Study Guide: The New Jerusalem - Revelation 21:9 - 22:5
Revelation 21:9 - 22:5
Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement. The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
God and His people will enjoy perfect communion for all eternity in His new and perfect city.
One of the seven angels shows John “the Bride, the wife of the Lamb” which is “the holy city Jerusalem.” John then describes this city in great detail as a new, perfect, and holy Temple and Eden. Here, God and His people from every age will dwell together in perfect fellowship, face to face. There will be no need or lack, for God will meet His people’s every need.
- In 21:9, one of the angels with the seven bowls carried John away to a great mountain and showed him the holy city. Notice the similar language in 17:1-3 where John is shown the city of Babylon. Why do you think these two are juxtaposed against each other? In what ways are these two cities different?
- What hints do you see that this new creation is even better than Eden?
- We as God’s people will enjoy many blessings in this new and perfect city. Multiple of them are displayed throughout the passage. Which ones do you see? (e.g. What might walls around a city signify?)
- Can you remember a time when you longed to see a loved one face to face? Take some time and consider how much better it will be to see the face of our Savior and Friend (22:4).
- How does the doctrine of the new heavens and the new earth contradict popular conceptions about heaven among Christians or the wider culture?
- How might this passage change the way you worship God?
- Read Romans 8:19-25. In what ways has the “futility” (NIV: “frustration'') of this world caused you to “wait with eager longing” for the one in Revelation 21:9-22:5?
Take time and thank God for all of the blessings that await you in eternity with Him, and ask Him to give you the grace to wait for this future reality with patience.
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