LifeLink Devotions

Friday, March 10, 2023

The book of Genesis is fascinating. It tells us the accurate, actual, and Holy Spirit-inspired history of the creation of the world and the first 2,500 years of the human race from Adam and Eve up to the beginnings of the nation of Israel in Egypt.

The one aspect of this precious book that fascinates me the most is the typology of all the stories. In other words, each story contains a picture of the major doctrines of the Bible and the main characters of the accounts are true and accurate pictures of the deity, character, and mission of Christ himself.

For example, the story of Abraham is a clear picture of the doctrines of election and faith. In Isaac we have the picture of the Divine Sonship of Christ and the new spiritual nature of man in Christ, while in Ishmael we have pictured the old man of the flesh. In Jacob, who would be named Israel, we see the conflict between the two natures that lingers in us all, and the loving discipline of God to bring eventual triumph over the flesh.

In Joseph we see the heirship of Christ and all believers typified. His life story points to the future Savior who would first suffer and then be glorified, and who calls all His followers to the same path in life. One day, as Joseph’s family discovered, we will reign together with Christ, but not before we have learned to suffer as He did.

Genesis 37:3-4 Now Israel [Jacob] loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.”

There is an important distinction that we must understand from Scripture as depicted in the lives of Jacob and Joseph. You see, Jacob was disciplined by God as a son, but Joseph suffered like Christ as an heir. Discipline is the loving hand of God applying correction and training to the lives of His children because of their flaws, while suffering is the testing ground of faith to prepare His children for their inheritance.

We see suffering for righteousness’ sake in Joseph, and it is the beginning point of his story in Genesis 37. His father loved him more than all the others, yet that love brought him undeserved suffering. Yet these martyr-type sufferings of Joseph will mark the path for all those who will reign with Christ in glory. It was His path. It will be our path.

As we mature in our faith, it is important for us to learn to discern this truth. We must begin to understand the difference between the discipline of the Lord because of sin and character flaws, and the suffering that we have been called to as we stand for righteousness in an unrighteous world. It will benefit you greatly to spend quality time meditating on this truth and recognizing its importance.

In general practice we tend to avoid both. We ignore the discipline of God because it means admitting weakness and sin and involves correction and change. These are contrary to the nature of our flesh. We also tend to avoid a consistent and public lifestyle of faith whenever there is a threat of rejection or harm. Yet we are called and filled with the Holy Spirit to be unashamed of the Gospel and represent Jesus Christ. In Jacob we see the necessity of God’s children being disciplined and trained in righteousness. In Joseph we see righteousness lived out with such fervor and conviction that no amount of unjustified suffering could convince him to deny his God.

As it was true of Christ, and Joseph as a type of Christ, let it also be true of us, that we may understand that through righteous suffering we are proven as heirs with Christ of all things and become partakers of His glory.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Thursday, March 9, 2023

This morning the Holy Spirit spoke a truth to me concerning the issue of the Father’s Sovereignty. It started with a question that raced across my mind – “What about identity?” He instantly got my attention, and I knew exactly what He meant. You see, when it comes to the truth of God’s Sovereignty, we generally and primarily think of it in terms of activity, i.e. God’s control of nature, political powers, circumstances, and events. Yet Sovereignty, by pure definition, demands control of more than just activity. It must also include the control of identity.

As the Holy Spirit spoke to me, He convicted me of my abuse of my identity. He opened another compartment of my mind and used the story of two blind men coming to Jesus to drive home the point. These two men came to Jesus and asked to be healed of their blindness. In response, Jesus asked them, “Do you really believe I can do this for you?” They responded with a unanimous YES! So Jesus restored their sight.

As my mind drifted into the subject of the faith that Jesus required for the healing, the Holy Spirit asked another question. “How many blind people, after being healed, willingly go back to being blind?” After responding quickly and saying none, I thought about it more deeply. Once Jesus Christ established a new identity, and it was accepted by faith, no one need ever go back to the previous identity. The new identity has been established forever by the Sovereignty of God.

