Summary: Message 39 in our exposition of Revelation focusing on the New Jerusalem.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
“The New Jerusalem”
II. Messages to the churches
III. Last days
J. The Final Battle and Judgment Rev 20:7-15
K. Renewed Heaven and Earth Rev 21:1-8
Part of the renewed earth includes the new capital city; the New Jerusalem that descends to the earth. This is the ultimate answer to a prayer prayed millions of times throughout church history. “Your kingdom come on earth” “Your will be done on earth” (someday on earth as it is being done today in heaven). The basic concept of the “kingdom of God” and the “kingdom of heaven” so prevalent in the gospels finds its supreme fulfillment with the descent of the New Jerusalem to the earth. The absolute rule of God and complete conformity to His will by a group of creatures who comprise His kingdom was not a new concept. Daniel described it when outlining a succession of earthly kingdoms and rulers.
"I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14
From the time of John the Baptist, the nearness of the coming divine kingdom was preached.
Its development and character was clearly delineated by Jesus. Jesus preached the coming of God’s kingdom on earth. He sent the disciples to preach the nearness of the kingdom. He taught on the kingdom of God during the 40 days after His ascension. The disciples preached the coming kingdom. At the end of the Scriptures His kingdom comes His will is done on earth just like it is now done in heaven. Heaven and earth converge.
L. The New Jerusalem 21:9-22:5
You get the impression that John is sensually overwhelmed and feverishly tries to write it all down. Earlier, John saw the New Jerusalem (city of peace) coming down out of heaven like a beautiful bride completely decked out in all her glory. One of the angels who had participated in the bowl judgments invited John to look intently.
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 21:9
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, having the glory of God. Revelation 21:10-11
We have always been taught that the church is the bride of Christ. Here the city is called the bride of Christ. Perhaps it is not just the physical city but the city with its inhabitants which would at this point be filled with believers in Christ the church. The earthly Jerusalem was only a symbol of the heavenly Jerusalem. It was in the city that the presence of God manifested in the temple. The actual dwelling place of God was the Heavenly Jerusalem. It was the royal palace from which He directs the universe. Up to this point, it has been located in the heavenlies. It is called a holy city. It is pure and undefiled. The writer of Hebrews alluded to the present heavenly city and its inhabitants.
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. Heb12:22-24
This city already exists. Every believer becomes connected to this glorious city at the moment of salvation and those who have died in Christ experience it NOW. Perhaps Jesus is not building a place for us as we have understood. He goes to prepare a reservation in a city that already exists through his death resurrection and ascension. He promised to return to earth and receive us unto to Himself that where He is (earth) we will be with Him also.
John sees God’s capital, His presidential palace, the “Gold House” come to eternally rest on the renewed earth where God will eternally dwell among His people. It is clear that this great city comes down out of heaven from God. The passage does not specifically say that it comes to rest on the earth. The descriptions however seem to imply that it does indeed rest on the renewed earth. It is interesting to note that John views the city from a high mountain which seems to indicate the new earth will include high mountains. Heaven and earth finally merge.