In the last and one of the most beautiful passages in Sacred Scripture, the Apostle
St. John symbolically describes the Church in glory, the kingdom of heaven which awaits
those who do God's will.
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and
the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and
great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is
the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the
books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death
and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man
according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the
second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the
lake of fire.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were
passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,
coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I
heard a great voice out of heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,
and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with
them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall
be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for
the former things are passed away."
And he that sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And he
said unto me, "Write: for these words are true and faithful." And he said unto
me, "It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto
him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall
inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and
unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and
idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and
brimstone: which is the second death."
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the
seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, "Come hither, I will shew thee the
bride, the Lamb's wife." And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high
mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from
God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like
a jasper stone, clear as crystal; and had a wall great and high, and had 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: on the east three gates; on the north three gates; on
the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve
foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates
thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large
as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The
length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof,
an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the
angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like
unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all
manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the
third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the
seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the
eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls:
every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were
And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of
it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the
glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them
which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their
glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there
shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into And
there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh
abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the
throne of God and of the Lamb, in the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the
river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her
fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And
there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and
his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their
foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of
the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
And he said unto me, "These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the
holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be
"Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of
And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down
to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto
me, "See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the
prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God."
And he saith unto me, "Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the
time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let
him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is
holy, let him be holy still."
"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man
according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first
and the last."
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of
life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and
sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh
"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I
am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."
And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let him that heareth say,
"Come." And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the
water of life freely.
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If
any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written
in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy,
God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from
the things which are written in this book.
He which testifieth these things saith, "Surely I come quickly."
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Electronic text (c) Copyright EWTN 1997. All rights reserved.