THE WIFE OF THE LAMB
Revelation 21 tells us that this city is a wife (v. 9). The New Jerusalem is the wife of the Lamb, the bride of the Lamb (21:2). This indicates that the city is organic. It is not something physical but is a life matter.
GOD’S TABERNACLE AND GOD’S TEMPLE
Revelation 21 also tells us that this city as the wife of the Lamb is God’s tabernacle, God’s dwelling place (v. 3). Eventually, the New Jerusalem will be a dwelling for both God and His serving ones. In the Old Testament the tabernacle was God’s dwelling and at the same time it was also the priests’ dwelling in which they served. Both God and His serving priests dwell in the same tabernacle. To God the New Jerusalem is His dwelling, and to us God is our dwelling because Revelation tells us that in the New Jerusalem there is no temple, "for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb" (21:22). God and the Lamb become the dwelling place of His serving ones. This word matches Psalm 90:1 which says, "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations." Therefore, the tabernacle is God’s dwelling place with His serving ones, and this very God who dwells in the tabernacle is the temple, which is the dwelling place of His serving ones.
Again, we must realize what a wrong concept it is to say that the New Jerusalem is a great physical mansion for God’s children to lodge in. Revelation says that God Himself, God and the Lamb, will be the temple for us who serve Him to dwell in. Our dwelling place in eternity is God Himself. We will not dwell in a big mansion. We will dwell in God. He is our temple and we are His tabernacle. He dwells in us and we dwell in Him, and this mutual dwelling is the New Jerusalem, which to God is the tabernacle and to us is the temple. We enjoy a foretaste of this today when we abide in the Lord and the Lord abides in us (John 15:5). This mutual abode will be enlarged in eternity to be the New Jerusalem where God will be our dwelling place and we will be His dwelling place.
THE NEW JERUSALEM BEING IN RESURRECTION
We need to abandon the thought of a physical dwelling place. When we come to divine, heavenly, and spiritual things, we must put aside our natural thoughts. When I was young, I heard some Bible teachers discussing what we would eat and where the restroom would be in the "heavenly mansion." How poor it is to bring in our natural thought! The Lord Jesus told the Sadducees that they did not know the Bible, that in the resurrection men "neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as angels of God in heaven" (Matt. 22:30). Today in this age there is marriage, but in the resurrection there will be no marriage because all will be like the angels. In the New Jerusalem everything will be in resurrection. Revelation 21:17b says the wall’s measurement is "a measure of a man, that is, of an angel." This is a sign that by then man will be like the angels. Man’s being like an angel indicates the principle of resurrection. The entire city, therefore, will be in resurrection.
ENJOYING THE TRIUNE GOD
AND BEING TRANSFORMED FOR HIS FULL EXPRESSION
As the constituents of the New Jerusalem, we will enjoy the Triune God as everything to us. We will enjoy Him as our dwelling place (Rev. 21:22), as the tree of life to feed us (22:2), as the river of water of life to satisfy us (22:1), and as the light of life to illumine us (21:23). Everything will be God Himself. Eventually, we will be altogether transformed into gold, pearls, and precious stones. The city itself with its street is pure gold (21:18, 21). The twelve gates of the city are twelve pearls (21:21), the foundation of the city is adorned with precious stones (21:19), and the light of the New Jerusalem is like jasper stone (21:11), bearing the appearance of God to express God by her shining.
God’s appearance is like jasper (4:3), and the entire city has the appearance of jasper. This means that the entire New Jerusalem looks like God, which is the fulfillment of Genesis 1:26. God made man in His image to express Himself. When the New Jerusalem comes, all of God’s people will bear God’s expression, God’s image, God’s appearance. All of God’s people will be fully transformed for the full expression of the Triune God. Today every local church is a miniature of the New Jerusalem. Today God is our dwelling place, our food, our drink, our life, our light, our nature, and our element to become our expression. We are being transformed into precious material for God’s universal and consummate building in the universe, the New Jerusalem, where all of God’s redeemed people will bear the likeness, the appearance of God (1 John 3:2).
(The Divine Economy, Chapter 15, by Witness Lee)