The Living Glory of New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem “has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it” (Rev. 21:23).

The entire New Jerusalem is the holy of holies, the spiritual development of the innermost part of the Old Testament temple. In the old holy of holies there was no natural light nor any man-made light. The only illumination
New Jerusalemwas the glory, the shining of the presence of God. Thus the OT holy of holies was a picture of New Jerusalem.

John 1:4, speaking of the eternal Word incarnated to be the man Jesus, says “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” When we receive the Lord Jesus, this life is for us today and is our entrance into New Jerusalem, and this light of life guides our walk today and in New Jerusalem.

Our Christian life today should correspond to New Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus told us, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). This light is the Lord Jesus and by regeneration He came into us to be our life and light.

Today our Christian life should be like New Jerusalem—not outward guidance (signified by the sun and moon) but the Lord’s shining within us. We “were once darkness [without the Lord] but are now light in the Lord; walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8).

The Triune God is the Living Temple of New Jerusalem

In Revelation 21:22 John says about New Jerusalem, “I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”

The temple is not a physical building! It is a living Person, the Triune God! The entire New Jerusalem, as the consummation of all God’s New Testament building, is spiritual. This is not a new concept in Revelation 21. The Lord spoke this at the beginning of His ministry.

New JerusalemJohn 2:19 records His words, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews were focused on their physical temple, but “He spoke of the temple of His body” (v. 2:21). The Lord Jesus Himself is the temple.

The whole city is the holy of holies, which is the innermost part of the Old Testament temple. The holy of holies is the place for man to meet with God and speak with God. Moses did this, as recorded in Numbers 7:89.

The Triune God as the temple is the Triune God as the holy of holies, which is the Triune God as the whole city. We enter the city by the pearl gates, the death and resurrection of Christ, and then we are built into this city. This building work in the Triune God is described in many verses including Ephesians 2:20-22, 4:15-16, Colossians 2:7, and 1 Peter 2:4-5.

Lord Jesus, I believe into You to receive the eternal life for New Jerusalem. Now keep me in the reality of Your New Testament building work to be in You as the living temple. 

 

The Street of the City is Pure, Divine Gold

New JerusalemRevelation 21 tells us “the city [New Jerusalem] was pure gold, like clear glass” (v. 18) and “the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass” (v. 21).

Recent posts, Pure Gold and Divine, Eternal Gold, discuss the gold in verse 18. The gold in verse 21 is the same. It represents the divine nature, it is eternal, it is pure and transparent, and it is not physical gold.

Second Peter 1:3-4 says that God “has called us by His own glory and virtue, through which He has granted to us precious and exceedingly great promises that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature.” God’s glory is involved in calling us and bringing us all the way to the city of glory, New Jerusalem.

Through God’s calling and the precious promises He gave to us, we become partakers of the divine nature. By partaking we are constituted with this nature and we walk according to this nature, portrayed by the golden street of New Jerusalem.

This constitution is like clear glass and our walk is like transparent glass—nothing in darkness, nothing deceitful, nothing sneaky, nothing cloudy. We advance in this clearness and transparency by laying hold of the “precious and exceedingly great promises” to partake of more of the divine nature.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the wonderful promises in the Bible. Keep me feeding on them every day. Constitute me with Your divine nature and keep me walking in it all the way to New Jerusalem!

Enter by the Regenerating Resurrection

New Jerusalem has twelve gates; “the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was, respectively, of one pearl” (Rev. 21:21).

Like the gold of New Jerusalem, the pearls are not physical. They are spiritual signs. They represent the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Through death He terminated all the problems that separate us from God. In resurrection He released the divine life to us to regenerate us. “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…regenerated us unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

New JerusalemThis life is our entrance into New Jerusalem. The city is entirely separate from our fallen, natural life and is wholly in the realm of the divine, eternal life.

The Lord also presented this in His words to Nicodemus. He said, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). When we are born again, regenerated by the Spirit with eternal life, we enter the kingdom of God. New Jerusalem is the ultimate stage of this kingdom.

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is our entrance into New Jerusalem. Each gate is one pearl; this is the one, unique way to get into the city. Yet there are twelve pearl gates; this shows that the Triune God (three) faces all of creation (four) to invite and allow every human being a chance to enter the city.

“He who believes into the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36). This is our entrance into New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:9-20

Revelation 21:9-11: “Come here; I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.

Here are the recent posts from Revelation 21 with the main verse for each.

