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.
The New Earth is wholly open to mankind; there are no places uninhabitable! There is no sea which cannot be lived on or planted or sowed. All is well!
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven of God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
Godís love for us is so pure that he makes eternity to suit us, and not Himself! After all, God does not need such things as a dwelling place or a new earth or a new Jerusalem. He does it all for His people.
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.
4 And God 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.
At last the community of God is free and eternally joyful.
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.
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.
In the human search for peace and security folks often overlook the one thing essential: God. In eternity, people realize that God is everything they need and all they need.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit these things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
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.
Only those whose love for God conquers their love of self have a part in this delightful hope.
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.
Jesus has won us and now he is eternally united with us- or better, we are eternally united with Him.
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,
The things He has prepared for us are so far beyond our comprehension that every attempt to describe heaven falls short of the actual place.
11 having the glory of God: her light was like unto a s a jasper stone, clear as crystal:
The divine light is the only light the place needs.
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:
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.
God will bring to completion the work which He began with the people of Israel. Entrance into the city is opened to the people of God; and there are plenty of gates by which to find entrance!
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
And the foundation of the city is based on the faith of the Apostles. Or, to say it another way, the people of God enter the city because they have faith like the Apostles had faith.
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.
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.
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 city is described as a cube -- that is, a cubicle shape which is an expanded version of the cubicle shape which was the Holy of Holies in the Temple of ancient Israel. The whole city is the place where God is. The whole city is the Holy of Holies. There is no use in trying to calculate the exact size of the heavenly Jerusalem -- for the numbers are symbolic. The meaning is that there is plenty of room for everyone!
18 And the building of the wall thereof was jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto pure glass. 19 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;
20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.
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.
The building materials of the new city are the most costly things one can image. Yet notice that these materials are not the center of attention, they are merely the streets and gates and walls; they are, in short, infrastructure. The most costly materials one can imagine are good in heaven only for roads!
The significance of this can be better apprehended when one realizes that in the Ancient Near East roads were made out of trash and waste materials! In heaven, gold is a waste material good only for a road!!
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple thereof.
The Temple serves to remind folks that they have occasional access to God. In heaven, there is total access to God, so no reminder is necessary.
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.
When God is present there is no other guidance or illumination necessary.
24 And the nations shall walk amidst the light thereof: and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it.
25 And the gates thereof shall in no wise be shut by day (for there shall be no night there):
26 and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it:
The city gates are always open; there is no exclusion, for the people of God are always welcome.
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.
Yet in the city there shall not be any polluting influences. Only holiness will be there.
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