The Heavenly Jerusalem Temple
Now let’s discuss the Heavenly Jerusalem Temple.
(Ga 4:22-26) “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar. For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”
Those who read this for the first time here now would not know what this means.
I will tell you by a woman in Genesis. It is almost 4,000 years - or 3,900 years - ago. At that time lived Abraham, called Father of Belief, who God called out of Ur of the Chaldaeans. Although he was over 90 years of age, he did not have a son. His wife was 80 years old with no prospect of giving birth to a son. While he wanted to decide upon his heir, he had a servant, called Eliezer, who was brave and healthy. And we can see in Genesis 15 that God appeared before Abraham. But before this happened, Abraham met Mechizedeck, king of Salem.
Mechizedeck, king of Salem, who is king of righteousness, ( ) representing Jesus, brought wine and blessed Abraham, who gave him a tenth of his spoils. Then a promise was given to Abraham. God, who appeared probably while he was half asleep and half awake, called “Abraham, Abraham”, and said, “I am your shield and shall give you a very great reward.” Abraham said, “Since you have given me no offspring, Eliezer, who I raised in my household, will be my heir.” God replied, “He cannot be your heir, but the issue of your own body will.” When God took Abraham outside next, there were seen many stars of the universe in the sky. “Count the stars,” He said. Abraham couldn’t. “Just so will your descendants be.” It was absolutely unbelievable in our way, but Abraham, who had been going on thoroughly believing in God, believed in these words, too. Then his belief was counted as righteousness.
Now that God promised him a son, Abraham went to his aged wife to ask her if she could possibly give birth to a son, fulfilling God’s promise. As Sarah had passed the age of childbearing and gone through menopause, it was far out of her grasp. So she had an idea and gave her husband her fine maid, thinking that because she was too old, she would get a son through her maid.
But as Sarah had thought ( ) she treated the lady of the house inhospitably, realizing she had given birth to such an endeared son. Sarah had to endure, shedding tears. Indeed, they…, but how happy Abraham must have been? For as old as 90 years of age, he got a son. Then God appeared to Abraham and said that although Ishmael would form a nation, the boy born by Hagar would not be his heir, but the boy born by Sarah would.
They couldn’t believe until then, concluding that Sarah could not give birth to a baby ( ) As God said now that Sarah would give birth to a baby ( ) She was now about 80 years old, which is about 60 in our age these days …( ) So, I mean Sarah conceived a baby as long as 14 years later. The woman who had thought she was so old that she could not give birth to a baby did so now about 14 years later. Now there came to be two sons with two wives in a household. The words in Galatians are about this.
This happened in his household. As Sarah gave birth to a son later, who had endured so much ill-treatment by the maid, she demanded her husband to send her out because a maid and her son could not be a heir. Would this not make Abraham worried? Although Sarah was legally a real wife, I mean all were physically his sons whether they were born by Sarah or by Hagar. But God appeared to him while he was worried and hesitating, and said he had to listen to Sarah. So he was forced to send them out, with a pack of bread and a leather bag of water carried on her back. It would be too cold-hearted, if someone did this now around us. How could he do so? But he did so to make it be a prophecy. Now the bible here says that the two women are the two covenants. Then how long it was before the two covenants were actually given to them? Jesus was 2,000 years later than Abraham. During that time span, Abraham died and both Hagar and Sarah, too, and they were buried underground.
Why is the story given here? What happened then in his household would be a prophecy in the future. So it is said that Hagar and Ishmael stand for the people of Israel in the Middle East and Jerusalem on the land. And Abraham’s legal wife Sarah would have her descendants as many as the stars in the sky through Isaac, who she would give birth to 14 years later. The prophesied descendant is Isaac.
So this means that of the two women, Sarah stands for the new covenant through Jesus Christ while Hagar and Ishmael stand for the physical Israeli people and the first covenant.
Thus it was about 14 years later, or over 1,400 years later, Jesus, who Isaac stands for, would come to the world. So we can say Hagar and Ishmael symbolize Jerusalem on the land and the physical Israeli people and Sarah and Isaac the heavenly Jerusalem and the new covenant.
As the bible says “The Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all”, Mrs. Eom Su-in interprets that Sara became Jerusalem after she went up to the heaven while living and that she herself came down to the earth as living Jerusalem.
(Rv 21:1-2) “I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride dressed for her husband.”
Mrs. Eom means the new Jerusalem which came down from the heaven is her own self. As the bible says “Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all”, she, the heavenly Jerusalem, has come down onto the earth to give birth to her children, she says.
Provided that what she is saying were right, what should we do with the people who were before she came in. Shall we expel them, or what should we do otherwise? So that is nonsense. The time when the heavenly Jerusalem comes down onto the earth is after the times of Revelation 20, which is after the kingdom which will last for a thousand years. Then how large is this Jerusalem?
(Rv 21:16) “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.”
How large is the twelve thousand furlongs then? South and North Koreas combined is 220,923 square kilometers while the total of that Jerusalem with such length and width is 3600,000 square kilometers. So the Jerusalem coming down from the heaven is somewhat larger than South and North Koreas combined, after all. But some people doubt such a thing could happen. If it can’t happen, why is it recorded in the bible? For what purpose? Is it only to confuse people?
It is said God is not ( ). Then why would that be so? ( )
When you draw the map of South and North Koreas and compare the area with the above, you can imagine how many people could be living there. From Hebrews 12:22, you should know how many people it should accommodate. Let’s see whether it should be so large or not.
