In Spirit, Not in the Natural Realm, to See New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:1 presents the new heaven and new earth and 21:2 presents the holy city, New Jerusalem. In 21:10 John tells us that an angel carried him “away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem.” To see New Jerusalem, we need to be in spirit and in an elevated situation.

Jesus “went out from there and came into His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue; and many hearing were astounded, saying, Where did this man get these things? And what is this wisdom given to this man, and how is it that such works of power take place through His hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us? And they were stumbled in Him. And Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and among his own relatives and in his own house.” (Mark 6:1-4)

New JerusalemWhat Mark records here is the opposite of Revelation 21. The people had such a natural remembrance and assessment of Jesus that they could not see the signifi-cance of His teaching and miracles. Due to their unbelief, He could only heal a few people (6:5). Similar cases of spiritual blindness are throughout the gospels.

It is the same today. If we look at the description of New Jerusalem in a natural way we will totally miss its spiritual significance. Revelation is a book of signs (1:1). The materials, dimensions, and features of New Jerusalem should not be understood in a natural, physical way. We need to be “carried away in spirit” to see the reality of New Jerusalem.

 

In the Wilderness or on a High Mountain?

An angel took John to the wilderness to see Babylon (Rev. 17). John also says, “he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:10). The strong contrast between these two location matches the strong contrast between Babylon and New Jerusalem.

When the angel showed John the wife of the Lamb, he brought him up to a great and high mountain. There he showed him the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It was from a great and high mountain that John beheld this sight. This reveals that if we desire to see the eternal vision of God, we must be brought by Him to a great and high mountain. If we are not standing spiritually on a high mountain, we will not see those who are living on the plain, we will not see the New Jerusalem, nor will we see the ultimate work of God.*

New JerusalemSimilarly to the vision of New Jerusalem, Moses received revelations from God while he stayed with God on a mountain (Exo. 24:12-13 is one example). Also, three disciples saw the glorified Jesus when they were with Him on “a high mountain” (Matt. 17:1-8).

John was “carried away in spirit” to see New Jerusalem. This is a spiritual vision, not something in the natural realm. It is very good to read Revelation 21 and 22 but this is only a starting point. Lord, carry us away to a spiritual mountain and give us a vision of New Jerusalem.

The Glorious Church, Chapter 5, by Watchman Nee

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Also, On a High Mountain, See New Jerusalem


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.

In the Wilderness or on a High Mountain?

New JerusalemRevelation 17 begins, “And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, Come here; I will show you the judgment of the great harlot.” Verse 3 begins, “And he carried me away in spirit into a wilderness.”

The wilderness is a place of desolation and judgment, in contrast to the high mountain in Revelation 21 for seeing the glorious New Jerusalem. In the wilderness is the harlot but in eternity there is only New Jerusalem, the holy and pure wife of the lamb, Jesus Christ.

When the angel wanted to show John the great harlot in Revelation 17:1-3, he led him into the wilderness. In God’s eyes and in the eyes of those who are inspired by the Holy Spirit, the harlot is one who dwells in the wilderness. She lives in a place where there is no life and no fruit—a barren land. Men today can behold high church buildings, they can take part in well-prepared Sunday services, and they can admire the ability of man, but in the sight of God, everything that has its origin in Babylon is in the wilderness; it is deserted.*

The deciding factor in God’s eyes is not what is done but who is doing it. Anything done by man’s effort apart from the Lord as our life, even if in His name, is in the wilderness and is condemned. This is Matthew 7:21-23. What is blessed by God is full of His life—Christ abiding in us and we abiding in Christ. This is John 15 and this is New Jerusalem.

The Glorious Church, Chapter 5, by Watchman Nee

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

A Fourth Mystery Points to New Jerusalem

Christ is the mystery of God (Col. 2:2) and the church is the mystery of Christ (Eph. 3:4-11). Christ and the church, as Husband and wife, are the great mystery (Eph. 5:32) a predecessor of Christ the Lamb and New Jerusalem as Husband and wife (Rev. 21:10).

Colossians 1:26 speaks of the revelation of “the mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from the generations but now has been manifested.” Verse 27 unveils this mystery, “God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which [mystery] is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

New JerusalemToday Christ is life in every believer, as in Colossians 3:4. When He returns and is manifested in glory visibly, this life will also be manifested in glory (3:4). Hence, Christ our life today is also Christ as our hope of glory.

This is the glory which New Jerusalem has and which the city will radiate eternally (Rev. 21:11, 23). This glory is of God in Christ, not of us, but it is in us.

God’s intention is “that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had before prepared unto glory” (Rom. 9:23). It is God’s choice in His mercy that Christ has become our hope of glory. Thank Him!

Christ in us will be manifested in glory to express God in a corporate entity, the city New Jerusalem. This is the fulfillment of God’s desire and purpose to create man in His image to express Him.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Three Mysteries Point to New Jerusalem

The New Testament presents three outstanding mysteries which together culminate in New Jerusalem.

Colossians 2:2 speaks of “the mystery of God, Christ.” In 1 Corinthians 2:1 Paul came to the Corinthians “announcing to you the mystery of God.” To do this he determined to know nothing except “Jesus Christ, and this One crucified.” This is the first mystery.

