"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
"Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. 2 Peter 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless." Our earth and heaven are going to be destroyed, and God will replace them with new earth and new heavens. New heavens (plural) and they are for the Sons of God. God's righteousness, peace and joy will fill the new earth and the new heavens. "1 John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; .." The heavens we now have refer to the solar system, that is, sun, moon, few stars, planets, etc,. They all will be burned into a ball of fire, which will be the lake of fire. God says that he will create new heavens. Heavens are many. Sons of God and the bride of Christ will be in the new heavens with the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father. New earth also is considered heaven. Righteousness will be in heaven. The glory of new earth will be different from that of new heavens. God is directly visible in new heaven, and there will be no temple there. But, the bride of the Lamb is figuratively called as a city new Jerusalem, and as the temple of God. New earth has a tabernacle and people worship God through the tabernacle. The glory of those in new heaven is as the sun, but the glory of those in new earth, is as that covered the nakedness of Adam and Eve. "1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and ..., when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. Matthew 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father."
New Jerusalem is explained as a city, but it is the bride of Christ, which comprised of a group of people, and it is not a heaven, or a city. "Revelation 21:9 And there came unto me ..., and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." In verse 9, New Jerusalem is called the bride, the Lamb's wife, which is the Bride of Christ. Even though she is described as a city, she is coming out from heaven as a person. She is called holy Jerusalem and she has the glory of God. No city could have the glory of God, but the bride of Christ will have his glory. So, New Jerusalem is the bride of Christ, comprised of glorified holy people.
We see the representation of twelve tribes in "Revelation 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:" and we see representation of the twelve apostles in "verse 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.", which are of saints of Old and New Testaments. "Verse 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it." The best is brought in New Jerusalem. "Revelation 21:22 ...for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." Here, New Jerusalem is the temple and the pillars are believers, who are built into it. So, New Jerusalem is not one of the heavens, but she is the Bride of Christ. The display and description of her, shows that she is the beloved of God.
"Luke 15:29 he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." It is a passage from the parable of the prodigal son. In verses 29&30, the elder son complains that he was not given any rewards at all in this world for his sincere obedience and services to the commandments of his Father. Then, he points out that the younger son has received all kinds rewards in this world, which he has received and wasted. As soon as our preachers see this, they reviled at the elder brother as an angry man without love towards his brother and so on, and say that the elder brother is not saved and he is the real prodigal son. And they described that the younger son is the true saved person under the grace of God and so on. But, let us see what the Father had to say about this. In verse 31, the Father says that all the Father has belongs to the elder son and none goes to the younger son. That is, all the eternal rewards are to the elder brother, so he inherits the position of the bride of Christ, that is the new Jerusalem. If the younger gets nothing, as is, he gets new earth, not even new heaven, because there are inheritance in new heaven.
New heaven is the top status in heaven. The rewards of God is according to what we have done. So, the requirement for new Jerusalem is also high. "Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, ... if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." So, if he had kept the commandments, he will inherit new heaven for a reward. "20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." The young man met the requirement for new heaven. He asked what could he do more. Jesus Christ told him in verse 21, but he could not do it. This is the requirement for new Jerusalem, which is higher, or the highest, that is to give what all you have. "Philippians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus." Apostle Paul has already perfectly obeyed the commandments of Jesus Christ. But he wants to pursue his high calling. So, he decided to run in full force as if he has not achieved anything yet. "13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." So, new Jerusalem is high calling. Not only that he runs for the high calling, he recommend all who are already perfect in obeying the commandments of God, to run for the high calling, which is the calling for new Jerusalem. "15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." This high calling is for those who has already graduated in perfection.
(1). "Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house." If you are called to the heavenly calling and achieved the level of new heaven, please consider this. Jesus Christ and Moses, both were faithful to God. Among the both, consider Jesus Christ, who is our apostle and High Priest, because this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses. This is the higher calling, which is the calling of new Jerusalem. (2). "1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Verse 2 says that we are sons of God, and we will be like him at his coming, etc, which qualifies us for new heaven. But, verse 3 says that those who have this hope will not stop at this, but will keep trying to be as pure as Jesus Christ is pure, which is the requirement for new Jerusalem. (3). Let us look at the purpose of God for a church with ministers. "Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" Verse 11 says that God gives powerful ministers to his church. In verse 12, the body will be edified, will be perfected and will be equipped to do ministry. So, by verse 12, they are in new heaven. Verse 13 pursue further, until they become unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. This will qualify them for new Jerusalem. So, pursue for the high calling. Become the Bride of Christ.
God Bless You