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New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:1-8

Revelation 21 - Quick Links

  • The New Heaven and New Earth
    Revelation 21:1-8

  • The New Jerusalem
    Revelation 21:9-14

  • The Eternal City's Construction
    Revelation 21:15-21

  • The Glory of God and the Nations
    Revelation 21:22-27

  • Revelation 21:1-8


    Revelation 21:1 - 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.

    In the last chapter, John saw the Lord's final judgment on Satan and all the lost souls at the end of Christ's thousand-year reign in His earthly kingdom. In this chapter and the next chapter, John sees only a glimpse of the eternal state God has prepared for His people, but Paul tells us we can expect so much more than we can ever imagine:

    1 Corinthians 2:9 - But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

    At the final judgment, the heavens and the earth will "pass away," or flee from the face of the Lord:

    Revelation 20:11 - Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.

    The Greek word translated "pass away" does not mean to cease to exist, but to depart from a place like fleeing from the face of God, or to change the state or condition of something (source). The passages below also speak of the passing away of the earth and the heavens, which include the earth's atmosphere, the cosmos, and the current dwelling place of God:

    Isaiah 51:6 - Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished.
    Matthew 5:18 - For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
    Matthew 24:35 - Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

    The earth and the heavens "perish," but God does not obliterate them - He "changes" them like a cloak:

    Psalm 102:25-26 - Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; yes, they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed.

    Also, God did not create the heavens and the earth in vain, so it makes sense that His intent for creation is purification and restoration, and not annihilation:

    Isaiah 45:18 - For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the LORD, and there is no other."

    Peter fills in the gaps of what happens by explaining that God will put the earth and the heavens, including the cosmos, through a fiery judgment. God's refining fire will purify the earth from the taint of sin, reducing it to its primary elements, from which God will restore it to new heavens, or cosmos, and a new earth:

    2 Peter 3:7, 10-13 - But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.... But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

    As discussed in Revelation 16:18-20, John sees the Lord renovate the earth after the Tribulation through a global earthquake that will change the physical landscape and bring tranquility to the earth:

    Romans 8:19-22 - For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
    Revelation 16:17-18, 20 - Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.... Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
    Isaiah 40:3-5 - The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
    Isaiah 42:15-16 - I will lay waste the mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation; I will make the rivers coastlands, and I will dry up the pools. I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.

    So, while John clearly saw two renovations of the earth before and after the Millennium, Isaiah saw one renovation. However, one can discern the details of two renovations by comparing Isaiah's account to what John saw in Revelation:

    Isaiah 65:17-25 - "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. "It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain," says the LORD.
    Isaiah 66:22-24 - "For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me," Says the LORD, "so shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me," says the LORD. "And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."

    For example, in the Millennium there is still sin and death (Revelation 20:7-10), but not in the eternal state (Revelation 21:4, 8). There is no marriage in the eternal state (Matthew 22:30, Mark 12:25), with the implication that the ability to procreate ceases in saints with glorified bodies (Genesis 2:24), but the nations will increase in number as the sand of the sea in the Millennium (Revelation 20:7-8). Also, John says that there is no more sea in the eternal state, but the sea is still present in the Millennium:

    Ezekiel 47:8-10 - Then he said to me: "This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many."
    Revelation 20:13 - The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

    The following commentary offers a possible reason why there is no sea in the eternal state:

      "Why is there no sea?... I believe the explanation probably lies in two areas. First, there is the issue of practical usability. About seventy-five percent of our present earth is covered by water which renders it unusable. But that will not be the case with the new earth. The vast majority of its extensive landmass will be very much available for our use. Second, the vast oceans of this present earth are, for the most part, left over from the great judgment of the Flood that occurred in Noah's day. So, they are a grim and constant reminder of that past judgment. As Peter puts it":

      2 Peter 3:5-7 - For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

      "Undoubtedly, Earth's original seas were far less extensive than those that exist today. The oceans, then, stand as vivid reminders that God once judged our world by water. Every wave that roles upon a sandy shore mutters that there is a righteous and holy God who rules over men and who does not allow evil and wickedness to go on and on... unchallenged and unchecked. I believe this is why God's new Earth will have no sea."

