New Jerusalem is Eternal (3)

New Jerusalem is 
eternal
, based on the eternal redemption obtained, and eternal life released to us, by Jesus Christ.

Second Thessalonians 2:16: God our Father “loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope in grace.” The love, comfort, and grace are for us now, and in the kingdom age, and eternally in New Jerusalem. Thank Him for His wonderful care for us.

Hebrews 9:14 says, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” The eternal Spirit brings to us the conscience-purifying effect of Christ’s blood shed on the cross. And through this eternal Spirit we have the eternal life, the resurrection life, the life that characterizes the kingdom of God and New Jerusalem.

#NewJerusalemSecond Peter 1:11 speaks about our “entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…” We are already in the spiritual reality of the kingdom, as seen in Romans 14:17, “the kingdom of God is…righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” This spiritual reality is ours now because of our new birth by the Spirit (John 3:5).

Nevertheless, there is a fuller stage of the kingdom to come. By partaking of the divine nature (1 Peter 1:4) the divine virtues develop in us and give us the entrance into the manifestation of the kingdom and carry us onward to New Jerusalem.

All of these eternal things are “according to the eternal purpose which He [God] made in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:11). God’s purpose is eternal and consummates in eternal New Jerusalem.

God’s purpose is far higher than our sinful condition, far higher than overcoming evils on earth. His purpose takes care of these negatives but much more brings forth New Jerusalem with the glory of God radiating through all God’s people.

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.

New Jerusalem Prepared, Adorned

New JerusalemRevelation 21:2, “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

What is the adorning of New Jerusalem? Let us ask the Bible, putting aside any natural ideas. The first use of adorn in the New Testament is Matthew 23:29, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build up the graves of the prophets and adorn the tombs of the righteous.” Any outward adornment without inner reality is hypocrisy; surely this is not New Jerusalem.

Next, Luke 21:5 says that “the temple…was adorned with beautiful stones and consecrated offerings.” In the following verse the Lord says this will be torn down; clearly this outward adorning was not precious to God.

Thirdly, 1 Timothy 2:9 instructs “that women adorn themselves in proper clothing with modesty and sobriety, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly clothing.” Again, adorning (both in this age and for New Jerusalem) is not something outward but rather inward virtues. First Peter 3:3 is the same.

Titus 2:9-10 exhorts “slaves to be subject to their own masters in all things, to be well pleasing, not contradicting, not pilfering, but showing all good faithfulness that they may adorn the teaching of our Savior God in all things.” This teaching, which is with grace (v. 11), should soak into our inner being to become our pleasantness and faithfulness and wash us from arguments and greed. This is an adorning for which the Lord looks. First Peter 3:5 is comparable.

These verses tell us that the adorning of New Jerusalem is inward, not outward. The next post will look more specifically at what constitutes the adorning of New Jerusalem.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com.

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.

Journey to New Jerusalem: Type & Reality

We need to be “carried away in spirit onto a great and high mountain” to see New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:9-10). But how do we get in position to be carried away?

New JerusalemIn Exodus 19 Israel came to Mt. Sinai where they received the vision of the tabernacle. When the tabernacle was completed, God’s glory filled it (Exo. 40:33-34), making it a picture of New Jerusalem as the eternal tabernacle of God filled with glory (Rev. 21:3, 11).

First Corinthians 10:1-13 reviews some of Israel’s journey in the wilderness and says that “these things occurred as examples to us.” Their journey to Mt. Sinai pictures our journey to a high spiritual mountain where we can see New Jerusalem.

The first step in Israel’s journey was the redemption portrayed by the Passover. We need to repent and ask the Lord to forgive all our sins. He has already accomplished redemption by dying; when we ask Him, redemption is applied to us as forgiveness.

The second step in Israel’s journey was to eat the Passover lamb and the unleavened bread. This is a picture of our being nourished with Christ as the real Lamb and real Bread. This energizes us to walk out of Egypt.

The next step for Israel was to cross the Red Sea, which portrays our baptism. This separates us from the world and destroys the worldly forces (Pharaoh’s army being buried in the Red Sea). First Corinthians tells us that this baptism is not only in water but also in the Spirit. Water is the visible symbol but it alone is not effective. We need the invisible reality of the Spirit’s baptism.

These three steps begin our Christian journey to the mountain to see New Jerusalem.

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