Revelation Chapter 21
Rev. 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Everything Made New
Here John glimpsed the new heaven and new earth. He noted that they will replace this present heaven and earth, and one of its features will be the absence of large bodies of water.
Bible experts believe there will no longer be large bodies of water to allow for:
1.) More room for people
2.) To change the climate, reduce storms, and eliminate social barriers.
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them (Revelation20:11).
Rev. 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
A New Jerusalem
Here the Church will spend eternity. We have learned about the wedding of the Lamb (the marriage of Jesus and his Church)(Jews and Gentiles = Church). We have also learned that there will be a great marriage supper here on earth when Jesus comes back. Now we will look at the bride's new home. It will be a Holy City. A city separated unto God for a special purpose. A city without sin. It will be called the New Jerusalem because Jerusalem has always been the City of God. God is the source of this city and it will be fresh, elegant, radiant, and adorned like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
I will write on him the name of God and the name of the new city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God (Revelation 3:12).
Rev. 21:3 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, and be their God.
With His People
Currently, the Holy-Spirit dwells in the hearts of all believers, but when the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven things will change. A loud voice will announce that God will dwell with his people instead of in his people. God will actually live n the New Jerusalem where he will establish a fixed and permanent relationship with his Church.
Rev. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Death And Pain Forgotten
He will wipe every tear from their eyes does not mean crying will occur in the heavenly city. It means things will be so different that there will be no need for tears, because there will be no death, loneliness, depression, pain, or suffering.
The old order of things has passed away is a reminder that God will bring an end to sin and death. Everything associated with human sorrow will pass away.
Rev. 21:5 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.
A Divine Declaration
Following the Millennium, Jesus will not fix or repair this old creation. He will recreate everything. This is more than a verbal promise because he says, Write this down. It is a divine declaration from one whom cannot lie.
Rev. 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Never to Thirst again
The new creation is inevitable because it is the spoken Word of Jesus. He proved his power to create when he fashioned all things at the beginning of creation. As the Alpha and Omega, he is the first and last word in all things. All authority is his. What he declares will be done.
All who thirst after God will be given the privelege of freely drinking from the water of life. Their thirst for God will be abundantly satisfied.
"I am the Alpha and Omega, says the Lord God", "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the almighty" (Revelation 1:8).
Rev. 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Heirs With Jesus
All true Christians are overcomers. God is their God. They are his children and joint heirs with Jesus
Rev. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
The List Is Long
1.) The cowardly - those who are to embarrassed, ashamed or afraid to accept Jesus as Lord.
2.) The unbelievers - those who reject Jesus
3.) The vile - those who defile themselves with abominable sins such as stealing, taking the Mark of the Beast, taking drugs and drunkenness.
4.) The sexually immoral - fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, and rapists.
5.) Those who practice magic arts - astrogers, Satan worshippers, witches, and warlocks.
6.) Idolaters - those who worship anyone or anything other than God.
7.) Liars - those who deceive the lost, falsely accuse Christians, falsely claim to be a Christian, or add to or take away from the Bible.
Rev. 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
The Bride Of Christ
God's nature has more than one characteristic. He loves and judges; saves and condemns. Both of these characteristics are demonstrated here. Imagine, one of the same angels who poured out a bowl of God's wrath is now inviting John to see God's love for his Church.
We already have established that the bride is the Church, but here the angel refers to the city as the bride of the Lamb. In God's eyes, the Holy City and the Holy People are synonymous. The physical identity of the Holy City will include rivers, trees, streets, and mansions, but the true identity of the City will be the Lamb and his bride.
Remember This ----> A special union will exist between Jesus and the Church similar to the union that exists between a bridegroom and bride upon their marriage.
