. . the former things passed away. . . . Lo! I
am making all new!" (Un. 21:4,5).
THIS Scripture speaks of the passing away of the order of things
belonging to the old creation and the ushering in of the new. The day of the Lord closes
with the great cataclysm out of which comes the new creationthe new heavens and the
new earthand the day of God. John says:
And I perceived a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and
the former earth pass away, and the sea is no more (Un. 21:1).
Peter gives us a more complete description of how the new creation is
to be effected in these words:
Yet the heavens now, and the earth, by the same word, are stored with
fire, being kept for the day of the judgment and destruction of irreverent men [the Great
White Throne Judgment]. . . .
Now the day of the Lord will be arriving as a thief, in which the
heavens shall be passing by with a booming noise, yet the elements will be dissolved by
combustion, and the earth and the works in it will be discovered. All these, then, being
dissolved, what manner ought you to belong to in holy behavior and devouthess, hoping for
and hurrying the presence of the day of God, because of which the heavens, being on fire,
will be dissolved and the elements are decomposed by combustion! Yet we, according to His
promises, are hoping for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness is dwelling
(2 Pet. 3:7-13).
THE THREE DAYS OF SCRIPTURE
It will be well for us to recognize, first of all, the three great days
of Scripture and their relation to God's eonian administrations. From the expulsion of
Adam from Eden unto the "coming", or presence of the Lord, is Man's Day (1 Cor.
4:3). During this period man is given authority and supremacy, and allowed to go his own
ways for proving his incompeteney. The presence of the Lord marks the beginning of the
Lord's Day (Un. 1:10), which closes with the heavens passing by with a booming noise, the
elements dissolved by combustion and the earth and the works in it discovered, followed by
the new creation and the Day of God (2 Pet. 3:12). In the Day of the Lord, Yahweh will
alone be exalted, while in the Day of God, God tabernacles with mankind, they will be His
peoples and He will be with them. Thus we have revealed a divine arrangement, beginning
with the estrangement in Eden, by which Deity draws closer with each order until there is
reconciliation between creature and Creator in the Day of God, in which righteousness
THE NEW CREATION
The grand era of the new creationthe new heavens and the new
earthis designated, according to the time element in the Scriptures, as "the
eon of the eon" (Heb. 1:8), and "the eon of the eons" (Eph. 3:21), and is
the last of the great eons of time in God's Eonian Purpose.
As to cosmogony, it is the third of the heavens and earths revealed in
the Scriptures. The first comes before us in Genesis 1:1, but passed by at the great
disruption, in which "the earth becomes waste and sterile, and darkhess is on the
surface of the abyss" (Gen 1:2), the "earth cohering out of water and through
water, by the word of God; through which the then world, being deluged by water, was
destroyed" (2 Pet. 3:5-7).
We are living in the second of the heavens and earths, concerning which
Yet the heavens now, and the earth, by the same word, are stored with
fire, being kept for the day of the judgment and destruction of irreverent men ( 2 Pet.
When the heavens and the earth which are now flee from the face of Him
Who sits on the great white throne (Un. 20:11), they will pass through the great crucible
of the Divine Alchemist and be made new, indestructible, unchanging, permanent and
abidingthe third and last of the heavens and earths in God's Eonian Purpose.
The new earth will have many things in common with the first,
particularly that in the first, there was no sea. Water, in the form of seas, is found
only on the present earth. The changing character of the earth on which we live is due
largely to the presence of water. It disintegrates the solid rocks. In the form of
glaciers, it grinds down the mountains. In brooks, streams and rivers, it washes the soil
into the sea. Undoubtedly, it is all a parable of the impermanent moral process through
which mankind is passing. But in the new creation, the new earth will be made a permanent
habitation for the human race.
THE PARADISE OF GOD
It is astounding how the word paradise has been perverted through the
fanciful teaching of men swayed by their sentiments rather than revelation. Seldom is a
funeral sermon preached that the deceased is not put in paradise! But it is to be noted
that much confusion reigns as to where it is located. Some make it a part of hades,
somewhere in the heart of the earth! Others say it is heaven, while others think it is the
The word paradise is Persian, meaning a park or garden filled with
fruit-bearing plants. In the Septuagint it is used in speaking of the garden of Eden. In
the Greek Scriptures we find it used but three times, two of which undoubtedly refer to
the millennial kingdom of the restored earth (Luke 23:43; Un. 2:7), and one to the new
earth of the third heaven and earth in the new creation of the last eon (2 Cor. 12:4).
With Inspiration invariably applying the word to the earth, truth-lovers should be
constrained to discard all current ideas not in harmony with the divine usage.
