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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New Jerusalem: No Self, No Soul Life

“Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24). This is not an option for our Christian life nor for New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemPositionally, our self, our old man, has been crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6). But in practicality we often live according to our old man—our old preferences, our independent decision making, and our habitual ways of living. We are like a person born and grown up in country A who is now positioned in country B but still lives like a country A person.

We need to deny ourself so that Christ can live through us. This was Paul’s declaration in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I [the old, natural man] who live, but it is Christ who lives in me…”

For such a life, we need the Spirit to apply the death of Christ to everything natural in us. Second Corinthians 4:7-12 speaks of this. Christ is the treasure in our human vessel but we still need outward circumstances to turn us from our natural living to living by faith in Christ. This portion concludes “death operates in us but life in you.” The operating death works for our denying of self so that life can flow to others.

To deny ourself is to experience the Spirit’s renewing of our entire being. The result is that our constitution and all our daily living is in the new creation where we come to the full reality of New Jerusalem.

Five Steps to New Jerusalem (2)

The prior post presented the first three of five basic steps of God’s operation that bring us to New Jerusalem. These are God’s selection, Jesus Christ’s redemption, and the Spirit’s regeneration.

New JerusalemFourth, transformation. The main part of transformation is the renewing of our mind. Romans 12:2 urges us “be transformed by the renewing of the mind.” The goal of this renewing is, in the same verse, “that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.”

This renewing is by the Spirit (Titus 3:5) in response to our cooperation in turning from everything that veils us to behold the Lord (2 Cor. 3:16-18).

The Spirit’s work brings us gradually out of the old, fallen, corrupted creation into the reality of the new creation. By believing into Christ we are positioned in the new creation but we still need the Spirit to apply this newness to our every thought and action. This prepares us for New Jerusalem in the new creation.

Fifth, transfiguration. Philippians 3:21 tells su that our “Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, will transfigure the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory.” A mortal body (Rom. 8:11) in humiliation can by no means participate in New Jerusalem. We need transfiguration, which in Romans 8:23 is named “the redemption of our body” (redeeming it from indwelling sin and death).

Our transfiguration will occur at the Lord’s coming back and will cause our body to match His glorious body, qualifying us for New Jerusalem, the city of glory.

Renewed in Spirit unto New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is the center of the new earth. This is a new creation because in Revelation
New Jerusalem20 all oldness went into the lake of fire.

God is the eternal newness. When the devil deceived Adam, man fell into sin and death; this was a departure from God’s newness and an entry into oldness. (Oldness is not a matter of “how long” but is due to separation from God.)

Romans 6:6 tells us that the old man has been crucified with Christ. This death brings us into resurrection to be the new man in Christ. This is a positional change. But a practical change in our daily living, to “walk in newness of life” takes time because we continue many old habits.

To “walk in newness of life” is to “walk in newness of spirit” (Rom. 7:6). Practically, this new walk requires the renewing work of the Holy Spirit in us. This renewing work makes us new inwardly and in daily living; the result is that we match the newness of New Jerusalem.

Some verses about this renewing:
• “Do not be fashioned according to this age, but 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.” (Rom. 12:2)
• “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” (Eph. 4:23)
• The new man is “being renewed.” (Col. 3:10)
• “The renewing of the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)

By loving the Lord, singing to Him, calling on His name, and taking time in His word, we give ground to the Spirit to renew us for a walk in newness of life today and fully in New Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:2, a Song

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

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is the holy city because the holy God is the element constituting the city. God in Christ as the Spirit has been wrought into every one of His believers to be their holiness and to make them members of holy New Jerusalem.

The new creation in Revelation 21:1 is composed of new heaven and new earth. This holy city comes down “out of heaven” to be on the new earth.

The city is a corporate living person, a bride to marry her Husband, Jesus Christ, the Lamb. This is the fullest blossoming of the church as the wife of Christ in Ephesians 5. Jesus Christ is life, he has become our life, and New Jerusalem is a city of life.

Here are the words of Revelation 21:2 to sing with this music.

And I saw the holy city,
New Jerusalem,
Coming down out of heaven from God,
Prepared as a bride
Adorned for her husband,
Coming down out of heaven from God.

Lord Jesus, gain our full cooperation and accomplish all the preparation of Your bride!


Revelation 21:2 begins And. “And” Points to New Jerusalem
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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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The Faithful and True Words of God

New JerusalemRevelation 21:5b-6a says, “And He said, Write, for these words are faithful and true. And He said to me, They have come to pass. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.”

The words of the Lamb-God on the throne are faithful and true because His person is faithful and true. Everything God speaks, He accomplishes.

In His eternal view everything is already accomplished. That is why He says, “they have come to pass.” And that is why John was able to say “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem” and why he saw so many other things. We are limited by time but God is eternal, unlimited.

God is “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and omega is the last letter. God is not only the Alpha, the Beginning, He is also the Accomplisher, the Completer, the Omega, the End. Everything He has planned from eternity, is, in His eternal view, already complete.

John saw New Jerusalem in a new creation and described the blessings therein. Although we do not have the complete view of the finished work, by faith we accept it and agree with it. This is Hebrews 11:1; faith substantiates the unseen things. Furthermore, we have the inner, spiritual foretaste of New Jerusalem because we are already a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

“They have come to pass” in verse 6 refers to the foregoing words including New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.

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The Throne and All Things New

Revelation 21:5 says, “And He who sits on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said, Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

In New Jerusalem at the center of the new creation, there is a throne. This throne is for God’s administration of the universe. To His redeemed people, the constituents of New Jerusalem, it is also “the throne of grace” (Heb. 4:16) where we receive mercy and find grace, both today and eternally.

This throne is “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev. 22:1). There is only one throne
New Jerusalembecause God and the Lamb are one. The Lord Jesus told us “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30) and “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (John 14:10). Because They are one, there is one throne. This is the throne of the redeeming Lamb-God (Rev. 22:1).

This One says, “I make all things new.” Men claim to invent and make many new things but all of this is in the old, fallen creation. None of it is new in God’s sight.

The new heaven, new earth, and New Jerusalem will be new because everything of the old creation will have been terminated. The entire universe will be new. Only God can do this, because only God can terminate sin, death, and Satan, the primary factors which made the old creation old. And only the redeeming Lamb-God can bring us out of oldness to make us His new creation, His new city, Jerusalem (2 Cor. 5:17).

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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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New Jerusalem is Heavenly, On Earth

In Revelation 21:2 John tells us, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” The fifth matter we consider in this verse is coming down out of heaven.

New Jerusalem comes out of heaven because it is heavenly in nature. In Hebrews 12:22 it is called “the heavenly Jerusalem” and in Galatians 4:26 “the Jerusalem above.”

New JerusalemFirst Corinthians 15:45-49 presents a contrast between heavenly and earthly. All that is of fallen Adam is earthly; all that is of Christ is heavenly. Verse 49: “even as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.”

We were born into Adam but we have been reborn into Christ; hence we will bear the image of Him as the heavenly man, and corporately New Jerusalem as the heavenly city will bear the same image.

New Jerusalem is in the new creation of Revelation 21:1. This creation consists of heaven and earth. New Jerusalem is heavenly in nature but it comes down out of heaven. It is no longer in heaven; its location is on the new earth.

New Jerusalem on earth fulfills God’s goal in creating man—to have a corporate man on earth to express Him by being constituted with Him to bear His image. This is in progress now; “the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him [Christ] who created him” (Col. 3:10). The consummation of this renewal is New Jerusalem bearing a heavenly image on earth.

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New Jerusalem is Divinely New

Revelation 21–22 present New Jerusalem to us. It is new compared to the Jerusalem from King David’s time to now, but in what way is it new?

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is new because it is entirely in God and of God. This is the divine definition of new—everything in God is new but everything outside of God is old. Everything around us is old because the first creation has fallen away from God.

The clearest presentation of this divine definition of new is in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Galatians 6:15 also speaks of this new creation. A small portion of a footnote on the new creation in the Recovery Version NT says,

The old creation is our old man in Adam (Eph. 4:22), our natural being by birth, without God’s life and the divine nature. The new creation is the new man in Christ (Eph. 4:24), our being that is regenerated by the Spirit (John 3:6), having God’s life and the divine nature wrought into it (John 3:36; 2 Pet. 1:4), having Christ as its constituent (Col. 3:10-11), and having become a new constitution.

The old creation was old because it did not have God’s element; the new creation is new because it has God as its element. Although we are still the old creation, we experience the reality of the new creation when we walk according to the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25).

New Jerusalem is unchangingly new because it is constituted entirely with God’s life and nature wrought into our redeemed, regenerated, transformed, and glorified humanity.

New Creation: Now or Later?

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is on the new earth as the center of the new creation. As the outcome of God’s last judgments in Revelation 20, John tells us in 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.”

One aspect of this new creation is revealed much earlier, in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” And concerning our Christian life, Galatians 6:15 tells us, “a new creation is what matters.” This is inward, spiritual, a forerunner of the full new creation revealed at the end of Revelation.

The old creation is our old man in Adam (Eph. 4:22), our natural being by birth, without God’s life and the divine nature. The new creation is the new man in Christ (Eph. 4:24), our being that is regenerated by the Spirit (John 3:6), having God’s life and the divine nature wrought into it (John 3:36; 2 Pet. 1:4), having Christ as its constituent (Col. 3:10-11), and having become a new constitution….Although we are still the old creation, we experience the reality of the new creation when we walk according to the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25).*

Today we experience the inward new creation when we live in Spirit. When we reach Revelation 21, the entire creation, inwardly and around us, will be new with the full reality of New Jerusalem.


* Part of footnote 1 on Gal. 6:15 in the Recovery Version NT; footnotes written by Witness Lee.

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