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9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
The Lamb's wife - 'Who then is a faithful and wise servant' (Matt 24:44)
'The world needs, or rather the Lord Jesus requires, something more than a reformation of Protestantism. An entire and uncompromising return to first principles is what is needed.
The grand object the Apostolic doctrine sets before us is not the conversion of the world at large, but a preparation of true disciples, the Lamb's wife, to meet the Master, who is at the door.
I will use my influence in behalf of this as Scripturally as I know how'.
Dr Thomas Life and works Ch13.
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
The New Jerusalem Wall
Such is the municipality of the Kingdom represented by most expressive symbols, which I shall now briefly explain. First, then, of the "great and high wall of Jasper." The wall is representative of a federal person; and the material, of that person's preciousness. That "wall" is used of person in Scripture is evident from these texts-
"What shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver. I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour."
This is a Bride that has found favour; and she is styled a wall. The Lord said to Jeremiah,
"I will make thee unto this people a fenced brazen wall, and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail."
Speaking of Jerusalem delivered from her desolators, Yahweh says,
"I will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her."
"Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord."
The Bride, then, is a wall, and the Lord is a wall to her likewise; for being a wall of fire to the city standing on Mount Zion, he is also a wall to that glorious city's corporation.
The Lord as the wall of the Kingdom's municipality encloses all its members, who, having been "baptised into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," are "in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus"-walled or enclosed in him, which is the idea represented by the symbol.
The enclosure of the New Jerusalem community-the wall; and their "light"-the glory of God-are both represented by transparent jasper stone.
"I will be the glory in the midst of her, saith the Lord;" that is, "I will be a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal unto her."
And this interpretation of the jasper-light of the commonwealth, is sustained by the words of the angel, who says,
"And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God lightens it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."
This is taught without symbol in the prophets. "The man whose name is the Branch," says Zechariah,
"shall bear the glory, and sit and rule upon his throne."-"Then," says Isaiah, "the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign on Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously."
These "ancients" are "the City or State, that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God," and whose Prince is Christ the Lord, its everlasting light and glory.
The relationship of the Lamb and the Bride in regard to the City Wall, will exemplify the idea of
"no temple being there."
The wall of a house or temple is the building itself; for no wall, no building. Believers in Christ in the present evil world are styled in scripture, "the house of God," and "the temple of God." "Know ye not," says Paul to the Corinthians in Christ,
"that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
"Ye are God's building;"
but without the Lamb, that is, not being built into him, they were neither house, temple, nor builded wall.
Individually, they were separate and distinct elements, like unconnected stones accumulated for building purposes. While thus, they were neither wall nor temple. But when cut and polished, and built in by the Spirit, through Paul as "a wise masterbuilder;" that is, "constituted the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus," who became to them "wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption," they became "One Body," having him for their head; and therefore, one wall, one temple, and one building with, and inseparable from, him.
This being so, such a society needs no temple, being its own temple. This is not to say, that there is no temple in Jerusalem at the time. John's instructor is not speaking of things unsymbolical pertaining to men in mortal flesh; but to Saints immortalised. Ezekiel treats of the unfigurative, which become symbols in the construction of the Apocalypse. The temple he treats of is the house of prayer for Israel and the nations; but the temple constituted of the Lamb and his Bride, is for them who are
"pillars in it, and shall no more go out."
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, June 1853
16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, 12 000 furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
The Magnitude of the City
The idea of
"a great multitude which no man can number"
constituting the New Jerusalem society, is represented by the symbolical magnitude of the city. Twelve is the radical number, and multiplies by twelve. Twelve thousand were representatively sealed, and indentified as a tribe of the Israel of God. Twelve times twelve thousand give the 144,000 on Mount Zion with the Lamb.
Each 12,000 occupies a definite space, which is 4,000 furlongs square; and for all the thousands representatively stated as 12,000 furlongs square for the whole city, or 48,000 furlongs the four square; giving 144,000 furlongs for its sectional contents.
The symbolical height of the city is equal to its length and breadth. The height of the wall is twelve times twelve cubits; sufficiently high to indicate the impossibility of
"anything entering into it to defile it."
Here is multitude innumerable, symbolically represented, by 1,500 miles length and breadth, and altitude besides; showing, doubtless, that this glorious polity is the medium of connection between the nations of the earth and heaven.
The Ambassador of the Coming Age, Nov 1868
19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
Each foundation-stone of the city wall is a great precious stone, "a living stone"-and represents an apostle. Each polished gem would be beautiful alone; but how much more beautiful when decorated by all manner of precious stones beside!
The meaning of this symbol is expressed in Paul's words to those whom he had "sealed on their foreheads," and brought into fellow-citizenship with the Saints of Israel.
"What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? Ye are our "glory and joy."
They were not "wood, hay, and stubble," but gold, and silver, and precious stones. There is no use for destructible materials, such as wood, hay, and stubble, in God's municipality; it is only those who can stand the fire that can be admitted there. Such were the apostles' converts to the faith. They will rejoice together in the presence of the Lord; and those who have been brought to the obedience of the faith by an apostle, will be to him the garnishment of precious stones in the holy city.
The elements of the wall and the precious stones, are built upon the foundation stones. The idea incorporated into this symbol is found in the words-
"Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner; in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God; through the Spirit;" which in the New Jerusalem association, issues from his throne, and flows through every member of it, as "a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal."
Ambassador of the Coming Age, Nov 1868
23 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.
No need of the sun
But, in the apocalypse, the sun is also used to symbolize the enlightening majesty of the millennial heavens, which are to succeed and supersede the heavens of the apostasy, in which at present shine over all the nominally "christian world," the spirituals of a mystery of iniquity. In ch. i. 16, the symbolic Son of Man's countenance is
"as the sun shining in his strength."
Again, in ch. x the same multitudinous personage appears as a mighty messenger descending from heaven, his
"face being as it were the sun:"
and in ch. xvi. 12, certain "kings" are mentioned, and styled "risings of a Sun," in the phrase, he hodos ton basileon ton apo anatolon heliou. These kings that are "the risings," are aggregately the Sun-power of the Millennial Heavens,
"from whose face the earth and heaven" of the Apostasy "flee away" (xx. 11).
They are the Millennial Sun-Power, because they are emanations from "the Sun of Righteousness," whose beams have healed them in quickening them with incorruptibility and power (Mal. iv. 2). Having become elements of this power, they go forth, and tread down the wicked of the earth and sea with their "feet as pillars of fire" -- "feet like unto fine brass, as if they glowed in a furnace;" "for they shall be ashes under the soles of their feet, in the day that Yahweh Tz'vaoth (the Spirit who shall be Hosts) shall work."
This Millennial Sun, then, symbolizes all the saints when "glorified together" with Jesus (Rom. viii. 17,29,32): and, when they "rest from their labours" of destroying Babylon who oppressed them; of giving the worshippers of the Beast to drink of the wine of divine wrath; of binding the Dragon, and shutting him up in the abyss; and of "enlightening the earth with their glory" they will
"then shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father;"
or, as the same idea is expressed in Dan. xii. 3,
"they shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and as the stars for the Olahm and beyond" (Matt. xiii. 43).
The glorified and victorious saints, then, will be the Sun of the Millennial Kingdom. They will therefore have
"no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it" (xxi. 23): and "the nations of them being saved shall walk in the light of it."
These are the New Heavens and New Earth. How unlike those of the Apostasy by which they are preceded. These new heavens will
"declare the glory of AIL; and their firmament, or aerial, His handiwork. Day unto day will utter speech; and night unto night shall show knowledge: and there will be no speech or language where their voice is not heard. THEIR rule will go out through all the earth, and THEIR words to the end of the world."
Paul has quoted these words in Rom. x. 18, as predictive of the apostolic proclamation of the kingdom. There was great significancy in such an application; for they who made the proclamation will constitute the heavens that rule -- the personal Son of Man on the throne of his glory; and the apostles on the thrones of David's house; with all the approved and glorified sharing in their administration, in the grand era of regeneration (Matt. xix. 28; Apoc. ii. 26; iii. 21).
"Among them he sets a habitation for the sun, who is as a Bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit to the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof" (Psa. xix. 1-6).
This bridegroom is the Sun, and his bride, the moon, and her distinguished companions, the stars of the brilliant firmament which will be displayed as the handiwork of the Spirit; when, co-operating with them, he looks forth as the morning,
"fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners" (Cant. vi. 10; Apoc. xiv. 13; Zech. iv. 6).