A holy city pitched as a tent among men and women and children. In that tent – the new Jerusalem – dwells the living God. He looks like us because we look like Him. With His own hand, he wipes away all sorrow from every heart. All come to His dwelling in perfect joy, to sit at His feet and listen to His voice, the voice that changes wilderness to paradise.
And I, John, saw in my vision that holy city which is the new Jerusalem, being sent down by God from heaven, all clothed in readiness, like a bride who has adorned herself to meet her husband. I heard, too, a voice which cried aloud from the throne, Here is God’s tabernacle pitched among men; he will dwell with them, and they will be his own people, and he will be among them, their own God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, or mourning, or cries of distress, no more sorrow; those old things have passed away.
We come to “a land of comfort, a tent that shall never be shifted, whose pegs shall never be pulled up, not one of its ropes cast loose. There we have the Lord’s majesty; it will be a place of rivers and broad streams.” (Isaiah 33:20-21) “No man who dwells there shall say, ‘I am sick’; and the sins of the people who live there shall be pardoned.” (Isaiah 33:24) “The wilderness will become grassland and grassland will be cheap as scrub; then justice shall make its home in the wilderness, and righteousness dwell in the grassland; when righteousness shall yield peace and its fruit be quietness and confidence forever.” (Isaiah 32:15-16) Then,”the wolf will live with the sheep, and the leopard lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion shall grow up together, and a little child shall lead them; the cow and the bear shall be friends, and their young shall lie down together. The lion shall eat straw like the cattle; the infant shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the young child dance over the viper’s nest. They shall not hurt or destroy in all [God’s] holy mountain; for as the waters fill the sea, so shall the land be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.” (Isaiah 11:6-9) “[We] shall say on that day: [We] will praise You, O Lord, though You have been angry with [us]; Your anger has turned back, and You have comforted [us]. God is indeed [our] deliverer.” (Isaiah 12:1-2) “For the Lord our judge, the Lord our law-giver, the Lord our king — He Himself will save us.”
“When [Jesus] comes within sight of the city [Jerusalem], He weeps over it and says, “If only you knew, on this great day, the way that leads to peace! But no; it is hidden from your sight.”
He says, “You do not recognize God’s moment when it comes.” (Luke 19:44)
Jesus weeps over those who do not see; those who do not recognize “God’s moment.” Jesus prays for those who crucify Him, saying to His Father: “Forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) He says to the criminal dying beside Him on Calvary, “I tell you this: today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) To the other who taunts “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself, and us;” we can only assume Jesus weeps for this man in the same manner He weeps for those who drive the nails, and wield the lash. Jesus weeps for us, for all of us. Every human being who ever lives on this earth shares in the crucifixion of Jesus.
Some of us, however, recognize “God’s moment.” Some of us know “the way that leads to peace.” We acknowledge “[that] great day.”
Like the criminal on the cross next to Jesus, we cry: “Jesus, remember me when You come to Your throne.” (Luke 23:42) And Jesus kindly tells us, “I tell you the truth.”
“Who is the liar?” asks the writer of 1 John.
The liar is the one who denies that Jesus is God.
Who is the father of liars, of lies? Our great adversary who gave up his place in heaven to rule in hell, per Milton in PARADISE LOST is the father of lies, of liars. Satan tells the great lie to Eve and Adam, promising them they can be as gods if they disobey God. The cost of believing this lie is immeasurable.
People are deceived. People do prefer to live in darkness so the light does not show their deeds — which are deeds of the darkness, and not of the light. (John 3: 19 – 20)
Satan likes keeping people in the darkness, lest they see the light and prefer it. Hence, Satan lies about everything, keeping people in confusion as they try to figure out what is the truth. Satan’s favorite lie is the one of the anti-Christ — the one which tells the world that Jesus is a good teacher, but not the Son of God, not the expected Messiah of Israel, not the only way to paradise — that is, eternal life in the very presence of God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is a good teacher, says Satan. Pay attention to him, follow his rules, believe his little parables, but do not commit your self to him, do not believe he saves you. For this belief is foolishness. Satan lies.