New Jerusalem is Full of the Glory of God

New Jerusalem is a city “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11); “the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb” (21:23).

New JerusalemThe city is full of the glory of God because it is so straight and transparent (vv. 11, 23). Strictly speaking, the glory of God is the very content of the city, for the city is completely filled with His glory. This means that the city is a vessel to contain and express God. To illustrate this point, let us consider a common table lamp:…the light is the very content of the lamp and the shade. The glory of God is simply God Himself being manifested. The New Jerusalem is full of God’s glory; therefore, God is manifested in this city. The normal church life today is the same: it is full of God’s glory, manifesting and expressing God.

In the end of the quote, normal does not mean typical or averageNormal refers to what God desires and expects to seen in the church today. Christ is our life and should be our living. Paul said “to me, to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). His “earnest expectation and hope” was “Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death” (1:20).

If we all have such an expectation, and if to us to live is Christ, then the church will surely manifest and express God in Christ as a miniature of New Jerusalem.

* Excerpt from The Vision of God’s Building by Witness Lee, chapter 19, © LSM

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The Life Flow for New Jerusalem’s Wall

God’s very appearance is the separating factor of this wall [of New Jerusalem]. The more a local church is in the likeness of God, the more it is separated from the world and everything common. How do we acquire God’s likeness? We can acquire God’s likeness only by God’s life. If the life of God flows within us, we will be in His very likeness, and His likeness will be the separating power of the church….God’s life must flow within us so that we may bear His likeness without. This will cause the church to be separated from the common and worldly things, and at the same time this will protect us from so many injurious influences.*

New JerusalemThe flow of God’s life is central in the Bible. It begins with the river in the garden of Eden, a picture of the river of water of life in New Jerusalem. It continues with the water flowing out of the smitten rock in Exodus 17 and Numbers 20. The river appears also in Psalm 36 and 46.

In Isaiah 12 we are urged to “draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation.” Isaiah 55 is the same; in this chapter the way to drink is to call on the name of the Lord, as in Romans 10:12-13. In Jeremiah 2 God is the fountain of living waters and in Ezekiel 47 a river flows out of the house of God “and everything shall live wherever the river comes.”

In John 4 and 7 and 1 Corinthians 12:13 there is the Spirit as living water for us to drink. The more we drink this water, the more God’s likeness, the likeness of the separating wall of New Jerusalem, is developed within us

* Excerpt from The Vision of God’s Building by Witness Lee, chapter 18, © LSM

More on the river and drinking: Take Freely the Water of Life

Pearl Gates Signify Regeneration for New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:21’s description of New Jerusalem is, “The twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was, respectively, of one pearl.”

Each of the twelve gates is one pearl (Rev. 21:21). A pearl signifies the work of regeneration….A pearl is formed in an oyster, a living organism abiding in the water, which represents death. When the oyster is hurt by a grain of sand, which remains in the wounded area, it secretes the fluid of life upon this grain of sand until it is transformed into a beautiful pearl. This is full of meaning. Christ is the living “oyster,” who came into the water of death. He was hurt by us as pieces of sand, and we as the grains of sand have remained at the place of the wound. Thus, His life was secreted into us and we were regenerated.*

New JerusalemThe twelve gates reach all of humankind but each human needs only one of these gates to enter New Jerusalem. This gate is “one pearl.” This indicates that regeneration is the unique way to enter the city.

Regeneration is the beginning of the Lord’s life secretion into us. The continuing of this secretion gradually conforms us “to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers” (Rom. 8:29). To be conformed to the image of Christ is to match the image of New Jerusalem which is the expression of God in Christ.

* Excerpt from The Vision of God’s Building by Witness Lee, chapter 18, © LSM

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New Jerusalem: the Tabernacle of God

Revelation 21:2-3, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice out of the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.”

The New Jerusalem is the very tabernacle of God (v. 3). The tabernacle conveys three basic thoughts: that of dwelling, of rest, and of expression. The church must be such a tabernacle. It must be a place where God dwells, where God rests, and where God expresses Himself.*

New JerusalemThe church as the dwelling place is seen in 1 Timothy 3:15, which says the house of God is the church of the living God. The church as the rest is presented in Hebrews 4:3, “we who have believed enter into the rest.” The rest in this verse is His rest in verse 1.

The church ass the expression of God is set forth in Ephesians 3:10, “In order that now to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenlies the multifarious wisdom of God might be made known through the church.” This manifestation of God’s wisdom is based on the presentation to all men of the “unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel” (v. 8).

The church is God’s dwelling and ours, God’s rest and ours, and God’s expression through us corporately. In this way the church is a miniature of New Jerusalem.

* Excerpt from The Vision of God’s Building by Witness Lee, chapter 17, © LSM

New Jerusalem is the Expression of God

Many recent posts are about growing and being built together in Christ to be God’s living building, the city New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem is brought forth in God’s life and is the mutual indwelling of God and His people. Because of this New Jerusalem expresses God.

Revelation 4:3, describing God on His heavenly throne, says, “He who was sitting was like a jasper stone.”

According to Revelation 21: 11, the jasper is “a most precious stone… as clear as crystal.” Its color must be dark green, which signifies life in its richness.*

New JerusalemThis life came to us through the redemption of Christ and is Christ Himself. This life makes New Jerusalem a city of life. By this life New Jerusalem is a city “having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal” (Rev. 21:11).

In Revelation 22:1, God’s throne is at the center of the city. And both God on the throne and the whole New Jerusalem have the appearance of jasper. New Jerusalem is the duplication of God’s life and nature in His people to be His enlarged expression. This fulfills the Triune God’s purpose in creating man, as stated in Genesis 1:26, “Let Us make man in Our image.”

* Part of footnote 1 on Rev. 4:3 in The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA

Built Up to Become New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is God’s full manifestation in the universe, “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11). God dwells in the city and expresses Himself through the city.

New JerusalemIn John 6:33 and 6:58 Jesus is the One “who comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world.” This imparts the heavenly, divine, eternal life into men. By this life we are built into New Jerusalem. Ultimately, New Jerusalem “comes down out of heaven from God” (Rev. 21:2).

Heaven is the dwelling place of God. When the New Jerusalem is manifested, this dwelling place of God will be us, and we will be the dwelling place. Heaven is being built into us, and we are being built into heaven. We are not only being joined with God but also with heaven. Thus, God’s thought is not merely that man would be saved, have his sins forgiven, and have God’s life. God wants man to be transformed, to grow in life unto maturity, to let Christ be formed in him, and to be conformed into the Lord’s image. Then man will be built up to become the New Jerusalem, the eternal Paradise.*

The quote above is based on many verses. Some of these verses: transformed—Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18, to grow unto maturity—Ephesians 4:13, Colossians 1:28, Christ formed in us—Galatians 4:19, conformed to His image—Romans 8:29.

All of these operations of the Lord’s life in us are for building up—Acts 20:32, Romans 14:19, 1 Corinthians 14:12, 26, Ephesians 4:29, and many other verses. New Jerusalem is the consummation of God’s building work.

* The Way for a Christian to Mature in Life, chapter 3, Witness Lee, © LSM.

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, is at; this too is © by LSM.

Photo by Dr. Dwayne Meadows, courtesy of U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

We Are Being Built into New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is the expression of God wrought into a corporate man. To accomplish this God’s Spirit firstly regenerates man’s spirit, then transforms man’s soul, and finally glorifies man’s mortal body. Regeneration begins our Christian life, transformation continues throughout our present lifetime, and glorification is the conclusion.

In the beginning man was neither pure gold nor precious stone but clay. For this reason God has been working continuously to reach His goal. At the end of Revelation a city composed of pure gold and precious stones appears. In that city God and man are mingled into one and heaven and earth are joined together. This is the final destination of the saved ones throughout the ages. Hence, we must change our concept. Our concept should not be that one day we will go to a city. Rather, our concept should be to allow God to transform, build, and work Himself into us today so that we may become that city. We are not going to the New Jerusalem but are being built into the New Jerusalem.*

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is not a destination separate from us. Rather, God’s life grows within us to conform us to His image. This conforming work is the construction of New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem is the eternal expression of God in man and this expression is slowly being developed in us through this age.

This construction work requires our cooperation. A few examples of many verses about this cooperation: deny ourself (Matt. 16:24), turn our hearts to the Lord (2 Cor. 3:16), set our mind on things above (Col. 3:2), by the Spirit put to death our old practices (Rom. 8:13), and pursue love (1 Cor. 14:1). All of these actions are part of our being build into New Jerusalem.

The Way for a Christian to Mature in Life, chapter 3, Witness Lee, © LSM.

New Jerusalem is the Totality of the Divine Sonship

New JerusalemIn Revelation 21:5-7 “He who sits on the throne said…I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give to him who thirsts from the spring of the water of life freely. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be God to him, and he will be a son to Me.”

Revelation 21:3-4 are God’s blessings to the nations on the new earth around New Jerusalem. Verses 5 to 7 are God’s blessings on His sons who are constituted into New Jerusalem.

Verse 7 tells us that the sons of God will inherit “these things.” These things are the spring and the water of life mentioned in verse 6. The spring and the water of life will be our inheritance for our eternal enjoyment. The sons of God are the components of the New Jerusalem. As such, they are a different category from the peoples, the restored nations.

In 21:7 we have the conclusion of the entire revelation in the New Testament concerning the divine sonship. Ephesians 1:5 says that we were predestinated unto sonship; Romans 8:29, that we are being conformed to the image of God’s firstborn Son; and Hebrews 2:10, that God is leading many sons into glory. Hence, the New Testament reveals that God’s intention is to produce sons and that the New Jerusalem is the totality of the divine sonship.*

New Jerusalem as the totality of the divine sonship is a corporate man mingled with the Triune God to be His expression as the fulfillment of His eternal purpose.

* The Conclusion of the New Testament, vol. 16, chapter 11, by Witness Lee, © LSM

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, is at; this too is © by LSM.

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Conformed to the Image of God’s Son

New JerusalemIn Genesis 1:26 “God said, Let Us make man in Our image.” God’s goal is to have a corporate man as a expression of Himself. This is fully accomplished with New Jerusalem, which, identical to God, has an appearance “like a jasper stone” (God: Rev. 4:3, the city: 21:11).

Man was created in God’s image to be able to express God. This expression is not a theatrical performance; it requires man to receive God’s life. Adam failed to do this but today we have the redemption of Christ and the life-giving Spirit.

Romans 8:28 declares, “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God.” What is the good here? Verse 29 answers: “Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son.” All things work together not for our human profit or pleasure but for us to be conformed, by God’s Spirit operating in us, to the image of His Son.

The Spirit’s operation is clear in 2 Corinthians 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.” But the Spirit requires our cooperation, to turn our heart to the Lord for our unveiling (3:16) and to behold the glory of the Lord (3:18).

This conforming work of the Spirit, with our cooperation, is the present development of New Jerusalem, the full and eternal corporate expression of God.

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God’s Corporate Expression

New JerusalemGenesis 1:26— “God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion…” From eternity God’s purpose is to express Himself through a corporate man.

This mystery is unveiled beginning with the creation of man. In Genesis 1:26 God made “man” (singular) and gave “them” (plural) dominion, indicating a corporate man.

This corporate man is revealed much more in the New Testament. “We who are many are one Body in Christ” (Rom. 12:5). We “have put on the new man” out of many nations, social classes, and other human distinctions (Col. 3:10-11). Eventually the new man becomes the New Jerusalem.

Verse 1 [in Rev. 21] says, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea is no more.” In eternity past God purposed to have a corporate expression that He might be fully expressed and glorified, and for this purpose He created the heavens, the earth, and mankind. After the millennium, the old heaven and old earth will pass away through fire and be renewed into the new heaven and new earth (2 Pet. 3:10-13), into which the New Jerusalem will come for God’s eternal expression.*

In Revelation 21–22 New Jerusalem is a corporate composition of God and all His redeemed people. God’s expression through this corporate entity is the glory of God.

John saw New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven “having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.” New Jerusalem’s light “like a jasper stone” is the eternal expression of God on the throne, who also is “like a jasper stone” (Rev. 4:3).

* The Conclusion of the New Testament, vol. 16, chapter 11, by Witness Lee, © LSM

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A Fourth Mystery Points to New Jerusalem

Christ is the mystery of God (Col. 2:2) and the church is the mystery of Christ (Eph. 3:4-11). Christ and the church, as Husband and wife, are the great mystery (Eph. 5:32) a predecessor of Christ the Lamb and New Jerusalem as Husband and wife (Rev. 21:10).

Colossians 1:26 speaks of the revelation of “the mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from the generations but now has been manifested.” Verse 27 unveils this mystery, “God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which [mystery] is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

New JerusalemToday Christ is life in every believer, as in Colossians 3:4. When He returns and is manifested in glory visibly, this life will also be manifested in glory (3:4). Hence, Christ our life today is also Christ as our hope of glory.

This is the glory which New Jerusalem has and which the city will radiate eternally (Rev. 21:11, 23). This glory is of God in Christ, not of us, but it is in us.

God’s intention is “that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had before prepared unto glory” (Rom. 9:23). It is God’s choice in His mercy that Christ has become our hope of glory. Thank Him!

Christ in us will be manifested in glory to express God in a corporate entity, the city New Jerusalem. This is the fulfillment of God’s desire and purpose to create man in His image to express Him.

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New Jerusalem: Satisfaction in Love and Rest in Expression

New Jerusalem is “the bride, the wife of the Lamb,” Jesus Christ, and also “the tabernacle of God” (Rev. 21:2-3). These characteristics are not new at the conclusion of the Bible; they occur often throughout the Bible.

In both the Old and the New Testaments God likens His chosen people to a spouse (Isa. 54:6; Jer. 3:1; Ezek. 16:8; Hosea 2:19; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:31-32) and a dwelling place for Himself (Exo. 29:45-46; Num. 5:3; Ezek. 43:7-9; Psa. 68:18; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Tim. 3:15). The spouse is for His satisfaction in love, and the dwelling place is for His rest in expression. Both aspects will be ultimately consummated in the New Jerusalem. In her, God will have the fullest satisfaction in love and the uttermost rest in expression for eternity.*

The love between God and His people is important throughout the Bible. The books of Moses are, on one hand, filled with laws, commands, and ordinances. On the other hand, they often speak about our heart and our loving God. The Lord Jesus repeated this in John 14:21, 23, coupling loving Him and keeping His commandments. Second John 6 says the same.

New JerusalemIn Ephesians 3:17 we are “being rooted and grounded in love.” And 4:16 has “the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.” The building up of the Body of Christ in love is the preparation of New Jerusalem to be His loving bride. Likewise in Colossians 2:2 we are “knit together in love.”

Lord, increase our loving You daily. Make us those who “who have loved Your appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). Bring us onward to New Jerusalem

* Conclusion of the New Testament, The, chapter 13, by Witness Lee

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