Revelation 21: 1 – 27
Finally – We Can Begin Anew
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.” 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 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. 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.
Open your Bibles and turn to chapter 2 of the book of Genesis. Now think what you are looking at. Our Great and Holy Creator God made all things good. But because of our ancestor’s sin we have in the rest of God’s Holy Word, His ways of returning us rebellious humans back to fellowship with Him. Today we will find out how we will again be able to experience Paradise. From what we read today, I want you to take time this week and meditate on these precious promises.
21.1 ‘And I saw a new Heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away, and the sea is no more.’
John's vision is of a new heaven and a new earth, reminding him that the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. John had seen the first heaven and the first earth "pass away" just five verses earlier: in chapter 20 verse 11,"Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them". The words, "heaven" and "sky" are the same word in Greek. The NIV, which translated that word appropriately as "sky" in 20:11, has here obscured the similarity between the two passages by translating it as "heaven." John's point is that the "earth and sky" that disappeared are now replaced with "a new sky" and "a new earth," in other words, a new world--a whole new human environment.
Please note that something is different - there was no longer any sea. Nothing was said in the preceding section about the sea disappearing with the sky and the earth. We read in chapter 20 verse 13 that ‘The sea remained and, with death and Hades, "gave up the dead" that were in it. In verse 14 then as soon as the dead were judged, death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. So, what about the sea?
Because it would be incongruous to have the sea thrown into the lake of fire, John contents himself with the observation that there was no longer any sea. The sea, like Hades, was to him a realm of death. Millions of dead are buried at sea, just as millions are buried in the earth. John was told of a beast coming out of the Abyss, or bottomless pit (11:7), but what he himself later saw was the beast coming out of the sea (13:1). From his perspective the sea, the Abyss and Hades all amount to much the same thing. What is more natural for a man imprisoned on a lonely island than to view the waters separating him from his companions on the mainland as waters of death? His perception that there was no longer any sea is simply another way of saying that in the new creation there is no more death (v. 4). It is possible, in fact, by ignoring the chapter divisions, to draw 21:1 into the arrangement of the preceding chapter:
(a) "the sea gave up the dead that were it"
(b) "death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them"
(b') "death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire"
(a') "there was no longer any sea"
21.2 ‘And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.’
This descent is on the new earth, the new creation. The creation of Genesis 1 is no more, except in the sense that it has been the prototype of the new creation. The idea is that just as God created the old world and then created man to populate it, so now, having created the new unpopulated earth He sends down from Heaven the city of His people, to the prepared place. The holy city has put on her beautiful garments and is as a bride adorned for her husband.
John's new creation, then, consists of a new sky and a new earth, without the sea and what the sea represents. Above all it consists of the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. John has no interest in the new sky and new earth. They merely set the stage for the real center of his attention: the new Jerusalem which he talks about in verses 9--22:5. His priorities are the same as Isaiah's book in chapter 65:17-19 from which he draws his imagery:
“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more."
The new Jerusalem is prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. This city is also personified as a woman, not a prostitute like evil Babylon, but a pure and holy bride.
21.3 ‘And I heard a great voice from the throne saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men and He will tabernacle with them and they will be His peoples and God Himself will be with them and be their God”.’
The voice from the throne begins by calling John's attention to the vision he has just seen: Now the dwelling of God is with men. This means that "he will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them". The New Jerusalem replaces the tabernacle of God. Just as the people of God had been His sanctuary and had replaced the Temple
The tabernacle of God is with men. The tabernacle was the original symbol of God dwelling with His people. In eternity, mankind will dwell with God. In that eternal state, we will not only enjoy fellowship with our redeemed loved ones but will also have actual fellowship with God Himself.
"Tabernacle" here means dwelling place of God. No longer will he be far off. No longer will he be "veiled" in the human form of Jesus Christ, in a cloud, a pillar of fire or in a Holy of Holies.
Just like God walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden, He will be in heaven with us continually. As Matthew 5 verse 8 states: “The pure in heart shall see God.” Believers will see God as He Is.
