The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (8.2)

We looked at eight verses of a song which couples the garden of Eden with New Jerusalem. Eve in the garden as the wife of Adam is a picture of New Jerusalem as the wife of the Lamb, Jesus Christ (Rev. 21:9-10).

A line in that song, about Christ’s deep long for His bride led us to another song (words and music) which amplifies this longing. This inserted song emphasizes God’s eternal purpose hidden in His heart through the ages, creation, Satan’s deception of man, and Christ’s continued seeking of His bride.

New JerusalemNext: “His life laid down, an offering whose fragrance yet ascends.” He died to gain His bride. Ephesians 5:25, “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”

More: “And now in resurrection to her He draws most near.” On one hand Christ is in heaven and not visible to our eyes. On the other hand, He is in us and enlivens us (Rom. 8:10). Soon, Christ “In glory does appear.” He will return to earth visibly in glory.

The inserted song concludes, “As she beholds her Bridegroom, His glory floods her heart, ’til she, His Bride, is raptured, His longed-for counterpart.” We look away to Jesus now and will behold Him in glory at His return.

“He comes to be glorified in His saints” (2 Thes. 1:10) and He will be further glorified in and through His bride, New Jerusalem, the city “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11).

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem and Our Christian Life in Revelation 22:6-21

Revelation 22:6-21 is the conclusion of the whole Bible, following the presentation of New Jerusalem in 21:2 to 22:5. This conclusion touches New Jerusalem and is full of words applicable to our present Christian life. May we love the Lord Jesus, apply His cleansing blood, pursue Him for our growth in life, and heed the words in these verses.

New Jerusalem

Here are the titles and links to all recent posts on 22:6-21, with some of the verses.

22:6 “And he [angel] said to me [John], These words are faithful and true.”
22:6, The Lord and His Words: Faithful and True
22:6, The Things Which Must Quickly Take Place

22:7 “Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this scroll.”
22:7, 10, 18-19, The Words of the Lord are Spirit and Life

22:12 “Behold, I come quickly, and My reward is with Me.”
22:12, The Lord’s Faithful Slaves Serve Him

22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
22:13, New Jerusalem: to God be the Glory Forever

22:14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city.”
22:14-15, The Gospel: Be Cleansed, Receive Eternal Life, Enter New Jerusalem

22:16 “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.”
22:16, Jesus Testifies for the Churches

22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who is thirsty come; let him who wills take the water of life freely.”
22:17, The Spirit and the Bride Say, Come!
22:17, Jesus Says, Come to Me and Drink

22:20 “He who testifies these things says, Yes, I come quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”
22:20, I Come Quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus

22:21 “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.”
22:21, Grace to Us is the Conclusion of the Bible

New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:1-8
New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:9-20
New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:21-27
New Jerusalem in Revelation 22:1-5

Older posts about Revelation 22:6-21

I Come Quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus

Revelation 21 and the first part of 22 is John’s description of New Jerusalem as shown to him by an angel (22:6). From 22:7 most of the speaking is directly by the Lord Jesus. His conclusion is, “He who testifies these things says, Yes, I come quickly.” And John responds, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (22:20).

New JerusalemThe Lord told us in 22:16 “I Jesus have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches.” In 22:20 He is testifying these thing. The angel is representing the Lord and we accept every word from the angel as from the Lord.

The Lord told us three times at the end of Revelation that He comes quickly. We should not use our human reasoning to question quickly. The Lord’s wisdom is infinitely greater than ours. What we should do is echo John’s response, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

While we are waiting, we love Him, love His appearing, and pursue Him as our goal. The Lord’s testifying is for all the churches, so we should give heed to His first warning “I have one thing against you, that you have left your first love” (Rev. 2:4). Lord, keep me loving You every day!

Philippians 3:14, “I pursue toward the goal for the prize to which God in Christ Jesus has called me upward.” Jesus Christ is our goal and being in the marriage dinner of the Lamb will be our prize. And then onward to New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Spirit and the Bride Say, Come!

