The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (6)

Genesis 1–2 presents many pictures. The reality of these is in the New Testament and their consummation is New Jerusalem. A song couples these two ends of the Bible. Verse 5 of the song is about the tree of life in the garden of Eden but outside of man. Verse 6:

But in the city glorious the tree
Within the corporate “man” doth grow, thereby
Revealing Christ Himself as life divine
New JerusalemBeing to man his inward life supply.

In New Jerusalem is “the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month” (Rev. 22:2). This is Jesus Christ, who is “the life” to become, through death and resurrection, “our life” (Col. 3:4).

As the reality of the bread of life, He is our daily nourishment that we may “live because of Him.” We, like Paul, should be able to declare “for me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).

The song says the tree grows within the “corporate man.” This is a reference to New Jerusalem, the culmination of all God’s building work. This work builds all the believers together. One reference to this is in Ephesians 2:22, “you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.” New Jerusalem is God’s dwelling place.

In Romans 12, “we who are many are one Body in Christ.” This is our position from the time we believe. Now, by Christ as our life supply, we grow in His life for the building up of the one Body, the “corporate man” which becomes 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, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (2)

A hymn on the garden of Eden and New Jerusalem puts many Bible verses into song. New JerusalemVerse 2 of this hymn:

Both in the garden and the city fair
A river and the tree of life are seen,
Christ typifying as the life supply,
The Spirit showing as the living stream.

“Out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden….And a river went forth from Eden to water the garden.” (Gen. 2:9-10)

In New Jerusalem is “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 on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”
(Rev. 22:1-2)

The tree is a symbol; the reality is Christ as our daily life supply, our spiritual nourishment. He told us, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall by no means hunger” and “he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me” (John 6:35, 57).

The river is a picture of the Spirit flowing to us to refresh and enliven us. Jesus said, ” If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink….This He said concerning the Spirit” (John 7:37-39). Also, we “were all given to drink one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13).

Our eating and drinking are for our Christian life today and will increase in the coming age and in New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem, the City of the Great King

New Jerusalem, as described in Revelation 22:1-3, has the river of life flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb, the tree of life growing and bearing fruit, no more curse, and “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it.”

The throne of God and of the Lamb is mentioned in both verse 1 and verse 3. In Matthew 5 and Psalm 48 Jerusalem is called “the city of the great King.” How much more will New Jerusalem be “the city of the great King”! The city is
• portrayed by the shining “city situated upon a mountain” (Matt. 5:14)
• “the city which has the foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God” (Heb. 11:10, 16)
• “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22)

New JerusalemThe throne is in the city and at that time we will be fully and willingly subject to the throne in everything. Today are we subject to the throne? We can only and sadly say, partially. We cannot say that every minute we walk according to the spirit with our mind on the spirit. We are still independent.

What should we do? First, we confess our sins of independence for His forgiveness. Then we eat Jesus as the bread of life that we may live because of Him (John 6:57), a living subject to the throne, a living that foreshadows living 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, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

The Leaves for the Healing of the Nations

The river of water of life flows from the throne in New Jerusalem. “And 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” (Rev. 22:2).

New JerusalemThe fruit of the tree of life is the life supply for God’s people who are constituted into New Jerusalem. The leaves of the tree are for the nations living around and outside New Jerusalem, who are not part of the city. There is a difference: Built Into or Living Around New Jerusalem.

The peoples of the nations around the city will have human life restored to the condition of Genesis 1–2, before sin entered. They will not have the divine, eternal life that the people constituted into the city possess, and they will not eat the fruit of the tree of life.

The leaves of the tree are for their healing. The fact that they need healing indicates some imperfection. In contrast, the people who are part of New Jerusalem have the perfect eternal life.

The nations around New Jerusalem are mentioned in Revelation 21:3, 24, 26, and 22:2. But God’s goal is New Jerusalem as His dwelling place, the place of His glory, and the bride, the wife of Jesus Christ. Let us align ourselves with this. Our first step is to repent of our past living and believe into Jesus Christ. Then we exercise to take Him as our life supply that we may live Him daily. This brings us to the goal, New Jerusalem.

The Tree of Life in New Jerusalem

New JerusalemDescribing New Jerusalem, Revelation 22:1 presents the river of life. Then verse 2 says, “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life.” The river brings the tree to us. We drink the water of life and eat the fruit of life.

The word of God is our spiritual food. Jeremiah said to the Lord, “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word became to me the gladness and joy of my heart” (15:16). And in Matthew 4:4 the Lord Jesus likened the words of God to bread. We will be eating this spiritual food for eternity in New Jerusalem.

The flow of the Spirit, the river of life, brings this food, the tree of life, to us. A good way to receive the food brought by the river is to pray with the words of the Bible. Ephesians 6:17-18 exhorts us to receive “the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God, by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit.”

We have the Bible, the printed word of God. We also have the Spirit, the living word of God. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63). To receive the word of the Bible by the Spirit is the present experience of Revelation 22:1-2’s description of New Jerusalem.

More: Pray-Reading the Word

Photo courtesy of pexels.com.

Eternal Life and New Jerusalem

In Christ we have eternal life. New Jerusalem is an eternal city, so it is intimately tied with eternal life. This post begins a look at that which is eternal throughout the New Testament, and the relationship to New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemJohn 3:15, 16, 36 (and many more verses) give the first step – whoever believes into the Son of God has eternal life. Thus, whoever believes also will be part of New Jerusalem, the city of life. This life is the Son, Jesus Christ, as we see in John 11:25 and 14:6; hence, He who has the Son has the eternal life (1 John 5:11-12).

The Lord also tells us, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life” (John 6:54). To eat His flesh is to receive by faith all that He did in giving His body for us; and to drink His blood is to receive by faith all that He accomplished in shedding His blood for us*. This eating and drinking will continue into New Jerusalem where we will eat the fruit of the tree of life and drink the water of the river of life.

This eating and drinking is not physical but is spiritual, by faith. Many were bothered by the Lord’s word about eating Him (John 6:60) because they only knew the natural realm. But He said (v. 63), “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” Then Peter confessed (v. 68), “You have words of eternal life.” Lord, keep us eating Your words of life.

When we are in spirit and receive the Lord’s words as spirit and life, we are nourished and have a foretaste of the tree of life in New Jerusalem.

* From footnote 2 on John 6:54 in the Online Recovery Version New Testament, © LSM.

The Nations around New Jerusalem (7)

Revelation 22:2, describing New Jerusalem, says, “And 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.” The fruits are for the people constituted into New Jerusalem while the leaves are for those living around the city.

The tree of life is a symbol of Christ and the fruits are Christ as our life supply as He spoke in detail in John 6. What then are the leaves?

* The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations. In the Bible, leaves are a symbol of man’s deeds (Gen. 3:7). The leaves of the tree of life symbolize the deeds of Christ. The regenerated believers eat the fruit of the tree of life, receiving Christ as their inward life and life supply, that they may enjoy the divine life for eternity, whereas the restored nations are healed by the leaves of the tree of life, taking the deeds of Christ as their outward guide and regulation, that they may live the human life forever.

New JerusalemThe nations are guided outwardly by the deeds of Christ. This is very good, but it is also very different from being supplied inwardly by the life of Christ. The Lord is the bread of life edible today. We shouldn’t wait for New Jerusalem. “He who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me” is a promise for today (John 6:57).

The proper Christian living today and our eternal living in New Jerusalem is Jesus Christ as our life supply to be lived out by us. This is much higher than being guided by Him as our outward example. Eating brings us into New Jerusalem!

Photo by Scott Bauer, courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

* Note 1 on Rev. 22:5 in The NT Recovery Version Online, © 1997-2012 by LSM.

Prior posts in this series: one two three four five six

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.

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.

Bread and Water Bring us to New Jerusalem

Israel’s journey in Exodus 12–19 is a picture of our Christian journey. Their journey brought them to Mt. Sinai to see the vision of the tabernacle. Our journey results in our being “carried away in spirit onto a great and high mountain” to see New Jerusalem.

Prior posts touched several steps preparatory to seeing New Jerusalem. Another step is to take Christ as our living bread, typified by manna (Exo. 16), every day. Jesus clearly told us “he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me” (John 6:57). Eating is a daily necessity; without spiritual eating we cannot have a proper Christian life and cannot journey onward to the mountain.

Eating the manna is by our living contact with the Word of God. Deuteronomy 8:3, quoted by the Lord in Matthew 4:4, says that God “fed you [Israel] the manna…so that He might make you know that man lives not by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that proceeds out from the mouth of Jehovah.”

One more step is to drink the living water which flows out of the smitten rock. When the Lord, pictured by the rock, was smitten on the cross, blood and water flowed out. The reality of this water is the Spirit, as presented in John 7:37-39. Eventually this will be the river of water of life in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemJohn 19:34: “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.”

A song about this flowing:
__The blood and water flowed from Him,
____In streams of pure salvation.
__The blood brings cleansing from all sin;
____Water, regeneration.
__And now the Spirit flows,
____Brings God where’er He goes.
__All he could do, the foe,
____Was just release the flow.
__And God just keeps on flowing.

God’s continual flow, beginning from the cross, carries us all the way to New Jerusalem.

Heavenly Diet in Exodus and New Jerusalem

New JerusalemIn New Jerusalem is “a river of water of life, bright as crystal….And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month” (Revelation 22:1-2).

New Jerusalem comes out of heaven from God to earth. Its position is on earth but its nature is heavenly. In this city the tree of life is the heavenly diet for God’s people. By eating the twelve fruits of the tree of life, we are supplied with the divine, eternal life to live a heavenly life on earth. This life is Jesus Christ (John 14:6) and to live this life is to live Him (Philippians 1:21).

The manna in Exodus is a shadow of the heavenly diet of New Jerusalem. In Exodus 16 “Jehovah said to Moses, I will now rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day…” (v. 4).

In John 6 the Lord Jesus told us that He is the bread of life, the reality of what was pictured by manna (v. 32-35). He also said that if we eat Him we will live because of Him (v. 57). Then He told us that the way to eat Him is to take His words, and that these words are spirit and life (v. 63). For this we must not only use our mind to understand the words but also use our human spirit. We must strike the Spirit of the Scripture with our spirit.

The nourishment we gain from the Scripture becomes our bread of life, causing us to grow in the divine life. This growth goes onward until we arrive at New Jerusalem.

More about manna is in Life-Study of Exodus, chapters 35-39.

The Lamb from Exodus to New Jerusalem

Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God is intimately connected to New Jerusalem:
• Revelation 19:7 announces the marriage of the Lamb and 21:9-10 says New Jerusalem is “the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
• John saw no temple in the city because “the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (21:22).
• 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, and its lamp is the Lamb” (21:23).
• The center of New Jerusalem is “the throne of God and of the Lamb” from which flows the river of water of life with the tree of life (22:1-3).

New JerusalemJesus is the reality of all the Old Testament lambs. John the Baptist “saw Jesus coming to him and said, Behold, the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). Further-more, 1 Corinthians 5:7 tells us that Christ is our Passover. He is not only the reality of the passover lamb but also the reality of every part of the passover.

Exodus 12 describes the passover. Each house took a lamb, kept it four days, killed it, put its blood outside, roasted it with fire, and ate it. Exodus 12:14 says, “this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall keep it as a feast to Jehovah; throughout your generations as a perpetual statute you shall keep it as a feast.”

In New Jerusalem we will have the eternal feast and the eternal memorial of Jesus Christ as our Lamb who redeemed us and forever nourishes us.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

More about the lamb and passover is in Life-Study of Exodus, chapters 23-25.

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