1. DID YOU KNOW THAT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT HEAVEN, WHAT WE'RE REALLY TALKING ABOUT MOST OF THE TIME IS A GIGANTIC, AMAZING SPACE CITY that is going to come down to Earth‚ where God will live with us & we with Him?—That's the Truth because the Bible says so! (Rev.21)
2. THINGS THAT ARE MORE WONDERFUL THAN ANYTHING YOU EVER DREAMED OF OR IMAGINED ARE ALREADY THERE IN OUR AMAZING HEAVENLY HOME, THE GREAT SPACE CITY whose Builder and Maker is God! I saw it with my own eyes when the Lord took me there in a spirit trip and it's just beautiful, the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my whole life!
3. THE VERY LAST CHAPTERS OF THE VERY LAST BOOK OF THE BIBLE, REVELATION CHAPTERS 21 AND 22, GIVE US THE CLEAREST AND BEST PICTURE IN THE WHOLE BIBLE OF JUST WHAT THE HEAVENLY CITY, OR "HEAVEN" AS WE CALL IT FOR SHORT, IS LIKE. It is the Apostle John's story of what he saw when the Lord took him there on a spirit trip. So we are now going to look at some of the wonders in these chapters.—Are you ready?—Here we go! ...
4. "AND I SAW A NEW HEAVEN & A NEW EARTH: FOR THE FIRST HEAVEN & THE FIRST EARTH WERE PASSED AWAY; & THERE WAS NO MORE SEA." (Rev.21:1.)—The Earth is a great big round ball & it is clothed with a covering called its surface, which is surrounded or covered by air & clouds & the sky, which the Bible calls "the heavens." Maybe you'd be surprised to know that the Bible uses this word "heaven" or "heavens" to talk about quite a few different places!—There's the "heavens" of the sky & the air & the clouds, & there's also the "heavens" of space where the stars, planets, sun & moon are. But the main "Heaven" that we're talking about in this Letter is the Heavenly City, which will come down from space through the sky & land on the Earth!
5. BUT FIRST, GOD IS GOING TO HAVE TO CLEAN UP THE EARTH AND THE SKY! So after the 1,000-year rule and reign of Jesus and His children on the Earth during the Millennium*‚ God is going to completely burn up the surface of the Earth and the "heavens" of the air and sky and He is going to recreate a beautiful NEW Earth with a new heaven! (*To better understand the Millennium and what it will be like, please see our Letter, "The Millennium!" on page 97 [of the Growing in Love booklet].)
6. THIS NEW EARTH WILL BE JUST LIKE THE GARDEN OF EDEN WAS, the Paradise of God! Everything will be just beautiful and there will be no more evil or fighting or hurting & all will be peace and beauty! There will be no more rough‚ steep mountains—just beautiful, smooth, rolling hills and valleys! There will be no more dry and empty deserts, just beautiful green forests, fields and farms! And there will be no more sea!—But lots of pretty rivers, streams and lakes! So there will be plenty of room on the New Earth for BILLIONS of people to live and enjoy this beautiful place!
7. THIS NEW EARTH WILL ALSO BE UNDER A NEW HEAVEN, which will mean lovely, fresh, clean air‚ with no stinking pollution, no poisonous gases or dirt or smoke or weapons or the horrors of man! And the great Heavenly City will come down through this new clean and pure sky, or "New Heaven‚" to land on the "New Earth"!
8. "AND I JOHN SAW THE HOLY CITY, NEW JERUSALEM, COMING DOWN FROM GOD OUT OF THE SKY. And I heard a great voice from God's Throne saying, Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God!" (Rev.21:2,3).
9. YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GO UP INTO THE SKY TO LIVE WITH GOD, GOD IS GOING TO COME TO EARTH TO LIVE WITH YOU! It will be like God taking over the World by invading it from Outer Space! The funny space stations and space cities that man makes up & writes books and makes movies about aren't anywhere nearly as big and wonderful as this one! Ours is 1,500 miles long, 1,500 miles wide and 1‚500 miles high!—1‚500 miles!—2,400 kilometers!—The greatest space ship ever made, built by the Lord and on its way now!
10. "AND 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." (Rev.21:4.) Just think!—No more pain nor sickness‚ no more crying and no more sadness!—Only wonderful happiness, joy and Heaven on Earth forever and ever!
11. "AND HE THAT SAT UPON THE THRONE SAID, 'BEHOLD, I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.'" (Rev.21:5-7.) In this wonderful Heavenly City, everyone who loves Jesus and has faith in Him will be given "all things," everything and anything good that you ever wanted!
12. BUT BEFORE I TELL YOU MORE ABOUT WHAT THE HEAVENLY CITY, OR "HEAVEN" AS WE CALL IT FOR SHORT, WILL BE LIKE, would you like to know what you'll be like when you live there? When Jesus returns to save His children from the evil Antichrist & his wicked people‚ all of God's saved children will get new resurrection bodies & we'll all fly up into the sky to meet Jesus & go to a great big Heavenly Party called "The Marriage Supper of the Lamb." There we will receive our rewards & surprises from the Lord for being faithful servants, & then we'll return to Earth to rule & reign with Jesus for 1,000 years. (See our Millennium Letter.)
13. OUR NEW RESURRECTION BODIES WILL HAVE AMAZING SUPER POWERS just like Jesus did when He was resurrected! We will be able to fly & disappear & walk through locked doors & solid walls just like Jesus did, & our new bodies will be much more powerful & glorious than the Earthly bodies we have now! But in some ways they will also be very much the same.
14. WHEN JESUS CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD, HE STILL LOOKED LIKE HIMSELF‚ HE STILL FELT LIKE HIMSELF, HE COULD STILL EAT & DRINK & EVEN COOK! When His disciples first saw Him after He arose from the dead, they were real scared because they thought maybe He was a ghost! But He said, "Don't be afraid!—It's Me!" Then He told them, "Touch Me! Feel Me! See that it is I! A ghost does not have flesh & bones like I have!" (Lk.24:39.)—Then He sat down & ate with them! So our new, wonderful, glorified, Heavenly bodies are going to be able to enjoy all the nice & fun things that our bodies enjoy here & now!
15. AND I'M SURE THAT IN THE HEAVENLY CITY THERE WILL BE ALL THE WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL THINGS YOU LIKE & ENJOY NOW, like beautiful friends‚ beautiful music, & beautiful love & loving!—Won't that be great? God didn't create all these wonderful things‚ our wonderful bodies & the pleasures we enjoy in this life, just to throw them all away! In Heaven we're going to have all this & even more! All the things you love & enjoy & have lots of fun doing here on Earth, you're going to have in Heaven forever! Wow!
16. ANOTHER WONDERFUL THING ABOUT HEAVEN IS THAT WE WILL GET TO BE TOGETHER WITH ALL OF OUR LOVED ONES THAT WE ARE SEPARATED FROM TODAY! It'll be the greatest Family Get-Together every known, with all of your brothers & sisters & friends & parents & grandparents & people you love but have been apart from or who have gone on to Heaven already! When I visited there in my spirit trip, I saw all my loved ones who had already gone there smiling, happy & laughing! And the ones who were old & wrinkled here were looking young & beautiful again there!
17. NOW, BACK IN REVELATION 21, THE APOSTLE JOHN IS GOING TO GIVE US A PICTURE OF JUST WHAT THE CITY LOOKED LIKE WHEN HE SAW IT: "And there came unto me one of the angels & he shewed me that Great City, the Holy Jerusalem, coming down from God‚ having the glory of God, & her light was like a very precious stone, even like a diamond, clear as crystal. And it had a wall great & high, & had twelve gates, & at the gates twelve angels. And the wall of the City had twelve foundations"—or twelve levels. (Rev.21:9-14)
18. "AND THE ANGEL THAT TALKED WITH ME MEASURED THE CITY, & THE GATES & THE WALL. The base of the city is perfectly square, & it is as long as it is wide: The Angel measured the City & it was 1,500 miles long, 1,500 miles wide & 1,500 miles high!"—That is a very big City!—1,500 miles‚ or 2‚400 kilometers, in each direction!
19. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE A CITY THAT SIZE?—It's almost beyond your imagination! The bottom of it would be as large as half of the United States or all of Europe or half of Africa! And can you imagine it being 1,500 miles, or 2,400 kilometers, high? Big jumbo jet airplanes usually fly around five or six miles high at the most‚ & even the space satellites hardly ever go higher than around 150 to 600 miles above the Earth.—But God's Heavenly City is going to be 1,500 miles high!
