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Revelation - Lesson 20

New Jerusalem's Hope (Part 1)

A vision of the New Jerusalem.

Lesson 20
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New Jerusalem's Hope (Part 1)

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  • 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. 

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Revelation

Dr. Robert Mulholland

nt666-20

New Jerusalem's Hope (Part 1)

Lesson Transcript

 

How can we give birth to the true self? How can we emerge from our falsity and assume our true identity devoid of all illusory self-seeking? The question reveals the supreme practicality of the spiritual life. The practicality of the drowning person who does not hesitate to drop their treasure in order to grasp a rope. Merton once told me that so few of us are willing to become people of prayer because so few of us are willing to go beyond definitions and concepts to grasp life itself. But once we ask ourselves how to make an effective existential choice for life instead of death. We are faced with the equally disturbing question of who it is that is asking. In other words, the danger is always that the questions proceed from the false self and hence they do not represent a desire for deliverance at all, but only a thinly veiled attempt of the ego to stake out new and broader spiritual boundaries of its domain. The spiritual life must be approached with our right hand not knowing what I left hand is doing. The mystic knows little or nothing about mysticism in the Saints concerning himself with experiences in the sense of concerning himself with experiences and techniques. Rather, the mystic is simply one who sees things as they are. They see all of life as coming from God sustained by God and returning back to God only with this detachment from our own progress, and only in freedom from all techniques that feed the birds of appetite, can we hope to find our true self in God. One breath of self-seeking, one trace of the false selves, acrid wiles and the true self becomes the nobody. It is not there. It's an interesting puzzle. You know, how does a false self lose itself? I think it's a constant conundrum.

 

When you read some of the great saints of our our tradition, you know, the great mothers and fathers of our spiritual tradition and those that seem to have come closest to Christ's likeness. As you read their writings, they're totally unaware of that. Just totally unaware of that. Pray with me. Gracious, loving God. We thank you for these words of our brother. And yet they are a puzzle to us. How are we to become the persons you've created us to be? We are so trained to. Doing things. To improve ourselves. We fill our lives with a variety of spiritual disciplines. Thinking to. Become more and more Christ like through them. Yet, when we are truly brutally honest with ourselves, we realize all we're doing is creating a facade. Or Christ likeness. When within we are still. Very self reference persons. Lord, we pray that you would teach us how to lose ourselves for your sake. It is in your name, We pray. Amen, Amy. See me after class. Okay. Now, last week, we we were looking on both sides of this section of chapter 20. We see the beginning of chapter 20. Well, really, you can't separate the beginning of 20 from from 1919. We we see the lamb, the rider on the white horse warring against the beast and the false prophet and the beast and false prophet thrown living into the lake of fire. And then immediately you move into the to the binding of Satan. And we saw that those are just two ways of describing the same reality that that is the cross is the binding of Satan. And as Jesus says in John's gospel, your now is the judgment of this world. Now is the ruler of this world cast out.

 

So that's Jesus understanding of the cross, as well as what John and seeing in his vision. And then we saw that the other end of this thousand year image is Satan being released, only to be thrown into the lake of fire to together with a whole horde of people in Babylon. And in between, between the cross in the second coming, John sees this. He says, I saw Thrones and those seated on them. We're given authority to judge. Now that's that translation is ambiguous. What the Greek says is judgment was given either to them or for them. The the date of case in the Greek can go either way here. And so I think probably it's not the case that the saints are become the judges. But rather that they have already passed through judgment. As it says elsewhere in the New Testament, we have passed through judgment, our outer judgment into life so that these are those who have come through judgment through the cross, you see, and are the redeemed. Now, I want to show you the Greek text here, because what's happening when you look at this, it says, and I saw Thrones and seated upon them and judgment was given for them. That's the first two lines there. Now he doesn't identify who's on the thrones. And do you get down to those two yellow chis? So this is a both and kind of construction. Where he is now describing who it is, who is seated on the throne. He begins at the beginning. I saw Thrones and they were seated upon that wall whose the day that was seated upon them, John. Well, he finally get to that. When you get down to these two two phrases, the first he says, and the souls are both the souls of those who have been beheaded on account of the witness of Jesus and on the count of the word of God.

 

And of course, there is the same phrase we've seen all the way through John's vision to describe the Redeem. Usually it's those who have the word of God in the witness of Jesus. Here he's reversed it. Those who have a witness of Jesus and the Word of God. So that's one group that are seated upon the throne. And also, he says, those very ones who have not worshiped the beast nor its image and have not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand. So those are the two groups that are seated upon these thrones. And what John is seeing here is what we've come to call the church triumphant. That is the redeemed that have died and are with the Lord. And the church militant, those of us that are still here in the midst of fallen Babylon. And you can see something of that in that second group, particularly because the second group are those who have not worshiped the beast or its image and received the mark. The only place that that's a possibility is when you're living in the fallen Babylon world. If you have already died and are with the Lord, that is no longer an issue. It's only when you're living here in this world that that's a problem. So the first group that John sees, those who have been beheaded, obviously they're dead. Okay. Those are the ones that are that have died and gone on to the Lord and the church triumphant. The rest is us. The second group is us, is we who do not worship the beast in its image and receive the mark on the forehead upon the right hand. Then he says at the end of verse four, they lived. They came to life.

 

They translated the Greeks as they lived, and they ruled with the Messiah a thousand years. So here you see the idea of you remember way back in chapter five, I think it was we saw the redeemed and there was a textual variant. One says they are ruling and the other one says they will rule. And I suggested to you that when you work through the textual variant back there, the present tense is the most likely original reading that a later scribe could not understand. It doesn't look like we're ruling, you know, Rome still in the driver's seat and changed it to the future. And we will hear here we see that the redeemed, both the martyrs and those of us that are still here, are reigning with him throughout this whole period. But the rain is not something in the future. It is the present reality of the redeemed, both groups. And then he says in verse five, The rest of the dead did not come to life until the till. Whenever it says, until whenever the thousand years should be ended. The same phraseology we looked at last week. Now, when John says here, the rest of the dead. Where's the first part? I mean, whenever you say the rest, you already have to have identified a prior group. Now, if I. If I were to say, okay, I put a line down through now everybody on this side, then I say now the rest you'll become the rest because already identified this group. Well, where's the first of the dead? They're the redeem. And there are those that have come to life. Or in Paul's words, they're those who have been raised with Christ. The rest of the dead, the rest of us remembering all of New Jerusalem citizens are redeemed out of fallen Babylon.

 

We've seen in a number of places, you know, they're redeemed out of those who draw upon the earth, redeemed out of though, of every tribe, nation, Tongan people. So we all begin and fall in Babylon, but are redeemed out of a fall in Babylon, in the New Jerusalem. So we come out of our deadness. Your Paul says once you were dead. And the trespasses and sins in which you once want. So we've been raised for life out of the rest of the Dead Sea, those that have not been raised to life. You see, they don't come alive until whenever the thousand years should be ended. That's a little parenthetical remark. And then John returned. This is the first resurrection. Which is the first resurrection. Going back to what precedes that, parentheses should see those who came to life and are reigning with Christ for 2000 years. Wouldn't the immediate context of the group that the first group of that that he's talking about are the first group that was just mentioned, which is those that are beheaded for the testimony of Jesus? Yeah, that's the first group rather than mean. That's what we're talking about, Right. We're talking about both groups. So so the both groups would be also those that are are still in the fourth battle and in the world. Yeah. Yeah. This applies to both of those groups. Both of those have come alive. Okay. There's another hand. I see. Another hand. Yeah. Right. A lot of us are feeling really lost about this. I'm sorry. That's okay. There's a general sense of I'm sorry. There's some who are still but who are still going to be raised, but some who. I'm sorry. I don't mean to make you go back over it.

 

I just am having difficulty. Well, we've got to see when he says at the beginning of the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. Put that on the back burner. It's another one of those places where John introduces something that now we're going to see this one fairly shortly. We've seen some things you have to wait chapters to get the resolution. This one, we're going to see it in a few verses. So just sort of hold that on the backburner for a moment. And then for first verse for that moment, yeah, and for six. So could we see the first resurrection as he says it here? Could we see that as almost like conversion? Yeah. Like accepting Jesus coming is coming to life in Christ. Yeah. So in a way, we've all, by accepting Christ, we've experienced the first resurrection. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Then in verse six, Blessed and Holy are those who share in the first resurrection. Over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him a thousand years. Now, we've already seen back in chapter one, we saw it again in chapter five. We are the priests. You know, he is cleanses from our sins by his blood, and it's made us king kingdom and priests. Who is God and father? So it's the same thing again in chapter five. Here it is again. As we can see it, we're coming back to the to the end of the you know, the cyclorama. John is picking up all sorts of things that we saw earlier on. Now we we look at this and we sort of say what you know.

 

Well, Brad said, you know, sort of in the dark here, you know, Paul says exactly the same thing. Ephesians chapter two once you were dead. Right. You trespass is the sense in which you once want following the prince of the power of the air and the spirit that does not work. And those who are disobedient. But God who is rich in mercy, even though we were dead. Made us alive together with Christ. We've been raised out of darkness into light, made us alive together with Christ, raised us up with him. Clearly understand we've been raised and now catch this and has seated us with him in the heavenly places. And it's an arrest Hence verb not will seat has already seated us with him in the heavenly places. That's what John is saying. We are seated with him in the heavenly place. We are seated on the thrones. We have been raised up with him. Out of the dead. Out of fallen Babylon. And we are reigning with him. So. So what John sees effectively in a vision experience, Paul describes, you know, left brain, cognitive, rational understanding and we grasp. Paul Yeah, no problem there. We see this in John, We say, Oh, what's that? That's the same thing Paul is telling us about. John is seeing the same reality that Paul is describing for us. And we, of course, are in that second group. We are those who who do not receive the mark of the beast or worship its image, etc., because we still live in the fallen Babylon world where that's an option. But that's about I shouldn't say it's an option. It really shouldn't be for any Christian, but it's a possibility in the world with the rest of the dead and not come to life.

 

Right. They're not they're not in a sense of New Jerusalem right now. The rest of the dead are those that are still citizens in the fall of Babylon. And we will see what happens to them in just a moment. Okay. Is that clear? Yes. So when can it be crazy question. But resurrection then in this terminology is not referring to literal. Like Christ was dead and has been raised as much as it's kind of the state of being in sin and now raised to new life with Christ, that kind of raised out in Paul's terms, you know, God has raised us up with him. That's a lot better. So we we are we have experienced that spiritual resurrection. Okay. And for those and by the way, this is the I've lost track of the verse six is the what, the fifth or the sixth blessing or the seven Blessings. Here, here's that. Now where there's the fifth, I think it's the sixth. Know, Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. That's that's why we have those who share in the first resurrection. Okay. Other questions? Any other or we move on. Okay. Now, we've already looked at the next few verses, which is the undoing of Satan, and he's thrown into the lake of fire. Yeah. Ryan what, if anything, is the significance of the connection back to the the creation in verse eight where it talks about the four corners of the earth and God and may God, I mean, so it's sort of reminiscent of what had happened in the creation and back again in chapter four. It talks about or four or five and talks about the four corners of the earth and everything, right? Yeah. See, when you talk to the see the nations and the four corners of the four corners of the earth is a way of describing all of creation.

