Wonderful Jesus Christ in Revelation 21

Revelation 21 presents the new creation with New Jerusalem as its outstanding feature. In verse 2 John tells us, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Jesus Christ is the real Husband in the universe and New Jerusalem is the wife. This likeness is in Ephesians 5:23, “a husband is head of the wife as also Christ is Head of the church.” Jesus described Himself as the real Bridegroom in parables in Matthew 9:14-17 and 25:1-13. And John the Baptist referred to Him s the Bridegroom in John 3:29.

New JerusalemOn one hand, we are responsible to prepare ourselves for the wedding day. An example is our need to have much oil in our lamps, signifying the Spirit filling our being, as in Matthew 25. On the other hand, Jesus Christ prepares us first by His redemption and now by His life in us. Both are presented in Ephesians 5:25-27.

Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death will be no more, nor will there be sorrow or crying or pain anymore; for the former things have passed away.” The wiping of tears, and the absence of sorrow, crying, and pain correspond to the Lamb’s care in Revelation 7.

Death will be no more because of “our Savior Christ Jesus, who nullified death and brought life and incorruption to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10).

In 21:5 He is sitting on the throne and He tells us, “Behold, I make all things new. And He said, Write, for these words are faithful and true.” His making all new is seen in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”

The words He speaks are faithful and true because He Himself is Faithful and True (Rev. 3:14, 19:11). These few verses show that so many characteristics of Jesus Christ today match what He is in New Jerusalem, and are our path from today unto New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem is the Wife of Jesus Christ

New Jerusalem

Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God. New Jerusalem is the bride, the wife of Jesus Christ. As the bride, New Jerusalem is a corporate composition of all God’s people to marry Jesus Christ. Hence, New Jerusalem is not a physical city.

Behold the Lamb

The Divine-Human Romance thru the Bible

The Divine Romance: God & New Jerusalem

rose, pixabay.com

More at New Jerusalem is the Consummation of All the New Testament Blessings.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem is the Consummation of All the New Testament Blessings

New Jerusalem

At a recent college students’ conference in Texas the general topic was The Overview of God’s Economy. The last message was
___The New Jerusalem as the Ultimate Consummation of God’s Purpose.
In the conference, we saw that the New Jerusalem is NOT a physical, material city.
• Revelation 1:1, “The revelation of Jesus Christ….He made it known by signs.”
Revelation has many signs—the lampstands, the Lamb, the Lion of Judah, the universal woman, the dragon, etc. The New Jerusalem is a sign. This wonderful city IS:

1. The consummation of the Divine Romance in the Bible*
• Isa. 54:5a, “For your Maker is your husband; Jehovah of hosts is His name.”
• Rev. 21:2,  “And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
According to the entire Bible, God the creator is male and His chosen, redeemed, transformed, glorified people are female, and there is a divine romance between them. At the end of the Revelation, God is the husband and His people are the wife to match God.

2. The consummation of God’s Building (Tabernacle and Temple)
• 1 Cor 3:16a, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God?”
• Rev 21:22, “And I saw no temple in it [New Jerusalem], for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”
Revelation tells us that the New Jerusalem is the tabernacle of God (21:3) and the temple of God (21:22). In the eternity future, our habitation is God Himself. To God the city is the tabernacle and to us it is the temple.

3. The consummation of Mutual Abiding of God and His Redeemed
• John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him.”
• John 17:21, “That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”
We will not live in a mansion; we will live in God and God will live in us. This mutual abiding is the New Jerusalem. The eternal God becomes our eternal habitation.

4. The consummation of Believers’ Transformation and Glorification
• 2 Cor. 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.”
• Rev 21:10b-11, “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.”
All believers were created as clay, yet in the New Jerusalem all believers are regenerated and transformed into precious stone and glorified for God’s eternal expression in His eternal building.

5. The consummation of God as the Life Supply to us
• Rev 22:1-2a “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. And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”
When we believed in the Lord Jesus, we received the eternal life. Today, we drink one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13), and in the New Jerusalem, the Triune God is life for our enjoyment for eternity—He is our light of life, tree of life, and water of life!

6. The consummation of the Bible and all the NT Blessings and Realities
• Revelation 21–22 “New heaven, new earth…holy city, New Jerusalem…it had a great and high wall and had twelve gates…there will be no night there…no longer be a curse…His slaves will serve Him…they will reign for ever and ever.”
All of us will be new in the New Jerusalem, and we will reign with Christ for eternity. Oh Lord, make me match the New Jerusalem today in every way!