This is when the Holy Spirit began the convicting process in my own heart. How many times have I abused the identity Christ gave me by returning to the old one? How often have I distrusted the Sovereignty of God by not believing that the identity He gave me is eternally secure and entirely sufficient? When I fall into any level of despair or discouragement about my past, or I allow the circumstances of today to re-define me according to my old nature, am I not abusing the Sovereignty of God?

Read again in Ephesians 1 the description of His Sovereignty (verses 4, 5, 8 and 11) and our identity. Read it carefully and highlight all the statements that define God’s sovereign activity in your life.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In lovehe predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.  In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

By the Sovereign will of God I am adopted permanently into the family of God through Jesus Christ who redeemed me and forgave me of my sins. I have been sealed eternally with the Holy Spirit who guarantees the inheritance promised to me in the glorious presence of God someday. That is my identity – and yours, if you believe that God, who is Sovereign, has said so. And if I truly believe it, then I will never willingly choose to go back to being blind.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

There is so much more we could teach about the ministry of the Holy Spirit, but that is not our intention for this series of devotionals. We are set on a course to study the life of Joseph from the book of Genesis. One of the most important lessons we can learn from his life is the sovereignty of God. No matter what man intends, God’s purpose will be accomplished, and God is always – ALWAYS – in control of all things.

Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

At the end of Joseph’s story he makes this declaration – “What you intended for harm God intended for good.” I remember chatting with a young man who was learning that lesson. He suggested that I listen to a Chris Tomlin worship song called “Sovereign.” Here are the lyrics:

Sovereign in the mountain air, Sovereign on the ocean floor, With me in the calm, With me in the storm.

Sovereign in my greatest joy, Sovereign in my deepest cry, With me in the dark, With me at the dawn.

In your everlasting arms, All the pieces of my life, From beginning to the end, I can trust you.

In your never failing love, You work everything for good, God whatever comes my way
I will trust you

All my hopes, All I need, Held in your hands.

All my life, All of me, Held in your hands.

All my fears, All my dreams, Held in your hands.

God whatever comes my way, I will trust you.

What a statement of faith for all of us to be able to make – “God, whatever comes my way, I will trust you.”

Meditate on the truth of God’s sovereignty today until it overwhelms you and conquers your fears and doubts.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

In case you are just joining us, we are beginning a study of the life of Joseph from the last fourteen chapters of the book of Genesis in the Bible. Our introduction for this study is focused on the ministry of the Holy Spirit, for nothing we ever do is of any eternal value unless it is done in the power of and according to the purpose of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Concerning the Holy Spirit, I have this on my heart today – I’m sealed by the Holy Spirit as a child of God forever!

Ephesians 1:13 “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit…”

What the Holy Spirit accomplished in me at the moment of my conversion to Christ cannot be undone by circumstances, tragedies, loss, or even my daily diversions into prideful sin.

When I heard the word of truth, the Gospel of my salvation, and believed in Jesus Christ as my Savior, I was sealed. It didn’t happen later after I earned it or prayed for it, but right away, as a gift of God’s grace and love and as the fulfillment of Christ’s promise. The instant I believed in Jesus according to the word of truth, I was born again by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, baptized by Him into the family of God, empowered by Him with gifts for serving Jesus and His church, and I became His dwelling place.

The same is true for you if you believe in the One who died for your sin and rose from the dead. You have not been given a spirit of fear which dictates your life according to the passions and standards of this world. You are the dwelling place of the Spirit of Jesus who gives you power and a sound mind.

Let’s live every moment and detail of our lives in the reality of that truth.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Monday, March 6, 2023

Soon the warm temperatures will accomplish what we all in the north long for – the melting of the snow. All over the landscape there will be streams of water flowing, reviving childhood memories of rubber boots and little toy boats. In some places the rushing water may cause problems, flooding people’s houses and garages because the natural flow of the water is being diverted by stubborn ice and snow banks. But one thing is certain – unless contained water always seeks equilibrium: it always flows downhill and fills every hole until it establishes balance.

When Jesus ascended into heaven following His resurrection, He left His disciples with a promise –“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”(John 16:7) Jesus had previously used the analogy of water to describe the coming of the Helper, the Holy Spirit in John chapter 7. “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

When Jesus sent the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, a flow of living water began.

Using my analogy of the snow melting, let me point out some practical truths about the Holy Spirit as I promised in my last devotional.

  • Living Water always flows downhill. The Holy Spirit of God comes from above. He does not flow up from the earth, but down from the throne of God. Do not seek fullness of life from the world, but from the Word.
  • Living Water can be contained. Our bodies are designed as cisterns to hold the Living Water, but we must maintain the integrity of the vessel. Jeremiah the Prophet proclaims the word of the Lord – “for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13) The Apostle Paul calls us “temples” in 1 Corinthians 6:19 –  “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?”
  • The Living Water fills all the holes of our lives. Given freedom to flow with no diversions, the Living Water will seek equilibrium. By its very nature it must fill in every low spot and create a perfectly smooth and balanced surface. The result of being filled with the Holy Spirit is an abundant life of balance, satisfaction, and contentment.
  • The flow of Living Water can be diverted by stubborn sin that refuses to be melted away by the warmth of God’s love. The Water is diverted by ice jams and snowbanks of sin that formed when we didn’t properly remove the sin as it began to pile up. Now those snowbanks of sin are so large and solidified that they cannot be easily moved. The flow of water is diverted and does damage to our lives – not destructive damage, but disciplinary damage, to teach us to remove sin quickly so the Living Water can flow beneficially and productively into our lives.
  • Unrestricted flow of Living Water will always overwhelm the limitations of its container and overflow to the low spots around it. Our hearts have a capacity limit, and when filled with Living Water there can be only one result – the Living Water will flow out of us onto others. We are surrounded by people with holes and low spots in their lives. We are to be the unbroken cisterns that not only hold water but remain under the constant downhill flow of Living Water so that it flows out of us into their lives, thus bringing the healing power of Jesus to restore the broken cisterns of their lives.

May these simple truths become profoundly significant to our lives today as we seek to obey the Lord and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Friday, March 3, 2023

Genesis 41:38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?”

I’ve been praying about what to study in my own life as the foundation for these daily devotionals and the Lord has led me to the longest story in the book of Genesis. If you guessed Abraham, you would be incorrect. The story of his great-grandson Joseph is longer. Not that it really matters from a spiritual perspective, but it is a story that has always fascinated me, and a story from which we can learn valuable truths about suffering, character, and wisdom.

The story begins in Genesis chapter 37 and concludes at the very end of the book. I would encourage you to take time to read it this month, maybe more than once, and follow along on the adventures of a young man who grew to be a powerful leader despite tragic circumstances.

The key to Joseph’s life is found in a question that was posed by Pharaoh to his officials following a dream that he had. Joseph has already spent extended time unjustly confined to a prison cell and rudely forgotten by people whom he had helped and served. Yet by the grace and power of God, Joseph was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and be restored to a position of authority.

The question Pharaoh asked was this – “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?”

Now consider this carefully. Pharaoh was a pagan ruler who worshipped idols. Throughout his reign as Egypt’s ruler he has chosen men for leadership based on all the natural characteristics of strength and intelligence promoted by his culture. Yet when confronted with the humble heart of a young man whom he had previously confined to prison, he could speak no higher praise than to say that he saw the Spirit of God in him.

That must be our foundation for this study, and it must be the foundation of our lives, for we are nothing if we are not filled with the Holy Spirit of God. All our personality traits, all our training, all our efforts, and all our accomplishments are meaningless unless they have been done in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the one and only quality of our lives that really counts.

Therefore, we must spend some time understanding what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Otherwise all the other things we will learn from the life of Joseph will be nothing more than our attempts to learn behaviors that will hopefully bring us some measure of success and blessing. Without the Spirit of God everything we do is done in the strength of man and results only in the outcomes man can produce. But contrast that with what happens when we live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Look at what Joseph was able to endure and accomplish. Look at what the disciples did following Pentecost. Look at what the Apostle Paul did. Look at how all of them endured hardship, persecution and even death at the hands of God’s enemies, and yet they accomplished the glorious and eternal purpose of their Savior.

Why? Because they were filled with the Holy Spirit of God. Pharaoh saw it in Joseph even before the Holy Spirit was given as the permanent resident of our lives. The religious leaders of the New Testament saw it in Peter and James and John. But the living testimonies of the power of the Holy Spirit did not end with them. They continue in us.

