Revelation 21

The new heaven and the new earth

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had gone away. The sea also was not there any more. 2 I saw God's own special city. It was coming down out of heaven from God. That is the new city which is called Jerusalem. It was very beautiful, like a woman who is wearing beautiful clothes for her marriage. She is ready to meet the man that she is going to marry.

3 Then I heard a voice that spoke loudly from the throne. It said, ‘God's home is now among human beings! God will live together with them. They will be his people. God himself will be with them and he will be their God. 4 God will take away all the tears from their eyes. Nobody will ever die again. Nobody will be sad again. Nobody will ever cry. Nobody will have pain again. Everything that made people sad has now gone. That old world has completely gone away.’

5 God, who was sitting on the throne, said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, because these words are true. Everyone should believe them.’

6 He also said to me, ‘Everything is now done! I caused all things to begin and I will cause all things to end. I am the first at the beginning and I am the last at the end. If anyone is thirsty, I will give them water to drink. Nobody will have to pay anything for it. That water comes up from a spring and it causes people to have true life. 7 Everyone who wins against Satan will receive all these things from me. I will be their God and they will be my children.

8 But I will punish all the other people. They include:

  • People who are afraid of trouble;
  • People who do not believe in Jesus;
  • People who do dirty things;
  • People who murder other people;
  • People who have sex in a wrong way;
  • People who do magic;
  • People who worship idols;
  • People who tell lies.
  • All these people will go into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur. That is the second death for people.’

    New Jerusalem city

    9 Then one of the seven angels with the seven bowls that were full of the seven last troubles came to me. He said, ‘Come with me! I will show you the woman who will become the Lamb's wife.’

    10 Then God's Spirit caused me to see and to hear strange things. The angel carried me away to a great mountain that was very high. He showed me God's own special city, Jerusalem. The city was coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It was shining with the very bright light that comes from God. The city shone like a very valuable stone that is called jasper. It shone like clean glass. 12 It had a very big, high wall round it. The wall had 12 gates in it. 12 angels stood at the 12 gates. The names of the 12 family groups of Israel's people were written on the 12 gates. 13 There were three gates on each side of the city:

  • 3 gates were on the east side;
  • 3 gates were on the north side;
  • 3 gates were on the south side;
  • 3 gates were on the west side.
  • 14 They had built the city's wall on top of 12 strong stones. They had written the name the Lamb's12 apostles on those 12 stones.

    21:14When Jesus was alive on this earth, he chose 12 men to work with him. These special workers were called apostles. He sent them to teach other people about him. See Matthew 10:1-5; 28:18. One of these men (Judas Iscariot) did not continue to believe in Jesus. Later, other men, like Paul, were also called Christ's apostles.

    15 The angel who talked to me had a long gold stick. He used it to measure things. So he could measure the city and its gates and its walls. 16 The shape of the city was a square. It was as long as it was wide. The angel measured the city with his stick. It was 12,000 stadia (2,400 kilometres) long. It was as wide and as high as it was long. 17 He also measured its wall. The size of the wall was 144 cubits (65 metres). That is the way that human people measure things. The angel also measured in the same way.

    21:17stadia and cubits were how people measured things in John's time. 12,000 stadia was about 1,500 miles, or 2,400 kilometers. 144 cubits was about 216 feet, or 65 metres. We do not know if this was how high the wall was or how thick it was. The numbers (12,000 and 144) may mean something special.

    18 The wall was made from stone that is called jasper. The city was made from the best kind of gold. The light shone through it, as light shines through clean glass. 19 The strong stones that were holding up the city's wall were very beautiful. They had valuable stones in them that were different colours. Each great stone had its own special valuable stone. They were called:

  • 1. Jasper;
  • 2. Sapphire;
  • 3. Agate;
  • 4. Emerald;
  • 20 5. Onyx;
  • 6. Carnelian;
  • 7. Quartz;
  • 8. Beryl;
  • 9. Topaz;
  • 10. Chrysoprase;
  • 11. Jacinth;
  • 12. Amethyst.
  • 21 The 12 gates were 12 pearls. They had used one separate pearl to make each gate. The city's biggest street was made from the best kind of gold. The light shone through it, as light shines through clean glass.

    22 When I looked, I saw that there was no Great House of God in the city. The Lord God, who has all power and authority, is there himself. The Lamb is also there. So, people do not need a special place to worship him there. 23 Also, the city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it. The very bright light that comes from God gives light to the city. The Lamb is the lamp that gives it light.

    24 People from all the world's countries will live in the city's light. The earth's rulers will bring all their valuable things into the city. 25 Nobody will ever shut the city's gates at the end of the day. It will always be day and there will be no night there. 26 People from all the world's countries will bring their beautiful and valuable things into the city. 27 But nothing that is bad or dirty can ever go in there. Nobody who does anything that God hates can go into the city. Nobody who tells lies can go in. Only those people with their names written in the Lamb's book of life can go in there.

    21:27We read about the book of life in Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8.