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: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.

: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,

: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.

: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 former things are passed away.

:5 And he that sat upon 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 unto me, It is done. I am the Al'pha and O-me'ga, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

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

: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.

: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 you the bride, the Lamb's wife.

:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me the great city, the holy Je-ru'sa-lem, descending out of heaven from God.

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

:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names were written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Is'ra-el:

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

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

: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 breath: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

: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 pure glass.

: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, saphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

:21 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.

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

:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

: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 honor of the nations into it.

:26 And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination. or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

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Statement of Faith

This chapter begins with John having what appears to be a panoramic view of a new heaven and earth, with the previous creation having passed away. The current heaven, earth, sun, moon and stars will become a blazing inferno as stated in II Pet. 3:10-12. This will be the results of God's response to the final insurrection led by Satan at the end of the thousand year reign of Jesus {Rev. 20: 7-9}.

As the previous creation begins to pass away (fade into to blackness of eternity {Matt. 22:13}), a new heaven and earth begin to be emerge before his eyes. As it comes into a more full view, he can see that there is no sea (oceans) in the new earth.

Next, he witnesses, what he identifies as the holy city, new Jerusalem, leaving the precincts of heaven, as though it was a satellite, descending to its place in the new earth. The city which Abraham longed to see {Heb. 11:10}, some 2,000 years before the birth of Jesus, is finally within view.

Later in this chapter, we learn that as new Jerusalem descends, John will be transported "...in the spirit..." from his position in heaven, to a high mountain in the new earth, where he will witnesses this event from a different vantage point; giving us a description of its greatness, as it descends unto the new earth. It appears, that he first sees the city going down from heaven, then he is transported to the new earth where he sees it coming down. Two different angles of view.


Verses 1 - 3

"...I saw a new heaven, and a new earth..."

The judgment of the wicked has now been finalized and their eternal state sealed. The earth itself, totally corrupted with the sins of the wicked, shall be consumed by fire and pass away.

Many believe that God will simply purify the present heavens and earth with this fire, and then make a new creation from the same elements which were originally used. Romans 8:22 states, "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."

There will be a time (the millennial reign of Christ) when the whole of the current creation will realize its potential. However, because of the recurrence of sin {20:7-8}, it is destined to pass away.

We need to be mindful that the lake of fire is to burn eternally; and at the same time, Scripture declares that former things will pass away and not be remembered. How shall the lake of fire burn eternally in a new earth, and not evoke questions about it by the saints?

There is a sense here, that the new creation which God will make may be constructed of elements which are currently unknown to us (i.e. "...pure gold, like unto clear glass..."). One thing is for certain: the elements that are used in the creation of a new heaven and earth, will never become corrupted. The corrupting agent, which is sin, will have been forever removed.

I Cor. 2:9 relates that, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

The end-time scenario seems to indicate that this present earth, which is made of elements subject to corruption, shall be totally engulfed by fire; and is destined to become the eternal abode of the wicked. It will never cease to exist, nor will its tormenting fires ever be extinguished. It will simply, "...pass away.." as stated here in verse 1. Forever out of the mind of the saints, and probably God Himself {Ps. 34:16} ; {Prov. 10:7}.

That's the essence of the second death of chapter 20: eternal seperation from God. The wicked, though created by Him, will no longer be remembered by Him; just as sins which are confessed under the Blood of Jesus, are no longer remembered. There will however, be a physical place where the wicked will continue to exist, and it appear that the current earth upon which we dwell, will be that place.

The torments of the second death are real, as are the cries of those who are delivered up to it; but cry as they may, God will not hear them. He will have closed His ears, in that day, to the tearful cries of wicked forever. These found no place in their hearts for repentance. Now, the mercy which God had previously offered to each of them, has been quenched. Today is the time for the wicked to forsake his way and find mercy {Isa. 55:7}. In that day there will be no mercy to be offered.

God is not playing games with people! At stake is the eternal destiny of each soul, which is being established by the decisions each of us make in our lives. We are each responsible for the decisions we make. Shall we be forever with Him in His new creation; or forever exiled from Him and on an earth turned into an unquenchable molten inferno?

He will plead with people to a point, to come to Him; but the time will come when he will not strive with a person any longer {Gen. 6:3}. Woe to those who find themselves at that point, and don't realize that His mercy towards them is almost quenched!

It's guranteed: if we don't come to God through the mercy which is found in Jesus Christ; we are destined to stand before the same God who will have no mercy left to offer. He's made a way for us to escape the final judgment; but it's up to us to receive it. A very sobering thing to consider!

II Pet. 3: 10-13 tells us that, "...the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up...the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements will melt... Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness."

Isaiah 65:17-18 amplifies this by stating,

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that I create: for behold, I create Je-ru'sa-lem a rejoicing, and her people a joy."

"...there was no more sea."

John beheld that in the new earth there is no sea. In the natural, life could scarcely exist much less flourish, without the presence of the seas and oceans of the world. They actually act as filters and reservoirs into which the contaminates of the earth flow. They are also the source from which virtually all rain water is drawn; watering the forest and vegetation of the earth, and in turn, manufacture the oxygen, to yield the food necessary to sustain life on the planet. On and on we can go about the importance of the seas and oceans in the present world in which we live.

However, in the new earth, in which God Himself shall dwell, there will be no need for such an eco-system. The earth will be fully sustained by His very presence, and the River of Life which flows from His throne.

"...holy city, new Je-ru'sa-lem."

The glorious holy city of new Jerusalem is here seen descending out of heaven from God to the new earth which He has created. It is seen as a bride adorned in jewels, ready to be with her husband. She will, in fact, be the crowning jewel of God's new creation. A more in depth description of the city is given, beginning with verse 11.

"...the tabernacle of God is with men..."

There are two ways we can look at this phrase. First, Jesus is the literal tabernacle of God, for Col. 2:9 states, "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily". However, as we read these first verses of chapter 21, the context gives us to understand that it is new Jerusalem, and not Jesus, which is being spoken of here.

At this point, Jesus had been the sovereign ruler of the world for one thousand years, So it would seem a bit out of place to declare at this juncture that He as, "the tabernacle of God is with men". What is actually being stated here is that, the place where God the Father is going to reside and dwell among the faithful, is with men. Jesus is already with the faithful; now God the Father is about to occupy His place, in the city, as well:

"...the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people. God himself shall be with them and be their God."

So we see, at this juncture, that the tabernacle of God is first with men, then shortly afterwards the Father will come down from heaven to forever dwell with them. {I. Cor. 15:24-26} states, that when Jesus has put all enemies under foot, then He shall deliver up the kingdom to God the Father.

That is what is being pictured here in this chapter. Death, the last enemy, has already been eliminated; and new Jerusalem, the holy city now descends in preparation for the Father to come down to formally receive the kingdom from His Son, Jesus. When John stands before the throne of God and sees new Jerusalem descend to the new earth, it's apparent that the Father, who is sitting upon the throne, is not descending with the city, at that point.

Verse 4

"And God shall wipe away all tears..."

One of the most comforting verses of the entire Bible is found here. It speaks of a time when all of the sorrows, and pains of every description, will forever disappear. Tribulation in the hearts of people will ceased. There will never be a sense in the mind of the faithful that their lives have an approaching conclusion, as it is in this world. The very thought of death, or dying, will never enter the mind of the faithful, for death has been done away with.

God Himself will see to it that all of those who endured in the previous world's misery and temptations, for His sake, will never again be troubled by them. It will be a new world in which only righteousness, peace and joy are known by its inhabitants!


Verses 5 - 8

Verse 5 helps us understand that John first sees the new heaven and earth from the vantage point of heaven, where the throne of God is currently located. For he is here standing before the Father, who tells him, that it is He who makes all things new; and the John is to write that these words are "... true and faithful."

"...It is done!..."

The judgments of God are now finished; the previous creation has passed away, having been replaced with a new heaven and earth.

God, who is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, is now all in all. Everything which He had declared by His Holy Word has now come to pass, exactly as He declared that it would.

