Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.
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Fred said: Questions are good. We should all be full of questions and not assume that we know anything. Jesus asked many questions both of His disciples, and of the Pharisees (the religious experts).
Paul replied: Amen Fred, we all no in part, and it can be a real red flag when we feel not the need of one another pertaining to understanding, or any other aspect of our life going from the earthly to the heavenly.
The marriage vows that are referred to in Rev 19:7-9 happen on this side of the Great Tribulation, it is the reception, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, that happens in heaven.
While the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is happening in heaven, at the SAME time the supper of the great God (the Great Tribulation) is happening in the earth (Rev 19:17-21).
THEN, the faithful come back to the earth to reign with the Lord for the thousand years.
Then the enemy is loosed for a short time to deceive the nations and to gather the nations together against the camp of the saints (Rev 20:3, 7-10), but all of them are eventually consumed by fire (v. 9).
Then there are New Heavens and New Earth (Rev 21:1) and upon the New Heavens and the New Earth, the New Jerusalem, comes down from God out of Heaven (v. 2).
In the time period, between the burning of the nations and the New Jerusalem coming down, the Great White Throne Judgement happens, because in the New Heavens and the New Earth, there will be no more death or weeping and mourning.
All death, weeping and mourning must cease, and there be a New Heavens and New Earth in order for it to be an appropriate place for the New Jerusalem to descend upon.
The "New Jerusalem" in Revelations 21:2 is different from the "camp of the saints: and the "beloved city" in Rev 20:9, because in-between the burning of the nations in Rev 20:9 and the New Heavens and the New Earth in Rev 21:1, the Great White Throne Judgement happens in Rev 20:11.
The "New Jerusalem" in Revelations 21:2 is different from the "camp of the saints: and the "beloved city" in Rev 20:9,
It is rare to find anyone who does not regard the New Jerusalem as physical structure, even though Revelation 1:1 says that the revelation is "made known by signs." The golden lampstands are obviously not literal or physical, the four horses are obviously not literal or physical, the woman clothed with the sun is obviously not literal, but the New Jerusalem is. If I point out, "no, it is a sign, it signifies the bride of the Lamb, this is the church isn its consummated form, they cannot except it.
Why? Because their head os already full of myths about going to heaven. Try and find a book on the New Jerusalem, the greatest and consummate sign in the Holy Scriptures. I doubt you can find one. What you will find are books about people who have died and "gone to heaven" full of fanciful details which are nowhere in the Bible. This is the state of the Christian religion.
A very basic connection.
A "city" is ONLY a collection of buildings if it does not have citizens to inhabit it.
The scriptures say that the New Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven.
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.
But the New Jerusalem is NOT just only a collection of buildings, just as the Church is NOT just the building where people congregate.
The "church in the wilderness" was the "church" (called out ones) from the moment that they left Egypt, even BEFORE the Tabernacle was made.
Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:
It is because the pillar of fire led them from the very beginning.
Exo 13:18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.
Exo 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
Exo 13:22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
So it is with every true church, it is a people that are being led by the Holy Spirit, the pillar of fire, to go in, to inherit everything that God has promised.
The Church is the congregation of the PEOPLE, that are being led by the Holy Spirit and that are inheriting the promises of God.
The following is a list of the 234 verses in Exodus thru Deuteronomy where the words “congregation” or “assembly” or both are found.
Exo 12:3; 6; 19; 47; 16:1; 2; 3; 9; 10; 22; 17:1; 27:21; 28:43; 29:4; 10; 11; 30; 32; 42; 44; 30:16; 18; 20; 26; 36; 31:7; 33:7; 34:31; 35:1; 4; 20; 21; 38:8; 25; 30; 39:32; 40; 40:2; 6; 7; 12; 22; 24; 26; 29; 30; 32; 34; 35; Lev 1:1; 3; 5; 3:2; 8; 13; 4:4; 5; 7; 13; 14; 15; 16; 18; 21; 6:16; 26; 30; 8:3; 4; 5; 31; 33; 35; 9:5; 23; 10:7; 9; 17; 12:6; 14:11; 23; 15:14; 29; 16:5; 7; 16; 17; 20; 23; 33; 17:4; 5; 6; 9; 19:2; 21; 23:36; 24:3; 14; 16; Num 1:1; 2; 16; 18; 53; 2:2; 17; 3:7; 8; 25; 38; 4:3; 4; 15; 23; 25; 28; 30; 31; 33; 34; 35; 37; 39; 41; 43; 47; 6:10; 13; 18; 7:5; 89; 8:9; 15; 19; 20; 22; 24; 26; 10:2; 3; 7; 11:16; 12:4; 13:26; 14:1; 2; 5; 10; 27; 35; 36; 15:15; 24; 25; 26; 33; 35; 36; 16:2; 3; 9; 18; 19; 21; 22; 24; 26; 33; 41; 42; 43; 45; 46; 47; 50; 17:4; 18:4; 6; 21; 22; 23; 31; 19:4; 9; 20; 20:1; 2; 4; 6; 8; 10; 11; 12; 22; 27; 29; 25:6; 7; 26:2; 9; 27:2; 14; 16; 17; 19; 20; 21; 22; 29:35; 31:12; 13; 16; 26; 27; 43; 54; 32:2; 4; 35:12; 24; 25; Deu 5:22; 9:10; 10:4; 16:8; 18:16; 23:1; 2; 3; 8; 31:14; 30; 33:4
The New Jerusalem (if you are ONLY looking at buildings) is NOT the Bride or Wife of the Lamb, it currently exists in heaven and WILL come down upon the New Heavens and the New Earth, because the earth in its current, fallen condition is not worthy of it, AND it has citizens that inhabit it.
Rev 21:9 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.
Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
Rev 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
Rev 21:12 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:
Rev 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
Rev 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Rev 21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
Rev 21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, 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.
Rev 21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
Rev 21:18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
Rev 21:19 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;
Rev 21:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
Rev 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
Rev 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
Rev 21:23 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.
Rev 21:24 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.
Rev 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
Rev 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Quite good brother, thank you. A very thorough post.
Have you ever considered that the three elements in the river in Genesis 2 correspond to the three basic elements in the New Jerusalem?
Genesis 2:12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
Gold, bdellium, which is a gem from hardened tree resin (corresponding to pearl) and onyx, a precious stone. The seed of the building material of the New Jerusalem is sown in Genesis. The Bible is wonderful.
The New Jerusalem (if you are ONLY looking at buildings)
I would say that the New Jerusalem has nothing whatsoever to do with buildings. All the dimensions, the material, the river, the tree, the street, jasper, gold, precious stones, each of the 12 gates being one pearl, all have to be interpreted in the light of the Scriptures.
The building in the Bible is the building of God into man through incarnation, and the building of man into God through resurrection. The New Jerusalem is the ultimate consummation of God's building work throughout the ages.
Consider the pearl gates.
A pearl is produced by a wounded oyster secreting its life juice upon the wounding grain of sand. Over time it produces a gem. This is an allegory. Christ came into the death waters of the world and was wounded. When His side was pierced, blood and water flowed out. Blood for our redemption and water for life producing. He thusly became our "entrance" into the Holy City.
In addition, when we remain in Christ's death, by the power of His resurrection, we become "gates" for others to enter through our living and gospel preaching.
Philippians 3:10-11 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
You could write a book just on the significance of the pearl gates.
We do not go to church, we are the church...24/7. We are not going to the New Jerusalem, we are becoming the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is us.
I agree. Spiritual matters are all that really count for eternity.
Amen. May God open our eyes to see the spiritual things, the things that are out from God and are God. He is wonderful! This thread is called "we need to obey the law"
Here is the law:
Luke 10:26-27 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.
O, how I love Jesus!!!!!!
Many times the carnal mind tries to artificially make a complete disconnect between the natural/physical/material and the spiritual.
Part of the reason for this is because of the contamination of Christian thought by combining it with Greek existential philosophy.
Greek existential philosophy concludes that ALL natural/physical/material existence is inherently evil.
It is from that corruption of Christian thought that the fictional work of the Book of Judas Iscariot comes from, which concludes that Judas Iscariot was the great hero of the story because through the betrayal, he liberated the Christ from the evil of physical existence.
But it DOES NOT consider that BEFORE the fall in sin, absolutely nothing of physical existence was inherently evil.
Corruption, evil, decay and death ALL entered into the earth through the fall in sin, and ALL of those things will eventually be done away through the restoration of all things, and will therefore be restored back to the original pure and perfect order that God created for it to be in.
Therefore, in the end, when everything is restored, God will be able to say again that it is "very good" (Gen 1:31).
Therefore, there is not a TOTAL disconnect between the spiritual and the natural, but rather, as is shown in multiple places, the natural types the spiritual and the spiritual types the natural, but in ways that display the perfect order that is the will of God.
It is for these reasons that I do not ascribe to the thought that the New Jerusalem is ONLY spiritual, and neither do I ascribe to the thought that the New Jerusalem is ONLY natural, it is BOTH spiritual AND natural in the perfect harmony that God originally intended in the beginning, so also will it be in the end.
So also is it with the Law. The letter alone. without the Spirit to bring it to Life, killeth. But, when the Spirit moves upon the Word to bring it to be a living reality in the believer, it is Life, the Spiritual and the natural coming together again in salvation and restoration.