God’s Covenant and the New Jerusalem

MEMORY SELECTION: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.” —Revelation 11:15

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Revelation 11:15-19; 21:10-14

MUCH of the meaning in the Book of Revelation is hidden in symbols and dark sayings. The Apostle John in his introduction states: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him to point out unto his servants the things which must needs come to pass with speed,—and he showed them by signs sending through his messenger unto his servant John; who bare witness as to the word of God and the witness of Jesus Christ,—whatever he saw.” (Rev. 1:1, Rotherham) Thus we are to look for the “signs” in connection with the study of this book.

Chapter 11:15-19 describes the closing events of this old world order and the transfer of authority and power to our Lord Jesus and the Christ, for “the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.” (vs. 15) The Christ—our Lord, and the 144,000 members of his body—will comprise the mediatorship in that kingdom. Together they will reign to bring an end to sin and unrighteousness, and dispense life-giving blessings to all the families of the earth. There will be no end to that rule of authority.

Spirit beings as well as men will give praise and honor to God for their blessings. Together they will sing, “We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, … because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”—vs. 17

It will be a time of change and upheaval. Mankind has been degraded by sin and will have to learn the ways of the Lord. Some of earth’s institutions have opposed the new order and have attempted to perpetuate their own cause. “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath came.” (vs. 18, Diaglott) This will be the time of the resurrection of the dead, when all mankind will be given an opportunity to learn righteousness and gain life. Those faithful servants and prophets of old, because of their faithfulness, will be rewarded with a better resurrection.

“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” (vs. 19) In this symbol we see the promise of a heavenly authority being exercised in the earth. The symbolic lightnings, voices and thunderings seem to picture this new authority in action. Water is very often a picture of truth and hail would seem to illustrate hard truths such as God’s laws that will be in effect in the kingdom.

In chapter 21:10-14 we are given a glimpse of the glory of this heavenly kingdom. It is described as a new city, the holy city, the new Jerusalem. The old social structure under fallen man is gone, and it has been replaced with the glorious kingdom arrangement. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.—Rev. 21:1,2

John saw in vision the heavenly kingdom and described it as a new city, the new Jerusalem. “And he carried me away in spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” (vs. 10) In Bible symbology a mountain pictures a kingdom and this “great and high mountain” is God’s heavenly kingdom. The city, which pictures a government, is shown as coming from God. It will operate here on earth but it will have its roots or foundation in heaven and will function under God’s laws. The faithful overcomers’ part in this kingdom is described in Revelation 3:12: “I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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