“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer there” (Revelation 21:1).
This chapter begins with the revealing of a ‘new heaven and a new earth.’ This is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “For, look! I create new heavens and a new earth; past things will not be remembered, they will no more come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17).
The Hebrew word for ‘new’ is chadash and means ‘to renew.’ The Greek word is kainos and means ‘fresh’ like in a ‘fresh start.’ The old heaven and earth will pass away and receive a renewed, fresh start.
Yeshua says that nothing from the Torah will pass away until there is a ‘new heaven and new earth’ (Matthew 5:17-18). This is when Torah will no longer be needed as ‘teachings and instructions’ for life. The least and greatest in the Kingdom will have already been determined by who taught the least of the commandments and who taught the greatest. Those who taught the removal of commandments will suffer great loss. King Messiah will have had his reign from the ‘old’ Jerusalem for one-thousand years with his royal priesthood serving alongside of the Levites. It was not at the cross when the Torah and became obsolete, but at the renewal of the heavens and the earth (Hebrews 8:13).
Nowhere does the writer of Hebrews suggest that the ‘old’ was ‘abolished,’ but says ‘what is old is in the process of aging until it vanishes altogether.’ Hebrews was written after Yeshua’s resurrection so it could not be referring to the removal of Torah or any of the ‘eternal’ covenants. In the ‘new heaven and earth,’ the sacrifices and the Temple ordinances are no longer necessary because there will no longer be a Temple.
According to the prophet Isaiah, several ‘old’ orders will remain into the ‘new heavens and new earth.’ The descendants of Isra’el will continue along with their Tribal names. The names of the disciples will be memorialized. The ‘appointed times’ of Rosh Chodesh and the Shabbat will also continue (Isaiah 66:22-23).
Hebrews 4 says the Sabbath day still remains. ‘Remains’ holds the prophetic vision of the eternal Shabbat being restored while still being a reminder that Sabbath remains from the beginning as a weekly ‘taste’ of Eternity. With church councils changing the Shabbat to Sunday, the only way anyone enters Adonai’s holy day is to embrace His eternal promise by faith (Hebrews 4:1-3).
“Also I saw the holy city, New Yerushalayim, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).
The present-day Jerusalem will pass away along with its Biblical history from the days of Melekzedek, the King of Salem, to King David who bought the threshing floor from the Jebusites to Yeshua walking its stone streets. The New Jerusalem, the dwelling place of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh will come down out of heaven to the new earth. The idea that we ascend to heaven is the opposite of what is presented in Revelation.
Isra’el has always been the Bride of Adonai. Through Yeshua’s blood and body, Adonai renewed the marriage covenant with Isra’el. Those who desire to be the Bride of Messiah need to understand they join Isra’el in the renewed covenant; the church that keeps itself from Isra’el will not receive this promise. In the ‘new heavens and new earth,’ the New Jerusalem will be adorned like a Bride dressed for her Husband (Isaiah 54:5-6).
“I heard a loud voice from the throne say, ‘See! God’s Sh’khinah is with mankind, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and he himself, God-with-them, will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will no longer be any death; and there will no longer be any mourning, crying or pain; because the old order has passed away‘” (Revelation 21:3-4).
A loud voice from the throne says that the Divine Presence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is with mankind and He will live with them –– Immanu’el.
In Gan Eden, Elohim walked with Adam and Eve in the evening breeze. The wind of his ‘breath’ embraced them; His Light enveloped them. Had they not sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, the intimate relationship between the ‘Husband’ and ‘Bride’ would have continued as the eternal Sabbath.
When the Israelites traveled in through the wilderness, they were promised that Adonai would tabernacle with them (Leviticus 26:11-12). The Torah became the wedding vows that established a marriage covenant. Adonai’s Divine Presence lived with His Bride and appeared in a cloud of glory over the Tabernacle. Yet, even within the ‘shadow’ of this Tabernacle, there was a promise of something greater in the future –– the restoration of the original relationship between the Creator and His creation.
The prophet Ezekiel confirms the promise given to Isra’el that comes to pass in the ‘new heaven and new earth’ (Ezekiel 37:27). King Solomon also says that the hope of a world come to with a ‘new heaven and new earth’ has been planted in the hearts of mankind (Ecclesiates 3:11).
“Then the One sitting on the throne said, ‘Look! I am making everything new!'” (Revelation 21:5).
The Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh continues to remain on His throne and says that He is making everything new. Everything. The word ‘new’ is chadash and means ‘renew.’ The One who was with the Creator in the beginning, the Word that became flesh, speaks everything into newness. A ‘new heaven and new earth,’ will need ‘new’ people to inhabit the ‘new world.’
When born again into the Kingdom of God, each of us became ‘new creations’ in Messiah (2 Corinthians 5:17). We remained in a mortal state, a flesh body that had to die because of sin. At the first resurrection, everyone who put their faith in Yeshua received their promised immortal bodies. As ‘new creations,’ Jews and gentiles receive their inheritance in the ‘new heaven and new earth’ (Galatians 6:15). They become ‘one new man’ in its fullness. Just as the former heaven and earth required mortal beings; the new heavens and earth require ‘new creations’ in Messiah.
“Also he said, “Write, ‘These words are true and trustworthy!’” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’ the Beginning and the End. To anyone who is thirsty I myself will give water free of charge from the Fountain of Life. He who wins the victory will receive these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son” (Revelation 21:6-7).
The words Yeshua speaks from the throne are ‘true’ and ‘trustworthy.’ The Hebrew word for ‘true’ is emet and means ‘firm, lasting, and reliable.’ The Hebrew word for ‘trustworthy’ is batach and means ‘to have confidence and feel secure.’
Yeshua looks at Yochanan and says, “It is done!” In Hebrew the word is asah and means ‘accomplished.’ When Yeshua died on the cross, he said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). His words on the cross have been misinterpreted to mean that all former covenants ended, Sabbath ended, dietary instructions ended, and the ‘church’ replaced Isra’el because Adonai’s promises ended. His words were actually meant that he completed his ‘appointed time’ of Passover: the institution of the renewed marriage covenant with Isra’el.
It is not until Revelation chapter 21 that Yeshua says that everything has been accomplished and has come to an end. Everything prophesied about him in the ‘appointed times’ has been completed. There is a new beginning, a whole new creation living in the Eternal Sabbath.
Yeshua doesn’t call himself the ‘A and the Z,’ the first and last letters of the Latin alphabet because he didn’t speak Latin; he also didn’t call himself the ‘Alpha and Omega’ because he didn’t speak Greek. He calls himself the ‘alef and the tav‘ the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Though the idea of being the ‘first and the last’ letters of any alphabet may not seem important, but it does when put in its Hebrew context.
Found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures are the two letters alef and tav – את – without any particular meaning. Some consider it a type of modifier, but its appearance has no specific purpose. At the beginning and end of Revelation, Yeshua clarifies the meaning of those two letters ‘et’ –– He is the alef and the tav. According to the Hebrew Word Picture, Yeshua is the first strong sign of the covenant found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. He is in the beginning, the middle, and the end. To remove those Hebrew letters, to change those letters into a foreign language is to change his identity between hundreds of words in Hebrew Scriptures.
Hebrew Letter Pictures
‘et’ – alef and the tav – את
א Alef – An Ox means ‘first’ or ‘strong.’
ת Tav – Crossed Sticks means ‘sign’ or covenant.’
The Hebrew Word Picture for et: first strong sign of the covenant.
“But as for the cowardly, the untrustworthy, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those involved with the occult and with drugs, idol-worshippers, and all liars — their destiny is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
There are two deaths written about in Revelation. The first death is physical; the second death is spiritual and eternal. Though we all face a first death in this world, the second death is at the end of time. Those who do not have eternal life will be thrown into a ‘lake burning with fire and sulfur’ and experience eternal death.
“Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities [Thyatira]. He who wins the victory will not be hurt at all by the second death'” (Revelation 2:11).
Fire and sulfur were used to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah though the word theion for ‘sulfur’ was translated ‘brimstone.’ Fire is hot. Fire burns. Fire gives off light that is not the light of the Lamb. Sulfur burns blue and smells like rotten eggs. When sulfur is on fire, it is nearly impossible to extinguish. As sulfur burns it produces sulfur dioxide which becomes sulfurous acid when it comes in contact with water –– the lake.
According to the CDC website: “Breathing sulfuric acid mists can result in tooth erosion and respiratory tract irritation. Drinking concentrated sulfuric acid can burn your mouth and throat, and it can erode a hole in your stomach; it has also resulted in death. If you touch sulfuric acid, it will burn your skin.” Sulfuric acid is deadly.
Fire and sulfur had to be used to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of fallen angelic-demonic presence. The Adversary will end up in the lake of fire along with those fallen angels who served him.
The ‘lake of fire’ is the place of ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth;’ it is the place of eternal torment.’ Weeping and gnashing’ of teeth is the place of greatest regret. For people who heard the Truth, even knew the Truth, but chose to rebel will receive eternal consequences: they will be thrown out from Yeshua’s Kingdom into the ‘lake burning with fire and sulfur’ (Matthew 13:41-42, Luke 13:28).
Murderers, sexually immoral, idol worshipers, liars, sorcerers, cowards, and the vile will experience the second death in the ‘lake of fire.’ These people rebelled against Torah, lived lawless lives. Idol worshipers, murderers, adulterers, and liars rebelled against the Ten Commandments. The sexually immoral, the homosexuals and fornicators, incestuous relationships and animal sex will receive eternal death.
The Greek word for ‘sorcery’ is pharmakeia and means ‘the use of medicine, drugs or spells.’ More specifically, pharmakeia means ‘to poison’ and includes having hallucinations from drugs. The noun pharmakeus is translated as pharmacist and means ‘poisoner.’ Pharmaceuticals are ‘drugs’ given by pharmacists to ‘poison’ the human body. ‘Sorcery’ is always used with ‘idolatry’ and placing someone or something higher than Adonai. Those who practice ‘sorcery’ are involved in the occult practice of drugs and will die a second death.
‘Vile’ means unpleasant, immoral, and unacceptable. ‘Vile’ includes actions that are morally wrong, offensive, thoroughly disgusting or obscene. One definition of ‘vile’ included ‘vile humor’ –– something I detest from pastors who think their vile jokes are funny. Movies have gone from teaching strong moral lessons to showing vile, disgusting, and obscene behaviors. Activities that were meant for the privacy of one’s home have become public entertainment.
According to dictionary.com, a coward is a ‘person who lacks courage in facing danger, difficulty, opposition, pain; a timid or easily intimidated person.’ A coward does not take a stand for or against anything. Recently I was in a discussion about bowing before another man or even a king. This woman said she would bow to anyone in order to save her children. I wouldn’t bow before anyone because I would want my children to see me stand for what I believe –– whether I die or not.
A liar twists the truth. The liar follows the ‘father of lies’ who is subtle in his deceptions (John 8:44). The Greek word for ‘lie’ is pseudes and means ‘to be intentionally deceptive.’ A derivative of pseudes is pseudo which means ‘false, pretend or unreal.’ It is not those of the world who will be deceived; they are deceived already. It is those who know the Truth, but twist it to proclaim the ‘Lie.’
The ‘Lie’ began in Gan Eden with the serpent telling Eve ‘she could be like God.’ ‘The Lie’ included a great deception –– a fruit pleasing to the eye that would bring wisdom. ‘The Lie’ is faithlessness to God’s Word. ‘The Lie’ justifies disobedience to Adonai’s commands. ‘The Lie’ twists the Truth into something that appears to have wisdom, but actually ends in the second death in the ‘lake burning with fire and sulfur’ (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
Yeshua wants disciples who do not cower in the midst of persecution. Yeshua wants followers who will stand for Truth when ‘The Lie’ is disseminated worldwide. Yeshua wants brothers and sisters who love his land of Isra’el, his people the Jews, and the Hebrew Scriptures. He desires a Bride who has a spotless gown, keeps oil in her lamp, and is holy as he is holy (Matthew 10:33).
“One of the seven angels having the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues approached me and said, “Come! I will show you the Bride, the Wife of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:9).
One of the messengers described as one who held one of the seven bowls of the seven last plagues, approached Yochanan and told him to ‘come’ and he would show him the Bride, the Wife of the Lamb. The marriage of the Lamb has already taken place (Revelation 19:7-10). Those wearing white robes were invited to the wedding feast and received great blessing. Those who had oil in their lamps became the Bride of Yeshua. These faithful were given another garment of ‘fine linen bright and clean’ to show that the Bride prepared for her marriage with righteous deeds. In her glory, the Wife of the Lamb who married to the King of Kings is revealed.
“He carried me off in the Spirit to the top of a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city, Yerushalayim, coming down out of heaven from God. It had the Sh’khinah of God, so that its brilliance was like that of a priceless jewel, like a crystal-clear diamond [jasper]. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates; at the gates were twelve angels; and inscribed on the gates were the names of the twelve tribes of Isra’el” (Revelation 21:10-12).
The messenger carried Yochanan in the Ruach to the top of a great, high mountain. The holy city of Jerusalem comes down out of heaven with the brilliance of a priceless jewel –– a crystal-clear jasper. The city reflected the Divine Presence of yod-hey-vav-hey.
Some translations use diamond for the brilliance of the New Jerusalem; others use jasper. Diamonds, which are extremely hard, are formed from intense heat and pressure that cause carbon atoms to crystalize. Jasper comes from the Hebrew word yashpheh and means ‘polish.’ Jasper is an opaque quartz-like stone that can be red, green, brown, yellow or striped. The jasper in the High Priest’s breastplate was emerald-green, is a foundation stone in the New Jerusalem, and encircled the throne of Adonai.
The New Jerusalem has a wall with 12 gates with 12 k’ruvim guarding each gate. Over each gate is inscribed one of the names of the 12 Tribes of Isra’el: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Gad, Asher, Dan, Naftali, Zebulun, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin –– evidence that the names of the Tribes of Isra’el would be eternal. In order to enter the New Jerusalem, the redeemed must pass through a gate with the name of a Tribe of Isra’el.
“There were three gates to the east, three gates to the north, three gates to the south and three gates to the west. The wall of the city was built on twelve foundation-stones, and on these were the twelve names of the twelve emissaries of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:13-14).
Each side of the wall has three gates. This is how the Tribes of Isra’el camped in the wilderness; three on each side of the Tabernacle. The prophet Ezekiel gives a few more specifics about the gates, though the Millennial Temple will be much smaller in size. “These are the city exits; they are to be named after the tribes of Isra’el, three gates on each of the four sides; the four sides each measure just under one-and-a-half [miles]: on the north, gates named after Re’uven, Y’hudah and Levi; on the east, gates named after Yosef, Binyamin and Dan; on the south, gates named after Shim‘on, Yissakhar and Z’vulun; and on the west, gates named after Gad, Asher and Naftali” (Ezekiel 48:30-34).
The wall of the city had 12 foundation stones with one huge stone making up one foundation. On each foundation stone is written the name of one of Yeshua’s 12 disciples. The holy temple, a spiritual dwelling for Adonai, is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:19-20). In the New Jerusalem, this foundation will be revealed with precious stones.
“The angel speaking with me had a gold measuring-rod with which to measure the city, its gates and its wall. The city is laid out in a square, its length equal to its width. With his rod he measured the city at 1,500 miles, with length, width and height the same. He measured its wall at 216 feet by human standards of measurement, which the angel was using. The wall was made of diamond and the city of pure gold resembling pure glass” (Revelation 21:15-18).
The dimensions of the eternal city, the New Jerusalem is a cube measuring 1,500 miles in width, length and depth. The distance between Phoenix, Arizona and Richmond, Virginia is 1500 miles. The width of the walls measure 216 feet –– not quite the length of a football field. The wall is made of clear diamond and pure gold that resemble glass. Both diamond and gold symbolize going through trial by pressure and heat to be completely purified.
“The process of hammering gold into an extremely thin, unbroken sheet is called ‘goldbeating.’ Egyptian craftsmen recognized the extraordinary durability and malleability of gold and became the first goldbeaters. They pounded gold using a round stone to create the thinnest gold leaf possible.
“Most goldbeaters use 23 karat gold. They put the gold in a pot and melt it in a furnace. When liquified, the gold is poured into a mold and cast into a bar. The gold bar is rolled in a mill until it is 1/1000 of an inch thick. After being rolled, the thin ribbon of gold is cut into 1-inch squares as preparation for beating.
“The first step of beating is called the Cutch which uses a fabric to interleave the gold as it was being beaten. Originally, the Cutch was made of 150 skins of ox intestine, but parchment or mylar is used today in order to handle the hours of repeated hammer blows needed to beat the gold.
“The gold is beaten on a large heavy block of marble or granite. Beating of the Cutch takes about one hour using a fifteen pound hammer. The goldbeater follows a pattern and sets up a rhythm of about seventy strokes per minute. The Cutch packet is rotated and turned to ensure the gold inside expands evenly in all directions to about 4 inches square. The gold is taken out of the Cutch and each piece is cut into four smaller pieces with a knife and put in a packet called a Shoder which has 1,500 skins. The Shoder is beaten for about three hours until the gold expands into a 5-inch square.
“The gold is taken out of the Shoder and placed on a leather-covered surface. The gold is now so thin that the cutter can simply blow on it to flatten it out. Using a wooden implement called a ‘wagon,’ the gold is quickly cut into four pieces and placed in a packet called a Mold for the final beating. The Mold, coated with gypsum powder to prevent the gold from sticking to the skins, contains 1,500 pieces of gold. The Mold is beaten with an 8-pound hammer for three to four hours until it is a circle about six inches in diameter. The finished leaf forms an unbroken sheet of gold with a thickness of 1/250,000 of an inch.” (Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah, pg. 195, 196).
“The foundations of the city wall were decorated with all kinds of precious stones — the first foundation stone was diamond [jasper], the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh turquoise [Jacinth] and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, with each gate made of a single pearl” (Revelation 21:19-21).
The foundation layers of the various colors of precious stones will appear as a rainbow of color. The foundation stones of the New Jerusalem have the names of Kefa, Andrew, Ya’akov, Yochanan, Phillip, Bartholomew, Levi, Tomas, Ya’akov, Thaddeus, Simon, Y’hudah engraved in them like the High Priest’s breastplate had the Tribal names engraved on precious stones.
Each entrance gate to the New Jerusalem is made of one large pearl. Pearls come from an ‘unclean’ mollusk –– an oyster. To enter the city, the redeemed must go through a pearl gate showing that no man is considered ‘unclean’ by Adonai.
King Solomon writes about the Eshet Chayil who is the spiritual representation of the Bride of Messiah: “Who can find a capable wife? Her value is far beyond that of pearls” (Proverbs 31:10). The Hebrew word for ‘pearls’ is peninim that means ‘coral’ or ‘pearl.’ Yeshua teaches about the ‘pearl of great price’ with reference to its value in Kingdom. The ‘pearl’ can be interpreted as Isra’el in the field of the nations (Matthew 13:45-46).
Pearls are compared to wisdom suggesting that it is the wise who enter the New Jerusalem for they reverenced yod-hey-vav-hey (Job 28:18, Proverbs 8:11, 9:10). The new creations of Jew and gentile have become ‘one new man.’ The redeemed Jew enters through an oyster’s ‘pearl’ while the redeemed gentile enters through one of the 12 Tribes of Israel.
“The city’s main street was pure gold, transparent as glass. The city has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s Sh’khinah gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Revelation 21:21-23).
The main street of the New Jerusalem is made of pure, gold that is transparent as glass. In the Aramaic, those words are translated ‘pure gold as the brightness of light.’ More than being ‘transparent,’ the street reflects the brightness of the Light in the city: the Divine Presence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh gives the city its Light and the Lamb is its lamp.
“I saw no Temple in the city, for Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, is its Temple, as is the Lamb” (Revelation 21:22).
There is no need for a Temple in the New Jerusalem because the ‘old earth’ with it’s ‘former ways’ has passed away. Without a Temple, there is no longer Temple service, sacrifices, or even a priesthood. There is no need for Torah as the ‘teachings and instructions’ have also passed away. The Temple is Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. His presence enveloping the city is the Tabernacle where the Bride of the Lamb and the Lamb reside.
“The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. Its gates will never close, they stay open all day because night will not exist there, and the honor and splendor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure may enter it, nor anyone who does shameful things or lies; the only ones who may enter are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:24-27).
Renderings of the New Jerusalem appear as a huge brilliant cube floating in space. Though that may be how exists, it doesn’t explain how kings of ‘the earth’ will bring their splendor into it. It is more reasonable to speculate that as the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven, it descends into a ‘new heaven and new earth.’ It is on this ‘new earth’ that kings will once again rule and have kingdoms. They will bring tribute to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The gates of the city of the New Jerusalem will never close because there won’t be day or night.
There will still be impure people, those who do shameful things, those who lie. They will remain outside the gates of the New Jerusalem. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter this eternal holy city where there the Rosh Chodesh and the Shabbat order divine time.
This magnificent New Jerusalem with its diamond walls, rainbow foundation of precious stones, streets of pure gold, Light from the Lamb, and yod-hey-vav-hey living among His people, is the city in which Abraham put his faith. “For he was looking forward to the city with permanent foundations, of which the architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). This begins eternal life in Eternity, in the New Jerusalem.
Chapter 22 – The Return of Messiah
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