The Book of Revelation

The Revelation of Jesus Christ
Is about the Gospel in the end times
And in the age to come
The aionion
The “forever”

Revelation 21:1-8 paraphrase
Then I saw
A new heaven
And a new earth
The Holy City
Coming down out of heaven from God
Prepared as a bride
God’s dwelling place is now among the people
He will wipe every tear from their eyes
There will be no more death
‘I am making everything new!
To the thirsty I will give
The water of life
But the unbelieving…liars
Will be consigned to the
Lake of sulfur / fire!’

This is after all people have died and been judged
The new heaven and earth has arrived
Those that “wash their robes in the blood of the lamb” are in heaven (Rev 12:11, 21:14).
The unbelieving liars (who still identify themselves as sinners) are in the lake of fire.

But where is this lake of fire?
Revelation 21:14-15
Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the
Into the city
Are the dogs who practise falsehood / unbelieving liars.

The lake of fire is outside the gate. Those who have washed their robes in the blood have entered the gate to the heavenly city.
Those who have not are outside in the lake.
But look at what the people in the heavenly city are doing:
Revelation 22:17
The spirit and the bride say
Let those who hear say
Let the one who is thirsty
And let the one who wishes
Take the free gift of the
Water of life!

Wait a second!
This is after death and judgement!
The bride is with Jesus in the new heavenly city, through the gate
And the spirit and the bride are beckoning those

Who is outside??
All those in the
Lake of fire!

Now the only question is
Do they come in?
Well you see, the climax in any good Jewish story, is always in the middle.
So we have a beginning in chapter 21 where there is a new heaven
And we have an ending in chapter 22 where the spirit and the bride say come
And we have a climax between them
Revelation 21:24-25
The nations (outside in the lake of fire)
Will walk by its (heavenly city) light
And the kings
WILL bring their splendor into it!
On no day will its
(the gate between the heavenly city and the lake of fire)
Ever be shut!!!
The glory and honor of the nations


“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and wealth
Wisdom and strength
Honor and glory and praise!”
Rev 5:12

“Then I heard
In heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea and
ALL that is in them saying:
‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
Be praise and honor
Glory and power
Forever and ever!'”
Rev 12:13

Belongs to our God
Who sits on the throne
And to the Lamb!”
Rev 7:10

“Who will not fear you Lord
And bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy
WILL COME and worship before you
For your righteous acts
Have been revealed!”
Rev 15:4

During the aionion / the forever / the age to come
All the people in the lake of fire
Will enter the gate
To the heavenly city
THIS is why we worship God!
THIS is why all honor and glory are due Him
THIS is why SALVATION belongs to GOD and not to the preachers and teachers or the Jews or the Muslims or the Christians!
THIS is why every knee will bow
And every tongue confess
THIS is the Gospel
THIS is the happily ever after of the entire creation
THIS is His holiness: that he would save every last soul and refuse to give up on a single one!

THIS Jesus is the only God worth worshipping
The only God I will ever bow to
The only God I could ever truly love and trust
Thank you Jesus!!!!!!!

Did God Hate Esau?

“Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What does this mean? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s MERCY. For Scripture says of Pharoah: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has MERCY on whom he wants to have mercy, and he HARDENS whom he wants to harden. Romans 9:13-18

The chapter goes on to describe Esau and Pharoah are “objects of WRATH” in verse 22.

It is time for us to define this wrath and hatred of God.

Ezekiel 16 describes wrath this way:
Verse 27 So I stretched out my hand against you and reduced your territory; I GAVE YOU OVER to the greed of your enemies.
Verse 39 Then I will DELIVER YOU into the hands of your lovers, and THEY will tear down your mounds and destroy your lofty shrines. THEY will strip you of your clothes and take your fine jewellery and leave you stark naked.
Verse 42 Then my WRATH against you will subside and my jealous anger will turn away from you; I will be calm and no longer angry.
Verse 53 However, I will RESTORE the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters and of Samaria and her daughters, and your fortunes along with them.
Verse 60 I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.

God’s only action was to stop protecting the Israelites from the consequences of their sins. He let them go and allowed their enemies to capture and abuse them. But the story ends in restoration not only for Israel but for other nations as well! God’s wrath results in restoration!

