Sunday, 8 August 2021
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:5
John just described the delightful state of what it will be like at the regeneration of all things. Now, as a confirmation that what he saw is what will certainly come to pass, he says, “Then He who sat on the throne said.”
The Greek is a present participle. It says, “Then Him who is sitting on the throne.” The scene is active and alive. Words will issue directly from the throne of God, meaning from the Lord Himself. They are words of confirmation concerning the vision, and they are words of surety that can be trusted by those who read them. And the words He calls out are, “Behold, I make all things new.”
This is a confirmation of everything just seen. In verse 21:1, it said, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.” That began the regeneration. Then the next three verses then described what would occur after that, including the joyous state of those who will participate in that glorious time.
The Lord Himself has promised to make all things new. An order will come that is the ideal setting for man in his walk before God. John wasn’t just imagining some wonderful place. Rather, he was being given a view into the future when all things are made new. John then says, “And He said to me, ‘Write.’”
This is the last time in the Bible that anyone is specifically told to write anything. The first time the directive was given was in Exodus 17 –
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.’” Exodus 17:14
From that initial call for Moses to write down something specific, the Bible has followed a long and specific path, detailing the redemptive process of God. Now, the final directive is given to John, ensuring that the word will be faithfully documented as it closes out in these final two chapters. The voice finishes this verse with, “for these words are true and faithful.”
Some manuscripts say, “faithful and true.” Either way, the content of what is spoken is based upon the content of the vision. What John saw will come to pass, and the Lord confirms that it is so. The sentiment of Amos 3 is found in these words –
“Surely the Lord God does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
8 A lion has roared!
Who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken!
Who can but prophesy?” Amos 3:7, 8
Some prophesy with their mouths, and some prophesy with their pens. Either way, the Lord has spoken to John, and he can do nothing but prophesy. The word is sure because the One who speaks it out is true and faithful.
Life application: There will be a new order to all things. Death and Hades have been cast into the Lake of Fire, sin (which brings about corruption and death) has been dealt with in Jesus’ cross, the saints of God have received glorified bodies, and all pain has ended. The former things have passed away.
Now, because of Christ’s work, these things which could come about have come about. This is the time of the realization of every hope rooted in the human soul. It is the time that God has known would come even before the original creation occurred. As noted in the previous verse, without the fall and all of its associated woes, we couldn’t fully appreciate the glory of what is coming; the knowledge of it would remain hidden and obscure from us.
But there is one other thing that would have been hidden from us as well – the glory of Christ. Without pain, we cannot appreciate health. Without seeing God’s wrath, we could not understand God’s love. In the Garden of Eden, man lacked one thing necessary to grasp the many facets of his relationship with God – the knowledge of good and evil.
Innocence of these things implies creatures that can never understand the difference between such things. Happiness and sorrow, comfort and pain, beauty and ugliness, right and wrong, love and hate, etc., are all concepts that can only be realized when placed in the context of contrast. Man had knowledge, but he had nothing to use for comparison. Until Eden was lost, it couldn’t be appreciated.
And so, in the ultimate display of contrast, we have the cross of Jesus Christ. Without the cross, we couldn’t understand the depth and the enormity of God’s wrath at sin, nor could we see the infinite scope of His love for His creatures. The cross is what provides the contrast, and therefore it is the center of God’s redemptive plan. Everything that we will ever experience in our eternal state will be seen with clarity because of the cross.
Thus, Jesus’ words to John can be understood in their proper context, that His words are true and faithful. The One who went to the cross is the One who is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11). And His words reflect His being. What He says is the ultimate in surety and the epitome of truth.
In the directive for John to “write,” the special revelation given directly to him is then intended for all who would read what is spoken. The content is to be taken as literal. In other words, what God is telling us concerning these things is to not be spiritualized or thought of as allegory. Instead, it is the truth of what will come about. God has spoken, He has done so clearly, and we are to accept these words at face value.
What is spoken from the throne of God is true, and it is faithful because it is uttered forth by JESUS!
Oh God! The cross… it all centers on the cross. Your love for us, Your anger at sin, Your intent to make us understand Your very heart and mind – it is all to be found in what Jesus did there. Thank You for what You have done. Thank You for the beauty and perfection of this glorious plan to reconcile us to Yourself. Thank You for Jesus. Amen.