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Book of Revelation (Chapter 21)

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Book of Revelation (Chapter 21)

Heaven, Home of the Soul

The visions of the little book which John was told to take and eat began in chapter 11 where we saw a vision of the church in great distress. In chapter 12 the scene jumped abruptly back in time to the birth of Jesus Christ. Then we saw the efforts of the dragon to destroy Jesus and the thwarting of those plans. Then in chapter 13 we see the beast and his false prophet rise up and try to destroy the church. Then we see the various ways God used to try and bring the persecuting powers to repentance and then ultimately the great war between evil and good. We then saw the destruction of the harlot city, the beast and the false prophet and then the final destruction of Satan, the judgment of mankind and then the punishment of the wicked. What is left now is a vision of the reward for perseverance.

Throughout the Revelation, the faithful are exhorted to overcome the forces of evil. Do not give in, do not partake with them, do not bow down to the images set up by the false prophet, do not worship the beast and do not give up. We have seen the consequences for failure and we have seen the warnings and the visions of the punishment that awaits the wicked. Now it's time to see the prize. Now it's time to get a glimpse of the reward that awaits the stedfast souls who overcame and remained faithful despite the odds.

To Christians, chapter 21 and part of chapter 22 is portrayal of the glorious home of the faithful soul beyond the final judgment. Throughout the Christian age this vision has comforted the hearts of countless Christians during the times of trial, persecution, tragedy and the deaths of loved ones. Chapter 21 is a vision of what all Christians strive for. Christians are described in scripture as being pilgrims in a foreign land with their citizenship in heaven. Here is the reward that awaits the diligent and the faithful. Here is their nation, their country, their destination, their hope and their home. Revelation 21 is a vision of the Christian's spiritual home described in terms we can identify with. As beautiful as it is described and as glorious a place as John describes it, there is no better word for it than the word, "home". This is something the faithful Christian has never really had. This is what the faithful Christian has looked ahead to and yearned for all their lives. This is what the faithful Christian has been promised and hopes for; the final destination, the goal, the prize, the reward for a life of faith faithfully lived. This is heaven, the home of the soul.

Revelation 21:1
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more."

Here we have the stage set for this vision in the very first line. The earth has passed away, the sea is no more. Isaiah wrote in 65:17, "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." In 2 Peter 3:13, it is written, "But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." The idea of a new heaven and new earth is given in scripture in numerous places. This denotes a new place to live. A home for the soul which is better than the old one and permanent. The old has passed away to be replaced by the new. Some teach that this is speaking of a new physical earth. This is not the case because Peter wrote that the earth nor the heavens we are familiar with will no longer exist (2 Peter 3:10-12).

The Hebrew writer taught that only once more will He who speaks from heaven shake the earth and the skies above and when He does, all the things which are made, meaning the creation, will be removed, leaving only what cannot be shaken in its place. He then goes on to say that what cannot be shaken and will not be removed is the Kingdom of God. His spiritual kingdom which is not physical (Hebrews 12:25-28).

What is left after the first earth and first heaven passes is the spiritual realm. The text of the verse affirms this with the words "and the sea is no more". Proponents of the new physical earth belief are going to have to explain how this new physical earth is going to exist without the oceans which are said to be no more. The new heaven the new earth are not physical by any means. They are going to be the spiritual home of the soul for the overcomers.

"and the sea is no more"
The King James Version renders this "and there was no more sea". In Revelation 4 we read of John's vision of the four great beasts before the throne of God. These four great beasts represented God's people from all over the earth. The four great beasts were a figure for the church which in scripture is the spiritual kingdom of God. The crystal sea, mentioned in Revelation 15:2 was a figure for the barrier between God and His people. Christians on earth walk by faith, and not by site. While scripture teaches that we have fellowship with God (1 Corinthians 1:9, 1 John 1:6), but this fellowship is maintained through a barrier. Christians on earth are not allowed direct access to God the Father. But in heaven, the home of the soul, Christians will no longer have a barrier between them and God. The figure of "no more sea" is representative of a place where all the redeemed shall have direct access and face to face fellowship with God. The sea being gone is the absence of the barrier between God and His people which exists in the church on earth.

Another thing to consider is that the greater beast of chapter 13 came from the sea. With the absence of the sea, there will be no more source for danger to come from. This is a place of absolute eternal safety and security.

"And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven of God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband."

The old order of things had its holy city, so also does the coming one. The old Jerusalem has long since passed and was a physical place of not only the righteous children of God, but also of tears, mourning of death. In the new Jerusalem, there will be no more death or tears of any kind. Coming down out of heaven means that it is of divine origin. And so it is, Jesus in John 14:2-3 was quoted as saying "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, (there) ye may be also." This is a vision, described in earthly terms, of the place Jesus went to prepare for His saints.

