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Revelation 21

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." 6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Observation:

  1. What did John see?
    1
    Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
    1. The New Heaven,
    2. The New Earth,
      • Rev 21:1a - Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
    3. The New Jerusalem.
      • Rev 21:2a - Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem,
  2. What happened to the first earth and the first heaven?
    1b
    for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.
  3. What will the new earth miss that we have now?
    1c
    Also there was no more sea.
  4. How New Jerusalem called as? or What one other way New Jerusalem was called? or What more attributed to the New Jerusalem?
    2a Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem,
  5. From where the New Jerusalem coming from?
    2b coming down out of heaven from God,
  6. How did the New Jerusalem looks like?
    2c prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
  7. Where did John hear a loud voice?
    3a
    And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying,
  8. What did John hear?
    3b
    "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
    1. the tabernacle of God is with men, and
    2. He will dwell with them, and
    3. they shall be His people.
    4. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
  9. What God will do to His people?
    4
    And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
  10. What did John hear from the one who sat on the throne?
    5
    Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." 6a And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
    1. I make all things new."
    2. And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
    3. And He said to me, "It is done!
    4. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
  11. What will God give to His people?
    6b
    I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
    1. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
    2. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and
    3. I will be his God and he shall be My son.
  12. Who will not receive these blessings from God?
    8a
    But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars
  13. Where these will be?
    8b shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Interpretation:

  1. What did John see?
    1
    Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
    1. The New Heaven,
    2. The New Earth,
      • Rev 21:1a - Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
    3. The New Jerusalem.
      • Rev 21:2a - Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem,
  2. Is it not all believers will be in heaven with God forever? Why did John see these three places?
    • Yes, all believers will be with God forever. Even though John did see the new heaven, the new earth and the new Jerusalem but there may not be any big separation between the new Heaven, the new Earth and the new Jerusalem like how it was before Adam's sin. God was walking physically and talking with Adam in the cool of the evening.
      • Whether it may be like continents on earth or far way between each other but if we think going anywhere we will be there instantly like it happened to Philip in Acts 8.
      • (DG) Man has never known a community unmarred by sin. Adam and Eve only knew a limited community, and community in a larger context only came long after the Fall.
    • So, this eternal place contains
      • the new heaven,
      • the new earth and
      • the new Jerusalem.
  3. Is this a new concept introduced here by God?
    • No, God has prophesied about this long before.
    • (John R Rice) The promise to Abraham (Gen 13:15; Gen 17:6-8) and the promise to David (2 Sam 7:10-16) and the promises to all Israel (Ez 37:25-28) make it certain that this earth itself, the planet, the soil cannot be done away with. God has given many promises concerning it which includes the word forever.
      • Gen 13:15 - for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.
      • Gen 13:6-8 - 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. 8 Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
      • 2 Sam 7:10-16 - 10 Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, 11 since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house. 12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever." ' "
      • Ez 37:25-28 - 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore." ' "
    • (DG) The name Jerusalem gives it continuity with earth, especially with the place of our redemption.
  4. Are these really brand new or renewed?
    • (DG) Though some disagree (such as Seiss, who argued passionately that this earth will never be destroyed) we should understand that this is truly a new heaven and a new earth, not merely a “remade” heaven and earth. We know this because Jesus said that heaven and earth shall pass away, but His Word would live forever (Luke 21:33). Also, in Isaiah 65:17 God said prophetically that He will create a new heaven and earth, and the ancient Hebrew word for “create” (bara) means to “create out of nothing,” instead of re-fashioning existing material.
  5. Why will God recreate the new earth?
    • The earth needs to be recreated because
      1. From Adam's sin the earth was polluted by un-repented sinners.
      2. The earth was renewed by rebuilding (Is 61:4) at the beginning of the 1000 year Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.
      3. The earth was also polluted by un-repented sinners and Satan during 1000 year Millennial period.
  6. Does the new heaven includes the heaven where God lives?
    • In the prophesies God has clearly given that He will create New Heavens:
      1. Isaiah 65:17-19 – 17 For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create a Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying.
      2. Isaiah 66:22 - "For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me," says the Lord, "So shall your descendants and your name remain.
    • Make a note that righteousness dwells in the New heaven and the New earth:
      • 2 Peter 3:13 – Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
    • Yes, new heaven especially includes the heaven where God dwells now i.e. 3rd heaven and it will also include all other two heavens i.e. earth's atmosphere and outer space.
      1. The first heaven is the earth’s atmosphere, the “blue sky.”
      2. The second heaven is outer space.
      3. The third heaven is the place where God lives in glory.
  7. Why will God recreate the new heavens?
    1
    Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
    • Heaven is also polluted by Satan’s access even after he was throne out of heaven
      • Job 1:6 - Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.
      • Satan will not be allowed to heaven until just before the second coming of Jesus Christ. Until this point Satan will keep polluting heaven:
        • Rev 12:10 - Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
      • (Jon Courson) Due to the pollution and destruction of our planet, we understand the need for a new earth. But what is the reason for a new heaven? According to Job 15:15, the heavens are not clean in God’s sight. Why? Because Satan’s presence has polluted them (Revelation 12:10).
  8. What happened to the first earth and the first heaven?
    1b
    for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.
  9. How will the earth and the heaven fled or pass away?
    1
    Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
    • Psalm 102:25-27 – 25 Of old, You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 They will perish, but You will endure; yes all of them will grow old like a garment, like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed. 27 But You are the same, and Your years will have no end.
    • 2 Peter 3:10,11 – 10 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. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
  10. Where will everyone exist when these changes happen?
    • Rev 20:11 – Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
    • Rev 21:1b - for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. …
    • From the beginning of the Final White Throne Judgment till this point everyone will be in the Space because the heaven and the earth fled away, passed away or destroyed by fire.
  11. What will the new earth miss that we have now?
    • Rev 21:1c - Also there was no more sea.
  12. What does “there is no more sea” mean?
    • It may be symbolic:
      • In the Bible, the sea was a place of separation and evil.
      • In the Book of Revelation it is shown to be
        • the source of the Satanic beast (Rev 13:1)
        • the place of the dead (Rev 20:13)
        • many waters represent the evil people who followed the beast (Rev 17:1,15)
      • In other passages of Scripture, the sea is associated with
        • the heathen (Isaiah 57:20) and
        • in a more general sense, with the opponents of the Lord that must be conquered (Psalm 89:9).
      • Same way in heaven there is no place for evil:
        • Rev 21:8 - But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.“
    • Or it may be literal as described in the verse there will be no more sea:
