The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (6)

Genesis 1–2 presents many pictures. The reality of these is in the New Testament and their consummation is New Jerusalem. A song couples these two ends of the Bible. Verse 5 of the song is about the tree of life in the garden of Eden but outside of man. Verse 6:

But in the city glorious the tree
Within the corporate “man” doth grow, thereby
Revealing Christ Himself as life divine
New JerusalemBeing to man his inward life supply.

In New Jerusalem is “the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month” (Rev. 22:2). This is Jesus Christ, who is “the life” to become, through death and resurrection, “our life” (Col. 3:4).

As the reality of the bread of life, He is our daily nourishment that we may “live because of Him.” We, like Paul, should be able to declare “for me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).

The song says the tree grows within the “corporate man.” This is a reference to New Jerusalem, the culmination of all God’s building work. This work builds all the believers together. One reference to this is in Ephesians 2:22, “you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.” New Jerusalem is God’s dwelling place.

In Romans 12, “we who are many are one Body in Christ.” This is our position from the time we believe. Now, by Christ as our life supply, we grow in His life for the building up of the one Body, the “corporate man” which becomes 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, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (5)

Genesis 1–2 presents many pictures which are fulfilled in New Jerusalem in Revelation 21–22. A song couples these two ends of the Bible. Here is the fifth verse of the song and the Bible verses underlying it.

New JerusalemMan in the garden of the clay was formed,
In nature as the Lord created him;
The tree of life was then without the man,
Not having yet become his life within.

Genesis 2:7 says, “God formed man with the dust of the ground.” Then 2:9 says, “out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

The tree of life symbolizes Christ, who is “the life,” to be our life, the life that brings us into God’s building and builds us together as New Jerusalem.

God told Adam that he could eat from every tree except that he should not eat the tree of knowledge. This is God’s first commandment to man. However, man violated that command, ate from that tree, and was shut out from the garden with no access to the tree of life.

But God’s purpose cannot be stopped by this failure. God came in Christ, redeemed us, and regenerated us with Himself as life, the reality of the tree of life, the life of New Jerusalem.

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The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem      in Song (2)

A hymn on the garden of Eden and New Jerusalem puts many Bible verses into song. New JerusalemVerse 2 of this hymn:

Both in the garden and the city fair
A river and the tree of life are seen,
Christ typifying as the life supply,
The Spirit showing as the living stream.

“Out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, as well as the tree of life in the middle of the garden….And a river went forth from Eden to water the garden.” (Gen. 2:9-10)

In New Jerusalem is “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, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”
(Rev. 22:1-2)

The tree is a symbol; the reality is Christ as our daily life supply, our spiritual nourishment. He told us, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall by no means hunger” and “he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me” (John 6:35, 57).

The river is a picture of the Spirit flowing to us to refresh and enliven us. Jesus said, ” If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink….This He said concerning the Spirit” (John 7:37-39). Also, we “were all given to drink one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13).

Our eating and drinking are for our Christian life today and will increase in the coming age and in New Jerusalem.

The Gospel: Be Cleansed, Receive Eternal Life, Enter New Jerusalem

New JerusalemRevelation 22:14 proclaims, “Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city.” This is the gospel to everyone now.

Our robes signify our conduct. In the eyes of God all our living apart from Him, even our good deeds, is like “a soiled garment” in Isaiah 64:6. We need to wash our robes/garments, our conduct. This washing is by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14) which cleanses us from everything we have done apart from God (Acts 15:9).

This cleansing/washing gives us the right to the tree of life—Jesus Christ becoming our life for our new birth and being our life supply for our daily living with Him.

The cleansing/washing also gives us the right to enter by the gates into the city, New Jerusalem. An unbeliever’s basic need is to confess that he is a sinner apart from God, to turn to God, and to thank Jesus for dying to cleanse him and resurrecting to impart eternal life into him. This is the proper response to the proclamation of Revelation 22:14.

In contrast to 22:14, verse 15 declares “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and everyone who loves and makes a lie.” Those who reject cleansing through the death of Jesus and refuse to repent (e.g. Rev. 16:9) will be outside, that is, in the lake of fire.

May all who are around us hear and respond to Revelation 22:14 to be cleansed, have life, and enter 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, is at online.recoveryversion.org; this too is © by LSM.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

New Jerusalem in Revelation 22:1-5

“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, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.” (22:1-2)

Revelation 22:1-5 presents much about New Jerusalem—the throne, the river of water of life, the tree of life, and many blessings for all who are part of New Jerusalem. All the characteristics of New Jerusalem can be experienced today (to a lesser degree) in our Christian life. May we be those who seek the Lord Himself (not merely His doing good for us) and pursue with others to know Him in a deeper way.

