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The Book of Revelation

Chapter 21

The New Jerusalem . . . Revelation 21:1-27

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. [KJV] Now John sees an amazing scene, a new Heaven and a new Earth, for the old Heaven and the old Earth were gone. And he saw no more sea.

Jesus said the present Heaven and Earth would pass away (Matthew 24:35); also Isaiah (Is.65:17; 66:22), and Daniel (Dan.2:44), and Peter (2 Pet.3:7, 10-13), and the writer of Hebrews (Heb.11:13-16). The main difference of the new Earth will be “no more sea.” Why no sea? It could represent freedom from temptations, troubles, changes, or whatever can divide or interrupt the fellowship of saints. The sea has also been a barrier and/or border in the past. It also was used in judgment (Flood). I know it’s a wise decision, because it comes from an all-wise God!

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. [KJV]
And he saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven like a beautiful bride dresses for her husband.

I think that this Holy City is where God’s children will spend eternity. This is NOT the old city of Jerusalem, but the place God has prepared for the church.

Rev. 21:3-4 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. [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. [KJV] John heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, "Look, the home of God is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself shall be with them. He will cast away all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and all its evils are gone forever."

Have you ever wondered what eternity will be like? The “Holy City, the new Jerusalem” is described as the place where God will “wipe every tear from their eyes.” There will be no death, no pain, no sorrow, or no crying. No matter what you are going through now, God has written the final chapter, and it’s true fulfillment and eternal joy for those who love and obey Him. It is enough to know that eternity with God will be more wonderful than we could ever imagine. The Presence of God with His people in Heaven will go on forever. All effects of former troubles shall be gone, never to be remembered again.

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. [KJV] And the majestic One sitting on the throne said, "I am making all things new!" And then he said to me, "Write, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true."

Christ makes all things new. God is the Creator. The Bible begins with the majestic story of His Creation of the universe, and it ends with His creation of a new Heaven and a new Earth. This is tremendous hope and encouragement for all believers. All His Words are true and faithful! Believe Him!

Rev. 21:6-7 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. [7] He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. [KJV] And He also said, "It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give the springs of the water of life without charge! All who overcome will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

Just as God finished the work of Creation (Genesis 2:1-3) and Jesus finished the work of redemption (John 19:30), so too, will the Trinity finish the plan of salvation by inviting the redeemed into a new creation. When we are with God, with our sins forgiven and our future secure, we will be like Christ. We will be made perfect like him.

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. [KJV] But cowards who turn away from Me, and unbelievers, and those who are corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those who practice witchcraft, and idol worshipers, and all liars, have a place in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

The “fearful” are not those who sometimes doubt or question, but those who refuse to follow God. They have no trust, no faith and are not brave enough to stand up for Christ; they are not humble enough to accept His authority over their lives. They are put in the same list as the unbelieving, the vile, murderers, liars, idolaters, the sexually immoral, and those who practice the occult.

People who “overcome” (stand firm to the end, Mark 13:13) shall receive the blessings that God promised:

  1. eating from the tree of life (Rev. 2:7),
  2. escaping the Lake of Fire (the “second death,” Rev. 2:11),
  3. receiving a special name (Rev. 2:17),
  4. be included in the Book of Life (Rev. 3:5).

Those who can endure the testing of evil and remain faithful, those who obey God by serving Him, will be rewarded by God. The second death is spiritual death (Hell), meaning eternal destruction; it’s permanent.

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. [KJV]
Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the seven last plagues came and spoke to John, "Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb."

If you want a clear view of Heaven, you must get as close to Heaven as you can, by faith, prayer, meditation and Bible study. The City in the vision is the church of God in a perfect, triumphant state, shining in its glorious relation to Christ. It shows that the happiness of Heaven consists in intimacy with God, and in being conformed to Him. The City will not be empty, but filled with the Bride of Christ (Rev.19:7-9).

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, [KJV] He took John in spirit to a big, high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of Heaven from God.

The rest of the chapter is a stunning description of the new City of God. The vision shows us that our new home with God will defy description. We will not be disappointed by it in any way. The picture changes from a Bride to a City. The City comes down out of Heaven; it does not say it comes to Earth. This verse leaves the City ‘hanging in mid-air.’ A planet? A satellite? It does not say!

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; [KJV] The city was filled with the brilliant glory of God, sparkling like a precious gem, crystal clear like jasper.

Two facts make this Holy City reveal the glory of God:

  1. God’s Presence.
  2. The presence of the saints who have been conformed to the likeness of Christ (Romans 8:29-30).

Rev. 21:12-13 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: [13] On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. [KJV] Its walls were wide and high, having twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. There were three gates on each side, east, north, south, and west.

The wall is a symbol of security. Heaven is safe! Those who are there, are separated and secured from all evils and enemies. There are 12 gates; 3 on the east, west, north and south. Each gate is guarded by an angel of God. The gates are named after the 12 tribes of Israel.

Rev. 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. [KJV] The wall of the city had twelve foundations, on each of them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

The City’s wall has 12 foundations, named after the 12 apostles. The church today is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets; with Christ being the “chief cornerstone” (Ep.2:20).

Rev. 21:15-16 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. [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. [KJV] The angel who talked to John had in his hand a golden measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long, about 1500 miles each way.

