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 Wonderful Jesus Christ in Revelation 20 Brings Us to New Jerusalem

Revelation 20 begins with the devil cast into the abyss (v. 1-3). Then there is the blessing of being priests and kings in resurrection with God and Christ for a thousand years (v. 4-6). This is a foretaste of New Jerusalem.

In verse 7 the devil is temporarily released but by verse 10 he is cast into the lake of fire for his eternal punishment.

New JerusalemVerse 11: “I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it.” The Lord Jesus Christ is Him who sits on the throne, because He is “the One who was designated by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42).

The Lord Himself spoke of this designation in John 5:26-27, “For just as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave to the Son to also have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man.” As the Son of Man, the God-Man, Jesus both gives us eternal life and judges the dead.

“In righteousness He judges” (Rev. 19:11). Although today’s courts have flaws, our Lord is perfectly righteous.

In verses 12 and 13 the dead are judged. In verses 14 and 15 death and Hades, and anyone whose name is not written in the book of life, are cast into the lake of fire. This judgement is the last cleaning of the earth. After this, there is nothing old, nothing dead, nothing sinful. This judgement opens the door for New Jerusalem with the new heaven and new earth.

The old “earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them” (v. 11) and “the first heaven and the first earth passed away” (21:1). There is “a new heaven and a new earth” and “New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven” (21:1-2).

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

The Wonderful Jesus Christ in Revelation 19 Brings Us to New Jerusalem (2)

Revelation 19 has an extensive presentation and much praise of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who carries out God’s move on earth from His time on earth unto New Jerusalem in eternity. (posts on verses 1-6 and 7-9)

New JerusalemVerse 11: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sits on it called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” Jesus Christ is faithful and true in accomplishing God’s economy. If we think that He is unfaithful in our lives, it is because we are looking at our interests and goals rather than God’s.

“In righteousness He judges and makes war”—this removes all the negative forces on earth so that God’s kingdom can fill the earth in the coming age and in New Jerusalem.

Verses 12-13 and 15-16: “And His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written which no one knows but Himself. And He is clothed with a garment dipped in blood; and His name is called the Word of God. And out of His mouth proceeds a sharp sword, that with it He might smite the nations; and He will shepherd them with an iron rod; and He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. And He has on His garment and on His thigh a name written,
King Of Kings And Lord Of Lords.”

Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, the Word of God, the King, and much more. His person has many marvelous aspects. His characteristics in these verses are described in notes here. In Revelation 19 He clears the way for New Jerusalem to come down out of heaven.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

No Devil In or Near New Jerusalem

The devil is not in New Jerusalem and has no way to bother us in New Jerusalem nor to bother the nations around New Jerusalem.

First John 3:8 tells us “the devil has sinned from the beginning.” The devil is the source of sin which brought in death. John 8:44 tells us that the devil is a murderer from the beginning and that he is the father, the source, of lies.  The nature of the devil is a lie because truth is not in him. This is the exact opposite of New Jerusalem in which Christ is the life and reality and where there is no lie.

New JerusalemJesus has overcome the devil. In John 14:30 He told us that the ruler of this world (the devil) “has nothing in Me.” Hebrews 2:14 says, “Since therefore the children have shared in blood and flesh, He also Himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death He might destroy him who has the might of death, that is, the devil.”

It seems to us today that the devil is still active. The reason is that the judgment accomplished on the cross has not fully been carried out. Therefore, Ephesians 4:25-27 warns us to put away lies and anger so that we give no place to the devil. We wage this battle continually by applying the law of the Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2) to overcome the law of sin in our flesh (Rom. 7:20).

In Revelation 12:9 the devil is cast down and in 20:2 he is bound for a thousand years, and in 20:10 he is cast into the lake of fire. This is the final step of the judgment accomplished on the cross. As a result, the devil will never bother New Jerusalem nor the entire new creation.

And, since the devil is Satan, New Jerusalem has Neither Sin nor Satan.
Here is a summary of all posts about what is NOT in New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of NASA and JPL.

The Wonderful Jesus Christ in Revelation   2-3 Brings Us to New Jerusalem

In Revelation 2–3 we see the Lord Jesus Christ walking in the midst of seven lampstands, caring for their development today unto the eternal lampstand, New Jerusalem.

New JErusalemIn Revelation 2:18 is the One “who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like shining bronze.” He passed through all kinds of testing during His earthly life and has come out approved, like shining bronze. Thus, He is qualified to judge anything negative in us, burning it with the fire of His eyes.

We should not be afraid nor shrink back. Instead, we should invite Him to burn whatever in us does not correspond to New Jerusalem.

In 2:28 He speaks of Himself as the morning star, as a prize to watchful overcomers. Lord, train us to be watchful for Your second coming. His warning in 3:3 should remind us to watch— “If therefore you will not watch, I will come as a thief, and you shall by no means know at what hour I will come upon you.”

In 3:7 He is “the Holy One” preparing us for the holy city, New Jerusalem.

In 3:14 He is “the faithful and true Witness.” We are neither faithful nor true in ourselves. Lord, work your attributes into us.

In 3:18 He is ready to sell us “gold refined by fire that you may be rich, and white garments that you may be clothed and that the shame of your nakedness may not be manifested, and eyesalve to anoint your eyes that you may see.” The Lord’s salvation is free but gaining these qualities requires a price. The price is to be zealous rather than lukewarm (3:15, 19) and to repent of our puffed up attitude and lack of love and zeal for Him (3:19).

The Lord’s gold, white garments, and eyesalve all prepare us for New Jerusalem.

Bible verses quoted in these posts are from The Holy Bible, Recovery Versionpublished and © by Living Stream MinistryAnaheim CA, 2003. The New Testament of this Bible, with its outlines, footnotes, and cross-references, is at online.recoveryversion.orgthis too is © by Living Stream Ministry. Besides this New Testament, many books published by Living Stream may be read online.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

We Desire and Pursue New Jerusalem

New JerusalemWe are seeking the Jerusalem above, longing after the heavenly country with the God-prepared city (Hebrews 11:16), and coming forward to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22). We are not passively waiting for a future New Jerusalem; the living God in us is our present connection to the city.

Our seeking, longing, and coming matches Colossians 3:1-3: “Seek the things which are above….Set your mind on the things which are above….” Because we died with Christ and we now have a heavenly life with Christ in God, Colossians 3 also exhorts us not to set our mind on things which are on the earth.

Believers can take care of their life on earth while having their heart in heaven. But what about the many social needs around us? Whether to get involved or not is between you and the Lord. If He is leading you, your social actions will correspond to Him, including keeping your treasure and heart in heaven (Matthew 6:20-21) and having your mind not on the things which are on the earth (Colossians 3:2).

The real solution to every social problem around us is our Lord’s visible return with “the restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21). Some aspects of this restoration are in Isaiah 11:1-10. The Lord’s restoration will be much better than any social action we can accomplish.

The “restoration of all things” will be wonderful, but that is not God’s goal. After the restoration there will still be some judgements to be accomplished in Revelation 20, then there will be new heaven and new earth with New Jerusalem as the center in Revelation 21. May we desire and pursue the new creation and New Jerusalem to the extent that this governs our living every day.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.

Repent and Give Glory to God

Repentance for New JerusalemRevelation speaks about many judgements and disasters. After these, our God will fulfill His promises for “the restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21) and “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:13). Why have these promises not yet come to pass? It seems that the answer is in 2 Peter 3:7-9

The heavens and the earth now, by the same word [of God], have been stored up for fire, being kept unto the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men….The Lord does not delay regarding the promise, as some count delay, but is long-suffering toward you, not intending that any perish but that all advance to repentance.

There will come a day for “destruction of ungodly men” but God’s desire is for repentance rather than destruction. Although He does not “delay,” He is “long-suffering” so that everyone may have an opportunity to “advance to repentance.”

A loud voice in Revelation 14:7 declares, “fear God and give Him glory because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who has made heaven and earth and the sea and the springs of waters.” Those not killed by the earthquake in 11:13 are like this; they “became terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.” Thank Him for this result.

Unfortunately, many will not repent. Refusals to repent are recorded in 9:20-21 and 16:9-11. This sad response should move us to beseech the Lord to cause many to advance to repentance now. When we see news about a disaster or an accident or a shooting, it should remind us to “look away to Jesus” and to ask the Lord to use the trouble to bring more people to repentance.
Repentance Puts Us on the Path to New Jerusalem
Repentance Is Needed to Keep Us on the Path to New Jerusalem

Photo of crops in Kansas, courtesy of NASA.

Look Away unto Jesus

New JerusalemHebrews 12:1-2 says, “let us also, having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, put away every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and run with endurance the race which is set before us, looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.” Our Christian life is a race for us to run. The way to run effectively is to “look away unto Jesus.”

The prior post mentioned God’s many judgements recorded in Revelation. It is tempting to read about these and then to compare them to current disasters—earthquakes, storms, or the recent meteor in Russia.

Despite our curiosity about natural events, they are not the course of our Christian race. The supply for our daily living comes not from natural events; our reality and our supply are Jesus Himself. Excerpts from notes* on “looking away” and “Jesus” in Hebrews 12 say,

The Greek word translated looking away unto denotes looking with undivided attention by turning away from every other object.

The wonderful Jesus, who is enthroned in heaven and crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9), is the greatest attraction in the universe. He is like an immense magnet, drawing all His seekers to Him. It is by being attracted by His charming beauty that we look away from all things other than Him. Without such a charming object, how could we look away from so many distracting things on this earth?

We can pray, Lord, attract me to Yourself. Draw me to look away from everything else to You. To me, “looking away unto Jesus” is “looking away toward New Jerusalem.”

* in The NT Recovery Version Online, © 1997-2012 by LSM

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

The Goal of God’s Judgements in Revelation

New JerusalemRevelation records many judgements on the earth and its inhabitants. These judgements include natural calamities and others which will be worse than any in past human history.

There are judgements in Revelation 6 resulting from the opening of the seven seals. More judgements are announced by the seven trumpets in chapters 8, 9 and 11. Still more in chapters 15–16 are due to the pouring out of God’s wrath with the seven bowls. Babylon is judged in Revelation 17–18 and the armies of antichrist are judged at Armageddon in the second half of chapter 19.

Among these judgements is the pleasant scene in Revelation 7. Here the Israelites are sealed for their preservation. In addition a great multitude (7:9-17) is standing before the throne and before the Lamb. This multitude is under the loving care of God and the Lamb.

Several aspects of this scene match New Jerusalem: the throne of God and the Lamb, God’s temple and tabernacle, the multitude serving God, the waters of life, and no more tears (because death and the related sicknesses and pains are no more).

These characteristics of the scene in Revelation 7 point toward New Jerusalem. This holy city, the focal point of new heaven and new earth, is the goal of everything in the Bible. The city is the goal of all God’s judgements. The judgements clean up the universe so that no Satan, no death, no rebellion, no unrighteousness, and no unholiness remain.

Yet, God’s goal is not to remove all the negative things. The goal of the Triune God is to be fully one with His chosen, redeemed, and glorified people. This oneness reaches its peak in Revelation 21, “the bride, the wife of the Lamb….the holy city, Jerusalem…having the glory of God.”

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