Revelation - Lesson 21
New Jerusalem's Hope (Part 2)
In this lesson, Dr. Mulholland explores the idea that God's love is the driving force behind human existence and self-discovery. The false self, characterized by grimaces and deceit, hinders one's realization of their true self. The birth of the true self is a secret process initiated by God, and no human action can force its revelation. Instead, faith, openness, attention, reverence, expectation, supplication, trust, and joy should permeate one's being to realize the true self. The lesson emphasizes the importance of faith, as it is a gift from the Holy Spirit that allows Christ to live within believers, shifting the focus from one's ego to God. Dr. Mulholland encourages listeners to release control and allow God to work in and through them, ultimately positioning believers as citizens of the new Jerusalem within a fallen world.
New Jerusalem's Hope (Part 2)
I. Overview of the Lesson
A. Introduction and Greetings
B. The Importance of True Self and God's Love
C. The False Self and Its Hindrances
D. The Secret Birth of the True Self
E. Faith as the Bond to God and Spiritual Life
F. Prayer, Faith, and God's Presence
G. Acknowledgment and Prayer for God's Guidance
H. Shifting the Weight from the Ego to God
II. Theological Significance of New Jerusalem
A. The New Creation and Heavenly Jerusalem
B. Reversing the Roman Zodiac and Old Sky
C. The Foundations and Gates of the City
1. Twelve Foundations Adorned with Precious Stones
2. Twelve Gates Made of Single Pearls
3. The Golden Streets as Transparent as Glass
D. Implications for First-Century Believers and Theological Symbolism
III. The Development of Jewish Tradition: Mishnah and Talmud
A. The Beginnings of Scribal Tradition and the Mishnah
B. Continuation and Amplification through the Talmud
C. Interpretation and Variations in Jewish Tradition
D. The Impact of Tradition on Contemporary Practices
- 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's Hope (Part 2)
Good morning and God is love. And the true self is a self in love. God loves us with an everlasting love. And it is his love that first creates us. It is his love that leads him to seek us out to consummate the wedding in which we become who we are. But how are we to avoid chasing him away? The false selves self-styled grimace, the false selves plans of deceit, all the false self can do or say closes up the lattice, blocking our view of the beloved and keeping him far from us. How can we avoid these tactics that keep our realization of the true self? Far from us, the false self would have the answer lie in some esoteric secret, some strenuous and bizarre technique that would force the inner self into the open. But Merton assures us that the opposite is true. He would have us realize that the birth of the true self is as secret as the birth of a fawn. It takes place in hiding. The secret birth is God's action, and therefore no action of our own can force God into revealing Himself to us. Nor can we force God to reveal his most secret treasure, which is our own true self. Burton tells us that in seeking realization of our true self in prayer, we should not look for a method or system or cultivate an attitude and outlook. Faith, openness, attention, reverence. Expectation. Supplication. Trust. Joy. All of these finally permeate our being with love. Insofar as our living faith tells us we are in the presence of God, that we live in Christ, and then in the Spirit of God, we see God our Father without seeing.
We know him in unknowing. Faith is the bond that unites us to him in the spirit who gives us light and love. The emphasis here is on faith. Faith itself is a gift of the spirit given to us in Christ. And it is faith that first allows us to begin our spiritual life, which is nothing else but Christ living in us by His Holy Spirit. The birth of this inner realization is one with the birth of faith in us. In faith, we find a certain yet dark inner realization of that relationship that holds the secret of our ultimate identity. In faith. The weight is shifted from our own poor ego into the infinite abyss of God, in whom alone we find our ultimate self and our consummate joy. Right with me. Good, gracious, loving God. We thank you for this. Profound reminder of the depth of your love for us. That you have spoken us forth in love. That you have entered into our deadness and our darkness and cruciform love. And your desire to raise us to a new life in your resurrection love. And to draw us back into that relationship of loving and union with you for which you created us. You offer yourself to us to be our life. To be our true self. Help us, Lord, to. Stop trying to bring you under our control. Help us stop trying to fit you into boxes of our own making. Help us to release ourselves to you, to let you be whatever you want to be in us. To do whatever you want to do in us and through us. This, we ask in your name. Father, Son and Holy Spirit on this. But. As you as you probably realize, we're going to finish Revelation, which is great.
There have been terms when I've taught it, when we had to rush through the last chapter to try to get all the verses covered. But we're going to do it fine. With time left over. So I would invite any of you who would like to present your project or something of your project to us to do that. I know a couple of you've already got your projects done, and if you'd be interested in sharing that with us, I'd be happy to have you do that. Those of you that may be nearing your project is doing two weeks, remember? So I hope you're at least thinking about doing it. Actually, I hope you're actually doing it. But if you would like to to share something of your project with a appreciate you're doing that and the rest of us would appreciate it as well, I'm sure. So. So let me know if if you're willing and interested in doing that and we'll we'll set up a schedule where you can do that. Okay. We were talking about this. This cubic city, this four square city length, width and height are all equal, and it's 12,000 stadia. Let me show you an interesting picture here. That's not particularly interesting as the Mediterranean, but the the orange the orange portion is the extent of the Roman Empire in the first century. It should extend over to Britain. Britain was captured or taken in about 46 A.D. but that's that's out of the point at this point. Now, if you take a cube and set a cube down on that map, of course you're going to have a square right to the bottom of two. Two dimensional thing would be a square from a cube. And if you do that, here's what you get.
And if you put the center of the cube on Patmos, where John received his vision, notice that the western edge of the cube is just about where Rome is. The eastern edge of the cube is just about where Jerusalem is, and the northern and southern boundaries of the cube are somewhat similar to the northern and southern boundaries of the Roman Empire in the east. But what's interesting about this is that at the time of John's vision, and this would not make any difference whether it's in the sixties or the nineties, you know, the two basic arguments to go on for the dating of Revelation, whether it's the sixties or the nineties, as far as we know, every Christian alive in the world at that time lived within that square. We don't have any evidences of Christianity beyond that square until you get into the second century. And then it begins to expand, of course, to to the west into what is today, France and Spain. But even in the first century, Christianity had had gotten down in Egypt. Of course it's in Palestine. And of course we know Paul's ministry and we know from Paul's letter to the Romans that Christianity had reached Rome. But beyond that, we really are pretty much in the dark. So as far as we know, every Christian alive in the world when John wrote this, lived within that square. And I think that probably is one of the things John is dealing with. I mean, he's we've saw he's using the 12,000 stadia and 12 inches on a cube to get 144,000, the number that represents New Jerusalem. But at the same time, it represents, I think, what John is trying to indicate. Remember, this is coming down out of heaven from God.
Every place where you have the new Jerusalem described is always the present tense is coming down. And I think what John may be signaling to us here and to his readers and of course to us is that we are now citizens of this new Jerusalem in the midst of a in Babylon world for John and his readers. The Roman Empire was that fallen Babylon. Now, if John were to have his vision today, he'd probably have a 8000 mile cube. In which the whole globe would fit, you say, because the diameter of the globe is 8000 mile, because Christianity now has spread around the entire globe. Of course, that would throw off his hundred and 44,000 a bit. But you see you see what John's dealing with here. I think he's trying to re-emphasize something he's been saying all along. He's been pretty clear as we work through his vision that John understands that believers are already now citizens of God's new order, God's new Jerusalem, and they're living in the midst of the fallen Babylon world of the Roman Empire. And so this is just sort of one final illustration of that fact. Then I think we we left off with. Verse 18, The wall was built of Jasper, while the city is pure gold, clear as glass. That's why we were talking about how something is going to be clear. Someone had a picture of them or about a picture of glass in Roman glass in a museum, and it was sort of golden in color. Whether that's what John has in mind, we can't be sure. But I think what he what he clearly has in mind here is a cubic dwelling place of God in the lamp. Herman got to that yet, but we'll see that they're there and it's golden.
So this seems to be playing off of the image. Not really. Not not the image, but the reality of the holy of holies in the temple in Jerusalem that that the new Jerusalem is the new holy of holies, which, of course, is not an image that is peculiar to John. Paul talks about how we have been built into a holy temple as a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. And here's Paul using powerful imagery. And of course, in the Jewish temple imagery, God's presence is in what part of the temple in the holy of holies. So basically what Paul is saying there with the imagery Paul is using, Paul is saying that the Christian community is the new holy of holies as well as the new temple. So. So and of course, the writer of Hebrews frames it a little bit differently. But he does say that we have direct access to the mercy seat, which of course was over the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. So as believers, you see we have access to God in the holy of holies, a little bit different kind of imagery, but still dealing with something of that same reality. Then. Then John tells us about the foundation walls and his 12 foundations, and on them are the 12 names of the 12 apostles of the land. Now, who's the 12th? We know because John is counting. Paul is 12th or Matthias. Remember, they they got a substitute for for Judas after he committed suicide of Matthias with the one who was selected, you know. Is that the 12th? We don't know. Then the angel who talked to me had a measure amount of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls and see that as four square.
I got the wrong way and it went up instead of down. We do want to talk about the walls now. The foundations of all of the city are adorned with every jewel. First there's Jasper. There it is again. You know, we saw in chapter four, John, the first term John uses to describe God is his appearance was like Jasper. The first term we use it to describe Jerusalem is it is like Jasper. Now, the first stone that he lists as the, you know, the foundations of the city are Jasper again. Then he goes on with his list. The second is sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, etc. down through the list. These again are the 12 stones on the breastplate of the high priest we saw back in chapter four. God's appearance was like Jasper and Carnelian. The first and the last snow. So was sort of encompassing all 12. Just giving you the first and the last. Here he lists all 12 of these. And again, the ordering of these is not in any standard sequence in the Old Testament. They list them in a sequence. But the 12 tribes, as we noted in the Old Testament and in the introduced mantle period, do not have a standard sequence order. One of the sequences is Birth Order of the 12 Sons of Jacob. But that order varies all over the place, and John is using yet another variant of those 12. And so he seems to be continuing that as he lists these these 12 stones. One of the interesting features here, and this may have something to do with what John is dealing with is. In the Roman world. There each. Each item of the Zodiac, the 12, the 12 parts of the Zodiac also were associated with a precious stone.
And these are the same stones. These are the 12, but they're in reverse order. Which is a way of undoing things in the Roman world, the Roman understanding of spiritual dynamics to undo something, you reverse it. And so John has reversed it here, whether he's trying to send a signal to his readers that what God has done has reversed the Roman world is turn it upside down. I don't know. But it's an interesting feature. When he says the 12 gates are 12 pearls. Each of the gates is a single pearl. And remember, the gates have the names of the 12 tribes. That's the first thing he told us. Now each gate is a single pearl. In the street of the city is pure gold, Transparent has got glass. He repeats himself there. Now, it's interesting. This is the first place chronologically in the literature of the Jewish Christian tradition, where the gates of the heavenly city are pearls. We find it later in Jewish writings in. In the Talmud, which the Talmud is a commentary on the Mishnah. The Mishnah is the literary form of the oral tradition of the elders. And in in Baba Mothra, in the Tract eight of the Talmud 75 A and in Sanhedrin 100 A you have this image of the gates of the heavenly city being a single pearl. So, you know, whether that has been picked up from John. Or whether John is is using an image that had arisen and was know prevalent in his day that is later picked up, you know, in the later Jewish writings. We just don't know. But it's interesting you get that kind of of a correlation. Teresa can these have right there again, can these 12 stones be representative of the 12 tribes of Israel? Yeah, they are.
That the 12? They're the 12 stones on the breastplate, but they're not in the order in which they're given back in Exodus. Who were Moses? Exactly what Stone stands for. What tribe? The. The only one I know is that the Emerald stands for Judah. And here, of course, you see you have that listed for. Now, if you go back to the list of the 12 tribes in chapter seven, Juda is listed first. And of course, remember in chapter four that the rainbow that's around God's head was an emerald, was like an emerald. And Jude, of course, is the tribe of David, which is the tribe of Jesus. So, you know, he's at least back there. It looks as though he's playing with that idea. Here, you see, he he's moved it. And that's why I'm suggesting that he may be undoing the Zodiac. Because you would think that he would be consistent and keep Judah or the Emerald upfront. Now, of course, he has to have the diaspora because he's used that to describe God. I came across something in my research for chapter four and five, and it discussed. But Judah. And I'm pulling out my paper right now. But due to was as far as the stone. And. The first one, Ruben. And then Benjamin being the first and the last. Mm hmm. And then the one that the. Due to being Jesus. Right. Get my thoughts on this. And I got a couple of things. Go to my editor and I'm not sure the source right off. And I'd have to go back through my my notes and stuff, but I was. Where can we find out exactly or do we have any proof of what those are? I know there's reference in Deuteronomy.
Well, the first reference would be an exodus where Moses, you know, creates the tabernacle and all the accouterments of it, including the breastplate of the high priest. And there's where you get your first listing. Of, you know, of the stones and the tribes. Now, I don't know if there's another listing of those stones elsewhere. They could be repeated in Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is, in a sense, in sort of a synopsis of the four books that preceded at least the three books Exodus, Leviticus and numbers. I don't know of any other place where they're listed out. He'll list those in his temple imagery. I'm not sure. But what's interesting is that in the tribes themselves, in the listing of the tribes themselves, you do not have a consistent order. You know, you don't have you would think that the tribes would be listed in the birth order, but they're not. I mean, one of the list is birth order. But you get you get different. You know, combinations of these 12 names in different orders. And I've not been able to figure out, you know, what the rationale is in any one of those for changing from birth order. And John has yet another order. And I do think that John's putting Judah first is significant. But then the question is, well, why doesn't he keep Judah first here? The admiral, he's he's shifted that. And here I think another something another agenda is in place here. And it may be, you know, the undoing of the Zodiac. But I'm not sure. I've noticed also that sometimes the stones are change. Or they'll be the same thing, but they'll have a different name. Yeah, that's another problem because, you know, as. As people work with with the Stones, they get different names for the same stone, and they're described in different ways.
So that adds another layer of confusion to what we're dealing with here. The undoing of the Zodiac actually seems to make sense because if you have John, the vision later looking out and you see from Earth, you see the Zodiac, but you also see the city of heaven, you know the city of God coming down and you're going to see its foundations coming down. Hmm. The undoing of the Zodiac seems to be the undoing of that which guides the Babylon system. They viewed that. I mean, it's a pretty absolute determiner of things are going to happen. You triggered a memory for me, and I've forgotten another aspect of this. Remember, we have seen in the beginning of chapter 21, a new creation, a new sky and a new earth. The old sky. The old Earth had passed away and there's a new sky in the new Earth. Could John also be doing this to indicate that the old sky you see has been turned upside down and it has been totally reversed? That may be another aspect of what he's doing here. And as we've seen, you know, John, John does not always stick with one meaning for one image. You know, his imagery is polyvalent. And so he's probably doing, you know, at least several of these things at the same time. Teresa, do you have another? Yes, I came up. I pulled my paper up and it is an X is 2817 through 21 where it talks about the stone. Yeah. This one source that I came across, Jasper, is supposed to represent Benjamin. Mm hmm. The Carnelian represents Reuben, and then that Emerald represents Judah. Yeah. And I thought that that was interesting that you touch. Mm hmm. Yeah. I'm not sure whether John, you know, would be making any.
Statement with with this order. I think probably the fact that we do know this is the reversal of the Zodiac probably is what's going on here. You're mine to do with the Stones written like that. But you had mentioned the missioner. Is that available today for us to read? Oh, yeah, sure. It's just. Yeah, That's just all it's called. Yeah, it's. It's in the library and yeah, the mission is there. And then, of course, the Talmud as well. Now, the quotes I have were from the Talmud. Now the mission, it doesn't have this imagery. The Talmud picks it up, which means it's even like the mission, the form in which we have the mission. The written form was about 280. There appear to have been a couple earlier attempts. Rabbi Yohanan And after the fall of Jerusalem in 78, he appears to have begun putting the tradition of the elders down in written form. Rabbi Akiba, in the thirties, seems to have developed a more rounded form of it. But the one that we have is just the admission of Rabbi Judah. About 200 A.D.. Then after that, you see that the missioner is the the the literary distillation of the oral tradition, the traditionally obviously scribal tradition. That was regulations that if you obeyed the oral tradition, you'd never disobey Torah. You say, you know, the Torah says you shall not work on the Sabbath. Well, they develop 39 categories of working within each category. What was and what was not work and so forth were all things. That is what we have in the mission of the written form of the oral tradition. Then the process continues because the situation in which Jews were living changes. So how do you obey Torah in this setting? And so the scribes continue this, and that's what the Talmud is.
The Talmud is further commentary on the Mishnah amplifying these regulations, these traditions of the elders of the scribal tradition, to enable the Jewish people to live their lives in faithful obedience to Torah. When did this start? How did this start? Before Christ. Oh, yeah. Okay. So this had been going on for a long time. Yeah. Uh huh. Yeah, it really. It really began. Well, some some scholars suggested it even began before the Babylonian captivity. The evidence for that is pretty sketchy. But after the Babylonian captivity is really where it began, because it when you when you look at Lamentations, Jeremiah's lamentations, you see Jeremiah in a sense, in an encapsulating within himself, the exiled Jewish community asking the question, why did God let it happen? They lost their land, they lost their temple, and they lost their kingdom. Their debate. It came. Why did God let this happen to us? God promised us the land. He promised to David a kingdom that would never end. And he promised to do well with us in the place where he chose his name throughout, which is the temple in Jerusalem. Why are all these gone? Well, the answer is because we were unfaithful to the Covenant, we did not obey the covenant. So then the question arises, Well, how can we be God's faithful covenant people without the land, the temple and the kingdom? The answer was by obeying the Torah. Now, that seems pretty straightforward, right? But just take the example. I just gave one of the Ten Commandments. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy? You should do no work on the Sabbath. They need to, you know, your your manservant, your maid, servant, etc.. Okay, that's pretty clear. Don't work on the Sabbath.
But once work. And that's where the scribes begin to say, What's work? This is work. This is not. This is. This is not. And they begin to eventually, as I said, they do about 39 different categories. And within each category, what was and what was not work. And this they do with the entire Torah. So. So the tradition begins. During the Babylonian exile and continues right on through today to today. You know, today, for instance, if you I think I mentioned this earlier, if you go to Jerusalem or to Israel and go into a public building, has an elevator on the Sabbath, you never have to push the button because the elevators are programed to go up and down all day long, opening at every door, every floor, because pushing the button is work. Mm hmm. You know, now, the Torah doesn't say anything about pushing elevator buttons. Okay. But the scribal tradition, as you come into the modern period where you have elevators, the question is, is it work to push the button? And the conservative rabbis say, yes, it is. So, you know, they just go around all day opening it every floor. Now, the really conservative Jews say it's okay to ride the elevator up, but it's not okay to ride it down because your body weight is helping it go down. And that's work. But, you know, this is the way the tradition just keeps on going. The Talmud make the mission obsolete like a 2.0 kind of thing. All right. Sorry. Like, twice. But it doesn't make it obsolete. It just continues to amplify it. And then you'll follow both of those. Just the Talmud today. There is. And it depends on where you fall and whether you're a real conservative or a liberal.
You wouldn't even know what the Talmud is. A very, very conservative. Right. You know, you've heard the joke about the the the Jewish fellow that didn't didn't know what it was right to have a Christmas tree or what You should have a Hanukkah tree or a Christmas tree. And so he went to a very, you know, ultra conservative Jewish rabbi and rabbis. Oh, you know, Hanukkah, of course, you know, what's this Christmas stuff? And then he goes to what's the middle group orthodoxies. And the rabbi says, well, you can you can do either one or both, but it really makes no difference. So then he goes to a reformed Jew, the liberal wing and the reformed rabbi says, Christmas tree. I know, but what's a Hanukkah tree? You know, you've heard the joke. If you if you got two Jews, you got three opinions. Well, that was true back then, too. When we speak of Judaism, first century Judaism, we really probably should speak of first Century Judaism's because there were all sorts of, you know, varieties going on within. So then during the Ministry of Jesus, it was the mission of that. He was railing against a lot of the new strain out of that. What Jesus is dealing with there is the oral tradition. Yeah. Okay, now here, here we come to the point. I saw no temple in the city. And of course, this this would really grab the attention of Jon's hearers because Jerusalem is the place of the temple, the dwelling place of God. And John sees no temple in the city. It's Temple is the Lord God, the Almighty and the lamb. Here John is picking up imagery. Well, we first see it in the Gospel of John. Here's another one of those sort of inferential connections between Revelation and the Gospel.
In chapter two, John gives us the cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem. And then you remember the religious authorities call Jesus on the carpet for this. By what authority are you doing this? And Jesus says, Destroy this temple. And in three days, I will raise it up. And of course, they say it's taken 46 years to build this temple to where it is now. And you can do this in three days. And there's a little John has a little parenthetical remark. Jesus was talking about his body and after the resurrection, the disciples understood it. So so that Jesus posits himself, you see, as the new temple. We've seen Paul picks up that imagery and understands the Christian community to be the new temple. John has been playing with something of that same imagery here. So when he says that the Lord God Almighty and the lamb are the temple. You see, he's continuing that idea that really he begins in his gospel by that account of Jesus making himself the temple burning. So and of course, also any Jewish reader. Any anybody. In John's hearing, congregations already have got the idea of the holy of holies with this cubic city. The new Jerusalem is this cubic city, and it's golden. You see. And now it's the dwelling place of God. So, yeah, of course there's no temple if the city is the holy of holies. You see, what's happened is New Jerusalem and sort of, you might say, collapse into the holy of holies instead of the holy of holies being part of a larger reality. Now, the ultimate reality, New Jerusalem is itself the holy of holies and gone in the lamb are there. The city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it.
For the glory of God is its light. And the lamp is the lamp. Now, here again, John, is is picking up some imagery that takes us all the way back to chapter one. Remember in chapter one, he has his inaugural vision of Jesus standing in the midst of the seven lamp stands. And at the end of the chapter, we're told what the seven lamp stands are. The seven lamp stands are the seven churches. Now we see who the lamp is. The lamp stand is simply, you know, something like this on which you set the alarm. I mean, it really went like this, but, you know, it was a thing on which you would put a lamp. It would hold the lamp up so the light would, you know, radiate through the room. So now we know who the lamp is, and we also know who the light is to The light is God. The lamp is the lamb. You see, the lamb is the one, you might say, out of whom the light of God shines. And the church is the lamp stand. That is, we are who we are to hold up Christ so that the light of God shines into the world. So John is sort of split his imagery apart here, you see. You mean as the lamb stands in chapter one and as we come to the end of our cyclorama, where we're back inside of those lamp stands, so to speak, he tells us what the lamp in the light is really sort of an interesting play that he has on the imagery here. And then the nations will walk by its light. The kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Now, what John is is pointing to hear something that we've already seen, and he just, you know, re-emphasizing it.
And he's using primarily imagery from Isaiah here. Isaiah in several places talks about how the nations will well will come into the restored Jerusalem, how they will bring their their glory, their wealth into this restored Jerusalem. This is what John is picking up here. And of course, at this point, you see what John understands and has been showing people out of his vision is that the restored covenant, you know, the consummated covenant, the restored Israel. Includes Gentiles, both Jew and Gentile. And of course, Chapter seven is where he showed that very pointedly with 144,000 from the 12 tribes in that great numberless multitude. Remember tribe, nation, tongue people. You know the Gentile component. So. So here is another biblical images using out of out of the Jewish pool of images to re-emphasize again that Gentiles are part of this reality. And of course, this has been God's plan all along. And it goes all the way back to Genesis chapter 12. And Genesis 12 three is where God makes his covenant with Abraham and says, In you, all the nations of the earth will be blessed. So we see their God's intention in establishing this covenant with Abraham. That through Abraham, all the nations of the earth will be blessed. And to be blessed means to be part of God's blessed humanity, God's blessed community. And of course, this is where Isaiah picks up. It's what the Jews of the first century had lost sight of most of the Jews at first and who lost sight of. They'd seen their covenant relationship with God as this special privilege than those poor Gentiles. You're just out of here, you know. You've got nothing. And Paul describes it sort of well, that that perspective in Ephesians, you know, in the in the latter part of chapter two of Effusion, you once, you know, you were aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel, you know, having no God and without hope in the world.
I mean he paints this horribly black picture of the Gentile condition, which really is a reflection of how most of the Jews in Paul's day would have looked at Gentiles. Hmm. And of course, Paul does it to show now you would become a fellow. Family members with the Jews. And of course, Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles. Paul has come to realize, you see that in the Messiah. God has acted in a way that makes it possible for the Gentiles to become part of the covenant and to fulfill the covenant with Abraham. That's why he uses Abraham as his point of reference in Romans four, where he deals with this and again in Inhalations chapter three. See what the issue that Paul is dealing with there is what has got done in the Messiah, particularly with respect to Gentiles. That God has has fulfilled the covenant He made with Abraham. Is there any evidence of Jewish proselytizing at all? Because you said most of the Jewish community had forgotten about being a light to the Gentiles. Is there any evidence of that going on? There is. Jesus has that statement. He said to the Pharisees. In one account you traverse seeing land to make one promise of light, and when you've done it, you make him twice the trial of hell that you are. I mean, it's really, really a rather strong statement he's saying to these various. But, you know, that's that's a piece of evidence that obviously they were proselytizing. Also, I think I mention very mention. Somewhere, you know, about the Jews had this special privilege in the Roman world. Yeah, we. Yeah, we did. When we were talking about the seven leaders in the synagogue of Satan idea. Every time Jewish proselytizing made inroads into the Roman culture, Rome put our foot down.
You know, in in 17 A.D., there was an expulsion of the Jews from Rome because of proselytizing. And we have four different Roman historians who tell us of the account of that. We have the expulsion of the Jews from Rome in 48 A.D. Claudius expelled the Jews. And Suetonius tells us because of disturbances in the city. And of course, remember, in the Roman world, the worst thing you could do is cause disturbances of the status quo. Rome like the status quo. So the Jews were expelled because of disturbances in the city. The Jews had caused disturbances in the city over Crassus, which is a typical Latin mass. Transcription of Christus of Christ. So apparently Jew, Jewish, Christian issues came to the point where they were expelled. And it could be that what was going on is that the Christians were proselytizing the Gentiles. And of course, the Romans couldn't tell a Christian from a Jew. They all look alike to them. And so, you know, the Jews get expelled. So that that also, you see, is evidence for us of Jewish proselytizing. Hmm. Now, of course, when when you think of that, you've got to realize that what the Jews were understanding. Is not that God is including Gentiles, but rather that certain Gentiles can become Jews. This is the this is the whole issue with Paul. See, Paul is saying Gentiles become part of the covenant community without becoming Jews. That is, without coming under having men having to be circumcised and having to take on the burden of PA on all of that. See that? That's the that's the real rub with Paul. And it's interesting to look at what happens in the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, where the issue is how are Gentiles to be included in.
The church, the believing community and the Pharisees, some of the Pharisees among the believers said they must be circumcised. That is, they've got to become Jewish proselytize. The outcome. James makes a rather autocratic decision. It's interesting to read that they have this long dialog. It looks like a real democratic process. And then James says, I have decided, you know, here's the bishop, this is the law. You know, that they do not have to be circumcised, that Gentiles do not have to become slates, but. They have to abstain from from idolatry, from fornication, from from things that were strangled in from blood. Well, those are basic what's called the Nowak code. Those are some of the basic requirements for Gentiles to be God fears. That is, to become part of the Jewish community at the level of God fear sort of out there on the fringes. But James, solution to the problem is a fairly Jewish solution. He still doesn't get it. So you see, John understands and his vision reveals what Paul and the others have already been saying. Yes, In the Messiah Jesus, God has restored the kingdom, but He's not done it the way we thought he would. And, you know, believe it or not, it includes Gentiles. You know, the nations will come out. John, I was actually in conversation with somebody yesterday, used to be a professor here, and he's asking me about this class. And we got on the topic of Revelation, and I talked about the dispensation of theology. And and he's like, you know, that's where I think he sits in dispensation of theology, because he he made the comment, well, Israel and the Jews screwed it up. So now it's our turn, you know, to come into this covenant.
And and I and I guess like when you if you really look at what John is trying to say, it's like and it takes me back to the lamp stand imagery where Israel, the 12 tribes sometimes represented in the last stand as the bearers of the light of God's glory and to the world, that if we can see this as a fulfillment of it, like you said, a fulfillment of the Abraham Covenant and the church becoming wimps, then that it's rather a spirit of fulfillment. It's like an expansion, you know, it's not a replacement or a displacement of Israel, like a lot of dispensation. Let's try to make it sound like and it's not superstition ism either. And because they run into the problem on Earth, a lot of them try to explain how how does the covenant for Israel become fulfilled at the end time when Jesus returns in relation to the church and they and they go back to saying a new having a new earth and some of them leave in place like Israel in heaven or on Earth and Christians and have I don't know, they get in. Yeah. Yeah. You both have really weird formulations of this. What, what what do we see in the New Testament? Of course Paul is, is a central figure on this is that and of course you see it some of it more in the gospel of John then that's an optics but that Israel. Becomes coalesced. Into Jesus. That is, Jesus is the embodiment of Israel and in his faithfulness. Has. Done what? Historical Israel had not been able to accomplish that is he? He fulfills the role of Israel in himself and in his death and in his resurrection, which then is what opens the door to the blessing of the nations.
I mean, that's caricaturing it rather quickly, but that's the essence. If you want a good a good development of this art from the poem Inside, read Tom Wright's new book, Justification. I've been reading it for the past weeks. Really, really great. But, you know, he he really goes through particularly the Romans and the Galatians passages where this is the focal issue for Paul, but he also deals with with Corinthians and Ephesians and and Philippians, you know, in the same context, but really, really unpacks, I think, in a wonderful way through textual, not through theological, you know, over overburden on the text, but by understanding the text in its context, by understanding what Paul is saying in the larger context of each of those books. And this is basically what it is. And of course, it's something of what John is seeing and saying in his gospel. We need records. Jesus, you know, destroyed this temple in three days and raise it up because in a sense, the if you want to say what is the center of Israel, the center of Israel would be the temple where God's presence dwells. So so Jesus in the sense, is, you know, positing himself as in that context. Okay. From what you said about anti rights book justification will answer my own question. So I'll do my own research on everything you were just saying about. Messianic Jews or whatever you want to call them, Jews in the church, trying to implement Gentiles into the mix. And you're right, James, he was coming up with this logic that was still a very Jewish logic. My question is more about circumcision. But I don't want to throw my question very light. It's very intentional. What's the big deal? I mean, it's something that happens when the child when the.
You know, I mean, for the know, for the Jews. I mean, Yes. You know, all the the sign of the covenant. Right. I know all the the the Sunday school answers. I understand. I understand all the Sunday school answers. But my question is, how did Paul come to the logic saying, you know what? If we could be certain, if we could be saved through the law. Christ died for nothing. I mean, I understand. I understand that logic. But was his logic new? I mean. I mean, I. I mean, I can almost see I would almost have no problem if this Jewish Council said with the gavel. Yes. Gentile men must be circumcised. And I wouldn't have a problem with it because. Because I can see the logic in it. But how did they get to the logic scene? No. If we could be saved through the law. Christ died for nothing. Well, what other parts? What gives them the right to pick and choose which parts of the law we as Gentiles are to obey? Or, quite frankly, messianic believers in Jews who are believers in Jesus Christ to pick and choose what we can obey. Hmm. Yeah. That's a secondary issue, really. And that's the secondary issue. The primary issue here is thinking in terms around around circumcision is the sign of the covenant. One of the one of the things Paul does is he talks about true circumcision. You know that it is not of the flesh, but of the heart of the spirit. Okay. And you've got to remember that circumcision is associated with the Abrahamic Covenant, not with the Sinai Covenant. Sinai Covenant. As Paul says, comes 400 years later. Okay. So we're talking about the Abrahamic Covenant. And of course, the covenant is given to Abraham before he's circumcised.
Mm. Okay. So that the circumcision is after the covenant as a sign of the covenant. But what Paul has come to understand, what the Eric Church came to understand is that it is the Abrahamic covenant that God has fulfilled or consummated in Jesus. Okay. Okay. And that. That relationship is one that comes. Abraham believed God and it was condemned to him as righteousness. As an uncircumcised person, you see. So. So you're. So basically what you're saying is their connection with Abraham was not really the circumcision. Exactly. Exactly. Since the covenant was before the circumcision. Now, listen, this is an important as you claim to make. Okay. Yeah. All right. Thank you. It's a secondary issue when you put your focus on the Abrahamic Covenant, not the sign of it, but the covenant itself, which Paul and the others understand has been fulfilled in Jesus that has been consummated. Okay. Going on with what he said, were you would you say that the act of circumcision would fall under works? And it's not by our works that we can be saying it's through Jesus Christ. Yeah. If you you have to understand, works in a little broader context. I think it's not just, you know, the do's and don'ts. But rather you see this. This becomes the sign of your covenant membership, you see. And Paul is saying, no, that is not the sign of covenant membership, that faith is the sign of the covenant membership. You see being being incorporated into the faithfulness of the Messiah. You know, these these strange passages Paul has talked about the having the faith of Jesus, not faith in faith of. This is Paul's understanding that what we're dealing with here is not some sort of how to say this, not not some sort of outward action, but of an inward reality.
That's why that's why he spiritualized the circumcision. And when he talks about in in Colossians chapter two, you know, you you were you were you were buried with him in that baptism area with Christ in baptism in the. In the circumcision made with without hands in the putting off of the body of the flesh and cause he's he's playing he's using puns here at the same time because circumcision is putting off a piece of flesh. But Paul is talking about flash here as the whole self reference structure being that when we are baptized into Christ, you see we are abandoning that structure of being and we are being raised with Him into a Christ reference to the structure of the. But he links that with circumcision. The baptism and circumcision get get lumped together. And for Paul, you see baptism in the Christian context. In a sense, serves the same purpose as good as circumcision did in the Jewish context. So, you know, it's really an interesting, interesting dynamic. Well, back to the nations. The nations will walk by. It's like kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. You see this? And this, of course, is the ultimate consummation of God's purpose in the covenant with Abraham. That is, that all of humanity will be restored into that relationship of loving union with God and one another for which humanity was created in the first place. That God is going to have to come bring back around the the consummation of God's original purposes. Then its gates will never be shut by day and there will be no night there. Which means what? The gates are never shut. If there's no night, you see, the gates are not shut my day, but there's no night.
So that means the gates are always open. I mean, in that part of the world, when the sun went down, you closed the city gates. Because that would protect you against robbers and brigands or whatever. Gates were only open during the day. So here's the gates. Never be shot by them. But there's no night. Which means the gates are always open. And I think what John is is indicating here is is that grace of God that is offered to all. The gates are never shut. People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations picking it up again. But then notice this in verse 27. But nothing unclean will enter it. Nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood. But only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Now we are Back to the Lambs Book of Life again. So New Jerusalem is available to all, but you can't bring your force itself in. Notice the falsehood he has there as well. Practice as abomination or falsehood. You see, you cannot bring your fallen nature in to this new Jerusalem. It's open, everybody. But nothing unclean will enter. Yeah. It's never shut. It's why I have a gate and the gates represent Israel. I mean, is there anything to that? Yeah. Aaron's questioning. Why? Why have Gates at all? Well, he's playing with his image of the city, with the 12 gates, you know, and the new Jerusalem. Yeah. I mean, he could have gone in a whole different direction with this, but this is, you know, this is the imagery that is would be well known to his readers. And the whole idea of a heavenly Jerusalem. John John isn't the inventor of this either. You know, Paul Paul talks about the Jerusalem as a bug, that she is her mother.
That Sarah Hager imagery that he uses, the writer Hebrews talks about how you have come to the heavenly Jerusalem. Now you will come. You have gone. So. So and of course, Isaiah has the idea of the new team. Yeah. Significance to the gates being made of Pearl. Pardon? Is there any significance to the gates being made of Pearl significance and Gates being made? I don't know what that is. You know, Jesus, you have the parable of the guy that finds the pearl of great price. I don't know how that would tie in or not. Pearls, of course, are precious things. I just really don't know. You know, and this is the first as I said, this is the first place this imagery appears in the whole Jewish tradition and Christian tradition. And not until, you know, 300 years later or so do you find it being picked up in the Talmud by the Jews as an image for for the heavenly city? So I'm just really not sure what John is playing off of here. Unfortunately, this is one of his images where we do not have. Written resources in the Internet transitional period that indicate what this would have meant to his readers. I'm presuming that since he uses it, he knows that his readers have this image somewhere in their image pool and it means something to them. But we really we really got through this. And the idea of why have Gates at all that? Tribute to Jesus says that he is the Gate and the Lambs look alive at Tide. I hadn't thought of that. Yeah. You know, I'm the gate of the sheepfold. You know, that's an interesting to another aspect here. Lost my thought. You triggered a thought in my mind, but it triggered right out again to me the second year to only remember with.
Oh, another aspect of this is not really directly associate with the gates, but remember the wall that that the angel measured how thick it was. You know, it was 200. What was 200 and some 144 cubits, which is, you know, like 225 feet. This huge thick wall, you know, is is John using this Could you bring this in when you're talking about the gates never being shut, but nothing unclean coming in that that the wall of the city is is God's holiness. And that nothing unholy can pass through that holiness. One of their later prophets. I forget now, whether it's Zachariah, has the image of God's holiness being a fire around the covenant people. So whether, you know, John is modulating that image or not, I don't know. Yeah. Oh. Regarding the gates never been shut in. 25. It seems like there's maybe a link between he's never been shot and anything that might present thinking that maybe ties in with the idea of how he closed the gates at night. Mm hmm. So the absence of night could signify the reason for the departure? Yeah. They go together, you know, see where he says the gates number closed by day. If he'd stop there, every one of his readers would understand they're closed at night. But when he says. And there is no night. See, that's just a way of saying the gates are never closed. It will get their attention, too. You see, the idea that there's no night really sort of focuses your attention on the fact. Oh, the gates are open by day. There's no night. And they have to be open all the time. And it really gets them to think about that. John, we were just talking earlier. We were waiting to get to the 12 tribes, right? Yeah.
Buddy enters into the new year, is left without entering in through Israel, in a sense, or through Christ. Yeah. And so it just seemed like we to drop that for a second in the conversation. Yeah. And John, John is calling our attention to the fact we remember the 12 gates of the 12 tribes, the names, the 12 tribes who are on the gates. And yeah, that go way in is through Israel. And of course, that would be very consistent with what Paul understands. But Israel now, you see, is being defined. In a very different way. Israel is Jesus. The Israel has been encapsulated or condensed into Jesus. And it is it is in him that no one comes to the Father but me. I think something of that same reality is what John is is playing with here in his imagery. I was just thinking about that in relation to the question. That's why have Gates at all? And I think it's just John's imagery of saying if they're always open there, but you still have to enter in through this covenant. Yeah, that's a good point. Yeah, You still have to come in through God's plan, which is Israel as the light to the nations. Yeah. One thing is the the kings of the earth. I mean, it has horrible scale. Those guys have been thrown into the lake of fire. What are they doing here? Yeah, yeah, that's a good question. And we've seen it. We've seen the kings of the Earth all the way through, you know, in very negative perspectives. I think what John is doing here is is coming back to to reemphasize. Remember in chapter 14 where you had the three angels, the good news, bad news you choose and you choose it if anyone worships the beast in its image.
But the good news is this eternal gospel to reclaim to fallen Babylon. Those who fell upon the earth, those who every time nations and people. The bad news is you're living in a fallen world. You know you're living in a dead end world. And if you persist in living in that world, here's the consequences. But you don't need to persist in it. So. And I think that that's consistent with what he's doing here. You see that that it is possible for the nations to come into New Jerusalem, but you have to come in. On God's terms. You know, going back to chapter four or chapter four, you know, casting a crown, you've got to let God be God on God's terms. Isn't this kind of help support the idea that this is an ongoing and present day thing that's going to take place forever until the final consummation or whatever you want to call it? Because if the gods are never if this is already the church and everybody's been raptured and judged and everything else, there's no reason to have any gate and or for them to be open whatsoever. There's nobody left to go in and out of. Yeah. And this room we we saw on Tuesday how John he takes us to the final denouement of God's purpose, the fulfillment of of God's victory, the consummation and fall. Babylon is thrown into the lake of fire, everything associated with it. But then remember, he's pulled us back. He's now shifting into those future tenses. And so now. Now we're back in history again. And so, as you said, you see the gates are always open. Well, after the final confirmation. Well, what does it say? Nothing, You know, nothing unclean will enter into it, nor anyone who practices abominations.
Listen, those people are being treated like a fire. See, we're not we're not back into the historical context and describing the dynamics. And you might say the purpose of New Jerusalem, as we're going to see when we get to the end of chapter 22, You know, everyone who thirsts come. You know, it's the it's the evangelistic call to fall in Babylon. The John. John sees that the purpose of all of New Jerusalem is to be the presence of God in the midst of all in Babylon, in a redemptive sort of way. And of course, if all of Babylon chooses not to respond to that. Grace for that love, then there are consequences that go with that. Yeah. I'm just trying to reconcile in my mind like passages, like the parable of the Ten Virgins where, you know, the door is closed and there is a time where it seems as if, God, it's like, from now on, you can't Is that is that what this is talking about or is just like up until that point? I think this is up until that point. Yeah. Yeah. I think see at this end, especially when we get almost to the end, you know, anyone sort of let them come and drink freely of the water of life, etc.. You see here, here's the call to fall in Babylon to, well, fear God and give him glory in the terms that John uses for, you know, for conversion so that we're back in this day when when that judgment scene in chapter 20 takes place, you know, then it's over. Yeah. Okay, let's see where we are. I think we're. Yeah, but those written in the Lamb's Book of Life then John moved to. An image that you find in both Ezekiel and Zachariah.
And this is the image of the river of the water of life. And you show me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal flowing from the throne of God and of the lamb. And just to let's. Look at the passages in the Zacharias. And Ezekiel. Ezekiel 47 and Zachary, 14. And of course, this this is remember, this is that that section of music here where he is envisioning the the future temple in the restoration. And the spirit is giving in this guided tour of of of this restored temple. Then he Spirit brought me back to the entrance of the temple. Their water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple toward. The temple faced East. Remember east as your primary orientation? We saw that the city, New Jerusalem has three three on the east, three of the north, three in the south, three on the west. There's your east orientation. And the water was flowing down from below at the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Now, I'm not sure what the significance of that is, but here, here's the water flowing out. And he brought me out by way of the north gate, led me around on the outside of the outer gate that faces toward the east. And the water was coming out on the south side, going on eastward with a cord in his hand. The man I heard, 1000 cubits by 1500 feet and then led me through the water and it was ankle deep. Again, it measured 1000 led me through the water and it was needed. Guinea measure 1000 led me through the water and it was. What's up here? And it was needed. It was up to the waist and you measure a thousand and it was a river that I could not cross for the water had risen, was deep enough to swim in a river that could not be crossed.
It's sort of an interesting image. You see that you start with this this almost a trickle coming out of the temple. And as you move farther and farther away, it becomes deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper. And of course, that's the way rivers are. You know, that's the sort of a physical reality. You know, I've I've I've waited across the Mississippi River, but I did it where it comes out of Lake Itasca, where it's about this deep, you know, and it's about as wise from here to the second row. You try to wait across the Mississippi and in New Orleans. What's going to happen? You know, you're going to be awful wet. So, you know, he's he's not, you know, playing with the image in a strange sort of way, but. Then as you go on down, is this the one where he continues and he says. Oh, then the in verse seven, I came back and I saw on the bank of the river great many trees on the one side and on the other. Now, John is going to modulate this imagery, as we shall see. He said when this water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Araba, and when it enters the sea, the sea is stagnant waters. That is the Dead Sea. The water will become fresh. Wherever the river goes, every living creature, the swarms will live. And there will be many fish. Once these waters reach there, it will become fresh and everything will live where the river goes. So it's sort of a veiled idea of the river, of the water of life. Wherever this river goes, life comes. And especially Ezekiel's image when this river reaches the Dead Sea. It comes alive.
It becomes fresh. You see, it is restored. And so you can I mean, of course, this imagery is very well known to John and his readers, so that when John talks about the river or the water of life flowing from the throne of God and the lamb. Here is where their minds are going to go. The other the other use of this. Is is in a. Is in Zakaria. Chapter 14. Uh, he starts with the. Yeah. Verse eight on that day. And of course the day he's talking about here is, is the day of, of the restoration. On that day living water shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them from the eastern sea, half of the western sea. Western sea is the Mediterranean. The eastern sea is, is the Dead Sea. And it will continue in summer as in winter. And the whole land where we turned little plane, etc.. So Zakaria doesn't amplify in the same way that Israel does. But we can see that what Jon is playing with here. Obviously, is that imagery. Okay, Get back up here again. Also, it's interesting here. Remember when John in chapter four, when John sees God seated upon the throne and underneath God's feet or down at his feet, is this sea like crystal, like glass? Here we get bright as crystal again. So here it is. In a sense, John seems to be replacing that C, which we saw he developed as fallen Babylon with the river of the water of life. All of Babylon is a place of deadness and is images of the sea. You know, everything in the sea is dead. The sea is like clotted blood, You know, all those images of deadness that he associated with the sea when he's using it.
His name is the Fallen Babylon. Now you see that that sea under his feet is replaced by the river of the water of life that that flows out from the throne of God in the land. And it flows through the middle of the street to the city now. And John is is modulating, as we've seen him do again and again and again. He takes his old passive imagery and modulates it. So here he's taking his ego's imagery and he's modulating it. It flows through the middle of the streets of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life singular. Now, in here you've got many trees on both sides of the river. You see John again, he's moderating the image. You have the Tree of life. And of course, this takes us all the way back to Genesis, where the Tree of Life is in the garden. So it is part you see one one of the Jewish understandings was is that when God, when God restored everything, restored the kingdom, that everything would return to its Edenic state, that Eden would be restored. And so the tree of Life would be available once again. So here John sees the river on either side. I don't know how he figures this. You see these sequoias with a road cut through the middle. You know, something like that. You know, this is a huge, monstrous tree with a hole through the middle and the river flows through the hole. Well, he doesn't. He doesn't worry about little details like that. But through the middle of the city, on either side of the river is the tree of life, with its 12 kinds of fruit producing fruit each month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
Now, here's the interesting imagery you see is the tree of Life. So it provides food, you know, throughout the whole year, 12 months. But the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. And here again, you see John is introducing this evangelistic dynamic that that this restored kingdom is for everybody. It's not just the Jews private possession. You see, it is for the nations. So he uses another imagery to show the nations are are being brought in. But notice nothing. A curse will be found there any more. Nothing unclean come in but the throne of God and of the lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. Now here's where we see the throne of God. The lamb is in the city. So here is God. The lamb dwelling in this cubic city. Golden, you know, the holy of holies. They will end in servants. Gives me a minute. And his servants will see his face. That's an interesting image you find in the Old Testament frequently where the Thomas friends say that may God let his face shine upon us. And the idea of, you know, Moses new God face to face, the idea of seeing God's face. Is is a way of describing. Our our restored relationship in that relationship of loving union with the. That we see God face to face, and then Joseph and his name will be on their forehead. And we've already seen I remember back in Chapter seven before Angels holding back the destructive four limbs until the servants of God are sealed on their forehead. In chapter 14, we saw the 144 a thousand with the lamb on Mt. Zion having his name and his father's name on their forehead. Here.
We get it again. His name will be on his forehead. And we've already seen that the forehead is the seat of perception particularly reflective of your inner orientation toward God. Remember that the beast that came from the sea had a blasphemous name. And of course, where's the mark placed? On the forehead or on the right hand. So to have God's name on your forehead. Is to have to be in that relationship of a radically God referenced nature of being. That is, you are in that relationship of loving union with God. Which, of course, is picking up a lot of what John has said. It's bowing, worshiping, casting around, going back to chapter four. Okay, time's up. We'll pick up here next week and we should be able to finish this on Tuesday. So any of you that want to to share with us, let me know, please. Well, I mean, I've got some summery stuff to do after we finished chapter 22, but there's going to be space for you to present if you want. Have a good weekend.