New Jerusalem is Eternal (3)

New Jerusalem is 
eternal
, based on the eternal redemption obtained, and eternal life released to us, by Jesus Christ.

Second Thessalonians 2:16: God our Father “loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope in grace.” The love, comfort, and grace are for us now, and in the kingdom age, and eternally in New Jerusalem. Thank Him for His wonderful care for us.

Hebrews 9:14 says, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” The eternal Spirit brings to us the conscience-purifying effect of Christ’s blood shed on the cross. And through this eternal Spirit we have the eternal life, the resurrection life, the life that characterizes the kingdom of God and New Jerusalem.

#NewJerusalemSecond Peter 1:11 speaks about our “entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…” We are already in the spiritual reality of the kingdom, as seen in Romans 14:17, “the kingdom of God is…righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” This spiritual reality is ours now because of our new birth by the Spirit (John 3:5).

Nevertheless, there is a fuller stage of the kingdom to come. By partaking of the divine nature (1 Peter 1:4) the divine virtues develop in us and give us the entrance into the manifestation of the kingdom and carry us onward to New Jerusalem.

All of these eternal things are “according to the eternal purpose which He [God] made in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:11). God’s purpose is eternal and consummates in eternal New Jerusalem.

God’s purpose is far higher than our sinful condition, far higher than overcoming evils on earth. His purpose takes care of these negatives but much more brings forth New Jerusalem with the glory of God radiating through all God’s people.

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, footnotes, and cross-references, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by Living Stream Ministry.

No Money in New Jerusalem & New Creation

In considering what will not be in New Jerusalem I was attracted to Luke 16:9 where the Lord Jesus tells us that money, the mammon* of unrighteousness, will fail. There will be no money in New Jerusalem.

All forms of human wealth are corruptible and unrighteousness and generate greed, as in the following verses. Hence no money, no human wealth, will be in New Jerusalem.
❖ “Corruptible things…silver or gold…” (1 Peter 1:18)
❖ “The mammon of unrighteousness” (Luke 16:9)
❖ “The deceitfulness of riches” (Matt 13:22)
❖ “The love of money is a root of all evils” (1 Tim. 6:10)
❖ “Put to death…greediness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5)

New JerusalemDo not imagine that the gold, pearls, and precious stones in the description of New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 are corruptible physical riches. No. These represent precious, divine materials: God’s nature, Christ’s redemption, and the Spirit’s work in us.

The wealth of New Jerusalem is the “surpassing riches of God’s grace” (Eph. 2:7) and the  “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8). These riches are not only in New Jerusalem but also for us today. For example, in Ephesians 3:16 Paul prayed that God would strengthen us into our inner man “according to the riches of His glory.”

The Lord concludes His speaking in Luke 16 about unrighteous mammon saying, “No household servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Let us declare, Lord Jesus, I love You; I give myself to serve You. Lord, save me from mammon.

Here are my other “NO” posts, showing what is NOT in New Jerusalem.
New Jerusalem: No Darkness, No Death
Neither Sin nor Death in New Jerusalem
No Tree of Knowledge in New Jerusalem
No Unrighteousness in New Jerusalem
Neither Sin nor Satan in New Jerusalem
No Curse in New Jerusalem
Neither Tears nor Sorrow nor Crying nor Pain in New Jerusalem
NO Physical Gold in New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem: No Night There
No Night in New Jerusalem
No Beasts in or near New Jerusalem
In the Garden of Eden but not in New Jerusalem

* Mammon is an Aramaic word meaning money. At biblehub.com some versions have mammon of unrighteousness, others worldly wealth or unrighteous wealth or unrighteous money. (Aramaic was the common language in Judea in the first century.)

Precious Faith Brings Forth Precious Stones for New Jerusalem

Jesus Christ is the living Stone and we too are stones for God’s building today and for New Jerusalem.

Genesis 2:7, “Jehovah God formed man with the dust of the ground…” In God’s creation we are earthen vessels but in His new creation by regeneration we become stones.

God created Adam, using a piece of clay taken from the earth as material. Therefore, all of us today who have been born of Adam are also clay. However, since we have been saved with God’s life, in God’s eyes we are no longer clay but stones. Immediately after Simon Peter confessed that the Lord was the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Lord said to him, “You are Peter” (Matt. 16:16-18). Peter is a translated word which means “a stone.” Likewise, every saved person is a “Peter,” a stone, used by God for the building of this city.

However, in the New Jerusalem the materials used by God for building are not merely ordinary stones but precious stones. Hence, it is not enough that we were saved and became stones; we still need to become precious stones. This requires us to put ourselves in the hands of God so that He can do the work of constitution.*

New JerusalemPaul speaks about building God’s house with precious stones (1 Cor. 3:12). This is directly in line with New Jerusalem in Revelation 21: “The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every precious stone” (v. 19).”

Second Peter 1:1 says that we all have equally precious faith. Verse 4 tells us that God “has granted to us precious and exceedingly great promises that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature.”

By this precious faith we lay hold of the precious promises. Through these promises God works in us to make us precious stones for His building now and for New Jerusalem.

Lord, we are open to You. Work in us and constitute us with Your preciousness.

*A quote from The Building Work of God, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee
A short video by Christian Research Institute about Witness Lee.

Perfected into One unto New Jerusalem

In John 17 the Lord Jesus prayed for our oneness in the Triune God. This prayer includes three stages of oneness—in the Father’s name (one), sanctification in the word of reality (two), and in glory (this post). Three stages in one hymn.

New JerusalemIn John 17:22-23 the Lord prayed, “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, even as We are one; I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one…” The glory is the expression of God.

Because we have all received the divine life and divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), we have this glory. The extent to which we live by the divine life and divine nature determines the magnitude of glory expressed. New Jerusalem will be the fullest expression.

As before, oneness in the divine glory is not outward, not man-made, not by adherence to a creed, not by following a set of rules. The real oneness, now and unto New Jerusalem, is as “We [the Triune God] are one.” Nothing less, nothing lower. Our oneness is God in Christ in us and we in Him. This matches what the Lord told the disciples, “you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14:20).

In the Triune God, with the Triune God in us, we “may be perfected into one.” Perfection is a quality of God, not of men. For us to be perfected into one is to be perfected in our living in and because of the Triune God. At times we fail, but we confess our sins and receive His forgiveness. Eventually we will mature in the divine life and come to the reality, the perfection, of New Jerusalem.

As in verse 17:21, so in verse 23 the result of the oneness today is “that the world may know.” The perfection in glory is not only for New Jerusalem but even for today.

See also Glorification and Oneness in the Triune God.

Divine Life and Nature for New Jerusalem 

New JerusalemGod’s created man in His image because of His desire to have a corporate expression of Himself by means of God becoming man’s life. This expression culminates in New Jerusalem.

To express God, to fulfill what New Jerusalem will be, we need God’s life and nature. This need is illustrated with a monkey, which can be trained to briefly imitate a man, but can never fully express a man because it does not have the man’s life and nature.

The New Jerusalem, the ultimate consummation of the Bible, involves God becoming man and man becoming God in life and in nature but not in the Godhead (Rev. 21:2; 3:12). To arrive at the corporate expression of God requires that God become man and that we become God in life and nature so that we can be truly incorporated with God to become the New Jerusalem as His expression. Without this process of our becoming the same as God in life, nature, and expression [but not in the Godhead], there cannot be an organic corporate expression of the Triune God involving Him and millions of believers.*

By faith we are born of God (John 1:12-13, 3:5-6) and we have God’s life, the life flowing as a river in New Jerusalem. But don’t wait until then—Christ is our life now (Col. 3:4).

By this same faith, we participate in “all things which relate to life and godliness” and receive “precious and exceedingly great promises” so that we “might become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:3-4). This divine nature is symbolized by the gold of New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:18, 21).

As this divine life and nature spread in us, God’s expression develops in our being and in our living. This development continues through our entire life and culminates in New Jerusalem.

Related Post: God’s Life and Nature for 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.

God Constitutes Us to be New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem

Here are a few more excerpts from the issue of Affirmation & Critique* focused on New Jerusalem. Each excerpt is tagged with the author’s initials and is followed by a related verse.

In Christ God has become man to make man God in His life and in His nature [but not in the Godhead] so that the redeeming God and the redeemed man can be united, mingled, constituted, and incorporated together to become one entity, the consummated corporate God-man—the New Jerusalem. (RK)

We “have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where…Christ is all and in all.” Colossians 3:10-11

Just as the church as God’s house is not an actual physical house, so the New Jerusalem is not an actual physical city. The city of New Jerusalem is a sign signifying the church’s function in eternity to be God’s dwelling place. (WL)

“The house of God, which is the church of the living God.” 1 Timothy 3:15

Through His death, resurrection, ascension, and descension, Christ, the second man, was enlarged from an individual God-man to a corporate God-man, the one new man. (DY)

Christ, in His death on the cross, abolished “in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two [Jews and Gentiles] in Himself into one new man, so making peace.” Ephesians 2:15

The New Jerusalem is new because it is fully saturated with the Triune God of newness. Throughout eternity the New Jerusalem will ceaselessly unfold the fresh newness of the Triune God to the universe. (DY)

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, they have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

All of these excerpts portray New Jerusalem as the consummation of God in Christ flowing into, being one with, constituting, and radiating out of His chosen people.

* Affirmation & Critique is a Christian Journal published twice a year and available online. It presents Bible truths in a scholarly manner, with references to and citations from a variety of publications by authors over the entire Christian era. Affirmation & Critique exhibits much appreciation for the person and work of Jesus Christ and our life with Him. The Fall 2012 issue (Vol. XVII, No. 2) focuses on New Jerusalem.

God’s Life and Nature for New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem

This post continues our look at an issue of Affirmation & Critique* focused on New Jerusalem. The final page of that issue includes:

The New Jerusalem, the city of God, is not a physical city; it is a sign of the consummation of God’s economical operation of grace, an operation that began with the incarnation of the Word in humanity in order to produce a corporate person who is joined to and mingled with the Triune God. The New Jerusalem is a divine declaration of the Triune God’s desire to reproduce Himself in a corporate God-man. As a divine-human corporate person, the New Jerusalem speaks of God becoming man and man becoming God in life and nature but not in the Godhead. The New Jerusalem is a composition of God’s chosen, redeemed, regenerated, sanctified, renewed, transformed, and glorified people who have been deified, that is, made the same as God in life and nature but not in the Godhead.

For New Jerusalem, we become God in life and nature but not in the Godhead. Is this a strange statement? Not if we look at verses like these:
• “As many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name, who were begotten…of God.” John 1:12-13
• “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26
• “He who believes into the Son has eternal life.” John 3:36
• “Christ lives in me.”  “Christ our life.” Galatians 2:20, Colossians 3:4
• “All the Body…grows with the growth of God.” Colossians 2:19
• “You might become partakers of the divine nature” 2 Peter 1:4

These verses and many more speak of the mingling of God and man in life now, in this age. The full growth, the maturity in life, of this mingling is the New Jerusalem and will be exhibited by New Jerusalem.

* Affirmation & Critique is a Christian Journal published twice a year and available online. It presents Bible truths in a scholarly manner, with references to and citations from a variety of publications by authors over the entire Christian era. Affirmation & Critique exhibits much appreciation for the person and work of Jesus Christ and our life with Him. The Fall 2012 issue (Vol. XVII, No. 2) focuses on New Jerusalem.

The Bible is a Romance

Have you ever considered that the Bible presents a romance? Love and marriage are seen beginning with Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 and concluding with New Jerusalem in Revelation 21-22. A song which presents this view begins:

New JerusalemThe Bible is a romance
In the most holy sense:
God and His chosen people
In love it so presents.
This Universal Couple
Throughout it is displayed;
God in Christ is the Bridegroom,
His saints, the Bride, portrayed.

The second verse focuses on Adam and Eve.
The third verse draws from God’s longing
expressed in Exodus, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.
The fourth verse sets forth something from
Song of Songs.
The fifth verse concludes:

Christ is our coming Bridegroom;
We are the Church, His Bride,
Redeemed, regenerated,
The issue of His side,
In source, in life, in nature
And person fully one,
His counterpart forever,
The New Jerusalem.

“The issue of His side” (4th line of this verse) was portrayed when Eve was built with the rib taken from Adam’s side. The reality is the church produced by the blood (for redemption) and the water (for life) that came forth in the Lord’s crucifixion (John 19:34). The ultimate issue is in Revelation 22:1—the throne of God and of the Lamb sends forth the river of water of life to supply New Jerusalem for eternity.

New Jerusalem: Eternal Golden Lampstand

New JerusalemThe Lord’s work throughout the Bible points toward the new creation with New Jerusalem as its center. One aspect of the Lord’s work is His care for the churches in this age.

In Revelation 1:10-13 John tells us, “I was in spirit on the Lord’s Day and heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, saying, What you see write in a scroll and send it to the seven churches….And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me; and when I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands One like the Son of Man.”

The seven* churches in verse 11 are the seven lampstands in verse 12. “The seven lampstands are the seven churches” (v. 20).  The lampstands portray the churches as the shining testimony of Jesus Christ. And He is in their midst, caring for them.

The lampstands are golden. Their nature is divine, symbolized by the gold. Their nature is not natural; rather, they are composed of believers who have put off the old man, have put on the new man, and are being renewed by the Spirit’s operation in them.

At the beginning of Revelation we see seven golden lampstands; at the end we see New Jerusalem. Like the lampstands, New Jerusalem is golden:

“The city was pure gold, like clear glass.” (Revelation 21:18)

And, like the lampstands, New Jerusalem has a lamp:

“The glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:23)

Furthermore, like the lampstands, our Lord cares for New Jerusalem. He is the Lamb who redeemed us, He is the lamp bringing us God’s shining, and He is on the throne from which the river of life and tree of life proceed to refresh and nourish the whole city.

Today we live in the churches on the way to New Jerusalem. Lord, daily take us onward!

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

* Seven here is symbolic, representing all the churches raised up by the Lord, including but not limited to the seven named in Revelation 1:11.

Experiencing Christ as our Broad Street

New JerusalemThe description of New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 includes, “the street of the city was pure gold” (v. 21). This street of gold symbolizes the divine nature as the pathway for our Christian walk both now and in eternity.

The Greek word translated “street” means broad. Many English Bibles (e.g. ESV, NASB, NCV, KJV, Darby) simply have “street” in Revelation 21:21 but we can also find “great street” (NIV) and “broad street” (HCSB).

This broad street portrays the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8) as the motivation and supply for our Christian living, our Christian walk. The more He makes home in our hearts, the more we are able to grasp what is His breadth (3:17-18). How wonderful that we may live in this unlimited Christ both now and in New Jerusalem.

In contrast, in Matthew 7:13 the Lord warns us that “wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction.” The Greek word translated “wide” is the same word used in Revelation 21:21. Why is this word used in two opposing contexts??

In Matthew the Lord is warning us about taking a gate and way apart from Him, which allow pride, self-glorification, love of money, lusts, and many other negative things to go with us. In Matthew we need the Lord’s narrow gate to exclude all those things. When we go through the narrow gate and have the fallen things stripped off, we walk on the constricted way with the Lord and find that He is broad, spacious, unlimited.

Today, we are still beset by sin, the flesh, the old man, and the world. We need the narrow gate and path to eliminate those things. In Revelation 20 all remaining negative things are cast into the lake of fire, so there will be no further need for the narrow gate and way. Then in Revelation 21 and 22 we have only New Jerusalem with its broad street and river of water of life.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Stay on the Living Street of New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is a living city, constituted with the Triune God and all God’s people. Revelation 21:21b says,

“the street of the city was pure gold.” 

In Revelation 22:1, the river of water of life is flowing “in the middle of its street.” This street is part of the living composition of New Jerusalem. The gold symbolizes the divine nature, of which we are partakers (2 Peter 1:4) and according to which we walk.

New JerusalemThere is only this one street in New Jerusalem. We see this first in John 14 where the Lord Jesus told us, “I am the way.” There is no way to the Father apart from Him. He is our unique way.

The one street is an expression of the oneness which is an attribute of the divine nature. This oneness is seen in John 17 where the Lord Jesus prayed that we all may be one, having a oneness matching His oneness with the Father. The one street also corresponds with the one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one God and Father in Ephesians 4:3-6.

Revelation 21:21 and 22:1 both say “the street” (singular). We should not look at human cities with their thousands of streets and apply that model to New Jerusalem. No. We should not impose our natural concepts on a city that is spiritual, heavenly, living, and in resurrection.

Let us say “amen” to the word of the Bible—“the street of the city.” The city is one, the street is one, the Triune God is one, and we are one in the Triune God. Jesus Christ in us is our unique way now and in New Jerusalem.

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, footnotes, and cross-references, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by Living Stream Ministry.

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

 

 

The Living Gold of New Jerusalem (2)

New Jerusalem is a living city, constituted with the Triune God and all God’s people. The gold in New Jerusalem is part of this living composition—it is our life path. Revelation 21:21b says,

“the street of the city was pure gold.” 

Our walk from the day of our initial salvation unto New Jerusalem should be on this street of pure gold, the divine nature. This walk is described many ways in the New Testament:

New Jerusalem• “the Way” in Acts.
• “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4)—the life which is Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
• “walk…according to the spirit” (Romans 8:4)—where we are one with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17).
• walk in Christ Jesus the Lord (Colossians 2:6)
• “walk in the light” because “God is light” (1 John 1:5-7).
• “walk in love” (Ephesians 5:2)—the love which is God who abides in us (1 John 4:16).

This walk is our living. In Romans 8 and Galatians 5 we walk either according to the flesh, the fallen human nature, or according to the spirit, the divine nature. To walk in the divine nature is to live in the reality of baptism, by which our old man, our old nature, was buried with Christ (Romans 6). This is equivalent to “it is no longer I who live but it is Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).

Lord, bring us into the reality of this walk today. Our desire is to walk with You in newness, in light, and in love. Keep us on this street of gold from now until New Jerusalem.

Related posts: Our Walk on the Golden Street of New Jerusalem Begins at Regeneration
The One Street of New Jerusalem_________Our Christian Walk and the Golden Street

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