Friday, July 5, 2013

The Lamb is its Light

A New Sky: A New Earth

21:1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. 

Vine defines the word newlike thisnot “new” in time, … but “new” as to form or quality, of different nature from what is contrasted as old.  Isaiah wrote, For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mindIsa. 65:17.  According to Vine the earth and sky will remain but they will be different.  The rulers of the inhabitants of the new earth will periodically visit heaven to worship there.  Note 21:22+24. ...the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. … And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.

In 21:1 it sounds as if John says that they cease to exist.  According to Peter also, it sounds as if the sky, the earth and the sea will cease to exist.  The heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10.  

However, the words and meaning of 21:1, are entirely different then the words and meaning of 20:11. In 20:11, John wrote that the earth and the heaven fled away or were quickly left behind.

22:1-5  And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 
    In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 
    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. 
    They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.   
   There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

   The "he" is still the same angel, one of the seven, who had poured out the bowls of wrath.  

   This river flows down the center of Main Street, or as Wuest has it, the broad avenue.  On each side of the river, but still in the center of Main Street, as a median, is the tree of life.  The Living Bible has taken the liberty to make it more readable by writing, coursing down the center of the main street: on each side of the river grew trees of life.  Then, as a footnote, The Living Bible has, the tree of life-used here as a collective noun, implying plurality.

This tree (or trees) bears twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind each month.  It is interesting that in heaven, the Holy City, there are also twelve months per year.  Does this thought also imply that there will be seasonal changes in the weather in heaven?  Here, on earth at least, some fruits need warmer weather and others need cooler temperatures to produce.

Also interesting is the fact that the leaves are for medicine for the nations, that is, for those people living on the new earth.  Certainly, they cannot be for healing those in the lake of fire; and they are not for the occupants of heaven, for in that city there will be no more sorrow or pain, hence no need for medicine.

The tree of life grows fruit.  It would seem that the fruit would be for eating, it would certainly not for wasting.  Still, in spite of that, Bakers Bible Dictionary of Theology says, there is no eating or drinking (in heaven), and to substantiate that statement they cite Romans 14:17, but give it a totally false meaning.  That dictionary says, the kingdom of God is not meat and drink.  In saying that, Paul did not mean that we won't eat or drink in heaven.  In agreement with Paul's meaning, The Living Bible has worded it correctly, after all, the important thing for us as Christians is not what we eat or drink.  

The statement, pure river of water of life surely must imply that we will be drinking from that river of life, and why would there be fruit trees if we would not be eating in heaven?

There shall be no more curse.  This is a gigantic statement.  The curse has been the problem since Adam ate of the forbidden fruit.  
  • In Genesis 3:14 God said to the serpent, you are cursed, 
  • to Adam God said, cursed is the ground for your sake.
  • to those who are trying to earn their way to heaven by keeping the laws of the Old Testament or by living a good life Paul wrote, for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them." Gal. 3:10. The words to emphasize here are, in all things. 
  • Paul, quoting Deut. 21:23, said, for he who is hanged is accursed of God.  We see Christ, the Lamb of God, hanging on a tree; Cursed by Roman soldiers, cursed by Jewish law-makers, cursed by His Father - for us!  
  • However, there, in heaven, shall be no more curse, for The Destroyer has been destroyed and Jehovah is dwelling with humans.
His servants shall serve him, no doubt with pleasure, not only that, but they shall see His face.  All those who have His name written in their foreheads as we learned in 7:5-12.  Note that before Adam sinned in the garden of Eden he was already working, looking after the garden, and we have been told that The Garden of Eden is a prototype of Heaven.  Work is not a curse, it is a blessing.  If we are healthy enough to work we should be thankful that we can work.
Throughout this study I have indicated that I believe that Jehovah is a saucerian. In my next blog I will take a close look at many of the incidents and teachings in the Bible and point out that the Bible actually substantiates my belief.  This may seem far fetched to you, but if you come along with me you might see that my thoughts are not as weird as they at first appear to be.  Shortly we will finish this blog, after that please join me  at: