REVELATION

Chapter 21



We now hear more details concerning this marvelous reign of Christ that gives all mankind an absolutely clear chance to accept or reject our king and eternal High Priest. Remember, during this future period of time spoken of here, which is the thousand-year reign of Christ; Satan is no longer able to deceive the nations for he is locked away without any kind of contact with mankind.

Rev 20:1-3

1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.

2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. NIV

Notice in verse 2…Bound him for a thousand years…

And in verse 3…     To keep him from deceiving the nations

             anymore until the thousand years were ended.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rev 21:1

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. NIV

The Bible speaks of a new heaven and a new earth a number of times in its pages.  But does that mean there will be a literal new heaven and a literal new earth?  Does that mean God will destroy all He created and start over again?  If that were so, it would mean that God had somehow made a mistake with the first creation.  In fact, it would mean that God had made such a terrible mistake that He had to destroy creation completely to begin again. This of course is not at all true; in fact, it is not even possible. Just the same, the Word is saying in the first verse of this chapter that the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and that there would be no sea any longer.  Now again if all this was a literal statement and there was no sea or oceans on the predicted new earth, that would mean there would be no fresh water and therefore no life.  Since that would defeat the very purpose of God, in creating the earth, we have to understand that this is not what God is telling us with this symbolic language of a new heaven and a new earth.  Fortunately what God is saying, His word explains… so let us look at how God's own word, the Bible, explains this symbolic language. 

Let’s begin with the sea!  We already know from earlier chapters in Revelation that the sea, spoken of above, represents mankind in general, and not the water or oceans that we call seas.

Rev 17:15

 Then the angel said to me, "The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. NIV

Since the sea is clearly symbolic in the first verse of this chapter in Revelation, and the sea spoken of here symbolizes mankind and not oceans, why should we suddenly assume that the first heaven and first earth are not also representing or symbolizing something else? 

Well, they do represent something else, and that something is our old friend TIME.  The first heaven and first earth symbolize two different times.  The first covenant was given during the time before Christ.  When Christ came, He brought with Him the new covenant and a new time that follows with Christ as our King and eternal High Priest.  Can we prove this with the scriptures?  Well, let’s look at how the Bible looked at the past and related it to a different time.  Peter explains this quite well.

2 Peter 3:6

By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. NIV

Notice Peter is saying “The world of that time.”  A flood destroyed that old world; just the same we, today, still walk on the same old earth, which that old world existed on.  God’s Word, in fact, confirms this to be something that will always be so.

Eccl 1:4

Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. NIV

 

Therefore since God is telling us that the earth is going to remain forever then obviously the first verse of this chapter in Revelation is speaking symbolically of a first earth and a first heaven, just as it speaks of a symbolic sea.  So what does God mean when He says He is causing or bringing about a new heaven and a new earth?  To understand this let us look at the old earth first.

The first verse of the Bible tells us that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  There was, from before the beginning of creation, a spiritual heaven that was separate and had nothing to do with our physical heaven.  God, of course, resides in the spiritual heaven along with His only begotten Son as well as the angels to this day.  However, after The Almighty began creation of our universe there came into existence a physical heaven, which we see at night as stars blinking through our atmosphere. 

Was there anything wrong with either of the heavens when creation was completed?  NO… not at all, and that was confirmed when God said that He was pleased with creation as He had made it.  

Gen 1:31

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day. NIV

You might note, in fact, that God was so pleased with creation that He thought it was VERY good.  We might also take note that Adam and Eve had already been given the breath of life (Gen 2:7) and had already been placed in the Garden of Eden before God spoke the above verse.

Which brings us to the question of what was the purpose of creation to begin with. The word tells us that the main purpose of God creating the universe was to have a place for mankind to perpetually reproduce and to care for the earth that they had been given.  

Gen 1:28

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." NIV

Also, the Bible explains that it would be from the physical earth that the heavenly spiritual family of God would be adopted.  That family would be chosen from those, on the earth, that follow the Spirit of God.

Rom 8:13-17

14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.

17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.  NIV

When we look at what God has told us in His word we can see that what our Creator has planned makes a great deal of sense, and the purpose of God in bringing about the creation of the universe now makes itself clear as well. 

Nonetheless, in the beginning, the Creator had not tested this new creation yet.  However, when the time for that test came both angel and man failed.  Did this mean that there was something inherently wrong with creation?  No, not at all; the physical creation was as God said, “Very Good;” nonetheless, refinement was required by God to root up what turned out to be spiritual imperfections. 

Imperfections are always present during the creation of anything because of the inherent forms of the material used and this was particularly true of something as important as the spiritual family of God.  As a poor analogy one might think of all this as if creating a fine piece of furniture.  Before the final coat of oil stain or varnish is applied, the constructed piece is meticulously and finely sanded to remove the natural warping of the wood and to smooth out and blend all the bumps and edges of its joints.  All this was necessary because the physical man was, from the very beginning, being prepared to allow him to be transformed into a spiritual form, which makes up the eternal family of God.

In other words God had already established and incorporated into His plan the refinement of the spiritual side of creation.  God had already prepared the cure and included it as part of the process of creation.  It was not, as some think, a reaction by God, just because man and angel had failed.  Their ability to fail had already been taken into account and made a part of Gods plan before the universe was created.  This is proven by the fact that the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was already in the Garden of Eden, which God had made at that time as a home for man.

It is important to note that the tree Of Knowledge of Good and Evil had been planted in the Garden before the test began which shows that this tree was there for the purpose of a test. In fact the very name of the tree implies this.  The catalyst for this test was the freedom of choice or free will given to both angel and man.

Gen 2:17

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. KJV 

Now it was not creation itself that failed this God given test even though both angel and man did. This meant that both these rough spots in creation had to be sanded and refined by God and smoothed out and made perfect.  Since angels reside in the spiritual world of heaven and man resides in the physical world of the earth God, after He has refined both of these is referring to that refinement when it is completed, as a time when both kingdoms will be considered a new heaven and a new earth. 

Now understanding all this, let us look at the first verse of this chapter again.

Rev 21:1

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. NIV

Now that we know it is the same earth and heaven that God started with, the question comes to mind… what is it that is new about them?  The answer to that is Christ. Christ becomes the king of both, and that is what makes them new for the old order of things is replaced with a new order of things under a newly ordained King.  Does the Word tell us this?  Oh yes, and in no uncertain terms, it even does so in this chapter in verses 4 and 5.

4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

5 He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." NIV

 

Notice in verse 4… “The old order of things has passed away.”

Paul told us this also in...

Rom 8:22-23

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. NIV

and...

2 Cor 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  NIV

"The old has gone, the new has come!” so to with the old earth it will become new when Christ takes over as its king and destroys the old order of things.  Just as when anyone becomes a true Son of God and joins the family of God by obeying the commands Christ gave us, they receive a new life nonetheless the old body remains.  If that person with the new life in it remains faithful to the end that new life is transformed into a spiritual life and becomes an eternal spiritual brother of Christ.

Heb 2:10-12

11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.

12 He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises." NIV

So it becomes clear that the destruction of the earth is not what the first verse of this chapter is saying; however, the destruction of the old physical and spiritual worlds or orders, will indeed come about just as The Creator has told us it will. That old order of things, the politics, the system, the false religions etc, most certainly will be destroyed and that is why God is saying "I am making everything new!” And just so there is no misunderstanding here, let us read to what King Solomon had to say about God's creation.

Eccl 3:14

I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.  NASU

Now that we understand that the word world, in the Bible, often represents the system or order of things that are present here on this planet earth, it makes what Christ is saying in the following scriptures clear…

1 John 2:15-17

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16 For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world.

17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. NIV

Lets look again at verse 16 above “For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world.”

The key here is the cravings of sinful man.  However, there are many things that do not fit that description in the bountiful earth God gave us.  Things like the glory of a sunrise or the beauty of a sunset.  The wonder of a newborn child, the majesty of a field of wheat gently swaying in the breeze, or the grandeur of the almost endless forms of life that abides in, on, and under, the planet.  These things are not what John is speaking of.  Rather, he is speaking of the sinful order of things.  An order or system of corrupt governments and controls Satan has established.  A vile system of things that the word tells us the Creator has already slated to be destroyed. 

Well, it turns out there is nothing mysterious here.  There is nothing foreboding or fearsome.  Instead… for the members of the family of God it is something to joyfully look forward to, a new earth without the sin, decay, and corruption so abundant in the present order or system of things. All of which leads to the following thought from God, which the Creator was well aware of when He began all this.

Eccl 7:8

The end of a matter is better than its beginning;

Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit. NASU 

Eccl 12:13-14

13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.

14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.   NASU

So in the end we will have a new world, that is good, on the same old earth that sits in its same assigned place within the same old original universe.  What will be new is that it will be God’s only begotten Son who will control Gods kingdom here on earth, a kingdom, which will co-exist with its heavenly counterpart in the spiritual world of God which is also ruled by Christ.  For which we can all pray, “So be it and the sooner the better.”  For it will be from the physical earthly kingdom that the spiritual family of God will be continually chosen, to become spiritual brothers of Christ in the spiritual kingdom of heaven.