New JerusalemIn Ephesians 3:4 Paul speaks of “the mystery of Christ.” Verse 6 opens this mystery: “in Christ Jesus the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the Body and fellow partakers of the promise through the gospel.”

Paul was graced by God (v. 7) to announce “the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel” (v. 8) and “to enlighten all that they may see what the economy of the mystery is” (v. 9). Then verse 10 is about the church, which is according to God’s eternal purpose (v. 11). This is the second mystery.

The latter part of Ephesians 5 is about husband and wife as a picture of Christ and the church. Verse 32: “This mystery is great, but I speak with regard to Christ and the church.” This great mystery is the forerunner of Christ and New Jerusalem as Husband and wife. 

Ephesians presents many aspects of the church—the Body and fullness of Christ, the one new man, the kingdom and household of God, the dwelling place of God, the bride, and the corporate warrior. New Jerusalem is the consummation of all of these aspects of Christ and the church as the great mystery.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Free Study NTs and Free Christian Books

Dear Readers, I recommend that you look into these sources of New Testaments and Christian literature. Much of what I write about New Jerusalem is based on these materials.

Free Study New Testaments

These NTs feature:

  • outlines for each book pointing out its major sections for an in-depth overview
  • over 9,000 footnotes stressing the revelation of truth, light, and life
  • over 13,000 cross-references to enhance your Bible study
  • helpful charts showing important biblical truths, and detailed NT maps

United States: Bibles for America, bfa.org (English, Spanish, Korean)
Canada: Bibles for Canada, www.biblesforcanada.org (English, French)
Europe: Bibles for Europe, www.biblesforeurope.org (Eng, Ger, Fr, Span, Pol)
New Zealand: Bibles for New Zealand, www.biblesfornewzealand.org.nz
Australia: Bibles for Australia, www.biblesforaustralia.org.au

Free Christian Books

These books can help you know the Bible, learn about Christ, and supply practical help for your Christian life.

Rhema Literature Distributors, www.rhemabooks.org
______worldwide, 29 languages
______available as e-books and in print

Several of the Bible distributors also offer these books.

The Spirit and the Bride Mingled as One

New Jerusalem is introduced in Revelation 21:2 as both the holy city and the bride. In 21:9 an angel tells us that the bride is “the wife of the Lamb,” who is Jesus Christ.

The bride has been sanctified (made holy) and renewed to match the holy and new nature of New Jerusalem. This occurs by our cooperation with the indwelling Spirit.

Revelation 22:17 says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come!” In Revelation 2 and 3, it is the Spirit speaking to the churches (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22), but at the end of the whole Bible it is the Spirit and the bride speaking together. The Spirit is the ultimate consummation of the Triune God as the Bridegroom; the bride is the ultimate consummation of the redeemed man. After this universal marriage, the Triune God and redeemed man are not separate. They do not speak separately, but the two have become one couple, so there is the speaking of the Spirit and the bride together. Hallelujah, God and man are mingled and united to become the universal and eternal couple, moving together and speaking together!*

New JerusalemChrist has redeemed us from sin, death, and God’s judgment. Redemption brings us to life. Galatians 3:13 proclaims our redemption and 3:14 says that we have received the promise of the Spirit, who is life.

This living Spirit in us does the sanctifying and renewing work so that the bride may be prepared. Then the Spirit and the bride respond to the Lord Jesus, saying Come! He will come quickly to take His bride, the holy city, New Jerusalem.

Five Great Mysteries in the Bible, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

New Jerusalem: Satisfaction in Love and Rest in Expression

New Jerusalem is “the bride, the wife of the Lamb,” Jesus Christ, and also “the tabernacle of God” (Rev. 21:2-3). These characteristics are not new at the conclusion of the Bible; they occur often throughout the Bible.

In both the Old and the New Testaments God likens His chosen people to a spouse (Isa. 54:6; Jer. 3:1; Ezek. 16:8; Hosea 2:19; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:31-32) and a dwelling place for Himself (Exo. 29:45-46; Num. 5:3; Ezek. 43:7-9; Psa. 68:18; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Tim. 3:15). The spouse is for His satisfaction in love, and the dwelling place is for His rest in expression. Both aspects will be ultimately consummated in the New Jerusalem. In her, God will have the fullest satisfaction in love and the uttermost rest in expression for eternity.*

The love between God and His people is important throughout the Bible. The books of Moses are, on one hand, filled with laws, commands, and ordinances. On the other hand, they often speak about our heart and our loving God. The Lord Jesus repeated this in John 14:21, 23, coupling loving Him and keeping His commandments. Second John 6 says the same.

New JerusalemIn Ephesians 3:17 we are “being rooted and grounded in love.” And 4:16 has “the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.” The building up of the Body of Christ in love is the preparation of New Jerusalem to be His loving bride. Likewise in Colossians 2:2 we are “knit together in love.”

Lord, increase our loving You daily. Make us those who “who have loved Your appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). Bring us onward to New Jerusalem

* Conclusion of the New Testament, The, chapter 13, by Witness Lee

Photo courtesy of NASA.

