The New Earth (Rev. 21 - 22:5)
Bible Passage:Read about this prophecy in Revelation 21 and 22.
Theme:The restoration of the earth.
Revelation 21:1 "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."
Revelation 21:2-8 "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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 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."
As we saw in the previous chapter 20, after the New Jerusalem lands on earth and the wicked are raised to life, there is a struggle to take over the city. But, the wicked are destroyed forever ("second death") and the righteous inherit the city and the whole earth. Thus the plan of salvation is complete ("it is done" - v. 6). From this point on there will be no more sin, pain or suffering. No tears. No death. All will live forever, with their precious redeemer who made it possible. This is a promise we can count on ("these words are true and faithful").
Revelation 21:9-11 "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. 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, 11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;"
Lamb's wife = Christ's church. The Lamb represents Jesus. The bride of Jesus is His church. So, the Lamb's wife, which is the New Jerusalem, represents Christ's church.
In the spirit = In vision. John is taken again in vision ("in the spirit") to a high viewpoint to see the magnificient city. Because of God's presence, the city looks bright and transparent. Note: We find out in verse 23 that the light from God is so bright that there is never a night time in the city.
Revelation 21:12-21 "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: 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 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. 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. 18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 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; 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. 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 wall measures 144 cubits, probably describing its thickness (since we were already told its height), which is about 216 feet thick. Don't worry, the walls will not block your view; they are transparent. The walls were measured by the angel, but the measurement was done using the measuring system of humans (cubits and furlongs) ("measure of a man").
The foundations of the wall were decorated ("garnished") with various precious stones, the same types of stone found on the breastplate of the priests in the earthly sanctuary.
The description of the city builds on the metaphor already presented in the Bible of a building being erected, which is likened to the building of His church:
- Jesus is the cornerstone.
"10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:10-12).
- The apostles are foundation stones.
"19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Eph. 2:19-22).
- All believers are stones and pillars.
"4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded." (1 Pet. 2:4-6)
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Foundations = The 12 apostles laid the foundation that Jesus established while on earth.
Gates = The 12 tribes of Israel opened up the way for Jesus to come to earth.
Walls = The 144,000 finish the walls ("an hundred and forty and four cubits"), giving the last message of warning to the world just prior to Jesus' Second Coming.
Revelation 21:22-27 "22 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. 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. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 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."
The city has no need of protection, for there is no evil present. All who come there are those who are saved; those who God has purified.
Revelation 22:1-2 "1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
Revelation 22:3 "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:"
Revelation 22:4 "And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads."
Revelation 22:5 "And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. "
Continue to Epilogue (Rev. 22:6 to 22:21)...