The imagery of the bride adorned for her husband is familiar terminology from Ephesians 5:27, "that he might present the church to himself a glorious (church), not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." This is a picture of the presenting of the body of the saved to the Lord by Himself, having previously given Himself to it similar to a groom giving himself for his bride. There is a dual imagery here of both the church on earth and of Heaven, but the primary focus is on heaven as will be seen in verse 3 where God Himself is said to dwell with his people. The vision here is of the church, including all the saved who lived before the cross, in her final glory beyond the judgment in her eternal home with God

Revelation 21:3
"And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with them, (and be) their God"

No more is God with His people in Spirit as He was before. No more do we walk by faith and not by sight. No longer is God invisible. In this new Jerusalem, God Himself, in totality, will be with the saved. This is a place where the redeemed come into the actual presence of God Himself forever. This is Heaven, the home of the Soul.

Revelation 21:4
"and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away."

On earth, the righteous shed tears of grief, they die, they mourn and they hurt. In the Heaven there will be no more tears, no more death, no more mourning and no more pain of any kind. All these things have passed away and are gone forever. The Christians who first received the Revelation were enduring horrendous hardship and persecution. What a beautiful picture of what awaited the victorious this must have represented to them. What a beautiful picture that awaits the victorious of all ages this is. The Roman Empire has long since fallen but there are still plenty of enemies of Christians on earth. There are places on earth today where the proclamation of one's faith in Jesus Christ results in one's immediate execution. This vision of heaven was written for Christians living under the great persecution of the Roman Empire but it applies to every Christian that ever lived past, present and future. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death" (Revelation 2:10-11). The crown of life is worn in heaven, the home of the soul.

Revelation 21:5
"And he that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he saith, Write: for these words are faithful and true."

From the throne of God, it is announced that the old physical existence with the pain, suffering, sorrow and death are to be replaced with something new where none of these things exist anymore. And the readers are assured from the throne that these words are true and that they can be trusted. People who are hurting, mourning and suffering can put their trust in these words and in Jesus Christ and find their way home. He is telling the truth. There is a place better than the one they are living in. There is a home where sorrow and pain do not exist. There is a home where there are no more tears and we can trust His word on that. These words apply to every Christian that ever cried a tear of grief or suffered a loss.

Revelation 21:6
"And he said unto me, They are come to pass. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."

As is often the case in Revelation, future happenings are described in past tense terms. So sure and inevitable are these events that they are described as already having been accomplished. The occupant of the throne identifies Himself for us with words familiar from His introduction of Himself in the first of the Revelation. In the beginning, Jesus Christ identified Himself as the "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending" (Revelation 1:8). Jesus Christ is speaking from the throne of God. We have here a wondrous image of the unity of God. So united are the Father, the Son and the Spirit that from the throne, they speak as one.

Eternal life in heaven with God is offered to all mankind. This opportunity is given freely to any who would respond to the call. There are teachings among those who claim Christ as their savior that teach God selectively gives salvation to whosoever He will. This is not true, salvation is offered to whosoever thirsts for it. We see this offer repeated even more strongly at the close of the book, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come: he that will, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17).

Jesus claimed to be the beginning and the end. Scripture supports this as being a literal statement about Himself. Numerous places credit Jesus Christ as the active agent directing the creation of all things. One of the most notable is found in Colossians 1:16-17, "For by him [Jesus], were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." Also in John's gospel when he was introducing Jesus in the first chapter, he made this statement in verse 10, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not" (KJV). Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he taught that God "created all things by Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 3:9). It is easy to conclude that Jesus was indeed the beginning of it all.

Jesus will also be the last. He will be the last of all creation when He returns at the end. 2 Peter 3:10, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up." And when Jesus does come, it will be "from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: who shall suffer punishment, (even) eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might" (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Jesus Himself said, "Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28-29). Jesus is indeed both the beginning and the end. And when He does end things here on earth, all things will be made new and we will have another beginning which shall never end.

Revelation 21:7
"He that overcometh shall inherit these things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."

The overcomers who are faithful unto death will inherit this place of no more sorrow, no more pain, no more tears. Christians in the church today are the sons of God (1 John 3:2), but there is sorrow in the church with tears, physical death and loss. This is not so in the place the overcomers shall inherit. While we are the children of God now, in heaven we will be in the presence of God almighty in a way never before known. He will be the God we can see. We will be His children in His literal presence. God is not saying here that we are not His children until we inherit the home of no more tears. He's telling the overcomers that when this place of sorrow they are enduring has passed, they are going to come into a place of protection in the Home of God where there will be no more pain. This place we are going to inherit is going to be better than anything we have ever known and the relationship we will have with God will be unlike anything we have ever experienced.

