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. 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. 21:16-17).
heavenly messenger measured the holy city and it was twelve thousand furlongs
or fifteen hundred miles: the length and the breadth and the height of it were
equal, as we have pointed out — a cube.
Some have supposed that a literal city must be meant since various
measurements are given. However, we must
always keep in mind that this city is
the bride, the Lamb’s wife! Therefore
such dimensions must necessarily have a symbolical and spiritual meaning in relation to the body of Christ! The measurements are in multiples of twelve
which are a symbol and signature of God’s purposes in His elect. The number twelve often enters into the
symbolism of the book of Revelation — twelve tribes, twelve stars, twelve
apostles, twelve angels, twelve foundations, twelve gates. So here the number twelve is found in the
measurements of the city: each side is twelve thousand furlongs and the wall is
one hundred and forty-four cubits, which is twelve times twelve.
is the number of divine government. One thousand is the number signifying the
day of the Lord (II Pet. 3:8). Twelve times one thousand is God’s light and
illumination (day) multiplied by God’s authority and rule (government) — the
perfect and full dominion of God by the revelation of His glory without
mixture, limitation, or darkness. The
Holy of holies of God’s eternal kingdom is, therefore, in type, 528,000 times more
glorious than the Holy of holies in the Mosaic tabernacle that was a
cube of only ten cubits or fifteen feet each way! The true measure of the city is the Lord
Jesus Christ: “…unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”
(Eph. 4:13). The people who come to this measure will be the glory of God,
the perfection of beauty, and the light of the world in the fullness of what
that means, and will bring the total restoration that God, who cannot lie, has
promised to all creation. Hallelujah!
years ago, as I waited before the Lord, a precious and hidden truth began to be
opened before the eyes of my understanding.
The Spirit of God in His own singular way shined His light of revelation
upon an incident in the life of Jesus.
The Spirit brought to my attention the scene in the garden of Gethsemane
on that horrendous night when the mob stormed into the solitude to arrest our
Lord, and Jesus declared that He could call for TWELVE LEGIONS OF ANGELS to come
to His rescue. But He refused to summon
them because He was born to die for the sins of the world and the scriptures
and the plan of God must be fulfilled.
wondered why “twelve legions” when there were innumerable companies of
messengers comprising the heavenly hosts (Heb. 12:22). If in the Spirit of God we can sound the
fathomless depths of wisdom
and knowledge that inspired our blessed Lord when He spoke of the “twelve
legions” of messengers, I believe we shall have in our possession the
explanation of things that have remained secret and have been hidden from our
understanding for centuries. It is
significant to note that “legion” is a military
term, for in ancient Rome
a legion was the largest single military division composed of several thousands
of foot soldiers, with additional cavalry, under the command of a general. It should be clear, first of all, that when
Jesus referred to twelve legions of angels that could be summoned to His
defense, He was identifying THE ARMY OF GOD!
These were messengers, mighty in power and glory, trained, disciplined,
prepared, and equipped for the specific purpose of spiritual warfare — to bring deliverance! Then, too, it should be plain that since
Jesus had the authority to command these
“twelve legions,” He Himself was THEIR GENERAL!
Can we not see by this that Christ is revealing to us in the simplest of terms that He Himself is “the
angel of the Lord,” the “Captain of the Lord’s host,” appearing throughout the
Old Testament — thus He is THE COMMANDING GENERAL OF THE ARMY OF GOD! The seer of Patmos
beheld with wonder the same great truth when in spirit he saw the Christ riding
out of the heavens of the Spirit of God on His white horse of conquest, as King
of kings, and Lord of lords, followed by the royal
armies of heaven!
I was made to know that the “twelve legions of angels” of which Jesus spoke is
a symbol for the army of God. This knowledge stirred me tremendously! Think not, dear friend, that Jesus meant that
He could call an exact number of
heavenly messengers, for the number of soldiers in a legion was not fixed — it
could run anywhere from about 3,000 to more than 6,000 men. Twelve is a symbolic number, a perfect
number, a meaningful number, signifying GOVERNMENTAL PERFECTION. It is found as a multiple in all that has to
do with RULE. Ed Vallowe, in his
splendid book KEYS TO SCRIPTURE NUMERICS, has written, “This number, twelve,
symbolizes God’s perfect, divine accomplishment actively manifested. It shows a completeness of a growth
or administration. Twelve
marks governmental perfection and is used as the signature of Israel. The number is used 187 times in the Bible.
