Coming Full Circle –Part 2

Norbert Lieth

In God’s new world, where He has fellowship with mankind, death no longer exists. Instead of looking for means to prolong our earthly lives, we should seek God to live forever.

There will be no more mourning. We are intimately familiar with obituaries, mourning clothes, funeral processions, condolences, caring for the bereaved. There are also grief support groups. Grief surrounds us.

There are four phases of grief related to death. The first is shock, being stunned. The second is the emotional phase. There are feelings of grief and despair. The third is the state of remembrance. This can last for a long time. And the fourth is the state of detachment from grief. New things are discovered and embraced. But only until the next sorrow comes. So, we actually remain in a perpetually sad condition.

But in God’s new world, where there is no death and no more tears, there is no more mourning. With God, we live in eternal delight.

There will be no more cries of anguish. Crying out is often the aftermath of tears, death, grief, and pain. People sob and cry; people moan. We also know cries of horror, disappointment and loss, anger and jealousy, conflict and war, but also cries of pleading and cries for mercy. There are the cries of children. Shouting at subway stations and in the supermarket. People yell at each other. In God’s world, crying out is absent; there is only the highest quality of well-being.

There will be no more pain. We’re familiar with physical pain and emotional pain, including the pain of separation. That will come to an end. Then there will be no more eyeglasses, no walkers or wheelchairs, no prostheses, no pharmacies, no ambulances, no bandages, no syringes, no coffins, no hospital beds or hospitals, no doctors or paramedics, no nursing homes, no weapons…because the first things have passed. “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.”

There will no longer be a temple. “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it” (Rev 21:22).

There will no longer be a priesthood, no mediator between mankind and God. God Himself and the Lamb will come so close to humans that He will live among them. Isaiah indicated this: “At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images” (Is 17:7-8).

There will no longer be sun, moon, or night. “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. 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” (Rev 21:23-24; cf. 22:5; Is 60:19-20).

Even science says that the sun gives light, but is not the source of light. The source of light is God, “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen” (1 Tim 6:16). Just as the Shekinah illuminated the night for Israel and protected the people, and the cloud of glory represented the presence of God, so the presence of the Lord in the new Jerusalem will illuminate everything.

Where there is no more need for a sun, moon, candlestick, or lamp, there is always day. There is no more time. “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; cf. 21:25).

Most children want to keep a night light on because they’re afraid of the dark. God and the Lamb are the light, and there is no night with God. He also never sleeps and needs no rest, because He Himself is the source of all rest and the source of all light. So, there is no fear of night or darkness anymore; everything is pure and illuminated. The redeemed man has come to rest in the eternal God.

There are no longer any closed gates. “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” (Rev 21:25-26; cf. Is 60:11).

There will be nations and peoples on the new earth (Rev 21:3; Matt 25:31ff.); maybe even governments, but all under the rule of God and the Lamb. They come from the previous millennial kingdom. These nations will be able to carry their glories and honor from the earth into the heavenly Jerusalem. They won’t dwell there, because the residences in the new Jerusalem belong to God the Father, God the Son, countless angels, the redeemed Israelites, and the church of Jesus. The new Jerusalem will descend from heaven to the earth, but actually hover above it (Rev 21:2-3, 10).

“Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them” (Rev 7:15). The temple will be God Himself, and no longer a building. “But ye are come unto mount Sion, 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 firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Heb 12:22-24).

The heavenly Zion is a synonym for heaven. The heavenly Jerusalem is the city of God, the wife of the Lamb. It is inhabited by myriads of angels and the gathering of the firstborn, which includes all those born again in Christ from Pentecost to the Rapture. It is the residence of God and of the perfected righteous ones—the faithful of the Old Covenant. And Jesus is there. The other peoples (the redeemed from the millennial kingdom) live on the earth, and indirectly participate in the heavenly Jerusalem. But it is open to them; they have access.

The heavenly Jerusalem is also described as an adorned bride (Rev 21:2ff.). In Jeremiah 31:22, it says, “…the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.”

There will no longer be a curse. “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” (Rev 22:3).

In Revelation chapter 22, verses 1 and 3, the throne of God and the Lamb are mentioned twice. Verse 2 forms the transition to the new heaven and the new earth. This is the time of the millennial kingdom, in which the nations are healed (cf. Ezek 47:12). They have access to the heavenly Jerusalem (Rev 21:25-27), and there is no curse remaining (but still in the millennium; cf. Isaiah 65:20). As previously mentioned, there will then be no more time, since the sun and the moon are no longer needed. Consequently, there is also no more night (Rev 21:23; 22:5). The sun and moon were originally created for the determination of times, days, and years (Gen 1:14). There will probably still be time in the millennial kingdom, since the Tree of Life bears fruit twelve times a year (Rev 22:2). This is more an indication that verse 2 seems to be a time of transition. Now that all have access to the Tree of Life and the peoples are healed, there will be no curse (21:24).

The world would be so beautiful if not for the curse. Brazil’s Copacabana and Iguazú Falls, Germany’s Black Forest, the Swiss mountains, the animal kingdom, lakes and nature preserves, man himself…everything could be so wonderful. The curse is the result of sin. Everything is under the curse and the beauty destroyed. Jesus, however, carried away the curse by becoming a curse on the Cross (Gal 3:13). There will be no sin and no curse in God’s new world.

There will no longer be anything unclean. “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev 21:7-8; cf. Eph 5:5ff.).

The “fearful” are the ones who do not overcome, and therefore remain unbelievers. They also remain entangled in the sins listed here. “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev 21:27). Those who have faithfully chosen Jesus are recorded in the Book of the Lamb. “For without are dogs [the morally impure], and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Rev 22:15).

In these verses, it is finally summarized that no one will find his way into God’s glorious world without forgiveness—not on the new earth, let alone in the new heaven. For sinners who don’t turn back to the Lord, only the lake of fire remains.

God will once again reside among human beings, as in the beginning of creation, and have close fellowship with them. Heaven and earth will again be visibly interwoven (Rev 21:3). As the Tree of Life was denied to man as a result of the fall, so there is now open access to it (Rev 22:2, 14). And as a cherub stood before Paradise to block access after the Fall, so in the end an invitation comes once again:

“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. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev 22:16-17).

The Bible concludes with a goodbye note: “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Rev 22:20-21).

Jesus Himself gives us the guarantee that He will return. This is a tremendous comfort that should accompany us throughout our lives. It is the last direct word of our Lord. Verse 21 is a blessing from John, obviously inspired by the Holy Spirit. We can only answer with, “Amen, come, Lord Jesus!”

At the same time, these words express the anticipation that we should remain in. We should expect His return, focus on biblical prophecy, study it, align ourselves to it, love it, and live it. “Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book” (Rev 22:7).

The point isn’t to understand everything (I’m nowhere near able to), but to keep the words in our hearts; to not ignore them, but to focus on them and cling to them. And we can know that until we see Him again, His grace will be with us.

Goodbye!

Midnight Call - 06/2020

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