(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
In our featured Scripture of Revelation 21:3 through 5, God has shown the Apostle John a vision of “…a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.” (Revelation 21:1). But why are the first heaven and earth not acceptable in the Lord’s sight, so much so that He has to make heaven and earth totally new? After all, the first heaven and earth apparently are acceptable in His eyes during the thousand-year (Millennial) Kingdom (see Revelation 20:4, 6).
There are two pertinent Greek words that are translated ‘new’:
- καινός (pronounced kahee-nos’) and meaning, “…new (especially in freshness)….” Strong’s Greek Dictionary.
- νεώτερος (pronounced neh-o-ter’-os) and meaning, “…recently born, young, youthful…” Thayer’s Greek Definitions.
It is the first of the two, καινός , that is used to describe the new heaven and earth. This is important because it can mean that the new is very similar to the old heaven and earth, but totally refreshed! It is not the old made over, but the new will not be unfamiliar to us who inhabit the new heavens and the new earth!
It is much like the concept of what is called the old man and the new man in Ephesians 4:20, and 22 through 24 (1965 Bible in Basic English) concerning…
...the teaching of Christ which was given to you....that you are to put away, in relation to your earlier way of life, the old man, which has become evil by love of de- ceit; and be made new in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, to which God has given life, in righteousness and a true and holy way of living.
We are made new when we put our faith in Jesus Christ! This is how Paul describes it in II Corinthians 5:17: “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
- Just as we were born into our humanity through the conception of our parents; and then birthed into the world nine months later from our mother’s womb, so this new creation is birthed by the Holy Spirit into the image of our God!
✞ That’s why Jesus, when talking with Nicodemus in John 3:3, 5 and 6, said this: Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God ...he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of Spirit is spirit. And you can’t get a spiritual being from fleshly (human) progeneration! ✞ In order to be spiritually born again, we must... ➔ ...recognize that we are sinners (see Romans 3:10-19, 23; Ephesians 4:22), in rebellion against God (see Isaiah 48:8; Colossians 1: 21), and under His condemnation! (see John 3:18). ➔ ...accept Jesus Christ as our Savior (see Luke 2:11), confess our sins to Him (see I John 1:9), trusting that His sacrifice on the cross was totally sufficient to take away our sins! (see I Peter 1:18, 19; I John 1:7). ✞ As it says in John 1:12, “...as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
- We are all sinners, shot through and through with sin! God had to give us a new nature, a godly nature (by a new birth) to be reconciled to Him!
If we apply the same reasoning to “…a new heaven and the new earth…” (Revelation 21:1), perhaps we can begin to understand why God will “…make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5).
- The devil (Satan, Lucifer) is also called “…the god of this world…” (II Corinthians 4:4 – in 9 of the 17 versions I have on my e-Sword Bible computer application). How did he become the “…god of this world…”?
✡ In Genesis 1:26, “...God said...” “...Let us make man in Our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” ✡ Man and woman, God’s highest creation, was given dominion over all the earth! But that dominion was transferred! ➔ When Adam obeyed Satan instead of God (read Genesis chapter 3), that dominion became the devil’s! ➔ That’s why, when Jesus was tempted on the mountain, in Luke 4:5 through 7 it is written: Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this author- ity I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” Satan could not have offered Jesus authority over all the kingdoms of the world, if it was not his to give! ➔ Just consider the devastation the world is experiencing now and through the ages. If our Heavenly Father was directly in charge of the world, He would be a pretty poor God! But He has allowed the devil to rule for a time until, as it says in Revelation 11:15, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
- The world, like our old sinful nature, is shot through and through with sin! God is not going to ‘repair’ the old world! You might say, “It is beyond repair!” He is going to create “…new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (II Peter 3:13).
We will continue to see the new things God creates in the next Gem.