Summary of passage: After the final judgment, John sees a new heaven and a new earth and a new Jerusalem come from heaven. God will dwell with men here and be their God. The old order has passed, vanquishing death, pain, tears, and mourning. God declares all to be new and He who believes shall inherit the new earth while the unbelieving rot in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
7) The world today because it is full of sin.
8 ) In the Garden of Eden, God walked alongside Adam and Eve until the Fall. Once the Fall happened a separation between man and God took place and God dwelled in heaven. He would appear to man however such as Moses in Exodus in a cloud or a burning bush or on Mount Sinai to guide them. He also spoke to prophets such as Joseph, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc in dreams.
Until the tabernacle was toppled by the Romans in 70 AD, God dwelled in the holy of holies, close to man and accessible by the priests (Levites). God sent His son Jesus to be Immanuel and walk alongside of us again. Jesus sacrificed his life to usher in the Holy Spirit, which indwells all believers today and serves as our guide until Jesus returns. After the Second Coming, a new Jerusalem will take place and this world will fall away and we will once again walk alongside God.
9a) Personal Question that has nothing to do with this passage. My answer: It’s affected everything. I pray for guidance in decisions. I pray for peace of mind and His will to be done. I try to walk with Jesus and do what Jesus would do in all aspects of my life.
b) Personal Question we’ve answered many times before. My answer: He is everything. Without Him I have nothing. Hence, He is my hope, joy, and reason for worship.
Conclusions: Would have liked more questions on the new Jerusalem. Weak to say the least.
End Notes: “Then I saw” begins the last major section of the book of Revelation, ushering in the new earth and the hope we all have.
The idea of a new earth was spoken of by many prophets: Isaiah 65:17-19, 66:22; Psalm 102:25-27; 2 Peter 3:10-13.
Paul says death will the last thing destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:25-26), which we see in Revelation 20. In 1 Corinthians 15:24 the end will come after Christ destroys every rule, authority, and power.
The first heaven here is not the one where God dwells. The Bible uses “heaven” in three senses: “first heaven” as the sky, “second heaven” as the stars in the night, and the third heaven where God dwells.
The Greek word new here (kaine) means fresh or better. Scholars debate whether there will be a completely new planet or not. Most say yes based on Luke 21:33 and Isaiah 65:17.
This new heaven is after the Millennial strongly indicated by the absence of the sea (Psalm 72:8; Isaiah 11:9, 11; Ezekiel 47:10, 15, 17, 18, 20; 48:28; Zechariah 9:10; 14:8).
The Jews of the day see the sea as a place of evil (Revelation 13:1, 20:13; Isaiah 57:20; Psalm 89:9) and scholars debate whether this is figurative or literal with no seas. Some point out (Daniel 7; Revelation 13; Revelation 14) which show seas as representatives of people and therefore a removal of boundaries amongst mankind.
This new Jerusalem is the one of our hope and eternal dwelling place (Hebrews 12:22; Galatians 4:26; Philippians 3:20) prepared by God for believers and saints (Hebrews 11:16; John 14:2, 1 Corinthians 2:9).
The bride beautifully dressed is the perfect image for John of what the new Jerusalem will be like. We saw this imagery of the bride in Revelation 19:7-8 where we see the bride as the holy people of God and the bright clothing representing the pure and righteous deeds of the saints (Ephesians 5:25-27). More will be described about the bride of Christ in verse 9 through the rest of chapter 21.
This holy city embodies elements of Jerusalem, the temple, and the garden of Eden.
Some translations say “tabernacle” instead of “dwelling”, which gives us a better idea here. Remember God dwelled in the tabernacle until it was destroyed in 70 AD. Here, John is saying God will dwell among us with no curtain separating us.
God’s ultimate plan for mankind will come to fruition again as “they will be his people and God will be with them and be their God.” Jesus rids the world of sin and delivers the new Jerusalem to God as a dwelling for Him and mankind (Colossians 1:15-18)
Here we see God speaking directly from His throne. Note the present tense (known as prophetic certainty): God is making all things new right now. It has begun! Paul conveys this idea when he says we are all being made new (2 Corinthians 4:16, 5:17).
God’s plan was sin so that we could be redeemed through the blood of Jesus. Redeemed man is much greater than innocent man and we gain so much more in Jesus than we ever lost in Adam.
There are no tears in heaven. This is speaking of the tears here on earth. Isaiah uses the same imagery to show God’s comfort (Isaiah 22:4; 25:8).
John was told to write. He was so astounded by seeing this vision he had forgotten!
It is done! (Ephesians 1:10). It is finished! Again Christ identifies himself as the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8), the first and the last, the beginning and the end of all things. The crown of life has arrived! (Revelation 2:10-11).
Man being thirsty emphasizes his need for God’s drink (Isaiah 55:1-2). Jesus said these words in John 7:37-39.
The cowards are most likely those who refuse Jesus and instead love their life more.