The Immensity of the Holy City
Written By: Bishop G.T. Haywood
Published by: The Christian Outlook - (January-1923)
The wisdom of God is Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (See Luke 11:49; I Corinthians 1:30, Colossians 2:2-3). We are complete in him. (John 16:12-15). He has set before us an open door, and no man can shut it. It is our privilege to enter into a full knowledge of all His possessions. The hour is come that the Son of Man must be glorified. No flesh shall glory in His presence. Because of this, many have failed God. Fir thus it is written, “Let not the wise man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understand and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24.
For many days we have wondered about the dimensions of the New Jerusalem, its location, and its glorious beauty as described in the book of Revelation. John saw it descending from God out of heaven after he had gotten the revelation through the Spirit that Jesus was the Almighty God, the Lord which is, which was, and which is to come (see revelation 1:1; John 4:24). And he plainly tells us, “I was in the spirit.” hence, without the Spirit we can never understand the things that are now being revealed. It is the Spirit that searches the deep things of God. (I Corinthians 2:9, 10.)
There are two things necessary to make a city; the people and their houses, or places of abode. The greatness of a city is determined by its inhabitants. The wisdom and intelligence of the people are displayed upon the magnificence of its buildings. Thus it is with the City of God. Its inhabitants, the Bride of Christ, are filled with wisdom and beauty. And that beauteous grace that is within her (psalms 45:13) shall be portrayed upon the wall of the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is the bride, the Lamb’s wife, dwelling in her eternal city. Her light is like unto a STONE most Precious. That Precious Stone is Christ: (I Peter 2:4, 6, 7). His life was the “light” of men. (John 1:4). No mortal mind can comprehend, nor describe in human language the splendor of that city that is now hid away in God. The jasper stone, clear as a crystal, the sapphire, the chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardis, topaz, beryl and all the precious stones in their most glorious description are but faint comparisons when taken in relation to the glory of the City that is to come. Wonderful things are spoken of thee, O City of God! The wall of the City is of jasper; the City itself is pure Gold!
We are told that that city lieth four-square, and it measures twelve (12,000) thousand furlongs either way. The length and the breadth and the height are equal. There are 8 furlongs to a mile. Taking this as a basis we will find that the height, length, and breadth of the City is 1,500 miles!
This City has 12 foundations (floors), each being separated by a distance of 125 miles. The second floor would, or foundation, bears the name of one of the 12 apostles of the Lamb.
For a time I had considered the city to be rather small for the saints to dwell in eternally, but when I became awakened to what God had really prepared for them that loved Him (John 14:2, 3; I Corinthians 2:9, 10), I was lost with amazement. In order to give you an idea of the immensity of our heavenly habitation we hereby set forth in figures an illustration of its magnitude. Were that city to be divided into rooms one mile wide, and one mile high, and one mile long, it would contain three billion, three hundred and seventy-five million rooms (3,375,000,000), each room containing the space of 1 cubic mile!
One of the most astonishing facts about its immensity is the time it would require to visit throughout that City, viewing each room separately. If one had begun at the creation of Adam to go through the City, spending I hour in each room, for 24 hours a day, at the end of 6,000 years he would have visited only 52,570,560, leaving 3,322,529,440 rooms yet to be gone through! This calculation includes all the leap years that occur in 6,000 years, deducting the century year when there is no leap year.
To bring the calculation down to a finer point let us give one minute’s time to visit each room of the above dimensions. At the expiration of 6,000 years one would have visited 3,154,233,600 rooms, leaving 22,866,400 rooms yet un-entered. By the time one could complete the entire circuit and return to the point from which he started “old things” will have become “new.” when we carefully consider these things we are struck with astonishment and are compelled to exclaim in the prophetic words of old, “What hath God wrought?”
But shall we stop here? No! let us look again. To be confined to the city alone would seem to be sufficient to attract our attention throughout eternity. How little could we see in one minute in such a space! But that is not all, for we are told that there are three gates on the East, on the North, and on the West, and on the South, so that when we shall have tried beholding the things within the walls thereof, we will have perfect liberty to soar away through unlimited space and feast on the handiwork of our Great God forever and ever, and throughout the ages to come he will continue to show unto us the exceeding riches of His grace, in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus our Lord. Ephesians 2:7.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and His ways past finding out. For who hath been His Counselor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again. For him, and through him, and to him, are all things, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.