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The New Jerusalem—A Pattern For Living—The Foundation

Updated on May 21, 2018

A Pattern for Life

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 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. Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

— Revelation 21:10-21

The intentions of this study will show how this building in Revelation is a picture and pattern of the Christian life to be lived in the here and now and into eternity. How we live in the here and now is eternally consequential.

I would like to look at some of the details of this building and show how this was not just a structure that God wanted us to think was pretty so we would want to go to heaven. But the details are describing elements of patterns for living.

It is a structure that provides the imagery of God dwelling eternally with the man He created. It was made up of the individual lives of believers and It is also a picture and symbol of how God was able to take sinful humanity and bring forth a new and beautiful creation.

The details of this structure are symbolic of spiritual truths that we will be looking at in this study. Every foundation and gate we study will include people that were not perfect, but submitted themselves and surrendered their lives to the Lord Jesus whose name means salvation, and the love of their father in heaven, and how in the end, the Lord was able to create a beautiful and suitable habitation with their lives.

So it is with us - Our individual lives may not seem to bear much beauty from the mistakes we have made and may even be marred by the sins committed against us. But as we place our faith, trust, and hope in the saving work of Jesus' death for our sins and the sins committed against us, and in His resurrection, we can believe to have our lives resurrected and transformed into a beautiful new and perfect creation.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

— Romans 8:28

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

— Ephesians 2:10

The building itself represents the church.

For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

— Ephesians 2:18-22

Which is made up of individuals.

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.

— I Corinthians 3:9

you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

— I Peter 2:5

A Good Foundation

Every good building starts with its foundation.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Hebrews 11:8-10

Abraham was looking for a place his heart could dwell that had "foundations" Just as we are looking for that solid abiding love that we can count on and build our life upon something eternal and lasting that has a firm foundation.

Abraham dwelt in a foreign country and dwelt in tents. This is showing us that when we come to Christ we become citizens of a new existence and become foreigners to this world. We dwell in tents, our temporary earthly bodies, and wait in faith for an eternal existence that has "foundations".

If we don't have the foundation laid there is no point in building any further.


The Chief Cornerstone

The cornerstone (or foundation stone) concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure. According to Wikipedia online encyclopedia. (*)

Ephesians 2:20 states that Jesus Christ Himself is the Chief Cornerstone. All other stones will be set in reference to Him. He determines the position of the entire structure.

There are two foundational truths Jesus came to establish.

  1. We are loved by the Father
  2. We can have access to that love through Him

We can go out and buy all the necessary materials we would need to build a house like lumber, nails, shingles, and windows and build for ourselves a fine looking structure in which to dwell, and might even be quite comfortable, but our house will not stand without a solid and dependable foundation.

Our house will inevitably be subject to external conditions such as weather and shifting soil, but it will not withstand the conditions that nature will produce without a proper base. Just as in our spiritual lives, there are atmospheric conditions of sin and consequence that will batter against our lives.

It might be our own choices creating hurricanes of troubles or maybe the tsunamis of other peoples choices that have come to wash us in its torrents of waves. If our trust for our salvation and deliverance from any of these things is based and founded upon anything other than the saving work of Jesus Christ it will fall.

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

— I Corinthians 3:11

My husband and I built a house and discovered that the foundation is the most difficult part of the structure to build. From a spiritual perspective, the foundation is the place where we deal with our sin condition. We were sinners separated eternally from God. Jesus the Son of God came from eternity to the earth and became one of us and bore the penalty and paid the ransom to set us free from our sin by sacrificing His life on the cross in our place, and He was then resurrected and opened the door for man to be resurrected in His position with God that we may live eternally with Him.

There are many shortcuts in the world today that do not involve the confrontation of our sin state or a need of salvation from it. Strangely enough, the principles and laws that God established in the Bible might profit or benefit us in this life time, But without the true foundation of the forgiveness of sin through God's offered Son Jesus, those profits and benefits will not be supported eternally.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

— John 10:1

Many modern religious movements today use biblical principle for success in this life because they work but they deny that the real power of that provision was made available through the suffering and death of our Savior God and requires we confront the issue of sin in our lives. By shortcutting the difficult part of this process we are forfeiting the eternal benefits. We become thieves and robbers.

