New Jerusalem: the Full Expression of God

Revelation 4 says that God on the throne has the appearance of jasper and Revelation 21 says that New Jerusalem shines like a jasper stone. Thus New Jerusalem matches and fully expresses God.

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is like a jasper stone because all who have believed into Jesus Christ have not only been regenrated with Him as the eternal life but also have been transformed into His image. Second Corinthians 3:18 speaks of this.

“We all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.”

From regeneration we are gradually transformed “into the same image,” that is, into the image of our Lord.

This transformation is a renewing (Rom. 12:2) which brings our entire being out of the old creation and into the new creation to match New Jerusalem.

This transformation is also “from glory to glory” which prepares us for New Jerusalem, a city “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11).

Transformation requires our cooperation. Second Corinthians 3:16-18 shows that transformation occurs as we turn our heart to the Lord. Likewise, the conformation to the image of God’s Son in Romans 8:29 takes place in “those who love God.”

May we all love the Lord and love His appearing thereby letting the Spirit transform us into His glorious image for New Jerusalem.

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

Our Creator, Redeemer, and Regenerator

God created us for Himself but Satan stole us and corrupted us. But God is able! The Triune God brought us back to Himself as life and into His house, as seen in the three parables in Luke 15. Our return to God put us on the path to New Jerusalem.

First, God the Father is the Creator (Eph. 3:9). He created all things, including you and me. If He did not create us, we would not exist. So we must thank Him for being the creating God. Second, the Son as the Lamb is our Redeemer (John 1:29; Eph. 1:7). He shed His blood for our sins that we might be redeemed back to God….So we must praise Him, our redeeming Lamb! Finally, the Spirit, shown by the river of life, is our Regenerator (John 3:6). The Spirit regenerated us so that we are born of God….We should greatly appreciate such a three-one God for our threefold existence; He is our Creator, Redeemer, and Regenerator.*

New JerusalemGod created man. Then man became fallen and dead spiritually. But Christ redeemed us and the Spirit regenerated us. Our regeneration was a spiritual birth. Now we are growing in this life. This grow requires milk, then solid food, plus exercise (Heb. 5:14).

Hebrews 6:1 encourages us, “Let us be bought on to maturity.” Paul and his companions were laboring and praying “we may present every man full-grown in Christ.” May this also be our aspiration. Let us be brought on to maturity, to New Jerusalem.

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

New Jerusalem: No Self, No Soul Life

“Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24). This is not an option for our Christian life nor for New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemPositionally, our self, our old man, has been crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6). But in practicality we often live according to our old man—our old preferences, our independent decision making, and our habitual ways of living. We are like a person born and grown up in country A who is now positioned in country B but still lives like a country A person.

We need to deny ourself so that Christ can live through us. This was Paul’s declaration in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I [the old, natural man] who live, but it is Christ who lives in me…”

For such a life, we need the Spirit to apply the death of Christ to everything natural in us. Second Corinthians 4:7-12 speaks of this. Christ is the treasure in our human vessel but we still need outward circumstances to turn us from our natural living to living by faith in Christ. This portion concludes “death operates in us but life in you.” The operating death works for our denying of self so that life can flow to others.

To deny ourself is to experience the Spirit’s renewing of our entire being. The result is that our constitution and all our daily living is in the new creation where we come to the full reality of New Jerusalem.

Praise, Rejoice, Exult for New Jerusalem

A recent post from Psalms presented shouting, singing, and crying aloud in Zion. New Jerusalem is the ultimate Zion. Today I realized that Revelation 19 has the same feeling.

Revelation 19:5-7, “A voice came out from the throne, saying, Praise our God, all His slaves and those who fear Him, the small and the great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunders, saying, Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult, and let us give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

New JerusalemHere are exhortations to praise, rejoice, exult (be very joyful), and give glory to God. The response is a loud Hallelujah! Revelation 19 gives two causes for this rejoicing. One is God’s judgement on Babylon recorded in Revelation 17–18. The other is “the marriage of the Lamb has come.” The negative was removed and the positive has come!

The Lamb is Jesus Christ. The bride, the wife, of the Lamb is the holy city, New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:9-10).

First Peter 4:13: “Inasmuch as you share in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice exultingly.” The revelation of His glory will be His visible return. That is also the time for His marriage. Today, even while sharing in His sufferings we rejoice and in that day we will rejoice exceedingly.

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.

Come Forward on the New and Living Way

New JerusalemThe prior three posts looked at the heavenly, spiritual, and eternal things in Hebrews 8 to 10. These all point to New Jerusalem. In contrast, all the Old Testament things in these chapters are earthly, physical, and temporary.

