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REVELATION - END OF THE AGE OF MAN
(A Synopsis of the Revelation of Jesus Christ)

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

The Age of Man is Ended and the Eternal Day Begins
The new Heavens and the new Earth
The New Jerusalem
The Bride - The Lamb's Wife

The Thirteenth Revelation of Jesus Christ
—  The Tabernacle of God with Men
 

All Things Made New

Revelation 21:1-8

(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.  (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.  (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.  (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."

(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."

(6)  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.  (7)  He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.  (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."
(NKJV)


The Greek used here word for "new" is kainós.
As distinct from néos, "new in time,"  Kainós means "new in nature" (with an implication of "better"). Both words suggest "unfamiliar," "unexpected," "wonderful."
(from Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, abridged edition, Copyright © 1985 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.)

Chuck Smith offers:
God spoke the universe into existence. And in speaking it into existence, He spoke into existence a scientific puzzle. For in speaking matter into existence, He brought the protons and electrons and assembled them together. And in creating the atoms, and bringing into the heart of the atom, the protons tightly knit together in the nucleus of the atom, He violated the law of electricity, Collins Law, which speaks of the repelling force of positive charges. Positive poles repel. Try to put them together and they will fight each other. There is a repelling force of positive charges, tremendously powerful repelling force.
The atom bomb illustrates the true nature of an atom. The nucleus of an atom is bombarded with slow moving neutrons that upset the delicate balance of the protons in the heart of the atom and it releases them. As it releases them, there is a tremendous release of energy and power, and you see the tremendous power released when protons within an atom are set free. It takes an equivalent power to hold the nucleus of an atom together that is released when the nucleus is unbalanced.
God holds together the universe by the word of His power, and we are told this in the scripture; He created it by the word of His power and by Him all things are held together. All He is going to do is relax and let it go, and the whole material universe will go up in one gigantic puff. The elements will be dissolved and melted with a fervent heat. The heavens will be on fire. The whole material universe following the natural laws with the protons repelling each other, and this whole material universe will go out of existence in a moment's time.

David Guzik points out:
This isn’t just the next heaven and the next earth; this is the better heaven and better earth replacing the old (the first earth had passed away).
Though some disagree, such as Seiss, who argues passionately that this earth will never be destroyed - we should also understand that this is truly a new heaven and a new earth, not merely a “remade” heaven and earth. We know this because Jesus said that heaven and earth shall pass away, but His word would live forever (Luke 21:33). Also, in Isaiah 65:17 God says prophetically that He will create a new heaven and a new earth, and the ancient Hebrew word for “create” (bara) means to “create out of nothing,” instead of re-fashioning existing material.
 

Hebrews 1:3
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (NIV)

Hebrews 1:10-12
In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.  You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end." (NIV) [quoting Psalms 102:25-26]

Isaiah 65:17
Behold, I will create (bara) new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. (NIV)

Isaiah 66:22
"As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the Lord. (NIV)

Psalms 102:25-26
In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them. (NIV)

2 Peter 3:7-13
By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men  ... The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare ... everything will be destroyed in this way. ... That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat ...we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. (NIV)

Luke 21:33
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. (NIV)


Human history begins in a Garden and ends in a City that is like a garden paradise. God’s statements recorded in Revelation 21:5-6 aptly summarizes these final two chapters: ‘Behold I make all things new!’ What began in the book of Genesis is brought now to completion in the book of Revelation, as the following summary will show:
Genesis Revelation
1:26 On the sixth day the age of man begins Eighth day (Eternity) begins for man 21:1
1:1 Heavens and earth created New heavens and earth 21:1
1:10 The seas created No more sea 21:1
3:19 Death enters history No more death 21:4
3:17 Sorrow and pain begin No more tears or pain 21:4
1:16 Sun is created No need of the sun 21:23
3:14-17 The curse announced No more curse 22:3
1:5 The night is established No night there 22:5
3:24 Man is driven from paradise Man restored to paradise 22:14

Man's soul is redeemed by spiritual regeneration now
Man's body shall be so at the resurrection
Man's dwelling-place, his inheritance, the earth, shall be so at the creation of the new heaven and earth, which shall exceed the first paradise.
As much as the second Adam exceeds in glory the first Adam before the fall, and as man regenerated in body and soul shall exceed man at creation.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

The Threefold Description of the Citizens and the City
1. (verses 1-5) They are God’s people
a. God promised a new heaven and earth.

Isaiah 65:17
For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. (NKJV)

2 Peter 3:10-13
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. ... the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  (NKJV)

b. ‘No more sea’ does not mean ‘no more water.’ It is a different arrangement of water.
c. The eternal city will appear
2. (verse 6) The eternal city will appear
a. Free and abundant living water for all!
3. (verses 7-8) These heavenly citizens are an overcoming people
a. ‘He that overcomes’ is a key phrase in this book. As John pointed out in his first epistle, ‘all true believers are overcomers (1 John 5:4, 5)

1 John 5:4-5
For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (NIV)


It sounds like a dream, doesn't it? It sounds like a fairy tale. It sounds too good to be true. And because it is really just so good that it is hard for us to conceive it, the Lord puts this special little phrase: "write these things because these sayings are faithful and true." God attests now to the truth of what He is declaring. You can believe it. You can trust it.

John uses the most striking, beautiful image he can think of. The most beautiful thing a man will ever see is his bride coming down the aisle, ready to meet him. John says that this is how beautiful the New Jerusalem will be. (Guzik)

This also shows how God sees us, His Son's bride. We often focus on our own (or someone else's) faults and imperfections, but God sees us only through the blood of His Son, and His Son's perfection and beauty.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ as The Tabernacle of God with Men

Sh’khinah” and “he will live” translate the Greek words “skene” (“tent, tabernacle, lodging”) and “skenoser” (“he will dwell”); and both are related to the Hebrew word “shakhan” (“to dwell”), from which is derived “Sh’khinah” [shekinah], referring to the glorious manifesting presence of God who can dwell among men (see 7:15). Thus God will dwell with them, be the Sh’khinah and the Tabernacle with them.

God-with-them. This phrase tells us of the consummation of Isaiah 7:14, which foresees that the Messiah is to be called Immanu’el (“God with us”); see Mt 1:23
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (NKJV)

Matthew 1:23
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."
NKJV

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (NIV)


As in so many other passages in the book of Revelation, we have in verse 3 the perfect consummation and conclusion of the great theme of God - tabernacling among men. The Greek word here for tabernacle is the same as in the Greek translation of the OT passages describing the Tabernacle, where also we are told that in the Holy of Holies, God would meet with his people (Leviticus 26:11 ff.). This is the Word in its verbal form which is used in John's initial description of the Incarnation:

John 1:14
And 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. (NKJV)

This time the tabernacle abides; this time there will be no separation between God and his people.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1962 by Moody Press. All rights reserved.)

The Alpha and Omega
Once more we have the title of Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, which are the first and last words of the Greek alphabet, indicating that Christ is before the universe which was created by him, and will be at the end of all time, for all things will be consummated in him.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1962 by Moody Press. All rights reserved.)

Isaiah 44:6
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." (NKJV)

Colossians 1:18
And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (NKJV)

Romans 11:36
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (NKJV)

Colossians 1:15-20
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (NKJV)


I will give the water of life
Although the voice came from the very throne of God Almighty, we again find that it is indeed, Jesus Christ.
 

Isaiah 55:1
Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (NKJV)

John 4:10-14
Jesus 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 ... but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." (NKJV)

John 7:38-39
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." (NKJV)

Revelation 7:17
For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. (NKJV)


All the promises of God are true
Many times believers have sung: "Standing on the Promises of God my King..." The book of Revelation has many wonderful promises for the believers and those who remain faithful and steadfast. But there are other promises God made that are just as true. He promised the Lake of Fire to the:
Cowardly deilos timid, i.e. (by implication) faithless
Unbelieving apistos Unfaithful, faithless, unbelieving
Abominable bdelusso Defiled, polluted, disgusting
Murderers phoneus Commit homicide (not accidental death)
Sexually Immoral pornos Pornographer, a prostitute (male & female), includes the idea of adultery
Sorcerers pharmakeus One who prepares or uses magical remedies or spell-giving remedies
Idolaters eidololatres A worshipper of any other god, participating in pagan feasts; a covetous man, as a worshipper of money or possessions
Liars pseudes Deceitful, erroneous, deliberately making a false statement, a false witness in judicial proceedings

The New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:9-27

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

(14)   Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.  (15)  And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall.  (16)  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.  (17)  Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.  (18)  The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.  (19)  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,  (20)  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.  (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.

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


Some suggest that it is really just an exotic symbol of the Church, the Bride of Christ.
This heavenly city is literal, but it is called the bride, the Lamb’s wife because it is the place where all God’s people are gathered. In this sense the New Jerusalem is certainly like the bride; but this association doesn’t diminish the reality behind the image. The city is associated with the bride to awe us with a sense of its beauty and of the bride's beauty.

The City

The eternal city is not only the home of the bride; it is the bride! A city is not buildings; it is people. The city John saw was holy and heavenly; in fact, it descended to earth from heaven, where it was prepared. John's description staggers the imagination, even accepting the fact that a great deal of symbolism is involved. Heaven is a real place of glory and beauty, the perfect home for the Lamb's bride.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries.)

Jesus said in John 14:2: "I go to prepare a place for you." And what a place He's preparing!!!

She is a Holy city
1. Holy is hagian, from hagios. The old Greek term denotes an object of awe, the adjective means "clean."
2. Nothing that defiles will enter it. Most of what we do today is because of the curse that came when Adam and Eve sinned.
We clean to get rid of dirt and filth
We find places to dump our refuse as it rots
We work to provide a safe place to live, food to eat, and clothes to wear
We learn self protection techniques because of dangers all around us
We have laws because of the evil in men's hearts
  None of that will be necessary because there will be no corruption or anything that corrupts in the Holy city.
She comes down from heaven
1. Revelation 3:12
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.
2. Galatians 4:26
the Jerusalem above is free.
3. Hebrews 12:22
the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem
She has the glory of God
1. All the splendor and radiance of God
2. As it was coming down, it appeared like jasper, shining, and clear as crystal
3. The city itself was pure gold like clear glass
She has a great high wall
1. The wall is 144 cubits high - according to the Hebrew cubit, approximately 212 to 216 feet high
2. It was built out of jasper, and it was clear as crystal
3. The wall around the city was a square, and the angel measured the city: 12,000 furlongs (1500 miles). Robertson point out that "It is not clear whether the 1,500 miles (12,000 furlongs) is the measurement of each of the four sides or the sum total."
The wall has 12 gates
1. Each gate was one solid pearl
2. Each gate had the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel
God used the nation of Israel to usher in the Messiah, the Christ, through Whom we have access to salvation. It is only natural that entry to the Holy City would be through the gates with the names of Israel's sons inscribed on them.
3. Each gate had an angel stationed at it
4. The gates will always be open
The wall was built on 12 foundations
1. The names of the 12 Apostles of the Lamb were inscribed on them.
It is assumed that each foundation had the name of one of the apostles inscribed on it, but the text is not clear as to whether each foundation has a different name, or if each foundation had all 12 names. Most scholars assume each foundation has a different name.
2. The foundation stones were garnished with all kinds of precious stones (the NIV translates it: "The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone.)
3. Each foundation is a different stone (Click here for descriptions and photos of the stones).
She has a street paved with gold
1. It was a broad street
Street = plateia - A wide street; some think this refers to all streets in the city, while others believe that there is only one street, or main plaza.
In this life, Jesus said that the road that leads to destruction is broad, and road that leads to life is narrow. At that time, when all tests, trials and sin is no more, the street in the Holy City is broad.
2. It was pure gold and looked like transparent glass
With all the impurities removed, because nothing impure can enter the Holy City, it is transparent.
God and the Lamb are the Temple
1. The Lord God Almighty
The Greek includes the definite article "ho" - "the God the Almighty."
Lord (kurios) Supreme in authority, controller
God (theos) Deity; with the article, the only true God
Almighty (pantokrater) All-ruling, absolute and universal sovereign, omnipotent
5 times in Revelation He is referred to as "Lord God Almighty."
4:8 Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!
11:17 Lord God Almighty, The One Who is and Who was and Who is to come
15:3 The song of the Lamb, saying ... Lord God Almighty
16:7 Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments
21:22 Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple
All five are clear references to the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. The Lamb
The Supreme Sacrifice has become the Temple
The glory of God and the Lamb are the light
1. The Glory of God, the Shekinah, the Radiance, the Brilliance, is the Light
2. The Lamb is the Lamp (luchnos). It is through the Lamb that the Light will be diffused throughout the city.
3. Picture the glorious beauty as the Shekinah of God is magnified through the Lord Jesus Christ, and diffused throughout the city built of every imaginable precious stone, each clear as crystal because all of the impurities are gone, and each prism refracting the light into all of its glorious colors.
The nations who are saved
1. These are probably nations that did not join in Satan's rebellion at the end of the Millennium.
2. They live in the light of the Holy City.
Seiss offers: Spiritual illumination for the soul, as well as glorious light for the eyes,-the light of truth and righteousness, and the light of Life for all needs, personal, social, and national, in the redeemed family of man-shall go forth from that sublime city; and "the nations" shall walk in that light.
3. They bring their glory (doxa - honor, dignity, praise, worship) and honor (time - valuables) to the city.

We see life in our age, the age of man, as a tangled mess. It's like looking at the underside of an embroidered cloth. We see all the knots, tangles, and no design. We often don't understand what is happening or why, and sometimes we even question God, wondering why or how He would let things happen.  Then John sees the holy city, the New Jerusalem, the Bride, the Lamb's wife, and it's like God brings him above the cloth and says: "Look at what I've been making!"


 

Bibliography

 


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