New Jerusalem is the Eternal House of the Living God

New JerusalemRevelation is a book with many spiritual signs. In 1:20 “the seven lampstands are [signs portraying] the seven churches.” In chapter 21–22 New Jerusalem includes many signs describing the eternal dwelling of the Triune God and His people.

Among the many signs in New Jerusalem we see the pearl gates (our entrance through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ), the river of water of life (the flowing, life-imparting Spirit), the tree of life (Jesus Christ our life supply), many ‘twelves’ (a number describing perfection), gold (the divine nature), and precious stones (the Spirit’s transforming work in the believers).

The New Jerusalem is not an actual [physical/material] city just as the lampstands are not actual lampstands but signs of the churches. The New Jerusalem is a great sign of the totality of all God’s chosen, redeemed, regenerated, and transformed people. The church today is a house, the house of the living God (1 Tim. 3:15). The house of God today is not an actual house but the totality of God’s people. The church today as God’s temple, God’s house, God’s building, is not an actual physical building but is a sign signifying that the church’s function is to be a house in which the Triune God can dwell.…The New Jerusalem is a city signifying the church’s function in eternity to be God’s dwelling place.*

When we view New Jerusalem in a heavenly, spiritual way rather than an earthly, natural way, we see it as the mutual dwelling of God and His people. Praise Him for this view of New Jerusalem!

* The Divine Economy, chapter 15, by Witness Lee.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Praise, Rejoice, Exult for New Jerusalem

A recent post from Psalms presented shouting, singing, and crying aloud in Zion. New Jerusalem is the ultimate Zion. Today I realized that Revelation 19 has the same feeling.

Revelation 19:5-7, “A voice came out from the throne, saying, Praise our God, all His slaves and those who fear Him, the small and the great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunders, saying, Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult, and let us give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

New JerusalemHere are exhortations to praise, rejoice, exult (be very joyful), and give glory to God. The response is a loud Hallelujah! Revelation 19 gives two causes for this rejoicing. One is God’s judgement on Babylon recorded in Revelation 17–18. The other is “the marriage of the Lamb has come.” The negative was removed and the positive has come!

The Lamb is Jesus Christ. The bride, the wife, of the Lamb is the holy city, New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:9-10).

First Peter 4:13: “Inasmuch as you share in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice exultingly.” The revelation of His glory will be His visible return. That is also the time for His marriage. Today, even while sharing in His sufferings we rejoice and in that day we will rejoice exceedingly.

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, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

Rejoice, Sing, Cry Out in Zion

New JerusalemIn my Bible reading I came to Isaiah 12. Verse 6 declares, “Cry out and give a ringing shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

This verse reminds me of New Jerusalem. First, as parts of New Jerusalem we are inhabitants of the eternal Zion. Second, God, the Holy One, is on the throne in the middle of the city.

In this context, the verse urges us to “cry out and give a ringing shout.” Other translations* include “shout aloud and sing” and “cry out and sing for joy.” This is not only inward joy but also inward joy expressed in loud rejoicing.

Surely, in line with this verse, New Jerusalem will be filled with rejoicing and singing, even shouting. We should experience this now in coming together with other Christians. This rejoicing should be prominent in our weekly remembering the Lord Jesus and His accomplishments (1 Cor. 10:16-17, 11:23-26).

The prior verses in Isaiah 12 present the source of this rejoicing. In verse 1 Isaiah praises the Lord. In verse 2 the Lord is His song. In verse 3 we are encouraged to drink the Spirit (the living water, John 7:37-39) with rejoicing. In verse 4 we give thanks to the Lord, we call on His name (Rom. 10:12-13), and we declare His doings to people around us. In verse 5 we sing Psalms to the Lord and make His marvelous works know in all the earth.

Let us exercise in these ways and ask the Lord to draw us more into them for a rich foretaste of New Jerusalem.

* Courtesy of Bible Hub.

New Jerusalem, the City of the Great King

Psalm 48:1-2: “Great is Jehovah, and much to be praised in the city of our God, In His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” In reading the Psalms, I appreciated the parallels between these verses and New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe greatness of the Lord is proclaimed in this Psalm, related to Jerusalem of the Psalmist’s time. The Lord’s greatness will be fully manifested and praised in New Jerusalem, the eternal city of the great King.

The Psalmist considered Jerusalem of his time to be beautiful and a joy of the whole earth. Much more New Jerusalem will have these characteristics. Jerusalem was “beautiful in elevation” and New Jerusalem will be elevated even more on the new earth.

Psalm 50:2 continues this praise of Jerusalem: “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.” Zion is the peak of the current Jerusalem, the place where the temple was built and will be rebuilt. These Psalmists loved and appreciated God in every way. Therefore they had God’s view and declared that Zion is “the perfection of beauty.” Even more, this will be true of New Jerusalem, the eternal Zion.

The Psalmist realized God’s shining from Zion of old. Much more New Jerusalem will shine with the glory of God (Rev. 21:23) and will be the ultimate manifestation of what is in these verses.

New Jerusalem is a Spiritual Blessing

Ephesians 1:3 declares, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ.” Verses 4 to 14 present some details of these spiritual blessings. New Jerusalem is the consummation of all these blessings.

The blessings are from the Triune God. Ephesians 1:4-6 speaks about the Father’s selection and predestination. Verses 7-12 speak of the Son’s redemption for the accomplishing of God’s eternal purpose. Verses 13-14 speak of the Spirit”s applying to us what the Son accomplished.

New JerusalemEach of these three sections leads to the praise of God’s glory. Ultimately New Jerusalem will have and display God’s glory and praises will go to God for this glory.

First Corinthians 10:16 tells us that “the cup of blessing which we bless” is the fellowship of the blood of Christ. This too is a spiritual blessing.

Galatians 3:13-14 proclaim that “Christ has redeemed us…in order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Here the blessing we receive is the Spirit. This is an eternal blessing based on God’s promise to Abraham.

Jesus told us that our heavenly Father will care for our outward needs. This is true but God’s highest desire is to bless us with Himself.  The blessing of New Jerusalem is not outward but it is to live in and with the Triune God for eternity.

Psalm 84 and New Jerusalem

Psalm 84 begins, “How lovely are Your tabernacles, O Jehovah of hosts!” Because one designation of New Jerusalem is “the tabernacle of God,” (Rev. 21:3), the city is within the scope of this Psalm. Surely New Jerusalem will be lovely and attract our praise.

Psalm 84 touches New Jerusalem even though the authors, the sons of Korah, had no concept of the city. Verse 2 of the Psalm says, “My soul longs, indeed even faints, for the courts of Jehovah; my heart and my flesh cry out to the living God.” May our soul long for New Jerusalem and may we cry out to the living God!

New JerusalemVerse 4, “Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will yet be praising You.” We will dwell in New Jerusalem for eternity and will be praising God eternally.

Verse 5, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.” Lord, plant the highways to Zion, to New Jerusalem, in our hearts!

The following verses speak of God being our blessings, our strength, and our shield. In verse 10 the psalmist longs even to be at the threshold of  God’s house (a precursor of New Jerusalem).

In verse 11, “Jehovah God is a sun and a shield; Jehovah gives grace and glory.” This is for today and for eternity.

Psalm 84 ends, “O Jehovah of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You.” May we trust in Him like the psalmist and set our hope on the unseen, eternal things of New Jerusalem.


To my readers: beginning this week and for the remainder of this year posts will be Mondays and Fridays but not Wednesdays.

We Enter by the Gates into New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem has a great and high wall and twelve gates; “on the east three gates, and on the north three gates, and on the south three gates, and on the west three gates” (Rev. 21:12-13).

The gates on the four sides [of New Jerusalem] face the four directions of the earth, signifying that the entrance into the holy city is available to all the peoples on earth. That there are three gates on each side signifies that the three of the Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—work together to bring people into the holy city. This is indicated in the three parables in Luke 15.*

New JerusalemThe twelve gates signify eternal perfec-tion. The entrance to New Jerusalem is eternally perfect because of who the Triune God is and what Jesus Christ accomplished in His death and resurrec-tion; this is our basis for entering the city.

The gates face the four directions of the earth to bring all kinds of people into New Jerusalem. In the city all human distinctions are gone because we all are “in Christ” and He “is all and in all [of us].” Galatians 3:28, 1 Corinthians 12:13, and Colossians 3:11 each declare that there are not and cannot be any racial, national, or social distinctions in Christ.

The gates of New Jerusalem bring us into the Triune God with all the riches He is to us. Praise Him!


* Part of note 1 on Revelation 21:13 in the Online Recovery Version NT.

God Gave Us a Guarantee

Three verses in the New Testament speak of the Spirit as a pledge/deposit/guarantee/ down payment*. A fuller meaning is that which is assured by God to believers…the Divine pledge of all future blessings**. These future blessings include New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemSecond Corinthians 1:22 tells us that God has “sealed us and given the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” The Spirit as a pledge, a down payment, means that we will receive more of the Spirit in the future. Eternally, the Spirit is portrayed by the river of water of life in New Jerusalem.

Second Corinthians 5:5 also speaks of the Spirit as a pledge. Our guarantee is not a thing or a legal document; rather it is the Spirit Himself, the Spirit who is the reality and who guides us into all the reality (John 16:13).

Ephesians 1:13b-14 says “you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance unto the redemption of the acquired possession, to the praise of His glory.”

God put His Spirit within us and also sealed us with this Spirit. This sealing keeps us for our divine inheritance, which is much more of the Triune God in the next age and the fullest portion in New Jerusalem for eternity.

