Revelation 21:1-27 Part 6

Revelation 21:1-27 Part 6


1)      Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, (the first heaven and the first earth went away, and the sea is no more),

2)      and the new holy city Jerusalem coming out of the heaven from God having been made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

3)      Then I heard a great sound from the seat saying “Lo, The tabernacle of God with man.”  He will tabernacle with them, they will be His people, God Himself will be with them;

4)      and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, the death will be no more, neither sorrow nor crying nor pain will be any more, for the firsts passed away.

5)      Then the One sitting upon the seat said: “Lo, I make everything new!”  And He says, “write; for these words are sure and true”;

6)      He said to me, “they are come to pass.  I, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, will freely give from the source of the water of life to him who thirsts;

7)      and the one overcoming will inherit these things, and I will be  God to him and he will be My son.

8)      But burning in the lake of fire and brimstone is the allotment of all the fearful and unfaithful and the corrupted and murderers and fornicators and sorcerers and idolaters and all the liars.”

9)      Then one of the seven messengers that had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came and spoke with me saying, “here, I will show you the bride – the wife of The Lamb”.

10)  And it did bear me in spirit upon a great and high mountain and showed me the city – the holy Jerusalem coming down from the God of the heaven

11)  having her God’s glory, her radiance like a precious stone, crystal clear as a jasper stone,

12)  having a great and high wall having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve messengers and names written which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel,

13)  three gates to the east, three gates to the north, three gates to the south, and three gates to the west;

14)  the wall of the city having twelve foundation stones, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15)  The one speaking with me had a golden measuring reed to measure the city and her gates and her wall,

16)  (the city is shaped square – her length the same as the breadth); and he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand stadia, her length and breadth and height being equal;

17)  and he measured her wall: a hundred and forty four cubits (man’s measurement as is that of a messenger),

18)  the structure of her walls jasper, and the city as pure gold, crystal clear,

19)  the foundations of the wall of the city adorned with every precious stone; the first foundation jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald,

20)  the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst,

21)  the twelve gates twelve pearls (each of the gates were of one pearl), and the city’s street pure gold as transparent crystal.

22)  I saw no temple in her, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb is her temple.

23)  The city has no need for the sun or the moon that they should appear in her, for the glory of God was manifest in her and her light - the Lamb;

24)  the nations will walk by her light, and kings of the earth bear their glory into her

25)  by day (none of her gates will in any way be closed, and there will be no night there),

26)  and they will bear the glory and honor of the nations into her.

27)  By no means would anyone unclean ever enter into her doing abomination or falsehood, but only those written in the Lamb’s book of life.


Listen to the apostle Paul from his second letter to the Churches at Corinth (at chapter five):


16)  Wherefore we henceforth know no man after the flesh.  Even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more.

17)  Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.

18)  But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation;

19)  to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20)  We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

21)  Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.


Paul wrote to these Churches in Corinth about twenty years before our Lord’s Parousia; and as you just heard, he wrote some serious Theology which is essentially the same as that which we find in our text.

Remember, that Paul had been taught personally by the risen Christ; and he had, by his own admission, been in the tabernacle in the heaven where he was shown these things.

And so he wouldn’t become proud and pretentious in his own mind, he was then given an acute and grave malady in his body (in order that he be kept humble and lowly), and told that he was not to speak of the things that he saw… (for it wasn’t yet time.  That, of course, would be left for John to do at the end of the age).

But the things he had been taught, and that which he had seen in the heaven, are manifest to the Churches in his expository remarks concerning the will and purpose of God in Christ Jesus our Lord; and tells them to be ambassadors of the King to the nations.  They were given the Word of Reconciliation.

And this exposition regarding the work of Christ has to do with those of us In Him having been made “new creations”.  As He reconciles all things to Himself, He will have made everything new!

As the ones in the Churches were, individually, made new creations in Him, so all things would be made new.  At His Parousia, all things would be definitively new (they are come to pass, John says, and he sees the firsts disappear); and, in space and time during all the years, all things would be reconciled to Him.  Nothing would be left that was not reconciled to Him.

