This post is part of a series on books about New Jerusalem. This one is from God’s New Testament Economy, by Witness Lee, published and © by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim CA, 1986. This book is available here and may be read online by selecting it in the list here. The last 19 chapters speak about the ultimate consummation of the Bible, New Jerusalem, focusing on its desig-nations, structure, features, and application to the believers. The section under the heading Gold, Pearls, and Precious Stones is from chapter 29.
As book excerpts are posted, the books will be mentioned on the page “Books about New Jerusalem” listed at the top of these blog pages.
Gold, Pearls, and Precious Stones
“The basic elements of the structure of the New Jerusalem are gold, pearls, and precious stones (Rev. 21:11, 18-21). In 1 Corinthians 3:12 Paul refers to the building up of the church with three kinds of materials—gold, silver, and precious stones. In Genesis 2, in 1 Corinthians 3, and in Revelation 21 we see the materials for God’s building.
Gold, silver, and precious stones signify the various experiences of Christ in the virtues and attributes of the Triune God. It is with these the apostles and all spiritual believers build the church on the unique foundation of Christ. Silver in typology according to Exodus 30 always typifies redemption (vv. 11-16; cf. 38:25-28). The building materials of the church are first the gold referring to God with His divine nature, and second the silver referring to the Redeemer with His redemption.
We also must look into the significance of precious stones. According to John 1, Andrew went and found his brother Simon Peter and brought him to Jesus (vv. 41-42). By that time Peter was a “muddy” person. When Jesus saw Peter, He said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas (which translated means a stone)” (John 1:42). At that time Simon was not a piece of stone, but a piece of mud. When he came to the Lord, however, the Lord immediately changed his name.
In the Gospel of John, Peter was named “a stone” by the Lord and in John’s Revelation this same Peter is one of the twelve foundation stones. The Lord’s word in John 1 concerning Peter being a stone was a prophecy which was fully fulfilled in Revelation 21. In between John’s Gospel and his Revelation are Peter’s Epistles. In his first Epistle Peter tells us that the Lord is the living stone and that we all need to come to Him as living stones for God’s building of His habitation (2:4-5; Eph. 2:22). All of us believers including Peter are the living stones for God’s building.”
The materials of New Jerusalem are gold, pearls, and precious stones. These portray the operation of the Triune God in His people. We partake of the Father’s divine nature (gold) as mentioned in 2 Peter 1:4. We experience the blessings from the Son’s death and resurrection, including redemption (silver in 1 Cor. 3) as in Ephesians 1:7, and regeneration (pearl) as in 1 Peter 1:3. We are being transformed by the inward operation of the Spirit (precious stones) as in 2 Corinthians 3:17–18.