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Rev. 21:15-21

5/24/10 The angel measures the city. The measuring of the temple in other instances is an evaluation of the spiritual integrity of the people. Measuring appears to suggest not so much the idea of dimensions for the sake of actual measurement but for the purpose of illustration. The holy city is massive. Whether or not the dimensions are literal is debated, but it’s clear that the measurements illustrate both perfection and adequacy to contain all of God’s people.

The city is a square about 1,300 plus miles either on a side or in circumference. It’s also as tall as wide, though the text is unclear whether the entire city appears as a cube or the highest pinnacle reaches to that height.

John sees the city with a high wall, which is what he would have understood. However, it’s interesting to note that when Gog attacks in Ezekiel he attacks a people without walls for security. The holy city doesn’t need a security barrier, so if the wall is literal it is decorative. The gates are always open, after all.

The wall appeared to be like jasper and the city of pure, clear gold. The twelve foundations of the wall were made of different precious stones, which can’t really be identified with certainty. The possible parallel with the stones in the high priest’s breastplate seems to lead nowhere, but it’s still worth noting. In the end the description of the city may not need to be analyzed to death but considered mostly for its wow factor.

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Posted by on August 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 21:9-14

5/23/10 V. 9, One of the plague angels, possibly the same one who showed John the counterfeit woman in Rev 17, now shows him the bride of Christ. The angel carries him away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain and shows him the Holy City.

I don’t know if there’s any connection but I’m reminded of the last temptation of Jesus when Satan took him to a high mountain and showed him all the nations of the world in their glory. Jesus had resisted the temptation to accomplish something like what John was now seeing, but Satan was offering him an easier way, without the suffering of the cross.

But Jesus had resisted Satan’s temptation and now this was happening in the real way: the Holy City filled with the people of God, ready for sin to be eradicated, and life to be re-created anew.

John describes the city as best he can using the limited language of humanity. He saw the city in terms that he would recognize. To try to build a picture of what the city actually looks like would be impossible from this description.

The number 12 is mentioned again and again with significance. The 12 gates can be translated the “the 12 gates are 12 angels.” On the gates are written the names of the tribes of Israel. One only enters the Holy City by belonging to Israel in Jesus. The wall also has 12 foundations with the apostle’s names written on them.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 21:5-8

5/22/10 The curse is finished. Everything will be made new. John is told to write because the word of God is faithful and true, which is the description of Jesus among the church of Laodicea. Laodicea is the overcoming church. And the language here connects this passage with Laodicea in the chiastic structure.

Then he said to me, “It is done.” What God in his foreknowledge began is now finished. It was necessary, but now it’s done. The Alpha and the Omega, beginning and end, these were the claims of the the goddess Hekata in Greek mythology. So John would have been familiar with them. Now, anyone who is craving immortality and life with God, it’s completely available to them. It’s available freely to the overcomers.

Overcoming isn’t easy but it can be done in the grace and strength of God, and the reward that awaits is the worth it. Our reward will be God as our Father and we as his sons. We will not be just another created being, as incredible as that is, but we shall have a special status as sons of God.

However, there will be plenty of people who will not receive this reward.

• The cowardly: those who were ashamed to accept God’s grace for overcoming, too lacking in mortal fortitude.
• The faithless: those who didn’t believe in a way that was life transforming.
• The abominable: those who are vile, unclean, and overall picture of the opposite of beauty of character.
• Murders: those who do not care for life either physically or spiritually.
• The immoral fornicators: they are the prostitute-chasers. That was one definition of the Greek word. This is spiritual language, which ties in with the prostitute on the beast in Rev 17. These are the ones who deceived and believed lies about God and followed after Babylon.
• Sorcerers: Those dealing in the occult and supporting Satan’s side of the conflict.
• Idolaters: those whose most important priority in life is themselves.
• Liars: spiritually speaking those who deceived people and painted a wrong picture of God thereby causing God to lose some of his children. God will not let such activity go unpunished.

To see completed studies, podcasts, and sermon videos by Jeff Scoggins visit www.scoggins.biz

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 21:1-4

5/20/10 John saw bits and pieces of the life to follow the thousand years, but first he sees the New Jerusalem making its descent. The first heaven and the first earth are being re-created. And God’s heaven (the third heaven, 2 Cor 12:2) is being moved to earth and they are being combined. God’s capital will be on earth among his “rulers.”

No longer will there be any sea. Some say that this sea must be literal, citing that heaven and earth are literal so therefore the sea must be also. However, that doesn’t necessarily have to be. It would be a pretty obvious possibility for heaven and earth to be literal and the sea to be symbolic given the way that the sea has been used symbolically throughout the book of Revelation. Thus no longer being any sea would symbolize the absence of the negative aspects of nations, peoples, and languages (Rev 17:15). That said, however, there’s no reason that the sea couldn’t be literal as well. That would only mean that when God re-creates the earth it would be easy enough for him to change the earth’s geography to not include massive oceans. However, that detail probably isn’t the primary reason it is included.

So the city of God, the New Jerusalem, comes down as a bride “made ready.” The Greek form of the word there is the completion of a transformation begun in process before.

As the city descends a loud voice announces that God is moving in. He will be among us and live among us. We shall be his in an unfathomable way and he will be our God as he is to no one else.

All pain of the emotional sort anyway, will be over. Death is gone, finished. All that has been of evil are passed away. There is no corner of the universe where the former things still exist, even if they are screaming in pain. In other words, hell can’t be forever ongoing.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 20:11-15

5/19/10 After the thousand years and after the New Jerusalem has come down and after the wicked have surrounded the city but before they are destroyed, they are judged.

This scene of judgment might be exactly how this will take place. As the the wicked prepare to take the city they are stopped in their tracks by God upon his throne. They see their lives play out before them and they understand why they are not among the redeemed. It would be at this point that every knee shall bow and acknowledge that God is just. This does not mean that they repent, but they do admit that God is right.

Once this is over, the wicked advance against the city. It is their last stand in their rebellion. Everyone who has ever lived on earth is now alive. The redeemed in the city and the wicked in their fallen state outside of the city. Now that everyone in the universe has seen and acknowledged the justice of God, God finally puts an end to all sin and evil. He burns the wicked according to their agreed upon punishments and the fires of hell go on to burn the entire earth with a purifying fire in preparation for its re-creation.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 20:7-10

5/18/10 The background allusion here is Eze 38-39. The thousand years are done. Satan has been imprisoned on the decimated earth with no one to deceive because the wicked died at the glory of the Second Coming and the righteous went to heaven. The holy city coming down isn’t described until the next chapter, but this scene takes place after the holy city has descended from heaven.

Satan is released by a resurrection of all the wicked who have lived since the beginning. Fhe forces of Gog in Ezekiel are listed and they are all traceable back to Noah. So Satan deceives the nations (four corners of the earth) convincing them that they can take the city for themselves.

There is an innumerable host of them and they surround the city. It would have to be a great number in order to surround a city that is possibly 1,500 miles per side, or maybe 300 miles. Still, either way, it’s big.

When the New Jerusalem descends it creates a vast plain. This is where the wicked gather and God rains down fire upon them. This is hell. They are devoured, literally “ate down.” They will be like stubble, says Malachi. The devil himself will receive his punishment and the earth will be purified of all evil and made ready for re-creation.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 20:4-6

5/17/10 This is obviously a judgment scene with allusions to other judgment scenes in the Bible. In Dan 7:9 the Ancient of Days is seated and judgment was given to the saints. In Mt 19:28 Jesus talks about the same scene. In 1 Cor 6:2 Paul says the saints will judge the world.

The picture here is of the redeemed going to heaven during the thousand years and being given the work of judging and sentencing the wicked dead. Specifically mentioned here are those who went through the tribulation, but there is also an allusion to the souls under the alter of Rev 6:9, which seems to refer to all saints, at least those who have suffered. They have an incredible reward and task awaiting them. V. 6, they will be priest and kings with Christ!

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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