'And I saw a NEW HEAVEN.' - Revelation 21:1.
As the word HEAVEN is here, and in Genesis 1:1, in the singular number, it will clarify matters to limit this creative act to our own planet, rather than the whole of the sidereal heavens, or the starry spaces of the Universe. By a new heaven then we are to understand a new atmosphere for the new earth."
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."
The first heaven and the first earth were created in the dateless past. The Scriptures begin with the sublime declaration--"In the beginning God CREATED the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1. The second verse of Genesis 1, records that "the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." That this earth was not originally created "formless and void" is clear from Isaiah 45:18 (reference the R.V., not K.J.V.). "Thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; He is God; that formed the earth and made it; He established it, He created it not a waste, He formed it to be inhabited." See also Jeremiah 4:23-26. What caused the earth to become a waste after its original creation is not expressly stated. Some awful catastrophe must have befallen it. It is clear from the account of the Fall of Adam and Eve that sin existed before man was created. The inference is from Ezekiel 28:12-19, and Isaiah 14:12-14, that when the earth was originally created that Satan was placed in charge of it, and that he and his angels rebelled and led astray the inhabitants of the Original Earth, and that the Pre-Adamite race are now the demons who as they are permitted liberty seek to re-embody themselves in human beings that they may again dwell on the earth. It is clear that the Original Earth was inhabited, or God would not have blessed Adam and Eve and said--"Be fruitful and multiply and REPLENISH the Earth." Genesis 1:28. It does not follow however that those inhabitants were human beings like ourselves. No human remains have been found ante-dating the creation of man.
Peter speaks of the Original Earth as the--"World that then WAS, that, being OVERFLOWED WITH WATER, perished." 2Peter 3:6. It is clear that Peter does not refer here to Noah's Flood, for the world of Noah's day did not perish, and Peter goes on to add that--"The heavens and the earth WHICH ARE NOW (that is, have been in existence since the restoration of the earth as described in Genesis 1:3-31), by the same word are kept in store, RESERVED UNTO FIRE" (2Peter 3:7), nevertheless he adds, "we look for a
The Three Stages of the Earth
NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH." 2Peter 3:13. These words of Peter reveal the fact that this Earth is to pass through 3 stages. First the Original Earth that "perished" by WATER. Second the Earth that is now, that is to be renovated or cleansed by FIRE. And the New Earth that is to exist forever. See the Chart "The Three Stages of the Earth."
There can be no question but what the Earth in its original formation required millions of years. There is ample time in the statement of Genesis 1:1 that--"In the BEGINNING God 'created' the heaven and the earth," for all the "Geologic Ages" that science declares were necessary for the creation of the Earth. There is no conflict between the Bible and Science as to the time occupied in the formation of the Earth.
How long a period elapsed between the Creation of the Earth and its becoming "formless and void" we do not know, neither do we know how long it continued in that condition, but when the time came in the purpose of God to restore it to a habitable state, and make it fit for the abode of the human race, He did it in six periods of longer or shorter duration. These "Periods" were six in number, and with the seventh or Sabbatic Period, are called the "Creative Week."
These "Six Periods" do not describe or include the original creation. The word "CREATE" is not mentioned after Genesis 1:1 until Genesis 1:21, which describes the work of the Fifth Day. God did not "create light" on the First Day. He simply said--"let there be light," as one would say "turn on the light."
On the Second Day God simply, divided the waters by providing clouds to hold the moisture of the atmosphere.
The work of the Third Day is "twofold," the emergence of the land from the sea, and the reappearance of vegetable life. This was not a new creation but a RESURRECTION. The earth rises up out of the "Waters of Death," and seeds, and the roots of plants and herbs are called upon to germinate and sprout and grow as they did before the catastrophe that submerged the Primeval Earth. If that catastrophe was what we know as the "Glacial Period" the resurrection of plant life no more required a "creative act" than vegetation does in the spring of the year after the winter is over. That this is what really happened is clear from Genesis 1:11-12, where it says, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is IN ITSELF, UPON (in) THE EARTH." That is, the seed was already in the earth, having been buried by the flood that swept over the Primeval Earth, and, being indestructible, it only needed the proper condition to spring up and cover the earth with verdure. This reveals the fact that the Primeval Earth was clothed with verdure, and covered with plants and trees.
