Revelation 21:1-27 Part 11

Revelation 21:1-27 Part 11


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.


What Jesus has really done, and what He’s doing, is the Gospel (as is what He will have done when He’s finished); and the Gospel (the Good News) is sharper than any two-edged sword, and it pierces the very essence of man and rebirths him from death unto life and sets him free from the captivity of darkness and death unto the liberty of the sons of God!

Mankind must hear what Jesus has really done!

The Gospel of God concerning His Son Jesus isn’t finished at the cross.  The Gospel of God isn’t finished at the resurrection.  And it isn’t finished at the ascension.  And it isn’t finished when He is crowned King of Kings and given all authority in the heavens and on the earth!  He is the Savior of the world!

Because of what Jesus has done, there is now a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells… whereas, before, righteousness did not dwell in the first heaven and the first earth.

Because of what Jesus has done, there is a new heaven and a new earth in which our God makes His abode with us, and in which righteousness dwells.  Whereas, in the first heaven and the first earth, God condescended to even look upon it all!

Because of what Jesus has done, there is a new heaven and a new earth which will never again be destroyed; rather, He is saving it, and will save it.  And it will flourish and prosper and be filled with the multitude of His people… whereas, the first heaven and the first earth were destroyed in floods of His wrath.

And because of what Jesus has done, there is now a New Jerusalem in which our God tabernacles with us… whereas, before, in the first Jerusalem, there was only a man-made copy of His tabernacle – a “shadow” of God tabernacling over-and-above the heaven and the earth (so separate and remote was He from this cursed earth and cursed humanity).

There is now a New Jerusalem – a “holy” one… whereas, the first Jerusalem was filled with idolatry, infested with demons, and “worse” than all the pagan nations.

There is now a New Jerusalem, bedecked with the gold and beautiful stones of the first Paradise… whereas, the first Jerusalem had adorned herself with the product of her fornication.

There is now a New Jerusalem, filled with those who Jesus came to seek and to save… whereas, the first Jerusalem didn’t even care to prepare for the wedding festivities.

There is now a New Jerusalem in which the Lamb of God has provided free and intimate access to Almighty God-With-Us for all His people… whereas, the first Jerusalem denied access to everyone.

There is now a New Jerusalem which shines the radiant Light of the glory of God upon all the nations and tribes of the earth, and from which flows a River of Life unto every dry and wilderness place… whereas, the first Jerusalem left the nations in gross darkness, corrupting them all with the wine of her fornication; and her springs and watercourses were the clotted blood of the prophets and holy ones who God had kept for Himself.

There is now a New Jerusalem – God-With-Us – the perfections of which are seen and described by John as appearing at the Parousia of The Christ, and which are prophesied throughout Scripture.

The tabernacle of God is with man.  And its perfections are indeed glorious, and “in contrast” with the first Jerusalem. He is with us; and righteousness now dwells upon the earth!

There is now a new – and holy – Jerusalem – a perfect one; for God tabernacles with us… whereas, the first Jerusalem was imperfect, and provided the prophetic foreshadowing of the new one!

There is now a new – and holy – Jerusalem.  It is God-With-Us.  He abides with us.  He is our sun and our shield, our never-ending Helper and Provider, our Fortress, the One In Whom we live and breathe and have our being.  He is not remote and separated from us, but He holds us and shields us.  He is the One in Whom we rest, the One Who answers our prayers even before we ask.  He is Almighty God Who knows each of us, by name, from the beginning, and Who loves us and protects us and provides our every need; Who has forgiven our sin and secured our everlasting life, and Who will be “with us” forever.  He calls us “sons of God”; we are family.  And there is our joy and delight, you see… knowing Him and knowing these things.  He is With Us, and we belong to Him.


When John sent this letter to the Churches, this was about to be; and they were to anticipate it, hold the testimony of Jesus, keep His Commandments, and rid the Churches of the judaist false prophets and teachers, and the fornicators, and Jezebels.  They had no place in the congregations of the ones for whom Jesus had poured out His blood.

There was about to be a new Jerusalem – one which would be holy, and therefore which would exclude forever the fornicators and the lying prophets and the unfaithful.  And the Churches, the public representation of the New Jerusalem, must not abide them in the assemblies of the faithful.

The “firsts” were about to disappear, and all things would be made new!  And God would be “with us”; and the New Jerusalem would be gloriously perfect… from which would shine the Light of the World, and from which would flow the River of Life into all nations, and into which the kings and rulers would bring their glory and the glory of their nations.

