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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 21

4. The Holy City, New Jerusalem


“And I John saw THE HOLY Cm’, NEW JERUSALEM, descending from the Deity out of the heaven, having been prepared as a Bride who had been adorned for her husband”.

The apostle informs us in the ninth verse, that he was presented with a view of the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, that great city, the Holy Jerusalem, by “one of the seven angels having the seven vials full of the seven last plagues”. The reason of this reference to the vial-angels here, is because the manifestation of the Bride belongs to “the time of the dead” when they are judged, and the approved and chosen receive the reward. This is the time of the Bride’s adorning, and investment with the fine linen of incorruption, clean and bright, in recompense according to her deeds. And as this adorning transpires at the coming of the Ancient of Days, which occurs under the outpouring of the vial upon the Euphratean Power in preparation of her way, that is, under the sixth; so it would be the sixth angel that shows John the bride. He is quite emphatic in stating what he saw; unusually so. He is not content to say, “I saw;” but he must say. “I John saw”. And he may truly say this; for when the Bride is manifested in the time of the dead, he, John, the beloved disciple himself, will see her with his own eyes; for he will be one of her constituents in glory, as he was formerly “in tribulation and patience” (ch. 1:9).

The sixth angel, then, shows him the Bride. He hears his voice, saying to him, “Come hither! I will show to thee the Bride, the wife of the Lamb”. And in obedience to this call, John will come forth from the house of death; and be carried away to see the Bride descending out of heaven from the Deity upon a great and high mountain. When he arrives in Teman, he will again behold the Lord Jesus, whom he last saw on Oh-vet; and before him a crowd gathered by the angels of his power “from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:31). This mixed multitude is not “the Great City, the Holy Jerusalem,” although all the prophets and all the apostles, and all the saints, are there; for “there shall in no wise enter into it any thing unclean, and working abomination, and falsehood”. The whole crowd, except “the living who remain,” are recently emergent from the place of skulls, and bones, and corrupting carcasses; and therefore, from the necessity of the thing, are all “of the earth earthy,” and consequently of an unclean nature or body, upon the principle that not one can bring a clean thing out of an unclean (Job 14:4). And beside this condition common to them all, there are many whose deeds in previous life will consign them to condemnation, to the sea mingled with fire, and to second death. Hence, a separation must be effected; and all deemed unworthy of the Holy Jerusalem, compelled to depart away.

And when they are gone, and “the called, and chosen, and faithful,” continue as they were, they are still not the New and Holy Jerusalem; for this Great City is said to “descend from the Deity out of the heaven,” not to ascend to the great and high mountain out of the earth. What then, is the solution of this mystery? If the approved and accepted saints be the Bride, and the New and Holy Jerusalem; and they by resurrection come out of the earth; how can the Great and Holy City be said to descend from the Deity out of heaven? If in coming forth from the graves, the prophets, apostles, and saints, all emerge thence immortal, perfect, and thoroughly furnished, ought not the Bride the Lamb’s wife, to be styled the New Jerusalem ascending from the tomb? Upon what principle then, is it, that John declares, that he saw the Great City, the Holy Jerusalem descending from the Deity out of heaven?

In answer to this question, I remark, that the Holy Jerusalem is a spiritual body corporate; that is, it is a community of people, every one of whom is spirit, or an incorruptible, deathless, and powerful, individual. Their nature, or bodily substance, is clean, pure, holy, and divine:

and it is such, because “it is born from above,” gegenflemeflon anothen. That which is clean, pure, holy, and divine, is not produced from the earth; but, if the things produced from the dust become so, it must be made clean, pure, holy, and divine, by being born of the Spirit from above; and then the thing born, made, created, or developed, is properly and truly said to be “from heaven,” or to “descend from the Deity out of the heaven.”

