Message NotesFrom Here To Eternity – Part 25 Page 1
Sunday May 3rd 2015
From Here To Eternity
Part Twenty Five
1). Re 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
a). We had seen last week that as we move into the eternal ages that God makes all things new – conditions and circumstances and divisions that have existed throughout Man’s Day and the Day of the Lord will no longer be in place during the eternal ages.
b). The free gift of eternal life - Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Which comes entirely through the finished work of Christ, positions everyone who has believed, within the eternal ages – and we should have a clear understanding of the exact nature of the eternal salvation that we currently possess.
c). Often we think of this as us having been saved from eternity in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, and although this would be true this is really not the way to think about it. We have not so much been ‘saved from’ as ‘saved for’ – saved for regality in the endless ages.
d). The free gift of eternal life really has nothing to do with us having physical life forever; perpetuity of physical life has been Man’s from the outset. Even the eternally lost we will remember will be resurrected in a natural body to stand before the Lord in Judgment and will then in that same natural body enter into the eternal ages positioned in the lake of fire, where they will exist in that same physical condition for all of the endless ages – no one will ever cease to exist.
e). To understand ‘eternal life’ we just have to remember how ‘life’ and ‘death’ are seen in relation to the 7th Day - Joh 5:28 "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 "and
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come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
Mt 16:25 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
f). Life and death from a scriptural perspective with regards to the 7th Day, the Millennial Kingdom, are always seen in respect of either having a position with Christ in His Kingdom, having ‘life’ or being denied a position with Christ in His Kingdom, having ‘death’ – literally being separated from God’s purpose for the 7th Day.
g). And so, eternal life has to do with God’s purpose for the endless ages, which, as we know from the very beginning is regal - Ge 1:26 ¶ Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion….
h). This whole concept can also be clearly seen in - Re 20:5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.
The context for this verse we will remember is the separation of the faithful from the unfaithful, those who have been eternally saved and then killed during the Tribulation, with the unfaithful described as ‘the rest of the dead’. Now in order to have been judged so that this separation takes place resurrection will have taken place first – again, no one is judged apart from standing before the Lord in a physical body, being physically alive, and so being ‘dead’ in this context is seen to be entirely in relation to a separation from the purpose for their eternal salvation, which is rulership in the Kingdom.
i). This is the same thing we have looked at many times before in Paul’s words in - Php 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the [out] resurrection from [the rest of] the dead.
j). And so then, as we move into the eternal ages, with former things having passed away, we find God wiping away every tear from the eyes of those eternally saved who had been separated from ‘life’ during the Millennial Kingdom – those who now have ‘life’ with respect to the regality of the endless ages.
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2). Re 2:7 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."'
a). We will remember that eating from the tree of life is one of the overcomers’ promises and as we have seen in previous studies this tree has absolutely nothing to do with providing everlasting physical life, but it does have to do with providing for those who have ‘life’ with respect to rulership.
b). We first see this tree in the Garden and it is one of the trees from which Man may eat, prior to his fall – now clearly prior to man’s fall physical death did not exist and so to have access to this tree before the presence of physical death could have nothing to do with living forever, nor could it have anything to do with providing everlasting life after physical death enters the world for a very obvious reason - Ge 1:11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so.
The tree of life could only yield fruit ‘according to its kind’, and so its fruit could not yield one thing before the fall and then something different after the fall.
c). And the tree of life will still only be yielding fruit after its own kind for the overcomers as seen in Revelation Chapter 2 – those who have eternal physical life and will at this time have been given ‘life’ with respect to rulership in the age to come.
d). The tree then will provide for them in the process of rulership.
e). Re 22:1 ¶ 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.
And here in Revelation Chapter 22 we see the tree of life once again present throughout the endless ages and clearly because of the function of this tree as set out in Genesis, repeated in relation to rulership during the Kingdom Age, it’s function here must have to do with providing for those who will rule throughout the eternal ages.
f). We see that it yields 12 fruits – again the number 12 symbolizing government and that it produces its fruit every month – 12 fruits every month throughout the whole of the endless ages.
g). We also see that the leaves of the tree will have provided ‘healing for the nations’ – the word translated ‘healing’ is the Greek word from which we
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derive our word ‘therapy’. In the Greek this is a medical term which has to do with restorative healing. In this coming day then God will restore all of saved mankind to the original place for which Man was created.
h). And as a result of this the whole of saved Mankind, with the regality of the endless ages in view will have access to the tree of life – not just those who had access to the tree through the overcomers’ promises, but all of the eternally saved, including those who will have had every tear wiped away.
i). And here again is another facet of God making all things new – Man has never held the scepter of rulership as God has intended and even during the Millennial Kingdom it will only be a segment of mankind who will have that privilege – but here in the eternal ages, with all that has had any association with sin removed, Man will be exactly as God intended him to be and in accordance with God’s plans and purposes they will rule the universe together.
3). The scriptures clearly teach us then that rulership by Christ and His co-heirs will not end at the conclusion of the Millennial Kingdom, but the nature of the rulership that will take place is most certainly different.
a). Re 3:21 "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne,
Re 22:1 ¶ And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Although all rulership takes place within the context of the New Jerusalem we can see by comparing these 2 verses from Revelation that the nature of the seat of government changes – during the Millennium, as seen in Revelation 3:21, Christ and His co-heirs will rule from Christ’s own throne, but during the endless ages, as we see in Revelation 21:1, Christ’s throne and God’s throne become one and it is from this joint throne that universal rule will take place.
b). And we might assume that those who sat with Christ on His throne during the Kingdom Age will sit on the throne of God and of the Lamb during the endless ages - Re 22:5b………..And they shall reign forever and ever.
c). And the nature of the rule itself will be different. During the Kingdom Age we are told - Re 2:26 "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-- 27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'
But during the endless ages a rule of this nature will be unnecessary. The rod of iron will be in place during the Kingdom because of the presence of sin and rebellion during the 1000 years amongst the nations. Once sin has been
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eradicated and Satan and his angels consigned to the lake of fire the conditions requiring the rod of iron will no longer exist. Not only will sin be gone with respect to that which we know as the heavens and the earth, but the removal of sin from this province in God’s universe removes the presence of sin from the whole of the universe. Sin will no longer exist anywhere, for all the endless ages.
d). The crowns, rewards and promises that the faithful Christian will receive at Christ’s Judgment Seat are Millennial in their scope. Apart from the promise concerning the tree of life all the other overcomers’ promise are Millennial only.
e). But it would be wrong to say that no reward would carry over into the endless ages or that ruling with Christ during the Kingdom will have no bearing on the position to be held by those who did so, during the eternal ages, because scripture just does not address the matter.
d). Nor can we say anything about the nature of the rule to be exercised by those who will have had every tear wiped away from their eyes, because again scripture is silent about it.
e). But because God places such incredible importance to being found worthy for the 7th Day - Heb 4:1 ¶ Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.
And realizing that neither Man’s Day nor the Lord’s Day exist in a vacuum, but are going to accomplish that which God requires for the endless ages we would have to be a complete moron not to make sure that we attain the position with Christ that He died to make possible for us.
4). Before we draw to a close for today let’s finish up looking at the New Jerusalem from where we left off last time - Re 21:18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
a). We had seen last time that there are 12 foundations to the city of the New Jerusalem and that each of these foundations has one of the names of the 12 Apostles written on it. In these verses we have just read we see the same foundations and each foundation is adorned with a different precious stone.
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b). Now no doubt these precious stones are not random, but what is presented here makes understanding their significance a little difficult.
c). Two of the stones, chrysolite and chyrsoprase appear nowhere else in the scriptures and therefore there is nothing to draw from with respect to these, except to note that part of the meaning of the word chrysolite has do with a stone of stumbling, which would draw our attention to –
1Pe 2:7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone," 8 and "A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense."
d). 9 of these 12 stones are found in the description of Eden as occupied by Satan before his fall - Eze 28:13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
e). But probably much more significantly 10 of these 12 stones appear with regards to the priest’s ephod in the camp of Israel - Ex 28:15 ¶ "You shall make the breastplate of judgment. Artistically woven according to the workmanship of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, you shall make it. 16 "It shall be doubled into a square: a span shall be its length, and a span shall be its width. 17 "And you shall put settings of stones in it, four rows of stones: The first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald; this shall be the first row; 18 "the second row shall be a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; 19 "the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 20 "and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold settings. 21 "And the stones shall have the names of the sons of Israel, twelve according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, each one with its own name; they shall be according to the twelve tribes.
The thing that might be of particular interest to us here as we think about the New Jerusalem is the ‘breastplate of judgment’ that was a square, its length and its breadth being equal and into this ‘breastplate of judgment’ are set the 12 stones in 4 rows of 3, one for each of the tribes of Israel.
f). The distribution of the stones here is exactly what we find with the distribution of the gates of the city, each one of which has the name of one of the 12 tribes – 4 walls with 3 gates in each wall – 4 rows with 3 stones in each row. The similarity here is very striking.
g). The 2 stones that are found on the breastplate which are not found in the foundations are the turquoise and the agate – in place of these in the foundations we have the chrysolite and chrysoprase. Which leaves the intriguing question, ‘Could these 2 sets of stones actually be one and the
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same?’ Well, there is no way that we can answer this with absolute certainty except to say that in the Strong’s definition of the Hebrew words in Exodus such words are used as ‘perhaps’, ‘perhaps the agate’, ‘probably the emerald’ – all of which leaves us with a degree of uncertainty with regards to the exact identification of these stones, leaving the possibility that the stones on the breastplate of judgment and those in the foundation of the city are in fact the same.
h). And if we remember that judgment can also be synonymous with rulership and that rulership is Israel’s very name, ‘he who will rule with God’, then this particular parallel is even more attractive.
i). But to go beyond this is just not possible.
5). Re 21:21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. 22 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.
a). As we continue reading in Revelation Chapter 21 we are given additional detail to add to that which we already have concerning the 12 gates. Here in v21 we see that the gates are 12 pearls, and again the description here needs to be seen as symbolic rather than literal.
b). Pearls as we know come from oysters, which are unclean in the Jewish economy, however the reference to pearls must inevitably take us to the Matthew 13 parables - Mt 13:45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 "who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
The one pearl here is symbolic of those who come out of the Gentile nations to become part of the one new man in Christ – selling ‘all that he had’ in order to buy the pearl takes us to the price paid by Christ at Calvary.
c). And within the context of the eternal ages the pearl gates would also symbolize all of those eternally saved from the Gentile nations who occupy the new earth.
d). So then, each pearl gate has the name of a tribe of Israel written upon it demonstrating the complete harmony that must exist between Jew and Gentile during the endless ages and also pointing to the rulership that both groups will share during this time having access to the city, the very thing, with respect to the 7th Day, that is the mystery made known to Paul –
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Eph 3:3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: 6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,
e). We also see in Revelation 21:22 that there is no temple in the new Jerusalem as Those to whom the temple pointed are now present – nor would there need to be a temple during the endless ages as temple ministry has always had to do with death and shed blood, that which is necessary to deal with the sins of the saved and during the endless ages the saved will have no sin and therefore temple ministry will no longer exist.
f). We then see in – Re 21:23The 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.
And again we are looking at symbolic language. Light from the sun and the moon has been used throughout the Book of the Revelation so far to depict ruling powers and we will remember that which we saw concerning the destruction of Gentile world power pictured through this symbolism in Matthew – Mt 24:29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Re 6:12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.
Re 12:1 ¶ Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.
Within Man’s Day there are great world powers and lesser world powers which we have seen time and again, especially with regards to Antichrist and his 10 nation confederacy; then during the Kingdom Age Israel will rule at the head of the nations with lesser nations under her authority.
g). Within the endless ages though there will be no greater and lesser powers as God and the Lamb will reign supreme over all – just as we see in the verses that follow Revelation 21:23 - Re 21:24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and
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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.
h). And then the final verse of the Chapter takes us back once again to conditions that will exist with regards to the New Jerusalem during the Millennium - Re 21:27 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.
And again from a Christian perspective this takes us back to the separation at the Judgment Seat – only those found worthy will have access to the heavenly city; those that defile, cause an abomination or a lie – the unfaithful, eternally saved Christian, will have no entrance into the city as they are separated from Millennial rule.
i). Their names will not be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, the Book that contains the names of those who will have life with respect to rulership in the Kingdom Age – and it will only be those whose names are written there who shall enter.
j). Through this thought we can return to where we were earlier this morning realizing that what we will do during the Kingdom Age will have a bearing upon what we will do during the endless ages and a quick glance at the words used to describe the unfaithful in v27 will of necessity give us pause for thought.
k). ‘Defiles’ – to regard as common - Heb 10:29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
l). ‘An abomination’ – that which is detestable, especially with regards to idolatry - Col 3:5 ¶ Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
m). ‘A lie’ – to speak an untruth, to attempt to deceive by falsehood –
1Ti 4:1 ¶ Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
6). We will stop here for today and bring this to conclusion next time – if the Lord is willing.
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