Restoration Complete in the CSER Structure

 

restoration complete cser (3)

 

This occurs after a one thousand-year period described in Rev 20:1–6. Overall, Rev 20–22 portrays the fulfillment of Isa 65:16–66:2.

 

25) Rev 21:1–5: The Apostle John presented this passage as a chiasm, placing the emphasis on verses 2–4:

a      new heaven and the new earth (v. 1a)

b    first earth, heaven, and sea passed away (v. 1b)

c      the sea no longer exists (v. 1b)

d    the new Jerusalem descends from heaven (v. 2)

d´   God dwells with his people (vv. 3–4a)

c´    death no longer exists (v. 4b)

b´   first things passed away (v. 4b)

a´    God makes everything new (v. 5a)[1]

Within the book of Revelation, the sea represents evil, rebellion, idolatry, and the abode of the dead (Rev 13:1–8; Rev 20:11–15). John was not referring to a literal ocean.[2]

 

a) What did John see? How does the absence of the sea signify the end of pain, mourning, and death? What will God do?

 

 

 

[Related posts include God Curses the Serpent (Gen 3:14); The First Good News (Gen 3:15); Satan Vanquished (Rom 16:20); and Victory over Death (1 Cor 15:53–55)]

 

b) Rev 21:6–8: Alpha and Omega represent the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Most likely, this phrase consists of a merism, in which God is all in all: the first, the last, and everything in between (Cf. Gen 1:1–2; John 1:1–3).[3]

According to Plato (427–347 BC), “God…holdeth the beginning, the end, and the center of all things that exist.”[4]

This points to the Lord as eternal and the source of all things (Phil 2:9–11; Eph 1:8b–10).[5]

How does knowing that God is the Alpha and the Omega impact you? What does he promise to those who hold firm in faith? What awaits those who persist in sin and unbelief?

 

 

 

[Related posts include In the Beginning of God’s Creating (Gen 1:1–2); In the Beginning Was the Word (John 1:1–2); Equality with God (Phil 2:5–6); The Name Above Every Name (Phil 2:9–11); and The Summing up of All Things (Eph 1:9–11)]

 

c) Rev 21:22–26: Why won’t there be a temple in the new Jerusalem, nor a sun, nor a moon? What will those who enter bring into the city?

 

 

 

[Related posts include Let There Be Light (Gen 1:3–5); The Light Shines in Darkness (John 1:3–5); and The New Holy City (Rev 21:10–11)]

 

d) Rev 21:27: Who will be refused entry to the new Jerusalem?

 

 

e) Rev 22:1–2: How do this river and the trees evoke images of Eden (Cf. Gen 2:9–10) and fulfill Ezekiel’s vision of the end-time temple in Ezek 47:1–12?[6]

 

 

 

[Related posts include A Well-Watered Garden (Gen 2:8–14); A Return to Paradise (Rev 22:1–5, 20); and Set Free from the Slavery of Corruption (Rom 8:21–22)]

 

f) Rev 22:3–7: In ancient Israel, the high priest wore a gold flower across his forehead engraved with the words “Holy to the Lord.” This symbolized that God set him apart and graciously forgave him (Exod 28:36–8).[7]

 

What is the significance of all of God’s people having his name written upon our foreheads?

 

 

 

26) 1 John 3:1–2: When at last our hope of seeing Jesus face-to-face has been fulfilled, the “now and not yet” state in which we now exist shall have ended, and our exaltation with Christ shall begin (Rom 8:16–23).[8]

Anthony A. Hoekema describes it well:

In the life to come we shall see the image of God not only in its perfection but also in its completion. All of God’s people, from every age and every place, resurrected and glorified, will then be present on the new earth, with all the God-reflecting gifts that have been given them.

And all of these gifts, now completely purged of sin and imperfection, will be used by [humanity] for the first time in a perfect way. Then, throughout eternity, God will be glorified by the worship, service, and praise of his image-bearers in a…totally flawless reflection of his own marvelous virtues. And the purpose for which he created mankind will have been accomplished.[9]

a) Read 1 John 3:1–2. What is our hope?

 

 

 

 

[Related posts include Made in the Image of God (Gen 1:26 cont.); and Stewards of the Earth (Gen 1:26 cont.)]

 

b) Conclude by reading 1 John 3:3. How do we who long to see Jesus conduct ourselves?

 

 

 

 

Image via Wikimedia Commons

 

[Click here to return to CSER Table of Contents; or to begin Redemptive History: Gen 1–3 or Gen 4–11]

 

[1]David E. Aune, Revelation 17–22 (WBC; Dallas: Word, 1998), 1113–4.

[2]G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1999), 1041–2.

[3]Aune, Revelation 17–22, 1126.

[4]Plato, “Laws,” in Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vol. 10. Translated by R. G. Bury. (LCL; Cambridge; London: Harvard University Press; William Heinemann, 1967), 4.715e, 293, https://archive.org/stream/b2900049x_0010#page/292/mode/2up.

[5]Mounce, The Book of Revelation, 385.

[6] Craig S. Keener, Revelation, NIVAC (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999), 499–500.

[7] John I. Durham, Exodus (WBC; Dallas: Word, 1998), 388–9.

[8] I. Howard Marshall, The Epistles of John (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978), 172.

[9] Hoekema, Created in God’s Image, 101.