Cover to Cover

December 30

December 30, 2020

Revelation 21

 

Daniel gave us a period of 30 days after the Great Tribulation and another 45 days. We know the wrath of God is poured out immediately after the Tribulation. We also see the Bema Seat judgment and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. These quite possibly happen during the 30 days. What happens after that? What takes place in the 45 days?

 

We know God works to restore the earth, making all things new, as seen in Revelation 21. There is a new heaven and a new earth, recreated. We know that Jesus reigns on the earth, so it’s the same earth, but it will go through a renovation, as will the heavens, or our atmosphere.

 

The Greek word for pass away is parerchomai, and the use of the word here means to perish, or to be destroyed. The Greek word for new is kainos and means “new in character; a new kind, fresh.”

 

The heavens will change. We know the atmosphere changed when God brought the flood in Noah’s time. We know a mist used to water the earth. We know that rain and storms didn’t exist until the time of the flood. After sin entered the earth, people died, but they still lived 800-900 years. After the flood, people lived shorter life spans, and in Psalms we read 70-80 years was a long life.

 

Jesus knew the heavens and Earth would perish one day. In Matthew 5:18, Jesus said, “Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Again, when speaking of the end times in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” Compare this statement with Daniel 7:14, it is said of Jesus’ kingdom and His dominion “it shall not pass away.” (See also Isaiah 65:17-19; Psalm 102:25-27;

 

The Earth will completely burn to the ground. 2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” The Greek word for burned up means to completely and utterly burn. All that we’ve made and all that we’ve done will be destroyed, gone. We also read that there is no longer any sea, which could refer to the Mediterranean Sea. We know from other Scripture, there will be bodies of water in the Millennium (cf. Psalm 72:8; Isaiah 11:9, 11; Ezekiel 47:10, 15, 17, 18, 20; 48:28; Zechariah 9:10; 14:8).

 

The word for pass away is also found in 2 Corinthians 5:17 when Paul writes about our recreation. Our old nature passes away, and the new has come. God is going to recreate our planet, and it could be that it will happen in those 45 days. In Revelation 21:5 a loud voice speaks of our time on the new Earth: no more tears, no more death, no sorrow, no pain because the former things have passed away. God says, “Behold I make all things new.” To live with God is for those who have gone through their own recreation, a changed spirit, born again. Those who refuse to seek God’s salvation through Christ, but live ruled by a sin nature will perish in the second death.

 

One of the seven angels show John the new Jerusalem, or the new city of God, and it’s descending out of heaven, going downward. Only those whose who received Christ as Savior will enter it.

 

 

Zechariah 13-14

 

Idolatry is cut off, and Zechariah prophesies of Jesus as our shepherd Savior. One phrase he makes is “Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” Jesus quotes this passage in speaking of Himself (Matthew 26:31), and He predicts Peter’s denial of Him. One reason for Peter’s denial, as well as others, was in fulfillment of this prophecy. Jesus was the true Shepherd, and as a shepherd, when He was struck, His followers scattered. The relationship with have with Christ is as our leader, and we are the follower. He is the answer and we are in need. Jesus is the Savior, and we are the ones who need to be found and rescued. Often we see Peter’s denial as being cowardly at the crucifixion, afraid that he would be identified as Christ’s disciple and also murdered. However, in this story, we can also see that without Christ, we are nothing. In I Peter 5, Peter refers to Jesus as the Chief Shepherd, the One who is leading His pastors as they lead His flock. It is wonderful to have spiritual leaders to help lead us in vision in our local church, giving oversight to empower and equip the saints, addressing error, uncovering the enemy, teaching us the Word of God, as well as delivering messages from God for our church and in our season.  Pastors are filling a role, but their greatest responsibility is to point people to lean on Jesus, the one true Shepherd. We need Him as our leader!