Revelation 21:1-8

Sunday Morning Bible Study

July 8, 2001


We’ve been through the Rapture, the Tribulation, the coming of the antichrist, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Thousand Year reign of Jesus on earth, and the Great White Throne judgment. We are now entering what is known as “eternity”, the “forever and ever” of the Bible.

:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away

newkainos – new; as respects form, recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn; as respects substance, of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of

passed awayparerchomai – to go past, pass by; metaph. to pass away, perish


It’s all going to burn

After Jesus returns and rules on the earth for 1,000 years, there will be a brief moment when Satan will be released one last time. Satan will create one last huge revolt against Jesus, the fire of God will wipe out all of God’s enemies, and there will be a final judgment known as the “Great White Throne Judgment” (we covered this last week).
(Rev 20:11 KJV) And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
It is at this time that the earth as we know it will disappear.  Peter tells us that it will all burn up with intense heat (2Pet. 3:10).
The point is, where do you place your “valuables”? Where are your “investments”?
Jesus said,
(Mat 6:19-21 NLT)  "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. {20} Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth--eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. {21} Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.
It’s not hard to get into the trap of wanting and buying the latest “stuff”. We like to have the latest computer, the latest software, the hottest car, and the nicest house. And then we have to work two or three jobs to support all the payments.
Unusual Burial
Last September the San Francisco Chronicle reported a strange scene at the Cypress Lawn burial grounds. A young man who had been killed in a motorcycle accident was buried. That in itself was not so uncommon, but the fact that the Harley-Davidson bike he was riding when he was killed was buried with him was highly unusual! His sobbing mother explained, “It was his whole life!”
One day it’s all going to burn up. One day as a Christian, you will be standing in heaven, and what will you have sent on ahead?  It’s not the stuff you’re buried with that goes ahead, it’s the way you serve Jesus now that sends stuff up ahead.

:1 and there was no more sea.

seathalassa – the sea; used of the sea in general; used specifically of the Mediterranean Sea or the Red Sea.  No more sea.  No more surfing or sailing.  Bummer.

Why no sea? There are many theories, but basically God hasn’t told us why.

Some have suggested that the purpose of the earth’s oceans is to act as a cleansing agent.

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%) works to clean the earth of poisons.  But in the new earth, there will be no need for cleansing.

: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.

coming downkatabaino – to go down, come down, descend

preparedhetoimazo – to make ready, prepare; to make the necessary preparations, get everything ready; metaph. drawn from the oriental custom of sending on before kings on their journeys persons to level the roads and make them passable; to prepare the minds of men to give the Messiah a fit reception and secure his blessings

a bridenumphe – a betrothed woman, a bride; a recently married woman, young wife; a young woman

adornedkosmeo – to put in order, arrange, make ready, prepare; to ornament, adore; metaph. to embellish with honour, gain honour.  The verb is a perfect tense meaning that the “adorning” has happened in the past and the results continue on into the present.

husbandaner – with reference to sex; of a male; of a husband; of a betrothed or future husband

We’ll look more at the “New Jerusalem” next week.

Though in a sense this is indeed is an actual “city” that is 1500 miles square, there is a sense in which this New Jerusalem is a picture of us as well. The city is composed of its inhabitants. The Bible describes Jesus as the groom and the church as the bride.


It’s Makeover Time

The bride was “adorned” (kosmeo, “cosmetics”), she had her “makeup” on she was ready for the wedding.
(Eph 5:25-28 KJV) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; {26} That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, {27} That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. {28} So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Jesus loves His bride the church and gave His up His life to pay for the sins of the world. But Jesus is also working to prepare His church for the wedding day by “washing” the church in the “water” of His Word, it’s a “makeover”.

As you and I spend time daily reading the Bible, God’s Word, Jesus will do His work of taking away spots and wrinkles. He is making us more and more beautiful as we let Him work in our lives.

It works like this – as you open up God’s Word, you will find that Jesus will begin to speak to you. Sometimes you will hear Him tell you about how much He loves you. Sometimes He will tell you things to encourage you and build you up. Sometimes He will point out the “spots and wrinkles” in your life. As you let Jesus work in your life, He will make you more beautiful, prepared for heaven.

Husbands, we too are to wash our wives in our own words as well.


Marriage and Seven Years of the Common Cold
1st year: “Sugar dumpling, I’m really worried about my baby girl. You’ve got a bad sniffle and there’s no telling about these things with all this strep going around. I’m putting you in the hospital this afternoon for a general checkup and a good rest. I know the food’s lousy, but I’ll be bringing your meals in from Rossini’s. I’ve already got it arranged with the floor superintendent.”
2nd year: “Listen, darling, I don’t like the sound of that cough. I called Doc Miller and asked him to rush over here. Now you go to bed like a good girl, please? Just for papa.”
3rd year: “Maybe you’d better lie down, honey; nothing like a little rest when you feel lousy. I’ll bring you something to eat. Have you got any canned soup?”
4th year: “Now look dear, be sensible. After you’ve fed the kids, washed the dishes, and finished the floor, you’d better lie down.”
5th year: “Why don’t you take a couple of aspirin?”
6th year: “I wish you’d just gargle or something, instead of sitting around all evening barking like a seal!”
7th year: “For Pete’s sake, stop sneezing! Are you trying to give me pneumonia?”
From the Saturday Evening Post several years ago

The words you use with your wife will either tear her down or build her up. If you continue to wash her with kind, edifying words, she will grow more and more beautiful under your love.

:3 …and he will dwell with them …

the tabernacleskene – tent, tabernacle, (made of green boughs, or skins or other materials); of that well known movable temple of God after the pattern of which the temple at Jerusalem was built

he will dwellskenoo – to fix one’s tabernacle, have one’s tabernacle, abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent), tabernacle; to dwell

This is “heaven”. Currently we refer to “heaven” as the place where God is dwelling right now, but in the future, this is where we will be spending eternity. Heaven is being in God’s presence.

:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes …

shall wipeexaleipho (“out of” + “to anoint”) – to anoint or wash in every part; to wipe off, wipe away; to obliterate, erase, wipe out, blot out

deaththanatos – the death of the body; that separation (whether natural or violent) of the soul and the body by which the life on earth is ended; with the implied idea of future misery in hell

sorrowpenthos – mourning

cryingkrauge – a crying, outcry, clamour

painponos – great trouble, intense desire; pain; gives prominence to the effort (work as requiring force)

formerprotos – first in time or place; in any succession of things or persons

are passed awayaperchomai – to go away, depart


No more tears

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.
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. Instead we will begin to grasp God’s infinite wisdom, justice, and mercy.

:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.

God is the One that is sitting upon the throne.

I makepoieo – to make; to do; present tense, continuous action

newkainos – new; recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn; of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of


A fresh start.

The word “make” is not a “future” tense, which would be, “I will make all things new”. It is present tense, “I am continually making all things new”
God offers to each of us today a new start. Paul wrote,
(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.

When you open your heart up to Jesus, Jesus will forgive the things in your past and He will give you a new start.

:5 And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

truealethinos – that which has not only the name and resemblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name, in every respect corresponding to the idea signified by the name, real, true genuine; opposite to what is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretended; it contrasts realities with their semblances; opposite to what is imperfect defective, frail, uncertain; true, veracious, sincere

faithfulpistos – trusty, faithful; of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties; one who kept his plighted faith, worthy of trust; that can be relied on

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

:6 And he said unto me, It is done.

It is doneginomai – to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being; to become, i.e. to come to pass, happen; to arise, appear in history, come upon the stage; to be made, finished.  Perfect tense.

At this point in history, God’s entire plan for the planet Earth will be finished.

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

Alphaa – first letter of Greek alphabet

Omegaomega – the last letter in the Greek alphabet; the last

the beginningarche – beginning, origin; the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader; that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause

the endtelos – end; termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be (always of the end of some act or state, but not of the end of a period of time); the end; that by which a thing is finished, its close, issue; the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose

Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last letter. God is the beginning and the end. Everything starts with Him and everything will end with Him.

Jesus too is the “Alpha and Omega” (Rev. 22:13) because He too is God.

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

him that is athirstdipsao – to suffer thirst, suffer from thirst; figuratively, those who are said to thirst who painfully feel their want of, and eagerly long for, those things by which the soul is refreshed, supported, strengthened

freelydorean – freely, undeservedly


Jesus helps thirsty people.

The “water of life” or “living water” is the Holy Spirit. He is the One who satisfies our deepest thirsts. Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to those who are thirsty, to those who recognize that they have a deep need in their life for God (John 7:37-39).
(Isa 55:1-2 KJV) 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?)
Do you realize that you have an emptiness inside? We try to fill it with all kinds of stuff, stuff that doesn’t satisfy. Only Jesus can satisfy.

:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

He that overcomethnikao – to conquer; to carry off the victory, come off victorious

shall inheritkleronomeo – to receive a lot, receive by lot; esp. to receive a part of an inheritance, receive as an inheritance, obtain by right of inheritance; to be an heir, to inherit

Earlier, in Revelation 2-3, Jesus made lots of promises for those who “overcame”. He told them they would “eat of the tree of life”, that they would have “authority”, “white garments”, and many other things.

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

But the best gift of all is God Himself. We will be with Him. It only comes to those who “overcome”.

What does it mean to “overcome”?

It means that you overcome the things in this world that are trying to lead you away from God. It means that you overcome temptations. It means that you overcome the temptation to quit. It means that you don’t stop following Jesus.


Be an overcomer

Three steps to “overcoming”
1. Believing
The process of “overcoming” starts with believing in Jesus.

(1 John 5:4-5 KJV) 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?

Jesus is the real “overcomer”, and our trusting in Him gets us connected to His victory.

(John 16:33 KJV) These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

When I believe in Jesus, He comes into my life and gives me the ability to overcome the world.

(1 John 4:4 KJV) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

2. Living
The process of overcoming works itself out when I do what is right.

(Rom 12:21 KJV) Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Don’t just let evil things defeat you, but become a victor by doing what is right.

For the person who has an addiction, you aren’t an overcomer if you believe but are still addicted. You are an overcomer when you stop your addiction with Jesus’ help.
3. Continuing
I do not believe that “overcoming” is having a momentary encounter with God and believing. It is not having a single victory over temptation followed by a lifetime of giving in. It is a continual believing, a continual walking with Jesus, even through the hard times.

(Rev 2:26 KJV) And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Don’t quit. The enemy wants to discourage you and tell you that you’re wasting your time. The enemy wants you to stop running the race and sit on the sideline.
But we need to be like the runner who has his eye on the finish line, the tape across the lane. We need to keep running until we cross that tape.

:8 But the fearful, 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.

The Lake of Fire is where the devil, the antichrist, and the false prophet were sent forever. It is a place that God has prepared for the devil and his angels (Mat. 25:41), but it will also become the place where those who reject Jesus will spend eternity.


Things that will keep you from heaven.

1. Cowardice (fearful)
fearfuldeilos – timid, fearful; from deos (dread); cowardly. This is not the word that is used to describe how we are to “fear God” (phobos).

The implication is being cowardly to not stand up and trust in Jesus.

This is a fear that drives a person away from trusting in God.  The word is used in this story –

(Mat 8:23-27 KJV)  And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. {24} And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. {25} And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. {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. {27} But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! (same story and word found in Mark 4:37-41)

2. Unbelief (unbelieving)
unbelievingapistos – faithless; without trust (in God)

This is the main thing. If you do not come to the place where you are going to trust Jesus to pay for your sins, then you will have to face God and have to pay for them yourself.

3. Stinky life (abominable)
abominablebdelusso – to render foul, to turn one’s self away from on account of the stench; from bdeo (to stink).  The word is used in –

(Titus 1:16 NKJV) They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

A life that doesn’t match what you claim to believe is “abominable”, “stinky”, or “despicable”. We might call it “hypocrisy”, saying you’re one thing when you’re not.

4. Continual disobedience (all the rest …)
These include things like murder, sexual sin, drug use (“sorcerers”), those who worship false gods, and even liars.
murderersphoneus – a murderer, a homicide
whoremongerspornos – the idea is sexual sin, sex outside of marriage.

Today our society is filled with temptation in this area. It’s not hard for a person to become dragged into a world of impure lusts.

sorcererspharmakeus – one who practices pharmakeia, which is the use or the administering of drugs

If you are using drugs, you NEED TO STOP. If you can’t just walk away, then you need to ask for help.

idolaterseidololatres – a worshipper of false gods
liarspseudes – lying, deceitful, false

Some of these things we don’t have a problem in thinking that they are really bad. But “lying”? What’s one little white lie? It leads to another white lie. It leads to a life of deceiving others. Worst of all is a person who has deceived himself into thinking that he doesn’t have a problem when he does.


What can get you into heaven?

Paul wrote to the Corinthian church:
(1 Cor 6:9-11 KJV) 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.
Having done one of these sins isn’t what keeps you out. It’s when you refuse to be washed by Jesus that you are kept out of heaven.
“Which List Is Your Name On?”
There is an exhibit about the Titanic that has been on display in select museums across the country. There is a re-creation of the Titanic’s grand staircase, the simulation of one of the ship’s cabins, and the artifacts that have been retrieved from the Titanic’s watery grave. As you enter the exhibit, you’re given a ticket with the name of one of the ship’s passengers or crewmen. At the end of the tour is this large wall with two lists of names, one short list and one long list. Next to each name is one of four designations: first class, second class, third class, and crew. But no matter what your class, your name ultimately appears on one of those two lists - which are under one of two headings - “Saved” ... “Lost.”
- Ron Hutchcraft
(Isa 55:6-7 KJV) Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: {7} Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Stand up for Jesus.