Apocalypse -The Revelation of Saint John the Divine

Revelation 21

King James Version (KJV)

21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

For so it was that the Community of Bangor established what was for them a new Jerusalem in accord with the Revelation of St John the Divine, that disciple whom Jesus loved, to whom He entrusted his mother at the foot of the Cross and whose vision of the Apocalypse contained the final oracles of God.

This association is well illustrated by extract below from the Bangor Antiphonary, which is entitled “Versicles of the Community of Bangor” and which has become better known as the “Good Rule of Bangor”.

These verses contain the whole raison d’être of the Community or Family of Bangor. They were obviously inspired by John’s Vision in Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, and the writings of Ezekiel in the Old Testament. Both speak of the eternal dwelling place of God, made not with hands but with “living stones”. In other words John taught that those Jews and Gentiles who believed in Christ would build together a New Temple. As 1 Peter 2:5 says: “You also as living stones are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Good Rule of Bangor
Straight and divine, holy, exact and constant,
exalted, just and admirable.

Blessed family of Bangor, founded on unerring faith, adorned
with salvation’s hope, perfect in charity.

Ship never distressed though beaten by the waves:
fully prepared for nuptials, spouse for the
sovereign Lord.

House full of delicious things
and built upon a rock; and no less the true
vine brought out of Egypt’s land.

Surely an enduring city, strong and unified, worthy and
glorious, set upon a hill.

Ark shaded by Cherubim, all overlaid by gold, filled with
sacred things and borne by four men.

A very Queen for Christ, clad in the light of the sun,
innocent yet wise, from every side invulnerable.
A truly regal hall with many jewels adorned
of Christ’s flock too the fold, and kept by
the great God.

 A fruitful virgin she and mother undefiled, joyful and tremulous,
submissive to God’s word.

For whom, with the perfect, a happy life is destined,
prepared with God the Father to last to eternity.

Bradshaw’s translation
Bangor Antiphonary

Bangor was to be “an enduring city, set upon a hill” – a new Jerusalem. It was to be the Ark of the Covenant, a new Temple, “the true vine out of Egypt”, a new Perennial Praise. And so it must be again….

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