Revelation - Lesson 14

New Jerusalem and Fallen Babylon

The description of the nature of Satan's war against God's children and in contrast to a description of God's redeemed.

Lesson 14
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New Jerusalem and Fallen Babylon

  • There is a wide range of interpretation of the book of Revelation because of the nature of visions. When John writes Revelation, he uses a pool of images that are familiar to him and his readers and we need to take into account what the images meant to people at the time.
  • Apocalyptic literature is based on the idea that the natural order is set within a larger content of a spiritual reality and that the dynamics of the spiritual realm play themselves out in the physical realm.  Apocalypse is a message from God regarding what God is about and what he is going to do.

  • The occasion for writing Revelation was the vision John had and the situation of the seven churches. John is trying to describe a scene in which various scenes are being played out simultaneously. John emphasizes the importance of living out your theology, as opposed to only being doctrinally correct.

  • John had a vision of the Son of Man. He had a message for the church at Ephesus.

  • Messages for the churches at Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum.

  • Messages to the churches in Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis and Philadelphia.

  • A message to the church at Laodicea and a vision of Jesus as a Lamb who shares the throne with God.

  • A vision of God the creator and the redeemer Lamb.

  • A vision of the seven seals.

  • A vision of the seven trumpets.

  • This lesson dives into the idea of encountering God in the world, warns about the destructiveness of sin, and presents a powerful angelic figure symbolizing God and Jesus as triumphant over fallen Babylon, with a mysterious aspect of the vision.
  • A vision of the seven trumpets. Chronology of the origin and development of the teaching of the rapture and dispensationalism.

  • A vision of how the death of Jesus on the cross has made it possible for us to be in relationship to God.

  • The description of the nature of Satan's war against God's children and in contrast to a description of God's redeemed.

  • A vision of the seven bowls.

  • A vision of fallen Babylon.

  • In this lesson, you gain insights into the concept of Fallen Babylon and the transformative power of the cross. It emphasizes that accepting the cross liberates you from the world's illusions, allowing you to accept your own falsity as healed and yielding to the Holy Spirit's action. The lesson challenges the idea of choosing between the world and Christ, proposing that you can choose both simultaneously, seeking unity, wholeness, and love at the deepest level of your being.
  • Dr. Mulholland answering questions from the students.

  • A vision of the victory of the Lamb and discussion of the wrath of God.

  • A vision of the New Jerusalem.

  • Dr. Mulholland's lesson delves into God's love as the core of self-discovery. False self obstructs the truth. True self blooms in faith, openness, trust, and yielding to God, shifting focus from ego to divine presence. Embrace this shift, become citizens of a new Jerusalem in a fallen world.
  • A vision of the people of the New Jerusalem.

  • John wrote the book of Revelation as a call to radical discipleship as faithful citizens of God’s new Jerusalem in the midst of a fallen Babylon world. There is no video for this lecture.

Revelation is a vision of Jesus the Messiah. John focuses on the profound depths of what God has done, is doing, and will ultimately consummate in and through Jesus. A second central theme in Revelation is the role of the cross in what God has done and will accomplish. The contrast and interaction of the "New Jerusalem" and "fallen Babylon" is also a significant theme in Revelation. Videos for lectures 7, 8 and 9 are not avialable yet. Lecture 23 was recorded in audio only. 

We think that the title of the devotional book that Dr. Mulholland reads from at the beginning of some of the lectures might be Merton's Palace of Nowhere by James Finley. Unfortunately, Dr. Mulholland is deceased so we can't confirm this. 



Dr. Robert Mulholland


New Jerusalem and Fallen Babylon

Lesson Transcript


It's pretty cool, you know? Oh, yeah? Yeah. It was the doctor. That was great. I mean, you can make a comment that. All right? It's like, Oh, you have my friend. Me? That's. You're really concerned about her? Yeah. And so you know that every time I see. Oh, that is not what I want. You said you didn't have any material. So you gone to the Bahamas? Well, I'm sorry. Well, I thought I can look. I'm just checking earlier. Yeah, that's maybe. Thanks. I like Jaden. Well, he looks like it's a real world. Yeah. Yeah. Look at the effect of, you know, against my grandmother's body, then. Yeah. Oh, I didn't realize. It's all fine. No, We're going to take you home. I love Fort Lauderdale. Cool. You Fort Lauderdale? Yeah. Well, we're driving you crazy. I I'll never borrow the rest of the fort and then have the same thing over there. Thank you. Which means you wouldn't want to think about what I just said. Don't play cards. Have a chance. Are you talking about starting to lose? Well, for years you haven't done it. I know I've had more, but no, I'm not good at. You know these players. These are your friends. Well, you better watch out. We're coming after you. Oh. Oh, no. Your voice does go for words. But. But, you know, if you're one of the four horsemen here, you are in trouble. That's right. Really? I'm sure. I'm sure there are some. I haven't. I have no regrets and fear and my pure mind. You know that none of either of them are left behind. And I read the first volume, even though 15. Did you like it? I mean, in terms of not revelation, it's not even good fiction.


I read a lot of fiction. It's not good. Your favorite fiction book for Australia. Oh, I saw. But yeah, they didn't like it. What I'm trying to say is I read out everything Clancy has written. And of course, Clancy, Tom Clancy and all that. She is alive and well, but she's very good. Just came on to him a couple of years ago. David, Mark, Nancy, great stuff. You know who's who's the lawyer? GRISHAM Yeah, I like him because he's he's a Christian. And he he he reads I mean, street lawyer is just really good at it. Yeah. It's amazing that even though I'm not surprised that this military veteran, like, he's always against his own. I haven't read his nonfiction stuff, just like, okay, this isn't like a sports style, whatever it is. Like, really? Yeah. Oh, yeah, right. Nonfiction. Nonfiction. Yeah. This. My brother was going to get out of it. How do you like that, huh? Told you that? Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, I read his brother. I read the film, a really fascinating musical in which he's great, and he said, you know, get from Space Odyssey here. Got you. Yeah. Hmm. They were next, you know? And I have a dream from the beginning of the Great War that they are. Oh, yeah? What are you doing? No, you don't do anything. All that other stuff. I just think it's that when you get to the end, you discover it's a minuscule little crack in the floor, haven't you? Good morning. Hey. On Tuesday, we we'd read about Merton talking about the social methods by which we identify ourselves, I should say, by which the fall self-identifies itself. For Merton, the all embracing tentacles of social needs must be transcended.


If we are ever to be free. And therefore able to love and be with our brothers and sisters in spirit and in truth. Bremerton. This is one of the important principles of Christian solitude by which we maintain our integrity and wholeness as created persons. Burton tells us that the true solitary is one who realizes, though perhaps confusedly, that he has entered into a solitude that is really shared by everyone. What the solitary renounces is not his union with other men, but rather the deceptive fictions and inadequate symbols which tend to take the place of genuine social unity. We pray not to recharge our batteries for the business of getting back to the concerns of daily life, but rather to be transformed by God so that the myths and fictions of our life might fall like broken shackles from our wrists. We withdraw within not to retreat from life, but to retreat from the constant evasion, the constant fearsome retreat from all that is real in the eyes of God. The desert where prayer flourishes is the desert of our own hearts barren of all the slogans that we have been led to believe to be our very identity and salvation. Prayer is a death to every identity that does not come from God. That's a great line. Prayer is a death to every identity that does not come from God. How much of our prayer is designed to enhance and protect our false self? How much of our prayer is to conform God to our own image, to get God to do what we want God to do for us. You see the prayer that that he's talking about here is a death to every identity that does not come from God is what Paul's talking about when he talks about praying without ceasing.


It is that deep inner. Openness to God. It is that well, it's what Paul calls that life hid with Christ in God because only there. Can we see clearly the social mids that have shaped us and that continue to shape our world? Amazing to to read Merton's writings in his journal. Here he is sitting over here and get so many but on the cutting edge of. Prophecy to be the social order. Deeply enmeshed in the upheavals of the fifties and sixties, able to discern things that. We still don't discern as far as the falsity in our culture is concerned. So I think it's really great. It talks about, uh, you know, solitude. But solitude is not some self centered, self referenced, individualized, privatized retreat from the world. Solitude is what brings us into the very presence of God so that we can see the world is gone. He's praying with me. Gracious, loving God. We give you a thanks and praise for. For your steadfast love and faithfulness that you constantly seek to draw us into the depths of your own being. We may find their our true being, our true self, the self you have created us to be the self that you are seeking to restore us. To become. May we hear in these words your call to us. Teach us how to pray in this way. How to pray in ways that will enable you to liberate us from the bondage of our false self. Liberate us from the bondage of the social needs that enhance and and bind us in that false self. Truly. We may be yours in the world. For Jesus sake. Oh. Okay. Let's see now. Mm hmm. He's not here. Brandon. Brandon Lewis. One that I. Okay.


I like your face in my mind, Brandon. I can't remember your name and face. Brandon is not here. Ogden. David Shoemaker. Okay, David. Jeremy has been our. And Aaron. Melanie. Melanie. Melanie, you're here this morning. Okay, let's see who else. Judy? Yes. Okay. There you are, young Jessica. Okay. Yes, sir. I'm Jeffrey Waters. Cindy. Rector. Okay. Cindy. William Wendel joined Jeremy Zirkle. Jeremy. Jeremy. Remember all these over a break, But that's the end of the list. I'm going to get all your names before the end of the semester. It's a miracle. You see, the Age of miracles is not over. I'm terrible on names, as you probably figured it out. Okay, We have to come back to chapter 13. And looking at the second beast, I remember the first. The first beast. The beast that comes from the sea. What John is seeing there is is the worldview or the perceptual framework devoid of God. Remember that first beast blasphemed God, God's name and God's dwelling so that that it is a manifestation of an orientation of being that absolutely rejects God totally and utterly. And that's the way that Satan's rebellion becomes incarnate in human history. Because we live in a world where the prevailing worldview has no place for God, at least not for the real God. It has all sorts of false gods. It has all sorts of idols, but it has no place for God to be God on God's terms. It rejects God. It rejects God's nature. It seeks to conform God to its own nature. So. So what we see in that first beast is very prevalent around us today. Now, when you come to the second beast, John sees another beast. This one rises out of the earth because we see in the Earth the two images that John uses for the rebellious order for fall in Babylon.


And it had two horns like a lamb. So it has messianic pretensions, but it speaks like a dragon. It, too, is an incarnation of Satan's rebellion. Now, what I've done here is, you see, I've highlighted a number of Greek words here, and the purpose for that is to see how you see how John is portraying the character of the second beast. The first beast, remember, is characterized by blasphemy. That worldview that rejects gotten. The second beast is characterized by the verb at all, which means to do or to make. And you can see how they've translated it here. It it does. It exercises. That's a you see it and it does all the authority of the first beast on his behalf. It makes way out again. The earth and its inhabitants worship. The first beast was mortally wound, had been healed. By the way, there's the next of those. And all the way down through you see it the see. One, two, three, four, five, six. There's a couple more off the screen right now. This is the verb that describes the second beast. The second beast is in effect the. The functional outworking of a worldview of the first beast. That is, it incarnates in the structures of human life. The perceptual framework of the first beast that rejects God. So and notice all the and the inhabitants of the world, those who call upon the Earth worship the first beast whose mortal wound has been healed. Again, another definition upon Babylon, those who live up on the earth. Then it does. It does. It said performs here where it does great signs. Even making fire come down from heaven to earth in the sight of all. Now, at this point, that that's a mystery.


