Matthew 4:8-10, "The Devil took Jesus to the summit of a very high mountain, and showed Him the nations of the world and all their glory; And said, 'I'll give all this to You, if you'll kneel down and worship me'.
Then said Jesus, 'Get out of here, Satan: for it's written, "You shall worship the Lord God, and Him only shall you serve"'."
Matthew 17:1-2, "After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, the top of a high mountain, and was transfigured before them: and his face shone as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light."
Revelation 21:9-10, "One of the seven angels who had emptied the seven vials containing the seven last plagues came and said to me, 'Come, I'll show you the Bride, the Lamb's wife.' And in a vision he carried me to a very high mountain, and showed me that great City, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God".
Three mountaintop experiences. In His temptation in the wilderness following His baptism and adoption, or His placement and anointing as Messiah, Jesus had a summit meeting with Satan. He showed Jesus the coming NWO, and the glory of earth which was his kingdom since Adam forfeited his birthright, and offered it to Jesus if He would worship him.
Jesus knew He would be Heir to it in the Millennium, for Scripture says, "When the seventh Trumpet angel sounded, loud voices in heaven, shouted, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever' . . . Rejoice, O heavens, and you citizens of heaven, rejoice! Woe to you people of the world, for the Devil is come down to you in great anger, because he knows he has little time" (Revelation 11:15; 12:12).
In Matthew 17, Jesus showed His disciples a vision of His return to earth after six days man has laboured against sin, glorified, to rule David's throne in the Millennium, the seventh day.
In Revelation 21, John, representing Christ's end-time Bride, is carried in the Spirit to the top of a high mountain where William Branham, the angel to the seventh or Laodicean Church Age, shows us a preview of the return of the elect of all ages returning to rule and reign on this earth.
The scene is set after the Millennium and white throne judgment. There has been a final disposition of sin, and the earth has been purged and completely renewed by fire. The Supernatural Fire from God has cleansed it of all evil spirits, and natural flames have leapt thousands of miles into space as the oceans, which are made of two gases, exploded. Now there is "no more sea." Even memories: "the former things are passed away".
The blessings of Eden restored are the right of the overcomer. The unbeliever has his part in the Lake of Fire, which is the second death. And the destruction of his soul.
Now we're in the Spirit in the Lord's day seeing what God showed Ezekiel nearly 600 years before the birth of Jesus (Ezekiel 40:2). Our guide is Brother Branham. Now we're not with him physically, but we're caught up in the same Spirit as John was when God showed him Brother Branham preaching these things.
In the old Jerusalem, although God was present, He was not visibly present. The Temple was both the dwelling-place and concealer of God. In a sense He was sheltered by the Temple. The New Jerusalem will have no place for the shelter of the Lord, for He shall be her shelter. The Shekinah or glory of God transfuses its radiance over the whole City or Bride. He shall tabernacle over Her, and be her Temple as she shall dwell under His manifest and sheltering Light. "They are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His Temple: and He that sits on the throne shall shelter them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the noontime sun scorch them. For the Lamb which is before the throne shall feed them, and lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe their tears away" (Revelation 7:15-17).
During man's day the Shekinah manifested in transient appearances. Its central place of appearance being the Holy of Holies. It was seen in visions, in angelic forms, through pillars of Cloud and Fire, and through the cherubim. Now it spreads in eternal radiance over the whole City of God. The epiphanaea of God is as brilliant as the most precious jewel (Revelation 21:11).
In order to secure its holy destiny, Israel was encircled by a hedge of theocratic law designed to separate it from every common thing of heathenism, or the Gentile nations, and by this process of separation, to mediate the future redemption of the Gentiles through the blessing of Abraham.
The Law became curtains around the courts of the Tabernacle, and a wall around the Temple courts; beyond which a Gentile ventured at peril of his life. It was patrolled by guards like the cherubim at the garden of Eden. Unfortunately, Israel could not abide the Law and were a hindrance rather than a Light to the Gentiles.
Ephesians 2:11-16, "Never forget that your first birth was as a Gentile, and called Uncircumcision (unclean and therefore Godless) by the Jews who are called the Circumcision (by a mere cut in the flesh made by hands) which signified godliness; Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, being estranged from the citizenship of Israel, and strangers from the Messianic covenants, having no promise, and without God in the world:
But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were so far from God have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, Who has made both Jew and Gentile one Body, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, caused by the law with its ordinances; which He annulled; that from two He might create in Himself one new man, so making peace between Jew and Gentile; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body which played the part of Kinsman Redeemer for us both, and of which we are both members, having slain the enmity on Calvary: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Now you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, the members of God's own family; You're built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief Cornerstone".