21:9, God’s Final Judgments, then New Jerusalem
21:9, The Bride, the Wife, New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem21:10, Carried Away in Spirit to See New Jerusalem
21:10, On a High Mountain, See New Jerusalem
21:10, Heavenly Jerusalem is on Earth from God

21:11, New Jerusalem Has the Glory of God
21:11, New Jerusalem’s Precious Light
21:11, New Jerusalem, Clear as Crystal

21:12, The Great and High Wall of New Jerusalem
21:12, New Jerusalem has a Wall with Twelve Gates
21:12, The City has 12 Gates, 12 Angels, 12 Names

21:13, We Enter by the Gates into New Jerusalem

21:14, New Jerusalem’s Wall has 12 Foundations

21:15, New Jerusalem is Divinity in Humanity

21:16, New Jerusalem is the Eternal Holy of Holies
21:16, Holy of Holies: Come Forward, Don’t Wait

21:17, The Eternally Perfect Wall of New Jerusalem

21:18, The Jasper Wall Expresses God                                               New Jerusalem
21:18, New Jerusalem is Pure Gold                                                       in Revelation
21:18, New Jerusalem is Divine, Eternal Gold                                          21:1-8

21:19-20, The Foundations of New Jerusalem’s Wall

Many older posts about Revelation 21:9-11.
Many older posts about Revelation 21:12-21.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Foundations of New Jerusalem’s Wall

Revelation 21:19-20, describing New Jerusalem, says, “The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every precious stone: the first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.”

New JerusalemAs with the gold of New Jerusalem, so also the stones are not physical. They portray the Spirit’s work in us.

Precious stones are not created but are formed through a process in the earth. In the Bible, precious stones portray the Spirit’s transforming work in all the believers. This is 2 Corinthians 3:18, “We all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.”

Our transformation happens by our beholding and reflecting the glory of the Lord, and transforms us into His image of glory. Ultimately this is the glory of New Jerusalem.

As with all the other “twelves” in New Jerusalem, the twelve stones proclaim eternal perfection. The variety of the stones portray the variety of the attributes of Christ constituted into us by the Spirit’s transforming work.

We all have a portion of our Lord’s love, faithfulness, boldness, patience, holiness, wisdom, meekness, etc., but some may have one of these in a greater degree than others. But we all are one Body in Christ and now and one New Jerusalem to come.

New Jerusalem is Divine, Eternal Gold

Revelation 21:18 says of New Jerusalem, “the city was pure gold, like clear glass.” We must not think that this is physical gold. Physical gold, although valued highly in our societies, does not measure up to the much higher standard of New Jerusalem, as shown in the following verses.

James 5:3, “Your gold and your silver have rusted, and their rust will be a testimony against you…”
1 Peter 1:7 “The proving of your faith, much more precious than of gold which perishes…”
1 Peter 1:18 “Knowing that it was not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, that you were redeemed…”
1 Peter 3:3 “Let your adorning not be the outward plaiting of hair and putting on of gold or clothing with garments, but the hidden man of the heart in the incorruptible adornment of a meek and quiet spirit, which is very costly in the sight of God.”

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem being pure gold means that it is constituted of the divine nature. Physical gold is not the real thing—it was created by God to portray something of Himself. The basic element of New Jerusalem is the divine nature trans-mitted into us by the regenerating Spirit.

Physical gold has caused much envy and greed, many robberies, and ostentatious displays. The divine gold has none of these problems. Furthermore, Peter tells us that physical gold perishes. Divine gold is eternal. New Jerusalem is pure, divine, incorruptible, eternal, and much more precious than physical gold.

No Physical Gold in New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is Pure Gold

Revelation 21:18 says of New Jerusalem, “the city was pure gold, like clear glass.”

New Jerusalem is “pure gold.” Pureness is one of God’s attributes. He desires that we receive Him as our life and partake of His purity. Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart.” First John 3:2-3 says, “We know that if He is manifested, we will be like Him because we will see Him even as He is. And everyone who has this hope set on Him
New Jerusalempurifies himself, even as He is pure.”

In ourselves we are not pure, but we can seek His purity. First Timothy 3:9 speaks of “holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.” The pure conscience is for holding the mystery of the faith but also the more we hold it, the more we are purified.

James tells us “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, forbearing, compliant, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, without hypocrisy.” We can ask the Lord daily to be our wisdom in order to gain its purity and to be saved from hypocrisy (mixture, impurity, corruption, falsehood).

Since New Jerusalem is “like clear glass” the absence of mixture is clearly visible. And the clearness allows the glory of God to shine out through the entire city. Revelation 21:11 declares, New Jerusalem “has the glory of God.”

The Jasper Wall Expresses God

The wall of New Jerusalem is perfect and eternal. The wall separates and protects the city while the gates let us enter. The building work of the wall is jasper (Rev. 21:18a).

John saw God sitting on the throne in heaven and He was like a jasper stone in appearance (Rev. 4:2-3). The wall has the appearance of God. The wall, the outer limit of New Jerusalem, is jasper because the entire city is jasper. “Her [New Jerusalem’s] light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal” (Rev. 21:11).

New JerusalemThe wall and the whole city having the appearance of God fulfills God’s intention in His creation of man. “God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Gen. 1:26). God created man in His image so that man could express God.

Created man fell into sin and death and can no longer fulfill God’s intention. God came in Jesus Christ to redeem man, to re-open the door for man to receive God’s life and thereby be enabled to express God.

New Jerusalem is the consummation of all that God accomplished. The city is full of the divine, eternal life, which flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb who redeemed us (Rev. 22:1).

The jasper city and the jasper wall were produced and are maintained by the flow of life to express the jasper God on the throne.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Eternally Perfect Wall of New Jerusalem

New JerusalemIn Revelation 21:15 an angel had a golden reed to measure New Jerusalem and its gates and its wall. In 21:17, “he measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.”

Twelve in the Bible indicates eternal perfection. In this verse the measure of the wall is twelve times twelve. It is perfectly and eternally perfect. This wall separates the city from everything else and protects the city. Nothing can cross over or go through this wall. But do not be discouraged. All who believe into Jesus Christ and receive Him as their Redeemer and Life enter the city through the gates.

The measure of the wall is both human and angelic. Humans and angels are distinct species but they are linked in one word of the Lord Jesus. In Matthew 22:30, answering a question from the Sadducees, He said “in the resurrection they [humans] neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”

The measure of the wall being both human and angelic means that this measure is in resurrection. This matches the nature of New Jerusalem—the whole is a city in resurrection. The city has the nature of resurrection because it was brought forth through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is the resurrection, and the city has entirely come out of Him, as portrayed by Eve being constituted solely out of Adam.

The gospel today brings resurrection life into us and us unto New Jerusalem.

Holy of Holies: Come Forward, Don’t Wait

In Revelation 21:16 New Jerusalem is a perfect and immense cube; this is the eternal holy of holies. This marvelous blessing is our eternal dwelling place with God and in God.

New JerusalemHowever, we should not wait until New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven (Rev. 21:2, 10). Today we are encouraged to “come forward with boldness to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help.” The throne of grace is the reality of the Old Testament ark of the covenant in the holy of holies.

This throne has the redeeming blood of Christ on it and the glory of Christ above it. We can come forward because we have a great High Priest, Jesus the Son of God. He has ascended to the heavens. He is touched with the feeling of our weaknesses even though He is without sin. Based on these facts in Hebrews 4:14-15 we are exhorted in 4:16 to “come forward with boldness.”

How do we come forward? We can simply and honestly pray, Lord Jesus, I come forward now to Your throne; I want to meet You. When we come forward in such a way, we are promised mercy. We also can find grace; this may be with more simple prayers—not asking the Lord to do something for us but only opening to Him and seeking Him to be more in our living.

By coming forward in this way we obtain mercy and grace, and we have a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem is the Eternal Holy of Holies

Revelation 21:16 says about New Jerusalem, “The city lies square, and its length is as great as the breadth. And he measured the city with the reed to a length of twelve thousand stadia; the length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.”

The size of the city is twelve thousand stadia. Twelve in the Bible indicates eternal perfection. Thousand in the Bible indicates fullness or bountifulness. New Jerusalem is eternally perfect and bountiful, even unlimited, in the perfection of its characteristics.

New Jerusalem is a cube; its length, breadth, and height are equal. Only two other cubes are described in the Bible. These are the holy of holies (or holiest place) in the tabernacle (Exo. 26) and in the temple (1 Kings 6). The holy of holies in the tabernacle was not large; the dimensions doubled in the temple, and New Jerusalem is immensely greater. Our realization, appreciation, and experience of all that God is in Christ should have such an enlargement to New Jerusalem’s eternal fullness.

Both the tabernacle and the temple had the holy of holies, their innermost part, and a holy place, and an outer court. In Revelation 21–22 there is no outer court nor a holy place with New Jerusalem because we all have been brought fully into the holy of holies where God dwells.

Today we still need the experiences portrayed by the outer court and holy place; for example, the forgiveness of sins by Christ as the reality of the offerings on the bronze altar in the outer court. But in eternity all God’s operation will be completed and we all will be matured, so the holy of holies will be our constant dwelling place.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

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