Posts Tagged ‘New Jerusalem’

John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven

Rev 3: 12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new nameThe path between the garden to the book of revelation has been a long one.   

In Genesis we see Adam walking with God in the cool of the day.  Fellowship would have been loving and pleasant.  Then came the fall, the hardship of expulsion from the garden and the loss of that sweet fellowship with God.

That separation did not just alienate us from God; it also brought alienation between each other. Almost everything we do is an expression of that alienation.  My space, my room, my time, my boundaries, my driveway, my garden and my fence,  my country , my home.

We have relationships only because we choose to bring down the walls, and let others come in and share our alienation.  The unity we have arises because we share a common interest.  People feel alienated because we have a society that’s ravaged by sinfulness.  The hand that slew his brother in Genesis did not for a minute consider the consequences of depriving himself of a loving brother. But of a jealousy that  drove Cain to steal  from Abel that which was the most precious  possession Abel had and that was his life.  In some twisted way I wonder if he thought he might be depriving God himself from one who offered up a better sacrifice than his own?

The approval of God might not have meant much to Cain, but it did to Abel.  But the division that existed between them was such that one had to go at the cost of a life.  It is the heart that brings separation and the mind finds ways to accomplish it.

Over the years God recreated intimacy with certain individuals but they were few and far.   Then under the Law we see the tabernacle,  a tent which was constructed according to Gods specifications.  although God was with his people there was still a separation.  The Holy of holies which was the very innermost sanctum of the tabernacle still speaks of the fact that he was with his people, but still separated from them.  Mankind was never created to stand at arms lengths.   It was always his plan to establish a fellowship with a people who would enjoy him and be with them.  The intimacy that he now calls us too we experience only in part, but in the fullness of time it will be glorious. 

The Bible says that there is no temple in the New Jerusalem because there will be no need for one.

In the past the temple as created by Moses and later by Solomon spoke of a continual presence but also a continual separation between God and man.  But the temple of the New Covenant no longer speaks of a separation but a unity between himself and us.  The temple of the old has man standing outside his presence.  For there had to be a sacrifice, blood had to be shed to atone and only the priests may do service in the Holy place, and only one man the High priest was even allowed to venture into the Holy of Holies.  A place so sacred they remained the fear that the priest could still be struck down.

Under the New we become the temple which God dwells and we dwell within him.  Now we can enter into the very Holy of Holies and minister to God personally.  We are welcomed as friends and family, a kingdom of holy priests who will enjoy the sunshine of Gods favour.

Rev 21: 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Rev 21: 22  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

The temple of God is open for all to enter.  It is heartbreaking to see people enter everywhere else but into Gods holy of holies.  When the curtain of the temple was torn in two which signified that the way into the holy of holies was now open, the priests simply replaced the curtain and carried on.  The welcomed sign was put out and men carried on and ignored it.  They had got used to rituals, ceremonies, labour and endless repetitious sacrifices, they could not see that the light had dawned and a new day had risen.  The darkness had passed; God and man could now enjoy communion together. 

What is so heartbreaking is that so many cant see it. But still choose to keep God at arm’s length. Feeling their own shame and unworthiness they remain in the darkness.  The arms that is stretched out to embrace them is more gracious and loving than anyone could imagine, but he will only do it if you come out into the light.   He made the first steps in reconciling and calls upon us all to take the next step.  Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.  The Promise by one who holds the galaxies in place can be trusted.

For God has prepared for us a home, a place where the friendship remains forever. There will be no clouds of darkness to cloud that relationship.  Nor rain to spoil the day, nor darkness to hide his face from us.  The watchword will be holiness, purity, and righteousness.  

Rev 21: 5 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

In the olden days the gates of the city would be shut at night to keep out the rogue elements which would enter in and cause havoc among the peace abiding citizens.  But in this city No gate will be shut because there will be no fear of the sinful in entering, and spoiling that communion.  There will be no night to hide anything either spiritually or physically. The facts that all the gates are open illustrated the openness of that fellowship.  Peace of that city will be universal.  The light of that city is truly cosmopolitan.  It will never sleep and it will never slumber. Its radiance eternal.  Its fellowship all-inclusive

Whilst many have tried to picture such a city , they never quite depict the glory and majesty that this city will contain.  It will not be governed by any laws we now consider,  Its values will be eternal, its structures remain unspoiled by aging.  It’s as tall as they are wide and it is deep.  It will be complete in every area.  Spiritual as it is physical.  Some skyscrapers almost seem out-of-place in some cities but in that city its heights will not diminish it.   Its beauty radiating across the new world, because the King will be eternally in residence.  What once separated us will no longer exist, for truly we shall be one.

Artist depiction of the New Jerusalem.

Rev 21: 2

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband

So this will be a wondrous city that will never perish or decay.

There has always been one city that seems to have captured the heart of both man and God and that city is Jerusalem.  However there is promised another city a “NEW” City called the New Jerusalem.  What was started in a garden called Eden finished in a metropolis called Jerusalem.

We are given its measurements.  I post what one web site worked it out.

The Apostle John, “carried away in the spirit” while on Patmos, witnessed “the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2). He made various observations concerning this structure; for the purposes of the study in hand, one key verse emerges: 

“The city lieth four-square, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.”(Revelation 21:16)  

This, then, is the “Father’s house” which Jesus was referring to in His discourse with the disciples. The two particular features outlined here to take note of are: 

1) It is in the form of a perfect cube.

2) Its dimensions are:   12,000 furlongs by 12,000 furlongs by 12,000 furlongs.

Let us deal with the second observation first! Out with the measuring tape!

12,000 furlongs translates into 1,500 miles, and the ground-plan of the New Jerusalem accordingly works out as covering an amazing TWO AND A QUARTER MILLION SQUARE MILES!

But having said that, the city is also 1,500 miles high!

This means that its cubic capacity works out at the staggering figure of: 3.375 billion cubic miles!!!

Consider. If every single inhabitant was to be allocated half a cubic mile each (how does that compare with your current house and garden???), then the New Jerusalem would house on this basis some 27 billion persons!

Given a quarter of a cubic mile each (more than ample for a personal mansion in its own parkland, wouldn’t you say?), then the New Jerusalem would accommodate an almost unimaginable 216 billion people

No-one knows exactly how many humans have ever lived on this planet. Estimates of earth’s all-time population range from a low of around 45 billion to a high of around 125 billion, with many of the sounder estimates coming out at between 90 and 110 billion. A calculation based on 2002 figures arrived at a figure of 106 billion.

So even at a mere(!) quarter of a cubic mile each, the New Jerusalem would house every person who has ever existed twice over!

It can thus be clearly demonstrated that God has fully allowed for EVERYONE to inhabit His “house”, this quite incredible four-square city. We have the free will to decide whether or not we will live there ourselves; the tragic fact is that the many millions who reject God’s plan of redemption through the Cross of Jesus Christ will never get to see “the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9). The Lord offers you one of His “many mansions” – no mortgage required! The decision is yours. 

Rev 7: 9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

WE CANNOT BE NUMBERED!  WHEN MANY HAVE BELIEVED THAT THEY STOOD ALONE AS ELIJAH DID,  REMEMBER ON THAT DAY WE BECOME THE MAJORITY.

THIS ALONE SHOULD BLOW YOUR MIND RIGHT OUT OF ITS SOCKET.

 Rev 21: 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.

 Some people see this city as sitting above the planet whilst others see it a sitting on the planet.  The truth we are not told.  But we can gather a few bits of information about this city.

 In the garden God would walk with Adam in the cool of the day.  But in the New Jerusalem he will be our abiding light.  Which means his prescience will be there continually overshadowing us.  In the garden there was a sense of innocence, in the city there is a maturity.   What started in the garden becomes a cosmopolitan city giving full expression to those who inhabit that city.  This will be a busy city which will give full expression to the nature of God, a redeemed humanity. 

 This will be a holy City

This will be a city of light

This will be a city that never sleeps

This will be a city of peace and joyful expression

This will be a city of community where people will interact with each other.

