Hi Dave, I would be curious to hear where in Revelation the new Jerusalem is identified as all the believers. I have been doing a Precepts study of Revelation over the last two years, finished the 3rd of a 4 part series which will be completed next year.....and we have been interpreting the new Jerusalem as a literal city. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Hi Sherie! Here is my response. it comes from Revelation 21:9-10. This reads as follows:
Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.
If you look at 2 Corinthians 11:2 and Revelation 19:7 (to mention just two verses), the Church is equated with Christ's Bride and Christ is equated as the Bridegroom. Revelation 21 says the New Jerusalem which comes down out of Heaven is Christ's Bride. In typical Revelation lnaguage, the Bride of Christ (the Church) is enormous, demonstrating that far more people make it into the Kingdom of Heaven that most conservative Christians believe! I hope this helps clarify why one enormous city has only one streest with a river flowing down the middle of it (and you thought YOUR city had traffic issues!). It is all symbolic, as was intended. Thus, the question 21st Century Bible students should still ask is "What did this passage mean to the original hearers". What it means to us today CAN NOT be determines if we do not understand correctly what Jesus intended the original hearers to understand.