Now we come to the last, consummating, and most striking symbol of the believers in the New Testament—jasper and other precious stones. The believers may be living stones (1 Pet. 2:5) without being precious stones. Eventually all believers will be transformed into precious stones. By nature we are clay. But from the time we were regenerated we began to be transformed. Gradually we are being transformed into precious stones.
Jasper signifies the appearance of God shining with the glory of God as the light of the New Jerusalem for the expression of God. In Revelation 4:3 we are clearly told that God sitting on the throne has the appearance of jasper which, according to 21:11, is “a most precious stone…clear as crystal.” Its color must be dark green, which signifies life in its richness. Jasper here, as 21:11 indicates, signifies God’s communicable glory in His rich life (John 17:22, 2). It is the appearance of God, which will also be the appearance of the New Jerusalem. The city’s wall and first foundation are built with it (Rev. 21:18-19).
Since jasper is God’s appearance, His expression, and since we shall be transformed into jasper, this means that we shall be the corporate expression of the Triune God. The jasper wall of the New Jerusalem signifies that the whole city, as the corporate expression of the Triune God in eternity, bears the appearance of God. God, the One sitting on the throne in the center of the New Jerusalem, has the appearance of jasper; the wall, the circumference, of the city is made of jasper; and the light of the city is like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Therefore, the entire city will bear God’s appearance, God’s expression. This corresponds to the word in 1 John 3:2: “We know that if He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him even as He is.” God and the believers will have the same appearance—the appearance of jasper. This will be the ultimate fulfillment of Genesis 1:26, for this will be the splendid, corporate expression of the Triune God.
In Revelation 21:19 and 20 the believers are symbolized by eleven other precious stones in addition to jasper. The other precious stones signify the riches of the beauty of Christ in different aspects for the foundation of God’s eternal dwelling. Christ is the foundation stone of God’s building in eternity, and all the precious stones are different aspects of the riches of Christ as the foundation.
The colors of the precious stones in 21:19 and 20 give the appearance of a rainbow. This signifies that the city of New Jerusalem is built upon and secured by God’s faithfulness in keeping His covenant (Gen. 9:8-17). Because the foundation is built upon the faithfulness with which God keeps His covenant, it is trustworthy and reliable. Therefore, the foundation of the New Jerusalem will be an eternal rainbow guaranteeing the faithfulness of God. Nothing can destroy or shake God’s faithfulness. The faithfulness of God is the sure foundation upon which the New Jerusalem is built.
(Conclusion of the New Testament, The (Msgs. 099-113), Chapter 15, by Witness Lee)