Jesus Returns - The New Jerusalem Descending

Jesus promised to return and "take us with him" and the arrival of "The New Jerusalem" descending from the sky seems to fulfill that promise 

Revelation 21 starts: 

 (1) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

I suggest that this has been put in the wrong place and should be placed after the vision of The New Jerusalem coming down from the sky. I will explain why in more detail as we go on. I believe it should be the very LAST of the prophecies.

As far as past editors or translators were concerned, the “New Heaven and New Earth” would have been the result of Armageddon, at which time Jesus would return to restore the old earth, which had been destroyed, to a new one and save those of his people who were left.

But two things are puzzling. What is the reference to “no more sea” The Earth could no longer function without seas, and no matter how devastating “the final conflict” was, surely all the seas could not have evaporated? The word “sea” is interpreted by some in prophecies to be “people” but why would there be no people?

Secondly, how can any amount of destruction on the Earth result in a “New Heaven”. What was “new” about it? Did the stars appear in different places? Were there new, unrecognized star constellations in the heavens? Perhaps the Moon was no longer in orbit, or maybe there was more than one moon now circling the “New Earth”. Whatever it was, there must have been very obvious differences.

There is a simple if incredible explanation which we will come to shortly but first let us return to the “New Jerusalem”, coming down to earth in all its glory.

Revelation 21v2 continues:

2 And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband;

3 and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them;

4 he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away."

5 And he who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true."

6 And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment.

7 He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son.

8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death."

This clearly says that God comes down in what is described as “The New Jerusalem” but we know that cities do not descend from the sky! If we stick to modern day understanding, we would have to say that a large craft of some kind was seen, descending from the sky.

The commentary is being made not by “God” but by “he who sits on the throne” and John is still talking about the person occupying the “throne” before him, inside the craft. Otherwise the commentary could be just the soundtrack accompanying the “vision” he is seeing on the screen.

(9) Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, and spoke to me, saying, "Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb."

10 And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.

John is “in the spirit” which usually means he is floating in the air, being “transported somewhere”, in this case to get a closer glimpse of The New Jerusalem.

Since he is apparently seeing his visions on the screens before him and the events are not actually taking place at that time, one must assume, since he now describes the city in greater detail, that the screen zooms in to get a better view.

Or perhaps the view is now from above, hence the reference to a high mountain and John believes he has been “transported” there in the spirit.

(12) It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed; 13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls.

16 The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its breadth; and he measured the city with his rod, twelve thousand stadia; its length and breadth and height are equal. 17 He also measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits by a man's measure, that is, an angel's.

This is not so much a craft, or even as John says, a “city”!

It is the size of a large country. It measures 12,000 stadia long and the same size wide and high. Translated into modern measurements, that is 1500 miles long by 1500 miles wide and 1500 miles high!

Exactly what the “gold measuring rod” was which allowed John to measure an image of the craft is unclear but probably not too important at this stage.

The walls are 144 cubits thick, which translates into 500 feet. This is an enormous craft and to describe it as a city is a gross understatement. Its area is a quarter the size of Australia! If this is indeed the “New Jerusalem”, why would it be this size, or alternatively, why would John deliberately overstate the measurements?

 18 The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass.

19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every jewel; the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,

20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysophrase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.

21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.

The walls are described as being composed of 12 different semi-precious stones but it must be made of a metal, or some other substance which reflects light, to give the different colours described.

The “gates” are described as each being “a single large pearl”. Since pearls are very small objects, “pearl” can only describe the circular shape and the colour, which is opaque and whitish. If these are the “gates” or airlocks of the craft they must be enormous to be seen at all on such a large craft, although bearing in mind the size of the vessel, enormous “boarding gates” would be necessary.

The streets were “pure gold”, but are then described as “clear as glass” They cannot be both so one has to assume they were a transparent substance, which might be a plastic compound of some kind.

22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.

23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

24 By its light shall the nations walk; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it,

25 and its gates shall never be shut by day--and there shall be no night there;

26 they shall bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.

27 But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.

If this city, which is more than a quarter the size of Australia, is indeed an “intergalactic” space craft, it would have no need of the sun to light it because it would be lit artificially, just like any modern building today. If this sounds just too incredible to be true, ask yourself: if you were going to make a prophecy, would you not make it as credible as possible? Why would you exaggerate the size to be unbelievable? And who, except a person from modern society, would believe in a city which needed no artificial light?

Revelation 22v1 continues:

1 Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

If this craft is designed to travel through space, there would have to be a controlled environment, where food could be produced and water recycled to sustain the inhabitants.

The word “river” is probably as much an understatement as it is to call the craft a “city” and the trees would need to be plantations and forests, not just a few rows of trees.

How many “stories” would fit into a structure 1500 miles high? If each story were a mile high you could have 1500 stories! There would be plenty of room for large areas devoted to forests, rivers and other life-sustaining systems. The earth has a surface area of just under 200 million square miles and one story of 1500 miles x 1500 miles is 2.25 million square miles. You would need only 100 floors, or stories, to give the same area as earth and that includes the area of all the oceans!

3 There shall no more be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall worship him;

4 they shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads.

5 And night shall be no more; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign for ever and ever.

6 And he said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.

7 And behold, I am coming soon. "Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book”.

8 I John am he who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me;

9 but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."

If any proof is required that it is only in John’s mind that “he who is seated on the throne”, in the place where he is being shown the “visions,” is God or Jesus, then it is in v8 where John, not for the first time, falls to his knees to worship the “angel” next to him. He is told quite categorically: "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren, the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book

(10)  And he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy."

12 "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood.

16 "I Jesus have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star." 17 The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let him who hears say, "Come." And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price.

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

When will this happen? No one knows but it will be soon. He says “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book”, meaning “let everyone see and hear the details”.

Although he will be coming soon, it will not be until all the other prophecies have been fulfilled. The reason for these revelations are to demonstrate that, as prophecies are seen to be fulfilled, the whole book becomes credible and therefore this, the final prophecy, will be accepted as being true before it actually happens.