 

Remember we saw the number four represents creation. We saw the angels holding back the four winds. We've had the four corners of the earth. Here we have the four corners again. It's a way of describing the totality of creation. And of course, Gog and Magog are the imagery for Ezekiel, sort of an archetypal image of those who are opposed to God's covenant community. So he picks up this this phraseology from his ego's image from Ezekiel and brings it in here, you know, basically saying, you know what, Ezekiel was foreseeing. Now this is this is where it is. This is where it's happening after my heart. Yeah, I know that. I know that the pattern. When you went into the synagogue, you would go to the synagogue, and then when he got kicked out of that, you start working with the Greeks or the not the Gentiles. So if this is to the seven churches in Asia minor using things like Dog and Magog, for instance, that such Jewish I mean, specific is your life was this just these are really intelligent communities that just picked up on this or were they that verse that they would have picked that up right away? But good question. What we have to remember, you'll hear here, James question, you know, with Gentiles in these seven churches have understood all this imagery, all this Jewish imagery that John is using all the way through, not just here, but all the way through. We've got to remember how the earliest church understood itself. It understood itself to be the fulfilled Israel, that God had fulfilled the covenant, that God had fulfilled the promises to the prophets. That God gone is probably going all the way back to Abraham. God's purpose for His covenant with Abraham was that all the nations of the Earth would be blessed.

 

That is in the covenant. Abraham It was God's intention to bring all peoples into covenant relationship with him through Abraham. The early church, particularly Paul, understood that in Jesus God had done this. That is that Jesus, in a sense, becomes archetypal Israel and all those who are in Christ, you see, whether Jew or Gentile, are descendants of Abraham, that we we are participants in the Abrahamic Covenant through Christ. You know, those the baptizing the guys have put on Christ, we have entered into the new Israel. Also, as James said, when Paul went to these cities, he goes first to the synagogue. And sooner or later gets kicked out. You know, sometimes he he gets one hearing and he's out. Sometimes, like in in Thessalonica, three weeks, in Ephesus, three months. But no matter how short or how long. Sooner or later, Paul gets kicked out. And then, of course, he goes to the Gentiles. Now, when he goes to the Gentiles, he's already got a core community of believers. Those who understand that Jesus, the Messiah, God has consummated the old covenant and fulfilled the promises to the prophets that Israel has been consummated, and that is Israel is all inclusive. So then Gentiles, as they are brought in, you see, are going to be socialized in to this new reality. They're going to be be nurtured it as to what they have become a part of, who they now are by the Jewish believers who are already there. So that let's say, for instance, you've got a Gentile in the church, an emphasis that just last week became a believer. Well, how is that gentle one week old believer going to understand this imagery? He or she is going to have to ask the Jewish believers in that community, Hey, what's this all about? Okay? Yeah.

 

See another hand in the Know your step. Yeah. Maybe these will be part of the reason. Our part of the things that were taught during that one year human phase for. Baptism is just. Revealing to them the imagery of all this, I guess, Jewishness. Yeah, we don't know how early, you know, that kind of culminate became sort of an official thing. But to be sure, these these new gentile believers would have had to have been socialized. Now, of course, you already even even in the synagogue, you have God here, that you have Gentiles who already were participating in in the life of the Jewish community. And of course, they probably are the entree to non believing Gentiles because they work with them and they live with them. So they themselves would be available, you see, to begin to explain this process as well. Yeah. Yeah. William. I don't know if this has anything to do. It's also important for me to know that they didn't have New Testaments back then. So their scripture was the Old Testament? Yeah. No, they didn't. They didn't have a New Testament. Yeah. So whenever they did a scripture reading on Sunday morning, I don't know if there were any, but on Sunday morning it was always from Old Testament. Had to be. Exactly. Yeah. Good point. William saying that in the worship service of the early church. What scripture was read on Sunday morning. Old Testament. And have a New Testament and Paul's letters and these other letters of the of the New Testament. These would have been read as ancillary documents, not as Scripture at that point. So yeah, they're going to be reading the scriptures and we know in the synagogue they had that a regular structure whereby they would read across the whole law and the prophets and of course the writings, the Psalm particularly were the handbook.

 

And you get a lot of imagery from from the Psalter as well. Okay. And answer your question about the four corners that. Okay. Thank you. Okay. And LEMON After Satan has been thrown into Lake of Fire, John sees a great white throne. Now, back in chapter four, where he sees the throne and gone seated upon it, he doesn't give it a color. You know, he just sees the throne and the one seated upon it. But here he sees a great white throne. I suspect that John is pulling together all of his images of white. Remember, white is used only for heavenly beings and the redeem. So here now is the great white throne and the one who sat on it. Then the translation translations to say the the earth and the sky fled from his presence. Some of the better modern translations do have that. The earth and the sky. Because how can heaven flee from the presence of God who in essence is heaven? You know, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. What we're seeing here is the dissolution of the old creation of the fallen creation. So Earth and sky is is the best way to translate this. And we'll see how this picks up in just a little bit. And no place it was found for them. And that is a phrase that we've seen earlier back in chapter 12. Remember when when Satan's war breaks out in heaven? Satan and his angel followers are cast into the down in the out of having no place is found for them in heaven. And so here you get the same phrase again. You see in John's hearers, they're going to go, Oh yeah, that he talked about Satan and no place was found for him in heaven.

