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The New Jerusalem a Pattern For Living: Coming Full Circle

Tamarajo is an avid Bible scholar who loves nothing more than seeking out the treasures in God's Word and sharing them with others.



A full description of the New Jerusalem, the topic of this study, is recorded in John's book of Revelation.

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

This heavenly depiction is much more than a fantasy home to look forward to at the end of our earthly journey. It is the blueprint of an entire Christian life lived for God.

Much like the Tabernacle of the Old Testament, in which every detail spoke of salvation through a sacrificial system that Christ fulfilled, so to this structure's every detail will have something to say about a life lived in fellowship with Him. Both structures' main goal and focus are to dwell with God eternal.

This structure consists 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.

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

Every foundation and gate will include people that were not perfect but submitted themselves and surrendered their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, whose name means salvation. And in the end, the Lord was able to create a beautiful and suitable habitation in their lives.

So it is with us. Our individual lives may not seem to bear much beauty from our mistakes and may even be marred by the sins committed against us. Still, 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

This lesson will discuss the relevance of the shape of the structure we studied, 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 of which apply practically to our Christian walk in the here and now.


The Cube

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

Author J. Preston Eby 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 becomes tried in the fire of testing, trial, tribulation, and persecution.

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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 paved and well-trodden by many who have gone before us. These people placed their faith in Jesus Christ and had their faith tested through trial and persecution. We can be sure that the fire and trials of life will bring what is really in us to the surface. May we let God remove anything impure from us that surfaces during these times so 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, 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

We sometimes 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. The children of Israel dwelt in temporary shelters for the week, expressing 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 the pouring of water, symbolic of the Holy Spirit that flows like a river from God to us, supplying us with refreshments and sustenance. The other ceremony's theme was light. The temple illuminated with giant candelabras symbolizes God being the light of the world described in Revelation in this city. Some scholars believe that Jesus, the source, and person of our salvation, was 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 them and be their God. — Revelation 21:3

The above verses express this structure's ultimate fulfillment: We would dwell with Him, and He with us. Dwelling with Him is God's ultimate goal and plan 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, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for 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 discovered that this heavenly city is more than a place to look forward to but reveals a pattern for living in this life, looking forward to the one to come.

The following is a review and conclusion of the lessons from our previous studies.

  • We saw how the foundation of this structure was built upon our knowing the Father loves us through faith in His Son's saving work in forgiving our sins by bearing them upon Himself on the cross is the cornerstone of our eternal life with Him. To turn from our sin and turn to Jesus is to lay that cornerstone.
  • Next, we looked at the building materials of our structure. The gold (precious faith in the Father's 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 in trusting in these inadequate provisions.
  • We also saw with the foundation stones of the apostles that God has made it possible that all men of personality and temperament are welcomed and invited to be one of His. And we also examined 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 breastplate 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. This item described the putting to death our obsession with this life and our comforts 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 again afforded the privilege to live eternally because God has perfected us in Jesus and brought us back where we belong with Him happily ever after.

© 2011 Tamarajo


Tamarajo (author) on December 16, 2011:

Drpastorcarlotta..pleased that you found the article interesting I thank you for your vote and visit.

Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC on December 12, 2011:

Very interesting and well written!!! I love it! Thank you for your obedience in sharing the WORD! Voted-Up!!

Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on January 29, 2011:

I figured if anyone could unlock this it would be you. I never noticed it before. It sure looks as if it could be two but it doesn't agree with anything I ever heard before. I will look forward to what you find. Thanks Tam.

Tamarajo (author) on January 29, 2011:

Hi no body...interesting observation about the tree. It reads to me as one tree that covers the expanse of the middle and both sides but I don't know Greek well enough to check out the original meaning of the words. I might go check out a Greek interlinear. If I find something interesting about that I will message you.

I do love to look into stuff like that as we are sometimes so used to reading across the surface that we miss important and relevant details when we ask those questions.

blessed by your visit and inquisitive comment. : )

Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on January 28, 2011:

Tamarajo, I need to ask you. I was reading your wonderful article and a verse of Scripture you quoted jumped off the page. Now maybe I'm reading the verse wrong but Revelation 22:2, is there more than one tree of life? It reads as if there is and I have always thought there was only one. It reads in my mind that there could be two or possibly three if there is one in the midst (middle) of the street. I guess that could mean half-way down the street in the center of the cube. But when I noticed that it blew my mind because of all the times I have read this verse and never seen it. Am I seeing it correctly?

Tamarajo (author) on January 27, 2011:

your comment is an excellent addition and summarization of the whole series Chin chin. Most of the lessons in the study point to that very idea of keeping faith genuine and our lives pure. The heavenly city is the final destination of a life lived for Him characterized by these qualities.

Thank you for your visit and wisdom.

Chin chin from Philippines on January 27, 2011:

Tamarajo, thank you for sharing such wonderful thoughts about this heavenly city. With that in mind, we definitely should strive to keep our faith genuine and our lives pure. I always keep in mind that only he who is faithful to the end shall be saved. Be blessed always!

Tamarajo (author) on January 26, 2011:

Hello His daughter. Yes it is hard to imagine which is why I loved the revelations in the study of the structure because it held such relevancy for our life today.

Blessed by your visit and comment.

His daughter on January 26, 2011:

It is definitely a place that I'm sure we all are anxious to see...beyond our expectations. Even the descriptions such as you gave us it is hard to imagine it in our own minds. God bless for the great job you have done in sharing with us all.

Tamarajo (author) on January 26, 2011:

Reverend Ted, thank you for your additional insights about the Jewish people and what that might mean.

The glorious city will be something to look forward to and its symbolism lends us insight into living in the here and now.

Always encouraged by your visit and comments

Rev. Teddy C. Ryan III from a life in sin saved by the Lord's grace - we are blessed with the ministry in Florida & Georgia on January 26, 2011:

Nicely done TAM, I've always tried to picture the arrival of the "New Jerusalem" myself and have seen many very interesting depictions of it in art. It will be a glorious day!

In answer to the "gold" thing, I think the Lord has already got it covered as far as the construction of the city, but as far as the Jewish people are concerned prophetically, they are probably preparing for the world economies to collapse and the current stock market to bottom out as predicted in those days before the Messiah comes (just a thought to what age we are living in).

With blessings and praise Him forever! We will then truly live "Happily Ever After" for all eternity... Rev.Ted

Tamarajo (author) on January 26, 2011:

Hello Betty, yes for sure, in His presence eternally is something to look forward and as confirmed in the building of this structure are the elements of a life lived here to lead us home.

Pleased by your visit comment and encouragement

Betty Johansen on January 26, 2011:

Oh Tamarajo, I LOVE your ending! This is the true meaning of "happily ever after." Happily-ever-after isn't just for princes and princesses or football players and homecoming queens. Happily-ever-after is for anyone who chooses it. Even me.

You have so beautifully described our heavenly Home. I can't wait to get there and begin living happily ever after with the Lord!

Tamarajo (author) on January 25, 2011:

Hi Cristina, you captured it well without the covenant love relationship through His one and only son and the great mercy that was shown to us through Him the structure of our lives rests on sinking sand but in that foundational covenant relationship we become part of a city that represents a life lived in His presence.

Thank you for following the series cristina I have enjoyed your insights and commentary

Tamarajo (author) on January 25, 2011:

Hello CIW, I am glad you enjoyed the hub and the series and were able to capture the bigger picture and symbolic elements of living in the here and now while looking forward to this glorious place as presented in this structure.

I will be checking out your hub next time I am able to get to my PC. I'm only able to use my phone at present as I babysit my granddaughters Tuesday through Friday.

I appreciate your visit and comments It is always a blessing!

Cristina Santander from Manila on January 25, 2011:

Excellent hub which presents great and timeless truths to live by. I find this hub very comforting and encouraging. Truly we are perfectly secure in our covenant love with God. Every moment of our life we are dependent upon God's mercy so we can never afford to separate or drift away from our covenant relationship with God. Only in this covenant relationship we can be perfectly secure. Thank you for bringing this out into the light through this hub. Remain blessed always. Best regards.

VOICE CIW on January 25, 2011:

Tamarajo, Beautifully done, you have a gift, the way you relate scripture to our personal lives. The New Jerusalem the pattern for living is so precious, it makes me reflect on the Beauty of God, and how He lovingly watches over us, and has prepared a beautiful home for us, that we may live with Him forever. You make it real for those who don't understand the New Jerusalem that will come down from Heaven. The Building Materials, The Foundation Stones of the Apostles, the Gates With The Tribal Names, and The Gates Of Pearl, beautifully done. If you get a chance read my hub, My Testimony On Prayer, it is a little lengthy, but whenever you get the Chance. I am still praying for you. God Bless You! I love you in the Lord.

Tamarajo (author) on January 25, 2011:

Thanks Gus always appreciate your visit and complimentary comments.

Gustave Kilthau from USA on January 25, 2011:

tamarajo - Thanks for the interestingly told story of one of the ancient cities of the world and what may be unfolding there.

Gus :-)))

Tamarajo (author) on January 25, 2011:

Hi Dave, that is fascinating about the Jews buying gold. I wonder what it means biblically and prophetically. I will be waiting and watching. I am sure there is something symbolic and spiritual to it

Thanks for stopping by

Tamarajo (author) on January 25, 2011:

Thank you Dave Price for stopping by that was the whole beauty of this discovery about this holy city is the relevance of its message for the here and now as well as our future hope.

Thanks as well for your encouraging comment

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on January 25, 2011:

The jews of today seem to be buying up Gold like it is going out of style. Are they planing to pave the streets of the "New Jerusalem" ???

DavePrice from Sugar Grove, Ill on January 25, 2011:

It is the blessed hope of the future that carries us through the present trials, and you have illustrated that hope well.

Tamarajo (author) on January 24, 2011:

Hello FriendofTruth, I am glad you enjoyed the series. I know it was a lengthy one. I go back myself to catch it all. The revelations mean much to me as they are discovered. His Word is so full of depth and relevant life giving truths and principles.

I thank you for your visit and your encouraging comment.

Blessings to you too!

FriendofTruth from Michigan on January 24, 2011:

I have definitely enjoyed this entire teaching that you did on the New Jerusalem and will defintitely be reading it again to learn more from it and to take notes this time.

Blessings to you!

Tamarajo (author) on January 24, 2011:

Thank you for your visit and comment Vladimir.

Vladimir Uhri from HubPages, FB on January 24, 2011:

Thank you brother. Something good to meditate on.

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