What will be written on the gates in New Jerusalem?

What will New Jerusalem look like?

One day, the Holy City, a.k.a. the New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven. Voilà! All things made new!

John, the author of Revelation, describes this:

Jerusalem will have the glory of God (Rev.21:11).

Jerusalem will be like a radiant precious stone like jasper (Rev.21:11).

Jerusalem will be sparkling like crystal (Rev.21:11).

Will it have the famed “streets of gold?” Of course! You can find that in Revelation 21:21.

Jerusalem will also have a great, high wall made of jasper around it (Rev.21:12, 14) with 12 gates and 12 angels above the gates. The Holy City will be laid out as a square shape (Rev.21:16) and is made of pure gold, “clear as glass” (Rev.21:18). Besides the gates, the city wall will have 12 foundations. On each of those will be written the names of the 12 apostles/emissaries of Yeshua (Jesus).

These believers made a huge evangelical impact on the world during their lifetimes and history shall never forgotten their contribution.

The foundations of the city wall will reflect the beauty of their devotion, for in order, the foundations will be made of jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, carnelian, yellow topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst (Rev.21:19-20).

But history has more-than-occasionally forgotten the contribution of some very important others. Which leads to this question:

What is so special about the gates?

The gates are 12 pearls, dare I say, of great price – each gate from a single pearl (Rev.21:21). There are 3 gates per cardinal direction: north, south, east, west (Rev.21:13).

Each gate will be inscribed with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel (Rev.21:12).

Wait? Doesn’t traditional Christianity say that the 12 tribes have been basically replaced by the 12 apostles?

Doesn’t mainstream theology teach that the “New” Testament is far more relevant to us today than the contents of the “Old”?

Isn’t it taught in most seminaries that the “Church” has replaced the Jews as the chosen people?

Sadly, the answer is, “yes” . . . despite the flawed theology.

Supersessionism is (lamentably) alive and well. Antisemitism flourishes due to these types of errant doctrines.

Will the gates be etched with the names of Israel’s tribes as though it were some type of politically correct memorial to days gone by?

Or is there a greater meaning here?

The God of the Bible is the God of ISRAEL

An honest hermeneutic (interpretation) must allow Scripture to speak, not impose an agenda on the Biblical text.

We must ask questions. What is Scripture saying to us? What is it that the Eternal One wants us to glean?

How have we injected our own biases into the text?

Are we reading from a posture of humility or from the lens of an entitlement culture?

Do we recognize that the God of the Bible is the God of Israel?

In regards to those 12 gates, we can ask a very simple question:

What is the function of a gate? Does it not “allow for”, or “inhibit” as the case may be, an entrance?

Would the church even have a prayer if it were not for God’s chosen people and the revelation of God entrusted to them?

Could the church even know a Savior if it were not for the prophetic words of the Hebrew Scriptures?

The gates allow for all to come in who have accepted and love our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus!).

The names of the 12 tribes of B’nei-Yisrael, the house of Israel, will be forever etched on the eternal gates.

No longer shall their names be diminished, forgotten, or tossed aside.

Their heads shall be lifted up in redemption.

We must pray for Israel, for those who do not yet know that Messiah has come!

Lift up your heads, O gates,
and be lifted up, you everlasting doors:
that the King of glory may come in.
“Who is this King of glory?”
ADONAI strong and mighty,
ADONAI mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates,
and lift them up, you everlasting doors:

that the King of glory may come in.
“Who is this King of glory?”
ADONAI-TZVA’OT—He is the King of glory! Selah

Psalm 24:7-10 TLV (emphasis added)

The foundations of the wall are bound by the apostolic witness of the first believers, who themselves kept the very Jewish (and of course, Biblical) practices of keeping the Sabbath day holy, participating in the moedim (Biblical feast days), and honoring the entirety of the Scriptures available to them which at that time included most prominently the Torah.

The first believers, Jew and Gentile alike, had joined themselves to a Jewish movement founded by a Jewish Rabbi who also happens to be the Messiah – the Promised One, Yeshua haMashiach (Jesus the Christ), who came to save all of Israel, both the native born Israeli and the grafted in.

We must re-evaluate our relationship to Israel

Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day. It coincided this year with Tu B’Shevat, a tree planting day in Israel.

For too much of history, the church as a whole has held a very poor witness toward the Jewish people.

Some orthodox Jewish rabbis have concluded that the Holocaust was a judgment of Christians – demonstrating that the Christian Gospel fails the Jew due to the church’s inaction and willingness to look the other way as Jewish lives were lost to Hitler’s evil monstrosities.

Even today, many Christians seem indifferent to the Jewish homeland despite the miracle that is modern day Israel.

