Faithlife Sermons

The Capital City of Heaven Part 2

The Book of Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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I. The Cities Demeanor (vs. 9-11)
II. The Cities Design (vs. 12-21a)
Having given to the Church the fact that the demeanor of this Capital City is going to be the glory of God and that that glory is going to be the radiance and what lights the new city, he moves on to the Design of this eternal city.
Now, I realize that the verses that are listed on this point seem to look like we will be on this point for months, but I want to put your mind as ease by saying that these verses tend to go quickly because these are very clear looks into the design.
While we could spend months trying to put hyperbole on all of these things, Scripture is very clear on this and once you move away from the cleat teaching of the Scripture, you no longer have the Scripture.
So, we will not do that, we will go over exactly what the Scriptures say and when there is warrant for closer analogy we will do it but we will engage, as some have, in allegorizing the text to same something that it does not say.
So, lets see the design on the Capital City.
Revelation 21:12 AV
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:
The city has a wall that the text describes as great and high and had twelve gates.
So forget any child vision you may have had about heaven being in the clouds as a floating sort of amorphous place.
The Scriptures are cleat that the capital city is a city that has specific dimensions, has limits and has a specific entrance.
The text says that it has twelve gates.
No only twelve gates, but twelve angels at each gate.
Now, you may wonder why there needs to be angels at the gates; because all evil has been destroyed so there is nothing there that is going to try and enter without permission.
So the angels are not there for security reasons.
I believe that the angels are there for a couple of reasons.
First of all, in the Scriptures angels are associated with the glory of God.
When you see the glory of God, you will typically see in or around that event the holy angels of heaven.
Let me give you a couple of instances.
Matthew 16:27 ESV
For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
In that text you have the Son of Man (Jesus Christ) coming with the angels in the glory of the Father.
So you have the angels associated with the glory of God.
And since the Father and the Son are equal, then you have the angels being associated with the glory of the godhead.
Matthew 25:31 ESV
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
So here you have the angels in association with the glory of the Son.
And, again, since the Son of as much God as the Father, you have a clear example of angels being associated with the glory of God.
Mark 8:38 ESV
For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Now we could say volumes to you about that verse, but I just want to point out to you the very obvious.
That angels are seen as being associated with the glory of God.
The idea being and one of the reasons I believe that twelve angels are seen at each of the twelve gates is that angels follow the glory of God.
Second, there are twelve angels at each of the twelve gates because part of the angels duties are to minister to the the saints.
The transgiu
Hebrews 1:14 ESV
Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
The text further says that on each of the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Celebrating for all eternity the covenant relationship that God has with His chosen people, the Jews.
Israel are the people the people of the Promise, the Covenant, the Scriptures and the Messiah.
Revelation 21:13 AV
On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
The gates were arrange symmetrically.
In fact, it is reminiscent of the way that the tribes of Israel were arranged in the OT according to .
The Tabernacle was in the middle and there were three tribes of each side of the tabernacle.
Show slides of the arrangement of the Tabernacle
And it is also reminiscent of the arrangement of the tribal land around the Millennial Kingdom according the Ezekial 48:30-35.
Revelation 21:14 ESV
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Revelation 21:14 AV
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
“Foundations:” is the Greek word “θεμέλιος” and speaks about foundation stones.
The wall of this great city has twelve foundation stones and on each stone is the name of the one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ.
And that commemorates God’s covenant relationship to the Church, on which the Apostles are the foundation.
Ephesians 2:20 ESV
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

At the top of each gate was the name of one of the tribes of Israel; at the bottom of each gate was the name of one of the apostles. Thus, the layout of the city’s gates pictures God’s favor on all His redeemed people, both those under the old covenant, and those under the new covenant.

