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Greetings in the name of our glorious and Anointed Savior, Christ Jesus!
ISAIAH 65:17…. For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth. And the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.
This is an astounding declaration that makes one wonder how God could ever accomplish this miraculous feat with people still living on earth. Today we will consider this along with a phrase we sometimes encounter in God’s Word called the Day of the Lord. Although we are reasonably confident or our understanding concerning the events of the Last Days, we are not as confident concerning when they will occur, and how or if they overlap, or how long they may last. As we attempt to interpret Scripture with Scripture, one of our main objectives will be to gain a better understanding of what the different living conditions will be for the Church or the bride of Christ in the New Jerusalem, with those in the Jerusalem on earth. Some may not see this as a worthwhile pursuit, but it is always good to gain a better understanding of God’s Word because it places us in a better position to be encouraged and desirous of a closer walk with God.
When we observe the awesome eternity and some of the things we will begin to experience, and compare it with what we are now experiencing, the things of earth will grow strangely dim. The things of earth that Satan attempts to occupy our hearts and minds with, in an attempt to turn us away from God, will lose their attraction. And we will be drawn by the Holy Spirit to focus our attention more upon the things of God: "If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in [the splendor of His] glory" (Col.3:1-4).
Here’s an outline to help us examine and compare God’s Word:
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. They 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.
REVELATION 16:12-21…. Then the sixth [angel] emptied his bowl on the mighty river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to make ready a road for [the coming of] the kings of the east (from the rising sun). [Isa. 11:15, 16.] And I saw three loathsome spirits like frogs, [leaping] from the mouth of the dragon and from the mouth of the beast and from the mouth of the false prophet. [Ex. 8:3; 1 Kings 22:21-23.] For really they are the spirits of demons that perform signs (wonders, miracles). And they go forth to the rulers and leaders all over the world, to gather them together for war on the great day of God the Almighty.
15Behold, I am going to come like a thief! Blessed (happy, to be envied) is he who stays awake (alert) and who guards his clothes, so that he may not be naked and [have the shame of being] seen exposed! And they gathered them together at the place which in Hebrew is called Armageddon. [2 Kings 9:27.]
17Then the seventh [angel] emptied out his bowl into the air, and a mighty voice came out of the sanctuary of heaven from the throne [of God], saying, It is done! [It is all over, it is all accomplished, it has come!] [Isa. 66:6] And there followed lightning flashes, loud rumblings, peals of thunder, and a tremendous earthquake; nothing like it has ever occurred since men dwelt on the earth, so severe and far-reaching was that earthquake. [Ex. 19:16; Dan. 12:1.] The mighty city was broken into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And God kept in mind mighty Babylon, to make her drain the cup of His furious wrath and indignation. And every island fled and no mountains could be found. And great (excessively oppressive) hailstones, as heavy as a talent [between fifty and sixty pounds], of immense size, fell from the sky on the people; and men blasphemed God for the plague of the hail, so very great was [the torture] of that plague. [Ex. 9:23.]
ISAIAH 66:15-24…. For behold, the Lord will come in fire, and His chariots will be like the stormy wind, to render His anger with fierceness, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord execute judgment upon all flesh, and the slain of the Lord will be many. Those who [attempt to] sanctify themselves and cleanse themselves to enter [and sacrifice to idols] in the gardens, following after one in the midst, eating hog's flesh and the abomination [creeping things] and the [mouse--their works and their thoughts] shall come to an end together, says the Lord.
18For I know their works and their thoughts. And the time is coming when I will gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see My glory. And I will set up a [miraculous] sign among them, and from them I will send survivors to the nations--to Tarshish, Pul (Put), and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles and coastlands afar off that have not heard of My fame nor seen My glory. And they will declare and proclaim My glory among the nations. And they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as an offering to the Lord--upon horses and in chariots and in litters and upon mules and upon camels--to My holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the children of Israel bring their cereal offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord.
21And I will also take some of them for priests and for Levites, says the Lord. For as the new heavens and the new earth which I make shall remain before Me, says the Lord, so shall your offspring and your name remain. And it shall be that from one New Moon to another New Moon and from one Sabbath to another Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me, says the Lord. And they shall go forth and gaze upon the dead bodies of the [rebellious] men who have stepped over against Me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind.
ZECHARIAH 12:1-14…. The burden or oracle (the thing to be lifted up) of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus says the Lord, Who stretches out the heavens and lays the foundation of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him: Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup or bowl of reeling to all the peoples round about, and in the siege against Jerusalem will there also be a siege against and upon Judah. And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all peoples; all who lift it or burden themselves with it shall be sorely wounded. And all the nations of the earth shall come and gather together against it. In that day, says the Lord, I will smite every horse [of the armies that contend against Jerusalem] with terror and panic and his rider with madness; and I will open My eyes and regard with favor the house of Judah and will smite every horse of the opposing nations with blindness. And the chiefs of Judah shall say in their hearts, The inhabitants of Jerusalem are our strength in the Lord of hosts, their God.
6In that day will I make the chiefs of Judah like a big, blazing pot among [sticks of] wood and like a flaming torch among sheaves [of grain], and they shall devour all the peoples round about, on the right hand and on the left; and they of Jerusalem shall yet again dwell and sit securely in their own place, in Jerusalem. And the Lord shall save and give victory to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be magnified and exalted above Judah. In that day will the Lord guard and defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and he who is [spiritually] feeble and stumbles among them in that day [of persecution] shall become [strong and noble] like David; and the house of David [shall maintain its supremacy] like God, like the Angel of the Lord Who is before them. And it shall be in that day that I will make it My aim to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10And I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace or unmerited favor and supplication. And they shall look [earnestly] upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him as one who is in bitterness for his firstborn. [John 19:37; Rev. 1:7.] In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of [the city of] Hadadrimmon in the Valley of Megiddo [over beloved King Josiah]. [2 Chron. 35:22-25.] And the land shall mourn, every family apart: the [kingly] family of the house of David apart and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan [David's son] apart and their wives apart; the [priestly] family of the house of Levi apart and their wives apart; the family of Shimei [grandson of Levi] apart and their wives apart; all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves [each with an overwhelming individual sorrow over having blindly rejected their unrecognized Messiah].
ZECHARIAH 13:1-9…. In that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem [to cleanse them from] sin and uncleanness. And in that day, says the Lord of hosts, I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no more be remembered; and also I will remove from the land the [false] prophets and the unclean spirit. And if anyone again appears [falsely] as a prophet, then his father and his mother who bore him shall say to him, You shall not live, for you speak lies in the name of the Lord; and his father and his mother who bore him shall thrust him through when he prophesies. And in that day the [false] prophets shall each be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies, nor will he wear a hairy or rough garment to deceive, but he will [deny his identity and] say, I am no prophet. I am a tiller of the ground, for I have been made a bond servant from my youth. And one shall say to him, What are these wounds on your breast or between your hands? Then he will answer, Those with which I was wounded [when disciplined] in the house of my [loving] friends.
7Awake, O sword, against My shepherd and against the man who is My associate, says the Lord of hosts; smite the shepherd and the sheep [of the flock] shall be scattered, and I will turn back My hand and stretch it out again upon the little ones [of the flock]. [Matt. 26:31, 32.] And in all the land, says the Lord, two-thirds shall be cut off and perish, but one-third shall be left alive. [Hos. 2:23; Rom. 11:5.] And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined and will test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will hear and answer them. I will say, It is My people; and they will say, The Lord is my God.
ZECHARIAH 14:1-21…. Behold, A day of the Lord is coming when the spoil [taken from you] shall be divided [among the victors] in the midst of you. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses rifled and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from the east to the west by a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north and half of it toward the south. [Isa. 64:1, 2.] And you shall flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal, and you shall flee as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah; and the Lord my [Zechariah's] God shall come, and all the holy ones [saints and angels] with Him. [Amos 1:1; Col. 3:4; 1 Thess. 4:14; Jude 14, 15.]
6And it shall come to pass in that day that there shall not be light; the glorious and bright ones [the heavenly bodies] shall be darkened. But it shall be one continuous day, known to the Lord--not day and not night, but at evening time there shall be light. And it shall be in that day that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern [Dead] Sea and half of them to the western [Mediterranean] Sea; in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day the Lord shall be one [in the recognition and worship of men] and His name one.
10All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon, [the Rimmon that is] south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain lifted up on its site and dwell in its place, from Benjamin's gate to the place of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king's winepresses. And it shall be inhabited, for there shall be no more curse or ban of utter destruction, but Jerusalem shall dwell securely. [Rev. 22:3.]
12And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the peoples that have warred against Jerusalem: their flesh shall rot away while they stand upon their feet and their eyes shall corrode away in their sockets and their tongue shall decay away in their mouth. And in that day there shall be a great confusion, discomfiture, and panic among them from the Lord; and they shall seize each his neighbor's hand, and the hand of the one shall be raised against the hand of the other. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem, and the wealth of all the nations round about shall be gathered together--gold and silver and apparel in great abundance. And as that plague on men, so shall be the plague on the horse, on the mule, on the camel, on the donkey, and on all the livestock and beasts that may be in those camps.
16And everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. And it shall be that whoso of the families of the earth shall not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, upon them there shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt does not go up to Jerusalem and present themselves, upon them there shall be no rain, but there shall be the plague with which the Lord will smite the nations that go not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the consequent punishment of the sin of Egypt and the consequent punishment of the sin of all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
20In that day there shall be [written] upon the [little] bells on the horses, HOLY TO THE LORD, and the pots in the Lord's house shall be holy to the Lord like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in all the houses of Jerusalem and in Judah shall be dedicated and holy to the Lord of hosts, and all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil their sacrifices in them [and traders in such wares will no longer be seen at the temple]. And in that day there shall be no more a Canaanite [that is, any godless or unclean person, whether Jew or Gentile] in the house of the Lord of hosts. [Eph. 2:19-22.]
2 PETER 3:3-13…. To begin with, you must know and understand this, that scoffers (mockers) will come in the last days with scoffing, [people who] walk after their own fleshly desires and say, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the forefathers fell asleep, all things have continued exactly as they did from the beginning of creation. For they willfully overlook and forget this [fact], that the heavens [came into] existence long ago by the word of God, and the earth also which was formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world that then [existed] was deluged with water and perished. [Gen. 1:6-8; 7:11.]
7But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been stored up (reserved) for fire, being kept until the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly people. Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. [Ps. 90:4.] The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people's conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.
10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish (pass away) with a thunderous crash, and the [material] elements [of the universe] will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up. Since all these things are thus in the process of being dissolved, what kind of person ought [each of] you to be [in the meanwhile] in consecrated and holy behavior and devout and godly qualities, while you wait and earnestly long for (expect and hasten) the coming of the day of God by reason of which the flaming heavens will be dissolved, and the [material] elements [of the universe] will flare and melt with fire? [Isa. 34:4.] But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to His promise, in which righteousness (uprightness, freedom from sin, and right standing with God) is to abide. [Isa. 65:17; 66:22.]
REVELATION 21:1-22:7…. 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.]
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.
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.
22:1Then 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).
6And he [of the seven angels further] said to me, These statements are reliable (worthy of confidence) and genuine (true). And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent His messenger (angel) to make known and exhibit to His servants what must soon come to pass. And behold, I am coming speedily. Blessed (happy and to be envied) is he who observes and lays to heart and keeps the truths of the prophecy (the predictions, consolations, and warnings) contained in this [little] book.