The New Jerusalem
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down
out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with
them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away" Revelation 21:1-5).
Obviously, the "New Jerusalem" is quite different to the "Jerusalem from above" and the "Heavenly Jerusalem". This time it the bride of the heavenly King Jesus Christ, that is, the 144,000 redeemed kings
and priests of the earth (Revelation 5:10, 7: 3-8, 14: 1-5).
This "New Jerusalem" will come down to earth after the Great Tribulation, in the
sense that humans will be anointed as princes and others as earthly priests. The Great Crowd
that will survive, as a whole, will represent the Levites or Sons of Levi (Isaiah 32: 1,2 (Princes),
Ezekiel 44: 3 (Chieftain), 40:46 (The sons of Zadok, the earthly priests); (Son of Levi)).
The New Jerusalem, represents the earthly administration of the Kingdom of God, by the 144,000 kings and priests in heaven. This administration
is described as a symbolic city on earth, in direct relationship with heaven. Here is the description:
"Now the one who was speaking with me was holding as a measure a golden reed, that
he might measure the city and its gates and its wall. And the city lies foursquare, and its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs; its length and breadth and height are equal. Also, he measured
its wall, one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to a man’s measure, at the same time an angel’s. Now the structure of its wall was jasper, and the city was pure gold like clear glass. The foundations of the city’s wall were adorned
with every sort of precious stone: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedʹony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the
eleventh hyacinth, the twelfth amethyst. Also, the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was made of one pearl. And the broad way of the city was pure gold, as transparent glass" (Revelation 21:15-21).
Before understanding concretely what this measurement of the city and its description means, let's pay attention on the dimensions: It is a cube of twelve thousand stadia on a side, by its height, length and width (12000x185 (m)=2220
(km)). A cube has six faces, if we reason in area, which is not the case, in the measurement that interests us. The measurement is expressed in perimeter or in horizontal and vertical parallel lines:
- Base of the cube: four sides of the same length.
- Top of the cube: four sides of the same length.
Height of the cube: four sides of the same length.
Thus, the total of the straight lines is twelve. A straight line is twelve thousand furlongs (stadium). We have the following equality:
Twelve thousand furlongs multiplied by twelve equals one hundred and forty thousand. We have exactly this equality in Revelation 7:4-8, hence its connection with Revelation 21:15-17 (see the symbolism of numbers in the Bible).
The unit of length is a Roman stadium (185 meters). In that case, a stadium is equal to the earthly
ministry (the race properly completed on earth) of a Christian with heavenly hope (see 1 Corinthians
9:24-27 (the winner of the race (in the stadium Roman) received a crown (see verse 25, compared with Revelation 2:9; 3:11)); 2 Timothy 4:7; see Revelation 14:20). The 144,000 furlongs represent the whole perimeter of the cube. This would mean that the measurement
would represent the preparation of a construction of a city or its completed construction in the present case. But also by its vertiginous height, the relations with Jehovah God, the heaven with the earth, the New Jerusalem acting as an umbilical cord. However, this measurement also expresses a judgment during the millennial reign, made on the basis of the "law of the temple" written in the "scrolls"
mentioned in Revelation 20:12 (Ezekiel 43:10-13: This text links the measure of the house with the "law of the temple", like the New Jerusalem).
The measurement of
the wall is expressed only by its height, very small compared to the general height of the city itself, that is to say 144 cubits, a measurement of man that is to say of angel, according to the Revelation . The thousand is replaced by the cubit (if referring
to 144,000), which is a measurement of human length (the length of a forearm, to the elbow). The wall has twelve gates, but its height is twelve times twelve cubits. These are several ways to demonstrate that it will be impossible to pass through this wall
without authorization, both by its extent, its number of guarded doors, and its height.
The wall itself and its height may well represent the earthly replica of the New Jerusalem sent down from God (See Revelation 21:1-4); the 144,000 in the heavens would represent the cube of 12,000 stadia, while the
wall would represent the earthly part of the city, its foundation or base, the walls and gates acting as protection. The wall has no reason to exist except on earth because those who must be temporarily kept outside (before their destruction) are human beings
or at most spirits confined to the vicinity of the earth (Revelation 12:13; 22:15).
The tent of God mentioned in Revelation 21:3 is associated with the descent of New Jerusalem to earth.
It would be logical to think that it represents the lower part, or the base of the city on earth, the wall, a protective structure for the city on earth. The tent of God on earth, as we have seen above, could constitute a group of humans in the service of
the worship of Jehovah. It should be represented by earthly princes and priests. In Revelation 7:15 it is mentioned that the tent of God will be over the Great
Crowd, implying that this group will be directly subordinate to earthly princes and priests in the
administration of Jehovah's worship and the earthly governance.
The measurement of the New Jerusalem is like to that of the Temple Sanctuary, made by the apostle John
(Revelation 11:1,2). The measurement of the temple sanctuary made by the apostle John, seems to indicate that the divine standards written in the Bible, must be applied, within the temple sanctuary, that is to say the Christian congregation. The fact that it is John, a human, who makes the measurement, indicates that these Christian standards are maintained by the pastoral work of the priests
or overseers of the Christian congregations. This is confirmed in Revelation 2 and 3, when the glorified Jesus Christ gives his instructions, sometimes very severe, to the seven human angels in charge of the seven congregations.
Thus, these two measurements represent a judgment (Matthew 7:2 (Jesus compares judgment to a measurement) and Amos 7:7-9 (Jehovah compares his judgment to the use of a plummet)). Jesus Christ in
Matthew 19:28 described the period of "re-creation" or earthly resurrection as a earthly judgment of all of humanity being resurrected. However, in the case of New Jerusalem, this time it is an angel who measures with an angel's measure. This time, in the
earthly paradise, it will be measures certainly applied by humans, under the direct supervision of angels.
This idea of the judgment of humanity, expressed by Jesus Christ, stands
out symbolically by the presence of the twelve precious stones at the entrance to each of the twelve gates of the city, allowing or preventing entry into this city. What does it mean ? Every gates have the inscription of one of the twelve tribes of Israel,
this seems to allude to the twelve tribes of Revelation 7:4-8, therefore the 144,000. The gates give access to the trees of life or not (Compare Revelation 22:2,13,19 with Genesis 3:24). Now in Matthew 19:28, Jesus Christ said that the 144,000 would be established
as judges of the 12 tribes of Israel. It therefore seems logical that these gates represent the authority of the 144,000 to judge who will be worthy to enter the city or not. Since these gates are part of the wall, it is logical to think that it is the earthly
princes and priests, who will notify on earth what the 144,000 will have decided in heaven (themselves
supervised by the twelve apostles (Matthew 19:28)) (See Matthew 18:15-17 and then 18-20). Earthly princes and priests are referred to respectively in the prophecy of Ezekiel 40-48 as "chieftain" (princes) and sons of Zadoc (earthly priests).
The presence of an angel at each door, or twelve angels, seems to describe them as the executors of God's judgments (Revelation 7:1,2; 12:7; 14:18-20; see also Matthew 13:41,49). They will be decided by the 144,000 in heaven, notified by princes and priests on earth, and effectively enforced by angels. This
would also explain that the measurement is made by an angel, to the measurement of man (applied to humans (reed)), that is to say of angel (applied by angels (the gold symbolizes the heavenly matter that covered all the furnishings of the Holy and Most Holy
in the temple sanctuary)) (Revelation 21:15-17).
The wall is built of jasper (Revelation 21:18). The sparkle of the jasper stone very accurately reflects the glory of God. Similarly,
the dominant sparkle of New Jerusalem is jasper (compare Revelation 4:3, (dominant color emanating
from the throne is jasper) with 21:11 (dominant color emanating from New Jerusalem is jasper)). The sparkle of jasper could symbolize the glory of God's sovereignty, expressed by the administration of New Jerusalem on earth.
What do the twelve precious stones mean? They represent the twelve names of the apostles, which are linked with the twelve names of the tribes of Israel, which constituted the foundation of this nation. And the text
that obviously seems to solve the riddle is Exodus 28:15-21 where it is written about the breastpiece of judgment:
"And you must make the breastpiece of judgment with the workmanship
of an embroiderer. Like the workmanship of the ephʹod you will make it. Of gold, blue thread and wool dyed reddish purple and coccus scarlet material and fine twisted linen you will make it. It should be foursquare when doubled, a span of the hand being its
length and a span of the hand its width. And you must fill it with a filling of stones, there being four rows of stones. A row of ruby, topaz and emerald is the first row. And the second row is turquoise, sapphire and jasper. And the third row is leshʹem stone,
agate and amethyst. And the fourth row is chrysʹo·lite and onyx and jade. Sockets of gold should be in their fillings. And the stones should be according to the names of the sons of Israel, the twelve according to their names. With the engravings of
a seal they should be, each one according to its name, for the twelve tribes".
Thus the twelve precious stones of the foundation of the wall must probably allude to the "breastpiece
of judgment", which was the foundation of divine justice on earth, the name of the precious stones being different for some, because different from the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. More concretely, in Matthew 19:28, when Jesus Christ says that the
144,000 will judge the 12 earthly tribes of Israel, he is specifically addressing to the twelve apostles. This would mean that it is particularly the twelve apostles in heaven who will be responsible for the judgment, who will act as chief judges, notifying
to the 144,000 in heaven, acting as gates in the wall, who is to be prevented or allow to enter into the city (Ephesians 2:20-21).
In Revelation 21:22 it is written: "And I did not see
a temple in it, for Jehovah God the Almighty is its temple, also the Lamb is". The New Jerusalem on earth will not need a visible building or an appointed place for the temple sanctuary of Jehovah and Jesus Christ (alluding to the presence of a temple in the
ancient earthly Jerusalem). Jehovah and Jesus Christ, will be the temple sanctuary, Jesus Christ the Holy (see Revelation 1:12-16) and Jehovah, the Most Holy (Revelation 11:19).
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