III. THE TRIUNE GOD
SHOWN BY THE NEW JERUSALEM
The New Jerusalem in chapters twenty-one and twenty-two unveils the Triune God to us in an ultimate way. All the features of the holy city that John describes are wonderful signs showing us the Triune God and His economy. We shall look at just two of those features.
A. The Triune God as Our Entrance
Revelation 21:12 and 13 tell us that this city has "a great and high wall; having twelve gates..on the east three gates, and on the north three gates, and on the south three gates, and on the west three gates." The three gates on each side signify that the Triune God—the Father, Son, and Spirit—works together to bring people into the holy city. This is indicated by the three parables in Luke 15. We saw in Lesson Eight that in order for a sinner to be brought to the Father’s house, there is the need of the Son, the Shepherd, to bring back the lost sheep; there is the need of the Spirit to enlighten people’s hearts that they may repent; and there is the need of the Father to receive the returned and repentant prodigal son. Hence the Triune God is the entrance to the New Jerusalem.
Each of the four sides of the city has three gates. The gates on any one side are exactly the same as the gates on the other three sides. This indicates that the Triune God is available to people in all four corners of the earth. Whether you come from the east, north, south or west, there is an entrance into the holy city. (We will see in the next lesson that the New Jerusalem is not a physical city but rather the Triune God mingled with His people.) What an entrance this city has!
B. The Triune God as Our Existence
Verse 1 of chapter twenty-two says, "And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." Here we see the Triune God in full. There is God, the Lamb, and the river, which represents the Spirit (John 7:38-39). Notice that there are not two thrones—one for God and one for the Lamb. There is only one throne. Then how do They sit? Are They side by side or are They one on top of another? By now you should know that God is in the Lamb and the Lamb is in God. They coinhere one another. And out of this throne, God the Spirit is flowing out as a river. When the Spirit reaches you, you have both the Father and the Son.
This scene shows us the Triune God for our existence. First, God the Father is the Creator (Eph. 3:9). He created all things, including you and me. If He did not create us, we would not exist. So we must thank Him for being the creating God. Second, the Son as the Lamb is our Redeemer (John 1:29; Eph. 1:7). He shed His blood for our sins that we might be redeemed back to God. Without His redemption we would be under God’s condemnation forever—in the lake of fire. So we must praise Him, our redeeming Lamb! Finally, the Spirit, shown by the river of life, is our Regenerator (John 3:6). The Spirit regenerated us so that we are born of God. Then He continually supplies us so that we may grow in God and express Him. That is for our existence as children of God. We should greatly appreciate such a three-one God for our threefold existence; He is our Creator, Redeemer, and Regenerator.
- Pray-read Revelation 22:1-2 with your companions.
- Explain how Revelation 22:1-2 reveals the Triune God.
Quoted Portions from (Lee/LSM) Publications
- Life-study of Revelation, pp. 37-45, 121-124, 720-722,
- Life-study of Hebrews, p. 29.
- The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures, p. 133.
- The Vision of God’s Building, pp. 200-201.
(Lesson Book, Level 2: The Triune God—The Triune God and the Person and Work of Christ, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)