30 December 2017 Bible Reading
John now sees a new heaven and new earth because the first heaven and first earth had passed away. We saw the first heaven and earth pass away in Revelation 20:11. The time of this physical earth is completed. It has been burned up (2 Peter 3:10). Now the new heaven and the new earth have been ushered in. John is going to be told what this new heaven and new earth looks like in verses 3-8. Before we look at the details of this new heaven and earth, it is important to know that this is not the first time this image is used in the scriptures. Isaiah prophesied of this same time of restoration in Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22. His description of the new heavens and new earth mirrors what John is going to see in these upcoming verses. Peter also spoke of this coming age.
Revelation 21:9 John sees one of the seven angels who had poured out one of the bowls of wrath. The angel tells John that he is going show him the bride, the wife of the Lamb. We already know from the scriptures what is going to be described to us. Revelation 19:7-8 told us that the marriage of the Lamb has come and the bride is ready. The bride is defined for us as the saints, God’s holy people, and the fine linen the bride is wearing represents the righteous deeds of the saints. Paul makes the same connection, describing how husbands love their wives as how Christ loves the church. Christ is the husband, the groom and the church, the people of God, are the wife, the bride. The description the angel gives is not a description of a literal new city to be built in Palestine. The city, new Jerusalem, represents the people of God. Notice the other New Testament authors who make the same connection. The apostle Paul described the Jerusalem that is from above as the children of promise, the people of God (Galatians 4:21-31). The writer of Hebrews spoke the same of new Jerusalem.
The approximate equivalent of 12,012 stadia is 1,380 miles; 144 cubits is about 216 feet.
1 A revelation, Yahweh’s word to Israel by Malachi.
2 “I have loved you,” says Yahweh.
Yet you say, “How have you loved us?”
“Wasn’t Esau Jacob’s brother?” says Yahweh, “Yet I loved Jacob; 3 but Esau I hated, and made his mountains a desolation, and gave his heritage to the jackals of the wilderness.” 4 Whereas Edom says, “We are beaten down, but we will return and build the waste places”; Yahweh of Armies says, “They shall build, but I will throw down; and men will call them ‘The Wicked Land,’ even the people against whom Yahweh shows wrath forever.”
5 Your eyes will see, and you will say, “Yahweh is great—even beyond the border of Israel!”
6 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, then where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is the respect due me? Says Yahweh of Armies to you, priests, who despise my name. You say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ 7 You offer polluted bread on my altar. You say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ In that you say, ‘Yahweh’s table is contemptible.’ 8 When you offer the blind for sacrifice, isn’t that evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, isn’t that evil? Present it now to your governor! Will he be pleased with you? Or will he accept your person?” says Yahweh of Armies.
9 “Now, please entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With this, will he accept any of you?” says Yahweh of Armies.
10 “Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you,” says Yahweh of Armies, “neither will I accept an offering at your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same, my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering: for my name is great among the nations,” says Yahweh of Armies. 12 “But you profane it, in that you say, ‘Yahweh’s table is polluted, and its fruit, even its food, is contemptible.’ 13 You say also, ‘Behold, what a weariness it is!’ and you have sniffed at it”, says Yahweh of Armies; “and you have brought that which was taken by violence, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring the offering. Should I accept this at your hand?” says Yahweh.
14 “But the deceiver is cursed, who has in his flock a male, and vows, and sacrifices to the Lord a defective thing; for I am a great King,” says Yahweh of Armies, “and my name is awesome among the nations.”
2 “Now, you priests, this commandment is for you. 2 If you will not listen, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name,” says Yahweh of Armies, “then will I send the curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart. 3 Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and will spread dung on your faces, even the dung of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it. 4 You will know that I have sent this commandment to you, that my covenant may be with Levi,” says Yahweh of Armies. 5 “My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him that he might be reverent toward me; and he was reverent toward me, and stood in awe of my name. 6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found in his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many away from iniquity. 7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of Yahweh of Armies. 8 But you have turned aside out of the way. You have caused many to stumble in the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” says Yahweh of Armies. 9 “Therefore I have also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according to the way you have not kept my ways, but have had respect for persons in the law. 10 Don’t we all have one father? Hasn’t one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, profaning the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the holiness of Yahweh which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. 12 Yahweh will cut off, to the man who does this, him who wakes and him who answers, out of the tents of Jacob, and him who offers an offering to Yahweh of Armies. 13 This again you do: you cover the altar of Yahweh with tears, with weeping, and with sighing, because he doesn’t regard the offering any more, neither receives it with good will at your hand. 14 Yet you say, ‘Why?’ Because Yahweh has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion, and the wife of your covenant. 15 Did he not make you one, although he had the residue of the Spirit? Why one? He sought godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 16 For I hate divorce”, says Yahweh, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with violence!” says Yahweh of Armies. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you don’t deal treacherously. 17 You have wearied Yahweh with your words. Yet you say, ‘How have we wearied him?’ In that you say, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in Yahweh’s sight, and he delights in them;’ or ‘Where is the God of justice?’
21 I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away.”
5 He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” He said, “Write, for these words of God are faithful and true.” 6 He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give freely to him who is thirsty from the spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes, I will give him these things. I will be his God, and he will be my son. 8 But for the cowardly, unbelieving, sinners, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were loaded with the seven last plagues came, and he spoke with me, saying, “Come here. I will show you the wife, the Lamb’s bride.” 10 He 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 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, as if it were a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 having a great and high wall; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. 13 On the east were three gates; and on the north three gates; and on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb. 15 He who spoke with me had for a measure, a golden reed, to measure the city, its gates, and its walls. 16 The city is square, and its length is as great as its width. He measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand twelve stadia. Its length, width, and height are equal. 17 Its wall is one hundred forty-four cubits, by the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was jasper. The city was pure gold, like pure glass. 19 The foundations of the city’s wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, jacinth; and the twelfth, amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each one of the gates was made of one pearl. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. 22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. 23 The city has no need for the sun, neither of the moon, to shine, for the very glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk in its light. The kings of the earth bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. 25 Its gates will in no way be shut by day (for there will be no night there), 26 and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it so that they may enter. 27 There will in no way enter into it anything profane, or one who causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
149 Praise Yahweh!
Sing to Yahweh a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the saints.
2 Let Israel rejoice in him who made them.
Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
3 Let them praise his name in the dance!
Let them sing praises to him with tambourine and harp!
4 For Yahweh takes pleasure in his people.
He crowns the humble with salvation.
5 Let the saints rejoice in honor.
Let them sing for joy on their beds.
6 May the high praises of God be in their mouths,
and a two-edged sword in their hand;
7 To execute vengeance on the nations,
and punishments on the peoples;
8 To bind their kings with chains,
and their nobles with fetters of iron;
9 to execute on them the written judgment.
All his saints have this honor.
10 Who can find a worthy woman?
For her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her.
He shall have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works eagerly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships.
She brings her bread from afar.
15 She rises also while it is yet night,
gives food to her household,
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field, and buys it.
With the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard.
17 She arms her waist with strength,
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp doesn’t go out by night.
19 She lays her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her arms to the poor;
yes, she extends her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household;
for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes for herself carpets of tapestry.
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected in the gates,
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and delivers sashes to the merchant.