22.2 The Heavenly Jerusalem is paradise (2)

Series 22

Episode 2

Prologue

Brothers and sisters, today’s topic of Treasures for the Soul is “The Heavenly Jerusalem is paradise (2).” 2 Corinthians 12 mentions that paradise is in the third heaven. And Revelation chapters 2 and 22 tell us that in paradise, there are trees of life and their fruit. The word “paradise” is another description for New Jerusalem. It’s so precious that this paradise, New Jerusalem, is a “garden city”, far more beautiful than the garden of Eden. New Jerusalem is also personally managed and built by God, being full of His considerations and design. This is our better home.

Message

2 Corinthians 12:1-4 reads, “I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven— whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.”

This man in Christ is Paul himself. Note that verse 2 says, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven.” Verse 3 says “And I know that this man was caught up into paradise.” Paul clearly stated that paradise is in the third heaven, and he did not say he “went down to Hades,” but “caught up”. From these words, we know he is talking about a different place, a heavenly place above.

Revelation 2:7 reads, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

Revelation 22 mentions the river of the water of life and the tree of life on either side of the river. These are in the city of New Jerusalem. Therefore, paradise is another description for New Jerusalem. The trees of life are actually in New Jerusalem. Therefore we know that paradise is basically New Jerusalem.

The word “paradise” originally refers to the beautiful gardens for emperors. Many brothers and sisters may feel that they do not understand much about the things pertaining to heaven. Some have no idea how big New Jerusalem is. It is enormous! Its length, width, and height are greater than the distance from Hong Kong to Beijing. A city of such great height is amazing! Do not think that there are only the streets of gold; at the very least it is a garden city. Hence, there are trees of life, and there must be other trees as well. This paradise by far is more stunning than the garden of Eden. Therefore, what we will gain in heaven is beyond the garden of Eden.

The garden of Eden was very beautiful. Though mankind sinned, this world is still quite beautiful. You cannot imagine how beautiful the garden of Eden was, but New Jerusalem is even better! There will be trees that bear fruit and there will be the river of life. What about flowers? As there will be fruit, there must be flowers, and how beautiful will the flowers of the trees of life be! There will be twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. How amazing! It’s beyond what we know now. Not only will there be water, there are also mountains. It is so beautiful. Look at all the mountains in such a small city like Hong Kong. In short, nothing can be compared to the “garden city” that God is building, better than the garden of Eden; it is even better than all the beautiful places of this world combined. God’s city is massive and magnificent!

I have visited Oceania. Australia, for one, is a big place with a small population. The lights were sparse at night, and what you could see during the day were mostly mountains. I hope that the Lord will open our eyes. The beauty of New Jerusalem is indescribable! There are many deserted places in many countries today, but in New Jerusalem, no place is deserted. It is stunning everywhere, with different characteristics and beauty, all designed by God. I hope that the Lord opens your eyes. It’s a very joyful place.

It’s true that people need community life in the city, but they may not always stay in the city. They also enjoy going to the rural areas to unwind. Every Sunday in Hong Kong, you see more people in the rural areas than in the city. It’s difficult to have the best of both worlds. But in New Jerusalem, there is a most beautiful fellowship. Not only is it a community: everyone will love with their all and everyone desires to give. There will be no sin at all. In the new heaven and new earth, righteousness dwells, more so within the city. The spiritual joy is unimaginable right now! The spiritual experience of being close to the Lord is beyond that on the earth. On earth, we also have beautiful fellowship and unity, but there, we will enjoy perfect unity.

In the whole universe, the most beautiful are Abba, the Lord, the Holy Spirit, and us! We are united to God. Since the most beautiful and noble ones are there, it requires the most beautiful place designed and managed by God. He uses His infinite loving wisdom to establish this place. That place is also the better country which Abraham desired. We won’t have to wait long before that day comes. Hence, it’s important that we know more about this better country, just as those who are immigrating to another country should learn more about the place they are moving to. We should know more about our home, as we are “going home”. 

Series 22

When Believers Die, They Will Go to the Heavenly Jerusalem

Message Date: 2020-04-03

This message assures us that the spirits of believers who have passed away are now in the heavenly Jerusalem. The Old Testament does not mention that believers will go to paradise. Instead, both believers and non-believers would go to Sheol after they die. Luke 16 tells us that there are two parts in Hades, separated by a great chasm. When non-believers go to Hades, they suffer great agony. On the contrary, believers in Hades will not feel lonely, but would be joyful. The Bible says clearly that when the Lord died, He went to Hades. However, He did not stay there; He resurrected and ascended to heaven. It is so precious that during His crucifixion, the Lord said to the criminal next to Him, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” The Lord Himself went to Hades, and it was then called paradise. How joyous it must have been when the Lord met that criminal and the saints from the Old Testament time! Although the Bible does not explicitly say that when the Lord ascended to heaven, He also brought along the spirits of those believers in Hades to the heavenly Jerusalem, but the Bible says “When He ascended on high, He led a host of captives.” (Ephesians 4:8a) Those saints of the Old Testament time used to be captives of sin, and were once captured as we were. However, because of the Lord’s salvation, we have all become the Lord’s captives. Therefore, it makes sense to believe that when the Lord ascended on high, He also brought them up to heaven together with Him. Moreover, multiple Bible passages tell us that nowadays, when believers pass away, they will for sure go to the heavenly Jerusalem. When Paul mentioned his experience in 2 Corinthians chapter 12, he mentioned the third heaven, which is paradise. Revelation 2:7 talks about the fruit of the tree of life in the paradise of God; clearly this paradise refers to the heavenly Jerusalem. Paul also said that to be with Christ is far better. Now that Christ is ascended to heaven, preparing a dwelling place for us, we can be certain that when believers pass away, they must go to the heavenly Jerusalem. Hebrews chapter 12 says that we come before God, that is, to the heavenly Jerusalem, in which are many glorious people, things and matters, including the spirits of the righteous made perfect, who are the saints of the Old Testament. The word paradise means the king’s garden. The heavenly Jerusalem must be more magnificent than the Garden of Eden recorded in Genesis. It is designed and built by God. In New Jerusalem, it is beautiful everywhere, full of God’s presence. Everyone in this city will be full of love towards one another, living joyfully together till eternity . Episode 1 The heavenly Jerusalem is paradise (1) Episode 2 The heavenly Jerusalem is paradise (2) Episode 3 The spirits of the righteous made perfect
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22.1 The Heavenly Jerusalem is paradise (1)

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22.2 The Heavenly Jerusalem is paradise (2)

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22.3 The Spirits of the Righteous Made Perfect

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Introduction

01 Introduction of Treasures for the Soul

Series 1: Being Heart to Heart with the Lord

1.1 The Most Blessed Generation
1.2 Message from John the Baptist
1.3 Abide in the Lord Always
1.4 Abide in the Lord’s Love at All Times
1.5 The Lord Speaks to Us and Helps Us in Our Hearts

Series 2: Being Heart to Heart with the Lord Throughout this Year

2.1 God’s Greatest Work Starts in Our Hearts
2.2 To Be Heart to Heart with the Lord Throughout the Year
2.3 Our Spirits can Feel God and Have Fellowship with Him
2.4 The Importance of Peace
2.5 Our Spirits Need the Words of God
2.6 Give the Lord Time and Space to Speak in Our Hearts

Series 3: Let Our Hearts be Influenced

3.1 The World Needs People Who Deeply Experience God
3.2 Just as His Anointing 
Has Taught You, 
Abide in the Lord
3.3 Be Influenced 
by the Lord Throughout 
this Year

Series 4: The Importance of Peace

4.1 Enjoying God’s Peace in Your heart
4.2 Let Not Your Hearts be Troubled, Neither Let Them be Afraid.
4.3 How Should Our Spirit Respond to the Lord?

Series 5: Our Spirit Being Able to Enjoy the Lord

5.1 Our Spirit is Satisfied Only When We Worship God and Deeply Experience Him
5.2 How to Worship God with Our Spirit
5.3 Looking at the Lord with our Inner Eyes
5.4 Our Spirit Needs to Enjoy the Lord Himself
5.5 The Song of Solomon Often Mentions About “Eyes”
5.6 Realize Being Heart to Heart with the Lord in Singing and Worship

Series 6: Live out the Life of being Heart to Heart with the Lord

6.1 Living a life of union with the Lord in a stable pattern every day
6.2 Enjoying the Lord and not being disturbed
6.3 The Importance of Seeing Him with Our Spiritual Eyes

Series 7

7.1 Learn to Protect Our Spirits From Virus Prevention
7.2 Our Spirit Can Hear, Think, and See
7.3 How to Live a Life of Faith
7.4 The Importance of the Mind
7.5 David’s Eyes Beheld the Lord Always

Series 8: During the last supper, the Lord spoke about the essence of the blessings of the new covenant.

8.1 The Lord established with us the eternal love covenant by His blood
8.2 The Lord Treasures the New Covenant and Break-Bread Meeting the Most
8.3 Love Encounters
8.4 Before His Crucifixion, the Lord clearly explained the essence of the blessings of the new covenant: the fourth blessing
8.5 Before His Crucifixion, the Lord clearly explained the essence of the blessings of the new covenant: the first blessing (1)
8.6 Before His Crucifixion, the Lord clearly explained the essence of the blessings of the new covenant: the first blessing (2)

Series 16: We Have Come to Mount Zion and the Heavenly Jerusalem

16.1 See that the Lord is at the right hand of the Father
16.2 Coming to Mount Zion (1): the meaning of Mount Sinai
16.3 Coming to Mount Zion (2): the difficulty in forgiveness of sins
16.4 Coming to Mount Zion (3): to Live in Grace
16.5 Having Come to the Heavenly Jerusalem
16.6 What is in the heavenly Jerusalem (1)?

Series 9: Being Heart to Heart with the Father

9.1 Being Heart to Heart with Abba (Part 1)
9.2 Being Heart to Heart with Abba (Part 2)

Series 10

10.1 The Love Desire in the Depths of Abba and the Lord’s hearts
10.2 Fruit of the Lord’s Crucifixion: Eternal Life
10.3 The Lord Came to Manifest the Father’s Name
10.4 The Father Sent His Only Begotten Son
10.5 Reminders on enjoying heart to heart with the Father
10.6 The Father’s Desire for Me is Forever Steadfast

Series 11

11.1 The preciousness of the Letter to Philemon
11.2 The most profitable; the most accepted.
11.3 Charge That to My Account
11.4 The Father made the Lord our eternal High Priest by an oath (1)
11.5 The Father made the Lord our eternal High Priest by an oath (2)
11.6 We are the Lord’s darling love

Series 12

12.1 The Lord’s Words at the Last Supper
12.2 Apart from the Lord, we can do nothing.
12.3 What is true faith?
12.4 Look upon the Lord in glory
11.5 Trust and Peace (1)
12.6 Trust and Peace (2)

Series 13: The Lord’s Gentleness and Humility

13.3 The Lord’s Gentleness and Humility (Part 2)

Series 14: Manifold evidence

14.1 How does the infinite Lord see us?
14.2 We are the ultimate and final love of the Lord
14.3 The Lord is forever a Man; He once died for us
14.4 The Lord’s manifold love evidence (Part 1)
14.5 The Lord’s manifold love evidence Part 2

Series 15: Understand How Our Spirit Works And Be Heart To Heart With The Lord Continuously

15.1 We Can Only Enjoy God By Faith
15.2 His Words Abide In Us
15.3 Live With The Lord
15.4 Seek The Things That Are Above
15.5 Understand How Our Spirit Works: Will, Mind And Feelings
15.6 Guard And Uplift Our Mind

Series 17: Know that the Church is the Firstborn

17.1 Know that the church is the firstborn
17.2 The Blessing of the Firstborn (Part 1)
17.3 The Blessing of the Firstborn (Part 2)
17.4 The Lord redeemed us to be the firstborn (Part 1)
17.5 The Lord redeemed us to be the firstborn (Part 2)

Series 18: The Blessings to be the First Born

18.1 Israel is God’s Firstborn Son (Part 1)
18.2 Israel is God’s Firstborn Son (Part 2)
18.3 To be united with the Lord and become the Firstborn
18.4 The Lord is the Firstborn
18.5 The Blessing of the Firstborn: Kingship
18.6 The Blessing of the Firstborn: a Double Portion of the Blessings

Series 19: Coming to Mount Zion to Appear Before God

19.1 The Lord is the way, and the truth, and the life
19.2 Live in Grace. Enjoy the Father and the Lord
19.3 Mind the things that are above (1)
19.4 Mind the things that are above (2)
19.5 Appear before God in Mount Zion

Series 20: The final destination of our spirit and eternity is the heavenly Jerusalem

20.1 The Lord Desires Most for Us to Draw Near to Him (1)
20.2 The Lord Desires Most for Us to Draw Near to Him (2)
20.3 The Lord Becomes the Way so that We can Come Before God with Confidence
20.4 The Heavenly Jerusalem, Destination of Our Spirits and Eternity (1)
20.5 The Heavenly Jerusalem, Destination of Our Spirits and Eternity (2)

Series 21: Live Out the Life of the Firstborn: Be A Priest

21.1 The Father made the Lord the High Priest
21.2 Priesthood: One of the Blessings of the Firstborn
21.4 The Precedents of Priests in the Bible (2)

Series 22: When Believers Die, They Will Go to the Heavenly Jerusalem

22.1 The Heavenly Jerusalem is paradise (1)
The Heavenly Jerusalem is paradise (2)
The Spirits of the Righteous Made Perfect

Series 23: New Jerusalem is a real city

God has prepared a heavenly home for us
Is the heavenly new Jerusalem a real city?