This chapter is in my opinion far too important and far too beautiful to split into two parts and so I have inserted it here as a whole.
Peter Whyte offers us here an exceptionally beautiful vision of the wonderful jewels Christ’s Royal Priesthood is called to be adorned with and what each of these jewels means in terms of the stages of spiritual development we are to experience in order to become more like Christ and indeed become part of that spotless Bride He is coming back for: the new Jerusalem.
Personally, I feel strongly identified with the traits of the Sapphire, Emerald and Sardonyx but deep inside I know I am called to display the rest of those traits and attitudes symbolised by all the other different jewels. I have a long, long way to go yet, and often every bone in my body resists to the death undergoing this process of purification which transforms a rock into a jewel, and yet every bone of my body recognises that I am destined for this process and outside of it, my life does not make a lot of sense.
Some of these precious jewels like Chrysoprase and Topaz are quite a tall order but at the same time a magnificent goal to pursue in our Christian walk. Only the disciplined, humble and loving servant of Christ will endure to the end of this race and be able to claim as his or hers the marvel of ALL THESE wonderful jewels. I don’t know right now how far in the race I will be able to go. Quite frankly today as I am battling the flu and feel like even lifting my hand to type is an effort, I truly doubt I am cut out for such a glorious destiny, but I do know that if I continue setting my eyes on that price, if I persevere no matter how discouraged, disappointed or dissuaded I may feel at times, the Lord himself will pick up that baton for me and see me through to the end. That is HIS Promise and I believe it to be true and am betting my life on it. What are you betting your life on?
THE NEW JERUSALEM – Chapter 8
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2)
“And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me saying, ‘Come here, I shall show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear Jasper.” (Rev. 21:9-11)
The New Jerusalem is the eternal, beloved companion of God. She is the Bride of Christ, the wife of the Lamb. She is without spot or blemish or wrinkle, having been sanctified by Christ who gave His life for her, and cleansed her by washing her with His Word, the gospel of the Kingdom of God. He did this that He might present her to Himself, holy and blameless. She is the church of Jesus Christ and He loves and nourishes and cherishes her just as we do our own individual bodies. He does this because every believer is a member of His body.
The last two chapters of Revelation describe the Bride, who is being formed over many centuries, for she is composed of every generation of believers. The book of Revelation is a revealing of what is happening in the spirit realm, where there is no time as we know it. These things were happening before John was told to write them in a book, they happened during the rest of his life on earth, and they will continue to happen until all the purposes of God with men are fulfilled.
It is important to realize that most spiritual things involve process rather than events, because the marriage of the Lamb may well be a process rather than a single occasion as we automatically presume from our earthly experience.
Paul wrote to the Ephesians about a great mystery of Christ and His church becoming one flesh:-
“For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” (Eph. 5:31-32)
It is possible for us to enter the New Jerusalem, to be come part of the Bride, and one flesh with our Lord, while we are still in our earthly bodies. This is why the Spirit and the Bride say “Come.” This is why the Lord says to His church in Babylon, “Come out of her My people…” for He does not want us to be participators in her sins and to receive the plagues He piles upon her in judgment.
The book of Hebrews was written around 68 A.D. and in it we read:-
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.” (Heb. 12:22-24)
Revelation was written many years later, around 95 A.D. and so in 68 A.D. there were believers who “had come to the Heavenly Jerusalem”. However the influence of Babylon had so deceived and penetrated the churches in the next 27 years, that it was necessary for the Lord to rebuke the seven churches in Asia, each city church separately, for varying offenses to God. Exhort all who read Revelation to “Have an ear to hear what the Spirit says to the churches”. Exhort all to be Overcomers. Reveal the deceptions of Babylon the Great which had already overcome and imprisoned the saints. Tell all believers to “Come out of her, My people” and that both the Holy Spirit, and those already in the Bride, joined in the same cry.
“And the Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ Let the one who hears say, ‘Come.'” (Rev. 22: 17)
“I Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches.” (Rev. 22:16)
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Rev. 1:3)
These words of Christ have application to every believer in every church in every generation. God gave this Revelation of spiritual things to Jesus in order that Jesus might give it to His bond-servants. (Rev. 1:1)
New Jerusalem, as described in Chapters 21 and 22 of Revelation, has both present and future aspects. When she is complete in the future, she will consist of a great throng that no man can number. Her measurements, 1500 miles in height, 1500 miles in length, and 1500 miles in width, (Rev. 21:16) reveal that she will eventually have billions of people. One day Jesus will bring ALL of His beloved church to Himself, and many who lived and died in earthly spiritual captivity will come to the heavenly city. However, we must be concerned with the present, and allow Father to take care of the future.
