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This Sunday School Study Guide is provided free of cost for personal study and as an aid for Sunday School teachers.  It contains copyright material and may not be reproduced in any form for sale, without permission from the copyright holders.  

Bailey Sadler Class



Study Theme: Standing Strong On God’s Promises

What This Study Is About:

Week of:

Lesson Title:

The focus of this final session in our studies about standing strong on God’s promises, we just will get a glimpse of that new home Jesus has prepared for us.


Sept. 06

God’s Promise of Faithfulness


Sept. 13

God’s Promise of Eternal Life


Sept. 20

God’s Promise of Provision


Sept. 27

God’s Promise of Answered Prayer


Oct. 04

God’s Promise of Victory


Oct. 11

God’s Promise of a New Home



A life in Christ means a life with Christ forever.


Revelation 21:1-8





Our New Home Will Be In God’s Presence (Rev. 21:1-3)

Our New Home Will Be Perfect (Rev. 21:4-5)

It Is Based On Our Relationship With Christ (Rev. 21:6-8)


The Book of Revelation details the consummation of world history, in which God judges all those who reject His offer of salvation in Jesus Christ and oppose Him. Chapter 21 describes the time immediately after the Great White Throne Judgment, after Satan and all of God’s enemies have been condemned to the lake of fire (20:7-15). It details the coming of the new heaven and new earth, the time of the fullness of God’s rule and reign.

SOURCE: The Herschel Hobbs Commentary; Family Bible Study; by Robert J. Dean; LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention; Nashville, TN.


  None of us has an idyllic life.  We’re pulled down by health issues, disappointing relationships, and problems in a world full of sin and insecurity. Thankfully, this world is not all there is. The closing chapters of the Book of Revelation show us God provides a permanent home where He will dwell with those in His family. It is a home with no health issues, insecurities, or sin. In Christ, we are promised the perfect home with Him.

SOURCE: The Herschel Hobbs Commentary; Family Bible Study; by Robert J. Dean; LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention; 1 LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN.


Our New Home Will Be In God’s Presence (Rev. 21:1-3)

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. 2 I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. 3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: “Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.








1.   What’s the most homesick you’ve ever been?

2.   What is the significance of the creation of a new heaven and a new earth and that the first earth was passed away (v. 1)?

3.   What was the thing John said would not be part of the new order (v. 1)?

4.   According to verse 1, why do you think a re-creation is necessary (v. 1)?

5.   What did John see coming down from God out of heaven (v. 2)?

6.   Why a new Jerusalem? 

7.   Who will occupy the new Jerusalem?

8.   What do you think John was telling us by referring to the holy city as new Jerusalem (v. 2)?

9.   What does Isaiah 65:17-24 tell us about the this new Jerusalem?

10.   According to verse 3, what did the voice have to say? 

11.   What does the voice saying that “God’s dwelling is with humanity” mean to you? 

12.   What does it say about God that He wants to live with humanity?

13.   What do you think it will mean for believer’s relationship with God?

14.   What’s your response to the promise of this earth passing away?

15.   What truths in these verses strengthen you today?

16.   Of all we can understand or speculate about heaven, what is the most significant aspect of it for you?


Lasting Lessons in Rev. 21:1-3:

1.  The blemishes, corruptions, and shortcomings of this earth with vanish when God causes it to pass away and replaces it with a new heaven and a new earth.

2.  Of all we can understand or speculate about heaven, the most significant truth is this—God Himself will be with His people and be their God.



Our New Home Will Be Perfect (Rev. 21:4-5)

4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away.” 5 Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.”

1.   What does the word “perfect” mean to you?  (See Perfect/Perfection in Digging Deeper.)

2.   What other things did John identify that would not plague the inhabitants of the heavenly city (v. 4)?

3.   Why will those things not be there?

4.   What does verse 4 mean to you, personally?

5.   What does it mean that the Lord was seated on the throne (v. 5)?

6.   What declaration did the One seated on the throne make (v. 5)?

7.   Do you think this declaration of everything new can help us cope with the realities of aging?  If so, how?

8.   According to verse 5b, what mandate was given to John? 

9.   Why did the Lord give John the mandate to write these words (v. 5b)?

10.   What does the last part of verse 5 mean to you?

11.   How can you encourage someone who finds these promises “too good to be true?

12.   What might make this passage something beyond belief?

13.   Do you think this knowledge of heaven should have a major impact on a believer’s daily life?  Why, or why not?

14.   Do you think the biblical concept of perfection is hard for the average believer to grasp?  Why, or why not?


Lasting Lessons in Rev. 21:4-5:

1.  God will dry up the tears of His children in their new home.

2.  Such tears will not return because God will also do away with the sources of anguish that result in tears.

3.  God wants us to know what we can expect in our new home—so He has told us already.



It Is Based On Our Relationship With Christ (Rev. 21:6-8)

6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give water as a gift to the thirsty from the spring of life. 7 The victor will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son. 8 But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

1.     Who said “It is done!” and what was meant by it (v. 6)?

2.     How does the Lord identify Himself in verse 6?

3.     What is the significance of God’s being the Alpha and the Omega (v. 6)?

4.     What does this phrase say about Him?

5.     What do you think this phrase should mean to us believers?

6.     What does the Lord promise as the blessing of the redeemed in verse 6?

7.     As a believer, what does this promised gift mean to you (v. 6)?

8.     How would you explain the significance of this “gift” to a non-believer (v. 6)?

9.     Who is the “victor” mentioned in verse 7?

10.  What “things” are in store for this “victor” as his/her inheritance (v. 7)?

11.  What will be the relationship between the “victor” and God (v. 7)?

12.  Based on verse 8, who will not receive the same inheritance as the “victor”?

13.  What will be the inheritance of those mentioned in verse 8?

14.  Do you think it is important for us to believe & share both verse 7 and verse 8 in our witness?  Why, or why not?

15.  If the lake that burns with fire and sulfur is the second death, what does the second death mean? (See Digging Deeper.)


Lasting Lessons in Rev. 21:4-5:

1.  Though we do not yet see our final destination or state, we can know that “It is done!”

2.  Those who choose against God face a real and unenviable second death.




  John sought to describe the indescribable, using the limitations of human language.  We do well to remember that the reality of heaven will be far greater than what is described.  For example, we may be fascinated at the prospects of a heavenly city with streets paved with gold and gates made of pearl.  Even so, the reality will be superior.  What will make heaven—well, “heavenly”—will be to dwell in the presence of the Lord for all eternity, free from all those things that threatened us in this life.  We will live eternally in the victory of faith in the Christ who Himself was the Victor over sin, Satan, death, and the grave.

So, where do you stand when it comes to the “New heaven and the New Earth”?  Will you be spending your future with the Lord, Jesus Christ in this new home?  Or will you be spending your future with Satan in Hell?  What are the implications of this truth for your life?  THE CHOICE IS YOURS, ISN’T IT!  You better choose wisely!  Your future depends on it!!!

REMEMBER, the safest place for a believer is in the center of God’s will.


Lesson Outline, Introduction, Discussion Questions, and Conclusion adapted from the following sources:

SOURCE: Life Ventures-Bible Studies for Life; Leader Guide; LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention; Nashville, TN.

SOURCE: The Herschel Hobbs Commentary; Family Bible Study; by Robert J. Dean; LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention; 1 LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN.

SOURCE: Advanced Bible Study; LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention; One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN.



Focal Passage from three different translations of God’s Word:

King James Version: 

1And 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. 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And 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. 4And 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. 5And 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. 6And 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. 7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, 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.   (KJV)

New International Version: 

1Then 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. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”  (NIV)

New Living Translation: 

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband. 3I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, the home of God is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever.” 5And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making all things new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give the springs of the water of life without charge! 7All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. 8But cowards who turn away from me, and unbelievers, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those who practice witchcraft, and idol worshipers, and all liars—their doom is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.”  (NLT)



Lesson Outline — “God’s Promise of a New Home” — Revelation 21:1-8




Our New Home Will Be In God’s Presence (Rev. 21:1-3)

Our New Home Will Be Perfect (Rev. 21:4-5)

It Is Based On Our Relationship With Christ (Rev. 21:6-8)


(NOTE:  Commentary for the focal passage comes from three sources: The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Old Testament,Believer's Bible Commentary,” andThe Complete Biblical Library Commentary,” and is provided for your study.)

