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Teachings

The Signs of the Times (52): Maranatha

Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer - 16 June 2019

‘Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.’
Revelation 21:1

The Kingship of the Lord and His Anointed has begun. For a thousand years the old earth had already experienced what it means to have Christ reigning publicly. His church and His people, Israel, were fully involved with Him. ‘We will reign with Him’ wrote Paul in 2 Timothy 2:12. ‘and they will reign on the earth’ is what the twenty-four elders sang in Revelation 5:10. And Daniel 7:18 prophesies: ‘But the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever – yes, for ever and ever’ the kingdom for the nation of the saints of the Most High.

‘For ever and ever’ can also be read as ‘from century to century’, in connection with the thousand years. But it doesn’t stop there, because we read that when the New Jerusalem has descended from heaven: ‘…they will reign for ever and ever…’ Revelation 22:5

Nevertheless, two distinct aeons seem to be referred to, because the first period has emphatically ‘…passed away…’ Revelation 20:5, 7, and the judgement before the great white throne has taken place in between.

When that judgement takes place, heaven and earth will have ‘…fled…’ from Him Who sits on the throne. The last judgement had already been preceded by a judgement of the nations, which were to be herded with an iron rod. That was a judgement of the last generation on earth, of the followers of the anti-Christ, of the rebellious nations.

These final judgements have considerably thinned out the population of the world.  Isaiah 13:12 prophecies about this: ‘I will make people scarcer than pure gold (…)’ and ‘Yet some gleanings will remain, as when an olive tree is beaten (…)’ Isaiah 17:6.

Nations were crushed with a rod of iron, a club, and anyone who survived was ruled over by an iron sceptre. Christ was to herd and to rule them, Revelation 2:27, 12:5. Herding is the positive aspect of ruling, Matthew 2:6; Luke 17:7; John 21:15-17; 1 Peter 5:2  –until the final rebellion under Gog and Magog, after which fire consumed the rebellious nations, Revelation 20:7-10.

Judgements in time are nevertheless different to judgements in eternity however. Those took place before the white throne?

No place was found for the current earth and heaven. They have either disappeared, or have completely decomposed to supply elements for the new heaven and new earth, the new universe. The universe has, as it were, ‘exploded’ in every direction. This will happen then, but if at the start of creation an explosion, a Big Bang like that has taken place, is greatly questionable. The Most High created, and it was there. Exploded or decomposed to its core so that only energy, heat and radiation remain to supply the building blocks for the new heaven/universe and the new earth. And He will (re-)create, and it will be there.

The dead have risen from the dead, not as souls without bodies, but with resurrection bodies. They have absolutely no point of support in the old creation however, for heaven and earth have disappeared. They find themselves before the judgement throne in a space we are completely unable to imagine. They stand eye to eye before God, more naked than ever, outside our world of time and space. The condemned were cast into the lake of fire, Revelation 20:15.

A new heaven and a new earth will appear, a new universe, with immortal and incorruptible people. With incredible resurrection bodies. For forty days, His friends saw how that resurrection body functioned. Jesus went back and forth between there and here as it pleased Him. Glowing with everlasting life.

Decomposing, dying slowly, entropy, destruction and decay are no longer possible, because death itself has been destroyed in the lake of fire. Together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, and ‘the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.’ (Revelation 21:8)

There was no more sea. This does not necessarily mean that there will be no sea on the new earth. The ‘corrupt’ sea, Revelation 8:8, 11:6, 16:4, has disappeared of course. The rebellious nations will no longer be there either. The sea was an image of the nations in turmoil, where Leviathan rages, Isaiah 27:1, and from which antichrist arose, Revelation 13:1. The nations will live in harmony on the new earth.

Galatians 6:7-9: ‘Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’

In the end, everything will be new, on a cosmic scale. Glory will permeate everything and everyone. God will be everything and in everyone. He will be all in all, 1 Corinthians 15:28.

Maranatha, come Lord Jesus, yes, come soon!

 

The Signs of the Times
Many people are afraid of the future. Will the turmoil in the world lead to World War III? Or is there still hope? What do the ancient prophecies of the Bible teach us? Are we at the beginning of the end of this world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Could Israel be a sign of hope? In this new series Rev. Willem Glashouwer looks at 52 of the many signs of the times that are mentioned in the Bible. The English edition of ‘The Signs of the Times’ is available in our webshop. Order today!

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