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What is the Last Picture in the Bible?

Written by: Richard Greene 

The Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit, as He moved upon at least 40 men from three different continents over a period of 1600 years to write the word of God. Despite the fact that these men came from different backgrounds, times, and places, what they wrote is miraculously unified in theme and purpose, which is the revelation of God’s glory and His redeeming love for all people.

When we read an overview of the Scriptures, we see many stories, characters, events, and lessons. All of these are prophetically connected by the revelation of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. From the beginning in Genesis through the consummation of all things in Revelation, the scarlet thread of the sacrifice of Christ is woven into the many parts of the Bible producing a glorious, unified whole.

Sometimes we can lose our perspective of the bigger picture by looking only at the parts, disconnecting them from one another. It is said that the Semitic mind of the Middle East sees the whole, while the Greek mind of the west sees the parts. God has given us two things to help us see the entirety of what He is doing, first, through the revelation of His Son, Jesus Christ and, second, through the final picture in the Bible. 

Beginnings and endings are equally important. The beginning is the story of creation and God’s purposes in all things through the reproduction of His image in man. God commanded the man to reproduce and multiply, filling the earth with His image, in which the man was created, and rule over all things. Where God’s image is, that image rules.

The ending is what it looks like when God has His way with all things, when His image in us is perfected (sanctified) by the Holy Spirit and His rule is established over all things, fulfilling His purpose in creation.


The Apostle John had been exiled to a tiny island named Patmos. While there he saw a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ, who showed John “the things which must soon take place” (Revelation 1:1, NASB). As the vision unfolds, John sees events in Heaven and on Earth of cataclysmic proportions. The scenes he sees involve the judgment of God on His enemies and the salvation of those who believe in Him. Time does not permit us to list all that is in this vision. However in the vision we see the apostle witnesses the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, His victory over all evil, the final judgment at the Great White Throne of God, and the creation of a new Heaven and a new Earth.

After all these events, God was not yet finished. He had one more thing He wanted John, and all of us, to see – the final picture in the Bible!

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:1-2, NASB).

An angel came to John and said, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:9), NASB). John was carried “away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain” where he saw the bride of Christ, which was not pictured as a woman, but as the holy city, the New Jerusalem. We know from the Scriptures that the bride of Christ is the Church made up of all who by grace through faith have been redeemed (Ephesians 5:25-32). The metaphor used in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians is that of a woman “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.” However, that is not the picture God used in Revelation 21 and 22 to show us the bride of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In these chapters, the Holy Spirit showed John a city, “new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God” ( Revelation 21:2).


There are several clues in the prophetic narrative. First, this is a revelation of the Church as the bride in the Spirit (21:10). We tend to see the Church from our fleshly perspective through our properties, services, programs, and work. 

Second, we are seeing the Church “made ready as a bride adorned for her husband” (21:1-2). Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God and surely the natural things concerning the Church cannot either. Our buildings and productions cannot enter the kingdom of God, but we, the redeemed, will. What John is seeing, and what God wants us to see and to be, is the Church in her perfected state.

Third, John saw three significant things in this vision. He saw that in the city, which is the bride adorned for her husband, there was no temple. Thus, when the Church is adorned for her Husband, when she has made herself most beautiful for Him, she is not a temple in the city, she is a city with no temple in it! We build temples, Jesus is building His Church.

The apostle also saw a river of the water of life flowing in the midst of the city’s streets. This river is the Holy Spirit Himself, flowing throughout the city. When the Church has adorned herself for her Husband, she is filled with the Holy Spirit.

Finally, John saw that there was no curse in the city – no sin, no death, no mourning, no sickness, no shame, no darkness… When the Church has adorned herself for her Husband, the curse and all its effects have been lifted and God’s rule will be complete.

Why does the most important and significant book in all history end with such a picture? It is because this is God’s ultimate desire and purpose. Revelation 19:7 says, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”


They are the work of the mission of the Great Commission, to go and make disciples of all the nations through the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom, healing the sick, clothing the naked, caring for the poor, setting the captives free, and comforting those who mourn.

Brothers and sisters, we can fulfill this prophetic picture now as we are filled with the Holy Spirit and embrace the call of God to go to the lost, multiplying His image wherever we go.

Let us be the bride adorned for her husband. In Jesus’ name!


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The Keystone Project is a global missions network of churches and leaders committed to the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation.

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