God in Christ Shines via New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is pure: “the city was pure gold, like clear glass” (Rev. 21:18); “the street of the city was pure gold” (21:21); “bright and pure” (Rev. 19:8). These are the four occurrences of one Greek word in the description of New Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:21 has the unique New Testament occurrence of a Greek word with related meaning. “The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” New Jerusalem is not only pure; the city is transparent.

We can grasp the sense of this transparency by looking at four related Greek words*, each of which occurs only once in the New Testament.
• We give heed to the Lord’s word, “as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). The sense is light breaking through the darkness.
• Satan has blinded people, “that the illumination of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine on them” (2 Cor. 4:4). God wants to shine into people to save them from Satanic darkness.
• In Troas, Paul spoke, “until daybreak” (Acts 20:11). Again, light shining to replace darkness.
• The Son of God is “the effulgence of His glory” (Heb. 1:3). The effulgence/radiance/ brightness/brilliance° is not a thing, it is the Person.

My summary: New Jerusalem is pure and transparent so that God’s glory in Christ may brilliantly shine through the city to testify that all darkness has been displaced. Revelation 21:23: “the glory of God illumined New Jerusalem, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

*The main Greek word is διαυγής; others, in order shown, are διαυγάζω, αυγάζω, απαύγασμα, αυγή
°Various translations, thanks to biblehub.com
Image courtesy of pixabay.com.

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. Besides this New Testament, many books published by Living Stream may be read online.

Pictures of New Jerusalem in Exodus

Revelation 21:16 says, “he [an angel] measured the city [New Jerusalem] with the reed to a length of twelve thousand stadia; the length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.” The equal dimensions declare that New Jerusalem is a cube, and in the Bible a cube is the holy of holies (or holiest of all or most holy place).

New JerusalemThe holy of holies in the tabernacle is first mentioned in Exodus 26:31-34; it was separated from the holy place by the veil. It contained the ark of the testimony with its expiation cover and two cherubim.

The ark was “the ark of the testimony” because the testimony was put into it (Ex. 25:16). Jesus Christ is the reality of the testimony; He is the one who testifies and displays all that God is. In the Old Testament picture the testimony was in the ark in the holy of holies; in the New Testament the testimony is in Jesus Christ who is the center of New Jerusalem, the eternal holy of holies.

The expiation cover of the ark was sprinkled with blood of offerings (Lev. 16:14-15). The Lord Jesus is the reality of these offerings (Heb. 10:5-10) for us now. He is also the Lamb on the throne in New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1), our eternal Redeemer and Redemption.

Above the expiation cover were “the cherubim of glory” (Ex. 25:18-20, Heb. 9:5). This is another part of the holy of holies as a picture of New Jerusalem, the city of glory. Also, the gold of the ark, the expiation cover, and the cherubim all portray the gold of New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:18, 21).

The Lord said to Moses, “I will meet with you and I will speak with you” there—above the expiation cover and between the cherubim. This is a picture of God’s eternal meeting and speaking with His people in New Jerusalem.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com.

Aspects of the Christian Life and Church Life Seen in the New Jerusalem

In April there was an international meeting of Christians with the subject, Aspects of the Christian Life and Church Life Seen in the New Jerusalem. Following that time, the eight messages became the basis for eight weeks of a book with daily verses and reading portions. Daily enjoyment from those portions was posted by Stefan at A Normal Believer in Christ.

I encourage you to look at Stefan’s overview, which has a one line summary/link for each day of the eight weeks. Here are the titles of the eight messages, which are also the subjects of the eight weeks in the book, along with a link to one of his daily portions:

The Throne of God and of the Lamb, the River of Water of Life, and the Tree of Life
Whenever we Enthrone God in our Being, we Enjoy the Flow of Water of Life Within us!

The City and the Bride
Experiencing the New Jerusalem as a City Representing the Kingdom of God Today

The Pearl Gates and the Golden Street
Being Conformed to Christ’s Death by the Power of His Resurrection for the New Jerusalem

The Fellowship of Life
The Fellowship of Life is the Flow of Life with the Supply of Life in the Believers

The Intrinsic Significance of the Name New Jerusalem and the Dimensions of the Holy City
Being Renewed Day-by-Day and Being Constituted with Christ for the New Jerusalem

The Lamb as the Lamp with God as the Light
Living and Walking in the Light Today – a Foretaste of the Light in New Jerusalem

The Triune God as our Constitution, Existence, Enjoyment, Living, and Expression
Partaking of and Living According to the Divine Nature, the Base of Gold in the New Jerusalem

Having the Glory of God
Christ is Coming to be Glorified in His Saints: He is in us as the Hope of Glory!

Stefan – thank you for presenting this to all of us!

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

God Shines through New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem

Revelation 21 and 22 give us a description of New Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:23 says, “The city 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.” Christ is the city’s lamp with God as the light in Him. Christ, the Lamb, is the lamp, and in Him is God as the light. Here we see the Lamb as the One who holds God within Him as light because the Lamb is the lamp, and God is the light in the lamp. This indicates that Christ as the overcoming Redeemer holds God within Him. This is the ultimate consummation of the Lamb.°

In 1 John 1:5 we read that “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” Because God in Christ is the light of New Jerusalem, in New Jerusalem there is no darkness. Nothing in the city is opaque or cloudy. Everything about New Jerusalem is pure, clear, and transparent. Therefore, God’s shining touches and shines through every part of the city.

