We have seen that the Holy City, New Jerusalem, is the nature of God's own
people consummated, perfected, and glorified.
He is now constituting this city through the Cross by
the Eternal Spirit; shaping the individual members after His own image, the image of His Son; and for this
we were ordained (Rom. 8:29).
The people of God are a proclamation of Christ
Cor. 3 and 4).
The Gates of the City
In Revelation 21 the gates of the city are frequently
mentioned as to number, measurement, position and
nature; they are positioned by God the Builder and
Architect of the city.
Gates throughout the Scriptures are symbolic of a
spiritual feature; they stand for counsel.
In ancient times the kings, rulers, and elders sat in the
gate of the city and deliberated concerning the affairs of
the people and the interests of the kingdom. Absalom met the leaders of the
nation in the gate of the city.
Christ said, "I will build My Church and the Gates of Hades shall not prevail against it"
Wherever the Church is in power, there are active the
counsels of Hades which seek to thwart, hinder and
obstruct the power from going forth, but they cannot
prevail against it, for the Lamb on the throne has the
keys of Death and of Hades (Rev. 1:18). And He has
said His church would upset all the counsels of Hell;
and Hell's weapons have written on their blades, "It shall
not prosper." The Lord hath decreed it.
In the Gates of the Holy City, the New
Jerusalem, are held the counsels of God; the
administration of the Lord in the gates - the
Lord united with His people in the secret
counsels of His heart so these gates represent
a coming into fellowship with the deep secrets
of the Lord's heart.
It is the Lord getting together His leaders, His elders, to
discuss those inner secret things, known and understood
only by those who are really one with Him in fellowship
and desire; a talking over with these the affairs of
citizenship and throne interests.
All who will, may be included in this fellowship; it is for all who are with Him
in His thought, intention and
purpose. That is fellowship with the Lord in the inner
things of His
Trace the word "gates" through the Scriptures and you will find great richness, and as you trace out the
Gates of God's House you will find spiritual elements
"Thy gates praise" (Isa. 60:18). Always praise when there is complete fellowship
with the Lord.
your heads, O ye gates and be lifted
everlasting doors and the King of Glory shall come in...
strong and mighty,
Jehovah mighty in battle, Jehovah of Hosts, He
is the King of Glory" (Ps. 24). Here is the
Lord coming in through the gates of counsel, and
unfolding of His glory.
Strength in the Word is also associated with
gates and is there not strength in
mind of the Lord? What strength there is in being in
oneness with the will of God; admitted into fellowship
with Him in His thought and purpose. What strength
there is in that. Yes, there is strength in the gates when
you know what the Lord is after; uncertainty always
makes for weakness. Gates of iron and brass (Ps. 106:16) speaks of strength and resistance.
Suffering and Preciousness
Gates also speak of preciousness; "every several gate
was of one pearl." How is the pearl formed? By a
small piece of grit lodged in the opening of the oyster-shell. This wounds and pierces the oyster, so that it
bleeds. This blood is acted upon by other elements and
so the pearl is formed,
it has given its very life to
make that value - a pearl.
In the Word of God, "pearl"
is mentioned in terms
of great endearment. He saw that in His church which
was more than all the glory of heaven and He let go the
glory of heaven
unto suffering and death to secure His pearl, to gain His
Church; He saw her as a pearl of great price, and He
suffered and bled to secure her; Matt. 13:45,46;
Phil. 2:1-11; Eph. 5:25-27.
So in thus sharing His secret counsels we must in
measure know the fellowship of His sufferings. Every
gate one pearl. Yes, there is only one way, death via the cross; but unto life
triumphant over death, resurrection life.
The Lord suffered and died to get that people and
bring them into fellowship with His own heart, endeared
and sharing with Him His own counsels. Oh, to get to the
heart of the Lord, to be endeared like that, oneness with
Him in His own heart's desire; this is the strength, praise and glory of the
gates of pearl.
There is only one way. Sin in the race called for
something to meet the need of healing. Sin is disease,
and the something to meet that is
nothing less than the precious blood of the Lord Jesus;
there is no other way, death to one means life to the
other, the Cross is the gate of life.
The keepers of the gates, twelve angels. The Lord the
Keeper, He gives charge concerning the gate of holy
fellowship and counsel. He guards it.
"Open" access through grace into this fellowship;
a coming into oneness with the Lord
through grace. We get the openness of the gates and the
exclusiveness of the walls.
The gates are open, but it is a divinely
guarded fellowship, nothing that defiles can
enter by those gates. Sin, death, destruction cannot pass where the blood is, it has swallowed
up death in victory.
Transparency in Everything
Transparency is a very prominent feature of this city -
"Jerusalem... her light clear as crystal" (Rev. 21:11).
"The city was pure gold like unto clear (transparent)
glass" (Rev. 21:18).
"The street of the city pure gold, as it were
transparent glass" (Rev. 21:21).
"The river of the water of life clear as crystal" (Rev.
Yes, transparency is the very nature of this city, and it is
the mark of the life of the people of God; crystal
clearness, all clear, nothing dim.
Turn to Jer. 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all
things and desperately wicked, who can know it? I the
Lord search the heart."
By grace we have been brought to renounce the
hidden things of darkness, and God hath shined in our
hearts the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in
the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:1-6).
Mal. 3:3, "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver
and He will purify the sons of Levi as gold and silver."
He does the refining necessary until He gets His pure
gold. "The daughters of Zion... Jehovah will lay
bare their secret parts"
(Isa. 3:17, A.R.V.). "Jesus said, I have spoken openly in the
world... in secret (under cover) I spake nothing." (John 18:20.
