Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Revelation - Chapter 21

Chapter 21

 The next two chapters are very difficult chapters.  They present to us a picture of the future.  It is impossible to put into words an accurate description of Heaven.  Heaven is so far beyond our fondest imagination that words cannot adequately describe what it will be. 

When you get into eternity, there is little you can say.  It isn’t in our vocabulary to describe it.

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. 

John is permitted to see the new heaven and new earth.  This is discussed in 2 Peter 3:5.
The new heaven and new earth will have no sea.  The sea is a picture of unrest and trouble.  Isaiah 5:30 speaks of the roaring of the sea and Isaiah 57:20 refers to the wicked as being like the sea.  So in Heaven, there will be nothing to remind us of unrest and trouble.

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. 

John is given a perfect view.  This is the headquarters for the universe of eternity.  It will be the personal residence of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Some think this may be the dwelling place of the bride.  

God’s dwelling place will never undergo any change at all.  His house is perfect, unmarred and unscarred by sin.  Neither evil nor enemy shall ever invade God’s new heaven and earth.
The term holy city appears three times in Revelation (11:2, 21:2, 22:19).  The first time it refers to the literal city of Jerusalem and the other two times, it refers to the holy city after the battle of Gog and Magog.

“New Jerusalem” here is in contrast to the literal city of Jerusalem.

The word new is used here three times, new heaven, new earth, and New Jerusalem.
Notice where all of this is coming from.  He does not say nor suggest that it came to rest upon the earth’s surface.  I believe that the holy city will be suspended between Heaven and earth.  This holy city illustrates the glory of eternity.  

“Prepared as a bride” - It was prepared at a point in the past and it will stand forever.
In John 14:2, Jesus said He was going to prepare this place and here it is complete and ready.
This is a literal city, thus we will occupy a real city.

“Adorned for her husband” - This lets us know there are not enough adjectives in all the languages of all the world to describe the magnificence of the city John saw coming down from God out of Heaven.

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. 

This appears to be the voice of God. 
“Behold” - means to look.

This does not refer to the tabernacle in the Old Testament.  It refers to Jesus Christ himself.  Jesus will be in His glory in eternity.  Jesus dwelt in the tabernacle in the wilderness, but here He is the tabernacle.

This is the fulfillment of Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”  No mediator is needed, just “God with them.”

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. 

This is not the Lord Jesus wiping the tears, but, rather it is Jehovah God himself.
God’s people are assured that all tears are wiped from their eyes.  God has brought an end to the cause that sin brought upon man.  All memories are removed forever.  There will be perfect happiness in this eternal state.

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. 

This is Jehovah God sitting on His throne, the throne of omnipotence, the throne of absolute sovereignty.  

God will not repair or improve on the old order, but rather, make all things brand new.

“Write…” - This is to emphasize the idea that God is going to keep His promises to us.  This is a command from Jehovah God.

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. 

“It is done” means that it is a settled fact.  Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet, and here it refers to the eternity of Christ.  This tells us that all testimony on the earth began with God and will end in His glory.

The fountain is God, the water is promised to all that are thirsty.  The water of life is God’s gift freely given.  It cannot be bought.

7. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 

The overcomers are those who have trusted in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:4,5).  This is the fulfillment of the promise of eternal life. Notice the inheritance, all things.

The relationship we have with Christ in time is carried over into eternity.  Just one decision we make in time carries over into all eternity.  This is grace at its best.

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. 

In this verse is the list of characteristics of those that will have part in the lake of fire.
1.      fearful - cowardly.  Those afraid to trust and identify with Christ.
2.      Unbelieving - bold Christ rejecters.
3.      Abominable - filthy, despicable, dopers, sex maniacs, alcoholics from the gutter of the street of forgotten men.
4.      Murderers - groups like Judas, Hitler, Stalin, and many gangsters.
5.      Fornicators - lustful, immoral and unclean group.
6.      Sorcerers - ones who profess to talk with spirits of the other world, witches, devil worshipers, witchcraft, etc.
7.      Idolaters - ones who worshiped other gods or idols.
8.      Liars - those who couldn’t tell the truth, or those who misrepresented the truth.
9.      Whoremongers - rapists, the immoral, women chasers, harlots, prostitutes: both famous and not so famous.

These are the unbelievers in eternity.  They will have their part in the lake of fire.
They will burn and will continue to burn forever.  This is their place forever - the lake of fire.

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. 

John is invited by one of the seven angels that poured out the seven vials to come with him to see 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, 

John is carried away in the spirit to a high vantage point.  Notice John saw this in the spirit, we will experience it literally.