New JerusalemThe Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come!” (Rev. 22:17a)

The Spirit and the bride speak together, indicating their union. This is a big step toward the marriage dinner of the Lamb which leads us to New Jerusalem as the bride, the wife of the Lamb. These steps are all part of The Divine-Human Romance thru the Bible.

The Spirit and the bride call out to the Lord Jesus, the Lamb, Come! This is a cry for the Lord’s visible return to earth (Matt. 24:30) including the resurrection of all the dead believers and the manifestation of His kingdom to rule the earth in righteousness.

All who hear this cry should echo, Come! Throughout this age we should be “those who love His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). We are waiting and hoping for His appearing, and we are also pursuing to be perfected to be ready for His appearing.

The apostle Paul is a pattern, “Not that I have already obtained or am already perfected, but I pursue, if even I may lay hold of that for which I also have been laid hold of by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12). We are not yet perfected but we pursue while we wait for the Lord’s appearing.

May we all “pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Tim. 2:22) We pursue and we cry out, Come, Lord Jesus!

The Things Which Must Quickly Take Place

In Revelation 22:6 the angel said to John, “These words are faithful and true; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent His angel to show to His slaves the things which must quickly take place.”

New JerusalemThe things is everything spoken in Revelation, including actions in heaven, judgements, the man child and the firstfruits, appearing of the beasts, reapings, the marriage of the Lamb, war at Armageddon, the millennium, and New Jerusalem.

The angel said these things “must quickly take place.” To our human view we might say that a long time has passed since the angel spoke. But the angel spoke with God’s view. We must say amen to what is in the Bible. Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.”

In Revelation 22:7, 12, 20 the Lord Jesus promises “I come quickly.” Again, we must say amen and not question the Lord based on our own understanding. Our response should copy that of John in verse 20, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”

The Lord’s coming is a big step toward the coming of New Jerusalem. However, we must cooperate. Revelation 19 speaks of the Lord’s coming and the wedding feast, and says, “His wife [New Jerusalem] has made herself ready.” Lord, grant us mercy to participate fully in these days in the preparation of Your bride!

The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus and the Preparation of the Bride

The Lord Jesus promised, “you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matt. 26:64). He will come to judge the earth, to rapture the believers, and to “present the church to Himself glorious” as His bride, His wife. We must cooperate with His operation to be ready for this. Here are links to posts on this topic with a key point or verse from each.

New Jerusalem

The Lord says, “Behold, I come quickly.” In response “The Spirit and the bride say, Come!”

We do not merely wait for His coming. We can be people “expecting and hastening the coming of the day of God.”

In a parable in Matthew 24 the Lord charges us to watch and to be ready for His coming.

In Matthew 25 “The bridegroom came; and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast.”

In Matthew 25 there is a warning to us—not all believers were ready to enter.

The readiness of the bride comes from God working in us in response to our cooperation.

Our cooperation includes letting the Lord’s living word operate in us, not loving the world, watching in prayer, denying the self to be filled in spirit, and not saying, my Master delays.

Until the Lord comes, “count the long-suffering of our Lord to be salvation.”

On one hand Christ sanctifies the church “cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word.” On the other hand, Revelation declares “His wife has made herself ready.”

The Lord Jesus will come again in glory and will present the glorious church to Himself for His wedding. Eternally, glory fills New Jerusalem and the city “has the glory of God.”

Hastening the Coming of the Day of God (and of New Jerusalem)

New Jerusalem is “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:9-10) and the Lamb is Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior. He says, “Behold, I come quickly” (22:7) and the Spirit and the bride respond “Come” (22:17). Then the Lord says again, “Yes, I come quickly” and John answers “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (22:20).

New JerusalemWe need to pray, Lord, come. Furthermore, Peter tells us how to speed up the Lord’s coming— “what kind of persons ought you to be in holy manner of life and godliness, expecting and hastening the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:11-12).

Peter urges us to live a holy life and a life of godliness. A holy life comes from the sanctification of the Spirit separating us unto God both in position and inwardly. Godliness—”a life that lives Christ and expresses God in Christ*” comes from experiencing Christ as our life day by day. In this holy life and godliness we are expecting the Lord’s coming and the day of God.

By this life, we also hasten the coming. The Lord is eager to come and we pray Come, Lord Jesus. But, He will not come until “His wife has made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7).

We must get ready but cannot get ready by ourselves. We get ready by opening to and cooperating with the Spirit’s work in us. We need the Spirit’s regenerating (John 3:6), renewing (Tit. 3:5), sanctification (2 Thes. 2:13), transformation (2 Cor. 3:18) and more. All of this is for preparing the bride, the wife of the Lamb, New Jerusalem.

* Part of footnote 3 on 1 Tim. 6:3 in the Recovery Version NT, footnotes written by Witness Lee.

Rejoice, the Marriage of the Lamb has Come, and His Wife [New Jerusalem] is Ready

Recent posts are on the marriage and marriage dinner of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, and New Jerusalem as the bride, the wife of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7, 9; 21:2, 10). When the Lord returns, He will present the church to Himself as His glorious bride (Eph. 5:27).

New JerusalemA song (words + music) express the Lord’s and our longing for this wedding day. The first verse is:
__Lord, Thou wilt soon appear,
____Thy day is almost here.
__Oh, how we love Thy coming soon!
____We have no other
____Lord, life, or lover
__Than Thou, Lord Jesus, our Bridegroom!

With the eternal marriage in view, the Lord spoke of Himself as the Bridegroom in Matthew 9 and 25. To prepare us, He is our Lord to rule us, our Life to supply us, and our Lover to attract us.

Ephesians has many verses on love, and presents human marriage as a picture of the eternal marriage of New Jerusalem. Part of the second verse of the song says:
__Oh what an hour sweet
__When Bride and Bridegroom meet
__And love surpassing comprehend.
Looking forward to the day of His return, Ephesians ends, “Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptibility.” Lord Jesus, we love You and are eager to see You return and to comprehend the surpassing love! This longing is expressed in the third verse of the song, “Soon we shall see Thy face! / Amen, Lord Jesus! Quickly come!”

The last verse of the song says, “Thou, our Lord Bridegroom, Thou / Soon wilt return to claim Thy Bride.” Then Revelation 19:7 will be fulfilled, “Let us rejoice and exult, and let us give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife [New Jerusalem] ]has made herself ready.”

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Wonderful Jesus Christ in Revelation 22

A series of posts for Revelation 1 to 20 look at the wonderful Jesus Christ bringing us to New Jerusalem. In Revelation 21:1 is the new creation and in 21:2 New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven. Two recent posts look at the wonderful Jesus Christ in this new creation.

New JerusalemContinuing, Revelation 22:1 reveals “the throne of God and of the Lamb.” There is one throne for God and the Lamb because the two are one. In John 14:10 Jesus told us, “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.” And in Revelation 21:23 God, the light, is in the Lamb, the lamp.

In 22:2 “was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.” This tree is a symbol of Jesus Christ, who is our life and who is our life supply as the living bread in John 6 and forever in New Jerusalem.

In 22:7, 12, and 20 the Lord Jesus says, “Behold, I come quickly.” Our reply is identical to verse 20, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

In verse 16 He says, “I Jesus have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches.” Thank You Lord for Your sending. And Lord, keep us in the churches to hear what the Spirit says to them (Rev. 2:7, 3:22). This is part of His work to prepare us for New Jerusalem.

In verse 16 He also says, “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright morning star.” Concerning this, a footnote in the Recovery Version says, “In His divinity, Christ is the Root, the source, of David; in His humanity, Christ is the Offspring, the issue, of David.” He is also the star to guide us through this dark age until He comes.

The Bible concludes, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.” Lord, thank You for this wonderful grace to supply us today and to prepare us for New Jerusalem.

 

The Wonderful Jesus Christ in Revelation   10-11 Brings Us to New Jerusalem

The heart of Revelation is the testimony of Jesus (19:10). He is seen through Revelation caring for God’s interests on earth, which consummate in the new creation and New Jerusalem. In this post we look at His care for God’s interests and God’s people in Revelation 10 and 11.

New JerusalemIn Revelation 10:1-7 Christ comes to claim the earth and to declare that there will be no more delay in completing the mystery of God.

Today God’s purpose, including New Jerusalem, is a mystery but it the coming age and in eternity the mystery will have been completed, and everything will be openly manifested. The Mystery of God is FinishedThe Mystery and the End of the Mystery.

In 11:15, “The seventh angel trumpeted; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.” Today the kingdom of God is a reality as a spiritual mystery. “The kingdom of God is…righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17).

When the Lord Jesus returns visibly (Come, Lord Jesus! Rev. 22:20) the kingdom of God will be manifested to everyone. That is the time of the shout in 11:15. This kingdom will fill the earth from then into eternity.

The center of this visible kingdom of God is New Jerusalem, and the center of New Jerusalem is “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (22:1, 3). Praise Him!

A Personal Testimony (2015)

New JerusalemIn April of last year [2014] my wife, Karen, died. However, as I shared in last year’s Personal Testimony, that event was not primarily a physical death. Rather, it was the Lord calling her to be with Him in paradise. Because of the Lord’s speaking then, we both accepted His call without fear and without regret.

How thankful I am for His speaking which took so much potential turmoil out of the events last year. However, I realize that not every Christian couple has such an experience and I am sympathetic with those who go through a time of distress and sadness. He is the Lord and we cannot say why He gives one couple one experience and another couple a very different experience. Neither should we make judgements about these differences.

Since a year ago I have gone on with the Lord. The peace of a year ago has remained. She is asleep in Christ, awaiting the resurrection at the Lord’s visible return, as presented in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16. She is also awaiting the better country, New Jerusalem, the city God has prepared for His people of faith (Hebrews 11:16).

The Lord has brought me on since then, keeping me in Christian fellowship and touching me on aspects of my living so that my reality may become a little more “to me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). Regarding Karen, I am at rest in Him. Regarding my future,

Come, Lord Jesus! 

three years later

Pursue a Holy Manner of Life

New Jerusalem, the holy city, the consummation of everything positive in the Bible, is the ultimate expression of God’s holiness through His people. God chose use to be holy, called us with a holy calling, and is now sanctifying us unto New Jerusalem. Second Peter 3:10-12 says,

The day of the Lord will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the elements, burning with intense heat, will be dissolved, and the earth and the works in it will be burned up. Since all these things are to be thus dissolved, what kind of persons ought you to be in holy manner of life and godliness, expecting and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens, being on fire, will be dissolved, and the elements, burning with intense heat, are to be melted away?

New JerusalemBecause the old creation will be consumed, we should seek a holy manner of life. How? First Peter 1:15 says, “according to the Holy One who called you, you yourselves also be holy in all your manner of life.” Our holy manner of life is not from our natural being nor by our own effort. Our holy manner of life depends on The Holy One.

This dependence involves prayer with thanksgiving. We first thank the Lord that He has become sanctification to us objectively (1 Corinthians 1:30). Then we can thank Him that He is the One sanctifying us subjectively (Hebrews 2:11).

We can also thank God for choosing us to be holy (Ephesians 1:4) or for calling us with a holy calling (2 Timothy 1:9). At times it is good to pray with these verses.

We can also pray, asking the Lord to sanctify us, even petitioning concerning specific aspects of our daily living where we have a hard time remembering Him or where we know our need of sanctification. We do not need to beg; He wants to sanctify us, needing only our cooperation.

When we are living a holy manner of life, we are expecting the Lord’s return. Our holy living even hastens His return per 2 Peter 3:12. Come, Lord Jesus! Bring us onwards to New Jerusalem.

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

%d bloggers like this: