Revelation 21: 21-23
“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 52nd session of ‘Heaven’ sermon series. In the last session, I talked to you about the gates of the city of New Jerusalem.
I explained that the process of getting the qualifications to enter into New Jerusalem is similar to the process of a pearl being produced.
When a foreign object, which is a stimulus, enters into the pearl-oyster the oyster secrets nacre to cover it. When the oyster covers it repeatedly, it becomes the pearl.
Children of God should be born again by the Holy Spirit and they have to struggle against sins to the point of shedding blood until they recover the image of God completely.
They have to deny themselves constantly, die everyday, and fill their hearts with goodness and love. When they accomplish whole spirit this way, they can enter New Jerusalem.
And to enter into New Jerusalem, we have to pass through one of the twelve pearl gates. It’s a place where only those who have won the victory in the good fight of faith can go in.
The pearl gate is similar in meaning to an arch of triumph.
Long ago, people gave a big welcome to those soldiers who were coming back with triumph in war.
They also built an ‘arch of triumph’ in parks or streets and named them accordingly to commemorate the victory.
Especially, the commanding general would pass through the arch of triumph in a coach sent by the king himself.
When they arrived at the place of celebration singing the songs of victory, the king, the queen, and all ministers would welcome them.
When the general got down from the coach and bowed down before the king, the king would stand him up, celebrate his victory, and share their joy together in the party. Sometimes, this kind of general would have authority right next to the king, too.
God the Father will give glory to those children who win the victory in the good fight of faith that is incomparable with glory bestowed by earthly kings.
And the first checkpoint is the pearl gate. If you can pass through one of these pearl gates, how emotion-filled you will be! And now, let us imagine passing through this pearl gate and entering into the city of New Jerusalem.
Today, we just imagine it through the sermon, but I pray in the name of the Lord that you will surely fulfill it in reality.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, shall we pass through the pearl gate from now?
As you stand before the pearl gate, you will be so amazed by the beauty and grandeur of the pearl gate. The gigantic pearl gate opens automatically without a single word spoken or verification needed for those who have accomplished whole spirit.
At the moment the pearl gate opens, brilliant lights will come out from inside the city of New Jerusalem.
As you see such beautiful scenery beyond imagination, you will feel the billows of the love of the Father God in such a moving way.
Revelation 21:17 says, the thickness of the city wall of New Jerusalem is 144 cubits.
1 cubit is about 45 centimeters, so the thickness of the wall is about 65 meters or 72 yards. Therefore, to pass through the pearl gate and to enter into the city, we have to pass over 65 meters.
Of course, the measurement of heaven can be different from that of this earth, but anyway, we have to pass the distance which is the thickness of the city wall, to enter into the city. We will not just be able to go into the city after crossing a single line, as soon as we pass the pearl gate. We have to walk a certain distance.
[For your information, the length of this main sanctuary is 70 meters not including the altar and lobby, so you can imagine how much you have to walk to pass through the pearl gate.]
From the moment you stand before the pearl gate until you enter into the city, you will remember many things.
You will remember how you used to be an unbeliever but became a believer; since the moment you first believed, you passed different measures of faith; and each time God gave you grace and realizations; and you tried hard to work faithfully for God’s kingdom and to march forward.
You will also naturally give thanks to God and the Lord for saving you and for letting you come into that beautiful place. Also, you will give thanks to your shepherd for clearly teaching the word of God and guiding you into spirit.
The passing through the pearl gate and going into the city will be so full of the emotions of thanks and of endless tears.
God the Father has let me know about the confession of a woman believer that she will make when she passes through the pearl gate. When I introduce to you this confession, I hope you will put yourself in her shoes and feel the grace of God.
“Father, thank You. This pearl gate is so beautiful and magnificent. Above all, I feel the love of the Father embedded in the gate, and that touches my heart so much.
