Revelation Chapter 21
“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. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:1-2)
We read in Chapter 20 that the city had come down before the wicked were resurrected, and once the wicked are resurrected Satan convinces them to attack it, but they are destroyed. I believe God has chosen to place the New Jerusalem coming to earth, which is mentioned in this chapter, with the more pleasant scenes pictured in Revelation 21. When sin and sinners are destroyed along with all the “debris” that has accumulated from the six thousand years of this earth’s history, God will recreate this earth even more beautiful than it was when it was first created. Just as He has recreated mankind in His image, so He will restore this earth to what it was like when it was created.
The root word of salvation is salvage. That is what God will have done with the redeemed of this earth; He will have restored the wrecks of humanity into His likeness. He is not only the Creator but is also the Re-Creator! And now we have pictured for us the re-creation of the earth into a most glorious place to inhabit for eternity. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Earth is to be our eternal home. “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else” (Isaiah 48:18). Even greater still is the fact that the LORD and His only begotten Son will live on earth with us throughout eternity after the thousand-year stay in heaven.
“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” (Revelation 21:3, emphasis added). We see the joy of children who have been separated from their biological parents when they are reunited with their parents once again, and we can only imagine what it will be like when we meet our Creator face-to-face for the first time. The joy of the parents of those separated children is pretty intense also, as will be the joy of our Heavenly Father when we are united with Him for all eternity.
We, who have had to live apart from the visible presence of our Creator for six thousand years, will never be separated from Him again. “Whom having not seen, ye love; in Whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). O how hard it is to be separated from someone you dearly love! How hard it is to be separated from the One you love Who you have not even seen! Heaven will be moved to the earth, and we will never be alone ever again! Our Father will always be here with us along with His only begotten Son, our Savior, and the heavenly angels who have been our invisible companions and protectors as we have lived our lives on the earth! Oh, to hear the stories they will have to tell us while they watched over us during our lifetime.
Revelation 21:4-5 reads, “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 the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”
Only in our imaginations can we picture the scenes before us. Words are inadequate to picture it fully, but John is told to “write: for these words are true and faithful” (Revelation 21:5). They are like seeds planted in our minds to contemplate and expand upon. The new earth will be our home throughout eternity. The earth made new, without tears, death, sorrow, crying and pain that have made this life less than what God had intended for His children, is to be restored to what God had intended for mankind in the first place!
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country” (Hebrews 11:13-14, emphasis added).
We are but pilgrims here; heaven is our home and eventually the earth made new! We will contemplate with unending delight the wonders of Creation, the mysteries of redeeming love, the companionship of heavenly beings, and the privilege of visiting worlds afar (space travel). We will meet those loved ones who have fallen asleep before us and meet those heroes and heroines of the past. We will be restored physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and sit at the feet of our Savior and gaze into His face beaming with unutterable love for the objects of His sacrifice. That sacrifice is best described in Isaiah 53. We will never be limited again by time or space. As the song goes, “When by His grace, I shall look on His face, that will be glory, be glory for me.”
Many read 1 Corinthians 2:9 and never go onto verse 10 for the complete thought, so let us look at those verses. “But it is written, 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. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God” (emphasis added).
God gave other portions of Scripture to other prophets that give us some idea of what the new earth will be like and what we will be doing throughout eternity. “And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat” (Isaiah 65:21-22). “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 66:23). You may have been visiting some far off galaxy, but you will return to worship God at the times He has set apart for you to be with Him. “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psalm 37:11).
This renewed earth will be a very beautiful place to dwell in forever. As I write this book, I think about what lovely a place God has placed my wife and me. We live amid the hills and hollers of Greene County, Indiana with woods, hills, streams, creeks, meadows, and wildlife. It is so peaceful and beautiful, but it is not our home. The earth made new and free from sin and its effects on creation has been promised to us, if we are faithful.
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, emphasis added). When you get old, it does not take running to be weary! Man will be able to fly as the eagle because we will be given wings. Read the verse carefully and prayerfully and see what you think? If we are to take the Bible literally it certainly seems like this verse is saying we will be given wings to fly like the eagle. The thing man has always dreamed about will become reality!
“And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:6-7, emphasis added). This is the third time we find the words “It is done” in reference to the plan of salvation. The first time was at the cross when Jesus cried out “It is finished;” which also could have been translated “it is done.” The sacrifice for the salvation of mankind was completed at that time. The second time we saw in Revelation 16:17 when the seventh plague was poured out. We saw how the probation of mankind had come to an end at that time when it was declared “it is done.” And now the third and final time when those words “it is done” are spoken by God Himself indicating everything for the restoration of mankind, the earth and the Universe has been completed. God has made “all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Sin will never ever enter the Universe again. Praise God!
What will it mean to be considered a son or daughter of the Creator? What do we inherit? We, who have been enemies of the LORD and at some point in our lives have been “born again,” reconciled to the LORD, have been adopted into the family of God, will have all the privileges and opportunities of the sons and daughters of the Almighty Eternal LORD God. Jesus, Who is our elder Brother, told Mary after He was resurrected, “I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God and your God” (John 20:17). The LORD God is the Father of Jesus and those of us whom He has adopted when He gave to each us His Spirit to iive within us (John 14:17).