This will be a city that will express the purity of God.

This city will be full of people for the redeemed shall walk its streets.

Love will be its currency

 There are many things we do today because God has placed that in our nature.  For example we seek to conform and fashion the planet to our will.  But we are as much at odds with it as it is with us.  Now instead of a world where the elements are at odds with everything and everyone, see a world that exists and everything is in harmony.  The war has ended and peace reigns across the planet, a new planet which has never been explored or abused.  This means there will be no need to dig for oil coal goal nickel or copper.  Everything we need will be ours because God will provide. When the time comes God will place something new in our hearts and minds.  We will have enjoyment in all that God shares.  There will be people there from all walks of life, from all the ages.  There is going to be a lot of testimony time.  But our interaction will never be boring but dynamic in its fellowship, Sublime in its depth, and wondrous in its anticipation.  We will be learning a new depths we could not have grasp here and now.  We will interact and fellowship with angels and mighty cherubim’s.  We will share with them the wonders of salvation. 

 Rev 21: 24, 26  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

 THE VERY BEST WILL BE THERE.

 Now I can’t be dogmatic on this.  But I see the nations of those who are saved giving expression to their identity.  This means a Chinese believer will look Chinese.  African will look African, Asian will look Asian and so forth.  We each will contribute a sense of uniqueness and yet it will not detract from the other, but will enhance each other.  We are the Kings within that city, and  we bring that which is redeemed.  We will know each other and better still we will begin again to know each other afresh from a totally redeemed point of view.  No more misunderstandings or fight or quarrels to disturb the peace of that city.  It will be an accommodating society.  The pure will walks its streets, and holiness will be what we will seek.

 Rev 21: 5 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 

 This city has no need to rest so we will never grow tired.  So the city will be always expressing itself in its fullest and time will have no meaning.  I cant says there will be coffee shops or restaurants, but I can say we will be very active in the commerce of that city.

LIFE WILL BE THERE.

 Rev 22: 1-2 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

 At this moment there is a great divide between the spiritual dimension and the earthly.  But here that divide will be gone.  For from the throne of God come living waters, pure and crystal clear and that river proceeds all the way down to the New Jerusalem and into the midst of the street.  NO more separation or divide.  In that city there will be just one tree, the tree of life.   

 THOSE WHO WALK IN THAT CITY WILL BE CLOTHED

 It’s important that we grasp the significance of this.  WE WILL BE CLOTHED!!!! 

We will all have a new resurrected BODY.  It will be dynamic, powerful healthy, enduring and   Sustaining.  It will be unblemished by sin or sickness.  It will not have the passions which we have now , so our new bodies will not lust after that which we do now,  But will be able to give full expression in worship and in speech .  We will be able to see in a way we cannot see now.  These eyes if you look directly at the sun will be damaged, but we will be able to look at the glory of God and be able to enjoy that glorious radiance and appreciate all that it radiates.  I can’t say what the high or size of our resurrected bodies will be?  But we will have more than enough space to express and fact we will be able to give full expression in our communication in a way we have not yet being able to.  Words often fail us when we seek to express what we see and read.  Such a GLORY, it almost pales into meaningless unless we have something to compare with.  On that day we will be able to express such words with an understanding we simply can’t define right now.

2 Cor 5: 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

 NO MORE CURSE.

 Rev 22: 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

 I think as humans who live under the curse we simply do see it as a curse, in the same way as GOD does.  Nor do we see the fullest of what that curse meant. Adam and Eve probably came to the nearest human to appreciate all that was change because of it.  The world and mankind has been shaped by its aftershocks.  Just as everything fell before the inrushing tsunami in Japan recently so the everything was affected by the curse.  The way we observed our world was forever blighted.  But not just will that curse be finally removed we will see it for what it is.

 GOD THE ARTIST, THE PHYSISIST THE POET, THE CHEMIST AND THE BIOLIGIST.

 There is nothing like the beauty of  sunset or the rising of the dawn.  Despite all that was blighted there is still this infinite beauty upon which we see.  Now if God can made this world and call it good.  Can we imagine what that same God will achieve in a world which is never destined to be blighted by sin?  The truth is we can yet.  But I hope on that day I will be standing with you looking out to a world so wondrous and beautiful that it will make this world look like a scrap yard.

SHEPHERD KING

The greatest joy has to be that we will finaly get to look upon the face off our shepherd king.  The one whose blood was shed for us.  This is the greatest love affair of the centuries.    This will be our:

 Yehovah Jireh the God who provides a lamb for the sins of the world

Yehovah Rapha – LORD Who Heals who took the curse and healed his people from their sins

Yehovah Roi – The Lord is My Shepherd king who shephered us to living waters

Jehovah Mekeddeshem – LORD Who Sanctifies and saved me when I was lost.

Would it surprise people to know that what God called Israel in the Old Testament God calls the Church in the new Testament.  Many try to reject that the church is in fact Spiritual Israel.  For they feel threatened that this will rob them of their claim to a piece of land in the Middle East.  Yet as we see in this list the church is indeed called by the same names.  The vine in which all believers are called into stretches its way back to Abel  and it will stretched its way to the last man to name the name of Jesus.   In the race to support one ethnic group and their rights to a land which they already have, many have forgotten a greater glory and a greater reality which belongs to the true Israel church .  The land while it may serve as a temporary place of residence during the millennium, our true home lies in a city four square.  Our inheritance is not within the confines of a small stretch of land but an entire planet.  Our backyard a New Earth and a New heaven to explore.  When God say he will make all things new it means we will never tire of the new.

Israel: The Church in the Old Testament The Body of Christ: The Church in the New Testament
Righteous live by faithfulness (Hab. 2:4) Righteous live by faith (Romans 1:17)
Holy people (Deu. 7:6; 33:3; Num. 16:3) Holy people (Eph. 1:1; Rom. 1:7)
Chosen (Deu. 7:6; 14:2) Chosen (Col. 3:12; Tit. 1:1)
Loved (Deu. 4:37) Loved (Col. 3:12; 1 The. 1:4)
Called (Isa. 41:9; 2 Chr. 7:14) Called (Rom. 1:6-7; 1 Cor. 1:2)
Assembly (Psa. 1:5; 89:5; 149:1) Assembly (Acts 7:38; 20:28; Heb. 2:12)
‘Church’ = Assembly in Greek OT (Mic. 2:5) Church (Matthew 16:18; 18:17; Eph 2:20)
Flock (Eze. 34:2, 7; Psa. 77:20) Flock (Luke 12:32; Act. 20:28)
Holy nation (Exo. 19:6) Holy nation (1 Pet. 2:9)
Treasured possession (Exo 19:5) Special possession (1 Pet. 2:9)
Kingdom of priests (Exo. 19:6) Royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2:9)
Children of God (Hos. 1:10) Children of God (Joh. 1:12)
People of God (Hos. 2:23) People of God ( 1 Pet. 2:10)
People of his inheritance (Deu. 4:20) Glorious inheritance (Eph 1:18)
My dwelling place = tabernacle (Lev. 26:11Eze. 37:27) Dwelling among us = tabernacle (Joh. 1:14; 2 Cor. 6:16)
I will walk among you (Lev. 26:12; Jer. 32:38) I will… walk among them (2 Cor. 6:16-17)
I will be his father = of David (2 Sam. 7:14) I will be a father to you (2 Cor. 6:18)
God is a husband betrothed (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 3:14; 31:32; Hos. 2:19) Christ is a husband betrothed (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph 5:25-30)
Saints  used 32X OT 25 in Psalms  Saints Rom 8:27

 

Twelve tribes (Gen. 49:28; Rev. 21:12) Twelve Apostles (Mar. 3:14; Rev. 21:14)
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heartDeut 10:16 Col 2:11 Circumcision made without hands
I will be his God and they will be my people I will be his God and they will be my people.
Meek shall inherit Ps 37:11 Meek shall inherit matt 5:5
 Promise: Everlasting covenant Ezek  37:26 Fulfilment :Everlasting covenant Heb13:20
Jew                  Esther 2:5 Jew        Romans 2:25-29

So who are the real ‘Children of God’?

