Chris Tomlin – I Will Rise
God has shown great favor on the nation of Israel, and none on its oppressors. Read on …
There are many thoughts about heaven but, what about a “new heaven?” Also, what about a new earth and a new Jerusalem? Many of us remember the song, “when we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be, when we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.” Many of us were brought up to think that when we get to heaven, we will go nowhere else.
Let’s consider a passage that deals with “heaven.”
2 Corinthians 12:2, 4 New King James Version (NKJV)
Key thoughts: “2 I know a man in Christ who was caught up to the third heaven. 4 he was caught up into Paradise” (See MacArthur note at the bottom of the page)
Consider the following understanding of heaven. “The first heaven is where the birds fly. The second heaven is where astronauts fly. The third heaven is where God watches over all that fly, and is also known as Paradise.” Consider Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:23. Lazarus had died and, in death, his soul was experiencing comfort in Abraham’s bosom, which is figurative language for Paradise, or “in the Presence of God.” The body of Lazarus was in a tomb; his soul and spirit were in God’s Presence. In Luke 23:43, the thief on the cross would be in Paradise after his death, on the same day as his death. His body would be buried, and his soul and spirit would be with Christ in Paradise. After the fall of Adam, in the Garden of Eden, nothing was in its Edenic state of perfection. Before the fall, there were no death or sickness; there were no adverse atmospheric conditions; alligators didn’t eat little dogs. But, because of the sin of Adam, and the following curse, nothing in its perfect state of Genesis Chapters one and two are present in our world today. But, God initiated a plan of redemption for all of His creation, whether “natural, physical or spiritual.” Immediately after the fall of Adam, that plan of redemption was initiated through Christ, as is stated in Genesis 3:15, and is shown being totally fulfilled in 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Revelation 21:5, as follows.
Genesis 3:15, NKJV (The plan of redemption)
“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (See MacArthur comment at bottom of page)
2 Corinthians 5:17 New King James Version (NKJV) (Spiritual redemption)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Revelation 21:5 New King James Version (NKJV) (Edenic redemption)
“Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
Job knew about Christ, the Redeemer: Job 19:25-27 New King James Version (NKJV)
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, 27 Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
The Apostle Paul wrote the following verse of encouragement about God’s love for His saints. 1 Corinthians 2:9, NKJV:
” eye has not seen, not ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things with God has prepared for those who love him.”
As we have seen in this series, Christ will take His New Testament saints, the Bride of Christ, with Him to Heaven (John 14:1-6). The “dead in Christ” will go with the living saints to Heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18/1 Corinthians 15:50-54). The living and dead saints will see Christ, our Lord, before arriving in Heaven. This event is the rapture of the church. When we “all get to Heaven,” we will go before the Judgment Seat of Christ (Bema judgment) for rewards.
2 Corinthians 5:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
“For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.”
While the saints are, “in Heaven,” the seven year tribulation of Revelation chapters 6-19 is taking place on earth. The next appointment for Christ and His bride is the “Marriage of the Lamb,” which also takes place in Heaven (Revelation 19:7-8).
After the marriage, Christ and His bride begin their descent to earth, where Christ defeats the enemies of God at the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21). The bodies of Old Testament saints and deceased tribulation arise from their graves, etc., on earth (OT saints, Daniel 12:2/John 5:28-29; Tribulation Saints, Revelation 20:4); their souls and spirits have been in the Presence of God from the time of their death. All three groups of saints rule and reign with Christ for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4), and enter into the eternal state of “new heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem,” where they live forever (Revelation 21).
Summary of New Testament saints in Heaven: The bodies (alive and deceased) of New Testament believers will ascend with Christ to heaven when the rapture takes place; their immortal bodies will join their souls and spirits. The NT believers will descend back to earth in their immortal “bodies, souls and spirits;” they will enter into the New Heaven 1,000 years later, at the end of the Millennium. Only New Testament born again believers in Christ will be present in both heavens in body, soul and spirit.
God’s Plan For Eternity Future
Video speakers of God’s Plan For Eternity Future is shown at the bottom of this page.
Our study continues
Revelation 21 New King James Version (NKJV)
All Things Made New
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Key: 1. new heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem. 2. The bride now consists of “all saints, of all times,” OT, NT, and Tribulation saints.”
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
Key. All things of God’s creation in Genesis which were affected by the curse, are no longer cursed, thus, fulfilling Genesis 3:15.
