In the new heaven and new earth there are two categories of people. One is the many sons and the other is the peoples. When we are in the New Jerusalem, we will be the sons of God, not the peoples of God.
In Britain there is a royal family. They are not "the people," but the reigning ones. Saints, have you ever considered that you are not among the ordinary people? You are of the royal family. John tells us in Revelation 1:6 that Christ has made us "a kingdom, priests to His God and Father." We are the sons of the almighty God, who is the King of kings. This makes us members, folks, of the royal family. We are not only sons of God but also members of the kingly family.
In Revelation 21:3 it says, "They shall be His peoples." Then in 21:7, it says, "He who overcomes...shall be a son to Me." In 21:24 are "the nations." The nations will walk by the light of the holy city. We, the sons, the royal family, are the holy city. To God, then, His sons are one category and His people are another.
In London I was taken to see the changing of the guard in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace. Even in the big city of London, there is a "little city" called Buckingham Palace, where the royal family lives. The New Jerusalem will be the heavenly, spiritual, divine, eternal "Buckingham Palace." Around the royal city are the nations.
In the new heaven and the new earth we will not be the peoples, the nations, but the sons. The sons of God in Revelation 21:6-7 are those who have been born of God through regeneration (John 1:12-13; 1 Pet. 1:3, 4, 23; James 1:18). They are built together through transformation (1 Cor. 3:9-12a; Eph. 2:20-22; 1 Pet. 2:46; 2 Cor. 3:18; Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23-24). They will be glorified in full conformation to be a corporate expression of the Triune God (Rom. 8:29-30; Heb. 2:10; Rev. 21:11). The nations outside the New Jerusalem are not born again, transformed, or glorified. We are different from the nations.
The Sons of God
The category of people who are reborn, transformed, glorified, and conformed will be the components of the New Jerusalem. Today the believers as the members of the Body of Christ are the components of the church which is both the house of God and the wife of Christ. The church is not a building. It is a living composition of all the living members of Christ. This living composition is an organism. It is not an organization. Where these people are, there is the organism. We are here as this organism, the church. If we move to Miami, this organism will be there in Miami.
These components—the regenerated, transformed, glorified, and conformed sons of God to be both the house of God and the wife of Christ (Rev. 21:3, 9)—in eternity will eat the tree of life and drink the water of life. These will be the two main, substantial, basic enjoyments of the sons of God. Revelation 22:14 promises that we will have the right to eat of the tree of life. In Revelation 22:17 is a call to drink the water. These will be our basic enjoyments in the New Jerusalem for eternity.
Then we will serve God and the Lamb as His slaves (Rev. 22:3) for eternity. We will also be kings over the nations—the peoples—for eternity; Revelation 22:5 says we shall "reign forever and ever." The believers as sons of God will all be kings. The angels will be serving ones (Heb. 1:13-14), serving us. They are the servants of the royal family, and we are kings over the nations. This is the kingdom of God in eternity.
(The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)