Revelation 21:15 AV
And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
A curious thing happens to John as the angels had a golden reed by which he was going to measure the city.
Again this is reminiscent of measuring of the Millennial Temple if Ezekial 40:3, and the measuring of the Tribulation Temple in .
All that is to say that God is marking out what belongs to Him.
Revelation 21:16 AV
And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
Show Picture of square overlay US.
“Furlongs” is the Greek word “στάδιον” from where we get our English word “stadium” and it speaks regarding a distance of about 607 feet.
So with that information in mind let me give you an idea of the dimensions of this city.
12,000 stadia is about 1342.2 miles, in each direction.
1342.2 miles north, south, east and west.
That would equate to 7,086,614.2 feet in each of the four directions.
If you were not in a glorified body and could not move at the speed of light but had to depend on your normal walking abilities, just to give you an idea of this enormous city; it would take the average person 67.5 days to walk in EACH of the four directions in order to walk just the outer circumference of the Capital City.
Now, because the text says that the length, width and height are equal, some commentators have concluded that the city is in the shape of a pyramid.
However, the text is very clear on the shape of the city.
The text says that they city is “foursquare”.
“Foursquare” is the Greek word “τετράγωνος” and it is a geometrical term to speak regarding having four equal sides or four right angles.
And the only way that you can have four right angles is to have a square.
But just as a side note.
A square was the shape that God determined for His dwelling place in Solomons Temple in .
Revelation 21:17 AV
And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
Next the angel measures the wall.
Now, understand that this measurement is not the height of the wall as some have suggested, because we already know what the height of the wall is back in verse 16; it is 1342.2 miles high.
This measurement is probably speaking regarding the thickness of the wall.
The text says that it is 144 cubits.
One cubit is about 19 inches; it is about a forearm and a half.
But the text says that the thickness of the city wall is 144 cubits.
That would mean that the thickness of the wall of the Capital City is 2,736 inches thick.
To put it is illustrative terms; it would be like putting front to back one and a half Boeing 757 airplanes.
The length of those airplanes front to back would be the width of the city Wall.
Then when John speaks about “according to the measure of a man, that is, an angel” he is simply saying that this not mystical.
A foot is a foot, a yard is a yard, etc.
Revelation 21:18 AV
And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
Next John turns to the material from which the wall is made.
He said that the wall is made of Jasper.
This is the same diamond like material that we saw back in verse 11 speaking about the brightness of the glory of God.
So this wall is translucent, it is clear.
So just think with me for a moment on this wall that will surround the capital city.
We know that it is a square.
We know that it is 1342.2 miles in each direction; North, South, East and West.
Verse 16 tells that the height is equal, of the same, as its length.
So from that we conclude that the wall; North, South, East and West, is 1342.2 miles high.
Just to give you some perspective on that; it is 1366 miles from Maine to Georgia.
So from Maine to Georgia is the walls length on each side and from Maine to Georgia is the walls height on each side.
The wall is 2,736 inches thick all the way around.
And the wall is made out of a diamond and it is clear and transparent.
But not only is the wall transparent but also is the city itself.
It is transparent Gold.

The new Jerusalem’s walls and buildings must be clear for the city to radiate the glory of God. Some may be concerned that the city’s translucence will preclude any privacy. There will be nothing in heaven, however, that calls for privacy.

Revelation 21:19-
Revelation 21:19–20 AV
And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

They were adorned with every kind of precious stone, twelve of which the apostle names. The names of some of the stones have changed through the centuries, making their identification uncertain. Eight of these stones were mounted on the high priest’s breastpiece (Ex. 28:17–20; 39:10–13). The first foundation stone was jasper which, as previously noted, is best identified as a diamond; the second was sapphire, a brilliant blue stone; the third was chalcedony, an agate stone from the Chalcedon region of what is now modern Turkey, sky blue in color with colored stripes; the fourth was emerald, a bright green stone; the fifth was sardonyx, a red and white striped stone; the sixth was sardius, a common quartz stone found in various shades of red; the seventh was chrysolite, a transparent gold or yellow-hued stone; the eighth was beryl, a stone found in various colors, including shades of green, yellow, and blue; the ninth was topaz, a yellow-green stone; the tenth was chrysoprase, a gold-tinted green stone; the eleventh was jacinth, a blue or violet-colored stone in John’s day, though the modern equivalent is a red or reddish-brown zircon; the twelfth was amethyst, a purple stone. These brightly-colored stones refract the shining brilliance of God’s glory into a panoply of beautiful colors. The scene was one of breathtaking beauty, a spectrum of dazzling colors flashing from the New Jerusalem throughout the re-created universe.

Revelation 21:21 AV
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

The next facet of the heavenly city that caught John’s eye was the twelve gates, which were twelve pearls. Pearls were highly prized and of great value in John’s day. But these pearls were like no pearl ever produced by an oyster, because each one of the gates was a single gigantic pearl nearly 1,400 miles high. There is a spiritual truth illustrated by the fact that the gates were made of pearls, as John Phillips explains:

How appropriate! All other precious gems are metals or stones, but a pearl is a gem formed within the oyster—the only one formed by living flesh. The humble oyster receives an irritation or a wound, and around the offending article that has penetrated and hurt it, the oyster builds a pearl. The pearl, we might say, is the answer of the oyster to that which injured it. The glory land is God’s answer, in Christ, to wicked men who crucified heaven’s beloved and put Him to open shame. How like God it is to make the gates of the new Jerusalem of pearl. The saints as they come and go will be forever reminded, as they pass the gates of glory, that access to God’s home is only because of Calvary. Think of the size of those gates! Think of the supernatural pearls from which they are made! What gigantic suffering is symbolized by those gates of pearl! Throughout the endless ages we shall be reminded by those pearly gates of the immensity of the sufferings of Christ. Those pearls, hung eternally at the access routes to glory, will remind us forever of One who hung upon a tree and whose answer to those who injured Him was to invite them to share His home.

Then John says that the streets are like gold, transparent.
So not only do you have a city whose walls are transparent, the city itself is transparent gold and the streets are also transparent gold.
What a city!
Brought you by the Grace of Almighty God.
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