62. In the Revelation, after a description of the state of the Christian Church as it would be at its end, and as it now is,* and after those of that church who are signified by the false prophet, the dragon, the harlot, and the beasts, are said to have been cast into hell, it is added:
I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth were passed away. And I John saw the Holy City New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven. And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, their God. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write, for these words are true and faithful (Rev. 21:1-3, 5).
By the "new heaven," and by the "new earth," which John saw, after the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, is not meant a new starry and atmospheric heaven such as appears before the eyes of men, nor a new earth such as that on which men dwell; but there is meant a newness of the church in the spiritual world, and a newness of the church in the natural world. As a newness of the church in both worlds, spiritual and natural, was effected by the Lord when He was in this world, a like prediction had been made in the Prophets, namely, that a new heaven and a new earth would then come into existence (as in Isa. 65:17; 66:22, and elsewhere), which cannot possibly mean a heaven visible to the eyes, and an earth habitable by men. By the term spiritual world is meant the world where angels and spirits dwell, and by the term natural world is meant the world where men dwell. That a newness of the church in the spiritual world has been recently effected, and that a newness of the church in the natural world will be effected, has been partly shown in the little work on the Last Judgment, and will be shown more fully in the Continuation of that work.
* That is, in 1763. [Tr.]