      • (WW) “No more sea” does not mean “no Water.” It simply indicates that the new earth will have a different arrangement as far as water is concerned. Three fourths of our globe consists of water, but this won’t be the case in the eternal state.
      • Whatever God has over there will be greater than the sea that we see and enjoy right now.
  13. What was one other way the New Jerusalem called?
    2a Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem,
  14. Why was New Jerusalem called as the holy city?
    2a
    Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem,
    • (DG) The terms holy and new distinguish the city. Because it is holy and new, it is different from any earthly city.
  15. Why will God create the holy city New Jerusalem?
    • (DG) It is significant that this glorious dwelling place of God and His people is described as the holy city. Cities are places with many people, and people interacting with each other. This isn’t isolation, but a perfect community of the people of God.
      • Here, in the New Jerusalem, we have something totally unique: a sinless, pure, community of righteousness, a holy city.
    • (Hunter) The Christian concept of heaven as a city – a place of life, activity, interest, and people – is very different from Hindu conception of a blank Nirvana. “The consummation of the Christian hope is supremely social. It is no ‘flight of the alone to the Alone’ but life in the redeemed community of heaven.”
  16. From where the New Jerusalem coming from?
    2b coming down out of heaven from God,
    • It is coming down from heaven.
    • (Jon Courson) Here is the new capitol of the new creation.
  17. Why it is coming down from heaven?
    • It needs to come down from heaven because
      • (DG) Problems arise when believers expect this kind of community now, or fail to realize that it only comes down out of heaven. This city is not and never can be the achievement of man, but only a gift from God.
  18. How did the New Jerusalem looks like?
    2c prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
    • The New Jerusalem is so beautiful like bride adorned for her husband.
    • Rev 21:9-11 - 9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
    • (WW) Human history begins in a Garden and ends in a City that is like a garden paradise. In the Apostle John's day, Rome was the admired city; yet God compared it to a harlot. "That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God" (Luke 16:15). The eternal city of God is compared to a beautiful bride (Rev 21:9), because it is the eternal home for God's beloved people.
      • Even despite Scripture's description, it is difficult to imagine what the eternal city will be like. John characterizes it as a holy city (see Rev. 21:27), a prepared city (see John 14:1-6), and a beautiful city, as beautiful as bride on her wedding day. He amplifies these characteristics in Revelation 21-22.
  19. Where did John hear a loud voice?
    3a
    And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying,
  20. What did John hear?
    3b
    "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
    • John hears behold
      1. the tabernacle of God is with men, and
      2. He will dwell with them, and
      3. they shall be His people.
      4. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
  21. What does these mean?
    3b
    "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
    • These means that God will dwell with His people forever and ever
    • (WW) But the most important thing about the city is that God dwells there with His people.
      • The Bible gives an interesting record of the dwelling places of God.
        • First, God walked with man in the Garden of Eden.
        • Then He dwelt with Israel in the tabernacle and
        • later the temple.
        • When Israel sinned, God had to depart from those dwellings.
        • Later, Jesus Christ came to earth and "tabernacled" among us (John 1:14).
        • Today, God does not live in man-made temples (Acts 7:48-50), but in the bodies of His people (1 Cor. 6:19-20) and in the church (Eph. 2:21-22).
      • In both the tabernacle and the temple, the veil stood between men and God. That veil was torn in two when Jesus died, thus opening a "new and living way" for God's people (Heb 10:19ff).
      • Even though God dwells in believers today by His Spirit, we still have not begun to understand God or fellowship with Him as we would like; but one day, we shall dwell in God's presence and enjoy Him forever.
    • (Jon Courson) This speaks of a new communion. Presently, as we partake of the bread and drink of the cup at the Lord’s table, we long to have close communion with Him. But Paul was right when he said we only see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12). In the New Jerusalem, however, we’ll at last see the visible glory of God. It won’t be fuzzy any longer. My vision of the Lord won’t be different from yours, for we’ll all be in His presence.
    • Now no one has seen God (John 1:18) but here at this point in time all believers will see His face:
      • Rev 22:4 - They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
    • This is the reason God created earth first time but human selfish disobedience spoiled that. Now the believers are those denied their flesh and followed God voluntarily as bond slaves. God will enjoy dwelling with His people.
    • God is also fulfilling his promise/prophesy at this point in time:
      • Ezekiel 37:25-28 - 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore." ' "
  22. What will God do to His people?
    4a
    And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain,
    • God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
    • there shall be
      • no more death, [People die (Is 65:20) during the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ but not now.]
      • nor sorrow,
      • nor crying.
    • There shall be no more pain,
      • (Jon Courson) “Being with the Lord in a new heaven and new earth sounds wonderful,” you might say.
        • But if my daughter or dad or husband or son isn’t there, won’t I weep eternally?
          • No, because when God creates the new heaven and earth, “the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17). That is, when we get to heaven we will not have memory of those who aren’t there.
    • Rev 22:3a - And there shall be no more curse,
    • (WW) The eternal city is so wonderful that the best way John found to describe it was by contrast - "no more." The believers who first read this inspired book must have rejoiced to know that, in heaven there would be no more pain, tears, sorrow, or death; for many of their number had been tortured and slain. In every age the hope of heaven has encouraged God's people in times of suffering.
  23. What did John hear from our Almighty God who sat on the throne?
    4b for the former things have passed away."
    5
    Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." 6a And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
    • From our Almighty God who sat on the throne John heard:
      1. for the former things have passed away.
      2. I make all things new."
        • (Jon Courson) There may be believers about whom you presently say, “I don’t want to spend eternity with her,” or “I don’t want to see him in the mansion next door to mine forever and ever”—but when we get to heaven we will find ourselves blown away by the very people who bugged us. The former things are passed away. There will be a glorious transformation of every believer, for when we see Jesus we shall all be like Him (1 John 3:2). The things that irritate you now about your spouse or neighbor will be eradicated in heaven. That is why Paul said, “I know no man after the flesh” (see 2 Corinthians 5:16). The flesh will be absent from heaven.
      3. And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
        • Whatever God said is true and He is faithfully accomplish it in His time.
      4. And He said to me, "It is done!
        • (Jon Courson) “It is done,” is the statement of a carpenter who has completed his work. Two thousand years ago, our Master Carpenter said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” Here in verse 6, He doesn’t say, “The place I prepared is a fixer-upper,” or, “It’s a good starter home,” or, “It’s got charm.” He says, “It is done.” How many of us have bought our dream house only to say a little while later, “If we knock out a wall there, add another bathroom here, take out this counter, and reshape the patio, this place will be a lot better”? Such will not be the case in heaven. Not one person will say, “This is great—but it could use a skylight or two.…” No, we’ll say, “This was designed perfectly for me. It’s exactly what I’ve been craving but could never articulate. It’s done.
      5. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
  24. Who will inherit all things?
    7a He who overcomes shall inherit all things,
    • Anyone who overcomes the world shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
    • How they will overcome the world?
      • Those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and have faith in Jesus Christ will overcome the world:
        • 1 John 5:4-5 - 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
        • Rev 12:11 - And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
        • (WM) It is He who blesses the overcomer with total inheritance and a new intimacy as between Father and son. As mentioned previously, an overcomer is one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1 Jn 5:5). By faith he overcomes the world (1 Jn. 5:4)
  25. What will they (overcomers) inherit or receive?
    1. 6b I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
      • God will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
      • What is this water of life?
        • John 4:7-14 - 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." 11 The woman said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?" 13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."
        • John 7:37-39 - 37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
        •  Is this water of life is Holy Spirit?
          • No. Since God and His Spirit is with us always so it is the water of life flows at the middle of the street in heaven:
            • Rev 22:1 - And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
            • (Jon Courson) There are three elements essential to any community. Here we see the first: resources. The water in the city of the new Jerusalem flows freely.
    2. 7a He who overcomes shall inherit all things,
      • They will inherit all these new things that God created.
      • (Jon Courson) Second, we see responsibility. The inheritance here is that of a father who’s sharing the family business with his son. Thus, the inheritance spoken of incorporates not only acquisition but also administration. That is, in eternity, there will not only be stuff to acquire but also things to do.
        • In Luke 19, Jesus says if we’re faithful in our responsibilities here on earth, we’ll be given cities to rule over in the ages to come eternally.
          • I’m not really into ruling, you might be thinking.
          • Listen, the things you really wish you could do here but can’t will, I believe, be your area of rule, your responsibility in heaven.
        • Some of you are master mechanics and find total satisfaction in tearing down and rebuilding an engine.
        • Others are authors, artists, or athletes who never seem to have enough time to do what you love because of your responsibilities here on earth.
        • I believe those are the very areas with which you will be involved eternally—or else why would God have given you those desires and gifts in the first place?
        • Those of you who feel life has passed you by without your ever being able to do what you really loved—take heart! I believe the time is coming when you will be ruling in heaven in the very arena that intrigues you here on earth.
    3. 7b I will be his God and he shall be My son.
      • Totally realize our son ship with almighty God. Believers in Christ will be experiencing from the time they become believer through His Holy Spirit.
        • Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
      • (Jon Courson) In addition to resources and responsibility, there will be a relationship in heaven unlike anything we’ve known on earth. In John 3:16, we read that God gave us His Son. In Luke 11:13, we read He gives us His Spirit. Here in Revelation 21:7, He gives us Himself.
  26. Who will not inherit these new things? or Who will not receive these blessings from God?
    8a
    But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars
    • Those who did not overcome the world by not believe that Jesus is the Son of God and have no faith in Jesus Christ will overcome the world.
    • (WW) The fearful are the cowardly, the people who did not have the courage to stand up for Christ (see Matt.1 10:32-33), The word abominable means "polluted," and refers to those who indulged in sin and were thus polluted in mind, spirit, and body (2 Cor. 7:1). The other characteristics mentioned in Revelation 21:8 need no special explanation, except to note that all of them would be true of "the beast's" followers (note Rev. 17:4, 6; 18:3, 9; 19:2).
    • Believers in Christ will not practice these sins or have this is sinful life style
      • Gal 5:21 - 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
  27. Where these will be?
    8b shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
    • These will be in the Hell or the lake of fire:
      • Rev 20:14-15 - 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Summary:

