Notes on the Revelation

By W. J. Erdman D.D.

Chapter 7

VII. The Seven New Things

Introductory Vision


1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God: 4 and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away. 5 And he that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he saith, Write: for these words are faithful and true. 6 And he said unto me, They are come to pass. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit these things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brim stone; which is the second death.

In the first brief Vision, John beholds the New Heaven and Earth, and the Holy City coming down out of heaven from God.

He hears the great voice out of the throne announcing the passing away of the old things, of pain and sorrow and death, and the making of all things new. Great and precious promises are made to him that overcometh, and threat of doom most direful to the unbelieving, abominable and false.

The great antitype of the encampment of the tribes of Israel in the wilderness is announced at the very first mention of the New Jerusalem: “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples;” In this Vision the nations are seen grouped as “peoples” of God (Israel alone being the “people of God” in the centuries of old), around the New Jerusalem.

And yet, as in solemn minor tone, the profound word of warning touching the “lake of fire” as “the second death” is also heard, but the angel enlarges rather on the fulfilments of the promises, types and predictions of a far off past, fulfilments blessed and glorious, vast and enduring. Num. 1:47-54; 2:1-32; Rev. 21:1-3.


9 And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were laden with the seven last plagues; and he spake with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb. 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem, coining down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God: her light was like unto a stone most precious, as it were a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 having a wall great and high; having 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: 13 on the east were three gates; and on the north three gates; and on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he that spake with me had for a measure a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth; and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thou sand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal, 17 And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 And the building of the wall thereof was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like unto pure glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all maimer of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the several gates was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple thereof. 23 And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine upon it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp thereof is the Lamb. 24 And the nation shall walk amidst the light thereof: and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it. 25 And the gates thereof shall in no wise be shut by day (for there shall be no night there):26 and they shall bring the glory and the honour of the nations into it:27 and there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean, or he that maketh an abomination and a lie: but only they that are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

1 And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the midst of the street thereof. And on this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve manner of fruits, yielding its fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no curse any more: and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be therein: and his servants shall serve him; 4 and they shall see his face; and his name shall be on their foreheads. 5 And there shall be night no more; and they need no light of lamp, neither light of sun; for the Lord God shall give them light:and they shall reign for ever and ever.

Then is shown the marvelous structure of the City to the Seer from a great and high mountain. After this, in the final Vision, the blessed and eternal contents of the City are seen. All the great typical forms of future blessed realities for man and nature set forth in the in spired Word of God, and all the shadowy tentative experiences of human history, Hebrew and Gentile, are now shown at last in complete fulfilment and perfect realization.

What sin once brought, grace has forever removed, and in its stead has brought the more exceeding blessing.

The Seven New Things of these visions are the New Heaven, Earth, Peoples, City, Temple, Luminary and Paradise.

The centre and heart of all is the City of God, filled with his glory and indwelt by all glorified beings. The nations shall walk in its light and their kings shall bring their glory and honour into it.

Paradise is restored, but in a City of unimaginable glories; the tree of life is seen again, but. more than one and on either side of the crystal river of water of life proceeding now out of the throne of God and of the Lamb; the fellowship with God is unbroken and his servants see his face, and there shall be no more curse; no sanctuary is seen in the City, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are now the Holy of Holies; no night is there, no need of light of lamp nor light of sun, for the glory of God shall lighten all, and the lamp of the City is the Lamb; the New Jerusalem is now the Mother of all the living, holy and heavenly, the Metropolis of the new earth; in brief, in this city, the joy of the whole universe, is seen the once far off Goal and End of divine purpose and human history, the long hoped-for Consummation of the Redemption of Man and of Nature, the Kingdom of God in its final, perfected, eternal form, all enemies subdued and “God all in all.

THE EPILOGUE. Chapter. 22:6-21.

6 And he said unto me, These words are faithful and true: and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show unto Ms servants the things which must shortly come to pass. 7 And be hold, I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book. 8 And I John am he that heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel that showed me these things. 9 And he saith unto me, See thou do it not: I am a fellow-servant with thee and with thy brethren the prophets, and with them that keep the words of this book: worship God. 10 And he saith unto me, Seal not up the words of the prophecy of this book; for the time is at hand. 11 He that is unrighteous, let him do unrighteousness still: and he that is filthy, let him be made filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him do righteousness still: and he that is holy, let him be made holy still. 12 Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to each man according as his work is. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. 14 Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have the right to come to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city. 15 Without are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie. 16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright, the morning star. 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come: he that will, let him take the water of life freely. 18 I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto Mm the plagues which are written in this book: 19 and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book. 20 He who testifieth these things saith, Yea: I come quickly. Amen: come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with the saints. Amen.

No wonder that when John saw these things he was ready to fall down and worship before the feet of the angel as if he were the Lord himself.

Nor do we wonder that the Lord Jesus, too, is most desirous to have the saints share with him all the glories revealed in these Visions. Thrice is heard the word “Behold I come quickly” and to it the response of all the saints should ever be, “Amen; come, Lord Jesus.”