I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea.
I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband.
I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people, he's their God.
He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good - tears gone, crying gone, pain gone - all the first order of things gone."
The Enthroned continued, "Look! I'm making everything new. Write it all down - each word dependable and accurate."
Then he said, "It's happened. I'm A to Z. I'm the Beginning, I'm the Conclusion. From Water-of-Life Well I give freely to the thirsty.
Conquerors inherit all this. I'll be God to them, they'll be sons and daughters to me.
But for the rest - the feckless and faithless, degenerates and murderers, sex peddlers and sorcerers, idolaters and all liars - for them it's Lake Fire and Brimstone. Second death!"
One of the Seven Angels who had carried the bowls filled with the seven final disasters spoke to me: "Come here. I'll show you the Bride, the Wife of the Lamb."
He took me away in the Spirit to an enormous, high mountain and showed me Holy Jerusalem descending out of Heaven from God,
resplendent in the bright glory of God.
She had a wall majestic and high with twelve gates. At each gate stood an Angel, and on the gates were inscribed the names of the Twelve Tribes of the sons of Israel:
three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, three gates on the west.
The wall was set on twelve foundations, the names of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb inscribed on them.
The Angel speaking with me had a gold measuring stick to measure the City, its gates, and its wall.
The City was laid out in a perfect square. He measured the City with the measuring stick: twelve thousand stadia, its length, width, and height all equal.
Using the standard measure, the Angel measured the thickness of its wall: 144 cubits.
The wall was jasper, the color of Glory, and the City was pure gold, translucent as glass.
The foundations of the City walls were garnished with every precious gem imaginable: the first foundation jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,
the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.
The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate a single pearl.
But there was no sign of a Temple, for the Lord God - the Sovereign-Strong - and the Lamb are the Temple.
The City doesn't need sun or moon for light. God's Glory is its light, the Lamb its lamp!
The nations will walk in its light and earth's kings bring in their splendor.
Its gates will never be shut by day, and there won't be any night.
They'll bring the glory and honor of the nations into the City.
Nothing dirty or defiled will get into the City, and no one who defiles or deceives. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life will get in.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)