Isa 9:7

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth KJV

  “Of the increase of his government” The government this scripture is speaking of is the government to be made new by the Creator.  The government under the ruler ship of His only begotten Son. 

The most obvious question here is, how, will the Creator make all this new?  We have already been told that God will do this by getting rid of the old order of things, but what will God replace it with?  God tells us that also!

Rev 21:2

I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. NIV

Remember this chapter is speaking of the glory of the thousand-year reign of Christ and the endless time or age that will follow that thousand years. So this new Holy City of Jerusalem comes down out of heaven. 

Again we are reading symbolic language here.  There will never be a time when a complete city will fall out of the sky onto the earth.  Just the same, that new Holy City of Jerusalem represents the complete bride of Christ spoken of not only by the prophets of God, but by the Creator Himself.  Listen as He speaks of that section of humanity that, through faith, were changed into spiritual brothers in one family.

Isa 57:18-19

18 I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him,

19 creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace, to those far and near," says the LORD. "And I will heal them." NIV

"As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever," says the LORD. NIV

The above cannot be applied to anyplace other than the earth…unless one believes that children will be born in heaven in spite of what is being said in the scriptures. 

Matt 22:29

At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. NIV

But let us continue with what God has promised concerning this earth.

Isa 60:18-22

18 No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise.

19 The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.

20 Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.

21 Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor.

22 The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation.

I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly." NIV

Notice, “In its time I will do this swiftly."  In other words when that future time arrives everything God has declared will come about quickly.  The reason for that speed is explained in the third verse of Revelation 21.

Rev 21:3

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. NIV

We have been told often in the New Testament about the second coming of Christ, but now we are told that there will also be a coming of the Almighty Himself.  God's presence was visible to the house of Israel on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant, and verse three above is telling us that his presence will again be with men.  The glory of all this is being expressed by telling us the old order of things will have been discarded.

Rev 21:4

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. NIV

Now, it is clear that all this pertains to the earth itself, for all the scriptures so far have been speaking of the earth.  It is also clear that heaven does not suffer from crying, pain, and death. Nonetheless, heaven also was made new and that means that Christ took command of that spiritual dwelling of the Almighty with whom there also exists not only His only begotten Son but also the other Sons of God, the angels. This is why the word specifies that Christ is the only begotten Son of God, to distinguish Christ from angels. And to verify this lets look at…

Heb 2:5

It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. NIV 

Now God considers what he is doing through His only begotten Son is, in fact, bringing sons from earth to glory.

Heb 2:10-12

10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.

11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.

12 He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises."  NIV

Now all this comes about because the Almighty has willed it so.  Not only that, but the Almighty Himself has also confirmed what has been said so far.

Rev 21:5

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." NIV

“He who is seated on the throne…” is the Almighty; the Father and the God of Christ. Remember it is the Almighty who has sent this message, the entire book of Revelation, to His only begotten Son, and it is the Almighty who, in the next verse, is declaring:

Rev 21:6

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. NIV

Now we know that Christ is the one that gives water from the spring of life, but that is because God ordained it that way.  It was the father who gave this power to the son.  It was the father who sent His only begotten Son for this purpose.  Therefore, just as he said to all the seven churches or all of the body of Christ…

Rev 20: 7

He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. NIV

Remember we just read: Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. NIV (Heb 2:11)

God is making all this possible.  Just the same God, does not insist that you accept what He is bringing about in the future.  Well, you say, who would not want to accept this glorious gift of eternal life in this wondrous world and time to come?  Well, just saying you want it is not enough; you must prove it by your actions for God is also making it clear:

Rev 21:8

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." NIV

All of the sins listed above, along with any one might bring to mind, are forgivable by God through Christ, but one has to understand this is what James was speaking of when he said “Faith without works is dead.”

James 2:20-3:1

20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?

21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?

22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.

23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend.

24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?

26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. NIV

Note please, that salvation is NOT a question or an issue here.  Salvation has nothing to do with works, but your faith in the salvation God has already provided, through His only begotten Son, proves you truly believe in that salvation and truly believe in that only begotten Son. This is why James is saying: “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”  It is very clear and very simple.

Ps 125:1

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. NIV

Notice that the trust spoken of here cannot be shaken but endures forever.  In other words Gods actions towards man will ever be trustworthy.  Ever be forthcoming and dependable. 

Now we know that God intends to make all things new in the sense that He is to destroy the old system of things and replace it with a new order.  This has been known and stated time and again by the prophets of old such as Daniel when God declared through a vision what was to occur in a future time.

Dan 2:44

"In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. NIV

Well how will it crush all these kingdoms or governments of today?  The creator has let us know that it will be done with the word of truth that God has always, in one form or another, had laid before mankind. This is why His only begotten Son carries a double edge sword of truth in his mouth.

Rev 2:15-16

Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. NIV

This is why, we as Christians, are charged with delivering the good news of the kingdom of God while we are here for it is something that will be required of the bride of Christ even in the future.

Rev 21:9

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." NIV

Rev 21:10

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. NIV

For those that believe that God intends to destroy the earth let us ask where this New Holy city is coming down too.  We would also like to point out that heaven is a spiritual place and the physical does not exist there.  We already know that the Bible of Christ is the body or church of Christ so this scripture is telling us something we have already learned before in chapter ten of Revelation.

Rev 10:10-11

10  I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.

11 Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings." NIV

This was being told to John, the writer of Revelation, who always found the word of God to be sweet in his mouth but what turned his stomach bitter was the knowledge that John again had to preach to those that had rejected the word to begin with.  This explains the reason the Bride or Holy City of Jerusalem comes down to the earth.  It does not mean that God will drop a city out of the sky.  It means that those that have already passed the test and no longer have to worry about the second death will be judging or directing the teaching of those that will, at that time, no longer be under the temptations of Satan and his minions.  Will the nations know that this is what is happening?  Yes they most certainly will that is why verse 11 says:

Rev 21:11

It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. NIV

Jasper was one of the precious stones worn by the priests in the temple. Also Jasper is green in appearance, which would associate it with the green of the earth. In other words, it will be clearly identified as being the word of God directly from God through His servants or family to those on the earth.

Rev 21:12

It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. NIV

Twelve is the Hebrew symbol for something that is complete such as twelve months completes a year.  So the twelve angels at the twelve gates with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel tell us that it will be the complete word of God that will be taught to all nations, languages and peoples.  And this is why the first verse of this chapter in Revelation tells us there will be no more sea.  The sea, or general population of the earth, will no longer be deemed the sea by the Creator for the world will be full of the knowledge of God wherever one would go.

Isa 11:9-11

9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. NIV

Notice also “his place of rest will be glorious.”  This is why Christ is referred to as the Lord of the Sabbath.  His rest will, just as it is today, not be just one day but everyday of the year.

Revelation 21:13

There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. NIV

Again the number twelve is being stressed to show that what will be taught to all people will be the complete unadulterated word of God.  It is thought by some that new knowledge will be added at that time.  Whether this is so or not is pure speculation and has nothing to do with the fact that we have, right now this minute, all the knowledge that is needed to become a member of Gods family, and to do so right now today.

Heb 3:13-15

13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

15 As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion." NIV

It can be pointed out here that during that thousand year reign of Christ this will be easier for those outside the family of God to grasp this, because Satan will be locked up and unable to deceive the nations during this time that is still to come.

Rev 20:3

He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.  NIV

But let us return to the New Holy City of Jerusalem that is being shown to John in this vision.

Rev 21:14

The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. NIV

Now any wall or building needs a strong foundation but the walls of the New Holy City of Jerusalem, we are being told, is so strong that they have twelve foundations. In other words nothing could effect, harm or alter, the steadfastness of its walls.  It is also pointing out that the walls are built upon the names of the twelve apostles, which would be stressing the new covenant they preached as they had learned it from God's only begotten Son.

At this point in the chapter John is given the measurement of the New Holy City of Jerusalem. 

Rev 21:15

The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. NIV

The angel now astounds John with the power and grandeur of this cities size or the quantity of the brothers and sisters that make up that family.

Rev 21:16

The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. NIV

A stadia is equal to a furlong or 1/8th of a mile, which makes this 12 thousand furlongs long, wide and high.  Or 1500 miles wide, 1500 miles long and 1500 miles high.  Now a mile can also be calculated at one thousand paces.  Therefore 12,000 stadia can also be broken down into 1,500,000 paces, which would make this Holy City one heck of a long walk indeed.

However, the actual length, width, and height of this Holy City are not to be taken as literal distances but to symbolize its magnitude.  For instance look at the next verse, which relates the thickness of its walls.

