Eternal Life and New Jerusalem (5)

New JerusalemFirst John 1:2: “And the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and report to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us.” This life was first manifested through the incarnation and human living of the Lord Jesus. It will be fully manifested by New Jerusalem.

This eternal life brings us fellowship with God and with one another (v. 3, 7). This fellowship is for this time and will continue ever richer into eternity in New Jerusalem.

To announce this life to one another is a matter of joy now (v. 4). This life will also fill New Jerusalem with joy. Furthermore, in this life we have God, who is light (v. 5). This light is within us now and will characterize New Jerusalem as a city with God in the Lamb as its light (Rev. 21:11, 23).

In New Jerusalem there will be no sin, so there will be no further need of confessing sins (v. 9). But, the Lamb will be in the city (Rev. 21:22-23, 22:1, 3) as a reminder that He is the One who “took away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).

Verse 8 speaks about the truth (reality). This truth is Jesus Christ Himself (John 14:6) both now and in New Jerusalem.

Verse 9 tells us that God is faithful and righteous to forgive the sins we confess. In New Jerusalem there will be no more sinning so no more confessing of sins, but God will still be faithful and righteous, and we will still “openly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:11). And we will “see His face” (Rev. 22:4).

All of these blessings in 1 John 1 characterize Christian life today and in New Jerusalem. It is a city of eternal life, eternal fellowship, eternal joy, eternal light, eternal truth (reality), and the eternal presence of the faithful and righteous God.

Photo courtesy of Heather Martin.

Shadows of New Jerusalem in Psalms 36-50

The Psalms speak about many things; looking at them from the New Testament, Christ, house, city, earth are the key words. Each is fully seen in New Jerusalem.

Psalm 36, in addition to the river and fatness, touches God’s lovingkindness and light. New Jerusalem will have a fullness of lovingkindness. Furthermore, the city will be full of light; “there will be no night there” (Rev. 21:25). In New Jerusalem God Himself in Christ as the light of life will obviate the need for any other kind of light.

This shining God is also foretold in Psalm 50:2, “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.” New Jerusalem, the heavenly Zion on the new earth, is the perfection of beauty because it is saturated with the Christ who is perfect in every way. In response to this perfection, there is praise in New Jerusalem, as foreseen in Psalm 65:1, “Praise awaits You, O God, in Zion.”

Psalm 47:1, “Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with the voice of a triumphant sound.”
Psalm 47:6-8, “Sing psalms to God, sing psalms; sing psalms to our King, sing psalms. For God is the King of all the earth; sing psalms with understanding. God reigns over the nations; God sits upon His holy throne.” God and the Lamb will be on the throne in New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:5, 22:3) and we will sing psalms there.

Psalm 48:1-2, “Great is Jehovah, and much to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”

New JerusalemWe should expect New Jerusalem to be full of praises and full of singing. New Jerusalem will be exceedingly joyful within and it will also be “the joy of the whole earth.”

Here is the second verse of a song about Christ, house, city, earth:
_Christ brings us to God’s house to dwell,
_Where all day long His praises swell.
_O hallelujah! None can tell
__How lovely is God’s house!
___How lovely is God’s house!
___How lovely is God’s house!
___O hallelujah! None can tell
____How lovely is God’s house!

Praise Him now and in New Jerusalem!

Shadows of New Jerusalem in Psalms 29-46

New JerusalemMany verses in Psalms speak about
Christ, house, city, earth and thus imply New Jerusalem as God’s eternal house and city on new earth with Christ as its center. Here are another group of examples.

Psalm 29:9b, 10b, “In His temple all say, Glory!…Jehovah sits as King forever.” He is the King and we proclaim His glory. Ephesians 3:21, “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.”

Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that Jehovah is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” Now we are hidden in Christ (Col. 3:3) and in God’s house; here we taste that He is good; even more in New Jerusalem.

Psalm 36:7-9, “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Thus the sons of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They are saturated with the fatness of Your house, and You cause them to drink of the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.”

Psalm 46:4a, “There is a river whose streams gladden the city of God.”

Psalms 36 and 46 are a clear parallel to the river of water of life flowing through New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1). To drink of this river fills us with joy and saturates us with the fatness of God’s house. At present we are partakers of the root of the fatness of God’s olive tree (a picture in Rom. 11:17, 24 of Christ with all of us as branches). Our partaking will be even richer in New Jerusalem.

 

Shadows of New Jerusalem in Psalms 2-22

Here is the first group of verses from Psalms comparable to or shadows of characteristics of New Jerusalem. Key words for selecting these verses are Christ, house, city, earth.

Psalm 2:7-8  “I will recount the decree of Jehovah; He said to Me: You are My Son; today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give the nations as Your inheritance and the limits of the earth as Your possession.” This is quoted in Acts 13:33, where the begetting is the resurrection of Christ. This is the starting point for New Jerusalem, a city in resurrection. Ultimately, as the resurrected One, Christ will possess the earth.

New JerusalemPsalm 8:9, “O Jehovah our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!” Like Psalm 2, this is another exuberant declaration of Christ’s reign over the whole earth in the kingdom age and in eternity.

Psalm 16:9, “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy.” New Jerusalem is a city of life through which flows the river of life with the tree of life (Rev. 22:1-2). And the city will be full of joy.

The words at the top of Psalm 22 mention the hind of the dawn. This is an allusion to Christ in resurrection (Song of Songs 2:8-9). This resurrected One is the reality of every aspect of New Jerusalem, the city of resurrection.

Although Christ and New Jerusalem were not plainly revealed to the psalmists, in their love for God they prophesied concerning Christ and expressed a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

The first verse of a song about Christ, house, city, earth:
_We from the law to Christ have turned;
_To trust in Him by grace we’ve learned.
_And since His glory we’ve discerned
__We only care for Christ!
___We only care for Christ!
___We only care for Christ!
___And since His glory we’ve discerned
____We only care for Christ!

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem, Consummation of Hope

New JerusalemRomans 8:24-25 says, “For we were saved in hope. But a hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly await it through endurance.” In a spiritual sense we see New Jerusalem to some extent but we surely do not see it in full. And we do not see it physically. Hence, according to these verses in Romans, we hope and eagerly await for New Jerusalem.

Humanly, a hope is a wish about an uncertain future. We might say, I hope my car keeps running, or, We hope our new neighbors are friendly. In contrast, hope in the Bible is certain because it comes from God and is for something of God. Since God cannot lie and is unchanging, our hope is firm, full of certainty.

Paul prays that the Father would give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation “the eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling” (Ephesians 1:17-18). God’s calling of us has a hope. The footnote* on hope says,

The hope of God’s calling includes (1) Christ Himself and the salvation He will bring to us when He comes back (Col. 1:27; 1 Pet. 1:5, 9); (2) the rapturous transfer from the earthly and physical realm to the heavenly and spiritual sphere, plus glorification (Rom. 8:23-25, 30; Phil. 3:21); (3) the kingly enjoyment with Christ in the millennium (Rev. 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:18); and (4) the consummate enjoyment of Christ in the New Jerusalem, with the universal and eternal blessings in the new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1-7; 22:1-5).

New Jerusalem, is the consummation of our hope. We hope for, expect, and eagerly await the fullest enjoyment of Christ in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

* In The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, www.recoveryversion.org, published and © 2003 by Living Stream Ministry.

New Jerusalem is the Consummate Glory (5)

New Jerusalem is the consummation of everything positive in the Bible. Recent posts have looked at New Jerusalem as the consummation of glory from the Old Testament through Hebrews. Continuing…

New Jerusalem

Peter speaks of our relationship with Jesus Christ thus: “Whom having not seen, you love; into whom though not seeing Him at present, yet believing, you exult with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). Although the glory is largely hidden now, at times it is seen on the smiling, shining faces of a group of joyous Christians.

Here are a few lines from a song based on this verse:
__We have found the Christ who’s all in all;
____He is everything to us…
__It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
____Full of glory, full of glory…

First Peter 4:14 tells us that if we “are reproached in the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” Although the glory is rarely visible before the Lord’s return, yet we can partake of the Spirit of this glory. Surely this Spirit will remain with us unto New Jerusalem.

Peter, in 1 Peter 5:1 tells us that he is “a partaker of the glory to be revealed.” On one hand the glory has not yet been revealed; on the other hand we can partake of it now because the God of all grace “has called you into His eternal glory” (v. 5:10).

Peter’s concluding word is “To Him [our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ] be the glory both now and unto the day of eternity.” The glory we partake of now is the same in quality, but lesser in quantity, than the glory of New Jerusalem.

Lord Jesus, lead me into living as a partaker of glory and an enjoyer of glory spoken of through Peter. Lord, give me a foretaste now of the glory of New Jerusalem.

 

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