"Picture: Copyright 1998-2000 John Bell (www.jrbell.com)"


As Christians, we rejoice in the fact that our sins are forgiven. But I wrote this to remind us that we have so much more to rejoice over besides the wonderful reality of the cleansing of our sin and being made a new creature in Christ. Jesus died and rose justifying us from our sins and making us righteous before God. He ascended to the right hand of God and was glorified and gave us hope in the promised sharing of His glory in His bodily, visible return. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit into our hearts because we believe, making us His adopted sons and a guarantee of a full inheritance in Him. Our corruption shall put on incorruption. But, our being born from above by the Holy Spirit also made us citizens of heavenly Jerusalem. Psalm 87 does apply to us:

(Psa 87:5-6 KJV) And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her. {6} The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.

The Law God gave to Israel through Moses on Mount Sinai required strict obedience. For obedience, Israel would receive blessings; for disobedience, curses. While Israel had the Law, the Gentile, Paul says, was a law unto himself:

(Rom 2:14-16 KJV) For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: {15} Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) {16} In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Speaking as a spiritual son of Abraham, Paul contrasted the giving of the Law at Sinai with the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost in 2 Corinthians 3:

(2 Cor 3:5-11 KJV) Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; {6} Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. {7} But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: {8} How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? {9} For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. {10} For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. {11} For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

Moses and the Levites ministered the Old Covenant. In the New Testament, we are ministers of God by the Spirit, not the letter, just as Christ is the minister of the New Covenant. Paul and the other writers of the epistles moved what God had given Israel through Moses out of the earthly realm into the realm of the Spirit. For example:

The literal blood is no longer sprinkled. Believers now receive the sprinkling of Jesus' shed blood on their consciences by faith through the working of the Spirit of Christ.

When Moses gave Israel the Law at Sinai, they said, "All that God has said we will do." So God gave Moses the plans for the Tabernacle because He knew they would need an atonement for breaking a law they could not keep. Thereafter, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies once a year to offer the blood of animals for the sins of the people. In the New Testament, the administration of the sacrifice for sin was moved from the earthly realm to the realm of the Spirit. The Lamb of God was slain on earth, but is now alive at the right hand of God in the heavenlies and He ministers His finished work to us through the Holy Spirit:

(Heb 9:11-15 KJV) But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; {12} Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. {13} For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: {14} How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? {15} And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

The moment He died, the earthly system died with Him and the heavenly realities went into effect regarding the Temple and its sacrifices:

(Mat 27:50-51 KJV) Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. {51} And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

When that veil tore, the Holy of Holies was exposed. Think of what that meant when the veil was rent! God was not there, or there would have been wrath!:

(Lev 16:2 KJV) And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.

Jesus had prophesied that Israel's Temple would be left desolate:

(Mat 23:36-38 KJV) Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. {37} O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! {38} Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

In 70 AD the whole Temple came down just as Jesus had said. The desolation of the house began with the Holy of Holies, for at Jesus' death it was exposed for all to see. Certainly God did not wait thirty-six and a half years to signify the opening of the heavenly Holy of holies. Nobody was allowed in the earthly Holy of holies except the High Priest and God and yet it was opened for all to see. This is the message of the torn veil:

(Heb 9:7-8 KJV) But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: {8} The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

The Temple in Jerusalem was torn down for two reasons. The first was that Israel rejected Christ. But Scripture also says that it was destroyed to show the world that the way into the heavenly Holy of holies WAS NOW made manifest, for Jesus had entered there on our behalf on the basis of His own shed blood. It wasn't the High Priest of Israel who offered Jesus to God as our sacrifice on the cross. Christ Himself was the High Priest as well as the sacrifice. In fact, the writer to the Hebrews wrote,

(Heb 13:9-13 KJV) Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. {10} We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. {11} For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.

(Exo 29:14 KJV) But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering.

The writer to the Hebrews continued,

{12} Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. {13} Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

Jesus offered Himself outside the gate, meaning outside of the gates of the Temple and the city. But as God become flesh, He also offered Himself outside of the gate of heavenly Jerusalem. In the Old Covenant, the sin offering was to be sacrificed on the bronze altar before the door of the Tabernacle. The cross of Calvary on which he offered Himself was the reality that the bronze altar foreshadowed, and it was placed before the door of the heavenly Tabernacle which He entered when He ascended. He came to fulfill the law of Moses and bring Israel into heavenly Jerusalem by the faith of Abraham. He came to move Israel from Moses to Abraham, that as the spiritual sons of Abraham they could be adopted as the sons of God by faith. As the Scriptures say,

(Heb 11:8-10 KJV) By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. {9} By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: {10} For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

(Heb 11:13-16 KJV) These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. {14} For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. {15} And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. {16} But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

(Heb 13:13-15 KJV) Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. {14} For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. {15} By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

The result of what Jesus had done?

