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I recently obtained and read a very interesting and beautifully illustrated Simon & Schuster book for young readers entitled Space by Alan Dyr, Copyrighted © 2007 by Weldon Owen Inc. After reading it I began to consider the billions of objects that the universe contains (many which seem to be insignificant), the vastness of it, that it seems to still be expanding, that God has not given us any information about the mode that He used to create the universe; and wondered if there was any Biblical reason to reject the notion that He may have used a method similar to the big-bang theory?
Genesis 1:1-2 just says: "In the beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth. [Heb. 11:3.] The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters." (Amplified version)
It does not say how God created or brought into existence the universe, but just that He did. That verse two states, "The earth was without form and an empty waste" could imply that God’s first creative act was an explosion or expulsion of matter into an ever expanding universe. For in Isa. 42:5a we read, "Thus says God the Lord – He Who created the heavens and stretched them forth, . . ." (Also see Isa. 44:24; 45:12; 51:13; Jer. 10:12; 51:15) God could take time or no time to accomplish this, and He could use an explosion or some other method, it really doesn’t matter because He has not revealed in His Word how He did it, and apart from Him telling us, we cannot know. But it seems to me that this assumption is perfectly consistent with the Bible and science, and could be used as a good explanation to satisfy our curiosity about the expanding universe and God’s unexplained plans for eternity, until we go to be with Him.
I also sent the first six paragraphs of this article, somewhat modified now, as a letter to The Institute for Creation Research in care of Dr. Jason Lisle, in it I mentioned:
I saw on the ICR website that there are several articles pointing out the discrepancies of the big-bang theory, such as, "The BB is a bad scientific model. It does a very poor job of explaining the universe that God actually built. And we know from Scripture that God did not use the BB to create—He used His powerful spoken word." (Psalm 33:9) God would only have had to speak to explode matter into an ever expanding universe. Then He could have made alterations as He did in the creation process as stated in verse 2, He altered the form of the earth and added to it.
I’m not suggesting that God used the methods that men use to explain the "Big Bang" theory, but that He may have used something similar that fits right in with what true science has discovered, and that God has continued to use from the very beginning. God is not restricted by the laws that He set in motion when He created the universe, and has apparently altered them on occasion – such as when sin was introduced into the world by Adam and Eve.
In man’s attempt to either prove or disprove the Genesis account of creation, instead of taking the account as presented, we tend to push and stretch the issue with our unfounded personal beliefs and unproven assumptions and opinions. In looking for well established scientific laws and theories to establish our point, we usually end up in uncharted and mucky waters, far beyond our ability to prove or establish! Another words, a more simplified approach might be more suitable for most Christians that leaves them free from the hassles of fruitless engagements, and lets the trained Christian scholars confront those who oppose the Word of God!
If we believe God’s Word and take a simplified approach, such as is being presented in this article, for our understanding and belief of how the universe came into being, and are convinced and point out that the only other explanations are merely manmade theories and assumptions without any basis for credibility; we will more likely enjoy a greater peace of mind than if we try to prove the unprovable. We could be wasting a lot of time that could be better spent on other pursuits, but each person has to determine that for himself in the presence of God. (1 Cor. 13:8-12)
Psalm 119:96.... I have seen that everything [human] has its limits and end [no matter how extensive, noble, and excellent]; but Your commandment is exceedingly broad and extends without limits [into eternity]. [Rom. 3:10-19.]
Psalm 119:160.... The sum of Your word is truth [the total of the full meaning of all Your individual precepts]; and every one of Your righteous decrees endures forever.
So if we want to know the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then we need to spend our time studying God’s Word and drawing close to God! And now is a good time to start by looking at those verses stating God stretched out the heavens, and see just how powerful they really are:
Isa. 44:24-25.... Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He Who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord, Who made all things, Who alone stretched out the heavens, Who spread out the earth by Myself [who was with Me]? – [I am the Lord] Who frustrates the signs and confounds the omens [upon which the false prophets' forecasts of the future are based] of the [boasting] liars and makes fools of diviners, Who turns the wise backward and makes their knowledge foolishness, . . . Also see [1 Cor. 1:20.]
I included the twenty-fifth verse also because it illustrates so well the foolishness that the wisdom of men introduces.
Isa. 45:11-12.... Thus says the Lord, the Holy one of Israel, and its Maker: Would you question Me about things to come concerning My children, and concerning the work of My hands [would you] command Me? I made the earth and created man upon it. I, with My hands, stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.
Isa. 51:12-13.... I, even I, am He Who comforts you. Who are you, that you should be afraid of man, who shall die, and of a son of man, who shall be made [as destructible] as grass, that you should forget the Lord your Maker, Who stretched forth the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and fear continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he makes ready to destroy or even though he did so? And where is the fury of the oppressor?
Too much respect for human wisdom, or the fear of being ridiculed for their regard for God’s Word, sometimes causes people to forget or disregard what God has said.
Jer. 10:10-12.... But the Lord is the true God and the God of truth (the God Who is Truth). He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, and the nations are not able to bear His indignation. Thus shall you say to them: The gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens. God made the earth by His power; He established the world by His wisdom and by His understanding and skill stretched out the heavens.
Jer. 51:15.... He made the earth by His power; He established the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.
Surely we can establish from the first two chapters of Genesis and these few passages above that God has created, stretched out and formed the entire universe, and that it apparently continues to expand!
If you wish to examine more closely any of the issues or articles contained in this new section that we are calling Informal Presentations, search our main menu, and in reference to this article see the Developing A Biblical Worldview group. What we are trying to do with this new section, Informal Presentations, is to present a short, simple article that can be read without consulting a large amount of Scripture, but at the same time giving ample Scripture at the end of the page, that you can view if you wish, to establish or justify our comments.
The following is a very brief outline of what we think we know about God’s universe, the creation of the earth and its extension:
1 Corinthians 13:8-12.... Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy ( the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth]. For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect). But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded). When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside. For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God].
Evidently, when eternity or "the complete and perfect (total) comes," there will no longer exist degrees of knowledge and everyone will know the same full truth. Apparently even languages "will be destroyed and cease," and we will all speak or communicate in the same manner – we have a lot to look forward to.
Genesis 1:3-5.... And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it; and God separated the light from the darkness. [2 Cor. 4:6.] And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
Genesis 1:6-8.... And God said, Let there be a firmament [the expanse of the sky] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters [below] from the waters [above]. And God made the firmament [the expanse] and separated the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the firmament Heavens. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
Genesis 1:9-13.... And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be collected into one place [of standing], and let the dry land appear. And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the accumulated waters He called Seas. And God saw that this was good (fitting, admirable) and He approved it. And God said, Let the earth put forth [tender] vegetation: plants yielding seed and fruit trees yielding fruit whose seed is in itself, each according to its kind, upon the earth. And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed according to their own kinds and trees bearing fruit in which was their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.
Genesis 1:14-19.... And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be signs and tokens [of God's provident care], and [to mark] seasons, days, and years, [Gen. 8:22.] and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light upon the earth. And it was so. And God made the two great lights--the greater light (the sun) to rule the day and the lesser light (the moon) to rule the night. He also made the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good (fitting, pleasant) and He approved it. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
Genesis 1:20-23.... And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly and swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly over the earth in the open expanse of the heavens. God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth. And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
Genesis 1:24-31.... And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creeping things, and [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds. And it was so. And God made the [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and domestic animals according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (fitting, pleasant) and He approved it.
26God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth. [Ps. 104:30; Heb. 1:2; 11:3.] So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Col. 3:9,10; James 3:8,9.] And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth. And God said, See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the land and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that creeps on the ground--to everything in which there is the breath of life--I have given every green plant for food. And it was so. And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.
Genesis 3:1-19.... Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden? [Rev. 12:9-11.] And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden, except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, [2 Cor. 11:3.] for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity. And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate.
7Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apronlike girdles. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you? He said, I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself. And He said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat? And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me - she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate.
13And the Lord God said to the woman, What is this you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled (cheated, outwitted, and deceived) me, and I ate. And the Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all [domestic] animals and above every [wild] living thing of the field; upon your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust [and what it contains] all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel. [Gal. 4:4.]
16To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children. Yet your desire and craving will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. And to Adam He said, Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you; in sorrow and toil shall you eat [of the fruits] of it all the days of your life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return.
Isaiah 59:1-2.... Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened at all, that it cannot save, nor His ear dull with deafness, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
Genesis 6:11-13.... The earth was depraved and putrid in God's sight, and the land was filled with violence (desecration, infringement, outrage, assault, and lust for power). And God looked upon the world and saw how degenerate, debased, and vicious it was, for all humanity had corrupted their way upon the earth and lost their true direction. God said to Noah, I intend to make an end of all flesh, for through men the land is filled with violence; and behold, I will destroy them and the land.
