THE UNFOLDING SPIRITUAL INTERPRETATION OF THE LEVITICAL FEAST OF TABERNACLES

And the name of the city from that time on will be: "the Lord is there."

Copyright © 2017 Robert B Thompson. All Rights Reserved.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

REVELATION TWENTY-ONE

"The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on will be: the Lord is there." (Ezekiel 48:35)

Then I saw a new sky and a new earth, for the first sky and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. (Revelation 21:1)

Since the Greek term ouranos is employed for both Heaven and sky, we have chosen the term "sky" in this instance.

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. (Revelation 21:2)

Immediately we are confronted with the two great errors of Christian thinking. First, that our eternal destiny is in the spirit world. Second, that the "beautiful" dress is merely ascribed to the Bride. It does not reflect a righteousness of behavior nor a holiness of personality that actually is true of her. The beauty of righteousness and holiness is imputed to her because she believes the facts concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.

No other two errors in thinking could have done more to destroy God's intention to make man in His image.

As far as the common belief that our life after death is a fantasy existence that consists of creatures and experiences with which we are not familiar, we must keep in mind that God is making all things new, not all new things.

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." (Revelation 21:5)

However, it is the second error that has destroyed God's intention. We are viewing Divine grace as an alternative to obeying God.

But notice:

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:14,15)

What does it mean to wash our robes? It means to confess to the Lord every sin that the Spirit of God points out to us, and ask Jesus for help in turning away from it. If we do not do this, we are not allowed past the gates into the new Jerusalem. This means we cannot partake of the Water of eternal life, or of the Tree of Life, or of Divine healing.

But surely God will make an exception for us because we are "saved by grace."

Absolutely not! What God has stated clearly in His Word shall never be modified in order to please human thinking.

The purpose of Divine grace, given to us through the Lord Jesus Christ, is not to provide an alternative to what God has stated in His Word. We ought to know better than this! The purpose of Divine grace is to free us from the Law of Moses so we can turn from the written commandments of the Law that we might live in the Spirit of Life, receiving our directions from the Lord Himself. This is the New Covenant.

Under the New Covenant the Bible serves as a guide so we will not fall into the traps of demons while we are attempting to follow the Spirit of God.

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. (Revelation 21:2)

Think of it! The Holy City, the new Jerusalem, in the Body of the Servant of the Lord. Christ is the Head. Here is Heaven coming to the earth to reside for eternity. This is why the common belief that we will spend eternity in a fantasy land, doing nothing of significance, is so damaging to Christian thinking. What is important is the Kingdom of God, and our participation in it, not some fairyland where we float around with the angels.

Included in the new Jerusalem there is a great company of angels.

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, (Hebrews 12:22)

The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. (about six miles)

A cube—one and one-half miles on a side!

The above is the Servant of the Lord: Christ—Head and Body; the Christian Church; the new Jerusalem. God has come to live among the saved peoples of the earth.

Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42:1)

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. (Hebrews 12:22)

Here is the bride of the Lamb. She has been beautifully dressed over a period of 3000 years—from the resurrection to the end of the thousand-year Kingdom Age

But she is not dressed just in ascribed righteousness or holiness, She has been brought through many fires, as the conquering saints know. She is in the image of God because she thinks, speaks, and acts along with God.

And I heard a loud voice from the Throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." (Revelation 21:3)

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:22)

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only House of the Father.

My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? (John 14:2)

The Lord Jesus went to the cross to prepare a place for us in Himself.

Jesus replied, Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." (John 14:23)

This is the spiritual fulfillment of The Feast of Tabernacles.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:3)

No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the Bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18)

The Lord Jesus brings us to the Bosom of the Father, and that is our dwelling place for Eternity. God dwells in us and we dwell in God with the Lord Jesus and in total union with all other saints who always do the Father's will promptly, cheerfully, and completely.

The Divine plan of redemption is proceeding according to the seven Levitical celebrations. The seventh and last feast is that of Tabernacles. The spiritual fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles sums up the six previous gatherings, and is portrayed in the last two chapters of the Book of Revelations.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

But who are the "their"? Perhaps Christian people view these promises as applying to them. However they most likely are given to the saved peoples of the world.

The Divine curse has been lifted. God's anger has been appeased.

