God is Leading Many Sons into Glory

Continuing in Revelation 21:7, we read “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and
I will be God to him, and he will be a son to Me.” This word continues the blessings in the foregoing verses, and is spoken in response to New Jerusalem coming down out of the new heaven onto the new earth.New Jerusalem

We overcome by believing and thus being born of God, receiving His overcoming life. In this life relationship He is God to us and we are His sons. In this life all the sons of God are constituted the corporate expression of God, New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem, like the church today
(1 Tim. 3:15-16), is both the house, the dwelling place, of God and the house-hold, the family, all the sons, of God. His leading of all His sons is in Hebrews 2:10—God made Christ, the Author of our salvation, perfect through sufferings* and thereby God is “leading many sons into glory,” many sons into the city of glory, New Jerusalem.

In contrast to this wonderful destination, Revelation 21:8 speaks of all the evil in the lake of fire, the second death. In Revelation 21:1-8 there are three categories of people: the sons of God constituting New Jerusalem, the nations (including the sheep in Matt. 25) around New Jerusalem, and the evil people in the lake of fire.

We who have believed into Jesus Christ are sons of God and will be in New Jerusalem. May many more believe and be led into glory!


* This does not imply that there was any imperfection of virtue or attribute in Jesus, but only that the completing of His experience of human sufferings was needed to make Him fit to become the Author, the Leader, of His followers’ salvation. (part of Heb. 2:10, footnote 5 in the online Recovery Version NT, © LSM)

The Water of Life, Now and New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:6 concludes, “I will give to him who thirsts from the spring of the
New Jerusalemwater of life freely
.”

In 21:6, God is the Beginning and the End. In His eternal view He has fulfilled all that He planned. In our limited view, He is still working, and while we are on the bridge of time between eternity past and eternity future, we should cooperate with what God is doing in us.

While God is working in us to apply His eternal accomplishments in us, He is also fully willing to satisfy us with Himself. This satisfaction is “the spring of the water of life” which comes to us “freely.”

This spring is not only in New Jerusalem in eternity. The Lord Jesus offers it to us today. John 4:10 has His promise, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” Verse 14 continues, “the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water gushing up into eternal life.”

The woman in John 4 drank the living water and we drink today. We have all “been given to drink one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13). This water is available to everyone; “the Spirit and the bride say, let him who is thirsty come; let him who wills take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17). Lord, bring many to drink living water now!

And eternally in New Jerusalem is the “river of water of life, bright as crystal.”

Photo courtesy of Good Free Photos.

The Faithful and True Words of God

New JerusalemRevelation 21:5b-6a says, “And He said, Write, for these words are faithful and true. And He said to me, They have come to pass. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.”

The words of the Lamb-God on the throne are faithful and true because His person is faithful and true. Everything God speaks, He accomplishes.

In His eternal view everything is already accomplished. That is why He says, “they have come to pass.” And that is why John was able to say “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem” and why he saw so many other things. We are limited by time but God is eternal, unlimited.

God is “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and omega is the last letter. God is not only the Alpha, the Beginning, He is also the Accomplisher, the Completer, the Omega, the End. Everything He has planned from eternity, is, in His eternal view, already complete.

John saw New Jerusalem in a new creation and described the blessings therein. Although we do not have the complete view of the finished work, by faith we accept it and agree with it. This is Hebrews 11:1; faith substantiates the unseen things. Furthermore, we have the inner, spiritual foretaste of New Jerusalem because we are already a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

“They have come to pass” in verse 6 refers to the foregoing words including New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.

Photo courtesy of Good Free Photos.

The Throne and All Things New

Revelation 21:5 says, “And He who sits on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said, Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

In New Jerusalem at the center of the new creation, there is a throne. This throne is for God’s administration of the universe. To His redeemed people, the constituents of New Jerusalem, it is also “the throne of grace” (Heb. 4:16) where we receive mercy and find grace, both today and eternally.

This throne is “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev. 22:1). There is only one throne
New Jerusalembecause God and the Lamb are one. The Lord Jesus told us “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30) and “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (John 14:10). Because They are one, there is one throne. This is the throne of the redeeming Lamb-God (Rev. 22:1).

