No Corruption in New Jerusalem (2)

There is no corruption in New Jerusalem because it is a city fully constituted with resurrection life.

This life is Jesus Christ Himself— “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Today He is our life. He “nullified death and brought life and incorruption to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10). When we it we are “regenerated not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible seed, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).

New JerusalemRegeneration puts us on the path to the incorruptible New Jerusalem. We were regenerated through the resurrection “unto an inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, kept in the heavens for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).

This life will not fully swallow up the corruption in us until the Lord returns and transfigures our mortal bodies. However, this life operates today to save us from the effects of corruption. Our cooperation with this involves our human spirit mingled with the Spirit.

Ephesians 4:22-24, “That you put off, as regards your former manner of life, the old man, which is being corrupted according to the lusts of the deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new man….” In baptism we put off and put on
positionally but in our experience we need to exercise to be renewed every day to apply the positional fact.

This renewing saves us practically from the corrupted old man and makes us new to match incorruptible New Jerusalem.

No Dust in New Jerusalem

Genesis 2:7—”Jehovah God formed man with the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”

New Jerusalem“Dust of the ground” was the material used in the creation of Adam at the beginning of the Bible. But at the end of the Bible we see New Jerusalem composed of pure gold, like clear glass (Rev. 21:18), pearls (21:21), and precious stones (21:11, 18-20).

It is by the divine life, the eternal life, that man is transferred from dust of the ground to the precious city. In Genesis 2 this life is portrayed by the tree of life. In the New Testament this life is Jesus Christ (John 11:25, 14:6).

In eternity past we were foreknown and predestinated by God to this life (but we still need to cooperate in time to receive it). On the cross Jesus Christ accomplished redemption to solve all the problems which shut us out from the tree of life because of the fall of man (Gen. 3:22-24).

Now man can be regenerated, born in spirit with this life (John 3:6) to possess this life. Then, throughout our Christian life on earth, this life transforms us, renews us. This is clearly presented in Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 3:16-18, and Ephesians 4:23. This transformation changes our constitution from dust to precious material so that we match New Jerusalem.

When the Lord Jesus returns He will transfigure “the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:21). The is our final step from dust to precious material for New Jerusalem.

More: Five Steps to New Jerusalem (1)  (2)  (3)

 

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.

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.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem: the Full Expression of God

Revelation 4 says that God on the throne has the appearance of jasper and Revelation 21 says that New Jerusalem shines like a jasper stone. Thus New Jerusalem matches and fully expresses God.

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is like a jasper stone because all who have believed into Jesus Christ have not only been regenrated with Him as the eternal life but also have been transformed into His image. Second Corinthians 3:18 speaks of this.

“We all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.”

From regeneration we are gradually transformed “into the same image,” that is, into the image of our Lord.

This transformation is a renewing (Rom. 12:2) which brings our entire being out of the old creation and into the new creation to match New Jerusalem.

This transformation is also “from glory to glory” which prepares us for New Jerusalem, a city “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11).

Transformation requires our cooperation. Second Corinthians 3:16-18 shows that transformation occurs as we turn our heart to the Lord. Likewise, the conformation to the image of God’s Son in Romans 8:29 takes place in “those who love God.”

May we all love the Lord and love His appearing thereby letting the Spirit transform us into His glorious image for New Jerusalem.

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

Redeemed, Regenerated for New Jerusalem

Revelation is a book composed with many spiritual signs (1:1). Many aspects of New Jerusalem are signs, including the three types of materials which represent the Triune God and His work for, on, and in His believers.

The first material is gold, which constitutes the city proper and forms the base of the city. In the Bible gold refers to God the Father as the base, the fountain, the source. The second material is pearl. Pearls are produced by oysters, and oysters live in the sea, signifying the death water….Christ is the living “oyster.” He lived in the death water, the world. …Through His death we were redeemed, and His death also released His divine life (John 12:24).

Through Christ’s resurrection we were regenerated (1 Pet. 1:3), and regeneration is the very entrance into the kingdom of God (John 3:5). In the New Jerusalem God the Father is signified by the gold, and God the Son, by the pearls.*

New JerusalemIn John 3:5 the Lord Jesus tells us, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

The converse is that everyone born of water (signifying a baptism of repentance) and of the Spirit (who imparts eternal life into us) enters the kingdom of God. New Jerusalem is the ultimate stage of this kingdom’s development.

Regeneration brings us into the kingdom of God. It also initiates a work of washing and renewing within us. This work gradually makes our entire being new, so that we match New Jerusalem not only in the word but in reality.

* The Organic Union in God’s Relationship with Man, chapter 6, by Witness Lee.

Photo courtesy of pdphoto.org.

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 (3)

The prior two posts (first, second) presented five basic steps which bring us to New Jerusalem—selection, redemption, regeneration, transformation, and transfiguration.

The third through fifth steps correspond to the three parts of our being. First Thessalonians 5:23: “the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Every human being is composed of a human spirit, the innermost part, a soul, and a body, the outer part.

New JerusalemZechariah 12:1 ranks God’s forming of the human spirit with the stretching forth of the heavens and laying the foundation of the earth. Man’s spirit is so important because it was made to be God’s dwelling place in man. “The Lord be with your spirit” (2 Tim. 4:22).

In regeneration man’s Spirit is born of God’s Spirit (John 3:6) who imparts the divine life into our deadened spirit (Eph. 2:1). This is portrayed by the large arrow in the diagram and occurs at the moment we believe and ask the Lord to forgive us and come into us.

In transformation the Spirit spreads into our mind, emotion, and will as we turn to and behold the Lord (2 Cor. 3:16-18). This is portrayed by the inner four arrows and continues gradually through our whole Christian life.

In transfiguration the Spirit fills our mortal body with the divine life, swallowing all our mortality and making our body a body of glory (Phil. 3:21). This is portrayed by the outer four arrows and will occur when the Lord Jesus returns to earth visibly.

Through these three steps each of our three parts becomes full of the Lord and a match for New Jerusalem.


See also:
The Mystery of Human Life, a gospel tract.
– Parts of Man, a small book by Witness Lee.

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.

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