Bible Study: Revelation 21 – New Jerusalem

Revelation is the only book that says we are blessed to read, hear and keep the things that are written, for the time is near. Hence, let us not be like hypocrites without discerning times and seasons. Here we will look into Revelation 21 and understand what it says.

(Rev 1:3) Blessed [is] he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time [is] near.  

(Luke 12:56) “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how [is it] you do not discern this time?

Revelation’s vs Isaiah: What’s New?

The new heaven and earth mentioned in Revelation 21 seems to be very similar to what was prophesied by Isaiah, but it is not the same, They are replaced by better promises.

(Heb 8:6) But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

Revelation 21:1-27
(New Covenant Promise)
Isaiah 65:17-25
(Old Covenant Promise)
No sea in new earth
(Rev 21:1) Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
Same as new covenant promise
(Isa 65:17) ” For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
New Jerusalem comes down from heaven
(Rev 21:2) Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
New Jerusalem created from existing as rejoicing
(Isa 65:18) But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem [as] a rejoicing, And her people a joy.
God will dwell with His people, having offspring is not mentioned.
(Rev 21:3) And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them [and be] their God.
Having offspring is mentioned, but God dwelling with His people not mentioned
(Isa 65:23) They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they [shall be] the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, And their offspring with them.
No more death
(Rev 21:4) “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Death exists
(Isa 65:20) ” No more shall an infant from there [live but a few] days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner [being] one hundred years old shall be accursed.

(Rev 21:5) Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

Indeed, God who sits on the throne will make all things new.

(Rev 21:6-7) And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

“It’s done” – was already said earlier by Jesus Christ in the cross. Why is He saying again? What is done?

(John 19:30) So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. 

(Heb 9:28) so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Christ had completed the task for which He came a second time, of giving salvation to all who overcame.

(Rev 21:8) “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

All the wicked will have their part in the lake of fire which burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death.

Christ’s Bride: New Jerusalem

(Rev 21:9-11) Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you 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. Her light [was] like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

The new Jerusalem, the bride, having the glory of God is ready for the marriage of the Lamb, to be with Christ forever and ever.

(Isa 48:11) For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do [it;] For how should [My name] be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another. 

How can New Jerusalem have God’s glory?

(John 17:22) “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:

Because, it was given to us by Christ.

(Rev 3:12) “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

It is also an explicit blessing given to the church of Philadelphia.

High Wall and Twelve Gates

(Rev 21:12-14) Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are [the names] of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

The twelve gates have names of twelve tribes of Israel.

(Rev 21:21) The twelve gates [were] twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. 

They are also referred as twelve pearls.

(Matt 13:45-46) ” Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. 

(Amos 5:15) Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate

“In the gate” is a term repeatedly used in the Bible to refer the borders where strangers/others to the household are met. The twelve gates are filled with justice which are precious as pearls. High walls are generally mentioned in the Bible for fortification.

(Deut 3:5) “All these cities [were] fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides a great many rural towns.  

(Zech 2:5) ‘For I,’ says the LORD, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’ ”

High walls are a symbol of protection. We also see a similar usage in Zechariah.

The city has twelve foundations with names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. New Jerusalem is built upon the foundation of the twelve apostles.

The Measurement

Image: the-end-time.blogspot.com

(Rev 21:15-16) And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.

New Jerusalem is a perfect cube with height, width and length equal. The is only other structure in the entire Bible that is also a perfect cub is the inner sanctuary or the Most Holy place.

(1Kgs 6:16,20) Then he built the twenty-cubit room at the rear of the temple, from floor to ceiling, with cedar boards; he built it inside as the inner sanctuary, as the Most Holy Place. … The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high. He overlaid it with pure gold, and overlaid the altar of cedar.

(1Cor 3:16) Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

The 12000 furlongs measurement of New Jerusalem represents the 12000 who are sealed from each tribe forming a perfect cube of Most Holy place, not built with human hands where God dwells. Unlike as the Most Holy place which was overlaid with pure gold by Solomon, New Jerusalem itself is pure God.

(Rev 21:17-20) Then he measured its wall: one hundred [and] forty-four cubits, [according] to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The construction of its wall was [of] jasper; and the city [was] pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city [were] adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation [was] jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.

The wall having 12 foundations measured 144 cubits. It is a symbolic representation of the twelve apostles judging the twelve tribes of Israel from their gates.

(Rev 21:14) Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

(Matt 19:28) So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  

(Deut 16:18) “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment.

These twelve precious stones represents the twelve apostles of the Lamb, just like the twelve precious stones in the breastplate of judgement representing the twelve tribes of Israel as in the law.

(Rev 21:21) The twelve gates [were] twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city [was] pure gold, like transparent glass.

The twelve gates are filled with justice from the twelve apostles which are precious as pearls.

Light of the New World

(Rev 21:22-26) But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb [is] its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.

The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple in New Jerusalem. The Lamb is its light.

(John 8:12) Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

The nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light. This is were the church and the gentile converts/believers like you and me come into picture. New Jerusalem is not the church. It is the dwelling place of God among His sealed 144000 of the Lamb. We, the church shall bring the glory of nations to God in New Jerusalem. The gates shall not be shut and there is no night there.

(Rev 21:27) But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

As it is written in the previous chapter, those who are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire.

(Rev 20:15) And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Let us be very careful by walking in His light and not defile us with this world.