We are living in a time when prophecies are constantly being fulfilled and the favor of Adonai continues to rest upon His people, Israel.

As believers, we must take up the task of a course correction!

We need to re-evaluate our frame of reference and pastors must commit to preaching accurately from the entirety of Scripture.

The enemy, ha-satan, has worked diligently to sow confusion among believers and has been successful.

Many believers today are incredibly distanced from the Truth, and don’t realize it. It is no coincidence that the Catholic Church changed the Sabbath Day observance to Sundays, that new liturgical seasons were invented, and the Biblical feast days were abandoned in favor of manmade celebrations that focus on egg-laying rabbits and decorated evergreen trees. All of these distractions have lured the church as a whole away from the very Gospel we want to share!

Even Bible Studies tend to focus on what the apostles achieved, and would likely highlight their place in the New Jerusalem, but so many gloss right over the fact that united within the design of the city wall will also be the heritage of the twelve tribes of Israel.

The New Jerusalem shows us the continuity from Old to New Testament.

All of the confusion that the devil has sown will be forever defeated. Continuity, unity, and justice will all be restored.

The gates of the enemy shall be forever torn down and the New Jerusalem gates will gleam in all their glorified splendor. Won’t it be amazing?!

Hope for Israel

Lift up your heads, O gates!

For the King of Glory shall come in, shall restore all things, and His people shall forever live together with the Lord Most High in the New Jerusalem!

The New Jerusalem will be a beautiful place! Whenever you feel discouraged, remember one day all things will be made new!

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New Jerusalem
What will be written on the gates of New Jerusalem?

6 stone jars, 120 gallons of wine, and an extraordinary wedding in Cana

The Wedding in Cana

If you are familiar with the Scriptures, you probably know about a now-famous wedding that took place in a place called Cana, in the Galilee.

*Spoiler alert* the LORD Yeshua (Jesus) turned water into wine that day!

Surely, you already knew that . . . but,

Have you ever thought about the mechanics of this miracle?

Let’s look to John’s account of the Wedding in Cana:

On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana in the Galilee. Yeshua’s mother was there, and Yeshua and His disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, Yeshua’s mother said to Him, “They don’t have any wine!”

Yeshua said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with you and Me? My hour hasn’t come yet.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”

Now there were six stone jars, used for the Jewish ritual of purification, each holding two to three measures. Yeshua said to them, “Fill the jars with water!” So they filled them up to the top. Then He said to them, “Take some water out, and give it to the headwaiter.” And they brought it.

Now the headwaiter did not know where it had come from, but the servants who had drawn the water knew. As the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, he calls the bridegroom and says to him, “Everyone brings out the good wine first, and whenever they are drunk, then the worse. But you’ve reserved the good wine until now!” Yeshua did this, the first of the signs, in Cana of the Galilee—He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

John 2:1-11 TLV

Let’s focus specifically on John 2:6 for a moment. He writes of the wedding in Cana:

“Now there were 6 stone jars, used for the Jewish ritual of purification, each holding 2-3 measures.”

A measure is about 9 gallons according to the Tree of Life Version of the Bible.

So there would be 18-27 gallons to work with per container

roughly 120 gallons of water altogether

that would be transformed into the highest quality of wine ever tasted.

“Now there were 6 stone jars, used for the Jewish ritual of purification, each holding 2-3 measures.” John 2:6

Back to the jars. In the Bible, numbers generally have symbolic meanings. 7 indicates perfection, completeness, wholeness, holiness, salvation.

777=Messiah. Contrast that to three consecutive 6’s and you’ll get the idea.

6 indicates incompleteness, insufficiency, “almost-but-not-good-enough.”

So if there were 6 jars at the wedding in Cana, we know they were okay. They were good, but not great; useful, but not the perfect solution.

Likewise, the Jewish purification ritual was good. A pattern of that which would be to come, but not the end-all. There was nothing wrong with it, but it just wasn’t quite enough.

It isn’t enough to just go through religious motions.

Just like it isn’t enough to have your name highlighted as the top contributor to a ministry.

And it isn’t enough to walk down to an altar, confess your faith in the Savior of the world, and then go on living as though that never happened.

It also wouldn’t have been enough of a celebration at the wedding in Cana without a little wine!

Wedding in Cana
“[Yeshua’s] mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever He tells you.'” John 2:5

I know, I know, you might want to start throwing stones at me. Look, the Bible doesn’t always fit neatly into personal preferences or cultural attitudes. We must conform our personal preferences to what the Bible actually says.

Having a glass of wine was not considered a sin in Galilee.

Drunkenness = sin. A glass of wine = not a sin.[That said, a person who does not have self-control or has a history of addiction, that person should not consume alcohol. Also, certain fellowships choose to abstain from alcohol completely, so you should consult your pastor regarding this topic.]