 

There's no place for fallen ness in God's perfect order. And then John says, I saw the dead. Now here's the dead. Great and small standing before the throne and books were open. Also, another book was Open The Book of Life. Now, of course, this is shorthand at this point because we've already seen this book has been introduced. Well, yeah, I was introduced in chapter 13, The Book of the Life of the Land of Slave before the Foundation of the World. Here is just the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the book's plural. Now, John is using a very fairly Jewish imagery here. And we've seen this I mentioned this before. Here's where John is going to turn it upside down in the Jewish understanding. Every person had a book, a Ledger in Heaven in which were recorded. All of their obedience is to Torah and all of their disobedience is. So it's sort of a ledger of, you know, merits and demerits, you know, or credits and debit. It was called your Treasury of Merit. I mean, they gave it a positive spin. But the understanding was, is that when the judgment came, your book would be open, the ledger would be balanced. And if your credit side outweighed your debit side, you would be welcomed in. If your debit side outweigh the credit side, you would be ushered out. So this is the imagery that John is using. So, you know, John's Jewish readers, particularly, you know, books were open and the dead were judged according to their works as recorded in the books. Now, remember, we've seen all the way through John's vision. He's talked about works. You know, he talks about blessed are those who die in their lord and their works follow after that.

 

And Jesus in the letters and several letters that do the works. You did it first. No, I do not find your works acceptable in the sight of My God. So so there's this constant, almost a litany of works all the way through. And you can understand how John's Jewish years probably are hearing works. They're hearing it in this way. Then now we're going to get the They knew of this. They knew of this in a moment. But then in verse 13, the sea gave up the dead that were in it, death. And Hades gave up the dead that were in them. Of course, the sea is the image John has been using throughout. For the rebellious hoarder, death in Hades is another phrase that John is used for the rebellion. So here are the citizens of Fallen Babylon. You see, the dead are coming before the throne. As it says in verse 12, I saw the dead. Now Christians aren't there. Because we've come alive. This is the rest of the dead, and this is how they are coming to life after the thousand years, whenever the thousand years has ended. But we see that it's really not a coming to life in the sense that Christians have come to life and gave up and then they were in them and all were judged according to what they had done, you know, according to their works. Then death in Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. And I say the beast and false prophet were thrown into the lake of fire in chapter 19, a few verses earlier, Satan is thrown into the lake of fire. Now death in Hades are thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

 

Now, Jonathan mentioning second death a couple of times earlier. Now we see what it is. The second death is the ultimate spiritual death. And then and up to that point, you see his Jewish readers say, Yeah, that's exactly what's going to happen. But then notice this. And anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was thrown into the Lake of Fire. And there's word John turns the whole Jewish work's righteousness treasury of Merritt's understanding onto its head. You see, because conceivably you could have your book could have nothing but credits in it. But if your name isn't in the Book of Life, you better have an asbestos swimsuit. You know you're going into the lake of fire. So Sir John has taken the whole Jewish treasury of Merritt's idea and just basically thrown it out. You know, that's not the way it works, that you've got to be in the Book of Life. And of course, again, what's the book of like the Book of the Life of the LAMB that was slain before the foundation of the world. Then John said, It's too bad. Again, we got chapter breaks here because this is all part of the same scene. Okay? Then I saw and it should be a new sky and a new earth. This is the new creation. There's no need for a new heaven. They're gone. God's realm is God's realm. There's nothing fallen about God's realm. There's no need for a new heaven. But we do need a new creation. And this is what John sees, is I see a new sky, a new earth for the first guy. And the first scorched earth had passed away. And then here's what we see. And the sea was no more.

 

That's what clues is in them to go back and look at the image of the scene. And of course, now if we've if we've been hearing perceptively as John's readers or John hears, we've been hearing perceptively in his the ways he's used the imagery of sea all along. We've come to realize that the sea is the image for the rebellious order. Remember, the beast comes from the sea. Now in the new creation, you see, the very cause of the fallen, of the old creation is no longer there. The sea is no more. Time you had a question. Yeah. It's more of an annihilation type question. Okay. John is specific in chapter 20 by saying the beast and the false prophet are thrown in the lake of fire and will be tormented day and night. So that to me, sounds like eternal day and night. Forever, forever and ever. So eternally. They'll be tormented, however, in verse 14 or 15. John doesn't specifically say that. So should we automatically assume that death in Hades and anyone whose name not found the Book of Life is experiencing the same thing or they annihilate? No, I think what we've got here, you see, is sort of the rounding out of the imagery he's been using, at least in chapter 14. Okay. Remember the three aims, the good news, bad news you choose. And the third one, if anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark, they will be tormented forever and ever in the presence of the Holy angels. In the presence of the lamb. Okay. And then, of course, we've seen other images of that in various ways up to this point. So, John, John is not seeing annihilation here. What do you seeing is the old creation has been dealt with.

