Revelation 21:9-21 gives a description of what Holy Jerusalem will look like when those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior arrive.
This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references I mention.
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9. The seven bowls were described in Revelation 15 (Introduction to Seven Plagues).
One of the angels who delivered one of the seven bowls has come to John.
The bowls contained the last plagues.
This angel wants to show John the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
“John was shown the inheritance of God’s people for eternity.” (Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. [Nashville: B&H, 1998], 397)
“The New Jerusalem is likened to a bride because the redeemed are forever united to God and the Lamb.” (MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. Chicago: [Moody Publishers, 2000], 278)
They were married in Revelation 19:7. (See Hallelujah)
10. John is in the Spirit.
The angel took him to a great and high mountain.
In Deuteronomy 34:1-4 God showed Moses the land of Israel from top of Pisgah, across from Jericho.
Moses was on a high mountain.
Now the angel is showing John the holy Jerusalem.
Which is descending out of heaven from God.
McGee, “two facts are evident from this passage: (1) It comes down out of heaven, and (2) it is not stated that it comes to the earth.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: Nashville: [Thomas Nelson, 1983], 1068)
Glory of God
11. “The glory of God was ,magnificently displayed in his throne room, as John had seen in chapter 4. When Moses had set up the Israelites’ tabernacle in the wilderness, it was filled with the visible, shining manifestation of God (Exodus 40:34-35).” (Easley, 398)
For us to understand:
“Perhaps the image from our culture that comes closest is the impact of a beautiful diamond solitaire engagement ring makes.” (Easley, 398)
“The word jasper in this passage is best understood as referring to a diamond, a very costly one because it is crystal clear and unblemished.” [NASB1995] (MacArthur, 279)
“Heaven’s capital city is thus pictured as a huge, flawless diamond, refracting the brilliant, blazing glory of God throughout the new heaven and the new earth.” (MacArthur, 279)
12. “For any ancient city, one sure sign of importance was the magnificence of its wall and its gates.” (Easley, 398)
John tells us that the wall was high and has twelve gates.
There are at the gates twelve angels.
The twelve angels are “to attend to God’s glory and to serve His people (cf. Hebrews 1:14).” (MacArthur, 280)
The names of the twelve tribes of Israel are written on the gates.
“This emphasizes the origin of the redeemed people of God in the Old Testament—Abraham and his twelve great- grandsons (Genesis 12:1-3; 29:31-30:24).” (Easley, 398)
13. East, North, South and West each had three gates.
“That arrangement is reminiscent of the way the twelve tribes camped around the tabernacle (Numbers 2), and of the allotment of the tribal lands around the millennial temple (Ezekiel 48).” (MacArthur, 281)
14. “A city’s wall is only as secure as its foundations. The perfect security of New Jerusalem is declared in the number twelve.” (Easley, 398)
Ephesians 2:20 tells us that Jesus is the chief corner stone. (McGee, 1070)
“I do not believe that Matthias is the apostle who succeeded Judas. I personally believe it was Paul. Simon Peter held that meeting to elect Matthias before the Holy Spirit came, and I do not think he was in the will of God when he did so. You never hear Matthias mentioned again, but you surely hear of Paul the apostle, and I think he is the one whom God chose to succeed Judas, making Paul the twelfth apostle.” (McGee, 1070)
Note: The other two authors of the commentaries that I am following do not mention who the twelfth apostle is.
Unless otherwise noted; Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
In this article Scripture quotations taken from the NIV. Copyright by Biblica, Inc.®
In this article Scripture quotations taken from the NASB1995. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation.
Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. Nashville: B&H, 1998
MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983