An Examination of Revelation 21:1-27 and 22:1-6
The New Heaven and New Earth and The New Jerusalem
Part 5 of a study – by Elder Bob Allgood

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the firstearth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

In part four I tried to briefly show that the Scriptures and sound doctrine will not support the Full Preterist concept that the “new heaven and new earth” in verse one is metaphorical language speaking of “the new covenant” replacing the “old covenant." In this part I will try to present scriptural proof of this truth. The phrases “New Covenant” and “New Testament” are sometimes interchangeable and can mean the same thing. The word “covenant” appears more than 250 times in the Old Testament, and only 18 times in the New. The word “testament” does not appear in the Old, but appears 13 times in the New. In the New Testament, the words “covenant” and “testament” are sometimes translated from the same Greek words meaning “a promise, a disposition or an agreement." The “old covenant” (a term not found in the scriptures) speaks of The Law Covenant given to Moses. “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

Let’s ask ourselves some questions about the Law Covenant.

1. To whom was the Law or Old Covenant given?
Answer: The Law (Old Covenant) was given to the natural nation of Israel or Jews, when they were delivered from the bondage of Egypt. Most of God’s elect people have never been under the Law or “old covenant."For example, Abel, Enoch, Noah Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were NEVER under the Law. But they were all men of Faith, made righteous (by the imputed righteousness of God) before God according to the promise of eternal life (made by God with himself before the world began), without the Law Covenant. None of the elect Gentiles have ever been under the Law or Old covenant, but ALL are under the everlasting covenant or promise of eternal life, and made “accepted IN the beloved."

2. Why was the Law or Old Covenant given?
Answer: The Law was “added because of transgressions."Paul wrote in Galatians 3:19, “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator."The SEED under consideration is not the natural seed of Abraham but Christ himself, IN WHOM is righteousness and eternal life. The keeping of the Law and the offering of animal sacrifices under the Law never made anyone righteous in the sight of God. Paul wrote in Romans 3:19-20 “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

3. What purpose did the Law or Old Covenant serve?
Answer: The Law or Old Covenant was a Tutor or School Master to bring the elect Jews to faith IN Christ. Paul said, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal 3:24). None of God’s elect people have ever been eternally saved by obedience to the Law, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."Paul wrote, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law (or old covenant – ba), then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal 2:21). Paul taught that the Law covenant was “a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things."

4. Did the Law Covenant replace the Promise of eternal life?
Answer: NO! Paul wrote in Galatians 3:15-18, “Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant (i.e. the everlasting covenant - ba), that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. "The Promise (or covenant) of eternal life was made IN Christ before the world began.

Paul told Timothy that God “hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN” (2 Tim 1:9). Paul told Titus we live “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN” (Titus 1:2). Peter wrote, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:18-20)

5. When did the Law or Old Covenant pass away?
Answer: WHEN Jesus Christ offered the ONE sacrifice that perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Jesus said, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt 26:28). The same or similar words are recorded in Mark 14:24 “This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many”, and in Luke 22:20 “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. "The CUP of communion represents the “shed blood” of Christ. The BREAD represents his broken body. The CUP and the BREAD represents the ONE sacrifice of the New Testament that perfected for ever them that are sanctified. In the Old Testament we read where God had promised the Jews a “New Covenant. "In Jeremiah 31:31-33 we read, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." It is clear from this passage that the “new covenant” is speaking of something different than “the law covenant."It is also clear that the “new covenant” will take place “after those days” when “the days come. "It is also clear that the New Covenant (according to this passage) is God’s promise to put His “law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts”.

In Hebrews 10:12-18 we read, “But this man (Christ), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, THIS IS THE COVENANT that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin." I believe the New Covenant speaks of the Promise of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. But since that is a subject by itself I will not go into it here, but only suggest you read John 14:17, Acts 1:4, 2:33, and 2:39.

After the ONE sacrifice of Christ in 30 AD – there was NO MORE offerings for sin recognized by God. The Old Covenant had passed away and the New Covenant was in place. In Hebrews 12:22-24 Paul said to the HEBREWS, “But ye ARE COME (present tense) unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."Jesus was the mediator of the New Covenant at that time – and that time was before 70 AD. God’s elect people did not have to wait until 70 AD for the New Testament or New Covenant to take place.
Part 6