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.

 

Follow the Lamb and Live to Him

Revelation 22:3-4 says that in New Jerusalem we will serve God as His slaves “and they will see His face.” Then 22:4 continues, “and His name will be on their foreheads.”

New JerusalemTo have God’s name on us means that we belong to Him. Today how much do we belong to Him in practicality? How much are we open to Him and cooperating with His life in us? In 1 Corinthians 6 and 7 Paul reminds us “You were bought with a price.” But the context in both chapters is concern about Christians living apart from God.

Revelation 3:12 speaks of overcomers, those fully given to God and living one with Him. The Lord says, “I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem…and My new name.” These overcomers belong to God and to New Jerusalem. They are progressing strongly toward Revelation 22:4.

In 14:1 John saw “the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.” Verse 4: “These were purchased from among men as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.” These firstfruits matured early in the life they received in regeneration. “These are they who follow the Lamb wherever He may go.” Verse 5 adds, “they are without blemish.”

Lord, we desire to belong to You fully, to mature in life early, and to follow You completely. Be merciful to take us this way every day. Write Your name and New Jerusalem on us now!

See His Face Now and in New Jerusalem

In Revelation 22:3 we, God’s slaves, serve Him in New Jerusalem. In 22:4, “And they will see His face.”

“The God who said, Out of darkness light shall shine, is the One who shined in our hearts to illuminate the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). Today we have some inward seeing of God in the face of Jesus Christ, but our seeing is limited by aspects of the old creation still in our being. Even so, this seeing is related to the glory of God, a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemSpiritually speaking, “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” (2 Cor. 3:18). Again, our seeing is related to the glory of New Jerusalem.

“Now we see in a mirror obscurely/ imperfectly/dimly, but at that time face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12). To “see His face” in New Jerusalem will be like the three disciples seeing the Lord on the mountain: “His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as the light” and like John’s seeing in Revelation 1: “His face shone as the sun shines in its power.”

Today we do not see in full but we see Jesus (Heb. 2) and we look away unto Jesus (Heb. 12). Don’t wait passively for the full promise in Revelation 22; look away to Jesus today!

Now & New Jerusalem: Behold His Face two three four five six seven

We Serve as Priests in New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRevelation 22:3 says that in New Jerusalem, “His slaves will serve Him.” The service here is serving as priests. This is the consummation of Jesus Christ, through death and resur-rection, making us “a kingdom, priests to His God and Father” (Rev. 1:5-6).

Jesus Christ has made all His believers priests, and today we should all function in this way. First Peter 2:4-5 speaks to us “Coming to Him, a living stone…you yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

We come to our Lord daily to receive His divine supply. This results in our being built together as God’s living house in which we function as a holy priesthood to “offer up spiritual sacrifices.” Two verses about these sacrifices:
• “Let us offer up a sacrifice of praise continually to God, that is, the fruit of lips confessing His name.” (Heb. 13:15)
• Paul was “a laboring priest of the gospel of God, in order that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, having been sanctified in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:16)

In 1 Peter 2:9 we are also “a royal priesthood” and our serving is to “tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” We should all function as priests today(without and clergy-laity arrangement) and we will certainly be priests continually in New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem’s River Flows in its Street

Revelation 22:1 says that New Jerusalem has “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 21:21 says, “the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”

The golden street portrays the divine nature. To walk on this street, which is to walk according to the divine nature, we need to drink the Spirit who is the water of life. The more we drink, the more we are “bright as crystal,” constituted with “pure gold,” and become like “transparent glass.”

In Romans 6, through being identified with Christ in His death and resurrection, we “walk in newness of life” which is to be “in the likeness of His resurrection,” the likeness displayed by New Jerusalem. In Romans 7 the parallel is to “walk in newness of spirit.” This walk is on the golden street and enabled by the river of water of life, the Spirit.New Jerusalem

Stephen was an example of this. In Acts 6 he was a man “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” (v. 5), “full of grace and power” (v. 8), spoke with “wisdom and the Spirit” (v. 10), and under persecution his face had a heavenly appearance (v. 15). As he died, he lived out the forgiving pattern of the Lord Jesus (Luke 23:34) and “cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

He was a manifestation of the life of New Jerusalem empowered by the river of life, the Spirit.

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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).

Faith and Love unto New Jerusalem (4)

Faith and love are excellent virtues which come to us from and unite us with the Triune God. This life union carries us through sufferings to glory – the glorious expression of the Triune God who is our life and our living, the consummation of which is New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem

Faith and love are included in the greeting at the end of Titus. Here is another part of the footnote on faith and love in this verse in the Recovery Version New Testament:

This wonderful faith and this super-excellent love are out of the Triune God, who earnestly desires to be joined to us to be our everything. This Triune God passed through the process of incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection from the dead, and ascension to the heavens on high and was ultimately consummated as the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45). This Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2), who includes divinity, humanity, and Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension and is the reality of the all-inclusive Christ (John 14:16-20), dwells in our regenerated spirit (Rom. 8:16; 2 Tim. 4:22). When we contact this Triune God through prayer and by looking to Him…He infuses Himself into us in many ways to become the faith within us toward Him and the love outside of us toward those who belong to Him. Such faith and such love are the reality and expression (1 John 4:8, 16) of the Triune God — the Father, the Son, and the Spirit — in whom we believe and whom we worship and receive.

The Triune God being our everything is an inward, hidden reality today that will be manifested in glory upon the Lord’s return and will be displayed to the fullest extent in New Jerusalem. Lord, keep me in Your faith and love so that You may live in me today and bring me and many others onward to New Jerusalem.

Part of the quote above, about wonderful faith and super-excellent love, has been set to music. Listen here.

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Faith and Love unto New Jerusalem (3)

Romans 8:17 tells us that we suffer with Christ to be glorified with Him. Faith and love energize us to pass through the sufferings that bring us to the glory to be revealed at the Lord’s second coming and then to the glory of New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem

Titus ends, “All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in faith. Grace be with you all.” Here is part of the footnote on this verse in the Recovery Version New Testament:

Faith and love are two inseparable, excellent virtues of the believers in Christ. Faith is given to us by God (2 Pet. 1) that by it we may receive Christ (John 1:12), the embodiment of the Triune God (Col. 2:9), and thereby enter into the Triune God and be joined to Him as one, having Him as our life, life supply, and everything. Love issues out of such a wonderful faith and enables us to live out all the riches of the Triune God in Christ with those who have believed into Christ with us, that the Triune God — the Father, the Son, and the Spirit — may have a glorious expression.

Faith and love are excellent because they unite us with the Triune God. The Triune God as our life and living result in a glorious expression present now to a limited extent. This expression will be much more in the coming age and at its fullest in New Jerusalem.

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Faith and Love unto New Jerusalem (2)

Faith and love supply us to pass through the sufferings that bring us to glory. This glory was first displayed in the Lord Jesus on the mountain and will ultimately be displayed through New Jerusalem. Here are more verses about faith and love for our journey to the city of glory.

“Let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and a helmet, the hope of salvation” (1 Thes. 5:8). Besides the suffering that comes to all humans, we are in a spiritual warfare.

“The grace of our Lord superabounded with faith and love in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 1:14). Mercy (v. 13) and grace come to us from the Lord; faith and love return to the Lord from us. This is a spiritual traffic between the Lord and us.* This superabounding supply becomes our armor for the spiritual warfare.

New Jerusalem“Hold a pattern of the healthy words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:13). This exhortation comes out of Paul’s suffering (v. 12) and his learning in spiritual warfare. The healthy words are those which supply eternal life to keep us spiritually healthy.

When New Jerusalem comes down to earth, all spiritual warfare will have ended. But the spiritual traffic of mercy and grace, faith and love, will continue eternally. Let us not wait for that time. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your mercy and grace to supply me daily to return faith and love to You.

Faith and Love unto New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is the city of glory. To prepare the way unto this eternal city, Jesus Christ will come again in glory and we will be glorified with Him. Our glorification with Him involves suffering with Him now.

New JerusalemThe way to pass through the present sufferings is by faith and love. Faith substantiates the unseen, eternal glory, and love draws us to the Lord whom we have not seen. To encourage us on our path toward New Jerusalem, here are a few more verses on faith and love.

Galatians 5:6 tells us, “In Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything nor uncircumcision, but faith avails, operating through love.” The two virtues operate together. Faith receives the Spirit of life (3:2); thus, it is full of power. It operates through love to fulfill…to complete the sonship of God for His corporate expression — the Body of Christ.*

Ephesians 6:23 blesses us, “Peace to the brothers and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Again love and faith are joined, and they come from our Father and our Lord. They do not originate with us. Only what is from the divine source can bring us to New Jerusalem.

Paul had not been to Colossae but he says, “we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have unto all the saints” (1:4). Thank the Lord for this expression of faith and love in humanity. There will be much more in New Jerusalem.

* Part of footnote 2 on Gal. 5:6 in the Recovery Version NT; footnotes written by Witness Lee.

 

 

 

Glorified with Christ for New Jerusalem (2)

First Corinthians 2:8 says that Jesus Christ, who was crucified, is “the Lord of glory.” He first revealed this glory on the mountain near Caesarea Philippi and will ultimately be glorious in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemColossians 3:4 declares, “When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.” This is a promise. Colossians 3:1-3 show us how to reach this climax.

First, in 3:1 we “seek the things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.” These things “above” are the unseen, eternal things in Second Corinthians 4. We also set our mind on these things (3:2), including “the Jerusalem above” in Galatians 4:26.

In contrast, we do not set our mind “on the things which are on the earth” (3:2). This is parallel to Romans 8:6, “the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.” Flesh corresponds with things on the earth and spirit corresponds with things above.

How do we carry this out? Colossians 3:3 reminds us, “you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Our death with Christ and Christ as our life are facts. The experience of these facts is in spirit*.

Our death with Christ saves us from earthly things. Christ as our life supplies us to seek the eternal things above. Living in the spirit is the path to being manifested with Christ in glory and being prepared for New Jerusalem. Lord, grant me more living in spirit to experience You more.

* See Key to Experiencing Christ–the Human Spirit, The.

A City of Life, without Miracles

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is a city of life, a city in resurrection. From the throne at its center flows a river of water of life and beside the river grows the tree of life yielding its fruit every month. This life is the supply for every member of this city.

Miracles are of power, not of life. They are sometimes called works of power in the New Testament. These works might be done by a believer mature in the divine life, or by an immature believer. An example: the Corinthians did not lack in any gift (1 Cor. 1:7) but were babes in Christ (3:1), very immature in divine the life. Also love, which is of life, is contrasted with gifts and power in 1 Corinthians 13.

There are many miracles in the Gospels and Acts, but the Epistles which follow them turn the emphasis to growth in life for the manifestation of virtues of the Christian life. Paul speaks of growth in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, Ephesians 4:13-16, Colossians 1:6, 10 and 2:19, 2 Thessalonians 1:3, and other verses, some of which include full grown. Peter speaks of growth in 1 Peter 2:2 and 2 Peter 3:18. John, in his epistles, speaks much about a life lived in righteousness, truth, and love.

The emphasis on Christ as our life, our growth in this life, and our living out its virtues prepares us for New Jerusalem. The city is full of life and manifests the life that Jesus manifested to us through His incarnation.

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