I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God's wrath is completed. (Revelation 15:1)

He who was seated on the Throne said, "I am making everything new." Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. (Revelation 21:5)

Notice that God will make all things new, not all new things. The new world will be familiar to us, but the spiritual darkness shall be removed. This renewal shall take place for every person who follows Christ faithfully, keeping all of His commandments.

The inhabitants of the Throne are the Father, the Son, and every victorious saint. They always join together to do the Father's will.

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. (Revelation 21:6)

"It is done!" Notice how God envisions in the present hour a matter that shall come to pass at a later time.

The following text is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ:

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. (Colossians 1:16-18)

Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. Revelation 21:7)

I wonder how many believers assume that the promises in the second and third chapters of Revelation, and verse 21:7, apply to all Christians. They assuredly do not. These are given only to the victorious saints

To be a victorious saint, an overcomer, means we have said an eternal "yes" to every demand Christ has made on us, and have followed Him faithfully until that demand has come to pass in our life.

Perhaps such obedience may seem impossible to some distraught believer. However it is not. God never makes a demand on us without also providing the wisdom and power sufficient to enable us to obey God completely and cheerfully. His commandments are not grievous!

We must keep on choosing to obey Christ.

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)

To be thrown into the Lake of Fire is a destiny too horrible to imagine.

Notice that each of these behaviors is a type of person. Not everyone who has told a lie is a "liar." If they are a conscientious individual, as soon as the Spirit has reminded them of their sin they have gone to Christ, asked His forgiveness, and through His help have turned away from the practice of lying. They have washed their robe in the blood of the Lamb.

If we have hope of being in the Royal Priesthood, our "robe" must be kept clean at all times.

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)

The verse above suggests to me that there are people outside the walls of the new Jerusalem, who have not overcome worldliness, or the practice of sin, or insisting on their own will instead of God's will. In this case they do not have access to the River of Life or the Tree of Life. Perhaps as the members of the Royal Priesthood minister to them they will be able to overcome the spiritual death that is in them.

I believe we may count on the fact that until a person has been set free from sin and self-will they cannot be clothed with a body of eternal life. Notice that Adam and Eve were prevented from living in the Garden of Eden. The blood of Christ was not as yet available to them.

Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. (John 5:28,29)

It appears to me that it is not enough to be resurrected. We must do what is good so we will be resurrected to eternal life. How do you feel about that?

It seems that most of today's believers are not leading a victorious life in Christ. But neither are they among those who are characterized by the eight behaviors set forth in the verse above.

This might mean they will not receive the rewards to the conquering saints. But neither are they to be thrown into the Lake of Fire at the final judgment. They will not rule with Christ, neither will they be assigned to eternal destruction.

They will not be counted among God's priests, but they will enjoy life on the new earth, as I see it.

I trust I have not weakened God's Word by saying the above. I do believe that the purpose of the thousand-year Kingdom Age will be an opportunity for those who have not gained victory over sin and self-will to make up their mind to serve the Lord.

A person, whether of the world or of the Royal Priesthood, who does not at all times make every effort to serve the Lord Jesus Christ is foolish, not remembering the flood of Noah nor the disaster that fell upon Sodom and the cities of the plain. Everyone died in those destructions.

Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. (Revelation 3:4)

This is the Royal Priesthood.

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." (Revelation 21:9)

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. (Revelation 21:10)

Such is the coming of Heaven to the earth.

It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. (Revelation 21:11)

As we have mentioned, the "glory of God" is not merely ascribed. Any victorious saint can tell you about the fires and problems that must be endured before they emerge as a conqueror.

It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. (Revelation 21:12)

There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. (Revelation 21:13)

The gates of the city will be named after the tribes of Israel. The three gates on the north side will be the gate of Reuben, the gate of Judah and the gate of Levi. (Ezekiel 48:31)

On the east side, which is 4,500 cubits long,(one and a half miles) will be three gates: the gate of Joseph, the gate of Benjamin and the gate of Dan. (Ezekiel 48:32)

On the south side, which measures 4,500 cubits, will be three gates: the gate of Simeon, the gate of Issachar and the gate of Zebulun. (Ezekiel 48:33)

On the west side, which is 4,500 cubits long, will be three gates: the gate of Gad, the gate of Asher and the gate of Naphtali. (Ezekiel 48:34)

The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. (six miles) And the name of the city from that time on will be: the Lord is there. (Ezekiel 48:35)

The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (Revelation 21:14)

The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. (Revelation 21:15)

The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia (1454 miles in length), and as wide and high as it is long. (Revelation 21:16)

The United States is 2680 miles long, as a means of comparison.

