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New Jerusalem

Written by Reverend Haskel Swain, 1980

New Jerusalem, the city of God spoken of in the Bible, has a great meaning. This city has 12 foundations and 12 gates. The 12 gates, made of pearl, represent the 12 tribes of Israel; and the 12 foundations represent the 12 apostles of Jesus. There is a street of pure gold. In Revelation, 21:21 the city is described square, making it a perfect shape. The city is beautiful, the most precious city ever known, and built by Jesus Christ. 

Abraham said he was looking for a city not made by man (Heb.11:10).  He was talking about New Jerusalem. Men built Old Jerusalem by the work of their hands, but the Spirit builds New Jerusalem. Old Jerusalem can be flooded with water, burned with fire, or torn down by man; but the hand of man cannot touch New Jerusalem.  It is a city totally secured by the hand of God. Man did not build it, and man cannot destroy it. Old Jerusalem will only stand for a few years, but New Jerusalem will stand forever. Old Jerusalem will be destroyed along with all the cities of the earth. However, New Jerusalem will exist throughout eternity. Even the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. 

New Jerusalem is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible describes the church as a city.” The church having the completeness of a city, has everything it needs to survive. In Revelation 2l:9, John is not writing about a literal city coming down from Heaven or a city we are to live in after we go to heaven. John is writing about New Jerusalem, the Bride, the Lamb’s wife. Jesus will not marry a literal city of buildings, but will marry New Jerusalem, the church. Jesus Is the Groom and the church (the saints) is His bride. In Revelation 21: 11, Jesus shows us the beauty of the church and where we stand in His righteousness and our service for Him. The Lord’s church is not a local congregation with some given name by which to be recognized. The church of Jesus is one of all mankind who have become one in the faith of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The real church is worldwide. Every person in the real church has been put there by the Spirit of God, which makes a city not made by hand. This city was founded on the 12 disciples of Jesus - the 12 foundations. This means we have a sound doctrine on which to stand.

This city was set upon a hill so that it cannot be hidden and that it may give light to the entire world. This is not a hill of rock, earth and trees, but a hill of power and glory. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world, but I go to my father. Now you are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). This city does not need the sun or moon to give it light. The Lamb is the light, and Jesus is the Lamb. Therefore, we walk not in the dark, but in the light, as He is the light (John 8:12, Psalms 56:13, Isaiah 2:5, John 12:35, Ephesians 5:8, John 1: 7, Revelation 21: 24). The spiritual light is the knowledge of God, the Father and Jesus Christ, the Son.

The old church was in Old Jerusalem, but it failed God and His house was made a den of thieves. This is why Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build a new church” (Matt. 16:18, Luke 19: 18). That church is New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem was bought by the blood of Jesus Christ and is being built by the Spirit. In Revelation 22: 13, Jesus is the alpha and the omega, the first and last general sacrifice for man. He bought and paid for all mankind. We are not our own; we are bought with a price.

This is not a city floating down out of outer space. Neither is it a city in which to live in the hereafter. It is the church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

A large piece of land without buildings is just land. However, when buildings are erected, it becomes a city. 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Ye are the temple of God.” Everyone who comes to Christ becomes a temple in God’s city. Now, the land is no longer just land; it has become a great city with lights so bright that it will light up the earth. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine that men may see your good works” (Matt. 5:14). The light of the Lord is within the saints. A saved man does not need the sun, moon, or electricity; His light will shine before men.

There are 12 gates in the city, three gates on each side, that never close; meaning that from any part of the earth man can look into the city (church) (Rev. 21: 25). Men can only come into the city (church) by the drawing of the Spirit. By radio, TV, newspaper, gospel literature, pulpit preaching or one on one witnessing, the Bride of Christ is saying, “Whosoever will let him come and drink of the water of life freely.”

In this city, there is a river of life (Rev. 22: 1). “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7: 38). This river comes from God and the Son. In every Christian is a well of water and a river. Water represents the Spirit of God, and the Spirit within the Christian is saying, “come” to whosoever will. Jesus said to the woman at the well, “I will give you living water.” Jesus also said to the church, “Freely you have received so freely give.” Revelation speaks of the Tree of Life in New Jerusalem. Revelation 22:14 says, “Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city.” They become a part of the Tree of Life, or a part of the real church. The Church is the Tree of Life yielding fruit. Revelation 22: 2 says, “In the midst of the street of it and on either side of the river was there the tree of life, which bare 12 manner of fruit, and yielded her fruit every month.” This is a tree, not trees. One tree in many places, as in the center of the street and on each side of the river, means the church covers the earth, as does the tree. The tree yields fruit each month, means continually yielding fruit. The church will always have fruit and drink to give to them that hunger or thirst after righteousness.

Revelation 22:2 tells us that, “The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations.” The Christians are the leaves for the healing of the nations today. There will be no nations in the hereafter. There will be one big family of God. All men are His children, one blood, and one royal priesthood, not nations. We will not need leaves in Heaven to heal us, because we will not be sick at any time. The leaves are for healing all of this world’s needs today. The Spirit of God, through the church, is the only answer to a sick world. God will heal our lands if the nations will partake of the leaves by becoming part of God’s church.  Second Chronicles. 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Revelation 22:15 tells us what is outside the city, (dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murder­ers, idolaters, and liars). These are outside the church today and are whom the saints are calling to come to drink of the river of life. Most Christians believe that when the righteous go to be with God, the unrighteous will be sent into the lake of fire. If this were so, the unrighteous cannot be just outside the Holy City, New Jerusalem in the future; but they are outside the Holy City now, which means they are outside the church. That is why the gates are open and they will not be closed until the church goes up to be with our Lord. When the church leaves, the gates will be closed, and no one can be saved after the church is gone. How can they hear without a preacher? All preachers will go up with the church (Romans 10: 14).

Everything said in Revelation about New Jerusalem explains the beauty, strength, love and operation of the body of Christ, the Bride, the Lamb’s wife (Rev.21:9). The saints are the Bride, or wife of Jesus. Jesus and the saints are married now; otherwise, the saints would be called the Bride to be. The church is not going to Heaven to get married, but to attend the Marriage Supper (Rev. 19: 9). The living church of our Lord Jesus Christ is that great Holy City, New Jerusalem.

Please read: Revelation 21:21, Revelation 21:7, Matthew 5:14, John 8:12, Psalms 56:13, Isaiah 2:5, John 12:35, Ephesians 5:8, l John l:7, Revelation 21:24, Luke 19:46, Matthew 16:18, Revelation 1:11, l Corinthians 3:16, Revelation 22:1, John 7:38, Revelation 22:2, Revelation 22: 15, Revelation 21:9, Revelation 19:9, Romans 10:14, Hebrews 11:10, John 9:5, and John 1:14.

Written By: Haskel Swain, 1980


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