The appearance of the Sun and Moon on the Fourth Day was not a new creation. They had existed in connection with the Primeval Earth and had not been destroyed when it was made waste. The word translated "made" in the 16th verse is not the same word as is translated "created" in verse one, and does not imply a "creative act." What is meant is that the clouds broke away that up to this time had shrouded the earth and permitted the Sun and Moon to be seen, and that from that time they were appointed to measure the days, and years, and seasons as we have them today. In other words, on the Fourth Day "Time" in contrast with "eternity" began.
The work of the Fifth Day was the "CREATION" of fish and fowl. Here is the first time we come across the word "create" since we read of the original creation of the Earth in verse one. This shows that all "animal life" was destroyed in the catastrophe that overtook the Primeval Earth. We have traces of this animal life in the fossil remains of birds and animals found in the earth. If scientists will relegate fossils and the remains of mammoth animals, etc., to the period of the Primeval Earth there will be no conflict between Science and the Genesis account of Creation. The remains of man are never found in a "fossil state," showing that man did not exist on the Primeval Earth. Man was made for this present earth and is a "NEW" Creation.
The creative work of the Sixth Day was "twofold," that of land animals and man. These land animals were probably the same that we have today. The fact that they were created "after their kind," which expression is six times repeated, shows that they were not "evolved" from one common species. That man also was "CREATED" as man, shows that he has not descended from an "ape." Man was made in the "IMAGE OF GOD," not in the image of an "ape," and was not formed from a brute, but of the "Dust of the Earth." The fact is, there is an "IMPASSABLE GULF" between the lowest order of man and the highest type of beast that science has failed to bridge. The "Missing Link" has never been found.
That all the different species of animals were created "separately" is proven from the fact that when species are crossed their offspring are sterile. The crossing of the jackass and a mare is the mule, and a mule is a hybrid and is sterile. That the whole human race is of "one species" and had a common origin (Acts 17:26) is clear from the fact that, when the different races of the earth's inhabitants marry their offspring are not sterile but fertile. This nullifies the argument that the white race alone is the Adamic race.
Neither was Adam created a baby or a primitive savage, but a full grown man perfect in intellect and knowledge, else he could not have named the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air. And the fact that his descendants had such skill in the invention of musical instruments and mechanical devices and could build cities and towers and such a vessel as the Ark, proves that the men of Antediluvian times were men of gigantic intellect and attainments, and that instead of man having "evolved upward" he has "degenerated downward."
The Flood Versus the Second Coming.
While the Earth has had its "Baptism of Water," and is to have its "Baptism of Fire," it is worth noting that between these two Great Events there are two Minor Events that affect the structure of the Earth. The first was "the flood." At that time there were great "cataclysmic" and "climatic" changes, for the "FOUNTAINS OF THE GREAT DEEP WERE BROKEN UP." Genesis 7:11. That is, there was a subsidence of the land, that resulted in great physical changes that affected the climate of the earth, and divested the atmosphere of some of its life sustaining properties, so that the length of life was reduced from 900 to 100 years, and later to three-score years and ten. The second "Minor Event" will be caused by the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth to set up His Millennial Kingdom. Then the Mt. of Olives will be divided in twain, the mountains and valleys of Palestine will be leveled, the Dead Sea will be raised, and the whole contour of that part of the world will be changed. Zechariah 14:4-10. Ezekiel 47:1-12. As a result of the "cataclysmic" and "climatic" changes thus produced, the effects of the Flood will be reversed and the life-sustaining power of the atmosphere will be restored, and human life will again be prolonged, and men shall live as long as did the people before the Flood. Isaiah 65:20.
The New Heaven and the New Earth.
Immediately after the destruction of Satan and his armies, John says, "I saw a 'Great White Throne' and Him that sat on it, from whose face the Earth and the Heaven (atmosphere of the earth) fled away; and there was no place for them." Revelation 20:11.
John then describes the Judgement of the "Great White Throne," and then adds--"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." Revelation 21:1.
Of such a change in this earth we are not ignorant, but John does not tell us how it is to come to pass. But the Apostle Peter does.
"But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, RESERVED UNTO FIRE against the Day of Judgement and Perdition of Ungodly Men. (The Great White Throne Judgement)--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.