 

You see, it is now the lake of fire. Okay. I mean, I've heard the argument for now. Yeah. My thought could just be confused as that. Okay. Cause you can make this text almost anything you want it to if you want it to do that. Ryan Mahoney I was wondering about the new heaven and the old heaven. They're in 21 one. Could that also be translated to die? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Both of these should be Sky. You know, I saw a new sky and a new earth. John could have said I saw a new creation for the old creation had passed away. That Really that's really what he's dealing with here. Yeah. Yeah. McKenzie. Basically, if you find yourself at the great, great white throne regiment, you pretty much a swimsuit shopping, correct? You pretty much. So what you said a minute ago, if you find yourself at that judgment, you're pretty much you're pretty much headed for the lake of fire. Is that what am I hearing? That correct? That's what John's implying. Okay. And of course, there's that other passage in. It's in Paul, I believe, and I can't think where it is right now where he says we have passed out of judgment into life. Mm hmm. We have. You see. Right. And once you have not passed out of judgment, have not gone through that. And we see here, John, as already explicitly described, who is appearing before this great rise. It is the dead. And these are the dead. The rest of the dead that he mentioned earlier. Okay. And they're, quote, Coming to life really is judgment into the lake of fire. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Laura, what is he saying when he sees people being judged by their deeds, like he says, they're being judged by their deeds.

 

And then even his name's not in the Book of Life. Yeah, good. Good question. Because as we've seen all the way through, John talks about, you know, I know your works. Jesus says, you know, do the works you did at first, you know, bless another dead or dying the Lord, their works follow after that. What is that? What is the. The pure white linen garments of the of the bride is the righteous deeds of the saints. I think what what John is is playing with here in his visionary way and seeing his vision. Is what Paul and the rest of the New Testament also dealing with. Yes, we are not saved by works. But there will be works that manifest the reality around salvation. So it's not that that it's not that you don't have to worry about your works anymore. You should have the witness of Jesus say the redeemed or the Word of God and the witness of Jesus. That is, they live a Christlike life. Their deeds. You see our Christlike deeds. So it's not that the deeds are thrown out the window, it's just that they are no longer the grounds for covenant membership. It's not your deeds that make you members of Israel. You see, it's Christ who makes you members of Israel. This. This redeemed Israel. But. As Paul says, enrollments eight the just requirement of the law is fulfilled in those who want not according to the flash works, but those who walk according to the spirit. But then Paul talks about what the you know, what are the fruits of the spirit? Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness. Faithfulness. Meekness. Temperance. These are ways of behaving. You've seen the world, but there is a consequence. You see, what Paul came to realize is that that obedience to the law, our life that is obedient to the Torah, is a consequence of being in right relationship with God, not the courts.

 

Right. Does that help? Yeah. Yeah. Nick And a question about you said the first resurrection is our renewed life in Christ. And then we saw the fallen members of Fab fall in Babylon, raised in order to be condemned. But where does the second resurrection occur for believers in Revelation? Does it? It doesn't. Next question. Where does the second resurrection appear for believers in. And it doesn't. Hmm. Is it just the first resurrection? I think the presumption would be that, you know, only those that that are raised with Christ will be raised into this new creation. What what we would call the second resurrection. Yeah. John has a first resurrection, the second death that he doesn't have a second resurrection in the first death. You know, you sort of have to infer what's going on. And if there's a second death, there must be a first somewhere. You know, what is that? This is John they're talking about. Physical death. The second death, clearly the spiritual death. So is is the first death, physical death. Most likely it is now the first resurrection is being raised with Christ. So is there a second rate? Of course you don't necessarily. Well, when he says the first, I guess you would have to imply a second, wouldn't you? Yeah, but he doesn't give us any indication what that is. Okay. Yeah. If there are already dead. And and judgment is already for all practical reasons asked because the not in the Book of Life kind of following up on what was said earlier, what would be the point of evaluating the deeds. Good, good question. Because they're already set. Yeah, I think you see, I think what John is is trying to indicate here, he's trying to to reformulate is his Jewish hearers understanding where works, come into the picture.

 

And it's not that they're not important. You know, that's been clear all the way through, but they are not determinative of your relationship with God. It's The Lamb's Book of Life that is determinative. Does that help? Yeah, it just it just seems it's almost like a almost like a tormenting tease, it seems to those who have lived their whole lives by the basis of worse. You know, now they're seeing all these credits and then all of a sudden it's like, Oh, but see, that doesn't matter. It just seems almost cruel. Yeah, well, you've got to be careful about not being terribly, you know, explicitly literal here. And what John is saying, I think what he's doing, he is using imagery his readers are going to understand to to try to illustrate the consequences of not being part of the first resurrection. Yeah, solar is just going to add to that, that God be the judge of correctly. Every case has to be tried anyway. So. They precedent so even though they already. Yeah, you know, it I think it's sort of, you know, we we've seen this before. We saw in chapter 19 that in righteousness Jesus judges and make war. And when we think of God's judgment, we tend to think we anthropomorphize this the same way we anthropomorphize God's wrath. And so, you know, we think of God, you know, sitting in in the where the judge sits in the court, passing judgment on, you know, the person that's down in front of him. Whereas in reality, it is the very nature of God's being that is the judgment against all that is not consistent with that being. So that if in in our being we are not in the image of God that is revealed when our nonbeing in the image of God.

