James 5:1 (KJV) Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Jerusalem Descending From Heaven

Pastor Joseph Chambers
Paw Creek Ministries

Revelation 21:1
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Isaiah 65:17
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

When the Father is speaking, the entire world must listen.

He starts with, “Behold, I make all things new.” That settles the entire debate about a new heaven and a new earth. The Father created everything that exists except Himself and His Divine Godhead. He does not replace heaven and earth, but makes them new. That could not be more exact. He commanded John to write, because these are His words, and they cannot be altered. After at least six thousand years of putting up with the devil and his destruction of everything beautiful, the Father lets us know that it is over. Everything is going to be beautiful beyond measure again. Hallelujah!

The Father does not end it with a new world. He affirms that indeed He is not just the Creator that He calls the “Beginning,” but He is also the “Finisher.” He will conclude the whole finality of His universe. His unalterable plan is to satisfy the needs and desires of His created world and He promises that we will drink from the “fountain of the water of life freely.” There is a powerful meaning in this promise. The very source of life is the fountain, and it will be the joy of all creation forever. There is no question but that He speaks of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The life that we are going to inherit is eternal, complete, full, and divine. It flows from our Redeemer; and it will satisfy the spirit, soul, and our new body with endless joys and delights.

He immediately gives us another great promise. He tells us that we “shall inherit all things.” The entire new heaven, new earth, New Jerusalem, and all that goes with this New World is going to be ours. Notice that He adds that great phrase, “he that overcometh,” again. This word, overcometh, is in the Book of Revelation eight times. “To Him that overcometh” forever destroys the cheap theology of this generation. This cheap theology says, “just believe,” and then offers no Biblical truth about responsibility and judgment accountability. It has done irrefutable damage to God’s church, and payday will be heartbreaking to those that have carelessly believed such theology of cheap Christianity. Only the overcomers will inherit eternal life, and Christ has made overcoming a work of His marvelous grace and sanctification.

Now, the Father Himself clearly shows the end results of careless living. All of these words are character words that He declares will condemn you in this awesome day of no excuses. “The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars” is a list that appears as much like most churches as it does the world. The Blood of Jesus Christ does not cover unconfessed and unforsaken sins, regardless of how pious and religious an individual. This crowd of sinners will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.

“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. 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, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 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: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:9-14)

John had received the last words before verse nine from the Father, Who was seated on His throne. Now, he receives it from one of the angels of the temple. This angel is one of the seven that had the seven last plagues. Those plagues will be history when we come to this moment in the fulfillment of this prophecy. This angel is now taking John on a tour of the future city of New Jerusalem. He calls the city, “the bride, and the Lamb’s wife.” This is beautiful language to describe a city that is part of our inhabitance because it is the nuptial chamber, the eternal dwelling place of Christ and His Queen. It was created to be personal, so perfect in its splendor that the city and Bride are named as one.

John had to be transported “in the spirit” to be capable of viewing this marvelous sight. Flesh and blood cannot endure the transcending glory as this created city represents. We are not just speaking of gold, pearls, precious stones, and other earthly materials; but of the glory and majesty of His consuming likeness. The city is called “holy” because He recreates Himself into every inch of this towering place. It is actually a temple that is filled with His presence. Because it is seen descending, could we suggest that it is even now on a carefully designed course toward planet earth? As I just stated, the city is a great temple of His glory and His light. It glistens with a glory or splendor that can only be called His Presence. The brilliance of this great city will lighten the universe and no additional light will ever be needed.

The New Jerusalem is the Son’s gift to His Bride. After He brings His Bride into the city, He proceeds to exalt His Father to be with Him and His Bride and to be their God.

The great walls of this city will probably be translucent, allowing the city’s beauty to shine without or allowing those dwelling outside to see within. The twelve gates carved from pearls will be the most beautiful gates of eternity. They never close, but stand as a welcome to the saved of the earth to enjoy and delight themselves with God’s glory within. A great angel will be God’s porter at each gate; and the gates will bear the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, with each gate having a different name. I would imagine that the children of Israel would use the gates to enter and visit the city that bears their tribal names. These gates are perfectly placed with three gates on each side. 

The foundations of the city are named after the twelve apostles. “And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 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. 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. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 

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; 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. 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.” (Revelation 21:15-21)

Without argument, this city is too priceless to value. It is fitting that an angel of the heavenly temple is chosen to measure and give John this walking view of this city of His Bride. As one of those seven angels of the temple, this angel knows every detail of this new temple. This City of New Jerusalem is a temple itself and will be united with the eternal temple from heaven. This is God’s gift to the new heaven and new earth and to His Son’s Bride. This description is just an earthly explanation of an indescribable city. The temple angel measures the city in John’s presence. The golden reed suggests that these measurements are an eternal matter.

The city is a foursquare city. The width is exactly the same on all four sides and the height is equal. Twelve thousand furlongs is fifteen hundred miles. To imagine a city that is fifteen hundred miles square and fifteen hundred miles high that is surrounded by jasper walls is breathtaking. The highest mountain in the world is less than six miles high (Mount Everest – 29,035 feet) and the highest in America is less than four miles high (Mount McKinley – 20,320 feet). We are speaking of a city so massive that our minds can only imagine its grandeur. The city of New Jerusalem is 7,920,000 feet high compared to Mount Everest at 29,035 feet. This comparison makes Mount Everest appear to be nothing but a molehill. 

The total wealth of this entire earth does not hold a light to the wealth of this new city. The gold that has been mined and minted during human history is minute compared to the gold in this city. It would not be enough to pave the streets of one level of this city and this will be a city of twelve foundations or levels. Each level will be one hundred and twenty-five miles high or 657,700 feet, over twenty-two times higher than Mount Everest. The height of the walls on each level is 144 cubits or approximately 226 feet. 

These walls are not provided to keep the glorified saints in or out. Nothing is more beautiful than the present massive stone walls of present day Jerusalem. These stone walls have a golden hue appearance as they are beautifully lit at night or in the sunshine. But the walls of New Jerusalem will be primarily wrought of jasper stone. Jasper is a dark green semi-translucent to opaque form of semi-precious chalcedony. Its beauty is rare. It is readily comparable to a fine polish and has the physical properties of those of quartz. No one would think of building city walls out of jasper in our present world. The expense would be totally prohibitive to the richest person but certainly not to our Father. The entire walled structure of this city, all twelve levels, will be jasper and pure gold. It appears that the outside formation of these walls is jasper, with the interior of the walls being pure gold. 

The foundations at each level are one hundred and forty-four cubits, which is approximately 226 feet high. These foundations are then garnished with twelve manners of precious stones. The first foundation is garnished with jasper on jasper. We can certainly expect that the garnishing jasper will be of a different shade as the jasper wall, which comprises the wall’s structure. There are different colors of jasper depending on the location where it is mined. The second level will be garnished with sapphire stones. The color of a pure sapphire is sky blue; using it to garnish the jasper will be extraordinary. The third level will be chalcedony, which can be any color of the rainbow from pale blue to yellow, brown, or gray. The fourth level will be garnished with emeralds. The finest emeralds are more valuable than diamonds; they are magnificent gems of the most beautiful green color.

The stone used to garnish the fifth foundation is sardonyx or onyx. This stone varies in color; it may be translucent or opaque and is often striped. The sixth stone used for garnishment is sardius, possibly the red variety that is highly polishable and extremely beautiful. The seventh level is garnished with chrysolite, which is a form of topaz of Tarshish. The garnishment of the eighth level is beryl, which is actually colorless, but reflects a great variety of colors depending on foreign substances it contains. It is indeed a precious stone. The ninth garnishing stone on the ninth level of this city is topaz, which is called by some, the “gem of the setting sun.” Sometimes, it is said to be the color of gold or peach. The tenth level is chrysoprasus, which is called the apple and is a light green variety of agate. It is a very rare stone.

The eleventh foundation of this magnificent city is jacinth. The jacinth is a red variety of zircon, which is found in square prisms of different shades. The last of the twelve levels is garnished with amethyst. This is a royal purple and a fitting crown for the city. Imagine the crown of this city of transparent purple quartz that is decorating the jasper translucent walls with the gold within reflecting throughout the foursquare city.

Beautify all of this with gates of pearl, each gate one pearl carved into form to be twelve matching gates into the city. Each gate will be fifteen hundred miles high. Glowing through each gate will be streets of pure gold. It is hard to imagine the beauty of a solid pearl gate set on the walls of this city. This city reflects the creative masterpiece of a Groom full of love for His eternal Bride. “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 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.” (Revelation 21:22-23)