Pearl Gates: Our Beginning for New Jerusalem

New JerusalemEach of the twelve gates of New Jerusalem is one pearl. The prior post presented pearls as a symbol of regeneration, which is the beginning of the Lord’s life secretion into us.

This matches Titus 3:5 which says that our Savior God, “according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.” A footnote in the Recovery Version New Testament (© Living Stream Ministry) says “regeneration”

refers to a change from one state to another. Being born again is the commencing of this change. The washing of regeneration begins with our being born again and continues with the renewing of the Holy Spirit as the process of God’s new creation, a process that makes us a new man….The washing of regeneration purges away all the things of the old nature of our old man, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit imparts something new — the divine essence of the new man — into our being….Both the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit are working in us continually throughout our life until the completion of the new creation.

We are in a life process, which gradually reconstitutes us from fallen people with a sinful nature to spiritual people matching New Jerusalem. This is a change we cannot make by ourselves. It comes only from the Holy Spirit and continues until the completion of the new creation when New Jerusalem will descend out of heaven from God.

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God’s Building Work with Man (4)

New JerusalemRevelation 21–22 presents New Jerusalem to us, followed by some words from the Lord. New Jerusalem, as the conclusion of the Bible, is the conclusion of all that God has done through the ages. New Jerusalem is not separate from all that God accomplished before Revelation 21. It is His goal from eternity.

Abraham, in following God, “eagerly waited for the city which has the foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God (Heb. 11:10). And New Jerusalem is that city with foundations (Rev. 21:19-20).

The Bible is a composition of sixty-six books that tell us how God has been working for over six thousand years to bring His ultimate building into existence. Bible students speak of many dispensations, telling how God works in one age in a certain way and in another age in another way. Yet the ultimate result, the issue of all God’s work throughout all generations, will be the New Jerusalem. However we may interpret the dispensations, we must realize that all of God’s various ways of working will issue in a certain kind of result—the New Jerusalem.*

All negatives in the universe were overcome by Christ through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension. All are fully eliminated in Revelation 20. This affords a way for New Jerusalem to appear in a new and pure creation. Although it might be difficult to see how some of God’s work today is toward this goal, we must realize that New Jerusalem is the target and the consummation of all God’s work.

* Excerpt from The Vision of God’s Building by Witness Lee, chapter 17

God’s Move from Eternity to Eternity

Peter’s two epistles present God’s move from eternity to eternity. Here is a brief look.

In eternity, before creation, God had purposed something in Himself. In His infinite wisdom God knew us before creation and chose us for Himself (1 P 1:2). Something of God’s purpose and our salvation was unveiled through the prophets (1 P 1:10-12).

Jesus Christ was manifested (1 P 1:20), transfigured (2 P 1:16-18), shed His blood for our redemption (1 P 1:18-19, 2:24), and resurrected (1 P 1:3). He is the cornerstone for God’s eternal building (1 P 2:6), and He will come again as the rising Sun (2 P 1:19).

Peter writes about our receiving God’s forgiveness (1 P 1:2), regeneration (1 P 1:3, 23), and baptism (1 P 3:21). He speaks of God’s grace to us (1 P 1:2, 5:12) and our manner of life as Christians including relationships with one another, rejecting worldly and fleshly living to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16), being subject to the government of God while we suffer in this time, and God’s judgement beginning with His household (1 P 4:17).

New JerusalemPeter unveils the day of judgement with the change from the old creation to the new
(2 P 3:10-13). He does not mention New Jerusalem but many phrases point to it.

We have been regenerated “unto a living hope,” and “unto an inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, kept in the heavens for you” (1 P 1:3-4). Our ultimate inheritance is to be part of New Jerusalem.

Second Peter 1:1-4 present many blessings from God to us. By these we exercise to develop a life full of Christian virtues (1:5-11). Eventually, “the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly and bountifully supplied to you” (1:11). New Jerusalem is the consummate realization of this eternal kingdom.

Finally, to God “be the glory and the might forever and ever” (1 P 5:11) and to Jesus Christ “be the glory both now and unto the day of eternity” (2 P 3:18). Both point to New Jerusalem, the city “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11).

 

 

 

We Are Being Renewed into New Jerusalem

New JerusalemDue to the fall of man in Genesis 3, God’s original creation became the old creation. But “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). The consummation of the change from the old creation to the new is Revelation 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.”

Although we are in Christ and positioned in the new creation, we still need much of God’s renewing work within us. Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Ephesians 4:23, Colossians 3:10, and Titus 3:5 all speak of this on-going renewing work within us to fully match us to the new creation and New Jerusalem.

This renewing is the Spirit working the heavenly life and nature into us so that we live a heavenly life on earth. This life has a heavenly expression on earth; the ultimate step of this expression is New Jerusalem.

Starting in the garden of Eden, the God of creation began to work in us to make us pure gold and precious stones. When His work is done, we will be in the New Jerusalem. At that time we will not only be in the New Jerusalem, but we will also be able to say that we are the New Jerusalem. It is God who is working heaven into us, and it is God who is working us into the heavenlies (cf. Eph. 2:6). Heaven and man are becoming one. What is heaven?*

Do not lose heart…our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). We thank the Lord that He is able to work daily in us to renew us to be fully one with Him for New Jerusalem.


