BEHOLD, THAT CITY…
BY: JACKIE CAPORASO
APRIL 30, 2007
MESSAGE No. 170
THE TWO JERUSALEMS
JOHN SAW THAT CITY
AT THE LAST TRUMP
HER GREAT HIGH WALL
RECONCILED AND SAVED
THE NAMES OF THE GATES
THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WALL
THE FALLEN CITY
GOD SO LOVES HIS WORLD
THE TWO JERUSALEMS
Abraham was looking for that city, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would afterward receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, dwelling in tents…for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Heb. 11:8, 9a, 10)
John saw that city, “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” (Rev. 21:10)
John saw the city whose maker and builder is God. The name of that city is “the holy Jerusalem” and she is the one who is descending out of heaven from God. By this we know that this is not a literal city and that it is not referring to the actual physical city Jerusalem.
To see that city, John had to be carried away to a great and high mountain, in the language of the Spirit, this means that he was taken way up above the realm of the natural earthly man and made to see in the realm of Spirit. This is the only way to see that city.
So in order to behold the true Church (City) we have to see it in the Spirit. We may visit various churches, we may admire the ornate cathedrals that men have erected throughout Europe, and we may even tour the luxurious and rich Vatican City. But to behold the City of God – His Church – we must be in the Spirit.
Paul writes an interesting allegory, “For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman (a slave), the other by a free woman. But he who was born of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the free woman through the promise. Which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mt. Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar- for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children- but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.” (Gal. 4:22-26)
Here Paul teaches through symbols that Jerusalem from above, the one that John saw coming out of heaven from God, is the mother of us all! He also tells us that the desolate has many more children than the mother from above who is barren!
This is deceptive when we look at it through the natural eye, because we always think that the one who has more children is the blessed one. Nevertheless it is written, “For it is written: Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who do not travail! For the desolate had many more children than she who has a husband.” (Gal. 4:27)
The desolate has many children but they are all in bondage. What’s more, she has no husband which means that her children are bastards or illegitimate. This means that God has not recognized them as His children.
The writer of Hebrews says that illegitimate children are without discipline or chastening, “But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.” (Heb. 12:8) True sons of the Father are recognized in that they are disciplined by His Spirit. They follow Him and learn obedience to His voice.
As we look at Christianity today, we see the many children of the desolate. They are in bondage to church rules and few really know their Father. Jesus said, “When you see Me, you see My Father” so the children of the desolate do not see Him.
How many do we hear say that they are longing for the day that Jesus appears? They are like the desolate and cannot see that He has already come. The world is groaning and travailing for the manifestation of the sons, but the sons are groaning for the redemption of their bodies.
“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God…For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. And not only they, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our bodies.” (Rom. 8:19, 22, 23)
Creation is groaning for the revealing of the sons of God, but the sons of God are groaning for the redemption of their bodies in order to reveal His glory to creation! Beloved, we are not waiting for Him to deliver us; we are waiting for Him to complete this work in us that we may deliver creation.
The Jerusalem from above is not the literal city in Israel and the desolate with all her illegitimate children is not that literal city either. The desolate depicts a system of outer worship that gives birth to people in bondage to religious laws. This system works well and prospers because there is something in our Adamic nature that seeks to serve God in a religious way. We delight in traditions and feel safe and content when we follow religious forms.
The system that the Pharisees had established for the people, and that Jesus so passionately exposed, was a system of religious laws that were enforced upon the people even though the leaders themselves could not keep them. This type of religious worship extends to Christianity and even to all the religions of the world.
Pagan religions keep their people in bondage to laws, rites (sometimes very painful rites) and rituals. Only the one who finds the mystery of Christ in her, that is her true Husband, will give birth to children who are free to worship the true God without the bondage of religious forms.
Any church that is not married to Christ is called desolate and is usually filled with many followers. God is not the Father of the mega churches that have sprouted in the land. They have a place and a role in the kingdoms of men, but are not part of God’s kingdom.
JOHN SAW THAT CITY
Webster’s dictionary says that a city is a conglomeration or a community of people. So in the Spirit, Jerusalem from above is the community or gathering of all who are in Christ Jesus. Because we are accustomed to think first in the natural, we think a community must be a visible entity. If we cannot see it physically, it is hard for us to conceive that we are gathered as a city or community in the realm of spirit.
