The Great City
Parts 1 through 2
By Willie Martin

Jew Watch

 

The Great City - Part 1

The Mystery of the Woman and Great City - Revealed

     One of the greatest mysteries of the Scriptures that has eluded our people, has been the identity of the "woman" and that "great city" as recorded in the Book of Revelations. Knowing the identity of these is the "key" that will open the door of understanding so as to increase your understanding of the latter day events that are now unfolding before our eyes.

     If we are honest students of history, we can readily see that God's hand of blessing has been upon His people Israel. He created Israel for a special purpose, and we, as Israelites, owe our existence and our blessings to the Covenant God made with Abraham. We are the people of the Covenant, it is our birthright.

     If we do not understand that Covenant, we are going to lose our vision of God's plan and purposes for His people and how these people and that Covenant relate to the New Jerusalem. Part of that plan involves our understanding the causes and effects (or blessings and curses) operating in Israel, even the old Jerusalem, when she turned from righteousness to unrighteousness.

     "How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water: Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them." (Isaiah 1:21-23)

     Notice that when Jerusalem executed "Judgment," righteousness lodged within her. However, when they ceased carrying out the judgments, murderers came to roost. As Israelites, can we not identify with this description of our nation today?

     In America, our government, our Congress, our President, and our Judicial System have become companions of thieves and murderers. They do not adhere to God's Law nor do they carry out His judgments. Church government needs to hold state government accountable for its alliances, its legislation, and its actions. No one is holding government accountable today. Civil, and even ecclesiastical leaders today do not seem to care about widows, they, in fact, create widows!

     But note what the Word of God declares in Isaiah: "Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city." (Isaiah 1:24-26)

     That is a very interesting Bible passage God says He will take away all of our dross, all of our humanistic reasoning, all of our ways that seem right to a man. This is the tin that He refers to in this passage.

     Has that purging already occurred in the nations of Israel? Has this purging occurred within our national government today? Has this purging occurred within the churches today? We have not seen it. Has this type of purging process occurred at any time in our history? No, but this purging, a lasting purging, will come to the nations, and the New Jerusalem will play an important role in this process. Revelation confirms this: "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (Revelation 22:14)

     There are two very important points made in this verse concerning those who obey the commandments of God. The first is that they have a right to the tree of life. In other words, they will have right to eternal life, to that which Adam and Eve forsook when they did not obey God. The second point is that those who keep God's commandments may enter through the gates into the city. Listen to how the Psalmist David explains the characteristics of these gates: "Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord: This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter." (Psalm 118:19-20)

     David said the gates of the city are gates of righteousness. God's city is a righteous city, and there shall be no unrighteousness within it. This is very important for us to grasp and understand. The Scriptures speak of those who have been clothed in His righteousness. These who are clothed in righteousness will enter in beyond the veil and through the gates into the city. These are very special gates, and this is a very special city, the city of righteousness wherein no unrighteousness shall enter. Revelation tells us who is excluded from the city: "For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (Revelation 22:15)

     Who Are The Dogs? They are the spiritually immature, the polluted people, people who pervert the true Gospel for gain. In the Old Testament, the dog signified male prostitutes, and in Jesus' day, they were the Pharisees who prostituted the true religion of Moses by corrupting it with pagan traditions, practices, and worship. It was this corrupted system of traditions that Christ vehemently denounced. With this system of oral traditions, they corrupted and manipulated the people.

     Now the term "dog" is a very controversial term, which has been used in certain Bible passages to refer to non-Israelite people. We do not suggest that non-Israelites people will be prohibited from entering the kingdom, and we think a person would be hard pressed to demonstrate that the dogs in verse 15 represent those of non-Israel. This verse mentions six types of people who cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Five of them are people who practice a specific type of ungodly and unacceptable behavior; therefore, it is not in keeping with the context of the verse to make one of them signify a racial identification. It is used metaphorically to identify those who pervert the gospel, and there are many within Israel who pervert the gospel.
 