The City seems to be a cube (foursquare); although some say a pyramid, while others say a cube within a sphere. To me, arguing over this is nonsense. It is created by our all wise and powerful God, and it will be where the saints live. That’s good enough for me!

Rev. 21:17-18 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. [18] And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. [KJV] Then he measured the walls and they were about 216 feet high.
The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass.

The wall itself is about 216 feet high. It is built of crystal clear jasper, a most beautiful gemstone, possibly like a diamond. The City is pure gold — like clear glass.

Rev. 21:19-20 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; [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. [KJV] The wall of the city was built on foundation stones of twelve gems: the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.

The foundation of the wall is not only named after the apostles, but are 12 special precious stones:

  1. Jasper — clear; reflects light and color.
  2. Sapphire — blue, or opaque with gold specks.
  3. Chalcedony — greenish agate.
  4. Emerald — green.
  5. Sardonyx — red perhaps with white layers.
  6. Sardius — fiery red.
  7. Chrysolite — golden yellow
  8. Beryl — sea green.
  9. Topaz — greenish-yellow.
  10. Chrysoprasus — gold-green.
  11. Jacinth — violet.
  12. Amethyst — purple.

You must have light to have color; and the City has Light! God is Light, and He is there! The brilliance and beauty of this City cannot be put into words. Every color of the rainbow will be there!

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. [KJV] The twelve gates were made of pearls, each gate was one, single pearl! And the main street was of purest gold, as clear as glass.

Each of the 12 gates was a single pearl. What massive oysters these must have been. The “pearl” is a symbol for the “bride” (the church). The “pearl of great price” (Matthew 13:45-46) has been purchased at a great price! Most people interpret this parable wrongly. They think that the “pearl” is Christ. The merchant man sold all He had to buy the pearl. Can you tell me what a sinner is to offer, to pay for Christ? Nothing! The pearl in this parable is the church. Christ (the merchant man) indeed did pay a great price (His life), to ransom the church. We are NOT required to sell anything to buy salvation. The street (not streets) is built of pure gold just as is the City. Gold so pure it is transparent. What an awesome place this is!

Rev. 21:22-23 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. [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. [KJV] No temple was in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.

In the Old testament, the Temple was the center of God’s Presence among His people, and it was the primary place of worship. No temple is needed in this City because God’s Presence will be everywhere. He will be worshiped all throughout the city; nothing will interfere with us from being without our awesome heavenly Father. There will be no sun nor moon in this City; for the glory of God and the Lamb’s Light is all that will be needed. Their glory will by far outshine the sun and moon. (See Isaiah 60:19-20).

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. [KJV] The nations of the earth will walk in its light, and the rulers of the world will come and bring their honor and glory to it.

The “nations” are those people who live on the Earth. This to my thinking is Old Testament and Tribulation saints. Only the ‘church’ (from the time of Christ to the Rapture) will live in this fabulous City. Those living on Earth will travel to the City to worship the living God.

Rev. 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. [KJV] Its gates never close, there is no night.

The gates of the cities were always shut at night, for protection; but here in this wondrous City, there is no night, so the gates will never be shut!

Rev. 21:26-27 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. [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. [KJV] And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, no one who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty, no one who lies, only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

So many people think that everyone will go to Heaven. This is NOT so! That is NOT what the Bible teaches. The Bible actually teaches just the opposite, that only a "few" (Mat.7:13-14) believe God (1 John 5:10-12) and accept Christ as their Saviour and Lord (John 1:12-13; 3:3) and have their name written in the "book of life." I believe that God invites everyone, but only a "few" are chosen (Mat.20:16; 22:14), meaning that they refuse to do it God's way! Every person has a free will, and can choose Jesus OR refuse Jesus. If you choose Jesus, Heaven awaits. If you refuse Jesus, you will never even see Heaven (John 3:3), let alone live there. NOT everyone will be allowed into the New Jerusalem (Heaven); only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Don’t flatter yourself by thinking that you will get in because of your background, your parents, your personality, or good behavior. Eternal life is available to you only because of what Jesus, the Lamb, has done. Only Jesus can secure your citizenship in this marvelous City (Heaven). Trust Him today to make you God’s child. The Book of Life contains the names of all the redeemed throughout the ages. If you have not trusted Jesus to save your soul, you are NOT one of the redeemed, and your name is NOT in the Lamb’s Book of Life. You will never be permitted entrance to this amazing City, for there is a “great gulf fixed” between the saved and the lost (Luke 16:26).

The greatest joy of Heaven, by far, will be that the awesome Presence of our Saviour and Lord abides with us day by day for eternity (John 14:3). To me, Heaven is to be with Him!

Again, the “nations” are those living on Earth who come to the City to worship God, bringing their honor and glory to Him. Residents and tourists alike are redeemed of their sin.

Book of Revelation

Ch.1. . Ch.2 . . Ch.3 . . Ch.4 . . Ch.5. . Ch.6 . . Ch.7 . . Ch.8 . . Ch.9 . . Ch.10 . . Ch.11 . . Ch.12 . . Ch.13 . . Ch.14 . . Ch.15 . . Ch.16 . . Ch.`17 . . Ch.18 . . Ch.19 . . Ch.20 . . Ch.21 . . Ch.22 . . Special Comments

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