Rev. 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

 

The next thing John sees is a new heaven and a new earth; the Greek for the word new indicates fresh.  The first heaven and earth had passed away; the Greek indicates that it had been neglected and had perished.

 

The expanded Greek by Kenneth Wuest adds insight:  “…a heaven new in quality and an earth new in quality….”

 

The following verses appear to be referencing the same event:

 

Isaiah 51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

 

Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

“create” – bara – create from nothing, (cf Genesis 1:1)

 

Hebrews 1:10-12 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.  They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

 

2Peter 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

 

The verse in Isaiah 51 seems to make a difference in what happens to the heavens and the earth.  The Hebrew for “vanish away” describes it as “to rub to pieces or pulverize; intransitively, to disappear as dust.”  The earth, according to the Hebrew, will “wear out, decay, waste” just like a piece of clothing will over time—just like our own body does.  In fact, the verses in Hebrews support this thought.

 

The verse in Isaiah 65 emphasizes the thought in verse four below—things from the original creation and time on earth will be erased from our memory.  How comforting!

 

The verses in 2Peter bring to mind many questions regarding the previous thoughts about heaven and earth’s passing.  They indicate that the heavens will disappear “whizzingly, with a crash” and that all the elements that make up the heavens and earth will melt (to the point of liquid) because of great fire.  In the new heavens and new earth righteousness will dwell—be a permanent resident.  The description here is much more violent in description as compared to the other verses.

 

Noise - whizzingly, i.e. with a crash:—with a great noise

Melt -  to “loosen” (literally or figuratively):—break (up), destroy, dissolve,

(un-)loose, melt, put off

Heat – to set on fire

Dissolved in v 11- same as melt in v 10

Melt in v 12 - to liquefy:—melt.

Dwelleth - to house permanently, i.e. reside

 

Because of the decay and wasting away of the heavens and earth caused by the curse of sin, God will destroy the old one by fire and create a new one from its ashes.  At least, that is how I rectify these ideas.  Maybe this will be the same type of creation as occurred in Genesis between the time of Satan’s fall and the creation of earth for mankind.  (See my notes on Genesis 1.)

 

Again, Joseph Seiss provides some food for thought:  “The dissolving of which Peter is made to speak, is really a deliverance rather than a destruction. The word he uses is the same which the Savior employs where he says of the colt, “Loose him;” and of Lazarus when he came forth with his death-wrappings, “Loose him, and let him go;” and of the four angels bound at the Euphrates, “Loose them;” and of the Devil, “He must be loosed a little season.” It is the same word which John the Baptist used when he spoke of his unworthiness to unloose the Savior’s shoestrings, and which Paul used when he spoke of being “loosed from a wife.” It is simply absurd to attempt to build a doctrine of annihilation on a word which admits of such applications. The teaching of the Scriptures is, that the creation is at present in a state of captivity, tied down, bound, “not willing, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope;” and the dissolving of all these things, of which Peter speaks, is not the destruction of them, but the breaking of their bonds, the loosing of them, the setting of them free again to become what they were originally meant to be, their deliverance.”

 

There is a verse in Colossians that tells us that God is the glue that holds everything together.

 

Colossians 1:17 “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

 

Maybe this is a reference to His letting go for a moment only to speak the word to bring it back together as a “new” creation.  I found an article by Lambert Dolphin who reasons it as follows.

 

The nucleus of the atom contains positively charged and neutral particles-to use a simplistic model. Mutual electrostatic repulsion between the like-positive protons would drive the nucleus apart if it were not for the "strong force" which binds the nucleus together….Similarly, accelerated electrons circling the nucleus should quickly radiate all their energy away and fall into the nucleus unless there exists an invisible energy source to counteract this.

 

The third New Testament creation-related passage which talks about atomic structure and physics is found in the Apostle Peter's Second Epistle:  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise [rhoizedon, a rushing roar] and the elements [stoicheion, atoms] will be dissolved with fire and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up. (2 Peter 3:10)  The Greek word translated "elements" in the above- mentioned passage from Colossians (and in 2 Peter also) is stoicheion, which can mean "the building blocks of the universe," or "the ordered arrangement of things." It can also mean the "atomic elements." The word translated "dissolved" in 2 Peter 3:10 is literally (in Greek) luo, meaning "unloosed." This language suggests that there will come a time in the future when God lets go of the nuclear forces which hold the atom together. This passage, like the one in Colossians, strongly suggests that the active power of God is behind the mysterious strong force that holds every atomic nucleus together. If this is so, all the other fundamental forces of nature are likewise forces that originate with Christ and His sustaining direction of the old creation.

If God "sustains the universe by His mighty word of power," moment by moment, were He to merely relax His grasp on the universe, every atom would come apart "by fire" (that is, by nuclear fire). It is inescapable that the Bible claims that God dynamically sustains the universe, including the very atoms themselves. Atoms, it would seem, are "stable" only because force and energy are being supplied into their physical nuclear binding fields from "outside" the system.

[end excerpt]

 

In light of the above, I think it is interesting to note that “earth and the heaven fled away” from the great white throne and then suddenly appear as a new heaven and new earth after that judgment has taken place.

 

John also observes that there was no more sea; the Greek indicates that this is referring to the salt waters.  I think this is probably because fresh waters will be all that is needed for environment of the new earth.  I would assume that earth will once again be characterized by Eden-like conditions and that man will enjoy the bounty of its provision in the same way as Adam and Eve did before they chose to sin.  Everything in the new creation will be for the benefit of man just as it was in Eden in the beginning.

 

Rev. 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

 

I think John introduces this statement with a special emphasis that comes across as a WOW!  He couldn’t believe what he was seeing.  It was the holy city—the New Jerusalem.  Although very different in appearance, this was the only name that was fitting.  Jerusalem had been chosen of old as the dwelling place of God with men, and this new city was especially for the new heaven and earth.  His sense of awe was as that of a groom watching his bride come down the aisle—she is gorgeous!

 

This is the city for which the patriarchs in the “hall of faith” were looking.  It’s a city for all believers.

 

Hebrews 11:8-16 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God…. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth….But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

 

Rev. 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

 

A great voice from heaven makes an announcement—the tabernacle/habitation of God is with men.  Finally, we will experience the kind of fellowship with God that was intended from creation—except this time fellowship will not be broken.  We will enjoy the blessing of true fellowship with God rooted in a relationship of unconditional love.  His people will finally understand and completely embrace the truth that God’s way is the best and His will an expression of His love.   

 

“God himself”—I believe this is referring to God the Father—will dwell with man as one who is approachable on a personal basis.  In the tabernacle of old, one had to go through an intercessor.  Moses wanted to see God and was only allowed to see His backside.  I think this is the point where ALL men will be able to see and fellowship with the Father—face to face.

 

Is this a reference to the fulfillment of 1Corinthians 13:10-12?

 

1Corinthians 13:10-12 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

 

Rev. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

 

Now John reveals a precious promise; God will wipe away all tears.  What a wonderful hope.  I think all my life I have associated this with heaven and even the millennium, but fulfillment seems to be associated with the onset of our eternal future.

 

All of the things associated with tears are connected to the curse caused by sin.  Sin and the curse are things of the past, a part of the old heaven and earth.  The new creation is fresh—as things were before pride, rebellion, or sin entered the picture.  All those who enter this new creation have already “passed the test” so to speak. They have chosen of their own free will to follow and serve God; they are new creations in Christ Jesus. They will never suffer temptation or testing again.  They only have to look forward to sweet fellowship with their Creator, their Father, their Savior.

 

Isaiah prophesied of this blessing:  Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

 

Rev. 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

 

The next person to speak is identified specifically as Jesus, the Creator, as declared by scripture. 

 

Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him….

 

John 1:1–3 & 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made…. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

 

Jesus declares that He has made everything “fresh.”  Then He speaks directly to John and tells him to “write.”  He didn’t have to go into more detail.  John knew He was being told to describe for others what He had witnessed.  Emphasis is made on the fact that all he has heard and witnessed is true (not concealing) and faithful (trustworthy, sure).

 

Rev. 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

 

John then hears Jesus declare that he has seen a vision of the culmination of God’s plan—It is done!  He declares Himself to be the “Alpha and Omega”—the beginning and the ending, the originating Source and the One who brings things to fulfillment, the One in whom we have our being. 

 

Jesus follows this statement with a declaration that He is the Source of the water of life and freely gives to all who thirst.  When looking at the Jewish New Testament Commentary, I was reminded that just as with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, I think the reference is to getting spiritual life in response to spiritual thirst.

 

John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

 

There is no charge or any other requirement to be met for using this fountain.  It is a free gift for the use of all. 

