The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
There is no doubt that in the last two chapters of the Bible, where New Jerusalem is fully revealed, it was a picture of Jesus Christ and what His goal was for His people in history. The fact it was shown coming down from heaven wasn't some type of future event being unveiled, or a post resurrection scenario, but a revelation of what God was bringing down to the earth in and through those who put their faith in Him.
It is the fulfillment of part of the prayer Jesus taught us to pray: "thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." This is what Jesus had in mind when sharing the prayer with His disciples.
What I want to talk a little about in this article is that Jesus Himself, as an individual, was in reality New Jerusalem coming down from heaven, in the sense everything revealed to John concerning it was personified in Christ. The only difference is this city was the result of His people being conformed to His image corporately; the two were now one ethically.
In Ephesians it talks about the eternal purpose of God, which means what God had in mind for mankind even before He created the heavens and the earth. New Jerusalem is what I believe He looked upon as the blueprint, in the spiritual sense, when He began His creative work. This is what was considered in the counsels of the Godhead before time.
There are also references to the fullness of God throughout the scriptures, and that is what we're seeing here in accord with the pre-creation, eternal purpose of the triune God.
The Lord Jesus came from heaven, and that has more than simply location in the thought of God. It has to do with the will and kingdom of God being manifest in His humanity. He as in individual was what New Jerusalem was and is to become as a corporate manifestation of His glory and reality. This is to come down to earth, as the book of Revelation so clearly states.
We see walls, gates, precious stones, a throne, Tree of Life, river, golden street, among other things. All of these are part of what make up this amazing city, and that is meant to be expressed in every locality in the world. There are numerous things these various items represent, but I'm only trying to give a tiny glimpse into the magnitude and depth of what it is God has had in mind for His people.
All the things of this city described by John as they were revealed to him represent a different aspect of Jesus Christ. It's the manifold wisdom of God moving toward the end He had in mind from before the foundation of the world.
As we move forward to subdue the earth in His name, we need to look at this as our guideline for a vision. We'll of course have a wide variety of ways that will be expressed by different believers, but the elements of this city are to be where we are to draw our inspiration and working model from.
Our vision is a heavenly vision, even more, an eternal vision inherent to the Godhead, which I'm sure gave them an impetus and great pleasure to bring it into being.
It wasn't meant to be something invisible hidden away from the eyes of the human race or angels. It's meant to be seen. This is why we're identified as a city set on a hill by the Lord, as well as the light of the world. This are descriptions of things that are meant to be seen, not hidden from the sight of the world or His saints.
One way I've thought of it through the years is like a single man and woman looking for a spouse. They could write down some of the characteristics and attributes they would like in a husband or wife, but instead of seeking to make it a reality, they sit around content reading those descriptions for the rest of their lives, instead of getting married. In like manner we aren't to only read these things and be content with having the knowledge of what God is ultimately after. We're to pursue making it a visible reality in this world.
If all God wanted were to have invisible stuff around, He would have stopped at heaven. But He didn't. He continued on to make earth. Again, referring to a man, it would be like having the idea of the type of woman he would like to marry in his head, but never pursuing her, which means he would never take part in seeing her for the first time.
There's a reason men are visual in regard to women. It comes from God Himself. I'm not talking about lust here, but an appreciation of the beauty of a woman. It is meant to attract a man in a wholesome way. There's also a reason women make themselves look nice in anticipation of attracting a Godly man. That is expressed in the city which was also called and defined as a bride adorned for her husband.
The purpose of God is that He will have a people conformed to His image. That wasn't only something that was meant to remain invisible or hidden from view, but to be seen in order to glorify God. What was revealed in New Jerusalem is why the outer walls and gates looked so attractive. Both are desired and required by God.
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