Revelation - God's Chosen People Restored

Revelation is a difficult book to understand definitively, but it is easy book to understand generally. The main themes shine through and God's plan for history is made plain.  In this post we will look at one of the general themes with regards to God's chosen people. Throughout history God has chosen people to be created in His likeness, but they have failed. Ultimately, these chosen people will be united at the end of history as we see in the book of Revelation.

Adam and Eve were the first people God chose. When God created them He said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." Unfortunately, Adam and Eve were not content with being made in the image of God, but wanted to be like God and deciding between good and evil. As a result the world became more and more wicked until God judged it with a flood. After this, He made a covenant with Abraham.

The promise given to Abraham was fulfilled in part by the nation of Israel.
And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God (Gen. 17:7-8).

Israel was chosen as the people God would dwell with on this earth. "Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst (Gen. 25:8)." The tabernacle gave way to the temple as the place He would dwell with them as they lived in the promised land.
I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, that my name might be there... I have chosen Jerusalem that my name may be there (2 Chron. 6:5-6).
However, Israel did not obey God but did what was right in their own eyes and God withdrew His glory from their midst. "The glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city (Ez. 11:23)." Even though God dwelt in the midst of Israel it was not enough to change their hearts, this is why God sent His Son Jesus.

Jesus, the final fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham, is saving all of God's chosen people and is making His home with them. No longer does God dwell in a building, not that He every really did, but now He dwells in everyone who believes. "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you (1 Cor. 3:16)? These chosen people are the Church, the body of Christ, the bride of Christ.

During the consummation of history after the destruction of the symbolic city of Babylon, the Church, the Bride, is finally united with the Bridegroom. "Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready (Rev. 19:7)."

Heaven does not just consist of those in the Church, but it also contains all of those from Israel who have faith as well. After the millennium and the great white throne of judgment, we are told of the New Jerusalem.
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 (Rev. 21:3-4).
But God is still not done as He brings back those who have faith right to the beginning, back to the Garden, the tree of life.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever (Rev. 22:1-5). 
God's is redeeming people from all history: Those not under the law from Adam to Moses. Those under the law from Moses to Christ. And those under grace from Jesus Christ until His return. He will one day unite us all with each other, and more importantly with Him! May the marriage of the Lamb, the New Jerusalem, and the tree of life come quickly. Amen.

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