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Exploring Revelation
16918
“Revelation 21:9-27 Heaven”
by Art Sadlier   
October 30th, 2016

"And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife" (Revelation 21:9).

We have said that in chapter 21 God unveils eternity before our eyes. The key verse is verse 5, "...behold I make all things new..."

We are told about a new heaven, a new earth, a New Jerusalem, a new relationship between God and man, new conditions for redeemed man, a new home for the Bride of Christ, a new glory, a new kind of Temple, a new light, new perfect life and new living conditions.

In verse 9 John was shown a woman called "the bride, the Lambs wife." Here we catch a glimpse of the glorified church. What a beautiful name is placed on the church, "the Bride". In that name there are volumes of meaning and significance. Just quickly we think of intense love and ownership and commitment. We can hardly grasp all of the meaning wrapped up in that word. It thrills our hearts to be a part of the bride of Christ. "The Lamb's wife" by this time the marriage of the Lamb has taken place and that which has been promised us has become a reality. How could we possibly be more eternally secure? Heaven is a wonderful place!

We notice in verse 9 the desire of the Lord to display His Bride; this is a further manifestation of His love for the church. I am so thrilled to be a part of the bride of Christ, how that ought to draw out our love for Him.

Verse 10, "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God."

We see in this verse that the Bride of Christ and the New Jerusalem are synonymous. Heaven is our home, the gates are open to Israel and to the saved gentiles of the nations, but it is our home.

Notice, that the New Jerusalem is seen, "....descending out of heaven from God." We are reminded of John 14:2, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. For 2000 years now our Lord has been preparing this place. What a wonderful place it must be!  It is far beyond our wildest imaginations.

Verse 11, "Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal."

John describes the city as, "Having the glory of God" that is again something beyond our capacity to lay hold of. John attempts to explain the splendor of the city by using things we know something about. What a thrill awaits the believer as he enters heaven; I believe that thrill will last for all of eternity.

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

"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: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb" (Revelation 21:12-14).

I believe these verses give us a revelation of some interesting truths about heaven.

First - Notice that there are twelve gates into heaven and there are twelve angels, it seems there is an angel posted at each of the gates to prevent any from coming in who may not be entitled to come in. I think this is symbolic because no one will even be in the new creation that has not been washed in the blood of the Lamb, and we know that sin and the sin nature will be abolished for all those that are not in hell.

Second - Each of the twelve gates has a name on it. Those names are names of the twelve trbes of Israel. Israel will access to heaven, the gates we are told will never be shut. However it appears that heaven will not be the home of the Jews. Israel has been promised the land given to Abraham Isaac and Jacob as their eternal dwelling place, their home is on earth. Though heaven is not the home of Israelis they will have constant access to the presence of God.

Third - Heaven is the home of the church. There are twelve foundations in heaven and the names of the twelve apostles are on the twelve foundations. If your name is on the door you are welcome to come in. If your name is on the foundations, the city belongs to you, it is your home. We who are the body of Christ will have access to the earth, to come and go, but heaven is our home.

Fourth - We see another group of people who will be dwelling on earth for all of eternity. These are called the saved of the nations. These are those who were saved during the tribulation period and survived to go into the millennium in their natural bodies. Also included in their number will be those saved during the millennial kingdom. These are not a part of either Israel or the church.

We read about these people in verses 24-26, "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 honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it." I repeat that their home will be on the earth, but they also will have access to heaven and God's presence.

God will be dwelling in the presence of this vast host of blood bought men and women. We will all be occupied with praising God. Heaven is a wonderful place!

It is wise to be careful not to read into the scriptures what is not there. However, I suggest that it is possible that those of the nations dwelling on earth during the eternal age may be involved in procreation. Perhaps the stellar heavens will be renovated as the earth will be, in order to be populated with an unimaginable host who will join us in praising and worshipping God throughout eternity. The new earth could doubtless accommodate a vast host of people.

I exhort you to not spend time contemplating what is not clearly revealed in the scriptures, much confusion and error results from such activity. Focus on the Word of God, the revelation He has given to us.

Verse 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 thereof."

Notice, it does not say that there will no sun or moon.  It says there will be no need of the sun or moon to shine because, "...the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." In a spiritual sense Christ is now the light of the world but in that coming day He will light the whole universe. The light of the new creation will be the presense of God and His Christ.

Today, men love darkness rather than light, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). We read in verse 25, "...there shall be no night there." The dark night of sin will be gone forever, there will be no more evil deeds, and there will be no night.

In eternity all of the saints will be able to look into the glorious face of Christ who will be living in our very midst. Heaven is a wonderful place!

Verse 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 honour into it." God has a plan for the nations in eternity. We refer to all those gentiles saved in the Old Testament times and those who will be saved in the tribulation period. They are not a part of the church and they are not  part of Israel. God says they will walk in the light of the glory of God and the Lamb. The kings of these gentile nations who rule under Christ during the eternal age will be able to enter heaven and bring glory and honour to God and to the Lamb.

Verse 25, "And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there." The glorious eternal day has begun with Christ as the glory and light forever.The night of sadness and sin gone forever.

Verse 26-27, "And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." In these verses we see the plan and purposes of God fulfilled. God and His Son will be glorified. For six thousand years now man has refused to give God the glory due to His name. In that day all of heaven will give God the glory He deserves.

The key to it all is in the phrase, "...they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." Let me ask you, "Is your name written down in the Lamb's book of life?" The answer to that question will determine your eternal destiny. Settle that issue right now while your heart is exercised about it.

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).

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