When the former things have passed by and all things have been made
new, a most delightful prospect will await those whose destiny is to be found on the new
earththe paradise of God. John writes that he heard a loud voice out of the throne
Lo! God's tabernacle is with mankind, and He will be tabernacling
with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them. And He will be
brushing away every tear from their eyes. And death will be no more, nor mourning, nor
clamor, nor misery: they will be no more, seeing that the former things passed away
THE NEW CITY, JERUSALEM
And I perceived the holy city, new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven
from God, having been made ready as a bride adorned for her husband (Un. 21:2).
It cannot be too strongly emphasized here, that the holy city, new
Jerusalem, is not heaven in any sense of the word, as is so commonly taught and believed
today. It is heavenly as to character, but is located on the new earth. It comes down from
God out of heaven, hence, it cannot be heaven. Neither is it to be the dwelling place of
all. The majority, superficially following their sentiments, have circumscribed and read
into the Scriptures such crude ideas concerning heaven, until there are but few indeed,
comparatively speaking, who know what the Scriptures really teach concerning the subject.
So in this study may we be scrupulous, and read the description of the city as the
messenger has given it, noting for whom it has been prepared:
And one of the seven messengers who have the seven bowls brimming with
the last seven calamities came and speaks with me, saying: "Hither! I shall be
showing you the bride, the wife of the Lambkin." And he carries me away, in spirit,
on a mountain huge and high, and shows me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of
heaven from God, her luminosity, like a precious stone, as a crystalline jasper gem;
having a wall, huge and high; having twelve portals, and at the portals twelve messengers,
and names inscribed, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. From
the east are three portals, and from the north three portals, and from the south three
portals, and from the west three portals. And the wall of the city has twelve foundations,
and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lambkin. And he who is talking
with me had a golden measuring reed, in order that he should be measuring the city, and
its portals, and its walls. And the city is lying four-square: its length is as much as
the breadth. And he measures the city with the reedtwelve thousand stadia [1378.97
miles]. Its length and breadth and height are equal. And he measures its wall, a hundred
and forty-four cubits [about 200 feet] of a man, which the messenger's measure is. And the
buttress of its wall is jasper, and the city is clear gold, like clear glass. The
foundations of the city's wall have been adorned with every precious stone, the first
foundation with jasper, the second lapis lazuli, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald,
the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh topaz, the eighth beryl, the ninth
peridot, the tenth chysoprase, the eleventh amethyst, the twelfth garnet. And the twelve
portals are twelve pearls. Each one of the portals was respectively of one pearl. And the
city square is gold, clear as translucent glass (Un. 21:9-21).
This description of the holy city, new Jerusalem, is surpassingly
grand. "But," says some one, "you don't suppose this to be literally true,
do you?" No, in this work, we are not "supposing" anything ! We believe it
to be literally true, because we have found it easier to believe God than to try to
understand men's interpretationst The heavens are literal, the earth is literal, and the
sea is literal in all this description, then why can the city not be literal also? In
truth, this is the city for which Abraham looked, whose Artisan and Architect is God (Heb.
11:10). It will be the eonian home of "saved Israel," the "wife of the
A consideration of the city's dimensions reveals why the present earth
must be created anew and the sea be no more when it comes down. It is 12,000 stadia, or
1378.97 miles square. Do we grasp the immense size of a city of such proportions ? It will
cover 1,901,551.26 square miles ! It will occupy an area of more than one-half the size of
continental United States!
SHAPE OF THE CITY
We are told that the length and breadth and height are equal. This does
not necessarily imply that it is to be a cube, for there is another geometical figure that
has equal dimensions, and that is a pyramid. In the millennial eon, the beloved city will
be elevated at the head of a great mountain, and it is very probable that the new city
will be pyramidal in shape, like a great mountain when it takes its place on the new
earth, especially when we consider the throne of God and the Lambkin and the illumination
of the city.
And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon that they should be
appearing in it, for the glory of God illuminates it, and its Lamp is the Lambkin (Un.
And night will be no more, and they have no need for lamp light and sun
light, seeing that the Lord God will be illuminating them (Un. 22:5).
It would seem that at the top of this great pyramidal city will be
prominently located the throne of God and the Lambkin, from whence will radiate the
illuminating rays of glory lighting the entire city, so there will be no need for sun,
moon, or lamp light, and there will be no night. This evidently refers to the city and
vicinity only, and not to the outlying parts of the new earth, for there will be day and
night wherever the light of the great city does not reach.
MATERIAL OF THE CITY
And the city is clear gold, like clear glass (Un. 21:18).
