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The Future of God's Glory

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God's Glory in His Eternal Kingdom

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Textual Background

Revelation was written to the churches of Asia Minor (Turkey), during the reign of Emperor Domitian, who greatly persecuted Christians. Pliny called Domitian, “the beast from hell who sat in his den, licking blood.” He used to like to catch flies and kill them with his pen, and he delighted in gladiatorial battles between women and dwarfs. He killed family members he thought to be a threat, and even exiled and eventually killed his wife, possibly because she was a Christian. He was the first emperor insisting to be called, “God, the Lord.” It was under this persecution that Revelation was written to encourage the church concerning the future.
Read and Pray that we might live in anticipation of God’s glory in His eternal Kingdom.

Introduction

God’s presence was always the glory of the temple. It was symbolic of God’s presence among His people and served as a reminder to whom they belong. There is a reason why Jerusalem was built around the temple. Solomon was permitted by God to build Him a house, and Israel would never have such an amazing structure to worship God, and when the people traveled near the temple, they were reminded that they were approaching God’s presence; how humbling that must have been as they sang their songs of ascents, such as
Psalm 121:1–2 ESV
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 120:1 ESV
In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.
Psalm 120:1 ESV
In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.
Solomon dedicated the temple to God and after his prayer describes what happened:
2 Chronicles 7:1–3 ESV
As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Transition

God’s glory is evident throughout the universe as “the heavens declare the glory of God,” but God’s eternal kingdom will be a reorientation of the physical universe as God’s glory is our necessity and joy.

The Light of the Kingdom is God’s Glory (22-23)

A Kingdom with NO physical Temple in the city (22)
The expectation is for a temple, because it symbolizes the presence of God.
A summary of the flow of temple thought:
Old Testament view of the temple
It symbolized God’s presence among His people.
2 Chronicles describes Solomon’s action in building God a house called the temple
contains a word to Hiram, King of Tyre, “Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of the Lord my God and dedicate it to him for the burning of incense of sweet spices before him, and for the regular arrangement of the showbread, and for burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths and the new moons and the appointed feasts of the Lord our God, as ordained forever for Israel. The house that I am to build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods.”
2 Chronicles also describes the glory of God filling the temple so that the priests could not enter when they place the Ark of the Covenant in the temple.
tells of how God consumes the people’s offering and the glory of God fills the temple and “they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord saying, ‘For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.’”
The Old Testament also has a future hope for the temple in .
New Testament view of the temple
An irony of the cross is that the physical temple died on that cross. Jesus said in
Mark 14:58 ESV
“We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’ ”
The Jews revered their temple by killing Jesus, because the Lord made another temple not made with hands, and this is the temple idea of the New Testament. ;
1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
Ephesians 2:21 ESV
in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
Ephesians 3:12 ESV
in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
The Eternal view of the temple
Ultimately God is the temple.
A.T. Robertson once said that in one sense all of heaven is a temple.
shows us our future as Children of the Lord.
Revelation 3:12 ESV
The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
There will always be a Temple in the City of God (22b)
God is the temple
God’s presence in the Kingdom as the temple (22c)
God will be in the Kingdom forever
The greatness of eternity is our continual nearness to God. We will never be separated from God.
is true now but evermore true in heaven
Romans 8:39 ESV
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:39 ESV
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:39 ESV
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:39 ESV
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is the last time we see the phrase, “The Lord God the Almighty” in Revelation.
Revelation was written to encourage Christians during the days of an evil Roman emperor sat upon the throne, and we cannot forget that context.
The subjects of Domitian were commanded to address him as “God, the Lord,” but John writes there is another Emperor whose reign shall never cease whose name is “The Lord God the Almighty.”
Domitian was murdered by a former slave called Stephanus as his reign of terror came to an end.
BOth the
God is strongly identified as the temple of the eternal kingdom
The text says, “its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
The Holy Spirit is not mentioned because He eternally dwells in God’s people.
Defining Characteristics of God’s Kingdom (23)
This verse does not intend to communicate the cosmic reality of no sun, but it is comparative by nature.
In other words, The glory of God makes the sun and moon meaningless. The text says it like this, “the city has no need of sun or moon.” All we need is God!
The glory of the Father and the Son are its light.

The Praise of the Nations in the Kingdom (24-26)

Reaching an understanding of this passage.
If were to take this text literally then we would expect in the end to be non-believers on the earth living beside Christians into eternity, but this is not what Revelation teaches will occur after The Final Judgment of Revelation 20.
There are many genres in Scripture and Revelation is apocalyptic, and full of symbols.
I believe this is a symbol creating a comparison between the evil Roman empire ruled by Domitian and the future, approaching Kingdom of Jesus.
A comparison of Babylon and the New Jerusalem
The fall of Babylon of is in view.
The righteousness of Babylon is uncleanness and immorality.
God’s people are commanded to leave the great city.
God’s people are called to in
Revelation 18:6 ESV
Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.
The New Jerusalem
The righteousness of God’s kingdom is the glory of God.
The kings of the great kingdoms of the earth desire to enter the city.
Whatever is worthwhile in their kingdoms are given to God’s kingdom.
The greatness of the New Jerusalem
The greatest kingdoms the earth has ever known are nothing compared to God’s Kingdom as the text informs us the kings enter giving their valuables to the King of Kings.
The gates will never be shut.
This never happened in the ancient world.
The gates of kingdoms were always shut to keep people out who intended harm.
There is no need to shut the gates at night because there is no night. It is always day and never night.
Night often indicates evil and we are called to live our lives in the light. There will be no more evil but only righteousness.

The People of God in the Kingdom (27)

There will be no evil people in the kingdom
The text tells us that “nothing unclean will ever enter it.”
God will recreate Eden and we will live with Him forever.
2 Peter 3:10 ESV
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
The people of the Kingdom will be those whose name “are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
Revelation 13:8 ESV
and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
Revelation 3:5 ESV
The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
Revelation 20:12 ESV
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.
Conclusion: Let us rejoice with these words nearly at the end of Revelation, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
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