I give You all thanks for I am able to stand before this pearl gate which I have been longing and dreaming of in my heart. I always prayed thinking of this pearl gate that You prepared, and thinking how I could be able to pass through the pearl gate, and how moving it would be when I pass through it.
Father, it is by Your grace that I can see into the beautiful heavenly kingdom. It is also by Your grace that I can go into the perfect place that You prepared.
You moved my heart and let me reach this beautiful place with your grace, and I give You all my thanks.
As I pass through this pearl gate, many things flash my mind. On the day I first met God, on the day that I met You Father, You had loved me first and You gave Your hand to me.
Our Lord shed such precious blood to cleanse my sins, and through that grace I am standing here now.
By the Father’s grace I could obey the word and fast and pray to cast away my self. When I had little faith it seemed impossible for me to reach this beautiful place. But as I was held by the grace of the Father, my faith grew up and I could make up my mind to give my life for the Father.
I could obey the word of the Father one by one and cultivate goodness. I could testify in front of many people of the grace and love the Father had given to me.
I could consider the duty the Father gave me so precious and work diligently. I looked up to heaven only, without looking back at all.
I thank You for that You gave me grace to let me make up my mind to cultivate spirit within me.
There is nothing that I have accomplished but because the Father has given me the grace now I can pass through this place.
I thank You that You let me pass through this enormous and beautiful pearl gate. I thank You that You placed my dwelling place in this beautiful world and for letting me go into this place.
Father! I thank You that you cared for me since I was young.
I thank You that you guided me to change myself and have a heart perfected by goodness and truth in Your grace.
It was not done by my strength; it was not done by my power and might.
It was done by the grace of the Father who let me meet a precious shepherd. As I see and hear voice of the shepherd whom the Father established, I was filled with the hope of the kingdom of the Father.
I could understand the way of truth that the Father really wanted, and I realized You gave me strength from above. Now, as I pass through this gate, I can live uncountable days, I can live forever in the bosom of the Father and the Lord, and my shepherd in the beautiful place before my eyes.
I am so thankful that You guided the steps of a person like me, let me pass through the pearl gate, and let me reach this New Jerusalem that I dreamed of so much.
I cannot express all my thanks to the Father who gave me my dwelling place in that place. I can only offer up the aroma of my heart.
I lacked many things. But, my shortcomings were filled by the power of the Father. You gave me more grace to believe and obey and to run my race with more yearning.
I give thanks to the Father once again for giving me so much understanding through the shepherd and for guiding me. I also give thanks to the Lord who died for me, resurrected for me, and came back to take me and put me into this beautiful place.
“Father, Lord, my shepherd! I love You!” I wanted to say this so much.
I give thanks to the Father, the Lord, and my shepherd for the beautiful things that are there beyond this pearl gate.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I earnestly hope you will also be able to pass through pearl gate like this believer and reach the city of New Jerusalem.
If you pass through the pearl gate, you will not be able to help but offer up a prayer of thanks like this believer.
It’s because you will thoroughly feel that you will have been able to get there not by your own strength or effort but solely by the grace of the Father.
As you walk each step, you will realize that fact even more deeply, and you will make confessions of overflowing thanks.
It is just as you heard from the confession of this woman believer. She said she thought she lacked so much and she wouldn’t be able to make it.
But as she spent each day and each year with obedience and longing, she received more of God’s power.
Finally, she received the qualification to pass through the pearl gate.
I hope you will do the same. By doing so, I hope you, as you pass the pearl gate, will offer up a prayer of thanks remembering the hard times that you had on this earth.
The emotion that you will have when you pass through the pearl gate will not be forgotten for a long, long time. Those who are in New Jerusalem will feel it renewed each time they see the pearl gate, thinking, “I received all those trials and overcame them and entered into this city of New Jerusalem!”
Just as a pearl oyster produces a pearl by overcoming great pains, you will remember your struggle against sins to the point of shedding blood and walking the narrow way to follow the will of God and finally winning the victory.