"...I will be his God..."

The words spoken next are clearly from God the Father, "I will be his God and he shall be my son." This is addressed to all the faithful, but is primarily directed to the comfort of those who persevere to overcome the hardships of the tribulation period. Many will not, but those who do are given the promise, that they will inherit all things.

Among those who will have no part in His promise are eight classes of people: the cowardly, unbelievers, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars. To these, it is promised, that they shall inherit the lake of fire. As we recall in {9:20-21} a third of man was killed because they did not repent of the sins mentioned there.

The ultimate consequences for all such rebellious hearts will be eternal confinement in the lake of fire; on an earth that will pass into the blackness of eternity, never to be seen or heard from again. This is the stark reality that each of us, who scoff at, or disregard, the forgivness which God offers, is facing.

Liars seem to be especially emphasized here as among the worst of sinners. These are those who bought into the grand deception of the Antichrist {II Thes. 2:10-11}, and then went forth to proclaim it as truth.


Verses 9 - 10

"..one of the seven angels..."

Here we see one of the seven angels come forth to John, who also brought forth one of the seven last plagues to be poured out upon the earth.

As we have learned from the start of this study, and will see again in chapter 22; he is the one who was selected by Jesus to show John the events which were to unfold in the Book of Revelation. He now is ready to show John, "...the bride, the Lamb's wife..." who is portrayed here as the great city of new Jerusalem. Verses 9 and 10 are actually a restating of {verse 2}.

John is taken once again, "in the spirit", to a great and high mountain in the new earth which God has created to view the descent of the holy city, to its final resting place. It's a further reminder to us, that our final destination is not the heaven where God currently dwells; but it's the new earth, wherein God's tabernacle, new Jerusalem, will be established. Where God is, there will be the faithful also.

While we can technically say that the redeemed will live with God forever in heaven; that heaven will actually be found in new Jerusalem, which will rest upon the the new earth, He shall create.

It was an erroneous belief, in medieval times, that the earth was the center of the universe. In that day, it was thought that the sun, moon and stars all revolved around the earth. We, of course, know that the earth revolves around the sun.

In the last day however, the new earth will indeed become the center of the universe, because God Himself shall reside there. The heaven, wherein the throne of God now sits, will literally come down to the new earth in the form of a city called new Jerusalem. When it descends, then there will literally be, "heaven on earth".

Verse 11 - 14

"..her light..."

Here we see that new Jerusalem has light which is crystal clear like jasper stone, or the brilliant light of a diamond. Absolutely no haziness was detectable, for the light of it is generated by God himself (verse 23).

".. a wall great and high, and had twelve gates..."

We are told also of a great wall surrounding the city which has three gates on each side with an angel, or gate keeper, standing by each of them. Upon the twelve gates to the city was written the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.

Verse 14 further tells us that the walls of the city rest upon twelve foundations on which are written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Verse 15 - 16

"..a gold reed to measure the city..."

The angel is now seen holding a golden reed, with which he is to measure the size of new Jerusalem. In verse 16, John states that the city is layed out as a square and that its length, breath and height are of equal size. Its size is given as 12,000 furlongs, which is said to be equal to about 1,380 miles. Some however, have calculated this measurement to be as much as 1,500 miles.

There are two ways we can look at these measurements. First it may be that the length, breadth and height are 12,000 furlongs (1,380 miles) each. Second, we can view the total measurement as 12,000 furlongs (stadia, in Greek).

This second view seems to be more in keeping with what John is stating, because he is very explicit in other details which he gives about the city; and he does not specifically state that each measurement is 12,000 furlongs.

Following the second understanding, we would see that each measurement: the length, breadth and height of the city, would actually be 4,000 furlongs each. If the total of the measurements is 12,000 furlongs (1,380 miles); then three lengths, of equal measurement, would be equal exactly 460 miles (1,380 divided by 3). Based on these calculations, a city, whose length and width are 460 miles, would contain 211,600 square miles of space.

