Peace, Now and in New Jerusalem

New JerusalemThe name Jerusalem means “foundation of peace.” New Jerusalem will certainly be full of peace and joy and many other wonderful conditions.

But what about today? We seem to be over the peak of coronavirus infections. Gradually there is an opening of society but we still wear masks and keep social distances. Our economy is weak; our future is uncertain.

Medical experts say the virus might linger as a long-term threat. Job prospects for many are poor. We wonder, Is it safe to go there? or to do that? We are in a state of uncertainty. We cannot change the medical or economic or political environment. But we can open ourselves to Jesus!

In John 14:27 the Lord Jesus tells us, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” And in John 16:33 He says, “in Me you may have peace. In the world you have affliction.”

Philippians 4:6-7, “In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses every man’s understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”

We need to present our requests to the Lord, not only for outward care but even more for His peace within. This inward peace is a testimony of Him to the troubled world. This inward peace, the peace of God, is the same peace as in New Jerusalem. The difference then is that there will also be peace throughout the new creation.

From Here to New Jerusalem

The current outward environment is unusual for all of us. But “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes, even forever” (Heb. 13:8). When we look away to Jesus Christ, we can declare, as Paul did in Romans 8:18, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed upon us.”

A similar expression is in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “For our momentary lightness of affliction works out for us, more and more surpassingly, an eternal weight of glory, because we do not regard the things which are seen but
New Jerusalemthe things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

New Jerusalem is central among the things which are eternal, and in New Jerusalem Jesus Christ is central on the throne. When we regard the unseen, eternal, heavenly things, as in the verse above and Colossians 3:1-4, we take Him as our center now.

Revelation 21 tells us that “the glory of God illumined it [New Jerusalem], and its lamp is the Lamb [Jesus Christ].” The glory of God is in Jesus Christ. Today He wants to work Himself into us to be our “eternal weight of glory.” This is unseen now but “when Christ our life is manifested, then we also will be manifested with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). And we will be with Him eternally in the glory of New Jerusalem.

No Quarantine with God

Dear Readers, because of the current world situation I am inserting this post, which is not directly about New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe covid-19 virus pandemic has caused many isolation and social distancing measures to be announced. Nations have closed borders, sealed off cities, and quarantined sick or suspected persons.

In ancient times, leprosy was a terrible infectious disease. Those who were infected had bad rashes and sometimes severe facial deformities. When a person got leprosy, he was discriminated against and isolated by society.

One day a leper came to Jesus. He worshiped him and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can cleanse me.” Jesus held out his hand, touched the leper, and said, “I am willing; be cleansed!” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed (Matthew 8:2-3).

Nobody dared to approach the leper, who was regarded by everyone as an impure person who must be separated from society. However, the Lord Jesus was willing to approach him and even reached out to touch him.

Although Jesus only needed to speak to heal the leper, nevertheless He touched him. What consolation for this leper who suffered from pain, was isolated, and desperate from panic!

God is merciful. Even if fear arises again today, please remember that the Lord Jesus died to redeem us and resurrected to regenerate us (1 Peter 1:3). Today He invites you to cast “all your anxiety on Him because it matters to Him concerning you” (1 Peter 5:7). Then “the peace of God will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).

 

Free Study NTs and Free Christian Books

Dear Readers, I recommend that you look into these sources of New Testaments and Christian literature. Much of what I write about New Jerusalem is based on these materials.

Free Study New Testaments

These NTs feature:

  • outlines for each book pointing out its major sections for an in-depth overview
  • over 9,000 footnotes stressing the revelation of truth, light, and life
  • over 13,000 cross-references to enhance your Bible study
  • helpful charts showing important biblical truths, and detailed NT maps

United States: Bibles for America, bfa.org (English, Spanish, Korean)
Canada: Bibles for Canada, www.biblesforcanada.org (English, French)
Europe: Bibles for Europe, www.biblesforeurope.org (Eng, Ger, Fr, Span, Pol)
New Zealand: Bibles for New Zealand, www.biblesfornewzealand.org.nz
Australia: Bibles for Australia, www.biblesforaustralia.org.au

Free Christian Books

These books can help you know the Bible, learn about Christ, and supply practical help for your Christian life.

Rhema Literature Distributors, www.rhemabooks.org
______worldwide, 29 languages
______available as e-books and in print

Several of the Bible distributors also offer these books.

New Jerusalem and Our Christian Life in Revelation 22:6-21

Revelation 22:6-21 is the conclusion of the whole Bible, following the presentation of New Jerusalem in 21:2 to 22:5. This conclusion touches New Jerusalem and is full of words applicable to our present Christian life. May we love the Lord Jesus, apply His cleansing blood, pursue Him for our growth in life, and heed the words in these verses.

New Jerusalem

Here are the titles and links to all recent posts on 22:6-21, with some of the verses.

22:6 “And he [angel] said to me [John], These words are faithful and true.”
22:6, The Lord and His Words: Faithful and True
22:6, The Things Which Must Quickly Take Place

22:7 “Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this scroll.”
22:7, 10, 18-19, The Words of the Lord are Spirit and Life

22:12 “Behold, I come quickly, and My reward is with Me.”
22:12, The Lord’s Faithful Slaves Serve Him

22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
22:13, New Jerusalem: to God be the Glory Forever

22:14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city.”
22:14-15, The Gospel: Be Cleansed, Receive Eternal Life, Enter New Jerusalem

22:16 “I Jesus have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright morning star.”
22:16, Jesus Testifies for the Churches

22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who is thirsty come; let him who wills take the water of life freely.”
22:17, The Spirit and the Bride Say, Come!
22:17, Jesus Says, Come to Me and Drink

22:20 “He who testifies these things says, Yes, I come quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”
22:20, I Come Quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus

22:21 “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.”
22:21, Grace to Us is the Conclusion of the Bible

New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:1-8
New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:9-20
New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:21-27
New Jerusalem in Revelation 22:1-5

Older posts about Revelation 22:6-21

Grace to Us is the Conclusion of the Bible

New JerusalemThe Bible concludes, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.”

Grace is Jesus Christ Himself for us to love, value, appreciate, and enjoy. Grace came to mankind when God incarnated in Jesus. “Grace and reality came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17) This grace is much more than God doing us a favor.

This grace can be manifested through our enjoyment of Christ. By grace we are justified freely, we reign in life, we are gifted to participate in the functioning of His Body, we labor for the Lord, we give monetary gifts, we bear sufferings, we will display God’s surpassing riches of His grace, we sing to God, we receive eternal comfort and good hope, we are supplied with faith and love, and our hearts are confirmed.*

Revelation concludes, as many epistles open and conclude, with this wish of grace to all of us. Saints does not mean a few special people; it refers to all who believe into Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 1:2). This concluding blessing sums up the Lord’s desire to be our center and our enjoyment so that He could enliven us for the preparation of His bride and the coming of New Jerusalem.


*Verses for this paragraph: Acts 11:23, Rom. 3:24, 5:17, 8:3, 1 Cor. 15:10, 2 Cor. 8:1-7, 12:7-9,
Eph. 2:7, Col. 3:16, 2 Thes. 2:16, 1 Tim. 1:14, Heb. 13:9.

I Come Quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus

Revelation 21 and the first part of 22 is John’s description of New Jerusalem as shown to him by an angel (22:6). From 22:7 most of the speaking is directly by the Lord Jesus. His conclusion is, “He who testifies these things says, Yes, I come quickly.” And John responds, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (22:20).

New JerusalemThe Lord told us in 22:16 “I Jesus have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches.” In 22:20 He is testifying these thing. The angel is representing the Lord and we accept every word from the angel as from the Lord.

The Lord told us three times at the end of Revelation that He comes quickly. We should not use our human reasoning to question quickly. The Lord’s wisdom is infinitely greater than ours. What we should do is echo John’s response, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

While we are waiting, we love Him, love His appearing, and pursue Him as our goal. The Lord’s testifying is for all the churches, so we should give heed to His first warning “I have one thing against you, that you have left your first love” (Rev. 2:4). Lord, keep me loving You every day!

Philippians 3:14, “I pursue toward the goal for the prize to which God in Christ Jesus has called me upward.” Jesus Christ is our goal and being in the marriage dinner of the Lamb will be our prize. And then onward to New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Jesus Says, Come to Me and Drink

New JerusalemThe first part of Revelation 22:17 is the cry for the Lord Jesus to come, to return visibly to earth. The second part of the verse is, “And let him who is thirsty come; let him who wills take the water of life freely.”

While the Spirit and the bride call out to the Lord to return, they also call out to all thirsty human beings to come and drink the living water.

This call repeats the invitation the Lord Jesus made on a feast day in Jerusalem, “Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” (John 7:39) It also repeats the Lord’s promise in Revelation 21, “I will give to him who thirsts from the spring of the water of life freely.”

Thirst is not physical but rather indicates that man needs Jesus Christ to be his life to satisfy his inner longing. The Spirit and the bride are motivated to proclaim the gospel, that Jesus Christ can satisfy man’s hunger and thirst. May each of us be motivated in this way!

The first time a person believes in the Lord, that person gets to drink living water. Then throughout his Christian life that person can and should “drink the one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13). Eternally all who have tasted the living water will drink “the river of water of life” which flows in New Jerusalem.

The Spirit and the Bride Say, Come!

New JerusalemThe Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come!” (Rev. 22:17a)

The Spirit and the bride speak together, indicating their union. This is a big step toward the marriage dinner of the Lamb which leads us to New Jerusalem as the bride, the wife of the Lamb. These steps are all part of The Divine-Human Romance thru the Bible.

The Spirit and the bride call out to the Lord Jesus, the Lamb, Come! This is a cry for the Lord’s visible return to earth (Matt. 24:30) including the resurrection of all the dead believers and the manifestation of His kingdom to rule the earth in righteousness.

All who hear this cry should echo, Come! Throughout this age we should be “those who love His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). We are waiting and hoping for His appearing, and we are also pursuing to be perfected to be ready for His appearing.

The apostle Paul is a pattern, “Not that I have already obtained or am already perfected, but I pursue, if even I may lay hold of that for which I also have been laid hold of by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12). We are not yet perfected but we pursue while we wait for the Lord’s appearing.

May we all “pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Tim. 2:22) We pursue and we cry out, Come, Lord Jesus!

Jesus Testifies for the Churches

I Jesus have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright morning star.” (Rev. 22:16)

New JerusalemThe Lord testified the things in Revelation “for the churches.” He was not speaking to individual believers but to believers functioning as members of His Body and coordinating with other members.

This is the church life in the beginning: breaking bread from house to house; praying in houses; giving hospitality to strangers; sharing letters; and knowing, greeting, and visiting one another across great distances despite limited transportation.

This corporate Christian living is the preparation for New Jerusalem, which is a single corporate bride for Christ and home for God. New Jerusalem, God’s goal, is the corporate expression of all that God is. It includes all His people, but without any individualism. Let us live in the churches to receive His words which are “for the churches.”

Jesus is the Root, the divine source, and the Offspring, the human descendant, of David. This is mainly in His relationship to the Jews, who are described in Revelation 14:12 as “those who keep the commandments of God.”

Jesus is also the bright morning star for His loving New Testament seekers, those who overcome the world (Rev. 2:28) and hold to His words as a shining lamp (2 Peter 1:19).

 

The Gospel: Be Cleansed, Receive Eternal Life, Enter New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRevelation 22:14 proclaims, “Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city.” This is the gospel to everyone now.

Our robes signify our conduct. In the eyes of God all our living apart from Him, even our good deeds, is like “a soiled garment” in Isaiah 64:6. We need to wash our robes/garments, our conduct. This washing is by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14) which cleanses us from everything we have done apart from God (Acts 15:9).

This cleansing/washing gives us the right to the tree of life—Jesus Christ becoming our life for our new birth and being our life supply for our daily living with Him.

The cleansing/washing also gives us the right to enter by the gates into the city, New Jerusalem. An unbeliever’s basic need is to confess that he is a sinner apart from God, to turn to God, and to thank Jesus for dying to cleanse him and resurrecting to impart eternal life into him. This is the proper response to the proclamation of Revelation 22:14.

In contrast to 22:14, verse 15 declares “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and everyone who loves and makes a lie.” Those who reject cleansing through the death of Jesus and refuse to repent (e.g. Rev. 16:9) will be outside, that is, in the lake of fire.

May all who are around us hear and respond to Revelation 22:14 to be cleansed, have life, and enter 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 Lord’s Faithful Slaves Serve Him

New JerusalemThe Lord speaks in Revelation 22:12, “Behold, I come quickly, and My reward is with Me to render to each one as his work is.”

The Lord has purchased us and we are His slaves. He is our eternal salvation including His redemption and His eternal life. All of this is firm, unchangeable, as in John 10:28-29.

The choice we now face is, do we cooperate with Him for the growth of His life in us and do we serve Him as faithful slaves. A negative example of growth is in 1 Corinthians 3; the Corinthians, real believers, we still fleshly and infants in Christ. A positive and negative example are the faithful and evil slaves, both slaves of the Lord, in Matthew 24:45-51. A positive example is Paul in 2 Timothy 4:8.

How does this relate to New Jerusalem? “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.” (Rev. 19:7) Our growth in life and our faithful service are part of the preparation of the wife of the Lamb. And they will be rewarded by the Lamb.

The epistles record many worldly and philosophical and evil things which distract believers. May the Lord save us from these distractions and keep us on a straight path to New Jerusalem with proper growth and service!

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

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