IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
In the New Testament we are charged to be careful how we build (1 Cor. 3:10-12). Do not use wood, hay, or stubble; that is, do not use your natural man. The church is not built of the natural man. It is built with the regenerated, transformed man. When you bring your natural life into the church, you make the church no longer the church. This is what is happening today. Many Christians, even Christian workers, are making the church no church by using the natural way, the fleshly way, man’s way. not the regenerated and transformed way.
Peter tells us that as newborn babes we need to drink the milk of the Word that we may be transformed into precious stones to be built up a spiritual house (1 Pet. 2:2-5). John’s writings especially stress this matter of transformation. In the first chapter of his Gospel there is the incarnate Christ as God’s tabernacle (1:14). Then in the last two chapters of John’s Revelation there is the enlarged tabernacle, including not only Christ but also all His believers, because by this time they have been regenerated, fully transformed, and built together into one entity. Such is the New Jerusalem. This is the real revelation of God.
The Bible begins with God’s creation and concludes with His building. This building is a regenerated and transformed entity. Pearls indicate regeneration. This is why all the gates for the entrance are pearls. Without regeneration no one can enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5). Regeneration is the entry into the kingdom of God, as is fully signified by the pearl gates. The precious stones signify transformation. After entering this kingdom through the pearl gate, we are gradually transformed for the building.
THE TABERNACLE OF GOD
The New Jerusalem will be the tabernacle of God with men in eternity. The tabernacle in Revelation is not a new term. It is fully revealed and portrayed in Exodus 25 through 40. Then John 1:14 says that the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. When Jesus was on this earth, He was a tabernacle. Then in the last two chapters of the Bible there is the eternal tabernacle. To understand the last two chapters of Revelation, then, we must go back and study Exodus 25 through 40 and John 1:14.
OF ALL THE LAMPSTANDS
The holy city, the golden mountain, is the aggregate of all the lampstands. The entire city has one street (21:21; 22:2), yet this one street reaches all twelve gates. How could one street in a city serve twelve gates? Also, the wall is one hundred forty-four cubits high (21:17), and the city itself is twelve thousand stadia high (21:16). These facts indicate that the city proper must be a mountain. On top of the mountain is a throne, from which the street spirals down to the bottom to reach the twelve gates. It must be a spiral street, spiraling down the mountain until it circles around all twelve gates. One street, descending from the top to the bottom, reaches and serves all twelve gates. On top of this golden mountain is the throne as the center. On the throne is Christ as the Lamb with God in Him (22:1). This Lamb is the lamp with God in Him as the light (21:23; 22:5). This indicates that God is in the Lamb just as the light is in the lamp.
This high golden mountain is a stand. Upon this stand is a lamp; therefore, this is a golden lampstand. It is a golden lampstand with Christ as the lamp and God within Him as the light shining out through eternity. Thus, the holy city, the golden mountain, is the aggregate of all the lampstands, the totality of all today’s lampstands, shining forth God’s glory in eternity in the new heaven and the new earth.
(The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)