Take a few minutes to savor Revelation Chapter 21. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations.
21:1-4 — Eerdmans' Concise Bible Handbook says that this new life is one long wedding celebration for all of God's people — the happiest, most joyful time imaginable. What is your favorite part of a wedding celebration?
21:1 — compare with Genesis 1:1, 10.
new heaven and earth, no sea. Why no sea? The Life App SB may offer a possible explanation: "The sea in John's time was viewed as dangerous and changeable. It was also the source of the beast (13:1)." Also, remember the notes on 13:1 that the Jews believed the sea was evil. The Int'l Bible Commentary says Jews believed the sea to be a symbol of separation.
First heaven and first earth had passed away — will wear out like a garment (Psalm 102:25-26), will vanish like smoke (Isaiah 51:6), pass away (Matthew 24:35), heavens will disappear with a roar (2 Peter 3:10-13).
See Isaiah 65:17; 66:22 (AMP)
21:2 – the bride of Christ – that’s us! Think about this for a minute… The wedding day is the bride’s day. She is pampered and beautiful and the focus of the festivities. What responsibilities does the bride have? What perks does she get?
21:3 — God now dwells with man. This is how life was originally intended. See Genesis 3:8-9.
See Ezekiel 37:27 (AMP)
21:4 — no more tears or death or mourning or crying or pain. Compare with Genesis 3:17, 19.
See Isaiah 25:8; 35:10 (AMP) 21:5 — See Isaiah 43:19 (AMP) 21:6—See Isaiah 55:1 (AMP)
21:7 — "He who overcomes will inherit all this" — see wording of letters to churches in Revelation 2 and 3 for specifics on what needs to be overcome and what will be inherited. In fact, draw out a table to show this.
21:8 - Fire — pyr — fire, flames (Strong's 4442/KWSB 4786). Describing the fiery lake of burning sulfur. See Revelation 9:17.
What do you think the fire represents? Does this appear to represent judgment due to sin? Can you see the fire destroy what has been corrupted by sin?
Those whose fate includes the fiery lake are: "cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars..." WOW! Why do you think "unbelievers" is listed separately?
See Isaiah 30:33 (AMP)
21:9 — see Revelation 2-3.
21:10-25 — see drawing "The New Jerusalem" at the end of the notes. 21:10 - See Ezekiel 40:2 (AMP)
21:9-14 — the bride is the New Jerusalem.
21:12 — See Exodus 28:21; Ezekiel 48:30-35 (AMP)
21:15—See Ezekiel 40:5 (AMP)
21:16 — the city is 12,000 stadia high, wide, long. 12,000 stadia is 1400 miles. This is a little less than the distance for Las Vegas, NV to Memphis, TN (1407 miles). Is this the total of heaven? Or just the capital city of heaven? Will all of heaven's citizens fit within the city's walls? How can the city be 1400 miles high? Is it on a mountain?
21:17 — city wall is 144 cubits thick. That equals 200 feet. Is the stadia measurement in verse 16 from the inside or the outside of the wall? Check lexicon. The notes in the Zondervan NIV software indicate that the word thick could mean "high".
21:18-20 — The foundation of the New Jerusalem looks like a rainbow. The new city actually sits on the promise of God not to destroy it! Loosely based upon the promise of God to Noah in Genesis 9:12-17.
21:19—See Isaiah 54:11-12; (AMP)
21:19-20 — Eerdmans' Concise Bible Handbook say that the list of jewels is the same as those that were set into the high priest's breastpiece, representing Israel.
21:21 — each gate is a single pearl — really tiny gates? Or really huge pearls? Where do they come from if there is no sea?
21:23—compare with Genesis 1:16. See Isaiah 24:23; 60:1, 19 (AMP)
21:24 — the kings will bring their splendor into it — earthly kings acknowledge Christ's deity.
21:25 — city gates will never be shut. See Isaiah 60:11 (AMP)
Why do you think the gates will never be shut? I’ll share my thoughts in our next lesson.
21:27 — "Nothing impure will ever enter it" even though the gates are always open.
- Remember that the main message of the book of Revelation is the infinite love, power and justice of the Lord Jesus Christ. How is this evident in today’s text?
- What attributes of God do you see in this chapter?
- What scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?