New Jerusalem, City of the Living God (2)

New Jerusalem is the living city of the living God. This city is composed of the living God Himself and all His redeemed, enlivened, and glorified people.

In Revelation 20:9 New Jerusalem is named “the beloved city.”

Psalm 46:4 tells us that “There is a river whose streams gladden the city of God.” This is the river of water of life, which flows out of the throne of God and the Lamb in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemPsalm 48 gives us a broader preview of New Jerusalem. It begins, “Great is Jehovah, and much to be praised in the city of our God.” We should praise God now and certainly will praise Him in New Jerusalem.

Verse 2 declares, “Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” New Jerusalem, the city of the great King, is elevated, beautiful, and provides joy to the whole earth.

In verse 8 the psalmist writes, “As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of Jehovah of hosts, in the city of our God. God will establish her forever.” O Lord, we want to see more and hear more about the city of our God.

Psalm 87:3 tells us “Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God.” Because New Jerusalem is a city of glory, glorious things should be, and are, spoken about her. This verse in Psalm 87 is the basis for a hymn.

New Jerusalem is eternal. Current cities are not eternal. Hence Hebrews 13:14 testifies, “we do not have here a remaining city, but we seek after the one to come.” May we seek our God and His eternal city every day, declaring that our current outward city is not our permanent home!

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Wonderful Jesus Christ in Revelation 20 Brings Us to New Jerusalem

Revelation 20 begins with the devil cast into the abyss (v. 1-3). Then there is the blessing of being priests and kings in resurrection with God and Christ for a thousand years (v. 4-6). This is a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

In verse 7 the devil is temporarily released but by verse 10 he is cast into the lake of fire for his eternal punishment.

New JerusalemVerse 11: “I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it.” The Lord Jesus Christ is Him who sits on the throne, because He is “the One who was designated by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42).

The Lord Himself spoke of this designation in John 5:26-27, “For just as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave to the Son to also have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man.” As the Son of Man, the God-Man, Jesus both gives us eternal life and judges the dead.

“In righteousness He judges” (Rev. 19:11). Although today’s courts have flaws, our Lord is perfectly righteous.

In verses 12 and 13 the dead are judged. In verses 14 and 15 death and Hades, and anyone whose name is not written in the book of life, are cast into the lake of fire. This judgement is the last cleaning of the earth. After this, there is nothing old, nothing dead, nothing sinful. This judgement opens the door for New Jerusalem with the new heaven and new earth.

The old “earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them” (v. 11) and “the first heaven and the first earth passed away” (21:1). There is “a new heaven and a new earth” and “New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven” (21:1-2).

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Wonderful Jesus Christ in Revelation   19-20 Brings Us to New Jerusalem

Revelation 19 concludes with the victory of the Lamb and the army with Him (v. 19-21). The beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire and their followers are killed by the sharp sword out of the mouth of Him who is the Word of God. The same Word both nourishes us and slays God’s enemies. How marvelous.

New JerusalemRevelation 20 begins with the devil, Satan, being cast into and locked in the abyss (v. 1-3). Thus the whole earth is cleaned up by Jesus Christ, the One on the white horse, He who is Faithful and True, the Word of God, the King of Kings. Praise Him!

With this cleansing the millennial kingdom comes to the whole earth and New Jerusalem follows.

Revelation 20:6 declares, “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.”

The characteristics of the millennium in this verse have many parallels with New Jerusalem. “Blessed and holy”—The Triune God is Our Blessing in Revelation 22:3-5, and we will all be holy to match the holy nature of that city.

The partakers of the blessing are in resurrection here, and New Jerusalem is A City in Resurrection. Death has no power here and there will be Neither Sin nor Death in New Jerusalem. Here the partakers are priests and reign with God and Christ. In New Jerusalem we will continue as Priests and Kings in God’s Plan.

All of these blessings come from God through Jesus Christ. Praise Him!

The blessings in Revelation 20 are for a thousand years and the richer blessings in New Jerusalem are for eternity.

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 Living Stream Ministry.

