“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me (Jesus). In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
The greatest Promise Jesus made to all Believers was that IF we believe in Him, we will spend eternity with Him in Heaven where He has gone to prepare a very special place for all of us who Believe in Him. Not a house. Not a cottage. Not an apartment or an Airstream trailer. A mansion! It is this Promise that incentivizes so many of us to seek the redemption Jesus died on the cross for. If we accept His gift of forgiveness for all of our sins and if we acknowledge He did this for us and we also repent of those sins, we will spend eternity with Him in a place of unimaginable grandeur! Except, it is NOT unimaginable. He has clearly told us exactly what Heaven will be like!
The Book of Revelation, the very last book of the Bible, was revealed (hence the reason it is called Revelation) to John and he was told to write down ALL that he SAW. More importantly, the Book of Revelation basically starts where the entire rest of the Bible finishes, i.e. it tells all future people what will be coming after His Resurrection occurred in approximately 30 A.D. The amazing and accurate history of the Church Age described through the letters to the 7 churches (Revelation 2 & 3), the Rapture (Revelation 4), and the many, many terrible things yet to come to this earth (Revelation 5 – 18) is a litany of the various prophesied Tribulation events. The absolute inerrancy and fulfillment of any one of these 2,000 year old prophecies, if fully understood by the unbeliever, should be enough for them to immediately seek forgiveness. But, many won’t!
Revelation 13 describes the anti-christ and his false prophet. Revelation 14 shows in God’s Mercy the 144,000 Jewish evangelicals (12,000 from each of the 12 Israel tribes) who will one last time try to convince the people of this world the Redemption which comes only through belief in Jesus Christ during the world’s Great Tribulation period (Revelation 16) and the final judgement soon to happen. Revelation 19, Praise God, reveals Jesus’s prophesied Second Coming at Armageddon, throwing the anti-christ and false prophet into hell forever and the binding of Satan during His 1,000 year reign of peace and righteousness on earth. Satan will be loosed for a short season after the 1,000 Reign of Christ and he will FINALLY and quickly be defeated once and for all and cast into hell with the false prophet and the anti-christ forever (Revelation 20). At the conclusion of Revelation 20 the Great White Throne Judgement occurs where unbelievers are judged by their earthly works, none of which will be good enough to earn them a spot in Heaven and therefore they will be condemned to hell forever. At the same time, those who had accepted Jesus Christ will be greatly rewarded for their earthly works and they will then spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
This brings us to Revelation 21 and THE description of Heaven!
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
Remember, at the beginning of the Book of Revelation, John was told to write down what he saw. Here he clearly tells us he saw a new city of Jerusalem descend from God’s Heaven basically ready for us. Did you notice John said there was “…no more sea”? There will be plenty of rivers, but apparently no seas. No one told him what to say. He simple was told to write what he SAW. In all candor, there are some differences of opinion on whether this “…new heaven and new earth” is a totally newly created one or whether it is simply a purified version of our current earth with sin now totally and forever eradicated. In studying this there is evidence to argue for either point but I will simply take the Bible based on what it says, because it really doesn’t matter to me either way. The “new” heaven and earth will be incredible! And, it doesn’t stop there!
“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.”
All of our pain and suffering will be gone forever! There will never be any more death! This cannot be disputed because God told John in the very next verse, “Write: for these words are true and faithful.” God does not lie! So what is John supposed to write about? For the remainder of Chapter 21 John describes clearly what Heaven looks like. By showing John what Heaven looks like and telling him to write down what he saw, He is giving us a glimpse of what we can expect for eternity.
“And he carried me away in the spirit to a GREAT AND HIGH MOUNTAIN (capitals mine), and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.”
Jerusalem, “…the tabernacle of God is with men and he will dwell with them” (Revelation 21:3), will sit on a large, high mountain on the “new earth”. It appears the new Jerusalem will be the highest point on earth, not Mount Everest. We can tell how big this mountain must be by simply looking to see how big the city of the new Jerusalem that sits on it. It is BIG!
“And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city (new Jerusalem), and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth fourscore, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measure the city with the reed, TWELVE THOUSAND FURLONGS (capitals mine). The LENGTH and the BREADTH and the HEIGHT of it are EQUAL (capitals mine).”
While this measurement of the new Jerusalem quoted in the Bible is very exact, I am sure you are probably wondering “What is a furlong?” Are you sitting down? A furlong is roughly one eighth of a mile or 660 feet long. If the city is 12,000 furlongs long, wide and tall this means the city is in a cube form and is 1,500 MILES long, 1,500 MILES wide and 1,500 MILES tall! That is BIG! Now we can better understand when Jesus told His disciples that in His Father’s house are MANY mansions. In my previous post, What awaits us for Eternity? I tried to do the math to show how many people could live in the new Jersualem. Trust the Bible, there are more than enough mansions in Jesus’s Father’s house for all those who have accepted He died for them!
“Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal:”
While we have been told what John saw, I do not believe we have the ability to fully comprehend just how bright Jerusalem will be. It doesn’t say the light will come from the sun. It says the light will come from God who Created the sun AND it will be as precious as a precious stone. Also, Revelation 21:23 tells us “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.” The Glory of God THROUGH His only Son Jesus Christ, the Lamb, is where the Light comes from! And, you know what else? There is only day and no night. “And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: FOR THERE SHALL BE NO NIGHT THERE (capitals mine).” Revelation 21:25.
“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 (Jerusalem) had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (Jesus).”
If you go back a couple of paragraphs we were told the New Jerusalem descended from Heaven and was shaped like a cube 1,500 MILES long, wide and tall. Here we are told surrounding the City is a “…wall great and high.” We are told the measurement of the wall in Revelation 21:17. It is 140 cubits (1 cubit equals 18 inches) which would make the wall 210 feet high. It will be great and high! Nonetheless, on each side of the City will be three gates (twelve in total). If these gates are equalized in distance that would make them roughly 500 miles apart from each other (250 miles from the corner, 500 miles to the next gate, 500 miles to the next gate, and 250 miles to the next corner = 1,500). Interestingly, each of these gates will be named after one of the sons of Israel. Remember, not only were these twelve sons the founders of the Jewish people but from them came the 144,000 evangelicals Jews who will proclaim the Word of God during the Tribulation period, the greatest evangelical movement in the history of the world. For more info take a peek at my previous post Where did the 144,000 come from and what are they doing here?. Also, the ” twelve foundations” of the wall surrounding the city will have the names of “…the twelve apostles of the Lamb”. Why? Because Jesus taught His twelve disciples (apostles) who then went on to tell the world about Jesus’s Redemption and our opportunity to accept His Gift and spend eternity in Heaven. Without their teachings and writings of the New Testament how many people WOULD NOT have been saved?
What else are we told about the size and structure of the City?
“And the building of the WALL (capitals mine) of it was of jasper (a type of quartz and typically yellow, red or brown in color): and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.”
“And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manners of precious stones.”
“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every gate (12 of them) was of ONE (capitals mine) pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.”
Very clearly the city is comprised of materials we view today as not only beautiful but extremely valuable. For many centuries these items were the epitome of wealth and financial backing. And yet in Heaven they are the basic building materials for God’s city. We do not know how big the gates are but each of the gates are made with ONE pearl, not a collection of pearls highlighting the gate. Obviously, our God, the Creator of the universe, could easily create such a pearl but I am sure it will be to our absolute astonishment when we actually stand next to it. And, what will we standing on? A street of pure gold!
“And he shewed me a pure river of WATER OF LIFE (capitals mine), clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on EITHER SIDE OF THE RIVER (capitals mine), 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.”
In Genesis 3:22-24 when God removed Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden because of their failure to follow His Commandment to not touch the “…tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” After their removal He sealed the Garden of Eden so they could NOT touch the “other” tree, the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:22) which would have enabled them to live forever. Guess what? In the Scripture above we are told next to the river is the Tree of Life which tells me we will live forever!
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the TREE OF LIFE (capitals mine), and may enter through the gates into the city (new Jerusalem).”
Remember when John said he saw no seas? What he did see however was a river coming out from under the throne of God and the Lamb. This pure water, the “…water of life” will produce a different fruit every month and it will heal the nations. While there will be a throne for God and Jesus, there will not be a Temple for They will dwell with us:
“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.”
As we grow closer to the ultimate fulfillment of ALL prophecies of the Holy Bible, I take exceedingly great comfort in knowing not only where I will spend eternity but also what Jesus told us will never change! “Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the saying of the prophecy of this book.” – Revelation 22:7. In my humble way of trying to show you what the Bible tells us about our eternal resting place, I also take heed of His personal request to not only “…keepeth the saying of this book”, but to also “…therefore comfort one another with these words.” I sincerely hope you are as comforted as I am and will do all you can to comfort others. His Word is true and faithful!
May God Bless you as we await His soon coming!