The Lamb’s Book of Life for New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRevelation 21:27 tells us that “only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life” enter New Jerusalem.

Philippians 4:3 speaks about Christians “whose names are in the book of life.” Surely they will be in New Jerusalem. In contrast, “if anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).

Revelation 13:8 tells us that those dwelling on earth, “every one whose name is not written in the book of life of the Lamb” will worship a beast. Similarly Revelation 17:8 says that these people will marvel when they see a beast.

Some verses associate the book of life with the Lamb. God’s eternal purpose is that man receive Him as life so that man can express and represent God (Gen. 1:26). Therefore, God put created man in front of the tree of life in the garden of Eden (Gen. 2:8-9, 15-17). This tree is a symbol of Christ, who is the real life for man.

Unfortunately man partook of the wrong tree, and was banished from the garden and the tree of life (Gen. 3:22-24). This closure persisted until God incarnated in the man Jesus. He, the Lamb of God, died on the cross to redeem us and reopen the way for us to receive the divine life. This life enables us to participate in New Jerusalem.

We see three steps: redemption, life, city. Redemption is for life, and life is for the city. All three are in Revelation 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.” To wash is to apply the Lamb’s redemption; to come to the tree is for life, and to enter the gates is to be in New Jerusalem. Praise the Lamb!

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

No Beasts in or near New Jerusalem

Revelation 13 says much about two beasts. Chapter 14 has a heavenly warning about the beasts, 15 shows those who were victorious over the beasts, 16 has judgement on them, 17 introduces another beast and presents much beastly activity, and 19 has their terminations in the lake of fire.

New JerusalemThese beasts are all opposed to New Jerusalem because they oppose the accomplishing of God’s purpose on earth. This purpose is first revealed in Genesis 1:26 where the Triune God created man in His image and let man have dominion over the earth.

God’s purpose is also revealed in Zechariah 12:1 which speaks of God “who stretches forth the heavens and lays the foundations of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him.” The heavens contain the earth and earth is a dwelling place for man, who has a human spirit to contact God who is Spirit (John 4:24).

By contacting God, man receives the life of God, portrayed by the tree of life in Genesis 2. As a result of this contact, man’s spirit is born of God’s Spirit. This birth with God’s life enables man to express God and to rule the earth for God.

Genesis 1–2 is the beginning of God’s purpose; Revelation 21–22 is the consummation. In this consummation, man is beholding God constantly (Rev. 22:4). Man is continually supplied with God’s life by the river of life with the tree of life (22:1-2). God in this corporate man is fully expressed through New Jerusalem which radiates the glory of God (21:11). God and the Lamb on the throne (22:1) reign and man reigns with them (22:5).

Praise God that New Jerusalem is the eternal fulfillment of God’s purpose and that the opposing beasts are gone.

This post is in my list of what is NOT in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

No Curse in New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRevelation 22:3 declares, “there will no longer be a curse.” This statement is true not only for New Jerusalem but also for the entire new creation.

The curse came in because Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “And to Adam He said, Because you…have eaten of the tree concerning which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it; cursed is the ground because of you; in toil will you eat of it all the days of your life” (Gen. 3:17).

Besides the curse, death came in when Adam ate of the tree of knowledge. “Jehovah God commanded the man…of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of it you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17).

But, “Christ has redeemed us out of the curse of the law, having become a curse on our behalf; because it is written, ‘Cursed is every one hanging on a tree'” (Gal. 3:13). This redemption enables us to receive the Spirit, as declared by the next verse in Galatians, “In order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

Through Christ’s redemption we receive the Spirit of life, who is the divine life, portrayed by the life Adam should have received by eating the tree of life (Gen. 2:9). The operating of this Spirit in us frees us from the working of sin and death in our being (Rom. 8:2).

Eventually all creation will be freed from sin and death. Death will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14), hence “death will be no more” (Rev. 21:4). As a result, in New Jerusalem and in all of he new creation there will be no sin, no death, and no curse.

This post is in my list of what is NOT in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

No Need for Sleep in New Jerusalem

There is no need for sleep in New Jerusalem. But how does this mundane statement relate to the revelation in the Bible?

Simple: sleep is a picture of death and there will be no death in New Jerusalem. The first record of sleep is Genesis 2:21, “Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept.” During this deep sleep, Jehovah took a rib out of Adam and formed Eve. In this record the forming of Eve depicts the producing of the church.

New JerusalemThe death of Jesus Christ, portrayed by Adam’s the deep sleep, is very positive and had a wonderful outcome.

Romans 5:12 says, “sin entered into the world, and through sin, death; and thus death passed on to all men.” This death is not positive but the Bible also likens this kind of death to sleep, as in John 11:11-14 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16.

There will be no need for sleep and no sleepiness in New Jerusalem because there will be no death in New Jerusalem. “Our Savior Christ Jesus, nullified death” (2 Tim. 1:10). This nullification is gradually being applied to us. The consummation of this process is the transfiguration of our corrupted, mortal body at the Lord’s second coming.

“When this corruptible will put on incorruption and this mortal will put on immortality, then the word which is written will come to pass, ‘Death has been swallowed up unto victory.'” (1 Cor. 15:54) New Jerusalem will fully declare this victory.

Earlier posts about no death in New Jerusalem:
New Jerusalem: No Darkness, No Death
Neither Sin nor Death in New Jerusalem

A list of other “NO” posts, showing what is NOT in New Jerusalem:

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Bible: a Journey from Garden of Eden to New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem

The whole Bible is a journey from God’s creation and the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1–2) to God’s consumma-tion centered on New Jerusalem (Revelation 21–22).

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem

Created in God’s Image for New Jerusalem

This post begins a look at a hymn about God’s eternal purpose, consummating in New Jerusalem. This hymn was authored by Witness Lee. Here are words and music and a post, Who is Witness Lee?

Verse 1 of the hymn is an overview of God’s purpose and verse 2 speaks about creation.New Jerusalem

In Genesis 1:26 the Triune God said, “Let Us make man in Our image.” Man is in God’s image so that man can express God. However, even though man has the image, like a photograph, man still needs the life of God to be God’s living expression.

The created man was set in the garden of Eden with the tree of life (Gen. 2). But man fell into sin and was ejected from the garden (Gen. 3). Through the redemption accomplished by the death of Jesus and the life released in His resurrection, man can now be freed from sin and be born again.

Jesus Christ “the life” (John 14:6) is the reality of the tree of life to become our life. This life is not static, but is a continuous, eternal supply, seen in New Jerusalem as the “river of water of life” (Rev. 22:1) and “the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month” (22:2).

It is by this life that man can express God and thereby cooperate in accomplishing God’s purpose. Examples of the expression of God now are to magnify Christ (Phil. 1:20) and having an excellent manner of life among the unbelievers (1 Peter 2:12).

New Jerusalem, having the glory of God and light like a most precious stone (Rev. 21:11), is the eternal expression of God by means of His life in His redeemed humanity.

No Tree of Knowledge in New Jerusalem

A search asked, “is the tree of knowledge in the New Jerusalem?” The simple answer is NO.

Genesis 2:8-9 record God’s action: “Jehovah God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there He put the man whom He had formed. And 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 the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

New JerusalemGenesis 2:16-17 is a command: “And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may eat freely, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of it you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

The tree of knowledge is coupled with death and is in contrast to life, which is Christ Himself, pictured by the tree of life in the garden. By the time New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven (Rev. 21:2), death will have been banished to the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14).

There will be no death in New Jerusalem nor in the entire new creation. “Death will be no more” (Rev. 21:4). “Death has been swallowed up unto victory”—1 Corinthians 15:54 quoting Isaiah 25:8. In Christ is our victory!

Furthermore, the promises in Revelation 7:16-17, 21:4, and 21:3a show that not even precursors of death, such as hunger or pain, will be in the new creation.

In the Garden of Eden but not in New Jerusalem
Life or Death (plus links at the end of this)

Photo courtesy of US National Park Service.

New Jerusalem—Magnification of Christ

God created man in His own image (Gen. 1:26) so that man could contain and express God*. In the types in Genesis 2, man could receive God as His content by eating of the tree of life. Man fell and was shut out from the tree of life (Gen. 3). Later Jesus Christ came to redeem mankind and thereby reopen the way to Himself as the real tree of life.

New JerusalemNow, by believing in Jesus, man can receive God in Christ as his content. Gradually, God contained in us is expressed through us. This expression will intensify unto New Jerusalem.

The apostle Paul had a strong desire for this expression. He tells us his “earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death” (Phil 1:20).

In the apostle’s suffering in his body, Christ was magnified, i.e., shown or declared to be great (without limitation), exalted, and extolled. The apostle’s sufferings afforded him opportunity to express Christ in His unlimited greatness.**

For Paul, to magnify Christ was his earnest expectation and to not magnify Christ was to be put to shame. Lord, grant me the same “earnest expectation” You put in Paul.

If Christ can be magnified by one believer, how much richer and larger will His magnification be in New Jerusalem? Lord, fill me with the desire to magnify You now as a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

* See footnotes on Gen. 1:26 in The Holy Bible, Recovery Version.
** From footnote on Phil 1:20 in NT Recovery Version Online.
Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Divine-Human Romance thru the Bible

A recent post presented a song, “The Bible is a romance…God and His chosen people. God in Christ is the Bridegroom, His saints, the Bride, portrayed.”
The first portrait of this romance is Adam and Eve; the reality and consummation is
the bride, the wife of the Lamb…the holy city, Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:9-10).

New Jerusalem

Here are all the posts in this series on the divine-human romance, consummating in New Jerusalem, presented in the order of the books of the Bible:

Adam and Eve (Genesis 2) are a picture of Christ and the church in Ephesians 5.

The Triune God’s seeking a bride is portrayed by Abraham’s servant sent to obtain a bride for Isaac. (Genesis 24)

God wooed His people Israel and desired that they love Him. (Exodus) Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “You shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Boaz redeemed and married Ruth as a picture of the divine-human marriage. (Ruth)

Ruth’s seeking played a great role in her marriage to Boaz. May we be those who “follow the Lamb wherever He may go.” (Revelation 14:4)

The Lord is our Husband and Redeemer in Isaiah 54. He redeemed His people so that He could marry them.

