God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (5)

The throne of God and the Lamb is the center of New Jerusalem and New Jerusalem is the center of the new earth under the new heavens. Everything in the entire new creation is under God’s ruling. Everything is calm and peaceful because all evil and all rebellion were cast into the lake of fire in Revelation 20.

We are considering a song* about God’s eternal purpose. Its sixth verse:

In its center, as its pow’r,
Is the throne of Christ and God,
Whence doth flow the stream of life
As the Spirit’s living flood.

This corresponds with Revelation 22:1, “He [an angel] showed me [John] 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.” The river is a symbol of the Spirit who flows abundantly to all God’s people. Earlier, John 7 records the Lord Jesus speaking about the Spirit as a river of living water.
New JerusalemThe next verse of the song:

Christ, the tree of life, is there
In the flowing of the stream,
Yielding fruit of life divine
As the food of life supreme.

This is 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.”

Both the river and the tree of life if Genesis 2 have their reality in Jesus Christ. He is our real food supply, to nourish us today, unto New Jerusalem, and eternally.

——
* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

Living Water Flows to & in New Jerusalem 2, 3, 4,

The Book of Life for the City of Life

The Bible certainly is a book of life, presenting God in Christ as life to man. This presentation is 1) in the Old testament in allegories/pictures beginning with the tree of life in Genesis 2, and 2) in the New Testament in reality. “Christ our life” (Col. 3:4).

Philippians 4:3 and six verses in Revelation speak of “the book of life.” This book does not refer directly to the Bible but rather to a book of names of everyone chosen to participate in the blessings on the new earth, including New Jerusalem. These blessings come from the eternal life flowing out of the throne of God and the Lamb; hence to be named in this book is a matter of life.

New JerusalemToday we participate in the blessings of the eternal life. These blessings will increase in the coming kingdom age and reach their peak in New Jerusalem.

In eternity all whose names are written in the book of life will be either constituents of New Jerusalem (e.g. those referred to in Phil. 4:3) or citizens of the nations around New Jerusalem (e.g. those referred to in Rev. 13:8).

In contrast, those not named in this book will marvel when they see the beast that was killed and resuscitated (Rev. 17:8). Finally, “if anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).

Today the door is open to turn our heart to receive the Lord Jesus as life. Lord, come into me, live in and through me daily, and prepare me for New Jerusalem.

The Gospel: Be Cleansed, Receive Eternal Life, Enter New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRevelation 22:14 proclaims, “Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city.” This is the gospel to everyone now.

Our robes signify our conduct. In the eyes of God all our living apart from Him, even our good deeds, is like “a soiled garment” in Isaiah 64:6. We need to wash our robes/garments, our conduct. This washing is by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14) which cleanses us from everything we have done apart from God (Acts 15:9).

This cleansing/washing gives us the right to the tree of life—Jesus Christ becoming our life for our new birth and being our life supply for our daily living with Him.

The cleansing/washing also gives us the right to enter by the gates into the city, New Jerusalem. An unbeliever’s basic need is to confess that he is a sinner apart from God, to turn to God, and to thank Jesus for dying to cleanse him and resurrecting to impart eternal life into him. This is the proper response to the proclamation of Revelation 22:14.

In contrast to 22:14, verse 15 declares “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and everyone who loves and makes a lie.” Those who reject cleansing through the death of Jesus and refuse to repent (e.g. Rev. 16:9) will be outside, that is, in the lake of fire.

May all who are around us hear and respond to Revelation 22:14 to be cleansed, have life, and enter New Jerusalem!

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, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

First Step to New Jerusalem: Believe!

Revelation 21:25 tells us that the gates of New Jerusalem “shall by no means be shut by day, for there will be no night there.”

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is the center of the new heaven and new earth. In the new heaven are the sun, moon, and stars. Day and night (as in Rev. 20:10) are related to the sun, and months (as in Rev. 22:2) are related to the moon.

Although the new creation will have day and night, in New Jerusalem “there will be no night” because the glory of God illuminates the city. This glory is eternally constant and brighter than the sun. No Night in New Jerusalem and New Jerusalem: Night Will Be No More!

The nations on the new earth around the city will bring their glory and honor into the city. To facilitate that, the gates of New Jerusalem will not be closed to them.  However, verse 21:27 tells us that “Anything common and he who makes an abomination and a lie shall by no means enter into it, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

All negative things will be in the lake of fire. The top enjoyment in the new creation is to be built into the city. The lesser, but positive, enjoyment is to be the nations around New Jerusalem. The shameful portion is the lake of fire for Satan and those who follow him by opposing and rejecting God. Repent and believe into Jesus Christ now to get on the life path to New Jerusalem!

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

God is Leading Many Sons into Glory

Continuing in Revelation 21:7, we read “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and
I will be God to him, and he will be a son to Me.” This word continues the blessings in the foregoing verses, and is spoken in response to New Jerusalem coming down out of the new heaven onto the new earth.New Jerusalem

We overcome by believing and thus being born of God, receiving His overcoming life. In this life relationship He is God to us and we are His sons. In this life all the sons of God are constituted the corporate expression of God, New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem, like the church today
(1 Tim. 3:15-16), is both the house, the dwelling place, of God and the house-hold, the family, all the sons, of God. His leading of all His sons is in Hebrews 2:10—God made Christ, the Author of our salvation, perfect through sufferings* and thereby God is “leading many sons into glory,” many sons into the city of glory, New Jerusalem.

In contrast to this wonderful destination, Revelation 21:8 speaks of all the evil in the lake of fire, the second death. In Revelation 21:1-8 there are three categories of people: the sons of God constituting New Jerusalem, the nations (including the sheep in Matt. 25) around New Jerusalem, and the evil people in the lake of fire.

We who have believed into Jesus Christ are sons of God and will be in New Jerusalem. May many more believe and be led into glory!


* This does not imply that there was any imperfection of virtue or attribute in Jesus, but only that the completing of His experience of human sufferings was needed to make Him fit to become the Author, the Leader, of His followers’ salvation. (part of Heb. 2:10, footnote 5 in the online Recovery Version NT, © LSM)

Life on New Earth around New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:4 continues from verse 3, “And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death will be no more, nor will there be sorrow or crying or pain anymore; for the former things have passed away.” This
New Jerusalemverse describes God’s blessings to the nations living around New Jerusalem. Surely God’s redeemed people who are built into New Jerusalem will also enjoy these blessings and also much more.

Tears, death, sorrow, and pain will be no more in the new creation. This was prophesied in Isaiah 65:17, “I am now creating new heavens and a new earth, and the former things will not be remembered, nor will they come up in the heart.”

The former things are of the old creation. Not only have they passed away but even more they will not arise in men’s hearts.

All of the former things are results of the fall of man. In Genesis 1–2 there was no sorrow, no pain, and no death. These all came into humanity through the fall. Romans 5:12: “through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin, death.”

Through His death Christ redeemed us from sin (Titus 2:14), nullified death (2 Tim. 1:10), and destroyed the devil (Heb. 2:14). Although the full effect of these accomplishments is not yet manifest, by the time of Revelation 20 all negative things will go to the lake of fire.

This is a brief look at the blessings to be enjoyed by people living around New Jerusalem on the new earth.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

No Miracles in New Jerusalem

The Gospels and Acts describe many miracles. These miracles included healing of sick and crippled people, cleansing of lepers, raising the dead, and casting out demons. All of these problems are due to Satan’s rebellion, man’s fall into sin and death, and God’s curse on the fallen creation.

New JerusalemThese problem sources will not be in New Jerusalem. Hence there will be no problems and no need of miracles to remove problems.

“The devil was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone” (Rev. 20:10).
“Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire” (20:14).
“There will no longer be a curse” (22:3).
The sources that brought forth problems in the old creation will have been eliminated.