No Lie, No Falsehood, in New Jerusalem

The devil has no part in New Jerusalem nor in the entire new creation because he has been cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10).

The devil is the father of lies, the source of lies is his nature, and in him is only falsehood, no reality (John 8:44). This is a total contrast to Jesus Christ who is the reality (John 14:6), the expression of God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2).

New JerusalemThe truth has come to us in word of the truth of the gospel (Eph. 1:13, Col. 1:5). By our receiving this word of truth, the Spirit as the anointing entered into us.

Now the Spirit of reality is living in us, anointing us with the reality. This anointing “is true and is not a lie, and even as it has taught you, abide in Him” (1 John 2:27). When we abide in the Lord, we abide in the reality, the truth; here there is no lie, no falsehood. This is a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

In Revelation 14:1-5, 144,000 are on the heavenly mount Zion with the Lamb. Verse 5: “And in their mouth no lie was found; they are without blemish.” “No lie” indicates nothing of the devil is with them.

Furthermore, they are without blemish. They have been washed by the Lord with the water in His living word (Eph. 5:26-27). This washing not only eliminates blemishes, all of which originated with the devil. The washing also imparts the Lord’s holiness so that we “would be holy and without blemish.”

The holiness matches the holy city, New Jerusalem. The city is not merely without lies, falsehoods, and blemishes. Much more, New Jerusalem is saturated with God’s holiness and glory to express God.

Here is a summary of all posts about what is NOT in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

No Curse in New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRevelation 22:3 declares, “there will no longer be a curse.” This statement is true not only for New Jerusalem but also for the entire new creation.

The curse came in because Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “And to Adam He said, Because you…have eaten of the tree concerning which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it; cursed is the ground because of you; in toil will you eat of it all the days of your life” (Gen. 3:17).

Besides the curse, death came in when Adam ate of the tree of knowledge. “Jehovah God commanded the man…of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of it you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17).

But, “Christ has redeemed us out of the curse of the law, having become a curse on our behalf; because it is written, ‘Cursed is every one hanging on a tree'” (Gal. 3:13). This redemption enables us to receive the Spirit, as declared by the next verse in Galatians, “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.”

Through Christ’s redemption we receive the Spirit of life, who is the divine life, portrayed by the life Adam should have received by eating the tree of life (Gen. 2:9). The operating of this Spirit in us frees us from the working of sin and death in our being (Rom. 8:2).

Eventually all creation will be freed from sin and death. Death will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14), hence “death will be no more” (Rev. 21:4). As a result, in New Jerusalem and in all of he new creation there will be no sin, no death, and no curse.

This post is in my list of what is NOT in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

No Tree of Knowledge in New Jerusalem

A search asked, “is the tree of knowledge in the New Jerusalem?” The simple answer is NO.

Genesis 2:8-9 record God’s action: “Jehovah God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

New JerusalemGenesis 2:16-17 is a command: “And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may eat freely, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of it you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

The tree of knowledge is coupled with death and is in contrast to life, which is Christ Himself, pictured by the tree of life in the garden. By the time New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven (Rev. 21:2), death will have been banished to the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14).

There will be no death in New Jerusalem nor in the entire new creation. “Death will be no more” (Rev. 21:4). “Death has been swallowed up unto victory”—1 Corinthians 15:54 quoting Isaiah 25:8. In Christ is our victory!

Furthermore, the promises in Revelation 7:16-17, 21:4, and 21:3a show that not even precursors of death, such as hunger or pain, will be in the new creation.

In the Garden of Eden but not in New Jerusalem
Life or Death (plus links at the end of this)

Photo courtesy of US National Park Service.

Neither Sin nor Satan in New Jerusalem

This continues a prior post in response to a question, will there be any sin in New Jerusalem? No!

Sin and death are bound together. Although the Bible does not say in plain words that sin will not be in New Jerusalem, it does say that death will be in the lake of fire. Since there will be no death, there also cannot be any sin.

New JerusalemFurthermore, the devil* is the source of sin. First John 3:5, “He [Christ] was manifested that He might take away sins.” First John 3:8 says, “the devil has sinned from the beginning.” This verse continues, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

In addition, Hebrews 2:14 says that Jesus Christ partook of humanity “that through death He might destroy him who has the might of death, that is, the devil.”

Christ has destroyed, nullified, both the devil and the works of the devil. This judgement is gradually being carried out in this age and the next. The final outcome is in Revelation 20:10, “the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where also the beast and the false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Since the devil, satan, will not be in New Jerusalem, neither will sin be in New Jerusalem.

* The devil and satan are the same creature; Rev. 12:9 and 20:2.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Versionpublished and © by Living Stream MinistryAnaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, is at online.recoveryversion.orgthis too is © by LSM.
Besides this New Testament, many books published by Living Stream may be read online.

Photo by Ian Overton, courtesy of CSIRO Australia.

Neither Sin nor Death in New Jerusalem

A reader asked if there will be any sin in New Jerusalem. The simple answer is NO.

Revelation does not say in plain words “there is no sin in New Jerusalem” but the New JerusalemNew Testament revelation shows us this fact. Sin and death are always linked:
John 8:24: unless we believe,
___ we will die in our sins
Romans 5:12: death entered through sin
Romans 6:23: the wages of sin is death
Ephesians 2:1: we were dead in sins
James 1:15: sin brings forth death

Jesus Christ came, died, and rose to take away sin and death. He took away the sin of the world (John 1:29) and now every-one who believes into him has eternal life (John 3:15), a life that in no way involves sin or death, the life of New Jerusalem.

But you might be concerned because you still sin, and many Christians in the past have died. The apostle John, a very mature Christian, recognizes this in 1 John 1:7-10. The fact that he instructs us about confessing our sins shows that this confession is part of our Christian life.  This shows that eternal life has not yet fully matured in us and has not yet saturated our entire being. But it will!

First Corinthians 15:51-57 speaks about this. At the last trumpet the dead in Christ will be raised. Verse 53 declares, “this corruptible must put on incorruption [no more sin], and this mortal must put on immortality [no more death].” These verses refer to the believers in Christ.

After the trumpet and the Lord’s visible return, there will still be corruption in the world (e.g. Rev. 20:8). However, the last judgement, recorded in Revelation 20:11-15, will clear up every problem. “death [the last enemy – 1 Cor. 15:26] and hades were cast into the lake of fire” (20:14). Death, and its companion sin, will be in the lake of fire, but not in New Jerusalem. “Death will be no more” (Rev. 21:4).

New Jerusalem: Incorruptible Inheritance (1)
New Jerusalem: Incorruptible Inheritance (2)
In the Garden of Eden but not in New Jerusalem

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Enter the Veil, Come Forward to the Throne

A hymn by Witness Lee begins, “Enter the veil and go without the camp.” We enter the veil to behold the glorious Christ, to taste heaven’s sweetness, to be charmed by heaven’s glory, and to be energized by resurrection power. All of this is a foretaste of the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22), New Jerusalem. The hymn concludes:New Jerusalem

Enter the veil till it exists no more,
Go out the camp till all the camps are gone;
Until the heavens and the earth unite,
Till God and man together dwell in one.

These four lines speak of the new creation with New Jerusalem as its center (Rev. 21:1-2). There is no more veil, no more camp, and no more separation between God and man because the devil, death, hades, and everything negative have been cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10, 14; 21:8). “Death will be no more, nor will there be sorrow or crying or pain anymore; for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).

We should rejoice for what is coming, but not merely wait for that time. We should enter the veil now. This is to come forward to the holy of holies (Heb. 10:19-22), which is to come forward to the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16), the throne which will be in New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1).

Undoubtedly, the throne mentioned here [Heb. 4:16] is the throne of God, which is in heaven (Rev. 4:2)….This throne is the throne of both God and the Lamb (Rev. 22:1). How can we come to the throne of God and the Lamb, Christ, in heaven while we still live on earth? The secret is our spirit, referred to in v. 12. The very Christ who is sitting on the throne in heaven (Rom. 8:34) is also now in us (Rom. 8:10), that is, in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22), where the habitation of God is (Eph. 2:22).*

Let us come forward to the throne, within the veil, to the foretaste of New Jerusalem.

* from note 1 on Heb. 4:16 in NT Recovery Version Online.

God’s Goal is New Jerusalem

Revelation 20:10: “the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire.”
Revelation 20:14: “death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire.”
Revelation 21:4: “death will be no more, nor sorrow or crying or pain anymore.”

New JerusalemAs human beings, we might be very happy and satisfied with these conditions. However, God is not satisfied. Why? Because these remove what is contrary to God’s purpose but these actions do not fulfill God’s purpose nor reach His goal.

God’s goal is to bring forth, by His life in human beings, a corporate expression of Himself. God’s goal is achieved with New Jerusalem “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11). The glory of God is the expression of God; this is the primary characteristic of New Jerusalem.

The expression of God is accomplished by God’s life maturing in us. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross removed all the barriers between us and God. The resurrection of Jesus Christ imparted Him as life into us (1 Peter 1:3).

The effects of the death and resurrection of Christ are seen in Romans 5:10, “if we, being enemies, were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more we will be saved in His life.” Reconciliation with God is a result of the death of Christ, and salvation in life is a result of the resurrection of Christ.

The “much more” salvation is the spreading, the increase, of Christ as life in us. The increase of life generates the increase of expression. A small green plant might be unidentifiable, but when the plant grows to full size and brings forth blossoms or fruit, then this expression surely will identify the plant. Likewise, when Christ grows in us to maturity, God will be expressed in full by all of us built together to be 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 Living Stream Ministry.

Isaiah Speaks About 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.” Revelation 22:5 says that those who constitute New Jerusalem, “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 JerusalemIsaiah 60:19-20 says, You will no longer have the sun for your light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; but Jehovah will be an eternal light to you, and your God your beauty. Your sun will no longer go down, nor will your moon withdraw; for Jehovah will be an eternal light to you, and the days of your mourning will be ended.”

Isaiah is clearly a prophecy about New Jerusalem. Isaiah and Revelation match in no need of the sun, no need of the moon, and God being the light of the city.

Isaiah also tells us that “mourning will be ended.” In new heaven and new earth with New Jerusalem there will be no curse (Rev. 22:3), no devil (Rev. 20:10), no death (Rev. 20:14), and no sickness.

In addition, Isaiah tells us that God is the beauty of New Jerusalem. How wonderful that God Himself becomes the beauty. In New Jerusalem all outward beautification will be eliminated, just as lamps, sun, and moon are unneeded. God will show Himself as the most beautiful One in and through New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

 

God Calls Us to New Jerusalem

New JerusalemIn a recent week one of my morning verses was 1 Thessalonians 2:12. This verse speaks of “God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.” Because of my interest in New Jerusalem, this verse touched me.

The context of 1 Thessalonians 2, and the word “walk” earlier in verse 12, indicate that Paul is speaking about our present Christian life. Today we are in the kingdom of God, as in Romans 14:17 and Revelation 1:9. This is the inward spiritual reality of the kingdom which has not yet been openly manifested.

We also experience God’s glory, as in 2 Corinthians 3:18 and 4:6. Like the kingdom, this glory is an inward spiritual reality which has not yet been openly manifested.

Today we are in God’s kingdom and glory, not by our effort but because God calls us. Thank Him for this wonderful invitation!

When our Lord returns both His kingdom and His glory will be publicly manifested. One verse about this is Matthew 25:31 which says that “He will sit on the throne of His glory.” This kingdom and glory will persist through the coming age. One expression of this time is Revelation 20:4-6.

Ultimately, the kingdom and glory into which we are called will be New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem is the consummation of God’s kingdom. The throne of God and the Lamb (Rev. 22:1, 3) will be the center of New Jerusalem and we, God’s slaves, will reign with Him forever (Rev. 22:3, 5).

New Jerusalem is also the consummation of God’s glory. The city “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11) will express God to the whole universe. This is the ultimate outcome of God’s calling us into His kingdom and glory.

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