Actually, when people get together for conventions, conferences or any such meetings, it is a result of having first been gathered in spirit; this is what draws them together. So there is a city, a gathering of people, that has not come together bodily but who is very much one in Spirit; when you meet one of them, you know your roots are from the same place; this is the city that John saw.
How many times have we been asked, “What church do you go to?” We may have groped for an answer to that question and we may or may not have admitted that we are not going to any church at this time. The truth of the matter is that not only we are going to church; we are the church.
Paul answers it this way, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and the church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” (Heb. 12:22-24)
There are no clearer descriptions of the church that we belong to than this one. A precious sister in the Lord shared with me that after God separated her and her husband from the church that they had attended for years, they found themselves longing for the friends they had left behind.
Then, the Lord gave them the revelation that they were far from alone; when they worshiped, the entire Body of Christ on both sides of the veil, prayed and worshiped with them.
The Lord had taken them up in the Spirit and showed them that City. When we get that revelation, we know that we are not alone. We know that we are in the company of all the saints in Christ, in the invisible realm of Spirit and in the earth. We are gathered together in Christ, and we do not feel alone!
Recently, I went through a painful physical experience. It was not life threatening but it took much of my energy to recover. I was sharing this with a dear saint on the phone and she said, “Jackie, you are going through this to help someone else get through their suffering.”
This made me feel better, but when I prayed the Lord spoke this to my heart, “Actually, this time, it is someone else who is helping you get through this.” I fully received the strength of these words.
John was in exile on a desert island by himself, yet he was not alone. He had a lot of company and he saw that city coming out of heaven from God. It was not a product of his imagination. The City, the gathering of His church, is very real and God is revealing it to us.
When the true Church becomes visible to our spiritual understanding, we know that we are not alone and we no longer think that we are just a few. God needs only a few to overcome death in the flesh, but back of these few stand an innumerable company of angels (messengers) who are blowing the trumpet of a clear and steady word.
Beloved, when God’s Spirit opens our minds and hearts to the reality of the glorious church that He has gathered in Himself, she appears to us. Then we know that indeed, we are not alone and we can feel the presence and the strength of all the saints in Christ that surround us and are fighting the same battles with us.
AT THE LAST TRUMP
“And the Lord spoke to Moses saying: Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the assembly and for directing the movement of the camps.” (Num. 10:1-2)
It was with the blowing of trumpets that the people knew what was happening in the camps. It was either time to move on, time to gather, time for a feast day or a time for war. The blowing of trumpets was God’s official and established way to alert the people that He had sent a word to them.
Today, God’s message does not come to us through a literal trumpet; it comes to us through a powerful word by His Holy Spirit. When Paul speaks of the last day’s battle against the power of death, he says, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed- In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.” (I Cor. 15:51-52)
This is the day of the last trumpet. We are now hearing this word clearly and with a sure sound. It is the Word that is blowing in God’s heavenlies and it is a clear call to this last day battle. It is not a word of how to be better citizens and stand against the laws of men concerning abortions and all these evils. It is not a word of how we will forever celebrate in heaven. The word of this last trumpet is a call to overcome the last enemy which is death and corruption.
As I hear from those who have been separated unto Him in their own little corner of the world, I am aware that we are all faced with fierce physical battles, either for ourselves or for loved ones. Just about everyone is in a fight for survival. The weapons of this warfare will determine whether we win or whether we go on the other side of the veil.
The battles that we are in today are not ordinary. They are the last trump battles that the sons of God are meeting head-on with Satan’s last stand.
When Jesus went to Calvary, He opened the way for us. When He sent His Holy Spirit in us, we found the power to follow Him toward this goal. This is the battle with the last enemy and we will not win it by calling on the gifts of the Spirit or by prayer alone. We will win this battle when the Word is made flesh in us. It is the Son of God manifested in us who wins this battle.
This warfare began in the realm of spirit, but has now come down to us in the earth. On the cross, Jesus defeated death. It was at that time that “War broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was there a place found for them in heaven any longer.
