The Supply of Life in New Jerusalem

Revelation 22:1-2 tells us that New Jerusalem has “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. And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”

The tree of life grows in the river of life, and the river of life that flows out of the throne reaches every part of the city. Every part of the city receives the life supply because the tree of life grows in the river and the river reaches every part of the city. The tree of life, as a vine, grows on both sides of the river, following the flow of the river. Wherever the river flows, the tree of life grows. The supply of life is in the flow of life. This is a picture of God’s dispensing. Christ as the tree of life is the life supply available along the flow of the Spirit as the water of life. Where the Spirit flows, there the life supply of Christ is found.*

New JerusalemThe tree portrays Christ, who is the Life. Hence, there is only one tree. It grows on both sides of the river as the vine of life. This is John 15:5, “I am the vine.”

This life comes to us as the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45) who is one with our human spirit as in Romans 8:16. Christ as the Spirit is in us and our human spirit is life (Rom. 8:10). It is here that we receive the river of life now, experiencing the foretaste of its flow in New Jerusalem.

The Conclusion of the New Testament, chapter 20, by Witness Lee, © LSM.


Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Redeeming and Life-Dispensing God

In Revelation 22:1 an angel showed the apostle John “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

The river of water of life proceeds out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. For the water of life to flow out of the throne means that it flows out of God Himself. In the New Jerusalem, we have God in the Lamb, and out of the redeeming God flows the river of life, the life-giving Spirit. This is the dispensing of the Triune God. Before God could dispense Himself into us, He had to redeem us. Thus, the picture in Revelation 22 reveals that the redeeming God is the life-dispensing God. The Lamb signifies redemption, and the river of life signifies the dispensing of life. For eternity, our God will be the redeeming and life-dispensing God.*

New JerusalemIn the Bible redemption is for life. in Genesis 2 God desired that man would eat of the tree of life. At that time redemption was not needed. But since Genesis 3 there has been redemption to bring us back to life. In John 19:34 “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.”

The water which flowed out of the Lord’s side is a picture of the Triune God dispensing Himself as life to us. In Revelation 22:14 we read, “Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city.” Redemption is for life and life brings us into New Jerusalem.

The Conclusion of the New Testament, chapter 20, by Witness Lee, © LSM.


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.

God in the Lamb is the Light of New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:23 tells us that New Jerusalem “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.”

Both God and the Lamb are sitting on the throne [Rev. 22:1]. They are not sitting side by side. Rather, God is in the Lamb. God is the light and the Lamb is the lamp (Rev. 21:23). The glory of the light and the lamp are not side by side. The light is in the lamp. The Lamb as the lamp shines with God as the light. This indicates that God is in the Lamb sitting on the throne. They two are actually one, just as the light and the lamp are one unit, one entity. God in the Lamb is the redeeming God. For eternity in the New Jerusalem we shall see the redeeming God, God in the Lamb.*

New JerusalemIn New Jerusalem there is one throne and one light because God is one! The oneness of God and the Lamb presented in the paragraph above is not something new in New Jerusalem. Rather, it is an eternal oneness.

In John 14 the Lord Jesus said, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (v. 11). In John 10:38 He told us to believe Him so that we know and continue to know this divine fact. This fact is for us to experience and live by today (John 14:20) and it will be manifested in full by New Jerusalem.

The Conclusion of the New Testament, chapter 20, by Witness Lee

The Redeeming God in New Jerusalem

Revelation 22:1, “And 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.”

In eternity future God as the redeeming God will administrate within the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and the new earth. Revelation 22:1 speaks of the throne of God and of the Lamb. The one throne for both God and the Lamb signifies that God and the Lamb are one—the Lamb-God, the redeeming God, God the Redeemer. In eternity the very God who sits on the throne will be our redeeming God, from whose throne proceeds the river of water of life for our supply and satisfaction. This depicts how the Triune God—God, the Lamb, and the Spirit (symbolized by the water of life)—dispenses Himself into His redeemed people under His headship (implied in the authority of the throne) for eternity.*

New JerusalemIn New Jerusalem we have both redemption and life. The redeeming God is here. The death of Jesus Christ accomplished all that is necessary for our forgiveness and reconciliation to God. This qualifies us to partake of God as our life. Throughout the current age we grow in this life.

We “grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ” (Eph. 4:15). Then out from Him flows a rich supply through all His members which “causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.” This is Christ’s headship to bring us into the reality of New Jerusalem to remain eternally under His throne and in the Spirit’s flowing.

The Conclusion of the New Testament, chapter 20, by Witness Lee, © LSM.


Following the pattern earlier this year, posts in the coming weeks will focus on quotes from Excerpts from Books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee by Living Stream Ministry. Each post will identify the specific source of the quotation.