There is an actual “fountain of the water of life” from which we will drink, and our thirst will be quenched. Today, most of the water of earth is not fit to be drunk unless it is purified, but in the earth made new, we will be able to drink freely “of the water of life.” No pollution! No contamination! No comparison!
“He that overcomes shall inherit all things” (Revelation 21:7, emphasis added). Nothing is promised to the sinner. It is in this life that we are to overcome sin; no promise is made to those who continue in sin. Read these words of promise in Revelation: “To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). “He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death” (Revelation 2:11). “To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it” (Revelation 2:17). This name is known only to you and God. “And he that overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations . . . and I will give him the morning star” (Revelation 2:26, 28). “Morning star” was Lucifer’s name while he was still a loyal angel to God.
“He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels” (Revelation 3: 5). This promise is especially precious to those living at the end of time who need to be clothed in the “righteousness of the saints” in order to be ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-8).
“Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of My God (Yahuwah), and the name of the city of My God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name” (Revelation 3:12, 19:12), and that name will be written in their foreheads as we are told in Revelation 14:1. Many will have refused the name or number of the beast and shall wear the name of Yahuwah and the new name of His Son in their foreheads throughout eternity as a testimony to their faithfulness.
“To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am sat down with My Father in His throne” (Revelation 3:21). Jesus overcame just as you and I must through the strength and power given to Him by His Father while on earth through the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God. That same grace (power) is available to us for the asking: “Ask, and it shall be given you” (Matthew 7:7). “If you being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him” (Luke 11:13).
Jude 24 states a most precious promise of God: “Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling [sinning], and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” It is God that keeps us from sinning by giving us His Spirit to dwell within us.
Some of us today do not get very emotional over things. We are cautioned to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). For now we are in our enemy’s territory, and we do not dare let our guard down for a moment. If the Devil could lead a third of the angels in heaven astray while in the presence of God, should we not be “sober?”
“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 burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
The “fearful and unbelieving” are placed with the open sinners and share their fate.
How does one become unafraid and believing? At one time, I was “fearful and unbelieving,” but as I became acquainted with the LORD, fear and unbelief left me. “Acquaint now thyself with Him [God], and be at peace” (Job 22:21). As we become acquainted with the LORD and His character and power, we find peace of mind. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). We never believe in people that we do not know personally. The more we know someone, and they prove themselves honest and true, we can then put our confidence in them. Faith in people takes time and so it does with God!
“God is love” (1 John 4:8). “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). When a mile-wide tornado was tearing my house apart above me, perfect peace came to me when the words of Psalm 56:3 came into my mind and God's presence flooded my entire being. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.” the LORD will give us perfect peace as we daily sit as His feet and learn of Him, who “only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved” (Psalm 63:2). In times of trouble we experience the truth of His word, if we have taken the time to “acquaint” ourselves with our God during times of peace.
There is absolutely no excuse that can be given to be “fearful and unbelieving.” “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
“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 show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal” (Revelation 21:9-11, emphasis added).
There is no crime or violence in this city or homelessness. Verses 12 through 21 describe the New Jerusalem, the bride, the Lamb’s wife. The city’s walls are about 216 feet high and have three gates, each of a single pearl, on each of the four sides – twelve in all.
From what I have been told, the colors of the stones of the wall in the order they are given are those of the rainbow, and the streets of the city are pure gold that look like glass. Imagine walking on streets of pure gold. What men have all their lifetimes sought and fought for will be the substance streets are made of.
The city is huge; to the best of my understanding, it is 375 miles wide, 375 miles long, and 375 miles high.
The LORD has been renovating mansions for the redeemed (John 14:3). The former occupants were the angels who were cast out of heaven six thousand years ago. The homes built by the redeemed (Isaiah 65:21-22) are their country estates.
“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” (Revelation 21:23). Throughout the Bible, “light” is associated with God. “This is the message that we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). There is nothing dark or hidden or shadowy with God. Everything He does is done openly and in the light of day, and not in the darkness.
When Jesus was before the High Priest, we read, “The high priest then asked Jesus of His disciples, and of His doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spoke openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret I said nothing” (John 18:19-20, emphasis added).
Complete transparency! All the secret conspiracies will come to light. Yahushua hid nothing from mankind in His efforts to win us back to loyalty to His Father. Such transparency will be seen in the city of God. Even the streets which are made of gold are transparent. “The street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass” (Revelation 21:21, emphasis added). He could not get caught in a lie because there was none. In His mouth was no guile (deceit)!
“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 honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:24-27) shall dwell there. Eternal security and safety!
Even though there is no need of the sun in the New Jerusalem, Isaiah 30:26 tells us, “Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD binds up the breach of His people, and heals the stroke of their wound.” Not only the earth is made new, but the heavens will be made new also. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away” (Revelation 21:1). Does the Universe get realigned? Someday we will find out.
We know that from what is written in Isaiah 66:23 that “it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the LORD.” The moon, originally placed in the heavens to mark the “seasons” of worship, will continue to function in the earth made new as God designed it to do in the beginning (Genesis 1:14, Psalm 104:19).
It is my prayer that each one reading this book will have their name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and that one day we will meet in that beautiful city of God as we gather around the throne of the LORD and the Lamb!
- 1.Will there be a Temple in the earth made new?
- 2. Will there be any more death, sorrow, or crying in the earth made new?
- 3. What are the streets of the New Jerusalem made of?