Revelation Lesson 58: Our New Home, part 4 :: By Sean Gooding

Chapter 22: 1-5

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.”

Once again, thanks for your responses and questions to the articles. You continue to make me study more and more. We will look once again at our New Home; this will be the final article on the subject, but certainly we have lots more to learn.

We can get a bit of a visual picture from these few verses of what the inner city will look like. In the last three articles, we have spoken about the size and the population. But today we will look at what the very streets look like and what a bit of the life will be like. Why? Why is it so important to look at the New Jerusalem? We encounter these verses in Hebrews 11:13-16,

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

These in verse 13 refer to the patriarchs; they died looking for a new home. Look in verse 16; they looked for a better country, a heavenly country. And this is what drove them, this is what kept them moving ahead and faithful; they always had their new home in view, and so should we. We are to be focused on the prize, the New Jerusalem and the new life that Jesus has prepared for us. This is why we need to know about the New Jerusalem and about the Millennial Kingdom.

  1. There is a River of Life, verse 1

The thing that you notice first is the river of life. It is down the middle of the street of gold, and on either side is the tree of life. The tree bore its fruit, 12 kinds of fruit, yielding them each month. Now, it could be that the tree bears a different kind of fruit each month on a 12-month cycle. Or, it could be that each month the tree bears 12 different kinds of fruit.

The Tree of Life has existed forever; it was in the Garden of Eden and had the power to help Adam and Eve live forever in their sinful state. Genesis 3:22,

“Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—

The Lord actually put cherubim at the gate to the Garden of Eden to stop Adam and others from eating from the Tree of Life. I have always thought that, somewhere here on earth, people pass the gateway to the Garden of Eden, and maybe those gates are still guarded all these thousands of years later. One day God will pull back the veil, and we will see that the Garden has been with us this whole time. But I could be wrong.

The leaves of this tree of life will be healing for the nations. What healing? Why? How can a place like the New Jerusalem need healing?

Well, the nations that surround the New Jerusalem on the New Earth will need healing, and they will come into the place to find the healing that they need. People who do not live in the city will have access to the city for healing. Obviously, we with the new bodies will not need a healing. I cannot expand on this yet, but the gates of the city are opened all the time, we are told; and now we know that they allow the nations to enter for the purpose of healing.

  1. No More Curse, verse 3

No more death. This is the curse of fallen man. The apostle Paul told us that in 1 Corinthians 15:25-26,

“For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

Death is the final enemy of man to be destroyed by God. In this New Jerusalem, even though there are humans in old bodies around, there is no more death. No more curse. Death is dead. No cemeteries, no funeral homes, no hearses, no funeral dirges, no caskets, nothing to do with death will exist. Life, and life alone will be the normal.

What a time that will be! Right now, every day I have friends that have to say goodbye to loved ones. Fathers, mothers, children, grandparents, wives, husbands, friends, and on we can go. Death is everywhere; it has no respect for anyone. The rich and the poor, the young and the old are equal victims of it. But in the New Jerusalem, there will be no more curse.

God’s throne will be there, and we will live with him forever; we will serve Him forever in whatever capacity He has assigned to us. We will serve gladly and joyfully; there will be no rebellion and no uprisings in defiance to God ever again.

  1. His Name on our Foreheads, verse 4

I am not sure how this will work. Will we have a tattoo-like name written on our foreheads like Jesus has names on His thigh? Or will we have phylacteries on our heads like the devout Jews did, filled with the word of God? Will we have these on our foreheads with the name of God marked on us? I am sure that whatever way God decides will be awesome and beautiful, and we will love them. God will mark us as His own. His own peculiar people.

We get New bodies, New names, Revelation 3:12

“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.”

Here it is for you. A new name from God, given to us in the new Jerusalem, and we will be there forever. Wow! What an awesome promise! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

  1. There is no night there, verse 5

I know that we have mentioned this before, but God says it again, and He is not one to repeat things haphazardly. There is no night, no darkness; God is the light of this New Jerusalem. There is nothing to fear; there is no sun and no moon. Just day, forever and ever.

