God’s Move from Eternity to Eternity

Peter’s two epistles present God’s move from eternity to eternity. Here is a brief look.

In eternity, before creation, God had purposed something in Himself. In His infinite wisdom God knew us before creation and chose us for Himself (1 P 1:2). Something of God’s purpose and our salvation was unveiled through the prophets (1 P 1:10-12).

Jesus Christ was manifested (1 P 1:20), transfigured (2 P 1:16-18), shed His blood for our redemption (1 P 1:18-19, 2:24), and resurrected (1 P 1:3). He is the cornerstone for God’s eternal building (1 P 2:6), and He will come again as the rising Sun (2 P 1:19).

Peter writes about our receiving God’s forgiveness (1 P 1:2), regeneration (1 P 1:3, 23), and baptism (1 P 3:21). He speaks of God’s grace to us (1 P 1:2, 5:12) and our manner of life as Christians including relationships with one another, rejecting worldly and fleshly living to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16), being subject to the government of God while we suffer in this time, and God’s judgement beginning with His household (1 P 4:17).

New JerusalemPeter unveils the day of judgement with the change from the old creation to the new
(2 P 3:10-13). He does not mention New Jerusalem but many phrases point to it.

We have been regenerated “unto a living hope,” and “unto an inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, kept in the heavens for you” (1 P 1:3-4). Our ultimate inheritance is to be part of New Jerusalem.

Second Peter 1:1-4 present many blessings from God to us. By these we exercise to develop a life full of Christian virtues (1:5-11). Eventually, “the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly and bountifully supplied to you” (1:11). New Jerusalem is the consummate realization of this eternal kingdom.

Finally, to God “be the glory and the might forever and ever” (1 P 5:11) and to Jesus Christ “be the glory both now and unto the day of eternity” (2 P 3:18). Both point to New Jerusalem, the city “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11).

 

 

 

New Jerusalem: through Christ, unto Christ

Romans 11 concludes, “Out from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever.” This is about the old creation but should apply equally to the new
New Jerusalemcreation and New Jerusalem. They are out from our Lord and through Him and to Him with glory.

Colossians 1:16b is parallel: “All things have been created through Him and unto Him.” First Corinthians 8:6 has similar words. Since this is true for the old creation, it must also apply to the new creation.

The new creation, and New Jerusalem at its center, is not for our pleasure and amusement as in this current world. It will not be for us to do “fun” things we hoped to do in this life. In New Jerusalem, which comes out from God through Christ and is unto Him, Christ will be our joy, our nourishment, our health and rest, our righteousness, our peace and security, our career. We will have everything in Christ and nothing apart from Him.

In our initial salvation we “put on the new man” (Col. 3:10) Now this new man, including all the believers, is being renewed to match the newness of New Jerusalem (3:10). In this new man “Christ is all [everything] and in all [of us]” (3:11). This is fact today even though our seeing and experience is limited.

In New Jerusalem Christ as all and in all with be fully realized and fully manifested in fact and experience.

God’s Eternal Purpose in Song (3)

A song* about God’s purpose begins with God in Christ becoming life to man so that God and man can be united for God’s eternal glory, expressed through New Jerusalem. The third verse:

New JerusalemBy the flow of life divine,
Man becomes a precious stone
Fit for building God’s abode,
That His glory might be known.

Through His redeeming death and life-imparting resurrection (1 Peter 1:3), Jesus Christ has become our life. Now, as the song says, this life wants to flow, as pictured by the river of life in Genesis 2.

The flow of life transforms us (2 Cor. 3:18) to become precious stones. This is seen in Old Testament symbolism by the gold, bdellium, and onyx stone brought forth by the river in Genesis 2. We who believe into Him are the real stones for God’s living building. As Peter tells us, “You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5).

This verse in Peter matches, and undergirds, the second and third lines of the song’s verse above. Peter goes on to say we were chosen and acquired so that “you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (v. 2:9). This is to glorify God now (and much more in New Jerusalem).

The purpose of becoming stones is the building and the goal of the building work is that God’s glory might be known. Ephesians speaks much about building and 3:21 says, “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever.” Glory to God forever is New Jerusalem “having the glory of God.”

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

God’s NT Building is Living and Spiritual (6)

New JerusalemMultiple chapters in the New Testament, in recent posts, show that God’s New Testament building comes forth through the growth of His divine life in us.

God’s NT building is spiritual, not physical. This principle applies through the entire NT to New Jerusalem.

Ephesians 3:16-17a speaks of us being strengthened into our inner man “that Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith.” The first outcome of this is that we are “rooted and grounded in love” (v. 3:17b).

Rooting brings in the life supply for our growth in life. What is the grounding for? The parallel verse, Colossians 2:6-7a, says, “As therefore you have received the Christ, Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, having been rooted and being built up in Him.” Being grounded in love is for building up which comes out of the life supply through our Christian roots.

The end result of our being rooted and grounded in Christ is God’s building, His dwelling place, composed of all the believers “filled unto all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:19). Through this filling “To Him [God] be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen.”

By the divine life growing in us and building us together, there is glory be God today! And more glory to God in New Jerusalem forever and ever! (Eph. 3:21).

New Jerusalem: to God be the Glory Forever

The Lord Jesus declares, “I am the Alpha and the Omega*, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Rev. 22:13) Nothing is before Him and nothing comes after Him.

The Lord is the creator of everything. The Lord is also the goal of everything.
“In Him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or lordships or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and unto Him.” (Col. 1:16).
Out from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:36).

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is “out from Him.” It is “the city which has the foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God.” (Heb. 11:10) We were brought to New Jerusalem based on His redemption and by the impartation of His life into us in resurrection.

New Jerusalem is “unto Him” as His bride, His wife. The goal of all the preparation work, the goal of our growth, transformation, and glorification in the divine life, is to be unto Him and with Him for eternity! “To Him be the glory forever.”

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

* The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.

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).

 

Joy, Praise, Victory, Eternal Marriage, Glory

This third post concludes our review of a song of praises based on Revelation 12–22 concerning the kingdom of God, the defeat of Satan, the marriage of the Lamb, and New Jerusalem. In the eleventh verse of the song we sing:
_Now behold the greatest wonder—New Jerusalem descend!
_She’s the Bride, prepared, adorned for Christ—of all God’s work, the end!

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

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Husband, as John the Baptist told us in John 3:28-29. The New Jerusalem, the composition of all God’s chosen, redeemed, regenerated, transformed, and glorified people, is the bride.

The last verse of the song includes In His holiness and glory He’s expressed through all of them. “All of them” is all God’s people built together in Christ to be New Jerusalem. Because God is holy, and all His people partake of His holiness, New Jerusalem is “the holy city.” Likewise, because God expressed is glory, the city “has the glory of God” (21:11).

The last line of every verse in the song is  The victory is won! This victory is Christ’s triumph on the cross, plus His triumph in applying all that He is into us, and the elimination of all negative things in the universe by the judgements in Revelation 17-20. This brings us to the last chorus, which is Hallelujah, hallelujah! The victory is won!

New Jerusalem proclaims God’s victory eternally. Let’s rejoice and praise now to prepare for that day!

A Rich Supply, Now and New Jerusalem

Revelation 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.” We continue with verses about the rich/bountiful supply flowing to us today just as the water of life will flow to us in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemEphesians 4:15-16 exhorts us to hold to truth (which is Christ) in love that we may grow up into Him in everything. These verses then tell us a rich supply flows out from Him for the building of His Body in love. This love is not our love but is His love in us (1 John 4).

The rich supply out from Christ the Head results in the building up of His Body for His purpose. Paralleling Genesis 2, this shows us Christ’s corporate Body comes out from Him and is unto Him.

Colossians 2:19 is a companion verse to Ephesians 4. Here, by holding the Head (Christ, the truth) His Body “being richly supplied and knit together” by what He supplies through His members, “grows with the growth of God.” God in Himself is perfect and does not grow, but the rich supply of the Spirit results in the increase/growth of God in us, which is very necessary. The maturity of this growth brings us to New Jerusalem.

