III. THE NEW JERUSALEM
The New Jerusalem is the ultimate consummation of the dispensing of the Triune God into His chosen and redeemed people. Many people think that the New Jerusalem is a physical city or is "heaven." But according to Revelation 1:1, all the things revealed in Revelation are signs and symbols. In Ephesians 5, the church is the bride of Christ. Revelation 21:2 and 9 say that the New Jerusalem is the bride. So the New Jerusalem is not a physical place or the so-called "heaven"; rather, it is the enlargement, completion, fullness, and ultimate expression of the church. It is the mingling of the Triune God and humanity.
A. A Mutual Habitation
Revelation 21:3 tells us that the New Jerusalem is the tabernacle of God. This means that it is God’s dwelling place. However, 21:22 shows us that the holy city is the temple of His people. What does this mean? This means that God lives in His people and His people live in Him. The New Jerusalem is the mutual habitation of God and man. After many generations of dispensing Himself into His people, God and His people coinhere one another. Hallelujah! Would you like to go to heaven or would you rather be in this coinherence? "Going to heaven to be with God" is too poor compared to such a coinherence. To live in the Triune God and to have the Triune God live in us is the greatest blessing in the universe.
B. Possessing God’s Life and Nature
Revelation 21:18 says that "the building material of its wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold." Verse 11 says that the light of the New Jerusalem "was like a most precious stone, as a jasper stone, clear as crystal." Jasper is dark green. It signifies life in its richness. Green grass, green fields, and green mountains all testify of the richness of life. If a field is brown we have the impression that there is no life there. The great wall of the New Jerusalem is a shining testimony of the richness of God’s life. Revelation 4:3 says that God Himself has the appearance of jasper stone. Keep in mind that the New Jerusalem is just the enlargement of the church. That means that one day God’s people will have the appearance of God. Praise the Lord! We will fully express the richness of God’s life!
Within the wall, the city is of pure gold. You will recall that gold symbolizes God’s divine nature. This means that we, God’s people, will be fully constituted with God’s nature. Outwardly the city is green, expressing the divine life; inwardly it is gold, full of the divine nature. This is truly a glorious picture! This is the ultimate result of the dispensing of the Triune God. The more He dispenses Himself into us, the more we receive His divine nature. Once we were going to the lake of fire, now we are going into God. Originally, we were full of the satanic nature; at the end, we will be full of the divine nature. The only way to get from here to there is to receive more of His dispensing. We need to escape the corruption that is in the world in order to partake of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). O Lord Jesus! What a way! What a conclusion!
IV. OUR ETERNAL DESTINATION
God’s eternal desire is to get a group of people who are fully mingled with Him to be His universal expression and mutual dwelling place. The entire Bible reveals God in His Trinity working toward this goal. We see the Triune God reaching man, then bringing man back into Himself. In the Old Testament He was triune when He made man and dealt with man. In the Gospels He actually became a man—Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus was the first man mingled with God. But God wanted many more such men, so in Acts we see Him as the Spirit propagating Himself into tens of thousands of believers. The Epistles show us the development of these believers into the church, the Body of Christ. In Revelation we see the final product, the ultimate consummation, of the Triune God’s dispensing—the New Jerusalem. It is the enlargement and fullness of the lampstand, the church, and the vine tree. It is the ultimate mingling of humanity and divinity, the coinherence of God and man. This fulfills Genesis 1:26. The Bible ends the way it begins. It begins with God’s image for His expression, and it ends with a vast, immense, splendid corporate expression. This is our eternal destination and the Triune God’s eternal purpose. This is according to what the Father has planned, what the Son has accomplished, and what the Spirit is applying. What a plan! What an accomplishment! What an application! Praise the Triune God!
- What is the relationship between the Triune God and the church?
- Which verses substantiate that the church has the appearance of God? Explain.
- Write a prophesy on the New Jerusalem being the ultimate consummation of the dispensing of the Triune God.
Quoted Portions from (Lee/LSM) Publications
- Life-study of Revelation, pp. 89-93.
- Life-study of John, pp. 401-402, 606-609, 611-612.
- The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures, pp. 68-69, 118, 120-124, 135.
- The Vision of God’s Building, pp. 223-224.
- The Divine Dispensing of the Divine Trinity, pp. 42-44.
(Lesson Book, Level 2: The Triune God—The Triune God and the Person and Work of Christ, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)