In Revelation 21:12-21, the Law appears ideally realized in the high wall which, being insurmountable, excludes everything common; and by means of its twelve gates, invites and receives all that is akin to God as measured against the ideal character-form of the twelve Tribes of Israel.
You'll recall the peculiar camping order of the twelve Tribes around the Ark, or Presence of God, followed the order of the four cherubim which guarded the way to His throne and Presence. In the Holy Spirit dispensation, their function is performed by the four Gospels. These twelve Tribes represented theocratic foundations: and the fullness of the diverse human dispositions for the kingdom of God. The mothers of the Patriarchs, giving birth, prophetically named their sons, foretelling their place in the Kingdom. And when Jacob blessed them he foretold their nature. The gates are adorned with the names of the Tribes and indicate the nature of the people of God already inside the City, (the Old Testament saints). The foundations are now complete in the perfecting of Spiritual Israel or the Church. They bear the names of the apostles, indicating the character of the people of God now entering the holy City from all corners of the world (the New Testament saints) under the nature of the living creature which called them in their day.
For instance, we are redeemed under the Fourth Seal and nature of the living creature with the face like a flying eagle guarding the northern side of the City, and have the nature of this creature. We don't scratch around on earth to discover what man has done but soar in the Spirit of the Prophet through the revelation of the Seven Seals to become a part of what God is doing and will do in days to come. We have not only the far sight but also the swiftness of a flying eagle to recognize and repent of error. Like the eagle we eat only fresh food, not revelations caught hundreds of years ago by Luther or Wesley.
We must recognize OUR day and ITS Message and cannot enter by any of the gates God has given us over the years but must enter by the gate on which God has chosen to place His Name are measured by the gate nominated for our Age. We'll be measured by its Message, and bear its nature just as the 144,000 will be measured by the golden rod of the fullness of the Word (Revelation 11:1-2).
The gates of the cities of Israel, especially Zion, were, even under the old covenant, open to the stranger, if he left his heathen practices without (Genesis 17:12, 27; Exodus 12:43-49; 23:12; Zechariah 7:10). The gates are symbols of ingress into the holy City, into the sanctuary, and into the fellowship of the saints (Psalms 100:4), as well as symbols of egress in order to convert the world. Isaiah 62:10, "Go through the gates; prepare the way of the people; build up and make clear the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people." And in order to bring in the King of glory. "Lift up your heads, you ancient gates; and be lifted up, you everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in" (Psalm 24:7).
In blessing Abraham, God promised his seed would "possess the gate of his enemies," or judge them (Genesis 22:17; 24:60). "And Jesus said unto them, 'Verily I say unto you, That you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel'" (Matthew 19:28). Which brings us back to our subject and the New Jerusalem. The new City of God has twelve gates, the sacred number of governmental perfection. Twenty-four Elders: Israel's Patriarchs, and the twelve Apostles to the early Church measure or judge the righteousness of all who pass through by the Word for their day.
The stone at Bethel on which the pilgrim Jacob lay, and in a dream beheld the heavenly ladder, was consecrated as a monument and altar; the prelude of the foundation stones of the House of God.
"This stone, which I have set as a monument, shall be God's house: and of all that You shall give me I will surely tithe the tenth to You" (Genesis 28:22).
It also foreshadowed Christ, the Cornerstone:-
"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner" (Psalm 118:22).
"Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believes shall not make haste'" (Isaiah 28:16).
The Church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief Cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:20).
In the consummation, this stone is divided again into the twelve foundations of the wall of the holy City, marked with the names of the twelve apostles. The twelve apostles are the foundation of Christ's mission to the world.
From the Garden of Eden, the Holy of Holies was an almost inaccessible sanctuary, guarded by the Shekinah. Here the great City of God has become a manifest and open Holy of Holies covered and illuminated by the Shekinah (Ezekiel 43:12).
The holy wall, as a theocratic barrier, in its consummation here in Revelation 21:12 appears built of the material of most precious jewels, as seen afar off, "O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with fair colours, and lay your foundations with sapphires" (Isaiah 54:11).
The covering of the Ark of the Covenant, which was, so to speak, the Most Holy in the Holy of Holies, was of pure gold. This typed Jesus Christ who was sprinkled with blood and in Whom was the Word Bride (Exodus 37:6; Hebrews 9:19-28). Now the whole City is made of gold so pure that it glitters like crystal. The City is God's Sanctuary. The sixth purpose of Gabriel's instructions to Daniel was "To anoint the Most Holy": Christ and His Bride, the new Jerusalem.
