Wonderful Jesus Christ in Revelation 22

A series of posts for Revelation 1 to 20 look at the wonderful Jesus Christ bringing us to New Jerusalem. In Revelation 21:1 is the new creation and in 21:2 New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven. Two recent posts look at the wonderful Jesus Christ in this new creation.

New JerusalemContinuing, Revelation 22:1 reveals “the throne of God and of the Lamb.” There is one throne for God and the Lamb because the two are one. In John 14:10 Jesus told us, “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.” And in Revelation 21:23 God, the light, is in the Lamb, the lamp.

In 22:2 “was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.” This tree is a symbol of Jesus Christ, who is our life and who is our life supply as the living bread in John 6 and forever in New Jerusalem.

In 22:7, 12, and 20 the Lord Jesus says, “Behold, I come quickly.” Our reply is identical to verse 20, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

In verse 16 He says, “I Jesus have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches.” Thank You Lord for Your sending. And Lord, keep us in the churches to hear what the Spirit says to them (Rev. 2:7, 3:22). This is part of His work to prepare us for New Jerusalem.

In verse 16 He also says, “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright morning star.” Concerning this, a footnote in the Recovery Version says, “In His divinity, Christ is the Root, the source, of David; in His humanity, Christ is the Offspring, the issue, of David.” He is also the star to guide us through this dark age until He comes.

The Bible concludes, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.” Lord, thank You for this wonderful grace to supply us today and to prepare us for New Jerusalem.

 

Where Our Heart is Determines Our Expectations for New Jerusalem

Matthew 6:21 and Luke 12:34 say, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” In these chapters the Lord Jesus tells us that our treasure is either earthly or heavenly. If we treasure earthly things, our heart will be earthly; if we treasure heavenly things, our heart will be heavenly. The condition of our heart determines our view of and expectations about New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemIf we treasure earthly things, we will be people of anxiety, as in Matthew 6:24-34. In this anxious condition we are very susceptible and responsive to descriptions of New Jerusalem as having streets of material gold, physical mansions, very pleasant gardens, superb recreational facilities, etc.

In contrast, New Jerusalem is heavenly. Jesus Christ tells us that New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven from God (Rev. 3:12). New Jerusalem is the ultimate stage of God dwelling in man and man dwelling in God—John 15:4a, “Abide in Me and I in you.”

In New Jerusalem the Triune God is our all. The city “has the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11), “the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (21:22), “its lamp is the Lamb” (21:23), the throne of God and the Lamb, the river of life (the Spirit), and the tree of life (Christ as our nourishment) are in the city (22:1-2), and we will see His face (22:4).

If our heart is set on heavenly things, we realize that these blessings are much more than material, corruptible riches. If our heart is set on earthly things, they become a veil, and we cannot see the reality of New Jerusalem. But, there is a promise for today: “Whenever their heart turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” Lord, I turn my heart to You now; save me from the veils to have a clear view of You and of New Jerusalem.

 

We Come Forward to Heavenly Jerusalem

God in Christ Shines via New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is pure: “the city was pure gold, like clear glass” (Rev. 21:18); “the street of the city was pure gold” (21:21); “bright and pure” (Rev. 19:8). These are the four occurrences of one Greek word in the description of New Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:21 has the unique New Testament occurrence of a Greek word with related meaning. “The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” New Jerusalem is not only pure; the city is transparent.

We can grasp the sense of this transparency by looking at four related Greek words*, each of which occurs only once in the New Testament.
• We give heed to the Lord’s word, “as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). The sense is light breaking through the darkness.
• Satan has blinded people, “that the illumination of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine on them” (2 Cor. 4:4). God wants to shine into people to save them from Satanic darkness.
• In Troas, Paul spoke, “until daybreak” (Acts 20:11). Again, light shining to replace darkness.
• The Son of God is “the effulgence of His glory” (Heb. 1:3). The effulgence/radiance/ brightness/brilliance° is not a thing, it is the Person.

My summary: New Jerusalem is pure and transparent so that God’s glory in Christ may brilliantly shine through the city to testify that all darkness has been displaced. Revelation 21:23: “the glory of God illumined New Jerusalem, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

*The main Greek word is διαυγής; others, in order shown, are διαυγάζω, αυγάζω, απαύγασμα, αυγή
°Various translations, thanks to biblehub.com
Image courtesy of pixabay.com.

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, footnotes, and cross-references, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM. Besides this New Testament, many books published by Living Stream may be read online.

Isaiah Speaks About New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:23 says about New Jerusalem, “The city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” Revelation 22:5 says that those who constitute New Jerusalem, “have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them.”

New JerusalemIsaiah 60:19-20 says, You will no longer have the sun for your light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; but Jehovah will be an eternal light to you, and your God your beauty. Your sun will no longer go down, nor will your moon withdraw; for Jehovah will be an eternal light to you, and the days of your mourning will be ended.”

Isaiah is clearly a prophecy about New Jerusalem. Isaiah and Revelation match in no need of the sun, no need of the moon, and God being the light of the city.

Isaiah also tells us that “mourning will be ended.” In new heaven and new earth with New Jerusalem there will be no curse (Rev. 22:3), no devil (Rev. 20:10), no death (Rev. 20:14), and no sickness.

In addition, Isaiah tells us that God is the beauty of New Jerusalem. How wonderful that God Himself becomes the beauty. In New Jerusalem all outward beautification will be eliminated, just as lamps, sun, and moon are unneeded. God will show Himself as the most beautiful One in and through New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

 

Experience the Light of Life (2)

New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:23 says about New Jerusalem, “the city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

The glory of God as the light and the Lamb as the lamp signify that God in Christ is the light of the New Jerusalem in eternity. In the new city there is no need of the sun, the natural light, or any man-made lamp because God Himself will be the light, and Christ will be the lamp, shining out God to enlighten the entire city. This means that God in Christ is everything in the New Jerusalem. In the presence of the greatest light, all the lesser lights count for nothing. Outside the New Jerusalem there will still be day and night, but inside there will be no night (21:25).*

God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). God is in Jesus Christ who is our light of life (John 8:12) today. Thus, inwardly we can experience the light of New Jerusalem. This light gives us a sense about things and actions. The sense may be peace or joy, indicating that something corresponds with the light. Or, the sense within may be uneasiness or confusion, indicating something that is of darkness rather than light.

We need first to be aware of this light, this sense, within and then give heed to it. Gradually we learn to live according to this inward divine light. God’s word is a help in our learning to live in the light.

Psalm 119:130 says that the opening, or entrance, of God’s Word gives light. Day by day we need to enter into the holy Word. Then we will see and be in the light, which is God Himself through His Word. Therefore, we should not realize or do anything according to our natural ability or according to the education we have received. We have God as our unique light to apply to our life.*

When we read, we need an attitude of seeking to gain the light of life, not merely seeking to have some knowledge. We need to be nourished by spiritual eating, with praying, meditating, and singing. These are good ways to open to the light of life and experience a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

* These are excerpts from the book Experiencing, Enjoying, and Expressing Christ by Witness Lee, © LSM. See message 431 in online reading.

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

Experience the Light of Life

New JerusalemRevelation 22:5 says about 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 sun is one of the natural lights created by God and a lamp is one of the artificial lights made by men. Neither of them are needed in New Jerusalem.

The light of New Jerusalem is God Himself in Christ Jesus. This is Revelation 21:23, “The city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

God is light (1 John 1:5) and Jesus Christ is the light of life (John 1:4). They are not two separate lights; God is in Christ and shines through Him today. In New Jerusalem the glorious God shines from within the Lamb-Lamp.

In the ancient times the outer court of the tabernacle was lit by the sun during the day and by the moon at night, and the Holy Place was lit by the lampstand. In the Holy of Holies, however, there was no sun, no moon, and no lampstand. The light in the Holy of Holies was God Himself in His eternal glory….Besides the New Jerusalem, the Holy of Holies in both the tabernacle and the temple is the only structure in the entire Scriptures that is equal in three dimensions. Similarly, the Holy of Holies is the only other place where there is need of no light other than God. This shows that in eternity the holy city will be the Holy of Holies. In the New Jerusalem God Himself in Christ will be everything to us. The Triune God will also be our light to enlighten us. Here we have the intrinsic essence of the New Jerusalem.°

Thank you Lord Jesus that You are our light of life today. Enlighten us more today.

° This is an excerpt from the book Experiencing, Enjoying, and Expressing Christ by Witness Lee, © LSM. See message 431 in online reading.

Aspects of the Christian Life and Church Life Seen in the New Jerusalem

In April there was an international meeting of Christians with the subject, Aspects of the Christian Life and Church Life Seen in the New Jerusalem. Following that time, the eight messages became the basis for eight weeks of a book with daily verses and reading portions. Daily enjoyment from those portions was posted by Stefan at A Normal Believer in Christ.

I encourage you to look at Stefan’s overview, which has a one line summary/link for each day of the eight weeks. Here are the titles of the eight messages, which are also the subjects of the eight weeks in the book, along with a link to one of his daily portions:

The Throne of God and of the Lamb, the River of Water of Life, and the Tree of Life
Whenever we Enthrone God in our Being, we Enjoy the Flow of Water of Life Within us!

The City and the Bride
Experiencing the New Jerusalem as a City Representing the Kingdom of God Today

The Pearl Gates and the Golden Street
Being Conformed to Christ’s Death by the Power of His Resurrection for the New Jerusalem

The Fellowship of Life
The Fellowship of Life is the Flow of Life with the Supply of Life in the Believers

The Intrinsic Significance of the Name New Jerusalem and the Dimensions of the Holy City
Being Renewed Day-by-Day and Being Constituted with Christ for the New Jerusalem

The Lamb as the Lamp with God as the Light
Living and Walking in the Light Today – a Foretaste of the Light in New Jerusalem

The Triune God as our Constitution, Existence, Enjoyment, Living, and Expression
Partaking of and Living According to the Divine Nature, the Base of Gold in the New Jerusalem

Having the Glory of God
Christ is Coming to be Glorified in His Saints: He is in us as the Hope of Glory!

Stefan – thank you for presenting this to all of us!

New Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb

New Jerusalem, wife of the LambAs the consummation of all the Bible verses pointing to the eternal marriage, in Revelation 21:2 John says, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” In 21:9 an angel said to John, “Come here; I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And in 21:10 John says that the angel “showed me the holy city, Jerusalem.”

The Lamb is our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. In New Jerusalem He is the Husband, He and God are the temple (21:22), He is the Lamp through whom God’s glory is shining (21:23), and He and God are on the throne (22:3).

The city, New Jerusalem, is the bride and wife of Jesus Christ. It is a living city, composed of all God’s people throughout the ages. This corporate people is married to Him.

This marriage fulfills the picture of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2; the Lord’s word in Exodus 20; His words through Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Hosea; His speaking about Himself as the Bridegroom in the gospels; and the reality of the husband and wife in Ephesians 5.

Because New Jerusalem is the consummation of everything positive in the Bible, the characteristics of the city should (to some extent) be our experience today. The characteristics shown in the verses above are first, we take Him (the Lamb) as our Redeemer; because of His wonderful death, we can pray to receive forgiveness of sins from Him, and to thank Him for this forgiveness.

Second, He should be enthroned in our heart, or, as Ephesians 3 says, by prayer for the Spirit’s strengthening He can make home in our heart. Third, we should seek Him and come to Him daily as our temple. Fourth, we ask for His shining in us and through us. May the Lord keep us in His mercy that we may have these experiences as a foretaste of New Jerusalem as the wife of the Lamb.

Photo by Randy Roberts, courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.

New Jerusalem: Eternal Golden Lampstand

New JerusalemThe Lord’s work throughout the Bible points toward the new creation with New Jerusalem as its center. One aspect of the Lord’s work is His care for the churches in this age.

In Revelation 1:10-13 John tells us, “I was in spirit on the Lord’s Day and heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, saying, What you see write in a scroll and send it to the seven churches….And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me; and when I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands One like the Son of Man.”

The seven* churches in verse 11 are the seven lampstands in verse 12. “The seven lampstands are the seven churches” (v. 20).  The lampstands portray the churches as the shining testimony of Jesus Christ. And He is in their midst, caring for them.

The lampstands are golden. Their nature is divine, symbolized by the gold. Their nature is not natural; rather, they are composed of believers who have put off the old man, have put on the new man, and are being renewed by the Spirit’s operation in them.

At the beginning of Revelation we see seven golden lampstands; at the end we see New Jerusalem. Like the lampstands, New Jerusalem is golden:

“The city was pure gold, like clear glass.” (Revelation 21:18)

And, like the lampstands, New Jerusalem has a lamp:

“The glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:23)

Furthermore, like the lampstands, our Lord cares for New Jerusalem. He is the Lamb who redeemed us, He is the lamp bringing us God’s shining, and He is on the throne from which the river of life and tree of life proceed to refresh and nourish the whole city.

Today we live in the churches on the way to New Jerusalem. Lord, daily take us onward!

