About Heaven on Earth
In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John envisioned The New Jerusalem, also called Zion, the House of Yahweh or simply Heaven, coming down to Earth (Revelation 21:10-16). Its measurements are given as 1500 miles in all three dimensions. Isaiah (760 BC) and Micah (735 BC) prophesied, "the mountain of the House of Yahweh" would be on Earth in the latter days.
The mode of Christian thought about Heaven on Earth was set by Augustine (430 AD) in De Civitate Dei. Augustine did not believe in the possibility of a New World on the other side of the Globe; he said such an idea was too absurd to consider. He assumed the Western Hemisphere was covered with water, and concluded that Heaven could never be on Earth (Book XVI, Chapter 9). In 1492 Columbus proved otherwise; the Puritans, founders of the great Universities of Harvard, Yale and Princeton in the 17th Century believed America was the Promised Land, the New World and the place where Zion - the New Jerusalem which John envisioned - was to be.
Isaiah describes it as a tent with stakes and cords. Some say it is pyramidal, others assume it is cubical - a Shepard's tent is pyramidal and is supported with stakes at its corners and along its perimeter. It has a "great and high wall" with twelve foundations on an inner perimeter and another wall along the outer perimeter suggesting a court in between the two walls as mentioned in Revelation 11.
Saint Augustine: "Socrates saw that causes exist only in God and can only be comprehended by a pure mind". De Civitate Dei, Bk 8, Chap. 3
Augustine may have reasoned from Genesis One that all the dry land was completely surrounded by an Ocean of water; not understanding how in Genesis 10 "the land was divided" due to continental drift; I wonder how Augustine - Greek Scholar that he was - overlooked what Plato said about the lost continent of "Atlantis" which sank (below the horizon) into the Ocean. It may have been that Augustine was unduly influenced by or feared the Roman Empire "the earthly city" which he thought was justified to maintain a certain peace and order - that has now spread even into the New World. At that time in history, in the Old World this thinking by the choice philosopher in the Church was justified by the Magisterium - as an expediency - ratified by the Roman Pontiff's possession of the "Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven" (the New Jerusalem) given exclusively to the Apostle Peter in Matthew 16. Anyway, how can this situation be expedient if it is a hindrance to Heaven on Earth? This problem could very well be resolved simply by the power of the successor to the Apostle Peter...See
"In the eyes of the Puritans this was the peculiar opportunity of New England. Why not for once see what true orthodoxy could accomplish. Why not in one unspoiled corner of the world declare a truce on doubts, on theological bickering. Here at last men could devote their full energy to applying Christianity -- not to clarifying doctrine but to building Zion."
Daniel J. Boorstin,
The Americans - The Colonial Experience, Chapter One.
"Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right, and a perfect contentment. Then you put all gainsayers in the wrong. Then you are the world, the measure of right, of truth, of beauty. If we will not be mar-plots with our miserable interferences, the work, the society, letters, arts, science, religion of men would go on far better than now, and the heaven predicted from the beginning of the world, and still predicted from the bottom of the heart, would organize itself, as do now the rose, and the air, and the sun."
The way of peace
Cotton Mather, Theopolis Americana
Law Of Heaven
'The Revolutionary War won, George and Martha Washington hoped, as he often said, "to sit under our own vine and fig tree."'
Among the ancient Hebrews, a primary symbol of peace and prosperity was for every family to have its own grapevine and sit in the shade of its own fig tree.
During Solomon's time, 1 Kings 5:5 tells us, "Judah and Israel lived in safety, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all of them under their vines and fig trees." In 2 Kings 18:31 (repeated in Isa. 36:16), the scalawag Rabshekah campaigned for Israel to abandon King Hezekiah, promising that under Assyrian rule, "every one of you will eat from your own vine and your own fig tree."
When the prophet Micah proclaimed a future era of peace for God's people, he said they would not only hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, but also they would "all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid" (Mic. 4:4).
Likewise, the prophet Zechariah spoke of a great day of redemption for Israel, promising that "On that day, says the LORD of hosts, you shall invite each other to come under your vine and fig tree" (Zech. 3:10).
The ability to have one's own vine and fig tree implied a time of peace and stability, for neither vines nor fig trees can be expected to produce useful fruit in a single season. It suggested that one had access to enough land for raising crops and grazing cattle, with a spot left over to plant grape vines and fig trees as a source of sweetness and shade, a place of hospitality where neighbors could share their blessings and themselves with one another.
The beauty of the vine and the fig tree was such that the prophets also used them as a metaphor for Israel in times of faithfulness and fruitfulness. But, when God's people turned their trust to the ways of the world and failed to be faithful, the prophets spoke of fruitless times. "The vine withers, the fig tree droops," said Joel (1:12).
Haggai spoke of a time when the vine and fig tree had not born fruit, but saw hope in the laying of a foundation for the temple, promising in God's behalf that "From this day on I will bless you" (Hag. 2:19).