ETERNITY! New Heavens & A New Earth!
TIME AFTER THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM
OF LASTING JOY FOREVER!
believe there are three future periods of blessing for Israel.
Two of these will be for all of God’s children- genuine, true Christians- as well. But since we are seeking to establish the truth of these times for Jewish Messianic Believers especially, we are looking carefully at each era, in order to contrast and compare them, and so understand the differences between them; then coming to precious, (and exciting) conclusions!
What the three periods of blessing are:
Israel only –as a nation, on the Earth during
the “Time of Tribulation ” before the
Return of Yeshua to Earth, (21st C.) A Holy, God-blessed
[See study on ‘Israel’s Glorious Future’.]
Earth, for all Believers in Yeshua, after the
Resurrection Day and Jesus’ Return: The Millennial Reign of
King Jesus the Messiah, on a renewed Earth.
(This is called “Pre-Millennialism”. It is one of three interpretations on it.)
[See ‘The Messianic Kingdom’, Parts I & II.] See also “Basics of Bible Prophecy” – very helpful material at: http://members.aol.com/ClayWatts/endbasic.htm
third era, after the ‘Pre-Millennial Kingdom’ - into
Eternity, for all Believers. "The New Heaven and New Earth,"
often, just called 'Heaven'. (Also called 'The Eternal Order' by a
Jewish writer.) We look at this now.
THIRD ERA, ‘ETERNITY’ – THE NEW HEAVEN & NEW
The main part of the Scriptures which describe this time, are in Revelation chapters 21 and 22, but of course like all the New Testament, it is rooted in the Tanakh/O.T. Please read these chapters for yourself, but here are some features looked at in this study.
We hope you will enjoy them as much as we have! It is all so precious…
will be totally NEW! See how many times you can see this word,
and notice it says, “Then the One sitting on the throne
said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’” And
He wanted it to be put into writing, because as He said, “these
words are true and trustworthy!” (Verses 1-5) and compare
with Isaiah 65:17, “Behold, I will create new
Heavens and a new Earth. The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what
I will create.” The Hebrew word used very carefully
here and in Genesis chapter 1, is ‘bara’. It is
something only God can do because it means ‘make
something out of nothing’. Compare the next chapter, 66:22,
“As the new Heavens and the new Earth that I make will
endure before Me’ declares the LORD, ‘so will your
name.’ ” It will not be the same!
in every way! Just imagine, if ADONAI is excited about making
everything new, (and judging by the wonderful things we now know
about this present planet,) it must be going to be really,
really amazing! Even new kinds of 'enterprises'! Full of joyous
surprises! Restful ‘work’, amazing Worship…
Beautiful sights, fragrant scents, music like we’ve never
heard and LOVE!
will be totally DIFERENT! We believe there is not much in the
Bible about ‘Heaven’- the realm ‘where the High
and Holy One dwells, Who inhabits eternity.’ This is the
highest Spiritual realm – not the Sky – but a place we
can barely imagine. God must have a good reason for this. Paul says
in 1 Cor.2: 9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind
has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him, (but God
has revealed [the truth of it] to us by His Spirit.”)
is because we simply could not comprehend it with our finite minds.
It would be like trying to explain to a caterpillar what it would be
like after the chrysalis stage, when it will enjoy the dimensions of
space and flight, as a butterfly. However the Word of God does tell
us some facts, and with our God-given intellect, (which we should not
belittle as a precious gift from God), under the Holy Spirit, perhaps
we can make some suggestions.
You can think about them too. God surely included this last section for a reason!
THE NEW ‘PHYSICAL’ DESCRIPTIONS.
NO seas? “The old heaven and the old Earth had passed away and the sea was no longer there.” (Revelation 21:1.) It seems we have a big ‘clue’ right here in verse 1! How dependent is the Earth on the sea? A large source of food will be gone. It will not be needed since eating, in the spiritual -but real- bodies we will have, will simply be for fellowship, not to sustain life. Neither will there be need for transport which it also provides. (It will no longer form a barrier!)
This suggests, too that there will be no animals, fish nor birds in the New Heavens and Earth, because with physical bodies they need dirt or earth dust for dung, and dead bodies. Believers with spiritual bodies will not need animals either for work or transport or any other reason.
This is how we can distinguish this time from the 1000 year Millennial of Yeshua/ Jesus on the renewed Earth, and just as we have written about that time separately so it will be a very, very different time and place! [See our studies based on Scriptures like Isaiah 2: 1 –5, 11: 1 –9, & 65: 20– 25.]
So what else can we glean from this one phrase, “Then I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth, for the first Heaven and the first Earth had passed away and there was no longer any sea”? (Perhaps the surface will be ‘smoother’ with no deep valleys, or high mountains or tectonic ‘plates’ or volcanic activity –very different!) Maybe Isaiah 40: verse 4 has a double fulfillment?
Since oceans cover more than 3 fifths of this globe, perhaps there is a hint that on the New Earth there will be more than enough space for every saint who ever lived, to enjoy ‘the places’ Jesus said he had gone to prepare for us? Again we must remember - we are speaking of an unknown realm - using what the Word actually says, to reflect on the greatness of a Creative, loving God! But it gives us some 'tangible ideas'.
NO Night! “Night will no longer exist,” (Revelation 21:25 & 22:5.) The whole ecology of the world is inter-dependant at present, as scientists are continually discovering. Even the stars and planets shifting orbits and activities are known to have effects on our Earth’s well being, or otherwise! So here is another mystery, not to be anxious about, for since there will be no night, but only the constant beautiful Sh’khinah Light of God, it can only be good. Perhaps more than some other aspects, the reality of having no night not only indicates a whole different universe, but it emphasises the difference in the bodies we will have. At present we need the night in which to rest and not being able to respond to the rhythm of night and day, as any night worker will tell you, is very difficult. Jesus noted: “People loved the darkness rather than the light because their actions were wicked.” (Y’n.3: 19.)
But- ‘there is more’...as they say and thrilling aspects to meditate on!
“The City has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s Sh’khinah gives it light, and its Lamp is the Lamb.” (21.24) Yeshua is the ‘Light of the world’ in a very precious spiritual way right now, but then He will be the Light of Heaven and Earth, our whole source of Life and Light and the warmth of true Love! You cannot have one without the other. It seems God's Light shone on the world before the sun and moon were created on the fourth day. So in Eternity there will be no seasons nor periods of time that are controlled at present by the sun and the moon, but unimaginable beauty, radiance and wondrous and exciting surprises such as are only dimly, though wonderfully reflected in nature’s variety, here. Compare with Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 60:19&20. “The sun will no longer be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting Light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and all your days of sorrow will end!”
NO drought - Sparkling, beautiful water but not from a stone/concrete fountain!
“The river of the water of Life, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of ADONAI and of the Lamb.” (V.1) Vibrant, clear, shining, life-giving water!
Of course! We know better than any scientist or biologist does, what the ‘secret of eternal youth’ is, don’t we? Spiritual refreshment which never ebbs nor flows, is never polluted, nor inaccessible, nor to be paid for. “To anyone who is thirsty, I Myself will give water free of charge from the fountain of Life”, is only part of the gracious invitation ADONAI makes in Revelation 21:10! There would be very few anywhere in this world- even those with good rainfalls, who have totally free water, let alone this kind of water. Free, clean, accessible and life-giving! And given in right amounts- no floods then!
NO Hunger! Yet the most amazing kinds of fruitfulness!
“Between the main street and the river was the Tree of Life, producing twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing, [alternative word: ‘health’], of the Nations –no longer will there be any more curses.” (Revelation 22: 1&2)
There are three little mysteries here for us with Earthly minds, to whom the Angel was trying to explain these amazing details of this Post-Millennial, Eternal realm.
a) I have suggested that these leaves are for the on-going health of the Christian/Messianic Nations, since the Angel says, “no longer will there be any curses,” which surely means no diseases, or sicknesses, or plagues of any kind. (So no need for ‘healing’). All will be radiant with resurrection Life!
b) Then, because there is no sun or moon, it seems the concept and measurement of time will be very different and no longer a tyrant, like it can be in this life.
But note the continuity of blessing with consistent, but deliciously varied kinds of fruit. ‘Fruit’ being a seasonal wonder, is also just a ‘picture’, for us to visually imagine, as is the reference to 'months'. There will always be a plentiful supply!
These ‘fruits’ will be totally satisfying and be the basis of real fellowship meals, not at all for sustenance, (since everyone will have resurrection bodies), is the real message. This also completes our understanding of the special nature of the trees in the Creation Garden of Eden, especially the ‘Tree of Life’ which Adam and Eve were quickly barred from, after eating the fruit of the ‘Tree of the knowledge of good and evil’. One day the tree of Life will be free to all.
Food in this Earthly life is a necessary ‘evil’, (though it can be enjoyable), it is linked with the curse on Adam and on the ground. One Day it will be for pleasurable fellowship, since we will be in total fellowship with ADONAI and all beings in Heaven.
c) The third mystery is the descriptions of ‘distance’ (between the main street and the river”) and measured dimensions. All are explanations of a marvellous realm and time, beyond the limits of our present awareness of time and space and energy. But their reality is reinforced by these descriptions.
THE AMAZING ‘GEOGRAPHICAL’ DESCRIPTIONS.
A spectacular CITY!
“Also I saw the Holy City, New Yerushalayim, coming down out of Heaven from ADONAI, prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband,” (Revelation 21:2 & 9.)
What about filling in the details from this chapter, for yourself?
Why did it need to come down out of Heaven? ……………………………..
How was its brilliance described?…………………………….
What was the source of its brilliance?………………………...
How many gates did it have on each of its four sides?……….
What did the gates consist of?………………………………..
And whose names were on the gates…………………………
What were the walls made of, and the City?……….................
What are the dimensions of the City?..................................
Very precious, priceless jewels decorate this City.
Now here is a set of thoughts about the description of the precious stones, which are listed as forming the 12 foundation stones, bearing “the 12 names of the 12 emissaries of the Lamb.” But translating the actual descriptions of this amazing Heavenly City into exquisite richness and radiance in a time beyond our mental understanding can only be illustrative of the real magnificence of it! Yet a set of studies by a well-known Bible teacher, has shown some amazing facts. (Videos by Rev. David Pawson, called “the Final Facts,” by Anchor Recordings.) In modern science it has been discovered that certain light rays can be filtered out by using a ‘Polaroid’ lens. Layering one set of polarised beams at right angles with another layer does this. The true radiance of jewels can be scrutinised this way.
The astonishing findings are, that when precious gems are submitted to examination by this method, some are seen to be totally black and lacking in lustre. This is true of diamonds!
However every one of the jewels listed in Revelation 21:19 & 20, by contrast, are amazingly enhanced to show all kinds of radiant colours within each one. They are also angular in shape, allowing them to be used as ‘building blocks’! As John/ Yochanan the writer of this list could never have known this; it emphasises the unique, Divine inspiration of this whole book. (Most translations use the word ‘jasper’ for both the walls of the city, and the first of the 12 foundation stones listed.) Again it is using this world's treasures to try to convey the richness and glory of the Heavenly Jerusalem.
We will be able to find out all about it when by trusting in Yeshua, we are there!
Well! If you get as much thrill out of studying even these aspects of the Heavenly City, as this writer, you will be very enriched!
It is all an amazing picture, painted by Love.
But even these are not the best features of the Heavenly City!
OTHER SPECIAL ASPECTS OF THIS KINGDOM.
1. NO danger “On no day will it’s gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.” (Revelation 21:25)
Can you see an interesting mystery, here? Gates for...? Walls need gates – but does this City need walls? In Zechariah 2:5, God promised a day when, “I Myself will be a wall of fire around it’, (His City) “declares the LORD, and ‘I will be its glory within’.” The message does not impact us much in this modern world, but in ancient times, there was no security for a city without walls, (or without watch-posts!) So the real meaning, again is spiritual freedom, security, peace and rest!
Again the reference to day and night are probably relative, being explained to us who are limited by the cycles of day and night and months and years. This will be as a poet wrote, ‘when time shall be no more.’
2. NO discrimination! Even more important, is the unlimited access! The 12 angels at these gates will welcome all who come, (where-as the gates of the Millennial Holy City described in Isaiah’s prophetic vision (chapter 52:1), admits only those robed in Messiah’s righteousness, leaving evil outside. That was also the picture Yeshua/ Jesus painted in His parable in Matthew 22: 1 –14.)
3. NO sin, or evil of any kind! Just imagine: “Nothing impure may enter it, nor anyone who does shameful things, or lies; the only ones who may enter are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Revelation 22:27 and also verse 8 is a further description.) “But as for the cowardly, the untrustworthy, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who misuse drugs in connection with the occult, idol-worshippers, and all liars- their destiny is the lake of burning fire and sulphur, the second death.” It could seem strange in a way, that this aspect is emphasised in this description of what we believe will be the final, everlasting era of God’s Redemptive Plan to unite His true people with Himself. Because the terrible and just event of the second resurrection and condemnation of all sinners by a Holy God to the Great Rubbish fire, has already happened at the end of the 1000 years and is now past, as written in Revelation 20:11- 15, and Matthew 22:13 eliminating all evil. However perhaps the Holy Spirit had John insert these verses here to strongly underline the seriousness of sin and its consequences.
It is sad these facts are not preached more.
4. NO poverty! Exactly what the riches are, which are important to this beautiful, complete City, we cannot say, -perhaps talents of song, or story? But the description given is: “The nations will walk by its Light and the kings of the Earth will bring their splendour into it.” Presumably these ‘kings’ could be those, who because of their faithfulness as described by Yeshua in His parables, have been rewarded by being made rulers over five, ten, or more cities. (Luke 19:12-19.) Remember, ‘the last, shall be first…’ Faithfulness is God's measurement of our ministries, with words, actions, or loving attitudes in humility. Perhaps Yeshua/ Jesus highest praise was for the lady who actually believed that Yeshua would die, (when even male disciples could not believe it).
In Mark 14:3 –9 we read about it in Yeshua’s words, “She did what she could. She poured perfume on My body beforehand to prepare for My burial.”
Also the widow whose ‘2 mites’ was valued by the King of the Universe as being “more than all the others.” (The ‘small’ gifts of the rich people!) Luke 21: 3. Please be encouraged if you are (perhaps a lonely) Believer who feels what you do is unimportant, or of little value. Yeshua/ Jesus/ Isa Mesih notices you and will reward you.
5. NO sorrow or suffering! To many, this will be the most precious aspect, as given in verse 4: “ADONAI will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will no longer be any death; and there will be no mourning, crying or pain, because the old order has passed away!” It is almost too precious to discuss; yet we should. Just imagine it! No birth defects, sicknesses, ‘accidents’, or bereavements resulting from famines, plagues, rapes, murders, thieves, wars, pornographic sex crimes, kid-napping, slave trading, gambling or so-called ‘natural disasters’. NOTHING BAD AT ALL and a Loving Heavenly Father Who remembers the suffering of each one, and would wipe your tears away!
E. Littlewood wrote about it: “There is no love like the love
of Jesus; never to fade or fall,
‘Till into the fold of the Peace of God, He has gathered us all…
There is no heart like the heart of Jesus, filled with a tender love;
No throb nor throe that our hearts can know, but He feels it above!”
THIS is the final victory Yeshua’s whole ministry has been for!
Final judgement at the great white Throne deals with all evil!
THE SPIRITUAL SECRET OF THIS CITY.
actual Presence is there. All of the above is
possible because of the awesome presence of a Holy and Loving LORD
God. Chapter 21 verse 3 says: “See God’s Sh’khinah
is with mankind and He will live with them. They will
be His peoples, (no racism), and He Himself, God-with-them,
will be their God.” This is emphasised in a further
description of the City. “I saw no Temple in the City, for
ADONAI, God of Heaven’s armies is its Temple, as is the Lamb.”
It is as if the whole City is the holy meeting place, for
unimaginable fellowship with the One who says to us right now, “live
in Me and I will live in you.” (Meditate on John
chapter 17, also.) “The glory which You have given to Me, I
have given to them...I united with them and You with Me...” as
Yeshua prayed. (This fulfills 5 prophecies from the Tanakh/ O.T!)
Holy Royal Family. “The Throne of God and
the Lamb will be in the City, and His servants will serve Him…
They will reign for ever and ever.” (Ch. 22: 3 –5.)
Only Holy people could enjoy such glory in the holy presence of God,
anyone else would be terrified! This is the meaning of one of
Yeshua’s names - ‘Immanuel’ –‘God with
us’, and in reality every Name that portrays His Character of
Love. And we will be allowed to actually serve Him!
bearing His Name! “They will see His Face
and His Name will be on their foreheads.” Many of these
saints were killed for not taking a mark on their foreheads, or
refusing to wear a religious head-covering for the sake of Yeshua,
but now they are glad to bear such a precious Name!
while we understand the Jewish concern to never ‘take the Name
of the LORD their God’ in blasphemy, it seems a little sad that
perhaps they miss the wonderful meanings in all the Names by which He
has revealed His great Character? So that ‘Ha Shem’,
(‘The Name’), while it represents them all, requires that
we never forget all His precious Names.
[See our study on the Names of God.]
A NEW NAME FOR THIS CITY.
Another secret revealed in Revelation 3:12b is that this Post-Millennial City will actually be given a new Name, and God will also reveal Himself by a new NAME! This was part of Yeshua’s promise to overcoming Believers, “I will write on him the Name of My God’s City, the new Yerushalayim coming down out of Heaven from My God, and My own new Name.” His Name represents His whole personality of Love, as we have said.
So, this is a summary of thoughts about this special time after the 1000- year reign of Yeshua on Earth. Other aspects could be explored- like, ‘how we will worship and serve bringing creative splendour to Jesus’? However, now maybe you can go back to read about that ‘Millennium’, the second period of glorious blessings for all God’s People –the one before this one we have just read about. Peter referred to it in Acts 1:35... [See ‘Messiah’s Kingdom, Parts I & II.]
Surely ADONAI, Who knows we love to know about the future, had His disciple write all this for our real comfort in persecution, and encouragement even in ordinary life. No Earthly mind could have ‘invented’ such a beautiful scenario!
Is the way hard for you as a Christian/Messianic Believer? Does the word ‘hatikva’, or ‘amel,’ (hope) have a hollow ring to it? Notice how often the letters of the New Testament mentions the word ‘hope’ in such a certain and encouraging way! And rejoice in the HOPE we have!
TIME FACTORS TO THINK ABOUT.
At the beginning of this study, we suggested there are three separate periods of time given in our Bibles of special blessings. It seems very helpful to separate them, so we can enjoy their special significance. Many times all the above Scriptures and others are all put together under the heading of ‘Heaven’ or even what we will enjoy when we die, which is not quite true. They need ‘resurrection bodies’ before they can be really experienced, and we will receive these when Yeshua/ Jesus Returns!
do not want to detract from the glory of the Future for all Believers
(in the full salvation of Yeshua/ Jesus /Isa),
but perhaps you will find even more joy in “rightly dividing” them,
by prayerfully examining them?
We especially pray you will read through these lovely subjects and receive the joy and comfort they can bring you!
We offer them to you, in the Name above all Names.
from the New Testament:
2 Peter 1:11, & 3:13. Thus you will be generously supplied with everything you need to enter the eternal Kingdom of our LORD and Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah... [in the Millennium] but we, following along with His promise, wait for [the time after that] New Heavens and a New Earth, in which righteousness will be at home. (It seems these Scriptures could refer to two periods of time, both of which we hope for!) And so we are studying them here.
do so because of the joy that is set before us, to comfort us
What a wonderful, gracious God we worship!