This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.
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Have you ever wondered about living conditions throughout eternity? Let’s check it out. In part 2 we mentioned that we would be looking at the following portion of Scripture more closely; we will use it to launch or initiate our consideration of the new ages to come in regards to what it might be like living in our new spiritual, immortal bodies. After all, if God expects us to begin to live this way while we are still in our perishable bodies, it certainly makes sense to become more knowledgeable of what this might mean to us now and into the future.
JOHN 17:4-10.... I have glorified You down here on the earth by completing the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me along with Yourself and restore Me to such majesty and honor in Your presence as I had with You before the world existed. I have manifested Your Name [I have revealed Your very Self, Your real Self] to the people whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have obeyed and kept Your word. Now [at last] they know and understand that all You have given Me belongs to You [is really and truly Yours]. For the [uttered] words that You gave Me I have given them; and they have received and accepted [them] and have come to know positively and in reality [to believe with absolute assurance] that I came forth from Your presence, and they have believed and are convinced that You did send Me. I am praying for them. I am not praying (requesting) for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they belong to You. All [things that are] Mine are Yours, and all [things that are] Yours belong to Me; and I am glorified in (through) them. [They have done Me honor; in them My glory is achieved.]
All we know about the Godhead or Trinity and their relationship with one another, is what God has revealed to us in His Inspired Word! It took the early Church about 300 years to formulate and come to a, not unanimous, agreement as to their creeds and doctrines concerning the Trinity. What is interesting in the above Scripture and the one to follow, is that they suggest a relationship that we are not familiar with. First of all, Jesus prays that He might be restored "to such majesty and honor in Your presence as I had with You before the world existed." – What might this have been like? Secondly, Jesus says, "All [things that are] Mine are Yours, and all [things that are] Yours belong to Me"; what does He mean by that declaration?
1 CORINTHIANS 15:20-28.... But the fact is that Christ (the Messiah) has been raised from the dead, and He became the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [in death]. For since [it was] through a man that death [came into the world, it is] also through a Man that the resurrection of the dead [has come]. For just as [because of their union of nature] in Adam all people die, so also [by virtue of their union of nature] shall all in Christ be made alive. But each in his own rank and turn: Christ (the Messiah) [is] the firstfruits, then those who are Christ's [own will be resurrected] at His coming. After that comes the end (the completion), when He delivers over the kingdom to God the Father after rendering inoperative and abolishing every [other] rule and every authority and power. For [Christ] must be King and reign until He has put all [His] enemies under His feet. [Ps 110:1.] The last enemy to be subdued and abolished is death. For He [the Father] has put all things in subjection under His [Christ's] feet. But when it says, All things are put in subjection [under Him], it is evident that He [Himself] is excepted Who does the subjecting of all things to Him. [Ps. 8:6.] However, when everything is subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also subject Himself to [the Father] Who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all [be everything to everyone, supreme, the indwelling and controlling factor of life].
There is a spiritual existence and structure that has always been that we know very little about, except what the above two passages reveal to us, along with the last two chapters of the Bible. What God, through His servant Paul is revealing to us is that after the soon-coming seven-year Tribulation period, Jesus will reign as King over all the earth for a thousand years – the Millennium. At the close of that period Jesus will subject Himself to the Father and deliver the Kingdom that He has established to the Father so that God may be all in all. Then there will be a renewed heaven and earth by fire, and eternity will begin.
We know from the Scriptures that at the end of this age Jesus will come for His Church (1 Cor. 15:51-58); the seven year Tribulation will take place (Matt. 24:21-22); Jesus will come to Jerusalem to rule for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6); then Satan will be released for a short time and raise up a rebellion against Jesus which Jesus will quickly put down (Rev. 20:7-10), and then eternity will begin (2 Peter chapter 3; Rev. Chapters 21 & 22).
Sometime after the Church is received up into heaven, we shall be assembled at the judgement seat of Christ (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10), where we hopefully will hear our Lord say unto us, "Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys" (Matt. 25:23). Then will begin to unfold unto us the magnificence of God’s Kingdom in all its glory, what a day that will be!
We know that we will have new resurrection bodies; "So it is with the resurrection of the dead. [The body] that is sown is perishable and decays, but [the body] that is resurrected is imperishable (immune to decay, immortal). [Dan 12:3] It is sown in dishonor and humiliation; it is raised in honor and glory. It is sown in infirmity and weakness; it is resurrected in strength and endued with power. It is sown a natural (physical) body; it is raised a supernatural (a spiritual) body. [As surely as] there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body" (1 Cor. 15:42-44), and also, "Beloved, we are [even here and] now God's children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God's children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is" (1 Jn. 3:2). Therefore, we can reasonably assume that our new resurrection bodies will be like the body Jesus had after His resurrection. Jesus revealed some startling things to His disciples on the evening of His resurrection, and those whom He appeared to during the day failed to recognize Him – there apparently was something quite different about Him.
