Revelation Chapter Twenty One
Introduction to Chapter 21
With the close of chapter 20, time has come to an end, and Judgment day
has come and gone. God now gives us a glimpse into the New Eternal spiritual state. A new Universe free from the curse of sin, corruption, and death. All the promises of God have now been fulfilled, and we are certain that it shall come to pass!
To understand these last two chapters in Revelation, we must continue to search out the spiritual implications, comparing scripture with scripture,and seeking the spiritual truths which must be revealed to us
(1 Corinthians 2:14) (John 14:17). No matter how much wisdom we may have, God has to open our hearts (Acts 16:14) and give us His Wisdom
(1 Corinthians 1:18-25). This is a spiritual principal that can only be received by spiritual people. This is a root principle upon which the whole conflict of spiritual verses material turns. Anyone with a material physical concern either will be graciously turned from that attitude by God and have a new, spiritual hope or will be excluded from His Kingdom. There is no place for a physical dimension to His Kingdom (Luke 17:20-21) (John 18:36) (Romans 14:17). Therefore, anyone with a physical hope does not have the hope of the Gospel of the Bible. This principle is a killing blow to those who have an earthly materialistic hope rather than the desire for a spiritual Kingdom now and forever.
According to the Scriptures, God is ashamed of people who claim to be
Christians, but who have an earthly, rather than a heavenly desire (Hebrews 11:16). However, God is pleased with those who walk totally by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) (Hebrews 11:6).
Remember that Jesus said,
"the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth"
Note: A review of (Chapter 18, Introduction) would be helpful to refresh the significance of God's New Spiritual Universe before proceeding with Revelation Chapters 21 and 22.
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.
new heaven/earth (2 Peter 3:13)
first heaven/earth passed away (2 Peter 3:10)
no more sea implies there will be no more hell, or the wrath of God as
"death and hell were cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:14), nor a physical sea as this new universe is
completely spiritual in essence, different from anything we know. See (verse 23) This fulfils God's promise
that He would deliver creation from " the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of
God (Romans 8:21).
Note: God often typifies the sea to represent hell or judgment in scripture, which we have previously alluded to throughout this study. We could delve into an exhaustive study, but a few examples are as follows.
1) The universal flood upon the world, where the entire earth became covered in water, which only those who were in
the Ark escaped the Judgment. All those left behind perished in the sea. Here the Ark represented salvation, which
is only in Christ. The Ark having three levels, representing the triune God, and only one door of entrance, only
one way to the Father (John 14:6), only one door Jesus (John 10:9). The Ark, boats, ships, etc... can typify the
church which is where salvation was to be found. (Genesis Chapter 6-8)
2) Another instance is when God split the Red Sea allowing Israel to go through, in type, the hell experience as believers do through Christ. All the Egyptians, who represent the unsaved, perished in the sea when God released His restraint on the sea walls. (Exodus 14:13-31)
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.
holy city, new Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12) (Galatians 4:26)
(Hebrews 11:10) (Hebrews 11:16) (Hebrews 12:22)
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband here we learn the new Jeremiah is the redeemed who have been
prepared in the salvation of Jesus who is their righteousness. The bride representing the believers and the
husband of course is Jesus (John 3:29) See study note
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.
Jesus and Believers now shown in their glorified spiritual bodies together. (1 John 3:2) (Philippians 3:21)
(Psalm 17:15) spiritual will inhabit spiritual. The bride and the bridegroom become one, which car only happen if
they are of the same kind. That is spiritual.
Note: To study the glorified resurrected body, see
(1 Corinthians 15:35-50)
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.
tears the tears of the fear of condemnation removed (Psalm 6:6) (Matthew 5:4), the tears for those who
were loosed removed
(Psalm 126:6) (Jeremiah 9:1), and the tears or regret for having hurt Jesus and others removed. See (Isaiah 25:8) (Isaiah 30:19) (Isaiah 35:10) (Isaiah 51:11) (Isaiah 65:19) (Revelation 7:17)
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.
these words are true and faithful Words of Jesus who is true and faithful (Revelation 19:11)
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.
Alpha and Omega Jesus see study notes (Revelation 22:13)
a thirst/water of life freely (John 7:37-39) See study notes
(Revelation 22:1) (Revelation 22:17)
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
overcometh (1 John 5:4)
inherit all things believers are joint heirs with Jesus (Romans 8:14-17)
shall be my son (Galatians 4:6-7)
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.