New Jerusalem is a Spiritual Blessing!

New JerusalemEphesians 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.” The Old Testament had God’s outward blessings to Israel. The New Testament presents God’s spiritual blessings to the believers.

What we have today are spiritual blessings: the redemption Christ accomplished; the eternal life given to us; Christ as our inward peace, joy, and hope of glory; the love of God and the grace of Christ; plus much more. All of these spiritual blessings point toward New Jerusalem, the conclusion and consummation of the New Testament.

These blessings are all spiritual, imparted into us by the Spirit of God. Galatians 3:13-14 tells us that the blessing God promised to Abraham is the Spirit Himself. “Christ has redeemed us out of the curse of the law…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.”

The nature of all New Testament blessings is spiritual. Therefore, we should not expect New Jerusalem to be physical. Rather, it is the enlargement and enrichment of all the present spiritual blessings and also has none of the negatives in our present environment.

In New Jerusalem we will see the Lord fully, abide in Him without interruption,  and will have the highest experience of all that He is, including His life, love, righteousness, peace, joy, holiness, and glory. New Jerusalem is the eternal outcome of Ephesians 1:3.

New Jerusalem: No Murmuring, No Reasoning, but Shining the Glory of God

Philippians 2:14-15, “Do all things without murmurings and reasonings that you may be blameless and guileless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as luminaries in the world.”

Paul exhorts us to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” by cooperating with “God who operates in you both the willing and the working for His good pleasure”
New Jerusalem(Phil. 2:12-13). One result, and a practical measure of this working out of salvation is that we “do all things without murmurings and reasonings.”

However, the absence of murmurings and reasonings is not God’s goal. His desire is that we, His children, “shine as luminaries in the world.” But murmur-ing and reasoning quench our shining.

The New Testament Greek word translated “luminaries” is used only in Philippians 2 and in Revelation 21 about New Jerusalem. John writes that an angel showed him “the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal” (21:10b-11).

New Jerusalem’s “light” is the eternal luminary, shining out the glory of God. Our shining today is a preview of the shining of New Jerusalem. This is the result of our cooperating with God’s operating in us. May the Lord be merciful to us, drawing us to always cooperate with Him for His shining through us as His luminaries.

No Dust in New Jerusalem

Genesis 2:7—”Jehovah God formed man with the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”

New Jerusalem“Dust of the ground” was the material used in the creation of Adam at the beginning of the Bible. But at the end of the Bible we see New Jerusalem composed of pure gold, like clear glass (Rev. 21:18), pearls (21:21), and precious stones (21:11, 18-20).

It is by the divine life, the eternal life, that man is transferred from dust of the ground to the precious city. In Genesis 2 this life is portrayed by the tree of life. In the New Testament this life is Jesus Christ (John 11:25, 14:6).

In eternity past we were foreknown and predestinated by God to this life (but we still need to cooperate in time to receive it). On the cross Jesus Christ accomplished redemption to solve all the problems which shut us out from the tree of life because of the fall of man (Gen. 3:22-24).

Now man can be regenerated, born in spirit with this life (John 3:6) to possess this life. Then, throughout our Christian life on earth, this life transforms us, renews us. This is clearly presented in Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 3:16-18, and Ephesians 4:23. This transformation changes our constitution from dust to precious material so that we match New Jerusalem.

When the Lord Jesus returns He will transfigure “the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:21). The is our final step from dust to precious material for New Jerusalem.

More: Five Steps to New Jerusalem (1)  (2)  (3)

 

Music and Singing in New Jerusalem?

Will there be music and singing in New Jerusalem? Revelation 21–22 does not answer this question, but a broad view of the Bible says YES. The conclusion of the Psalms, Psalm 150, urges us to praise God and to praise Him with many musical instruments, even with loud music and dancing. The conclusion of the Bible should be the same.

New JerusalemPsalm 150 begins, “Hallelujah! Praise God in His sanctuary.” God’s eternal sanctuary, His eternal tabernacle and temple, is New Jerusalem.

Hebrews 2:12, quoting Psalm 22, is a declaration of the resurrected Lord Jesus, “I will declare Your [the Father’s] name to My brothers; in the midst of the church I will sing hymns of praise to You.”

The Lord sings praise to God the Father now in and through the church and we expect this to continue eternally in New Jerusalem. Romans 15:9 is similar; the Lord says, “I will sing praise to Your name.”

Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 present the proper Christian life, including “singing and psalming with your heart to the Lord” and “singing with grace in your hearts to God.” Will this not continue eternally?

Revelation 5:8-9, 14:2-3, and 15:2-3 describe heavenly music, singing, praising God for His person and for His accomplishments. All the music and singing in New Jerusalem will be heavenly. None will be of the earthly nature common in today’s concerts. And all the music will glorify God. Praise Him!