LUKE 24:36-43.... Now while they were talking about this, Jesus Himself took His stand among them and said to them, Peace ( freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin) be to you! But they were so startled and terrified that they thought they saw a spirit. And He said to them, Why are you disturbed and troubled, and why do such doubts and questionings arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself! Feel and handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have. And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. And while [since] they still could not believe it for sheer joy and marveled, He said to them, Have you anything here to eat? They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, and He took [it] and ate [it] before them.
First of all Jesus seems to have simply materialized before them without having entered through a door; secondly He had a body with flesh and bones, but apparently no blood circulating system; "But I tell you this, brethren, flesh and blood cannot [become partakers of eternal salvation and] inherit or share in the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable (that which is decaying) inherit or share in the imperishable (the immortal)" (1 Cor. 15:50). The third thing that we notice is that the spiritual body will be capable of eating food, but will probably lack a digestive system. So this gives us some idea of the kind of body we will possess, and how we will function. As to our surroundings and living conditions we must turn to the last two chapters of Revelation to get a glimpse of that.
Rev 21:1-27.... Then I saw a new sky (heaven) and a new earth, for the former sky and the former earth had passed away (vanished), and there no longer existed any sea. [Isa 65:17; 66:22] And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, all arrayed like a bride beautified and adorned for her husband; then I heard a mighty voice from the throne and I perceived its distinct words, saying, See! The abode of God is with men, and He will live (encamp, tent) among them; and they shall be His people, and God shall personally be with them and be their God. [Ezek. 37:27] God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away. [Isa. 25:8; 35:10]
Living with God is going to be incredibly marvelous beyond our grandest expectations. To begin with, in this paragraph, we are told that there will be a completely new sky and earth free from the pain and sorrow that we have too frequently suffered here in this life. God is going to release us completely from the effects of mankind’s former rebellion, and set us free to live and enjoy being joint heirs with Christ: "And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory. [But what of that?] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us! For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God's sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their son ship]. For the creation (nature) was subjected to frailty (to futility, condemned to frustration), not because of some intentional fault on its part, but by the will of Him Who so subjected it--[yet] with the hope [Eccl. 1:2] that nature (creation) itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption [and gain an entrance] into the glorious freedom of God's children. We know that the whole creation [of irrational creatures] has been moaning together in the pains of labor until now. [Jer. 12:4,11] And not only the creation, but we ourselves too, who have and enjoy the firstfruits of the [Holy] Spirit [a foretaste of the blissful things to come] groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies [from sensuality and the grave, which will reveal] our adoption (our manifestation as God's sons)" (Rom. 8:17-23). No need to say more!
5And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new. Also He said, Record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy) and true (genuine). [Isa. 43:19.] And He [further] said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I [Myself] will give water without price from the fountain (springs) of the water of Life. [Isa. 55:1.] He who is victorious shall inherit all these things, and I will be God to him and he shall be My son. But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practicers of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God) and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed)--[all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death. [Isa. 30:33.]
9Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven final plagues (afflictions, calamities) came and spoke to me. He said, Come with me! I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife. Then in the Spirit He conveyed me away to a vast and lofty mountain and exhibited to me the holy (hallowed, consecrated) city of Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God, [Ezek. 40:2] Clothed in God's glory [in all its splendor and radiance]. The luster of it resembled a rare and most precious jewel, like jasper, shining clear as crystal. It had a massive and high wall with Twelve [large] gates, and at the gates [there were stationed] Twelve angels, and [on the gates] the names of the Twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were written: [Ex. 28:21; Ezek. 48:30-35] On the east side three gates, on the north side three gates, on the south side three gates, and on the west side three gates. And the wall of the city had Twelve foundation [stones], and on them the Twelve names of the Twelve apostles of the Lamb.
The comment "Come with me! I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife" must refer to the dwelling place of the bride of Christ, the Church – the place that Jesus promised his disciples He was going away to prepare for them (Jn. 14:2-3). The following description of this place boggles our minds when we try to grasp the magnificence of it all; especially when we consider that Jesus suffered the cross and temporary separation from the Father that should have been our eternal condition, and then, through no merit of our own, shares all this with us! What a Savior, who can take a poor lost sinner, lift him from the miry clay and set him free -- and then give him all of this, WOW!
15And he who spoke to me had a golden measuring reed (rod) to measure the city and its gates and its wall. [Ezek. 40:5] The city lies in a square, its length being the same as its width. And he measured the city with his reed--12,000 stadia (about 1,500 miles); its length and width and height are the same. He measured its wall also--144 cubits (about 72 yards) by a man's measure [of a cubit from his elbow to his third fingertip], which is [the measure] of the angel. The wall was built of jasper, while the city [itself was of] pure gold, clear and transparent like glass. The foundation [stones] of the wall of the city were ornamented with all of the precious stones. The first foundation [stone] was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony (or white agate), the fourth emerald, [Isa. 54:11,12] the fifth onyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the Twelve gates were Twelve pearls, each separate gate being built of one solid pearl. And the main street (the broadway) of the city was of gold as pure and translucent as glass.
22I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God omnipotent [Himself] and the Lamb [Himself] are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon to give light to it, for the splendor and radiance (glory) of God illuminate it, and the Lamb is its lamp. [Isa. 24:23; 60:1,19] The nations shall walk by its light and the rulers and leaders of the earth shall bring into it their glory. And its gates shall never be closed by day, and there shall be no night there. [Isa. 60:11] They shall bring the glory (the splendor and majesty) and the honor of the nations into it. But nothing that defiles or profanes or is unwashed shall ever enter it, nor anyone who commits abominations (unclean, detestable, morally repugnant things) or practices falsehood, but only those whose names are recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life.
Let’s try to put into perspective this 21st chapter of Revelation: The first verse seems to imply that God is going to restore creation to a similar state as when He first created it. This is what Jesus told us to pray for in Matt. 6:10, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" – all the redeemed will be united into the Kingdom of God, and God will be all and in all. In considering the changes that took place at the time of Adams disobedience, and those that are likely to take place at this time when God creates a new earth and heavens, it may be good to give some thought to the three heavens that the Bible speaks of: The first being the atmosphere above the earth (Gen. 1:6-9); the second being what we call outer space where the stars and planets are (Gen. 1:14-18); and the third being God’s dwelling place where Paul the apostle was temporarily caught up to at one time (2 Cor. 12:2-4). God declared in Genesis chapter one that everything that he had created and formed was good or perfect. He also declared in the eighth chapter of Romans, "For the creation (nature) was subjected to frailty (to futility, condemned to frustration), not because of some intentional fault on its part, but by the will of Him Who so subjected it--[yet] with the hope that nature (creation) itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption [and gain an entrance] into the glorious freedom of God's children. We know that the whole creation [of irrational creatures] has been moaning together in the pains of labor until now" (Rom. 8:20-22).
What was at first very good was now corrupted, and all that God had created had to be subjected to degeneration and death lest it survive forever, which is a terrible thought to consider. The changes that God made at this time to the earth and its two heavens were certainly not favorable to its existence, nor to a close relationship with God. But the changes that God describes in the twenty-first chapter of Revelation are going to remove that curse and establish a relationship with God and conditions that far exceed the conditions that the original creation enjoyed.
No longer will the three heavens be separated and neither will the sun, moon and stars of the second heaven be needed; for God will descend from His original dwelling place in the third heaven to earth, and be the light of all that has at this time been united to the Kingdom of God. Again, far surpassing a mere restoration, and nothing short of a whole new marvelous and wonderful creation.
We are also told there will no longer be any sea; about 70 percent of this present world is covered by water, therefore, the new earth will have more than three times the land area that we now have. The earth that God originally created probably didn’t have the high mountains and the oceans that exist now, these were probably formed by the convulsions that took place during the worldwide flood that occurred during the time that Noah lived here; God apparently used this process to create the low elevations to contain the flood waters, and thereby make the earth habitable again. All of this suggests that the whole world will have a moderate climate, entirely habitable and very productive. Now whether the following conditions will prevail just through the Millennium or throughout all eternity is unclear, but well worth giving some thought to.
The inhabitants of this new earth will also be changed so that they once again live long lives as they did after the first creation, but they apparently will not possess a spiritual body such as the Bride of Christ will have when we are changed. Isaiah tells us what the nation of Israel’s existence is going to be like during this time.
ISAIAH 65:17-25.... For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth. And the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. [Isa. 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21:1] But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a rejoicing and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; and the sound of weeping will no more be heard in it, nor the cry of distress. There shall no more be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who dies prematurely; for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner who dies when only a hundred years old shall be [thought only a child, cut off because he is] accursed.
