Chapter 17 Preview: I’m not the only person to notice the similarities between the cubic New Jerusalem and the science fiction Borg cube. There was once a web site devoted to teaching that the coming “New Jerusalem” was a threat to humanity! Apparently the spirits that inspire some of today’s fascinating sci-fi know what’s “going down”, and “tremble” (James 2:19).
Since ancient times almost the entire world has believed in “going to heaven”. The notion was so prevalent that “orthodox Christianity” rather early on adopted it from the pagan world to keep the natives happy, tho not without stirring up some heated warnings from the faithful few at the time who urged them to remain true to the Biblical teachings. The history of the “Christian” adoption of a pagan heaven is quite well explained on this outside link.
This chapter references several texts from Revelation concerning New Jerusalem, that were, and continue to be used to justify “going to heaven”. A simple reading of these Biblical references reveals that they say NOTHING of the kind! See what the Bible does say about “New Jerusalem”! We’ll also examine many other descriptive Biblical references about the city that get precious little press.
Isaiah 4:3-6 Seven women will grab a man in that day, and say, “We’ll eat our own bread, and cloth ourselves. Just let us be called by your name. Take away our shame.” 2 When that day arrives, Yehovah’s branch will be beautiful and splendid, and the ‘harvest’ of the land will be the beauty and splendor of the refugees of Israel. 3 Then anyone left alive in Zion, anyone who is left behind in Jerusalem will be called kadosh, everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem, 4 when Yehovah has washed away the filth of the maidens of Zion, and rinsed the bloodstains from Jerusalem, by a spirit of justice, and a spirit that sets ablaze! 5 Yehovah will create ABOVE the entire site of Mount Zion and ABOVE her assemblies a cloud during the day and smoke, and a bright flaming fire during the night; because ABOVE all the splendor there will be a place of shelter. 6 There will be a sukkah [tabernacle] to provide shade [literally shadow] in the daytime from the heat, and for a refuge and shelter from storms and rain. —The Gabriel Bible
Whenever you go to a funeral you’ll hear snippets of Revelation chapter 21 and 22 always taken out of context and always in the present tense. Yet the various Biblical descriptions of the “heavenly city” always describe it as a place nearby, but still awaiting her first earthly guests! Casting aside the baseless fabrications about going “way up there” and reading the texts for what they actually do say, we’ll need to address a whole new set of questions: How can New Jerusalem be adorned as a bride? What does New Jerusalem have to do with the Wedding Supper of the Lamb? And where is the Wedding Supper?
The verses involving the mysterious “city” that John called “New Jerusalem” are so numerous that I decided to do a sequel, New Jerusalem: A Place of Safety! to explain the many verses that deal with a future use of the city by flesh and blood human beings! It asks: Where will you be during the Great Tribulation? But Chapter 17 simply compares the relative Biblical passages with the jaded notions now extant.
Among those who know that “heaven comes to us”, rather than the other way around, there are other serious misconceptions. Many assume that New Jerusalem’s arrival is removed by a thousand years from the most joyous event to ever take place on earth! Is it worth your trouble to consider the relative Texts?
New Jerusalem is the hope of most of the world’s 2,076,000,000 Christians. And since most of them somehow equate New Jerusalem with their “going to heaven”, it is quite interestingly to read that Yeshua (Jesus) plainly denied that cloudy notion:
Of course, Yeshua has promised to prepare what He termed “a place” for His followers—but we should ask: “Do we go to our everlasting “place” or does the “place” come to us? Here is a classic “going to heaven” passage that, on inspection, has Yeshua doing the traveling!
John 14:2-3 There are many dwelling places in My Father’s house, otherwise, I would have told you. I’m going to prepare a place for you to live. 3 If I go to prepare that place for you, I’ll appear publicly again and accept you as My own, so that you can be where I am.
Shortly after this quote, John elaborated saying that Yeshua wanted His followers to be where He was going to be—on this “world”.
John 17:1, 24-26 After Yeshua said these things, He looked up toward Heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Bring renown to Your Son so that Your Son can bring renown to You... 24 Father, I want those You’ve given Me to be with Me where I am, so that they can see the splendor that You’ve given Me, because You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 Righteous Father, the world has never known You, but I have certainly known You, and these disciples know that You sent Me. 26 I have revealed Your name to them, and I’ll continue to make it known so that the brotherly love that You have for Me will be in them, and I in them.”
Later, Yeshua revealed to John that when He comes, He won’t leave our “reward” out there somewhere!
The following detailed description that most people consider to be the “pearly gates” of Heaven is actually describing an earth bound city that comes from “deep space heaven” to the earth’s atmosphere. If you are planning on going here when you die, you may pass it on its way down!
