The Lord Jesus Portrayed in New Jerusalem

New JerusalemThe Lord Jesus is portrayed in the New Jerusalem….First, He is the Lamb (22:1). Even in eternity the Lord Jesus will always be remembered as the Lamb who died for our redemption, who shed His blood for us, and who gave Himself as the very food of life to satisfy us. Second, this Lamb is also the lamp, in whom God is the light (21:23; 22:5). The lamp is the vessel of God, containing God and expressing God….Third, this very Christ is the tree of life (v. 2), the source of all life supply. In the church life we must have Christ as the Lamb, the lamp, and the tree of life. Fourth, Christ is even the temple of the city (21:22).*

1: “He showed me 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.”
2: “The glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.”
3: “On this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life.”
4: “I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”
Revelation 22:1; 21:23; 22:2; 21:22

Not only in New Jerusalem, but also today the Lord Jesus is our redeeming Lamb. “We have redemption through His blood” (Eph. 1:7). He is our light of life. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” and “I am the light of the world” (John 1:4; 8:12).

Also today, as well as in New Jerusalem, He is the tree of life, our life nourishment. “I am the bread of life” (John 6:48). Fourth, we are in Him (Phil. 3:9; 4:13). The Lord Jesus will be fully manifested in New Jerusalem; He should also be manifested in our present living.

* Excerpt from The Vision of God’s Building by Witness Lee, chapter 19, © LSM.

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

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 Appearance of New Jerusalem’s Wall

Revelation 21:18 says about New Jerusalem, “the building work of its wall was jasper.” Revelation 4:2-3 describe God on the throne, “there was a throne set in heaven, and upon the throne there was One sitting; and He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance.”

New JerusalemThe wall surrounds the city. The wall’s appearance is jasper (Rev. 21:18), the same as the description of God’s appearance in Revelation 4:3. This means that the wall of the city expresses God’s likeness, God’s appearance.

The purpose of this wall is to separate that which is holy from that which is common, to separate that which belongs to God from that which does not belong to God. Such a separating wall is also a protection. The wall of the holy city is a real separation: everything within this wall is holy, and everything without is common. This wall also affords full protection to all within the city.*

New Jerusalem is spiritual, not physical. Hence, the separation is also spiritual. In 2 Thessalonians 2:13 Paul tells them that “God chose you from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”

We experience two stages of separation/sanctification. The first is positional; at the time of our initial salvation God declares us to be holy. The second is dispositional, occurring gradually as our whole being is saturated with God as our holiness. This causes us to match the holy city New Jerusalem.

* Excerpt from The Vision of God’s Building by Witness Lee, chapter 18, © LSM

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

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

The Headship, the Light of New Jerusalem

God in Christ is on the throne at the center of New Jerusalem. Today, God in Christ as the Head is building His Body toward that day (Eph. 4:15-16; Col. 2:19).

New JerusalemThis Christ is the light today and in New Jerusalem. “The people sitting in darkness have seen a great light” when Jesus came to dwell in Capernaum (Matt. 4:13, 16). “A light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:32). “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

Today our need is to hold to Him as our Head so that a rich supply may flow from Him through us all for the building of His Body (Eph. 4:15-16; Col. 2:19). This building work is the preparation for New Jerusalem.

The headship of God in Christ is the very light. Wherever God is in authority, there is also light. On the other hand, wherever there is confusion, there is darkness. When God’s authority is exercised in a local church, that church will be full of the divine light. If God is not on the throne, if He is not in authority, He cannot shine, and there will be no light. If we all give place to God in Christ so that He may exercise His authority, if we all are willing to subject ourselves to Him, everything in our midst will be full of light.*

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

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 (7)

New Jerusalem is both a dwelling place and the ruling center of God’s kingdom. The church today, as the precursor of New Jerusalem, should be the same.

God our Father “delivered us out of the authority of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Col. 1:13). Today, “the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17).

New JerusalemThe church today must be the realm of God’s kingdom. The apostle Paul speaks of this vital principle in his writings. Romans 12 reveals the Body of Christ, but Romans 14 speaks of the kingdom. The proper church life is a realm, a sphere, where God may exercise His authority. Strictly speaking, the proper church life is the kingdom of God. The church life must be like the holy city, the New Jerusalem, a center where God may exercise His authority.*

Examples of obedience to God’s authority in the church today are seen in Hebrews: a warning against disobedience (2:2-3); exhortation not to harden our hearts to God’s voice (3:7–4:7); a desire that we be diligent and not sluggish (6:11-12); encouragements to come forward, hold fast, exhort one another (10:19-25); and accepting His discipline (12:5-11).

Today Christ is “the Head of the Body, the church” and should “have the first place in all things” (Col. 1:18). God desires that all things be headed up in Christ (Eph. 1:10), beginning with His believers. Eventually everything in the universe will be headed up by the throne in New Jerusalem.

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

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 is the Expression of God

Many recent posts are about growing and being built together in Christ to be God’s living building, the city New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem is brought forth in God’s life and is the mutual indwelling of God and His people. Because of this New Jerusalem expresses God.

Revelation 4:3, describing God on His heavenly throne, says, “He who was sitting was like a jasper stone.”

According to Revelation 21: 11, the jasper is “a most precious stone… as clear as crystal.” Its color must be dark green, which signifies life in its richness.*

New JerusalemThis life came to us through the redemption of Christ and is Christ Himself. This life makes New Jerusalem a city of life. By this life New Jerusalem is a city “having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal” (Rev. 21:11).

In Revelation 22:1, God’s throne is at the center of the city. And both God on the throne and the whole New Jerusalem have the appearance of jasper. New Jerusalem is the duplication of God’s life and nature in His people to be His enlarged expression. This fulfills the Triune God’s purpose in creating man, as stated in Genesis 1:26, “Let Us make man in Our image.”

* Part of footnote 1 on Rev. 4:3 in The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA

New Jerusalem: God’s Eternal Display

Ephesians 2:7 speaks of God’s display in the ages to come. These ages are the millennium and eternity. In eternity New Jerusalem will display the riches of God’s grace.

“God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up together with Him and seated us together with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, that He might display in the ages to come the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:4-7)

New JerusalemThe center of this display is “the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us.” Yet this display should also include everything in the verses above (and more)—God’s rich mercy, His great love, His making us alive, His saving us, and His raising us and seating us in Christ.

New Jerusalem shines with the glory of God but this shining is not merely a bright light, although it will show that God is light and “in Him is no darkness.”

In New Jerusalem we will see God’s mercy, love, and grace. We will see God’s holiness because New Jerusalem is “the holy city.” We will also see God’s righteousness because it is the foundation of His throne (Psa. 89:14), and God’s purity in the clarity and transparency of the city. New Jerusalem will be a marvelous display of all that God is and all that He has accomplished.

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

This display is not merely of God’s grace, but of the surpassing riches of His grace.
More about the riches: The Unsearchable Riches of Christ and New Jerusalem
_______________The Riches and Fullness of the Triune God

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 in the Lamb is the Light of New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:23 tells us that New Jerusalem “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.”

Both God and the Lamb are sitting on the throne [Rev. 22:1]. They are not sitting side by side. Rather, God is in the Lamb. God is the light and the Lamb is the lamp (Rev. 21:23). The glory of the light and the lamp are not side by side. The light is in the lamp. The Lamb as the lamp shines with God as the light. This indicates that God is in the Lamb sitting on the throne. They two are actually one, just as the light and the lamp are one unit, one entity. God in the Lamb is the redeeming God. For eternity in the New Jerusalem we shall see the redeeming God, God in the Lamb.*

New JerusalemIn New Jerusalem there is one throne and one light because God is one! The oneness of God and the Lamb presented in the paragraph above is not something new in New Jerusalem. Rather, it is an eternal oneness.

In John 14 the Lord Jesus said, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (v. 11). In John 10:38 He told us to believe Him so that we know and continue to know this divine fact. This fact is for us to experience and live by today (John 14:20) and it will be manifested in full by New Jerusalem.

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

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