The New Jerusalem is a place. We’ve heard it mentioned in literature and poetry and music, but do we really have any idea what it is and where it is? Revelation says it’s a holy city coming down from heaven. Is this to be taken literally or symbolically or both? The lesson this week (Revelation 20:11-21:8) describes the final judgment and the New Jerusalem. I’m relieved. These ongoing lessons about judgment have killed my buzz.
The last four verses in Revelation 20 describe John’s vision of the final judgment, Halleluiah! He sees the Creator sitting on a great white throne. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them (Revelation 20:11). “You can run but you cannot hide,” I quipped. Since God’s presence is presumably everywhere, this line implies that heaven and earth have completely vanished.
John then sees the dead; each entity standing before the great white throne holding an open book. When I read this I thought, “Okay, those books represent their Akashic Records.” An Akashic Record is believed to contain the entire history of a soul since the dawn of creation. Specifically, who one is and how one lives. Verse 12 says the dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. This line sort of supports my understanding that the books and the Akashic Records are one and the same.
Another book is mentioned, the Book of Life, and it is also open. Death, Hades, and those not found in the Book of Life are thrown into the lake of fire (second death). I don’t know who or what death is in this context, nor do I understand the concept of Hades, but I do know that death and Hades get the boot because they’re not in the book.
John’s vision delivers a crystal clear message here; it’s a good thing to be in the Book of Life. I envision the Book of Life to be like a Super Akashic Record containing everyone’s information, a universal super computer. The Book of Life may represent the force that keeps us interconnected and in God’s hands. Evil entities are simply not recorded in the book.
One of the homework questions asked, “What are the books that will be opened along with the Book of Life?”
When I piped up with, “the Akashic Records“, my classmates looked around at each other in bewilderment. A couple of them asked me to spell it. How do you think they’ll react when they google Akashic and find it’s a Sanskrit word for atmosphere or a place in the ether where past events are recorded? Personally, I think it’s fascinating how closely the Book of Life from Christianity parallels the Akashic Records from Hinduism.
With the final judgment behind us, we moved on to the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-8), another Halleluiah! John hears a voice from the great white throne saying,
Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away… I am making everything new! Revelation 21:3-4
The old order of things has passed away (Revelation 21:4). I love this. When writers reference the New Jerusalem, they’re looking to convey a utopia, an ideal place, or a perfect situation. The New Jerusalem, or Holy City, is everything that Babylon is not. The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, and the idolaters (Revelation 21:8) are all consummed by the fiery lake of burning sulfur; they are no more. This sharply contrasts the spring of the water of life offered by God to the thirsty in the New Jerusalem.
We have the ability to drop the old order of things and embrace the new at any time; the opportunity to start fresh is constantly available. It begins with an attitude adjustment and a decision to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. When I think of old energy, I think of hatred and struggle and war, religions that perpetuate separation and putting people in boxes, and judgment. These kinds of thoughts and actions are part of the old order of things that need to pass away.
I’ve heard it said that what happens to Israel happens to the world. Peace and harmony in the city of Jerusalem would literally create a New Jerusalem. An end to conflict there could potentially lead to peace worldwide. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Can you imagine world peace?
It’s easy to sit in our comfortable homes, watch the news, think the situation in the Middle East is terrible, and do nothing. How about sending some light to the dark places you’ll never go to? Actively pray for and visualize world peace; be part of the solution.
I know I could do a lot more of these kinds of activities. It matters not whether the New Jerusalem is a literal city or a sacred dimension, shining light in dark places will quicken our personal journeys. I’m convinced of it.