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 Lord God Shines in New Jerusalem

The blessings in New Jerusalem continue in Revelation 22:5, “And night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of New Jerusalema lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them.”

Verse 22:5 emphasizes 21:23, “And 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.” It is very firm that New Jerusalem will be filled with the shining of God, brighter than the sun. This is our eternal destiny.

Today we should have a foretaste of New Jerusalem’s shining. 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). First John 1:5-10 ties together confessing our sins, fellowship with God and with one another, and walking in the light.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Then we can have fellowship with God. This is not to ask God to do things for us, but to have time in His word, musing, considering, praying with it and about it.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” “The opening of Your words gives light, imparting understanding to the simple.” (Ps. 119:105, 130). Let us be simple, open to the Lord in His word, and thereby experience a preview of the shining in New Jerusalem.

 

New Jerusalem is Full of Light, No Night

Revelation 22:5 shows more blessing in New Jerusalem, “And night will be no more.”

“God is light” (1 John 1:5). God was incarnated in Jesus Christ to be “the light of the world” (John 8:12). Through His death and resurrection Christ has become our life, and this life is the light of men. He is the light now and will shine brighter in New Jerusalem.

God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Darkness is God’s judgment on the devil and all the devil’s evil works. During the last three hours of crucifixion “darkness fell over all the land” because everything negative was being judged. By Revelation 20 all these negatives will be in the lake of fire. Hence New Jerusalem will always be light, no night.

New JerusalemDarkness also is a symbol of these works and of the people who do them. Ephesians 5:8 says we “were once darkness but are now light in the Lord.”

The Lord Jesus told us, “I have come as a light into the world, that every one who believes into Me would not remain in darkness” (John 12:46). God “delivered us out of the authority of darkness” (Col. 1:13) and charged Paul to turn people “from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18).

We are children of light, we can walk in the light, and we can shine with this light. Christ is our life, our light, and our righteousness. Proverbs 4:18 declares, “the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until the full day,” which will be in New Jerusalem.

No Night in New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem: Night Will be No More
New Jerusalem: No Night There (2) (3)

A River of Water of Life

Revelation 22 begins, “And he showed me 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.”

In 21:9 an angel showed John “the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” In 21:10 the angel showed John “the holy city, Jerusalem.” Then the angel showed John the river of water of life. These are the three things specifically identified as shown by the angel. That means that the river of water of life is very important.

New JerusalemThe river of life was first presented to man in Genesis 2. Throughout the Old Testament we are encouraged to Take Freely the Water of Life. This continues in the New Testament in John 4 and 7, and 1 Corinthians 10 and 12. The consummation of all of this is the river of life in Revelation 22.

River indicates the fullness of the flow. Water signifies the ease with which we take it in. Life discloses the nature of this flow—the divine, eternal life.

The river of water of life is “bright as crystal.” The whole of New Jerusalem is bright with the glory of God, and like crystal the city is clear and transparent. The river of life transmits to us, and brings forth in us, this brightness; it also washes our inner being to make us clear as crystal. The more the river flows through us, the more we are constituted into New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem, Clear as Crystal

Revelation 21:11 says about New Jerusalem, “Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.” The light of New Jerusalem, the light which is Jesus Christ as the shining life in every member of this corporate city, is most precious to God New Jerusalemand expresses Him fully.

This precious shining of New Jerusalem is like a jasper stone, matching God sitting on the throne. This shining jasper stone is “clear as crystal” or, as others translate, “bright as crystal.” The clear-ness allows the brightness to shine out.

The words clear, pure, and transparent are all used in Revelation 21 to describe New Jerusalem. These show that the city has no mixture, no contaminant. no pollution. It is as pure and clear as God Himself because God saturates the whole city.

God chose us in eternity past “to be holy and without blemish before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4). His desire is that, by experiencing Christ day by day, we “may be blameless and guileless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as luminaries in the world” (Phil. 2:15).

God desires that we shine today like New Jerusalem will shine eternally. We should not wait. Christ living in us will make us blameless, without blemish, and shining. This is for us today as a foretaste of the clear and bright shining of New Jerusalem.

The Righteous Will Shine Forth

New JerusalemOn the mountain the Lord Jesus shone like the sun (Matt. 17). He will come again with great glory. After His coming, when judging the nations, He will sit on the throne of His glory (Matt 25:31). We expect Him to be with great glory on the throne of New Jerusalem.

The Lord Jesus will shine very brightly in His return and afterwards. What about us? Today we “are the light of the world” and should “let your light shine before men” (Matt. 5:14-16). We also should “shine as luminaries in the world” “in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation” (Phil. 2:15).

These words about shining are for this age. Proverbs 4:18 declares “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” Matthew says we shine today, Proverbs says our shining will increase, and in Matthew 13:43 the Lord tells us that upon His return, after the judgment, which will be the full day in Proverbs 4, “the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”

Daniel 12:3 is similar to Matthew 13: “Those who have insight will shine like the shining of the heavenly expanse, and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars, forever and ever.”

As the outcome of these stages of shining, we should expect to shine in New Jerusalem. However, this shining is not from our natural being nor based on our natural capabilities nor attainments. The shining now and in New Jerusalem is our transparency to allow Christ to shine through us.

More about this shining:
The Light of the World, A City
Working Out Salvation to Shine with Christ
Shine…Holding Forth the Word of Life

See the Kingdom Coming in Glory

One day the Lord Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, There are some of those standing here who shall by no means taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Matt. 16:28). How is this related to New Jerusalem? Simple; New Jerusalem is the ultimate manifestation of God’s kingdom, with the throne of God and the Lamb at its center.

The fulfillment of the Lord’s word is in Matthew 17:1-2, “And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain privately. And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as the light.”

New JerusalemThe Lord’s transfiguration was the release of glory from within Him. This was also His coming in His kingdom. This transfiguration was temporary. When they went down the mountain the glory was again concealed within Him.

The glory will again be manifested when the Lord Jesus returns visibly. In Luke 21:27 He says that men shaken by the tribulation “will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” And, “when the Son of Man comes in His glory…He will sit on the throne of His glory” (Matt 25:31).

Based on these verses, we should expect that God and the Lamb on the throne in New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1, 3) will radiating great glory.


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.

The Bright Lamb-Lamp of New Jerusalem

In Matthew 16:28 the Lord said that some disciples would see “the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” A week later three saw Him transfigured. This is the kingdom of God with the glory of God. Ultimately, the kingdom and glory is New Jerusalem. John tells us that he saw the city has the throne of the kingdom at its center and has the glory of God (Rev. 22:1, 21:10-11).

The seeing of the kingdom in Matthew 17, Mark 9, and Luke 9 gives us a preview of New Jerusalem. These chapters speak not about outward power but about the appearance of the Lord.
“He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as the light.” (Matt. 17:2)
“He was transfigured before them, and His garments became sparkling, exceedingly white.” (Mark 9:3)
“And as He prayed, the appearance of His face became different, and His garment dazzling white.” (Luke 9:29)

New JerusalemAlthough Jesus knew beforehand that this transfiguration would happen, Luke records that He prayed. We need to pray to release what God wants for His kingdom on earth, as in Matthew 6:9-10.

His prayer and transfiguration indicate that the change in His appearance was from within, not from outside. The Greek word translated transfiguration is also transformation in 2 Corinthians 3:18. There the word clearly indicates a change by the Spirit operating within us to bring us onward in glory.

The brightness of the Lord Jesus on the mountain is a preview of His brightness as the Lamb-lamp in New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:23). This is the glory of God radiating through Him, a glory brighter than the sun, so that New Jerusalem “has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it.”

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem is Pure, Transparent, Bright

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is pure, clean, clear, and transparent. New Jerusalem, as the bride of the Lamb, is also bright: “it was given to her that she should be clothed in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the saints” (Rev. 19:8).

