Bible Study Notes on Revelation 21 – 20170807

Bible Study Notes

Revelation 21:1  “…a new heaven and a new earth…”
I’m thinking he’s talking about the earth and the heaven around it, the atmosphere.  Not sure if this means the old one is completely gone and the new one was created or if the old one was transformed into the new just as our bodies will be.  Either way, the old sin tainted universe is gone.

1  “…there was no more sea”
Commentaries usually mention both the physical and spiritual applications of sea.  Represented death, destruction, and the unknown which is forever gone.  But most say the new earth won’t have a sea or ocean as this one.  John speaks of rivers and bodies of water so water will be present.  I just wonder about the creatures of the sea.  Land animals are mentioned, at least during the Millennium, and the fact that our relations with them are renewed.  I’m hoping the same can be said of sea creatures.  But I can’t say disappointed.  What God has in store for us is beyond imagination.

2  “…New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…”
Some have mentioned that John says he saw the city coming down, but doesn’t mention it landing on the earth.  Leaves open the possibility that it orbits the earth much like the moon does.  Will be interesting to see.

3  “…God Himself will be with them and be their God”
That is the point.  No more separation from God due to our sin natures.  They will be gone.  What a day that will be!

4  “…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”
Glorious.  People get hung up on the no more tears idea without considering the context.  You only wipe away tears caused by pain.  God will do that by removing all reasons for pain, physical, mental, and spiritual.  The crying mentioned is due to death and sorrow.  I’m sure there will probably be tears shed due to unimaginable joy and rejoicing.  From that point, there won’t be anything painful to cry over.

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…””

9  “…one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me…”
That part of their duty is over.  Now they get to enjoy peace as well.  No more dealing with bowls and plagues.

10  “…showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God”
Again John describes it as descending or coming down, not sitting on the earth.  Very interesting.  There is another possibility that occurs to me.  John could be describing it as coming down due to the fact that it is so tall it reaches into the sky or heavens.  What the men of Babel wanted to do, God now has done.  The city is said to be either 1,500 or 375 miles tall so it would reach into the atmosphere.  Anyone observing it from the ground could say that it was coming down out of Heaven.

11-21  Description of the city.  Much may be symbolic, but I think much is also representative.  Hard to know since the former things are gone and not remembered anymore.  John certainly used ideas from his time to make it understandable.  Plus, we must remember that most of what is down here is just a copy of what is up there.  Up there are the standards so the new may be created using the same standards and thus similar to what we have now.  Like the tabernacle.  The one on earth was a copy of the one already in Heaven, not the other way around.

12, 16-17, 23  “…she had a great and high wall with twelve gates…city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth…twelve thousand furlongs.  Its length, breadth, and height are equal…its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits…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”
Sounds like a cube.  Not sure of the distance of a side.  Text says he measured the city with the reed, 1,500 miles.  Is that one side or all the way around which would make the side 375 miles.  It is surrounded by a wall which is somewhat shorter. The idea of a glowing city with no sun or moon shining on it was hard to imagine until one day when God gave me a physical vision of the idea.  I was traveling west a couple of hours before sunset.  There were huge banks of clouds covering the sun so there was a bit of darkness in that direction although you could see some rays coming over the top.  Over to the right there was another set of clouds which were oddly shaped like a city with tall buildings which was surrounded by a wall.  As I watched, some of the clouds which I couldn’t see that were between the large bank and the city moved out of the way.  I still could not see any direct light from the sun, but the light was now moving through the clouds.  It wasn’t shining on them, but causing the entire city to glow as though with its own light.  It was a wondrous and magnificent sight to behold.  As soon as it happened the words of verse 23 came to mind, the light of God illuminated it and the Lamb is its light.  Like living inside light that goes through you and everything around you.  I know the real thing will be much greater, but I’m still thankful for the preview of what is to come.

24  “…nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it”
May refer to what was contrasted with what now is, but also opens other possibilities.  Nothing is said about life after the Millennium except a new heaven and new earth and the new Jerusalem inhabited with God’s people.  What will be happening on the new earth?  Will people begin to multiply again?  Will new people be created?  I know Jesus said people after the resurrection are like the angels with no marrying and giving in marriage, but I wonder if we fully understand what aspect of that He was referring to.  He was responding to a convoluted question from Sadducees referring to marriage laws and ties.  That wouldn’t rule out perfect paring if desired.  The existence of new nations on the earth is a possibility, but totally different from what we’ve experienced.  Perhaps it will once again be what God had intended at the beginning.  There’s a whole universe to explore created for us.  Oh, the possibilities.

25  “…there shall be no night there…”
The city has its own glowing light from God so it’s not dependent on light shining on it and thus no dark side.  So many possibilities.  Can hardly wait to see it.

26  “…they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it”
Any honor and glory will not be of the nations, but of God.  The wonderful things from the nations will be for God.  God will finally be praised in purity and completeness as He deserves.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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