Eternal Life and New Jerusalem (5)

New JerusalemFirst John 1:2: “And the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and report to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us.” This life was first manifested through the incarnation and human living of the Lord Jesus. It will be fully manifested by New Jerusalem.

This eternal life brings us fellowship with God and with one another (v. 3, 7). This fellowship is for this time and will continue ever richer into eternity in New Jerusalem.

To announce this life to one another is a matter of joy now (v. 4). This life will also fill New Jerusalem with joy. Furthermore, in this life we have God, who is light (v. 5). This light is within us now and will characterize New Jerusalem as a city with God in the Lamb as its light (Rev. 21:11, 23).

In New Jerusalem there will be no sin, so there will be no further need of confessing sins (v. 9). But, the Lamb will be in the city (Rev. 21:22-23, 22:1, 3) as a reminder that He is the One who “took away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).

Verse 8 speaks about the truth (reality). This truth is Jesus Christ Himself (John 14:6) both now and in New Jerusalem.

Verse 9 tells us that God is faithful and righteous to forgive the sins we confess. In New Jerusalem there will be no more sinning so no more confessing of sins, but God will still be faithful and righteous, and we will still “openly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:11). And we will “see His face” (Rev. 22:4).

All of these blessings in 1 John 1 characterize Christian life today and in New Jerusalem. It is a city of eternal life, eternal fellowship, eternal joy, eternal light, eternal truth (reality), and the eternal presence of the faithful and righteous God.

Photo courtesy of Heather Martin.

What is NOT in New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is filled with everything wonderful—the glory of God, the divine nature, God and the Lamb on the throne, the river of water of life, the tree of life, eternal newness, and much more.

NOT in New JerusalemThere are many evil, negative, and worldly things which today are present and too often experienced, but they will not be in New Jerusalem. Rather, they will be in the lake of fire.

Their elimination is the result, firstly, of the death, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement of Jesus Christ.

Their elimination is the result, secondly, of the work of Jesus Christ through this age, and our cooperation with Him.

Throughout the New Testament there are many judgments on the negative things and the positive preparation of New Jerusalem as the wife of the Lamb.

Revelation 19:1-9, is a good summary. It presents many praises exalting God, both for His judgments and for the preparation of the wife of the Lamb.

Here are all my “not in New Jerusalem” posts, in no particular order. I expect a few more posts will be written; when published, they will be added to this list.

New Jerusalem: No Darkness, No Death
Neither Sin nor Death in New Jerusalem
No Tree of Knowledge in New Jerusalem
No Unrighteousness in New Jerusalem
Neither Sin nor Satan in New Jerusalem
No Devil In or Near New Jerusalem
No Flesh in New Jerusalem
No Lie, No Falsehood, in New Jerusalem
No Curse in New Jerusalem
Neither Tears nor Sorrow nor Crying nor Pain in New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem: No More Tribulation (1) (2)
No Physical Gold in New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem: No Night There
No Night in New Jerusalem
No Need for Sleep in New Jerusalem
No Money in New Jerusalem & New Creation

No Beasts in or near New Jerusalem
In the Garden of Eden but not in New Jerusalem

Nothing Abominable in New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem: Not a Physical Building
No Mansions in New Jerusalem

Acts 26:18 and New Jerusalem

In Acts 26 Paul recounts his calling by the Lord in Acts 9. The LorNew Jerusalemd told Paul He was sending him to the nations (v. 17), “To open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (v. 18).

Every point of this commission has a fulfillment in New Jerusalem. The first point is “to open their eyes.” In New Jerusalem we will see the face of God and the Lamb (Rev. 22:4).

The second point is “to turn them from darkness to light.” In New Jerusalem there will be no darkness. “Night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them” (Rev. 22:5). Not only no darkness; even more there is no natural light from the sun nor man-made light from a lamp. The light of the city is Christ, the light of life (John 8:12).

