God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (7)

New Jerusalem is the goal of God’s eternal purpose made in eternity past. It is also the goal of all God’s work in time. This post concludes linking a song* about God’s purpose for New Jerusalem with verses in the Bible. The last verse of the song is:

New JerusalemGod in man and man in God
Mutual dwelling thus possess;
God the content is to man,
And the man doth God express.

The mutual dwelling of God and man is not a new thought in Revelation. Rather, in John 14 the Lord Jesus said to the disciples, “In that day [His soon-coming resurrection] you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” Then in 15:4 He said further, “Abide in Me and I in you” with more in 15:5 and 15:7.

God as our content is also not a new thought in Revelation. Multiple verses speak of God in Christ as our life, our righteousness, our wisdom, our grace, our peace, our empowering, our hope of glory, our boast, and much more. He is unsearchably rich.

Man as the expression of God is seen in Acts 19:17, Ephesians 3:10 and 3:21, and in Philippians 1:21. The expression of God in man depends on the development of eternal life in man. We cooperate with Him now for this growth so that He may be expressed to the world today. This same expression, but much richer and stronger, will shine forth through New Jerusalem.

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* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (6)

God’s eternal purpose is to become one with His people to dwell with them eternally as New Jerusalem and to manifest His glory through the city.

We have followed a song* about God’s purpose from creation to the flow of eternal life for the building up of God’s dwelling to the throne, river of life, and tree of life which characterize New Jerusalem. The song’s
New Jerusalemnext verse is:

God in Christ, the glorious light,
Thru the city brightly shines,
Scattering all the deathly night
With its light of life divine.

This corresponds with words in Revelation. In 21:11 New Jerusalem has “the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.”

And in 21:23, “the city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” In 22:5 we read, “And night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them.”

God shines in Christ and through Christ to enlighten the entire city. This glorious light radiates further to enlighten the new creation. This is the ultimate manifestation of Jesus Christ as the “light of life” (John 1:4; 8:12).

In New Jerusalem “night will be no more” because every member of the city will be fully in resurrection with no need for sleep. God in Christ is our eternal day in New Jerusalem.

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* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (5)

The throne of God and the Lamb is the center of New Jerusalem and New Jerusalem is the center of the new earth under the new heavens. Everything in the entire new creation is under God’s ruling. Everything is calm and peaceful because all evil and all rebellion were cast into the lake of fire in Revelation 20.

We are considering a song* about God’s eternal purpose. Its sixth verse:

In its center, as its pow’r,
Is the throne of Christ and God,
Whence doth flow the stream of life
As the Spirit’s living flood.

This corresponds with Revelation 22:1, “He [an angel] showed me [John] 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.” The river is a symbol of the Spirit who flows abundantly to all God’s people. Earlier, John 7 records the Lord Jesus speaking about the Spirit as a river of living water.
New JerusalemThe next verse of the song:

Christ, the tree of life, is there
In the flowing of the stream,
Yielding fruit of life divine
As the food of life supreme.

This is Revelation 22:2, “On this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”

Both the river and the tree of life if Genesis 2 have their reality in Jesus Christ. He is our real food supply, to nourish us today, unto New Jerusalem, and eternally.

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* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

Living Water Flows to & in New Jerusalem 2, 3, 4,

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (4)

The new creation with New Jerusalem at its center is the conclusion of the Bible. This is God’s goal. A song* tells about God’s process to reach this goal. The fourth verse expresses God’s longing:

New JerusalemTis the city God hath built,
Tis the dwelling God requires,
Tis the new Jerusalem
Which fulfills His heart’s desires.

The fifth verse:

Tis the building of the saints,
Tis the blend of God and man,
Purposed by the Father’s will
Long before the world began.

“Saints” are all God’s people, sanctified by His working upon and in them. They are built together by the flow of God’s life (verse 3 of the song) as presented in Ephesians 4:16 and Colossians 2:19. This building work is what God purposed in eternity past.

New Jerusalem was planned by God before creation and is portrayed by all that is in Genesis 2. God has the foreknowledge of everything and every event in His creation, and in His wisdom He uses all of it to bring forth His desire. The sixth verse, speaking of the throne in New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1), begins:

In its center, as its pow’r,
Is the throne of Christ and God.

God is in Christ and Christ in God, as the Lord Jesus spoke to us in John 14:10-11. In their coinherence They have one throne, which is the center of New Jerusalem, out of which flows the river of water of life.

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* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

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.

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (3)

A song* about God’s purpose begins with God in Christ becoming life to man so that God and man can be united for God’s eternal glory, expressed through New Jerusalem. The third verse:

New JerusalemBy the flow of life divine,
Man becomes a precious stone
Fit for building God’s abode,
That His glory might be known.

Through His redeeming death and life-imparting resurrection (1 Peter 1:3), Jesus Christ has become our life. Now, as the song says, this life wants to flow, as pictured by the river of life in Genesis 2.

The flow of life transforms us (2 Cor. 3:18) to become precious stones. This is seen in Old Testament symbolism by the gold, bdellium, and onyx stone brought forth by the river in Genesis 2. We who believe into Him are the real stones for God’s living building. As Peter tells us, “You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5).

This verse in Peter matches, and undergirds, the second and third lines of the song’s verse above. Peter goes on to say we were chosen and acquired so that “you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (v. 2:9). This is to glorify God now (and much more in New Jerusalem).

The purpose of becoming stones is the building and the goal of the building work is that God’s glory might be known. Ephesians speaks much about building and 3:21 says, “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever.” Glory to God forever is New Jerusalem “having the glory of God.”

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* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (2)

God is eternal. He created time and the universe because He has a plan and a goal. The center of His goal, in Revelation 21–22, is New Jerusalem, His eternal expression.

New JerusalemA song (musicwords by Witness Lee) presents highlights of God’s actions to accomplish His purpose, to arrive at New Jerusalem. Here are the second part of verses 1 and 2:

He to man is everything
That He might fulfill His plan.

God as life that he may take
And with Him have oneness true.

In the first verse God wants to be everything to man, but how? The second verse answers—God wants to be life to man. This is symbolized by the tree of life shown to Adam in Genesis 2 and plainly spoken by the Lord Jesus in John 3:15-16 and many verses in John 6. By His resurrection life, we can be in Him and He in us (John 14:20); this is God being one with man as the song states.

To believe into Jesus Christ is to receive Him as our eternal life and to become one with Him. “When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.” (Col. 3:4) Christ is our life today and He will appear in glory. Then we will be glorified with Him.

He and we will be a corporate expression of God’s glory. This is New Jerusalem, “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11).

Photo in Germany by Jenny Grosh.

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (1)

The Bible concludes with the new heaven and new earth and New Jerusalem at their center. This is God’s desire and God’s goal. Humanly we do not always reach our goals but God is fully capable and He will reach exactly what He desires.

God’s purpose and goal is portrayed in the creation of man in Genesis 1 and the garden of Eden in Genesis 2, as described in posts on The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemWe begin review of a song with highlights of God’s actions to accomplish His purpose, to arrive at New Jerusalem: the music (composer unknown) and the words (Witness Lee). Verse 1 begins:

Lo, the central thought of God
Is that He be one with man;

God created all the plants and animals “according to their own kind.” But in Genesis 1:26 God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” This shows man’s special place in God’s creation. Man was created for God, so that God could work in and through man to reach His goal. Verse 2 begins:

Earthen vessel man was made-
Body, soul, and spirit too.

This is Genesis 2:7, “God formed man with the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” The three parts of man are also clearly in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete.” God uses all three parts of man as He brings forth New Jerusalem for His eternal exhibition.

Sonship for New Jerusalem (4)

God has chosen us in eternity past unto sonship to the praise of the glory of His grace. This praise develops through this age and the next age until the eternal praise and glory of God in New Jerusalem.

The New Testament sonship includes all the believers in Jesus Christ. In addition, Romans 9 speaks about Israel; verse 4 says “whose are the sonship…” Although Israel had the sonship in some sense, they did not have the life of God because this is only for believers in the New Testament time, based upon the redeeming death and life-imparting resurrection of Jesus Christ.

New JerusalemWhatever the nature of Israel’s sonship, the Israelites faithful to God will be in New Jerusalem. This is indicated by Revelation 21:12 which says New Jerusalem, as seen by John, “had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.”

Among all the descendants of the twelve sons of Jacob/Israel, only the Lord knows who will be in New Jerusalem. He is “the Knower of the hearts” (Acts 1:24).

Surely the number of Israelites participating in New Jerusalem will include some from Old Testament times, some from New Testament times, and all who repent when they see the Lord, whom they pierced, coming in glory.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Sonship for New Jerusalem (3)

God has chosen and predestinated us unto sonship “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph. 1:4-6). This praise culminates with the glory of New Jerusalem.

We have the sonship, yet Romans 8:23 says, “we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan in ourselves, eagerly awaiting sonship, the redemption of our body.” We have the sonship but we are awaiting the fulness of this sonship.

New JerusalemThe fulness will occur at the redemption of our mortal body. The mortality of our body, with its weaknesses, sicknesses, and lusts, is the cause of our groaning.

While we are groaning, “we eagerly await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transfigure the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:20-21).

Sonship is “to the praise of the glory of God.” The glory is within us, but will be released at the Lord’s return when our physical body is “conformed to the body of His glory.” The climax of this released glory is New Jerusalem, the city “having the glory of God.”

All believers in Jesus Christ have been born of God and have the sonship. Throughout our Christian life we cooperate to let this sonship grow in us. Growth unto maturity, while awaiting our Lord’s appearing, is our path to 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, footnotes, and cross-references, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

Sonship for New Jerusalem

New JerusalemFour verses in the New Testament include the word “sonship” in reference to New Testament believers and one verse in reference to Israel. The goal of this sonship is New Jerusalem.

The Greek word in these five verses is sometimes translated “adoption.” However, the overall revelation of the NT is that our relationship with God is one of birth and life. John 3:3-8 speaks firmly of our new birth. First Peter 1:23 speaks of our regeneration and four verses later we are “newborn babes.”

A great number of verses speak of our receiving and having eternal life. This life is not a position (as an adopted child) but much more it is Christ Himself, who is “the life” living in us. Some verses about this are Romans 6:23 and 8:10, Philippians 1:20-21, Colossians 3:3-4, and 1 John 5:11-12, “God gave to us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life.”

New Jerusalem is a city of eternal life; the divine, eternal life we received is bringing us to this wonderful city.

Our sonship is eternal. Ephesians 1:4-5 tell us that God chose us in Christ “predestinat-ing us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” God’s choosing and predestinating are eternal, matching the eternal nature of New Jerusalem.

Likewise, God’s good pleasure culminates with New Jerusalem. The sonship to which God predestinated us is “to Himself,” the essence and center of this marvelous city.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Glorified with Christ for New Jerusalem

Jesus Christ will come again in glory and sit on the throne of His glory. Everything of glory points to New Jerusalem and eternally the throne of glory will be the center of New Jerusalem, the city of glory.

It is God’s intention to glorify us with Christ. Verses we have looked at recently:
• Romans 8:29-30: glorification is the goal of our being called and justified.
• Romans 8:17: we suffer with Christ to be glorified with Him.
• 2 Corinthians 4:17-18: our temporary afflictions work out an eternal weight of glory.
• 2 Thessalonians 1:10: the Lord is coming to be glorified in His saints.

New JerusalemColossians 3 is parallel to these: “When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.” Christ will be manifested to the entire earth in His second coming. And we will be manifested with Him.

Our manifestation in glory is not merely that we will be in a glory surrounding us. Instead, the glory will shine out from within us. This is certain because “Christ our life” (inside of us) is coupled with “manifested with Him in glory.”

The Christ who is living and spreading within us now will shine forth as glory. He, as the glorious expression of God, will radiate through every mature believer. Ultimately, God in Christ will saturate New Jerusalem and radiate through the entire city.

The glory will radiate unhindered because New Jerusalem is “pure gold, like clear glass” (Rev. 21:18).

Through Suffering to the City of Glory (2)

New JerusalemThe Lord Jesus will appear again in glory and reign eternally in glory. We will be glorified with Him to participate in the manifestation of His kingdom in the coming age and in New Jerusalem.

Our glorification comes through sufferings. Second Corinthians 4:16-17: “Therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For our momentary lightness of affliction works out for us, more and more surpassingly, an eternal weight of glory.

Here, as in Romans 8, sufferings and glorification are coupled. Paul calls our sufferings a “momentary lightness of affliction.” The affliction is light compared to the eternal weight of glory. And it is “momentary” because Paul is regarding unseen, eternal things (v. 4:18).

These “eternal things” all consummate in New Jerusalem. But how do we “regard/look at/fix our eyes/focus on*” eternal things? First, “faith is the substantiation…of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). We have “a spirit of faith.” We learn to exercise our spirit and thereby experience Christ as our faith‡.

Second, we love the Lord. “Jesus Christ; whom having not seen, you love” (1 Peter 1:7b-8a). For this, try declaring Lord Jesus, I love You. And pray, Lord Jesus, increase my love to You. Exercising our faith and love toward the Lord brings us into the foretaste of New Jerusalem now.

* Various translations in 2 Cor. 4:18, thanks to Bible Hub.
‡ See Key to Experiencing Christ–the Human Spirit, The.

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