HEAVEN

The Bible speaks of three heavens.

The first is our atmospheric heaven where the birds fly and from which rain falls. Genesis 1:20 "20 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.”"; Genesis 8:2 "2 The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained."

The second is the starry heaven. Psalms 19:1-4 "1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. 2 Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,"; Genesis 1:16,17 "16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth,

The third heaven is the paradise where God's throne is. 2 Corinthians 12:2,4 "2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

The third heaven, paradise will be the object of our study.

1. What did Christ promise He would prepare for His followers? John 14:1-3 "1“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

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Note-Since we know many will be saved, a mansion for each of the saved would constitute a rather large city.

2. Who is the architect and builder of this place Christ spoke of? Hebrews 11:9,10 "9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

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3. What does the bible call the place prepared by God for His
people? Hebrews 11:16 "16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."

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4. What name does John give to the heavenly city?
Revelation 21:2 "2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."

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At this point, stop and read the complete description of this magnificent city as described in Revelation 21: 9-27 "9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the
reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. 22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
5. How does Revelation describe the following features of that wonderful city?

verse 18 The wall of it was ___________________________

verse 19 The foundations of the wall was garnished with

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Verse 21 The twelve gates____________________________

Verse 23 The city had no need of_______________________

Verse 25 There shall be no____________________________
6. What will be one source of food and drink in that city?
Revelation 22:1,2 "1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."

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7. Where are the righteous to spend the years of eternity?
Matthew 5:5 "5 Blessed are the meek For they shall inherit the earth."


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8. From what location did John say the New Jerusalem would come to this planet? Revelation 21: 2,10 "2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,"

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9. How will the earth be purified to receive this sinless city?
2 Peter 3:10,12 "10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

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10. What is God going to create after the purification of this present world?
2 Peter 3:13 "13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells."; Revelation 21:1,5 "1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”"

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11. What does the bible say about the following conditions in the new world? Revelation 21:4 (Death and Sorrow) "4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

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Isaiah 35:5,6 (Physical affliction) "5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing.; Isaiah 33:24 "24 And the inhabitant will not say, “I am sick”; The people who dwell in it will be forgiven their iniquity."

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Isaiah 65:21-23 (Man's occupation) "21 They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people,And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They shall not labor in vain," 1 Corinthians 13:12 (Will I recognize anyone and be recognized?) "12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known."

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Isaiah 66:22,23 (Divine worship) "22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the LORD, “So shall your descendants and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD."

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Revelation 21:3 (God's dwelling place) "3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God."

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12. How can we become an heir of the promised land? Galatians 3:16,29 "16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ."

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And Jesus will say: Matthew 25:34 "34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:"

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13. What will be the outstanding characteristic of these heirs?
Revelation 22:14 "14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city."

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14. Can any human imagine the glory of what God is preparing for those who love Him? 1 Corinthians 2:9 "9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”"

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BIBLICAL FACTS ABOUT THE NEW JERUSALEM

A. The size - Revelation 21:16 (16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.)
The city is a perfect square, with a circumference of 12,000 furlongs. A furlong = 1/8 mile. That's 1,500 miles, which would mean each side is 375 miles. Talk about a big city, a city of this size could cover 1/2 of Ohio, 1/2 of Pennsylvania, all of West Virginia, most of Virginia and Maryland and a portion of North Carolina if laid upon that area.

B. The walls- Revelation 21:17,18 (17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.)
Clear jasper walls 144 cubits high, that's 216 feet, approximately 20 stories high.

C. The gates- Revelation 21: 12,13,21 (12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl.)
The city has 12 gates, 3 on each side all made of Pearl. To be in proportion, each gate would be about a mile wide.

D. The streets- Revelation 21:21 (21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.)
Imagine walking on gold as far as the eye can see.
E. The foundations- Revelation 21:14 (14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The city has twelve complete foundations, each one made of precious stone, every color of the rainbow.)

F. Appearance- Revelation 21:2,11,22 (2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.)

The tragedy of heaven is to have forefeited the precious gift from God that he wanted everyone to have.