ACT SEVEN VISION OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW
I. OVERVIEW (Chapters 21:1-22:5):
. . EARTH
. . A. This vision represents the fulfillment of all GodS promises to His people, given in both the Old Testament
. . . . and the New Testament.
. . B. This fulfillment is supremely exemplified by the "New Jerusalem", the Bride of Christ, the true "Holy of Holies",
. . . . a perfect cube 1500 miles each way, large enough for all Gods people from every age; in which there will be
. . . . no more death or mourning or crying or pain; never any night, no need of sun or moon or stars or lamp for light
. . . . as God Himself and the Lamb will provide the perfect light; where the River of Life will flow and the Tree of
. . . . Life will grow, providing spiritual (and physical?) nourishment for all God's people, who will see God's face,
. . . . be His servants, and reign forever and forever with Him!
. . C. Although John sees the new Jerusalem "coming down out of Heaven," when he was carried "in the spirit to a
. . . . mountain great and high", he does not say that the New Jerusalem is on earth. The symbolism of the old earth,
. . . . heavens and sea "passing away," and a new heavens and earth replacing them, opens up the possibility that the
. . . . New Jerusalem may be beyond our physical universe in that environment where God Himself dwells, has dwelt
. . . .throughout all eternity and now invites His people to share it with Him!
. . D. Twice we are reminded that no one who does what is shameful or deceitful the cowardly, the unbelieving, the
. . . . vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolators, and all liars will
. . . . never enter the New Jerusalem.
II. THE NEW HEAVEN, THE NEW EARTH, AND THE NEW JERUSALEM (Chapter 21:1-8):
. . A. John sees "a new heaven and a new earth" for the old has passed away, and there is no longer any sea.
. . B. He then sees "the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride
. . . . beautifully dressed for her husband."
. . C. A loud voice from the throne announces that henceforth the dwelling of God will be with men there will be
. . . . no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away.
. . D. John hears God speak: "I am making everything new!" Apparently he is so overwhelmed by God's voice that he
. . . .has to be told (by an angel?): "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
. . E. God continues to speak, saying the He is the beginning (source) and end (consummation) of all things. He invites
. . . . him who is thirsty to drink of the water of life. He who overcomes is said to inherit "all this," to be God's son.
. . . . But not so those who practice evil their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur the second death.
III. DESCRIPTION AND MEASUREMENT OF THE NEW JERUSALEM (Chapter 21:9-27):
. . A. John is commanded by one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues to come,
. . . . in the spirit, to a great and high mountain, to see "the bride, the wife of the Lamb."
. . B. The bride is the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, shining with the glory of God.
. . . . This clearly shows that the New Jerusalem must be a symbol for the true church of God's redeemed people of
. . . . all the ages. The physical description which follows is John's (Christ's) way of illustrating spiritual realities in
. . . . terms of physical pictures.
. . C. The elements of the city are described in terms of immense size, with building materials of the most exquisite,
. . . . most beautiful, most expensive known to man. The twelve gates (each guarded (?) by an angel), inscribed with
. . . . the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, clearly show the role played by Israel in God's great plan of the ages
. . . . that of producing the Messiah, the Christ, by whom alone admission into the city is possible. The twelve
. . . . foundation stones, carrying the names of the twelve apostles, clearly shows the earthly role of the church
. . . . initiated by these apostles that of preaching the gospel to all nations, making disciples and teaching them
. . . . all that Christ commanded.
. . D. There is no temple in the city, because the city IS the temple of God the actual place where God and the
. . . . Lamb dwell! The is no need for the light of the sun or moon or stars or even lamps, for "the glory of God
. . . . gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp." Th gates need never be shut at night, because there IS no night
. . . . there! All who enter, great and small, bring their "splendor" their talents, abilities, experience into the
. . . . city to be used henceforth exclusively to serve God. No one can enter the city except those whose names are
. . . . written in the Lambs Book of Life.
IV. PROVISION FOR THE INHABITANTS OF THE NEW JERUSALEM (Chapter 22:1-5):
. . A. The river of the water of life (see Ezekiel 47:1-7) flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle
. . of the great street of the city. The Holy Spirit is symbolically shown to be fully available to all His wisdom,
. . knowledge, power, and guidance is as open to every inhabitant as is a river.
. . B. The tree of life grows along its banks, its fruit providing all the food the inhabitants will want and its leaves
. . . . providing the healing of the nations the aroma of utter sweetness and delight that exhilirates the senses.
. . C. The inhabitants will see God face to face a privilege reserved for the pure in heart (Matthew 5:8) and will
. . . . joyfully serve Him no idly sitting on a cloud and playing a harp! His name will be on their foreheads they
. . . . are completely His!
. . D. Once again John states that there will be no more night, and that the Lord God will give them light. John closes
. . . . this vision with the beautiful promise concerning the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem: "And they will reign forever
. . . . and ever."
. . E. What a thrill to realize that the "they" of this vision is the "we of everyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as
. . . . his/her savior and Lord who is walking with Him in this life in anticipation of walking with Him forevermore
. . . . in the New Jerusalem!
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