Revelation 21 Commentary, Part 1 (verses 1-8)
By Brother Mike (1-26-14, 75 minutes)
1 And 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 .
In this verse, the apostle John is brought to the time period immediately after this earth and heaven are destroyed in fire on the Last Day, and John says, And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. We read of this earth and heaven passing away, and the creation of a new heaven and a new earth in other passage of the Bible as well. For instance, in 2Peter 3:10:
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness ,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat ?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness .
Additionally, we read in Isaiah 65,
Isa 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind .
And, again, in Isaiah 66,
Isa 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain .
So what the apostle John sees here in Revelation 21 is the new heaven and new earth that God will create for His people after Judgment Day is completed on the Last Day when this world is destroyed in fire. We read that this new heaven and earth are different from the previous heaven and earth in that there was no more sea. Literally, one might take this to mean that there will not be any oceans in the new heaven and earth, but we know that this language is symbolic, and, so, although it may be true that there will be no literal oceans in the new heaven and earth, we must look up the word sea everywhere in the Bible to see how God defines it. When we do this, we discover that it can be defined in several different ways besides the literal sea: one way the word sea can be defined is as the peoples of the world as we read in Psalm 98:
Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein
Here the sea and the fullness thereof are equated with the world and they that dwell therein. Therefore, the sea is identified with the peoples who dwell in the world. But as the sea can be representative of the peoples of the world, the troubled sea can represent the wicked or unsaved peoples of the world as we read in Isaiah 57:
Isa 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt .
From this verse, we can see that the sea is not just symbolic of just any peoples of the world, but, in particular, it can represent the wicked or unsaved of the world. But, what's more, besides the sea representing the unsaved peoples of the world, the sea can also represent hell and death. For instance, we read in Matthew 8,
Mt 8:32 (parallel Mark 5:13) And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters .
Here the herd of swine are a picture of the unsaved (the swine) perishing in hell or death, which is symbolized by their perishing in the sea. And, again, we read in Mark 9,
Mr 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea .
Once again, we see that the sea can be representative of the place of death or hell (the abode of the dead).
Now, with these things in mind, let's return to our verse. It states,
1 And 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 .
We can now have a better understanding of what it means that there was no more sea. Since the sea can represent the wicked or unsaved people of the world, or hell and death, then in that there was no more sea means that in the new heaven and earth, there will be no hell and death; nor will there be any unsaved people therein. This is something we had learned in the last couple verses of Revelation 20, for there we were told that on the Last Day, hell and death will be cast into the lake of fire, and all the unsaved people of the world will be cast into the lake of fire. This, we had learned, is the second death, which will be the complete annihilation of both hell and death and the unsaved peoples of the world on the Last Day. So, in that there is no more sea; that is, no more hell and death and unsaved peoples in the new heaven and earth is just emphasizing something that we had already learned, namely that in the new heaven and earth, there will be no more death and hell, and there will be no more unsaved people.
Now in that there will no longer be any hell and death and unsaved people is no small thing. For a moment, just consider all the pain that death and hell (the abode of the dead) has brought into our lives during this sojourn on earth. Most of us, if not all, have experienced the great pain of a loved one dieing. It is something that we never forget in this life, and just the mere thought of it can open up a whole pit of pain that can at times completely overwhelm with grief unspeakable. Then there are our own bodies as well. They each have the sentence of death in them so that we carry in our own bodies the pains and sufferings which come with a dieing body. We are subject to disease and sickness, and then there are also all the ailments which come with age. Without a doubt, death is a terrible burden. But just think! In the new heaven and earth, there will no longer be any of these things; there will be no more death. What's more, there will be no more unsaved people. This means no more persecution of whatsoever kind. It means no more beliefs and philosophies that fly in the face of sound teaching. It means we will never have to close our ears any longer to the ungodly language of the wicked; we will not be vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked as was Lot (2Peter 2:7) because the wicked will be no more. What a glorious day that will be! What a magnificent time that will be! And, believe me when I say, this day is at hand. We are now right at the precipice of it all coming into being. So let us be patient until that day arise, for we will not have to be patient for long. We simply have to wait for our Lord to complete His perfect judgment plan, which began on May 21, 2011, and is soon to be complete. Without a doubt, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is a huge light.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband .
Now, in this verse, John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. This is the same holy city, Jerusalem, which Isaiah spoke of in Isaiah 52:
Isa 52:1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean .
Notice that for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. This is teaching exactly what we learned in our first verse about the new heaven and earth, namely that there will be no unsaved or wicked people therein, which is what, if you will remember, it meant by saying that there was no more sea.
But what exactly is the holy city, the New Jerusalem in which will be no unsaved people? We begin to get an understanding of this as we are told that the New Jerusalem is prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. The bride, of course, is referring to the elect, and the husband is referring to Christ. And, since the New Jerusalem is likened to this bride, we are able to see that the New Jerusalem is the very elect of God themselves. This is why in the previous verse of Isaiah 52:1 that we previously read, it commanded that Zion (the holy city; Jerusalem) put on thy beautiful garments because the holy city, the New Jerusalem, is not a literal city, for a literal city cannot put on garments, but it is the people of God. These are the ones who do put on [their] beautiful garments of salvation, which are known as the robes of righteousness. We read of this in Isaiah 61,
Isa 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels .
Now why does John say that he saw the New Jerusalem; that is, the elect of God coming down from God out of heaven? Well, of course, this is because all the elect are in heaven on the Last Day, and they come down from heaven in order to inhabit the new heaven and earth that God will create for them on the Last Day. Of course, spiritually speaking, the elect have been in heaven ever since they were first saved as we read in Ephesians 2:
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together [when He saved us], and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus . . .
Next, let's take a closer look at the last part of our verse, which states, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Both words prepared and adorned are in the perfect tense of the Greek, which means that the being prepared and being adorned both were completed in the past with the result of the New Jerusalem - the elect - still being prepared and adorned at the time when the elect come down from heaven to inhabit the new heaven and earth. The whole notion of being prepared and adorned in the past is pointing to when each of the elect were first saved. This is when they were first prepared and adorned, and that they are still prepared and adorned at the beginning of the new creation is because once saved, always saved. Yes, the elect were all saved at different times in history, but in that they are still saved (prepared and adorned) at the end of this world and at the beginning of the next is clear proof that the elect could have never lost their salvation as some would so falsely teach. No, the scripture says,
Joh 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life .
And, if the elect have everlasting life, they could not lose it at some point; otherwise, it would not have been everlasting life, for everlasting means everlasting, and they could not at one time have everlasting life, and at another time not have everlasting life; otherwise it would have never been everlasting life to begin with. Once, again, we read in 1John 5,
1Jo 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God .
Now eternal life means life without end so that if it were to end at any time, it would not be eternal life. This is the magnificent life that the elect have been brought into ever since their salvation, and will continue to be a part of forevermore. The elect were prepared and adorned when they were first saved, and the result is that they will always be prepared and adorned; they will always remain saved. This is why John saw the elect come down from heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God .
Here John first says that he heard a great voice out of heaven. This great voice is the voice of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can realize this in Revelation 1:
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet
We can also see that the great voice is Christ in Revelation 16:
Re 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done .
In that the great voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, we know that the great voice is the voice of Christ, for He sits on the throne, and for the great voice to come from the throne means it must be the voice of Jesus Christ Himself.
Now we read in our verse that the great voice; that is, the voice of Christ is saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them. The word Behold is actually a command, and it means to be perceiving, or be seeing. It is sort of like when we say, pay attention or tune in. It is a command meant to get our attention as to what follows in the sentence. And, what God wants us to pay careful attention to is that the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them. The tabernacle of God reminds us of the tabernacle which Moses and the Israelites erected in the wilderness according to the exact specifications which God gave to Moses (Exodus. 25-26). This tabernacle represented the presence of God with His people as the Lord dwelt there in a special way. Even so, when we are told that the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them in the new heaven and earth, we know in the very least that God will dwell with His elect in a very special way. But He will not dwell in a tabernacle made by hands as in the days of Moses, but in a tabernacle made without hands as we read in Hebrews 8:
Heb 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man .
And, once again, in Hebrews 9:
Heb 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building . . .
Notice how this heavenly tabernacle is not only NOT made with the hands of men, but it is a greater and more perfect tabernacle than was the old, earthly tabernacle, which came through Moses. This heavenly tabernacle is completely spiritual, and whereas the priests had to regularly sacrifice animals and use the blood to cleanse from sin in the old tabernacle, Christ Jesus, our High Priest, sacrificed His blood once and for all in the new tabernacle, so the elect are completely cleansed forevermore, once and for all time. There is no longer any need for the regular shedding of blood. What's more, the old tabernacle was external to the people of God, but the new, spiritual tabernacle is internal to the people of God. This is why we no longer see the law written on tablets of stone within a physical tabernacle that stood apart from the people, but we see the law written on the very hearts of the elect themselves. As we read in Hebrews 8 (Jer. 31:33-34),
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people
11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest .
So whereas there was a lack of intimacy between the tabernacle of God where God dwelt and the people of God in the time of Moses, there is great intimacy between the tabernacle of God where God dwells and the elect in the new heaven and earth. God dwells in the elect, for they are the very temple of God.
Now we read, he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. This is letting us know that not only will God dwell with the elect in the new heaven and earth as we have learned that He will dwell in them, but they will be His people, and He will be their God. Now in that they will be His people emphasizes that they will be ruled over and owned by Him, and in that He will be their God means that He will be the one whom they adore and worship, and whom they look to for all things. He will be the ultimate one to whom they answer, and to whom they serve and obey. He will be their God, and they will be His people.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away .
This verse has been one of the most comforting verses for the elect for centuries. It lets us know that in the new heaven and earth there will no longer be those things which cause us so much trouble and hardship and pain. First, we are told that God shall wipe away all tears from [our] eyes. In the first place, this means that all things which have caused us to cry and weep, which have been imprinted with scars on our hearts and minds in this life will be wiped away in the next life. No longer will there be those painful thoughts of events which took place in our lives such as the death of a loved one, or, for instance, the painful thoughts of having been raped, or, perhaps, being held at gunpoint, or having been in a bad relationship, or whatever it might be. None of these things will come to mind as we read in Isaiah 65:
Isa 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind .
But God will not only wipe all tears from our eyes with respect to things that occurred in the past, but there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. So not only will the past slate of pain and sorrow be wiped away, but there will no longer be any death, pain, sorrow, or crying in the new heaven and earth. And, by listing just four things: death, sorrow, crying, and pain emphasizes that, in the new heaven and earth, these things will not take place worldwide (see Meaning of Bible Number 4). What a wonderful place the new heaven and earth will be.
Now in that God shall wipe away all tears from [our] eyes has a spiritual meaning as well. Normally tears are associated with the work of sending forth of the gospel into the world. We read in Psalm 126,
Ps 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy .
And, in Acts 20:31, we read,
Ac 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears .
And, again, we read in Acts 20,
Ac 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews . . .
And, one final example of the tears which go along with the work of sending forth the gospel into the world: we read in 2Corinthians 2,
2Co 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you .
So we see from these verses that tears can be representative of the sending forth of the gospel into the world. This means that when our verse says, God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, He is not only teaching that there will be no more literal tears in the new heaven and earth, but also that there will no longer be any sending forth of the gospel for the purposes of bringing people into salvation. And, this makes perfect sense since there will be no unsaved people in the new heaven and earth who would need to hear the gospel in order to be saved.
Now, moving on, we are told that there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. Here we find four things listed of which there shall be no more of in the new heaven and earth, namely no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, and no more pain. Let's consider first of all that there will no longer be any death in the new heaven and earth. Death first came into the world through Adam, and, as a result, death came upon everyone. Through Adam, every generation is conceived in sin and so spiritually dead and separated from relationship with God, which, after a given allotment of years, ends in their physical death as well. So, through Adam, death reigns. But, through Christ, each of the elect is given life. First they are spiritually resurrected and brought to life in relationship with God, and, finally, on the Last Day they will be physically resurrected with new spiritual bodies fit to dwell in the new heaven and earth forevermore. Therein there will no longer be any death. So, through Christ, life will reign. No longer will there ever be spiritual death, and no longer will there be any physical death.
That there will no longer be any death in the new heaven and earth is a huge thing to contemplate. Never again will we mourn and sorrow over the death of a friend or loved one. This alone eliminates a great amount of pain, crying and sorrow. And, because there is no longer any death, there can no longer be any aging of our bodies, or sickness and disease, which leads to death. There can no longer be any murder, which is just another way of saying that there is no more sin, and there can be no more accidents which can injure or kill. Such a world seems too good to be true, but we know that it is possible because all things are possible (Mt. 19:26; Mk. 14:36) with God, and as we read in 1Corinthians 2:
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him .
Next, let's consider that there will be no more sorrow in the new heaven and earth. The word sorrow can equally be translated as mourning. It is a word in the New Testament that is associated with the mourning or sorrowing due to the judgment or wrath of God. For instance, notice that the only three other verses in the New Testament which use this word sorrow or mourning are in the context of the judgment of God:
Jas 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness .
Re 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow .
Re 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her .
Now in that this word for sorrow or mourning has to do with the sorrow or mourning which comes from being under the judgment of God, when we are told that there will be no sorrow or mourning in the new heaven and earth, we are being told that there will no longer be any judgments of God. And, this, of course, is because there will no longer be any sin, which is what brings the judgment of God. So in saying that there will be no sorrow or mourning not only means that there will literally be no morning and sorrow in the new heaven and earth, but it also means that no one will ever come under the judgment of God ever again.
Now, we are told that there will be no crying in the new heaven and earth. Literally, this means exactly what it is saying, namely that there will be no crying in the new heaven and earth. But what does it mean spiritually? As we look for the spiritual meaning by relating crying to the gospel, crying would have to do with the weeping for sins in hope for salvation through the gospel. And, just as we had previously learned that there would be no more tears in the new heaven and earth meant that there would no longer be the need for the gospel to be sent forth in order to save people, so also there will be no more crying and weeping in the new heaven and earth because there will be no more need for anyone to become saved, for, in the new heaven and earth, they will all have been already saved. Therefore, in that there will be no crying in the new heaven and earth spiritually means that there will be no need for salvation in the new heaven and earth. Everyone in the new heaven and earth will be saved already.
Finally, we read that there will be no more pain in the new heaven and earth. This Greek word for pain is used only in two other places in the Bible:
Re 16:10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain ,
Re 16:11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds .
Each time it has to do with the spiritual pain that has come upon the world ever since May 21, 2011 since
But that there will be no pain in the new heaven and earth also means that there will literally be no more pain. We will not only no longer be surrounded by the spiritual pain which comes by judgment, but we will no longer have emotional pain or physical pain as well. Now pain was originally created in order to protect us from harm. For instance, we feel the pain of the fire that we might not be burned. Or, we feel the pain of our muscles so that we might not strain them. Or, we feel the pain of a sticker on a sticker bush that we might not be poked. And, the list goes on and on; the point being that pain was originally created in order to protect from harm. But, as a result of sin entering into the world through Adam, that which was meant to be of help has become our enemy, for, because of sin, we feel the pain of aging; we feel the pain of sickness and disease; we feel the pain of being sinfully abused by another person, or the pain from a loved one having passed away; we feel the pain of sin not only in us, but all around us. We cannot escape it! Pain has become one and the same with living in this life, and we long for that day when sin and pain will be no more ever again. We long for the new heaven and the new earth; we long for our new spiritual bodies in which there will be no more pain when that which has become our enemy will be destroyed forevermore.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful .
In this verse we are told that he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. He that sat is actually a present tense participle, and so would best be translated, He that is sitting. So our verse should read,
5 And he that is sitting upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful .
In addition, where the verse says, And he said unto me, the verb said is actually in the present tense and active voice of the Greek, and so is best translated as And he is saying. Our verse should thus read,
5 And he that is sitting upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he is saying unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful .
In that he is sitting upon the throne reveals that this is obviously Christ since He is the one sitting on the throne; that is, ruling upon the throne.
Next, we read that Christ said, Behold, I make all things new. As we have learned in previous verses of the book of Revelation, the command Behold means be perceiving, or be seeing, and is akin to saying pay careful attention to what follows. And, what follows is that Christ said, I make all things new. This is a statement that encompasses all that has already been said, namely He will create a new heaven and earth in which there is no more death and no more unsaved people, in which are the elect, the New Jerusalem, where God dwells, and where there are no more tears as well as no more sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. Indeed, He will make all things new.
Then we read, And he is saying unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Here John is being commanded to write, for these words are true and faithful. These words which reveal a new heaven and earth, which reveal the elect coming down into this new heaven and earth, which reveal that there will be no more death nor unsaved people, which reveal that God will wipe away our tears, which reveal no more sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. These words are true and faithful. And, if these words are true, then they are real, genuine, sincere, honest, and veracious; they are not fictitious, nor imaginary, nor simulated, nor pretended, but they are true. And, if these words are faithful, then they are faithful because our Lord is faithful. Even as our Lord was faithful to give up His own life so that we could live, so also will He be faithful to fulfill all His words: to create the new heaven and earth where there is no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain, and where He will wipe away all our tears.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely .
Now we are told that the Lord said unto the apostle John, It is done. This verb translated, It is done is in the perfect tense of the Greek. This means that the action of the verb actually took place at some time in the past, but the result of that past action continues to the present. So we could say that it was done, and it continues to be done. But what is it that was and is now done? Since the context has to do with the creation of the new heaven and earth and the elect coming out of heaven in order to inhabit it, the focus is upon the completion of God's salvation plan. But how could the completion of God's salvation plan be said to be done in the past at a time before the completion of God's plan actually took place? This is because it was foreordained in the past from the foundation of the world. And, since anything that God foreordains from the foundation of the world is guaranteed to take place just as it was foreordained, it can be spoken of as being done already from the foundation of the world. This does not mean that it was actually completed from the foundation of the world, but it simply means that it was first foreordained from the foundation of the world. So the completion of God's salvation plan is done after the completion of the creation of the new heaven and earth, but there is also a sense in which God's salvation plan was already done from the foundation of the world because that is when it was first completely foreordained that it would take place. It was done from the foundation of the world in the sense of the foreordination being completed, and it will be done after the new heaven and earth is created, and God's people come to dwell therein forevermore.
Next, we read immediately after the Lord says, it is done, He says, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. By saying this, the Lord is emphasizing that He is the beginning and the end. The letter Alpha is the beginning of the Greek alphabet, and the letter Omega is the end of the Greek alphabet. So, by saying that He is the Alpha and Omega, He is saying that He is the beginning and the end. But why is He emphasizing Himself as the beginning and the end in the context of the completion of His salvation plan? This is to make it clear that He is the one who will end His salvation plan, and He is the one who first began His salvation plan. He is the beginning and ending source of all things, which is simply another way of saying that He is in control of all things; He is God.
Now, finally, the Lord says, I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. Since this is being said in the context of after the creation of the new heaven and earth, we are being told that God will be freely giving His elect who thirst the fountain of the water of life in the new heaven and earth. We read of this fountain of the water of life in John 4:
Joh 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well [fountain] of water springing up into everlasting life .
And, we read in Revelation 7,
Re 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes .
Now, what is this fountain of the water of life that God will give to His elect freely in the new heaven and earth? Why this is the life-giving Word of God, Jesus Christ, of course. He will be quenching the thirst of His elect by teaching them the Word of God as He leads them along the pathway of eternal life in the new heaven and earth.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son .
Here we are told that He that overcometh shall inherit all things. And, we are told in the Bible just who it is that overcomes:
1Jo 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith .
And, we read further in 1John 5,
1Jo 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God ?
So we see in these two verses that the ones who overcome are those who are born of God (born again), and we know that these are the same ones that believe that Jesus is the Son of God. So, who are they that overcome? They are those who are born of God, which are the elect. And, what do they overcome? They overcome the world.
Now we are told that the ones who overcome (the elect) shall inherit all things. What things? These would be all the things that God has prepared for His elect. It includes the new heaven and earth where there is no more death; where God shall wipe away all tears; where there is no more sorrow, nor crying, nor pain; where there are no more unsaved people; where there is no more sin, nor judgments of God; and wherein the elect will live in new spiritual bodies that do not age, become sick, or become diseased, but they live forever in the marvelous presence of God Himself. It is an inheritance so great that our minds can only begin to understand how glorious it will be. Remember what it says in 1Corinthians 2,
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him .
Next, God says, I will be his God, and he shall be my son. In other words, the Lord is saying to those who have overcome the world - namely to His elect - that He will be their God, and they will be His son. But wait just a minute, how can all the elect be called His son when Jesus Himself is the only begotten Son of the Father? Well, they can be called His son because they actually are a part of Jesus, the Son; they are His body as we read in Colossians 1:
Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church [the elect] . . .
So Jesus is the Son, but the elect have become His body, and so, therefore, they are the son as well, and can each be called the son of God. Now this is a deep mystery just how the elect are so intimately related to Christ that they can be called His body, and so also sons of God, but nevertheless it is true. This means that when one of God's elect hurt, Christ hurts. And when one of God's elect rejoices, Christ rejoices. And when God's elect suffer, Christ suffers. This is why Christ can say,
Mt 25:40 . . . Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me .
Yes, Christ and His elect are so intimately connected, that you really can't separate the two. So if you really want to love Christ, love His elect, and Christ Himself will experience every bit of that love. So is the great mystery of connection between the elect and God; between Christ and His church (the elect).
8 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 .
In the previous verse we were taught that those who overcome this world (the elect) will inherit all things, but now we are told that 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. Let's look at each one of these categories of people separately in order to gain a better understanding of just who it is that will have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. First, we are told that the fearful will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. This word fearful is only used in two parallel accounts in the New Testament:
And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him
And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish ?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm .
40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith ?
Notice that in both parallel accounts, the fearful are those who feared that the sea would drown them. And, since the sea here is symbolic of hell and death as we have learned in previous verses, the fearful are those who fear hell and death because they are not saved. They are those who like Adam hid from God in fear once he had sinned (Gen. 3:8). These are all those who are trying to hide their sin from God in a great variety of ways and religions because they know deep down in fear that they deserve hell and death because of their sin. They are the fearful who will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. But the elect, on the other hand, have no fear of death and hell because their sins have been paid for, and they have been cleansed by the Holy Spirit. Spiritually speaking, we, the elect, shall never die, but as we read in 2Corinthians 5,
2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord .
And as the apostle Paul states on behalf of all the elect in Philippians 1,
Php. 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain .
Second, we are told that the unbelieving will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. These are all those who do not believe in Christ, nor His teachings of the Bible, or who claim to believe in Christ, but who are not actually saved as witnessed to by the false doctrines to which they hold, and how they live in opposition to the Bible's teachings. They may actually think that they are walking with Christ, but because they have not been given eyes to understand the scriptures through salvation, they are actually blind and walking with a false Christ. These are all those who are in the churches of our day. The elect have long since left all churches in obedience to scripture, but the rest remain in the churches even though the Holy Spirit has long since been removed from their midst (see
Why Leave All Churches
Third, we are told that the abominable will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. This word abominable is actually a perfect tense, passive voice participle and literally means the ones having been abominated. It is used in only one other passage:
Ro 2:22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege ?
This passage does not help much in coming to any conclusion as to who the ones having been abominated are. But when we look at the word abomination, which is derived from the same word, we can begin to understand just who the ones having been abominated are. The word abomination is found in several places, but one passage in particular defines who the ones having been abominated must be. We read in Luke 16,
And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him
15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men [the Pharisees] is abomination in the sight of God .
Here we are told that the Pharisees, the religious leaders, although highly esteemed among men, are abomination in the sight of God. And, since the Pharisees are a type of the religious leaders now in the churches of our day, we know that the ones having been abominated are all the pastors, leaders, and teachers who are still in the churches. They have not recognized the command of God to depart out from the churches, but they have been abominated by the abomination of desolation who is Satan who took up His rule in the churches on May 21, 1988 and led them all astray even unto this day. These are the ones who think they are saved, but in the eyes of God are stenches in His nostrils.
Fourth, we are told that murderers will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. Most people would define murderers as those who have taken the life of another person. But the way Jesus defines murderers is much broader than this. He said,
1Jo 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him .
This means that anytime a person has had hatred toward another, that person has committed murder already in the heart. So we can conclude that everyone is a murderer because everyone has had hatred toward another person at some time in their lives. Just the fact that all of the unsaved have hated the true God and His people is enough to make them all murderers.
Fifth, we are told that whoremongers will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. This word whoremongers is actually the same word for fornicators. It refers to those who have sex before marriage, but it actually has a much broader meaning than just this. It is a word from which we get our word pornography, and it not only would refer to pornography of all types, but it includes all sexual deviation including adultery. Any kind of sexual activity outside of the marriage bed is fornication including masturbation since it is normally associated with sinful thoughts. The biggest category of fornicators, though, is the spiritual fornicators. These are all those who have placed other things as more important than God, which is what all the unsaved have done. Whether it is money, possessions, a wrong philosophy or religion, the unsaved have all spiritually fornicated with such things by giving them more importance than the true God and His teachings. Indeed, everyone has spiritually fornicated.
Sixth, we are told that sorcerers will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. This word sorcerers is not found anywhere else in the Bible, but it is taken from the word pharmakon, which is the word from which we get the word pharmacy. It refers to a spell-giving drug. So a sorcerer is one who is like a spell-giving drug. These would be those who are involved in things like the occult. It would include witches, wizards, warlocks, psychics, Satanists, spiritists, conjurers, fortune tellers, and the like.
Seventh, we are told that idolaters will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. Idolaters would be everyone who whether knowingly or unknowingly worships something other than the true God of the Bible. These are all those who do not have as the most important goal in their lives to learn and obey everything that the Bible teaches. They place other things in the place of God such as money, material possessions, power, greed, humanistic beliefs and philosophies, false religions, and a whole incredible array of false Gods. These would include everyone who is not saved.
Eighth, and last, we are told that liars will have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. We all know who liars are: they are all those who do not speak and stand on the truth. This could be said of all the billions of unsaved people in the world who do not believe and stand for the truths of the Bible.
Now before finishing this study, let's consider briefly that all these people in all these different categories will have their part in the lake burning with fire and brimstone, and we are told that this is the second death. The lake burning with fire and brimstone spiritually began on May 21, 2011, but it will be concluded on the Last Day when a literal fire will completely consume this creation and the people still in it who have not been raptured to heaven at the hand of God. This is the second death when all the unsaved billions of people that have ever lived on this planet will be completely annihilated forevermore. But the elect who have been raptured, they will receive their new spiritual bodies to live in the new heaven and earth forevermore that God will create for them; where there is no more death, no more tears, no more sorrow, no more crying, and, yes, no more pain. Amen and amen.
Now may the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace .
Click Here for Part 2 of Revelation 21.