Thanks!! to Deborah who wrote this post from her college conference notes.

* For each point we have presented a few verses. Here are more verses for each topic.
1. Jer. 3:14; John 3:29a; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25, 27a.
2. John 1:14; 2:16b, 19b, 21; 1 Cor. 3:9b, 12a; Eph. 2:21-22; 1 Tim. 3:15b; 1 Peter 2:5a; Rev. 21:3a, 18-19, 21a.
3. John 14:2-3, 20; 17:22-23a.
4. Rev. 21:18-19a, 23-24a.
5. John 7:37-39; 1 Cor. 12:13.

New Jerusalem is the Wife of the Lamb

New JerusalemRevelation 19:7: “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.”
Revelation 19:9: “Blessed are they who are called to the marriage dinner of the Lamb.”
Revelation 21:2: “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

The marriage of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, and His wife, New Jerusalem, is the conclusion of the Bible.

The New Jerusalem as the counterpart, the bride, of the redeeming God is a fulfillment of a cluster of types in the Scriptures. In typology, certain women in the Old Testament reveal that the church is the counterpart of Christ (Gen. 24:67; 41:45; Ruth 4:13; 1 Sam. 25:40-42). According to type, the position of the church before God is that of a counterpart; in the entire Bible God likens Himself to a man, and He likens the totality of His created and redeemed people to a woman as His counterpart (Isa. 54:5; John 3:29; Rev. 19:7-9; 21:2, 9-10). As the Body of Christ, the church receives life from Him for His expression; as the counterpart of Christ, the church receives His love for the satisfaction of His heart’s desire (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:30; John 3:15-16, 29).*

Our receiving eternal life (John 3:15-16) is so that we can match Christ and become His bride, His increase (3:29-30).

Our receiving of eternal life is our being born again (3:3, 5-6). Now we need to grow in this life (1 Peter 2:2-3, Eph. 4:15) by being nourished with the milk of the word (1 Cor. 3:2). This nourishment causes the increase of Christ in us (Col. 2:19) so that we are no longer “infants in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1). This growth is our path to New Jerusalem.

Let us not remain infants and let us not merely seek Bible knowledge. Lord, nourish me and cause me to grow in You unto New Jerusalem.

* Affirmation & Critique (A&C) is a Christian Journal published twice a year, © Living Stream Ministry. A&C presents Bible truths in a scholarly manner, with references to and citations from a variety of publications by authors over the entire Christian era. A&C exhibits much appreciation for the person and work of Jesus Christ and our life with Him. This group of my posts has short extracts from the article The New Jerusalem—the Consummation of the Divine Economy according to the High Peak of the Divine Revelation by Ron Kangas in the Fall 2010 issue.

New Jerusalem is Living and Spiritual

New JerusalemToday we begin some excerpts from “The New Jerusalem—the Consummation of the Divine Economy according to the High Peak of the Divine Revelation,” by Ron Kangas. This article is in the Fall 2010 issue of Affirmation & Critique*.

A common concept is that New Jerusalem is a physical city. However, a thorough reading of the Bible reveals otherwise. In the New Testament all God’s building work is spiritual, not physical. As the consummation of this, New Jerusalem is a living, spiritual building of the Triune God and all His people. This article begins,

Due to religious darkness, theological ignorance concerning God’s will, good pleasure, purpose, counsel, and economy, traditions that nullify the word of God, and the subtle work of the god of this age in blinding and deceiving the believers, an erroneous teaching concerning the New Jerusalem has been circulating for centuries—the idea that the New Jerusalem unveiled in Revelation 21 and 22 is a literal, physical, material city.

Revelation 21–22 reveal much about New Jerusalem. Therefore,

[the New Jerusalem] must be understood according to the governing principle of the book of Revelation. This principle is that the “revelation of Jesus Christ” is made “known by signs,” that is, by symbols with spiritual significance (Rev. 1:1).

Some verses in Revelation which describe New Jerusalem as a living, spiritual building:
• 21:2, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” As a bride, New Jerusalem is a living person, matched to her Husband, the Lamb (21:9).
• 21:22, “the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” and 3:12, “He who overcomes, him I will make a pillar in the temple of My God.”  Both the temple itself and the pillars are living persons.

As a living city, New Jerusalem is the consummation of God’s New Testament building work, which is “in the Lord” and “in spirit” (Eph. 2:21-22).

* Affirmation & Critique (A&C) is a Christian Journal published twice a year, © Living Stream Ministry. A&C presents Bible truths in a scholarly manner, with references to and citations from a variety of publications over the entire Christian era. A&C exhibits much appreciation for the person and work of Jesus Christ and our life with Him. The Fall 2010 issue.

Jesus is Our Lovely Bridegroom

Jesus Christ is the Lamb, the Bridegroom

New Jerusalem is the bride, the wife of the Lamb
Revelation 21:2, 9-10

New Jerusalem

The prior post concluded a series on the preparation of New Jerusalem as the bride, the wife of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Here is verse 1 and the chorus of a song extolling Him as our Bridegroom.

Jesus is our lovely Bridegroom,
And our Bridegroom is with us!
Now our praying’s turned to praising
In His Presence glorious.

____O our Bridegroom! O our Bridegroom!
____Lord, Thou art our Bridegroom sweet!
____How we treasure Thy dear presence—
____O what bliss and joy complete!

The remainder of the song is derived from various New Testament verses about the Bridegroom and bride. The last verse of the song has this chorus:

____Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
____Lord, Thou art our Bridegroom sweet!
____Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
____O what bliss and joy complete!

Lord Jesus, You are our sweet Bridegroom!

Photo courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

God’s Preparation for Those Who Love Him

New Jerusalem is the bride of Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:2). On one side God “has prepared a city” (Hebrews 11:16) and on the other side, the bride “has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7). The two previous posts were on getting ready by loving our Bridegroom (one  two)

New JerusalemFirst Corinthians 2:9 speaks of “things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” New Jerusalem is the consummation of all the things God has prepared for His lovers.

These God-prepared things “eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not come up in man’s heart” (1 Corinthians 2:9); hence they are not natural or physical things which can be seen, heard, or imagined.

These things “God has revealed through the Spirit” (v. 10), whom we have received that we may know these things (v. 12). In this spiritual realm, the key to knowing is loving God.

To realize and participate in the deep and hidden things God has ordained and prepared for us requires us not only to believe in Him but also to love Him. To fear God, to worship God, and to believe in God (that is, to receive God) are all inadequate; to love Him is the indispensable requirement. To love God means to set our entire being — spirit, soul, and body, with the heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30) — absolutely on Him, that is, to let our entire being be occupied by Him and lost in Him, so that He becomes everything to us and we are one with Him practically in our daily life. In this way we have the closest and most intimate fellowship with God, and we are able to enter into His heart and apprehend all its secrets (Psa. 73:25; 25:14). Thus, we not only realize but also experience, enjoy, and fully participate in these deep and hidden things of God.*

Lord, draw me to love You supremely, to have my whole being occupied by You and lost in You.

Photo by Willem van Aken, courtesy of CSIRO Australia.

* Note 3 on 1 Cor. 2:9 in The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © 2003 by LSM.

Grace be with Those Who Love Jesus Christ

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is the bride of Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:2). Love is the critical factor for the bride to be prepared so that we may rejoice with all our Lord’s lovers that “the marriage of the Lamb has come” (Revelation 19:7).

Ephesians 5:2 encourages us to “walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us.” To walk in love is to have our daily life governed by and filled with love from the Lord to us and reflected from us to Him. Lord, fill us with Your love!

Ephesians 6:24 says “Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptibility.” Regarding this verse:

The enjoyment of the Lord as grace is with those who love Him. In this book [Ephesians] the phrase in love, which is rich in feeling, is used repeatedly (1:4; 3:17; 4:2, 15-16; 5:2). Later, the church in Ephesus was rebuked by the Lord because she had lost her first love toward Him (Rev. 2:4)….The church, which is the Body of Christ, is also the bride of Christ, Christ’s wife. With the Body, the emphasis is on taking Christ as life; with the wife, the emphasis is on loving Christ. Therefore, this book emphasizes and also concludes with our love toward the Lord.*

Here is another verse of the song introduced in the prior post:
___Lord, keep my love burning brightly for You,
___A love never dwindling always hot for You,
___A love, shining brighter all the way for You,
___A love, so fresh like the day I first touched You

Lord Jesus, keep my love for You fresh, burning, and shining every day from here to New Jerusalem.