Revelation 21:8
"But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part (shall be) in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death."

And here again is the fate of those who never come to righteousness or who did not remain faithful unto death. Here is the opposite destination of those who do not inherit the eternal life in the home of the soul. Revelation is a letter written to oppressed Christians as a message of hope and perseverance. Christians are told time after time they must overcome. The fate of those Christians who do not overcome is the primary focus of this admonition. Time and again throughout the Revelation Christians are cautioned to persevere and warned against succumbing to temptation no matter what form it comes in. And now after a vision of the reward for faithfulness has been given, Christians are again admonished to overcome and remain faithful. If it were not possible for the Christian to fall and lose their inheritance in heaven, there would be no warnings to avoid it.

We have seen the second death mentioned earlier in Revelation. It was first mentioned in the letter to Smyrna. Following the warning to remain faithful unto death in Revelation 2:10, we see the fate of those who do not in these words, "He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death" (V11).

The second death is mentioned again in Revelation 20:6 in the context of the first resurrection. The second death has no power over all those who have a part in the first resurrection. As is often times the case, Revelation explains itself and this is yet another example of this. The second death is defined in 20:14 as the "lake of fire" and again here as "the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone". We understand this to be Hell, which is the opposite destination of those who overcome, remain faithful unto death and find their way to the city of no more tears.

The second death awaits those who are "fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars". This list of the unrighteous includes all mankind, both Christians and non-Christians. Paul gave instruction to the Corinthian church concerning a Christian who was guilty of fornication, (1 Corinthians 5:1). This guilty Christian was required to repent or face the second death. In Acts 8 we read the account of a man named Simon who was a sorcerer in his past. He heard the gospel and converted and when he saw the miracles being performed he wanted to buy the ability to pass them on. He wanted to go back to his old tricks of sorcery. he was told to repent or face the second death. In Hebrews 3:12 we read of those Christians who were guilty of unbelief in departing from the living God. Christians can be all of the things listed in Revelation 21:8 and face the second death. Or they can overcome and inherit a home in the city of no more tears. The application for us today is that all must come to Christ and all Christians must persevere and overcome temptation or face the lake of fire; the second death.

Revelation 21:1-8 can be summed up as "heaven, the perfect place of fellowship". The crystal sea that was present in Revelation 4:6 is not seen in this vision (V1). In this place of no more tears, this barrier has been removed so that mankind has perfect access to and fellowship with the person of God almighty. In the spiritual kingdom of God on earth, we have fellowship with God in a spiritual way, but there is a barrier between us. In the place of no more tears, this barrier has been removed and Christians stand in the actual presence of God almighty.

Revelation 21:9
"And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were laden with the seven last plagues; and he spake with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb."

In Revelation 17 an angel holding one of the seven vials instructed John to "come hither" and see the judgments of the great whore that sitteth on many waters. The destruction of the Roman Empire was absolute. Never again will the Roman Empire rise to power like it did in those times. The judgment of the Empire is over, the beast and the false prophet have been put down and thrown into eternal torment. Satan, the ringleader has been put down and now what's left is a vision of what awaits those who overcame.

The saved of all time, washed clean by the blood of the lamb and because of their perseverance and faithfulness gained the victory over Satan. As clean and pure as a virgin, fit to be the wife of the king. What a connection the saved will have with God. There is no closer bond. There is no greater relationship than that of bride and groom. As children of God on earth, Christians similarly are known as the bride of Christ. But in heaven, the bride will get to see her groom and be in His presence.

Revelation 21:10
"And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God"

One would expect to see a glorious vision of a bride after reading that the angel was going to show John the wife of the lamb. This is not the case. The wife of the lamb is introduced as the holy city Jerusalem. Let us recall that the great harlot was symbolized as the city that reigned over the kings of the earth. As the harlot was symbolized by a great city, so also is the wife of the lamb symbolized as a city, but this city is holy. In Ezekiel 40:2 we read of this great prophet being shown the frame of a city from a very high mountain. This city that Ezekiel saw was a vision of the church which was to come. In John's vision, he sees the church in its final glory at home with God and with Jesus.

Revelation 21:11
"having the glory of God: her light was like unto a stone most precious, as it were a jasper stone, clear as crystal"

In Revelation 4:3 Jasper and Sardius stone were used to illustrate He who sat on the throne. The Sardius stone was the color of blood which symbolized God's Judgment. Here there is no judgment for in heaven all that has passed. Now there is only the perfect diamond, flawless in its beauty which represents the glorious illumination of the bride of the lamb; that holy city; the saved of all the ages.

Revelation 21:12
"having a wall great and high; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written thereon, which are (the names) of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel"

Cities in those times had walls built around them for safety. The walls here represent safety and security for the inhabitants. The three uses of the number 12 represents perfect divine organized religion. All the saved of all ages are called the children of Israel.

Revelation 21:13
"on the east were three gates; and on the north three gates; and on the south three gates; and on the west three gates."

There is a lot of numerical symbolism being used here. The number 3 which represents the perfect divine is used four times. Four represents the world. Revelation 21 started with a vision of the new earth. The vision John is describing here is of the new earth here represented as the holy city. We have here the figure for the perfect divine new earth. Perfect divine access to the holy city on all four corners for the saved of all ages is in view here.

Revelation 21:14
"And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."

The twelve apostles and twelve tribes of Israel mentioned in V12 make up the complete picture of all the saved of all time. The foundation was built by the apostles, (Acts 2:42) with Jesus Christ as the head of the corner, (1 Peter 2:7). There were more than 12 apostles, the number representing all of them.

Revelation 21:15
"And he that spake with me had for a measure a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof."

Interestingly, John was charged with the duty of measuring the temple of God in Revelation 11:1 which was a figure for the church. An angel is measuring the holy city while John watched. John's measuring stick was just a plain rod, the angel's measuring stick was described as golden. This image of the city is one of ultimate glory. The bride here which is a figure for the faithful children of God are no longer in an earthly assembly. This assembly is in heaven.

Revelation 21:16
"And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal."

There is no way this could be a literal city. The literal size of it is staggering. A furlong is an eighth of a mile therefore the city in the vision is about 1500 miles length by width with buildings 1500 miles tall. Jesus said "In my Father's house are many mansions" (John 14:2). The sheer dimensions given by John in his vision certainly allows for plenty of space for these mansions.

The numbers are figurative, the number 12 which is a perfect religious number multiplied by 1000 which is a perfect or complete number multiplied by itself three times which is a symbol of the perfect divine. What is in view here is that the city is spacious and is utterly complete and of divine origin in it's makeup from front to back, side to side and bottom to top. When we consider the description of John's vision as a whole, we see a picture of a strong, spacious, perfect and beautiful city where God's people will dwell with Him in perfect security and peace.

In looking at these descriptions of the city in John's vision we must keep in mind that John had to describe what he saw in earthly terms which man could understand. Man is a physical being and only relates to things of a physical nature. No man has ever seen heaven or anything like it so cannot really comprehend the beauty, peace and tranquility that will be found there. One thing we need to keep in mind is that heaven is the complete opposite of hell. To the extent that hell is horrible, heaven is wondrous and vice versa. The lost are really missing out on something wonderful.

Revelation 21:17
"And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, (according to) the measure of a man, that is, of an angel."

The walls around this great city are a hundred and forty cubits high, or roughly 200 feet high if you use the measure of a normal man. A cubit was the length of man's forearm and differed somewhat from individual to individual. The cubit here is according to "the measure of a man, that is, of an angel". This is a purposefully ambiguous figure. The walls were not any specific measured height. They were 144 cubits, or 12 times 12 which is the perfect religious number. The walls were the perfect height.

Revelation 21:18
"And the building of the wall thereof was jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto pure glass."

Jasper is believed to be diamond. The walls were made of diamonds, perfect, flawless and shining bright light in every direction. The city was pure gold as shiny as glass. These are physical descriptions of a heavenly non physical place. It is necessary to describe such a vision in earthly physical terms. These cannot be the descriptions of a literal place, yet there are some who try to literalize it. In rough dimensions John visualized a city that would span a literal territory from the Atlantic Ocean to Denver, Colorado and from the southern tip of Texas to the Canadian border and of such a height that the tops of the buildings would be roughly 5 times higher than the edge of earth's atmosphere. It should be immediately evident to the reader of any age that this is not a literal city. We are being given images of magnificence and splendor in terms we can identify with.

Revelation 21:19-20
"The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all manner 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; the twelfth, amethyst."

Of significance here is not so much the identify of the precious gems in the vision but the number of them. There are twelve different varieties of stones which again symbolizes a perfect religious number. every dimension given; every characteristic of the holy city is expressed in numbers which have religious significance to the first readers of the Revelation.

It is not certain what the exact identify of all of these precious gems are. Following is a list of them and what they are according to the scholarship of today.

1. Jasper was diamond
2. Sapphire was the same as a sapphire today and were various shades of blue.
3. Chalcedony was a green carbonate of copper.
4. Emeralds were the same green gems of our day.
5. Sardonyx was a white gem accentuated by layers of red and brown.
6. Sardius - a ruby red stone
7. Chrysolyte - uncertain, maybe a gold-colored jasper.
8. Beryl was a gem the color of the sea.
9. Topaz was a yellowish gem.
10. Chrysoprase - a pale green gem.
11. Jacinth -a rich blue color.
12. Amethyst - a purplish red crystal common today.

Revelation 21:21
"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the several gates was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass."

There were twelve ways into the city, each gate constructed of a single pearl. Pearls were highly sought after in New Testament times. In the parable of the pearl of great price, Jesus compared the kingdom of God to a wonderful pearl found by one who was diligently searching for it. Once found, it was a highly treasured possession.

The streets were of gold so brilliant and shiny that it appeared to be transparent glass. Only the purest, shiniest, most magnificent gold would symbolize what John was seeing. A gold like no other.

Revelation 21:22
"And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple thereof."

In the church on earth, the individual members are the temple where God dwells, (1 Corinthians 3:16). In this beautiful home of the soul, God does not just dwell in the temple, He is the temple. He is the protection, the sanctuary, the security and the home of the righteous.

Revelation 21:23
"And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine upon it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp thereof (is) the Lamb."

There is no need for created light in heaven. The glory of God is all the light that is needed. When God visited Moses on Mt Sinai he had to tuck Moses into a crack in the rock and shield him from a direct view of his face as he walked by. The brightness of God in his pure glory is something no physical man can even look upon and live to tell of (Exodus 33:20-23). The account goes on to reveal that the glory of God was so bright that even Moses skin glowed from being in its presence. There will be no need for created light in heaven. The glory of God shines brightly enough for that purpose.

Revelation 21:9-23 can be summarized as the beauty, magnificence, security and glory of Heaven and living in the presence of God Himself. What a wonderful place Heaven must be.

Revelation 21:24
"And the nations shall walk amidst the light thereof: and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it."

Salvation was offered to all nations on earth and they shall walk in the light of God's glory. The kings of the earth, which is a figure for all Christians, (Revelation 5:10), will bring their glory into heaven with them.

Revelation 21:25
"And the gates thereof shall in no wise be shut by day (for there shall be no night there)"

In heaven there is the absolute absence of darkness. The gates will not need to be shut because there will be no evil anywhere to threaten the holy city. No bars or locks on windows and doors, no security measures will need to be in place. There will be no evil in Heaven whatsoever. Shutting the gates will be unnecessary. The doors into Heaven stand open for all eternity.

Revelation 21:26
"and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it"

The redeemed out of every nation are in view here. All of the glory sought or achieved out them will be brought into the city. The next verse explains what will never been seen or allowed into the holy city.

Revelation 21:27
"and there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean, or he that maketh an abomination and a lie: but only they that are written in the Lamb's book of life."

The gates into the city shall never be shut. The walls are high, the city is great and secure and peaceful. The only citizens will be the unified Godhead on the throne and those who are written in the Lamb's book of life. The eternal spiritual register which contains the names of all the redeemed out of the earth.

Satan brought sin and death into the garden of Eden and from that came everything unclean, that made abominations and lies. Satan has been defeated now and can never defile anything again. At this point he he is suffering eternal punishment for all the pain and suffering inflicted upon the inhabitants of the earth since the beginning. He is never going to be able to influence or tempt anybody in the holy city again. The citizens of this city are safe from all those things which were part of the world before. This is heaven. Eternal security, rest and peace. The never ending home of the soul.

Chapter Twenty one Paraphrase

Now I saw a new spiritual heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first physical earth have passed away. Also there was no more barrier between God and His people. Then I, John, saw the new earth, that holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is now with men, and He will dwell with them in person, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 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 physical things have passed away."

Then Jesus, who sat on the throne with the Father said," Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." 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 for righteousness. He who overcomes Satan's temptations shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with eternal fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

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 then he carried me away in Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me a vision of the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, and having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as a diamond. 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. And the angel who talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city was 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 were equal. 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 that shined 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 twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold that shined like transparent glass.

But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The holy 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 those who are redeemed out of the nations shall walk in its light, and the saints and kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day and there shall be no night there. And the redeemed from out of the earth shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

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