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary New Testament: Revelation 21:1-8

Vision of the New Heaven and the New Earth and the New Jerusalem (21:1-22:5)

The New Jerusalem (21:1-27)

The seventh last thing is the vision of the new heavens, the new earth, and the New Jerusalem. Moffatt’s striking remark, which captures something of the freshness of this moment in the book, is worth remembering at the outset of the exposition of this incredibly beautiful finale:

From the smoke and pain and heat [of the preceding scenes] it is a relief to pass into the clear, clean atmosphere of the eternal morning where the breath of heaven is sweet and the vast city of God sparkles like a diamond in the radiance of his presence” (J.B. Moffatt, EGT, 5:477).

In NT passages, the vision of the heavenly city is described as having the character of eschatological promise. The kingdom reality of the age to come has already appeared in history in the life of Jesus and also in the presence of the Holy Spirit in the church. But the reality is now present only in a promissory way, not in actual fulfillment. Therefore, while the Jerusalem that is from above has present implications for believers (Gal 4:25-31), they are nevertheless, like Abraham, “looking forward to the city with foundations” (Heb 11:1013:14). In this sense, the medieval synthesis that made the church on earth and the kingdom synonymous and built its cathedrals to depict that notion was misdirected. John’s vision in chapters 21-22 is one of eschatological promise, future in its realization, totally dependent on God’s power to create it, yet having present implications for the life of the church in this age.

Outlines of the chapters are necessarily arbitrary because of the familiar Semitic style of doubling back and elaborating on previous subjects. Perhaps 21:1-8 may be seen as a preface or introduction to the vision of the New Jerusalem (21:9-22:6), and this in turn may be seen as followed by the conclusion in 22:7-21.

21:1.  The new heavens and earth were foreseen by Isaiah (65:17) as a part of his vision of the renewed Jerusalem. It is remarkable that John’s picture of the final age to come focuses not on a platonic ideal heaven or distant paradise but on the reality of a new earth and heaven. God originally created the earth and heaven to be man’s permanent home. But sin and death entered the world and transformed the earth into a place of rebellion and alienation; it became enemy-occupied territory. But God has been working in salvation history to effect a total reversal of this evil consequence and to liberate earth and heaven from bondage to sin and corruption (Rom 8:21). The first heaven and earth refers to the whole order of life in the world—an order tainted by sin, death, suffering, and idolatry (cf. v. 4: “the old order of things death, mourning, crying, pain—has passed away”). John’s emphasis on heaven and earth is not primarily cosmological but moral and spiritual. So Peter also speaks of the new heaven and earth, “the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13).

The Greek word for “new” (kaine) means new in quality, fresh, rather than recent or new in time (neos) (TDNT, 3:447). That it is a kaine heaven and earth and not a second heaven and earth suggests something of an endless succession of new heavens and earth. It is the newness of the endless eschatological ages (2:173:125:9; cf. Eph 2:7). What makes the new heaven and earth “new” is above all else the reality that now “the dwelling of God is with men, ... They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (v. 3). The heaven and earth are new because of the presence of a new community of people who are loyal to God and the Lamb in contrast to the former earth in which a community of idolaters lived.

The sea—the source of the satanic beast (13:1) and the place of the dead (20:13) will be gone. Again, the emphasis is not geographic but moral and spiritual. The sea serves as an archetype with connotations of evil (cf. comments at 13:1). Therefore, no trace of evil in any form will be present in the new creation.

21:2-4.  The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, occupies John’s vision for the remainder of the book. How different is this concept of heaven from that of Hinduism, for example? Here heaven is depicted as a city, with life, activity, interest, and people, as opposed to the Hindu ideal of heaven as a sea into which human life returns like a raindrop to the ocean. First, John sees the city “coming down out of heaven from God”-a phrase he uses three times (3:1221:210) in an apparent spatial reference. But the city never seems to come down; it is always seen as a “descending—from-heaven kind of city.” Therefore, the expression stresses the idea that the city is a gift of God, forever bearing the marks of his creation.

Second, John calls the city a “bride” (nymphe) (cf. 21:922:17). Earlier he referred to the bride of the Lamb (19:7-8) by a different word (gyne), though the reality is the same. The multiple imagery is needed to portray the tremendous reality of the city. A bride-city captures something of God’s personal relationship to his people (the bride) as well as something of their life in communion with him and one another (a city, with its social connotations). The purity and devotedness of the bride are reflected in her attire.

The subtitle of the Holy City, “the new Jerusalem,” raises a question. The “old” Jerusalem was also called the “holy city” and a “bride” (Isa 52:161:10). Since the Jerusalem from above is the “new” (kaine) Jerusalem, we may suppose that it is connected in some manner with the old one so that the new is the old one renewed. The old Jerusalem was marred by sin and disobedience. In it was the blood of prophets and apostles. Still worse, it became a manifestation of Babylon the Great when it crucified the Lord of glory (11:8). The old city always involved more than the mere inhabitants and their daily lives. Jerusalem represented the covenant community of God’s people, the hope for the kingdom of God on earth. Thus the OT looked forward to a renewed Jerusalem, rebuilt and transformed into a glorious habitation of God and his people. But the prophets also saw something else. They saw a new heaven and new earth and a Jerusalem connected with this reality. Thus it is not altogether clear precisely what the relationship is between the old and the new, the earthly, restored Jerusalem of the prophets and the Jerusalem associated with the new heaven and earth, the Jerusalem called a heavenly Jerusalem in later Jewish thought (cf. Gal 4:25-31Heb 11:1012:2213:14).

The key to the puzzle must be understood with due respect for the old city. Any exegesis, therefore, that completely rejects any connection with the old city cannot take seriously the name “new” (kaine) Jerusalem, which presupposes the old. To speak of the heavenly Jerusalem does not deny an earthly city, as some suggest, but stresses its superiority to the older Jewish hope and affirms the eschatological nature of that hope (TDNT, 5:540-41)—a hope that could not be fulfilled by the earthly Jerusalem, a hope John now sees realized in the Holy City of the future. This city is the church in its future glorified existence. It is the final realization of the kingdom of God.

God’s dwelling (skene) among his people (v. 3) is a fulfillment of Leviticus 26:11-13, a promise given to the old Jerusalem but forfeited because of apostasy. As a backdrop for the scene, consider Genesis 3, when man lost his fellowship with God (cf. Exod 25:8Ezek 37:26-27). Thus the Holy Jerusalem is not only mankind’s eternal home but the city where God will place his own name forever. God’s presence will blot out the things of the former creation. In a touching metaphor of motherly love, John says that God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (cf. 7:17; cf. Isa 25:8). These tears have come from sin’s distortion of God’s purposes for man. They are produced by death or mourning for the dead, by crying or pain. An enemy has done this to the old order. Now God has defeated the enemy and liberated his people and his creation.

21:5.  Now, for the second time in the book, God himself is the speaker (cf. 1:8). From his throne comes the assurance that the one who created the first heaven and earth will indeed make all things new (panta kaina). This is a strong confirmation that God’s power will be revealed and his redemptive purposes fulfilled. Since these words are in truth God’s words (cf. 19:922:6), it is of utmost importance that this vision of the new heaven and the New Jerusalem be proclaimed to the churches.

21:6-8.  With the same word that declared the judgment of the world finished, God proclaims that he has completed his new creation: “It is done” (gegonan; cf. 16:17). The names of God, “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” emphasize his absolute control over the world as well as his creatorship of everything.

To those who thirst for him, God offers the water of life without cost (cf. 7:1722:117John 7:37-39Rom 3:24). Here salvation is beautifully depicted by the image of drinking at the spring of life. Twice in these last two chapters of Revelation, God offers an invitation to those who sense their need and are drawn toward him. John knows that the visions of God’s glory among his people, which he is proclaiming as the Word of God, will create a thirst to participate in the reality of this glory. Nothing is required except to come and drink.

Those who come and drink and remain loyal to Christ as overcomers  will inherit all the new things of the city of God. They will be God’s children, and he will be their Father. This is the essence of salvation—intimate, personal relationship with God himself, age upon age unending (cf. John 17:3). For John this is really what the heavenly city is all about.

Before John shows us the city, however, he must first confront us with a choice. This choice must be made because there are two cities: the city of God and the city of Babylon. Each has its inhabitants and its destiny. Those who drink from salvation’s springs supplied by God himself are true followers of Christ. The “cowardly” (deilos, “fearful”) are those who fear persecution arising from faith in Christ. Not having steadfast endurance, they are devoid of faith (Matt 8:26Mark 4:40; cf. Matt 13:20-21). Thus they are linked by John to the “unbelieving” and “vile” (a participial form of the verb bdelyssomai, “detest,” “abhor,” which is used of idolatry [Rom 2:22]). They are called “murderers” because they are guilty of the death of the saints (17:618:24). The “sexually immoral” (fornicators), practitioners of “magic arts, the idolaters and all liars” are those associated with idolatrous practices (cf. 9:2118:2321:2722:15; contrast 14:5). By their own choice, Babylon, not the New Jerusalem, is their eternal home (Caird). Thus this passage is not a picture of universal salvation in spite of man’s recalcitrance, though it contains a universal invitation for all who thirst to drink the water of life.

In this section (21:9-22:5), the vision of the New Jerusalem introduced in vv. 1-8 is fully described. (For reasons why this section does not describe the millennial kingdom of ch. 20, see comments at introduction to ch. 20.) Verses 9-14 focus on the description of the gates and the walls of the city. This is followed by the action of the angel who measures the city and John’s precise mention of the precious stones in the twelve foundations (vv. 15-21). Finally, he describes various aspects of the life of the city (21:22-22:5).

SOURCE: The Expositor’s Bible Commentary New Testament; Frank E. Gaebelein; General Editor; Zondervan Publishing House; A Division of Harper Collins Publishers


Believer's Bible Commentary: Revelation 21:1-8

The New Heaven and the New Earth (21:1-22:5)

21:1.  There is a question whether chapters 21 and 22 deal with the Eternal State alone or whether they alternate between the Millennium and the Eternal State. Since the Millennium and eternity are similar in many ways, it is not surprising if they seem to merge at times in the writings of the Apostle John.

Here the Eternal State is called a new heaven and a new earth. These are not to be confused with the new heaven and earth described in Isaiah 65:17-25. There the Millennium is in view, because sin and death are still present. These will be completely excluded from the Eternal State.

21:2 . John sees the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. The fact that it is never said to land on the earth leads some to see it as hovering over the new earth. The fact that the names of the tribes of Israel are on the gates indicates that redeemed Israel will have access to the city, even if they are not part of the church itself. The distinction between the church (the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, v. 9), Israel (v. 12), and the Gentile nations (v. 24) is maintained throughout.

21:3.  John hears an announcement from heaven that the tabernacle of God is with men and that He will dwell with them. As His people they will enjoy communion with Him closer than ever dreamed of. God Himself will be with them and be their God in a nearer and dearer relationship.

21:4, 5.  The expression "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes" does not mean that there will be tears in heaven. It is a poetic way of saying that there will not be! Neither will there be death, nor sorrow, nor crying. For God's people, these will be forever ended.

The One who sits on the throne will make all things new. His words are true and faithful, and will surely come to pass.

21:6.  The ushering in of the Eternal State marks the conclusion of God's purposes for the earth on which we live. As Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, so He is the Beginning and the End, the Creator and the Object of creation, the One who began and the One who finishes, the Eternal One. It is He who gives the water of life (salvation) freely to whoever thirsts for it.

21:7.  It is He who blesses the over comer with total inheritance and a new intimacy as between Father and son. As mentioned previously, an overcomer is one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1 Jn. 5:5). By faith he overcomes the world (1 Jn. 5:4).

21:8.  But not all are overcomers. Some are cowardly, afraid to confess Christ; unbelieving, unwilling to trust the sinner's Savior; sinners (NKJV marginal reading found in most mss.), all those who remain in their sins, whether guilty of the gross iniquities listed here or not; abominable, given over to disgusting immorality; murderers, malicious and savage killers; sexually immoral, practicing fornication and other forms of sexual sins; sorcerers, those who traffic with evil spirits; idolaters, insulting God by worshiping images; and all liars, compulsive deceivers. These will be assigned to the lake of fire as their final destiny.

SOURCE: Believer's Bible Commentary; by William MacDonald; Copyright © 1995, 1992, 1990, 1989 by William McDonald. Database © 2014 WORDsearch.


The Complete Biblical Library Commentary: Revelation 21:1-8

21:1.  In this vision John saw both a new heaven and a new earth, the first heaven and the first earth having passed away (come to an end, disappeared). The word "new" usually means brand-new, meaning marvelous and unheard of. However, many take this as a mere renovation of the surface of the present earth. Some even place it at the beginning of the Millennium as a regeneration (referring to Matthew 19:28). The word "regeneration" is indeed used both of spiritual rebirth (Titus 3:5) and also of the restitution or restoration (Acts 3:21) which brings in the millennial kingdom. But what is described here is clearly after the Millennium and after the Great White Throne Judgment.

Some point to passages such as Ecclesiastes 1:4 which speak of the earth abiding forever. But this probably means there will always be an earth even though the present earth may be replaced by a new one. The Psalmist declared that the present creation will perish (be destroyed, vanish). It will grow old like a garment, and God will change it the way we change clothes, that is, by putting on a new, different set of clothes (Psalm 102:25, 26). God also explained the same to Isaiah. God will make a new heaven and a new earth, and it is this new heaven and earth that will remain (Isaiah 51:6; 66:22). Jesus also said the present heaven and earth will pass away (Mark 13:31). So did Peter (2 Peter 3:10-12). Some believe the word "melt" (2 Peter 3:10) means "be untied, loosed, broken up" and say this is merely a renovation of the surface of the present earth. But 2 Peter 3:12 uses a different word for "melt" which in this context must mean to be melted away. The implication is that the total matter in the universe might be transformed into heat energy—something science shows to be perfectly possible.

The new earth will be completely different. That is seen by the fact that there will be no more sea. The ancients looked on the sea as being restless, unstable, full of danger (Isaiah 57:20; James 1:6). But the Bible does not always look on the sea as bad (Isaiah 11:9; 48:18; Habakkuk 2:14). Actually, the oceans are necessary for the replacing of oxygen in the atmosphere of the present earth (through multitudes of microscopic plant forms in the seas). The lack of the seas thus suggests that the whole economy of the new earth will be different.

21:2.  The New Jerusalem is truly holy, set apart for God in a special sense. It already exists in heaven (Galatians 4:26). It is the city that Abraham and all God's people look for, and God himself is its architect and builder (Galatians 4:26; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 11:10, 13, 16). It is a prepared place for a prepared people.

21:3.  The tabernacle, the dwelling, of God from this point forward will be with men. In a sense, heaven and earth will merge. That is, the New Jerusalem at the new earth will become God's headquarters. No longer will believers be on earth with God's throne and special manifestation of His presence in heaven. He will be with His people forever (compare Leviticus 26:11, 12; Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 37:27; Zechariah 14:9; Hebrews 8:2; 9:11).

21:4.  John heard the great voice from heaven continue with wonderful comfort and assurance. God will wipe away all tears, every single tear from the believers' eyes. These include the tears shed on earth while they were enduring suffering for the sake of Christ and the gospel. The effects of sin will be forever removed. It will be the final and ultimate consummation of all that was purchased by Christ's death on the cross and guaranteed by His resurrection.

This means there will be no more death, for death is the wages of sin (Romans 6:23). This victory is a great triumph, for the last enemy to be destroyed is death (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:54). Since death involves separation, there will be no more separation from God or from the other members of the body of Christ. There will be no more sorrow (mourning) or crying, nor any pain (distress, affliction, hardship, fruitless toil, suffering), for never again will there be anything to cause sorrow, pain, grief, or guilt. In the New Jerusalem there will be no sin, and nothing will ever again mar the joy and fellowship believers will share with the Lord, for God will not allow it. (Compare Isaiah 35:10 which seems to show a partial fulfillment of this in the Millennium where "the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away"; also 65:19.) Possibly even the memory of those things will be gone, though undoubtedly the good things God has done will be remembered (Isaiah 65:17).

The fact that the "former things are passed away" means that all the evils which have beset mankind that have caused pain, heartache, sorrow, and death will have been eliminated. No wonder heaven will be a place of supreme joy.

21:5.  Some believe the One sitting on the throne is the Lamb who is said to be in the midst of the throne (5:6). Others believe it is the Father, who is described as sitting on the throne in 4:2, 5:1, and quite clearly in 5:7. Both work together in perfect harmony, of course. The Father is the Creator, but in the former creation He made all things through Christ as the Living Word (John 1:3). Both will work together in this new creation.

The speaker emphasizes how new the new heavens and the new earth are. He makes all things new. The word "make" is a word used often of God's creative acts (cf. Matthew 19:4). It speaks here of a new, recent creation. This, of course, does not include the outer darkness of the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels. That will continue on forever outside the whole new creation. But within the new creation all things will undoubtedly continue to be "new," for there will be no more death or decay (compare Romans 8:21, 22; Isaiah 25:8; see also 1 Corinthians 15:54 which states that death is swallowed up in victory).

The One on the throne commanded John again to write. These things are not the product of human reason or human imagination. They are divine revelation. God himself bears witness that they are "true and faithful," and therefore all He says will be brought to pass. The promises of the new creation are not to be spiritualized away. The new heavens and the new earth as well as the New Jerusalem will be real.

21:6.  Jesus said on the cross, "It is finished." Now God says, "It is done." All that was revealed to John is as good as done because God has said it. God will be present to accomplish all these things because He is eternal. He declares himself to be the Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. They are combined here to indicate completeness.

The phrase "Alpha and Omega" also indicates that God (the entire Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is without beginning and without end. Christ was before all things, and by Him all things consist or hold together (Colossians 1:17).

Yet He is the beginning and the end. He was before all things and is the One who began all things. He is the source of all that is good. He is also the end in the sense of the goal and as the One who brings about the consummation of all things prophesied.

21:7.  Those who overcome will inherit everything. In the letters to the seven churches Jesus promised the overcomers' inheritance will include eating of the tree of life in the paradise of God; not being hurt by the second death; eating of hidden manna; a white stone with a new name written on it; power over the nations; white raiment; one's name confessed before God the Father and His angels; being made a pillar in the temple of God with the name of God and the city and Christ's new name written on him; and the privilege of sitting with Jesus on His throne.

This is assured to believers because they are children of God, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16, 17). Since Christ is the heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2; Psalm 2:8), believers as joint-heirs will also inherit all things. (See also 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10.)

The promise "I will be his God, and he shall be my son" will be the final climax and fulfillment of the promise that was first given to Israel, to the line of David, and then to the Church. (See Genesis 17:7; Exodus 19:5, 6; 2 Samuel 7:14; 2 Corinthians 6:16, 18; Galatians 3:29; 1 Peter 2:9, 10.)

21:8.  In contrast to the overcomers who will share the blessings of life in the eternal state, a list is given of those who will have their part in the lake of fire, that is, the second death. First on the list is the "fearful," the cowardly, those who are timid because of lack of faith. This will include those who have let the disapproval or threats of any person or of society cause them to turn away from Christ and the hope of glory. They have been more concerned about personal safety than loyalty to Christ. They have been quick to compromise with the truth. They are not overcomers. They are losers, not winners. (See Mark 8:35; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; 2 Timothy 2:12, 13.)

Second are the "unbelieving" who treat the gospel and the promises as something incredible. These will include the ones who have never believed, those who have rejected the truth of the gospel, and former believers who have fallen back into the practice of the lusts of the flesh, for those who make such things part of their lifestyle cannot inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).

Third are the "abominable," those who are detestable to God and arouse His wrath. Both the Old and New Testaments show that to profess a faith in God and continue to practice evil or anything idolatrous is an abomination in the sight of the Lord. (In the Old Testament this word is often used of idolatry, but here it is more general.)

Fourth are "murderers" who have deliberately, willfully taken human life. Fifth are "whoremongers," including those who practice any kind of sexual impurity or sexual immorality. Sixth are "sorcerers" who use poisons, drugs, and magic potions. Seventh are "idolaters" who put something else in the place of God. Eighth are "all liars," especially including all false persons, such as false prophets, false apostles, and false teachers (2 Peter 2:1).

All of these eight classes of people will have their part outside the eternal kingdom of God. Some religions, cults, churches, or denominations say a person can be immoral, adulterous, homosexual, or practice any of the lusts of the flesh and still be a true child of God. They suppose a loving God would not send anyone to hell. They are going against the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:5-7).

SOURCE: The Complete Biblical Library Commentary – Revelation. Database © 2009 WORDsearch Corp.; World Library Press, Inc.



The Alpha and the Omega (v. 6)—The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Symbolically they refer to God (and Jesus) being the beginning and the end, a description of His eternal nature and sovereignty, as well as His total and complete preeminence.

The lake that burns with fire and sulfur (v. 8)—This phrase refers to hell, God’s final place of punishment for the unsaved and the fallen angels.

The second death (v. 8)—This term is synonymous with an eternity in hell after judgment. It is a “death” in that it is a separation from God, and is called the “second” death because it follows physical death.

SOURCE: The Herschel Hobbs Commentary; Family Bible Study; by Robert J. Dean; LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention; 1 LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN.

DEATH, SECOND:  Final separation from God; spiritual death following physical death. Revelation describes the second death with the images of the lake of fire (20:14) and a lake burning with fire and sulphur (21:8). The second death has no power over those who remain faithful in persecution (2:11), who are martyred (20:6), or for those whose names are written in the book of life (20:15). Some stress everlasting punishment in literal fire. Others stress the spiritual state of separation from God. Still others interpret the second death in terms of anihilation on the basis of comparison with Matthew 10:28. The alternative is eternal life with God.

SOURCE: Holman Bible Dictionary; General Editor, David S. Dockery; Holman Bible Publishers; Nashville, Tennessee.

Alpha and Omega:  Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet and are used in Revelation to describe God or Christ (Rev. 1:8,17; 21:6; 22:13.) “Alpha and omega” refers to God’s sovereignty and eternal nature. God and Christ are “the beginning and the end, the first and last.” (Rev. 22:13). Thus they control all history and all humans of all generations.

SOURCE: Holman Bible Dictionary; General Editor, David S. Dockery; Holman Bible Publishers; Nashville, Tennessee.

LAKE OF FIRE (λίμνη τοῦ πυρός, límnē toú purós): Found in Rev. 19:20; Rev. 20:10, 14(bis); Rev. 20:15. Rev. 21:8 has "the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone." The brimstone in connection with "the lake of fire" occurs also in Rev. 19:20 and 10, the latter being a backward reference to the former passage. In Rev. 20:14 the words, "This is the second death, even the lake of fire" are either a gloss originally intended to elucidate Rev. 20:15 through a reference to Rev. 20:6, or, if part of the text, formed originally the close of Rev. 20:15, whence they became displaced on account of the identity of the words once immediately preceding them in Rev. 20:15 with the words now preceding them in Rev. 20:14. The "lake of fire" can be called "the second death" only with reference to the lost among men (Rev. 20:15), not with reference to death and Hades (Rev. 20:14). In all the above references "the lake of fire" appears as a place of punishment, of perpetual torment, not of annihilation (Rev. 20:10). The beast (Rev. 19:20); the pseudo-prophet (Rev. 19:20; Rev. 20:10); the devil (Rev. 20:10); the wicked of varying description (Rev. 20:15; Rev. 21:8), are cast into it. When the same is affirmed of death and Hades (Rev. 20:14), it is doubtful whether this is meant as a mere figure for the cessation of these two evils personified, or has a more realistic background in the existence of two demon-powers so named (compare Isaiah 25:8; 1 Cor. 15:26, 54ff; 2 Esdras 7:31). The Scriptural source for the conception of "the lake of fire" lies in Genesis 19:24, where already the fire and the brimstone occur together, while the locality of the catastrophe described is the neighborhood of the Dead Sea. The association of the Dead Sea with this fearful judgment of God, together with the desolate appearance of the place, rendered it a striking figure for the scene of eschatological retribution. The two other Old Testament passages which have "fire and brimstone" (Psalm 11:6; Ezekiel 38:22) are dependent on the Genesis passage, with which they have the figure of "raining" in common. In Rev. 21:8, "their part" seems to allude to Psalm 11:6, "the portion of their cup." In Enoch 67:4ff the Dead Sea appears as the place of punishment for evil spirits. Of late it has been proposed to derive "the lake of fire" from "the stream of fire" which destroys the enemies of Ahura in the Zoroastrian eschatology; so Bousset, Die Offenbarung Johannis, 1906, 433, 434. But the figures of a stream and a lake are different; compare 2 Esdras 13:9-11, where a stream of fire proceeds from the mouth of the Messiah for the destruction of His enemies. Besides, the Persian fire is, in part, a fire of purification, and not of destruction only (Bousset, 442), and even in the apocalyptic Book of Enoch, the fires of purification and of punishment are not confounded (compare Enoch 67:4 with 90:20). The Old Testament fully explains the entire conception.

SOURCE: International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; James Orr, M.A., D. D., General Editor; Parsons Technology, Inc.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

PERFECT/PERFECTION:  Reaching an ideal state of spiritual wholeness or completeness. It is not a quality which is achieved by human effort alone, nor is it an end in itself. Christian perfection consists essentially in exercising the divine gift of love (Col. 3:14 NIV), for God, and for other people (Matt. 22:37-39). The basis of perfection lies in God Himself, whose law (Jas. 1:25), works (Deut. 32:4), and way (Ps. 18:30) are perfect. God is free from incompleteness; He can, therefore, demand from believers, and enable them to receive, completeness (Matt. 5:48).

Through a covenant relationship with His people, and by grace, God thus offers to His people the possibility of perfection. In the Old Testament being “perfect” is ascribed to individuals, such as Noah (Gen. 6:9) and Job (1:1), in response to their wholehearted obedience. In other contexts, corporate perfection and being “upright” belong together (Ps. 37:37; Prov. 2:21). In the New Testament, God’s relationship with His people is itself fulfilled, as the old covenant is replaced, and through Christ believers can be perfected for ever (Heb. 10:14). Christians are, however, to grow from spiritual infancy to maturity so as to share the full stature of Christ, in whose image they may become renewed and perfected (Col. 3:10).

A tension exists here. Because on earth sin remains a possibility for all, believers (1 John 1:8), need to become perfect even while attaining a relative perfection (Mic. 6:6-8; Phil. 3:16,12-14). For that reason, perfection is not equated in the Bible with sinlessness (but see 1 John 3:6,9 NIV). The New Testament also stops short of deification (becoming God) as an option for believers, even if it allows for their perfect relationship with God (2 Pet. 1:4). The divine gift of perfection will be fully realized only in eternity (Phil. 3:10-14; 1 John 3:2). It is a goal to be sought (2 Cor. 7:1; Heb. 6:1) which, like the complete vision of God, cannot be found this side of heaven (Eph. 4:13; Jas. 3:2).

How, then, may even this limited perfection be achieved? The New Testament locates the means of perfection in Christ. Through His suffering and exaltation, God made Jesus perfect (Heb. 2:10) and fitted Him to win for the church and the individual believer a completeness which echoes His own (Col. 1:28; Heb. 5:9). So we and all the saints of God can be saved, and through the Spirit be given access to God and the daily help we need (Heb. 7:25; 4:14-16).

SOURCE: Holman Bible Dictionary; General Editor, David S. Dockery; Holman Bible Publishers; Nashville, Tennessee.

HEAVEN:  The part of God’s creation above the earth and the waters including “air” and “space” and serving as home for God and His heavenly creatures. The Hebrew word shamayim is plural in form and was easily related by the common people to the word mayim, “waters.” Biblical writers joined their contemporaries in describing the universe as it appeared to the human eye: heavens above, earth beneath, and waters around and beneath the earth. Heaven could be described as a partition God made to separate the rain-producing heavenly waters from the rivers, seas, and oceans below (Gen. 1:6-8). The heavenly lights—sun, moon, and stars—were installed into this partition (Gen. 1:14-18). This partition has windows or sluice gates with which God sends rain to irrigate or water the earth (Gen. 7:11). This heavenly partition God “stretched out” (Isa. 42:5; 44:24; Ps. 136:6; compare Ezek. 1:22-26; 10:1). The clouds serve a similar rain-producing function, so that KJV often translates the Hebrew word for “clouds” as “sky” (Deut. 33:26; Ps. 57:10; Isa. 45:8; Jer. 51:9; compare Ps. 36:6; 108:4).

Only God has the wisdom to “stretch out” the heaven” (Jer. 51:15). “Heaven” thus becomes the curtain of God’s tent, separating His dwelling place from that of humanity on earth (Ps. 104:2; Isa. 40:22). Like a human dwelling, heaven can be described as resting on supporting pillars (Job 26:11) or on building foundations (2 Sam. 22:8; though the parallel in Ps. 18:7 applies the foundations to mountains). Just as He built the partition, so God can “rend” it or tear it apart (Isa. 64:1). Thus it does not seal God off from His creation and His people. English translations use “firmament” (KJV), “expanse” (NAS, NIV), “dome” (TEV, NRSV), or “vault” (REB) to translate the special Hebrew word describing what God created and named “Heaven” (Gen. 1:8).

Hebrew does not employ a term for “air” or “space” between heaven and earth. This is all part of heaven. Thus the Bible speaks of “birds of the heavens,” though English translations often use “air” or “sky” (Deut. 4:17; Jer. 8:7; Lam. 4:19). Even Absalom hanging by his hair from a tree limb was “between heaven and earth” (2 Sam. 18:9; compare 1 Chron. 21:16; Ezek. 8:3). The heaven is the source for rain (Deut. 11:11; Ps. 148:4), dew (Gen. 27:28), frost (Job 38:29), snow (Isa. 55:10), fiery lightning (Gen. 19:24), dust (Deut. 28:24), and hail (Josh. 10:11). This is the language of human observation and description, but it is more. It is the language of faith describing God in action in and for His world (Jer. 14:22). Heaven is God’s treasure chest, storing treasures such as the rain (Deut. 28:12), wind and lightning (Jer. 10:13), and snow and hail (Job 38:22). The miraculous manna came from God’s heavenly storehouses for Israel in the wilderness (Ex. 16:11-15).

Heaven and earth thus comprehend the entire universe and all its constituents (Jer. 23:24), but God fills all these and more so that no one can hide from Him (compare 1 Kings 8:27-30; Isa. 66:1). Yet this One also lives in the humble, contrite heart (Isa. 57:15).

As God’s dwelling place, heaven is not a divine haven where God can isolate Himself from earth. It is the divine workplace, where He sends blessings to His people (Deut. 26:15; Isa. 63:15) and punishment on His enemies (Ps. 2:4; 11:4-7). Heaven is a channel of communication between God and humans (Gen. 28:12; 2 Sam. 22:10; Neh. 9:13; Ps. 144:5).

As God’s creation, the heavens praise Him and display His glory and His creativity (Ps. 19:1; 69:34) and righteousness (Ps. 50:6). Still, heaven remains a part of the created order. Unlike neighboring nations, Israel knew that heaven and the heavenly bodies were not gods and did not deserve worship (Ex. 20:4). It belonged to God (Deut. 10:14). Heaven stands as a symbol of power and unchanging, enduring existence (Ps. 89:29), but heaven is not eternal. The days come when heaven is no more (Job 14:12; Isa. 51:6). As God once spread out the heavenly tent, so He will wrap up the heavens like a scroll (Isa. 34:4). A new heaven and new earth will appear (Isa. 65:17; 66:22).

The Old Testament speaks of heaven to show the sovereignty of the Creator God and yet of the divine desire to communicate with and provide for the human creature. It holds out the tantalizing examples of men who left earth and were taken up to heaven (Gen. 5:24; 2 Kings 2:11).

New Testament:  In the New Testament, the primary Greek word translated “heaven” describes heaven as being above the earth, although no New Testament passage gives complete instructions regarding the location or geography of heaven. Other than Paul’s reference to the three heavens (2 Cor. 12:2-4), the New Testament writers spoke of only one heaven.

The New Testament affirms that God created heaven (Acts 4:24), that heaven and earth stand under God’s lordship (Matt. 11:25), and that heaven is the dwelling place of God (Matt. 6:9).

Jesus preached that the kingdom of heaven/God had dawned through His presence and ministry (Mark 1:15). By using the image of a messianic banquet, Jesus spoke of heavenly life as a time of joy, celebration, and fellowship with God (Matt. 26:29). Jesus taught that there would be no marrying or giving in marriage in heaven (Luke 20:34-36).

Christians should rejoice because their names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). Jesus promised a heavenly home for His followers (John 14:2-3).

According to Paul, Christ is seated in heaven at the right hand of God (Eph. 1:20). Paul believed heaven is the future home of believers (2 Cor. 5:1-2). Paul referred to the hope of heaven as the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). The Holy Spirit is the pledge of the believer’s participation in heaven (2 Cor. 5:5). Peter affirmed that heaven is the place where the believer’s inheritance is kept with care until the revelation of the Messiah (1 Pet. 1:4).

The word “heaven” occurs more frequently in Revelation than in any other New Testament book. The Revelation addresses heaven from the standpoints of the struggle between good and evil and of God’s rule from heaven. The most popular passage dealing with heaven is Revelation 21:1 to 22:5. In this passage, heaven is portrayed in three different images: (1) the tabernacle (21:1-8), (2) the city (21:9-27), and (3) the garden (22:1-5). The image of the tabernacle portrays heavenly life as perfect fellowship with God. The symbolism of the city portrays heavenly life as perfect protection. The image of the garden shows heavenly life as perfect provision.

SOURCE: Holman Bible Dictionary; General Editor, David S. Dockery; Holman Bible Publishers; Nashville, Tennessee.

HEAVEN OF HEAVENS:  KJV designation rendered “highest heaven” by most modern translations (1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chron. 2:6; 6:18). According to an ancient understanding of the universe, above the canopy of the sky was a further canopy above which God dwelt. TEV understands “heavens of heavens” as “all (the vastness) of heaven”.

SOURCE: Holman Bible Dictionary; General Editor, David S. Dockery; Holman Bible Publishers; Nashville, Tennessee.

HEAVENLY CITY, THE:  The fulfillment of the hopes of God’s people for final salvation. To the ancient world cities represented ordered life, security from enemies, and material prosperity.  Hebrews says the city “has foundations;” its “architect and builder is God” (11:10 NAS); God has prepared it (11:16); and it is “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (12:22). This city is the home to “an innumerable company of angels” (12:22), to the assembly of the firstborn (12:23; an image of believers redeemed by the death of Christ; compare Ex. 13:13-15), and to the righteous made perfect by God (12:23; perhaps the Old Testament saints). Some interpreters take these descriptions literally. The Christian goal is, however, not something that can be touched and sensed like Israel’s Sinai experience (12:18). Indeed, believers have already come (12:22) to the heavenly Jerusalem, at least in part. Some interpreters thus take the Heavenly City as an image of the redeemed people of God whose “foundation” is the apostles and prophets (Eph. 2:20). The experience of the patriarchs whose hope lay beyond their earthly lives (Heb 11:13-16) points to a final fulfillment of salvation in heaven.

The Heavenly City of Revelation 21:9-22:7 has also been interpreted both literally and figuratively. One interpretation sees the Heavenly City suspended above the earth like a space platform. Others see an earthly city. Still others a city suspended in the air that later descends to earth. Others, pointing to the equation of the city as the bride of Christ (21:2,9), take the city as a symbol of the church. Whether understood as a literal city or as representing God’s redeemed people experiencing their final salvation, the city is a place of fellowship with God (21:3,22), of God-ensured safety (21:4,25), and of God-given provision (22:1-2,5).

SOURCE: Holman Bible Dictionary; General Editor, David S. Dockery; Holman Bible Publishers; Nashville, Tennessee.

HEAVENS, NEW:  A technical, eschatological term referring to the final perfected state of the created universe. It often is connected with the concept of a new earth.

The promise of a re-creation of the heavens and earth arose because of human sin and God’s subsequent curse (Gen. 3:17). The biblical hope for mankind is tied to the conviction that persons cannot be completely set free from the power of sin apart from the redemption of the created order—earth as well as the heavens. The idea of a renewed universe is found in many passages of the Bible (Isa. 51:16; Matt. 19:28; 24:29-31; 26:29; Mark 13:24-27,31; Acts 3:20-21; Rom. 8:19-23; 2 Cor. 5:17; Heb. 12:26-28; 2 Pet. 3:10-13). However, the phrase “new heavens” is found in only four passages (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1).

The nature of the “new heavens and earth” is variously described in the Bible. First, God is the cause of this new creation (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; Rev. 21:22). In Hebrews 12:28 the new heaven and earth are described as a “kingdom which cannot be moved.” This new heaven and earth will last forever (Isa. 66:22). In 2 Peter 3:13 the new world is described as one “in which righteousness dwells” (NAS).

In Revelation, the nature of the new heaven and earth stands in marked contrast to the old heaven and earth. The Greek word translated “new” designates something which already exists, but now appears in a new way. The new world is the old world gloriously transformed. Purity (Rev. 21:27) and freedom from the wrath of God (Rev. 22:3) are marks of the new heaven and earth. Further, the new world is marked by perfect fellowship of the saints with one another and with God. God and His people dwell together in the new age (21:1,3).

Clearly, God will bring the new order into existence at the end of history. But, scholars disagree as to when this will occur within the events associated with the end times. Two main views are held. First, the new heavens and earth are created immediately after the second coming of Christ. Even among those within this camp there is disagreement. Some believe that the creation of the new heavens and earth will occur immediately after the “great white throne” judgment. Amillennialists generally hold to this theory. Some premillennialists associate the creation of the new heavens and earth with the beginning of the thousand year millennial reign of Christ. A second viewpoint commonly held by many premillennialists is that the new heaven and new earth are created at the end of the millennial reign of Christ.

SOURCE: Holman Bible Dictionary; General Editor, David S. Dockery; Holman Bible Publishers; Nashville, Tennessee.

JERUSALEM, NEW: (Ἱερουσαλὴμ καινή, Hierousalém kainé): This name occurs in Rev. 21:2 (Rev. 21:10, "holy city"). The conception is based on prophecies which predict a glorious future to Jerusalem after the judgment (Isaiah 52:1). In Revelation, however, it is not descriptive of any actual locality on earth, but allegorically depicts the final state of the church ("the bride," "the wife of the Lamb," Rev. 21:2, 9), when the new heaven and the new earth shall have come into being. The picture is drawn from a twofold point of view: the new Jerusalem is a restoration of Paradise (Rev. 21:6; Rev. 22:1-2, 14); it is also the ideal of theocracy realized (Rev. 21:3, 12, 14, 22). The latter viewpoint explains the peculiar representation that the city descends "out of heaven from God" (Rev. 21:2, 10), which characterizes it as, on the one hand, a product of God's supernatural workmanship, and as, on the other hand, the culmination of the historic process of redemption. In other New Testament passages, where theocratic point of view is less prominent, the antitypical Jerusalem appears as having its seat in heaven instead of, as here, coming down from heaven to earth (compare Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 11:10; Hebrews 12:22).

SOURCE: International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; James Orr, M.A., D. D., General Editor; Parsons Technology, Inc.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa.




A New Heaven And A New Earth

By Lynn O. Traylor

Lynn O. Traylor is pastor, Buckner Baptist Church, LaGrange, Kentucky.

THROUGHOUT THE SCRIPTURES, God is proclaimed as praised as the One who creates (Gen. 1:1) and gives purpose to all creation (Rev. 4:11). The creative character and purposes of God find ultimate biblical expression in John’s vision recorded in Revelation 21, where he sees “a new heaven and a new earth: (v. 1).1 How would John’s readers have understood his words?  What would they have thought about a new heaven and a new earth?  What significance does John’s vision of a new heaven and a new earth have for us today?

Obviously, the meaning of John’s vision has been and continues to be intensely debated and discussed among believers, giving rise to various approaches to reading and interpreting John’s final book.  Named “Revelation” because the book presents an “unveiling” (Greek, apokalupsis, from which the word “apocalyptic” is derived) “of Jesus Christ” (1:1), Revelation is among other apocalyptic writings in Scripture (such as Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Daniel), characterized by a cryptic writing style and prophetic tone.2 Ironically, often forgotten in the debate over how to read Revelation is the fact that John wrote “to show the servants of Christ things which must soon come to pass” (Rev. 1:1, writer’s translation).  Clearly, John believed his readers would understand the images in his vision.3 This makes sense only if John and his readers shared a common understanding of those images.  Thus a key question is what connections did John make with his readers when speaking of a new heaven and a new earth.

The new heaven and new earth phrase was not original with John.  The phrase first appears in Isaiah 65:17, as the prophet received a divine word of encouragement to share with Israel following their release from Babylonian captivity.  Whatever struggles they faced, either in captivity or in their return to Judah, Isaiah proclaimed a future hope rooted in what God was doing: “For the former troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my sight.  For I will create a new heaven and a new earth; the past events will not be remembered or come to mind.  Then be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I will create Jerusalem to be a joy, and its people to be a delight” (Isa. 65:16b-18).  A similar note is in Isaiah 66 where, following God’s judgment on His “enemies” (v. 14), those who worship the Lord will gather from “all nations and languages” (v. 18) at the “holy mountain Jerusalem” as “a gift to the Lord” (v. 20).  God then promised: “’For just as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, will endure before Me’—the Lord’s declaration—‘so will your offspring and your name endure’” (66:22).  The people of God, gathered from all nations, are themselves a “gift” presented to God at Jerusalem.  Both passages link a proclamation of God’s glory and majesty to a creative work of God (“new earth”), with Jerusalem serving as the centerpiece of a restored relationship between God and humanity.  The wording of Isaiah 65:17-18 supports this link as God’s creative work (a new heaven and a new earth) and finds tangible expression in God’s intention to “create Jerusalem to be a joy, and its people to be a delight” (v.18b).4 In short, the phrase new heaven(s) and a new earth portrays a time when God’s people, delivered from bondage, enjoy a renewed, intimate relationship with God as was intended in the exodus from Egypt.5 For John’s readers, no doubt familiar with the exodus and Isaiah’s writings, references to the new heaven(s) and new earth would bring to mind a redemption scene rich in fulfillment of such themes as the covenant and the return from exile.6