The third point is a turn “from the authority of Satan to God.” In Revelation 20 Satan, the devil, is cast into the lake of fire forever (v. 10). And in New Jerusalem there is “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev. 22:1, 3).

The fourth point is “sanctified by faith.” By faith we become immediately holy in position and gradually holy in our nature to match “the holy city, New Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:2).

The fifth point, the first result, is “forgiveness of sins.” All sin and sins will have been put away by the time New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven. As a testimony, God and the redeeming Lamb are the temple (which is the whole of New Jerusalem), the Lamb is the lamp, and they are on the throne (Rev. 21:22, 23, 22:1).

The sixth point, the second result, is “an inheritance.” to be continued

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem, a City of Light and Life

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is a city of light and life. First, light:
• “The holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.” (Rev. 21:10b-11)
• “The city 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.” (Rev. 21:23)
• “And the nations [peoples on new earth who are not part of New Jerusalem] will walk by its light.” (Rev. 21:24)

With the light New Jerusalem also has life:
• And he showed me 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 [New Jerusalem’s] street. And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.” (Rev. 22:1-2a)

God in Jesus Christ is the light and the life to us and in New Jerusalem. John 1:4 says,

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

And John 8:12, “Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

We are following Jesus now in the light of life (Himself as our life within us, 2 Cor. 4:10-11) and we will continue following Him in the next age in more light of life. Ultimately we will be with Him in New Jerusalem in the eternal light of life.

Experience the Light of Life (2)

New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:23 says about New Jerusalem, “the city 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.”

The glory of God as the light and the Lamb as the lamp signify that God in Christ is the light of the New Jerusalem in eternity. In the new city there is no need of the sun, the natural light, or any man-made lamp because God Himself will be the light, and Christ will be the lamp, shining out God to enlighten the entire city. This means that God in Christ is everything in the New Jerusalem. In the presence of the greatest light, all the lesser lights count for nothing. Outside the New Jerusalem there will still be day and night, but inside there will be no night (21:25).*

God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). God is in Jesus Christ who is our light of life (John 8:12) today. Thus, inwardly we can experience the light of New Jerusalem. This light gives us a sense about things and actions. The sense may be peace or joy, indicating that something corresponds with the light. Or, the sense within may be uneasiness or confusion, indicating something that is of darkness rather than light.

We need first to be aware of this light, this sense, within and then give heed to it. Gradually we learn to live according to this inward divine light. God’s word is a help in our learning to live in the light.

Psalm 119:130 says that the opening, or entrance, of God’s Word gives light. Day by day we need to enter into the holy Word. Then we will see and be in the light, which is God Himself through His Word. Therefore, we should not realize or do anything according to our natural ability or according to the education we have received. We have God as our unique light to apply to our life.*

When we read, we need an attitude of seeking to gain the light of life, not merely seeking to have some knowledge. We need to be nourished by spiritual eating, with praying, meditating, and singing. These are good ways to open to the light of life and experience a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

* These are excerpts from the book Experiencing, Enjoying, and Expressing Christ by Witness Lee, © LSM. See message 431 in online reading.

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

Walk in the Unique, Eternal, Divine Light

Revelation 22:5 says about New Jerusalem, “Night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them.” New Jerusalem is and our Christian life today should be characterized by God’s shining.

New JerusalemThe light of the holy city is the unique, eternal, divine light in which the redeemed elect live and move within the city (Rev. 21:23, 25). In the whole universe there are only three kinds of light. First, there is the natural light, the sun and the moon, created by God. Then there is the artificial light made by man. Third, there is the real light, the genuine light, which is God Himself. Revelation tells us that in the New Jerusalem we do not need the natural light of the moon and the sun or any artificial light. This is because we have the real light, which is the source of all the light. This light is God who shines within Christ and is diffused over all the nations.°

We should not wait for New Jerusalem to experience God as light. John 1:4, speaking about the incarnation of Jesus, says, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Later Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

When we receive Jesus as our life, we have the real light. This is the unique, eternal, divine light of New Jerusalem. Now we should walk in this light (1 John 1:5-7). When we have a sense of darkness or confusion, we need to stop a moment and pray, opening ourselves to the Lord: Lord, shine in me now as You will shine in New Jerusalem.

