There are dozens of chapters of prophecy in the
Bible about the New Jerusalem. Wordservice.org has many sections of
articles devoted to it. As prophecy the easiest to read and the most
The Bride of Christ. Another article,
Prophecy, although a difficult read; has a large section devoted to
the subject as prophecy. As prophecy Revelation 20-22 belongs to era that follows the age of the gentiles; the time period measured
by four empires named and dated in Bible prophecy that ends with the
last part of the Roman empire falling in 1453 AD. This current era that
Revelation 20-22 is speaking to is a time period when all the
earthly promises of God made to the saints in ages past; promises that
remained generally unfulfilled in their generations begin to come to
pass in the world. What one will find in the illustrative prophecies of
the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21-22 is that even though they begin to
see their fulfillment in the earth in earnest after the end of the age
of the gentiles. They clearly had their beginning, or, are part of what
began with the New Covenant age that started when the Messiah came, was
crucified and was raised from the dead for the sins of the world.
This article is geared toward the symbolic
meaning of the verses in the last two chapters of Revelation rather than
its prophetic predictions although it seems unavoidable to not include
them. It will list the corresponding Old and New
Testament verses that show what the symbolism or illustrative language
of Revelation 21-22
means in hyperlinks. Please take the time to click on them and read them
as that is where you will find the pertinent information.
1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for
the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no
2. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,
coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her
first part of the verse John see's
the people Isaiah called the City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One
of Israel as a "holy city, New Jerusalem." In the
symbolism of his vision its coming down from heaven is consistent with
the basic New Testament theme of
everything the saints have of God comes down from heaven through Jesus
Christ. Lastly, the new Jerusalem is the bride of Jesus Christ
in Revelation 19:7-9 & 21:9-10.
In Ephesians 5:32 the Apostle Paul compared the marriage relationship
between men and women to Christ and his people calling it "a great
mystery." What he is was most likely referring to as a mystery were the
numerous and profound prophecies in
the Old Testament about the New Jerusalem as Gods wife. In
the parables of the New Testament the followers of Jesus are the guests
of the wedding and he is the bridegroom.
3. And I heard a great voice out of heaven
saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell
with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with
them, and be their God.
Testament addresses this as a
present reality for all believers rather than a future one. In fact
it calls the Old Testament tabernacle and temple, although very real,
mere symbolism of the momentous
plan of God that through the messiah faithful peoples of all nations
would be the temple or tabernacle of God.
4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their
eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed
New Testament death is often
illustratively used to describe different things. One can also
see the brutalities that cause sorrow and anguish that early believers
and past and present pioneering
believers face mitigated in the New
Testament through the effects of true faith. The book of
Revelation however is prophecy and as such contains a timeline as to
when certain things would be fulfilled. In that timeline God's saints,
illustrated by the New Jerusalem,
would begin to see the earthly promises of God made to the saints of
ages past, yet unfulfilled in those past generations begin to come to
pass in their generations. As with the many other prophecies
about the same thing this was to begin to
occur after the fall of the Roman Empire which occurred in 1453 AD. To
those whom believe this cannot be coming to pass because they are good
Christians and have sorrow, crying and pain. The fulfillment of
Gods promises are conditional not un-conditional. The way to their
fulfillment has been made through the death and resurrection of the Lamb
of God. That does not mean all believers have found their way.
Further than this though. Historically this age with its precious
promises and prophecies is really just in its beginning stages. We have
many centuries with their trials and victories ahead of us.
Hebrews 4: 1-2, 11
5.And he that sat upon the throne said,
Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these
words are true and faithful.
all things are new is standard New Testament language to describe
the new life one finds in Christ. Yet this was
promised and prophesied in the Old Testament.
6. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha
and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is
athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
The Greek word for done
here "means to come into being/manifestation implying motion." (M.
Vincent.) Judging by the previous and following
sentences what was set in motion began with the coming of the messiah,
his death and resurrection for the sins of mankind. The next
sentence about the water of life verifies this because it started coming
to pass immediately following his ascension to heaven because
the living water is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Before the New Covenant the Holy Spirit was given by Jehovah the Word to
his people. However, Jehovah the Word became a man, the descendant of
Abraham, and the promise of the
Holy Spirit was given to that one descendant, the messiah. It is he
who now allots Him, the Water of Life to those of faith of
7.He that overcomes shall inherit all things;
and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
connection between inheriting
the promises of God and overcoming sin
is born of the very laws of our nature and natures Creator.
Individuals, cultures and nations simply cannot obtain the promises
without overcoming sin because these promises, for the most part, are
the natural effects of righteousness. In the same way the natural
effects of sin\lawlessness are derogation, destruction and death. A
simple look at our present world reveals that to the degree that sin is
overcome and righteousness is embraced is the degree with which these
prophecies are being fulfilled. Jesus overcame the world and in the
proper times and seasons by the proper means
God's children must also.
8. But the cowardly, and faithless, and
abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral, and drug users:
(especially drug use as it relates to occult practices;) and
idolaters, and all liars,
shall have their part in the lake which burns
with fire and sulfur: which is the second death.
lists some of the characteristics of those who do not overcome the world
in Christ and what their end is. The lake of fire and the second death
illustrate the words of Christ
quite well in reference to that prison called hell.
9. And there came to me one of the
seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues,
and talked with me, saying, Come here, I will show you the bride, the
There are dozens of verses listed under verse two of this
chapter that cover the subject of the bride, the Lamb's wife.
Here are a few more.
10. And he carried me away in the spirit to a
great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy
Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
This great and high mountain
has dozens of chapters of prophecy devoted to it.
Its best to allow them to show what this verse in Revelation illustrates
and the sense in which it descends out of heaven.
11. Having the glory of God: and her light was like
unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
This verse is from those same Old Testament scriptures
that symbolically describe Gods faithful children as the city of
Jerusalem who's light and glory is from God
12. And had a wall great and high, and had
twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon,
which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13. On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south
three gates; and on the west three gates. AKJV
14. And the
wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the
twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Since this city of God is interpreted by the Bible to illustrate
the people of God; it would follow that its foundation is the ministry
and words of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ as the chief
15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and
the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16 And the city lies
foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured
the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the
breadth and the height of it are equal. 17 And he measured the wall
thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure
of a man, that is, of the angel. AKJV
The unimaginable numbers of those saved
and heaven bound; past, present, and future is reflected
size and scope of the city.
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city
was pure gold, like to clear glass. 19 And the foundations of the wall
of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first
foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony;
the fourth, an emerald; 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the
seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a
chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21 And
the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one
pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb
are the temple of it. AKJV
If the city is an illustration of
the people of faith from all nations that has no building called a
temple because it's not literal city. It would follow that the temple of
that city is God. To further the argument that all of these
visions in Revelation are illustrations of past, present or future
realities. John saw a temple building in other parts of his vision
written as the Book of Revelation. This would be a discrepancy in
Bible prophecy if these were not illustrations of literal things and
events as opposed to being the
literal things themselves.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in
it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of
it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall
be no night there.
The gates always being open is another direct quote from OT
prophecies illustrating the grace of God's open invitation for the
sinner to enter into eternal life and to dwell in light of the Son
verses the darkness of the night of sin.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles,
neither whatever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they which are
written in the Lamb's book of life. AKJV
This is a great illustration of
the transformation of the nations, peoples and cultures of the
world and the eternal salvation of multitudes
of individuals within them due to the influence of Gods government, the
Gospel and the Word of God. This is clearly implied because they are
bringing their glory and value into the city where wickedness is not
allowed to enter though the gates.
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal,
proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. AKJV
The pure river of the water of
life (for the most part), is an illustration of the Holy Spirit given to believers through the messiah Jesus.
2 In the middle of the street of it, and on either side of the river,
was there the tree of life, which bore twelve manner of fruits, and
yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the
healing of the nations. AKJV
The tree of life watered by the river of
life who's fruit, (according to Ezekiel,) is for food and the leaves for
the healing of the nations is an amazing prophetic illustration of God
healing the nations through his people.
How this has
been coming to pass is one of the most scientifically observable
facts in the history of mankind.
3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the
Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
We are told in this verse that those
who are illustratively living within the walls of this city are
subjected to the "curse" mankind has brought upon itself by living
contrary to the laws of nature and natures God. The rest of the
verse is an allusion to
invisible Kingdom of God in the earth that God's people serve.
4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
is often used idiomatically in Hebrew and Greek and the languages heavy influenced by Biblical . A
name or mark in the forehead not really known in the modern western
world but apparently common place in the ancient world as a mark of
slavery, status, class, criminality and some other things.
5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle,
neither light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light: and they
shall reign for ever and ever. 6 And he said to me, These sayings are
faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel
to show to his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7 Behold,
I come quickly: blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of
this book. 8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had
heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel
which showed me these things. 9 Then said he to me, See you do it not:
for I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers the prophets, and of
them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. 10 And he said to
me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is
at hand. 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is
filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be
righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And,
behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man
according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning
and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his
commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may
enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and
sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever
loves and makes a lie. 16 I Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you
these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David,
and the bright and morning star. 17 And the Spirit and the bride say,
Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty
come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18 For I
testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book,
If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues
that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from
the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out
of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which
are written in this book. 20 He which testifies these things said,
Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of
our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.