I intentionally picked an image that conveys how the Bible describes the “New Jerusalem”, if taken literally. That’s where much of Christianity thinks they are spending eternity…YAWN…
But, Hebrews and Revelation seem declare something different. and there is much that I don’t understand about these deep books! I believe they are written for maturing believers and will not be understood by intellectual Christians that reject the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Because spiritual must be compared with spiritual and the wisdom of God is foolish to the worlds wisdom.
They both describe a lot of Temple symbolism and here is a taste ~
Heb.12:18 ~”For you have not come to what may be touched…But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.25See that you do not refuse him who is speaking!”
It is written that we “HAVE COME to that which cannot be touched (it’s not of this world) we HAVE COME to Mount Zion and to the heavenly Jerusalem!”
We have come to Mt. Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem?
Revelation describes this Mt. Zion and new city, Jerusalem quite a few times at the end of the book!
Rev.21 ~ “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. 3I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
All of my life I have heard that this is a future event that we are simply waiting for Jesus to do.
But, Hebrews recorded almost 2000 years ago that we HAVE COME to the New Jerusalem! The New Jerusalem is heavenly not physical.
Are we really expecting to be turned into a literal golden city with gigantic pearl gates and foundations of precious stones? Is the promise to become a pillar in God’s house and be sealed with the name of the Father, Son and new Jerusalem literal? Because that sounds like a pretty boring inheritance to me. Just saying…
Is Jesus literally a lamb or literally a lion?
My point is that at the end of the Bible; God promises that “Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” (Rev.21:3)
I believe that this is what should be taken literal…now! Why?
Because of what God prophesied about the New Covenant through Ezekiel ~I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh; 20that they may walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:19,20)
It sounds like He is saying the same thing…Holy Spirit is now living in us. He IS Yahweh Shammah (God is here)
The first and only use of that name for God that I can find is in the very last verse of Ezekiel. At the end of the description of the Temple that God promised to make…His dwelling place that cannot be made by human hands. (SELAH)
What did the New Covenant declare about God’s Temple? You already know!…
So God promised in Ezekiel that He would be our God and dwell with us, that He would be in His Temple. Hmmm….
Revelation confirms that the Lamb is on Mt. Zion, New Jerusalem and that God will dwell with His people. Hmmm….
Is God here? Are we his temple?
So what are we waiting for!? What if HE is waiting for us to “be his people” and abide in him!?
Back to Ezekiel 11:20 ~ “that they may walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 21But as for them whose heart walks after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their way on their own heads, says the Lord Yahweh.”
Doesn’t that sound like “apocalyptic” judgement for not obeying God’s Laws? What is God’s Law? LOVE.
About 2,000 years ago, when Jesus addressed his faithful 11 disciples, he was asked “Lord, what has happened that you are about to reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?”Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.” ( John 14) Isn’t that an unexpected response?
It sounds like they still expected Jesus to establish his Kingdom and reveal himself to the world as the O.T. prophets promised. However, Jesus knew that they didn’t fully understand him yet and He was focusing his ministry on them. Because he gave us his light to make the world bright.
God’s words are written for us to be completed in maturity. “to present every man mature in Christ!” So Jesus doesn’t even address the question about God being revealed to the rest of the world but tells his followers that “the Father would make his home with us IF we love Him and keep his word.”
Sounds like Rev. 21:3 ~ “Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
There is so much more to add to this….maybe another time…Take this was a heavy dose of salt and ask the Lord about it….that’s what I am doing 🙂