20. HIS GREAT SPACE CITY IS COMING DOWN TO EARTH, BUT IT WON'T EVEN BE ABLE TO GET ALL THE WAY OUT OF SPACE! Most of it will still be up there in Outer Space! What a view we will have!—The tallest skyscraper in the Universe! And it's our Heavenly Home, thanks to Jesus!—With plenty of room for all the millions & billions of God's children who have ever lived! Hallelujah!
21. AND GUESS WHAT SHAPE THIS HEAVENLY CITY IS?—A PYRAMID! The Bible calls it "the Mountain of the Lord's House" & "Mount Zion, the Heavenly Jerusalem," so it must be mountain-shaped! This is probably what the ancient Egyptians were trying to copy or imitate with their pyramids.
22. I DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT PART OF THAT GREAT CITY I WAS IN WHEN I VISITED THERE‚ BUT IT LOOKED ALMOST LIKE A GREAT BIG WORLD'S FAIR WITH BIG BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS, LOVELY PARKS & ALL KINDS OF WONDERFUL THINGS! The buildings that I saw the inside of looked like some kind of science displays or something. So I wouldn't be surprised if the Lord has all kinds of wonderful shows & programs there to teach us the real sciences of God & the true History of the Universe!—To answer all of our questions & to teach us everything we always wanted to know!
23. JUST THINK!—WE'LL BE ABLE TO RIDE ON GOD'S TIME BEAM & go back into the past & watch things as they really happened!—Watch God create the Earth & the moon & the stars!—See how He made all of the different birds & fish & animals!—Watch Him form Adam out of the ground & then see Adam the first time He met Eve!—Won't that be exciting? We would all like to see what really happened, so God's probably got all these shows & demonstrations so you can see every event!—To teach us the wonderful secrets & mysteries of His great Creation!
24. JESUS SAID, "IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS. I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am, there you may be also!" (Jn.14:2,3.) Some of the men who have really studied & translated the Bible have said that this word "mansion" in our Bible doesn't really mean a great big house, but something more like many different houses in one, maybe even something like what we call apartments today!
25. WHY WOULD EACH OF US NEED TO HAVE A GREAT BIG GIANT HOUSE ALL TO HIMSELF?—I'd probably be a little bit lonely, wouldn't you? I'd much rather have all my friends & brothers & sisters & loves & loved ones all living there with me! So even if the "mansions" Jesus has prepared of us are big houses, none of us really takes up a whole lot of room, & even today most of us live in separate rooms & parts of the same house that we live together in & share together here.—So why not there too?
26. NOW JOHN SAYS THAT THE SAME ANGEL THAT MEASURED THE CITY ALSO MEASURED THE OUTER WALL, & it was 216 feet high! Then he tells us that the twelve layers of this big wall are each made of different beautiful jewels & gems, of every colour of the rainbow!—Diamonds‚ rubies, quartz, etc!—Wow!—What a beautiful City! (Rev.21:19-21)
27. "AND THE TWELVE GATES WERE TWELVE PEARLS!" (Rev.21:21.)—Each of the twelve gates of this big beautiful wall is one giant pearl! "And the street of the City was pure gold, just like clear golden glass!" (Rev.21:21.)—The gold of the City will be see-through glass-like golden crystal, beautiful everlasting crystal gold! And it's not only the streets that are made of this pure crystal-clear gold‚ but it says that the whole "City is pure gold, as clear as glass!" (Rev.21:18)—Think how beautiful that is! You'll be able to see right through those transparent golden walls of the City out onto the beautiful New Earth!
28. "AND I SAW NO TEMPLE IN THE CITY: FOR THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY & THE LAMB ARE THE TEMPLE OF IT." (Rev.21:22) This gigantic, amazing, wonderful City has no temples, no church buildings, no cathedrals, no synagogues, no mosques!—No so-called "houses of God" there! God Himself & His Son Jesus are the Temple there.
29. "AND THE CITY HAD NO NEED OF THE SUN, NEITHER OF THE MOON, TO SHINE IN IT: for the glory of God did lighten it, & the Lamb is the Light of it." (Rev.21:23) It doesn't say there'll be no moon or sun, but it says that in the City they won't need the moon or the sun, because it will have its own light, the beautiful Light of God & His Son‚ Jesus! But outside the City, on the New Earth, there will still be day & night just like there is now.