Daniel 10:11-14.... And [the angel] said to me, O Daniel, you greatly beloved man, understand the words that I speak to you and stand upright, for to you I am now sent. And while he was saying this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind and heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come as a consequence of [and in response to] your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief [of the celestial] princes, came to help me, for I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what is to befall your people in the latter days, for the vision is for [many] days yet to come.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18.... Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers [do not make mismated alliances with them or come under a different yoke with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership have right living and right standing with God with iniquity and lawlessness? Or how can light have fellowship with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial [the devil]? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? What agreement [can there be between] a temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in and with and among them and will walk in and with and among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. [Ex. 25:8; 29:45; Lev. 26:12; Jer. 31:1; Ezek. 37:27.] So, come out from among [unbelievers], and separate (sever) yourselves from them, says the Lord, and touch not [any] unclean thing; then I will receive you kindly and treat you with favor, [Isa. 52:11.] and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
Matthew 24:1-25.... Jesus departed from the temple area and was going on His way when His disciples came up to Him to call His attention to the buildings of the temple and point them out to Him. But He answered them, Do you see all these? Truly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.
3While He was seated on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately and said, Tell us, when will this take place, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end (the completion, the consummation) of the age? Jesus answered them, Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error]. For many will come in (on the strength of) My name [appropriating the name which belongs to Me], saying, I am the Christ (the Messiah), and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened or troubled, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in place after place; all this is but the beginning [the early pains] of the birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish]. Then they will hand you over to suffer affliction and tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred. And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error. And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity, but he who endures to the end will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom (the Gospel) will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end.
15So when you see the appalling sacrilege [the abomination that astonishes and makes desolate], spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the Holy Place--let the reader take notice and ponder and consider and heed [this]-- [Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11.] Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not come down and go into the house to take anything; and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his overcoat. And alas for the women who are pregnant and for those who have nursing babies in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation (affliction, distress, and oppression) such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now--no, and never will be [again]. [Dan. 12:1; Joel 2:2.] And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would endure and survive, but for the sake of the elect (God's chosen ones) those days will be shortened. If anyone says to you then, Behold, here is the Christ (the Messiah)! or, There He is!--do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and they will show great signs and wonders so as to deceive and lead astray, if possible, even the elect (God's chosen ones). See, I have warned you beforehand.
Rev. 20:1-3.... Then I saw an angel descending from heaven; he was holding the key of the Abyss (the bottomless pit) and a great chain was in his hand. And he gripped and overpowered the dragon, that old serpent [of primeval times], who is the devil and Satan, and [securely] bound him for a thousand years. Then he hurled him into the Abyss (the bottomless pit) and closed it and sealed it above him, so that he should no longer lead astray and deceive and seduce the nations until the thousand years were at an end. After that he must be liberated for a short time.
Rev. 20:4-6.... Then I saw thrones, and sitting on them were those to whom authority to act as judges and to pass sentence was entrusted. Also I saw the souls of those who had been slain with axes [beheaded] for their witnessing to Jesus and [for preaching and testifying] for the Word of God, and who had refused to pay homage to the beast or his statue and had not accepted his mark or permitted it to be stamped on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived again and ruled with Christ (the Messiah) a thousand years. [Dan. 7:9,22,27.] The remainder of the dead were not restored to life again until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed (happy, to be envied) and holy (spiritually whole, of unimpaired innocence and proved virtue) is the person who takes part (shares) in the first resurrection! Over them the second death exerts no power or authority, but they shall be ministers of God and of Christ (the Messiah), and they shall rule along with Him a thousand years.
Isa. 11:1-16.... And there shall come forth a Shoot out of the stock of Jesse [David's father], and a Branch out of his roots shall grow and bear fruit. [Isa. 4:2; Matt. 2:23; Rev. 5:5; 22:16.] And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him--the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord – and shall make Him of quick understanding, and His delight shall be in the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord. And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, neither decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness and justice shall He judge the poor and decide with fairness for the meek, the poor, and the downtrodden of the earth; and He shall smite the earth and the oppressor with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His waist and faithfulness the girdle of His loins.
6And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatted domestic animal together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed side by side, their young shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
10And it shall be in that day that the Root of Jesse shall stand as a signal for the peoples; of Him shall the nations inquire and seek knowledge, and His dwelling shall be glory [His rest glorious]! [John 12:32.] And in that day the Lord shall again lift up His hand a second time to recover (acquire and deliver) the remnant of His people which is left, from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Pathros, from Ethiopia, from Elam [in Persia], from Shinar [Babylonia], from Hamath [in Upper Syria], and from the countries bordering on the [Mediterranean] Sea. [Jer. 23:5-8.] And He will raise up a signal for the nations and will assemble the outcasts of Israel and will gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The envy and jealousy of Ephraim also shall depart, and they who vex and harass Judah from outside or inside shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex and harass Ephraim. But [with united forces Ephraim and Judah] will swoop down upon the shoulders of the Philistines' [land sloping] toward the west; together they will strip the people on the east [the Arabs]. They will lay their hands upon Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will obey them.
15And the Lord will utterly destroy (doom and dry up) the tongue of the Egyptian sea [the west fork of the Red Sea]; and with His [mighty] scorching wind He will wave His hand over the river [Nile] and will smite it into seven channels and will cause men to cross over dry-shod. And there shall be a highway from Assyria for the remnant left of His people, as there was for Israel when they came up out of the land of Egypt.
Rev. 21:1-4.... Then I saw a new sky (heaven) and a new earth, for the former sky and the former earth had passed away (vanished), and there no longer existed any sea. [Isa. 65:17; 66:22.] And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, all arrayed like a bride beautified and adorned for her husband; then I heard a mighty voice from the throne and I perceived its distinct words, saying, See! The abode of God is with men, and He will live (encamp, tent) among them; and they shall be His people, and God shall personally be with them and be their God. [Ezek. 37:27.] God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away. [Isa. 25:8; 35:10.]
Rev. 21:1-27.... Then I saw a new sky (heaven) and a new earth, for the former sky and the former earth had passed away (vanished), and there no longer existed any sea. [Isa. 65:17; 66:22.] And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, all arrayed like a bride beautified and adorned for her husband; then I heard a mighty voice from the throne and I perceived its distinct words, saying, See! The abode of God is with men, and He will live (encamp, tent) among them; and they shall be His people, and God shall personally be with them and be their God. [Ezek. 37:27.] God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away. [Isa. 25:8; 35:10.]
5And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new. Also He said, Record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy) and true (genuine). [Isa. 43:19.] And He [further] said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I [Myself] will give water without price from the fountain (springs) of the water of Life. [Isa. 55:1.] He who is victorious shall inherit all these things, and I will be God to him and he shall be My son. But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practicers of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God) and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed) - [all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death. [Isa. 30:33.]
9Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven final plagues (afflictions, calamities) came and spoke to me. He said, Come with me! I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife. Then in the Spirit He conveyed me away to a vast and lofty mountain and exhibited to me the holy (hallowed, consecrated) city of Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God, [Ezek. 40:2.] clothed in God's glory [in all its splendor and radiance]. The luster of it resembled a rare and most precious jewel, like jasper, shining clear as crystal. It had a massive and high wall with Twelve [large] gates, and at the gates [there were stationed] Twelve angels, and [on the gates] the names of the Twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were written: [Ex. 28:21; Ezek. 48:30-35.] On the east side three gates, on the north side three gates, on the south side three gates, and on the west side three gates. And the wall of the city had Twelve foundation [stones], and on them the Twelve names of the Twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15And he who spoke to me had a golden measuring reed (rod) to measure the city and its gates and its wall. [Ezek. 40:5.] The city lies in a square, its length being the same as its width. And he measured the city with his reed--12,000 stadia (about 1,500 miles); its length and width and height are the same. He measured its wall also--144 cubits (about 72 yards) by a man's measure [of a cubit from his elbow to his third fingertip], which is [the measure] of the angel. The wall was built of jasper, while the city [itself was of] pure gold, clear and transparent like glass. The foundation [stones] of the wall of the city were ornamented with all of the precious stones. The first foundation [stone] was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony (or white agate), the fourth emerald, [Isa. 54:11,12.] the fifth onyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the Twelve gates were Twelve pearls, each separate gate being built of one solid pearl. And the main street (the broadway) of the city was of gold as pure and translucent as glass.
22I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God omnipotent [Himself] and the Lamb [Himself] are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon to give light to it, for the splendor and radiance (glory) of God illuminate it, and the Lamb is its lamp. [Isa. 24:23; 60:1,19.] The nations shall walk by its light and the rulers and leaders of the earth shall bring into it their glory. And its gates shall never be closed by day, and there shall be no night there. [Isa. 60:11.] They shall bring the glory (the splendor and majesty) and the honor of the nations into it. But nothing that defiles or profanes or is unwashed shall ever enter it, nor anyone who commits abominations (unclean, detestable, morally repugnant things) or practices falsehood, but only those whose names are recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life.