Revelation 22:3b says, “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it [New Jerusalem], and His slaves will serve Him.” Looking at our service now gives us insight into how we will serve in New Jerusalem.
The foundation of our serving is what Jesus Christ accomplished in His death and resurrection. He “released us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father” (Rev. 1:5-6).
Hebrews 9:14 also links the blood of Jesus and our serving, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Part of Revelation 7:14-15 is “they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Because of this they are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple.” The washing of our robes, our conduct, is by receiving the forgiveness of sins accomplished by Jesus Christ.
This washing of sins has two stages. One is by our repenting at the initial time of our salvation. The other is throughout our Christian life by our confessing of sins for His cleansing (1 John 1:9). The first brings us before the throne and the second keeps us before the throne so that we may serve God—both now and in New Jerusalem.
In Romans 1:9 Paul says, “God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit…” In Philippians 3:3 we “…serve by the Spirit of God…” Serving as priests must be in the Spirit with our human spirit. Without this mingled spirit, whatever we do is not serving God as a priest.
In John 4:24 Jesus says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.” There is no serving God in worship without the mingled spirit.
Our serving now, and in New Jerusalem, is based on redemption and in spirit.
Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.
Posted by Don on March 29, 2017
New 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.
Posted by Don on March 7, 2016
New Jerusalem is the mingling of God with His chosen, redeemed, regenerated, and matured people. The city is this organic union of God and His people. Around the city are the peoples (Rev. 21:3), the nations (Rev. 21:24). These peoples/nations are not New Jerusalem because they, being plural, do not have the oneness of New Jerusalem.
Revelation 21:3 says, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall tabernacle with them, and they shall be His peoples, and God Himself shall be with them.”
* The “peoples” in this verse will be “the nations” in verse 24. There will be several peoples, and each corporate people will be a nation on the new earth. These nations which will surround the New Jerusalem will be restored, but they will not be regenerated….As the restored and purged nations, they will live outside the New Jerusalem and they will enjoy the common blessings in the new heaven and the new earth.
These common blessings are mentioned in verse 4: “And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain—they shall be no more; for the former things have passed away.”
These peoples will be God’s peoples, belonging to Him. However, they are not His sons born of His life. Without this life they cannot participate in the oneness of New Jerusalem.
These peoples enjoy the blessings of the new earth but do not partake of the special blessings in New Jerusalem. For example, the peoples/nations will not eat the fruit of the tree of life (Christ). Their portion will only be the healing of the leaves of the tree of life (Rev. 22:2). They will receive this blessing out of New Jerusalem, but it is far better to partake of Christ as our tree of life both today and in New Jerusalem.
* An excerpt from Life-study of Revelation, message 58, by Witness Lee, published and © by Living Stream Ministry. This and many other books by Witness Lee may be read online here.
Posted by Don on March 4, 2016
In John 15:4 the Lord Jesus tells us, “Abide in Me and I in you.” This abiding is in the divine life and is portrayed in John 15 by the vine and the branches. This mutual abiding will continue unto New Jerusalem.
As soon as we receive Him, Jesus Christ is in us. While this fact remains true eternally, “in” is only a starting point. Galatians has the progression of Christ revealed in me (1:16), Christ living in me (2:20), and Christ formed in me (4:19). This is equivalent to Christ making His home in our hearts (Eph. 3:16-17).
Christ being formed in me and making home in me is a blending of Him and me, and is for New Jerusalem. This blending takes place as Christ lives in me and I live depending on Him by faith (Gal. 2:20).
God and man, man and God, are built up together by being blended and mingled together (John 14:20, 23; 15:4; 1 Cor. 6:17). God wants to dispense Himself into us and mingle and blend Himself with us, and we should open our entire being to Him so that He will be able to carry out His intention regarding us without hindrance. When we are open to the Lord’s dispensing, much mingling and blending can happen in even a short period of time. We need to pray, “Lord, here I am. I choose to become the New Jerusalem now. It is not by my working; it is by my enjoyment of You. Lord, dispense Yourself into me for the New Jerusalem. Mingle Yourself with me in every part of my being, blend me with You, and incorporate me with You for Your corporate expression.”
We either open to the Lord or hinder the Lord. We can pray what is in the quote above or open to the Lord’s desire with our own words. Lord, impart Yourself into me for New Jerusalem. Lord Jesus, mingle Yourself with me, be formed in me for New Jerusalem.
* Affirmation & Critique (A&C) is a Christian Journal published twice a year, © Living Stream Ministry. A&C presents Bible truths in a scholarly manner, with references to and citations from a variety of publications by authors over the entire Christian era. A&C exhibits much appreciation for the person and work of Jesus Christ and our life with Him. This group of my posts has short extracts from the article The New Jerusalem—the Consummation of the Divine Economy according to the High Peak of the Divine Revelation by Ron Kangas in the Fall 2010 issue.
Posted by Don on November 13, 2015