The New Heavens and Earth

I. The age of eternity begins after the Day of the Lord is complete.

A. There are 32 references in the Old Testament.

1. Some seem to stress an indefinite period.

a. Isaiah 34:8 – For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
b. Ezekiel 30:3 – For the day is near, Even the day of the LORD is near; It will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles.
c. Zechariah 14:1 – Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst.

2. Some seem to stress an immediate end.

a. Isaiah 13:9 – Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it.
b. Joel 2:31 – The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
c. Amos 5:20 – Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?

B. There are 5 references in the New Testament.

1. The emphasis appears to be on the sudden and catastrophic end.

a. Acts 2:20 – The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
b. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 – For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
c. 2 Peter 3:10 – But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

2. The Revelation appears to note that “time” as we know it is over when that “day” is finished.

a. Revelation 10:6 – And swore by him that lives forever and ever . . . that there should be time no longer:
b. Revelation 16:17 – And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
c. Revelation 21:6 – 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.

II. The New Heavens and the New Earth are brought into existence.

A. They are created are will last forever.

1. Isaiah 65:17 – For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

2. Isaiah 66:22 – For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

3. Revelation 21:5 – Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

B. They are totally different than that which we now observe.

1. 2 Peter 3:13 – Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

2. Revelation 21:1 – Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

III. The New Jerusalem is the focal point for the New Heavens and the New Earth.

A. It is called “the Bride, the Lamb’s wife.”

1. Revelation 21:2 – Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

2. Revelation 21:9-10 – Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God

B. It will be the dwelling place of God among men.

1. Revelation 21:3 – And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

2. Revelation 21:22 – But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

3. John 14:1-3 – "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

C. It will be constructed beyond our imagination to grasp now.

1. It is built as a square – perhaps as a cube – 12,000 “furlongs” square  (Revelation 21:16).

a. An English “furlong” is = to 1/8 mile or 220 yards.
b. Thus, 12,000 furlongs = 1,500 miles [12,000/8] square.

2. It is said to be “coming down” from God “out of heaven (Revelation 21:2; 10).

a. The compound participle is from kata (against, alongside) and basis (to step)
b. The term is always translated as “descending” from somewhere “up.”
c. The idea is that it is “suspended” in heaven OR has “steps” from Earth to the Throne presence of God.

3. It has walls that are 144 “cubits” thick (Revelation 21:17).

a. There are various proponents indicating that a “cubit” would have been as short as 15 inches and as long as 21.5 inches.
b. Most bible scholars suggest that the mid-range (18 inches) is the best measurement.
c. Thus, 144 cubits would have been 216 feet thick [144 X 18 = 2,592 inches / 12 inches = 216 feet]
d. IF the measurement is meant to be the height of the wall as opposed to the thickness of the wall – then the city towers beyond the wall, and the thickness is unknown.

4. The walls consist of 12 “foundations” (Revelation 21:14).

a. Some have understood this as “layers” going upward.
b. Some have suggested that each foundation is connected to the 12 gates and acts as a “founding” layer between each gate.

5. The wall building material is “jasper” (Revelation 21:18)

a. Jasper is a precious stone of various colours. Some are red, others blue or purple, or green, and still others the colour of brass.
b. Jasper us usually multi-coloured, with marbling and whorls within.
1) Jasper was one of the 12 stones in the breastplate of the High Priest.
2) Revelation 4:3 speaks of the appearance of Jesus Christ on the Throne as like a “jasper and a sardine stone” – both emphasize the red colour.
3) Revelation 21:11 indicate that the overall appearance of the New Jerusalem was like a crystalline Jasper stone.

6. The wall contained 12 gates, 3 on each side of the square. 

a. Each gate was made of one pearl.
b. Each gate may have been a doorway running the height and width of the wall (144 cubits).
c. Each gate may have been single pearl set as a “door” in a doorway.
d. Revelation 21:5 indicates that the “gates” were never shut.

7. The wall foundations were each “garnished” (Revelation 21:19) with 12 different kinds of precious stones.

a. Jasper – a red, marbled stone
b. Sapphire – mostly blue to light blue
c. Chalcedony – widely varied – blue, yellow, red, white, brown
d. Emerald – deep green to light green
e. Sardonyx – varies from red to black
f. Sardius – varies from orange to black
g. Chrysolite – varies from blue to bright red
h. Beryl – normally colourless (clear)
i. Topaz – light green; aquamarine
j. Chrysoprasus – Layered stone with mica – green to brown
k. Jacinth – varies from clear to redish-blue to purple
l. Amethyst – mostly purple
m. Note:  The “garnish” of each foundation may well indicate some form of “collage” of these 12 stones on each foundation.  It is also possible that each foundation was covered with a single type of stone.

IV. The central focal point of New Jerusalem is the Throne, the River, and the Tree.

A. There is no Temple (Revelation 21:22)

1. The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple.

2. The light of Their presence eliminates the need for the sun and moon (21:23)

3. The saved nations will “walk” in the light of the Throne Presence (21:24)

4. The “night” is unnecessary in the New Jerusalem (21:25)

5. The nation’s rulers will bring their glory and honor into New Jerusalem (21:26)

6. The Twice-Born are the only human beings permitted to enter (21:27)

B. The “River of the Water of Life” and the “Tree of Life” will flourish.

1. The river “clear as crystal” flows from the Throne (22:1)

a. The “street” (singular) may run alongside the river (21:21)
b. The “street” may well BE the river flowing from the throne (22:2)

2. The Tree of Life is multiplied along both sides of the river (22:2)

a. There may be three rows; one on each side of the river and in the middle of the street (22:2)
b. There is no indication that the Tree of Life extends onto the Earth.

3. The leaves of the Tree of Life are a source for healing (22:2)

a. There are, apparently, 12 different fruits produced by the Tree of Life
b. There is some form of time-cycle that is visible (fruit every month).

V. The Book closes with a verification of the visions and warnings against distortion.

A. These visions are true and faithful (Revelation 22:6-17)

1. The Lord Himself testifies to the truth of these visions (22:6-7)

2. The Apostle John verifies what he saw (22:8-9)

3. The Alpha and Omega adds important assurances (22:10-15)

a. The “TIME” is at hand (near).
b. The human conditions and judgments are set.
c. The Twice-Born are given the right to the Tree of Life.
d. The “dogs” etc. are outside (probably outside of eternity).
e. The testimony is verified by angels sent to the churches.
f. The invitation “come” is issues and valid.

B. The rejection of these visions brings disaster (Revelation 22:18-19)

1. Add to these words and the plagues will be added to you.

2. Take away any of the words and you will be taken out of the Book of Life.

C. The promise of Christ’s coming is reiterated (Revelation 22:20)

1. The “quickly” cannot mean “soon.”

a. He has already been over 2,000 years since this was written.
b. He would be misleading us if “quickly” was to be understood as “soon.”

2. The “quickly” means “suddenly” – in an “instant”

a. Luke 17:26-27 -- "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.”
b. Genesis 7:11 -- In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
c. Matthew 24:38-39 -- "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

Matthew 13:33-37 -- Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— "lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!

Series: 
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
Lesson: 
#13
Book: 
Revelation
Verses: 
ch. 21-22

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