New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:1-8
New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:9-20
New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:21-27

Here are the titles of recent posts and their links for 22:1-5.

New Jerusalem22:1, A River of Water of Life
22:1, New Jerusalem’s River from the Throne
22:1, New Jerusalem’s River Flows in its Street
22:1, The River is from the Throne
both Today and in New Jerusalem

22:2, The Tree of Life in New Jerusalem
22:2, Jesus is the Tree of Life in New Jerusalem
22:2, The Tree of Life is Here Today
and in New Jerusalem

22:2, The Tree for the Healing of the Nations

22:3, Christ Redeemed Us for New Jerusalem
22:3, New Jerusalem, the City of the Great King
22:3, We Serve God as Priests in New Jerusalem
22:3, We Serve as Priests in New Jerusalem

22:4, See His Face Now and in New Jerusalem
22:4, Follow the Lamb and Live to Him

22:5, New Jerusalem is Full of Light, No Night
22:5, The Lord God Shines in New Jerusalem
22:5, We Reign in Life Now and New Jerusalem

Many older posts about Revelation 22:1-2
Many older posts about Revelation 22:3-5

 

The Leaves for the Healing of the Nations

The river of water of life flows from the throne in New Jerusalem. “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2).

New JerusalemThe fruit of the tree of life is the life supply for God’s people who are constituted into New Jerusalem. The leaves of the tree are for the nations living around and outside New Jerusalem, who are not part of the city. There is a difference: Built Into or Living Around New Jerusalem.

The peoples of the nations around the city will have human life restored to the condition of Genesis 1–2, before sin entered. They will not have the divine, eternal life that the people constituted into the city possess, and they will not eat the fruit of the tree of life.

The leaves of the tree are for their healing. The fact that they need healing indicates some imperfection. In contrast, the people who are part of New Jerusalem have the perfect eternal life.

The nations around New Jerusalem are mentioned in Revelation 21:3, 24, 26, and 22:2. But God’s goal is New Jerusalem as His dwelling place, the place of His glory, and the bride, the wife of Jesus Christ. Let us align ourselves with this. Our first step is to repent of our past living and believe into Jesus Christ. Then we exercise to take Him as our life supply that we may live Him daily. This brings us to the goal, New Jerusalem.

The Tree of Life is Here Today and in New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem has “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, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month (Rev. 22:1-2).

New JerusalemThe words tree of life appear only in Revelation. This tree with its fruits portrays Christ as our life supply for us to live a proper Christian life now, in the coming age, and in New Jerusalem. Jesus Christ is the reality of the tree of life.

In John 6 Jesus told everyone, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall by no means hunger.” We eat Him today as our bread of life, the fruit of the tree of life. This bread gives us eternal life and the supply to live this life daily. Jesus said, “he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.”

This eating is spiritual. Further speaking by Jesus in John 6: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” With an open heart and exercised spirit we touch the Spirit through the words of the Bible.

Revelation 22:14, speaking to us today, says “Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city.” We confess our sins that we may eat the bread of life, the tree of life, and enter into the present reality of New Jerusalem.

Jesus is the Tree of Life in New Jerusalem

In Revelation 22:1 New Jerusalem has the river of water of life coming from the throne of God and the Lamb. In 22:2 “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit each month.”

The tree of life on both sides of the river indicates that it is easily accessible. Jesus invites us to come: “Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall by no means hunger, and he who believes into Me shall by no means ever thirst” (John 6:35).

New JerusalemThe tree of life on both sides of the river is one unique tree. Its spreading indicates that it is a vine tree, portraying the Lord Jesus, who told us in John 15 that He is the true vine.

The tree of life produces twelve fruits. The number twelve speaks of eternal perfection. What the fruits are and the life they maintain in us is eternal and perfect.

The tree of life also produces fruit every month. The twelve months again speak of eternal perfection. The fruit every month shows the unlimited capacity and freshness of this tree; its fruit is not limited to a single season during the year.

We come to the Lord Jesus today to partake of Him as our daily bread, which has all the characteristics of the tree of life in New Jerusalem.

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Tree of Life in New Jerusalem

New JerusalemDescribing New Jerusalem, Revelation 22:1 presents the river of life. Then verse 2 says, “And on this side and on that side of the river was the tree of life.” The river brings the tree to us. We drink the water of life and eat the fruit of life.

The word of God is our spiritual food. Jeremiah said to the Lord, “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word became to me the gladness and joy of my heart” (15:16). And in Matthew 4:4 the Lord Jesus likened the words of God to bread. We will be eating this spiritual food for eternity in New Jerusalem.

The flow of the Spirit, the river of life, brings this food, the tree of life, to us. A good way to receive the food brought by the river is to pray with the words of the Bible. Ephesians 6:17-18 exhorts 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.”

We have the Bible, the printed word of God. We also have the Spirit, the living word of God. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63). To receive the word of the Bible by the Spirit is the present experience of Revelation 22:1-2’s description of New Jerusalem.

More: Pray-Reading the Word

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A City of Life, without Miracles

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is a city of life, a city in resurrection. From the throne at its center flows a river of water of life and beside the river grows the tree of life yielding its fruit every month. This life is the supply for every member of this city.

Miracles are of power, not of life. They are sometimes called works of power in the New Testament. These works might be done by a believer mature in the divine life, or by an immature believer. An example: the Corinthians did not lack in any gift (1 Cor. 1:7) but were babes in Christ (3:1), very immature in divine the life. Also love, which is of life, is contrasted with gifts and power in 1 Corinthians 13.

There are many miracles in the Gospels and Acts, but the Epistles which follow them turn the emphasis to growth in life for the manifestation of virtues of the Christian life. Paul speaks of growth in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, Ephesians 4:13-16, Colossians 1:6, 10 and 2:19, 2 Thessalonians 1:3, and other verses, some of which include full grown. Peter speaks of growth in 1 Peter 2:2 and 2 Peter 3:18. John, in his epistles, speaks much about a life lived in righteousness, truth, and love.

The emphasis on Christ as our life, our growth in this life, and our living out its virtues prepares us for New Jerusalem. The city is full of life and manifests the life that Jesus manifested to us through His incarnation.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

No Miracles in the New Creation

New JerusalemThe sources of all the problems in the old creation are eliminated by the time of Revelation 20. The new heaven and new earth, which appear in verse 21:1, will be without sin and death, without sicknesses, and without demons. There will be no need of miracles to remove problems of any kind in New Jerusalem.

Within New Jerusalem there is “the tree of life…yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2).

These nations are not New Jerusalem but are peoples living around the city for eternity. These peoples are not regenerated; they have a human life restored to the condition of the garden of Eden in Genesis 1–2. Here is a word about their healing:

Because in eternity there will be both the believers and the nations, the tree of life has two functions….The fruit of the tree of life will be a supply to the sons of God, to those born of God. But “the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2b). Hence, the leaves of the tree of life will not supply the nations but will heal them, keeping them alive for eternity.*

Neither New Jerusalem nor the new creation will have any need of casting out demons, cleaning leprosy, or raising the dead. The nations will receive healing from the tree of life, a matter of life, not of miraculous power.

* An excerpt from The Conclusion of the New Testament by Witness Lee, message 188, online section 4

No Sweat, No Thorns, in New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem is the lovely center of the new creation, blessed with the presence of God and the Lamb, full of God’s glory, and supplied by the river of life and tree of life.

Due to the rebellion of Satan and the fall of man, the old creation was corrupted. and man was separated from God. To us, this would be very discouraging. However, to God, this is a big opportunity to display His unlimited wisdom. Out of all the corruption God will bring forth a new, perfect creation with New Jerusalem as His eternal dwelling.

One characteristic of the old creation that will not be in the new creation nor in New Jerusalem is sweat. The origin of sweat is 1) Satan’s deceiving man, 2) man’s taking of the tree of knowledge, and 3) God’s curse on fallen man, all recorded in Genesis 3. Verses 17-19 say, “Because you [Adam]…have eaten of the tree concerning which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it; cursed is the ground because of you….And thorns and thistles it will bring forth for you,…by the sweat of your face you will eat bread…”

New JerusalemThe sweat here indicates the need of human effort, separated from God’s blessing, to supply the essentials for human living. Man was shut out from the garden of Eden, which contained “every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food” and had to expend his own sweat-producing energy.

The curse of Genesis 3 also includes thorns. But, Revelation 22:3, describing New Jerusalem, says, “there will no longer be a curse.”

Because New Jerusalem will be filled with God and His blessings and no curse, there will be no need for man’s effort and no sweat. Also, without the curse, there will be no thorns in New Jerusalem.

 

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