On the Throne in New Jerusalem (2)

Revelation 22:3 says concerning New Jerusalem:

New Jerusalem

Here are more verses about the exalted and enthroned Lamb.

Philippians 2:9-11, “God highly exalted Him [Christ Jesus] and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should openly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” We confess Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God now and in New Jerusalem.

Hebrews 2:7b-8a, “You [God] have crowned Him [Jesus] with glory and honor and have set Him over the works of Your hands; You have subjected all things under His feet. For in subjecting all things to Him, He left nothing unsubject to Him.”

Revelation 1:5, “Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth.” If we look at today’s situation with our human understanding, we doubt. But, we should say “amen” to God’s word. Jesus Christ is the Ruler today as He will be in New Jerusalem.

Revelation 17:14, “…the Lamb…is Lord of lords and King of kings…” Revelation 19:16, “He has on His garment and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings And Lord of Lords.”

This wonderful One is on the throne now and will be on the throne in New Jerusalem. In Revelation 22:1 John saw “a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” This river flows to keep us under His authority and is flowing now as the Spirit which we have received (John 7:37-39). To drink the Spirit now (1 Cor. 12:13) is to have a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

More about the redeeming and enthroned Lamb: Behold the Lamb (1), (2), (3), (4)

Partake of One Bread, One Body, One City

Pictures of the oneness of New Jerusalem include the one flock, the one new man, and the one Body. Another picture is in 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, “The bread which we break, is it not the fellowship of the body of Christ? Seeing that there is one bread, we who are many are one Body; for we all partake of the one bread.”

The breaking portrays the death of Christ and the partaking implies His resurrection. By His death and resurrection, we have all become one in Him. This is the oneness of His Body, of the one new man, and of New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemPartaking of the bread makes us one. This is not the physical bread on the table, which is only a symbol. Remember John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.” Jesus Christ is the real bread, the living bread, as testified in all of John 6. Today our eating/partaking must be by exercising our spirit to contact the Spirit.

The most solid way to partake is with the Word and Spirit together. Ephesians 6:17-18 encourages us to receive “the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God, by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit.”

The word in verse 17 is “the instant word spoken at the moment by the Spirit in any situation. The sword, the Spirit, and the word are one. When the constant word in the Bible becomes the instant word, that word is the Spirit as the sword that kills the enemy.*”

The spirit in verse 18 is “our regenerated spirit, indwelt by the Spirit of God. It may be considered the mingled spirit — the spirit that is our spirit mingled with God’s Spirit. In praying, the main faculty that we should use is this spirit.**”

Receiving the word in spirit energizes us to participate in the one Body as the foretaste of New Jerusalem.

*Note 4 on Ephesians 6:17 and **note 3 on Ephesians 6:18 in The Holy Bible, Recovery Version © by Living Stream Ministry

A Spiritual House Grows to New Jerusalem

Both the tabernacle and the temple are pictures of the church as the New Testament dwelling of God and of New Jerusalem as the eternal dwelling of God.

Acts 7:47 mentions David, Solomon, and building the temple. Verse 48 refers to the prophet Isaiah and verse 49 quotes Isaiah, “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is a footstool for My feet. What kind of house will you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place of My rest?” A note by Witness Lee on Acts 7* says,

This quotation from Isa. 66:1-2 indicates that the Lord was seeking a spiritual habitation in man’s spirit. This is proved by the unquoted part of Isa. 66:2 that says, “But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit.”

In Old Testament times, God had a dwelling among His people. Yet even then He was longing for a dwelling in His people. This indwelling is realized now in the church as the precursor of New Jerusalem. Christ is in us and the Spirit is dwelling in us (Rom. 8:9-11). Thus, we are the reality of what was symbolized by the Old Testament temple (1 Cor. 3:16-17) and we are experiencing a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe spiritual nature of the New Testament building is also seen in Ephesians 2:22, we “are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit” and in 1 Peter 2:5, we “ourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house.”

This spiritual building will progress on to New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem will be a spiritual city with Christ as the Living Stone and all of us a living stones and with the Spirit dwelling in each one of us.

* Acts 7:49, footnote 1, in The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 2003.

God’s Flow Brings Us to New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRecent posts were about our Christian journey to be in spirit on a mountain to see New Jerusalem. One post mentioned John 19:34: when Jesus died on the cross, “one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.”

God’s flowing is unto eternity, unto New Jerusalem. This flowing, including John 19:34, is the subject of a song, which begins,
___A mighty flowing-out is God,
_____He flows throughout the ages.

