Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Revelation 21:9-27 - The New Jerusalem

by Katrina

LINK: Revelation 21:9-27

John describes the new city of Jerusalem. The city is called both the wife and the bride. Israel was often referred to as the "wife of God," and the "bride of Christ" refers to the church. The twelve tribes of Israel are inscribed on her gates, representing Israel, and the twelve apostles are on the foundation stones, representing the church. The city is described as shining brilliantly of the glory of God. The inhabitants will come from all nations, but they will be only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Only those who belong to God will be present.

One of the best things about the city is that it will not need sun, moon, or any other light. The glory of God will be present to illumine it. Jesus himself will be the light. There will be no need for a temple in this city, because God's presence will be everywhere all the time.

There will be no sin in the city. There will be nothing unclean. Only what demonstrates the glory of God and His holiness will be there.

Imagine yourself walking down that golden street made of such pure gold that it looks like transparent glass. You are surrounded by precious stones - jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst. (I don't even know what some of those are, but I bet they're gorgeous!) The twelve gates are each made of one huge pearl. The names of the twelve tribes of Israel are inscribed on them. The foundation stones have the names of the twelve apostles (I'm guessing Paul's name replaces Judas's). Jesus Himself shines his glorious light everywhere. Believers from all over the world are there. There is no sin, no sorrow, no sadness, no death, no crying, no pain. There is only perfection surrounding you. There is nothing between you and the very presence of God! Just imagine!!

Is your name written in the Lamb's book of life? Rejoice!

We praise you, God, that one day you will wipe out the world as we know it with all its sin and suffering, and you will make a new place free of all sin and suffering. You will call out your own people from nations all over the world. You will shine your glory for all to see. And we will be in your presence! What an exciting day to look forward to! Amen!

This is my final post for BBC. It has been a wonderful journey through the Bible for the past (almost) three years. I appreciate Carol letting Becky and me participate on a regular basis. It has been richly rewarding both to write and to read the posts here. And it has been invaluable time with the Lord in his word. It has been an exciting three years with Jesus! ~ Katrina

Monday, November 8, 2010

Revelation 21:1-8 - A New Heaven and Earth

by Katrina

LINK: Revelation 21:1-8

God will make a new heaven and earth after the destruction of the old. There will be a new holy city of Jerusalem. The city is compared to a beautiful bride. In this city, God will dwell among men. He will wipe away their tears, remove all death, crying, pain, and mourning. He will make everything new and overflowing with life. The citizens of this beautiful city will be those who have overcome sin. While those who are overcome by sin will experience a second death in the lake of fire.

What began in Genesis, God brings to completion at the end of Revelation.

  • heavens and earth created (Gen 1:1) . . . . new heavens and earth (Rev 21:1)
  • sun was created (Gen 1:16) . . . . no sun will be needed (Rev 21:23)
  • night established (Gen 1:5) . . . . there will be no night (Rev 22:5)
  • seas created (Gen 1:10) . . . . there will be no sea (Rev 21:1)
  • man sinned (Gen 3) . . . . man overcomes sin (Rev 21:7)
  • curse established (Gen 3:14-17) . . . . curse removed (Rev 22:3)
  • sorrow and pain began (Gen 3:17) . . . . no more tears or pain (Rev 21:4)
  • death enters (Gen 3:19) . . . . no more death (Rev 21:4)
  • man blocked from tree of life (Gen 3:24) . . . . access to the tree of life (Rev 22:14)

All believers are "overcomers" and will inherit eternal life in the eternal city. "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith. And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:4-5). "And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life" (1 John 5:11-12).

As believers, we have been given a new life, one that is not enslaved to sin. Our old self was crucified so that our body of sin might be done away with and that we would no longer be slaves to sin. For anyone who has died to self is freed from sin (Rom 6:6-7). We ought to consider ourselves dead to sin, no longer being drawn by its attraction. Instead, we ought to live for God in Jesus. Sin should not rule over us anymore (Rom 6:11-13). Once we are saved from sin, we must live out our freedom from sin. Let's live our lives as overcomers!

Praise God today for the ability to overcome sin. If your life is overcome by sin rather than having sin conquered, seek God's help. Spend some time in Romans 6-8 and take an honest look at both your sin and what Jesus has done to free you from your sin. Spend much time in prayer about it, and seek out a godly person who will hold you accountable to growing. Let's become true overcomers who are not ruled by sin.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Revelation 20 - Victory and Judgment

by Becky

LINK: Revelation 20

This is my last post for Bible Book Club and what a journey it has been! Thanks Carol, for having the vision for this and then implementing it. It's been a joy, both the reading and the writing. I am going to miss doing this with you and Katrina!

I have learned SO much. I am more in awe of our God and His Word than ever before. How miraculous that this Book of many books, written over centuries, is so unified. From beginning to end it tells the same story and echoes the same theme. God is in charge! Jesus is our Redeemer. There is conflict and climax, and best of all a happy ending and it's all true!


Satan, that ancient serpent, is bound and cast into a bottomless pit for 1000 years. Remember that this is symbolic! The point is that God places restrictions on Satan's ability to do harm for a long, but limited, period of time. Then believers are seen on thrones, judging and reigning. Thoughts on just when all this happens depends on the millennial view a person holds. (In fact, interpretation of this whole chapter depends on which view of the 1,000 years we hold.) Some believe it will happen in the future in a physical sense, or in the future in a kind of "golden" age, while others believe that Satan, though still active, is limited and bound by God now. Jesus' death on the cross has limited Satan's ability to deceive. We as believers are reigning now as a spiritual kingdom of priests because Jesus reigns in our hearts.

Satan is released to deceive the nations. He gathers a huge force and attacks God's people and God's city. Fire come from heaven and consumes the attacking armies. Then Satan, the great betrayer, is thrown into a lake of fire, with the beast and the false prophet, where they are tormented forever and ever.

Next comes a judgment before a great white throne. All the dead, no matter their status in life, are judged there, judged by what is written in all the books. Those whose names are not found in the Book of Life are thrown into the lake of fire, along with death and the grave.


I don't begin to pretend that I understand all of this chapter! There are many mysteries, which God will make clear in His time. One thing I do know is that God is in charge! We shouldn't let different interpretations of this chapter and views of the millennium, divide us. Christ will unite those of us who are believers, no matter when the millennium is! We can all agree on that.

Satan IS defeated. It's just a matter of time.

Judgment will come. Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life are found "guilty." Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)


Is your name in the Book of Life? Have you trusted in Jesus' death and resurrection for your eternal life? The deeds we do don't save us. They are only the evidence that we have life through the Lord Jesus.

This chapter gives me hope and strength. I think that may be a strange thing to say, but it's reassuring to me that God is directing history toward a sure and certain conclusion. We don't go through endless cycle after cycle. The great conflict will reach a climax and be resolved. Satan is defeated! All those who rally behind him are defeated. Death is defeated. There is no more need for the grave.

Read on. It gets better!


Help us to live victoriously today, Father, since we know how history ends. We know the whole story, maybe only snatches and hints of it, but you make very clear that you are in charge and you have a plan. We want to serve you now. We want to trust you and obey you. Thank you that Jesus came and died so that we can have life, so that our names are written in that Book of Life. We love you.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Revelation 16 - The Seven Bowls

by Katrina

LINK: Revelation 16

In this chapter, the seven bowls of God's wrath are poured out.

first bowl - loathsome and malignant sores upon those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped the image

second bowl - waters turn to blood and all living creatures of the sea died

third bowl - freshwater turned to blood

fourth bowl - the heat of the sun increased so as to scorch man on the earth

fifth bowl - darkness on the kingdom of the beast

sixth bowl - the Euphrates River dried up

seventh bowl - natural disasters cause widespread destruction

Along with the sixth bowl, there is a gathering of forces for a great war. They gather in a place called Har-Magedon in Hebrew. This is where we get the word "Armageddon." "Har-Magedon" or "har Megiddo" means the hill of Megiddo. Megiddo means "place of troops." This particular place is also known as the Plain of Esdraelon and the Valley of Jezreel. The area is about fourteen miles wide and twenty miles long. Napoleon called it "the most natural battlefield of the whole earth."

Once again, man's response to these cataclysmic events is to blaspheme God. When confronted with God's magnificent power, they do not fear him. When given repeated opportunity to repent, they do not. What a sad end.

This makes me want to help people understand their condition in sin and their position before a holy God! Our God is one of compassion, waiting and giving many opportunities for man to repent.

Pray for those you know who are unsaved and ask God to lead you in sharing the good news of Jesus with them!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Revelation 15 - Worship Scene in Heaven

by Katrina

LINK: Revelation 15

Now John sees a scene in heaven. He sees those who had been victorious over the beast praising and worshiping God. They sang the song of Moses and of the Lamb. A song of Moses recorded in scripture (and likely referred to here) is in Exodus 15:2-18 and was sung right after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. This song in Revelation is similar.

Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God the Almighty;
Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy;
For all the nations will come and worship before You,
For Your righteous acts have been revealed.

Then John saw seven angels who were each given a bowl of plagues, or wrath. These seven bowls are God's final wrath. This is the third woe. The angels emerged from the holy place of God's temple -- from the very presence of God. Once they came out of the temple, the temple was filled with smoke and no one could enter it again. The smoke is an indication of God's holiness, glory, and power. No one would be able to enter the temple again until all seven bowls of God's wrath would be poured out.

The scene at the beginning gives comforting assurance to all believers, but especially to those who face tribulation and persecution. It's always good to be reminded of who God really is. He is the holy one, the only one we need fear, the righteous one, the powerful one, and the only one worthy of our worship.

Everyone will one day worship the Lord. We have the opportunity to worship him now! Let's do so today. Meditate on the passage in this chapter or in Exodus 15. Make it your praise to God today.

Make your prayers today be mostly worship of our great God. If you aren't sure where to start, make a list of God's attributes and begin praising him for who he is.