1 And I saw a New [deathless -The 'third' ] Heaven and a New Earth: for the < former > heaven and the < former > earth <had> passed away; and <the sea is no more.>
There are two systems, or worlds -- the one the animal and natural, the other the spiritual and incorruptible -- and, between these, a mixed state, being partly animal and partly spiritual, which may be, termed the transition state. Out of the natural system, as the materials and scaffolding of the building, God purposes to elaborate "the ages of the ages" with all that shall pertain to them.
Thus constituted, the globe will become a glorious province of the universe, and a new imperial abode of the Divine Majesty. It will then be a sealess (Rev. 21:1) and luminous sphere, and peopled with myriads of inhabitants of equal rank and station with the angels of God.
The means by which from the beginning He determined to accomplish this magnificent work were, first, by His creative energy, to lay the foundation; secondly, by constitutional arrangement and angelic oversight, which men term "providence," to shape and overrule all things so as to work out the end proposed; thirdly, by the moral force of truth, argued and attested; fourthly, by judicial interference in human affairs ; and lastly, by recreative energy in the renovation of the earth. When the gigantic work is perfected the edifice will be complete, and the topstone imposed with joyous acclamations, saying,
"Grace! grace unto it."
Elpis Israel 1.6.
The Former Heaven and Earth
YAHWEH Tz'vaoth having punished the host of the high ones in the heavenlies, and the kings of the earth upon the earth (Isa. 24:21); and having established the Great White Throne in the heaven without pope, emperor, or king to dispute his supremacy and sovereign will; the Moon is effectually confounded, and the Sun put to shame.
Reigning on Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, before his Ancients, the twenty-four elders and the four living ones, gloriously, there is developed in the world a new constitution and order of things, ecclesiastical, secular, and spiritual. In the prophetic style, this
"economy of the fullness of the times" (Eph. 1:10)
in which "all things in the heavens," thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, and "all things upon the earth," peoples, nations, and languages, are gathered together under one head, anakephalaiosasthai, is termed "A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH".
Now the heavens of this new economy are the successor of those that fled from the Elohistic forces of the Eternal Spirit sitting upon the Great White Throne in Zion; and for which no vacant spot is found upon earth for their continued existence.
In the new heavens nothing can find place but Elohistic Spirit; for flesh and blood, which are corruptible, cannot inherit the kingdom of the Deity, which is indestructible, ever-continuing, and to be left to no other people, as successors of those who establish it in the hour of premillennial judgment (Dan. 2:44; 1 Cor. 15:50).
These Heavens, which destroy and rejoice over Babylon the Great, and transform the constitution of "the Air" upon which the terrific judgments of the Seventh Vial exhaust themselves, are bright with the glory of the Deity, which radiating from Zion, enlightens the world.
In them the Sun of Righteousness is the orb of perpetual day; and his Bride, the Moon and Constellations, which reflect his splendor. In these heavens there is "glory to the Deity in the highest;" nor is there anything unclean, or that worketh abomination, or loves and invents a lie. On the contrary,
"they declare the glory of Ail; and the expanse showeth the work of his hands".
They that be wise are the bright expanse; and they that turn many to righteousness, the stars of olahm and beyond (Dan. 12:3). Their happiness and honour will be to
"show forth the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvellous light" (1 Pet. 2:9):
so that as children of the light, and of the day (1 Thess. 5:5)
"day unto day will utter speech; and night unto night will show knowledge. There will be no speech, and no words, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out in all the earth; and their words to the ends of the world. Among them he hath set a tent for the Sun; and he, as a bridegroom coming out from his chamber, will be joyful as a mighty man to run the course. His going forth is from the end of the heavens, and his circuit unto the ends thereof; and there is nothing hidden from his heat" (Psa. 19:1-7).
Paul quoted from this beautiful passage in his letter to the saints in Rome, ch. 10:18, and applied the fourth verse as predictive of the universality of the apostolic proclamation. But this was not all that the prophecy intended. How much more fully will it be accomplished when Christ and all the prophets, apostles, and saints, accepted and approved of him, shall have brought all nations into the blessedness of Abraham and his Seed.
The New Heavens and New Earth, styled Apocalyptically "the Former Heaven and the Former Earth," and termed in ch. 21:4, "the Former Things passed away," are the Second Israelitish Heavens, reckoning the Mosaic as the First; the destruction of which is treated of in 2 Pet. 3; Heb. 8:7-13. But though the Mosaic Heavens were to be fired, and dissolved, and their elements melted with the fervency of the heat, he consoled his brethren of the circumcision who believed with the assurance that they would be succeeded in the appointed time by
"New Heavens and a New Earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness".
These are the Millennial Heavens, to establish which is an important element of the work to be performed by Christ at his appearing in power. "I have put my words in thy mouth," saith the Eternal Spirit to him in whom He would afterwards manifest Himself;
"and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant THE HEAVENS, and lay the foundations of THE EARTH, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people".
When this work is accomplished, Zion will have put on her strength, and Jerusalem, the Holy City, her beautiful garments; and thenceforth there will no more come into her the uncircumcised and the unclean (Isa. 51:16; 52:1).
