All posts in category New Jerusalem is a Marriage
Posted by Don on December 28, 2016
Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.
Posted by Don on November 25, 2015
Jesus Christ is the Lamb, the Bridegroom
New Jerusalem is the bride, the wife of the Lamb
Revelation 21:2, 9-10
The prior post concluded a series on the preparation of New Jerusalem as the bride, the wife of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Here is verse 1 and the chorus of a song extolling Him as our Bridegroom.
Jesus is our lovely Bridegroom,
And our Bridegroom is with us!
Now our praying’s turned to praising
In His Presence glorious.
____O our Bridegroom! O our Bridegroom!
____Lord, Thou art our Bridegroom sweet!
____How we treasure Thy dear presence—
____O what bliss and joy complete!
The remainder of the song is derived from various New Testament verses about the Bridegroom and bride. The last verse of the song has this chorus:
____Lord, Thou art our Bridegroom sweet!
____O what bliss and joy complete!
Lord Jesus, You are our sweet Bridegroom!
Photo courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
Posted by Don on April 17, 2015
The apostle John declares “I saw a new heaven and a new earth….And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:1-2). This post concludes a lengthy series on the preparation of the bride.
New Jerusalem is the bride and the wife of the Lamb, Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:9-10). The preparation of this city-bride has two sides:
God’s side—God “has prepared a city” for His people of faith who turn their back on the fallen world and “long after a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16).
Our side—we must cooperate with God’s operation to get ready. “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” (Revelation 19:7).
Here is a summary statement, a key Bible verse, and a link to each post in this series on the preparation of the bride of the Lamb. Some posts also link to a coordinating song.
✦ The first step in the preparation was God’s sending of John the Baptist to “prepare the way of the Lord” as prophesied in Isaiah 40:3-4 and quoted in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
✦ To prepare the way is by exhorting people to repent, to have a change of heart (Matthew 3:3). This is followed by many other words in Matthew concerning our heart.
✦ Jesus was declared to be God’s salvation, “prepared before the face of all the peoples” (Luke 2:30-32). Without Him as our salvation, we cannot come to New Jerusalem.
✦ In Hebrews 10:5-10 we see the preparation of a human body for the Lord Jesus, that He could be the unique sacrifice for sins, a step in God’s preparation of New Jerusalem.
✦ In John 14:2-3 the Lord Jesus tells us, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again.” He went through His death and came again in resurrection.
✦ Romans 9:23 calls us vessels of mercy, saying that God “might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had before prepared unto glory.” New Jerusalem will be the consummation of this glory.
✦ In 1 Corinthians 2:9 are “things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Verses 6-14 show that these things have spiritual characteristics related to New Jerusalem.
✦ In Matthew 24:32-44 the Lord Jesus warns us about His coming, “be ready, because at an hour when you do not expect it, the Son of Man is coming.” He also said, “My words shall by no means pass away.” His words are important for our getting ready.
✦ In Matthew 25:1-13, “those who were ready went in.” This is to be with Jesus Christ our Bridegroom. For this we need the extra supply of oil.
✦ In Luke 22 Peter said to Jesus, “I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death.” Peter’s failure that night shows that we cannot get ready by ourselves. Rather, we must “come forward to the throne that we may receive mercy and find grace.”
✦ We should get ready and by ourselves we cannot. But “the word of God is living and operative” (Hebrews 4:12). We receive this word by faith (4:2) to get ready for the Lord.
✦ Our receiving the living word of God by faith is our cooperation with the Lord. We also “pursue…with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22).
✦ To call on the Lord out of a pure heart is needed, but in ourselves we are not pure. Nevertheless, we can “be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). He is our Father and we have His perfect and pure life.
✦ The “things which God has prepared for those who love Him” are “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not come up in man’s heart” (1 Cor. 2:9).
✦ God prepared the city New Jerusalem (Hebrews 11:16), the city is the bride (Revelation 21:2), the bride made herself ready (Revelation 19:7). Did God do the preparation or do we get ourselves ready?
✦ God operates and we cooperate. We are those engaged to Christ, to become New Jerusalem as the bride of Christ, and we should maintain our simplicity and purity toward Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2-3). More about God operates and we cooperate.
✦ God has prepared the city but we do not see it. Why? God is eternal but we are stuck in time. So, we turn our hearts to the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:16-18) and exercise our spirit of faith to care for the unseen, eternal things (2 Corinthians 4:13, 18).
✦ God has prepared the city and we have come forward by faith. We continue to pursue, to stretch forward to what God will manifest (Philippians 3:12-14).
