The New Jerusalem
The city of God, the new Jerusalem that descends from heaven to earth (Revelation, chapter 21), has a foundation of 1500 square miles, roughly half the size of the United States of America! It also has the same height of 1500 miles. Many expositors say its shape is that of a cube, but more probably its shape is that of a pyramid, like those in Egypt. This is a far more structurally sound design. Simply because the "new agers" use the pyramid, does not mean God doesn't. Satan often counterfeits God's design. [Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992. Click here to visit her "Revelation Illustrated" site.]
Some contend that the city of God comes down to earth, prior to the millennial kingdom (Rev, 20:7; Matt. 6:10) and as representing the Bride/Wife of Christ (the Bridegroom/Husband) in reference to the Church as the Body of Christ (Rev. 19:7-10; 21:2; 21:9-22:17). However, upon a closer examination we note this city is called the "new Jerusalem" (Rev. 21:2), the same name of Israel's O. T. (and present) capitol and center of religious activity. Furthermore, the twelve gates of this new city are named after the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 21:12). Also, the twelve foundation stones of this new city are named after the twelve apostles of the Church-Israel (Rev. 21:14; Acts 2:14).This new Jerusalem is inundated with the O. T. symbolism of a redeemed Israel!
Finally, as to when the new Jerusalem descends from heaven to earth, here are seven reasons why the city of God does not descend until after the millennium:
- When the holy city, new Jerusalem, comes down out of heaven upon the new earth, "there is no longer any sea" (Rev. 21:1+2 NASB), but during Christ's reign in the millennial kingdom on earth "He ...rule(s) from sea to sea" (Ps. 72:8; Zech. 9:10).
- During His eternal reign in the new heaven and new earth, "death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:14) no longer to exist, but during Christ's millennial kingdom on earth there is still death, "for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred shall be thought accursed" (Is. 65:20 NASB).
- During God's eternal reign there is no moral failure on man's part, nor is there any longer need for judgment on God's part (Rev. 21:27), but as with all the dispensations, including the millennial kingdom, man ultimately fails and God's judgment follows (e.g., Rev.20:7-10). Therefore, during God's eternal reign there is perfect government (Rev. 21:24), but during the millennial kingdom Christ "will rule them with a rod of iron" (Rev. 19:15).
- During God's eternal reign "they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into" the new Jerusalem city (Rev. 21:26), but in the millennial kingdom some nations show dishonor by not going to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Booths and are thereby judged (Zech. 14:16-19).
- The new Jerusalem city of God has "no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple" and all the twelve "gates shall never be closed" (Rev. 22:22+25), but the city of Jerusalem in the millennial kingdom has a temple and the east gate remains shut (Ez. 44:1-4).
- Further, the new Jerusalem, coming after the millennium, differs from the millennial Jerusalem and temple of Ezekiel chapters 40-48. The dimensions of Jerusalem in the millennial kingdom (Ez. 40:5-15) are radically smaller than those of the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven (Rev. 21:15-17).
- Finally, the natural chronological flow of events in the last three chapters of the book of Revelation can only be interpreted as first, the millennial kingdom, followed by the great white throne judgment, followed by eternity with the new heaven and the new earth with the new Jerusalem come down from heaven.
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