Behold the Wonders of Jesus
LHC: Message Forty-Eight (980920PM)
Week 48: Behold the Wonders of Jesus
As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you behold the wonders of Jesus!
SUNDAY: The First and the Last Books “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” —Revelation 1:1–2, emphasis added Graham Scroggie wrote this wonderful exposition of why the early Christians studied the book of Revelation, and why we should do the same today: Not without reason did the early Church study this Book. Practically the whole of it is reproducible from the Christian writers of the first three centuries and it is probably true that this cannot be said of any other New Testament Writing. As no other Book, the Revelation stands in certain relations to all other parts of the Bible, a fact that gives the seal of finality to it. Take two illustrations only. It is interesting that those who were closest to Christ spoke most often from this Book. The Book of the Revelation completes the whole Bible. In Genesis is the Foundation of God’s redeeming purpose; in Exodus to Jude, the Superstructure of it; and in Revelation, the Completion of it. The Old Testament is about the Kingdom; the Gospels are about the Messiah; the Epistles are about the Church; and the Revelation is about them all—completed. Revelation completes the Book of Genesis. The first and last Books of the Bible present most striking comparisons and contrasts. By way of comparison: In Genesis are the First Heaven and Earth, and in Revelation, the Last. In Genesis is the First Rest, and in Revelation, the Final Rest. In Genesis Paradise is Lost, and in Revelation it is Regained. In Genesis God makes Husband and Wife, and in Revelation, the Lamb and the Bride. But the contrasts between these two Books are even more striking: In the first, Satan is victorious; in the last, he is defeated. In the first, judgment is pronounced; and in the last it is executed. In the first, the divine face is hidden; and in the last, we see His face forever more. In the first, the gates are shut against us; and in the last, they are never shut. In the first, Adam and Eve were banished from the Tree of Life; and in the
last, we have a right to it. In the first, we were exiles from the earthly Garden; and in the last, we are inheritors of the heavenly City.1 It is truly sin that made the earth bad.2 Before the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, there could be no death, disease, famine, war, natural catastrophe, cancer, weakness, rust, pollution, hatred, murder, rape, lying, corrupt government, wife beating, child molesting, greed, and a thousand other ills that have plagued man for six thousand years of history. Every broken body, every disturbed mind, every hurting heart—the collective tears of the human race—can trace their origin back to the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. As a consequence of sin, man has polluted the ocean, raped the earth, and poisoned the heavens—the very sphere which God committed to man’s authority. Is there any wonder, then, that the present heaven and earth must be dissolved—purged by fire to loose it from the consequences of sin—to make way for a new heaven and earth? In the new heaven and earth there will be no more twisted wrecks of car and plane accidents; no more lifeless forms that have been shocked, poisoned, drowned, or suffocated; no more crippled bodies; no more torturous therapy and throbbing pain; no more arthritis, insomnia, and bodily dysfunction; no more merciless onslaught of age and its accompanying aches and disintegration. In heaven we see the wonders of Jesus. In Revelation 21:9–27 we find the wonders of Jesus. I hope you are rejoicing in all that your heavenly Father has in store for you! My Prayer for You This Week: Oh, Father in Heaven, why You would let Your Son redeem us, and then go and prepare a place for us, is beyond our wildest imaginations! As we look into Your Word, we pray that Your Spirit would lead us to comprehend the wonders of our Lord Jesus who has prepared this place in which every part radiates Your glory. May we see Your glory, and may Your glory, as the Apostle Paul says, transform us more and more into the image of Him whom our souls love. Open our eyes, and let us behold magnificent things from the wonders of Jesus. In His precious name we come to You, oh Father, Amen.
MONDAY: New Things in the New Heaven and Earth “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.” —Revelation 21:1, emphasis added Over the next few days we will be looking at seven new things in the new heaven and the new earth. The first new thing is the new heaven (21:1): “A new heaven and a new earth” does not necessitate the annihilation of the present heaven. However, it will be at least a thorough and basic transformation (2 Peter 3:10–13). As you know, the law of the conservation of matter which God built into this universe means that matter is never created or destroyed in the world that we know; it is only transferred back and forth. It is very possible that God just transfers the matter of this universe to energy and in a
creative act puts it back like it was. All of that is necessary because there can’t be even a trace of sin remaining. The second new thing is the new earth (21:1): The earth will not be written off as a corrected failure of God’s rule, but as an eternal triumph of His rule. There will be sweeping transformations on earth as well as in heaven, for there will be “no more sea” in the new earth. The third new thing is the new peoples (21:3–4). Israel will certainly be one of them (Isaiah 66:22). But all the peoples on the new earth will be God’s people (v. 3). Death, sorrow, crying, and pain will be unknown (v. 4). Righteousness will be its great characteristic (2 Peter 3:13). The fourth new thing is the New Jerusalem (21:9–22:7). This is either a literal city (according to authors Seiss, Newell, Gaebelein, Pentecost); a symbolical city (Scott); or it is both literal and symbolical. It seems to be suspended over the planet Earth during the Millennium (v. 10). What do I mean by “seems to be”? Once we get into eschatological things (things related to the end of the world or the events associated with it), we are in the realm of the Bible in which we should not be dogmatic. Rather, it should cause us to study even further, and be very forbearing of differing opinions. The greatest Christian minds of all time have studied the future. The more I read their commentaries, the less I see of total agreement and the more I see of wondrous diversity. With that said, it therefore seems to me that this heavenly Jerusalem will be suspended out in space during the Millennium because we will be with Christ, and the millennial saints can still see us. However, we will get to come down to the earth even though we won’t actually live here any more—working, marrying, and giving in marriage. We will be celestial, yet still be able to come and go from heaven, the New Jerusalem. In verse 16, the New Jerusalem appears to be in the shape of a cube (Seiss, Newell, Gaebelein, Pentecost); however, Ironside views it as a pyramid, with the reminder that the shape of the most holy place in both the tabernacle and the temple was a cube. Because there is always a trinity in everything God does, the city will have three dimensions: length, breadth, and height. From the description God gives, that is why I think it will be a beautiful crystal cube. The inhabitants of the New Jerusalem—the resurrected and glorified New Testament church who sought the coming city (Hebrews 13:14)—are clearly indicated as being there with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (v. 22). The names of the twelve apostles will be on the foundations of the city (21:14). The resurrected and glorified Old Testament saints will also be there because they likewise looked forward to this heavenly dwelling place. Thus, God is preparing a city for them (Hebrews 11:16), and on the city’s twelve gates will be the names of the twelve tribes of Israel (21:12). This is an amazing correlation: the new people of God will be identified with the city’s foundations, and the old people of God will be identified with its gates. There is a lot of speculation on the height of the walls and the size of the gates. If you read Revelation 21 without trying to make it like something on earth, it appears that the walls will be as high as the city. The only measurement given is 144 cubits, which is 216 feet (probably the thickness of the wall), and it most likely reaches to the top. Why
would we need any walls at all? I don’t really know, but God will put them there and He says they look like jasper. To us, jasper is a reddish stone. However, jasper is also the word used for diamonds in Scripture. It could be that the outer wall will glisten like a polished diamond, with its light emanating inside-out through the walls. If after visiting some distant place you were to come to heaven to see God’s glory, you would see something like the largest diamond in the universe spraying light out in every direction. Nothing that defiles can ever enter (v. 27), and its amazing splendor will be absolutely astonishing (vv. 18–21)! Will anything that defiles still exist? Yes, the last few verses of Isaiah tell us that we will be able to look down, off in the distance, and see the horrors of hell. In the biblical sense, hell never ends just as heaven never ends. We will therefore be aware of God’s wrath, but those in hell will never be able to leave.
TUESDAY: The Pearly Gates of Heaven “Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: . . . The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” —Revelation 21:12, 21; emphasis added In Revelation 21:12–21, we notice the twelve gates, each a single pearl. Since God designs twelve gates to enter His city, the focus of today’s devotional will be the wonderful ways that God’s Word has offered us entrance into His fellowship and partaking in ministry for Him. As we look at heaven consider these things. Our occupation will be the worship of God: “Then a voice came from the throne, saying, ‘Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!’ And I heard . . . the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!’ ” (Revelation 19:5–6; see also Revelation 4:5 and 1 Kings 8:27). If we want to prepare well for our final destination, we should faithfully worship God here on earth. Our arrival in heaven will only be a continuation of what we have already begun. Praise is both the language of heaven and the language of the faithful on earth. Thus, we will be occupied with worshipful service to the Lord (Revelation 22:3–4; Matthew 4:10; Luke 2:37; Acts 24:14). Our family will be all our brothers and sisters in Christ: “Whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother” (Mark 3:35). Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). All those who have kept His commandments, just as He kept the Father’s, will abide in His love (John 15:10) and get to live together with Him forever! Our faith that saves will be an assurance of Truth: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is a conviction, a sense of assurance or confidence that something is true. If we are convinced of the Truth of Scripture, we will be saved (1 John 5:9–13). This faith is directed to Christ alone (Romans 10:9–10). If you are persuaded that Christ did all that is necessary, and all that ever will be necessary to bring you to God,
you not only will be saved but also will know it (1 Timothy 1:12; Romans 10:17). This faith is confirmed by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16–17). This faith bears spiritual fruit (Ephesians 2:10). This faith grows (Ephesians 4:11–16).3 Revelation 21:21 tells us that “the twelve gates were twelve pearls.” The pearls represent the doors to rewards gained by pursuing what Christ is looking for in His beloved children—His expectations of us. Listed below is a summary of His twelve expectations (one for each gate) that were covered on Saturday of Week 47: Love the ultimate prize—seek Christ’s “Well done!” Love service—seek to be the greatest servant. Love sacrifice—give generously. Love trials—joyfully accept injustice. Love strangers—show biblical hospitality. Love to restrain your flesh—seek the spiritual disciplines. Love your lot in life—be faithful in your vocation. Love the unlovable—model Christlikeness. Love God’s Truth—pursue doctrinal integrity. Love ministry—take people to heaven with you. Love Jesus—watch for Christ’s return. Love refinement—accept suffering.4 Upon hearing of the assassination of John and Betty Stam in China in 1934, Will Houghton, former president of Moody Bible Institute, wrote these words: So this is life. This world with its pleasures, struggles and tears, a smile, a frown, a sigh, friendship so true and love of kin and neighbor? Sometimes it is hard to live—always to die! The world moves on so rapidly for the living; the forms of those who disappear are replaced, and each one dreams that he will be enduring. How soon that one becomes the missing face! Help me to know the value of these hours. Help me the folly of all waste to see. Help me to trust the Christ who bore my sorrows and thus to yield for life or death to Thee.5
WEDNESDAY: The New Temple of Worship “True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” —John 4:23–24, emphasis added In Monday’s devotional, we learned about four of the seven new things that will be in the new heaven and earth. Today and tomorrow, we will cover the remaining three. The fifth new thing is the new temple (21:22): “I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” The entire universe will become a place of worship! God will be the focus of everything; He will no longer be detached
from His children any more. Heaven will be full of new worship—we are going be totally enraptured in worshiping God! Revelation 21 mentions seven new ways that we will worship Jesus. First New Way to Worship—Jesus the Lamb as our Beloved: “Then one of the seven angels . . . came to me . . . saying, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife’ ” (Revelation 21:9). The first time these angels are mentioned in Scripture it says: “one of the angels having one of the seven bowls.” This is now the seventh, and the last time, they appear. It seems that these seven angels that surround God’s throne each unleash a bowl of His wrath during the Tribulation. The emphasis is that we will be worshiping Jesus the Lamb as our Beloved One. That is what Rutherford wrote in “Emmanuel’s Land”: The Bride eyes not her garment but her dear bridegroom’s face. I will not gaze at glory but on my King of grace. Not at the crown he giveth but on the Lord Jesus Christ who is the glory of Emmanuel’s land. That is what we will do—worship Jesus because He is our Beloved Husband. It is not the splendors of the city that will captivate us. God doesn’t want us to get caught up in the glory of His riches. He wants us to focus on Jesus, His Son, and worship the Lamb as our Beloved. Second New Way to Worship—Jesus the Lamb as our Foundation: “Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:14). Our hope for all eternity rests in Jesus the Lamb, and we will worship Him as our Foundation upon whom we as His church have been built, as Peter says in 1 Peter 2:4. Third New Way to Worship—Jesus the Lamb as our Temple: “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22). He will be the focus of our worship. Why am I emphasizing all this? After all, we are not in heaven yet. The scriptural principle is this: anything that God is going to like in the future, He likes right now; anything that God is going to do in the future, He would appreciate it if we would get in step with it right now. That is why it is so interesting to read what God does in the future. He wants us to honor Him now to prepare us to later worship Jesus the Lamb as our Temple. Fourth New Way to Worship—Jesus the Lamb as our Light: “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light” (Revelation 21:23). He is the One who provides all the light we will ever need. In fact, when the Apostle Paul gave his testimony he said, “This is salvation to open our eyes and to turn us from darkness to light” (see Acts 26:18). When Jesus was promised to us in Luke 1:78b-79a, it says that “the Dayspring from on high has visited us . . . who sit in darkness.” He is our Light, and we will worship Him in heaven as our Light. Therefore, the city will have no need of the sun or the moon to shine in it. It doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be stars or moons, because there will be. We just won’t need them anymore—the glory of God, the Lamb, illuminates the city. So in heaven, this new worship is that we worship Jesus the Lamb as our Light. What a wonder that will be! Fifth New Way to Worship—Jesus the Lamb as our Guardian: “There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, . . . but only those who are written in
the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27). We will worship Him who guarded, secured, and kept us. The Lamb is our Guardian; He is the One who writes in the Lamb’s Book of Life; He is the One who keeps all who come to Him from falling, and will present them faultless before His presence. We will therefore worship Jesus the Lamb as our Security, our eternal Guardian. Sixth New Way to Worship—Jesus the Lamb as our Spring of Life: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life . . . proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1). It is interesting that there will no longer be any seas or oceans, but there is going to be a springing up of the water of life. Why won’t there be any oceans? Probably the same reason there isn’t any blood in heaven. Jesus has said that flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God. After His resurrection body, Jesus stated that He had a body and bones, but He did not mention anything about blood (Luke 24:39). Why? Blood has to do with corruption; it is the disinfecting system; it is actually the garbage system of our body. Blood takes out all the dead cells and the poisons and filters them out of our bodies. Do you know how the oceans function on our planet? They act as a giant cleaning system. Rains catch all the impurities and put them into the rivers and streams to run them out into the ocean. After that, only pure water is evaporated, like distilled water, which then goes up into the clouds, comes back down, cleans the air and the ground, and then flushes everything right back into the septic tank of the planet—the oceans. Just as God doesn’t need oceans, we won’t need blood. There won’t be any waste by-products (we can’t conceive of this because we are in a fallen universe). The Lamb Himself will be our Spring of Life. The “water of life” no longer carries trash out because it proceeds from the throne of God and of the Lamb. The millennial temple will have water coming out from underneath the altar, which is a symbol of God’s throne. But here, when the temple is done away with, the water will flow out from underneath the throne. No longer will we need to have the altar as a symbol, because we will be gathered around God’s throne itself. And the Water of Life flowing from under His throne is symbolic of true endless life flowing from God. We will thus worship Jesus the Lamb as our Spring of Life! Seventh New Way to Worship—Jesus the Lamb as our King: “And there shall be no more curse, . . . and His servants shall serve Him” (Revelation 22:3). Remember: in Genesis, God cursed the earth and the universe because of the transgression of Adam as he followed Eve in her transgression. But here it says there will be no more curse—God removes and destroys it—the curse is annihilated. Jesus is our King whom we worship by serving. And that makes me want to burst forth singing: “King of my life I crown Thee now; Thine shall the glory be!” It is no wonder then that we worship Jesus the Lamb as our King!
THURSDAY: The New Paradise of God “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, . . . proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits . . . every month. The leaves . . . were for the healing of the nations. 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.
They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” —Revelation 22:1–5 The sixth new thing is the new Paradise (22:1–5). We will be living in the new Paradise, the beautiful Garden of God! What a thrill to see again the Tree of Life, a river of the Water of Life! And, most of all, that which makes heaven to be heaven: unhindered access to God. We will experience Emmanuel at last—God with us and we with God! The seventh new thing is the new Light (21:23): “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” The Garden of God will be lit with a different kind of light. This is hard for us to understand because we can’t conceive of life apart from the sun. The ancients used to worship the sun because it sustains all life. Most fossil fuels are a product of sunlight being captured through the wonders of photosynthesis and converted into energy stored in plants and trees. Most fossil fuels are compressed and decomposed plants and trees. Here we see that we no longer will be dependent on the sun for the heat, light, and energy it gives because the glory of God lights the city. The Lamb becomes the lamp of the city; His light will illuminate the nations of the earth and day will be supreme. There will be no more darkness, and in the absence of darkness there will be no more fear, death, or evil associated with it. In James 1:17 we are told that “with [God] there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Those are two astronomical terms meaning that there is no eclipsing of God. In other words, nothing will come between Him to cut off His light as an eclipse does on the earth. With God there will be no eclipsing—no variations as when the stars pulsate. Individual stars differ in their light and electromagnetic radiation output, but no longer will we have such variation. There will be no burning out, and no eclipsing. Thus, we will worship Him who is the Light, and who has lighted our souls forever by His Truth. This focus on worshiping the new Light reminds me of this splendid old song by Phillip Bliss. Note that whether we are on earth or in heaven—the Light of the world is Jesus. The Light of the World Is Jesus The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin— The light of the world is Jesus; Like sunshine at noon-day His glory shone in— The Light of the world is Jesus. No darkness have we who in Jesus abide— The Light of the world is Jesus: We walk in the Light when we follow our Guide— The Light of the world is Jesus. No need of the sunlight in heaven, we’re told— The Light of the world is Jesus;
The Lamb is the Light in the City of gold— The Light of the world is Jesus. Come to the Light, ‘tis shining for thee! Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me; Once I was blind, but now I can see— The Light of the world is Jesus. —Philip P. Bliss (1838–1876)
FRIDAY: The Perfections of the New Heaven “Behold, I make all things new.” —Revelation 21:5, emphasis added What other priceless lessons can we learn from Revelation 21? Now that we’ve seen seven new things in heaven, and seven new ways we will joyously worship the Lamb of God, let us look at ten perfections of the new heaven. Perfection One—Fellowship: “And . . . there was no more sea” (Revelation 21:1, KJV). Vanquished are the depths of the seas that often gave storms and caused separations! The idea of no more seas may take us back to the idea of never being separated by the distance of a sea from those we love, and thus pointing to God as ever near. Perfection Two—Consolation: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4, KJV). The Comforter will give everlasting comfort for any tears over our own failures, the hurts caused by others, and the sorrow over the loss and hurt of loved ones. All the ravages of sin will be gone forever. Perfection Three—Living: “And there shall be no more death” (Revelation 21:4, KJV). Never again will we have to watch the life drain from a beloved spouse, parent, or friend. There will be no more death vigils in Intensive Care Units and waiting rooms. The Prince of Terrors will be gone and the Prince of Peace will reign. Perfection Four—Joy: “And there shall be no more . . . sorrow, nor crying” (Revelation 21:4, KJV). Yes, Christians feel sorrow and they cry when parents pass away. They grieve the loss of a marriage partner who goes ahead of them to the presence of Christ. The depth of such losses is fully experienced, but Jesus has promised that we will have abundant life (John 10:10)—and in this world we have only tasted of the Spirit’s fruit called joy. But oh, the joy of our future reunion! Perfection Five—Health: “And there shall be no more . . . pain” (Revelation 21:4, KJV). There will be no more colds, flu bugs, arthritis, painfully incapacitating diseases, or any other physical ailments! Perfection Six—Sustenance and Resources: “ ‘I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely’ ” (Revelation 21:6, KJV). For the millions who have agonized in hunger and thirst on earth, that will be no more. Gone will be the pressures of securing daily provisions because the Provider will have come (Revelation 7:16). Jesus came that we might never hunger nor thirst (John 6:35)! Perfection Seven—Worship: “The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it” (Revelation 21:22, KJV). The mere representation or symbols of God will be
replaced by the immediate and actual presence of God. There will be no more cold hearts and fainting prayers; no more wandering minds in song, study, and prayer. The personal God who promised to be with us will be there. And we will forever be with Him who loved us and sent His Son to give Himself for us! That is why we will break into worship and song so often in Revelation. It will be absolutely perfect there! Perfection Eight—Illumination: “The Lamb is the light thereof” (Revelation 21:23, KJV). No more brownouts, blackouts, power surges, or power failures. No more gloomy days. No more dark days. The Light of the World has come and we will at last walk in the light as He is in the Light! Perfection Nine—Security: “And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day” (Revelation 21:25, KJV). All the fears and phobias of the old world are gone. The dangers of robber and stalker are past. The constant awareness of imminent loss is gone. The need to protect ourselves from intruders and assailants has passed with the arrival of our Protector and Fortress. We will be under the wings of the One we can wholly trust: no more fear of defilement or pollution; no need to purify air, water, and food; no screens, locks, combinations, doors, or guns. We will be free at last! Perfection Ten—Refreshment: “There shall be no night there” (Revelation 21:25, KJV). There will be no end to activity; no exhaustion; no place for evil men and their evil plans (John 3:19). All that will be is the enjoyment of a day that knows no end. At last we’ll have glorious bodies fashioned like our Savior’s (Philippians 3.21). Oh, that will be glory for me! How about you?
SATURDAY: The Wonder of Entering Heaven “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” —Psalm 116:15, emphasis added When your appointment with death arrives, the Lord Jesus Himself will wondrously take you by the hand and usher you instantly into heaven. At the moment you are absent from the body you will forever be in His presence! Jesus Christ, who has guided you through the valley of the shadow of death, will continue to guide you as He takes you by the hand and leads you up past the marshaled ranks of the angels! The Scriptures talk about what God’s throne looks like. It is raised up, and sits in the sides of the north; in front of it is a glassy sea; surrounding it in concentric circles are the angels. When Daniel saw them, he said there were myriads of myriads—ten thousands of ten thousands. What does “ten thousand times ten thousand” equal? Hundreds of millions of standing angelic beings! How powerful are angels? Just one angel slew 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night! They are very powerful—and hundreds of millions of these super powerful angelic creations stand by God’s throne. So then, you will walk by the marshaled hosts, the ranks of the angels, up through the golden boulevards of glory, up past the cherubim. When you get closer to God’s throne, you will see creatures with four faces and six wings surrounding His throne. Hovering, they constantly say, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.” The seraphim, which means “burning ones,” join them. So these burning, holy creatures are speaking about God. Finally, Christ will lead you up to the throne of God Himself.
What happens next? Having passed from this life, which is physical, into real life, which is supernatural and spiritual, Jesus will then hold your hand and walk you up past all the angels, cherubim, and seraphim to the very throne of God. Jesus will then confess your name before His Father and the angels (Revelation 3:5). He will introduce you saying, “Father, I would like You to meet one for whom I died—one whom I bring to You as My beloved, as one whom I purchased. I now present My child to You . . . ” Then you will hear Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, actually say your name! Talk about the most unbelievable moment of your existence! Do you remember how you will be clothed? In a white robe! If you will recall, when Jesus was transfigured, He pulled back the veil of His flesh to let us see what He’s really like as God in His eternal divine state. Scripture tells us that His clothing began to glow so white that it was whiter than anything ever seen on earth. His face also began to shine. In fact, when John saw Him He was shining like the sun! And you, too, will have a glowing white robe because you will no longer be terrestrial, but celestial! Psalm 104:2 tells us that Jesus is clothed “with light as with a garment.” Because you will see Him as He is, you will look like Jesus— as white and bright as the day, and pure as light. What a reward it will be to have that robe draped around your shoulders and be invited to walk the shining paths of glory! But the greatest and richest part will be to hear Jesus Christ confess that you are His good and faithful servant! What a wondrous entrance into heaven! Make a Choice to Live in Hope: G. Campbell Morgan, a great Bible teacher in Britain a hundred years or so ago, wrote of this moment also, and he said: You are to remember with the passion burning within you that you are not the child of today. You are not of the Earth, you are more than dust; you are the child of tomorrow, you are of the eternities, you are the offspring of Deity. The measurement of your lives cannot be circumscribed by the point where blue sky kisses green earth. All the facts of your life cannot be encompassed in the one small sphere upon which you live. You belong to the infinite. If you only make your fortune on the Earth—poor, sorry, silly soul—you have made a fortune, and stored it in a place where you cannot hold it. Make your fortune, but store it where it will greet you in the dawning of the new morning.6 Since Jesus is going to usher you into heaven and take you to meet your Father sitting on the throne, think about what you want to send ahead. All that you did on earth is going to follow you to heaven! I once ordered a small technical gadget over the Internet and received an e-mail asking me to track it. I had never done this sort of thing, so I hit the proper key and got this message: “Your package was put in a truck in Philadelphia and headed for the airport at 7:31.” I thought: Oh, that’s great! I checked later in the day, and this time it said: “Your package has now arrived at the Philadelphia airport.” I tracked that package’s whereabouts every day until finally, as I checked it for the last time, the doorbell rang and the delivery man was actually dropping it at the door. I then thought to myself: We think nothing of tracking packages, but God says, “I’m tracking everything you’ve done on earth, and the part that is eternal is going to follow you—it’s going to arrive with you in heaven.” The question is this: Is anything following you to
heaven? When you come face to face with Jesus, what will you bring with you to offer the Lamb of God? As we close this week’s devotionals, you can live in hope by reflecting upon the wonders of Jesus as you worshipfully sing this lovely song to the Lamb of God. Behold the Lamb Behold the Lamb, behold the Lamb, Slain from the foundation of the world. For sinners crucified O holy sacrifice, behold the Lamb of God, Behold the Lamb. Crown Him, crown Him, Worthy is the Lamb. Praise Him, praise Him. Heav’n and earth resound. Behold the Lamb, behold the Lamb, Slain from the foundation of the world. For sinners crucified, O holy sacrfice, behold the Lamb of God, Behold the Lamb. —Dottie Rambo (1934–2008) 1 W. Graham Scroggie, Know Your Bible (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1965), pp. 362–75.
2 On the second of the six days during which God created the universe, He created the heavens (Gen. 1:6–8), and on the third day He created the earth (Gen. 1:9–10). The divine commentary on all that God created is this: “And God saw everything that He made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). But soon Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and because of that disobedience, a curse was placed on man and that domain of heaven, earth, and the sea over which he was authorized to reign (Gen. 1:28). The heaven and earth which were created “very good” now became very bad.
3 Adapted from Erwin W. Lutzer, How You Can Be Sure That You Will Spend Eternity With God (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996), pp. 112–21.
4 This list was adapted from Erwin W. Lutzer, Your Eternal Reward (Chicago: Moody Press, 1998), pp. 87–100.
5 Ibid., p. 100.
6 G. Campbell Morgan, The Gospel According to Matthew (New York: Revell, 1929), pp. 64–65.