Now, what what on earth is John talking about? But we've seen that one of the one of the features of rhetoric in the first century was to introduce something at some point in your speech that is going to come to a resolution probably down the road. And this is another one of those things where John introduces this idea. And you can you can even his readers probably were responding just like we are. What on earth is this when we get over to chapter 20? We see fire that falls from heaven. It's the second coming. It's Jesus. John uses the same imagery that Peter uses about Christ returning in flaming fire. So John uses that image you see in chapter 20 and what he's intimating here. And of course, when you get the chapter 20, you see John's here. Oh, there it is. There's the fire coming from heaven. But what they also would realize is that it is the it is the dynamics of this second beast that brings about that judgment. Because the second beast you see is incarnating in that social means. To use Merton's term, you see the blasphemy of the first piece, the rejection of God. And the ultimate consequence of that, of course, is that unreal world, that fallen world will ultimately be undone in the final judgment. And Sir John John here is giving us sort of a hint as he looks ahead by the signs that it is allowed to perform, nor is it is allowed to perform. Here again is another statement of God's sovereignty. But Satan and all of those of his realm are never operating independently. They are always under God sovereignty. That doesn't mean they're doing what God wants them to do. Obviously, they're doing what God doesn't want them to do.


But God is sovereign. John. John allows for no dualism, no spiritual dualism in his vision. You don't have a good realm over here where God is. Is king in your bad realm over here, where Satan is king. And never the twain shall meet equal and opposite things. No, no. Satan is always under God's feet. Remember chapter four. We first saw the sea under God's feet. Here's another illustration of that. It is allowed to do this by the science. It's allowed to perform on behalf of the beast. It deceives those who grow up on the earth, inhabitants of the Earth. Telling them to make an image for the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet live. There is the third example of that. Remember, we saw Jesus standing in chapter ten, one foot on the sea, one foot on the land, that vision, vision of victory, that posture of victory. And now we see three times John talks about the beast having this mortal wound that was here. So it's sort of an emphasis. You see that what we're dealing with here is a defeated. Beast. A defeated entity. It does have a mortal wound, even though it goes on as though nothing has happened. Now to make an image of the beast and then is allowed to give breath to the image of the beast so that the image of the beast could even speak and cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. What John is, is indicating here is that the second beast you see creates. A social structure creates a whole, whole complex of what Merton calls these social measures. That falsely defined humanity and define human life in human existence in a way that leaves God totally out of the picture.


So that the culture you see becomes the idol or becomes the image it incarnates. You see in the dynamics of the way in which it carries on human life and the social, communal cultural level. It incarnates that blasphemous worldview of the first beast. It incarnates an unreality. You see that absolutely rejects God in any way, shape or form. And that structure, you see, has has a light almost, because it has a life of its own. That can be it gives gives breath to this. And so this is exactly what Merton is, is fighting against. And what we're reading here in this section that we're reading. You see, because these social moves, unless we have that centeredness in God, that enables us to see their falsity. If we don't have that center, then this is the only reality that we will know. And unfortunately, all of us have been sucked in to these social needs in which we find our identity in something other than God. You're one of the primary social means of our culture is you are what you do. You're not what you do. You see, our culture makes us human doings instead of human beings. And when you when you define yourself, when you find your identity and what you do, then where's your value? Lie? How well you do it. The better you do it, the higher your value. And also your value lies in part in what you do. Now, you know, you talk to most people. I hope it's not true in this room. When you talk to most people. And where would garbage collectors be on their scale and values? The bottom just let them not pick up your garbage for a couple months and see how valuable they are.


But you see that the social needs of our culture, you see make hierarchies on the basis of what you do. And values persons on the basis of what they do. See, this is the way the rebellious world view, this world view of that first beast that denies God, that rejects God totally, how that becomes incarnate in the structural dynamics of a culture and the value structure of a culture. It has a life of its own. And this this is what preaching the gospel is all about. It's not to get people safe so they can go to heaven is to help them realize they're captive to to this. But they need not be captive. And in Christ, they can be set free and can become those in whom God's redeeming love touches that world. Sheikhs that remember we've seen in pictures that John is giving us an image how when God is released, you see through the prayers of the Saints, the seventh seal, how the fallen order shaken this earthquake image that he uses again and again and again. So I hope you can see what John is dealing with here. Then notice those who would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. We've talked about this in other contexts. To fall in Babylon. Especially those in a culture whose position, whose power, whose prestige, whose authority rests upon those social methods are very, very sensitive to anything that calls into question the reality of those myths upon which their whole being resides. And this is why, as we've seen up to this point, this is why faithful citizens of New Jerusalem experienced tribulation at the hands of fallen Babylon. Because you see the presence of New Jerusalem citizens in the midst of All in Babylon gives the lie to fall.


In Babylon, they reveal an alternate reality. They reveal a reality in which humanity finds its true identity. If all of Babylon doesn't want to see that, it doesn't want to face that. I think I mentioned before, you know, how how hard the media is on Christianity. How they caricature it, how they demean it. How they marginalize it. Because you see, the media is one of the primary ways that is giving voice to the image of the beast. And they know whether they know it consciously or not. I'm not sure they know inherently that the Christian value system pulls the rug out from under their whole structure. If people were to listen. And particularly if people were to adopt a Christian value system. They go out of business. So I hope you can see what John is dealing with here. He's dealing with the dynamics of how Satan's rebellion, the Dragons rebellion becomes incarnate in human life, in human society and human cultures. And then we get to the fun part. It hasn't been fun yet, but real fun. Oh, right. Also, it would be the second beast causes all both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and. This is covering the whole culture to be marked on the right hand or the forehead so that no one can buy or sell. Who does not have the mark that is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. That probably is the greatest understatement in all of history, at least in the Bible. This calls for wisdom that anyone with understanding calculate the number of the beast. For it is now. Here is where inclusive language lets us down. It says it's a number of a person.


Look, look at those of you who can read the Greek. It is the number of a man. Singular. The number of an anthropoid. Its number is 666. Okay, Now there's two different things we have to deal with here. The number, of course, and where it's placed. And I would suggest to you that where the number is placed is more significant than the number the numbers place on the forehead or on the right hand. Now, we've already seen both of those images. We've seen that the forehead in the Jewish pool of images that John is using, the forehead represents the seat of perception, particularly the perception of a person toward God. We've seen how the prophets say that Israel has a harlot forehead when she turns from God and worships idols. You see, she's committing spiritual adultery. She's turned away from her husband God, and is allying herself with these idols. She's committing spiritual adultery. So she has a harlots forehead. Or another phrase they use is Israel has a hard and a stubborn forehead. This is in those cases where they are refusing to obey the Torah. I told you the example of King who's higher, who wasn't satisfied just being king. He wanted to be high priest as well. Goes into the temple, offers a sacrifice, and he's stricken with leprosy. And where on his forehead. So in the Jewish pool of images, the forehead is the seat of perception. It sort of represents the inner orientation of your being, particularly with respect to God. Now we've also seen the right hand. The right hand is the the functional outworking of the person whose right hand it is. You got to mighty right hand gets him the victory or David's mighty right arm wins for him the battle or the Solomons praise to God to raise up his mighty right arm and do this, that or the other.


