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"Babylon The Great Has Fallen!"
God's Kingdom Rules!



Chapter 30

A New Order of a New Heaven and Earth

Revelation 21

IT WAS at the beginning of the thousand-year judgment day that "the earth and the heaven fled away" from before the face of the One whom the apostle John saw seated on the "great white throne." No place was found for such wicked heaven and earth, so that they were then permanently destroyed. (Revelation 20:11) This locates for us the time when these would be at once replaced by a new and righteous set of heaven and earth. The time would be, not at the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ and after all the wicked in heaven and in earth are destroyed in the symbolic "lake of fire," but at the beginning of Christ's millennial reign. From this time standpoint we read what John now writes:

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: 'Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more. The former things have passed away.'"  — Revelation 21:1-4.

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The "new heaven" is the heavenly kingdom of Jesus Christ and his 144,000 associate kings and priests. The "new earth" is, not a new earthly globe whirling in space, but a new society of people on our same earth, all totally subject to Christ's kingdom without divisions due to race, color, nationality or language. This "new earth" will begin with those on earth who survive the destruction of the "former heaven and the former earth." It will be a completely righteous new earthly society, because there will no more exist that symbolic "sea" of the restless, rebellious, ungodly peoples out of whom the symbolic "wild beast" ascended long ago for the Devil's use. (Revelation 13:1. 2) Our literal seas will remain.

The "great harlot," Babylon the Great, is now no longer in existence when the "holy city, New Jerusalem," comes down out of heaven from God. The city does not spring up on earth over in the Near East at the site of ancient Jewish Jerusalem. It is no literal city of buildings and streets, but is the Kingdom class of 144,000 who were spiritually engaged to marry Jesus Christ as their heavenly Bridegroom. It is now their marriage time, which explains why they, as a complete congregation of Christ's followers, are "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Together with him, the King of kings, they serve as the new capital organization for all righteous human society in the "new earth." With interest they turn their attention and efforts downward to the earth, for now they are the complete Seed of Abraham by means of whom "all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves." — Genesis 22:18; Revelation 3:12.

When the "holy city, New Jerusalem," comes down out of heaven toward men in the "new earth," what results? The answer comes from Jehovah God on his throne, but doubtless by means of his Spokesman, "The Word of God." It says: "Look! The tent of God

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is with mankind, and he will reside with them [or, tent with them]." — Revelation 21:3.

This announcement from God's throne could not mean that God is personally residing or tenting with the people on the earth and is in direct contact with them. Why not? Because till then Jesus Christ has been serving as a Mediator between God and men in behalf of his Bride class of 144,000, and now the rest of mankind needs to be reconciled to God. (1 Timothy 2:5, 6; 2 Corinthians 5:20) For the time being He could reside or tent with them only representatively, looking forward to their full reconciliation with him through the "Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world," after the thousand years of the judgment day are ended. — John 1:29, 36.

Earlier, in Revelation 15:5, the apostle John tells of seeing a tent, the "sanctuary of the tent of the witness" in heaven. We remember also that the Bride class of 144,000 members is a "spiritual house," a spiritual temple, for which Jesus Christ is the Foundation Cornerstone. It is a "place for God to inhabit by spirit." (1 Peter 2:5: Ephesians 2:19-22) Hence when the New Jerusalem, the Bride class of Christ, comes down with her Husband out of heaven toward men, God himself takes up residence with men by means of this Temple class, this spiritual, heavenly, priestly "tent of God." This is done for the purpose of making the inhabitants of the "new earth" his fully reconciled human creatures, "his peoples."

So by means of the New Jerusalem and her Husband Jesus Christ, the Lord God Jehovah gradually wipes out the tears from the eyes of all the obedient earthly subjects of the Messianic kingdom.

As mourning, outcry and pain for various causes are gradually taken away during Christ's thousand-year reign, then naturally tears will cease to flow from human eyes. And when death is no more, a

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angel showing John the city
New Jerusalem

John has vision of the descent of New Jerusalem

worldwide cause for tears will be done away with. This means that the death that spread from sinner Adam to all mankind who descended from him will be no more. When children cease to be born to the survivors of the fiery end of this world and to their descendants, all deadly effects of Adam's sin will cease to spread.  — Romans 5:12, 18, 19.

When resurrections occur instead of deaths due to Adam, then doctors, hospitals, morticians and their funeral parlors, and graveyards will disappear. Adamic death will be no more when all his offspring on earth will have been fully rescued from the effects of Adam's sin and will have gained perfect human health, with all their past sins forgiven through the ransom sacrifice of their heavenly High Priest, "the Lamb of God." For them indeed it will be true: "The former things have passed away."  — Revelation 21:4.

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Those words concerning a perfect, righteous new order of things, "a new heaven and a new earth"  — should they seem too good to be realizable? No! Not if Almighty God says so; and he is the One who says them from his heavenly throne. John writes:

"And the one seated on the throne said: 'Look! I am making all things new.' Also, he says: 'Write, because these words are faithful and true.' And he said to me: They have come to pass! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To anyone thirsting I will give from the fountain of the water of life free. Anyone conquering will inherit these things, and I shall be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowards and those without faith and those

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who are disgusting in their filth and murderers and fornicators and those practicing spiritism and idolaters and all the liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This means the second death.' " — Revelation 21:5-8.

During the past century modern science has brought about changes in many features of human society, but only God Almighty can make "all things new." To assure us that his words about the completely new heaven and new earth will prove faithful and true, God speaks to us of things not yet true as if they were already true and existing. He says: "They have come to pass."

His speaking so positively on the matter makes it dead certain that the words will come to pass right on time in his schedule of events. (Romans 4:17) He begins a thing and he brings it to a successful end, not leaving it unfinished because of any hindrance or interference. That is why he could say right afterward: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end." In the Greek language in which the apostle John wrote, the letter Alpha begins the alphabet and the letter Omega ends it. — Revelation 1:8, 11; 22:13.

At this point Jehovah God, "the Alpha and the Omega," makes an offer of everlasting life or of everlasting death. Psalm 36:9 says in address to him: "With you is the source [or, fountain] of life." (NW; AV; AS) Any human creature that thirsts for perfect, happy life throughout eternity will have to get it from the great Source or Fountain of life, Jehovah God, who is the Alpha with whom all good things start. The thirsty one cannot buy this life-imparting, life-sustaining water with gold, silver or material things. Jehovah God gives it "free," but only on his own terms. Hence the "water of life" must be accepted through his Son Jesus Christ.

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So, then, to the remnant yet on earth of the 144,000 spiritual heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, Jehovah says his eighth and last exhortation to faithfulness in the Revelation: "Anyone conquering will inherit these things, and I shall be his God and he will be my son." (Revelation 21:7; 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21) To make this heavenly inheritance sure for themselves the remnant of the 144,000 must conquer this wicked world just as Jesus Christ the chief Son of God did. (John 16:33; Revelation 3:21) They must keep conquering it till shortly its fiery end removes it from existence and they enter the new order victoriously.

Those who do not "inherit these things," those who do not thirst for the "water of life" and to whom God does not give it, are not courageous, faithful, clean, innocent, moral, godly and truthful like Jesus Christ, the perfect pattern of a son of God. They are the cowards, the faithless, those disgustingly filthy like Babylon the Great, "the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth," the murderers, the fornicators or sexually immoral, those who follow Babylon the Great in practicing spiritism, sorcery and magic, the idolaters including those who worship the symbolic "wild beast" and its modern-day "image," and the liars who imitate the Devil "the father of the lie." (John 8:44; Revelation 17:5,6; 18:23, 24) Because such persons are destroyed for the qualities they display and the practices they carry on, it makes clear to us what God requires of us in order to conquer the world.

What, then, will be the portion of those persons who do not conquer the world? Not eternal life, for, even though the privilege to do so is free, they do not drink from the "fountain of the water of life." Their portion will be eternal death, which is symbolized by the "lake that burns with fire and sulphur." Revelation 21:8 plainly says that this fiery, sulphurous

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lake "means the second death." It is no so-called "conscious living death," to be suffered by an imaginary immortal human soul that is tormented with fire and brimstone for eternity. It is a death from which there is no resurrection. There is no key for the second death, though Jesus has the key for the Adamic death. (Revelation 1:18) The second death is absolutely distinct from Adamic death, for, although the Dragon, the Original Serpent, Satan the Devil, never died in Adamic death but only induced it in Eden, yet he is hurled into the "second death," the symbolic lake of fire, and so too are the "wild beast" and the "false prophet." Even the Adamic death itself and Hades or Sheol are hurled into the "second death." So the "lake of fire" symbolizes everlasting destruction of a person or thing. It is Adamic death that will be no more, but not the "second death." Those hurled into second death will remain in it forever, unredeemed.

"THE HOLY CITY, NEW JERUSALEM"

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls that were full of the seven last plagues of God's anger showed to the apostle John the judgment of the "great harlot," Babylon the Great, the bitter enemy of the Bride of Christ. (Revelation 17:1-6) It was quite appropriate, then, that an angel of the same group should show to John who the Bride of Christ is, the Bride who remains a virgin for Christ and who escapes Babylon's plagues. John writes:

"And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls which were full of the seven last plagues, and he spoke with me and said: 'Come here, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife.' So he carried me away in the power of the spirit to a great and lofty mountain, and he showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God and having the glory of God. Its radiance was like a most precious stone, as a jasper stone shining crystal-clear.

