The New Heaven, The New City, and the New Earth, Revelation Chapter 21 Verses 1-8 (NASB)

    And I saw a NEW HEAVEN and a NEW EARTH;
From the rest of this chapter's descriptions of the NEW JERUSALEM, we understand that this is "NEW" as in a "NEW" kind of HEAVEN and EARTH.  This "NEW" HEAVEN and EARTH are not tainted by evil (2 Peter 3:8-13-13). The NEW HEAVEN and NEW EARTH may not even obey the current laws of physics. The theoretical physicist, Dirac, in 1928 proposed the existence of a positively charge particle, named positron, which was the opposite of a negatively charge electron. In 1932, Anderson experimentally observed the conversion of a photon into an electron and a positron pair. In 1955, an antiproton was produced in experiments with high-energy  particles from accelerators. With these experiments which showed the existence of "antimatter", one could speculate all matter has an antimatter form, and that this antimatter if collected into a region in the universe could make up antimatter galaxies, for example. One should not go too much beyond this "antimatter" thinking, however, as verse 17 points out, we (and the angels) still are making measurements on a current human scale.
    for the first heaven and the first earth passed away,
As Isaiah 24:1-5-6 shows us, this first heaven and first earth are polluted. They contained and were contaminated by evil. For this reason, the first heaven and first earth had to flee away from a pure, righteous God (Revelation 20:11).
    and there is no longer ANY SEA.
The NEW EARTH will NOT have a SEA or place for evil to live. In an interesting extension, this implies that the NEW HEAVEN and NEW EARTH are not in our solar system. The Mars Rovers have proven that there is water on Mars, and water has been speculated for other moons orbiting other planets. One concludes then that the last two chapters of Revelation are almost entirely spiritual. However, since John SAW this NEW HEAVEN and NEW EARTH, it must have some physical dimensions (see verses 16, 18, and 21).

The sea is the first of the 7 things which will no longer exist. The other six are: death, mourning, weeping, pain (Revelation 21:4), the curse (Revelation 22:3) and night (Revelation 21:25; 22:5).

Often in our earlier discussions, we have pointed out that water is the container of spirits. If one adds in the blood, we find that these three, the Spirit and the water and the blood, bear witness to Jesus Christ (1 John 5:6-11) and His ability to give us eternal life (or access to this NEW HEAVEN and NEW EARTH).  There are two kinds of water. There is Good Water (Revelation 22:1) and Evil Water (Revelation 12:10-17).  Let's look at a few examples of the relationship between water and spirit(s):

Example of water and spirit relationship.
Kind of Water
At creation, the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Heaven is formed in the expanse between the waters.
Genesis 1:1-2,6-8
The flood was appropriate to harbor the spirits of the people who drowned.
Genesis 6:1-8, Genesis 8:13-19
Those who are anointed or chosen of God are protected from coming into contact with water.
   a) The chosen people leave Egypt through the Red Sea on dry land; pursuing Egyptians drown.
   b) The chosen people entering into the Promised Land crossing the Jordan River.
   c) Elijah and Elisha cross the parted Jordan River.

   a)  Exodus 14
   b) Joshua 3:14-17
   c) 2 Kings 2:1-14
Cast out demons request to go into pigs. The pigs subsequently rush down a steep bank into the sea. Sea now contains the cast out demons.
Mark 5:1-13-20
When an evil spirit leaves a man, it must find water to rest/reside.
Matthew 12:38-43-45
The dragon tries to drown the woman's child.
Revelation 12:10-17
The Sea Beast, one of the Unholy Trinity, comes up out of the Sea.
Revelation 13:1-10

This is not an exhaustive list where water is referred to in spiritual overtones. As you study the Word of God, you will find many references to water and its uses in judgment. You also will find good water put to use; although, those references are rarer.
From the previous verse, we can imply that this is a NEW kind of JERUSALEM from the NEW HEAVEN. The term, HOLY CITY, denotes that it will be the center of spirituality. In the previous earth, JERUSALEM also was referred to as the HOLY CITY, but it had one thing wrong with it. It was tainted by evil. It was where prophets were murdered (Luke 13:31-34-35), it was where Jesus Christ was crucified (Luke 23:26-28-31), and it was where the two witnesses were killed (Revelation 11:8).

This is the place where believers are housed eternally forever (Hebrews 12:18-22-29). What distinguished this NEW JERUSALEM is that John saw it
    coming down out of HEAVEN from GOD,
This HOLY CITY is pure and righteous. In fact, it is pure enough for God Himself to live in (next verse). This HOLY CITY was the place Abraham by faith was looking for (Hebrews 11:8-10-16-22). And this HOLY CITY is
    made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
This is Dad's wedding gift to His son. We studied about the marriage supper (Revelation 19:1-10), and now this is the permanent address for the HOLY Couple. Much of the rest of this chapter (verses 9-27) will describe Dad's gift in more detail.
    And I heard a loud voice from the THRONE, saying, "BEHOLD,
To hear a loud voice from the THRONE indicates that this message has the full authority of GOD. In this verse and the next verse, our citizenship in the new earth and new heaven is confirmed (Philippians 3:17-21). Even with this very directed message from the THRONE, we are encouraged, yes, even demanded to listen up because the word, BEHOLD, precedes the message.
  • the TABERNACLE of God is among men,
       This is a continuity verse inasmuch that we see the TABERNACLE again here in the new earth. God is never changing; so the earthly TABERNACLE described to and set up by Moses (Exodus 25-31,35-40) is patterned after the one in heaven at creation time. This same TABERNACLE will be around for eternity.
       Having said this, the TABERNACLE is clearly spiritual in nature. It, over all time, defines where we worship and serve God. It is exclusively for our SPIRITUAL MAN, and as we will see later in verse 22, it is equal to GOD Himself.
  •  and He shall DWELL among them,
       During this current period of grace on this earth, Jesus Christ is our mediator (1 Timothy 2:1-5-7). Now in the new earth, He is one of us as our sibling; and DWELLING among "them"/us makes this His kingdom (Psalm 145:8-13, 146:8-10) for ALL who are His. Furthermore, this is Jesus Christ serving men (Luke 12:35-40) and men serving Jesus Christ; in other words, this is an eternally pure SPIRITUAL FELLOWSHIP!
  •  and they shall be HIS PEOPLE,
       This has always been true for the sons of Israel (Ezekiel 43:6-7-9), but in this context, "they" means all who are heirs with Jesus Christ of this new earth (Romans 8:12-17).
  •  and God Himself shall be among them,
       With evil totally vanquished from this new heaven and new earth, GOD HIMSELF can be right among us (Leviticus 26:1-11-12-13). This thought just totally overwhelms our comprehension because we see it and understand(?) it with sin-tainted minds and hearts. In this new earth environment, we will experience what Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8-13), and what the disciples and all those who came in contact with Jesus Christ when He walked among men on this present earth (Colossians 2:8-9-15) experienced.
        Only now can we see Jesus' teaching "Blessed are the PURE in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:1-8-12) fulfilled.
  • and He shall wipe away EVERY TEAR from their eyes;
   We are seeing the effect of sin and evil when we see tears. It is a wonder in our eternal state that Jesus Christ  is able to remove EVERY TEAR for each sin or evil committed by us (Romans 3:21-23-30) or by someone dear to us. It shows that Jesus' earthly sojourn and the price He paid on Calvary truly was for eternity.
   This phrase confirms the promise made to the tribulation saints (Revelation 7:17).
   Carrying on our theme of the role of water, the absence of EVERY TEAR confirms that there is NO WATER in which evil could possibly dwell in the new earth.
  • and there shall no longer be any DEATH;
   Sin no longer exists in the new heaven and new earth, so there are no wages to be paid (Romans 6:15-23). Christ paid the wages that were due for us (Ephesians 2:1-10). Furthermore, where there is DEATH, by definition, there is no eternity or forever.
  • there shall no longer be any MOURNING, or CRYING, or PAIN;
   The pain starts at childbirth (Genesis 3:16). We continue to experience it throughout our present earthly life. In the new earth and new heaven, these are removed. This brings us to an interesting observation: what if mourning, or crying, or pain were removed from our present earthly life. What would we have left?
   For the unbeliever, there is a void. Perhaps that is the reason the unbeliever searches for that mind bending high, for that adrenaline rush, or for that supposed solace of suicide.
   For the believer, there is an EXTREME JOY (1 Peter 1:3-8-9). There is a HOPE (Titus 3:1-7-8) for life in the new earth. There is a PEACE (Revelation 6:4, Ephesians 2:11-14-22). If you claim to be a believer and you are not experiencing this JOY, HOPE, and PEACE, please reexamine your faith and commitment to Jesus Christ.
    the FIRST THINGS have passed away."
The FIRST THINGS, evil and sin, are gone (verse 1). Even before their downfall in Eden, Adam and Eve were still within "the FIRST THINGS". While they walked and talked with God, they still had the possibility of temptation and sin (Genesis 2:7,8,15-24). Now in the new earth and new heaven with the FIRST THINGS passed away, there is no possibility of evil or sin. We will be living in transformed spiritual bodies (1 Corinthians 15:35-57) that will inherit the imperishable.
    And He who sits on the THRONE said, "Behold, I am making ALL THINGS NEW."
When the first heaven and earth were created, everything God did was GOOD (Genesis 1:1-4-10-18-21-25-31).  It was, in fact, "very good" until evil entered in. God in His purity and righteousness would not permit evil to go on forever, and thus He destroyed the first heaven and earth (Revelation 20:11 and Revelation 21:1). God is making ALL THINGS NEW. We know this is God doing it because He is the one sitting on the THRONE.

This is not a refurbishing of the first heaven and earth because the Greek word used for NEW, kainos, 'involves not only newness in time but also the freshness of having a completely different character.'a This implies a new set of physical laws where entropy is set aside. ALL these NEW THINGS will last forever.

It is interesting to note that just as physicists and mathematicians have put forth a unified String Theory which is purported to describe how the first earth and heaven (universe) are put together, God will make a NEW CREATION. In Genesis, when the unified people wanted to become noted, they were scattered (Genesis 11:1-9).
    And He said, "WRITE, for these words are FAITHFUL and TRUE."
This is a reminder of the first time John was told to "WRITE" (Revelation 1:11). Even as that "WRITE" was to the seven churches, this "WRITE", since it is in the same book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, remains for the churches. One gets the sense that John, even though he probably knew Jesus better than anyone, is so amazed at this NEW creation, he must be reminded to "WRITE".

While this ALL-THINGS-NEW concept is difficult for us to grasp, it is confirmed that the concept/reality is FAITHFUL and TRUE. The new heaven and earth will exist after all the tribulation judgments are done (Revelation 6-18), the 1,000 years reign of Christ is finished (Revelation 20:4-6), and all will have faced the great WHITE THRONE (Revelation 20:11-15).

One last observation: those whose names are in the Book of Life somehow are moved from the old earth to the new creation. Given that things of a spiritual nature do not have the physical movement restrictions we all know in this present earth, one can argue that this is entirely a spiritual creation. However, the new earth will have a dimensioned NEW JERUSALEM (Revelation 21:9-21). It apparently doesn't revolve around a NEW sun for there is no night there (Revelation 21:22-27). This implies that there is no concept of time; time is meaningless in eternity. TRULY, this is a NEW THING!
    And He said to me, "IT IS DONE.
We know that the 'He' speaking here is the Lord God, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8 and Revelation 4).

'IT IS DONE' signifies that the transition from the old earth/heaven to the new earth/heaven is DONE (verse 1). Just like the old creation was DONE (Genesis 2:1-3) and the work of redemption on the old earth is DONE (John 19:28-30), now the transition from old earth/heaven to new earth/heaven is DONE.
    I am the Alpha and the Omega, the BEGINNING and the END.
This looks like a conundrum: the new earth/heaven is eternal with no BEGINNING and no END, and yet we have a reference to a 'BEGINNING' and an 'END'.
What we are seeing is that what Christ did in the old earth/heaven (Revelation 1:8) will transition through to the new earth/heaven. Our redemption did not stop when the old earth/heaven did (next verse). PRAISE HIS NAME FOREVER, AMEN!

From old earth physics, we know of 4 dimensions: 3 of length and 1 of time. Clearly in verse 1, we see the transition of the 3 length dimensions. And here we can say that we see the transition of  time from finite (Alpha - Omega, BEGINNING - END) to the infinite. Only God who is infinite knows how this happens; we can only experience it (and I can't wait).
    I will give to the one who THIRSTS from the spring of the WATER OF LIFE without cost.
This is the same kind of THIRST described in Psalm 42:1-2. It is a THIRST for the GOOD WATER OF LIFE provided by Jesus Christ (1 John 5:6-12 and John 4:7-24). We see a connection to the presence of the Holy Spirit in this GOOD WATER OF LIFE. Only in this chapter and in the next (Revelation 22:1,17) do we find reference to this WATER OF LIFE. Generally, the WATER OF LIFE is withheld from old earthlings except for those overcomers (next verse) who accept Jesus Christ's redemptive work. This will be the most precious commodity in the new earth/heaven on the other side of the transition.

When one takes a broad look at this verse, we see confirmation of the HOLY TRINITY in the new universe. We see the Lord God, the Almighty, as speaker; Christ as Alpha and Omega; and Holy Spirit within the WATER OF LIFE.
    "He who OVERCOMES shall inherit these THINGS,
What "THINGS" will be inherited? We have a start on the list from the "OVERCOMERS" of the seven churches:

"I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God."
Revelation 2:7
This is the same tree of life seen in Revelation 22:2.
"(He) shall not be hurt by the second death".
Revelation 2:11
See the next verse for what the second death is.
"to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it."
Revelation 2:17
Even Christ has a name which no one know except Himself (Revelation 19:12)
"to him, I will give the authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star."
Revelation 2:26-28
We will reign forever (Revelation 22:5)
"(he) shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels."
Revelation 3:5
White garments denote purity and righteousness....this is appropriate dress for bondservants who will serve him forever. (Revelation 22:3)
"I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name."
Revelation 3:12
Face to face and with His name (Revelation 22:4)
"I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne."
Revelation 3:21
The new dwelling place that we will have still contains the Throne, and we will be happy to serve God and the Lamb (Revelation 22:3)
    and I will be his God and he will be My son.
The transition is complete with every believer, Jew and non-Jew, moving from the old earth/heaven to their new home. With this simple phrase, we become part of the eternal family just as the Bible said we would (Romans 8:12-17, Galatians 4:1-7, and 1 Peter 1:3-4-9). We finally will experience the completion of our faith (Romans 3:21-30), will get to see God (John 1:14-18), will be able to look at His Face (Psalm 24:3-6), and will be able to revel in His Presence.
    "But for
This preposition indicates that the list which follows does not include any of the OVERCOMERS listed previously. Furthermore, this list is associated with seven demonic realms as detailed in Revelation 13:1.
    the COWARDLY and
The Amplified Bible expands this with 'ignoble, contemptible, cravenly lacking in courage, and cowardly submissive'. We can see how this is tied to unbelievers (next item in the list), but most likely applies to nominal Christians also (Mark 8:31-38).
The Amplified Bible adds 'faithless' to UNBELIEVING. This is the only class of people for which there is no forgiveness (1 John 5:6-12, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and John 3:16-18-21).
'Depraved and defiled with abominations' is how the Amplified Bible expands this class. The abominable are described in Titus 1:15-16. Furthermore, there was nothing good about the great harlot whose cup held abominations (Revelation 17:4).
Since this is the final list of those who will experience the second death, the broad definition of murder as John writes in an earlier letter (1 John 3:11-15-24) should be used.
The Amplified Bible calls this group 'lewd and adulterous'. This group is the only one where their sin is sexual in nature. Given how much is written about sexual sins in the Bible, it is rather surprising that this is only a small part of the condemned.
'Practicers of magic arts' is how the Amplified Bible identifies SORCERERS. Here's what God thinks about this group (Deuteronomy 18:9-13).
With a broad brush, the Amplified Bible says this group are 'those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God'. The test for an idolater is found in 1 Timothy 4:1-10. If you don't have the word of God in you or don't practice an extensive time in non repetitious prayer, you are susceptible to IDOLATRY and LYING (next item in the list).
'Those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed' is how the Amplified Bible tags this group. The father of all liars is the devil (John 8:31-44-47), and the devil already is in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
    their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the SECOND DEATH."
This is probably the saddest list in the Bible for this SECOND DEATH is a permanent and everlasting forever death. You may have heard the expression, "He died a slow death"; while this is forever longer a slow death. Imagine all the evil that you can and then think how you would live within that evil (and much worse) forever. The alternative, asking for forgiveness for your sins and accepting Jesus Christ as your Master, would seem to me to be a better choice.

a "What the Bible Teaches", Volume 10, Jim Allen, page 508
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright The Lockman Foundation, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 Used by permission."

References to the Revelation of Jesus Christ are in bold italics. All other references are in bold only