You say to to enact God's presence in God's purposes in the midst of that situation, whatever it is. So what you've got with a mark on the forehead, the mark on the forehead is just another way to image the first beast. You see, you have the the number or the name and remember name biblically is nature. There have a nature of the first beast as your perceptual framework? That's what's shaping your life. And that's going to play itself out in the way you live your life. The right hand. Now, we've also seen that the Saints are sealed on their father Back in chapter seven, Remember the mighty angel coming from the east and they're holding back the angels the whole back before winds. They're not to blow until. The servants have got him and sealed in their forehead. In the next chapter, we're going to see the redeemed with the lamb on Mount Zion, who have his name and his father's name on their forehead. You see, Christians are those whose whose orientation was in an orientation of being, whose perceptual framework is pervasively God referenced. But the citizens of Fall in Babylon, you see, their framework is the blasphemy of that first beast that rejects God. God's name, God's dwelling, just God is out of here. There is no place for God. And the right hand, you see, represents the functional dynamics of that second beast incarnating in human cultures and structures and societal societal methods. You see the worldview of the first beast. So what John is doing here with this, this imagery is just giving us another angle at which to look at those two beasts that he's been discussing. Tom. Good question to the preferred. Here was the man pronouncing it right.


Which verse and more. Hand the word hand on hand. Yeah. Yeah. Now, my understanding. Can that also mean arm or finger? No, it means hand. It just means hand. Yeah. Rock. Rock loses arm. Okay, then it carries hand. Then it totally loses the question. I'm going to. Okay. Glad we to be sidetracked. That one. Yeah. Not no sense in asking the question, Brian. So you're not a fan of the microchip theory? No. No, I'm not. You know, you don't have to worry about the government putting your Social Security number on your forehead or on your right hand or implanting a microchip or anything like that. You know, you don't have to worry about the government being an agent of the social mands. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah. Right. Okay. Now, notice also in verse 17, no one can buy or sell who does not have the mark? That is the name of the beast or the number of its name. You see, you cannot participate in the life of Fall Babylon unless you're part of the Babylon. Babylon doesn't want any interlopers because they call into question its whole value system. Now, there's there's a very practical outworking of this, by the way. Back there. There were a number of periods in it. Well, there probably been a number of periods for 2000 years. But we know in the early in the periods of the early church that Christians when when there was persecution against the Christians. They had a really rough economic time because nobody would sell to them, you see, because if you're a Christian, if you're a non believer and I sell to you, that brings me under the cloud of suspicion. Okay. And if you're a Christian and I buy from you, that puts me under the cloud of suspicion.


Because in this kind of circumstance, Christians can only buy and sell with other Christians, I think. So anybody outside the believing community who interacted in this way is going to get caught up in the in the dragnet of persecution against the Christians. So so this has a very practical implication in John's world. You see, as long as as long as the Christian movement among believers were seen under the umbrella of Judaism, they were okay because Judaism, Judaism was a legal religion and they could order their lives according to their own law and they didn't have to worship the local deities, etc.. But once, once the Roman government was able to make the distinction between Jew and Christian, the Christians had no cover. They had no protection of legality, you see. And so persecution becomes a very real option. And we've already seen one of the churches has had a murder. We're looking at the seven churches. Okay, Now, the number here, we get some help from textual variants, which is really great because anybody have their their Bible with them. Do you have a footnote at this point? Says other sources. Other ancient sources have 616. Yeah, You got that? Yeah. What's going on here? What's the number? And we've been we've been trained that it's 666, right. You know, and we've also been trained in exactly what it means. Well, not really. We've been mastering one. One of the best ones I've ever heard. I can remember I was a little kid. I grew up in World War Two, and I can remember that Joseph Stalin was the beast, you know, j0sephstalin. And I'm not sure what they did with the cilia, bitch. It's just hard to sort of scrunch that down into six.


But they did it somehow. Mussolini was the beast. Hitler was the beast, you know, ad0lphhipleri forget what the third one was, and one of the best ones I ever heard was shortly after Reagan was elected. The rumors going around the Reagan was the beast. R o and aldwils0nreagan. Obviously six executives got to be the beast, right? And those were disgruntled Democrats, I should say disgruntled, this sensational Democrat. So all through history, see, we get help here also. What's going on? It says it is the number of a man. And now what John is doing here, he's playing with Maitreya. That is the process of the game that they could play in the Roman world because they did not have an Arabic number system. They didn't have our one, two, three, four, etc. We got that from from the Arabs. Okay? So what they had to do, they had to use their alphabet. If we had to do that, A would be one, B would be to C would be three or four. That meant you could take the letters of a person's name, add up the value of those letters, and that was their number. So when John says, here it is the number of a man, this is what he's doing. Now whose name whose number comes to 666 and what's the 616 got to do with it? Well, in in the Roman world of the sixties, the emperor was Nero. The emperor's name would be written in two different ways. In the Empire in the East, where we're Latin is the I mean, where Greek is the language. It would be naran and er0n Kaiser. In the West, where Latin is a language would be Nero and the arrow keys are. Okay. Now, if you transliterated the name into Hebrew right it in Hebrew letters, the value of Naran Keizer is 666.


The value of Nero Kaiser is 660. So what John is doing here, you see, he's he's saying the emperor is the beast. He is the emperor of the Empire, which is the incarnation of form in Babylon for John and his readers. And of course, the emperor who rules it all is the beast. Now, of course, John is doing all sorts of things politically here, because in the Roman world, the emperor is deified. Now, not all of them claim that, but. But Nero, as he came toward the end of his tenure in torment, more and more crazy with more and more moving in that direction. You know, Gaius demanded worship as God. And of course, the tradition was that when the Emperor died, the emperor became a God. Because that means the Emperor's son is the son of God. So here's another dynamic you get in the Christian gospel. But the emperor, you see, is the supreme being. He. He, in a sense, is the the personification of the empire. Paul is playing off of this in the same kind of way in Philippians, where he talks about Jesus being or being given the death, even the death of a cross. The cross is the ultimate example of the Emperor empire, the Emperor's total power over human existence. You know, it's the ultimate dehumanization. But then Paul goes on there for God only exalted him. Jesus, give me him the name of about every other name in the name of Jesus, every nation, about every time, convinced that Jesus Christ is law in the Roman world, whose name is above every other name. Caesar at whose name does every nibble and every time confess that he is Lord Caesar. See what I was doing? And remember, he's writing to a Roman colony where the Roman political dynamics are right up front.


They're not secondary. John is doing the same thing here. He is indicating we've already had some indication where have more that the Empire is their incarnation of Roman Babylon. And now the emperor, you see, is the incarnation of the beast. So this is why we don't have now, you might say, well, now women are tricky. You know, you take the Greek, read it and write it in Hebrew, and then you get the. Remember the Angel of Death in chapter nine? His name in Greek was Apollo one in Hebrew, Abaddon. John is expecting his readers to be able to play with the languages here. We have difficulty with this because there is such a monocultural, monolingual culture. You heard the joke, haven't you? What is a person who speaks three languages training, bilingual person who speaks two languages. One person who speaks one language? American. American. Yeah. Mark So we have difficulty understanding how people could play like this with, with languages. They are no problem at all. When you translate a if you add up the numbers or you just, you put them side by side. No, you add the value of the Hebrew letters in the Hebrew. Olive is is one beit is to demolish three. And when you add those up, when you put in Aaron Keizer, you get 666. So like David's number is David's number is 14. And Matthew plays with that in the genealogy of Jesus. Yeah, because Jesus is the Messiah. The Son of David. Son of Abraham. Yeah. Now, how do you get from 666 9 to 616? Well, as revelation, as the manuscript moves to the east, to the Western. Side of the empire where Latin is the language. 666 doesn't work anymore. So ascribe that knew exactly what was going on.


You see makes the shift from 666 to 616. So Latin readers in the West will understand the same thing that the Greek readers in the East would have understood from this number. So they get the same idea. So 666 is almost assuredly what John wrote. It's as it gets moved into the west, where Latin is language and it doesn't work anymore, that a wise scribe changes it to 616. So you don't need to worry about 666 being stamped on your part of your right hand. But here's the thing. Anyone whose worldview has no place for God as God. They've already got the mark of the beast on their forehead. Anyone whose lifestyle does not manifest God as God has the mark of the beast on their right hand. This is not something for the future. This was something for John's day and for every day and for our day. And unfortunately, you see most of the people in the world today have the mark of the beast on their forehead and on the right hand. Because their worldview has no place for God. And their lifestyle manifests that. So you can see what John is is seeing his vision here. See, See? Remember, we start with the seven churches, their historical setting, and then chapter four on sort of pulls back and you see the larger reality within which they're living their lives as faithful citizens in Jerusalem. And in which we see what it means for us to live our lives as faithful citizens of New Jerusalem. So. So is this master translator omniscient that always had the mock those know that they perished or whatever. So is this an indelible mark? Is this marked indelible, John? John never really deals with that. But of course, we're going to see.


Yeah, we're going to see it this morning in chapter 14. John sees an angel flying amid heaven with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who come upon the earth every tribulation and the people. So yeah, it is not indelible, but you see, you will see in chapter 22 of the gates, the gates of New Jerusalem were always open, but nothing unclean can enter. So that that worldview and that lifestyle has to be left behind if you're going to become part of New Jerusalem. John, I really thought in the past down in the south that North Carolina and the Left Behind series is like a huge that's the Bible. Yeah, it's a huge problem for a lot of people. And so when it talks about the breath of the beast, bringing something to life, something that he tried to do to help some of the people in his congregation make correlation, is that the breath of God is sometimes equated with the spirit of God being breathed into something. And he tries, explained is like the breath here being like the spirit of because they always something about they have the Antichrist in their minds. They just can't get it out of their minds is like Big Brother. The Antichrist is more of a spirit of the beast, Satan, and that essence being breathed into the world culture. So instead of looking for one Antichrist, go back the first John, and everything that's against God is the Antichrist. And is that safe to make that correlation? Oh, yeah. I think that's a good way to do it. Yeah. And at first, John, there are you know, there are many Antichrist already operating. You see in John today in his first letter. Yeah. I mean, it helped me kind of grasp.


Yeah. Yeah, that's good. Know that young breath, the Hebrew word and the Greek word for breath and spirit of the saint. Yeah. So this is, you know, to use John's phrase from first John, this is and he's John got to speak of the spirit of an antichrist never appears in Revelation. You know, it gets read in a whole lot, but of course it gets ready in, out of an understanding that doesn't have anything to do with how John uses it in his letter. The Antichrist in John's letter is not some horrible thing that appears at the end of the world. It's right there with his people. Now he's warning them against against this. But yeah, I think that'd be a very legitimate way to do that. Oh. Oh, yeah. That's where the concept of the anti the Antichrist started becoming. Read into the Beast. Like, do we know when that started taking place and why? When I go, it goes way back, I think. I've never I've never tried to track that historically, you know, back to its origins. I know that during the Reformation, you know, Protestant interpretation of Revelation, the Pope was the beast and the Pope was the Antichrist. So at least at that point, these are being brought together. What there might have been prior to that, I'm not sure if you haven't really locked in your project yet. There's a draw for somebody, but it's getting a little late in the semester. I hope you're working on your project. Okay, let's let's move on then to 14. John says. And I looked. And there was the lamb. Now, we haven't seen the lamb since chapter five. There was the lamb. The lamb has been mentioned. You know, lamb and got on the throne.


And there was the lamb standing on Mount Zion. And with him were 144,000 who had his name and his father's name written on their foreheads. So here you get the contrast. His name and his father's name. Now, we've seen 144 before. Remember back in chapter seven, that was the that was the cipher that John uses for the old covenant community, 12 hours from each of the 12 tribes. But now he's using it for the whole new. Covenant community and what you can't see on the screen when we get down the bottom. These are those who have been redeemed from the Earth. And is redeemed from fallen Babylon, as you saw back in chapter seven. They include Gentiles as well as Jews. So he's modulating his imagery here. Now. Now it is referring to the New Covenant community, not the old covenant, but it includes the old covenant community. Okay. It's not this isn't super specialist. You know, the New Covenant community is the consummation of the old covenant community. We already saw that in Chapter 11, where the two witnesses, Moses and Elijah, you see, are brought together in the crucifixion, the resurrection and the ascension that the cross is the consummation of the old covenant. It doesn't superceded. Okay. And that's what John is doing here. He uses the same number to indicate, you see, that the New Covenant community, including Gentiles, is still the covenant community of God's people. Now, another thing he does here, the lamb standing on Mount Zion. Mt. Zion is not simply the. Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It is that to be sure. It is also the temple. And go back and look at it just just to click on on Zion and go through the Old Testament and you'll see a number of places there where Zion or Mt.


Zion is simply a cipher for the temple. And of course, the temple is where God's presence dwells. So on it says that God's God's present is light shines forth from Zion. What does that mean? It means from the temple where God's presence dwell. So what John is seeing here, you see, is that Jesus is the new temple. And of course, we see that in John's gospel. Chapter two. After the cleansing of the temple, Jesus is called to account by the religious authorities. And he said to them, Destroy this temple. And in three days I will raise it up. He's talking about himself. Jesus. You see, there is is positing himself as the temple. And of course, we know John isn't the John and Jesus aren't the only ones with this idea. Paul tells how we have been built into a holy temple as a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. And we see we don't quite get the same temple imagery in Hebrews, but in Hebrews like in John, we are the priest, Jesus is the great high priest after the Order of Melchizedek, and we have access directly into the holy of Holies because the crosses remove the veil. And so we can come boldly before the throne of grace, which was the mercy seat that was above the the Ark of the Covenant. And we've seen John playing with the same thing. Remember in 1119, I saw the Temple in Heaven opened in the Ark of the Covenant was seen. So. So there's this understanding that Jesus is the temple is is not something peculiar to John. You know, this was a rather common image in the earliest church. And then John hears a voice from heaven. Like the sound of many waters.


We've heard that before, haven't we? Remember, in chapter one, Jesus voice was like the sound of many waters. He hears a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. Now, that's the ofany, of course. And the voice I heard was the sound of harpists playing on their harps. And the Greek is sort of cute here. It's Harper's harping on their harps. The Greek word for harp is or us. So there, you know, as Harper's harping on their harps. And they sang a new song. Before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one can learn that song except the 144,000 who have been redeemed from the Earth. There it is now a word about new. They sing a new song, a tiny song. In Greek, there are two words for new. One is not off. That means something that is totally new. Never seen before. Kainos is something that has been before, that is now new or renewed. Perhaps a better translation. A lot of this place would be renewed. So what is this renewed song they're singing? Well, we don't get the complete imagery here. In chapter 16, we will get it in chapter 16. This is sort of the the antiphon to the song of Moses in the Deliverance of God's people from Egypt. So. So this new song you see is the deliverance song of the New Covenant community. Because the New Covenant community, 144,000 are the ones who are saying it, and they're the only ones who can sing it. Because they're all they're the only ones that have experienced the redemption from Paul and Babylon. Then? Yeah. Dumb question. Okay. I'm sorry. That's okay. Then here. Here's another one of these interesting puzzles.


It is these who have not. They find themselves with women for they are virgins. These follow the lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from humankind as first fruits for God in the land. Now, this is a real puzzle for two reasons. Number one. Celibacy is not part of the Jewish culture. The first commandment of the Torah in Genesis chapter one is be fruitful and multiply. It's pretty hard to do that if you're celibate, especially now. They didn't have in-vitro fertilization in those days. Okay. So pretty hard to obey the first commandment. If you weren't married. Celibacy was not an integral part of the Jewish culture, nor was celibacy an integral part of the Christian culture until much later than this period of time. Celibacy doesn't emerge really until the fourth century after Christianity becomes the religion, the empire, and people flee to the desert to get away from the social means. You see. So what's going on here? Vanity found themselves with women, rather, the word that John uses for D file here m all human face on word in the second line of it where I can't reach it is is used in one of the letters about those who have not defiled their garments. Now to defile your garment is to succumb to the false perceptual framework, the false value system, the false lifestyle of Babylon. Now we're going to see in a few chapters after the break. When we come back and get over to Chapter 17, we're going to see the harlot fall in Babylon. With whom all those who up on the earth have committed adultery, spiritual adultery. They have defiled their garments. And we're going to see that the harlot is the mother of harlots. See, John sees that the wrong isn't the end of things, that the harlot Rome is going to be succeeded by one of her daughters and other harlot.


And there'll be another hound is she's the mother of harlots. I think what John is doing here is the redeemed. Are those women redeemed from the earth you see from humankind? And therefore they have not defiled their garments with the harlot in Babylon. And they are virgins. Now that this gives us a new picture because later on and see, here's another way where John is introducing things that you're going to get the consummation of this later. Later on, we're going to see the church as the bride of the lamb. So here is the pure it. And Paul uses that imagery. You know, I, I married you to Christ, he says as a pure virgin to her husband. So this kind of imagery you see again, is not something John is pulling out of the air somewhere. This is this is a very consistent image. So these are those you see who and of course, these are the redeemed community. Who is the bride of the land? So later on, you see it all sort of flows together for us. Now, also they are first fruits for God in the land and we're back to our priests. Leaving Jesus on Mount Zion is a temple image, and we've seen John using temple imagery all the way through. Also, remember, we're the priests. Chapter one. He has cleansed us from our sins by his body, made us a kingdom and priests. Chapter five. The same thing again. Here. First roots. That is that is a cipher for the priesthood. Because in the Jewish pool of images that John is using. God demanded that the first fruit of all things belong to Him. The first fruit of crops, the first fruit of cattle and the first fruit of the womb.