The 460 miles of height can be understood as representing the twelve foundations (each approximately 38.3 miles high). The city will be elevated 460 miles above the surface of the new earth. This is the very mountain of God! It is not clear if its foundations are terraced like steps (as a pyramid), or if the sides are set vertically, one upon another.

       I   2
I    1

        I   2
        I   1

We are not actually told the size of each foundation. We are only told the length, breadth and height of the city. If its foundations are to be terraced as steps, the twelfth, or top foundation, would be a 460 mile square, or slightly larger to allow its walls to be set back from the edge. Foundations below it would then be successively larger.

A similiar construction was employed in the ancient tower of Babel, whereby it is believed that Nimrod constructed a series of platforms, one upon another, in an attempt to reach up to heaven. Here, it appears that God has built a city atop of a similiar, though enormous platform, wherein He will dwell eternally as King of the universe.

To put the size of this city in perspective: if we were to set its eastern limit at Memphis, Tennessee; its western limit would fall in the vicinity of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

If we extend a line connecting Memphis and Oklahoma City, to representing the middle of new Jerusalem, 230 miles north of this line (half of the 460 miles of length) would show the city as covering the northern half of Arkansas; approximately the southern half of Missouri; southeastern Kansas as far west as Wichita, and the northeastern quarter of the State of Oklahoma.

On the south side of this line it would cover the southern half of Arkansas; the southeastern quarter of the State of Oklahoma; the northeastern portion of Texas, the northern one-fourth of the State of Louisiana, and portions of western Mississippi.

Dallas and Forth Worth, Texas would occupy a very small parcel in the southwestern corner of a city the size which is portrayed here. New Jerusalem will be an enormous city, to say the least!

We may also contrast the size of new Jerusalem with that of Babylon, the glory of man, whose ancient dimensions were a 15 mile square (225 square miles of territory). Based on the dimensions given above, the size of new Jerusalem would be sufficient, within its walls, to accomodate 941 cities the size of ancient Babylon!

It might be added here, that if new Jerusalem's size (211,000 square miles) is proportional to the new earth, as current Jerusalem (50 square miles) is to this earth; then the new earth will also be enormous in size, perhaps as large or larger than our sun.

Verse 17 - 20

"..he measured the wall thereof..."

The walls were measured to be 144 cubits, by man's measurement. A cubit was equal to approximately 1.5 feet, making the height of the walls about 216 feet. The 1,840 miles of walls enclosing the city (460 miles each side), rest upon the twelfth foundation of Amethyst, which is a violet colored precious stone. Upon this foundation of bluish-purple color, will flow streets of pure gold.

The foundations of new Jerusalem's walls, will serve a different purpose than those for the walls of earthly cities of the past. They will be like monuments commemorating the service of the Apostles, and their faithfulness in establishing the base upon which the Church sits. Jesus is the chief cornerstone {Eph. 2:20}, but they are also reckoned to be a part of the foundation, as well.

All twelve foundations were adorned with precious stones of every sort. The foundations themselves were of the following makeup and approximate color:

1st ------ Japser ----------- Clear or Diamond
2nd ----- Sapphire ------- Deep Blue
3rd ----- Chalcedony ---- Sky Blue
4th ------ Emerald --------- Green
5th ------ Sardonyx ------- Red and White
6th ------ Sardius ---------- Fiery Red
7th ------ Chrysolite ------ Golden
8th ------ Beryl ------------- Sea Green
9th ------ Topaz ------------ Transparent Green
10th ---- Chrysoprase --- Purple
11th ---- Jacinth ----------- Red
12th ---- Amethyst ------- Violet

It appears that each foundation is of a base material which is embedded with stones which make up the other eleven foundations. For example: the base of the first foundation is Jasper (diamond). In it is embedded stones from the other eleven foundations.

What we see in the lowest foundation, whose sides have a minimum length of 460 miles, by 38 mile high, is the glow or sparkle of the most precious diamonds ever seen. Embedded in this foundation are sapphires, chalcedony stones, emeralds etc.