Rev. 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
While John was in the Holy Spirit, the angel carried him away to a great mountain where he could have a clear view of this marvelous city. It is being built in heaven, but God will cause it to descend to the new earth. How far it will descend is a matter of debate. Nothing is said about it coming to rest on the new earth. It may do that, but it also may remain suspended above. One thing is for sure: what goes on in the Holy City will be more important than what takes place on the new earth. The Holy City will be the headquarters of the new creation.
Remember This ----> John was in the Spirit (an ecstatic spiritual state) which put him in close touch with God and made him able to see visions.
Rev. 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
The Glow Of Glory
The presence of God in the Holy City will cause it to shine with his glory. His pure light will burst forth in brilliance like the sparkle of a large and expensive jewel.
What kind of jewel is not said, but it will look like jasper (opal, diamond, or topaz) and be crystal clear. Jasper is the first stone in the breastplate of the High Priest. It is opaque and translucent like a diamond, and is a symbol of purity and holiness.
Rev. 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
The Holy City will be surrounded by a thick, high wall with twelve gates. I'm sorry, but Saint Peter won't be standing at the gates, angels will. The name of each of the twelve tribes of Israel will be written on a gate.
The wall will be for security. The same can be said of the angels guarding the gates. The names of the twelve tribes of Israel will be a reminder that the Messiah, the Scriptures, and salvation came through the Jews. Without them the Holy City would not be needed, and the Gentiles would be without hope.
Why does the Holy City need security? No one knows the answer. Some suggest it is a symbol that not everyone has access to God. Only God knows.
Remember This----> Satan tries to copy everything God does. This explains why the rebuilt city of Babylon will have the names of blasphemywritten on it.
Rev. 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
Three Gates For Each Compass Point
The wall will have four sides with three gates on each side.
Rev. 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
One Foundation For Each Apostle
The city will have twelve foundations. Some experts say these foundations will be stacked on top of each other and will encompass the base of the city. Others speculate that they will be large columns extending down to the new earth like legs or post.
Each foundation will have the name of one of the twelve apostles of Jesus on it. This is significant because the Bible tells us that the Church is being built on the foundation of the apostiles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:20). It says Jesus gave instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen (Acts 1:1,2). With the help of the Holy Spirit the apostles preached the gospel, won converts, organized congregations, wrote the Scriptures, selected decons, and taught their followers. They relinquished eveerything for Jesus and his Church, and were treatened, beaten, imprisioned, and killed. They earned the right to have their names inscribed on the foundations of the Holy City.
Rev. 21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
A Golden Rod
A measuring stick in John's day was appoximately ten feet long, and the most common material used in heaven seems to be gold. The same angel who talked with John took a golden measuring stick to measure the city, its gates and its walls.
Rev. 21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
A Giant Cube
The Holy City will be laid out like a square. Its length will be the same as its width, and its height will equal its length. Some suggest that this will be a pyramid, but others think it will be a cub. Not enough information exists to prove either view.
However, everyone agrees that the Holy City will be enormous. 12,000 stadia is about 1,500 miles. A city 1,500 miles long and 1,500 miles wide will be larger than anything the world has ever seen. A city towering 1,500 miles high is almost imcoprehensible, but the Carpenter of Israel is building many mansions.
Rev. 21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
A Thick Wall
The wall around the Holy city will be 144 cubits (216 feet) thick. It does not matter whether one uses God's measurements or man's measurements, the result will be the same. This thick wall will provide plenty of protection.
Rev. 21:18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
The Purest Gold
In verse 11, It was noted that the jasper could be an opal, diamond, or topaz. Although we don't know which one of these it will be, we do know the wall will be made of a gem that is beautiful, hard, and transparent. People will be able to see through it into the Holy City, and the light of God will beam out of the city. The city itself will be made of gold as pure as glass.
Rev. 21:19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
Walls Of Precious Stone
Each one of the twelve foundations of the city walls will be different. The first four will be:
1.) jasper - a crystal clear gem that could be a massive diamond.
2.) sapphire - a clear blue gem similar to a diamond in hardness
3.) chalcedony - a greenish agate with possibly a few stripes of other colors mixed in.