"God shall judge the secrets
of men... by Jesus Christ." (Rom. 2:16). "The secrets of his heart are made
manifest." (1 Cor. 14:25). "Yea a sword shall pierce through thine
own soul that the thoughts of many hearts may be
revealed." (Luke 2:35).
All these passages emphasise an essential element in
spiritual progress; for there can be no growth without
absolute transparency. The entire history of spiritual
things is the contrast of the state of light with darkness;
truth with falsehood; purity with mixture; clearness with
cloudiness; openness with secretiveness; reality with
pretence; genuineness with imitation; sincerity with
deceit; these two things are over against each other all
the way through spiritual history.
Transparency on the one hand is utter, and has no
degrees; there are no degrees of truth, only degrees of
approach to truth and some go further than others in
approach to truth, but truth is utter and final. So with
transparency, it is not transparent if there is the most
minute mixture in it, you get varied degrees of shades of
approach to transparency but one shade of darkness,
then all is not light. One little cloud (earth born) dims transparency; and these shades and clouds come from
another realm than the realm of the glory of the
God's purpose is to have a thing without the
suggestion of cloudiness or mixture; and in order to build
His City He must get rid of all that which is not
transparent. Hence the necessity for the inworking of
The measure of a man is what he is before God, and
only that measure counts before the Lord. We may have
measurements of one another in varying degrees, and we
find something unsuspected that shocks us. The only
measure is not our measurement of one another, but the
Lord's measurement in that light which no man approacheth unto. If we would but adjust ourselves to
that, we should find our rest there before the Lord.
What is true in God's sight, that is finality. All the
dealings of God with us are related to this transparency
of character, and His purpose of securing a people unto
Himself of utter transparency, pure gold, clear as crystal,
partakers of the divine nature.
See Jacob and how God dealt with him. Why was it
necessary for God to so deal with him? Was it not
because he was bound up with the testimony of the
Lord, and must he not therefore be transparent?
Jacob's scheming ways must give place to the
Lord's openness. If Jacob deceives he will surely be
deceived. "God is not mocked, for
whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." It is a
law. His purpose is to have a pure thing, and He will
smite us to the ground with that thing within us; yes, that
thing within us which is not transparent will
be the very
trap by which we fall. There is no secretiveness
God; all must come into the open before Him.
Delay, arrest, confusion, deadlock, these are all due
to some secretiveness, some ulterior motive, something
in the background not clear; that dark thing, that
doubtful thing which is like a cloud or mist. That is the
thing which is bringing the arrest, the confusion; that something that is not
absolutely true, some secret thing that is not of God, not out from Him, but
comes from the realm of our flesh and from the pit.
Progress is Hindered by Secretiveness
The city cannot proceed with anything like that. From
the river at the centre to the walls on the
circumference, all has to be utter transparency. All these
thicknesses of our natural life, our soulish elements,
arrest and confuse. There must be absolute transparency
of spirit. Fogs come because we are not outright clear
before God and man. Christian fellowships are wrecked
upon this thing. Failure to apprehend spiritual truth is due
to this. Lack of transparency prevents Divine revelation
because there is not an open heaven.
Have you noticed the emphasis the Word puts on
confession before God? There is no getting through
with the Lord until there is confession. Why? He
demands it; because it is a yielding up of that dark thing,
an acknowledgement, a bringing of it into God's light for judgment
and putting away. You will never get liberty before there
has been confession before the Lord; it is a principle.
Fog is unredeemable and does not absorb one ray of
heaven's radiant light; nothing can redeem spiritual fog
but confession to the Lord,
and cleansing by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
It is a law of spiritual growth that we have nothing
hidden, nothing not clear and true.
This flesh of ours is a vaporous gaseous cesspool, and
these exhalations of flesh blot out the face of God, put it in a mist, a fog, and there
no clear, strong going on in the way. Pride has robbed many of the Lord's children
of fulness of life and light, and spiritual pride is pride in its worst form, there is nothing more
blinding than pride.
Anger, a measure of the flesh rising up and pulling us
earthward. Can you be angry and keep your flesh out of
it? How often fellowships are spoiled by the uprising of
this fleshly anger! Anger white and holy is a high altitude;
but the cesspool of our flesh is behind much of our
Unbelief, suspicions, blind spiritual eyes and doubt breaks fellowship; all these mists come from our flesh
and blind us to the glory of God, and prevent that
transparency which is essential for a clear witness.
Transparency is the pre-eminent and predominant feature
of God's people when He has them where He wishes to
In the city there is only one street. "The street of the
city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass" (Rev.
Does this not speak of the fellowship of the Lord's
people? The one way of fellowship... see in the Word
how streets represent fellowship.
"The river of the water of life, clear as crystal" (Rev. 22:1) witness of an absolute transparent life; transparency
begins within, then naturally flows out as such.
"Commending ourselves to every man's
conscience in the sight of God" (2 Cor.. 4:2).
"If we walk in the
as He is in the light and then we have fellowship one with another and the blood
of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanseth us from all sin"
(1 John 1:7, A.R.V.).
"Whosoever believeth on Me may not abide in
darkness" (John 12:46, A.R.V.).
The Lord is compelling us to a plane of clearness; and
the Holy Spirit has come to lead us into all truth. Only
He knows the dark things in us, and He will convict of
that thing in us which is not of God, and apply the Cross
to all forms of self life, so that we may confess the evil
thing and have it put away by the precious
See what God has in view for us; fellowship and
service in the City of God: to be a people for His own
possession: "Even as He chose us in Him before the
foundation of the world that we should be holy and
without blemish before Him in
love having fore-ordained
adoption as sons through Christ
Jesus unto Himself" (Eph.