The New Jerusalem

ABSTRACT: Proposes that the New Jerusalem rather than being a city that come out of heaven to earth rather is a city that orbits the earth. This city provides light to the earth much as the sun provides light to the earth today.


Copyright Ó 2004 Bruce Alan Killian            updated 22 July 2020 email bakillian at

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In the Scriptures, there are several clues as to where God will locate the New Jerusalem and what it will be like. Those clues do not lead to the current location of Jerusalem or any city in the common sense of the word. This brief study is incomplete.


The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, comes down out of heaven from God (Rev 3:12, 21:2, 10). Scripture never does say that the city comes down to the earth. The second clue is the size of New Jerusalem; it is 1375 miles (12,000 stadia, 2213 km) on a side. If it were square, that would be enough to say that it would not fit comfortably in Israel even at its maximum promised extent. Another problem is that it is also 1375 miles high. This city would extend far through the atmosphere, and would drastically change global weather patterns. Second, the weight of the city would be likely to crack the earth’s crust and cause severe earthquakes wherever it landed. Third, the city does not need the light of the sun or the moon and the nations walk by its light. Even at 1375 miles high and even if it was as bright as the sun where ever it landed on the earth it would still be dark on the opposite side of the earth unless there were something to reflect the light around to the other side of the world. There will never be any night in the Holy City. If that is so, there will never be a night on the earth.

            The statement that the sun will be darkened and the moon no longer gives it light (Mark 13:24) before the coming of the Lord may imply that the sun continues as a large mass to keep our solar system together but not as the primary source of light.

Apparently, either the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, orbits the earth or the earth orbits the New Jerusalem, my guess is New Jerusalem orbits the earth. Then the height, length, and width of the city being equal make sense. The New Jerusalem is spherical. It also makes sense about there never being night there, because the Lamb is the source of its light, but there continues to be a night on the earth the heavenly city is the source of the earth light much as the sun, and the moon are the source of the earth’s light today. This also explains why the mention of the clearness of the city’s structure (Rev 21:21). The light of the lamb shines (Rev 21:23) out from the center of the city and making it appear to be an internally lit jewel (Rev 21:11,21). This can also explain Jesus’ statement, “I am the light of the world!” When his glory is fully manifested in the New Jerusalem, he will provide all the normal light. Presumably, plants will continue to grow, and what we call daylight will be from the Lamb. It also explains the statement in Malachi 1:1 from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great and Malachi 4:2 the sun will rise with healing on his wings.

 It makes it easier to understand how the gates can always be opened (Rev 21:25), but no ungodly person ever succeeds in entering (Rev 21:25,27). Is there air inside the heavenly Jerusalem? I don’t know, but if there is, it has somehow been kept from leaking out through the opened doors.

            Since the gates and the foundations are mentioned, it could be that New Jerusalem acts like some giant timepiece in the sky with a particular gate or foundation color marking a particular hour, or month or season.

            How far is Jerusalem from the earth, it is near enough that it is still visible, it is somewhat smaller than our current moon. If it were as large in the sky as the sun or the moon, then it would have to be somewhat closer to the earth than the moon. New Jerusalem will be more like Darth Vader’s death star than any other city that we have today.


            The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Matthew 12:43

Matthew 17:3 His face shown as bright as the sun.



Do the sun and moon cease to exist? Psalm 89:36-37 That his [David’s] line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun; It will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky." <Selah> So the throne of David endures like the sun and will be established forever like the moon the faithful witness in the sky. His throne is in the New Jerusalem, and it is established like the moon may indicate that it is set in the sky like the moon. Interestingly, it is not established like the sun but like the moon.


Numbers 24:17 A star will come out of Jacob, and a scepter will rise out of Israel. A star is like a light in the sky—so to Jesus will be a light in the sky. Jesus is likened to both the sun the planet Venus[1]


In one place, God refers to the earth as his footstool. From the vantage point of the New Jerusalem, the earth may very much appear as a footstool.


The nations will walk by its light. Revelation 21:24


Isaiah 60:1-6

Now, if after the sun and the moon are darkened that the New Jerusalem (with Jesus Christ as it internal light) becomes the light to the world as the sun is the light to the world today. Then can we assume that the city would be approximately the same size in the sky as the current sun or moon? If so, it would have to be closer to the earth than the moon currently is because it is somewhat smaller than the moon is. Secondly, can we assume that its mass is low enough that it orbits the earth rather than vice versa? If so then, the New Jerusalem would become like a moon with the earth continuing to circle the darkened sun and the city orbiting the earth.

Now, if the earth is rotating 1/3 faster than it currently is and the city is orbiting the earth so that the length of the day is approximately equal to what it currently is, then the city would orbit the earth every three days.

            If the New Jerusalem is shining like the sun, then the inhabitants thereof must have bodies that can stand up to intense heat. Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, (Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego) bodies were able to stand up to intense heat (Daniel 3:19-21) without damage. To me, this means that all the inhabitants will have their resurrection bodies. A how do the inhabitants get to the holy city—A possible explanation is that they fly there much as Jesus did when he ascended from the earth. This would indicate that the resurrection bodies can handle the vacuum of space along with its extreme hot and cold.

            There was an article that talks about a giant diamond being formed inside a star. The diamond is approximately 2500 miles in diameter somewhat bigger than the size of the New Jerusalem.[2] Might God be using a star to form the structure of the Heavenly city?

            Here is another link between the new Jerusalem and mountains. Jesus, in Matthew 5:14, refers to a city on a hill has a light that cannot be hidden. There is also a reference to what appears to be a mountain cast into the sea (Revelation 8:8). This sounds like an asteroid or mountain in the sky. So a massive object in the sky is referred to as a mountain by John. When John is carried away to see the New Jerusalem, he is carried away to a high mountain. Could this be a mountain-like city that is high in the sky and he is carried away not to a place where he can see the city in the distance but right up to the city of New Jerusalem which appears to be a mountain.

            What does our solar system end up looking like? In Revelation 8:12, we speculate that the rate of rotation of the earth is increased by 33%, so the day is one third shorter and the night is one third shorter. This may be setting up for the eventual orbit of the earth by the New Jerusalem. If the day remains approximately the same as it is today, then the New Jerusalem will rotate around the earth about once per 3 days.

There is a new (kainos in Greek) heaven and a new (kainos) earth. Kainos is new in character not new in time. When it says that the old heaven has passed away, it does not mean that the sky has ceased to exist; rather, it means that the heavens are different. So think no more sun giving light, but a new source of light the Heavenly city of Jerusalem orbiting the earth and the Lamb as the light of the whole world.

The Bible describes the New Jerusalem as the naos (the Greek word for the temple proper) or the most holy place. So all those who dwell in heaven are saints and must be holy they dwell forever in the holy of holies with the Lord. This would also make the earth the courtyard of the temple. The ancients linked events that happened to the temple as happening to the whole earth. This view allows the evens of Revelation to have a dual meaning. The preterist view in which the events of Revelations in which events are recounted as happening to the world happen to the temple and the futurist view where the events listed in Revelation will lay the earth to waste.

This study is incomplete because the New Jerusalem is not only described as a place but as a person, the Bride of Christ. It is described as a place because the bride dwells there but as a person because the bride is more important than the place. The Bride is another name for the Church, so the city is also the location of the Church.



[2] This Valentine's Day, Give The Woman Who Has Everything The Galaxy's Largest Diamond, Feb, 14 2004