OUR HIGH CALLING
By Dan Luehrs
"And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband" (Revelation 21:2).
We, the Church, are called to be the city of God. "And they will call you the city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel" (Isaiah 60:14). "Come here, I shall show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. 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, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper" (Revelation 21:9-11).
In Revelation, chapter 21, we have the final out-come of the ages: the eternal blue print of God's plan coming to pass. God is the Master Planner and Builder. It was said of Abraham, "For he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God" (Hebrews 11:10). If someone were to start a large building project without blue prints, he would be considered a foolish person, not knowing what he is doing. But God has had a set of blue prints from the beginning of time. His design must be finished, and this is it, "the city of God." A city is a large group of people; ones prepared to rule and reign throughout eternity with Jesus! If this was not in the Bible, you could say that I was crazy! But I am being truthful and I do not want you to miss your high calling in Jesus.
"But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come. Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him" (Daniel 7:18,27).
Who is the bride of the Lamb? We are! God is building a city out of living stones. "And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:4-5). When God makes something it is not out of dead things, for He is the God of the living! His ways are wonderful, so awesome, and hard to fathom.
The writer of Revelation says that these living stones are like royal gems and are invaluable. "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…" (Revelation 21:19).
A CITY WITH NO TEMPLE
"And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple" (Revelation 21:22).
Notice the city has no temple, I thought we are the temple of God? Then how is it that there is no temple in it? Because we have become one with God. "And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, (mortal people) and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them" (Revelation 21:3).
We need to ask God to give us revelation about our oneness with Him. It is too important to miss. This is more than just words being spoken here. It's going to be a reality someday! In John 17:21 Jesus prayed, "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." (KJV). This prayer will be answered, and the world will know that God has sent His Son to the earth. For even as Jesus walked this earth, so shall the sons of God walk this earth with great power and authority. For the Lord shall do His greatest works through His people in these end times because of their oneness with Him.
"FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church" (Ephesians 5:31-32).
When a man and a woman are married they become one in spirit; they are joined together. What was once his, is now both of theirs; they have become joint-heirs. His riches are hers, and her bills are his and vise versa. This is just what it means when the Bible says we shall be joint-heirs with Jesus. One will not do something without the other. I can't fathom why God would do this for us, except for His great love.
There is going to be a true marriage (the coming together as one) made in heaven, "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready" (Revelation 19:7). There's only one question I must to ask you, "Are you going to be ready; have you kept your first love with Jesus?" Would you marry someone that didn't love you? Or someone that said they loved you, but they still wanted to sleep with their old lovers? Of course not! How could you be married for life to someone that really didn't love you? The same is true for Jesus. Why would He think of marrying someone in the Church for eternity that didn't love Him, or someone that wants to be an adulteress? "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4).
We cannot be in love with this world and materialism, and still expect to make it into the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us cast every weight and burden off today, so that we may walk in the freedom that Jesus bought for us.
Jesus told a story in Matthew 22:11-14 about the Marriage Supper. "But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw there a man not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes? And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen." I could not imagine the pain and rejection of this man to have been barred from this wedding, because he did not prepare himself by having on the right garments. "And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints" (Revelation 19:8). No wonder there is weeping and gnashing of teeth to those who have missed out on this wedding!
WE’RE THE SQUARE CITY
"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" (Revelation 21:16).
As I was praying about this verse, I saw a vision of a triangle that opened up and became a square. I began to weep before the Lord because of the magnitude of this verse. This holy city is laid out like a square. In the 50’s, people that were different were called “squares,” because they were strange. And so are we, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people" (1 Peter 2:9 KJV). A square is something simple, yet equal on all sides. So will be the city of God, because we have now become one with God. One of the words for "God" in the Hebrew is Elohiym, meaning, "more than one." We call God the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for They are one. But the Bible says that we shall be one with Him! This makes a foursome. If this were not in the Bible, I could not receive this, but it is, and I must believe it. "As it is written, "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM" (1 Corinthians 2:9).
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
"And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb" (Revelation 21:23).
This verse is not talking about there being no physical sun or moon, but that the city of God does not need them! Why? Because Jesus is the Light of the world and we are now one with Him to be the light of God in this world. Light is to see things through God’s eyes and darkness is to see things through Satan’s eyes. Jesus said, "You are the light of the world..." (Matthew 5:14). "Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear" (Matthew 13:43). These verses are so wonderful, that unless God reveals them to us, they will go right over our heads. We must pray and ask God to open the eyes of our understanding in spiritual things.
Right now, the spirit of darkness prevails over the earth because of the fall of man. Satan has control over men's hearts and not God. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12). But Jesus came "TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH..." (Luke 1:79).