When the Lord Jesus and his Brethren come to be enthroned, the King and Princes of the State, Jerusalem's widowhood will be ended; and she will no more be the afflicted and the tossed with tempest, and the uncomforted. They will be the precious stones of her foundations; and the constitution of the kingdom restored again to Israel will be the New Heavens and the New Earth; and
"the former (Mosaic) shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for, behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy".
And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.
And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat; for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of YAHWEH, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith YAHWEH; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of YAHWEH. as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 65:17-25; 11:9).
The New Heaven and New Earth
The Millennial Constitution of the World, as may be perceived from Isa. 65, is not perfect. It will be a great advance upon both the old Mosaic, and the Times of the Gentiles; but it will fall far short of the constitution and order of things beyond the Thousand Years.
We learn this from Paul in his reference to the visions and revelations granted to him, as it would seem, for his own exclusive benefit, for he would not, could not, or might not, communicate what he had seen and heard to others (2 Cor. 12:1).Speaking of himself, he says,
"I have known a man in Christ fourteen years ago (whether in body, I know not; or without the body, I know not: the Deity knew), such an one suddenly transported unto a THIRD HEAVEN. I have known such a man, that had been transported in the PARADISE. and had heard secret things, which it is not lawful for the man to utter".
This third heaven, or paradise in full manifestation, is John's New Heaven and New Earth, in which "there is no more sea". In the "Former Earth" which passes away, there is sin, and generation, and death; and because of the existence of sin, and flesh and blood, and death, there are mediatorship, and priesthood, and ruling with an iron rod, in the "Former Heaven". These things are not to continue permanently.
Sin, which is the transgression of law, must be wholly and finally suppressed; flesh and blood must be exterminated from the earth; disease and death, which are "the wages of sin," abolished; mediatorship, and priesthood, necessary in the offering to the Deity of gifts and sacrifices for the sins of the erring and the ignorant (Heb. 5:1,2) "delivered up to the Father;" and religion, which is a Divinely appointed remedy for an existing breach between the creature and the Creator, superseded, as having answered its purpose, and being therefore no longer necessary.
All these things pertaining to the former, or Millennial, Heaven and Earth, John saw had "passed away". In the final annihilation of the Devil by the judicial fire of the Deity in the destruction of the postmillennial Gog and Magog rebellion against the government of the Saints, the bruising of the Serpent's Head by the Woman's Seed, is consummated.
Henceforth, the earth, not burnt up, but perfected, and rendered the paradisaic arena of all the unutterable joys and beauties and ecstatic things beheld and heard of Paul, becomes a fitting habitation of Deity in unmediatorial intimacy with the humblest of mankind; for then the Father will be "the all things in all men".
How truly great, then, is the voice John heard out of the heaven, saying, "Behold the tabernacle of the Deity with men, and he will dwell with them; and they shall be his peoples, and the Deity himself will be with them, their Deity".
They shall all of them be Divine people, like to the Saints then the rulers of the nations for the past thousand years.
Having come forth from the graves, they become, together with the living who suffered not themselves to be deceived by the Devil and Satan, and seduced from their allegiance to the King of kings, in the Gog and Magog revolt, the postmillennial harvest of the dead and living, of which Jesus and his Brethren are the Firstfruits.
"The Rest of the Dead" being thus added to these, the whole number given by the Father to the Son, is complete.
"And the Deity shall wipe away every tear from their eyes and there shall be no more death; nor shall there be sorrow nor crying, nor pain any more: for the former things have passed away". "And there shall be no more curse" (ch. 22:3).
Such is the consummation of the Divine purpose in the creation of the heavens and the earth. He formed it to be inhabited: to be a tabernacle for Himself with men. He could, had it pleased Him, have created it perfect, and filled with immortal inhabitants, at the beginning.
To have done this would have prevented all the crime and misery that blot and crimson the record of the past; but then the world would have been a characterless automaton; and unfit for association with the Governor of the Universe, whose attributes are moral, as well as intellectual and potential.
He desired a society for our planet consisting of tried and faithful friends, such as Abraham, who loved Him better than his dearest son. He proposed to develop it upon the principle of belief in His promises and obedience under trial; and to crown the whole with incorruptibility and life. Having prepared such a society as this, and concentrated it from all ages and generations into one glorious community, He would then put His hand to the final completion of its dwelling-place, as he declared to John, saying,
"Behold, I make all things new".
When these true and faithful words are fulfilled, "IT IS DONE". Everything is finished by the Alpha Spirit, Who began the work in the week of days: and, as the Omega Spirit, the Beginning and the End, completed it in the week of thousands of years. The invitation to a participation in the sublime inheritance is liberal, and worthy of Deity, who saith,
"I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh, shall inherit all thing s, and I will be Deity to him, and he shall be to me a son".
No more Sea
The sea referred to in this oracle is that Apocalyptic confluence of "many waters," or "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues," a restless, troubled sea, whose waters cast up mire and dirt (Isa. 57:20), out of which the dominions arose represented by the Beast with seven heads and ten horns, which was turned into "a Lake of Fire burning with brimstone", when mingled with fire; and which became
"before the throne, a sea transparent like to crystal"
when the Saints stand upon it as conquerors, celebrating their victory over the beast and his Image, and over his sign, and the number of his name; and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb (Ch. 4:6; 15:2).
For a thousand years this sea of flesh and blood continues transparent as crystal, and unruffled by the tempests of human passion, ambition, and wickedness.
In all this period the sea of nations is calm; and
"every creature in the sea, saith, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be to him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for the aions of the aions" (ch. 5:13).
Being "blessed in Abraham and his Seed," they have access to the healing leaves of the Tree of Life, which breathe forth an odor, or savour, of life unto life (2 Cor. 2:15,16) by which multitudes of them "are being saved" - ta ethne ton sozomenon Ch. 21:24; 22:2.
But flesh and blood, or Sin's flesh, is radically bad. When Paul subjected the nature he possessed in common with all the race of men, to an enlightened scrutiny, he declared that
"in his flesh dwelt no good thing".
He felt that he bore about a loathsome, leprous, nature, which he styled "a vile body;" so that it caused him to exclaim,
"0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?" (Rom. 7:18,24; Phil. 3:21).
Such a nature is incurable. It is essentially turbulent, rebellious, and prone to evil; and can only be controlled by the power of Divine principles, or an iron despotism. When either of these are relaxed, it becomes presumptuous, and hostile to authority in doctrine and government.
Nations that in the beginning of the Millennial Aion had been "joined to Yahweh and became his people," will be represented in the end of that Aion, by a generation practically unacquainted with the torment of the judgment hour, when their sea was mingled with fire.
Seducers will arise among them, and lead them into revolt. This creates a crisis, in which flesh and blood nations are annihilated; and caused to cease for ever from the earth: whereby is at length fulfilled the saying addressed to Israel in Jer. 30:11,
"though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee".
When this full end is made, the immortal inhabitants of the earth will be able to say, in the words of this prophecy, "the sea is no more".
When the sea of nations, then, is made a full end of, but one nation remains the eternal occupant of the earth. Flesh and blood having been abolished in the destruction of "the last enemy Death," that one nation must be a nation of immortals. It continues eternally a Body Politic under the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Saints; for the promise concerning him is,
"He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and YAHWEH Elohim shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the House of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be NO END" (Luke 1:32,33).
David understood the promise made to him as well as to Mary in this sense; for Yahweh said to him
"I will make his throne as the days of the heavens. His throne shall endure as the sun before me, it shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in the heaven" (Psa. 89:29,36,37).
Hence, the Body Politic will be an everlasting Israelitish kingdom, all the subjects of which will be incorruptible and deathless; and its Kings and Princes, the glorious immortals who had already twice conquered the world, and between their conquests, ruled it for a thousand years.
But, in view of this, what becomes of Paul's saying in 1 Cor. 15:24,
"then cometh the end, when Christ shall have delivered up the kingdom to the Deity, even the Father?"
There is no contradiction between Paul, Gabriel, and David. The delivering up is in the sense of that "subjection," or subordination, to the Father, implied in the abolition of Mediatorship. Hitherto, no one could have access to the Father, but through the Son; for
"the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son; because he is a son of man" (John 5:22,27).
But, when "the sea is no more;" when there cease to be men of flesh and blood upon the earth, this reason ceases to have any force. The Father resumes His position of direct relation to all, seeing that he is then "the all things in all", the dwellers upon earth, who are spirit, or consubstantial with Himself.
The delivering up is the change of the constitution of things, made necessary by the destruction of the Devil and his works -the destruction of Sin's flesh and all pertaining to it. If there had been no sin, there would have been no Mediatorship. Man could always have stood naked in the presence of his Maker without being ashamed. But when "the sea is no more," the breach between the Deity and man is thoroughly and completely repaired; and the kingdom is placed under a new constitution, or heaven and earth, suited to the altered condition of the world.
There being no more judgments to execute, nor gifts and sacrifices to offer for ignorant and erring mortals, the High Priesthood of the Melchisedec Order is vacated, and the priestly office of the Saints abolished; while pre-eminence of rank is continued to them and the Captain of their salvation, as long as the sun and the moon endure.
2 And I John saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, <descending from the Deity> out of <the > heaven, <having been> prepared as a bride <who had been> adorned for her husband.
If the approved and accepted saints be the Bride, and the New and Holy Jerusalem; and they by resurrection come out of the earth; how can the Great and Holy City be said to descend from the Deity out of heaven?
If in coming forth from the graves, the prophets, apostles, and saints, all emerge thence immortal, perfect, and thoroughly furnished, ought not the Bride the Lamb's wife, to be styled the New Jerusalem ascending from the tomb?
Upon what principle then, is it, that John declares, that he saw the Great City, the Holy Jerusalem descending from the Deity out of heaven?
In answer to this question, I remark, that the Holy Jerusalem is a spiritual body corporate; that is, it is a community of people, every one of whom is spirit, or an incorruptible, deathless, and powerful, individual. Their nature, or bodily substance, is clean, pure, holy, and divine: and it is such, because "it is born from above," gegenflemeflon anothen.
That which is clean, pure, holy, and divine, is not produced from the earth; but, if the things produced from the dust become so, it must be made clean, pure, holy, and divine, by being born of the Spirit from above; and then the thing born, made, created, or developed, is properly and truly said to be "from heaven," or to
"descend from the Deity out of the heaven."
...when John was carried away to see her, he saw her as "a city upon a hill" - upon "a great and high mountain". When he became part of the New Jerusalem in Teman, she had not finished her descent. She had not reached Mount Zion; for it had not then as yet been wrested from the Gentiles.
But, Mount Zion is not "a great and high mountain;" the mountain of Yahweh's house, however, established on the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills, with all nations flowing unto it (Isa. 2:2) is both great and high. It is "a great mountain filling the whole earth;" and upon the top of this John saw the Great City, the Holy Jerusalem, then governing the world "with an iron rod," while she was descending and after she had completed her descent from the Deity.
3 And I heard a great voice out of <the> heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of <the Deity> with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and <the Deity> himself <will> be with them, and be their <Deity>.
4 And < the Deity> shall wipe away <every> tear from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, < nor > sorrow, nor crying, < nor > pain <any more>: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that <sitteth> upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these <are true and faithful words>.
6 And he said to me, It is done. I am <the> Alpha and <the> Omega, the beginning and the End. I will give to him that is <thirsty> of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be <Deity to him>, and he shall be <to me a> son.
8 But <to> the fearful, and unbelieving, and <to those who have been detestable>, and murderers, and <fornicators,> and sorcerers, and idolaters, and < to all the> liars, their part <shall be> in the lake < burning> with fire and brimstone: which is the Second Death.
9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels < having> the seven vials full of the 7 last plagues, and <he spake to> me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the Bride, the <wife of the Lamb.>
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.
10 And he carried me away in spirit to a great and high mountain, and <he> shewed me that Great City, the Holy Jerusalem, descending out of < the > heaven from <the Deity>
11 Having the Glory of <the Deity: And the brightness of it was like to > a stone most precious, <as to> a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
15 And he [an angel v9] that <spake> with me had a golden reed [all that is measured is the fullness of perfection], <that he might> measure the city, and <its> gates, and <its> wall.
When John was commanded by an angel to measure the temple, the altar, and the worshippers therein, the measuring reed given to him was "like to a rod," the symbol of affliction and down-treading to the Holy City by the Gentiles of the unmeasured court, for the long period measured by it, and now happily soon to expire (ch. 11:1,2).
But in the measurement of the Holy City, when the down-treading is no more, the measurer is not a man in the flesh, but an angel; nor is his measuring reed, a rod of affliction, but a reed of gold.
This is the most precious of metals, and symbolical of the most precious things pertaining to the saints. But the gold of the city is more precious than the finest and purest gold current among men, for
"the city is pure gold, like to clear crystal;" and "the broadway of the city is pure gold, as it were transparent crystal".
The gold of the reed is no exception, nor anywise inferior to the gold of the city. Whatever is measured by it has attained to the fullness of perfection, both of magnitude, number, structure, and intellectual and moral attributes.
"The Almighty shall be thy gold, and treasures of silver to thee".
This will be practically illustrated when the saints, inspected and approved at the judgment seat, are born of Spirit from above - the transmutation of a baser metal into gold.
The city is like the breastplate of righteousness worn by Aaron in the Most Holy, "four square". Each side of the square was measured at 12,000 furlongs, or 1500 miles, giving 6000 miles for the four sides. But the height of the city is equal to its length; or 1500 miles high. The city is therefore a cube, or six-sided - the top the bottom and the four sides.
The measure of the wall is 144 cubits, which include the length, breadth and height. Now, if the foursquare of the city be divided into equal square parts, it will be found to contain 144. Each of these gives an area 1000 furlongs long, and 1000 furlongs broad; and in the numerical symbol of the city stands for a 1000 citizens; or in the whole "broadway," 144,000.
And this is "the measure of a man that is of an angel?" But, of what man, or angel? Of that man John describes symbolically in ch. 1:13-16, "whose voice was as the sound of many waters," because he is constituted of
"the redeemed out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (ch. 5:9).
Every child is familiar with thirty millions of British in the person of the figurative John Bull; or the same number of Americans, in that of Uncle Sam. If these were measured, they would stand miles high, and be proportionately bulky. Now the man of the golden
reed, the Son of Man, is a cube of 144 cubits; and is representative of "a multitude no man can number," all of whom are incorruptible and deathless, and therefore golden, as it were transparent crystal, and without fault before the throne.
He is representative of the "holy nation," to which the kingdom taken from the chief priests and pharisees shall be given, that it may, bring forth the fruits thereof (Matt. 21:43; 1 Pet. 2:9). This cubical man of 144 cubits is the same Paul alludes to in Eph. 4:13, saying to the saints,
"till we all come into the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of the Deity, into A PERFECT MAN, into a measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ".
From this it may be seen, that the perfect man is constituted of the saints, and that his stature is measured. John gives us his measure in bulk and height, which he attains in the resurrection epoch, when "the fullness of the Christ" is manifested in the Bride the wife of the Lamb.
But the measure of the man is also said to be the "measure of an angel". The man and the angel are the same; for when the man is perfected, he is a holy nation of citizens "equal to the angels". Besides this, the perfect man is heaven-descended, whence he is commissioned to execute the judgment written against Babylon, the Beast, and False Prophet.
He is therefore, an Angel-Man, now with "a rainbow upon his head" (ch. 10:1), elsewhere wearing a golden crown, and a sharp sickle in his hand (ch. 14:14); again descending from heaven with great power (ch. 18:1); then standing in the sun (ch. 19:17); and again, he is seen with the key of the abyss, and a great chain (ch. 20:1). The stature of this mighty angel is 144 cubits, and his symbolical numerical contents, 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of the Israel of the Deity(ch. 7:4; 14:1)
I will engrave the graving thereof
It consists in the writing, stamping impressing, or engraving, of the thing designed, upon the subject, or material, to be engraved, stamped, or impressed. The writer, or engraver, is the Seven-Horned and Seven-Eyed Spirit (Apoc ch. 4:5; 5:6) who "engraves the graving thereof" (Zech. 3:9).