✦ We pursue toward the goal and “we are not of those who shrink back” (Hebrews 10:39). What are we pursuing? Christ Jesus. We pursue that we “may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:8).
✦ God prepared and we are pursuing to gain Christ and be found in Him. Yet, there are tribulations while we strive to enter into what God has prepared. Nevertheless, Hebrews 9:15 assures us that we will receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
✦ God has prepared New Jerusalem. We do not see the city with our eyes but “faith is the substantiation of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
✦ New Jerusalem is the bride of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Revelation 19:7 proclaims, “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.” Love is the critical factor for a bride’s preparation.
✦ Love is the critical factor and Ephesians 5:2 encourages us to “walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us.” To walk in love is to have our daily life governed by and filled with love from the Lord to us and reflected from us to Him.
✦ New Jerusalem is the consummation of all the things God has prepared for His lovers. The crucial factor in our preparation is that our hearts be filled with love for our Lord.
Lord Jesus, we love You!
Posted by Don on April 15, 2015
New Jerusalem is the bride of Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:2). Love is the critical factor for the bride to be prepared so that we may rejoice with all our Lord’s lovers that “the marriage of the Lamb has come” (Revelation 19:7).
Ephesians 5:2 encourages us to “walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us.” To walk in love is to have our daily life governed by and filled with love from the Lord to us and reflected from us to Him. Lord, fill us with Your love!
Ephesians 6:24 says “Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptibility.” Regarding this verse:
The enjoyment of the Lord as grace is with those who love Him. In this book [Ephesians] the phrase in love, which is rich in feeling, is used repeatedly (1:4; 3:17; 4:2, 15-16; 5:2). Later, the church in Ephesus was rebuked by the Lord because she had lost her first love toward Him (Rev. 2:4)….The church, which is the Body of Christ, is also the bride of Christ, Christ’s wife. With the Body, the emphasis is on taking Christ as life; with the wife, the emphasis is on loving Christ. Therefore, this book emphasizes and also concludes with our love toward the Lord.*
Here is another verse of the song introduced in the prior post:
___Lord, keep my love burning brightly for You,
___A love never dwindling always hot for You,
___A love, shining brighter all the way for You,
___A love, so fresh like the day I first touched You
Lord Jesus, keep my love for You fresh, burning, and shining every day from here to New Jerusalem.
Posted by Don on April 10, 2015
Revelation 19:7 proclaims, “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.”
Love is the critical factor for a bride preparing to be married.
In John 14:23 the Lord Jesus says to us, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.” The making of this abode, in response to our loving the Lord, is part of the preparation of New Jerusalem as the eternal mutual abode of God and man.
Romans 8:28 tells us that “all things work together for good to those who love God.” The “good” here is neither outward blessings nor human success, but the accomplishing of God’s purpose as revealed in verses 29-30. Our loving of God causes us to care for His desire regardless of our human situation. And New Jerusalem is the consummation of all the “good” which God is accomplishing in those who love Him.
Second Timothy 4:8 speaks of “all those who have loved our Lord’s appearing.” This is a stark contrast to those who “loved the present age” (v. 10). If we love Him, certainly we will love His appearing. Lord, cause us to love You every day.
A song echoes this prayer:
___Lord, keep my heart always true to You,
___Never backsliding, always viewing You,
___A heart that is pure that sees only You,
___A heart that loves You and treasures only You.
Lord, keep my heart in this wonderful condition from now until New Jerusalem appears.
Photo courtesy of pdphoto.org.
Posted by Don on April 8, 2015
A recent post presented a song, “The Bible is a romance…God and His chosen people. God in Christ is the Bridegroom, His saints, the Bride, portrayed.”
The first portrait of this romance is Adam and Eve; the reality and consummation is
“the bride, the wife of the Lamb…the holy city, Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:9-10).
Here are all the posts in this series on the divine-human romance, consummating in New Jerusalem, presented in the order of the books of the Bible:
Adam and Eve (Genesis 2) are a picture of Christ and the church in Ephesians 5.
The Triune God’s seeking a bride is portrayed by Abraham’s servant sent to obtain a bride for Isaac. (Genesis 24)
God wooed His people Israel and desired that they love Him. (Exodus) Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “You shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
Boaz redeemed and married Ruth as a picture of the divine-human marriage. (Ruth)
Ruth’s seeking played a great role in her marriage to Boaz. May we be those who “follow the Lamb wherever He may go.” (Revelation 14:4)
The Lord is our Husband and Redeemer in Isaiah 54. He redeemed His people so that He could marry them.
He loves us with eternal love, draws us with His lovingkindness, and writes His new covenant in our hearts. (Jeremiah 31)
This marriage is of God, rooted in His righteousness, lovingkindness, compassions, and faithfulness. (Hosea)
The Lord Jesus is the Bridegroom—this is His word in the gospels. To prepare us to be His bride, we need Him as our new garment to be our righteousness and as our new wine to enliven us.
The Spirit fills us to burn brightly as we go to meet the Bridegroom. (Matthew 25)
We cooperate with the Spirit’s filling to be burning as we go forth. (Matthew 25)
We have been betrothed to our Husband, Christ. May we be kept single and pure for Him! (2 Corinthians 11)
Husband and wife in Ephesians 5:22-33 are strongly tied to the eternal Husband and wife. Verse 32: “This mystery is great, but I speak with regard to Christ and the church.”
Let us rejoice and exult…for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife, New Jerusalem, has made herself ready. (Revelation 19)
The Lamb’s wife made herself ready by receiving Him as our eternal righteousness and by living Him as our daily righteousness. (Revelation 19)
The holy city, New Jerusalem…a bride adorned for her husband. The eternal Husband is the Lamb, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. (Revelation 21)
The Spirit and the bride in oneness say, Come! in response to the Lord’s statement, I come quickly. (Revelation 22)
The Bible shows the love story of a universal couple. God loved us, sent His Son for propitiation, poured His love into our hearts, and caused us to love Him.
We respond to the Lord’s attraction. A song declares, “Jesus Lord, I’m captured by Your beauty…all my heart to You I open wide.”
Our Husband is loving and faithful. His word reveals much about this divine-human romance culminating in New Jerusalem. The progress of this romance depends on our response to Him. Lord Jesus, reveal Yourself and reveal this romance to me more every day. Lord, draw me to love You with my whole heart.
Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.
Posted by Don on August 29, 2014
In Genesis 24 Abraham sent his oldest servant to get a wife for Isaac (v. 1-9). The servant made the journey and had a long interaction with Rebekah’s family (v. 10-56). When asked, Rebekah gave a firm answer about going to Isaac (v. 57-58). (May we each have such a firm, unhesitant answer about going to Jesus.) Her family blessed her, she went with the servant (v. 59-65), Isaac received and loved her and she became Isaac’s wife (v. 66-67).
In the New Testament Abraham is called the father of all who are of faith (Romans 4:16). He is a figure (a picture) of God the Father. Isaac, his son, is a figure of Jesus, the Son of God, and the offering and return of Isaac (Genesis 22) is a picture of the death and resurrection of Jesus (Hebrews 11:17-19).
Although the Bible does not directly tell us, the servant is a figure of the Holy Spirit. The father sent the servant to find a wife, to give her something of Isaac’s riches, and to bring her to Isaac. Likewise, the Father sends the Spirit (John 14:26) to convict us (John 16:8-11), to declare to us the riches of Christ (16:12-15), and to strengthen us so that Christ may make home in our hearts and that we may be filled unto all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19).
Here we see, in an Old Testament picture, the Triune God’s New Testament work to gain a bride for Christ. In this age the bride is the church (Ephesians 5) and in the future the bride is New Jerusalem (Revelation 21).
Photo by Josh Robbins, courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.
Posted by Don on August 27, 2014
Have you ever considered that the Bible presents a romance? Love and marriage are seen beginning with Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 and concluding with New Jerusalem in Revelation 21-22. A song which presents this view begins:
The Bible is a romance
In the most holy sense:
God and His chosen people
In love it so presents.
This Universal Couple
Throughout it is displayed;
God in Christ is the Bridegroom,
His saints, the Bride, portrayed.
The second verse focuses on Adam and Eve.
The third verse draws from God’s longing
expressed in Exodus, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.
The fourth verse sets forth something from
Song of Songs.
The fifth verse concludes:
Christ is our coming Bridegroom;
We are the Church, His Bride,
The issue of His side,
In source, in life, in nature
And person fully one,
His counterpart forever,
The New Jerusalem.
“The issue of His side” (4th line of this verse) was portrayed when Eve was built with the rib taken from Adam’s side. The reality is the church produced by the blood (for redemption) and the water (for life) that came forth in the Lord’s crucifixion (John 19:34). The ultimate issue is in Revelation 22:1—the throne of God and of the Lamb sends forth the river of water of life to supply New Jerusalem for eternity.
Posted by Don on August 25, 2014
Boaz and Ruth are a picture of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5) and a picture of the Lamb and New Jerusalem (Revelation 21). Boaz redeemed Ruth from her poverty, then married her and brought her into his house. Jesus Christ has done the same for us.