      Source: A verse by verse commentary on the Bible Book of Revelation

    After the flood, God used the sea to judge Pharaoh and his army, and after God destroys Babylon by fire, He will cover the ruins of the city with the sea at the end of the Tribulation:

    Exodus 14:27-28 - And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained.
    Revelation 18:8, 21 - Therefore her plagues will come in one day - death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore."
    Jeremiah 51:42 - The sea has come up over Babylon; she is covered with the multitude of its waves.

    As discussed in Revelation 7:3 and Revelation 13:1, the sea represents Gentile nations and the beast rises from the sea showing that he comes out of the Gentile nations:

    Revelation 13:1 - Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.

    Similarly, the Leviathan is a serpent that also comes from the sea that may symbolize either the beast or Satan:

    Isaiah 27:1 - In that day the LORD with His severe sword, great and strong, will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; and He will slay the reptile that is in the sea.

    More generally, the Lord likens the wicked to a troubled sea:

    Isaiah 57:20-21 - But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."

    God will judge the wicked world in the Tribulation, so it makes sense to see the nations in distress, when God literally troubles the sea with storms and tsunamis, but also figuratively, in that the sea symbolizes the nations in distress with perplexity:

    Luke 21:25-26 - "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken."

    In short, the associations of the sea with judgment and wickedness in Scripture gives rationale for why there is no more sea in the eternal state.


    Revelation 21:2 - Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

    After John sees the new heaven and the new earth, he sees the holy city, New Jerusalem descending toward the earth, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Recall from Revelation 20:9, the Lord used similar imagery to describe His affection for the earthly Jerusalem and its people, like a husband for his wife (Ezekiel 16). The following passage about the earthly Jerusalem shows how the Lord will delight in the city like a bridegroom over a bride when He restores the city in the Millennium. The passage below shows how God sees the city and the people tied together as one entity:

    Isaiah 62:1-5 - For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns. The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name. You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

    A city is not just buildings, and not just citizens, but together they form a community in what we call a city, where the population is large, or a town or village, where the population is small. New Jerusalem is the home of the bride of Christ, the Church (Ephesians 5:23-32, John 14:2-3), and so we see the heavenly city synonymous with the citizens who comprise the Lamb's wife:

    Revelation 21:9-11 - 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." 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, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

    As demonstrated in "The Traditional Jewish Wedding," Scripture shows that God is spiritually united with Israel and Christ is spiritually united with the Church. Both unions are like a marriage union, or covenant that symbolizes the intimacy the Lord has with His people who become citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem through the sacrifice of Christ:

    Hebrews 12:22-24 - But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

    John describes the heavenly Jerusalem as the "holy city." When God calls something "holy" it shows He has set it apart for Himself:

    Leviticus 20:26 - And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.

    The earthly Jerusalem was also known throughout Scripture as the "holy city," because God chose the city as His own by putting His name on it:

    1 Kings 11:36 - And to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there.

    However, the earthly Jerusalem went through periods of time when its citizens turned away from God and toward idolatry, and God judged the city for the spiritual harlotry the people committed. Note that God calls the city a "harlot" because He describes the city and its citizens synonymously, as discussed earlier:

    Isaiah 1:21 - How the faithful city has become a harlot! It was full of justice; righteousness lodged in it, but now murderers.
    Jeremiah 2:20-23 - "For of old I have broken your yoke and burst your bonds; and you said, 'I will not transgress,' when on every high hill and under every green tree you lay down, playing the harlot. Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality. How then have you turned before Me into the degenerate plant of an alien vine? For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Me," says the Lord GOD. "How can you say, 'I am not polluted, I have not gone after the Baals?'"
    Jeremiah 13:27 - "I have seen your adulteries and your lustful neighings, the lewdness of your harlotry, your abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! Will you still not be made clean?"
    Ezekiel 16:2, 15-17 - "Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations... But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it. You took some of your garments and adorned multicolored high places for yourself, and played the harlot on them. Such things should not happen, nor be. You have also taken your beautiful jewelry from My gold and My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images and played the harlot with them."

    However, God will restore the earthly Jerusalem during the Millennium, and it will not be a harlot city, but a holy city during that time, because the Lord will personally protect and rule over the city and the rest of the world with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27, 12:5, 19:15):

    Joel 3:14-17 - Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness. The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. "So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, and no aliens shall ever pass through her again."
    Isaiah 52:1-3, 9-10, 13 - Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean shall no longer come to you. Shake yourself from the dust, arise; sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion! For thus says the LORD: "You have sold yourselves for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money...." Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem! For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.... Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.

