jesus istempted by Satan at the highest point of the temple just prior to the start of hisministry in Galilee ( 4:9-13 ). Further,Luke records the "travel account" (9:51-19:27) in which Jesus sets his facetoward Jerusalem and the inevitable events that were to take place there for, as Jesusobserved, "surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!" ( 13:33 ). Jerusalemand the temple symbolized the covenant between God and his people, but the covenantrelationship was askew. Luke records Jesus' tears and sorrow over Jerusalem and hisprophecy of its destruction ( 19:41-44 ).
Jewish messianism had long anticipated the return of a Davidic king to the city. Thearrival of Jesus in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, described in Luke 19, was perceived as aroyal procession by followers and adversaries alike. Jesus saw that the temple had becomea commercial establishment rather than a center of spirituality. By "cleansing"the temple he reaffirmed its place of honor.
Jesus' role was to put humanity back in line with the will of God. Although thefulfillment of this role through his death upon the cross was to take place outside thecity, Jerusalem provided the backdrop for his Passion. Luke records many of the activitiesof that last week: the Last Supper, the arraignment before the high priest, Peter'sdenial, the trial before Pilate all took place within Jerusalem. And some postresurrectionappearances of Jesus took place in Jerusalem ( 24:33-49 ) wherehis disciples were to await the coming of the Holy Spirit ( 24:49 ). Luke'sGospel closes with the call of Jesus to preach in his name to all nations "beginningat Jerusalem" ( 24:49 ).
Matthew recalls the sanctity of Jerusalem as the "holy city" ( 4:5 ), and Jesusrefers to it as "the city of the Great King" ( 5:35 ). The name"Zion" in Matthew refers to fulfilled prophecy ( 21:5 ; cf. Rom 11:26 ). NewTestament references to Zion mainly recall Old Testament passages; however, the heavenlyJerusalem is identified as Zion in Hebrews 12:22 and Revelation 14:1.
Mark's references to Jerusalem are set mainly in the Passion narrative; however, henotes the "massive stones" of the temple ( 13:1 ). All threeSynoptic Gospels record the splitting of the curtain in the Jerusalem temple during thecrucifixion. The Holy of Holies, the former center of covenant, was opened by this eventto the new covenant with Christ.
The Synoptics are largely silent concerning any visits by Jesus to Jerusalem betweenchildhood and his last week, but the Gospel of John supplements the record in thisrespect. According to John, Jesus cleansed the temple early in his ministry, following the"first sign" at Cana ( John 2:13-16 ).Jesus also attended the Feast of Tabernacles and taught in the temple ( 7:14 ). And hehealed the blind man at the pool of Siloam (chap. 9). The healing of the lame man at thepool of Bethsaida is also recorded in John (chap. 5).
Paul and Jerusalem. Acts 1:4 notes that the apostles were to wait for thepromised gift of the Father in Jerusalem, and the gospel began to be preached there (chap.2). In Jerusalem Stephen delineated the differences between Christianity and mainstreamJudaism. The city was central to the early Christian community, and its leaders frequentedthe temple as a place of prayer. In Jerusalem Paul received his commission to preach tothe Gentiles ( 22:17-21 ).Paul remained in contact with the temple, praying ( 22:17 ) and seekingpurification there ( 24:18 ).Paul expected Gentile Christians to identify with Jerusalem and to develop a sense ofkinship with the Jerusalem church. He actively encouraged outlying churches to sendsupport to the "poor among the saints at Jerusalem" ( Rom 15:26 ).
The Heavenly Jerusalem. New Testament Christians held the view that there was acity with foundations whose architect and builder was God ( Heb 11:10 ).Further, this was a heavenly Jerusalem "Mount Zion, … the city of the livingGod" ( 12:22 ).The population would consist of those whose names are written in heaven. Theeschatological view of Jerusalem that developed among Christians, aside from that ofJudaism (cf. Isa60:14 ), looked forward to the fulfillment of the promise of the kingdom in theestablishment of a New Jerusalem that would come "down out of heaven from God" ( Rev 21:2 ). This cityis described in contrast to the city allegorically called Sodom and Egypt, that is, theearthly Jerusalem, "where also their Lord was crucified" ( Rev 11:8 ).
The Bible begins with a bucolic setting in the Garden of Eden; it closes on an urban scene, and that city is the New Jerusalem. For Christians, the identification of earthly Jerusalem as the dwelling place of God, which figures so frequently in the Old Testament,has been transformed into a heavenly Jerusalem, the true sanctuary of the Lord (cf. Gal 4:26 ; Heb 12:22-29 ).Nevertheless, Christians have always been drawn to the earthly Jerusalem, as have Jews and Muslims, for it has retained through the centuries its role as the center of the three monotheistic religions.
source:biblestudytools .com
THE NEW JERUSALEM THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH ("The Church in Glory "Catholic Teachings)
Why did the Church move to Rome from Jerusalem?
Many Evangelicals wonder why the Church ended up in Rome. Scripture talks about the "New Jerusalem" and doesn't talk about the Church in Rome until the end of the Book of Acts.
Understanding this partially hinges on whether we accept that Peter was given the Keys to the Kingdom by Jesus (Mathew 16:18). Catholics think there is undeniable biblical and historical evidence to support the primacy of Peter.
Peter, who was given the keys, died in Rome and that's where his successors were. Meanwhile in Jerusalem in 70 AD a great persecution made the Church almost completely inactive there until about 130 AD. An article establishing Peter's presence and death in Rome is here.
The New Jerusalem of Revelation was not a physical place
Just as the Old Testament is full of foreshadows of the New Testament (typology), Catholics believe the Bible is clear that the New Jerusalem of the Book of Revelation is not the historic city of Jerusalem. After the crucifixion, the curtain of the Jewish sanctuary was torn in two (Mk 15:37-39, Lk 23:44-46, Mt 27:51) which was God tearing his cloths. At that point, a transfer of authority happened and we believe that the fledgling Church became the New Israel. The Catholic Catechism Article 63 explains:

Israel is the priestly people of God, "called by the name of the LORD", and "the first to hear the word of God", the people of "elder brethren" in the faith of Abraham.
After the death of Jesus, the Old Testament prophesies about Jerusalem were clearly understood as a reference to God's people rather than the historic city of Jerusalem. This means that the seat of the Church could be anywhere on earth. This opened the door for a move to somewhere that would be best for the struggling fledgling Church. That doesn't mean that there is no historical or spiritual importance to Jerusalem, nor does it deny that the Lord's promise to the Jewish people is eternal.
The book of Acts makes the establishment of the Church in Rome the goal
Jesus wanted the Gospel preached through all the world. If there had not been persecutions in Jerusalem it is questionable how far the Gospel would have traveled. The persecutions forced the apostles outward. We see in the book of Acts a powerful movement to establish the Church in Rome. That is where the book of Acts finishes. St. Luke states, “This is how we finally came to Rome” (Acts 28:14). Some Evangelicals think the Book of Acts ends too abruptly. They fail to see that the establishment of the Early Church in Rome was the goal and Luke ends his book when this is accomplished. The move to Rome was very early in Christian history, it's in the Bible. That's about as early as it gets. Jesus said "make disciples of all peoples" (Mat 28:19) and that could best be accomplished through the communications nerve centre of the world, which was Rome. Those who think Rome is the city of the beast may want to read this.

Peter had primacy over apostles, including James of Jerusalem
An Orthodox priest pointed out that James made the decision over the circumcision issue in Jerusalem, not Peter. (Acts 15:19). James was the Bishop of Jerusalem, it totally makes sense that James would make a decision over his own area. He made that decision based on Peter's (Simeon's) discourse (Acts 15:14). His decision was a response to Peter's directive. There is no biblical evidence of a power struggle between St. James (the Bishop of Jerusalem) and St. Peter. There is however tons of evidence that Peter was the lead.

Next to Jesus, Peter is mentioned more than any other apostle in Scripture (152 times).
He stood up and spoke on behalf of the apostles (Mt 19:27, Acts 1:15, 2:14)
He stood up at the birth of the Church at the Pentecost to lead them. (Acts 2:14)
The disciples were referred to as Peter and the Apostles. (Acts 2:37, 5:29)
Peter was given the authority to forgive sins before the rest of the apostles. (Mat 16:18)
He was always named first when the apostles were listed (Matthew 10:1-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:14-16, Acts 1:13) -- sometimes it was only "Peter and those who were with him" (Luke 9:32);
John ran ahead of Peter to the tomb but upon arriving he stopped and did not go in. He waited and let Peter go in. (Jn 20:4)
Peter stepped out of the boat in the middle of the storm, even though they were all afraid they would die in the storm. (Mat 14:29)
Peter was the oldest
Jesus told Peter to "feed my lambs...tend my sheep... feed my sheep." (Jn 21:15-17) The difference between a sheep and a lamb might be significant. A lamb is a baby, a sheep is an adult. Perhaps Jesus was asking Peter to take care of both the general people (the lambs), and the apostles (sheep). Regardless of that interpretation of sheep and lambs, is clear Jesus is asking Peter to feed and tend his flock. That is what a shepherd does. It appears that he is asking Peter to shepherd his Church on earth, on his behalf.
“Simon, Simon! Remember Satan has asked for you (Greek plural-“you all”), to sift you all like wheat. But I have prayed for you (Greek singular-“you alone”) that your faith may never fail. You in turn must strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32).
Peter oversaw the grafting in of the Samaritans, and then the Gentiles. This could have wrecked the faith, but under Peter's guidance the Church went along with it, because he was their leader.