 

Comes into the presence of God. What we are is seen for what we truly are, that we are not the being of in the being of God for which we were created. And so it's not that God says, okay, now, Ryan, let me let me consider here and I'm going to let you in or not, that that's not it. You know, it is the very fact that we are brought into the presence of God, gods and gods being in some gods. Nature itself reveals what we are. It's sort of like, you know, silly image if you you know, if you have a crooked line. And you can call it straight. I mean, we can all I could put a crooked line up here on the screen and we could all agree together. Okay. That's that's our definition of straight. But then somebody comes in with a ruler and just puts it up there beside our crooked line. You don't have to take the ruler and beat the line to death, you know? You only have to put the ruler beside the line. And we realize in the presence of true straightness, we realize the maintenance of what we thought was straight. This also makes sense with the redeemed being a part of the judgment being on the thrones there. Righteousness is also a part of God's righteousness which reveals. Which makes. Yeah, Good observation. Yeah. You know, back in Malcolm 24, chapter 20 verse for John Sees Thrones and no see the judgment was given, you know, for that to them. But you can carry that idea through you see that, that their lives are what God created them to be. And so that their lives you see in a sense are the judgment against those whose lives are shaped by the false values of fallen.

 

BABYLON Yeah. Okay. Okay, let's see. And then. And I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God prepared as a bride. A dawn for her husband. And, of course, this takes us back to the beginning of chapter 19, where he sees the bride is given to prepare herself with the white robes and all of that. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, See? The dwelling of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them. They will be His people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more. And crying in pain will be no more for the first things have passed away. Now, what's interesting here is that John John is sort of playing with our heads. If you think about this, we've seen the final judgment. We've seen. All following Babylon thrown into Lake of Fire. We've seen the new creation. But notice that John now begins to. Put future tense verbs back into the picture here. You would think he would say, See, the home of God is among mortals. Okay? Yeah. But then he will dwell with them. Now, wait a minute, John. We've already come to the final denouement, of all things. So God does draw with that. You know, God is among mortals. He will. He will do this. He will do this. He will wipe every period. There will be no more crying. Will be no more pain will be no more. Wait a minute. That's already been taken care of, hasn't it? Well, just to hold that in your mind and let's read on a little further. And the one who was seated on the throne said, See, I am making all things new here.

 

No, wait a minute, John. Back in verse one. Everything already had been made new. You see a new sky and a new earth. You see a new creation. Why are you saying why are you hearing God say. I am making all things new. It just sort of raises questions in your mind. Well, just hold those questions and let's see if we get a resolution of them. Also, he said, write this, addressing John for these words, our trustworthy and true. Then he said to me, It is done or it has come to be. I am the alpha and omega. The beginning and the end and the thirsty. I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water. Of the water of life. And then we have another statement about the conquerors here. Those who are conquering again. HONY Khan. Present participle. Those who are conquering will inherit these things. I will be their God. They will be my children. How? I mean, this is already done, right? John, you've already seen the final judgment. Why are you shifting everything into the future here? And then look at verse eight. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. Come on, John. We've already thrown them in there. You've already seen that. Why are they back out again? What John is doing here? Remember this. We're we're in that last car of heavenly vision. Remember, you've got these three central, heavenly visions around which, first of all, you have the seven churches in the seven SEALs and chapter four and five or the first heavenly vision.

 

We have the seven trumpets and the seven bowls and 1119. The 15 five is the second heavenly vision. Now we've got the vision of the harlot. We're going to see the vision of the bride in a moment. And in between is the third heavenly vision. We're in that third heavenly vision, and we're coming to the close of it. And what John is doing, and it appears that he's doing by by his language here, is that he's taking us to the end. His vision is taking him to the end. He's seen the final judgment. He's seen the final consequences of falling in Babylon. Now he's pulling us back from that event back into the present, you might say, back into history, back into the midst of all and babble. Okay. Because New Jerusalem and we're going to see this as we as we unpack the next couple of chapters here. And New Jerusalem is already now the dwelling place of the redeemed. And we've seen that back back in in the letter to Philadelphia, for instance, you know, that they are citizens of the New Jerusalem, which is coming down now. Yeah. But is. Then unsupported also by the idea of the cyclorama that these things are running simultaneous or parallel with another. The two visions of the fall in Babylon, the final judgment of fall in Babylon, and the ushering in of the New Jerusalem as one event. But no real good way to explain it. Yeah, I think in part that is John's vision. He obviously, in his vision has seen the final outcome of. History. But he is receiving this vision as he lives in the midst of the fall and Babylon of the Roman Empire. He's sending it to the seven churches who are being urged to live as faithful citizens of New Jerusalem in that fallen Babylon world.

 

And so he's I think he's pulling back from the reality that he's seen pulling back from that final. They knew everything back into their present history. And we'll see some of the ways he triggers that, you know in his in his vision of of of New Jerusalem. Does that help? Sure. Okay. Uh. Okay. Those who are conquering will inherit these things. And I will be their God. They will be my children. So and then, of course, here here's former Babylon back and in this on the scene again. But now that you know that that is the conclusion. Verse eight is the conclusion of that last heavenly vision. Then with verse nine. We we begin the introduction of the bride New Jerusalem. And I remember I showed you when you go back, if you go back to 17, where the harlot is introduced, 17 one, two, three and put them up beside 21, nine and ten, you see this tremendous parallelism in the way in which John is introducing these two aspects, these antithetical aspects of his vision, the harlot and the bride, indicating that, you know, all of this is sort of all connected together. So one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls for the seven last plague. Now, he adds that in you go back to 17 one that had the seven last plagues isn't there because we have just come out of the seven plagues in chapter 16. So you don't have to set a context there. It's just one of those seven angels, obviously. But now you see, by adding who had the seven last plagues, he's linking us back, you say, to 17 one and of Chapter 16 indicating, you know what one I've seen in chapter 17 and 18 up to 1910.

 

Is also I'm seeing the other side of it here. And remember, this is this is a synchronous dynamic, ready in order to tell it for us. You see, you have to break it out into these pieces. So now he come coming to this last piece, which is the vision of the bride. And the angel comes and says to him, Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the lamb. Contrast of the harlot. And I remember the Harlot Incident. The Beast. And here's the bride, the wife of the lamb. Remember in John's you know, in the structure we've seen the Beast and the lamb are sort of antithetical to one another. The beast is the means of Satan's rebellious army in human history. The lamb is the means of God's redemption in human history. So you get the parallelism or the antithetical parallelism going on there. And in the Spirit, he carried me away to a great high mountain bang chamber. 17. The spirit carried him into a desert. Where he sees the harlot seated on the beast. Now the spirit takes him to a great high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. And of course, in Jewish imagery, the Great High Mountain is Zion. Right. And in I think it's in Isaiah and Isaiah. Then when God restores the kingdom to Israel, Zion will be the highest of the mountains of the earth. Mm hmm. You know what? To be raised up to be the highest of the mountains of the earth. So here's this great high mountain. So, you know, this is Zion. We've already seen the lamb in chapter 14, The LAMB standing on Mt. Zion with 144,000 who have been redeemed from the Earth.

 

Here's the the new Israel, both Jew and Gentile. So in that great high mountain, and he showed me the holy city coming down out of heaven from God. Again, the present participle here. Now, now, He began to describe the city. It has the glory of God. And a radiance like a very rare jewel like Jasper. Clear as crystal. Of course, you remember the glory of God is God's very nature. So the city you can almost say the city has got. But at least you've got to say the city has got nature about it. Now, what's interesting here is the first thing, John, the first way John describes the city. It has the glory of God. And its appearance is like Jasper. Go back to chapter four, where John sees the throne and the one seated upon it. And John says his appearance was like Jasper. The first thing he says about God on the throne in chapter four is that its appearance is like Jasper. The first thing he says about the city is its appearance is like Jasper. Now we're going to see that the city has 12 gates and 12 foundation walls has 24 units. Remember in chapter four, Guys on the Throne with 24 elders. We're also going to see the city is four square. In chapter four, there were the four living creatures in the midst of an inner circle around the throne. It would appear that what John is doing and of course, again, we're coming back to the you might say, the beginning of the cyclorama. And he's again, tying imagery together here in some way. This holy city, this new Jerusalem, is intimately inseparably joined with his image of God, his vision of God in chapter four. And we'll see some other aspects of this.

 

It has a great high wall. With 12 gates. And at the Gates of Angels and on the Gates are inscribed the names of the 12 tribes of the Israelites. No, it doesn't tell us what, 12. But we saw the 12 Tribes list in chapter seven and the ordering of the tribes there is not similar to any of the ordering in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is inconsistent either. But here he doesn't list them. Just the 12 tribes. The 12 tribes represent the covenant community. But as we've seen now, you get to this point in John's vision. The covenant community is now the New Covenant community, the new Israel, the restored Israel, Jew and Gentile together. But the access you see, and this may be part of John's imagery here, the way into the city. Israel is inseparably connected with the way into the city. Now, Jonathan, I'm saying you have to become a Jew to get in. We'll see what you have to do to get in a little bit. But you don't have to become a Jew to get in. This a Jew and Gentile. And yet Israel, you say, is central. And what John is saying is, is what you discover in Paul when you understand what Paul is doing, that what God has done is he has consummated the old covenant. And we've seen that in John in Chapter 11, in the vision where the two witnesses, Moses and Elijah, the law in the prophets, are quite together in the in the crucifixion, the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus, that in Jesus the old covenant has been constantly the law in the prophets has been consummated. It has been fulfilled. And so here you see. And that's why Israel is the date.

 

Because Israel is the means that God chose through his covenant with Abraham. To redeem the whole world. And, you know, this is this is what I think the way John is doing this, by having the gates to 12 tribes, then on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, three gates and on the west, three gates. And that, by the way, is the way in which they oriented themselves in that part of the world. When we orient ourselves, it's north, south, east, west. When they oriented themselves. It was east, north, south, west. East was their primary orientation. North is our primary orientation. So John is orienting the way they would. And while the city has 12 foundations, and on them are the 12 names of the 12 apostles of the land. Now, if you take a square and write a square on a piece of paper, cut three holes on each side of the square, three gates, and then count the pieces of wall that are left to discover. There are 12 pieces of wall. And so you've got the 12 gates and you've got the 12 foundations of the wall, 12 plus 1224. There's we've got our 24 figures. And here are the apostles of the LAMB. I think this is the only place that John mentions apostles. But of course, the word apostle means sin. And it's the apostles that the Gospel goes out to the whole world, to the Gentiles. So, again, you're John is playing with imagery here that would be inclusive imagery that is Jew and Gentile are involved in this city. Then John says. And the angel who talked to me had a measuring rod. Of gold. To measure the city and its gates and its walls.

 

Now, remember, back in Chapter 11, the beginning of Chapter 11, John was given a measuring rod and told to measure the temple and those who worship there. But to leave the outer court out, that's going to be trampled by the nations, you know, for the 42 months. But there's never a description of the measuring of the temple. In Chapter 11. Now we are going to get a measuring of the city. But we're going to see later Thursday, we're going to see there is no temple in the city. Don't. Because what we're going to discover is that the city is not itself the temple. The city is the holy of holies. Which is within the temple. So so John is is playing. I mean, we've already seen John use his temple priestly imagery throughout. And now he sort of pulls it all together in his vision of New Jerusalem. Where we'll see that is the holy of holies. So the city lies foursquare its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod. Now, and look, if you can read the Greek it says 12,000 stadia. They've translated into 1500 miles, which is accurate. You know, 12 12,000 stadia is 1471 miles, something like that. It's about 1500 miles. So they've you know, they've made a fairly good translation. The only problem is, is that by translating it into miles, you're missing what John is doing here. And we're going to see later on in a couple of more verses that the city is a cube. It's four square. See 12,000 stadia on the side. And then we're going to see it's also 12,000 stadia high. So it is a cubic structure. Now. 12,000. You think of a cube. A cube has 12 edges, you know, there the top four edges there, the base, four edges, and then the four edges that hold the top and the bottom together.

 

12 times 12,440 4000. So, you know, in sort of a hidden kind of way or an implicit kind of way, you again come up with a 144,000 number that was introduced back in chapter seven. Now in chapter seven, it was 12,000 from the 12 Tribes. It was the Jewish component, followed in verse nine of Chapter seven by this great numberless multitude. Remember we tribe, nation, Tongan people, the Gentile component. Okay. Then in chapter 14, we saw the lamb standing on Mount Zion with 144,000 who were redeemed from the Earth. Drew and Ginger Zee. John is modulating his imagery here. It begins. Israel Old Covenant Community Chapter 14. It morphs to the New Covenant community. Now he's using it for the dimensions of. The holy city, the New Jerusalem, which of course, is who we are. We are the new Jerusalem. And so you got the 144,000 brought in, you know, in an implicit kind of way. And then he measured the wall, which was 100. This is interesting. They they changed the state 12,000 stated 1500 miles. But the wall was 144 cubits. Why didn't they change that two feet? And it says. And it says the. 144 human humans, by human measurement, which the age was using a cubit, was basically the distance between a man's elbow and the tip of his middle finger. About 1818 inches is the figure that's generally used for that. So, you know, a foot and a half for those of us that are under six foot tall. For those of you that are vertically challenged, your cubit would not be quite that much. But basically, the turn that the number that use is the round figures like a foot and a half 18. So 144 cubit is going to be about 210 feet.

 

Now, that's a pretty thick wall. But remember, this wall is almost 1500 miles high and pretty thin wall when you think in terms of the height of the thing. The wall is built of Jasper. Say again? First thing he says, the city was like Jasper. The wall is built in Jasper. It has the same appearance as Gone on the Throne in chapter four. And the city is pure gold. Clear as glass. Not that images. I don't quite get that. I mean, if it's clear that glass could be pure gold, you know, even even if you had a gold colored glass, I guess it could be clear, couldn't it? Well, I think yeah. Wasn't there a sea of glass under the throne? Yeah. Under the throne. He saw the sea. Something like a sea of glass. Like crystal. Is there any connection? No, I don't think so. You know, because the sea there is, you know, it's under God's feet. And we see later becomes the image for Fall in Babylon. It's John. Statement of God Sovereignty over fallen Babylon. And of course, it's temple imagery as well, because in the temple you had what was called the sea where the priests cleansed themselves. This was a huge basin of water that the priest did there and the rituals there. And of course, if the priest has have cleansed themselves of their unclean ness in the sea, what's in the sea? The dirty young cleanness. So it's an image of unclean is which of course is fall in Babylon. Yeah. Forgive me for taking a really stupid idea problem, but is it possible that the gold could be so clearly polished that it would be reflective like glass? Good question. Never thought of that. It is here with Brad's head credit because their goal be so shiny that it is reflective like glass.

 

You know, I guess it could be. How clear was glass in that day? How clear was glass and that day? It wasn't very clear what it varied. Generally, glass in that day was not as clear as hard glass. I mean, if you if you if you see, you know, pictures of archeological finds where they have glass, usually. Well. Some if you've been shaking on some of the windows in Shaker town are the old kind of glass and it's not is distorted because you know, it's not absolutely flat and it has, you know, bubbles and stuff like that in it. That generally is the way glass was in those days as well. Although presumably the very wealthy could afford. Glass, it would be much clearer. I think basically ideas glass is something you see through, you know. But I was just thinking that when you try and talk about pure as gold, you think of golden walls and maybe John just trying to emphasize that nothing is hidden from God. The openness of this city. Yeah. Yeah, I guess that's possible, I think. I think the primary image here, though, is the gold. Because if you if you read the description of the Holy of Holies in Solomon's Temple back in Second Kings, the Holy of Holies is described as a cubic space. I think it's 15 cubits by 15, Cubas by 15 cubit, all overlaid with gold. So the image of a cubic space that is golden is in the Jewish pool of images, the holy of holies. And so what John is implying here is that the new Jerusalem is the holy of holies. And he may also be playing off of both the Jewish idea and one that we see carried out in Hebrews as well, the letter of Hebrews.

 

Is that what what we have on earth when Moses is constructed as the tabernacle you say was a shadow of the reality that is in heaven. You know that God showed Moses, you know, the Heavenly Tabernacle, the heavenly tablet, which Moses then replicates on Earth. And so then in the temple in Jerusalem, you see becomes a replica. And writer Hebrews picks up on that. And then the Jesus, you see, has entered into the true holy of holies. The one in heaven entered through the veil which separated the sanctuary from the holy of holies. So. So John is using, you know, the same kind of temple imagery. But now you see the new Jerusalem is the holy of holies. And of course, the new Jerusalem is we. We are the new Jerusalem. Okay, We'll stop there and pick up on Thursday. Amy, don't forget to get your book as you.