Rejoice, Sing, Cry Out in Zion

New JerusalemIn my Bible reading I came to Isaiah 12. Verse 6 declares, “Cry out and give a ringing shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

This verse reminds me of New Jerusalem. First, as parts of New Jerusalem we are inhabitants of the eternal Zion. Second, God, the Holy One, is on the throne in the middle of the city.

In this context, the verse urges us to “cry out and give a ringing shout.” Other translations* include “shout aloud and sing” and “cry out and sing for joy.” This is not only inward joy but also inward joy expressed in loud rejoicing.

Surely, in line with this verse, New Jerusalem will be filled with rejoicing and singing, even shouting. We should experience this now in coming together with other Christians. This rejoicing should be prominent in our weekly remembering the Lord Jesus and His accomplishments (1 Cor. 10:16-17, 11:23-26).

The prior verses in Isaiah 12 present the source of this rejoicing. In verse 1 Isaiah praises the Lord. In verse 2 the Lord is His song. In verse 3 we are encouraged to drink the Spirit (the living water, John 7:37-39) with rejoicing. In verse 4 we give thanks to the Lord, we call on His name (Rom. 10:12-13), and we declare His doings to people around us. In verse 5 we sing Psalms to the Lord and make His marvelous works know in all the earth.

Let us exercise in these ways and ask the Lord to draw us more into them for a rich foretaste of New Jerusalem.

* Courtesy of Bible Hub.

New Jerusalem, the City of the Great King

Psalm 48:1-2: “Great is Jehovah, and much to be praised in the city of our God, In His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” In reading the Psalms, I appreciated the parallels between these verses and New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe greatness of the Lord is proclaimed in this Psalm, related to Jerusalem of the Psalmist’s time. The Lord’s greatness will be fully manifested and praised in New Jerusalem, the eternal city of the great King.

The Psalmist considered Jerusalem of his time to be beautiful and a joy of the whole earth. Much more New Jerusalem will have these characteristics. Jerusalem was “beautiful in elevation” and New Jerusalem will be elevated even more on the new earth.

Psalm 50:2 continues this praise of Jerusalem: “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.” Zion is the peak of the current Jerusalem, the place where the temple was built and will be rebuilt. These Psalmists loved and appreciated God in every way. Therefore they had God’s view and declared that Zion is “the perfection of beauty.” Even more, this will be true of New Jerusalem, the eternal Zion.

The Psalmist realized God’s shining from Zion of old. Much more New Jerusalem will shine with the glory of God (Rev. 21:23) and will be the ultimate manifestation of what is in these verses.

The Eternal Sacrifice of Jesus Christ Brings us to New Jerusalem

Further contrasts in Hebrews 9 between physical characteristics and spiritual characteristics highlight aspects of New Jerusalem.

Verse 9:12 tells us that Christ, through His own blood, obtained “an eternal redemption.” This is shown by the Lamb, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), on the throne in New Jerusalem. And this is in contrast to the temporary things of the Old Testament (9:9-9:10).

New JerusalemVerse 14, comparing OT and NT purifications, says “how much more will the blood of Christ…” Everything with Christ is “much more.”

Verse 15 continues, “He [Christ] is the Mediator of a new covenant, so that, death having taken place for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, those who have been called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” Through His death we have received the promise of the eternal New Jerusalem as our inheritance.

The following verses of Hebrews 9 speak of Christ’s death, ascension, and second coming, implying also His resurrection. Several verses speak about OT purification. Then verse 23 speaks of a better sacrifice—Christ, who sacrificed Himself once for all! Likewise New Jerusalem is much better than all the OT shadows.

The first part of Hebrews 10 contrasts the OT sacrifices with Christ’s eternal sacrifice. Verse 10: “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Verse 14: “By one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” This sanctification is ultimately for New Jerusalem, “the holy city.”

Enter through the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

We continue with the contrasts of physical shadows and spiritual realities in Hebrews. The realities match characteristics of New Jerusalem.

Hebrews 9:1 is about the first covenant, the shadows. Its sanctuary was of “this world,” of the old creation, in contrast to New Jerusalem which is of the new creation. 

New JerusalemVerses 3 to 5 present the gold and the glory of the Holy of Holies. The gold is the nature of God and the glory is the expression of God. Both gold and glory are characteristics of New Jerusalem, and the city is a cube, the eternal Holy of Holies.

