The divine love, as we have seen in the preceding message, is the nature of God’s essence. Thus, it is an essential attribute of God. John 3:16 tells us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,” and 1 John 4:9 says, “In this the love of God was manifested to us, that God has sent His Son, the only begotten, into the world that we might live through Him.” As in 1 Timothy 1:15, the “world” refers to fallen mankind, whom God so loved that, by making them alive through His Son with His own life, they might become His children. In this the love of God has been manifested.
First John 4:10 goes on to say, “In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son a propitiation concerning our sins.” The word “this” refers to the following fact: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son a propitiation concerning our sins. In this fact is the higher and nobler love of God. The divine love as God’s essential attribute is mainly expressed in sending His Son to redeem us and impart God’s life into us that we may become His children.
Ephesians 2:4 says, “God, being rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us.” The object of love should be in a lovable condition, but the object of mercy is always in a pitiful situation. Hence, God’s mercy reaches further than His love. God loves us because we are the object of His selection. But we became pitiful by our fall, even dead in our offenses and sins; therefore, we need God’s mercy. Because of His great love, God is rich in mercy to save us from our wretched position to a condition that is suitable for His love. The nobler love of God as His essential attribute needs His attribute of mercy to reach us in the deep pit of our fallen life.
The divine light, as we have seen in the foregoing message, is the nature of God’s expression. Thus, it is an expressive attribute of God. Revelation 21:23 says, “The city has no need of the sun nor of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” In the millennium the light of the sun and the moon will be intensified (Isa. 30:26). But in the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth there will be no need of the sun nor of the moon. The sun and the moon will be in the new heaven and new earth, but they will not be needed in the New Jerusalem, for God, the divine light, will shine much more brightly.
In the New Jerusalem the Lamb as the lamp will shine with God as the light to illumine the city with the glory of God, the expression of the divine light. Because such a divine light will illumine the holy city, it will have no need of any other light, whether created by God or made by man. There will be no need of natural light. Although the sun and moon will be in the new heaven and new earth, we shall not have any need for them, because our dwelling place will be much brighter than either of them. Man-made light will not be needed either. God Himself will be the light in the holy city.
Revelation 21:23 also says that the Lamb, Christ, is the lamp. God is the light, and Christ is the lamp. The light needs the light-bearer. This indicates that we should not separate Christ from God or God from Christ. Actually, God and Christ are one light. God is the content, and Christ is the light-bearer, the expression. As the light is in the lamp to be its content and to be expressed through the lamp, so God the Father is in the Son to be expressed through the Son.
Revelation 22:5 also refers to light as a divine attribute: “Night shall be no more; and they have no need of the light of a lamp and the light of the sun, for the Lord God shall illumine them.” Being illumined by the Lord God will be one of the blessings to God’s redeemed in eternity. We shall have no need of a lamp, the light made by man, nor of the sun, the light created by God. God Himself will shine upon us, and we shall live under His illumination. God Himself will be the light, and Christ will be the lamp, shining out God to enlighten the entire city.
In the New Jerusalem the divine light will be both the inward light and the outward glory for expression. This light will shine in and through the precious stone, as a jasper stone, signifying the transformed believers (Rev. 21:11). God as the light within the Lamb as the lamp will shine through the city. Within this city there will be shining light. Outside the city the light will express God’s glory, so that the entire city will bear the glory of God. The glory of God is God Himself shining out of the city through the transparent wall of jasper (Rev. 21:18).
Today the divine light as God’s expressive attribute is applied to us in our Christian life. First John 1:5-7 tells us that God is light, and that if we fellowship with Him we should walk in the divine light. This indicates that we can enjoy this expressive attribute of God even in this age before the New Jerusalem will come in the new heaven and the new earth.
(Conclusion of the New Testament, The (Msgs. 001-020), Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)