Heaven and Earth
Mills and Ken Curd
I. A Future Reality
“And I Saw”
John uses the past tense “saw” to describe a future event.
This is very common in the book of Revelation. The verb “eidon” in
the aorist indicative or the participle, occurs 56 times in this prophetic book
as if prophecy is so certain that it can be counted as history in progress.
When the future is viewed with such certainty and vividness, it eliminates the shadows of the present.
The one who reveals it must be God for only God can know what will surely take place in any given time in the future.
This is a revelation of Jesus Christ, emanating from Jesus Christ. Which God
the Father gave him to show to his servants as slaves, things which must take place
suddenly. Rev. 1:1. “Ho Theos” with the definite article,
the Father passed it on to God the Son to reveal. There is a quality in essence
between the Father and the Son, but there is a distinction in function.
What is going to happen has been determined in the eternal counsel of the Triune
The Holy Spirit fully participated in this revelation. John wrote, “I was
in the spirit.” Rev. 1:10. The verb “I was” in Greek is “egenomeen.” I became. This was a special illumination of the Holy Spirit. God the
Father gave the revelation. God the Son transmitted it and God the Holy Spirit
causes the saints as servants of God to received it as if it were already history. It
was so near it was being realized as present.
II. The Present Heaven
and Earth Will Change.
They are not to forever remain as they are presently constituted.
The Word “New” in Greek is kainos, new, but qualitatively different
from the present. “The bodies of the saints will be as homogenous with
the new heaven and earth as their present bodies are with the present heaven and earth.
God recreates, regenerates, but annihilates nothing. The Christian System, Campbell, p. 258. This is in contrast to another
word “neos,” new, either as never having existing before, or another
of the same kind. The understanding of these two worlds will clear up many obscure
passages of the New Testaments. Unfortunately, in English there being only one
word, New, and it being translated as something never possessed before can be confusing to the reader of the English Bible.
Heaven means the dwelling place of those who have already died in Christ. “Into
Heaven have already been received the souls both of the Old Testament saints and departed Christians. Heb. 10:23.” Thayer’s,
p. 465 under heaven. They are where Christ is (Phil. 1:21-24; 2 Cor. 5:6-9; 2
Pet 1:13-15. Jesus at his ascension went up to Heaven. Acts 1:11 Only the spirits of obedient believers go to heaven. 2 Cor. 5:1-9.
In prophetic language there remains a word “shamayim” which is used to denote the seat of power of the heavenly Godhead.
Within the same prophetic language the word “shamayim” is used to denote the place of power of earthly governments. Isa. 13:10, “the stars of heaven,” represented the face of the earthly
government of Babylon. Isa. 14:13. Acts 1:11 is put for the
power seat of God in Heaven.
A qualitatively “new” heaven is necessary for the departed spirits of believers when they receive their new bodies
1 Cor. 15:44. We shall have spiritual bodies to live in the heaven that is qualitatively
different than where disembodied spirits lived until the resurrection. This is
the believer’s final heaven contrasted to the one called Paradise. A qualitatively new heaven is prepared for regenerated persons. “Regeneration
is found but twice in all the oracles of God, in Mt. 19:28, and Tit. 3:5. In
the former it is universally understood to mean a new state of things. Not of
persons. A peculiar era, in which all things are to be made new: Rev. 21:5, such as the formation of a new church on the day of Pentecost or the commencement of the millennium
or the general resurrection. Christian
System, A. Campbell, p. 228.
Jesus Christ came back to earth with his departed saints resurrected and the living saints transformed 1 Cor. 15:50-54. The scene of Christ reigning with His saints is to take place on earth, Zech. 2:10-11;
2 Cor 6:16. In Rev. 20:1-6, the earth is not going to be qualitatively (kainee)
“new” in which the resurrected live, but transformed. It is only
then that we shed the corruptibility and mortality of our present bodies. This
is what Paul calls the redemption of our bodies Rom. 8:23. And as there is going
to be the redemption of our bodies, there will also be the redemption of the creation (i.e. heaven and earth). Rom. 8:21 has become reality.
There will also be a new dwelling place for the unbelievers who will be resurrected and changed.
As death will be abolished for the believers 1 Cor. 15:42-44, 54, 55, and they will not die anymore, Rev. 21:4. Physically,
so the unbeliever will suffer the second death, Rev. 21:8. Which, will be their eternal separation from God. The believers receive a new body in which they will live on, or in a different heaven forever with Christ.
The unbelievers will receive their resurrection body and they will live in a world that is fit for their newly constituted
body. Lk. 16:22,23, speaks of Hades which was the place of the departed spirits
of the unbelievers, even as paradise was for the believer. That will be changed
to Gehenna the permanent abode of the resurrected unbeliever. Matt. 23:33, 2
Pet. 2:4, Rev. 20:12-15.
For the Believers there will be eternal bliss in the new heaven and earth.
First heaven and the first earth were passed away.
And so will our present corruptibility and mortality 1 Cor. 15:54, Rev. 21:1.
The sea will be no more. Dan. 7:3, 7:17 the land a prior element of dread and
fear. Such will not characterize or new life with Christ as our present lives
are experiencing the billows of our early sojourn. God’s tabernacle with
us on earth will become more realistic than ever, then we can believe Rev. 21:3. Death will not be experienced any more for
The New Jerusalem is the Church of Jesus Christ which came down to earth that it might encompass every believer where Christ
dwells among them 2 Cor. 6:16, and where the righteous can live and reign with Christ in this life and the life to come Hosea
6:2, Rev. 20:6.