New Jerusalem – Foundation of the Kingdom of God
The revelation of New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven as described in the last two chapters of the Bible, is an extraordinary picture of the fulness of the kingdom of God at the macro level.
Many believers think that this is the consummation of all things at the end of the age, disconnected to the history that proceeded it. In other words, it’s considered an event that is the beginning of the rule and reign of God on earth, rather than the completion of it in this age.
How to view New Jerusalem
The fact is, we should consider New Jerusalem to be in the thought of God before creation, and the blueprint God used to create.
If you aren’t convinced of that, an easy Biblical exercise you can participate in will provide proof of my thesis.
All that needs to be done is read the last two chapters of the Bible, and then go back to the first two chapters of the Bible, looking for things in the embryonic stage, that eventually come to fruition in the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.
Much that is scattered about in Genesis 1 and 2, finds itself fully revealed in Revelation 21 and 22. That suggests this is the purpose God worked from as He created the heavens and the earth.
There’s much to say about that, but the purpose of this article is to understand that the truth revealed in the imagery of New Jerusalem is the umbrella over the kingdom of God, or the foundation it is built upon.
Imagery used in New Jerusalem
One thing to consider when looking at the imagery unveiled in New Jerusalem is this: in God, it’s all at once in their fulness, meaning, the images are separated in the revelation in order for the readers to understand the various elements that make up what is inside New Jerusalem.
That’s important to understand since the river in the city encapsulates everything that is revealed within the city; all things within the river of Life are flowing out and expanding the kingdom.
Now within the city we have the throne of God and the Lamb, the river of Life, the Tree of Life, and the golden street. All that is revealed by the light permeating the city within.
At the center of the city is the throne, and the throne represents the kingly and priestly authority of Jesus Christ. As the King, it reflects judgement, justice and righteousness, and as the Priest, it reflects mercy, grace and lovingkindness.
Understand that the Jesus Christ rules based upon the revealed moral laws in all the Bible, and those laws are based upon the very nature of God.
Here’s the prophecy that stated a priest would sit on the throne:
12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord:
13 Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
That was fulfilled when Jesus ascended into heaven and sat at the right hand of the Father; that was the result of His priestly work on the cross. Again, the flowing of the river out from the throne of God carries all the foundational and practical implications of the Priest/King sitting on the throne, with all authority being given unto Him.
As for the street of gold, that’s a reference to the road or path we are to travel, i.e., the way we are to work out our faith in this world. based upon the revelation represented by the imagery in New Jerusalem.
The tree of Life is of course Jesus Christ. He stated this in John 15:1,2:
15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
This identifies that the tree of Life is a vine that spreads out upon both sides of the river of Life. That suggests New Jerusalem is filled with the person and essence of Jesus Christ.
It also points to the fact those that are rooted in the tree of Life bring forth much fruit as a result of a pruning process, and ultimately become health for the nations, which points to preserving wholesome cultures in the people groups residing in the world.
We are not saved by obeying the laws of God, but entirely by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Nonetheless, the moral laws of God as revealed in the Bible remain in effect because they’re based upon the eternal nature of God Himself; for that reason they’re impossible to be cast aside – to do so would be casting God aside.
New Jerusalem correlates with we call the Great Commission. We have the message of the Gospel in the Lamb of God, and we have the commands of God represented by the throne. We are commanded to teach the nations everything Jesus taught us, which included the law which He reinforced.
The point in all of this is New Jerusalem is the foundation of the kingdom of God, meaning everything in it is to flow out from the work it does within us. Out of our innermost being flow rivers of living waters. That living water is the Holy Spirit taking that which is revealed in New Jerusalem and working it in and through us into the world; first transforming us, and them being health to the nations by preserving it as the salt we are to be.
To reject this is to be cast out and trampled under the feet of the nations. To embrace it leads us to victory in this world, and the world to come.