GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
BEHOLD: I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW!
By Keith L. Estes
If you were the only one to see and observe a rainbow, how would you explain it? This is the situation that John, the Apostle, was in when he endeavored to explain the New Jerusalem coming down from God.
"And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God."
It is unmistakably stated that this city proceeds from the heavenly realm; it is out of heaven from God.
"…and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal."
The description is given under the figure of precious stones, because they are costly, and they are durable. The Spirit uses language best adapted to our limited comprehension. The city will be brilliant and glorious.
The city had, "a wall great and high and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel."
Note that the foundation of the church was laid in Israel.
"And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."
The world may forget, and has, that it was the twelve apostles who laid the foundation for the church upon the foundation Stone, Christ Himself." (Eph. 2:20)
From the measures given in scripture it is clear that the city is a cube 1500 miles in each direction.
The foundation of the wall would be a jewelers delight as it consisted of the following.
"The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass."
The gold speaks of divine glory, as in the tabernacle of old where the cherubim of gold were called the cherubim of glory. All the stones named are known for their value, beauty and enduring quality.
"And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it."
Contrary to the long history of temples in Israel, there will be no temple in the New Jerusalem. This means there will be free access to God. We will not need a bevy of priests to act on our behalf or a High Priest to enter one day a year into the Holy of Holies to offer a sacrifice.
"And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."
Remember that in the Temple, as in the tabernacle, there were three means of illumination. For the outer court, the illumination of the sun by day and the moon by night was ample. For the inner sanctuary, the candlesticks lighted all the furniture, because the light of sun and moon did not penetrate there. For the Holy of Holies, the Shekinah provided all; this typified the blessed light of the Lamb.
"And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
The New Jerusalem, with the church, will be the center of the governments of the earth. There has never been a rule like it.
"And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
There will be unhindered access and no setting sun, but full noon always.
Ref: The Holy Bible, Revelation Chapter twenty-one.