The Church Foundations

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1 Introduction


The foundation stones of The Church as established by The Lord Jesus Christ and taught by the Apostles and Prophets is laid out throughout Scripture.   The birth of the 12 sons of Jacob and the transformation into the 12 tribes of Israel after the death of Jacob provides the platform for establishing the foundations of the Church.  How these tribes behaved reflects both the traumatic experience of a chosen nation and the prophetic display of what The Church has gone through since its inception by The Lord Jesus Christ.

 The 12 Disciples were transformed into the 12 Apostles after the departure of The Lord Jesus Christ and empowerment on the day of Pentecost. They provide the platform for establishing the foundations of The Church. The painful persecutions of these 12 Apostles reflected the persecution of the Jews in Egypt. In the midst of this suffering the 12 sons of Jacob and their descendants multiplied rapidly until their departure from Egypt.  In the same way the suffering of the 12 Apostles and their descendants, The Church, will not stop rapid growth until the time of the departure at the return of The Deliverer, The Lord Jesus Christ.

 The foundations of The Church were delivered by The Holy Spirit from The Heavenly Father, firstly, through The Lord Jesus when He was on earth. Christ being established as the Chief Cornerstone.  After Pentecost the foundations were clarified and established when The Holy Spirit took charge of early Church affairs on behalf of The Father and The Son. These foundations came from the foundations of Heaven where God and the Saints and heavenly hosts reside.  The Church, as the Body of Christ must reflect His permanent home.  It is here that we see in Revelations described the 12 foundation stones of Heaven and 12 Gates to enter in.

 The following study shows how God in His wisdom placed Israel and her experiences in the Old Testament and The New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ (Rev 21:1-5) as a type and symbol of the foundation model for the Church in all her beauty when she is made ready for the Wedding of The Lamb of God.

 

2         Building Foundations

2.1      Purpose of a Building’s foundation

 “A building's foundation is the foremost essential part of a building or structure. A foundation is a structure that transmits loads from a building to the ground. In most buildings, foundations extend underground. For large buildings, foundations are often set as deeply into the earth as is possible. Types of foundations include, pier and beam foundations, piles, slab on grade foundations and below frost line foundations.  

The primary dangers that face foundations are ground movement and uneven ground support. Flowing water and erosion can remove soil around a foundation and cause the foundation to become unsupported or even cause complete foundation failure. In tropical climates, changes in soil moisture can negatively impact foundations, causing the foundations to distort or crack. Like the age old saying, the foundation is the most important part of a building or structure. It solidifies the building and maintains the base of everything. Without a solidly constructed foundation, buildings will be destroyed very easily.” (Big-Builders.com) 

2.2      Quality of Stones as building material 

bulletCompared to soil or sand the stone obviously is the hardest, most widely available and cheapest natural material suitable for building material
bulletIt is also fire resistant to temperature levels well beyond those suitable for human habitation.
bulletIt is not porous to liquids
bulletDoes not lose colour for a much extended period of time. Also the colours remain the same indefinitely if not exposed to artificial changes.
bulletOnce shaped will stay in the same form indefinitely unless corrosion occurs
bulletAn excellent protection against the extreme elements of water, wind and fire

  

2.3      Purpose of a Building’s cornerstone in the Old Testament

 During Old Testament period it was common practice to offer a blood sacrifice during a solemn consecration ceremony when the Cornerstone of a building was being laid. The JewishEncyclopedia.com explains this further:

 “The same importance seems to have been attributed also to the foundation-stone of the Temple at Jerusalem. In I Kings v. 17, vii. 9, the costly wrought stones used for the foundation of Solomon's Temple are described, and in I Kings vi. 37 the time of the laying of the corner-stone is especially mentioned. In Ezra iii. 10-11 the solemnities at the laying of the corner-stone of the Second Temple by Zerubbabel are detailed (see also Hag. ii. 15, 18-23, and Zech. iii. 9, iv. 9-10, viii. 9). Indeed, the exilic seer must have been familiar with solemn corner-stone rites when picturing the rebuilding of Jerusalem. (Isa. liv. 11; compare li. 1), just as Isaiah was when predicting a new and "tried and precious corner-stone of sure foundation" for Zion (Isa. xxviii. 16 et seq.; compare xiv. 32, Hebr.). The fragmentary beginning of Ps. lxxxvii. obviously refers to the foundation-stone of Zion as the most sacred spot of the earth, and the rabbinical "eben shetiyyah" (the foundation-stone of the world, Yoma 54b) is but the proof of a continuous popular tradition. But that here also the ancient rite of some blood-sacrifice was not altogether forgotten, seems to be indicated by the connection, preserved at least in the Book of Chronicles, between the laying of the corner-stone of the Temple and the sacrifice offered by David for the cessation of the plague, at the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite (II Chron. iii. 1-3; compare I Chron. xxi. 18-31 with II Sam. xxiv.).

