How is Heaven Described in Revelation? (John’s Vision of Heaven Explained)

As a long-time believer fascinated by the particulars of the afterlife, I always desire to know so much about eternity. I have always been especially riveted by how Heaven is depicted in the Bible. During an interdenominational summit at theology school, I was elated when I secured the opportunity to network with eminent Biblical scholars and clergymen. We made meaningful interactions, and I acquired an in-depth understanding of how Heaven is described in the scriptures. A couple of days ago, one lady in our virtual Christian forum posted an inquiry seeking to understand the description of Heaven in the Book of Revelation. Thanks to my experience engaging with diverse intellectuals and clerics with a profound wealth of knowledge on this subject matter, I accepted the challenge to provide the answer from a theological standpoint. So, how is Heaven described in Revelation?

Heaven is described in Revelation as a place of immense beauty and glory. It is the dwelling place of the Almighty God, Jesus Christ, the 24 elders, the holy angels, and the four living creatures. It is the destination for all Christian believers who believe in God through Christ.

I amiably welcome you to join me in this article and let us probe into this interesting subject matter together as we discover how Heaven is described in Revelation and much more.

What is John’s vision of Heaven in Revelation?

John’s Vision of Heaven Explained
What is John’s vision of Heaven in Revelation? Image source: Pixabay

John’s vision of Heaven is documented in Revelation 4 as the Throne Room of Heaven. John saw a vision of a door open in Heaven and heard a voice synonymous with a trumpet that called him to see what would take place. He was in the spiritual realm and saw a throne in Heaven, and God, who sat on the throne, appeared like a jasper and a sardius jewel. Additionally, a rainbow encircled the throne like an emerald. Twenty-four thrones with twenty-four elders with crowns of gold and attired in white garments surrounded God’s throne. There were flashes of lightning, thunders, and voices from the throne, and seven lamps of fire that characterize the seven spirits of God flared before the throne.

There was a sea of crystal glass in front of the throne, and four living creatures with eyes all over were in the midst and around the throne. They resembled a lion, a calf, a man, and an eagle, respectively, and each had six wings. They never rested day or night because they exalted how holy the Almighty God is. Whenever they gave thanks, glory, and honor to the eternal God who sat on the throne, the twenty-four elders bowed before God and worshipped God while casting their crowns before the throne. They declared that God is worthy to receive all glory, honor, and power because He is the Creator of all things.

John’s vision of Heaven is an apocalyptic revelation articulated in the celestial realm to describe what will transpire on Earth through the characters and symbols of the heavenly scene. It does so to reinforce that what will take place and what will be spoken are of God’s divine derivation and not human beings. The vision is the core idea or imagery of the book of Revelation and indicates God’s power and sovereignty. The jewels allude to Heaven’s beauty and worth. The 24 elders characterize the authority and majesty in the heavenly realm. They equally correspond to the 12 patriarchs of the nation of Israel and the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ, Who are heralded as leaders of the heavenly praise and worship.

Golden crowns exemplify the dignity and honor that God accords to the heavenly beings. The thunder and lightning also characterize God’s power and authority in the supernatural realm. The sea is crystal clear to indicate how God parted the Red Sea for his people to cross over to the promised land, and in this case, Heaven is the promised land of all God’s people. It exemplifies God’s actions of salvation for the Jews and the Church of Jesus Christ. The four living creatures with numerous eyes and wings symbolize actual things. The ox characterizes service, the lion characterizes strength, the man characterizes intelligence, and the eagle characterizes swiftness to illustrate the magnitude of the heavenly worship.

Description of Heaven According to the Book of Revelation (Revelation 21:9-21)

According to Revelation 21:9-21, the description of Heaven revolves around The New Jerusalem, which is the Heavenly City of God. One of the seven angels with the seven bowls of judgment called John to see the bride, the wife of the Lamb. The bride nature of the New Jerusalem is an exotic characterization of the church of Christ, which awes people due to its sense of its beauty. In the scriptures, a woman symbolizes a city which in this context is a beautiful pure bride because its inhabitants are true believers of Jesus Christ.

John was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and the angel took him to the peak of a very high mountain where he saw the Holy City of Jerusalem descending from Heaven. The city shone and reflected God’s glory parallel to a precious stone like crystal clear jasper to illustrate Heaven’s glory. The glory of God is the entirety and magnitude of all His attributes and perfections, which, when manifested, appears splendid with light and radiant splendor. Therefore, this depicts God as pure, perfect, unwavering light, and His presence makes the city glow like a massive, illuminated diamond.

The city had a great and high wall comprising twelve gates guarded by a dozen angels. The gates also had inscriptions of the names of the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel. The names of the tribes convey the heritage and harmony that God will have with Israel because God will never abandon His chosen people, even unto eternity. There were three gates each on every side, and the wall was constructed on twelve foundation stones with the inscriptions of the names of the twelve apostles of Christ. The foundations provide an eternal testimony to the apostles and their eternal destiny in Heaven. This reinforces that both the Old Testament saints, represented by the twelve tribes of Israel, and New Testament saints from the church age, represented by the twelve apostles of Christ, will inhabit the city.

The angel had a gold measuring stick that measured the city as a square being fifteen hundred miles long, wide, and high, and its wall was 216 feet high. The city is a perfect square because its length, width, and height are identical to form the shape of a cube, indicative of the Tabernacle’s holy place. The city’s intricate details, perfect descriptions, and definite measurements make it a real and literal city. Its materials are illustrated in a fashion that characterizes Heaven’s eternal spiritual realities and perfect nature. God provides the exact precision of the wall’s dimensions to exemplify that nothing evil or sinful shall ever invade the city and that only the righteous will access the city. The measurements also provide a concept of its magnitude as a perfectly engineered and architectural city.

Heaven’s materials in which the city is constructed comprise a wall made of luminous transparent jasper, and the city itself is pure and clear gold. The entire city is like a transparent, sparkling jewel with a golden hue. The element of transparency probably highlights that the city glows with God’s glory. The foundation stones of the city wall are adorned with a variety of twelve precious stones comprising jasper, sapphire, agate, emerald, onyx, carnelian, yellow quartz, beryl, topaz, chalcedony, turquoise, and amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve enormous pearls with a satin shine, and the city’s street was pure transparent gold suggesting that the city is designed to transmit God’s glory through light with no limitation and to enhance the unparalleled beauty of the city.

John describes a place of tremendous beauty with interwoven sceneries of color and light to reflect God’s infinite purity and majesty in the heavenly realm. His expression of riches in his depiction brings out the greatness of God and the realities of another world in Heaven. The symbolism gives the impression of the glory and holiness of God.

There are several features of the New Jerusalem. In essence, the New Jerusalem rewards those who enter Heaven. When people enter the new city of God, they will be given real and actual inheritance by God. This inheritance is reserved for every believer, and it is defined by the heavenly virtues of righteousness, peace, joy, and love. God’s city is filled with perfection to signify the holy and perfect nature of God.

Additionally, Heaven has immense space to show that it is a very spacious location capable of accommodating all of God’s people from the dawn of time until the end of the age. Heaven is a place of immense abundance due to the characteristics of the jewels that adorn the city of God. It is depicted as the place where all humanity should consider their destiny because of God’s tremendous promises to His people. Heaven is described by the things that man knows to illustrate the things that man can have beyond his imagination.

Heaven is a place where the worship of God will never cease, and all Saints will enjoy the goodness and mercies of God in His presence. It is a place that strikes the inherent core of a man’s desire to have as his Ultimate reward for being a true believer of Jesus Christ. Despite all the apocalyptic plagues that will engulf the world by virtue of God punishing the wicked from Heaven, the ultimate prize is eternity with the Creator as their God and their father.

Delights of the Heavenly City According to the Book of Revelation (Revelation 21:22–22:5)

How is Heaven Described in Revelation?
Delights of the Heavenly City. Image source: Pixabay

According to Revelation 21:22, there was no temple in the heavenly city, because it was substituted by God Almighty and Jesus Christ. The Old Jerusalem was the city that contained the Jewish temple and was the epicenter of worship for Jews throughout the world. Nonetheless, the New Jerusalem does not require any physical building or religious practices for worship. God Almighty and the Lamb, which represents Jesus Christ, will be physically present at the temple so that all faithful believers will have an intimate fellowship with God directly.

Additionally, everything and everywhere in the heavenly city is holy, and this represents the nature of the dwelling place of God. Before the coming of Christ, the temple was a prophecy. During the church age, the people of God are His temple. In the Millennium, the temple will be a monument. In the heavenly city of the New Jerusalem, the temple is everywhere, and the believers will not require a place of worship or sacrifice because the object of all worship, i.e., God Almighty, and the great sacrifice Himself, i.e., Jesus Christ, will be present.

According to Revelation 22:5, night will never exist again, and people will not need sunlight or lamps because God will be their light, and they will reign as royalty for all eternity. The great element of God’s light is emphasized on because God Himself will be the light that people need. Hence it will supersede the light of the sun and lamps everywhere. Additionally, the eternal occupation of all God’s people is described as kings who will reign forever and ever through perfect exultation. Because night will cease being present, Heaven will be a place where the darkness of this world will eternally vanish. The light will never be artificial again because God Himself will be the perfect illumination and light forever.

Leave a Comment