The New Jerusalem; part 2
living in the new world, where Christians want to be part of
In the last newsletter – the New Jerusalem; part 1 – there still remained an important question:
Why are the saints and the great multitude of Christians first been taken to heaven, to return after a thousand years to earth?
To be able to answer this question, it is useful to know what the lake of fire means, the second death, and it is useful to know what a new heaven and a new earth actually mean.
The lake of fire, the second death
Jesus perfect sacrifice has been brought for the sins of the people, so that imperfect people with their sins still can be saved.
This sacrifice has been brought 1 time, so 1 time people will thus be saved from death as a result of Adam’s sin:
KJV (1 Corinthians 15: 20-22) 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
What about the second death where in Revelation 2:11, 20: 6, 20:14 and 21: 8 is being talked about? Jesus talked in the Gospels about the second death as hell (Gehenna), the valley of Hinnom, the garbage dump of Jerusalem, where the dirt was burned with sulfur as well as the bodies of despised criminals.
KJV (Matthew 23:33) 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell (Gehenna)?
Gehenna is the second death, which Revelation speaks of as the lake of fire.
It’s a big difference with it as ‘hell’ translated word for Hades, as translated in many Bibles.
(For a further explanation of the difference between Hades and Gehenna, see: http://www.matthewmcgee.org/helwords.html )
Hades is the realm of the dead people, but they are alive in God’s eyes:
KJV (Matthew 22:32,33) 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
During judgment it will be determined, who is cast into Gehenna:
KJV (Revelation 20:15) 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
As a person’s body dies, his mind remains in ignorance until the resurrection on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice:
KJV (Ecclesiastes 9: 5) 5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing,…
The soul represents life, when the soul is slain, then the mind is not retained any longer but obliterated.
That’s where Jesus spoke of in Matt. 10:
KJV (Matthew 10:28) 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Gehenna)
People can kill your body, but God can erase you.
Jesus warns us about this judgment:
KJV (Mark 9: 43-48) 43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Jesus refers with ‘their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched’ to Isaiah:
KJV (Isaiah 66: 22-24) 22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. 24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
Where their worm does not die and their fire is not quenched, means: where the maggots will continue to devour the dead bodies, and the punishment will never be terminated.
As we have seen in the previous section, Jesus speaks in Revelation of a lake of fire. But in Rev. 20:14 is written that death will be cast into the lake of fire.
Dying is a change of status, that status is not material and can not be burned.
So, the lake of fire is a metaphor, a form of figurative language use.
To clarify this figurative language, we will give – only as an example – another metaphor of Jesus; the story of Lazarus and the rich man:
KJV (Luke 16: 19-24) 19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell (Hades) he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
Those few drops of a fingertip will only be able to bring little coolness, a cup of water would have been more appropriate.
But it is unambiguous a metaphor, because in Hades, the spirit of a dead man is totally oblivious, see Ecclesiastes 9: 5 in the previous section.
Also at the death of the daughter of Jairus, Jesus speaks about the ‘sleeping’ of the spirit of the girl:
KJV (Mark 5: 35,39) 35 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?… .39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
The metaphor in the previous case of Lazarus is only meant to make something clear, in this case the lack of charity of the rich man and the reward for Lazarus.
Jesus metaphor of the lake of fire is therefore given for the conceptualization, such as the swirling lava from a volcano.
Every human being can imagine, that if you are thrown into there, it will not end good for you.
So what really is meant by Jesus words ‘thrown into the lake of fire’ is, that someone is erased completely, in perpetuity.
But he who endures will certainly not undergo the second death:
KJV (Revelation 2:11) 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
With Jesus parousia or second coming, the still living unrepentant people have – after the two witnesses prophecy – lost their chances:
KJV (2Thess.1: 8-9) 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
This erasure – destroying – is also what the Devil eventually awaits:
KJV (Hebrews 2: 14,15) 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Revelation confirms that the Devil will be thrown into the lake of fire:
KJV (Revelation 20: 10) 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The word ‘tormented’ can also be translated as ‘being punished’, they will be punished forever, so be wiped out forever as a warning example.
As a last, the death due to imperfection of the people will be wiped out, there will no one who will die of old age or illness. (Rev. 20:14)
When Babylon the Great is being destroyed, its smoke rises up for ever:
KJV (Rev. 19: 3) 3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
This can mean nothing else than that her wicked behavior of greed and love of money will also serve as a warning example forever.
The 144,000 saints are just like Christ first fruits (first resurrection), they will not taste the second death:
KJV (Revelation 20: 6) 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
According to Revelation 20: 5, the other people will be resurrected after 1,000 years.
At the judgment on the last day (See 4. Future https://www.dojc.nl/?p=5480&lang=en), all people will appear before the throne of the Lamb:
KJV (John 5: 25-30) 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
Those who have done good, who are written in the book of life, will receive life on the new earth, those who have done evil will be erased at the righteous judgment.
Yet some people – who are written in the book of life – will again deteriorate into ungodly behavior:
KJV (Rev. 20: 7-9) 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
In the New Jerusalem stand the trees with their leaves for healing (Rev. 22: 1,2,14).
These godless people are no longer welcome in the New Jerusalem. (Rev. 21: 27)
There, access locked out to the New Jerusalem, is no rescue possible, their end will come, it is the second death:
KJV (Revelation 21: 8) 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
The Scripture is clear, there will be no place for unrepentant, godless people.
Not anymore on the new earth.
But those of the unbelievers, who are of good will, will say:
KJV (Isaiah 2: 2-3) 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
These people will visit the new temple, built by the Sprout on the high mountain, and want to be taught and want to worship YHWH:
KJV (Isaiah 66: 22-23) 22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.
The meaning of ‘new’ in new heaven and new earth
KJV (Isaiah 65:17) 17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
KJV (Isaiah 66:22) 22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.
KJV (2 Peter 3:13) 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
In 2 Peter 3:13 (see above), the Greek word used for ‘new’ is derived from KAINOS.
According to W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, KAINOS means ‘new’, of that which is unaccustomed or unused, not ‘new’ in time, recent, but ‘new’ as to form or quality, of different nature from what is contrasted as old.
KAINOS is thus used to indicate a shape or quality and means fresh, unused, brand new.
As applied to new wine in Matthew 9:
KJV (Matthew 9:17) 17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
In Greek there is still another word for ‘new’, NEOS.
According to W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words NEOS means: signifies ‘new’ in respect of time, that which is recent; it is used of the young, and so translated, especially the comparative degree ‘younger’; accordingly what is NEOS may be a reproduction of the old in quality or character.
NEOS is thus used with respect to time, a new version following an old version concerning the quality.
So the ‘new’ earth will not be a cleaned or refurbished earth, but an unused, brand new earth.
William Vine then takes both Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22 as one scene literally, as dealing about one subject.
The meaning of ‘earth’
KJV (Gen 1: 1-2) 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
KJV (Gen 3:17) 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
In Genesis 1: 1-2 with earth is meant the place of residence, not the cosmic globe.
Genesis contains an explanation for people in a different time period, with still little knowledge of the universe.
In Gen 3:17 the ground of the earth is cursed, the earth where people have to grow their crops.
KJV (Psalm 102: 25-27) 25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. 26 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: 27 But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
When the Psalmist had for ‘earth’ a place of habitation in mind, then it is written in Psalm 102: 27 that the earth will be ‘swapped’ like a mantle or garment.
The cosmic planet earth itself will therefore continue to function as a carrier of the ‘new’ mantle or garment.
So, the only what will be changed is the garment, the outer layer or top layer.
With a new earth, the curse of the ‘old’ earth (ground) will be lifted.
Isaiah also confirms in the next section, that heaven will fall apart and that the earth will wear out as a garment:
KJV (Isaiah 51: 6) 6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
Then Isaiah speaks of a new heaven and a new earth, and that in Jerusalem the sound of weeping will no longer be heard. If someone is already 100 years old, he will die as a young man. And that person will only die if he has implored evil about himself and has been erased out of the book of life:
KJV (Isaiah 65:20) 20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed.
KJV (Rev.3: 5) 5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
This wearing out or become obsolete of the earth is also described in Hebrews:
KJV (Hebrews 1: 10-12) 10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
Also in Hebrews is written that the heavens and the earth shall be changed as a mantle, as an outer garment. A mantle or outer garment is here also figuratively referred to as an upper layer in the clothing.
How that change or exchange is going to happen is written in 2 Peter, where is written that the heavens and earth are saved up for the fire until the Day of Judgment:
KJV (2 Peter 3: 7-10) 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
The heavens will pass away with a hissing noise, the earth will burn and the elements will be dissolved intensely hot.
Prior to this intensely hot dissolution of the elements, fierce scenes will occur:
KJV (Revelation 6: 12-17) 12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
When the Son of man will reveal Himself and the saints and Christians are taken to heaven and brought to safety, then the fire will rage on the Earth.
This will not be a symbolic fire, but real fire and brimstone as described in Luke:
KJV (Luke 17: 28-30) 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
Jesus also says that heaven and earth shall pass away and that his words will come true:
KJV (Matthew 24: 33-35) 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
And that fire can come down from heaven (like in the case of Lot) is also described i.a. in the following Scriptures:
KJV (Numbers 16:35) 35 And there came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
KJV (2 Kings 1:14) 14 Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight.
Is it therefore necessary to create a completely new creation?
The creation is – just to name a few things – severely damaged by genetically modified crops, by chemical pesticides, radioactive waste and fallout. After the dissolution of the old earth (which is seriously ruined), the new heaven and the new earth will be created:
KJV (Revelation 21: 1-5) 1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
KJV (Isaiah 65: 17-20) 17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed.
Isaiah describes clearly the New Jerusalem on earth, where after all tears will be wiped away by God as also described in Rev. 21: 4
Even the sea – as we know it – will not be there anymore, which will also be made completely new.
No human or animal can survive this intense hot dissolve of the top layer or outer garment of the earth.
It will be a literal new earth by the new creation of plants and animals.
And that’s why the 1,000 years of Revelation are needed, to create again the earth as a paradise and to let it recover.
Therewith is the statement complete, that the saints and other living Christians all ‘should’ be included in heaven to be saved and are the introductory questions of this newsletter about the 1,000-year stay in heaven answered.
When the earth has recovered after the new creation (1000 years) , all the deceased will receive a resurrection, a new beginning for those who receive a resurrection to life based on Jesus’ sacrifice.
The New Jerusalem will descend to the new earth and the new temple will be built by the Sprout (our King Jesus) on a high mountain.
In this new temple will be God’s throne and will God be represented:
KJV (Revelation 22: 3) 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:
The new creation of animals on the new earth will be a delight for the people:
KJV (Isaiah 11: 6-9) 6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.