Revelation 21–22 presents a vision of the holy city, New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven to the new earth. Let’s look at descriptions of this holy city in other books of the Bible.
Hebrews 12:22 speaks of “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” The living God desires a living city composed of all His redeemed and regenerated people.
When we are made alive with the divine life in regeneration, we become “sons of the living God” (Rom. 9:26) to be “the temple of the living God“ (2 Cor. 6:6) and “the house of God, the church of the living God“ (1 Tim. 3:15). These consummate in New Jerusalem, the city of the living God.
Revelation 21:23 says of New Jerusalem, “the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” This combination of city and light reminds me of Matthew 5:14-16. Verse 14 says, “You are the light of the world. It is impossible for a city situated upon a mountain to be hidden.” Although New Jerusalem is not said to be “upon a mountain,” it will be very prominent in the new creation, in no way hidden.
Today the kingdom people, with Christ shining within us, are the light to the fallen world. In eternity we, built into the city with Christ continuing to shine within us, will enlighten the new creation.
Hebrews 12 presents the city of the living God. Hebrews 11 also speaks about New Jerusalem: “the city which has the foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God” (v. 10) and “He [God] has prepared a city for them [the people of faith]” (v. 16).
Here are some prior posts about the God-prepared city in Hebrews 11.
We Enter New Jerusalem by Faith
Enter into What God Has Prepared
God Has Prepared the City, But …
God Has Prepared, We are Experiencing
Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.
Posted by Don on April 10, 2017
First Peter 2:9 says, “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people acquired for a possession, so that you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” The choosing is of God, not of us. The acquiring is of God and the possession is God’s. Becoming a royal priesthood is through the death of Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:5-6). The calling is of God.
The telling out, proclaiming, declaring, making known the virtues, the excellencies, of God is our function today and unto eternity in New Jerusalem.
This telling out is not merely with human words. It is based on and firmly related to God’s calling us “out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Our proclaiming of God’s virtues, His excellencies, is our shining Him forth. This shining will consummate with New Jerusalem radiating the glory of God.
Here are some verses related to our present shining:
• “You are the light of the world. It is impossible for a city situated upon a mountain to be hidden.” “Let your light shine before men” (Matt. 5:14, 16)
• “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)
• “You…are now light in the Lord; walk as children of light.” (Eph. 5:8)
We should shine now, and we will certainly shine as constituents of New Jerusalem. However, our present proclaiming of God’s excellency is not only by an abstract shining. It is also a “telling out” with human words filled with divine life. Philippians 2:15-16 say we are “shine as luminaries in the world, holding forth the word of life.”
God has called us to tell out, to proclaim, to declare, His excellent virtues. This is a call to participate now in this prefigure of New Jerusalem.
Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.
Posted by Don on September 16, 2016
New Jerusalem is a city of light and life and we are children of light and life. Our daily Christian walk should match what we are.
In 1 John 1:1 John testifies concerning the Word of life, which is Christ Himself (John 1:1). In verse 2 John says that Life was manifested (in incarnation, John 1:14). This life is Christ, who is the Word.
In verse 3 John says that he reports this Life to us that we may have fellowship. This fellowship is the flow of this Life, between us and other believers and between us and God. In Revelation 22:1 this fellowship is portrayed by the river of life flowing in New Jerusalem.
In verse 5 John tells us that “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” In 1 John 1, as we saw in other verses in prior posts, life and light are coupled. God is light, and His city, New Jerusalem, is a city of light.
In verses 6 and 7 walking in this light and having fellowship are joined. This walk, this fellowship, this flow of life, is maintained because “the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin.”
Until the redemption of our mortal bodies at the Lord’s return, we must admit that we have the nature of sin in our flesh and that we commit sins in our living (verses 7-9). When the light exposes us, we confess our sins, and we are forgiven and cleansed. This restores both our walk in the light and our fellowship of life.
This exposing, confessing, and cleansing is an integral part of our Christian life today. The shining light and the flowing life are also part of our Christian life today and will characterize New Jerusalem in eternity.
Posted by Don on December 11, 2015
New Jerusalem is a city of light and life and we are children of light and life.
Our regenerated being has the same characteristics as New Jerusalem.
Jesus said, “While you have the light, believe into the light, so that you may become sons of light” (John 12:36). By believing into Him we become sons with Him as our life and light.
Life and light are seen together in Mark 4. Verses 1 to 20 present the parable of the Sower, sowing seeds of life which grow in us. Verses 21 to 23 present the parable of the lamp, which shines on us and within us. The growing life and the exposing light gradually cause our whole being to match New Jerusalem.
Light and life are also seen together in our Christian living in Philippians 2. Verses 15 and 16 say, “That you 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, holding forth the word of life.”
Here we are children of God with God’s life and we shine with God’s light. While we live and shine in the world, we hold forth the word of life so that others may have opportunity to receive light and life. Their receiving is their entering onto the path to New Jerusalem.
Day by day this life grows and this light intensifies unto fullness in New Jerusalem.
Posted by Don on December 9, 2015
New Jerusalem is a city of light and life. The antithesis is darkness and death; New Jerusalem will not have either of these.
• Revelation 21:25, “there will be no night there”
• Revelation 21:4, “death will be no more.”
When Jesus Christ comes, light and life come, and darkness and death are banished. Matthew 4:13-16 tells us that Jesus, “came and dwelt in Capernaum…in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying… The people sitting in darkness have seen a great light; and to those sitting in the region and shadow of death, to them light has risen.” This great light consummates in the light of New Jerusalem.
Then verse 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to proclaim and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” The kingdom is a matter of life. We repent, we turn, from our past; we turn to believe, to receive, and are born into the kingdom (John 3:3, 5). This kingdom of life also consummates in the light of New Jerusalem.
The same thought is in Ephesians 5:8, “For you were once darkness but are now light in the Lord; walk as children of light.” We were not only in darkness, but we were darkness itself. Now we are in the light (1 John 1:7) and are light, so we walk as children of light. “Children” is a matter of life. To repent and believe in Jesus Christ is to turn from darkness to light and from death to life. This begins our walk to New Jerusalem.
Photo by John Bortniak, courtesy of NOAA/U.S. Department of Commerce.
Posted by Don on December 7, 2015