In New Jerusalem:
• no sickness, no lameness, no withered hands, no blindness, hence no healings;
• no leprosy nor any other uncleanness, hence no cleansings;
• no death, hence no need to raise the dead;
• no demons, hence no need to cast them out.

Several times the Lord Jesus rebuked cities for not repenting. Luke 10:13 is an example, “if the works of power which took place in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago.” In New Jerusalem we are outside of anything which requires repentance, so there is no need for works of power to motivate repentance.

Miraculous actions will not be in New Jerusalem but today they are some help to bring people onto the path to New Jerusalem.

More about What is NOT in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Characteristics Now and in New Jerusalem

Ephesians 4:12-24 contains many positives: perfecting, building, oneness, full-grown, fullness, truth, love, reality, righteousness, holiness. These characteristics do not refer to the natural realm or from natural effort.

New JerusalemThey all come from being in Christ, learning Christ, hearing Christ, and growing up into Him as the Head of the Body. Because these all are Christ and our experience of Him, they are also characteristics of New Jerusalem.

Ephesians 4:12-24 also contains many negatives: sleight, craftiness, error, vanity, darkness, ignorance, hard-ness, lasciviousness, uncleanness, greediness, corruption, deceit.

These all result from mankind being alienated from the life of God. None of these will be in New Jerusalem nor anywhere in the new creation, except in the lake of fire.

In our daily living, the key for us as believers to get away from the negatives and into the positives is verse 4:23, “be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” The Spirit has regenerated our spirit—this is John 3:6, “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Now we are one spirit with the Lord—this is 1 Corinthians 6:17.

These two steps—regeneration and renewing—are also seen in Titus 3:5, “the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.” This renewing is not a change from bad behavior to good behavior. Rather, it is a change from living in the old humanity, the fallen humanity that is apart from God to living Christ and letting Him become the reality of our human virtues. This is a living that corresponds to New Jerusalem.

Joy, Praise, Victory, Eternal Marriage

The song of praises in the prior post continues in its ninth verse:
_Now rejoice and be exceeding glad! What glory is displayed!
_For the marriage of the Lamb, the wife all ready now is made!

New JerusalemThese words correspond with Revelation 19:7. John says here, “Let us rejoice.” This comes from the exhortation in the heavenly praise in 19:5-6 concerning God’s reign.

In 19:7-9 the praise and rejoicing continues to the marriage of the Lamb. The Lamb, Jesus Christ, is the eternal Husband, and New Jerusalem is His eternal wife. This is clearly stated in Revelation 21:2, 9-10.

The song continues, In fine linen, bright and pure, ’twas granted her to be arrayed. This is Revelation 19:8, which also says that “the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the saints.”

The fine linen is not a physical garment, but is our righteousnesses, our righteous acts. These acts are Christ Himself coming forth in our living. This is the result of our giving ourselves to gain Christ and be found in Him in daily life, having Him as our righteous living, as presented in Philippians 3:7-9. This expression of Christ in our living is a precursor of His much fuller expression through New Jerusalem.

The tenth verse of the song presents Revelation 20, the devil cast into the lake of fire. This is the final step of carrying out the judgement Christ accomplished on the cross. This is cause for more praise; the song says, Hallelujah, never more need we his provocations bear!.

The judgements in Revelation 20 are the last step before the new  creation appears with New Jerusalem. For every one of these steps we can rejoice. Hallelujah!

No War in the New Creation

The last war in the Bible is recorded in Revelation 20:8-10, shortly before the new creation appears with New Jerusalem. The cause of this war is Satan deceiving the nations (v. 8).

The Lord Jesus told us not to be alarmed by wars and revolutions (Mark 13:7, Luke 21:9). They occur because Satan, although judged on the cross, has not been imprisoned and is able to deceive the nations through this age. But, when the new creation and New Jerusalem come, Satan will have been cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10), so there will be no war in the new creation.

Satan’s deception of the nations is not only outward. Satan within man is sin (Rom. 7:7-25), which leads man into many evils. James also speaks definitely about this, “Where do wars and fightings among you come from? Are they not from this, from your pleasures that war in your members? You lust and do not have; you murder and are jealous and are not able to obtain; you fight and make war.” (4:1-2).

