images6The Holy City

“That great city—the holy Jerusalem.”—Revelation 21:10.This city is not earthly, but heavenly, and is among the heavenly things said by the apostle to be purified by the ‘better sacrifices’ (Hebrews 4:23). Why did such a city need ‘purifying?’ Not because it was unclean, but because sinners were to dwell in it; and they would have defiled it, had it not been for the great sacrifice. For the blood does two things—it makes the unclean clean, and it keeps the clean from being defiled. Its use in the holy of holies was not to cleanse that place, but to prevent its being defiled by the entrance of the sinner. Our possession of this heavenly city, then, we owe to the blood of the Lamb; and hence He stands on Mount Zion, and sits on the throne, as the Lamb slain (Revelation 5:6, 14:1).

The earthly Jerusalem is to be cleansed from its impurity by the blood of the Lamb; and the heavenly Jerusalem is to be preserved from impurity by the same blood. The inhabitants of both will find that they owe all to this blood. It is the blood which opens the entrance—and it is the blood which secures the everlasting possession for sinners. This double efficacy of the blood we see also in the case of the elect angels. It is this that keeps them from falling, just as it is this that raises man out of his fall. Let us prize that blood which works such wonders. It is ‘precious blood.’ O man, do not trample on it!

But let us mediate on the city as described in these two chapters. It contains in it everything that is excellent and lovely, perfect and enduring.1. It is a great city. ‘That great city,’ said John, gazing on it. Its province is vast, beyond Babylon, or Nineveh, or Paris, or London. That ‘mighty city,’ says John, speaking of Babylon the Great (Revelation 18:10); but this is mightier far. There has been no city like it. It is the city, the one city—the great metropolis of the mighty universe—the mighty city of the mighty God.2. It is a well-built city. Its builder and maker is God. Its foundations are eternal; its walls are jasper; it gates pearls; its streets paved with gold. It is ‘compactly built together,’ a perfect cube, and complete in all its parts, without a break or flaw, or weakness or deformity.3. It is a well-lighted city. Something brighter than sun and moon is given to fill its heaven. The glory of God lights it; the Lamb is its ‘light’ or ‘lamp,’ so that it needs no candle, no sunlight. There is no night there.4. It is a well-watered city. A pure river of the water of life flows through its streets, proceeding from the throne of God and the Lamb. What must its waters be! What must be the rivers of pleasure there! Who in it can ever thirst? Its inhabitants shall thirst no more.5. It is a well-provisioned city. The tree of life is there, with its twelve variety of fruits and its health-giving leaves. It has more than Eden had. It is paradise restored; Paradise and Jerusalem in one; Jerusalem in Paradise, and Paradise in Jerusalem.6. It is a well-guarded city. Not only has it gates, and walls, and towers, which no enemy could scale or force; but at the gates are twelve angels, keeping perpetual watch.7. It is a well-governed city. Its king is the Son of God, the King of kings, Immanuel, the King eternal, whose scepter is righteousness who loves righteousness and hates iniquity. No misrule is there, no disorder, no lawlessness, no rebellion.8. It is a well-peopled city. It has gathered within its walls all generations of the redeemed. Its population is as the sands or the stars; the multitude that no man can number; the millions of the risen and glorified.9. It is a holy city. Its origin is heavenly, and it is perfect as its builder. Nothing that defiles shall enter; no spot or speck or shadow of evil. All is perfection there, divine perfection.10. It is a glorious city. The glory that fills it, and encircles it, is the glory of God. All precious stones are there; no marble nor granite such as we boast of now—all of it is gold, and pearls, and gems. Everything resplendent is there. It shines like the sun.11. It is a blessed city. It is truly ‘the joyous city.’ It is the throne of the blessed One, and all in it is like Him. Its name is Jerusalem—the city of peace. Its King’s name is Solomon—the Prince of peace. There is no enemy there; no sickness, no curse, no death, no weeping, no pain, no sorrow, no change forever. Those who dwell in it shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more (ch. 7:16, 17).

