The Revelation Given to John by Jesus Through the Angel
New Heaven and Earth
The old is gone, including death and the grave, the new is here. The old heaven and earth have passed away[i] and the new are created[ii]. This is what Ezekiel saw coming[iii]. This is what thrilled Joel[iv] , Isaiah[v], and Zachariah[vi] .
The heavens are new, the earth is new, and now the bride[vii] comes to the groom. The Church[viii] is glorious[ix], made perfect through her association with Mashiach. The Redeemed are known by our relationship to Yahweh; the lost are known by their works[x].
- The City[xi] is a symbol of the collected hosts of us who believed the testimony of Yahweh and are classified by him as righteous[xii]. Like the temple of Ezekiel, it is a design of life. Gems are created by intense heat and friction. We Christians shine brighter after each trial. The magnificent towering wall was built[xiii] on the foundation of the prophets and apostles. We entered into this building through the gates of the twelve tribes of Israel[xiv]; our foundation is the twelve apostles[xv]. The gold measuring stick signifies pure measurement; again we see the perfect square of 144 cubits – the number 144 is the signature of God’s people (12) multiplied by itself to confirm the covenant. In other words, it is the number of the tribes of Israel multiplies by the number of disciples (God’s people). The wall was Jasper (a symbol of endurance and beauty – green for glory). The city was pure gold, translucent as glass symbolizing a people so pure there is nothing to block out the light of Yahweh’s glory. His pure, unadulterated image. The foundations of the city walls adorned with precious stones: jasper for glory, sapphire for royalty, agate for stability, emerald for life, onyx for effectiveness, carnelian for the blood of Mashiach, chrysolite, olive green for the oil of the Spirit, beryl for water, topaz for fire, chrysoprase for unity, jacinth for chosen, amethyst for protection. The preceding identification of the stones mentioned are my ideas alone and may be, right, partly correct, or completely wrong.
- The twelve gates were twelve pearls. A pearl is the result of an irritant in the shell of an oyster cause by a foreign body rubbing against the body of the oyster. The oyster secretes a substance for healing and it hardens into a glossy substance that becomes the pearl. The greater the irritant, the more protection applied and the greater and more lustrous the pearl. The pearl of great price that Yeshua told about[xvi]represents the Church. The Church was in the world, chafed by the world’s sinful ways, and as she turns to the Holy Spirit for strength and solace, she becomes firmer, more resilient, and beautiful.
- The main street of the City was pure gold, transparent with no dross. Our walk, or the way we live, will be faultless. The Lord God is the Temple where we dwell in safety for eternity; he is the light and his Son is the light bearer[xvii]. “The nations will walk in the city’s light and the earth’s kings bring in their spender.” This and the sentence following it give one the impression that there might be others living on earth who will come to the people of Yahweh; but then we are told that no one who isn’t written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will get into the assembly of Yahweh’s house, so the nations and Kings that bring their splendor to Yahweh’s family are his children.
- The River of Life[xviii]flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb, down the middle of the street, speak of Yahweh’s character giving direction to the way his family live. The Tree of Life represents eternal life and its position on each side of the river signifies that the direction Yahweh’s family is flanked by eternal life. The twelve kinds of fruit, ripe each month, remind me of the fruit of the Spirit, always nurturing the life of the believer. The leaves of the tree, for the healing of the nations, convert light to energy. Our God is the light and energy of the Church, his family. He is the center of our being and we reflect his glory as a perfect image of our Creator. We reign with him eternally, serve him faithfully, and worship him persistently.
These truths may or may not be represented by an actual river flowing out of a tangible throne with a material tree of life on each bank. My purpose is to explain, to the best of my ability, the significance of the pictures drawn and understood better by the Christians of John’s time.
Verses 8 and 9 of chapter 22 are notable because so many people have a tendency to worship angels instead of Yahweh. Angels are Yahweh’s messengers and I am glad for them. They have taken Yahweh’s protection to his people many times, including me, but they are servants, just like us.
John was instructed not to seal the Revelation, but to share it as a blessed hope for the Redeemed and as a warning for the lost sheep. This book is a message from Yeshua to the Church as a whole. It is an invitation to those who have not yet made the choice to believe Yahweh’s testimony, to anyone who is soul thirsty, to come to Yahweh and drink freely from the Water of Life.
There is blessing for those who read the book of Revelation. It is important to note that the events described therein are birth pangs, not death throes.
[i] II Peter 3:7, 10
[ii] Revelation 21:1
[iii] Ezekiel 40-48
[iv] Joel 3:18-21
[v][v] Isaiah 65:17-25; 66:22, 23
[vi] Zachariah 14:6, 7
[vii] Revelation 19:19; Archaeological Study Bible, page 1039
[viii] Ephesians 2:21, 22
[ix] Ezekiel 40-48
[x] Revelation 21:8
[xi] Isaiah 54:11-17
[xii] Romans 4:3
[xiii] Ephesians 2:21
[xiv] The representation of Yahweh working through his people
[xv] Those he choose to send out during his sojourn on earth, representing the Church as a whole
[xvi] Matthew 13:46
[xvii] Revelation 21:23
[xviii] Zachariah 14:8, 9: Ezekiel 47:6-12