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Revelation - Lesson 22

The People of the New Jerusalem

A vision of the people of the New Jerusalem.

Lesson 22
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The People of the New Jerusalem

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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

nt666-22

The People of the New Jerusalem

Lesson Transcript

 

What I would raise, I would say. There you go. There you go, y'all. All right. All right. Let's go ahead. Oh, well, then I'll leave you stay right here. And I talk today, on Tuesday until tonight at eight. Then he's got some roast. Oh, I loved it. But you know what? I think it's funny. It's just that. I know. Know? I'm like, No, I know. That's right. I know. I can't remember what or why I find it as I go along. It was a lot of it. I thought that maybe today my younger son is going to get the hang of it. But later, a lot of liberal policies and. Oh, he's all right. Oh, I know what to do with that. Good morning. Good morning to her little brother. Our false self dwells in a darkness which it proclaims to be the one true light. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness grasps it not thus in faith. Our false self is bewildered, confused, and lost in a light It can neither endure nor comprehend. This light, however, is intuitively, intuitively recognized by our true self to be the true light that restores our vision, heals us and returns us to them. It is the soft light just before dawn in which our shy and elusive inner self gazes through the lattice, communicating to us the first silent syllables of the unspeakable secret that the i e y e wherein I see God is the same i e y e wherein God sees me. And as I reflected on that, there's that interesting. Saying of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. If you're. I be single. Your whole body is full of light. But if your eye is not single, then your whole body is full of darkness.

 

And it's interesting, you know, he's he's linking this idea of this UAE to the true light and to the darkness that is within us. And I wonder if that isn't what Jesus is pointing to. I was puzzled over that. You know, if your eye is single, you can cover one up or something. You know, I think, Jesus, maybe, you know, if if the inner eye of our being is focused on God. Then. We know our true self head with Christ in God. Our whole being is full of life. But if our eye is not single, see if our inner focus is on other things, you know, the dynamics, the identity base of the whole self. Then we're in darkness. Hmm. Interesting idea. Even now, we hover over the bottomless abyss of God's love. Even now by faith, we lose our footing and fall into a new unending center in which we are upheld by God and not by the narrow base of our egos self-assertion. No longer drawing our identity and life from what lies behind us, but stretching forward toward our goal, we find that faith and hope meet each other, embrace and sustain us. They become the feet with which we walk across the void and with abandon fall into it. Lost to all but God. Pray with me. Gracious, loving God. Awaken us. Through your indwelling light. Help us to have that single I. That focuses on you. And upon you alone. Help us to entrust ourselves to you. Totally and utterly. In your name, We pray. I'm in the. It was about three that I'm still not completely sure of here. Brandon Lewis. Okay, Brandon. And Jeremy Spain, our very. Okay. Jeremy and Jeffrey Waters. Jeffrey Waters No worries. Jeffrey one normally.

 

Right. In only six years. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. That's you, Brannaman. Yeah. And usually groom Chairman and chairman. Okay, now I'm going to get Geoffrey. Okay. Coming back to 22. A couple of things that I didn't touch upon last week. We're looking at this notice. John describes this river of the water of life in 22, one as bright as crystal flowing from the throne of God in on the lamb. Remember back in chapter four, John saw this sea level crystal underneath God's feet. And it appears that we have an alternate reality here. We saw that that sea is the rebellious order. But now you and you know the idea as crystal. But here is a river of water, like bright as crystal at the sea was clear. This is bright. So you get you're getting a different dynamic with the same word crystallize. So it's almost as though John is as he comes to the closed again, picking up the dynamics from the beginning and showing us the alternate reality that the sea is a place of death. And as we look at that image of sea, as it works its way all the way through the vision. We see that it is a place of death and destruction. But here is something that is crystal. That is the river of life. It is life giving. And it flows from the throne of God and the lamb. Then the another thing I wanted to point up here, of course, we got the Tree of Life. We talked about that, which takes us back to Genesis, as I mentioned, and then in verse in verse three. Kind of. You're all set up here. What happened there. Oh, they don't. Well, I don't know what your first three is.

 

Just appear. Let me just back up and see if it'll come back. My mom works the strange things. There it is. There we go. It was almost lost to the there. And, of course, this. This is picking up. You know, nothing unclean can enter through those open gates. The gates are always open. So the same kind of thing here, then to the throne of God in the lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. And if you look across at the Greek, if you know the Greek, the the word there is a la la trousseau scene, which really means to serve. Now there are places in the Septuagint where this term is used in a context where it certainly seems to be worship. But of course, worship is understood as being one of the ways in which we serve God. This is a different word. Remember, we saw back in chapter four the 24 elders. They bowed, they worshiped, and they cast their crown. You go back and check Chapter four. You discover it's a different word. There's prosecco now. But here you see, it's not just who's seen. It is. It is to serve. And they serve him. And I think that probably is is what John is intending here, not not simply, you know, having a focus on God in worship, but actually serving God in our life, serving God in the world. And remember, we've seen that John uses the phrase those who have the word of God in the witness of Jesus to describe believers. To to have the witness of Jesus is to be God's person in the world. It is to be the presence of Christ for others. You know, it is to be a means of God's grace in the world around you.

 

And that is serving God. So I think that John probably is using that term. It's interesting that they they chose worship here when they use worship for that other word in other places through through the vision, then they will see his face. His name will be on their forehead. And it's interesting to look at the use of the term face. You remember in in Exodus, where Moses wants to see God God's face, and God says, No, you can't do that. You know, you hide in the cleft of the rock and I'll put my hand over. I'll go back and then I'll take you to see the back of me. But you can't see my face. And I think that's a passage where it says no one can see God's face and live. But here you see his servants see his face. So we've got a new dynamic here. Now to see someone's face is a way of describing being in relationship with that person. And when when you look in the song, there are a number of places in the Psalter where the salt, the Psalms bemoans the fact that God has turned his face away from Israel or turned his face away from the psalmist and meaning that God's presence is not there. Of course we know God's presence is there, but they're not aware of it. And then, of course, the phrase that you find many, many times let your face shine upon us. See integral. And there's probably other dynamics to this, but at least one of the dynamics of that is be present with us. Be here with us. And so here we see that that the believers, the servants. We'll see his face that if they are in the presence.

 

They are living in the present. And then his name will be on their foreheads. And we've seen that before. But of course, it goes all the way back to chapter seven, where remember the four angels are holding back, the four cornered, four winds until the servants of God are sealed on their forehead. Now, at that point, we have no idea what the seal is. Chapter 14. We saw what it was. They have his name, the lamb and God's name on their forehead. And here we have. And his name will be on their forehead. Now, of course, which is the his God or the lamb? Presumably both. God in the lamb, you see, are brought together. Now they're both seated on the throne. And again, remember, the forehead represents perception. It particularly it represents the orientation of one's being the perceptual framework with respect to God. So. So the servants are those who are radically God centered that their whole being is God reference or lamb referenced, saying the same thing two different ways. And of course, that's why they see his face there in the presence. And then John repeats what he said before. There will be no night. No more night. They need no light of lamp or sun setting. A little bit different than he did before. For the Lord, God will be their light. They will reign forever and never. Okay. I bet in a sense that that sort of closes off his his vision of New Jerusalem. Ride the land, reverts sex. John begins to do two things again. He begins to give the final conclusion to this part of his vision. And at the same time introduce the conclusion to the whole vision. We've seen him do this several times.

 

I remember back in the SEALs that the when the seventh SEAL was opened there, there were seven angels with seven trumpets. You know, the next piece in the visit. And then he goes back and tells you what the seal was about. We've seen it. Where else did we see that? Oh, in the end of in chapter 15, as we come to the close of that, that core heavenly vision, he sees seven angels with seven bolts of wrath. And then he goes on to explain. You know, to conclude that unit. And then you pick up the Seven Angels in Seven Balls next. And here again, he's doing the same thing. But what he does here and we'll look at this is that in his conclusion to the vision of the bride, he also the way he introduces his final conclusion is by going back and picking up elements from his introduction. So if you think of the cyclorama idea, you see these come in, come all the way around now. And now we're back just about to where we started. And John picks up a whole lot of phrases and terms from where he started back in chapter one to to bring closure to this accounting of his experience. Let's just look at that parallelism first here. You see, the other things showed up too badly. The ones that are in red, they're the same. They're saying the same thing, but in two different ways. In now to your right, to your right is six through nine. 20 to 6 or nine. To your left. Picking up some of the dynamics of the closure of the vision of the harlot in 1909. And it's and he says leg a present tense. And then is a pen over here in verse six and he said so it's just in the past and present tense basically the present in the air tenses.

 

Then as you can see, the yellow portion are exactly the same. But then when I've done notice over on your left hand side, third line that I see the one one that that is what John has in one one. No God show to his servants the things necessary to come to be in talk, you know, translated quickly. Usually you look over 2 to 6, 20 to 6. God, you got some other thing you got of the spirits of the prophets sent his angel. And his angel is is in different order. See it over there on the left hand side to Angelo to send his angel, to show to his servants the things necessary to come to be and take quickly the exact same phrase. So here you see, John is gone back to one one. The very beginning of his account picked up that introductory phrase and incorporating it into the conclusion of the bribe. Then he says, and behold. And then I come quickly. And if you go back to 311 now, this is one of the letters of the seven churches. Erica, my Taku, I come quickly. And then blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book in verse seven, going back to one three. Blessed is the one who hears and who the one who reads, and those who hear the words of the prophecy of this book. You see, John is has dropped out part of what's in one three. But you've got the same thing here, you know. Blessed is is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book. So you can see again, he goes back and picks up from his introduction to weave this into the conclusion of the vision of the bride.

 

Then then you have the parallel again to the to the previous conclusion, the conclusion that Harlot and I, John, the one who heard and saw these things. And I highlighted that one and highlight that for them. Me say that that's a mistake. And when I heard and saw all I know what I was doing there all the way through the vision John is hearing. And seeing. I heard. I saw. I heard. I saw. Over and over. And over. And over again. So here I think John is again pulling it all together. You see, identifying himself once again. Remember, he identifies himself in chapter one. Now we come back here at the end and he identifies himself again. I, John, who heard and saw these things, of course, these things, hearing and seeing these things. At this point, we're we're taking the whole thing into consideration, the whole the whole sweep of the cyclorama, you know, the whole the whole vision. And when I heard and saw repeating that sort of ramps is probably I fell to worship before the feet of the angel who was showing these things to me. And of course, at the end of the vision of the harlot and I fell before the feet of him to worship him. So again, it's modified a little bit, but obviously the very same thing then in verse nine and he says to me, Don't do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren here. Back in 19 he said to me, Don't do that. I am a fellow servant. I am. I'm a fan of yours and of your brethren. And there, there it is. Those who have the witness of Jesus back in 19. Here it is. Your brethren, the prophets.