He is the Creator of the first Adam; and He is the Second Adam.  He created the first humanity, and He is the new Humanity.  He is the Beginning and He is the End; He is the First and He is the Last, He is the Alpha and He is the Omega.  The “firsts” go away; and only the “new” will be!

Back in First Corinthians chapter three, Paul wrote to them that “the Lord knows that the reasonings of the wise are meaningless.  So no one should boast in human leaders, for everything is yours — whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come — everything is yours; and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.”

These are the very things that John is shown here in our text, aren’t they?

You see, the whole world belongs to Christ and His Kingdom… the world and all that lives and moves in it.  And as it belongs to Christ, it all belongs to you, Paul says.

You have no need of a leader, or a “guru”, whose wisdom is such that he guides you through the “maize” (as if you were somehow separate from The Christ).  The world, life, death, things present, things to come… they all belong to the Christ, so they belong to you!

You are In Him; and He tabernacles with you; by His Spirit He perfects you.  You are a “new creation”!  “I make everything new”, He says.

The view of many in protestant pietism is that Christianity is “abstract”.  It exists separate from, and in opposition to, natural life; and that it is always fleeing from the world!  Monasticism is a more extreme example of that “flight from this evil world”.  But fundamentalism isn’t all that different from Romanist monasticism, for it considers Christianity as a separate entity.  We’re only pilgrims here, they say.  This world is evil; and heaven is our home.

But that’s in stark contrast to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And it’s a false religion!  Our Lord has redeemed the world.  He has made all things new; and He will reconcile all things to Himself.  And the ones who won’t see that are, themselves, in a flight from reality!

“All is yours”, Paul wrote to the Churches in Corinth.  Resurrection out of death in Christ Jesus (i.e. a new creation In Him) isn’t an abstract, separate sphere of human life, but is that by which the entire person is made new, refined and made complete!  And since we are given the Word of Reconciliation, it is that by which the world is redeemed!

And since Christ is all wisdom, the new creation in Christ needs no other leader to give him wisdom about some rational explanation of the origins and future of this world and how one is to navigate it!

Being made a new creation in Christ takes hold of a man (or woman or child) in his totality, his very being; it gives light to his understanding; it gives holiness to his thought and his will.  And so it pours forth the sacred consecration of the new birth, and the glorious liberty of the children of God, over his whole life and being!

And there is no rational element that may not be sanctified.  There’s no sphere of life that may not be glorified.  It is a complete rebirth… a new creation in Christ the Second Adam… and His redeemed humanity!

And the entire creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God; it groans and sighs for that same reconciliation and deliverance.  It all belongs to the Christ and all who are In Him. 

Christianity is the redemption and reconciliation of the world; and we aren’t separate from the world – it belongs to us!  It belongs to The Christ; and therefore it belongs to us In Him!

And now, listen to Isaiah at chapter forty-four:


1)      Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant, Israel who I have chosen:

2)      Thus says YAHVEH Who made you, and formed you from the womb, and Who will help you.  Fear not, O Jacob My servant; and you, Jeshurun, who I have chosen.

3)      For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and streams upon the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your seed, and my blessing upon your offspring;

4)      and they shall spring up among the grass as willows by the watercourses.


6)      Thus says YAHVEH, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, YAHVEH of Hosts: I am the First, and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God.


As God said to Isaiah, He is Alpha and He is Omega (the First and the Last).  He has created Israel (Jacob); and He will keep him and help him.  And He will pour out His Spirit as water in the desert wilderness; and the seed of Jacob will spring up like willows beside all the watercourses.

Here are the words of Jesus, as recorded by John in his Gospel, chapter seven:


37) Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.

38) He that believes me (faiths), as the scripture has said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water.

39) But this He spoke of the Spirit, which they who believed Him were to receive: for the Spirit was not yet given; because Jesus was not yet glorified.