The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits (84 yards) thick. (Revelation 21:17)

Does the thickness tell us anything about God's attitude toward worldliness, the sins of the flesh, and self-will?

The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. (Revelation 21:18)

The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. (Revelation 21:19)

The first foundation was jasper, (opaque quartz often colored red)

the second sapphire, (blue)

the third agate, (marble)

the fourth emerald, (green) (Revelation 21:19)

the fifth onyx, (black)

the sixth ruby, (red)

the seventh chrysolite, (green, gray)

the eighth beryl, (green)

the ninth topaz, (yellow)

the tenth turquoise, (greenish blue)

the eleventh jacinth, (blue, reddish orange)

and the twelfth amethyst, (purple quartz) (Revelation 21:20)

The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass. (Revelation 21:21)

The various colors in the foundation (red, blue agate, green, black, green, yellow, purple), must have provided a spectacular appearance. The colors may be symbolic of spiritual realities.

The foundation was hard, unyielding. This is God's attitude toward sin.

Pearls are an oyster's resistance to persistent irritation. Experienced saints know the need for patience. The perfect work of patience will provide a door so others may enter the eternal life and Divine Glory found in the Presence of God in the new Jerusalem.

Gold as pure as transparent glass speaks of the beauty of holiness and righteousness. The Glory of God is everywhere. Such is the glorified Christian Church, the new Jerusalem, the Body of Christ, the Servant of the Lord.

Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42:1)

How long will it be before the Christian people understand that their destiny after death is not to loll about in a fantasyland but to bring justice to the nations of the earth?

He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope. (Isaiah 42:4)

I did not see a temple because the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY AND THE LAMB ARE ITS TEMPLE. (Revelation 21:22)

How wonderful it will be when God Himself is our Temple!

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the GLORY OF GOD GIVES IT LIGHT, and the Lamb is its lamp. (Revelation 21:23)

As it was in the first three days of the creation. The Light of the world will be God shining through Christ and His Body.

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. (Revelation 21:24)

On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. (Revelation 21:25)

The glory and honor of the NATIONS will be brought into it. (Revelation 21:26)

Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. (Revelation 21:27)

Rebellion against God has come to an end!

REVELATION TWENTY-TWO

And the name of the city from that time on will be: "the Lord is there."

The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. And the name of the city from that time on will be: "the Lord is there." (Ezekiel 48:35)

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1,2)

It can be seen that eternal Life and Divine healing are found only within the walls of the new Jerusalem, the Body of Christ. In order to enter the city the believer must wash their robe white in the blood of the Lamb. This is no place for the "grace" of imputed righteousness.

The Throne of God and of the Lamb is dwelling now within the members of the Body of Christ. The River of Life is flowing from their personalities. They have gone through the waters of life and judgment until they are the source of Life for the nations of the earth.

Christ is the Word made flesh. The Christians are the flesh becoming the Word, the Word that is Spirit, Life, and healing. Such is our destiny—it is to bring the nations of the earth to complete obedience to the Father through Christ and to the worship only of the one true God.

He asked me, "Son of man, do you see this?" Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. (Ezekiel 47:6,7)

Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them." (John 17:38)

No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. (Revelation 22:3)

Concerning our future destiny, there may be no more important verse than the one above. The verse is telling us that the very Throne of God and of the Lamb are coming down from Heaven and will be located for eternity on the new earth.

The members of His Wife will sit with Him on His Throne.

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)

"Our Father who is on the earth!"

We have known the Lamb of Calvary. We have known the Holy Spirit. Now it is time to be introduced to the Father.

They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. (Revelation 2:4)

It is difficult to determine whether this is the face of the Father or of the Lamb. I tend to believe it is the Face of the Father. This is an unheard of privilege.

Perhaps the two Faces are the same. In any case, Their Names will be on the forehead of the Royal Priesthood.

Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed. (Isaiah 61:9)

The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them THE NAME OF MY GOD and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them MY NEW NAME. (Revelation 3:12)

Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had HIS NAME AND HIS FATHER'S NAME written on their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1)

Thus we see that the Name of God and of the Lamb is on every member of the Royal Priesthood, the Body of Christ, the Christian Church.

Each of them sits on the Throne with Christ, the Throne that governs all. This is why there must be no spiritual darkness whatever in them.

