When will the New Jerusalem come down to earth??  

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Answers to Bible Questions
Scriptures are from the King James Bible
8/23/2021

(Q)  When will the New Jerusalem come down to earth??
 

(A) The New Jerusalem will not come down to earth until after God has destroyed the first heaven and the first earth and created a New Heaven and New Earth as the Apostle John says below in Revelation 21:1-2.

 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.” —Rev. 21:1,2.  

Most churches today teach that the Holy City the New Jerusalem will come out of heaven and down to earth at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom or the one thousand year reign of Christ on the earth. According to the scriptures this view is false. In fact, the New Jerusalem will not come down to this existing earth at all!  It will only come down after God has created the NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH.  WHY??

Revelation 20:1-15 gives us the answer to why the New Jerusalem cannot possibly come down out of heaven to the earth until God creates the New Heaven and New Earth.

                                              Revelation 20:1-15:

(1) And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

(2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

(3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

(4) And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

(5) But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

(6) Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years.

(7) And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

(8) And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

(9) And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.  (Until Satan is taken out of the way and there is no more sin, and after the new heaven and new earth are created, then the New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven to the NEW Earth.)

(10) And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

(11) And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

(12) And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

(13) And 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.

(14) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

(15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The above will not take place for at least 1,007 years from now. The time frame depends on when the Rapture of the church takes place and only God knows when the Rapture will happen.

John

If you are not too tired yet,  read more about the New Jerusalem in the article below from the Berean Bible Society written by Paul Sadler.      Thanks, John
                                                                                      
 Over the past century or so there has been an ongoing controversy that has swirled around the 21st and 22nd chapters of Revelation. While most tend to shrink from controversy, it is not always a bad thing. Controversy drives us back to the Scriptures to determine the legitimacy of a particular teaching. It causes us to ponder what we may not have otherwise considered. But something new does not necessarily mean it aligns itself with the Scriptures. This is why it is important to exercise a great deal of discernment when weighing the validity of a new teaching. The question is, is it sound doctrine?

The issue here in the closing words of the Book of Revelation has to do with whether the last two chapters of the record are addressing the millennial kingdom or the eternal state. We hold the firm conviction that the primary subject of the narrative is the eternal state, although there are many capable Bible teachers, both past and present, who would teach otherwise. They believe the theme of these passages is the millennium, which you would do well to weigh carefully in the light of the Scriptures.

While we agree that there are many similarities between the millennial kingdom and the eternal state, they do differ. A comparison of these two periods quickly settles the matter. We know, for example, the millennial kingdom is established during the day of the Lord, which means it precedes the new heaven and new earth (II Pet. 3:10-13 cf. Rev. 20:1-6; 21:1). The millennium then is a part of the old order, not the new.

Although longevity is restored to mankind during the kingdom, the curse which includes death is still present on the earth (Isa. 65:20; Rev. 20:7-9). According to the Apostle John, death is abolished after the kingdom at the Great White Throne Judgment, as we have seen. Therefore, in eternity “the former things” such as disease, pain, sorrow, and death have passed away (Rev. 20:11-15 cf. 21:4; 22:3).

 John’s reference to the New Jerusalem here in the latter chapters of the Apocalypse stands in contrast with the city that bears the same name in the millennium. Perhaps the most obvious distinction is the temple. We know, for example, that a temple will be erected in the kingdom commonly known as Ezekiel’s temple. In the eternal state, however, there will be no temple “for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it,” that is, the New Jerusalem (Ezek. 40-42 cf. Rev. 21:22).

During the kingdom age the Lord will require the unbeliever to make a yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem to observe the feast of tabernacles. This is to give them an opportunity to receive Him as their Savior. After the millennium all unbelievers will be cast into the lake of fire at the Great White Throne; thus, only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life are permitted to enter into the New Jerusalem (Zech. 14:16-21 cf. Rev. 21:24-27).

 “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” (Rev. 22:2).

Many claim that this is an obvious reference to the kingdom, because the leaves of the tree of life are said to be for the healing of the nations. The problem with this interpretation is that John clearly states in the same context, “and there shall be no more curse.” It will be replaced by life and life more abundantly. May we suggest the following: With the curse lifted in eternity the leaves of the tree, the purpose of which were once used for the healing of the nations, now stand as a memorial that all things have been summed up in Christ (Eph. 1:10; Rev. 22:2,3).

THE NEW JERUSALEM AND THE ETERNAL STATE

“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” (Rev. 21:9,10).

There are a number of key phrases in the Scriptures that refer to the eternal state—the dispensation of the fullness of times (Eph. 1:10), the day of God (II Pet. 3:12,13), and the ages to come (Eph. 2:7). As we enter eternity God will have brought forth a new heaven and a new earth which means there continues to be a distinction between these two realms. This is substantiated by the recurring themes of prophecy here in John’s account. For example:

John beholds the New Jerusalem come out of heaven to the earth. It now replaces the old city that was brought to ashes in the recreation of all things. As we leave the old behind there is a seamless transition to the new order as the number “twelve” implies. The number twelve is the number of governmental perfection which is closely associated with the plans and purpose of God for the earth. The attributes of the New Jerusalem are a case in point. In time past the number twelve was stamped throughout prophecy. There were twelve sons of Israel from whom came the twelve tribes of Israel. In addition to the twelve precious stones that graced the breastplate of the high priest, there were twelve apostles of the kingdom who were promised to sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. This numerical theme continues uninterrupted into the eternal state where John tells us the New Jerusalem has a wall around it with twelve gates that have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel inscribed upon them. Standing at each gate is an angel. With the enemies of God vanquished, these angels are not stationed here as protectors of the great city, but as an honor guard, greeting and welcoming those who visit the city of God (Rev. 21:12).

 John also noted “the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:14). Because the twelve apostles left their families and livelihoods they are given the distinct honor of having their names written on these twelve foundations. Interestingly the Apostle Paul is not mentioned here and for good reason—Paul is not one of the twelve apostles nor is he the thirteenth apostle of the kingdom!

Paul’s apostleship is unique, in that he was raised up to make known the heavenly ministry of Christ. Therefore, his apostleship is identified with the heavens. Paul teaches us in his epistles that the members of the Body of Christ have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies. We are also said to be seated with Christ in the heavens, thus, we have a heavenly hope and calling. Today there is only one apostle who is God’s spokesman for the Body of Christ—Paul. In his revelation we are brought into the wonderful truth of our oneness in Christ. It is of little wonder then that the present administration of grace is stamped from beginning to end with the number one.

There is “one new man,” a new creation made of Jews and Gentiles called the Church the Body of Christ (Eph. 2:14). Paul was the first to reveal there is “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Tim. 2:5). The sevenfold unity of the Spirit that has been established by the Spirit Himself states: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph. 4:5,6).

“With the abolition of sin and the curse it may well be that the new heaven and new earth will be open to one another.”

Again, and again Paul admonishes us to be of one accord and of one mind (Phil. 2:2).

What the number twelve is to prophecy, the number one is to the Mystery.

 With the abolition of sin and the curse it may well be that the new heaven and new earth will be open to one another. While we will possess a heavenly citizenship throughout eternity, in all likelihood we will have access to the earth and the New Jerusalem as members of the family of God. We will never tire of the splendor of the crystal city as it shimmers like a diamond in the bright sunlight. But heaven is our home! It is here that God is going to show us the exceeding riches of His kindness in the ages to come. The cares of this life may at times seem greater than we can bear, but they work for us “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Nothing compares with what lies ahead for those who love Him.

“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” (Rev. 22:3,4).

 It is often assumed that “work” was a product of the curse. The truth of the matter is, before the fall God had created man to have dominion over the earth, which clearly implies he was to manage the creation over which he was given oversight. When God placed Adam in the garden, He instructed him to “dress it and to keep it” (Gen. 2:15). The Hebrew word for “dress” has the idea of labor.

Adam was to till the ground and care for the garden. Prior to the curse creation worked in harmony with our first parents. It was not until after the fall, when the curse was pronounced, that Adam faced the harsh reality that he would have to eke out an existence by the sweat of his brow. Suddenly creation turned against him. Simply fail to weed your vegetable garden for two weeks and you’ll see what Adam faced as he sought to provide for his family.

 Since the beginning then, man was created to work. He finds contentment and fulfillment when his hand is to the plow, as it were. Although we are told very little about the eternal state we do know that the household of God, both in heaven and earth, will serve the Lord. Idleness is not one of the fruits of the Spirit. In regard to the earthly program of God, John says to his hearers, “His servants shall serve Him” in the New Jerusalem. The heavenly message given to us from Paul reveals this: “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him” (II Cor. 5:8,9). We, too, are going to be serving the Lord throughout eternity to the praise of His glory in Christ Jesus. We are not told exactly what we will be doing, but whatever the task, we will perform it happily as unto the Lord, knowing that it is for our ultimate good and His glory.

“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 22:5).

The New Jerusalem that descends out of heaven is approximately a fifteen hundred mile cube in every direction, including its height. If you were to travel around the perimeter of this city, it would be a six-thousand mile trip. In the midst of this structural wonder the light of the Lord will illuminate the entire city. Once again God is demonstrating that He is able to sustain His creation apart from the sun, as He did at the dawn of creation. In the beginning God waited until the fourth day before He created the sun, moon, and stars, for He would have man to understand that He is far above His creation and therefore worthy to be worshipped. He is sovereign, almighty, and all-powerful!

THE FINAL MESSAGE

“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” (Rev. 22:8).

Immediately after John received the revelation of the eternal state he fell at the feet of the angel who had showed him these things. The apostle was so overwhelmed by what he had seen that he lost his senses for a moment and began to worship the angel who imparted the revelation to him. John is sharply rebuked by the angel who was merely a messenger of God. The lesson for us here is that we are not to worship anyone or anything other than the true and living God!

“And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand” (Rev. 22:10). The narrative from this point redirects itself back to the seven churches of Asia who were being prepared for the coming Tribulation and kingdom. Unlike the revelation given to the prophet Daniel, John is instructed not to seal the words of this prophecy. Thus, the Book of Revelation is the unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Judge of the earth. For the most part, the message of this book can be understood by the Lord’s people when it is studied rightly divided. Of course, those who actually enter the day of the Lord will understand it in its fullest sense.

“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” (Rev. 22:11,12).

At the close of the Great Tribulation, Christ will come as a thief in the night when He returns to the earth. In that day He will reward both the believer and the unbeliever according to their works. God always honors His Word! He has promised that those who reject His Beloved Son and trouble the saints will “be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power” (II Thes. 1:9). They will be judged according to their evil deeds. Those who heed the message given to the seven churches in Asia will be rewarded by entering into the kingdom and partaking of the tree of life, as promised to the church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:7).

“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 whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Rev. 22:14,15).

 The city here is the old Jerusalem from which Christ will rule and reign in the millennial kingdom. The obedient will be permitted to enter through the gates and eat of the tree of life, the leaves of which will be for the healing of the nations (Ezek. 47:12). Since sin is still present in the kingdom those without the city and the household of God are said to be evildoers. The paradise that was lost by Adam’s disobedience will one day be restored upon the earth on the basis of the redemptive work of Christ. If there is one thing we have learned in our study of the Book of Revelation it is this, God will ultimately triumph over sin in His universe.

“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star….He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen! Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:16)

 The end. Have a good day,
John

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