Jehovah`s Witness/Revelation 21:4 - Death no more
I have asked a question before. Thank you for your help. It is really appreciated. I have a quick question I would like to ask regarding Revelation 21:3,4.
What can you say to those who feel or believe that the "death no more" is referring to an individual instead of humankind as a whole? For example, someone might say "Death will no longer affect me after I die because I will have died and have gone to Heaven where dead doesn't exist, pain, crying, etc. does not exist." (When referring to Revelation 21:4).
I can think of 1 Corinthians 15 where it speaks of the enemy death will be done away with as a part of Christ's rule.
What can you say to such individuals? Honestly, I have wondered the same in the past. I think if you read it with an open mind, it can be interpretted either way. So, it seems a person needs to look at the context of other texts and the Bible as a whole to determine the answer. I personally find it hard to believe how God could just let us suffer on Earth and then supposedly move us to Heaven as if it is our real home, as if we need to go through that trial before going to Heaven. Sounds cruel to me!
Thanks in advance.
Thanks for that question. Yes, I have come across that just once before, and I can see how a person may feel that it relates to those that have gone to heaven.
There are two texts that I always try to keep in mind. One is 2 Timothy 3 :16
where we are told all scripture is inspired and beneficial for teaching. The other is Hebrews 6:18
where we are told it is impossible for God to lie. So the whole context of the Bible must be considered.
So lets start with Rev. 21. For me the basic key to that meaning faithful mankind is found in the words “Look! The tent of God is with mankind,” from verse 3. We are being told those blessings are for mankind
Why do I say that is the key? It takes me back to Gods purpose for the earth. We know that before the physical heavens and earth were established, God had already populated his realm with “spirit” creatures. We can find different descriptions of them in terms we understand in various places in the Bible. We know that they existed before the physical creation, because when God had completed the physical universe the angels applauded. In Job 38:7
when God reminded Job that He had taken specific steps in founding the earth and barricading the sea and indicated that there exist statutes and laws to keeping the heavens in order, we are told that the angels applauded. That indicates that the angels were interested in the creation process, and when it was finished they no doubt felt the as God did as recorded in Gen 1:10, 12, 18, 21
“and God saw that it was good.” (KJV)
So if the angels already populated the heavens, I have to ask, why would God create a different type of realm (our physical universe) prepare the earth and place mankind here? Why would we be here for a short period of time only to leave and go to heaven. What is the overall idea that the Bible presents?
In Genesis we find that Gods only stated purpose was to “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28
The earth was to be populated and looked after.
There was no mention at that time that mankind would grow old, get sick and die, and then some part of him leave and ascend to the heavens. Life could have been eternal from that point onward for Adam and Eve and their descendants. However God did warn that death was a possibility, but only if they disobeyed the one simple “do not” and that was leave the fruit of a specific tree alone. (Genesis 2:17
“But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die”) That is the only reason given for Adam and Eve or for any of their descendants as to why they would die.
We now know that the only reason we die is because before they had any children in their perfect state they sinned (feel short of the mark) Romans 5:12
tells us this “That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because they had all sinned.” (NWT)
If Adam and Eve had not sinned there would never have been a need for Jesus to come to the earth to die as a corresponding ransom to cover Adam's transgression.
In the book of Isaiah we have an assurance from God as to his purpose for the earth, to be inhabited. Please not these words “For this is what Jehovah says, The Creator of the heavens, the true God, The One who formed the earth, its Maker who firmly established it
, Who did not create it simply for nothing
, but formed it to be inhabited
: “I am Jehovah, and there is no one else. (Isaiah 45:18
tells me something important. It tells me that what God purposed in the beginning is still very valid now “So my word that goes out of my mouth will be. It will not return to me without results, But it will certainly accomplish whatever is my delight, And it will have sure success in what I send it to do” (NWT)
All indications are that Gods purpose was for a perfect human race under his direction to populate and care for the earth. We have just been told that what God purposes will succeed.
In line with that there are prophetic words that describe the earth (mankind) free of trouble
“For evil men will be done away with, But those hoping in Jehovah will possess the earth
“But the meek will possess the earth
, And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace”
“The righteous will possess the earth
, And they will live forever on it
For only the upright will reside in the earth
, And the blameless will remain in it
When Jesus was teaching his disciples and others the important aspects or subjects of prayer he said as recorded at Matthew 5:5
“Happy are the mild-tempered, since they will inherit
Putting all that together then, when I read Revelation 21:3-5 I see a final revelation of Gods purposes, his word that has gone forth, coming to a conclusion and that mankind will have Gods protection over them here on earth.
Well that is the way I see the context of that -passage as it fits into the overall context of the Bible