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But the New Jerusalem is not simply a new and better garden: it is a garden- city , the urban ideal that forms the counterweight to Babylon. There is, for instance, still meaningful human participation in the life of the celestial city come to earth. Central to this, of course, is the worship people bring to God and the Lamb. In the ancient world, it was desirable to build a temple with the best materials from all over the world; this is what Solomon did for the temple in Jerusalem.

More than that, people would bring gifts from far and wide to adorn the temple after its completion. It is probable that the image of kings bringing their gifts to the New Jerusalem flows from this background.

Finds in Jerusalem shore up biblical account of Babylonian conquest

It does not seem too much of a stretch to imagine that these gifts are the products of human culture, devoted now to the glory of God. We must also consider the implications of Old Testament visions of the future, which see it in meaningful continuity with present-day life. We can certainly argue that Isaiah is pointing, in ways suitable to his times, to something much greater than mere agricultural abundance—but he can hardly be pointing to less.

Parsing out precisely how this works is not easy. Will there still be farming in the new heavens and new earth?

Was Jerusalem the Harlot of John’s Apocalypse?

God created humans to exercise dominion over the earth, which entails creativity. Would it be sensible for such a God to then turn and regard work done in faith as useless and cast it aside? On balance, it seems far more likely that he would raise it up and perfect all that is done for his glory.

Since God does not go into detail as to how this transfer of products from the now-world to the new-world works, or what exact things we might be doing in the future state, we can only guess at what this means concretely. The treasure that men find laid up in heaven turns out to be the treasures and wealth of the nations, the best they have known and loved on earth redeemed of all imperfections and transfigured by the radiance of God.

Every resource on our site was made possible through the financial support of people like you. Revised November 10, Image by Used under license from Veer. Based on a work at www. View Full Article. It is no coincidence that its gold and jewels recall those of the New Jerusalem Rev.

Babylon or Jerusalem: Your Choice

But it is in fact a counterfeit, doomed to be exposed by God in the final judgment. And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore—cargo of gold, silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, choice flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, slaves—and human lives.

5 Reasons that Jerusalem is NOT Babylon!

The lesson that God would judge a city for its economic practices is a sobering thought. Economics is clearly a moral issue in the book of Revelation.

Map of the Exile to Babylon and Back to Jerusalem

The fact that much of the condemnation appears to stem from its self-indulgence should hit with particular force at modern consumer culture, where the constant search for more and better can lead to a myopic focus on satisfying real or imagined material needs. But the most worrisome thing of all is that Babylon looks so close to the New Jerusalem.

God did create a good world; we are meant to enjoy life; God does delight in the beautiful things of earth. If the world system were a self-evident cesspool, the temptation for Christians to fall to its allures would be small. Babylon promises all the glories of Eden, without the intrusive presence of God. At this point, one might feel that any participation in the world economy—or even any local economy—must be so fraught with idolatry that the only solution is to withdraw completely and live alone in the wilderness.

But Revelation offers an alternative vision of life together: the New Jerusalem. It stands in stark contrast to the self-made monstrosity that is Babylon. At one level, the New Jerusalem is a return to Eden—there is a river flowing through its midst, with the tree of life standing by with fruit-laden branches and leaves for the healing of the nations Rev. Humanity can once again walk in peace with God.

Indeed, it outstrips Eden, since the glory of the Lord itself provides the illumination for the city Rev. But the New Jerusalem is not simply a new and better garden: it is a garden- city , the urban ideal that forms the counterweight to Babylon. There is, for instance, still meaningful human participation in the life of the celestial city come to earth.

King David

Central to this, of course, is the worship people bring to God and the Lamb. In the ancient world, it was desirable to build a temple with the best materials from all over the world; this is what Solomon did for the temple in Jerusalem. More than that, people would bring gifts from far and wide to adorn the temple after its completion.


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