"Nevertheless we, according to His Promise (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22), look for a New Heavens and a New Earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 2Peter 3:7-13.
It is clear that Peter is referring to the same event as John, for he says it is to be at the "Day of Judgement and Perdition of Ungodly Men," and that is the "Great White Throne Judgement" of the Wicked Dead.
A surface reading of the above passage would lead one to believe that the earth as a planet, and the sidereal heavens, are to be destroyed by fire and pass away. But a careful study of the Scriptures will show us that this is not so, that what is to happen is, that this present earth, and the atmosphere surrounding it, is to be Renovated by Fire, so that its exterior surface shall be completely changed, and all that sin has brought into existence, such as thorns and thistles, disease germs, insect pests, etc., shall be destroyed, and the atmosphere purified and forever freed from evil spirits and destructive agencies.
That this is the correct view of the passage is clear from Peter's words in verses 5 and 6.
"By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water; whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, PERISHED."
As we have seen the Apostle Peter was referring here not to the Flood, but to the Primeval Earth, which was made "formless and void" by a "Baptism of Water" that completely submerged it and destroyed all animal life.
Now as the Framework of the "Primeval Earth" was not destroyed by its "Watery Bath," so the Framework of the "Present Earth" is not to be destroyed by its "Baptism of Fire."
This is confirmed by the Apostle's use of the Greek word "Cosmos," which means the "land surface," the inhabitableness of the earth and not the earth as a planet. It is the exterior surface of the earth then that is to "Melt With Fervent Heat" and the "Works Therein Burnt Up." The intense heat will cause the gases in the atmosphere to explode, which the Apostle describes as the "heavens (the atmosphere) passing away with a great noise." The result will be the destruction of all animal and vegetable life, and the alteration of the earth's surface.
The Greek word "Parerchomai," translated "pass away," does not mean "termination of existence" or "annihilation," but means to pass from "one condition of existence to another." The Apostle Paul in his letter to Titus (Titus 3:5), speaking of the "Regeneration" of men, uses the same word that Jesus used when, in Matthew 19:28, He promised His Disciples that in the "Regeneration," that is in the "New Earth," they should sit on "Twelve Thrones" judging the "Twelve Tribes" of Israel. Now no one supposes that the "Regeneration of a man is his Annihilation." It is simply a Renewing Process by which he is brought back to the condition of man spiritually as before the Fall. The word "Restitution" in Acts 3:21, means the same thing. The "Dissolving" of which Peter speaks (2Peter 3:11), is the same word Jesus used when He said of the colt--"Loose him and let him go." The teaching of the Scriptures is, that "Creation" is at present in a "State of Captivity," waiting to be Loosed from the Bondage that sin has caused. Romans 8:19-23.
As to the "Departing as a Scroll" of the heavens, and the "Flying Away" of the earth and heavens, of which John speaks, (Revelation 6:14; 20:11), a total disappearance of all the material worlds is not at all the idea, for he tells us that afterwards he saw--the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven, and nations living and walking in the Light of it on the earth, and the Kings of the Earth bringing their Glory and Honour Into It." Revelation 21:2, 24.
The Holy Spirit by Solomon said, "One generation passes away, and another generation cometh, but the Earth Abides Forever." Ecclesastes 1:4.
It is specifically promised that "the Meek shall Inherit the Earth," (Matthew 5:5), and that the Children of Israel shall dwell in it forever, (Isaiah 60:21; 66:22), and if God's people are to inhabit it forever, it must EXIST FOREVER. It is clear then that this earth as a planet is not to be annihilated, but that it is to be Cleansed and Purified by Fire and made fit for the home of those peoples and nations that are to occupy it after its renovation.
This earth that has been consecrated by the Presence of the Son of God, where the costliest sacrifice that the Universe could furnish was offered up on Calvary to redeem a race, for which God has a great future, is too sacred a place to ever be blotted out or cease to exist, for it is the most cherished orb in the mind of God of all His great creation.
With the "Renovation of the Earth by Fire," Time does not end and Eternity begin, for we read in the New Testament of a "Perfect Kingdom" that Christ shall surrender to the Father, so that God may be "All in All." 1 Corinthians 15:24-28. A Kingdom in which--
"At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in Heaven, and things in Earth, and things Under the Earth, and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ IS LORD." Philippians 2:9-11.
This describes a Kingdom in which all things Celestial, Terrestrial and Infernal are to be subject to the SON OF MAN.
Now this "Perfect Kingdom" cannot be the "Millennial Kingdom," for that, as we have seen, ends in Apostasy and Rebellion. It must therefore mean another Kingdom on the Other Side of the "Millennial Kingdom," and as there is to be no other Kingdom between the "Millennial Kingdom" and the "Renovation of the Earth by Fire," it must mean a Kingdom that is to follow the "Renovation of the Earth by Fire," and that Kingdom is the Kingdom of the "New Heaven and the New Earth," which we call on the "Rightly Dividing the Word" Chart, the "Perfect Kingdom."
If, as some hold, the "Seventh Day" of the "Creative Week" corresponds to the Millennium, then we have a prophecy of the Dispensation that follows the "Renovation of the Earth" in the "Morrow After the Sabbath." Leviticus 23:36.
The Seventh day of Genesis had to do with the "Old Creation," which was imperfect, but the "Eighth Day" has to do with the "New Creation," which is perfect, for it was on the "Eighth Day," or the "First Day of the week," that our Lord arose from the dead, and 50 days later, on the "Eighth Day," that the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost. The "Eighth Day" cannot point to the Millennium, for that is represented by the "Seventh Day," neither can it point to Eternity, for a day is a Period of Time, while Eternity is Timeless. The "Eighth Day" must then point to a "period of time" between the "Renovation of the Earth" and Eternity, or what we are pleased to call the "Perfect Age."
It is also a Dispensation, called in Ephesians 1:10--"The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times."
That is, a "Full-Time Dispensation." The intimation is, that all the previous Dispensations were not "Full-Time" Dispensations, that God had to cut them short on account of sin.
As to the duration of this Dispensation of the "Fulness of Times" we are not in the dark. Israel is to have a large place in that Dispensation.
"For as the New Heavens and the New Earth, which I will make shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your (Israel's) Seed and your Name REMAIN." Isaiah 66:22.
And as the duration of God's Covenant with Israel was extended in Deuteronomy 7:9 to a "Thousand Generations" or 33,000 years, we have an intimation that the "Dispensation of the Fullness of Times" will last for at least that length of time.
Let us look at some of the characteristics of that Age or Dispensation.
All the powers of Evil will have been expelled from the earth and imprisoned in the "Lake of Fire" forever.
The atmosphere of the New Earth will afford no lurking place for disease germs, for there shall be no more sickness or death, and health will be preserved by the use of the leaves of the "Tree of Life." The heavens shall not robe themselves in angry tempests and sombre blackness, nor flash with the thunderbolts of Divine wrath, nor cast plagues of hail on the earth, nor cause devouring floods of water or destructive wind storms. It may be that in that day "a Mist shall go up from the earth and water the whole face of the ground" as in Eden, for we read that there shall be--"No More Sea," not that there shall not be large bodies of water, for the river that flows through the street of the New City must have an outlet, but that there shall be no great oceans.
The earth shall also put on its Edenic beauty and glory. There shall no longer be thorns and thistles, no parasites or destructive insects, and labor shall be a delight. No serpents shall hiss among its flowers, nor savage beasts lie in ambush to destroy and devour. Its sod shall not be heaped over newly made graves, nor its soil moistened with tears of sorrow and shame, or saturated with human blood in fratricidal strife. The meek shall inherit the earth, and from north to south, and from east to west, it shall blossom like the rose and be clothed with the verdure of Paradise Restored.
Revelation 21:2-8. "And I John saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 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. 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. 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. 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. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God and he shall be My son. p. 203 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the LAKE OF FIRE which burneth with FIRE and BRIMSTONE: which is the SECOND DEATH."
Revelation 21:9-23. "And there came unto me one of the 'Seven Angels' which had the 'Seven Vials' full of the 'Seven Last Plagues,' and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the Bride, the LAMB'S WIFE. 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, having the Glory of God; and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a Jasper stone, clear as crystal; and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates, twelve Angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the 'Twelve Tribes' of the 'Children of Israel'; on the East three gates; on the North three gates; on the South three gates; and on the West three gates. And the wall of the City had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the 'Twelve Apostles of the Lamb.' And he that talked with me had a Golden Reed to measure the City, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the City lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth; and he measured the City with the Reed, 12,000 furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, a 144 cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the Angel. And the building of the wall of it was of Jasper; and the City was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the City were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was Jasper; the second, Sapphire; the third, a Chalcedony; the fourth, an Emerald; the fifth, Sardonyx; the sixth, Sardius; the seventh, Chrysolite; the eighth, Beryl; the ninth, a Topaz; the tenth, a Chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a Jacinth; the twelfth, an Amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl; and the street of the City was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no Temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it. 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." Revelation 22:5.
"And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the Sun; for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign for ever and ever."
The Angel said to John--"Come hither, I will shew thee the Bride the LAMB'S WIFE." Some claim that because the word "WIFE" is used here, that Israel instead of the Church, is to be the Bride of Christ. But we must not forget that this offer to show John the Bride, was made after the Wedding of Christ to the Church, and at this time she was no longer the Bride but had become the WIFE of Christ, and should be thus spoken of. But instead of John being shown a Woman, he was shown a CITY, the Holy Jerusalem, and as what makes up a City is not its buildings and parks and business, but its inhabitants, it is clear that the Bride and the City are identical.
That is, that the New Jerusalem is the home and residence of the Bride, that is, the same as the Bride.
From this we see that there is not only to be a New Heaven and a New Earth, there is also to be a New City. This City is the place Jesus said He was going back to Heaven to prepare for His Bride the Church. John 14:2-4. It is just such a place as we would expect the Divine Architect to design and build. The description of it is surpassingly grand. It is of Celestial origin. It is not Heaven itself, for it comes down "out of Heaven." No mortal hands are employed in its construction. It will take up its abode on the New Earth, and we see in this why this present Earth will have to be renovated by fire, and why there shall be "no more sea," for the New City is 12,000 furlongs, or 1500 miles square, and would reach from Maine to Florida, and from the Atlantic Seaboard 600 miles to the west of the Mississippi River. In other words would occupy more than one-half of the United States.
We are told that the length and breadth and the height of it are equal. This does not necessarily imply that it is a Cube, for there is another geometrical figure that has equal dimensions, and that is a--Pyramid. This is its probable form, for a wall 144 cubits, or 216 feet thick, could not support a wall 1500 miles high, and a wall that high would hide the pyramidal part of the City from view.
The 144 cubits (Revelation 21:17) then must refer to the "height" of the wall. In this wall are 12 gates, 3 on each side, each gate of one Pearl, and these gates are never closed.
The wall itself is of Jasper, and the foundations are garnished with all manner of precious stones. The foundations contain the names of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb, and over the gates are the names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
What a magnificent spectacle such' a city must present from a distance with its pyramidal top surmounted by the light of the "Glory of God."
"For 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." Revelation 21:23.
"And the gates of it shall not be shut at all. by day, for there shall be No Night There." Revelation 21:25.
This refers to the City only, and not to the outlying parts of the New Earth, for there will be day and night wherever the light of the City does not reach.
The Pyramidal part of the City will doubtless be in the centre of the City, and probably not occupy over one-half of the surface area, leaving the remainder to be divided up into boulevards and broad avenues, with numerous parks and residential sections. We are told that the City itself is of Pure Gold, Like Unto Clear Glass. Revelation 21:18. If this refers to the houses and homes of the inhabitants, then the redeemed are to live in palaces of Transparent Gold, and the streets are to be of the same material. Revelation 21:18, 21. We cannot imagine a city with such dwellings and streets to be unclean or lack beauty.
The New Nations.
Revelation 21:24-27. "And the NATIONS OF THEM WHICH ARE SAVED (the Saved Nations) shall walk in the light of it (the City): 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. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's Book of Life."
This last verse does not imply that there will be sin on the New Earth to endanger the City, but to show that the City will never be contaminated by evil of any kind.
Outside the walls of this beautiful City, spread over the surface of the "New Earth," nations shall dwell, whose kings shall bring their glory and honour into it, but nothing that will defile or work abomination shall ever enter in through those "Gates of Pearl," for there will be no sin on that New Earth. Revelation 21:24-27.
Who Are to Be the Happy Inhabitants of This New Earth?
Where did the people who inhabited the earth after the Flood come from? They were the lineal descendants of Noah, how did they escape the Flood? They were saved in an Ark which God Provided. Genesis 6:13-16. Shall not God then during the "Renovation of the Earth by Fire," in some manner, not as yet revealed, take off righteous representatives of the Millennial nations that He purposes to save, and when the earth is again fit to be the abode of men, place them back on the New Earth, that they may increase and multiply and replenish it, as Adam (Genesia 1:27-28), and Noah (Genesis 9:1), were told to multiply and replenish the present earth.
If God could take off Elijah for the purpose of sending him back again to herald the Second Coming of the Lord, surely God can take off representative men from the nations and put them back again on the New Earth to repopulate it. If this is not God's plan then we have one type in the Scriptures that has no antitype, for Noah's Ark, which is a type, has no antitype unless it be this.
It is clear from the Scriptures that God does not purpose to create a new race for the New Earth. His promise as to Israel is that the descendants of Abraham shall inherit this earth for a "thousand generations," or 33,000 years; now this is not possible unless they are transplanted to the New Earth. And this is just what God has promised.
"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." Isaiah 66:22.
It seems clear from the presence of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden, that God intended the human race to populate the Earth, and when it became too thickly populated, to use the surplus population to colonize other spheres. Our "Solar System" is only in its infancy. The Earth is the only one of its planets as yet habitable. Where are the inhabitants for the other planets to come from? Think you that the planets of our Solar System, and the planets of other solar systems, of which the stars are the suns, were made simply to adorn the heavens for our little earth. God does not plan things on a Small Scale, and it magnifies His power and wisdom to believe that He created man in His own likeness, a created being higher than the angels, and gifted with the power of Procreation, that He might by means of him populate the Universe. This magnifies the Scheme of Redemption. Think you that God gave His Son to die on Calvary just to redeem a few millions of the human race? Why He could have blotted them out, as He probably did the Preadamite race, and created a new race, and Satan would have laughed because he had the second time blocked God's plan for the peopling of this earth.
No, God will not permit Satan to block His plan for peopling this earth with a Sinless Human Race. The death of Christ was not merely to redeem a few millions of the human race, but to redeem the Earth, and the Race Itself from the curse of sin, and the dominion of Satan.
The Apostle James tells us that we are only the "First Fruits" of His "Creatures." James 1:18. What then must the HARVEST BE?
The Universe is young yet. We are only in the beginning of things, for "Of the increase of His government and peace THERE SHALL BE NO END." Isaiah 9:7.
When this Earth shall have gone through its "Baptism of Fire," and shall be again fit for the occupancy of man, the representatives of the "Saved Nations" (Revelation 21:24) will be men and women in whom no taint of sin will remain, and who cannot therefore impart it to their offspring, who will be like the offspring of Adam and Eve would have been if they had not sinned. This magnifies the whole scheme of redemption, and justifies God in the creation of the human race.
The New River.
Revelation 22:1. "And he showed me a pure 'RIVER OF WATER OF LIFE,' clear as crystal, proceeding out of the Throne of God, and of the Lamb."
The waters of earthly rivers are not crystal clear. Many of them are muddy and contaminated with sewerage. This wonderful river is called the River of the "Water of Life," because of its "life giving" properties. Earthly streams have their source in some mountain spring, but the "River of Life" has its source in the Throne of God. Revelation 22:1.
Somewhere on that "Pyramidal Mountain" in the centre of the City, probably on its summit, will rest "The Throne of God," from under the seat of which shall flow down in cascades, from terrace to terrace, the crystal stream that shall feed that wonderful "River of Life."
The New Tree of Life.
Revelation 22:2. "In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the River. was there the 'TREE OF LIFE,' which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the Tree were for the healing of the nations."
The streets are to be lined with trees, as are also the banks of a wonderful river. These trees are not mere shade trees, but beautiful Fruit Trees, called the "TREE OF LIFE," that bear Twelve Kinds of Fruit, a different kind each month. The fruit of these trees is for Overcomers Only.
"To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the 'Tree of Life' which is in the midst of the Paradise of God." Revelation 2:7.