Based on what Christ has accomplished, Hebrews 10:19-22 encourages us to come forward to enter the heavenly Holy of Holies, which is the present reality of New Jerusalem. We have boldness because Christ has opened the way.

The door He opened is “a new and living way.” This is in contrast to the OT practices which were not in God’s divine newness and were not with God’s divine life. This new way is “through the veil” into the Holy of Holies. The Spirit made clear that this way had not yet been manifested (Heb. 9:8) under the OT practices. Both our Christian life today and New Jerusalem are in this newness and life.

Hebrews 10:23 encourages us “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope unwavering, for He who has promised is faithful.” The Lord is faithful and we respond by holding to Him and to what He has accomplished.

Hebrews 10:24-25 then tells us to consider one another, to assemble together, “to incite one another to love and good works,” and to exhort one another. This mutuality must be related to our coming forward on the “new and living way.” Let’s not live an individual Christian life but rather come forward together.

The end of Hebrews 10 warns us not to shrink back. Jesus Christ is our newness today and New Jerusalem is ahead. The way is open and we “come forward.”

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Rich Supply, Now and New Jerusalem

The description of New Jerusalem includes “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” (Rev. 22:1).

New JerusalemThe river of life for New Jerusalem flows out of the throne. Colossians 2:19 tells us that Christ is “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.”

Christ as the Head is the authority, corresponding to the throne in New Jerusalem. The rich supply out from the Head is like the river flowing out from the throne. 

The rich supply is for the present building up of the Body of Christ by the growth of God in all the members. This building up is the preparation of New Jerusalem in every member and corporately in the members as the one Body.

In eternity New Jerusalem will be complete, with no further need of preparation. Nevertheless, as a living entity, the city needs the proper supply to maintain the freshness of life. This supply is the river of life from the throne which brings the tree of life with its fruits.

To partake of the rich supply today is by “holding the Head” (Co. 2:19) and by “holding to truth in love” to “grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ” (Eph. 4:15-16). Lord Jesus, keep us holding to You in love for Your rich supply to prepare New Jerusalem in us.

Eternal Redemption; Serve the Living God

Hebrews 9:12 declares that Jesus, “through His own blood, entered once for all into the Holy of Holies, obtaining an eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:14 declares further that “the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”

How does that relate to New Jerusalem? Revelation 22:3, “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it [New Jerusalem], and His slaves will serve Him.”

New JerusalemThe eternal redemption accomplished once for all by Jesus Christ is for us to serve God now and in New Jerusalem. His redemption, and the forgiveness and purifying it affords us, is always available because it was done “through the eternal Spirit.”

Redemption opens the door for us to receive eternal life, and eternal life (John 3:15-16) brings us into the bride of Christ (3:29-30) which ultimately is New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2).

The purifying presented in Hebrews 9:14 is necessary for us to receive eternal life and because “the city was pure gold, like clear glass” (Rev. 21:18). New Jerusalem has no spots, no darkness, no obscurity. Every aspect of the city is pure and transparent.

We are experiencing the purifying in Hebrews 9 along with the inward washing of our being presented in Ephesians 5:26 and Titus 3:5. This brings us to the purity of New Jerusalem and to our eternal service to the living God.

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

Christ & His Attributes Become Our Crown

In Revelation 20:4 the faithful believers reign with Christ for 1000 years. In Revelation 22:5 all the believers will be in New Jerusalem and “they will reign forever and ever.”

New JerusalemFor these two stages of reigning, Christ will be our crown in various ways. In Philippians 4:1 and 1 Thessalonians 2:19 the believers Paul brought to Christ are his crown.

In 2 Timothy 4:8 “the crown of righteousness” will be to “all those who have loved His appearing.” In James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10 the believers who remain faithful to the Lord through trials will receive “the crown of life.” And in 1 Peter 5:4 is the promise of “the unfading crown of glory.”

When we first turned our hearts and  believed into the Lord Jesus Christ, we were born again and He became our life. Then throughout this age this life grows within us, and supplies us with all that Christ is to become our virtues. Through trials these virtues develop and become our crown; the Christ who has been life continually within us also becomes our expression, our radiance.

As we remain faithful to the Lord and love His appearing, something of His wonderful, unlimited person becomes our crown. This is not a physical crown; it is Christ shining Himself out through all of us. The unique Christ shining through all the believers becomes the radiant glory of New Jerusalem.

Renewed in Spirit unto New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is the center of the new earth. This is a new creation because in Revelation
New Jerusalem20 all oldness went into the lake of fire.

God is the eternal newness. When the devil deceived Adam, man fell into sin and death; this was a departure from God’s newness and an entry into oldness. (Oldness is not a matter of “how long” but is due to separation from God.)

Romans 6:6 tells us that the old man has been crucified with Christ. This death brings us into resurrection to be the new man in Christ. This is a positional change. But a practical change in our daily living, to “walk in newness of life” takes time because we continue many old habits.

To “walk in newness of life” is to “walk in newness of spirit” (Rom. 7:6). Practically, this new walk requires the renewing work of the Holy Spirit in us. This renewing work makes us new inwardly and in daily living; the result is that we match the newness of New Jerusalem.

Some verses about this renewing:
• “Do not be fashioned according to this age, but 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.” (Rom. 12:2)
• “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” (Eph. 4:23)
• The new man is “being renewed.” (Col. 3:10)
• “The renewing of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)

By loving the Lord, singing to Him, calling on His name, and taking time in His word, we give ground to the Spirit to renew us for a walk in newness of life today and fully in New Jerusalem.

The Book of Life for the City of Life

The Bible certainly is a book of life, presenting God in Christ as life to man. This presentation is 1) in the Old testament in allegories/pictures beginning with the tree of life in Genesis 2, and 2) in the New Testament in reality. “Christ our life” (Col. 3:4).

Philippians 4:3 and six verses in Revelation speak of “the book of life.” This book does not refer directly to the Bible but rather to a book of names of everyone chosen to participate in the blessings on the new earth, including New Jerusalem. These blessings come from the eternal life flowing out of the throne of God and the Lamb; hence to be named in this book is a matter of life.

New JerusalemToday we participate in the blessings of the eternal life. These blessings will increase in the coming kingdom age and reach their peak in New Jerusalem.

In eternity all whose names are written in the book of life will be either constituents of New Jerusalem (e.g. those referred to in Phil. 4:3) or citizens of the nations around New Jerusalem (e.g. those referred to in Rev. 13:8).

In contrast, those not named in this book will marvel when they see the beast that was killed and resuscitated (Rev. 17:8). Finally, “if anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).

Today the door is open to turn our heart to receive the Lord Jesus as life. Lord, come into me, live in and through me daily, and prepare me for New Jerusalem.

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (7)

A song couples the key characteristics in the garden of Eden with those of New Jerusalem. The garden presents God’s intention and the city shows His accomplishment. Verse 7 of the song:

’Tis for the city man is wrought upon,
Therefore regenerated and transformed
To purest gold, to pearls and precious stones,
As Christ’s own Body, to Himself conformed.

New Jerusalem is God’s goal. All of God’s creation, including man, is for this goal. New JerusalemAll the negatives among men and throughout the universe have root in Satan’s rebellion against God (Isaiah 14) and his corruption of the human race. But nothing can defeat God!!!

Ephesians 3 tells us that God “created all things, in order that now to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenlies the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church, according to the eternal purpose which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

All the negative things are merely the black background to further manifest God’s wisdom. He will make this wisdom known now through the church and eternally in a fuller manner through New Jerusalem.

Humanity has fallen, but God came in Jesus Christ to redeem and to regenerate mankind. By regeneration we receive the divine, eternal, incorruptible life. As this life grows and spreads within us, we are transformed (Rom. 12:2), to be the precious materials for the building of the Body of Christ, which will consummate in New Jerusalem.

Overcome to Inherit God’s Blessings

Revelation 21:7 promises, “He who overcomes will inherit these things…” The footnote on overcomes in the Recovery Version NT says “Here overcome means to overcome by believing, as in 1 John 5:4-5….The overcoming here qualifies all believers to participate in the New Jerusalem with all its enjoyment as the common portion of God’s eternal salvation.”

New JerusalemFirst John 5:4-5: “For everything that has been begotten of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory which has overcome the world—our faith. And who is he who overcomes the world except him who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

We believe and we are begotten of God and His life in us is our overcoming. By this overcoming we inherit the blessings described in the foregoing verses.

These blessings include the whole of New Jerusalem (21:2); no tears, no death, no sorrow, no pain (21:4); all things made new (21:5); and to drink the water of life freely (21:6). The blessings also include the Triune God with His attributes mentioned in these verses—faithful, true, the Beginning and the End.

The source of our inheritance is our new birth by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord sent Saul (Acts 26:18) “to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” Even this faith is a gift from God.

Abraham’s going out by faith (Heb. 11:8) and the charge to Saul both point toward New Jerusalem and our eternal inheritance.

Photo courtesy of Burning Well.

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