lesson ten the new Jerusalem

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1 lesson ten the new Jerusalem Revelation 21:12-22:5 Background: In Revelation 21 and 22, the description of the New Jerusalem emphasizes God s glory, which is the source of light for the city. There are many Jewish references, familiar to ancient Israelites. The features of the city include 12 gates, named after the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 foundations that include the names of Christ s apostles. There is a river flowing with the water of life, and the tree of life bears its fruit each month. Reflection: We learn in Revelation 21 that New Jerusalem will be the Holy City of God, unsurpassed in beauty and righteousness. Think about how women live on earth now. What do we do as women to secure ourselves in an unrighteous world? Contrast that to life in the eternal city of God. New Heavens and New Earth The Bible concludes in much the same way it begins, with the removal of mourning, sorrow, pain, the curse, and death. The permanent reestablishment of the glorious reign of the Lamb and God on the throne begins, surrounded by myriads of worshippers celebrating the amazing Creator and perfections of His creation. Additional Comparisons Between Creation and the New Heavens and New Earth Creation (Genesis) New Heavens and New Earth (Revelation) Redeemer promised (3:15) Redemption achieved (5:9-10) Daily sorrow (3:17) No more sorrow/mourning (21:4) Thorns and thistles, pain (3:16, 18) No more pain (21:4) Death return to dust (3:19) No more death (21:4) Ground is cursed (3:17) No more curse (22:3) Eating plants (3:18) Twelve kinds of fruit (22:2) Satan tempting (3:1-5) No Satan - banished (20:10) Sin and evil continually (6:5) No sin or unsaved (20:15; 21:8, 27; 22:15) Expelled from the garden (3:23) No separation - free access to the city (22:14) Angels guarding (3:24 No need for guards - angels inviting (21:9) Sea created on Day three (1:9-10) No more sea (21:1) Sun and moon created on Day four (1:14-19) No need of sun and moon (21:23; 22:5) Darkness in beginning (1:1-5) No more night (21:25; 22:5) Nations oppose God (6:5-13) No opposition - all nations worship God (21:24) Creation (Genesis) is the foundation to the Bible, Revelation is the hope of the Bible, and these two events bookend the supreme message of the Bible: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Take advantage of the opportunities you have during this life on earth as a child of Christ! continued on next page... 75

2 * Endure trials! There will be no trials in heaven! No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13, NASB * Confess sin! There will be no sin in heaven! If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9, NASB * Trust God to supply needs! There will be no needs in heaven! And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19, NASB * Do not be troubled! There will be no sorrow in heaven! Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3, NASB * Do not fear death! There will be no death in heaven! Even though I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4, NASB * Share the Gospel! There will be no unsaved in heaven! For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16, NASB * Rejoice, pray, and give thanks! There will be no curse in heaven! Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NASB * Love His Appearing! There will be no separation from our Bridegroom in heaven! in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8, NASB 76

3 day one Revelation 21:12-15 Although the book of Revelation is primarily a Jewish book, containing a vast array of Jewish references, all of God s people will be rewarded with residence in the Holy City. This includes Christ s Church from all generations past, present, and future. 1. Read Ezekiel 48: Draw a rough sketch of the great and high wall with the 12 gates. Include the names of the 12 tribes of Israel in your sketch. 2. Where do the 12 tribes of Israel come from? Why are they important in the New Jerusalem? Read Genesis 17, Genesis 22:17-18, Exodus 1: What did Jesus promise His disciples in Matthew 19:28, what does Paul say about the apostles in Ephesians 2:19-20, and how does this relate to Revelation 21:14? 4. What are the names of the 12 apostles of Christ, according to Luke 6:13-16? 5. What are the qualifications for an apostle of Christ according to 1 Corinthians 9:1, 2 Corinthians 12:12, Galatians 1:1, and 1 Timothy 1:1? 77

4 day two Revelation 21:16-21 The Most Holy Place in the Old Testament tabernacle and in the temple is where God would come down and dwell with His people. It was cubic in design. In Bible times, a cube was the symbol of perfection. 1. What shape is made out of an equal length, width, and height? In Ezekiel 41:4, for what room was this shape designated? 2. In Revelation 21:16, what shape is the Holy City? Why is this significant? 3. What do you think walls of glass in the city symbolize? Why? 4. With what are the foundations of the city walls decorated? 5. What do the 12 gates of the city represent (21:12), and of what are they made? Out of what is the street made? Digging Deeper: Draw or find a picture online that represents the New Jerusalem we read about in Revelation 21. Label all the elements of the city that are mentioned so far. 78

5 day three Revelation 21:22-27 Christ is redeeming for Himself a people from all nations of the earth to live with Him and the Father in the eternal Jerusalem. Everything that could threaten this city has been defeated and will be thrown into the lake of fire. Only the ones in the Book of Life can enter the city. 1. Read John 2:19 and 21. What did Jesus say about Himself? What did Paul say about the Church in 1 Corinthians 3:16 and Ephesians 2:21-22? 2. Why is there no need for a temple building in the New Jerusalem? 3. Why is there no sun or moon in the Holy City? 4. Why are the gates never shut? What does this imply about the status of evil in the New Jerusalem? 5. Who are the residents of the New Jerusalem? 6. Sharing: How can you be confident that your name is written in the Lamb s Book of Life? 79

6 days four and five Revelation 22:1-5 Essentially, what John sees in Revelation 22 is paradise restored. What began in Genesis is completed in Revelation. After seeing the glitz and glamour of the eternal Jerusalem, John sees the garden, lush and fruitful, for the purpose of nourishing and enriching the lives of its inhabitants. 1. What do you learn about the river flowing with living water and the tree of life from Ezekiel 47:1-12? 2. What did Jesus mean when He said streams of living water would flow out of the believer in John 7:37-39? 3. Compare the account of God s creation in Genesis 2:4-10 with Revelation 22:1-2. What are the similarities? 4. Read Genesis 3: What curse has been removed from the earth? 5. What is the significance of seeing the Lord face to face, according to Exodus 33:20 and 1 Corinthians 13:12? 80

7 6. How does no night and no lamp in Revelation 22:5 fulfill Christ s proclamation about himself? Read John 8:12; 9:5; and 12: How does Revelation 22:5 fulfill what was promised in Daniel 7: 18, 27? 8. Sharing: What has touched you most in learning about God s creation in Revelation 21 and 22? personal response to God Write all that you have learned about Jesus from your study in Revelation. What are some of His attributes that you see displayed in Scripture? When you study other Scriptures, remember to look at them through the lens of God s revelation to His people. Pray and thank God for His plan of re-creation and redemption! 81

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