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New Jerusalem, a Figure for the Church of God

Lyn Mize

The Holy Scriptures reveal the mind of God, and the clearest revelation of His mind comes from the types and figures in the Bible. The figurative language in the Bible is ignorantly spoken of today as lessening the meaning of the words in Scripture, but figurative language actually adds force to the truth conveyed, emphasis to the statement of this truth and depth to the meaning of this truth. Consequently, we must understand the figures to grasp the full meaning of the Scriptures. This understanding comes not from the natural mind, but from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit inspired the Holy Scriptures, so the same Spirit that inspired the words must inspire its truths in our hearts. These truths are “Spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:1-16).  

Of the numerous figures in the Bible, the New Jerusalem is a figure for the Church of God. The City in Scripture is the abode of the redeemed of God. In this sense, the earthly Jerusalem will be the capital of the earthly kingdom, and the New Jerusalem will be the capital of the heavenly kingdom. Both are referred to as Mount Zion, but one is earthly and the other is heavenly. A mountain in Scripture typifies a kingdom. Also, just as the City refers to the dwelling place of God, it also refers to its citizens or inhabitants. This is why the New Jerusalem is a type of the Church of God in the book of Revelation.  

Just as the Church is the body of Christ, it is also fittingly portrayed as the Great City called the New Jerusalem. Just as the bride of Adam came out of his body, the bride of Christ will come out of His body, the Church. Consequently, the bride of the Lamb will be an essential part of the New Jerusalem.  

(Rev 21:2 KJV)  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  

When the bride of Christ is ready to be presented, she will be presented in all of her radiance and glory. Just as the bride is surrounded by her bridesmaids and guests when she is presented, the bride of Christ will be presented in all of her adornment surrounded by the Church of God or the New Jerusalem. The bride is not analogous to all the citizens of the New Jerusalem, but she is typified by the precious stone described as being “like a jasper stone, clear as crystal” that reflects the light and glory of God throughout the whole City.  

(Rev 21:9-11 KJV)  And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. {10} And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, {11} Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

It is important to note that the New Jerusalem is not the bride, but it is the abode of the bride, and she is the light of the city “even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal”. This stone described as being like a jasper stone, clear as crystal is clearly a diamond. Since Alexander the great first discovered diamonds in 330 B.C., the Old Testament references to the diamond refer to another stone and not the diamond. Therefore, the diamond was not a stone on the breastplate of the High Priest, and there is no mention of a diamond in the Old Testament. The jasper stone was not a diamond, but this stone that is "like a jasper stone" is clearly a diamond, which is the most brilliant and rare of all gemstones. The preposition "like" makes it clear that this stone is NOT a jasper stone, but it is clear like a jasper stone

This precious stone is a figure for the bride of Christ, and she is the one who reflects the glory of God and reflects the light of Jesus Christ in the New Jerusalem. This precious stone is described as being “clear as crystal”. Crystal is a type or picture of the righteousness of God, so the bride is described as a diamond reflecting the righteousness of God.

A diamond is made out of pure carbon, which is organic, or derivative of that which is living. It starts out as black coal, but under intense pressure and heat, it is purified into pure carbon, which is clear as crystal and reflects light exceptionally well. This is analogous to those Christians who have suffered persecution, yet remained faithful to the Lord and His Word.  

The diamond is an excellent stone to typify the bride of Christ, for the diamond is created from living things containing the element carbon. In fact, the diamond is pure carbon and it is the most precious of stones. The diamond starts out as living vegetation that dies and is exposed to immense heat and pressure in the earth until it becomes coal. Under more pressure and heat in the earth, the impurities are gradually burned away until the diamond is pure carbon and clear as crystal. Even at that point, the Master Jeweler must take the rough diamond and chip away the unsightly portions to form the diamond, and then polish it into the precious stone that has an amazing ability to reflect light with all of its facets.  

In like manner, those in the Church who are subjected to intense heat and pressure (i.e., persecution) for purification purposes, and allow themselves to be chiseled, shaped and polished by the Master Jeweler, will be the glory of the New Jerusalem and reflect the light of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The light of the New Jerusalem comes from this precious stone. This precious stone is not the source of the light, but it reflects the light from its source throughout the city. This precious stone that lights the New Jerusalem—utilizing Jesus Christ as the source of the light—is the bride of Christ. A very simplistic picture of this would be a chandelier that has a light inside itself, and the numerous crystal-like cut pieces of glass reflect and disseminate the light from its source throughout the room in which it is placed. Consequently, the bride will be for the New Jerusalem what a chandelier is for a room. The bride will reflect the light and glory of Jesus Christ throughout the New Jerusalem.  

It is no coincidence that the diamond is forever linked to the chaste, virginal bride. She is the one dressed in white with the attention focused on her at the wedding at the time of her presentation. The bridesmaids are beautiful in their fine dresses, but they serve to focus attention on the bride as she is presented. Such will be the case when the bride of Christ is presented in Revelation 21. Her purpose is to reflect the glory and honor of the Bridegroom.