⦁ Lake of Fire
⦁ Millennial Kingdom
⦁ New Heaven/New Earth
⦁ New Jerusalem
⦁ Eternity Future
Before I even begin to continue the adventure into the many incredible places God has created, I need to apologize for such a long delay in getting this sequel written. I need to keep myself fixated on educating and helping new believers come into the flock, and continue to write to the very best of my knowledge, readings, and help from the Lord. I will say, however, that after the events separating the timing of this article and Part I (November 2019), it seems oddly more proper and needed now!
Christmas Eve – Wednesday, December 24th, 2003 at 3:40 pm I visited my beloved 88 yr. old Grandfather in his bed at the nursing home for the last time. He was lying down and the Home had advised us to see him immediately as his health was in rapid decline. Upon speaking to him that cold and dark late December afternoon, he revealed he had been seeing things. His mind was out of sorts and he told me he clearly saw a huge streetcar pull up to him in the room. He also spoke to me as if I were his son-in-law – my Uncle Bill. After excitedly talking to us, he lay his head back down and fell into a deep sleep. We turned the lights off and all noticed something unusual….but something we only spoke about after.
As we walked out of his room, I was the last to see him alive – his favorite person on earth he would quietly say many times. In the car on the way home the somber mood was lifted a bit when we recanted the unusual event we had seen in his room – he was glowing. Literally glowing a soft amberish light, and for whatever unfathomable reason at the time, we didn’t register it among the sadness of the moment. I told my dad, it was like he was already halfway to the other side…and the glowing is the incredible state between. He only opened his eyes a few more times and later we had a call come in to say the poor Creature had passed on.
In the immediate days afterward my younger mind – one not much different from the same wide-eyed sci-fi and lover-of-all-things-fantastic mind I have now, wondered how I could go and see my Grampa. He was literally just talking to me, and now…gone! Where was he?! In my younger mindset, I fancied myself as an inter-dimensional-faring Necronaut voyaging to the Land of the Dead to see and embrace him, even save him! Was he ok? Was he in any harm?.... Grampa where did you go?
Heaven - Created circa 13.5 Billion years ago and will last in its current form until circa mid 31st Century (prior to the renewal)
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”
To Heaven! That’s where Grampa went!
As my grandfather closed his eyes for the last time, as the sounds of the Nursing Home began to fade off, and his heartbeat slowed, his spirit and life-force shifted upwards into direct union with the Father. “…to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Had he passed away prior to the Resurrection of Jesus, he would have descended into the Underworld – the smaller portion of it called Paradise or Abraham’s Bosom. However, as Paul states in 2 Corinthians 5:8 that believers now ascend directly into the Lord’s presence when not in their own bodies of flesh.
The immediacy of this to me implies the Father simply will not or cannot wait to have his beautiful blood-bought children immediately surrounding Him. Like a ferocious and protective parent, the Father will pull us into His warm embrace – and nothing will get in the way. Not pain, not worry, not sadness, not fear…..nothing but comfort, love, and joy as our Father tends to our every conceivable need, thought, or question. The Mighty One, The One without equal, the Ancient One – will finally have you in His hand, and none will take you from it!
Heaven was made probably around the same time as the Universe. As we have no clues into what God did prior to creating the Universe or angels, we can only speculate. It is likely God made heaven as a means to accommodate His growing family of angels. It probably acted and acts as a home base to the incredible universe below it.
According to the author of the Book of Job, Heaven contains a celestial court before the throne of God, where the Prosecutor – Ha satan or the Accuser – makes his case against the righteous.
“6 One day the angels[a] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came with them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
Satan has access to Heaven, and throughout the Book of Job makes several accusations against Job to which God allows Satan to further test him. I always found it interesting Satan answered that he was on the earth – where else could he have been? or, where else did he normally travel? Since he has access to the three heavens (Heaven 1 - earth’s atmosphere, Heaven 2 - outer space and the Universe, and Heaven 3 – the home of God), does he have established outposts, bases, and citadels covering solar systems and even remote parts of our galaxy? Are there battles with Angels over the vast areas of space? So many incredible speculations, but I think it is safe to say earth is his prime focus, at least since the introduction of Mankind.
In Revelation, John gives us a glimpse into the direct throne room of God….and it is absolutely incredible as to what is going on, and the assembly of diverse characters described there. John encounters mind-bending creatures before the Throne of God - from six-winged, four-faced beasts covered in eyes (The Seraphim), the 24 elders, many angels, a particularly strong angel, the 4 Horsemen of the apocalypse, 4 gigantic angels around the entire Earth, the 7 spirits of the Holy Spirit, the 7 horned and 7 eyed covered Lamb, and the ever-observing God the Father – Yahweh. I can only imagine how many other incredible creatures and beings roam Heaven outside the throne room.
Michael Pearl – an independent Baptist pastor once said he felt Heaven is currently a quiet place. He even fathomed it a place where inhabitants could even get sad. Sad about loved ones not in Heaven, sad about unsaved loved ones still living on earth. The more I thought about it, it does in ways make sense. In Revelation 21:4 it says:
The point here being that tears are wiped away by the Lord in a time to come. Revelation 21 is at the very end of the Biblical timeline, right around the time He makes a new Heaven and a New Earth. Sadness aside, feelings of joy and peace would be the norm in Heaven as people are in direct proximity to the Trinity, the angels, and the incredible setting that Heaven is.
The happiest day in the history of Heaven was when Jesus Christ arrived back from Paradise in the Underworld, and back from his 33 years of life on earth – away from His Father. In addition, God the Father was able to finally live in unison with all of his previously departed children. For the first time, the mighty and righteous men of the Old Testament would finally behold God the Father in person – David, Moses, Adam, Job, Noah, Abraham, Joshua. What an incredible party that would have been.
Heaven’s fate is one where it will be completely renewed after the 1,000-year reign of Christ …but more on that to come.
Lake of Fire - Created after Lucifer rebelled, but prior to the Fall of Man in the Garden and will last into Eternity Future.
The Lake of Fire. Of all the different places I have written about, this one is the most terrible. Not even Hell – the temporary prison within the earth right now would match up with the absolute hopelessness of the Lake of Fire. Those in Hell know that as bad as their current state is – one of perpetual gloom and memory – will be eclipsed by one of eternal agony and torment. Hell will cease to exist around the 3030’s AD when God casts it into the Lake of Fire. Those in it now, have yet another 1,000 years to spend there, but it is a mere grain of sand on the seashore compared to what awaits.
The Lake of Fire was originally created by God for the Devil and his angels – this indicates a time after Lucifer rebelled, but prior to the Fall of Man in the Garden.
Picture a setting with billions of people writhing in raging waves of pure fire. That is truly disturbing. As bad as the Rich Man described by Jesus was suffering in Hell was, he could still talk, observe Lazarus from afar, reason, and rationalize the fate of his living brothers. The Lake of Fire – a place shared with Satan, every one of the probable billions of fallen angels, every unclean spirit from the deceased millions of Nephilim, and every human murderer, rapist, reprobate, and godless person in the tens of billions – is a place of cramped writhing and unending suffocating fire. Forever.
The first two arrivals are the Antichrist and the False Prophet. At the end of the Great Tribulation, they are cast into the Lake. They seemingly remain alone in the Lake of Fire for 1,000 years until Satan and all the other non-believers are likewise added. At the end of the 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom of Christ on earth, after the Great White Throne Judgement, The Lake of Fire will open itself even further. Hell itself will be cast into the Lake – with all of its inhabitants. From this point forward a new era begins. An era where there no longer exists an Adversary – in the form of Satan, or sin, or evil - there remains no enemy of any kind.
Before we move on, take a real pause and contemplate the fate and journey ahead the lost people we encounter everyday have. The Lake of Fire is their terminal and sobering fate. I do find it troubling trying to understand why such a harsh and eternal fate awaits them.
Millennial Kingdom – circa late 2030’s AD to the late 3030s AD
Jesus will see it fit that as His 1,000-year reign on earth begins, any memory of Children’s cancer wards in hospitals, any memory of child abuse, PTSD, bullied children, growling bloated bellies of the young in the third-world, or the burning tears of the widow or orphan their first night all alone – all of these will be gone for good. I can literally imagine Jesus himself going about the earth smashing down everything from missile silos to strip clubs to palliative care homes – all those tears will be avenged! Every wheelchair, medical device, pill bottle, and crutch will be destroyed.