Revelation 21:10-27 In the spirit realm he carried me to the top of a vast, lofty mountain, and he showed me the kadosh city of Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from YHVH, 11 bringing with it the splendor of YHVH. Her brilliance resembled a very precious gem, like a jasper stone, as transparent as crystal. 12 It had a very massive and high wall with twelve gates. The names of the twelve tribes of the descendants of Israel were inscribed on them. 13 There were three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve envoys of the Lamb. 15 The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, its gates and its wall. 16 The city was laid out in a square, its length was the same as its width. And he measured the city with the rod at 12,000 stadia , and the length, width and height were all equal. 17 He measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits, the human measurement that the messenger was using. 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city was made of pure gold, like transparent glass. 19 The foundations of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh carnelian, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate was a single pearl. The main street of the city was pure gold, like brilliant glass. 22 I didn’t see a Temple  in it, because YHVH Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city didn’t need the sun or the moon for enlightenment  because YHVH’s brightness enlightens it, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations that were rescued from destruction  will ‘live’ in its light, and the kings of the earth will bring the splendor and wealth of the nations  [the human family] into it. 25 Its gates won’t be shut during the day, and it’s never night [dark] there. 26 Notice! They will bring the splendor and honor of the human family [ethnos] into it. 27 Nothing unclean will ever enter it or anyone who performs idolatrous abominations or a liar—only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Small Book of Life .
 The length of a stadia: a “place in which contests in running were held, the one who outstripped the rest and reached the goal first, receiving the prize. Courses of this description were found in most of the larger Greek cities, and were like that at Olympia, 600 Greek feet in length.” —OBGL
 “used of the Temple at Jerusalem, but only of the [kadosh] edifice (or temple) itself, consisting of the [Kadosh Place] and the [most Kadosh Place] (in classical Greek it is used of the temple or cell of the Temple, where the image of gold was placed which is distinguished from the whole enclosure).” —OBGL
 The Greek omits “of the nations”, presumably to denigrate the role of flesh and blood humans in the New Jerusalem.
 Notice that you don’t have to die to visit!
 Your name should be written in the the Book of Life right now!
Here is a clear reference to where our new home will be, tho it is obscured in every version I have seen except for Young’s Literal Translation.
Ezekiel 37:27 My home [New Jerusalem] will also be ABOVE them. I’ll be their Elohim, and they’ll be My people. 28 The nations will know that I, Yehovah, make Israel kadosh, when My Kadosh Place [an earthly temple] is among them forever.
Notice that whole nations will be saved and walk in the light of New Jerusalem (v.24). Also note that the kings of the earth will bring people there. These nations will not be aspiring to go to a far off city, deep in outer space!
Revelation 21:9-12 One of the seven messengers who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues [Gr. catastrophes] came to me and said, “Come, I’ll show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 In the spirit realm he carried me to the top of a vast, lofty mountain, and he showed me the kadosh city of Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from YHVH, 11 bringing with it the splendor of YHVH. Her brilliance resembled a very precious gem, like a jasper stone, as transparent as crystal. 12 It had a very massive and high wall with twelve gates. The names of the twelve tribes of the descendants of Israel were inscribed on them.
Contrast that to the first time when the kings see New Jerusalem overhead.
Psalm 48:1-6, 8 (A Song. A Psalm by the sons of Korah.) Yehovah is great, and greatly to be praised, in the city of our Elohim, in His kadosh mountain. 2 Beautiful in elevation, Mount Zion is the joy of the whole earth, in the extreme north, the city of the great King. 3 Elohim has shown Himself in her citadels as a refuge. 4 The kings gathered together, they passed by together. 5 They saw it [“Mount Zion” the city] and they were amazed. They were terrified, so they fled in panic. 6 Trembling took hold of them there, pain like a woman in childbirth. ... 8 As we have heard, so we have seen, in the city of Yehovah the ‘Warrior’ King, in the city of our Elohim. Elohim will establish it forever. Selah.
Revelation 4:1-6 After this, I looked and saw a door open in the sky! The first voice that I heard was like a shofar talking with me. It said, “Come up here and I’ll show you the things that must happen after this.” 2 Instantly, I was in the spirit realm and a throne ‘appeared’ in the sky, and Someone was seated on the throne! 3 The One sitting there resembled a jasper stone and sardonyx. And encircling the throne was a rainbow ‘amid’ clouds with an emerald ‘hue’. 4 Around the throne [Aramaic Kursio, a seat of state] were twenty-four thrones, and on those thrones I saw twenty four Elders who were dressed in white robes, with gold coronets [crowns without arches] on their heads. 5 Lightning flashes and rumbling thunder came from the throne. Seven flaming menorahs were burning in front of the throne. These are the seven spirits of YHVH. 6 In front of the throne it looked like a sea of glass that sparkled like crystal. In the center near the throne and around the sides were four living beings ‘covered’ with eyes in front and behind.
I am convinced that Ezekiel 1 describes the same sea of glass and the throne room. Particularly verses 22 & 26:
Ezekiel 1:22, 26 Over the heads of the living beings was something resembling a watery expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal spread out over their heads. ... 26 Above the expanse over their heads was something that looked like a throne of sapphire stone, and on what looked like a throne was what appeared to be a man above it.
Revelation 15:1-4 Then I saw another ‘spectacular’ and amazing sign in the sky—seven messengers with the seven last plagues [heavy afflictions]. With these YHVH’s rage is finished. 2 I saw a sea of glass that seemed to be ‘ablaze’ with flames, and those who had been victorious over the predatory beast and over his icon [Gr. eikon] and over the number of his name were standing on the sea of glass, and they had the harps of YHVH. 3 They were singing the song of Moses the servant of YHVH, and the song of the Lamb: “Your deeds are spectacular and marvelous, Master YHVH the Sovereign. Your ways are just and true, O King of the ages. 4 Who won’t fear you Master, and praise Your name, since You alone are kadosh and just. Every nation will come and worship in Your presence, because Your righteous acts have been revealed.”
Don’t assume that “every nation” represents dead people. Zechariah also described this time when “the nations” would come and worship before Yehovah:
Zechariah 14:16 Then everyone who is left behind [survives] from all the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, Yehovah the ‘Warrior’ King, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.
Virtually every Sabbatarian who I talk to believes that the arrival of the New Jerusalem will be postponed for a thousand years. Those who feel that New Jerusalem is in the distant future have to assume that the “sea of glass” is some strange thing that Yehovah just happens to be occupying in the mean time.
I like to think of the sea of glass as sort of like the watery window on Stargate SG1, that people use to travel to other planets. Perhaps that resembles what the bottom side of New Jerusalem will look like.
Some would rather believe that the envoy (apostle) John’s description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21-22, are allegorical references to a rehabilitated earthly city, not unlike other cities that will be rebuilt:
Isaiah 61:4 They’ll rebuild places desolate since antiquity, they’ll rebuild the ancestral places and places now wasted and deserted, and they’ll restore cities parched from heat, and places deserted for many generations.
Isaiah 65:17-18 I’m going to create a New Heavens and a New Earth, and the previous ones won’t be remembered, or come to mind! 18 Be glad and rejoice forever in what I’m going to create, because I’m creating Jerusalem for rejoicing, and her people a joy.
The word “create” is not used loosely in the Bible. It is almost always associated with the activities of Yehovah.
But John provided far too many details concerning New Jerusalem for it to simply be flowery speech about a rebuilt old ruin. Figurative words may be the spice of a spiritual meal, but they should not become the main course.
I’m going to state my conclusions and suppositions concerning the many verses listed up front—that way you won’t tend to rush thru the chapter to see where it is leading.
2) The New Jerusalem will arrive just prior to the Great Tribulation, engulfed by black clouds, and become visible during the Day of Yehovah (the “Lord”).
3) Its shape will be cubic, 1379 miles in diameter (12,000 X approximately 606 feet and 9 inches to a stadium) as indicated in Revelation 20:16 (tho some think it’s pyramidal). The immense size of the city would obliterate the Mediterranean or “Great” sea were it to “land”, but the sea will remain just as it is—except for the salt! (Ezekiel 47:10-20)
4) First visibility of New Jerusalem will astound the human kings of the earth. Again, “As soon as THEY SAW IT, they were ASTOUNDED”. (Psalms 48:1-6)
5) The foundations of the city will literally rest at or on the “summits” of the mountains. It will hover over the land but not occupy the surface:
Isaiah 2:2 In the future, at the end of the ‘age’, the mountain of Yehovah’s Temple will be established on the summits of the mountains, and will be borne above the hills, and all nations will beam [or flow] into it.
6) There will be access from the mountains. People will literally “go up” to Zion:
Isaiah 2:3 People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Yehovah, to the ‘descendants’ of Jacob’s Elohim. He’ll teach us His path to life, and we’ll ‘live’ His way.” The Torah will go out from Zion, and the Word of Yehovah from Jerusalem.
7) There will be cities beneath the New Jerusalem. A new Earthly Jerusalem will be rebuilt, complete with States or Provinces for each of the twelve tribes of Israel at the beginning of the Everlasting Kingdom. (Ezekiel 36, especially v.33)
8) Both the Father and the Son presently live in “Jerusalem above”, the one Yeshua went to prepare. They will both continue to occupy New Jerusalem when it is relocated here.
9) Ezekiel 40-47—eight whole chapters—describe an earthly temple in Jerusalem! But there is no temple in New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:22-23)! Yet Revelation has many references to the Temple in heaven, with several mentioning it being seen from earth:
10) Jacobs “ladder” was a prophecy. Actually, it should be translated “to cast up a highway”, from the root word:
Genesis 28:12, 16-17 As he dreamed he saw an elevated highway stationed on the earth, and its top reached to heaven! Amazingly, the Messengers of Elohim were ascending and descending on it. ... 16 Jacob awakened from his sleep, and he said, “Surely Yehovah is in this place, and I didn’t know it”, 17 and this is the GATEWAY [entrance] of heaven!
The throne and the Temple room will become visible to everyone, not to mention Yeshua and His Father—“and who is able to survive that”?:
Revelation 6:16-17 and they said to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of the One sitting on the throne AND from the anger of the Lamb, 17 because the great day of Their anger has come, and who is able to ‘survive’ that?”
Seeing Yehovah the Father is a kiss of death:
Exodus 33:20 But He said, “You can’t see My face, because no one can see Me and live.
It’s no wonder that people would seek out “a cleft of the rock”, like Moses did (v.22).
Revelation 11:19 The Temple of YHVH in the sky was opened, and the ark of His covenant was visible inside His Temple. There was lightning and thunder and voices, an earthquake and huge hail.
Revelation 14:17 Then another messenger came out of the Temple in the sky, also having a sharp sickle.
Revelation 15:5 After this I looked and the Temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in the sky was opened.
Why couldn’t this Temple be relocated to earth, seeing that shortly after the wrath is over, it is gone?
Revelation 21:22 I didn’t see a Temple in it, because YHVH Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
Perhaps you have heard that the happy ending part of the book of Revelation is that “we win”. Where does it talk about us winning in that “Final Chapter” of the book? Do “we win” at the end of “this present evil age” or 1000 years afterward? Revelation 1 thru 19 starts with seven mostly disappointing Assemblies (not really Churches), and ends with the Beast and his armies being defeated. Chapter 20:1-3 deals with Satan. IF we were to assign Revelation 20:7 thru the end of the book to the time after the millennium, as many do, then only the three remaining verses in between, as well as Revelation 22:12-15, deals with us winning during the millennium! Even in “our three verses”, we have to share the limelight with “the Beast”, “his image”, “his mark”, and “the second death”! Here are the three left over verses, where “we win”.
Revelation 20:4-6 I saw thrones, and those who were seated on them, and judicial authority was given to them, and I saw the bodies of those who were beheaded for THE TESTIMONY OF YESHUA [the ‘NT’] and for THE WORD OF ALOHA [the ‘OT’]. These are the ones who hadn’t worshiped the predatory beast or his icon, nor had they accepted his mark on their forehead or on their hand. They lived and reigned with their Messiah during those thousand years. 5  This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and kadosh is anyone who has part in this first [or best] resurrection, over them the second death has no influence, but they’ll be priests of YHVH and of His Messiah, and they’ll reign with Them during the thousand years.
 The words: “the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished”, aren’t in the earliest Syriac and Aramaic manuscripts, or the earliest Greek manuscripts, such as the Codex Sinaitic and Codex Alexandrine. While these latter two have their share of omissions, they do predate the addition. The Lamsa version found here includes the added text, while my print version doesn’t. The timing is elaborated on more in Daniel 12:1-7.
Here are the remaining verses that deal with us winning right away. But notice that the very context of this verse ties entering the gates of New Jerusalem to the time of Yeshua’s return!
Revelation 22:12-15 I’ll come quickly! My compensation is with Me, to pay everyone according to what they’ve done. 13 I’m the Aleph and the Tau, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14 Blessed are those who obey His Commandments. They’ll have the privilege to the Tree of Life, and be permitted to enter thru the gates into the city. 15 Outside of the city are dogs, sorcerers, sexual sinners, murderers, idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.
New Jerusalem has its foundation in the clouds. It protects and illuminates the earthly Jerusalem and the surrounding 1,901,641 square miles (1379 X 1379).
Again, this location is not a temporary staging point:
Where will Yeshua be when He comes here? He is going to bring His very “HOUSE” or “home” or “place” and those “mansions” with Him! Continuing:
The Greek word translated as both “mansions” and “home” is only found in this chapter of the Bible, both English words describe the same “place” and refer to the same time and event!
If you have believed in “going to heaven”, the best place to start reading about the “happily ever after” part of the Bible, that begins in the near future, is to carefully read Revelation Chapters 21 and 22 (in their entirety below). The other prophetic references that follow will also confirm when these things will happen by establishing the time order of these events in relation to the other end time events. The references in Ezekiel concerning their near future timing are seemingly not in dispute. Is Yehovah’s current home, the “old heaven” just going to “pass away”? The term “parerchomai” that is translated as “pass away” has some more interesting alternative meanings. The second renderings for “pass away” are literally: “to come near, come forward, arrive” as shown below. Interestingly, as the old ways of doing everything ‘pass away’ (parerchomai #1), that is when the New Heaven and New Earth ‘arrive’ (parerchomai #2),
New Jerusalem will be “near ... it won’t be far off”.
Isaiah 46:12-13 Listen to Me, you hard headed people, who are far from righteousness, 13 I bring My righteousness near, it won’t be far off, and My deliverance won’t wait, and I’ll place deliverance in Zion for Israel, My splendor.
Revelation 21:1-9 I saw a new heaven and a New Earth, because the first heaven and the first earth had gone, and there was no more sea. 2 I saw the kadosh city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from YHVH, like a bride adorned for her husband [for the Marriage of the Lamb]. 3 I heard a loud voice from the sky say, “Look, YHVH’s tabernacle [dwelling place] is among humanity [Gr. anthropos]. He will live with them and they’ll be His people, and YHVH will be with them, yes YHVH Himself will be with them.” 4 Every tear will be wiped from their eyes, and there will be no more death  or mourning or crying or pain, nor will the previous painful state exist anymore, because the previous evil things have gone away. 5 The One who was seated on the throne said, “Look, I’m making everything new”. And He said, “Write this down, because these are the faithful and true words of YHVH.” 6 Then He said to me, “I’m the Aleph and the Tau, the Beginning and the End. I’ll allow anyone who is thirsty to drink freely from the spring of living water. 7 Anyone who is victorious will inherit these things. I’ll be their Aloha and they’ll be My sons. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the sinful, the unclean, murderers, male prostitutes, sorcerers, idolaters and all liars ‘are destined for’ the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.” 9 One of the seven messengers who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues [Gr. catastrophes] came to me and said, “Come, I’ll show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”
 The cessation of tears and death begins as soon as the Everlasting Kingdom is established! Check the entire context of Isaiah 25, particularly v.8. Yet the wicked are excluded from this blessing. 1 Corinthians 15:23-24 says, “but everyone in their order, Messiah was the firstfruit. Later, at His coming, those who are the Messiah’s [will be restored to life]. 24 Then the end of these events comes, when He’ll have handed over the Kingdom to YHVH the Father, when every ruler and every government and every powerful force will have been overthrown”. Many assume that there is a 1,000 year gap between verse 23 and verse 24, assuming that it will take Yeshua 1,000 years to conquer the world. Have they read any prophecies? Zechariah 14 is a detailed account of the conquest of the world, it’s called the Day of Yehovah (the “Lord”). The earth will be “under His feet”, beginning at the Mount of Olives. Ezekiel 38 and 39 is another specific account of the conquest. Some postpone these chapters too. Consequently they must, for example, also think that it will take 1,000 years for Him to “make My kadosh name known in the midst of My people Israel” (Ezekiel 39:7) as well.
Names are never added to The Book of Life, but many names are removed! The unrepentant sinner will “by no means enter” New Jerusalem. Ezekiel explained the entrance requirements to Yehovah’s Kodesh city. These gates, along with the names of the tribes, are all listed in Ezekiel 48:31-35, the context is specifically when Israel is assigned its land at the beginning of the Everlasting Kingdom.
Ezekiel 44:6-9 Tell the rebellious ‘nation’ of Israel, ‘The Sovereign Yehovah says: O ‘nation’ of Israel, enough of all your abominations! 7 You’ve brought in foreigners, with uncircumcised minds and uncircumcised flesh into My Kadosh Place, violating the honor of My very Temple, by your offering My bread, the fat and the blood. You’ve broken My covenant, in addition to all your other abominations. 8 You haven’t carried out your duty regarding My kadosh things, instead you’ve put foreigners in charge of My Kadosh Place. 9 The Sovereign Yehovah says: No foreigner with an uncircumcised mindset and uncircumcised flesh will enter My Temple, including foreigners who live in Israel.
Now for Part 2