...having a form of godliness but denying its power...

— II Timothy 3:5

God shows us in Matthew how to build our house (life) on the "Rock"

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

— Matthew 7:24-27

Hearing Him and obeying Him sets the rest of the stones upon the corner stone of this structure.

Part 2 will look at the materials used to build a fit sanctuary for Him to dwell.

© 2010 Tamarajo


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    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thank you Jeanie. Great additional insight to with the hub. Just a note if you were wanting to check out the hebrew stuff it is in earlier hubs titled Trust, The Hebrew Word Satan, Hope and a Rope, Glory and Liver and more.

      This series was a totally New testament teaching. Just in case you were thrown off by my intro.

      Will be over to see yours tommorow when I get to my reg PC

      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting

    • JeanieR profile image


      9 years ago from Sequoia National Forest, CA

      Superb hub. As I read, I was gripped by the thought of the foundation being the most difficult part of a building to get right. I live in a century old home and know that guarding the foundation is essential to keeping the house. I am now musing my spiritual foundation to be certain that nothing is overlooked or taken for granted. Thank you so much for your wonderful work.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hanging out thank you for stopping by. Great suggestion. I will link the hubs when I get to my PC..using my phone for now.

      I appreciate your comment and suggestion

      Have a blessed day

    • hanging out profile image

      hanging out 

      9 years ago


      you need to link this to part 2 cuz now i gotta go searching for it

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hello DeBorrah,

      Yes, you captured the key point to the message of the foundation of the heavenly structure.

      How sad would it be to gain whole worlds successes, accomplishments, and prosperity yet lose our eternal soul by refusing to confront the issue of sin wearing a form of godliness but denying the power thereof we essentially delude ourselves and proclaim with our lives that this life is all there is and all that matters and or God is ok with our sin and doesn't see it.

      This structure is a heavenly structure and shows us the life that points to eternal things

      Blessed by your visit and encouraging comment

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      9 years ago

      Tamarajo, Wonderful presentation! Jesus Christ is the Solid Rock foundation! You have given s much spiritual food to ponder...

      As you stated "Many modern religious movements today use biblical principal for success in this life because they work but they deny that the real power of that provision was made available through the suffering and death of our Savior God and requires we confront the issue of sin in our lives. By shortcutting the difficult part of this process we are forfeiting the eternal benefits. We become thieves and robbers" Amen! & AMEN!!

      Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Glad for your visit skye2day. I'm trying to think of what song that is "be our foundation" I can almost hear it in my head. Who is the artist? I would like to listen to it. : )

      Yes the spirit teaches us all things we need to know doesn't He.

      I loved His daughter's dream too. precious addition.

      Bless you Skye for your gracious and encouraging comment.

    • skye2day profile image


      9 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Praise God Praise God he is a God of many chances. If one builds on sandy soil yes the house will surely fall. God is at the door and waiting. He wants us to have a solid foundation. We can pick up and build a new one on His foundation. Awesome hub precious one in Christ. This is a treasured reminder to stay grounded on the Rock. I am listening to the music now. 'Be our Foundation" I Love it. I look forward to the next reading.

      Thank You for the time you have put into this teaching. It is the Spirit that moves in you to teach us. It is the Spirit in me that helps me to understand. I pray many are led to these pages. I love ya. I am believing you and yours are happy and healthy in Him. Hugs Galore.

      I love the dream faithful daughter left in her comment box. wow God is so amazing

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thank you His daughter for your insight on this. Yes that is a fitting scripture. I love good scripture back up and super appreciate additional insights added.

      Blessed by your visit : )

    • profile image

      His daughter 

      9 years ago

      Hi Tamarajo. I always look forward to reading your Hubs. As I read this one on the foundations, you are so right! The foundation is the most critical part of any structure. As I read this through, it made me think of Hebrews 6:1,2 which speaks of the elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ which as very important paarts of that foundation. God bless.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thank you for your visit cristina327,

      For me this revelation made this account in Revelation so much more relevant to me. I always looked at from a futuristic perspective and was pleasantly surprised that it contained a lesson I can live in the here and now that has to do with the then and there.

      Blessed by your comment : )

    • cristina327 profile image

      Cristine Santander 

      9 years ago from Manila

      Thank you for presenting a wonderful comparison between the New Jerusalem and our life as a christian. Truly Christ is the eternal Rock to whom we should rest our everything. Thank you for sharing this timely reminder. Remain blessed always and best regards.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hello Lifegate,

      The details are what seem to speak volumes to me. I love it that God gives them to us always confirming the larger truth.

      He never changes. Always dependable. A sure foundation.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Wow! Faithful Daughter. I loved your dream. I hope other visitors will read it. It is powerful. Salvation in Christ alone is our only trustworthy foundation. Your dream confirms and testifies the truth.

      Thank you so much for sharing this meaningful and complimentary experience and revelation.


    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      9 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      Thanks for a wonderful presentation and for all the detail you provide. You're a blessing.

    • Faithful Daughter profile image

      Evie Lopez 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      What a wonderful message about Jesus being our foundation, our chief cornerstone. On it and by it, we can build a strong house. I want to share something with you.

      Quite a few years back, I woke up very agitated from a dream. It left me very concerned because I knew that within this dream there was a message for me. For days I asked the Lord, "Lord what does it mean?" and for days I would not get a revelation. In my dream I found myself swimming in the middle of a stormy ocean. I was surrounded by ugly creatures floating on the waters all around me. I panicked trying to get away from them then I saw a house far in the horizon, the light that surrounded the house was blinding. I knew I had to swim to it. As I reached the shore and ran into the house, I noticed all these creatures had washed up on shore. I went through the door and the light inside blinded me but slowly my eyes adapted.

      As I closed the door, I heard loud pounding on the frame of the house, so I ran to the window to look out and saw gigantic waves fiercely pounding at the house, but the house was very strong and I felt safe in it, I knew this was a very special house. Then the day finally came when God revealed to me what the dream meant as I remembered the rest of the dream. In the dream, I was shown another door and when I walked out, the ocean was calm and all the creatures were dead, and then I heard a voice that told me as long as I take refuge in His house, I will always be safe. Strangely, this hub just reminded of that revelation that I had forgotten. Thank you for the reminder. Great hub!

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi Betty I was asked a few years ago to study up on this particular topic and what I found was so interesting. Everything in scripture is so relevant for living a life of godliness. Revelation has so much imagery that I used to have a hard time reading it because I wasnt sure I understood the imagery and it seemed to speak of a time or situation in the distant future. After this study I have concluded that it along with all the other books are written for our instruction in the here and now. Not that it doesnt prophecy concerning future events but the images still contain relavant relatable lessons for the moment we live in.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Im always blessed by your visit.

    • Betty Johansen profile image

      Betty Johansen 

      9 years ago

      Looking in the mirror, it's hard to imagine that the beautiful building described in Revelation has anything to do with some of us scroungy bricks down here. Something to look forward to. Thank you, Tamarajo.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thank you for your visit and comment Vladimar Uhri. : ) blessed to have you stop by.

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 

      9 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Thank you for great Hub.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thank you for being my first visitor creativeone59 : ).

      Yes we can build a life that looks sound but unless it is founded on the Rock of salvation through Jesus. That life will crumble and won't be able to weather the inevitable storms of this life.

      Thank you for your comment and visit.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      9 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you for a great hub, Tamarajo, when we build a house, we need a strong foundation and Jesus is the foundation of life for us. Without Jesus as our foundation our buildings are torn down. God bless you. creativeone59


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