21They shall build houses and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat [the fruit]. For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My chosen and elect shall long make use of and enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain or bring forth [children] for sudden terror or calamity; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall be that before they call I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear. [Isa. 30:19; 58:9; Matt. 6:8] The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy Mount [Zion], says the Lord.
There are numerous places in Scripture where God states that this type of His relationship with the Nation Israel will last forever and is apparently only one of many different entity types that will exist throughout eternity (Gen. 13:14-15; 17:8). Others that we know about are the angles, "the four living creatures (beings)" (Rev. 5:6), which seem to be different from the angles, and of course the Church or Bride of Christ who will inhabit the new heavenly Jerusalem of the 22nd chapter of Revelation.
Rev 22:1-5.... Then he showed me the river whose waters give life, sparkling like crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the broadway of the city; also, on either side of the river was the tree of life with its Twelve varieties of fruit, yielding each month its fresh crop; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing and the restoration of the nations. [Gen. 2:9] There shall no longer exist there anything that is accursed (detestable, foul, offensive, impure, hateful, or horrible). But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall worship Him [pay divine honors to Him and do Him holy service]. [Zech. 14:21] They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. [Ps. 17:15] And there shall be no more night; they have no need for lamplight or sunlight, for the Lord God will illuminate them and be their light, and they shall reign [as kings] forever and ever (through the eternities of the eternities).
The Church or the Bride of Christ will dwell in the New Jerusalem that Jesus told His disciples He was going away to prepare for them and us that we saw descending out of heaven in Rev. 21:10; "In My Father's house there are many dwelling places (homes). If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you, and when (if) I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also." (John 14:2-3). In this place there will be no night for the Lord will be our light and having spiritual bodies like Jesus we will have no need for sleep, but there will probably still be night and day upon the earth as there was at the beginning, but now the New Jerusalem will be the source of their light instead of the sun. Apparently this heavenly Jerusalem will hover over the earth at just the right height to cover the earth with the proper portion of light as it continues to turn on its axis as it has always done.
The tree of life that was first mentioned in Genesis is certainly a unique tree, bearing a new and different kind of fruit every month, apparently there will still be seasons, and we will still be able to enjoy the delightful taste of the best that God has to offer. The way that the leaves from these trees are used reminds us once again that there is defiantly something different about the nations on earth and the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem.
All that we have considered up to this point has prepared us to consider the relationship of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and our living conditions and relationship with them. As we have surmised, the living conditions on the new earth will be similar to what was experienced at the beginning, but for us with new spiritual bodies, living in the new Jerusalem it should be very much different.
When we consider what Jesus said; "And now, Father, glorify Me along with Yourself and restore Me to such majesty and honor in Your presence as I had with You before the world existed." (John 17:5), and "All [things that are] Mine are Yours, and all [things that are] Yours belong to Me; and I am glorified in (through) them." (John 17:10), with what was revealed to Paul in 1 Cor. 15:28; "However, when everything is subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also subject Himself to [the Father] Who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all [be everything to everyone, supreme, the indwelling and controlling factor of life]." – we find ourselves in possession of some very important information to dwell upon.
For Jesus to say; "restore Me to such majesty and honor in Your presence as I had with You before the world existed," suggests that when the Father sent the Son to become our savior, there were some changes made in their relationship. Then what Paul is stating in 1 Cor. 15:28; "then the Son Himself will also subject Himself to [the Father] Who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all," must have to do with the completion of that restoration.
I think it would be presumptuous and improper of us to speculate as to what changes may have occurred in the relationships in the Trinity, but it suggests a concept that will probably have a direct bearing upon our living conditions when we rule and reign with Christ. That concept, to begin with, is the unity that Jesus prayed about in the seventeenth chapter of John, that we might have and enjoy with the Father, the Son and with one another. Part of that unity is; "All [things that are] Mine are Yours, and all [things that are] Yours belong to Me." Whatever we might need to sustain our existence in heaven will be ours, even as it is now, if we are dwelling in Christ. Remember, all those dwelling upon the earth at this time will still be living in a society where they have personal possessions (Zech. 3:10), but we will be living in a true communal society in the new Jerusalem.
Whatever may be the details of this eternal existence with God, there is certainly no possibility of becoming bored in heaven, because there will be plenty to keep us busy – we will be reigning and ruling with Christ. "If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny and disown and reject Him, He will also deny and disown and reject us" (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 20:6; 22:5).