Death in this kingdom will occur, but it will be nothing like what we experience now.
Isaiah 65:20 “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.”
Death at this time will be more of a peaceful transition by those on earth to Heaven above. With Jesus reigning on earth for those left behind, very little tears if any will be shed. Jesus will be their comforter in the flesh.
The Millennial kingdom will be occupied by the believers of the horrific end-time events. They lived through (and missed) the Rapture, the Two witnesses going about the earth proclaiming the Gospel, the rise of the AntiChrist, the full twenty-one Judgements, the Magog war, evaded Mark of the Beast control system or were beheaded for defying it, and survived Armageddon.
These people will:
“..but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6
At some point during the end times, these people became believers and now in the aftermath inherit a new world of peace and stability. The early part of the Millennial kingdom restoration and repair surely play a role as the world will have been utterly destroyed just prior. Air, land and all bodies of water and waterways will need massive cleaning. It is likely done with angelic help.
Very little is written about this unique period on earth. It is known as a time of peace, a time of Jesus ruling on earth in Jerusalem and a time of restoration from the post-rule of man.
When I try to envision what the world of the 1000 year kingdom looks like, I always envision an odd mixture of advanced technology coupled with methods of the old world. Something like clean rapid moving magnetic trains between cities, advanced sea, and airships, yet the continued use of the horse and buggy, fireplaces, and markets. People will live very long lives – centuries – and sickness and disease will be non-existent. The nations of the world will again be rebuilt and trade and commerce will flourish again. This time without the motive of primacy being or other selfish motives.
At the end of the 1,000 year period, Satan is allowed out of the holding place in the earth where he has been held. He leads a failed rebellion against the nations – trying one last vain attempt at getting the entire world to rebel against Christ’s rule of the earth. Fire from Heaven burns and relocates the Devil and his followers into the almost unoccupied Lake of Fire. At this point, God also rips Hell itself out of the earth – bloated with the billions of non-believers from 6,000 years of human history – into the Lake of Fire.
As the sun sets on the Millennial Kingdom, it really is the end of the Bible. Everything by this point related to saving souls, earthly life, the dominion of man, sin, and separation from God, is effectively over. And, just as how incredible the Millennial kingdom was, things are about to get a whole lot more interesting.
The New Heaven and the New Earth: Circa early to mid-31st Century – Eternity Future
1“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.”
4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5”He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End
As the old order of things comes to a close, God washes those things away and an incredible new era begins. I won’t say ‘final’ era as we do not know how many more eras or events lie before us. God now recreates the heavens and the earth. There is a restoration to the Universe that God had initially intended prior to the fall of Lucifer and later Mankind. The heavens are made up of 3 places – Heaven 1 - earth’s atmosphere, Heaven 2 - outer space and the Universe, and 3 – the home of God. In this passage, it indicates a recreation of Heaven 1, the atmosphere around the earth. It’s likely something is done to alter Heaven 2 at this point as well:
Isaiah 65:17-19 - “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”
As for a renewal of Heaven 3 – it is possible that it is renewed to some extent, as it is technically a ‘former thing’ and part of ‘making everything new’.
I can only speculate that however great Heaven is now, it will be even greater. Earth, however, will be radically different then what we are used to. It will be without seas, but likely will have many water sources for growing and maintaining all forms of life.
Try and imagine God giving all of his children the go-ahead to go back on the earth. Imagine the first few footsteps on perfect grass, with a warm balmy breeze of intense freshness and fragrance. Imagine nature perfected around you – trees, wildlife, fruits, and vegetables or every conceivable kind. It is at this point I believe Romans 8:22 is fulfilled:
“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together..”
My take on Paul’s quote is that every living thing made by God in our current world will come back again. Paul says ‘nature’ and that means every tree, blade of grass, animal, bird, fish, and insect will have their permanent place in the new heavens and the new earth. Every ant we ever stepped on or beloved pet that died will come back. God breathed life into them, and their existence – while halted in an earthly death – will come back and live out their eternal redeemed purpose. I really believe God will leave nothing behind. Why would He? With an eternity ahead and a Universe of unspeakable size, why would He blot out those secondary creations during the era of Mans’ fall after Adam?