This One says, “I make all things new.” Men claim to invent and make many new things but all of this is in the old, fallen creation. None of it is new in God’s sight.

The new heaven, new earth, and New Jerusalem will be new because everything of the old creation will have been terminated. The entire universe will be new. Only God can do this, because only God can terminate sin, death, and Satan, the primary factors which made the old creation old. And only the redeeming Lamb-God can bring us out of oldness to make us His new creation, His new city, Jerusalem (2 Cor. 5:17).

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

No Miracles in the New Creation

New JerusalemThe sources of all the problems in the old creation are eliminated by the time of Revelation 20. The new heaven and new earth, which appear in verse 21:1, will be without sin and death, without sicknesses, and without demons. There will be no need of miracles to remove problems of any kind in New Jerusalem.

Within New Jerusalem there is “the tree of life…yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2).

These nations are not New Jerusalem but are peoples living around the city for eternity. These peoples are not regenerated; they have a human life restored to the condition of the garden of Eden in Genesis 1–2. Here is a word about their healing:

Because in eternity there will be both the believers and the nations, the tree of life has two functions….The fruit of the tree of life will be a supply to the sons of God, to those born of God. But “the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2b). Hence, the leaves of the tree of life will not supply the nations but will heal them, keeping them alive for eternity.*

Neither New Jerusalem nor the new creation will have any need of casting out demons, cleaning leprosy, or raising the dead. The nations will receive healing from the tree of life, a matter of life, not of miraculous power.

* An excerpt from The Conclusion of the New Testament by Witness Lee, message 188, online section 4

New Creation: Now or Later?

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is on the new earth as the center of the new creation. As the outcome of God’s last judgments in Revelation 20, John tells us in 21:1, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea is no more.”

One aspect of this new creation is revealed much earlier, in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” And concerning our Christian life, Galatians 6:15 tells us, “a new creation is what matters.” This is inward, spiritual, a forerunner of the full new creation revealed at the end of Revelation.

The old creation is our old man in Adam (Eph. 4:22), our natural being by birth, without God’s life and the divine nature. The new creation is the new man in Christ (Eph. 4:24), our being that is regenerated by the Spirit (John 3:6), having God’s life and the divine nature wrought into it (John 3:36; 2 Pet. 1:4), having Christ as its constituent (Col. 3:10-11), and having become a new constitution….Although we are still the old creation, we experience the reality of the new creation when we walk according to the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25).*

Today we experience the inward new creation when we live in Spirit. When we reach Revelation 21, the entire creation, inwardly and around us, will be new with the full reality of New Jerusalem.


* Part of footnote 1 on Gal. 6:15 in the Recovery Version NT; footnotes written by Witness Lee.

Photo courtesy of pexels.com.

New Heaven and New Earth with Rejoicing

New JerusalemJohn tells us, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea is no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem…” (Rev. 21:1-2)

What John saw had already been promised centuries before. in Isaiah 65:17 God promises, “I am now creating new heavens and a new earth, and the former things will not be remembered, nor will they come up in the heart.” The new heavens and new earth are again promised in Isaiah 66:22.

What are the former things which will not be remembered? Isaiah 65:16 says, “the former troubles are forgotten.” In New Jerusalem the Lamb is on the throne. This surely indicates remembrance of His redemption. This fact together with Isaiah 65:16 suggests that we will remember everything related to bringing forth the new creation but will forget everything negative of the old creation.

In New Jerusalem we will remember Gold’s eternal purpose, His selection and predestination, His redemption, His impartation of eternal life, and all that His life accomplished in us. We, and the whole new creation, will also rejoice. God’s word in Isaiah 65:18 is, “rejoice and exult forever, in what I create, for I am now creating Jerusalem as an exultation and her people as a rejoicing.”

You might say that God’s promise was a long time ago and you haven’t seen anything. True, but God’s sense of time is not the same as ours. What He promises, He will achieve. We will see New Jerusalem at the center of the new heavens and new earth, and we will rejoice.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

No War in the New Creation

The last war in the Bible is recorded in Revelation 20:8-10, shortly before the new creation appears with New Jerusalem. The cause of this war is Satan deceiving the nations (v. 8).

