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Volume 34 - Page 142 of 261 Index | Zoom | |
Two cities represent, between them, the claim to rule the earth: they are Babylon,
Satan's seat, and Jerusalem, the city of God. During the Millennium the earthly
Jerusalem is to be the centre of authority in the earth, "for out of Zion shall go forth the
law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isa. 2: 3), but at the close of the thousand
years, when Satan is let loose again, many of the nations will gather for battle, "and
compass the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city" (Rev. 20: 9).
Following the great white throne judgment of Rev. 20: 11-15, comes the New
Heaven, and New Earth, together with the New Jerusalem, which is seen descending
from God out of heaven. Here at last the kingdom prayer will be answered. God's will
shall then be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Here, at last, the lesson learned by
Nebuchadnezzar, that "the heavens do rule", shall be universally acknowledged. Here,
too, the title of this kingdom used by Matthew, "The Kingdom of Heaven", will be
In the beginning there were but two spheres, "The heavens and the earth". During the
ages, there have been three. In the city of the second sphere we are therefore prepared to
find associations that are special and peculiar to its own distinctive purpose, and while
the blessings of the church which is the Body of Christ are not to be enjoyed there, any
light that can be thrown upon the distinctive place that the New Jerusalem occupies in the
Divine scheme, will but make our own high and holy calling the more clearly seen and
We therefore turn to the Scriptures and seek to discover all that is written and implied
concerning this second and heavenly sphere.
Definite reference to the New Jerusalem is found only in three books of the Bible,
namely Galatians, Hebrews and the Revelation.
The purpose with which the epistle to the Galatians was written does not necessitate
an excursion into the question of spheres of blessing or reward for faithfulness,
consequently the one reference to the New Jerusalem found there is in an allegory, where
the Apostle likens "Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children" to
Hagar and her son Ishmael, "the son of the bondwoman", but Jerusalem which is above,
which is free, and the mother of them all, is likened to Sarah, Isaac being "the son of the
freewoman" (Gal. 4: 21 - 5: 1).
Paul has used the New Jerusalem to serve as an additional argument in his fight for
freedom, but in this he had no intention of expanding the subject or of dealing with it
dispensationally. The only note that arrests us in reading is that he contrasts Jerusalem
"that now is" with Jerusalem which "is above", the contrast of "now" and "then" being
implied but unsaid. The New Jerusalem will not only be "above", but belongs to the
future day when the "former things are passed away".