The Hearing of Faith
Christians have been told that they will go to heaven to live in a mansion and walk on streets of gold. But the pure revelation in the Bible tells us that our ultimate destiny is much higher, richer, and more profound. It is the New Jerusalem. We must see three crucial aspects of the New Jerusalem as our eternal destiny.
Firstly, the New Jerusalem is the bride of Christ (Rev. 21:2), His counterpart, for Christ’s full satisfaction. As His bride, she is wholly one with Christ, constituted with Christ to be holy, without blemish, and glorious (Eph. 5:27). She speaks in absolute oneness with Him (Rev. 22:17). In the bride, God’s plan to be one with man and Christ’s desire is finally fulfilled. To be the New Jerusalem as the bride of Christ is our ultimate destiny.
The second aspect of the New Jerusalem is that it is the consummation of God’s economy, God’s plan. In the first two chapters of the Bible, God’s plan to be one with man can be seen by His placing man in front of the tree of life (Gen. 2:9), a picture of God Himself as life to be received by man. In the garden we also see a river flowing with precious materials in it (Gen. 2:10-12). Both the tree of life and the river can again be seen at the very end of the Bible in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1, 2, 14, 19). The New Jerusalem, then, is the consummation of God’s economy to reach man and be received by man as the divine life and life supply, signified by the flowing river of life with the tree of life.
The third aspect of the New Jerusalem is that it is the ultimate consummation of God’s building work throughout the ages. God’s desire is to dwell with us (John 14:23), to abide in us and have us abide in Him (John 14:20; 15:4), to have His dwelling place in our spirit (Eph. 2:22), and to even make His home in our heart (Eph. 3:17), building Himself into us, and making us a spiritual house (1 Pet. 2:5). Eventually, all of God’s building work is consummated in Revelation 21 in a builded city, the holy city, New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2). Our ultimate destiny is to be this mutual dwelling place of God and man, God builded into us and we into Him.
Our God has a much higher destiny for His believers than a material city. Since the New Jerusalem as Christ’s bride, the consummation of God’s plan and of God’s building, is our ultimate destiny, then surely we should take it as the goal of all our life and work today. Today may we cooperate with Him to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29) to be His counterpart, His bride. May we be those who continually receive of the divine life and life supply to be transformed into precious stones to be builded together into our ultimate destiny, the New Jerusalem.
For further reading on this subject, please see The Central Thought of God; God’s New Testament Economy, both by Witness Lee; and Affirmation and Critique Volume 5, no. 2 (April 2000), published by Living Stream Ministry.
From Issue No. 26, June 2000