Praises in the Book of Revelation

New JerusalemThere are many praises in Revelation. Some are for what God and the Lamb are and some for what God and the Lamb do. All the praises relate either to judgements on the old creation or bringing forth the new creation with New Jerusalem as its center.

Revelation 4:11: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, for You have created all things, and because of Your will they were, and were created.” God created everything according to His will and for His purpose. There is glory and honor to God now and these will be amplified in New Jerusalem.

Revelation 5:12: “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb who has been slain to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” The death of Jesus Christ on the cross is a great turn in the universe. Everything of the old creation was put to death and the new creation came forth in resurrection. We do not yet see the out-working of this turn, we should declare Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.

Revelation 7:10: “And they cry with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb.” If we have a heavenly vision, we see God and the Lamb on the throne now, and praise now. In the new creation everyone will see God and the Lamb on the throne in New Jerusalem and everyone will praise.

Revelation 7:12: “Saying, Amen. The blessing and the glory and the wisdom and the thanks and the honor and the power and the strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” We can echo this praise now and certainly will echo it in New Jerusalem forever.

The Bible: a Journey from Garden of Eden to New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem

The whole Bible is a journey from God’s creation and the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1–2) to God’s consumma-tion centered on New Jerusalem (Revelation 21–22).

The Garden of Eden and New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem in a Divine Metaphor (2)

The divine metaphor in Galatians 4:21-31 presents characteristics of the heavenly New Jerusalem. Galatians 5 continues, as shown by its further speaking concerning freedom and slavery. Here are two characteristics of New Jerusalem presented in Galatians 5:1-6, a few more will be in the next post.

New Jerusalem

Christ: Jesus Christ is the center and reality of our present Christian life and of New Jerusalem. His is the first name and the last name in the New Testament (Matthew 1:1, Revelation 22:21). He is in us and we are in Him (John 14:20). He is our Lord, our life, and much more. He is our unique center. He is the focus of every part of the New Testament. Creation is in Him, through Him, and unto Him; He is the Firstborn from the dead; He has first place in all things (Colossians 1:15-18). He is “all and in all” (Colossians 3:11).

Grace: When we experience Jesus Christ, He is grace to us. In His incarnation He was “full of grace” (John 1:14). In His incarnation grace came (v. 17) to man; came can literally be translated became or came into being. God coming in the man Jesus to all men is grace. Therefore John says, “Of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace” (v. 16). Grace for our Christian life today is expressed at the beginning and end of many epistles, such as Romans 1:7, 16:20 and 2 Peter 1:2, 3:18. The entire Bible concludes with grace to us (Revelation 22:21). Grace upon grace today is wonderful; surely there will be even more in New Jerusalem.

In our Christian walk today, may we never be separated from Christ nor fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4). May we be those who “receive the abundance of grace” (Romans 5:17) that we may “be empowered in the grace which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). This grace will carry us forward to New Jerusalem. As declared in 1 Thessalonians 5:28:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

Creation Awaits the Freedom of the Glory

New JerusalemColossians 3:1-2 says we were raised together with Christ and exhorts us to “Seek the things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things which are above, not on the things which are on the earth.”

Responding to this,
We seek the things above including the Jerusalem above, New Jerusalem (Galatians 4:26).
We live a heavenly life on earth, taking care of earthly needs while minding the things above and having our treasure & our heart in heaven (Matthew 6:20-21).
We realize the answer to the needs of our society is our Lord’s visible return with “the restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21).

The needs of our society cannot be met by human effort because of the spiritual warfare seen in Ephesians 2:1-3 and 6:10-12. Furthermore, because of sin and death, “creation was made subject to vanity” (Romans 8:20).

However, “the creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God” and “the creation itself will also be freed from the slavery of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:19, 21). This is the glory in Colossians 3:4, “When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.”

Christ our life is our energy to mind the things above and not mind the things on earth. He is also the glory developing in us. When He is manifested visibly and gloriously (e.g. Matthew 24:30), then He will also be manifested in glory through us. Ultimately the entire New Jerusalem will display this glory (Revelation 21:10-11).

Let us seek Christ as our daily life for the revelation of His glory, for the restoration of all things, and for the advance to the new creation and New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Applying the Lord’s Rich Supply for the Preparation of the Bride (4)

New JerusalemThe Lord begins each letter in Revelation 2–3 by describing Himself. He presents Himself as the solution to all the problems in the churches. The Lord ends each letter by telling us to hear what the Spirit says to all the churches, both then and now. We open to Him to cooperate with Him for the preparation of His bride. This post concludes this review of Revelation 2-3.

• The One who has the key of David (3:7):  Our Lord is the real David, the greater David. As man He is the Son of David and as God He is the Lord of David (Matt 22:41-46). The keys are in His hands, not ours.

• The One who opens and no one will shut, and shuts and no one opens (3:7):  We should not try in ourselves to open or shut a door for the gospel, for our human future, or for anything else. We open to our Lord Jesus, submit to Him, and give Him thanks for His opening and shutting.

• The Amen, the faithful and true Witness (3:14):  “Amen” means faithful and true. Our Lord Jesus is the only person who is always faithful and always true. We desire to be but we often fail. He is the Witness, the Testimony, of God perfectly lived through a human being. Now He is our life to be faithful and true in us. The first two lines of a hymn* can be our prayer, Live Thyself, Lord Jesus, through me, For my very life art Thou.

• The beginning of the creation of God (3:14):  In Christ “all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or lordships or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and unto Him” (Colossians 1:16). He is the beginning of creation and the whole creation is “unto Him.” We need not worry about what is happening to creation but rather “set our mind on the things which are above” while awaiting the time “Christ our life is manifested” when we also “will be manifested with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:2-4).

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

* Hymn written by Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879). Complete words plus music here.

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