THE NEW JERUSALEM
We have seen that the sign of the Father’s house signifies the mingling of the Triune God with His redeemed people to be a dwelling place for both God and them. The ultimate consummation of the Father’s house will be the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem will be the tabernacle of God with man in eternity (Rev. 21:2-3).
The New Jerusalem, as the consummation of the mingling of the Triune God with His redeemed people, will be as a bride adorned for her husband. Concerning this, Revelation 21:2 says, “And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
According to Revelation 21:11, 18-21, the New Jerusalem will be built with gold, pearls, and precious stones. Gold signifies the nature of God the Father. Pearls signify God the Son’s overcoming death and life-imparting resurrection for regenerating God’s redeemed people. The precious stones signify God the Spirit’s work in transforming God’s regenerated people into materials for the building of God’s eternal habitation.
The New Jerusalem will be watered and nourished by the divine life (Rev. 22:1-2, 14, 17). The water will come from the river of life, and nourishment from the tree of life. The river is for drinking, and the tree is for nourishment. Both the river and the tree are of the divine life, and this life is actually the Triune God Himself.
According to the picture in Revelation 22, we have God the Father as the source of the water, God the Spirit as the flow of the water, and God the Son as the tree of life growing in the water. This is the Triune God as eternal life flowing to water His redeemed people and nourish them so that they may be absolutely one with Him and that they may dwell in Him and He in them for eternity.
The New Jerusalem will express God fully for eternity. This expression will be God’s glory. Revelation 21:11 says that the New Jerusalem has the glory of God. The glory of God is the expression of God, God expressed. For eternity we shall bear the glory of God for His expression in the New Jerusalem.
In order to understand what the Father’s house is, we need all the books of the Bible from Genesis 28 through Revelation 22. As we consider the revelation of the Father’s house in the Scriptures, we see that this house certainly is not a heavenly mansion. The concept that the Father’s house in John 14 is a heavenly mansion is far off, and this concept needs to be discarded. Our Father’s house is a living organism composed of the Triune God mingled with all of His regenerated, transformed, and glorified believers. How wonderful!
This heavenly-mansion concept that has been injected into the believers distracts their attention away from certain vital matters. First, this concept turns the believers’ attention away from the dispensing of the Triune God into us. A heavenly mansion does not require the dispensing of the Triune God into the believers. Those who believe in a heavenly mansion do not sense the need for the dispensing of the Triune God into them.
The thought of a heavenly mansion also distracts believers from the genuine building up in the church life. The building up of the church requires the Father’s nature, signified by gold; the Son’s overcoming death and life-imparting resurrection, signified by pearls; and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, signified by precious stones. But the building of a heavenly mansion does not require any of these things. If we are to have the building up of the genuine church life, we need gold, pearls, and precious stones; that is, we need the Father’s nature, the Son’s death and resurrection, and the Spirit’s transforming work.
Very few Christians today pay attention to the dispensing of the Triune God and to the experience of the nature of the Father, the Son’s overcoming death and life-imparting resurrection, and the Spirit’s transforming work for the building up of the church. On the contrary, many Christians today are waiting to go to a heavenly mansion in the distant future. In the meantime, they may be living on earth in the flesh and enjoying the world, yet still expecting one day to go to a heavenly mansion. This is the damage caused by the leaven of the thought of a heavenly mansion. How much damage this concept has caused to Christians! We must thoroughly purge this leaven out of our being.
We need to return to the Body of Christ, the church. The Father’s house is today’s church life. The church life requires the dispensing of the Triune God into our being in a living, practical way so that we may be constituted of the Father’s nature, thoroughly realize the death and resurrection of Christ, and be fully transformed by the work of the Spirit. We need to treasure the church life much more than anyone could treasure the concept of a heavenly mansion. Such a concept is superstitious. Today in the Lord’s recovery we have something real and practical—the local church life. The church life is real, and we are in it!
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 38, by Witness Lee)