You are reading in subchapter 6.1 of chapter 6 in the free, global online book, Fellowship With God in the Sixth Path. Navigation at the top and bottom of each page, allows you to open the table of contents, visit the home page, ask questions or share your story.
Fellowship with God, as I have defined it thus far... is a two way conversation in the spiritual realm, as we Follow Christ, bearing His yoke in the world. The definition will change in Paradise. In Paradise, the definition will include two way face to face conversations, as we reign under Christ forever, in the new earth. This is the Seventh Path.
The New Jerusalem
The eternal state in Paradise occurs after the judgement. Paradise is in the City of God. It is called the New Jerusalem. This is what many call "heaven". But it will not be a place floating in the clouds. It will be on the earth. On a new earth. The earth will be new because God will make it new.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, you will be a citizen of the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is the bride of Christ. The name of the New Jerusalem will be written on you, showing that you are a citizen of the Bride of Christ. In the completion of the union of the bride and bridegroom, the ecstasy foreseen in the Song of Solomon will become your eternal state. You will receive a new, secret name which only you and God will know. This indicates a deep, personal, private, intimate, relationship with your Lord.
Citizenship in the New Jerusalem will be determined by this one criterion: Is one's name written in the Book of Life?
- "If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15).
- "No one can enter the New Jerusalem except "those who are written in the Lamb's book of life" (Revelation 21:27). (The context is Revelation 21:1-27)
- "everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been killed" (Revelation 13:8).
The first passage deals with the Great White Throne Judgement. But that judgement is not the subject of this subchapter or this book. This book is about fellowship. This subchapter is about Paradise. The first two verses from the last two chapters of Revelation show that citizenship in Paradise is determined by one criterion: The presence of one's name in the Book of Life! The third verse (13:8) tells us when God wrote these names in the book of life. They were written before God created the world.
Those three verses from Revelation are about names. They appear near the end of that book. Much was written earlier in the book of Revelation about names, in chapters two and three. In those chapters, believers are given a new secret name. Also, three other names will be written on each believer: God's name, the name of the New Jerusalem and Jesus's new name. These names should be kept in mind as we contemplate the later chapters which refer to names written in the book of life.
Revelation mentions four names. So there are four names in addition to the name given to us by our parents for a total of five names.
Which of the five names is the name that will be written in the book of life? For example: My name is "Jim Phillips". I have eternal life as a child of God. Is "Jim Phillips" the name that is in the Lamb's book of life?
Let's look at the four other possibilities from chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Revelation.
Please prayerfully consider the names presented below:
- "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows but he who receives it" (Revelation 2:17).
- "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will go out from there no more. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and my own new name" (Revelation 3:12). (Jesus is speaking.)
In the first verse, the believer receives a new, secret name. No one knows it except the one who receives it and God. The conclusion of the book of Revelation and the conclusion of the story of mankind includes the betrothal of believers to Christ. This name is a private, secret, intimate name, only used between the believer and his Lord.
In the second verse, three names are written on the believer. The name of God (Yahweh), the name of the New Jerusalem and Jesus' new name. At a minimum, these names indicate whose family we are adopted into (Yahweh's), who lives in us (Jesus), and our citizenship (New Jerusalem).
For those men who are uncomfortable being characterized as the bride of Christ, I present the following as proof: Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 11:2 "For I married you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ." Tremendous intimacy is conveyed in these words. The New Jerusalem is the bride. We are citizens of the New Jerusalem.
What is meant by "he who overcomes" in Revelation 3:12? 1 John 5:5 defines "overcome" as one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God: "Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
So, which of the five names will be in the book of life? Is it Jim Phillips, God's name, the name of the New Jerusalem, Jesus's new name or my new secret name? Revelation indicates that the presence of one's name in the book of life is of the utmost importance. The book of Revelation reveals names given to us or written on us. But it makes no mention of the name given us by our parents. So, it is very possible that the name written in the book of life is not "Jim Phillips", but one of the names specifically mentioned in Revelation.
No matter which name is written in the book of life, all of them communicate a deep sense of intimacy, acceptance and belonging.
Christ's New Name Written on Us:
Galatians 2:20 speaks of who we are: "it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me". Galatians 4:19 speaks of our transformation "until Christ is formed in you". 1 John 3:2 speaks of what we will be: "we know that when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is". Christ lives in us, is formed in us and in the eternal state; we will see Him; we will be like him; His names will be on us; and He will give us a secret name "which no one knows but he who receives it" (Rev 2:17). In light of these verses, it should not surprise us that the name of Christ will be written on us.
Called by God's Name:
In Acts 15:17 it is written "that the rest of men may seek after the Lord; all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord".
We are called by His name! We belong to him. He has defined who we are, declaring whose we are, as He placed His name on us... His holy, almighty, perfect name. His name is Yahweh! Praise His holy name!
The New Jerusalem: Part One of Three
Our destiny is a beautiful paradise. We will have fellowship with God in His visual presence forever in this paradise. The book of Revelation provides some details about this paradise. Who and what is there. Who and what is not. I will present some prayerful observations along the way.
The New Jerusalem:
- "1 I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away." 5 He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." He said, "Write, for these words of God are faithful and true"' (Revelation 21:1-5).
In the holy city, God will dwell with His people again. There will be no more tears, death, mourning, crying or pain. All things will be made new. This is how life was in the Garden of Eden when it was new, before the fall. Aspects of Eden will become new again in the holy city. New Jerusalem is presented as a bride coming down out of heaven. There will be no sea.
The New Jerusalem: Part Two of Three
- "9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were loaded with the seven last plagues came, and he spoke with me, saying, "Come here. I will show you the wife, the Lamb's bride." 10 He carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, as if it were a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 having a great and high wall; having twelve gates... 19 The foundations of the city's wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones... 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each one of the gates was made of one pearl. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass" (Revelation 21:9-21).
Jerusalem is again presented as a bride coming down out of heaven, beautifully adorned with precious stones, pearls, gold etc.
Correlations with the Song of Solomon:
I can't help but notice the correlations between the New Jerusalem and the Song of Solomon. The Song of Solomon is an Old Testament book which portrays an intimate romantic relationship between King Solomon and his Shulammite bride to be. Comments from the Daughters of Jerusalem are intertwined to create a three way dialogue (Song of Solomon 1:5, 2:7, 3:5, 3:10, 5:8, 5:16, and 8:4). So, the Song of Solomon has three participants:
The Daughters of Jerusalem
The New Jerusalem also has three participants which line up well with the Song of Solomon:
Christ the Bridegroom King (Revelation 21:9, 10)
New Jerusalem as the bride (Revelation 21:2, 9, 10)
Citizens (children) of the New Jerusalem (Galatians 4:26).
So, the Song of Solomon provides a type for the union of Christ to His bride.
Should the Lord draw you to read the Song of Solomon, consider praying it. Pray it as if you are the Shulammite bride. In this way you will experience the intense, emotional, worshipful, adoration between Christ and His bride, during an engagement period in anticipation of an intimate union in the New Jerusalem.
If the Lord doesn't draw you to read it, don't. After all, the Song of Solomon repeats three times:
- "I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, or by the hinds of the field, that you not stir up, nor awaken love, until it so desires" (Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5, 8:4).
That the Song of Solomon is speaking towards intimate fellowship with God instead of mere human love is made clear near the end of the book:
- "Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm; for love is strong as death. Jealousy is as cruel as Sheol. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a very flame of Yahweh" (Song ofSolomon 8:6).
Yahweh is the personal name of God. The jealousy of Solomon is the "very flame of Yahweh". This passage makes it clear that Yahweh was the subject of the Song of Solomon romance all along. Solomon was a type of Christ. The New Jerusalem is His bride. The New Jerusalem, as described in Revelation, is the completion of the union anticipated by the Song of Solomon. Some translations render Yahweh as LORD (all caps).
Commentaries on Song of Solomon:
I have presented the Song of Solomon as revealing intimacy between God and His people. I did not receive this interpretation from commentaries. I received it in prayer. But various respected commentaries take the same view. Among them are Norman Geisler's "A Popular Survey of the New Testament", Matthew Henry's Commentary and the commentary by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown, published in 1871.
The latter two are available online and in Kindle. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown include a verse by verse commentary. It presents much technical evidence for this view, both from secular and numerous Old Testament and New Testament references. Their introduction is very helpful.
Matthew Henry's Commentary presents a very devotional response to the Song of Solomon. The Ryrie Study Bible, by Charles Ryrie, includes a comment on the very last verse of the Song of Solomon which is consistent with my view.
If you have trouble understanding the Song of Solomon, I suggest that you try the free commentaries by Jameison and Matthew Henry.
The New Jerusalem: Part Three of Three
- "22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. 23 The city has no need for the sun or moon to shine, for the very glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb... 27 There will in no way enter into it anything profane, or one who causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life. 22 He showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. On this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruits, yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will be no curse any more. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no night, and they need no lamp light or sun light; for the Lord God will illuminate them. They will reign forever and ever" (Revelation 21:22 -- 22:5).