A tour of heaven
Now, let’s go there at the finale when eternity dawns upon immortal saints. When all is new, perfect and pure, changeless, endless, and ours at last! Heaven marks God’s final goal. Matthew Henry answers our questions:
Would You Like To Know Where I Am
I Am At Home In My Father’s House
In The Mansion Prepared For Me Here.
I Am Where I Want To Be — No Longer On The Stormy Sea,
But In God’s Safe, Quiet Harbor.
My Sowing Time Is Done And I Am Reaping;
My Joy Is The Joy Of The Harvest.
Would You Like To Know How It Is With Me?
I Am Made Perfect In Holiness.
Grace Is Swallowed Up In Glory.
Would You Like To Know What I Am Doing?
I See God, Not As Through A Glass Darkly, But Face To Face
I Am Engaged In The Sweet Enjoyment
Of My Precious Redeemer.
I Am Singing Hallelujahs To Him Who Sits Upon The Throne
And I Am Constantly Praising Him.
Would You Like To Know What Blessed Company I Keep?
It Is Better Than The Best Of Earth.
Here Are The Holy Angels And The Spirits Of Just
Men Made Perfect.
I Am With Many Of My Old Acquaintances
With Whom I Worked And Prayed
And Have Come Here Before Me.
Lastly, Would You Like To Know How Long This
It Is A Dawn That Never Fades.
After Millions And Millions Of Ages,
It Will Be As Fresh As It Is Now.
Therefore, Weep Not For Me!
Graham Scroggie wrote – “Not without reason did the early Church study this Book. Practically the whole of it is reproducible from the Christian writers of the first three centuries and it is probably true that this cannot be said of any other New Testament Writing. As no other Book, the Revelation stands in certain relations to all other parts of the Bible, a fact that gives the seal of finality to it. Take two illustrations only. First:
Revelation completes THE WHOLE BIBLE
- In Genesis is the Foundation of God’s redeeming purpose, in Exodus to Jude, the Superstructure of it, and in Revelation, the Completion of it.
- The Old Testament is about the Kingdom; the Gospels are about the Messiah; the Epistles are about the Church; and the Revelation is about them all.
Revelation completes THE BOOK OF GENESIS
The first and last Books of the Bible present most striking comparisons and contrasts. By way of comparison:
- In Genesis are the First Heaven and Earth, and in Revelation, the Last.
- In Genesis is the First Rest, and in Revelation, the Final Rest.
- In Genesis Paradise is Lost, and in Revelation it is Regained.
- In Genesis are Husband and Wife, and in Revelation, the Lamb and the Bride.
But the contrasts between these two Books are even more striking.
- In the first, Satan is victorious; in the last, he is defeated.
- In the first, judgment is pronounced; and in the last it is executed.
- In the first, the Divine face is hidden; and in the last, we see His face.
- In the first, the gates are shut against us; and in the last, they are never shut.
- In the first, Adam and Eve were banished from the Tree of Life; and in the last, we have a right to it.
- In the first, we were exiles from the earthly Garden; and in the last, we are inheritors of the heavenly City.
Sin made the earth bad
Before the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, there could be no death, disease, famine, war, natural catastrophe, cancer, weakness, rust, pollution, hatred, murder, rape, lying, corrupt government, wife beating, child molesting, greed, and a thousand other ills that have plagued man for six thousand years of history. Every broken body, every disturbed mind, every hurting heart–the collective tears of the human race–can trace their origin back to the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. As a consequence of sin, man has polluted the ocean, raped the earth, and poisoned the heavens, the very sphere, which God committed to man’s authority. Is there any wonder, then, that the present heaven and earth must be dissolved (that is, be purged by fire to loose it from the consequences of sin) to make way for a new Heaven and Earth?
No more twisted wrecks of car and plane accidents. No more lifeless forms that have been shocked, poisoned, drowned or suffocated. No more crippled bodies. The end of therapy and throbbing pain. No more arthritis, insomnia and bodily dysfunction. No more merciless onslaught of age and its accompanying pains and disintegration.
In Heaven we see the wonders of Jesus
In Revelation 21:9-27 we find the wonders of Jesus. Here is the guided tour God has laid down in His Word. Let’s read Revelation 21:9-27
Heaven is new
- The First New Thing Is The New Heaven (21:1). This does not necessitate the annihilation of the present Heaven; however, it will be a thorough and basic transformation (2 Pet. 3:10-13).
- The Second New Thing Is The New Earth (21:1). The Earth will not be written off as a corrected failure of God’s rule, but as an eternal triumph of His rule. There will be sweeping transformations on Earth as well as in Heaven. No sea will be found in the new Earth.
- The Third New Thing Is The New Peoples (vs. 3-4). Israel will certainly be one of them (Is. 66:22). But all the peoples on the new Earth will be God’s people (v. 3). Death, sorrow, crying and pain will be unknown (v. 4). Righteousness will be the great characteristic (II Pet. 3:13).
- The Fourth New Thing Is The New Jerusalem (21:9-22:7). This is a literal city (Seiss, Newell, Gaebelein, Pentecost); a symbolical city (Scott); or it is both literal and symbolical. It seems to be suspended over the Earth during the Millennium (v. 10) (Seiss, Newell, Gaebelein, Pentecost) in the shape of a cube (v. 16); although Ironside makes it a pyramid, with the reminder the shape of the most holy place in both the Tabernacle and the Temple was a cube. The inhabitants are clearly indicated with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit there (v. 22) with the resurrected and glorified New Testament church who are seeking the coming city (Heb. 13:14). The names of the apostles are on the foundations (21:14). The resurrected and glorified Old Testament saints are there and they also are seeking a heavenly dwelling place. God prepared for them a city (Heb. 11:16) and the names of the twelve tribes of Israel are on the gates (21:12). Nothing that defiles can ever enter it (v. 27) and the amazing splendor is astonishing (vs. 18-21).
- The Fifth New Thing Is The New Temple (21:22). Heaven is full of new worship: Temple-less – God Is With Us – Emmanuel – We worship the Lord and 7 X in Rev. –
- Worship Jesus the Lamb as our Beloved (Revelation 21:9) Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the Lamb’s wife.”
- Worship Jesus the Lamb as our Foundation (Revelation 21:14) Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
- Worship Jesus the Lamb as our Temple (Revelation 21:22) But I saw no Temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its Temple.
- Worship Jesus the Lamb as our Light (Revelation 21:23) The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
- Worship Jesus the Lamb as our Guard (Revelation 21:27) But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
- Worship Jesus the Lamb as our Spring of Life (Revelation 22:1) And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
- Worship Jesus the Lamb as our King (Revelation 22:3) 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.
- The Sixth New Thing is the New Light (21:23-26). The glory of God lightens the city. The Lamb is the lamp of it. The light will illuminate the nations on the Earth (v. 24). Day and no more darkness – fear, death, evil is associated with darkness….GONE! No eclipse – no burn out!
- The Seventh New thing Is The New Paradise Garden of God (22:1-5).
- A river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeds out of the Throne of God and the Lamb (v. 1).
- The Tree of Life (v. 2),
- The curse no longer exists (v. 3),
- And the saints will reign forever and ever (v. 5).
Is this a complete picture – No human frailty can only start to comprehend. This is a hint and it’s glorious! Thus everything in every respect is a “new creation”:
|On us||A new name Revelation 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’|
|In us||A new song Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,|
|Around us||A new Jerusalem Revelation 3:12a “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.|
|Over us||A new Heaven Revelation 21:1a Now I saw a new Heaven|
|Under us||A new Earth (Rev. 21:1b and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.|
|Before us||Always new revelations of the never-ending love of God Revelation 3:12 “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.|
heaven is beautiful
….Thence it radiates – precious and costly. The elative use of the superlative., “extremely expensive,” “very expensive.”. Why these stones? Eight stones were used in the breastplate of the High Priest (Ex. 24:10). Another interesting note is that they are the stones for the signs of the Zodiac in reverse. v. 19-21
- Jasper. In antiquity the designation jasper was used for any opaque precious stone. The point of comparison is the brilliance and sparkle of a gem and the reference could be to a diamond (Mounce).
- Sapphire – In the ancient world this was what we now call lapis lazuli. We see this deep blue stone flecked with gold in the pavement under God’s Throne in Ex. 24:10.
- Agate, Chalcedony – This gem is taken to be of a green color (Charles; Ford; BAG)
- Emerald – This is a bright green transparent precious stone; the ancients called it the greatest of the green stones.
- Onyx, Sardonyx – This was a layered stone of red and white. It was prized for use in making cameos (Mounce).
- Sardus, Carnelian – This was a blood-red stone and was commonly used for engraving (Mounce; Ford).
- Gold Stone, Topaz, Chrysolite. The ancients seemed to have this term for the golden jasper or yellow topaz (Ford; also Charles).
- Beryl – This was a green stone ranging from transparent sea green to opaque blue (Ford; Mounce).
- Topaz – a greenish yellow or gold. In ancient times it was often used in the making of seals and gems (Ford; also Mounce).
- Chrysoprase – This is an apple green, finely grained hornstone, a variety of quartz, highly translucent (Ford).
- JACINTH. It was a bluish purple stone and similar to the modern sapphire (Mounce; BAG).
- Amethyst– A variety of quartz, in color clear transparent purple or bluish violet. It got its name from being regarded an antidote for drunkenness (Mounce; also Ford).
Heaven is huge
NOTE SECONDLY THE SIZE – John 14:2 – “In my Father’s house.. many dwellings” – Revelation 21:16 – 12,000 furlongs cube 9607 feet to a furlong so 1,400 to 1500 miles. At 1500 X 1500 X 1500 miles, that’s roughly 3.75 billion cubic miles!
At best there have been 200 generations from Adam – Scientists have calculated (Triumph. P.193) – At present all the buildings in the world would fit in a 750 cubic mile cube. So, there’s room to spare.
Heaven is home
At last all groups are present in one place.
- our Triune God Revelation 21:22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
- New Testament Saints: Revelation 21:14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. – Apostles foundation
- Old Testament Saints Seeking the city Hebrews 13:14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Revelation 21:12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: – 12 gates/tribes
- All together because without us it is not perfect – Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
SO WHAT SHALL WE BE DOING
- Palm bearers and harpists Rev. 15:2, 7:9
- Singers and Priests Rev. 15:3/5:10
- Wearing white robes Rev. 7:9
- Wearing wedding garments of righteousness Rev. 19:8
- Singing eternal praise Rev. 22:3
Heaven is Perfect in Ten Ways
- Heaven is a place of Perfect Fellowship. Revelation 21:1 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. (KJV)
- Heaven is a place of Perfect Consolation. Revelation 21:4 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. (KJV) The Comforter gives everlasting comfort from the tears over our own failures; the hurts caused by others and the sorrow over loss and hurt of loved ones. All the ravages of sin will be gone forever.
- Heaven is a place of Perfect Living. Revelation 21:4 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. (KJV) Never again watching the life drain from the cheeks of a beloved partner, parent or friend. No more death vigils in Intensive care units and at waiting rooms. The King of Terrors is gone and the Prince of Peace reigns.
- Heaven is a place of Perfect Joy. Revelation 21:4 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. (KJV) Yes, Christians feel the sorrow and crying of seeing parents pass away. They grieve at the marriage partner who goes ahead of them to the presence of Christ, and experience the depth of loss. But Jesus said we will have life abundant. [John 10:10] and in this world we have only tasted of the Spirit’s fruit called joy. But oh the joy of our reunion.
- Heaven is a place of Perfect Health. Revelation 21:4 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. (KJV)
- Heaven is a place of Perfect Sustenance Supply, and Resources. Revelation 21:6 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. (KJV) For the millions who agonize in hunger and thirst now, it will be no more. Gone the pressure of daily provisions. The provider has come. [Revelation 7:16] Remember Jesus came that we might never hunger or thirst John 6:35.
- Heaven is a place of Perfect Worship. Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. (KJV) The mere representation or symbols of God are replaced by the immediate and actual presence of God. No more cold hearts and fainting prayers. No more wandering minds in song, study and prayer. The personal God who promised to be with us is here. And we are with Him who loved us and sent His Son, who gave Himself for us! That’s why they break into worship and song so often in this book. It’s perfect.
- Heaven is a place of Perfect Illumination. Revelation 21:23 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. (KJV) No more brownouts, blackouts, power surges or power failures. No more gloomy days. No more dark days. The Light of the World has come and we walk in the light as He is in the Light at last.
- Heaven is a place of Perfect Security. Revelation 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. (KJV) All the fears and phobias of the old world are gone. The dangers of robber and stalker are past. The constant awareness of imminent loss is gone. The need to protect oneself from intruders and assailants has passed with the arrival of our Protector, Fortress and He under whose wings we can trust. No more fear of defilement or pollution. No need to purify air, water and food. No screens, locks, combinations, doors or guns. We are free at last and indeed.
- Heaven is a place of Perfect Refreshment. Revelation 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. (KJV) No end to activity. No exhaustion. No place of evil men and their evil plans [Jn. 3:19]. Just the enjoyment of a day that knows no end. At last in our glorious bodies fashioned like our Savior’s [Phil. 3.21]. “O That will be glory for me…”
SO, WE COME TO THE END AND FIND:
- CHRIST – Not antichrist or Satan will triumph.
- CHURCH – Not the world, will triumph.
- DIVINE WAYS, Not Dragons, will triumph.
- TRUTH, Not Error will win.
- RIGHT, Not Wrong will prevail.
- LIGHT, Not Darkness will reign.
We behold with worship this age-long plan of God. The record of salvation in the Bible has conducted us from the gate of eternity before all time to the gate of eternity after this time. “The final end is the glorified and eternally new beginning.” The goal is exactly as the commencement (Psa. 90:2) Before mountains brought forth or ever, thou hadst formed earth from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.
“THAT GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL” (Cor. 15:28)
But He Himself, the King of the Ages (I Tim. 1:17, lit.), will then bring forth ages upon ages out of His inexhaustible, infinite fullness (Rev. 22:5; Eph. 2:7, lit.). In heavenly Jubilees will His redeemed creatures praise Him, and through the sphere and worlds of the new creation will ring and resound the triumphant, exultant song: (Rev. 22:21
Read, and then sing “Worthy is the Lamb” two times. Now look up and sing “Amazing Grace.”
“Unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the lamb, be the blessing, and the honour, and the glory, and the dominion…”from eternity to eternity! Amen (Revelation 5:13, 14)