Through studying the revelation of John, we know the following event will occur in this order:
- The rapture
- The wrath of God is poured out in the Earth
- Jesus returns to reign for 1000 years
- Satan is let loose for a “little while”
- Mankind rebels against Jesus
- God destroys the Earth with fire
- God judges every person according to what they have done.
- Those not recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life are cast into the Lake of Fire with Satan. This is the second death.
After all these events happen in this order, God has something wonderful in store for us!
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. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:1-2 AKJV)
The First Heaven is widely accepted as the spirit realm that surrounds the Earth. This is stating that the Earth and the atmosphere and even where it contacts the spirit realm will be gone. When we “pass away” if we are Christians, we enter the Third Heaven where God lives.
The word “coming down” is translated from the Greek word katabainō which can mean “of celestial beings coming down to Earth.” Even though the language says “coming down” could it be possible that Heaven’s atmosphere is enveloping Earth? From Earth’s perspective, it would seem like it was descending, but it may actually be our planet moving into the realm of the Third Heaven where God dwells.
The Greek word ἐκ is translated “out of” but can also mean a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds). In other words, the action begins in Heaven where God lives: Heaven comes down or envelopes the earth that has passed away.
And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:3-4 AKJV)
God dwells in Heaven and rules from there. Whether Heaven is moving to Earth or Earth is moving into Heaven, this scripture confirms that two will be joined where death and pain don’t exist. (Deuteronomy 26:15, Psalm 2:4, Matthew 5:34,45)
And He that sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said to me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And He said to me, “It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:5-7 AKJV)
There are no chapter breaks in the original texts of the Bible. This is a continuation of the last chapter where all mankind was judged and only those in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” survived. Their reward is to be restored by drinking from the fountain of the water of life. This great hope is followed by a list of sins that if committed repeatedly and intentionally, without repentance, will disqualify us from our eternal life with God. There are seven that are listed twice, either in Revelation or in 1 Corinthians.
But the fearful, and unbelieving (1), and the abominable (2), and murderers (3), and fornicators (4), and sorcerers (5), and idolaters (6), and all liars (7), shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8 AKJV)
Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs (2), and sorcerers (5), and fornicators (4), and murderers (3), and idolaters (6), and whoever loves and makes a lie (7). (Revelation 22:14-15 AKJV)
Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators (4), nor idolaters (6), nor adulterers (1), nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (2), Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 AKJV)
Paul has been warning Christians since our Lord left that there are actions we need to refrain from if we want to come into our rightful inheritance. John gives a list of sins in each of the last two chapters of Revelation that are much like the one sent to Corinth by Paul. When things are repeated, it means they are important. These verses were all translated by man, so if we look to the original language, we can correctly interpret these lists of what we should avoid at all costs!
- Apistos - ap’-is-tos (Rev. 21): means faithless, without trust in God
- Moichos - moy-khos’ (1 Cor.): because there are other words in this verse for adultery, we should use the metaphorical meaning: one who is unfaithful or faithless toward God, without trust in God
- bdelyssō - del-los-so (Rev. 21): abominable which God uses to describe homosexuality
- kyōn - koo’-ohn (Rev. 22): literally, a dog. Metaphorically, homosexuality
- arsenokoitēs - ar-sey-no koy’-tes (1 Cor.): sodomite, homosexual
- phoneus - fon-noose’ (Rev 21, 22): a murderer, a homicide; one who takes the life of an innocent person on purpose
- Pornos: (Rev. 21, 22, 1 Cor.): one who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse
- pharmakeus (Rev 21, 22): translated sorcerer but has the same root as pharmacy or the root wood pharmakon. (a drug, i.e. spell-giving potion)
- According to Strong’s Concordance, a druggist, “pharmacist” or poisoner: those who use drugs will not see Heaven.
- eidōlolatrēs - i-da-lol-a-trace (Rev. 21, 22, 1 Cor.): idolatry is more than bowing down and offering gifts to some statue
- It is placing your time and energy into things not from God: entertainment (books and movies), games, sports, or even putting work above God.
- pseudēs - soo-dace’ (Rev. 21): lying, deceitful, false
- pseudos (Rev. 22): conscious and intentional falsehood
The list of “seven deadly sins” should really be these seven items with the addition of “fearful” which more fully means Christians who through cowardice give way under persecutions and renounce the Lord.
We cannot submit to the mark of the Beast out of fear and cowardice.
To repeatedly do any of these means you may have a part in the Lake of Fire. There are some Christians who have a hard time avoiding even the ones that seem the easiest to avoid. The truth is, all of these sins are on the same list. None of these sins are unforgivable, but we do need to turn from them.
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)
Paul gives us the process needed to be free:
Washed: the Blood first washes us of the sins of the past.
Sanctified: to be sanctified means to be set apart, holy. It is a choice. We are expected to set ourselves apart from that sin and stop doing it.
Justified: when we truly repent or turn from sin then we are “acquitted of a charge or reproach”.
The first step is knowing there is always room for improvement. Then, we must identify the sin. Sometimes past wounds or generational curses may push us toward a certain sin. We need healing in our soul so that we can do what we know we should be doing: it is a good thing Jesus is the Healer of the brokenhearted!
