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The Highest Quest - The Book of Revelation
Week 43, 2018
Next we come to:
And 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.
Having the glory of God, her brilliance was like a very costly stone,
as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.
It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates,
and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them,
which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.
There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and
three gates on the south and three gates on the west.
And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones,
and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
John saw Babylon when he was in the tribulation, but when he was carried to a high mountain, he saw the New Jerusalem. What we see is often determined by our perspective. Throughout Scripture, the “high mountain” is often a metaphor for the place of revelation, such as the Mount of Transfiguration. We too must be taken to this high perspective to see the New Jerusalem.
It is more important that we see and understand what God is doing than what man is doing, or what the devil is doing. However, this does not mean that it is not important at times to seek understanding of what man or the devil is doing. It was important for John to see Babylon and to describe it for all the sojourners of this age. It is likewise important for us to know the signs of the times and to understand current events. This will never be as enjoyable or edifying as seeing God’s work, but it is necessary for us to be the salt and light that we are called to be, and if called, to speak prophetically into the times.
I understand the struggles many have who see all of the terrible things unfolding in our time. We must be careful to know when to turn away from it. We become what we behold, and if we give too much attention to the evil we will start to take on its dark nature. We should spend much more time seeking an understanding of the New Jerusalem. However, we need to understand the earthly one too.
Because of the level of evil and corruption in the world today, it is understandable why many Christians want nothing to do with human politics and government. You can feel slimed just being around it. However, just as the full revelation given to Jesus to give to His bondservants in this book included a lot about the evil and depravity mankind would fall into—and the dark forces behind it—it is something we must see to fully understand what God is doing. Understanding the ultimate evil man has descended to is required to fully understand the ultimate remedy God will bring to it.
Mankind falls to its ultimate depravity by seeking to run this world without God. The biblical prophecies about the end of this age reveal how mankind will be desperately trying to sever all ties with God, which we are seeing in our time. The ultimate calamity of mankind’s attempt to build without God will be a witness to the creation forever. Likewise, this most glorious city, built by Him out of “living stones” (those who remained faithful to Him), will be a revelation to all for eternity of the unfathomable privilege it is for God to let us be a part of what He is building.
It was by seeing this city that Abraham was compelled to leave everything he had ever known and wander in places not knowing where he was going. He did this because above all things he wanted to be a part of what God was building, not men. To be a part of this city has been the vision of every true sojourner since. Even a glimpse of God’s city will make the greatest cities of men seem pale and trivial. A vision of this city will cause all who have seen it to become willing to leave everything else behind to seek it. There is no higher quest. There is no greater adventure.
There is great revelation in every detail of this city as it is described here, but it would likely take another year in this format to elaborate on it as it deserves. Even so, next week we will touch on some of the highlights of the city of God before moving on to the glorious conclusion of Revelation.
next week 44