Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Revelation 21:1-17 comments: the New Jerusalem coming down from God

1 ¶  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. 2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3  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. 4  And 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. 5  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. 6  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. 7  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8  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 burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Isaiah 65:17 ¶  For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

Isaiah 66:22  For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

2Peter 3:12  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

In the new heaven and new earth there will be no more sea. It is not certain if that means the world’s oceans as it would by the first mention of sea in Genesis or by its linkage with heaven and earth here if it refers to the space between the earth and the third heaven now, which will not be in between God and man as we see with the New Jerusalem coming to earth. The question here, as elsewhere in Revelation, is the word sea a metaphor for something else?

Remember, the church is the bride of Christ so there is something linking the church with the city of the new Jerusalem as in verse 2 is a simile prepared as a bride while in verse 9 it is directly called the bride.

2Corinthians 11:2  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

God will be with His people for eternity and there will be no more death, sorry, crying, or pain. All things will be made new by the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end of all things.

Revelation 1:8  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

I will discuss water of life in the next chapter where it is mentioned twice as literal.

Who he is that overcometh and shall inherit all things has been defined previously.

1John 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Also, in verse 7 remember who we become when we receive Christ.

John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

There is a list of people whose character keeps them from the New Jerusalem. These are things worth examining in your own spirit as they are all impediments, even in the Age of Grace where the Holy Spirit has sealed us, to growing in grace with Christ.

    9 ¶  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 shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

If the church is the bride of Christ and the new Jerusalem is the bride of Christ then it only follows, as per the next chapter it is safe to believe that the church is the servants who serve him in 22:3. It is reasonable to believe that our eternity will be praising and serving God, just being with Him physically present, a glorious event that makes even the most intense experience pale by comparison.

10  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

This city, coming down from space, which may already be on  its way, is physically visible so this is not simply a spiritual event.

11  Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12  And had a wall great and high, and had 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: 13  On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14  And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

So far, this is pretty obvious although one would presume that Paul was included in the twelve and not Judas, of course.

15  And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16  And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

The city is a cube with measurements of about 1500 miles on all sides. Note that it’s sides are not just 1500 miles but its height is 1500 miles so that consists of space inside of this cube is 1500x1500x1500 miles. This is over 3 billion miles of space available within this cube. That seems like plenty of room for anything you can imagine. This is God the Father’s house.

John 14:2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Our modern understanding of a mansion is a large manor house. An older definition is a luxury apartment in a manor house. It is clear in the New Jerusalem there is room for anything you can imagine.

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

The city has a wall and I don’t know how that works out with a cube so that may be an argument against the cube or either way you see it the wall may be evident. It is around 225 feet high depending on the length of a cubit, as there are small variations in the measurement. Here is further evidence of what an angel looks like as it is likened to a man. There are not angels with wings in the Bible and the phrase, “angelic creatures,” does not exist either except in the imagination of some. I defined angel from the Bible early on.

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