In contrast, verse 2 mentions the table and the lampstand in the holy place but does not say that they are of gold. This omission emphasizes that the shadows of the old creation do not compare with New Jerusalem.

Verses 6 to 8 show us that the entrance into the reality is only possible based upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is our entrance into New Jerusalem, and today we come forward to the heavenly Holy of Holies.

Verses 9 and 10 (and 10:1) tell us that the shadows are temporary and that they cannot perfect those who hold to that form of worship. But 10:14 tells us that Christ “has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” This perfection has New Jerusalem as its goal.

The Reality of All the OT Shadows

This post begins a look at multiple contrasts in Hebrews 8 to 10. The spiritual/heavenly side of these contrasts shows us something about New Jerusalem. On the opposite side, the physical/material side of these contrasts shows us what New Jerusalem is not.

New JerusalemHebrews 8:1: “We have such a High Priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.” In His ascension Jesus Christ sat down. In eternity He is the Lamb with God on the throne in New Jerusalem.

Verses 3-4 speak of priests making offerings. The Old Testament priests offered gifts according to the law, but the Lord Jesus offered Himself as the reality of all the OT sacrifices. He is “the Lamb of God.”

Verse 5 tells us that the OT priests “serve the example and shadow of the heavenly things.” Earthly things, like the OT tabernacle, are merely shadows. Heavenly things, including “New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven” are the reality.

Verse 6 says that Jesus Christ “obtained a more excellent ministry inasmuch as He is also the Mediator of a better covenant.” This new covenant is further described in verses 7 to 13.

Verse 13: “ In saying, A new covenant, He has made the first old.” The new covenant, which is of life, not of law, is the better covenant and corresponds with New Jerusalem. Verse 13 also says that the old “is near to disappearing” but New Jerusalem is eternal.


Photo courtesy of Good Free Photos.

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.

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (8.2)

We looked at eight verses of a song which couples the garden of Eden with New Jerusalem. Eve in the garden as the wife of Adam is a picture of New Jerusalem as the wife of the Lamb, Jesus Christ (Rev. 21:9-10).

A line in that song, about Christ’s deep long for His bride led us to another song (words and music) which amplifies this longing. This inserted song emphasizes God’s eternal purpose hidden in His heart through the ages, creation, Satan’s deception of man, and Christ’s continued seeking of His bride.

New JerusalemNext: “His life laid down, an offering whose fragrance yet ascends.” He died to gain His bride. Ephesians 5:25, “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”

More: “And now in resurrection to her He draws most near.” On one hand Christ is in heaven and not visible to our eyes. On the other hand, He is in us and enlivens us (Rom. 8:10). Soon, Christ “In glory does appear.” He will return to earth visibly in glory.

The inserted song concludes, “As she beholds her Bridegroom, His glory floods her heart, ’til she, His Bride, is raptured, His longed-for counterpart.” We look away to Jesus now and will behold Him in glory at His return.

“He comes to be glorified in His saints” (2 Thes. 1:10) and He will be further glorified in and through His bride, New Jerusalem, the city “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11).

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (8.1)

Many characteristics in the garden of Eden are like prophecies pointing to New Jerusalem. The prior post is about the bride, which is Eve in Genesis 2 as a picture of the eternal bride, New Jerusalem, in Revelation 21.

New JerusalemWe have been looking at Genesis 1–2 and Revelation 21–22 with a song about the two. Verse 8 of this song speaks of the bride being precious to Christ. Before we conclude the current song, we will go to another, which is about this preciousness.

This inserted song (words and music) begins, “The church is Christ’s deep longing and His good pleasure too.” It also says, “Before the earth’s foundation His thoughts were filled with her.” New Jerusalem as the bride is not a late addition; it is part of God’s eternal plan which existed before creation.

More: “Creation sprang to being, but deep in Him did hide a heart of depth unfathomed fixed on a glorious Bride.” God’s plan was not revealed until the New Testament time (Col. 1:26) but all was firm in His heart from the beginning.

Then it speaks of sin beguiling and mocking man but Christ never forsaking His bride. Next, “Then mercy richly flourished, and love was, oh, so vast, as graciously He sought her with wisdom unsurpassed.” All the problems in the universe, including the fall of man, serve only to manifest the unsurpassed wisdom of Christ. Eternally New Jerusalem will be a complete manifestation of this wisdom triumphing over every obstacle.

