THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH
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” (Rev. 21:1).
this passage we come to a most significant truth. While nearly everything in the book of
Revelation takes place in the realm either of heaven, earth, or the sea; and
while we have explored these from the vantage point of three dimensions of
consciousness, experience, and life in which men walk, there is yet a further truth which is
vital to our understanding of the visions John saw relative to these
realms. The reality is that there are
TWO SETS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH! There are,
CREATIONS, TWO WORLDS, AND TWO HEAVENLY UNIVERSES!
let us inquire as to what is meant by the terms “heaven and earth.” These are the two realms first mentioned in
the Bible, in the very first verse of the very first book. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). The
symbolisms of scripture are always appropriate and fitting. The literal, physical heavens and earth bear
a certain relationship to each other which well illustrates the function and
administration of the spiritual heavens and earth. The heavens, for example, control earth’s
tides, atmospheric conditions, day and night, and seasons. The heavens rule and the earth is ruled. Heaven influences earth, but the earth in
no way affects heaven. From the very
first pages of scripture, the sun is spoken of as the ruler of the day, the moon and stars as the ruler of the night.
natural sun is the brightest luminary in the natural heavens of our solar
system. And to help us in correctly
interpreting the meaning of the spiritual sun, we find that God made “the
greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night” (Gen.
1:16). Here we first have the idea
expressed of both sun and moon being rulers.
Then we find that God, the supreme Ruler, is called in the Word
a “Sun.” “For the Lord thy God is a SUN
and a shield” (Ps. 84:11). Also, our
Lord Jesus Christ, the King of kings, is called “the SUN of Righteousness”
(Mal. 4:2). He rules. Furthermore,
in reference to this principle of the sun and rulership we read, “He that
RULETH over men…shall be as the light of the morning, when the SUN ariseth” (II
Sam. 23:3-4). Then we find David the
king called “the LIGHT of Israel”
(II Sam. 21:17).
saints who are ordained as kings and priests in the kingdom of God
we find that they are compared to the sun.
“Then shall the righteous SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father” (Mat. 13:43). Of these same ruling members of God’s elect
Jesus says, “And he that overcometh…to him will I give power over the nations
and he shall RULE them with a rod of iron” (Rev. 2:26-28). Then he hastily adds, “And I will give him
the MORNING STAR.” That is, I will give
him power over the nations — rulership — and I will give him the position as
the morning star to give direction to mankind, to announce and proclaim the
dawning of the new day of the Lord! Now
consider these meaningful words of Daniel the prophet wherein he foretells the
manifestation of the sons of God, saying, “And they that be wise
shall SHINE AS THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE FIRMAMENT; and they
that turn many to righteousness as the STARS for ever” (Dan. 12:3). Then we find in Daniel 4:26 that “the HEAVENS
DO RULE.” God’s heaven is His throne. “Heaven is
my throne” (Isa. 66:1). The heavens
of God’s Spirit in the symbolic terminology of prophecy is the seat where the sun, the
mighty God Himself, sits and rules!
And as God’s heaven is His throne, so the prophetical heavens
include all the governmental realm of His kings and priests and judges through
which God rules, and He is Lord of all.
the above constitutes the heavens of God’s Spirit! But now there is another heaven of rulership
which is not that of God by His Spirit.
It is the rulership of men, including even the basest of men. This natural governmental realm is
demonstrated quite clearly in the words of the prophet Daniel to king Nebuchadnezzar of
Babylon, “thy greatness is grown, and REACHED UNTO HEAVEN” (Dan. 4:22). He had just become the most exalted monarch
of earth, the greatest ruler among men: the SUN of that governmental
“heaven.” The prophet Isaiah, describing
the casting down of earthly kings from their thrones, says, “THE LIGHT IS
DARKENED IN THE HEAVENS THEREOF” (Isa. 5:30).
This statement is most meaningful when compared with the words of Jesus
when He foretold the removal and destruction of all the rulers and governmental
powers of both Judaism and the entire pagan world, saying, “Immediately after
the tribulation of those days shall the SUN BE DARKENED, and the MOON SHALL NOT
GIVE HER LIGHT, and the STARS SHALL FALL FROM HEAVEN, and the POWERS OF THE
HEAVENS SHALL BE SHAKEN” (Mat. 24:29). These
words of our Lord signified the complete dissolving, darkening, and abolishment
of all the governmental orders of His day!
Within thirty-five years the kingdom
had ceased to exist and within three hundred years the whole pagan system of Rome began to collapse
under the power of the gospel of Christ.
Those were the “heavens” that passed away!
sun in prophecy is the most exalted ruler of any order, the moon the second or
lesser, and the stars are other governmental authorities and powers. The heavens are the thrones which these
rulers occupy, whether the rulers be men, spirits, powers, organizations,
ideologies, or some other entity. The
earth is that which is ruled by the heavens — that which looks to the sun,
moon, and stars for its light and direction.
The heavens that Jesus foretold would pass in Matthew 24 were the orders
of that day when He came in the
flesh. In the book of Revelation,
however, John is viewing the eventual perfection of the bride of Christ and the
manifestation of the sons of God. This
prophecy pertains to the eventual outcome
of the church age, not its initiation two
thousand years ago. There is an order of
human government now, at the end of the age, but all these are soon to pass
away, be darkened, fall from heaven, and this time a new, permanent, eternal
order shall be inaugurated! In this new
day of the kingdom
the manifest sons of God shall arise in
the power of Christ’s resurrection and glory to constitute the celestial bodies
that shall rule the earth in the wonderful age now at hand! We are being made to know by the spirit of
revelation from God that all that has been giving light in the past, and that
has ruled in the past, is going out and shall be darkened forevermore. The glorious Christ company shall take
the place of all the former sun, moon, and stars. NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH — oh, the wonder
us now further
pursue this thought of the two heavens
and the two earths. I know of
nothing that will so thoroughly awaken the fathomless depths of wisdom and understanding
than the blessed knowledge of the sacred mystery that Christ saves men right now from “this present evil world.” And while you, dear reader, may be one of
those waiting with rapturous expectation to be whisked away and “evacuated” off
this earth to spend eternity in some far-off heaven somewhere, Peter expresses
with urgent and
profound aspiration the true desire of all sons of God who groan for the
deliverance of creation from the bondage of corruption and the triumph of the
kingdom of God in all realms, saying, “Nevertheless we, according to His
promise, look for NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore,
beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of
in peace, without spot, blameless” (II Pet. 3:13-14). It is an incontrovertible fact that the vast
majority of Christians today are not looking for the same thing Peter was
looking for — NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH!
of believers entertain the notion that when the scriptures speak of the “earth”
they always refer to this planet that we
live on in our physical existence.
They think of towering mountains, great rivers, spacious plains, vast
deserts, immense oceans, productive farmlands, rocks, soil, wind, clouds, rain,
heat, cold, cities, and towns. They
conceive this orb that circles our sun as the “earth” spoken of by the Holy
Spirit of inspiration. Now, sometimes
that is true. But in many cases that is
not the truth! In its spiritual meaning
“earth” often signifies a dimension, a realm of life, a state of being, a level
of consciousness, a plane of understanding and perception. The apostle James speaks of a wisdom that descendeth
not from above, but is “earthly, sensual,
devilish” (James 3:15). Paul tells us that “The first man is of the earth,
earthy: the second man is the
Lord from heaven. As is
the earthy, such are they also that are
earthy; and as is the heavenly, such
are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (I Cor. 15:47-49).
Can we not see by this that when the scriptures speak of “earth” they
are not always speaking of the planet called earth. Rather it indicates a dimension of conscious existence which carries the imprint
and bears the character of that which pertains to the low realm of the earthly
— carnal, worldly, temporal, mundane, physical, ignorant, unperceptive, unspiritual,
lustful, sensual, unclean, corrupt, base.
also have the idea that “heaven” is a place
somewhere up in the sky — that if you
could get a rocket ship powerful enough, and people could live long enough,
they could fly that ship through space and eventually actually approach the
dazzling light and glory of that celestial world of God, angels, .and redeemed
men; that heavenly city having impressive gates of pearl, impregnable walls of
jasper, wondrous streets of gold leading to millions of extravagant mansions
inhabited by heavenly creatures and glorified men, situated beside the
sparkling, rejuvenating waters of the effervescent river of life. Now I’m telling you this, my beloved, because this is precisely
the concept held by untold millions of Christians concerning heaven and earth!
“And Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid
the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands” (Heb.
1:10). This passage of scripture reveals
two important points which are foreign to the thinking of the vast majority of
the Lord’s people. First, “the heavens”
not one singular far-off heaven somewhere, but at least two, or perhaps
several, or even many realms of heaven.
Second, “the heavens are the works
of thine hands.” The heavens are not
the “eternal dwelling place of God” as the religious systems teach, but they
are the works of God’s hands, created, not eternally existing. The very first verse of the Bible makes this
truth unmistakably clear. “In the beginning GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS
AND THE EARTH.” Not only did the
earth and all the heavens have a created
beginning, but listen now to what follows in verses eleven and twelve of
chapter one of Hebrews. “They shall perish; but Thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a
garment; 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.”
said that we should pray, “Our Father, which art in the heavens…” That’s how
it reads in the Greek text. How many
preachers and teachers in the churches today are proclaiming that the heavens
where God dwells and the earth are going to perish? Don’t you dare preach that that bright and
blessed heaven where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Paul,
Peter, and dear aunt Mary and uncle Joe have gone to is going to perish! Yet the apostle Peter declares, “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. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought
ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (II Pet. 3:10-11).
it should be clear to any thinking mind that
both heaven and earth are used in different ways and with various
meanings. We need to think deeply about
these things, beseeching the Lord for wisdom and
understanding. There can be no doubt
that the prophets were not speaking literally of the visible heavens, or this
physical terrestrial ball of earth, or the material mountains, rivers, and
trees when they spoke by the spirit, saying, “Let the heavens rejoice, and the earth
be glad; let the sea roar, and
the fullness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is
therein: then shall all the trees of the
forest rejoice before the Lord: for He cometh, for He cometh to judge the earth: He shall judge the
world with righteousness, and the people with His truth” (Ps. 96:11-13). “The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof” (Ps.
97:1). “The wilderness and the solitary
place shall be glad for them; and the desert
shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice
even with joy and singing…and they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the
excellency of our God” (Isa. 35:1-2).
“The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their
hands” (Isa. 55:12). “Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the Lord” (Ps.
98:8-9). Do the prophets mean that the
starry heavens, and the physical earth, fields, trees, floods, wilderness,
mountains, and hills will literally feel the emotions of joy and gladness and
audibly vocalize the singing of songs and in some magical way actually clap hands? I don’t think so!
can be no doubt that we are living in an hour when the Lord is revealing many
things about His great purpose and work in His elect. Speaking of the heavens and the earth the
apostle says, “As a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed”
(Heb. 1:12). Then in another
place he says, “As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Behold, I show you
a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (I Cor.
15:49,51). With these exhortations fresh
upon our minds let us think reverently on what it means that the heavens and
the earth shall be folded up like a garment and be changed; and those who
have been of the earth, earthy, shall be changed to bear a new and heavenly
image. Are these two not referring to
the same change within God’s elect? Everyone who reads these lines should
seek that God will open his eyes to see that it is something deeper and higher
than the external heavens and earth that He had in mind when He spoke through
the prophet Isaiah proclaiming, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth:
and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 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” (Isa. 65:17-18).
please don’t think the Lord is speaking of the city of Jerusalem
over in the Middle East, for He continues, saying, “And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people:
and the voice of weeping shall be heard no more in her, nor the voice
of crying.” These are the same words
uttered not of the old earthly Jerusalem, but of
the new heavenly Jerusalem as John, the beloved disciple
of our Lord, exclaimed with holy wonder, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out
of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 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” (Rev. 21:2-4). Saints have read and re-read these precious
passages of holy writ taking for granted that they understood perfectly what
was written, and frequently reading over the passages never discerning by the
spirit of revelation the deep spiritual truth of what God is saying. Truly the Lord is speaking in symbolic
language of great spiritual realities fulfilled within His people!
according to His promise, look for new
heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that
ye may be found of Him in peace, without
spot, and blameless” (II Pet. 3:13-14).
It will be a wonderful day when all the Lord’s people understand the
great truth that there is even now a new heaven and a new earth wherein
dwelleth righteousness. “We look
for it!” Peter says. Since you are
looking for it — now give diligence to
be found in Him in peace, without spot, and
blameless. In other words — BECOME WHAT YOU ARE
LOOKING FOR! When you are at peace,
without spot, and blameless, you have then discovered within yourself the new heavens
and the new earth…the ones wherein dwelleth righteousness! This new heaven is the heaven of our
regenerated spirit wherein God dwells, and this new earth is the earth of our
transformed mind and soul by which we are able to demonstrate through our body
in our everyday living, what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of
God. Oh, yes!
ye know that He is righteous, ye know that everyone
that doeth righteousness is born of Him.
Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He
is righteous” (I Jn. 2:29; 3:7). Can
any doubt it — there is the NEW EARTH wherein
dwelleth righteousness! Paul speaks the same truth
this way, “For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath 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 sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and
for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be FULFILLED IN US, WHO WALK NOT
AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT” (Rom. 8:2-4). It is the law of the spirit of life in Christ
Jesus that makes us free from the law of sin and death. That is the new administration of the new
heavens and the new earth! Earth is
always the lower realm of things; heaven
is the higher dimension of things. The
old earth is the old carnal mind, the
nature, the old self-centered soul and fleshly desires of the body; the old
heaven is our former unregenerated, unawakened, unquickened spirit. The new “heavens” are that high and holy rule
and reality of God in our spirit, whereas the new “earth” is soul and body
brought under the reign of the spirit, thus establishing righteousness in our
earth realm. Isaiah presents this new
order of heaven and earth wherein dwelleth righteousness and personalizes
it in these expressive words: “Violence
shall no more be heard in thy land,
wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: for the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy
God thy glory…and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy
people shall be all righteous…the
branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified” (Isa.
righteous Noah stepped out of the ark that bright morning he stepped onto the
soil of the very same earth that existed before the flood, and at night he
gazed into the star-spangled splendor of the very same heavens above. Yet — all
was changed! The old order of things was gone, and a new order, or a new heavens and earth, would now be manifested. Was it not a new heaven and a new earth by
being purged through the
overflowing waters of the flood from the
wickedness and corrupt order that previously polluted the earth? With what joy and satisfaction do we now
entertain the precious promise: “For behold I create new heavens and a new
earth, and the former shall not be
remembered, nor come into mind” (Isa. 65:17). Hallelujah! What a
wonderful thing that God shall so thoroughly cleanse our own little
world and the whole vast cosmos that even our minds will be purged from the
remembrance of it! God will make such a
good job of His work, that the past will be
completely obliterated and never thought of any more! God shall not end this present evil world
and call forth the new by destroying either His creatures or His creation. Not one thing, not one precious person shall
be lost! He shall bring this world to an
end and establish new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness by
THINGS NEW — changed, purified, and transformed by His Holy Ghost
Fire! “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” (Rev.
21:5). Not all new things, but all
things NEW! That is the wonder.
apostle Peter, writing to the elect of the Lord, explained just how this
present heavens and earth pass away. By
inspiration he wrote, “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” (II Pet. 3:10).
The old world of Noah’s day passed away in the waters of the flood, but
the heavens and the earth which are now are reserved unto fire (II
Pet. 3:7). The book of Revelation is
just as clear and explicit as to how the new heavens and earth are brought into
being. Hear it! “And whosoever was not found written in the
book of life was cast into the lake of fire. 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 (wickedness of man)” (Rev. 20:15; 21:1).
we can truly see and understand by the spirit, and when we do not have a
between the verses quoted, the intent and meaning of what the apostle was
seeing suddenly becomes crystal clear.
You see, beloved, in the Greek text
there are no chapter and verse divisions as we have in our English
translations. These were added by the
translators for our convenience.
Therefore, those whose names or natures are not written in the book of
life, who are then cast into the lake of God’s Holy Ghost Fire, is not in the
original text the last verse of chapter twenty. Nor is the statement, “And I saw a new heaven
and a new earth,” the first verse of
chapter twenty-one. Because of the
chapter divisions in our English Bibles we are led to believe that somehow John
is changing the subject, therefore we must start a new chapter. Not so!
Read together in sequence as these verses are in the Greek text, can you
not see that the new heavens and the new earth are simply the result of men whose natures do not
conform to the life of God being cast into God’s great purifying fire!
would also point out John’s use of the little conjunction “and.” The use of this conjunction indicates that
something went before and what follows continues the drama. “And” shows that the action is continuous,
simply flowing on and on without interruption.
For instance, if I say, “I walked down the road and I saw a dog that appeared to be lost; and I approached the dog and spoke
friendly to him. He responded at once and wagged his tail, and as
I continued on toward my house he followed me.”
You will notice that what follows after each connective “and” grows out
of, or is the effect or result of, what happened before. If I had not walked down the street I would
not have seen the dog. If I had not seen
the dog I would not have approached and
spoken to him. If I would not have spoken
in a friendly manner to the dog he would not have wagged his tail. And if this connection had not been made he
would not have followed me home.
And…and…and! Now let us quote the
passage above again and see just how one action in the drama leads to the next — indeed, how each is the result of the action preceding it.
the sea gave up the dead which were in it; AND death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them:
AND they were judged every man according to their works. AND death and hell were cast into the lake of
fire. This is the second death. AND whosoever was not found written in the
book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
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…” Seeing that “and” was used to continue the
thought, it becomes clear that the new heaven and the new earth are the direct
result of the cleansing, purging, purifying, refining, and transforming action
of the lake of fire! Oh, yes, when a man
comes to God’s appointed day of dealing, and his nature needs to be cleansed
and purified, he is subjected to the corrective
judgment of God. “No more sea” indicates that the state
of being of the restless, surging, sinning, tossed, and tormented masses of
people has been dealt with; for when God’s great judgment by fire finally comes
to a close, the whole world of mankind will have found their everlasting end in
the righteousness of the redeeming Christ of God. You can count on that!
we have the two heavens and the two earths — the OLD and the NEW! With astonished wonder the Seer or Patmos beheld this scene in spirit and cried out, “And I
saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first
heaven and the first earth were passed away…” It is significant to note that the word
translated “first” is the Greek word protos
which is rendered in verse four of the same chapter as “the former
things,” and that is a more accurate rendering. “…for the former heaven and the former
earth were passed away.” You
will understand a great mystery when you see how it is that whatever has ruled
or does rule your life apart from the spirit becomes your “former heaven.” Of a truth I tell you that the thing that
rules or motivates or controls you in either soul or body, in mind, emotion,
will, or desire, constitutes the “heaven” over your life! If Hollywood
with its glitter and entertainment, its values, standards, and spirit rules you
then the ruling heaven over your head is Hollywood. If you “eat, drink, and sleep” sports, then
sports are the heaven that rules you. If
politics, political ideology, politicians, and some political party is what
lights up your life, then you are governed out of the political heavens.
people’s heaven is the business world; work, climbing their way up the
corporate ladder, gaining prestige, position, and power, and making money. Those who are ruled from these heavens
are obsessed and consumed by this realm, becoming workaholics, often unprincipled
in their ethics, stepping on others and destroying people in their selfish,
frenzied climb to the top. There is
certainly nothing wrong with being in business or earning a good living — it
just cannot rule us! Other folk’s heaven is philosophy, education,
pleasure, drugs, sex, or lust. And we
cannot fail to mention the various “religious heavens” that rule over billions
of lives on planet earth!
governed out of the religious heavens fight over religious creeds, forms,
organization, traditions, sacraments, liturgies, and a thousand other things; they
condemn everyone else to hell, demand obedience upon penalty of eternal
damnation, lay heavy yokes of external rules, regulations, laws, dress codes,
you cannot do this or that, cannot go here or there, demand tithes and
offerings, fleece widows and rob the poor, make merchandise of men’s souls,
burn heretics at the stake, and blow themselves up as suicide bombers! By the time many so-called “holiness” groups
get through with the women in the church, putting them through the dress-making
and appearance departments, these very women have lost most of their appeal to
their husbands, and then they wonder why the world is filled with “unsaved”
husbands! All through the years these
holiness groups have imposed an external appearance of “holiness,” forcing
their people to conform to certain contrived standards of conduct. Such “holiness” focuses primarily on what
they wear and the kinds of places they go.
Some cannot even go to the county
fair, wear a wedding
ring, put on make-up, or drink a
Coca-Cola! That is not holiness, my friend, it is legalism!
are some groups that will split and start a new “church” over the length of the
ribbons on a prayer covering, how many buttons are on the sleeve of a coat, how
the beard is trimmed, whether one wears a necktie, or whether the chrome on
their automobile is painted black. The further one goes in these
directions the more ridiculous it becomes!
I see these women at the mall dressed in their long dresses and a
particular style of head scarf, and I know by their attire that they are some
kind of Christian. But it doesn’t tell
me they are “holy,” it only lets me know that they are carnal. Where does scripture
teach us to be known as Christians by the style of our clothes? You see, I would never recognize these women as Christians
because of the love, joy, peace, and glory of God radiating from their
countenances — only because of the outer garments they are wearing! Doctrines, creeds, traditions of the elders,
commandments of men, and control over men’s lives — these are
the governmental powers of these RELIGIOUS HEAVENS!
man has his “heaven” and every man is the
earth that heaven rules over! For
many who read these lines the most recent heavens that have passed away are the
heavens of the old-order church systems of man.
Of this Paul
Mueller wrote, “Once again, in this new Day, the Lord has purposed to do a new
thing in the earth. But since all power
and authority to do anything in the new earth must come from Heaven, from His
throne, or from the realm of Spirit, God must create a new Heaven, or a new
realm of Spirit, which He has done. And
when the Lord brings forth a new Heaven, He is, by that sovereign act, changing
the order of things, that He might do a new thing in the earth. You can beg and plead with the Lord, fast and
pray earnestly, asking Him to bless the old-order church works in this new Day,
but He may not answer you, for our Father is doing a new thing! There is now a new Heaven, a new throne
realm, or a new realm of Spirit, which governs all God’s work on earth! And with the coming forth of this new Heaven,
‘the former things are passed away.’ God has established a new spiritual
order, beginning in the Heavens, and that new spiritual order is beginning to
change everything spiritual that pertains to the earth, so that, in the
fullness of Father’s time, a new earth shall also come forth! And now I join John in declaring, ‘And I saw A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH, for
the former heaven and the former earth were passed away.’
we will have to think in terms of doing things on earth according to God’s NEW
WAY, not our own way, which is the old way, or the way we were accustomed to
doing things in the past. A NEW HEAVEN
HAS COME FORTH. And that new Heaven is a
new Spiritual order, with new principles and new plans for the kingdom of God
on earth, which will provide us with NEW METHODS OF WORKING WITH THE LORD and doing His
perfect will on earth, during this new Kingdom Day! It is difficult for us to imagine what that
new ministry will be like, for we tend to think of ‘ministry’ in the context of
church order, which is the old order of the past. But a new ministry exists in the Heavens of
God’s Spirit, and those who are Spirit-led and Spirit-directed will be able to
read, hear, and receive that new ministry, in the Spirit and by the
Spirit. The Lord’s chosen elect are
ready for change, and they have progressed spiritually with the Lord, as the
holy Spirit has led them. ‘These are they…’ who are motivated by
the Spirit, and are therefore able to discern the will and the way of the Lord
pertaining to His kingdom, for the Heavens of Spirit are open to them (Jn.
1:51)” — end quote.
new heaven and a new earth necessitate the passing of the former or old heaven and
earth. The former and the present. The old
and the new. THESE ARE THE TWO SETS OF HEAVENS AND
EARTH I SPOKE OF EARLIER. Each heaven
has its sun, moon, and stars, its primary source of dominion (sun) in our life;
its rules, culture, and pressures (moon) which also direct our thinking,
behavior, and activities; and the myriad lesser influences (stars) which
likewise affect our actions. The way we
think, act, walk, and live out our life is
the earth-realm ruled from those heavens!
And every earth has its mountains and valleys, its rivers and streams,
its air and oceans. Here is the truth we
must consider. When we see in the book
of Revelation events taking place in the sun, in the moon, in the stars, in the
earth, with mountains, trees, grass, rivers, streams, seas, and in the air we
must understand and know whether these belong to THE OLD HEAVEN AND THE OLD
EARTH or to the NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH!
John saw them both! And until we see them both and are able
between them, our understanding of the Revelation will be dismally
defective. For example, when something
is taking place involving the sun — is it the sun of the old heaven, or the sun
of the new heaven? If something is
happening in a high mountain — is it a mountain
of the old earth, or a mountain of the new earth? Can you not see the mystery? What a difference it makes when we understand
which heaven or earth we are viewing! It
is not difficult to determine which
heaven the new Jerusalem descends from. “And
I saw a new heaven…and I John
saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven” (Rev.
21:1-2). There can be no doubt about it
— the NEW Jerusalem comes down from God out of
the NEW heaven! Those who are
looking for the holy city to come down through the stars of the galaxies like a
space ship from some distant sphere simply have not learned the ABC’s of
about it! The Lord has declared, “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”
(Isa. 62:22). The Lord, our King and
Creator of all, has declared that He will create the new heavens and the new
earth. And the new heavens and the new
earth will be permanent and endure forever.
God’s word tells us they “shall remain (continuously) before me, saith
the Lord.” Now think about all the
cataclysmic events that transpire throughout the book of Revelation and then
consider this: The new heavens and
the new earth which remain before the Lord cannot be
darkened, removed, fall, turn to blood, be shaken, visited by earthquakes,
plagues, disasters, fire, pestilence, judgments, or ruled by beasts. Can we not see by this that many times in the Revelation it is our old heavens and our old earth that are being visited by the Lord and dealt with, for
all the above mentioned things happen in the heavens and in the earth as they
are judged by the mighty power of the Spirit!
It is our old heavens and earth that finally completely pass away! It is the sun of our old heavens that is
darkened! It is the stars of our old
heavens that fall unto the earth! It is
the moon of our old heavens that turns to blood! It is our old earth, our natural, carnal,
fleshly life where the beast rules that is being shaken, devastated, shrouded
in darkness, burned with fire, and brought to naught!
your heart meditate deeply upon the wonder and glory of the new
heavens and the new earth.
Let us begin with these inspired words of the apostle Paul, “Therefore if any
man be in Christ, He is a new
creation: old things are passed
away; behold, all things are become
new. And all things (of this new
creation) are of God…” (II Cor.
5:17-18). I am wonderfully blessed by
the rendering of this passage from the New English Version: “When anyone is
united to Christ, THERE IS A NEW WORLD; the old order is gone, and a new order
has already begun. From first to last,
this has been the work of God!”
Wonderful! The Williams
translation has it, “For if anybody is in union with Christ, he is the work of
A NEW CREATION; the old condition has passed away, a new condition has
come. This has all originated with God!” Oh, yes!
Our new heavens and earth, our new world, our new order and condition
originated in Christ Jesus, and entering into Him brings to an end the old
corrupt order of consciousness, lifestyle, and nature, and the establishing of
the new which “after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph.
these “new heavens” and “new earth” are not a new material heavens of galaxies,
stars, suns, moons, and planets, nor a new literal earth. The physical heavens and earth were made
perfect, and the scriptures show that they will remain for the ages (Ps.
89:36-37; 104:5). Oh, yes, God will
bless even the natural earth in new and wonderful ways for man’s sake, but it
will still be this same earth we live on today.
The new earth is a new kind of
people, those who live out of a soul that is under the dominion of the
spirit, and new heavens are the new
authority and order out of the heavens of the Spirit. When the Daystar of the new creation, Christ
the Lord, arises in our hearts; when the life-giving rays of the sun, even the
Lord the Spirit, break
forth upon us in His glory, warmth, and splendor, then this old world within us
begins to be dissolved. The old heavens
and the old earth within us meet with the all-consuming heat of the Sun of
righteousness and fall away to nothing in the light of the glory of God. The Spirit of Jesus within then begins to
frame a new heaven and a new earth in soul and body, even one wherein dwelleth
righteousness. All things are born anew within
us by the creative word of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus and not only the
heaven and the earth pass away, but there is no more sea; no more
great overflowings of the carnal mind, no more inundations of the flesh nature,
no more swellings and surgings of unholy emotions and ungodly desires, no more
roarings of human Adamic pride, intellect, wisdom, knowledge, reasoning, ego,
self-hood, or worldly glory, for the sea is dried up within us never to be
anymore at all!
apprehended son of God is coming to experientially
know the new heaven and the new earth!
This is what was transpiring in John’s experience when he said, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for
the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” John saw the new heaven and he saw the
new earth! To see the new heaven and new
earth means to have a fresh understanding or a new concept about heaven and
earth. John saw the new heaven and earth
by being caught up in the spirit into
the day of the Lord. This is a wonderful
truth that shows that the new heaven and earth can only be seen in the
spirit and by the spirit! John
said, “And I saw…” The verb “saw”
means to discern, perceive, cognize,
discover, recognize.” We will never discover anything
that God has hidden from us, but when by His grace He draws back the curtain
and reveals to us the wonders of His glory we are blessed to see things that
others cannot see. John says, “I
saw!” “I saw a new heaven and a new
earth!” John makes it personal, and it
must become personal for each of us. By
the same spirit of revelation I can now say, “I see!” “I Preston
see a new heaven and a new earth!” Do
you, my beloved, have it within your view?
With the understanding of the spirit and the perception of the mind of
Christ can you see a new heaven and a new earth created within your own
should also be evident that there is a precise order to what John saw. He first said, “I saw a new heaven.” He then
followed this by saying, “and a
new earth.” Heaven bespeaks the inner
world of spirit. Earth signifies the
outer life of man. There can never be a new earth
until first there is a new heaven!
That is always the order — heaven comes first and then the earth. “In the beginning God created the heavens and
the earth” (Gen. 1:1). People are always trying to restrain or
change their outer man without a quickening or renewing of the inward man. They try to obey outward rules, regulations,
and all kinds of religious observances which will make them appear godly but does
not change the nature. And it doesn’t
work! Can we not see by this that we can
only see a new earth after we see a new heaven!
