Key Verse: “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.”
ONE OF THE REVELATIONS which God gave to the Apostle John was the vision of a “new heaven and a new earth.” (Rev. 21:1) The imperfect world in which we currently live is described as “this present evil world.” (Gal. 1:4) Our adversary Satan is the “prince” and “god of this world,” and has “blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ … should shine unto them.” (Eph. 2:2; II Cor. 4:4) The “heavens and the earth which are now” will soon pass away, and be replaced by a “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”—II Pet. 3:7-12; Isa. 65:17-25
The term “new heavens” does not mean a new location for God’s throne, but rather new conditions with spiritual power and control by Christ and his church in glory. Similarly, “new earth” does not signify another planet, but rather a new social arrangement on planet Earth, which the Scriptures assure “abideth for ever.”—Eccles. 1:4
“And there was no more sea,” John continues. (Rev. 21:1) “Sea” is a symbol of the masses of people who are in a restless and dissatisfied condition. Under the control of the new heavens, the new spiritual ruling powers of Christ and the glorified church, the reconstructed social arrangement on earth will be so satisfactory, complete, and thorough that there will be no more dissatisfaction among the people. This new order of things will secure justice to every person and obliterate the inequalities of wealth and power which now exist.
John states that he “saw the holy city, new Jerusalem.” (vs. 2) In the Bible a city oftentimes is used to represent a government. (Rev. 14:8; 17:18) The “new Jerusalem” represents the new spiritual government of God’s kingdom. It will not be established by men, but rather it is described as “coming down from God out of heaven,” spiritual in every sense of the word.
The new Jerusalem is “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband,” implying that its grandeur, beauty and perfection will be like a bride’s adornment, particular and perfect. (Rev. 21:2; Ps. 45:13,14) In the spiritual government of the future, the judges of the world will be the saints, or bride class, those who are presently being selected and developed through experiences and trials, and who are proven faithful unto death.—I Cor. 6:2; Rev. 2:10; 3:12
“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.” (Rev. 21:3) A “tabernacle” is a meeting place between God and his people. (Exod. 29:42,43) God will dwell with mankind through Christ and the glorified church in the sense that he will pour out the holy power and influence of his spirit “upon all flesh.”—Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17
Our Key Verse states that God will wipe away all tears from the eyes of mankind. There will be no more death, sorrow, crying or pain; these former things will pass away. Paul confirms this, saying that when Christ “hath put all enemies under his feet,” “the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (I Cor. 15:23-28) From that time on, mankind will live in “joy and gladness” forever.—Isa. 35:10