Revelation 21:21 says, “the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” The Greek adjective translated “transparent,” which is used only here in the New Testament, is related to a verb meaning “to shine through.” Everything about New Jerusalem is transparent. Therefore, God’s shining reaches, touches, and shines through every part of the city.

° This is an excerpt from the volumes Experiencing, Enjoying, and Expressing Christ by Witness Lee, © LSM. See message 431 in online reading.

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

 

Looking Away to Jesus, We Run to the Goal

New JerusalemThe street of New Jerusalem is “pure gold, like transparent glass” (Revelation 21:21). The pure gold street portrays a walk according to the divine nature. In God’s salvation we become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), so we can walk on the golden street now.

Our Christian walk today, a walk in Christ Jesus the Lord (Colossians 2:6), is also a race. Race means that we are not on a casual stroll but on a walk that requires diligence and effort. Our effort is to cooperate with the indwelling Christ to let Him live/walk/run through us. Hebrews 12:1-2 says:

Let us…put away every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and run with endurance the race which is set before us, looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

Endurance is needed now because of the encumbrances and the sin; weights which will no longer drag us down in New Jerusalem. We overcome (put away) these weights by looking away from them to Jesus. Our putting away by looking away matches 2 Corinthians 3:16-17: whenever our heart turns to the Lord, there is freedom.

Our putting away by looking away also parallels Philippians 3. We are not yet perfected (v. 12) but, forgetting the things which are behind and stretching toward the things before we pursue toward the goal (v. 13-14). This is the opposite of John 6:66 where many disciples left Jesus and went back to the things they had left behind.

The ultimate goal of all our running and pursuing is New Jerusalem. May we be willing to forget everything behind, pursue walking in Jesus Christ now, and stretch toward the greater enjoyment of Jesus Christ in all that is before us unto New Jerusalem.

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

song about running the race by looking to Jesus:
There’s a race for us to run—Hallelujah,
__And a way for us the race to win.
To all those who have begun—Hallelujah,
__God has spoken, “Look away to Him!”
___Look away! O look away!
___Look to Jesus now today!
___Look away from everything unto Jesus,
____Look away from everything to Him!

Our Christian Walk and the Golden Street

Revelation 21:21, speaking about New Jerusalem, says “the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” How we walk should match where we walk, so let us look at what the New Testament says about our Christian walk.

The catalyst for this post is Colossians 2:6 “As therefore you have received the Christ, Jesus the Lord, walk in Him.” During the years of His earthly ministry recorded in the gospels, the disciples walked with Jesus. Now, in the time of His resurrection, we walk in Him.

New JerusalemHere are various aspects our walk (including our actions and our speaking) in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We walk by the Spirit and according to the spirit (Romans 8:4, Galatians 5:16).
We walk in newness of life. This is the eternal life we received when we “received the Christ, Jesus the Lord.”
We walk in the light as children of light (1 John 1:7, Ephesians 5:8). This is the light of life in John 1:4, which we often realize in our conscience either guiding us or convicting us of a failure in our walk.
We also have a walk in truth (2 John 4, 3 John 3). The real truth is Jesus Himself, as He told us in John 14:6. Our walk in truth is our walk in Him.
Furthermore, we walk in love (Romans 14:15). Because we love God, His love abides in us and is manifested through us to others in our daily walk.

Our walk is by faith, not by appearance (2 Corinthians 5:7). Faith joins us to the resurrected Lord that we may be supplied by Him with life, light, truth, and love. As a result He is magnified in our daily walk. This is the kind of walk which matches the golden street of New Jerusalem.

Related posts:__ We Have the Life Supply for the NT Building
Our Walk on the Golden Street of New Jerusalem Begins at Regeneration

Photo courtesy of NOAA and the Salt Lake City Weather Service Forecast Office.

Jesus Opened the Pearl Gates, Let’s Enter!

New JerusalemRevelation 21:12-3 and 21 describe the city of New Jerusalem, saying, “It had a great and high wall and had twelve gates….the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was, respectively, of one pearl.” These gates are our entrance into the city. They are not physical pearls but rather portray the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, through which we are brought into the new creation and enter New Jerusalem. As He said in John 14:6, “I am the way.”
Here is a list of prior posts on this topic (verse numbers are in Revelation 21).

New Jerusalem is Much More Precious
New Jerusalem is Built with the Triune God
In New Jerusalem the golden base and street (v. 18, 21) signify the Father’s divine nature, the pearl gates (v. 12) portray the Son’s death and resurrection, and the precious stones (v. 18-20) depict the transforming work of the Holy spirit. The composition of the city is the Triune God mingled with God’s people.

Three Gates on Each of Four Sides
New Jerusalem has twelve gates (v. 12-13, 21). The three gates on each side show that the Triune God is our entrance. Gates on four sides proclaim that the city is open to all humanity.

The Unmeasured Gates
Revelation 21 does not record the measurement for the gates of New Jerusalem. This probably indicates that Christ’s death and resurrection have unlimited (immeasurable) efficacy.

The Law’s Requirements at the Gates
A Living that Fulfills the Law’s Requirements
The entrance to New Jerusalem is guarded by the law, signified by the angels at the gates (v. 12). Whoever enters New Jerusalem must satisfy the law’s requirements. In ourselves we can never satisfy the law, but Christ has done it for us!

Gates of Pearl
The Twelve Gates are Twelve Pearls
We Enter through Faith, not Works
The pearls (v. 21) portray the death and resurrection of Christ. Through faith and baptism we are united with Him in His death and resurrection; this is our entrance into New Jerusalem.

The Entrance into New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem Has a Separating Wall and Open Gates
New Jerusalem has a great and high wall (v. 12) for separation and it has twelve gates for its entrance. Sinners are kept out by the wall but by faith we enter through the redeeming death and life-imparting resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Enter New Jerusalem Now
Our receiving of the crucified and resurrected Jesus is our entering into New Jerusalem. Through His death all the negative things that would keep us out of the city have been removed. Through His resurrection we receive the eternal life, the life (v. 22:1-2) of New Jerusalem.

We Have the Way, Let’s Enter In
Jesus is our way, our reality, and our life. His coming to abide in us and bringing us to abide in Him is our way to New Jerusalem. We should not look for a way apart from Jesus Himself.

We Who Wash, Eat, and Enter Are Blessed
Revelation 22:14 declares “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.” Three steps are presented: we wash by confessing our sins, we receive Jesus as our life supply, and we enter New Jerusalem.

Into God’s Kingdom for New Jerusalem
God the Father “delivered us out of the authority of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:12-13). This transfer from the authority of Satan to the authority of God is the basis for our entering New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

New Jerusalem is Much More Precious

New JerusalemRecent posts have presented God’s New Testament building. The Lord Jesus is the builder and the cornerstone in whom all the building is fitted together. This building work is in the spiritual realm, it depends on the growth of eternal life in each member, and it is in love. 

God’s building work from Matthew to Jude is in spirit with the Triune God as its essence. It is not in the natural realm with physical materials. The physical items (such as milk, water, plants, gold, silver in 1 Corinthians 3) are symbols of the spiritual realities.

New Jerusalem is the consummation of the New Testament building. As such a consummation, it is spiritual rather than material.

The city was pure gold, like clear glass. (Revelation 21:18)
The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. (21:21)

This gold signifies God’s divine nature, in which is nothing cloudy or opaque. We are in a city constituted with the divine nature and we walk and live in this nature, not in our fallen, sinful nature. This is much more precious than to be surrounded by physical gold.

The twelve gates were twelve pearls. (Revelation 21:21)

The pearls signify the death and resurrection of Christ as our entrance into the city. By believing into Him we are united with Him and thereby taken out of the old, fallen creation and made a new creation in Him. This is much more precious than to walk through a gate of physical pearl.

The building work of its wall was jasper. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every precious stone. (Revelation 21:18, 19)

Precious stones signify transformation. (Example: carbon being changed into diamond.) The precious stones in New Jerusalem signify the transforming work of the Spirit in God’s people. To be transformed to the image of Christ is much more precious than to be enclosed by a wall of physical jewels.

The Triune God is the essence of New Jerusalem. In the city we and God are mingled for eternity. This is much more precious than living near material riches.

Related posts:
The Golden Street of New Jerusalem is the Divine Nature
The One Street of New Jerusalem
Gates of Pearl
The Twelve Gates are Twelve Pearls
Precious Stones for New Jerusalem
Transformation Produces Precious Stones
The Triune God Seen in New Jerusalem
Gold, Pearls, and Precious Stones

The Triune God Seen in New Jerusalem

Here is a brief excerpt from Experiencing, Enjoying, and Expressing Christ by Witness Lee (details). This may be read online by selecting volume 26 in this list. This excerpt shows the Triune God portrayed in three aspects of New Jerusalem.

God the Father is the gold as the base, God the Son is the gates to bring people in, and God the Spirit transforms people to express God.

New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:18b “the city was pure gold, like clear glass.” God the Father, whose divine nature is symbolized by gold, is the solid base. Without Him we are on shifting sand.

Revelation 21:12a “It had a great and high wall and had twelve gates.” New Jerusalem has a separating wall and also open gates. God the Son, through His death and resurrection, is our entrance. Remember John 14:6b—“no one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Revelation 21:11 describes the city as “having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.” And 21:18a and 19a tell us, “the building work of its wall was jasper….The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every precious stone…” God the Spirit transforms us from men of clay to precious stones that we may shine with the glory of God (2 Corinthians 3:18).

This chorus of a hymn (words, music) is also a good prayer for us.
___Lord, transform us to Thine image
_____In emotion, mind, and will;
___Saturate us with Thy Spirit,
_____All our being wholly fill.

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