New Jerusalem: A Priceless City
By Joseph Chambers
The Lord Jesus Christ has created for us – His saints – a city beyond imagination. Without argument, this city is too priceless to value. In the Book of Revelation an angel of the heavenly temple is chosen to measure and give John a dramatic view of the city. As one of His seven angels out of the temple, this angel knows every detail of this new temple. This City of New Jerusalem is a temple itself and will be united with the eternal temple from heaven. This is God’s gift to the new heaven and new earth and to His Son’s Bride. This description is just an earthly explanation of an indescribable city. The temple angel measures the city in John’s presence. The golden reed suggests that these measurements are an eternal matter.
The city is a foursquare complex. The width is exactly the same on all four sides and the height is equal. Twelve thousand furlongs is fifteen hundred miles. To imagine a city that is fifteen hundred miles square and fifteen hundred miles high that is surrounded by jasper walls is breathtaking. The highest mountain in the world is less than six miles high (Mount Everest – 29,035 feet) and the highest in America is less than four miles high (Mount McKinley – 20,320 feet). We are speaking of a city so massive that our minds can only imagine its grandeur. The city of New Jerusalem is 7,920,000 feet high compared to Mount Everest at 29,035 feet. This comparison makes Mount Everest appear to be nothing but a molehill.
The total wealth of this entire earth does not hold a light to the wealth of this New Jerusalem. The gold that has been mined and minted during human history is minute compared to the gold in this city. It would not be enough to pave the streets of one level and this will be a city of twelve foundations or levels. Each level will be one hundred and twenty-five miles high or 657,700 feet, over twenty-two times higher than Mount Everest. The height of the walls on each level is 144 cubits or approximately 226 feet. These walls are not provided to keep the glorified saints in or out. Nothing is more beautiful than the present massive stone walls of present day Jerusalem. These stone walls have a golden hue appearance as they are beautifully lit at night or in the sunshine. But the walls of New Jerusalem will be primarily wrought of jasper stone. Jasper is a dark green semi-translucent to opaque form of semi-precious chalcedony. Its beauty is rare. It readily accepts a fine polish and has the physical properties of those of quartz. No one would think of building city walls out of jasper in our present world. The expense would be totally prohibitive to the richest person but certainly not to our Father. The entire walled structure of this city, all twelve levels, will be jasper and pure gold. It appears that the outside formation of these walls is jasper, with the interior of the walls being pure gold.
The twelve foundations are garnished with twelve manners of precious stones. The first foundation is garnished with jasper on jasper. We can certainly expect that the garnishing jasper will be of a different shade as the jasper wall, which comprises the wall’s structure. There are different colors of jasper depending on the location where it is mined. The second level will be garnished with sapphire stones. The color of a pure sapphire is sky blue; using it to garnish the jasper will be extraordinary. The third level will be chalcedony, which can be any color of the rainbow from pale blue to yellow, brown, or gray. The fourth level will be garnished with emeralds. The finest emeralds are more valuable than diamonds; they are magnificent gems of the most beautiful green color. The stone used to garnish the fifth foundation is sardonyx or onyx. This stone varies in color; it may be translucent or opaque and is often striped. The sixth stone used for garnishment is sardius, possibly the red variety that is highly polishable and extremely beautiful. The seventh level is garnished with chrysolite, which is a form of topaz of Tarshish. The garnishment of the eighth level is beryl, which is actually colorless, but reflects a great variety of colors depending on foreign substances it contains. It is indeed a precious stone. The ninth garnishing stone on the ninth level of this city is topaz, which is called by some, the “gem of the setting sun.” Sometimes, it is said to be the color of gold or peach. The tenth level is chrysoprasus, which is called the apple and is a light green variety of agate. It is a very rare stone.
The eleventh foundation of this magnificent city is garnished with jacinth. The jacinth is a red variety of zircon, which is found in square prisms of different shades. The last of the twelve levels is garnished with amethyst. This is a royal purple and a fitting crown for the city. Imagine the crown of this city of transparent purple quartz that is decorating the jasper translucent walls with the gold within reflecting throughout the foursquare city.
Beautify all of this with gates of pearl, each gate one pearl carved into form to be twelve matching gates into the city. Each gate will be fifteen hundred miles high. Glowing through each gate will be streets of pure gold. It is hard to imagine the beauty of a solid pearl gate set on the walls of this city. This city reflects the creative masterpiece of a Groom full of love for His eternal Bride. “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 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” (Revelation 21:22-23).
Here is a beautiful city, New Jerusalem, set at the center of a new heaven and a new earth. The city itself is called a “Tabernacle.” It is also called a “holy city,” the “Lamb’s wife,” and “a bride adorned for her husband.” He now says, “And I saw no temple therein…” He is not saying there is no temple, but rather there is no need of a temple separate from this city. The picture is of the glory of the Father and of the Lamb of God. Their splendor transcends all the majesty of this great city and its wealth. They themselves will be the center of worship and of the Shekinah of God’s glory. The eternal divinity of our God and the worship that centers in them will make all else seem as unimportant. It is a city so contained by God that all becomes worship and praise. The glory of the Creator will fill all of it to an absolute perfection. Our God and our Christ will become the essence of the temple themselves.
The created sun, moon, and stars are no longer of service to God’s great universe. They have served their purpose. Now, the light of God is no longer shielded or manifested as a shadow. We have seen our Father and the Lord “through a glass darkly,” but now the darkness is gone, and His light breaks forth in its splendor. A world where the “glory of God did lighten it” seems like a dream. It is soon to be a reality. He says, “The Lamb is the light thereof.” Calling Christ a Lamb at this time in our prophetic future is a reminder of Calvary’s great accomplishment. There is no future without the cross. The very title, Lamb, is our reminder that there is no path to eternal bliss except by passing by the bloodstained hill outside and near Jerusalem’s earthly walls. (Excerpted from The Masterpiece.)