It is used 22 times in the book of Revelation. Twelve is the number for government by divine
appointment. Jesus said to His
disciples, ‘Verily, I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the
regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also
shall sit upon twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel’ (Mat.
19:28). The twelve apostles shall sit
upon their twelve thrones and judge and rule in connection with our Lord’s rule
upon His throne. They will occupy those
twelve (symbolical) thrones by divine appointment.
17:20 states that Ishmael begat twelve
princes, and in Numbers 1:5-16 there are twelve princes named over the twelve
tribes of Israel. ‘And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for
the king and his household’ (I Kings 4:7).
There are twelve months in the year.
The sun which rules the day
(Gen. 1:14-18), and the moon and stars which govern the night, do so by their passage through the twelve signs of the Zodiac, which
completes the great circle of the heavens of 360 degrees or divisions, and thus
govern the year. Dr. Seise, in his
GOSPEL IN THE STARS, claims that the twelve
signs of the Zodiac have been accepted by the astronomers throughout the
centuries, and that none of them know where the mapping of the stars
started. Some claim that it came from
beyond the Flood. In the opinion of Dr.
Seise, it was revealed by the Lord to such men as Enoch and Noah. The twelve
signs of the Zodiac were mentioned as
established divine truth in the book of Job, the oldest book in the Bible. God Himself said to Job, “Canst thou bind the
sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth (Heb.: the Twelve
Signs) in his season? Or canst thou
guide Arcturus with his sons? Knowest
thou the ordinances of heaven? Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?’ (Job 38:31-33). Even the testimony of the stars is
numerically and symbolically in harmony with the Bible use of the number
twelve. No wonder the Psalmist said,
‘The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His
handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge’ (Ps. 19:1-2).
is also significant that only twelve judges
— who judged Israel
— are mentioned in the book of Judges.
There are things more startling yet to come, before which the puny minds
of men seem as nothing, and the greatness of our God eclipses all things
else. In John 19:11 Jesus told Pilate
that he could have no power, or authority against Him except it were given to
him from above. This was expressed by twelve Greek words! Here is the authority (governmental perfection) that comes from above. If it
comes from above, then it is authority that comes from God. These twelve
Greek words which Jesus used in telling Pilate that he could have no power,
or authority against Him, unless it came from above, is exactly the number that has been found to stand for divine
authority” — end quote.
THE CITY OF PURE
the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass” (Rev. 21:18).
fully tried in the fire is pure
gold. The gold of the tabernacle in
the wilderness was required by the Lord to be pure gold. The gold in
Solomon’s temple was also pure gold. The gold of the
new Jerusalem is likewise described as pure
gold, clear as crystal. That is what
God is after! To be “pure” means to be
“unmixed, single, free of anything that adulterates or taints, containing
nothing but its own reality.” Pure water is water without any
contaminants; pure air is free from
any pollutants; pure silver is
refined until it contains no tinge of alloy, no trace of impurities, no residue
of dross. The Lord has promised to
purge, refine, and remove all mixture from
the lives of those who become His kings and priests, called and chosen to rule
with Him and restore creation unto God.
In the city (government) of God there is no mixture, and there is
nothing hidden. Apparently and actually,
outwardly and inwardly, in any way and in every way, it is pure gold. The word is sure,
“The Lord…shall suddenly come to His temple…and He shall sit as a refiner and
purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi (His priesthood), and
purge them as gold and silver…” (Mal. 3:1-3).
Lord, when He comes to His temple of living stones and purges the sons of Levi,
or His kingdom of priests, first of all purges out one man — old Adam! He comes
to cleanse us from the carnal, Adamic
mind, nature, and ways. He comes as a
consuming fire to burn out of us all that is contrary to the righteousness and wisdom and purposes of
the Lord. He is coming to each one of us
personally, His elect, in this new day of the kingdom of God,
and is purging the old fleshly nature and worldly and religious ways out of
us! On a corporate level He is also
coming to those who have received the call to sonship and is separating out all
who talk the kingdom but do not walk the kingdom! Only the ones who have truly surrendered to
His will, have walked in His ways, obeying each sound of His voice, who have
clean hands and pure hearts, will reign with Him in His kingdom.
we respond to God’s call to become pure gold we are casting our lot for the
highest and the best! There is gold and
all manner of precious stones and we yield ourselves
under His mighty hand to both become and be adorned with the materials that
comprise the city, for we are the city of God. Our hearts are filled with gratitude to the
Lord for His invitation to enter in through
the gates of the city to become the expression and manifestation of His
glory and power in the earth! God
Himself has offered us His best — His
own divine nature. It will just be
something more real and wonderful all the time because God’s gold is not
limited and He has asked of us to buy of Him gold tried in the fire (Rev. 3:18). As we build
up this city within ourselves we are building with real, spiritual,
heavenly bricks, gold bricks, and the city is raised up one golden stone upon
another golden stone as the Father produces each of them in our experience.
also learn in the formation of this city of gold and putting nothing in it but
the best, that we must begin with the foundation just as every builder
does. Paul tells us about the foundation, that it
is Jesus Christ. In another sense, in
the Revelation, it is the apostles of the Lamb.
Now how can both be true? The
answer is not difficult to find. When
the life, nature, faith, wisdom, and power of
the Lord is laid in our lives the foundation is laid in us — that is Jesus Christ. Paul
well knew his calling. It had been from
heaven and after God revealed it to him, Paul
didn’t go and ask the other apostles what they thought about it, but got busy
right away with getting the foundation laid first in his own life, and then in
those he ministered to. Thus he said, “I
am determined to know nothing among
you save Jesus Christ and Him
crucified.” And that is the foundation for every saint of God who will
press on to the glory and majesty of the holy city, the precious stone that has
been laid in the earth, the tried stone, the sure foundation that will never fail. The dread infirmity of the Lord’s people is
just this — that not only are they oft times building with inferior materials
of wood, hay and stubble, but many are not building on the true and only
foundation of JESUS CHRIST. The
foundation is not a generic Christ, nor some cosmic Christ, nor the Christ
principle — it is JESUS CHRIST and none other.
It was Paul’s
lot to lay the foundation in men which is nothing
else but Jesus Christ the Lord!
ago a dear sister had a dream. In this
dream she wanted something very much.
She didn’t seem to realize just what it was she wanted, but she wanted
whatever it was more than anything else in the world and was looking about to
see what she could find of any value that she could sell in order to be able to
buy this that she wanted. There was no
regret in giving up anything, no matter how precious, and after she had sold
everything she had she found herself in the chapel where she attended services,
kneeling at the front, and there before her was a heap of pure gold nuggets and
she realized that was what she had been seeking for. Then she looked toward the congregation to
see who else was there and she saw the people in their places and at their feet
also was a heap of gold nuggets and she realized that all had been doing the
same as she, selling all they had that they might obtain this gold. She then tried to see the different faces to
see just who the people were, but the gold shone in their faces so radiantly
that they had lost all identity and there was just the reflection of the pure
gold upon each one. Ah, gold is the
nature of God Himself and His reflection shall be upon all His people as they
buy the gold until they will no longer
be seen in any aspect of their humanity — only the radiance of the Lord Himself
will be upon them!
“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in
the fire, that thou mayest be rich…to him that overcometh will I grant to sit
with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father
in His throne” (Rev. 3:18,21). “Buy
of me gold” means to pay the price for
the divine nature of our Father to be brought forth in our lives! “Tried in the fire” means that His nature has
become an experiential reality within us and has been put to the test. It speaks of an intimate, direct encounter
with God that causes all that is contrary to His nature to be consumed by the
all-consuming fire of His Spirit, resulting in our spiritual growth and
maturity in Christ. Our Lord has called
upon His elect to buy of Him this gold tried in the fire that we may be rich! Now we know what the true riches are! The riches
of which He speaks are not the riches of the world, either of money, material
things, or of stature, position, fame, or self-glory. The riches of this world corrupt the
spiritual man and prevent a manifestation of the true Life of God. The gold that we are to buy of Him represents
a life that has been tried and tested, even as gold is refined, to bring forth
the qualities of the Christ life within all who are His called and chosen ones.
gold of which our Lord speaks is symbolic of the divine nature and the divine
life of those who put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
The gold of the realm of the spirit represents the spiritual riches of
the saints, for Christ said that we should buy this gold tried in the fire,
“that thou mayest be rich.”
Therefore gold represents our true wealth, that is, our true value! Jesus pointed out to the multitude gathered at His teaching,
“A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things that he possesseth”
(Lk. 12:15). The gold of the realm of
the spirit is the true riches!
and Elaine Cook, when they were still publishing their paper, printed a dream
that the Lord had given to Martin Paulet.
He wrote, “I looked and I saw something coming down from heaven. The Lord said He was giving this to me. It appeared to be a large block of gold coming
down to me. The size was seven by five
feet by three feet high. As it came
down, I discovered it shone like it had light in it. It reminded me of the transparent gold, ‘…and
the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass’ (Rev. 21:18). It was impressed upon me that this was very valuable, so I chipped off a piece
about one inch by one inch by ¼ inch, and called some jewelers together for an
evaluation. The jewelers offered me a
million dollars for this small chip of gold.
I replied, ‘Oh, that’s not enough,’ for I knew the value was greater
than that. They then offered me ten million for it and I went home
without selling it and knowing the true worth.
As I pondered this before the Lord, He made me to know the
gold block He was giving me was none other than His nature. This is such a valuable thing He is
giving us! It is more precious than
gold! His nature in us is far
more valuable than all the gifts and miracles He has given us. It is greater than any gift He has ever given us!” — end quote.
of the day when He would bring His kingdom and show forth His glory in the
earth the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah, “I will make a man more precious
than fine gold; even a MAN than the golden wedge of Ophir” (Isa.
13:12). The MAN the prophet speaks of is
God’s Christ, Head and body, even the new
creation man in the image and likeness of God! A man is growing to maturity in this day, it
is the manchild company, the sons of God, or the body of Christ. This corporate man will be made more precious
than fine gold by the Lord Himself, for He dwells within them in all the fullness of His divine life and
glory. The reference to the “golden
wedge of Ophir” is to the source of the finest gold available in that day,
which was the gold of Ophir. From the
mines of the land of Ophir
in Arabia the Israelites
obtained the most precious and highly refined gold in the days of Solomon. This gold was for the temple of God! The temple of God
today is a living temple of living
stones, raised up a spiritual house, the
dwelling place of God from which He rules in kingdom authority and ministers to
creation through His king-priests after
the order of Melchizedek. The temple of God
is the same as the body of Christ, the sons of God, the city of God,
and the MAN who is made more precious than fine gold!
When the Lord completely delivers
us from the old fleshly nature of sin and mortality we shall then fully become that MAN that is more
precious than the finest gold of Ophir.
Of what great value is this
MAN both to God and to all creation!
This MAN, totally delivered from the
bondage of corruption, shall then be the deliverer
of creation! He shall shed forth the
spirit and power of reconciliation, restoration, and transformation to all
mankind, bringing deliverance
to the whole, groaning creation. A MAN
who can bring universal salvation, health, life, purity, peace, and glory — oh!
how valuable is that MAN!
as gold is purified by fire, so are we purified by the fiery trials the Lord
sends into our lives. Like the intense
heat that causes the impurities to rise to the top of the molten gold, so the
many tribulations we face in life, and the blazing fire of God’s dealings that
accompany them, draw from us those things that pollute the pure nature of God
within our spirit. One pass through the
furnace is never
sufficient to remove all the impurities in gold, neither can we become pure in
one season of testing. God allows us to
be tested and tried by the Holy Ghost and fire for however long it takes
because He wants us to be pure vessels to manifest His glory. Those who hunger and thirst for Him will not
be devastated by this fire, but purified.
They are those who heed the apostle Paul’s
warning to examine the materials with which we are building as the temple of God
is raised up within us, for “every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the
day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed
by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (I
fully tried in the fire is pure
gold. To be “pure,” as we mentioned
earlier, means to be “unmixed” with anything else — no foreign substances, no
adulteration, no pollutants, no contaminants, no impurities, not even anything different.
