While the Spirit speaks of persons and places their place in the divine Will is contrasted in terms of the Father-Son relationship. The Holy Spirit assigns Heaven and the earth to God the Father and the new heaven and new earth by same token give an additional facet to it in the manner God the Son fulfilled it. ‘Jerusalem is above…mother of us all’ (Gal.4:26) is a memorial while John sees in a vision the same city descending from God out of heaven (Re.21:1). It is tagged as new and holy. With such tags the reader is left with no doubt the distinction between a memorial and reality as rounded off by God the Son. The same city is also a synonym for Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified (Re.11:8) To sum: in spiritual sense Jerusalem is an euphemism, a stand-in for many cities and for example it is also called Babylon (Re.18:2).
Law of Gradation is a mode where spiritual apostasy of man is contrasted with holiness the hallmark of the Father- Son relationship. Thus when the vision of John describes the destruction of the great Harlot ‘which did corrupt with her fornication’ we are given a view of her judgement.This was determined above and John testifies that he heard a great voice of much people in heaven (Re.19:1-4) So events that are taking place on the earth have a parallel in heaven.
The woman clothed with the sun represented the left out church and in the next tableau we are given the image of ‘the woman who fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred three score days (Re.12:6)’. Here the Spirit has telescoped diaspora of the Nation of Israel from the destruction of the second temple (70 AD) to the end times. The red dragon being cast into the earth is the signal for the woes (Re.12:12) to be full blown to be termed the great tribulation. It is significant that his angels are also cast out along with him. In his wake his tail casts down one third of the stars(Re.12:4). What is the significance of the tail? He who peddles false doctrines is the tail(Is.9:15). He may style himself as a prophet but what teaches is lies. If any one teaches the blood of Jesus does not work for some what shall we make of it? Instead of teaching that man who hates the light lest his deeds should be reproved fails to be saved, these teachers of lies lay charge on the blood of Jesus Christ that it is inadequate (Jn.3:20).
In this connection let us consider this verse from the Gospel of Luke. “I beheld Satan as lightening fall from heaven (Lk.10:18)”. This occurred in conjunction with the seventy other disciples who reported back to Jesus telling ‘Lords, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name (v.17)’. We can understand from the context both are connected: Satan is already bound and cast out of the presence of the Father. Hence success of the disciples owe to ministry of the Son of man validated by his Father.
Here is a cryptic remark of Jesus “But I have a baptism of fire to be baptized with(Lk.12:49)”. Is this his intimation of his second coming and the Millennial Reign that should follow? First let us go back to the main topic. “And they (saints) overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Re.12:19.)” There shall come a day when Satan shall be bound for 1000 years. So the baptism of fire that was kindled refers to the first advent that had repercussion in heaven as well as on the earth. On the heaven it refers to the memorial of saints of God of which a great many shall lose their place because of the red dragon being cast out. On the earth it shall cause divisions and catastrophic events taking place one after the other. Crisis of faith in the church and overwhelming increase in wickedness in the secular world (that shall be accepted as new normal) we can see in two horns of the second beast (‘two horns like a lamb and he spake as a dragon’ (Re.13:11).
Do we not see so many sects mushrooming each having a form of godliness but denying the power? So what they do but pass around their collection plate, urging,’Donate now.’ Are they abiding in the risen Lord and live on divine grace or relying their own strategies colluding with political parties? For such division we need look for reason no further. Devil has lost his place in heaven and whatever he does can only happen with the connivance of the so-called people of God whose apathy and spiritual sloth facilitate his mission. It is what we see around and things shall certainly get worse before God purges the earth with fire.
It is thus the seven golden lamp stands in heaven are provisional. Local churches on the earth are to be steadfast and abide in the risen Christ and come back to their first love or they shall be left out here on earth as well as lose their place in heaven.