Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 22
John saw a New Jerusalem at the centre of a new earth, where everyone served God (Revelation chapters 21 and 22). Ezekiel saw a new temple (house of God) at the centre of a new Israel, where the people loyally served God (Ezekiel chapters 40 to 48).
It is clear that John and Ezekiel did not see the same thing. For example, there is no temple in the New Jerusalem (21:22). However, in his description John often makes references to what Ezekiel saw. One of the best examples is that both men saw the river of life (Ezekiel 47:1-12).
Both Ezekiel and John were describing Godís perfect plans for his people. So, Ezekiel describes Godís plans by reference to the laws that God gave to Israel. John describes Godís plans by reference to what Christ did by his death. That fact probably explains many of the differences between what John and Ezekiel saw.
The other differences are probably because of the effect of Christís death. Before Christís death, people could serve God but they had to remain separate from him. Therefore, an ideal temple or a perfect nation were, in fact, impossible. God could show these things to Ezekiel, but they could not actually happen yet.
Because of Christís death, God can forgive the evil deeds of his people from every nation (1 Peter 2:24). They are not still separate from him (Hebrews 10:19-22), but they belong to his holy nation (1 Peter 2:9-10). Therefore, what John saw can and must happen. God has begun his work in his peopleís lives, and he will certainly complete it (Philippians 1:6).
Next part: The water of life and the tree of life (Revelation 22:2)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.