New Jerusalem: Bride and Tabernacle

John the apostle tells us in Revelation 21:2-3a, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice out of the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them.”

The New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth is the bride, the wife (Rev. 21:9) of the Lamb Christ as His counterpart (John 3:29) and the tabernacle of God as His habitation (Rev. 21:3). Christ and God are one. They are one God, but triune. And the tabernacle is one entity with two aspects to meet the different needs of its Triune God. To Christ, the Lamb, the Redeemer, the New Jerusalem is His bride as His counterpart for His satisfaction. To God, the Originator, the Creator, the New Jerusalem is His tabernacle as His habitation for His rest.*

New JerusalemThe Bridegroom and bride are spoken about in John 3:29. In 3:30 the bride is the increase of Christ. How can Christ increase? By spreading into many human beings and then growing in us to saturate us with Himself. His spreading begins with His terminating the serpent’s deadly poison, as alluded to in 3:14, so that we can be cleansed to receive eternal life.

This eternal life is the life of New Jerusalem. After being born again, this life, Christ Himself, grows in us. This growth, presented in many of the epistles, brings us to maturity and builds us together. This is our path to New Jerusalem.

* Conclusion of the New Testament, The, chapter 13, by Witness Lee

Photo courtesy of NASA.

New Jerusalem is Prepared by Our Participation in the Riches of Christ

New JerusalemIn Revelation 21:2-3 New Jerusalem is the bride of the Lamb, Christ, for His satisfaction in love. The city is also the tabernacle of God for His rest and expression. This marvelous entity is prepared by our experience of the riches of Christ.

The prior post looked at the individual experience of these riches in Philippians 1 and the corporate experience in Ephesians 3. Then Ephesians 4:15-16 says that “holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ, out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together…causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.”

Everything in these verses is for the preparation of New Jerusalem as the bride. We hold to Christ, the truth, in love. Thus we grow up into Him, experiencing Him in every aspect of our living, both small and big. As we grow into Him, the rich supply flows out from Him for our joining and knitting together (because the Body of Christ and New Jerusalem are corporate entities, not a gathering of individuals). Through this His Body grows and is built together in love.

Colossians 2:19 is a parallel verse, “Holding 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.” Again it begins with our holding, our cooperating. Then the rich supply flows out, all the members are knit together, and the corporate Body of Christ grows. This is our current progress in the preparation of New Jerusalem.

 

New Jerusalem is Prepared by Our Participation in the Riches of Christ

In Revelation 21:2-3 New Jerusalem is the bride of the Lamb, Christ and is also the tabernacle of God.

As the bride of the Lamb, the New Jerusalem comes out of Christ, her Husband, and becomes His counterpart, just as Eve came out of Adam, her husband, and became His counterpart (Gen. 2:21-24). She is prepared by participating in the riches of the life and nature of Christ the Lamb. As the tabernacle of God, the New Jerusalem is built by God with what He is. It is wholly constituted of the nature of God to be His habitation.*

New JerusalemMultiple verses speak of the riches of Christ as the preparation of the Body of Christ, the forerunner of New Jerusalem as the bride. Philippians 1:19 focuses on the preparation of each individual member.

Paul tells us, “I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” Paul was in prison but could experience the riches of Christ there for living Christ to magnify Him (1:20-21).

Ephesians 3:14-19 focuses on our corporate preparation. Paul prayed for the believers, that our Father “would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man.” The result of this strengthening is that the believers corporately are rooted (for life supply) and grounded (for building) to apprehend together the vastness of Christ and be filled to all the fullness of God.

The consummation is glory to God, now in the church and eternally in New Jerusalem.


* Conclusion of the New Testament, The, chapter 13, by Witness Lee

More about The Unsearchable Riches of Christ and New Jerusalem
and The Riches and Fullness of the Triune God

Photo courtesy of NASA.

From the Garden to New Jerusalem

New JerusalemIn Genesis 1 God created by speaking everything into being. However, God does not speak New Jerusalem into being. New Jerusalem comes out of God’s building work by His life imparted into and developing within His people.

God’s desire for a building in His life is shown in Genesis 2. Man was placed in the garden with a tree and river portraying God as life. In the river there were precious materials for God’s building. The conclusion of Genesis 2 is a bride for Adam.

At the beginning of the Scripture in God’s old creation there was a garden, the garden of Eden (Gen. 2:8). At the end of the Scripture in God’s new creation there will be a city, the city of the New Jerusalem. The garden and the city at the two ends of the Scripture reflect each other, with the tree of life which is in both of them as the link (Gen. 2:9; Rev. 22:2). The garden was the issue of God’s creation; whereas the city will be the consummation of God’s building, a building which God has been carrying out through all the dispensations.*

New Jerusalem is both a city built with precious materials and the bride for the Lamb, Jesus Christ. It is built with the flow of life out from Christ (Eph. 4:15-16) and is maintained eternally by this flow (Rev. 22:1).

Conclusion of the New Testament, The, chapter 13, by Witness Lee

Much more about the garden of Eden and New Jerusalem

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