THE HOLY CITY DESCENDING FROM HEAVEN
Now let us see the details of the holy city, the New Jerusalem. Revelation 21:9-10 says, "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 will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God."
When the angel wanted to show John the great harlot in Revelation 17:1-3, he led him into the wilderness. In God’s eyes and in the eyes of those who are inspired by the Holy Spirit, the harlot is one who dwells in the wilderness. She lives in a place where there is no life and no fruit—a barren land. Men today can behold high church buildings, they can take part in well-prepared Sunday services, and they can admire the ability of man, but in the sight of God, everything that has its origin in Babylon is in the wilderness; it is deserted.
When the angel showed John the wife of the Lamb, he brought him up to a great and high mountain. There he showed him the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It was from a great and high mountain that John beheld this sight. This reveals that if we desire to see the eternal vision of God, we must be brought by Him to a great and high mountain. If we are not standing spiritually on a high mountain, we will not see those who are living on the plain, we will not see the New Jerusalem, nor will we see the ultimate work of God. When Moses reached the Jordan with the children of Israel, what did God tell him to do? He commanded him to go up to the top of Mount Pisgah and lift up his eyes to behold the land which He had promised. This also tells us that in order to receive vision and revelation and to behold the plan of God, we must be upon the height.
Never think that just being an ordinary Christian day by day, not committing any great sin, is good enough. We must realize that whenever we take this position, God’s eternal plan is nothing more to us than doctrine and knowledge. We must hope to do some spiritual climbing and have some spiritual attainment. We should expect to climb a high mountain. Only when we do this will we be able to see the New Jerusalem.
What God desires to do, He will accomplish. What God has purposed in eternity past, He will obtain in eternity future. First, there must be overcomers to bring in the kingdom, and then there must be overcomers to bring in the new heaven and new earth. But the problem is, who will be the overcomers? To be an overcomer, we must have revelation. If there is no revelation, it is easy to receive anything as a teaching. But we must remember that knowledge can never produce fruit; only revelation is fruitful. However, in order to have revelation we must go up to the high mountain; we cannot dwell in the plain. There is some difficulty in climbing a mountain because we must exercise our strength to climb. We cannot reach the peak unless we make some effort. May God grant us this spiritual attainment and deliver us from the low plain. We should not think that just being saved and not wanting anything more is enough. God must save us from this low level of living and show us His heart’s desire. Only when we are on the high mountain will we receive revelation.
(The Glorious Church, Chapter 5, by Watchman Nee)