Revelation 21:1-8

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

November 12, 1997


We are now entering what is known as "eternity".

We’ve been through the tribulation, the Second Coming, the millenium, and the Great White Throne judgment.

Revelation 21:1-8

:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth

Often, when we refer to "heaven" in generic terms, we are referring to this "new heaven and new earth".

Specifically, "heaven" currently refers to the throne room of God, where believers go when they die. It is just a temporary place, and will be dissolved at the end of Christ's 1000 year reign on earth, at the "Great White Throne". (Rev.20:11)

(2 Pet 3:10-13 KJV) 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. {11} Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, {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.

This "new heaven..." is one that goes on forever and ever and ever. This is eternity. It is forever. See also Isaiah 65:17-18; 66:22.


Hastening the end.

How can we "hast" the coming of this new heavens?

I think that even though this is a time ordained and set up by God, there is also an element in which it is tied to the "fullness of the Gentiles". Could it be that somehow the coming of the Lord might be tied to our witnessing to people, leading them to the Lord? Could it be tied to our witness in general?

:1 there was no more sea.

We know that there won't be a removal of all water, since there is a river flowing in the New Jerusalem (Rev.22:1).

But there seems to be no mention of "seas" in the eternal state, only in the millennium.

Sorry, no surfing.

Some have suggested that the purpose of the oceans is for it’s cleansing action.

70% of the earth’s surface is covered with oceans at an average depth of 2.3 miles. The antiseptic value of the salt water (3.5%) cleanses the earth of toxicity. But in the new earth, there will be no need for cleansing.

:2 new Jerusalem

We'll get more in depth next week. Briefly, this is a huge city, 1500 miles cubed. A wonderful place...

:2 prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

preparedhetoimazo – to make ready, prepare

adornedkosmeo – ("cosmetics") to put in order; to ornament, adore

Both of these words are "passive", meaning somebody has done the preparation and adorning for the bride.

Who's been doing all this work?

(John 14:1-3 KJV) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. {2} 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. {3} And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Jesus has been preparing the New Jerusalem for nearly two thousand years now.

Think how wonderful this world is, what an awesome job the Creator has done. Think about Yosemite, the California coast, the Redwoods, and what a great job God did in just six days. Then imagine how wonderful the New Jerusalem will be if Jesus has been taking two thousand years to work on it!

:2 coming down from God out of heaven,

It doesn’t say that it actually touches the earth.

Some have suggested that it might orbit the earth.

:3 the tabernacle of God is with men

tabernacleskene - "a tent, booth, tabernacle".

It is used of Moses' tabernacle in the wilderness (Heb.8:5; 9:2,3,6,8,21), as well as of heaven - which Moses' is a copy of (Heb.8:2; 9:11).

God will set up His tent among men.

:3 he will dwell with them

dwellskenoo – based upon skene, meaning "to have one's tabernacle, to dwell".

God will set up His tent with us.

In a sense, this has already happened –

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (literally, the Word "tabernacled" with us)

When Jesus put on human flesh, God settled down with mankind for a short period of time.

Yet this will be forever.


We’re getting ready for heaven.

Israel’s time in the wilderness was kind of a way of God getting the people used to the fact of what it would be like with Him dwelling with them.

One of God’s promises to Israel, if they would learn to obey God’s laws, and learn to be more like Him –

(Lev 26:11-12 KJV) And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. {12} And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

The fact that Israel failed so miserably shows us how futile it is to try and please God with our own efforts.

Yet the things we see in the Law are the things that God’s going to work out in our lives, to make us ready for heaven.

:4 God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes

wipe away – eksaleipho –"to wipe off, wipe out". It is also translated several places as "blotting out", or "erased" (Col.2:14; Rev.3:5; Acts 3:19).

There will be no weeping in heaven.

We believe that there must be some kind of memory and recognition beyond the grave. Peter was somehow able to recognize Moses and Elijah when they appeared with Jesus (Mat. 17). And there will be things in heaven that are definitely tied to the old life such as nations (21:24), and even the Lamb (22:3) who died for our sins.

Some say that all our bad memories will be erased. I'm not too sure of that. I don't think heaven is going to be a place where we have blank memories. But if we remember any of these painful things, the promise is that it won't cause us tears any more. We'll understand. It'll all make sense.

:4 there shall be no more death

And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. (Rev.20:14)

(1 Cor 15:26 KJV) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

The last enemy abolished will be death (vs.26), after the millennial kingdom.

:4 neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:

sorrow - penthos - mourning, lamenting, sorrow as a widow.

The feeling we experience when we lose a loved one, the feeling of sadness, of loss. This will never again be experienced.

Sometimes us preachers like to paint pictures of heaven as if we will all be standing around, looking at the lake of fire, feeling bad about the people we didn't lead to the Lord.

There does seem to be a sense that we will understand what’s going on in the Lake of Fire –

Isaiah 66:22-24 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. 23 And it shall come to pass, [that] from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. 24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

In the New Jerusalem, we are told that there are walls and gates (Rev.21:12), and that outside is where the unbelievers are (Rev.22:15). I don't think it unreasonable to think that those inside will know what's outside.

It's just that the knowledge of what's outside won't cause us mourning. It will probably cause us to praise God for His infinite wisdom, justice, and mercy.

cryingkrauge – "crying, outcry, clamour (noisy shouting)". Whereas "mourning" (penthos) seems to refer to the emotion, krauge seems to refer to the vocalization, the noise of crying out.

painponos – "labor, toil"; the consequence of toil, "distress, suffering, pain"

The idea of there being no more pain or suffering caused by toil fits well.

Rev.22:3 And there shall no longer by any curse...

Gen.3:17b-19 "Cursed is the ground because of you;in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field; by the seat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

With no more curse (as is during the Millenium too), there won’t be hard work and it’s accompanying pain.

:4 for the former things are passed away.


Hang in there!

Some of you are living with some pretty painful memories. There will be a day when you will no longer be bothered by them.

MANY of you have said to me about your troubles, "When will it all end?" This is where it happens.

Heaven is going to be a wonderful place.

:5 And he that sat upon the throne

God the Father.

:5 Behold, I make all things new

When we accepted Jesus Christ, the process began. Our spirit man became brand new.

(2 Cor 5:17 KJV) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

But in the new heavens and new earth, everything else will become new also.

:5 Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Translation..."You can bet these things are going to happen..."

:6 It is done

The wording here is a little different from what Jesus cried on the cross, "It is finished" (John 19:30). The Greek words are different.

Jesus' words spoke of God's whole plan of redemption being accomplished, finished, completed on the cross.

In Revelation 21, it seems to indicate that all God's works leading up to the new heavens and earth are done.

:6 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end

God the Father is speaking here, as well as in Rev.1:8, calling Himself the Alpha and Omega.

Jesus also calls Himself the same in Rev.22:13.

The "Alpha" is simply the first letter of the Greek alphabet, while the "Omega" is the last.

God here is saying that He is the beginning of all things, and He is the end also. He clarifies it by simply giving us the explanation, "the beginning and the end".

beginningarche – "beginning, origin". God is the origin of all things.

endtelos – "end". There is nothing beyond an "end", Jesus is the end of all things, there is nothing beyond Him.

:6 I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Isaiah 55:1-2 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for [that which is] not bread? and your labour for [that which] satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye [that which is] good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

We spend a lot of time, energy, and money on things that don't really satisfy (vs.2)

The true living water, which satisfies, is free. (How can you buy something when you have no money?)

John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

The Living Water is the Holy Spirit. He comes to fill us and overflow us.

Requirements for living water: Be thirsty, come to Jesus, believe (drink).

:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things

Earlier to the church, God made lots of promises for those who "overcame"

Rev.2:7 - to eat of the tree of life

Rev.2:11 - not hurt by the second death

Rev.2:17 - hidden manna, white stone, new name

Rev.2:26-28 - authority, ruling, the morning star

Rev.3:5 - white garments, book of life, confessed name

Rev.3:12 - a pillar, stay in temple, God's name, New Jerusalem

Rev.3:21 - sit on Jesus' throne

How do we "overcome"?

I John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

It means to trust in Jesus, and to keep trusting in Him.

(Rom 4:18-21 KJV) Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. {19} And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: {20} He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; {21} And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

Abraham's example of faith - even though we know our inadequacies, we are fully assured that God is able to perform what He promises (like delivering us, providing for us, taking us to heaven...)

The promise to us here is that we will inherit these things the things of the New Jerusalem.

Keep on trusting. Keep on looking.

:7 I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

:8 But the fearful …

God now gives John a generalized description of those who are going to be in the lake of fire...

Fearfuldeilois – cowardly, fearful. Interestingly, this is the word Jesus used to describe His disciples when they were scared because of the storm while they were in the boat. (Mat.8:26; Mark 4:40)

Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

I think the implication is that it is being cowardly to not stand up and trust in Jesus.

Unbelievingapistois - of persons, "without faith or trust, unbelieving"

How clear it is, we must believe.

Some people think that God has this list of "horrible things" that, if you do them, you go to hell. They think that as long as they don't do any of those "horrible things", they will go to heaven. Here its clear, you don't go to heaven unless you believe.

Abominableebdelugmenois - from bdeo ("to stink"); to make foul.

Here you have it, the abominable snowman will not be in heaven.

I think this refers to taking the pure, holy, things of God and considering them to be rotten and putrid. Things like the blood of Christ.


mongers – immoral persons – is - immorality, sex outside of marriage.

Sorcererspharmakois - using drugs to "elevate the consciousness", to"reach God". Pharmacy...


In the Old Testament, one of the more popular idols was names "Baal". "Baal" simply means "owner" or "lord".

1Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.

We have a lot of freedom in Jesus to do anything we want. But if the thing we want to do ends up controlling us, or being our master, then we've fallen into a trap.

all liars

1 Cor 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, {10} Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. {11} And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Paul gives a similar sounding list, and then adds, "And such were some of you; but you were washed..."

We can look at lists like this and either get self-condemning ("maybe I'm not going to make it"), or we can get self-righteous ("I thank You God I'm not like those...")

Our attitude should be one of compassion and understanding. If it weren't for God's grace and mercy, this list would be describing us.

It also shows us that those in heaven aren’t those who have never sinned, but those who have been washed.