New Jerusalem’s River Flows in its Street

Revelation 22:1 says that New Jerusalem has “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 21:21 says, “the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”

The golden street portrays the divine nature. To walk on this street, which is to walk according to the divine nature, we need to drink the Spirit who is the water of life. The more we drink, the more we are “bright as crystal,” constituted with “pure gold,” and become like “transparent glass.”

In Romans 6, through being identified with Christ in His death and resurrection, we “walk in newness of life” which is to be “in the likeness of His resurrection,” the likeness displayed by New Jerusalem. In Romans 7 the parallel is to “walk in newness of spirit.” This walk is on the golden street and enabled by the river of water of life, the Spirit.New Jerusalem

Stephen was an example of this. In Acts 6 he was a man “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” (v. 5), “full of grace and power” (v. 8), spoke with “wisdom and the Spirit” (v. 10), and under persecution his face had a heavenly appearance (v. 15). As he died, he lived out the forgiving pattern of the Lord Jesus (Luke 23:34) and “cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

He was a manifestation of the life of New Jerusalem empowered by the river of life, the Spirit.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Street of the City is Pure, Divine Gold

New JerusalemRevelation 21 tells us “the city [New Jerusalem] was pure gold, like clear glass” (v. 18) and “the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass” (v. 21).

Recent posts, Pure Gold and Divine, Eternal Gold, discuss the gold in verse 18. The gold in verse 21 is the same. It represents the divine nature, it is eternal, it is pure and transparent, and it is not physical gold.

Second Peter 1:3-4 says that God “has called us by His own glory and virtue, through which He has granted to us precious and exceedingly great promises that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature.” God’s glory is involved in calling us and bringing us all the way to the city of glory, New Jerusalem.

Through God’s calling and the precious promises He gave to us, we become partakers of the divine nature. By partaking we are constituted with this nature and we walk according to this nature, portrayed by the golden street of New Jerusalem.

This constitution is like clear glass and our walk is like transparent glass—nothing in darkness, nothing deceitful, nothing sneaky, nothing cloudy. We advance in this clearness and transparency by laying hold of the “precious and exceedingly great promises” to partake of more of the divine nature.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the wonderful promises in the Bible. Keep me feeding on them every day. Constitute me with Your divine nature and keep me walking in it all the way to New Jerusalem!

New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:9-20

Revelation 21:9-11: “Come here; I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.

Here are the recent posts from Revelation 21 with the main verse for each.

21:9, God’s Final Judgments, then New Jerusalem
21:9, The Bride, the Wife, New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem21:10, Carried Away in Spirit to See New Jerusalem
21:10, On a High Mountain, See New Jerusalem
21:10, Heavenly Jerusalem is on Earth from God

21:11, New Jerusalem Has the Glory of God
21:11, New Jerusalem’s Precious Light
21:11, New Jerusalem, Clear as Crystal

21:12, The Great and High Wall of New Jerusalem
21:12, New Jerusalem has a Wall with Twelve Gates
21:12, The City has 12 Gates, 12 Angels, 12 Names

21:13, We Enter by the Gates into New Jerusalem

21:14, New Jerusalem’s Wall has 12 Foundations

21:15, New Jerusalem is Divinity in Humanity

21:16, New Jerusalem is the Eternal Holy of Holies
21:16, Holy of Holies: Come Forward, Don’t Wait

21:17, The Eternally Perfect Wall of New Jerusalem

21:18, The Jasper Wall Expresses God                                               New Jerusalem
21:18, New Jerusalem is Pure Gold                                                       in Revelation
21:18, New Jerusalem is Divine, Eternal Gold                                          21:1-8

21:19-20, The Foundations of New Jerusalem’s Wall

Many older posts about Revelation 21:9-11.
Many older posts about Revelation 21:12-21.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Street of New Jerusalem is Transparent

Revelation 21:21 says of New Jerusalem “the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” The gold of New Jerusalem’s street is not physical but spiritual, signifying the divine nature.

New JerusalemThe Greek adjective translated transparent is only in this one verse in the NT. God’s purpose was hidden in past ages, but with God’s person nothing is opaque, nothing is cloudy. God’s being is pure, clear, and transparent. His goal, New Jerusalem, matches Him. New Jerusalem is Pure, Transparent, Bright

How do we become transparent to match New Jerusalem? A Greek verb related to the adjective transparent also occurs once, in 2 Peter 1:19, translated dawns or shines through. The whole verse is, “We have the prophetic word made more firm, to which you do well to give heed as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”

The world is certainly a dark place, and some parts of our being are still dark. Peter’s encouragement is that we give heed to the word of God. Because God’s word is life, it is also light. Thus, it is a shining lamp to penetrate our darkness, to shine through and make us transparent.

“The word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing…” (Heb. 4:12). Lord, keep us in Your living word day by day that You may shine through us and make us transparent.

Photo courtesy of NASA, JPL-Caltech, and U. of Arizona.

The Gold of New Jerusalem is Spiritual

When John saw New Jerusalem, “the city was pure gold, like clear glass” (Rev. 21:18). “And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass” (21:21). When we see these verses, we might think of natural gold. However, New Jerusalem is a spiritual entity, a city in resurrection. It is not built with physical gold.

“We ought not to suppose that what is divine is like gold or silver or stone, like an engraving of art and thought of man.” (Acts 17:29). Is New Jerusalem “divine”? Yes, it “comes down out of heaven from God” (Rev. 3:12; 21:2, 10). Therefore, we should not suppose that it is physical gold.

James 5:3 speaks of gold rusting, 1 Peter 1:7 says that gold perishes, and 1 Peter 1:18 likens gold to corruptible things. New Jerusalem is eternal and does not rust, perish, or get corrupted. These three verses make it clear that the gold of New Jerusalem is not physical.

Gold in Revelation 21 signifies the divine nature, which is the basic element of the city. Second Peter 1 speaks about God’s wonderful provisions for our Christian life. Verse 4 says, “He has granted to us precious and exceedingly great promises that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature.”

By prayer, singing, praising, calling on the Lord, and diligently receiving the living word of God (Eph. 6:17-18, Heb. 4:11-12), we partake of the divine nature. This makes us divinely golden, corresponding now with the eternal nature of New Jerusalem.

Being Perfected in Christian Life to Match New Jerusalem (2)

#NewJerusalemOur Christian life is a time for our growth and perfecting in this life so that we may match New Jerusalem.

In Luke 6 the Lord spoke quite a while about the proper living standard of His disciples. In verse 40 He said, “A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who has been perfected will be like his teacher.” He is indicating that He expects us to be perfected.

We must be perfected to match the perfection of New Jerusalem, but how? Part of the answer is in Matthew 5:48, “You therefore shall be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The divine life of our heavenly Father, growing in us, enables us to be perfected.

Similarly, the Lord prayed in John 17:23, “I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one…” He is “the life” and He is in all His believers. This is how we can be “perfected into one” and perfected in any other way. Thank You Lord that You have become our life to work in us and perfect us.

This perfection into one is also the oneness in Ephesians 4:13, the oneness of New Jerusalem. This eternal city has one throne, one street, one river, one light; it is the perfection of oneness, the final answer to the Lord’s prayer in John 17.

Second Corinthians 7:1: “Therefore since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and of spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Here it seems that we are doing the perfecting work. However, in ourselves we cannot do it, but “the fear of God” indicates our cooperation with Jesus Christ as the perfecting life in us. This perfecting causes us to match New Jerusalem, the holy city (Rev. 21:2, 10).

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

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.

New Jerusalem: Oneness in the Triune God

The prior post spoke of New Jerusalem as the ultimate answer to the Lord’s prayer for His glorification that He might glorify the Father (John 17:1-5). In John 17 the Lord also prayed for our oneness. New Jerusalem is also the ultimate answer to this aspect of the Lord’s prayer. He prayed:
• that they [all believers] may be one even as We [Triune God] are (v. 11)
• that they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us (v. 21)
• that they may be one, even as We are one (v. 22)
• I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one (v. 23)

New JerusalemThe Lord prayed for a perfected oneness, a oneness of the highest standard—the oneness of the Three of the Godhead. This is seen in the “even as” phrase of verses 11, 21, and 22 above. “They may be one even as We are.”

How is such oneness realized? The Lord’s prayer reveals how. This highest oneness is IN the Triune God—”they also may be in Us” (v. 21) and this highest oneness is by the Triune God IN us— “I in them, and You in Me” (v. 23).

New Jerusalem is the consummation of this oneness. The city has one river flowing in one street (Rev. 22:1) indicating one supply of life for walking in one way. This life supply is the Spirit (John 7:37-39) and Christ is the way (John 14:6).

New Jerusalem is one because the city is in the Triune God and the Triune God is in it. This is the enlargement of John 15:4, “Abide in Me and I in you.”
Where is New Jerusalem? The Triune God and 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.

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.

 

 

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