Heavenly Jerusalem is on Earth from God

John was carried away in spirit onto a high mountain (Rev. 21:10). In this setting he was shown “the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.”

God wanted to show New Jerusalem to John, so He sent an angel to him (21:9) to invite John to come. John responded, was in his human spirit, was carried away to a great and high mountain, and saw the holy city, Jerusalem. This seeing was at first a repeat of Revelation 21:2, but in this seeing (v. 10) the vision continued (v. 11-21) to show John much more about New Jerusalem.

Here are the recent posts on 21:2 which correspond with the latter half of 21:10.
First, John saw the city:
New JerusalemJohn Saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem

This Jerusalem is holy because God is holy:
New Jerusalem is Holy with God’s Holiness

This Jerusalem signifies God’s kingdom:
New Jerusalem is the City of the Great King

The name Jerusalem means foundation of peace:
New Jerusalem is the Foundation of Peace

This Jerusalem has the heavenly nature:
New Jerusalem is Heavenly, On Earth

This Jerusalem has come out of heaven
and is on earth and is from God:
New Jerusalem is on Earth from God

Thank the Lord for all the wonderful characteristics of New Jerusalem!

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

On a High Mountain, See New Jerusalem

In Revelation 21:9 an angel called John to see the wife of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. In 21:10 John tells us that the same angel carried him away in spirit “onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem.”

To see something as marvelous as New Jerusalem, we must come to a high mountain. In contrast, an angel brought John to a wilderness to see the judgment on the great harlot.

In Exodus 24 Moses went to the top of a mountain to be with God and receive the vision of the tabernacle. And in Matthew 5–7 the Lord Jesus was on a mountain to speak the kingdom of the heavens to His disciples. It was also on a mountain that the Lord New Jerusalemappeared in glory to His three disciples.

To be on a mountain is to be above our daily living, to be out of ordinary affairs. Although we cannot stay on a mountain forever, we do need some experiences of being carried away and being on a mountain top.

Lord, bring us upward to see what You desire to reveal to us!

John recorded four experiences in Revelation of being in spirit for a heavenly revelation. The last of these four is here, seeing New Jerusalem. This is the conclusion of the four revelations and the consummation of the whole Bible. New Jerusalem is God’s goal and is our destiny.


More:
In Spirit on a Mountain for New Jerusalem
In Spirit on a Mountain, see New Jerusalem

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

John Saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem

In Revelation 21:1 there is a new heaven and a new earth. In 21:2 John says “And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

NewJerusalemVerse 2 begins with And because the bringing forth of the new heaven and new earth allow New Jerusalem to come out of heaven and be on earth.

John saw New Jerusalem almost two thousand years ago. He saw it because, in God’s eternal view, everything is complete. In Revelation John says 47 times “I saw”.

God is the Beginning and the End (Rev. 21:6). Whatever God purposes to do, He accomplishes. Unlike human endeavors, with God there is no uncertainty, no question about success. God already sees the finished product and we too will see it.

When we believe into the Lord Jesus Christ, we enter into a spiritual realm where everything is certain. Yes, in our human realm we do not see it, but we do believe God’s word; “faith is the substantiation/confidence/assurance…of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Gradually He is renewing us, working the eternal spiritual realities into us to become our constitution.

John saw New Jerusalem because he was in spirit and on a high mountain (Rev. 21:10), outside and above the natural human realm. We need the same experience. Lord, bring me in spirit onto a mountain to see New Jerusalem!

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

See the Kingdom Coming in Glory

One day the Lord Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, There are some of those standing here who shall by no means taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Matt. 16:28). How is this related to New Jerusalem? Simple; New Jerusalem is the ultimate manifestation of God’s kingdom, with the throne of God and the Lamb at its center.

The fulfillment of the Lord’s word is in Matthew 17:1-2, “And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain privately. And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as the light.”

New JerusalemThe Lord’s transfiguration was the release of glory from within Him. This was also His coming in His kingdom. This transfiguration was temporary. When they went down the mountain the glory was again concealed within Him.

The glory will again be manifested when the Lord Jesus returns visibly. In Luke 21:27 He says that men shaken by the tribulation “will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” And, “when the Son of Man comes in His glory…He will sit on the throne of His glory” (Matt 25:31).

Based on these verses, we should expect that God and the Lamb on the throne in New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1, 3) will radiating great glory.


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.

“And…And” Points to New Jerusalem

Many verses in Revelation 19—20 begin “And” linking praises, judgments, the marriage of the Lamb, His victories, and the kingdom with “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth….And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem” at the start of chapter 21.

New JerusalemThe way to see New Jerusalem is in 21:10: “And he [an angel] carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem.” And couples this with the angels having the last plagues (v. 9), indicating that the plagues are a base for brining in New Jerusalem.

The description of the city in 21:11-23 has multiple ands because the city is one whole entity. Verses 21:24-26 each begin And, showing that the nations around New Jerusalem are coupled to it although not integral parts of it.

But Revelation 21 is not complete; 22 begins ” And he showed me a river of water of life…” Then 22:2: “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life…” The description of the city in 21:11-23 is not complete without the life supply flowing from the throne brining us the tree of life with its fruits. The outcome of this life supply is described in 22:3-5, each of which begins “And.”

After the description of life in New Jerusalem we read, “And he [the angel] said to me, These words are faithful and true…” (v. 6). Then the Lord speaks “And behold, I come quickly.” (v. 7). The Lord’s second coming is not separate from New Jerusalem but rather is tied to it.

A few more verses begin with And, then Revelation concludes, ” The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.”

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Light of the World, A City (3)

The light and the city in Matthew 5:14 are linked to New Jerusalem. This verse also speaks of a city “upon a mountain.” This indicates a high position. We always put lights in high rather than low positions, so that light may reach everywhere. Our high position is in Christ. Ephesians 2:6 tells us that God “raised us up together with Him and seated us together with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.”

New JerusalemHebrews 12:18-24 contrasts attributes of the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament attributes are earthly but the New Testament attributes (both Heb. 12 and Eph. 2) are heavenly.

The first ‘New’ attribute is that we “have come forward to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” The heavenly Jerusalem is firstly associated with a mountain, which also is heavenly in nature. Our being the light of the world is not derived from any earthly position; it is a consequence of being in Christ and living one with Him.

The New Testament does not say that New Jerusalem is a city upon a mountain. Instead, by the time New Jerusalem comes down out of heave, the city and the mountain have become one, and New Jerusalem is itself the mountain. The angel “measured the city with the reed to a length of twelve thousand stadia; the length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.”

In summary, the light, the city, and the mountain all come out of the divine life in God’s people. The Lord spoke all of Matthew 5, including verse 14, to His disciples, and three times spoke of “our Father” (v. 16, 45, 48). As sons of the heavenly Father we are the light of the world and the city on a mountain. All of this culminates in New Jerusalem.

Photo by R. Robinson, courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Light of the World, A City

New JerusalemIn Matthew 5:14 the Lord Jesus told His disciples, ” You are the light of the world. It is impossible for a city situated upon a mountain to be hidden.” But how dies this relate to New Jerusalem? We will use a few posts to consider this, but one obvious link is the word “city.”

Here the Lord tells His disciples “You are the light of the world.” In John 8:12 and 9:5 He says, “I am the light of the world.” How can we be what He is? It is because when we can receive Him into our being, He becomes both life and light within us.

He is “the light of life” and we are born again with this life. Now we have Christ as our life and our light. We become “children of God” who can “walk as children of light” and “shine as luminaries in the world” (Phil. 2:15).

The Greek word φωστηρ translated “luminaries” in Philippians is used only one other place in the New Testament—”Her [New Jerusalem’s] light was like a most precious stone” (Rev. 21:11). New Jerusalem shines because Jesus Christ is the light infusing the entire city.

Revelation 21:23 tells us, “the glory of God illumined it [New Jerusalem], and its lamp is the Lamb.” Because the city is transparent (21:21), clear as crystal (21:11), the glory of God in the Lamb radiates through the city to the entire universe. In this way, New Jerusalem is the fulfillment of the Lord’s word in Matthew 5:14.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem, not in the Natural Realm

New JerusalemJohn saw New Jerusalem when an angel showed it to him and carried him away “in spirit onto a great and high mountain” (Rev. 21:9-10). The angel’s showing, in spirit, and on a high mountain, indicate that seeing New Jerusalem is not based on human capability, is not in the natural realm, and is not on an ordinary level.

New Jerusalem is the bride of Christ, the consummation of His work of redeeming, sanctifying, and glorifying all His believers (Eph. 5:25-27). Thus, we should not think of New Jerusalem as a physical city. To think about the Lord’s words in the physical realm is to repeat a recurring error. Here are examples of this error from John’s gospel.

• In 2:19 Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews were in the natural realm, thinking He spoke about the physical temple. But, He spoke about His body in resurrection.
• In 3:3-6 Jesus spoke about being born anew, being born of the Spirit. Nicodemus misunderstood, thinking about natural birth.
• In 4:10-14 Jesus spoke about living water but the Samaritan woman only could conceive of physical water.
• In 4:32-34 the Lord spoke about being nourished by doing the Father’s will but the disciples only thought about physical food.
• In 6:38, 42 the Lord spoke about coming out of heaven but the Jews could not get beyond their knowledge of His human family.

These examples (and more in the next post) show the futility of depending on our own knowledge and comprehension with divine things. To see and understand New Jerusalem we need to be out of our natural understanding. We need to ask the Lord to carry us away, to keep us in spirit, and to bring us the high mountain so that we may receive a revelation of New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

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.

 

The Son is the Brightness of God’s Glory, Both Now and in New Jerusalem

Hebrews 1:3 tells us that the Son of God, who is God (v. 8), is “the effulgence of His [God’s] glory.” This effulgence/radiance/brightness/brilliance° ‘is like the shining or the brightness of the light of the sun. The Son is the shining, the brightness, of the Father’s glory.’* This is true today and will be visible to all in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemRevelation 21:11 says that New Jerusalem came down “having the glory of God” and verse 23 says “the glory of God illumined” the city New Jerusalem.

With Hebrews and Revelation together, we realize that New Jerusalem has the glory of God because the Son is in New Jerusalem, and that the glory of God illuminates the city because God in the Son shines in it.

God’s glory radiating through Jesus was seen when He took three disciples up the mountain. Matthew 17:2, “He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as the light.” This was a foretaste of the glory of New Jerusalem.

The brilliance on the mountain was temporary but the Lord told us people “will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matt. 24:30). This will be His visible return to earth, preparing the way to New Jerusalem.

In Matthew 24:30, as well as 16:27 and 25:31, Jesus speaks of the Son of Man coming in glory. Hebrews speaks of the effulgence of the Son of God. Both are true because Jesus Christ is both Man and God.

The mountain, the Lord’s coming on the clouds, and New Jerusalem descending introduce three stages of the Son as the brightness of God’s glory.

° various translations, thanks to biblehub.com.
* from footnote on Heb. 1:3 in NT Recovery Version Online.
Photo via Good Free Photos.

 

A Cloud + God’s Voice: Heavenly Revelation

Moses went up to the top of the mountain, heard God’s call, entered into the cloud, and remained there. As a result he received a vision of the tabernacle, a precursor of New Jerusalem.

There are some New Testament records which to me have the same flavor. In Matthew 17 the Lord Jesus took Peter and James and John up to a high mountain privately (v. 1). “He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun” (v. 2). At that time there was a transient appearance of His glory but in New Jerusalem the glory will eternally illuminate the city (Rev. 21:23).

New JerusalemWhile Jesus shone with glory, Moses and Elijah also appeared to the three disciples (v. 3). Peter’s response was to make Moses and Elijah equal to Jesus (v. 4). But, “While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I have found My delight. Hear Him!” (v. 5).

Even on the mountain, privately, far from all earthly activities, Peter still needed a cloud to cut off his attention to Moses and Elijah. Are we any different?

After the word, “Hear Him!” the disciples fell down (v. 6). Jesus said “Arise, and do not be afraid. And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.” The cloud plus God’s speaking were effective!

We all need experiences equivalent to those of Moses and the three disciples so that we can see New Jerusalem. The temporal and physical circumstances will be different but the outcome will be a heavenly vision.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

On a Mountain, In a Cloud, New Jerusalem

Last month we concluded the posts on our spiritual journey to a high mountain to see New Jerusalem. This series touched both the Old Testament picture and the New Testament reality.

In the picture, both Exodus 24 and Exodus 34 speak of Moses being in a cloud. To be on a mountain in clear weather affords a great view. But God preferred a cloud. Exodus 24:15 to 25:1:

“Moses went up to the top of the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. And the glory of Jehovah settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud….And Moses entered into the midst of the cloud and went up on the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights. Then Jehovah spoke to Moses…”

Exodus 24-25In recent days I have been wondering if one purpose of the cloud is to block our view of things below so that all we can see are the heavenly things on the mountain.

The goal of going up is time in the presence of God. With Him it does not matter if we think the earthly scene is lovely or ugly, encouraging or depressing. The goal of going up is time with Him. For this, it is better to have no distractions—no list of daily chores, no work obligations, no internet, etc.*

Moses was in the cloud forty days—a period of testing. After this test, God began to speak with Him about offering materials for building the tabernacle, the forerunner of New Jerusalem as the eternal tabernacle (Rev. 21:3).

Moses heard the call and entered into the cloud. May we all hear the call to be with God and may we all be willing to enter a cloud, so that we can see nothing but Him. This is the route to the vision of New Jerusalem.

*We do need to care for our daily chores and human obligations but not during our time with 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, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by Living Stream Ministry.

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