The Leaves for the Healing of the Nations

The river of water of life flows from the throne in New Jerusalem. “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2).

New JerusalemThe fruit of the tree of life is the life supply for God’s people who are constituted into New Jerusalem. The leaves of the tree are for the nations living around and outside New Jerusalem, who are not part of the city. There is a difference: Built Into or Living Around New Jerusalem.

The peoples of the nations around the city will have human life restored to the condition of Genesis 1–2, before sin entered. They will not have the divine, eternal life that the people constituted into the city possess, and they will not eat the fruit of the tree of life.

The leaves of the tree are for their healing. The fact that they need healing indicates some imperfection. In contrast, the people who are part of New Jerusalem have the perfect eternal life.

The nations around New Jerusalem are mentioned in Revelation 21:3, 24, 26, and 22:2. But God’s goal is New Jerusalem as His dwelling place, the place of His glory, and the bride, the wife of Jesus Christ. Let us align ourselves with this. Our first step is to repent of our past living and believe into Jesus Christ. Then we exercise to take Him as our life supply that we may live Him daily. This brings us to the goal, New Jerusalem.

First Step to New Jerusalem: Believe!

Revelation 21:25 tells us that the gates of New Jerusalem “shall by no means be shut by day, for there will be no night there.”

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is the center of the new heaven and new earth. In the new heaven are the sun, moon, and stars. Day and night (as in Rev. 20:10) are related to the sun, and months (as in Rev. 22:2) are related to the moon.

Although the new creation will have day and night, in New Jerusalem “there will be no night” because the glory of God illuminates the city. This glory is eternally constant and brighter than the sun. No Night in New Jerusalem and New Jerusalem: Night Will Be No More!

The nations on the new earth around the city will bring their glory and honor into the city. To facilitate that, the gates of New Jerusalem will not be closed to them.  However, verse 21:27 tells us that “Anything common and he who makes an abomination and a lie shall by no means enter into it, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

All negative things will be in the lake of fire. The top enjoyment in the new creation is to be built into the city. The lesser, but positive, enjoyment is to be the nations around New Jerusalem. The shameful portion is the lake of fire for Satan and those who follow him by opposing and rejecting God. Repent and believe into Jesus Christ now to get on the life path to New Jerusalem!

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Nations Walk by the Light of New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:23-24 tells us that New Jerusalem “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. And the nations will walk by its light.”

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is constituted with God and His redeemed people. The nations are other peoples, including the sheep before the throne of glory in Matthew 25:31-40. Much more is in The Nations around New Jerusalem (7) with links to (1) to (6).

The glory of God, in Jesus Christ the Lamb as the lamp, enlightens all of New Jerusalem. Because New Jerusalem is clear and transparent, the glory shining within the city also shines through the city to illuminate the earth around it. In this way the surrounding nations “will walk by its light.”

Revelation 21:24 also says, “the kings of the earth bring their glory into it.” And 21:26, “And they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.” These kings are the leaders of the nations around New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem will be the center of life on the new earth and the surrounding nations will bring their top portion into the city in response to its centrality.

God’s desire is that we repent to receive His forgiveness and His life to enter New Jerusalem. Since this is His goal, His word has much more about New Jerusalem than about the nations.

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 U.S. National Park Service.

Life on New Earth around New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:4 continues from verse 3, “And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death will be no more, nor will there be sorrow or crying or pain anymore; for the former things have passed away.” This
New Jerusalemverse describes God’s blessings to the nations living around New Jerusalem. Surely God’s redeemed people who are built into New Jerusalem will also enjoy these blessings and also much more.

Tears, death, sorrow, and pain will be no more in the new creation. This was prophesied in Isaiah 65:17, “I am now creating new heavens and a new earth, and the former things will not be remembered, nor will they come up in the heart.”

The former things are of the old creation. Not only have they passed away but even more they will not arise in men’s hearts.

All of the former things are results of the fall of man. In Genesis 1–2 there was no sorrow, no pain, and no death. These all came into humanity through the fall. Romans 5:12: “through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin, death.”

Through His death Christ redeemed us from sin (Titus 2:14), nullified death (2 Tim. 1:10), and destroyed the devil (Heb. 2:14). Although the full effect of these accomplishments is not yet manifest, by the time of Revelation 20 all negative things will go to the lake of fire.

This is a brief look at the blessings to be enjoyed by people living around New Jerusalem on the new earth.

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Behold the Tabernacle of God is with Men

Revelation 21:3, “And I heard a loud voice out of the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.”

New Jerusalem is the tabernacle of God. It is the consummation of the New Testament tabernacle—God dwelling in humanity. This tabernacle, the New Jerusalem, is on the new earth, having “come down out of heaven.” This has four results in verse 21:3:
New Jerusalem• the tabernacle of God is with men,
• God dwells with them on earth,
• they are God’s peoples, and
• God is with them to be their God.

The Body of Christ is composed of all His believers. We are the many grains blended to form one bread, one Body in Christ (1 Cor. 10:16-17).