Rev 21:17

He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man's measurement, which the angel was using. NIV

Now according to man’s measurement a cubit is either 18 inches or 22 inches depending on whether you use a Hebrew or Egyptian measurement?  If we use the smaller of the two, 18 inches as a cubit, this comes out to 2592 feet or walls that are roughly a half-mile thick. 

Rev 21:18

The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. NIV

Again Jasper was the foundation stone on the ephod of the high priest in the temple.  And this bride of Christ is made up of a kingdom of priests. 

The pure gold, as pure as glass, means the crystal clear word of God both expressed and understood.

Now the fact that this chapter is telling us of the strength of the walls of this New Holy City it is not because this city would need these walls to defend itself against an enemy for there would be no enemy to defend against.  It is simply and magnificently stressing the excessive power of the builder behind it.  The strength and glory, of the word of God, that makes it all possible.  The walls do not exist in the material world and will never exist in the material world in a material manner.  The walls and its foundations, as they are described, represent the spiritual power behind Gods only begotten Son which is why we are told that when Christ returns he will come with the clouds, or power, of God backed by the host of heaven in the form of angels.

The next three verses continue to expound the glory of this New Holy City.

Revelation 21:19-21

19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald,

20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, 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 gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass. NIV

Now again the foundation the walls the golden glitter and magnificent description of this New Holy City we must remind everyone, is not a literal city at all but is, in fact, portraying the very brotherhood of the already elected family of God.  A brotherhood that was ordained to be here before the universe was even begun. 

So what does it mean?  It means this glorious spiritual family of God is coming down to encompass the entire earth along with all the rest of the material universe.  It doesn’t mean that these resurrected saints will become human again but it does mean that the earth will be engulfed by this tremendous, glorious heavenly power just as we were told it would be in the God given prophecy given to Daniel.

Dan 2:44-45

"In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. NIV

Now as mind boggling, as all this appears to be… THE BEST IS YET TO COME, because John is now allowed to see into a truly awesome future.

Rev 21:22

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. NIV

This again is verifying the body of Christ or His church or as what has been declared the bride of Christ in this chapter, is a spiritual church and has nothing to do with any earthly organization located in a building on a corner somewhere.  In fact this chapter goes on to declare:

Rev 21:23

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. NIV

This does not mean that the sun and the moon will disappear from the physical sky; it is merely accenting the spiritual value of light behind this New Holy City that stands in service to the Almighty and His Son, who have also joined all the physical family of God on his kingdom here on the earth.

For we are told in the next verse:

Rev 21:24

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. NIV

In other words righteousness will be the new order of things and the spiritual or heavenly family of God will ever be replenished and expanded by those that are transformed in the manner spoken of by Paul.

1 Cor 15:51-52

51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-

52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. NIV

The last trumpet is the final judgment after Satan has been released at the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ.  When the time is up Christ returns with all the tremendous power and glory of the Almighty behind Him causing Satan to be cast into the lake of fire. Meaning Satan is finally and totally destroyed along with all he has built and done through the ages.  Paul is here saying it is then that all the dead or those that have passed the final test and are no longer subject to the second death will be raised to eternal life.  It is being stated this way even though they are physically alive and the reason for that is God did not consider them alive until they had passed the test and were free of the possibility of the second death. This is why he is saying they are raised imperishable.  And those that have attained the status of righteousness to become part of the 144,000 or spiritual brothers of Christ will in an instant be changed into that spiritual form.  That instantaneous change from the physical to the spiritual will go on for all time and for all mankind afterwards, as each one reaches that victorious stage of final refinement. 

          This is why the next verse is saying:

Rev 21:25

On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. NIV

At this time all will be honored children of God.  True most all will still be at different levels of understanding but none will be subject to death anymore for at this stage of the game everything has been made new and the new order has replaced the old order or system of things and will remain so forever.  This is why the next verse is telling us:

Rev 21:26

The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. NIV

Notice, “ Brought into it.”

At the end the Son will have, with truth, purified the earth and all the inhabitants on it.  This is why the scriptures are saying, “Every knee will bow.”

Phil 2:10-11

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. NIV

The very concept of all this brings tears of joy to ones eyes.

Eph 1:3-10

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love

5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-

6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,

10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment-to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. NIV

Notice…” when the times will have reached their fulfillment.”

Therefore when the time or moment for all this to be completed comes, all will be put into effect and the final verse of chapter 21 of Revelation tells us:

Rev 21:27

Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. NIV  

That life is eternal and so also is that promise!



    Questions click >>HERE<<             Comments click >>HERE<<