Dispensationalists insist that the "Jerusalem" of prophecy is the literal, earthly city, but the New Testament refers to the church as "Jerusalem which is above" and "the heavenly Jerusalem."
The wall, and street of the holy city are mentioned in the 70 weeks prophecy, Daniel 9:25, "... the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."
The 70 weeks begin with a decree to rebuild Jerusalem, Dan. 9:24. Isaiah 44:24-28 indicates that Cyrus would be the one who issued this decree: "Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer ... That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid."
To discover how the 70 weeks can be calculated from the decree of Cyrus, 538 BC, try the 70 weeks calculator
, at: http://vinyl2.sentex.ca/~tcc/OP/calc70f.html
In Revelation 21, the wall
of the holy city is described, and a street
, but no other buildings are mentioned. The wall
is described here:
It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west.
The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
is mentioned here: "The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass." [Revelation 21:21]
There are no buildings, houses, parks, factories, schools, etc., mentioned in the holy city; only a street
, and a wall
, precisely as in Daniel 9:25. John seems to identify the holy city of Revelation 21 with the holy city of Daniel's prophecy, having a street
, and a wall
. Daniel 9 makes no reference to a temple being built, but he alludes to its destruction, saying: "the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." In the holy city of Revelation 21, there is no temple. The implication is that Daniel's prophecy in chapter 9 is primarily about the holy city of the church, the heavenly Jerusalem, rather than the earthly city, which was appointed for destruction, along with its temple.
The prophet Zechariah wrote about Jerusalem being measured:
I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof.
Revelation 11:1-2 is a similar prophecy, but the temple of God was to be measured, rather than Jerusalem. John was given a reed, and was told to measure the temple, and the altar, and them that worship therein. Jerusalem, and the temple, are both metaphors of the church in the New Testament. In Revelation 11:2, the temple itself is distinguished from its outer court, which was not measured, and which was given to Gentiles. The Gentiles would trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months. The metaphor switches from the temple, to the holy city.
The 42 months is symbolic, as it represents the time of the church, the present age, when the gospel goes to the world. It is equivalent to the last half week of the 70 weeks prophcey in Daniel 9, which is also called "a time, times, and a half." The church is trampled by Gentiles for this period, implying that those who are trampled, are the ones who are "circumcised in heart," as Paul said in Philippians 3:3, "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." John's prophecy in Revelation 11:1-2 suggests that many of those governing and dominating the church are Gentiles.
Zechariah said God will be a "wall of fire" around Jerusalem. This can only refer to the church, not the earthly city.
And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,
And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein:
For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.
The phrase "towns without walls" links Zechariah's prophecy with the prophecy of Ezekiel 38, which refers to the land of Israel, that is invaded by the hordes of Gog and Magog, as a land of "unwalled villages." The Gentile invaders in Ezekiel 38 come against the mountains of Israel, and the prophets of Israel, and the "unwalled villages," and they seek to take a spoil. The mountains of Israel are the most prominent parts of the promised land, and so, perhaps, in Ezekiel's prophecy, mountains represent the promises of God to his saints. The invading armies are people who are unqualified, who usurp those promises of God to themselves, or assign them to unbelieving Jews.
John F. Walvoord (1910-2002), President of Dallas Theological Seminary from 1953 to 1986, commented: Another important aspect of the prophecy is found in verse eleven where it states that the people of Israel will be dwelling "securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates." It was customary in ancient times, whenever a city prospered, to build a wall around it. One can go to ancient lands and see the ruins of walls around most important cities. They would, at least, have a fortress with a wall around it to which they could retire if the houses themselves were scattered and a wall about the houses was impracticable. In other words, it was customary to build walls about cities. In our modern day, this custom has been discontinued for the obvious reason that a wall is no protection against modern warfare.
If one goes to Israel today, though one can see many fabulous cities being built and marvelous developments taking place, one will not find a single new city with a wall built around it. They are cities without walls. How did Ezekiel know that at a future time the war situation would be such that cities would be built without walls? Of course, the answer is a simple one. He was guided by the inspiration of God, and it was not a matter of his own wisdom. But in this scene he is describing a modern situation, something that could not and would not be true back in the days of old, before Christ. This detail is very important because un- walled villages point to Israel's situation today.
[John F. Walvoord, "The King Of The North," part of the series "The Nations in Prophecy." http://www.walvoord.com/page.php?page_id=301
Walvoord's comments were written before the great Apartheid Wall was constructed in Israel. The presence of this wall completely destroys the interpretations that dispensationalists like Walvoord, Hal Lindsey and others have proposed for Ezekiel's prophecy in chapter 38, as the state of Israel in Palestine is not a land of "unwalled villages." There is a very prominent wall over 700 km long and up to 8 m. high, that turns much of Palestine into an enormous prison, patrolled by cruel, murderous Israeli guards, many of them recent immigrants from Russia, whose immigration was financed by deceived American dispensationalists and Zionists. Below is a link to a photo of the Apartheid Wall at Jerusalem:http://tinyurl.com/ltfuga
The Apartheid Wall snakes its way around Jerusalem in an insane fashion:http://stopthewall.org/maps/1068.shtml
Walvoord's comments above, which described Israel as a country of "towns without walls" were not even accurate when he wrote them, as a very prominent stone wall has existed around Jerusalem for centuries. Below are links to some photos of the Tower of David, part of the wall:http://tinyurl.com/lgz6cghttp://tinyurl.com/m7emny
Below is a link to a photo of the Golden Gate, another part of the wall:http://tinyurl.com/ku7jve
Below is a link to a photo of the Damascus Gate:http://tinyurl.com/koldpz
Below is a link to a photo of the wall of Jerusalem near the Al-Aqsa Mosque:http://tinyurl.com/mqbc8a
Even without the recently built Apartheid Wall, the state of Israel was not "a land of unwalled villages" and would not be so, while the walls shown in the above links remain intact. These walls show that dispensationalist "prophets" like Walvoord, who say the prophet Ezekiel referred to literal walls are misguided.
Zechariah said God will be a "wall of fire" around his holy city. To separate those who are in, from those without, is the function of a wall. By his Spirit, God does that. The enemies of God's people, who destroy and divide the Church, the wolves who devour the sheep, are outside. Paul wrote:
2 Timothy 2:19
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.
In John's vision, the holy city has a great and high wall, which seems to be the major feature of the city, along with the gates that are in the wall. Apart from the wall and its gates, and the street, we don't find much else said about the city. There is nothing about the buildings, homes, gardens, markets, traffic control systems, garbage collection and sewage treatment plants, or things like that.
The dimensions of the wall are given, 144 cubits. These cubits, though, are said to be angelic cubits, not necessarily human ones. There are 12 gates, and each one is a single pearl, so either those gates are very tiny, or there are enormous oysters somewhere, where pearls big enough to construct a gate could form ... unless, of course, the pearls are meant to be metaphors. That must be the true explanation, as entering the holy city is the "pearl of great price" that Jesus talked about in his parable about the man who sold everything he had, to purchase one pearl.
Entry to the holy city is the goal Christians hope to attain. In the prophecy of Joel 2, the locust invaders "climb the wall like men of war," and "They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief." [Joel 2:7, 9]
They need to enter through the door; Jesus says he is the "door" of the sheep. Those who don't enter through the door, are called thieves.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
The false prophets are called "thieves" as they try to take a spoil, and deceive Christians, taking them captive in their delusions. Jesus himself is the "door" through whom we may enter the sheepfold.
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
At each of the gates of the holy city in John's vision, there are angels, who have the names of the 12 tribes of Israel written on them. This pictures the status of those who may enter the city. They are the children of Abraham by faith, the Israel of God.
The wall has 12 foundations, with the names of the 12 apostles in them. And the foundations are garnished with precious stones.
The city that John describes is a metaphor for the church; the dimensions are hardly those of a real city. Its width and breadth and height are equal.
In John's description of the holy city, only one street is mentioned. Perhaps this is the street referred to: "The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul." [Proverbs 16:17]
Its street is pure gold; the emphasis is on "pure," as gold is associated with our trials. Peter spoke of trials as "more precious than of gold that perisheth." He spoke of our hope for an "incorruptible inheritance:"
1 Peter 1:4-8
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
The street of the city it is also said to be like "transparent glass." Again, this indicates the prophecy is not describing literal walls, buildings, and streets, or even literal gold or glass. Both these materials are symbolic. The symbolism suggests all things are to be revealed; the true Israelite, to Jesus, was a person "in whom is no guile." [John 1:47]