New Creation: Now or Later?

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is on the new earth as the center of the new creation. As the outcome of God’s last judgments in Revelation 20, John tells us in 21:1, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea is no more.”

One aspect of this new creation is revealed much earlier, in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” And concerning our Christian life, Galatians 6:15 tells us, “a new creation is what matters.” This is inward, spiritual, a forerunner of the full new creation revealed at the end of Revelation.

The old creation is our old man in Adam (Eph. 4:22), our natural being by birth, without God’s life and the divine nature. The new creation is the new man in Christ (Eph. 4:24), our being that is regenerated by the Spirit (John 3:6), having God’s life and the divine nature wrought into it (John 3:36; 2 Pet. 1:4), having Christ as its constituent (Col. 3:10-11), and having become a new constitution….Although we are still the old creation, we experience the reality of the new creation when we walk according to the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25).*

Today we experience the inward new creation when we live in Spirit. When we reach Revelation 21, the entire creation, inwardly and around us, will be new with the full reality of New Jerusalem.


* Part of footnote 1 on Gal. 6:15 in the Recovery Version NT; footnotes written by Witness Lee.

Photo courtesy of pexels.com.

Betrothed to Christ as a Pure Virgin for New Jerusalem

Two thousand years ago John saw “New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” John had been carried away in spirit to have this eternal view, unlimited by time*. In our human life in time, we need to cooperate with the Spirit for the preparation of the bride by the growth, perfecting, and renewing in Ephesians and Colossians.

Another aspect of the preparation of the bride is in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with a jealousy of God; for I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.” For this, Paul urges us to stay with “the simplicity and the purity toward Christ” (v. 3). We hold to the Jesus we received, the Spirit who regenerated us, and the gospel presented to us in the Bible (v. 4).

New JerusalemMatthew 5 also speaks of the pure in heart. To be pure in heart is to be single in purpose, to have the single goal of accomplishing God’s will for God’s glory (1 Cor. 10:31). Ultimately the goal and the glory are New Jerusalem.

Our pure heart is also in 2 Timothy 2:22, “flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” A pure heart is a single heart without mixture, a heart that seeks only the Lord and takes the Lord as the unique goal.

Lord, draw us daily to Yourself as our unique goal to purify us unto New Jerusalem.


Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

* More on seeing New Jerusalem in spirit:
See New Jerusalem with a Spirit of Faith
In Spirit to See and Enter New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem: Now or Later?

In Revelation 21:2 John declares, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Two thousand years ago John saw New Jerusalem. This is God’s word.

In God’s eternal view, outside our temporal limitations, New Jerusalem exists, and in spirit the angel showed the city to John. In our time-limited view, New Jerusalem is in the future. Yet, God works in us through time to bring forth the city.

New JerusalemToday all believers are members of the Body of Christ (Rom. 12:5). This is our position. Now we need perfecting in our condition and function that we may grow into Christ for the building of the Body until we are full grown to match New Jerusalem. This is Ephesians 4:11-16.

Today we are also constituents of the new man created by Christ on the cross. This is another aspect of our position. Now we need the Spirit’s renewing (Eph. 4:23) to have a proper living in the new man.

By the Spirit’s work in us, the new man is “being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him…where Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:10-11).

When Christ is everything in our living then the new man will fully express Him. Reaching this goal will bring us to New Jerusalem. Yes, John saw the city, but in our present human situation we still need the Lord’s mercy to respond to Him for our growth into Him.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem’s Glory: Now or Later?

Revelation 21 describes New Jerusalem as “having the glory of God.” God, in His divinity, has this glory from eternity past. The glory of this divinity was hidden in the humanity of Jesus and revealed briefly on the mountain (Matt. 17:1-2). This glory will be revealed openly and permanently when the Lord returns.

New JerusalemToday we are members of the Body of Christ, and in eternity we will be constituents of New Jerusalem, sharing in the glory of the city. When do we partake of this glory?

On one hand, in Romans 8:29-30 Paul writes to us that God foreknew, predestinated, called, justified, and glorified us. All these are past tense verbs. We easily agree with most of these, but has God actually glorified us already? We need to believe God’s word!

On the other hand, Hebrews 2:10 tells us that God is “leading many sons into glory.” And Romans 8:17 says, “we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified with Him.” These verses indicate that our partaking of glory is coming, not yet present. Again, we need to believe God’s word!

God is eternal, outside the limits of time. Here we have been glorified. God, through incarnation, entered into time. Here our glorification is a process that is in progress. We cooperate by turning our heart to Him so that the Spirit can transform us from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18), step by step bringing us onward to the glory of New Jerusalem.

Our human cooperation is in the realm of time but in God’s eternal view we are already in the glory of New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Characteristics Now and in New Jerusalem

Ephesians 4:12-24 contains many positives: perfecting, building, oneness, full-grown, fullness, truth, love, reality, righteousness, holiness. These characteristics do not refer to the natural realm or from natural effort.

New JerusalemThey all come from being in Christ, learning Christ, hearing Christ, and growing up into Him as the Head of the Body. Because these all are Christ and our experience of Him, they are also characteristics of New Jerusalem.

Ephesians 4:12-24 also contains many negatives: sleight, craftiness, error, vanity, darkness, ignorance, hard-ness, lasciviousness, uncleanness, greediness, corruption, deceit.

These all result from mankind being alienated from the life of God. None of these will be in New Jerusalem nor anywhere in the new creation, except in the lake of fire.

In our daily living, the key for us as believers to get away from the negatives and into the positives is verse 4:23, “be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” The Spirit has regenerated our spirit—this is John 3:6, “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Now we are one spirit with the Lord—this is 1 Corinthians 6:17.

These two steps—regeneration and renewing—are also seen in Titus 3:5, “the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.” This renewing is not a change from bad behavior to good behavior. Rather, it is a change from living in the old humanity, the fallen humanity that is apart from God to living Christ and letting Him become the reality of our human virtues. This is a living that corresponds to New Jerusalem.

The Glories of Christ

Recent posts included these (and more) verses about glory:
• Col. 1:27 – Christ in us is the hope of glory.
• Matt. 16:27 – The Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels.
• Eph. 5:27 – Christ will present the church to Himself glorious.
• Rev. 21:11 – New Jerusalem has the glory of God

New JerusalemThese verses might cause us to think that glory is general and always the same, but Peter once uses the plural glories. “The prophets…sought and searched diligently, searching into what time or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ in them was making clear, testifying beforehand of the sufferings of Christ and the glories after these” (1 Peter 1:10-11).

A footnote in the Online Recovery Version NT shows us (with many verse references) that these are the glories of Christ 1) in His resurrection, 2) in His ascension, 3) in His second coming, and 4) in His reign. “To Him be the glory forever and ever.”

A summary of recent posts about Christ as our hope of glory now, His second coming in glory, and our glorification:
The Lord’s Second Coming and Glorification of the Bride
Two Aspects of Redemption on Our Path to New Jerusalem (one) (two)
Full Sonship, the Redemption of Our Body
___a hymn by Witness Lee about this hope and redemption (music):
Redemption unto New Jerusalem (one), (two), (three), (four)

Photo courtesy of Good Free Photos.

Redemption unto New Jerusalem (4)

When our Lord Jesus comes again in glory, He will redeem our mortal, corrupted body, transfiguring it to be like His body of glory (Phil. 3:21). This is a step on our path to New Jerusalem, the city “having the glory of God.”

The graphic is the last verse of a hymn about the redemption of our body. Once more, the New Jerusalemverse begins with Christ our hope of glory (Col. 1:27). Then “He is our history.” We have believed “into Christ Jesus” and we are now in Him. Here He is our history.

He has become one with us and He is our life (Col. 3:4) for us to experience Him daily. Soon He will come again to transfigure our mortal bodies and bring us into His glorious liberty. This liberty will free our mortal bodies from sin, death, and all kinds of weaknesses and corruption unto the eternal, incorruptible New Jerusalem.

The freedom of glorification through the redemption of our mortal bodies will make even our physical bodies one with Him. We will be one with Him completely and forever.

Based on the redemption gained through Christ’s death and our believing, we have regeneration in our spirit. That began the renewing of the Holy Spirit in our soul (Titus 3:5), which will culminate with the redemption/transfiguration of our body. All of this prepares us to rejoice with Christ at the wedding feast and to live eternally as part of New Jerusalem. Thank Him for this wonderful, complete salvation!

Redemption unto New Jerusalem (3)

At the Lord’s second coming He will redeem our mortal, corrupted body, transfiguring it to be like His body of glory (Phil. 3:21). This is a step on our path to the city of glory, New New JerusalemJerusalem.

We are in the third verse of a hymn about the redemp-tion of our body when the Lord returns. Again the song begins with Christ as our hope of glory. Then Christ is our full redemption.

He has already completed redemption for forgiveness of sins, but we are still awaiting the redemption of our body. This step of redemption will set our fleshy body free from sin and death. These two negatives always go together and are in our body.

Romans 7 says that sin dwells in us, and causes us to do what we do not want to do. It also speaks of “the body of this death”—the death brought in by sin. And Romans 8 clearly states “the body is dead because of sin.” “The redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23) will free us from both sin and death.

This stage of redemption will fill our body with resurrection life and bring forth the Lord’s glory through our body. This is a big step toward New Jerusalem. First Corinthians 15:54 has all these points and is the basis for the last line in the song.

