The Throne, the River, the Street, the Tree

The Triune God, with the throne, river, street and tree of New Jerusalem, supplies us with light, life, nourishment, fellowship, and heading up. Here we have the second half of a hymn which captures all these elements of recent posts (links below).

New JerusalemWhen we sense the flow of life, we know we are on the street of God’s nature. Romans 8:6 is key; “the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.” When our inwards have confusion or uncertainty or fear, we are not on God’s way. But when we have peace, perhaps with joy or assurance, we are on the golden street. This is the third stanza of the hymn.
___ Midst the gold street it floweth,
___ ___ Thus showing to us the way;
___ As in God’s nature it floweth,
___ ___ So in His way we will stay.

The tree of life in New Jerusalem with fruits every month portrays Christ as our spiritual nourishment. He is the same today. He told us “I am the bread of life” and “he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me” (John 6:35, 57). This is stanza 4.
___ The tree of life by the river,
___ ___ Shows to us God as our food;
___ We by the river’s full flowing
___ ___ Take of the tree’s plenitude.

Christ is our nourishment is the living Word of God (John 1:1, 4, 14). When we come to the Bible with an open heart, He can speak to us or give us peace. “The words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63). Jeremiah 15:16 is another example of this nourishment, “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word became to me the gladness and joy of my heart.”

The river and tree of life are with us today and will be with us in New Jerusalem eternally.

The Throne, the Center of New Jerusalem
The Headship, the Light of New Jerusalem
The River of Water of Life in New Jerusalem

The Tree of Life in New Jerusalem
The One Street of New Jerusalem
The Golden Street of New Jerusalem

One Street, One Flow in New Jerusalem
The Fellowship of New Jerusalem
The Life Flow for New Jerusalem’s Wall

The Throne, the River, the Street, the Tree

New JerusalemAt the beginning of Revelation 22 an angel showed John in New Jerusalem “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street. And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life.”

Recent posts presented the river, street, and tree. When we experience these, we have the life supply, fellowship with God and other believers, light to walk on the street, and the authority (headship) of the Lord. We experience these in a limited way today; the fullness will be in New Jerusalem.

When writing the prior posts, I saw a hymn which combines all of these elements. It was written by Witness Lee; the words are here. The music composer was B. Line and the music is here. The first stanza presents the river bringing both fellowship and headship.
___River of living water,
______ River that flows from the throne,
___Fellowship giving and making
______ God’s own authority known.

God is Triune. The throne in New Jerusalem is “of God and of the Lamb.” Where is the Spirit? As stated in stanza 2 of this hymn, the river of water of life is the Spirit, as foretold in John 7.
___ Water of life is the Spirit,
___ ___ God as the life in it flows;
___ Carrying with it His Lordship,
___ ___ Through every place where it goes.

Today the Spirit is in us, witnessing within us (Rom. 8:16), bringing fellowship (2 Cor. 13:14), life (Rom. 8:2), God’s kingdom (Rom. 14:17), and much more. This is our foretaste of the throne, river, street, and tree of New Jerusalem.

The One Street of New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:21 says about New Jerusalem, “the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” Verse 22:1, “a river of water of life…in the middle of its street.

With this flow and supply of life there is a street. There is only one street, only one way. In the street of the New Jerusalem there is a river flowing, and in that river there grows a tree whose branches reach to both sides of the river. The spiritual way is always with the flow and the supply of life.*

New JerusalemThe one street in New Jerusalem reminds me of John 14:6, “I am the way.” Apart from the Lord Jesus we have no way to go on in our spiritual life. We always need Him.

The above picture reveals three things in one: the street or the way, the flow of life, and the tree of life. When we have the flow of life, we also have the tree of life and the way of life. The way of life is with the tree of life, and the tree of life grows in the flow of life. In the flow there is the life supply and the way to go on.*

Christ is our life and our life supply. In Romans 6 we are identified with Christ through baptism so that “just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life.” Walking in newness of His life is our present experience of the golden street of New Jerusalem.

* Excerpt from The Vision of God’s Building by Witness Lee, chapter 17, © LSM

The Tree of Life in New Jerusalem

Revelation 22:1-2 records that an angel showed John “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street. And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”

In the flow [of the river] there is the tree of life bearing rich fruits (v. 2). This tree is the life supply, the food for life. In the church whenever there is the flow of life, the complete supply of God as our spiritual food will come to us in that flow. Whenever we attend a meeting, whether it is a prayer meeting, a meeting for the Lord’s table, or a fellowship meeting, we will partake of some fruit of the tree of life. In every meeting there will be something upon which we may feed.*

New JerusalemIn Galatians 3 the bountiful supply of the Spirit comes through the hearing of faith. This word was spoken to the Galatian believers corporately. In New Jerusalem there is one flow and one life supply for the built-up city. Today the flow and the life supply are for believers knit togetherª with others.

Similarly, Paul said that his difficult situation “will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” Again, the bountiful supply, the river with the tree, comes through our relationship with other believers.

In New Jerusalem we will have the strongest and most complete knitting together and we will experience the eternal fullness of the river of life and the tree of life.

* Excerpt from The Vision of God’s Building by Witness Lee, chapter 17, © LSM

ª Knit together in Ephesians 4:16, Colossians 2:2, 19; held (or joined) together in some translations

The River of Water of Life in New Jerusalem

An angel showed John “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.” Where the throne is, the water of life flows.

New JerusalemFrom the throne there issues the flow of the water of life (22:1)….This flow is God Himself, flowing out as life. In the church when God is allowed to exercise His headship in Christ and thus shine as the light, He spontaneously flows out to us as life. Whenever anyone enters into such a church life, he immediately senses this flow of life. There is a sense of being watered rather than any sense of dryness. Such a flow of life depends upon the throne being set up in the church. God’s authority must be exercised so that the light of God may shine and so that the life may flow.*

The crowds listening to Jesus sensed the flow. “When Jesus finished these words [Matt. 5-7], the crowds were astounded at His teaching, for He taught them as One having authority and not like their scribes.”

The headship of Christ indicates His authority. And from Him flows a rich supply for the building of His Body (Eph. 4:16; Col. 2:19). This rich supply builds the Body now and maintains New Jerusalem for eternity.

* Excerpt from The Vision of God’s Building by Witness Lee, chapter 17, © LSM

God’s Building Work with Man (6)

In Revelation 21:2 John says, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” In 22:1 John says “And he [an angel] showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb…” In New Jerusalem the redeeming God, the Lamb-God, is on the throne. The throne is the center of the city and the city is the center of the new creation.

New Jerusalem[A city] is the symbol of the kingdom. The throne of God will be displayed in the New Jerusalem, for this city is the center of God’s authority. The early chapters of the book of Revelation reveal God sitting on the throne apart from the city (4:2-3). But in the concluding chapters God is on the throne in the city (21:5; 22:3). This signifies that it is not until the New Jerusalem descends out of heaven at the end time that God will be enthroned in a city. He is on the throne now, but at that time He will exercise His authority over a full kingdom.*

There are many aspects of the throne of God presented in the Scripture. In ascension the Lord Jesus “sat down on the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). When He comes again in glory “He will sit on the throne of His glory” (Matt. 25:31). Revelation, beginning from chapter 4, says much about the throne of God from the Lord’s ascension and continuing through this age.

Revelation 20:11 unveils “a great white throne” for the final judgements. Eternally “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in” New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:3) for His eternal and universal kingdom.

* Excerpt from The Vision of God’s Building by Witness Lee, chapter 17

New Jerusalem: Dwelling Place of God

Genesis 2:9 – “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.”

Revelation 22:2 –  “on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”

The dwelling place God prepared for man in the beginning was called the garden of Eden, and the one at the end is called the New Jerusalem. Eden means “pleasure.” Therefore, the garden of Eden was a paradise. The dwelling place at the end of the Bible—the New Jerusalem—is also a paradise. The paradise in Genesis 2 has the tree of life in it. Revelation 22 shows that the New Jerusalem also has the tree of life in it. Thus, the paradise in Genesis 2 is the New Jerusalem in Revelation 22.*

New JerusalemThere are many commonalities between the garden of Eden and New Jerusalem. The garden was and New Jerusalem will be the mutual dwelling place of God and His people. Today the reality of these two is our human spirit enlivened by the Spirit. In Christ Jesus we “are being built together into a dwell-ing place of God in spirit” (Eph. 2:22).

New Jerusalem will be the consummation of the building work in this age.

* This is the first of a series of posts with excerpts from The Way for a Christian to Mature in Life, chapter 3, Witness Lee, © LSM.

New Jerusalem: the Triune God and God’s Redeemed People

New JerusalemRevelation 21:2 – “I saw the holy city,
New Jerusalem, coming down out of
heaven from God.”
Revelation 21:12 – “It [New Jerusalem] 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.”
Revelation 21:14 – “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

Many things are mentioned in the Bible, but eventually, at the end of the Bible, there is only one consummation, and this consummation is the New Jerusalem. In this consummation, we can see God (the Father, the Son, and the Spirit) and God’s redeemed humanity. We can see Israel because the New Jerusalem bears the names of the twelve tribes representing saved Israel (Rev. 21:12). We can see the believers because the holy city bears the names of the twelve apostles representing all the New Testament believers (v. 14). The New Jerusalem is the consummation of God and man.*

The verses above show that God’s people from both the Old Testament and the New Testament are constituted into New Jerusalem.

Revelation 22:1 shows God in New Jerusalem—the throne of God, the Father, and the Lamb, Jesus Christ, with the river of water of life flowing out of the throne. As in John 7:38-39, the river here signifies the Spirit flowing to reach man with the divine supply for eternity.

Practical Points Concerning Blending, chapter 3, by Witness Lee, © LSM

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

Eating, Drinking, and Worshipping God

In Revelation 22:1-2 we see in New Jerusalem God and the Lamb on the throne, the river of water of life flowing, and the tree of life producing fruit every month.

For eternity the redeeming God will sit on the throne in the center of the New Jerusalem, and out of the throne, that is, out of God Himself, will flow the water of life to saturate the city. Furthermore, the tree of life will grow in the water of life to nourish the city. This saturating and nourishing is the divine dispensing in full. We shall be there eating of the tree of life and drinking of the water of life. For eternity, we shall be eating, drinking, and worshipping God. This is the eternal enjoyment of God’s dispensing. While we are enjoying the dispensing of the Triune God by eating and drinking, we shall worship Him.*

New JerusalemThis is wonderful, but what is eating of the tree of life? It is to eat Jesus. In John 6 He spoke about eating Him. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life” (v. 54) and “He who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me” (v. 57).

To eat His flesh is to receive by faith all that He did in giving His body for us, and to drink His blood is to receive by faith all that He accomplished in shedding His blood for us.**

And what is drinking of the water of life? It is to drink the Spirit. First Corinthians 12:13 says that we, “were all given to drink one Spirit.” Simple ways to drink the Spirit, seen in Isaiah 12:3-4, are to rejoice, to give thanks to the Lord, and to call on the name of the Lord. These practices are for today and also for New Jerusalem.

The Conclusion of the New Testament, chapter 20, by Witness Lee, © LSM.
** This sentence is part of a footnote on John 6:54 in the Recovery Version Bible, © LSM.

The Supply of Life in New Jerusalem

Revelation 22:1-2 tells us that New Jerusalem has “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street. And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”

The tree of life grows in the river of life, and the river of life that flows out of the throne reaches every part of the city. Every part of the city receives the life supply because the tree of life grows in the river and the river reaches every part of the city. The tree of life, as a vine, grows on both sides of the river, following the flow of the river. Wherever the river flows, the tree of life grows. The supply of life is in the flow of life. This is a picture of God’s dispensing. Christ as the tree of life is the life supply available along the flow of the Spirit as the water of life. Where the Spirit flows, there the life supply of Christ is found.*

New JerusalemThe tree portrays Christ, who is the Life. Hence, there is only one tree. It grows on both sides of the river as the vine of life. This is John 15:5, “I am the vine.”

This life comes to us as the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45) who is one with our human spirit as in Romans 8:16. Christ as the Spirit is in us and our human spirit is life (Rom. 8:10). It is here that we receive the river of life now, experiencing the foretaste of its flow in New Jerusalem.

The Conclusion of the New Testament, chapter 20, by Witness Lee, © LSM.


Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Redeeming and Life-Dispensing God

In Revelation 22:1 an angel showed the apostle John “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

The river of water of life proceeds out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. For the water of life to flow out of the throne means that it flows out of God Himself. In the New Jerusalem, we have God in the Lamb, and out of the redeeming God flows the river of life, the life-giving Spirit. This is the dispensing of the Triune God. Before God could dispense Himself into us, He had to redeem us. Thus, the picture in Revelation 22 reveals that the redeeming God is the life-dispensing God. The Lamb signifies redemption, and the river of life signifies the dispensing of life. For eternity, our God will be the redeeming and life-dispensing God.*

New JerusalemIn the Bible redemption is for life. in Genesis 2 God desired that man would eat of the tree of life. At that time redemption was not needed. But since Genesis 3 there has been redemption to bring us back to life. In John 19:34 “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.”

The water which flowed out of the Lord’s side is a picture of the Triune God dispensing Himself as life to us. In Revelation 22:14 we read, “Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city.” Redemption is for life and life brings us into New Jerusalem.

The Conclusion of the New Testament, chapter 20, by Witness Lee, © LSM.


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.

The Redeeming God in New Jerusalem

Revelation 22:1, “And he [an angel] showed me [John] a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.”

In eternity future God as the redeeming God will administrate within the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and the new earth. Revelation 22:1 speaks of the throne of God and of the Lamb. The one throne for both God and the Lamb signifies that God and the Lamb are one—the Lamb-God, the redeeming God, God the Redeemer. In eternity the very God who sits on the throne will be our redeeming God, from whose throne proceeds the river of water of life for our supply and satisfaction. This depicts how the Triune God—God, the Lamb, and the Spirit (symbolized by the water of life)—dispenses Himself into His redeemed people under His headship (implied in the authority of the throne) for eternity.*

New JerusalemIn New Jerusalem we have both redemption and life. The redeeming God is here. The death of Jesus Christ accomplished all that is necessary for our forgiveness and reconciliation to God. This qualifies us to partake of God as our life. Throughout the current age we grow in this life.

We “grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ” (Eph. 4:15). Then out from Him flows a rich supply through all His members which “causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.” This is Christ’s headship to bring us into the reality of New Jerusalem to remain eternally under His throne and in the Spirit’s flowing.

The Conclusion of the New Testament, chapter 20, by Witness Lee, © LSM.


Following the pattern earlier this year, posts in the coming weeks will focus on quotes from Excerpts from Books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee by Living Stream Ministry. Each post will identify the specific source of the quotation.

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