In the same way, New Jerusalem is one entity composed of all God’s people throughout the ages. This corporate entity, this city, is the tabernacle with the peoples on earth.

Who are these peoples? They are plural, lacking the oneness of God’s redeemed people. They are the nations around New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:24-26). They include the sheep blessed by the Lord at the judgment recorded in Matthew 25.

Built Into or Living Around New Jerusalem has summaries of and links to many posts which distinguish the believers constituted into New Jerusalem from the nations living around the city. It concludes: Choose to be in New Jerusalem! Those who receive Jesus Christ are born of God (John 1:12-13). This birth imparts eternal life into us, the life which brings us into New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of Good Free Photos.

No Miracles in the New Creation

New JerusalemThe sources of all the problems in the old creation are eliminated by the time of Revelation 20. The new heaven and new earth, which appear in verse 21:1, will be without sin and death, without sicknesses, and without demons. There will be no need of miracles to remove problems of any kind in New Jerusalem.

Within New Jerusalem there is “the tree of life…yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2).

These nations are not New Jerusalem but are peoples living around the city for eternity. These peoples are not regenerated; they have a human life restored to the condition of the garden of Eden in Genesis 1–2. Here is a word about their healing:

Because in eternity there will be both the believers and the nations, the tree of life has two functions….The fruit of the tree of life will be a supply to the sons of God, to those born of God. But “the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2b). Hence, the leaves of the tree of life will not supply the nations but will heal them, keeping them alive for eternity.*

Neither New Jerusalem nor the new creation will have any need of casting out demons, cleaning leprosy, or raising the dead. The nations will receive healing from the tree of life, a matter of life, not of miraculous power.

* An excerpt from The Conclusion of the New Testament by Witness Lee, message 188, online section 4

New Jerusalem: the Unique Marriage

John told us, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2). Then he told us, “One of the seven angels…came and spoke with me, saying, Come here; I will show you the bride,
the wife of the Lamb. And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem” (21:9-10).

New JerusalemEternally New Jerusalem is the wife of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. This is the unique eternal marriage.

In Matthew 22:23-33 the Sadducees asked the Lord about the continuation of earthly marriages after the resurrection of the dead. The Lord’s answer in verse 30 is, “in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” Here the Lord speaks about the “resurrection of life” (John 5:29), the resurrection of those who are righteous in Him (Acts 24:15), the first/best resurrection (Rev. 20:5, 6).

This resurrection of life is at the Lord’s second coming, when the dead believers in Christ and the believers who are alive on earth both enter into a full resurrection, including the redemption of their bodies. They all are constituents of the city of resurrection, New Jerusalem. All these believers are the corporate wife of the Lamb, married to Him. Per the Lord’s word in Matthew, they are no longer in any human marriage.

I do not see any clear word in the Bible about marriages among the nations on the new earth around New Jerusalem, but for the believers in Christ, the city is clearly the unique eternal marriage.

“And…And” Points to New Jerusalem

Many verses in Revelation 19—20 begin “And” linking praises, judgments, the marriage of the Lamb, His victories, and the kingdom with “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth….And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem” at the start of chapter 21.

New JerusalemThe way to see New Jerusalem is in 21:10: “And he [an angel] carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem.” And couples this with the angels having the last plagues (v. 9), indicating that the plagues are a base for brining in New Jerusalem.

The description of the city in 21:11-23 has multiple ands because the city is one whole entity. Verses 21:24-26 each begin And, showing that the nations around New Jerusalem are coupled to it although not integral parts of it.

But Revelation 21 is not complete; 22 begins ” And he showed me a river of water of life…” Then 22:2: “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life…” The description of the city in 21:11-23 is not complete without the life supply flowing from the throne brining us the tree of life with its fruits. The outcome of this life supply is described in 22:3-5, each of which begins “And.”

After the description of life in New Jerusalem we read, “And he [the angel] said to me, These words are faithful and true…” (v. 6). Then the Lord speaks “And behold, I come quickly.” (v. 7). The Lord’s second coming is not separate from New Jerusalem but rather is tied to it.

A few more verses begin with And, then Revelation concludes, ” The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.”

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

New Heaven, Earth, Jerusalem; No Sea

New JerusalemRevelation 21:1: “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.” Many recent posts are on the new heaven and the new earth. These will be with New Jerusalem but, as stated in this verse, without the sea.

There is no more sea because the sea is a result of God’s judgments on the corrupted earth. We are likely familiar with the flood in Noah’s time, which covered the entire earth with a sea of water. This was because “the wickedness of man was great in the earth” (Gen. 6:5). After this, God promised that never again would waters cover the earth to destroy everything (Gen. 9:11-16).

Prior to this there was another flood. In Genesis 1:1 “God created the heavens and the earth.” This creation was pleasant. Isaiah 45:18 declares that God “formed the earth and made it; He established it; He did not create it waste.” However, due to Satan’s rebellion, “the earth became waste and emptiness, and darkness was on the surface of the deep” (Gen. 1:2).

As a result of the judgment in verse 2, there was no land—no place for man to live for God’s purpose. Water covered the earth. But, as in Noah’s time, God restored the earth. “God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so” (Gen. 1:9).

Revelation 21 is a full, complete renovation. It has the new earth for the nations to live on, New Jerusalem as God’s dwelling with His people on earth, and no more sea, no leftover from the prior judgments. Praise God that everything is new!

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

Shadows of New Jerusalem, Psalms 138-145

New JerusalemWe continue looking at clear words and hints in Psalms about Christ, God’s house, God’s city, and God’s blessing to the whole earth. These point toward Christ on the throne in New Jerusalem at the center of the new earth.

Psalm 138:4-5 say, “All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O Jehovah; for they have heard the words of Your mouth. And they will sing of the ways of Jehovah, for great is the glory of Jehovah.” This corresponds with Revelation 21; verse 23 says the glory of God illumined New Jerusalem. Verse 23 also says the nations on new earth will bring their glory and honor into New Jerusalem (analogous to giving thanks in Psalm 138).

Psalm 144:3 says, “O Jehovah, what is man, that You take knowledge of him, And the son of man, that You think of him?” This repeats Psalm 8:4, quoted in Hebrews 2:6, and is in reference to Jesus Christ. Hebrews 2 goes on to speak of His incarnation, His death, His resurrection, and His being crowned with glory and honor in ascension. In New Jerusalem the Lamb, indicating incarnation and death, will be on the throne, indicating exaltation with glory and honor (Rev. 22:1).

Psalm 145:1-3 say, “I will extol You, O my God and King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is Jehovah, and much to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.”

In New Jerusalem we will extol and praise our God and King, and bless His name forever. And, although we will see, appreciate, and partake of His greatness, we will never reach its limit, for it is unsearchable. New Jerusalem will contain and display the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8).

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

 

 

New Jerusalem is the Center of New Heaven and New Earth

New JerusalemIn Revelation 21:1-2 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.”

John had a three-fold vision here: a new heaven, a new earth, and New Jerusalem. In Revelation 21 we have these insights into the new heaven and new earth:
• new earth will not have an ocean (21:1)
• New Jerusalem will be “out of heaven”
and hence on new earth (21:2)
• nations will live around New Jerusalem (21:24)
• New Jerusalem will be the tabernacle of God with these nations (21:3)
• God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death will be no
more, nor will there be sorrow or crying or pain anymore” (21:4)
• there will be sun & moon (21:23)

If we are curious about life on the new earth, we will be disappointed with the paucity of this description. Why does the Bible say so little about the new heaven and new earth? Because they are merely the background, the environment for New Jerusalem.

God’s Goal is New Jerusalem

God’s desire is not merely to have us on new earth. His desire is to bring us to Himself and to fill us with Himself, so that we become His corporate expression, which is called New Jerusalem. Lord, we give ourselves to be filled with You, to be knit together in You, and to be Your expression.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Built Into or Living Around New Jerusalem

New JerusalemFour verses mention the peoples (Rev. 21:3), the nations around New Jerusalem. These nations walk by the light of New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:24), bring their glory and honor into it (Rev. 21:26), and are healed by the leaves of the tree of life (Rev. 22:2). Here is a summary of recent posts about these nations, with links (at ▣) to individual posts.

 These nations are plural and still are “nations” whereas the Lord Jesus has purchased us for God, redeeming us “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9).

Revelation 21:24-26 is about these nations. Several phrases here match phrases in Isaiah 60, such as “Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising” (60:3).

In contrast to the plurality of the peoples and nations in Revelation 21:3, 24-26, Galatians 3:28 proclaims “you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Another contrast to the multiple peoples/nations in that in the new man, which we have put on, “there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.” (Col. 3:10-11).

▣1 ▣2 The peoples/nations around New Jerusalem will be God’s peoples, belonging to Him, and restored to the state of human life at creation, before the fall. However, they are not His sons born of His life.

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

 God is both the God of people built into New Jerusalem and the God of the peoples around the city. In contrast, only the people constituted into New Jerusalem have been born of God and have God as their Father.

The peoples around New Jerusalem live near God. This is far inferior to the people built into New Jerusalem, who live in God and have God living in them.

▣1 ▣2 In Revelation 22:1-2 there are three provisions: the water of the river of life, the fruits of the tree of life, and the leaves of the tree. The leaves are designated for the outward healing of the nations around New Jerusalem. In contrast, the water and fruit symbolize divine life as the inward supply for the people built into New Jerusalem.

▣1 ▣2 First Corinthians 1:30 declares that it is of God that we are in Christ Jesus. This is unchangeable. But, is our daily living according to our culture and upbringing or is it in Christ Jesus? We need the Lord’s renewing (Col. 3:10) that we may live Him in reality.

 Choose to be in New Jerusalem! John 1:12-13 tells us that those who receive Jesus Christ are born of God. This birth imparts eternal life into us, the life which brings us into New Jerusalem and grows us into this city of life.

Yes, life on the new earth around New Jerusalem will be tremendously better than life on earth now. However, do not settle for this but reach out for the best—born again for being built into New Jerusalem today and living in its fullness eternally.

 

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