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The New Jerusalem

Revelation chapters twenty-one and twenty-two describe the arrival of God’s Holy City, the New Jerusalem.  With its dispensational point-of-view, The Book Of Signs takes this entirely literally.  I agree with Dr. David Jeremiah’s view that after the return of Jesus, Christians will have a new body and will need a physical place to live.  We don’t know for sure what is waiting for us in eternity other than the glimpses we have throughout Scripture and the deductions we can draw from them.  Whatever it is, it will be fantastic.  It will be a far more significant improvement than the baby in the womb has when he or she emerges into this world.  We will be born into a world far greater than we can imagine.  However, that does not mean that these two chapters give a literal description of that time.

Bible in Forest With Sunlight

We covered this concept when discussing the New Heavens and New Earth.  We are now new creations in Christ.  We are progressively learning to apply that, which means learning what it means to live in the New Heavens and New Earth [living in righteousness and holiness] and in its capital city, the New Jerusalem [the True Church/Bride].  In this life, it is progressive.  When Christ returns, we will experience it in its completeness.  

Let’s look at some of the points in the chapter which reveal it is primarily the current, progressive spiritual application that John has in mind.

Holy City, New Jerusalem

Living In God’s Presence Now

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Rev. 21:3-4, NKJV

In the Old Testament, only the priest could enter the Holy of Holies into God’s presence - and that only once a year.  Now Jesus has become our perfect Sacrifice.  God now lives with and in His people.  We, right now, have access to God in the spiritual New Jerusalem.

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31, NKJV

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Heb. 4:16, NKJV

The fact that there are still tears that need to be wiped away shows that we are still in a sinful world, not the world after the return of Christ.  John has already told us that we have no fear of the second death [Rev. 20:6] since we have partaken in the first resurrection [salvation].  And we are progressing toward the time when there will be no more sorrow or crying.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  2 Cor. 1:3-4, NKJV

The Bride Of Christ

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”  And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Rev. 21:9-11, NKJV

An angel took John to see the bride of Christ.  Just like when John was told about the Lion of Judah but saw the Lamb who was slain [Rev. 5:5-6], now he turns to see the bride and sees the New Jerusalem.  The New Jerusalem is another name for the bride of Christ - which is the Church that is currently being built.  If you are a Christian, you are now part of the bride of Christ/New Jerusalem.

For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.  2 Cor. 11:2, NKJV

…Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body…just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,  that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.  Eph. 5:22-27, NKJV

The Size Of The New Jerusalem

Let’s suppose every floor was a mile high. That gives us a city of 1,500 floors, every floor the size of a continent. And that’s just the capital city!  Jeremiah, David. The Book of Signs (p. 409). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 

The Book Of Signs is looking for a literal city that is the size of a continent and is 1,500 miles high.  I hope it has self-contained breathable air, or those top floors will be murder to live on.  Seriously, this is a prophetic picture.  Just to point out one aspect of this picture.  The number given is 12,000.  1,000 represents a large but unknown known number [i.e. cattle on a 1,000 hills - Ps. 50:10].  12 is the number of divine appointment [ 12 tribes, 12 apostles].  When we multiply these two numbers to get 12,000, we have a large but known number of people who have been divinely chosen.  In other words, the complete number of the elect chosen before the foundation of the world [Eph. 1:4].

When we walk through the gates of pearl, we’ll be reminded the only reason we’re there is because of the suffering and the pain of the Lord Jesus, who bore His wounds for us that we might be redeemed.  Jeremiah, David. The Book of Signs (p. 412). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 

I had never thought about this before, but Dr. David Jeremiah makes an excellent point about the pearls being from pain and suffering.  It is only through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross that any of us can enter the New Jerusalem.  This has the primary meaning of entering the Church [being a Christian], which has the side benefit of living in the completed New Heavens and New Earth after the return of Jesus.

Only The True

But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Rev. 21:27, NKJV

While there are now people who claim to be Christian but are not, only true Christians are part of the New Jerusalem.  Fakers never get past the gates.

The River Of Life

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  Rev. 22:1, NKJV

When Jesus completed His work on the Cross, He ascended to heaven.  Then He sent the Holy Spirit, the Water of Life, to flow to His people.  We right now have the River of Life flowing through us.  This is not something for the sweet by-and-by.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14:26, NKJV

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. John 15:26, NKJV

This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.  Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. Acts 2:32-33, NKJV

Healing The Nations

 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Rev. 22:2, NKJV

Notice the phrase that speaks of the leaves being used for the healing of the nations. The word for “healing” in the Greek language is therapeia, from which we get therapeutic. We’ll be able to eat the leaves of the tree, and those leaves will somehow give us a greater sense of our lives and our presence in heaven.  Jeremiah, David. The Book of Signs (p. 414). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 

Here The Book Of Signs misses the point.  Who is the healing for?  It is not for Christians.  It is for the nations.  Sin has wounded and twisted nations.  Christians are to take the fruit/leaves of the Spirit and use it not only to help individuals but to change the character of nations.  This will not need to be done after Jesus returns - when all sin is removed.  Our nations right now need Christians who know God and know His Law-Word to bring order, peace and restoration.

Conclusion

We will have a home physically after Jesus returns, for we will have transformed physical bodies.  It will probably be on earth, but we may journey from heaven to earth according to our mission and desires.  Or perhaps we will be developing entire solar systems for the glory of God.  Only God knows for sure.  But let us not take spiritual/prophetic imagery and think it will be a literal fulfillment any more than when we look at Jesus in Heaven, we believe we will see a literal Lamb with its throat slit.  If you want to believe you will walk on literal streets of gold, go ahead.  I prefer to think of walking in purity and righteousness.

Return to The Book Of Signs.


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