Question:

Once again I have a question that I dealing with. I recently had a friend of mine converted to Seventh-Day Adventist religion. He has been studying with them and basically accepted a lot of their beliefs that they are teaching. He has even provided to me the events surrounding the sceond coming of Jesus from the Book of Revelations. particularly Jerusalem and the Holy City. To me he has this belief that the world will be renewed and that the passage of Revelation 21 supports this, the Holy City will come down to a new world. I mentioned that the earth will be destroyed and those (sheep) will be with Jesus in heaven. He claims that the supporting scriptures about the new Jerusulem is in Zechariah 14; however, his understanding is flawed since God is spirit.

Would appreciate some advice to assist in this matter. Also he would like to have a Bible study to further go over this. But I feel that there has to be a true understanding before going into Revelation since it is a very deep book which requires a lot of study, and I know I'm not ready to discuss.


Answer:

Your friend ignores "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away" (Revelation 21:1). This matches what Peter stated, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells" (II Peter 3:10-13). This world is not continuing because its purpose will have been completed. Like an worn out coat, it will be put away so a new coat can replace it. "You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail" (Hebrews 1:10-12).

To ignore clear statements and pull passages from prophecies which make heavy use of symbolic language to come up with a position contrary to clear statements is not a mark of sound Bible study.

For a good overview of Revelation, I would recommend listening to Ed Smith's lessons: "Revelation for Today." There is also a more detailed study on Revelation on this site that you can study.