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 (v.1).
Redemption is not just an existential change where spiritual bodies replace corporeal existence of men. Redemption of those gathered in mid-air and those who shall reign with the Messiah for a millennium speaks only one part. Their vision shall be totally set new. It is a new vision that marks the difference between the earth as a footstool and heaven as the throne. Isaiah predicted, “…Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth (Is.65:17).” Remember it is what God can do and it is not of ourselves. One interesting feature is that there was no more sea. From the following verse we shall place the holy city of God called New Jerusalem and it is descending from God out of heaven. We are considering heaven and the earth as one entity as God had intended before the worlds began.
Kingdom of God is the throne of God and of the Lamb and from the midst of it the pure river water of life proceeding connects the earth and heaven above. (Re.22:1) There is no further need for a temple since it as one serves as a temple (Re.21: 22). We have an oblique reference to it in the Parable of the Rich man and Lazarus (Lk.16:19-31). The rich man having failed to recognize Lazarus as a sign placed at the gate find himself after death in the position of the beggar. He pleads Abraham to send Lazarus so ‘that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue (v.24).’ Significant is the fact the rich man being tormented is placed in hell. What is Abraham’s bosom but this holy city of God? This city Abraham had only seen by faith. “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God (He.11:10)” For Abraham he sojourned as in a strange country with his heirs of the same promise. By the same token we who live in faith here on the earth, for whom Medicare is too high and our medical complaints are only handled as in the case Lazarus by dogs; the heaven is Abraham’s bosom and it is what only faith can adequately teach and by the grace of God He is building us even this moment. The city whose builder and maker is by faith and we are heirs of promise.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matt.6:21). So Abraham’s bosom is an outward manifestation of a man’s hunger for righteousness, in this case of a child of God. “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs (Lk.12:3-NIV)”. Shouting from the rooftop is another Biblical expression.
There is a gulf set between Abraham’s bosom and hell. New Jerusalem or the holy city of God does not refer to any city of the old earth, defunct because of what the Salvation Plan of God achieved. And it is in mid-air.
Where your treasure is your heart is there
Each verse in the light of this must be easier to follow.
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (v.2).
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
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.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
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.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.