(Heb 12:22-24 KJV) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, {23} To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, {24} And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

We have to keep in mind that we are speaking of two Jerusalems, an earthly one and a heavenly one. Paul said in Galatians 4:

(Gal 4:22-31 KJV) For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. {23} But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. {24} Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. {25} For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. {26} But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. {27} For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. {28} Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. {29} But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. {30} Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. {31} So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Hagar, not Sarah, allogorizes earthly Jerusalem! We would think it would be Sarah, but it is not. It is Hagar. We are NOT children of Hagar, or earthly Jerusalem. We are Sarah's children, meaning children of heavenly Jerusalem, the city Abraham looked for. We are the spiritual seed of Abraham, the children of heavenly Jerusalem:

(Gal 3:6-7 KJV) Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. {7} Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Abraham looked for a city built by God. But Paul tells us we don't have to search for it, that we are drawn near to it in the Holy Spirit. We live by the same faith Abraham had:

(Rom 9:3-5 KJV) For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: {4} Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; {5} Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

(Rom 2:14 KJV) For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

(Eph 2:12-22 KJV) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: {13} But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. {14} For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; {15} Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; {16} And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: {17} And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. {18} For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. {19} Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; {20} And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; {21} In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: {22} In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Jesus is the mediator of a New Covenant, and He does His mediating outside of the city of earthly Jerusalem. He does His mediating outside the camp. He does His mediating from heavenly Jerusalem. He fulfilled the types. He moved things from the earthly to the spiritual realities, even the city of Jerusalem, which will come down from heaven after Daniel's 70th week ends:

(Rev 3:12 KJV) Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

(Rev 21:2-3 KJV) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. {3} And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Jesus is our High Priest, and the High Priest of all, Jew or Gentile, who come to Him outside the gate.

We Are Not Rooted In Earthly Jerusalem
But In Christ In Heavenly Jerusalem

Jesus said,

(Rev 22:16 KJV) I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
But He's more than that. He also said,

(Rev 22:13 KJV) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

God gave Israel precious promises and included us Gentiles in believing Israel through the gospel, not to make us Jewish in an earthly way, but to make both Jew and Gentile His sons after the Holy Spirit, to place as many as would believe in Him in His body, as He purposed before the creation of the world:

(Gal 3:26-29 KJV) For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. {27} For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. {28} There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. {29} And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

If you are Abraham's seed, you are not considered by God to be Jew or Gentile. If you are Abraham's seed, you are a child of God, a new creature. Promises were given to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob to make all believers one in order to bring us back to something we lost. What did we lose?

(Gen 3:22-24 KJV) And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: {23} Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. {24} So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Where is Abraham, a Jew, in these verses? Where are you, a Gentile? In Adam. In other words, we may be Jewish or we may be a Gentile, but we all came from Adam and born sinners who sin. All men need salvation in Christ no matter what your heritage is. And in Revelation 22, John speaks of the restoring of humanity to access to the tree of life in the New Jerusalem:

(Rev 22:13-14 KJV) 'I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.' {14} Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

The gates are not the gates of earthly Jerusalem. These are the gates of heavenly Jerusalem. The gates are not the city. They are only the way to get into the city:

(Rev 21:10-12 KJV) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, {11} Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; {12} And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

Twelve gates named with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. Nobody can get into the city except by the promises and covenants given to the Jewish patriarchs concerning Christ. You don't get into the city by trusting Moses, meaning the Law. Here Israel is depicted in the New Jerusalem, and the Church is there also:

(Rev 21:14 KJV) And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Here we have New Jerusalem, Jew and Gentile as one body, a city we all look for as did Abraham:

(Rev 21:10 KJV) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Adam lost the way to the tree of life in the Garden, but it is now made available to all men through Christ's work and the promises to Abraham. If we take a look into the city, guess what we see:

(Rev 21:22; 22:2 KJV) And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. . . . In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.


We know that God will gather together all things in Christ. He will visibly exalt His Son over all things when He returns. God will fully adopt us as holy, unblemished sons. He will bring us before Him in love and in holiness. We will dwell in a kingdom that Jesus promised we would inherit and which was prepared in advance for us:

(Mat 25:34 KJV) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

"Picture: Copyright 1998-2000 John Bell (www.jrbell.com)"

The cross made that possible because the wall of hostility between Jew and Gentile was torn down on the cross, so we could be one in order to fulfill the purposes of God before creation. God had created man male and female, not Jew and Gentile. All men came out of Adam: Jew and Gentile. And the Lamb was slain since the creation of the world so that God could have a family of sons through Christ with Christ with Him exalted above all. The Jewish and Gentile distinctions have an important part in God bringing His plan to completion, but the point is, all can be saved, we can all be part of the new man in Christ by faith. But where is the High Priest? He is there, in the Beginning as well, for He is a priest FOREVER after the order of Melchizedek:

(1 Pet 1:17-25 KJV) And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: {18} Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; {19} But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: {20} Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, {21} Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. {22} Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: {23} Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. {24} For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: {25} But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.


Please link to this page if you want to use
this article rather than placing it on your own home page.
Also, please do not use excerpts, but reproduce the entire page intact.

Click here to continue reading Part 8
Home Page