 

And those who keep the words. Of this book, then worship God and worship God on the other side as well. And then in 19, you see the spirit of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. And over here, we've got your brethren, the prophets. And those who keep the words of this book. So. He's got two different groups there. You know, you've got the prophets and those who keep the words. You've got the whole Christian community, basically. And so you can see how John has come to the conclusion, first of all, is exactly parallel to the conclusion of the harlot. And that's indicating that we're dealing with this. Unity of vision. And he breaks it down into pieces to show it to us. But he's also indicating by the things he introduces from chapter one in chapter three, that we're coming back to where we started. We're rounding this out. And then, of course, in six you also have the sauna introducing the Prophet again. The spirit of the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets. And then you pick these up later on and see. See, I'm coming soon. Remember, that was magic. Chapter three and uses Parkour here instead of in park. Which again you ask quite well, why does he do that? Now, with with this idea of coming soon. This can also be suddenly. It doesn't necessarily have to be before the class ends. And in fact, if you go back and look at the letter to Sardis, remember, that's the church that's asleep and that's where Jesus says I'm coming to school. And in the context of that and in the history of that city, remember where twice it was captured because you just went to sleep thinking it was impregnable and they sent rock climbers off the cliff and over the wall and the gate.

 

So it's the idea of suddenly it's not necessarily tomorrow, you see, but suddenly. Also, Jesus says in another place, I will come like a thief. And the idea there you see again is is not immediacy, but rather unexpectedly, you know, Jesus tells that story in the gospels. You know, if if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have been ready and not allow the thief to break in. So the idea of the of the unknown dynamic of this, as well as, you know, the idea of sudden ness, but not necessarily temporality. Now in verse seven. Also, blessed is the one who keeps the words of this prophecy. This is the sixth of the seven blessings. If you. Think this is the one that always puzzles me. Those who interpret John's vision primarily from a futurist perspective. But is that John's vision is dealing with what's going to happen at the end times, you know, tribulation maps and all those sorts of things. How do we standing in the present? Keep the words of the prophecy. I mean, it pretty hard to figure out. The best you can do is think in terms of the seven churches, the seven historical churches. But usually in the futuristic interpretations. The interpreter is always standing in the seventh church. You know, we're always in the lay of the sea and age, you know, and chapters 4 to 22 are about to happen, you know, quickly, soon. So you might say, well, you know, don't be allowed to see in church. Well, I'd be okay with that. That's not what Jesus says here. He doesn't say blessed is the one who keeps the words to the church. Glad to see you. Is it? Blessed is the one who keeps the word of the prophecy of this book.

 

The whole thing. How do you keep it if it's mostly all future? It's pretty hard to do. And that's why I say and I've been saying all the way along that what we're dealing with here is a radical call to discipleship. That is, to be faithful citizens of God's new Jerusalem. In the midst of this falling and Babylon world in which we live. That's how you keep the words of the prophecy. Is my living. A life. That is that has the word of God in the witness of Jesus. They use John's phrase whose inner being is being constantly renewed and restored to wholeness in the image of Christ, which manifests itself in a Christ like way of life in the midst of the world. So I would say that's how you keep the words of the prophecy. You say that one word, which everything I've said to you when you recorded the word. Yeah, the ceiling where the guy and the witnesses play it back. Yeah. Yeah, well, the word of God, you see, is to have to have the word of God is to our inner being in the process of being transformed or conform to the image of Christ. Being, as Paul says, you know, beholding the face of the Lord, being on the glory or being transformed into his likeness. So to have the word of God is to have our inner being in a process of restoration, of renewal, of regeneration in the image of God. And as that as that takes place, it manifests itself in a lifestyle that is Christ like. Okay. Okay. We've already talked about. Yeah. One of the interesting things here with his falling down at the feet of the angel to worship him. Is, as we as we go on, we're going to sort of find ourselves in a in a rather strange ambiguity.

 

Because John has been the angel has been talking with John. John has been relating to this angel. But we've just seen the angel apparently says to John, I'm coming quickly. Well, the angel's right there with him. How can the angel come quickly, you know, when he's there? And I could say to you, I'm coming quickly. You'd be rather confused. What do you mean he's coming? He's right. He's right here with us. And so you begin to sort of get whiplash. You know, who's talking here is Jesus talking and this is the angel. No. What's going on? And so, see, John falls down at the feet of the angels. Show them to him. Well. In the previous verse, the angel basically has been identified as Jesus. Why would Jesus tell John not to do that? First night, I remember we got the same parallel back at the end of the harlot. John falls at the feet of the angel. And just don't do that. I'm a fellow servant with you and your comrades. The Prophet worship God. The idea that comes to my mind on this. And remember, we have seen. One of the things John has done all the way from the beginning is to indicate that God and the LAMB, God and Jesus are one. That there is a unity there between God and Jesus. And we've just seen who sitting on the throne is the throne of God and the lamb. They're both together. They're on the throne. My suspicion is, is that there may have been among the churches John's writing to or among the church at large. Something that we've seen often in Christian history, where the focus is upon Jesus to the exclusion of God and the Holy Spirit. And of course, you can look at other places where you get a focus on God and Jesus and Holy Spirit drop out of the picture.

 

You get other situations where the focus is on the Holy Spirit and God and Jesus drop out of the picture for all practical purposes. My suspicion here is that John is is writing into a situation. Where the focus is upon Jesus. And that God is getting second billing. And John is seeking to make it clear that that's not the way it ought to be. So that that would explain why the angel as Jesus or Jesus as the angel would tell John, don't do that. Worship John. Now, another aspect of this, again, coming back to the beginning of the story, so to speak. Remember, the first thing John does when he sees Jesus in chapter one? Is what falls at his feet is no dead. You come back to the end and with the last thing John does, he falls. It doesn't say as dead, but he falls at his feet to worship him. So you get the same action going on here. Falling at his feet. Yeah, John. External evidence or other internal evidence in the scriptures that of point that John's writing into a situation where they're emphasizing Jesus over God. Uh. Not specifically, except the fact that all the way through, John is very careful to identify right in the land in this way. And he describes Jesus. Remember in chapter one with Jewish imagery, it is previously applied to God. And much of that imagery that he uses to describe Jesus is imagery in the Old Testament is talking about God. I don't know. Of course, with the only history we have of the first century is the New Testament. You know, we really don't have you know, we have Luke an acts. But. AX You know, it takes us up to 62.

 

If you presume, you know, it's historical and you don't see any overt evidence there of this. Although you you might hypothesize this on the fact that. What we do see in the New Testament in Paul and the other writers is that that Jesus is the Messiah, that Jesus is the one who has consummated the old covenant, that Jesus has restored the kingdom in a radically different way. But, you know, the covenant with Abraham has been fulfilled. And that, you see, could have a tendency to focus on Jesus as the Messiah. That's the only thing I can think of. I'd be wonderful if we had, you know, some nice, objective, secular sources giving us the history of the early Christian movement and its and its worship. But we don't. Yeah, I may have, Jonathan. Missed when you covered this, but it seems to make a lot more sense that that would be one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls. It I guess to me, it seems to make a lot more sense and there seems to be a lot less footwork necessary to make it fit to you to have the angel than to have Christ. Because the last really specific reveal or speaker we have is this angel that you showed me. You showed me, you told me. And it seem it really would have switched a little more dramatic, a little more specifically, obviously, a sword if it were going to be Christ or God. Well, I think I think that's part of what's going on here, because from from the beginning of this unit of the bride, you know, this is the one of the angels who had the seven last balls came and said to me, come, I will show you the bride of the lamb, etc..

 

And you know, he does as he does. But then you get the verse seven, Behold, I'm coming quickly. And we haven't had an introduction of anybody out. It doesn't say. The angel said to me, Behold, I'm coming quickly. But that's that's a phrase that Jesus uses in this. In this writing, you see. And that's what that's what causes the confusion. Now, we will see perhaps part of the answer in a few verses ahead of us here. Again, so to sort of keep that on the backburner, you know, good rhetorical style and see where it takes us. Then in in ten. Dr. Mulholland. My Bible's got it in red, so it's got to be Jesus, right? The answer to the question is Bible has it it read it has to be Jesus. Exactly right. That proves it. Right. You have the day and the discussion. Yeah. He said to me, Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book for the time is near. And notice again on that phrase. Remember also goes back to chapter one. The time is near. If you remember the first blessing. Blessed is the one who reads. And those who hear the words of the prophecy of this book for are Kai. Angus Houston for the time is near. Remember the word for time here is not Chronos. See if we were talking about chronology, you were talking about time. In that sense, we'd use Chronos. This is Kairos. I remember we were looking at chapter one back at the beginning of the semester, the word kairos, the way the word kairos is used in the New Testament and therefore by the early church. It begins with Jesus when he says the cross is fulfilled, The Kingdom of God has come near.

 

So in the parallelism, the Kairos is the kingdom. Paul uses it very much the same way, you know. We're friends, he said of the clashes. And the Athenians are fully appropriate for yourselves. The Kairos translation to make the most of the time for translation. You know, the word there, if you remember, is from the agora, from the marketplace. And it means to buy somebody out, you know, to fully appropriate for yourselves. And what is it or is the object, the Kairos? What Paul is saying. There is live your lives in this new reality. Live your lives as kingdom citizens because the days are evil. You live in a fallen Babylon world. So. So here you see, when he says the Kairos is near, it doesn't mean the second coming is around the corner. It means you are already part of New Jerusalem. You are new Jerusalem citizens. It is right here. Paul does the same thing in. I think it's Philippians. What he says in in nothing. The anxious. No, no. Rejoice. Always let all everyone know your forbearance. For the Lord his near. I don't think Paul is saying hang in there because the second coming tomorrow. I think the basis for letting everyone know your forbearance and that word forbearance is often used for those who march to a different drummer. I think what Paul is saying, let everybody know that you are citizens of an alternate reality. And of course, at the beginning of Philippians, he makes that very clear when he says to Paul to ask that a political word worthily of the Gospel of Christ. And in a Roman colony the Philippians live in, you see to Paul, to us, that is to live your lives in in perfect harmony with the whole.

 

Polly Tamar of the Palace of the City of the Colony. And so Paul is using that. And earlier in chapter three, he says, Our poly toma is in heaven. So he's established this. And then he says, you know, let all know your forbearance. Let everybody know you. You live. By a different perceptual framework, value system and lifestyle. Because the Lord is near, because that is the context you see if you're living. So here you see when John says for the time is near, the cross is near. Just as you go back at the beginning, I think this what he's talking about. Disagreement. Does Greek have any words that differentiate between near spatially and near temporally. I know in English near can mean both. Right. And it's the same English. Orion's question is does Greek have terms that distinguish between near, temporally and near spatially? No anchors. You have to tell by context what you're dealing with. The angles can be. You know, I, I am and Gus Gustin than anybody else in the class. I am nearer to him than anybody else, you see. Or you know, we can say. 840 is Angus. Yes, it's 838. So temporally, you've got 2 minutes. You got less than 2 minutes. Now you got one minute now just shift to 840. But you have to have contextualizing. To be sure of what Angus means. I thought Jonathan Nixon then Jeremiah Johnson, it seems, and I think I remember it being translated otherwise as at hand. And that seems to be a really good translation here, that the time this season is at hand and you must kind of get that idea of the season of the harvest. But yeah, yeah, at hand, of course, at hand can be interpreted temporally as well as spatially.

 

Mm hmm. And I think I like that. I guess the two both missed because this whole thing of revelation, it's happening now, so it's very near temporally. It's also very in that sense spatially. But it's also I mean, it's still not all the way here. And that's why you have to say at hand instead of just it's here. Yeah. Jeremiah And attach onto that. This is like the third option, not so much near temporally or especially, but is actually happening right now is what you're saying for the citizens of New Jerusalem within Babylon that it's occurring? Yeah, it's occurring. It's the reality within which you're living. Yeah. So it's neither a special nor temporal or, or it's both at the same time in the sense, in the sense of present temporality. Yeah. Yeah. But Muhammad, wasn't that ever translated as present or in the present or current? Well, you know, the translation is an accurate translation. Angus means near. But then that leaves it up to the reader. Well, near in what sense? And of course, dispensations interpretations mean, you know second coming is what's near and non dispense faithful translations would think you know nearness in the sense of closeness. Now would there be a better translation for the word kairos than than time. Yeah and William's asking is there a better translation for Kairos than time? Yeah. You really have to paraphrase here, I think. You know, you'd have to say the. You know, the, uh. What the kingdom reality is, is present. You know, the kingdom orientation is present. Something that something in that order. Yeah. You see, you get something of this when Paul says to to the season of the Clash is fully appropriate for yourselves, the Kairos, that makes it pretty clear that the Kairos is not something off.

 

They're out there. Up there. The Kairos is something you can fully appropriate for yourself right now. Right. You see, so fully appropriate for yourselves this this new order of being in Christ. Every time I see this, I hearken back to two places to John the Baptist where he says, Kingdom of God is here. Repent and believe in Paul saying the the night is the night is done. The day days at hand. Mm hmm. You're closer than you. Than you are, you know. And I think of those places and I think of this is this is just an invitation to be a part of this. Yeah. Don't not be a part of this. Don't be the next first evil. Yeah, right, Right. Yeah. You know, and I think that verse caps it off there. He said this is an indication that no matter if it's cross or no matter if it's temporal or otherwise. Right. It's it's the invitation that is always open. God saying, you know, come come back to me. Yeah. Which, which as we will see fits into a lot of what follows here. You know, one of the other aspects of this do not seal up the words of this book. You wonder why John was told to write this and send it to seven churches, right? Mm hmm. Why? Why this? Mm hmm. This is a remember the genre, the literary genre that John has has chosen to convey his visionary experience is that of apocalyptic. And one of the characteristics of apocalyptic is you seal up the vision because it's not for the present. Look, let me let me just show you some examples of this. If you look at. First of all, let's look at Daniel. And let's see where I first.

 

Daniel. Here is the first one. Okay. The vision of the evenings in the morning, because you've got to reading the context. I want to take time to do that. That has been told is true. As for you, he's addressing Daniel. See, a lot of the vision for it refers to many days from now. And that's the that's the typical apocalypse. We're not I say typical. It is one of the apocalyptic closures you find. You see? SEAL it up. It's not for now. It's for some time down the road. And then, of course, you've got to. Daniel 12. And as as you scroll down here, you see verse four. But you, Daniel, keep the words secret and the book sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be running back and forth, etc., etc., etc. And then you drop down to to verse nine. He said, Go your way, Daniel, for the words to remain secret and sealed until the time of the end. Now, of course, putting this all back into context and Daniel, the end that the Daniel thing is the end of the Jews exile the end of their bondage to to foreign domination. Daniel is seeing forward to the time when God is going to restore the kingdom to Israel. But notice you see seeing it up three, three different places. And Daniel, he's told to seal up what he has because it's not for now, it's for the future. Donna, what are those three citations again? 28. 826. And 12, four and nine. Then looking at one of the Internet's mental books forth Ezra. And this is fourth Ezra, Chapter 14. And worse. Oops. Why is it do that? Verse 45/4, as are 1445 and following. Know. Mm hmm. And again, you have to read it in the context.

 

But Ezra's, you know, having had this 40 day experience, another biblical image, by the way, when the 40 days were end of the most high, spoke to me saying, make public the 24 books that you wrote first and let the worthy and the unworthy read them, but keep the 70 that were written last in order to give them to the wise among your people. We're in them. As the spring of understanding the fountain of wisdom, the river of knowledge. And I did so. So here is it. Ezra wrote all of these books. 24 of them are for general distribution. But 70 of them were only for a very select group. Now, this is a little bit different dynamic. It's not see them up there for the future, but you see they're not to be disclosed to everybody. They're only for those who have the wisdom to be able to understand what's going on. You know, sort of for the the spiritually elite, you might say. Okay, let's get back to. John here. So what do you what makes this one different? See when when, when John is called, don't seal up the words of the prophecy of this book. What that says to John's readers is it's happening right now. The purpose of selling it is for something that's going to happen in the future. This makes it clear this is happening right now, which again you see helps us to interpret. The Kairos is near. This is something that's happening right now. And then let the evildoer still do evil. But the filthy still be filthy. But the righteous still do right. And the holy still be holy. It's interesting here, of course, that's obvious that we're still new Jerusalem citizens and fallen Babylon world.

 

But notice, let the evildoer still do evil. The filthy still be filthy. Doing and being. The being filthy is describing the inner nature of the system. The fall Babylon and their doing is evil doing. But this is a new Jerusalem do right and they be holy. Being and doing. So so John is bringing both of these dynamics in here. And of course, what John is doing here or what he's being what is being said here by the angel slash Jesus is very similar to Jesus parable of the wheat and the weeds. Remember where the landowner sends his servants out to plant the wheat, but at night an enemy comes and plants weeds in the field. And when it becomes obvious that this has happened, the the servant say to the landholder, shall we pull up the wheat? And he says, no, let them grow together until the harvest. In the context of the parable. The harvest is, you know, the end of history, you know, and then the weeds are going to be taken out and put in the fire and then the grain is going to be put into the into the burn. But the purpose of that imagery is to show that fallen Babylon, New Jerusalem are together until the end. Yeah. And I think this is exactly what John is conveying or what the angels like Jesus is conveying here. The former Babylon continues to be fallen. Babylon New Jerusalem continues to be new Jerusalem. And of course, we've already seen that it's possible for citizens to follow Babylon to become citizens of Jerusalem. You know, the gospel is to those who grow upon the earth, those very time nations talking to people back in chapter 14. The gates are never closed.

 

But nothing unclean can come in. So you have to put this verse in the larger context of what John is seeing. Otherwise this could be seen in a very deterministic kind of way. Well, you know, the filthy and the evildoers. They're they're eternally lost. There's no way for them to ever be safe. And of course, for the holy, there's no way for them to get lost. You know, you can get that in, you know, sort of five point Calvinism idea. Okay. That's not what John is talking about here. He's just talking about the reality that we who follow the lamb wherever he goes. We live in the midst of a fallen Babylon world. Then. See, I'm coming soon. Who is this? It's the same phrase we just saw over seven. Where elsewhere in the in the vision is Jesus. So now here. Here he is again. Or Wait a minute. This is the angel. Is this. What is? My reward is with me to repay according to everyone's work. You come back to the work idea again. When we saw how John uses works all the way through, and then in a sense, seemed to turn it on his head. If your name is not in the last book of life, no matter how good your book of deeds is. You see, if you're not in the Lamb's Book of Life, you're in real trouble. I think another aspect I didn't mention this at that time, but I think another aspect of what we're dealing with here is, is what Paul really sort of summarizes for us very succinctly in Philippians chapter two, which tells us to work on our own salvation with fear and trembling for God is at work in you. And, you know, you want to say, Hey, we're not pulling a time out.

 

Which is it? Do I work out myself or is God working in me? And of course, we've had people in Christian history that come down on each side of that equation. You know, you fall over and it works. Righteousness on the one hand, or you fall into pacifism on the other. You just sort of sit there, say, okay, God, do it. And Paul is indicating that we have a responsibility. I mean, God, through the Holy Spirit, desires to regenerate us into the image of Christ, to restore us in His own image. But God will never transgress our freedom. We have to cooperate with him. And the way in which we cooperate with that is by our deeds of obedience. But these become acts of love, not acts of necessity. The true obedience is a loving response to God. So that as we offer. What we're really offering to God in a spiritual discipline is we're offering some aspect of our false self. And when that discipline, when we are truly offering ourself to God, not trying to polish up the surface in so many spiritual disciplines, you're just trying to put a nice sheen on the surface, you know, like whitewashed tombs. You know, a lot of spiritual disciplines are just a can of whitewash. You know, just put the whitewash on top. And nobody and all the different you know, it's like taking a mud pie and putting, you know, angel food frosting on it. And think thinking of an angel food cake. No, it's still a mud pie. The purpose of the disciplines is to offer that brokenness, that sinfulness, that deadness, that darkness. That is me. You see, that's who I am at that point in my life is to offer that to God.

 

Through this act of loving obedience. And what happens when we truly do that? The discipline becomes a means of grace through which God works to bring about that inner transformation to conform us to the image of Christ. So I think this is part of what John is sort of playing with here as it works all the way through. You know, and their works follow after blessing the dead who die in the Lord from this time forth. For their works. Follow after that. Doesn't mean it works righteousness. There is the righteous who have died. Why are they righteous? Because they've offered themselves to God in the works. And then, of course, you see, once God wants you, God has been enabled by your obedience to transform that aspect of your being. Then your works become a natural manifestation of an inward reality. And you still do the same things. But now they're the result of walking by the spirit drawn out of something as part of a kid that I still struggle with. Sometimes as I think through this verse and other works where John talks about the works, people tend to interpret that, that And what we've seen so far in Revelation, I think, is that the evil doers are the ones who come under judgment, not the faithful ones. New Jersey When I was taught that by our works, we're going to be measured. We don't even want to use the word judgment or still be measured. And we're given award of a reward according to our works. And our position in heaven will be based upon our works like those some granted higher positions in others. And I don't see a real I can understand how they come up with that, but I'm still struggling to get a grasp on that.

 

Are you familiar with that? Where they. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I'm not I'm not sure about the higher position, you know, some sort of a hierarchy. Paul has that interesting phrase in Corinthians where he says the day meaning the day will every everyone's works will be tested. You know, and those that are built with gold and silver and precious stones. But those were built with hay, wood and stubble. You know, their works will be burned up. They will be saved, but only through fire. Now, when I see Paul, I want to get back clarified. But I think I think Paul is dealing with something of the same reality. And I think this is why he says you can say work out your own salvation for God is at work in you. He says, Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. And I think the reason Paul does that is because he knows from his own personal experience how easy it is for us to get our grubby little hands on our works and think that we're transforming ourselves to turn it into works righteousness. And whether or not he's what he's dealing with. He talks about would hey and stumble or not, I don't know. But yeah Paul Paul are very clear there that yes, there is an aspect of our works that we carry with us into into God's presence. Do you see some people being rewarded more than others in that sense, or does it seem that as long as you remain faithful, all are receiving the same inheritance? Yeah. I want. What I wonder here is I don't believe I may be heretical on this one. I don't believe that at the moment of our death. We suddenly move from wherever we are in our spiritual growth to total Christ likeness.

 

Because now we transgress our freedom. It's a love relationship. And so those who in this life have. Been totally devoted. To God. You know, and and consistently offering themselves and being nurtured to wholeness. They're they are going to be much closer to that final goal of perfect Christ likeness than those that have not. So in that sense, you might say, you know, there's that kind of C.S. Lewis does this sort of in his book, The Great Divorce. And the idea is that in heaven, everybody is moving toward the center, toward God, and the people are different places in that journey. And of course, there's this busload of people that come from hell for this babies that you see. They're out on the fringes. But the ones that meet them invite them to come on a journey, to move, to move forward. So I think Lewis is playing with something of this, this dynamic. Terry, I've been working recently with that Philippians passage you mentioned, working out our salvation. And it is God who will bring us to to God's good purpose. And I think that playing with the word work, you know, it's us working in our process of salvation and God working in us, that that that God may work out through us. And and I think the reward is in the relationship that develops out of that. Well, yeah, the reward ultimately is Christ likeness that is being restored to wholeness, the wholeness for which we were created. Yes. I mean, that that that is the reward. When Paul says in Romans eight, you know, that we are heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, you know, Heirs of what? Heirs of God likeness. We're not going to be God, but we're created in the image of God.

 

That's what I'm thinking when I see reward. Yeah. Yeah. I think, you know, some people think reward in the sense of, you know, possessions and stuff like that. No, it's really the ultimate reward is being restored to wholeness in the image of Christ, in the image of God. Jonathan Steger I guess a slightly different track is there seem to be a really strong parallel between verses ten through 12 or 11 and 12. And back in the New Jerusalem version of Chapter 21. Is there anything to be gotten from that tie? Because if you look back in chapter 21, right, this for these words are trust and trustworthy and true, which we have six through nine. It is done in the alpha and omega, which we see here beginning at the end. The thirsty, the river of life to those who cancro give the inheritance. As for the cowardly the polluters, they will be burned with fire and sulfur, which seems to. So it's a restatement here of what's happened in 21. Yeah, John. John is, as we've seen, you know, John is restating a whole lot of things in this in this section. So my emphasis here, picking them up and running them in a slightly different way, but the same the same dynamic. Yeah. Yeah. Then in the 13, you know, I am the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. And of course, these these are terms that that we've seen before. Alpha and Omega one eight. And again, there of course, it's the point or character that says it's the Almighty. When says that they're the first and the last is in 117. Jesus said, Behold, I am the first and the last and the last one.

 

I was dead. Behold, I'm alive forever more I The kiss of death and Hades. The beginning. The end is only here. So? So you see, John is sort of bringing a new phrase in here at the close to supplement the ones he's already got. Of course, Alpha and Omega is the first and the last letters of the alphabet to beginning in the end. So it's just three ways of saying the same thing and to say it three times, you know, in the Hebrew school of Images, three is the number four. God is a number, you know, perfection, you might say. So just emphasizing. But again, who is saying this? This is the angel, this talking with John. So here, here is now you have an almost say Jesus, slash God or angel. Slash Jesus slash God. Because Alpha and Omega back at the beginning is is God. And then we have the final blessing in verse 14. Blessed are those who wash their robes so they have the right to the tree of life and they enter the city by the gates. Now, let's see that whole bunch of stuff together. Remember the robes? We've seen robes all the way along. And the robes are sort of the outer manifestation of an inward reality. Those who wash their robes. That takes us back to chapter seven. Where remember, we saw this great numberless multitude from every tribe, nation, tongue and people. And one of the 24 elders asked John, who are these? And John says, You know, you tell me. And then he's told, these are those who have washed their robes in the blood of the lamb and made them white, which is I'm sorry, which chapter is that? That's chapter seven. Yeah. So.

 

So. Seven. 14. Thank you. And so what John is doing, is he here? He says blessing to those who wash the robes. Well, his hearers, they go back immediately to chapter seven. That's what it means to wash your robes in the blood of the lamb. And the consequence? You have the right to the tree of life. You see, you are restored back into that relationship for which God created humanity in the first place. In a sense, you're. You're back into the Garden of Eden, where the tree of life appears. And then also enter the city by the gates. But remember, nothing unclean can come in. So you've cleansed your robes, you see, washed your robes in the blood of the lamb. Understood. And that is what enables you to enter the city. And of course, if you're not in the city, you don't have access to the tree of life. Remember, the tree of life is on both sides of the river of the water, of life that flows from the fracture on the land and God. So John is just pulling together all kinds of imagery here. Then outside was 50. Outside. This is the city. Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, fornicators, murderers, idolaters. Everyone who loves and practices falsehood. Outside is falling in Babylon. So here's New Jerusalem you see in the midst of Ramallah. And of course, that too. That pulls us back into the present reality because all of those people were thrown into the lake of fire back in January 20. You see. So John has has backed off from that vision of the final consummation. And now we're back into history here. I think it's interesting what he does here. Of course, dogs is a typical Jewish epithet for Gentiles.

 

For anyone who is not a Jew bear, a dog, sorcerers, fornicators, Fornicators here probably is both physical and spiritual because you also got idolaters. You're murderers and idolaters. But notice how he sort of summarizes those hall and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. Here's the full self. Here's the false self. Here is that self referenced structure of being and its consequences. You see, because it's self reference for being results in things like murders and idolatry. Of course, the false self is is the ultimate idolatry because it makes it self God. And whatever God it worships is a God in its own image. It's a God under its own control. And of course, that's what sorcery is all about. Sorcery is is being able to control the world around you. The all of these are dynamics of the false self. And it's interesting. Go back and look at the number of times John talks about falsehood and those who are false. You know, he keeps that theme going through here as well and brings it to his conclusion here. Now, here, here is where we get the solution to our problem in verse 16. It is I. Jesus. Who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches? So Jesus is identifying himself with the angel. I sent my angel and I mentioned this back in the beginning. Remember in chapter one, verse one, John sends his angel to his servant to show them the things that must take place, must come to be. You know, and then as you move on to chapter one, who appears to John Jesus very clearly. Okay. So here, as we come to the end, as we come the other end of this cyclorama back to where we began with the vision of Jesus, Jesus says, I sent my angel to you.

 

And as I mentioned, you know, three months ago, at the beginning of the semester, John is playing here with the Jewish understanding of the relationship between angels and God. In the Old Testament. You have a number of those places where an Old Testament figure has an encounter with an angel. And as you read the encounter somewhere in the middle of the encounter, you suddenly realize that the person is talking with God, that God is talking with the person. You know, and you sort of wonder when and where to God come into the picture. We started with an angel. Now here we are ending up with God. Yeah, God and the angel are the same thing. God's angel is God himself. So when Jesus says, I sent my angel to you, I came to you. Then what John is doing is he's using Angela Morphic Christology here. And we know in the Jewish tradition there was an Angela morphic Messiah that is a messiah. It was framed in the terms of an angel. If you look at long in Eggers book on. It's the title of it. You've got a section in there on I think I have it in the syllabus on Angela morphic Christology, which is what John is playing with here, I think. Just like the writer Hebrews is using the High priest half the Order of Melchizedek. I mean, that's. That's the image he's using for Christology. Jesus is the high priest after of Melchizedek. And we know from the Qumran Scrolls Cave 13, the Melchizedek Scroll, that this was one of their expectations. You see a messiah after the or high priestly messiah after the art of Melchizedek, which is what he's picking up. And of course, Matthew Matthew Jesus is the Davidic Messiah.

 

You know, the genealogy of Jesus, the Messiah, Son of David. So maybe I'm putting David ahead of Abraham, you see, is his emphasis. So the New Testament writers interact with the whole variety of Jewish messianic expectations, always showing. Jesus is the one. And I think this is what John is doing here. He's using this Angela morphic Christology to say Jesus is the one. He is the Messiah. And of course, he does that in many different ways, not just that. But here Jesus says, I sent my angel to you. With this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David. And of course, that takes us back to chapter five, The Lion of the Tribe of Judah. So here here is the Davidic element being brought in in several places. Remember in chapter ten, Jesus as the angel, the mighty angel with one foot on the sea, one foot on the land, and when he opens, his mouth is like a lion roaring. You see, this is the lion of the tribe of Judah. So, John, just keep picking up these, you know, these threads. Then the spirit and the bride say, Come. But everyone who hears say come. Let everyone who is thirsty come. But anyone who wishes to take the water of life as a gift now got to distinguish some groups here. The Spirit. And the bribe. Say cop. The bride, of course, is the community. Then he says, Let everyone who hears say, cop. Now you've got to be careful here, because in the Jewish understanding, to hear is to respond, to obey. If you don't obey, you haven't heard. We hear the word here. It just means like you're hearing the sound of my voice, you know.

 

The sound waves are hitting the timber them in your in your ears, and that's going through your neural networks. And you're hearing my voice. That's not what here he is in the Jewish context. To hear is to act upon what you hear. So when John says, let anyone who hears say come, he's saying in another way, those who have responded, those who are the believers. You know, sort of emphasizing that who the bride is. And then let everyone who is thirsty. Come now. These are those outside the wall. These are those who do not yet have access to the river of the water of life. This is all about a lot. And so what we see is a come to the end of John's vision is the evangelistic call. That the purpose of being faithful citizen of New Jerusalem is to be the means of God's grace, to bring citizens of all fallen Babylon into the city, so to speak. To bring them in to citizenship in New Jerusalem. Yeah. William is right. I don't know. So this might not pan out in the Greek, but is there any significance that the word Come, come is three times. Or because he could have theoretically, he could have combined some of them. Yeah. Williams asking the question in the word come is the word aircrew is a spirit in the brides say aircrew come and the one who hear that, the one who hears say come. And let the one who first come. Erica Sai. Erica. So let him come. And of course, it's the same word that Jesus used when he says, I come quickly. That's the linkage here. But then notice anyone who wishes to take the water of life is a gift. It's grace.

 

It's not earned. But remember. Where do you find the water of life throwing flowing from the throne of God and the lamb through the streets of the city? You've got to be in the city to do it. And nothing unclean can come in. So you've got to wash your robe in order to come in and have access not only to the tree of life, but to the river of life. Jonathan Which also. I guess. Next up, the 21 girls to conquer will inherit these. No, for six. To the thirsty. I'll give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. And here at these things, I mean, it's the exact quote. Yeah. And so you have those who conquer or those who wish or those who conquer. Right. Those who are willing. Yeah. And remember, conquering is your conquering over fall of Babylon. That is you. You are not allowing fall in Babylon to shape your worldview, your value system, or your lifestyle. But rather the lamb. You know, we are those who follow the lamb wherever he goes. Okay. This next section will take a little bit of time, so I won't hold that until Thursday and we'll finish Thursday. And I have some summary stuff I want to do, but I haven't heard from anybody. If you want to share some of your research with us, please let me know. I'd be very happy to have you do that. Okay. Have a good day. We'll see you on Thursday.