Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. Revelation 21:1
We know that on “the Lord’s Day” the Spirit vividly revealed Him to John as “the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.” If we shrink from Revelation as a troubling book, we have missed John’s mission statement. The persecuted church was in no mood or position to ponder mysteries requiring scholarly minds and specialized libraries. By giving to his scared readers “The revelation of Jesus Christ,” John fully unveiled His Person as the object of their faith that would conquer their fear.
A lake displaces the sea in Revelation. It has become a cesspool of satanic, sin driven pollution. The lake of fire swallows up the contaminator and the contamination. On the ultimate “day of the Lord” (2 Peter 3:10) the intense heat of His good judgment will finish the work of purification, blowing “global warming” out of the water for good. God’s new heaven and earth will glorify Christ to the utmost. Then we will see to the utmost. (Part 2 of 2)
Comment: Domitian, the emperor who ruled Rome from 81 to 96 A.D., most likely banished John to Patmos in 95. The self-proclaimed god and madman was assassinated in a palace conspiracy. He was succeeded by the more reasonable Nerva, who promised that no more senators would be murdered. He reigned from 96 to early 98 A.D. and is thought to have released John in 96, permitting him to return to Ephesus. Christ’s “beloved disciple” was the only one of his band of brothers to live to a ripe old age and die a natural death. He was the remaining eye witness to His Transfiguration, where Jesus discussed His approaching “Exodus” with Moses and Elijah. Out of the 404 verses of Revelation, 278 allude to Old Testament passages taken from the law, the historical books, poetry and the prophets. More than half of the references are in Psalms, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. John gleaned more details from the latter than from any other source. He had clearly loved and read Yahweh’s Book.
So, what’s the most fitting “last word” for this devotion? I suggest “behold,” as spoken by Jesus in Revelation 22:12, “Behold, I am coming soon…” He clearly wants us to be watchful and His parable in Matthew 25:1-13 speaks volumes. “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise…The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.” The moral of the story is chilling: Risk getting “shut out” and hearing the Lord say, “Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.” “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Revelation 21