* The Way for a Christian to Mature in Life, chapter 3, Witness Lee, © LSM.
* “What is heaven?” See the next post.

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New Jerusalem: the Conclusion of the Bible

In Revelation 21:1-2 John tells us, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth….And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem. This is the central part of the conclusion of the Bible.

In Revelation 21:1-8 we have a brief and clear presentation of biblical eschatology°. Here, in the new heaven and new earth [v. 1], we see the New Jerusalem [v. 2] composed of God’s sons [v. 5-7], the restored nations as the peoples [v. 3-4], and the lake of fire [v. 8]. The lake of fire will, in a negative way, show forth God’s righteousness, for all who are in it will suffer God’s righteous judgment. But the New Jerusalem will, in a positive way, show forth God’s holiness and shine with His glory. This is a clear picture of the eschatology in the New Testament.*

New JerusalemThese verses show us three conclusions. Surely we should choose New Jerusalem. Our choice is made now, not at the time the new heaven and new earth appear.

Our first step toward New Jerusalem is to believe into the Lord Jesus. He died to accomplish redemption. We respond by confessing that we are sinners and that we receive His forgiveness.

He rose from the dead to regenerate all who believe. This is His coming into the believing people to be their new life, their eternal life. This life grows in us to renew us and to develop in us a living that matches New Jerusalem. Choose Jesus Christ today!

The Conclusion of the New Testament, vol. 16, chapter 11, by Witness Lee, © LSM

° a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind,
__a definition from www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary

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Our Human Spirit is for New Jerusalem

New JerusalemZechariah 12:1 speaks of Jehovah “who stretches forth the heavens and
lays the foundations of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him.” This is the beginning of God’s work of creation and the beginning of man.

Revelation 21:1-2 says, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth….And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” This is the conclusion of God’s work.

All God’s building work in the New Testament, consummating with New Jerusalem, is spiritual. Therefore our human spirit is important.

The holy city New Jerusalem is the ultimate consummation of the work for God’s new creation out of God’s old creation through all the four ages of man’s history (the age before the law, the age of law, the age of grace, and the age of the kingdom), from God’s making the spirit for man and putting man in front of the tree of life to the accomplishment of this city for the good pleasure of His will, which is the intent of His eternal economy. God’s new creation is made out of the old creation through four ages. This work began from God’s creating man with a spirit and putting him before the tree of life and ends with the New Jerusalem.*

The coupling of heaven, earth, and the spirit of man in Zechariah indicates the importance of our human spirit. With our spirit we contact the Spirit. In regeneration our spirit is born of the Spirit (John 3:6). Our spirit receives the Spirit who is life (John 6:63, 2 Cor. 3:6). This is the life that grows in us and builds us into Christ’s Body, so our human spirit is a central part of our journey to New Jerusalem in the new creation.

* The Ten Great Critical ‘Ones’ for the Building Up of the Body of Christ, chapter 6, by Witness Lee, © LSM.

New Jerusalem: through Christ, unto Christ

Romans 11 concludes, “Out from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.” This is about the old creation but should apply equally to the new
New Jerusalemcreation and New Jerusalem. They are out from our Lord and through Him and to Him with glory.

Colossians 1:16b is parallel: “All things have been created through Him and unto Him.” First Corinthians 8:6 has similar words. Since this is true for the old creation, it must also apply to the new creation.

The new creation, and New Jerusalem at its center, is not for our pleasure and amusement as in this current world. It will not be for us to do “fun” things we hoped to do in this life. In New Jerusalem, which comes out from God through Christ and is unto Him, Christ will be our joy, our nourishment, our health and rest, our righteousness, our peace and security, our career. We will have everything in Christ and nothing apart from Him.

In our initial salvation we “put on the new man” (Col. 3:10) Now this new man, including all the believers, is being renewed to match the newness of New Jerusalem (3:10). In this new man “Christ is all [everything] and in all [of us]” (3:11). This is fact today even though our seeing and experience is limited.

In New Jerusalem Christ as all and in all with be fully realized and fully manifested in fact and experience.

We Are Made New for New Jerusalem

A recent post focused on our being sanctified, separated positionally, and sanctified, saturated dispositionally, for the holy city New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemAll human beings are in the old creation, under sin and death (Rom. 5:12). We need to be made new to be part of New Jerusalem in the new creation. Like sanctification, our change from old to new has two stages—positional and dispositional.

The positional change is immediate at the time of our believing. We repent and believe into Jesus Christ.

Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” In Christ we are positionally new; this fact stands firm in the Bible. But are we new in all our living? in all our attitudes and reactions to people and situations? We are not.

We need the dispositional renewing by the Spirit’s working in us. Romans 12:2 exhorts us “be transformed by the renewing of the mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.” We need dispositional renewing to fully enter and prove the will of God.

Ephesians 4:23 is the same: “be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” That is our need. The way is in Titus 3:5—God “saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit, who gave birth to our deadened spirit (John 3:6) is working within us to spread into our mind to renew us dispositionally.

This renewing constitutes us with the newness of God so that New Jerusalem can manifest this newness eternally.

God is Manifested in the Church and in New Jerusalem

New JerusalemFirst Timothy 3:15 speaks of “the house of God, which is the church of the living God.” In the New Testament the house is also the household, the family, as in 1 Corinthians 1:16. The church is not a physical structure but a composition of all God’s New Testament people.

Likewise, New Jerusalem is not a physical city but the composition of God with all His Old and New Testament people.

In 1 Timothy 3:16 the church is involved in the mystery of godliness, God manifested in the flesh.* This manifestation is for today and will be greatly enlarged with New Jerusalem.

Today the manifestation is spiritual; when Christ returns the manifestation will be enlarged and much more evident. Colossians 3:4 speaks of this: “When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.”

Today the church, as the manifestation of God in the flesh, is the house of God, whereas in the new heaven and new earth the New Jerusalem, as the manifestation of God in the new creation, will be the city of God. The city is much bigger than the house, signifying that the New Jerusalem, as the manifestation of God in His new creation, will be the enlargement and consummation of the church to express God in eternity.

As the old Jerusalem was the center and capital of God’s kingdom in the nation of Israel, the New Jerusalem will be the administrative center of the eternal kingdom of God in the new universe for the manifestation of God for the ages to come.**


* See Life-Study of 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon, last half chap. 6, by Witness Lee

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

Transformation, Renewing, Sanctification, Washing for New Jerusalem

Every human being is born into the old creation. Every human being who turns to God and believes into Jesus Christ is born a second time, born again, into the new creation. The culmination of this new creation is “a new heaven and a new earth” with “the holy city, New Jerusalem” as its center (Rev. 21:1-2).

Being born again is a positional transfer into the new creation and a gaining of the life of the new creation. Being born again is also a guarantee that our condition, our inner nature, will change to fully match New Jerusalem in the new creation. In our second birth Jesus Christ as the Spirit enlivens our human spirit and remains within us eternally. He is our guarantee.

New JerusalemHis growth and spreading within us transforms, renews, sanctifies, washes us, changing our inward nature from the old to the new creation, to the shining of New Jerusalem.

Ephesians 5 speaks of the “washing of the water in the word.” This is not the printed word of the Bible but the living word which comes through the Bible page in front of us or the Bible memory within us.

This living word is the Spirit and the Spirit is the flow of life in us. John 6:63: “It is the Spirit who gives life…the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” We experience this living word when a passage of the Bible becomes so bubbling in us, or when we receive fresh light on it, or when the Spirit applies it to our personal situation.

In our present experience the living word is irregular but in New Jerusalem the Spirit flows constantly as the river of water of life.

New Jerusalem: the Full Expression of God

Prior posts speak of our transformation by the Spirit’s renewing to bring forth New Jerusalem as the full expression of the Triune God. Our transformation and renewing from men of dust in the old creation to living stones in the new creation is also a sanctification, a washing. Transformation, renewing, and washing are not separate actions but three views of the same action.

New JerusalemThere are two washings in our Christian life. One is the cleansing from sins by the blood of Jesus. That is a judicial matter. The other washing is living, by the flow of His life within us. This post is about the living washing.

Titus 3:5: “according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.” Regeneration, being born again, is a once for all matter. But regeneration brings eternal life into us and this life is a flowing life. This flow, portrayed by the river of water of life in New Jerusalem, washes us continually.

Ephesians 5:25-27 also speaks of our sanctification by this washing: “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her that He might sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word, that He might present the church to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things.”

On the cross Christ gave Himself to gain the church. Now He is “cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word.” The goal of this washing is that the church, as the forerunner of New Jerusalem, be glorious, radiating the glory of God.

New Jerusalem: the Full Expression of God

Both God on the throne (Rev. 4:3) and New Jerusalem (21:11) have the appearance of jasper. In this way, New Jerusalem is the expression of God.

New Jerusalem is a composition of the Triune God and all His people. We were created from dust but through regeneration and transformation, we gain God’s nature and appearance. This makes New Jerusalem the expression of God. Transformation brings our entire being from the old creation to the new creation where New Jerusalem is.

New JerusalemRomans 12:2 tells us that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. This renewing is accomplished by the Spirit who dwells within us from our regeneration all the way into New Jerusalem.

Titus 3:4-5: “When the kindness and the love to man of our Savior God appeared, not out of works in righteousness which we did but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.”

We were dead spiritually (Eph. 2:1) but the Spirit has regenerated us, making our Spirit alive. John 3:6b “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The Spirit does not merely make us alive and then leave. Rather, the Spirit dwells within us forever. This indwelling Spirit renews us by spreading from our spirit to our mind, the leading part of our soul, our psychological being.

The renewal by the Spirit’s spreading is actually the Spirit Himself as the newness. He guides us “into all the reality” (John 16:13). Thus we gain the Triune God’s newness for His expression by New Jerusalem.

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