By Sherry Shriner
After the vision of the Great White Throne is completed John described the passing away of the heaven and the earth: "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" (Rev. 21:1).
At this time in prophecy we are now entering into Eternity. There are no more specific event-filled times given for us to know about now, no more judgments listed, no more rebellion and sin, or Satan. It will be a time of God and man in perfect eternal peace with each other. God will create a new heaven and a new earth. The former will be totally destroyed.
John then sees a vision of our new home: "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven" (Rev. 21:2). Scripture describes this new Jerusalem as a literal city made of real material and precise dimensions. Jerusalem is the city that God loves the most above all others. It will be His capital city and all the saints will dwell in it with Him (Is. 2:2-4). Throughout mankind's history God has been in heaven while man has inhabited earth, but in the new Jerusalem God will dwell with man. It will be God's home with His saints. When Jesus was here He didn't have a place to lay his head, but in the new Jerusalem, we will be in His home created for us and we will be with Him.
It will come down from heaven and be a city of great magnitude. Those saints who will inhabit this city will have glorified bodies capable of transcending space and devouring distances in a fraction of a second. There will be no need for any type or system of transportation because we will be able to transport ourselves more easily and efficiently than a mode of material transportation.
The location of this city is not specifically given but the vision John had indicates that this new Jerusalem comes close to the earth but he never said that it actually sits or directly rests on the earth. It is spoken of as "the Jerusalem which is above". The nations of the earth will "walk in its light" which implies that this city is above them (Is. 2:2).
In visionary detail John described this city: "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 the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs ( a furlong is about six hundred feet, which means that this new Jerusalem is approximately 1500 miles long, 1500 miles wide, and 1500 miles high.
The base of this city would be in comparison to about two-thirds of the size of the United States). And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits (216 feet high), according to the measure of man...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 (crystalline quartz); the second, sapphire (brilliant blue); the third, a chalcedony (pale blue or gray); the fourth, an emerald (bright green); the fifth, a sardonyx (deep orange-red); the sixth, sardius (bright red); the seventh, chrysolyte (transparent gold or some suggest olive green); the eighth, beryl (bluish green); the ninth, a topaz (dark blue or some suggest yellow sapphire); the tenth, chrysoprasus (apple green); the eleventh, jacinth (violet); the twelfth, an amethyst (deep or clear purple or bluish violet). And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every single gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were a transparent glass. 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 there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's Book of Life" (Rev. 21:11-27).
This new Jerusalem is a prepared place of gold, pearls, and precious stones for a prepared people. The size of this city it 1500 miles high, wide, and long. The shape must either be a pyramid or a cube because it has twelve foundations or levels. In all certainty it will most likely take the form of a cube because God has used this form before in both the altar of burnt offering and the altar of incense (Ex. 27:1, 30:2).
The ancient Greeks also regarded the cube as a symbol for perfection. Imagine a huge city in the shape of a cube twelve levels or floors high with a 216 foot wall around it. Each floor characterizes a different gem and the city itself is 1500 miles high! Can you imagine the amazement of John who is trying to describe this city?
The inhabitants of this city will all speak the same language, for no more will language divide the people (Zeph. 3:9). There will be no need for light; no need for the sun, moon, or the stars because all the light we will need will come from the presence of God: His light will illuminate the whole city. There will be no night there. It will be a place of service and serving God. We won't be sitting around with wings, playing harps. It will be a perfect place with no more sin, tears, pain, sickness, disease, or pestilence. There will be no more sea and oceans to separate people from their loved ones on the new earth. This city will last forever and we will be able to understand all things, our knowledge will increase million-fold far surpassing that of any earth bound genius.
Those living on the new earth - redeemed Israel and the saved multitudes of the Millennium will have access to the holy city while the Church Age saints will be its residents (Rev. 21:24-26,Is. 64:4).
After John is given a glimpse of eternity he is persuaded that all of the things he saw and events would come to pass.
That the words recorded in Revelation are true is seen in that they are statements of fact, given from the lips of God Himself. That they are faithful is evident in that they will surely come to pass (Rev. 22:6). There is no question in John's mind about this, and there should be none in ours as well.