6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Key. 7. An overcomer is one by faith in Christ (1 John 5:4). 8. The lake of fire, the second death, is the place of eternal punishment for those of whom have not been born again; such people had lifestyles that were proof of their not having been born again. A single homosexual act does not constitute a lifestyle of homosexuality. A single abortion, or even two, does not constitute a lifestyle of abortion. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, the Apostle Paul addresses the issue of the new-birth, whereby a former sinful lifestyle is no longer the driving force in a person’s life. There is an often used statement: “Christians are’t perfect, “just forgiven.” A more correct statement is: “Christians aren’t perfect, but are born again.” 8. Cowardly. The Israelites that were in the Presence of God during their flight from Egypt had a cowardice that showed that they did not have a trust in God to save them. The people in the Millennium saw the result of the righteous reign of Christ, yet had no trust in Him as their Savior. Per Bible Hub, “1169/deilós (“fearful of losses”) refers to an excessive fear (dread) of “losing,” causing someone to be fainthearted (cowardly) – hence, to fall short in following Christ as Lord.”
The New Jerusalem
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.
Key. 12. The names of the 12 tribes of Israel will be written on the gates of the New Jerusalem, showing that Israel has a place of significance in eternity future. The people of Israel, God’s chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6), have been oppressed by Gentile world empires. Those oppressive empires have ceased to exist but, as we can see in the last three chapters of Revelation, Israel will exist forever in eternity. God has shown great favor on the Jews, and none on its oppressors. Consider the following world empires which greatly oppressed Israel. Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman, source, Dr. John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy of the Bible, page 217.
14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
Key. 14. The names of the 12 apostles of Christ are written on the foundation walls of the New Jerusalem, showing the significance of the born again believers in Christ in eternity future.
The Glory of the New Jerusalem
22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Key. 27. The Lamb’s Book of Life contains the names of the redeemed of all times. The Book of Life contains the names of the unredeemed of all times. See MacArthur note on Revelation 20:11-13, located at the bottom of this page.
In order for anyone to have a place in the “new heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem,” they must have been born again. John 3:3 “You must be born again”
John 3:3 New King James Version (NKJV) ”
“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Fire Proof – At The Cross
From MacArthur Study Bible Notes (Everyone should own a MacArthur Study Bible)
12:2–4 caught up to the third heaven…caught up into Paradise. Paul was not describing two separate visions; “the third heaven” and “Paradise” are the same place (cf. Rev. 2:7, which says the tree of life is in Paradise, with Rev. 22:14, which says it is in heaven). The first heaven is the earth’s atmosphere (Gen. 8:2; Deut. 11:11; 1 Kin. 8:35); the second is interplanetary and interstellar space (Gen. 15:5; Ps. 8:3; Is. 13:10); and the third is the abode of God (1 Kin. 8:30; 2 Chr. 30:27; Ps. 123:1).
3:15 After cursing the physical serpent, God turned to the spiritual serpent, the lying seducer, Satan, and cursed him. bruise your head…bruise His heel. This “first gospel” is prophetic of the struggle and its outcome between “your seed” (Satan and unbelievers, who are called the Devil’s children in John 8:44) and her seed (Christ, a descendant of Eve, and those in Him), which began in the garden. In the midst of the curse passage, a message of hope shone forth—the woman’s offspring called “He” is Christ, who will one day defeat the Serpent. Satan could only “bruise” Christ’s heel (cause Him to suffer), while Christ will bruise Satan’s head (destroy him with a fatal blow). Paul, in a passage strongly reminiscent of Gen. 3, encouraged the believers in Rome, “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Rom. 16:20). Believers should recognize that they participate in the crushing of Satan because, along with their Savior and because of His finished work on the cross, they also are of the woman’s seed. For more on the destruction of Satan, see Heb. 2:14, 15; Rev. 20:10.
20:1—22:21 Chapter 19 ends with the Battle of Armageddon and Christ’s second coming—events that mark the close of the Tribulation. The events of chap. 20—the binding of Satan, Christ’s 1,000 year earthly kingdom, Satan’s final rebellion, and the Great White Throne Judgment—fit chronologically between the close of the Tribulation and the creation of the new heaven and the new earth described in chaps. 21, 22.
