The Heavenly Resurrection
"Then I saw, and look! the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who have his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads"
Jesus Christ taught the heavenly resurrection several times, and especially on the evening of the last Passover he celebrated with his Apostles: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Exercise faith in God; exercise faith also in me. In the house of my Father are many dwelling places. Otherwise, I would have told you, for I am going my way to prepare a place for you. Also, if I go my way and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will receive you home to myself, so that where I am you also may be. And where I am going, you know the way” (John 14:1-3).
During this last celebration, he made a covenant for a kingdom (different from the new covenant): “However, you are the ones who have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the 12 tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:28-30).
Jesus Christ told to his faithful apostles that they would reign with him in the heaven, to rule over the earth where the future humanity will be the "Twelve Tribes of Israel" (see Matthew 19:28). This idea that humans who will have the privilege of living in heaven, will rule over the Earth, is written in the book of Revelation: “you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth” (Revelation 5:10). Nevertheless, the book of Revelation repeatedly shows that the number of those who will live in heaven will be only 144,000, taken the humanity: “Then I saw, and look! the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who have his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1-5). The context of the book of Revelation confirms that it is a literal and not a symbolic number. For example, this number is found for the first time in Revelation 7: 4-8: “And I heard the number of those who were sealed, 144,000, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel” (Revelation 7:4-8).
And the context of this important information makes us understand that this is a real and not a symbolic number. Indeed, after Revelation 7: 4-8, the prophecy continues in verses 7: 9-17 describing the great crowd that will survive the great tribulation. This time, regarding this group, the prophecy gives this detail: “After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands” (Revelation 7:9). A “great crowd which no man was able to number” in this case the number of people is not known. We therefore understand that the information before, regarding the precise number of 144,000 humans who will live in heaven is to be taken literally.
It is written in The book of Revelation that 7000 humans will complete the 144000 in the heavens just before the Great Tribulation: “In that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; and 7,000 persons were killed by the earthquake, and the rest became frightened and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revelation 11:13). The "tenth of the city" that falls, represents all of the 144,000 who died on earth to live in heaven, while the 7,000 people "killed" (just before the great tribulation) represent those who will complete the 144000, with their heavenly resurrection: “Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). This group of humans will be the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away”" (Revelation 21 :1-4).
THE NEW JERUSALEM
"Praise Jah, because Jehovah our God, the Almighty, has begun to rule as king! Let us rejoice and be overjoyed and give him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived and his wife has prepared herself"
The Husband, the King Jesus Christ and his wife the New Jerusalem, constitute the Kingdom of God who will rule over the Earth, in accordance with the Our Father's Prayer: "Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth" (Matthew 6: 9,10). The Marriage of Jesus Christ in heaven is described in Revelation:
“And I heard what sounded like a voice of a great crowd and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of heavy thunders. They said: “Praise Jah, because Jehovah our God, the Almighty, has begun to rule as king! Let us rejoice and be overjoyed and give him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived and his wife has prepared herself. Yes, it has been granted to her to be clothed with bright, clean, fine linen—for the fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the holy ones” (Revelation 19:6-8). This heavenly marriage is also described in Psalm 45, which gives additional information about the earthly "children" as the result of this marriage: “Your sons will take the place of your forefathers. You will appoint them as princes in all the earth” (Psalms 45:16). These earthly princes who rule over all the earth, will be the earthly representatives of the royal authority of Christ and the 144000 (New Jerusalem), that is to say, of the Kingdom of God: “Look! A king will reign for righteousness, And princes will rule for justice. And each one will be like a hiding place from the wind, A place of concealment from the rainstorm, Like streams of water in a waterless land, Like the shadow of a massive crag in a parched land” (Isaiah 32:1,2).
In the prophecy of Ezekiel, these "princes" are designated by the function of the "chieftain": “However, the chieftain will sit in it to eat bread before Jehovah, for he is a chieftain. He will come in through the porch of the gate, and he will go out through it” (Ezekiel 44:3).
According to Revelation 5:10, the 144,000, the New Jerusalem, and the King Jesus Christ, will accumulate the function of heavenly kings and priests for the inhabitants of the earth. This will not be the case of earthly princes. If the princes will be earthly representatives of Celestial Kingship, they will not be the earthly priests. These future earthly priests will represent the heavenly priesthood of the 144,000, as the earthly "Sons of Zadok": “The dining room that faces north is for the priests who are responsible for the service of the altar. They are the sons of Zaʹdok, those from the Levites who are assigned to approach Jehovah to minister to him” (Ezekiel 40:46).
Why the expression "Son of Zadok"? Because the priest Zadok supported King David at the risk of his own life while his son Absalon usurped his throne (2 Samuel 15: 23-37, chapters 16-18). In addition, the priest Zadok supported David's decision to appoint his son Solomon as successor, unlike Abiathar. Therefore, he did not participate in the second attempt to usurp the throne, this time by another son of David, Adoniya (1 Kings 1: 5-53). Abiathar was removed from office as a priest while Zadoc was privileged to assume the high office of high priest (1 Kings 2: 26,27).
Since 1914 the heavenly Kingship of Christ has been dangerously challenged on Earth (Psalms 2). Nevertheless, in the past as now, many courageous Christians support the heavenly kingship of Christ at the risk of their own life. It is among these faithful Christians that Jehovah God will be named as the "Sons of Zadok" and as future earthly priests. Jehovah God prophetically and kindly talk about the "Son of Zadok": “‘As for the Levitical priests, the sons of Zaʹdok, who took care of the responsibilities of my sanctuary when the Israelites strayed from me, they will approach me to minister to me, and they will stand before me to offer me the fat and the blood,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. ‘They are the ones who will enter my sanctuary, and they will approach my table to minister to me, and they will take care of their responsibilities to me (…) And this will be their inheritance: I am their inheritance. You should not give them any possession in Israel, for I am their possession” (Ezekiel 44:15,16,28).
The New Jerusalem, represents the earthly administration of the Kingdom of God, by the 144,000 kings and priests in heaven. This administration is described as a symbolic city on earth, in direct relationship with heaven. Here is the description:
"Now the one who was speaking with me was holding as a measure a golden reed, that he might measure the city and its gates and its wall. And the city lies foursquare, and its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs; its length and breadth and height are equal. Also, he measured its wall, one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to a man’s measure, at the same time an angel’s. Now the structure of its wall was jasper, and the city was pure gold like clear glass. The foundations of the city’s wall were adorned with every sort of precious stone: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedʹony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh hyacinth, the twelfth amethyst. Also, the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was made of one pearl. And the broad way of the city was pure gold, as transparent glass" (Revelation 21:15-21).
Before understanding concretely what this measurement of the city and its description means, let's pay attention on the dimensions: It is a cube of twelve thousand stadia on a side, by its height, length and width (12000x185 (m)=2220 (km)). A cube has six faces, if we reason in area, which is not the case, in the measurement that interests us. The measurement is expressed in perimeter or in horizontal and vertical parallel lines:
- Base of the cube: four sides of the same length.
- Top of the cube: four sides of the same length.
- Height of the cube: four sides of the same length.
Thus, the total of the straight lines is twelve. A straight line is twelve thousand furlongs (stadium). We have the following equality: Twelve thousand furlongs multiplied by twelve equals one hundred and forty thousand. We have exactly this equality in Revelation 7:4-8, hence its connection with Revelation 21:15-17.
The unit of length is a Roman stadium (185 meters). In that case, a stadium is equal to the earthly ministry (the race properly completed on earth) of a Christian with heavenly hope (see 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (the winner of the race (in the stadium Roman) received a crown (see verse 25, compared with Revelation 2:9; 3:11)); 2 Timothy 4:7; see Revelation 14:20). The 144,000 furlongs represent the whole perimeter of the cube. This would mean that the measurement would represent the preparation of a construction of a city or its completed construction in the present case. But also by its vertiginous height, the relations with Jehovah God, the heaven with the earth, the New Jerusalem acting as an umbilical cord. However, this measurement also expresses a judgment during the millennial reign, made on the basis of the "law of the temple" written in the "scrolls" mentioned in Revelation 20:12 (Ezekiel 43:10-13: This text links the measure of the house with the "law of the temple", like the New Jerusalem).
The measurement of the wall is expressed only by its height, very small compared to the general height of the city itself, that is to say 144 cubits, a measurement of man that is to say of angel, according to the Revelation . The thousand is replaced by the cubit (if referring to 144,000), which is a measurement of human length (the length of a forearm, to the elbow). The wall has twelve gates, but its height is twelve times twelve cubits. These are several ways to demonstrate that it will be impossible to pass through this wall without authorization, both by its extent, its number of guarded doors, and its height.
The wall itself and its height may well represent the earthly replica of the New Jerusalem sent down from God (See Revelation 21:1-4); the 144,000 in the heavens would represent the cube of 12,000 stadia, while the wall would represent the earthly part of the city, its foundation or base, the walls and gates acting as protection. The wall has no reason to exist except on earth because those who must be temporarily kept outside (before their destruction) are human beings or at most spirits confined to the vicinity of the earth (Revelation 12:13; 22:15).
The tent of God mentioned in Revelation 21:3 is associated with the descent of New Jerusalem to earth. It would be logical to think that it represents the lower part, or the base of the city on earth, the wall, a protective structure for the city on earth. The tent of God on earth, as we have seen above, could constitute a group of humans in the service of the worship of Jehovah. It should be represented by earthly princes and priests. In Revelation 7:15 it is mentioned that the tent of God will be over the Great Crowd, implying that this group will be directly subordinate to earthly princes and priests in the administration of Jehovah's worship and the earthly governance.
The measurement of the New Jerusalem is like to that of the Temple Sanctuary, made by the apostle John (Revelation 11:1,2). The measurement of the temple sanctuary made by the apostle John, seems to indicate that the divine standards written in the Bible, must be applied, within the temple sanctuary, that is to say the Christian congregation. The fact that it is John, a human, who makes the measurement, indicates that these Christian standards are maintained by the pastoral work of the priests or overseers of the Christian congregations. This is confirmed in Revelation 2 and 3, when the glorified Jesus Christ gives his instructions, sometimes very severe, to the seven human angels in charge of the seven congregations.
Thus, these two measurements represent a judgment (Matthew 7:2 (Jesus compares judgment to a measurement) and Amos 7:7-9 (Jehovah compares his judgment to the use of a plummet)). Jesus Christ in Matthew 19:28 described the period of "re-creation" or earthly resurrection as a earthly judgment of all of humanity being resurrected. However, in the case of New Jerusalem, this time it is an angel who measures with an angel's measure. This time, in the earthly paradise, it will be measures certainly applied by humans, under the direct supervision of angels.
This idea of the judgment of humanity, expressed by Jesus Christ, stands out symbolically by the presence of the twelve precious stones at the entrance to each of the twelve gates of the city, allowing or preventing entry into this city. What does it mean ? Every gates have the inscription of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, this seems to allude to the twelve tribes of Revelation 7:4-8, therefore the 144,000. The gates give access to the trees of life or not (Compare Revelation 22:2,13,19 with Genesis 3:24). Now in Matthew 19:28, Jesus Christ said that the 144,000 would be established as judges of the 12 tribes of Israel. It therefore seems logical that these gates represent the authority of the 144,000 to judge who will be worthy to enter the city or not. Since these gates are part of the wall, it is logical to think that it is the earthly princes and priests, who will notify on earth what the 144,000 will have decided in heaven (themselves supervised by the twelve apostles (Matthew 19:28)) (See Matthew 18:15-17 and then 18-20). Earthly princes and priests are referred to respectively in the prophecy of Ezekiel 40-48 as "chieftain" (princes) and sons of Zadoc (earthly priests).
The presence of an angel at each door, or twelve angels, seems to describe them as the executors of God's judgments (Revelation 7:1,2; 12:7; 14:18-20; see also Matthew 13:41,49). They will be decided by the 144,000 in heaven, notified by princes and priests on earth, and effectively enforced by angels. This would also explain that the measurement is made by an angel, to the measurement of man (applied to humans (reed)), that is to say of angel (applied by angels (the gold symbolizes the heavenly matter that covered all the furnishings of the Holy and Most Holy in the temple sanctuary)) (Revelation 21:15-17).
The wall is built of jasper (Revelation 21:18). The sparkle of the jasper stone very accurately reflects the glory of God. Similarly, the dominant sparkle of New Jerusalem is jasper (compare Revelation 4:3, (dominant color emanating from the throne is jasper) with 21:11 (dominant color emanating from New Jerusalem is jasper)). The sparkle of jasper could symbolize the glory of God's sovereignty, expressed by the administration of New Jerusalem on earth.
What do the twelve precious stones mean? They represent the twelve names of the apostles, which are linked with the twelve names of the tribes of Israel, which constituted the foundation of this nation. And the text that obviously seems to solve the riddle is Exodus 28:15-21 where it is written about the breastpiece of judgment:
"And you must make the breastpiece of judgment with the workmanship of an embroiderer. Like the workmanship of the ephʹod you will make it. Of gold, blue thread and wool dyed reddish purple and coccus scarlet material and fine twisted linen you will make it. It should be foursquare when doubled, a span of the hand being its length and a span of the hand its width. And you must fill it with a filling of stones, there being four rows of stones. A row of ruby, topaz and emerald is the first row. And the second row is turquoise, sapphire and jasper. And the third row is leshʹem stone, agate and amethyst. And the fourth row is chrysʹo·lite and onyx and jade. Sockets of gold should be in their fillings. And the stones should be according to the names of the sons of Israel, the twelve according to their names. With the engravings of a seal they should be, each one according to its name, for the twelve tribes".
Thus the twelve precious stones of the foundation of the wall must probably allude to the "breastpiece of judgment", which was the foundation of divine justice on earth, the name of the precious stones being different for some, because different from the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. More concretely, in Matthew 19:28, when Jesus Christ says that the 144,000 will judge the 12 earthly tribes of Israel, he is specifically addressing to the twelve apostles. This would mean that it is particularly the twelve apostles in heaven who will be responsible for the judgment, who will act as chief judges, notifying to the 144,000 in heaven, acting as gates in the wall, who is to be prevented or allow to enter into the city (Ephesians 2:20-21).
In Revelation 21:22 it is written: "And I did not see a temple in it, for Jehovah God the Almighty is its temple, also the Lamb is". The New Jerusalem on earth will not need a visible building or an appointed place for the temple sanctuary of Jehovah and Jesus Christ (alluding to the presence of a temple in the ancient earthly Jerusalem). Jehovah and Jesus Christ, will be the temple sanctuary, Jesus Christ the Holy (see Revelation 1:12-16) and Jehovah, the Most Holy (Revelation 11:19).
24.10 | 07:22
Hi Jane, thank you very much for your encouragement. Thanks to Jehovah God and Jesus Christ who revealed to us the meaning of the Word (1 Corinthians 10:31). Blessings of God to you, Sister in Christ.
23.10 | 22:27
This is the most insightful explanation of scripture o have ever found! God bless you my brothers …. My eyes are devoid of fog!
26.05 | 10:51
12.03 | 10:37
Hi Fatima, as Jesus said to keep on the watch in view of prayers until the end to have the fulfillment of our Christian Hope, to be saved (Mat 24:13,42). Blessings and My Brotherly Greetings in Christ