NEW JERUSALEM IS A CITY OF MAGNIFICENT SPLENDOR. Abraham was looking for this city with foundations four thousand years ago and John saw it two thousand years later. It had to be the same city because Apostle Paul said that Abraham, “Looked for a city which hath ‘foundations,’ whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10) What perfect inspiration this reveals. One cannot read the great saints throughout Holy Scripture without seeing this longing for God’s final home for His“BRIDE”. This massive paradise is more than just a city, it is a Temple, it is the Courts of the Lord, and it is the Holy of Holies. It’s all things Holy merged together to be the light of a New Heaven and a New Earth.
The Psalmist David lived in elegance but panted for this place he called the “Courts of the Lord.” His cry was,“How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the Courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” (Psalms 84:1-2) David spoke of this eternal home as a city in the mountains of His Holiness. “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” (Psalms 48:1-2) In another of Davids inspirations he declared, “All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.” (Psalms 45:8)
How fitting are the Revelations of Christ to John concerning this rapturous city. When the Lord would show him this vision He took John to these very mountains and opened a great drama before him. The Lord said to him,“Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” (Revelation 21:9b-11) It is not an empty city but filled with the saints that earned the highest reward. The city and the Bride of Christ were prepared for each other.
It is indeed a city of twelve foundations . Being 1500 miles high there is 125 miles between each foundation with great jasper walls, clear as crystal. The walls are translucent so the beauty within the city is not hid from the beauty without. These twelve foundations are dedicated and named for the twelve Apostles of the Lord during His earthly sojourn. As John viewed the city he may have wondered which foundation would bear his name. The massive twelve gates, each carved from a single pearl will bear the name of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. The great number of the confused declaring that God has divorced the Jews or even obliterated them must wonder at the prominence they reflect in this city.
The twelve foundations create a breathtaking grandeur.While jasper walls are the predominate structure of this city, each foundation is enhanced with jewels of the rarest worth. John’s description is beautiful. “And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.” (Revelation 21:18-20)Let me try to explain each of these rare jewels which makes this city so magnificent.
The first foundation is garnished with jasper upon jasper.We can certainly expect that the garnishing jasper will be of a different shade from the jasper wall, which comprises the wall’s structure. There are different colors of jasper depending on the location where it is mined. The second level will be garnished with sapphire stones. A pure sapphire is sky blue and using it to garnish the jasper will be extraordinary. The third level will be chalcedony, which can be any color of the rainbow from pale blue to yellow, brown, or gray. The beauty simply explodes as we progress.The fourth level will be garnished with emeralds. The finest emeralds are more valuable than diamonds; they are magnificent gems of the most beautiful green color.
The jewel used to garnish the fifth foundation is sardonyx or onyx. This stone varies in color; it may be translucent or opaque and is often striped. The sixth stone used for garnishment is sardius, possibly the red variety that is highly polishable and extremely beautiful. The seventh level is garnished with chrysolite, which is a form of topaz of Tarshish. The garnishment of the eighth level is beryl,which is actually colorless; but reflects a great variety of colors depending on foreign substances which it contains. It is indeed a precious stone. The ninth garnishing stone on the ninth level of this city is topaz, which is called by some, the “gem of the setting sun.” It is said to be the color of gold or peach. The tenth level is chrysoprasus, which is called the apple and is a light green variety of agate, a very rare stone.
The eleventh foundation of this magnificent city is jacinth.The jacinth is a red variety of zircon, which is found in square prisms of different shades. The last of the twelve levels is garnished with amethyst. This is a royal purple and a fitting crown for the city. Imagine the crown of this city of transparent purple quartz that is decorating the jasper translucent walls with the gold within reflecting throughout the foursquare city!
The spiritual character of Jerusalem will not be anything less than an everlasting Shekinah. This glory will never abate but fill every moment and every space. Then John said, “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 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.” (Revelation 21:22-23)
New Jerusalem will be the center of our New Heaven and New Earth. This city will be filled with music, worship, joy, and celebration. The fellowship of God’s greatest saints will make every moment unspeakable. The music will be perfect, so perfect that its harmony will make the deepest emotion of every soul nothing less than ecstasy. There will be no sin and there can be no sorrow. I believe the landscape of the New Earth will be rolling hills and lush valleys all filled with the greatest possible beauty.
The created sun, moon, and stars are no longer of service to God’s great universe. They have served their purpose. Now, the light of God is no longer shielded or manifested as a shadow. We have seen our Father and the Lord “through a glass darkly,” but now the darkness is gone, and His light breaks forth in its splendor. A world where the “glory of God did lighten it” seems like a dream. It is soon to be a reality. He says, “The Lamb is the light thereof.” Calling Christ a Lamb at this time in our prophetic future is a reminder of Calvarys great accomplishment. There is no future without the cross. The very title, Lamb, is our reminder that there is no path to eternal bliss except passing by the bloodstained hill outside and near Jerusalems earthly walls.
We must understand that this city is the eternal reward of the Bride, but there is a world outside this city where the saved that did not receive the reward of Brideship will live. The Apostle Paul tried to excite us to so follow Christ that we would inherit the highest honors. He stated, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Philippians 3:9-11)
This city of such wealth and splendor will become the delight of those that dwell on the earth. They will find joy in the light and reflection from this city, and they will walk in that light with unspoiled happiness. The great cities of the earth live and prosper with the view of bringing all their glory into this capital of the universe. Those living in the Brides splendor will delight to welcome the earths saved to visit in their mansions. That will become a joy to their past acquaintances who come to share their honor of being a resident in this golden city. Part of the Bride of Christs honor will be to welcome and share this city with the earths inhabitants. The gates of the city never close and there is no night. It will be one eternal day.
Joseph R. Chambers