Notice that it is God who gives them light; He is the source of light. He always has and always will be the source of light. And we will reign with Him forever. We are told in Romans that we are joint heirs with Jesus. Romans 8:16-17,

“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. And if we are children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

I am looking forward to seeing what the Lord has for us, the ones who love Him and are loyal to Him. No worry, He will have a place for all His people; no one will be missed. There will be plenty to do and plenty of daylight to get it done.

Are you ready to serve Him in the Kingdom? If you are not serving Him here, then the answer is no, you are not. Come with me and be a watchman; come and stand with the King of kings and serve the Lord.

Jesus is coming soon; be ready.

Missionarybaptistchurch76@yahoo.ca

 

Revelation Lesson 57: Our New Home, part 3 :: By Sean Gooding

Chapter 21: 22-27

“But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

Thanks for all the responses about these articles and lessons. The communication is very much appreciated. Today we will look at a third installment of Our New Home. There are always things to learn and to grow in when handling the Word of God. I keep learning stuff, and I hope that you will too as we move ahead in the study of God’s Word.

The last two times, we talked about the size and the sheer awesomeness of the New Jerusalem. It is massive. It will house billions of people and extend from earth all the way into space. We will have the ability, in our new bodies, to travel from earth into what we now call space. I am not sure how that will work, but it will. Our new bodies will be awesome; the limitations that sin put on us will all be lifted; and once again we will have the bodies that God intended us to have.

Along with the New Jerusalem, we saw earlier that we get a New Earth as well, and that there will be no more sea. We also get a New Heaven. This would refer to the atmosphere around us; the Heaven where God lives is eternal, so that will not change. But we will get a New Heaven and a New Earth and a New Jerusalem. The three are hand in hand. God intended us to know about these new places, to have a life that is focused on them, and so live in such a way that we are not comfortable here. This world is not our home, not our final destination.

We are going to take a look at some of the activities in and around the New Jerusalem and get a little, a very little glimpse of what life will be like.

  1. God with us, verses 2-4 (prior text)

Jesus is called Immanuel, God with us. God met with Adam and his wife in the Garden of Eden. Over and over again in the books of Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy God proclaims to the people, ‘I am with you.’ He was there as a cloud by day and fire by night. 1 Corinthians 10:4 tells us that Jesus was the Rock that followed the nation of Israel in the wilderness. Jesus appears in dreams to people. He met with Gideon; He met with Manoah in Judges; He spoke to Daniel in Babylon; He was there; He is there; and then He came as a baby in Bethlehem some 2,000 years ago.

When He left, He sent His Holy Spirit to live in us and to empower His local churches. But, one day soon, we will see Him face to face, no fear, no terror, just the wonder of His glory and presence. God will live with us and comfort us. We will never be separated ever again. Sin will never separate us and God ever again.

  1. Neither the Sun nor the Moon are needed, verse 23

This will be weird. I am 53, and there has not been a day without the sun and the moon; but in the New Heavens that God makes, there will not be a need for the sun or the moon. God is the Light of the World; this is a good lesson to learn. God is so Holy that He provides more light than the sun. And, seeing as we will have new bodies, it does not appear that we will need much rest, as there is no night. Or rather, we will rest because we want to, not because we have to. This is just like what God did in the Creation; He rested on the seventh day because He wanted to, not because He had to.

God is glorious, His purity is tangible, and it is so amazing that it can override the sun and eliminate the need for the moon. His glory is all we need. We are not accustomed to this, and this is why we need new purified bodies with new minds and new eyes to be able to handle the glory of our God.

Remember back in Isaiah 6 that the prophet, upon seeing God, could only recognize his own sinfulness and the sinfulness of his people. Remember Moses in the wilderness, that after spending time with God in ‘face to face’ communications, his face glowed so much that the people of Israel made him wear a veil because they could not handle the shine on his face. Now imagine what it will be like when we can actually tolerate the glory of God. His glory will make the sun obsolete as the source of light in the galaxy.

  1. The Lamb of God and the Lord Almighty are its Temple, verse 22

There is no more need for a Temple. You will recall from Daniel 9:27 that one of the parts of the ‘peace treaty’ that the Anti-Christ will make with the nation of Israel will be the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem:

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

See there that the sacrifices will begin again; and about halfway through the Tribulation, the Anti-Christ will defile the Temple. If one were to read Ezekiel 40-44, you will see the construction dimension for another Temple, what I understand to be a fourth temple in Jerusalem during the Millennium. In chapter 44 there are instructions about how the Prince will live in Jerusalem. As far as I can tell, there are two more Temples coming. I know that some will disagree, but the dimensions of the structure are huge, far bigger that the current Temple mount in Jerusalem. I am sure that I will learn more as I continue. But, in this New Jerusalem, there is no need for a Temple; there is no sin within the city walls.

Later, in verses 24-27 of chapter 21, we are told that the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor, but that nothing that causes an abomination or is a lie will enter. The sacrificing is gone forever, never to return.

  1. There is commerce around the New Jerusalem, verse 24-25

This place never closes; it is busy all the time. From verse 24 we can surmise that there is life on earth beyond the gates of the New Jerusalem. There are kingdoms and kings who live outside the city. We are told that there are nations of those who are saved, but they were not a part of the Bride of The Lamb. Think about it; the opportunity to be a part of the Bride ends with the Rapture as far as we understand. Then, for the 7 years of the Tribulation, there are those Jews, for instance, that are redeemed; then there are Gentiles who, along with the Jews, refuse the ‘mark of the beast.’ They enter the Millennial Kingdom and thrive in an environment that has no natural death. There are no wars, no predators and no disease.

Those that are rebellious are killed at the last battle of the world at the very end of the Millennial Kingdom, and there are still billions left who worship and honor the Lord God Almighty; but these are not a part of the Bride.

According to the passage we are looking at today, there will be nations, and there will be kings. So, it seems there will be a whole world going on around this massive structure of the New Jerusalem. One last thing: the gates are open all the time. Twelve gates made of pearls are there, and they never close. These pearls are huge – we are told in verse 17 of our passage that the walls are 144 cubits. Now, I am not sure if that is tall or wide, but either way that works out to 216 feet, either tall or wide. If there is a pearl that is a gate, imagine the size of it. Folks, this place is going to blow our minds; well, maybe not our perfect minds, but it blows our finite minds.

The New Jerusalem, the New Heaven and the New Earth are going to be busy places – busy about the business of the Lord’s universe.

We have such a narrow view of the Universe and even of earth. We learn and discover new things on a regular basis.

In all my years, I have not heard much about the New Jerusalem or the Millennial Kingdom that precedes it. It is almost as if people are afraid to tackle these topics; maybe I just need to read more. But should we not want to know more about the place that Jesus has gone to prepare for us? We should be excited, intrigued, inquisitive and expectant. Rather, we are complacent; I know that I can be. We get excited about this earth’s wealth and perceived riches, and we get our eyes off eternity. We get our eyes off the real prize and get lost in the wilderness of life. Our new home is the bomb; it is going to absolutely rock. And it is here on earth, in this life, that we get to determine what our responsibilities will be in the Millennium and beyond.

Stay focused, eyes on Jesus. Keep our eyes on the real prize, the one that is eternal and permanent.

We even have churches that keep talking about Kingdom building. God has a kingdom already, a big one, and He does not need our help to build it bigger.

We have two goals as church-age believers: to win the lost and to become more like Jesus. The Great Commission and the Beatitudes; keep these in front of us, and we will be ready for work in the coming Millennium and then the New Jerusalem.

Missionarybaptistchurch76@yahoo.ca