And the city square is gold, clear as translucent glass (Un. 21:21).
If this description refers to the houses of the inhabitants, it will
be, indeed, a city of superexceeding beauty and splendor. Think of living in palaces of
clear gold, like clear glass, with the streets and city square gold clear as translucent
glass, the city's wall adorned with every precious stone, and portals of pearl! It is
wonderful to meditate upon.
It may be well just here to note some of the objections usually raised
against accepting the literal description of this city. Critics have scoffed at the idea
of a city being built in accord with the specification which the messenger has given, and
many, who propose to teach the Scriptures, insist that it is only a word picture and not a
reality. However, chemistry and metallurgy in recent years have done much toward
explaining the realities of the language used here. It is a demonstrated fact that carbon,
of varying degrees of purity, forms lampblack, charcoal, graphite, and diamond. And it has
been learned that gold, subjected to intense heat, may be made permanently transparent!
Hence this is not a fanciful word picture, as many would have us believe, but a divine
description of a glorious reality, prepared for a prepared people, and will be enjoyed by
the sons of Israel in the new earth in the administration of the complement of the eras.
And I saw no temple in it (Un. 21:22).
Does this indicate there will be no worship in that era of the new
creation? Most assuredly not; but why have a temple when the Object of worship is
presentthe Lord God Ahnighty and the Lambkin?
Six temples "made by hands" are indwelt by Jehovah during the
eons. The first was the "tabernacle in the wilderness" (Ex. 25:8). The second
was erected by Solomon (2 Sam. 7:13), and was destroyed by Nechuchadnezzar (2 Kings 25:9).
The third was built by Ezra at the command of Cyrus (Ezra 6:3). Herod's temple was the
fourth, and was standing in the days of our Lord. The fifth is called "the temple of
God" (2 Thes. 2:4), and will be erected before the close of the present eon, and is
the temple that is measured in the Unveiling (11:1), in which the abomination of
desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet will seat himself and demand worship or death
(Dan. 9:27; Mat. 24:15). The sixth is described by Ezekiel, which will be erected in the
millennium (Eze. 40-43), as we have described in Chapter XVII. And here in the new earth,
in the holy city, new Jerusalem, we have the seventh! No, not a seventh temple, but the
true Temple, God Himself, and the true Sacrifice, the Lambkin, of which all the former
temples and sacrifices were merely types, leading to the Realities.
THE RIVER OF LIVING WATER
And he shows me a river of water of life, resplendent as crystal,
issuing out of the throne of God and the Lambkin (Un. 22:1).
This river of living water can be traced from the laver of the
tabernacle (Ex. 30:18), through the ten lavers and the molten sea of Solomon's temple (2
Chron. 4:2-6), and the waters which flowed from the millennial sanctuary (Eze. 47), to the
crystal stream here described. This wonderful river is called the "water of
life," because of its life-giving properties. Earthly streams usually have their
source in some mountain spring, but this river of living water, has it source in the
throne of God and the Lambkin. Somewhere on that great pyramidal mountain, in the center
of the city, probably at the summit, will rest the throne of God and the Lambkin, out of
which will issue the river of living water, bright as crystal, flowing down in cascades
from terrace to terrace, forming a scene of exquisite beauty which only the Divine Artisan
and Architect could design and build.
THE TREE OF LIFE
In the center of its square, and on either side of the river is the
tree of life, producing twelve fruts, rendering fruit appropriate to each month (Un.
In the center of the city's square and on either side of the river
trees will be growing. These trees are not mere shade trees, but beautiful fruit-bearing
trees, called the tree of life (literally, xulon zõês, WOOD OF-LIFE),
yielding twelve fruits, rendering appropriate fruit to each month. This reminds us of the
promise to the conquering ones of the ecelesias of chapters two and three of the
To the one who is conquering, to him shall I be granting to be eating
of the tree of life, which is in the center of the paradise of God (Un. 2:7).
This promise seems to carry a special privilege to all in Israel who
conquer against the Wild Beast and the False Prophet during the awful time of tribulation
which they are called upon to endure preceding the millennium. In the renewed earth of the
millennial eon, Palestine will be made like the garden of Eden (Eze. 36:35), with
Jehovah's sanctuary set in the midst of His people, and living waters passing forth with
healing for everything wherever the watercourse comes.
And on the watercourse, ascending the shore, is every food tree of this
and of that, whose leaf is not decaying, and whose fruit does not come to an end. Monthly
there is first-ripe fruit, for its waters, they pass forth from the sanctuary, and its
fruit is for food, and its leaf for healing (Eze. 47:12).
