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Tag Archives: heaven

Rev. 22:1-5

6/5/10 John’s angel guide now shows John inside the city of which the most prominent feature is the river of life and the tree of life. The river flows from the throne of God like the river that Ezekiel saw in chapter 47. There the river was a trickle at the gate of the temple then got progressively deeper.

On either side of the river in Ezekiel were lots of trees, whereas in Revelation one tree is growing on both sides of the river. The tree bears 12 kinds of fruit. This may simply represent the abundance and perfection of the tree and its life-giving qualities, or perhaps it also literally has a different fruit each month for 12 months.

The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. This may be symbolic for the overall situation of peace, comfort, and all necessities of life for God’s people. The Genesis curse on the land will no longer exist. God will dwell there and his people will willingly and joyfully serve and worship him.

His name on their foreheads represents their total consecration to God as well as their characters being like him.

Because God’s glory is there the sun and the moon will be background, fading into the light of God. God himself will illumine his people.

Also they shall reign forever. This no doubt means something about the work God has planned for us, but it may also be understood that we will live like kings. All needs will be cared for.

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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 21:22-27

6/4/10 In this city was no naos, the sanctuary portion of the temple. The sanctuary was the visible representation of God’s presence among his people. Now that God is there no representation is needed. The capital of the universe has been moved to earth.

As the city comes down Zech 14 describes how Jesus’ feet touch the Mount of Olives and spreads and flattens out a huge plain for the city.

The sun and moon do not necessarily disappear from the earth. If Isaiah 24 can be taken as a literal picture of the new earth then there will still be evening and morning and even seasons. But in the city things are constant. The light of the sun and the moon make no visible impact on the city because the light of the Lamb and God overpower all other light. Therefore it would be reasonable to expect that night still comes in the rest of the earth.

In v. 24 the nations and the kings of the earth are a description of the redeemed, not the wicked, as these terms refer to earlier in Revelation. Earth is restored and God’s people rule. We come to the holy city bringing with us the glory God has given to us.

The city is still the most holy place on the earth. Although the earth is recreated and perfect, the place God dwells is special. The nearer one comes to God the more holy everything is. Nothing unclean will ever enter the city.

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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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. 15:1-4

4/14/10 The reaping part of the vision ends and John sees another great sign in the heavens. These are not chronological pictures. John just got done seeing the Second Coming. Now the vision goes back to the events that will precede the Second Coming.

In vs. 1 he tells us what is coming: the seven last plagues. But before the horrific results of these plages John is shown the outcome. He gets to see the end of the story for the saints.

V. 2, He sees the throne room of heaven and an expanse of a glassy, crystalline floor of some sort that he can’t really describe. It looks like glass mixed with fire. On that floor stand the saints who have come through the terrors of the final crisis including the plages that John is about to see. Obviously they have come through it all just fine. They overcame the beast, his image, and his number of his name.

So now they hold harps and sing. Their song is the Song of Moses, which Israel sang after their deliverance through the Red Sea. Their situation was hopeless and God worked a miraculous deliverance for them. The saints praise him for his deliverance and they echo the first angel’s message in v. 4 of fear, glory, and worship.

“The nations will come and worship before you,” after the millennium this will happen. “For your righteous works have been brought into the open,” which was the whole point of the wrath of God and the way he worked. He is out to prove his character and clear his reputation of the charges of Satan.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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