The New Testament Temple is Living (3)

The Old Testament had a physical temple in Jerusalem which persisted into the New Testament age. However, the individual Jesus was the reality of this temple; He was the living temple in John 2. In resurrection He brought all His believers into this reality, this living temple. Now, this temple is growing in the Lord (Eph. 2:20-21) to the maturity of New Jerusalem.

#NewJerusalemIn Revelation 3:12 the Lord promises, “He who overcomes, him I will make a pillar in the temple of My God.” This is another verse showing us that the New Testament temple is a living building. Here is one who not only is “being fitted together” in the temple but even becomes a vital component in the temple.

Besides the promise to make the over-comer a pillar, the Lord also promises to write on him the name of His God, the name of the city of His God, the New Jerusalem, and His new name. This shows that the believer who is fully built in is possessed by God, by New Jerusalem, and by the Lord.

Becoming a pillar and being possessed by the Triune God and New Jerusalem has a base in keeping “the word of My endurance” (Rev. 3:10). This is to be a “fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and endurance in Jesus” (Rev. 1:9). “In Jesus” is all we need. Let’s “hold fast” (3:11) all that we have in Him.

Verses in Revelation 7, 11, 14, 15, and 16 speak about the temple in heaven. This is clearly not an earthly, physical temple. Near the end of this age a new physical temple will be built in earthly Jerusalem. But it will not be eternal, for the Bible does not include it in the description of the new creation and New Jerusalem, where only the living temple will be present.

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

Kept in Oneness unto New Jerusalem

On the cross the Lord created two peoples—Jews and Gentiles— “in Himself into one new man, so making peace” (Eph. 2:15). This oneness consummates in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemIn John 17 the Lord Jesus prayed for the practical outworking of this oneness. His prayer includes three stages. The foundation for this prayer is in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one” because “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (14:10). The oneness is neither an outward association nor a mental agreement; this oneness is by mutual indwelling.

In John 17:11 Jesus asked the Father, “keep them [all His disciples] in Your name, which You have given to Me, that they may be one even as We are.” The oneness for which the Lord prayed is at the same standard and in the same manner as His oneness with the Father. This is the oneness which He longs for today and which will characterize New Jerusalem.

To be kept in the Father’s name is to be kept by His life, because only those who are born of the Father and have the Father’s life can participate in the Father’s name.* When we are kept in the Father’s divine life, we are one. This is how the new man, the Body of Christ, and New Jerusalem are one.

Father, keep me in Your name and in Your life day by day to be one with You and with all other Christians.

*An extract from note 2 on John 17:11 in The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, www.recoveryversion.org, © 2003 by Living Stream Ministry.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Nations Walk by New Jerusalem’s Light

Recent posts on parallels between Isaiah 60 and Revelation 21 mentioned the nations around New Jerusalem. These nations walk by the light of New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:24), bring their glory and honor into it (Rev. 21:26), and are healed by the leaves of the tree of life (Rev. 22:2).

New JerusalemWho are these nations? Let’s start by seeing who these nations are not. Revelation 21:24, 26, and 22:2 all use the plural nations. God’s people are not the nations. The Lord Jesus has purchased us for God, redeeming us “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9).

Because of the Lord’s redemption, we are out of, not in, the nations. Acts 15:14 says that God began in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10) “to take out from them [the nations] a people for His name.” In God’s eyes we are no longer called by the name of a nation (e.g. Canadian, Mexican, Japanese, German, Syrian, Nigerian, Brazilian, etc.). Rather, we are God’s people, called by His name, both now and in New Jerusalem.

Further, 1 Corinthians 10:32 speaks of Jews and Greeks and the church. These are three separate, distinct categories of people—God’s Old Testament people, one of the nations, and God’s New Testament people. Eventually, in New Jerusalem, God’s Old Testament and New Testament people will be combined.

When we believe into Christ, God brings us out of the nations and into Him. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:26-27). Being in Christ, and Christ living in us, is eternal. We are out of the nations and in Him both now and in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

 

The Triune God Written on Us

New JerusalemIn Revelation 14:1, 4 John tells us, “And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads….These are they who follow the Lamb wherever He may go.” The name of the Lamb and of the Father written on these believers is a key to their following the Lamb.

That these early overcomers have the name of the Lamb and the name of the Father written on their foreheads signifies that they are one with the Lamb and with the Father and that they belong to the Lamb and to the Father.*

The writing of God’s name on believers is also in Revelation 3:12 and 22:4. Verse 3:12 says, “He who overcomes, him I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall by no means go out anymore, and I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which descends out of heaven from My God, and My new name.”

That the name of God, the name of the New Jerusalem, and the Lord’s new name are written upon the overcomer indicates that the overcomer is possessed by God, by the New Jerusalem, and by the Lord; that God Himself, His city (the New Jerusalem), and the Lord Himself all belong to him; and that he is one with God, with the New Jerusalem, and with the Lord.*

Although Revelation 3:12 is specifically about the overcomers, verse 22:4 says of all who are part of New Jerusalem, “His name will be on their foreheads.” May we all pray, my Lord and my God, possess me, write Your name on me, and make me fully one with You and with New Jerusalem.

* These quotes are note 3 on Rev. 14:1 and part of note 3 on Rev. 3:12 in The NT Recovery Version Online, © 1997-2012 by LSM.

Related Posts:
God is Inscribed in Us
Inscribed with the Spirit

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and copyrighted 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 copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry.

 

The Triune God is Our Blessing in Revelation 22:3-5

In recent months the majority of my posts were on Revelation 22:3-5. Each post focused on one or two phrases from these verses. Now it is good to read the whole at one time:

And there will no longer be a curse. And the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His slaves will serve Him; and they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them; and they will reign forever and ever.

The word “and” is used frequently in these verses. It seems to indicate that these are not separate blessings but rather aspects of the top and unique blessing—no separation of any kind between us and the Triune God.

New Jerusalem

In review, here are each of the phrases from Revelation 22:3-5 with a link to one post on each phrase.

And there will no longer be a curse.
Receive the Promise of the Spirit

And the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it,
The Throne of God and the Lamb

and His slaves will serve Him;
God’s Slaves Serve in New Jerusalem

and they will see His face,
We See the Face of God and the Lamb

and His name will be on their foreheads.
The Name of God and the Lamb

And night will be no more;
New Jerusalem: Night Will Be No More!

and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun for the Lord God will shine upon them;
The Lord God Shines in New Jerusalem

and they will reign forever and ever.
We Will Reign Forever in New Jerusalem

We can never sufficiently thank and appreciate our wonderful God for all that He is to us. Thank Him! Praise Him!

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Kingdom and the Reigning

New JerusalemIn New Jerusalem we will serve God and the Lamb, see His face, His name will be on us, the Lord God will shine on us, and we will reign forever (Revelation 22:3-5). Our reigning comes out of our current participation in His kingdom.

Revelation 1:5-6 tells us that Jesus Christ “loves us and has released us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father.” Jesus Christ made us a kingdom, the Father transferred us into this kingdom (Colossians 1:12-13), and the Spirit regenerates us into this kingdom (John 3:3-6).

We are in the kingdom through the operation of the divine Trinity. Now, our living in this kingdom is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Righteousness denotes that which is right and proper. Those who live in the kingdom of God should be right and proper toward others, toward things, and toward God….Peace is the fruit of righteousness (Heb. 12:11 and note)….If we are righteous, right, and proper toward others, toward things, and toward God, we will have a peaceful relationship with others and with God. Thus, we will have joy in the Holy Spirit and, in particular, before God. In this way we will be filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:52) and will live out righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, which are the reality of the kingdom of God.*

John, despite tribulation in his exile on the island of Patmos, was a person living in the kingdom (Revelation 1:9). We too, regardless of outward circumstances, can live in the reality of the kingdom while waiting for the public manifestation of the kingdom (Revelation 11:15) which will bring forth New Jerusalem.

* From the note on Romans 14:17, The NT Recovery Version Online, © 1997-2012 by LSM.

Photo of Montana by Dr. David Goodrich, courtesy of NOAA/U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

God is Inscribed in Us

The Spirit gives lifeRevelation 22:3-4 tells us that “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it [New Jerusalem], and His slaves will serve Him; and they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.” Since His name on us is a spiritual writing, I looked for other verses about spiritual writing in/on believers. Here are verses I found*.

“You are our letter, inscribed in our hearts, known and read by all men, since you are being manifested that you are a letter of Christ ministered by us, inscribed not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tablets of stone but in tablets of hearts of flesh.” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)
“This is the covenant which I will covenant with them after those days, says the Lord: I will impart My laws upon their hearts, and upon their mind I will inscribe them.” (Hebrews 10:16**)

In 2 Corinthians the Lord’s writing is in our hearts. The “ink” of His writing is the Spirit, the Spirit who gives us life (2 Corinthians 3:6). The Spirit firstly gave us life in our regeneration. Now the Spirit bountifully supplies us with life (Philippians 1:19) for our daily Christian living and this supplying also inscribes something of God into our hearts.

In Hebrews the Lord’s writing is no longer on stone tablets outside of us as in the Old Testament. His laws are imparted into and inscribed upon our inner being. These laws are the many aspects of the law of the divine life, the life that we received in our regeneration. The operation of the divine law within us inscribes upon us and also governs our living to be one with Christ.

The more this inscribing takes place, the more we express Christ in our living. Eventually the inscribing will be completed, we all will manifest Him in full, His name will be visible on each one of us, and we will be face to face with Him in New Jerusalem.

* Revelation 3:12 says the Lord will write on us. This verse uses the common Greek word for “write,” the word used dozens of times for the writing of the Old and New Testaments. The Greek words in 2 Cor. 3 and Heb. 10 are variants of this common word, intensified by addition of a prefix.

** Hebrews 8:10 reads like 10:16. Chapter 8 might be specifically for Israel but chapter 10 clearly speaks of Christ as our unique offering and His sanctifying of us, so the imparting and inscribing in 10:16 definitely applies to us.

The Name is the Person

Revelation 22:3-4 says about New Jerusalem, “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His slaves will serve Him; and they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.”

New JerusalemThe name label in the graphic is NOT the meaning of Revelation 22:4. “His name” is NOT something temporary and external placed upon us. To repeat my prior post, His name written on us proclaims that we belong to Him and that we are one with Him.

In the Bible a name is closely tied to the person. This is most strongly true for God. Here are some examples.
  Acts 1:15 speaks of “a group of persons gathered together” yet the word sometimes translated “people” or “persons” is literally “names,” the latter being used in several translations (see here).
  Mark 13:9 says, “before governors and kings you will stand for My sake” and the parallel in Luke 21:12 says, “before kings and governors for the sake of My name.”
  Romans 10:12-13 tells us, “the same Lord is Lord of all and rich to all who call upon Him; for ‘whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”
  1 John 5:10, 13 is written to “he who believes into the Son of God” and “you who believe into the name of the Son of God.”

To have the name of God and the Lamb on our foreheads is an evidence that we are one with Him in life. As Christians we should be able to say with Paul, “for me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). We can begin every day telling Him, Lord, thank You that today is another time to live one with You. We can also eat Christ, the living Word of God, as our nourishment that we may living Him (John 1:14; 6:51, 57). Every day now we seek to live Christ and in New Jerusalem we unquestionably will live Him to the fullest.

The Name of God and the Lamb

God and the Lamb in New JerusalemJohn says about New Jerusalem, “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His slaves will serve Him; and they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:3-4). “His name” refers to the name of God and of the Lamb. This is the same as Matthew 28:19, “the name [singular] of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” both verses showing the Triune God as three in person but one in essence (one name).

In Revelation 22:4 His name is on us and in verse 3 we are His slaves and beholding His face. His name written on us proclaims that we belong to Him and that we are one with Him. To belong to the Triune God reflects our status as slaves and to be one with the Triune God reflects our beholding His face, living in fellowship with Him.

It seems that His name is on our foreheads because that is a prominent location. It is the same location where the Israelites are sealed (Revelation 7:3-4), where the followers of the beast are marked (13:16-17), and where the overcomers on Mount Zion have God’s name  (14:1). May the name of God and of the Lamb be prominent upon us!

In Revelation 3:12, the Lord tells us that He will write on the overcomers the name of God, the name of New Jerusalem, and His name. This shows us that His writing on us is not limited to eternity but is something He wants to accomplish now. We can pray,

Lord, thank You for dying to purchase me for God. I am Yours. Make me fully one with You and the Father in my daily living. Write Your name more on me and write it more prominently on me. May I realize more that I belong to You and may everyone who meets me see that I belong to You.

Related Posts:
The Triune God in Revelation 22
We See the Face of God and the Lamb

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