In the second foundation which rest atop of the first, the base is of Sapphire (Deep Blue). This, as all other foundations which rest on top of it, may be proportionally smaller, or equal to, the dimensions found in the one below it. In this base of Sapphire is embedded the other eleven stones: jasper, chalcedony stone, emeralds etc.

We see this grand mind boggling display continued upwards for the distance of 460 miles: in approximately 38.3 mile foundational increments. Sitting atop the twelfth foundation are walls, 216 high of pure jasper (dazzling like diamonds), which surround a 211,600 square mile city whose structures are of pure gold. This super pure gold is clear like glass.

"...twelve gates..."

There are three gates in each of the four external walls. To space them equally apart, with the center gates set at 230 miles to center from each end would put each of the other gates at 115 miles from the corner of the walls, and the same distance, center to center, from the middle gate of each wall.

Each of the gates is to be of one pearl, set as it were, in the wall or band of Jasper (diamonds) surrounding the city. The gates of the city shall never be closed (verse 25). All the in bound streets from these gates are of pure gold, like transparent glass, just as the city itself.

Based on the equi-distance of the gates in the four walls, the inbound intersecting streets from these gates, would create twelve blocks of the city bordering the inside of the walls. Each of these blocks would be a square of 115 miles (13,225 square miles). The total area for buildings within these blocks would then be 158,700 square miles of space (13,225 x 12). The height of the buildings or mansions, within the city is not given. We are only told that the city is of pure gold.

The remaining 52,900 square miles within the interior of the city, may constitute Paradise {2:7} (the Garden of God, whose throne will, undoubtedly, be set at the very center). One of the roads connecting two of the center gates, in the walls, will probably represent what is called "...the street..." (singular): the main street of the city.

"...I saw no temple..."

The one thing missing, from heaven, in this city, is the temple in which God had previously dwelt. Now He will come down and dwell openly among the people. His throne is found there, but no temple structure; for the Father and the Lamb have become its Temple.

The city also had no need of the sun or the moon to shine within it, for the radiance of God the Father and the Lamb continually provides all of its light: a light in which there is no shadow {Jas. 1:17}. The nations which are redeemed by Him shall walk in that light, and the kings of the earth (the saints) shall bring their glory and honor into the city unto Him.

It doesn't here state, if God will create a sun and moon for the new earth; only that there will be no need of such in the city of new Jerusalem. We know there will be a new heaven created, which implies that there will be heavenly bodies within it. Chapter 22:2 indicates that the tree of life bore twelve different fruits; one each month. This does show that time will still be measured in the new creation. The sun and moon were originally created to measure the length days and years in the first creation {Gen. 1:14}.

"...there shall in no wise enter..."

This chapter concludes in verse 27 by stating to all who hear or read this book, that no one, nor anything which is in any wise unclean, shall enter into the gates of this perfect city. This is not to say, that unclean persons or ideas, will exist in the new earth, but is notice to the unclean of this world, that no such person or thing will be there.

Only those whose name are written in the Book of Life will be counted worthy of that privilege. This is an admonition to us, to be holy like Him who sits upon the throne {I Pet. 1:15-16} ; {Heb. 12:14}; for the Great King will give dominion to the saints to eternally rule over the new earth which He has created.



The judgment of the wicked has now been finalized and their eternal state sealed. The earth itself, totally corrupted with the sins of the wicked, shall be consumed by fire and pass away.

A new heaven and earth now emerge as the former passes away. The holy city, new Jerusalem, now comes down to the new earth as the tabernacle of God himself. It is described as a magnificent city of pure gold which is elevated upon a platform of twelve foundations.

God Himself shall forever remove all sorrows, and pains of every description, from the lives of the faithful. All tribulation in the hearts of people will ceased and peace and joy shall forever prevail. The very thought of death shall be unknown as previous things are no longer remembered.

The great city is herein measured and then described. The temple of God in heaven is not found here, for God and the Lamb are its temple, and they shall dwell in the midst of the people forever.

The chapter ends with the statement that there shall, by no means, enter into new Jerusalem anything which defiles. It's an admonition that we are to daily examine our lives, to make sure no such things are found in our hearts.


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