Life-Study of Revelationby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message and in the six following messages we shall consider the various aspects of the New Jerusalem (21:9-27).
Firstly, we need to know the way to see the vision of the New Jerusalem. One of the seven angels who executed the seven last plagues showed New Jerusalem to John (v. 9). This signifies that the judgment of the seven bowls is for New Jerusalem.
Verse 10 says, “And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” If we would see the vision of New Jerusalem, we must be in spirit. Before John saw the vision of the seven churches, he also was in spirit (1:10). Chapter one not only tells us that John was in spirit; it also reveals that he was on the island called Patmos. If this were not important, it would not have been recorded in the Bible. By being on the island of Patmos and by being in spirit, John could see the churches, the seven golden lampstands. Although many read and study the book of Revelation and have even read our messages on the seven lampstands, they do not see anything. The reason is they are neither in the right position nor in the spirit.
In order to see anything we need the right standing with the correct angle, and we need the ability to see. Immediately before John saw the seven golden lampstands, he heard a loud voice and he turned to see the voice that spoke with him (1:10, 12). I hope that as many in the denominations are reading these life-study messages they will hear a voice and turn to see. However, although many have heard the voice, they are not willing to turn. Even if they do turn to see the voice, they may lack the ability to see. Many denominational preachers have cataracts upon their spiritual eyes. They need to have a specialist remove these cataracts that they may see the vision of the church. When we have the proper position with the right angle and the ability to see, we are able to see the vision of the seven golden lampstands. This was John’s situation on the island of Patmos. Because he was in the proper position and because he was in spirit, he saw the seven golden lampstands as soon as he turned to see the voice.
The principle is the same in seeing the New Jerusalem. In 21:10 John tells us that an angel carried him away in spirit. Never despise your spirit; it is capable of seeing New Jerusalem. The phrase “in spirit” is used four times in the book of Revelation (1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10). Each time this phrase is used it introduces one of the four main visions which compose this book. These visions are the vision of the church, the vision of the judgment upon the world, the vision of Babylon the Great, and the vision of New Jerusalem. These four visions are in two pairs. The church and the world are the first pair, and Babylon the Great and New Jerusalem are the second. The world is in contrast to the church, and Babylon the Great is in contrast to the New Jerusalem. The entire book of Revelation is constituted with the church, the world, Babylon, and New Jerusalem. Each time John saw one of these visions he was in spirit. In spirit John saw the churches; in spirit he saw the destiny of the world; in spirit he saw the Great Babylon; and in spirit he saw New Jerusalem. I can testify that even now I have before me a clear view of these four things. In the first chapter I see the seven churches and in the last chapter, the New Jerusalem. Between these chapters I see the world and Babylon the Great.
If you want to see these visions, you must be in spirit. Do not exercise your mind to think about the situation. Rather, turn to the spirit and stay there. If you exercise your mind instead of remaining in your spirit, these four visions will disappear from view. If we stay in our mind, we may not think that the world situation is that bad. But if we turn to our spirit and remain there, calling on the name of the Lord Jesus, we shall clearly see the seven lampstands and the fact that the whole world is under God’s judgment. The longer we stay in spirit contacting the Lord, the clearer we shall become concerning the world situation. Furthermore, we shall see the prostitute and realize that she is destined for destruction. Although we may not understand all these things or be able to explain them to others, we shall certainly see them for ourselves. We shall also see New Jerusalem, including all the details, such as the twelve gates and the golden street.
Our need today is vision, not understanding. What value is there in understanding the city of Anaheim if you have never seen it? According to the book of Revelation, the apostle John saw many things, including New Jerusalem. Thus, his book of Revelation is not a lecture, a sermon, or even a message; it is a description and a declaration of what he saw. John was taken on a universal tour. After his tour, he seemed to say, “Oh, I have seen Satan cast into the lake of fire and I have seen the New Jerusalem!” We all need to get into our spirit and take this kind of sightseeing tour. After you have seen New Jerusalem, you will not be able to deny the fact that you have seen it.
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