The Bible In Our World (Part 39)

 

Revelation (Part 3)

By Don Ruhl

The last two chapters of the Book of Revelation barely give a peek of something beyond time and earth, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev 21.1, 2).

In Genesis, God created the heavens and the earth. In Isaiah, He made them new (Isa 66.22, 23). In Revelation, He recreates them, “Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful’” (Rev 21.5).

Part of the new heaven and new earth is the New Jerusalem. John used bridal imagery initially to picture the beauty of the city, which is not new for picturing God’s relationship with His people. The Book of Hosea and Ephesians 5 used it. It was used again in Revelation, “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife’” (Rev 21.9).

In the New Jerusalem, God fulfills His Family Promise. God has wanted something special with mankind since the days of the Garden of Eden. This Family Promise of God is found throughout the Bible (Exo 6.7; 25.8; 29.45; Lev 26.11, 12; 1Ki 6.13; Psa 15.1, Isa 12.6; Jer 31.33; 32.38; Eze 37.27; 43.7; Zec 8.8; 13.9; John 14.23; 2Co 6.16–18; 2Ti 2.10; Heb 8.10, 11; 11.16; Rev 12.10; 21.3, 7). Ultimately and finally it is fulfilled in the New Jerusalem in heaven, “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God’” (Rev 21.3).

  1. God wants to tabernacle among us.
  2. He wants to dwell with us.
  3. He wants us to be His people.
  4. He wants to be our God.

Views of the New Jerusalem 

Its external beauty (21.10–14). Notice the inclusion of the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles of the Lamb. What does this mean? The New Jerusalem is for all God’s people, whether during the days of Israel or the church.

Its huge size (21.15–17). What are the dimensions of the city? It is 12,000 furlongs (1,500 miles), in length, breadth, and height!

Its materials (21.18–21). What picture do you with such materials? Is it possible to imagine such wealth?

Its status (21.22–27). How would you summarize what John saw and described in this passage? It is truly the city of God.

Its internal beauty (22.1–3). John saw the ultimate garden!

The First Three Chapters and the Last Three Chapters of the Bible 

What God intended for man in the beginning, but that was ruined or lost through man’s sin, God restores in heaven.

Natural Creation

  • In Genesis 1.1 the heavens and the earth are created.
  • In Revelation 20.11 the heavens and the earth pass away.

A Home For Man

  • In Genesis 2.8 there is a garden as the home of man.
  • In Revelation 21.10 there is a city as the home of man.

Satan

  • In Genesis 3.1 we are introduced to Satan.
  • In Revelation 20.10 we see his end.

Pain And Sorrow

  • In Genesis 3.8 we see the beginning of all the pain and sorrow.
  • In Revelation 21.4 we read that all pain and sorrow will pass away.

The Curse

  • In Genesis 3.16–19 a curse is given for man’s disobedience.
  • In Revelation 22.3 we read that there shall be no more curse.

The Tree Of Life

  • In Genesis 3.22–24 the right or free access to the tree of life is lost.
  • In Revelation 22.14 we discover that we can regain the right to the tree of life.
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4 thoughts on “The Bible In Our World (Part 39)

  1. I love how the Bible bookends time. Wonderful lists! 🙂

    There is a garden in the eternal city even though it has walls (BTW, the Garden of Eden had walls, too, or God would have needed a lot more angels to guard it).
    Reading about the Tree of Life is one of my favorite parts both for the “green and growing” theme but also because it forces there to be time in eternity.
    It’s fun to imagine making an appointment to meet with a good friend “next mango month.” 😀

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