The jewels in the breastplate of the high priest were emblematic of the natures of the Tribes of Israel and of their value for the heart of God, Whom the high priest represented.
Such Divine heart-affection in the perfection of the root of human favour is now reflected in all the jewels which form the foundation stones of the City wall. The whole City is founded, as it were, upon the breast plate of the Real High Priest.
As the precious stones were early regarded as a symbol of a life consecrated to God, so the pearl symbolizes Godly wisdom in the righteousness of faith. Wisdom, is symbolized by pearls (plural). Thus the value of wisdom exceeds that of pearls. (In Job 28:18; Proverbs 3:15; 8:11—rubies may be more correctly read pearls).
In the Light of the Lamb, the heathen have become disciplined nations—types of peoples which in their variety form together the Kingdom of God (Revelation 21:24).
At the foot of the Tower of Babel, mankind was divided into gentilisms of seventy nations. The higher charismatic destination of humanity was, typically expressed by the seventy members of the twelve Tribes of Israel as they entered Egypt, and in the number of the seventy disciples. But it has been the constant task of the Christian church to discern from the heathen confusion of peoples, the one people of God. And work-out from Christendom those who are the true elect. Here the heavenly family has attained visible existence.
The City is the elect who are enlightened by the magnificent glory or excellence of God, and its Light is the Lamb (John 1:18). There is no danger, only peace and security. No night, only perpetual daytime. Hence the gates are never shut; the elect reign through eternity, like the eyes on the wheels of the cherubim, they never lose consciousness. The City is God, manifest in the glorified flesh of the saints of all ages. The nations of the "saved" outside the City shall live by its Spiritual Light. The net value of all the good things of earth is appropriated to the City of God, as also the entire net value of humanity, in the glory of the peoples in their tithes and gifts brought by their leaders to the City. But only the elect may enter the City. (Revelation 21:23-27).
As Israel were separated in the blessing of Abraham in order to be a light to draw the Gentiles to Him, Christianity is to take away the covering of sin from the beauty of the peoples, and turn Israel's mourning into joy (Isaiah 25:7). Here is its fulfilment.
In contemplating the glory of Christ, we all come forth as the harvest of God shining forth His glory as individuals.
Paradise was visibly lost to the world but God's grace secured its seed, and held its promised restoration before us in tokens, like the Promised Land and the Tabernacle and Temples, and in Christian civilization. Here Paradise is extant once more and the mysterious garden in Eden has become a glorified City.
The River of Paradise that went out from the garden and watered the earth soon gathered worldliness. Gradually through shadows and types, a fountain of salvation burst forth in humanity, out of the rock of salvation being prepared by the wells of the patriarchs, in the desert (Exodus 15:27), Shiloh, and Jordan, whose waters became a blessing, and a great River of Life was predicted by Ezekiel coming from the Throne of God and the Lamb, having in this world been heralded and opened as a fountain (John 4:7), abides as pure as crystal, pouring forth its one deep channel and is adorned on either side with trees of Life.
The one Tree of Life that was in the Garden has become an endless avenue, a glorious grove, and in the abundance of its fruits and the healing virtue of its leaves, a power of life is expressed in Christ's Church. This is nature completely elevated to God.
"There shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: And they shall see His face; and His Name shall be in their foreheads" (Revelation 22:3-4).
This is not a repetition of the idea of Revelation 21:27 but Zechariah 14:11. This indicates that everything is clean. The word once became flesh that all nature might be spiritualized. There shall never again be anything cherem, anathema, or set aside for destruction. Instead, the Throne of God and of the Lamb are here, and the ban is removed.
Jesus taught that only the pure in heart shall see God (Matthew 5:8), and John speaks of the great transformation to take place. ". . . When He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him face to face" (I John 3:2).
Moses could only see His back parts because, "God said, You can't see My face: for no man shall see me, and live" (Exodus 33:20). In the ancient world, criminals were banished from the presence of the king and not allowed to look upon his face (Esther 7:8; II Samuel, 14:24). "I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back parts: but My face shall not be seen" (Exodus 33:23).
We have His character, and the Token or mark in our forehead which signifies the revelation of the hour. The high priest had "Holiness unto the Lord" on his forehead, and His servants shall worship Him. bb971217.htm