In this Chapter, we get an insight into the future of the Second Jerusalem, and its measurements. Chapter Twenty-two goes on to tell us things of the very end here.
“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.”
- “No more sea.” All waters, in any event, shall not be done away with, as John describes, at least, one clear river upon the New Earth.
“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (1).
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (2).
We are going to have water in the New Heavens and the New Earth.
The question has been asked many times: “Does this mean annihilation of the old Earth to gain another Earth and another Heaven?”
"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new Earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." (2 Peter 3:13).
Notice the last part of Matthew 28:20.
“…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the END OF THE WORLD.”
It is important to acknowledge the three Greek words translated “world” in our English language and their meanings.
- Greek, “KOSMOS.” The primary meaning is “adornment, embellishment,” and refers to God’s beautiful creation. We get our English word, cosmetics, from this Greek word. In 1 Peter 3:3, concerning women, the Greek “KOSMOS” is appropriately translated “adorning.”
“Whose adorning (kosmos) let it not be that outward adorning of the plaiting of hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel.”
Notice 2 Peter 3:6 reference the Flood.
“Whereby the world [Gr. kosmos] that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.”
The word,“perish,” in this verse is also translated “destroy” in other places. The Greek word is “apollumi,” and is not referring to extinction, BUT rather, ruin, loss—not of being, but of well-being—whether in application to Planet Earth, or human beings. In other words, just as “kosmos” is in reference to the beautification of God’s Earth, or the adornment (Gr.“kosmos”) of a woman with cosmetics; it is only in reference to the exterior, not the whole of the Earth itself.
This is also in perfect accordance with the word “perished” in 2 Peter 3:6. Therefore, the beautiful exterior along with mankind, was destroyed, or perished in the Flood, BUT not the Earth, itself.
- Greek, “AION.” This Greek word is our English word “AEON,” also, spelled “EON.” This is a transliteration from the Greek to our English. It is used as “an end of an era, an age, a dispensation of time, or as an order of things.” “Aion” is translated as “world” in Matthew 28:20, but should be translated “AGE.” In other words, the last half of the verse would properly read,
“…I am with you alway, even unto the end [consummation] of the world (i.e. age).”
- Greek, “GE.” This Greek word is used in reference to the earth or ground, “the terrestrial globe.” It is translated as “earth” in Matthew 13:5, and “ground” in Matthew 13:8 and Matthew 13:23. These are all translated from the same word. Notice the Greek “ge” has been brought into our English, being the first syllable of our English words: Geography, Geophysics, Geometry, etc.
Now, back to Revelation 21:1, in reference to the words, “passed away,” concerning the first Heaven and first Earth. “Passed away” is translated from the Greek word, “PARERCHOMAI.” “PARA” means “from” and “ERCHOMAI” means “by.” Literally, the Greek word means, “to pass by, or pass away.” Notice in Mark 13:31, “Heaven and Earth shall pass away…” (Greek, PARERCHOMAI). This primary meaning is not “annihilation or extinction.” It is “a change from one place, or kind, or situation to another.” In other words, this Earth is going to pass from its present condition, undergoing a vast change and a tremendous remolding, or renovation.
At the end of the Millennial Reign of Christ on this Earth, the Great White Throne Judgment for the lost will occur. All the lost have been cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14,15), along with Satan (Revelation 20:10), for all time and eternity. Then, God will remodel this old Earth into a New Earth, to be inhabited by only the saved in their resurrected bodies. It will, therefore, be completely free from sin, sorrow, and death.
“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” (Revelation 21:4).
While we are on this subject, may I briefly point out that there is another “regeneration” or “rebirth.” This will be in effect all during the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ, in His Kingdom, here on Earth. This is PRIOR to the New Heavens and New Earth, and is called in Acts 3:19-21...
“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration [Christ’s Thousand-Year Reign on Earth] when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
The Greek word for “regeneration” is “PALINGENESIA.” “Palin” means “again,” and “genesis” means “birth.” Spiritually applied, it is a new birth in Jesus Christ, when one accepts Him as their personal Savior.
In Matthew 19:28, it means the Kingdom will be a new birth from what the Earth formerly was. The word, “regeneration” literally means that the Earth will run under the absolute authority of Jesus Christ for a thousand years. This is in contrast to the way unregenerate man has ruined it by applying his philosophy, instead of God’s principles, for the last 6,000 years. The Millennium is not the New Heavens and the New Earth, as unrighteousness will still be present.
“Repent [Greek = “metanoeō, change your mind”] ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord (19),
And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you (20): “
Whom the heaven must receive unto the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (21).
The word “RESTITUTION” is the Greek “apokatastasis.” (From “apo” meaning “back again” and “kathistemi,” meaning, “to set in order.”) In other words, the Kingdom will be set in order according to God’s word, as spoken by the prophets, some of which includes the following:
- There will be peace in the animal kingdom. (Romans 8:19-22, Isaiah 11:6-8).
- The Earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:9).
- The desert shall produce. (Isaiah 35:1).
- Three nations: Egypt, Assyria, and Israel, will be resurrected in a day, all will serve the Lord. (Isaiah 19:23-25).
- The Dead Sea will be healed. (Zechariah 14:1-12) Note: the “former sea” in Verse 8 is the Dead Sea.
- The Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt. (Ezekiel 41, Zechariah 6:12, 13).
- The City of Jerusalem will be rebuilt. (Jeremiah 31:38 and 30:18).
- Christ will sit in the Holy of Holies. (Zechariah 6:12, 13).
These are just a handful of the myriads of prophecies that will be in fulfillment, fully justifing the words “regeneration” and “restitution of all things.” However, the “restitution of all things” is not as the Universalists teach. They hold the unbiblical teaching that eventually all of mankind, including those who have died unsaved, will be saved. They extend this to say that, even Hitler, Stalin, and other evil men will be saved. Some take it to the extreme that even Satan, himself, will be saved. We know this cannot be true, as Revelation 20:10 tells us that Satan’s end is in the Lake of Fire.
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
The Bible says, in Matthew 25:41, that God prepared the “everlasting fire” for Satan and his demons long ago. Satan and his demons, also, made their choice long ago. When someone comes up with a teaching like this, always ask them for “Chapter and Verse, please.” No, this is just another of Satan’s ministers perpetrating a false doctrine.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ (13). And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14).
- In the Millennium there will be sin present in unbelievers. Sin will not be allowed to display itself, such as in murder, theft, adultery, rape, kidnapping, molestation, but the potential to sin is still present in old nature of the unbelievers.
- In the New Heaven and Earth there will be no sin, since all Christians will be void of the old sin nature, as it was done away with when they received their new, glorified bodies. (Philippians 3:20, 21). All of these wonderful things: the New Heavens, the New Earth, and the New Jerusalem, will be enjoyed by those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Not so with the lost. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity.
“…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” (Acts 16:31).
...from eternal damnation!
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).
The Christian has everything wonderful to look forward to in the future. From spending a thousand years with the Lord Jesus Christ in His earthly reign, then onward to the New Heavens, and the newly remodeled Earth for all eternity. What a wonderful Savior we have!
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (2). 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” (3).
Here, as well as in 2 Peter 3:12,13, we find it describes the New Heavens and the New Earth as coming forth from the former ones that had their elements melt with fervent heat. This causes some to wonder if anything might happen to those believers on the Earth at the close of the Millennial Kingdom?
After God has saved the beloved city of Jerusalem, and the camp of the saints, from destruction by the rebellious hordes following Satan in Revelation 20:9, would He somehow allow the saints to be consumed with the Earth? The answer is obviously “No.” Here, in Revelation 21:2,3, is the proof.
The believers are preserved in the Holy City of Jerusalem, and, after the Earth is burned and renewed, the believers descend safely in the Holy City. The physics of this we are not told. Yet, we are told the wonderful results. The New Jerusalem descends in glory, as a Bride. She is the Bride of Christ, by virtue of her housing His people whom He loves, and for whom He died. Notice again, if you will, with the coming of the New Heaven and the New Earth, and the descent of the New Jerusalem from Heaven upon the New Earth, believers now spend their eternity in Heaven upon the New Earth.
