By: Evangelist Donald Perkins
The nations and kingdoms of the New World will all be subject to the authority and government of God. This also makes clear the fact that the New World will be a practical and usable world, not a world filled with spirit beings or Christians flying around with wings and silver slippers. There will be order in God's new system."
C.) The Living Condition of the Eternal State:
Now we have come to the place in our study that describes the conditions of eternity. We will examine three aspects of the eternal world.
1.) The Theocratic Kingdom/Government
2.) The New Jerusalem/The City
3.) The Physical Life/Living Conditions
1.) The Theocratic Kingdom/Government
In studying the living condition, we must look at those things that will affect life during that time. The Theocratic kingdom is previewed in the Millennial reign of Christ. But here, the fullness of God's kingdom will be revealed. The question is asked, "What is the theocratic kingdom?"
Theocratic comes from the word theocracy, which means:
Theocracy: Def. 1.) Literally, the rule of a state by God or a god: hence, 2.) Government by Priests claiming to rule with divine authority. 3.) A country governed in this way. 4.) A government in which God himself is the ruler.
In the perfect world, all power and rule will be of God Almighty. God will be the sovereign ruler of the world. In I Corinthians 15: 23-28, the Scripture states that Jesus will give all power back to God, that God may be all in all. Jesus will be Lord of Lord and King of Kings.
"Then cometh the end, when He (Jesus) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall put down all rule and all authority and power..."
Verse 28, "And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son (Jesus) also Himself be subject unto Him (God) that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all". (I Corinthians 15:23-28)
This will be a world ruled by God Himself. The Throne of God and of the Lamb will be established in the New World.
"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". (Revelation 21:3)
"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:" (Revelation 22:3)
Revelation 21:24 gives reference to the fact that there will be some type of rule and governing in the New World. This Scripture states that saved nations will walk in the light and that Kings shall bring their glory into the New Jerusalem.
"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". (Revelation 21:24)
The nations and kingdoms of the New World will all be subject to the authority and government of God. This also makes clear the fact that the New World will be a practical and usable world, not a world filled with spirit beings or Christians flying around with wings and silver slippers. There will be order in God's new system.
2.) The New Jerusalem / The City
"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..." (Revelation 21:2,3)
This will be a different Jerusalem from the one we know today. This Jerusalem will come from heaven and will rest on the New Earth. The name "New Jerusalem" tells us a lot about this city. The word "New" is defined as: 1.) Is applied to that which has never exited before or which has only just come into being. 2.) taking the place of what has exited; 3.) never exiting before: appearing, thought of, developed, made, produced, etc. for the first time.
The name "Jerusalem" is defined as: 1.) The city of peace. So the name "NEW JERUSALEM" Jerusalem tells us that this city will replace the Old Jerusalem, (a city today filled with violence and bloodshed, a city with no peace and rest). God said concerning the New Jerusalem that "The voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her".
"For, behold I create New Heavens and New Earth: And the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind".
"But ye be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for, behold, I created Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy".
"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". (Isaiah 65:17,18, 19)
The New Jerusalem is that eternal city that God has promised to the righteous. A city that is prepared for prepared people, a city that will have no destruction, a city whose builder and maker is God, a city whose origin is in Heaven. Let's look at some Scriptures that testify this truth.
1.) "...Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he prepared for them a city". (Hebrews 11:16)
2.) "For here have no continuing city, but we seek one to come". (Hebrews 13:14)
3.) "For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God". (Hebrews 11:10)
4.) "But ye are come into Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of Angels.
"To the General Assembly and church of the first born, which are written in heaven and to God the judge of all, and to the Spirits of just men made perfect". (Hebrews 12:22, 23)
5.) "Himthat overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and He shall go no more out and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: And I will write upon him my new name". (Revelation 3:12)
Clarence Larkin, in his book on Revelation, describes the city like this:
"THE description of it is surpassingly grand. It is of Celestial origin. It is not Heaven itself, for it comes down out of Heaven". No mortal hands are employed in it's construction".
Names Given to this City
1.) The Holy City - Revelation 21:2
2.) The Tabernacle of God - Revelation 21:3
3.) The Bride, The Lamb's Wife - Revelation 21:9
4.) The Holy Jerusalem - Revelation 21:10
5.) The Heavenly Jerusalem - Hebrews 12:22, 23
6.) Continuing City - Hebrews 13:14
Each name given to this city gives us the perfect character of God's city.
1.) The Holy City: Revelation 21:2
Holiness reveals that the city will be a separated one, a city that is set apart from all other cities. Also, the occupant of that city must be holy. This will be a holy city dedicated to God.
2.) Tabernacle of God: Revelation 21:3
The name Tabernacle reveals that the city will be a sanctuary where God Himself will dwell among men. (Exodus 25:8)
3.) The Bride, The Lamb's Wife: Revelation 21:9
The Bride, The Lamb's Wife, reveals the relationship of the city to Jesus and the church.
4.) Holy Jerusalem: Revelation 21:10
Reveals that this will be a holy city of peace, a city of perfect peace set apart by God.
5.) The Heavenly Jerusalem: Hebrews 12:22, 23
This reveals the origin of this Holy City, a city coming down from heaven to plant earth.
The Description of this City
The Scripture gives clear reference as to how this New Jerusalem will look. This city will be like none ever built. The description of the city is found in Revelation 21:11-21.
"And He carried me away on the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the Holy Jerusalem. descending out of heaven from God".
"Having the Glory of God; and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal". (Revelation 21:10, 11)
The New Jerusalem will glow from the shekinah glory of God. This will illuminate from the power of God, and shine forth because of the precious stones of the city.
Gates of the City
"And had a wall great and high; and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve Angels and names written therein, which are the names of the twelve Tribes of the children of Israel;"
"On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates." (Revelation 21:12, 13)
This city will have great and high walls, alone with twelve gates around it. There will be three gates facing the north, south, east and west. Here, we see in the design of the Eternal city, that God allows twelve entrances from four directions. How complete do we see the work of God in this construction, for in the first tabernacle, God only allows one entrance and it was from the east. It was from the same direction God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. But, now in the completed, redemptive work of Christ, man may enter God's presence and city from any direction he wills.
The Scripture goes further to reveal that each gate will have an Angel assigned to it. Each Angel will be like Sentries or door keepers of the city. (It is good to note, also, that society would have us think that these Angels are here to pass judgment on those who are not worthy to go into eternity. But this will not be the case. For at this time, all who are here will be allowed to enter because they are redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ.)
The names of the twelve Tribes of Israel will be on each gate. Here, the Old Testament saints are forever remembered in this perpetual city. The gates were made of pearls; each gate was of one several pearl. Here, we have no doubt where the term "pearly gates" was coined. Only God can create gates of pure pearl. As we go on to see the size of this city, it will become apparent that these gates are massive in size. I can't wait to behold the splendor and grandeur of this city!
"And the twelve gates. were twelve pearls, every several gate was of one pearl;..." (Revelation 21:21)
The Walls and Foundations of the City
"And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb." (Revelation 21:14)
The walls of this great city will sit on twelve precious foundations and in the foundations will be the names of the twelve Apostles of Jesus. As we saw in the pearly gates, the Old Testament saints were represented. Even now, do we see the complete picture of Redemption. For here, we have the New Testament Apostles represented, showing us the total community of God, all redeemed by the work of Christ. The Old Testament saints brought to Christ by faith in the Law and the New testament saints saved through faith in Jesus Christ. This also shows us that the Old and the New Testament saints are one in the overall plan of God...one big family under God. The Scripture states, "that through Christ we who were one time strangers are now made made nigh by the blood of Jesus."
"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were afar off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:13)
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;"
"And are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"
"In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord;"
"In whom ye also are builded together for an Habitation of God through the Spirit."(Ephesians 2:19-22)
In Dr. Ed F. Vallowe's book, Riches to Revelation, he summed up this truth like this:
"Note also the foundation stones contain the names of the Apostles, indicating that the Holy City will contain the redeemed by the blood of Christ, who heard the word through the faithful witnessing of the servants of God in the first century, known to us as the Apostles. The gates of the city contain the names of the twelve Tribes clearly indicating that they are the vehicles through which the oracles of God were revealed in the Old testament days, and to whom the Messiah came. Both the Old Testament Saints and the New Testament Saints will have access to this city, but each time they enter they will be reminded of their debt to the nation of Israel and to the Apostles."
"And the building of the wall of it was of Jasper: and the city was pure gold, like clear glass." (Revelation 21:18)
The walls of the city will be made of Jasper stone. Some references on this precious stone tells us that this is a translucent, crystal rock; green in color. It is a glittering stone. The Jasper stone walls of the city will exhibit, to all who see it, the splendor of God's glory shining through. John also stated that the city was pure gold, like clear glass. We can only imagine the grandeur and beauty of this precious city. This city will radiate perfection; the gold so pure that no flaw can be seen in it.
The Measurements of the City
The measurement of this city will be staggering to the human mind. God has prepared a massive city that will be filled with the righteous saints.
"And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth (width): and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousands furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal."
"And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the Angel." (Revelation 21:16-17)
The measurement of the walls were 144 cubits, which is equal to 216 feet high. This is taking into consideration that a cubit measures out to be 18 inches. Now, the overall city measures out to be 12,000 furlongs, which is about 1,380 square miles. (The size of the city is about 1,380 miles long, 1,380 miles wide and 1,380 miles high.) The way this is calculated is as follows:
One furlong is equivalent to 607 English feet. Take the 607 English feet and multiply it by 12,000 furlongs. You come up with a figure of 7,284,000 feet. Now, divide this 5,280 feet, which is equal to one mile. The resulting, final figure is 1,379.54 square miles. What a city this will be! Never have there ever been a city of this size on earth!
The foundations of the city will be garnished with all manners of precious stones.
"And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was Jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;"
"The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelve, an Ametheyst."
"...and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass." (Revelation 21:18-21)
The Eternal city will be a breath-taking sight to behold. The foundations garnished with all manner of precious stones, the measurement of the city and the glory that will radiate from this city all testify to the fact how much God loves and values our relationship with Him. He wants us to be a part of His splendor and glory. Even the streets of the city will be that of gold. Today, gold is the most precious metal known to man, but in the New Jerusalem, it will be the streets on which the righteous walk. Praise God! Only God can make such a city of this caliber. This is that city in which the Partiarch seeked.
"For he (Abraham) look for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." (Hebrews 11:10)
3.) The Physical Life
The physical life of the Eternal State will be that beyond our imagination. The Scripture clearly teach that our eternity with God will be in a physical, tangible world. Today, there are many voices speaking falsehoods about our future in eternity. Some teach that in eternity, we will become disembodied, spirit beings walking around in Heaven all day. Others teach that we will receive wings and become angels and get silver slippers and spend eternity in Heaven. In this portion of our study, we will examine the physical side of Eternity for the righteous. In the final plan of God, mankind will be restored to his original place in creation before Adam's fall. Whatever Adam had before his fall, will be restored to redeemed man. Case in point: Adam lost his right to eat of the Tree of Life. But in the new world, the redeemed will also have access to this tree to partake of the fruits of it.
The physical side of Eternity:
1.) A life of knowing God face to face.
In the Eternal State, we will see God, the Father, face to face. In the Old Testament, no one was allowed to see God and live, but through the finished work of Christ, we will see and know God face to face and live.
"And they shall see his face; and his name shall be on their foreheads." (Revelation 22:4)
"...and He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God..." (Revelation 21:3, 4)
"For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known." (I Corinthians 13:12)
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (I John 3:2)
2.) A life without crying, sorrow and pain:
In the Eternal State, all crying, sorrow and pain will be done away with. There will be nothing that will cause pain and sorrow there. God shall wipe it all away.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:4)
"...and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." (Revelation 7:17)
3.) A life without death:
In the Eternal State, the spirit of Death will not have a part. All who are a part of this world will never die.
"He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it." (Isaiah 25:8)
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death..." (Revelation 21:4)
4.) No more hunger nor thirst:
In the Eternal State, there will be no famine of food, nor drought that causes thirst. The fountain of the water of life will be opened to all who thirst.
"...I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." (Revelation 21:6)
"They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat."
"For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." (Revelation 7:16, 17)
"They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them." (Isaiah 49:10)
5.) No more curse:
There will be no curse in the land on earth. The beautiful rose bush that became thorn infested after Adam's fall, will no longer have thorns and thistles. It will be restored to it's former glory. Everything that was affected by the curse that fell on man, the animal kingdom and the earth will no longer have the curse on them. The earth will be restored to it's former glory
"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:" (Revelation 22:3)
6.) We will eat of the Tree of Life:
In the new world, we will eat from the Tree of Life. This tree is the same tree that Adam and Eve could not eat because of their sin. But we will have a right to partake of the fruit of this tree. This tree will only be for the saints of God who have overcome sin through the blood of Jesus.
"...To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the Tree of Life. which is in the midst of the paradise of God." (Revelation 2:7)
"In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." (Revelation 22:2)
"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (Revelation 22:14)
7.) All nations shall walk in the light of God and the Lamb:
In the new world, there shall be nations all over the earth and these nations shall bring their glory and honour into the city.
"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 honour 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 honour of the nations into it." (Revelation 21:24-26)
8.) A life of service and work:
In the new world, men will serve God. This means we will have jobs and duties to do and to complete. In the beginning when God created Adam and Eve, they did not run around the Garden of Eden doing nothing. Man was commanded to labor in the Garden. I believe we will have jobs in the new world.
"...but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:" (Revelation 22:3)
"...and they shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 22:5)
9.) There shall be no night in the New Jerusalem:
Because of the light and glory of God and the Lamb, there will be no need of light in the city. This means that the glory of God will light up New Jerusalem. (Special note: This does not mean that the sun will no longer give it's light. On the outskirts of the city, the ordinance of the sun and moon will still be in affect for all eternity.)
"And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun for the Lord God giveth them light:..." (Revelation 22:5)
"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." (Revelation 21:23)
10.) God shall make all things new:
In the new world, God the Father shall make everything in it new and uncontaminated nor tainted with corruption and sin. Can you imagine a world without air pollution, oil-filled rivers and streams? No where will there be toxic dumps, for this will be a world brand new.
"And he that sat upon the throne said, behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)
In summary of the physical life of the Eternal World, it will be a tangible, physical and practical world. We will know our friends and loved ones. We will see God face to face and eat of the Tree of Life. We will even have homes in the new world.
God wants us to know that our future with Him will not be a boring time of regimented service, but one of a full and joyful life of relationship, love, peace and glory with God. Jesus paid the price at Calvary that we might one day have perfect fellowship with God, our Creator.