John saw a complete view of that glorious city.  The following is a comparison of this Jerusalem to the millennial Jerusalem.
1.      Millennial Jerusalem has natural light.
2.      New Jerusalem has spiritual light.
3.      Millennial Jerusalem has no walls.
4.      New Jerusalem will have walls 200 feet tall.
5.      Millennial Jerusalem will have animal sacrifices.
6.      New Jerusalem has no animal sacrifices.
7.      Millennial Jerusalem has living water coming out of the temple.
8.      New Jerusalem will have water coming out of the throne.
9.      Millennial Jerusalem will have some unsaved in it.
10.  New Jerusalem will have only saved in it.
11.  Millennial Jerusalem has trees for food.
12.  New Jerusalem has the tree of life.

11. Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 

We find here this city has “the glory of God.”  God made this city and it reflects His glory.  Jasper stone is a perfect diamond.

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: 

Here we have the description of the wall, great and high.  Angels are door keepers.
The names of the gates are the twelve tribes of Israel:  Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Nepthalim, Manasses, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zabulon, Joseph and Benjamin.

13. On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 

This verse tells us the location of the gates.  Three on east wall, three on north wall, three in south wall, and three on west wall.

14. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 

This verse tells us about the foundation of this city.  There are twelve foundations.  This is like twelve floors, each being the same size.

Names of the 12 apostles written in the foundations:  Simon, Andrew, James, John, Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James, Lebbaeus, Simon.  This is eleven!

Judas Iscariot’s name will not be there, rather, Paul’s name will be there.

“Of the Lamb.” - this is Jesus.  Only two New Testament writers ever referred to Christ as the Lamb.  They are Peter and John.

15. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 

This angel is talking with John. 
“golden reed” - is a measuring stick or rod.  He is measuring this beautiful place.
“the city” - is New Jerusalem.

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. 

This means the city was perfectly square. 
“the length is as large as the breadth” - The same in each direction. 
“Twelve thousand furlongs.” This is 1,500 miles long, high, and wide.

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. 

Here is the measurement of the wall thickness.
“An hundred and forty and four cubits” - 216 feet thick.
“According to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.: - A cubit was from the elbow to the tip of the finger of a man, about 18 inches.

18. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 

Here we have a list of the building materials God used in the city.
Jasper is a perfect blue diamond.
Pure gold - not 10 or 14 carat, but pure gold.  What a city!
It is so translucent, you can see yourself in it.

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. 

Here is a description of the foundations of the wall.  Here is a list of these precious stones:
1.      Jasper - perfect blue/white diamond.
2.      Sapphire - blue stone.
3.      Chalcedony - turquoise stone
4.      Emerald - green stone
5.      Sardonyx - red stone.
6.      Sardius - a ruby.  This was worn in the breastplate of the High Priest.  It was mined near Sardius.
7.      Chrysolyte - yellowish green silicate.
8.      Beryl - medium gree stone.
9.      Topaz - light yellow stone.
10.  Chrysoprasus - a bright green stone.
11.  Jacinth - an orange or brown stone.
12.  Amethyst - a purple stone.

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. 

Here is the description of the gates and what they are made of.
Each gate was made of one pearl.  Have you ever seen a pearl that big?  These gates are huge.
Streets are pure gold - without mixture.
It was so pure and shining it looks like glass.

22. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 

No need for a place of worship.  We will be with Christ and that is enough.

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. 

Christ will be all the light that is needed.  He told us He was the light of the world.  There will be no darkness there ever.

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. 

Notice nations will be there.  This verse tells us the city will be the center of eternity and the saints shall enter it to bring honor and glory to the great God of glory.

25. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 

The pearl gates will never be closed.  There is no nights there.  Darkness in the Bible often speaks of evil and wicked actions.

26. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 

This is the eternal saints of God.  Saints will come to the city to give honor and glory to the Lord.  Notice nations will be there.

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.

This verse tells us no sin will ever enter the city, nothing will ever defile.  No fallen angels or unbelievers will ever be there.  Only God’s blood washed believers.

This book was once called the book of life, but here at the end, the only names in this book are those washed in the blood of Calvary’s Lamb.

Remember, this Lamb’s book is not the church book nor a book of religion.

Clark, Neal. Survey of the Book of Revelation. Pensacola, Florida: Thee WFBI Press, 1999. Print.
Falwell, Jerry. Liberty Commentary on the New Testament. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty Press, 1978. Print.

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