Surely, He will bring everything back. Think Big! This is God. So many get caught up feeling things lost on earth are gone forever. God sees everything on earth – in far more detail than we could ever understand. He can literally ‘see’ our memories, and desires – nothing is impossible for Him. Remember, while Jesus walked on earth those few short years he did incredibly wild miracles from bottomless food baskets, coins in the mouths of fish, walking on water, healing people with spittle and mud, and shriveling fig trees! Again…Think BIG!
New Jerusalem: Circa early to mid-31st Century – Eternity Future
At the same time God creates the New Heavens and the New Earth, he also unveils the New Jerusalem. Out of Heaven, God pulls forth this near the indescribable city of immense beauty. John describes an angel giving him the descriptions in rather unique detail. First of all this city is enormous. In the shape of either a cube or a pyramid, the city is said to have a length, height, and width of 1,500 miles in each direction – it is 100 miles longer than the same diameter of the planet Pluto! That would be almost equivalent to half of the continental USA in each direction. Given this size, it also points to how big Heaven must be to house such a city. It has a jasper wall with a height of about 200ft surrounding it, with three gates on each side guarded by angels at each. Revelation 21:18
“18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.[a] 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.”
The city is suspended in earth’s lower orbit by some unknown advanced technology or simply God’s verbal command. God’s glory shines so bright that the sun is not needed for the city. Earth itself will be illuminated by the above city’s light (God). John writes that the kings of the earth will bring upward their ‘glory’. Interesting that the earth again will have established nations with kings. This also indicates earth will again have an economy and trade will continue on, although now in a perfected state without war or conflict.
The city will also have the original Tree of Life that was in the Garden of Eden. Angels or perhaps Jesus Himself likely raised the tree to Heaven after Adam’s fall. The text says it will give life to all the world below.
Revelation 22:2 “In the middle of its street. And on this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, having twelve sorts of fruits, giving its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree give life to the nations.”
Jesus has been long at work in Heaven building the new great city for us. It will be the central place in the Universe where we can be at one with God. I drift off trying to imagine what this place will be like. If Jesus spent thousands of years building this city – it will be full of adventures and endless journeys.
Eternity Future: Circa 3030’s to Eternity Future
Imagine a time where every event of the Bible is complete. Prophecy has concluded, all the end time Biblical events are now complete, and evil in every form has now been washed away for good. It is indeed difficult to fathom!
The Bible has very little to say about the eternity before us. As the Timeline of the Bible concludes in Revelation 22, a new era will begin. I imagine it to be a special day – a day when God gathers all of his children to make an announcement. Pardon the high conjecture level here, but my strong feelings are that what was initiated in the Garden of Eden was never fully realized. Had Adam and Eve not sinned, in short order Eden and earth would have been over-populated. With their superior intellect and physical form, space colonization would have been needed and probably solved rather quickly. I always go back to why did God create the Universe to be as radically vast as it is. In my little mind, it only makes sense He made it as an ever-expanding, infinite, playground for His children to discover and explore in the age to come. This is the continuation of where we left off from Eden, only this time we will step into the future without any resistance, sin, or evil.
Earth and the New Jerusalem would remain as the prime central place in the Universe. A home base of sorts, as we spend the quadrillions of super eons learning, exploring, and charting the Universe before us. Imagine having your own galaxy or galactic supercluster or even a few galactic filaments2?
Sounds absolutely crazy, but so is living in the infinite future in the infinite perfected Universe, in our new bodies under the full providence and in full unity with God. Add to these topics our potential for experiencing things like time travel (likely to the Past), travel through wormholes, and fully understanding all the sciences. I like to think big with this topic.
Whew! That was fun. I am sure I missed a realm or two, so please let me know. The purpose for this two part article series was to highlight the many incredible places God has built – and to get us away from looking at the here and now. As the prophetic time clock is ticking away, now more than ever, we need to be getting ready for what is to come. In looking ahead, most writers and pastors simply refer to Heaven as our future home. Looking a bit deeper, we can see many unique places – temporary and permanent – ahead of us. What is coming for us believers is quite simply awesome!
Oh, and one other thing…. in the grand scheme of Eternity, I will be seeing you very soon again Grampa! We have a lot to catch up on!
Part I of the series: