THE LAST VISION – Then the angel showed me… (Revelation 22:1a)
As we saw in Revelation 21, the heaven(s) that will be renewed is likely not the Heaven of God’s presence, but the heaven of human experience (the first and perhaps the second heavens). We also learned that the New Jerusalem will
come “down out of heaven from God” (likely from the third heaven) to earth and that “God’s dwelling place is now among His people.” Thus, at this point the geographic distinction between Heaven and earth begins to lose its distinction. The new earth (with the New Jerusalem) will be a place of lasting righteousness (Isaiah 51:6), unfailing love (Isaiah 54:10), eternal relationship with God (Isaiah 66:22), and liberation from the curse (Romans 8:21).(1)
In Revelation 22, we get a glimpse inside this great city and of Paradise restored. John’s language is reminiscent of the Garden of Eden (Paradise lost), recalling the tree of life, the fruit in the garden, the rivers that flowed from the garden, the state of its being prior to the fall, and the intimate relationship the first humans enjoyed with God.(2) In essence, New Jerusalem is portrayed as the new and permanent Eden (Paradise restored) which cannot be relinquished because there is no longer any curse. Once upon a time, Adam and Eve walked with the Lord periodically in the garden. Now all saints will be in His presence happily ever after.(3)
In this new creation, God reverses all the tragedies that sin brought to the original creation. See Figure 26.1.
The present creation is not God’s final product, nor is it what He intended for His creation. But it has been groaning under the bondage of sin (Romans 8:18–23) ever since the fall. One day, however, God will usher in His new creation, and we will enjoy perfect liberty and fullness of life forever.(4)
Up Next – River of the Water of Life.
- Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (p. 1547). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
- Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 22:1–5). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
- Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J. P., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (pp. 1916–1917). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
- Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 857). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.