The Book of Revelation is an unveiling of Jesus Christ in all of His glory. In it we have a three-fold outline of Him:
1. He is the Lord of the churches in Revelation 1:1 – Revelation 3:22.
2. He is the Lion over the nations in Revelation 4:1 – Revelation 20:15.
3. He is the Lamb among believers in Revelation 21:1 – Revelation 22:21.
We are now going to be introduced to the New Jerusalem.
The Introduction to the New Jerusalem
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. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 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. 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.” 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.” 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. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be His God and he will be My son. 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 sulphur. This is the second death.”
The Pattern of Things in the Universe will be Changed
There will be changes in our physical surroundings:
1. Our present physical environment will pass away as described by Peter in II Peter 3:10-12.
2. Our physical surroundings will become new. The prophet Isaiah wrote about this in Isaiah 65:17 and Isaiah 66:22 and Peter wrote about it in II Peter 3:10-13.
3. Our future environment will be different since there will be “no more sea.” The only river will be the river of the water of life in the New Jerusalem mentioned in Revelation 22:1.
The Presence of a New City will be the Main Attraction in Eternity
The New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven from God.
1. The Source is God Himself who has been designing and preparing this city for His people. He is its builder and maker according to Hebrews 11:10.
2. We may not know its exact location but this city will definitely sit on earth.
3. This city is identified with its inhabitants, since she is described as “a bride”.
4. It is a holy city, a pure city since no sin will be found in her.
5. She is unlike the earthly Jerusalem, which in Revelation 11:8 is figuratively called “Sodom and Egypt.”
The Purpose of God will be Fulfilled
God’s presence with people was a reality when Jesus Christ came into this world according to John 1:14, 18. After Jesus’ ascension into heaven God’s presence has been made real by the Holy Spirit but, since we cannot see Him, the full reality of God’s presence is not experienced. One day that will be different. One day God Himself will live among His people. This God will wipe away every tear from the eyes of His people. There will be no more sorrow, no more suffering, no more pain in the New Jerusalem.
The Promises of God will be Realised
God the Father is the One who sits on His Throne. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, as is the Son according to Revelation 1:8. God is the beginning and the end of all things. Everything exists because of Him and His divine purpose. The prophet Isaiah wrote about the ministry of Jesus in Isaiah 55:1 and Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman in John 4:13-14 about this life giving water that only He could give mentioned in this passage. Only those who have drunk from this living water and who have overcome will be allowed entrance into the New Jerusalem. Those who continue to reject God’s salvation plan through Jesus Christ and continue their sinful lifestyle will end up in the fiery lake of burning sulphur, which is the second death.
The New Jerusalem
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.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 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. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 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. He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man’s measurement, which the angel was using. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 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. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
One of the angels who had poured out God’s wrath on the earth now invites John to come and see the New Jerusalem and John’s description of the City is that it has the glory of God. The New Jerusalem reflects all that God is. It is a wonderful manifestation of the glory and character of Almighty God. God has prepared and designed a city that will truly reveal the wonder of His nature and will cause all to worship Him forever. John must feel overawed by what he sees and has difficulty describing what he exactly sees. The light is like that of a very precious jewel. This could be a diamond. John next describes the wall around the city. It is a great and high wall, which may tell us that it will keep out what is not wanted. It is 144 cubits thick, which is approx. 200 feet thick according to Revelation 21:17. John sees twelve gates in the wall with twelve angels. On each gate was written a name of a tribe of Israel.
Beneath the wall are twelve foundations with the name of the twelve apostles on them. In Ephesians 2:20 we read that the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. The angel measures the city with a gold measuring rod to indicate the majesty and royalty of what is being measured. Each side measures approx. 1,400 miles. The wall was made of “jasper” which is a precious stone already mentioned earlier on and may possibly refer to “diamonds.” The city is made of pure gold and likewise the street of the city is made of pure gold. This speaks of royalty.
The foundations are made of different kinds of precious stones. The twelve gates are made of twelve pearls.
The Glory of the New Jerusalem
I did not see a temple in the City, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 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. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honour of the nations will be brought into it. 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.
There will be no temple in the City, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the only temple we will need. They are the objects of our praise. Neither does the City need the sun and the moon for the glory of God gives its light and the Lamb will be its lamp. The New Jerusalem is unique in what will be missing:
1. No more death, sorrow, crying or pain according to Revelation 21:4.
2. No temple according to Revelation 21:22.
3. No need of the sun or the moon or a lamp according to Revelation 21:23 and Revelation 22:5.
4. No night according to Revelation 21:25 and Revelation 22:5.
5. No impurity, shame, or deceit according to Revelation 21:27.
6. No more curse according to Revelation 22:3.
There will be nations and kings who have come out of the tribulation period. They very likely will have been judged by Jesus according to Matthew 25:31-46. These nations will have taken care of Jesus’ “brothers”, the Jewish people, and will have been seen by Him as “sheep” nations and therefore been allowed to enter the Millennium age. During the one-thousand year period they did not rebel against Jesus and they did not become a part of the final rebellion so they can now live on the earth in its eternal state. These nations will include children born in the Millennium period who have not rebelled against the Lord. These are the nations and their kings who are free to enter the City.
All unbelievers will be in the lake of fire. Sin will be gone forever. The devil and his angels will be in the lake of fire.