The only other time the new heaven(s) and new earth phrase occurs in Scripture is in 2 Peter, where the apostle encouraged continued faithfulness to Christ: “But based on His promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth” (2 Pet. 3:13).  Like the passage in Isaiah, Peter anticipated a time when “righteousness will dwell” (v. 13) following God’s judgment of the “immoral” (v. 17).  Although Peter did not claim to “see” the new heaven(s) and new earth as did John, he was familiar enough with the idea to claim the promise as motivation for his readers to continue living “in holy conduct and godliness” (v. 11).  This emphasis on righteousness and judgment is very much in line with Isaiah’s prophetic character as God “show(s) His wrath against His enemies” (Isa. 66:14) and reflects an emphasis shared by Jewish and Christian apocalyptic writings on a final judgment.7

What might it be like to experience the new heaven and new earth?  John told his readers that when he saw a new heaven and earth, “the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea existed no longer” (Rev. 21:1).  Does this mean God is removing or destroying the earth and making a totally new creation, including heaven?  A literal reading of this verse, along with the words of 2 Peter 3:10, seems to support this view.  However, in keeping with the context of Isaiah 65:17, the emphasis is not on God creating again, but the restoration of God’s righteousness and glory throughout creation, with all that opposes God having been defeated.8 Rather than making “all new things” and announcing a “second heaven and earth,” God declared: “Look! I am making everything new” (Rev. 21:5).9 Instead of a destruction of the earth, a divine “renewal” of creation calls for God’s people to exercise more than just a consumer mentality when using the earth’s resources, since we are stewards of a world that joins us as believers in an eagerly anticipated deliverance.10 As Paul wrote: “For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it—in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children” (Rom. 8:19-21).  In reminding believers of God’s ultimate triumph over sin, John’s vision continues to encourage believers, while challenging the people of God to exercise faithful stewardship as we await His redemption.

1.   Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations in this article are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

2.   A. T. Robertson, The General Epistles and the Revelation of John, vol. 6 in Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1933), 270.

3.   Bruce J. Malina, The New Jerusalem in the Revelation of John: The City as Symbol of Life with God (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2000), 23.

4.   Pilchan Lee, The New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation: A Study of Revelation 21-22 in the Light of its Background in Jewish Tradition (Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001), 19.

5.   David Mathewson, A New Heaven and a New Earth: The Meaning and Function of the Old Testament in Revelation 21.1-22.5 (London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2003), 63.

6.   Ibid., 69.

7.   Gale Z. Heide, “What Is New About the New Heaven and the New Earth? A Theology of Creation from Revelation 21 and 2 Peter 3,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 40.1 (March, 1997): 49 (fn. 35).

8.   Ibid., 42-44.

9.   M. Eugene Boring, “Revelation 19-21: End Without Closure,” The Princeton Seminary Bulletin, Supplementary Issue 3 (1994): 74-75.

10. Heide, 40-41.

SOURCE: Biblical Illustrator; LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention; Nashville, TN 37234; Vol. 34, No. 4; Summer 2008.


Alpha and Omega

By Bobby Kelly

Bobby Kelly is the Ruth Dickinson professor of Bible at Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma. 


ARLY IN REVELATION, John reported God’s self-declaration: “I am the Alpha and the Omega” (Rev. 1:8),1  This assertion appears again in Revelation 21:6 and 22:13.  The declaration’s strategic placement at the beginning and end of Revelation reflects the majesty of the God who is the beginning, end, and everything in between.

background and meaning

Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.  God, speaking in the first person, helped define what He meant by adding “the Beginning and the End” (21:6).  In the final use of the phrase, Jesus added of Himself: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (22:13).

The Old Testament provides critical insight for understanding what the Lord meant with the self-identification “the Alpha and the Omega.”  All three instances in Revelation begin with the Lord’s words of self-identification from Exodus 3:14:  “I AM.”  This is the language God used to identify Himself to Moses: “I AM WHO I AM.  This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.”2  At the burning bush, God instructed Moses to declare to the Israelites that He would bring them out of Egyptian bondage.  Moses, anticipating the people would inquire about the name of the name of the God who sent him, asked how he should respond.  The response “I AM” indicated something of God’s absolute existence.  This emphasized both that God exists and that He is the liberator God who is present with His people.  For the apostle John, the connection was clear; this God who brought Pharaoh to his knees and set His people free in the days of Moses was the same God who would not fail His people in their oppression under the Roman Empire.

Additionally, the prophet Isaiah reported the words of Yahweh: “Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning?  I, Yahweh, am the first, and with the last—I am He” (Isa. 41:4).  In Isaiah 43:10, the Lord declared: “No god was formed before Me, and there will be none after Me.”  And again in Isaiah 44:6: “This is what the Lord, the King of Israel and its Redeemer, the Lord of Hosts, says: ‘I am the first and I am the last.  There is on God but Me.’”3  Isaiah’s words provide an intertextual link that gives further insight into the phrase’s meaning in Revelation.  The Isaiah passages declare that God alone created all that exists and He alone stands as the sovereign Lord of time and history.  Babylon had its gods fashioned by human hands—but Yahweh alone is the absolute, incomparable God over all the nations.

In Revelation

The declaration that the Lord is Alpha and Omega appears three times in Revelation.  The first is in part of the book’s introduction that identifies the God who was giving the revelation: “’I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘the One who is, who was, and who is coming, the Almighty’” (1:8).  Here the phrase occurs as the Father’s self-declaration that He is the absolute ground of being, the first cause and initiator of all creation (“the One who was”), the sustainer of the universe (“the One who is”), and the goal toward which all creation is moving (“the One who is coming”).  God also designated Himself “the Almighty,” or in Greek, pantokrator.  Occurring nine times in Revelation (see also 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7,14; 19:6,15; 21:22), pantokrator indicates that God is ruler of all.  This was in stark contrast to the Roman emperor who was autokrator (from which comes the English term autocrat), that is, absolute ruler of the Empire.4  While Caesar (autokrator) might claim power and sovereignty over the Empire, including the right to persecute believers, Jesus (pantokrator), has eternal power and abiding sovereignty over all creation.  Thus, Caesar’s power is limited and temporary.  This comparison would have comforted John’s readers.

The second usage of “Alpha and Omega” occurs in Revelation 21:6 at the beginning of the book’s last major section, which focuses on the new creation: “And He said to me, . . . ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega” title confirmed that God has the power to make all things new, including heaven and earth—where crying, pain, and death will be no more.  Only the One who existed before time and will exist after creation to its appointed goal.

The final “Alpha and Omega” saying is in the book’s epilogue.  Unlike the first two instances in which the Father made the pronouncement, here the risen Christ declared: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (22:13).  Thus, fittingly, the “Alpha and Omega” sayings appear at the beginning (alpha) and the end (omega) of Revelation.  The fact that Jesus is the one making the third self-declaration reveals the book’s high Christology.  John’s using the term “Alpha and Omega” of both God and Christ reveals the same divine majesty and power for both.  The saying identified Christ with the creation of all things as well as the completion of God’s purposes for the creation.  Christ shared the eternal life of God before creation, and the fullness of deity belongs to Him forever.  What is true of the First Person of the Trinity is true of the Second as well.  John’s readers could have confidence that this One would keep His promise to come again and that He would repay all people according to their deeds (v. 12).  Caesar might claim lordship over his empire, but he pales in comparison to Christ, who is sovereign over the beginning, the end, and everything in between.


The use of “I AM” in Exodus 3:14 and the Isaiah 40—44 assertions of God as first and last provide the proper context for understanding the meaning of God as the Alpha and Omega in Revelation.  He is the incomparable, eternal God, first and last, who is, who was, and who is to come.  The God who was present at the beginning as Creator will likewise be present at the conclusion as creation’s Redeemer.

Further, the God who is “Alpha and Omega” exercises sovereign control over all time and history.  Consequently, people cannot view history as a meaningless cycle of events going nowhere.  Instead, events are part of God’s plan for guiding history to its proper conclusion.  Confidence in God’s sovereign rule of history past and present would offer hope for Jews suffering during the Babylonian exile, Christians suffering under Roman oppression, or twenty-first century Christians suffering trials and even persecution.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Bi

1.  All Bible quotations are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB).

2.  Some scholars make the connection between the “I AM” of the three Alpha and Omega declarations and the divine self-identification “I AM” to Moses.  See Beale, The Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 188; Bauckham, The Theology of the Book of Revelation (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1993), 28.

3.  For the connection between the Alpha and Omega sayings in Revelation and Isaiah 40—45, see Lincicum, “The Origin of ‘Alpha and Omega’ (Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13): A Suggestion” in Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism 6 (2009): 128; and Keener, Revelation, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000), 73.

4.  Keener, Revelation, 73-74.

SOURCE: Biblical Illustrator; LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention; Nashville, TN 37234; Summer 2015.


THRONES as Symbols of Authority

Rodney Reeves

Rodney Reeves is professor of biblical studies and dean of Redford School of Theology, Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, Missouri.

WORSHIP IS AN ACT OF WAR in the Book of Revelation.  Every vision of the end of the world begins with a heavenly scene.  Sometimes John saw the heavenly temple of God (Rev. 8:3-5; 11:19; 15:5-8).  Other times John saw the throne of God and His heavenly council (4:1—5:17; 14:1-5; 15:1-4; 19:1-10).  Whether what John experienced was in the temple or around the throne, each of his visions begins with a festal gathering of worshipers.  Then God executes judgment on the earth, launching His invasion with armies of heavenly beings—from horsemen to angels—so that “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah” (11:15, HCSB).  The message is plain.  The saints declare war on the world every time they gather to worship the One who sits on the throne.  The kingdom comes when the God of Israel is praised.

The Cultural Distinctions

The earlier Romans would have scoffed at such a preposterous idea.  They saw the antiquated notions of kingdoms and kings in the East, along with all the trappings of royal pageantry, as irrelevant to the designs of the ever-expanding Roman Republic: a rule of law for all people.1 The glory of Roman rule was to be preserved by the Senate, not by a succession of kings of royal pedigree.2 Power should be claimed, not inherited.  When the republic evolved into an empire and senators accused the emperor of trying to establish a “monarchy,” Caesar refused the title “king.”  Even though complaint eastern kings ruled as clients of the empire and imperial provinces welcomed Caesar as their king, the emperor avoided the vestiges of a monarchy.  Imperial rulers never wore jeweled crowns.  Roman governors sat on backless chairs, not thrones (chairs with curved backs were for women).3 Indeed, by the first century the glamour of eastern kings in many provinces was replaced by the drab businesslike duties of Roman procurators.4 These Roman officials reminded imperial subjects of the undeniable power of Roman justice every time they rendered a verdict based on Roman law.  John had firsthand knowledge of the power of Roman law, for he was serving his sentence as an exiled criminal of Rome when he saw God and His Lamb enthroned on the day of Christian worship (1:9-10).

Thrones were once the quintessential symbol of power in the Mediterranean world.  A king’s throne was his earthly claim to a heavenly power.  The earliest statues and stelae (upright inscribed stone slabs) of the Egyptians, Assyrians, and Mesopotamians picture both gods and kings seated on thrones very similar in style and construction.5 Throne rooms were often located adjacent to temples.  Indeed, in the ancient Near East, different cultures seen to make a direct correlation between kingdom and cult, monarchy and deity.  Rulers were deified.  Gods were enthroned as kings.  Therefore, when a subject came to pay homage to his king, he traveled to the temple of his god.  Upon entering the throne room, the visitor would see the king’s throne situated on a platform of several steps. 

The Thrones’ Appearance

The description of Solomon’s throne is somewhat typical of the time and region, with six steps leading to the throne and statues of animals—in this case, lions—guarding the end of each step (1 Kings 10:18-20).  Thrones were lavishly decorated versions of the chairs found in the homes of the wealthy.

Nearly all chairs, whether regal or residential, were made of local or imported wood: boxwood, juniper, walnut, maple, poplar, oak, cedar, ash, cypress, elm, fir, and ebony.  The seat, back and armrests of chairs crafted for the wealthy would be decorated with ivory, gold, silver, copper, or bronze inlay.  The ends of the armrests were often shaped like heads of lions and bulls.  Carved into the backs of the chairs would be depictions of the royal family, their gods, or favorite object and designs decorated with gems, semiprecious stones, colored glass, and a type of glazed ceramic pieces called “faience.”  Throughout the ancient Near East, chair legs were carved to look like animal legs (bulls, lions, gazelles) and sometimes were made of hippopotamus ivory, accented with gold and silver leaf.6 Bronze legs cast in cylindrical shapes resting on lion’s paws were common among the thrones of Persian rulers during the Roman period.7 The Romans, however, tended to favor a less ostentatious look.  They preferred simpler chair legs that were either turned on a lathe or were rectangular in shape.

Archaeologists have recovered only a few actual thrones of the ancient Near East (one being King Tutankhamen’s).   Most of what we know about the design and construction of the thrones of eastern kings comes from relief pictures found in tombs, from statues and stelae, or from literary descriptions.  Of course, kings’ thrones were much larger versions of the chairs owned by the wealthy.  Thrones were decorated with more detailed goal and ivory inlays, elaborate carvings, painted scenes, and were often draped or upholstered with rich tapestries (silk, cushions, fine linens—especially in Persia).  For example, King Tutankhamen’s throne was covered with gold foil, inlaid with over a thousand square pieces of gold, calcite, and faience, carefully cut and polished blue-glass claws to accent the paws of the lion-legged chair.8 Bronze, silver, gold, and carved decorations—often in the shapes of national symbols (winged griffins, lions, sphinxes, flowers, rosettes)—covered the king’s throne.  Sometimes human figurines (royal attendants and subjected peoples) carved out of wood and ivory supported the armrests or legs of the throne.  Many kings also used footstools, designed and decorated in styles similar to the thrones, with miniature human figures carved into the sides.  The symbolism was obvious: here is a sovereign who rules over all the creatures, subjects, and lands of his kingdom, where his enemies are his footstool.9 Many kings traveled with portable thrones, extending the image of their divine rule.10 

The View from Patmos

Even though John never gave a description of God’s throne, what he was surrounding the throne matches the features of the thrones we have just described: jewels, precious stones, and colored glass, likenesses of bulls, lions, winged creatures, and royal attendants (4:1—5:14).  To a Roman prisoner exiled on Patmos, seeing God seated on a throne like one of the great kings of old must have appeared to John as contrary to all that was Roman.

Rome may have claimed sovereign control over the world at that time, but John’s vision reassured those who worshiped the King of kings and the Emperor of emperors that the will of God would be effected on earth as it is in heaven.  The Lamb opens the scroll and judgment follows (6:1—8:1).  The books are opened before the great white throne of God and judgment follows (20:11-15).  Bowing in humble adoration on the Lord’s Day, John worshiped his King, hearing the royal attendants and the heavenly chorus chanting: “Our Lord and God, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created” (4:11, HCSB).  Recalling the imagery of Genesis 1 where God is like a king on his throne issuing royal decrees—“Let there be . . . And it was so”—these worshipers testify God is worthy of praise because He is the beginning and end of all things.  For the faithful know that, despite what Rome may claim, one day the heavenly throne of God and His Lamb will come to earth, and from that throne will flow a river of living water that brings eternal life (Rev. 22:1; John 4:13-14). 

1.   Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution  (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1952), 449, 473-74.

2.   Ibid., 506-07.

3.   Ann Killebrew, “Furniture and Furnishings: Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Periods” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East (OEANE), ed. in chief Eric M. Meyers (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 2:358-59.

4.   Chester G. Starr, Civilization and the Caesars: The Intellectual Revolution in the Roman Empire (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1965), 58-61.  Roman emperors preferred monuments, statues, and arches as symbols of authority.

5.   A relief from the reign of Tiglath-pileser III (744-427 BC) pictures deities sitting on straight-backed chairs with carved legs that resemble the throne of Sennacherib; see Elizabeth Simpson, “Furniture in Ancient Western Asia,” in Civilizations of the Ancient Near East (CANE), ed. in chief Jack M. Sasson (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2000), 1657-58.

6.   Simpson, 1655, 1666; Harold A Liebowitz, “Furniture and Furnishings” in OEANE, 2:353.

7.   Killebrew. OEANE, 2:257-58.  “Only a few pieces of furniture survive in Egypt from the Greco-Roman period, and their quality suggests that much of the furniture manufactured then was poorly executed and roughly decorated.”  Geoffrey Killen, “Furniture,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, ed. in chief Donald B. Redford (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 1:586.

8.   Killen, 1:584.

9.   Simpson, 1666-68.

10. John Baines, “Palaces and Temples of Ancient Egypt,” CANE, 305.

SOURCE: Biblical Illustrator; LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention; Nashville, TN 37234; Vol. 34, No. 4; Summer 2008.




(644)  What Is The Answer To & Where In The Bible Is This Week’s Trivia Question Found? (10/11/15) When Moses blesses the tribes before his death, to what animal did he compare God?    Answer Next Week.

The answer to last week’s question:  (10/04/15)  “Hope deferred” makes what sick?   Answer. The heart; Prov. 13:12.