We learn from the book of Leviticus chapter 26 verses 11 and 12 that our Holy Yahweh God told Moses to tell Israel, "I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people."
Ezekiel wrote in chapter 37 verse 26 through 28, "I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever." Verse 28 suggests that God's covenant with Israel signified hope for the Gentiles as well.
21.4 ‘And he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, the first things are passed away.’
All tears, pain, sorrow, and death will be removed in that heavenly New Jerusalem where Christians will live. This is the exact opposite of the curse that resulted from Adam's sin. The effects of the curse are removed, and all things are made new. God does not merely repair the creation; He re-creates it for His children to enjoy for all eternity.
Just as the disciples knew security when our Lord Jesus was there to take care of all their needs, we will know perfect peace and joy in heaven. Our Great Master Lord Jesus Is The King of Peace. The Messiah, Lord Jesus defeated death on the cross. The biggest fear of mankind is death. We just read where the Christians will not taste the second death. This fear is gone away. Death will no longer hang over the Christian. The Christian has eternal life (not death).
There won't be any reason to cry for in heaven.The devil and all his problems he brought upon the Christians have been thrown into the lake of fire. Every negative thing has been done away with.
Back in chapter 7 verse 17 we read where the wiping away of tears was promised to the martyrs. Now it is for all God’s people. The former troubles are forgotten. Also the prophet Isaiah teaches us in chapter 25 verses 7-8 in his book where death is swallowed up forever and the Lord God will wipe away all tears from all faces, and remove the veil of mourning. ‘Neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain’. John is concerned that in the coming suffering and persecution of the people of God described throughout the book, which will include the pain of the loss of loved ones, the people will realize that one day all their suffering will be taken away.
John has not forgotten that Jerusalem is a Jewish city, but he sees it here as representing all the cities and all the people of the world. Yet John is no Universalist. His point is not that all humans will be saved, for he has already seen "the inhabitants of the earth" thrown into the lake of fire. The bride, or New Jerusalem, is simply his metaphor for those who are redeemed. They are the new humanity. The destiny of others is "the second death" (20:14), but for this group there is no more death (v. 4). The voice from the throne echoes the imagery of Isaiah 25:6-8: "On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich foods for all peoples . . . On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth."
When the voice from the throne announces, There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (v. 4), it recalls an earlier voice - the refrain of the angel who pronounced doom on Babylon (18:21-23), but with a glorious difference. There the things that would be "no more" were things like music, trade, "the sound of a millstone, "the light of a lamp," "the voice of bridegroom and bride. In the earlier vision, all the joys of life sank with Babylon like a millstone into the sea (18:21); now the sea itself, and with it death, mourning, crying and pain, is no more.
Death will be no more’ for it has been destroyed in the lake of fire (20.14). Isaiah 35.10 reveals the scene with a greater emphasis on joy, ‘the ransomed of the Lord will return and will come with singing to Zion, and everlasting joy will be on their heads, and they will obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away’.
21.5 ‘And he who sits on the throne said, “Behold I make all things new”. ‘And he says, “Write. For these words are faithful and true”.
"The One who sits on the throne said", is the same One "from whose presence earth and heaven fled away. (Rev 20 v.11)
Here we see God sitting on the throne saying that He "makes all things new" when we are saved we become a new creature. We know this saying is true for the believer. Just as He did not throw us away and get a new person: He says here "I make all things new".
He did not say He made new things. He just takes the old things and transforms them into new. Here we see that The Lord Jesus commanded John to write, because all the things he has been shown are true. Our Lord Jesus Christ Is The Truth.
21:6 And He said to me, “They have come about. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, and I will give freely to him who is thirsty of the water of life”.’
It is done. These words mark the end of redemptive history. This is a statement of divine finality. It represents God's promise that this new state will be forever. Alpha and Omega is the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Hence, this phrase represents the sum of all things. In Revelation 1: verse 11 and 22 are used of Christ. Here it is used of God The Father "He that sat on the throne", indicating the deity of both the Father and the Son.
Just as our Savior Jesus said on the cross "It is finished". Our Mighty God Jesus Is the way to get to the water of life. In fact, He Is the water. He Is life. He who hungers and thirst after righteousness shall be filled. There is nothing before Him and nothing after Him.
A citizen of heaven is described as one who "thirsts" signifying those who recognize their desperate spiritual need, "hunger and thirst for righteousness",
21.7 ‘He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.’
This is the focus of the whole book, the over comer. The letters of the seven churches are written for their benefit and encouragement, the body of Revelation has revealed their battles, their sufferings and their glory, and now they receive their inheritance,
An over comer is one who exercises saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. - A person who in faith drinks the water of salvation freely offered by God. Each of the seven letters to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3 ends in the promise of he that overcomes will inherit these things.
Just as a bride is an equal inheritor of all that is her husband's, so the Church, the Bride of Christ, will inherit all that is His. He even promises that He will be our God and we shall be His son. These terms of endearment are experiences we as Christians shall enjoy forever. From this scripture, we see there is something we must overcome. If we are faithful to Him in the face of all odds, we will inherit eternal life. The New Testament is actually an inheritance to the believers. If we believe, we can collect on that inheritance. Whoever we are faithful to, is our God. If he is our God, He will claim us as His son.
21.8 ‘But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and those who involve themselves in the occult, and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. This is the second death.’
In contrast are unsaved sinners as outlined. These lose the inheritance. The two verses are in deliberate contrast outlining the choice of men in the face of what is, at the time of writing, to come. The contrasts between verses seven and eight are graphic. They represent the age-old concept that there are only two kinds of people with God, believers and unbelievers. They experience two different lifestyles on earth and go to two different eternal destinies. Believers go to "eternal life" while unbelievers experience "the second death," which is the lake of fire.
The fearful are those who withdraw in the face of persecution. Fear is not of God. Fear is the opposite of faith. In fact, it is mentioned twice here by saying "fearful and unbelieving". Our Holy Lord Jesus cannot be someone's Savior, unless they believe that He Is their Savior. Therefore, the unbelieving are those who fail to stand in the name of Christ.
The abominable are those who follow the abominations of the beast. Abomination, meaning vile, polluted, detestable, wholly caught up in wickedness and evil. Here, we see those who do abominable things taking part in the second death.
The murderers are especially those who martyr God’s people, because they do not abide in the truth. They are like the Devil (John 8.44). Notice here this says "murderers" not accidental killing or killing in war. This is premeditated murder, or those who hate their neighbors.
The fornicators are those who follow Jezebel and the harlot. These are those who commit spiritual adultery.
Those who involve themselves in the occult (‘sorcerers’) are those who respond to Satan and his powers.
Idolaters are those who worship the beast and his image. "Idolaters" has to do with anything or anyone you put ahead of God.
All liars are they who support ‘The Lie’ instead of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2.11) and who are like the father of lies (John 8.44). "Liars" can do more harm than you can imagine. Many have a tendency to tell little white lies, but any untruth is a lie.
Those whose lives are characterized by such things give evidence that they are not saved and will not enter into the heavenly city. For these there can be only one destiny, the fires of destruction, the second death.
21.9 ‘And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were laden with the seven last plagues, and he spoke with me saying, “Come this way and I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb”.
It is fitting that one who poured out the bowl of the wrath of God, and who showed to John the great harlot city (17.1), should now also reveal the opposite side of the picture, the glorious privileges of the redeemed and the holy city.
Take a look again at the saying, ‘He carried me away in the Spirit.’ This is a new vision. Once again John is borne by the Spirit as Ezekiel was before him
John was carried this time ‘to a great and high mountain’. We find out in Ezekiel 40.2 where it is the place where Ezekiel will see the new Temple for the Millennium. Here we have in the New Jerusalem the final fulfillment of Ezekiel’s vision. The phrase suggests that the watcher will see something special, a glorious panorama.
‘The holy city Jerusalem coming down from God out of Heaven, having the glory of God’. This holy city is the bride of Christ. John is now about to receive more detail about this ‘city of God’. In Ezekiel 43.2, 4, 5; 44.4 it is the new Temple that has the glory of God, but as John has already told us, it is this city (the new Jerusalem) which is now to be the dwelling place of God (21.3) (as the Temple and Tabernacle were previously seen as being, if only temporarily. Thus the glory of God is revealed and signals His divine presence.
21:10-11 "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God," " "Having the glory of God: and her light [was] like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;:
That great city, the holy Jerusalem, The Lamb's wife is described as the new city of Jerusalem. This magnificent city is where the bride of Christ (the Church) will live forever. The most dominant characteristic of the holy city is the presence of God's Glory, which personifies God's presence with His people. The Glory that departed from the Old Jerusalem (Ezekiel Chapters 8 to 11) is restored to the New Jerusalem of the future.
John's incredible vision began when the angel carried him away in the Spirit in Revelation 1 where he received the visions that make up the book of Revelation. John's visions were not dreams, but spiritual realities, like the one's Paul saw when he was also caught up to the third heaven.
From John's vantage point atop a great and high mountain, he repeats his observation of verse 2 that New Jerusalem came down out of heaven from God, emphasizing its divine origin.
Note what is described here is not the creation of heaven, but the descent of what already existed from eternity past. Now it's being situated in the center of the new heaven and the new earth.
"The Glory of God": The brilliance radiating from New Jerusalem caused by the full manifestation of God's glory will be so much, the city will have no need of the sun or the moon as the glory of God will illuminate it.
The light of the city was bright and eye dazzling like the light from a diamond or opal. When we read, ‘A wall great and high’, this signifies her total security, she is under God’s protection.
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:
The inclusion of the names of the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles in the foundations and gates of the city, indicates that both Jewish and Gentile believers will all be part of the family of God and share eternity as one. Although it would seem that the Jews are distinct from the Church during the Millennium, they will all be one as children of the living God for eternity.
If you have ever been to Jerusalem in Israel, you know the old city has a large wall around the city. The physical Jerusalem here has 12 gates. You see, this earthly Jerusalem is a replica of this heavenly Jerusalem.
Here we see their names (twelve tribes), celebrating God's covenant relationship with Israel, the people of the promises, covenants, scriptures and the Messiah.
These angels are stationed to attend to God's glory and to serve His people.
21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
This is reminiscent of the way the twelve tribes camped around the tabernacle in numbers 2 and the allotment of tribal lands around the millennial temple.
21.14 ‘And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.’
The city is founded on the twelve apostles, as was the Temple which comprised the church (Ephesians 2.20). The conjunction of the twelve tribes of Israel with the twelve apostles demonstrates that we have here the true people of God of all ages.
21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
This is like Ezekiel 40 verse 3 and the measuring of the Millennial Temple. Also, the measuring of the Tribulation temple described in chapter 11 v.1. All three measurements is showing the significance that shows what belongs to God.
The fact that this is a golden reed connects it with the inner sanctuary where everything was made of gold. The dimensions of the city demonstrate its perfection, it is a perfect cube. In 1 Kings 6.20 we discover that the holy of holies in the Temple was also a perfect cube. This is God’s new holy of holies. It is a perfect place. Thus the people of God as represented by this city are God’s new Sanctuary
21:16 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.
The city lies foursquare. The size of this city indicates that each border is approximately fifteen hundred miles long. Thus the dimensions of the city would be equal to the area from the eastern seaboard of the United States to Colorado on one side and from the Canadian border to the southern tip of Florida on the other. In addition to the length and breadth, the city will be fifteen hundred miles high. This great size will afford sufficient space for the habitation of the saints from all ages of history.
We see here that this city is a cube. Twelve thousand furlongs is 1500 miles. This city is 1500 miles square and 1500 miles high.
21:17 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.
A cubic is 18 inches or 1-1/2 feet. Times 144, the wall was 216 feet across. Just as in Babylon the walls, were wide enough for chariot races. This is even wider.
To emphasize the city's dimensions are literal and not mystical, John tells us that the measurements are given according to human measurements.
21.18 ‘And the building of its wall was jasper, and the city was pure gold like pure glass.’