The leaves of the trees are for the Healing of the Nations that shall occupy the New Earth. Not that there will be any sickness, but to preserve them in health, as Adam would have been preserved in health if he had eaten of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. Genelation 3:22-24.
The New Throne.
Revelation 22:3-4. "And there shall be no more curse: but the THRONE OF GOD AND OF THE LAMB shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: and they shall see His FACE: and His NAME shall be in their foreheads."
Whoever heard of an earthly city without some place of worship, be it heathen or Christian, but the wonderful thing about the New Jerusalem is, that it has no Temple. Why need a Temple when the object of worship is present, for "The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb Are the Temple of It." In fact the whole City itself will be a Temple.
"Then the 'Tabernacle of God' shall be 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. 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." Revelation 21:3, 4.
This means that Heaven shall have come down to Earth, and that this earth will become the RESIDENCE OF GOD.
The Great Abdication.
The "Millennial Age" and the "Perfect Age," between which the Earth is Renovated by Fire, make up the "Age of Ages," which period is called the KINGDOM OF THE SON OF MAN.
At the close of the "Age of Ages" when Christ "shall have put down all rule and all authority and power, for He must reign till He hath put all enemies under his feet," then Christ as the Son of Man, shall surrender the Kingdom to God, that God may be ALL IN ALL. 1Corinthians 15:24-28. This is known as The Great Abdication.
There have been many abdications of thrones in the world's history, but none like this. Thrones have been abdicated for various reasons. Some have been forced, others voluntary. Some on account of physical infirmity, or to secure some particular successor. But Christ will not abdicate for any of these reasons. He will abdicate because He has Finished the Work That Was Given Him to Do as the Son of Man. He will not surrender His Human Nature, but His title "Son of Man" will merge back into that of "Son of God" so that the Divine Godhead shall thereafter act in its Unity, and God shall be "ALL IN ALL."
The Ages of the Ages.
As the "Creative Ages" were the "Alpha" Ages, these will be the "Omega" Ages. With the surrender of the "Perfect Kingdom" to the Father, what we speak of as "Time" ceases, and the "Eternal Ages," called the "Ages of the Ages" begin. They correspond to what the Apostle Paul in his Letter to the Ephesians calls the "Ages to Come." Ephesians 2:7. And John in the Book of Revelation says that the "Devil" and the "Beast" and the "False Prophet" shall be tormented day and night forever and ever, or for the "Aions" of the "Aions," the "Ages of the Ages," Revelation 20:10, and that the "Servants of God" shall reign for the same period. Revelation 22:5.
What those "Ages of Ages" shall reveal of the Plan and Purpose of God we do not know, but if we are His we shall live to know, and possibly take part in their development. What we do know is that we are but in the beginning of things, and as concerning the "Ages," Eternity is still young.
The Epilogue or Final Testimony and Warnings.
Revelation 22:6-21. "And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true; and the Lord God of the Holy Prophets sent His Angel to show unto His Servants the Things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this BOOK.
"And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the Angel which showed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy Fellow-servant, and of the Brethren 1 the Prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this Book: worship GOD.
"And he saith unto me. Seal not the sayings of THE PROPHECY OF THIS BOOK: for the TIME IS AT HAND. p. 210 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am ALPHA and OMEGA, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.
"Blessed are they that do His Commandments, that they may have right to the 'TREE OF LIFE,' and may enter in through the gates into the City. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers and idolators, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
"I Jesus have sent mine Angel to testify unto you these things in the Churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR.
"And the SPIRIT (Holy Spirit) and the BRIDE (the Church, still on the earth) say COME. And let him that is athirst COME. And WHOSOEVER WILL, let him take of the 'Water of Life' FREELY.
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the PROPHECY OF THIS BOOK. If any man shall ADD UNTO THESE THINGS, GOD SHALL ADD UNTO HIM THE PLAGUES THAT ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK: and if any man shall TAKE AWAY FROM THE WORDS OF THE BOOK OF THIS PROPHECY, GOD SHALL TAKE AWAY HIS PART OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE AND OUT OF THE HOLY CITY, AND FROM THE THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK.
"He which testifieth these things, saith, Surely I COME QUICKLY. AMEN. EVEN SO, COME LORD JESUS.
"THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BE WITH YOU ALL. AMEN."
[1.] page 209: 'Brethren'