Then, after mankind has proven that it is incapable of governing itself; after it has almost annihilated itself due to its violent nature and greed; after it has in fact, though they had been placed on Earth in order to garden and populate it, instead turned it into a place of disruption and desolation; after seeing these things John saw that there was no longer a sea of people teaming over Earth as there had been earlier. The first Earth, the foundation on which faith had been built, and the limited notions of heaven which it once carried will by then have vanished. No longer will the question be asked “Is there intelligent life on other planets?” for it will then be known that intelligent life, even men and women as they were created in the image of God right on Earth, have been thriving throughout the galaxy for uncounted ages. Truly the old ways of looking at the universe will then have drastically changed.
After a sudden and swift defeat by an alien force from space which evidently had originally owned this planet, and after this force has ended the feeble attempts of the earthlings to ward off this invasion, the selection of the ones worthy to enter the universal body of beings of light and life, the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, will be made. Now there is a new way of looking at the foundational doctrines of Earth and what they mean. Now that the heavens have been opened and the Earth reclaimed by its original owner; the one who had in fact created it, calling it Eden, placing the first man and woman in the “Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (GEN 2:15); now that he has returned to correct that which had been done by those who had been judge destroyers of the planet, John says “the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (REV 21:2).
Ah, Jerusalem, the beautiful city of peace. How many tears have been wept over her because she has never been able to live up to her name. How many times has she been scourged and beaten because of her unfaithfulness to the one and only God who loves her so. How long has it been since Jerusalem has actually known peace? How long since the mourners have not wept at her walls; since she has sung in joy knowing that her enemies have been defeated and have been swept away, not by her might, but by the strength of he who loves her?
But John saw a New Jerusalem coming down from the heights of glory. No new society of men and women fully dedicated to the God of Life, even as St. Augustine had dreamed. However this society will come together not through the works and schemes of people, though most surely they have tried. Instead it will be as a rock, a tribe of people hewn with precision edges and molted together by the intense heat of the trials and tribulations place upon them by the world’s society which main source of life was from the material things it could grasp and possess. It was she, this New Jerusalem, who John saw “beautifully dressed for her husband” (vs. 2) for whom she had so long and so anxiously awaited.
Then, at that moment, John heard a voice coming from the Heaven of heavens shouting, “’Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’” (REV 21:3-5).
The sudden interjection of the spiritual universe into the physical realm inevitably creates unusual and unexpected circumstances for anyone experiencing them. This same statement just mad by the Universal ruler from his throne as the heavenly city approaches ever so much closer to Earth echoes Paul’s declaration that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: behold, all things are become new” (2CO 5:17). But now, at the future time this was projected, the time of reconciliation Paul spoke of will be completed. The period of God’s Spirit indwelling the believers, giving them strength, hope and love for God and one another will have brought them to a point where they will truly become the beloved bride of Christ; the New Jerusalem whose peace will be true and eternal.
While yet in her infancy John said he heard God proclaim, “I am making everything new!” Then, to this end, he told John to record that:
“It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give him to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (REV 21:4-7—NIV)
Oh, but to understand the meaning behind the phrase Jesus used to describe himself as being the beginning and the end: the Alpha and the Omega. To most this most certainly means that he was the one which was before anything else existed and will be until all also ceases to exist. But is this true?
Could it be that the presumptions of time and how it exists in the eyes of God has been drastically misunderstood by people for millennia? Is it possible, that time, to God, did not exist until his perfect image had finally been created? And that perfect image was not created until such time as Jesus had been born on Earth as was said by Paul to the Corinthians (1CO11:7; 2Co4:r) and the Colossians (COL1:15). It was this Jesus who had been proclaimed the mighty King of the Physical Universe. It was he who had become the physical representation of a spiritual God. Before him there was no true evidence that this being the Israelites called Jehovah even existed. But Jesus, being the Christ of God, being his physical representation, became the literal evidence that there is this being called God who in truth has power over death and the grave.
Thus it is in the eyes of all people. Until they meet Jesus people tend to think of God as being but just a figment of the imaginations of those weakened humans who may be verging on insanity’s edge. But once they meet Christ; once they accept the fact that the evidence of the Scriptures and his physical and spiritual resurrection are overwhelming; once they allow the Holy Spirit of Truth to enter into their lives and cloak them with the garment of righteousness putting on the life of Christ, then do they suddenly discover as the Authorized King James version of the Bible states it that Jesus is “the beginning of the creation of God” (REV 3:14).
Did God exist before Jesus lived on Earth? Most certainly yes; but in the eyes of mankind, though we were aware of his existence, we were unaware of our true relationship with him: we were, put simply, agnostics—even the Jew. How then can it be said that it was Jesus who was the beginning of God’s existence? It is due to the same principle as when one looks into a mirror and sees his or her reflection.
Most certainly it would be alarming for one to look into a mirror and not see such a reflection; such a horrifying thought can be seen portrayed in stories about vampires. Yet this was exactly what Jehovah, God, was experiencing before Jesus became his physical representation on Earth and thus became his mirror image.
