THE NEW JERUSALEM AND THE CITY’S TWELVE GATES

REVELATION 21:12-17

Key Word – New Jerusalem

THE CITY’S TWELVE FOUNDATIONS

In today’s study, we want to continue with Revelation (21:12-13), the New Jerusalem and the city’s twelve gates.  There are several things indicated that we should observe and keep in mind.

No doubt you remember that the gates have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel upon them.  Again, this symbolizes that the only way to come to God is through the Messiah of the twelve tribes, the Messiah of  the Jews, that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Note also that Scriptures says, “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22).  The principle is God sent His salvation, His own Son, into the world through the Jews.  Therefore, the ENTRANCE into the Heavenly Jerusalem is   ONLY through the Messiah of the Jewish nation.  No person can enter the heavenly city unless he comes THROUGH the gates of salvation which was provided by God.

“Ye worship ye know not what:  we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.”  (John 4:22)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16)

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:  he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”  (John 6:35)

“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of eternal life.”  (John 6:67,68)

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  (John 14:6)

“Neither is there salvation in any other:  for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”  (I Timothy 2:5)

“But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”  (Hebrews 8:6)

“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”  (Hebrews 9:15)

“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”  (Hebrews 12:24)

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”  (I John 2:1)

Another interesting fact about the gates is that they are guarded by twelve angels:  this symbolizes that the entrance to the city is protected.

No one is allowed to enter the city unless they are approved by God.  A person can enter ONLY if he comes through the salvation that God gave through Israel, that is, through His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ the true Messiah (John 10:9).  Who said I am the door in John 10:7, 9.

NOTE:  There are three gates on each of the four walls of the city.  The twelve gates altogether.  Every directon on earth has three gates:

  • The east has three gates.
  • The north has three gates.
  • The south has three gates.
  • The west has three gates.

There are gates one should be concerned with in this life, Matthew 7:13,14.

This symbolizes that everyone on earth is invited to enter the city.  There is a wall that faces everyone in the east, and everyone in the north, and everyone in the south, and everyone in the west.  And there are three gates facing everyone.  Everyone on earth can enter the city.  There is no discrimination or prejudice, no partiality or favoritism shown by God.  All who wants can come and live as citizens of the city.  The ONLY REQUIREMENT is that the person must come THROUGH THE MESSIAH, the Savior of the World, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

“But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”  (Acts 10:35)

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:  for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”  (Romans 1:16)

“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:  for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.”  (Romans 10:12)

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female:  for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”  (Galatians 3:28)

Now let’s move to Revelation 21:14 and the New Jerusalem.

Notice that there are the city’s twelve foundations (v. 14).  They have the names of the twelve apostles inscribed upon them.

NOTE:  THE TWELVE APOSTLES ARE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED AS THE APOSTLES “OF THE LAMB”.  

This means that the foundation of the city is the testimony of the apostles, the testimony that declares that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly the Lamb of God.  It is the SACRIFICIAL DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE LAMB OF GOD that makes the city available to people.

Unless Jesus Christ had died and risen for man, unless He had shed His blood on the Cross—unless He had taken the sins of man upon Himself and sacrificed His life for those sins—no person would be free of sin and made acceptable to God.  No person could ever enter the city, for every person would still be bearing his own sins.

Unless a person believes in the Lamb of God (Romans 10:9-13), and BELIEVES that Jesus Christ did sacrifice His life for his sins, and did rise from the dead that person is not acceptable to God.  he will never be allowed to enter the New Jerusalem.

The very foundation of the city is the testimony OF THE LAMB declared by the Apostles.  Therefore, a person must build his life upon that testimony.

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.”  (Ephesians 2:19-20)

“Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”  (I Timothy 6:19)

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his.  And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”  (I Timothy 2:19)

NOW LET’S MOVE TO REVELATION 21;15-17 AND THE NEW JERUSALEM:  We will be looking at the city’s shape and size (v. 15-17).  There are three key ideas for us to consider.

  1. The city is square (v. 16).  Ther is one side each facing to the east, north, south, and west.  Again, the city faces in every direction.  Citizenship within the city is available to every nation, city, tribe, language, and person upon earth—it’s available if a  person will approach the city through (if they want it) the salvation God Himself has provided for the earth’s population, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Romans 10-9-13).
  2. The city is enormous.  We would expect of the heavenly city, its size is beyond anything we would ever dream (v. 16). It is 1500 miles long and wide and high.  Think about it, it towers 1500 miles high!  This is a total of 2,250,000 square miles or 3,375,000,000 cubic miles (almost four billion cubic miles)!  (From the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible)

Now picture a huge space station that man might be forced to build in a century or two and orbit around the earth.  If Jesus Christ delays His coming long enough, the idea that man might be forced to build a large city in outer space to handle the population has already cross the mind of numerous men already.

The God who created a moon to orbit around the earth and planets to orbit around the sun has created a city that is far more beautiful than any city man will ever build.

It will someday descend from heaven to earth and be the capital city of the universe.  God is going to reclaim the earth from all the evil that has engulfed it, and He is going to do the most marvelous thing:  make the earth the center of the universe, the place where His very presence will be centered.  The earth will be the throne of the Lord Jesus Christ.  And the capital city of His rule and reign will be the New Jerusalem.  What a glorious picture of the great salvation and sovereign majesty of God!

3. The thickness of the wall and gates is 144 cubits or 266 feet thick (v.17)

 Consider this:  The size of the city is large enough to take care of all who enter it.  There is room enough for all who will come to God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  No one who has trusted           the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation will be left out or denied entrance   to the Heavenly city.

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth:  for I am God, and there is none else.”  (Isaiah 45:22)

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”  (Isaiah 55:1)

“Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.”  (Matthew 22:9)

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”  (John 7:37)

“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:  for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.”  (Romans 10:12)

“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”  (I Timothy 2:4)

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let him that heareth say, Come.  And let him that athirst come.  And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”  (Revelation 22:17)

NOW LET’S REVIEW HOW TO GO TO HEAVEN BY CARRYING OUT THE STEPS IN THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him:  for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”  (Hebrew 11:6)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16)

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:  for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  (Romans 10:9-13)

“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:  and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”  (Acts 2:41)

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of  yourselves:  it is a gift of God:  not of works, lest any man should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

NOTE:  In our next study we will continue with the New Jerusalem AND Revelation 21:18-23.  Then we will move to Revelation 21:24 – 22:5, the New Jerusalem, The City of God (Part II):  its citizens and Provision.