What a contrast to the wonderful things found in this chapter. This verse describes the eternal
death of all those who have rejected the Truth and chose unrighteousness. There is no place for them
in the New Universe. Nor will sin ever be allowed to defile it. To comprehend a world where time no
longer exists, nor corruption, is beyond our understanding
(1 Corinthians 13:12), let alone the full Glory of the Lord in Paradise
(2 Corinthians 12:2-4), but we know enough to give praises and Glory to He who is true and faithful! Here we are told once again that the second death is the Lake which burneth with fire and brimstone
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,
on of the seven angels see study notes (Revelation 15:1 under having the seven last plagues)
shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife comparing scripture with scripture confirms the observation that the "great city" represents the believers. Compare with (verses 2 & 10) see also (Revelation Chapter 18 introduction)
11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
having the Glory of God believers have the glory of God in the sense that Jesus, the Glory of God,
is in them (Colossians 1:27). The glory is not that believers somehow become God-like, but that believers
share in the glory of the righteousness and eternity of God. Believers are clean and white (Revelation 19:8),
as He is (Revelation 1:14). Also they reign forever (Revelation 22:5) as He does (Revelation 4:9-10)
stone most precious believers are Jesus' precious stones (1 Peter 2:4-5)
For the remaining verses of this chapter, we will divert from the normal progression of verse by verse analysis, and group certain verses together according to their topical information, particularly the walls, gates, foundations, and the measuring of the New Spiritual Jerusalem. Also as we have seen from previous chapters, much of the information in Revelation comes from the Old Testament. Here much of Revelation Chapter 21 and 22 comes from Isaiah Chapter 60. For example compare (Isaiah 60:11) with (Revelation 21:25), also (Isaiah 60:19-20) with (Revelation 21:23). Also the pattern God gives of the great city, comes from types in the Old Testament. Compare (Revelation 21:13) with (Ezekiel 48:30-35) and (Numbers Chapter 2).
Revelation 21:12, 17, 18
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:
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.
(Revelation 21:12) (Revelation 21:17) (Revelation 21:18)
From (Isaiah 60:18), we can understand the word wall to refer to salvation, and gates to mean praise. The wall and gates can be identified with the Gospel. A wall determines shape and the limits of a city, the Gospel defines the people of god. The Gospel determines who is a citizen of the city and therefore the city's size (Revelation 21:17). The wall is measured at 144 cubits. The 144 represents the fullness of believers. 12 tribes and 12 apostles multiplied gives us 144, which God used to form His church both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. See Numbers in the Bible
The wall separates God's people from those who do not belong, and protects the city (Revelation 21:27). However, the city dwells safely without sin and corruption in the New Universe, so the gates remain open (Revelation 21:25).
Revelation 21:13, 21, 25, 26
13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
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.
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.
(Revelation 21:13) (Revelation 21:21) (Revelation 21:25)
The gates identify with entrance of the city, and they are made of pearl which identifies with the Gospel (Matthew 7:6). The only way into the city is through Jesus, who is the essence of the Gospel (John 14:6) (Revelation 19:13). Pearls also refer to believers (Matthew 13:45), who proclaim the Gospel.
The gates face in four compass directions which illustrates universal entrance, to those from all over the world, who come to the city of God. The gates have twelve tribes of Israel written thereon (Revelation 21:12), which represents believers who make up the spiritual Israel of God (Galatians 6:16) (Romans 2:28-29) (Galatians 3:26-29). People of the world come to believers in the sense that they show the way to the city of God, and in the sense that they beseech the world on behalf of Jesus, who is the gate. (2 Corinthians 5:20) (Matthew 7:13-14).
Revelation 21:14, 19, 20
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
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, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
(Revelation 21:14) (Revelation 21:19) (Revelation 21:20)
The twelve foundations of the city have the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, which was the foundation of the church. Ultimately, it identifies with Jesus (1 Corinthians 3:11).
The foundation must be strong or the walls will collapse (Psalm 11:3). See (Matthew 7:24-27)
The foundations are decorated with the jewels of the high priest ephod, worn in their service to God (Exodus 28:15-21). This shows us that the city is built upon God's work through God's priests, the believers who bring the Gospel. See (1 Corinthians 3:9) (Revelations 1:6).
The precious stones that garnish the foundations represent the redeemed (1 Peter 2:4-5) (Ephesians 2:19-22). See also (Isaiah 54:11-12)
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.
(Revelation 21:15) (Revelation 21:16) A golden reed is used to measure the city, the word used in the original that is translated as reed in (Revelation 21:15) is translated as pen, in the expression "ink and pen" found in (3 John 13), which is what John used to write the word of God. Therefore the reed identifies with the Word of God as it measures the spiritual condition or the righteousness of men. The reed measures the size of the city, the number of people who are righteous in (Revelation Chapter 8) we discussed how David measured who was to die, illustrating God has perfectly measured all that belong to Him (2 Samuel 8:1-2).
Insisting upon a physical understanding of (verse 16) would lead to the wrong conclusion of the heavenly Jerusalem. A cube measuring 12,000 furlongs (length, breadth, height) represents the completeness of all believers, as we have seen in (Revelation 11:1). The number 12,000 is composed of the number 12, referring to the church founded upon 12 tribes or the 12 apostles, together with the number 1000 referring to completeness. See Numbers in the Bible
After seeing the ugly Babylon, the city of unbelievers and its King, what a wonderful sight to see the New Beautiful Jerusalem, the city of believers and its King, King Jesus.
no temple therein
this illustrates that all the temples that came before were only the representations of the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb.
Believers in the new Universe will dwell in the very presence of the Glory of God. All the types and foreshadows will be fulfilled in the completeness of the essence of to Whom they represented, which is God Almighty. No longer will any of the physical representations, or any of the essential creature comforts be needed, as God will supply all their eternal, spiritual needs in a perfect spiritual universe. (Revelation 7:15-17) (Revelation 21:3-7)
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.
Lamb's book of Life
Only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life, shall be able to enter into the New Jerusalem. Wholly reserved for those who are called, and chosen, and faithful. (Revelation 17:14)