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Rev. 12:7-9)
Since Calvary, Michael and his angels have been throwing Satan out of heaven. We have experienced this as the Word that we have received has warred against the forces of darkness in our souls and spirits. Michael and his angels have set us free from fear and unbelief, and have cleared our minds and hearts by the Spirit from the forces of darkness that had kept us bound to our religious traditions.
But these forces have now intensified against our physical beings, our earth, more than ever. Our faith is fixed and tested; it will withstand the forces that are unleashed against our souls and spirits. So it is through our physical being that the attacks are launched to keep us from the victory of the ages that is at the door. Because we are called to overcome death and the grave, we are fighting for our physical lives like never before.
It is at this point that some “…overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, (the life of Christ in us) and the word of their testimony. And they did not love their lives to the death.” (Rev. 12:11) They are not looking to save their lives; they are looking to overcome Satan in the flesh.
A dear sister in the Lord has been waging a battle against melanoma cancer for the past eight years. She has gone through several deep surgeries and her full quota of radiation. What has brought her through so far is the Word that she has received from God.
Recently she battled pneumonia and it weakened her. However she received this word in a dream, “As she looked on her patio, she saw a familiar bobcat approaching the sliding door into her house. However as she looked she saw that it no longer was the bobcat but now it had turned into a huge beast. As it pushed its way through the door, she found her strength and stepped on its head.
Now she saw that it was a huge serpent and she called to her husband. He said he was going to get a tool. He then beat the serpent to death but it was messy. Blood and pieces of the serpent splattered everywhere but it was dead. All but the cleaning up remained.” (End of dream)
We rejoiced at this word because that serpent represents not only the cancer that is trying to come into her house again, but it is Satan, the Devil, Death itself personified, that is unrelenting in his efforts to invade our bodies (houses) and bring them down to the grave. Our dust is his nourishment; we are his prey.
She stomped on its head. She not only represents herself in her battle, but she also represents a church called to overcome death in the flesh. Its head speaks of the carnal mind that the serpent tries to penetrate by thoughts. By faith, we stomp on the power of the carnal mind to push death into our bodies. She overcame the power of the carnal mind, while her husband, the Spirit of Christ in her, proceeded to beat the thing to a pulp.
Christ in us destroyed death in our souls and spirits and has the power to destroy death in our flesh as well. As we receive and believe this word, Christ within arises with the right spiritual tool to destroy death and beat it to a pulp so that it can never be put together again. Cleaning up the mess was all that was left to do. This means that day by day we must take hold of this truth and wash out all the habitual thoughts of death that may still linger in our minds.
HER GREAT HIGH WALL (Our manifested salvation)
When John gazed at that City in his vision, he noted and described all the ornate details. He saw it in symbols, as we do when we dream, but in the Spirit, he was actually seeing the people that the Lord had gathered unto Himself. They were now appearing to John in the glory of the new creation of God in Christ, “spirit, soul and body.”
“Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.” (Rev. 21:12)
As we read John’s words, a picture of that City unfolds before us and we realize that this is not talking about the literal Jerusalem over in Israel. This City has the glory of God and her light is like a most precious stone, and she has a great high wall.
Isaiah declared, “In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks.” (Isa. 26: 1)
The wall of a city is her protection and defense against the enemies that would try to penetrate. The wall of this strong city is her complete salvation. The Church that is gathered in Christ is fully surrounded by her complete salvation. Walls are the outer defense of the city. Complete salvation is in spirit, soul and body. The wall speaks of the eternal body of glory that is part of our salvation in Christ.
The enemies have entered through the thoughts of our minds. Their lies have tried to destroy our faith and our peace, but none of these things can penetrate the minds of the people of that City; they have the power of an endless life.
Only that which is honorable will be able to enter within the minds and hearts of this people. “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Rev. 21:27)
The old Adam is dead and buried. He will never rise again so only new things can enter in. Our full salvation is our wall. It is our full armor in the midst of the enemy. The Church is not caught up into space somewhere; she is coming down out of her heavenly hiding place into visibility. She is equipped with the Word to deliver creation from the grip of death.
The sea represents humanity. The hearts of men are churning like the stormy seas, filled with all manners of evils and torments. The heavens influence the sea; this is scientifically true. So spiritually, when God changes the powers of heaven, the raging seas have to submit. When Christ rules in His Church, the hearts of men have to submit to His power.
When the wall of our salvation is fully built around us, the enemy can no longer penetrate to our hearts and minds. When we press in with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to God and overcome our fears and anxieties, His peace floods our hearts and minds and these enemies take flight.
Paul wrote, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 4:6-7)
Thoughts may come and try to defeat us but they have to stay on the outside of our great high wall.
RECONCILED AND SAVED
Her wall is her “so great salvation.” She has not only been reconciled to God by the blood of the Lamb, but she has worked out her salvation by daily following the Spirit of life in her. “…reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom. 5:10)
We were reconciled to God by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary; this opened the door for the Holy Spirit to come and dwell within. It is His life in us that puts our old “self” to death and brings us to our full salvation. It is His life in our daily experience that brings the sin nature in us to the death of the cross. This is how salvation works in us so that our enemy can no longer penetrate our minds and hearts. Full salvation in spirit, soul and body is the great high wall all around us.
THE NAMES OF THE GATES
The only way to enter that city is through its gates. On each gate, there are names written and an angel stands guard at its entrance. The names written on the gates are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. By this, we know that the Jerusalem that John describes is definitely not the literal Jerusalem; the literal Jerusalem has different names for its gates.
The fact that the names of the gates are the names of the tribes of Israel is extremely important. Ezekiel prophesied of the day when the name of the city would be, “THE LORD IS THERE.” (Ezek. 48:35) God designed His plan for the Church and for the salvation of men long before Adam and Eve ever fell, but it was with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that He began to implement it in man.
We find God’s plan of salvation all through the Scriptures of the Old Testament. It is written for us and stands as signs along the way to point us in the right direction. If our minds wander away from the truth, we can get back on track by looking into the Word.
The Living Word leads us but it would be gross error if we believed that we could put away the written word and go only on the revelation that we hear. I have found that every revelation is confirmed by the written word. God has written His word in our minds and hearts and it is contained in every revelation that His Spirit speaks to us.
Abraham went by faith; there were no written Scriptures in his time. It was Moses who was first chosen to write down God’s Word on tables of stone. Later, the writing of God’s word was delegated to the prophets. “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” (Hab. 2:2) When Jesus met the disciples after His resurrection, He pointed them to the written word.
Jesus showed His disciples that He was in the Word by expounding the Scriptures, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27)
When Jesus was tempted for forty days and nights in the wilderness He told the devil, “Away with you Satan! For it is written…” (Matt. 4:10a) The Living Word that we hear from the Spirit leads us into all truths, but the written word is always part of the Living Word. Just as the Law is fulfilled in Christ, so the written word is contained in all our revelations. This is the wisdom of God.
Some may believe that only the New Testament applies to the Church, but that is not true. The gates of that City are named after the twelve patriarchs of the Old Testament, which means that our salvation has its roots in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Our Lord Himself came out of the tribe of Judah after the flesh, and no one can enter into this City without coming through Him.
Paul was an expert on the Old Testament. Speaking to the Gentiles about the fall of Israel, he declared “And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.” (Rom. 11:17-18)
No one can enter into that city without coming through the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Old Testament prophets. We could sum it up by saying: “no one comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ.” The promises were to Abraham and His Seed and the Seed is Christ.
Just as an angel guarded the way of the tree of Life, so there is an angel on guard at each gate. The reason for this is that “…there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Rev. 21:27)
The angels are in charge of this. They belong to the same class of angels as those who come at the time of harvest to separate the wheat from the tares. Angels are either messengers or warriors; these are expert in the field of knowing who can enter and who cannot and have the power to keep out that which offends. The City is safe, this Church will remain pure.
THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WALL
“Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Rev. 21:14) The foundations of the wall are the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The church’s salvation stands strong on the truths that our Lord imparted to those who were His chosen disciples. They were the ones who tarried in the upper room waiting for the promise of the Father. They were the first to open the way to God’s Holy Spirit in redeemed man.
It was through them that the Holy Spirit took up residence and opened the understanding of their minds and hearts. It was through them that the Spirit of revelation awakened our awareness to the realm of spirit and quickened our mortal bodies.
Moses and the prophets confirmed the plan of God through the Scriptures, but the apostles recorded the words of Jesus and confirmed them through the four gospels. When the Father released His promised Holy Spirit to them, the salvation of man became a reality. “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you…” (Luke 24: 49a) These are all good reasons for their names to be written in the foundation of that wall.
We are reconciled to God by the death of Jesus, but it is His Holy Spirit in us, His life, that walks us all the way to complete salvation. This city, the church has a great high wall; no lies or deceptions can ever penetrate her. She is married to Her Bridegroom and has the mind of Christ.
“And the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones…” (Rev. 21:19a) In the Old Testament, when the king needed to know the will of God concerning a certain situation, he consulted the High Priest who brought out the Urim and Thummim.
This Urim and Thummim consisted of two stones (one white and one black) placed in the pocket formed by the front and back pieces of the High Priest’s breastplate. The white stone represented “yes” while the black stone meant “no.”
The breastplate was very ornate. It was bejeweled with twelve stones, each stone representing one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The foundations of the wall are also bejeweled with twelve precious stones representing the breastplate or heart of our High Priest Jesus, containing the witness of His Holy Spirit who leads us into all truths.
The jewels are symbolic of the truths that God’s Spirit leads us into as He reveals to us what He meant when He promised Abraham that, “In his Seed, all the nations of the world would be blessed.” And that Seed is Christ.”
As we continue to behold the appearance of this beautiful city, we note that “The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” (Rev. 21:21)
A word needs to be said about this “street of gold.” So many songs have been written about the streets of gold. We have sung about how we will celebrate as we walk upon them. However, as most of my readers know there is only one street in that city and it is not made of literal gold. This one street of pure gold speaks of the pure, transparent nature of God in which we will be walking. This is the nature of this Church that is soon to appear in the earth.
Each gate is a pearl and a pearl is a precious stone that is formed through much suffering. It is through suffering that we enter that city. This is not a Church that we join to escape hell and be the King’s kids having fun in this world. This is the triumphant Church in Christ that has crushed the serpent’s head. She has overcome the flesh, the world and the devil and has given birth to the Word in her.
THE FALLEN CITY
As it is with everything that God does, the foe always raises a counterfeit. This counterfeit city has held the admiration and support of men, while the true Church has been called out and gathered by the Spirit. Until we heard the call, we have all had a part in this counterfeit. “…Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! …For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication…Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues… Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.” (Rev. 18:2, 3a, 4, 21b)
The Spirit has revealed to us the abominations of that city. We have witnessed the work of deceiving demons and foul spirits that abound in its midst. This city is vile and repulsive to our God, yet it was to her that our hearts first led us. It is when we truly get the vision of how evil she really is that our hearts are free from yearning for her fellowships and we no longer look back.
Abraham lived among pagans. He belonged to a people who worshipped false gods, but he heard the call. Abraham was the first to answer the call to come out and to leave his pagan country; he never looked back. “And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” (Heb. 11:15-16)
Abraham did not try to convert the pagans; he went out from among them to look for a people who would believe in the One true God as he did. This people was nowhere in the earth but God had planned that they should come out of his loins. He had prepared that city for him and for us.
GOD SO LOVES HIS WORLD
God has prepared a people to rule and reign with Christ. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” Everyone knows that verse by heart and loves to quote it, but it is as the Spirit takes us higher that we begin to realize its full meaning. God so loved the world… God so loved His creation that from the beginning He had designed the way to save it. He created it for His good pleasure… He is refining it and bringing it to full maturity. He will express Himself through it all.
God gave His only begotten Son because He loves His creation and He loves us. Jesus “…made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2: 7-8)
Jesus took the old Adam to the death of the cross. The old carnal mind will never rise again. What we are seeing all around us is the carnal mind trying to hold on to this life. By the power of holiness that was in Him, Jesus rose from the dead and a new man, the last Adam, came into being.
Since then, we are called to reckon ourselves dead with Him on the cross. This means that each day we can experience the death of our “old man” while the new creation in Christ is formed in us. Because we reckon this done, He takes us through the experience of it in our daily lives.
In Christ the solid Rock we stand, all other ground is sinking sand… God gave us the Rock and made the way for us because He so loves this world that He has purposed to save it for Himself. Let us stand upon the Rock.
Because of His love,
BEHOLD THAT CITY – MSG. No. 170 [Jackie Caporaso] 4-30-07 1