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The New Jerusalem a Pattern For Living—Part Six—Conclusion
We wrap up this series with the relevance of the shape of the structure we have been studying, that being a cube, symbolizing fulfillment and perfection, Nothing in scripture is without significance.
We will also look at the streets of gold, the river of life, the light of the city, and the tree of life. all which give practical application to our Christian walk in the here and now.
The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal
— Revelation 21:16
J. Preston Eby once again makes some interesting observations concerning the shape of this structure.
"There are only two cubes described in scripture. One is the Holy of Holies in the Old Testament Tabernacle and the other is the New Jerusalem. The perfect cube in the Holy of Holies finds its fulfillment in the City of God. A cube is the most perfect figure, being equal on all sides = finite perfection. It is the most comprehensive and holds the most. Nothing contains as much as a cube. It speaks of perfection and fullness. It was in the Holy of Holies where God was met and the High Priest was in His presence. It is God's presence that is perfect and fulfilling and nothing can contain as much as His presence does. It is in His presence that we want to be."
Streets of Gold
...And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
— Revelation 21:21
Gold in scripture represents the genuine faith of a believer that is tried in the fire of testing, trial, tribulation, and persecution.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
— I Peter 1:6
The streets of this place are literally paved and well trodden by many who have gone before us who placed their faith in Jesus Christ and their faith was tested through trial and persecution. We can be sure that fire and trials of life will bring to the surface what is really in us. May we let God remove anything impure from us that surfaces during these times that we may be made fit to dwell with Him eternally.
The walls of this city were also of gold. Walls are a symbol of defense and protection. When we walk in faith in God there is no safer place to be spiritually speaking. Isaiah 26:1 calls these walls Salvation. It is a place where no enemy can enter. We are safe and secure inside the walls of His covenant love which was shown to us through Salvation in a relationship with His Son Jesus.
Water and Light
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
— Revelation 22:1
There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
— Revelation 22:6
It seems at times that we care so much more for our physical well being and take such little thought of our spiritual condition. trials and persecution will reveal which matters most.
I can't help but think of the Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles described in the Old and celebrated in the New. It was a holiday symbolizing God dwelling with us after the atonement of our sins had been made. The children of Israel dwelt in temporary shelters for the week symbolizing our life here is temporary and that our destination is that of one eternal.
Two of the ceremonies at this festival had to do with pouring of water, symbolic of the Holy Spirit that flows like a river from God to us supplying us with refreshment and sustenance the other ceremony is one of light where the temple is illuminated by giant candelabras symbolizing God being the light of the world as described in Revelation in this city. It is commonly believed that Jesus, the source, and person of our salvation, was actually born during this celebration.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt (tabernacled) among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
— John 1:14
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with themand be their God. ~ Revelation 21:3
This is the ultimate fulfillment of this structure is that we would dwell with Him and He with us. This is God's ultimate goal and plans for humanity.
The Tree of Life
last but not least we see a tree in this city...
In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river,wasthe tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, eachtreeyielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the treewerefor the healing of the nations.
— Revelation 22:2
The last time we saw this tree was in the garden of Eden. We have come full circle. What once was lost has now been found. The tree of life is what sustained their eternity. (Gen.3:22). Man is now granted the eternity of a life with God through faith in Jesus Christ, our Salvation.
We have come to discover that this heavenly city is more than a place to look forward to but reveals to us a pattern for living in this life looking forward to the one to come.
- We saw how the foundation of this structure was built upon our knowing we are loved by the Father through faith in the saving work of His son in forgiving our sins by bearing them upon Himself on the cross is the corner stone of our eternal life with Him. To turn from our sin and turn to Jesus is to lay that corner stone.
- Next, we looked at the building materials of our structure. The gold (precious faith in the fathers love shown through His son purified by trial) the silver (redemption which Jesus bought for us that we may have access to the father) and the precious stones we become when we live out our faith and in communion with Him. We also looked at the wood (our humanity and faith in earthly provisions and solutions) the hay (self-justification) and stubble resulting of trusting in these inferior provisions.
- We also saw in the foundation stones of the apostles, that God has made possible that all men of personality and temperament are welcomed and invited to be one of His and how the external pressures of living a life for Him will transform us into beautiful gems reflecting unique facets of His love and character.
- We looked at the gates with the tribal names and gems borrowed from the Old Testament breast plate that the High Priest wore when entering the presence of God representing aspects of our walk of faith in the here and now that lead us into His presence.
- We saw the gates of pearl showing the internal work of a life characterized by sacrifice. Putting to death our obsession with this life and our comforts in it to be made alive and glorified in the next.
- We have the examples of those gone before us who have paved the way in the streets of gold and are rewarded with the presence of God dwelling among us and sustaining us as represented by the two elements we cannot live without light and water.
- Finally, we are afforded the privilege once again to live eternally as God has perfected us in Jesus and brought us back where we belong...with Him happily ever after.
© 2011 Tamarajo