This flow is to impart God into man so that man may have God’s life and become God’s expression which ultimately is New Jerusalem. We first see this flow in the garden of Eden. The song says,
___In the beginning we can see, God as a flowing river,
___The river to convey the tree, Himself as life deliver.

Although man sinned and was separated from God’s life, God came in Jesus to redeem and to impart His life.
___God flowed Himself into a man, The man we call Christ Jesus.
___He gave up His own life for man And God’s own life releases.
In John 10:10-11 He told us that in death He laid down His soul life for us that we may have eternal life abundantly.

Satan’s opposition backfired; Satan’s scheme failed:
___He [Satan] had Him crucified And cruelly pierced His side—
___But out came blood and water!
___The blood and water flowed from Him, In streams of pure salvation.
___The blood brings cleansing from all sin; Water, regeneration.

In resurrection the Spirit flowed, as promised in John 7:37-39.
___And now the Spirit flows, Brings God where’er He goes.
This flow enlivens all who receive and builds us together in the Body of Christ.

Ultimately, in New Jerusalem is the river of water of life and the tree of life (Rev. 22:1-2).
___And at the end the same, The river doth remain,
___God in the Lamb doth flow, The tree prevails to grow,
___And God flows on forever.

Photo courtesy of pdphoto.org.

New Jerusalem: the Glory to be Revealed

New Jerusalem is the consummation of the Bible. It is the high point of everything God has done through the ages, especially what the Spirit has wrought within redeemed humanity. This is why we need to be in spirit and on a high mountain to see New Jerusalem.

When John saw New Jerusalem, he was both in spirit and also carried away onto a great and high mountain [Rev. 21:9-10]….New JerusalemWe need to be uplifted to a high mountain that we may see God’s dwelling place for the fulfillment of His eternal purpose. In order for John to see the churches, it was sufficient to be on the island of Patmos [Rev. 1:9-12]. But the New Jerusalem is vastly higher than the churches, and in order to see it, John had to be carried to a high mountain. The New Jerusalem is a mountain city, and we must be on a mountain in order to see it. We need to be in the spirit and to get to a high mountain. This is the way to see the vision of the New Jerusalem.*

New Jerusalem is God’s eternal goal. It is also the eternal goal of every one of God’s people. Would you like to know where you are going? In spirit and on a high mountain, we can see the goal.

Remember Romans 8:18, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed upon us.” And 1 Peter 4:13, “inasmuch as you share in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice exultingly.”

The present sufferings seem large when we focus on them. But we should look at the coming glory of New Jerusalem and rejoice!

*from Life-Study of Revelation by Witness Lee, © LSM, online reading (chap. 59, sec. 2)

Live the Father’s Life for New Jerusalem

New JerusalemWe have a Christian journey to a spiritual mountain to see New Jerusalem. To reach this mountain requires experiences of Christ. It also requires exercise of our spirit mingled with the Spirit because a proper Christian life is a walk according to the spirit (Gal. 5:16).

In Matthew 4:17 the Lord proclaimed “Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” In Matthew 5–7 He spoke about the reality of life in this kingdom. Both are necessary steps toward the vision of New Jerusalem.

Repentance was proclaimed to those beside or on the sea of Galilee, which typifies living in a worldly situation. May we all repent of whatever degree of worldliness we have. Then we go up a mountain (Matt. 5:1) to enter the reality of the kingdom of the heavens.

In ourselves we cannot fulfill what the Lord spoke in Matthew 5–7. But He gave us the key, “our Father.” He spoke this phrase at least 12 times in these three chapters. We are sons of our Father (5:45) and His life in us enables us to “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (5:48).

Beside the sea we repent and on the mountain we live by the Father’s life. The reality of this life is the Spirit. “The Spirit gives life” (John 6:63, 2 Cor. 3:6) and because of being born again our spirit is life (Rom. 8:10). It is in our spirit, regenerated by the Spirit, that we are carried to the mountain for the vision of New Jerusalem.

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, may be viewed at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by Living Stream Ministry.

Christ Qualifies Us for New Jerusalem

We continue on our Christian journey portrayed by Israel’s journey from Egypt to Mt. Sinai. Our goal is to get to the spiritual mountain where we can see the vision of New Jerusalem.

A step in the prior post was to walk by the Spirit so that we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh. This is pictured in Exodus by the battle against Amalek (Exo. 17), a battle which continues every day. Then Israel arrived at the mountain but still did not see God’s habitation. The journey to see New Jerusalem is not short but it is a normal part of Christian life.

New JerusalemIn Exodus 19 to 23 God spoke the ten commandments and many supporting ordinances. These show who God is—He is unique, He is holy, He is living, He is righteous, He is faithful, and He has many other attributes.

All God’s words also show our shortages apart from Christ. Sometimes we try to fulfill the law but eventually we fail. This is Romans 7. Without Christ we cannot fulfill the law because 1) the law of sin is in us, and 2) we do not have God’s life.

When Moses presented all the words of God to Israel, there was an altar and burnt offerings and the blood of the offerings (Exo. 24:4-8). Moses sprinkled the blood on the people. This was a shadow; the reality is:
• “now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have become near in the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13)
• “the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin” (1 John 1:7)
This too is part of our journey to see New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pdphoto.org.

We Walk by the Spirit to New Jerusalem

The picture of Israel’s journey from Egypt to Mt. Sinai typifies our Christian journey from our initial salvation to the mountain where we can see New Jerusalem. Exodus 16 is about manna, a picture of Christ as our daily bread, and Exodus 17 is about water out of the smitten rock, a picture of the life-giving Spirit.

In addition to the steps mentioned in previous posts, there is the need to fight Amalek (Exo. 17:8-16).

In 17:8-16 we have the war against Amalek….According to the picture in [Exodus] chapters sixteen and seventeen, after we have received the heavenly life supply and the living water from the cleft rock, we are ready to fight against Amalek.

Many students of the Bible realize that this fight depicts the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit. This indicates that as we are going on with the Lord, the first fight is that between the flesh and the Spirit. The fact that the first fight in which the children of Israel were engaged was that against Amalek indicates that after we are saved and baptized, the first conflict we experience will be the warfare between the flesh and the Spirit who regenerated us.*

New JerusalemHere are two verses showing this battle:
• “The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6
• “The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.” Galatians 5:17

We do not fight the flesh in our own strength. Rather, “Walk by the Spirit and you shall by no means fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).

This battle is a necessary step to be freed from the flesh so that we can be “carried away in spirit onto a great and high mountain” to see New Jerusalem.

* An extract from Life-study of Exodus by Witness Lee, published by LSM, message 46, section 1.

Photo courtesy of Janelle Johnson.

The New Man Becomes New Jerusalem

The Fall 2012 issue of Affirmation & Critique* focuses on New Jerusalem. Here is an excerpt from the fourth article, The New Jerusalem—The Consummation of God’s Work in Humanity (by David Yoon).

The first man is the corporate man whom God created for the fulfillment of His eternal purpose; the old man is the created man who became old through the corruption of the fall; the second man is Christ, the first God-man, as the initial accomplishment of God’s purpose; and the new man is the corporate God-man as the reproduction of the second man for the full accomplishment of God’s purpose. The divine revelation in the entire Bible may be considered the history of these four men with the New Jerusalem as its culmination. Genesis 1 and 2 unveil the creation of the first man. Genesis 3 through Malachi present the history of the old man, the first man who fell. The four Gospels in the New Testament offer the biography of the second man as the replacement of the first man, and Acts through Revelation 20 contain the story of the new man as the corporate enlargement of the second man. The last two chapters of the Bible present the description of the New Jerusalem as the consummation of the new man.

New JerusalemAdam is the first man and Jesus Christ is both the second man and the last Adam. “So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul’; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. The first man is out of the earth, earthy; the second man is out of heaven.” (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47)

Due to man’s fall, all of Adam’s descendants became the old man, but through redemption and regeneration all who believe in Jesus become the new man. In position, through baptism, we have put off the old man and put on the new man. Now in our Christian experience we need to put off the living of the old man with all his actions (Colossians 3:5-9) and put on the living of Christ as the reality of the new man (Colossians 3:1-4).

The new man is the forerunner and New Jerusalem will the completion. Today Christ is our life in the new man and tomorrow Christ will be our life in New Jerusalem.

* Affirmation & Critique is a Christian Journal published twice a year and available online. It presents Bible truths in a scholarly manner, with references to and citations from a variety of publications by authors over the entire Christian era. Affirmation & Critique exhibits much appreciation for the person and work of Jesus Christ and our life with Him. The Fall 2012 issue (Vol. XVII, No. 2) focuses on New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pdpics.com.

The New Creation is What Matters

It is God’s mercy that we have been forgiven and regenerated and are going to New Jerusalem. On this path we still need God’s mercy. Today we come forward to receive mercy and find grace at the throne, which is the throne of God and the Lamb in New Jerusalem.

In Galatians 6:15-16 Paul says, “For neither is circumcision anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creation is what matters. And as many as walk by this rule, peace be upon them and mercy, even upon the Israel of God.”

New JerusalemCircumcision and uncircumcision are outward; they are not what matters. What matters to Christians is the new creation. In Galatians the new creation includes Christ revealed in us (1:16), being sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus (3:26), Christ living in us (2:20), and Christ formed in us (4:19).

The new creation also includes receiving the Spirit by faith (3:2), being perfected by the Spirit (3:3), walking by the Spirit (5:16), living by the Spirit (5:25), and sowing unto the Spirit (6:8).

In our living we should care for the new creation. Presently this creation is spiritual and hidden within us. Eventually the new creation, the new heaven and new earth with New Jerusalem as their center, will become visible to all (Revelation 21:1-2).

Paul’s word in Galatians 6 wishes peace and mercy to those who walk by caring for the new creation, to those who have a living and a view unto New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

God Operates and We Cooperate (2)

New JerusalemThe Bible affirms that God prepared the city of New Jerusalem (Hebrews 11:16). This city is the bride of the Lamb, Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:2). The Bible also affirms that the bride has made herself ready (Revelation 19:7).

We, the bride, get ready by cooperating with God’s operation. An example of this cooperation is in 1 Corinthians 3. In verses 6-7 Paul says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth. So then neither is he who plants anything nor he who waters, but God who causes the growth.”

On one hand neither Paul nor Apollos is anything. On the other hand, they need to plant and water so that God can give the growth. In verse 9 Paul says, “we are God’s fellow workers.” This is cooperation with God’s operation to give growth. The same principle applies to the preparation of the bride, New Jerusalem.

Here is a good post about being saved in the midst of the daily necessities and troubles in our environment: the Supply for Your Daily Salvation. By this supply we cooperate with God and thus participate in the preparation of the bride, New Jerusalem.

Photo by Scott Bauer, courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture.

New Jerusalem is the Consummation of All God’s Newness in the Bible

Zion National Park 3, UT, Nat Park Service

New Jerusalem, the center of the new creation (Revelation 21:1-2), is the consummation of all the newness in the Bible. The city is new because, like the new man, it is in Christ and in it Christ is all and in all. God in Christ defines what is new. Everything and every person outside of Christ is old.

Here is a summary with a link and a key verse for each of the recent posts on New Jerusalem as the consummation of the divine newness. In a proper Christian life we experience the newness of New Jerusalem now.

 If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Where are we? If in Christ, we are a new creation; if not in Christ, we are in the old creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 In Christ, by entering into and experiencing His death and thereby being ushered into His resurrection, we can walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

 Resurrection and newness cannot be separated. In resurrection we walk in newness of life and the Spirit is the reality of resurrection. Therefore, we serve in newness of spirit. Romans 7:6

 By serving in spirit, we participate in the new covenant ministry of the Spirit who gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6

 Christ created the new man on the cross. We have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him. Colossians 3:10

 The new man is experiencing the renewing of the Holy Spirit. Several chapters in the epistles show us how to cooperate with the Spirit’s renewing work in our being. Titus 3:5

 New Jerusalem is the consummation of the new covenant. The Lord established the new covenant by His death and now we who have been called receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Zion National Park 3, UT, Nat Park Service

Here is a summary with a link and a key verse for some older posts about the newness of the heavenly Jerusalem and our experience of the Spirit’s renewing.

 God created man in His image and with His likeness for the accomplishing of His purpose. The original man fell but on the cross Christ created a new man which will fulfill God’s purpose and bring in New Jerusalem. Ephesians 2:15

 Our believing into Jesus Christ brings us into the new creation. Although we still need the renewing of the Holy Spirit, our believing puts us on and guarantees the path to New Jerusalem. John 1:12

 All believers are positionally in the new man, yet we still need to cooperate with the Spirit’s work in us so that we may be renewed in the spirit of our mind. Ephesians 4:23

 Christ is our new beginning, typified by new moons and new years. Revelation mentions singing a new song (singing is a good way to enjoy His newness). These new things (and many more) point toward New Jerusalem. Psalm 33:3

 Based on the sacrifice (the death on the cross) of our passover Christ, we are a new lump. We should therefore keep the feast with Christ as our pure, new food which energizes us to live Him. 1 Corinthians 5:8

 The new man is being renewing according to the image of Him [Christ] who created the new man. Christ is the image of the invisible God and the renewing brings forth the image of God which ultimately is displayed by New Jerusalem. Colossians 1:15

How wonderful is the work of the Triune God. God has put us into Christ where we are the new man. Here the Spirit is renewing us so that our entire being will have the newness which will be characteristic of New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

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