New Jerusalem: the Full Expression of God

Revelation declares “He who was sitting [on the throne] was like a jasper stone” (4:3), “her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone” (21:11), and “the building work of its wall was jasper” (21:18). The first quote refers to God, the other two to New Jerusalem.

God’s appearance is like jasper (4:3), and the entire city has the appearance of jasper. This means that the entire New Jerusalem looks like God, which is the fulfillment of Genesis 1:26. God made man in His image to express Himself. When the New Jerusalem comes, all of God’s people will bear God’s expression, God’s image, God’s appearance. All of God’s people will be fully transformed for the full expression of the Triune God.*

New JerusalemGod created man from the dust of the ground. But in regeneration His life enters into us and begins a process of transformation. This gradually changes us from clay to precious stones, of which jasper is foremost in the description of New Jerusalem.

The Spirit works within us for this transformation, and God also uses our outward environment. Romans 8:28-29, “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son.”

The “good” toward which everything works is our conformation to the image of God’s Son. At the completion of this work, New Jerusalem, with all God’s transformed-conformed people builded together, will be the full expression of the Triune God.

* The Divine Economy, chapter 15, by Witness Lee

The Triune God, our Entrance to New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:12-13 tells us that New Jerusalem has “twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel: on the east three gates, and on the north three gates, and on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.”

The three gates on each side signify that the Triune God—the Father, Son, and Spirit—works together to bring people into the holy city. This is indicated by the three parables in Luke 15….In order for a sinner to be brought to the Father’s house, there is the need of the Son, the Shepherd, to bring back the lost sheep; there is the need of the Spirit to enlighten people’s hearts that they may repent; and there is the need of the Father to receive the returned and repentant prodigal son. Hence the Triune God is the entrance to the New Jerusalem.*

New JerusalemWe were all sinners. Romans 5:19 says “through the disobedience of one man the many were constituted sinners.” We were also dead. In Luke 15:24 the Father said “this son of mine was dead and lives again.” But through the operation of the Triune God we have come back to life and to the Father’s house!

The Father’s house develops and enlarges through the Bible in many stages. Luke 15 is a portrait of one stage of this development. New Jerusalem is the ultimate stage of this development. We have been brought back to life and to the Father’s house to be in New Jerusalem.

* The Triune God—The Triune God and the Person and Work of Christ, chapter 11, by Witness Lee

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Gates of New Jerusalem Face Every Direction

Revelation 21:12-13, describing New Jerusalem, says, “It had a great and high wall and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel: On the east three gates, and on the north three gates, and on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.”

Each of the four sides of the city has three gates. The gates on any one side are exactly the same as the gates on the other three sides. This indicates that the Triune God is available to people in all four corners of the earth. Whether you come from the east, north, south or west, there is an entrance into the holy city. What an entrance this city has!*

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem has three gates facing every direction. This matches Revelation 5:9-10, where a praise to the Lord declares, “You were slain and have purchased for God by Your blood men out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made them a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign on the earth.”

The gates are for people out of “every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” The result of coming in through the gates is that we become “a kingdom and priests to our God.” This result applies to New Jerusalem for Revelation 22:3 says that in the city we will serve God as priests and 22:5 says that we will reign.

* The Triune God—The Triune God and the Person and Work of Christ, chapter 11, by Witness Lee


Continuing from last month, the posts in this month will include quotes from Excerpts from Books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee by Living Stream Ministry. Each post will identify the source for the quotation in that post.

New Jerusalem, a Golden Mountain

New JerusalemRevelation 21 describes many aspects of New Jerusalem, including its materials and its dimensions. Because Revelation is a book of spiritual signs, many descriptors in it signify spiritual facts.

‘Twelve’ is a frequent number in the dimensions of New Jerusalem. In the Bible ‘seven’ indicates completeness in temporal matters and ‘twelve’ indicates completeness in eternal matters. ‘One thousand’ is a sign of fullness, plentifulness.

The New Jerusalem, the holy city, is a golden mountain (Rev. 21:16, 18). This mountain is twelve thousand stadia in length, breadth, and height (v. 16).…Such a high mountain has only one street which goes down spirally from the top of the mountain to reach all the twelve gates on the four sides of the city.

If this is a real [physical] city to lodge in, we must ask how all God’s redeemed through all the centuries will be able to lodge there….How could these people travel in a city with only one main street? For a physical city with only one main street to contain billions of people is impossible. The holy city is not a physical heavenly mansion, but a sign signifying the totality of all God’s chosen people.*

New Jerusalem is God dwelling with all His people. God is unlimited; in Him there is space for all His people. The one street of New Jerusalem is a picture of Jesus Christ as our way (John 14:6). He is “the Author and Perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2). He has brought us into Himself as our spiritual street and He will bring us to completion, to New Jerusalem.

* The Divine Economy, chapter 15, by Witness Lee

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.

Organic Union with the Triune God

The description of New Jerusalem in Revelation 21–22 is full of spiritual signs. Among these signs are the materials—gold signifying the Father’s divine nature, and pearls portraying the Son’s redemptive death and regenerating resurrection. These become our entrance into the kingdom of God which consummates in New Jerusalem.

In the New Jerusalem the precious stones are we plus the Spirit. The transforming Spirit becomes one with us, His transformed ones. Therefore, the pearls are Christ and we, and the wall of precious stones is the Spirit and we. These two items, the pearls and the precious stones, indicate that the second of the Triune God and the third of the Triune God have made Themselves one with us. Without the Spirit it would be impossible for us as pieces of clay to become jasper, bearing the same appearance as God. But now we have the life-giving Spirit, who is actually the consummated Triune God, in us, making us one with Him. Thus, we are altogether in the organic union with the Triune God.*

New JerusalemThe Lord spoke about this organic union in John’s gospel. For example, He said that in resurrection “you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” The Lord lives in us and we live in Him. In the epistles this thought continues—many verses speak about Christ in us and us in Christ.

Romans 8:9 declares that the Spirit dwells in us and in 2 Corinthians 3:18 we are being transformed by the Lord Spirit. This organic union is for our Christian life today and for eternity in New Jerusalem.

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

The Three Materials of New Jerusalem Signify the Triune God.

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is the eternal dwelling of the Triune God with His people. New Jerusalem is constructed with gold, pearls, and precious stones. These signify the Triune God and His operation for and in His people.

Revelation has many other aspects such as beasts, fightings, and judgements. However, none of these are the focus of God’s revelation. Rather, they show what God does to clear away the old creation, the creation corrupted by Satan, in order to bring forth the new heavens and new earth with New Jerusalem at their center.

The three sections of the New Jerusalem are constructed with three kinds of materials, or three kinds of elements. The number three is a particular number in the universe, signifying the Triune God. The Triune God is the number three. Every number in the Bible has its meaning, and three signifies the Triune God. Therefore, the three kinds of materials in the New Jerusalem no doubt signify the Triune God.*

The gold signifies the Father’s divine nature, the pearls signify the Son’s work through death and resurrection, and the precious stones signify the Spirit’s transformation of the believers. The Triune God and His operation for and in the believers is the intrinsic essence of New Jerusalem, and New Jerusalem is an eternal display of the Triune God.

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

The Gold, Pearls, and Precious Stones of New Jerusalem Portray God

New JerusalemRevelation is a book of spiritual signs (1:1). For example, in 1:20 the Lord Jesus tells us that the seven lampstands are signs of the seven churches and the seven stars signify the messengers of the churches.

New Jerusalem, the conclusion of Revelation and of the whole Bible, is described in Revelation 21–22. The city has many spiritual signs, including those of its appearance, size, and materials. Here is something about the spiritual significance of the materials.

The New Jerusalem has three sections. The city proper, or the city itself, is pure gold (21:18b). This means that the base of the city is gold. The second part of the city is its twelve gates, each of which is a pearl (vv. 12-13, 21). The third part of the city is the wall with its foundations, all of which are precious stones (vv. 14, 18a, 19-20). The entire wall is jasper, and the foundation of the wall has twelve layers. The first layer of the foundation also is jasper. Revelation 4:2-3a tells us that God’s appearance is like jasper. Thus, in appearance the city is exactly the same as God. God appears like jasper, and the city also appears like jasper.*

The base of New Jerusalem is the divine nature, portrayed by gold. Nothing natural, nothing of the old creation can support this marvelous city. On this base and with the jasper, New Jerusalem has the same appearance as God because the purpose of the city is to express God, to manifest His glory.

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


TO MY READERS:

Most of the posts in the coming months will include quotes from the website Excerpts from Books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee by Living Stream Ministry. Each post will identify the specific source for the quotation.

This week my blog returns to three posts a week, ending the two posts a week which began in November.

Enter the New Testament Holy of Holies

Revelation 21 describes New Jerusalem. Verse 16 tells us, “the length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.” The entire city is a cube.

New Jerusalem

Part of Hebrews 10:19-22

The only cubes in the Bible are the holy of holies in the tabernacle, the holy of holies in the temple, and New Jerusalem. This shows that New Jerusalem is the eternal holy of holies, where we will live forever in the Lord’s presence.  

Hebrews 9 says that the Old Testament priests were always going into the holy place but that only the high priest entered the holy of holies and only once a year. Verse 8: “The Holy Spirit thus making this clear, that the way of the Holy of Holies has not yet been manifested…” 

In contrast to the Old Testament, when the Lord Jesus was crucified, “the veil of the temple was split in two from top to bottom” (Matt 27:51). As a result of His death the way through the veil into the holy of holies is open. “Let us therefore come forward with boldness to the throne of grace” (Heb. 4:16). He opened the way, let us come forward (Heb. 10:19-22).

The throne of grace is in the heavenly holy of holies and we come forward in our spirit united with the Spirit. Ultimately this throne will be at the center of New Jerusalem. 

In this age we need the call to “come forward.” But in New Jerusalem there will be no need of this call; will be permanently in the holy of holies; eternally forward.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:21-27

Revelation 21:22-23 says about New Jerusalem, “The Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And 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 JerusalemRevelation 21 has a wonderful description of New Jerusalem. This chapter and the next present what God wants us to see about this eternal city. May the Lord open our eyes to see the heavenly vision!

New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:1-8
New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:9-20

Here are the titles of recent posts and their links for 21:21-27.

21:21, Enter by the Regenerating Resurrection

21:22, The Triune God is the Living Temple
of New Jerusalem

21:23, The Living Glory of New Jerusalem
21:23, The Glory of God Illuminates the City

21:24,26 Nations Walk by the Light of New Jerusalem

21:25,27 First Step to New Jerusalem: Believe!

Many older posts about Revelation 21:22-27.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Street of the City is Pure, Divine Gold

New JerusalemRevelation 21 tells us “the city [New Jerusalem] was pure gold, like clear glass” (v. 18) and “the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass” (v. 21).

Recent posts, Pure Gold and Divine, Eternal Gold, discuss the gold in verse 18. The gold in verse 21 is the same. It represents the divine nature, it is eternal, it is pure and transparent, and it is not physical gold.

Second Peter 1:3-4 says that God “has called us by His own glory and virtue, through which He has granted to us precious and exceedingly great promises that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature.” God’s glory is involved in calling us and bringing us all the way to the city of glory, New Jerusalem.

Through God’s calling and the precious promises He gave to us, we become partakers of the divine nature. By partaking we are constituted with this nature and we walk according to this nature, portrayed by the golden street of New Jerusalem.

This constitution is like clear glass and our walk is like transparent glass—nothing in darkness, nothing deceitful, nothing sneaky, nothing cloudy. We advance in this clearness and transparency by laying hold of the “precious and exceedingly great promises” to partake of more of the divine nature.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the wonderful promises in the Bible. Keep me feeding on them every day. Constitute me with Your divine nature and keep me walking in it all the way to New Jerusalem!

Enter by the Regenerating Resurrection

New Jerusalem has twelve gates; “the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was, respectively, of one pearl” (Rev. 21:21).

Like the gold of New Jerusalem, the pearls are not physical. They are spiritual signs. They represent the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Through death He terminated all the problems that separate us from God. In resurrection He released the divine life to us to regenerate us. “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…regenerated us unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

New JerusalemThis life is our entrance into New Jerusalem. The city is entirely separate from our fallen, natural life and is wholly in the realm of the divine, eternal life.

The Lord also presented this in His words to Nicodemus. He said, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). When we are born again, regenerated by the Spirit with eternal life, we enter the kingdom of God. New Jerusalem is the ultimate stage of this kingdom.

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is our entrance into New Jerusalem. Each gate is one pearl; this is the one, unique way to get into the city. Yet there are twelve pearl gates; this shows that the Triune God (three) faces all of creation (four) to invite and allow every human being a chance to enter the city.

“He who believes into the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36). This is our entrance into New Jerusalem.

New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:9-20

Revelation 21:9-11: “Come here; I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me 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.

Here are the recent posts from Revelation 21 with the main verse for each.

21:9, God’s Final Judgments, then New Jerusalem
21:9, The Bride, the Wife, New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem21:10, Carried Away in Spirit to See New Jerusalem
21:10, On a High Mountain, See New Jerusalem
21:10, Heavenly Jerusalem is on Earth from God

21:11, New Jerusalem Has the Glory of God
21:11, New Jerusalem’s Precious Light
21:11, New Jerusalem, Clear as Crystal

21:12, The Great and High Wall of New Jerusalem
21:12, New Jerusalem has a Wall with Twelve Gates
21:12, The City has 12 Gates, 12 Angels, 12 Names

21:13, We Enter by the Gates into New Jerusalem

21:14, New Jerusalem’s Wall has 12 Foundations

21:15, New Jerusalem is Divinity in Humanity

21:16, New Jerusalem is the Eternal Holy of Holies
21:16, Holy of Holies: Come Forward, Don’t Wait

21:17, The Eternally Perfect Wall of New Jerusalem

21:18, The Jasper Wall Expresses God                                               New Jerusalem
21:18, New Jerusalem is Pure Gold                                                       in Revelation
21:18, New Jerusalem is Divine, Eternal Gold                                          21:1-8

21:19-20, The Foundations of New Jerusalem’s Wall

Many older posts about Revelation 21:9-11.
Many older posts about Revelation 21:12-21.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

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