You will also give thanks to the Father once again remembering His love to guide you to overcome and win.
On this earth, as time passes, our thanks will diminish as well. But in heaven, because we will have only hearts of spirit, our thanks will never cool down no matter how much time passes.
But rather, we will realize the love of the Father even more deeply and have greater thanks. Therefore, heaven is always filled with thanks, joy, and love. And New Jerusalem is the happiest place overflowing with the greatest thanks, joy, and love.
From now on, we will delve into the city of New Jerusalem together!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, New Jerusalem is located in the central part of the third kingdom of heaven, which is in the third heaven.
The size is 6,000 Ri in its width, length, and height, which is 2,400 km or 1,500 miles.
The interior of the city will be divided into three exactly proportional parts. First is the throne of the Father God and the area around it.
The second is the castle of the Lord and the area around it, and the third is the area of the Holy Spirit.
And these three areas are divided in exactly same proportions. The original one but the Triune God’s area will be separated this way.
The happiness and feelings of these three areas are a little bit different from one another. For example, even in Korea, which is almost a culturally homogeneous country, we have different areas and each of them has unique characteristics.
Likewise, in New Jerusalem, the happiness in the area covered by the light of the Father God, the happiness in the area covered by the lights of the Lord, and the happiness in the area covered by the lights of the Holy Spirit are a little different from one another.
But it doesn’t mean the Father’s space is happier and the space of the Lord is less happy.
Each of the Triune God has each one’s role as the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, but after all God is one in perfect harmony.
And each of the Triune God has unique feelings and a different kind of happiness. For example, the same variety of apple can be very different in taste and color according to where it grew.
Likewise, in New Jerusalem, too, even the same kind of fruit has slightly different taste in different areas.
Therefore, the believers there can choose what they prefer according to their taste, to add to the happiness and joy for there are a variety of choices.
If we think of New Jerusalem as a plane, we can calculate the area of each space because they are divided equally.
First, the whole area of New Jerusalem 5,760,000 square km. This is about 26.2 times bigger than the whole Korean peninsula, and 57.8 times bigger than South Korea.
And one third of this is 1,920,000 square km, and the country that is closest to this area is Indonesia, which has area of 1,940,000 square km. considering it as a plane, we can calculate as above, but in fact, New Jerusalem is not just plane.
It also has the height of 2,400 km.
With the concept that we have on this earth, it is difficult to understand heaven, especially, the spaces in New Jerusalem.
But let me give you an example for the best possible understanding.
There are two rooms of same size.
You put wall paper on all four walls of the first room. And for the second room, you put mirrors all over the four walls and also the ceiling and the floor.
Then, which one would look bigger? The second one with mirrors will feel like it’s bigger.
Likewise, the space of New Jerusalem has a certain area set by the Father. But the dimension and area that you can feel in there are different. I hope you will just keep in mind this concept about the space in New Jerusalem.
From the next session, I will tell you more details about each of the three areas of New Jerusalem. Who will go into the area of the Father God, and who will go into the areas of the Lord and the Holy Spirit?
Where are the houses of prophets like Elijah, Enoch, and Moses? I will tell you about these in the next session.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, I introduced to you a confession of a woman believer who will pass through the pearl gate and go into the city of New Jerusalem.
As you heard her confession, she once doubted whether she could really go into New Jerusalem while she was involved in good fight of faith. Because she found her weaknesses, she felt weak.
But she never gave up on the hope of New Jerusalem and spent each day obeying the word of God.
Whether somebody recognized her for her efforts or not, she just changed herself faithfully by the truth with faith in God.
Then, God’s grace and power came upon her and she could have a clean and beautiful heart. Finally, she reached the matured and full measure of faith.
Eventually, she had the qualifications to actually enter into New Jerusalem that she dreamed of so much.
I hope not only this believer, but all of you will be able to pass through the pearl gate and go into New Jerusalem.