The jasper is presumably similar to the jasper of 21.11, clear as crystal which, with the glass-like nature of the city, demonstrates its purity and righteousness. The mention that it is made of gold stresses that it is beyond price and demonstrates its magnificence. Even Solomon’s Temple and Herod’s Temple pale into insignificance beside it. It again indicates its identity with the inner Sanctuary.
21.19-20 ‘The foundations of the walls of the city were adorned with all manner of precious stone, the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth, emerald, the fifth, sardonyx, the sixth, sardius, the seventh, chrysolite, the eighth, beryl, the ninth, topaz, the tenth, chrysoprase, the eleventh iacinth, the twelfth, amethyst,’
Here is a breakdown of each precious stone;
Jasper = Diamond
Sapphire = A brilliant blue stone
Chalcedony = Sky blue with colored stripes
Emerald = Bright green stone
Sardonyx = Red and white striped stone
Sardius = Various shades of Red
Chrysolite = Transparent gold or yellow
Beryl = Shades of green, yellow and blue
Topaz = Yellowish green
Chrysoprasus = Gold tinted green
Jacinth = Blue or violet colored
Amethyst = Purple stone
These brightly colored stones will refract the shinning brilliance of God's glory into a spectrum of beautiful colors that will flash from New Jerusalem throughout the re-created universe.
21.21 ‘And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each one of the several gates was one pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.’
The twelve gates were twelve pearls. There must be some pretty huge oysters around. Every gate will be one pearl, each large enough to cover the gateway to this huge city. In addition, the street of the city will be "pure gold, like unto clear glass," indicating that believers will walk on golden streets. The holy city of God will be so magnificent that believers will literally walk on precious metals that today are used for costly adornments.
There is no silver in the city. Silver means redemption and we have already been redeemed. These stones show us things that are important here on the earth are plentiful in heaven. You see, God owns all the wealth in the world. God has so many rare stones He even puts them in the wall. Each gate is made of just one pearl.
And remember the height of the cube is 1500 miles. That makes for a very large pearl.
The streets in New Jerusalem is made of the highest quality of pure gold which is like everything else, transparent. We are not familiar with transparent gold here on earth, but everything in heaven is transparent to let the light of God's glory blaze unrestricted.
21.22-23 ‘And I saw no Temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb are its Temple. And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God did lighten it and its lamp is the Lamb.’
"No temple therein:" There will be no need for a temple in heaven to provide a means for a man to fellowship with God. Because of our Lord Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, sin will not exist there. God and the Lamb are the temple of the eternal city. This clearly emphasizes the deity of Christ as equal in essence to that of the father.
There will be no need for anyone to go anywhere to worship God. Believers will constantly be in His presence. There will never be a minute when they are not in perfect, Holy Communion with the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. Therefore there will be no need for a temple, cathedral, church, chapel or any other house of worship. Believers will be the true worshipers God has always sought.
Can you imagine, ‘No sun and moon.’ This would come as a shock to those who worshipped the sun and the moon. The idolatrous ideas of men are finished with. Nor will God’s people ever again have to call on light other than the perfect light of God
21.24 ‘And the nations shall walk by means of its light (the light of the glory of the Lord), and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it, and its entrances will never be shut by day, for there will be no night there, and they will bring the honour and the glory of the nations into it.’
No more day and night but there will be one eternal day. The Glory of God will illuminate New Jerusalem and its lamp with be the Lamb Jesus, who is the Light, and does away with darkness.
The reference to "nations" reminds us that our national distinctions, like our personal appearances, are God-given. Not that any national identities will be preserved in the eternal state, but rather just the opposite. People from every tongue, tribe and nation whether Jews or Gentiles, will be united as God's people. Every believer will be fully equal in the eternal capital city.
