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.

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.

We Are Made New for New Jerusalem

A recent post focused on our being sanctified, separated positionally, and sanctified, saturated dispositionally, for the holy city New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemAll human beings are in the old creation, under sin and death (Rom. 5:12). We need to be made new to be part of New Jerusalem in the new creation. Like sanctification, our change from old to new has two stages—positional and dispositional.

The positional change is immediate at the time of our believing. We repent and believe into Jesus Christ.

Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” In Christ we are positionally new; this fact stands firm in the Bible. But are we new in all our living? in all our attitudes and reactions to people and situations? We are not.

We need the dispositional renewing by the Spirit’s working in us. Romans 12:2 exhorts us “be transformed by the renewing of the mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.” We need dispositional renewing to fully enter and prove the will of God.

Ephesians 4:23 is the same: “be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” That is our need. The way is in Titus 3:5—God “saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit, who gave birth to our deadened spirit (John 3:6) is working within us to spread into our mind to renew us dispositionally.

This renewing constitutes us with the newness of God so that New Jerusalem can manifest this newness eternally.

God is Manifested in the Church and in New Jerusalem

New JerusalemFirst Timothy 3:15 speaks of “the house of God, which is the church of the living God.” In the New Testament the house is also the household, the family, as in 1 Corinthians 1:16. The church is not a physical structure but a composition of all God’s New Testament people.

Likewise, New Jerusalem is not a physical city but the composition of God with all His Old and New Testament people.

In 1 Timothy 3:16 the church is involved in the mystery of godliness, God manifested in the flesh.* This manifestation is for today and will be greatly enlarged with New Jerusalem.

Today the manifestation is spiritual; when Christ returns the manifestation will be enlarged and much more evident. Colossians 3:4 speaks of this: “When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.”

Today the church, as the manifestation of God in the flesh, is the house of God, whereas in the new heaven and new earth the New Jerusalem, as the manifestation of God in the new creation, will be the city of God. The city is much bigger than the house, signifying that the New Jerusalem, as the manifestation of God in His new creation, will be the enlargement and consummation of the church to express God in eternity.

As the old Jerusalem was the center and capital of God’s kingdom in the nation of Israel, the New Jerusalem will be the administrative center of the eternal kingdom of God in the new universe for the manifestation of God for the ages to come.**


* See Life-Study of 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon, last half chap. 6, by Witness Lee

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

New Jerusalem: the Full Expression of God

Both God on the throne (Rev. 4:3) and New Jerusalem (21:11) have the appearance of jasper. In this way, New Jerusalem is the expression of God.

New Jerusalem is a composition of the Triune God and all His people. We were created from dust but through regeneration and transformation, we gain God’s nature and appearance. This makes New Jerusalem the expression of God. Transformation brings our entire being from the old creation to the new creation where New Jerusalem is.

New JerusalemRomans 12:2 tells us that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. This renewing is accomplished by the Spirit who dwells within us from our regeneration all the way into New Jerusalem.

Titus 3:4-5: “When the kindness and the love to man of our Savior God appeared, not out of works in righteousness which we did but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.”

We were dead spiritually (Eph. 2:1) but the Spirit has regenerated us, making our Spirit alive. John 3:6b “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The Spirit does not merely make us alive and then leave. Rather, the Spirit dwells within us forever. This indwelling Spirit renews us by spreading from our spirit to our mind, the leading part of our soul, our psychological being.

The renewal by the Spirit’s spreading is actually the Spirit Himself as the newness. He guides us “into all the reality” (John 16:13). Thus we gain the Triune God’s newness for His expression by New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem: the Full Expression of God

Revelation declares “He who was sitting [on the throne] was like a jasper stone” (4:3), “her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone” (21:11), and “the building work of its wall was jasper” (21:18). The first quote refers to God, the other two to New Jerusalem.

God’s appearance is like jasper (4:3), and the entire city has the appearance of jasper. This means that the entire New Jerusalem looks like God, which is the fulfillment of Genesis 1:26. God made man in His image to express Himself. When the New Jerusalem comes, all of God’s people will bear God’s expression, God’s image, God’s appearance. All of God’s people will be fully transformed for the full expression of the Triune God.*

New JerusalemGod created man from the dust of the ground. But in regeneration His life enters into us and begins a process of transformation. This gradually changes us from clay to precious stones, of which jasper is foremost in the description of New Jerusalem.

The Spirit works within us for this transformation, and God also uses our outward environment. Romans 8:28-29, “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son.”

The “good” toward which everything works is our conformation to the image of God’s Son. At the completion of this work, New Jerusalem, with all God’s transformed-conformed people builded together, will be the full expression of the Triune God.

* The Divine Economy, chapter 15, by Witness Lee

New Jerusalem: God and the Lamb are the Temple

In Revelation 21:22 John tells us, “I saw no temple in it [New Jerusalem], for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” By faith we have entered.

New JerusalemThe New Testament was written in Greek, which has distinct words for “in” and for “into.” According to the New Testament we do not merely believe in Jesus Christ, acknowledging something about Him. Rather, we believe “into Him.”
• “these little ones who believe into Me” Matthew 18:6
• “believe into His name” John 1:12
• “every one who believes into Him may have eternal life” John 3:15, 16
• “Do you believe into the Son of God?” John 9:35

Revelation says that God Himself, God and the Lamb, will be the temple for us who serve Him to dwell in. Our dwelling place in eternity is God Himself….We will dwell in God. He is our temple and we are His tabernacle. He dwells in us and we dwell in Him, and this mutual dwelling is the New Jerusalem, which to God is the tabernacle and to us is the temple. We enjoy a foretaste of this today when we abide in the Lord and the Lord abides in us (John 15:5). This mutual abode will be enlarged in eternity to be the New Jerusalem where God will be our dwelling place and we will be His dwelling place.*

It is not only in New Jerusalem that God will be our dwelling and we will be His dwelling. This is true since the Lord’s resurrection, as He spoke in John 14:20 and 15:5.