“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.”
“The tabernacle of God is with men…” The Greek word for tabernacle is “skēnē,”and it literally means “a tent.” It is the word from which we get the English word, “scene,” since in the Greek dramas, the actors changed costumes in a painted tent right at the stage. There will be no more sin, as God will “tent” with men. He will manifest Himself, in this city, just as He does in Heaven. No wonder this announcement was preceded with the startling word, “Behold!”
“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 (4).
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” (5).
I recently read a periodical from one of the major denominations which said, “We do not take the Book of Revelation literally. We do not believe the book of Revelation.” That was startling, because seven times, God promises a blessing to those that just read the book. God tells us,
“And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life,…” (Revelation 22:19b).
God also tells us not to add anything to this book…
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18).
“God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
In the New Creation, sin is no more. That is going to be wonderful, isn’t it? We will not have the old nature, therefore, we will not sin. Sin always has its evil and damaging effects on both the sinner, himself, and upon others nearby, who are also injured. I hear people say, “I can get drunk and it doesn’t bother anybody but me.” Yes, the kids are home without money. The wife is left by herself. The marriage is on the rocks, but you have allowed your mind to become polluted with some kind of philosophy that, what you do does not effect other people. Wake up! It most assuredly does. People always try to find some excuse to live in their sin. Your life will effect somebody, either for good or for bad.
When God permitted man to sin, we found out the sister of sin is suffering. The two are inseparable companions. Sorrow, the pain, the death of this world, and the agony, all come because of sin. When the Christian sins, “Sister Suffering” will soon be knocking at the door. This is true, despite the skeptics attempting to show that suffering is merely a result of lack of education. Or a necessary rung on the evolutionary ladder.
In the world to come, after the thousand years, and the White Throne Judgment, sin will be gone forever. That will be wonderful, will it not? The saints, who have been given everlasting life, will be “glorified” and they will have a nature confirmed in doing righteousness. They won’t have the old nature, and “Sister Suffering” will have to find another door to knock on. With the passing away of sin, the awful effects of sin depart. Gone will be the "tears, death, sorrow, crying, pain." Could it be said more completely? Could it be spoken more tenderly? "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
“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.”
God announces that, in the world to come, all things will be new...never contaminated by sin, therefore perfect.
"Write these words are true and faithful.” Just as we think that these things are too grand to be true, God again assures us by His sacred, unbreakable, word that these descriptions really are "true and faithful." No earthly pen can hope to convey the completeness of joy, and the fullness of peace that will be ours as Christians, and as born-again believers in God’s New Heaven and New Earth. But someday, God will reveal our heavenly inheritance, and it will be beyond human words.
The false and empty shadows
The life of sin are past—
God gives me mine inheritance
The land of life at last.
One of the first clues that God gives us about the divine inheritance He has for us is found in Isaiah 65:17:
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new Earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”
I wonder if you can grasp the full significance of this verse? What God is revealing to us is, not only is He going to create a New Heaven and a New Earth, it will be so beautiful in sight that it will occupy all our thoughts. We will not even remember this old world, which we now call Earth, as if we even wanted to return.
“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him” (Isaiah 64:4).
The world has no idea what beautiful things that are in store for the Christian. They could, also, have them, if they would only trust Christ as their Savior.
“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.”
As God, Jesus can give eternal life, here pictured as water, since water is a vital life necessity.The only requirement here mentioned is that one must be "athirst," from the Greek word, “dipsao,” meaning to need water badly, and at the same time desire it.” To this one Christ promises to give salvation freely.What a grand promise for the SINNER! For you? Let me ask you. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as the one who paid for your sin on the Cross?
The other day I was at a certain place talking with a young man, about 30, and his father was there, too. The father was probably in his 60s or 70s. I had invited them to church. I said to the young man, “If you can’t make it to church I would sure like to see you in Heaven. Christ died for you and that’s the only way we can go to Heaven.” We talked a little bit, and he turned and walked away. After the son had walked into the house, the father looked at me and said, “Sir, thank you for saying what you said. My son needed that. I sure thank you. We are thinking about coming and visiting your church.” They live quite a ways from the church.
You see, one did not want to hear it, and the other was thankful. He reached out and shook my hand. He thanked me two or three times. “Thank you for saying what you did. My son needs the Lord Jesus Christ.” When you witness for the Lord Jesus Christ, some will want it and some will not.
“He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
The reward for overcoming sin by receiving Christ’s mercy at the cross, is to "inherit all things." That is the same terminology as “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Christ promises to this one, the overcomer, all of the glories of the eternal Kingdom.
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whore mongers, 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.”
A man was talking with me recently and he advised me: “I’ll tell you what! I’m not a murderer and I’m going to Heaven!” Truthfully, he’s one of the biggest liars around. He would lie when the truth would fit better. When you could tell the truth and come out on top, he would still lie because he has been at it so long. I said to him, “There’s a verse here in the Bible that says ‘...all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.’ Have you ever lied?” Well, he didn’t want to talk about that, and away he went! He thought he was going to Heaven because he wasn’t a murderer.
The characteristics, listed in Verse 8, are nothing but the characteristics of a lost person. Not every lost person has murdered, but you might say this, there are many people who have tried to destroy someone else’s reputation with their lies. Physically, they have not murdered the person, but they have sure tried to do it, spiritually. This is a characteristic of the old nature. These, in Revelation 21:8, are those who have never trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife” (9).
“I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” The Bride is the Church, the Body of Christ, and is made up of every born-again believer from the Church Age, the duration of which is from Pentecost to the Rapture. In the Bible, there is only one Church, and the Head of that Church is Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter what denomination you are, when you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are placed into that Body of Christ. That is the true Church, not a denomination.
“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,” (10).
What an exquisite thing that we are going to have a description of now!
“Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal” (11),
Now, John begins to describe the twelve gates.
“And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel” (12):
We fiind that these gates represent all of the redeemed of the Old Covenant.
“On the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates (13).
Now, John describes the foundations.
“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (14).
These represent all of the redeemed under the New Covenant.
Let us review a little background here on this New Jerusalem. God shows John, author of this God-inspired Book of Revelation in the Bible, that great city, Jerusalem, descending out of Heaven. This new city, Jerusalem, is suspended over the Earth as John initially sees it— in the future!
One of the very interesting aspects of these new things is that, while God chose to reveal to us in one single verse the creation of the New Heavens and Earth, there are at least twenty-five verses which describe in very great detail the "great city, the holy Jerusalem," as we find out here in Revelation, Chapters 21 and 22.
Note this. The Heavenly City descends from out of Heaven. Man does not create it. There is no one even living in it during the Millennial Reign. This makes us think of the stone, referred to in Daniel 2:34, 35, and 45, which inaugurates the Earthly Kingdom of God, being described as a stone "cut out” without human hands. God is going to initiate that Milllennial Reign without the help of any human being. When God predicts something, it comes to pass.
While at the same time, this heavenly Jerusalem is for all believers, and while all believers are enjoying their inheritance in the New Jerusalem, all non-believers with Satan, the Beast, and the False Prophet, will have their part in the Lake of Fire. Contrary to popular belief, that will not be a time for a grand reunion. Contrary to the popular concept, it will not be “Bring on the booze, the babes, and the Black Jack deck.” It will be a time for eternal torment. In reality it will be:
- A Place of Consciousness (Luke 16:23,24).
- A Place of Torment (Luke 16:23,24,28).
- A Place of Darkness (Matthew 8:12).
- Eternal Separation from loved ones who are believers (Luke 13:28).
- Not the Slightest Hope of Release (Matthew 25:46, Hebrews 6:2).
- The Torment of Memory in Hell (Luke 16:27, 28).
Just think of the suffering that those in Hell will go through, as they remember the opportunities to accept the Lord Jesus Christ that loved them, but they rejected that kind of love. Now, let us look forward to the sights of unimaginable splendor that await us, as believers, when we get our first look at our eternal, heavenly home. I am sure we will be just as thrilled as aged Apostle was when he viewed this beautiful city.
And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. (15) And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal” (16).
Scholars have calculated this to come out to about 1,200 to 1,500 miles on the side. The total square footage would be about two-thirds the size of America. It has a square base, and its length, breadth, and height are all equal in measurement. The suggestion that the entire city is a huge Holy of Holies could be acceptable. It would be cubical in shape, as was the sacred inner sanctuary of the Temple, and recorded in 1 Kings 6:20. It perfectly fits the truth that this city will be the very place in which God makes His dwelling place, as He says in Revelation 21:22.
“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it”
Let us walk along with John, as the angel shows him the glittering walls and gates of the New Jerusalem. The cubit was the distance from the elbow to the tip of the extended fingers of the hand. It is usually approximated at one-and-a-half feet. If the angel speaking to John was about the size of a man, which is the usual, Scriptural, way in which angels manifest themselves, the wall which surrounds the city would be about 216 feet high. There is more!
In Revelation 21:18-21, John tells us of the appearance of the city, which the angel has just measured, with its several foundations glistening as huge gemstones, which he names. Oh, the glory that abides here in the city where God, and His ransomed people, will forever dwell.
“And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel (17). And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass (18). And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper, the second, sapphire, the third, a chalcedony, the fourth, an emerald (19), The fifth, sardonyx, the sixth, sardius, the seventh, chrysolite, the eighth, beryl, the ninth, a topaz, the tenth, a chrysoprasus, the eleventh, a jacinth, the twelfth, an amethyst (20). And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass” (21).
All of these precious jewels are ours!
To many people in the world today, all this seems like a big joke. But if you die without accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior, you will not get to see these beautiful sights. You will spend your eternity in Hell. Hell is mentioned thirty-one times in both the Old Testament, and the New. Spending an eternity there, with never a chance to get out, is no laughing matter!
My Friend, you need to take this into consideration. How long is eternity? Eternity is forever. Let me give you an example. In this world, man must either decide to accept Christ as his personal Saviour; or, by sinful indecision, reject the Lord Jesus Christ. Based on that decision, he has destined himself, either for God's forgiveness and an eternity in Heaven; or, for God's judgment, and an eternity in Hell.
Try to imagine that this Earth, upon which we dwell, is nothing but sand. Now, try to imagine that a little bird could fly through space from a far-away planet to ours, and carry back with him a tiny grain of sand, and that the round trip would take a thousand years just to carry one grain of sand. Now, try to imagine how long it would take for that little bird to carry away this entire Earth, a grain of sand each thousand years! The time required for this would be but a moment, in comparison to eternity!
Where do you want to spend ETERNITY?
“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.”
Many indeed are the folk songs which are sung about walking through “those pearly gates,” and of walking down “those golden streets!” The redeemed will, someday, have the privilege of walking upon these streets. If you’re saved, you’re going to have the privilege of inheriting the New Jerusalem. You’ll not be confined there, because God is going to create a New Heaven and a New Earth. You’ll have access to the Second Jerusalem there, a city two-thirds the size of the United States. It will be just a “drop in the bucket.” The Bible says, “In my father’s house are many mansions.” This is just one that God has given us there.
The present Jerusalem was built by man’s hands. The heavenly Jerusalem was built without hands, therefore, it is built by God. The earthly Jerusalem was built of stones, mortar, and wood. The heavenly Jerusalem is built of transparent gold, and precioius stones. The earthly Jerusalem was only home for a few generations of people. The heavenly Jerusalem is an everlasting home for all that are in the Lord Jesus Christ. The earthly Jerusalem is constantly embroiled in conflict, but in the heavenly Jerusalem, there will be peace for evermore. The glory of the new city of Jerusalem will lie in the fact that it is the city where God dwells with the Redeemed for all time and eternity. Here, all things are new.
“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.”
If you will notice, 2 Chronicles 7 is the chapter which tells of the dedication of the Temple which Solomon built. He built this in the 10th century B.C. From it, as well as from other places in the Scriptures, we can see that the Temple was a place wherein the Holy God would dwell in a special way in the midst of His people. Because all the inhabitants of the Earth were sinners, God's holiness demanded some type of isolation from this sin. This the Temple provided. But God is a merciful God, who was willing to forgive His people for their sins when they came to Him in repentance. That meant they had changed their mind about their sin, and brought the required sacrifices which only covered sin. When they brought their sacrifices, they were looking forward, in faith, to “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29b). The Temple was where the Shekinah Glory manifested the presence of God, and was the place where this could be done.
It was the place where the priest put the blood upon the altar. When God looked down upon the Holy of Holies, he saw the Ark of the Covenant which contained Aaron’s rod that budded, the Heavenly Manna, and the Broken Law. When God looked down, he could see the Broken Law which represented all of mankind, because we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. He saw the blood that the priests applied upon the Mercy Seat, and that sheilded the sinner from the wrath of God.
But Jesus came as the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. When he looks upon you, He doesn’t see you as a sinner, because He sees the blood of Christ. Your sins have been paid for by the death of Christ on Calvary, and God has placed the righteousness of Jesus Christ to your account, and marked it paid, 2,000 years ago.
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
It must be remembered that prior to the New Heavens and New Earth, prior to the New Jerusalem descending on Earth, the old Earth will be purged by fire. One of the most important passages in Scripture relating both to the Flood, and to the future renovation of this Earth, is found in 2 Peter 3:3-7:
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, (3) And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation (4). For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the Earth standing out of the water and in the water (5): Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished (6): But the heavens and the Earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (7).
What do these “scoffers” deny?
- They deny Creation. “That by the word of God the heavens were of old...”
- They deny the Flood. “And the Earth standing out of the water and in the water:”
- They deny “promise of his coming.” Many are the “scoffers” today. Are you one?
“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof (23). And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the Earth do bring their glory and honour into it” (24).
God, in His wisdom, created our Earth's atmosphere to act as a shield to protect us, at present, from the sun. In June, 1946, the Sun sent out an arch of flame that soared above the Sun over ONE MILLION MILES, which is more than the diameter of the Sun! It also happened in May of 2015.
The power of the sun? The sun is a fantastically hot, cosmic radiation, powerhouse similar to the countless stars out in the vast unfathomable distances of space. Its surface temperature is 11,000 F., and its interior temperature is estimated as high as 18,000,000 F. Imagine, if you can, a cake of ice one-and-one-half miles square, and 93 million miles high. It would reach from Earth to sun. Scientists tell us that this gigantic cake of ice would be completely melted in 30 seconds, if the full power of the sun could be focused upon it!
Now, can you see what natural elements now, already, create a “fervent heat.” A heat, such as this, stands waiting for the moment of God's directive orders. One day, in God's time, this Earth will be purged by fire. That will be the day the Earth burns up! But for the Christian it is a day of new life on a New Earth. According to 2 Peter 3:13,
“We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new Earth.”
“And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there (25). And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it (26). And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life” (27).
That the liar is specifically mentioned ought to give pause to any who have fallen into the sin of telling lies. The Greek of this verse is quite interesting. Notice the sentence construction: "And there shall in no wise enter,...” “But” is made by the Greek emphatic, double negative, “au me,” translated "in no wise," and then by an emphatic exception “ei me” translated “but.” The force of this might be paraphrased,
“And there shall positively not enter, except, however, only those who have their names in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
“Let it be acknowledged as clear, only the sinners who have been washed by the blood of the Lamb will partake of the life to come, those who die in their sins ‘shall positively not enter’ the Holy City, but rather, their end will be in the eternal Lake of Fire.”