 

I liked Dixie’s thoughts at this point:  “We cannot be overcomers unless we are thirsty—for righteousness (Matthew 5:6), for Jesus (John 7:37), and for the filling of the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18).  If we are truly thirsty for these, we will be overcomers—and we must be overcomers.”

 

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

 

John 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

 

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit….

 

Rev. 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

 

The terminology in the beginning of this verse takes us back to the thoughts in the letters to the churches.  In those verses we learn that the overcomer is one who listens to and heeds (acts on) the message of God’s truth.  One who has true faith will ACT accordingly. 

 

1John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

 

1 John 2:15–17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

 

It is our faith in God that equips us to overcome the world and all that is associated with sin—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.  As overcomers, we get to enjoy God’s blessings as part of His family.

 

Sadly, there is a contrasting truth.  There will be those that choose the ways of the world and reject the authority and salvation of God in Jesus.

 

Rev. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

 

Now we are given a list of those persons who experience the second death, spiritual death, eternal separation from God forever in the lake of fire.  Frankly, as I look over the list, all who end up in hell would fall in the categories of the fearful (faithless) and unbelieving (faithless).  What is the difference between them?  Maybe those who are fearful are those who knew the truth but were afraid to go against the crowd, and the unbelieving are those who just refused to believe the truth at all. 

 

Once you choose not to accept the truth, you open your life to the development of the other sins mentioned.  All the other sins we consider heinous (or at least used to) follow after the first two because they are actually rooted in one’s rejection of God. 

 

Fearful – timid, faithless.

Unbelieving - that believeth not, faithless, incredible thing, infidel, unbeliever.

Abominable - from a (presumed) derivative of bde÷w bdeo (to stink); to be disgusted, i.e. (by implication) detest (especially of idolatry):—abhor, abominable.

Murderers - a murderer (always of criminal (or at least intentional) homicide.

Whoremongers - a (male) prostitute (as venal), i.e. (by analogy) a debauchee (libertine):—fornicator.

Sorcerers - a druggist (“pharmacist”) or poisoner, i.e. (by extension) a magician.

Idolators - an image- (servant or) worshipper (literally or figuratively):—idolater.

Liars - untrue, i.e. erroneous, deceitful, wicked:—false.

 

No matter how often or how boldly the Rob Bell’s of this world deny its reality; those who reject the provision of God in Jesus will have their part in hell—“the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.”

 

Rev. 21:9 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.

Rev. 21:10 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 then records that one of the angels that had released one of the vial judgments called him over to see the Lamb’s wife.  Point is made that John is carried away in the spirit to a great high mountain to be shown the new Jerusalem descending from heaven; he needed to be closer to appreciate the details.  It is interesting to note that in the beginning of the chapter the city is described as a bride adorned for her husband, but in this section point is made that she is “the Wife of the Lamb.” 

 

Once again, I am seeing this section with new eyes.  We have entered eternity.  I am not sure the distinction between believers of different times or dispensations in the working of God are any longer valid.  In fact, the description of the city honors both Old Testament and New Testament servants of God; and the last verse in this chapter informs us that all may enter “whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” 

 

This appears to use a format like Genesis of going back to explain something that has already happened in fuller detail.  It would seem that the new earth is going to have some great and high mountains.

 

Rev. 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

Rev. 21:12 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:

Rev. 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

 

The city shines with the glory of God—a glory described later in the chapter as negating the need of the sun or moon within its confines.  The brilliance of her shining is compared to a crystal clear diamond.  This brilliance is the full revelation of the Shekinah glory of God and the Lamb and will be all the light that is needed.

 

The walls of the city are very high and have 12 gates or entry points that are attended by 12 angels.  Three gates are designated on each of the four sides of the city facing east, north, south and west respectively. Each of the 12 gates is named for one of the tribes of Israel, or each gate is inscribed with the names of all 12 tribes.  I tend to think that they will be individually named since that will be the case of the walls around Jerusalem in the millennial kingdom as revealed by Ezekiel and possibly in accordance with the same designation.

 

Ezekiel 48:31–34 And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi. And at the east side…one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan. And at the south… one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun. At the west side…one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali.

 

Rev. 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

 

The twelve foundations supporting the wall of the city are engraved with the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb or each foundation is inscribed with the names of all twelve apostles.  Again, I would tend to think that each foundation will be individually named as well.  Is the 12th apostle being referenced Paul or Matthias, the one chosen to replace Judas?  Sentiment goes with Paul; he, however, refers to “the twelve” in his letter to the Corinthians, which at that time included Matthias.  Only the future will reveal the truth.

 

1 Corinthians 15:3–5 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve….

 

Not much is said about Matthias, but his appointment was considered directed by the Lord through the casting of lots.

 

Acts 1:20-26 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.  Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.  And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.  And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

 

Eerdman’s Dictionary provides the following insight:  “In the Bible, however, the casting of lots was one of the few legitimate means of divine revelation (as were dreams and direct communication with the deity). Lot casting is not among the condemned mantic or divinatory practices such as soothsaying, magic, and necromancy (cf. Deut. 18:10-12). Lot casting, therefore, had divine sanction and control. Though the throwing of the lots was a human action, the revelation was a direct message from God.  (Proverbs 16:33 - The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.)”

 

Paul is also identified as an apostle, but he did not accompany Jesus in His time of ministry as did Matthias.  Only the future will tell.

 

Rev. 21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

Rev. 21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

 

“he that talked with me” - The same angel/messenger that was talking to John to show him the New Jerusalem.

 

This angel has a golden reed to measure the city, gates, and wall.  Even common “tools” used in heaven are made of gold.  His measurements show John that the length, breadth, and height of the city are equal; it is a cube.  A distance of 12,000 furlongs translates to about 1500 miles.

     

Rev. 21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

 

Next the angel measures the wall, which would have to mean its thickness.  It measured 144 cubits, or approximately 216 feet.  John is told to tell us that these measurements are being made by the angel, but they are in dimensions to be understood by man.  God wants us to have a vision of the magnificence of this city. 

 

Rev. 21:18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

Rev. 21:19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

Rev. 21:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

Rev. 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

 

John also reveals the materials used in constructing the city.  The walls are made of diamond and the city itself of pure, transparent gold that looks like glass.  Each of the twelve foundations of the city are adorned with precious stones (some of which we are unsure of their reference)—the first with diamond, the second with sapphire, the third with chalcedony, the fourth with emerald, the fifth with sardonyx, the sixth with sardius, the seventh with chrysolite, the eighth with beryl, the ninth with topaz, the tenth with chrysoprasus, the eleventh with jacinth and the twelfth with amethyst.  Each of the 12 gates is made of a single pearl, and the street of the city is of pure, transparent gold.

 

Rev. 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

 

The next revelation is that the new Jerusalem will have no temple.  This is a first; it emphasizes the truth that God will be dwelling among His people with unrestrained personal access.  The temple on earth always represented the place of God’s presence among His people.  In eternity the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb comprise the temple—omnipresent among His people and anticipating our every desire as we love and serve Him for eternity.

 

Rev. 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

 

As stated previously, the glory of God and the Lamb is such that there will be no need for the sun or moon to provide light.  This brings to mind the words of Isaiah.

 

Isaiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

 

I have light sensitive eyes and can hardly imagine interacting with someone more brilliant than the sun; I have a hard enough time just walking in bright sunlight as it is, but I am sure that in my resurrected body I will be able to see just fine in the light of His glory.  Again, the reference is made to the Father and Son.

 

As always, the Holy Spirit continues to work “behind the scenes” so to speak, directing all attention to Father and Son.  I believe that He will continue to indwell all the saints as their “lifeblood” so to speak.  The following verses seem to imply that our resurrected bodies will be only flesh and bone.

 

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

 

Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

 

Rev. 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

 

It seems like every verse I come to poses a challenge to my current understanding of things.  The word for “nations” in the Greek references those of like ethnicity and non-Jewish or Gentile, and I think the context calls for an understanding of “like ethnicity.”  It makes sense to me that the new earth will be for all the redeemed.

 

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

That there would continue to be a governing hierarchy also makes sense—maybe established in light of heavenly rewards.  I conclude that the new earth will be the primary dwelling place of man for eternity, but that we will be free to come and go as we please in fellowship, worship and service to the Lord.

 

Rev. 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Rev. 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

 

The gates of the New Jerusalem will basically be used as places of tribute and honor to the 12 tribes of Israel.  They have no security purpose; they will never be closed.  Because of the brilliance of God’s glory, the city will never experience darkness.  “They,” the people of the nations, will bring glory and honor into the city as they come to worship and fellowship with God.

 

Rev. 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

I think emphasis is made that nothing that defiles, works abomination or makes a lie will be allowed to enter it because that was what ruined the original creation.  Our Father does not want us thinking that there is even a possibility that could happen again.