Way to new world.

A massive high wall – Revelation 21:12-14

Way to new world.Previously: Arrayed with God’s glory – Revelation 21:10-11

The scripture

Rev. 21:12 – The city had a massive high wall, with 12 gates. Twelve angels were at the gates; the names of the 12 tribes of Israel’s sons were inscribed on the gates. 13 There were three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 The city wall had 12 foundations, and the 12 names of the Lamb’s 12 apostles were on the foundations. (HCSB)

A massive high wall

In verses 12-21 John describes the exterior of the New Jerusalem, turning to the interior in verses 22-27. The New Jerusalem has a “massive high wall, with 12 gates.” The walls and gates speak of protection, which angels ensure as they stand guard.

God’s people have nothing to fear from their enemies any longer. Though hated and harassed on earth, these pilgrims are now safe from all harms. Where once they wore shackles behind prison walls, they now walk freely within the gates of the heavenly city. Where once they wandered about in sheepskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated, wandering in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground, they now receive a better inheritance as they bask in the never-ending daylight of their eternal home.

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Baptism Letterpress

Is baptism for the dead biblical?

Baptism LetterpressThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that baptism is essential to salvation. Since many people have died without being baptized, or because they were baptized outside the LDS Church, they cannot obtain exaltation, or godhood.

However, “Because God is merciful, He has prepared a way for all people to receive the blessings of baptism,” according to the church’s official website. “By performing proxy baptisms in behalf of those who have died, Church members offer these blessings to deceased ancestors. Individuals can then choose to accept or reject what has been done in their behalf.”

The LDS Church cites Jesus as its primary source for the necessity of baptism (John 3:5), and posits that “baptisms for the dead were done during the Apostle Paul’s time (1 Cor. 15:29). This practice has been restored with the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Prophet Joseph Smith first taught about the ordinance of baptism for the dead during a funeral sermon in August 1840.”

No doubt, Paul’s statement about baptism for the dead has been widely misunderstood – and much abused. In his teaching on the resurrection, Paul inserts the statement, “Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people being baptized on their behalf?” (1 Cor. 15:29 ESV).
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Milky Way. Beautiful summer night sky with stars. Background

Arrayed with God’s glory – Revelation 21:10-11

Milky Way. Beautiful summer night sky with stars. BackgroundPreviously: I will show you the bride – Revelation 21:9

The scripture

Rev. 21:10 – He then carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 arrayed with God’s glory. Her radiance was like a very precious stone, like a jasper stone, bright as crystal. (HCSB)

Arrayed with God’s glory

John sees the bride, the wife of the Lamb, coming down out of heaven from God, “arrayed with God’s glory. Her radiance was like a very precious stone, like a jasper stone, bright as crystal” (v. 11).

The most significant quality of the New Jerusalem is stated at the outset. It is the radiance of God, the sign of His visible presence. As in the burning bush, the pillar of fire by night, the Shekinah glory in the Holy of Holies, and the brilliance of Jesus’ presence on the mount of transfiguration, God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.

The prophet Isaiah foretells the work of the divine warrior who penetrates the earth’s spiritual darkness (Isa. 59:17-21). As a result, Isaiah exults, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord shines over you” (Isa. 60:1).
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I will show you the bride – Revelation 21:9

Previously: The victor will inherit – Revelation 21:7-8

The scripture

Rev. 21:9 – Then one of the seven angels, who had held the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me: “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” (HCSB)

I will show you the bride

Rev. 21:9-27 provides more details on New Jerusalem, which John describes in verse 2 as “the Holy City … coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” In verse 9, John reports that one of the angels who held the seven bowls with the last seven plagues approaches him, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

There is an interesting parallel here. In Rev. 17:1, one of the angels from the same group – perhaps the very same angel, although the text does not say – comes to John and says, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the notorious prostitute who sits on many waters.” In both cases – the revealing of judgment on Babylon and the splendor of New Jerusalem – John is “carried away in the Spirit” and provided rare insights into the nature of both marvels.

In viewing Babylon, John is taken to a desert, whereas in viewing New Jerusalem he is taken to a great and high mountain. In Revelation chapters 17-19 we see the destruction of the sinful world order, the mourning of unbelievers who watch their treasures go up in smoke, and the rejoicing of the saints in heaven over the true and righteous judgments of God. The coming of New Jerusalem is a welcome event for all those who, like Abraham, look forward to a city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Heb. 11:10).
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Gold Medals

The victor will inherit – Revelation 21:7-8

Gold MedalsPreviously: Making everything new – Revelation 21:5-6

The scripture

Rev. 21:7 – The victor will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son. 8 But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars – their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (HCSB)

The victor will inherit these things

The words of God complete this section as He speaks in verses 7-8: “The victor will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son. But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars – their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

This expresses the intimate relationship that exists between the saints and God in the eternal state. We are joint-heirs with Jesus. We are God’s adopted sons and daughters. And the full expression of God’s work for us and in us will be realized when we are resurrected and glorified, and when we enjoy everlasting face-to-face intimacy with Him in the new heavens and earth.

The words “the victor” are translated “he who overcomes” or “the one who conquers” in other versions. This refers to the perseverance of the saints during a time of terrible persecution, and it links the promises of Jesus in the opening chapters of Revelation to their fulfillment in the return of the King.

Remember that in each of the seven letters to the churches of Asia Minor Jesus offers a word of encouragement to the overcomer:

To Ephesus: “I will give the victor the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in God’s paradise” (Rev. 2:7).

To Smyrna: “The victor will never be harmed by the second death” (Rev. 2:11)

To Pergamum: “I will give the victor some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name is inscribed that no one knows except the one who receives it” (Rev. 2:17).

To Thyatira: “The one who is victorious and keeps My words to the end: I will give him authority over the nations – and he will shepherd them with an iron scepter; he will shatter them like pottery – just as I have received this from My Father. I will also give him the morning star” (Rev. 2:24-26).

To Sardis: “In the same way, the victor will be dressed in white clothes, and I will never erase his name from the book of life but will acknowledge his name before My Father and before His angels” (Rev. 3:5).

To Philadelphia: “The victor: I will make him a pillar in the sanctuary of My God, and he will never go out again. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God – the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God – and My new name” (Rev. 3:12).

And to Laodicea: “The victor: I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also won the victory and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Rev. 3:21).

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