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Revelation Twenty

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

 

 

 

   
     

 

 REVELATION TWENTY
by L.R. Shelton, Jr.

 

Chapter 7

THE FINAL ABODE OF THE RIGHTEOUS



 We have seen the earth and man in creation as they came forth perfect from the hand of God; the fall of man, which brought the curse of the broken law upon himself, all of his posterity and the earth; the groaning of the children of God in this state as they await the return of their Lord from heaven and promised redemption of their bodies, and of all creation with them, as they travail in pain waiting for the manifestation of the children of God. Then we saw the eternal purpose of God to have a people made in His own moral image and likeness, and a corresponding perfect environment in which for them to live where they would be in fellowship with Him forever; and through our glorious Kinsman- Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who would buy back all that His sinful people had lost in the fall of Adam, all of God’s glorious attributes would show forth, the curse would be completely lifted from their bodies and the earth and creation in complete restoration of all things, and again there would be a perfect environment for a perfect people as at the beginning.



 So having studied these three major truths-1) the eternal purpose of God in creation, 2) the fall because of sin, and 3) the complete restoration of this earth because of the redemptive work of Christ for His people-we desire now to look with you at what the Scripture teach concerning the redeemed people of God who shall inhabit this new earth with their Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, and their restoration in their new bodies, which will be the final and complete act of their salvation in Christ.

 


 Listen again as we read Rev. 21:1-11a: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son…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. 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.”
 


 
 The City of God-the Lamb’s Wife

 Here we see, in symbolic language, the Lamb’s wife pictured as a holy city, “coming down from God out of heaven”. Why out of heaven? Well, my friend, it was from heaven that the church was first chosen; it was from heaven that the Lamb came from the bosom of the Father to die for the church-His people, His bride; it was from heaven that the Holy Spirit came to call out the church, to make them into the image of Christ and work in them His likeness, changing them from glory to glory into His likeness (II Cor. 3:18). Yes, every good gift and every perfect gift cometh down from above (James 1:17), for it was from heaven that the bride’s Husband, the great High Priest, interceded for her day and night, that He would bring her safely to Himself; and it was from heaven that He came with a shout in the day of resurrection to gather her unto Himself, to sit with her at the marriage feast of the Lamb and be with her in His own home on the new earth forever!

My friend, we should not be surprised to read in Rev. 21 that the Holy City, New Jerusalem, is symbolically spoken of as the Lamb’s wife, the Bride and the church; or that it is not a literal, physical city as so many teach today; because Scripture elsewhere has already prepared us to receive this precious truth.

 Listen to these Scriptures which bring out this truth! In Gal. 4:22-31 we are shown the contrast between the old covenant of works and the new covenant of grace under the symbol of two Jerusalems-the one physical, which now is, and is in bondage with her children; and the other spiritual, which is free, which is the mother of us all in heaven (Gal. 4:25,26).  Then again, Heb. 12:18-24 gives the contrast of the old covenant of works and the new covenant of grace, showing us the insufficiency of the old covenant and then the grace of the new, whereunto the people of God who make up the church of the living God have come, “unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven” (vv. 22-23a).  Also this same truth is brought out in our Lord’s letter to the church at Philadelphia in Rev. 3:12 in these words: “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” Again we find here that symbolic language is used to describe the city of God, which is new Jerusalem-the church, the Bride of Christ-which cometh down out of heaven from God.

With these truths in mind then, what a precious meaning the words of Rev. 21:2 and 9b-11a take on; listen to them again! “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband…Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. 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…” Then the rest of the chapter gives us the glorious picture of the church of the living God in beautiful symbolic language, showing us its greatness, beauty, majesty, glory, power and holiness, as it comes down out of heaven, “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27), a present to Christ Himself from Himself, for He made it so by the cleansing power of His blood.
 
 
 The Bridegroom and His Bride

 You see, dear friend, over and over the Scriptures compare the love relationship between a bridegroom and his bride to that which exists between Christ and His church. All throughout the Old Testament age the wedding of Christ to the church was announced. Then in the fullness of time the Son of God came, and assumed our flesh and blood so on Calvary’s cross He would pay in full the sin-debt of His people; and that by the shedding of His own precious blood He would redeem His bride from all her sins, so she could live with Him in that holy place called the new heaven and the new earth forever, clothed in His own righteous garments! And all throughout the New Testament the church is spoken of as His bride, who makes herself ready for His return and the marriage feast. The song writer expresses it like this: “From heaven He came and sought her, to be His holy bride. With His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died.”
 
 
 One Eternal Honeymoon

 So having gathered His bride unto heaven with Him, He now descends to the new earth with her, there to spend one eternal honeymoon together, and to fulfill verse 3 which reads, “…the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” You see, here HEAVEN COMES DOWN TO EARTH, and the words of Revelation 19:7-9 take on a deep and glorious meaning. Read them with me! “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 it was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints…Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Are not these precious words of love and encouragement to the people of God? The day of our espousal will soon be over, and we will be with our dear Lord, our heavenly Bridegroom and Husband at His marriage feast, there to be with Him forever and ever!
 
 
 Mt. Sion, the Heavenly Jerusalem

 Dear friend, will you be there? Are you a part of this heavenly city who is the Lamb’s wife, which descends out of heaven from God to the new earth?: Have you entered into the praise and rejoicing of the redeemed children of God already on this earth, along with the innumerable company of redeemed souls in heaven and the elect angels who now make the heavens ring with their praises? (Rev. 5:11-12). Again read Heb. 12:22-24 with me and ask yourself the following pertinent questions-listen to God’s Word! “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. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”

 Verse 22: Have you entered by faith into this city, this living spiritual church of Christ, because of the redemption that is in Christ Jesus? Have you come by faith unto Him Who alone is able to save and deliver you from the curse of the law?  Verse 23: Have you stood as a guilty soul before God, the Judge of all men, pleading nothing but the blood and righteousness of Christ by faith as your only hope of pardon and forgiveness of your sins? Do you know and understand by faith that you are in the general assembly and church of the firstborn, there to stand with the spirits of just men made perfect, because your names are written in the Lamb’s BOOK OF LIFE in heaven?

 Verse 24: Have you come by faith to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, to find in Him a hiding place or refuge from the storm of God’s wrath? Have you entered by faith into the blessings of the precious blood of Christ sprinkled upon your conscience, to purge you from dead works that you might serve the true and living God? (Heb. 9:14). And have you entered by faith into the blessedness of knowing that the precious blood of Christ speaks to us better things than the blood of Abel? For Abel’s blood cried as a martyr’s blood for vengeance, but the blood of Jesus, our Substitute and Sacrifice, speaks mercy to poor sinners! It says, let the sinner go free, because a ransom has been found! (Job 33:24).

 Oh dear friend, you must know these things by experience! for God’s people are a prepared people for a prepared place! In this so-great salvation that God gives to His people in the Lord Jesus Christ, He gives them all that is needed to prepare them for their final abode with Him upon the new earth! And this perfected state called glorification is one of these glorious provisions. Let us now consider them!
 
 
 GOD’S GIFTS OF GRACE


 First, our gracious God provides for the standing of a poor sinner before His holy law. Second, He provides for this present life of the believer here upon earth in relation to sin and to righteousness. And third, He provides for the physical body of the believer after death in his glorified state upon the NEW EARTH. Listen, and meditate upon these gracious truths!
 
 
 Justification

 This is God’s provision for the standing of a poor sinner before Him. It is a judicial act of God which comes to us freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:24), whereby the guilt and penalty of sin is removed from the repenting, believing sinner, and a positive righteousness bestowed upon him; that is, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the sinner’s account, and the believer stands uncondemned, guiltless and righteous before God and His holy law, and that for time and eternity. And my friend, we enter into the reality and blessedness of this by faith, as Rom. 1:17 tells us, “…The just shall live by faith.”
 
 
 Sanctification

 Next for His people in Christ Jesus, God provides for this present life in relation to sin and righteousness. In this second provision, He breaks the power of indwelling sin and implants the moral nature of God in us, and by His divine power He sets us apart for his holy use, giving unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness (II Pet. 1:3-4). Also He gives to each believer the Holy Spirit Who personally indwells us, making our body the temple or dwelling place of the living God. Therefore there follows a continuous process in which sin is being rooted out of the believer, and righteousness (or right living) is produced in its place by the Holy Spirit; for II Cor. 3:18 tells us that “we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” And this process will continue till we get to glory, because we are still in these bodies which have sin in the flesh (Rom. 8:10). Yet we live by faith in and upon Christ, eating His flesh and drinking His blood, that is, making all that He is our very own, believing, and waiting for entire sanctification when we shall be given our new bodies in that glorified state with Christ upon the new earth forever!
 You see, beloved, as God deals with us in progressive sanctification and as we wait for that state of perfection in glory, we can rejoice in our positional sanctification in our blessed Lord, for Heb. 10:10 tells us that “…we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” And verse 14 says, “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified”, which could also read, “For by one offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are being purified.” Oh how I praise Him for this life of faith, and for the living hope of the life to come with Christ!
 
 
 Glorification

 And glorification is the third provision that God has made in our salvation in Christ, which will engage our attention in these next studies, as we consider the redemption of our bodies (Rom. 8:23). Listen as we see this blessed truth from Scripture, wherein we are given much instruction concerning this blessed subject.  You see, glorification is the act of God whereby He transforms the physical body of the believer into a state of perfection, thereby preparing it for the eternal and final abode of the righteous with Christ upon the new earth. We see from Phil. 3:20- 21 that “…our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Oh my friend, this is precious to me, to know that one day I will have a body like unto the body of my blessed Lord! And again we see this same truth in I John 3:2: “Now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” Then we read of this redemption in Rom. 8:22-23 in these words: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they (that is, the creation, the animal creation and the vegetation creation) but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Now you may ask, “When will this take place?” I Cor. 15:51-53 tells us: “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”  Yes, it will be in the glorious resurrection at the last trump, at the second coming of Christ.


 My friend, this is grounds for praise and thanksgiving! that there is coming a time when we who believe shall have the final part of our salvation in Christ, the redemption of our bodies; a time when we shall be like Christ in that eternal state of glorification upon the new earth, the final abode of the righteous. And this is the reason God saves His people; He’s had this in view all the while, that we would be made like Christ in spirit, soul and body! For He came-not only to redeem us in our spirit, not only to wash our soul from all of our sins-but also to make our body like unto His glorious body: a body wherein dwelleth righteousness; a body which will no longer have sin in it! We read in Rom. 8:28-30 that this was God’s eternal purpose, that He predestinated us to be conformed unto the image of His Son; for in verse 30 He tells us that those He did predestinate, He also called; and whom He called, He also justified; and whom He justified, He also glorified. So in God’s eternal purpose, it is all as one to Him: when He called and justified us, it was as if He had already glorified us! This is what the apostle Paul means in Rom. 8:17 when he says that we shall be “glorified together” with Christ; and this is glorification in the eternal state.
 “But,” you ask, “how do you know this?” Because our blessed Lord is already glorified, we shall be glorified together with Him. For our glorification, like everything else that happens to us in the Christian life, is the result of our union with Christ. Having been joined to Him by His marvelous grace through the operation of the Holy Spirit upon our souls in the new birth, we have entered into this blessed, blessed deliverance by the gift of God, that gift of faith; and this blessing will be upon our lives entirely until we get to glory, when we shall be like the Lord Jesus Christ, perfect, glorified men and women.


 Dear friend, can you imagine being in a state where there is no sin? That is what glorification means: it is the full and entire deliverance from sin and evil and all of their effects in every respect in our body, soul and spirit. In other words, the whole man will be completely and entirely delivered from every harmful, tarnishing and polluting effect of sin and all that it has ever had upon us! Oh praise the Lord for His SO GREAT SALVATION!.  But as I meditate upon this state of glorification, and long for that time when I shall receive my new body wherein dwelleth nothing but righteousness, I think upon the time when mine eyes shall behold the King in His beauty (Isa. 33:17), and this rejoices my heart more than anything else! For then I shall behold my blessed Lord in all of His glory, and I shall be with Him throughout eternity! Then all of God’s children will live and walk by sight, as we behold and follow the Lamb wheresoever He goes.

 This precious thought is brought out in many places in the Scriptures. For what would life be upon the new earth, if Christ were not there? and if we could not behold Him Whom our souls love and Whose life is the very life of our glorification? Listen to Job as he expresses the very desire of his heart: “I know that my redeemer liveth…whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.” My friend, the Book of Job is the oldest of all the books of the Bible, so we see that from the very beginning of time the children of God have waited with blessed anticipation to behold the face of their lovely Lord. The Psalmist also bears witness to the same longing of his soul in Psalms 17:15 and 16:11: “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness;” for “…in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” So he too would not be satisfied until he could behold the face of Christ, and be at His right hand where there are pleasures for evermore.

 What effect then, does this blessed truth of glorification with Christ upon the new earth have upon the lives of the children of God as they wait for the Lord from glory? First of all, I John 3:3 tells us, “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he (Christ) is pure.” You see, it makes us desire to live a holy life, for we know that “WITHOUT HOLINESS NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD” (Heb. 12:14). Second, it makes us cry, “Whom (Christ) having not seen, I love: in whom (Christ), though now I see him not, yet believing, I rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of my faith, even the salvation of my soul!” (I Pet. 1:8,9). So by the grace of God, this blessed hope of glorification causes us to “…live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:12,13), “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Phil. 3:21). Oh my friend, what a hope, what a blessing, to wait for our blessed Lord from heaven, and to live for Him with our lamps all trimmed and burning until that day when He shall take us with Him into that glorified state!
 
 
 
THE BELIEVER’S GLORIFIED,
 SPIRITUAL BODY


 How then shall He change our vile bodies? Follow us closely now! for we want to look at the many changes that will take place in the physical body of the believer in this state of glorification, to adapt it for that new life upon earth in the resurrection.  First of all, THIS CHANGE HAS TO DO WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF THE BODY. You see, our present body is now constituted as a natural body which is the efficient organ of the soul, and which is adapted to a life in which the activities of the will, the emotions and the reason predominate; these occupy the larger part of our world of sense in which we now live. I Thessalonians 5:23 tells us that our physical, natural beings are made up of spirit, soul and body. In our spirit we are God- conscious; in our soul we are self-conscious; in our body we are world-conscious; and as long as we are in this present world, we will dwell in these bodies which have not yet been redeemed and which are occupied largely with the world of sense. But in the resurrection, our redeemed human bodies will be spiritual; that is, they will be adapted to a life which will be wholly and completely controlled by the Spirit. Listen to I Cor. 15:42-44: “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It (the body of the believer) is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”


 My friend, life as we know it now will then be a thing of the past; we will then be entirely occupied with God in Christ, with His worship and with His service. We’ll be able to praise Him and to live in the Spirit without any sin! In this life, though we desire for the Spirit to always have the ascendancy, and cry that we would always walk in the Spirit so we could live and pray and do all to the glory of God, we find that we are still in this body which has not yet been delivered from indwelling sin; and that we’re still subject to the attacks of Satan and the temptations of the world around us.


Though we long to give all of our time to the worship of God and the study of His Word, and to prayer and serving Him, we find that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak; for we must spend time eating, drinking, sleeping and making a living. Thus the activities of our physical bodies now hinder us from enjoying the continual, conscious presence of our living God which we so desire. I’m not saying by this that God’s child does not live in the presence of God, for he does, but he desires to live in that continued conscious presence of the living God. So in this body he groans and waits and cries like the apostle Paul, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12-14).

 But praise His name, beloved, God will give us those NEW BODIES in the glorified state, wherein there will be no sin, so we can walk and do everything we do in that conscious presence of the living God forever and forever! Our bodies will be adjusted to the new life on the new earth; they will be changed so they will be efficient instruments of the redeemed spirit. And I know this change is coming for this poor soul of mine, because God has bought me with the price of His own precious blood!  Now we know that this change will be perfect, but just what the nature of this change will be, the Bible does not say. We do know from the Word of God that it shall take place, and this is the living hope of the people of God: to be with Christ forever in that state of glorification upon the new earth, the final abode of the righteous, which shall be renovated so there will be no more sin! Beloved, all of our time shall be given to worshipping our living God in whatsoever activity He has for us there upon the new earth, for there shall be no night there! Listen to John’s description of this in Rev. 21:22-23 and 22:3-5: “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 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 there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it: and his servants shall serve him: and they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” And again we see that this is not a partially restored earth as some teach today, NO! For remember, there has to be a NEW EARTH for the NEW BODY!
 
 
 
The Corruptible Made Incorruptible

 The next change that will take place in the believers physical body is that IT WILL BE MADE INCORRUPTIBLE, that is immortal. Listen to I Cor. 15:53: “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” You see, this present body has death in it, making it subject to disease and decay. Parts of the body may have been removed through an accident or operation, and it has many deformities. When it is put into the grave at death, it is put there as a body of corruption. It doesn’t take long, when the spirit and the soul leave the body, for the body to begin to decay-to go back to the dust from which it came. But the future human body adapted for the Spirit will have no death or deformity, disease or weakness in it. Any parts that have been removed shall be completely restored. It will be A GLORIOUS BODY, like unto our blessed Lord! Oh what a blessed state awaits the believer in the resurrection, when he will be given this body of glorification! What a blessed state it will be, to have a body in which there will be no indwelling, sinful nature, which will never become weary or exhausted, in which there will never be any more pain, and which will never die!

 But I hear you say, “Pastor, are these things really true? Does all of this really await the child of God in glorification?” Well, let’s listen to God’s Word: “…Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:3- 4). “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…he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy let him be holy still” (Rev. 21:27; 22:11). Yes this will be our state throughout all eternity!

 Oh my friend, is not this gracious? No wonder the child of God can go on amid tribulation and trials and afflictions down here, relinquishing the things of the world! For he can say by faith, “Wait a while; I have a new body and a new world coming, and I will dwell in righteousness forever and ever with my blessed Lord Who loved me and gave Himself for me upon Calvary’s cross!”   But what about you, my friend? Can you say this? Has God ever dealt with your soul in such mercy that He would put such a hope within you? What is your hope? and upon what is it based? Is it based only upon Christ, His righteousness and His blood that He shed for the remission of your sins?

 Let us go further! Are you living for time, or are you living for eternity? Have you been given that effectual call of grace by the Spirit, calling you out of death in trespasses and sins into newness of life? Do you know what it is to stand before God guilty, with your sins upon you, as a outcast, knowing that you deserve to be damned forever and ever without hope; and then to have God, in love to your soul, deliver you from going down to the pit because the Lord Jesus died in your place? Has God ever granted you repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, whereby you turned that 180 degree turn unto Him from your sins? Did He grant you faith to lay hold of the Lord Jesus as your very own? My friend, ask yourself these questions!  Did God ever give you a new heart and a new nature, or are you still living for the world, the flesh and the devil? Did God ever work in your soul in regeneration and plant the seed of everlasting life there? He does this for all of His people! And when He does this, He puts within them a desire to follow Christ fully in this life, and a desire after holiness and conformity to Christ. Then as they live for Him, they wait for their Lord from glory. And why? because in these bodies they groan and mourn over sin, and they long to be like Him in that glorious resurrection; this is their living hope.

 So if this is your hope, my friend, this hope has changed you and made you a new creature in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you know that these things are true as you too wait and long for this state of glorification. Faith stands for it, and hope looks out of the window, waiting for God to bring it to us!
 
 
 
The Composition of
 Our Spiritual Body

 Now before we consider this next change that takes place in the body of the believer who will have a body fitted for spiritual use, let us again read I Cor. 15:42-44: The body of the believer “…is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” You see, a body that is put into the grave is put there in dishonour; it has no more use, and we cannot keep it among us. As much as we love the body, it must be put out of our sight, because our loved one who inhabited that body is no longer there. but in the resurrection, instead of being a body of dishonour, it will be raised in glory; instead of being a body of weakness, it will be raised in power. Is was put into the grave a natural body, but it will be raised a spiritual body, adapted wholly and completely for the use of the Holy Spirit.

 Our present, natural body is made up of flesh, blood and bones; and according to Leviticus 17:11, the life principle of our body now is in the blood: “…the life of the flesh is in the blood.” But in our future, glorified human body, adapted for the Spirit’s use, there will be a different life principle. The body will be devoid of blood, and composed only of flesh and bones. How do we know this? because we are told in Phil. 3:21 that our body will be like the glorious body of our blessed Lord, for He “…shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself”

 You see, THE FUTURE BODY OF THE RIGHTEOUS WILL BE LIKE THAT WHICH OUR LORD POSSESSES NOW AS OUR HEAD IN THE HEAVENLIES! For He is there as the Son of man in His human, resurrected body; and in His words to His disciples after His resurrection, He tells us something about His present human body-listen! “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39). Dear friend, from these words we learn some interesting things about our Lord’s body: There were the marks of the crucifixion still in His hands and His feet, even though His resurrected body was perfect, for they were left there for the purpose of identification. But the body our Lord had after His resurrection was the same body He had before the cross and in which He had died, only now He was resurrected and glorified. In other words, He had entered into His glory as the Son of man! And in the future state, we too will possess the same body which we now have, except it will be changed-made perfect-like our blessed Lord’s. Since this is true, we shall have the same facial expressions, but with the sin wrinkles ironed out! Yes, we will be beautiful and lovely, clothed in the glory of our precious Kinsman-Redeemer!

 So we will be recognized in heaven! Our future body in that future life will be such that we will be known to each individual we have known here upon earth, and they too will be known unto us; listen to I Cor. 13:12! “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” And not only will we know those whom we’ve known upon earth and they us, but we shall know and be known of all the saints of God of all ages; for we shall be one complete family of redeemed souls. This truth is evident from the Scripture in Matt. 17:3,4: listen! “And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.”

The next truth is that our Lord’s body was a human body. It was not an apparition, but it was a real body, made up of flesh and bones. If you remember, the disciples handled his body with their hands, depending upon what their sense of touch would tell them (Luke 24:39-40; John 20:27,28). They knew it was His body, and that it was real, for they knew Him according to the Word of God. Listen to the way John begins his first epistle: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.” (I John 1:1). He was speaking of none other than the Lord Jesus Christ in His glorified body. So we see that after the resurrection, our Lord’s body was a body that would respond to the sense of touch; it was a body that could be recognized, could speak, see, eat, and perform all the activities of the physical, natural body. And, praise the Lord, our bodies will be like His, and we too will be able to be recognized, to speak, see, eat and to perform all the activities of a physical body.

 But we said there will be a new life principle in our future bodies. As our Lord’s body was made up of flesh and bones, but changed in composition, so our bodies will be made up of flesh and bones-the same flesh and bones we now have-but changed in composition like unto His glorious body. You see, our Lord’s body was without blood; for all of His precious blood had been shed at the cross for the full payment of all our sins! We were redeemed with the precious blood of our blessed, crucified, risen and exalted Lord (I Pet. 1:18-19). Therefore, since our Lord’s resurrected body didn’t have any blood in it, it had to have a new life principle. So our future bodies will have a new life principle in them in the eternal state of glorification upon the new earth. And I praise God for this, because our blood now is full of sin: the life of the flesh is in the blood, and the sin-principle is there! My friend, this is the way the sin-principle was passed from my father to me, it was through the blood. But in the future body, the blood will be taken away and a new principle given; so shall we be with our precious Lord forever and ever!
 
 
 Clothing for Our Spiritual Body


 Dear friend, have you ever given any thought to how our redeemed, glorified resurrected body will be clothed in the state of glorification? I have! And my heart is blessed to think that no longer will I wear my present clothing. For clothes are proof that I am a sinner! They cover my nakedness and shame that was brought on by the fall of Adam. You see, when Adam and Eve abode in the Garden of Eden, “…they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Gen. 2:25). But after they had sinned, “…the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Gen. 3:7). And in response to the Lord’s question, “Where art thou?” Adam said, “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” (vv. 9,10). They were ashamed and afraid, therefore they sought to clothe their naked bodies. Yes, our clothing proves we are sinners; but in our new bodies redeemed by the grace of God, we will be without sin and shame-in body, soul and spirit-so our clothing will be of a different nature.

 Now you ask, “What will our new clothing be?” The Scriptures in Revelation give us some insight into this question; let us see if we can answer it for you ! In Rev. 3:5 we are told, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment.” And in 6:11 John said of the souls who were under the altar, “And white robes were given unto every one of them.” Also the great multitude he saw which no man could number in the 7th chapter “…stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes” (vs. 9). And what was the answer to the question in verse 13-”What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?” Listen! “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (vs. 14); my friend these are those who have been bought with the price of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ! And in Rev. 19:7,8 He tells us further: “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.”

 Can we not see from these Scriptures that the redeemed body of the believer in the final state of glorification will be clothed with a white garment of glory, a “light” covering produced from within, from the holiness and righteousness of God in us? You see, white always indicates holiness, purity and perfection! I believe this is what Peter, James and John saw on the Mount of Transfiguration when they looked upon the transfigured Person of the Lord of glory: and He “was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun and his raiment was white as the light” (Matt. 17:2). They saw Him as He would be in His resurrected, glorified body!

 Dear friend, our glorious Lord could have gone from there into heaven, for He had lived a lifetime in perfection and sinlessness, something the first Adam had not done. But instead, He went to the cross and shed His precious blood so His people could share that glory with Him! (John 17:22). Therefore, we shall wear the white garment of His glory, His righteousness, His holiness, His purity, and His perfection forever and ever; this is what John saw in Rev. 21:10: “…that great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.” And as we wear this fine linen, this white garment of His glory, His righteousness, His holiness, His purity and His perfection, we shall look at Him and look at ourselves and then look at each other and exclaim, “All of this came to us by the sovereign grace of God, being purchased for us by the shedding of the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ!”

 So this is the end, or really the beginning of it all, the culmination of eternal life, for the eternal state of glorification is that for which our God is preparing His people right now! He has gone to prepare that place for us (John 14:2), and He is preparing us for that place! It began in the new birth by the working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts; it became a reality to us in conversion when, in repentance toward God and in faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ, we began consciously to walk in the straight and narrow way. It continues in this life in progressive sanctification, and will be fully realized in the eternal state of glorification with Christ when we dwell with Him throughout eternity in that GLORIFIED BODY, upon the NEW EARTH. There we will have an incorruptible and immortal body like unto His glorious body, made of flesh and bones with no blood, but with that new life principle, and its covering produced from within as we share His glory. It will be wholly adapted to spiritual life, so we can spend all of our time and activity with God and the Lamb, His worship and His service. Surely I Cor. 2:9 says it all: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” And in Rev. 21:5 again we hear our Lord saying, “BEHOLD I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW.” Oh beloved, we can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory as we receive the end of our salvation by faith! For this is what He is going to do for your speaker and for every one of His children whom He has bought with His own precious blood.

 My dear friend, do you by the grace of God possess such a hope as we have described to you in these messages upon the NEW BODY of the believer in that glorified state? I trust and pray that God has given you such a hope by the power of His Spirit, and that you can say your soul has been blessed in contemplating what God is going to do for all who are in Him, when He brings us into that blessed final abode of the righteous! And if you do not have such a hope, I pray that God will work it in you even now!
 
 
 CLOSING THOUGHTS

 Now let us briefly summarize all we have studied together from Revelation 20-21 and then show from the Scriptures that when we see Christ and His people together upon the new and restored earth, God’s eternal purpose will have been fully carried out.
 First, I would put you in remembrance of this truth: that the KEY to understanding all that is contained in the much misunderstood chapter of Rev. 20 is to keep in mind that it covers not only the future, but also the present and the past, and it spans that long period of time from the first to the second coming of Christ. In other words, it pictures what transpires from the first coming of Jesus Christ our Lord to die upon the cross as our Kinsman-Redeemer to the Great White Throne of Judgment at His second coming. For within the four natural divisions of Revelation 20, verses 1-3 picture the BINDING OF SATAN by our blessed Lord at His first coming by His cross work, so Satan could no longer deceive the nations and keep the gospel from going to all the nations of the earth. But remember, it was only in this sense that Satan has been bound these nearly 2000 years, for we know that within the sphere in which our Lord allows him to work during this period of time, Satan is a foe to be reckoned with.

 Then within these first three verses, we found seven signs and symbols: the key, the bottomless pit, the great chain, the thousand years, the dragon, that old serpent, and the seal. We showed you that this is a Book of symbols, and that these signs and symbols are not to be taken literally, but spiritually, interpreting them in the light of the rest of the Bible. For example, the “thousand years” pictures only an indefinite period of time between the first and second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


 Then verses 4-6 describe the PRESENT RULE AND REIGN OF CHRIST upon the spiritual throne of David in the heavenlies. For when God raised Him from the dead by His mighty power, He set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:20-23). So we saw that our blessed Lord is not waiting to reign at some future date upon a physical throne in present-day Jerusalem, but that He already reigns! For all power is given unto Him both in heaven and in earth (Matt. 28:18), and He does reign and must reign until God has put all enemies under His feet. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (I Cor. 15:25,26).

 Now beloved, there is no way that we can recount all we have studied in 34 messages at this time; but we have documented every truth we brought out before you with every Scripture in the New Testament we could find, looking into these Scriptures at every angle we possibly could. And I know and believe in my own soul that this is a clear understanding of the truth of the Word of God.

 We showed you that the first resurrection spoken of in verses 5 and 6 is not a physical, but a spiritual resurrection, effected by the Holy Spirit in the NEW BIRTH for every soul for whom Christ died. And that is why verse 6 tells us “blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” And this, dear friend, is one of the most blessed truths of God’s Word: that those who are saved by the grace of God in Christ, brought from the grave of sin by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit (John 5:25-26), reign with Christ in this life right now, along with the redeemed souls who had already died in Christ! Yes, we shall reign with Him even after we pass through the portals of death, in the intermediate state, where we will await the morning of the resurrection, when we will receive our new, glorified and resurrected bodies.

Then in verses 7-10 we saw the LOOSING OF SATAN for a little season after this indefinite period of time represented by the “thousand” years. Once again he will deceive the nations and bring forth his man of sin (II Thess. 2). But Satan with this man of sin and all of his followers shall meet their doom when Christ returns in the brightness of His glorious second coming, according to verse 8 of II Thessalonians 2.

 The forth division of Revelation 20, verses 11-15, brought us to the GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT OF THE ENTIRE WORLD; that great and terrible day of the Lord (Joel 2:31; Acts 2:20), when all men shall stand before the great Judge of the Universe, to be judged according to the things written in those books that shall be opened. And we showed you that this is the physical resurrection and general judgment of all men (John 5:28-29), the righteous as well as the wicked; and it is ushered in by the second coming of Christ-it is all one event! Over and over we have shown you, according to the Word of God, that there is no time period between the second coming of Christ and the day of Judgment; Christ’s return ends this present age and ushers in eternity.

That this truth needs to be re-emphasized is evident from all that is taught today about two or three stages of the second coming of Christ, saying that Christ will first come for His own and then there will be a seven-year period of tribulation; then they say He will come with His people and set up the 1000-year reign upon this earth, and afterward eternity will be ushered in…


And precious souls are waiting for that second chance to be saved after Christ’s second coming! No, beloved! NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION (II Cor. 6:2); now is the accepted time to be saved; and we have given you infallible proof from the Word of God that there is no period of time between the second coming of Christ and the day of judgment; THERE IS NO SECOND CHANCE! For this is the time when the wicked shall be separated from the righteous (Matt. 25:31-46), and shall be cast into the final abode of the damned, the lake of fire which is the second death (Rev. 21:8); and the righteous shall be given the everlasting kingdom of God, their Father, to abide forever upon the new restored earth with Christ in their glorified, sinless bodies under the glorified heavens.
 
 
 
GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE
 FULFILLED

 Dear friend, now we can see that through the work of our Lord Jesus Christ in bringing many sons into glory (Heb. 2:10), God’s eternal purpose shall be carried out without the loss of one for whom He died. For in His High Priestly prayer of John 17, we hear our blessed Kinsman-Redeemer praying these precious words: “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” And we see in Rev. 22:3-4 that this prayer was answered, for in the eternal state upon the renovated, renewed, restored earth, “there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants (every one of God’s children for whom He died) shall serve him: and they shall see his face”-they shall behold His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

 Oh what a day that will be, to see our Elder Brother-the One made like unto His brethren in all things, sin excepted (Heb. 2:17)-exalted and glorified in His human body, receiving all the praise and glory of His redeemed ones, and being glorified in each one of those for Whom He died! What a glorious day, to see Him in His glory and bask in the sunlight of His presence! and to sit with Him upon His throne (Rev. 3:21), to drink with Him from the river of the water of life (Rev. 22:1), to see His face, and to sing the song of redemption and complete victory: the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints” (Rev. 15:3). And all of God’s children will compose that great multitude which no man can number, of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb clothed with white robes and palms in our hands, crying with a loud voice, “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb…Amen: Blessing and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 7:9,10,12).

 Dear friend, is this the heaven you desire? Is it your desire to see the glory of Christ and look upon His face, to be in His presence and to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goes (Rev. 14:4) forever in the eternal state? This was the Psalmist’s desire, for he cried, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple” (Psa. 27:4). And again he said, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Psa. 17:15).

 Yes, the prayer of our blessed Lord in John 17:24 shall be answered, we who have been bought with the price of His precious blood shall be with Him where He is and shall behold His glory forever and ever. We shall see the Father in Him, and we shall know more and more of the glory of His condescension to become the Son of man, to die beneath our sins upon the cross and to rise from the dead the third day as our Justification. We shall know more of the glory of His great wisdom and His great elective grace and purpose; and of the glory of His great redemptive purpose in bringing many sons into glory. We shall know more and more of the glory of His great mercy in carrying out the work of redemption, and of the glory of His everlasting love that brought Him from heaven’s heights to earth’s depths to be the Kinsman-Redeemer. We shall know of the glory of His power in transforming dead, guilty, lost, hell-deserving sinners into the sons of God by His Holy Spirit. We shall know of the glory of the joy that was set before Him in bringing many sons into glory that made Him endure the cross, despising the shame, which brought Him again to the glory at the right hand of the throne of God via the tomb and His glorious resurrection!


 Beloved, surely I Cor. 2:9 is true: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” But, praise His name, we who await these things by His grace can say, “but God has revealed them unto our hearts by His Spirit, and we do with patience wait for them, for He shall not put to shame those that trust and wait upon Him.”

 Now I understand that every one of you will not agree with me on all my interpretation of each sign and symbol as we have set them forth from the Book of Revelation, but if the Holy Spirit, by His power and grace, has written upon your mind and affection the eternal truth of God’s eternal purpose in Christ as our Kinsman- Redeemer and His exalted position as King and Lord, and Head of His Church by virtue of His resurrection from the dead, ruling and reigning now “till he hath put all enemies under his feet; and the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (I Cor. 15:25,26), then I believe the purpose for which the Holy Spirit gave us these messages will be accomplished.

 So I close this series on Revelation 20, giving glory to my living God, that He by His grace revealed Christ and His glory to my heart and life (II Cor. 4:6), and made these great truths real to my own soul. I trust that He has done the same for you; and if not, may He do so today!
 
 
 THE LOVING-KINDNESS OF GOD Psa. 36:7

 AWAKE, my soul, in joyful lays, And sing thy great Redeemer’s praise; He justly claims a song from me; His loving-kindness, O how free!
 He saw me ruined in the fall, Yet loved me notwithstanding all; He saved me from my lost estate; His loving-kindness, O how great! Though numerous hosts of mighty foes, Though earth and hell my way oppose, He safely leads my soul along; His loving-kindness, O how strong!
 Often I feel my sinful heart Prone from my Saviour to depart; But though I have him oft forgot, His loving-kindness changes not!
 Soon shall I pass the gloomy vale; Soon all my mortal powers must fail; O may my last expiring breath His loving-kindness sing in death!
 Then let me mount and soar away To the bright world of endless day, And sing with rapture and surprise, His loving-kindness in the skies.

 

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