* The Divine Economy, chapter 15, by Witness Lee

See also Where is New Jerusalem

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

Growing in Life unto New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is a city of the divine, eternal life, a city fully in resurrection. The source of New Jerusalem is God the Father who came in Christ the Son. He declared to us, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).

New JerusalemAt the time we believed into Jesus Christ, we received the life of New Jerusalem. Now we take the divine nourishment so that this life can grow in us. First Peter 2 speaks of growing by the milk of the word of God. Colossians 2 speaks of the growth of the Body (including each of us as members) by the rich supply flowing out from the Head, Christ.

We grow in the divine life unto maturity. New Jerusalem is a composition of all God’s people, all mature in His life, all living in resurrection. The city is maintained in eternal freshness by this life.

Verse 1 of [Revelation] chapter twenty-two says, “And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Here we see the Triune God in full. There is God, the Lamb, and the river, which represents the Spirit (John 7:38-39). Notice that there are not two thrones—one for God and one for the Lamb. There is only one throne. Then how do They sit? Are They side by side or are They one on top of another? By now you should know that God is in the Lamb and the Lamb is in God [John 14:10-11]. They coinhere one another. And out of this throne, God the Spirit is flowing out as a river. When the Spirit reaches you, you have both the Father and the Son.*

Today the Spirit is flowing to us with a bountiful supply (Phil. 1:19), the same flow as in New Jerusalem. Lord, keep me in this flow and mature in me.

* The Triune God—The Triune God and the Person and Work of Christ, chapter 11, by Witness Lee

The Triune God, our Entrance to New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:12-13 tells us that New Jerusalem has “twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel: on the east three gates, and on the north three gates, and on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.”

The three gates on each side signify that the Triune God—the Father, Son, and Spirit—works together to bring people into the holy city. This is indicated by the three parables in Luke 15….In order for a sinner to be brought to the Father’s house, there is the need of the Son, the Shepherd, to bring back the lost sheep; there is the need of the Spirit to enlighten people’s hearts that they may repent; and there is the need of the Father to receive the returned and repentant prodigal son. Hence the Triune God is the entrance to the New Jerusalem.*

New JerusalemWe were all sinners. Romans 5:19 says “through the disobedience of one man the many were constituted sinners.” We were also dead. In Luke 15:24 the Father said “this son of mine was dead and lives again.” But through the operation of the Triune God we have come back to life and to the Father’s house!

The Father’s house develops and enlarges through the Bible in many stages. Luke 15 is a portrait of one stage of this development. New Jerusalem is the ultimate stage of this development. We have been brought back to life and to the Father’s house to be in New Jerusalem.

* The Triune God—The Triune God and the Person and Work of Christ, chapter 11, by Witness Lee

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Gates of New Jerusalem Face Every Direction

Revelation 21:12-13, describing New Jerusalem, says, “It had a great and high wall and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel: On the east three gates, and on the north three gates, and on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.”

Each of the four sides of the city has three gates. The gates on any one side are exactly the same as the gates on the other three sides. This indicates that the Triune God is available to people in all four corners of the earth. Whether you come from the east, north, south or west, there is an entrance into the holy city. What an entrance this city has!*

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem has three gates facing every direction. This matches Revelation 5:9-10, where a praise to the Lord declares, “You were slain and have purchased for God by Your blood men out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made them a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign on the earth.”

The gates are for people out of “every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” The result of coming in through the gates is that we become “a kingdom and priests to our God.” This result applies to New Jerusalem for Revelation 22:3 says that in the city we will serve God as priests and 22:5 says that we will reign.

* The Triune God—The Triune God and the Person and Work of Christ, chapter 11, by Witness Lee


Continuing from last month, the posts in this month will include quotes from Excerpts from Books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee by Living Stream Ministry. Each post will identify the source for the quotation in that post.

New Jerusalem is the Eternal House of the Living God

New JerusalemRevelation is a book with many spiritual signs. In 1:20 “the seven lampstands are [signs portraying] the seven churches.” In chapter 21–22 New Jerusalem includes many signs describing the eternal dwelling of the Triune God and His people.

Among the many signs in New Jerusalem we see the pearl gates (our entrance through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ), the river of water of life (the flowing, life-imparting Spirit), the tree of life (Jesus Christ our life supply), many ‘twelves’ (a number describing perfection), gold (the divine nature), and precious stones (the Spirit’s transforming work in the believers).

The New Jerusalem is not an actual [physical/material] city just as the lampstands are not actual lampstands but signs of the churches. The New Jerusalem is a great sign of the totality of all God’s chosen, redeemed, regenerated, and transformed people. The church today is a house, the house of the living God (1 Tim. 3:15). The house of God today is not an actual house but the totality of God’s people. The church today as God’s temple, God’s house, God’s building, is not an actual physical building but is a sign signifying that the church’s function is to be a house in which the Triune God can dwell.…The New Jerusalem is a city signifying the church’s function in eternity to be God’s dwelling place.*

When we view New Jerusalem in a heavenly, spiritual way rather than an earthly, natural way, we see it as the mutual dwelling of God and His people. Praise Him for this view of New Jerusalem!

* The Divine Economy, chapter 15, by Witness Lee.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

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