We Are Being Renewed into New Jerusalem

New JerusalemDue to the fall of man in Genesis 3, God’s original creation became the old creation. But “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). The consummation of the change from the old creation to the new is Revelation 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.”

Although we are in Christ and positioned in the new creation, we still need much of God’s renewing work within us. Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Ephesians 4:23, Colossians 3:10, and Titus 3:5 all speak of this on-going renewing work within us to fully match us to the new creation and New Jerusalem.

This renewing is the Spirit working the heavenly life and nature into us so that we live a heavenly life on earth. This life has a heavenly expression on earth; the ultimate step of this expression is New Jerusalem.

Starting in the garden of Eden, the God of creation began to work in us to make us pure gold and precious stones. When His work is done, we will be in the New Jerusalem. At that time we will not only be in the New Jerusalem, but we will also be able to say that we are the New Jerusalem. It is God who is working heaven into us, and it is God who is working us into the heavenlies (cf. Eph. 2:6). Heaven and man are becoming one. What is heaven?*

Do not lose heart…our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). We thank the Lord that He is able to work daily in us to renew us to be fully one with Him for New Jerusalem.


* The Way for a Christian to Mature in Life, chapter 3, Witness Lee, © LSM.
* “What is heaven?” See the next post.

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New Jerusalem: the Conclusion of the Bible

In Revelation 21:1-2 John tells us, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth….And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem. This is the central part of the conclusion of the Bible.

In Revelation 21:1-8 we have a brief and clear presentation of biblical eschatology°. Here, in the new heaven and new earth [v. 1], we see the New Jerusalem [v. 2] composed of God’s sons [v. 5-7], the restored nations as the peoples [v. 3-4], and the lake of fire [v. 8]. The lake of fire will, in a negative way, show forth God’s righteousness, for all who are in it will suffer God’s righteous judgment. But the New Jerusalem will, in a positive way, show forth God’s holiness and shine with His glory. This is a clear picture of the eschatology in the New Testament.*

New JerusalemThese verses show us three conclusions. Surely we should choose New Jerusalem. Our choice is made now, not at the time the new heaven and new earth appear.

Our first step toward New Jerusalem is to believe into the Lord Jesus. He died to accomplish redemption. We respond by confessing that we are sinners and that we receive His forgiveness.

He rose from the dead to regenerate all who believe. This is His coming into the believing people to be their new life, their eternal life. This life grows in us to renew us and to develop in us a living that matches New Jerusalem. Choose Jesus Christ today!

The Conclusion of the New Testament, vol. 16, chapter 11, by Witness Lee, © LSM

° a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind,
__a definition from www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary

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God’s Corporate Expression

New JerusalemGenesis 1:26— “God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion…” From eternity God’s purpose is to express Himself through a corporate man.

This mystery is unveiled beginning with the creation of man. In Genesis 1:26 God made “man” (singular) and gave “them” (plural) dominion, indicating a corporate man.

This corporate man is revealed much more in the New Testament. “We who are many are one Body in Christ” (Rom. 12:5). We “have put on the new man” out of many nations, social classes, and other human distinctions (Col. 3:10-11). Eventually the new man becomes the New Jerusalem.

Verse 1 [in Rev. 21] says, “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.” In eternity past God purposed to have a corporate expression that He might be fully expressed and glorified, and for this purpose He created the heavens, the earth, and mankind. After the millennium, the old heaven and old earth will pass away through fire and be renewed into the new heaven and new earth (2 Pet. 3:10-13), into which the New Jerusalem will come for God’s eternal expression.*

In Revelation 21–22 New Jerusalem is a corporate composition of God and all His redeemed people. God’s expression through this corporate entity is the glory of God.

John saw New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven “having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.” New Jerusalem’s light “like a jasper stone” is the eternal expression of God on the throne, who also is “like a jasper stone” (Rev. 4:3).

* The Conclusion of the New Testament, vol. 16, chapter 11, by Witness Lee, © LSM

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Our Human Spirit is for New Jerusalem

New JerusalemZechariah 12:1 speaks of Jehovah “who stretches forth the heavens and
lays the foundations of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him.” This is the beginning of God’s work of creation and the beginning of man.

Revelation 21:1-2 says, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth….And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” This is the conclusion of God’s work.

All God’s building work in the New Testament, consummating with New Jerusalem, is spiritual. Therefore our human spirit is important.

