[Bates’ Pamphlet #1] The Opening Heavens


The old Prophets looking down through the vista of time to the coming of this heavenly city, break forth in language like the following: “And it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion and he that remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem.” “Then the Moon shall be confounded and the Sun ashamed when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem - (why? because John says they will ‘have no need of the sun nor the moon,’) and before his ancients gloriously,” Who are they? Noah, Abraham and the Prophets. Again: “Look upon Zion the City of our solemnities; thine eye shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a Tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed.” “Break forth into joy, sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.” “Give no rest till he establish and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” Do they mean old Jerusalem? The Saviour’s prediction is against it, “left desolate,” its inhabitants “carried away captive and trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Luke 21. Further: “But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create, behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy, and I will rejoice in Jerusalem and joy in my people, and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.” Isaiah 4:3; 24:23; 33:20; 52:9; 62:7; 65:18, 19. Also read 40:1; 52:1; 60:14, and 35:10. “At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered into it - neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.” “In those days shall Judah be saved and Jerusalem shall dwell safely and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. For thus saith the Lord, David shall never want a man to set upon the throne of the house of Israel.” Jeremiah 3:17; 33:16, 17. “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion and utter his voice from Jerusalem, then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall be no stranger pass through her any more.” Joel 3:16, 17. BP1 23.1

Here then, in every instance save one or two, the people of God are connected with the “Zion of God,” “City of God,” “Jerusalem which is to be in the last days.” The Psalmist says, “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O City of God.” 87:3. John’s record is, “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, (what union, and yet, how distinct! 1) which is new Jerusalem which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and I will write upon him my new name.” How could the Saviour have been more explicit and plain. “Him that overcometh.” Who? Why, the Saint; not the City, the new Jerusalem. Again: “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.” If the city is the Saints, what is this that enters into and have right to the tree of life? Can the City go into the City? If so, then we acknowledge the City is the Saints. But it reads, the Saints go in there. BP1 24.1

In Revelation 21:16, the City is said to be four square, twelve thousand furlongs; the length, and the breadth, and the height of it are equal. Then, according to arithmetical computation, it is fifteen hundred miles square. Now, if the City spiritually means the Saints of God, then, to carry out the figure, the Saints must stand over, or upon each other (according to the common stature) one million and four hundred thousand deep; or will it be asserted that they are fifteen hundred miles tall! BP1 25.1