(Heb 12:22-24) “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
Apart from the 144,000 people, there will be an innumerable company of angels, on the mount Sion and in the city of the living God, filling the space around the throne of God. You may wonder how large it would be, compared to a church building, to accommodate the innumerable company of angels and the general assembly of the firstborn, but tens of millions times of the area of our church should amount to only a very small part of the general assembly of the firstborn.
Of God the Judge of all and the spirits of just men made perfect, there are those who died in hardships and those killed in difficulties and persecutions. To accommodate the spirits of just men as many as the number of the grains of sand on the beach, the Jerusalem should be far larger than Koreas. ( ) but the 144,000 apostles should be in there ( ). Apart from the 144,000 apostles, the innumerable angels of the heaven and the general assembly of the firstborn should be there, too. The general assembly of the firstborn should be held every year, it should be accommodated. Here in Korea, they have a very large house in Yeouido Square. What is it? It is the big National Assembly Building, where the lawmakers work.
When they meet for the general assembly of the firstborn in the heavenly Jerusalem, such a thing - a very vast one – would be needed. This is just like that: let us enter the place which Jesus himself once entered.
(Heb 9:11-12) “But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
What tabernacle is it here? As the high priest, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands… Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
(Heb 8:1-2) “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such a high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”
We can see here that the large tabernacle which the Lord pitched cannot be compared with the one in the world. The latter is only a shadow – something small made of a shadow.
But the Jerusalem in the Middle East, where I have never been, is awfully large, I can imagine. How large will the real Jerusalem be then? You should tell others what you have been heard this way, but you often try to make an excuse, saying some strange words. Some say that they hear the heaven is the throne of God and the earth His footstool. Why these words then?
(Is 66:1) “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?”
Because it reads God has no house, with the heaven being His throne and the earth His footstool, they think that He owns nothing but sits quietly, just filling the whole universe. Why does the bible give these words, then? What for?
One of the seven deacons was stoned to death due to these words. What did Stephen say with these words from the bible? Let’s see.
(Ac 7:47-50) “But Solomon built him a house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?”
Stephan strongly gave a testimony before the Pharisees this way. What does this mean? Jesus died on the cross at that time, the veil of the Sanctuary was torn, which had separated the sanctum and the sanctum sanctorum, so that anyone could bravely enter the sanctum sanctorum with the blood of Jesus. This means the sanctum was not necessary on the earth, which had moved up to the heaven.
So how could the large holy city of Jerusalem, which God pitched, have been compared with the man-made sanctum in God’s view? He meant God is not in such a man-made sanctuary. Thus it read, “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me?”
(Ac 17:24) “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.”
All the Presbyterian, Methodist and Catholic churches will build large buildings and invite God to be there, but this says that God will not be in a sanctuary built by man’s hands. If He is not in a sanctuary built by hands, where is He then? He is in the heavens, as in the Hebrews we referred to.
(Is 65:17) “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”
Where will the new heavens and the new earth be? We can learn it by reading 2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21
(Rv 21:1-4) “I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride dressed for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
God will do this way.
(Is 65:17-19) “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”
It reads that He now creates Jerusalem. What does it read He does with Jerusalem? He creates it.
It read that the heaven is His throne and the earth His footstool, simply meaning He is not in a building built by man. Let us read it by the Common Translation:
(Is 65:17-19) “For look, I am going to create new heavens and a new earth, and the past will not be remembered and will come no more to mind. Rather be joyful, be glad for ever at what I am creating, for look, I am creating Jerusalem to be ‘Joy’ and my people to be ‘Gladness’. I shall be joyful in Jerusalem and I shall rejoice in my people. No more will the sound of weeping be heard there, nor the sound of a shriek.”
It reads here that there will no sound of weeping - nor the sound of a shriek - be heard. What does Revelation 22 say then?
(Rv 21:4) “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
Both Revelation 21 and Isaiah 65: 17 – 19 say the same thing. He will create the new Jerusalem, not for Himself - for He said the whole universe is His throne - but for all the 144,000 saved living apostles. It will be holy and vast – it is vast, for no great city in the world would be as big as the whole South and North Koreas.
For wherever you may go in the world, it is larger than Korea. Notwithstanding, some people think it to be nominal, something like a bogus city. What is a bogus city? It is one only in words, but not in reality. Is the heavenly kingdom, too, one that someone ( ). Although nothing ( ), they give us such futile words, so ( )? What will they do, the women? For someone says women should ( ). Now, what did Jesus say, then?
(Jn 14:1-2) “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.”
Do you know what the last sentence means? “If it were not so, I would have told you.” Let’s see, after this:
(Jn 14:3) “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Here, Jesus had to leave his disciples on the way. It is just like a mother sees her kids crying out hindering her from leaving. So He is appeasing them with comforting words, saying, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will take you there, too, so wait.” But let us refer to another verse.
(Jn 14:2) “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.”
Let us read this part by the Common Translation.
(Jn 14:2 Common) “In my Father’s house there are many places to live in. I am going now to prepare a place for you, otherwise would I have told you this way?”
In other words, it means, “Would I have told you this way in a palpable lie, when they are not there?”
He said, “I would have told you”, meaning “If there are no places for you to be there, would I have told you this way?” Or it means “I mean by what I’m saying.” How more clearly would he have told them about this? And could he say, “Mrs. Eon Su-in is the place for you to be, the new Jerusalem”, sending her down, after he once said “I’m going to prepare a place for you? Now our allowed time has passed. I urge you not to ( ) such futile words.