He loves us with eternal love, draws us with His lovingkindness, and writes His new covenant in our hearts. (Jeremiah 31)

This marriage is of God, rooted in His righteousness, lovingkindness, compassions, and faithfulness. (Hosea)

The Lord Jesus is the Bridegroom—this is His word in the gospels. To prepare us to be His bride, we need Him as our new garment to be our righteousness and as our new wine to enliven us.

The Spirit fills us to burn brightly as we go to meet the Bridegroom. (Matthew 25)

We cooperate with the Spirit’s filling to be burning as we go forth. (Matthew 25)

We have been betrothed to our Husband, Christ. May we be kept single and pure for Him! (2 Corinthians 11)

Husband and wife in Ephesians 5:22-33 are strongly tied to the eternal Husband and wife. Verse 32: “This mystery is great, but I speak with regard to Christ and the church.”

Let us rejoice and exult…for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife, New Jerusalem, has made herself ready. (Revelation 19)

The Lamb’s wife made herself ready by receiving Him as our eternal righteousness and by living Him as our daily righteousness. (Revelation 19)

The holy city, New Jerusalem…a bride adorned for her husband. The eternal Husband is the Lamb, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. (Revelation 21)

The Spirit and the bride in oneness say, Come! in response to the Lord’s statement, I come quickly. (Revelation 22)

The Bible shows the love story of a universal couple. God loved us, sent His Son for propitiation, poured His love into our hearts, and caused us to love Him.

We respond to the Lord’s attraction. A song declares, “Jesus Lord, I’m captured by Your beauty…all my heart to You I open wide.”

Our Husband is loving and faithful. His word reveals much about this divine-human romance culminating in New Jerusalem. The progress of this romance depends on our response to Him. Lord Jesus, reveal Yourself and reveal this romance to me more every day. Lord, draw me to love You with my whole heart.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Gaining a Bride for Christ, An OT Picture

New JerusalemAdam and Eve are a picture of the Jesus Christ, the Lamb, and New Jerusalem “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:9-10). So are Boaz and Ruth. Another picture is Isaac and Rebekah.

In Genesis 24 Abraham sent his oldest servant to get a wife for Isaac (v. 1-9). The servant made the journey and had a long interaction with Rebekah’s family (v. 10-56). When asked, Rebekah gave a firm answer about going to Isaac (v. 57-58). (May we each have such a firm, unhesitant answer about going to Jesus.) Her family blessed her, she went with the servant (v. 59-65), Isaac received and loved her and she became Isaac’s wife (v. 66-67).

In the New Testament Abraham is called the father of all who are of faith (Romans 4:16). He is a figure (a picture) of God the Father. Isaac, his son, is a figure of Jesus, the Son of God, and the offering and return of Isaac (Genesis 22) is a picture of the death and resurrection of Jesus (Hebrews 11:17-19).

Although the Bible does not directly tell us, the servant is a figure of the Holy Spirit. The father sent the servant to find a wife, to give her something of Isaac’s riches, and to bring her to Isaac. Likewise, the Father sends the Spirit (John 14:26) to convict us (John 16:8-11), to declare to us the riches of Christ (16:12-15), and to strengthen us so that Christ may make home in our hearts and that we may be filled unto all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Here we see, in an Old Testament picture, the Triune God’s New Testament work to gain a bride for Christ. In this age the bride is the church (Ephesians 5) and in the future the bride is New Jerusalem (Revelation 21).

Photo by Josh Robbins, courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

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, the Wife of the Lamb

New Jerusalem, wife of the LambAs the consummation of all the Bible verses pointing to the eternal marriage, in Revelation 21:2 John says, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” In 21:9 an angel said to John, “Come here; I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And in 21:10 John says that the angel “showed me the holy city, Jerusalem.”

The Lamb is our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. In New Jerusalem He is the Husband, He and God are the temple (21:22), He is the Lamp through whom God’s glory is shining (21:23), and He and God are on the throne (22:3).

The city, New Jerusalem, is the bride and wife of Jesus Christ. It is a living city, composed of all God’s people throughout the ages. This corporate people is married to Him.

This marriage fulfills the picture of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2; the Lord’s word in Exodus 20; His words through Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Hosea; His speaking about Himself as the Bridegroom in the gospels; and the reality of the husband and wife in Ephesians 5.

Because New Jerusalem is the consummation of everything positive in the Bible, the characteristics of the city should (to some extent) be our experience today. The characteristics shown in the verses above are first, we take Him (the Lamb) as our Redeemer; because of His wonderful death, we can pray to receive forgiveness of sins from Him, and to thank Him for this forgiveness.

Second, He should be enthroned in our heart, or, as Ephesians 3 says, by prayer for the Spirit’s strengthening He can make home in our heart. Third, we should seek Him and come to Him daily as our temple. Fourth, we ask for His shining in us and through us. May the Lord keep us in His mercy that we may have these experiences as a foretaste of New Jerusalem as the wife of the Lamb.

Photo by Randy Roberts, courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.

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