Revelation 21 – The Eternal State

I. Opening Video Data.

John Ankerberg Show. Drs.: Ron Rhodes (Th. M. ,Th. D.), Ed Hindson (Th. M., Th. D., D. Min., Ph. D.), Mark Hitchcock (J.D., Th. M., Ph. D.)

II. Introduction.

Orville J. Nave (D.D., LL. D., 1841-1917). Nave’s Study Bible, 1978 Orville J. Nave (Editor), Anna Seamans Nave (Editor) . 

In this twenty-first chapter of Revelation, we will consider the following: 1 A new heaven and new earth. 3 The blessings of God’s people. 8 The doom of the wicked. 9 The heavenly Jerusalem described. 22 No temple there. 23 The light and glory of the city. 27 Nothing that defiles can enter therein.

III. Scripture Text. Revelation 20. New American Standard Bible (NASB 1995).

The New Heaven and Earth

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give water to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life, without cost. The one who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral persons, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, full of the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

The New Jerusalem

10 And 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 brilliance was like a very valuable stone, like a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on the gates, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, twelve thousand stadia; its length, width, and height are equal. 17 And he measured its wall, 144 cubits, by human measurements, which are also angelic measurements18 The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundation stones of the city wall were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone 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 gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; 26 and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; 27 and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

IV. Verse Examination.

Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible, 1986, 1995.

A. 21:1. “a new heaven and a new earth.” The present creation will be destroyed so that it may be cleansed from all the effects of sin (2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12). No more “sea” because climatic and human conditions will be completely different.

B. 21:2. “new Jerusalem.” This heavenly city will be the abode of all the saints (Heb 12:22-24), the bride of Christ (vv 9-10), and the place Christ is preparing for His people (John 14:2). During the Millennium the New Jerusalem (described in Rev 21:9-22:25) apparently will be suspended over the earth, and it will be the dwelling place of all believers during eternity (as is emphasized in 21:1-8).

C. 21:3-4. People will enjoy a new intimacy with God, and the elimination of those sorrows that sin brings.

D. 21:8. Those whose lives can be characterized in these ways will be cast into the lake of fire, because they have shown themselves to be unbelievers. “brimstone”=sulphur.

E. 21:11. The city will shine with the “glory of God,” like “crystal-clear Jasper,” which will allow that glory to shine brilliantly.

F. 21:12-14. Though both Jewish saints and Christian saints will inhabit the city, the names of the “twelve tribes” and the “twelve apostles” are a witness to their continued distinction.

G. 21:16-17. Shaped foursquare like a cube, the city is 1380 mi (2220 km) on each face, including height, with a wall 72 yd (66 m) thick. It has been calculated that even if only 25 percent of this space were used for dwellings, 20 billion people could be accommodated spaciously.

H. 21:19-20. “chalcedony.” Probably a greenish agate stone. (The exact composition and color of all these precious stones is unknown.) “sardonyx.” Red and white stone. “sardius.” Bright red. “chrysolite.” Golden in color. “beryl.” Sea green. “topaz.” Yellow-green. “chrysoprase.” Apple green. “jacinth.” Blue. “amethyst.”  Purple.

I. 21: 24. Whether these “nations” and “kings” are millennial people or resurrected people in the eternal state is unclear. In either case, only the redeemed will be allowed into the city (v 27).

V. Discussion. 

A. Dr. Daniel Green (Th. M.; D. Min). The Moody Bible Commentary On Revelation, 2014. 

The eternal state is pictured as a physical place. It includes land, buildings, trees, and water. Believers will interact with one another and engage in meaningful service for God.

B. Dr. Robert H. Mounce (Th. M., Ph. D., December 30, 1921 – January 24, 2019). The Book Of Revelation, The New International Commentary On The New Testament, 1977; NIV Study Bible, 2008.

In the closing chapters of Isaiah, God promised that He would “create new heavens and a new earth” (Isa 65:17) which would remain before Him forever (Isa 66:22). The fulfillment of this promise begins to unfold in John’s vision of the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven to take its place on the new earth. It comprises the last major unit of the Apocalypse (Rev 21:1- 22:5). “The Holy City” combines elements of Jerusalem, the temple and the Garden of Eden. 

C. Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002). Revelation Commentary, 1974. 

Following the judgment of the great white throne depicted in the closing verses of chapter 20, John’s attention is next directed to the new heaven and the new earth which replace the old heaven and the old earth which fled away (20:11). The expression “And I saw” is the first of three such statements in this chapter marking the major elements of the revelation (cf. 21:2, 22). The new heaven and new earth presented here are evidently not simply the old heaven and earth renovated, but an act of new creation (cf. discussion at 20:11). No description is given of either the new heaven or the new earth in verse 1 except for the cryptic statement “There was no more sea.” There is remarkably little revealed in the Bible concerning the character of the new heaven and the new earth, but it is evidently quite different from their present form of existence. Most of the earth is now covered with water, but the new earth apparently will have no bodies of water except for the river mentioned in 22:2.

D. Mine.

Rev 21:8. The context of this verse is that of people who had been born during the Millennium, but had not been born again with the Spirit of Christ dwelling within their spirit, prompting them to righteous living. These Rev 21:8 people had been born from parents who had survived the Tribulation and had entered the Millennium in mortal bodies, being able to procreate; the parents had been born again but had not yet received resurrected bodies. Those who will be born during the Millennium will have to accept Christ as Lord and Savior (per John 3:16) in order for them to be born again so that they can enter the Eternal State, which must be in resurrected bodies. These Rev 21:8 “millennial unbelievers” will find their fate in the Lake of Fire (Rev 20:15). Rev 21:8 shows lifestyles in these millennial people that are not consistent with those who had believed in Christ through the personal teachings of Christ, during the Millennium (Isa 2:2-3). The context of the ministry of Jesus in Matt 7:23 to first century Jews (“I never knew you”) is that of Jews who will survive the Tribulation but will not come to belief in Christ as Lord and Savior, “during the Tribulation.” John 3:3 dictates the situation, “you must be born again.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 shows another context, which is of the Church Age, during which time we are now living. This passage shows ungodly lifestyles which are inconsistent with people who have been born again, which will prevent them from entering the Eternal State. The passage also shows the necessary change that is needed in the lives of those who have not been born again, so that they can enter the Eternal State, per John 3:3, “you must be born again.” John 3:3 relates to every person, regardless of their time of life on earth, whether “past, present or future.” During the Millennium, unbelievers will have the direct Presence and teaching of Christ. In this “Church Age,” we have the benefit of the saving ministry of God’s Holy Spirit and His written biblical Word. The truth of the words of John 3:3 can not be undermined: “Jesus responded and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (per John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life”).

VI.  My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.

VII. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Equipping The Saints Web Site Israel Web Site Israel, History And Prophecy


Author: Equipping

The Church is the Church, and Israel is Israel. The Church did not replace Israel, and is not spiritual Israel. In the New Testament, “church” and “Israel” are mentioned as being separate entities. In the New Testament “church” is mentioned 112 times; Israel is mentioned 79 times; both are mentioned as being separate entities The Kingdom “has not yet come,” and will not come until the Jewish bloodline of Israel accepts God’s chosen king (Deuteronomy 17:15), which will take place at the end of the Tribulation when the nation of Israel faces decimation and calls on Messiah, Christ, in faith, to save them (Zechariah 12:10). Individual salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and comes through Christ (John 14:6). Things are discussed in this website that relate to God’s creation, from “eternity to eternity,” and all that is addressed within those parameters. Consider Isaiah 43:13, “Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” The Moody Study Bible adds a comment: “God is the ruler of all, and there is nothing that can stand against Him. His will is irresistible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary adds this thought: “No one can reverse what God puts into action or thwart His plans.” The articles that are found in this site may relate to anything that is found in the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation22.21, as well as anything else that may relate to the Bible.

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