This is the paradise of which Christ spoke when answering the
malefactor on the cross (Luke 23:43), and in which the conquering ones will be accorded
the special privilege to eat of the tree of life during the long millennial day. The
majority of the sons of Israel, as well as the nations, will not enjoy this special
blessing. But in the last eon of the new creation, it will be the blessed privilege of all
Israel who are then citizens of the new Jerusalem.
And the leaves of the tree are for the cure of the nations (Un. 22:2).
Here we are given a statement which shows that the "curse" is
not entirely gone, especially among the nations of that era, else the leaves of the tree
were useless. Evidently the privilege of access to the tree, the leaves of which are for
healing, accorded the conquering ones during the millennium, now becomes the privilege of
the nations here in the new earth.
The word "healing" in our common version, tendered
"cure" in the Concordant Version, is literally therapeian, WARM-FROM.
Instead of healing, which presupposes sickness, it seems to speak of supplying the vital
properties for uniform temperature and energy necessary for preserving the human body in a
state of sound, vigorous health for the eon. It must be remembered that the nations in the
new earth will be in their fleshly, soulish state, and it will be their blessed privilege
of partaking of the leaves of the tree of life for the preservation of perfect health
compatible with their plane of glory in that era. Apparently the nations of the new earth
will enjoy physical blessing similar to that of regenerated Israel in the millennial
And now may we observe that in all this, there is not the slightest
hint of "immortality." Access to the tree of life is not immortality. It is
appalling to mealirate upon the loss that has come to believers through failure to rightly
divide the word of truth and discriminate between the various glories revealed. To the
majority, access to the tree of life is synonomous with immortality ! But this is a most
serious error, for there can be no immortality apart from the life of God. Christ alone
has immortality (1 Tim. 6:16). It will be the portion of all believers roused at His
presence (1 Cor. 15:23). But it will not be the possession of all here in the new earth
until the consummation, when death, the last enemy, is abolished.
Though there will be no death in the new earth, it is not because all
have immortality, but because of the preserving action of the fruit and leaves of the tree
EVIL AND THE LAKE OF FIRE
Evil, though not enirely absent in that era, is at least segregated to
the lake of fire and sulphur, which is the second death.
Yet the timid, and unbelievers, and the abominable, and murderers and
paramours, and enchanters and idolators, and all the falsetheir part is in the lake
burning with fire and sulphur, which is the second clearly (Un. 21:8).
This will not be in the new earth, but in some divinely appointed place
away from the new order of things of the new creation. Neither is it the "hell"
of which orthodoxy so zealously preaches and of which the Scriptures say nothing. The
sacred Record says it is the second death. And though it be a tyrannical enemy, reigning
over a vast host of humanity, we are assured by Paul that it is not eternal, or
everlasting, in its duration. As the last enemy in Christ's all-glorious reign, it will be
abolished, and its subjects will be liberated into the fullness of life in the kingdom of
God to which there is no consummation. But this must await our final chapter on the Goal
of the Universe.
THE THRONE OF GOD AND THE LAMBKIN
Back in the epistle to the Hebrews we have a wonderful statement of
Scripture, quoted from Psalms 45:6, 7, which reads:
Yet to the Son:
"Thy throne, 0 God, is for the eon of the eon,
And a scepter of rectitude is the scepter of Thy kingdom.
Thou lovest righteousness and hatest injustice,
Therefore God, Thy God, anoints Thee with the oil of exultation
beyond Thy partners" (Heb. 1:8, 9).
It is here in the new creation that we find this Scripture fulfilled,
when the Son of His love takes the throne, and reigns for the eon of the eon, in which
righteousness dwells. This Scripture proves conclusively that aiõn, eon, does
not mean "forever," else there could never be any consummation, when the Son
would turn over the kingdom to God the Father (1 Cor. 15:24,28).
And there will be no more any doom, and the throne of God and the
Lambkin will be in it (Un. 22:3).
Here we learn that there will be no more anything devoted to God for
destruction, but that His plans will have so far been perfected, and His purpose will be
so near realization, that His glory demands that there shall be no more any doom. Though
none are doomed as vessels of indignation, but all blessed as vessels of mercy, reconciled
and received into His presence with rejoicing, nevertheless, the day of absolute
perfection has not yet arrived. Three things insist that the ultimate goal still lies
ahead: the leaves of the tree of life are for the cure of the nations; government is
needed; the second death is still in operation. Though the book closes on a scene of
supernal bliss, we insist that it is not final, and neither does it include the universe,
as a whole, in its scope. Dire loss has been suffered by believers through the widespread
error of preachers and teachers going to this portion of God's Word to comfort the
bereaved concerning the destiny of all the redeemed. Not one word is said here concerning
the new heavens and the allotment of transcendent glory for the ecclesia which is the body
of Christ, among the celestials. And let me emphasize the fact again, that the holy city,
new Jerusalem, is not heaven itself, for we are explicitly told that it comes down from
God out of heaven. Furthermore, if we will heed what is written, and not persist in
reading into the Scriptures human traditions, the city is exclusively for the sons of
We have been taught to sing and talk about our place in the holy city,
but it is a most misleading error, for there is not so much as a hint in all the book of
God, that the nations will have any part or lot in the new Jerusalem. It was promised to
Abraham, and we are specifically told that it will be the eonian home of the twelve tribes
of Israel. And when the nations are spoken of in connection with the city, they are always
outside, bringing their glory and honor into it.
And the nations will be walking by means of its light, and the kings of
the earth will be carrying their glory into it. And its portals should under no
circumstances be locked by day (for there will be no night there). And they will be
carrying the glory and the honor of the nations into it, and under no circumstances may
anything contaminating, or one who is making an abomination and a lie be entering into it,
except those having been written in the Lambkin's scroll of life (Un. 21:24-27).
Now, in chapters 21 and 22 of the Unveiling of Jesus Christ, let it be
remembered that we are considering passing scenes of that glorious kingdom of the Son of
God's love on the new earth beyond the millennium and the great white throne judgment.
Nothing is final, as is indicated by the temporary nature of God's habitation, for we are
told that God tabernacles with mankind (Un. 21:3). Tabernacles denote only temporary
dwelling places (Heb. 11:9). Hence we are forced to seek for the character of this eon and
the outcome of all this of which John speaks here, in the revelations committed to the
apostle Paul. He is privileged to write not only of the eonian times, but of the time
before and after the eons and includes the entire universe, of which the new earth will be
only a small part! Of this blessed time, Paul writes in the Ephesians:
. . . making known to us the secret of His will (in accord with His
delight, which He purposed in Him) to have an administration of the complement of the
eras, to head up the universe in the Christin the heavens as well as on the earth
This describes the "dispensation of the fulness of times," as
our common version translates it, when all things the universein the heavens and on
the earth will be headed up in the Christ, Who will reign until the purpose of the eons is
"filled up"completed. The kingdom of the heavens, the millennial reign, in
which Christ reigns as the Son of Mankind, now becomes the kingdom of God, wherein the Son
takes the throne in the assumption of God, and reigns for "the eon of the eon"
The millennial kingdom will be the era of restoration, in which Israel,
as the royal priesthood, will dispense God's blessings to all the families of the earth,
but in the last eon, priesthood will vanish and the sons of Israel will reign as kings.
Then with all thingsin the heavens as well as on the earth headed up in the Christ,
the sweet fruition of the peace made in the blood of the cross will be realized. In this
administration of the complement of the eras, the evangel of the conciliatian will be
carried to every creature of the universe until every knee is bowing, celestial and
terrestrial and subterranean, and every tongue in acclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord, for the
glory of God, the Father (Phil. 2:9-11).
In the celestial phase of the kingdom, the ecclesia which is the body
of Christ will make known to "the sovereignties and the authorities among the
celestials, the multifarious wisdom of God, in accord with the purpose of the eons which
He makes in Christ Jesus, our Lord" (Eph. 3:10, 11), while Israel, then "the
wife of the Lambkin," in the terrestrial kingdom on the new earth, will be schooling
the nations in all the ways and wisdom of God. This gives us a glimpse of the future
ministry of these great channels through which God has chosen to operate, in the heavens
and on the earth, until the entire universe becomes subject to Him through Christ, through
the peace made in the blood of His cross. No partial fulfillment of this great purpose
will satisfy the Divine heart. There must be a complete reconciliation of the
universeall thingsand that reconciliation, we emphasize, will come through the
powerful potency of the blood of His cross, by which He will ultimately draw all to
Himself (John 12:32). Only so will God's heart be satisfied. Only so will His Son receive
the reward which alone can compensate for His great sacrifice. Only so can we rejoice in
God and in the success of His great venture, which never was a peradventure. All was
foreseen by Him from the very beginning.
And now, may all the called, who are, and believe in, Christ Jesus,
rejoice and exult in the blissful prospect set forth by the apostle Paul concerning that
glorious era of the fullness of times, which reads:
Now to Him Who is able to do exceedingly above all that we are
requesting or apprehending, according to the power which is operating in usto Him be
glory in the ecclesia and in Christ Jesus for all the generations of the eon of the eons!
Amen! (Eph. 3:20,21).