Under the law of Moses people were not permitted to wear garments of
wool mingled with linen. Not that there is wrong in either one, but
the type is meaningful, for wool is
derived from animals while linen comes from a plant. Israel was called to be God’s holy people and were not to become mixed
with the false gods, pagan customs, and gross sins of the peoples and nations
around them. So by His law the Lord
taught them by object lesson what it means
to be pure and holy.
They were prohibited from sowing two kinds of seed in the same
field. They were not to plow with an ox
and an ass in the same yoke, for an ox is a clean
animal, but an ass is unclean. God was showing them that there are
things that are not to be mixed! Flesh
must not be mixed with spirit. Truth
must not be joined with error.
Righteousness must not be mingled with unrighteousness. The will of the Father must not be combined
with the will of man. The means and methods
and exercises of religious Babylon
must not be added to the move of God’s spirit.
Even the ministries of the outer court and the holy place are not to be
conglomerated with the ministry of the most holy place! Purity of heart means that the Adamic heart is put off;
the old religious heart is put off as well!
There is singleness of vision, purpose, hope, and motive; the mind of
Christ which is the nature of the Father is the only reality. This is the glory of the city of transparent gold, the
new Jerusalem! This is what brideship to
Christ is all about! And this is what
sonship to God is about!
Lord has promised to purge, refine, and remove all mixture from the lives of all those who become His kingdom of
priests in the earth (Mal. 3:1-3). In
the natural world, in this wonderful process of refining the miner first mines
the ore out of the darkest depth. The
miner has it in his mind that he will go after the ore. Now, it’s not easy to obtain the ore. The ore is in inaccessible places, and it
requires great effort and endeavor for the miner to obtain the precious
ore. The refiner then goes after the
ore. The ore doesn’t go after the
refiner! I have never heard of an ore searching for a
refiner! You never will.
It’s the refiner who goes after the ore.
Someone says, “I sought the Lord.”
Well, that’s how it appeared to
you, my friend, but the truth of the matter is the Lord sought you! He sought you in the darkest depths of the
flesh and the bestial system of this world, and He brought you forth and made
you His. It was HE who did it! Yes,
you responded to His call, but it was He who purposed, initiated, and completed
ore is now the property of the miner who mined it, but the mixture is
there. Both gold and silver are found in
nature, but never
in their pure form. They come mixed
with, or imbedded in, various kinds of rock, minerals, and metals. No jeweler would want to work with
natural gold with bits of rock or sand in
it. Nor could such impure stuff be
beaten into sheets. And no one likes a
ring that turns their finger green! No,
silver and gold as they are found in nature do not have, in themselves, much usefulness. They must first be separated from all the
impurities that naturally accompany them.
And the process for doing that is called refining. Our lives, dear
ones, are like that! We are spirit,
soul, and body — and within our spirit, which is the offspring of God, there is
so much that is worthwhile in us, but in
our outer life of the flesh and the carnal mind there is so much that is
worthless. And how we have wound up
mingling these things all together! There is so much that is of God, and so much
that is of self. There is part of us
that is out of heaven, and part of us is of the earth, earthy.
what does the great and eternal Miner have on His hands? He has mixture! There is, at this juncture, no glorious city
gold! And that is why there has to
be a furnace of fire. The ore which we
are, in that mixed, raw, unrefined state, brings no pleasure or glory at all to
the Refiner, nor does it fulfill any useful purpose in His plans. Of these He says, “With them I am not well
pleased.” Our Father in His sovereign
purpose sees us, but He cannot use all that He sees. The ore is wonderful relative to its pure precious
metal content, but it is disgusting relative to the impurities that are mingled
therein. He is unable to use us in that
condition of mixture, so He comes to us as a refiner’s fire. And immediately we wonder what is
happening! What is happening is that HE
is appearing, and I might add, He is showing up in a form that we did not expect. Yes, ‘tis the same Jesus, the lovely Saviour
who so graciously saved us by His grace, who dug us out of the darkness and
depth of the earth, but He comes now, not to forgive and bless and coddle and
wink at our carnality, but He comes as a refining fire, to purify the sons of
Levi. He comes now because He has a great purpose for us!
the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass” (Rev.. 21:21).
