Life-Study of Revelationby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall consider some further characteristics of New Jerusalem, namely its measurements and its wall.
Let us firstly consider the measurements of New Jerusalem. Revelation 21:15 says, “And he who spoke with me had a golden reed as a measure, that he might measure the city and its gates and its wall.” The reed is for measuring, and measuring signifies taking possession (Ezek. 40:5; Zech. 2:1-2; Rev. 11:1). Notice that the measuring instrument is a reed, not a rod. A rod signifies or implies judgment, discipline, and punishment. According to 11:1, “a reed like a rod” was used to “measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship in it.” Because a rod implies punishment (Prov. 10:13; Isa. 10:5; 11:4), a reed like a rod indicates measuring with punishment. In 21:15, however, we have the reed, but no mention of the rod. Here there is no implication of judgment, discipline, or chastisement, for in every respect New Jerusalem is complete and perfect. This city has already passed every test. The universal bright woman, whose consummation is New Jerusalem, has passed through many kinds of dealings and has been measured by many rods in each of the four dispensations. Even today the church is being measured by a rod, not by a reed. When the four dispensations are over and the new heaven and new earth have come, there will be no further need for measuring with a rod.
The fact that New Jerusalem is measured with a reed means that it is measured for possession. Suppose you intend to purchase some property. Firstly you measure it, and then you take possession of it. Women do the same thing when they purchase material in a fabric store. The amount of material they measure out is the amount of material they purchase and possess. Likewise, the New Jerusalem, which will be measured by a golden reed, will be fully possessed by the Lord in a very positive way.
Notice that the reed is a golden reed. Since gold signifies the divine nature of God, “golden” here signifies that the measuring of the city, its gates, and its wall is according to God’s divine nature. Anything that does not match the nature of God does not belong to the New Jerusalem. God cannot possess anything that does not match His nature. The whole city, with its gates and wall, can pass the measuring and testing of the nature of God; hence, it is qualified to be possessed by God.
Even today God measures the churches by the golden standard of His divine measurement. When God measures a church, He is not concerned with our intelligence, activities, or ability to speak. But He is very concerned about how much of His nature has been wrought into us. Is the divine gold the solid substance of the church? Is the church constituted with God’s divine essence? The church must be substantially divine; that is, the divine substance must be wrought into the very being of the church life. Thus, the standard of measurement is not our human nature, but God’s nature.
When we are about to express our love for one another, we must determine what kind of love is being expressed, whether it is human or divine. The same is true with respect to humility and goodness. Although we must be humble and good, we must check whether our humility and goodness are human or divine. This principle applies to every aspect of our humanity. We need to be divinely human; that is, we must have the divine nature wrought into us. Please keep in mind that God’s measurement of the church is according to the divine nature. The golden nature of God is the unique standard.
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