A part of this wonderful picture is Ruth’s seeking. She said to her mother-in-law, “For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you dwell, I will dwell; and your people will be my people, and your God will be my God” (Ruth 1:16). May we all have such an attitude in our heart and declare it with our mouth.
After going to be among God’s people, Ruth was not passive; she went out to glean after the harvesters. As a sojourner and a widow, this gleaning was her right (Leviticus 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19-21), and she came forward to exercise this right.
In God’s mercy she came to the field of Boaz (Ruth 2:1-3). We must come forward, but it is the sovereign God who arranges where we will be. Thank God for this marvelous picture.
Ruth followed the instruction of Boaz to stay with his reapers (Ruth 2:8-9, 23). Ruth was also obedient to the instructions from her mother-in-law (Ruth 3:1-5). Probably her simple obedience followed from her simple and firm declaration in verse 1:16.
May the Lord grant each of us a heart to go, to dwell, to be among God’s people, and to be with God. May we be those who “follow the Lamb wherever He may go” (Revelation 14:4). Eventually, New Jerusalem will be the destination of our going, New Jerusalem will be our dwelling, and New Jerusalem will be our abiding with God’s people and with God.
Here is Ruth 1:16-17 in a song.
Posted by Don on August 22, 2014
In Revelation 21:2 John says, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” In 21:9 New Jerusalem is identified as the wife of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Many couples in the Bible foreshadow this eternal marriage.
In recent reading I was pointed toward Boaz and Ruth as a picture of the eternal marriage. Boaz was “a man of great wealth” (Ruth 2:1). He is a picture of Jesus Christ, who is so rich to us:
• …the same Lord is Lord of all and rich to all who call upon Him (Romans 10:12)
• To me…was this grace given to announce to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel (Ephesians 3:8)
• To whom God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)
Ruth was a Gentile, not part of Israel. She was also a widow and a poor person. As sinners we were alienated from Israel (Ephesians 2:12), poor, and without a husband. Nevertheless, Boaz redeemed her, as recorded in Ruth 4:1-9. Boaz is a picture of Christ, who redeemed us no matter what our natural heritage and status were.
Boaz did not stop with redemption. He took Ruth as his wife (Ruth 4:10). Likewise Jesus Christ did not stop with redeeming us. He took us all as His corporate wife, the church, ultimately to be New Jerusalem.
Boaz and Ruth became ancestors of Jesus, who declared God and expressed the glory of God (John 1:14, 18). Similarly, in the eternal marriage of the Lamb, New Jerusalem “has the glory of God” (Revelation 21:11).
Thank the Lord for this wonderful picture of the Lamb and New Jerusalem.
Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.
Posted by Don on August 20, 2014
The Bible is a love story concluding in New Jerusalem with an eternal marriage of the Triune God and all His people. This is what John saw and what we see in Revelation 21:2 and 21:9-11. There is a song about this eternal romance which begins:
..Jesus Lord, I’m captured by Thy beauty,
_.._All my heart to Thee I open wide;
These first two lines point us in the proper direction. We did not initiate the relationship with God, the relationship which culminates in New Jerusalem. Rather, we were drawn by the beauty of the Lord Jesus and then, in response to Him, we opened our heart.
The last verse of the song says:
..My Beloved, come on spices’ mountain;
..__How I yearn to see Thee face to face.
..Drink, dear Lord, from my heart’s flowing fountain,
_.._Till I rest fore’er in Thine embrace.
..Not alone, O Lord, do I adore Thee,
_.._But with all the saints as Thy dear Bride;
..Quickly come, our love is waiting for Thee;
_.._Jesus Lord, Thou wilt be satisfied.
In the first line, Jesus Christ is our Beloved, and we can pour out the longings of our heart to Him every day. In the next phrases, reflecting the poetry of Song of Songs, the lover asks the Beloved to “come on spices’ mountain” (Song 8:14) and yearns to see Him “face to face.” The mountain signifies His kingdom. This kingdom was brought forth by the Lord’s death and resurrection which are symbolized by the spices. When He comes in glory to manifest His kingdom, we will see Him “face to face.”
Then the lover asks her Beloved to drink of her heart’s flowing fountain and expresses her longing to be in the eternal embrace of New Jerusalem. Finally the song presents the corporate lover, all God’s people, as the Bride, asking the Lord to come quickly (as in Revelation 22:17) and declaring the Bride’s love for the Bridegroom.
May the Lord attract us more to stir up more love for Him in our hearts! Come, Lord Jesus! Come and bring us onward to the fullness of New Jerusalem!
Photo courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
Posted by Don on August 18, 2014