  • (WW) God's statements recorded in Revelation 21:5-6 aptly summarize these final two chapters: "Behold, I make all things new .... It is done!"

Application:

9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 t the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

Observation:

  1. Who talked with John?
    9a
    Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying,
  2. What did the angel say?
    9b "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife."
  3. What did the angel do to John?
    10a
    And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and
  4. What did the angel show to John?
    10b
    showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem,
  5. Where did the great city, the holy Jerusalem come from?
    10c descending out of heaven from God
    ,
  6. What did that holy Jerusalem has?
    1. 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
    2. 12a Also she had a great and high wall
    3. 12b with twelve gates, and
    4. 12c twelve angels at the gates, and
      • 12d names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
      • 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.
    5. 14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and
      • on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
  7. What did the angel have?
    15a
    And he who talked with me had a gold reed
  8. Why did the angel have the gold reed?
    15a to measure the city, its gates, and its wall.
  9. How big the city is?
    16a
    The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth.
    1. 16b And he measured the city with the reed:
      • 16c twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.
    2. 17a Then he measured its wall:
    3. 17a one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.
  10. How did the city made of?
    1. 18a The construction of its wall was of jasper; and
    2. 18b the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
    3. 19a The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones:
      • 19b the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 t the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
    4. 21a The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl.
    5. 21b And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

Interpretation:

  1. Who talked with John?
    9a
    Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying,
  2. What did the angel say?
    9b "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife."
  3. What did the angel do to John?
    10a
    And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and
  4. What did the angel show to John?
    10b
    showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem,
  5. Where did the great city, the holy Jerusalem come from?
    10c descending out of heaven from God
    ,
  6. Is this a literal city or symbolic?
    • (DG) Passages like this make some wonder if the New Jerusalem is a literal place at all. Some suggest that it is really just an exotic symbol of the Church, the Bride of Christ.
      • This heavenly city is literal, but it is called the bride, the Lamb’s wife because it is the place where all God’s people are gathered.
      • In this sense the New Jerusalem is certainly like the bride; but this association doesn’t diminish the reality behind the image. The city is associated with the bride to awe us with a sense of its beauty.
    • There is no church without believers same way there cannot be any city without people. This city consist of “the bride, the Lamb's wife”. So, it is beautiful like the bride.
      • The great Babylon city also described as the woman on the beast who are the beast followers that forms the city.
      • Rev 17:18 - And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth."
    • (WW) The eternal city is not only the home of the bride: it, the bride! A city is not buildings; it is people. The city John saw was holy and heavenly; in fact, it descended to earth from heaven, where it was prepared. John's description staggers the imagination, even accepting the fact that a great deal of symbolism is involved. Heaven is a real place of glory and beauty, the perfect home for the Lamb's bride.
      • In this city, saints of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant will he united. The twelve gates are identified with the twelve tribes of Israel, and the twelve foundations with the 12 Apostles (see Eph. 2:20). Including the tribe of Levi, there were actually thirteen tribes: and. including Paul. there were thirteen Apostles. When John listed the tribes in Revelation 7, both, Dan and Ephraim were omitted, perhaps indicating that we should not press these matters too literally. John is simply assuring us that all of God's believing people will be included in the city (Heb. 11:39-40).
  7. What did that holy Jerusalem has?
    1. 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
      • (WW) We have already noted that "the glory of God" has appeared in different places throughout history. God's glory dwelt in the tabernacle and then in the temple. Today, His glory dwells in believers and in His church. For all eternity, the glory of God will be seen in His holy city. It is the only light the city will need.
    2. 12a Also she had a great and high wall
      • (WW) The walls and gates speak of protection. God's people will never have to fear any enemies. Angels at the gates. will act as sentries!
    3. 12b with twelve gates, and
    4. 12c twelve angels at the gates, and
      • 12d names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
      • 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.
    5. 14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and
      • on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
  8. What did the angel have?
    15a
    And he who talked with me had a gold reed
  9. Why did the angel have the gold reed?
    15a to measure the city, its gates, and its wall.
  10. How big the city is?
    16a
    The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth.
    1. 16b And he measured the city with the reed:
      • 16c twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.
      • How much is the furlong?
        • A furlong is a measure of distance in imperial units and U.S. customary units equal to one-eighth of a mile (0.2 kilometers), equivalent to 220 yards, 660 feet, 40 rods, or 10 chains.
      • So, here it is 12,000 furlongs / 8 = 1500 miles (2,400 kilometers) long and wide.
      • (DG) This is the same distance from Maine to Florida; the square footage would approximate the size of the moon.
      • (L. Morris) “A city of this size is too large for the imagination to take in. John is certainly conveying the idea of splendour. And, more importantly, that of room for all.”
      • (Henry Morris) guessing that there will have been 100 billion people in the human race through history, and that 20% of them will be saved, calculated that each person would have a “block” with about 75 acres on each face to call their own. This is highly speculative, but illustrates the point that there is plenty of room in the New Jerusalem.
    2. 17a Then he measured its wall:
      • 17b one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.
      • How much is the cubits?
        • One cubit is 1.5 feet or 45.72 centimeter.
      • So, the wall is 144 * 1.5' = 216 feet.
  11. How did the city made up of?
    1. 18a The construction of its wall was of jasper; and
    2. 18b the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
    3. 19a The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones:
      • 19b the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
      • (WW) Building foundations are usually underground, but these foundations will not only be visible but beautifully garnished with precious stones. Each separate foundation will have its own jewel, and the blending of the colors will be magnificent as God's light shines through. No one can be dogmatic about the color of these gems, and it really does not matter.
        • Jasper, as we have seen, is a clear crystal. Sapphire is a blue stone, and chalcedony is probably greenish-blue. The emerald, of course, is green; and the sardonyx is like our onyx, a white stone streaked with brown, though some scholars describe it as red and white.
        • Sardius is a red stone (sometimes described as "blood red"), and chrysolite a yellow quartz like our modern topaz. Beryl is green and topaz a yellow-green. We are not sure abut the chrysoprasus; some thing it is golden-tinted stone, others, an apple-green color. The jacinth is probably blue, through some claim it was yellow; and the amethyst is a rich purple, or blue-red.
        • Our God is a God of beauty, and He will lavish His beauty on the city He is preparing for His people. Perhaps Peter had the holy city in mind when he wrote about the "manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10), for the word translated "manifold" means "many colored variegated."
    4. 21a The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl.
      • (WW) In ancient times, the pearl was considered a "royal gem," produced by a mollusk covering an irritating grain of sand within its shell. But the pearl gates of the heavenly city will never be closed (Rev. 21:25) because there will be no danger of anything entering that would disturb or defile her citizens.
    5. 21b And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

Application:

22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Observation:

  1. What did John not see?
    22a
    But I saw no temple in it,
  2. Who are the "temple" of the city?
    22b
    for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
  3. Why did the city have no need for the sun or the moon?
    23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
  4. Who walks in the light of the city?
    24a
    And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light,
  5. Who brings "their glory and honor" in the city?
    24b
    and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.
  6. Will the city's gates be open or shut? Why?
    25
    Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).
  7. What more the kings shall bring to the city?
    26
    And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
  8. Who are not allowed from entering?
    27a But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie,
  9. Who are readily allowed to enter?
    27b
    but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Interpretation:

  1. What did John not see?
    22a
    But I saw no temple in it,
  2. Why there is no temple exist?
    22b
    for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
    • What does this mean?
      • (DG) Here, ­­the temple was not removed, but expanded. Every­thing and every place is holy and the dwelling place of God.
        • Before Jesus the temple was a prophecy. In the Christian era God’s people are His temple. In the Millennium the temple will be a memorial. Here the temple is everywhere.
      • (Alford) “The inhabitants need no place of worship or sacrifice, the object of all worship being present, and the great sacrifice Himself being there.”
      • (WW) There will be no temple, since the entire city will be indwelt by God's presence. Indeed, "secular" and "sacred" will be indistinguishable in heaven.
      • We will be in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit like how we are asked us to be in Him here:
        • Eph 1:4,7,9,10,11,13 - 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth--in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
        • Col 1:17 - And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
        • Col 2:6-12 - 6 As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. 11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
        • Acts 17:28 - 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'
  3. What two more things did John not see?
    23a
    The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it,
  4. Why did the city have no need for the sun or the moon?
    23b for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
    • (WW) The sun and moon will be absent since the Lord is the light of the city, and there will never be any night (see Isa. 60:19).
    • Is 60:19-20 - 19 "The sun shall no longer be your light by day, Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; But the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, And your God your glory. 20 Your sun shall no longer go down, Nor shall your moon withdraw itself; For the Lord will be your everlasting light, And the days of your mourning shall be ended.
  5. What is the advantage of God being a light in the city?
    1. 24a And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light,
    2. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).
    3. There is no darkness this means there is no evil.
    4. (DG) Light speaks of joy, for in the Scriptures light and joy go together.
    5. (DG) Light speaks of beauty, because without light there is no beauty.
    6. (DG) Light speaks of knowledge and in heaven we will all know Him as He knows us.
  6. What are the kings of the earth bring into the city?
    1. 24b and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.
    2. 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
  7. Is there any difference between Rev 21:24 & Rev 21:26?
    • No.
  8. What does nations and kings of the nation means?
    • (WW) The mention of  nations in Revelation 21:24 and 26 suggests that there will be peoples (plural) on the new earth. Since in the eternal state there will be only glorified beings, we must not think that the earth will be populated with various nations such as exist today.
      • Instead, these verses reflect the ancient practice of kings and nations bringing their wealth and glory to the city of the greatest king.
      • In the heavenly city, everyone will honor the "King of kings" (see Pss. 68:29; 72:10-11; Isa. 60).
      • Psalm 68:29 - Because of Your temple at Jerusalem, Kings will bring presents to You.
      • Psalm 72:10-11 - 7 In His days the righteous shall flourish, And abundance of peace, Until the moon is no more. 8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth. 9 Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him, And His enemies will lick the dust. 10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles Will bring presents; The kings of Sheba and Seba Will offer gifts. 11 Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; All nations shall serve Him.
    • Or all believers are given a place outside the New Jerusalem.
  9. Who are not allowed from entering?
    27a But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie,
  10. Does this mean non-believers who defiles, cause abomination and lie exist in the New Earth, the New Jerusalem and the New Heaven?
    • No, they will not exist in the Holy City New Jerusalem but they will be in lake of fire (Hell). Here God is reassuring that there is no way they can enter into this city.
      • 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
      • 24a And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light,
      • 27b but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
      • 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).

Application:

  1. What will you first look for when you enter God's holy city?
  2. As citizen, what is your 'contribution' to God's holy city?
  3. Are you lacking anything to enter God's holy city?
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