Message NotesFrom Here To Eternity – Part 26 Page 1
Sunday May 10th 2015
From Here To Eternity
Part Twenty Six
1). 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. 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.
a). The beginning of the final Chapter in the Book of Revelation deals with conditions as they will exist during the endless ages. We had seen last week the purpose and the function of the tree of life within this setting, realizing that this tree provides for those who have ‘life’ with respect to rulership and within the endless ages we would see all of the eternally saved having access to this tree.
b). We also see that in the endless ages there will be ‘no more curse’, again a clear demonstration that conditions that have existed since the fall of Adam will no longer be present during these ages.
c). And then set in contrast to an earth that contains a curse we see a new earth where, ‘the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.’
d). And again, providing a contrast with conditions that exist throughout the 7000 years of time, we see the level of intimacy that will now be the norm between God and His creation, Man, during the ages outside of time - They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
e). V5 then echoes that which was stated in Chapter 21:23 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.
Re 22:5 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.
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Both these verses then deal with ‘light’ and particularly light from the sun and moon, both of which as we had seen last week should be understood symbolically rather than literally. There will then in the endless ages be no greater and lesser authority with respect to the universe and Man’s place within it, but rather the all-encompassing ‘glory of God’ – the sovereign authority Who rules over all.
f). And once again there is a contrast between night and light – ‘There shall be no night there’ – instead God gives them light. And once again these should be understood symbolically rather than literally.
g). To understand this contrast between night and light we need only go to - 1Th 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 ¶ Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
These verses of course deal with the present condition during an age of spiritual darkness, a time of darkness that is the common experience of all Christians whether faithful or unfaithful - Mt 25:5 "But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
A time presided over by Satan and his angels - Eph 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
h). During the present time we must be continually filled with the Spirit, typified through the actions of the wise virgins - Mt 25:4 "but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Realizing that it is only in this way, being continually filled with the Spirit, that we are able to navigate our way through the spiritual darkness in which we live - Ps 119:105 ¶ NUN. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
i). Before the endless ages begin spiritual darkness will have been completely eradicated and therefore nothing associated with the ‘night’ will exist, hence ‘there shall be no more night there’.
j). And because of the fully redeemed condition of the eternally saved there will be no choices to make between that associated with the night and that associated with the day such as we have to make now and therefore there will only be ‘light’ – that which is the very nature and character of God –
Ps 104:2 Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment,
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k). And then at the end of Revelation 22:5 comes the clearest statement possible concerning the Lord’s servants during the endless ages - And they shall reign forever and ever.
2). Re 22:6 ¶ Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. 7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."
a). V6 takes us right back to the beginning of the Book of Revelation stating again God’s purpose - Re 1:1 ¶ The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,
b). And as this Revelation of Jesus Christ is given to the 7 churches which are in Asia, those who are His servants, therefore us, we can clearly see that everything that we have studied that has come from this Book has been given to us so that we may know the ‘things which must shortly [lit. rapidly] take place’. And why are we to know all these things that will rapidly happen? Simply, because the Lord is ‘coming quickly [suddenly]’ – And this is a fact that is repeated again a few verses later in Chapter 22 - Re 22:12 "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
In this verse we have the added detail that when the Lord suddenly appears, referring to the resurrection/rapture of the Church, He will have His reward with Him to give everyone according to his work – this brings us again back to our present experience and preparation in order to be ready for that day when we will stand before the Lord in Judgment - Mt 24:42 "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
Mt 25:13 "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Lu 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
c). And within the context of the Lord’s sudden return we are told –
Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."
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d). Now we might be tempted to think that the reference here is to the Book of Revelation alone, and within a narrow sense this would be absolutely true, but if we then think in a broader sense we will realize that Jesus is ‘the Word made flesh’ and therefore that which is revealed concerning Him in this final Book of the scriptures, ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ’, is the culmination of everything that has been presented in the rest of the scriptures as they are all about Him - Lu 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself…………44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
The reason the Book of the Revelation was always so difficult for us in the past is because we did not understand Christ and His coming Kingdom throughout the scriptures, but now, by the grace of God we do, and as a result the Book of the Revelation is no longer impenetrable.
e). So then, we should think in terms of keeping the words of this prophecy contained in the whole Book – the totality of the scriptures –
Re 19:10b……………….For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
The word translated ‘keeps’ is a word that has to do with watching, watching with a view to guarding against loss – not allowing ourselves to be blindsided or distracted to the point where we lose sight of that which really matters.
f). This is a similar thought to that which we have seen in –
1Co 15:1 ¶ Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.
Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Re 3:11 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
g). The focus then for all that we have studied in the Book of the Revelation remains the coming Kingdom of Christ and that which we are to do in order to guarantee our entrance into that Kingdom - 2Pe 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do
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these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 ¶ For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
3). Re 22:14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. 16 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."
a). Once again in this Chapter, within the context of the endless ages, we find ourselves focused on entrance into or exclusion from ‘life’ with respect to rulership in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.
b). We see in v14 that it will be those who do His commandments who will be blessed, who will have the right to the tree of life, a confirmation of regality, and who will enter through the gates into the city. V15 then gives the contrast and shows those who did not do His commandments, who will not be blessed, who will not have access to the tree of life and will not enter through the gates into the city – those who will have no ‘life’ with respect to rulership during the Millennial Kingdom.
c). And we see in v15 that this group is referred to as ‘dogs’, ‘sorcerers’, ‘sexually immoral’, ‘murderers’, ‘idolaters’ and ‘whoever loves and practices a lie’ – all of which parallel verses we have seen in previous studies –
Re 21:8 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
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.
What is taught in these verses is very easy to understand.
d). ‘Dogs’ – a word that is what it says – however the word ‘dogs’ has been used in the scriptures to reference Gentiles, those who were outside of the commonwealth of Israel and were from a Jewish perspective of no value - Mt 15:26 But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs."
Within the context here the use of the word would have to refer to those spoken of in - Eph 2:12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens
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from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Those then who had rejected the hope and the promise, counting the blood of Christ a common thing, who consequently have no value with respect to the Kingdom rule of Christ.
e). ‘Sorcerers’ – Those who exercise a power other than that to be found through the Holy Spirit and those who are seduced by the exhibition of that power – this would draw our attention to much of the church today, chillingly spoken of in - Mt 7:21 ¶ "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
f). ‘Sexually immoral’ – Not just in a literal sense, but also in the spiritual sense of acting after a similar way to that of Israel by being assimilated into the world - 1Co 6:9 ¶ Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
g). ‘Murderers’ – Again here we would need to look at the spiritual dimension to this - 1Jo 3:15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal [age lasting] life abiding in him.
Joh 8:44 "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
h). ‘Idolaters’ – is literally a word that has to do with the worship of something or someone other than the Lord, and although this word can rightly be used with respect to those engaged in false religions, its contextual use here is with regards to the eternally saved Christian and therefore we need to look at that which scripture describes by using this word - Eph 5:5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
i). ‘Whoever loves and practices a lie’ – This phrase would speak of those Christians who have embraced that which is contrary to the truth, either
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because they don’t like what the truth says or because they are deceived by not knowing what the truth is. These we can see described for us in –
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
And within our own context we are reminded yet again of the significance and importance of - 2Ti 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
j). And in conjunction with this - Re 22:18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Scripture interpreting scripture, line upon line, here a little and there a little receiving with meekness the implanted word thereby allowing the Holy Spirit to bring about the metamorphosis in us and then with every part in the body doing its share is the only way forward.
j). And to underline this significance we are reminded one more time, I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. Our Lord Himself then sent His angel to the Apostle John in order for him to record the testimony of these things. We have everything we need, we are blessed beyond measure, but we must continue to watch, we must continue to be ready - Re 22:20 ¶ He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
4). Finally then, as we come to the end of this part of our journey from here to eternity we will hopefully have a greater grasp of the reality of that which is about to come, realizing that being found worthy to rule with Christ during the Millennial Kingdom will also impact our experience throughout the endless ages. All of this, if we have ears to hear it, should be a glorious inspiration to faithful obedience through a continuous diligent study of the scriptures; anything less on our part, considering the enormity of that which God has given us, would be sheer folly.
a). So, as we close out this series let’s briefly return to a scripture we had looked at earlier - Lu 21:33 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. 34 "But take heed to yourselves, lest your
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hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 "For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy [Lit. have the victory over] [in order] to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand [to take our stand] before the Son of Man."
b). We have seen in past weeks that this heaven and this earth will pass away to make way for the new heavens and new earth in which righteousness will dwell, but not one thing that God has said, the promises, the warnings, the judgments, will pass away, rather they will all come to their complete fulfillment – and with that in mind His instruction is, ‘Take heed to yourselves’; a phrase that has to do with taking care, with being cautious.
c). And we are to do this ‘lest’ [in case] our ‘hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and cares of this life’ – the things itemized here all point to taking our eyes off of the prize and instead choosing to join Lot, sitting in the gates of Sodom – instead of looking from this world unto Jesus we choose to look from Jesus unto this world – they provide a picture of that which is associated with the night, the present darkness that surrounds us –
Ro 13:11 ¶ And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
d). And according to Luke 21:36 we are to ‘watch’ and ‘pray always’ so that we may have the victory over the things associated with the darkness so that in having the victory we will be able to take our stand before the Son of Man – that we would stand up in His presence, that we would experience the out-resurrection from the dead.
e). Eph 3:14 ¶ For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
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f). Col 1:9 ¶ For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 ¶ giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
g). Watch, pray always – not just for ourselves but for each other also, be ready – Eph 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--
Because in an instant nothing will ever be the same again and we will not have another chance – please don’t miss this.