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a rarest jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates, the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (Revelation 21:10-14)
Jerusalem is beautiful beyond comparison. The layout is a simple, perfect cube. Three is God’s number of spiritual completion and perfection and there are three gates on each side of Jerusalem. It shows God’s amazing symmetry that the twelve tribes are on the gates and the foundations are inscribed with the names of the 12 disciples of Jesus. Both God’s people and the Lord’s have a place in this city.
And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, 144 cubits (1,380 miles/2,220 km) by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement. (Revelation 21:15-17 ESV)
New Jerusalem is bigger than most countries, and it is almost 250 miles taller than Mount Everest; the tallest mountain. Here is how it will compare to the countries of today.
But this doesn’t show the full scope of this city. New Jerusalem is a cube, as tall as it is wide. It would be like setting a cube on a globe of the earth.
To get a better idea of how truly enormous this heavenly city is, we can compare it to a well-known sphere: the moon.
(Moon and square)
The diameter of the moon is 2,160 miles (3,474 km). New Jerusalem would fit inside the moon with only 390 miles (627 km) on each side of the equator: That is 18% of the diameter to reach each side of the cube.
(Sphere & Cube)
The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. (Revelation 21:18-21 AMPC)
More brilliance surrounds this city than the crowns of any earthly king. It also shines with God’s glory!
And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the Earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defiles, neither whatever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. (Revelation 21:24-27 AKJV)
This is what God has in store for His children. It was always His intention to live among us, and in the end, it will be so. In Heaven, there is no true darkness. Night has less light than a day, but you can still see. Earth now has the same atmosphere which would indicate that it is indeed in Heaven. The angel continues the tour of the new Earth.
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the Tree of Life, which bore twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2 AKJV)
The fruits of the Tree of Life nourish our spirits and help us to grow. Healing will occur in the body, spirit, and soul as mankind harvests this fruit.
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: And they shall see His face, and His name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light: and they shall reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:3-5 AKJV)
It isn’t until after the 1000 year reign that all curses are dealt with as the New Jerusalem appears with the new Earth. With no sun or moon, it is looking much like Heaven! The angel continues with an urgent message for mankind:
And he said to me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show to His servants the things which must shortly be done.
“Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book.”
And I John saw these things and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. Then said he to me, See you do it not: for I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. (Revelation 22:6-9 AKJV)
As God’s messenger gives a word from the Lord, John worships the angel for the second time. The same correction is given, “worship only God!” The angel continues and is joined by Jesus who has a beautiful message for all the people of the Earth:
And he said to me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Revelation 22:10-13 AKJV)
The Lord is saying that life will continue until the Lord returns, we must continue living our life. The world will continue with the righteous and those lost in sin. At the second resurrection, we will be judged for the work we have done. There is also a second death. On the Earth, man is given once to die (Hebrews 9:27), then after we are resurrected, there is a “second death” in the Lake of Fire.
If you want to be blessed for all eternity, follow what Jesus tells you to do! The book of James urges Christians to remember that faith without works is dead. We are not saved by our works but because we are saved, we work for our Lord.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.
I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:14-17 AKJV)
The last few verses confirm that this entire revelation is to the churches of the world. Jesus knows the future, He would not have sent a prophecy about this return speaking to churches that would not be around. The churches of Revelation are the different aspects of the worldwide church, all the Christians of the world. The reward to being loyal to our Lord and doing His will is access to the “Water of Life” and “Tree of Life” which restore our spirit, body, and soul to eternal life.
For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
He who testifies these things said, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Revelation 22:18-21 AKJV)
We have included every scripture from the Book of Revelation in this teaching, lest we receive the plagues of Revelation or have our names removed from the Book of Life.
More Articles on the Courts of Heaven can be found in the:
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Believers' Boot Camp series
Many people think of boot camp as a place you train for combat. Any veteran will tell you that basic training is about three things:
- Knowing what weapons are available
- Learning how to use those weapons
- Receiving orders and following them
Volume 1: Why Doesn't God Speak to Me?
Eager hearts cry out, hoping for a single word to confirm that He hears us. Yet, many times the only sound is silence. Over the years I have heard several reasons why God speaks to some and not to others. One night, as I tossed and turned, I brought each of these reasons before the Lord, stating why each of them did not line up with who I thought He was.
Words rose from my soul, pleading for Him to reveal why He has remained silent when a single word from Him would mean so much to so many. For the next few hours, God used things I learned about years ago and things I had just discovered to show why He talks to some and why He doesn’t, and in demonstrative ways.
In His grace, He also showed me how people could hear more from Him. Basic instructions on how to hear more from God and how to be led by Him are included in this book. Thank you for taking time to consider the answers I received and share with you now.
Keys to Authority for Every Believer
There is untapped power that is easy for every Christian to access in the form of authority. The keys to this authority will unlock weapons we can use to free ourselves from the attacks of the enemy. We must be intimately aware of the bounds and limitations of our weapon if they are to be used effectively.
Find out about your authority:
- Why you need it.
- Where it comes from.
- What you can do with it.
- How to get more.
- Why you need it.
- Where it comes from.
- What you can do with it.
- How to get more.