When the dead body prepared for the Spirit (Heb. 10:5) was restored to life, and had come fort from the sepulchre, the Spirit, "in a moment, in the twinkling of a eye," engraved upon it, or impressed it with, every attribute necessary to constitute it "the Lord from the heaven" - He "made it both Lord and Christ".
The precious stone had come out of the earth, whence a precious stones also come; but it had to be cut, polished, embroidered and adorned, to bring out all the beauties of which it was susceptible. This the Spirit effected in the operation of raising the risen body to consubstantiality with the Deity.
Now, it matters not whether it be one man to be made "the Lord from heaven," or a countless multitude of earthborns to be made the Holy Jerusalem "descending from the Deity out of heaven" - the operation is the same. Every individual is subjected to a like polishing embroidering, and adorning, as saith the Spirit who will do the won "Him that overcometh," saith he,
"I will make a pillar in the Nave of my Deity, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the Name of my Deity, and the Name of the City of my Deity, New Jerusalem
which cometh down out of heaven from my Deity; and my new Name" (ch. 3:12).
I will Remove the iniquity
"I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, and strike forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the Olive-Tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under His shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and blossom as the vine; the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard, and observed him; I am like a green fir-tree. From me (O Ephraim) is thy fruit found. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? Prudent, and he shall know them? For the ways of Yahweh are right, and the just shall walk in them; but the transgressors shall fall therein" (Hosea 14:5-9).
12 And <it> had a great and high <wall, having> 12 gates, and at the gates 12 angels, and names <had been> written thereon, which are < those > of the 12 tribes of the < sons > of Israel:
And the Holy Jerusalem had
A GREAT AND HIGH WALL
The Wall of the Great city is the most conspicuous element of it. It is representative of the Deity in federal relation to all the priests, lords and kings of whom it is composed; and the material of it, of His preciousness.
That "wall" is used of persons 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 hath found favour: and she is styled a wall.
Again, the Spirit said to Jeremiah,
"I will make thee to this people a fenced brazen wall, and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail".
Also, as quoted before, He styles himself a wall of fire round about Jerusalem. The Bride, then, composed of them who find favour in the resurrection-epoch, is a wall; and the structure of that wall is jasper-like spirit.
The Yahweh-Spirit, as the wall of the legislative and executive body of the kingdom, encloses all its members; who, having been
"baptized into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,"
are "in the Deity the Father, and in the Lord Jesus;" and being in him, "walk in him" faithfully and are born from above - are walled or enclosed in him with a wall so lofty and great in dignity and power, that nothing can enter within it that is not of the same structure intellectually, morally, and materially, as itself.
...The relationship of the Lamb and the Bride in regard to the City Wall, will exemplify the idea of "no temple there". The wall of a house or temple is the building itself; for no wall, no building - no Spirit, no New Jerusalem in "the time of the dead".
The mixed multitude of believers constitutionally in Christ, in the present evil world, are styled in Scripture, "the house of the Deity," and "the temple of the Deity". "Know ye not," saith Paul to the Corinthians in Christ,
"that ye are the temple of the Deity, and that the Spirit of the Deity dwelleth among you?" "Ye are the building of the Deity;"
but without the Lamb; that is to say, if not built into him, they were neither house, temple, nor builded wall.
Naturally, they were separate and distinct crude 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 master builder;" that is constituted the righteousness of the Deity in Christ, "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 itself a temple.
This, however, is not to say that there is no temple in the architectural Jerusalem at the time. Jerusalem in the hands of the Turks, though it should be utterly demolished, and rebuilt from the foundation, would not therefore be "Jerusalem above, the mother of us all," or the New and Holy Jerusalem.
The angel is not speaking to John of things unsymbolical and pertaining to men in mortal flesh; but of saints immortalized and glorified. Ezekiel in treating of the temple speaks of the unfigurative, which mortals will help to build (Zech. 6:15), and 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 Apocalyptic temple constituted of the Lamb and his Wife, both in the Deity, is for them who are
"pillars in it, and shall no more go out".
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
13 On the east, three gates; on the north three gates; on the south, three gates; on the west, three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had Twelve Foundations, and <on> them the names of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb.
The names upon the foundation-stones of the city wall, indicate that each stone is representative of an apostle, as a foundation-element of the New Jerusalem Body Politic. Each of these great polished gems, or precious "living stones", would be beautiful alone; but how much more beautiful when decorated, embellished, or adorned, by all manner of precious stones beside.
The significance of this symbol is expressed in Paul's words to them in Thessalonica whom he had been instrumental in "sealing in their foreheads," and had brought into fellow-citizenship with the saints of Israel. "What," saith he,
"is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye before our Lord Jesus Christ in his presence? Ye are our glory and joy" (1 Thess. 2:19,20).
