On The New Earth Eternal Kingdom
(Portions of this below were taken from a paper called “The Kingdom of God And The Eternal State,” by Nathan Busenitz.)
By the time we’ve reached the 21st chapter of Revelation, the recorded history of man is at its end. All of the ages and administrations (dispensations) of God have come and gone. Christ has gathered His church, the “body of Christ” in the Rapture (1Thes 4:15-17). The Tribulation and the Great Tribulation have passed. The battle of Armageddon has been fought and won by our Lord Jesus Christ (Rev 21:17-21). Satan was chained for the thousand-year Kingdom reign of Christ on earth; Satan was released and deceived “the nations” once again, causing them to rise up in rebellion against God and to come against the
once more. God defeated Satan’s final insurrection and Satan has received his just punishment, eternity in “the lake of fire” (Rev 20:1-10.) The Great White Throne Judgment has taken place, at which the Book of Life has been opened and the lost of all ages have been judged (Rev 20:11-15) unto “the lake of fire.” Holy City
In Rev 21 we see that the Heaven and Earth have been purged and made refreshed. But the New Earth could not appear until after the Millennium. This is because the dead lost (unsaved) who were to be judged were being held “in the heart of the (old) earth” (Matt 12:40, cf. Gen 37:35) in the place called Sheol/Hades/Hell. The underworld had also formerly contained Paradise where the righteous dead were held until Jesus rose from the dead, from Paradise, taking them to
Paradisein heaven (read Eph 4:8-9). The lost remained held in Sheol/Hades/Hell until their resurrection to stand at the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the Millennium (Rev 20:12), just prior to the appearance of eternal Kingdom on the Renewed Earth.
Having refreshed the Earth, God the Father will then bring the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem (the city with “no
” Rev 21:22), to the New Earth. Only God’s believing children of the Kingdom will dwell with Him in the New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem is the ultimate fulfillment of all God’s promises to Abraham and to his faith “seed,” believing Temple . Heaven’s genuine Israel Paradise, “The New Jerusalem” will be brought to earth. It is “that city” that Abraham had sought, “whose builder and maker is God” (Heb 11:10).
Immediately following the Millennium and the demise of the Devil and his angels, we see the eternal
brought down to the “new earth” (Gk. kainos, remade, refreshed earth, Rev 21:1), centered in the New Jerusalem. No unbelievers will dwell on the new earth in the eternal “Kingdom.” The eternal “Kingdom will be occupied by two sorts of people; Kingdomof Heaven
1) The once dead believers, now in resurrected glorified bodies. There will be no more marriage or reproduction for the resurrected glorified saints (Rev 20:6, Luke 20:35-36, Matt 22:30) who live in the Millennial and eternal Kingdoms on earth.
2) The Messianic believers who survived the Tribulation and Millennium in physical bodies will have access to the city with its “river of life” and “tree of life” (Rev 22:2)….for healing and restoration of their physical bodies. The physical believers on earth will reproduce for eternity.
“And he shewed me (in the New Jerusalem) a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 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 (ethnos, ethnics, the believing non-Jews). 3 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” (Revelation 22:1-3)
The Sin-nature in man is ended. The lost who faced the Great White Throne Judgment, and Satan with his “spirit of error” (1Jn 4:6), and “death and hell” (Rev 20:14) as “the last enemy” (1Cor 15:26) are cast into the “lake of fire.”
“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 (ALL the dead of ALL ages who did not believe), 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 (due) 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 (due) to their works. 14 And DEATH AND HELL WERE CAST INTO THE
. This is the second death. 15 And Whosoever Was Not Found Written In THE BOOK OF LIFE was CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE” (Rev 20:10-15). LAKEOF FIRE
ALL unbelievers born during the Millennium will have died in the final rebellion (Rev 20:9). ALL these dead unbelievers are judged by Christ (John 5:22) at the “GREAT WHITE THRONE” (Rev 20:11). They will be punished “according to (due to) their works” (Rev 20:13) they have done. Paul tells us, “There is none righteous no not one” (Rom 3:10), so no works will save or reward any of the lost. Rather, the self-serving works of unbelievers only serve to store up “wrath” against them. “…after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up (amass) UNTO THYSELF WRATH AGAINST THE DAY OF WRATH and revelation of (by) the RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT OF GOD” (Rom 2:5). All the lost are eternally lost as seen when the “Book of Life” is opened and their names are NOT found. “whosoever (their name) was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev 20:15). There will be no recourse or further chance to receive Christ’s salvation.
John wrote, “And I looked, and, LO, A LAMB (Christ) STOOD ON THE MOUNT SION…” (Revelation 14:1). In the book of Revelation the slain “Lamb of God” occupies the center of the glory of the universe from the City. No believer can ever boast of his own righteousness. All will acknowledge their own unworthiness and proclaim the praises of the One who died that they might be justified and “glorified” (Rom 8:17, 30) and live eternally. The unsaved and the fallen angelic host will also acknowledge Jesus as Lord in that day. Jesus, who humbled Himself and submitted Himself to death of the cross, is now seen as the “Lord of lords.”
“… DEATH OF THE CROSS… God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him A NAME WHICH IS ABOVE EVERY NAME… that AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of things IN HEAVEN, and things IN EARTH, and things UNDER THE EARTH… and that EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to the GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER” (Phil.2:8-11).
Jesus said He came specifically to “the lost sheep of the house of
” (Matt 15:24). He preached the “gospel of the kingdom” to Israel , through whom the world is to “be blessed.” God told Abraham, “in thy seed… shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 28:14). Christ will reign with and through Israel ’s glorified saints as His agents on the earth in the Millennial and eternal Kingdoms. Israel has never been promised heaven. Only “the Church, which is His body” is promised heaven (Philip 3:20-21). Believing Israel Israelhas been promised to co-reign with Christ in the on earth, as the “priest of God” (Rev 20:6, below, cf. 5:10). Kingdomof God
“… THEY (the believers of
) SHALL BE PRIESTS OF GOD AND OF CHRIST, and SHALL REIGN (Gk. basileou, rule) WITH HIM (Christ) A THOUSAND YEARS.” (Rev. 20:6b, cf. v4, 1:6, 5:10) Israel
“But ye (Israel) are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9)
After His Millennial reign, Christ’s reign will extend that reign to the ETERNAL KINGDOM ON THE RENEWED EARTH, upon which will rest the
, New Jerusalem. God, who cannot lie, promised Holy City ’s King David an eternal seed, an eternal throne, and an eternal kingdom. David’s seed is the Messiah, the Christ, who will rule over the His Kingdom forever from David’s throne (cf. Isa 9:7, Rev 5:5-7). Israel
“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. (Rev. 21:1) “And (the New Jerusalem) had … TWELVE GATES, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon… of THE TWELVE TRIBES of the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL (Rev. 21:12) “22 And I saw NO TEMPLE Therein: For The Lord God Almighty And The Lamb Are The Temple Of It. 23 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. 24 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. 21:22-24) “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 (Christ and His redeemed) SHALL REIGN (rule) FOR EVER AND EVER.” (Rev. 22:5)
A simple survey of Revelation 21–22 reveals several general characteristics of this divine kingdom. First, it will be a geo-physical kingdom—located on a new earth within a new universe (21:1). It has geographical features: the absence of a sea (21:1), the presence of a city (21:2), a high mountain (21:10), a river with banks (22:1–2), and a tree that produces fruit (22:1–2). It occupies physical space (21:16–17) and encompasses the physical activity of its inhabitants (21:24). The apostle John describes it as a land of bright color and exquisite beauty, like dazzling jewels (21:19–21). There is even a reference made to the marking of time in terms of months and seasons while in eternity future (22:2).
It will also be a socio-political kingdom—complete with a capital city, the New Jerusalem (21:2). The city itself has gates, high walls, foundations, engraved names, and streets (cf. Isa 62:3–5). Its inhabitants communicate through speech and writing (21:3, 5). There is government hierarchy (21:24), an ongoing economic system (21:24), and some form of national distinctiveness (21:24, 26). But most importantly, the King’s throne is present on the new earth (22:1, 5). Though His people will reign with Him (22:5), they are also His willing bond slaves—with His name written on their foreheads designating that they belong to Him (22:4; cf. Isa 62:2). Third, it will be a spiritually-perfect kingdom. Sin and its effects will be gone (21:4), thus, there will no longer be any separation between God and man (21:2–3). There will no longer be any spiritual thirst (21:6–7) Instead, the essence of life will revolve around face-to-face communion with God (22:4–5). No sinful influences or unregenerate people will be in the New Jerusalem, but only those who have been redeemed, and therefore love to worship and serve their Lord and Master (22:3).
The Lord’s will be a divinely-glorious kingdom. The New Jerusalem will be the crown jewel of the new earth, radiating the glorious light of God (21:11).
· The Triune God—Father (21:22), Son (22:1, 5), and Holy Spirit (21:10)—will be present in the midst of His people.
· The Shekinah glory of God will permeate the entire world (22:5), such that there will be no need for the sun or the moon (21:23; cf. Isa 66:20–22), or even a lamp (v. 23).
· The redeemed will bask in radiance of His presence, as they worship Him in perfect purity (22:3–4).
· They will continually enjoy the essence of eternal life—fellowship with God (cf. John 17:3)—as they drink of the water of life (Rev 21:6) from the river of life (22:1) which flows from His heavenly throne now on earth.
How large is the New Jerusalem? The answer varies slightly depending on the version of the Bible. The NIV version says it is 12,000 stadia in length and width (Rev. 21:16), where a stadia is 607 feet. This translates to 1,400 miles. The KJV and other versions say 12,000 furlongs (Gk. stadion), which translates to 1,500 miles. Regardless of whether the city is 1,400 miles or 1,500 miles in length and width, it is shaped like a square at the base. These measurements are meant to be literal since they are described as man’s measurements (Rev. 21:17). Even more astounding than the size at the base is the height that is also at least 1,400 miles (Rev. 21:16). This means New Jerusalem is either a cube or pyramid. This goes well beyond Earth’s atmosphere and into space. If a building in the city is this high and has a generous 12 feet per story, the building would be over 600,000 stories!
The Apostle John relates the grand consummation of salvation history by focusing on four major themes.
1. the punishment of the King’s enemies (20:11–15),
2. the perfection of the King’s territory (21:1–8),
3. the physical properties of the King’s capital city (21:9–21), and
4. the personal presence of the King Himself (21:22–22:5).
Outlined another way, these four themes center around four items.
· the Great White Throne Judgment (20:11–15),
· the New Heavens and New Earth (21:1–8),
· the New Jerusalem (21:9–21),and within the New Jerusalem, the throne room of God (21:22–22:5).