The Lord Jesus told us not to be alarmed by wars and revolutions (Mark 13:7, Luke 21:9). They occur because Satan, although judged on the cross, has not been imprisoned and is able to deceive the nations through this age. But, when the new creation and New Jerusalem come, Satan will have been cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10), so there will be no war in the new creation.

Satan’s deception of the nations is not only outward. Satan within man is sin (Rom. 7:7-25), which leads man into many evils. James also speaks definitely about this, “Where do wars and fightings among you come from? Are they not from this, from your pleasures that war in your members? You lust and do not have; you murder and are jealous and are not able to obtain; you fight and make war.” (4:1-2).

Ephesians 6:10-12 tells us to  “be empowered in the Lord and in the might of His strength” because “our wrestling is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies.” This is another declaration that the source of war is not people but Satan and his evil hosts.

Outward wars result from lusts, greed, pride, anger, and other evils in the fallen human nature. These evils have their source in Satan. Wars cause many deaths, all attributable to Satan who is a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44).

In New Jerusalem and in the new creation there is no Satan, no fallen nature, no flesh, no sin, no lies, no death; hence no war.

“And…And” Points to New Jerusalem

Many verses in Revelation 19—20 begin “And” linking praises, judgments, the marriage of the Lamb, His victories, and the kingdom with “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth….And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem” at the start of chapter 21.

New JerusalemThe way to see New Jerusalem is in 21:10: “And he [an angel] carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem.” And couples this with the angels having the last plagues (v. 9), indicating that the plagues are a base for brining in New Jerusalem.

The description of the city in 21:11-23 has multiple ands because the city is one whole entity. Verses 21:24-26 each begin And, showing that the nations around New Jerusalem are coupled to it although not integral parts of it.

But Revelation 21 is not complete; 22 begins ” And he showed me a river of water of life…” Then 22:2: “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life…” The description of the city in 21:11-23 is not complete without the life supply flowing from the throne brining us the tree of life with its fruits. The outcome of this life supply is described in 22:3-5, each of which begins “And.”

After the description of life in New Jerusalem we read, “And he [the angel] said to me, These words are faithful and true…” (v. 6). Then the Lord speaks “And behold, I come quickly.” (v. 7). The Lord’s second coming is not separate from New Jerusalem but rather is tied to it.

A few more verses begin with And, then Revelation concludes, ” The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.”

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

“And” Points to New Jerusalem

New JerusalemAfter writing the previous posts about the new creation, I realized that the vast majority of verses in Revelation 19 to 22 begin “And.” This indicates that every-thing in these chapters is connected. In quoting individual verses I did not include “And” but here are a few examples.

Chapter 19 begins with praise for the judgments in 17 and 18. Verse 5: “And a voice came out from the throne…” Verse 6: “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude…” Then “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.” This reigning brings in the marriage and the marriage dinner of the Lamb. Verse 11: “And I saw heaven opened…” Verse 20: “And the beast was seized…” Christ and His armies come and defeat the beast, the false prophet, and their armies.

Chapter 20 begins, “And I saw an angel…” This brings the imprisonment of satan, the devil. Verse 4: “And I saw thrones…” This continues to the kingdom. Verse 7: “And when the thousand years are completed…” satan is released, leads a rebellion, and is cast into the lake of fire. Verse 11: “And I saw a great white throne…” Verse 14: “And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire…”

Chapter 21 begins, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth…” Verse 2: “And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem…” Verse 3: “And I heard a loud voice out of the throne…” proclaiming multiple aspects of life in eternity, including verse 5: “And He who sits on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.”

The praises and the marriage of the Lamb and His victorious appearing and His victory and the kingdom and the casting out of all negatives are all tied together and lead unto the new creation and New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Creation, New Creation, New Jerusalem

The Bible progresses from God’s creation of heaven and earth in Genesis 1 to the new heaven and new earth with New Jerusalem in Revelation 21–22. Here is a summary of recent posts on this progression, with a link to and a key verse from each post. All of these point toward New Jerusalem, the goal of God’s creation and His work.

New Jerusalem

“God, who created all things, in order that now…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.” (Eph. 3:9-11)

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.“ (Gen. 1:1)
God created because He has an eternal purpose.

“O Jehovah our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth.” (Psa. 8:1)
We do not yet see this outwardly, but we do see Jesus and His accomplishments.
Hebrews 2 quotes Psalm 8 and then speaks of God leading many sons into glory, which ultimately is New Jerusalem; then we will see God’s name excellent in all the earth.

“The earth is Jehovah’s, and its fullness…” (Psa. 24:1)
God is never defeated on the path from creation to New Jerusalem.

“Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth.” (Matt. 6:10)
God has a purpose and we cooperate by praying for it on earth.

“Until heaven and earth pass away…” (Matt. 5:18).
The first heaven and earth will pass away and the new heaven and earth will come.

“What kind of persons ought you to be in holy manner of life and godliness.” (2 Pet. 3:11)
God’s divine power supplies us to live a life for the new creation.

“According to His promise we are expecting new heavens and a new earth.” (2 Pet. 3:13)
The Lord told us “My words shall by no means pass away.” Our stand is His word.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (2 Cor. 5:17)
We are being renewed inwardly (Titus 3:5) to prepare us fully for New Jerusalem.

“A new creation is what matters.” (Gal. 6:15)
Our spirit is life and our heart loves the Lord and His word; this is what matters.

Creation’s goal: “the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known.” (Eph. 3:9-10)
God’s desire is to display His wisdom through His people knit together in Christ.
This display brings forth glory to God now in the church and forever in New Jerusalem.

God created “the heavens,…the earth, and…the spirit of man within him.” (Zech. 12:1)
In our human spirit that we are born of God to have His life for His expression.

“The judgment of this world; now shall the ruler of this world be cast out.” (John 12:31)
God created the earth for His purpose; Satan formed the world system to capture man.

“They all may be one…that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” (John 17:21)
By the Lord’s life in us, we “shine as luminaries in the world.” (Phil. 2:15)

“Do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?” (James 4:4)
God’s living word energizes us to live to Him and escape the corruption in the world.

“If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)
As we love the Lord, He and the Father make their abode in us. (John 14:23)
This abode is for today and eternity. New Jerusalem is God’s eternal abode in His people.

God “created all things…according to the eternal purpose which He made.” (Eph. 3:9, 11)
We are living for God‘s purpose now, conscious that “the earth is the Lord’s.”

“We are expecting new heavens and a new earth.” (2 Pet. 3:13).
The Lord overcame the world and now He is the Overcomer in us. He is our life.

“I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” (Rev. 21:1)
Through the death of Christ, things on earth and in heaven were reconciled to God.
This is a step in preparing for the new creation with New Jerusalem as its center.

“I saw a new heaven and a new earth…and the sea is no more.” (Rev. 21:1)
The sea speaks of God’s judgments, which are completed in Revelation 20.

I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea is no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” (Rev. 21:1-2a)

Earlier posts about the new creation.
New Creation: Curiosity versus Life
New Jerusalem is the Center of New Heaven and New Earth
The Word of the Lord Abides to Eternity
New Creation
New Heaven and New Earth

New Heaven and New Earth

Revelation 21:1: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away.” God created the heavens and the earth for His purpose, but it is not until there are a new heaven and a new earth that New Jerusalem appears.

The new heaven and new earth are also in 2 Peter, “according to His promise we are expecting new heavens and a new earth.” The “promise” is God’s word in Isaiah 65:17.

New JerusalemIt is easy to understand that the earth was damaged by the fall of man, and thus God plans a new earth. We need to realize that heaven was also damaged by the rebellion of Satan. At least two verses speak of God’s response to this damage.

Colossians 1:20: “Through Him [Christ] to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross—through Him, whether the things on the earth or the things in the heavens.” Here the things in the heavens need reconciliation to God, which was accomplished by Christ.

Ephesians 1:10 “Unto the economy of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in Him.” God’s intention is to head up things in the heavens in Christ, indicating that some were not headed up since Satan’s rebellion.

Although there will be “the restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21), God desires to go further and have a new creation for His eternal dwelling, New Jerusalem. Thus, there will be the new heaven and the new earth and the new city Jerusalem after everything negative is cleaned away by the judgments in Revelation 20.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

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