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

* Seven here is symbolic, representing all the churches raised up by the Lord, including but not limited to the seven named in Revelation 1:11.

New Jerusalem is the Consummation of Everything Positive in the Bible (2)

New Jerusalem is the consummation of everything positive in the Bible. The prior post presented the consummation of God, man, and life (the eternal life of God we receive in Jesus Christ). Here are a few more wonderful topics in the Bible which will be present in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemRedemption: man fell and was shut out of the garden of Eden, forbidden to receive God as life. Nevertheless, Genesis 3 has a picture of redemption with lambs slain to properly clothe Adam and Eve with coats of skins. In the gospels, Jesus came as the real Lamb of God to accomplish redemption. When we have Him, we have redemption. New Jerusalem is the bride of the Lamb, the Lamb is on the throne, and the Lamb is the temple and lamp of the city.

Spirit: in Genesis 1 the Spirit of God was moving. This moving continues through the Bible. Eventually the Spirit is seen as the flowing river of life in New Jerusalem.
• The Spirit, The Bountiful Supply, The River of Water of Life
• The River of Water of Life is Flowing Today

Light: in Genesis 1 God said, “let there be light.” In John we learn that the Lord Jesus is the light of the world. In 1 John God is light and we walk in the light. New Jerusalem is pure and clear to let God as light shine through.

Love: simple—God, who is love (1 John 4:16), will be in New Jerusalem.

Holiness: 1 Peter 1:16 quotes from Leviticus that we should be holy because God is holy. Eventually New Jerusalem is the holy city because God is holy.

Glory: God’s glory filled the tabernacle in Exodus and the temple in Kings. Isaiah saw God’s glory. So did John (John 1:14). New Jerusalem has the glory of God.

Your comment could suggest other topics which consummate in New Jerusalem.

God Shined in our Hearts and God Will Shine in New Jerusalem for His Expression

New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:23 says of New Jerusalem, “The city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

In the New Jerusalem light refers to God Himself who illuminates the entire city for His expression. God as the divine light, the light of life, is contained in the Lamb as the lamp (Rev. 21:23b). Without the redeeming Christ to contain the divine light, the divine light would “kill” us. With the redeeming Christ as the lamp, however, the divine light does not kill us but rather illumines us. First Timothy 6:16 tells us that God dwells in unapproachable light. In Christ, however, God becomes approachable. Outside of Christ, God’s shining is a killing, but inside of Christ, God’s shining is an illumining. Because the divine light shines through the Redeemer, this light has become lovable and touchable. Through the Lamb, the redeeming One, God’s light becomes an enjoyable shining for His dispensing. Since the day we were saved, we began to enjoy God as the divine light in the redeeming Christ illumining us all the time. Even today we should enjoy God in this way.°

Through incarnation God was embodied in Jesus Christ in order that He could shine into us and through us. Abundant thanks to Jesus Christ for making the shining God approachable, lovable, and touchable.

Second Corinthians 4:6 says, “God…is the One who shined in our hearts to illuminate the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Today God’s shining is in our hearts for us to enjoy and sometimes through our joyous faces for others to see. When New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven the shining will be the same in nature (because the same God will be shining) but so much brighter, so much more constant, and including God’s people through all the ages.

° This is an excerpt from the volumes Experiencing, Enjoying, and Expressing Christ by Witness Lee, © LSM. See message 431 in online reading.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

God’s Shining into us for New Jerusalem

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is pure, clear, and transparent. The Greek adjective translated “transparent” in Revelation 21:21 is related to a Greek verb meaning “to shine through.” The glory of God in Christ the lamp shines through the entire city. Nothing is opaque or cloudy.

The Greek verb is in 2 Peter 1:19, “we have the prophetic word made more firm, to which you do well to give heed as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” Here the Greek verb is translated “dawns” meaning that the light of the lamp shines through the darkness of the night.

The Greek adjective is used only in Revelation 21:21 and the Greek verb only in 2 Peter 1:19. Therefore, we should consider these two verses together. The word of God needs to shine in our hearts to dispel all the darkness in our being, thereby gradually bringing us to the transparent condition of New Jerusalem.

Peter urges us to give heed to God’s word as to a light. We need the word to shine in us. To study the Bible and to memorize verses is good, but we also need the shining. For this we can read the Bible with prayer for the Lord’s shining in us. When our heart is open to the Lord, He can shine.  Lord, shine into me and dispel all my darkness. Shine into any dark corner and clarify my being to become like New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. government.

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