21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
Its gates will never be closed. This depicts the city's complete security and that there is no need to close them. The entrances will never be closed because entrances are only closed when night comes down and evil men begin to walk abroad, but there is no night here. The light of the glory of God and of Christ shines continually. All is light, transparent and open. The presence of God is continual and gives continual light (and there is clearly no need for sleep. The spirits of just men made perfect do not need sleep). And there are no evil men for they have no access
New Jerusalem is a place of rest, safety and refreshment where God's people will "rest from their labors." Never again will anything have to be shut up for fear of losing it by thieves and robbers. None of that will ever exist again.
21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
All who enter heaven will surrender their earthly prestige and glory when they enter. All who enter heaven "will cast their crowns before the throne" of God".
21.27 ‘And under no circumstances will anything unclean enter it, or he who makes an abomination and a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.’
The city only consists of those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. It is only for the true people of God. No ‘living nations’ can enter it if they are not of the people of God, for it is for the people of God and for them alone. Totally excluded (because they have been dealt with elsewhere) are idolaters, those who are unclean, which probably especially refers to sexual uncleanness in accordance with what we have seen earlier in the book, but also includes uncleanness of any sort, and any who have preferred falsehood to truth. The city of God is for ‘virgins’, for those who are without blemish, for those in whose mouth there is no lie. Only the perfected can make up the city of God.
Once again, we are confronted with the significance of having our names written in the Lamb's book of life assuring us that Christ knows each believer personally, by name. What a wonder this will be - to continually see God's face (Rev. 22 v.4) and to walk in the light of His presence (Rev 21 v.23). No wonder John tells us there is no temple in heaven (21: v.22) for as Paul wrote, "who hopes for what one already has" (Romans 8 v.24). What need could you have for a temple when everywhere you go is God? But a temple is not the only thing missing in heaven. What else does it lack?
Consider the following short list:
• No more sea (21 v.1)
• No more tears, death, sorrow, crying or pain (21 v.4)
• No more sinners (21 v.8)
• No more fear (21 v.12)
• No more sun or moon (21 v.23)
• No more night (21 v.25)
• No more sin or evil (21 v.27)
• No more disease or injuries (22 v.2)
• No more curse (22 v.3)
It would be enough to call this place "heaven" just from that list of what it lacks. But that wouldn't tell half of the story! Now consider some of the remarkable features eternity will boast:
• Unending fellowship with God (21 v.3, 7, 22)
• Unending newness (21 v.5)
• Unending water of life (21 v.6; 22 v.1)
• Unimaginable beauty (21 v.11, 21)
• Uncompromised security (21 v.12)
• Unbroken unity between believers (21 v.12, 14)
• Unlimited holiness (21 v.16)
• Unparalleled size (21 v.16)
• Untold wealth (21 v.18-21)
• Unending light (21 v.23; 22 v.5)
• Unrestricted access (21 v.25)
• Unending fruit from the tree of life (22 v.2)
• Unceasing service to God (22 v.3)
• Unending reign (22 v.5)
Beyond these thrilling descriptions from the book of Revelation, we know from other Bible texts that heaven will be a place of:
• Rest (Heb. 4 v.1-11; Rev 14 v.13)
• Full knowledge (1 Cor. 13 v.12)
• Holiness (Heb. 12 v.14; Eph. 2 v.21)
• Joy (1 Thess 2 v.19; Jude 1 v.24)
• Glory (2 Cor. 4 v.17)
• Worship (Rev. 7 v.9-12; 19 v.10)
With all that heaven and eternity have to offer, it is hard to see why anyone would deliberately choose to miss it.
Yet many will. Make sure you're not one of them!
It might be rare that someone is hearing or reading this study who has not gotten right with our Majestic Holy God. If you have not accepted the sacrifice our Holy Lord Jesus did by dying on the cross and shedding His Precious Blood for you then now is the time to do it before it is too late!
Please repeat out loud this prayer. If you truly are serious then our Great God will accept these words as though you composed them.
“Father, I know that Your Holy Son, Jesus Christ, died for me. I ask You to forgive me my sins because of His Precious Holy Blood that was shed at Calvary. Lord Jesus, please come into my life and be my Lord and Savior. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Please help me to live the rest of my life for You. Thank You for forgiveness. In Your Name dear Lord Jesus, I pray. Amen!