“When this corruptible will put on incorruption and this mortal will put on immortality, then the word which is written will come to pass, Death has been swallowed up unto victory.” New Jerusalem will be incorruption, immortality, and victory!


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, footnotes, and cross-references, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

Redemption unto New Jerusalem (2)

At the Lord’s second coming He will redeem our physical body, bringing us into full sonship (Rom. 8:23), which is to transfigure our mortal body to be like His body of glory (Phil. 3:21). This is a step on our path to the city of glory, New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe graphic has the second verse of the song about this redemption. Christ is our hope of glory today (Col. 1). He is also the mystery of God (Col. 2:2).

The song says “He shares with me God’s fulness.” This is Colossians 2:9-10, “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you have been made full in Him.” John 1:16 is similar, “of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” More about the fullness.

Jesus Christ is God; He is in us and we are in Him (John 14:20). We are joined to Him and one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). The more we are renewed and transformed in our soul, the more we are blended with God. Our transformation is “from glory to glory” and this glory is fully God’s expression, both now and unto New Jerusalem.

In New Jerusalem we will share God’s glory with Him forever. The city “has the glory of God” and “the glory of God illumines it.” This is our wonderful destiny.

Redemption unto New Jerusalem

The prior three posts touched two aspects of redemption: our justification through the forgiveness of our sins by the Lord’s death on the cross and the redemption of our body at the Lord’s second coming. Both aspects are part of our path to New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemNow we look at a song (words,
music) about the second step of redemption, our glorification. The graphic has the first verse and chorus.

The song begins with Christ as our hope of glory (Col. 1:27). He is our life (Col. 3:4). His work in us began with regeneration and continues until He comes to change our bodies to be like His glorious body (Phil 3:21).

The chorus emphasizes that “He comes.” We know He is coming and His charge to us is “watch.” He comes to transfigure us (Phil. 3), redemption to apply (Rom. 8), His saints to glorify (2 Thes. 1).

We are His saints because He has sanctified us in position by His death and is now sanctifying our entire inward being by His life. In this way we will match New Jerusalem, the holy city.

His glorifying of us is that “He comes to be glorified in His saints.” Apart from Him we have no glory. He is the hope of glory in us now and He will be the glory radiating through us at His coming. Together all the glorified saints will be the glorious church to become the glorious New Jerusalem.

Full Sonship, the Redemption of Our Body

New JerusalemWe have presented two steps of redemption on our path to New Jerusalem. The first is our justification through the forgiveness of our sins, accomplished by the Lord’s death. The second is the redemption of our body, to be accomplished at the Lord’s second coming.

In Luke 21 the Lord Jesus speaks about events before His second coming. Then He tells us, “when these things begin to happen, stand erect and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” This is “the redemption of our body” in Romans 8.

What is “the redemption of our body”? Philippians 3:20-21 says, “we eagerly await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transfigure the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory.” The Lord will come in glory, He will transfigure us to be conformed to His glory, and He will present the church to Himself glorious. This will be a big step toward the glory of New Jerusalem!

The transfiguration of our body will be instantaneous, but it will be the consummation of the renewing and transforming work of the Spirit throughout our Christian life. Therefore, we cannot be lazy and passively wait for the Lord’s second coming. We need to be the faithful and prudent slaves, being filled with oil and doing the Lord’s business regularly.

We should be on guard and grow in grace and the full knowledge of our Lord and Savior. Lord, grant us Your mercy day by day that we may live and grow for You.

Two Aspects of Redemption on Our Path to New Jerusalem (2)

In Christ Jesus we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins, through which we become sons of God. This redemption has been fully accomplished and is eternal. This is the first step on our path to New Jerusalem.

Based on redemption, we become sons of God by His life entering into us. This is the new birth, the regeneration, of our spirit. This life gradually spreads into our soul to renew and transform us*. Now, as Christians, “who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan in ourselves, eagerly awaiting sonship, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23).

New JerusalemWe already are sons of God, but we are in the initial stage of sonship. We eagerly await the full sonship, “the redemption of our body.” This is the second step of redemption on our path to New Jerusalem. This will transpire at the Lord’s second coming.

Ephesians 1 tells us that we were sealed with the Holy Spirit “who is the pledge/ guarantee of our inheritance unto the redemption of the acquired possession.” God is our inheritance both today and in a fuller way when our body is redeemed.

We need to cooperate to reach this goal. Ephesians 4 cautions us, “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed unto the day of redemption.” The Spirit is working in us to transform our soul, to prepare us for the redemption of our body and take us unto New Jerusalem. We hinder this work and grieve the Spirit when we disobey the Spirit and live according to the flesh.

* See verses (and footnotes) in Rom. 12:2, 2 Cor. 3:18, Eph. 4:23, Titus 3:5.

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