Perhaps this analogy should be further explained. When one looks into a mirror, what is seen is not another physical being in that mirror, that is obvious. It is, instead, a reflection of light off the person in the reflecting glass and back into the person’s eyes which receives it as an image of him or herself. Thus the image in the mirror could be said to be representative of the spiritual realm in which God resides. Before Jesus, God had no physical image upon which he could gaze and say, “See. Here is my physical image in the mirror. Here is a perfect likeness of my spirit. This proves I exist.” Until this was done, in most people’s eyes, God either did not exist; was a hoped for dream which seemed beyond comprehension; or was considered one which could not be approached by humans (JON 13:31; 14:13; 17:4; ROM 1:23; PHL 2:11; 1TI 6:15; HEB 12:18-20). But after Jesus proved his Christhood through his resurrection the existence of God not only took on factual existence within the minds of the believers, but also a new form of existence. No longer is he approached out of fear of loss of one’s existence; rather he is now served out of love and admiration.
It is in the fact that Jesus was both the end of the long wait for the Messiah which the Jew and Israelites had been promised so many centuries past and the beginning of a new faith in God based upon the evidence presented by the Christ. This placed Christ in the position of being able to be both the beginning and the end: The Alpha and the Omega. He was the end of ages of inability of those not included in the priesthood to be able to approach God without fear of death (HEB12:18-21); he became the believers “High Priest” tearing apart the veil, which was his physical body, and allowing them to see the true spirit of God through him (HEB 10:19-21). He was the beginning of a new age of faith, hope, and understanding by teeming and ever growing masses of people who would in the centuries to come accept him as their Lord; and the end of a quickly dwindling number of people who, in their hearts, sought the true God while still under the laws as presented by Moses.
“’He who overcomes,’” says the Lord to John, “’will inherit all this and I will be his God and he will be my son’” (REV 21:7).
But the Lord proclaimed quite bluntly that the “’the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death’” (REV 21:8). How condemning can a statement be? Those who have not had the guts to stand strong in their faith in Jesus and have denied their faith will not be found in that fair city when she is fully prepared for her marriage. The list of ones not included in the eternal kingdom goes on to include even liars who are all judged to be worthy of the second death, from which there is no return. But those who are strong in their faith will be included in that city, that Kingdom of God which will be married to the eternal Kingdom of Heaven in the near future.
4.21.1 The Holy City+
At the same time as the spiritual society of believers of the New Jerusalem prepare for their union with their coming King spiritually, so also will a physical city in which Jesus said he would prepare for the believers as an eternal home be approaching Earth physically (JON 14:2-3). Once again the intervention of the spiritual realm into the physical universe will be eminent; but this time it will not end.
When one of the seven angels which had one of the seven bowls of wrath bid John to come look at the New Jerusalem it became obvious to John that he was seeing the city in a spiritual sense; yet the dimensions and description seemed to be identical to that object which had caused so much chaos to the unbelievers in the physical world. Its dimensions were obviously intelligently hewn with its width, height, and depth being an equal distance of 1,400 miles (apx 2,200km). Many people have declared this to be in the perfect shape of a cube; which, indeed, it does seem to describe. However, others tend toward believing that the dimensions are rather those of a pyramid with a 200 foot (apx. 65m) fence around it similar to those found common around the pyramids of Egypt. The idea of the dimensions describing a pyramid, while not very popular, is by far the most logical because the object obviously needs to be able to travel through space for a multitude of light-years and therefore will require an aerodynamically sound structure to travel in space as God created it. As this object settles down to Earth it will require a great deal of energy acting as an exhaust antigravity system to keep it from crashing into the planet and whirling it out of orbit. This exhaust would be that eternally hot flame which would create “the lake of burning sulfur” and would literally cause there to be “no more sea” due to them being all evaporated by the tremendous heat. In fact, in the Authorized King James Version of the book of Isaiah it is prophesied:
Oh that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou would come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, and when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence! When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, when thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. (Isa 64:1-30-KJV)
If it were not for the temporary removal of the believers from the planet implied during the pouring out of the sixth vial of wrath then surely all flesh would be destroyed by this massive city as it settles down upon the planet. However when the physical New Jerusalem begins to settle down onto the planet, it will be occupied by Jesus and the rest of the 144,000 Jews which ascended with him after they arose from their graves. As it descends toward Earth, the citizens of the spiritual New Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God on Earth, will be changed into spirit and taken up to meet the Lord and his armies in the air after those who have died in Christ have also been taken there (1TH 4:15-17).
This combining of the physical New Jerusalem of the Kingdom of Heaven, populated by the 144,000 Jews and their offspring since their ascension with Christ, with the spiritual New Jerusalem of the Kingdom of God on Earth populated by both the past and present believers in Christ, including even those Israelites and Jews not included in the first resurrection with Christ (ACT 2:29), will create a new kingdom: the eternal Kingdom of Christ (See Lesson #12.1.1). The spiritual description which John saw shows that the city was pure and holy; without spot or blemish. She had a great and high salvation created by her Savior, Jesus. There were twelve entrances into their society, which were through the twelve apostles. And there were twelve basic foundational truths which caused her to be pure presented by the twelve tribes of Israel.
This is what the righteous have so long desired to see. This is what they have hoped for; dreamed of. The city will be pure and righteous; prepared as a bride for her husband, and when he arrives she will be snatched up in his arms into the peace and safety as she has for centuries prayed for.
There will be no temple there, even as there is no central temple it the Christian world today, for “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple”. In fact, even in the world today, the need for a physical temple has been displace by the fact that the believer is truly the temple of God (1CO 3:16). Prophecy will no longer be needed, because the prophecies of the Christ will have been fulfilled and that is all that is necessary for the fact of God to be evident.
The city, the society of Christ, once joined to the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, will rule over the nations of earth through love and respect. “The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (REV 21:26-27).
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