Blessed city! City of peace, and love, and song! Fit accompaniment of the new heavens! Fit metropolis of the new earth, wherein dwells righteousness! How eagerly should we look for it! How worthy of it should we live! It has not yet arrived. Eye has not seen it. But God points to it above, and assures us that it shall come. The right of citizenship is to be had now; and those who are to dwell in it are not angels, but men; not the unfallen, but the fallen. It is as such that we apply for the ‘freedom of the city.’ He who is its Builder and Maker gives it freely. He who is its Prince, whose blood has bought and opened it, gives it freely. He waits to receive applications—no, He entreats men to apply. He announces that whoever will only take Him at His word, and trust Him for entrance into it, shall have it. He specially proclaims to us His own sacrifice, His infinite propitiation, His divine blood-shedding on the cross, and gives us to know that whoever will receive the testimony to this great work of atonement shall enter in through the gates into the city. It is the blood that brings us to the mercy seat—it is the blood that brings us into the city. It will be a joy to enter that joyous city. By this joy we beseech you now to make sure of your citizenship, by making sure of your connection with the King. He who has the King—has the city.

It will be a sorrow to be shut out. By that sorrow we entreat you to make sure. Believing the good news, become citizens of this great and holy city. Then all shall be well with you forever! The New Jerusalem


Map of The New JerusalemZechariah 14 describes the map of the area. The land will be changed.

  1. Mount of Olives (Verse 4). This mountain will split and form a mountain range in the north and south.
  2. Valley (Verse 5, 10). The city will be located on the plains of a valley between these mountains.
  3. Hill (Verse 10). Jerusalem will be on a hill on this plain.
  4. River (Verse 8). A river of living water flows east and west from Jerusalem into a sea in the east and a sea in the west. This is the same river of life that flows from the throne of God. (Revelation 22: 1)
  5. Sun, Moon and Stars (Verse 7). Outer space will change also. Their light will be dimmer than the light coming from the new earth. (Revelation 21: 23)
  6. New Jerusalem. The city comes from heaven, through space, and lands on the Mount of Olives. (Revelation 21: 2, 10)
Green Square. 375 mile border. Blue Square. 1500 mile border. New Jerusalem map The New JerusalemMount of Olives. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall split in the middle of it toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And you shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal: yes, you shall flee, like as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with you. (Zechariah 14: 4-5)Size. The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as its width; and he measured the city with the rod; fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. (Revelation 21: 16)

Since the language is ambiguous, the length of each side of the city could be either 375 miles or 1500 miles.

375 Miles (604 kilometers).

The New Jerusalem is 375 miles long and 375 miles wide. It extends from the bottom of the Sinai peninsula to the middle of Syria. And from Cairo to the western border of Iraq. This essentially enclosed the actual area of the Promised Land.

It is also 375 miles high. This extends over 200 miles higher than where the space shuttle flies.

Putting this in perspective, clouds can extend up to 11 miles, the space shuttle orbits at about 150 miles and the space station orbits at about 220 miles.

Our tallest buildings are about a quarter of a mile high.

1500 Miles (2414 kilometers).

If the city is 1500 miles in all three direction, then it extends from the western border of Egypt to eastern Iraq. And from the top of the Black sea to the southern border of Saudi Arabia.

Notice that at this size these facts become very important.

  1. Garden of Eden. The center of the eastern wall, the center gate is located exactly in the place where the Garden of Eden is believed to exist.
  2. The Gate of God. “Babel” means the gate of God. Notice that it was built near the Garden of Eden.
  3. Magog. The Land of Magog is just outside the city. According to Revelation 21, when the New Jerusalem is surrounded, they will come from Gog and Magog.
  4. Egypt and Assyria. They are a part of this enclosed structure. This fulfills the following prophecy. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing In the midst of the land: Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.” (Isaiah 19: 24-25)
  • Egypt “My People”. Two tribes, the children of Joseph were half Egyptian.
  • Assyria “The Work of My Hands”. Abraham was a Syrian from Babylon.
  • Israel “My inheritance”. This is the nation God created through a covenant.
The Garden of Eden “And the Lord God planted a garden towards the east in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed”“And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon: it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: if flows around the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel [Tigris]: it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.”

