4/11/18 Revelation 21:1-8 “The new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem”
Revelation 21:1 – 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.
new – kainos (new; recently made; fresh; recent; unused; unworn; of a new kind)
neos (also translated “new” in the NT) refers to time, while kainos, refers to quality. (kainos can mean recently made as it refers to its appearance; it is as something that has never been used.)
Mark 2:22 – And no man putteth new (neos) wine into old bottles: else the new (neos) wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new (neos) wine must be put into new (kainos) bottles.
The wine was new, that is, in terms of time. It hadn’t existed for long. However, the bottles, while they were possibly recently made, may also have existed for some time now, yet only now were they being used. Thus kainos means “unused”. Jesus’ tomb was not new in time but new in that it hadn’t been used before, or only recently made use of. And laid it in his (Joseph’s) own new (kainos) tomb, (Matthew 27:60)
Thus it is possible that we are not talking about a newly-created heaven and earth, but something that may have existed for some time already, yet unused. Just as the earthly tabernacle was a shadow of the heavenly tabernacle, the old heaven, earth and Jerusalem may well be a shadow of the true that exists in God’s heavenly domain even now.
Hebrews 8:2-5 – 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore [it is] of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. 4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, [that] thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
Jerusalem is the city of the great King, the Lord God.
Psalm 48:1-2 – 1 Great [is] the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, [in] the mountain of his holiness. 2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, [is] mount Zion, [on] the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
Also note that the new replaces the old in terms of usage.
Isaiah 65:17-25 – 17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever [in that] which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner [being] an hundred years old shall be accursed. 21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. 22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree [are] the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they [are] the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. 24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust [shall be] the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.
It does seem that the old heaven and earth will be destroyed by fire, but does this refer in some way to the end of the tribulation, or following the millennium? The context does suggest that it follows the millennium.
2 Peter 3:12-13 – 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
The new earth has no more sea, yet does this exclude rivers, lakes etc? Will there be fish and other water creatures in the future? If so, they’ll need somewhere to live!
Some commentaries say that the sea here refers to the wicked who will no longer exist (see Isaiah 57:20-21). But this might also require that the new heaven and new earth be likewise symbolic? Or is the lack of sea symbolic of the removal of national boundaries in the future? I believe that there will be no more division between nations caused by being separated by sea, for there will be no more land masses divided by sea.
Revelation 21:2 – And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
prepared – or make ready. See Luke 1:17 – And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
Matthew 26:19b – and they made ready the passover.
bride – nymphe (bride; betrothed woman; recently married woman; young wife; daughter-in-law)
adorned - kosmeo (to put in order; arrange; make ready; prepare; to ornament;
metaphorically: to embellish with honour, gain honour) We get the word “cosmetics” from this Greek word. It is interesting to note that this word derives from the same root word as kosmos (the world, or the ordered world), thus “cosmos”.
And John saw new Jerusalem, the holy city, descending from God out of heaven made ready as a bride would be ornamented for her husband.
Isaiah 49:18b – [As] I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them [on thee], as a bride [doeth].
Isaiah 61:10 – I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth [herself] with her jewels.
Also note the current status of heavenly Jerusalem in Paul’s day.
Galatians 4:26 – But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Revelation 21:3 – And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle (skene – habitation, dwelling-place) of God [is] with men, and he will dwell (skenoo – tabernacle, dwell) with them, and they shall be his people (plural – “peoples”), and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.
Ezekiel 37:27 – My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Revelation 7:15-17 – 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
In fact, it will go back to what Adam and Eve experienced before the fall, a close relationship between God and man. Sin destroyed this relationship; the removal of sin and its consequences will restore this relationship again.
Genesis 3:8 – And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
Revelation 21:4 – And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow (mourning), nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
shall wipe away – to anoint or wash in every part; to besmear: i.e. cover with lime (to whitewash or plaster); to wipe off; wipe away; to obliterate; erase; wipe out; blot out
Used for “will (not) blot out” in Revelation 3:5 – He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
It is similarly used in Acts 3:19a – Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out
Note that “are passed away” in 2 Corinthians 5:17 is the same word (parerchomai) in Vs 1 above, and from the same root word erchomai as “were passed away” (aperchomai) in Vs 4 above, and that “new” in 2 Corinthians 5:17 is the same word used for “new” (kainos) in Vs 1, and “new” in Vs 5 below. Therefore we may assume that 2 Corinthians 5:17 is a parallel meaning to the passing away of the old for the new in our passage today.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away (parerchomai); behold, all things are become new (kainos).
Therefore death, sorrow (mourning), crying, and pain (all of which produce tears) will be in the past. Eternal life without tears!
Such comparisons (in the original language) assist in demonstrating the context of the meaning of Bible passages.
Revelation 21:5 – And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new (kainos). And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
This relates to the 2nd part of 2 Corinthians 5:17: all things are become new. When old (or former or first) things are passed away, then something must take their place, things that are not necessarily new in time, but are unused replacements of the old. If you offload the old but replace it with nothing, then you have just that: nothing. So when the old goes, the new must come. The old must be annulled before the new can come into effect.
Hebrews 10:9b – He taketh away the first (covenant), that he may establish the second (new covenant).
Old things must pass away; all things must be made new.
He that sat upon the throne – It was considered unacceptable to say God’s name except in praise, which is why John denotes God on the throne as “he” or “him”. It’s much the same reason why “curse” or “cursed” or “blasphemed” etc in the OT is changed when put with God’s name. God’s name is considered too holy to be used lightly.
Eg Job 1:5 – And it was so, when the days of [their] feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings [according] to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
However, the word used for “cursed” here is barak (bless; praise)
But why would Job sacrifice in case his children might have blessed God? Therefore the translators have seen what the Hebrew writer was really saying, that Job’s children might have cursed God, yet they couldn’t write “cursed” and “God” together because that would have been sacrilegious. Likewise in 1 Kings 21:13, Naboth is stoned because he blasphemed God, yet the Hebrew actually uses barak (blessed or praised).
John is told to write because he can be sure that what he is being told is true and faithful. It may have sounded astounding to John that such things could happen, that everything to do with heaven and earth and Jerusalem would all just pass away so that all things could be made new. So John is assured that indeed such knowledge is true and faithful; John can trust what he hears to be the “gospel truth”!
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 (as a gift).
There are only 2 times where ginomai is translated “It is done.”, once here, and Revelation 16:17, although the word ginomai is translated otherwise 676 times.
Here it denotes a completeness, all loose ends tied up. All things have come to pass as foretold. Nothing has been omitted.
Alpha and Omega – the 1st and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Used four times, all in Revelation (1:8; 1:11; 21:6; 22:13) and all referring to God (either the Father or the Son, depending upon the context), all adding that He is the beginning and the end and/or the first and the last (which is what alpha and omega represent in the Greek alphabet). It signifies the eternalness of God, that He was in existence before time began, and will be in existence after time has ended, the One who always was, is and will be (Revelation 1:8). It may be seen as the equivalent of “I AM” as in Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58. God never began existence; God will never cease existence; God has always existed.
John 4:14 – But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Revelation 22:1 – 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.
Note the tree of life in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9; 3:24).
Revelation 21:7 – He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
overcometh – conquer; get the victory.
shall inherit – to receive a lot; receive by lot; receive an inheritance; be an heir; receive portion assigned to one; become partaker of.
shall inherit all things – that is, shall not miss out on any of the benefits promised for the children of God. No-one will get a part-inheritance. It’s all or nothing! You inherit all things, or you inherit nothing, depending on whether or not your name is in the book of life!
God said to David through Nathan the prophet:
2 Samuel 7:14-15 – 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took [it] from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
Note the similarity of Revelation 21:7 with Revelation 21:3. However, the statement in Vs 7 is a promise to each individual (similar to God’s promise to David in 2 Samuel 7:14), while Vs 3 was to the peoples of God as a combined group.
God is the God of all His people, but He is also the God of every single individual of His family.
Revelation 21:8 – But the fearful (or timid), 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.
fearful – not having the boldness to stand up for what they believed, therefore they might as well not believe.
unbelieving – apistos (unfaithful; faithless; not to be trusted, perfidious; unbelieving; without trust in God)
abominable – to render foul; abhorrent; abominable; detestable
whoremongers – pornos (a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire; a male prostitute; a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse; a fornicator)
sorcerers– pharmakeus (one who prepares or uses magical remedies; sorcerer)
idolators – eidololatres (a worshipper of false gods; an idolater; used of any one, even Christian, who is participant in any way in the worship of the heathen, esp. one who attends their sacrificial feasts and eats of the remains of offered victims; a covetous man as a worshipper of Mammon)
liars – pseudes (lying; deceitful; false) All false people. Pseudo-Christians?
the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone – that into which the wicked will be cast because their names are not in the book of life (see Revelation 20:10; 14-15.)
the second death – the judgment of the wicked, all those who are not written in the book of life (see Revelation 20:11-15).
But, Christians aren’t perfect. What happens if a Christian commits murder? The answer is to do with your sins actually being blotted out. That is, they will not be taken account of. If you choose to believe on Him that justifies the ungodly, then your faith is counted for righteousness – Romans 4:5. It’s not your sin that will condemn you, but your refusal to accept the free gift of salvation offered to all mankind. Those who will not enter heaven will be those who have not acknowledged (by acceptance) the gift of a free pardon for their sins, and so they will die in their sins, but not to pay for their sins!
John 8:24 – I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.
So, while your sins still remain a fact, your repentance and acceptance of the gift of salvation will then legally blot out the record of your sins. No conviction may be recorded! Because Jesus has died for all sins, therefore no sin remains to be paid for, ever, for all mankind. But the fact of that sin remains on your record even when the penalty is paid for on the cross, unless it is blotted out by your repentance and acceptance of the free gift of salvation.
Acts 3:19a – Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out
However, it is not your sins that will send you to hell but the insufficiency of your works to buy your entrance into heaven (Romans 4:4-5).
An abominable person is an abomination to God, so what is an abomination to God?
Proverbs 6:16-19 – 16 These six [things] doth the Lord hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Sexual sin was an abomination to God – Leviticus 18.
Graven images of false gods were an abomination to God – Deuteronomy 7:25-26
Worshipping false gods was an abomination to God – Deuteronomy 12:30-31
Serving false gods was an abomination to God – Deuteronomy 13:13-14
Sacrificing blemished animals was an abomination to God – Deuteronomy 17:1
Those who sacrificed their children in the fire, diviners, observers of times (augury, soothsayers, fortune tellers, tellers of the future, superstitions of certain days), enchanters (observers of omens), witches, charmers (ones who dealt with spells, potions and charms), consulters with familiar spirits (mediums), wizards and necromancers (contacting of the dead) were all abominations to God – Deuteronomy 18:10-12
Men dressing to appear like women or women dressing to appear like men was an abomination to God – Deuteronomy 22:5
Ill-gotten or sinful earnings given to God were an abomination – Deuteronomy 23:18
Cheating in business was an abomination to God – Deuteronomy 25:13-16
Note the abomination of desolation as spoken by Daniel and quoted by Jesus in Matthew 24:15, desecrating the holy place with filthiness.
The pharisees were an abomination, for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God – Luke 16:14-15
Ultimately, mystery Babylon is the mother of all the abominations of the earth as per Revelation 17:4-5. Just as all lies stem from satan, all abominations stem from Babylon.
Galatians 5:19-23 – 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.