This does not mean that the saints now have great power so they can command the universe. In truth, they will have no power at all except as the Father moves through them. This is why we must become a child in order to enter the Kingdom. We must learn that we are nothing and able to do nothing, while God is everything and is able to do everything.

If the day were to come when the saints received great power, it would be best we never had been born!

There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:5)

The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place."

"Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll." (Revelation 22:7)

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. (Revelation 22:8)

But he said to me, "Don't do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!" (Revelation 22:9)

Perhaps this person was an angel, or maybe a human being.

Then he told me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near." (Revelation 22:10)

"Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy." (Revelation 22:11)

I do not understand what the verse above is teaching. But it is in God's Word and so I believe it is true. I remember the Lord said, "I would rather you were cold or hot than lukewarm."

"Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done." (Revelation 22:12)

It is believed today that God will not judge the works of those who believe in the Lord Jesus. This is not what the Bible teaches.

I am the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. (Revelation 22:13)

When God starts something He finishes it. This is how we know that all the people in the world will one day be obeying and worshiping God.

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)

We wash our robe by confessing our sins to Jesus, and by asking His help in turning away from them.

Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:15)

The grace of forgiveness as an alternative to righteous conduct does not apply to entrance into the new Jerusalem. God will forgive the repentant sinner no matter how horrible the transgression. But the concept of grace must never be employed as an alternative to obedience to the Lord.

"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright Morning Star." (Revelation 22:16)

Notice above the importance of the Book of Revelation.

The Spirit and the Bride say, "come!" and let the one who hears say, "come!" let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. (Revelation 22:17)

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: if anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. (Revelation 22:18)

And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this scroll. (Revelation 22:19)

I do not know of a similar curse binding any other book of the Bible. It shows us clearly the importance of the Book of Revelation.

He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon."

Notice the emphasis throughout on "I am coming soon."

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen. (Revelation 22:21)

*****

We have stated that when Christians die they do not enter a never-never land with no responsibilities. I understand that to be the common teaching and understanding. But it is not true.

Since when did God create something with no purpose?

To grasp the purpose for the creation of the Church, the Body of Christ, we must consider God's objective in creating mankind.

We people were created for God's pleasure, not for our own pleasure.

When God created Adam and Eve, rebellion against God had already commenced in the spirit realm among the angels. It may be true that God created man to be an antidote for that spirit of rebellion.

God is not in the process of saving the rebellious angels from destruction. They are confined in a prison until the members of the Body of Christ are spiritually mature enough to judge them.

But the long (from our standpoint) history of confused mankind certainly is serving as a lesson to those angels who did not rebel—showing them what it would be like if Satan took the place of the Father.

Now the faithful angels have been given the responsibility of taking care of those who will inherit the salvation that God has planned.

Thus there is a double camp. The camp of the inheritors of salvation. Then there is the camp of the loyal angels, who will do the fighting against the rebellious angels. The loyal angels do not make moral decisions, apparently, but always shall be directed by the Father through the Son through the mature Christians.

The end result shall be a world filled with angels and people who are stedfast in their obedience to the one true God, and who always praise and glorify that one true God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I believe it is Joseph Rotherham who refers to the "dance of the double camp."

Come back, come back, O Shulammite; come back, come back, that we may gaze on you. Why would you gaze on the Shulammite as on the dance of Mahanaim? (Song of Solomon 6:13)

We gaze on the favorite one of her mother because by doing so we behold the two armies who will bring obedience and the worship of the one true God to all of mankind.

Our one God is Alpha and Omega. He always finishes to perfection that which He begins. Mankind yet shall learn justice and be in His image!

What is it that God shall accomplish through the Servant of the Lord, Christ, Head and Body?

This is what God the Lord says—the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: "I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. (Isaiah 42:5-7)

Our ability to do what Isaiah has announced depends on our being faithful to think as God is thinking; to speak as God is speaking; to act as God is acting.

Of ourselves we can do nothing of eternal Kingdom worth. We must be looking to God always!

As soon as the members of the Christian Church learn to do nothing except what they see Jesus do, the streets shall be filled with the people of the world singing the praises of the Lord. (Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices; let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice. Let the people of Sela sing for joy; let them shout from the mountaintops. (Isaiah 42:11)

Father, I pray they will be one, just as you are in me and I am in you. I want them also to be in us. Then the world will believe that you have sent me. (John 17:21)

THEN THE WORLD WILL BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE SENT ME.