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THE GLORIOUS CHURCH

Rev. 21:9-27

When you get to chapter 21 of Revelation the world of the wicked which existed in
the Roman Empire has been destroyedthe world of those who have served the
beast has completely been dismantled.
But prior to this judgment that is coming on Romeas well as in the midst
of this judgment, the Lords church has suffered and had to endure a lot.
The saints have been persecutedthey have been made sport ofthey have
died.
But the fact that the church has remained faithful through out has made
them a beautiful bride in the eyes of Godand that is what we are going to now
see in the last 18 verses of chapter 21.

So, lets look at this. Now keep in mind, this is language of blessingit is a
visionand this is not something that is going to literally take place.
Also, it is not a description of heaven.
This is a description of the beauty of the bride of Christ or the churchor
those who remained faithful through out their fiery ordeal.
Look at verse 9:

Rev 21:9
And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last
plagues, came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I shall show you the
bride, the wife of the Lamb."
There is no reason to doubt or speculate about what we are about to see.
The angel tells John he is going to be shown the bride, the wife of the
Lamb.
And we know from Eph. 5: 22-33 that the bride of Christor the wife of
the Lamb is the Church.

10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and
showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11
having the glory of God.
The angel said he was going to show John the bride of Christand now he
is showing him the holy city, Jerusalemthey two are one and the same.
And notice where the holy city, Jerusalem comes fromit comes out of
heaven from God.
The Roman Empire had its origin with menthe church has its origin
in heaven.

He says that the holy city, Jerusalem had the glory of God.
Just as Jesus came down from heaven and reflected the glory of His Father
(Jn 1:14), so now does the wife of the Lamb.
That is to be our purposeand a characteristic that we possess as the
Lords churchthat we reflect His glory.

Rev 21:11-13
Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12
It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels;
and names were written on them, which are those of the twelve tribes of the
sons of Israel.
Notice the gatesthere are 12 of them12 which is the number of the
people of God.
And notice that the names on the gates are the names of the 12 tribes.
Everything about this city marks it out as the city of Gods people.
All of Gods redeemed.

Rev 21:13-14
13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three
gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had
twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve
apostles of the Lamb.
Here again we are assured that we are seeing an image of the church of God.

In Eph. 2:19-22 we find these words: So then you are no longer strangers and
aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,
20 having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ
Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being
fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also
are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
The Christians in the book of Ephesians were built on the foundation of the
apostles and prophetsor what the apostles and prophets taught.
Christ Jesus was their cornerstoneHe is the one they stood on.
They were they dwelling of God in the Spirit.
They were referred to as the church.
And that is what is being referred to here in Rev. 21:14.
We are seeing a glorious image of the church of God.

Rev 21:15-16
15 And the one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the
city, and its gates and its wall. 16 And the city is laid out as a square, and its
length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen
hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. 17 And he measured
its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also
angelic measurements.

I want you to notice verse 16 as recorded in the KJV:


16 And the city lieth foursquare , and the length is as large as the breadth: and
he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and
the breadth and the height of it are equal.

Notice, the city is foursquare.


That means it is cubed just like a big holy of holies.
And notice, in the KJV it is 12 furlongsnotice the number 12 again which is the
number of Gods people.
This city is 12 high12 long12 wideeverything about the measurement
of this thing says that this is the city of Gods people.

Look at verse 17: And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to
human measurements, which are also angelic measurements.
72 yards is 6 x 12there is the 12 again.

The King James Version says: And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred
and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the
angel.
144 equals 12 x 12again, notice the number 12.
All these measurements indicate that this is the city of Gods peopleor
the church.

Now, I put a pencil to itif you take 12 thousand furlongsa furlong by todays
measure is 1/8 of a milethat makes 12 thousand furlongs 1500 miles.
You take 1500 cubed and you have 3, 375, 000, 000 cubic feet.
The highest mountain in the world is about 6 mile high which means this
structure would be 250 times taller than Mt. Everest.
This is a city that will never be conquered.
And that in part is what the measurements are suppose to symbolize
this is a holy, glorious, and secure dwelling of the people of God.
No one will crash its gatesno one will climb its walls.
And those who dwell inside have nothing to fear.

Rome just thought it was strong and powerful.


It can never compare to the churchor the people of God.

Now, as we go through the 3 verses you are going to see a staggering picture of
preciousness.
The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear
glass. 19 The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind
of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire;
the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth,
sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth,
chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. 21 And the twelve
gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the
street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
If people fully understood just how precious the church is in the sight of
GodI would suspect that more people would want to be added to it.
And if we, as Gods people, fully understood just how precious the church is
in the sight of GodI suspect it would affect our willingness to work in the
churchto serve in the church
And I suspect it would affect the way we work and serveI would think that
we would be more careful about doing damage to or causing division to the
Lords church.
Now, look at verse 22: I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and
the Lamb are its temple.
If there had been a temple in this city that would have spoken of separation
between God and His people.
Remember in the O.T., the temple had a holy place in it where the people
could not go.
The only one who could go into that holy place was the High Priest and he
could only go once a year.
Therefore, the temple reminded the people that there was a separation
between them and God.

But in this city there is no temple with a holy place of separation. In this city the
people are always in the presence of God and He is always with His people.
This is a privilege that those who are citizens of the church possess.

23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the
glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.

Others may stumble in darknessbut not the church.


And because the church is so well litit will always be a shining light that
others will hopefully see.

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their
glory into it.
Before, the nations thought that Rome was the hope of the world.
But that is not true.
In the church lies the hope of the nations.
If they walk in the lightthey walk in her light.
The church they hated, despised and beat is now the city set on a
hilla beacon by which the nations are led to safety.

Rev 21:25
And in the daytime (for there shall be no night there) its gates shall never be
closed; 26 and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it;
27 and nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall
ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book
of life.

In chapter 22:14 and 15 we find a brief commentary on these verses. Notice what it
says: Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to
the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the
dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the
idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

Many people claim to be a member of the church.


But no one who is uncleanno one who practices abomination and lying.
No one who is a dog or a sorcereror who is immoralor a murdereror
idolater or a practicing liaris a member of the church.
You cannot be a member of the churchor the precious city of God if you are
unclean.
That is why it is essential for you to be washed and made holy.
1 John 1:7 tells us that the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin.
You can be washed as white and pure as snow by and only by the
blood of Christ.
The blood of bulls and goats cant do itit is only the blood of Christ
that can cleanse.

And Acts 22:16 tells us when that cleansing takes place when it says: Acts 22:16
And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins,
calling on His name.'

Wont you come to Christ and be cleansed by His bloodand thus become a citizen
of His citythe church.