Revelation Study # 11 – Chapters 21 & 22 – Randy Thomas
Along Revelation chapter 21 New Jerusalem now we are beyond the thousand years the first heaven has passed away Peter tells us it passes away with a great noise with a fervent heat as the elements are dissolved Revelation 21 verse 1 then I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth passed away and there is no longer any sea a new heaven and a new earth a familiar theme in scripture for behold I create new heavens and a new earth and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind but be glad and rejoice forever in what I create for behold I create a Jerusalem as a rejoicing and her people a joy Isaiah 65 verses 17 through 19 of old you laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the work of your hands 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 but you are the same and your years will have no end Psalm 102 verses 25 through 27 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire and the elements will melt with fervent Heat nevertheless we according to his promise look for a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells second Peter 3 verses 12 and 13 knew the Greek word Cain means new in quality as in fresh rather than meaning recent or new in time is this new heaven and new earth the Millennial earth or is it something beyond it definitely seems to be past the millennial earth this is what we think of as heaven and eternity in this chapter we see that the history of time is finished the history of eternity is about to begin the eternal state is clearly indicated in the absence of C for frequent mention of bodies of water occur in millennial passages the evidence of Revelation is so specific that most commentators do not question that the eternal state is in view is this a new earth or one that has been remade jesus said that heaven and earth shall pass away but his word would live forever Luke 21 verse 33 in Isaiah 65 verse 17 God says prophetically that he creates bara a new heaven and earth the word is used in Genesis 1 verse 1 of creating ex nihilo out of nothing some take this newness as being only a spiritual and immoral change but there seems to be a genuine physical transformation in mind there was no more sea no more sea to the Jewish mind the sea is a symbol of separation and evil it is the source of the Satanic beast and the place of the dead it is associated with the heathen and with Gentiles in a more general sense revelation 21 verse 2 and I saw the holy city New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God made ready as a bride adorned for her husband revelation 21 verse 3 and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying behold the tabernacle of God is among men and he will dwell among them and they shall be his people and God Himself will be among them revelation 21 verse 4 and he will wipe away every tear from their eyes and there will no longer be any death and there will no longer be any mourning or crying or pain the first things have passed away the new jerusalem descends from heaven this is the jerusalem of hope hebrews 12 verse 22 the Jerusalem above Galatians 4 verse 26 the place of our real citizenship Philippians 3 verse 20 holy and new distinguished the city Jerusalem gives its continuity with earth especially with the place of our Redemption the tabernacle of God is with men and he will dwell with them the Mosaic Tabernacle was a symbol of God’s presence this is the reality of his presence the essence of God’s desire and man’s purpose is succinctly stated to live with God and to be his people the New Jerusalem is distinguished by what it does not have no tears sorrow death or pain and later no temple sacrifice sun moon darkness sin or abomination there is no just ground for imagining from this text that the Saints will shed tears in heaven concerning the failures of their former life on earth the emphasis here is on the comfort of God not on the remorse of the saints some have speculated that the New Jerusalem is in existence during the millennium as a City suspended in the sky a heavenly City for the redeemed who would have free access between the New Jerusalem and the old but millennial earth revelation 21 verse 5 and he who sits on the throne said behold I am making all things new and he said write for these words are faithful and true all things new this is one of the few times in Revelation where we clearly see God speaking directly from his throne this statement is in the present tense I am making everything new this is the consummation of God’s work of renewal and redemption having begun here and now in our present time therefore we do not lose heart even though our outward man is perishing yet the inward man is being renewed day by day therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation old things have passed away behold all things have become new 2nd Corinthians 4 verse 16 and five verse seventeen presumably this means not only that everything will be made new but also that everything will stay then new the entropy law will be repealed nothing will wear out or decay and no one will age or atrophy anymore this is a brief glance at the thinking behind God’s eternal plan he had to allow sin in its destruction in order to do a greater work of making all things new our instinct is to romantically consider innocence as man’s perfect state and wish Adam would never have done what he did but we fail to realize that redeemed man is greater than innocent man that we gain more in Jesus than we ever lost in Adam God’s perfect state is one of redemption John is probably so astounded by these words that he forgot to write and must be told to do so revelation 21 verse 6 then he said to me it is done I am the Alpha and the Omega the beginning and the end I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost revelation 21 verse 7 he who overcomes will inherit these things and I will be his God and he will be my son revelation 21 verse 8 but for the Cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all Liars their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death the invitation and a warning it is done God’s eternal purpose and Jesus is now accomplished Ephesians 1 verse 10 has been fulfilled 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 all things have been resolved or summed up in Jesus it is done those who overcome by faith in Jesus as stated in 1st John 5 verse 5 enjoy a special relationship with God but the Jesus rejecting and apostate are specifically prohibited from entering the New Jerusalem cowardly Jesus is not speaking of natural timidity but of that cowardice which in the last resort chooses self and safety before Christ revelation 21 verse 9 then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me saying come here I will show you the bride the wife of the Lamb revelation 21 verse 10 and he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God the nature of the New Jerusalem an angel will show John the city in greater detail is this city literal or is it just an exotic symbol of the church the Bride of Christ it is certainly like the bride but this association doesn’t diminish the reality behind the image the city is associated with the bride to Oz with the sense of beauty revelation 21 verse 11 having the glory of God her brilliance was like a very costly stone as a stone of crystal-clear Jasper revelation 21 verse 12 it had a great and high wall with twelve gates and at the gates twelve angels and the names were written on them which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel revelation 21 verse 13 there were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west revelation 21 verse 14 and the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones and on them were the twelve names of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb the city’s brilliance else gates and foundation the wall is not needed for defense but it gives the city perimeters and shows us that some will be excluded from the city only the righteous can enter the names of the tribes on the gates communicate the unity and heritage that the people of God have with Israel Israel’s tribes will never be forgotten by God some have thought the arrangement of gates harkens back to the camp layout used during the Exodus the foundations are an eternal testimony to the Apostles and their permanent place in God’s plan the New Jerusalem and the church are founded upon the Apostles revelation 21 verse 15 the one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city and its gates and its wall revelation 21 verse 16 the city is laid out as a square and its length is as great as its width and he measured the city with the rod 1,500 miles its length and width and height are equal revelation 21 verse 17 and he measured its wall 72 yards according to human measurements which are also angelic measurements the dimensions of the city its length height and width are equal it is either a cube or a pyramid an equidistant cube is reminiscent of the Holy of Holies the entire city is the most holy place the city is enormous twelve thousand furlongs equals 1500 miles this is from Maine to Florida the square footage would approximate the moon’s a city of this size is too large for the imagination to take in Jesus is certainly conveying the idea of splendor author Henry Morris guessing that there will have been 100 billion people in the human race and that 20% of them will be saved calculates that each person would have a block with about 75 acres on each face to call their own here a man’s cubit is equivalent to an Angels revelation 21 verse 18 the material of the wall was Jasper and the city was pure gold like clear glass revelation 21 verse 19 the foundation stones of the city were adorned with every kind of precious stone the first foundation stone was jasper the second sapphire the third chalcedony the fourth emerald revelation 21 verse 20 the fifth sardonyx the sixth sardius the seventh chrysolite the eighth beryl the ninth topaz the tenth chrysoprase the eleventh jacinth the twelfth amethyst revelation 21 verse 21 and the twelve gates were twelve pearls each one of the gates was a single pearl and the city was pure gold like transparent glass the beauty of its structure when we read of Jasper and pure gold and all kinds of precious stones we would take these as literal representations yet they express realities of another world John’s use of material riches to describe the city is his way of bringing out the very great value of what God has for his people the exact definition of the gems is difficult but the impression is of unending staggering beauty the symbolism is not meant to give the impression of wealth and luxury but to point to the glory and holiness of God if there is any biblical reference point for the variety of gems it is probably the high priests breastplate Exodus verses 15 to 21 the constant mention of transparency indicates that the city is designed to transmit the glory of God in the form of light without hindrance if the dimensions and descriptions seem confusing or implies possible there are two main principles to keep in mind understand the ideas communicated in the details glory splendor beauty and so forth understand that this is the city whose architect and maker is God Hebrews 11 verse 10 we should expect it to be beyond us revelation 21 verse 22 I saw no temple in it for the Lord God the Almighty and the lamb are its temple revelation 21 verse 23 and the city has no need of the Sun or of the moon to shine on it for the glory of God has illumined it and it’s lamp is the lamb the temple of the New Jerusalem God is all in the city in the ancient world it was unthinkable to have a great city without many different temples here the temple is not removed but expanded everything 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 Millenium it will be a memorial here the temple is everywhere the inhabitants need no place of worship or sacrifice the object of all worship