20:11–15 These verses describe the final judgment of all the unbelievers of all ages (Matt. 10:15; 11:22, 24; 12:36, 41, 42; Luke 10:14; John 12:48; Acts 17:31; 24:25; Rom. 2:5, 16; Heb. 9:27; 2 Pet. 2:9; 3:7; Jude 6). Our Lord referred to this event as the “resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:29). This judgment takes place in the indescribable void between the end of the present universe (v. 11) and the creation of the new heaven and earth (21:1).
20:11 great white throne. Nearly 50 times in Revelation there is the mention of a throne. This is a judgment throne, elevated, pure, and holy. God sits on it as judge (cf. 4:2, 3, 9; 5:1, 7, 13; 6:16; 7:10, 15) in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. See 21:5, 6; John 5:22–29; Acts 17:31. earth and the heaven fled away. John saw the contaminated universe go out of existence. Peter described this moment in 2 Pet. 3:10–13 (see notes there). The universe is “uncreated,” going into non-existence (cf. Matt. 24:35).
20:12 standing before God. In a judicial sense, as guilty, condemned prisoners before the bar of divine justice. There are no living sinners left in the destroyed universe since all sinners were killed and all believers glorified. books. These books record every thought, word, and deed of sinful men—all recorded by divine omniscience (see note on Dan. 7:9, 10, the verse that is the source of this text). They will provide the evidence for eternal condemnation. Cf. 18:6, 7. Book of Life. It contains the names of all the redeemed (Dan. 12:1; see notes on 3:5). judged according to their works. Their thoughts (Luke 8:17; Rom. 2:16), words (Matt. 12:37), and actions (Matt. 16:27) will be compared to God’s perfect, holy standard (Matt. 5:48; 1 Pet. 1:15, 16) and will be found wanting (Rom. 3:23). This also implies that there are degrees of punishment in hell (cf. Matt. 10:14, 15; 11:22; Mark 12:38–40; Luke 12:47, 48; Heb. 10:29).
Key. “The dead,” as opposed to “the dead in Christ.” The dead are those which have not been born again. The “dead in Christ,” are those whom have been born again, and are identified as such in 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
21:1 As the chapter opens, all the sinners of all the ages, both demons and men, including Satan, the beast, and false prophet, are in the lake of fire forever. The whole universe has been destroyed, and God creates a new universe to be the eternal dwelling place of the redeemed. a new heaven and a new earth. The entire universe as we now know it will be destroyed (2 Pet. 3:10–13) and be replaced by a new creation that will last forever. This is an OT reality (Ps. 102:25, 26; Is. 65:17; 66:22), as well as a NT one (Luke 21:33; Heb. 1:10–12). See note on 20:11–15. no more sea. Currently three-fourths of the earth’s surface is water, but the new environment will no longer be water-based and will have completely different climatic conditions. See notes on 22:1, 2.
21:2—22:5 By this point in the chronology of Revelation, OT saints, tribulation saints, and all those converted during the millennial kingdom will be incorporated into the ultimate redeemed bride and will dwell in the New Jerusalem. John described the consummation of all things in Christ and the New Jerusalem descending into the eternal state (cf. 19:7; 20:6; 1 Cor. 15:28; Heb. 12:22–24).
21:2 New Jerusalem. Cf. 3:12; Heb. 11:10; 12:22–24; 13:14. This is the capital city of heaven, a place of perfect holiness. It is seen “coming down out of heaven” indicating it already existed; but it descends into the new heavens and new earth from its place on high. This is the city where the saints will live (cf. John 14:1–3). bride. An important NT metaphor for the church (cf. Matt. 25:1–13; Eph. 5:25–27). John’s imagery here extends from the third part of the Jewish wedding, the ceremony. Believers (the bride) in the New Jerusalem come to meet Christ (the bridegroom) in the final ceremony of redemptive history (see note on 19:7). The whole city, occupied by all the saints, is called the bride, so that all saints must be finally included in the bride imagery and bridal blessing. God has brought home a bride for His beloved Son. All the saints live with Christ in the Father’s house (a promise made before the church began; John 14:2).
21:3 the tabernacle of God. The word translated “tabernacle” means place of abode. This is God’s house, the place where He lives (cf. Lev. 26:11, 12; Deut. 12:5).
21:4 wipe away every tear. Since there will never be a tear in heaven, nothing will be sad, disappointing, deficient, or wrong (cf. Is. 53:4, 5; 1 Cor. 15:54–57).
21:5 true and faithful. Cf. 3:14; 19:11. God always speaks truth (John 17:17).
