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.

A Fourth Mystery Points to New Jerusalem

Christ is the mystery of God (Col. 2:2) and the church is the mystery of Christ (Eph. 3:4-11). Christ and the church, as Husband and wife, are the great mystery (Eph. 5:32) a predecessor of Christ the Lamb and New Jerusalem as Husband and wife (Rev. 21:10).

Colossians 1:26 speaks of the revelation of “the mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from the generations but now has been manifested.” Verse 27 unveils this mystery, “God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which [mystery] is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

New JerusalemToday Christ is life in every believer, as in Colossians 3:4. When He returns and is manifested in glory visibly, this life will also be manifested in glory (3:4). Hence, Christ our life today is also Christ as our hope of glory.

This is the glory which New Jerusalem has and which the city will radiate eternally (Rev. 21:11, 23). This glory is of God in Christ, not of us, but it is in us.

God’s intention is “that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had before prepared unto glory” (Rom. 9:23). It is God’s choice in His mercy that Christ has become our hope of glory. Thank Him!

Christ in us will be manifested in glory to express God in a corporate entity, the city New Jerusalem. This is the fulfillment of God’s desire and purpose to create man in His image to express Him.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Rejoice, Sing, Cry Out in Zion

New JerusalemIn my Bible reading I came to Isaiah 12. Verse 6 declares, “Cry out and give a ringing shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

This verse reminds me of New Jerusalem. First, as parts of New Jerusalem we are inhabitants of the eternal Zion. Second, God, the Holy One, is on the throne in the middle of the city.

In this context, the verse urges us to “cry out and give a ringing shout.” Other translations* include “shout aloud and sing” and “cry out and sing for joy.” This is not only inward joy but also inward joy expressed in loud rejoicing.

Surely, in line with this verse, New Jerusalem will be filled with rejoicing and singing, even shouting. We should experience this now in coming together with other Christians. This rejoicing should be prominent in our weekly remembering the Lord Jesus and His accomplishments (1 Cor. 10:16-17, 11:23-26).

The prior verses in Isaiah 12 present the source of this rejoicing. In verse 1 Isaiah praises the Lord. In verse 2 the Lord is His song. In verse 3 we are encouraged to drink the Spirit (the living water, John 7:37-39) with rejoicing. In verse 4 we give thanks to the Lord, we call on His name (Rom. 10:12-13), and we declare His doings to people around us. In verse 5 we sing Psalms to the Lord and make His marvelous works know in all the earth.

Let us exercise in these ways and ask the Lord to draw us more into them for a rich foretaste of New Jerusalem.

* Courtesy of Bible Hub.

Heavenly Jerusalem is on Earth from God

John was carried away in spirit onto a high mountain (Rev. 21:10). In this setting he was shown “the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.”

God wanted to show New Jerusalem to John, so He sent an angel to him (21:9) to invite John to come. John responded, was in his human spirit, was carried away to a great and high mountain, and saw the holy city, Jerusalem. This seeing was at first a repeat of Revelation 21:2, but in this seeing (v. 10) the vision continued (v. 11-21) to show John much more about New Jerusalem.

Here are the recent posts on 21:2 which correspond with the latter half of 21:10.
First, John saw the city:
New JerusalemJohn Saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem

This Jerusalem is holy because God is holy:
New Jerusalem is Holy with God’s Holiness

This Jerusalem signifies God’s kingdom:
New Jerusalem is the City of the Great King

The name Jerusalem means foundation of peace:
New Jerusalem is the Foundation of Peace

This Jerusalem has the heavenly nature:
New Jerusalem is Heavenly, On Earth

This Jerusalem has come out of heaven
and is on earth and is from God:
New Jerusalem is on Earth from God

Thank the Lord for all the wonderful characteristics of New Jerusalem!

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Riches of God’s Grace in New Jerusalem

Ephesians 2:5-6 says that God made us alive together with Christ, raised us up together with Him, and seated us in the heavenlies in Him, so that (v. 7) “He might display in the ages to come the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

In verse 7 ages is plural, so it refers to both the coming age and eternity. Thus, verse 7 tells us something about New Jerusalem. This verse says God will display. New Jerusalem will be a display of the unlimited riches of God.

New JerusalemVerse 7 also uses the word surpassing. It does not tell us what will be surpassed but the whole of Ephesians presents an unlimited Triune God. What He will display will surpass everything we have seen or imagined.

Then the word riches. It is plural. God is not merely rich in grace; His grace has multiple aspects of richness. How many aspects we cannot guess. Even now we can receive “grace upon grace” (John 1:16)—grace in multiple layers.

The surpassing riches are of His grace. This grace comes to us in Christ Jesus and is Christ Jesus Himself (John 1:14, 17). This grace comes in kindness. We do not deserve the surpassing riches of His grace, but because God loves us and is merciful to us, this grace abounds to us. Thank Him for His great mercy!

This surpassingly rich grace comes to us in Christ Jesus. He is the realm for all God’s blessings to us. All the surpassing riches of New Jerusalem will be in Him and displayed through Him.

Redemption unto New Jerusalem (4)

When our Lord Jesus comes again in glory, He will redeem our mortal, corrupted body, transfiguring it to be like His body of glory (Phil. 3:21). This is a step on our path to New Jerusalem, the city “having the glory of God.”

The graphic is the last verse of a hymn about the redemption of our body. Once more, the New Jerusalemverse begins with Christ our hope of glory (Col. 1:27). Then “He is our history.” We have believed “into Christ Jesus” and we are now in Him. Here He is our history.

He has become one with us and He is our life (Col. 3:4) for us to experience Him daily. Soon He will come again to transfigure our mortal bodies and bring us into His glorious liberty. This liberty will free our mortal bodies from sin, death, and all kinds of weaknesses and corruption unto the eternal, incorruptible New Jerusalem.

The freedom of glorification through the redemption of our mortal bodies will make even our physical bodies one with Him. We will be one with Him completely and forever.

Based on the redemption gained through Christ’s death and our believing, we have regeneration in our spirit. That began the renewing of the Holy Spirit in our soul (Titus 3:5), which will culminate with the redemption/transfiguration of our body. All of this prepares us to rejoice with Christ at the wedding feast and to live eternally as part of New Jerusalem. Thank Him for this wonderful, complete salvation!

Christ Loves the Church & New Jerusalem, 4

Here is the last verse of a song about Christ’s love for His wife, initially the church and eternally New Jerusalem. This part of the song begins with resurrection. Both the church and New Jerusalem are in resurrection because they exist solely in and with the resurrection life of Christ.

New Jerusalem“She beholds her Bridegroom…” This is like Hebrews 12:1-2, let us “run with endurance the race which is set before us, looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.” He is both the Initiator and the Completer. We are not capable of becoming the glorious church and city, but He will complete this process in us. Thank Him.

“His glory floods her heart.” This is happening today. In 2 Corinthians 3 we turn our hearts to the Lord and “we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit” (v. 18).

His open appearing in glory will be at His second coming: “they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27). But His spiritual appearing is available to us now as we turn our hearts and look away to Him.

Eventually His bride will be raptured and then come down out of heaven, “the bride, the wife of the Lamb….the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:9-11).

 

Living Water Flows to, in New Jerusalem (4)

The “river of water of life” flowing from the throne in New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1) is the eternal continuation of the living water the Lord Jesus promised in John’s gospel.

The Lord invites us to come to Him and drink this water. This coming is believing into Him (John 7:37-38). Lord, grant me faith to believe into You initially and to respond to You every day. Further, Isaiah tells us that rejoicing, thanking, and calling on His name are also ways to drink the living water.

New JerusalemIn John 7:39 the living water is the Spirit. This is also “the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” in Philippians 1:19. In this verse the bountiful supply of the Spirit comes to us not only through our own action (prior paragraph) but also through the prayers of other believers.

In Revelation 22:17 the Spirit and the bride cry out, “let him who is thirsty come; let him who wills take the water of life freely.” The invitation is to everyone, to whoever is thirsty and willing to come.

A song (words, music) begins with Revelation 22:1-2’s description of New Jerusalem:
__Drink! A river pure and clear that’s flowing from the throne;
__Eat! The tree of life with fruits abundant, richly grown.

The chorus is from Revelation 22:17:
__Do come, oh, do come,
__Says Spirit and the Bride:
__Do come, oh, do come,
__Let him that heareth, cry.
__Do come, oh, do come,
__Let him who thirsts and will
____Take freely the water of life!

The other verses of the song have words about Christ, our experiences of Him, and our oneness. Everything in this song is for today but will also be true in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Living Water Flows to, in New Jerusalem (3)

New JerusalemJesus went through death and entered into resurrection to release the flow of water of life, fulfilling His promises in John 4:14 and 7:37-39. This same water of life continues to flow as the river in New Jerusalem.

The release of living water in His death, seen in John 19, was foretold in Exodus 17. Moses was told to strike a rock so that water would come out for the people to drink as they travelled through the desert. First Corinthians 10:4 summarizes that experience, saying “all drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank of a spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ.”

Today, on our way to New Jerusalem, we are in a “desert.” The world around us is spiritually dry, without satisfaction to our inner thirst. The striking of the rock in Exodus 17, as a picture of the judgment of Christ on the cross, was once for all. Later, in Numbers 20, God told Moses to speak to the rock and it would release water to drink.

Today “the Rock is Christ” and we can “speak to the Rock.” Lord, I am thirsty, give me a drink of living water.

First Corinthians 12:13 says, “in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body…and were all given to drink one Spirit.” How to drink? Isaiah 12:3: “you will draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation.” Isaiah 12:4 adds that, in that day, we will give thanks to the Lord and call on His name. To rejoice, give thanks, and call Lord Jesus are all ways to drink the living water. Practice now and expect to do more in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Through Sufferings to New Jerusalem (7)

New JerusalemSuffering in our Christian life, which is normal but temporary, brings forth glory in stages from now to New Jerusalem. We continue with Peter’s speaking about this.

First Peter 5:10 speaks of “the God of all grace, He who has called you into His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself perfect, establish, strengthen, and ground you.” We thank this wonderful God that we have been called into His eternal glory!

This is not only glory in eternity (after time ends) in New Jerusalem. It is also glory which is eternal in nature, of which we partake now. This is a foretaste of New Jerusalem “having the glory of God.”

To partake of this glory involves sufferings. As in verses in recent posts, this suffering is not borne by ourselves. The God of “all grace” (not barely enough grace) is in us. The grace today will surely continue with us into New Jerusalem. Here are some of the many verses about grace with us now:
John 1:16, “of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.”
Acts 11:23, Barnabas arrived and “saw the grace of God” in the believers in Antioch.
Romans 5:2, “we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand”
1 Corinthians 16:23, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.”
2 Timothy 4:22, ” The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.”
1 Petter 1:2, “Grace to you and peace be multiplied.”
Rev. 1:4-5, “Grace to you and peace from Him…and the seven Spirits…and Jesus Christ.”

First Peter 5:10 concludes that God “will Himself perfect, establish, strengthen, and ground you.” The result of all this divine work in us is “to Him be the glory and the might forever and ever” (v. 11). Forever points to New Jerusalem, full of glory and might to God.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Praises in the Book of Revelation (2)

There are many praises in Revelation for what God and the Lamb are and for what God and the Lamb do. We who are believers join the heavenly praising now. In eternity the entire new creation will praise God and the Lamb on the throne in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemRevelation 11:15: “And the seventh angel trumpeted; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.” This brings out the praise in verse 17, “We thank You, Lord God the Almighty, He who is and who was, because You have taken Your great power and have reigned.”

We are in the spiritual reality of God’s kingdom now (Rom. 14:17) and John testified that he was in this kingdom while in exile on Patmos (Rev. 1:9). But, the world still has its kingdoms, nations, etc. When these are terminated at the seventh trumpet, that surely will bring forth more praises and thanks from the heavens and from God’s people on earth.

Revelation 12:10 has more: “I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ, for the accuser of our brothers has been cast down, who accuses them before our God day and night.” The transition in Revelation 11 concerns the kingdom of the world and in this chapter concerns the casting down of the devil, satan.

The result of this casting down is “Therefore be glad, O heavens and those who dwell in them” (v. 12). There is more gladness in Revelation 18:20 as a result of further judgements by God. We, God’s people, should be glad now, will be glad then, and this gladness will continue to New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Wonderful Jesus Christ in Revelation 19 Brings Us to New Jerusalem (3)

Revelation 19 has much to say about Jesus Christ Himself and His accomplishments to end this age, bring in the next age, and open the door for New Jerusalem to come down out of heaven.

In verse 19:14, “The armies which are in heaven followed Him on white horses, dressed in fine linen, white and clean.” The white and clean garments indicate that these believers are approved by the Lord. These garments are not merely gifts to them. Rather, the garments manifest the believers inward condition and daily living.

This clean living includes the cleansing of our sins, and also the transformation of our inner being. The first is the forgiveness by Christ’s redemption (Eph. 1:7). The second is accomplished by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) and also the purifying of our souls by our obedience (1 Peter 1:22).

New JerusalemThe garments qualify us 1) to attend the marriage dinner of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9), 2) to be part of His victorious army, and 3) to participate in New Jerusalem.

Forgiveness of sins is a necessary step in becoming part of New Jerusalem, but it is not the only step. We also need the renewing of our inner being to match the newness of New Jerusalem. This is the renewing of our mind by the Spirit in our spirit (Rom. 12:2, Eph. 4:23).

Those who are wearing white garments are on white horses. These match the white horse on which the Lord sits (v. 11). By the Spirit’s renewing, we are being renewed according to the Lord’s image (Col. 3:10), thus matching Him in many ways. We thereby become His expression now as the new man (Col. 3:10-11) and eternally as New Jerusalem.

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