Peter tells us that our ministering should be “out of the strength which God supplies; that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11). Again, the supply comes out from God and the glory returns to Him.

Peter also tells us that by applying all that he presents in 2 Peter 1:3-10, “the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly and bountifully supplied to you” (1:11). The spiritual reality of the eternal kingdom is here today, as in Romans 14:17. New Jerusalem is the eternal manifestation of this kingdom, the eternal product of this rich, bountiful supply.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Flow of Living Water is the Triune God

The flow of “rivers of living water” in John 7:38 is “the Spirit” in 7:39. This same Spirit flows out of the throne of God and the Lamb in New Jerusalem. This flow of living water is the flow of the Triune God to His people.

New JerusalemThis flow of the Triune God is also in 2 Corinthians 13:14, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Grace, love, and fellowship are not static in heaven; they are the Triune God flowing out to “be with us all.”

The flow of the Triune God may also be seen in Ephesians 3:14-17. “I bow my knees unto the Father…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man, that Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith.”

The outcome of this flow is that 1) we are rooted and grounded in love, to be 2) full of strength to corporately lay hold on the unlimited riches of Christ, so that 3) we are filled to the fullness of God, resulting in 4) glory to God in the church now and in New Jerusalem forever (Eph. 3:17-21).

A short song (with music) combines 2 Corinthians 13:14 with Revelation 22:1:
__The love of God and the grace of Christ
__And fellowship of the Holy Spirit
__Be with you, be with you all,
__Be with you all, be with you all.

__From the throne of our God and the Lamb
__Flows a river of water of life,
__Bright as crystal, reaching man.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Earth to New Earth with New Jerusalem (5)

We are on the path from the original created earth to the new earth. This involves the reconciliation of all things by the death of Jesus Christ, the freeing of all creation, and the recognition and confession by all that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. New JerusalemThis glorification points toward New Jerusalem as the ultimate glorification of God.

Despite all that was accomplished by Christ in His death and resurrection, all that He is doing now in the believers, and all that will happen at His return, there will still be a new heaven and a new earth to replace the original heaven and earth. The Lord first mentioned this in Matthew 5:18, “Until heaven and earth pass away…”

This passing away was prophesied in Psalm 102, which is quoted in Hebrews 1:10-12:

You in the beginning, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain perpetually; and they all will become old like a garment, and like a mantle You will roll them up; like a garment they will also be changed; but You are the same, and Your years will not fail.

The book of Hebrews emphasizes the superiority of Christ and His new covenant. Our part is to look away to Him, hold to Him, come forward to Him on the throne, and let His living word operate in us. He must have priority in our lives over everything of the old creation; the old, perishing things are not our focus.

The Lord is perpetual and New Jerusalem will be perpetual by being saturated with Him. Lord, draw us every day to give You first place in our living!

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.

We Are God’s City

New JerusalemThis blog often writes about New Jerusalem being a living composition of God with His people, not a physical city.

The simplest proof of this is in Revelation 21. “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (v. 2). The Husband, Jesus Christ, is a living person, and the bride is a corporate living person to match Him.

“Come here; I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb….And he carried me away in spirit onto great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem” (v. 9-10). Again, there is a living Husband, the Lamb, and a corporate living bride, the wife of the Lamb. The city, New Jerusalem, is a corporate person.

Matthew 5:14 has the same thought. “You are the light of the world. It is impossible for a city situated upon a mountain to be hidden.” Here the Lord Jesus describes all His disciples (v. 1) as the light of the world. This same description, that we are the light, is in Ephesians 5:8 and Philippians 2:15. Of course, we are not light in ourselves, but we are the light because He is the light in us, shining through us.

The Lord then likens the disciples, a corporate light, to a city. The shining city on a mountain portrays the disciples. The thought here, at the start of the New Testament, matches the thought at the end of the New Testament—a city depicts God’s corporate people. This is New Jerusalem—all God’s people, filled with His fullness and glorifying Him (Eph. 3:19, 21).

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

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