“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.” ~ Revelation 21:9
Not everyone can reveal the true church. It takes an angel minister that is anointed and chosen by God to pour out the vials of God’s wrath judgement against falseness: to clear away the confusion of hypocrisy. And he must do it by carrying you away in the Spirit of true worship of God, to be able to reveal this to your heart and soul.
“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” ~ Revelation 21:10
Too many are trying to see the church through other things than the Holy Spirit of God – or a revelation from God. Instead they try to use:
- The historical record method, based on a history recorded by men and tainted by man’s opinions and viewpoints.
- Their “self-identifying” and “self-protecting” doctrines or administration. (A “church identity self-preservation” scheme, which is actually how most Protestant sects and “church of God groups” came into being.)
- The “human-lineage” scheme which is what the Catholic and Orthodox churches highly utilize to self-identify themselves, in addition to a tradition-based identity. This also includes the smaller “human family lineage” scheme that many smaller churches rely on.
- The “many signs and wonders” scheme where whoever can “wow” us by: miracles, personality, emotions, smooth talk, or many followers. It does not matter if they teach or live contrary to the Word of God. This is deception by wonders.
- The more modern “my church of my choice” scheme where church is a social organization that fits my personal lifestyle (God’s choice is completely irrelevant since “God” is whatever I choose him to be.) It’s pretty much “all about me or what I want.”
But here in Revelation 21:9-10 it shows us that it took a gospel judgement preacher anointed with God’s Holy Spirit, to be able to reveal the true church, and who is in her.
“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” ~ Revelation 21:9-10
That great and high mountain is spiritual mount Zion, the church that is living holy, high above the sinful pit that modern day churches exist in.
- “For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this.” ~ 2 Kings 19:31
- “Great is the Lord , and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge.” ~ Psalm 48:1-3
- “They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.” ~ Psalm 125:1
- “So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” ~ Joel 3:17
- “Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain.” ~ Zechariah 8:3
God by his Spirit knows who is really right in their hearts, because Jesus knows what really is in people.
- “But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.” ~ John 2:24-25
- “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:19
- “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” ~ Matthew 7:20-23
Have you been carried away in the inspiration of the true Holy Spirit: that reveals holiness in you by the transformation of your heart and life to holy living?
“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;” ~ Revelation 21:10-11
The Holy City descending out of heaven from God came into existence through Jesus Christ coming to earth. This scripture is not only reminding us where the true and faithful church came from, but also who made her clean and holy through the sacrifice of himself. Her real nature is the image, or reflection of God, therefore she has the glory of God in her!
The true church does not resemble the church creations by man’s doing: the Catholic and fallen Protestant churches. But rather, it reflects the few tried and true people throughout history who have been faithful to obey and follow Jesus Christ.
The jasper stone represents the presence of the glory of God himself. For the jasper stone is what Revelation used in chapter four to describe God’s glory.
“And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” ~ Revelation 4:2-3
So further speaking of this church-spiritual city, Revelation states:
“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:” ~ Revelation 21:12
The wall represents a wall of salvation.
“In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.” ~ Isaiah 26:1-2
The soul is protected when it stays inside the salvation walls. And none can climb over the walls of salvation, they must come in at the gate-door: Jesus Christ, and be saved.
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” ~ John 10:9
Gates are a symbol of judgement, and the angel-messengers are set as judges at the gates to keep out sin and hypocrisy. If you recall, an angel was set at the gate of the garden of Eden to keep sinful man from being able to enter in.
“So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” ~ Genesis 3:24
The flaming sword represents the Word of God (see Eph 6:17 & Heb 4:12).
In the Old Testament, they would appoint elders in every city that would sit in the gate to guard the city against troublesome people from coming into the city. And especially at the cities of refuge, these elders sat there to judge whether a person had the right to find refuge in that city.
“On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.” ~ Revelation 21:13
This matches the layout specified for three gates on each side of the City, for a total of 12 gates representing the twelve tribes of Israel, as shown in the last chapter of Ezekiel.
“And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi. And at the east side four thousand and five hundred: and three gates; and one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan. And at the south side four thousand and five hundred measures: and three gates; one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun. At the west side four thousand and five hundred, with their three gates; one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali. It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there.” ~ Ezekiel 48:31-35
But note there was a new name for the city, “The Lord is there” which matches the spiritual reality of new Jerusalem mentioned here in Revelation.
Note: Ezekiel is the prophet preaching strong judgement upon Jerusalem and the hypocrisy which was going on in there. And after this judgement preaching, then Ezekiel is told to first measure the temple “to show the house to the house of Israel.” Then after the temple was measured, the City was measured.
In Revelation this same order is followed:
In Revelation chapter 11 the command goes forth to only measure the temple and those who worship God there. The New Testament Temple is especially the individual in whose heart Jesus reigns.
So at that time (in Revelation chapter 11) they could not measure the City, because hypocrites were also claiming to be part of the spiritual city, the church. But a hypocrite will never measure to the full gospel message of holiness where only Jesus is in their heart.
So now, here in Revelation chapter 21, hypocrisy has been fully removed from the spiritual new Jerusalem, the church. So now they are also able to measure the spiritual City.
"En de muur van de stad had twaalf fundamenten en daarop de namen van de twaalf apostelen van het Lam." ~ Openbaring 21:14
The foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was first laid by the Apostles. This gospel is all about Jesus Christ, who is the foundation of the church.
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” ~ Ephesians 2:18-20
You cannot measure the church by any measuring device. It must be measured by the pure Word of God: a reed made of gold.
“And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.” ~ Revelation 21:15
The golden reed is the faith of the Word in us, tried in the fire!
- “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the staaf van zijn mond, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” ~ Isaiah 11:4
- “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” ~ 1 Peter 1:7
This measuring is exactly what was done in Ezekiel when he measured the house of God. And as stated before: in Revelation 11 the house/temple was measured, but not the city because the city was trodden down by the gentiles.
“En mij werd een rietstok gegeven als een staf; en de engel stond en zei: Sta op en meet de tempel van God en het altaar, en hen die daarin aanbidden. Maar laat de voorhof die zonder de tempel is buiten beschouwing en meet die niet; want het is aan de heidenen gegeven; en de heilige stad zullen zij vertreden tweeënveertig maanden.” ~ Openbaring 11:1-2
So there was a time that the church, as a holy city separate from sin, was actually trampled under foot by the teachings of a false ministry. But here in Revelation 21, the whole city is able to be measured by the Word of God again.
“So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house. And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger. Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever. Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them. This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house.” ~ Ezekiel 43:5-12
The whole spiritual City representing the church of God is to “be most holy.” Therefore it only makes sense that those in the City must be that way also.
“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.” ~ Revelation 21:16
The size dimensions are huge! A city that is approximately 32 miles around. Literal Jerusalem was not even close to that size. So these measurements are spiritual, representing the magnitude in God’s spiritual kingdom – not a literal kingdom.
“En hij mat de muur ervan, honderdvierenveertig el, naar de maat van een mens, dat wil zeggen van de engel.” ~ Openbaring 21:17
Specifying “the measure of a man” is for emphasizing a couple things:
- The “angel” is a messenger who is human. A preacher that measures by the measuring rod of the Gospel.
- This spiritual City exists in the physical world of mankind on Earth: in the hearts of those who love God. It represents God’s church in the Earth.
“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” ~ Luke 17:20-21
“And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” ~ Revelation 21:18
Jasper, and other precious stones, represent the presence of God, and the work of God within the hearts of those who love him. Pure gold represents a faith that is pure.
“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, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.” ~ Revelation 21:19-20
These 12 stones represent the 12 tribes of Israel. This was also true in the Old Testament, when 12 stones were worn by the Old Testament High Priest.
“And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof. And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.” ~ Exodus 28:15-21
But actually, even in Old Testament prophecy, the foundation was spoken of being laid in fair stones.
“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.” ~ Isaiah 54:11-14
“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 21:21
Each gate was of “one pearl”, because Jesus is the door to the Church, and he is that “one pearl of great price” that we are instructed to sell everything we have to be able to obtain. When people do this, they enter the church to serve God with all their heart. No half hearted service!
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” ~ Matthew 13:45-46
“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” ~ Revelation 21:22
Long ago the Lord had the physical temple in Jerusalem destroyed – and it will never be physically built again forever! This is because the Kingdom Jesus brought is a spiritual one, and so is the new temple. It is God himself in the midst of all his people. Wherever two or three meet in his name, God is there amongst them.
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” ~ Matthew 18:20
“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 21:23
Amazingly, the prophecy of this vision was also given over 800 years before Revelation was ever written!
“Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.” ~ Isaiah 60:18-22
“And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” ~ Revelation 21:24
The Kings spoken of here, are the spiritual ones spoken of at the beginning of Revelation. They are those who through Christ have power to reign over sin and continue in faithfulness to the Lord. Kingdom and kings are from the viewpoint of God, not the world’s viewpoint.
“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” ~ Revelation 1:5-6
“And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.” ~ Revelation 21:25
The heavenly kingdom, even the true church, is a spiritual place on Earth. Therefore the spiritual darkness of sin never enters there. Only Jesus Christ’s light: the everlasting light of the world.
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” ~ 1 John 1:5-7
“And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.” ~ Revelation 21:26
The glory and honor of the Nations are those who have been redeemed from all sin by the blood of the Lamb! Again, those whom Jesus has made to be kings and priests to God (see Revelation 1:5-6, also quoted earlier above.)
“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” ~ Revelation 21:27
You cannot claim to be part of God’s church if you still have sin working in your heart and life. In fact one of the main purposes of Revelation is to reveal this reality to you. But you must be born from above, in truth, to comprehend this reality.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” ~ John 3:3-7
Do you know for a certainty that you are part of this spiritual City, the true church of God? If not, God certainly intends for you to be. Humble yourself to serve him with all your heart. Lean on God to reveal the truth to you. Do not place your trust in the church organizations controlled by men.
Note: this diagram below shows where the twenty-first chapter is within the full Revelation message. After previously destroying the deceptions of hypocrisy, Revelation chapter 21 reveals the true bride of Christ, the true church. To better understand a high level view of Revelation, you can also see the “Routekaart van Openbaring.”