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Exploring Revelation
“Revelation 21:1-5 The New Jerusalem”
by Art Sadlier   
April 29th, 2012

With the conclusion of chapter 20 the events of time are all in the past.

Now in chapter 21 God unveils eternity before our eyes. The key verse is verse 5, "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."

"Behold I make all things new." We are told about a new heaven, a new earth, a new Jerusalem, a new relationship between God and man, a new glory, a new kind of Temple, a new light and new living conditions. The bitter conflict between good and evil is past.

John is now given a vision of the eternal age. From here on all is new. Verse 1; "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."

We see a new atmospheric heaven and a new earth, both cleansed by fire. Understand in both the Old Testament and the New Testament the word for "new" is used in the sense of freshness rather than new in the sense of existence. Hence we have a fresh heaven and a fresh earth. Compare Psalm 104:5; "Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.

Psalm 102:25-26; “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed.”  Implies made new or transformed.

Hebrews 1:10-12; “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”

The renewal of the earth is referred to by Peter in Acts 3:21; “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Restitution = restoration or renewal.

Peter describes that restitution in 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.” Verse 13; “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

Isaiah 65:17, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” The new will be so beautiful and wonderful by comparison that the old will be totally forgotten.

Three separate and distinct dwelling places for three separate and distinct saved peoples

Of course hell is another dwelling place for all the unsaved of all the ages. Revelation 20:14-15; “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

But aside from the unsaved there are three separate groups from which believers come. I Corinthians 10:32; “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.”

Out of those three groups will come three separate groups of saved people who have three separate distinct and eternal homes.

1 – The Church – from Pentecost to the rapture, God is calling out from both Jew and Gentile; a group of people whom He is saving and placing into the body of Christ.

The churches eternal home will be heaven or the New Jerusalem.

2 – The Jews – All those of the physical seed of Abraham who, during the age of law, the tribulation period and  the millennial kingdom. All of those in those time periods who are saved by faith will be a part of redeemed Israel. These Jews will be saved in the same way Abraham was, (“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness”) (Romans 4:3).

The believing Jews who are not a part of the body of Christ have a separate eternal home. Palestine, the Promised Land is to be the eternal home of redeemed Israel, the holy land.

Genesis 17:6-8; “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” Israel will be a nation before God in their land forever.

Jeremiah 31:36; “If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever.”

Some of Israel’s feasts will be kept as memorials for all of eternity. The Day of Atonement is one of those feasts. Leviticus 16:31; “It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute forever.” Verse 34; “And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.” This will be a memorial feast, sin will be no more.

Israelis will have access to the New Jerusalem but the Promised Land will be their home.

3 - The Redeemed Gentiles – Those who are not a part of the body of Christ; those who are not saved in the church age; those who are also not a part of Israel, except for the Old Testament proselytes. 

These will be Gentiles who are saved during the tribulation period and live to enter the millennial kingdom. It will also include Gentiles saved in the millennial kingdom.

What will be the eternal home of these saved Gentiles? They will inherit the New Earth. Revelation 21:23-26; “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. 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. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.”

These saved of the nations will still be organized into nations in the eternal age.

Let us consider our eternal home.

The New Jerusalem

Verse 2; “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Its name is the Holy City or the New Jerusalem, we rightly call it heaven. Its origin; the Holy City is not created in connection with the new heavens and the new earth, it is a separate entity. It is not a part of the new heavens or the new earth. It is separate entity. It is not a part of the new earth or the new heavens.

The saved of Israel and the saved of the nations will have access to the new heaven but it will not be their home.

Coming down from God out of heaven.” The new Jerusalem is prepared in heaven. Remember Jesus said in John 14:2; “I go to prepare a place for you.” He was talking about the New Jerusalem; that is our eternal home; that is heaven. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. “Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” The bride is the church. The Holy Spirit prepares the bride by the work of regeneration. Christ will come to rapture His bride and take her to His Father’s house.

Then as eternity begins we see the New Jerusalem descending out of heaven. Revelation 21:10; “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.”

Whether it will rest upon the earth or whether it will hover above the earth we do not know. I suspect it will rest upon the earth because it has foundations; Foundations are meant to rest on something.

The Presence of God in the new order – Verse 3; “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.”

God will dwell with all three groups of His people forever. We see four Temples in scripture. The first Temple built by Solomon, the second Temple built by Zerubbabel, the third Temple which is the tribulation Temple and the Millennial Temple. During the eternal age there will be no Temple, sin will be gone and God will dwell with men.

Notice the intimacy we will have with God; (“and God himself shall dwell be with them.”) Remember Jesus said, (“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”) We will have a face to face relationship with God.

Verse 4; “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.”

Tears” This world is a veil of tears. Even for the believer there is heartache that wrings tears from our eyes.

Death” “No more death.” Oh the awful grief as we stand at the graveside of a departed loved one. Who can describe it? Someday death will be gone forever.

Sorrow” Who can number or comprehend the sorrows that are common to man? Someday it will be over forever.

Nor crying” Not only will God wipe away all tears, but He will not allow them to ever return.

Neither shall there be any more pain” No more lying awake wishing for the morning to come; that perhaps some relief may be found for pain

For the former things are passed away” What a wonderful day that will be!

"I am living for the moment, when my Savior’s face I see. Oh, the thrill of that first meeting, when His glory shines on me, when His voice like sweetest music, falls upon my waiting ear. And My name, amid the millions, from His precious lips I here."

Verse 5; “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.”

Behold I make all things new” Heaven is such a wonderful place it is impossible to comprehend it.

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