4.) emerald - a bright green stone.
And the one who sat there (on the throne) had the appearance of jasper and carnelian.
Rev. 21:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
How Rich Can We Get?
The next eight foundations will be decorated with:
5.) sardonyx - a reddish white onyx similar to the color of healthy fingernails.
6.) carnelian - a fiery red or blood-colored stone from Sardis.
7.) chrysolite - a transparent golden-yelow stone.
8.) beryl - a sea green emerald lighter in color than the third founation.
9.) topaz - a transparent greenis-yellow stone.
10.) chrysoprase - a yellowish pale green stone similar to the modern aquarmarine color.
11.) jacinth - a violet hyacinth-color gem.
12.) amethyst - a purple-colored stone.
A brilliant rainbow would be just a pale glimmer compared to what these foundation stones will look like. God is light, and his light passing through these many different colored stones will be breathtaking.
Rev. 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
The Perly Gates
With only twelve gates to this extensive city, and each gate being more than 300 miles apart, we know the gates will need to be huge. And each gate will consist of a single giganic pearl. This emphasizes the great wealth and generosity of God.
The great street is a mystery. Will this city, with a circumfrence of 1,500 mills long, 1,500 miles wide, and 1,500 miles high have only one street or will one of the streets be called the great street? We don't know, but we do know it will be made of pure gold.
Rev. 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
Because of sin on earth, God withdrew his presence from mankind. He had Moses and others build a tabernacle, and later he had Solomon build a Temple where the people would go to worship. He separated himself from them by residing in the Holy of Holies, and having priests serve as mediators.
After the Millennium, however, things will be different. A temple will not be needed since sin will not be present in the Holy City. God will have no need to separate himself from his people. Mediators will not be necessary. The glorious presence of the Father and the Son will permeate the entire City.
The Bible is filled with truths that are difficult to understand but wonderful to speculate on. One of them is the fact that when he appears, we (believers) shall be like him (I John 3:2). We will have great insight, great love, and everything else that Jesus has. Also,we will not have a sin nature that could separate us from him.
Rev. 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
The Father and Son are the source of physical light. They spoke light into existence when they created the sun, moon, and stars. But they will do away with these when they create the new heaven and earth because their presence in the Holy City will eliminate the need for other heavenly lights.
Think about this. It means we can be in the Holy City, several hundred miles from God and not need a light. The light of God will cover an area almost as large as the eastern half of the U.S>, and it will even be visible in outer space.
Rev. 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
World's Brightest Night-light
The new earth will be populated with the children of Israel, and the descendants of those who did not follow Satan in his final rebellion after the Millennium. Nations and leaders already will be on the new earth wieh the Holy City comes out of heaven. They will wald in the light coming from that city instead of the light of the sun and moon.
The inhabitants of the new earth will travel to the Holy City not to live but to worship. The Holy City will be the future home of the Church. The new earth will be the future home of Israel and all the others who will be saved after the Rapture.
Something to Ponder ----> I believe the Jews lost their right to dwell in the Holy City because they rejected the Messiah. The nation and their priest failed, so God established a new priesthood - the Church. We will be the priest in heaven. It was done to make Israel jealous and to remind her of her sin.
Rev. 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
The people of some ancient cities opened their gates during the day and closed them at night. The continuous presence of God in the Holy City will mean the continuous presence of light. Darkness will be known, thereby eliminating any need to shut the gates.
Rev. 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
Gifts Of Glory And Honor
Visitors will go to the Holy City to give glory and honor to the Lord.
Rev. 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Only Those In The Lamb's Book Of Life
When God created Adam and Eve he placed them in his perfect creation, the Garden of Eden. Then he allowed Satan to enter and tempt them and they fell. God will never allow this to happen again. He will never allow any impure thing to enter the Holy City. Only those with their names found in the Lamb's Book of Life will be permitted to enter.