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The Holy Spirit
Athanasian Creed
New Jerusalem
Doctrine of the Lord

Chapter XII.

By the New Jerusalem (spoken of in the Revelation of John) is meant a New Church

L 62. In the Revelation, after a description of the state of the Christian Church as it would be at its end, and as it now is, and after those of that church who are signified by the false prophet, the dragon, the harlot, and the beasts, are said to have been cast into hell, it is added:--

I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth were passed away. And I John saw the Holy City New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven. 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, their God. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write, for these words are true and faithful (Rev. 21:1-3, 5).

By the "new heaven," and by the "new earth," which John saw, after the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, is not meant a new starry and atmospheric heaven such as appears before the eyes of men, nor a new earth such as that on which men dwell; but there is meant a newness of the church in the spiritual world, and a newness of the church in the natural world. As a newness of the church in both worlds, spiritual and natural, was effected by the Lord when He was in this world, a like prediction had been made in the Prophets, namely, that a new heaven and a new earth would then come into existence (Isa. 65:17; 66:22), which cannot possibly mean a heaven visible to the eyes, and an earth habitable by men. By the term spiritual world is meant the world where angels and spirits dwell, and by the term natural world is meant the world where men dwell. That a newness of the church in the spiritual world has been recently effected, and that a newness of the church in the natural world will be effected, has been partly shown in the little work on the Last Judgment, and will be shown more fully in the Continuation of that work.

L 63. By the "Holy City Jerusalem" is meant this New Church as to doctrine, and therefore it was seen coming down from God out of heaven, for the doctrine of genuine truth comes to us from the Lord through heaven, and from no other source. As the Church in respect to doctrine is meant by the City New Jerusalem, it is said:--

Prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband (Rev. 21:2);

and afterwards,

There came unto me one of the seven angels, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb‘s wife 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 (Revelation 21:9, 10).

That by "bride" and "wife" is meant the church, when the Lord is meant by "bridegroom" and "husband," is well known. The church is a "bride" when she is desirous to receive the Lord; and a "wife," when she does receive Him. That the Lord is meant by "her Husband" is evident; for it is said, "the bride the Lamb’s wife."

L 64. The reason why "Jerusalem" means the church as to doctrine, is that there and at no other place in the land of Canaan were the temple and altar, the offering of sacrifices, and therefore the Divine worship; and for this reason the three yearly feasts were celebrated there, to which every male in the whole country was commanded to go. This is why "Jerusalem" signifies the church in respect to worship, and therefore as to doctrine-for worship is prescribed in doctrine, and is performed according to it. An additional reason is that the Lord was present in Jerusalem, and taught in its temple, and afterwards glorified His Human there. Besides, "city" in the spiritual sense of the Word signifies doctrine, and therefore "holy city" signifies the doctrine of Divine truth from the Lord.

[2] That by "Jerusalem" is meant the church as to doctrine, is further evident from other passages in the Word, as from these:--

For Zion‘s sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. Then shall the nations see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall name; and thou shalt be a crown of ornament in the hand of Jehovah, and a kingdom‘s diadem in the hand of thy God for Jehovah shall delight in thee, and thy land shall be married. Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him and they shall call them the holy people, the redeemed of Jehovah and thou shalt be called, A city sought out, not forsaken (Isa. 62:1-4, 11, 12).

This whole chapter treats of the Lord’s advent, and of a New Church to be set up by Him. This New Church is here meant by "Jerusalem called by a new name which the mouth of Jehovah shall name," and which shall be "a crown of ornament in the hand of Jehovah, and a kingdom‘s diadem in the hand of God," and in which Jehovah shall "delight," and which shall be called "a city sought out, not forsaken." These words cannot possibly mean the Jerusalem in which were the Jews at the time of the Lord’s coming into the world, for that city was of a wholly contrary character, and might rather be called Sodom, as indeed it is called in (Rev. 11:8; Isa. 3:9; Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:46, 48).

[3] Again in Isaiah:--

Behold, I create a new heaven and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered: be ye glad and rejoice to eternities in that which I create for behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a gladness, that I may rejoice over Jerusalem, and be glad over My people. Then shall the wolf and the lamb feed together; they shall not do harm in all the mountain of My holiness (Isa 65:17-19, 25).

This chapter also treats of the Lord‘s advent, and of a church to be set up anew by Him. This church was not set up anew among those who were in Jerusalem, but among those outside of it, so that it is this church which is meant by the Jerusalem that should be to the Lord a rejoicing, and whose people should be to Him a gladness, and where also the wolf and the lamb should feed together, and where they should do no harm. Here, too, it is said, just as in the Revelation, that the Lord will "create a new heaven and a new earth," the meaning being similar; and it is added that He will "create Jerusalem."

[4] In another place in Isaiah:--

Awake! awake! put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city, for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust, arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem. My people shall know (cognoscet) My name in that day, for I am He that doth speak, behold it is I. Jehovah hath comforted His people; He hath redeemed Jerusalem (Isa 52:1, 2, 6, 9).

This chapter also treats of the Lord’s advent, and of the church to be set up anew by Him; so that by the Jerusalem into which the uncircumcised and the unclean should no more come, and which the Lord should redeem, is meant the church; and by "Jerusalem the holy city," the church as to doctrine from the Lord.

[5] In Zephaniah:--

Shout, O daughter of Zion; be glad with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem; the King of Israel is in the midst of thee; fear evil no longer: He will be glad over thee with joy, He will rest in thy love, He will exult over thee with a shout: I will make you a name and a praise to all the people of the earth (Zephaniah 3:14-17, 20).

Here in like manner it treats of the Lord and of a church from Him, over which "the King of Israel" (who is the Lord) will be glad with joy, will exult with a shout, and in whose love He will rest, and whose members He will make a name and a praise to all people of the earth.

[6] In Isaiah:--

Thus saith Jehovah thy Redeemer, and thy Former, saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built (Isa 44:24, 26).

In Daniel:--

Know (Scito) and perceive that from the going forth of the word even to the restoring and the building up of Jerusalem, even to Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks (Daniel 9:25).

It is evident that here also "Jerusalem" means the church, because this was indeed restored and built by the Lord, but not the Jerusalem that was the residence of the Jews.

[7] "Jerusalem" means a church from the Lord in the following passages also. In Zechariah:--

Thus saith Jehovah, I will return to Zion, and I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem whence Jerusalem shall be called the city of truth; and the mountain of Jehovah Zebaoth, the mountain of holiness (Zechariah 8:3, 20-23).

In Joel:--

Then shall ye know that I am Jehovah your God, dwelling in Zion, the mountain of holiness; and Jerusalem shall be holiness: and it shall come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drop new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and Jerusalem shall abide from generation to generation (Joel 3:17-20).

In Isaiah:--

In that day shall the shoot of Jehovah be for ornament and glory and it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy; even everyone that is written for life in Jerusalem (Isa 4:2, 3).

In Micah:--

In the latter days it shall come to pass that the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established in the head of the mountains; for doctrine shall go forth out of Zion, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem: unto thee shall come the former kingdom, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem (Micah 4:1, 2, 8).

In Jeremiah:--

At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah and all nations shall be gathered to the name of Jehovah to Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the confirmation of their evil heart (Jer 3:17).

In Isaiah:--

Look upon Zion the city of our set feast; thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be scattered not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be plucked away (Isa 33:20).

Besides other passages (Isa. 24:23; 37:32; 66:10-14; Zech. 12:3, 6, 8, 9, 10; 14:8, 11, 12, 21; Mal. 3:1, 4; Ps. 122:1-7; 137:5, 6).

[8] That in these passages "Jerusalem" means the church which was to be set up anew by the Lord, and which actually was set up anew by Him, and not the Jerusalem in the land of Canaan that was inhabited by the Jews, is evident from those passages in the Word where it is said of the latter Jerusalem that it should utterly perish and be destroyed (Jer. 5:1; 6:6, 7; 7:17, 20; 8:5-7; 9:10, 11, 13; 13:9, 10, 14; 14:16; Lam. 1:8, 9, 15, 17; Ezek. 4:1-17; 5:9-17; 12:18, 19; 15:6-8; 16:1-23; 23:1-49; Matt. 23:33, 37, 39; Luke 19:41-44; 21:20-22; 23:28-30).

L 65. In the Revelation occur the words, A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH; and afterwards, BEHOLD I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW, which mean nothing else than that in the church now to be set up anew by the Lord THE DOCTRINE WILL BE NEW. This doctrine did not exist in the former church, the reason of which is that if it had, it would not have been received, because the Last Judgment had not then been executed, and previous to that Judgment the power of hell prevailed over the power of heaven, so that if the doctrine had been given before, even from the Lord‘s mouth, it would not have remained with men; nor does it at this day remain except with those who approach the Lord alone, and acknowledge Him as the God of heaven and earth. (See above n. 61.) This same doctrine had indeed been given in the Word; but as not long after its setting up anew the church was turned into Babylon, and afterwards, with others, into Philistia, that doctrine could not be seen from the Word, for the church sees the Word from the principles of its religion and from its doctrine, and in no other way. The new things contained in the present little work are, in general, as follows:--

1. God is one in Person and Essence, and this God is the Lord.

2. All Holy Scripture treats of Him alone.

3. He came into the world to subdue the hells, and to glorify His Human; and He accomplished both by admitting temptations into Himself, and did so fully by the last of them which was the passion of the cross. Thereby He became the Redeemer and Saviour; and thereby merit and righteousness are His alone.

4. The statement that He "fulfilled all things of the law" means that He fulfilled all things of the Word.

5. By the passion of the cross He did not take away sins, but bore them as the Prophet, that is to say, He suffered that there should be represented, in Himself, the church in respect to its maltreatment of the Word.

6. The imputation of His merit is not anything at all unless thereby is meant the forgiveness of sins after repentance.

These things are contained in this little work. In those which follow it, which are to be Concerning the Holy Scripture, Concerning the Doctrine of Life, Concerning Faith, and Concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, still other new things will be seen.