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (8)

New JerusalemGenesis 1–2 reveals God’s intention in pictures. The reality is in the New Testament.

Many wonderful things in Genesis 1–2 are fully realized in New Jerusalem. Here is the eighth verse of a song connecting these two ends of the Bible, plus several of the underlying Bible verses.

Within the garden also was a bride,
Who was to Adam as his counterpart;
Lastly, the city is itself the bride
As Christ’s own fulness, precious to His heart.

Genesis 2:21-22 tell us, “Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place. And Jehovah God built the rib, which He had taken from the man, into a woman and brought her to the man.” This is the bride, the counterpart to Adam in the song.

The reality is first seen in John 3. All the redeemed and regenerated people become the bride of Christ. The reality is also seen in Ephesians 5:25-27; Christ died to redeem the church, His bride, He is now cleansing her by the washing in the water in His living word, and He will present her to Himself not only spotless but even more, glorious.

Eternally, Revelation 21:2 presents “the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

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.

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (6)

Genesis 1–2 presents many pictures. The reality of these is in the New Testament and their consummation is New Jerusalem. A song couples these two ends of the Bible. Verse 5 of the song is about the tree of life in the garden of Eden but outside of man. Verse 6:

But in the city glorious the tree
Within the corporate “man” doth grow, thereby
Revealing Christ Himself as life divine
New JerusalemBeing to man his inward life supply.

In New Jerusalem is “the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month” (Rev. 22:2). This is Jesus Christ, who is “the life” to become, through death and resurrection, “our life” (Col. 3:4).

As the reality of the bread of life, He is our daily nourishment that we may “live because of Him.” We, like Paul, should be able to declare “for me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).

The song says the tree grows within the “corporate man.” This is a reference to New Jerusalem, the culmination of all God’s building work. This work builds all the believers together. One reference to this is in Ephesians 2:22, “you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.” New Jerusalem is God’s dwelling place.

In Romans 12, “we who are many are one Body in Christ.” This is our position from the time we believe. Now, by Christ as our life supply, we grow in His life for the building up of the one Body, the “corporate man” which becomes 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.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (5)

Genesis 1–2 presents many pictures which are fulfilled in New Jerusalem in Revelation 21–22. A song couples these two ends of the Bible. Here is the fifth verse of the song and the Bible verses underlying it.

New JerusalemMan in the garden of the clay was formed,
In nature as the Lord created him;
The tree of life was then without the man,
Not having yet become his life within.

Genesis 2:7 says, “God formed man with the dust of the ground.” Then 2:9 says, “out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

The tree of life symbolizes Christ, who is “the life,” to be our life, the life that brings us into God’s building and builds us together as New Jerusalem.

God told Adam that he could eat from every tree except that he should not eat the tree of knowledge. This is God’s first commandment to man. However, man violated that command, ate from that tree, and was shut out from the garden with no access to the tree of life.

But God’s purpose cannot be stopped by this failure. God came in Christ, redeemed us, and regenerated us with Himself as life, the reality of the tree of life, the life of New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (4)

A hymn presents characteristics of New Jerusalem which are seen figuratively in the garden of Eden. Here is the first part of verse 3 with verse 4 of this hymn:

New JerusalemBoth in the garden and the city bright
Three kinds of precious substances are found;

But in the garden all these precious things
Are just materials lying in the earth,
Yet in the city all are builded up
And form that dwelling of transcendent worth.

Genesis 2 presents to us gold, bdellium (a pearl-like material from a tree resin), and onyx stones. As the song says, these are precious substances but merely lying around. In New Jerusalem the street is of gold, the twelve gates are pearls, the wall is built of jasper, and the foundations of the wall are adorned with twelve types of precious stones (Rev. 21:12-21).

New Jerusalem being builded up is the culmination of God’s spiritual building work throughout the New Testament. In Matthew 16 Jesus said “I will build my church.” Jesus is the Stone which became the Cornerstone for this building (Mark 12:10, Eph. 2:20).

The building work involves all of us, as in 1 Corinthians 3 and Ephesians 2 and 4. In Ephesians 4:15-16 holding in love to Christ as the truth, we grow up into Him in all things. Then a rich supply flows out from Him through the gifted members and also “through the operation in the measure of each one part.” The result is “the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.”

The ultimate issue of the building work is New Jerusalem, built with the three kinds of precious substances.

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