Ephesians 6:10-12 tells us to  “be empowered in the Lord and in the might of His strength” because “our wrestling is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies.” This is another declaration that the source of war is not people but Satan and his evil hosts.

Outward wars result from lusts, greed, pride, anger, and other evils in the fallen human nature. These evils have their source in Satan. Wars cause many deaths, all attributable to Satan who is a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44).

In New Jerusalem and in the new creation there is no Satan, no fallen nature, no flesh, no sin, no lies, no death; hence no war.

What is NOT in New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is filled with everything wonderful—the glory of God, the divine nature, God and the Lamb on the throne, the river of water of life, the tree of life, eternal newness, and much more.

NOT in New JerusalemThere are many evil, negative, and worldly things which today are present and too often experienced, but they will not be in New Jerusalem. Rather, they will be in the lake of fire.

Their elimination is the result, firstly, of the death, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement of Jesus Christ.

Their elimination is the result, secondly, of the work of Jesus Christ through this age, and our cooperation with Him.

Throughout the New Testament there are many judgments on the negative things and the positive preparation of New Jerusalem as the wife of the Lamb. These judgments conclude in Revelation 20.

Revelation 19:1-9, is a good summary. It presents many praises exalting God, both for His judgments and for the preparation of the wife of the Lamb.

Here are all my “not in New Jerusalem” posts, in no particular order. A few posts were written and aded after this was published.; when more are written, they will be added to this list.

New Jerusalem: No Darkness, No Death
Neither Sin nor Death in New Jerusalem
No Tree of Knowledge in New Jerusalem
No Unrighteousness in New Jerusalem
Neither Sin nor Satan in New Jerusalem
No Devil In or Near New Jerusalem
No Flesh in New Jerusalem

No Lie, No Falsehood, in New Jerusalem
No Curse in New Jerusalem
Neither Tears nor Sorrow nor Crying nor Pain in New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem: No More Tribulation (1) (2)
No Physical Gold in New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem: No Night There
New Jerusalem: Night Will Be No More!

No Night in New Jerusalem
No Need for Sleep in New Jerusalem
No Money in New Jerusalem & New Creation
No Beasts in or near New Jerusalem
In the Garden of Eden but not in New Jerusalem
No War in the New Creation
Nothing Abominable in New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem: Not a Physical Building
No Mansions in New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem Comes from Divine Riches and is Without Human Poverty (1) (2)
No Spots nor Wrinkles nor Blemishes in New Jerusalem
Out of Everything to be in New Jerusalem

The Wonderful Jesus Christ in Revelation 20 Brings Us to New Jerusalem

Revelation 20 begins with the devil cast into the abyss (v. 1-3). Then there is the blessing of being priests and kings in resurrection with God and Christ for a thousand years (v. 4-6). This is a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

In verse 7 the devil is temporarily released but by verse 10 he is cast into the lake of fire for his eternal punishment.

New JerusalemVerse 11: “I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it.” The Lord Jesus Christ is Him who sits on the throne, because He is “the One who was designated by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42).

The Lord Himself spoke of this designation in John 5:26-27, “For just as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave to the Son to also have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man.” As the Son of Man, the God-Man, Jesus both gives us eternal life and judges the dead.

“In righteousness He judges” (Rev. 19:11). Although today’s courts have flaws, our Lord is perfectly righteous.

In verses 12 and 13 the dead are judged. In verses 14 and 15 death and Hades, and anyone whose name is not written in the book of life, are cast into the lake of fire. This judgement is the last cleaning of the earth. After this, there is nothing old, nothing dead, nothing sinful. This judgement opens the door for New Jerusalem with the new heaven and new earth.

The old “earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them” (v. 11) and “the first heaven and the first earth passed away” (21:1). There is “a new heaven and a new earth” and “New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven” (21:1-2).

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

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