(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Revelation 21:3 through 5 is what I have chosen for our featured Scripture. And I can’t think of a better three verses to challenge us in the new year of 2022!
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
Why did I select this Scripture?
It is the New Year! New resolutions are made in the New Year! Many people would like to turn over a new leaf! Only ONE can honestly say, “I make all things new.” And only ONE can make it happen in the New Year!
Now I know that if we take the book of Revelation in a somewhat chronological order, Revelation 21 belongs to the Milleniel Kingdom established after Jesus Christ returns to rule the earth! But the lessons these verses can teach us can be a great engouragement here and now!
Revelation 21:3 – “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”
What did God say in Revelation 21:3?
- “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men….” The word tabernacle can be used either as a noun or a verb. This is shown in Revelation 21:3 from the Literal Translation of the Holy Bible:
And I heard a great voice out of Heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle [noun] of God with men! And He will tabernacle [verb] with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.
✡ This is what God did in the Old Testament! He directed through Moses to build the tabernacle, the tent in the middle of their encampment in the wilderness where the LORD would meet and talk with Israel’s leaders (see Exodus 40:34 and 38). ✞ And this is what Jesus did in the New Testament! It is recorded in John 1:1 and 14 (Modern King James Version): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ....And the Word was made flesh and tabernacled among us....” ➔ He took on the tabernacle (the tent) of the flesh of mankind and dwelt in that tabernacle of flesh on earth; and has tabernacled thereafter in that human body, now glorified in heaven! ➔ What truly encourages me is Jesus now tabernacles in me by His Holy Spirit, and will someday give me that glorified body so I can tabernacle with Him for- evermore!
- “…and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”
✡ A similar command was originally given to the Jews: ➔ Exodus 19 – “...obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me....” ➔ Leviticus 26:12 – “...let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them....” ✞ Didn’t Jesus tell us in Hebrews 13:5 and Matthew 28:20? “I will never leave you nor forsake you.... I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ✞ What does this mean for me and other Christians in the future? ➔ Revelation 20:2 – In His kingdom we will “...live and reign with Him a thousand years...” ➔ I Thessalonians 4:17 – “...we shall always be with the Lord.”
Revelation 21:4 – “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things are passed away.”
- In this phase of life, there certainly is death, sorrow, crying, and pain! All of these too often characterize this earthly life.
☹ And these four characteristics are heightened by the Covid pandemic! ☹ But many other human conditions can cause death, sorrow, crying, and pain! ➔ economic hardships ➔ dysfunctional family relationships ➔ disease (other than Covid) that ravaged those who are dear to us. ➔ personal crises, such as addiction, mental illness, low self esteem, and many other things that can seem out of control! ☹ I have dealt with chronic pain from degenerative joints, as well as clinical depression for most of my adult life! By the way, I am doing quite well with good doctors and counselors, proper medication, a wonderful understanding wife, and of course a great God!
- Oh, what a blessing to be forever in a place with my Lord, and free from death, sorrow, crying, and pain! Praise God, “…the former things [the things that cause death, sorrow, crying, and pain] are passed away.”
Revelation 21:5 – “Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
- “…He who sat on the throne…”
✞ God the Father in heaven is enthroned with Jesus at His right hand! (see Hebrews 1:2, 3). He is the ultimate ruler! ✡ Psalm 2:12 – And the human rulers of earth are cautioned to “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”
- “Behold, I make all things new.”
✞ Revelation 21:1 – “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away....” ➔ II Peter 3:10 – “...the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” ➔ II Peter 3:13 – “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” ✞ But those who have put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will not perish (see John 3:14-16). ➔ We will be transferred to that “...new heaven and new earth...” ➔ We “...shall reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5).
- “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Praise God! We can depend on what our Lord says!
I took some extra time to write and post this Gem because I wrote it twice! I worked on the first one for three days, but I didn’t like the direction it was going, so I did not complete it. I took extra time to write this one, the first of a two or three part series. I will post this first Gem of the series for Tuesday, January 4th.