It seems extreme to speak of a Heaven that is even more marvelous than Heaven already is. But the Book of Revelation makes it plain that God is going to create a “New Heaven” and a “New Earth.” The very language He uses proves that He is planning something so magnificent that its description is beyond words. The Holy Spirit said, “And I saw a new Heaven and a new earth: for the first Heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:1-2). Our Great God is full of unfathomable and unfailing plans for our future.
While it is perfectly grand to simply wait until we arrive to see all of the glory that the Father has designed, the Bible would suggest it’s also okay to see a little of it in advance. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). Let’s be cautious as we consider some of the exceptional changes that we can expect.
Satan has been a part of our Biblical scene from the beginning. Before we were created, he was a beautiful angel and held a strong position in the Father’s Kingdom. This lovely creature that may well have provided Heaven with his exceptional music decided that he wanted the Father’s throne. He lost his place and the Father’s Son saw him falling from Heaven. He wasn’t barred from Heaven but lost his dwelling place and became a vagabond in this great universe.
Since that day he has been the accuser of men that seek to please the Father. He also labors to hinder the holy angels that busy themselves with the Father’s pleasures. An angel confessed to Daniel that a prince from Satan’s realm had withstood him for twenty-one days as he came to this servant of the Lord with the Father’s answer, “And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me” (Daniel 10:11-13). Heaven has tolerated this scroundel as the great redemption plan has unfolded and stretched toward the final finishing moments. Almost simultaneously with the Rapture, Satan will be cast from the Father’s presence and forever forbidden from the celestial world. He will never even see the New Heavens, much less seek to render it unclean by his evil presence.
Presently, the great hosts of angels that call Heaven their home are busy on duty as ministers to the saints in their struggles with Satan. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). The angels ascend and descend at the command of “The Lord of Sabbaoth” to care for our needs. Jesus Christ is that Lord and has all power in Heaven and in earth, so Heaven is never free of our burden and cares. Heaven is the staging ground of these ministering spirits, “And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Luke 4:11). The Father has not left His saints to fight alone.
The Heavenly Temple in God’s Capitol City is the center of His glory. Here is the great altar of which the Ark of the Covenant was but a golden shadow. This is the grand center of the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ. Here, He intercedes for the saints continually because there is no night here. Every burden and care that has been entrusted to Him is remembered. The Son of God has the Father’s ear to defend our cause and accomplish the Father’s actions. In his dying minutes, Stephen looked within the Heavenly realm and saw the exalted Son standing at the Father’s right hand. “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into Heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). This business of redemption will be finished when the New Heaven appears.
The multitude of saints that are absent from the body, but present with the Lord, are waiting to return with Christ for the living Saints. Their presence in Heaven is without their glorified bodies. It is beyond my words to describe the future addition of this grand company with their shouts and worship throughout God’s New Heaven. Apostle Paul said that Jesus Christ would bring them with Him and wake up those that are awaiting resurrection, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-16).
When this great Hallelujah Multitude reaches the shores of the present Heaven, it will certainly prove that something majestic is in the air. This event we call the Rapture will start the Redemption Apocalypse. We will arrive on time and will probably have the joy of watching from the Ivory City as Michael organizes his angelic battalions of angels. You will be out of place if you do not believe in shouting God’s praises because Heaven will be alive with glory. The devil and his evil hordes will be seen in great defeat as they depart the Heavens for their last time. Not one of his fallen angels will see the face of God again. There will still be a lot of glory in the present Heavens as the Marriage Supper occurs. The multitude of saints will see New Jerusalem waiting the moment that it will descend. I believe the rewards given at the Marriage Supper will conclude with our mansions in the New City and we will occupy the city while we rule the earth for the Millennium.
To tell the whole story of the coming New Heaven and New Earth is not for man to know at this present time. What I already know is certainly enough for me to say goodbye to this world and to live under the hope of tomorrow. Remember, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Joseph R. Chambers, DD, DSL