While we remain in our earthly bodies we are being called to be part of her NOW. We can be part of her now, only if we love Jesus enough to obey Him, and heed the call to come out of Babylon. Because of our obedience, both Jesus and the Father come and make their abode with us, as Jesus promised.
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” (Jn.14:23)
This obedience is not a legalistic one, but stems out of the loving, joyful relationship of a bride’s desire to please her Lord. It has no connection with duty or obligation. It is the loving response of our hearts when the enormity of His love for us floods our souls, and we enter into His rest, and cease from our own religious labours. It is the inevitable result of our intimate personal fellowship with Jesus, Father and the Holy Spirit.
Only overcomers inherit these things in this earthly life, not every believer. If therefore we desire to enter the New Jerusalem now, we must learn to be overcomers.
“He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be His God and he will be My Son.” (Rev. 21:7)
The twelve Apostles of the Lamb are the foundation stones of the city wall, and they are adorned with precious stones, which reveal the spiritual maturity of the overcomer disciple. Special meanings were attributed to each of these stones by the ancients, and they can be related to our spiritual growth. They show progressive stages both in our spiritual understanding and our individual relationship to Jesus Christ.
Precious stones are formed under great pressure, and each one of us who overcomes will experience some kind of suffering, stress and pressure, while God is forming us into His Bride. May the Holy Spirit reveal to you the necessity for you to be adorned with some of these stones, as you journey to Zion, the city of our God.
Many years ago I asked the Lord to reveal the meaning of the precious stones, adorning the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem, in Revelation chapter 21. Some years later I was given an old book, which contained a section headed, “The ancient meanings of Precious Stones.” As I was reading it, the Holy Spirit suddenly enlightened me to understand what follows. May He also enlighten your understanding of their spiritual meaning, when applied to your own personal spiritual progress.
JASPER is opaque but impure quartz found in metamorphic rock. It denotes process of change, and every believer undergoes this metamorphosis from the moment we are born of God’s Spirit. Although it is precious and beautiful, Jasper is lacking in brilliance and rarity, being found in abundance, just like the millions who believe in the Lord. It always contains impurities, just like all of us.
SAPPHIRE means free from enchantment. It shows that we are no longer bewitched by the charms of Babylon. It also denotes repentance and indicates that we have given up all our arguments with God, and abandoned all the religious traditions that were once so important to us. Repentance is an ongoing attitude, a permanent characteristic of the overcomer.
CHALCEDONY denotes progress to less impurity. It is less cloudy than Jasper. As we respond to the call of God to be Holy as He is Holy, we reject all impurity of thought and deed. The more intimate our personal relationship with the Lord, the more we grow like Him, and the more we hate and reject sin. The Bride makes herself ready, and clothes herself, by her righteous acts, in fine linen, bright and clean. (Rev. 19:7, 8)
EMERALD discovers false friends and ensures true love. It denotes ability to discern the false from the real, and this ability is given to us by our Lord as He sees the sincerity of our hearts toward Him. True love for Jesus can only be given when we are no longer deceived and captivated by the beauty of the whore city, and He has not only the first place, but the only place in everything. We can also come to a point in our spiritual growth when we are able to see through those who profess to be friends but are not.
SARDONYX is believed to ensure conjugal felicity, success in love and wedded happiness. This speaks of the Bride’s faithful relationship to Jesus. Adornment with this stone means that we have no further adulterous relationships with Babylon. We enjoy an intimate personal love relationship with Jesus, which fills us with joy, and makes everything else unimportant by comparison.
SARDIUS (RUBY) is found in the breastplate of Aaron. (Ex.28:20). Every believer is a priest, and can intercede with God, for those without Christ, and can also proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom. As we function as priests for the unbeliever, we are adorned with this first priestly stone.
CHRYSOLITE is supposed to be the antidote for madness and denotes freedom from evil passions. When we are entirely free from the subtle form of religious madness that held us in Babylon, and which is not The Way, we are freed from the evil passions which made us love her, and with which we loved her. Then we are adorned with Chrysolite.
BERYL is the second stone found in the breastplate of Aaron. As our fellowship with Father matures we progress in understanding and ability to function as the priests of God. We function like Jesus functioned in His humanity, representing and revealing God to others when we are adorned with Beryl.
TOPAZ denotes fidelity and friendship, which grow out of a long and close personal relationship with the Lord.
“You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his Master is doing: but I have called you friends, for all the things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (Jn.15:14-15)
Topaz is reserved for the completely loyal and trustworthy friends of Jesus, who also unconditionally love one another.
CHRYSOPRASE shines in the dark. Jesus said that His disciples are to be the light of the world. We can only be the light of the world when Christ has been formed in us, and He is manifest in our lives to those about us. Many Christian activities in Jesus Name do not glorify God and we sometimes act and speak in an ungodly manner. Chrysoprase is reserved for those who reflect Christ in their attitudes and behavior, and thereby shine in the darkness of the world.
JACINTH is translucent, allowing the passage of light, but the stone diffuses the light so that the bodies beyond it cannot be clearly distinguished by the person looking at them through the Jacinth. Every prophet is adorned with Jacinth being able to receive directly from God and reveal His light and truth to others. Those who receive it through the prophet do not see or hear these things quite so clearly. Before we can be adorned with this precious stone we have to grow in fellowship with God, until we can receive the things that the eye cannot see and the ear cannot hear.
AMETHYST denotes sincerity and is a preventative from violent passions. In all of us there is a desire to appear spiritual in front of other believers. We may speak or act unspiritually when unobserved by our brothers and sisters, and the degree to which we do this reveals the hidden insincerity in our hearts. As we mature in God we cease to worry about the opinions of others and overcome this desire to be well thought of and of good reputation. At this point we become truly sincere and allow our true nature and inner feelings to be seen by all. Then if there is unrighteous anger, impatience, intolerance or other sinful impurities hidden inside us, they are revealed and our violent passions exposed. Those that love us and care for our souls can then help us to overcome these things, and be delivered from their spoiling effect on our inward walk. Only those who have willingly become of no reputation and have truly died to self can be adorned with Amethyst.
The Holy Spirit will reveal to us much more concerning these things if we will hear the voice of Jesus and become rooted and grounded in the Word of Christ. The Lord reveals much more to us about the Bride of Christ in these last two chapters of Revelation. He states plainly many things which we need to hear and heed.
The New Jerusalem has no temple or sanctuary in it, for the Lord God and the Lamb are its temple and sanctuary. (Rev. 21:22) How unlike the city of Babylon with its cathedrals of stone and glass, the bricks and mortar called “churches” or “sanctuaries” or “the house of the Lord” by the captive and deceived saints.
Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life may enter the city. (21:27) Its gates are always open, waiting for the Kings of the earth to bring their glory into it. How God longs for His royal priesthood to make themselves ready and so enter His city. (21:24, 25)
The bond servants of the Lamb have His Name written on their foreheads, for they have renewed minds and have developed the mind of Christ. (22:3, 4)
They serve the King of Kings, not some organized religious institution or man-made structure. (22:23)
The New Jerusalem is people. God’s children who have become His bond servants and friends and His bride. Through them flows the water of God’s life; a Spirit river which originates from the throne of God in the hearts of those who have truly enthroned Him there. (22:1-3)
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Tree of Life and He yields His fruit continually, every month of the year. The leaves of the tree are those disciples, rooted and grounded in Christ who have been illumined by God and reign in life, bringing healing to the nations, both spiritual and physical. (22:2-6)
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and everyone who loves and practices lying. I JESUS HAVE SENT MY ANGEL TO TESTIFY TO YOU THESE THINGS FOR THE CHURCHES. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star. And the Spirit and the Bride say COME. And let the one who hears say Come. Let the one who is thirsty come, and let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” (Rev.22:14-17)
Jesus clearly states that all these things are for the churches, which means every born again believer in Christ. The Spirit and the Bride are saying “COME” to the children of God who make up the churches, because they are held captive by Babylon the Great.
The ones who HEAR and respond, also say “COME”.
Let those who are thirsty come out of Babylon and bring their glory into the New Jerusalem and take the water of life without cost.