The Symbolism of the New Heaven and New Earth


Don Carson, Revelation 21-22

Plenary Session 8

Imagine attempting to explain electricity to a pre-Stone Age tribe in Papua New Guinea. You would simply attempt to explain what it does, but they have no categories into which to put this information.
In the same way, how would we talk about the throne room of God? He uses symbolism because we are so without the vocabulary and categories with which to describe them. The symbolism opens the doors to the categories with which we can discuss the glory of the Father.
In Isaiah 6, the seraphim could not see His face. Isaiah cannot describe him. Ezekiel’s description of the chariot is incredibly detailed, but the one who sits upon it is indescribable. But we will see His face.

The culmination of everything is not to see loved ones gone before. It is to see God. Every picture, every taste we have of glory is to see His face.

This book ends in spectacular invitation. And so do we. “God be merciful to me, a sinner.”

I deserve this lake of fire, but I long for the New city. I believe, help my unbelief.

For the rest of the notes on Dr. Carson’s talk, go to: http://is.gd/yjPon9

The God of Creation and Redemption in Revelation 4 and 5


Kathleen Nielsen

Scripture, when read rightly, will lead us to worship.

Why does John weep loudly at the prospect of the scroll remaining unopened? Look to the rest of Scripture.

The scroll in Ezekiel and the scroll in Daniel. Unfolding human history at the decree of God.

Writing on both sides of the scroll. Every last space was required for God’s decrees for the unfolding of human history. If the scroll would not open, human history could not unfold at God’s decree. What if there is no larger purpose for the days in which we live? John weeps at the prospect of a universe separated from its Creator.

For the remainder of the notes on Kathleen’s talk on Revelation 4 and 5, go to: http://is.gd/tskYBM