Behold, I Make All Things New

Today’s selected reading continues in and concludes the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically today’s passage is found in the twenty-first and twenty-second chapters of this New Testament book. “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. And I john saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her new husband. 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. 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. 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. 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. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murders, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:1-8).

 

            “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 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 tribers of the children of Israel: ON the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth; and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper, and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chyrsoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, and amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 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. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:9-27).

 

            “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: and they shall see his face: and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:1-5).

 

            “And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which. Must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly; Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book” (Revelation 22:6-7).

 

            “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Revelation 22:8-15).

 

            “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto e very man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Revelation 22:16-21).

 

            When you come to the twenty-first and twenty-second chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ you will find the conclusion of the final book within the canon of Scripture. With these chapters the written revelation of the living and eternal God ends and concludes. That which began in the Old Testament book of Genesis with God creating the heavens and the earth would ultimately shift and transition to the same God creating a new heavens and new earth. It is actually incredibly unique and powerful to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and find that at the end of everything that was written and recorded in this prophetic vision and revelation the apostle John would see a vision of a new heaven and a new earth. What adds even more weight and significance to this is when you turn and direct your attention back to the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis. Within this Old Testament book you will find how in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. It is in the first and opening chapter where you are not only brought face to face with the eternal and divine nature of the living God but you will also be forced to confront whether or not you believe that He did in fact create the heavens and the earth. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything which in them dwells. What’s more is that the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews emphatically declared how faith was the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. In fact I would like to invite you to consider the following words which are found in the eleventh chapter of this New Testament epistle beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse:

 

            “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of the things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:1-3).

 

            “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

 

            Please don’t miss the incredible significance of what is found within these passages of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the substance and evidence of our faith. Within this passage of Scripture the author of the epistle proclaims how faith is the “substance” of things hoped for and the “evidence” of things not seen. Moreover the author of this epistle emphatically declares how by faith the elders obtained a good report and how through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God. What’s more is what comes after this for the author goes on to write and declare how through faith we understand how the things which are seen were not made of the things which do appear. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the source of our faith—namely that we not only believe that God is but also that God created the heavens and the earth. Before you get into anything else within Scripture you are first and foremost confronted with whether or not you believe that God is—and not only that God is but also that God created the heavens and the earth. In the first and opening chapter of this Old Testament book we are indeed brought face to face with the tremendous truth of whether or not we believe that the living and eternal God created the heavens and the earth and everything which therein dwells.

 

            I am absolutely convinced that in order to truly understand the narrative that is found in the twenty-first and twenty-second chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in these chapters we are brought face to face with the living and eternal God creating a new heavens and a new earth—something we must needs recognize as being entirely and altogether connected to the creation of the original heavens and the earth. At the end of all things—after the beast and the false prophet were captured and cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, after Satan was bound and cast into the bottomless pit before being released for a short period of time before being defeated by the living and eternal God and finally cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. We must needs recognize and understand that when the creation of the new heavens and the new earth takes place it does so after the ultimate and final defeat and overthrow of all evil, all wickedness, all immorality, all rebellion, all transgression and all iniquity present within the earth. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the creation of the new heavens and the new earth for it is intrinsically connected to the creation of the first heaven and the new earth. What’s more is that within the Old Testament book of Genesis—not only do we see the creation of the heavens and the earth but we also see traces and currents of the final judgment and destruction that would take place as a direct result of the fall, death and the sin which was committed in the garden.

 

            The sole reason and purpose for the creation of a new heavens and a new earth was directly connected to the living God restoring that which was His original intention and design when He created the heaven and the earth at the very beginning. Oh would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider that what we have seen in this present age and what we have seen throughout the generations is not and has not been the original design and intention of the living God. There is something we must needs recognize and understand concerning the creation of the new heavens and the new earth and that is how the sole reason for the creation of the new heavens and the new earth was because the living and eternal God was not only restoring His original design and intention but also redeeming both after generations of sin and death had ravaged and decimated that which He had created. The words and language we find in the Old Testament book of Genesis bring us face to face with the eternal God being present in the beginning and in the beginning purposing to create the heaven and the earth. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the creation of the original heaven and the original earth and how at the time of the end—or should I say at the time of the beginning—the living God will do away with the former things that He might make all things new. In fact if you were to summarize the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you must needs recognize that the living God can and will make all things new which is and has always been one of His greatest acts in the midst of human history.

 

            Having said all of this I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis. That which we find in the Old Testament book of Genesis describes in great detail the creation of the original heaven and the original earth—that which we have been very much familiar and acquainted with. I am absolutely convinced that if we are to truly understand the words and language which is found in the final chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we must begin at the beginning. The words and language found in the first and opening chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis must be considered for when you come to the final chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. With this being said I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis beginning with the first verse:

 

            “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the haven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and ever winged fowl after his. Kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:1-31).

 

            I firmly believe we must needs recognize and pay attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for that which we find here calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the eternal and divine nature of the living God. It would be in this passage of Scripture we discover the truly wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the creation of the heaven and the earth and everything which therein dwells. Perhaps one of the greatest truths we must needs recognize and understand is how the living God created the heaven and the earth and everything which therein dwells and saw that it was good. What’s more is that when He had finished all of His creating He looked upon everything and saw that it was very good. Not only this but it would be on the seventh day the living and eternal God would rest from all His labor and would rest from all His creation. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis describes the creation of the heaven and the earth while beginning with the third chapter of this same book we find the beginning of the destruction of that which the living and eternal God had created. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the original intention for the heaven and the earth to be created in beauty and perfection in the sight and presence of the living God as well as man being created bearing the image and likeness of the living God being perfect even as the living God Himself is perfect. That which we must needs recognize, however, is that through sin and transgression committed in the garden man not only caused sin to be introduced in the midst of the earth but also allowed death to begin to be manifested within and in the midst of the earth.

 

            As you read the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Genesis you will find the sin and transgression of Adam and Eve within the garden of Eden. It would be through their sin and transgression we find sin and death being introduced within the earth—and not only being introduced into the earth but also ruling and reigning upon the earth. This is precisely what the apostle Paul wrote about in the fifth chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome. In fact I would like to invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in the fifth chapter of this New Testament epistle beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse:

 

            “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:1-11).

 

            “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace  did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:12-21).

 

            The words which we find in the second portion of this chapter calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the sin and transgression of Adam and how it would be through the iniquity and rebellion of Adam in the garden that would not only cause sin to be introduced into the earth but would also cause death to be introduced as well. Moreover from the time of Adam unto the time of Moses when the law was given sin and death would be present and manifested within the earth and would reign upon the earth. It would be when the Law was given unto Moses atop the mountain of God in the wilderness that sin began to be imputed upon man in an even greater measure for where there is the law sin is imputed for man. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand concerning this particular portion of Scripture it is how man was originally created in the image and after the likeness of the triune Godhead. Through the fall, however, man would not only experience the marring of the image and likeness of the living God in the earth but through his disobedience sin and death would be introduced within the earth. As a direct result of the sin and transgression of man within the garden the ground of the earth would be cursed and would remain under the curse of the living God until that time when the living God would create a new heaven and a new earth. It is absolutely necessary we recognize and understand this absolutely incredible and powerful truth for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the earth itself groaning under the weight and burden of sin and death.

 

            Having said this I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the truly wonderful truth that is found in the eighth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome. It is in this particular chapter we encounter and come face to face with the incredible reality of creation itself groaning in eager anticipation of the manifestation of the sons and daughters of the living God. With this in mind I invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture:

 

            “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:12-22).

 

            It is absolutely astounding to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture—particularly the final verse—for within it we find how the whole creation does indeed groan and has in fact groaned and travailed in pain together until now. Ever since the fall of man in the garden the earth has been under the curse of the living God as the ground itself was cursed and man would through the sweat of his brow till the land that he might obtain food and sustenance. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely remarkable truth that while the earth and the heaven were initially and originally created without blemish, without spot, without any pollution and without defilement they would all be corrupted by and through the fall of man within the garden of Eden. We must needs recognize and understand this for it can and will help us to understand the words and language we find in the sixth and nineteenth chapters of the Old Testament book of Genesis. As much as the Old Testament book of Genesis is indeed a book about beginnings it is also a book that has strong undertones and currents of the judgment, the wrath and the destruction of the living God. Oh we must needs recognize and understand the absolutely awesome and incredible truth surrounding the days of Noah and the days of Lot for both of those days would indeed be referenced by the Lord Jesus Christ—particularly and especially when speaking of the time of the end. What’s more is that the days of Noah and of Lot were referenced by the apostle Peter in the second epistle which was written unto the saints which were scattered abroad throughout the face of the earth.

 

Both the apostle Peter and his Lord would speak of the days of Noah and of Lot as being days which would directly pint to the time of the end—not only the tremendous wickedness and evil that would be present in the midst of the earth during those days but also the great judgment and wrath of the living God which would be meted out against the inhabitants of the earth during the days of Noah as well as the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah during the days of Lot. It is with this being said I invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in both the sixth chapter concerning the days of Noah as well as the nineteenth chapter concerning the days of Lot:

 

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth: both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:1-8).

 

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. ND God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gospher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the eark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou. Make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; and they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (Genesis 6:9-22).

 

It was in these passages of Scripture we find the LORD God instructing Noah to not only build an ark made of gopher wood but also to line it with pitch but also to bring two of every kind of living thing that moved upon the face of the earth—both male and female. The words and language we find in these passages help us to understand the backstory of that which would indeed take place during those days when the living God would indeed unleash His judgment and wrath against mankind for the great wickedness and iniquity that was committed upon the earth. When, however, you come to the seventh chapter you will find the actual carrying and meting out of that judgment and wrath. Beginning with the tenth verse of the seventh chapter we encounter the absolutely incredible and tremendous truth surrounding how the living and eternal God would destroy the earth with the flood as well as every living thing that would move upon the face of the earth. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning to read with and from the tenth verse:

 

And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredeth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the. Month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. In the selfsame  day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; they, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days” (Genesis 7:10-24).

 

The words which we find in this passage of Scripture call and draw our attention to the absolutely incredible reality of the destruction of the earth and every living thing that moves and breathes upon the face of the earth. That which is present in this passage of Scripture is incredibly unique and powerful when you think about it for it describes the first judgment of the living God upon the earth as it pertains to a corporate level and scale. We know that the living God judged Adam, Eve and the serpent after the sin in the garden and we know that the living God would judge Cain after he murdered his brother Abel and now we find the living and eternal God judging the whole earth and destroying everything that lived and moved upon the face of the earth. Every living thing that had the breath of life in it would be destroyed and wiped off the face of the earth as a direct result of the judgment and wrath of the living God. It is absolutely impossible to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and not find in this book of beginnings an incredibly powerful picture of the judgment and wrath of the living God upon man and upon the earth because of sin, because of wickedness, because of iniquity and because of rebellion. What’s more is that this wouldn’t be the only time in the Old Testament book of Genesis we find the judgment and wrath of the living God against man because of sin, iniquity and transgression. If you turn and direct your attention to the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of this Old Testament book you will find the judgment of the living God against the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the outcry of their wickedness reaching heaven. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning to read with and from the sixteenth verse of the eighteenth chapter:

 

And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD” (Genesis 18:16-22).

 

And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it. And he spake unto hi yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake. And he said unto him, Oh let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake. And he said, Oh let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake. And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place” (Genesis 18:23-33).

We must needs recognize and understand the words which are found here in this passage of Scripture for when speaking unto Abraham the living and eternal God would speak of the great judgment and destruction He was preparing to bring upon the cities of the plain—including Sodom and Gomorrah. The words and language located in this passage of Scripture not only describe the LORD’s preparation to unleash His judgment and wrath upon the cities of the plain but also Abraham’s intercession on behalf of the cities on account of those righteous who were present within the city. Through Abraham’s intercession we find the living and eternal God declaring how he would not destroy the cities of the plain on account of ten righteous. It is when you come to the nineteenth chapter of this Old Testament book where you learn of at least six individuals who could have been righteous in the sight of the living God. In the nineteenth chapter you will read of Lot, his wife, their two daughters and the fiancé’s of their daughters. The total count connected to Lot was six which means that if they were considered righteous in the sight of the living God there would only need to be four more who were considered to be righteous in the sight of the living God. What we end up learning and discovering is that while Lot, his wife and his two daughters were laid hold of and taken out of the city of Sodom by the two angels who came into the midst of it only Lot and his two daughters would escape. Lot’s wife would indeed turn back to look upon and observe the judgment and destruction upon the cities of the plain and would as a direct result become a pillar of salt and would be consumed in the judgment and wrath of the living God. With this in. mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the nineteenth chapter of this Old Testament book:

 

And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? Son in law, and thy sons,a nd thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: for we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and speak unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I di: Behold now, the city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. Hast thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cites, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cites of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cites in the which Lot dwelt” (Genesis 19:17-29).

 

Within the Old Testament book of Genesis we not only see the creation of the heaven and the earth and everything which therein dwells but we also see two different types of judgment exercised and executed by the living and eternal God. During the days of Noah we see the judgment and destruction of the whole earth as the LORD God would destroy the earth and every living thing which had the breath of life within its nostrils save that which was upon the ark. During the days of Lot the LORD God would destroy and overthrow the cities of the plain as He would rain fire and brimstone upon the cities thus destroying every living one who moved and was present within the city. So great was the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah that Abraham would rise up early the next morning and look toward the cities of the plain and would see smoke rising from it as the smoke of a furnace. It is with this in mind we must needs recognize and understand the words which are found in the third chapter of the second epistle written by the apostle Peter. It would be in the third chapter of the second epistle written by the apostle Peter we find this apostle of Christ speaking of the last days and the great judgment and wrath which would be exercised and meted out against and upon the earth as the earth would be dissolved and destroyed by fire. Although the living God promised to never again destroy the earth with a flood we must needs recognize that the earth and the heaven can and will be destroyed and melted away with fire as the LORD will create and bring forth a new heaven and a new earth. Oh it is with this in mind I invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in the third chapter beginning with the first verse:

 

This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandm,ent of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the LORD as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The LORD is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass way with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing them that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 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?  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both. Now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:1-18).

 

Within this passage of Scripture we not only find the apostle Peter speaking of the destruction of the current heavens and the current earth but also looking for a new heavens and new earth that would be created and fashioned in righteousness. This is something we must needs be understood for the new heavens and new earth was not something that would be entirely and altogether new during the days of the apostle Peter nor even something that would be new when the apostle John would write about it for the Old Testament Hebrew prophet Isaiah would also prophesy concerning this as well. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the sixty-fifth chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah beginning with the seventeenth verse:

 

For, behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth: And the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: For, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in hear, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: For the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: For as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 65:17-25).

 

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention back to the words which are found in the final two chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. That which we find within these passages of Scripture not only bring us face to face with the creation of a new heaven and a new earth but also the new Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven as a bride adorned for her husband. The apostle John saw the first heaven and the first earth having passed away and there was no more sea upon them. The apostle John would look and see how the tabernacle of God was with men and how he would dwell with them and they would be his people and God himself would be with them and be their God. Moreover God would 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. What we must needs recognize is the words which the One who sat upon the throne spoke for within this passage we find the One seated upon the throne emphatically declaring, “Behold, I make all things new.” Oh that we would recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and understand the hope that surrounds the creation of a new heavens and a new earth as well as the new Jerusalem which would come from God out of heaven upon the earth as the living and eternal God would be the tabernacle that was present among men. As this year draws to a close may we be a people who understand how we ought to live and how we ought to have our conversation knowing that the former heaven and the former earth can and will be passed away and the LORD can and will unleash judgment and destruction upon the face of the earth and upon the heavens.

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