While the majority of Jewish people of Jesus’ generation rejected him, all who did receive him as their Lord and Saviour, irrespective of their race, were the legitimate heirs of the covenant promises. The apostle John explains this at the beginning of his gospel where he explains that those who receive Jesus are the ‘children of God’.

 John 1:11-13He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. “

 In Acts 3, the apostle Peter explains to the many nationalities present in Jerusalem how the death of Jesus was no accident but the sovereign will of God, foretold by Moses and the prophets, and the sole means by which all people can be reconciled to God (Acts 3:24-26).

  Significantly, Peter says that those who trust in Jesus are the ‘heirs of the prophets and of the covenant.’ He sees the promises made to Abraham fulfilled not through Israel but through the Church. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we are given a glorious insight into how Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus Christ have been brought into a new ‘citizenship’ (Ephesians 2:11-16).

 The ‘dividing wall of hostility’ typified by the barrier that separated Jews and Gentiles in the Temple, has been broken down by Jesus Christ. In is ironic, if tragic that despite his willingness to comply with all the petty Temple regulations concerning ritual purity, that Paul would eventually be arrested for allegedly bringing Greeks into the Temple and defiling God’s house. (Acts 21:28-29). Today, their successors in the government of Israel are seeking to erect a much higher and longer ‘Separation Barrier’ to preserve their racial identity and exclusive claim to the land of Palestine.

 Paul goes on to show how, having broken down the wall of partition, Jesus has created a new living Temple made up of people of all races (Ephesians 2:19-22). Paul cites the prophet Hosea as evidence that this new inclusive understanding of God’s people has always been God’s intention and sovereign will (Romans 9:21-26 – See Hosea 1:10, 2:23).

The incorporation of both Jews and Gentiles into the one people of God is further illustrated by the way the writer of the Hebrews understands the continuity and unity between the saints of the Old Testament Church and the saints of the New Testament Church. In chapter 11, we find a catalogue of the Old Testament saints and how they suffered for their faith. The chapter concludes with this summary:

 Hebrews 11:39-40These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

 Notice that the writer says “only together with us would they be made perfect.” This is because the Old Testament saints, saved by faith as we are, could only hope for their salvation. They could not experience their inheritance in its fullest sense until the Lord Jesus had died in their place and the dead in Christ are raised (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Then, and only then will, “we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Notice here, Paul uses the expression “together with them.” This is why Jesus could say, Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” (John 8:56). The Church of Jesus Christ therefore brings ‘together’ in a unity of faith and love his children under the Old and New Covenants, Jews and Gentiles who trust and believe in Jesus – the one looking forward, the other looking back to his first coming and upward for his second.

 Finally, in the vision which God gave the Apostle John, we see the Church as she is becoming in all her radiant glory.

 Revelation 7:9After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”

 This is why it is inappropriate to maintain racial distinctions within the Body of Christ, or claim the Jewish people have a separate relationship with God based on their ancestry or Mosaic law. The promises made to the Patriarchs and Israel are now being fulfilled in and through the Church. We must not therefore erect once again a wall of separation which Jesus has broken down by his death in our place (Ephesians 2:14).

True home of the faithfull

This is something we call home. Where we can put our feet up and rest. Where we will be welcomed, refreshed, loved and accepted as part of the family of God.   So let it be known that there is a place at the fireplace by faith for both Jew and gentile alike.  Established in a place they can call home.  Not transient or incomplete, but finished  and ready for residence.  To place your feet and rest your wandering souls in a mansion created by God.  Called by the Father to intimate fellowship not for a minute or a day,  but for ever.  But there is only one way and one path.  Through Christ and him alone.  When you come to know him as Lord and saviour.  The King of Kings and Lord of Lords then you will know this garbage dump down here is not your home.  You will become a pilgrim on your way home.  The city lies over the mountains and we will keep going until the sunsets and we rise on the new dawn.

God bless.