The city wall represents God’s protection for His people, it also marks a distinction of God’s people from the secular world. In the history, the walls of the city of Jerusalem were rebuilt on this earth, but you and I need to rebuild the holy city New Jerusalem that is coming down from heaven and referred to as the bride of the lamb. This shows us the perfected image of the saints.
This History of Redemption Series 11th book tells us that in constructing the city wall, they divided the walls into 42 sections. This is something that Reverend Abraham Park the author of the History of Redemption Series has for the first time in history, revealed and organized.
There are a total of 12 gates around the wall and 42 sections. In constructing the walls of the city, the number 42 is very necessary. It shows us the faith of the people constructing the wall, it represents the dedication of the people who participated in the construction of the city wall. It holds the mystery and secret to finishing the construction of the city wall. Therefore number 42 teaches us of the faith that we need in order to build the city wall.
1. Significance of the number 42
(i) Old Testament: the 42 campsites in the wilderness
The wilderness is a barren land, a land of death, it is a very rugged place. How many places did they camp in the wilderness? 42 campsites. So 42 is the process through which they have to go through to enter into Canaan. Act 7:38 tells us the wilderness symbolizes the church.
As soon as they started to walk in the wilderness, there was a Red Sea blocking their path ahead. There was crisis because there was no water to drink. Food ran out and they didn’t have anything to eat. They experienced suffering and hardships to go around, when there was a shorter path to cut through. But what they experienced in the wilderness, is the power and authority of God. They experienced the miracle of God. God gave them love and mercy. God gave them living waters, manna for every day’s eating. God protected them and guided them through the pillars of fire and cloud.
At times, these people disobeyed God, they grumbled against God. Because of those sins they were bitten by fiery serpents, they even received curse and punishment. The bible tells us this becomes a mirror to us. We must pass truth the wilderness, it is a required course, not optional (1 Cor 10:5-11). What’s important is for us to keep our faith even if we are going through these campsites.
(ii) it is a process of consecrating God’s people
Those who went through the 42 campsites went into the land of Canaan (Joshua 4:19). Going into Canaan foreshadows us entering into the kingdom of heaven. The 42 in the wilderness signifies the faith and the perseverance of the people on their way to the kingdom of heaven. This is the process through which you become holy in the church.
2. Where does the number 42 appear in the New Testament?
(i) It is a genealogy of faith through which Jesus Christ came
There are 42 generations in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. The number 42 represents the people of faith, these are the people who became a pathway for Jesus to come into this world. Those who remember the covenant are people who kept their faith.
Jesus’ genealogy is recorded in Matthew 1:17. The number 14 is the repetition, twice of number 7 (perfection, completion), that emphasizes and doubles the meaning of perfection.
God’s redemptive history is progressing according to God’s own decree and scenario and it is falling into place one by one. Every one of these 42 generations is important. Even with 1 generation missing, the link becomes cut off and Jesus cannot be here.
When we look at Jesus’ genealogy, it continued in the pattern of: “begot…, begot…, begot”. Nehemiah 3:16-23 lists the people who participated in the construction in a genealogical format: “after him…, after him…, after him…”. The list was written as if it was a genealogy of those entering into the kingdom of heaven.
It shows us that God remembers those who participated in the building of the city walls, even in the midst of hardships and difficulties, so their names will be recorded in the Book of Life.
But among the 42 sections, if even 1 section is incomplete, we cannot say that the city wall is completed. God has chosen each and everyone of you as workers to build the city wall for him. Please remember God has given that person a section. So please consider the person next to you very precious, please hold on to, pray for and encourage the person next to you (Ephesians 2:21-22).
3.End times: The tribulation for 42 months
(i) Out of the 7 years of the Great tribulation there is a tribulation during the latter 3.5 years
You have heard of the 7-year tribulation. In the last 3.5 years, there will be great tribulation, there are 42 months (Revelation 11:2).
In the end, Satan will attack individual saints (Revelation 12:17). 42 represents the faith that is required for people to overcome and go through all these tribulations (Revelation 13:1, 4-5, 7).
The beast will defeat and overcome the saints. We might come to a point when we say: This is it, it’s over, I give up. But you are studying right now, that is vaccination. We know this will take place right? So what we need to do is when this time comes, we just need to persevere. That time when we think we are going to die, that is the end point. You are almost there. We need faith that is stronger than that tribulation, that faith is represented by 42.
Let us summarise:
The faith that allows the people to go through the wilderness in the Old Testament = 42 campsites.
The time and generations that were there for Jesus to come in the New Testament = 42 generations.
The duration of the end times great tribulations = 42 months
All things become possible only if God helps us. The conclusion is we need to cooperate with God. We cannot do it with our own strength, but when God’s grace is upon us, we will surely be able to do it.
Nehemiah 2:18 says the hand of my God had been favourable to me. We need God’s hand. We need to complete the new Jerusalem and the secret is found in Ezekiel’s Temple.
(i) The significance of the measurement
In Ezekiel’s temple, the man shining like bronze is measuring the temple. It is checking to see if it’s according to the standards of God.
(ii) Measuring rod = Word
Whenever you are receiving the Word, God is measuring you with His Word. We need to measure up to God’s Word. The bible tells us the exact length of that rod is 6 long cubits (Ezekiel 40:5).
1 long cubit = 1 regular cubit + 1 handbreadth
1 cubit = 6 handbreadths
1 long cubit = 7 handbreadths
6 represents the number of fallen mankind in the bible, or fallenness. (Rev 13:18)
All the other temples built on this earth was measured by regular cubits = 6 handbreadths. But only Ezekiel’s Temple is measured and built according to the standard of long cubit, which is 7 handbreadths. We need to give effort and work hard, but in Ezekiel’s Temple’s long cubit, it signifies that God’s hand is added to our human 6 handbreadths.
1 measuring rod = 6 long cubits = 6 x 7 = 42 handbreadths
What does that tell us?
God is touching and measuring every corner of the temple with His rod of His Word. The good hand of God is added to this measuring rod and touched every corner and every part of the temple. We need to be measured by the Word of God. When we are measured, only then can we enter into the standards of God, and only then can we become God’s possession.
Our assignment is to complete this city of Jerusalem. First we need to learn to cooperate with each other and other people. We need to add on and learn to cooperate with God.
Nehemiah 2:18 (ESV) And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.
Building of the city wall is a good work. You are all gathered here to do God’s good work. We need to make a determination and a confession. May we say, let us arise and build!