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The Daily Word of Righteousness
And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: on the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. (Revelation 21:12,13)
The wall! The wall! The wall!
One of the most important aspects of the new Jerusalem is the wall.
Apparently Heaven at one time was unwalled. Eons before the appearance of the earth and sky, the physical universe, there was a rebellion in Heaven. The angels, cherubim, seraphim, and other spiritual creatures of God lived in a marvelous paradise. We can scarcely imagine the glorious surroundings God had provided for them.
But Satan rebelled and led a number of heavenly creatures in rebellion against the Father. Isn't this always the way? Just when everything is going good some dude has to spoil it.
It appears there never before had been a need for a wall. Heaven was not divided into the wicked and the righteous because there were no wicked.
Well, wickedness appeared in the personality of Satan and his followers.
The Father set up a long range plan. The Father settled on Jesus as being the one righteous Person. Jesus loved righteousness and hated iniquity. Therefore God anointed Him with the oil of gladness, thus making Him Messiah (Christ), the anointed One. God has made Messiah Lord and entrusted Him with the whole creation of God.
The Father's next move was to create mankind and from mankind draw out a complement, a body, for Christ, a body for the Anointed One. Christ and His Body are the new Jerusalem, the glorified Church.
The new Jerusalem is no defenseless Paradise. The new Jerusalem is walled. The wall is the resistance to sin that is being formed in the saints as Christ is formed in them.
It is a common assumption of Christians that sin will no longer be a problem after they die or when the Lord comes. There is no scriptural basis for this belief. It is part of the Evangelical mythology, to which we often refer in our Internet essays.
Sin will always be a possibility as long as angels and people have wills of their own.
If sin were not a possiblity in the future there would be no wall around the new Jerusalem.
If death or the coming of the Lord does not take care of the sin question, what does?
The solution, and the only solution, to the problem of sin is to have Christ formed in us. God easily could have prevented Adam and Eve from sinning. God let them sin just as a mother permits her child to be exposed to chicken pox. If the child gets chicken pox his or her body will soon develop a resistance to the disease remaining immune throughout adult life.
If an adult gets chicken pox it can be serious.
Christ is our immunity. God permitted mankind to be infected with the sin and rebellion that had been cultivated in Heaven. Then God gave us Christ so we could develop an immunity to sin. This immunity is the wall that surrounds the new Jerusalem.
Theologians argue about whether Christ can sin. Of course He can sin if He chooses to. Christ does not sin and will not sin. This has been established for eternity by His conduct during His life on earth and in the garden of Gethsemane.
Will we be able to sin in the future? Of course. But if the Righteous Christ is formed in our personality we will not sin, not because we can't but because we won't.
How about the saved nations? Will they be able to sin? Of course.
This is why they must be governed for eternity by the saints.
The establishing of the Kingdom of God is a very practical, realistic business. In the Book of Revelation are contained many symbolic, fantastic representations but they are as down home as your gardening shoes.
The new Jerusalem is composed of people who have been called of God from the foundation of the world. They are the elect, beginning with the nation of Israel. It is God's will to change each member of the elect into the moral image of Jesus Christ and to bring him or her into untroubled union with Himself.
As soon as the saints have been changed and their will brought into subjection to the Father they will return with the Lord and drive wickedness from the earth.
The transformed saints shall govern the new world forever and ever.
To be continued.