This principle is taught in the conversation of Jesus with Nicodemus, and afterwards illustrated in his own person. “Except a man,” saith he, “be born from above he cannot see the kingdom of the Deity”. No; such a birth being wanting in his case, if he come forth from the grave, he will be cast into “the sea mingled with fire,” and tormented in that fiery lake without rest day or night, to the beginning of the thousand years. He cannot become part of the New and Holy Jerusalem; nor enter into the kingdom of the Deity. Flesh and blood cannot inherit, or possess, that indestructible and incorruptible kingdom; but only that which hath been born out of spirit; for “that which hath been born out of Spirit is spirit:” therefore, said Jesus, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born from above. The Spirit breathes where he will, and thou hearest his voice; but thou hast not known whence he is come, and whither he goes away: so is every one that hath been born of the Spirit” — thou hast not known whence such an one cometh, nor whither he goes away (John 3:3-8).
This was true of all the Pharisees, and others like them, in regard t him whence these “heavenly things” proceeded. “I know,” said he “whence I came, and whither I go away; but ye have not known whence I am come, and whither I go away” (John 8:14). That burning and shining light, John the Immerser, testified that the Bridegroom, his friend who is superior to all, “cometh from above” — “from heaven” (Joh 3:31): and when he appeared, he said, “I came down from heaven to d the will of him who sent me” (John 6:33): and again, “No man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended out of the heaven, the Son of Man who is in the heaven” (John 3:13).

Now, upon the same principle that it could be said, that one “born of a woman, and made under the law,” who, during his life, never went further from Palestine than Egypt; died on the cross, was buried, an came forth thence on the third day — came down out of heaven, and was “the Lord from heaven”: upon this identical principle it can truly be affirmed, that “a multitude which no man can number,” thousands of men and women coming forth from the earth, and who had never visited any other planet of the universe; were seen, as the Bride the Lamb wife, the New, the Holy Jerusalem, the Great City, “descending frot the Deity out of the heaven”.

But, what is the principle? It consists in the writing, stamping impressing, or engraving, of the thing designed, upon the subject, or material, to be engraved, stamped, or impressed. The writer, or engraver, is the Seven-Horned and Seven-Eyed Spirit (ch. 4:5; 5:6) who “engraves the graving thereof” (Zech. 3:9). When the dead body pn pared for the Spirit (Heb. 10:5) was restored to life, and had come fort from the sepulchre, the Spirit, “in a moment, in the twinkling of a eye,” engraved upon it, or impressed it with, every attribute necessary to constitute it “the Lord from the heaven” — He “made it both Lord and Christ”. The precious stone had come out of the earth, whence a precious stones also come; but it had to be cut, polished, embroidered and adorned, to bring out all the beauties of which it was susceptible This the Spirit effected in the operation of raising the risen body to con substantiality with the Deity.

Now, it matters not whether it be one man to be made “the Lord from heaven,” or a countless multitude of earthborns to be made flu Holy Jerusalem “descending from the Deity out of heaven” — the operation is the same. Every individual is subjected to a like polishing embroidering, and adorning, as saith the Spirit who will do the won “Him that overcometh,” saith he, “I will make a pillar in the Nave of rr Deity, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the Name of my Deity, and the Name of the City of my Deity, New Jerusalem

which cometh down out of heaven from my Deity; and my new Name” (ch. 3:12). To have the Name of Deity, the Name of the City, and the New Name, engraved or written upon one, is for such an one first to come into existence, and then, to become a constituent of the things engraved. He becomes one of the City of the Deity, New Jerusalem; and in the operation is married to the Spirit in so close and intimate a union, that he becomes one body, flesh, and bones, with the Spirit; so that all the earthiness and corruptibleness of his grave-body is “swallowed up of life;” it loses its similitude to the nature of the first Adam; and acquires “the heavenly image” of the Lord from heaven.

The prophets, apostles, and approved saints, having been all caused to exist incorruptible in being “clothed with their house from heaven” by the Spirit, are then regarded as the adorned bride, married to the Lamb, the Holy City, New Jerusalem, the Great City, “descending from the Deity out of heaven”. But, when John was carried away to see her, he saw her as “a city upon a hill” — upon “a great and high mountain”. When he became part of the New Jerusalem in Teman, she had not finished her descent. She had not reached Mount Zion; for it had not then as yet been wrested from the Gentiles. But, Mount Zion is not “a great and high mountain;” the mountain of Yahweh’s house, however, established on the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills, with all nations flowing unto it (Isa. 2:2) is both great and high. It is “a great mountain filling the whole earth;” and upon the top of this John saw the Great City, the Holy Jerusalem, then governing the world “with an iron rod,” while she was descending and after she had completed her descent from the Deity.




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