New Jerusalem is the Expression of God

Many recent posts are about growing and being built together in Christ to be God’s living building, the city New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem is brought forth in God’s life and is the mutual indwelling of God and His people. Because of this New Jerusalem expresses God.

Revelation 4:3, describing God on His heavenly throne, says, “He who was sitting was like a jasper stone.”

According to Revelation 21: 11, the jasper is “a most precious stone… as clear as crystal.” Its color must be dark green, which signifies life in its richness.*

New JerusalemThis life came to us through the redemption of Christ and is Christ Himself. This life makes New Jerusalem a city of life. By this life New Jerusalem is a city “having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal” (Rev. 21:11).

In Revelation 22:1, God’s throne is at the center of the city. And both God on the throne and the whole New Jerusalem have the appearance of jasper. New Jerusalem is the duplication of God’s life and nature in His people to be His enlarged expression. This fulfills the Triune God’s purpose in creating man, as stated in Genesis 1:26, “Let Us make man in Our image.”

* Part of footnote 1 on Rev. 4:3 in The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA

Built Together in Christ for New Jerusalem

God’s New Testament building is a living temple built together in Christ Jesus by God’s life in us. The culmination of this building is a living city, New Jerusalem.

Revelation 3:12 includes the promise, “He who overcomes, him I will make a pillar in the temple of My God.” A person as a pillar in the temple is a further indication that God’s New Testament building is living. The overcomer was not merely born again but has grown from an infant in Christ (1 Cor. 3:1) to a mature and solid member in the Body of Christ.

Finally, in Revelation 21:22 John tells us, “I saw no temple in it [New Jerusalem], for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” Thus, to be built into God’s building, God’s temple, is to be built into God Himself

To be built into God may seem a strange expression but consider these Bible phrases:
Rom. 12:5: we “are one Body in Christ
Eph. 2:21: “in whom [Christ Jesus] all the building…is growing into a holy temple in the Lord
Col. 2:7: “having been rooted and being built up in Him
plus other verses in the prior three blog posts.

New Jerusalem, as the conclusion of all God’s work through the ages, is a living city, a living temple in the Lord. The whole city is a living building composed of God’s people built into God. New Jerusalem is the ultimate issue of the Lord’s word in John 14:20, “you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”

God’s Living Temple, Now to New Jerusalem

New JerusalemGod’s New Testament temple is living.
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16). God had only a symbolic physical temple in Old Testament times because the Spirit was not yet able to dwell in the believers.

Through Christ’s redemption and the Spirit’s regeneration, the Spirit now dwells in us. Thus, “we are the temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6:16).

At the time of our believing in Jesus Christ we are immediately brought into this living temple. However, we still need to grow into the reality of this temple. This can be illustrated by a civilian who takes an oath to enter military service. Instantly this person’s status changes from civilian to military. But much training and practice is needed for this person to develop as a properly functioning member of the military.

In Christ we are growing and we all as His building “being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord” (Eph. 2:20-21). The fact that we are “growing into a holy temple” is further proof that the temple is living.

After all His building work through the New Testament, God will not go back to a physical temple in eternity. New Jerusalem will be the ultimate living temple built together in life with God and all His people. By God’s life spreading within us we are being built into New Jerusalem.

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

God’s Living Temple, Now to New Jerusalem

Recent posts are on growing and being built into New Jerusalem as God’s eternal habitation and expression. Revelation 3:12 says, “He who overcomes, him I will make a pillar in the temple of My God.”

The overcoming believers are built into God’s temple. What is the temple? In John 2 Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Destroy refers to His death and raise it up refers to His resurrection. Jesus Himself is the replacement for the physical temple of the Old Testament!

New JerusalemGod’s intention is to have a living temple. Acts 17:24, “The God who made the world and all things in it, this One, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.” New Jerusalem is the ultimate living temple.

In Old Testament times, prior to the redemption Jesus accomplished by His death, God could not enter man to be man’s life. In those days a temporary, symbolic, physical temple was present.

In the New Testament firstly Jesus Himself was the temple. Through death and resurrection He was enlarged to have all His believers as the many members of His spiritual Body. “We who are many are one Body in Christ” (Rom. 12:5). The one Body of Christ is the enlarged living temple. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16).

New Jerusalem is the final step of the enlargement of this living temple.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem is a Living Building

Growth in the divine life and building bring us into New Jerusalem. In the Old Testament God had physical symbols of His building but in the New Testament He becomes life in His believers and gains a living building.

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is th consummation of God’s living building. Because the building is living, growth in life and the building work are not separate but two aspects of one process. Here are verses about the coupling of these two.

“You are God’s cultivated land, God’s building.” This is 1 Corinthians 3:9, a transition from nourishment and growth (v. 1-8) to matters of building (v. 10-16). The growth on God’s cultivated land is for God’s building.

Ephesians 4:12 speaks of “the building up of the Body of Christ.” Verse 13 says this building work is “until we all arrive…at a full-grown man.” For us corporately (man is singular) to be full grown is the completion of God’s building work, preparing the way for New Jerusalem to appear.

Ephesians 4:15 is about our growing up into Christ our Head in all things. Then in verse 16 a rich supply flows out from Him through all His members. This flow “causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.” Again, growth and building are inseparably linked.

We walk in Christ Jesus, “having been rooted and being built up in Him” (Col. 2:6-7). Roots bring us the life supply for the building up.

New Jerusalem is the conclusion of the Bible and is the final and fullest step in the development of God’s living building.

Growing in God’s Life unto New Jerusalem

The forgiveness of our sins by accepting the redemption accomplished by Christ on the cross is the first step in our Christian life. But this is not the goal. God cleanses us so that the way to the tree of life, closed in Genesis 3, can be reopened to us. This life, Christ Himself in us, grows to maturity to prepare us for New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemRomans 5:10 declares, “If we, being enemies, were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more we will be saved in His life.” Reconciliation was the base for receiving the eternal life. Now this life wants to grow in us.

This growth is a salvation; not our initial, eternal salvation, but a practical, experiential salvation from many things, attitudes, and behaviors which do not match God’s heart. This daily salvation is our growth in the eternal life we received. This growth brings us to New Jerusalem.

The cleansing of the precious blood delivers us from sins so that we do not perish. However, whether we can be transformed to become building material for the New Jerusalem depends on the extent to which the life of God grows in us and transforms us. Everyone in the New Jerusalem is a precious stone, not a piece of clay. Thus, the goal of our salvation is not merely to believe but to grow. The goal is not to go to heaven but to grow in life.*

* This is the last of a series of posts from The Way for a Christian to Mature in Life, chapter 3, Witness Lee, © LSM.

Growth and Maturity for New Jerusalem

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is a city of life. Every aspect of the city depends on and is in God’s eternal life. This is the life we all receive when we first believe into and receive Jesus Christ.

When we receive Him we are born again. Immediately, we “as newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation”
(1 Peter 2:2). But to grow a little is not sufficient to be constituted into New Jerusalem.

Paul and his companions labored that “we may present every man full-grown in Christ” (Col. 1:28-29). Through our receiving and applying the perfecting ministry of those the Lord has gifted, we all arrive “at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:12-13). This matches what God desires for New Jerusalem.

We all need to see this light today. We have been saved, our sins have been forgiven, and we have God’s life, but we still must grow in life and become mature. God would never put a man of clay in the New Jerusalem. Every stone built into the New Jerusalem is a precious stone that has been transformed by God. As soon as the life of God enters into man, transformation begins to take place within him in order to gradually build him into the New Jerusalem. Therefore, strictly speaking, we do not walk into the New Jerusalem. Rather, God works us into it. However, this requires the growth and maturity in life.*

Lord, cause me to grow daily in Your life, all the way to maturity!

* The Way for a Christian to Mature in Life, chapter 3, Witness Lee, © LSM.

New Jerusalem: God and Man Mingled

The garden of Eden and New Jerusalem mirror each other. The garden unfolds God’s purpose and the city shows the completion. God and man are present in the garden but are separate. In New Jerusalem God and man are present in a merged, mingled way.

In the garden of Eden in Genesis, we see man, pure gold, and precious stones. The man, the pure gold, and the precious stones are separate from each other. When we come to the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21, we see pure gold and precious stones but no man. Where is man? Can anyone find man in the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21? In Genesis we can see man in the garden of Eden, but in Revelation we cannot see man in the New Jerusalem. Why is this? This is because the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 is the issue of God’s work in man throughout the ages. The city, the place itself, is man. In the New Jerusalem, man, the pure gold, and the precious stones are one and cannot be separated.*

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is the mingling of God and man, accomplished by man’s willing cooperation with God’s work in man. God’s work begins with His Spirit regenerating our human spirit (John 3:6), making us alive with God’s life. This is the beginning of God’s work in man.

God continues with the Spirit’s transforming work in us and concludes with the transfiguration of our mortal bodies when the Lord Jesus returns visibly. The goal of this work is to conform us to His image, as clearly presented in Romans 8:29, 2 Corinthians 3:18, and Philippians 3:21.

Because God’s work in us conforms us to His image, New Jerusalem is not only the manifestation of God but even more the manifestation of God in man.

* The Way for a Christian to Mature in Life, chapter 3, Witness Lee, © LSM.

See with a Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation

To see New Jerusalem we need to be carried “away in spirit onto a great and high mountain” (Rev. 21:10). This separates us from the natural realm in which we cannot realize spiritual matters.

In Ephesians 1:17 Paul prayed for the believers: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him.” This is parallel to Revelation 21:10. We must be in spirit to have spiritual wisdom to see the things of God, including the real significance of New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemEphesians 1:17 is the only verse with the phrase “the Father of glory.” This phrase links to New Jerusalem, the city “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11). The Father of glory will bring forth the city of glory, and He will give us the spiritual wisdom and spiritual revelation in this age to see the eternal New Jerusalem.

God does this not only as the God of glory but as the Father of glory. As the Father, He has imparted His divine life into all His people. This life brings forth New Jerusalem as the city of life.

Do not think it is too hard to have a spiritual vision of New Jerusalem. No. God our Father wants to give us this vision and led Paul to pray for this. We can pray in the same way, Father of glory, give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of You and Your city.

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem is the Holy City

In Revelation 21:1-2 the apostle John says, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea is no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

The New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth will be the holy city, “the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22). The designation “holy city” signifies that the New Jerusalem is a city sanctified and separated unto God for fulfilling His purpose. It is both sanctified and separated unto God positionally and sanctified and saturated with God dispositionally. It is holy both extrinsically and intrinsically. It is an entity, entirely and thoroughly holy, that fits in with God’s holy nature for God’s expression to fulfill His heart’s desire.*

New JerusalemWe are sanctified, separated positionally at the time we believe into Christ Jesus. An example is the believers in Corinth who had many problems but were “those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor. 1:2). We are sanctified, saturated dispositionally by the Spirit’s working within us through our whole Christian life. We are “those who are being sanctified” (Heb. 2:11, 10:14).

This sanctification brings forth New Jerusalem as the holy city, a city without any spot or blemish, a city pure and clear shining with the glory of God.


* Conclusion of the New Testament, The, chapter 13, by Witness Lee

Photo courtesy of Burning Well.

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.

New Jerusalem, the City of the Great King

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.” In reading the Psalms, I appreciated the parallels between these verses and New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe greatness of the Lord is proclaimed in this Psalm, related to Jerusalem of the Psalmist’s time. The Lord’s greatness will be fully manifested and praised in New Jerusalem, the eternal city of the great King.

The Psalmist considered Jerusalem of his time to be beautiful and a joy of the whole earth. Much more New Jerusalem will have these characteristics. Jerusalem was “beautiful in elevation” and New Jerusalem will be elevated even more on the new earth.

Psalm 50:2 continues this praise of Jerusalem: “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.” Zion is the peak of the current Jerusalem, the place where the temple was built and will be rebuilt. These Psalmists loved and appreciated God in every way. Therefore they had God’s view and declared that Zion is “the perfection of beauty.” Even more, this will be true of New Jerusalem, the eternal Zion.

The Psalmist realized God’s shining from Zion of old. Much more New Jerusalem will shine with the glory of God (Rev. 21:23) and will be the ultimate manifestation of what is in these verses.

New Jerusalem is the Bride of Christ

Revelation 21:2, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:9-10, “the bride, the wife of the Lamb….the holy city, Jerusalem.”

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is the bride, the wife of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. This is a very important statement in Revelation 21. It declares that New Jerusalem is not a physical city but a corporate living person!

Revelation is a book of spiritual signs. New Jerusalem described as a city shows that it is God’s kingdom built up. New Jerusalem as a bride shows it is a corporate person as the consummation of the church as the Body of Christ, the one new man, and the wife (all three of which are presented in Ephesians).

Ephesians 5:25-27 announces that (1) “Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” through His death to redeem her, (2) He is now sanctifying her to match the purity of New Jerusalem, “cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word,” and (3) at His second coming He will “present the church to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that she would be holy and without blemish.”

In Ephesians 5 the church is described in the human context of husband and wife. This church will be the glorious bride, New Jerusalem, which Christ will present to Himself.


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.

%d bloggers like this: