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“I have a dream...”

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. Revelation 21: 1
 

The words of Martin Luther King still echo around the globe. At present Nelson Mandela in many ways epitomizes Dr King and his vision for a new humanity. Inevitably these great men move from this earthly scene.

That’s true also of one man who died around AD 95 on a small Greek island named Patmos where he was in prison – despite being a very old man. It’s this man, named John, who wrote the words in bold above. He had a vision, a dream. He saw….. And he wrote it down in a book.

This man John was in many respects even more credible than Dr King or Nelson Mandela because he was a contemporary of Jesus Christ and imprisoned for following Jesus. Some 60 years before he wrote the words in bold above he had seen Jesus die on a cross outside Jerusalem. And he had seen him risen from that death – alive, living and well.

In his early years John ran a fishing business (like several in Jersey today) with his father and brother and other employees. John’s mother was very ambitious for her sons. She even went especially to Jesus around AD 30 to ask that the two of them have special positions of privilege in heaven – something which was politely refused as not in the power of Jesus to grant.

In a highly emotional moment John had been given a very special task by Jesus. When Jesus’ life was almost at an end on that Roman cross, Jesus asked John to look after Jesus’ mother as though she was John’s own mother. Jesus’ mother was present at the time, watching her dear son’s life ebb away in painful suffering. John did so. He took her into his own home.
 
 
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‘An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.' (Martin Luther King, Pastor and Civil Rights Leader, 1929-1968)

Having been with Jesus for three years and having seen the risen Jesus, John was destined to see him again before John died. To continue to follow Jesus was unacceptable in AD 90 so he was exiled. But one Sunday, when he was, in his own words, “in the spirit on the Lord’s day”, he “heard behind him a loud voice like a trumpet saying ‘Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches….’” The place names of those churches were supplied. All are in present-day Turkey – places like Ephesus and Smyrna. Smyrna is now named Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city and much in the news of recent days because of serious rioting there.

When John “turned to see the voice that was speaking to him” he saw “one like to a Son of Man”. Then he “fell at his feet as though dead.”

This was no dream. John did indeed write what he saw in a book. He did indeed send it – all 18 (present-day-printed) pages – to those seven churches. The book has been preserved and translated into English. A first-century book by a contemporary of Jesus…..

On page 16 John wrote the words in bold above. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. As a Jersey man I’m so very pleased he did.
 
 
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‘Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. (Martin Luther King, Pastor and Civil Rights Leader, 1929-1968)

Why a new earth?

• It’s not because the Plemont headland will not be restored to nature. It’s because the nature of mankind (including my own nature) is destroying the whole planet.
• It’s not because Jersey is anxious to make money out of internet gambling and one more marriage broke a few days ago because of it. It’s because the globe is covered by the exploitation of one group by another.
• It’s not because more and more houses in Jersey have solid wooden automatic gates to shield those within from other undesirables. It’s because protection from the a-moral is forced upon all by the decline in true Christian followers.
• It’s not because Jersey’s supermarkets are empty. It’s because, for over 1,000,000,000 people outside Jersey, there’s never enough food.

What about the sea?

• I’m pleased that there’ll be no more sea because the sea depicts the restless and unrelenting claiming of precious lives by unbridled forces – and indicates the hiding place of evil powers which are regularly revealing their true tsunamic realities.
 
 
Richard Syvret

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