The Gospel of the Glory of God is for New Jerusalem

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem comes down out of heaven “having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:11). The city has the glory to manifest, to display God’s fullness. New Jerusalem first comes to us in “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).

The gospel is God’s good news to us. When this good news first comes to us the emphasis is that we receive forgiveness of sins and gain eternal life. Yet, the goal of the gospel is to bring us into glory.

First Timothy 1:15-17 speaks of this: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Verse 16 says we “are to believe on Him [Jesus Christ] unto eternal life.” Then verse 17, “to the King of the ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.” The salvation of sinners points to honor and glory to God forever, which certainly involves New Jerusalem.

Paul and Silvanus and Timothy tell the Thessalonians that God called them to salvation “through our gospel unto the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thes. 2:14). All who believe into Jesus Christ obtain glory. And all become constituents of New Jerusalem.

What we obtain in our initial experience of salvation still needs to be worked into our entire being. For this we behold the Lord so that the Lord Spirit can transform us “from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18). At the Lord’s return our body of humiliation will be transfigured to “be conformed to the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:21).

The steps of initial salvation, transformation, and transfiguration all prepare us for New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of BurningWell.

Five Steps to New Jerusalem (3)

The prior two posts (first, second) presented five basic steps which bring us to New Jerusalem—selection, redemption, regeneration, transformation, and transfiguration.

The third through fifth steps correspond to the three parts of our being. First Thessalonians 5:23: “the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Every human being is composed of a human spirit, the innermost part, a soul, and a body, the outer part.

New JerusalemZechariah 12:1 ranks God’s forming of the human spirit with the stretching forth of the heavens and laying the foundation of the earth. Man’s spirit is so important because it was made to be God’s dwelling place in man. “The Lord be with your spirit” (2 Tim. 4:22).

In regeneration man’s Spirit is born of God’s Spirit (John 3:6) who imparts the divine life into our deadened spirit (Eph. 2:1). This is portrayed by the large arrow in the diagram and occurs at the moment we believe and ask the Lord to forgive us and come into us.

In transformation the Spirit spreads into our mind, emotion, and will as we turn to and behold the Lord (2 Cor. 3:16-18). This is portrayed by the inner four arrows and continues gradually through our whole Christian life.

In transfiguration the Spirit fills our mortal body with the divine life, swallowing all our mortality and making our body a body of glory (Phil. 3:21). This is portrayed by the outer four arrows and will occur when the Lord Jesus returns to earth visibly.

Through these three steps each of our three parts becomes full of the Lord and a match for New Jerusalem.


See also:
The Mystery of Human Life, a gospel tract.
– Parts of Man, a small book by Witness Lee.

Five Steps to New Jerusalem (2)

The prior post presented the first three of five basic steps of God’s operation that bring us to New Jerusalem. These are God’s selection, Jesus Christ’s redemption, and the Spirit’s regeneration.

New JerusalemFourth, transformation. The main part of transformation is the renewing of our mind. Romans 12:2 urges us “be transformed by the renewing of the mind.” The goal of this renewing is, in the same verse, “that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.”

This renewing is by the Spirit (Titus 3:5) in response to our cooperation in turning from everything that veils us to behold the Lord (2 Cor. 3:16-18).

The Spirit’s work brings us gradually out of the old, fallen, corrupted creation into the reality of the new creation. By believing into Christ we are positioned in the new creation but we still need the Spirit to apply this newness to our every thought and action. This prepares us for New Jerusalem in the new creation.

Fifth, transfiguration. Philippians 3:21 tells su that our “Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, will transfigure the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory.” A mortal body (Rom. 8:11) in humiliation can by no means participate in New Jerusalem. We need transfiguration, which in Romans 8:23 is named “the redemption of our body” (redeeming it from indwelling sin and death).

Our transfiguration will occur at the Lord’s coming back and will cause our body to match His glorious body, qualifying us for New Jerusalem, the city of glory.

New Jerusalem is Divinity in Humanity

Revelation 21:15 says, “And he who spoke with me had a golden reed as a measure that he might measure the city and its gates and its wall.”

The angel who showed New Jerusalem to John had a golden reed with which to measure the city. In the Bible gold signifies the divine nature. Everything about New Jerusalem has to be measured by the divine nature. Everything of the city must come from God in Christ.

But what about us? We are humans yet we are part of the city. The answer is the Spirit’s work in us. Our human spirit is born of New Jerusalemthe divine Spirit and thus we become one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17).

