The New Heaven and the New Earth

Revelation 21:1–8 (ESV)

The New Heaven and the New Earth

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Verses 1–8
The new heaven and the new earth will not be separate from each other; the earth of the saints, their glorified, bodies, will be heavenly. The old world, with all its troubles and tumults, will have passed away. There will be no sea; this aptly represents freedom from conflicting passions, temptations, troubles, changes, and alarms; from whatever can divide or interrupt the communion of saints. This new Jerusalem is the church of God in its new and perfect state, the church triumphant. Its blessedness came wholly from God, and depends on him. The presence of God with his people in heaven, will not be interrupt as it is on earth, he will dwell with them continually. All effects of former trouble shall be done away. They have often been in tears, by reason of sin, of affliction, of the calamities of the church; but no signs, no remembrance of former sorrows shall remain. Christ makes all things new. If we are willing and desirous that the gracious Redeemer should make all things new in order hearts and nature, he will make all things new in respect of our situation, till he has brought us to enjoy complete happiness. See the certainty of the promise. God gives his titles, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, as a pledge for the full performance. Sensual and sinful pleasures are muddy and poisoned waters; and the best earthly comforts are like the scanty supplies of a cistern; when idolized, they become broken cisterns, and yield only vexation. But the joys which Christ imparts are like waters springing from a fountain, pure, refreshing, abundant, and eternal. The sanctifying consolations of the Holy Spirit prepare for heavenly happiness; they are streams which flow for us in the wilderness. The fearful durst not meet the difficulties of religion, their slavish fear came from their unbelief; but those who were so dastardly as not to dare to take up the cross of Christ, were yet so desperate as to run into abominable wickedness. The agonies and terrors of the first death will lead to the far greater terrors and agonies of eternal death.  Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

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The Resurrections . . .

Revelation 20:4–6 (ESV)

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Verses 4–6
Here is an account of the reign of the saints, for the same space of time as Satan is bound. Those who suffer with Christ, shall reign with him in his spiritual and heavenly kingdom, in conformity to him in his wisdom, righteousness, and holiness: this is called the first resurrection, with which none but those who serve Christ, and suffer for him, shall be favoured. The happiness of these servants of God is declared. None can be blessed but those that are holy; and all that are holy shall be blessed. We know something thing of what the first death is, and it is very awful; but we know not what this second death is. It must be much more dreadful; it is the death of the soul, eternal separation from God. May we never know what it is: those who have been made partakers of a spiritual resurrection, are saved from the power of the second death. We may expect that a thousand years will follow the destruction of the antichristian, idolatrous, persecuting powers, during which pure Christianity, in doctrine, worship, and holiness, will be made known over all the earth. By the all-powerful working of the Holy Spirit, fallen man will be new-created; and faith and holiness will as certainly prevail, as unbelief and unholiness now do. We may easily perceive what a variety of dreadful pains, diseases, and other calamities would cease, if all men were true and consistent Christians. All the evils of public and private contests would be ended, and happiness of every kind largely increased. Every man would try to lighten suffering, instead of adding to the sorrows around him. It is our duty to pray for the promised glorious days, and to do every thing in our public and private stations which can prepare for them.  Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

Run till the burn is gone . . .

James 4:7–10 (ESV)

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

My Thoughts:  

It’s like a rubberband, it’s like a magnet, if you do not flee with enough force and speed, they will bring you back.  It reminds me of when I am driving out on the open road, it’s weird, but I will pass a car and all of a sudden they want to keep up with me and I cannot seem to lose them and eventually, for some reason, the catch up to me – again and they pass me.  Then we play this game back and forth.  I eventually learned when I go by another car, I need to get up some speed and go by so quickly that by the time they really notice and react, they figure, they are already too far ahead and just continue the speed they are going.

I want to relate this to my burn and walking with the devil in intimacy.  I knew I was being drawn in, I knew it was not really right, I knew I should run, but I also felt and believed that I could not get burned from it.

I tried to move away at least three times, but I did not make the moves dramatic enough, I did not run far enough, long enough or fast enough.  Circumstances, life, me, her, drew us back together – because there was something of a connection between us, just like a magnet.  Don’t move them far away enough from each other, the attraction without effort resumes and sometimes, I did not even realize it.

Even after I did run and felt far enough – so I thought, I had to go back one more time.  I “had” to make things right, I needed to make sure everyone was on the same page.  It was the wrong thing to do, I got trapped, I got burned.

It’s NoOne Else . . .

Revelation 19:11–21 (ESV)

The Rider on a White Horse

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” 19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

Verses 11–21
Christ, the glorious Head of the church, is described as on a white horse, the emblem of justice and holiness. He has many crowns, for he is King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is arrayed in a vesture dipped in his own blood, by which he purchased his power as Mediator; and in the blood of his enemies, over whom he always prevails. His name is “The Word of God;” a name none fully knows but himself; only this we know, that this Word was God manifest in the flesh; but his perfections cannot be fully understood by any creature. Angels and saints follow, and are like Christ in their armour of purity and righteousness. The threatenings of the written word he is going to execute on his enemies. The ensigns of his authority are his name; asserting his authority and power, warning the most powerful princes to submit, or they must fall before him. The powers of earth and hell make their utmost effort. These verses declare important events, foretold by the prophets. These persons were not excused because they did what their leaders bade them. How vain will be the plea of many sinners at the great day! We followed our guides; we did as we saw others do! God has given a rule to walk by, in his word; neither the example of the most, nor of the chief, must influence us contrary thereto: if we do as the most do, we must go where the most go, even into the burning lake.    Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

It burns . . .

 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

I need an antacid – please!! I wrote the blog a few weeks bag: Intimacy is Satan’s Weapon of Choice.  I wrote this because I noticed I was feeling susceptible to intimacy even though it was not something that I should have developed or I truly wanted, but it was something I deeply desired.  I believe also, this person I was sharing the same feeling also.

The challenge is, once I became attached, letting it go seemed impossible.  Several times, I ended it in my mind, but found myself right back where I was – and often more into the deeply connected than I was before.  Pulling away, the burn, the anxiety, I only prayed for it to be relieved, and it was – because all she had to do is send me one message to say hi and all of a sudden, the burn ceased.

Once I am hooked, I have the strength to run when my mind says run.  I keep going back and trying to quench the burn.  In addition, what is funny, the burn does cease, but no more than a little bit later, it returns.  I realize, the burn will never be put out by adding fire to it.  I realize so much how this desire in me has led me down paths I really did not want to go.  Therefore, here I am, passed the prime, been through some rocky bad relationships and I am now, just really focusing on not letting my burn control me.

I am somewhat envious of those that do not have this burning control them, I sometimes think they do not feel the way I do, it is not true, it just does not control them as it does me.  It is a focus for me to grown callus too, here in my prime years.  I do not want or have the energy to devote into a relationship I have to have this burning.  If it burns, it probably is not healthy, I am going to practice running when the red flags start going off.  Run . . . do not be sucked in, once the heart synchs up, it seems impossible to remove it from the other, the roots grow so deep so quick and are so strong – to me.  Really, it is that I am weak, that is where meds come in handy.

God was there for us, this intimacy did not lead down a path of destruction, it turned out to be something I hope is remembered as, well nice, warm, comfortable – maybe a little uncomfortable.  So, as hard as this is, this is goodbye, it had to be, I went past the point of where it was just a hug, I connected, rooted and now – I look at us differently.  I have a feeling, it will not be long until I return to normal and when I see her, I will be myself once again.  God Bless, everyone be careful and when you have the burn, I hope you also will find your antacid quickly.   I am only aware of these feelings, I need to figure out how to put them out before a fire starts and there is potential to be burned.

Give them a book . . .

If people did not wonder, I would not know the things about the universe, about my own world, let alone my own city that I know now.  Wondering, knowing, and doing things are all a part of education, learning new things, applying knowledge in different and new ways.

It is easy to have the blinders on and not realize the state that I am in.  Meaning, do I have it good, easy, hard difficult.  I may believe I have a challenging life depending on how hungry I am each day.  Maybe I might know how challenging my life is by my surroundings.  Nevertheless, maybe – if I grew up this way, I may just believe this is how life is.

However, I have a good idea of how my world compares to other worlds of other people.  I do have an idea if my world, life is difficult compared to others.  I believe I know what seems to be reasonable and is not.

I say all of this because in my world, the United States, I am amazed of how our world relates and compares to other nations.  What about the people, how do they survive as compared to me?

I see the news, the advertisements about how people in other nations live, survive, die, their culture.  But even closer than that, I am aware of how others, many others in my own city, nearby cities, state and country are surviving compared to others.

All of this to get to this point.  It amazes me how lucky so many people are in the world to be able to even have the desire to accomplish “great things” in their lives.  Meaning, they are able to pick something they are good at, other than just surviving and work on it until they are the best at it.

I have this vision of going to a place where having food and water for that day was an accomplishment and hand them a book of:  Positive Thinking, How to Set Goals, Dress for Success, I don’t know, give them one of the thousands of “self-help” books published here in the United States each year.  I just wonder if these books will help them.

I have to be amazed when I compare and contrast what we, in the United States, are able to choose to “survive”.  The key words is chooseIn many places, the word choose, I do not believe is even a part of their vocabulary.  What if you went up to a young person in one of these places where finding food each day was not a guarantee, and told them that there are people in the United States who can earn their living by running from one spot to another as fast as they could.  What if I told them they could earn their living by jumping over a bar as high as they could, could earn a living or driving a car really fast, or singing a song, or playing an instrument or just talking? These same people also earn so much money, they have multiple houses, cars, frigerators full of food, parties that cost more than they can dream of earning in their life.

I feel that we, especially in the United States, forget how lucky we are, that we can choose a way to survive.  We don’t have to wake up each morning and wonder, will I even get a bite to eat today, will I get fresh water, when will I shower?

How lucky we are to just live where we do.  The poorest in the United States makes them appear rich to the poorest in other nations.  I have to admit, my life has not gone by the book I wrote some time ago; but I do not think there is a day that I EVER thought I would starve, not have shelter or even got to the point where my clothes and self-stunk like – well stunk.  This is where we count our blessings instead of complaining on the ones we have not gotten.  It’s hard for me to do, but when I stop and think about my life and the struggles so many others have, I get down on my knees and thank God, thank you God!!

Hallelujah . . .

Revelation 19:1–10 (ESV)

Rejoicing in Heaven

19 After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,

“Hallelujah!

Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,

for his judgments are true and just;

for he has judged the great prostitute

who corrupted the earth with her immorality,

and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

Once more they cried out,

“Hallelujah!

The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”

And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And from the throne came a voice saying,

“Praise our God,

all you his servants,

you who fear him,

small and great.”

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!

For the Lord our God

the Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and exult

and give him the glory,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come,

and his Bride has made herself ready;

it was granted her to clothe herself

with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

 

Verses 1–10
Praising God for what we have, is praying for what is yet further to be done for us. There is harmony between the angels and the saints in this triumphant song. Christ is the Bridegroom of his ransomed church. This second union will be completed in heaven; but the beginning of the glorious millennium (by which is meant a reign of Christ, or a state of happiness, for a thousand years on earth) may be considered as the celebration of his espousals on earth. Then the church of Christ, being purified from errors, divisions, and corruptions, in doctrine, discipline, worship, and practice, will be made ready to be publicly owned by him as his delight and his beloved. The church appeared; not in the gay, gaudy dress of the mother of harlots, but in fine linen, clean and white. In the robes of Christ’s righteousness, imputed for justification, and imparted for sanctification. The promises of the gospel, the true sayings of God, opened, applied, and sealed by the Spirit of God, in holy ordinances, are the marriage-feast. This seems to refer to the abundant grace and consolation Christians will receive in the happy days which are to come. The apostle offered honour to the angel. The angel refused it. He directed the apostle to the true and only object of religious worship; to worship God, and him alone. This plainly condemns the practice of those who worship the elements of bread and wine, and saints, and angels; and of those who do not believe that Christ is truly and by nature God, yet pay him a sort of worship. They stand convicted of idolatry by a messenger from heaven. These are the true sayings of God; of Him who is to be worshipped, as one with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

 

Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.