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It had a great and lofty wall and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names were inscribed which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. On the east were three gates, and on the north three gates, and on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The wall of the city also had twelve foundation stones, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."  — Revelation 21:9-14.

As John's description of it reveals, this heavenly "holy city Jerusalem" had a glory that the ancient earthly Jerusalem never had. The fact that its twelve gates had inscribed on them the names of the "twelve tribes of the sons of Israel" indicates that this symbolic heavenly city is made up of the 144,000 spiritual Israelites, the names of whose twelve tribes are given in Revelation 7:4-8.

The fact that twelve angels were seen guarding the city gates reminds us that the heavenly angels debar from the city those who do not belong there or who have no right to carry on false religion there. The gates are kept open to permit admittance to all persons worthy. In comparison with ancient cities its wall is quite high.

The twelve foundations supporting the lofty city wall had each a name on it. The name of Judas Iscariot is not one of such names, for, as a self-idolater who loved dishonest gain, this traitor perished in the "second death," as the "son of destruction." (John 17:12; Acts 1:16-20; 1 Peter 5:2) If we understand the "twelve apostles of the Lamb" to be those whom Jesus Christ personally and directly selected to serve as apostles, this would cut out Matthias. He was selected by lot after Jesus ascended to heaven and before the holy spirit was poured out from heaven on the day of Pentecost, A.D. 33. Since Jesus afterward personally, directly chose the Benjaminite from

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Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia, the "twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb" would be:

(1) Simon Peter, (2) Andrew, (3) James, (4) John, (5) Philip, (6) Bartholomew (Nathanael), (7) Thomas, (8) Matthew, (9) James of Alphaeus, (10) Thaddaeus (Judas son of James), (11) Simon the Cananaean, and (12) Paul. (Matthew 10:1-4; Luke 6:12-16; John 1:45-49; Mark 3:16-19; Acts 1:23-26; 9:1-18; 26:12-18; Romans 1:1) So-called "apostolic successors" were never chosen or appointed by Jesus.

The Greek historian Herodotus says that ancient Babylon was built as a square on both sides of the Euphrates River; and the later Sicilian historian, Diodorus Siculus, says that the Assyrian capital Nineveh was also built foursquare. However, the "holy city, New Jerusalem," is, figuratively speaking, built as a tremendous cube, as cubical as the Most Holy of Jehovah's sacred tent (tabernacle) of worship, and also of Solomon's temple. (1 Kings 6:20) The apostle John describes the measuring of it, as follows:

"Now the one who was speaking with me was holding as a measure a golden reed, that he might measure the city and its gates and its wall. And the city lies foursquare, and its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs; its length and breadth and height are equal. Also, he measured its wall, one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to a man's measure, at the same time an angel's. Now the structure of its wall was jasper, and the city was pure gold like clear glass. The foundations of the city's wall were adorned with every sort of precious stone: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh hyacinth, the twelfth amethyst. Also, the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates

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was made of one pearl. And the broad way of the city was pure gold, as transparent glass." — Revelation 21:15-21.

The measurement of the city as being twelve thousand furlongs or 1,500 miles would seem to refer to the circumference at the base, which would mean three thousand furlongs or 375 miles to a side. Hence, if measured from the earth's surface, this cubical city would be three thousand furlongs, or 375 miles high. It would extend up into what scientists now call "outer space." In John's time only an angel could have measured the height of the New Jerusalem. So, in comparison with the New Jerusalem, ancient foursquare Babylon was flat, even with its ziggurat or Tower of Babel. The heavenly city's jasper wall was not so high; but its height in the number of cubits was the square of twelve, that is, twelve times twelve, which makes "one hundred and forty-four cubits," or 216 feet, in height, to compare with New Jerusalem's height of 1,980,000 feet. How long the angel's golden reed of measurement was is not stated, but his unit of measurement was the same as "a man's measure." So the measurements could be expressed in our known human terms.

Everything about the heavenly city was precious. Metals and stones precious to mankind are used to describe the city's features. Not merely is the city precious to God, as shown by the way in which he pictures it to John, but it should be most precious to God's people in the "new earth." O holy city, "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband," how lovely you must look in your Bridegroom's eyes! In his days on earth gold was the most precious metal, but the gold of his Bridal city is "pure gold like clear glass." Can refined gold be purer than that? And the city's broad way is of the same material, "pure gold, as transparent glass." To walk on a symbolic street like that would be a privilege. The twelve tribes of

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spiritual Israel will enjoy that precious privilege in God's service.