° This is an excerpt from the book Experiencing, Enjoying, and Expressing Christ by Witness Lee, © LSM. See message 431 in online reading.

Photo courtesy of University of Iowa and NASA.

Come, Drink a River Pure and Clear

New Jerusalem

Here is the first verse of a song that I appreciate (all the words, music, testimonies). The writer and many I know who sing this song heartily experience some spiritual reality of New Jerusalem.

Drink! A river pure and clear that’s flowing from the throne;
Eat! The tree of life with fruits abundant, richly grown;
Look! No need of lamp nor sun nor moon to keep it bright, for
__Here there is no night!

The four lines above reflect four phrases in Revelation 21–22 about New Jerusalem.

And he showed me 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. (22:1)
And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month. (22:2)
The city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it. (21:23)
There will be no night there. (21:25)

The chorus of the song is Revelation 22:17:

Do come, oh, do come,
Says Spirit and the Bride:
Do come, oh, do come,
Let him that heareth, cry.
Do come, oh, do come,
Let him who thirsts and will
__Take freely the water of life!

The key to entering experiences portrayed in this song is “come.” In John 7:37-39 Jesus says, “Come to Me and drink.” In John 4:10 Jesus tells us to ask Him and He will give us a drink. Come to Jesus and simply tell Him, Lord, I am one who thirsts and I want to take the water. I open to You. Please give me living water to drink. Every day we can come and ask Jesus for living water.

A related post by Tom at Holding to Truth in Love:
Speak to Christ the Rock to Drink the Spirit as the Water of Life!

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

The Triune God is Our Blessing in Revelation 22:3-5

In recent months the majority of my posts were on Revelation 22:3-5. Each post focused on one or two phrases from these verses. Now it is good to read the whole at one time:

And there will no longer be a curse. And the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His slaves will serve Him; and they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them; and they will reign forever and ever.

The word “and” is used frequently in these verses. It seems to indicate that these are not separate blessings but rather aspects of the top and unique blessing—no separation of any kind between us and the Triune God.

New Jerusalem

In review, here are each of the phrases from Revelation 22:3-5 with a link to one post on each phrase.

And there will no longer be a curse.
Receive the Promise of the Spirit

And the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it,
The Throne of God and the Lamb

and His slaves will serve Him;
God’s Slaves Serve in New Jerusalem

and they will see His face,
We See the Face of God and the Lamb

and His name will be on their foreheads.
The Name of God and the Lamb

And night will be no more;
New Jerusalem: Night Will Be No More!

and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun for the Lord God will shine upon them;
The Lord God Shines in New Jerusalem

and they will reign forever and ever.
We Will Reign Forever in New Jerusalem

We can never sufficiently thank and appreciate our wonderful God for all that He is to us. Thank Him! Praise Him!

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Lord God Shines in New Jerusalem

God Shines in New JerusalemDear followers and readers: ten days ago I became sick. Since then I have done little on the internet. I thank the Lord for that “vacation” but now I will resume posting at two to three day intervals. Thank you for visiting and reading.

Revelation 22:5, speaking about the slaves of God and the Lamb in New Jerusalem, says “they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them.” Verse 21:23 says, “the city 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.”

New Jerusalem has no need of natural light created by God (the sun, the moon) nor any need of the light of a lamp. “God is light” (1 John 1:5). Jesus said “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). We received Him and He became our light. Gradually His shining is increasing within us.

Peter tells us, “we have the prophetic word made more firm, to which you do well to give heed as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). We give heed to the words of the Bible as to a light. Then the morning star rises in our hearts and eventually the full day will dawn. That dawning will bring us into the divine shining in New Jerusalem.