Paul takes up this theme of wrath in his letter to the Romans. He says that simultaneously to the Gospel being revealed, God’s wrath is revealed, Romans 1:17-18.
Verse 24-25 Therefore God GAVE THEM OVER in the sinful desires of their hearts … They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator.
Here we have the same phrase that was used in Ezekiel 16, to describe wrath in Romans 1. God’s wrath is to hand his creation over to the consequences of sin.

Wrath is a metaphor for consequences.

In chapter 12 we have this mysterious description of wrath:
Verse 19 Do not take revenge but leave room for God’s WRATH …
Verse 20 If your enemy is hungry feed him; if he is thirsty give him something to drink. In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head!

In the OT burning coals represent repentance and forgiveness. Isaiah 6 shows an angel applying “live coal” to Isaiah’s lips.
Verse 7 See this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.

God’s wrath leads to repentance.

Returning now to Romans 9 where God “hated” Esau and “hardened” Pharoah and called them “objects of wrath.” God used them to “demonstrate his power” (9:17), to “make known the riches of his glory” (9:23) and to have “mercy on whom he wants to have mercy” (9:18).

God handed Esau and Pharoah over to the consequences of their actions. Esau lost his birth-right to Isreal in the book of Genesis. Pharoah drowned in the Red Sea chasing Israel in the book of Exodus. They were objects of wrath (consequences) to demonstrate God’s favour toward Israel.

But his ultimate purpose was not purely to destroy Esau and Pharoah. They seemed hated. They seemed unfavourable. They seemed like they were no-hopers. But the climax comes in Romans 11.

Verse 25 Israel has experienced a hardening [wrath/hatred] in part until the FULLNESS of the GENTILES has come in. [All Gentiles saved]
Verse 26 And in this way ALL ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED.
Verse 32 For God has bound EVERYONE [not just Esau and Pharoah] over to disobedience that he may have MERCY on them ALL!!!!!

God’s wrath/hatred leads to MERCY.
God will show mercy to whom God will show mercy (9:15)
God shows mercy to EVERYONE! (11:32)

Five Things that Hell is NOT

1. Hell is not a place for babies

If you insist on believing in traditional-hell, then you have no other choice but to believe that every child who dies without a relationship with Jesus, goes straight to hell, including all miscarried babies, babies who die of SIDS and disease, and young children who die in accidents etc.

There is no evidence in the Bible of an age of accountability. There is also nothing in the Bible about infant baptism saving children from hell.

So if you believe that we are all “born into sin,” and deserve to go to hell, then this applies to all babies and children as well as teenagers and adults. Either you believe that we are all destined for traditional-hell from the moment we are conceived until the moment we accept Jesus –

Or you don’t believe in traditional hell at all.

2. Hell is not justice

People who believe in traditional-hell, claim that hell is the justice of God i.e. that we get what we deserve. But how can endless torture for all eternity (traditional-hell) be what anyone deserves?

Even if Hitler himself were sentenced to 100 years of torture for every person he ever hurt directly or indirectly, this would not be a blip on eternity’s radar. So even if it were “just” to punish Hitler for millions of years, wouldn’t it be unjust to punish him for all eternity? If God is actually just (according to the Western justice system) wouldn’t he have to set Hitler free eventually and say that he had had enough punishment? Eternity is too long to punish anyone!

And why would God give the same punishment to a five year old who died in a car accident, as he did to Hitler? Why would they both serve eternal-sentences in hell for being born sinners? How is that justice?

Firstly, the Western definition of justice is not God’s definition of justice at all. And secondly, even if this definition of justice were God’s definition, then he would be a crueller judge than the cruellest of all human judges, because he would show no mercy and let no one out of hell according to the traditional-hell position.

3. Hell is not separation

Here is another downfall in the traditional-hell position. The majority of Western Christianity claims that hell is separation from God. They will cite 2 Thessalonians 1:9 as evidence “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord” NIV. But the KJV says: “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction FROM the presence of the Lord.”

Wait a minute, most English translations describe this as separated from the presence of the Lord, but the KJV says it is coming from the presence of the Lord. Did you know that the Aramaic Bible says “From the face of our Lord.” The Jubilee Bible says “By the presence of the Lord” the American Standard version says “From the face of the Lord” Webster’s Bible translation says “From the presence of the Lord” and listen to Young’s Literal Translation:

“Who shall suffer JUSTICE-destruction age-during FROM the face of the Lord!” Nothing about eternal punishment in there and certainly nothing about separation from God. In fact it shows us that HELL IS IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

For more evidence that hell is IN the presence of God (and has only been mistranslated as separation) take a look at these verses:

Revelation 14:10 “They will be tormented with burning sulfur IN the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. (New NIV)
Psalm 139:7-8 “Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee form your presence? If I ascend into heavens, you are there; if I made my bed in HELL behold you are there.” (NKJV)

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created things, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NKJV)

The only way to be separated from God, is to cease to exist at all. Unless you believe that hell is annihilation, then this traditional-hell position (which I was taught as a child) that hell is separation from God, is unbiblical.

4. Hell is not eternal

Returning to 2 Thessalonians 1:9 “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord.” Not only is “shut out from” a mistranslation of the original text; so also is the word “everlasting.”

The Greek word used here is “aionios” which means “age-during” or “age to come.” Heaven and hell exist in the “age to come.”

We’ve all heard the word “aeon” which means age. An Aeon implies a finite period of time with a beginning and an ending. When the Bible talks about hell it is referring to a period in the afterlife. I don’t pretend to know when that period will end, but God does create a “new heaven” and a “new earth” and I hope that by that time, there will be no more need for a hell.

5. Hell is not punishment

Yet another word mistranslated in 2 Thessalonians 1:9 is the word “punishment.” The Greek word “Kolasis” which has been translated as “punishment” in most English Bibles, is a GARDENING term!

Remember in the Gospel of John chapter 15, Jesus tells the disciples that he is the “vine” and they are the “branches?” His father prunes the vine to cut off what is fruitless and to cultivate more fruit.

In Romans 11 Paul refers to Jews and Gentiles being grafted into an olive tree and then says “All Israel will be saved” verse 26 and God has “mercy on them all” (Jews and Gentiles) verse 32.

If a human being is producing bad fruit in they will be cut off and thrown into the fire (Matt 13:42) for kolasis: for pruning. God’s intention is that we all be grafted back in and produce healthy fruit. This is the purpose of hellfire.

Hell is not punishment, hell is pruning.

‘Eye for Eye’ Abolished By Jesus

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good. And sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:38-45

“Turn the other cheek” and “Go the extra mile” have become common clichés that are used in society to mean things like: “Get over it” and “Work hard.” But Jesus was talking about something different. He was talking about responding without violence. Don’t take revenge. Don’t punish someone in the same way as they hurt you – eye for eye. In fact, respond with love and prayer. Speak words of blessing instead of curses.

So if God doesn’t want us to punish people, or to react violently and take revenge … then why would God need to punish people in hell for their sins? Why would God want to take revenge against humankind for their behaviour? Why would he require payment – eye for eye?

If Jesus was really saying: “No more of this ‘eye for eye’ business! No more hate!” then why would he turn around and behave in a different manner toward any single human being? If Jesus really meant what he said: “I love my enemies and I give the sun and the rain to everyone, irrespective of their behaviour,” then how could he possibly abandon even his ‘enemy’ at the point of their death or at any time during their refusal to love him back?

We know that Jesus did in fact ‘turn the other cheek’ in a very big and dramatic way, when he opened up his arms in crucifixion and said “Father forgive them.” So we know that he lived what he believed in. He also said “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” So we know that God the Father does not stand in opposition to Jesus’ teaching. He does not desire ‘eye for eye’ retaliation any more than Jesus does.

So if the Father and the Son both adhere to loving their enemies, turning the other cheek to violence, and going the extra mile, then hell cannot be a place where God takes revenge, exacts punishment or separates himself from his enemies. Even in hell, it must remain true that God is love, that God loves his enemies, that God turns the other cheek, and that God is willing to go the extra mile into hell to rescue us.

Think about it.