Monday, June 27, 2011

New Jerusalem

Here's the description of the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation.  This is the vision recorded by the Apostle John.  There is a lot of symbolism in the book- it's called, "apocalyptic" or prophetic literature.   Last year I read through Revelation. I really enjoyed it.  But I recommend a good handbook for some of the symbols.  The description of the New Jerusalem is pretty straight forward.

Revelation 21

The reference to bride symbolizes purity, cleanliness.  The first temple was made by man for God to dwell in, the new Jerusalem will be made by God for man to dwell with Him.  Permanent!
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 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 them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

Don't know about you, but I think we could all use a new place.  A place we can't mess up or sin in.
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

Remember the apple?  I know it was Eve that took the first bite.  We will receive freely in the new Jerusalem if we thirst for God.  For those who don't... the lake of fire.
6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

In previous chapters of Revelation, John saw seven angels with plagues to be spread on the earth.
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife."  10 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, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 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: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.

There's a few things I can't draw as an artist, God and the New Jerusalem.  I simply couldn't do them justice.  But I was intrigued by the colors of the gems so I looked them up.  Jasper is brick red, gold will be like clear glass, sapphire is dark blue, chalcedony has various colors, emerald is deep green, sardonyx is white and brown, sardius is dark orange brown, crysolite is yellowish brown, beryl is deep red, topaz can have several variations, chrysoprase is apple green, jacinth is orange, and amethyst is purple.  It sounds beautiful! 
Here's a very rough draft of the colors.  I changed the opacity so it
it would look a bit translucent.  Just wanted to have an idea.
Also my color choices may be a bit off : )
In other words- God's will be awesome!
14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 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. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 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, 20 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. 21 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.

This is so cool.  The glory of God will illuminate the city, there won't be a need for the sun and moon.  No night time.  I'm not sure if this means there won't be a moon or sun anymore, or if they will be there just not as important.  One of those things we'll find out in the New Jerusalem.
22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.  25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.  27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

In the beginning of Revelation, letters were written to seven Churches.  They are like a report card from Jesus, letting them know how they're doing.  Seven is the Heavenly number where six is the number of the beast.  I wanted to include this letter because this is the Church that did the best out of the 7.  Sadly, it's not the Philadelphia next to New Jersey...  It describes what God requires to enter the New Jerusalem.
Revelation 3:7-13

7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,

'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens":  8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name

As an American Christian (Gentile) I often forget the first Churches were Jews who accepted Jesus as their Savior, their Messiah.  All those folks Jesus talked to and believed in Him were Jewish. I haven't been around many Jews for Jesus.  The paintings I studied in school, show Jesus as a white man with blonde hair.  But He was born through the Jews- the Son of Man was of the lineage of David.  I also forget I'm a Gentile, praise God for Paul's missionary journeys (he set out to convert us- err our ancestors)!  What comes to mind is how much bigger the Church really is than I imagine, it crosses through all time since the beginning, all nations, all races...  New Jersey has all the world religions and races.  People who claim to be Jews but aren't sounds like those who don't worship God yet claim the title, I may be wrong on that.  But this is the first and greatest commandment:
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:5 NKJV

9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.  10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.  12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

13 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'

Matthew 23:37-39
37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!  38 See! Your house is left to you desolate;  39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"

We must keep the faith.  Awesome things are in store for all of us who believe in Jesus!
Revelation 16:15
15 "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches..."

Still praying for peace in Jerusalem.  There's a much bigger picture than I often realize.


  1. Rev 16:15 is def my favourite! Blessed is he who watches...Thanks Karen fro sharing! :)

  2. Hi Karen -

    You did an exceptional job with this piece. I love the chart, as well.

    You expressed, ""He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": 8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name."

    Oh! Glory Hallelujah - that so encouraged me. Thank you, Karen, for this thorough and rich piece.

    Note: You mentioned, "Remember the apple?"
    Many people have referenced that it was an apple. The Holy Bible doesn't say that it was an apple. It states in Genesis 3:6 - KJV, "...she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

  3. God bless both of you! Thanks lioneagle, I appreciate the correction. You are right of course. I really found encouragement in those verses too. It seems so impossible, but God's not asking for perfection : )

    Murugi- I loved that verse too. Simple things please God the most. Amazing! Thanks for the encouragement both of you : )