Revelation: we’re done here
Wow. So here we are. We’ve arrived at the end of this journey through the Bible. 1073 blogs have been written, the vast majority by me, as we have journeyed through the 66 books that make up this unique library that is the Bible. It’s been the most incredible privilege to have shared this adventure with you all, so to all who have travelled this road with me, I say thank you and well done. I feel proud of what we have achieved together. I intend to celebrate today as I am now able to say I have read the Bible from beginning to end.
And so we arrive at the very end of the Bible – Revelation 21:9-22:19.
This eight scene can be seen to correspond with the eight day, the day after the work is completed and the day of rest has been observed. It is a new beginning, the outpouring of resurrection power. The first day of a new week here represents the first day of a new age. The new world is a new genesis. Wilcock also observes in ‘The Message of Revelation’ that there have been seven scenes with seven sections each, totalling 49 – and of course, the number 50 which is this final scene conjures up the spirit of the Jubilee year back in Leviticus, when liberty and restoration are proclaimed to all the people. It’s all symbolic of a glorious new beginning. As C S Lewis puts it, when this time comes, we will be beginning Chapter One of the Great Story – all that has gone before is simply the introduction.
As the scenes have progressed, we have moved away from the physical realm into the spiritual realm, but here in this scene, the church makes a fresh appearance as the bride of Christ.
Revelation #1>God’s city
It’s so beautiful.
It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. Revelation 21:11
And it is us, the church of Christ, shining with a God-given radiance.
Revelation #2>God’s dwelling
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. Revelation 21:22-23
There is no longer a need for a temple for God is present among His people. Just being there as part of the city is to be with Him. We hear a universal message: the gates of the city are open to all who acknowledge the one true God.
‘The glory and the honour of the nations’ contribute to the magnificence of the city; all that is truly good and beautiful in this world will reappear there, purified and enhanced in the perfect setting its Maker intended for it. Michael Wilcock, page 211
Read those words again and let them sink in. They’re truly remarkable and I have a feeling they could be life-changing.
Revelation #3>God’s world renewed
There’s a significant parallel here with the opening chapters of Genesis. It’s like we’ve gone full circle – starting at the very beginning and looking forward into eternity, world without end. The Bible opens with God making the world and ends with God remaking it.
Revelation #4>God’s word validated
God’s words are trustworthy and true. We do not have to wait for Jesus’ second coming for God to reveal Himself to us (although that is when it will happen in all its fullness). In the meantime, God will speak to us through His word and His messengers. We glimpse now what we will then see in full.
Revelation #5>God’s work completed
In Eden the work of creation was finished; at Calvary the work of redemption was finished; in Paradise the voice of God will finally say, concerning the whole of his work, ‘It is done!’ Michael Wilcock, page 215
And to be clear, those who will be welcomed into God’s presence are those who have acknowledged and accepted Jesus’ work of redemption and live in the light of that in their lives today (and not because of anything they have done in their own power, however good it is).
Revelation #6>God’s final blessing
The bright morning star heralds the dawn of eternity. This life is prelude of the real life to come. Are you ready? Come. Are you thirsty for more? Come and drink.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17
Revelation #7>God’s final curse
Don’t add to what God has revealed here. Don’t take away from it either. This revelation is to be respected. We do not know better than God and never will.
And there we have it.
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. Revelation 22:20-21
We’re done. The final word has been spoken.
I don’t know what comes next in my writing and my life, but this I do know: my past, present and future are held in the hand of the one true God. I have nothing to fear and everything to look forward to.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.