So when the world takes notice of you: when you are commended or recommended for advancement in your career, is it because of what you claim to have done or because of the work of the Holy Spirit of God in you? Let the world rise up and take notice of the followers of Jesus, because no matter what injustice, hardship, tragedy, or persecution comes our way, they will give us the highest praise possible – “The Spirit of God is in them.”

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Thursday, March 2, 2023

The Apostle Peter concludes his second epistle with this challenge to us: “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18) As we conclude our study of Second Peter it is good for us to accept Peter’s challenge.

As we mentioned yesterday, the world is declining into a fuller expression of depravity. Judgment is coming. Yet Jesus our Lord has not assigned us the task of delivering judgment. He has commissioned us to be ministers of grace. His grace. God’s unconditional offer of forgiveness to the vilest of sinners who believes on His Son Jesus.

Yet we prefer judgment. We prefer to point out the wrongs of others and demand justice. We prefer to alienate ourselves from those who have or who might hurt us.  We are no better than the Pharisees of Jesus’ day who lived in their lofty towers of self-made righteousness and looked down on everyone who wasn’t like them. We have decided that unless people can measure up to our standards they cannot be included in our lives.


Our local churches would be radically different if Jesus followers would treat each other with grace. Our communities would be transformed if Jesus followers would treat citizens with grace. Our world would be turned upside down if they saw those who have the knowledge of God living out the grace of God. But our growth in knowledge has served only to increase our pride in what we know, when Jesus, who knows all things, expressed grace towards those who didn’t know.


Do not use your knowledge as a means of self-affirmation. Do not allow your knowledge to alienate you from those who do not know. Do not take pride in your doctrinal position, but rather let all knowledge of God lead you to the reality of grace, for even the knowledge you have is a gift of God’s grace. It Is not of your own doing. The grace of God opened your eyes to the knowledge of Jesus. The grace of God gave you understanding of the redemption of your soul through Jesus. The grace of God has given you all things for this life and for eternity.  May your life be a constant expression of God’s grace.


Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

It has arrived. The first day of my retirement. I am officially unemployed. I still get to preach one more time this Sunday and enjoy the celebration of my ministry at my retirement party, but my 27-year tenure as Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church has come to an end. I plan to take some mission trips to the Philippines and to India this spring, but overall, my summer will be spent relaxing with Denise and being refreshed in my spirit so I can hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit speak His next instructions to me. I will be ready to go whenever and wherever He calls.

After forty-four total years in ministry, I’ve seen a lot of changes, especially in our culture. It has seriously degraded into a fuller expression of depravity. I sometimes wonder why the Lord has not yet returned and put an end to it. It is in those moments that I remember this verse from Second Peter: “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation…” (2 Peter 3:15)

Just a few verses earlier Peter proclaimed, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)  The patience of the Lord is motivated by His heart of love to desire all people to come to repentance and be saved.

To be sure, there is a day of judgement coming. Jesus will return in all of His power and authority to inflict the consequences of sin upon all who have rejected Him. It will be horrific. But He is being patient with that judgment so that His followers can proclaim His love and grace to those who stand condemned. The patience of Jesus is our opportunity to see more people get saved from their sin.

However, seeing more people get saved requires us to personally proclaim the message of salvation. Far too many followers of Jesus are willing to rejoice when someone gets saved but miss the inexpressible joy of being the one who shared the Gospel and watched the Holy Spirit transform a life. Why are we satisfied to be fans in the stands when we could be on the field in all the action? Why are we content with occasional cheering when we could be carrying out the game plan of the Head Coach?

My friends, it appears that time is short. Yet every day we awake we have a choice to either protect ourselves from the growing depravity of society, or to engage depraved people in conversations about Jesus, who conquered sin and death and desires that all should come to repentance.

Which will you choose?

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

As I prepare to travel to the Philippines in two weeks, I am evaluating carefully what has to go in each piece of luggage so that it makes the weight limitations. In addition to that, I am carefully planning what to take in my carry-on luggage and personal item I get to have inside the plane.

I plan to pack one carry-on with emergency clothing. Then there will be the personal care items I need on the plane and at the Hotel in Manila the first night. I will be very diligent about that so I am wearing the appropriate clothing when I step off the plane in the heat of Davao City.

Why? Because I’m going to see dear friends that I haven’t seen for over 8 years, and I want to meet them at my best. Now I know they won’t care what I look like when I get off the plane, because they love me. I know that there will be no subtle glances at my belly or baldness followed by facial expressions of disgust. I know that if I was wearing my ragged jeans and the same sweaty t-shirt I had on when I started the journey, and had not showered or shaved at the hotel, that they would still hug me. Because we love each other.

But I don’t want to put them in that position. I want nothing about me to distract from the total joy of our reunion.

My friends, we are God’s children, if we have been born into the family of God by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. He was given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when we received by faith the forgiveness of sins He paid for on the cross. Some day – maybe very soon – we will be reunited with Him in person. We will step off this earth into His glorious presence for all eternity. He will extend His arms and welcome us into heaven. He will hug you no matter what you are like because He saved you.

Yet the Scriptures tell us that we are to be prepared for that reunion.

2 Peter 3:14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

There is a possibility of shame on our part when we meet Christ. There may be the experience of grief and remorse when we are pulled into His loving arms. It hinges on how we have lived our lives prior to getting there. Peter’s challenge to us today is to use the coming reunion as motivation for pure and holy living. The Apostle John says it this way in First John 2:28 – “And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.” (NLT)

This is a very real thing. There will be those of us who will shrink back from the Lord as we approach Him because suddenly, in His perfect presence, everything about us becomes perfectly transparent. All lying ceases. All cover-ups are exposed. All wrong motives are revealed. There will be, for the first time in our existence, absolute honesty about who we are. That’s scary to all of us, isn’t it?

Remember, Jesus will still hug you. He will revive you if you pass out from fear and shame. He will restore you. There will be the experience of His unconditional forgiveness as He reviews your life. But we will be reviewed in the light of His holiness. There will be no opportunity for us to excuse anything we have done, said, or thought. All will be revealed. Then Jesus will wipe away every tear from our eyes and welcome us into the perfection of His presence forever. Hallelujah!

Now is the time of preparation for that reunion. Today is the day to begin setting aside all falsehood about who you are. This is the moment to manage your motivations. Right now, at this very second, it is time to become spotless, blameless, and at peace with Him. Every lie, every cover-up, every self-serving motivation puts us at odds with our Savior. The guarantee of our reunion with Jesus is our motivation to be like Him. The Apostle John says “Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.  And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.” (1 John 3:2-3 NLT)

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Monday, February 27, 2023

2 Peter 3:13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.” 

In two weeks I will be on a flight to the Philippines to minister to hundreds of pastors and college students. Yet as much as I look forward to that trip and the people I will see, the real desire of my heart is for a land far beyond this earth. In fact, it hasn’t even been created yet. It will be a place of unsurpassed and unimaginable beauty. It will literally be glorious because it will be lit by the glory of God Himself. There will be no need for a sun. There will be no night without one, because God’s glory never stops shining and filling the whole new earth with light.

As a part of this new creation, the city of the King, the New Jerusalem, will be spectacular. It will be huge. Imagine a cube – you know, with equal sides so that height, width, and length are all the same – and this cube is 2.744 billion cubic miles in size. That’s 1400 miles long by 1400 miles wide by 1400 miles high. Amazing! And I get to go there someday and walk on the streets of crystal gold. In fact, I get to live there. Even more awesome is this…I get to reign there with the King of Kings.

Let the words of the Apostle John inspired by the Holy Spirit of God capture your heart as they have mine and put your focus on the right land. I know it looks long, but it will be worth the time investment. To use the words of an old song, “this world is not our home, we are just passing through…” Get your eyes on the right goal, and here’s the goal from Revelation 21 and 22…

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal. The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. There were three gates on each side—east, north, south, and west. The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles.  Then he measured the walls and found them to be 216 feet thick (according to the human standard used by the angel). The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones: the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass. I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever. Then the angel said to me, “Everything you have heard and seen is trustworthy and true. The Lord God, who inspires his prophets, has sent his angel to tell his servants what will happen soon.” “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book.”

Pastor John