One day soon, Satan's power will be broken over this earth and where there was darkness, there shall be light through the people of God. "And the nations shall walk by its light, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it" (Revelation 21:24). Where there was sickness, there will be healing for the nations through this holy city. (See Revelation 22:2). The earth shall be restored through the people of God that are considered worthy of this high calling.
"For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:19-21).
THE WEALTH OF THE WORLD
SHALL COME THROUGH THE CITY
"... And the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it. And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it" (Revelation 21:24, 26).
This is one verse that many Christians have been waiting for, for a long time! The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just" (Proverbs 13:22). If we have served God faithfully in our finances, God is going to reward us openly before the whole world with the wealth of the nations. Not that the money will mean anything to us, but somehow we will use it to bless others with it.
Look at some of these incredible verses I found on this subject:
"Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will thrill and rejoice; Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, The wealth of the nations will come to you" (Isaiah 60:5).
"And your gates will be open continually; They will not be closed day or night, So that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, With their kings led in procession" (Isaiah 60:11).
"But you will be called the priests of the LORD; You will be spoken of as ministers of our God. You will eat the wealth of nations, And in their riches you will boast" (Isaiah 61:6).
"And I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations; and I will fill this house with glory,' says the LORD of hosts" (Haggai 2:7).
MANKIND, GOD'S MASTERPIECE
Only God shall be worshipped and adored in this city. Yet we are created to be gods here on earth, in the sense of ruling and reigning over what God has made. For Psalms 82:6 says, "I said, "You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High."
Again in Psalms 8:4-6 it is written, What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him? Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, And dost crown him with glory and majesty! Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet." Jesus Himself spoke this Scripture to the Jews in John 10:34-35 saying, "Has it not been written in your Law, I SAID, YOU ARE GODS? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken)."
Someone that is a novice in spiritual things may think that they are better than others because of this, and may become prideful. But, in reality, this should humble us to the core! For we are nothing and can do nothing without Him! Let us not look unto ourselves, but unto Him alone that can only bring us into His own image.
ARE YOU MEASURED?
Have you been measured? What I mean is, are you measuring up to the fullness of Christ?
"Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).
There is one measurement that God is looking for in all of us, and that is obedience! Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing and only spoke what He heard the Father speaking. This includes loving and forgiving others for Christ's sake. We are not to be in strife and jealousy with one another.
I believe the time is upon us when we shall be measured by God, to see if we are able to receive the authority to rule and reign with Him.
"And there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it" (Revelation 11:1).
Who is the temple of God? We are! Many are looking for a building somewhere in Israel for this to be the fulfilled. But friend, He is finished with buildings! Why should He go back to dead stones when He has a living temple? The "altar" here speaks of us being a living sacrifice unto God, and "those who worship" speaks of our service to God. God is not looking for people that just say, "Praise the Lord!" all the time. He is looking for people who will serve Him faithfully day in and day out. This is true service to God. His temple is a place where His presence abides continually. Are you abiding in His presence continually? If so ,then you are His temple!
"And leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months" (Revelation 11:2).
To understand this verse you must study the Tabernacle in the wilderness that God had Moses make. There were three main compartments to it. The first was called the Outer Court, the second was the Holy Place, and the third was the Holy of Holies. The Holy Place and the Holy of Holies were all under one roof with only a curtain between them. This would be the temple area where His presence dwelt. The Outer Court was outside where all the sacrificing was done.
This gives us three classifications of Christian living. On the first level are Christians saved by the blood, but only living by natural light or understanding. They know they are to live by faith in the Son of God, but refuse to do so because it's too risky. So they have chosen to live their lives from their own reasoning and understanding, not being obedient to the word of God. "Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:7).
The second level of Christian living is being a part of the temple and living by the word of God. Inside the Holy Place was the lampstand, which gives us spiritual light or understanding from God's word to guide our way.
The third level, the Holy of Holies had the manifest presence of God in it all times, so that they have a full and continual revelation of Jesus coming from His word and His Spirit! In the third level, Jesus has entered the Holy of Holies. Those who follow Him must enter in also, to abide in His glory.
Now back to verse two, "And leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months." What I believe this verse is saying to us is, those who are saved, yet not living obedient lives to God's word and Spirit, will be persecuted greatly by the nations, to perfect them through their suffering. God will allow this to happen. I know some would say that God would never let this happen to His Church, but you don't have to look too far in Scripture to find out that God has let this happen to the Jews over and over because of their disobedience. God has used wicked nations to judge His people before and He will do it again to purify His bride. He is a jealous God! But thanks be to God, it will only last for three and one-half-years. As Christians, we must be seeking the Lord with all of our heart and might in these times. I have written more about this in the chapter entitled "The Abomination of Desolation."