The New Heavens and a New Earth

 

Isa 65:17, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.”

 

Rev 21:1, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.”

 

New Heavens in the Hebrew is CHADASH (khaw-dawsh) SHAMAYIM (shaw-mah’-yim)

New Earth in the Hebrew is CHADASH ERETS (eh’-rets)

 

New Heavens in the Greek is KAINOS (kahee-nos’) OURANOS (oo-ran-os’)

New Earth in the Greek is KAINOS GE (ghay)

 

In every scripture where the New Heavens and the New Earth are mentioned, “heaven” is in the plural for “heavens” except in Rev 21:1 where “heaven” is in the singular. Scriptures that use “new heaven(s) and new earth include; Isa 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev 21:1.

 

The plurality of “heavens” ties in with what Paul referred to as God’s throne room being “the third heaven.”

 

2 Cor 12:2, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.”

 

The first heaven is the atmosphere around planet earth, Gen 1:6-8.

The second heaven is the stellar universe, Act 7:42.

The third heaven is God’s throne room, which is outside of our universe, 2 Cor 12:2 and Rev 4-5.

 

Therefore, at a minimum planet earth, its atmosphere and the stellar universe will be recreated. In Heb 12:26-28 the implication is that only the lower heavens are subject to renewal.

 

In Rev 21:1 we also noted that the new heavens and earth are a new universe. With this we understand that there have been three universes in history. The first one was the Angelic Universe, (Gen 1:1; 2 Peter 3:5), the one which included planet earth prior to its restoration and the creation of mankind. (Many of the things that have been dug up, called dinosaurs, etc., simply belong to the first universe, the angelic universe.) Secondly, we have the Universe of Mankind, (Gen 1:3-31; 2 Peter 3:7), the universe of human history, which we are currently apart of and will continue through the Tribulation and Millennium. Then there will be the third universe, the creation of new heavens and a new earth which will be the Universe of the Eternal State, (Rev 21:1; 2 Peter 3:13). This is the one we are studying which includes the New Jerusalem.

 

Eternal heaven will be different from the heaven where God now dwells. In the con­summation of all things, God will recreate the heavens and the earth, merging His heaven with a new universe for a perfect dwelling­ place that will be our home forever.

 

In other words, heaven, the realm where God dwells, will expand to encompass the entire universe of creation, which will be fashioned into a per­fect and glorious domain fit for the glory of heaven. The apostle Peter described this as the hope of every redeemed person.

 

2 Peter 3:13, “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”

 

The idea of new heavens and a new earth in substance is also found in Isa 51:16; Mat 19:28; 2 Cor 5:17; Heb 12:26-29. In each case the reference is eschatological, where even the adjective “new” seems to have acquired, in this and other connections, a semi-technical eschatological sense regarding the new creation.

 

As for the Old Testament, it has no single word for “universe,” therefore the phrase “heaven and earth” serves to supply the deficiency.

 

In Isa 65:17 the new heavens and earth are “created”, which is the Hebrew word BARA.

 

Then later in Isa 66:22 God says he will “make” the new heavens and earth which is the Hebrew word ASAH. Why the difference?

 

BARA means, “to shape or create.” In the Qal stem, as it is here, it means to “create something out of nothing.” This is comparable to EX NIHILO in the Latin. Therefore, out of nothing God will create the New Heavens and New Earth.

 

Just as in the original creative act, (Isa 43:7; 45:18), God created out of nothing the heavens and the earth, so in the creation of the New Heavens and New Earth God will create (BARA) them out of nothing.

 

The Hebrew of the original creation of the universe and the restoration of planet earth is compared below as found in Gen 1:1; Isa 45:18 and Isa 43:7 where He created man.

 

A literal translation for these verses includes:

 

Gen 1:1, “In a beginning which was not a beginning, in eternity past, Elohim created out of nothing, (BARA), the entire universe, including Planet Earth.”

 

Isa 45:18, “For thus says the Lord that created out of nothing (BARA) the heavens; God himself formed (JATSAR) the earth and made it from existing materials (ASAH); He has established it.”

 

Isa 43:7, “…for I, Jesus Christ, have created out of nothing, (BARA), the soul of man for my glory, I have fashioned the outer features of his body; yes, I have made his body out of the existing materials of the chemicals of the ground, (ASAH).”

 

In Isa 66:22 God says he will “make”, ASAH, the New Heavens and Earth. ASAH means, “to do or make.” This word has the concept of “building out of something already in existence.” Therefore, based on Isa 65:17, God will create out of nothing the new heavens and the new earth and then take the new heavens and new earth and build them into a beautiful environment for all redeemed creation, just as He did in the restoration of planet earth in Gen 1:1 where he added plan and animal life.

 

Therefore, just as in the original creative act God first created out of nothing the Heavens and the Earth, so in the creation of the New Heavens and New Earth God will create (BARA) them out of nothing, and then build out of something already in existence (ASAH), the environment we will enjoy in the heavens and on earth for the rest of eternity.

 

It is interesting to note that in the closing chapters of Revelation with the creation of the New Heavens and the New Earth that it reflect the motifs of Genesis 1-3

 

Another comparison with Genesis includes, just as the earth was destroyed with water in the great flood of Genesis 6, the heavens and the earth will be cleansed with fire at the end of the Millennial Reign, 2 Peter 3:3-14. In this, Col 1:17, states of Christ, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Just as the power of the atom is today locked in by Christ, so it will be unlocked at the time when God is finished with our present earth.

 

In Rev 21:1-2 we see that the new earth will not have a sea, Rev 21:1-2. The sea was the holding place for demons which will be thrown into the Lake of Fire at this time. Also this may be why there is no mention of fish in the four living creatures who represent all of creation and worship God.

 

Of all the final works of God, none could surpass the creation of a new heaven and a new earth, Rev 21-22. The new heaven and new earth blend together in a great kingdom that incorporates both realms. The paradise of eternity is thus revealed as a magnificent kingdom where both heaven and earth unite in a glory that surpasses the limits of the human imagination and the boundaries of earthly dimensions.

 

It is further declared by Isaiah that the new earth and the new heaven shall so surpass the present, that these will never be called to mind again, Isa 65:17.

 

Isa 65:17, “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.”

 

The title “new heaven and new earth” names a physical reality that also speaks of a new order of creation that will replace the present created heaven and earth, Rev 21:1, 5, an order in which exists a people of God with whom He will dwell in the closest of relationships, Rev 21:3; 22:3-4.

 

Though only the angels may have witnessed the creation of the present order, all living creatures will observe the final act of creation.

 

There must be an everlasting new earth because God has given Israel the promise of an everlasting possession of the land, Deut 30:1-10.

 

Among those who stand in eternal favor with God are the earthly citizens whose destiny it is to go on into eternity as the dwellers on the earth, cf. Rev 21:3-4; Isa 66:22.

 

Likewise, the heavenly citizens have a destiny to occupy the new heaven, cf. Heb 12:22-24; Rev 21:9- 22:7; John 14:1-3. Yet neither group is bound to only the one location.

 

In Isa 66, the Lord promises that this new heaven and new earth will remain forever, as will all the saints of God

 

This new heaven is not confined to one locality marked off by visible or measurable bound­aries. It transcends the confines of time - space dimensions.

 

It is clearly asserted that heaven is “far better” than the earth, Phil 1:23. It is in heaven that the child of God will be conformed to the image of Christ, Rom 8:29; Phil 3:20-21; 1 John 3:1-3. Likewise, he will know then even as God knows now, 1 Cor 13:12, and believers will be together with the Lord, 1 Thes 4:16-17.

 

In the new heaven and earth nothing will make us afraid, and nothing will separate us from other people.

 

Having no boundaries of sea, the only water described in heaven is “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1). This crystal-clear river flows right down heaven’s main street (22:2).

 

Revelation 21:3-7 outlines the most remark­able features of the new heavens and new earth. Here Scripture promises that heaven will be a realm of perfect bliss. Tears, pain, sorrow, and crying will have no place whatsoever in the new heaven and new earth. It is a place where God’s people will dwell together with Him eternally, utterly free from all the effects of sin and evil. God is pictured as personally wiping away the tears from the eyes of the redeemed.

 

Heaven is a realm where death is fully con­quered, 1 Cor 15:26. There is no sick­ness there, no hunger, no trouble, and no tragedy. Just absolute joy and eternal blessings.

 

As citizens of heaven our bodies will have been transformed, our whole being will have been conformed to Christ; we who are now joined to Christ will then be forever with Christ in glory. Being now in Christ, we are partaking of what He is, and being married to Christ we will share with Him in all things as a bride enters into the position and estate of her bridegroom.

 

Heaven is the appropriate home of God the Father, of Christ, of the Spirit, of the Church of the first-born, and of the “spirits of just men made perfect.” cf. Heb 12:22-24.

 

A principal feature of the new earth will be the New Jeru­salem pictured as a bride adorned for her husband and a city which comes down from God out of heaven to the new earth, Rev 21:2, 9-10.

 

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Grace Fellowship Church, Pastor James H. Rickard

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