On the Throne in New Jerusalem (2)

Revelation 22:3 says concerning New Jerusalem:

New Jerusalem

Here are more verses about the exalted and enthroned Lamb.

Philippians 2:9-11, “God highly exalted Him [Christ Jesus] and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should openly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” We confess Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God now and in New Jerusalem.

Hebrews 2:7b-8a, “You [God] have crowned Him [Jesus] with glory and honor and have set Him over the works of Your hands; You have subjected all things under His feet. For in subjecting all things to Him, He left nothing unsubject to Him.”

Revelation 1:5, “Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth.” If we look at today’s situation with our human understanding, we doubt. But, we should say “amen” to God’s word. Jesus Christ is the Ruler today as He will be in New Jerusalem.

Revelation 17:14, “…the Lamb…is Lord of lords and King of kings…” Revelation 19:16, “He has on His garment and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings And Lord of Lords.”

This wonderful One is on the throne now and will be on the throne in New Jerusalem. In Revelation 22:1 John saw “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” This river flows to keep us under His authority and is flowing now as the Spirit which we have received (John 7:37-39). To drink the Spirit now (1 Cor. 12:13) is to have a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

More about the redeeming and enthroned Lamb: Behold the Lamb (1), (2), (3), (4)

New Jerusalem Foreshadowed in Exodus

All the positive things in the Old Testament are symbols, pictures, or prophecies of the New Testament realities. Some of these pictures correspond with characteristics of New Jerusalem. Here is a list of posts showing parallels between Exodus and New Jerusalem.

We are on a journey to the mountain of God to see a vision, as John saw New Jerusalem from a high mountain. The stages of this journey:
Exodus 12—14: we are redeemed and nourished by the Lamb to leave Egypt
Exodus 15: we sing and praise the Lord on our journey to the mountain
Exodus 16: we eat the manna, a picture of Christ as our heavenly nourishment
Exodus 17: we drink the water which flows out of the smitten rock
Exodus 17: we fight against the flesh by walking in spirit

After we reach the mountain, more steps are needed to see God’s revelation of the building of the tabernacle, a type of New Jerusalem:
Exodus 19—23: God’s commands show that apart from Christ we cannot make the journey
Exodus 23: God promised that His Angel would lead us onward
Exodus 24: we take Christ’s redemption
Exodus 24: we take Christ’s absoluteness for God

When we go up the mountain, we have undivided time with the Lord to see a full vision.
Exodus 24—25: on the mountain we are in a cloud to cut our view of other things
Exodus 24—25: Moses’ time in the cloud prefigures many NT experiences
Exodus 24, 33, 34: Moses had many times of fellowship with God

The holy of holies in the tabernacle depicts New Jerusalem as the eternal holy of holies.
Exodus 25-26: the ark, expiation cover, and cherubim of glory portray Christ and the city
Exodus 26: the veil has been rent by the death of Christ, so we can enter New Jerusalem
Exodus 26: the veil portrays the Lord Jesus, who is the reality in New Jerusalem
Exodus 28: the breastplate with gold and precious stones represents aspects of the city

Exodus 40: glory fills the tabernacle, portraying New Jerusalem, a city of glory

All the events that happened with Israel are an example written for us (1 Cor. 10).
The journey in Exodus
has many symbols of our experiences of Christ and the Spirit.

New Jerusalem

 Photo courtesy of NASA.

 

Gathered into One for New Jerusalem

This is a supplement to a series of posts on New Jerusalem as the consummation of the New Testament oneness. The one flock, one Body, and one new man all point toward the one city, New Jerusalem.

The end of John 11 records Jewish leaders discussing how to limit the influence of Jesus. During this time it was of God that the high priest prophesied that Jesus would die. John tells us, “he prophesied that Jesus was to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but that He might also gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad” (v. 51-52). New Jerusalem is the ultimate result of this gathering.

New JerusalemThrough His death and resurrection the Lord redeemed His chosen people from among the Jews and Gentiles, regen-erated us, and formed us into His Body, the one new man. This is the initial step of gathering the children of God into oneness. This step of formation is complete. Praise Him for this!

Based on Christ’s completed work, “in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Greeks…” (1 Cor. 12:13). This was our entrance into what Christ accomplished. Now we participate by drinking the same one Spirit. This drinking continues eternally—the Spirit flows as the river of life in New Jerusalem.

While we are drinking, we are kept in the practical oneness by the peace of Christ (Col. 3:15). This peace of Christ is Christ Himself: “He Himself is our peace, He who has made both one” (Eph. 2:14). This verse, like Colossians 3:15 (and more verses in the next post), puts peace and oneness together. This is New Jerusalem: a city of peace and a city of oneness. New Jerusalem is the final outcome of John 11: the Lord’s “gathering into one the children of God.”

Shadows of New Jerusalem in Psalms 29-46

New JerusalemMany verses in Psalms speak about
Christ, house, city, earth and thus imply New Jerusalem as God’s eternal house and city on new earth with Christ as its center. Here are another group of examples.

Psalm 29:9b, 10b, “In His temple all say, Glory!…Jehovah sits as King forever.” He is the King and we proclaim His glory. Ephesians 3:21, “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.”

Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that Jehovah is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” Now we are hidden in Christ (Col. 3:3) and in God’s house; here we taste that He is good; even more in New Jerusalem.

Psalm 36:7-9, “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Thus the sons of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They are saturated with the fatness of Your house, and You cause them to drink of the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.”

Psalm 46:4a, “There is a river whose streams gladden the city of God.”

Psalms 36 and 46 are a clear parallel to the river of water of life flowing through New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1). To drink of this river fills us with joy and saturates us with the fatness of God’s house. At present we are partakers of the root of the fatness of God’s olive tree (a picture in Rom. 11:17, 24 of Christ with all of us as branches). Our partaking will be even richer in New Jerusalem.

 

New Jerusalem, the Consummate Oneness

During His earthly ministry the Lord Jesus spoke about one flock with one Shepherd (John 17). Before His death He prayed for our being perfected into one (John 17). On the cross He created one new man (Eph. 2:12-15). Verses from Romans 12 to Colossians 3 also speak of our being one Body in Christ. All of this culminates in the one city, New Jerusalem, as the center of the new creation to express the one God.

New Jerusalem

This post has a highlight and verse from this series of posts on New Jerusalem as the consummation of the New Testament oneness in Christ. The first two words of each highlight is a link to the post.

❖ The first definite word in the New Testament about our spiritual oneness is “there shall be one flock, one Shepherd” (John 10:16).

❖ In His death on the cross, Christ created one new man in Himself (Eph. 2:14-15).

❖ Our oneness is at the level of the Triune God’s oneness; Jesus asked the Father, to keep us, His disciples, “that they may be one even as We are” (John 17:11).

Jesus prayed again for us to have the divine oneness; “That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us” (John 17:17, 21).

Thirdly, Jesus prayed “that they may be one, even as We are one; I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one” (John 17:23).

Jesus prayed that our oneness would be perfected so that we can be a testimony that “the Lord our God is one Lord” (Mark 12:29).

Because of what the Lord has accomplished, Romans 12:5 proclaims, “we who are many are one Body in Christ.”

The Spirit is our entrance into and our participation in the One Body. “In one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body…and were all given to drink one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13).

Our participation is also by partaking of Christ in His death and resurrection. “We who are many are one Body; for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor. 10:17).

❖ In Christ Jesus, both now and in New Jerusalem, all the natural distinctions which divide fallen man are annulled. We “are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).

The oneness in the Triune God (John 17) has, through death and resurrection, become oneness in Christ, the embodiment of the Triune God (Col. 2:9). Today we are experiencing what is in these verses. When New Jerusalem appears His prayer in John 17 will be fully answered and we will arrive at the peak of oneness.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Baptized in One Spirit into One Body           and into New Jerusalem

All believers in Jesus Christ, although very numerous, “are one Body in Christ” (Rom. 12:5). To be “one Body in Christ” is not by our doing. Rather, 1 Corinthians 1:29-30 assures us, “of God you are in Christ Jesus.” In the same way, it is of God that we are in New Jerusalem and are one organic city in Christ.

New JerusalemHow did God put us into Christ so that we could be one Body in Him? First Corinthians 12:13 tells us, “in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body.”

This Body is the present reality of New Jerusalem. The oneness of the Body of Christ and the oneness of the new man (Eph. 2:15, Col. 3:10-11) both point toward the oneness of New Jerusalem.

How do we partake of this oneness? “In one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body…and were all given to drink one Spirit.” Isaiah 12:3-4: “You will draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation, and you will say in that day, Give thanks to Jehovah; call upon His name!”

These verses tell us that spiritual drinking is calling on the name of the Lord. Calling O Lord Jesus brings us into the practicality of the oneness as our foretaste of New Jerusalem. We can also cry out O Lord Jesus, we love You!

Surely New Jerusalem will be full of rejoicing, thanksgiving, calling, and loving the Lord.

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.

Drinking by Calling on the Lord at Holding to Truth.

The Nations around New Jerusalem (6)

The peoples, the nations, around New Jerusalem participate in the general blessings of the new earth. These nations (plural) are distinct from the people (singular) who live in Christ with the reality of God’s new creation; these are the constituents of New Jerusalem and partake of the special blessings in this city. Revelation 22:2 says,

He showed me a river of water of life….on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

John 6:56There are three provisions here: the water of the river of life, the fruits of the tree of life, and the leaves of the tree. The leaves are specifically designated for the healing of the nations around New Jerusalem. In contrast, the water and the fruit symbolize the supply of divine life to the people built into New Jerusalem.

The life supply of the water continues our drinking the Spirit in John 4 and 7. “Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink….This He said concerning the Spirit” (John 7:37-39).

The life supply of the fruit continues our eating Jesus as the bread of life in John 6. ” I am the living bread which came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever” (v. 51).

In John 6:56 the Lord tells us, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him.” In verse 63 He explains that this is not physical; instead, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” The mutual abiding requires our spiritual eating now and the fullest mutual abiding in New Jerusalem matches our spiritual eating of the fruit of the tree of life.

The River of New Jerusalem in Us

The apostle John told us, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:2). He also saw “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” (Rev. 22:1). The river of life flows in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is not a physical city where we will drink of a physical river. Rather, New Jerusalem is a spiritual city—God dwelling in all His people, with the Spirit Himself (John 7:39) as the river flowing in us.

The river is in the city and in us. This inner flow is the continuation of what the Lord spoke in John 4:14 and 7:37-38.

“Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water gushing up into eternal life.”

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.”

These verses in John are about our believing into the Lord now and our drinking of Him day by day. The same fountain gushing up, the same river flowing, will continue into New Jerusalem.

The fountain of water in us is “gushing up into eternal life.” The Greek preposition translated into (or, unto) indicates a destination. The water of life which the Lord gives us satisfies our thirst and also brings us to His destination and ours—New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

God’s Flow Brings Us to New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRecent posts were about our Christian journey to be in spirit on a mountain to see New Jerusalem. One post mentioned John 19:34: when Jesus died on the cross, “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.”

God’s flowing is unto eternity, unto New Jerusalem. This flowing, including John 19:34, is the subject of a song, which begins,
___A mighty flowing-out is God,
_____He flows throughout the ages.

This flow is to impart God into man so that man may have God’s life and become God’s expression which ultimately is New Jerusalem. We first see this flow in the garden of Eden. The song says,
___In the beginning we can see, God as a flowing river,
___The river to convey the tree, Himself as life deliver.

Although man sinned and was separated from God’s life, God came in Jesus to redeem and to impart His life.
___God flowed Himself into a man, The man we call Christ Jesus.
___He gave up His own life for man And God’s own life releases.
In John 10:10-11 He told us that in death He laid down His soul life for us that we may have eternal life abundantly.

Satan’s opposition backfired; Satan’s scheme failed:
___He [Satan] had Him crucified And cruelly pierced His side—
___But out came blood and water!
___The blood and water flowed from Him, In streams of pure salvation.
___The blood brings cleansing from all sin; Water, regeneration.

In resurrection the Spirit flowed, as promised in John 7:37-39.
___And now the Spirit flows, Brings God where’er He goes.
This flow enlivens all who receive and builds us together in the Body of Christ.

Ultimately, in New Jerusalem is the river of water of life and the tree of life (Rev. 22:1-2).
___And at the end the same, The river doth remain,
___God in the Lamb doth flow, The tree prevails to grow,
___And God flows on forever.

Photo courtesy of pdphoto.org.

Experience Christ unto New Jerusalem

Israel had to journey from Egypt to Mt. Sinai to see the vision of the tabernacle and then to enter into it (to build it). Likewise, we must journey from death and slavery in the world to a spiritual mountain to see New Jerusalem and to enter into the experiences of it.

Israel had the shadow of this journey. The reality of the journey toward New Jerusalem includes:
New Jerusalem• Christ our Redeemer, through whom _we have forgiveness in His blood
• Christ our Passover to impart His _eternal life into us
• The Spirit as the reality of baptism into _Christ and His Body
• Singing and praising the Lord for His _victory in death and resurrection
• Experiencing His sweetness in _outwardly bitter circumstances
• Taking Him as our daily nourishment to _have Him as our daily living
• Drinking the Spirit as the living water
• Rejecting the flesh by the Spirit
• Walking according to spirit
• Access to God in the blood of Christ
• Christ living in us to fulfill all God’s _requirements
• Christ being our absoluteness for God’s interests
• Time in fellowship with the Lord

Our eternal salvation is once for all, but many of these steps recur often in our daily journey. Singing and praising should be frequent. Like physical eating and drinking, spiritual eating and drinking should be daily. Walking according to the spirit is continual. These energize us to fight the battle by the Spirit and to progress to the mountain for the vision of New Jerusalem.

The Tree of Life Foreshadowed in Exodus

In New Jerusalem the tree of life is conveyed by the river of water of life which proceeds from the throne of God and the Lamb (Revelation 22:1-2). This tree of life is foreshadowed in Exodus.

New JerusalemIn Exodus 15 Moses led Israel to praise the Lord after seeing His victory over the Egyptian forces at the Red Sea. Then Moses led the people onwards (v. 22). After three days in the wilderness they found water but could not drink it due to its bitterness (v. 22-23). In verse 25 Moses “cried out to Jehovah, and Jehovah showed him a tree; and he cast it into the waters, and the waters became sweet.”

In the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) the Greek word for tree in Exodus 15:25* is ξύλον. This is the same Greek word used for the tree of life in Revelation 22:2 and 22:14. Therefore, the tree in Exodus 15 foreshadows the tree of life in New Jerusalem.

The same Greek word is used in 1 Peter 2:24 for the tree (the cross) on which the Lord was crucified. This verse says that by His death we are healed.

The tree in Exodus made the waters sweet. Jesus Christ, the real tree of life, makes our “waters” sweet. In eternity there will be no cause of bitterness—there will be no tears, no death, no sorrow, no crying nor pain (Revelation 21:4).

Don’t wait until New Jerusalem. We can follow the example of Moses to cry out to the Lord. He will show us “a tree” (something of Himself) to cast into our bitter waters so that we may taste His sweetness and be healed from our death. This is our foretaste of greater sweetness in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

* And three times in Genesis 2:9.

More about the tree and the sweet water is in Life-Study of Exodus, chapters 30.

See the River of New Jerusalem in Exodus

Exodus concludes with the tabernacle filled with the glory of God. That corresponds with New Jerusalem as the eternal tabernacle of God, having the glory of God (Revelation 21:3, 10-11). Then in Revelation 22:1 John tells us that an angel showed him

a river of water of life,
bright as crystal, proceeding out
of the throne of God and of the Lamb

We see a picture of this in Exodus 17. Verses 5-6 say, “Jehovah said to Moses….I will be standing before you there upon the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it so that the people may drink.” Speaking about this, 1 Corinthians 10:4 tells us that the people “drank of a spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ.”

Striking the rock is a picture of Jesus Christ being struck by death on the cross, from which water flowed out, as recorded in John 19:34.

New Jerusalem

In Exodus God is standing on the Rock, which is Christ, and the water flows out. In Revelation God and the Lamb, who was struck by death to be our Redeemer, are on the throne from which the river of water of life flows out. Exodus 17 matches Revelation 22.

In Numbers 20 Israel had another experience with the rock. This time God instructed Moses to speak to the rock. The application to us is that Christ died once for all; He should not be struck a second time. Daily we can come to Him and speak to Him, asking Him to flow living water to us. This is His promise in John 7:37, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”

May this Old Testament picture and these New Testament words encourage us to ask the Lord for a drink of living water every day as a foretaste of our drinking the water of life in New Jerusalem.

More about the water out of the rock is in Life-Study of Exodus, chapters 40-42.

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