New Jerusalem: Eternal Holy of Holies

The Old Testament shadows were necessary until the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Reality came in His incarnation and reality was made available to us in His resurrection. In this reality we have no need of a physical temple but He and we together are the living temple. And New Jerusalem is the ultimate temple in the Bible.

We have no need for a physical temple, but that temple, the shadow, shows us much about the present living temple. In addition to the materials and shape, the contents of the physical temple are important. Since the entire New Jerusalem is the holy of holies, we will look only at the physical holy of holies to get a picture of New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemHebrews 9:4 says the Holy of Holies contains “the ark of the covenant covered about everywhere with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna and Aaron’s rod that budded and the tablets of the covenant.”

The ark was made of wood, overlayed inside and outside with gold. This portrays Jesus Christ as the man (wood) mingled with God (gold). Everything is in Him.

This ark is “of the covenant.” This covenant is a definite promise, a commitment by God. Everything portrayed by the ark is guaranteed by God. Thank Him!

The golden pot with manna is the eternal life supply in New Jerusalem. This is the same manna that fell around Israel’s camp, but its location indicates a much deeper, inner experience* of this life supply.This corresponds to eating the fruit of the tree of life in New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:2).

*This footnote, from the ministry of Witness Lee, presents the experiences of Christ as seen in all three parts of the tabernacle.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Shadow of the Living Temple (2)

Jesus alone (John 2), then all His believers (2 Cor. 6:16), consummating in New Jerusalem, is the living temple. The Bible also has a material, physical temple, a shadow, a portrait of this reality. This shadow shows us the good, heavenly things to come in Christ. But what need was there for that shadow?

Because of the fall of man, in Genesis 3 man was shut out from the reality. As a result, before Christ came, there was a need of shadows. Then, through incarnation, the reality came to man. John 1:17 speaks of this contrast: “the law was given through Moses; grace and reality came [literally become, came into existence] through Jesus Christ.”

#NewJerusalemThe reality came, and through His redeeming death and life-imparting resurrection we can participate in this reality. We have no more need for shadows!

The shadows came because of the fall, but we can receive some spiritual vision from them. This is somewhat like the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. The physical tabernacle and temple, the shadows, show us something about the living temple including New Jerusalem.

One thing we see is that the Old Testament temple was constructed with gold, wood, and stone. This is a picture of God’s New Testament building, including New Jerusalem, built with the divine nature, the humanity of Jesus, and the transformed members of His Body.

The dimensions of the tabernacle and temple show us that the Holy of Holies, their innermost chamber, is a cube. These cubes demonstrate that New Jerusalem, a cube (Rev. 21:16), is the eternal holy of holies. Furthermore, the fact that the whole of New Jerusalem is the holy of holies tells us that we all have been fully brought into God’s presence. Wonderful!

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem, the Fullness of God

Colossians 1:19 declares that in Christ “all the fullness was pleased to dwell.” This fullness is the expression of all the riches of God.* Colossians 2:9 says “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” By incarnation, all the fullness of the Godhead is in the God-man Jesus Christ.

New JerusalemEphesians 1:22-23 go further, saying that the church, the Body of Christ is “the fullness of the One who fills all in all.” Not only Christ Himself, but now in resurrection also the Body composed of all His believers, is the fullness. The corporate Body will become the corporate New Jerusalem, so New Jerusalem will be the fullness of God.

The Body is the fullness because “of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Ephesians 1 is a prayer for revelation that we might see all that God has operated in Christ unto the church. This is somewhat objective. Receiving grace upon grace is definitely subjective. This grace constitutes the church as the fullness in reality, preparing us for New Jerusalem.

We receive grace and we minister grace to one another, that we may be “good stewards of the varied grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). For this ministry the members of the Body specially gifted by the Head (Eph. 4:11) labor to perfect all of us “unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ” (4:12). This building of the Body is also the preparation of the bride (in Eph. 5), which becomes New Jerusalem.

Our ministry (Eph. 4:12) results in all arriving at the practical oneness, “at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” The goal of our Christian growth is the fullness of Christ, His Body now and New Jerusalem in the future.

Photo courtesy of Good Free Photos.

* See this footnote on Col. 1:19 in the Online Recovery Version NT.

