God’s New Creation: Part 2

[Originally published as the second part of A New Creation]

Revelation 21:9–21 describes the appearance of the New Jerusalem in such a way it is clear that doing it justice was beyond John’s ability to describe. Its beauty is obviously beyond words. It is not some ethereal, misty, dreamlike apparition. It is a real, physical, three-dimensional place, exceeding the most beautiful city on earth built by man.

The dimensions are given as 12,000 furlongs square or 1500 miles per side (21:16). Because the width, length, and height are all equal, some have suggested that it is a cube. However, others have suggested a four-sided pyramid with the throne of God, from which the river of living water flows, at the apex (22:1). Whether cubical or pyramidical, its height far extends what we now recognize as outer space.

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If superimposed on the United States, the New Jerusalem’s footprint (2.25 million square miles) would extend from Maine to Florida, and from the Atlantic coast to 600 miles west of the Mississippi River. Clearly, there is sufficient space for every believer that has ever lived. I would be amiss to venture at a number, but surely it must be in the billions.

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)

In the previous chapters, we saw that “heaven” was arranged in a manner for which the earthly Temple was patterned. In the New Jerusalem, the Temple is no longer needed.

The earthly Temple had the Holy of Holies where the presence of God dwelt, and no man could enter there, except for the high priest, and that only once a year on the Day of Atonement. In the New Jerusalem, God dwells with and among His people without restrictions. The sun and moon are not seen in the New Jerusalem, because the glory of God and the Lamb overwhelm the light they produce. This does not mean the sun and moon cease to exist. Remember that the New Jerusalem comes out of heaven down to earth. It does not occupy the entire surface of the earth (which has no sea), so outside its gates, there will still be a need for the sun and moon.

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. (Revelation 21:24–26)

Apparently, the New Earth will have people living in it outside the gates of the New Jerusalem, none of whom were sentenced to the “lake of fire.” Those are all excluded as Jesus said, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

The “fearful” are those who were timid to identify with Christ. Of them, Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
The “unbelieving” are simply those who rejected the gospel and Jesus’ free gift of salvation. There is only one way to obtain eternal life, and that is through faith in Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

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In the Law of Moses, several practices were considered unclean and an abomination to the Lord. However, two extend beyond the Mosaic Law and are a perpetual abomination to the Lord; they are homosexuality (Lev. 18:22; 20:13, actually, any sexual perversion) and idolatry (Deut. 7:25).
The “abominable” are also prone to the other sins listed: murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers (i.e., drug abusers), etc. All of these reside in the eternal lake of fire and have no place in the New Earth and New Jerusalem.

The word “nations” here is the Greek word ethnos from which we get our English word “ethnic” referring to “people groups.” The New Earth and New Jerusalem will be populated by people from every ethnic group on this present earth. The children’s chorus “Jesus Loves the Little Children” that says “red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight” will be perfectly demonstrated in the New Earth and New Jerusalem.

Evidently, there will be “kings” over the various groups, and they will “bring their glory and honor into it.” I do not believe this is a tribute or sacrifice of any sort, but just their presence as the representatives of “the redeemed” will give glory and honor to the Lord and to the city. Mankind contributes nothing toward his salvation (Eph. 2:8–10). It is all by the grace of God, and all the glory goes to Him. The inhabitants of the New Earth have constant access, in and out, to the New Jerusalem. The gates of pearl are never shut (21:21).

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27)

Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, those to have their glorified bodies, bodies free from sin, sickness, and death, bodies that are ageless, will reside in the New Earth and New Jerusalem.

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1–2)

Since there is no sickness or death in the New Earth and New Jerusalem, the need for the “water of life” and a “tree of life” is perplexing. Dr. Morris1 gave a good explanation for not having the need for a “sea,” so, why the need for water at all? Dr. Morris suggests:

Although the text does not say so, we are probably justified in inferring that this river (like the river in Eden which was its typological forerunner) parts “into four heads” (Genesis 2:10), which in turn descends from level to level, providing abundant water for every need (aesthetic as well as physiological) of the residents of the city.

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Eventually, its four distributaries will, presumably, reach ground level and then flow out through the four walls of the city, north, south, east, and west whence it, like the eyes of the Lord, will “run to and fro throughout the whole earth” (2 Chronicles 16:9). Since there is “no more sea” (Revelation 21:1) the inexhaustible waters of this mighty river will supply whatever hydrologic needs the New Earth may have. There surely will be an abundance of luxurious grasses and herbs and trees everywhere, as in the original “very good” created world (Genesis 1:11, 31), and the whole earth will be a well-watered paradise of abundant resources and fulfilling ministries for the servants of God.

The text says that the leaves of the Tree of Life are for “the healing of the nations.” The Greek word translated as “healing” is therapeia and it means “service rendered by one to another” or “household service.” There is no sickness in the New Earth and New Jerusalem from which to be healed; therefore, a better understanding is that “the leaves of the tree were for the service of the nations.”

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:3–5)

The curse of Gen. 3:17–18 has been purged by fire (2 Pet. 3:10). In our natural, physical state, we cannot see God and live (Ex. 33:20). However, that is not so with our glorified bodies; we “shall see His face” in all of His resplendent glory. “There shall be no night” in the New Jerusalem because the glory of the Father and of the Son will illuminate it, although the sun and moon will still light the New Earth outside the city walls. The earth will still continue its annual orbit around the sun, and its rotation will continue to give day and night to the remade planet. However, within the New Jerusalem, the light of God and the Lamb will outshine the sun. And we “shall reign forever and ever” with Him.

Please, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Reader, what do you think? Do the New Heaven, New Earth, and New Jerusalem sound like a good place to spend eternity? You will spend eternity somewhere, either in God’s new creation or in the lake of fire. There are no other options. If you want eternity in the New Earth with access to the New Jerusalem, then your name must be recorded in the Book of Life, and there is only one way to ensure that your name is written in that book. If you do not know the Savior, do not wait any longer. The time is short. Please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”


  1. Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Revelation Record, (Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Ill, 1982), p. 437.

Ernesto e Carrasco

Written by Ernie Carrasco

Ernesto (Ernie) Carrasco has a BA in Biblical Studies from The Criswell College in Dallas, Texas and a Master of Christian Education in Biblical Apologetics from the Institute for Creation Research School of Biblical Apologetics, in Dallas, Texas. Ernie worked over 35 years in the telecommunications industry and five years as a bilingual elementary educator in the public schools. He retired from the Institute for Creation Research in the School of Biblical Apologetics as an Instructor on December 31, 2019. His primary goal in life is to serve, honor, and glorify God. Find him at Ernie’s Musings

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