21:6 the Alpha and the Omega. See note on 1:8. water of life. Cf. 7:17; 22:1, 17. The lasting spiritual water of which Jesus spoke (John 4:13, 14; 7:37, 38; cf. Is. 55:1, 2). him who thirsts. Heaven belongs to those who, knowing their souls are parched by sin, have earnestly sought the satisfaction of salvation and eternal life (cf. Ps. 42:1, 2; Is. 55:1, 2; John 7:37, 38).
21:7 He who overcomes. Cf. 1 John 5:4, 5. Anyone who exercises saving faith in Jesus Christ (see note on 2:7). inherit. The spiritual inheritance all believers will receive (1 Pet. 1:4; cf. Matt. 25:23) is the fullness of the new creation. Cf. Rom. 8:16, 17.
21:8 A solemn, serious warning about the kinds of people who will be outcasts from the new heaven and the new earth in the lake of fire. The NT often goes beyond just citing unbelief in listing character and lifestyle traits of the outcast, so that believers can identify such people (1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Gal. 5:19; cf. John 8:31). sorcerers. See note on 9:21. lake which burns with fire. See note on 19:20. brimstone. See note on 9:17. second death. See note on 20:6.
21:9 seven bowls. See note on 15:7. seven last plagues. See note on 15:1–8.
21:10 in the Spirit. See note on 1:10.
21:19, 20 Because some of the names of these gems have changed through the centuries, it is difficult to identify each one with certainty. Eight of the 12 stones are found in the breastplate of the High-Priest (Ex. 28, 39), and the other 4 may also be related to the breastplate. The gems picture a brilliant, indescribable panoply of beautiful colors that send forth the light of God’s glory.
21:21 one pearl. Each of the gates of the city is a single, almost 1,400-mile-high pearl. Even as earthly pearls are formed in response to the wounding of oyster flesh, so these gigantic, supernatural pearls will remind saints throughout eternity of the magnitude of Christ’s suffering and its eternal benefit.
21:22 no temple. Several passages affirm that there is a temple in heaven (3:12; 7:15; 11:19; 15:5). Here, it is clear there is none in eternity. How can this be? The temple is not a building; it is the Lord God Himself. Revelation 7:15 implies this when it says, “He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.” Verse 23 continues the thought of no temple, except God and the Lamb. The glory of God which illuminates all heaven defines it as His temple. There is no need for a temple in the eternal state since God Himself will be the temple in which everything exists. The presence of God lit. fills the entire new heaven and new earth (cf. v. 3). Going to heaven will be entering the limitless presence of the Lord (cf. John 14:3; 1 Thess. 4:17).
21:24 the nations. Lit. “the peoples.” Redeemed people from every nation and ethnic group will dwell in heaven’s light. In the eternal city, there will be no more divisions, barriers, or exclusions because of race or politics. All kinds of peoples in eternity dissolve into the people of God, and they will move freely in and about the city.
21:27 Lamb’s Book of Life. See note on 3:5.
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Scriptures in this article come from Biblegateway https://www.biblegateway.com/
Most notes in this article come from the MacArthur Study Bible, being provided by Biblegateway.
Study Bibles that are most often used in these articles are: MacArthur, Ryrie, Jermiah, HCSB, Scofield.
Commentaries that are most often used in these articles are those which have been written by John MacArthur, Charles C. Ryrie, John F. Walvoord, Charles C. Ryrie, J. Dwight Pentecost, Dallas Theological Seminary, Moody Bible Institute.
Video speakers of God’s Plan For Eternity Future
John Ankerberg, founder and president of The John Ankerberg Show, the most-watched Christian worldview show in America
Ed Hindson, http://thekingiscoming.com/about-dr-ed-hindson/
Ed Hindson is the Bible Teacher on The King Is Coming telecast. He is also the Assistant Chancellor, Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the Institute of Biblical Studies and the School of Religion at Liberty University in Virginia.
Mark Hitchcock, http://marklhitchcock.com/about/
Mark Hitchcock is a leading Bible prophecy expert, prolific author who has penned over 20 books on the end times, senior pastor, and adjunct faculty member of the Dallas Theological Seminary.
Ron Rhodes, http://ronrhodes.org/meet-ron.html
Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary (1986). Major: Systematic Theology. Graduated with High Honors.
Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary (1983). Major: Systematic Theology. Graduated with Honors. Elected to Dean’s List.
B.A., Houston Baptist University (1979). Recipient of the Greek Excellence Award. Chief nominee for the Riverside Scholarship.