New Jerusalem is the Universal Golden Lampstand, the Ultimate Consummation of the Lampstands

Here is a third post about New Jerusalem from Stefan’s blog, agodman.com. It begins, The New Jerusalem, the holy city, is the universal golden lampstand, the ultimate consummation of the lampstands in the Scriptures.

rev-1-20-the-mystery-of-the-seven-stars-which-you-saw-upon-my-right-hand-and-the-seven-golden-lampstands1

Excerpts from Stefan’s post: Throughout the Bible there’s the mentioning of the lampstand. First, in the tabernacle in the wilderness with Moses, there was a golden lampstand in the Holy Place; this lampstand signifies Christ Himself as the embodiment and shining out of God (Exo. 25:31-37).

When Christ came in incarnation, He was a lampstand: He embodied God, expressed God, made God visible, did everything by the Spirit of God, and shined out God. In His resurrection, Christ has been enlarged to become the church as the Body of Christ; now all the genuine local churches are the many golden lampstands as the reproduction of Christ and the reprint of the Spirit. [See Rev. 1:20 in the graphic above.]

In the New Testament we also see the lampstands – the Son of Man is walking among the seven golden lampstands in Rev. 1:12-20; these lampstands signify the churches, the local churches.

Read all of New Jerusalem is the Universal Golden Lampstand, the Ultimate Consummation of the Lampstands  with graphics, references, and hymns.

Stefan’s other two posts in this cluster are New Jerusalem is a Corporate God-man, the Consummation of the High Peak of Revelation and The New Jerusalem is the Real and Consummate Shulammite, a Corporate Shulammite.

ps: A God-man is a man in whom God in Christ dwells. In John 14:20 the Lord Jesus told us that after His resurrection we “will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” Our being in Christ and Christ being in us is the reality of a God-man, but we are NOT part of the Godhead.

No Devil In or Near New Jerusalem

The devil is not in New Jerusalem and has no way to bother us in New Jerusalem nor to bother the nations around New Jerusalem.

First John 3:8 tells us “the devil has sinned from the beginning.” The devil is the source of sin which brought in death. John 8:44 tells us that the devil is a murderer from the beginning and that he is the father, the source, of lies.  The nature of the devil is a lie because truth is not in him. This is the exact opposite of New Jerusalem in which Christ is the life and reality and where there is no lie.

New JerusalemJesus has overcome the devil. In John 14:30 He told us that the ruler of this world (the devil) “has nothing in Me.” Hebrews 2:14 says, “Since therefore the children have shared in blood and flesh, He also Himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death He might destroy him who has the might of death, that is, the devil.”

It seems to us today that the devil is still active. The reason is that the judgment accomplished on the cross has not fully been carried out. Therefore, Ephesians 4:25-27 warns us to put away lies and anger so that we give no place to the devil. We wage this battle continually by applying the law of the Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2) to overcome the law of sin in our flesh (Rom. 7:20).

In Revelation 12:9 the devil is cast down and in 20:2 he is bound for a thousand years, and in 20:10 he is cast into the lake of fire. This is the final step of the judgment accomplished on the cross. As a result, the devil will never bother New Jerusalem nor the entire new creation.

And, since the devil is Satan, New Jerusalem has Neither Sin nor Satan.
Here is a summary of all posts about what is NOT in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of NASA and JPL.

Neither Sin nor Satan in New Jerusalem

This continues a prior post in response to a question, will there be any sin in New Jerusalem? No!

Sin and death are bound together. Although the Bible does not say in plain words that sin will not be in New Jerusalem, it does say that death will be in the lake of fire. Since there will be no death, there also cannot be any sin.

New JerusalemFurthermore, the devil* is the source of sin. First John 3:5, “He [Christ] was manifested that He might take away sins.” First John 3:8 says, “the devil has sinned from the beginning.” This verse continues, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

In addition, Hebrews 2:14 says that Jesus Christ partook of humanity “that through death He might destroy him who has the might of death, that is, the devil.”

Christ has destroyed, nullified, both the devil and the works of the devil. This judgement is gradually being carried out in this age and the next. The final outcome is in Revelation 20:10, “the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where also the beast and the false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Since the devil, satan, will not be in New Jerusalem, neither will sin be in New Jerusalem.

* The devil and satan are the same creature; Rev. 12:9 and 20:2.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Versionpublished and © by Living Stream MinistryAnaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, is at online.recoveryversion.orgthis too is © by LSM.
Besides this New Testament, many books published by Living Stream may be read online.

Photo by Ian Overton, courtesy of CSIRO Australia.

Shadows of New Jerusalem, Psalms 138-145

New JerusalemWe continue looking at clear words and hints in Psalms about Christ, God’s house, God’s city, and God’s blessing to the whole earth. These point toward Christ on the throne in New Jerusalem at the center of the new earth.

Psalm 138:4-5 say, “All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O Jehovah; for they have heard the words of Your mouth. And they will sing of the ways of Jehovah, for great is the glory of Jehovah.” This corresponds with Revelation 21; verse 23 says the glory of God illumined New Jerusalem. Verse 23 also says the nations on new earth will bring their glory and honor into New Jerusalem (analogous to giving thanks in Psalm 138).

Psalm 144:3 says, “O Jehovah, what is man, that You take knowledge of him, And the son of man, that You think of him?” This repeats Psalm 8:4, quoted in Hebrews 2:6, and is in reference to Jesus Christ. Hebrews 2 goes on to speak of His incarnation, His death, His resurrection, and His being crowned with glory and honor in ascension. In New Jerusalem the Lamb, indicating incarnation and death, will be on the throne, indicating exaltation with glory and honor (Rev. 22:1).

Psalm 145:1-3 say, “I will extol You, O my God and King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is Jehovah, and much to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.”

In New Jerusalem we will extol and praise our God and King, and bless His name forever. And, although we will see, appreciate, and partake of His greatness, we will never reach its limit, for it is unsearchable. New Jerusalem will contain and display the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8).

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

 

 

We See Jesus, We Look Away to Jesus

Hebrews 2:6-8a, quoting Psalm 8:4-8, says about Jesus, “What is man, that You bring him to mind? Or the son of man, that You care for him? You have made Him a little inferior to the angels; You have crowned Him with glory and honor and have set Him over the works of Your hands; You have subjected all things under His feet.”

New JerusalemJesus was made “a little inferior to the angels” in incarnation (see Phil. 2:5-8) and was “crowned with glory and honor” after His resurrection and ascension (see Acts 2:22-36).

Hebrews 2:8b-9a continues, “For in subjecting all things to Him, He left nothing unsubject to Him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to Him, but WE SEE JESUS…”

What does this have to do with New Jerusalem? Today we do not see all the things God has done. Apparently not all things in this world are subject to Jesus. We don’t see New Jerusalem. We don’t realize how God is working in a hidden way to prepare for the second coming of Jesus. But, we do know God is “leading many sons into glory” (Heb. 2:10), a glory which consummates in New Jerusalem.

We cannot correlate everything around us and all that happens in society with “leading many sons into glory,” but WE SEE JESUS. Rather than trying to understand world events, let us “run with endurance the race which is set before us, LOOKING AWAY UNTO JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:1b-2a).

Jesus is the Author of our faith and it is by this faith that we look to Him. It is by this faith we realize that God is leading us into the glory of the Lord’s return, the glory of the kingdom, and the glory of New Jerusalem. Lord, keep us looking away from outward things and looking at You.

Photo courtesy of NASA and ESA.

Coming Down for New Jerusalem

In Revelation 21:2 and 21:10 John “saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” This is the consummation of the promise in Revelation 3:12, “He who overcomes…I will write upon him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God.”

New Jerusalem

 

To prepare the way for New Jerusalem to come down, God came down in incarnation. Jesus told us that He is the Son of Man who came down out of heaven (John 3:13). In John 3 His coming down is to save us, give us eternal life, and make us His bride.

Furthermore, in John 6 Jesus told us that He is the bread that came down out of heaven that we may eat and live (v. 33, 50, 51, 58). He as the bread of life supplies us to live a heavenly life on earth. Everything of His first coming down prepares us to be the city of life, New Jerusalem, the bride of the Lamb.

Revelation 10:1-2 say, “I saw another strong Angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon His head, and His face was like the sun, and His feet like pillars of fire….And He placed His right foot on the sea and the left on the land.”

Christ’s placing His feet on the sea and on the land is His treading on them, and to tread on them is to take possession of them (Deut. 11:24Josh. 1:3Psa. 8:6-8). This indicates that Christ is coming down to take possession of the earth.*

Revelation 18:1 says, “I saw another Angel coming down out of heaven, having great authority; and the earth was illumined with His glory.”

In His second coming Christ takes possession of the earth and exercises His great authority to clear away the negative things, to prepare the way for New Jerusalem to come down out of heaven to earth.

* Note 2 on Rev. 10:2 in The NT Recovery Version Online, © 1997-2012 by LSM.
Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

God Mingled with Man for New Jerusalem

The Fall 2012 issue of Affirmation & Critique* focuses on New Jerusalem. Continuing prior posts, here is an extract from The Divine and Mystical in Figurative Language  (by Roger Good).

Although God exists in a divine, mystical, and invisible realm (1 Tim. 1:17; 6:16; Col. 1:15; Rom. 1:20), He desires to communicate the realities of the divine and mystical realm to us. On the one hand, creation testifies of the characteristics of the divine and mystical realm, and on the other hand, God and the writers of the Bible employ figurative language, taking images from the physical realm, using literary devices such as symbols, types, figures, metaphors, similes, and allegories to communicate the realities of the divine and mystical realm. God’s ultimate goal in His economy is to mingle Himself with redeemed humanity. This is revealed in the greatest allegory of all—the New Jerusalem, the consummation of all the symbols, types, figures, and metaphors revealed in the Bible.

New JerusalemFor God to reach His goal, He became incarnated in the man Jesus, lived a perfect human life, died, was buried, rose from the dead, and ascended. Through incarnation God and man were mingled in one man—Jesus, as He told His disciples in John 14:10, “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me…the Father who abides in Me does His works.”

This was a first step. The next step occurred in resurrection, as stated by Jesus in John 14:20, “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” In resurrection the mingling of God and man was expanded to millions of believers. Jesus Christ lives in us and we live in Him. This mingling is the essence of both our Christian life and New Jerusalem.

* Affirmation & Critique is a Christian Journal published twice a year and available online. It presents Bible truths in a scholarly manner, with references to and citations from a variety of publications by authors over the entire Christian era. Affirmation & Critique exhibits much appreciation for the person and work of Jesus Christ and our life with Him. The Fall 2012 issue (Vol. XVII, No. 2) focuses on New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pdphoto.org.

Salvation Prepared for All Peoples

The apostle John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:1-2). This preparation involves what God has done, what God is doing, and our cooperation with His doing.

A good example of this cooperative preparation: God sent John the Baptist to “prepare the way of the Lord” by preaching repentance for His kingdom (Matthew 3:2-3). Some people cooperated by confessing their sins and being baptized (3:6).

Lenk, 1999

Another step on God’s side of the preparation was the incarnation of Jesus. After His birth, His parents brought Him to the temple in Jerusalem. Simeon, a righteous and devout man, was there and the Spirit was upon him (Luke 2:25).

Simeon took Jesus into his arms and declared to God, “my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared before the face of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:30-32). The Spirit’s speaking through Simeon reveals that Jesus is the salvation prepared for everyone, both Jews and non-Jews.

Without God’s salvation, we cannot have a share in New Jerusalem. Only by receiving Jesus as our Savior and having Him as our salvation, can we get to New Jerusalem. Thus, God’s preparation of His salvation for all people is part of His preparation of New Jerusalem.

The New Man was Created in Christ Jesus

New Jerusalem is new because the city is in God and permeated with God. The city is the consummation of all the newness in the Bible.

New JerusalemGod created the first man Adam for His purpose but sin and death entered, ruining man. In response, God came in the man Jesus Christ. He lived a human life, died, and resurrected for God’s purpose. While dying He created the new man in Himself and with Himself (Ephesians 2:15). In the new man “Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11).

The new man, as a precursor to New Jerusalem, is new because this man is in Christ and Christ is in this man. Colossians 3 says about the new man, “Christ is…in all” that is, in all of us as members of the new man.

Thank the Lord that we have been incorporated into the new man. However, we cannot say that our living today is thoroughly in the newness of this new man. Nevertheless, don’t be discouraged.

Colossians 3:10 says that we “have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.” The note on renewed in the Recovery Version* says,

Because the new man was created with us, who belong to the old creation (Eph. 2:15), as his constituents, he needs to be renewed. This renewing takes place mainly in our mind, as indicated by the phrase unto full knowledge. The new man was created in our spirit and is being renewed in our mind unto full knowledge according to the image of Christ.

This renewing (more in next post) is taking place now to make us absolutely new with God’s newness; we are thereby brought onward into New Jerusalem.

* The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; it is © by Living Stream Ministry.

Photo by Dave Herr, courtesy of USDA Forest Service.

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