They were not "wood, hay, and stubble," but "gold, and silver, and precious stones". Such destructible materials as wood, hay, and stubble; or ignoble vessels of wood and earth, are useless; and unfit for incorporation in the glorified Bride of the Lamb; it is only those who can stand fire "in a day of Inspection," en hemera episkopes, who will find themselves the "stones of fire" by which she is adorned for her Divine husband.
Such were many, not all, of the apostles' converts to the faith. They will rejoice together in the presence of Christ, the Jasper Light and Wall of the great city; and those who have been brought to the obedience of the faith by an apostle, or by the apostolic teaching, and are declared worthy in the day of fiery revelation (1 Cor. 3:13); will be to an apostle-foundation gem of sparkling glory the garnishment of precious stones upon the foundations of the city.
The elements of the wall, and the precious gems, are built upon the jewels (Mal. 3:17) of the foundation. The reality 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 the Deity through the Spirit;"
which Spirit, in the Holy Jerusalem Association of the Saints, issues from the Deity out of heaven, and flows through every member of it, as
"a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal".
The measurements of the New Jerusalem describe it as a perfect cube. The very size of it (Rev. 21:16) precludes it from being a literal city; every detail of the description illustrating a spiritual aspect of the multitudinous Christ, and, in fact, it is the Lamb's Bride (v. 9). For example, her light is "like a jasper stone, clear as crystal" (v. 11), which stone is also representative of Christ (Rev. 4:3).
Verse 12 declares: "the length and the breadth and the height of it are equal", so that the city formed a cube of twelve thousand furlongs (or 6000 miles). This is obviously symbolical. The Most Holy was also cubical in shape (1 Kings 6:20), and as such foreshadowed the perfection of God manifestation.
Paul describes the love of God as a perfect cube (Eph. 3:17-20), and this perfect love will be manifested when the Lamb's Bride is revealed in all her beauty and glory. The ground area or surface of the New Jerusalem cube is divisible into 144 equal parts of one thousand furlongs each, pointing to the symbolic number of its citizens which comprise the component parts of the symbolic city (Rev. 7:4; 14:1).
Further details of the exposition are outlined in The Christadelphian Expositor relating to The Apocalypse Epitomised - (Logos) Publishers.
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
17 And he measured the wall <at>, an hundred and forty and four cubits, the measure of a man, that is of <an> angel.
18 And the < structure of its> wall was jasper: and the city was pure gold, like to clear < crystal.>
19 And the foundations of the wall of the city <had been embellished> with <every> precious stone. The first foundation a jasper; the second, <a> 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
20 The fifth, <a> sardonyx; the sixth, <a> sardius; the seventh, <a> chrysolite; the eighth, <a> beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; <one of the gates severally> was of one pearl: and the <broadway> of the city pure gold, as it were transparent <crystal>.
.The Twelve Gates of Pearl
"And the Wall hath TWELVE GATES: each one of the gates severally was one pearl".
As many pearls as Gates - twelve; and at each gate an angel; upon each pearl, a name inscribed of one of the tribes of the Commonwealth of Israel: and three of the twelve gates on each side of the city, situated foursquare.
The twelve gates in the wall are the gates of entrance into the city from the east, north, south, and west, from whence are gathered all upon whom the Name of the City is engraved by the Spirit.
The names written upon the pearls, show that the gates are representative of the tribes of the sons of Israel; and that, consequently, the members of the New Jerusalem community become such by adoption into the Commonwealth of Israel. Men must become "Jews inwardly," "Israelites indeed," to be citizens of "the Israel of the Deity".
At the twelve gates are twelve angels, indicating that messengers were at the gates to invite men to do the commandments of the Deity,
"that they may enter in through the gates into the city" (ch. 22:14).
These angels at the gates represent "the Spirit and the Bride" who "say Come;" together with those who understand, being the constituents of the Bride. They invite all who are athirst and all who are willing; saying,
"Let him that is athirst, Come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely".
These are the commissioned angels of the gates of the city -faithful members of the bride in all ages and generations who are able to teach others "the truth as it is in Jesus". They are in this passage, ch. 22:17, commissioned by the Jasper Light to turn men from darkness, and to invite to enter as heirs of the kingdom and glory of the Deity. This they do by preaching the gospel of the kingdom
"for the obedience of faith;"
by which obedience a people are separated from "all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues;" and adopted as citizens of the Commonwealth of Israel, in the national hope of that remarkable and favored people. They thus become part of the Israel, styled by Paul "the Israel of the Deity;" which in its glorified state, with the King of kings in the midst of them, was displayed in vision descending from the Deity to Mount Zion, as already explained.
In all the Divine arrangements, the principle laid down in 1 Cor. 15:46, is always observed in regard to the natural and the spiritual -
"that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual".
This order of development obtains in regard to "the Heavens and Earth" body, kingdom, world, commonwealth, resurrection, bride, holy city, New Jerusalem, and so forth. The natural is the basis of the spiritual. If there had been no natural sons of Jacob, there would have been no Hebrew Commonwealth of natural citizens; and no natural commonwealth, there would be no spiritual one, or New Jerusalem.
There is, therefore, a reality in the twelve Sons of the patriarch being set forth as the gates of the city, or polity, as indicated by their names having been inscribed upon the pearls, as they had previously been upon the precious stones of Aaron's breastplate. All who "enter in through the gates into the city" are the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by adoption through Christ, so that the names upon the twelve pearls are as much the names of the glorified saints, as of the twelve men who originally bore them.
21The names on the pearls represent the "144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel" (ch. 7:4) become "Israelites indeed" by that which is sealed upon them, first, doctrinally, in the present state; and afterwards, bodily, in the epoch of resurrection.
22 And I saw <in it no nave>: for the Lord <the all-powerful Deity is the Nave of it, and the Lamb>.
John's declaration that he saw no Nave in the Holy City is immediately followed in the Common Version by the intimation causatively expressed, to wit,
"For the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it" (xxi. 22).
But what John penned is preferable to this version of it; as,
"For the Lord the Deity, the Almighty, is the Nave of it, even the Lamb."
This, presented in harmony with the Mosaic teaching, would read,
"For Yahweh Elohim, the Almighty, is the Nave of it, even the Lamb." "Not by army, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith Yahweh Tz'vaoth."
Now, the Lamb with Seven Horns and Seven Eyes is the symbol of the Seven Spirits of the Deity, or omnipotence, that is, of the Eternal Spirit. Yahweh Elohim is the multitudinous apocalypse of this the "One Spirit," apocalypsed or manifested in Jesus and his Brethren "glorified together."
They, in "the Time of the End," and in all subsequent aions, will be "Yahweh Elohim, the Almighty, the Nave of the Holy City," in which John saw no Nave; for the Holy City, being a sinless, guileless, faultless, incorruptible, and deathless municipality in all its constituents, is no longer in need of temple arrangements.
The Ezekiel temple is a "house of prayer for all nations," in which the "Yahweh Elohim Almighty" will officiate as the sacerdotal intermediation between him who dwells in light, whom no man can see and live, and all the enlightened, justified and regenerated nations of the Millennial Age (Exod. xxxiii. 20; 1 Tim. vi. 16).
"WHAT do you understand by the statement, "I saw no Temple therein?" Rev. 21:22. [J. E. B.]
Answer.-The city spoken of by John in Rev. 21. is not the literal building of stone portrayed in Ezekiel's prophecy, but a building of another kind, even the spiritual or new Jerusalem, i.e., the Saints, in corporeal spirit-manifestation. It is a building having a wall with "twelve foundations, and in them the name of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb" (ver. 14); Jesus Christ is "the chief corner stone," the apostles and prophets partaking with him in the foundation of the structure (Eph. 2:20), and all the saints forming a part of the building.
They are all "fitly framed together" (Eph. 2:21), and when in the condition seen by John, are no longer "the habitation of" the spirit (Eph. 2:22) such as the saints now are, but are in spirit nature. For this reason John says "I saw no temple therein." If the "people" of "the city," or the people who compose the city were mortal as the saints now are, the Father would then only dwell in them, either "by faith," or by His spirit (Eph. 3:17; 1 Cor. 6:19).
In such a condition of things, there must of necessity be a "Temple." But when the saints are immortal, they are consubstantial with the Father. They are then all one, being the Temple and the city in ONE. In other words, the perfect unison between the Father and His children precludes the necessity for any medium between the two. Hence no "Temple" is needed, for
"the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it."
That there is no parallel between the city seen by John, and the Temple seen by Ezekiel, the following comparison of items will show:-
1. John sees "The Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God, out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Rev. 21:2).
1. Ezekiel sees the measuring angel make or build the temple literally (Ezek. 40:3, 14, 43).
2. This bride or city is declared to be "the Lamb's wife," (ver. 9).
2. But the "bride," under the figure of "the glory of the Lord" is said to enter the building seen by Ezekiel (chap. 42:1-5).
3. The city John saw is described as having twelve gates, and having at each gate an angel, and upon the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel (ver. 12). [Evidently a hyperbolical representation of certain sections of the Saints.]
3. Whereas, Ezekiel describes gates of a different order and diverse in number.
4. John describes the city as lying four square, but the measure of 12,000 furlongs with the inital number of 144 cubits relate to its cubical rather than its superficial extent (ver. 16-17).
4. Ezekiel also describes a building four square in its external form, but of different measure, viz., 500 reeds (Ezek. 42:15-20).
5. John describes a building into which nothing can enter
"that defileth, neither whatsoever maketh abomination or maketh a lie, but only they that are written in the Lamb's book of life" (ver. 27).
5. While Ezekiel describes a building into which sinners enter (chap. 44:17, 23, 30).
The Christadelphian, June 1888
23 And the city <hath> no need of the sun, <nor> of the moon, <that they> shine in it: for the glory of <the Deity hath lightened> it, <and the lamp of it is> the Lamb.
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).
The Glory of the Deity
The glory of the Deity is the Spirit, who, in Zech. 2:5,10, saith,
"I will be unto Jerusalem a wall of fire round about, and the Glory in the midst of her. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for lo, I come, and will dwell in the midst of thee, saith Yahweh".
The brightness of this glory is very great; for
"the city hath no need of the sun, nor of the moon, that they shine in it; for the glory of the Deity hath lightened it, and the lamp of it is the Lamb".
This connects the Lord Jesus with the glory, he being the slain element of the symbolic Lamb.
The bright splendor of the glory is likened to a most precious Jasper stone clear as crystal. A beautiful transparent cerulean gem is the symbol of the Spirit condensed into Spirit substance; and as it is the essential and heaven-descended principle of the city, whose builder and maker the Deity is, the wall of the city, and "the first foundation is a jasper". In ch. 4:3, the Spirit-occupant of the throne is likened to a jasper. It is the Spirit-symbol, being of various hues, such as purple, cerulean, green.
