New Jerusalem, City of the Living God

New JerusalemRevelation 21–22 presents a vision of the holy city, New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven to the new earth. Let’s look at descriptions of this holy city in other books of the Bible.

Hebrews 12:22 speaks of “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” The living God desires a living city composed of all His redeemed and regenerated people.

When we are made alive with the divine life in regeneration, we become “sons of the living God” (Rom. 9:26) to be “the temple of the living God (2 Cor. 6:6) and “the house of God, the church of the living God (1 Tim. 3:15). These consummate in New Jerusalem, the city of the living God.

Revelation 21:23 says of New Jerusalem, “the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” This combination of city and light reminds me of Matthew 5:14-16. Verse 14 says, “You are the light of the world. It is impossible for a city situated upon a mountain to be hidden.” Although New Jerusalem is not said to be “upon a mountain,” it will be very prominent in the new creation, in no way hidden.

 Today the kingdom people, with Christ shining within us, are the light to the fallen world. In eternity we, built into the city with Christ continuing to shine within us, will enlighten the new creation.

Hebrews 12 presents the city of the living God. Hebrews 11 also speaks about New Jerusalem: “the city which has the foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God” (v. 10) and “He [God] has prepared a city for them [the people of faith]” (v. 16).

Here are some prior posts about the God-prepared city in Hebrews 11.
We Enter New Jerusalem by Faith
Enter into What God Has Prepared
God Has Prepared the City, But …
God Has Prepared, We are Experiencing

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

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.

Wonderful Jesus Christ in Revelation 21 (2)

In Revelation 21 we see New Jerusalem in the new creation. Many prior posts addressed accomplishments by Jesus Christ to bring us here. Now we see the same wonderful Person as the center of the new creation.

In verse 21:6 He says “I am the Alpha and the Omega*, the Beginning and the End. I will give to him who thirsts from the spring of the water of life freely.” What He began in eternity past, and continued through His incarnation, human living, death, and resurrection, has come to an eternal conclusion.

New JerusalemEven in New Jerusalem, He is not only our Omega and End but He is still our Alpha and our Beginning. And the water of life He freely gives flows out of His throne (22:1).

In verses 9-11 New Jerusalem is “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” and is seen, “having the glory of God.” The Lamb, Jesus Christ, is the Husband and He is also the glory of New Jerusalem. This “glory of Christ” first comes to us in the gospel (2 Cor. 4:4) and develops in us to His second coming (2 Thes. 1:10), consummating in the glory of New Jerusalem.

Verses 12 to 21 describe New Jerusalem. In verse 22 John says, “I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” God and Jesus Christ are the living temple of the city. There is no physical temple.

In verse 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 in Jesus Christ is the light of the city. There is no need for physical light. God in Christ as the real light is first seen in Matthew 4:13-16 and is consummated in illuminating New Jerusalem.

*The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.

 

Aspects of New Jerusalem in Our Daily Life

hymn on God’s eternal purpose includes creation, life, transformation, building, and New Jerusalem. It moves from Genesis 1–2 through the New Testament to New Jerusalem in Revelation 21–22.
New Jerusalem

Verses 5 and 6 of the hymn, above, are about New Jerusalem. Here are many lines from these verses of the hymn with a corresponding portion from Revelation.

✦ He’s the very center, ruling on the throne:  “the throne of God and of the Lamb ” (22:1)
✦ By His light of glory, they are kept in light: “the Lord God will shine upon them” (22:5)
✦ He’s their living water, and their food supply: “a river of water of life, bright as crystal…And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month” (22:1-2)
✦ All their thirst and hunger He doth satisfy: “They will not hunger any more, neither will they thirst any more” (7:16)
✦ He’s for them the temple, in Himself they live: “the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its [New Jerusalem’s] temple” (21:22), “they…serve [as priests] Him day and night in His temple” (7:15)
✦ In His constant presence: “they will see His face….the Lord God will shine upon them” (22:4, 5)
✦ Worship ever give: “His slaves will serve [as priests] Him” (22:3)

The characteristics of New Jerusalem described in these hymn verses should be spiritual (not physical) characteristics of our Christian life today. The Lord Jesus should be on the throne in us now, supplying us with living water and being our bread of life. We should walk in Him as our light (1 John 1:7), be empowered by Him (2 Tim. 2:1), be in the oneness (Eph. 4:3), behold Him (Heb. 12:2), and worship Him (John 4:24).

The characteristics of New Jerusalem in the hymn are very similar to the characteristics of a proper Christian life. The difference is not in nature but in magnitude. New Jerusalem will be much richer than today, and without the complication of sin and death.

Acts 26:18 and New Jerusalem

In Acts 26 Paul recounts his calling by the Lord in Acts 9. The LorNew Jerusalemd told Paul He was sending him to the nations (v. 17), “To open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (v. 18).

Every point of this commission has a fulfillment in New Jerusalem. The first point is “to open their eyes.” In New Jerusalem we will see the face of God and the Lamb (Rev. 22:4).

The second point is “to turn them from darkness to light.” In New Jerusalem there will be no darkness. “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” (Rev. 22:5). Not only no darkness; even more there is no natural light from the sun nor man-made light from a lamp. The light of the city is Christ, the light of life (John 8:12).

The third point is a turn “from the authority of Satan to God.” In Revelation 20 Satan, the devil, is cast into the lake of fire forever (v. 10). And in New Jerusalem there is “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev. 22:1, 3).

The fourth point is “sanctified by faith.” By faith we become immediately holy in position and gradually holy in our nature to match “the holy city, New Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:2).

The fifth point, the first result, is “forgiveness of sins.” All sin and sins will have been put away by the time New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven. As a testimony, God and the redeeming Lamb are the temple (which is the whole of New Jerusalem), the Lamb is the lamp, and they are on the throne (Rev. 21:22, 23, 22:1).

The sixth point, the second result, is “an inheritance.” to be continued

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

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.

 

The Nations around New Jerusalem (3)

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is the mutual indwelling of the Triune God and His people. Around New Jerusalem on the new earth are the peoples (Rev. 21:3), the nations (Rev. 21:24). Two posts have presented differences between the people who are New Jerusalem and the peoples who are around New Jerusalem ( ).

The most striking distinction is the oneness of all who are in Christ and the plurality of the peoples, the nations.

The nations around New Jerusalem walk by the light of the city (Rev. 21:24). This is a blessing but it is not as high as that of the believers in Jesus Christ, who are the constituents of New Jerusalem and have Jesus Christ within as their light of life (John 1:4, 8:12).

The nations and their kings will bring their glory into New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:24, 26). This glory is no doubt very positive since everything on the new earth is wonderful. However, this glory is not as rich nor as outstanding as the glory of Christ in His people. This glory came as “the illumination of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4), through which we obtained “the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thes. 2:14), which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27), and will be consummated when “He comes to be glorified in His saints” (2 Thes. 1:10).

Christ as glory in us becomes the glory of New Jerusalem. This glory shines through and out of the city. Because of this shining “the nations will walk by its [New Jerusalem’s] light” (Rev. 21:24).

The Nations around New Jerusalem (2)

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is the mingling of the Triune God and His chosen, redeemed, regenerated, and matured people. Around New Jerusalem on the new earth are the peoples (Rev. 21:3), the nations (Rev. 21:24).

* The [nations] will be judged by Christ at the throne of His glory when He comes back to earth….The justified ones, the “sheep,” will be blessed and will inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:31-46). Unlike the New Testament believers, the “sheep” will not be saved and regenerated; they will only be restored to the original state of man as he was created by God….After the millennial kingdom, a part of these nations, deceived by the devil, will rebel against the Lord and will be consumed by fire from heaven (20:7-9). The rest will be transferred to the new earth to be the nations, which will live around the New Jerusalem and walk by its light….They, as created but unregenerated men, will be maintained to live forever in their created state through the healing of the leaves of the tree of life (22:2). Even for them there will be no more death (v. 4). Under the shining of the New Jerusalem with the divine glory, neither will they be in darkness.

The peoples are restored but not regenerated. They belong to God but they are not His sons born of His life. Hence they cannot participate in the oneness of New Jerusalem.

First Corinthians 2:6-13 speaks of the things which God prepared “before the ages” for those who love Him, those who are born of the Spirit. The timing of this preparation is different from the blessing “prepared for you [the sheep] from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). This shows another distinction between those who are constituents of New Jerusalem and those who are around New Jerusalem.

Thank the Lord that the door is open today to receive Him as life to become part of New Jerusalem!

Note 1 on Rev. 21:24 in The Holy Bible, Rec. Version published and © by Living Stream Ministry.

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

Isaiah Speaks About New Jerusalem (2)

New JerusalemRevelation 21:24 to 26 says, “The nations will walk by its [New Jerusalem’s] light; and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it. And its gates shall by no means be shut by day, for there will be no night there. And they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.”

Revelation 21:24 matches Isaiah 60:3, “Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Here “your” is probably not only New Jerusalem in eternity but also restored earthly Jerusalem in the millennial kingdom.

Verse 25a matches Isaiah 60:11a, “Your gates will be open continually; they will not be closed day or night.” Again, “your” is probably both restored Jerusalem and New Jerusalem. Verse 25b speaks of “no night” because the eternal, unvarying God in Christ is the light of the city.

Verse 26 matches Isaiah 60:5b, “The wealth of the nations will come to you.” It also matches Isaiah 60:11b, the gates of New Jerusalem will be open “So that they may bring to you the wealth of the nations.”

It was easy for Isaiah to speak things of New Jerusalem because He was a prophet of the God of New Jerusalem. What Isaiah prophesied and what John “saw” (e.g. Rev. 21:2, 22) of New Jerusalem is the inheritance of all God’s people.

Artwork courtesy of pixabay.com.

 

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.

 

God’s Fatness, Fountain, River, and Light

New Jerusalem is a city of light and life, we are children of light and life, and we walk in the light and in the fellowship of life. The past four posts have looked at light and life with New Testament verses.

New JerusalemPsalm 36:7-9 says, “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.

Here we have multiple aspects of the foretaste of life and light in New Jerusalem. “How precious” is God now! And how much more will God be to us then!

Perhaps now we only taste the fatness of His house, but in New Jerusalem certainly we will all be saturated with this fatness.

Today we drink of the river of His pleasures (the Spirit – John 7:37-39). This river will flow eternally from the throne of God and the Lamb (the fountain of life) in New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1). Both now and in eternity this river is our supply of divine life.

Today we walk in the light (1 John 1:7) and in New Jerusalem God’s light will be the only light! The city will have no need of natural light nor of man-made light. Lord, we thank You that You are our light of life now and in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

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