IV. THE NEW JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF GOD, DESCENDING OUT OF HEAVEN FROM GOD AND APPEARING IN THE MILLENNIUM
The New Jerusalem, the city of God, descends out of heaven from God and appears in the millennium. Revelation 3:12 tells us that in the millennium, in the thousand-year kingdom, the New Jerusalem will descend out of heaven from God. Furthermore, the name of the New Jerusalem will be written on the overcoming believers.
V. THE PARADISE IN THE MILLENNIUM
This appearing New Jerusalem will be the Paradise of God in the thousand-year kingdom (Rev. 2:7). This is not the Paradise mentioned in Luke 23:43 as the joyful section of Hades. That was the Paradise which the Lord mentioned to the thief on the cross. The Lord told him that he would be with Him in Paradise. The Paradise mentioned in Revelation 2:7 as a reward to the overcomers is the highest Paradise in the universe; it is the New Jerusalem in the coming millennial kingdom. A number of Bible students consider the garden of Eden as a kind of Paradise. Thus, we may say that there are three Paradises: the garden of Eden at Adam’s time, the Paradise in Hades for the dead saints, and the Paradise in the millennium, the New Jerusalem.
VI. THE COMPOSITION OF ALL
THE OVERCOMERS OF BOTH THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THE NEW TESTAMENT UP TO THE BEGINNING
OF THE THOUSAND-YEAR KINGDOM
When the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven, that will be the beginning of the millennium. The New Jerusalem will be the composition of all the overcomers of both the Old Testament and the New Testament up to the beginning of the thousand-year kingdom (Rev. 20:4-6). This is why the Lord Jesus told us in Matthew 8:11 that many would feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of the heavens. This means that in the manifestation of the kingdom in the New Jerusalem, the overcoming believers will feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In the millennium the Old Testament overcomers will feast with the New Testament overcomers.
Hebrews 11:40 shows that the Old Testament saints cannot obtain what God promised apart from the New Testament believers. This verse says, "Because God has provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect." At the end of the age of grace, a good number of the New Testament saints will be matured to be the overcomers. By that time the New Jerusalem will be enlarged. The New Jerusalem in the millennial kingdom is composed of all the overcomers of the Old Testament to the last overcomer of the New Testament. In order to obtain and enjoy this, the Old Testament overcomers need the New Testament overcomers to perfect them. They are waiting for us to go on that they may be made perfect.
(The Move of God in Man, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)