I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
11. What body does that New Jerusalem picture, and what nationality do the members thereof have and on what official level?
11 There is no mistaking of it. That “holy city,” New Jerusalem, pictures the clean, undefiled, holy Christian congregation. It is composed entirely of spiritual Israelites, Jews inwardly, circumcised in their hearts. True, the “twelve apostles of the Lamb” were natural, circumcised Jews or Israelites; but from the festival day of Pentecost of the year 33 C.E. onward they all became spiritual Israelites or Jews, for then Jehovah’s holy spirit was poured upon them through the Lamb Jesus Christ. (Acts 1:12 to 2:42) These spiritual Israelites are 144,000 in number (12 x 12 x 1,000), grouped into twelve tribes, as it were, the names of these twelve tribes being inscribed over the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem. (Revelation 7:4-8) Calling attention to their official position is the fact that they are called ‘the kings of the earth.’ (Revelation 20:4, 6) They are higher than “the nations” on earth who walk by means of the light of the New Jerusalem.—Revelation 5:10.
12, 13. (a) What in that Revelation description shows that the New Jerusalem is to be a capital organization? (b) How does one of the symbolic foundation stones identify the bride’s husband?
12 The name New Jerusalem indicates that it would be a capital organization, resembling Jerusalem in the days of King David and of his son King Solomon. But what is there to show that the New Jerusalem of 144,000 spiritual Israelites would be the capital organization over all of Jehovah’s realm of creation? It is this: The New Jerusalem is called “the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” (Revelation 21:2, 9; 22:17) To this figurative Lamb, it is said: “You were slaughtered and with your blood you bought persons for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.” (Revelation 5:9, 10) This once slaughtered Lamb is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Jehovah God. In agreement with that fact, one of the “twelve apostles of the Lamb” wrote to his fellow Christians and said:
13 “It was not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, that you were delivered from your fruitless form of conduct received by tradition from your forefathers. But it was with precious blood, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb, even Christ’s.”—1 Peter 1:18, 19; 1 Corinthians 5:7.
14, 15. (a) Who is the Head of that bride-wife? (b) Because of what heirdom of the members thereof is the station of the bride-wife elevated, and what does Peter state is the station of her Husband?
14 As a husband, the Lamb Jesus Christ is the head of his bride-wife, New Jerusalem: “a husband is head of his wife.” (Ephesians 5:23) Nevertheless, the bride-wife is made up of spirit-begotten sons of God, who are not only ‘heirs of God,’ but also “joint heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:16-18) Such heirdom elevates the station of the bride-wife, and she shares with her husband in his glory and honor in the heavens. What, then, is the heavenly station of her “husband,” the Lamb Jesus Christ? Peter, one of the “twelve apostles of the Lamb,” says of him:
15 “Christ died once for all time concerning sins, a righteous person for unrighteous ones, that he might lead you to God, he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit. . . . through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is at God’s right hand, for he went his way to heaven; and angels and authorities and powers were made subject to him.”—1 Peter 3:18, 21, 22.
16. How does Paul, at Philippians 2:5-11, go into greater detail as to the present station of the bride-wife’s Husband?
16 To other “joint heirs with Christ,” the apostle Paul writes in even greater detail, saying: “Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. No, but he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and came to be in the likeness of men. More than that, when he found himself in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake. For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”—Philippians 2:5-11.
17. (a) In what position did such elevation of God’s Son put him, and how did God create a capital “organization”? (b) As to priesthood, what relative positions do Jesus Christ and those of his bride-wife hold?
17 No creature could get any higher than to the “right hand of God,” and the “superior position” to which God exalted him was to that right-hand position. (Psalm 110:1; Acts 2:34-36; Hebrews 1:3, 13; 8:1, 2; 10:12, 13; 12:2) This put the Lamb Jesus Christ in the capital position over all the rest of God’s creation. Of course, the Lamb Jesus Christ is not an “organization” in himself. But since Jehovah God gives him a bride-wife, namely, the congregation of 144,000 joint heirs, the Most High God creates a capital organization over all his holy universal organization. In this capital organization that the Supreme Being establishes, Jesus Christ is His High Priest and the bride-wife class are 144,000 underpriests, “a royal priesthood.” (1 Peter 2:9) Scripturally, then, beyond all contradiction, the Most High God Jehovah now has a capital organization through which he deals with all the rest of his universal organization.