* Part of note 2 on Ephesians 6:24 in The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © 2003 by LSM.

Receive the Word with Faith to Get Ready

In Matthew 24 and 25 the Lord Jesus urged us to be ready for His coming. This readiness for Him as the Bridegroom is related to preparation of New Jerusalem as His bride.

The preparation is carried out not by our own zeal or energy but by our cooperation with Him. Hebrews 3:7 to 4:13 speaks about the failure of the children of Israel to pass through the wilderness and enter the good land. Their journey is like our journey as virgins going forth to meet the Bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13). Thus we can learn from their failure.

New JerusalemHebrews 4:12 says, “the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” The condition of our heart is important in our being ready for the Lord.

Hebrews 4:2 says of those who died in the wilderness, “the word heard did not profit them, not being mixed together with faith in those who heard.” When we receive the word of the Lord with faith and say amen to it, then it will be living and operative in us.

The living and operative word profits us when it nourishes our spirit, divides our spirit from our soul, and operates in our heart. The gradual nourishing, dividing, and operating get us ready for the Lord’s return and for New Jerusalem.

A song:
__Jesus is coming, now He’s on His way—
____Amen the Word of God!
__Would you be ready if He comes today—
____Amen the Word of God!
__His Word prepares us, to Jesus bears us—
____Amen the Word of God!

The word of God is living and operative!

Come Forward to Get Ready

In Matthew 24 and 25 the Lord speaks about our being ready for Him as our Bridegroom. (see posts:  ) This corresponds with Revelation 21:2, “New Jerusalem…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

New JerusalemIn Luke 22 the Lord spoke about His death. Peter said to the Lord, “I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death” (v. 33) but the Lord responded, “I tell you, Peter, a rooster will not crow today until you deny three times that you know Me” (v. 34). Peter’s example shows that we cannot get ready by our own determination, our own zeal, or our own effort.

To be ready, we need the Lord’s mercy. Romans 9:23 calls us “vessels of mercy, which He [God] had before prepared unto glory.” As vessels, we can receive whatever God wants to pour out. Yet, we must cooperate by opening to Him, coming to Him.

Hebrews 4:16 encourages us to “come forward with boldness to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help.” This throne is in the heavenly holy of holies. A note in the Recovery Version* asks and answers a question:

How can we enter the Holy of Holies while we are still on earth? The secret is our spirit, referred to in Hebrews 4:12. The very Christ who is in heaven is now also in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). As the heavenly ladder (Gen. 28:12; John 1:51), He joins our spirit to heaven and brings heaven into our spirit. Hence, whenever we turn to our spirit, we enter into the Holy of Holies. There we meet with God, who is on the throne of grace. See also this note.

Our spirit connects us to the heavenly throne of grace. Here we receive mercy and grace to get us ready for the Lord’s return and for New Jerusalem.

* The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; it is © by Living Stream Ministry.

Those Who Are Ready Will Enter

In Matthew 25:1-13 the Lord Jesus speaks about virgins going forth to meet a bridegroom. In the whole universe He is the real Bridegroom and all His believers are individually virgins and corporately His bride, New Jerusalem.

Our going forth is our cooperation with God’s preparation of New Jerusalem as the bride (Revelation 21:2). Matthew 25:10 says, “those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast.” The virgins who were ready “took oil in their vessels with their lamps” so that their lamps were shining with a good supply of oil rather than “going out” (v. 8).

New JerusalemOil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 25:9 indicates that a price must be paid to be filled with the Spirit. In Matthew 16:24-25 the Lord said that to follow Him we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and lose our soul life. This is the price to gain extra oil in our vessels so that we shine brightly.

We can pray, Lord, I desire to follow You. Grace me to deny myself.

An example of paying a price is in Philippians 3:7-8. Paul tells us, “What things were gains to me, these I have counted as loss on account of Christ. But moreover I also count all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as refuse that I may gain Christ.”

We can pray, Lord, I want to be ready to go in. Manifest Your excellency to me and show me what I need to count loss so that I may gain more of You today. Lord, I want to get ready for You and for New Jerusalem.

Related post: We Have Oil in our Vessels, We are Burning

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