2001-12-15 - The Creation Of the Eternal Order
The passing away of the present material universe is not a happen-so--an unforeseen catastrophe--but is one of the steps of an orderly development designed by the God of the universe for the blessing of His creatures and for the manifestation of His glory.
The Apostle John saw in a vision the eternal order, which consists of the eternal Heaven and the eternal Earth. Out of the eternal Heaven descends the eternal Jerusalem--the city foursquare--and rests upon the eternal Earth. According to John the Apostle, this city will be fifteen- hundred miles in each direction--length, breadth, and height. The description is far beyond our comprehension. New rays of eternal glory are constantly flashing from this description of the eternal order as the earnest truth-seeker meditates upon it.
(Rev. 21:1-22:5) And I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth: for the first Heaven and the first Earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And he said unto me, "Write: for these words are true and faithful." And he said unto me, "It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, "Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife." And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel -- on the East three gates, on the North three gates, on the South three gates, and on the West three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper, the second, sapphire, the third, a chalcedony, the fourth, an emerald, the fifth, sardonyx, the sixth, sardius, the seventh, chrysolite, the eighth, beryl, the ninth, a topaz, the tenth, a chrysoprasus, the eleventh, a jacinth, the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the Earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. Chapter 22 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.And they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
The glowing description of the eternal Jerusalem is found in Revelation 21:9-27. When one reads it, he sees that it begs description by mortal man. The city is surrounded by a wall "great and high." There are twelve gates, at which are twelve angels. On each one of these gates is the name of a Jew, the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. This wall is erected upon twelve foundations, on each of which is the name of a Jew, the name of one of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why is such prominence given to the Jews in connection with the eternal Jerusalem, the home of the redeemed? A hint that may lead to the answer is possibly found in the relation that Israel through history has sustained to all nations:
(Deut. 32:8,9). When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
The thought contained in this quotation has led someone to speak of Israel as the hub of the nations. This statement being true, we can see how the events of history have always eddied around the people of Israel. It is reasonable to suppose that the same principle will obtain in the eternal world.
There proceeded out from the throne of God and of the Lamb a river of water of life, flowing in the midst of the street. There doubtless will be myriads of streets, but the one of which mention is made is the principal one.
On both sides of this river is seen the Tree of Life, the leaves of which are for the health of the nations. Since there will be no disease or sickness in the eternal order, it would be better to translate the word in the original as health of the nations--that which keeps the people in perfect physical condition.
In this eternal city, there will be no night. Those who will live in the eternal Jerusalem "shall reign forever and ever."
Having presented the picture of the Eternal Order (Rev. 21:1-22:5), the inspired Apostle John concludes his message to the churches with some solemn warnings and earnest exhortations.
Rev. 22:6-21 And he said unto me, "these sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, "see thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book. Worship God. " And he saith unto me, "seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still. and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still. And he that is righteous, let him be righteous still. and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, "come." And let him that heareth say, "come". And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will. let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, "if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. "
He which testifieth these things saith, "surely I come quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
In view of the Lord's return (Rev. 22:7): One must study the Book of Revelation in order to know the message written therein.
According to verses 8 and 9, John asserts that he both heard and saw the things that are written in the Book of Revelation. John attempted to worship the angel who showed and gave him the message. The angel stopped him, however, and said, "Worship God." Man may respect others, but never to the point of worshipping them; neither is he to worship a celestial creature.
The angel told John not to seal up the words of the prophecy, "for the time is at hand (v. 10)." When nineteen-hundred years are added to the date of the writing of the Book of Revelation, it becomes evident that we are in the very last days. Let us be loyal to our absent Lord, being always busy about our Father's business.
When one reads verse 11, he is impressed with the thought that man, from one standpoint, is "master of his fate." God never forces or coerces anyone. Man is free to make his own choices. In this sense, he is master of his own fate. God wants all men to be saved, but it is left to the individual to determine whether or not he will accept God's free sovereign grace.
Jesus reminds the churches that He is coming quickly and that he will reward each one to his work (v. 12).
The Lord Jesus Christ is the "first and the last." He is the one through whom all things were created and for whom they exist (v.13).
According to verse 14, those are blessed who wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb. They will have a right to the Tree of Life and will enter through the gates of the city.
Everything will be holy within the city, but all moral perverts will be without the city (v. 15).
According to verse 16, Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, is the offspring of David. Moreover, He is the Bright and Morning Star. The Morning Star appears just before dawn. Christ will appear before the dawn of the Millennial Age as the Bright and Morning Star for those who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb. According to verse 17, the Holy Spirit sends out a worldwide invitation to all who are athirst for the water of life. It is the will of God that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Anyone who has partaken of the water of the water of life may invite others to come.
In verse 18 and 19, God sounds a solemn warning against adding to, taking from, or in any wise changing the contents of the message of the Book of Revelation. God gave a similar warning to Israel regarding the revelation that was made through Moses.
Deuteronomy 4:1,2 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
In His Service,