The ceremonious laying of the corner-stone of public buildings, especially of religious and charitable institutions, has become a universal custom, and was adopted by the Jews during the last century. The ceremony consists of placing an appropriate record or memorial in the hollow part of the stone beneath, and then of laying in place the corner-stone, accompanied by certain solemn forms.” (JewishEncyclopedia.com)

 The cornerstone of a building in ancient times was a perfectly squared stone set in the corner of the new building which was "plumbed", "squared", and "levelled" by the builder. Without a perfect starting point, it was recognized that the quality of the building would suffer through its construction and life span.

 Isaiah 28:16 reads,

"Therefore thus saith the Lord God, behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: he that believed shall not make haste."
 

 2.4      Purpose of a Building's foundation stones

Combining the two definitions above with the quality of stones as building tools we can now say that the purposes of a building’s foundation stones include:

bulletDurability against underground movements
bulletPrevents water from soaking into the building
bulletThe cornerstone ensures a perfect  starting point for the rest of the foundation stones to be laid and therefore the long term stability of the whole building
bulletEnsures the building weight can be absorbed so that it does not collapse.

 

3         The Old Testament Foundation Stones for The Church

3.1      Value of a Name to a person

People who were called by name or had a name change by God made a disproportionate contribution to the Divine purpose in the Bible.

 When God spoke to Moses face to face at Mount Sinai He made a very significant statement regarding the revelation of His Name. This is something He had not done so to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. His Name(s) revealed His Person in terms of His Glory, Holiness, Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence. For anyone to call on the Name of God in faith would release these Qualities of God to them.

 It is therefore no trivial thing for God to say to anyone what His Name is.

 The significance of a name was demonstrated in the scriptures in particular when God went so far as to change the person's name to reflect what He was going to achieve through that person.

 Embedded in the person's new name was God's promise to them and their family and /or nation. This means that whenever anyone calls the person using this new name they were, in fact, invoking God's promise on that person. It was like declaring God's promise for the person. Whenever the person responded to their new name they were agreeing to the promise and this released Divine Power into their lives to fulfil the promise. Remember the Scripture that "By confession we are saved". That what a person speaks will produce results in their lives.

 Names provide:

·        A means of unique identification

·        A means of assigning quality to a person

·        A means of declaring the promises of God on a person for their entire lives

·        A recording of a person's family history and origins

 
3.2      The 12 sons of Jacob who become the 12 tribes of Israel

 Jacob’s Last Words to His Sons in Gen. 49:1-28 reads,

 “And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may atell you what shall befall you bin the last days:

2     “Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob,

     And listen to Israel your father.

3     “Reuben, you are cmy firstborn,

     My might and the beginning of my strength,

     The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.

4     Unstable as water, you shall not excel,

     Because you dwent up to your father’s bed;

     Then you defiled it

     He went up to my couch.

5     “Simeon and Levi are brothers;

     Instruments of 1cruelty are in their dwelling place.

6     eLet not my soul enter their council;

     Let not my honor be united fto their assembly;

     gFor in their anger they slew a man,

     And in their self-will they 2hamstrung an ox.

7     Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;

     And their wrath, for it is cruel!

     hI will divide them in Jacob

     And scatter them in Israel.

8     “Judah, iyou are he whom your brothers shall praise;

     jYour hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;

     kYour father’s children shall bow down before you.

9     Judah is la lion’s whelp;

     From the prey, my son, you have gone up.

     mHe 3bows down, he lies down as a lion;

     And as a lion, who shall rouse him?

10     nThe 4scepter shall not depart from Judah,

     Nor oa lawgiver from between his feet,

     pUntil Shiloh comes;

     qAnd to Him shall be the obedience of the people.

11     Binding his donkey to the vine,

     And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,

     He washed his garments in wine,

     And his clothes in the blood of grapes.

12     His eyes are darker than wine,

     And his teeth whiter than milk.

13     “Zebulun rshall dwell by the haven of the sea;

     He shall become a haven for ships,

     And his border shall sadjoin Sidon.

14     “Issachar tis a strong donkey,

     Lying down between two burdens;

15     He saw that rest was good,

     And that the land was pleasant;

     He bowed uhis shoulder to bear a burden,

     And became a band of slaves.

16     “Dan vshall judge his people

     As one of the tribes of Israel.

17     wDan shall be a serpent by the way,

     A viper by the path,

     That bites the horse’s heels

     So that its rider shall fall backward.

18     xI have waited for your salvation, O Lord!

19     “Gad, y5a troop shall 6tramp upon him,

     But he shall 6triumph at last.

20     “Bread from zAsher shall be rich,

     And he shall yield royal dainties.

21     “Naphtali ais a deer let loose;

     He uses beautiful words.

22     “Joseph is a fruitful bough,

     A fruitful bough by a well;

     His branches run over the wall.

23     The archers have bbitterly grieved him,

     Shot at him and hated him.

24     But his cbow remained in strength,

     And the arms of his hands were 7made strong

     By the hands of dthe Mighty God of Jacob

     e(From there fis the Shepherd, gthe Stone of Israel),

25     hBy the God of your father who will help you,

     iAnd by the Almighty jwho will bless you

     With blessings of heaven above,

     Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,

     Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

26     The blessings of your father

     Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors,

     kUp to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.

     lThey shall be on the head of Joseph,

     And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.

27     “Benjamin is a mravenous wolf;

     In the morning he shall devour the prey,

     nAnd at night he shall divide the spoil.

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them. And he blessed them; he blessed each one according to his own blessing.”

 

3.2.1      Reuben (means "behold, a son")

“Reuben, you are my firstborn,

     My might and the beginning of my strength,

     The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.

      Unstable as water, you shall not excel,

     Because you went up to your father’s bed;

     Then you defiled it

     He went up to my couch.”

 Reuben represented God’s Might, Strength, Excellency of Dignity and Excellency of Power.  However, these qualities in the life of an unregenerate or unholy person will reveal the person as unstable in character.  World history is full of dreadful stories of men and women both “Christian” and non-Christian who have been corrupted by absolute power. Like Reuben they have defiled those things which were not theirs because there was no one to constrain them.

3.2.2      Simeon (means "hearkening" or "listening")

“Simeon and Levi are brothers;

     Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place.

      Let not my soul enter their council;

     Let not my honor be united to their assembly;

      For in their anger they slew a man,

     And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox.

     Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;

     And their wrath, for it is cruel!

      I will divide them in Jacob

     And scatter them in Israel.”

 

Simeon represents the wrath of God on those who violate His commandments.  Throughout the Old Testament and indeed history it is recorded how judgement on the evil of mankind has poured out.  The Jews in the Old Testament experienced the cruelty of slavery and exile when God judged them for having forsaken His Laws and Commandments.  The Lord Jesus Christ has promised an even more cruel and relentless eternal suffering for those who reject the Gospel of Salvation.

3.2.3      Levi (means "attached")

“Simeon and Levi are brothers;

     Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place.

      Let not my soul enter their council;

     Let not my honor be united to their assembly;

      For in their anger they slew a man,

     And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox.

     Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;

     And their wrath, for it is cruel!

      I will divide them in Jacob

     And scatter them in Israel.”

Levi, from whom the Levitical Priesthood was to come, reflected the wrath of God on those who would blaspheme His Most Holy Name and pollute that which is holy.

 

3.2.4      Judah (means "praised")

    “Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise;

     Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;

     Your father’s children shall bow down before you.

     Judah is a lion’s whelp;

     From the prey, my son, you have gone up.

      He bows down, he lies down as a lion;

     And as a lion, who shall rouse him?

     The scepter shall not depart from Judah,

     Nor  a lawgiver from between his feet,

      Until Shiloh comes;

      And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.

     Binding his donkey to the vine,

     And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,

     He washed his garments in wine,

     And his clothes in the blood of grapes.

     His eyes are darker than wine,

     And his teeth whiter than milk.” 

Judah represented the coming Messiah. Armed with the symbolic power of a Lion, yet the sceptre of Justice will abide with Him forever.  All the nations will one day bow to Him and obey His rule. He will conquer His enemies and enjoy the fruits of His everlasting Kingdom.

 

3.2.5      Zebulun (means "exaltation")

Zebulun shall dwell by the haven of the sea;

     He shall become a haven for ships,

     And his border shall adjoin Sidon.”

Zebulun represents the protection that God provides to those who trust in Him.  When troubled times come and one feels life is like a ship at sea and the winds and storms of life have overtaken then recognise that The Lord God is your Shelter

 

3.2.6      Issachar (means "hireling")

 “Issachar is a strong donkey,

     Lying down between two burdens;

     He saw that rest was good,

     And that the land was pleasant;

     He bowed his shoulder to bear a burden,

     And became a band of slaves.” 

Issachar represents the burden of The Lord God through The Christ.  He laid down His life to take the sins of the world. By so doing He suffered the punishment of slaves and the conquered unto death.

 

3.2.7      Dan (means "he judged")

 “Dan shall judge his people

     As one of the tribes of Israel.

     Dan shall be a serpent by the way,

     A viper by the path,

     That bites the horse’s heels

     So that its rider shall fall backward.

     I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!”

Dan represents God as a Judge. Those who have false confidence in their own resources and protection will be struck down by God’s judgement. The day of the final judgement will also be the day of God’s final act of salvation for those who have patiently and faithfully in obedience waited for His appearing.

3.2.8      Gad (means "fortune")

    “Gad, a troop shall tramp upon him,

     But he shall triumph at last.”

  Gad represents the endurance of God during the days when His enemies rejoiced at the apparent victory over His people. But, in the Old Testament whenever the people repented, God sent a deliverer who led them to triumph. This was only for a while and then their sin led them back into captivity.  At the present, those who oppose the Gospel of Salvation rejoice whenever Christians fall and denominations are decimated but the day will come when The Lord Jesus Christ will bring the everlasting triumph. 

 

3.2.9      Asher (means "happy" or "blessed")

  “Bread from Asher shall be rich,

  And he shall yield royal dainties.

 Asher represents what God has delivered to the world, the Living Bread of Salvation through The Lord Jesus’ death and resurrection.  God will also bring with Him unimaginable riches and His supernatural and glorious royalty that will have no end.

3.2.10 Naphtali (means "wrestling")

 “Naphtali is a deer let loose;

     He uses beautiful words.” 

Napthali represents the freedom that God brings to the believer from the power of Satan’s kingdom and the sinful nature into the life with The Holy Spirit where there is freedom.  One will leap and praise God with beautiful words that flow out of their hearts from genuine gratitude and love for the power of the Cross to deliver totally.

 

3.2.11 Joseph (means "he will add")

  “Joseph is a fruitful bough,

     A fruitful bough by a well;

     His branches run over the wall.

     The archers have bitterly grieved him,

     Shot at him and hated him.

     But his bow remained in strength,

     And the arms of his hands were made strong

     By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob

      (From there  is the Shepherd,  the Stone of Israel),

     By the God of your father who will help you,

     And by the Almighty who will bless you

     With blessings of heaven above,

     Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,

     Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

     The blessings of your father

     Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors,

     Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.

     They shall be on the head of Joseph,

     And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.”

 Joseph represents the everlasting fruitfulness and reward of God.  Though His enemies may relentlessly attack His purposes on the earth His Divine plan continues to grow like a bough by a well.  Those who are on God’s side will have their arms strengthened even in the presence of their enemies.  God’s people will receive heavenly blessings here on earth as well as everlasting life for those who have separated themselves unto righteousness through salvation.

 

3.2.12 Benjamin (means "son of the south" or "son of the right hand")

   “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;

   In the morning he shall devour the prey,

   And at night he shall divide the spoil.

 Benjamin represents God’s longing to destroy His enemies. They are like prey to Him because His enemies are no match for His awesome power.  When Christ died on the Cross night came, but He destroyed the works of the Devil and made a show of them dividing the spoils of resurrection power with humanity.  When the final night comes and the judgement is proclaimed God through His triumphant Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, will divide the spoils of His victory with the Saints.

  

3.3      The 12 Stones on the Breastplate of Judgment worn by the High Priest

 In Exodus 28:15-21 it reads, 

15 sYou shall make the breastplate of judgment. Artistically woven according to the workmanship of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, you shall make it. 16 It shall be doubled into a square: a span shall be its length, and a span shall be its width. 17 tAnd you shall put settings of stones in it, four rows of stones: The first row shall be a 4sardius, a topaz, and an emerald; this shall be the first row; 18 the second row shall be a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; 19 the third row, a 5jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 20 and the fourth row, a 6beryl, an 7onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold settings. 21 And the stones shall have the names of the sons of Israel, twelve according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, each one with its own name; they shall be according to the twelve tribes.”

 The purpose of the High Priest carrying the symbolic stones with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel into the very Presence of God in the Holy of Holies was to intercede for the entire nation.  Once a year when the High Priest took the blood and sprinkled it over the Mercy Seat and interceded, all the 12 tribes of Israel were represented by the signet stones.

 God clearly foretold and established the coming work of The Lord Jesus Christ when He finally ascended into Heaven after His death and resurrection would be to intercede continually for the spiritual Israel – Christians both Jews and Gentiles.

 Key foundations for the Church from the 12 stones of the Old Testament

bulletChristians should join The Lord Jesus in interceding on a continual basis for the salvation of lost souls who are to be part of the spiritual Israel.  In Heaven the Lord Jesus is interceding for us.
bulletGod is mindful of ALL those He has called to salvation.  Christians should therefore resist the sectarian (my church, my denomination) view when praying for the welfare of The Church
bulletIntercession must be for ALL not just for those within our congregation or denomination.
bulletThe stones are an everlasting reminder before God of His people.  In like manner, Christians should be assured that The Lord Jesus, our High Priest, has us before God in everlasting intercession.

 

4         The New Testament Foundation Stones for The Church

4.1      The 12 Apostles

 Although Jesus sent 70 believers two by two to preach the gospel with signs following, nevertheless, He chose 12 disciples to represent the 12 tribes of Israel as well as the pre-ordained 12 foundation stones of the New Jerusalem with the 12 Gates inscribed with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. He did this in keeping with the Divine pattern which began to be revealed in the Old Testament. The 12 disciples later became known as the 12 Apostles. Matt 10:2-4 reads,

2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, bwho is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and 1Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 cSimon the 2Cananite, and Judas dIscariot, who also betrayed Him.”

 
Name change for Simon Peter

In John 1:42 it reads,

“Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas (which is translated, Stone).””

For reasons of Divine purpose as in the Old Testament, Jesus changed the names of Peter and the two sons of Zeebadee.  Peter was given the name Simon, which means stone.  This is significant, because it established that He would be hard enough to be one of the foundation stones of the Church. The Lord knew that Peter would appear weak in character when He betrayed him. These prophetic promises, therefore, declared that it would only be for a moment because in his heart Peter had the quality of a stone which he proved by being crucified upside down.
 

Nick names for James and John

 In Mark 3:17 it reads,

 “James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder

The sons of Zeebadee had the temperament and zeal like those of Elijah (Luke 9:51-55).  They were willing to call down fire on those who rejected Christ in a village of the Samaritans just like Elijah did to the two companies of 50 soldiers of Ahab.

 

4.2      The Purpose of Colour in the Bible

 Starting in the book of Genesis through to the book of Revelations colour is used freely to reflect that which is beautiful, ugly, good or bad.  In Genesis after God created the earth and the heavens He said they were good.  Looking at the world today, or what is left of it after centuries of destruction as result of sin, we still cannot stop being awed at the continuing discovery of all manner of both living, dead and inanimate objects.  Their expression in diversity of colour is immeasurable.  These produce praise and thanksgiving from our hearts to God.

 In the book of Revelations we see the Apostle John’s limited attempt to describe the very Glory of the Father seated on the Throne.  Rev. 4:2-3 reads,

2 Immediately cI was in the Spirit; and behold, da throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 1And He who sat there was elike a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; fand there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.

 In Exodus 28:15-21, God institutes that the 12 tribes of Israel are to be represented before Him on the breast plate of Aaron, the high priest, in the form of different coloured stones.

