The New Heaven and Earth
The Destruction of Heaven and Earth by fire and the Day of Judgment, which are described in the previous chapter, will be followed by the creation of a New Heaven and Earth. In this case, heaven is a reference to the atmosphere above the earth, and not the Heaven of God’s Throne. (The Heaven of God’s Throne will never pass away and will never need to be re-created.)
The creation of the New Heaven and Earth will begin a New Order when God himself will dwell with His people in the New Jerusalem.
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Rev. 21:1-4
In these verses, the New Jerusalem is described as the Holy City beautifully dressed as a bride for her husband. The New Jerusalem will contrast with Fallen Jerusalem, which will commit the sin of adultery against God as the Great Prostitute. (To read about the Great Prostitute, see Revelation Chapter 17) When God’s people descend to the New Earth in the Holy City, it will be in contrast to the fate of the unbelieving who will be consigned to the Lake of Fire in the Second Death.
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Rev. 21: 6-8
The Holy City of Jerusalem
Earlier in the Revelation, John was carried away by and angel and shown the Great Prostitute who represented Fallen Jerusalem under the reign of the Beast.
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.” Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. Rev. 17:1-3
In this chapter, John is carried away by the same angel to see the Holy City of Jerusalem who is the bride, the wife of the Lamb.
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. Rev. 21:9-10
The New Jerusalem that will come down from Heaven will not contain a Temple, as the Lord Himself will serve as the temple. Neither will there be any wicked, but only those whose names are written in the Book of Life.
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Rev 21:22-27
Order of Events of the Last Days
1. Wars, Rumors of Wars, Earthquakes, and Famines (Seals 1-4)
2. The Martyrs Pray for Judgment and Revenge (5th. Seal) – The 144,000 are sealed
– 1/3 of earth is burned up in world-wide drought (1st. Trumpet)
– 1/3 of sea turns to blood, Satan’s kingdom defeated (2nd. Trumpet)
– 1/3 of waters are poisoned, Satan cast out (3rd. Trumpet)
– 1/3 of Israel is struck, the Attack on Jerusalem (4th. Trumpet)
3. The Great Tribulation – the full number of God’s people are killed
– The Plague of Locusts (5th. Trumpet)
– The Plague of Fire, Smoke, and Sulfur (6th. Trumpet)
– The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath (Bowls 1 – 5)
– The kings and generals are gathered at Armageddon (6th Bowl)
4. The Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm – the Battle of Armageddon (6th. Seal, 7th. Trumpet, 7th. Bowl)
5. Silence in Heaven – the enemies of God are defeated (7th. Seal)
6. The 1,000 Year Reign of Christ
– God’s people reign as priests
7. The Return of Christ
– The Battle of Gog and Magog
– The dead are resurrected
– The living are caught up (the Rapture)
– Heaven and earth are destroyed by fire
8. The Day of Judgment
9. The New Heaven and Earth
– the New Jerusalem comes down out of Heaven