THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH
REVELATION CHAPTERS 21-22
I. The New Heaven and the New Earth.
A. First heaven and earth passed away. No sea. (1)
B. God is the source, the creator. (5-6)
1. I am making all things new.
2. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
3. It is done.
4. These words are faithful and true.
C. What will not be in the new universe? (4)
1. No tears.
2. No death.
3. No mourning, crying, or pain.
D. Who will not be there? (8)
1. No cowardly.
2. No unbelieving.
3. No abominable.
4. No murderers.
5. No immoral persons.
6. No sorcerers or idolators.
7. No liars.
E. Who will be there?
1. The one who thirsts. (6) Thirsting implies seeking God in this context.
2. The one who overcomes. (7)
3. Those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. (27)
II. The New Jerusalem.
A. The Bride. Remember the Jewish wedding.
1. The bride prepares herself (19:7-8).
2. Jesus, the groom, in the procession to the bride (19:1116).
3. The bride is presented to the groom (21:2,9-10).
B. The gates and foundations.
1. The gates named for the 12 tribes of Israel representing the nation of Israel and the Old Covenant.
2. The foundations named for the 12 apostles representing the church and the New Covenant.
3. The 12 angels at the gates represent Heaven and God.
C. The measurements.
1. 12,000 stadia, a perfect cube. (16) (1500 miles)
2. Wall measures 144 cubits. (17) Height or thickness??
The word "thick" is added by the NIV. It is not in the greek.
D. The significance of the numbers.
1. The Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and Solomon's temple was also a perfect cube. The people of God are his temple, He dwells within them.
2. 3 (Trinity, God) X 4 (the universe, creation) X 10 X 10 X 10 (Reduplicated, ultimate completeness and perfection). The complete and perfect result of God operating in the universe: the people of God enjoying fellowship with God in the new universe.
E. Coming down from heaven.
1. Order of events:
a. The old earth is destroyed.
b. Great white throne judgement.
c. Before the New Earth.
2. Where are all of God's people, those who are saved by the blood of Jesus, both Old Testament saints and New Testament saints?
3. They are in heaven waiting to come to the New Earth.
F. What does the New Jerusalem represent?
Is the New Jerusalem a place, or people, or both?
1. The church (OT and NT), the people of God.
2. Future only? Or present also?
3. Hendriksen: "What we find here in Revelation 21:1-22:5 is a description of the redeemed universe of the future as foreshadowed by the redeemed church of the present."
4. Example: God will dwell with us directly in the future, but He dwells with us now in the Holy Spirit.
G. No Temple: The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. (21:22)
1. Old Testament: the physical temple was where God dwelt among His people.
2. New Testament: Each Christian is a temple. The Church is the temple.
3. New Jerusalem: God and Jesus live right there with us.
H. The gates are never shut. (21:25)
1. In ancient cities, the gates were closed at night and in times of danger to prevent access and for protection.
2. We will have access to the New Jerusalem at all times - never denied.
3. No need for protection: all evil is gone, we will be totally safe in God's presence.
III. Genesis and Revelation (Hendriksen)
A. Genesis: God created the heavens and the earth. (1:1)
Revelation: The NEW heaven and NEW earth. (21:1)
B. Genesis: The sun, moon, and stars are created.
Light created on the first day. (1:3)
Sun, moon, stars on the fourth day. (1:14-19)
What was the source of light for the first three days?
Revelation: They are no longer needed because God and Jesus are the light source. (21:23; 22:5)
C. Genesis describes a paradise which was lost. (3:23-24)
Revelation pictures a paradise restored. (2:7; 22:2)
D. Genesis describes the cunning and power of the devil. (3:1-5)
Revelation tells us that he was bound and thrown into the lake of fire. (20:10)
E. Genesis shows us the awful picture of man fleeing away from God and hiding himself. (3:8)
Revelation shows us the most wonderful and intimate between God and redeemed man. (22:3)
F. Genesis shows the tree of life guarded by an angel to keep man away from it. (3:22-24)
Revelation restores to man his right to have access to the tree of life (22:14).
G. Genesis shows man and the earth cursed. Man toils with sweat, pain, and misery to survive. (3:14-19)
Revelation shows the curse removed, with man serving God with joy.