“From within him shall flow rivers of living water…!”

That’s what Jesus said.  From the believer; from the one faithing in Christ, there shall be a “thirst” for the living water.  And from him who thirsts, there shall flow RIVERS of living water, for that living water will be given to him “freely”!

And wherever the living water flows across the dry ground, our “SEED” will spring up as willows by the watercourses.


Now, let’s go through all of that again.  We can’t allow ourselves to miss even a little of it!  It’s what the prophets said; it’s what the apostle Paul said; it’s what Jesus said; and it’s precisely what John sees and hears in our verses five, six and seven.

So let’s hear those three verses again:


5) Then the One sitting upon the seat said: “Lo, I make everything new!”  And He says, “write; for these words are sure and true”;

6) He said to me, “they are come to pass.  I, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, will freely give from the source of the water of life to him who thirsts;

7) and the one overcoming will inherit these things, and I will be  God to him and he will be My son.


The Churches at Corinth were populated by the seed of the woman, those who God had kept for Himself, those of the tribes of Jacob who Jesus came to seek and to save… those who were rebirthed into the Christ at Pentecost and then sent into the nations!

Paul was writing to them, there in his second letter, that they were new creations in Christ Jesus Who is the Alpha and the Omega (the First and the Last) and Who would make all things new!  And since there was about to be a new heaven and a new earth; and there was about to be a new Jerusalem, in no way did they have need for the wisdom of men in order to navigate through this evil world!

They were redeemed humanity; they were new creations in Christ.  And the whole world waited for the manifestation of the ones who belonged to Him.  The world belongs to You, he told them, because it belongs to the Christ!

You aren’t moving around in some separate cosmos!  You haven’t been redeemed “out of the world”!  This world belongs to you!  Every facet of your life is redeemed; and every facet of the world will be redeemed.  He is the Beginning, and He is the End.  Therefore it will be!  All will be reconciled to Him.

Then we heard from Isaiah where YAHVEH promised to pour living water upon the dry ground; and the “seed” would spring up around the watercourses.  And those who thirst for the living water would see their seed flourish.  He is the Beginning and the End.  He was their origin; and He would bring forth their seed… to the completion!

Then we heard what John wrote in His Gospel, quoting Jesus, when Jesus quoted from that very Isaiah passage.  And He said that to the ones who believe Him – faith in Him – He would freely assuage their thirst for the living water; and the living water would flow from them as rivers of life into the dry wildernesses of the earth.  And their seed would spring forth as trees and green grass beside the watercourses.

And now, here in the text of The Revelation of Jesus Christ we hear the exact same thing written to the Churches.  The Lord Jesus Christ IS YAHVEH of Hosts.  He is Alpha and Omega (the First and the Last).  He created them in the beginning.  He kept a “seed” for Himself; and He has freely given them the water of life and planted them in the wilderness.  And from them will flow that water of life into all the earth.  And the “Beginning” will complete it to the “End” as all the earth will bloom forth and flourish into “paradise” as He promised.

As Geerhardus Vos once said, we are not “spectators” of the redemption and reconciliation of the world.   Just as we are new creations In Him, there is a new heaven and a new earth, and as there is a new Jerusalem.  It’s new; and it belongs to us!  He made it in the beginning and He will complete it to the end.  He IS the Alpha and the Omega, The First and the Last.

The old cosmos in which He preserved the seed would be destroyed; the old tabernacle on the mount through which the new was prophesied would be destroyed; the dragon of old would be bound and sealed in the abyss.

And the River of life would flow from under the new mountain of God into all the earth.

And “Behold!  I make all things new.”

And at the end of all the years decreed, the seed of the serpent (those not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life) would be cast into the lake of fire.  And all the multitudes of the seed of Jacob would be the ones that our God knew by name from the beginning.

We will inherit it all (John says in verse seven); for those in Christ are sons of God, whose names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  The Strong Right Arm of God has “overcome”.  And we, In Him, are overcomers… from whom flows the River of Life – the Spirit and the Word… the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We overcome IN HIM, for the water of life flows from us into the world.

