Grace Baptist Church
2-16-2020 Communion Serivce
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        Men’s & Ladies’ Bible Studies

        February 6, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
        Men’s & Ladies’ Bible Studies start up again for a new semester at 10:00 am.
  • Jesus, Thank You
      • Download

        Men’s & Ladies’ Bible Studies

        February 6, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
        Men’s & Ladies’ Bible Studies start up again for a new semester at 10:00 am.
      • Revelation 20:4–6KJV1900

      • Revelation 21.10-11LEB

      • Revelation 21.12-13LEB

      • Revelation 21.14LEB

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  • Since Jesus Came into My Heart
  • Because He Lives
  • I Love You, Lord
      • Revelation 21:1–8LEB

  • Introduction:
    Right now, if you were to go outside, there are innumerable stars in the sky. But you can only see one of them – our sun. That is because the light from the sun is so bright that none of those other stars in the sky can be seen during the daytime. But if we wait until the sun sets tonight, we’ll be able to see a few stars with just our eye.
    But there is a day coming when even the brightness of the sun will be obscured by something that will be infinitely greater – the glory of God.
    Transition:
    The short introduction of God’s permanent presence among His people in the passage last week is now expanded in glorious detail in our passage this morning. The new creation takes on characteristics of a city (21:9–21), a temple (21:22–27), and a garden (Rev 22:1–5), as God’s long-standing promises come together in one grand and glorious fulfillment. In our passage this morning, one of the seven angels who poured out the bowl judgments gives John a tour of the heavenly city. This city radiates the glory of God’s presence and exhibits beauty, unity, protection, and glory—everything we should expect plus more than we could ever imagine. Here we see a magnificent place where YHWH’s people are united and protected, as well as a glorious place that reflects the radiance of God’s intimate presence.
    As we go through Revelation 21 this morning, we’ll get a glimpse of how God’s glory will completely outshine everything else in the new heaven and new earth that we were introduced to last week. So go ahead and take your Bibles and turn to Revelation 21 and follow along as I begin reading in verse 9
    Scripture Reading: Revelation 21:9–21
    Revelation 21:9–21 LEB
    9 And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and lofty mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 that has the glory of God. Its radiance is like a precious stone, something like a jasper stone, shining like crystal. 12 It has a great and high wall that has twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written on the gates which are of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel— 13 on the east, three gates, and on the north, three gates, and on the south, three gates, and on the west, three gates. 14 And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And the one who spoke with me was holding a golden measuring rod in order that he could measure the city and its gates and its wall. 16 And the city is laid out as a square, and its length is the same as its width. And he measured the city with the measuring rod at twelve thousand stadia; the length and the width and the height of it are equal. 17 And he measured its wall, one hundred forty-four cubits according to human measure, which is the angel’s. 18 And the material of its wall is jasper, and the city is pure gold, similar in appearance to pure glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every kind of precious stone: the first foundation jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each one of the gates was from a single pearl. And the street of the city is pure gold, like transparent glass.
    Something caught my attention in this passage so I have one quick question for you: who is the bride of Christ? … {The Church?} Verse 9 has the angel showing John, and by extension us, the Bride of Christ. So then what is the bride of Christ? Here, it is now the new Jerusalem City. This is slightly precarious, we have this city that has the same title as God’s chosen people in the church age. But it is not too precarious when you consider what we’ve read in chapters 17 and 18. That was where a city Babylon is described as being a lady harlot.
    The contrast between the two women/cities runs throughout this entire section. The passage back in chs 17 & 18 explains the judgment of Babylon the Great, the mother of prostitutes, while now he describes the new Jerusalem, the bride of Christ. The harlot sits in the wilderness, while the bride comes down out of heaven from God. The prostitute is dressed in purple and scarlet linen, adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls , while the bride is also beautifully dressed. Although the two eschatological women are dressed similarly, the prostitute’s garments are never described as “pure.” Her adornment comes from her blood thirsty violent seizure of wealth, whereas the bride’s beauty comes as a gift from YHWH. In light of this powerful contrast, the message is clear: make sure your allegiance and loyalty lie with the bride of Christ rather than the whore of Babylon.
    Transition:
    More positively, I want to consider this morning how much more wonderful God’s bride/city will be than anything this world has to offer. John starts us off with:

    I. The Tour of the City (vv.9-10)

    This introduction in verse 9 is almost identical to chapter 17 v.1, where one of the angels who had the seven bowls had called John to witness the judgment of Babylon.
    Revelation 21:9 LEB
    And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
    I believe that the similarity is a literary device to contrast the unholy city of Babylon, the great prostitute, with the holy city of Jerusalem, the wife of the Lamb. John is carried away by an angel to see both the prostitute in ch 17 and the bride here now. While John was carried away in the Spirit to the wilderness to see Babylon (in chapter 17:3), here he is carried to a high mountain to witness the descent of the new Jerusalem.
    Revelation 21:10 LEB
    And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and lofty mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
    As the focus on Babylon the Great shifted from the woman to “the great city” being destroyed because of her sins (chap. 18), so the focus shifts from the bride of Christ to “the holy city,” new Jerusalem, showing forth the glory of God.
    Mountains have played an important role in the history of God’s people, for example:
    Moses on Mount Sinai in Exod. 19,
    Ezekiel’s vision in Ezek 40:1–2,
    Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming Jerusalem in Isa. 25:6–26:2,
    Jesus’s transfiguration in Mark 9:2–13, and
    Jesus’s apocalyptic discourse on the Mount of Olives in Mark 13).
    Theologically, Mount Zion (a common Old Testament term for Jerusalem) also contrasts with the seven mountains on which Babylon sits (17:9). The heavenly city is described here as the “bride” and “wife” of the Lamb, echoing the Old Testament theme of God’s people as his wife. Osborne writes, “This means that now the sacred marriage has taken place, and Christ and the church (Eph. 5:25–27) will now spend eternity together as husband and wife.” The bridegroom is the “Lamb,” an image for Christ used seven times in this final section in these last two chapters, perhaps to highlight His atoning work that makes the eternal marriage possible. Notice also that the holy city comes down as a divine gift rather than a human accomplishment.
    Transition:
    Now that we have started this tour, we can see what the city is really about:

    II. The Grandeur of the City (vv.11-14)

    Above all, the holy city reflects the presence of God in all His holiness and glory, with beautiful words such as “shine,” “glory,” “brilliance,” “pure,” and “clear”
    Revelation 21:11 LEB
    that has the glory of God. Its radiance is like a precious stone, something like a jasper stone, shining like crystal.
    One commentator rightly notes that in the Bible, the glory of God is another designation for His presence. The Shekinah presence of God has now descended among His people permanently.
    The jasper look makes sense since we’ll see in a moment how the walls of the city of God are made of “jasper”, and it is especially important because it is the first of the twelve foundation stones (in v.19). It is a translucent stone, perhaps opal or even diamond, specifically associated with the light and glory of God. Most importantly, in ch 4:3 God on his throne has the appearance of jasper. On the basis of this connection between 4:3 and 21:11, we might say that the new Jerusalem is as the great white throne of God, the center of reality, God’s glorious presence among His people.
    Revelation 21:12–13 LEB
    12 It has a great and high wall that has twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written on the gates which are of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel— 13 on the east, three gates, and on the north, three gates, and on the south, three gates, and on the west, three gates.
    Any respectable city in the ancient world had walls and gates to guard the citizens, so the heavenly Jerusalem as the perfect city has “a great, high wall with twelve gates.” Because there will be no enemies and because the wall is composed of jasper, its only purpose then is to reflect God’s glory. The twelve gates echo Ezekiel 48:30–35, where the new temple in the future city also has twelve gates. Here in Revelation, the names of the twelve tribes are written on all the gates, rather than the name of a single tribe on each gate as in Ezekiel description of the temple.
    The stones of the city’s twelve foundations are inscribed with the names of the twelve apostles, demonstrating the unity of the whole people of God.
    Revelation 21:14 LEB
    And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
    The 12 gates of the new Jerusalem have written on them the names of the 12 tribes of Israel, here now the 12 foundation stones of the wall of the eternal city have the names of the 12 apostles of Christ. This strongly implies that the overall people of God, while more unified than some believe, will maintain the distinct covenant promises made to Israel and the church. This also suggests that entrance into the heavenly city comes through membership in the people of God. The “twelve apostles” form the foundation of the church, the temple of the Spirit (Eph. 2:20).
    Transition:
    What a majestically beautiful city! But the angel now gets much more specific

    III. The Details of the City (vv.15-21)

    In Chapter 11, the measuring of the inner sanctuary of the temple symbolizes God’s protective presence, much like the sealing of God’s people (in ch 7:1–8). But here the entire city is measured, indicating God’s complete ownership and protection of his people.
    Revelation 21:15 LEB
    And the one who spoke with me was holding a golden measuring rod in order that he could measure the city and its gates and its wall.
    There are no more enemies, no more threats, no more persecution. In making everything new, God has also made it safe. What’s more, the cube shape of the city reflects the shape of the holy of holies (1 .
    Revelation 21:16 LEB
    And the city is laid out as a square, and its length is the same as its width. And he measured the city with the measuring rod at twelve thousand stadia; the length and the width and the height of it are equal.
    The measurements are multiples of twelve and represent the people of God in their eternal home. The enormous height of the city (a stadion is about 600 feet, so 12,000 stadia is about 1,400 miles) also reminds us that “what humanity could not accomplish in Babel—a city to the heavens (Gen. 11:4)—God grants as an overwhelming gift.” The wall is said to measure 144 cubits (about 216 feet), which probably refers to its thickness rather than its height (as in NIV and NLT, which add “thick” [not in the Greek]).
    Revelation 21:17 LEB
    And he measured its wall, one hundred forty-four cubits according to human measure, which is the angel’s.
    Revelation 21:18–21 LEB
    18 And the material of its wall is jasper, and the city is pure gold, similar in appearance to pure glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city are adorned with every kind of precious stone: the first foundation jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates are twelve pearls, each one of the gates was from a single pearl. And the street of the city is pure gold, like transparent glass.
    Verse 21 emphasizes the perfect purity of the heavenly city. As in verse 11, the wall of jasper connotes the glorious presence of God. The city and its great street are constructed of transparent gold, pure as crystal-clear glass, thus allowing God’s radiant glory to shine through it. Precious jewels symbolize the majesty and splendor of this celestial city. The twelve gems are very similar to the gems on the breastplate of the high priest (LXX of Exod. 28:17–20), which stresses the priestly nature of the whole people of God with full access to His presence. Interestingly, the term “street” (plateia) is used three times in Revelation: once of the street (or public square) of Babylon, where the bodies of the two witnesses lay unburied (11:8), and twice (21:21; 22:2) of the great street of the heavenly city, where God’s beloved witnesses will bask in his glorious presence.
    Illustration:
    The new creation is more glorious and beautiful than we can possibly imagine
    Human Experience: Imagine planning a hiking trip. It starts with a simple trail map. Then a line on the featureless map gives way to the much more dynamic and informative line on a topographical map. Here you consider elevation and decide whether you really want to ascend five thousand feet in a day. The maps give way to photographs, and the mountains become more real. Finally, with your gear packed and your route charted, you head out to the mountains. There you discover that maps and photos fall far short of the real thing.

    So What?

    The amazing truth of this passage is that the people of God will become the holy of holies! Two other teaching points stand out in this text.

    1. Because of YHWH’s great love for us, Jesus is preparing a great future for us.

    Marriage was chosen to describe life in the presence of God because a strong marriage is perhaps the best picture of a deep love relationship. Jesus told his disciples the night before he was crucified that he was going away to prepare a place for them. He continued [[John 14:3]]:
    John 14:3 LEB
    And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, so that where I am, you may be also.
    These are the words of a bridegroom to his bride. YHWH has planned a beautiful, glorious future for us because he loves us and wants to be with us. We can only begin to understand the depth of God’s love for us (and the future he has planned) by reflecting upon the godly love relationships we share with other people now, such as a strong marriage relationship. But even when these relationships are at their absolute best, they are merely a drop in the ocean of God’s love.

    2. The heavenly city is spectacularly beautiful because of God’s glorious presence.

    We sometimes hear people talk about God’s glory like it is a detachable substance, a mere attribute that can be discounted. But as we saw earlier, God’s glory is a way of describing God’s presence. In the new Jerusalem, we become God’s temple—the very place where God lives—and the result is beautiful and glorious beyond description. Brilliance language dominates this passage because it’s attempting to convey the awesome, majestic, glorious presence of God. If God’s presence with his people is his ultimate goal, we should begin to enjoy God’s presence now like it matters most, especially through prayer, worship, and community. What better way to enjoy then through communion in a moment!
    In Conclusion:
    The new creation is both a people (bride of Christ) and a place (new Jerusalem).
    The heavenly garden city is one of indescribable beauty as it reflects God’s glorious beauty.
    The one people of God unites Jewish and Gentile followers of Christ.
    God’s people experience protection in his presence, the eternal holy of holies.
    Let’s partake in communion now to celebrate Christ.
      • Revelation 21:9–21KJV1900

      • Revelation 21:9KJV1900

      • Revelation 21:10KJV1900

      • Exodus 19KJV1900

      • Ezekiel 40:1–2KJV1900

      • Isaiah 25–26KJV1900

      • Mark 9KJV1900

      • Mark 13KJV1900

      • Exodus 19KJV1900

      • Ezekiel 40:1–2KJV1900

      • Isaiah 25–26KJV1900

      • Mark 9KJV1900

      • Mark 13KJV1900

      • Exodus 19KJV1900

      • Ezekiel 40:1–2KJV1900

      • Isaiah 25–26KJV1900

      • Mark 9KJV1900

      • Mark 13KJV1900

      • Exodus 19KJV1900

      • Ezekiel 40:1–2KJV1900

      • Isaiah 25–26KJV1900

      • Mark 9KJV1900

      • Mark 13KJV1900

      • Exodus 19KJV1900

      • Ezekiel 40:1–2KJV1900

      • Isaiah 25–26KJV1900

      • Mark 9KJV1900

      • Mark 13KJV1900

      • Revelation 21:11KJV1900

      • Revelation 21:12–13KJV1900

      • Revelation 21:14KJV1900

      • Revelation 21:15KJV1900

      • Revelation 21:16KJV1900

      • Revelation 21:17KJV1900

      • Revelation 21:18–21KJV1900

      • Revelation 21:21KJV1900

      • John 14:3KJV1900

      • 1 Corinthians 11:27–32KJV1900

      • 1 Corinthians 11:23–24ESV

      • 1 Corinthians 11:25–26ESV

  • Trust and Obey
      • Download

        Men’s & Ladies’ Bible Studies

        February 6, 2020 - 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
        Men’s & Ladies’ Bible Studies start up again for a new semester at 10:00 am.

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