28. GOD'S PLAN FULFILLED
(His Covenant with Abraham fulfilled)
FROM THE VISIONS OF ST. JOHN IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
"Next I saw four angels, standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the world back to keep them from blowing over the land or the sea or the trees. Then I saw another angel rising where the sun rises, carrying the seal of the Living God; he called in a powerful voice to the four angels..."Wait, before you do any damage......, until we have put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God". Then I heard how many were sealed: one hundred and forty four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel. (Twelve thousand each from the tribes of Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin.)
After that, I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; ("as the stars of heaven and sands of the sea shore") they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. They shouted aloud, "Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" And all the angels who were standing in a circle round the throne, surrounding the elders and the four animals, prostrated themselves before the throne, and touched the ground with their foreheads, worshipping God with these words, "Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen."
One of the elders then spoke, and asked me, "Do you know who these people are, dressed in white robes, and where they have come from?" I answered him, 'You can tell me, my lord'. Then he said, 'These are the people who have been through the great persecution, and because they have washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb, they now stand in front of God's throne and serve Him day and night in His sanctuary; and the One who sits on the throne will spread His tent over them. They will never hunger or thirst again; neither the sun nor scorching winds will ever plague them, because the Lamb who is at the throne will be their shepherd and will lead them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.' "
"Then a voice came from the throne; it said, 'Praise our God, you servants of His and all who, great and small, revere Him'. And I seemed to hear the voice of a great crowd, like the sound of the ocean or a great roar of thunder, answering, 'Alleluia! The reign of the Lord our God Almighty has begun; let us be glad and joyful and give praise to God, because this is the time for the marriage of the Lamb. His bride is ready, and she has been able to dress herself in dazzling white linen, because her linen is made of the good deeds of the saints.' The angel said. 'Happy are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb'."
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, 'You see this city? Here God lives among men. He will make His home among them; they shall be His people, and He will be their God; His name is God-with-them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past is gone.' "
EPILOGUE: REVELATION 22:16,17
"I, Jesus, (the Messiah) have sent My angel to make these revelations to you (John) for the sake of the churches. I am of David's line, the root of David and the bright star of the morning. The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come'. Let everyone who listens answer, 'Come'. Then let all who are thirsty come: all who want it may have the water of life, and have it free."
IN THE WORDS OF ST PAUL
(The manner of the Resurrection: 1 Corinthians 15:42-58)
"Regarding the resurrection of the dead: the thing that is sown is perishable, but what is raised is imperishable; the thing that is sown is lowly, but what is raised is glorious; the thing that is sown is weak, but what is raised is powerful; when it is sown it embodies the soul, but when it is raised it embodies the spirit.
If the soul has its own embodiment, so does the spirit have its own embodiment. The first man, Adam, as Scripture says, became a living soul; but the last Adam has become a life-giving spirit. That is, first the one with the soul, not the spirit, and after that, the one with the spirit. The first man, being from the earth, is earthly by nature; the second man is from heaven. As this earthly man was, so are we on earth; and as the heavenly man is, so are we in heaven. And we, who have been modelled on the earthly man, will be modelled on the heavenly man
Or else, brothers, put it this way: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God: and the perishable cannot inherit which lasts forever. I will tell you a mystery. We are not all going to die, but we shall all be changed. (Though all will not attain the glory of heaven.) This change will be instantaneous, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet sounds. It will sound, and the dead will be raised, imperishable; and we shall all be changed, for our perishable nature must put on imperishability and our mortal nature must put on immortality."
All thanks and praise be to God Who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, the Messiah.
DANIEL 12:1-3, 10, 13
At that time Michael will arise -- the great Prince, defender of your people. That will be a time of great distress, unparalleled since nations first came into existence. When that time comes, your own people will be spared -- all those whose names are found written in the Book.
'Of those who are sleeping in the Land of Dust, many will awaken, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting disgrace.
Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightness, as bright as stars for all eternity.
Many will be cleansed, made white and purged; the wicked will persist in doing wrong; the wicked will never understand; those who are wise will understand.
But you, go away and rest; and you will rise for your reward at the end of time.