RSS

The Doctrine of Heaven – Part 14

22 Oct

The New Jerusalem

One of the 7 angels that had poured out a vial of God’s wrath on the old earth now shows John the Bride and the New Jerusalem. The Bride – Rev. 21:9 – “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.” is defined as “the nations of them which are saved” in Rev. 21:24 –  “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.”

The angel carries John away to a vantage point on a great and high mountain to watch the descension of the New Jerusalem from the New Heaven down to the new earth. It is a great and holy city – Rev. 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,” The city has the glory of God – Rev. 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;” That statement alone is impossible for us to fathom. The city’s lighting is described as a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Pliny speaks of white jasper called Astrios, which he says is “crystallo propinquans” – “near to crystal.” This stone can be found in India.

Later we read that the city has no need of a sun or moon for the glory of God lightens it and the Lamb, Jesus Christ, is the light there. Both spiritually and literally, God is light – 1 John 1:5 “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

The wall of the city is described in Rev. 21:12, 13, 17, 18a – “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 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.” Do not confuse the wall around the city with the wall of the city (about 1500 miles high!). The wall around the city is great and high, 144 cubits. A cubit is approximately 18 inches: the distance from an average man’s elbow to the tip of his middle finger. This wall is possibly between 216 and 240 feet high. That is 20-24 stories! We will see later that the length of each side of the wall is over 1500 miles.

The wall has 12 gates – 3 on the east, north, south, and west sides of the wall. Each gate has an angel posted at it. These gates will not be shut during the day. Seeing there will be no night here, they will never be shut! Rev. 21:25 “And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.” How contrary to the story in Genesis 3:24! “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Praise God!

Each gate has a name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel on it (these are listed in Rev. 7:5-8). God loves Israel, and He will honor her forever. Israel is God the Father’s wife – Jeremiah 3:14 “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:”; Isaiah 54:5 “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.”; Isaiah 62:1-5 “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.”; Hosea 2:19-20 “And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.”; Ezekial 16:8 “Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.”

The wall of the city is like jasper, a precious stone of various colors such as purple, blue, green, brass, and sometimes crystal clear. So God looks like jasper – Rev. 4:3 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” The lighting of the New Jerusalem is like jasper (Rev. 21:11), the wall around the city is like jasper (Rev. 21:18), and the first of the 12 foundations of the city is like jasper (Rev. 21:19).

Now the wall of the city is described in Rev. 21:14-16, 18b-27 – “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 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 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 they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 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.”

The city is a cube – Rev. 21:15-16 “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.” The length, height, and breadth of it are equal – 12,000 furlongs. A furlong is 1/8 of a mile. That would make the city 1500 miles in each direction. That is the distance between Buffalo, NY and Amarillo, TX. The city is so high, that an airplane flying at 35,000 feet would crash 1/20th of the way up the first foundation. The land mass equals 2,250,000 square miles. The total mass of the city is 3,375,000,000 cubic miles. Wow! Try wrapping your brain around that!

The outside walls have 12 foundations. From the bottom to the top, they are made of 12 stones – Rev. 21:19-20:

  • Jasper – purple, blue, green, brass, or clear
  • Sapphire – blue, red, violet, yellow, green, or white
  • Chalcedony – misty gray, clouded with blue, yellow or purple
  • Emerald – green
  • Sardonyx – red color of carnelian, white of the onyx
  • Sardius – flesh color
  • Chrysolite – gold
  • Beryl – pale green
  • Topaz – greenish yellow
  • Chysoprasus – green and gold
  • Jacinth – dark blue verging on black
  • Amethyst – violet and purple

The 12 gates are made of pearl. The street of the city and the city itself are pure gold, like transparent glass (Rev. 21:18, 21). That is a lot of gold!

  • The city has no temple. God and the Lamb are the Temple of it (Rev. 21:22).
  • There will be nations and kingdoms on the new earth. We will serve God there forever. All people there are saved – Rev. 21:24 “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.” This is the last time the word “saved” appears in the Bible. It refers to those rescued from the destruction. The saved bring their glory and honor (that which is most valued) into the city, (verse 26). The saved are further described as “they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (verse 27).
  • Nothing defiling, disgusting, or deceitful will ever enter the city (verse 27).
  • Although there is no temple, there is still a throne – Rev. 22:1 “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.” It is for the Father and the Son. We will not become deities in the future, as cults teach. There is only one throne and it is for God!
  • From the throne flows a pure river of water, clear as crystal. There is also a fountain with the water of life (Rev. 21:6).
  • The Tree of Life is in the New City. It appears as an amazingly large tree that grows out of both sides of the river and the middle of the street. It has 12 different fruits, and it bears fruit every month. The fruit is for the food, and the leaves are for the healing (Greek: therapeia) of the nations – Rev. 22:2 “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.”
  • There will be no curse there – Rev. 22:3 “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:” The word “curse” means “to invoke an evil on someone.” That will never happen again, because God is on His throne, and we will all serve Him.
  • We shall see God’s face – Rev. 22:4 “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” Contrast this statement with Exodus 33:20 “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” How wonderful to look forward to seeing God face to face!

Jacob and Manoah claimed to have seen God – Genesis 32:30 “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Judges 13:22 “And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.” God probably appeared to them as an angel or a Christophany (an Old Testament appearing of Jesus Christ). John 1:18 and 1 John 4:12 say that no one has seen the face of God the Father. Jesus was the manifestation of Father on earth, but not in His glory (John 14:9; Isaiah 9:6). It will be common for all the saved to look upon the Father’s face one day!

  • God’s name will be in our foreheads, denoting ownership.
  • There will be no need of the sun or candles there, because the Lord and His brilliance will be the light. There will be no night – Rev. 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.” The 7 “no’s”: No sea, Rev. 21:1; No sorrow, 21:4; No crying, 21:4; No pain, 21:4; No death, 21:4; No curse, Rev. 22:3; No night, 22:5.
  • God’s servants will reign forever and ever (Rev. 22:5). It will also be a place of reward (22:12). This will be according to our work for Jesus Christ after we become saved by His blood. Other Scriptures to study in regards to rewards: Psalm 62:12; Jeremiah 17:10; Matthew 16:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 15:40-42a; Daniel 12:3.
  • Those who are obedient will have access to the Tree of Life, and may enter the gates of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:14). Obedience is of utmost importance in our eternal standing. In the New Jerusalem, there will be limitations on those who were disobedient on earth. We will not all be equal. This is implied in Matthew 5:19; “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven”; 19:29-30 “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” 1 Corinthians 15:40-42a. Salvation and inheritance are two different things. Salvation cannot be lost, but inheritance can – 2 John 8 “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.”; Nehemiah 13:14 “Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.”; Colossians 2:18.

There may be limited or no access to the Holy City for some Believers who did not live for Christ in this earth. They may just be on the New Earth looking at the city, just as they were just Believers saved by the Blood of Christ, living with no Testimony – Rev. 22:18-19 “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.” This would include those who add to or take away from the Bible. The word “part” in 22:19 means “to get as a section or allotment, a division or share, a lot.” “Out of” means “a separation of part from the whole.”

It seems there will be more written in the Book of Life than just names. Psalm 56:8 implies that our burdens are recorded there as well “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” See also Malachi 3:16-17 “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”

When someone tampers with the Word of God on earth, they forfeit rewards and access to the Holy City in the New Heaven. This is the last warning and insight we have into the New Heaven. We may want to take care not to involve ourselves with many of the corrupted versions of the Bible that keep popping up.

In Conclusion:

Heaven is a wonderful place for us to look forward to! This study just scratches the surface of this doctrine. I hope you have prepared to go there some day.

Pure waters of life there are flowing,

And all who will drink may be free.

Rare Jewels of splendor are glowing –

How beautiful Heaven must be.

How beautiful Heaven must be –

Sweet home of the happy and free,

Fair haven of rest for the weary,

How beautiful Heaven must be.

By Mrs. A. S. Bridgewater

Revelation 21:

1   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.
4   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.
5   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.
6   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.
7   He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
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.
9   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.
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,
11   Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12   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;
20   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.
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.
22   And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23   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.
25   And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26   And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27   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.

Revelation 22:

1   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.
2   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.
3   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:
4   And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
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.
6   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 done.
7   Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
8   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.
9   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.
10   And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
11   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.
12   And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13   I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14   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.
15   For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
16   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.
17   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.
18   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:
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.
20   He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 22, 2013 in God's Truth

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 responses to “The Doctrine of Heaven – Part 14

  1. granonine

    January 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Catching up slowly, Anna. Have enjoyed these posts on heaven, which I’m looking forward to more every day!

     
    • Anna

      January 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      So glad these could be a blessing for you, Linda. I have so enjoyed posting these studies on the different doctrines that we learn from our preacher on Wednesday nights. It helps me to internalize them for my self, while getting it out for others to enjoy and learn from. I am now starting The Doctrine of Man. It is quite a lengthy one. I will follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance in breaking it into parts. God Bless!

       
      • granonine

        January 25, 2014 at 6:53 am

        You are blessed with a good pastor, I think.

         
      • Anna

        January 25, 2014 at 9:00 am

        Yes, we started going to Lighthouse Baptist Church in 1998 when so many other churches started doing the feel-good stuff. We feel very blessed to have this man as our spiritual leader. He preaches straight from God’s Word-KJV and never misses a chance to include the Gospel of Jesus to save the lost. I have grown more in my walk since coming here, than at any other time in my life.

         
      • granonine

        January 25, 2014 at 9:16 am

        We recently had to leave the church we’ve loved since 1974. New young pastor whose goal is to be approved of by the surrounding community. So sad. But we’re in a good place now, thank God.

         
      • Anna

        January 25, 2014 at 9:52 pm

        Wonderful! So glad to hear that. Bless you.

         

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: