Enter through the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

We continue with the contrasts of physical shadows and spiritual realities in Hebrews. The realities match characteristics of New Jerusalem.

Hebrews 9:1 is about the first covenant, the shadows. Its sanctuary was of “this world,” of the old creation, in contrast to New Jerusalem which is of the new creation. 

New JerusalemVerses 3 to 5 present the gold and the glory of the Holy of Holies. The gold is the nature of God and the glory is the expression of God. Both gold and glory are characteristics of New Jerusalem, and the city is a cube, the eternal Holy of Holies.

In contrast, verse 2 mentions the table and the lampstand in the holy place but does not say that they are of gold. This omission emphasizes that the shadows of the old creation do not compare with New Jerusalem.

Verses 6 to 8 show us that the entrance into the reality is only possible based upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is our entrance into New Jerusalem, and today we come forward to the heavenly Holy of Holies.

Verses 9 and 10 (and 10:1) tell us that the shadows are temporary and that they cannot perfect those who hold to that form of worship. But 10:14 tells us that Christ “has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” This perfection has New Jerusalem as its goal.

The Reality of All the OT Shadows

This post begins a look at multiple contrasts in Hebrews 8 to 10. The spiritual/heavenly side of these contrasts shows us something about New Jerusalem. On the opposite side, the physical/material side of these contrasts shows us what New Jerusalem is not.

New JerusalemHebrews 8:1: “We have such a High Priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.” In His ascension Jesus Christ sat down. In eternity He is the Lamb with God on the throne in New Jerusalem.

Verses 3-4 speak of priests making offerings. The Old Testament priests offered gifts according to the law, but the Lord Jesus offered Himself as the reality of all the OT sacrifices. He is “the Lamb of God.”

Verse 5 tells us that the OT priests “serve the example and shadow of the heavenly things.” Earthly things, like the OT tabernacle, are merely shadows. Heavenly things, including “New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven” are the reality.

Verse 6 says that Jesus Christ “obtained a more excellent ministry inasmuch as He is also the Mediator of a better covenant.” This new covenant is further described in verses 7 to 13.

Verse 13: “ In saying, A new covenant, He has made the first old.” The new covenant, which is of life, not of law, is the better covenant and corresponds with New Jerusalem. Verse 13 also says that the old “is near to disappearing” but New Jerusalem is eternal.


Photo courtesy of Good Free Photos.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

The Rich Supply, Now and New Jerusalem

The description of New Jerusalem includes “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street” (Rev. 22:1).

New JerusalemThe river of life for New Jerusalem flows out of the throne. Colossians 2:19 tells us that Christ is “the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.”

Christ as the Head is the authority, corresponding to the throne in New Jerusalem. The rich supply out from the Head is like the river flowing out from the throne. 

The rich supply is for the present building up of the Body of Christ by the growth of God in all the members. This building up is the preparation of New Jerusalem in every member and corporately in the members as the one Body.

In eternity New Jerusalem will be complete, with no further need of preparation. Nevertheless, as a living entity, the city needs the proper supply to maintain the freshness of life. This supply is the river of life from the throne which brings the tree of life with its fruits.

To partake of the rich supply today is by “holding the Head” (Co. 2:19) and by “holding to truth in love” to “grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ” (Eph. 4:15-16). Lord Jesus, keep us holding to You in love for Your rich supply to prepare New Jerusalem in us.

New Jerusalem: a Life in Resurrection

New JerusalemFirst Corinthians 6:13 says, “Foods are for the stomach, and the stomach for foods; but God will bring to nought both it and them.” The verse also says that our physical body is for the Lord and the Lord for our body. Verse 14 continues, “And God has both raised up the Lord and will raise us up through His power.”

On one hand, both our stomach and physical foods will be brought to nothing. On the other hand, God will bring our entire being, including our physical body, into resurrection. In resurrection we match New Jerusalem, the city of resurrection.

First Corinthians 6 tells us that physical food will be of no significance in New Jerusalem. How is this possible? In resurrection!! Moses is a picture of this; Exodus 34:28 and Deuteronomy 9:9, 18 tell us that he was on the mountain with God forty days and forty night and during this time he neither ate or drank. The Lord’s presence sustained his physical body.

It will be the same in New Jerusalem. The river of water of life and the fruits of the tree of life will be our spiritual food and in resurrection this food will sustain every part of our being. Yes, we will be able to eat physical food, as the Lord Jesus did (Luke 24:41-43) but it will not be necessary.

