It probably surprised John very much to see this angel again. When John last saw the angel, John probably felt very afraid of him. This angel was one of the special servants of God who brought Godís judgements against the earth (Revelation chapter 16). The angel acted then in order to satisfy the anger of God (15:1). We are sure that the angel carried out that sacred duty in a very severe manner.
In Revelation 21:9, however, everything has changed. God has finally and completely dealt with the devil and all his evil forces. He has even created a new world for his people. So now, the angel does not have to deal with judgements and the anger of God. Now, the angel speaks only of love. It will be his honour to show John the bride of Christ; Christ is again here called the Lamb.
In Revelation 19:7-8, the bride of Christ meant Godís people. Here it means the New Jerusalem, the city where they will always live with Christ. Perhaps however there is not really a difference. It does not seem strange to refer to a group of people by the name of their city. We can use the name of a city as a word-picture for its people, or the people as a word-picture for the city (see, for example, Psalms 48 and 87).
Christ saw the glory (greatness and beauty) of our present world from a very high mountain. It was very impressive. The devil even used it to try to persuade Christ that he should serve him (Matthew 4:8-10). Johnís experience was much better. He saw the glory of Godís city, the New Jerusalem on Godís new earth. Neither the devil nor peopleís evil deeds will ever spoil the glory of that future world. Nothing evil will ever enter it. The New Jerusalem is Godís holy city: a place of perfect goodness.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.