New Jerusalem: the Full Expression of God

Revelation 4 says that God on the throne has the appearance of jasper and Revelation 21 says that New Jerusalem shines like a jasper stone. Thus New Jerusalem matches and fully expresses God.

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is like a jasper stone because all who have believed into Jesus Christ have not only been regenrated with Him as the eternal life but also have been transformed into His image. Second Corinthians 3:18 speaks of this.

“We all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.”

From regeneration we are gradually transformed “into the same image,” that is, into the image of our Lord.

This transformation is a renewing (Rom. 12:2) which brings our entire being out of the old creation and into the new creation to match New Jerusalem.

This transformation is also “from glory to glory” which prepares us for New Jerusalem, a city “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11).

Transformation requires our cooperation. Second Corinthians 3:16-18 shows that transformation occurs as we turn our heart to the Lord. Likewise, the conformation to the image of God’s Son in Romans 8:29 takes place in “those who love God.”

May we all love the Lord and love His appearing thereby letting the Spirit transform us into His glorious image for New Jerusalem.

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Rich Supply, Now and New Jerusalem

The description of New Jerusalem includes “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” (Rev. 22:1).

New JerusalemThe river of life for New Jerusalem flows out of the throne. Colossians 2:19 tells us that Christ is “the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God.”

Christ as the Head is the authority, corresponding to the throne in New Jerusalem. The rich supply out from the Head is like the river flowing out from the throne. 

The rich supply is for the present building up of the Body of Christ by the growth of God in all the members. This building up is the preparation of New Jerusalem in every member and corporately in the members as the one Body.

In eternity New Jerusalem will be complete, with no further need of preparation. Nevertheless, as a living entity, the city needs the proper supply to maintain the freshness of life. This supply is the river of life from the throne which brings the tree of life with its fruits.

To partake of the rich supply today is by “holding the Head” (Co. 2:19) and by “holding to truth in love” to “grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ” (Eph. 4:15-16). Lord Jesus, keep us holding to You in love for Your rich supply to prepare New Jerusalem in us.

A Word from Moses

Recent posts are about New Jerusalem being a spiritual structure in the resurrection life. New Jerusalem is not a physical city. This is the pattern of God’s building throughout the New Testament.

In the Old Testament God had a physical tabernacle and temple, but these were merely pictures of the NT reality. Even in that age, Moses declared in Psalm 90:1, “O Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.” 

New JerusalemOur dwelling place, our home, both today and in New Jerusalem, is God Himself. Jesus made this clear in John 14:20, speaking about His soon-to-happen resurrection, “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” And John 15:4, “Abide in Me and I in you.” We have a mutual indwelling.

How do we “know”? First John 2 tells us that we know because of the love of God in us, with which we love God, and because of the moving of the Holy Spirit in us. Lord, stir Your love in me and move within me every day! 

God in Jesus Christ dwells in us and we dwell in Him. This is true no matter what our physical location is. Paul, in prison, wrote several epistles which speak of Christ in us and us in Christ. This is our foretaste of New Jerusalem. It is also our training, our preparation to be a proper and mature constituent of New Jerusalem.

See also Where is New Jerusalem ?

I Come Quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus

Revelation 21 and the first part of 22 is John’s description of New Jerusalem as shown to him by an angel (22:6). From 22:7 most of the speaking is directly by the Lord Jesus. His conclusion is, “He who testifies these things says, Yes, I come quickly.” And John responds, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (22:20).

New JerusalemThe Lord told us in 22:16 “I Jesus have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches.” In 22:20 He is testifying these thing. The angel is representing the Lord and we accept every word from the angel as from the Lord.

The Lord told us three times at the end of Revelation that He comes quickly. We should not use our human reasoning to question quickly. The Lord’s wisdom is infinitely greater than ours. What we should do is echo John’s response, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

While we are waiting, we love Him, love His appearing, and pursue Him as our goal. The Lord’s testifying is for all the churches, so we should give heed to His first warning “I have one thing against you, that you have left your first love” (Rev. 2:4). Lord, keep me loving You every day!

Philippians 3:14, “I pursue toward the goal for the prize to which God in Christ Jesus has called me upward.” Jesus Christ is our goal and being in the marriage dinner of the Lamb will be our prize. And then onward to New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Spirit and the Bride Say, Come!

New JerusalemThe Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come!” (Rev. 22:17a)

The Spirit and the bride speak together, indicating their union. This is a big step toward the marriage dinner of the Lamb which leads us to New Jerusalem as the bride, the wife of the Lamb. These steps are all part of The Divine-Human Romance thru the Bible.

The Spirit and the bride call out to the Lord Jesus, the Lamb, Come! This is a cry for the Lord’s visible return to earth (Matt. 24:30) including the resurrection of all the dead believers and the manifestation of His kingdom to rule the earth in righteousness.

All who hear this cry should echo, Come! Throughout this age we should be “those who love His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). We are waiting and hoping for His appearing, and we are also pursuing to be perfected to be ready for His appearing.

The apostle Paul is a pattern, “Not that I have already obtained or am already perfected, but I pursue, if even I may lay hold of that for which I also have been laid hold of by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12). We are not yet perfected but we pursue while we wait for the Lord’s appearing.

May we all “pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Tim. 2:22) We pursue and we cry out, Come, Lord Jesus!

Faith and Love unto New Jerusalem (3)

Romans 8:17 tells us that we suffer with Christ to be glorified with Him. Faith and love energize us to pass through the sufferings that bring us to the glory to be revealed at the Lord’s second coming and then to the glory of New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem

Titus ends, “All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in faith. Grace be with you all.” Here is part of the footnote on this verse in the Recovery Version New Testament:

Faith and love are two inseparable, excellent virtues of the believers in Christ. Faith is given to us by God (2 Pet. 1) that by it we may receive Christ (John 1:12), the embodiment of the Triune God (Col. 2:9), and thereby enter into the Triune God and be joined to Him as one, having Him as our life, life supply, and everything. Love issues out of such a wonderful faith and enables us to live out all the riches of the Triune God in Christ with those who have believed into Christ with us, that the Triune God — the Father, the Son, and the Spirit — may have a glorious expression.

Faith and love are excellent because they unite us with the Triune God. The Triune God as our life and living result in a glorious expression present now to a limited extent. This expression will be much more in the coming age and at its fullest in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Faith and Love unto New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is the city of glory. To prepare the way unto this eternal city, Jesus Christ will come again in glory and we will be glorified with Him. Our glorification with Him involves suffering with Him now.

New JerusalemThe way to pass through the present sufferings is by faith and love. Faith substantiates the unseen, eternal glory, and love draws us to the Lord whom we have not seen. To encourage us on our path toward New Jerusalem, here are a few more verses on faith and love.

Galatians 5:6 tells us, “In Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything nor uncircumcision, but faith avails, operating through love.” The two virtues operate together. Faith receives the Spirit of life (3:2); thus, it is full of power. It operates through love to fulfill…to complete the sonship of God for His corporate expression — the Body of Christ.*

Ephesians 6:23 blesses us, “Peace to the brothers and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Again love and faith are joined, and they come from our Father and our Lord. They do not originate with us. Only what is from the divine source can bring us to New Jerusalem.

Paul had not been to Colossae but he says, “we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have unto all the saints” (1:4). Thank the Lord for this expression of faith and love in humanity. There will be much more in New Jerusalem.

* Part of footnote 2 on Gal. 5:6 in the Recovery Version NT; footnotes written by Witness Lee.

 

 

 

The Wife of the Lamb, New Jerusalem,  Made Herself Ready

New Jerusalem is “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:9-10). In Revelation 19 a great multitude shouts, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult, and let us give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, New Jerusalemand His wife has made herself ready.”

We, all the believers in Christ, as members of the corporate bride, get ready by cooperating with the Spirit’s work in us. Our cooperation hastens the readiness of the bride and the Lord’s coming.

Two portions in Matthew (one in the next post) speak about our readiness. Matthew 24 charges us to watch and to be ready for the Lord’s coming. His coming is both for judgment and for presenting the church to Himself glorious as His prepared bride.

The charge to be ready is in the context of historical and present unreadiness. These people are a warning to us. I see three principles to safeguard us. First, the Lord says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall by no means pass away” (24:35). Lord, make Your words always living to us.

Second, people are occupied with worldly endeavors. These are not necessarily evil but “If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.” Lord Jesus, keep me loving You and the Father!”

Third, in Gethsemane the Lord put watching and praying together. To watch is to be alert in fellowship with the Lord in prayer. Lord, make me a praying person. These three actions get us ready for the rejoicing of Revelation 19 and onward to 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, footnotes, and cross-references, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

The Spirit and the Bride Say, Come

In Revelation 21:2 John tells us, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” This is in eternity, in the new creation (21:1).

In Revelation 22:7 the Lord says, “Behold, I come quickly.”  In 22:12 He says “Behold, I come quickly, and My reward is with Me to render to each one as his work is.” In 22:16 He says further, “I Jesus have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches.” These verses in Revelation 22 show us that the concluding words of the Bible are before eternity. They are for us now, in the church age, before our Lord comes again and before the believers are gathered to His judgment seat (1 Cor. 4:5, 2 Cor. 5:10).

New JerusalemAlthough Revelation 21:2 presents New Jerusalem as the bride in the new creation, even before the Lord’s second coming, the bride is functioning. This is seen in Revelation 22:17, “The Spirit and the bride say, Come!“. This appeal expresses the desire for the Lord to come again.

We should each desire that the Lord come soon. In 2 Timothy 4:8 Paul is anticipating the reward promised in Revelation 22:12. Paul says this reward is for “not only me but also all those who have loved His appearing.”

Lord Jesus, we love You and we love Your appearing. Lord, come quickly!

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Love of the Marriage of the Lamb

New Jerusalem is “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:2, 9). This marriage is foreshadowed by Christ and the church, presented in the context of human marriage in Ephesians 5. This relationship is in love. Here is a link to each post about this relationship in Ephesians plus a verse from each. The last four links are for a song about Christ’s love for the church.

New Jerusalem

The Love of the Marriage of the Lamb Presented in Ephesians 1
“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love.”

The Love of the Marriage of the Lamb Presented in Ephesians 2–3
“God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us…made us alive together with Christ.”

The Love of the Marriage of the Lamb Presented in Ephesians 4
“Holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ” for “the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.”

The Love of the Marriage of the Lamb Presented in Ephesians 5
“Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…that He might present the church to Himself glorious.”

The Love of the Marriage of the Lamb Presented in Ephesians 6:23
“Peace to the brothers and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Love of the Marriage of the Lamb Presented in Ephesians 6:24
“Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptibility.”

The Love of the Marriage of the Lamb Spoken to Ephesus in Revelation 2
“I have one thing against you, that you have left your first love”

The Love of the Marriage of the Lamb Spoken to Ephesus in 1 Timothy 1
“Remain in Ephesus in order that you might charge certain ones not to teach different things….The goal of the charge is love.”

Christ Loves the Church & New Jerusalem
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult, and let us give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

Christ Loves the Church & New Jerusalem, 2
“I was their Husband, declares Jehovah.”

Christ Loves the Church & New Jerusalem, 3
“The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

Christ Loves the Church & New Jerusalem, 4
“The bride, the wife of the Lamb….the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God”

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Love of the Marriage of the Lamb Spoken to Ephesus in 1 Timothy 1

New JerusalemLast month there were six posts from Ephesians on the love between Christ the Husband and His wife the church (now) and New Jerusalem (eternally). My most recent post was the Lord’s rebuke to Ephesus in Revelation 2 because of their loss of the first love to Him.

How did they lose this love while remain-ing very active for the Lord in many things? First Timothy 1 gives us a view.

Paul exhorted Timothy to “remain in Ephesus in order that you might charge certain ones not to teach different things nor to give heed to myths and unending genealogies, which produce questionings rather than God’s economy, which is in faith”
(v. 3-4)

Then Paul says “the end/goal/purpose* of the charge is love out of a pure heart and out of a good conscience and out of unfeigned faith” (v. 5). These three inward sources of love make for a proper church life and prepare us for New Jerusalem.

The goal of Paul’s charge is love for the Lord out of a proper, upright inner being. The things which quench our love for the Lord and oppose this goal are different teachings, myths, genealogies, vain talking, and law teaching (v. 4-7). In contrast, 2 Timothy 2:22 exhorts us to pursue love “with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

Lord Jesus, I love You! Save me from all the distractions to remain in Your love.

* Various translations in 1 Tim. 1:5, thanks to Bible Hub.

The Love of the Marriage of the Lamb Spoken to Ephesus in Revelation 2

New Jerusalem is a marriage. The relationship of the Lord and the city, His bride, is in love. Last month there were six posts on this love from verses in Ephesians, The Love of the Marriage of the Lamb Presented in Ephesians.

At the beginning of Ephesians God “chose us…to be holy and without blemish before Him in love.” At the end of Ephesians “Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruptibility.” Approximately 30 years after Ephesians was written, the Lord spoke to them again in Revelation 2:1-7.

New JerusalemThe Lord commended the Ephesians for their work and labor and endurance and hating what He hates (v. 2-3, 6). However, He also said, “I have one thing against you, that you have left your first love” (v. 4).

The Lord focused on this one lack among them because loving Him is so important. We go to the marriage of the Lamb in love and with love.

The Lord’s word to the Ephesians is also to us: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (v. 7).

The Lord’s instruction to us is “Remember therefore where you have fallen from and repent” (v. 5). We need the rebuke in verse 4 and the reminder in verse 5. Thank the Lord that there is still time to repent!

Lord Jesus, forgive me for letting my love to You fade. Please keep my ear open to the Spirit and remind me always to love You.

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

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