THE ETERNITY OF GOD: THE NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH AND THE NEW JERUSALEM
Part Two – Revelation 21:9-23
Key Word – New Heavens & Earth
In our last study, we began to review the city of God (Part 1). We also looked at Visions of Revelation (21: 9-10) and the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:11). Today we again will look at the New Jerusalem in greater detail from Revelation 21: 12, 13, 14 and verses 15 – 17. Maybe continuing with Revelation 21: 18-21 if we have radio time.
So, let’s begin with Revelation 21: 12 and the New Jerusalem. First, there are the city’s walls which are very interesting. The walls are great and very high. The idea is that of protection, or perfect security. We also see this concept today with the walls being built by President Trump on our Southern border with Mexico.
NOTE: It is interesting that when believers reach the Heavenly Jerusalem, they will be behind the walls of perfection. They will be secure from all the evil and enemies of the physical world.
“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” (John 17:11)
“…I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
FACT: Paul was not ashamed to suffer for the gospel. He knew that his faith was sure; he knew Christ. The point is this: Paul knew Christ on a personal and intimate basis. The question for you is do you know Christ on that level, do you know Him as your personal Savior? Consider the following verses and then examine your own life, as the Bible tells us to do. The point is important, make sure in this life that you know for certain that you are truly saved.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith (saved); prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
“For God so loved the world (you), that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever (you) believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2: 8,9)
Important: Did you know you can’t work for your salvation?
Listen again to the road to Heaven:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10: 9-13)
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41)
These made sure they were truly saved. How? They believed God’s Word was true.
“But without faith (trust in Jesus Christ) it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
Having accepted Christ as His personal Savior, Paul could live with Christ day by day. Knowing that if he put on the Armor of God every day, he was protected by God. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Paul also knew several things about his relationship with Christ!
- Paul was in fellowship and communion with Him.
- He had a personal relationship with Christ. The Armor reflects one’s relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Paul knew that his belief in Christ was true. God cannot lie.
- This was the reason he was willing to suffer for the Gospel. He knew the gospel was true. He knew that he was a new creature in Christ. (II Corinthians 5:17)
- Based on the Bible, Paul knew a person could acturally be saved from death and receive life and immortality.
- Based on the Bible he knew a person could actually live face to face with God forever and ever.
- Paul knew this—knew it beyond a shadow of a doubt. How? Because he knew Christ personally and intimately. You can too and we will explain all this at the end of this message.
“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil (Satan is walking around looking for weak Christians) work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever.” (2 Timothy 4:18)
“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5)
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.” (Jude 24-25)
Now let’s move to Revelation 21:12-13 and the New Jerusalem: There are the city’s twelve gates (v. 12-13). Notice that there are some things said about the gates.
The gates have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel upon them. This symbolizes that the only way to come to God is through the Messiah of the twelve tribes, the Messiah of the Jews, the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture says, “Salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22)
God sent His salvation, His own Son, into the world through the Jews Therefore, the entrance into the Heavenly Jerusalem is ONLY through the Messiah of the Jewish nation. No person can enter the heavenly city unless he comes through the gate of salvation provided by God. (John 3:16)
“Ye worship ye know not what (the unsaved): we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22)
“For God so loved the world, (you) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have EVERLASTING LIFE.” ( John 3:16)
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thrist.” (John 6:35)
“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou has the words of eternal life.” ( John 6:67-68)
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
GOOD QUESTION: Have you ever really thought about what Jesus is really saying? If not follow along with Jesus and then ask yourself if you have truly believed, by faith and accepted Him as Savior. (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-12; Hebrews 11:6; Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 2:41)
In John 14:6 Jesus Christ is the Mediator: the way to God is THROUGH Jesus Christ Himself. This is a critical verse, for Jesus said that no man could reach God unless he approached God THROUGH Jesus Himself.
NOTE: He was saying that He possessed all power; therefore, there was no need to fear. (Romans 8:28 – If God be for us who can be against us.) see Ephesians 6:10-12) This was the same message that God gave to Moses at the burning bush, “I am that I am.” (Exodus 3:13-15, esp. v. 14)
It is the same message that Jesus used as a defense against the religionists, “Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58) It is the same message that Paul used as a defense for Jesus in Colossians 1:15-17. It is the same message that is proclaimed by the book of Revelation, “He that is, and was, and is to come: (Revelation 1:4, 8; 11:17; 16:5)
NOTE: There are several “I Am’s” claimed by Christ.
Let’s review them:
- I Am the Messiah (John 4:26).
- I Am (It is I); be not afraid (John 6:20).
- I Am the Bread of Life (John 6:35).
- I Am from Above (John 8:23).
- I Am the Light of the World (John 8:12; 9:5; 12:46).
- I Am before Abraham was, I am (eternal) (John 8:58).
- I Am the Door (John 10:37).
- I Am the Good Shepherd (John 10:14).
- I Am the Son of God (John 10:36).
- I Am the Resurrection and Life (John 11:25).
- I Am the Lord and Master (John 13:13).
- I Am the Way the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).
- I Am the True Vine (John 15:1).
- I Am Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8).
- I Am the First and the Last (Revelation 1:17).
Now it might be that because of the virus you are experiencing some fear. Some things that might cause fear are:
Note: Being in the dark can cause fear. Some folks really are afraid when darkness encloses them. The unknown often can cause fear because one cannot see what the threat might be (a type of darkness). For instance, you cannot see the virus, which President Trump calls the invisible enemy. The threat and danger and emotional strain of the storms of life can be much more intense because of the darkness.
The threat of spiritual darkness can be the great danger that the person definitely faces in dificult times ahead. In other words, being in darkness, he or she will be caught unprepared. He or she will be in the dark (if unsaved), about God, about how to call upon Him and to receive strength and help from Him in their time of need.
“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of blindness of their heart.” (Ephesians 4:18)
“They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.” (Psalm 82:5)
“The way of the wicked (unsaved) is a darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” (Proverbs 4:19)
“Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of their God.” (Jeremiah 5:4)
“But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.” (Micah 4:12)
The threat of spiritual darkness can cause great emotional strain in that fear will swarm over a person’s being, covering him with a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
“And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.” (Deuteronomy 28:29)
“Let their way be dark and slippery (the unsaved): and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.” (Psalm 35:6)
“The way of peace they know not (narrow gate of Matthew 7:13-14); and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.” (Isaiah 59:8-9)
“Wherefore their way shall be unto as slippery ways in the darkness: they sahll be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:12)
FACT: Being unsaved and without Jesus will cause fear. Each person knows deep down within his heart that their strength is limited and would eventually fail. This is one of the reasons Jesus gave us the armor passage in Ephesians 6:10-18.
The point is forceful: the storms of life can cause a sense of horror, impending death, and can strike an awful fear in our hearts…if we do not know Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. The storms of life can be violent storms of life. Trouble, trial, sickness, death, financial difficulties, and a host of other storms can strike anyone. They strike unexpectedly, too often when we are least prepared. When that happens, it seems like things are ok before they hit, but in the next instant we get hit by the fear of the storm we suddenly find ourselves unprepared for. Again, being without Jesus will cause fear. If Jesus has not yet come into your life as Savior (John 3:16), you do not have His presence and help.
When the storms of life hits and everything seems like a threat, you can experience shock, terror, and a real sense of helplessness.
Without Him as Savior in your life you are left alone to fend for yourself. When the storms of life hit, if you are not saved (John 3:16), you have only human strength to depend on. With Christ as Savior you have God’s eternal strength to carry you through the storms of life.
So many today are afraid of trouble of one kind or another, the virus, loss of job, loss of income, losing your home, etc.. Why not change the fear to confidence in God, the Lord Jesus Christ who clearly says, “fear not”.
Good Question: Do you really want to face the future, without Jesus Christ? Without His presence and strength in your life. Why not follow the road to heaven found in Romans 10:9-13 and be sure that when the dark terrors of life hit your life, you are safe in the eternal hands of the Lord Jesus Christ? Why? Because Jesus said, “do not fear”. Read again the “I Am’s”, to reassure yourself.