Do not store up treasures on earth…but store up treasure in heaven…for where your treasure is there your heart will be also. – Jesus
Select your treasure well, because your heart will follow your treasure.
“Whatever you value the most is where your heart runs, your imagination goes, your daydreaming goes, your innovation goes…” – D.A. Carson
What we want is for our values to be in the new heaven and the new earth so that our heart’s desires would land there.
Revelation 21-22:5 is intended to help the churches place their hope, joy and desires in the coming reality of the Kingdom of God whose central reality is God himself.
How does John do this?
John uses Apocalypse.
Apocalypse – analogy (learn a primitive language from a primitive person and go to their people and explain electricity) (like a powerful spirit that runs from vines that run from tree to tree, we pump it into those vines and we attach those vines to your grass hut at a point so you can have this little sun in your thatched roof and also into these little square things that get very hot so that you can heat your water in your pots without any smoke going up through your roof)
They have experienced none of this so that their experience of my world is in analogy only.
“How do you talk about the throne room of God to people who have never even conceived such a thing? Our view of God is so wretchedly tiny that the best the writers can do through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is use analogy (apocalypse) to communicate it to people. That is the role of apocalyptic material.” – D.A. Carson
In this passage we will see what is new, what is inherently symbolic, what is missing and what is central through analogy or apocalypse.
1. The new v. 1-8
There are almost an uncountable number of bible themes that filter down into these two chapters.
The universe is a dying place resulting from the fall.
According to Romans 8, the entire creation groans for its renewal.
Isaiah 65 looks forward to the “new heavens and a new earth”.
A. No more chaos, but peace and order will reign
One detail John gives here is that there is no more sea.
“John is not interested in the hydrology of the new creation.” – D.A. Carson
The sea, often in apocalypse, is symbolic for chaos and devastation (for Jews the sea was just horrid, never sailors, and the sea is bound up with danger and chaos).
There is a “sea” that separates John from God in chapter 4.
The beast comes up out of the sea in chapter 12.
In this new heaven and the new earth there is no more chaos and devastation.
In Rev. 12 the beast comes out of the sea!
Here, there is no more of the sea. That is, there is no more danger and chaos in the new Kingdom.
B. The people united with God, their creator
Mixed metaphors (city is a bride) (lamb who is a lion with horns coming from the throne – king, who is slaughtered with authority that is one with God)
1. New heaven and earth – this Kingdom is real and touchable
2. City (new Jerusalem) – all nations
a. v. 3 is from Leviticus 26, Jer 31, Ezek 36, 37
1. Tabernacle to temple to second temple to
2. The most holy place is now with people
What was lost in the fall is regained in the new kingdom
2. The symbolic v. 9-21
A. God is God and there is no other
What about the stones? Jewels around a square in the order of verse 13, you have the exact opposite of the signs of the zodiac in astrology. This is the reverse of astrology. This is the throne of God himself.
B. This is place for all of the people of God
12 is attached to the tribes, the city and the apostles = connecting all the saints to the same family. There is unity in the family.
C. The most holy place is now with people
This city is some 1400 miles long and wide and high. This is a perfect cube.
Where are there cubes in the bible? Only 1.
It is the most holy place in the tabernacle, the holy of holies. Now, all of God’s people have access to the very presence of God.
3. The missing v. 22-27
A. No Temple
There is no temple. There will be no place anymore for mediation because we will have the mediator with us.
B. No Sun or Moon
Not talking about the sun or moon.
This is not speaking to the astronomical make up of the New Heaven and New Earth.
Night was dangerous and need of protection was great.
No night, only day, represented by the Lord’s presence. In other words there is only good present forever.
4. The central 22:1-5
A. God, the Father
– River of the water of life
This passage is called, “Viseo Dei”, the vision of God.
– The vision of ultimate blessing
God says in the OT that no one can see his face and live.
The bible says that when we have seen Jesus we have seen Father.
But now we have been so transformed that we see Father face to face.
The kingdom is not so much made up of death being destroyed or seeing our friends and family or even walking on streets of gold. All those things are true, but fall under the main point.
The main point is the center of all things is God and our enjoyment of him fill bore with nothing to interfere.
All this secured on a cross outside of Jerusalem.
A. Keep the Gospel front and center
B. Set your treasure up here, with Father, so you heart will be there
C. Constantly evaluate where your treasure it
D. Turn your eyes upon Jesus