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Really, a city of gold?

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    Really, a city of gold?


    Revelation chapter 21 speaks of the New Jerusalem. It is described as having a foundation with four corners and sides each about 1500 miles. It is also 1500 miles tall, with about a 200 foot wall around it. The city is pure gold. There are 12 gates, always open, each made of a single pearl.

    The highest mountain top in the world is well below six miles, and even there the air is very thin. The venerable radio minister J. Vernon mindful of a city reaching 1500 miles into spaces says, “It is difficult for us to conceive of either a cube or a pyramid projected into space.” McGee, reasoning that spheres are more appropriate for objects of near planetary size concludes, the city is “a cube within a crystal-clear sphere.” One wonders how McGee measures appropriateness, as there’s no scientific reason why once we have a giant cube that it would need a sphere.

    McGee, seeing some sort of problem with the giant city tells us, “The law of gravity, as we know it, will be radically revised.” McGee appears always ready to fabricate new details to overcome anyone’s objection to taking the vision of the New Jerusalem literally. Gravity laws might not be visible in a vision, but I wonder why John failed to note the crystal sphere in the vision? And, what sphere has a wall around it? Are the open gates space ports?

    McGee thinks it would be heaven to live in a city of pure gold. Gold is precious because it’s rare. If everything were made of gold, it wouldn’t be precious. And, gold is absolutely unsuitable for buildings and streets. Even just a gold door frame would collapse, let alone a gold building. Gold is a horrible material all around, save for a little glitter and corrosion resistance. Living in a city of pure gold would be Hell.

    We’re told the city is prepared as a bride. Why doesn’t McGee think this crystal sphere or cube is clothed in a giant wedding gown? Is it because that’s absurd? Absurdity has never stopped those who want to take the symbols of Revelation literally.

    Many times, elements of John’s vision are explained to him. Never once does the explanation show that the vision was to be taken literally. So, if you want to believe in a literal city of gold, then you don’t believe Revelation’s own demonstration that the vision is not to be taken literally.

    Another thing about those people who want to take visions literally is their avoidance of literalism outside of what’s seen in the visions: Those seven churches of Revelation are symbols of church ages. The warning that the events of Revelation were at hand is a symbol meaning we should wait indefinitely, but be ready. Swords are symbols of guns.

    Let those who are insane remain insane, but for the rest of us, the New Jerusalem is the church and it has been the church for 2000 years. It is not a literal city of gold that we’ll see sometime in the future. Biblical visions, and dreams, are not meant to be taken literally. It’s not arguable.

    #2
    I agree. The gold is symbolic and denotes the place where God dwells. The items in the tabernacle in the desert and the inner sanctuary of Solomon's Temple were all pure gold or gold covered. So the city being made of gold symbolises God's dwelling there.
    Comment>

      #3
      The gems are the bride's adornment, showing how special, priceless, she is to the groom. The names of the 12 tribes and 12 apostles on the city represent the old and new testament saints. It's a large city because it has rooms for all the saints. The footprint of the city is approximately the size of the promised land, from the nile to the euphrates. Outside the city are the wicked (still). The gates are open because anyone who will wash their robes may enter.

      Comment>

        #4
        How when and who condemns what to believe or not to believe
        it. You might tell me that Christ was an imaginary being not real.
        Or?

        For me the new Jerusalem is as real as you whom I can't see
        but who do exist somewhere in the space.:)

        Some one in the Scriptures mentions though that Hagar and Sarah
        are symbolic. Well, that Hagar is the Jerusalem that exist now
        and Sarah is the Jerusalem that is up above. So this Jerusalem above,
        our mother, exists already, somewhere in G-d's space where time
        and the physicalities of this earth do not bind or restrict. Or?

        Comment>

          #5
          Sarah and Hagar really existed. But, Sarah as the mother of Christians is symbolic. And, Hagar as the mother of Jews is symbolic. Hagar as the carnal Jerusalem is symbolic. Sarah as the heavenly Jerusalem is symbolic.

          The Church exists here and now. Christians are the legitimate heirs of Abraham. The Bible uses symbols to speak of spiritual matters.





          Comment>

            #6
            The point is that Hagar means slavery as Jerusalem now down here is real and is in slavery.
            The good point is that Sarah means freedom as the Jerusalem that exists up somewhere
            is real and is free.
            Comment>

              #7
              You mentioned Abraham. That is true, all those who have the faith that Abraham had, faith in resurrection,
              do share his G-d as well.
              Comment>

                #8
                Originally posted by slippy View Post
                How when and who condemns what to believe or not to believe
                it. You might tell me that Christ was an imaginary being not real.
                Or?

                For me the new Jerusalem is as real as you whom I can't see
                but who do exist somewhere in the space.:)

                Some one in the Scriptures mentions though that Hagar and Sarah
                are symbolic. Well, that Hagar is the Jerusalem that exist now
                and Sarah is the Jerusalem that is up above. So this Jerusalem above,
                our mother, exists already
                , somewhere in G-d's space where time
                and the physicalities of this earth do not bind or restrict. Or?
                Originally posted by Cornelius
                Sarah and Hagar really existed. But, Sarah as the mother of Christians is symbolic. And, Hagar as the mother of Jews is symbolic. Hagar as the carnal Jerusalem is symbolic. Sarah as the heavenly Jerusalem is symbolic.

                The Church exists here and now. Christians are the legitimate heirs of Abraham. The Bible uses symbols to speak of spiritual matters.
                See, that we do not talk about the same thing. I did not remember the exact verse where this is written, so I just copied it from my mind. But it is in Galatians where is written that Jerusalem is our mother, and it is free.
                You though do talk about Sarah being our mother.

                By the way it is funny to say that Abraham is your father (is it not so in the Scriptures?) and to deny Sarah being your mother. :) :) :)
                Comment>

                  #9
                  As far as I've understood should the preaching even now consist of the preaching of Yeshua's resurrection and as "side effect" doing miracles in Yeshua's and that's why people do ask who is this Yeshua and what should we do to get involved.
                  Acts chapter 2 is my base for this understanding plus all the following descriptions in the New Covenant writings.
                  Comment>

                    #10
                    REV 21:18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

                    It doesn't sound at all like the normal kind of gold we think of. It's probably some kind of material we don't yet know about, which somewhat as the appearance of Gold. This is the return of Jesus and the technology of God so who knows what it really is.

                    I do agree that the people are the city, spiritually, but then there is this physical city described, too. I don't think it must either all be literal or all symbolic; there is plenty of room for a mixture of the two.
                    Comment>

                      #11
                      I just thought, growing up and reading these in the Bible, that most of the words they used to describe structures are all (or mostly) metaphorical in nature. I mean sure, in Revelation (if I remember it correctly), when John was shown the end of days to write what he sees before him, he diligently did so by writing all he sees, but as a writer, I'm sure he also played on his words to make it eloquent and be at a high standard. So as descriptive as he went for the beasts from the sea, air, and even the bottomless pit, he also made sure that these things he sees before him were also written in such a way that people who would read it in time would have their own interpretations of what he saw. Again, I'm a bit rusty on the Bible, so I apologize if I say something inaccurate.
                      Comment>

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
                        Revelation chapter 21 speaks of the New Jerusalem. It is described as having a foundation with four corners and sides each about 1500 miles. It is also 1500 miles tall, with about a 200 foot wall around it. The city is pure gold. There are 12 gates, always open, each made of a single pearl.

                        The highest mountain top in the world is well below six miles, and even there the air is very thin. The venerable radio minister J. Vernon mindful of a city reaching 1500 miles into spaces says, “It is difficult for us to conceive of either a cube or a pyramid projected into space.” McGee, reasoning that spheres are more appropriate for objects of near planetary size concludes, the city is “a cube within a crystal-clear sphere.” One wonders how McGee measures appropriateness, as there’s no scientific reason why once we have a giant cube that it would need a sphere.

                        McGee, seeing some sort of problem with the giant city tells us, “The law of gravity, as we know it, will be radically revised.” McGee appears always ready to fabricate new details to overcome anyone’s objection to taking the vision of the New Jerusalem literally. Gravity laws might not be visible in a vision, but I wonder why John failed to note the crystal sphere in the vision? And, what sphere has a wall around it? Are the open gates space ports?

                        McGee thinks it would be heaven to live in a city of pure gold. Gold is precious because it’s rare. If everything were made of gold, it wouldn’t be precious. And, gold is absolutely unsuitable for buildings and streets. Even just a gold door frame would collapse, let alone a gold building. Gold is a horrible material all around, save for a little glitter and corrosion resistance. Living in a city of pure gold would be Hell.

                        We’re told the city is prepared as a bride. Why doesn’t McGee think this crystal sphere or cube is clothed in a giant wedding gown? Is it because that’s absurd? Absurdity has never stopped those who want to take the symbols of Revelation literally.

                        Many times, elements of John’s vision are explained to him. Never once does the explanation show that the vision was to be taken literally. So, if you want to believe in a literal city of gold, then you don’t believe Revelation’s own demonstration that the vision is not to be taken literally.

                        Another thing about those people who want to take visions literally is their avoidance of literalism outside of what’s seen in the visions: Those seven churches of Revelation are symbols of church ages. The warning that the events of Revelation were at hand is a symbol meaning we should wait indefinitely, but be ready. Swords are symbols of guns.

                        Let those who are insane remain insane, but for the rest of us, the New Jerusalem is the church and it has been the church for 2000 years. It is not a literal city of gold that we’ll see sometime in the future. Biblical visions, and dreams, are not meant to be taken literally. It’s not arguable.
                        While gold isn't the best building material, God could technically suspend physics to make it work however he wants. But I do agree with the other comments that it was meant to be symbolic of a beautiful glowing city radiating God's love and grace. Most of Revelation is a puzzle of dreams and strange interpretations that have to be deciphered carefully.
                        Comment>

                          #13
                          I myself personally do think the descriptions are literal, however literal on the spiritual plane. If you read revelation 21 considering it occurring in spirit (not the in tangible, physical world we live in) then it all can be taken literally.

                          Consider yourself when you are in a dream, what is going on? Are the things occurring in your dream state unreal because you are not in the physical world at the time? Where are you? Are you not somehow existing in some world, there in your dream? Do not your dream experiences feel real to you, even though they are not occurring in the tangible world? This is how I feel we will all exist somewhere at some point, those of us saved by the grace of God.

                          "I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God" - it comes from heaven, from the spiritual

                          "Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them" - how can we dwell eternally with God, if not in spirit

                          "There will be no more death" - we will live eternally in spirit

                          "for the old order of things has passed away" - the physical order of things we believe to be reality, here on earth, in these bodies of ours, will no longer exist

                          "The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light" - It does not need the physical world to aid it, it is sustained by God and his radiance, in the spiritual world where we all came from, and to where we will return

                          Just because the description of walls and jewels and measurements sound physically literal, does not mean they have to occur on the physical plane. They can just as easily be a description on the spiritual plane.

                          I don't think it's too far fetched to consider there is a city waiting for us in spirit. Consider, where do man's ideas come from? Where did the ideas to build ornate churches on earth come from? Why do we identify as a human race? And other ideas are "alien" to us? Are we really made in the image of God? Are all the things that exist on earth, from man or from God? Are trees from God, but buildings from man? Is man separate from God, and creates his own ideas, inventions, structures, that are credited to his own intelligence, and not of God's? What is inspiration and where does it come from?
                          Comment>

                            #14
                            The New Jerusalem descends on a new earth, as the old heaven and earth were destroyed and replaced with new ones. Of what size is the new earth? Who says a cubic city 1500 miles cubed can't fit on the new earth? John described WHAT HE SAW. He said so. Not believing this is admitting one does not believe this part of Scripture. That's too bad. As for some of the other comments, they are off topic.
                            Comment>

                              #15
                              “The law of gravity, as we know it, will be radically revised.”
                              I disagree:

                              First of all New Jerusalem is prophecised to appear after Jesus Christ returns in the events of the Second Coming. Which means that there will be a resurection of the dead and these resurrected people's bodies won't have the fragile form that us mortals do right now, but a 'perfect' and indestructible one.
                              So even if we take things literaly and assume that the new earth the city is expected to be built upon is some kind of mega-planet to justify the sheer size of the city, no amount of gravity could be a problem to the ressurected.

                              Consequently I also reject the theory that the new earth is a crystal sphere. I think if there were a crystal sphere surrounding it John would have noticed or at least reported where upon the city lies within the sphere. Instead he mentions a new earth.

                              Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
                              And, gold is absolutely unsuitable for buildings and streets. Even just a gold door frame would collapse, let alone a gold building. Gold is a horrible material all around, save for a little glitter and corrosion resistance. Living in a city of pure gold would be Hell.
                              Ok I understand the devaluation of gold part, but it's just as likely that the city is gilded with gold. Unless John closely examined the matterial he wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

                              That is if we decide to intepret it literaly, because as Marie said:

                              Just because the description of walls and jewels and measurements sound physically literal, does not mean they have to occur on the physical plane. They can just as easily be a description on the spiritual plane.
                              Usually the simplest explanation is the most propable.
                              Comment>
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