But instead of every firstborn son of every tribe being a priest, the priesthood stood in for the firstborn. So when you when you hear the phrase the first born ones, that's a little bit of a priesthood. And that in Hebrews, the writer Hebrews says, you know, you have come to the heavenly Jerusalem using imagery very similar to John's, to the assembly of the firstborn ones. The that's the priesthood. And Jesus is the high priest. So here you see the first fruits for God. Yes, we are the priest. John has already said that he's using another image to say the same thing. Adrian, the question of. The. So they're redeemed from fallen now. I'm going back to the virgin image. Yeah. So it seems like Virgin is so pretty. How do you how do they become virgins or be described as virgins if they're redeemed from all of Babylon? So they were they were involved in Babylon, and now it's like they they have never been in Babylon, right? Yeah. Yeah. Because they have been redeemed out of because they, they become virgins in that redemption. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Okay, good. And in their mouth. No lie was found. Yeah. I'm sorry, Elizabeth. I've just, uh. I've heard a lot of people say about 144,000 that it relates to. One of the interpretations is that it relates to all the prophets of the Old Testament. And there's, like, a specific hundred and 44,000. How do you how do you address that view? Well, I would begin by saying where you'll find 144,000 prophets in the Old Testament. I mean, what you have to do, you know, you have the case and Elijah has a coterie of prophets around him, and other prophets have a coterie of prophets around them.


You have to presume that if you knew all of those numbers, it would be 144,000. Well, that's Isaiah Jesus that's taking this number and reading it into information from the Old Testament just simply does not compute to that in any way, shape or form. So that would be my primary way of doing anything. Where can you point to the Old Testament saying 140, 444,000 prophets? You can't. You have to read it in because there are unnumbered prophets, you see. It'd be pretty hard to even imagine 144,000 prophets in Israel, even over the thousand years of its of its time. What's that come out to? That comes out 144,100. That's 134 prophets a year. For a thousand years? I don't think so. I just don't think so. In their mouth, no lie was found. They are blameless. And this is interesting here, because the the word for lie is loss. Which is basic mean is false. Paul Paul uses in clashing with Paul, so don't be false with one another. Translations have said, don't lie, that's not what's going on there. There's a previous list that ends up with with slander and abusive speech. And so. Translator just thought this is the sixth element in the list. It's not. If you look at the grammar, there are three, three imperatives that govern this, this section of Colossians. Put to death. Therefore put off. Therefore, don't be false. You see. And what Paul is dealing with is what Merton calls the false self. So here you see here the Citizen New Jerusalem are true beings. They are real. They are not false selves. In their mouth? No. To go to dos was found. They are blameless. Then we come to to these three angels. John. She's another angel.


Now we're the beginning. You have another? Well, you had a whole series of angels around here. But anyway, he's another angel flying in middle heaven. Now, we saw an eagle flying him in heaven in 813 proclaiming. Whoa, whoa, whoa. To those who would call upon the Earth or to the inhabitants of the Earth upon Babylon. Now he sees this angel flying in heaven with an eternal gospel. Which means there's essentially there's no limit on this, you know. To proclaim to those who gallop on the Earth, those who live on the Earth and to every nation, tribe, language and people. Those are the two terms John uses to describe Fall in Babylon. So the Gospel is for fallen Babylon. This is something the church, by and large, has lost. The church thing, the gospel is for it. No the Gospels for Paul and Babylon. When you respond to the gospel, you become part of New Jerusalem. But the gospel doesn't become your nice private possession because you carry the heaven with you when you die. You then become those in whom the gospel is to be proclaimed to the world. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not the Church, and as given to us, the Ministry of Reconciliation, Paul says. The gospel is for the world. So. And he says in a loud voice, Fear God and give him glory for the hour of his judgment has come Worship Him who made the heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water. That's the sea here is creation. Okay. This is the sky, the earth. See the springs now fear God and give him glory. Remember back in Chapter 11 where we saw the old covenant being consummated in the cross? We saw that in that instant there was this great earthquake and names of humans.


7000 died. John is seeing that the cross proclaims the death sentence of John Paul and Babylon. The rest, it said, became fears and gave glory to God. A consistent phraseology that John uses. For Christians. Christians are those who fear God and give him glory. Now, the fear that he speaks of here is not a cringing, servile fear. The better translation probably is or. You see, it is to acknowledge God as God. It is to let God be God. It is. It is the action of the 24 elders. Remember who represent us in chapter four. 24 is the number of the priesthood where the priests. Bowing, worshiping and casting the crown before the ones seated on the throne. That's a good illustration of what it is to have to fear God. And then to give him glory. I think this is the first time we've run across glory, isn't it? We were in Gaza. I don't think we'd run across it before. The word glory. You can see over there in the Greek side, if you can read, the Greek is doxa. See and give to him. Docs on it says. What is doxa? We get docs ology from this word. By the way, in the Greek world docs are. Was that in a person? That made them who they were. A person's doxa was the essence of who they were. Now a person going to have a good doctor or a man doctor. Now you can only tell by contacts what kind of docs person hat. So when when the Scripture speaks of the doxa of God, the glory of God is not speaking about some bright light around God's head. Speaking of the very essence of God's being, it is who God is. And you find some very interesting usages of this term throughout the New Testament, for instance.


All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Now, what is Paul inferring with that? We're created to be in the glory of God. We created in the image of God. We all with unveil face beholding the. Another verse. Second Corinthians 317, beholding the glory of the Lord are being changed into His likeness. The glory is the likeness from glory under glory. Paul said, You see, from what we are in our being, in our own likeness to Christ, we're being transformed into Christ likeness. So what does it mean to to give gong glory? What does it mean to glorify God? It means to manifest God's nature in your life. It is to. It is to be Christlike. It is to become what God created us to become. So to glorify God doesn't mean to go upstairs in the chapel and sing praise courses. It means to to have that life head with Christ in God so that something of God's nature becomes manifested in the way you live your life, the way you relate to others, the way you deal with the issues of your daily existence. So to to fear God and give him glory, you see, is. To be a Christian, and that's the term John John uses. Then another angel. There are three angels here. I call them. Good news. Bad news. You choose. Okay. The first one, obviously, is the good news. Then John sees another angel, a second following saying, Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great? Now here is where fallen Babylon gets introduced as fallen Babylon. And notice is not introduced as something that was okay. And then following it from the get go, it's fallen. It's fallen about and fallen. Fallen is Babylon the great She has made all nations drink the wine of the wrath of her fornication.