Back to the wedding. Yeshua’s mother Miryam (Mary) didn’t want the soon-to-be-married couple to be embarrassed by a wine shortage. Though Yeshua said it was not His hour, Miryam told the servants to do whatever He said, and when He did, it was the first of His miracles on earth.

At the Wedding in Cana, Yeshua (Jesus) blessed the bridegroom and his family.

The LORD didn’t consternate them for not having enough wine nor lecture them about how washing their hands in a ceremonial fashion couldn’t give them the fullness of the salvation they longed for. He chose to perform the first miracle of his ministry in that place and allow the bridegroom to receive the accolades:

The headwaiter says to the bridegroom, ‘Everyone brings out the good wine first, and whenever they are drunk, then the worse. But you’ve reserved the good wine until now!'” John 2:10

Whenever you are in a ministry position, look for ways to credit others instead of focusing on yourself like our LORD did at this event.

“Yeshua did this, the first of the signs, in Cana of the Galilee – He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.” John 2:11

Those 6 jars were awaiting a touch from the Potter’s hand.

Made complete by the presence of the Vinedresser, the 6 jars contained within them the power to demonstrate the total other-ness of Rabbi Jesus. Eyes were being opened to the reality that the miracle-working, supernatural power of God was being poured out, right there, that day in little Cana.

The Hebrew Scriptures foretell of a day when the mountains will drip with new wine (Joel 3:18 NKJV; 4:18 TLV). At the feast of Shavu’ot (Pentecost), there was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh) which resulted in people mocking the disciples and suggesting they were drunk on “new wine.” (Acts 2:13). The wedding in Cana proved that something new was about to happen.

Remember, there will always be scoffers. There will always be somebody somewhere who makes fun of you, doesn’t like you, thinks you’re just crazy, or is too bound up in their own religious ideas to credit you as living rightly for God.

Listen, if you’ve got what He has for you, does the opinion of the crowd really matter?

When the LORD Most High decided to pour out His Holy Spirit and Presence upon the gathered believers, how many were present? Acts 1:15 says there were . . . 120.

It’s as though there was more than a gallon of new wine for each of them.

“In those days, Peter stood up among the brothers and sisters (the number of names altogether was about a hundred and twenty)…”
Acts 1:15

Hallelujah! (The Ruach/Spirit is given without measure. John 3:34 assures us there is no limit to His gift). When a person is filled with Ruach haKodesh, the Holy Spirit, they get more than a gallon. Don’t worry, this isn’t a gas station. You will get more than you came for.

The wedding in Cana foreshadows the glorious reality of Pentecost! The unlimited outpouring of His precious Holy Spirit!

These same believers in the time of the book of Acts had seen the miracles of their Messiah, followed Him, even witnessed Him being killed and resurrected. The wedding in Cana was now a foreshadowing of the return of the Bridegroom to celebrate with His own, holding no good thing back.

“The One whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Ruach without limit.” John 3:34

Knowing now what you have learned about the wedding in Cana and the fulfillment at Shavu’ot/Pentecost, ask yourself a few questions:

What is it that is incomplete in your life?

Is your relationship with your Creator as close as it could be?

Do you need a dose of something new and fresh and joyful?

Do you still listen to the critics?

Are you well-attuned to the voice of the Master, the One who came that you might have life, and life abundantly?

Are you filled with the Holy Spirit?

Whatever isn’t enough, may it become more than enough in Him.

May you be surprised by His generosity, overwhelmed by His thoughtfulness, and embraced by His unending love, the love He showed at the Wedding in Cana.

Be filled with the Holy Spirit

We’d love to hear from you! Even if this is your first time finding this blog or if you’re a regular reader, please leave a comment below! If you’d like to subscribe to our email list, we promise not to overwhelm your inbox. Thank you for connecting with AdonaiShalomUSA. If you would like to know more about the Messiah or receiving the infilling of the Holy Spirit, or even just more about the wedding in Cana, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] today or leave a message in the comments!

“For the vineyard of Adonai-Tzva’ot is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah the planting of His delight.” Isaiah 5:7a
6 stone jars, 120 gallons of wine, and a wedding in Cana

Besorah: the Good News

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. The one who believes in Him is not condemned; but whoever does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not put his trust in the name of the one and only Ben-Elohim.”

John 3:16 TLV

Psalm 19:8-10

The Torah of ADONAI is perfect, restoring the soul.

The testimony of ADONAI is trustworthy, making the simple wise.

The precepts of ADONAI are right, giving joy to the heart.

The mitzvot of ADONAI are pure, giving light to the eyes.

The fear of ADONAI is clean, enduring forever.

The judgments of ADONAI are true and altogether righteous.