    Likewise, the heavenly Jerusalem will never become a harlot city. Recall from Revelation 17:1-4 that Babylon, which God called a harlot city, was the antitype of the heavenly Jerusalem. While the heavenly Jerusalem is a holy city adorned as a bride, Babylon is a corrupt city adorned as a harlot:

    Revelation 17:1-4 - Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication." So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.

    Babylon is really the epitome of the natural end of a society without God's intervention because its corruption leads to its own implosion when God removes His protective hand (Romans 1). A holy city is full of righteousness, but men can never achieve this - only God can. As the eternal city descends from Heaven, we see that it is from God and is the place Jesus said He Himself would prepare for His people:

    John 14:2-3 - 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

    While the Lord has adorned the city like a bride with precious stones and jewels (Revelation 21:19-20), the Lord also prepares His bride, the Church with the wedding attire symbolic of the righteous acts of the saints:

    Revelation 19:7-8 - "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

    Recall from Revelation 19:7-8 that it is not the righteous acts or works that the saints do in and of themselves, but the righteousness of Christ imputed to the saints that justifies them before God and allows them to enter into a spiritual union, or covenant with Him. The decision to submit to Christ during the sanctification process, after accepting the free gift of salvation, is the only part a believer does on their own accord - and that is how the Church makes herself ready. Christ does the rest to prepare His bride to sanctify her to make her holy:

    Ephesians 5:24-27 - Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

    So, we see that the Lord will make the new heaven and the new earth, and He is also preparing the eternal city like a bride adorned for her husband, which symbolizes the spiritual union God has with His people that we will continue to discuss in the next section.


    Revelation 21:3 - 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."

    A loud voice in Heaven makes a declaration about God, which is probably an angel speaking since it is spoken in the third person perspective. This declaration begins with "behold," which means to "perceive" or "look," as discussed in Revelation 1:7. The word "behold" helps John perceive that the new heavens, the new earth, and the New Jerusalem that he just saw are physical places the Lord promised He would prepare so that He can tangibly dwell or "tabernacle" with His people:

    John 14:3 - And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

    The tabernacle, or tent that held the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament, foreshadowed God's plan to dwell among His people in the new earth. While the glory of the Lord physically dwelt within the camp of Israel in the tabernacle, mediation through a priest and sacrifice was necessary because of sin:

    Exodus 29:43-46 - And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by My glory. So I will consecrate the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. I will also consecrate both Aaron and his sons to minister to Me as priests. I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.

    God's presence among His people in the earthly tabernacle was conditional upon them walking in His statutes, based on the old covenant in the Mosaic Law:

    Leviticus 26:3, 11-12 - 'If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them... I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.'
    1 Kings 6:11-13 - Then the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying: "Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel."

    But in the millennial kingdom, God's presence among His people will become permanent because of His everlasting covenant of peace made possible through Jesus, and because He will rule and reign in the flesh on the earth. But there will still be a need for a temple and an earthly priesthood because of sin (Ezekiel 40-46):

    Ezekiel 37:21-23, 26-28 - "Then say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.... Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore."'"
    Jeremiah 32:38-41 - 'They shall be My people, and I will be their God; then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me. Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul.'

    Under God's instruction, Moses patterned the earthly tabernacle after the tabernacle in Heaven, where God's throne is today:

    Hebrews 8:1-5 - Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."

    In the earthly temple, the high priest served as a mediator between God and Israel. In the heavenly temple, Jesus is the High Priest and Mediator between God and all men:

    Hebrews 9:11-15 - But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

    But after the cross, God did a new thing and made every believer their own temple and their own priest:

    1 Peter 2:4-5, 9 - Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.... But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people....
    Revelation 5:9-10 - And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth."

    Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to indwell our bodily temples and to intercede for us:

    1 Corinthians 3:16 - Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
    1 Corinthians 6:19 - Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
    Ephesians 2:19-22 - Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
    Romans 8:26-27 - Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

    The tabernacles - earthly, heavenly, and bodily - will pass away in the eternal state, because they all point to the ultimate temple of God Himself, when there are no more barriers between God and men:

    Revelation 21:22 - But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

    When God tabernacles with His people, the name given to Jesus, "Immanuel," or "God with us" will be fully actualized:

    Matthew 1:21-23 - "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."
    John 1:14 - And the Word became 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.

    God will finally have a perfect union with His people in the eternal state and dwell with them face-to-face:

    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. They shall see His face....
    1 Corinthians 13:12 - For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

    God's intent to tabernacle with His people will come back full circle, back to the garden of Eden before Adam and Eve sinned and broke their intimate communion with God:

    Genesis 3:8 - And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

    Charles Spurgeon beautifully described what man lost in Eden and what the Lord will restore in the eternal state:

      "I do not think the glory of Eden lay in its grassy walks, or in the boughs bending with luscious fruit - but its glory lay in this, that the 'Lord God walked in the garden in the cool of the day.' Here was Adam's highest privilege, that he had companionship with the Most High."

      Source: The Enduring Word Bible Commentary

    It is clear the Lord desires to dwell with His people in perfect fellowship, and we see His redemptive plan all through Scripture to restore that personal relationship once more for eternity:

    Ephesians 1:7-10 - In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth - in Him.

    Revelation 21:4 - "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."

    In Revelation 7:17 we saw that God will wipe away every tear from the saints who die in the Tribulation to comfort them from the pain they endured:

    Revelation 7:16-17 - "They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

    Likewise, God will wipe away every tear and comfort all His saints from all dispensations when He permanently removes the things like death, sorrow, and pain that cause tears and mourning:

    Isaiah 51:11-12 - So the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away. "I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass?"
    Isaiah 25:4-8 - For You have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; for the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. You will reduce the noise of aliens, as heat in a dry place; as heat in the shadow of a cloud, the song of the terrible ones will be diminished. And in this mountain The LORD of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees. And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken.

    And "Death" is the last enemy that God defeats before the eternal order, as discussed in Revelation 20:14:

    Revelation 20:14 - Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
    1 Corinthians 15:24-27 - Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.

    Wiping away our tears also seems to indicate that God will remove our recollection of certain things that take away our joy:

    Isaiah 43:18-19 - "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
    Isaiah 65:17-19 - "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying."

    Whether or not God wipes away our recollection of things, certainly our current perspective of things will change in the comforting presence of the Lord. Even so, we should try to seek that eternal perspective now, because we know that the current order of things will eventually pass away:

    1 John 2:17 - And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
    2 Peter 3:11-13 - Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
    2 Corinthians 4:16-18 - Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

    That said, it is difficult to imagine a time where we will no longer mourn or shed tears for our lost loved ones who are in eternal torment (Matthew 8:12), but someday we will. Also, God's people will not shed tears over past regrets in the eternal state. Author John Walvoord says it this way:

      "But the idea of tears in heaven should never be used as a tool of guilt-manipulation on this earth. "There is no just ground for imagining from this text that the saints will shed tears in heaven concerning the failures of their former life on earth. The emphasis here is on the comfort of God, not on the remorse of the saints."" (John Walvoord)

      Source: Blue Letter Bible

    Even if we cannot understand how these things will be, we can know that it is because God is going to bring a new order to all things in a way that brings complete restoration and reconciliation between God and His people:

    2 Corinthians 5:17-19 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

    The only thing in existence today that will not pass away in the new order of things to come is the heavenly Jerusalem, because it is already of that new order:

    Hebrews 13:14 - For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.

    God will make all things new and the effects of the curse will become non-existence when the elements go through God's refining fire and sin is no more. Also, the law of entropy, where creation moves from order to disorder, will no longer apply in the new order of things where there is no more death or destruction.


    Revelation 21:5 - 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."

    Recall from Revelation 3:21 that a throne is a seat of power (Colossians 1:16). The Lord will sit on His throne, exercising His power and glory given by the Father when He returns after the Tribulation to set up His earthly kingdom:

    Matthew 25:31 - "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory."

    When something is "true and faithful" it is reliable and trustworthy. As discussed in Revelation 1:5, Jesus is "faithful and true" because there is no falsehood found in Him and it is impossible for Him to lie:

    Revelation 1:4-6 - John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
    Revelation 3:14 - "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God....'"
    Revelation 19:11 - Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

    Thus, when Jesus declares that He will make all things new, He is sure to accomplish it along with the rest of His promises in Revelation:

    Revelation 22:6 - Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.

    And it is not just the heavens and the earth that the Lord makes new, but those in Christ will also become new creations made to dwell in the eternal state:

    2 Corinthians 5:14-17 - For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

    Revelation 21:6 - 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."

    After the Lord tells John that He will make all things new, He declares "It is done!" God alone completes the work of redemption and reconciliation, and no one can add to it:

    Ephesians 1:7-10 - In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth - in Him.

    There are two other times the Lord declares a finished work in Scripture. The first time was when He died on the cross, and the second time is after the last Bowl judgment when His wrath is complete (Revelation 15:1):

    John 19:30 - So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
    Revelation 16:17 - Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"

    Jesus calls Himself both the "Alpha and Omega" and the "Beginning and the End" at the beginning of Revelation and again at the end:

    Revelation 1:8 - "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
    Revelation 22:13 - "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."

    As discussed in Revelation 1:8, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet are "alpha" and "omega." This is another way of saying "the beginning and the end," or the "first and the last" (Revelation 1:11). In Jewish tradition, "the alpha and omega" was a common expression used to depict the entirety of something. The title: "The Beginning and the End" denotes the Lord's eternal existence and omnipresence; from eternity past to eternity future, as shown in following passages:

    Isaiah 43:10-13 - "...Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the LORD, and besides Me there is no savior. I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, and there was no foreign god among you; therefore you are My witnesses," says the LORD, "that I am God. Indeed before the day was, I am He; and there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?"
    Isaiah 46:9-10 - Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.'

    The title: "The Beginning and the End" also shows us that the Godhead accomplishes everything He begins through Jesus, so it is fitting that the Lord declares "It is done!" after the Godhead completes the new creation, coming full circle from what His plan for creation was in the beginning:

    John 1:1-3 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

    Water is essential for life in the present world. So, freely drinking from the living fountains of water is a picture of the Lord's free gift of salvation necessary for eternal life that can only be found in Him:

    John 4:13-14 - Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."
    John 7:37-38 - On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
    Psalms 36:7-9 - How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.
    Isaiah 12:2-3 - "Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; 'For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.'" Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.
    Isaiah 55:1-3 - "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you - the sure mercies of David."
    Jeremiah 2:13 - "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns - broken cisterns that can hold no water."
    Jeremiah 17:13 - O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed. "Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters."
    1 Corinthians 10:1, 4 - Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea... and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
    Revelation 7:15-17 - "Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
    Revelation 22:1, 17 - And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.... And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

    Only God can quench the thirsty soul:

    Psalms 42:1-2 - ...As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

    Revelation 21:7 - "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son."

    An "overcomer" is plainly defined in Scripture, as follows:

    1 John 5:4-5 - For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

    Those who overcome and are in Christ will inherit all things, including eternal life:

    1 Corinthians 3:21-23 - Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come - all are yours. And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.
    Titus 3:4-7 - But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    Recall from the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 that there were seven promises for the overcomers in each letter. The promises are for the entire body of believers and not just for the individual church that the Lord directed the message to. In other words, all true born-again believers in Christ will receive all the promises in all seven letters:


    To him who overcomes...
    1. ...I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God (Revelation 2:7).
    2. ...shall not be hurt by the second death (Revelation 2:11).
    3. ...I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it (Revelation 2:17).
    4. ...and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations - 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' - as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star (Revelation 2:26-28).
    5. ...shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels (Revelation 3:5).
    6. ...I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name (Revelation 3:12).
    7. ...I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne (Revelation 3:21).

    Overcomers must become adopted sons of the Father to inherit all things in the kingdom and the eternal state:

    Galatians 3:29, 4:1-7 - And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.... Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
    Ephesians 1:3-6 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
    1 Peter 1:3-5 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
    1 John 3:1-2 - Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

    Angels are "sons of God," because God directly created them, unlike humans who are born through procreation:

    Genesis 6:1-4 - Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
    Job 2:1 - Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
    Job 38:7 - When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

    But the first human, Adam, was a direct "son of God" (Luke 3:38), as is Jesus, who was born of the Holy Spirit and not through procreation:

    Luke 1:35 - And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."

    All those "born again" through the Holy Spirit (John 3:5-7) and faith in Jesus Christ become adoptive "sons of God":

    Luke 20:34-36 - Jesus answered and said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection."
    John 1:12-13 - But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
    Romans 8:14-21 - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs - heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

    The Lord makes this spiritual adoption possible through Jesus Christ in the new covenant:

    Hebrews 8:8-13 - "...Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah - not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
    Hebrews 9:11-15 - But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

    The old covenant served the purpose of showing us we needed a Savior:

    Galatians 3:24-26 - Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

    And under the old covenant, God called those who had faith in Him as "sons" and promised them an inheritance of land and an everlasting kingdom that Jesus Christ fulfilled being of David's lineage:

    Genesis 17:4-8 - "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
    Exodus 4:22 - Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD: "Israel is My son, My firstborn."'
    Psalms 89:20, 26-27 - I have found My servant David; with My holy oil I have anointed him... He shall cry to Me, 'You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.' Also I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.
    1 Chronicles 17:7, 13-14 - "Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel.... I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. And I will establish him in My house and in My kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever."'"
    1 Chronicles 22:9-10 - 'Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.'

    Revelation 21:8 - "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."

    Those who overcome the world through faith in Jesus Christ will inherit all things in eternal life as a "son of God." But those who reject the Lord and continue in their sin without accepting Jesus as savior will become separated from God eternally in the second death.

    As discussed in Revelation 19:20, the "second death," is destruction of the soul when it is divided from the spirit. Note the Greek word translated "hell" in the following passage is "Gehenna" which is a valley south of Jerusalem that came to symbolize the final place of punishment of the ungodly (source):

    Matthew 10:28 - And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    The "second death," or the destruction of the soul takes place in the final place of judgment, the lake of fire:

    Revelation 20:14 - Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

    The lake of fire burns with fire and brimstone. As discussed in Revelation 9:18, brimstone is solely used in the context of God's judgment against wicked humans, against fallen spirit beings, and upon places like Sodom and Gomorrah and Babylon who had wicked inhabitants. Nowhere do we see brimstone used by those who are evil, but only by God in judgment.

    Incidentally, the word brimstone comes from the same Hebrew root word for "gopher" which is only found in the Bible where God told Noah to build the ark with gopherwood. God protected everyone inside the ark made of gopherwood, but destroyed everyone outside the ark in judgment by the Flood:

    Genesis 6:13-14 - And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch."

    So, we see a picture of those who enter eternal life and inherit all things and spend eternity with God, in contrast to those who reject God and refuse to become a new creation as a son of God (Revelation 21:7). Those who reject God become forever characterized and judged by the sin they practice, because they are not redeemed by the blood of the Lamb:

    1 Peter 1:17-19 - And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

    By nature, those who are not born of the Spirit walk in the flesh:

    Romans 8:1-5 - There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
    Galatians 5:16-21 - I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Paul gives similar lists of the unrighteous, characterized by the sin they practice, but it is in the context of entering the kingdom after the Tribulation. Note that the righteous are not sinless, but they become righteous through Christ (Romans 5:12-21), and God deals with sin in the believer's life as a Father chastising His son (Hebrews 12:1-11):

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
    Ephesians 5:3-5 - But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
    1 Timothy 1:8-11 - But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

    John gives a truncated list of the sinners again later in Revelation, but in the context of how they cannot enter the gates of the holy city. This contrasts with those who do the Lord's "commandments" to believe on the name of Jesus Christ and to love one another (1 John 3:23, 4:21), and therefore are not characterized by the sins they practiced before becoming a son of God, so they are able to enter the gates of the holy city:

    Revelation 22:14-15 - Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

    The following table defines each sin and shows it usage elsewhere in Scripture that characterizes those who reject the Lord and will spend their eternity in the lake of fire that burns with fire and brimstone:


    Cowardly
    (deilois)
    Fearful, timid* Matthew 8:25-26 - Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
    Unbelieving
    (apistois)
    Faithless, incredulous, without trust* 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 - But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

    2 Corinthians 6:14 - Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
    Abominable
    (ebdelygmenois)
    Abhorred, detested, loathed* Romans 2:22 - You who say, "Do not commit adultery," do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
    Murderers
    (phoneusin)
    Assassin, committing unjustified intentional homicide* Acts 7:52-53 - "Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it."
    Sexual Immoral
    (pornois)
    Fornicator, prostitute, whoremonger* 1 Corinthians 5:11 - But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner - not even to eat with such a person.

    Hebrews 13:4 - Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
    Sorcerers
    (pharmakois)
    Poisoner, magician* Revelation 9:20-21 - But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
    Idolaters
    (eidōlolatrais)
    Worship or serve false gods* 1 Corinthians 10:6-7 - Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play."
    Liars
    (pseudesin)
    Deceitful, give false witness* Acts 6:13-14 - They also set up false witnesses who said, "This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us."

    Revelation 2:2 - "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars...."

    * Source of definitions: Biblehub

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