Deny the Self for New Jerusalem (5)

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke the Lord told us to deny our self, take up our cross, and lose our soul life. In John He presented Himself as a pattern of this denying. The immediate goal of these actions is to follow Him and to be His disciple.

New JerusalemThe broader goal, shown in His speaking following this subject, is His second coming, His glory, and His kingdom. If we follow Him in denying and losing, we will participate in these blessings on our way to New Jerusalem.

The Lord is our pattern. In John 5:30 He told us, “I do not seek My own will but the will of Him who sent Me.”

In John 6:38 He said, “I have come down from heaven not to do My own will but the will of Him who sent Me.” To deny ourself is to deny our own will, to not seek or do what we want.

In John 7 He said, “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of Him who sent Him, this One is true, and unrighteousness is not in Him.” And in John 8, “I do not seek My glory.” He denied Himself by not seeking anything by Himself or for Himself.

To follow the Lord, we cannot seek our glory, our prestige, our fame. We are only earthen vessels to express the Lord, with New Jerusalem as the ultimate vessel of glory.

 

Now & New Jerusalem: Behold His Face (4)

In New Jerusalem we will see the face of God and the Lamb with no obscuration and will be fully in His glory. But we must not forget that the Lord’s prayer for this is already being answered.

New JerusalemSecond Corinthians 4 speaks about the proclamation of the gospel now. When we preach Christ Jesus as Lord and not ourselves (v. 5), “the God who said, Out of darkness light shall shine, is the One who shined in our hearts to illuminate the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (v. 6).

God has already shined into the heart of everyone who believes. This shining brings us the knowledge, the spiritual realization, of the glory of God. And this glory is in the face of Jesus Christ. This is an experience of New Jerusalem today.

We in ourselves are merely earthen vessels, but we have this excellent treasure in us (v. 7). Inwardly we have the treasure and outwardly our Christian life may have troubles (v. 8-12).

Our outer man is decaying (v. 16), but despite the troubles, this treasure is renewing our inner man (v. 16) to match the newness of New Jerusalem. With the heavenly view (v. 18), we can declare with Paul, “our momentary lightness of affliction works out for us, more and more surpassingly, an eternal weight of glory” (v. 17). This eternal weight of glory is our participation in New Jerusalem.

To continue seeing the glory in the face of Jesus Christ and to cooperate with the renewing process through which we are passing, we exercise our spirit of faith to speak (v. 13). This speaking is based on our bold confidence in the resurrecting God (v. 14), whose work in us culminates in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Riches of God’s Glory, Now, New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is a city of glory. The apostle John saw “the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God” (Rev. 21:10-11). “The city [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” (Rev. 21:23).

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem has the glory of God because it is saturated with God and hence expresses God. This expression is not simple because God is marvelously rich. New Jerusalem expresses the innumerable aspects of God’s being.

The word rich is not used in Revelation 21, but the riches of God’s glory are in other verses. Romans 9:23 tells us that God wants to “make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had before prepared unto glory.”

Each of us was created as a vessel to contain God. God has already prepared us for His glory, even for the riches of His glory. Each of us as an individual is very limited, but together we will display the riches of His glory.

In Ephesians 1:17-18 Paul prayed that the Father of glory would give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation “that you may know…the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” These riches, like New Jerusalem, are not in the natural realm. This is why we need a spirit of wisdom and divine enlightening to see and know them.

Colossians 1:27 says “God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory.” We need not struggle, unsure of what will happen. No. The revelation of the riches of glory is God’s desire and He will accomplish it. We cooperate by opening ourselves; Father, give me a spirit of revelation and enlighten my heart  that I may see the riches of Your glory for now and for New Jerusalem. 

Photo courtesy of pdphoto.org.

A Journey from the Clay of Creation to the Glory of New Jerusalem (2)

New JerusalemThe Bible begins with human beings created by God as vessels of clay. The Bible ends with New Jerusalem built with precious materials and “having the glory of God” (Revelation 21:11).

In ourselves, we do not match the city, so we cannot be part of it. But God has His plan. We are called vessels because we were created by God to contain God. When we receive Jesus Christ as our life, He enters into us. The result is “we have this treasure [Jesus Christ] in earthen vessels [us] that the excellency of the power may be of God and not out of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

With coffee mugs, suitcases, flower vases, and other physical containers, the contents and the container remain separate. In contrast, God’s plan is that the contents mingle with the container.

Jesus Christ, “the life” (John 14:6), is the contents. We, a tripartite vessel (1 Thessalonians 5:23), are the container. When He enters into us, our spirit, our innermost part, becomes life (Romans 8:10). When our mind is “of the spirit” then our mind also becomes life (Romans 8:6). Finally, to the extent that the Spirit dwells/lives in us, life is imparted to our mortal body (Romans 8:11).

Eventually our entire being is full of life. This life is resurrection life, in contrast to the death which characterizes our “dusty” created being. This life, the life of New Jerusalem, brings us into resurrection and into glory to match New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pdphoto.org.

More about Christ as life filling our being is in two short tracts, The Purpose of Man and The Mystery of Human Life.

A Journey from the Clay of Creation to the Glory of New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is a city “having the glory of God” (Revelation 21:11).

