City of the Law of God
Meaning of Revelation 21:16

"And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal." (Revelation 21:16)

After hearing about this prophecy, many people have waited for this promised holy city to somehow appear in the sky. However, the Bible describes the holy city in Revelation 21:16 as being twelve thousand furlongs (1,500 miles) on each side. In that same verse, the literal description depicts a perfect cube: “Its length, breadth, and height are equal.”

Should we take that literally? Well, the diameter of the earth is about eight thousand miles. Each side of this cubical “holy city,” if understand it literally, would be about one-sixth of that diameter. Try to imagine such a cube, resting on the globe of the Earth. First, cubes cannot rest on spheres, because cubes have flat sides, and spheres are curved. Second, the height of this vast city would reach out into space, far beyond Earth’s atmosphere, well beyond the Space Shuttle’s orbit.

By giving such fantastic dimensions, God clearly intends for us to understand the greatness of the proportions of this holy city symbolically: as a new spiritual habitation for the entire human race, a dwelling place for the souls, in the new Revelation:

What is most frequently meant by the Holy City, the Jerusalem of God, which is mentioned in the Holy Book, is the Law of God. It is compared sometimes to a bride, and sometimes to Jerusalem, and again to the new heaven and earth. So in chapter 21, verses 1, 2 and 3 of the Revelation of St. John, it is said: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.”

Notice how clear and evident it is that the first heaven and earth signify the former Law. For it is said that the first heaven and earth have passed away and there is no more sea—that is to say, that the earth is the place of judgment, and on this earth of judgment there is no sea, meaning that the teachings and the Law of God will entirely spread over the earth, and all men will enter the Cause of God, and the earth will be completely inhabited by believers; therefore, there will be no more sea, for the dwelling place and abode of man is the dry land. In other words, at that epoch the field of that Law will become the pleasure-ground of man. Such earth is solid; the feet do not slip upon it.

The Law of God is also described as the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. It is evident that the New Jerusalem which descends from heaven is not a city of stone, mortar, bricks, earth and wood. It is the Law of God which descends from heaven and is called new, for it is clear that the Jerusalem which is of stone and earth does not descend from heaven, and that it is not renewed; but that which is renewed is the Law of God.

The Law of God is also compared to an adorned bride who appears with most beautiful ornaments, as it has been said in chapter 21 of the Revelation of St. John: “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”