Ancient earthly Jerusalem was the national center of Jehovah's worship and had his temple in it on Mount Moriah. But the apostle John saw no building of that kind in the "holy city, New Jerusalem." Nevertheless, it was no irreligious, ungodly city, for John says:

"And I did not see a temple in it, for Jehovah God the Almighty is its temple, also the Lamb is. And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God lighted it up, and its lamp was the Lamb. And the nations will walk by means of its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. And its gates will not be closed at all by day, for night will not exist there. And they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But anything not sacred and anyone that carries on a disgusting thing and a lie will in no way enter into it; only those written in the Lamb's scroll of life will." — Revelation 21:22-27.

Quite true to circumstances, John saw no temple or sanctuary in this heavenly city, inasmuch as the entire symbolical city is a temple in itself, a "place for God to inhabit by spirit." And so Jehovah God the Almighty is right there by spirit, and it is not necessary for the city's inhabitants to approach him in worship through some building with something inside it to represent him. He himself is the city's temple, since the worship of him by the city's inhabitants is direct. For related reasons, the Lamb Jesus Christ is also the city's temple. He is the husband of the symbolic city, and he is right there. He is Jehovah's High Priest and the Foundation Cornerstone of the spiritual temple. — Ephesians 2:19-22.

Just as Jehovah's Shekinah light illuminated the Most Holy of the ancient tabernacle and temple, so his glory directly lights up the New Jerusalem. Ancient Babylon on the Euphrates River needed oil lamps

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for lighting at night; but, if there were any night around the heavenly New Jerusalem, the Lamb of God would be its lamp. This explains why "the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon to shine upon it." But men on earth will need such lights.

The invisible heavenly city will shed a spiritual light upon the inhabiters of the "new earth." A complete clarification of the Bible will be given to them, together with all the righteous, enlightening, guiding rules, laws and instructions that will be given to them. So the nations on earth, that is, those not of the 144,000 spiritual Israelites, will walk in the spiritual light coming from the city and will see how to walk in the way that leads to everlasting life without stumbling. All the families and nations of the earth will thus be blessed. — Genesis l2:3; 22:18.

The kings of this world having been killed off at Har-Magedon in the "war of the great day of God the Almighty," there will be no national, political kings on earth during Christ's thousand-year reign. Therefore, the "kings of the earth" who will "bring their glory" into the New Jerusalem must be the King of kings and the 144,000 world-conquerors who rule as kings with him for the thousand years. (Revelation 5:8-10) They do not pull political strings and try to bring glory to themselves as rulers over mankind. They bring their God-given glory into the "holy city, New Jerusalem," to magnify the royal organization, to God's praise and to the support of his universal sovereignty. (1 Corinthians 15:24-28) This invisible heavenly glory will be made apparent to the inhabitants of the "new earth" by the glorious conditions that this heavenly government, the "new heaven," will produce on our earth. An Edenic Paradise will be restored and be made worldwide. Peaceful, righteous conditions will be maintained on earth, and all human imperfection and death will be wiped out.

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Under such grand blessings from the New Jerusalem, certainly the "glory and the honor of the nations" on earth will be brought into that royal heavenly city. Despite their past nationality, the appreciative people will glorify that heavenly government and honor it, giving it their heartfelt allegiance, praises and gratitude.

The glory of the present political national governments of earth will pale into invisibility and fade from human memory. Mankind will respect this heavenly government as being God's provision for them, the Messianic kingdom that he ordained for them. They will subject themselves to it with total subjection. They will have the utmost confidence in that heavenly government, for they know that "anything not sacred and anyone that carries on a disgusting thing and a lie [as Babylon the Great now does] will in no way enter" into the heavenly Messianic kingdom. Only the 144,000 faithful ones whose names are "written in the Lamb's scroll of life" will enter into it by a faithful sacrificial death and a glorious resurrection to heavenly life. (Revelation 3:5; 21:27) It will be a holy, clean, truthful government with God's Lamb as King of kings. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5: 19-21; 2 Peter 1:5-11) It will be the "new heaven" that will rule over the inhabitants of the "new earth," so that in both heaven and earth "righteousness is to dwell." — 2 Peter 3:13.

This is the righteous new order that Jehovah God promised would follow the fall and destruction of Babylon the Great, in these words of his ancient prophet: "Here I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart. But exult, you people, and be joyful forever in what I am creating." — Isaiah 65:17, 18; 66:22.



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