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Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.
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James: 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.
Paul: For ABSOLUTE sure.
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 if we apply this to the church, God's dwelling place, would you say that the church has both a natural and spiritual aspect?
1 Corinthians 15:46-47 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
In other words, the church is the bride of Christ, His counterpart, and the New Jerusalem is the bride of Christ, according to the Scriptures. Do you believe that the church is becoming both spiritual dwelling place of God, joined to the Lord, and a physical city?
The difference is that the Church is "becoming" but is still not in perfectly restored bodies.
The New Jerusalem is the Bride that has become Wife and IS in perfectly restored bodies.
And so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Yes, If Paul could say he had not apprehended, then I feel safe in saying none are perfectly restored. Jesus on the mount of transfiguration is shown in perfection I believe, but He alone is that reality realized in the flesh of fallen man.
The difference is that the Church is "becoming" but is still not in perfectly restored bodies. The New Jerusalem is the Bride that has become Wife and IS in perfectly restored bodies. And so shall we ever be with the Lord.
This is true. We are "becoming."
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
The Lord Jesus has already "become."
1 Corinthians 15:45b the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
"was made" is the Greek preposition eis, or into. It indicates motion from one place to another place. The last Adam was God manifested in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16), with a natural, physical body. He left there, and is now in the Spirit, having a body that is entirely Spirit. First he was the word that became flesh, now He has become a life-giving Spirit.
What is a city? It is an incorporated corporate person. When we say "Buffalo, NY", we are not talking about buildings, we are talking about a group of many people who have been incorporated into one entity, "Buffalo".
What is the bride? The bride is an incorporated (corp meaning body, in-corp, "in one body.") corporate person. The Biblical example of an incorporated, corporate person is a city. It is also a husband and wife.
Eventually the bride becomes the counterpart of Christ, who is the Spirit. The Spirit and the bride are one corporate person. This is the New Jerusalem. It really has absolutely nothing to do with physical buildings. The New Jerusalem signifies the consummation of God's building work through the ages, it the end result of God "building the rib into a woman and bringing her to the man." It is the fulfillment of Jacob's dream. The "descending" is God being built into man. The "ascending" is man being built into God. This is Bethel. The entire Bible is about this one thing.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Part of the reason for this is because of the contamination of Christian thought by combining it with Greek existential philosophy.
If you keep going back beyond the Greeks, eventually you will come to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is the source of all corrupt thoughts.
This tree, as well as the serpent, signifies the source, Satan himself.
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
That old serpent, the Devil, Satan. This verse identifies the source of corruption and death. Genesis is not really about trees or reptiles. The source of life is God. The source of death is Satan. The 'physical things" are sign, signifying the spiritual things.
I chose life
Fred: What is a city? It is an incorporated corporate person. When we say "Buffalo, NY", we are not talking about buildings, we are talking about a group of many people who have been incorporated into one entity, "Buffalo". What is the bride? The bride is an incorporated (corp meaning body, in-corp, "in one body.") corporate person. The Biblical example of an incorporated, corporate person is a city. It is also a husband and wife.
Paul: Amen, here we can see the tragedy of wanting a man a king over us, which is the worldly way. Buffalo is such a fine example :)
Buffalo is such a fine example
If the Lord would grant us mercy, we would see that the church is not a physical building and has nothing to do with a physical building, but is people who are being built together into a dwelling place of God. The people are the building. Whether they meet in a field, a cave, a house, or a rented hall is absolutely irrelevant.
Ephesians 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.
Likewise, the New Jerusalem is the bride, the wife of the Lamb is the church in its consummated form and has not one thing to do with physical buildings. We do not go to church, we are the church. We are not going to the New Jerusalem, we are becoming the New Jerusalem. I realize this a huge paradigm shift for most people, but it is the Scriptures.
Revelation 21:9-10 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 show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
Two great paradigm shifts: According to the Scriptures, the New Jerusalem is not a physical city, and our final destination is not heaven, but the earth.
My conclusion? The holy city being physical is simply the natural mind trying to understand the Bible. Going to heaven as the goal of salvation is a very prevailing myth that is not in the Bible. The Scriptures do not conclude with anyone in heaven.
The Lord instructed us to pray, "Our Father..., your kingdom come...on earth!!!!!"
Fred: Two great paradigm shifts: According to the Scriptures, the New Jerusalem is not a physical city, and our final destination is not heaven, but the earth. My conclusion? The holy city being physical is simply the natural mind trying to understand the Bible. Going to heaven as the goal of salvation is a very prevailing myth that is not in the Bible. The Scriptures do not conclude with anyone in heaven. The Lord instructed us to pray, "Our Father..., your kingdom come...on earth!!!!!"
Paul: I agree with you, and add that the beauty of the new heaven and earth will also be totally awesome to our resurrection senses. The relational((can't wait to see my Keenie and many others)) will surly be the foundational reality of the temple/city/ and all else in eternal life.
It is possible that the full importance of my last three postings in this thread was not expressed as clearly as I had hoped for it to be.
The New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven IS Heaven and Earth coming together.
But because heaven cannot be contaminated, that connection between Heaven and Earth cannot be fully manifested until there are New Heavens and New Earth.
There are BOTH spiritual AND natural aspects to THAT connection, after all, our bodies are the temple(s) of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit does not just only come down upon some dis-embodied spirit, it comes into BODIES that are made out of the dust of the earth, and in THOSE bodies our spirit dwells, and when the Holy Spirit takes up permanent habitation in our bodies, our spirit is purged of all of the contamination that we had because of the fall in sin, and our spirit is conformed to the Holy Spirit of God, and it is conformed so completely, that eventually, when we speak, not even God will make any distinction between us speaking and Him speaking.
THAT internal transformation is what will eventually bring about the transformation of our bodies, from mortal to immortal and from corruptible to incorruptible.
The SAME thing happens in God's elect and in their bodies, as will eventually happen in the entire earth, and when THAT happens, heaven and earth are coming together, no longer separated by the contamination of sin, but perfect harmony and divine order, in purity and righteousness.
It was always the desire of God for physical reality to perfectly reflect the divine will of God, and for there to NOT be any disconnection between the two, what was His desire in the beginning, is STILL His desire in the end, and God will ALWAYS manifest the fullness of His desire.
Anything that tries to make a disconnection between physical reality and the divine will of God, will eventually evaporate away and never again come into remembrance.