Revelation 21:9-27

This is not the place we go to when we die.
Here we have the Kingdom which will be ushered in when Jesus finally returns.
This is a new earth for eternity with flesh and bone bodies.

From Revelation 21:9 the perspective changes.
Reminds us of something seen before - structural parallelism

In Revelation 17 we saw a woman representing a city.
Here in Revelation 21 we see the home of Christ and the New Jerusalem.
John does not see a woman - he sees the bride, a city, the new city of God.

Compare the following structural similarity -
  Revelation 21:9 and Revelation 17:1b - angel spoke, called John to come and look.
  Revelation 21:10 and Revelation 17:3 - One place a great high mountain, the other a wilderness.
  Revelation 22:8 andRevelation 19:10a - In both cases John wanted to worship the angel.
  Revelation 22:9 and Revelation 19:10 - Angel reminded John to worship God.

John wants us to contrast the two visions.
He wants us to see that the coming Kingdom of God is the antithesis of the Kingdom of men.
Babylon is a counterfeit, it wants to mimic the Bride of Christ.
Babylon and Jerusalem cannot co-exist. Babylon will be no more.
Why not? Are we that bad? There is a lot which is attractive.
Christians do not have the market cornered in doing good / welfare / inventions / creativity.
God's Kingdom will be the undoing of every other.

The Foundation of God's City (Revelation 21:9-14)

There are a lot of jewels here.
The stuff we flaunt in this life are used as basic building blocks.
The stuff we pursue here are nothing there.

The gates and foundations here are very important - 12 of each.
Totality of people of God represented - both Old Testament and New Testament.
City built on God's own work - God chose the 12 tribes, Israel brought the Messiah to the world.
The gospel is the foundation of the city, represented by the Apostles.

This city is not a new work of God, this is not plan B, it is the culmination of God's work throughout redemptive history.
The God is the Bible is not the God of opentheism, He is not learning as He goes.
We are not the only ones waiting for a city - we wait with Abel, Noah, ... Hebrews 11:13-14.
We have been called to join God in His redemptive work - to give our lives to lay the stones of the street, to help people enter.
God is not ashamed of you - there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus Romans 8:1.

The Kingdom of Christ is upheld in righteousness Isaiah 28:16-17; Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 59:17

Do not mistake shadows for the real thing.
Man's kingdoms and Babylon have the wrong foundation.

The Purpose of God's City (Revelation 21:15-18)

We get a sense of that when we look at the measurements of the city.

It is easy to get caught up with the square footage here and miss the point.
Square footage is not being communicated here - apocolyptic literature, numbers are symbolic.

The city of four-squares - it is a cube.
This connects the New Jerusalem with the tabernacle and Holy of Holies - perfect cube.
Exodus 27:1; (see also 28:16, 30:2, 37:25, 38:1, 39:9)
1 Kings 7:31; Ezekiel 48:20; (see also 40:47)
The Holy of Holies was separated from the people by a thick veil.
At the moment Jesus died on the cross the veil was torn - top to bottom Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45.
No more rituals, no more representatives for the people - we all have access.
Not only that, but we also become the temple 1 Corinthians 6:19. God in us.

Today we live as ambassadors of Christ - 2 Corinthians 5:20.
We carry the Kingdom with us.
We won't be ambassadors for the Kingdom any longer.
God and man will dwell together, entire world filled with the glory of God.
God will not be separated from His creation - there is no room for Babylon.
There is only one city - the one designed to handle the weight of God's glory.

What is left Outside (Revelation 21:27)

All filthy rags Isaiah 64:6

Characteristics of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:10; 22:1-5)

God built it not us - it comes from God.
He is asking us which city do we want to choose - our own, or His?
Do we know the Gospel, but still pursue our own city? Matthew 7:13.

No more darkness, no more confusion, no more anxiety Revelation 21:22; 22:5.
Darkness of life apart from Jesus dispelled John 8:12.

There is a river - compare with Genesis 1;2.
Water of life comes from the throne Revelation 22:1.
Tree of life from Genesis 3 is back.
Full circle, no more temptation for us, restoration of all things.
Filled with righteousness of Christ.

God's people will see His face.
Compare with Moses not being allowed to see YAHWEH's face Exodus 33:20.
From a sinful foundation we cannot stand it.

What city / foundation will you choose?

Further Reading

Revelation 20:1-11
Revelation 9:1-6; Luke 10:17-20
Acts 26:12-18; Matthew 24:3-14
Isaiah 65:17-25; 24:21-22
John 5:24-29; 2 Peter 3:1-10, 2:4; Jude 6
Revelation 20:11-15; Hebrews 12:18-29