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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22

Revelation Chapter 21



Introduction Revelation 21

At the close of the 20th chapter, the lost are eternally separated from God’s presence.  The saints, Old & New Testament, Tribulation and Millennium are in the eternal city, The New Jerusalem. 

            Chapters 21 & 22, mark the beginning of new phase of the redeemed.  From the fall of Adam to the completion of the Millennium, the lost and redeemed lived together on the earth. At death, the lost and redeemed are separated.

At the Great White Throne, the lost are eternally judged, and separated from the redeemed in the lake of fire.  Following the Great White Throne, the redeemed are presented with their eternal dwellings. 

In these final two chapters, John gives the redeemed an eyewitness account of their future eternal dwellings. In Chapter 21, John describes an immense walled city in the shape of a cube, the New Jerusalem, the home of the saints of all ages, from the time of Adam until the close of the Millennium.  Inside the city, God Himself will dwell for the rest of eternity, with the redeemed.

                                All Things Made New

           1Now 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. 2Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And 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. 4And 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.”5Then 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.”6And 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. 7He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8But 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.” Revelation 21:1-8

New Heaven and a new earth….At the beginning of the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11) The heavens and earth fled away, and no place was found for them.   The earth as it now stands, in scriptures is temporary.  The world is a testing ground to separate the redeemed from the lost.  New Heavens and Earth replace the temporary world.  (Isaiah 65:17,66:22, 2 Peter 3:10-12).  Jesus spoke of this passing in the Gospels (Matthew 5:18, 24:34, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33)

 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.  Matthew 24:35

The current earth is in transition until the New Heavens and Earth, for the redeemed is created.  The principle of entropy, the dissipation of energy to a lower form, shows the current world is moving in downward state, from order to disorder, from its original creation.

This transition takes place between Old and the New takes place between the events of Revelation 20:11 and Revelation 21:1. 

            John now sees this New Heavens and Earth in the first verse of chapter 21.  This New Heaven and Earth will be eternal.  The law of entropy is cancelled.  Will there be mountains, forests, animals and things we are familiar with today?  We can only be sure of this, that what is coming is far superior to the present.  God is giving us a sneak preview through the eyes of John.

9But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of manThe things which
God has prepared for those who love Him.”
I Corinthians 2:9

 No more sea…  During the millennium, the population of the earth will explode.  Where will people live?  The world today is 2/3 covered by the oceans, and another 1/5 by uninhabitable terrain.  In the millennium the deserts will bloom and the oceans could very well be scaled back to reveal more habitable land. In Noah’s day, before the flood, the great deep was broken, and waters covered the earth’s surface indicating the oceans did not always reach their current levels. (Genesis 7:11)

            On the New Earth, John points out there are no oceans.  We can only speculate why this is the case. We are only given a glimpse, of what is to come.

New Jerusalem…. On this New Earth, there will be a capital city, The New Jerusalem.  In the Millennium, the capital city of the earth was Jerusalem.   Jerusalem was the city where the saints dwell during the 1000-year, reign of Christ.  Isaiah indicates the New Jerusalem will be present in the Millennium but only accessible to the saints. 

2  Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills;And all nations shall flow to it. 
Isaiah 2:2

 Following the creation of the New Earth, John sees New Jerusalem descending from Heaven to the New Earth.  New Jerusalem is the dwelling place of the saints.  Jesus prepared this dwelling place for those who trust Him.

 2In 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. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4And where I go you know, and the way you know.”  John 14:2-3

Here the saints of all ages will dwell with God and the Lamb in their eternal resurrected bodies.  With New Jerusalem as home, the saints and angels will have the rest of eternity to enjoy and explore the creation of the New Heavens and Earth. What God has planned is beyond our imagination.

A bride adorned… The city as a bride can be understood in the context of those who occupy it.  The city contains the saints from all ages.   The bride of Christ is the redeemed.  In Revelation, 19:7 we saw the Wedding of the Lamb take place prior to the Millennium.  This city not only includes those at the initial wedding but also the redeemed of the Millennium, saved by their faith in the King, Jesus Christ.  Following Satan’s rebellion at the end of the 1000 years, the redeemed who were born and lived in the millennium receive eternal bodies for New Jerusalem.  With the redemption of man complete, New Jerusalem enters the New Earth having the redeemed from all time within its walls.

Loud voice from heaven…. John is now on the New Earth witnessing the descent of New Jerusalem out of Heaven. A voice from declares to John, the meaning of what he is seeing, New Jerusalem is not only the house of redeemed man but God Himself will live in the same city.

The voice calls it Tabernacle of God or God’s house. The term Tabernacle is referenced in the scripture, in the Old and New testaments.

The tabernacle of God (Gr. skeônooô to fix one’s tabernacle, have one’s tabernacle, abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent), tabernacle) This same word used in John 1:14 describing the incarnation of God dwelling in human flesh being in the presence of man.

14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

New Jerusalem is the fulfillment of its foreshadowing going back to the tabernacle in the exodus journey.  The tabernacle and later the Temple is where the presence of God, the “Glory of the Lord” would appear to be in the presence of Israel. During the Millennium, Christ will be King over Jerusalem dwelling in a Millennial Temple.

The Tabernacle and Temple are pictures of New Jerusalem, which will one day be the home of the redeemed saints living in the presence of God.

He will dwell with them…God Himself will dwell with the redeemed.  Man will have a personal relationship with his creator.  Unlike the Tabernacle in the wilderness of Sinai where only the High Priest could approach the Holy of Holies once a year, here those redeemed by the blood of Christ will have direct personal access to God.

Every tear… Tears follow from sorrow.  Because of the fall in the garden, sorrow and tears followed man (Gen 3:17-19).  Jesus came to suffer for the sins of man. Before he died on a cross he had tears of blood(Luke 22:44).  Tears typified the sorrow of man thru the ages. In addition, following this transition from Old to New their might be sorrow for what the lost have missed.  

No more death….Redemption is complete and death will no longer exist.  The second death, (Revelation 20:14) is the last death when the lost are cast to the Lake of fire.  The redeemed will never again face death.  (I Corinthians 15:50-56)

Former things  ….  Not only is death eliminated, but also crying, sorrow and pain.  These emotions are the former things. 

He who sat…Here Jesus communicates to John a message for his church from the Throne of God.  All things are new, the New Heavens, Earth and Jerusalem from this point on the eternal state begins. There will be no aging or decay for the rest of eternity.

Alpha and Omega…. These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.  The one sitting on the Throne calls himself the A to Z. Jesus is the totality of existence and reality. The term Alpha and Omega is used 4 times in Revelation (1:8,11,21:6,22:13).  Jesus’ identity as God in the flesh is clear by the name Alpha and Omega. Just in case someone did not understand this meaning two other terms are used; “The First and the Last” (Rev 1:11, 17, 2:8, 22:13) and “Beginning and the End” (Rev 1:8, 21:6, 22:13) This same terminology is used to refer to God in the Old Testament.

6  “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel,  And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
 ‘I am the First and I am the Last;
Besides Me there is no God. 
 Isaiah 44:6

 Water of life freely….. Water is necessary for life; we are made of 70% water.  The picture of water as is a spiritual metaphor used throughout scripture.  Jesus talking to the women at the well tells her,

10Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”  John 4:10

During the Millennium, water will flow out of the Temple on Mt. Moriah and will flow east toward the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea healed  will become alive.  The water is a picture of both physical and spiritual life flowing from the Throne of God.

 1Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. 7When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. 8Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.  Ezekiel 47:1,7

Like the Samarian Women, this water of eternal life is promised freely to those who thirst.  The women at the well was thirsty for more then water. 

Shall inherit all things… Sonship (Being a child of God)  promised to all who are thirsty, and quench their thirst with Christ.  Being a child of God, we can partake in the inheritance of Christ. 

16The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  Romans 8:17-18

 12    Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors. 
Isaiah 53:12

This concept of being joint-heirs with Christ is beyond our understanding.  John gives a sneak preview of the glorious relationship between man and God for the rest of eternity. (James 2:5, Titus 3:7, Ephesians 3:6, Galatians 3:29).  Jesus declares, we shall, “inherit all things”.

Their part in the lake …Our eternal state, contrasted with those who reject the Gospel.

There are many reasons people reject the Gospel listed here are eight particular reasons people will inherit the lake of fire.

  • Cowardly ( those who fear man rather then God)
  • unbelieving,( Those who reject the Gospel)
  • abominable, (Those who are abhorrent, disgusting)
  • murderers, (Those who kill)
  • sexually immoral, (Those who commit sexual sin,   (Gr. pornos)
  • sorcerers, (Those who use drugs for mind altering, magical experiences ( Gr. pharmakeus)
  • idolaters,  (Those who serve an image  (Gr. eidoôlolatreôs )
  • all liars (Those who are liars)

Those who reject the gospel, and sinners in general who are not redeemed will each have to give an account of their sin. All sinners without Christ fall into these categories. It can be one lie or a million murders, Christ is the only hope of redemption.

 The New Jerusalem

9Then 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.” 10And 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, 11having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12Also 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: 13three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.

14Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16The 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. 17Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19The 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, 20the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

Revelation 21:9-21

One of the seven angels…  John sees New Jerusalem from a distance. One of the seven angles, who poured out the bowls of wrath, takes him closer to the city. John, as a reporter, records and describes what he sees. This may be the same angel in the 17th chapter (Rev 17:1)

The bride, the Lamb’s wife…The city is the bride because in its wall are the redeemed.

The glory of God… The term “Glory of God” or “Glory of the Lord” is a term used throughout the Old Testament to identify the personal presence of God.  The best example is the book of Ezekiel, where the prophet Ezekiel like John, taken in the Spirit, sees “Glory of the Lord”, in human form.  This theophany is Jesus before his incarnation.

(Ezekiel 1:28,3:12,23,10:4,18,11:23, 43:4,5,44:4)

 4Also He brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple; so I looked, and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD; and I fell on my face. 5And the LORD said to me, “Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes and hear with your ears, all that I say to you concerning all the ordinances of the house of the LORD and all its laws. 
Ezekiel 44:4-5

The light from the Glory of God illuminated, New Jerusalem as the city descended from Heaven.

The light that proceeded from the city was like the reflection of Crystal.  John describes New Jerusalem for its future occupants.

 a great and high wall with twelve gates…. The height of the wall is equal to the length being 12,000 furlongs (1380 miles). On each wall, there are three gates, totaling 12 gates around the city. At each gate is an angel, the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel is written on the gate. In the wilderness, Israel assembled according to tribes, Judah, Issachar and Zebulon were camped to the east (Numbers 2:1-9). Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin were on the west  (Numbers 2:18-24) Dan, Asher  and Naphtali on the north  (Numbers 2:25-31) , Reuben, Simeon and Gad  on the south (Numbers 2:10-16) with the Levites around the tabernacle.

In the Millennial Jerusalem, the gates of Jerusalem are also named after the 12 tribes of Israel, in a different order then those around the tabernacle. (Ezekiel 48:31-34).The gates named after the tribes of Israel has illustrates a couple of points.

Ø       There is only one way to God and its thru the covenant established with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Ø       The city will include Old Testament saints.

 New Jerusalem, is where the saints from Adam till the end of the Millennium are gathered. 

             wall of the city had twelve foundations… The foundation walls have the names of the 12 apostles. Here we see the city of the redeemed is thru the covenant established with Abraham, built on the foundation of the rejected, suffering Messiah.

city is laid out as a square…. The tabernacle and the Temple were both rectangles, here the city is square.  Within the Tabernacle were several distinct areas, one area known as the Most Holy, where the Arc of the Covenant was located was a 15 cubit square room with the Arc at the center of the room.  This is a foreshadowing of New Jerusalem, with the “Arc of the Covenant” being a foreshadowing of God’s throne in heaven.



twelve thousand furlongs… Stadia is the Greek word which is equal to 600 feet or 607 English feet.  Twelve thousand furlongs is 1380 miles in length.  If the city were place over the United States, it would measure the distance from the top of New York State to the bottom of Florida State extending west from New York State to Montana. The wall height would also extend 1380 miles into sky.  If you could imagine a building 1000 feet tall, the height of the walls of New Jerusalem would equal to 7286 building stacked end to end, extending for 1,904,000 square miles.


Henry Morris estimates (Speculates) that if there were 20 billion saved in New Jerusalem because gravity will not be an issue each person would have the space of 75 cubic acres, allowing 25% of the space streets, parks and public buildings.[1]

measured its wall… The thickness of the wall was 144 cubits or 216 feet thick.  Jasper was a translucent stone capable of many colors. (Exodus 28:20, 39:13, Ezekiel 28:13, Revelation 4:3)

The material used in construction of the city is flawless gold, its streets and buildings.

The articles used in Temple worship were made of gold.  What is highly valued in this world is a common building material in New Jerusalem.

The foundations of the wall… Twelve stones garnish the foundation walls of the city.  A collection of twelve stones is in the ephod of the high-priest, with one stone representing each of the 12 tribes. ( Exodus  28:17-20)  Also twelve stones including gold are mentioned in Ezekiel 28:13.  Six stones shared in all three lists.

The twelve gates… There are 12 gates, 3 gates on each side. Each gate is made of a pearl. If the gates are placed apart equally, each gate would be 460 miles.

 The Glory of the New Jerusalem

22But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23The 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. 24And 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. 25Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27But 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. Revelation 21:21-7

No temple…New Jerusalem, was the Temple so there was no part of it that was not holy.

Glory of God…God, Himself dwells in the city and is the one who illuminates the city.

The Lamb…Jesus is the visible manifestation of God. (Hebrews 1:1-3)

3who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power  Hebrews 1:3

Its gates shall not be shut….Only those who are saved  have access to the city.  Nations  translated gentiles elsewhere in the scripture are included.  The city will contain all the saved of humanity, both those of Jewish and Non-Jewish descent.

Lamb’s book of life…The only way to be part of this city is thru the blood of the Lamb.


[1] The Revelation Record, 1983, Tyndale House Publishers, Pgs 451.