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Christ and His Church Victors! chapters 20–22. (Romans 8:37)
This is the seventh parallel section, and we again return to the First Coming of Christ.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. New – in the sense of being radically changed. [KAINOS, not NEOS, “entirely new, unused”] Creation is to be set free from its slavery to decay (Romans 8:21). Our present universe is to be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10). But God has promised new heavens and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13; Acts 3:21).
The new Jerusalem. Not the old material city. This is the church of Christ (Matthew 16:18), “like a bride dressed to meet her husband.”
Now God’s home is with men. This is true now (Ephesians 2:22). God lives in his church through the Holy Spirit. But the Church Triumphant will receive a greater fulfillment in Eternity! (Compare Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22; Ezekiel 11:20; Zechariah 13:9; Matthew 13:17; 2 Corinthians 6:16.)
He will wipe away all tears. This is fulfilled now in the “peace which is beyond human understanding” which God gives the Christian (Philippians 4:5-7). Again, the Church Triumphant will receive a greater fulfillment in Eternity (see notes on Revelation 7:13-17).
And now I make all things new. This is God’s promise! We become new when we are joined to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Those who win the victory will share in the new heaven and new earth when God makes all things new! (See Revelation 19:9; Revelation 22:6; Psalms 36:8; Revelation 7:14-17.)
But the cowards. Notice that the COWARDS head the list of those who are to be punished for their sin. Read what Jesus said in Matthew 10:32-39. Those who have done these things must meet God’s Wrath! See Revelation 20:15.
Come, and I will show you the Bride. Under the symbolism of [spiritual] Jerusalem, the New Jerusalem, the wife of the Lamb [the church of Christ] is described. This Holy City is the Church Triumphant [the glorified church of the future]. Even the Church Militant [the church here on earth] gleams with this glory, SINCE THERE IS BUT ONE CHURCH! TO show the VALUE of Christ’s Bride [his church], the Holy City is constructed out of everything this world thinks so valuable. Gold, every kind of precious jewel and stone – these things are used like common brick and mortar to build this city! The city is a perfect cube, 1,500 miles on a side, symbolic of the perfection of Christ’s church [the Kingdom of God]. The Most Holy Place in the Jewish Temple was also a perfect cube. The city shines with the glory of God, and has no need for a “sun” or a “moon” (Revelation 21:23). The great, high wall is symbolic of protection and safety. God’s people will be free from worry and sorrow forever (see Revelation 7:14-17).
I did not see a temple in the city. God and the Lamb are its temple, and their glory fills the whole city! Compare Jeremiah 3:16-17; Jeremiah 31:33-34; Hebrews 8:7-13. In other words, the redeemed who live in this city have no need to go to a specific location to meet God. God fills all and is with them in contact so indescribable that we have no words to express it! [It would be useless to dissect the “picture-symbol” given in Revelation 21:12-21 to make each jewel have a specific meaning. It intends to symbolically describe those things which human language cannot express! The eternal reward for God’s people is far beyond human imagination! And the church itself is “what no man ever thought could happen” (1 Corinthians 2:9).]
These files are public domain.
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 21". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany