A New Heaven and a New Earth

The Victorious Saints

And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who were victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God.

Revelation 15:2

For the world, the last trumpet is a Day of woe, but for the saints it is a Day of great victory. 

Jesus said, “I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). The Apostle Paul said we “overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loves us” (Romans 8:37).

The Greek word νικάω (nik-ah’-o) meaning “victorious” is used seventeen times in the Book of Revelation. In Revelation 15:2, we read that the saints “were victorious over the beast and his image.” This Greek word translated as “victorious” is the same word that is translated “overcomes,” twelve times in the Book of Revelation. But it really means “conquers.” It implies the success of a battle, and is derived from the Greek word, victory.  In Revelation 21:7, God literally said, “he who is victorious shall inherit all these things.” 

The victorious saints first appear in Revelation Chapter 7. Those who come out of the Great Tribulation enter the New Jerusalem, holding palm branches in their hands. John tells us that they will no longer bear the heat of the day, and they will thirst no longer. They will drink of the water of the Holy Spirit, and God will wipe away every tear.

In Revelation 15, the saints appear in the midst of the throne, standing on a sea of glass and fire, victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name. 

In Chapter 19, we hear the sounds from heaven, saying, “Hallelujah, salvation and power and God belong to our God, He has judged the Great Harlot who was corrupting the world with her immorality, and had avenged the blood of His bondservants.”

“Hallelujah, her smoke rises up forever, and ever!”

“Let us rejoice for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come!”

In Revelation 20, we see the final picture of the victorious saints. The Lord’s wife comes out of heaven, having the glory of God, and her brilliance is like a very costly stone.

The Holy City

In Revelation 21, the Apostle John described the Holy City, coming out of heaven in God.

This Holy City is the New Jerusalem, that we first met, in Revelation 12, clothed with the sun, having the stars around her head, and the moon under her feet.

She is clothed with the sun, meaning she is clothed with God, “having the glory of God” (Revelation 21:11). “Her brilliance is like a costly stone . . . having a great and high wall” that John tell us was 1,500 miles in height, if one could even imagine to see the height of it. The earth’s atmosphere is only 300 miles.

The size of the Holy City is much greater than the New Jerusalem described in the Book of Ezekiel. That was the Jerusalem that was on this earth. But the New Jerusalem in heaven will contain a great multitude “that no one could count.”

In Revelation 5, the number of those who surround the throne are “myriads of myriads,” hundreds of millions.

The height and width and length of New Jerusalem are the same. All sides are equal. There is neither male, nor female, nor Greek nor Jew in Christ. 

Her foundation is of twelve precious stones, which are the good works of the saints (1 Corinthians 3:12). 

Her gates are all pearls, for she is the pearl of great price.

She is built on the foundation of Christ and the Apostles, and on the wall of the City are twelve foundation stones, having the twelve names of the Apostles of the Lamb (Revelation 21:14).

There is no need for the sun or the moon, for the glory of God and the Lamb are its light. 

Coming from the throne of God and the Lamb is “a river of water of life, as clear as a crystal, coming from the throne of God and the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1).

He who conquers will inherit these things

God promised the spring of the water of life without cost, to the one who conquers. “He who conquers will inherit all these things and I will be his God, and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:6-7).

The last trumpet is “the time . . . to reward your bondservants.” But the last trumpet, the seventh trumpet, in Revelation Chapter 11, is delayed by an introduction to the saints of the Great Tribulation.

The saints of the Great Tribulation “bore the heat of the day” (Matthew 20:12; Revelation 7:16). In their lives, they were unable to receive the Holy Spirit, but they will receive the same reward as the end time saints. “They will hunger (for righteousness) no longer, nor thirst (for the Holy Spirit) anymore” (Revelation 7:16). 

The rewards of the victorious saints are described in the letters to the Seven Churches. These seven Churches represent the Churches of all ages.

Jesus promised rewards for those who hold onto the faith, the Name of Jesus, and their love for God; for those who test the false prophets, endure through tribulation, and keep their garments white.

They will “eat from the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7); they will receive “the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10); they will be given “a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows except the one who receives it” (Revelation 2:17): they will have “authority over the nations” (Revelation 2:26);  and they will be “clothed in white garments” (Revelation 3:5); He will make them “a pillar in the temple of My God” (Revelation 3:12); and they will “sit down with Me on My throne” (Revelation 3:21).

Jesus’ final words, are recorded in the last Chapter of the Book of Revelation, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12).

We will all be changed

The Apostle Paul said that not all of us will die, but “we will all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51).

In his most famous Chapter of the Bible, Paul wrote, “now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just I also have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Paul described this mirror in his second letter to the Corinthians:

But we all, with unveiled faces, looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:8

Paul was describing the image of God and God’s plan of salvation, from the first Chapter of the Bible, “Let Us make man in our Image” (Genesis 1:26). 

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren

Romans 8:29

We are daily being transformed into His image.  But in this world, our flesh is always at war with our spirit.

So Paul said, “we eagerly await our adoption as sons, and the redemption of this body” (Romans 8:23).

When we see Christ face to face, we will put away this mortal body, and we will all be changed.

The Apostle John promised that “when He appears, we will all be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).

In Revelation 21, John told us that the New Heaven and New Earth will have no more sea, meaning it will have no need for salvation.

In verse 6, God said, “It is done!” His salvation plan will be complete. “He who overcomes will inherit all these things, and I will be his God, and He shall be My Son.”

It shall be the Lord one, and His Name one

For many centuries, believers have looked in the Book of Revelation to understand the true relationship between Christ and God.  The Book of Revelation is “the Revelation of God” as stated in verse 1. It not only explains the events that are to come, but it also reveals who God is, and who we meet when leave this earth.

The identity of Christ and God is a puzzle throughout the Book of Revelation.

In Chapter One, the Spirit of Christ appears as the Ancient of Days, with a head and hair as white as wool. In Chapter Four, we see one on the throne with a rainbow over His head, who is revealed as the Spirit of Christ in Chapter Ten. Throughout the Book, John refers to “one who seated on the throne,” worshiped by the four living creatures and the 24 Elders. But when John tries to worship the One who spoke to him from the throne, He said to him, “do not do that, worship God!”

The appearance of the Spirit of Christ as the speaker, the Word, and the image of the invisible God, is a key theme of the Book of Revelation.

The prophet Zechariah said, “in that Day it shall be YHVH one, and His name one.” 

In the Old Testament, the invisible God and His image shared the Name of Yihvah, which means “He WILL BE,” in Hebrew.

But, in the Lord’s Day, they will share the Name of Jesus. This is dramatically illustrated for us in the last Chapter of the Bible. In verse 6, we are told that the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His Angel to John. And then in verse 16, God says, “I, Jesus, sent My Angel.”

The Victory of Christ over the Antichrist

In the last Chapter of Revelation, Christ declared Himself as the victor over Satan, saying, “I am the bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16).

The battle for men’s souls began in the Garden of Eden: “her Seed shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15; Revelation 12:9). Here, we first met the Spirit of the Antichrist, who is Satan, the “lawless one,” who spoke to Eve, saying, “did God really say that you shall not eat from any tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1)

In the Book of Isaiah, the Spirit of the Antichrist, Satan, was called the “star of the Morning,” the brightest of the stars.

The Spirit of Christ was the “Captain of the Armies” of the Angels of Israel in the Old Testament (Joshua 5:14–15; Daniel 8:11). In the Old Testament, He was only “one of the chief Captains of the Angels” (Daniel 10:13, 21). The opposing Nations, like Greece and Persia, also had their “Captains of Angels” (Daniel 10:20). The most powerful of these opposing Angels was the “Ruler of the People to come” (Daniel 9:26), who was Satan.

After Christ was crucified, God made Him the Lord of heaven and earth. The Spirit of Christ became the Ruler of all the Angels, the Archangel (Daniel 8:10; 12:1), and Satan was cast down from heaven, as we read in Revelation 12:7–10.

But more significantly, when He resurrected, He became the first Son of God. Paul told us that, He “was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). This fulfilled the writing of the Psalms, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You” (Acts 13:33; Psalms 2:7).

When He became the first Son of God, He became as greater than the Angels, as the writer of Hebrews told us (Hebrews 1:4). And so in the Lord’s Day, in Revelation 22:16, He declared, “I am the root and descendant of David, the bright and morning star!”

Do not seal up the words of this Book

In the last Chapter of Revelation, the Angel of God exhorted us “not to seal the words of the prophecy of this Book.”

This should remind us of the final Chapter of Daniel, where the same Angel told Daniel that His words were “sealed up until the time of the end.”

Today, we are in the time of the end, and we understand the meaning of Daniel’s words. They are no longer sealed. The meaning of all his prophesies have been revealed.

In Revelation Chapter One, the Angel said, “blessed is he who reads . . . and heeds the things that are written in it for the time is near.” This was one of seven blessings that are promised in the Book of Revelation, and it is the promise for us today. The one who reads the Book of Revelation will understand that there is a God who knows the future, and He has a plan for all of us.

But the Angel of God concluded a warning, “If anyone adds to the prophecy of this Book, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this Book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life.”

The meaning of this sobering conclusion is simple. Those who have a pure heart will understand the prophecy. But if anyone adds to these prophecies, or takes away from them, he will be judged as those who are lawless. He will receive the plagues of this Book, which have been given as a warning to us.

Jesus said that when we see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the Daniel the prophet, we must flee to the mountains, to the mountain of the Lord’s house. Because there we will find our salvation.