In Ephesians 1 the Spirit as a pledge guarantees the redemption of our mortal body “to the praise of His glory.” God’s glory will fully shine forth from New Jerusalem and the entire universe will praise Him.


* Various translations in these verses, thanks to Bible Hub.
** Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.
Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

 

 

Sonship for New Jerusalem (3)

God has chosen and predestinated us unto sonship “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph. 1:4-6). This praise culminates with the glory of New Jerusalem.

We have the sonship, yet Romans 8:23 says, “we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan in ourselves, eagerly awaiting sonship, the redemption of our body.” We have the sonship but we are awaiting the fulness of this sonship.

New JerusalemThe fulness will occur at the redemption of our mortal body. The mortality of our body, with its weaknesses, sicknesses, and lusts, is the cause of our groaning.

While we are groaning, “we eagerly await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transfigure the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:20-21).

Sonship is “to the praise of the glory of God.” The glory is within us, but will be released at the Lord’s return when our physical body is “conformed to the body of His glory.” The climax of this released glory is New Jerusalem, the city “having the glory of God.”

All believers in Jesus Christ have been born of God and have the sonship. Throughout our Christian life we cooperate to let this sonship grow in us. Growth unto maturity, while awaiting our Lord’s appearing, is our path to New Jerusalem.


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.

Sonship for New Jerusalem (2)

God has chosen and predestinated us unto sonship according to the good pleasure of His will (Eph. 1:4-5). Then verse 6 says that this is “to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He graced us in the Beloved.” God’s choosing, predestinating, good pleasure, His will, His grace, and the praise of His glory all climax in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemGod’s choosing and predestinating are eternal, but man fell into sin and death and was under the condemnation of the law. We could not do anything but “God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law, that He might redeem those under law that we might receive the sonship” (Gal. 4:4-5).

Through the death of Jesus Christ we were redeemed and through His resurrection we were regenerated (1 Peter 1:3) and “receive the sonship.” Redemption is needed for fallen humanity but life brings forth the praise of His glory now and in New Jerusalem.

For this sonship, Romans 8:15 tells us that we “have received a spirit of sonship in which we cry, Abba, Father!” This is the divine Spirit who gives birth to our human spirit and then dwells in our human spirit. In this spirit we have the reality of sonship. To cry “Abba, Father” releases the spirit deep within us to testify that we are children of God, born of God (v. 16).

From regeneration we are children of God. Now we are growing in this life to be mature sons to be fully prepared for New Jerusalem.

 

New Jerusalem: God’s Slaves Serve Him (3)

New JerusalemRevelation begins, “The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to Him to show to His slaves the things that must quickly take place; and He made it known by signs, sending it by His angel to His slave John.” This book was written to God’s slaves and we should receive it as such. We are here to serve Him now and in New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:3).

The word of Revelation 1:1 is repeated in 22:6, “These words are faithful and true; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent His angel to show to His slaves the things which must quickly take place.” As slaves, we deny our natural, human sense of time and say amen to the Lord’s repeated word “quickly take place.”

The last part of Revelation 11 sums up many things, with the following chapters giving details. Verses 11:14-18 briefly have the last trumpet, judgements, God’s kingdom and eternal reign, and the reward to His slaves, saints, and those who fear Him. At this time “the mystery of God is finished, as He has announced the good news to His own slaves the prophets” (10:7). Although chapter 11 does not name New Jerusalem, it surely is implied by the eternal kingdom and reign and is a reward to all God’s people.

Another word to God’s slaves is in Revelation 19:5: “A voice came out from the throne, saying, Praise our God, all His slaves and those who fear Him, the small and the great.” Surely we should praise our God! We praise Him now and we will praise Him in New Jerusalem.

Joy, Praise, Victory, Eternal Marriage, Glory

This third post concludes our review of a song of praises based on Revelation 12–22 concerning the kingdom of God, the defeat of Satan, the marriage of the Lamb, and New Jerusalem. In the eleventh verse of the song we sing:
_Now behold the greatest wonder—New Jerusalem descend!
_She’s the Bride, prepared, adorned for Christ—of all God’s work, the end!

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

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Husband, as John the Baptist told us in John 3:28-29. The New Jerusalem, the composition of all God’s chosen, redeemed, regenerated, transformed, and glorified people, is the bride.

The last verse of the song includes In His holiness and glory He’s expressed through all of them. “All of them” is all God’s people built together in Christ to be New Jerusalem. Because God is holy, and all His people partake of His holiness, New Jerusalem is “the holy city.” Likewise, because God expressed is glory, the city “has the glory of God” (21:11).

The last line of every verse in the song is  The victory is won! This victory is Christ’s triumph on the cross, plus His triumph in applying all that He is into us, and the elimination of all negative things in the universe by the judgements in Revelation 17-20. This brings us to the last chorus, which is Hallelujah, hallelujah! The victory is won!

New Jerusalem proclaims God’s victory eternally. Let’s rejoice and praise now to prepare for that day!

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