30. "AND THE NATIONS OF THEM WHICH ARE SAVED SHALL WALK IN THE LIGHT OF THE CITY, & the kings of the Earth do bring their glory & honour into it." (Rev.21:24) There will still be nations & there will still be kings on the New Earth, outside the City. But He says that only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life will be able to enter & enjoy this wonderful Heavenly City.
31. "AND HE SHEWED ME A PURE RIVER OF WATER OF LIFE, CLEAR AS CRYSTAL, COMING OUT OF THE THRONE OF GOD & OF THE LAMB. And in the middle of the river & on either side of it there is the Tree of Life, which gives twelve kinds of fruits, & gives her fruit every month." (Rev.22:1–2.) Some places within this beautiful City are going to be like a beautiful park, & this magic River of Life is going to flow right through it!—Imagine swimming & taking boat rides down God's Magic River in Heaven!
32. "AND THE LEAVES OF THE TREE WERE FOR THE HEALING OF THE NATIONS." (Rev.22:2) We read before that in the Heavenly City there's not going to be any more pain or sickness or death or sorrow or crying.—So why do the leaves of the trees have to be used for the healing of the nations?—Well, it looks like those kings & nations outside the City will not be the same kind of people as we who already love Jesus now & will be living in the City. They will still need some kind of healing.
33. IT LOOKS LIKE THE NEW EARTH WILL HAVE PEOPLE LIVING ON IT WHO WERE NOT BAD ENOUGH TO GO TO HELL, BUT WHO, EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE PRETTY GOOD, DIDN'T GET SAVED THROUGH JESUS & SO COULDN'T GET INTO HEAVEN.—And there will be some who were real bad & did have to go to Hell, to the Lake of Fire, but who learned their lessons there, received their spanking, were sorry for their sins & were forgiven & released by the Lord to live on the beautiful New Earth!
34. BUT EVEN THEN, GOD'S STILL GOING TO HAVE MERCY ON THEM! He's going to send His children‚ you & me‚ out of those twelve pearly gates of that Holy City with the leaves of the Tree of Life for their healing! We will be the ones who get the leaves for them, because we who love Jesus now are the ones who will be living in that lovely City, where we will gather these special leaves to take out for the healing & helping of the poor folks outside.—Sort of like we do now with the leaflets of God's Words, the Komix, Letters & tracts that we take out to the people of the World today‚ to help them find Jesus & God's Love!—So we will still have a big job to do!
35. BUT LET'S HOPE THAT EVEN IN THE NEW EARTH THERE WILL SOMEDAY COME AN END TO THE HEALING OF THE NATIONS WITH THE LEAVES FROM THE TREE OF LIFE.—So that all suffering & all punishment & all Hell on Earth & under the Earth will finally end.—So that all men everywhere, all the billions of people who ever lived, will finally be brought back to God & will all love & serve Him & live either with us inside the City, or else outside the City on the Heavenly New Earth.
36. WHAT MORE COULD GOD DO TO SHOW HIS GREAT POWER & THAT HE NEVER FAILS than to save & bring together everybody He has ever created?—What greater thing could God do to prove that He never fails & that Love never fails than to finally save everybody?—Then everybody would love Jesus & love each other & there would be no more bad people or evil or trouble or anything naughty!
37. AND WHEN THAT'S ALL DONE & ALL THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE EVER BEEN BORN ARE ALL SAVED & HAPPILY LOVING THE Lord & each other, who knows what else God may have for us to do?—Maybe the Lord will want us to pioneer other Worlds! What's the whole Universe & all that huge amount of space for if He's only interested in this one little tiny Planet? So maybe there will be other Worlds that we will have to save & reach & teach & train & heal!
38. ARE YOU READY FOR IT? IS JESUS PREPARING A PLACE FOR YOU IN THAT GREAT SPACE CITY? If you love Jesus & have Him in your heart, then you can know that Heaven is your Home where you'll be happy forever with Jesus! If you love & receive & live for Him now, you can enjoy Him & Heaven forever! Amen?—See you There!—Home forever!