Revelation 21:1-27 Part 7

Revelation 21:1-27 Part7


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)  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.


We had a good discussion in the second hour last Lord’s Day, though I felt like we didn’t quite get to where we needed to be language-wise.  But “God-With-Us” is too important for us to miss.  So I want us to continue with that for a little while this morning.

That’s what the completion of John’s Revelation is all about, isn’t it?  God-With-Us!  The Hebrew word, you remember, is “Immanuel” – the very name given to Isaiah and prophesied to Israel seven hundred years before Jesus was born.

We have been raised out of death unto life.  (That’s the first resurrection, you remember.) We are In Him, and He is With Us.  We are to have His mind; and we are to thirst for that water of life; and it will be a river of life flowing from us through all the years decreed, to the end that all the world will be saved.

As every human propensity is to be sanctified in Christ Jesus, so the mind.  We who are resurrected from death unto life are In Him, and He is “with us”.  He said He has made everything “new”.  As new creations in Him, we must no longer think from the perspective of depraved humanity (dead humanity); but we must think His thought after Him.  We are alive… IN HIM.

We might ask ourselves (and others) questions such as this: when reading the Scripture, or hearing the Gospel (or even speaking to others), from which direction comes your predisposition!  Are you predisposed to read or hear from your perspective… or are you predisposed to do so from His?  Do you think as one alive in Him?

We had trouble putting good language to this last Lord’s Day; but we used the word “mindset” to describe the “beginning point” of the sanctified mind.  If one has been re-birthed from death unto life in Christ, and all things are made new, then should our prejudice remain with that which is old?  The “old” has been put to death!

I’m going to read from some of Paul’s letters to the Churches for you.  Listen carefully; the apostle addresses this very subject again and again and again.  We call it “presuppostionalism” (big word); but it simply means that those who are IN CHRIST are to be predisposed to His perspective on everything.  We begin where He begins.  After all, He is the Word of God.  He is the origin of wisdom and rationality.  And to have some other perspective on all that is, and all that is to be, is not only arrogant, but it is outright irrational!

But here is some of Paul’s teaching.  And remember, all of his letters were written in advance of our Lord’s Parousia at the end of the age:

Romans eight, verse five:

For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”


Romans eight, verse six:

For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.”


Romans twelve, verse two:

“And be not fashioned according to this world; but be transformed by the renewing (sanctification) of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”


1 Corinthians one, verse ten:

“Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfected together (sanctified) in the same mind and in the same judgment.”


Ephesians four, verses twenty-two through twenty-four:

“Put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the old man that waxes corrupt after the lusts of deceit, so that you be renewed (sanctified) of the Spirit in your mind; and put on the new man that, after God, has been created in the righteousness and holiness of truth.”


Philippians two, verse five:

“Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”


Colossians three, verse two:

Set your mind on the things that are above, rather than the things that are on the earth.”


The second letter to the Churches in Thessalonica chapter two, verses one and two:

“Now we beseech you, brothers!  Regarding the Parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering unto him, that you not be quickly shaken from your mind nor even be troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter as if from us, that the day of the Lord is near at hand….”


Just a minute here with this last one… apparently Paul got word that the Churches of Thessalonica were especially being beset by judaizers and false prophets regarding the Parousia of the Christ – and were even receiving letters from deceivers over the signatures of the apostles!  They were forgeries!  (Paul even wrote later: “here, this is my signature!”)

And he said, “don’t be shaken from your mind” concerning the imminent Parousia of Jesus Christ!  Your mind must be the mind of Christ by Whom you were raised out of death and in Whom you are alive.

Our Lord Jesus Christ poured out His blood for us and satisfied the wrath of God toward us; and He gifted us with life and faith; and resurrected us from death unto life in Him.  So, do our minds remain disposed to the old man?  Do we view this world from the perspective of what was?

That’s the question here.  And it’s particularly pertinent as we hear what John was shown here in the Revelation.

The mind of one who is alive in Christ Jesus thinks His thought after Him!  The thought process begins there!  Paul said “don’t even be troubled” by deceivers.  Your first inclination must be the mind of Christ, for there is the righteousness and holiness of the Truth!  You are In Him, so you are to have His mind!

He is the great Philosopher; He is Wisdom Personified; He is Rationality (The Logos); He is the Word.

Mankind can’t produce a man of wisdom; it can’t produce a rational philosopher, or leader (or guru); there are no wise and rational psychologists or philosophers from the ranks of fallen mankind.  They don’t think rationally because they begin with themselves.  Wisdom and rationality belong to God the Word!  Those things don’t come from us… they come to us – from Him!  And they belong to us because they belong to Him.

Everyone else, and everything else is irrational!  Even when they stumble upon rationality, it’s irrational!  If it doesn’t comport with the mind of Christ, it’s irrational!

And, you know… prejudice is a GOOD word!  He is the First; and He is the Last.  And all belongs to Him.  And that’s our “starting place”, you see.  So we must be prejudiced.

That doesn’t mean “ugly”, or “mean”; it means, simply, that we immediately recognize whatever isn’t the mind of Christ… we immediately recognize whatever isn’t the righteousness and holiness of Truth!  It’s the “mindset” by which we examine everything.

That’s where we are; it’s in Whom we live.  And it’s where our prejudice lies.

It’s the place we occupy when we approach the Scripture.  It’s the “rule” that we assume as judges of the world in Him.  He is the “lens” through which we perceive.

So, once again (from last week), whatever you feel, whatever you think, whatever you say, whatever you desire, whatever you eat and drink, whatever you look at, whatever you read, whatever you listen to, whatever your hopes and anticipations, whatever your relationships, whatever your conversations… you are to have the mind of Christ.  Your mind is to be sanctified.

Your first inclination is to think His thought after Him… to have His mind.  He is the One in Whom we live; and we have been set free to the liberty of the sons of God.  We are freed from the captivity of darkness and death into the glorious light of God the Son.

So, (before we come to verses nine, ten and eleven), here’s the conclusion:

God said “I AM the First; and I AM the Last.  I WAS at the beginning; and I WILL BE at the completion.  This is how I conceived it; and I made it to happen by the Lamb of God Who is My Word made flesh.

You who belong to Me were written in His book of life from the beginning!

Since My sacrifice has made atonement for you, My Son will assume all authority in the heaven and on the earth; and all things will be new!  And I will abide with you.  And through all the years decreed, you and your seed will fill the earth; and all the earth will prosper; and I will destroy all His enemies.

I AM the First and the Last; My Word is sure and true!  You are not to be fearful and unfaithful; for I AM with you!

And My creation will glorify Me as I intended from the beginning!

Now, does that sound like something that should be re-interpreted?  If anyone could ever answer that question in the affirmative, then the next question would have to be: “from whose perspective?”  What created being has ever been given the option to question God’s will and purpose?

You see, God’s Revelation of Jesus Christ through John to the Churches IS the reality.  We don’t have an option to interpret it… it’s already interpreted!  We can’t see it in any other way than what He has revealed.

We belong to Him; we’re alive In Him, and it’s all ours In Him.  And it is ours to receive and to view as He has decreed it to be!

But if you reinterpret what you see from your own perspective, that is, the perspective of the world and what may be happening around you at any given point in time, then you’ll be fearful and unfaithful…and the fearful and unfaithful are first on the list (in verse eight) of the ones to be cast into the lake of fire.

God has revealed His will and purpose for this world.  And the ones with the mind of Christ will be “at peace” with that.  There’s a quiet certainty that is to arise in the sanctified mind.  And apprehension and foreboding don’t belong there.

He is the First; and He is the Last.  And all of this belongs to Him; and therefore it belongs to you!  He is faithful and true; and He will complete what He began!  You are in Him and He is with you.  So anguish and anxiety and fear have no place!

Fearfulness concerning the world’s circumstances is unfaithfulness; it is disbelief in what our Lord has promised to do, and what He has clearly revealed that He will do!

Your feelings are to be sanctified; your mind is to be sanctified.  You are to have the mind of Christ.  He isn’t obsessed and troubled with the things of this world… it belongs to Him!  And He will save it to the uttermost.  Leave the vexation and the suspense to the seed of the serpent!  They are the ones who should be in dread; they’re the one who should be in despair.  They’re the only ones who have a reason to be fearful!


What we’re about to see, from here on to the end of the chapter, is “God-With-Us”.  It is all pre-figured in the tabernacle in the desert; it is all prophesied in the prophets; and it is pre-figured and prophesied in the temple on the mount in the city of Jerusalem. 

We will make those connections as we go.  And we’ll hear Jesus’ own words as He reveals the new heaven and the new earth and the new Jerusalem.  And we’ll hear from the apostles in their letters to the Churches.

We’ll serve the Lord’s table next Lord’s Day; and we’ll see God-With-Us signified in the new covenant sign and seal.

And we’ll once again hear all about the “gathering”, or congregating, on the first day of the week as the “members” of the body of Christ meet for public worship; for it is the public spectacle of God-With-Us at the beginning of a new week.

And we will necessarily re-visit Pentecost; for that was the inaugural event of God-With-Us in advance of our Lord’s Parousia.  That, too, was prophesied by Jesus and by the prophets.


Now, in the first eight verses of the text, John was shown the new heaven and the new earth.  And he saw the new Jerusalem coming down from God in the heaven.

And he heard God say: “Lo!  The tabernacle of God with man!”  God Himself will be with them, John writes to the Churches!  At the imminent Parousia of the Christ, there will be a new heaven and a new earth, for all things will be created new.  And there would come down from God a new Jerusalem… And God said: ”Lo!  The tabernacle of God with man!”

Then John begins, at verse nine, to describe the new Jerusalem that is adorned as a bride for her husband.  It IS the tabernacle of God with man.  And there is a continuity with the Jerusalem that is about to be destroyed at the Lord’s Parousia.

That’s because the first Jerusalem was to be the earthly replica of God’s tabernacle in the heaven!  As the foreshadowing of that which was to come, Jerusalem was to be the glorious, golden city of God shining His glory to the world.  It was built, with its golden temple on the dome of the rock, to “look like” God’s heavenly tabernacle.  And Israel was to look like God’s glory cloud.  It was to be paradise on earth.

However, the first Jerusalem – rather than being the light of the nations – was the harlot of the nations; and Israel was infested with demons.  Everything about her was corrupt and evil; and the temple itself was full of everything wicked and idolatrous.

And the whole world loved her because of it!  They all became rich from her, for she adorned herself as a harlot!

She was to be the light of the glory of God in His holy tabernacle to the nations and peoples and tribes of the earth; but she was worse than them all!

The nations existed in gross darkness; whereas Jerusalem had the light of the Law and the prophets and the Gospel of the coming Savior of the world!  But even with all of that, she was worse than the nations that walked in darkness!  And her tabernacle on the dome of the rock was to be the very image of the coming sacrifice for the sins of the world.  It was the man-made image of God’s tabernacle with its cherubim and mercy seat.  And the sacrifice before its entrance was the visible, prophetic foreshadowing of the sacrifice to come that provided cursed mankind full access to the Presence of Almighty God.

The continuity then, between the first Jerusalem and the new Jerusalem that John saw coming down from God, is perfectly evident.  Only the new Jerusalem is a complete contrast from the first Jerusalem.

In fact, the new Jerusalem (that was about to be at the Parousia of the Christ), IS the tabernacle of God.  “Lo!  The tabernacle of God with man.”  He would tabernacle with them, they would be His people, God Himself would be with them.

“Keep His Commandments”; “hold the testimony of Jesus”, John writes to the Churches; these things are about to be at the Parousia of the Christ!

The letter to the Hebrew believers (the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been scattered into the nations) is a powerful testimony to these things.  The continuity between the firsts (which were about to disappear) and the new, is clear and incisive in the letter.  And I want to read a small portion of it for you… from chapter twelve.  Listen carefully:


The writer writes “… when Christ appeared as High Priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tabernacle (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves (as in the earthly tabernacle), but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

“Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites (the blood of animals), but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these; for Christ has entered, not into a tabernacle made with hands (which is only a copy), but into the heaven itself, to appear in the Presence of God on our behalf.  Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy of holies every year with blood not his own; for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world.  

“But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear the sin, but to save those who are waiting for Him.”


There in those words the letter to the Hebrews presents not only the continuity between the first heaven and earth and Jerusalem and the new heaven and earth and the new Jerusalem, but also the contrast.  For the nations, and creation itself, were waiting for His appearance!  He had made the one sacrifice for the salvation of the world.  And at His second appearance all things would be made new!

The promise in the Law and the prophets would be realized:

“I will make My tabernacle among you, and I will not reject you; I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Leviticus 26:11-12).


“And I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them.  And I will establish them and multiply them and set My tabernacle in their midst forever.  My dwelling place will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.  And the nations will know that I am YAHVEH Who sanctifies Israel when My tabernacle is in their midst forever” (Ezekiel 37:26-28).


The tabernacle of God with man!

At the Parousia of the Christ the firsts would disappear and be no more; and there would be a new heaven and a new earth and a new Jerusalem.

At verse nine a messenger from God appears to John.  It is one of the seven that had the seven bowls of the seven last plagues upon Israel and the city of Jerusalem.

The seven final plagues are now complete here at verse nine; and the messenger says to John: “here, I will show you the bride – the wife of the Lamb”.