we have stated again and again, in the symbolism of scripture, gold signifies
the divine nature of God. Just as gold
is the perfect metal that cannot be tarnished, so God’s nature is perfect and
cannot be tarnished, faded, or oxidized in any way. From times immemorial men walked on
streets. Cain built the first city, and
of necessity it had streets. So the
street of the city speaks of our walk. The fact that the street of this city is
of pure, transparent gold reveals to us the great truth that in our walk, we
will have to come to the perfect walk in the spirit, the perfect walk in the
nature of our God, having attained to the perfect nature of our God, and
therefore walking in absolute purity, absolute holiness. We cannot overemphasize the fact that so many
Christians, in their spiritual immaturity, entertain a completely carnal and
erroneous concept of this street — supposing that some day by death or by rapture
they are going to fly away to a literal,
physical city, out in space somewhere, having streets paved with literal gold —
but any spiritual mind discerns at once that such a notion is merely the
product of spiritual childishness. There
is no physical city prepared for us as our “heaven” anywhere in God’s vast
universe having streets paved with literal gold. Should there actually be such a city on some
planet in some far-distant galaxy, it certainly is not the one John saw in his vision descending from God out of
heaven! Our heaven is revealed to us by
the apostle Paul
when by revelation he wrote, “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses
and sins…and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together IN HEAVENLY
PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS: that in the ages to come He might show (display) the
exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Jesus Christ” (Eph. 2:1,5-7). We all know that Jesus is “in heaven.” And the “heavenly places” where we now dwell
are there IN CHRIST JESUS. To be “in Christ” is also to be “in
heaven.” In the words of the old hymn,
“Where Jesus is, ‘tis heaven there!”
To become exactly like Christ — this is our
“heaven,” no matter where we happen to be in God’s vast universe. “Whom He did foreknow, He also did
predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom.
8:29). This is our final dwelling place,
our ultimate state of being, when we have arrived at our glorified spiritual
state in spirit, soul, and body — we
will, in all the fullness of Christ, know for certainty that heaven is a condition and spiritual state of being rather than some limited, physical
location out in the galaxies somewhere.
When we have truly attained that unlimited
eternal state of being we shall have come to our full perfection in Christ
Jesus, and will have become the Holy
City. Then we will not have to go to any city and
look for a hotel to spend the night, for we will dwell in the power of His resurrection and the whole
universe will be our dwelling place. We
will be free — free from the limitations of flesh, free from the tyranny of
sin, free from the power of death, and therefore free to live in God’s universe
as citizens of God’s universe. Of what
benefit would streets paved with gold be to us after this vile body has been
changed, and fashioned anew like unto His
body of glory? We will have no need
to walk on any kind of streets then! We
will have attained, in our whole being, to the resurrection life of Jesus.
This has already become reality in our spirit, but must also become true in our
soul and in our body.
the Lord Jesus was resurrected, we don’t find that when He wanted to go
somewhere He had to walk down streets.
When He wanted to go to the upper room where His disciples were gathered, He simply
appeared to them there in the upper room.
When Father led Him to join some of the disciples walking on the road to
Emmaus, He simply appeared to them there.
When He wanted to meet with His closest disciples in the hills of Galilee, He simply appeared there. If He didn’t need a key to open the locked
door, where the disciples were hiding in fear, He certainly didn’t need a road
to get there! When the disciples were
fishing on the sea
and He appeared to them on the shore, He didn’t need to walk there, He was just
there. Streets in heaven? The very idea is
we have attained to the full resurrection power of Christ and we want to
transport ourselves from one place to another, we won’t have to walk down any
literal street of gold, or asphalt, or gravel, or anything else. We will simply think the thought in the will
of the Father and we will be there. The
light of our sun is a physical, material thing, part of the natural
creation. Light travels at the speed of
186,000 miles per second. The light of
our sun travels over 93,000,000 miles to arrive on earth in precisely eight
minutes. But spirit travels at a speed that is incalculable by physical
standards or measures! So streets of
gold would be of no value to us, or walls of jasper, or gates of pearl, because
our dwelling will not be in the physical realm.
Our dwelling place will be in God by the spirit! The only reason that gold and jewels are so
attractive to us now is because we are still physically in our carnal state and these things are beautiful
to our natural vision and also have real
monetary value. They have
carnal value here on earth.
we have attained to our spiritual state in spirit, soul, and body — sons of God
just like Jesus — such things will be meaningless to us because all things will
be ours. Not one physical thing will
have more value than another to us.
That’s why God in Christ could come down and be born in a stable and
laid in a manger! He could be raised up
in the dusty streets of a country village, rather than in the palace of a
king! Such things meant nothing to Him,
for His mind and nature were spiritual and heavenly. So we see that there never
has been, and never
will be, a literal city in some far-off heaven somewhere having streets paved
with gold. These are simply symbols, as
it were object lessons, the Holy
Spirit employs to teach us spiritual realities!
That spiritual reality is the holy city which is the body of Christ in
the perfection and full stature of Jesus the Head. Oh, yes! We actually do see that street of
pure gold when we see the body of Christ having attained to the perfect nature
of God, and walking in the perfect and
divine nature of God. We see that
street of gold walked out in the
lives of our brothers and sisters who walk out the nature of God even here on
earth. That is the mystery.
THE CITY WITHOUT A TEMPLE
I saw no temple therein:
for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it” (Rev. 21:22).
idea of the temple is that it is the house of God, the dwelling place of God in
fellowship with His people. In the earthly Jerusalem in the Old Testament period there
was a special temple, a separate edifice, distinct from the rest of the
city. Although Jerusalem as a whole was
the city of the
great King, yet the Lord did not dwell and manifest His presence throughout the
whole city; but He had His dwelling place in the city in a special building,
and then in a special part of that building, in the Holiest of all, behind the
veil. The people were required to go
there to worship, to pray, to sacrifice, and to be blessed. And this is what it means when we are told
that in New Jerusalem there is no temple — there is no special house of
God. How interesting! A city without a single temple spire! And the reason for the absence of a special
temple is just this: “For the Lord God
Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of
it.” You see, my beloved, the text does not mean that
the concept of temple is done away, but rather that it has come to its fullest
and highest realization. There is no
need for a specially designated temple
for God Himself is the temple
people in Christ. That God and the Lamb
are the temple signifies
that God through the Lamb is the temple.
The Lamb’s presence and glory fill the city! God is in
the Lamb. And we who dwell within
the city are the body of the Lamb — we are therefore “in Christ” — and there “in Christ” we are also in the temple where
God dwells! Can you not see the
mystery? God, by His Spirit, perfectly
and completely fills each and every member of God’s elect, and there God is
with us in perfect and constant fellowship.
In the state of perfection the
city and the temple are one, all that was true in the temple is now
fulfilled in the whole city! They
are completely made one, so that not
a special building will be His temple, but in the truest sense the entire city becomes the expression and revelation of
God in His temple! Oh, the wonder of it!
long as there is a temple in a city, it shows that God does not yet dwell in
fullness in the entire city, but merely in that particular house which is
called the temple. There He lives in isolation
from the rest of the city. Ah, yes, He
dwells in the city, but not in the entire city.
He does not fill the city with the fullness of Himself. The city does not know the full majesty, nature,
purpose, power, and glory of the One
who dwells in the Holiest of all! Someone
may object, “But we don’t have an arrangement like that today — that was just
in the Old Testament.” The truth is,
however, that the Old Testament mentality has been brought over into our New Testament
experience on a huge scale! So many
Christians refer to a church building as “the house of God.” On Sunday they “go to church” to worship the
Lord, to be blessed, to hear from God,
to get a touch from God, as though God dwelt in some unique way in that
building. And then — many almost worship ministries, they see God in a much
greater measure in certain preachers,
apostles, prophets, or healers. They
admire God in those people, and often it
becomes sort of a “cult worship.” The
ministry becomes their “Holy of holies,” that place where God dwells outside of
and beyond themselves, localized in the ministry, and there
they can hear from God and be touched by God.
is no longer the case when the city has “made herself ready” in the state of
perfection. When the holy city, which is
the bride of the Lamb, shall have been purged,
cleansed, purified, matured, perfected, and completed, there shall be no
special dwelling place of God in the city, for the simple reason that He shall
fill the whole city equally with the fullest glory of Himself, that is, in the
mind, heart, and life of every citizen.