If you have not seen a new heaven, a new dominion out of the indwelling
spirit, you will never
see a new earth, for earth is set in the
heavens! From the beginning this has
been the divine order.
is the tabernacle of the earth. In the
spiritual sense the new heaven is your spiritual life raised up within you in
power and great glory, and the new earth is your redeemed, transformed soul and
body. New! “For the former things are passed away.” “Behold, I make all things new.” “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed
away; behold, all things are become new”
(II Cor. 5:17). The truth of
John’s vision is just that. It’s not the
literal mountains, the trees, the rivers, and the oceans of planet earth that
are made new. It is new men! When one has truly
experienced this his first old religious concept of heaven and his first old
religious concept of earth have passed away.
His old spiritual and mental-physical state of being have likewise
passed away! He has received a new
understanding and touched a new reality!
It is a state of being and an identity beyond what we have been
consciously aware of. The new heaven and
the new earth are indeed
man, the new mind, the new spirit, the new heart, the new
nature, the new life, and the new creation that we are. Isn’t that far better and greater than new
mountains, trees, and rivers! The sons
of God are within themselves the firstfruits of this new heaven and new
earth! It is a new way of thinking, a
new perception of reality, a new consciousness of being, a new dimension of
expression, a new plane and power of living!
Oh, the wonder of it!
know the reality of the new earth when God comes down out of the heavens of His
Spirit to dwell and manifest in the earth realm — the visible, tangible
realm. John said that he saw a new
heaven and then at once he said, “And I John saw the holy city, new
Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride
adorned for her husband. 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” (Rev. 21:2-3). The New Jerusalem, the Holy City,
is God coming down out of the invisibility of spirit to manifest His presence, life,
and glory visibly in and through a people.
The New Jerusalem is the capital of the new earth — the dominion of God
formed and crystallized within and through a people in union with Christ. These are God’s elect in whom the heavenly
reality has been fully formed! These are
they who are the light of the world, for the nations of them that are saved
shall walk in the light of this city!
The New Jerusalem is the firstfruits of the new earth wherein dwelleth
To those who walk in the spirit of wisdom and revelation
from God the Holy Spirit is giving a new concept of earth. Multitudes of Christians are possessed of the
expressed in the old song that says, “This world is not my home, I’m just a
passing through.” For these poor souls
life in the flesh is a toil, a drudgery, filled with weakness, lack, pain, trouble,
temptation, and sorrow and they are just waiting to die and get out of
here. “Stop the world and let me off” is
the popular “rapture” mentality. One
thing is very clear — these precious folks have never SEEN THE NEW EARTH! Neither have they seen the NEW HEAVEN! Once your have seen, discerned, perceived, discovered,
recognized, and experienced the new earth you no longer have any desire to “go”
anywhere! There is no need to go
anywhere! God manifested in and through
your soul and your body is the new earth! That is the new earth “wherein dwelleth
righteousness.” Study the word
righteousness, my beloved, and you will see that it is fulfilled only in and through men! This passage leaves no room for doubt
that the righteousness of God expressed in and through our lives constitutes
the new earth! Where else would you want
righteousness to dwell? Where else does
righteousness need to dwell? How could
righteousness ever be found in that earth out there except it flows through righteous
men? Where can righteousness dwell in
such a measure that it transforms everything in the whole world? Only in the lives of mankind! When the righteousness of God is revealed
through the lives of all people everywhere, the old earth will have fully
passed away for every man, and the new earth will be established in the glory
of God. Isn’t it wonderful!
see, beloved, it is not about what happens to this physical planet called earth
upon which we walk. Oh, no! It is not that earth out there at all — it is
this earth which we are that has become new!
And yet — it is wondrously true that the earth out there is and shall be affected, delivered,
and changed by the life of God manifested through the new heaven and the new
earth that we are! This is certain, for
man is given the dominion over the earth and over all things. The outward world fell under the curse along
with its ruler, Adam, and it shall be delivered, cleansed, and restored from the bondage of
corruption through its ruler, the many-membered Christ, the second man, the
last Adam! The firstborn Son of God demonstrated this
wonderful reality when He calmed the storm, fed the five thousand, and turned
water into wine. Do you see the new
heaven, the new rulership, my brother, my sister, and can you see the new
earth? I see a new heaven and I see a
new earth! I see a heaven and earth
wherein dwelleth righteousness, glory, authority, and power! Oh, yes, I SEE IT!
be continued… J. PRESTON EBY