(Genesis 2: 8, 10-14).So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the Cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

(Genesis 3: 24).

There are several theories about the location of the Garden of Eden.

  • Iraq. On land, near Ur where the Tigris and Euphrates join before flowing into the Persian Gulf.
  • Persian Gulf. Under the waters of the shores of the Persian Gulf near Iraq.
  • Turkey. Where the Tigris and Euphrates originate. Although it is a possible source, this is not located east of Israel or east of Babylon. So this is wrong.
  • United States. In the south east, along the Florida, Georgia and Alabama border. The United States was joined to Africa in Pangea, but it was not east of Israel. So this is wrong.

Problems in the Garden

The Gihon and the Pishon no longer exist. But the location of the Gihon river has been a problem for all theories, because it does not flow through Cush. In fact, it flows north from the head of all four rivers.

There are two possible explanations:

  1. Nimrod, the Son of Cush. The Gihon flowed through the land of Nimrod. He lived in that area and built the tower of Babel. So, technically, that area is also the land of Cush.
  2. A Circluar River The Gihon could have made a circle around the Arabian coast and joined with the Nile. In fact, there are reports of an Egyptian legend that the Nile was circular. Babylonians mentioned a great river named the “Bitter River” which encircled the earth. Josephus wrote that the River of Eden encircled the earth and was the source of four great rivers Heaven
  • A Name. The Holy city gets a name that reflects its character.

    • Jerusalem (“The City of Peace”). It has a gate that never closes because there is no

    • fear. YHWH Shammah (“The Lord is There”). Since the New Jerusalem becomes

    • the new throne of God. “The circumference of the city shall be eighteen thousand

    • cubits. And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord is There.”

    • (Ezekiel 48: 35) YHWH Tsidkenu (“The LORD is our Righteousness”). (Jeremiah

    • 33: 16) Hephzibah (“My delight is in her”). God is as happy over us as a

    • bridegroom is for his bride. Beulah (“Married”). Christ comes to marry us and the

    • land and we get the rights of children and the bride. It will no longer be said to

    • you, “Forsaken (Azubah)”, Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate

    • (Shemamah)”. But you will be called “My delight is in her (Hephzibah)” and your

    • land “Married (Beulah)”. For the Lord delights in you and to Him your land will

    • be married. (Isaiah 62: 4)

    • The Wicked Are Not There. This is referred to directly and symbolically.

      • And there was no more sea. This could refer to the restored Eden where there

      • was no large bodies of water. However, the wicked are symbolically described

      • as the sea in prophecy and this text could also be referring to this fact. And he

      • said to me, The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and

      • multitudes, and nations, and tongues. (Revelation 17: 15)

      • But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. (Isaiah 57: 20)

      • The Fearful, and Unbelieving (Verse 8). Those who are sinful, who do not

      • “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”, will be fearful at the presence of God.

      • They

      • do not have the perfect love which puts aside all fear. Fear or cowardice is not

      • a sin, but it may lead to the silent acceptance of sin around you because you

      • value yourself more than others. The reference to the cowardly specifically

      • targets the people in the last days who need moral courage to stand up against

      • the beast at the risk of their life.


      • The Dogs. These are the same people outside the city who surround it and

      • attack God. They are defeated and destroyed. When they become ashes on the

      • earth, they literally become the footstool of God. Outside are the dogs and

      • sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and

      • everyone who loves and practices lying. (Revelation 22: 15) This is the same

      • list of losers in Revelation 21: 8. Even though people are now teaching that

      • the law has been abolished, we still find Heaven describing the righteous and

      • wicked in terms of their attitude towards the commandments. The law of God is eternal.