Here’s what John saw and heard back in chapter fifteen:


7) And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven messengers seven golden bowls being full of the wrath of God – the One Living into the ages of the ages;

8) and the holy place (the temple in Jerusalem) was filled of smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and not one was enabled to enter into the holy place until the seven plagues of the seven messengers were finished.


And then (there in chapter fifteen) John heard a thunderous sound from the tabernacle in the heaven ordering the seven messengers to pour out the bowls of wrath into the land (chapter sixteen).

And at the outpouring of the seventh bowl, once again a thundering sound from the heaven saying: “It is done”.  And there was then a great “shaking” of the land in which the walls fell and the cities fell and all the mountains “fled away” as John saw the complete destruction of the harlot that refused and hated the Bridegroom when He came.

And here in chapter twenty-one John sees that that first heaven and earth is gone (having been destroyed in the seven final plagues); and there is a new heaven and a new earth; and a new Jerusalem.  And there is no longer a dense smoke keeping anyone from entering into the Presence of God; for He is with us!

The mountains of the first heaven and the first earth had “fled away” in the wrath of God.  All was removed.  But now (in our text) John sees a great and high mountain over all the mountains of the earth.  “Lo!  I make everything new!”

And John’s attention is now turned to the new Jerusalem by one of those messengers of the seven bowls of wrath.  The firsts are gone away. The new Jerusalem is the bride of Christ.  And God would tabernacle with them!

This is the reality that John was to write to the Churches.  It was shortly to come to pass.  And, indeed, in about three and a half years it would come to pass!  The firsts would disappear; and all things would be made new; and God would be with them and dwell among them.  And never would they be forbidden to be in His Presence!

They were the ones who He came to seek and to save; they were the lost sheep of the house of Jacob who God had kept for Himself; they were the ones who came to the wedding festivities when they were called; they were the “daughter of Zion” – birthed from the harlot into the nations… the new Jerusalem (not the harlot); they were the ones provided the “water of life” and through whom the River of Life would flow from the great mountain of Christ’s Kingdom into the nations.  God would be with them and dwell among them.

The new Jerusalem is the bride of Christ in stark contrast to the first Jerusalem.  Here’s the view that was given to John of the first Jerusalem.  This is from chapter seventeen:


Then one of the seven messengers having the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying ‘here, I show you the judgment of the great harlot that sits by many waters

with whom the kings of the earth did fornicate and those indwelling the land were made drunk from the wine of her fornications.

And it bore me away in spirit into isolation.  Then I saw a woman sitting upon a crimson beast full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns;

and the woman was purple and crimson clothed, adorned in gold and precious stone and pearls, and having in her hand a gold cup full of abominable things and the unclean things of her fornications;

and a name, a mystery, having been written on her forehead: BABYLON THE GREAT, the mother of the harlots and the land’s abominations;

and I saw the woman drunkened from the blood of the saints and from the blood of Jesus’ martyrs.  And when I saw her I wondered with great wonder!


What John was shown there was the harlot, and the “adornment” of the harlot… the first Jerusalem.  She would not receive the adornment from God.  She would not be adorned as a bride for the coming Messiah.  She would not come to the wedding festivities at all!

She preferred to prostitute herself in order to buy her own adornment!

But here in chapter twenty-one, the same messenger has come to speak to John again.  And he shows him the new Jerusalem that is about to be at the Parousia of the Christ; for He has entered, once, into the tabernacle in the heaven, into the Presence of Almighty God having made the sacrifice for the sin of the world.  (And, as you remember, John saw Him there with all the “holy ones” He had kept for Himself - all arrayed in the white robes of virginity).

And the new Jerusalem that John is shown (in contrast with the first one) is adorned with her God’s glory (verse eleven).  She has been bought with the blood of the Christ (she has become One in Him… two shall become one flesh!).  And she is adorned appropriately with God’s adornment.  All things will have been made new!

And John is shown her coming down from God in the heaven.  She would be the tabernacle of God; and there would be no temple in her; for God is with us!  No sacrifices; no holy of holies; no priestly representatives going in and out.  All in Christ would be priests in His Presence; for God Himself would be with us.

And He gathers us to Himself on the first day of every week to rejoice in His so great salvation, and to wonder in this new creation, and to grow in grace, and to be sanctified into one body that has the same mind and thinks the same things, and anticipates the salvation of this world.  And from which flows the River of Life which waters every desert wilderness on this earth.

Next Lord’s Day the perfections of the New Jerusalem;  and, by extension, the “land” of the new Israel – the whole world.  It is a new heaven and a new earth… not like the first one; for the firsts would disappear.