King's Business - 1948-11

December 26, 1948 APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE IN THE BIBLE Rev. 21:1-7; 22:1-5, 17 Pointers on the Lesson

ever wiped away. Instead, there will be a willing obedience to the throne of God. Darkness will be forever gone. Yea, truly Paradise Lost will be regained. The great invitation goes forth even now to “ Come” in order to have part in that fair place. It is a tragedy for anyone to reject this invitation. Helps for the Children John Helps Christians To Rejoice Rev. 4:8b, 11; 11:15b; 15:3b, 4; 21:4 Memory Verse: “ The kingdoms o f this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and o f h i a Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). Last week we thought about the in­ fant Jesus, God’s beloved Son, who came to earth for us. Today we shall think of Him as again with His Father in Heaven, the King of the world, rather than the Babe of Bethlehem. A fter th e7Saviour had left the early Christians, there were many trials and persecutions for them. Some of them became discouraged and returned to their old way of life. John, the beloved disciple, helped these Christians to re­ joice in their faith in the Lord Jesus during their hardships by giving to them a glimpse of the glories of God’s king­ dom. The Holy Spirit enabled John to give to these early followers o f the Lord Jesus a picture of many things which are yet to happen both in heaven and upon the earth. John tells of the heavenly beings who day and night rest not but continually say, “ Holy, holy, holy, Lord God A l­ mighty, which was, and is, and is to come . . . Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” In another chapter o f the. book of Revelation, John tells of voices that say that the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ and that He shall reign for ever and ever. What comfort these words must have brought to the hearts of Christians who were discouraged and to those who were being tortured and killed because of their faith in the Son of God! Again, John tells o f singers with harps who tell of God’s greatness and justice. They, too, sing that all nations shall come and worship before the King. To those in sorrow John’s description of heaven has been and is a precious chapter o f comfort, especially his words: “ And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain (Rev. 21:4). Those who know the Saviour are filled with joy when they read these precious promises of the rule o f their King over all the earth and of the wonderful things which He has prepared for those who love Him.

Some folks have the wrong idea as to the Book of Revelation. To them it is anything but a revelation. It is rather a mystery, a sealed book full of enig­ matic visions and imagery. But this should not be the case. The word revelar tion comes from a Greek word apoka- lupsis which means “ a laying bare, an uncovering, a disclosure, an unveiling.” This then being true, the Book o f Rev­ elation is a book to be understood, a book written for the purpose of mak­ ing truth clear. A special blessing is pronounced upon those who will take time to consider the wonderful message of this Book. The passages before us this week lift our eyes to the glories of the future in order to help us to walk more carefully here upon earth. The Renovated Earthly Scene ( 21 : 1 ) This verse should be carefully sep­ arated from the verses which immedi­ ately follow. This verse speaks of the present heaven and earth in their re­ newed condition after Christ comes (2 Peter 3:3-7). This present earth will one day be purified and made the fit dwelling place for a righteous people. It will be the location of the millennial reign. In this new earth there will be “ no more sea.” The sea in Scripture is typical of the restless, rebellious world. (Isa. 57:20, 21). All this will be changed when Christ comes to reign and the curse o f sin is removed from the earth (Rom. 8:19). The Glorious Heavenly Scene (21:2-7) John sees the heavenly Jerusalem de­ scend from above. It comes into definite proximity to the earth but does not actually enter into it (v. 24). It seems to be suspended over the earth shedding its glory and light upon the earthly scene but not connected with it. This is the bride, the Lamb’s wife. It contains God’s heavenly people even as the reno­ vated earth contains God’s early peo­ ple. In that day there will be two Jeru­ salems, an earthly and an heavenly. The verses before us describe the heavenly Jerusalem. (1) It is beautiful (2 )—like a bride; (2) It is God-possessed (3) — He dwells in it; (3) It is a place of satisfaction (4 )—none of the things that distress men are in it, “the land of no more” ; (4) It is a place of reality (5-7) —Heaven is no myth, the description is “ true and faithful.” The Heavenly Scene Continued (22:1-5, 17) The heavenly city, like the earthly one, will have a flowing stream. It will proceed out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. The tree o f life will be there on the banks of the river. A unique tree this will be for it will bear twelve kinds of fruit and its leaves will be for the healing of the nations, a tree mag­ nificent for its productivity as for its healing powers. The curse of sin is for- N O V E M B E R , 1948


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