The first candle is called the prophecy or hope candle
700 years before Christ was born, the prophets in the Old Testament foretold many things about Lord Jesus Christ.
They prophesied about HIS birth, His mission, HIS death, and HIS resurrection.
These prophesies are called messianic prophesies.
Micah 5:1-2 (735 BC) talks about the birth place of the Lord Jesus.
Isiah 9:6 "For to us a child is born, to us a SON is given, and the government will be on HIS shoulders. And HE will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
So the first candle begins the Advent Season with hope of HIS presence in everyone's life.
Apostle John sees a glorious glimpse of eternity after the conclusion of Lord’s millennial rule.
He starts with describing to us that God created a new earth and new heaven.
The old known creation just disappeared in thin air and was replaced with a brand new earth and a brand new heaven.
Old creation had to be removed as sin polluted and corrupted it.
In the previous chapters we studied that God uncreated whatever HE had created in Genesis.
The transformation took place in matter of few seconds before the eyes of Apostle John.
First Characteristic: No sea in the eternity – No more known seas around the globe.
We have no idea how this earth looks like but in the eternity there will be a literal earth mass.
Second characteristic: God dwells with HIS people
In eternity there is no sin barrier between people and God – HE literally dwells with them – Emmanuel – God with us - realized completely – Lord Jesus dwells physically with HIS redeemed people.
Third characteristic: The new order of things
Prophet Isiah did prophesy in chapter 65:17-18
The past is past
In the new order there is no past
“The heaven is the place of living while this world is the land of the dying”
No pain or crying or no fear of death – no mourning because of our loved ones who did not make it to the eternity – we will never remember our past
The new future
Free supply of springs of water of life – God will be with HIS people
It is God who is promising the new order and HE says “it is done”.
8th verse once again reiterates the fate of those who did not make it to the heaven – they all will be in the lake of fire that is their second death – The redeemed will never taste second death.
Fourth characteristic: The New Jerusalem, the holy city
The physical structure: Described in verses 9-21
The holy city descends from heaven towards the earth – never said it rested on earth
It is so bright with the glory of God –it is like a square with outer walls with three gates on each side – each gate has the name of 12 tribes of Israel – The wall of the city has12 foundations – each is named after each disciple of Lord Jesus Christ –the height of the wall is 200ft
Foundation of the wall decorated with every kind of precious stones mentioned in verses 19-20
Each of the 12 gates is made out of single pearl.
Inside, the city is also like a cube length and breadth and height are the same –measuring 1500 miles
One author describes that the city has 7800 layers or stories each of 1500 mile square
If they were spread in single layer, they will occupy the whole universe.
It is so humongous and beyond human comprehension as it accommodates few billion people in the city
City walls made of Jasper – the city is of pure gold (shining like gold)
Fifth characteristic: Verses 22-26
No Temple, No sun or moon, no night, no shutting of the gates
No temple because Almighty God and Lord Jesus Christ are the temple
No sun or moon required as the glory of God shines all around and Lamb becomes its lamp.
No separation of gentile and Israel – Gentile believers come under God’s rule first time
The gates will never be shut for the fear of enemy
There will be no night there because there is no darkness at all.
All who live in it are people chosen by God
Sixth characteristic: The Redeemed live there
27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.