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 NEW JERUSALEM

ITS FOUNDATIONS!

And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

Revelation 21:19-21

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God

LESSON 1, INTRODUCTION:

For the next few days we are going to study the City known as "New Jerusalem." Or at least study a part of that city, its very foundation!

It's called a "holy" City in Revelation 21:2, then compared to a "Bride" adorned for her Husband.

Or the "Lamb's Wife," Revelation 21:9.

John was miraculously shown "that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God." Revelation 21:10. what titles! "Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal."

Also, "It had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel," those names giving a clear picture of God's great Plan of Salvation, too! Revelation 21:12

But, now nearing our "focus" for these lessons, "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations."

Twelve foundations!

Let's study those foundations, that is, the basis or the underpinning on which this glorious City is built!

The Greek noun for "foundation" is "themelios," a derivative of the verb "tithemi." It means something that "has been set" in place. Deliberately positioned by its originator.

And "tithemi" is taken from a word that means "to bend down!" That's what one must do in order to lay a foundation! Get down into the dirt, into the rock, into the earth itself!

And, amazingly, that idea, "to bend down," is the root idea behind the Old Testament word for "mercy!" And "hesed" is also translated "lovingkindness!" When God bestows His Grace and Pity and Love upon us, He is literally "bending down" to meet our needs!

Think of the Virgin Birth!

The Incarnation!

This whole City, New Jerusalem, in that "bending down" sense anyway, can be said to be a picture or a type or a symbol of God's marvelous Mercy!

His Grace!

His Lovingkindness!

His Pity!

For lost sinners like you and me, at least like we used to be!

That makes me want to study these foundations more than ever!

Reckon we will find in each of them a token, however small, of God's astounding Grace?

It wouldn't surprise me a bit.

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, the jasper stone:

We are studying an aspect of the Heavenly City, New Jerusalem. Specifically. it's "foundations."

"And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald." That's the first verse of our Text, Revelation 21:19

First of all let's notice the verb "garnished." In Greek it is "kosmeo," which gives us our word "cosmetologist." That's a hair dresser! A person who "neatly arranges" and "orderly fixes" another person's hair. And that's what "kosmeo" means, "to put in order, to decorate, to trim, to embellish with beauty!"

God has "beautified" this City with generous sprinklings of precious stones, here in its very foundation!

Now today we must discuss the first of these stones, the "jasper."

Biblically speaking, the "jasper" may best be described in Revelation 21:10-11. "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal ...."

"Clear as crystal!"

From this fact alone we realize that the Bible "jasper" stone is different from what today is called the "jasper," which is not necessarily a "clear" stone at all.

We're going to use the Bible concept for this study.

Many of the older commentators believed the "jasper" stone was essentially what we today call the "diamond!"

The Heavenly City, built upon a foundation of "diamonds!"

Better yet, one solid platform of diamond!

All the way around its approximately 1500 mile base, times four! "And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal." Revelation 21:16

Wow!

To provide a diamond of this magnitude, one would have to be the Creator of diamonds!

And our God is just that!

But remember this about diamonds, unquestionably so, they are formed in nature by being under constant pressure for thousands of years! A diamond is essentially a piece of once useless "carbon," think of a chuck of coal lying underground, but after all that time under heavily weighted tons and tons of rock and soil, compressed mercilessly, it becomes a diamond!

And the very foundation of Heaven is based upon that truth!

A suffering Saviour is the Basis of it all!

His sorrow, His pressure, His tortuous time on Calvary, made this Heavenly City a reality!

The first layer of foundation, a "jasper," a "diamond!"

Some day when we stand by those walls, and see that beauty, we shall no doubt fall to our knees and worship!

Not worshipping the foundation, of course!

But the One Who made it all possible!

Heaven's "Diamond!"

The Lord Jesus Christ!

Anyone reading here today under any "pressure?" If so, I merely remind you, God may be making you into a "diamond" too, for His Glory! We all were once worthless pieces of carbon, bits of now despised coal, but God has transformed us, saved us, redeemed us, sanctified us ... and we are now, dare I say it, "precious stones" in His Eyes!

"Pressure" with a "purpose!"

God is "upgrading" His children!

Praise His Holy Name!

Rejoice in Jesus today!

The great Stone mason of eternity!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, THE SAPPHIRE STONE:

This is the lesson in which we study "sapphire."

Here's why. "And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire ...."

Apparently a layer of solid sapphire, fifteen hundred miles long, on each of all the city's four sides, will help support the massive walls! Of New Jerusalem! Of our future Home!

But why "sapphire?"

And what is it anyway?

It's a precious stone of sky-blue color, hard and brilliant and very expensive. And just beautiful!

But, grammatically, "sapphire" is taken from a Hebrew noun, "sappiyr." That's even from a verb, "saphar," that means "to count, to recount, to relate." And get this, also "to rehearse, do accurately declare" something!

Wow!

This stone actually implies "telling some story, over and over again!" Even "telling the same story, over and over again!"

And is that not what we shall be doing for all eternity!

And doing it joyfully and excitedly and gratefully!

Our very testimonies!

How Jesus saved us!

How God created the world, the universe!

How He chose Israel!

How He sent Jesus into the world!

How Calvary occurred, and why!

And the Truth of Jesus' Resurrection!

And Ascension!

How He was, still is, our Great High Priest!

How, by New Jerusalem days, He has already returned to rapture us from earth into His Presence!

How the Blood of Jesus still has all its Power!

How the Lamb of God, so worthy to be praised, will be the Subject of our adoration and worship for ever and ever!

Yes, sapphire, by definition, does mean "tell it again!"

Every time we look at those beautiful stones, that second "layer" of the City's foundation especially, we will want to launch into a rehearsal of all he did for us!

Glory to God!

Start practicing today, Christian friend!

Uplift Jesus, all day long!

Again and again!

I'll never look at a sapphire stone the same way again!

Thank you, dear Lord.

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, THE CHALCEDONY STONE:

The "foundations" of that future Heavenly City will be awesome, "New Jerusalem" John calls it!

Twelve "layers" of foundation, each consisting of another precious stone!

The first was diamond!

The second, sapphire!

Each conveyed a spiritual lesson, too.

Now today, "chalcedony" is our subject. My dictionary says to accent the second syllable. Say it like "kal-said'-en-e."

It belongs to the "quartz" family of rock. And it has a "misty grey color, clouded with blue, yellow or purple."

But this, Revelation 21:19 here, is the only time this specific word is found in the whole Bible.

The name "chalcedony" is linked to the Greek noun for "brass," it seems. That's spelled "chalkos." This may hint at the "grey" color of basic chalcedony. Before the Creator added the "colors!"

The only other pertinent fact I can find is this. "Chalcedony" may be named, at least in part, for the area where it was commonly found, a city in ancient Turkey called "Chalcedon." It's now a part of Constantinople, also known as Istanbul.

Now let's try to build some spiritual truth on the "chalcedony" foundation.

The fact that the word appears only here, only once in the whole Bible, says tons! That alone makes it a unique word! One-of-a-kind! Special! Unlike any other!

And when we finally arrive in that Heavenly City, and view these foundations, especially the chalcedony, surely we will be reminded that we too are "one-of-a-kind!" In God's Eyes, for sure!

Psalm 139 compares our conception and development in the womb to an artist's "original" work! A masterpiece! Or a seamstress' best production ever, finely embroidered and perfectly made!

Then our salvation is just as precious, too!

Planned from the foundation of the world, even before that, really!

When Jesus was on the Cross, you were on His Mind, dear Christian friend!

Chalcedony, unique!

Your soul, unique, too!

"Precious," in His Sight!

Wow!

Then, that "hometown" business.

If "chalcedony" was named for the area that produced it, at least in John's day, maybe that suggests that God knew us, where we lived, even before we got saved!

He knew that Mary and Martha and Lazarus were from Bethany!

And that Jonah was running to Tarshish!

And that Peter was sleeping on that rooftop down by the sea side! Down at Joppa!

He also knew that Nathaniel, just before he was saved, was under yonder fig tree, too!

And he knows you background, and mine!

All the mess and sin and failure we caused!

Yet He loved us!

And He saved us!

I'm not from Chalcedon, but from Mauldin, South Carolina.

Put you place of origin in the blank here, _______________.

Jesus saw you there.

Pulled you and me out of the miry clay there, lifted us up, and put us on the Solid Rock!

Bless His Name today!

If the chalcedony suggests these kinds of thoughts to us this Sunday morning in late August, while we are still living on this sin-cursed earth, what will it picture to us when we get to Glory?

No telling!

We'll be praising God all over the place!

Thanking Him even for that third foundation, chalcedony, and all it implies!

Not counting the beauty it adds to the City!

Of course the Most Beautiful Thing there will be Jesus!

Don't you agree?

He is worthy of our admiration and worship and thanks, even today!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, THE EMERALD STONE:

The fourth stone in New Jerusalem's "foundation" is named the "emerald." In Greek it's spelled "smaragdos." It's a transparent stone known principally for its green color.

However, "emerald" is used in the Old Testament three times. And, surprisingly, only twice in the New Testament! Both of those in Revelation!

The Hebrew word for "emerald" is "nophek," meaning "to glisten or glow!" It was one of the stones found on the High Priest's "Breastplate." Of course, so were the jasper and the sapphire, too! But not the chalcedony.

But back to "smaragdos," Greek for "emerald." It is thought to mean "live coal," so says one Bible Dictionary anyway.

That's parallel with the Hebrew definition as well, "glowing stone."

What we're being told, at least, is that the fourth "layer" of the Heavenly City's "foundation" is beautiful!

I'm going so far today as to say that it is one of God's favorite stones! I'll tell you why in a second.

Of course the whole idea of God having a "favorite" anything is repulsive to some folks. I know that in Acts 10:34 Peter says that God is no Respecter of persons, and that's true. But what about "jewels?" Or "nations?"

Everyone knows He has a favorite Nation!

Israel!

Here's the Lord speaking to those Israelites! "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." Deuteronomy 14:2

I say the "emerald" is special to the Lord because He has surrounded His very Throne with that color! Read this with me, Revelation 4:3. "And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald."

Wow!

If you like the "emerald" look well enough to decorate your Throne Room with it, that's probably a pretty good indication that it is very meaningful to you!

But why would the emerald be so significant to the Lord?

Let's talk about that color, "green."

In Scripture it seems to be the emblem of things "eternal," things "everlasting," things "not dead" and "never going to die!" Things very much "alive!"

God is encircled in Glory right now with an emerald-green hue! A bow, a rainbow, that lacks the seven colors of the spectrum, and only radiates "green!"

God on the Throne ... eternal!

The Life He gives us ... eternal!

Grace and Mercy ... eternal!

And now, New Jerusalem ... eternal!

And, by implication, your mansion there ... eternal as well!

Think about these things!

Ponder them!

Because of Jesus' Death and shed Blood, you're "in" on these eternal things, Christian friend!

Stand at this fourth "foundation" a while ... and worship!

I'm certainly going to do so!

Thank God for "emeralds!"

I believe the next time I'm at the Mall, near an upscale Jewelry Store, I'll stop by and ask to see something!

Their biggest "emerald!"

And please pray that when I do, I can contain my emotions!

Everlasting!

That's a favorite concept with our great God!

Glory to his Name!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, THE SARDONYX STONE:

In the New Testament the "foundations" of the coming, glorious New Jerusalem are described in detail. For some reason they are labeled not only with the names of the twelve apostles, but also identified with twelve precious stones.

The fifth of these is the "sardonyx."

The word is only used here in the whole Body of Scripture. "And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst." Revelation 21:19-20

The sardonyx is a colorful stone. Primarily etched with red and white though! Every source I consulted says this! The ancient sardian stone was red, and the onyx stone, white. The sardonyx blends the two!

This drives one into the Word of God, looking for any combinations of red and white!

Biblically these words occur twice, concerning Judah in the Old Testament Pentateuch and again referencing the work of the coming Messiah  in the Prophecy of Isaiah.

First, Judah. "His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk." Genesis 49:12

Then, the Messiah, or His finished Work. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18

Remember, Judah is the Tribe of Israel from which our Lord was born!

Judah is the ruling tribe, from which the Kings were born!

Also, Judah's very name means "praise!"

But why "red" and "white?"

Why this specific stone, the sardonyx?

"Red" is an attention grabbing color!

It invites inspection.

It is bright and showy.

When one's sins are said to be "scarlet" or "red," they are being described as easily visible. Publicly known! Not hidden, shamefully exposed!

But when those same "scarlet" sins become "white," having been "washed" in the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, they are not as noticeable.

That's the idea, anyway.

Of course, New Testament wise, our sins are gone!

Obliterated!

Non-existent!

But in the Old Testament, they are covered!

Hidden!

Not seen any longer!

Maybe the fifth "foundation" of New Jerusalem, our eternal "heavenly" Home, will remind us for all eternity that God has saved us, redeemed us, forgiven us, having purged our hideous sins and leaving us unblemished, clean and pure!

The "sardonyx," a picture of the Grace of God!

Were your sins that well-known?

Bright red?

Have they now been erased?

Clean as the whitest shirt you've ever seen?

If so, thank the Lord today!

Praise Him for that forgiveness the rest of your life!

Red and white!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, THE SARDIUS STONE:

We are discussing the "foundations" of a city! Of the future heavenly city, New Jerusalem!

One of the "layers" of that massive structure is called a "sardius" stone. As a Greek noun, "sardios," its ancient spelling, speaks of a precious mineral, a "rock" if you please, red in color. Yet in Greek, in the New Testament, "sardious" occurs only once. In our Text here, Revelation 21:20. "The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, SARDIUS; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst."

But, thankfully, "sardius" also occurs in the Old Testament, three times in fact. It is one of the "stones" in the Jewish High Priest's Breastplate. The Hebrew noun "sardius" is "odem." It means "red." Literally, it's a derivative of "adam," a blood-red substance. The first man God created, Adam, is so named because God made him from the red clay of earth!

One teacher says the sardius stone is much like our "ruby" in brightness and intensity.

Another scholar believes "sardius" is identical to the "sardine" stone of Revelation 4:3, a word used to describe the appearance of Almighty God Himself! John, from the Isle of Patmos, writes: "And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald."

Wow!

A third expert is pretty sure word "sardius" is a relative, a close relative, of the proper noun "Sardis," an ancient city in Asia Minor.

Really "Sardis" is the home town of one of the seven churches mentioned n Revelation chapters 2 and 3. It was the location of the "dead" church! "And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." Revelation 3:1

So, the sixth layer of foundation in Heaven, "sardius," just may remind us of the Blood of Jesus! Blood red!

It may also hint at the fact that we were once "dead!" Dead in trespasses and sins, like Paul said in Ephesians 2:1. That would be shouting ground, wouldn't it?

Once dead, now alive, in Jesus!

Because of salvation!

Born-again!

Just how many "reminders" are there, in Heaven itself, of the "Blood" of the Lamb?

Several it seems!

By now we should be able to discern a pattern. These "foundations," all of them so far anyway, picture some aspect of the Grace of God, of His saving lost sinners!

Rocks crying out, for the Glory of God, a witness to His awesome Love and amazing Grace!

But Jesus already told us this could happen!

"And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." Luke 19:37-40

Amen!

A city where the substructure, the infrastructure as it's called today, its very foundation ... "talks!"

Saying, "Jesus!"

No, more than that, "Jesus loves sinners!"

Yet again, "And saves the lost by his Death of Calvary!"

Stones, crying out, to the Honor of our mighty God!

We may all eventually spend some time down by one of the City's gates, near the foundations of its huge wall, just looking at these stones.

Maybe even listening to them too!

And if you can't remember the "meanings" behind each one, not down here on earth anyway, Heaven will be populated with enough Bible students, all having by then perfect minds, who will be glad to explain each layer, jasper through amethyst!

"Sardius," Blood Red!

Thank you, Jesus!

Thank you for saving my soul!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, THE CHRYSOLITE STONE:

"The fifth foundation, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst." Revelation 21:20, the very center of our three-verse Text this week.

With the mention of "chrysolite," seven of the twelve foundations of New Jerusalem have been revealed.

"Chrysolite," in Greek "chrusolithos," has a golden color. In fact, "chrusos" is the noun for "gold."

And the "root" of "chrusos" is believed to be "chraomai," meaning "to receive a loan, to borrow, to use, to take for one's own use."

Here we see gold's propensity to be utilized as a means of commerce. As "currency" it a given society.

Our word here for "chrysolite" is only used in this one place in all the Bible! That alone limits our range of study.

As a "blended" word, "chrusolithos" means a "stone" ("lithos") of "gold" (again, "chrusos'), literally "a stone made of gold."

This is amazing!

A layer of gold underlying the great Wall of New Jerusalem, running about 1200 miles in each of the four quadrants surrounding the City! See Revelation 21:16. "And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs."

That's a lot of gold!

"Gold" as a metal, a mineral, a precious commodity, is even mentioned in relation to the Garden of Eden! "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good." Genesis 2:10-12, gold's first mention in Scripture.

And the last Biblical location for "gold?" Revelation 21:21, part of our very Text! "And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass." Think of it!

With a quick computer search I found 202 instances in Scripture where "gold" was mentioned in tandem with "silver," too! Or vice versa.

If "silver" is emblematic of "redemption," which it apparently is, gold must carry the "picture" a little further.

Silver somehow typifies the priceless nature of the Blood of Jesus. It's ability to "buy us" out of the slave market of sin!

"Gold" then, logically, would represent that which follows redemption!

That is, a life with God Himself!

That is, Heaven!

Eternal Father-Son-Holy Spirit communion, with us enjoying such a glorious thing, for evermore!

Right in the middle of it!

God loves gold so much, or wants to teach with it so intently, that He has "built" the Street of Heaven, New Jerusalem, it's very avenues and lanes drives, with gold!

And if God can take that what-we-call "precious commodity" and use it so prodigally, so freely, surely He must be a "wealthy" Heavenly Father!

And if He is that well-to-do, that financially secure, that lavishly invested, He no doubt can and will meet all our paltry needs!

In Psalm 50:10 God claims: "For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills."

Wow!

And Psalm 24:1 teaches us that the Lord owns the whole world! "The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein."

Wow!

Maybe every time we see that seventh foundation of the Heavenly City, again and again no doubt, we will reflect on God's great provision in our lives!

If He is the Owner of the universe's gold, He can certainly take care of you and me!

And that's a promise!

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19, according to His riches!

And that surely includes His "stockpile" of gold!

Enough to build the foundation and pave the streets of our future Home, of that Place that's even called "the Bride, the Lamb's Wife!"

Called that, I think, because the Bride will live there, for all eternity!

Need any "gold" today?

Or other commodity?

We all know where such is available!

And James reminds us, "Ye have not, because ye ask not." James, the Lord's Brother, this is. I've quoted James 4:2.

"Commemorative gold," by the tons, in New Jerusalem!

Reminding us of every time God met one of our needs!

Now that's worship ground indeed!

Thank You, Lord!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, THE BERYL STONE:

The foundation stones of New Jerusalem will be absolutely beautiful!

And the eighth one is no exception!

It is known as "beryl."

John succinctly informed us in Revelation 21:20: "the eighth, beryl," eight of twelve, not counting the gates of pearl!

While the word "beryl" is used only once in the New Testament, it is found in the Old Testament seven times!

It was one of the precious stones in the Jewish High Priest's Breastplate even. It is also found once in the Song of Solomon describing the Bridegroom, Who is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In Hebrew "beryl" is spelled "tarshiysh." In Greek, it's "berullos."

But get this. In both lexicons, Hebrew and Greek, the meaning of "beryl" is said to be "uncertain!"

Ancient sources say that the stone is greenish colored. "Light green" to be exact. But my handbook on precious stones and gems says that it is "colorless" in its purest form!

What can all this ambiguity mean?

I think we are here being told that, even in Heaven, an element of "mystery" and "wonder" will still be present!

"Wonder" over the Lord Jesus Christ!

"Astonishment" over the plan of salvation!

"Awe" over the reality of that glorious City!

"Ecstasy" over being with our departed loved ones, eternally!

Do not misunderstand me please. We will know all we need to know. But every fact of all the ages?

No more "learning" or "excitement?"

Not a chance!

Let me show you some of the "surprise" of Heaven, of Glory, of New Jerusalem! "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." Revelation 5:11-13

When we one day stand by that beautiful Foundation, with its eighth layer being "beryl," we will then know its color and its background ... but we will still not know all the answers to all the questions about Jesus! The Jesus Whom the "beryl" typifies!

We will never know everything about our great salvation!

Or about the Blood of the Lamb!

Or God's amazing Grace!

For even when we get there, we will still be sinners, ex-sinners, saved by Grace!

We will be glorified Believers in Jesus, but still "short" of being little gods and goddesses!

No, only one God is there!

Almighty God expressing Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

The rest of us will still be worshipping and learning and serving and glorifying His Dear Name.

Probably Heaven will be one non-stop era of amazement!

I can't imagine it being any other way!

Let's all get together over There one morning and go ask Jesus to teach us a Lesson about the "beryl" stone!

He will be glad to do so!

