Monday Reverb – 23May2022

 

SERMON REVERB

 

Significant Peace

John 14:23-29

John 14:23-29 KJV  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

This week we enter the Sixth Sunday of Easter, with only one more Sunday left to celebrate.  But this Sunday will precede Ascension Thursday, with the story of Jesus departing from the disciples and returning to his Father.  Many churches may choose next Sunday to close out their Easter season celebration with this story, if they do not hold a special Thursday service.  So today gives us an opportunity to prepare for that event.  Hopefully our journey through the Easter season has been one of encouragement and hope.  Recounting the appearances of Jesus to his disciples has given us an encounter with the risen Lord as well.  But with Ascension Thursday around the corner, along with the close of the Easter season, it’s sometimes easy to think, “Well, that was good, what now?”  Have you ever faced a time when you wondered if your encounters with the Lord were over?  It seems to happen right after a spiritual high – a time you know God has been present in your life.  These highs can sometimes be followed by a perceived spiritual low – when we question if God is still present.

You wonder if Jesus’ disciples saw his ascension as a sudden and unexpected end to their celebration of his resurrection.  Very much like we can feel during those times we question God’s personal presence in our lives.

Jesus knew his disciples would not understand his departure with his ascension any more than they understood his departure at the cross.  So, he takes time to comfort and encourage his disciples by helping them understand what he is doing.  Our text for today revisits Jesus spending time with his disciples before his departure to encourage them.  In his words to them, we also can hear him speaking comfort and encouragement to us for those times we question what he is doing.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.  My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.  Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.  These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (John 14:23-24 NRSV)

The passage begins with “Jesus replied.”  So, we should look back to see what he is replying to before moving forward.  The context of this passage is the conversation Jesus is having with the disciples at the Lord’s table.  He has told them that he is going away, and Judas (not Iscariot) is puzzled.  He, along with the other disciples, thought Jesus was going to reveal himself as the champion of Israel, restoring the Jews to power.  Judas’ question is, “Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”  Have you ever had that question?  If we know the Lord, we know what truth and freedom really is.  We know the love of the Father for the whole world.  We also know what the world puts forth as “love” is a sad substitute, and often even a justification for hate.

When we know him personally, for who he truly has revealed himself to be, we are set free to live in faith, hope, and love.  But when we look around, it is painfully clear most do not see this reality.   Most are still caught in the bondage of sin, where knowing God is the last thing desired.  The manipulation, the lies, the endless violence and exploitation that plays out day in and day out in our world may drive us to ask the same question: “Lord, why have you shown yourself to me but not to everyone else?  Wouldn’t it be better if the whole world could see you for who you are as well?”  We want everyone to see what we are seeing, and to believe what we believe.

Have you ever wondered how people make it through the really tragic times of suffering without knowing Christ?  Sometimes, we are shocked why everyone wouldn’t see the beauty of the gospel when so much is wrong in the world.  But then we remember our own darkness that we were called out of. We know the Spirit must open their eyes like he did ours.  So, we ask, “Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

We may also identify with the disciples who had gathered around the table with Jesus in this way.  They thought they had signed up for something bigger than themselves.  They thought they were going to be part of Jesus overthrowing Roman rule and setting Israel free.  But, if Jesus was talking about leaving, then their dreams of being part of this historic movement were coming to an end.

Like every other human on the planet, we want to be part of something bigger than ourselves.  We desire to be part of something that is significant.  We don’t want to just live mediocre lives, we want significance.  So, we search for significance in all kinds of ways that typically just leave us empty and hollow.  But when we meet the Lord, we know we have encountered the most significant person and purpose in all human history.  And it is an exciting privilege to be included in what he is doing.  So when Jesus doesn’t move as fast as we would like, or worse, when he moves in a direction that seems like he is done, or at least done including us, we may feel like he is letting us down.  The original disciples must have been feeling much the same way when Jesus told them he was going away.

Thankfully, Jesus does answer our question.  And he does so in a way to remind us of a much bigger picture.  Like the disciples around the table with Jesus, what they were excited about fell short of what Jesus was actually doing.  How often do we think that we have now finally arrived at something really significant?  We may think, “now, I’m part of something that will give my life meaning, something that others will have to take note of.”  Maybe it’s landing that job you have dreamed of your whole life.  Or, maybe it’s finally having a family of your own, or attaining a level of independence that was once beyond your reach.  It can be any number of things we see as giving us significance.  And they may be very good things, or it could even be something not so good.  But, whatever level of significance we rise to, it doesn’t take long to realize we still have a desire for more.  Deep down we know we are made for more.  Our souls continue to long for an elusive significance we seem unable to give ourselves.  Jesus’ response to Judas may be a good reminder for us as well.

Jesus responds with a picture of his relationship of belonging to the FatherA relationship of obedience grounded in love and not duty.  Then he goes on to say that this is the relationship the Father wants to share with the whole world.  The disciples wanted Jesus to give Israel a place in the worldBut Jesus was up to something far greater.  He is giving the world a place in Israel, a place in himself as the Son of God who is in relationship with Father and Spirit.

The disciples may have felt their significance was at risk, but in truth they were settling for far less than what Jesus had in mindOften, we do the same.  We see Jesus as a way to fulfill our dreams and goals and miss the fact the Jesus is our dream and goal.  We overlook the relationship Jesus brings us into and then set our sights far short of the goal.  In knowing Jesus and his Father by the Spirit, we will find a significance that we cannot give ourselves.  It is a significance, a relationship of love, that is to be received as a gift of grace.  Only, it is so wonderful, so beautiful, that we find it hard to believe and difficult to grasp.

Jesus’ departure is a gift that provides the means of growing into and receiving more of the relationship he has brought us into.  Jesus’ leaving is his way of being more fully with us.  Jesus locates this gift as the gift of the Holy Spirit.

“All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:25-26 NRSV)

Notice the Holy Spirit is not bringing something new or different than what Jesus has already given.  Jesus is the Word of God already spoken to us.  But the Spirit will continue to teach us, to help us unpack the significance of who this Word, Jesus, is to us and who we are in relationship to him.  The Spirit not only teaches, but also reminds us of what Jesus has already said.  The picture here is a significance we never move from.  The Spirit aims to move us deeper into this truth, but he is not moving beyond it, as if there was something more that Jesus held back.  Sometimes we may be tempted to think of Jesus in this way.

We may think to ourselves that now that we know who Jesus is, we can move on to deeper waters.  Now, perhaps that we got our theology right, we can get to the real business of doing ministry, doing something significant with our lives.  But when we think like that, we are revealing that we don’t fully know who Jesus is.  By God’s grace, the Holy Spirit is sent to help us know him more.  We will discover that there is nothing more to move on to, nothing more significant than what we have in Christ.  Note that I did not say that we have nothing more significant than what we already experience.  Our experience of Christ has a lot of room for growth, in this life and in the next, and we will find it the most significant thing in the universe!  The Son’s relationship with his Father is the most significant and eternal relationship there is, and we are invited to participate in that relationship.

In that relationship we will find that our longing has been answered, fully satisfied in Jesus.  The striving for significance will cease.  In light of the great significance our inclusion in the Trinity gives us, we can trust that what the Spirit is doing in our present lives is of great value and significance.   Even the mundane is majestic.

On top of this, Jesus also shares with us his peace.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.” (John 14:27-29 NRSV)

Jesus contrasted this peace with the peace the world offers.  The best the world has to offer is a “cease-fire” or temporary peace of conflict avoidance.  But Jesus gives us a peace that continues even in the middle of our conflict and chaosThe significance we gain in belonging to Jesus is one that is accompanied with peace, because nothing will ever separate us from the Father.

Jesus knows the disciples are discouraged and afraid because he had told them he was going away and coming back.  He seems to indicate that their fear and discouragement has something to do with their love for him.  If they loved him, Jesus says, they would be glad that he is returning to the Father.   It appears that the love the disciples have for Jesus is a possessive love.  They can’t think of him going away as a good thing because they want to keep him around for their own purposes.  But love for Jesus means we trust him in what he tells us.  If he needs to go away, we can even be glad about it, even if we don’t fully understand why, because we know in the end it will be for our good.  This doesn’t mean we are not sad at his departure, but it is a sadness that is fitting to the undergirding peace and joy that comes in trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Jesus and his Father don’t do anything to our harm.

To love Jesus and his Father is a peace and freedom on a scale the world can never offer.  And even this love is a gift of God’s grace.  And notice how Jesus ends this passage.  He is telling the disciples that he is leaving for a good purpose.  He intends to build their faith.  How often do we hold back telling someone some news they don’t want to hear, but need to hear for their own good, simply because we do not want to upset them or hurt their feelings?  Thankfully, our Lord loves us enough to upset our feelings, which are fleeting, in order to build our faith in that which is permanentJesus is committed to bringing us into his significant peace with his Father, that he shares with us by the Spirit.


Small Group Discussion Questions

  • Do you ever ask the question that Judas asked, “Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
  • Why do you think we ask this question?
  • The sermon said we often try to find significance in many different ways that only leave us empty and hollow. Can you think of ways we seek significance in the wrong places?
  • Can you think of times where you felt significant in your walk with Christ but then circumstances changed that threatened your significance?
  • What can these experiences tell us about where we are looking for significance and importance?
  • Jesus had to lead the disciples to see that what he was doing was even bigger than they had imagined. Can you relate experiences in your walk with Jesus that he led you to see a bigger picture of what he was doing than what you were originally thinking?
  • How do these experiences affect our trust in Jesus?
  • The sermon stated that Jesus’ relationship with his Father is the most significant and eternal relationship there is, and we are invited to participate in that relationship. Are there times when you think knowing Jesus and his Father is not enough?
  • Are you tempted at times to think there must be something more significant than just knowing the Son and his Father by the Spirit?
  • Contrast the peace Jesus gives us with the peace offered by the world! What are some differences?
  • Can you think of times or examples that kept you or someone from sharing something important with another to keep from hurting their feelings?
  • Can you think of some examples in the Gospels where Jesus hurt someone’s feelings because they needed to hear something important?
  • What do these examples tell us about Jesus’ love for others?

 


IRRELIGIOUS HARDTALK

 

Some opening comments … 

  • This is a controversial section . . . so we must put a high priority on mutual respect and tolerance for different views/opinions.
  • I may have to limit the amount of interaction … so that I can make my point.
  • Disagreements should be expected … because we all have different views, opinions etc., based on different theologies.
  • Some are concerned about disagreement among pastors … but nothing is wrong with disagreement, per se.  Notice …
      • Acts 15:36-41  Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” 37 Now Barnabas [a]was determined to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being [b]commended by the brethren to the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
  • The key is that the disagreement is not a problem as long as the disagreement is over non-essentials (like type of songs for church services, version of Bible to use, day to worship, length of skirt or sleeve, etc….)

 

 

The Lake of Fire

Last week, we looked at the four instances in the Bible where the term “second death” is used … and we saw that, in two of the passages (in the KJV), the “second death” was linked with the “lake of fire” …

  1. Revelation 2:11   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
  2. Revelation 20:6   Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
  3. Revelation 20:14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.
  4. Revelation 21:8   But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Indeed, some modern versions of the Bible say that the second death IS the lake of fire.   (Eg. NIV, NLT, ESV)

A lake being equated with deathDoesn’t that strike you as strange/confusing?

For me, it does.  The problem is that “lake” is a common noun (indicating something that is tangible) whereas “death” is an abstract noun (indicating something intangible, cannot be touched).  John is equating something tangible with something intangible.

Why do you think that is?  Why would do you think John would use something tangible to refer to something that is intangible?

The best reason I can think of is that the “lake of fire” is being used metaphorically … the “lake of fire” is not to be taken literally.  By extension, the “second death” is not to be taken literally, either.   Notice what John wrote in Revelation 20 …

  • Revelation 20:11-15  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  

If we are to understand Revelation 20:14 properly, then “the second death” must mean something different from “death”, as we know it.  I’d go so far as to say “the second death” refers to another kind of death OR something other than “death”.

 

What is the difference between the lake in Revelation 20:14 and the one in Revelation 21:8?  (Cf. Revelation 19:2020:10)

  • One is the lake of fire … the other is the lake of fire and brimstone.

Do you believe the verses refer to the same lake?

  • Yes … I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t.

What do you think brimstone is?

  • Sulphur

What do you think the original readers might have thought about the presence of brimstone?

  • Not of matches
  • but of some kind of purifying or refining.

How was brimstone used in the past (in the first century)?

  • From the website of The Sulphur Institute (re: modern uses) …

The major derivative of sulphur is sulphuric acid (H2SO4), the highest production volume chemical, used as an industrial raw material. The largest single use of sulphuric acid is for the manufacture of phosphoric acid, a precursor to phosphate fertilizers and non-fertilizer phosphates. Sulphur and its derivatives are also used in metallurgical ore leaching, caprolactam, pigments, hydrofluoric acid, pulp and paper chemicals, sulphur fertilizers, petroleum refining, batteries, detergents, fungicides, carbon disulphide, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, cosmetics, leather tanning, rubber vulcanization, plasticizers, dyestuffs, explosives, aramid fibers, construction materials, sugar manufacture, dehydrating agent in organic chemical and petrochemical processes, water treatment, and steel pickling.

  • From the Total Victory in Christ website (re: 1st century uses) …

Sulfur, also known as brimstone, has been used in the refining of metals since ancient times.  Gold refining by sulphurization is even still done by the United States mint (a). Sulfur is highly reactive and by adding small amounts of sulfur to the crucible unwanted metals are transformed into suphides.  This reaction will even flash and smoke.  The gold itself is resistant to this reaction and will settle to bottom in a more purified form since the other metals, now trapped as suphides, float to the top.  The ancients would not have understand the chemistry behind this process but they most certainly understood the results.  Pure gold!

So, what would believers in the early church think as they heard about a “lake of fire and brimstone”?

  • Also from the TVIC website …

The lake of fire with sulfur is the image of an ancient gold refining process.  Literally a crucible of molten gold with sulfur added to eliminate impurities.

This understanding is confirmed in Revelation 3:18. “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire (pyros).”

Christ himself uses the image of gold refined in fire when rebuking the church in Laodicea for being neither hot nor cold.

The lake of fire was never meant to be understood as an actual lake or realm of punishment in literal fire.  Rather the lake of fire is merely a picture of the gold refiner’s crucible, the process of purifying gold.  Understanding the imagery of the Greek words behind these passages brings the text to life.

Proverbs 17:3

What about the word “lake”?

  • The Greek word translated as “lake” literally means a pond, large or small, depending on the context. This is the Greek word limné : “Probably from limen (through the idea of nearness of shore); a pond (large or small) — lake.” (Strong’s Concordance).
  • [Biblehub.com says limnen, from limen (pond)] 
  • Thus the lake of fire is the image of a tiny pond of molten metal … as we would see in a refiner’s crucible … not a lake filled with fire.  Only a psychopath would torture people in literal fire for all eternity.  Most certainly God, who is love, would not do such a thing nor would it come to his mind.

What about the word “torment”?

  • The Greek word translated as “torment” is actually the word “touchstone”.  This is the Greek word “basanizó”. “Cognate: 931 básanos – originally, a black, silicon-based stone used as “a touchstone” to test the purity of precious metals (like silver and gold).” – (Strong’s Concordance).
  • The Greek word básanos is where we get the word “basalt”, a type of rock that was used for making touchstones in the ancient world.

Isaiah 4:4  when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.

Isaiah 6:5-7      Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

Isaiah33:14-15    The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites.  Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?  who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?  15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;  

Isaiah 48:10  Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver;  I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. 

Zephaniah 3:8-9    Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lorduntil the day that I rise up to the prey:
for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.   For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lordto serve him with one consent.  

Malachi 3:2-3    But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.  

Matthew 3:11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Luke 12:47-49   And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.   49  I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?  

  • Compare Revelation 1:18   I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

1 Peter 1:7    that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Revelation 3:17-19    Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.   

Hebrews 12:28-29  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

  • Deuteronomy 4:24
  • Deuteronomy 9:3

1 Corinthians 3:13,15    every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is . . . If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21   And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 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: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstonewhich is the second death.

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 on the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. 17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a liebut they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Revelation 22     And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 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: and they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. 10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  14 Blessed  are  they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

 

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