Now fornication or mean fornication here is not physical fornication. This is spiritual fornication. She's made all the nations of the earth drink the want, make all the nations drink the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And is their worldview and their lifestyle is that of the first and the second beast. Rejecting God and living out a lifestyle that manifests that rejection. Okay, That's that's the bad news. The Babylon is falling. And then the you choose. Then another angel, a third of them crying with a loud voice. Now, translation lets us down here. Notice if those of you know Greek. This is a conditional sentence for those who worship the beast in his image. If anyone worships the beast and its image and that puts a whole different framing on this section. If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on their forehead or on their hands. Now we now we know what that's all about using. They will also drink the wine of God's wrath poured on mixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the Holy angels. And in the presence of the lamb. And the smoke. Of their torment goes up forever and ever. There is no rest, day or night for those who worship the beast in its image or anyone who receives a mark of its name. And that's the you choose per if. If anyone worships the beast in the same as receives the murder, then this is what's going to happen. Okay, So good news, bad news. You choose. You can stay in Babylon. But here's the consequence of that. Or you can fear God and give him glory. And very different consequence there.


Now, what's interesting here, notice where hell is. First ten. The citizens of Fallen Babylon are tormented in the presence of the Holy angels and in the presence of the LAMB. Mm is right. You ask. Do a survey in the church. To locate hell. And generally heaven will be positioned over here and several infinities over here is hell. Okay, John has health that right down the middle of heaven. It's in the presence of the Holy angels and in the presence of the lamb. The lamb sits on the throne. Remember what's going on here? What is John trying to convey? Well, let me let me suggest something to you. That all of us, every human being. Is created by God for an eternal relationship with God. To live eternally as a holy person in the presence of a holy God is eternal delight and joy. To live forever as an unholy person in the presence of the Holy God is eternal torment. Now the same image that John is using or suggesting here is one that Jesus uses in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Remember the poor beggar Lazarus sitting at the gate of a rich man's house, the dogs licking his wounds, and the rich man does absolutely nothing for him. And in Jesus story, they both die. Lazarus, the poor beggar, is in Abraham's bosom. The rich man is burning up in the other place. And they're talking with one another. No. Abraham does say, you know, there's a great golf fix between us. But obviously either they got tremendous megaphones or something or they got up to date technology, you know, text messaging or something. But they're communicating with one another across across this great gulf. Really, the rich man is right there in the presence of Abraham and Lazarus.


And John is going to modulate this image for us slightly when we get over to chapter 22, because there you see 21. 22 is is where he describes New Jerusalem. And in chapter 22, outside of the dogs, in the fornicators and the murderers and etc., etc., etc.. So there you got New Jerusalem set down in the midst of all of that a lot. With the gates always open, but nothing on can come in. So now, of course, there he's he's using a little bit different imagery because he understands his readers to be New Jerusalem in the midst of all the Babylon. So that's the primary use of it there. But but still, you get this sort of cheek by jowl kind of dynamic in John's understanding of hell and heaven, so to speak, or in Babylon, New Jerusalem. Now I need to say a word about the wrath of God. And with this, we can. Chloe will. We'll see it again in the Cups of Wrath and Chapter 16 after after break. We know. RATH When we hear the word RATH instantly, a whole complex of dynamics goes together because we've experienced rath at the hands of others, and unfortunately, others have experienced. RATH And our hands. So when we hear Wrath of God, what do we do? We take our experience of wrath, we stick an air hose on it, we blow it up to infinite proportions, and that's the wrath of God. Now, human wrath is mean, It's vindictive. It's punitive. It's retributive. And so Wrath of God Capital W u C must be mean Capital M vindictive Capital B, our retributive capital R and R retributive. Canberra r and vindictive OC. It's very interesting. Wrath of God appears, I think, only 16 times in the New Testament.


There's a lot in the Old Testament and the news and don't have much at all. Most of them are here in John. In a revelation. Let me give an illustration that may help you understand the wrath of God all semester so far. I've not seen a single one of you disobey the law of gravity. Now, you may have done it outside when I didn't see it, but in here no one has. If we were meeting on the top of the building. And in a couple of minutes, when you know, 4 minutes when class is over, instead of taking the ladder back down, would you step off the edge of the building? This raft, this raft, just gravity suddenly become mean, vindictive, punitive, retributive. Now just keep on being gravity. Now, when you splat on the ground out here, it sure feels like wrath. But what you've done, you see, is you're experiencing in your life the destructiveness that comes from putting your life out of harmony with the law of gravity. Now think of what we're created for that relationship of loving union with God. There we find our wholeness there. We find our health, spiritually speaking. Now, when we step off the edge of that reality, when we step out of that relationship of loving union, does God suddenly become mean and vindictive and punitive? And you attribute it? No God just keeps on being God. But we begin to experience in our life the disintegration and brokenness that results from going away from the source of our true being. And that disintegration and brokenness. Sure feels like Raph. So that what we speak of here as the wrath of God. Is the consequence is not that God is getting you you dirty rotten sinner mods God, you're probably too young for mods.


Ever watch mods on the older ones here can remember that the mod was always like God would get you for that. That's not what we're dealing with in the Wrath of God. What we're dealing with is that God has created us in a spiritual reality, a relationship with God, that when we step out of that, we turn away from that reality. Or I can go away from the presence of the Lord we begin to experience in our life the consequences. And the consequences are painful. They are disruptive. They are destructive. Okay. I'll let you take that into spring break with you and meditate on that for the next 14 days. And we'll pick up here after the break. Have a good break. Drive carefully if you're traveling here Tuesday. Oh, wait.