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."
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
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
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
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
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.
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."
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.