No More Darkness, Death, Doubt or Delay

NO MORE DARKNESSThere will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. (Revelation 22:5a)

This image that the Glory of God is the source of the city’s light, rather than the sun or moon, is taken directly from Isaiah 60:19–20 (see also Isaiah 24:23 and 30:26). Many Jewish teachers stressed that Continue reading “No More Darkness, Death, Doubt or Delay”

He Is Coming Soon!

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Revelation 22:12-13  –  “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (NIV 1984)

My Musings – I’ve worked for four different companies in my nearly 42 year post-college career.  All of them required a certain degree of travel. Fortunately, it was not too frequent and the time away was rarely for extended stays. Like the dad pictured in the cartoon above, my son Joel came to expect some kind of gift when I returned.  Nothing elaborate or expensive, but no matter how small or trivial, he was always excited.  Of course, I know he was also glad to see me.

One particular return is vividly etched in my memory.  Joel was barely walking and still sleeping in a crib.  I believe the trip in question was probably my longest in terms of distance and time away (Buenos Aires for a little over a week).  I got home late at night, and Joel was down for the night (I thought).  The driver dropped me off and I set down my bags in the front entryway to our home.  My wife welcomed me and we were chatting away, trying to be quiet, when I heard the patter of little feet coming from down the hallway and the bedrooms.  It was Joel.  He had heard my voice and could not wait his turn.  He figured out how to climb out of his crib and made a beeline for his dad.  Incidentally, Joel got a new bed that weekend.

Another return from a long absence is getting nearer every day.  Our Lord’s return!  His reward will be with Him.  Will we be eager to see Him?  Or ashamed at HIs coming, for the things that we did or did not do?  For some He will not be coming as Father, but as Judge.

My Advice – Make sure you He is coming to you as a loving Father.  Don’t know if or how?  See my series on “The Born Again Experience.”

If you already know Him as Savior, just seeing Him will be reward enough.  But there will be rewards too, based upon how faithfully we have served Him.  See my series “Got Spiritual Milk?” on becoming a faithful disciple.  You can also purchase this book in my “store.”

Finally, are you looking for His return?  Joel was listening and ready for me.  Do you know the signs of His return?  As many of you know, who follow my blog, I’ve been sharing on the last days in my series “Studies in Revelation.”  We’re almost done with that series, but it is archived and you can also purchase it in my “store.”

No More Separation

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NO MORE SEPARATIONThe throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. (Revelation 23:3b-5)

The Throne – The New Jerusalem will not have a temple in it. The New Jerusalem will be Continue reading “No More Separation”

No Longer Any Curse

THE CURSE IS REMOVEDNo longer will there be any curse. (Revelation 22:3a)

As if to remind the reader that healing will no longer be necessary, John adds, “no longer will there be any curse.(1) When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they lost the peace and happiness of the Garden of Eden. God drove them out of the garden and into the world, where they became subject to sickness, pain, and eventual death.

Paradise Lost – From obedience, they fell to disobedience. From innocence, they fell to the knowledge of good and evil. From happiness and peace, they fell to sorrow and pain. From effortless enjoyment of the fruits of the Garden, they fell to eating what they could produce from the ground by their own work and sweat. From life, they fell to death.(2) From enjoying perfect fellowship with God, they fell into separation from and enmity with God.(3) All of these were the consequences of falling from God’s grace (Genesis 3:16–19).(4) All these were the result of one act of disobedience.

Paradise Restored –The future removal or reversal of the curse that originated in Eden was previously revealed to Zechariah (Zechariah14:11) and is repeated here in Revelation 22.(5) If God is to dwell with men, the curse must be reversed. For God can only dwell where the curse and its cause (sin – Joshua 7:12) are removed.(6) The Old Testament closes with the statement, “lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:6). In contrast the New Testament’s concluding thoughts announce that there shall be no more curse! Satan has been consigned to Hell forever, all of creation has been made new forever, and the curse of sin will be gone forever.(7)

Up Next – Benefits of the removal of the curse.

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References

  1. Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 987–988). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible (p. 4). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers.
  3. Ross, A. P. (1985). Genesis. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 32). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  4. Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible (p. 4). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers.
  5. Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Re 22:3). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  6. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 603). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  7. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 624). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

The Tree of Life

TREE OF LIFEOn each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2b)

History of the Tree – The Tree of Life, with all its healing properties, is there. It is no longer guarded by an angel with a flaming sword, but is open to all who have overcome (Revelation 2:7).(1) Genesis 3:22 said that “man had not yet taken of the tree.” If he had done so he would have Continue reading “The Tree of Life”

River of the Water of Life

Screenshot (358)RIVER OF THE WATER OF LIFE… the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. (Revelation 22:1b-2a)

The river that watered the Garden of Eden separated into four as it flowed out of the garden. “The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah. The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates” (Genesis 2:10–14).(1) Josephus claimed (Antiquities 1.1.3, 38) that the garden in Eden was watered by one earth-encircling river that divided into four parts: Ganges, Euphrates, Tigris and Nile.(2)

There is only one river in the New Jerusalem. Ezekiel was also shown a purifying river flowing from the temple (Ezekiel 47). But that was most likely a Millennial scene since there will be no temple in the New Jerusalem, “because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.(3) The river in the New Jerusalem is described by:

Its Source (“from the throne of God and the Lamb”) – All the grace, comfort, and glory that we experience are in God, streaming from Him through the mediation of the Lamb.

Its Quality (“as clear as crystal”) – Even the purest streams on earth today have some degree of contamination. In contrast, this stream is clear, refreshing, life-giving, and life-preserving.(4)

While this may be a literal river, its it full of symbolism as well. Out of the throne of God will flow pure water (“living water”), symbolic of the holiness and purity of God and the city. The water flows down the middle of the great street (the Greek word refers to a major broad street)(5) of the city. Thus, it apparently refers to a main thoroughfare in the New Jerusalem coming from the throne of God.(6)

The waters of New Jerusalem can also represent the glory of the Gospel. Its continuous flow from God symbolizes the uninterrupted continuance of living water derived that is forever fresh and satisfying (we shall never thirst). It is symbolic of life that is full of joy and that is perpetually vital. Like pure crystal, it is free from any kind of taint.(7)

Up Next – The Tree of Life.

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References

  1. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 624). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Re 22:1). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  3. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 624). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  4. Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2485). Peabody: Hendrickson.
  5. Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Re 22:2). Biblical Studies Press.
  6. Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 987). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  7. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 603). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

The Last Vision

THE LAST VISIONThen the angel showed me… (Revelation 22:1a)

As we saw in Revelation 21, the heaven(s) that will be renewed is likely not the Heaven of God’s presence, but the heaven of human experience (the first and perhaps the second heavens). We also learned that the New Jerusalem will Continue reading “The Last Vision”