The Great City -Part 2

  There are many who say that "all Israel will be saved," as Paul says in the book of Romans, and therefore, all Israel will enter into the city. They teach that we, as racial Israelites, are so much holier than the other races that entrance into the city is automatic. Caution is Warranted Here. Think about what is being said in this verse. Are there not whoremongers among Israelites? Are there not murderers, idolaters, sorcerers, and those who love to tell lies? Of course there are. We need to consider in a broader sense what the Scripture is telling us here.

  Those who pervert the Gospel will not be allowed to enter into the city. These perverters of the Gospel are those who live unrighteously and uphold unrighteousness. They are those who teach that God's Laws have been "put away," therefore ignoring the only means whereby all morality and justice are measured and sin is reckoned. These perverters have no place in God's Kingdom, because they do that which is right in THEIR eyes; they are slaves to the flesh, and they practice iniquity (lawlessness).

  Based upon this understanding, we do not believe that initially all of Israel will enter the gates. This subject would take us into the various resurrections, and, while this is a very important topic, it is not really germane to the subject at hand. However, the following section will lead us into an interesting study of angels, and the coming of the Son of Man. We think the identity of these angels will surprise you. Matthew mentions the angels who come with the Lord: "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." (Matthew 25:31)

  Who are the angels who accompany Christ? Are they a group of cosmic creatures with wings attached to their backs? David answers that question for us: "Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word." (Psalm 103:20)

  You who do His commandments and "hearken" to the "voice of His word" are His angels! What is the "voice of His word?" you may ask. The "voice" is the SPIRIT of His word. This is a process of the New Covenant which goes beyond mere obedience; it involves the very heart of one's character, which can only be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Those who hearken to the voice of His word, who follow. His commandments, and who tune into His voice and His Spirit are the ones whom God refers to as His angels. But now let's look at some additional verses, verses which show an interesting allegory referring to those who accompany Christ upon His return: "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints." (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)

  Paul said our Lord Jesus Christ is coming with His saints, those who are redeemed and have been cleansed. We read earlier that Christ was coming with His angels. Could it be, that the saints and the angels are synonymous? Let's read on and find out: "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels." (2 Thessalonians 1:7)

  Who are these angels coming with Christ? They are those who have repented, who obey His commandments, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit, those who are the Temple of the Living God. His saints and His angels are the clouds of glory that surround Christ at His coming. The saints and the angels are the city of light He is coming with when He returns. Throughout the ages, we individually comprise those lively stones jointly fitted together to make the whole. The New Jerusalem is the regathering Jeremiah spoke of, that collective body of saints whom god has been building down through the ages. We, the regathered, redeemed, repentant, and regenerated Israelites are His Temple, His Holy City wherein He dwells.

  An additional witness for this is found in Revelation: "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." (Revelation 3:12)

  Being an overcomer means denying our old Adamic nature, and embracing the nature of the last Adam, Jesus Christ. It's coming into the headship of Christ, (Ephesians 4:15) whereby He becomes our perfecting process. Our job is to yield (Romans 6:6-19) to that righteousness which is not of self, but of the Spirit, bringing down the strongholds of the carnal mind, "which is enmity with God." (Romans 8:7)

  The natural, or carnal man, lives by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Overcoming has deeper significance than the "letter" of obedience, and it is not the obedient and punishment that a child understands. It means that as Christians, we have matured in our development and growth to the point where we want to obey. It is in our heart (mind), and the desires that flow out from our heart, that are the most difficult to change. If our heart is changed so that we desire to obey, by the punishment that is hanging over our heads, and wanting to obey. It begins in the heart (mind) when we learn to love Jesus Christ our Lord with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. (Matthew 22:37)

  Those who love God will be filled with the Holy Spirit and used of God. They are those who keep both the spirit and letter of His commandments. In Acts, the Apostle Peter says: "...we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." (Acts 5:32)

  If any have doubts that a Christian's life is one of duty, performance, and commitment, please read Revelation 3:15-22 very closely. Note especially phrases such as "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot," and "To him that overcometh." The warnings, instructions, and promises contained in these verses should be a source of guidance, challenge, and hope to all of us.
 
 

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