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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 13: Creation, Again *
Introduction: Have you ever taken a picture and realized that the
focus was on the wrong point? This morning I read a headline that
said 1/3 of the people who die of old age are affected by dementia.
If you look forward to retirement, do you also look forward to
dementia and a nursing home? I used to look forward to retirement,
until I decided that I was not going to retire if I could help it. Am
I now looking forward only to dementia and a nursing home? No. Like
the picture with the wrong focus, I'm slowly refocusing on my real
"retirement" - heaven! Let's jump into our study of the Bible and see
what we can learn about heaven - the "Creation, Again!"
- New Earth, New Heaven, New City, New Circumstances
- Read Revelation 21:1. I get the idea of a new earth, but
why do we need a new heaven?
- Read Revelation 21:2-3. What does this tell us about the
old heaven? (It is no longer the place where God dwells.
It is no longer the location of the Holy City.)
- What does this suggest about the reason for referring
to a new heaven at the same time as we refer to a new
earth? (The two seem to be combined. Heaven has now
come to earth. God and His Holy City are now on the
earth made new.)
- Read Revelation 21:4. What is the "old order" under which
we now live? (That we get old and progress towards
dementia and a nursing home. Death and pain, crying and
mourning are our earthly destiny.)
- What is our new destiny? (Read Revelation 21:6. We
drink from the fountain of eternal life. No
- Read Revelation 21:5. Do you like new things? (Yes! God is
making everything new. Plus, God tells John the Revelator
to write these things for our benefit so that we will rely
on this promise!)
- New City
- Read Revelation 21:10-14. If everything is new, why all
the historical references? (The New Jerusalem is tied to
our experiences here on earth.)
- Read Revelation 21:15-17. Is any city in the world as big
as the New Jerusalem? (Not even close. The New Jerusalem
is like no city we know about. It is shaped like a cube,
about 1,400 miles (2,200 kilometers) long, wide and tall.
Since we learned it has three gates per wall, it is more
than 450 miles (700 kilometers) between the gates. This is
a little less than the distance between Denver, Colorado
and Washington, D.C. - and that is just the length of one
- Revelation 21:17 tells us that the wall of the city
is 200 feet thick. What do you think of the
engineering of a 1,400 mile high wall?
- Is the New Jerusalem a hazard for air travel? (Yes! Planes
fly at about 33,000 feet in the air. The city rises
7,392,000 feet into the air! No wonder it needs twelve
- The mind-blowing size of the New Jerusalem caused me to do
some further research - thinking that someone must have
done some further calculations on this. I found the
following at www.remnantreport.com (I have not checked
their theology, I'm just using their calculations.)
- The New Jerusalem contains 2.25 million square miles;
- It is big enough to accommodate one hundred thousand
billion people; and,
- If the population is 10 billion, each of us could
have a 14 square mile mansion with 100 foot high
- Read Revelation 21:18-21. Are these pearls 1,400 miles
high? How would you place the great street of the city
that is pure gold?
- Is the city transparent? What do you think is meant
by "pure gold, as pure as glass?" Or, "of pure gold,
like transparent glass?"
- Put yourself in John the Revelator's place. Consider
his audience. What would be the grandest thing he
could describe that they would understand? (Precious
jewels and gold.)
- What is the grandest thing you could describe?
(Can you imagine the technology of this place?
The engineering of the super-thin wall
(considering its height) tells us that God is
doing something very special with the
- Read Revelation 21:22-24. When I think of a cube 1,400
miles on a side, I immediately think it must be pretty
dark inside. What is the light source of this astonishing
city? (God. Remember, of course, the references to the
city being like glass - so perhaps this is part of the
- The Bible says that it does not need the sun or moon.
Consider this, would the sun or moon be sufficient
for a city like this? (No! Indeed, If they had a sun
I think the temperature control problem would be
extreme because of the height of the city.)
- Re-read Revelation 21:24. Do people live outside the New
Jerusalem? (Apparently. For "kings of the earth will bring
their splendor into it." Notice that the city is a light
source for the earth.)
- How far away could you be and still see the top of a
7,392,000 foot high city? (Talk about dominating the
landscape! Think of what it would look like since it
- Read Revelation 22:1-2. If the New Jerusalem is a 1,400
mile cube, how does this river run? How is the "great
street" laid out? From the top to the bottom? Is it like
a waterfall beside a road descending a great mountain? How
big is the tree of life? Is it 1,000 miles tall?
- Do you ever look at some grand home or grand condo and
wish you could live there or retire there? Well, I want
to live in this city! Forget the nursing home or my
- Read Revelation 21:27. How do you sign up for a mansion in
this grand place? (Your name is written in the "Lamb's
book of life." I want my name written there! I need
Jesus' robe of righteousness covering me. I want to live
in this place!)
- New Circumstances
- Read Revelation 22:3-4. What curse is being written about?
(In Genesis 3:17 we read about the ground being cursed
because of sin. In Genesis 4:10-12 the ground is cursed
for Cain to the extent it will not grow anything. In
Genesis 8:20-21 God speaks as if the flood were another
curse upon the ground.)
- Instead of a curse, what glorious opportunity do we
have? (We can see the face of God.)
- Do you think the "name on their foreheads" is a
tattoo? (I think it means God will be on our
mind. We will be His.)
- Read John 14:1-3. Are we like visitors, able to see God's
face and then we move on? (No. Jesus speaks as if we live
with Him. We get to live in that great city with Jesus!)
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:26 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-54. What
no longer exists? (Death. It has been defeated. It has
been swallowed up in victory.)
- Read Daniel 12:2-3. How long will we be able to live in
the presence of God? (Forever.)
- What do you think the Bible means when it says you
will "shine like the brightness of the heavens?"
- Look again at 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. Why do you think
Paul uses the phrase "in a flash, in the twinkling?"
(There is something bright about the new you.)
- Read Ezekiel 1:25-28 and Genesis 1:26. If God's goal
was to make us like Him, and God looks like fire,
what should we look like in the earth made new? (It
seems that we are going to look like light in some
way. This suggests that Adam and Eve were light
sources when they were created, thus explaining their
post-sin concern about becoming naked. See Genesis
- Read Revelation 4:5 and Revelation 15:8. Why would
God's glory create "smoke" and His throne
"lightening" and "rumblings?" (We believe that the
sun and the stars are burning. They have a power
source that causes them to create light. The
reference to smoke suggests that this is also true
for God. Perhaps our light and brightness is the
result of our being given a power source that allows
us to do all sorts of things!)
- Read Revelation 5:11-13. What else will we do in the earth
made new that we can start right now? (Praise God! Worthy
is the Lamb who was slain! Worthy to receive power and
wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and
praise - for ever and ever! Amen!)
- Friend, do you want to be there? Is your name written in
the Lamb's book of life? If not, why not confess your
sins, ask God to forgive you and accept the sacrifice of
Jesus on your behalf? Then, praise God that He has made
you a new creation!
- Next week: We start a new series of studies on the "minor
prophets" of the Old Testament.
* Copr. 2013, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.