being present and the great sacrifice himself being there heaven will be a place of pure worship the means we use buildings music systems customs etc will not distract us from the object of our worship revelation 21 verse 24 the nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it revelation 21 verse 25 in the daytime for there will be no night there its gates will never be closed revelation 21 verse 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nation’s into it revelation 21 verse 27 and nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying shall ever come into it but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life access into the city what about these kings of the earth who are they how encouraging to note that not all were destroyed when the nations came to do battle against Jerusalem and the Lord Himself there will also be kings of the earth who will be a part of the eternal state among the mysteries of this new heaven and earth this is set forth to us that besides the glorious church there shall still be dwelling on the renewed earth nations organized by kings and saved by means of the influences of the heavenly city does verse 27 mean that such people will threaten the city no the exhortation warns present readers that the only way to participate in the future city is to turn ones loyalties to the Lamb now Revelation chapter 22 paradise restored revelation 22 verse 1 then he showed me a river of the water of life clear as crystal coming from the throne of God and of the lamb the interior of the New Jerusalem the river the picture of a river is powerful being a prophets symbol of richness particularly in the Judean climate see Zechariah 14 verse 8 and Ezekiel 47 verses 1 through 9 or as expressed by the psalmist in psalm 46 verses 4 through 5 there is a river whose streams shall make glad the City of God the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High God is in the midst of her she shall not be moved God shall help her just at the break of dawn clear as crystal referring to pure absolutely unpolluted waters revelation 22 verse 2 in the middle of its street on either side of the river was the tree of life bearing 12 kinds of fruit yielding its fruit every month and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nation’s The Tree of Life the Bible begins with the Tree of Life which man was not allowed to eat from after the sin at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil now we see the Tree of Life again now at last almost at the end of the great drama of the Bible man may return and legitimately enjoy the blessing which he was banished for illegitimately desiring why do the nations need healing rather than specifically meaning healing it should be understood as health giving as the word in its root meaning has the idea of serving or ministering in other words the leaves of the tree promote the enjoyment of life in the New Jerusalem and are not for correcting ills which do not exist are these pictures of heaven literal or symbolic descriptions of another world must be symbols but when God says River we will say River for now even if it doesn’t match perfectly what we call a river on earth revelation 22 verse 3 there will no longer be any curse and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it and his bondservants will serve Him revelation 22 verse 4 they will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads revelation 22 verse 5 and there will no longer be any night and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the Sun because the Lord God will illumine them and they will reign forever and ever what will it be like and what will the Saints do heaven will be a place where there shall be no more curse since the fall man and creation have lived with the effect of the curse described in Genesis 3 verses 16 through 19 sorrow and pain and childbirth for women friction between the sexes the necessity of hard often futile work for man’s sustenance and most of all death these things will even be present during the Millennium though greatly mitigated by the perfect rule of Jesus but now they are done away with forever heaven will be a place where his servants shall serve Him there will be work and service for us to do in heaven however this is a picture of the pure blessedness of service rather than tired stressful jobs we have now heaven is not a place of everlasting leisure but a place where service is done centering on God heaven will be a place where we shall see his face it will be a place of intimate face-to-face fellowship with God Moses was denied the privilege of seeing God face to face but all in heaven due because of Jesus we can know something of the face of God right now for it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ 2nd Corinthians 4 verse 6 yet Paul also anticipated a greater fulfillment of our seeing the face of God for now we see in a mirror dimly but then face to face now I know in part but then I shall know just as I am known first Corinthians 13 verse 12 I guarantee whatever the Lord will have us do will be perfect for us and that we will never grow tired or bored of doing it heaven will be a place where his name shall be on their foreheads we will be forever identified with our God and there will never be any doubt that we belong to him heaven will be a place where there shall be no more night there the darkness of this age will be forever gone the light is not artificial even from the Sun God Himself is the light heaven will be a place where they shall reign for ever and ever there is an eternal reign in contrast to the limited duration of the millennium it will never end revelation 22 verse 6 and he said to me these words are faithful and true and the Lord the god of the spirits of the Prophet sent his angel to show his bondservants the things which must soon take place revelation 22 verse 7 and behold I am coming quickly blessed is he who heeds the word of the prophecy of this book the angel and Jesus add words of verification the angel that has been showing these things to John declares that these words are faithful and true if it all seemed too good to be true John is assured that it is in fact true and certain Jesus breaks in with a reminder to all that he is coming quickly why does it seem that it has been so long was Jesus wrong here the word quickly in the Greek isn’t exactly the same as our word quickly the word quickly might with accuracy be rendered suddenly still the early church expected Jesus return soon were they just wrong or were they misled by Jesus no they were not wrong they were not misled by Jesus God wants to keep all generations expectant watching and ready for his return we are not rushing towards a distant brink of the consummation of all things we are running parallel along the edge of that brink and have been since the time of the Apostles thus the time has always been at hand Jesus pronounces a blessing on he who keeps the word of the prophecy of this book prophecy gives us a word to keep not merely material for interesting discussions and debates the main intent of prophecy is to lead us to trust and obey God and apply his truth to our living revelation 22 verse 8 I John and the one who heard and saw these things and when I heard and saw I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things revelation 22 verse 9 but he said to me do not do that I am a fellow servant of yours and of the Brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book were chip God John is corrected for worshiping an angel again as he did in revelation 19 verse 10 john is overwhelmed and Baus before an angel in worship again in the same way the angel reminds john that only God is to be worshipped and that they are both players on the same team along with all who keep the words of this book know created being is to be worshipped this is in contrast with Jesus who receives the worship of angels Hebrews 1 verse 6 and of men Matthew 8 verse 2 14 verse 33 and John 9 verse 38 it is striking that even someone who has received all these visions may go astray supernatural visions and revelations do not mean that someone is right in their doctrine teaching or practice revelation 22 verse 10 and he said to me do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book for the time is near revelation 22 verse 11 let the one who does wrong still do wrong and the one who is filthy still be filthy let the one who is righteous still practice righteousness and the one who is holy still keep himself holy a warning is given either by the same angel or by Jesus because the time is at hand and history now runs parallel to the brink of the consummation of all things his book isn’t sealed in contrast to Old Testament prophecy see Daniel 8 verse 26 men seal it in defiance of God’s command in verse 11 the thought is probably since Jesus is coming so suddenly there won’t be time for change there will be no time for last-minute repentance but there is time now if what you have read in Revelation hasn’t changed you there isn’t much hope it is the hopelessness of the final state of the wicked witch is here pictured the states of both the evil and the good are now fixed forever there is no word here about a second chance hereafter if the warnings of this book are not sufficient there is no more that God has to say there are preachers professors authors commentators and sincere brothers and sisters who say don’t read revelation is too complicated there are too many interpretations seal it up but here is a direct command from heaven don’t shut it people think revelation is a hard book to understand but if you follow the divine outline given in chapter 1 verse 19 it becomes crystal clear chapter 1 Jesus resurrected chapters 2 and 3 church history chapters 4 and 5 the rapture chapters 6 through 19 the tribulation chapter 20 the Millennium chapters 21 and 22 the new heaven and new earth this book is to be kept open and the same holds true for us when you’re done reading it don’t say well that about wraps up the book of Revelation for the next fourteen years because this book has a unique blessing attached to it that says blessed are they who hear these words of this prophecy see revelation 1 verse 3 if we seal it up or put it aside we will be poorer for it revelation 22 verse 12 behold I am coming quickly and my reward is with me to render to every man according to what he has done revelation 22 verse 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega the first and the last the beginning and the end Jesus declares I am coming quickly we can never miss the note of urgency and warning in all what Jesus tells us about his coming his message is always be ready if Jesus will give to everyone according to his work does that mean that we are saved by our works no but it does show that living faith will have works with it it is the quality of a man life which provides the ultimate indication of what he really believes as an added incentive for us to do and be what is right being ready for Jesus return he reminds us just who he is the Alpha and Omega the beginning and the end the first and the last if we really knew and understood who Jesus is we would not have any trouble living for him as we should the term Alpha and Omega is applied to God in chapter 1 verse 8 and chapter 21 verse 6 and here alone to Christ crowning proof in this book of christ’s deity that jesus claims to be the first and the last is also an irrefutable proof that he claims to be Yahweh the Lord I the LORD am the first and with the last I am he Isaiah 41 verse 4 revelation 22 verse 14 blessed are those who wash their robes so that they may have the right to the Tree of Life and may enter by the gates into the city revelation 22 verse 15 outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices lying a blessing and a curse is pronounced by someone perhaps John perhaps the angel perhaps Jesus himself doing His commandments does not earn us eternal life but it is evidence that we have been granted eternal life there is a textual dispute with the phrase those who do His commandments some translations have those who have washed their robes instead the difference is between Hawaii on testosterone and Hawaii PO I own test Austin Tallis do His commandments there is a good example of how a copyists error can cloud a text in rather minor ways without affecting the essential meaning of the context what about those out side the verse does not intend to teach that in the eternal state all manner of wicked men will be living just outside the heavenly City it simply describes the future with the imagery of the present why does it say that all dogs will be outside is this a refutation of the idea of doggy heaven no what is meant here is not literal dogs but the morally impure dogs in the Oriental cities are scavengers and excite unspeakable contempt revelation 22 verse 16 I Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things for the churches I am the root and the descendant of David the bright morning star Jesus brings a word of verification Jesus is authenticating the entire book thus the very God of all inspiration and of all inspired men reiterates and refers the highest authority for all that is herein written either then this book is nothing but a base and blasphemous forgery unworthy of the slightest respect of men and specially unworthy of a place in the sacred Canon or it is one of the most directly inspired and authoritative writings ever given it is written to the churches this book is not a private affair knowable only by an elite but for all believers root and offspring of David is a precious messianic title Jesus is both the creator of King David and his descendant Jesus played on the same idea in Matthew chapter 22 verses 41 to 46 revelation 22 verse 17 the spirit and the bride say come and let the one who hears say come and let the one who is thirsty come let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost the spirit and the bride say to all come is this an invitation to Jesus asking him to return or is it an invitation to those with original thirst to come why not both remember an invitation is both an opportunity and a responsibility if we decline an invitation we have only ourselves to blame revelation 22 verse 18 I testify to everyone who hears the word of the prophecy of this book if anyone adds to them God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book revelation 22 verse 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city which are written in this book a warning is brought by someone either Jesus or an angel or John in most red-letter editions these words are in black but the solemnity of the injunction suggests that the speaker is Christ himself what a solemn warning this is to critics who have tampered with this book and other portions of Scripture in arrogant self-confidence that they are equipped intellectually and spiritually to determine what is true and what is not true in the Word of God these verses speak specifically of this book but the principle applies to the entire Bible we need the entire Bible don’t take away from it and we need only the Bible don’t add to it revelation 22 verse 20 he who testifies to these things says yes I am coming quickly amen come Lord Jesus revelation 22 verse 21 the grace of the Lord Jesus be with all amen last words to the very end we see the emphasis on readiness and watchfulness remaining if we miss this practical lesson from revelation the lesson of readiness then we have missed the essential message of the book John says Maranatha or come Lord Jesus revelation concerns many prophetic events but the book closes with John’s desiring Jesus returned for the church the wrath at the very close of the book is the confession that the answers to the problems of life do not lie in man’s ability to create a better world but in return of the one whose sovereign power controls the course of human affairs the book and the Bible ends with a word of grace it is a good word for the close of this marvelous picture of God’s gracious provision for his people in Earth in heaven the last verse of the Old Testament contains a curse lest I come back and strike the earth with a curse Malachi 4 verse 6 the last words of the New Testament speak of grace God is merciful and full of grace remember the story of Noah and the Ark well Noah did not just build the Ark he had it sitting in his driveway for over 120 years the ark stood as a witness to the world that a flood was coming today another type of flood is coming a flood of God’s wrath and judgment even though the ark was in Noah’s driveway they all missed the signs right before their eyes and sadly also missed the boat today the signs are all around us right before our eyes the question is will you ignore the signs or will you believe the signs and be ready and waiting the Bible says according to the lord’s own words we tell you that we who are still alive who are left till the coming of the Lord will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep for the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a loud command with the voice of the Archangel and with the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ will rise first after that we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will be with the Lord forever 1st Thessalonians 4 verses 15 through 17 God will come for his church suddenly at a time when we least expected for this reason he instructs us to be ready always prepared and on guard for his coming as those around us turn their backs on God worshiping themselves other gods or false prophets instead we should be looking up we should have our spiritual lives in order so that we might escape what is to come especially as we are now witnessing the signs of the end times God reminds us that we need to be in prayer constantly so that we will not be led down the other path and miss his coming…
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.
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