More about the Lord God’s shining is in the posts on Revelation 21:23:
God Shines through the City
The Glory of God Illuminates New Jerusalem
The Glory of God Radiates through New Jerusalem
Jesus, the Lamb, is the Lamp

Photo by Dr. Dwayne Meadows, NOAA/NMFS/OPR, courtesy of NOAA.

New Jerusalem: Night Will Be No More!

No Night in New JerusalemRevelation 22:5, speaking about New Jerusalem, declares “night will be no more.” This echos verse 21:25, “there will be no night there.”

In Matthew 4:16 darkness is related to death. In John 3:19 condemnation is upon men who love darkness due to their evil works. In John 11:10 those who walk in the night do not have Christ as their light. In Acts 26:18 darkness is related to the authority of Satan. In Ephesians 6:12 the rulers of darkness are spiritual forces of evil. In 1 Thessalonians 5:4-10, those who are drunken (physically or spiritually or both) and are not watching for the Lord are apart from salvation and subject to the wrath of God. In 1 John 1:5-10 darkness is related to sin and sins. In 1 John 2:11 whoever hates his brother is in darkness.

“No more night” means no more death, no more authority of Satan, no more evil spiritual forces, no more hatred or evil works. “No more night” means no shortage of Christ as our light of life. “No more night” means the spiritual warfare has ended and we praise Christ the Victor and sing exultingly, “the victory is won.”

“God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” New Jerusalem will have this same characteristic—light with no darkness. For more on this blessed condition, please look at:
New Jerusalem: No Night There (1)  (2)  (3)
No Night in New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem: Light, No Night

Photo from space of Ambae Island, Vanuatu (South Pacific), courtesy of NASA.

Jesus Christ: Our Real Sun, Our Real Day

JEsus Christ is the light of lifeAnd on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month” (Revelation 22:2a). “Each month” indicates that the moon will be present in the new heavens. Since the moon shines by reflection of the sun’s light, the sun also will be present in the new creation.

In the new creation there will be day and night but in New Jerusalem “night will be no more…for the Lord God will shine upon them” (Revelation 22:5). God in Christ as the Lamb-lamp (Revelation 21:23) is a light brighter than the sun (Acts 26:13-15).

Zachariah prophesied that the birth of the Lord Jesus would be like the rising sun visiting us from on high (Luke 1:78). Then, during His ministry on earth, when He appeared in the miniature of His kingdom (Matthew 16:28–17:9) and when He comes in the full manifestation of His kingdom, His face shines like the sun. Revelation 1:16 also tells us His face is as the sun shines in its power.

Jesus Christ is the real sun. The physical sun is a picture of Him. Because all the people in New Jerusalem have Jesus Christ as their life, they have the real sun as their light of life. In a situation of day and night, “day” is defined by the presence of the sun. Since Christ is our real sun, He is also our real day. We experience His shining now and we will have much more in New Jerusalem.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry.

Related Posts:

No Night in New Jerusalem

Christ is the LightRevelation 22:2a says, “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.” Eternity in New Jerusalem includes months portraying Christ as our continual new beginning. Besides months, the new creation will have days and nights. Revelation 20:10 tells us that the devil was cast into the lake of fire to be “tormented day and night forever and ever.”

These days and nights will be a characteristic of the new creation. However, within New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:25 says “there will be no night there.” Verse 22:5 says “And night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them…” Because the Lord God Himself will shine upon His redeemed, regenerated, and glorified people they have no need of a man-made lamp nor of the God-created sun. And, because God’s shining is unvarying, there will be no night.

The path to “no night” for men began with the incarnation. John 1:1, 14 says that the eternal Word, who is God, became flesh. John 1:4-5 says, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” This path continues with Christ’s redemption on the cross, qualifying us to receive the light. Then there is the preaching of the gospel, as exemplified by Jesus’ charge to Paul, “To open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God” (Acts 26). Eventually New Jerusalem is our ultimate realization and appreciation of 1 John 1:5, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

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