Through the rich salvation God imparted to us, we become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:3-4). This matches the golden nature of New Jerusalem.

Then the Spirit does more in us to renew us in our mind by imparting the divine newness into our mind (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23; Titus 3:5). When the Lord returns He “will transfigure the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:21). His glory comes from the divine nature and we will be conformed to His glory.

When we are transfigured, every part of our human being—spirit, soul, and body—will be fully out of the old creation and renewed into the new creation. This is New Jerusalem—the Triune God with His divinity saturating His people’s humanity.

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 LSM.

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!

Redemption unto New Jerusalem (3)

At the Lord’s second coming 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 the city of glory, New New JerusalemJerusalem.

We are in the third verse of a hymn about the redemp-tion of our body when the Lord returns. Again the song begins with Christ as our hope of glory. Then Christ is our full redemption.

He has already completed redemption for forgiveness of sins, but we are still awaiting the redemption of our body. This step of redemption will set our fleshy body free from sin and death. These two negatives always go together and are in our body.

Romans 7 says that sin dwells in us, and causes us to do what we do not want to do. It also speaks of “the body of this death”—the death brought in by sin. And Romans 8 clearly states “the body is dead because of sin.” “The redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23) will free us from both sin and death.

This stage of redemption will fill our body with resurrection life and bring forth the Lord’s glory through our body. This is a big step toward New Jerusalem. First Corinthians 15:54 has all these points and is the basis for the last line in the song.

“When this corruptible will put on incorruption and this mortal will put on immortality, then the word which is written will come to pass, Death has been swallowed up unto victory.” New Jerusalem will be incorruption, immortality, and victory!


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 LSM.

Redemption unto New Jerusalem (2)

At the Lord’s second coming He will redeem our physical body, bringing us into full sonship (Rom. 8:23), which is to transfigure our mortal body to be like His body of glory (Phil. 3:21). This is a step on our path to the city of glory, New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe graphic has the second verse of the song about this redemption. Christ is our hope of glory today (Col. 1). He is also the mystery of God (Col. 2:2).

The song says “He shares with me God’s fulness.” This is Colossians 2:9-10, “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you have been made full in Him.” John 1:16 is similar, “of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” More about the fullness.

Jesus Christ is God; He is in us and we are in Him (John 14:20). We are joined to Him and one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). The more we are renewed and transformed in our soul, the more we are blended with God. Our transformation is “from glory to glory” and this glory is fully God’s expression, both now and unto New Jerusalem.

In New Jerusalem we will share God’s glory with Him forever. The city “has the glory of God” and “the glory of God illumines it.” This is our wonderful destiny.

Redemption unto New Jerusalem

The prior three posts touched two aspects of redemption: our justification through the forgiveness of our sins by the Lord’s death on the cross and the redemption of our body at the Lord’s second coming. Both aspects are part of our path to New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemNow we look at a song (words,
music) about the second step of redemption, our glorification. The graphic has the first verse and chorus.

The song begins with Christ as our hope of glory (Col. 1:27). He is our life (Col. 3:4). His work in us began with regeneration and continues until He comes to change our bodies to be like His glorious body (Phil 3:21).

The chorus emphasizes that “He comes.” We know He is coming and His charge to us is “watch.” He comes to transfigure us (Phil. 3), redemption to apply (Rom. 8), His saints to glorify (2 Thes. 1).

We are His saints because He has sanctified us in position by His death and is now sanctifying our entire inward being by His life. In this way we will match New Jerusalem, the holy city.

His glorifying of us is that “He comes to be glorified in His saints.” Apart from Him we have no glory. He is the hope of glory in us now and He will be the glory radiating through us at His coming. Together all the glorified saints will be the glorious church to become the glorious New Jerusalem.

Full Sonship, the Redemption of Our Body

New JerusalemWe have presented two steps of redemption on our path to New Jerusalem. The first is our justification through the forgiveness of our sins, accomplished by the Lord’s death. The second is the redemption of our body, to be accomplished at the Lord’s second coming.

In Luke 21 the Lord Jesus speaks about events before His second coming. Then He tells us, “when these things begin to happen, stand erect and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” This is “the redemption of our body” in Romans 8.

What is “the redemption of our body”? Philippians 3:20-21 says, “we eagerly await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transfigure the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory.” The Lord will come in glory, He will transfigure us to be conformed to His glory, and He will present the church to Himself glorious. This will be a big step toward the glory of New Jerusalem!

The transfiguration of our body will be instantaneous, but it will be the consummation of the renewing and transforming work of the Spirit throughout our Christian life. Therefore, we cannot be lazy and passively wait for the Lord’s second coming. We need to be the faithful and prudent slaves, being filled with oil and doing the Lord’s business regularly.

We should be on guard and grow in grace and the full knowledge of our Lord and Savior. Lord, grant us Your mercy day by day that we may live and grow for You.

Two Aspects of Redemption on Our Path to New Jerusalem

Almost every Christian is aware of the eternal redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ to free us from sins. One verse about this is Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of offenses, according to the riches of His grace.” Galatians 3:13 tells us how this was done, “Christ has redeemed us out of the curse of the law, having become a curse on our behalf; because it is written, Cursed is every one hanging on a tree [the cross].”

We were sinners, guilty before God. God’s law said we must die. However, Jesus, the One without sin, died on the cross for us, obtaining forgiveness of sins for everyone who believes. Hence, we are “justified freely by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). This is the first step on our path to New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ has an outcome. Galatians 4 says that God sent His Son “That He might redeem those under law that we might receive the sonship.”

Redemption is for life and God’s life makes us sons of God. Through this life, we can have a living well-pleasing to God, to be “a particular people as His unique possession, zealous of good works.”

Few Christians are aware of a further step of redemption (next post), which is also necessary to prepare us for New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of Good Free Photos.

The Gospel of Glory and New Jerusalem (2)

The gospel and New Jerusalem are linked. The consummation of “the gospel of the glory of Christ” is New Jerusalem. 

New JerusalemGod chose us “unto salvation” (2 Thes. 2:13) and He also called us through the gospel “unto the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 14). Our salvation includes forgiveness of sins, justification, and reconciliation to God, but it also includes much more. It includes all that Jesus Christ is and everything that is in New Jerusalem.

God called us through the gospel to receive Jesus Christ as our life and to have Him as our life develop His glory within us (2 Thes. 1:10). When the Lord returns, He will come in glory. At the same time, the development of glory within us will be completed. He “will transfigure the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory” (Phil 3:21). Thus, we will all be glorious to match New Jerusalem, the city of glory.

The gospel is also “the gospel of the glory of the blessed God” (1 Tim. 1:11).

The gospel with which the apostle Paul was entrusted is the effulgence of the glory of the blessed God. By dispensing God’s life and nature in Christ into God’s chosen people, this gospel shines forth God’s glory, in which God is blessed among His people.*

New Jerusalem will shine with the glory of God to bless God and to manifest God as the blessing to the entire new creation.

* Part of footnote 1 on 1 Tim. 1:11 in the Recovery Version NT, footnotes written by Witness Lee.

Our Path to New Jerusalem (2)

New Jerusalem, the bride of the Lamb, is composed of all God’s chosen, redeemed, regenerated, transformed, and glorified people. God’s choosing determined that we are on the path to New Jerusalem. Although we were among fallen men, Christ’s redemption brought us back to God and regeneration gives us God’s eternal life, the life of New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemTRANSFORMED: Regeneration is to be born of the Spirit in our spirit, as the Lord spoke in John 3. Transformation is the spreading of divine life into our soul to renew our mind. This renewing is also our transformation (Rom. 12:2).

This is based on our consecration (Rom. 12:1) and is accomplished by our cooperation with the Spirit’s work in us and is “unto glory” that is, unto New Jerusalem, the city of glory.

GLORIFIED: Transformation develops God’s glory within us. However, transformation is in our soul and the expression of glory is still constrained by the body of our humiliation (Phil. 3:21). Glorification, transfiguration, is the divine life saturating our mortal body so that it will “be conformed to the body of His glory.” This is “the redemption of our body” which is the full sonship.

This glorification will occur when the Lord returns, “When He comes to be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at in all those who have believed” (2 Thes. 1:10). This, our glorification, is “the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:8) whose glory we “behold and reflect” (2 Cor. 3:18) throughout our transformation, saturating our entire being and radiating through us that all may behold.

This glory developed in us began with regeneration, continues through transformation, and is concluded by glorification. This causes us to match New Jerusalem, the city which “has the glory of God.”

New Jerusalem is the Consummate Glory

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