April 21, 2018
Then I saw a new [kainos = new in a qualitative sense] heaven and a new earth [not the first time it is mentioned in Scripture; see Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13]; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away [been destroyed], and there is no longer any sea [no oceans, but still rivers; cf. Rev. 21:6; 22:1-2]. 2 And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem [perhaps what Jesus mentioned in John 14:1-3], coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband [prepared by God]. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne [of Jesus], saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them [for all eternity], and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes [show of compassion]; and there will no longer be any death [no more separation]; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain [things associated with the present world]; the first things have passed away.” 5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new [He was the first creator; cf. John 1:3; Col. 1:16].” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” 6 Then He said to me, “It is done [γίνομαι ginomai – perf/act/ind = i.e. the New Creation is complete]. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost [cf. John 4:10-11]. 7 “He who overcomes [by faith in Jesus; see John 6:28-29, 40; 1 John 5:4-5] will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. 8 “But for the [unbelievers whose lives are characterized as] cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and 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 [cf. Rev. 20:11-15].” 9 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.” 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 [which is beautiful, like a bride at her wedding], 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like [comparative words] a very costly stone, as 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 them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and 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 [though both are God’s redeemed people, Israel and the church are distinguished in the eternal state]. 15 The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square [like the Sacrificial Altar, the High Priest’s breastplate, and Holy of Holies; Ex. 27:1; 28:16; 2 Chron. 3:8], and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal [would roughly cover an area from Texas to North Dakota and Oklahoma to New York]. 17 And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards [216 feet thick], according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements. 18 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 adorned 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 [made from a] a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. 22 I saw no temple in it [which was used to point people to God], for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple [God Himself is personally present all the time]. 23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The [believing] nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it [perhaps multitudes of believers who were born during the millennium and enter into eternity, yet live outside the New Jerusalem]. 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) [perhaps implying we’ll never sleep] 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 [because all unbelievers have been assigned to the Lake of Fire], but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal [without pollution], coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life [First seen in the Garden of Eden, Gen. 2:9; 3:22-24, and later Promised to believers, Rev. 2:7], bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing [qerapei,a - therapeia – healing, care, health] of the nations. 3 There will no longer be any curse [affecting the planet; cf. Gen. 3:17-21]; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; 4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever. 6 And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place [or happen quickly]. 7 “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.” 8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things [as a witness]. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things [cf. Rev. 19:10]. 9 But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.” 10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” 12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done [salvation is by grace / rewards are by works; cf. 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10-11]. 13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end [all creation begins and ends with Christ].” 14 Blessed are those [believers] who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside [of paradise] are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying [i.e. all unbelievers]. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost [salvation is free to those who want it]. 18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book [such activity would indicate unbelief]. 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus [John agrees]. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
Summary: The new heavens and earth will be the place for the New Jerusalem, which is described in detail. In the eternal state there will be no sickness or death, for the curse will be removed, and believers will fully enjoy the blessings of God.