You do not have to enter the city and ask, “Where is the house of
God?” Or, “Where is the preacher,”
“where is the prophet,” “where is the
healer,” “where is the church meeting,” “where is the crusade,” for the city
itself is God’s habitation, and the temple and the city have become
identical. All dwell in the fullest
glory of God and the Lamb. It is indeed
wonderful! Every elect child of God is a
citizen in this city. The entire church,
including each and every one of the Lord’s people held in the bondage of
is a citizen of the holy city. We must be very clear about that. But the city is still in preparation, “making herself ready,” and “adorning herself” for union with the
Lamb. The city is not yet ready for the
Lord of glory to manifest His full majesty in their midst! We all know that the city has not yet reached
its state of perfection. That state must
be reached. And all history, and God’s
unfailing dealings, serve to bring the city of God
of it! We still tend to “localize” God
in the temple within
the city. We compartmentalize God’s
workings, and highly esteem certain manifestations of God over others. I know people today who instead of
worshipping God, worship worship. It is
not the Lord Himself they delight
in, but the soulish sensation or a kind
of “high” they get on by entering into “worship.” Others worship a message — the faith message,
the life message, the brideship message, the Pentecostal message, the
serpent-seed message, the death-to-self message, the end-time message, the
reconciliation message, the sonship message, the third day message, the kingdom
message, and on and on the list goes.
They may not have laid hold upon any of the reality, but they surely do
love the “message”! Many worship
experiences, and can only find God in the particular “temple” of a certain
experience. Wherever God has brought us in
previous dealings, God is progressively moving forward. Today He says, “Build it.” Tomorrow He says, “Destroy it.” Today He says, “Plant it.” Tomorrow He says, “Pluck it up.” Today He says, “Get a harvest.” Tomorrow He says, “Let the corn of wheat fall
into the ground and die.” He who has a
right to build has also the right to destroy when He is through with a
thing. And, woe! unto the man who cannot
discern the times. But the great truth which the Holy Spirit would now reveal
in power within our hearts is just this — God is not in the business today of
raising up TEMPLES. He will tear down every temple until
there is literally “not one stone left upon another!” God is destroying, demolishing the temples
and calling us to come up higher — to come to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the
living God — THE CITY THAT HAS NO TEMPLE!
In that city of gold God is ALL
we have witnessed to for years was a “work” of God, His salvation in us, His
peace in us, His healing in us, His victory in us, His revelation in us; we had
become a product of the work of God. But
God’s purpose is not that we shall be a testimony of the work of God, but that
there shall be a revelation of A PERSON, that the revelation will BE
CHRIST. It will not be a revelation of
the work of God, but the revelation of the Person of God in us. It is right there that “the Lord God Almighty
and the Lamb ARE THE TEMPLE
OF IT!” God is talking to His sons about PERSONIFICATION, MANIFESTATION,
REVELATION, AND IDENTITY. In the city
without a temple you are going to PERSONIFY CHRIST as you have embodied the
works of Christ. Christians represent
the work of God: Saved from this, having received that, changed into something
else, but it is still “ME.” What you see
is a marvelous expression of the handiwork of God.
God intends that the hour should come when there shall be a revelation of the
Person of God, the identity of God, so that HE IS OUR LIFE. Not: we have become because He has wrought
life in us, but “Christ who is our life shall appear.” He no longer gives us peace, He
becomes our peace, our righteousness, wisdom,
redemption, sanctification, ALL
THAT HE IS until we are no longer a witness to a work, or a word, or an experience, but a
witness of His Person, His Identity as our reality. Are you ready to have nothing but the
Person? Are you willing for God to be your
life, and you His life, until HE IS ALL THERE IS? Are you willing to forget the work and the
experience, to bear HIS IDENTITY? In our
moving on into God, God is saying to us: What I did for you yesterday, the
works of God, must now become just GOD IN YOU.
When this reality becomes established in God’s people we will then
understand with divine clarity what John meant when he cried out, “I SAW NO
TEMPLE THEREIN, FOR THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY AND THE LAMB ARE THE TEMPLE OF
IT.” Come, my beloved, let us go up to
THE CITY THAT HAS NO TEMPLE!
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY