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2021 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - The Bride in Revelation 21

Beth Moore - The Bride in Revelation 21

Beth Moore - The Bride in Revelation 21
TOPICS: The Bride, Book of Revelation, Church

Revelation 21, now why in the world do I have you in Revelation? Well, because for the last year, I have been going through a workbook that is put together for "busy believers," it says. It's a "read through the Bible" plan. And so I, of course, started in Genesis many months ago, and worked through just here recently to the very end. And so I came, obviously, to the end of the read through the Bible in the book of Revelation, and somehow I guess particularly because when you've read it all the way through, by the time you're hitting Revelation 21 and 22, it's not hitting you out of context. Now it is in context, you've been reading the whole thing, and now you're almost struck dead to the floor by the glory of it. Does anybody understand what I'm talking about? Now, I'm asking the Holy Spirit to go ahead and put us there, even if you have not been reading through the year, and it's not something you've been anticipating, that he would just put us there where we could see the wonder of it.

Look with me at Revelation 21 and I'm gonna read you verses 1 through 9: "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. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be any mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.' And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' Also he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.' And he said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.'"

Let me stop there before somebody is so disturbed they don't know what to do because you might think, "You know what? I don't fall into the 'murderer' but now 'idolater or liar,' I have probably been at one time or another and maybe in the last three weeks". Is anybody stepping in that with me? And I want you to understand something. This is talking about the unredeemed, those who had not come to faith in Christ and with repentance to receive forgiveness of sins and to be covered by the blood of the Lamb. I want to read this to you to prove this to you. 1 Corinthians 6:11 says this: "And such were some of you," and it's after a list very close to this one here and a few other descriptions as well. "And such were some of you. But you were washed," everybody say "washed," "you were sanctified," somebody say it, "you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ," in what name? "By the Spirit of our God. Such as were some of you". But you have been redeemed, washed by the blood of the Lamb. And it says in verse 9 and this is where I just was completely mesmerized: "Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the last seven plagues and spoke to me, saying, 'Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.'"

I wonder if anybody is wondering if the plan is still in motion that you thought you understood that God had for you, or if somehow you've gotten off course or God has forgotten it. Anybody thought you were on the plan, listen carefully because I think this is key. And right now, in this season of your life, you're going, "It's not working out. I mean, I was, like, I was sure of this. I was sure I'd followed God in this. I was sure that this was what he was leading me to do, and I've done it, and it's not working out". If anybody's got that "not working" on 'em right now can I just see your little hand to see if it's resonating with anybody in the room? I think a few. And I think what God's gonna remind us of today is that we're in the middle of the story, and we're already trying to define how it is going to turn out. When time is tied up, not a single thread will be left hanging. If that is true universally and eternally, do you not think it is true for you personally? Do you not think that he is gonna tie up every thread where you are concerned? That he who started the plan knows how to end it?

See, we're thinking, "This is not working out". We don't understand that according to Philippians 2:13, he's working stuff in us before it works out. We want it to work out before it's worked in. He's going, "You know what? I'm working it in you. When I've got it worked in you the way I want it, you'll start seeing it working out to the outside of you, but right now I'm a whole lot more interested in what's going on in your heart than I am in what's going on in your circumstances". And maybe I'm just talking to myself today, but these are some things he has to remind me of. That he's working it in before he's working it out. Now here's what I want you to see when he says at the very beginning of chapter 21: "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". And he starts describing this new Jerusalem and then the voice from the throne says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega. It is done. I am the beginning and the end. I have completed my agenda for the history of mankind," in that original Genesis and creation.

Here is what I want you to see. This will be such an important concept for us today, that the Word of God is so beautifully orchestrated. This is what struck me nearly to the floor as I had read through the Bible in the course of the year, got to the end of it, and finished with 21 and 22 of Revelation: just to be struck to the core over the fact that he has moved from Genesis to the new Genesis. That it goes all the way through and it ends having circled all the way back to where that original creation, where in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, when Alpha brings it to an Omega, there will be a new heavens and a new earth and we've got the new creation. And in every way, it is perfect. I kept reading and reading those last verses and thinking to myself, "Lord, it's perfect. It's perfect. You're absolutely perfect. You did it in such an extravagant way to show your perfections. You knew, you knew, Lord, exactly when you started it, how you were gonna finish it. And I want you to see this with me".

I want you to notice something else, because not only does it go from Genesis to the new Genesis with the new creation at the very end, you will see echoes of Exodus all over it, all over it. I want you to look with me to make the point, look with me at verse 3. Revelation 21, verse 3, where it says: "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. And he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.'" The dwelling place of God is with man. That word in some of your translations, it will say it exactly like this. It will say: "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with man".

So remember with me, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. I want you to think now what he's saying is, after that creation, the next thing that happens is that there is the creation of man, the man and the woman, there is the Fall of man, and then there is the plan put into action, of course, known before the creation of the world, the whole rest of the Word of God. From that point in Genesis 3 to Revelation chapter 22, is to restore intimate fellowship between man and God where God is literally manifested among men. And so the whole of Scripture is working back to that point. Genesis, Exodus, all the way to the new Genesis at the very end of Revelation. So what he's done in the book of Exodus is he has said to his servant Moses, "You are to build a tabernacle for me according to a heavenly design". In other words, God's looking at something and he is saying, "You have to do it according to this exact pattern. You build it on earth".

So he built it on earth for the children of Israel in the wilderness, and then this manifest glory of God, the first manifestation of it was the cloudy pillar. The cloudy pillar in the wilderness that God was with them. It was manifested there in that tabernacle. And we see all of that terminology come right back here. So here's what I want you to understand in the perfection of the plan, we not only have Genesis to the new Genesis, we also have the new creation with echoes back again to the completion of what began in Genesis. That verse in Leviticus, and it's the one he's quoting here, and it's quoted numerous times in the Word of God, but in verse 3 that's coming. It's hearkening back to Leviticus 26:11-12 when he says, "I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will be your God and you will be my people".

You wanna know why it's a loud voice when it says in verse 3: "And I heard a loud voice"? Because this was the point. This is the heralding, this is the announcement, that everything that was thwarted, everything that fell apart in the Garden, has not only been restored, it has been completely made new and you now dwell in my presence. I don't just dwell among you, you dwell with me and we dwell together, presence to presence and face to face. So you better believe it came with a loud voice. It was the announcement of all of time.

Do you remember in the Gospel of John, if you're familiar with it; if you're not, stay with us here because here's what I'm hoping for. I'm hoping that today, that the person that is most seasoned in the Word of God is gonna have a blast today. I'm hoping that today. As she is gonna learn something, she's gonna have her eyes opened to me, God's gonna reveal himself to her in a marvelous and miraculous way. But I am also hoping for that person who maybe has come to know Christ as Savior, but has never begun to study the Word. It is written so perfectly, so beautifully, so brilliantly, so miraculously. I'm gonna tell you, you could read the stacks of books in every library and there is nothing that is more thrilling than the study of the Word of God. The discoveries never end. They absolutely never end. You never get to the bottom of 'em because you realize that you were just at the top layer last time. You had to go in under it a little bit.

And then you were in under it a little bit and you realize that next time, ten years later, you go back and read it again and thought, "I never even saw what that was saying". Only the Word of God because it's animated by the very Spirit of God. So the Gospel of John opens up: John is the same writer, the apostle John, the beloved disciple, is the same one that is being used of God to pen the Revelation while he is on the Isle of Patmos in exile. So he's the same one that's writing both of these things. And he says in John chapter 1:14, he talks about, "And the word became flesh," and he's talking about God. He's not talking about the Bible. The word, the logos, the full expression, the full communication, of God to man. His own Son, fully God, fully one. "The word was made flesh and tabernacled," it is a form of that same word and it's in a verb form. "Tabernacled among people, so that they saw his glory," it says, "the glory of the one and only".

So please understand with me, these concepts that are from the very beginning carry throughout and they're right here at the ending. It's not just haphazard, going a thousand different directions. Every single thread in the plan, every single thread of the scriptures, will be tied up, to the last one. And let me tell you we're going to be impressed. Let me tell you. And when we get there and see how the whole thing came together, we will be astonished at the brilliance of God. Now, when there is this pairing like we're seeing today, where it begins here in the original "In the beginning God created," Genesis 1:1, and then it gives way into Exodus because now this presence has to be restored. How will that happen? Ultimately, it'll be restored face to face, but how does that begin?

Well, it begins, of course, by ordaining the sacrificial system where they can begin to understand first given to Abram by him taking his son Isaac to the top of Mount Moriah where there was then a substitutionary offering and a ram caught by its horns in the thicket was exchanged for the life of Isaac, and Isaac gets to walk down the hill with his daddy. He was his beloved son, his beloved son. All of this, is conveying the gospel to us. The levitical system was talking about a holiness that would come to a people through blood sacrifice where there was... there was no blood, there was no remission of sins. This was teaching us, getting us ready for the gospel of Christ, when God then, the Word, would take on flesh and tabernacle among us. So I mean, he's this walking tabernacle, this walking tabernacle, this manifestation of God's glory.

Only "there was no beauty that any should desire him," Isaiah 53 says. The glory walking around, having to be so disguised by just regular human features that they're walking alongside God and some of 'em don't even know it. We come all the way to the end of it and see him wrap it up to the tee. So when we see the pairing of Genesis and Exodus, it speaks one overarching concept to us: created for the divine presence. Anybody getting that with me? That when Genesis and Exodus, when these concepts are paired together, when we see them paired together, what it's bringing forth to us, the overarching concept is going to be created for the divine presence, that everything in the created order was created for divine presence, to display the glory of God. So we see it in the beginning and we see at the end: created for the presence. And then we see that we have this new creation. What's the new creation then created for? For the full unhindered presence of God among man.

Let me tell you something. That is enough to keep our minds spinning. I believe I can say to you that deliverance, because you see that that concept is in the Exodus. Exodus, the word itself, Exodus is a Greek word. It means to exit. To exit. And so deliverance is a huge part of it, of course, because it's just like inherent in the term. Deliverance is always, in one form or another, about freeing us from that which hinders his presence. Test it and see if that is so. I keep thinking, I keep putting it into every conceivable concept, and I think that it stands. That in every way deliverance, whether it would be from an area of bondage, whether it would be from an area of idolatry, whatever it would be, deliverance, even our final deliverance from these earthly bodies, what will it be to do? To deliver us from that which has hindered us thus far, from the full enjoyment of the divine presence. So those concepts are over and over and over and over and over again in the Word of God.

Now here's what I want you to see. When I got just stuck on that verse that says, in verse 9, the second part of it, when it says: "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb," I just began to say to him over and over again, "Holy Spirit, would you come to us to... we can come to you, God? Will you come to us? Would you show us a glimpse of the bride, the redeemed of God? Would you come and show us"? And that's our aim and it's our aim today for a host of reasons that we'll talk about, but I want you to lock down on some terminology. Look back at verse 9, and I wanna show you one of the ones that's gonna drive us today. Notice that it says: "Come, I will show you". Tell me what those five words are again?

All right, if we're just taking them out of context and reading 'em, it's still beautiful but we have no idea that it is very intentionally repeating something that has been said in Revelation 17:1, very intentionally tied together. These five words are a deliberate divine point-making repetition. So somewhere in your margin, right out beside it, Revelation 17:1, and I want you leaving something in 21:9. Go with me to 17:1. This is about to get tremendously interesting. All right, you're gonna have to, we're gonna have to take a jet ride right now in the Spirit, okay? We're gonna land this ship. We're gonna land this ship but we're gonna fly for a little while. Everybody ready for that? Okay, so look here. It says in Revelation 17:1: "Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came to me and said".

I wanna remind you what it said in 9: "Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, spoke to me, and said". It is the same angel and he is saying these same beginning words. Very, very intentional. They're the only time you find 'em in this whole portion of Revelation. The only comparison they have is when the Spirit speaks to John in Revelation 4:1 and says, "Come up here and I will show you the things which must happen next". Then these, of course, are falling under those things that would happen next. But between 17 and 29, there are five words that are connecting them together and we need to see them.

He says: "Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came to me and said, 'Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.' And he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and had seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: 'Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and the earth's abominations.' And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled greatly". "Come, I will show you the bride". Just a few chapters before, "Come, I will show you the prostitute".
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