The Foundations of New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:14 says about New Jerusalem, “the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

New JerusalemEphesians 2:20 says that the church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. But in the New Jerusalem there are no prophets. We must realize that at the time of the letter to the Ephesians some things were still not fulfilled; hence, prophecy was required. But when the New Jerusalem descends out of heaven, everything will be completed. There will no longer be a need for prophets who foretell the things of God. Therefore, we should not place too much importance on such prophets. On the other hand, all the apostles abide forever, for on the twelve foundations of the city are the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (Rev. 21:14).*

The number twelve indicates eternal perfection and completeness. The Bible does not tell us which names are on the foundation and we should not speculate. Nor does the Bible tell us if the number here is literal or symbolic; again, we should not speculate.

The apostles are the foundation of the city but 1 Corinthians 3:12 says, “if anyone builds upon the foundation…” We all are qualified to build on the foundation of Christ that has been laid by the apostles. This is for the building up of the Body of Christ.

This divine building work requires “the operation in the measure of each one part” (Eph. 4:16); each of us a a part and each should participate in the building work. New Jerusalem is the consummation of this building of God with man upon the foundation of the apostles.

* Excerpt from The Vision of God’s Building by Witness Lee, chapter 19, © LSM.

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