The New Jerusalem is built of three kinds of precious materials, signifying that she is built with the Triune God. First, the city proper, with its street, is of pure gold (vv. 18, 21). Gold, the symbol of the divine nature of God, signifies the Father as the source, from whom the element for the substantial existence of the city is produced. Second, the twelve gates of the city are pearls, which signify the Son’s overcoming death and life-imparting resurrection, through which entrance to the city is gained. Third, the wall of the city and its foundation are built of precious stones, signifying the Spirit’s work of transforming the redeemed and regenerated saints into precious stones for the building of God’s eternal habitation that they may express God corporately in His all-permeating glory.*

New JerusalemIn Genesis 2:7 God “formed man with the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” and Romans 9:21 describes man as vessels of clay.

We are on an amazing journey from vessels of clay to a constitution with the precious materials of New Jerusalem. This journey is dependent on God’s mercy, making us “vessels of mercy” upon whom God will “make known the riches of His glory” (Romans 9:23), a glory ultimately displayed by New Jerusalem.

Although the glory will be made known through us, it is not of us and we cannot boast. Rather, “we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not out of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Christ is the treasure and we are the earthen vessels. He is the excellent One!

The next two posts will be a brief look at the journey from clay to the precious materials of New Jerusalem.

Photo by Commander John Bortniak, NOAA Corps, courtesy of NOAA (U.S. Dept. of Commerce).

* Part of note 1 on Revelation 21:21 in The Holy Bible, Recovery Version published and © by Living Stream Ministry.

We Cooperate with Our Guarantee

New JerusalemRomans 9:23 tells us that God will “make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had before prepared unto glory.” Ultimately this glory will fill and radiate from New Jerusalem; unto glory implies unto New Jerusalem.

The Bible presents our involvement with God’s glory in two views. One view is a gradual process with the Triune God’s operation—the Father’s leading, the Son’s washing, and the Spirit’s transforming. This process requires our cooperation.

An example of our cooperation is in 1 Thessalonians 2:12. Paul told the believers that his care was “So that you might walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.” On one hand God calls us into His glory. On the other hand we cooperate by walking worthily of this calling.

The other view is a completed fact, because the eternal God is not bound by time. An example is Romans 9 where God has prepared us before unto glory. Before what? Paul does not tell us what, so probably before means before everything, in eternity.

Another example of God’s eternal view is Romans 8:30, “Those whom He predestinated, these He also called; and those whom He called, these He also justified; and those whom He justified, these He also glorified.” We think of predestination as complete but think of glorification as our future. However, in God’s view we have already been glorified.

Conclusion: we need to cooperate with a proper Christian walk and by turning our heart to behold and reflect the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:16, 18). However, our glorification and our participation in New Jerusalem depend not on us but on the Triune God’s operation. God’s person and operation is our guarantee.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Version, published and copyrighted 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 copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry.

Prepared unto the Glory of New Jerusalem

from http://beovercomers.wordpress.comNew Jerusalem is a city “having the glory of God” (Revelation 21:11).

God will “make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had before prepared unto glory” (Romans 9:23). God having prepared us unto glory is God having prepared us unto New Jerusalem. God’s “making known the riches of His glory” will first be revealed when the Lord Jesus returns and ultimately in New Jerusalem.

We are earthen vessels but we are also objects of God’s mercy. Because of His mercy we can repent and receive Jesus Christ as our life and our hope of glory. After repenting and receiving, “we have this treasure [Christ] in earthen vessels [us] that the excellency of the power may be of God and not out of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Because Jesus Christ is the effulgence of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3), this glory is part of the treasure in us. This glory shines out through us to illuminate others (2 Corinthians 4:6). Today this shining is not physical but spiritual. It can be seen by those whose hearts God has prepared and who are willing in response to turn to God.

The shining out of us today is a little foretaste of the shining glory of New Jerusalem. When New Jerusalem is on the new earth, there will be no sin, no death, and no devil. Therefore, there will be no hindrance to seeing the full, bright glory of God. How wonderful that will be!

Thanks to Be Overcomers for the photo, from their post on 2 Cor. 4:7.

Our Hope is the Glorious New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRevelation 21:23 says about New Jerusalem, “the city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it.” Here it seems that the glory and the city are separate, as a lamp illuminating a room. However, Revelation 21:11 describes New Jerusalem as “having the glory of God.” Here glory is an intrinsic characteristic of the city.

We are not separated from this glory. Rather, Colossians 1:27 speaks of “the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which mystery is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Christ Himself, in us, is our connection with the glory of New Jerusalem.

In human conversation “hope” expresses a desire without certainty. A student might say, I hope I can get an A in this class. A worker might say, I hope my new boss is better than my old one.

In contrast, our hope of glory is secure and certain because this hope is Jesus Christ. Through Him we “we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and boast because of the hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2). Since “faith is the substan-tiation of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1), by faith we can boast (or rejoice) in this hope.

Although this is still mysterious, we can boast/rejoice in Christ, boast/rejoice in His living in us, and boast/rejoice in His being our hope of glory. However, we are only earthen vessels (2 Corinthians 4:7), so we should not boast about ourselves.

How wonderful that we have such a hope of glory, such a hope of the glorious New Jerusalem. Praise Him.

A related post by Tom at Holding to Truth: How Christ Becomes Your Hope of Glory

%d bloggers like this: