Key Verse: “He carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.”
GOD GAVE JOHN ANOTHER revelation, in which he was carried away “to a great and high mountain.” This “mountain” represents God’s kingdom which will soon come. Transported, in vision, to the future kingdom, John saw a “great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” This great city is the spiritual phase of God’s kingdom—Christ, the Lamb of God, and with him “the Lamb’s wife,” the 144,000 who were called, chosen and proven faithful.—Rev. 14:1-5; 21:9; 17:14
These spiritual rulers of the kingdom are described as “having the glory of God,” that is, immortality and the divine nature. (Rev. 21:11; Rom. 2:7; I Cor. 15:53,54; II Pet. 1:4) Christ promised, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, … and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven.” (Rev. 3:12) They will have an active role in restoring and uplifting mankind back to the perfection which Adam originally had.
In his vision John saw this great city as having “a wall great and high,” with “twelve foundations.” (Rev. 21:12-14) The city was in the shape of a perfect cube; the length, width and height were all equal, each measuring 12,000 furlongs. This perfect cube was oriented to the four points of the compass with three gates on each side. The orientation suggests that this city is for the benefit of the people of all lands, in every direction.—vss. 13,16
The identical number of gates on each side of the city suggests that everyone will have an equal opportunity to enter. These gates are a beautiful picture of how the requirements will be the same for all people to enter into the New Covenant arrangement of God’s righteous kingdom.
In ancient cities walls were built for the protection and safety of their inhabitants. The wall which John saw illustrates the absolute and complete protection which will be provided to all those who abide inside the symbolic city. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” “No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, … but the redeemed shall walk there.”—Isa. 11:9; 35:9
John then states concerning this city, “The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” (Rev. 21:22) A temple is a permanent structure, showing that this will be an everlasting arrangement. 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 [Jesus] is the light thereof. And the nations … shall walk in the light of it.” “And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.” (vss. 23-25) Gates of ancient cities were shut at night; however, in the holy Jerusalem they will remain open so that all may enter freely.
The Prophet Isaiah recorded beautiful prophecies which relate to this vision which John saw. (Isa. 26:1-4; 60:11-19) The promise of perfect peace, which so many seek at the present time, will at last be attained among those who enter the holy Jerusalem.—Isa. 35:1-10