- Revelation 21:10
- "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."
- Seventh Day Adventists cite this passage in support of their doctrine that the
rapture will take the saints to heaven for 1,000 years, after which the bride, represented
as a city, will descend to the earth.1
- The saints will not be in heaven for the 1,000 years period, therefore the passage
cannot teach the literal descent of the saints to the earth. See Rev. 5:10 - "and we
shall reign on the earth." This reigning is during the 1,000 years as is indicated in
Rev. 20:6 - "they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a
- The Revelation which depicts the saints as a city descending from God out of heaven
employs the language of theophany in which a manifestation of God is said to be God
descending or coming down. See for example: Gen. 11:5; 18:21; Exod. 3:7,8. The saints are
chosen in Christ "before the foundation of the world." (Eph. 1:4). Their origin
is from heaven in the sense that they are new creations (Jas. 1:18; Eph. 2:15) born from
above (Jn. 3:3,7 mg.) by the Spirit word. (Jn. 6:63). Similarly the manna which the
children of Israel ate in the wilderness was bread sent down from heaven. (Jn. 6:31).
"From heaven" emphasizes its divine origin without asserting that it was
manufactured in heaven and floated down to the earth. Similarly, the bride descending out
of heaven symbolically portrays her heavenly origin.
- See Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine, (Washington: Review and
Herald Publishing Ass., 1967), pp. 504-5. Return