One of the points I tried to make when I wrote about Revelation 22:12 was that Jesus and the Father are one.
Let me ask you a question, do you have to understand gravity to be impacted by it?
The answer is NO, but it does not stop us from trying to comprehend why gravity works. Assuming that you paid attention in your science classes, then you know that gravity depends upon a combination of things that make the gravity on earth a perfect environment, as far as these bodies are concerned. For example, too much gravity, and we would all be squashed like pancakes, or worse.
If I were to attempt a logical explanation for how Jesus is God, I would probably mess it up, as I have moments in which I merely accept He is God. However, I understand the relational aspect, where a father who learned from his father to be a tradesman for centuries taught their son(s) that same trade.
An example we like to fling about is how the Bible translators stated that Jesus’ father, Joseph, was a carpenter. We then attribute that trade to Jesus. The problem with that assertion is that the Jewish leaders who disputed Jesus’ heritage that day did not say, “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” The word they used was generic and required another associated word to define it, and they did not give us that definition in their rant. The Greek word was tekton, and it means craftsman. It is so loosely defined that it can apply to a poet. So our reasonably valid assumption would be that Jesus learned whatever trade or skill His father, Joseph, had. (Read Mark 13 for the background on this. We have a significant clue as to what Jesus’ craft was when we read about Jesus at the wedding in Canaan of Galilee. When His mother, Mary, alerted Him that they were out of wine, how is it that Jesus seemed to know that they had massive granite water pots; pots that were not included in the material description that God Israel when it came to vessels that could become unclean and granite, was therefore deemed to be a material that could not be contaminated, which is why these servants that transferred the water into the vessels did not cause the vessel, and it’s contents to be unclean. Read Numbers 19.)
But, fathers have taught us many other things, like beer drinking, cussing, or how to be abusive toward the family. One might say, as the father is, so is the son. In many ways, my character and nature are very much like my father’s, not because I wanted it to be that way, as things happened in my house that I did not want to repeat if and once I had my own children, and yet I did. There was a day when my father asked, why do you have to be like that? I replied that I thought you would be proud of me because I am just like you.
Jesus did not have these issues, as He was sin free.
But, in case you don’t know, the damage caused by sin passed through Adam to all of us; there is NO escaping its effects. It is almost easier to understand if you see it as a genetic anomaly that is found in all of us. So when scientists began looking at DNA, they realized that we are all identical in this part of the chain; this sin-damaged marker became the baseline for all genetic comparisons.
How does this make Jesus free from sin?
Where did God get the plans to make Adam? He created the man entirely from scratch (so-to-speak,) including the associated organs.
Where did God get Eve? He cloned her from the man with some obvious modifications. Their DNA was perfect but got damaged. So to make a Son free from sin, He had to make an ovum, artificially inseminate it with sperm of His own creation, and have Mary, the surrogate mother, carry the Son of God to birth. Jesus was born as a man without special knowledge or ability, yet without sin. If I have upset your apple cart, you will get over it.
Sin (which can show its ugly head in so many ways) is something I struggle with, and so do you.
So, in a sense, I have never known what it is to be free from the compulsions of life, and neither have you. But many of you know that alcohol gives you a relatively sad imitation of life without restraint. The problem is, it kills your brain cells and a few other vital organs; and has such damaging potential on others, and some, think they have no responsibility for their actions as they were out of their minds.
But this is NOT about us; it is about Jesus.
Yes, Revelation reveals Jesus, the Son of God, and Revelation 22:13 is a paramount view into what makes up the nature and character of Jesus.
Revelation 22:13 NASB “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Who is doing the talking in verse 13?
But isn’t verse 13 a description of God?
Yes, and it is a description of the Son as well.
Perhaps the Prophet Nehemiah can answer our question.
“You alone are the LORD. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before You. (Nehemiah 9:6 NASB)
Immediately I see the words, “You alone are the Lord.” The phrase “You alone” is the Hebrew word “bad.” The Word Study Dictionary says, “it is a word that functions both as an adjective or masculine noun, meaning alone, by itself.” Strong’s concordance adds “by implication a part of the body, branch of a tree.”
But there is this line that changes everything, “You give life to all of them.”
How does a branch exist without the trunk of the tree?
It doesn’t; therefore, the idea of being alone in creation suddenly does not work. So let’s look at John’s gospel because it is a book that is nothing less than Jesus and His relationship to the Father.
In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him, nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1-5 NASB)
Look at these words as they are a portion of the description of Jesus.
“In the beginning was the Word, “
“and the Word was with God.”
“and the Word was God.”
As God was, Jesus was; He was there as the world began; He was there with the Father, and the Word that created it all was Jesus, and Jesus, John tells us, was God.
“All things came into being through Him – Jesus,” “and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
“In Him was life,”
The Prophet Nehemiah (Neh. 9:6) said “ You give life to all of them.”
Pastors are always saying that people ask them, what is the best Bible book to read for the new believer?
A handful will tell you to read Revelation. (Primarily because the world is rushing toward the antichrist.) Maybe that is not the best suggestion unless you hand out a quick tip list to understand Revelation. The next one they talk about is John’s gospel because it talks about how Jesus and the Father are one.
Jesus is God, and you can rest assured that He has never stopped giving and bringing life.
As the Revelation of Jesus Christ began, John heard these words.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
(Revelation 1:8 NASB)
Wow, it seems that Jesus is trying to tell us something.
First note the difference between Revelation 1:8 and 22:13. The end of the sentence is worded differently “the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” In verse eight, who is, is present tense. He is always in the now, but there is a point at which He came, momentarily, so it seemed, to an end; and that happened at the cross during those three days. And the side of Him, who is to come, will be seen when He comes back again as the warring Messiah. From that point on, without falter, He shall sit upon a throne next to the Father in glory. (I could use a good blast on the Shofar right now.)
Revelation 22:14, here, the chapter reiterates things we have seen before.
Revelation 22:14 NASB “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.”
Back up to the 30-second mark before the rapture; all those who have accepted Jesus Christ into their lives are washed in the blood of Christ, and their robes have been washed. I can’t see why the “Church” would need to access the tree of life for personal purposes, as we have life in us. Besides all that, at 30 seconds before the rapture, there is no tree of life as far as we are concerned.
Okay, within the timeline the rapture has happened.
All those holding to the testimony of Jesus will lose their lives. In a short read of Revelation, you see many people in heaven before God’s throne, crying out for the Father to save the others. They may need access to the tree of life, but again, I don’t see the logic of that thought as we see them, the first and second group, in heaven, before the throne.
The problem for the people in Revelation 22:14 is that some DO NOT have the right to enter by the gates of the city.
So, within the timeline, we are in the millennial reign.
It becomes rather evident that there are those survivors from among the nations who have NOT washed their robes. Those from among the nations, lacking the effects of the tree of life, will still have a sinful nature and will pass that nature along to their offspring. So, yes, I excluded the Jews in this conversation because scripture tells us that the remnant of Israel, entering the kingdom, will acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah.
With the temporary removal of Satan from the earth, that nudge we frequently get from him to blatantly sin will also be removed, and perhaps the drive to be evil will not be so dreadful here on earth. However, if I use the story surrounding Noah and the days before the flood as an example, we learn that every human did what was right in their own eyes (contrast this statement against obeying the law of God), and their every thought was evil. (Read Genesis chapter six.)
Remember where we are in the timeline, the millennial reign of Christ.
How many different ways does this have to be said? This is finally the time when there will be peace. As followers of Christ, we no longer have mortal bodies; this superb condition has been ours since the rapture. The martyred saints were already killed once, changed, just as the church did, and they, too, will have immortal bodies. The Jews that survive and go into the millennial kingdom repent and follow Jesus, so they are no longer subject to death.
All that is left are those from among the nations who survived the chaos of the seven years. You might say that is such a minuscule number; how could they impact the earth again? But instead, their numbers will grow exponentially, and they will have their free will intact. And yet, thousands upon thousands will come to Jesus during the thousand-year reign of Jesus.
If those from among the nations were allowed to join the kingdom of God, why would they pass it up?
I don’t know the answer as it requires foolish speculation based upon human nature, so I will leave you to ponder that on your own time. But millions will reject Christ and sanity in the end.
How do I know that?
The end of the thousand years will eventually come.
Seeing as a typical week for me just flies by, I hope we get to lavish in this amazing time. It is almost as though these from the nations are getting their last chance to repent and follow Jesus. The fact that Satan will be released for a time and can deceive those from among the nations, and they are able to surround God’s Holy City tells me that the number will be vast, bordering on uncountable.
“When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.” (Revelation 20:7-9 NASB)
The fact that fire devoured them does prove a judgment against them; why not?
God operates on laws, and Jesus’ death on the cross, brought about the forgiveness of all sin, even this pathetic attempt to kill God and His people in the Holy City. They are simply dead at this point. Watch what happens next.
Satan is judged.
“And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
(Revelation 20:10 NASB)
Satan had already been judged, but God’s plan was humanity’s complete redemption, a plan available to anybody who jumped onboard. Therefore, Satan is not thrown into the lake of fire until the completion of all things.
Pay attention to who is being brought before this throne.
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.”
(Revelation 20:11-13 NASB)
The first thing I want you to establish in your mind is, who is sitting upon this throne?
Our standard answer is God, and that could be deemed correct.
But who is this book, Revelation, revealing?
Jesus; the firstborn from the dead; the Son of the Living God; the lamb that was slain; the lion of the tribe of Judah; shall I go on?
Who is brought before the throne?
The dead. It is relatively unimportant whether they are great or small. The point here is that God levels the playing field for all. No one gets an advantage.
What is Jesus looking at to pass judgment?
“Books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books.”
Each of these books plays a role in the outcome of their lives.
Wait a minute; I thought they were dead and, therefore, simply awaiting the passing of judgment. Ah, now we have to go back to the garden, where Adam and Eve stood staring at each other, because God said, in the day that you eat of it, you will literally die. (Look this up in Genesis 2:17. Most translations use the term surely to define the Hebrew word mûth. The problem is that surely sounds so uncommitted. The true definition is that they would literally die.) So when we get to Genesis chapter three, we watch the couple in the garden, like some stalker, and though death began instantly on many levels, they could not see its effects.
On what basis are they judged?
They are judged based on the things written in the books, not simply one book. There is no doubt that Jesus looks into the book of life.
“And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
(Revelation 20:15 NASB)
Here is where I rock your world if I haven’t already.
Jesus is not sitting here looking for a reason to send these people to hell; He is looking for an excuse to offer them salvation. I wholeheartedly believe that this is the same scenario that we see in Matthew 25, where we see “the sheep and goat” judgment. It is Jesus that separates this crowd, and it is evident that the number of those whose names are not in the book of life is quite large. Regardless, even without any apparent, church-mandated salvation, these people obtain mercy and access into the kingdom based upon good works.
Do not think that “grace” will allow you into the Holy City with your brokenness and its associated sin. Jesus is wholly capable of taking care of that issue.