And before we address verse eight, let’s take another couple of minutes with the nature of one re-birthed into the Christ.  We are the seed of the woman, the seed of Jacob, the multitude promised to Abraham – kept by our God from the beginning, planted by the River of Life, and from whom flows that water of life.  We are members of a new humanity in the Second Adam.  And the old nature – the nature of the first Adam – is gone.  We have been raised up out of death.  (Remember, John said previously that our rebirth into Christ is the “first resurrection”.

Just as the first heaven and the first earth are gone; and just as the first Jerusalem is gone, so the nature of the first Adam is gone.  Our Lord has made everything new; He has reconciled all things to Himself.  We are new creations in Christ.

And the new creation in Christ doesn’t look like the first creation in Adam!  As John says later in our text, nothing about the first Adam is allowed in the new Jerusalem!

There is nothing about you that may not be sanctified.  You are a new creation in Christ Jesus.  Your very thought processes are to be sanctified.  You are a new human being in Christ; so your thoughts, your words, your deeds are to be sanctified.

Your worship; your work; your eating and drinking is to be sanctified.  Your love for your wife or husband and children is to be sanctified.  Your love for your brothers and sisters in Christ is to be sanctified.

Your emotions and your needs and your desires are to be sanctified; your words and conversations, and your interactions with your brothers in Christ are to be sanctified.

You thirst for the water of life – the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and it is freely given to you.

And the River of Life flows from you to the seed which God has kept for Himself… all those written in the Lamb’s book of life.  What you say, what you do, what you look at, what you listen to, what you read, what your interests are… it all is to be sanctified.

Re-birth into Christ involves the totality of your person.  You live as a new creation in Christ!  You can’t even take a breath except as a new creation in Christ!

You are alive in Him; you live in Him.  You belong to Him, and you are His brothers and His sisters.

This creation belongs to the Christ, and you are In Him; so it all belongs to you.  And as He promised in John chapter seven, the water of life flows from you to His seed; and they will spring up as green trees by the watercourses to fill the earth!  And they, and the world itself, will be reconciled to Him.

As a Christian, you haven’t been separated out from this creation!  Having been rebirthed into Him, you own it!  And it will all be reconciled to Him.

And as verse eight says, it will all be sanctified!  Let’s read one more time what John hears from the One sitting on the seat:


5)   Then the One sitting upon the seat said: “Lo, I make everything new!”  And He says, “write; for these words are sure and true”;

6)   He said to me, “they are come to pass.  I, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, will freely give from the source of the water of life to him who thirsts;

7)   and the one overcoming will inherit these things, and I will be  God to him and he will be My son.

8)   But burning in the lake of fire and brimstone is the allotment of all the fearful and unfaithful and the corrupted and murderers and fornicators and sorcerers and idolaters and all the liars.”


You see, verse eight is the final sanctification of all things, when those not written in the book of life are judged; and they no longer exist in God’s new heaven and new earth.  And not only you…..but the entire creation will be justified and reconciled to God!

Here is Paul in his first letter to the Corinthian Churches, chapter six:


9) do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men,

10) nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

11) And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.


And again the apostle in his letter to the Churches of Galatia:


19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20) idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties,

21) envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I forewarned you before, that they who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.


These here in verse eight are not inheritors of the kingdom; they are not the ones written in the Lamb’s book of life; they are not the ones who thirst for the water of life, or to whom flows the River of Life; they are not the ones redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and re-birthed into the Christ.

All who practice such things aren’t allowed into the new Jerusalem (verse twenty-seven), for they are the seed of the serpent and enemies of the Christ.

And as our Lord made clear in His messages to the Churches (chapters two and three), they were to be cast out of the Church of Jesus Christ (just as the satan was cast down from the tabernacle in the heaven).

What John hears from the “seat” is that this creation, at the end of all the years decreed, will be completely sanctified as the First and the Last casts all of them into the lake of fire along with the dragon and death and hades.

And the creation mandate, abdicated by the first Adam, will have been kept by the Second Adam.  The Lord Jesus Christ will have subdued the earth and filled it with His seed!!

Here in verse eight John presents to the Churches the nature of those who are not written in the Lamb’s book of life, who will not inherit the Kingdom, who will never be acceptable in the new Jerusalem, and who will be cast into the lake of fire on the day of judgment.

And he begins the list with the fearful and unfaithful.

And I remind you of all that we learned from Jesus’ words as recorded by Matthew in chapter eight.  Having departed Israel on the sea, in order to reach the Gentile nation on the other side, there was a great shaking.  And the sea was a tumult.  And Jesus stilled the shaking and quieted the tumult; and he rid a Gentile city of its demons… all of which was prophesied in the older Scripture!

But the words that He spoke to His disciples are the very first words that John writes here in verse eight of our text!  He said to them: “why are you fearful, you little faiths!

Those who are fearful and unfaithing, even in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will not inherit the Kingdom.  Those who are fearful of what they see around them aren’t faithing in the First and the Last!  Those who are fearful aren’t faithing in the Word of God and the promise of our Lord’s salvation of this creation!  The fearful and unfaithful don’t believe our Lord when He says that all of this belongs to Him, and therefore belongs to us!   The fearful and unfaithful don’t believe that the water of life flows freely to those who thirst, and that a River of Life will flow from them into all the earth.  The fearful and unfaithful will not inherit the earth.

The next three things John writes have to do with the abominations of the flesh… the corruption, the violence and fornication.

Moses wrote (in Genesis six) that God saw that the whole world was corrupt.  And later he said to the tribes of Jacob that as soon as he died, they would utterly corrupt themselves.

All mankind, and the whole earth, were cursed by God; and Adam filled the earth with his own kind.  And men would do nothing other than what was right in their own eyes.  None were good, for all mankind was corrupt.

And John says that no man of corruption and murder and fornication (all deeds of dead humanity) would inherit the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.  Corruption is death; fornication is corruption of human flesh. The things abominable to God are the deeds of corrupt mankind.

Corrupt mankind in Adam must be re-birthed into the incorruptible Christ of God – the Second Adam; and henceforth he will not practice the corrupt deeds of the flesh.

Corrupt flesh will not inherit the Kingdom; corrupt flesh isn’t allowed in the new Jerusalem.

Thirdly, John says that burning in the lake of fire is the allotment of sorcerers and idolators.  From the beginning of Genesis to the end of the Revelation, idolatry and the practitioners of idolatry are at the very root of corruption.

From the garden to these words of John, mankind in Adam prefers gods of his own making.  And as apostle Paul says in Romans one, corruption and uncleanness flow directly from idolatry; for the power and glory of Almighty God are evident in all that He has made – and even in man himself.  The allotment of all idolators is eternal fire and brimstone.

Fourth, and last, is all liars.

Through all of Israel’s history there were false prophets.  They said things that God did not say.  Or they disputed things that God did say.

Jesus told His disciples that in the last days there would be false prophets.  And in the Revelation John heard that the false prophet was the “land beast” that raised the image of the fourth beast of history.  And the false prophet said that Israel and Jerusalem would never be destroyed… that God would preserve her forever.  It was exactly the opposite of what God had revealed to His prophets of old, and exactly the opposite of what Jesus had said.

The false prophets were liars.

And John says, at the end of the Revelation, that anyone who adds to or detracts from what is revealed to the last prophet of God would be anathema.  They are liars; death flows from their mouths rather than the water of life.  And they will not inherit the kingdom.  They do not inherit the earth in Christ Jesus the Lord.  It doesn’t belong to them.  And they will not stand in the judgment.  But they will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone along with the satan, who is the father of liars and lies and deception.

Following is John’s description of the new Jerusalem, which we’ll begin next Lord’s Day.