24 And the nations of them <who> are <being> saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honour into it.
...the progressiveness of the great salvation is not confined to individuals, but is extended to the nations also
.......the common version, "the nations of them that are saved;" as if the work of saving the nations were finished at "the manifestation of the sons of God." The great national regeneration has then only begun. They are manifested for the work of
"healing the nations"
-a progressive, not an instantaneous, work. In the healing process, all nations will be blessed in Abraham and his seed, walking in the light; nevertheless, these nations will not exist eternally; for Yahweh saith to Israel,
"Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee."
...while they are walking joyously in the light of their righteous government, men and women are being saved as now, though in vastly greater multitudes, not by the same system of means, however, nor for the same purpose as we; but for a salvation, which, when attained after the suppression of the post-millennial rebellion of the nations, will put them in possession of immortality; and the honour and happiness of eternal residence on earth, then entirely renovated, under the glorious supremacy, no longer sacerdotal, of Jesus and the saints.
The great salvation, then, set forth in the glad tidings of the kingdom, is adapted to the necessities of mankind, individual and national, in harmony with the purpose of God. The ills that flesh is heir to are moral, social, and corporeal. His purpose is to eradicate these upon principles that will redound to his own glory and honour.
The great want of society is a just and perfect system of law, together with a wise, infallible and righteous administration thereof.
This want God has in the Scriptures promised to satisfy. This promise, however, to the unbelieving mind, presents an insuperable difficulty, which is this, the formation of such an administration; where are the men to come from who shall be at once wise, infallible, and just?
Admitting the force of this objection, God has devised a system of means by which this moral impossibility as it appears, may be overcome.
"All things are possible with him;"
and in the Scriptures he has told us how he intends to accomplish it; and that the result of his work will be, men equal to angels in character, intelligence, and physical constitution.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Mar 1857
The Kings of the Earth
The Spirit's cubical wife of 144 cubits is the Imperial Governess of the nations for a thousand years. She descends from heaven in the manner explained; and every one of her heavenly constituents is a king and a priest of the Deity -
"they shall be priests of the Deity and of the Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (ch. 20:6); "and they shall see his face; and his Name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle nor light of the sun; for YAHWEH ELOHIM giveth them light; and they shall reign for the Aions of the Aions,"
or the thousand years (ch. 22:5).
The darkness and the light are the same to them (Psa. 139:12); for they are no longer flesh and blood, or earthy bodies, but Spirit, because "born from above". Hence, there can be no night to them; for they will be the cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night, created by the Spirit upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies (Isa. 4:5).
They are a new race of kings of the earth. Before their manifestation as the Sons of the Deity, the nations never beheld such kings. They will be "kings by the grace of God," and ruling "by Divine right," and asking no favours of mankind. They are "the kings from the risings" of the Sun of Righteousness, to prepare whose way the great Euphratean Power, once the terror of Babylon's kings and nations, has been drying up (ch. 16:12).
When they shall appear upon the theatre of humanity, the reigning kings of Europe will make war upon them; because they proclaim themselves to be the sole and rightful sovereigns of the earth saying to their Great Captain,
"Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us for the Deity by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us for our Deity kings and priests; and we shall reign upon the earth" (ch. 5:9,10).
Such a song as this sung in the ears of the reigning monarchs of the world will madden them to fury; and they will lead out all their hosts to battle against them in the vain hope of their destruction. But the kings by Divine right will prevail over, and exterminate them (ch. 17:14; 19:19-21); for
"all kings shall fall down before him; all nations shall serve him" (Psa. 72:11).
Having then, destroyed the old race of kings, "them who destroy the earth" (ch. 11:18), the kingdoms of the world are transferred to the New and Holy Jerusalem. Her royal constituents become "the kings of the earth", according to the promise of the Spirit, saying, "he that overcometh, and keepeth my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with an iron rod; even as I received of my Father" (ch. 2:26).
Their glory and honour, and the glory and honour of the nations they have acquired by conquest, become tributary to the New Jerusalem; for these new kings, and the Great and Holy City, are the same.
They are Zion's kings, and their throne of empire is the architectural Jerusalem on Mount Zion, where David reigned. For this now desolate, captive, widowed, and barren city, they have a special and unfailing affection. Even now their words are,
"If I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy" (Psa. 137:5).
But, when the day of their glory, honour, and power, is revealed, they show their affection in their policy towards her. They deliver her from her captivity under Gog; and, as the kings her nursing fathers, and their queens her nursing mothers, compel the Gentiles to bow down to her with face toward the earth, and to lick up the dust of her feet (Isa. 49:23).
With Jerusalem redeemed, and the glorified saints enthroned within her walls as the Kings of the Earth,
"the abundance of the sea shall be turned to her, and the wealth of the nations shall come unto her. Her gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that they may bring into her the wealth of the nations, and that their kings may be brought: for the nation and kingdom that will not serve her shall perish. Her officers shall be peace, and her exactors righteousness; her walls Salvation, and her gates Praise. Her sun shall no more go down; neither shall her moon withdraw herself; for YAHWEH shall be her everlasting light and the days of her mourning shall be ended" (Isa. 60).