Rev 21:9                   The Glorious Brideof the Lamb                          9/10/2006      ßŕ   

  • A Great Wedding Feast (Rev 19:7-9, Mat 22, Luke 14, Prov 25:2)

 

 

 

 

#1.       One of the Seven Angels (Rev 21:9-27)

 

 

 

 

  • The New Jerusalem’s Appearance (Rev 21:9-10, Heb 12:22)

 

 

 

 

#2.       A Bride of Overwhelming Beauty (Ex 25-28, 36-39, Eph 5:31, 2:19-22)

 

 

 

 

  • The Life of the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:22-26, 1:6)

 

 

 

 

#3.       The Offense of the Gospel (Rev 21:27, 20:12, 17:8, 13:8, 1Tim 6:15, 2Tim 2:26, Rom 3:11-12)

 

 

 

 

  • Whatsoever Worketh Abomination or Maketh a Lie (Rev 21:27, Rom 3:4, Rev 21:8, 22:15, Mat 24:15, 2Thes 2:3-12, Rev 22:18-19, 2Tim 4:4, Jam 3:1, John 15:20)

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 19:7 (2X). Beginning in Rev 21:9 (2X) God showed John a new vision. It is the beginning of the great wedding feast. It is a feast that will last throughout eternity. In fact it is a feast that was already prophesied by the Lord Jesus when He told us the parable of this great wedding feast in Mat 22 and in Luke 14, where He spoke of many who were invited, but they did not come. It is also feast that was already announced in Rev 19:7-9.

  • A Great Wedding Feast (Rev 19:7-9, Mat 22, Luke 14, Prov 25:2)

Re 19:7-8  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.   And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Re 19:9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

This great wedding feast starts with the Bride of the Lamb who “was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints”. We understand that these words are veiled in symbolism. We do not have any further description of the Bride of the Lamb in Rev 19, but we do have it in Rev 21. And when God says in Rev 19:9, “These are the true sayings of God”, these words are repeated in Rev 21:5 (2X) where God says, “These words are true and faithful”. God assures us that these words are faithful and true. And then God gives us an extensive description of the Glorious Bride of the Lamb. This is also the title of the present sermon, The Glorious Bride of the Lamb (2X). The problem is that God cannot give us a full description of the Bride of the Lamb, for this Bride of the Lamb resides in a different universe, which does not resemble our universe at all. And thus God gave us this description in symbolic language. We read in Prov 25:2, It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter”. We are those kings who have the honor and must search out this matter that God has given to us. Please turn in your Bibles to Rev 21:9 (2X). Here we see one of the seven angels who poured the vials of the wrath of God on the earth in Rev 16. However, this is not an angel, as we shall see later, but this is one of the saints in heaven. Do we think that our loved ones in heaven smile at our actions here on earth? Think again. They are delighted to be God’s instrument to pour His wrath upon the earth.

#1.       One of the Seven Angels (Rev 21:9-27)

Re 21:9  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”.

Re 21:10-11  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,              Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

Re 21:12  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:

Re 21:13-18  On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.       And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.          And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.                 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.              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.             And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

Re 21:19-20  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;         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.

Re 21:21  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.

Re 21:22  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

Re 21:23-24  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.      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.

Re 21:25  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Re 21:26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

Re 21:27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

What was this vision that this messenger showed John? He said, “Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife”. And what John then saw was not a bride, but a city, the New Jerusalem. Now we have to reconcile the announcement of the Bride with the vision of the city that was shown.

  • The New Jerusalem’s Appearance (Rev 21:9-10, Heb 12:22)

Already in verse 2 John saw the New Jerusalem, but now he is shown the city in detail. John did not actually go to see the New Jerusalem in the NH&NE, but he saw it in the spirit, as in a vision, for we read in verse 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”. John was carried away in the spirit to a very great and high mountain. A mountain that was at least as great and as high as the city itself. We are warned here at once that we must not interpret this as a literal city, for what John is shown here is called “the Bride, the Lamb’s wife”, which is as we know the church. We read in Heb 12:

Heb 12:22  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

The church is here in Heb 12:22 identified as a city. That is understandable. The bride of Antichrist is also pictured as a city, called Babylon. We must remember that John is shown spiritual things in a vision, and in signs and symbols. John sees this colossal city that descends out of heaven from God, for God is the author and finisher of this entire city, which is really representing the Bride of Christ. How large is this city? It is 12000 furlongs wide, and 12000 furlongs high, and 12000 furlongs in length. It is a perfect cube, approximately 1400 miles wide, 1400 miles long, and 1400 miles high. To put this in perspective, if this city would be on our continent it would reach from Washington DC to the border of Colorado, and from the middle of Maine to the middle of Florida. Its height would be unimaginable, for the highest mountain on earth is only about 10 miles high. This city is 1400 miles high. If John saw this gigantic city in its entirety, then John saw this only in a vision, for he would not be able to see the distance from Maine to Florida. John would not be able to see twelve foundations under the wall of this city, unless he saw it in a vision. And John would not be able to see all twelve precious stones in these foundations unless the city would be twirling around while it descended out of heaven. The city was made of pure gold, which was transparent as glass. In other words, there is no earthly gold in that city, for no earthly gold is transparent as glass. What God is showing John, and showing us, is a city of overwhelming beauty, for we read in verse 11, “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal”. In other words, she is:

#2.       A Bride of Overwhelming Beauty (Ex 25-28, 36-39, Eph 5:31, 2:19-22)

This is what we need to keep in mind: This glorious city is the church, the Bride of Christ, the Lamb’s wife. All the external descriptions of the city have a spiritual meaning. For example, the city is in the shape of a perfect cube. Where have we seen a perfect cube before? We have seen it in the tabernacle in the wilderness. The perfect cube was the Holy of Holies, also called the most holy place, wherein the golden Ark of the Covenant was placed. Every thing inside the Ark of the Covenant represented the Lord Jesus Christ. There were the two stone tablets on which God wrote the Ten Commandments, representing Christ as the Word of God. There was the pot with manna, the bread from heaven, representing Christ as the Bread of Life. There was Aaron’s rod that budded, a dead stick that in one night came alive and bore blossoms and almonds, representing Christ as the giver of life from the dead. The Holy of Holies was the place where God dwelt. God’s dwelling place was represented by a cube that was only 15 feet by 15 feet by 15 feet. In the NH&NE God’s dwelling place is represented by a cube of 1400 miles by 1400 miles by 1400 miles. Moreover here are the precious stones mentioned, which are the same precious stones that were fastened on the ephod that the high priests wore, but they are listed in a different order. And so, we are drawn to compare the description of the tabernacle in the wilderness, with the beautiful description of the New Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven into the new creation. The tabernacle in the wilderness, with all the items for worship, and all the priestly garments, were all representing Christ, or were all pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ. We find these things described in Ex 25-28, and in Ex 36-39. All these things were pointing to the beauty of Christ and of His future atoning work on the cross. All these things belonged to the Ceremonial Law, which was done away the moment that Christ died on the cross. But now in the NH&NE the New Jerusalem is representing the church. And here all the beauty is assigned to the church. Is it possible that God will share His glory with the church? That is absolutely true, for here Christ applies to Himself the biblical definition of marriage. God says in Eph 5:31, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh”. That is how intimate our relationship will be with Christ. In other words, here in the symbolism of the city of God we shall find the Bride of Christ as well as Christ Himself. First of all, the church is not IN this city, but this city IS the church. Secondly, this city as the Lamb’s wife stands in a most intimate relation to Christ, and through Christ to God. The relationship is that of a communion of nature, a communion of life, and a communion of love. Therefore Christ is everything in this city. He fills he whole city with His life and with His love. And through Him the city stands in fellowship with God. Thirdly, Christ is the Lord of this city, His Bride. She delights to do His will, and her delight is to do the will of God through Christ. Please turn to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 2:19 (2X). Moreover, we see the names of twelve apostles on the twelve foundations of the wall. The principle here is that the apostles constitute the foundation of the church. The apostles were the instruments who laid the foundation through their preaching, but Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of each one of these foundations. This means that Christ incarnate, crucified, raised, exalted and glorified determines the whole foundation. This means that in the New Jerusalem we shall always be with Christ and in Christ consciously. And all this is in harmony with the teaching we find in Eph 2:19-22,

Eph 2:19-20  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;                     And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Eph 2:21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

Eph 2:22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

God speaks here of our spiritual relationship with Christ in this present time, here on earth. But God chose His words carefully, so that these words also describe the New Jerusalem in the NH&NE. And thus, since Christ is the chief cornerstone of each of the twelve foundations, the entire city is filled with the glory of His presence.

  • The Life of the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:22-26, 1:6)

In verses 22-26 we have a further description of the perfection and the glory of the New Jerusalem from the viewpoint of the activity of the citizens in this glorious city.

Re 21:22  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

Re 21:23-24  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.   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.

Re 21:25  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Re 21:26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

Verses 24 and 26 speak of the nations and the kings of the earth. God emphasizes that the elect of God comes out of all nations of the world. It does not mean that a separation of nations shall continue in the New Jerusalem, for all national separation shall disappear forever. But the organic development of the nations serves the purpose of the multi-facetted form of the church in the New Jerusalem. This reveals the manifold glory of God in the multitude of the redeemed from every nation, and tribe, and tongue. Moreover, verse 24 speaks of “the kings of the earth”. We must keep in mind that this world and all that is in it will be destroyed. Nothing of this present world or its culture can have a place in the holy city. Therefore these kings must be representing the saints. God says in Rev 1:6,

Re 1:6  And (He) hath made US kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

We, the saints, are the ones who bring glory an honor into the holy city, the New Jerusalem, for the Lord God has counted us among His sheep, and we want to thank Him for this eternally.

Moreover, verse 22 says that there will be no temple in this holy city, “For the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it”. The text does not mean that the temple idea is done away, but rather that it has come to its highest and fullest realization. There is no need for a special temple, for God Himself is the temple for His people in Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ, through His Spirit, will perfectly and completely fill the glorified church. And through Him God shall be with us in constant and perfect fellowship. The whole city shall be God’s dwelling place. Constantly and everywhere His people shall know Him as He reveals Himself to them, and as He walks with them. They see God evermore and everywhere, and dwell in His blessed fellowship. And all of life will be a constant worship of God in perfection. What a tremendous contrast there is between Babylon and its end in outer darkness, and the New Jerusalem with its everlasting light, and perfection, and bliss, and glory. Well may we rejoice if we have discovered that our names have been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb. And only they who have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life shall enter into that city where the covenant and Kingdom of God shall be perfect forevermore.

Please turn again to Rev 21, and let us now take a good look at the last verse in this chapter.

#3.       The Offense of the Gospel (Rev 21:27, 20:12, 17:8, 13:8, 1Tim 6:15, 2Tim 2:26, Rom 3:11-12)

Most people would be happy to hear and read about the glorious things the saints are going to enjoy in the NH&NE, and they immediately assume that they are among these saints. But they do not like to hear about the judgments of God, and they like even less to hear about the sovereignty of God. Both these subject matters are popping up in Rev 21:27, where we read,

Re 21:27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

We read here that no sin and no sinner shall ever enter into the new creation. This solidly means that none of those who have been sent to Hell can ever enter into the NH&NE, for there is no parole, and there is no cross-over, and none of them shall ever be allowed to come into our midst. No sin shall ever be allowed to enter the NH&NE, and thus our eternal inheritance shall be forever secure; it shall be an eternal inheritance. And those in Hell shall be there and shall be in torment forever.

But there is more in this last verse of Rev 21. This verse plainly says that NO ONE will enter into eternal life “but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life”. This is the same “Book of Life” that was mentioned in Rev 20:12, and it is the same “Book of Life from the foundation of the world” that was mentioned in Rev 17:8, and this is the same “Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” that was mentioned in Rev 13:8. All these verses plainly state that only the elect of God, only the remnant chosen by grace from the foundation of the world, shall enter into eternal life to be with Christ, because only those who have been chosen from the foundation of the world shall believe this Gospel and they only shall be righteous in the sight of God. Everyone else in the world shall wonder after the beast, and shall worship the beast, according to Rev 13:8. And for this they shall be cast into Hell, according to Rev 20:12. This means that even the Moslems, and the Hindus, and the Buddhists, who stand completely outside the Bible, are also accused of worshipping Antichrist, according to Rev 13:8. And thus it cannot be that in the FTP there will be a great war between the heathen nations and the nominally Christian nations, as some theologians have concluded. All the non-elect are on one side and they all, without exception, are worshippers of the same beast, representing Antichrist. Let me say it in other words: All those who call themselves Christian but do not believe God’s sovereignty, as stated here in Rev 21:27, are in the same category as all those who worship other gods, like the Moslems and the Hindus and the Buddhists, for they all are worshippers of the same Devil, according to Rev 13:8. Yes, worship of the Devil occurs in many shapes and forms, but only the elect of God shall receive the grace to turn away from Devil worship and shall be led to worship the only true Christ, “Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1Tim 6:15). This then is the enormous offense of the Gospel. All the non-elect shall hate this teaching of the Gospel, because it leaves them without self-respect. They want their own kind of a salvation plan. They consider the salvation plan that God sets forth an offensive Gospel that leaves them without self-respect. They refuse to believe that they came into the world as enemies of God, dead in trespasses and sins. They rather worship a god who will give every human being a chance to exercise their free will to accept or to reject the Gospel. Did not God create every human being with a free will? The problem is that they are not reading the Bible. According to the Bible, the only free will we have is to sin. And in this way all the non-elect are under the power of Satan, who will not let them go free, for we read in 2Tim 2:26 that they are “in the snare of the Devil, and are taken captive by him at his will”. All the non-elect will never have any desire to be saved on God’s terms. God says plainly in Rom 3:11-12, “There is NONE that seeketh after God, NO NOT ONE”. And therefore, the only time that anyone would earnestly seek after God, is when God puts it in their heart to search for Him. The only time that anyone would want to be saved on God’s terms is because his name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. And when the elect hear this Gospel their hearts rejoice, because God will give them a believing heart. They will never tire of hearing that God has done this, for they know in their heart that they did not deserve so great salvation. And therefore, if anyone of us would ever have the feeling that we do not like a verse here or there that speaks of the total depravity of man and of the unconditional election of God, or if we get tired of hearing a sermon about the sovereignty of God because it is too long, or if we do not like to mingle with our fellow believers in Christ because we do not love them, then watch out, for we are in dangerous territory. Now, the million dollar question is this: How can we know if we are worshipping the true Christ, and not an imitation Christ? We can search ourselves, and if we find that we have an earnest ongoing desire to believe the whole Word of God, and we have an earnest ongoing desire to do those things that are pleasing in God’s sight, and we have an earnest ongoing desire to love our fellow saints in Christ, then we have discovered that we have received faith from God and we have discovered that we have a received a new spirit from God, because we belong to His elect and Christ has suffered and died for all our sins. But there is more in that last verse of Rev 21.

  • Whatsoever Worketh Abomination or Maketh a Lie (Rev 21:27, Rom 3:4, Rev 21:8, 22:15, Mat 24:15, 2Thes 2:3-12, Rev 22:18-19, 2Tim 4:4, Jam 3:1, John 15:20)

 Is it not amazing that God emphasized the condemnation of liars? When we observe the world around us we find that everyone lies. We listen to the lies of commercials on TV. We listen to the lies of corrupt politicians. We swallow the lies of the medical / pharmaceutical establishment. We listen to the lies of corporate management. We hear the lies in our own families who are gossiping each other to death. And we know of ourselves that we too are not free from speaking a little white lie once in a great while. In fact, God says explicitly that all men are liars. God says in Rom 3:4, “Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar”. And when we read Rev 21:27 we are reminded of Rev 21:8. Please turn to the page on your left, to Rev 21:8 (2X). There God puts liars in the same category as the worst of sinners.

Re 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.

Is it not amazing that God emphasizes the condemnation of liars if we know as plain as day that all men are liars? In Rev 21:27, as well as in Rev 21:8, as well as in Rev 22:15, God emphasizes the condemnation of “LIARS”. And this is not a threat, to hold back the flood of lies. But if God means what He says, then the liars He addresses in these verses are not referring to everyone in the human race, but to a certain category of human beings who are despicable liars. Well, let the context speak. We notice in Rev 21:27 that the category “whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie” is followed by “They which are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life”. First of all, The abomination that God refers to here is not any common “thing that defileth”, but it refers to the abomination of desolation that the Lord Jesus referred to in Mat 24:15. Let me read to you this verse where the Lord Jesus said,

Mt 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

We have learned that this “abomination of desolation standing in the holy place” is spoken of in 2Thes 2:3-12, where the signs and lying wonders of the Charismatic movement are identified with this abomination standing in the holy place. In other words, one group of preachers who are proclaiming lies are those who are preaching a Charismatic gospel. And God emphasized it by stating in 2Thes 2:11, where God said, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe THE Lie”. The Greek text says THE Lie. This Lie refers to the lie that God is still bringing Divine messages today. It is the lie that the Roman Church has bought into a long time ago, but more recently many of the Christian denominations have also fallen for it. They all are in violation of Rev 22:18, where God says that anyone who adds to the words of the prophecy of this Book is under a curse.

Secondly, they who deny that God saves only them “which are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life”, are another group of liars. They deny that God has written this in the Bible, and they deny that God has written the names of all His elect in the Lamb’s Book of Life from the foundation of the world, as He said in Rev 17:8. And these are not the only places that they deny. There are hundreds of places in the Bible where God emphasizes that He is sovereign in deciding whom He will save and whom He will not save. These liars have in their minds cut out all those places in the Bible where God states that He is sovereign. They are in violation of Rev 22:19, where God says that anyone who takes away from the words of the Book of this prophecy is under a curse. No one can claim that he did not know that God is sovereign, for the Bible has been spread all over the world for hundreds of years. And if people listen only to their preachers but not to the Bible, then they have turned their ears away from listening to God. They have turned their itching ears away from the truth and have turned unto fables (2Tim 4:4). Instead of listening to God, they are now listening to snares of Satan, which is a process that already started in the Garden of Eden, with disastrous results. These two groups then are the liars that God refers to in Rev 21:8, and in Rev 21:27, and in Rev 22:15. Those that bring other gospels and thereby lead many astray are under greater condemnation than any other sinner, for they are actively working for Satan and for the sake of filthy lucre they lead their fellow man into a religion that causes him to burn forever in Hell. God says in Jam 3:1, “My brethren, be not many masters (teachers of the Bible), knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation”. This then is the offense of the true Gospel, for the Lord says that the preaching of the true Gospel is not only foolishness, but is an offense to the natural man.

And for this we shall be persecuted, and maligned, and ridiculed. The Lord Jesus said in John 15:20,

Jo 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

Yes, here on earth we will be persecuted by those who are the non-elect, if we indeed bring the true Gospel to the world. But there will be some who will hear what we are preaching. And since they keep the sayings of Christ we know that they are of the elect who were ordained unto eternal life as we were, and for this we give God thanks. We give God thanks for all things that come our way, for all things work together toward this one purpose: To bring the Glorious Bride of the Lamb of God into the new creation that God has already prepared for us. And we can thank God that He has counted us worthy to be His instruments through which He saved this Glorious Bride of the Lamb.            

AMEN.

Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.