The resurrection life will be everything we need. Jesus Christ as the real tree of life and the Spirit as the real water of life will fully supply us in New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem is a Spiritual Blessing

Ephesians 1:3 declares, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ.” Verses 4 to 14 present some details of these spiritual blessings. New Jerusalem is the consummation of all these blessings.

The blessings are from the Triune God. Ephesians 1:4-6 speaks about the Father’s selection and predestination. Verses 7-12 speak of the Son’s redemption for the accomplishing of God’s eternal purpose. Verses 13-14 speak of the Spirit”s applying to us what the Son accomplished.

New JerusalemEach of these three sections leads to the praise of God’s glory. Ultimately New Jerusalem will have and display God’s glory and praises will go to God for this glory.

First Corinthians 10:16 tells us that “the cup of blessing which we bless” is the fellowship of the blood of Christ. This too is a spiritual blessing.

Galatians 3:13-14 proclaim that “Christ has redeemed us…in order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Here the blessing we receive is the Spirit. This is an eternal blessing based on God’s promise to Abraham.

Jesus told us that our heavenly Father will care for our outward needs. This is true but God’s highest desire is to bless us with Himself.  The blessing of New Jerusalem is not outward but it is to live in and with the Triune God for eternity.

Eternal Redemption; Serve the Living God

Hebrews 9:12 declares that Jesus, “through His own blood, entered once for all into the Holy of Holies, obtaining an eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:14 declares further that “the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”

How does that relate to New Jerusalem? Revelation 22:3, “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it [New Jerusalem], and His slaves will serve Him.”

New JerusalemThe eternal redemption accomplished once for all by Jesus Christ is for us to serve God now and in New Jerusalem. His redemption, and the forgiveness and purifying it affords us, is always available because it was done “through the eternal Spirit.”

Redemption opens the door for us to receive eternal life, and eternal life (John 3:15-16) brings us into the bride of Christ (3:29-30) which ultimately is New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2).

The purifying presented in Hebrews 9:14 is necessary for us to receive eternal life and because “the city was pure gold, like clear glass” (Rev. 21:18). New Jerusalem has no spots, no darkness, no obscurity. Every aspect of the city is pure and transparent.

We are experiencing the purifying in Hebrews 9 along with the inward washing of our being presented in Ephesians 5:26 and Titus 3:5. This brings us to the purity of New Jerusalem and to our eternal service to the living God.

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

God’s Multifarious Wisdom Made Known

Ephesians 3 tells us that God wants to enlighten us concerning His eternal purpose. God “created all things, in order that now to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenlies the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church, according to the eternal purpose which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

New JerusalemGod’s purpose is to display His magnificent wisdom now through the church and much more to display it through New Jerusalem for eternity.

New Jerusalem shines with the glory of God. This is not merely a brightness but a display of all that God is and has accomplished.

God has forgiven our sins but that is not His goal. Forgiveness cleanses us to receive His eternal life. But that is not the goal. Eternal life is in us to grow and build us together as the house of the living God (1 Tim. 3:15), the church, through which God is manifested in humanity.

Today the world is full of corruption, wars, murders, deceit, homelessness, and many more problems. All these negative things are the dark background for the manifestation of God’s infinite wisdom. If the entire human situation were simple, smooth, and clean, such wisdom would not be needed.

God has allowed Satan some freedom to work in humanity but eventually all Satan will be able to do is to provide the opportunity for God to manifest His wisdom. God wants this today in the church and will fully realize it in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Psalm 84 and New Jerusalem

Psalm 84 begins, “How lovely are Your tabernacles, O Jehovah of hosts!” Because one designation of New Jerusalem is “the tabernacle of God,” (Rev. 21:3), the city is within the scope of this Psalm. Surely New Jerusalem will be lovely and attract our praise.

Psalm 84 touches New Jerusalem even though the authors, the sons of Korah, had no concept of the city. Verse 2 of the Psalm says, “My soul longs, indeed even faints, for the courts of Jehovah; my heart and my flesh cry out to the living God.” May our soul long for New Jerusalem and may we cry out to the living God!

New JerusalemVerse 4, “Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will yet be praising You.” We will dwell in New Jerusalem for eternity and will be praising God eternally.

Verse 5, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.” Lord, plant the highways to Zion, to New Jerusalem, in our hearts!

The following verses speak of God being our blessings, our strength, and our shield. In verse 10 the psalmist longs even to be at the threshold of  God’s house (a precursor of New Jerusalem).

In verse 11, “Jehovah God is a sun and a shield; Jehovah gives grace and glory.” This is for today and for eternity.

Psalm 84 ends, “O Jehovah of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You.” May we trust in Him like the psalmist and set our hope on the unseen, eternal things of New Jerusalem.


To my readers: beginning this week and for the remainder of this year posts will be Mondays and Fridays but not Wednesdays.

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (7)

New Jerusalem is the goal of God’s eternal purpose made in eternity past. It is also the goal of all God’s work in time. This post concludes linking a song* about God’s purpose for New Jerusalem with verses in the Bible. The last verse of the song is:

New JerusalemGod in man and man in God
Mutual dwelling thus possess;
God the content is to man,
And the man doth God express.

The mutual dwelling of God and man is not a new thought in Revelation. Rather, in John 14 the Lord Jesus said to the disciples, “In that day [His soon-coming resurrection] you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” Then in 15:4 He said further, “Abide in Me and I in you” with more in 15:5 and 15:7.

God as our content is also not a new thought in Revelation. Multiple verses speak of God in Christ as our life, our righteousness, our wisdom, our grace, our peace, our empowering, our hope of glory, our boast, and much more. He is unsearchably rich.

Man as the expression of God is seen in Acts 19:17, Ephesians 3:10 and 3:21, and in Philippians 1:21. The expression of God in man depends on the development of eternal life in man. We cooperate with Him now for this growth so that He may be expressed to the world today. This same expression, but much richer and stronger, will shine forth through New Jerusalem.

——
* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (6)

God’s eternal purpose is to become one with His people to dwell with them eternally as New Jerusalem and to manifest His glory through the city.

We have followed a song* about God’s purpose from creation to the flow of eternal life for the building up of God’s dwelling to the throne, river of life, and tree of life which characterize New Jerusalem. The song’s
New Jerusalemnext verse is:

God in Christ, the glorious light,
Thru the city brightly shines,
Scattering all the deathly night
With its light of life divine.

This corresponds with words in Revelation. In 21:11 New Jerusalem has “the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.”

And in 21:23, “the city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” In 22:5 we read, “And night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them.”

God shines in Christ and through Christ to enlighten the entire city. This glorious light radiates further to enlighten the new creation. This is the ultimate manifestation of Jesus Christ as the “light of life” (John 1:4; 8:12).

In New Jerusalem “night will be no more” because every member of the city will be fully in resurrection with no need for sleep. God in Christ is our eternal day in New Jerusalem.

——
* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (5)

The throne of God and the Lamb is the center of New Jerusalem and New Jerusalem is the center of the new earth under the new heavens. Everything in the entire new creation is under God’s ruling. Everything is calm and peaceful because all evil and all rebellion were cast into the lake of fire in Revelation 20.

We are considering a song* about God’s eternal purpose. Its sixth verse:

In its center, as its pow’r,
Is the throne of Christ and God,
Whence doth flow the stream of life
As the Spirit’s living flood.

This corresponds with Revelation 22:1, “He [an angel] showed me [John] a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.” The river is a symbol of the Spirit who flows abundantly to all God’s people. Earlier, John 7 records the Lord Jesus speaking about the Spirit as a river of living water.
New JerusalemThe next verse of the song:

Christ, the tree of life, is there
In the flowing of the stream,
Yielding fruit of life divine
As the food of life supreme.

This is Revelation 22:2, “On this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”

Both the river and the tree of life if Genesis 2 have their reality in Jesus Christ. He is our real food supply, to nourish us today, unto New Jerusalem, and eternally.

——
* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

Living Water Flows to & in New Jerusalem 2, 3, 4,

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (4)

The new creation with New Jerusalem at its center is the conclusion of the Bible. This is God’s goal. A song* tells about God’s process to reach this goal. The fourth verse expresses God’s longing:

New JerusalemTis the city God hath built,
Tis the dwelling God requires,
Tis the new Jerusalem
Which fulfills His heart’s desires.

The fifth verse:

Tis the building of the saints,
Tis the blend of God and man,
Purposed by the Father’s will
Long before the world began.

“Saints” are all God’s people, sanctified by His working upon and in them. They are built together by the flow of God’s life (verse 3 of the song) as presented in Ephesians 4:16 and Colossians 2:19. This building work is what God purposed in eternity past.

New Jerusalem was planned by God before creation and is portrayed by all that is in Genesis 2. God has the foreknowledge of everything and every event in His creation, and in His wisdom He uses all of it to bring forth His desire. The sixth verse, speaking of the throne in New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1), begins:

In its center, as its pow’r,
Is the throne of Christ and God.

God is in Christ and Christ in God, as the Lord Jesus spoke to us in John 14:10-11. In their coinherence They have one throne, which is the center of New Jerusalem, out of which flows the river of water of life.

——
* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

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