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Daniel and Revelation
Chapter 36
Revelation 21:9 - 22 - The New Jerusalem

Starting with Revelation 21:9, John is given a new vision in his Revelation.  Compare this verse to that of verse 4:1, where John is told to come up here.

Revelation 21:9  One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were loaded with the seven last plagues came, and he spoke with me, saying, "Come here. I will show you the wife, the Lamb's bride."

Revelation 4:1  After these things I looked and saw a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, like a trumpet speaking with me, was one saying, "Come up here, and I will show you the things which must happen after this."

In verse 4, death is no more.  Christ reigns until the last enemy is destroyed, which is death (1 Corinthians 15:26).  But in the verses that follow, we will see evidence that sin and death have not yet been entirely destroyed.  I believe this section, starting with verse 9, is another vision in Revelation that is talking about the appearance of the New Jerusalem when Christ returns.  This is a pre-tribulation appearance of the New Jerusalem.

The New Jerusalem is called the “wife, the Lamb’s bride.”  It’s the dwelling place for Israel.  And we are grafted into Israel.  The New Jerusalem is the only place that is big enough for the wedding banquet.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18  But we don't want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep , so that you don't grieve like the rest, who have no hope(14)  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus (15)  For this we tell you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left to the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep.  (16)  For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God's trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first(17)  then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever.  (18)  Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Some people have argued against the post-tribulation rapture without understanding that the New Jerusalem will come when Christ returns.  They say, “Why would we go up into the clouds and the air and then come right back down again?”  The answer is that the New Jerusalem will be in orbit around the earth.  We will be going to the New Jerusalem to have the wedding banquet while the armies of the earth are being gathered in order to march against the Old Jerusalem.  After the wedding banquet, we will return with Christ as he defeats the armies of the world and the antichrist.  We will reign with Christ, as priests and kings, over the nations of the earth.  But we will still have “rooms in the Father’s house.”  We will still dwell in the New Jerusalem while reigning over the nations of the earth.

Revelation 21:10-12  He carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God (11)  having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, as if it was a jasper stone, clear as crystal;  (12)   having a great and high wall; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.

Notice there are no names for Gentile tribes.  We are grafted into the twelve tribes of Israel.  I believe we will each be a member of one of the twelve tribes.

Revelation 21:13-14  On the east were three gates; and on the north three gates; and on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.  (14)  The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.

I believe the name that is to replace Judas will be Paul.

Revelation 21:15-17  He who spoke with me had for a measure, a golden reed, to measure the city, its gates, and its walls.  (16)  The city lies foursquare, and its length is as great as its breadth. He measured the city with the reed, Twelve thousand twelve stadia. Its length, breadth, and height are equal (17)  Its wall is one hundred forty-four cubits, by the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.

This city is 1400 miles cubed.  It’s too big to sit on the earth.  It’s slightly smaller than the moon.  I believe it will be in orbit around the earth.

Revelation 21:18-21  The construction of its wall was jasper. The city was pure gold, like pure glass(19)  The foundations of the city's wall 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, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, jacinth; and the twelfth, amethyst.  (21)  The twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each one of the gates was made of one pearl. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

This is the place in the Bible where we get the idea that heaven has streets of gold and pearly gates.  This city is heaven.  But it’s physical and real and exists in this universe.  It will be in orbit around the earth.

Revelation 21:22-27  I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple.  (23)  The city has no need for the sun, neither of the moon, to shine, for the very glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb.  (24)  The nations will walk in its light. The kings of the earth bring the glory and honor of the nations into it(25)  Its gates will in no way be shut by day (for there will be no night there),  (26)  and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it so that they may enter(27)  There will in no way enter into it anything profane, or one who causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Try to read this from the Jewish perspective.  (It was written by a Jew.)  The Old Testament teaches that when the Messiah comes, Israel will rule the world and righteousness will go throughout the earth as a result of that rule.  Here we read that the nations will walk in the light of the New Jerusalem.  “The kings of the earth [will] bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.”  (There is no night when you are in high orbit around the earth.)  The nations will be able to enter into the New Jerusalem as they also become holy as a result of overcoming all their sinful habits.  This, of course, can only happen as a result of walking with Jesus.  “There will in no way enter into it anything profane, or one who causes an abomination or a lie.”  Why would this even be stated if all those who still have sinful habits will have been destroyed?  This cannot be after the great white throne of judgment.  This must be speaking of the Messianic reign when Israel will reign over the nations.  And we, as Gentile believers, are grafted into Israel.  So we will also reign with Christ as priests and kings over the nations.  But we will dwell (live) in the New Jerusalem, which will be in orbit around the earth.

Only those whose names are written in the book of life can enter into the New Jerusalem.  The book of life is all about those who God hopes to give eternal life.  This is everyone who has not become an enemy of God.  Everyone was originally in the book of life.  But one’s name is blotted from the book if and when they decidedly become an enemy of God or his Son Jesus Christ.  This is especially true as Christ reigns over the nations.  The government will be on his shoulders.

Isaiah 9:6-7  For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders . His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace(7)  Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from that time on, even forever. The zeal of Yahweh of Armies will perform this.

Let’s continue in Revelation, now at the start of chapter 22.  Remember that there were no chapter divisions in the original Greek text.

Revelation 22:1-2  He showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb,  (2)  in the middle of its street. On this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruits, yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

The Bride of Christ (Israel) will reign with Christ.  During that millennial reign, the nations will be healed of all their diseases.  The curse on the earth will be lifted.  The curse is removed at the beginning of Christ’s reign; not after the literal new heavens and the new earth.

Revelation 22:3-5  There will be no curse any more. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants serve him.  (4)  They will see his face , and his name will be on their foreheads (5)  There will be no night, and they need no lamp light; for the Lord God will illuminate them. They will reign forever and ever.

We will see Christ’s face when he returns.  His name will be on our foreheads when he returns.  This is in the New Jerusalem, which is the heavenly city.  At this point, John begins to wrap up the vision and starts talking about the soon coming of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is coming soon for every generation.  We live a short life that must be lived in great expectation of Christ’s soon return.   If we die first, we will awaken at the resurrection when Christ will set up his kingdom and we will reign with him.

Revelation 22:6-9  He said to me, "These words are faithful and true. The Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his angel to show to his bondservants the things which must happen soon."  (7)  "Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."  (8)  Now I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who had shown me these things.  (9)   He said to me, "See you don't do it! I am a fellow bondservant with you and with your brothers, the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."

Notice how John is wrapping it up by bringing it back to where he started in Revelation.  This book is the only book in the Bible that offers a blessing to those who read it and take the words to heart.  Here are the first three verses again:

Revelation 1:1-3  This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon, which he sent and made known by his angel to his servant, John,  (2)  who testified to God's word, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, about everything that he saw.  (3)  Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy , and keep the things that are written in it, for the time is at hand .

The blessing comes from actually reading the words and taking them to heart.  The words about a coming antichrist are frightening.  The blessings comes from knowing that it’s coming soon.  Knowing Christ is coming soon forces us to get return for his return.  This does not mean that we should buy a farm way out in the woods.  Not everybody can do that.

We defeat the antichrist through our testimony of Jesus Christ.  As we walk with Christ in holiness, we learn to not fear death. We become willing to die rather than take the mark of the beast or worship the image of the antichrist.  We will not deny Christ even if it means losing our lives.  This is how we defeat the antichrist.  And it’s how we overcome all our sinful habits.  If we continue to sin, we will not have the strength in Christ to place our love for him above our very lives.  If we continue to sin we are not really taking up our crosses and following Christ.  This is the blessing of reading Revelation and taking it to heart.

Overcoming sin, and thus being ready for Christ’s soon return, is thus the theme of Revelation.  It starts and ends with that theme.  It’s all about maturing to the point of being willing to die for Christ, so that we can reign with Christ.

Revelation 22:10-11  He said to me, " Don't seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand(11)  He who acts unjustly , let him act unjustly still. He who is filthy, let him be filthy still. He who is righteous, let him do righteousness still. He who is holy, let him be holy still."

John is told not to seal up the words of the book, because the time is at hand.  He is also told that the wicked will continue to be wicked and the wise will continue to be wise.  These two points are a strong allusion to Daniel 12.

Daniel 12:3-4a  Those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the expanse; and those who turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.  (4)  But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end.

Daniel 12:6  One said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?

Daniel 12:8-10  I heard, but I didn't understand: then said I, my lord, what shall be the issue of these things?  (9)  He said, Go your way, Daniel; for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end (10)  Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand.

The question asked in Daniel was, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?”  The disciples asked the same question (Matthew 24:3).  The same sign is given in response to both questions.  From the abomination there are 1290 days (Daniel 12:11).  In both cases, the mystery of God concerns the day and time of the resurrection and Christ’s return.

Daniel is told to seal the book.  The understanding of the answer would remain a mystery until the time of the end.  But John is told not to seal the book because the time is at hand.  The exact day and time of Christ’s return remain a mystery.  But in this age, we must consider the timing of Christ’s return to be within our generation, even if it turns out not to be the case.  We are given more Revelation than was given to Daniel.  He was told that he would sleep until the resurrection.  But we are told to expect it to happen in our generation.  And during this time of the end, the wise will understand the answer to the question and know the day and time of the resurrection.  It will be 1290 days after the abomination.

Revelation 22:12-16  "Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work.  (13)  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  (14)  Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city(15)  Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers , the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood(16)  I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify these things to you for the assemblies. I am the root and the offspring of David; the Bright and Morning Star."

Here we have red-letter words of Jesus.  He continues with the theme of coming quickly as well as doing the works of the Father.  Only those who obey Christ will have the right to the tree of life.  Outside are those who continue to sin.  This is further evidence that the New Jerusalem will come when Christ returns.  It will be here during the millennial reign.  Jesus also continues with the theme of being blessed by reading the words of the prophecy and taking them to heart.  Those who do his commandments, in other words they do his works, are blessed.  They overcome their sinful habits are able to enter into the New Jerusalem.

In verse 12 Jesus says, “Behold, I come quickly.  My reward is with me.”  It’s a reward for doing the works of the Father.  But notice also, the word ‘reward’ is singular and not plural.  In the seven letters to the seven churches, different rewards were given to those who overcome sin.  But here, it’s a single reward.  What would the single reward be based on this context?  The reward is the New Jerusalem.

Revelation 22:17-21  The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" He who hears, let him say, "Come!" He who is thirsty, let him come. He who desires, let him take the water of life freely(18)  I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to them, may God add to him the plagues which are written in this book.  (19)  If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, may God take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.  (20)  He who testifies these things says, "Yes, I come quickly." Amen! Yes, come, Lord Jesus.  (21)  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all the saints. Amen.


Philip Brown