Essays

What Do We Have if the World Already Passed Away?

YWHS PLAN OF SALVATION OF THE AGES RSZD

Alarm, Dread, and Fear Can Come Over Us If We Do Not

Acknowledge That the Book of Revelation is Both About an Ending and a Beginning

by Mark Mountjoy

One of the biggest hurdles we have to cross in discussions about this issue with other Christians is about what remains and what hope we have in life if Jesus really did come back the second time in antiquity?  According to popular conceptions, once Jesus comes back everything on earth is over; there is nothing else to do and everything should be like a Utopia and faultless.  But that is not the case and people are likely to conclude that it probably did not happen yet and they should persist in the long wait for the Second Coming which at this time has endured for over 20 centuries.

But we believe that in the last days of the Second Jewish Commonwealth God by his Holy Spirit was constructing a spiritual world a conceptual world, a world that endures that is a family of believers united both in heaven and on earth.

What we have on earth is a church and kingdom in which we think, talk, and walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16).  What the saints have who have gone on is the new Jerusalem, a city the Bible describes as 1,500 miles (2,414.02 km) foursquare (in Revelation chapters 21-22).  Now, even though we have not tasted of what is to come, all things are ours if we are faithful to Christ until death (Revelation 2:10 cf. Revelation 21:7).

But concerning what we have on earth the chart below will give you a good idea about the conceptual framework we find ourselves in and we should rest assured that if we walk in the light of the New Testament we have every reason to walk in this life victoriously, come sunshine or rain.

new kingdom of god conceptual world gif rszd to 290

Revelation 11 and the Kingdom of God

Now, to demonstrate to you that the Book of Revelation is not only about the end of the sacrificial state Temple system we need only observe that in Revelation 11:15 the kingdom of God came with power at the very beginning of the Jewish civil war that was sparked in late A.D.66.  Notice how the angel declares that God and Christ will reign forever and ever?  How would that be possible if the goal of the Book of Revelation was to prepare Christians for the end of the world of the Law AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD.   You see, the kingdom of God comes with power and supersedes the Jewish state Temple (it does not fall with it; it does not disappear with it either).

 

Revelation 14 and the Gospel

Revelation chapter 14:6 demonstrates a similar point, but this time an angel is seen flying through the heavens declaring the everlasting Gospel.  Did you ever notice that?  How could the Gospel be everlasting if it was only good for a short 40 years (as some claim)?  How could it be enduring if after the A.D.66-70 debacle it lost all efficacy to save? 

No, that is not the message in Revelation 14.  ln fact the message, according to Revelation 14:7 was that judgment had now arrived and all should worship God and God alone.  But verse 8 makes a dire declaration about the fast-approaching desolation of the Holy City.  And verses 9, 10, and 11 evoke warnings and imprecations on those desperate souls who would dare commit idolatry in service to the rebels through whom acts of sorcery and idolatry were being utilized as a means to justify an end in their sordid struggle to make their prophecy interpretations and ambitions materialize.

Nevertheless, in Revelation 14:12-13 Christians are again given hope and encouragement not to yield to any unsavory practices but to understand that if they die in the Lord they are blessed "from henceforth" and "Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them."  That, to me, my dear Christian friends, sounds like God wants Christians to live in hope of blessings and rest and that our works will follow us even as theirs followed them.

 

Revelation 19 and the Marriage of Christ

On a third occasion, the Book of Revelation highlights something brand new and that is the marriage of Christ to the Church.  This was announced and transacted after God destroyed Jerusalem for her sins, iniquities and transgressions.  Note Revelation 14:1-4 and then observe Revelation 19:7-9.  When the old was found to be unfit and was punished and removed (e.g., Revelation 19:14-21), now the Lord was bringing in a new relationship to his new people and that is what we see in Revelation 19.  

Revelation 21-22 and Our Eternal Home With God

Finally, Revelation chapters 21 and 22 describe in some detail, the glories that await us in a city so beautiful and bright that our earthly minds cannot easily wrap around what it could possibly look like.  Even those who have had unusual experiences with death or medical emergencies have admitted that to describe this city is quite impossible.  But this, too, is a beginning and not something we should allow anyone to convince us has passed away or that it does not belong to us who walk with the Lord.

The New Testament has a few things to say about it, note these passages and verses: Matthew 6:19-20; 22:23-30; 1 Corinthians 2:9 and 6:9; 2 Corinthians 5:1-4; Hebrews 10:10, 14-16 and 1 Peter 1:4.  Also try to comprehend what Revelation chapters 21 and 22 mean as you reflect on the word of God.  The beautiful thing about the New Testament is the fact that it is a historical book and you can look into antiquity and archaeology and see the evidence that Bible events that were foretold did materialize as expected.  Once you realize that God can be trusted with the things you can reference or examine, surely you will be more inclined to trust your soul's eternity to things you can't actually touch or prove by anything other than the fact that the world that crucified the Lord no longer exists despite all its best efforts to revitalize itself in a revolutionary renaissance.

 

We'll Be Faithful

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