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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Revelation 21-22

This is the end of it all. These are the last notes I really have to post for this, and these notes serve more as a synopsis or "spark notes" of these last two chapters than as a deeper look that I've offered up in the past.

Revelation 21-22
Revelation 21
  • The judgment that ended in chapter 20 is now proceeded by a story of hope and restoration for the people of God in the deliverance of the new heaven and the new earth.
  • John sees a holy city—it's called the New Jerusalem—descending from heaven and describes it as a bride awaiting his groom He hears a voice call from heaven, and tell him that God will now live among the people, they will be his people, and he will comfort them. (21:1-4)
  • The one seated on the throne is described to be making all things new, and he is told to write about the one. The one is described as the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. (21:5-6)
    • See 1:8 for a comparison.
  • Those who have conquered will inherit all the things that are before John, and these people will be God's children. All those people who didn't (the evil), will find no place there, but have been cast into second death. (21:7-8)
  • One of the angels who had given the bowl judgments tells John that he will be shown the bride, the wife of the lamb. John is carried away in the spirit to a large mountain, and he is shown the holy Jerusalem. The city is described as having radiance like rare jewels, having twelve gates with the names of the twelve tribes above each, and having twelve foundations with the names of the twelve apostles on them. (21:9-14).
  • This same angel had a measuring rod of gold which he used to measure the city, the gates, and the walls. The city is a perfect square that is fifteen hundred miles long, high, and wide. The wall is described as having been build from jasper while the city was build from clear gold like glass. The foundations of the walls are adorned with all types of beautiful crystals and precious metals, while the gates are said to be pearls. (21:15-21).
    • This elaborate description serves to create imagery in the mind of the reader and the listener to show that this described holy city is a place of wealth, comfort, and peace—not need.
  • The city mentioned is said to have no temple because the Lord God is there and he will provide what the temple once provided. Also, there is described as a lack of a sun because God's glory will provide all the necessary light. God's light will guide the nations of the world, and nothing false or abominable (ritually unclean or impure) will enter into it, only those who had their names written in the Lamb's book of Life.
    • The Hebrew word for glory is a cloud with a light or fire radiating out from it.
Chapter 22
  • This angel then shows the river of the water of life which is as bright as crystal. This river flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb, throughout the middle of the street(s) of the city. There is also said to be a tree on either side of the river with twelve different types of fruit, one for each month. These fruits are said to possess healing power. Nothing accursed, impure, or evil will be found within. (22:1-3)
    • The tree of life described here was also mentioned earlier (2:7)
  • The name of God will be on the people's foreheads, and the lack of the need for light is repeated by saying that there is no need for lamps or for the sun.
    • See 7:3; 14:1 for this mark/name.
  • John then is told that the words and visions he has seen are set to take place, and that they are true and approved of by God. (22:6-7)
  • What follows in verses 8-21 (including verses 6 and 7 as well) is an “epilogue” of sorts of warnings and exhortations. People are told to not ignore the words of this book, and to stay away from evil so that they might be holy. The Alpha and the Omega's deliverance is coming soon and that people should wait for their debts to be repaid. Outside of the city are the evildoers and the liars. Jesus is said to be the one who sent the angel and is described as being the descendent of David. There is a warning that no one is to take out or to add to the words of this book, or else they will have their name taken from the book. God's grace is to be upon everyone and with all the saints. (22:8-21)
    • There is an interesting use of words (almost ironic) when John says that if anyone takes out of his book, then that person's name will be taken out of the Lamb's book.