New Jerusalem is the Bride, the Wife of the Lamb

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is the consummation of the Bible. Prior posts have covered three designations of this city: New Jerusalem, the holy city, and the tabernacle of God. Each post includes a quote from the book God’s New Testament Economy (see footnote).

New Jerusalem is also the bride, the wife of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. An angel said to John, “Come here; I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And he carried me away in spirit…and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:9-10).

The first wife in the whole universe was Eve. In Ezekiel 23 the children of Israel are referred to as the wife of Jehovah (vv. 1-4). In John 3 all the regenerated believers are the bride of Christ to be His increase, His enlargement (vv. 29-30). In Ephesians 5 there is the church as the wife of Christ, and in 2 Corinthians 11:2 the believers have been engaged or betrothed to Christ as their Husband. Revelation 19:7-9 unveils a universal wedding day, the marriage of the Lamb. Finally, in the last two chapters of the Bible we see the wife of the Lamb….The Bible concludes and consummates with a divine couple living a married life in eternity.

The church as the wife of Christ is neither different nor separate from New Jerusalem as the wife of the Lamb. They are the same except that the church in this age is at an earlier stage of development.

Ephesians 5:26-27 says that Christ is cleansing the church “by the washing of the water in the word, that He might present the church to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that she would be holy and without blemish.” The church in this age is gaining the glory and having all the spots and blemishes washed away to become New Jerusalem, the holy city-bride.


* From chapter 28, Witness LeeGod’s New Testament Economy, published by Living Stream Ministry, © Witness Lee, 1986.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The text of this Bible is at text.recoveryversion.bible; this too is © by LSM.

God’s City is Composed of Divinity + Humanity (2)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us” (John 1:1, 14a). Jesus Christ is the God-Man, both God and man (flesh).

In Exodus 26 the acacia wood overlaid with gold shows divinity with humanity in the building of the OT tabernacle which is “a figure of the true” NT tabernacle (Heb. 9:24).

The meal offering shows two elements [humanity, divinity] not merely added together but mingled one with the other. In this offering we see the fine flour mingled with oil (Lev. 2:4). In the tabernacle we can see only the combination or addition of gold with wood. In God’s incarnation divinity came into humanity and was added to humanity. In this God-man’s resurrection, humanity was brought into divinity and added to divinity….These two natures—the human and divine—are not only added together but also mingled together as one entity, as one person, without a third nature being produced.*

The mingling of divinity with our humanity is also seen in Galatians 2:20, “it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith.” Christ lives in us and we also live. This is a mingled living in the realm of faith, not in the physical realm. We learn this living now and will experience it in full in New Jerusalem.

* From chapter 27, Witness LeeGod’s New Testament Economy, published by Living Stream Ministry, © Witness Lee, 1986.

God’s City is Composed of Divinity + Humanity

God’s New Testament tabernacle is a living building. The Old Testament tabernacle was merely “a figure of the true” (Heb. 9:24). Every aspect of the Old Testament tabernacle is a portrait of a New Testament reality. “Grace and reality came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17).

New JerusalemThe New Jerusalem as the tabernacle of God is built with humanity and divinity combined together as typified by the acacia wood overlaid with gold (Exo. 26:15, 29)….The standing boards in the tabernacle were made of acacia wood, which is hard, strong, and fine wood, overlaid with gold. The wood and the gold were combined together to be one entity—the standing boards. Gold always signifies God’s divinity, and wood signifies man’s humanity. This shows clearly that Christ as the tabernacle is composed with His divinity plus His humanity. He is the God-man in whom humanity and divinity are combined together.*

Jesus Christ is the first God-Man, divinity mingled with humanity. Now all His believers are humans mingled with the divine nature (but not with the Godhead). We are partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). This combination of humanity with divinity qualifies and supplies us to be built into the Body of Christ now, which enlarges to become New Jerusalem.

This building is a matter of life. We grow up into the Head, Christ, in all things (Eph. 4:15) and Christ grows in us to be formed in us (Gal. 4:19). This is our path to New Jerusalem.

* From chapter 27, Witness LeeGod’s New Testament Economy, published by Living Stream Ministry, © Witness Lee, 1986.

New Jerusalem is the Living Temple of God

“Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up….He spoke of the temple of His body.” (John 2:19, 21)
“You are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16).
“In whom [Christ Jesus] all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord.” (Eph. 2:21)

New Jerusalemin the New Testament both the tabernacle and the temple are a person. After His resurrection this person was enlarged, multiplied, and propagated, so this person became a corporate person…. In the Gospels Christ is called the temple, and in the Epistles the church is called the temple (1 Cor. 3:16). Both are a person, not physical things. Since this is the case, how could the consummation of the New Testament be a physical building?…The tabernacle and the temple in the Gospels are a person, the temple in the Epistles is a corporate person, the church, and the New Jerusalem in Revelation as a consummation of the New Testament is a corporate person.*

Three verses in Hebrews present contrasts between the physical OT tabernacle and temple and the living NT temple: “the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man” (8:2), “the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not of this creation” (9:11), “Christ did not enter into a holy place made by hands, a figure of the true” (9:24).

The old Jerusalem is merely a figure of the true, new Jerusalem, which is not of the old creation but of the new creation. Hence it is the heavenly and better country for our eternal dwelling.

* From chapter 27, Witness LeeGod’s New Testament Economy, published by Living Stream Ministry, © Witness Lee, 1986.

New Jerusalem is the Living Tabernacle of God

New Jerusalem“The Word was God….And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us” (John 1:1b, 14a)

“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them.” (Rev. 21:3a)

Revelation 21:3 is the speaking of a loud voice from the throne about New Jerusalem. The tabernacle of God here is God Himself, not a thing, because the next phrase of the sentence says “He [God] will tabernacle.”

Revelation also tells us that the New Jerusalem is the tabernacle of God (21:3a). In the New Testament the tabernacle is first Christ and then Christ enlarged. John 1:14 tells us that the Word who became flesh tabernacled among us. When Jesus Christ was incarnated, He was a tabernacle. The tabernacle in the Old Testament was a material building, but the tabernacle in the New Testament is a person. Furthermore, the temple in the Old Testament was a material building, but in John 2 the Lord Jesus indicated that He Himself is the temple (vv. 19-21). The temple is now a person in the New Testament.*

The quote above speaks of Christ enlarged. This matches the word of John the Baptist in John 3:30, “He must increase.” John did not say that Christ’s followers must increase in number but that Christ Himself “must increase.” This increase is the bride of Christ (v. 29) which ultimately is New Jerusalem.

This matches 1 Corinthians 12:13 which says “in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body.” This is the spiritual, enlarged Body of Christ with all of us as His members which eventually becomes New Jerusalem. In chapter 12 our physical body, with many members, is a picture of the enlarged Christ.

Just as our physical body has grown in life as one unit, so also New Jerusalem grows. Christ’s enlargement begins with His believers being born of the Spirit and baptized in one Spirit and grows with Him as their life.

* From chapter 27, Witness LeeGod’s New Testament Economy, published by Living Stream Ministry, © Witness Lee, 1986.

New Jerusalem is a Heavenly and Better Country 

Hebrews 11:14-16 speaks of the people of faith seeking a heavenly and better country than where they had lived. This God-prepared country is New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThis city is also a heavenly and better country (Heb. 11:14-16; 12:22). Our country is not a wilderness but a builded city. Although Abraham was expecting and waiting for a city, he may not have received a vision that the city he was expecting would be something divine and spiritual. By the help of the book of Revelation we can see that the very heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God, is not a physical city but absolutely a spiritual and divine entity….Together with Abraham we all will enjoy this spiritual and divine city. This is really a better country.*

Revelation 22:3-5 present many blessings that make New Jerusalem “a better country:” no curse, God’s throne is present, we will serve God as priests, we will see His face, His name will be on us, no more night, God will shine on us, we will reign forever.

John saw “New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God” (Rev. 21:2). The city is “heavenly” but it is on earth, having come down “out of heaven.” The city is also “better” since it is the central part of the new creation; it has nothing to do with the old creation.

While we are awaiting Neww Jerusalem as this heavenly and better country, let pursue the things of the Lord as in Philippians 3:12-14.


* From chapter 27, Witness LeeGod’s New Testament Economy, published by Living Stream Ministry, © Witness Lee, 1986.

Art courtesy of an anonymous artist.

New Jerusalem is Built with the Triune God as its Precious Materials

New JerusalemPaul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 that “According to the grace of God given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid a foundation…which is Jesus Christ.”

In the next two verses he speaks about our portion in the building work, “If anyone builds upon the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, stubble, the work of each will become manifest.” The first three materials typify the Triune God; the last three materials typify every human effort apart from God.

This city is built with the divine materials. First Corinthians 3:12 tells us that in this age, the church age, we should build the church with gold, silver, and precious stones. In the coming age, silver becomes pearl, and the materials in the New Jerusalem are gold, pearl, and precious stones. Paul surely does not mean for us to build the church with actual, literal pieces of gold. If this were the case, no one could afford to build the church. Paul laid the unique foundation of Christ, and now we need to build on the foundation.*

Jesus Christ is the foundation of the church and our experiences of the Triune God build upon this foundation. Gold is the Father’s divine nature, silver is the redemption accomplished by Jesus, and precious stones symbolize the transforming work of the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18).

New Jerusalem is the enriched, expanded, and eternal outcome of the building of the church.

More in:
Three Precious Materials
Three Materials in God’s Eternal Purpose
The Gold, Pearls, and Precious Stones of New Jerusalem Portray God

* From chapter 27, Witness LeeGod’s New Testament Economy, published by Living Stream Ministry, © Witness Lee, 1986.

New Jerusalem Shows God’s Great & Varied Wisdom

God created all things so that now “the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church” (Eph. 3:9-10). This is what He purposed in eternity. He is currently working out this purpose in the church and will have the full manifestation with New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe New Jerusalem, as the ultimate consummation of the church, is full of wisdom. God designed the New Jerusalem with His wisdom, and this city displays His wisdom. To say that the New Jerusalem is a physical city depreciates God’s wisdom and belittles this eternal, wise Architect. If we have the realization that the New Jerusalem is a sign that signifies many spiritual, divine things, then we begin to see the wisdom of God in this city. God is a wise designer and artificer who designed such a city to be a full manifestation of His multifarious wisdom.*

The Greek NT word translated multifarious is used only in Ephesians 3:10. It means something (here, God’s wisdom) manifested in many ways. This is the display of God’s wisdom shown by the many aspects of New Jerusalem presented in Revelation 21–22.

New Jerusalem is the ultimate manifestation of God’s wisdom, but He also wants it to “be made known through the church” today. Thus, the gospel of the kingdom should be proclaimed “to all the nations” (Matt. 24:14). The gospel  brings forth salvation to people in every kind of society, in any economic situation, and under any kind of government. This displays God’s multifarious wisdom.


* From chapter 27, Witness LeeGod’s New Testament Economy, published by Living Stream Ministry, © Witness Lee, 1986.

Graphic courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.

New Jerusalem, Designed by God’s Infinite Wisdom to Express God

Hebrews 11:10 tells us that Abraham “eagerly waited for the city which has the foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God.” This city is New Jerusalem.

This city was designed and built by God (11:10). Hebrews 11:10 tells us that the Architect and Builder of this city is God. The Greek word for architect in this verse can also be translated as either “builder” or “artificer.” This means that God is a skillful designer and a top craftsman.

Ephesians 2:10 tells us that the church is God’s masterpiece. The Greek word for masterpiece is poiema, which means something that has been written or composed as a poem. The church is a poem written by God. Poetry expresses the writer’s wisdom. God makes known through the church His multifarious wisdom (3:10).*

New JerusalemGenesis 1:26 declares that God wanted to make man in His own image. This hints at God’s eternal purpose, which is to express Himself through man.

Ephesians 3:9-11 is very definite. God created all things (v. 9) so that now “the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church” (v. 10). This is according to His eternal purpose (v. 11).

The church today and New Jerusalem in eternity is God’s expression. God is the Wisdom, the Architect, the Poet, of this masterpiece. In conceiving New Jerusalem the Triune God acted alone. We had no part in this.

But in building up the church today to grow unto New Jerusalem, God is the Chief Craftsman of New Jerusalem but we cooperate with Him in the building work.

* From chapter 27, Witness LeeGod’s New Testament Economy, published by Living Stream Ministry, © Witness Lee, 1986.

We have Come to the Heavenly Jerusalem

Hebrews 12:22, in contrast to the foregoing verses about Israel’s experience, says, “But you have come forward to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.”

New JerusalemIn Hebrews 12:22 the writer tells us that we have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. This verse does not say that we will come but that we have come to the heavenly Jerusalem. If Mount Zion and the city of the living God were something physical, how could we have come to them even today?…This city is heavenly in nature. We have received a heavenly call (Heb. 3:1), have tasted the heavenly gift (Heb. 6:4), and can live a heavenly life on earth today (Col. 3:1-2).*

We need to give close attention to every word of the Bible. Here it says that “we have come forward.” Our experience might not confirm this, but that means there is a great shortage in our experience.

By the Lord’s doing in our salvation, we have come in position. Now we need to come forward in our experience. This is Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come forward with boldness to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help.”

We have boldness because we have a heavenly High Priest who knows our weakness but does not condemn us. Let us come to Him in prayer, singing, praising, and musing on His word. Then we gain a foretaste of New Jerusalem’s mercy and grace.


* From chapter 27, Witness LeeGod’s New Testament Economy, published by Living Stream Ministry, © Witness Lee, 1986.

Photo courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.

The Holy City is Saturated with the Holy God

New Jerusalem is named “the holy city” in Revelation 21:2, 10.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Paul prays that our whole being—spirit and soul and body—may be sanctified wholly. This is dispositional sanctification where the very holy God is saturating us with His holy nature. In positional sanctification there is only a change of position, but in dispositional sanctification there is the transformation in nature and in element….Based upon this principle, we can see that the holy city, the New Jerusalem, could never be a physical city, since a physical city could never be saturated with God. This city is composed with living persons who can be and who are saturated with God.*

New JerusalemFirst Peter 1:15 exhorts us, “be holy in all your manner of life.” This does not refer to a manner of life governed by a set of rules. Verses 14 to 23 include the words “children,” “Father,” “believe into God,” and “having been regenerated.”

We have been born of God with God’s life and nature which grows in us and brings forth His holy living. This is dispositional sanctification.

First Thessalonians 5:23 says, “the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly.” God does this by saturating our entire being with His holy nature. We cooperate by calling on Him, praying, confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness, singing, and taking His word as our spiritual nourishment.

New Jerusalem as the holy city, is the eternal result of all God’s people being saturated by His holy nature.


* From chapter 27, Witness LeeGod’s New Testament Economy, published by Living Stream Ministry, © Witness Lee, 1986.

Photo courtesy of Burningwell.org.

The Holy City is Separated unto God and also Saturated with God

The eternal Jerusalem is new with God’s newness; it is also holy with God’s holiness. John tells us, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God” (Rev. 21:2).

The New Jerusalem is also designated as the holy city (Rev. 21:2a). In the New Testament the word holy not only means separated unto God but also saturated with God. In the Old Testament to be made holy was to be separated unto God. There was no saturation of God in the Old Testament, and the holiness or sanctification there was only positional, not dispositional. In the New Testament, though, we see both the objective, positional holiness and sanctification and the subjective, dispositional holiness and sanctification. Romans 6:19 and 22 indicate that sanctification is something subjective and dispositional.*

New JerusalemAll the characteristics of New Jerusalem are being developed in the believers today. The Body of Christ is growing and being built for New Jerusalem. All the believers are being renewed in spirit (Eph. 4:23) for the newness of New Jerusalem.

We are all being sanctified for this eternal city. Second Thessalonians 2:13 says that God chose us unto sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. For this, today we give the Spirit the freedom to lead us and soak us with His new and holy element. This is part of our journey to New Jerusalem.


* From chapter 27, Witness LeeGod’s New Testament Economy, published by Living Stream Ministry, © Witness Lee, 1986.

Photo courtesy of Good Free Photos.

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