This article in our series will discuss the gems God will personally use to construct the walls of New Jerusalemand their relationship to the twelve apostles. This gleaming city, “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2, HBFV), will be created and brought (from heaven!) to a new earth only after ALL evil has been purged from the entire universe (see Revelation 20).
Each of the twelve gems in the High Priest’s breastplate had engraved on it, and represented, one of the twelve tribes of Israel (Exodus 28:21, 39:14). In the New Jerusalem, each of the tribes will also have their names inscribed, for all eternity, on one of the city’s twelve gates which are each made from a SINGLE pearl (Revelation 21:12 – 13, 21).
God’s hand will also engrave, on each of the gems he uses to build the city’s foundations, the name of an apostle as an everlasting memorial.
9. And one of the seven angels that had theseven vials full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me (the apostle John), saying, “Come here, and I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10. And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God . . .
14. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and written on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (Revelation 21:9 – 10, 14, HBFV)
In the Bible, the number twelve symbolizes the Eternal’s power and his establishing of a perfect governing structure.