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David Pawson - Revelation Seminar Part 5b

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Thoughtful Thoughts by John Dunning. 12.7.2024 Revelation 21-22.

1). Catch -up…

Last time we had events a-d. What were they?

1a) In Rev. 19.11-16 we read about “Him who is called ‘Faithful and True’, riding on a white horse. He judges in righteousness and makes war.

1b) In Rev. 19:17-21 there’s a war, which is over with a word from Jesus.

The first two humans to be cast into hell will be ‘the beast’ and ‘the false prophet’, (Rev. 19:20).

1c) In Rev. 20:1-3 Satan is bound by an angel and is dropped into the abyss while Jesus reigns for 1,000 years.

1d) In 20:11-15 the final judgment comes when the books are opened. We learn here that there will be two resurrections. There will be one for the righteous and then a second one for the unrighteous.

1e) Follows below in chapter 21…

Revelation 21-22; “The Return Of The King.” 

Introduction to Chapters 21-22.

Well, we have come a long way since we started our journey, not only through Revelation. We only have enough space to look at where John shares his visions in ch.21-22 of the judgment, hell, the ‘Book of Life’, heaven, and of the new heaven and new earth. These last couple of chapters tell us that it will end in tears for those who are not in the Book of Life, but for God’s “Overcomers” who remained faithful to Jesus in spite of all the trails and troubles and persecution, will find joy, and be rewarded. That will be decided by whether or not someone’s name is in the Lambs Book of Life. Jesus said He will be the One who decides when and how things get wound up. (ie Not man.)

e). Rev. 21:1-2. Continued from Chapter 20, summarised above from last time…

The new heaven and new earth.

There will be a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven (Rev. 21:1-2).

Jesus will win and reign forever, and there will be no more tears. From there on, everything gets better.

All that is the order of events Jesus presented to John of the lead-up to end times…

2). Chapter 21.

—Proof of the divinely inspired nature of Revelation

Firstly, John mentions in Rev. 4:3 that he saw a rainbow in heaven. 

Secondly, in chapter 21 he mentions the stones chosen for the building of the new Jerusalem. Those stones turn all the colours of the rainbow in pure light. As man only discovered pure light in the last century, John could only have known about that 2,000 years ago by divine revelation. Our picture shows those stones displaying all the colours of the rainbow.

3). The Lamb’s Book of Life… 

Chapter 22.

An angel said in Rev. 22:9 that the ones considered to be servants of God are “Those who keep the words of this book”. 

Revelation 22:19. The most important thing for you to know, is that “The Book of Life” needs to have your name in it, for you to be included in God’s family.

So, how does that happen?

It is not enough to be religious and call Jesus ‘Lord’, and say all the right religious words, if we do not stop sinning, (called, “changing your clothes”). For them, the King will say, “Depart from me, I never knew you”. So there is even a warning to those who join empty words together, even professionally, for their religious job. (ie like “Mr Talkative” in “Pilgrim’s Progress” who might be called a “wordsmith” today). 

Revelation Epilogue…

The epilogue this time is longer as it completes our journey through the book of Revelation. How can it help us? 

a). How can I GET INTO the ‘Lamb’s Book of Life’? 

Peter answered that question in Acts 2:38. He says we must: “Repent and be immersed, (or in Greek, ‘baptizo’), every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus told this parable to help us understand forgiveness… A King forgave an official who owed him a huge amount of money. Later on, the King re-imposed the debt, after the official refused to forgive a fellow servant a tiny sum of money. We must change after we are forgiven, to include forgiving others.

b). STAYING in the Book of Life…

Only those names in the Book of Life will be accepted into paradise, and Jesus warned in Rev. 22:19 that He will remove people’s names from His Book of Life those who take away any teaching from His Book. That tells us that names in the Book of Life, can have their names removed and therefore lose their place in paradise. As these are Jesus’ words, we need to pay attention…

Jesus also taught the parable of a religious person who had cast out demons in His name, but who was still thrown out of heaven’s marriage feast into outer darkness, because he had not changed his dirty clothes, (meaning, ‘behaviour’). 

It’s not enough to have once been converted, IF we permanently go back to our old ways. Paul said that if we return to our former life of sin, it is like a dog going back to its vomit. We must practice what we preach. (Also see Rev. 22:19).

c). REWARD for those in the ‘Book of Life’

Finally, in Rev. 21:1-2 there is to be a re-creation whereby we get a new heaven and new earth, with a huge new city of God, (about the size of the moon, but cube-shaped), named ‘Jerusalem’, (or ‘city of peace’), (Rev. 20). This is when we are told that the angels will be lost in wonder, that God moves to earth to live with the redeemed. (God wants to reign amongst His creation. After all, God once walked in the garden of Eden.) At that time, there will be no more tears.
In Revelation, Jesus is called the Alpha and the Omega; The beginning and the end, just as God the Father had been. Jesus is the King who is returning to fix the mess made by His enemy. God’s re-creation came at a terrible personal cost, and it’s all leading up to Jesus coming back.

SUMMARY 

I saw a documentary where a Greek historian and archaeologist explained that Greek citizens were given white stones to use to vote for their chosen elected representative. Only citizens of Athens could have the white stones as it was a privilege of citizenship. Whilst that history lesson has been lost in the mists of time, it spoke to me, anyway! 

There were things understood by the locals, as they were common knowledge at that time, as the special white stones would have been. In chapter 2 God’s people are promised white stones - which I take to mean a sign of citizenship. The main thing you need to be sure of is that your name is written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life”.

A summary on how to get into the Lamb’s Book of Life is provided by Peter in Acts 2:38. Read what was spoken by the One who the disciples called “Rabbi”, and “Lord”…  the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He is the One who died to save us. Build your life on the Rock, who is our Messiah, not on the shifting sand of man-made religious ideas, so that you too can say as John did, “Even so, come Lord Jesus”.

This is the Bible audio for this week’s homily… 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+21-22&version=CEV

This is John Dunning signing off from “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.

This link takes you to our devotional https://blog.inspirationalmedia.org.nz/

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