The mountains and hills would be made low; and the valleys would be lifted up, in order that the multitudes from the East and the West and the North and the South could proceed to the open gates of the New Jerusalem.


Now. For a few minutes let’s just consider the “perfections” of the New Jerusalem.  We’ll take this nice and slow – here a little, there a little – until we can see this from God’s perspective.

When John is shown the new heaven and the new earth, and he sees the New Jerusalem, he hears these words: “Lo, the tabernacle of God with man”.  And he is shown the New Jerusalem coming down upon the great mountain of our Lord’s Kingdom that is over all the mountains and hills of the earth.

The New Jerusalem is the tabernacle of God.  He is WITH US.  Because of what Jesus has done, our God is no longer alienated from His creation due to sin.  Because of what Jesus did, we no longer have need of a priest to represent us; for we are immediately in His Presence!  And John sees that Presence among us – with us – in all its perfections.

And there are a number of things that are particularly and distinctively “absent” here when compared to earlier events of God’s Presence in the text of Scripture.

For one, there are none of the sights and sounds of the Presence of Almighty God as He sovereignly dealt with cursed humanity.  Before (in the first heaven and the first earth) His Presence was accompanied by mighty roaring, and trumpeting, and thunders and lightnings, and fire, and dark clouds, and great “shaking” of the earth and its mountains.  And any life that approached Him was immediately terminated.

But here in our text, John sees and hears none of those things; for “Lo, the tabernacle of God is WITH man”!

And the same is true with respect to the man-made copies of His tabernacle in the heaven, which were the tabernacle constructed after the Exodus and the temple built on the dome of the rock in Jerusalem; for when God inhabited the “holy of holies” in those earthy copies of His tabernacle, He did so with the same sights and sounds of His Presence among cursed mankind.  There were the incredible sounds, and fire, and thick cloud.

You see, God is “HOLY”; but mankind was cursed and depraved.  There was a “set-apartness” (which is the active meaning of the word “holy”); there was a set-apartness from sin.  Mankind was destitute of righteousness; and God was alienated.  He was sovereignly and comprehensively dealing with the earth and its estranged humanity while being unapproachable.

There was a separate room in the tabernacle; there was a separate room in the temple.  And God occupied the room in fire and cloud – separated from the sin of man and the curse upon creation.  It was the same as with the pillar of fire by night in the desert, and the pillar of smoke by day.

And mankind could not come near.  Only by pouring out blood and sprinkling it on everything man-made, could one man enter the room annually.

That was the first Jerusalem, you see; and the first tabernacle – in the first heaven and the first earth.

These things are all “absent” as John sees the New Jerusalem coming down upon the mountain of Christ’s Kingdom… no fear-inspiring sounds; no fire; no cloud of separation.  “Lo, the tabernacle of God with man”; for through the one sacrifice of the Lamb of God, righteousness dwelled on the earth.  And God would be with us rather than separated from us.

Also “absent”, as John is shown the perfections of the New Jerusalem, is the fear of God’s withdrawal and the resulting “doom” to come from a flood of wrath upon depraved mankind.

As much as some evangelicals love the mystery and fear of a future total destruction of this evil earth by fire, the perfections of the New Jerusalem include its permanence in a world saved by the Lamb of God.

In the first heaven and the first earth, the earth was “destroyed” in a flood of God’s wrath.  One man was saved by water; for he was the seed of the woman, kept by God for Himself, through whom would be born the Savior of the World.

In God’s special “heaven-and-earth” – Israel (in which the Savior would be born in the fullness of the time), there was about to be another flood of the wrath of God… this time – not with water, but – with fire.  And there would be a complete annihilation of the city of Jerusalem and the land of Israel.  That’s what John has already seen here.

But as John looks upon that city coming down from God, “doom” is absent; fear of annihilation and the wrath of God is absent … replaced by perfection and permanence and fullness and completion; for righteousness would dwell upon the earth!

Once again, absent from the New Jerusalem is the presence of the deceiver of the nations – the serpent/dragon of old.  From the sin of Adam to the Parousia of the Christ, this creature, in its rage against God and the coming Kingdom of His Christ, kept the nations in darkness and turmoil.

But in the new heaven and the new earth God would tabernacle with us; the satan would be constrained in the abyss until judgment day; and the peoples and nations and tribes and tongues would hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and increasingly come unto the New Jerusalem until the earth would be “at peace with God”, and enlightened from the brightness of His glory!

And any king or ruler who refuses to bring his glory and the glory of his kingdom into the New Jerusalem will not prosper.  His kingdom will not be at peace with God and will spiral into corruption and decadence; and it will not flourish – but will languish as a dry place with no water.

At this point in time, that’s where our nation is; for our rulers and leaders are the seed of the serpent; and they are antagonistic to the King of Kings and His Kingdom.  Therefore our great prosperity is diminished.

But we are not to fear or despair.  God is with us!  And through all the years decreed they will come – multitudes of them.  God is With Us, and righteousness dwells upon the earth.  And the Gospel of the Savior of the world will resurrect many from death unto life, and they will come to the New Jerusalem; and the earth will be renewed and transformed, that it reflects the glory of its Creator!

Undoubtedly there are other “absences” that could be mentioned concerning the perfections of the New Jerusalem.  But let’s turn that around and mention a few of the evidences and revelations of its “newness”.

I mentioned this before when speaking about the absence of “doom” and the “end of the world” mentality.  But the permanence of the New Jerusalem is a positive revelation of its newness.

And I take you to two portions of New Testament Scripture, the first of which is in the letter to the Hebrews, chapter twelve:


25)  See that you not refuse him that speaks.  For if they wouldn’t escape when they refused him that warned them on earth, much more shall we not escape who turn away from Him Who warns from the heaven,

26)  whose voice then shook the earth.  But now he has promised, saying, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.

27)  And this word, “Yet once more”, signifies the removal of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain.

28)  Wherefore, receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God with reverence and awe;

29)  for our God is a consuming fire.


The writer to the Hebrews, who were the seed of Jacob dispersed out of Israel into the nations, knew that at the birth, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, everything would be “shaken”; for the Lamb of God had been sacrificed for the sin of the world; and He had received His inheritance.

He had promised on earth that He would shake the heaven and the earth.  But Israel refused Him.  But He had now spoken from the heaven.  And our God is a consuming fire.  And the first heaven and the first earth would disappear in the consuming fire of His wrath.  And the first Jerusalem would be turned into a wilderness devoid of all life except for the vultures.

But the new heaven and the new earth, and the New Jerusalem, will remain; for they are not “shakeable”!  They will remain.  Their permanence is guaranteed; for the One Who paid with His Own body and poured out His Own blood has received all authority in the heaven and on the earth.  And His Kingdom shall remain for the full completion of the salvation of the world.

It’s revealed; therefore it’s a matter of faith!

And then, secondly, you’ll remember John, back in chapter six, as he was shown the Lamb of God opening the seven seals.  Here is the opening of the sixth seal:


12)  And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great shaking; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood;

13)  and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth, as a fig tree casts her unripe figs when she is shaken of a great wind.

14)  And the heaven was removed as a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15)  And the kings of the earth, and the princes, and the chief captains, and the rich, and the strong, and every bondman and freeman, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains;

16)  and they say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17)  for the great day of their wrath is come; and who is able to stand?


Everything in the first heaven and the first earth that could be shaken – would be shaken.  And all that could not be shaken would not be shaken.

The first heaven and the first earth would disappear in the wrath of God; and all things would be made new.  The Word of God would remain; the promise of God of a new heaven and a new earth, and the promise of a New, and holy, Jerusalem, could not be shaken; for it would be permanent.  And its Light would shine over all the earth; and all its gates would always be open for the multitudes and for the kings of the earth to bring their glory and wealth into her.

One of the prophets of old is particularly instructive as to the perfections of the New Jerusalem.  There will be much to say from several of them; but God’s Word, through Ezekiel, to Israel while she was in bondage in Babylon and Persia bear the prophecy of the New Jerusalem – the tabernacle of God-With-Us.

The references to the new city and its temple and its walls are scattered through the last twelve chapters of the prophecy to Ezekiel – to be delivered to the tribes of Jacob in captivity.  So there’s no way for us to read through it all in this setting.  So I’m just going to give you the “mini-version” as we work our way through the remainder of the chapter.  Lord willing, we’ll begin that next Lord’s Day.

But first I want to read for you from one of the messages of our Lord to the Churches – as recorded by John in chapter three.  You remember that there were seven messages from Jesus (one each to seven Churches) in advance of His soon-to-come Parousia at the end of the age.

The messages (a complete “seven”) covered the full range of issues regarding judaism; for there were false prophets and teachers, there were those who would persecute the Lord’s people who He had come to seek and to save, there were philosophers with high-sounding words that were full of lies and deceit, there were seducers and fornicators and Jezebels, there were those who would eat the sacrificial meals with idolators; there were lawyers who required adherence to the old signs and seals of Passover and circumcision, there were those who denied the resurrection, and there were others who mocked the imminent Parousia of the Christ.

In the messages, the Lord warned the Churches not to receive these people nor tolerate them.  They were not to accept their presence in the congregations.  They were not to eat with them.  They were to be removed and excluded from the congregations; for shortly there would be a new heaven and a new earth; and there would come a New Jerusalem.  For the Churches were to be the public representation of God-With-Us, and from them would flow the River of Life unto all the peoples tribes and tongues of the earth!

Before we conclude, I want you to hear, once again, just one of those messages… this one to the Church at Philadelphia, chapter three beginning at verse seven:


7)      And write the message to the Church in Philadelphia.  The Holy, The True, the One having the ‘David key’, “the One opening and no one shall shut, and the One shutting and no one opens”, says these things:

8)      I know your works – lo, I have presented an opened door before you, which no one is enabled to shut – that you have some strength, and you did keep My Word, and you did not deny My Name.

9)      Lo, I give from out of the synagogue of Satan those declaring themselves to be Jews and are not but deceiving themselves, lo I will appoint them in order that they shall come, and they shall worship before your feet, And they shall know that I did love you.

10)  Because you did keep the word of My patience, I, I also will keep you from the hour of the fiery trial, the hour about to come to pass upon the entire household to put to the proof those dwelling on the land.

11)  I come quickly!  Hold fast what you have, in order that no one might take your crown.

12)  I will make the one overcoming a pillar in the temple of My God; and he shall then by no means go out.  And I will write on him the Name of My God and the Name of the City of My God, the New Jerusalem, the One that descends out of the heavens from My God, and My Own new name.

13)  The one having an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.


Jesus’ message to the Church at Philadelphia was “I come quickly.  Hold fast what you have.  Have My patience while all of your brothers are coming out of the land!  Overcome! And I will make you a pillar in the temple of God.

And you will have the name of God, the name of the city – the New Jerusalem – and My name written on you.  And you will always be there!”

Here’s the permanence, you see… not only the permanence of the New Jerusalem, but the permanence of those in it.  The very name of Jesus, the name of the tabernacle of God – God with us – written on us.

These words of Jesus Christ to the apostle John, to be delivered to the Churches “before” His Parousia, indicate His holding on to them, and their holding to His promises.  They are the “seed” of Abraham, the “seed” of Isaac, the “seed” of Jacob and his twelve sons… those who God had kept for Himself from cursed and depraved mankind.

And they would be “pillars” in the temple of God-With-Us, the New Jerusalem.  They are the firstfruits of the resurrection, you see… twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Jacob; the names of the twelve tribes written, one each, on the twelve gates through the wall of the New Jerusalem.

And the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb of God, one each, written on the twelve foundation stones of the wall, each foundation stone adorned, one each, with the twelve precious stones of the first paradise of God.

The city was measured at twelve thousand stadia “square”– multiples upon multiples of twelve.  The wall was a hundred and forty-four cubits – multiples of twelve.

And we can begin to see and understand the perfections and the permanence of the New Jerusalem – the city of God-With-Us.

Just as the first Jerusalem rested on the dome of the rock at the top of Mount Zion in the paradise kingdom of Israel, so John sees the New Jerusalem – the tabernacle of God with man – coming down from the heaven to rest upon the top of the great mountain of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

And the mountain of God – the new Mount Zion – will be over all the mountains and hills – that is, the kingdoms and dominions and principalities of the world; and they will all be brought low as they recognize and acknowledge the reign and rule of King Jesus.  And they will bring their glory into His Kingdom; and the multitudes of the nations and peoples and tongues will increasingly transit the new highway into the tabernacle of God.

And after all the years decreed, the new heaven and the new earth will be filled with the radiant brightness of the glory of God.  And our Lord will then sit in judgment of the dead in Adam – all who are not written in the Lamb’s book of life.  And they, along with the satan and death itself, will be cast into the eternal lake of fire.

And those of us who will have died in Christ, and therefore belong to God, will be raised up in a final justification of all things.  And the curse of God will have been satisfied; and the stain of sin will have been washed clean in the blood of the Lamb.  And all things will redound to the glory of the Father.

Next time a further look at the perfections and permanence of the New Jerusalem – the tabernacle of God-With-Us - from the prophetic Word.