The holy city New Jerusalem is the ultimate consummation of the work for God’s new creation out of God’s old creation through all the four ages of man’s history (the age before the law, the age of law, the age of grace, and the age of the kingdom), from God’s making the spirit for man and putting man in front of the tree of life to the accomplishment of this city for the good pleasure of His will, which is the intent of His eternal economy. God’s new creation is made out of the old creation through four ages. This work began from God’s creating man with a spirit and putting him before the tree of life and ends with the New Jerusalem.*

The coupling of heaven, earth, and the spirit of man in Zechariah indicates the importance of our human spirit. With our spirit we contact the Spirit. In regeneration our spirit is born of the Spirit (John 3:6). Our spirit receives the Spirit who is life (John 6:63, 2 Cor. 3:6). This is the life that grows in us and builds us into Christ’s Body, so our human spirit is a central part of our journey to New Jerusalem in the new creation.

* The Ten Great Critical ‘Ones’ for the Building Up of the Body of Christ, chapter 6, by Witness Lee, © LSM.

In Spirit, Not in the Natural Realm, to See New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:1 presents the new heaven and new earth and 21:2 presents the holy city, New Jerusalem. In 21:10 John tells us that an angel carried him “away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem.” To see New Jerusalem, we need to be in spirit and in an elevated situation.

Jesus “went out from there and came into His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue; and many hearing were astounded, saying, Where did this man get these things? And what is this wisdom given to this man, and how is it that such works of power take place through His hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us? And they were stumbled in Him. And Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and among his own relatives and in his own house.” (Mark 6:1-4)

New JerusalemWhat Mark records here is the opposite of Revelation 21. The people had such a natural remembrance and assessment of Jesus that they could not see the signifi-cance of His teaching and miracles. Due to their unbelief, He could only heal a few people (6:5). Similar cases of spiritual blindness are throughout the gospels.

It is the same today. If we look at the description of New Jerusalem in a natural way we will totally miss its spiritual significance. Revelation is a book of signs (1:1). The materials, dimensions, and features of New Jerusalem should not be understood in a natural, physical way. We need to be “carried away in spirit” to see the reality of New Jerusalem.

 

New Jerusalem: Satisfaction in Love and Rest in Expression

New Jerusalem is “the bride, the wife of the Lamb,” Jesus Christ, and also “the tabernacle of God” (Rev. 21:2-3). These characteristics are not new at the conclusion of the Bible; they occur often throughout the Bible.

In both the Old and the New Testaments God likens His chosen people to a spouse (Isa. 54:6; Jer. 3:1; Ezek. 16:8; Hosea 2:19; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:31-32) and a dwelling place for Himself (Exo. 29:45-46; Num. 5:3; Ezek. 43:7-9; Psa. 68:18; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Tim. 3:15). The spouse is for His satisfaction in love, and the dwelling place is for His rest in expression. Both aspects will be ultimately consummated in the New Jerusalem. In her, God will have the fullest satisfaction in love and the uttermost rest in expression for eternity.*

The love between God and His people is important throughout the Bible. The books of Moses are, on one hand, filled with laws, commands, and ordinances. On the other hand, they often speak about our heart and our loving God. The Lord Jesus repeated this in John 14:21, 23, coupling loving Him and keeping His commandments. Second John 6 says the same.

New JerusalemIn Ephesians 3:17 we are “being rooted and grounded in love.” And 4:16 has “the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.” The building up of the Body of Christ in love is the preparation of New Jerusalem to be His loving bride. Likewise in Colossians 2:2 we are “knit together in love.”

Lord, increase our loving You daily. Make us those who “who have loved Your appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). Bring us onward to New Jerusalem

* Conclusion of the New Testament, The, chapter 13, by Witness Lee

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New Jerusalem: Bride and Tabernacle

John the apostle tells us in Revelation 21:2-3a, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice out of the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them.”

The New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth is the bride, the wife (Rev. 21:9) of the Lamb Christ as His counterpart (John 3:29) and the tabernacle of God as His habitation (Rev. 21:3). Christ and God are one. They are one God, but triune. And the tabernacle is one entity with two aspects to meet the different needs of its Triune God. To Christ, the Lamb, the Redeemer, the New Jerusalem is His bride as His counterpart for His satisfaction. To God, the Originator, the Creator, the New Jerusalem is His tabernacle as His habitation for His rest.*

New JerusalemThe Bridegroom and bride are spoken about in John 3:29. In 3:30 the bride is the increase of Christ. How can Christ increase? By spreading into many human beings and then growing in us to saturate us with Himself. His spreading begins with His terminating the serpent’s deadly poison, as alluded to in 3:14, so that we can be cleansed to receive eternal life.

This eternal life is the life of New Jerusalem. After being born again, this life, Christ Himself, grows in us. This growth, presented in many of the epistles, brings us to maturity and builds us together. This is our path to New Jerusalem.

* Conclusion of the New Testament, The, chapter 13, by Witness Lee

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New Jerusalem is Prepared by Our Participation in the Riches of Christ

In Revelation 21:2-3 New Jerusalem is the bride of the Lamb, Christ and is also the tabernacle of God.

As the bride of the Lamb, the New Jerusalem comes out of Christ, her Husband, and becomes His counterpart, just as Eve came out of Adam, her husband, and became His counterpart (Gen. 2:21-24). She is prepared by participating in the riches of the life and nature of Christ the Lamb. As the tabernacle of God, the New Jerusalem is built by God with what He is. It is wholly constituted of the nature of God to be His habitation.*

New JerusalemMultiple verses speak of the riches of Christ as the preparation of the Body of Christ, the forerunner of New Jerusalem as the bride. Philippians 1:19 focuses on the preparation of each individual member.

Paul tells us, “I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” Paul was in prison but could experience the riches of Christ there for living Christ to magnify Him (1:20-21).

Ephesians 3:14-19 focuses on our corporate preparation. Paul prayed for the believers, that our Father “would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man.” The result of this strengthening is that the believers corporately are rooted (for life supply) and grounded (for building) to apprehend together the vastness of Christ and be filled to all the fullness of God.

The consummation is glory to God, now in the church and eternally in New Jerusalem.


* Conclusion of the New Testament, The, chapter 13, by Witness Lee

More about The Unsearchable Riches of Christ and New Jerusalem
and The Riches and Fullness of the Triune God

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New Jerusalem is the Holy City

In Revelation 21:1-2 the apostle John says, “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. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

The New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth will be the holy city, “the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22). The designation “holy city” signifies that the New Jerusalem is a city sanctified and separated unto God for fulfilling His purpose. It is both sanctified and separated unto God positionally and sanctified and saturated with God dispositionally. It is holy both extrinsically and intrinsically. It is an entity, entirely and thoroughly holy, that fits in with God’s holy nature for God’s expression to fulfill His heart’s desire.*

New JerusalemWe are sanctified, separated positionally at the time we believe into Christ Jesus. An example is the believers in Corinth who had many problems but were “those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor. 1:2). We are sanctified, saturated dispositionally by the Spirit’s working within us through our whole Christian life. We are “those who are being sanctified” (Heb. 2:11, 10:14).

This sanctification brings forth New Jerusalem as the holy city, a city without any spot or blemish, a city pure and clear shining with the glory of God.


* Conclusion of the New Testament, The, chapter 13, by Witness Lee

Photo courtesy of Burning Well.

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.

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.

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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New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:1-8

This is a summary of the recent posts on Revelation 21:1-8, which review life on the new earth emphasizing the details about New Jerusalem. Each verse is followed by the title with a link to related posts.

New Jerusalem

Verse 1: “And 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.”

New Heaven and New Earth

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

John Saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem is Holy with God’s Holiness
New Jerusalem is the City of the Great King
New Jerusalem is Divinely New
New Jerusalem is the Foundation of Peace
New Jerusalem is on Earth from God
New Jerusalem is Heavenly, On Earth
New Jerusalem Comes Down, Prepared
New Jerusalem is the Bride of Christ
New Jerusalem is Adorned with Christ
New Jerusalem is the Bride, Jesus Christ is the Husband

Verses 3-4: “And I heard a loud voice out of the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. 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.”

A Loud Voice out of the Throne
Behold the Tabernacle of God is with Men
Life on New Earth around New Jerusalem

Verses 5-6: “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. And He said to me, They have come to pass. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give to him who thirsts from the spring of the water of life freely.”

The Throne and All Things New
The Faithful and True Words of God
The Water of Life, Now and New Jerusalem

Verses 7-8: “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be God to him, and he will be a son to Me. But the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and fornicators and sorcerers and idolaters and all the false, their part will be in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Overcome to Inherit God’s Blessings
God is Leading Many Sons into Glory

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