 In Rev 21:14-21, the foundation stones of the new Jerusalem are of different colours. Also the 12 Gates of the New Jerusalem in Rev. 21:9-13 consisting of single different coloured pearls.

 The Chief Corner Stone of the Church, The Lord Jesus Christ, Himself is described as being of brilliant colours and glory. In Rev. 1:12-16 it reads,

 12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned bI saw seven golden lampstands, 13 cand in the midst of the seven lampstands dOne like the Son of Man, eclothed with a garment down to the feet and fgirded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and ghair were white like wool, as white as snow, and hHis eyes like a flame of fire; 15 iHis feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and jHis voice as the sound of many waters; 16 kHe had in His right hand seven stars, lout of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, mand His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.”

 No doubt it is the intension of God through Christ to have a glorious Bride, worthy of the Bridegroom and The Father and the Holy Spirit.

 

4.3      The 12 Foundation Stones of the New Jerusalem

 In Rev 21:14-21 it reads,

“14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and yon them were the 1names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me zhad a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand 2furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 aThe foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve bpearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. cAnd the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”

Note: The Table below is a suggestion only based on a number of varied sources.

Hebrew

Foundation

Colour

Colour Meaning

Tribe

Hebrew Meaning of Names

Yahalom

 

Jasper

Orange

Glory of God, Protection,  Purification, Vengeance of God

Gad

Fortune

Leshem
 

Lapis Lazuli

Royal Blue

Heavenly, Throne of God

Reuben

Behold, a son

Sappiyr
 

Chalcedony

Light Blue

Faithfulness

Naphtali

Wrestling

Shebuw

 

Emerald Quartz

Green

Gods restoration, provision and edification, rest, peace

Simeon

Hearkening or Listening

Jashepheh


 

Sardonyx

Red & White

Redemption, favour and wealth and Righteousness, purity, holiness

Benjamin

Son of the south or Son of the right hand

Odem

 

Sard

Red

Redemption, favour and wealth, forgiveness, sacrifice

Judah

Praised

Tarshish

 

Chrysolite

Yellow

Spiritual authority, ministry, Glory of God

Asher

Happy or Blessed

Shoham
 

Beryl

White

Righteousness, purity, holiness

Joseph

He will add

Pitdah

 

Topaz

Yellow Brown

Spiritual authority, ministry  and Glory of God, Repentance

Issachar

Hireling

Bareqeth

 

Chrysoprase

Yellow Green

Spiritual authority, ministry and supernatural provision

Zebulon

Exaltation

Nophek

 

Jacinth

Dark Red

Judgment, Redemption, favour and wealth

Dan

He judged

Aclamah

 

Amethyst

Purple

Deity of the Lord, His royalty and Kingship, wealth

Levi

Attached

 

 4.4      The 12 Gates of the New Jerusalem

 In Rev. 21:9-13 it reads,

 9 Then one of rthe seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came 6to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you sthe 7bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away tin the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me uthe 8great city, the 9holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 vhaving the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with wtwelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 xthree gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.

 The eternal significance of the 12 tribes of Israel is clearly demonstrated by the naming of the 12 Gates.  Gates provide both access and denial of access into and outside the city.   This is a constant reminder to Gentile Christians, in particular, that to enter into the New Jerusalem we must do so through what God has accomplished through Israel.  An understanding of Israel's contribution to Salvation and therefore the New Jerusalem is a gateway to enter therein.

Contrary to those who hold the view that since the coming of The Lord Jesus Christ, Israel is now irrelevant. Such people should look again because there is an Israel whose foundations stones is based on the 12 Apostles with Christ as the chief Cornerstone. 

The foundation stones of The Church must linkup with the stones from the Old Testament Law and Prophets given to Israel in order to reflect the eternal New Jerusalem.

The Church is also directly ruled by God and not through intermediaries or structures just as God directly rules in the New Jerusalem. 

 

5  What The Glorious Church, the Bride of Christ, will look like

 God uses the names, colours and stones to assign Divine qualities on 12 tribes of Israel. This was a symbol and sign of His Eternal purpose which would eventually be clearly revealed through Christ and the family of believers, both Jew and Gentiles, who have been born through His death and resurrection into God's Eternal family and sealed by the infilling of The Holy Spirit.

 The everlasting foundations of the Church are based on the everlasting foundations of the New Jerusalem which embodies those qualities that God, Himself has chosen as reflecting His Character and Being.  He has embodied these firstly through the 12 Sons of Jacob who became the 12 tribes of Israel.  This Israel was symbolic of the eternal Israel made up of both Jews and Gentiles who have been born of the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ and given an eternal seal through the inhabitation of God by The Holy Spirit.

 The final representation of The completed Church and Bride of Christ is given in Revelation as the New Jerusalem. In Revelations 21:1-5,  it reads

"Now aI saw a new heaven and a new earth, bfor the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, 1John, saw cthe holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared das a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, ethe tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 fAnd God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; gthere shall be no more death, hnor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

5 Then iHe who sat on the throne said, j“Behold, I make all things new.” And He said 2to me, “Write, for kthese words are true and faithful.”

a Is. 65:17; 66:22; [2 Pet. 3:13]
b [2 Pet. 3:10]; Rev. 20:11
1 NU, M omit John
c Is. 52:1; [Gal. 4:26]; Heb. 11:10
d Is. 54:5; 2 Cor. 11:2
e Lev. 26:11; Ezek. 43:7; 2 Cor. 6:16
f Is. 25:8; Rev. 7:17
g 1 Cor. 15:26; Rev. 20:14
h Is. 35:10; 51:11; 65:19
i Rev. 4:2, 9; 20:11
j Is. 43:19; 2 Cor. 5:17
2 NU, M omit to me
k Rev. 19:9; 22:6
The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 . Thomas Nelson: Nashville


The main features of The Church as seen in the New Jerusalem include:

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God is at the very heart of the city and is the Eternal Light. God requires that He is at the very heart and is the Eternal Light of every Christian and therefore The Church
 

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The Lord Jesus is enthroned with The Father and The Holy Spirit in the Temple in the centre of the New Jerusalem. Every Christian is to have Christ, The Father and The Holy Spirit enthroned in them. The Church, the sum total of all the Christians, will therefore embody God in the same manner as the New Jerusalem.
 

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Out of the very heart of the city flows the Rivers of Living Water from the Throne. Jesus also said of the heart of the believer will flow Rivers of Living Water. In total, out of the heart of The Church will also flow Rivers of Living Waters
 

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God rules absolutely and directly over the city. This is to be true of every believer and therefore The Church
 

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The 24 Elders and the Living Creatures who have leadership roles show by example the humility and true worship required by The Lord God of Hosts. This is the requirement for all believers and is the requirement model for The Church's leaders.
 

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God's promise to Abraham that through his descendents will the world enter eternal life is fulfilled in the New Jerusalem because to enter it you can only do so through the gates with the names of twelve tribes of Israel. The Church therefore also embodies the promises of God to Abraham included in the prophetic writings of the Old Testament and the persecution that the Israelites suffered.
 

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The wealth of the New Jerusalem is a spiritual wealth which is eternal and in the realm of the best that God can create and Live openly amongst. The Church will also become this spiritual and eternal wealth. Jesus preached that people should trade in their physical wealth which will decay and buy eternal wealth. He emphasised that physical wealth is temporal and the wise will not be pre-occupied with accumulating them.
 

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There is no sickness, disease, or sorrow in the New Jerusalem. This is final outcome of what the Church will be like because of the Active work of The Holy Spirit is providing healing for the nations of believers. This is also fulfils the a part of the atoning work of the Cross and the beatings that He suffered according to 1 Peter 2:24
 

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There are endless varieties of beauty and interaction between the residents of the New Jerusalem including Christians, Angels, Heavenly Creatures, and The Living God. This will be true for The Church as it is to be true of the individual believer.


 

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References

j Ps. 18:40

c Job 29:20; Ps. 37:15

7 Or supple

4 Or ruby

5 Or amber

6 Or yellow jasper

1 NU omits Lebbaeus, whose surname was

2 NU Cananaean

1 M omits And He who sat there was, making the following a description of the throne.

h Dan. 10:6; Rev. 2:18; 19:12

1 NU, M twelve names

2 Lit. stadia, about 1,380 miles in all

7 M woman, the Lamb’s bride

9 NU, M holy city, Jerusalem

 

Published 2006

 

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