I. THE UNIVERSAL BLESSING—
THE NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH
A. All Things Made New
In Revelation 21:1 John saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Revelation 21:5 says, "And He who sits upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new." The universal blessing has a very peculiar and strange characteristic: all things are made new. God’s blessing does not go with anything old. Rather, His blessing goes with things that have been renewed. If we expect to receive blessing from God with respect to our spiritual life, health, our families, or our homes, all these things must be new. We need to be renewed, and our families and our homes need to be renewed also. According to the Bible, anything that is kept away from God is old, but anything that comes back to God is new. For example, you may have a new wife. However, if your wife is away from God, she is an old wife, even if you married her just today. But if a man has been married to his wife for fifty years and his wife has come back to God, she is a new wife.
Whether a person or a thing is new or old depends upon its relationship with God. Only God is new. There is no suggestion in the Bible that our God needs to be renewed. We are the ones who need the renewing. The heavens and the earth and everything in them need to be renewed, but God is ever fresh and ever new. He is the most ancient One, yet He is the most new One, the most fresh One. Our way of reckoning oldness is different from God’s. Our way is to count by the age. But God’s way is to count on the relationship of someone or something to Him. If a wife is close to God, she is new. If she gets closer to God, she becomes newer. And if she is one with God and mingled with God, she is the newest wife. As strange as it may sound, even a desk, a table, or a chair, if they are consecrated to the Lord, can become new. For example, a sister may say, "Lord, this morning I consecrate to You my kitchen and all the utensils, furniture, and appliances in it." If she does this, her kitchen and everything in it will become new. You may have a brand new house. However, if this house is kept away from God, it will become an old house. You may have a poor, old car. But if you say, "Lord, this is Your car; take a ride with me," your car immediately becomes a new car. On the contrary, you may have a new car and put two movie stars in it and your car becomes very old.
The new heaven and the new earth will be filled with God’s blessing because the first heaven and the first earth will have passed away. Many years ago I thought that the new heaven and the new earth were absolutely new. Later I learned that the new heaven and the new earth will be the old heaven and the old earth renewed. It is the same with us. When we were regenerated, we were renewed. To be renewed means to come back to God and to have something of God put into us. The first heaven and the first earth became old because they were kept away from God by Satan, the head of the angelic race, and then by Adam, the head of the human race, both of whom were rebellious against God. Because the angels and mankind were kept away from God, both heaven and earth became old. Praise the Lord that in Christ we have come back to God and have received something of God into us! Thus, we are renewed.
We all expect to receive some blessing from God. The secret of receiving God’s blessing is to bring everything to God and to let Him get into everything. For example, bring your kitchen to God and allow God to come into your kitchen. Do the same thing with your children and even with your bank account. If you bring your children and your bank account to God, there will be blessing. Although we are not actually in the new heaven and new earth today, we may have a foretaste. Many times I have the realization that I am in the foretaste of the new heaven and the new earth because I am surrounded by blessing. Everything around me is blessing.
(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 108, by Witness Lee)