Our Spirit, God’s Kingdom, New Jerusalem

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens
(Matt. 5:3). 

God created the heavens, the earth, and the spirit of man (Zech. 12:1). This human spirit, the center of our being, is made alive by the Spirit in regeneration (John 3:6). Our spirit is also the receptor of the Lord’s grace, as in Galatians 6:18, Philippians 4:23, and Philemon 25.

To be poor in spirit is not only to be humble, but also to be emptied in our spirit, in the depth of our being, not holding on to the old things….We need to be poor, emptied, unloaded, in this part of our being so that we may realize and possess the kingdom of the heavens. This implies that the kingdom of the heavens is a spiritual matter, not a material one.*

New JerusalemThe opposite of being “poor in spirit” is seen in the Lord’s warning to the church in Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22). They said they were rich and had need of nothing but the Lord told them they were wretched, poor, and blind.

How does this relate to New Jerusalem? As stated above, in Matthew 5 the kingdom is a spiritual matter. Thus the ultimate stage of the kingdom, New Jerusalem, is also spiritual, not physical.

Therefore we must be poor/humble/ emptied in spirit to see more of God’s kingdom both today and with New Jerusalem.

* Life-Study of Matthew by Witness Lee, chap. 13

New Jerusalem: Dwelling Place of God

Genesis 2:9 – “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.”

Revelation 22:2 –  “on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”

The dwelling place God prepared for man in the beginning was called the garden of Eden, and the one at the end is called the New Jerusalem. Eden means “pleasure.” Therefore, the garden of Eden was a paradise. The dwelling place at the end of the Bible—the New Jerusalem—is also a paradise. The paradise in Genesis 2 has the tree of life in it. Revelation 22 shows that the New Jerusalem also has the tree of life in it. Thus, the paradise in Genesis 2 is the New Jerusalem in Revelation 22.*

New JerusalemThere are many commonalities between the garden of Eden and New Jerusalem. The garden was and New Jerusalem will be the mutual dwelling place of God and His people. Today the reality of these two is our human spirit enlivened by the Spirit. In Christ Jesus we “are being built together into a dwell-ing place of God in spirit” (Eph. 2:22).

New Jerusalem will be the consummation of the building work in this age.

* This is the first of a series of posts with excerpts from The Way for a Christian to Mature in Life, chapter 3, Witness Lee, © LSM.

No Corruption in New Jerusalem (2)

There is no corruption in New Jerusalem because it is a city fully constituted with resurrection life.

This life is Jesus Christ Himself— “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Today He is our life. He “nullified death and brought life and incorruption to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10). When we it we are “regenerated not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible seed, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).

New JerusalemRegeneration puts us on the path to the incorruptible New Jerusalem. We were regenerated through the resurrection “unto an inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, kept in the heavens for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).

This life will not fully swallow up the corruption in us until the Lord returns and transfigures our mortal bodies. However, this life operates today to save us from the effects of corruption. Our cooperation with this involves our human spirit mingled with the Spirit.

Ephesians 4:22-24, “That you put off, as regards your former manner of life, the old man, which is being corrupted according to the lusts of the deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new man….” In baptism we put off and put on
positionally but in our experience we need to exercise to be renewed every day to apply the positional fact.

This renewing saves us practically from the corrupted old man and makes us new to match incorruptible New Jerusalem.

Our Human Spirit is for New Jerusalem

New JerusalemZechariah 12:1 speaks of Jehovah “who stretches forth the heavens and
lays the foundations of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him.” This is the beginning of God’s work of creation and the beginning of man.

Revelation 21:1-2 says, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth….And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” This is the conclusion of God’s work.

All God’s building work in the New Testament, consummating with New Jerusalem, is spiritual. Therefore our human spirit is important.

The holy city New Jerusalem is the ultimate consummation of the work for God’s new creation out of God’s old creation through all the four ages of man’s history (the age before the law, the age of law, the age of grace, and the age of the kingdom), from God’s making the spirit for man and putting man in front of the tree of life to the accomplishment of this city for the good pleasure of His will, which is the intent of His eternal economy. God’s new creation is made out of the old creation through four ages. This work began from God’s creating man with a spirit and putting him before the tree of life and ends with the New Jerusalem.*

The coupling of heaven, earth, and the spirit of man in Zechariah indicates the importance of our human spirit. With our spirit we contact the Spirit. In regeneration our spirit is born of the Spirit (John 3:6). Our spirit receives the Spirit who is life (John 6:63, 2 Cor. 3:6). This is the life that grows in us and builds us into Christ’s Body, so our human spirit is a central part of our journey to New Jerusalem in the new creation.

* The Ten Great Critical ‘Ones’ for the Building Up of the Body of Christ, chapter 6, by Witness Lee, © LSM.

The Supply of Life in New Jerusalem

Revelation 22:1-2 tells us 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 on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”

The tree of life grows in the river of life, and the river of life that flows out of the throne reaches every part of the city. Every part of the city receives the life supply because the tree of life grows in the river and the river reaches every part of the city. The tree of life, as a vine, grows on both sides of the river, following the flow of the river. Wherever the river flows, the tree of life grows. The supply of life is in the flow of life. This is a picture of God’s dispensing. Christ as the tree of life is the life supply available along the flow of the Spirit as the water of life. Where the Spirit flows, there the life supply of Christ is found.*

New JerusalemThe tree portrays Christ, who is the Life. Hence, there is only one tree. It grows on both sides of the river as the vine of life. This is John 15:5, “I am the vine.”

This life comes to us as the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45) who is one with our human spirit as in Romans 8:16. Christ as the Spirit is in us and our human spirit is life (Rom. 8:10). It is here that we receive the river of life now, experiencing the foretaste of its flow in New Jerusalem.

The Conclusion of the New Testament, chapter 20, by Witness Lee, © LSM.


Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

We Serve as Priests, Now & New Jerusalem

Revelation 22:3 is part of the description of life in New Jerusalem. “And the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His slaves will serve Him.” Here “serve” means “serve as priests.”

New JerusalemThrough the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, God purchased us. We “were bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20). Thus, we are God’s slaves, both now and in New Jerusalem. As His slaves we serve Him as priests.

The first NT mention of this serving is the Lord’s speaking to Satan in Matthew 4:10 (quoting Deut. 6:13), “Then Jesus said to him, Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.'”

In Romans 1:9 Paul tells us, “God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of His Son.” His serving in the gospel was a foretaste of his (and our) serving in New Jerusalem. Paul served “in spirit,” that is, by a living in his human spirit. (In John 4:23-24 our worship, tied to our service in Matthew 4, should also be in spirit.)

We all were bought by God to “serve by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). Being trained by the Spirit to serve today prepares us for our eternal serving in New Jerusalem.


To serve as a priest does not involve seminary or ordination or special robes. It depends on regeneration with a life of loving God, receiving fellowship from Him, and offering thanksgiving and praise to Him.

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.

Carried Away in Spirit to See New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRevelation 21:10 says, “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.”

in Revelation 21:9 an angel spoke to John and said, “Come here; I will show you…” Clearly, John responded to the invitation to come and he was “carried away” by the angel. This carrying away was not in the physical realm but “in spirit.”

In Revelation John was “in spirit” four times (Rev. 1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10). First, he heard and saw the Lord Jesus and received His words to the seven churches (chap. 1–3). Second, John saw God’s throne in heaven, the Lamb opening the seven seals, and all God’s judgments upon the earth and unrepentant people on it (chap. 4–16). Third, he saw Babylon and God’s final judgments (chap. 17-20). Finally he saw New Jerusalem at the center of new earth (chap. 21–22).

John was “carried me away in spirit.” This is his human spirit. Our human spirit is the deepest part of our being, hidden within our soul and body (1 Thes. 5:23). Some verses which refer specifically to our human spirit are Romans 1:9, 1 Corinthians 16:18, 2 Corinthians 2:13, and Galatians 6:18.

Our spirit is not alone. The divine Spirit has regenerated our human spirit and is now one with it (Rom. 8:16). We are one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17).

To see New Jerusalem, our spirit is the most important part of our being. Lord, grant me more time in spirit to see and partake of all Your spiritual realities.

More: In Spirit to See and Enter New Jerusalem

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Sonship for New Jerusalem (2)

God has chosen and predestinated us unto sonship according to the good pleasure of His will (Eph. 1:4-5). Then verse 6 says that this is “to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He graced us in the Beloved.” God’s choosing, predestinating, good pleasure, His will, His grace, and the praise of His glory all climax in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemGod’s choosing and predestinating are eternal, but man fell into sin and death and was under the condemnation of the law. We could not do anything but “God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law, that He might redeem those under law that we might receive the sonship” (Gal. 4:4-5).

Through the death of Jesus Christ we were redeemed and through His resurrection we were regenerated (1 Peter 1:3) and “receive the sonship.” Redemption is needed for fallen humanity but life brings forth the praise of His glory now and in New Jerusalem.

For this sonship, Romans 8:15 tells us that we “have received a spirit of sonship in which we cry, Abba, Father!” This is the divine Spirit who gives birth to our human spirit and then dwells in our human spirit. In this spirit we have the reality of sonship. To cry “Abba, Father” releases the spirit deep within us to testify that we are children of God, born of God (v. 16).

From regeneration we are children of God. Now we are growing in this life to be mature sons to be fully prepared for New Jerusalem.

 

Glorified with Christ for New Jerusalem (2)

First Corinthians 2:8 says that Jesus Christ, who was crucified, is “the Lord of glory.” He first revealed this glory on the mountain near Caesarea Philippi and will ultimately be glorious in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemColossians 3:4 declares, “When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.” This is a promise. Colossians 3:1-3 show us how to reach this climax.

First, in 3:1 we “seek the things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.” These things “above” are the unseen, eternal things in Second Corinthians 4. We also set our mind on these things (3:2), including “the Jerusalem above” in Galatians 4:26.

In contrast, we do not set our mind “on the things which are on the earth” (3:2). This is parallel to Romans 8:6, “the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.” Flesh corresponds with things on the earth and spirit corresponds with things above.

How do we carry this out? Colossians 3:3 reminds us, “you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Our death with Christ and Christ as our life are facts. The experience of these facts is in spirit*.

Our death with Christ saves us from earthly things. Christ as our life supplies us to seek the eternal things above. Living in the spirit is the path to being manifested with Christ in glory and being prepared for New Jerusalem. Lord, grant me more living in spirit to experience You more.

* See Key to Experiencing Christ–the Human Spirit, The.

Through Suffering to the City of Glory (2)

New JerusalemThe Lord Jesus will appear again in glory and reign eternally in glory. We will be glorified with Him to participate in the manifestation of His kingdom in the coming age and in New Jerusalem.

Our glorification comes through sufferings. Second Corinthians 4:16-17: “Therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For our momentary lightness of affliction works out for us, more and more surpassingly, an eternal weight of glory.

Here, as in Romans 8, sufferings and glorification are coupled. Paul calls our sufferings a “momentary lightness of affliction.” The affliction is light compared to the eternal weight of glory. And it is “momentary” because Paul is regarding unseen, eternal things (v. 4:18).

These “eternal things” all consummate in New Jerusalem. But how do we “regard/look at/fix our eyes/focus on*” eternal things? First, “faith is the substantiation…of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). We have “a spirit of faith.” We learn to exercise our spirit and thereby experience Christ as our faith‡.

Second, we love the Lord. “Jesus Christ; whom having not seen, you love” (1 Peter 1:7b-8a). For this, try declaring Lord Jesus, I love You. And pray, Lord Jesus, increase my love to You. Exercising our faith and love toward the Lord brings us into the foretaste of New Jerusalem now.

* Various translations in 2 Cor. 4:18, thanks to Bible Hub.
‡ See Key to Experiencing Christ–the Human Spirit, The.

New Jerusalem, a Bride Adorned (2)

New JerusalemRevelation 21:2: “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” And 21:19: “The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every precious stone.”

First Timothy 2:9 clearly says that Christian adorning is not external things. This principle should extend to New Jerusalem.

Furthermore, 1 Peter 3:3-4 says, “Let your adorning not be the outward plaiting of hair and putting on of gold or clothing with garments, but the hidden man of the heart in the incorruptible adornment of a meek and quiet spirit, which is very costly in the sight of God.”

Peter is firm that Christian adorning is not outward, not with physical things, but is a matter of our heart  and our spirit, and is incorruptible. The Spirit regenerated our spirit (John 3:6). The Lord is with our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22). The Father, by His Spirit, strengthens us into our inner man that Christ may make His home in our heart (Eph. 3:16-17).

These verses show that the adorning spoken of by Peter is the Triune God entering and filling our being. This is the adornment for our Christian life today and for New Jerusalem.

This adorning is incorruptible because the Triune God is incorruptible and has conveyed this to us through the gospel to regenerate us with incorruptible seed (1 Pet. 1:23). All kinds of outward adorning, even silver and gold, are corruptible (1:18) and do not correspond with our incorruptible inheritance (1:4), New Jerusalem.

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