Within New Jerusalem is “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceed-ing out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street” (Rev. 22:1). The brightness is from the Lord Jesus Himself. He says, “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright morning star” (Rev. 22:16). When He appeared to Saul from heaven, He was “a light from heaven beyond the brightness of the sun” (Acts 26:13).

New Jerusalem is a composition of God in Christ dwelling in all God’s redeemed people. The city is bright not only because the Lord Jesus is bright. It is bright because He is living with every redeemed person and will make each one bright with Him.

The Lord spoke about this in Matthew 13. At His second coming, His angels will cast out all who are stumbling blocks and all who practice lawlessness (v. 41). “Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (v. 43). “Father” here indicates that the righteous will shine forth because of the Father’s life, which is Christ in us.

The righteous will shine because their living is Christ, who becomes their practical, experiential righteousness. This is the longing expressed by Paul in Philippians 3, to be found in Christ, having the righteousness which is out of God and based on faith.

To be in Christ and to be positionally righteous in Him is a fact. To be found, to be seen by others, in Him and to be found living out God’s righteousness, is much more. Such a living produces the shining in the kingdom and the bright clothing of the bride, New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2).

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

God in Christ Shines via New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is pure: “the city was pure gold, like clear glass” (Rev. 21:18); “the street of the city was pure gold” (21:21); “bright and pure” (Rev. 19:8). These are the four occurrences of one Greek word in the description of New Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:21 has the unique New Testament occurrence of a Greek word with related meaning. “The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” New Jerusalem is not only pure; the city is transparent.

We can grasp the sense of this transparency by looking at four related Greek words*, each of which occurs only once in the New Testament.
• We give heed to the Lord’s word, “as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). The sense is light breaking through the darkness.
• Satan has blinded people, “that the illumination of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine on them” (2 Cor. 4:4). God wants to shine into people to save them from Satanic darkness.
• In Troas, Paul spoke, “until daybreak” (Acts 20:11). Again, light shining to replace darkness.
• The Son of God is “the effulgence of His glory” (Heb. 1:3). The effulgence/radiance/ brightness/brilliance° is not a thing, it is the Person.

My summary: New Jerusalem is pure and transparent so that God’s glory in Christ may brilliantly shine through the city to testify that all darkness has been displaced. Revelation 21:23: “the glory of God illumined New Jerusalem, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

*The main Greek word is διαυγής; others, in order shown, are διαυγάζω, αυγάζω, απαύγασμα, αυγή
°Various translations, thanks to biblehub.com
Image courtesy of pixabay.com.

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. Besides this New Testament, many books published by Living Stream may be read online.

The Son is the Brightness of God’s Glory, Both Now and in New Jerusalem

Hebrews 1:3 tells us that the Son of God, who is God (v. 8), is “the effulgence of His [God’s] glory.” This effulgence/radiance/brightness/brilliance° ‘is like the shining or the brightness of the light of the sun. The Son is the shining, the brightness, of the Father’s glory.’* This is true today and will be visible to all in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemRevelation 21:11 says that New Jerusalem came down “having the glory of God” and verse 23 says “the glory of God illumined” the city New Jerusalem.

With Hebrews and Revelation together, we realize that New Jerusalem has the glory of God because the Son is in New Jerusalem, and that the glory of God illuminates the city because God in the Son shines in it.

God’s glory radiating through Jesus was seen when He took three disciples up the mountain. Matthew 17:2, “He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as the light.” This was a foretaste of the glory of New Jerusalem.

The brilliance on the mountain was temporary but the Lord told us people “will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matt. 24:30). This will be His visible return to earth, preparing the way to New Jerusalem.

In Matthew 24:30, as well as 16:27 and 25:31, Jesus speaks of the Son of Man coming in glory. Hebrews speaks of the effulgence of the Son of God. Both are true because Jesus Christ is both Man and God.

The mountain, the Lord’s coming on the clouds, and New Jerusalem descending introduce three stages of the Son as the brightness of God’s glory.

° various translations, thanks to biblehub.com.
* from footnote on Heb. 1:3 in NT Recovery Version Online.
Photo via Good Free Photos.

 

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