After all, in some way it describes Him, as I've already said twice!

Our ineffable Saviour!

And that word means "unexplainable, indescribable!"

"Wonder of Wonders," our precious Lord!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

I might not have room to add this thought.

And you might not have time to read it, either.

But here goes, anyway.

Did you notice the Hebrew word for "beryl?"

It's "tarshiysh." That's none other than the noun "Tarshish," the city to which Jonah was fleeing to escape the Lord's Presence!

The "beryl" stone just might remind us of some of our "bright" ideas, too!

Like not wanting to do God's Will!

Or rejecting His Counsel!

Doing things our own way!

Our failures, in other words!

If so, the "beryl" stone might be a little humiliating!

But even so, do notice that if you're standing there admiring that Foundation, you're already in Heaven!

What a mess I've made at times!

Yes I have some "Tarshish" experiences in my life, just as you do too!

But still, we're saved!

Washed in Jesus' Blood!

And by the time we see that "beryl" stone in person, we shall already be enjoying eternity with Jesus!

If that's part of what the "beryl" will mean ... get ready!

There will be some shouting and praising God around that glorious City!

Around that Foundation!

God Who loves me, even though I've fled for Tarshish way too many times!

 

 

LESSON 10, THE TOPAZ STONE:

Next comes the "topaz" stone, enough of it to build the foundation for an entire city, a city half as wide as the continental United States. About fifteen hundred miles, at its base!

"And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst." Revelation 21:19-20

Topaz, "topazion" in Greek, has an etymology that is yet unknown. But, thank the Lord, the word is also used in the Old Testament, four times in fact. There "pitdah" is thought to be a "loan word" from a foreign language. A gemstone handbook, not a Bible lexicon mind you, says that "topazion" is linked to the Greek verb "to seek." And the book is quoting a Roman writer named Pliny.

To seek!

That suggests the idea of curiosity!

Inquisitiveness!

Constantly hungering for knowledge!

Even the color of topaz plays into this mindset. The Bible Dictionaries mostly say it's yellow, a bright yellow. But the science books indicate it can be one of several colors, depending on where it's found.

That makes me want to know the true color, of the genuine topaz in Heaven anyway!

Again, that's curiosity!

At a bookstore I recently saw a volume named just that, "Curiosity." Or maybe it was "Curious," something about "The Missing Ingredient To A Fulfilling Life."

In some ways curiosity plays an important role in the Christian life.

When two of John's Disciples followed Jesus one day, obviously interested in learning more about our Lord, Jesus merely excited their curiosity by saying, "Come and see." John 1:39

I believe such curiosity comes as a gift from the Holy Spirit, some of it anyway.

Many Christians have a God-given interest in the Scriptures!

Many others apparently do not!

Here's an example of such curiosity. "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." 1st Peter 2:2

Then again: "Lord, open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." Psalm 119:18

Interest in Jesus!

Interest in the Bible!

Interest in things spiritual, godly and holy!

Interest in Heaven!

All these are good things.

And just maybe when we all get to Heaven and view those lovely foundation stones, the whatever-color "topaz" will remind us of the glorious fact of our life long inquisitiveness.

Perhaps even, in that celestial city itself, some vestiges of that curiosity will continue!

Half the enjoyment of life is learning, isn't it?

And Jesus, the Creator and Redeemer, is undoubtedly "omniscient!" That means He "knows all!" There's never been a question He couldn't answer!

"Lord, how old was Adam, in earth years, when You created him?"

"Just how many miracles did Jesus work while on earth?"

"Did my wife, in Heaven before me, see what was happening here on earth? Is she a part of that great 'cloud of witnesses' Paul briefly mentioned in Hebrews 12:1?"

And a thousand more questions to follow!

But the greatest question I ever asked, like Jesus framed it long ago, is: "What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?" Matthew 22:42

I'm glad I was curious in that area, about Him!

By the way, the answer to that last question I know!

He is the Son of the Living God! Virgin Born! The Saviour of sinners, too! The Redeemer of lost mankind!

Folks, stay curious about the things of God!

Paul did! "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." Philippians 3:10

And the Disciples: "And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray." Luke 11:1

Thank God for the topaz stone.

And thank God for Holy Ghost induced curiosity!

The lesson is complete now, but I am still hungering to know more about it all, the stone, the foundation, and the Lord Who built it!

Aren't you?

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Oh ...

I wish I knew where I could go buy a topaz stone today, even a very small one! It would be quite meaningful to me at this stage of life, being curious about so many things. I hope and pray that I never lose that interest, that hunger to know more.

But one word of warning. There are some things, evil things, that God does not want us to know! "When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those wicked nations." That's God speaking to Israel in Deuteronomy 18:9. Curiosity in some areas, for the Christian, must be limited. Then Paul adds: "But yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil." Romans 16:19, where "simple" means "unlearned, unmixed." Still, there are innumerable good and clean and proper things to investigate and understand! After all, God made a vast and wonderful world!

If God has given you a deep, abiding curiosity about His Word, thank Him today, thank Him profusely! Because: "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward." Psalm 19:7-11, look at the manifold rewards for that curiosity!

 

 

LESSON 11, THE CHRYSOPRASUS STONE:

Our Text, Revelation 21:20, reads in part: "the tenth, a chrysoprasus," talking about the next "layer" to the foundation of New Jerusalem, that yet future Heavenly City.

"Chrysoprasus," spelled "chrusoprasos" in Greek, is then a transliteration, not precisely a translation! We "borrowed" the term letter for letter from the ancients.

The word "chrusos" means "gold" and strangely, "prason" means a "leek!" Or that's what one textbook teaches anyway. A leek is a vegetable, in case you're wondering, a member of the onion family.

It is "green" in color, "apple green" say some of the commentaries. Another teacher says it's translucent, light passing right through it, and "golden green" in hue. The color of the juice of a "leek," someone added, in a Bible Dictionary I think.

Sounds pretty in appearance, but not in definition! After all, a "golden onion?"

Then it "hit" me!

An onion?

Leeks?

Remember?

The children of Israel, on their journey to Canaan, tired of the "manna" God had been sending them!

Here's what happened: "And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: but now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes." Numbers 11:4-6

Craving the things of a past life!

Things of Egypt!

Things of the world!

Things far less than what God had provided them!

The "leeks" especially, again, much like onions.

Grumbling Israelites!

Complaining Children of Abraham!

Yet we today still grumble and complain every bit as much as they did, no doubt. Let's not get "better than thou" this morning!

I just read that the "chrysoprasus" stone was a popular favorite in Egypt, being primarily used in their jewelry!

Our past lives, when we were still in sin, do have a way of coming back occasionally and "tempting" us.

But what's all this got to do with New Jerusalem?

And its "foundations?"

Plenty!

Could it be that when we stand there by that Wall, undergirded by these twelve layers of precious stones, that the "chrysoprasus" will call out to us ... "Want any cucumbers now? Or garlic? Or onions? Or leeks?"

To which we will say, "I don't think so!"

We shall have finally been delivered from those old cravings!

From the things that once had a "hold" on us!

They will be "gone" now, never to return!

Yes, there is victory in Jesus!

Total victory!

Again, this part of the foundation, this chrysoprasus, just might set us to singing and praising and thanking the Lord!

For His mighty acts of deliverance!

Including what He has done for us individually!

Wow!

A reminder of past diets, in Heaven!

Of past lifestyles!

Of past sins!

All of which by then are "gone!"

I might need to just sit here a while and ponder the chrysoprasus.

Celebrating God's saving and delivering and conquering power!

Then Paul's famous saying will be completely fulfilled, "Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Praise the Lord!

Thank You, Heavenly Father!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Just one more thing ...

The Hebrew word for "leeks" is "chatzsiyr," meaning a "courtyard." In other words, implying an open area with the grass and shrubs and trees growing, all things "green!" So likewise, "leeks" in Moses' day grew as "green" colored vegetables, their stems were anyway.

So the precious stone that means "leeks," we're back to Greek now, embedded in New Jerusalem's great foundation, is "green" like its namesake implies! That's the lovely chrysoprasus stone.

How about that?

Language can be extremely logical sometimes!

 

 

LESSON 12, THE JACINTH STONE:

We are nearing the end of our twelve step journey. Through the foundation stones of Heaven, more precisely, of New Jerusalem.

Today we notice the eleventh. "The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst." Revelation 21:20

The "jacinth" stone is another "loner." It's not mentioned in the Old Testament at all, not that I can find. And it occurs only one other time in the New Testament.

The experts tell us that the "jacinth" stone is bluish in color, some even say a deep "blue."

Furthermore, the "jacinth," as it appears in Greek, is properly pronounced with an "h" in front of it. It thus becomes "hyacinth." And, as you may remember, that's also the name of a flower! These particular flowers are native to the Eastern Mediterranean area, too! The land of the Bible.

And naturally, one of the colors in which the hyacinth grows is blue! That may be its predominant color, in fact.

In Scripture, partly anyway, "blue" is the color the Lord uses to "remind" us of certain things. Or that's what he did with it  in the Old Testament.

Remember this?

"Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: that ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God." Numbers 15:38-41

The clothes God's people wore had to be "marked" with a "ribband" or "cord" or "thread" or "tassel," always "blue" in color!

And this blue fringe was to remind them of God's Word, God's commandments, a constant object lesson to obedience! "That ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them."

Blue, a "pointer" to the precious Word of God!

To Scripture's instructions and injunctions and pathways and pictures, word pictures for sure, but still pretty graphic!

"Reminders," those little ribbons!

Think of it, a whole "layer" of rock in Heaven, in the very foundation of the City, dedicated to "jacinth," to a blue stone, precious and beautiful and clearly visible!

Maybe there to primarily do one thing, to "remind" us of a few vital facts!

Things like the accuracy of God's Word!

It's power, too!

And the glorious truth that it contained the plan of salvation, by which we came to the Saviour!

Verses like this one. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10, Wow!

The Jews of old were accustomed to such reminders. God had them post verses of Scripture through their homes! Read these verses, please. Don't skip them. "Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth." Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Reminders!

We will still be "reminded" in Heaven, in that coming Celestial City, of such things, too!

God's Word is eternal!

Without it we would have never know the good Grace of God!

Lord, remind us forever!

Please don't let us forget!

Remember too, God saved your lost soul from Hell! "And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day." Deuteronomy 15:15

Once slaves, now children of God!

Redeemed by his Blood!

Never forget!

Even in Heaven!

That just may be the meaning of the "jacinth" stone!

Lest we let some of these precious truths "slip!"

Thank you Lord, not only for the millions of things You have done for us, but for encouraging us to remember some of them too!

Amen!

                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13, THE AMETHYST STONE:

We've all heard of it, the "amethyst" stone. "The twelfth, an amethyst," John tells us in Revelation 21:20.

This beautiful gem has a wealthy background, replete with meaning. One might could say that the Lord has again saved the "best" for "last!" See John 2:10 where Jesus turned water into wine, the best wine of the whole feast!

The meaning assigned to "amethyst" in Greek is "not drunk!" Spelled "amethustos," with "methuo" meaning "I am drunk!" The prefix "a" negates the intoxication!

If you've ever been drunk, remember that reality can get a bit "blurred!" Is all this real? Or is the liquor deceiving me?

In New Jerusalem, though it seems too good to be true, it isn't! You will not be "under the influence" of anything but the Holy Spirit of God! I mean Ephesians 5:18 style! "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit."

Reality will likely take on an even deeper meaning!

Our senses will be sharpened, our capacity for enjoyment heightened, our love for Jesus perfected!

No more "seeing through a glass" darkly!

Additionally, in Hebrew, in the Old Testament, "amethyst" appears twice. It was one of the precious rocks on the Jewish High Priest's Breastplate.

There, though the meaning is entirely different, the "essence" or the "implication" is nearly identical to "amethustos."

"Achlamah," the "amethyst," means "dream stone." Seems that the verb "chalam" means just that, "to dream!"

Oh, how delightful dreams can be!

I've dreamed in "living color," many a time!

There, in dream land, I've seen my wife, who has already gone to Heaven! I've preached to multitudes! I've flown planes, a latent desire probably! If I had the time and money to pursue a hobby, other than books, that would be it, aviation! While dreaming, I've lived in mansions! I've fought battles, and won!

Wow!

Take the best of all one's dreams, combine them, and they still do not anywhere near approximate the grandeur of Heaven!

New Jerusalem, a place so grand you will wonder if you're not a bit "tipsy!" But you won't be. It's all real!

New Jerusalem, a place so grand you will wonder if you're dreaming! But that will not be the case either! Again, it's all real!

The Hebrew lexicon continues, though.

"Chalam," the parent verb to "amethyst," also means "to be healthy, to be strong." In certain stems, this verb most assuredly means such things!

Wow again!

As a last reminder, as a finishing touch, the Lord reminds us as we enter that City, layer number twelve in that gorgeous Foundation, that we're reached a Place where there is eternal "health!" And perpetual "strength!"

No more sickness!

No more forced rest!

Unless we so desire, no sleep either, I suppose!

The Lord Himself never has slept! "Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." Psalm 121:4

There is "rest" in Heaven, mind you!

Plenty of it, I suspect.

But there is also lots of service, too! "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him." Revelation 22:3, where I am one of those "servants!" You are too if you're born again!

But still, no mention of fatigue or weakness or job related illness!

It's real!

It's grand!

It's Heaven!

Technically, New Jerusalem!

No drunkenness! No chemically enhanced reality!

Yet more distinct than the best dream you've ever had, but so very real!

Healthy and strong for evermore!

Thank you, Lord.

And none of this is counting the wonderful life Jesus has given us down here on earth, post salvation especially!

Hallelujah!

The Lord is good!

                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 14, THE GATES OF PEARL:

We have discussed the "foundation stones" of New Jerusalem, all twelve of them. But one more thing needs to claim our attention. The gates of the city are made of "pearl!"

"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass." Revelation 21:21

The noun "gates" is spelled "pulon," a derivative of "pule," the "opening" in a city wall to gain entrance. Where a person can have "ingress" or "regress," can come or go at will!

Also, "twelve" gates sure sounds like a large number. That is, until we realize that the city is square, with each of its four connected walls stretching "twelve thousand furlongs." That's about fifteen hundred miles! Thus when one measures the perimeter of the whole city, six thousand miles! That's a gate about every five hundred miles! So, twelve is not an excessive number after all! It's just right!

Here are a few facts about those gates that we learn elsewhere in Revelation.

"And the City had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel." Revelation 21:12

"On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates." Revelation 21:13

"And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal." Revelation 21:15-16

"And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there." Revelation 21:25

"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14

These gates are, obviously, significant!

Notice again the material of which these gates are made, "pearls!"

In Greek the word is "margarites." It's our English word "Margaret!" Such a lady was named after the "pearl," that precious jewel!

But, importantly, the gates, large as they must be, are made of one pearl! So, it's a huge pearl!

"One pearl" in Greek is "heis margarites." Meaning "one," not two or three, "pearls!" In Greek "margaros" is usually translated as "pearl-oyster."

But why the "pearl?"

Why not a ruby or some other precious commodity?

For the "gates" I mean.

I think this is the reason.

The "pearl" is produced in the side of that little oyster, within it, by a prolonged means of suffering!

It begins as a foreign object, as small as a grain of sand, grating into the very body of the oyster!

There it lodges and accrues in size, hurting that little creature every second! Causing pain, inner pain! Prolonged pain!

Until, after long duration, it grows in size until "harvested," the result being a beautiful, valuable, meaningful "pearl!"

A jewel!

Precious all the more because of the pain invested in its creation!

We're going to enter Heaven because of suffering, too!

Jesus' suffering!

For you and me!

Jesus suffered all over His Body, on the Cross, but in His side particularly!

"But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water." John 19:34

Yet out of that side ... comes our salvation!

Get this thought.

Out of Adam's side came his Bride, Eve!

Out of Jesus' side came His Bride, too! The Church of the living God!

That's you and me, dear Blood-washed friends!

We are part of His Bride!

As we enter that City, New Jerusalem, from whatever direction, we will ingress through one of those gates, seeing that massive "pearl," and remembering the Lesson of Calvary!

Our suffering Saviour!

Yet, now, our beautiful and precious and unique Jesus!

Twelve precious stones in the foundation, colorful and varied, each full of meaning too!

And twelve gates, but all these consisting of huge pearls!

Emblems of the pain Jesus endured, dying for you and me!

A City designed to magnify a person!

Like Washington, our nation's capital, named for our first President.

Or Alexandria, in ancient Egypt, named for Alexander the Great.

Or El Salvador, translated "The Saviour!"

Or the gates of New Jerusalem, meaning ... "He died for me!"

Oh, I want to see those gates, just one of them will suffice!

And we can do just that some day!

Everything in Heaven, apparently, points to Jesus!

Just like all things in the Tabernacle and the Temple pointed to Him too!

After all, He is worthy of all that attention!

Without Him, we would never have gotten near those gates!

Or into that blessed City!

Praise be to His Glorious Name!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 15, THAT STREET OF GOLD:

With this final lesson today, from Revelation 21:19-21, let me discuss with you the "gold" of that coming Heavenly City!

Our verse represents the very last time the word "gold" is used in the Bible. "And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass." Revelation 21:21

The noun "street," amazingly, is singular in number. Is there only one street in this City which is 1500 miles wide and 1500 miles long and even 1500 miles high? That's right, it's shaped like a cube. Like a box with equidistant sides. Exactly in the same proportion as the Holy of Holies in the Old Testament Tabernacle!

But still, just one street?

Apparently so!

There are no mistakes in Scripture, even small ones!

Surely this "street," in Greek "plateia," twists and turns and ascends or descends through all the "neighborhoods" of Heaven! "Pleteia" means "a wide or a broad way!"

How about that?

The Name of Heaven's Avenue is called "Broadway!"

But this one contains no sin, not even a taint of it, not a hint!

And its consistency?

Its substance?

"Gold, pure gold" to be precise!

"Chrusion" is the word, "gold."

And "chrusos" is thought to be derived from the verb "chraomai," meaning "to use a thing, to borrow, to receive a loan," the idea of obtaining and then investing a sum of money!

The adjective "pure" is "katharos," indicating anything "clean and untainted." Free from admixture.

And the Lord even gives us the appearance of that golden street, its reflectivity. Like "glass," spelled "hualos," strangely linked to the noun for "rain," which is "huetos!"

It "shines" like our wet streets and highways, except it's made of gold rather than asphalt!

"Transparent" is "diaphanes," meaning that "light travels right through it!" It's translucent!

Now why would the Lord want to emphasize this "gold" so distinctly?

Perhaps just to remind us of His great ability to provide for His Own children!

Watch.

There was gold in the first Garden He ever created, the Garden of Eden!

"And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone." Genesis 2:10-12

Gold, with which Adam could have procured anything he needed, if he indeed ever needed anything!

Precious stones, too, in that primal Garden.

So it is fitting that God's last Garden, Paradise, New Jerusalem, be fitted with "gold" also!

There's nothing to buy there, but at least we will be reminded of God's great wealth, which He used so freely to meet our human needs while we were still on earth!

If you think I'm "stretching" this meaning, notice this.

"And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold." Genesis 13:2, God taking care of His first Jewish Patriarch! The Father of Israel!

Now here is God showering good gifts on the Bride, the Bride of Isaac. "And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things." Genesis 24:53

Here's gold again, this time in Egypt. And God still uses it to meet material needs! "And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians." Exodus 12: 35-36

By the way, that gold likely was given to construct the Tabernacle in the wilderness, a primary means of worshipping the Lord!

Even with Baby Jesus, gold was provided to meet His needs! Of the "wise men" we are told: "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." Matthew 2:11, where such commodities may have financed that upcoming emergency trip to Egypt!

Again, God's provision!

And what about us?

While not specifically mentioning gold, Philippians 4:19 does promise the godly Christian, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Thank God for His Generosity!

Heaven might remind us of His Sufficiency, with an amazing object lesson, a thousands-of-miles long street, all made of pure gold!

Then again, gold is not everything!

Could the Gold of Glory remind us of the things in Scripture that are said to be "better" than gold?

Like the Word of God! "The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold." Psalm 19:9-10

Like God's Will, His every set of instructions! "The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver." Psalm 119:72

Like Wisdom! "How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!" Proverbs 16:16

Like a good testimony, a good reputation! "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold." Proverbs 22:1

Or for that matter, the healing touch of the Lord! "Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." Acts 3:6

But ultimately, almost for sure, the "gold" of New Jerusalem will prompt us to look to Jesus, our precious Saviour!

Like the old hymn writer has reminded us time and time again, "I'd rather have Jesus ... than silver or gold!"

Or would you?

"And the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass." Revelation 21:21

What a sight it will be!

Are you saved?

Are you going to be there?

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Then too,

Even our trials and tribulations and suffering may be worth more than gold! Peter says: "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." 1st Peter 1:7

Could Heaven's golden street somehow remind us of all those past heartaches, and how God delivered us from every one! How God provided our needs even in the hard times?

He's a wonderful Heavenly Father!

 

 

                     NEW JERUSALEM, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PLACE!

 

                                                                     

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