Last Days Prophecy
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What is New Jerusalem Like?
General Descriptions in the Scriptures.
Revelation 21:1-3 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. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 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. (KJV) . . . New Jerusalem appears at a time when the New Heaven and New Earth shall come into being. New Jerusalem appears at a time when Old Earth and Old Heavens have been destroyed.
New Jerusalem is a city, and it is a Holy City! (Rev. 3:12; 21:2, 10, 14-16, 18-19, 21, 23-24; 22:19). Although God’s first home for man was a garden, the garden was not large enough to accommodate a huge population. God’s final home for man in which He comes to live with man, will be a city. As we see, the city is magnificent and enormous, and it will not be lacking water and fruit.
New Jerusalem is a Holy City:
Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
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,
Revelation 22:19 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. (KJV)
New Jerusalem is basically Jewish. Why else would it be named Jerusalem? It has to do with the nation of Israel. First and foremost, Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Nation of Israel, and it will continue to be so all through eternity. God chose the Nation of Israel as His favorite nation and it will continue to be so throughout eternity.
Exodus 19:3-6 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. (KJV)
Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. (KJV)
Jeremiah 31:31-37 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. 35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: 36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. 37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. (KJV)
The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). This fact is safe and secured, because that the city wall has twelve gates, each one named after one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Rev. 21:12).
In Revelation 21, when John sees New Jerusalem, he describes it as in the process of descending to the New Earth (Rev. 21:2, 10). New Jerusalem is seen as descending out of the heavens, the present Home of God (Rev. 21:2, 10), which means that New Jerusalem is presently (now) in the heavens.
It seems commonsense to me that New Jerusalem began with the resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ. He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead. The New Jerusalem, which is the Kingdom of God, did not exist before the LORD rose from the dead. Christ is the Cornerstone of that City. That Holy City is built entirely on Him.
God will make all things new in New Jerusalem. The old things will pass away with the old order of Old Earth. In New Jerusalem God will eliminate tears, death, mourning, crying and pain (Isa. 25:6-8; Rev. 21:4-5). Also NOT found in New Jerusalem are cowards, liars, abominable, idolaters, immoral people, murderers, sorcerers, and unbelievers. Revelation 21:8 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. (KJV)
Nothing unclean, and NO one who practices abomination and lying shall ever come into the city, only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev. 21:27).
New Jerusalem is identified as the bride, the wife of the Lamb (Rev. 21:9-10; cf. Rev. 21:2; 19:7-9). This is so because, in addition to being the capital city of the Nation of Israel, New Jerusalem is also the eternal home of the Bride of Christ, the Church. It is the place to which Jesus referred when He spoke to His followers, about the Bridegroom.
John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (KJV)
What Will New Jerusalem Be Like? Specific Descriptions of the City.
New Jerusalem has tremendous glory, which comes from God.
Revelation 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; (KJV) . . . This magnificent glory gives New Jerusalem a brilliant, glowing appearance. This glory makes New Jerusalem appear, from the outside, like a costly stone of crystal clear jasper.
Revelation 21:18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. (KJV) . . . Since the wall of the city is made of jasper, the great greater part of what someone outside the city would see would be the city wall. That means the wall must be as high as, or nearly as high as the city itself. This is a wall of incredible size and remarkable beauty.
Revelation 21:23-24 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. 24 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. (KJV) . . . The city has no need of natural lighting such as sun or moon to shine in it, nor artificial light, such as a lamp, because the glory from God and Jesus light it. Because the reflected glory of the city is so great, the nations on the Earth below will be able to live and conduct their affairs by means of the light.
Revelation 22:5 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. (KJV) . . . Because the reflected glory of the city comes from God and the Lamb (Jesus), it will always be day in the city. There will be no night there.
Revelation 21:12-19 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: 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16 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. 17 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. 18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19 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; (KJV) . . . (Emphasis mine) Much attention is given to the wall of this city. There are six references to the wall. The first thing that impressed John about the wall of New Jerusalem was its tremendous size. . He called it a great and high wall. It was great because of its thickness, 144 cubits or 216 feet. It was great because of its length, around the city’s outer limits. It was high because of the city’s height . . . the angel who talked to John had in his hand a golden measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long, about 1500 miles each way.
The City seems to be a cube (foursquare); although some say a pyramid, while others say a cube within a sphere. To me, arguing over this is nonsense. It is created by our all wise and powerful God, and it will be where the saints live. That’s good enough for me!
Twelve angels stand at the gates of the city, one angel at each gate. Since no evil is to be found anywhere in New Heavens and New Earth (2 Pet. 3:13), it does not appear that these angels serve either as sentinels to warn the inhabitants of impending danger, or as guards to protect them. What purpose do they serve? Maybe their job is to greet those who enter the city. I do not know. I just know that they are there!
Each gate has a name written thereon. These names are the names of the Twelve Tribes of the Sons of Israel. This means that New Jerusalem is the future permanent home of the redeemed of the nation of Israel. Since the twelve gates have the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel written on them, and since there are twelve foundation stones with the names of the twelve apostles on them, it seems to me that New Jerusalem is to be the home of both the redeemed of Israel and of the Church.
Will there be a land of Israel upon New Earth, different from New Jerusalem? The shape and size of New Jerusalem makes it more than big enough to include the boundaries promised to the nation of Israel. So it is mathematically possible that the land promised eternally to Israel will be contained within the walls of New Jerusalem. But. . . it seems to me that there will be a physical land of Israel upon Earth, but that most Israelis will spend their time in their capital city.
Isaiah 61:5-6 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. 6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves. (KJV) . . . This fits well with the idea that Israelis will hire redeemed people from among the nations to perform their manual labor on New Earth while they themselves are busy with a priestly ministry, likely, but maybe not totally, in New Jerusalem.
The twelve gates of the city are evenly placed. Three gates are on the east side of the city; three on the north; three on the south; and three on the west (Rev. 21:13).
Directions will be observed in the New Jerusalem. Just as we reference our geographic location here on the present earth in terms of north, east, south, and west, so will we in New Jerusalem and, no doubt on the New Earth. The principal direction seems to be east, inasmuch as it is identified first (Rev. 21:13).
The city, as we shall soon see, is of extraordinary size. Each wall is 1500 miles in length, and each wall has 3 gates, making 12 gates in this massive wall.
Revelation 21:21 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 transparent glass. (KJV) . . .
The twelve gates of the city is made up of of twelve pearls. Each gate is an enormous, solitary pearl! I cannot even begin to imagine the size of these pearls! BUT, our God tells us each gate shall be ONE pearl, so that is exactly how it will be!
In ancient cultures, a necklace of matched pearls was considered to be the most expensive jewelry in the world. The value of pearls is connected directly with their scarcity. The pearl gates of New Jerusalem retain that high value of pearls. It is highly unlikely that these enormous pearls are the product of gigantic oysters in distress. It is much more likely that they appeared as direct creations of the Creator. Since the city walls are as high as, or nearly as high as the city itself, the gates of the city wall are most likely as high as the walls. No height is stated concerning either the wall or the gates, but, if 216 feet is the thickness of the wall (Rev. 21:17), these twelve pearls which make up the twelve gates of the city have to be huge.
Consider the importance of the fact that each gate is a pearl. All other precious gems are metals or stones, but a pearl is a gem formed within the oyster . . . it is the only gem formed by living flesh. The oyster gets an irritation or a wound, and around the offending article that has penetrated and hurt it, the oyster builds a pearl. The pearl is the answer of the oyster to that which injured it. The New Jerusalem is God’s answer, in Christ, to wicked men who crucified Heaven’s Beloved One and put Him to open shame. How practical and wise of God to make the gates of the New Jerusalem of pearls. When the saints come and go in New Jerusalem, they will be forever reminded, as they pass the gates of glory, that they access God’s Home is only because of what Jesus did at Calvary. IF we think of the size of those gates, let’s remember the enormous suffering that is symbolized by those gates of pearl! Throughout eternity we shall be reminded by those pearly gates of how immense and intense were the sufferings of Christ. Those pearls will remind us forever of the One who hung upon a tree and whose answer to those who injured Him was to invite them to share His home.
New Jerusalem Characteristics
New Jerusalem, future Home of Christians
New Jerusalem, Gates Always Open
New Jerusalem, NO Mores!
New Jerusalem, Proof of Ownership
New Jerusalem Prophetic Milestones Ahead
New Jerusalem, What Happens to Believers When they Die?
New Jerusalem, What Is Heaven Like?
New Jerusalem, What Is It Like?
New Jerusalem, Worship There
The New Jerusalem