The Throne, the Center of New Jerusalem

Revelation 22:3 says, “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it [New Jerusalem]” and 21:23 tells us, “the glory of God illumined it [the city], and its lamp is the Lamb.”

New JerusalemIn this city there is a center, the throne of God. It is the throne of God in Christ (Rev. 22:3). God is in Christ, for Christ is portrayed as the lamp containing God as the light (21:23). The city of the New Jerusalem is like a lampstand, holding Christ as the lamp with God as the light. Thus, since God is in Christ on the throne, there is only one throne.*

The seven churches in seven cities in Revelation 1–3 are seen as seven golden lampstands (Rev. 1:11-12). Their ultimate development, both in the golden nature and in their function as lampstands, is New Jerusalem.

In the church life today there must also be a center. That center is the throne of God, from which God in Christ exercises His authority in the church. The entire church must be under the authority of God in Christ. Here we see the matter of headship. Christ with God is the Head.*

First Peter 4:17 declares, “it is time for the judgment to begin from the house of God.” We need to live under the headship of Christ to daily be saved from all natural and negative elements. In this way we are purified to satisfy God’s judging. This makes us match New Jerusalem which is pure, clear, and transparent (Rev. 21:11-21).

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

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

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

God’s Slaves Serve Him in New Jerusalem

New JerusalemThe prior four posts center on Revelation 22:3, “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it [New Jerusalem], and His slaves will serve Him.” Our service to Him is as priests.

What about “His slaves”? In the human realm slavery is bad and illegal. In strong contrast, many times in the New Testament God’s servants are called slaves.* The great difference between slavery to men and slavery to God is that our Master God is full of love and full of compassion toward us.

Here are NT examples of people who referred to themselves as slaves of God:
Luke 1:38 – Mary, in response to the angel who told her about Jesus
Luke 2:29 – Simeon, who met Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus in the temple
Acts 4:29 – the believers in Jerusalem while praying
Acts 20:19 – Paul, speaking to the elders of the church in Ephesus
James 1:1 and 2 Peter 1:1 – James and Peter at the start of their epistles

The NT often describes all men as slaves of indwelling sin (e.g. Rom. 6). Jesus Christ came, lived on earth, and died to pay the price for our sins, to judge the devil who is the source of sin, and to redeem us back to God. To redeem us is to buy us back from the slavery of sin.

Now we are God’s slaves, bought by Him and fully belonging to Him. This status is definite in the Bible and should have an influence on our service to God in this age. We will also have this status in New Jerusalem, as presented in Revelation 22:3.


* In the NT we clearly have the status of slaves yet at the same time we also have many other relationships with God. We are God’s children, believers, disciples, saints, vessels, citizens of God’s kingdom, members of God’s household, living stones for God’s building, members of the Body of Christ, and more. Our relationship with our God is extremely rich.

Photo courtesy of US National Park Service

Our Priesthood, Now & New Jerusalem (4)

Jesus Christ has made us priests to serve His God and Father today and in New Jerusalem (Rev. 1:5-6; 7:15; 22:3). We praise Him for this and we also should come forward to learn how to serve now.

Hebrews 12:28 encourages us, “let us have grace, through which we may serve God well-pleasingly with piety and fear.” This grace came to us in the incarnation (John 1:14, 16-17). It is not some outward blessing but is Christ as our supply in our spirit, the center of our being. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers” (Gal. 6:18, New Jerusalemlikewise in Phil. 4:23).

Because grace is something of Christ Himself, it is eternal. It is our supply to serve as priests now and to serve in New Jerusalem.

Hebrews 4 encourages us to receive grace. We have a great High Priest who has passed through death, resurrection, and ascension, and who can “be touched with the feeling of our weaknesses” (4:14-15). Therefore, “Let us therefore come forward with boldness to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help (4:16).

In ourselves we are not able to serve. Because of this we must put aside self-confidence and come forward to the throne to “receive mercy.” Then, with a little time at the throne we will “find grace.” The more grace we lay hold of, the more we are able to serve God as His priests.Let’s not wait for New Jerusalem but “come forward with boldness” now.

Prior posts on our priesthood: (1), (2), (3)

Our Priesthood, Now & New Jerusalem (2)

Revelation 22:3 says that in New Jerusalem, God’s slaves will serve Him as priests. Slaves and priests is also our status now. Jesus Christ “loves us and has released us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father.”

Luke 2 presents the widow Anna as a good example of serving as a priest. She “did not depart from the temple, serving God with fastings and petitions night and day.” Persevering prayer, even while we care for our human affairs, is a key to serving. This per-severing prayer is with rejoicing in Romans 12:12 and with thanksgiving in Colossians 4:2.

New JerusalemIn Acts 24 and 27 Paul declared that he served God as a priest. And he told the Romans, “I serve in my spirit in the gospel of His Son” (1:9). Our human spirit was created to contain the Holy Spirit; by the mingling of these two spirits (e.g. Rom. 8:16) we can satisfy God in our service. This matches New Jerusalem, a spiritual city.

“We are the circumcision, the ones who serve by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). When we serve in our spirit we are also “serving by the Spirit.” We do not use confidence in natural ability but we depend on the Spirit dwelling in us (Rom. 8:9, 11).

This is the way we will serve in New Jerusalem. May we learn this now and experience a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

Our Priesthood, Now & New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRevelation 22:3 promises us that “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it [New Jerusalem], and His slaves will serve Him.”

We are slaves because we have been purchased by the death of Christ (1 Cor. 6:20). We serve God as priests; this is the meaning of the Greek word (λατρευω) translated serve in 22:3.

This word is used at least a dozen times in the NT; collectively these verses present a good view of our eternal service in New Jerusalem.

The Lord Jesus, in Matthew 4:10 (and Luke 4:8), quotes Deuteronomy, “you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.” To me the key word here is only. Even we who love the Lord are distracted to serve, to attempt to achieve, other goals. Yes, we have human responsibilities to care for but they should not be our goal, our prize, or our reward.

In New Jerusalem serving only the Lord will be automatic since all distractions will be in the lake of fire. But today we need to turn our heart to the Lord all the time (2 Cor. 3:15-17), rejoice in Him and give thanks to Him in everything (1 Thes. 5:16-18). Surely New Jerusalem will be full of rejoicing and thanksgiving.

To have this living, look at the Lord’s word in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.” God’s breathing through His word is our life supply now, and it will continue eternally!

See also:
God’s Slaves Serve in New Jerusalem
We Serve as Priests, Now & New Jerusalem
We Serve as Priests in New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem: Serve God as Priests

 

The Temple-Palace of New Jerusalem

John, in considering New Jerusalem, told us, “I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb [Jesus Christ] are its temple” (Rev. 21:22).

The Lord God and the Lamb reign over the new creation and the throne in New Jerusalem. God in Christ is the King of kings and His people with Him “will reign forever and ever” (Rev. 22:5).

Because the Dweller and His children will be kings, this temple becomes a palace. Solomon built a temple for God and also a palace for himself separately. These two were divided, separated. But now in the New Jerusalem our temple and our palace are one. God’s temple is our palace. All the folks of the same divine family live in that temple, where they worship God and live as kings, making that living place a palace. The Father is the Father-King, and the children are the children-kings. This is the reigning, ruling family, the royal family. Their dwelling place is the place not only for them to serve God but also for them to live as kings; it is a palace.*

New JerusalemAll God’s children are also priests serving God in the temple (serve in Rev. 22:3 means to serve as a priest). As priests and kings, they are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). This will be wonderful in New Jerusalem but don’t wait for that time.

Peter says we are, today, a royal priesthood. We have been born again (v. 1:23), and are growing in this life (2:2-3), always coming to the Lord as the Living Stone (2:4, 6), and being built together as a spiritual house (2:5).

Today, as the royal priesthood, we are growing into the fullness of New Jerusalem.

* The Application of the Interpretation of the New Jerusalem to the Seeking Believers, chapter 4, by Witness Lee, © LSM.

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (6)

God’s eternal purpose is to become one with His people to dwell with them eternally as New Jerusalem and to manifest His glory through the city.

We have followed a song* about God’s purpose from creation to the flow of eternal life for the building up of God’s dwelling to the throne, river of life, and tree of life which characterize New Jerusalem. The song’s
New Jerusalemnext verse is:

God in Christ, the glorious light,
Thru the city brightly shines,
Scattering all the deathly night
With its light of life divine.

This corresponds with words in Revelation. In 21:11 New Jerusalem has “the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.”

And in 21:23, “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.” In 22:5 we read, “And night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them.”

God shines in Christ and through Christ to enlighten the entire city. This glorious light radiates further to enlighten the new creation. This is the ultimate manifestation of Jesus Christ as the “light of life” (John 1:4; 8:12).

In New Jerusalem “night will be no more” because every member of the city will be fully in resurrection with no need for sleep. God in Christ is our eternal day in New Jerusalem.

——
* music (composer unknown), words by Witness Lee

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

We Serve as Priests, Now & New Jerusalem

Revelation 22:3 is part of the description of life in New Jerusalem. “And the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His slaves will serve Him.” Here “serve” means “serve as priests.”

New JerusalemThrough the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, God purchased us. We “were bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20). Thus, we are God’s slaves, both now and in New Jerusalem. As His slaves we serve Him as priests.

The first NT mention of this serving is the Lord’s speaking to Satan in Matthew 4:10 (quoting Deut. 6:13), “Then Jesus said to him, Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.'”

In Romans 1:9 Paul tells us, “God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of His Son.” His serving in the gospel was a foretaste of his (and our) serving in New Jerusalem. Paul served “in spirit,” that is, by a living in his human spirit. (In John 4:23-24 our worship, tied to our service in Matthew 4, should also be in spirit.)

We all were bought by God to “serve by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). Being trained by the Spirit to serve today prepares us for our eternal serving in New Jerusalem.


To serve as a priest does not involve seminary or ordination or special robes. It depends on regeneration with a life of loving God, receiving fellowship from Him, and offering thanksgiving and praise to Him.

New Jerusalem in Revelation 22:1-5

“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.” (22:1-2)

Revelation 22:1-5 presents much about New Jerusalem—the throne, the river of water of life, the tree of life, and many blessings for all who are part of New Jerusalem. All the characteristics of New Jerusalem can be experienced today (to a lesser degree) in our Christian life. May we be those who seek the Lord Himself (not merely His doing good for us) and pursue with others to know Him in a deeper way.

New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:1-8
New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:9-20
New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:21-27

Here are the titles of recent posts and their links for 22:1-5.

New Jerusalem22:1, A River of Water of Life
22:1, New Jerusalem’s River from the Throne
22:1, New Jerusalem’s River Flows in its Street
22:1, The River is from the Throne
both Today and in New Jerusalem

22:2, The Tree of Life in New Jerusalem
22:2, Jesus is the Tree of Life in New Jerusalem
22:2, The Tree of Life is Here Today
and in New Jerusalem

22:2, The Tree for the Healing of the Nations

22:3, Christ Redeemed Us for New Jerusalem
22:3, New Jerusalem, the City of the Great King
22:3, We Serve God as Priests in New Jerusalem
22:3, We Serve as Priests in New Jerusalem

22:4, See His Face Now and in New Jerusalem
22:4, Follow the Lamb and Live to Him

22:5, New Jerusalem is Full of Light, No Night
22:5, The Lord God Shines in New Jerusalem
22:5, We Reign in Life Now and New Jerusalem

Many older posts about Revelation 22:1-2
Many older posts about Revelation 22:3-5

 

The Lord God Shines in New Jerusalem

The blessings in New Jerusalem continue in Revelation 22:5, “And night will be no more; and they have no need of the light of New Jerusalema lamp and of the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine upon them.”

Verse 22:5 emphasizes 21:23, “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.” It is very firm that New Jerusalem will be filled with the shining of God, brighter than the sun. This is our eternal destiny.

Today we should have a foretaste of New Jerusalem’s shining. The Lord Jesus told us, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). First John 1:5-10 ties together confessing our sins, fellowship with God and with one another, and walking in the light.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Then we can have fellowship with God. This is not to ask God to do things for us, but to have time in His word, musing, considering, praying with it and about it.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” “The opening of Your words gives light, imparting understanding to the simple.” (Ps. 119:105, 130). Let us be simple, open to the Lord in His word, and thereby experience a preview of the shining in New Jerusalem.

 

New Jerusalem is Full of Light, No Night

Revelation 22:5 shows more blessing in New Jerusalem, “And night will be no more.”

“God is light” (1 John 1:5). God was incarnated in Jesus Christ to be “the light of the world” (John 8:12). Through His death and resurrection Christ has become our life, and this life is the light of men. He is the light now and will shine brighter in New Jerusalem.

God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Darkness is God’s judgment on the devil and all the devil’s evil works. During the last three hours of crucifixion “darkness fell over all the land” because everything negative was being judged. By Revelation 20 all these negatives will be in the lake of fire. Hence New Jerusalem will always be light, no night.

New JerusalemDarkness also is a symbol of these works and of the people who do them. Ephesians 5:8 says we “were once darkness but are now light in the Lord.”

The Lord Jesus told us, “I have come as a light into the world, that every one who believes into Me would not remain in darkness” (John 12:46). God “delivered us out of the authority of darkness” (Col. 1:13) and charged Paul to turn people “from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18).

We are children of light, we can walk in the light, and we can shine with this light. Christ is our life, our light, and our righteousness. Proverbs 4:18 declares, “the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until the full day,” which will be in New Jerusalem.

No Night in New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem: Night Will be No More
New Jerusalem: No Night There (2) (3)

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