Moving to Rome from Jerusalem makes sense, Jerusalem has always been in turmoil
From a clearly practical standpoint, we can't possibly imagine how the Church could have succeeded with the Pope in Jerusalem. Jerusalem has been in a constant state of turmoil, and has been conquered many times. Jerusalem was under Islamic rule for many of centuries since the time of Christ. We can imagine the fate of the seat of the Vicar of Christ (the Pope) under Islamic rule. It would have been a disaster. Yes, Rome was sacked in 410, 455, and 546 AD by the Germanic tribes, and again in 1527 by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, but this is still nothing compared to the constant turmoil of Jerusalem. Catholics believe God knew exactly what he was doing when he moved the seat of the Church to Rome away from the middle east during the first generation after Christ.
Lord Jesus, let Your prayer of unity for Christians 
become a reality, in Your way.
We have absolute confidence 
that you can bring your people together,
we give you absolute permission to move.
Amen

THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
ARTICLE 7
"FROM THENCE HE WILL COME AGAIN TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD"

I. HE WILL COME AGAIN IN GLORY
Christ already reigns through the Church. . .
668 "Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living."549 Christ's Ascension into heaven signifies his participation, in his humanity, in God's power and authority. Jesus Christ is Lord: he possesses all power in heaven and on earth. He is "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion", for the Father "has put all things under his feet."550 Christ is Lord of the cosmos and of history. In him human history and indeed all creation are "set forth" and transcendently fulfilled.551
669 As Lord, Christ is also head of the Church, which is his Body.552 Taken up to heaven and glorified after he had thus fully accomplished his mission, Christ dwells on earth in his Church. The redemption is the source of the authority that Christ, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, exercises over the Church. "The kingdom of Christ [is] already present in mystery", "on earth, the seed and the beginning of the kingdom".553
670 Since the Ascension God's plan has entered into its fulfillment. We are already at "the last hour".554 "Already the final age of the world is with us, and the renewal of the world is irrevocably under way; it is even now anticipated in a certain real way, for the Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real but imperfect."555 Christ's kingdom already manifests its presence through the miraculous signs that attend its proclamation by the Church.556
. . .until all things are subjected to him
671 Though already present in his Church, Christ's reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled "with power and great glory" by the King's return to earth.557 This reign is still under attack by the evil powers, even though they have been defeated definitively by Christ's Passover.557 Until everything is subject to him, "until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God."559 That is why Christians pray, above all in the Eucharist, to hasten Christ's return by saying to him:560 Marana tha! "Our Lord, come!"561
672 Before his Ascension Christ affirmed that the hour had not yet come for the glorious establishment of the messianic kingdom awaited by Israel562 which, according to the prophets, was to bring all men the definitive order of justice, love and peace.563 According to the Lord, the present time is the time of the Spirit and of witness, but also a time still marked by "distress" and the trial of evil which does not spare the Church564 and ushers in the struggles of the last days. It is a time of waiting and watching.565
The glorious advent of Christ, the hope of Israel
673 Since the Ascension Christ's coming in glory has been imminent,566 even though "it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority."567. This eschatological coming could be accomplished at any moment, even if both it and the final trial that will precede it are "delayed".568
674 The glorious Messiah's coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by "all Israel", for "a hardening has come upon part of Israel" in their "unbelief" toward Jesus.569 St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: "Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old."570 St. Paul echoes him: "For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?"571 The "full inclusion" of the Jews in the Messiah's salvation, in the wake of "the full number of the Gentiles",572 will enable the People of God to achieve "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ", in which "God may be all in all".573
The Church's ultimate trial
675 Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.574 The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth575 will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.576
676 The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism,577 especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism.578
677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.579 The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.580 God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.581
* II. TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
678 Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgment of the Last Day in his preaching.582 Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light.583 Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God's grace as nothing be condemned.584 Our attitude to our neighbor will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love.585 On the Last Day Jesus will say: "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."586
679 Christ is Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgment on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world. He "acquired" this right by his cross. The Father has given "all judgment to the Son".587 Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life he has in himself.588 By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one's works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love.589
IN BRIEF
680 Christ the Lord already reigns through the Church, but all the things of this world are not yet subjected to him. The triumph of Christ's kingdom will not come about without one last assault by the powers of evil.
681 On Judgment Day at the end of the world, Christ will come in glory to achieve the definitive triumph of good over evil which, like the wheat and the tares, have grown up together in the course of history.
682 When he comes at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, the glorious Christ will reveal the secret disposition of hearts and will render to each man according to his works, and according to his acceptance or refusal of grace.
THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH ACCORDING TO THE VIRGIN MARY (AFTER THE GREAT CHASTISEMENT CATHOLIC PROPHECY)
From Fr. Gobbi MMP Entry 16 (#435b-c). ......Today I announce to you that there is about to be born the new Church of light.....The glorious reign of Christ, which will be established in your midst, with the second coming of Jesus in the world, is close at hand. This is his return in glory. This is his glorious return, to establish his reign in your midst and to bring all humanity, redeemed by his most precious blood, back to the state of his new terrestrial paradise. (The phrase, "terrestrial paradise" is mentioned 6 times in Fr. Gobbi's book of locutions)
That which is being prepared is so great that its equal has never existed since the creation of the world....(?better than the paradise of Adam and Eve before the fall?).....I reveal my secret only to the hearts of the little, the simple and the poor, because it is being accepted and believed by them.

OUR LADY OF ANGUERA
Pedro Regis 3.937 - Message of Our Lady delivered on February 8, 2014 transmitted in 08/02/2014
Dear children, everything in this life passes, but the grace of God within you remains forever. The Earth is besmirched by the sins of men. The day is coming when the Lord will transform everything and you will see the beauty of creation. The beauty which is invisible to your eyes will become visible to the just ones after the definitive triumph of my Immaculate Heart. After the great tribulation, the Lord will come to your aid and you will see a new Heaven and a new Earth.
Pedro Regis 3.942 - Message of Our Lady, delivered in Riberão Pires/SP, delivered on February 19, 2014 transmitted in 19/02/2014
Dear children, open your hearts to the Lord and give Him your very existence. Do not lose hope. God is in control of everything. There will be no defeat for my chosen ones. Humanity walks under clouds of sin, but the Lord will transform the Earth and all will live joyfully. That which the Lord has prepared for His elect is something human eyes have never seen.
Valentina Papagna April 22, 1994 (Entry 41) 
"Tell people that after the Purification there will be a new beginning, a new spring of peace, love and joy in the world.";
"You have no idea how beautiful it will be.";

footnotes:c.c.c.
549 Rom 14:9.
550 Eph 1:20-22.
551 Eph 1:10; cf. 4:10; 1 Cor 15:24,27-28.
552 Cf. Eph 1:22.
553 LG 3; 5; cf. Eph 4:11-13.
554 1 Jn 2:18; cf. 1 Pet 4:7.
555 LG 48 § 3; cf. 1 Cor 10:11.
556 Cf. Mk 16:17-18,20.
557 Lk 21:27; cf. Mt 25:31.
558 Cf. 2 Thess 2:7.
559 LG 48 § 3; cf. 2 Pet 3:13; Rom 8:19-22; 1 Cor 15:28. 
560 Cf. 1 Cor 11:26; 2 Pet 3:11-12.
561 1 Cor 16:22; Rev 22:17,20.
562 Cf. Acts 1:6-7.
563 Cf. Isa 11:1-9.
564 Cf. Acts 1:8; 1 Cor 7:26; Eph 5:16; 1 Pet 4:17.
565 Cf. Mt 25:1, 13; Mk 13:33-37; 1 Jn 2:18; 4:3; 1 Tim 4:1.
566 Cf. Rev 22:20.
567 Acts 1:7; Cf. Mk 13:32.
568 Cf. Mt 24:44; 1 Thess 5:2; 2 Thess 2:3-12.
569 Rom 11:20-26; cf. Mt 23:39.
570 Acts 3:19-21.
571 Rom 11:15.
572 Rom 11:12, 25; cf. Lk 21:24.
573 Eph 4:13; 1 Cor 15:28.
574 Cf. Lk 18:8; Mt 24:12.
575 Cf. Lk 21:12; Jn 15:19-20.
576 Cf. 2 Thess 2:4-12; 1 Thess 5:2-3; 2 Jn 7; 1 Jn 2:18,22.
577 Cf. DS 3839. 
578 Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris, condemning the "false mysticism" of this "counterfeit of the redemption of the lowly"; cf. GS 20-21.
579 Cf. Rev 19:1-9.
580 Cf Rev 13:8; 20:7-10; 21:2-4.
581 Cf. Rev 20:12 2 Pet 3:12-13.
582 Cf. Dan 7:10; Joel 3-4; Mal 3:19; Mt 3:7-12.
583 Cf Mk 12:38-40; Lk 12:1-3; Jn 3:20-21; Rom 2:16; 1 Cor 4:5.
584 Cf. Mt 11:20-24; 12:41-42.
585 Cf. Mt 5:22; 7:1-5.
586 Mt 25:40.
587 Jn 5:22; cf. 5:27; Mt 25:31; Acts 10:42; 17:31; 2 Tim 4:1.
588 Cf. Lk 21:12; Jn 15:19-20.
589 Cf. Jn 3:18; 12:48; Mt 12:32; 1 Cor 3:12-15; Heb 6:4-6; 10:26-31.

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