Friday, October 29, 2010

Revelation 21:9-14

Verse 9 “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.”

Now one of the angels that had poured out one of the seven vials of God’s wrath comes and tells John he will show him the bride of the Lamb. Interestingly, he is referring not to the people who incorporate the Church as the bride, but to the city that they inhabit. He is about to see the city of New Jerusalem, where the saints will live (this is what the “In my father’s house are many mansions…..I go to prepare a place for you.” verse is all about). It is an incredibly beautiful city built of gold and jewels. Only the bride of Christ will dwell in this city. We will see that those who come through the millennium do not live in this city afterward. They will live in the nations outside the city.

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.”

John is taken (and here he specifies that he is doing this in the spirit, not in the flesh) to a great and high mountain where sees New Jerusalem descending from heaven down to the earth. All of what John has seen is because he has been “in the spirit” or seeing a vision. He has not been physically taken into the future, but has been allowed to see the future through a spiritual vision.

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;”

New Jerusalem shines with the Shekinah glory of God. It lights her and the light shining through her makes her look like a beautiful crystal clear jasper stone (think diamond) sparkling in the sun. Think of how that would look. A huge city that is sparkling like a diamond in the sky, now descending to earth.

Verse 12 “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:”

The city is surrounded by a great high wall which has twelve gates. Each gate is guarded or overseen by an angel. Also each gate has the name of one of the tribes of Israel written on it.

Verse 13 “On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.”

This city is a square city, (as we shall soon see) and the wall is also. Each side has three gates, three each on the north, south, east, and west side.

Verse 14 “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

This wall has twelve foundations. It is not clear exactly what is meant by twelve foundations. Some possibilities are that this is a stack of twelve different layers that go all the way around so that each side has twelve layers, or possibly there are twelve different divisions of the wall’s foundation each section between two gates. Maybe it means there are twelve foundation stones. I have even heard someone suggest that there are twelve pillars supporting the wall. That seems a little improbable to me, considering its size. No matter which way it is, each individual section, layer, or stone has the name of one of the apostles written on it. This is a great honor to have their names engraved on the foundation for all to see. We most commonly think of Peter, Paul, and John, (and because of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke) when we think of apostles, but Paul (and Mark and Luke) was not one of the original twelve disciples/apostles, even though considered by most Christians to probably have been the greatest apostle due to his writing most of the epistles. His name will not be on the foundation if this is speaking of the original twelve disciples/apostles.

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