From Here to New Jerusalem

The current outward environment is unusual for all of us. But “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes, even forever” (Heb. 13:8). When we look away to Jesus Christ, we can declare, as Paul did in Romans 8:18, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed upon us.”

A similar expression is in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “For our momentary lightness of affliction works out for us, more and more surpassingly, an eternal weight of glory, because we do not regard the things which are seen but
New Jerusalemthe things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

New Jerusalem is central among the things which are eternal, and in New Jerusalem Jesus Christ is central on the throne. When we regard the unseen, eternal, heavenly things, as in the verse above and Colossians 3:1-4, we take Him as our center now.

Revelation 21 tells us that “the glory of God illumined it [New Jerusalem], and its lamp is the Lamb [Jesus Christ].” The glory of God is in Jesus Christ. Today He wants to work Himself into us to be our “eternal weight of glory.” This is unseen now but “when Christ our life is manifested, then we also will be manifested with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). And we will be with Him eternally in the glory of New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem: through Christ, unto Christ

Romans 11 concludes, “Out from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.” This is about the old creation but should apply equally to the new
New Jerusalemcreation and New Jerusalem. They are out from our Lord and through Him and to Him with glory.

Colossians 1:16b is parallel: “All things have been created through Him and unto Him.” First Corinthians 8:6 has similar words. Since this is true for the old creation, it must also apply to the new creation.

The new creation, and New Jerusalem at its center, is not for our pleasure and amusement as in this current world. It will not be for us to do “fun” things we hoped to do in this life. In New Jerusalem, which comes out from God through Christ and is unto Him, Christ will be our joy, our nourishment, our health and rest, our righteousness, our peace and security, our career. We will have everything in Christ and nothing apart from Him.

In our initial salvation we “put on the new man” (Col. 3:10) Now this new man, including all the believers, is being renewed to match the newness of New Jerusalem (3:10). In this new man “Christ is all [everything] and in all [of us]” (3:11). This is fact today even though our seeing and experience is limited.

In New Jerusalem Christ as all and in all with be fully realized and fully manifested in fact and experience.

Bricks or Precious Stones?

New JerusalemJohn was carried away in spirit to a wilderness to see Babylon the harlot (Rev. 17) and carried away in spirit to a high mountain see New Jerusalem, the wife of the Lamb (Rev. 21). The difference in locations reveals the difference in nature of these two women.

Genesis 11 records the building of Babel, the predecessor of Babylon. The builders said to one another (v. 3), “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and they had tar for mortar.”

God’s building is of stones (Matt. 16:18; 1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 21:18-20), produced by God’s divine work, whereas Babel was of bricks, which are the result of human labor through the burning of the God-created earth. In figure, the earth signifies humanity (Gen. 2:7; Matt. 13: 3-8; 1 Cor. 15:47a). Satan kills the element within man that grows the divine life, by burning it out, and it misuses man to build up a man-made and godless life.*

Satan kills but Jesus Christ gives life. When He becomes our life through regeneration, God’s building work of life begins in us. An example is in 1 Peter: we are regenerated by incorruptible seed (1:23), we taste the Lord and grow by drinking the nourishing milk of His word (2:2-3), and we are living stones for the building of God’s spiritual house.

The consummation of this house is New Jerusalem. God’s life brings us here and builds us into this glorious city.

* Part of footnote 1 on Genesis 11:3 in The Recovery Version of the Bible, © LSM.

No Quarantine with God

Dear Readers, because of the current world situation I am inserting this post, which is not directly about New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe covid-19 virus pandemic has caused many isolation and social distancing measures to be announced. Nations have closed borders, sealed off cities, and quarantined sick or suspected persons.

In ancient times, leprosy was a terrible infectious disease. Those who were infected had bad rashes and sometimes severe facial deformities. When a person got leprosy, he was discriminated against and isolated by society.

One day a leper came to Jesus. He worshiped him and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can cleanse me.” Jesus held out his hand, touched the leper, and said, “I am willing; be cleansed!” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed (Matthew 8:2-3).

Nobody dared to approach the leper, who was regarded by everyone as an impure person who must be separated from society. However, the Lord Jesus was willing to approach him and even reached out to touch him.

Although Jesus only needed to speak to heal the leper, nevertheless He touched him. What consolation for this leper who suffered from pain, was isolated, and desperate from panic!

God is merciful. Even if fear arises again today, please remember that the Lord Jesus died to redeem us and resurrected to regenerate us (1 Peter 1:3). Today He invites you to cast “all your anxiety on Him because it matters to Him concerning you” (1 Peter 5:7). Then “the peace of God will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).

 

%d bloggers like this: