Revelation 21: 19-20
“The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 48th session of the ‘Heaven’ sermon series. Continuing from the last session, I will talk to you about the spiritual meanings contained in the twelve foundation stones of the city of New Jerusalem. In the last session, we learned up to the sardius, the sixth foundation stone.
In this session, I will talk to you about the seventh, chrysolite and the eighth, beryl.
When you see shining jewels, what do you think?
“Wow! How much does it cost? I want to have one, too! It would be so beautiful in a ring or necklace!” Do you think these things?
You know what kinds of spiritual hearts each of the jewels stands for, and I believe you will think in spirit when you see jewels.
When you see a red-colored jewel, something like ruby, you will think of the apostle Paul who devoted himself with all his life with passionate love for the Lord.
If you see jewel with dark blue color like sapphire, you will think about Daniel and his three friends who had upright hearts in any kind of situation.
If you see a jewel of clear green color like emerald, you will think of Esther who saved her people with her righteous heart and good wisdom.
Those who long for spirit will think of spiritual things even when they see the jewels of this earth.
Since I met God, I cast off the world and the things of the world very quickly.
Since I cast off the desire for material things, even the most precious stone of the world was like a mere rock to me.
But as I listen to the word of God about the heavenly kingdom, I began to look at the jewels of this world in a different way.
For example, crystal is clear and transparent, and it reflects light very well. When I see something like that, I think of the heavenly kingdom and my mind is refreshed.
When you see jewels of this world, I hope you will also remember these messages and think in spirit. I hope you will think about the kingdom of heaven.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will move closer to spirit and New Jerusalem by doing so.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the seventh foundation stone of the city wall of New Jerusalem is chrysolite.
It is also called ‘Olivine’. When the mineral olivine is gem-quality it is also called peridot. It is a magnesium iron silicate.
As I told you before, the jewels in heaven are incomparably more beautiful and give out more brilliant lights than jewels of this earth. So, the pictures you see are very different from the actual jewels in heaven.
The apostle John, who wrote the book of Revelation, wrote down the names of jewels that were closest to the actual jewels that he saw with spiritual eyes.
Of course, the jewels in heaven also have names, but if we were to write their actual names, then, none of us will be able to understand them.
Because the names of the jewels that are closest to them were recorded, we can understand them to some extent.
So, when you see the pictures of the jewels, you can just see the colors of them.
Then, you should just understand about the spiritual heart that God the Father wanted to embed in each jewel.
Now, what kind of spiritual heart is represented by the chrysolite? It is ‘mercy’. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines ‘mercy’ as ‘compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power’.
But what is the spiritual meaning of mercy that God explains to us?
It is to understand in truth somebody who can not be understood at all and to forgive in truth a person who can not be forgiven at all.
To understand and forgive ‘in truth’ is to understand and forgive with love in goodness. The mercy, with which we can embrace others with love, is the mercy that is symbolized by chrysolite.
Those who have this mercy do not have any prejudice. They don’t think, ‘I don’t like him because of this. I don’t like her because of that.’ They don’t dislike or hate anybody. Of course, they don’t have any enmity.
They just try to look at and think everything in a beautiful way. They just accept everybody.
So, even when they face a person who has committed a grave sin, they only show compassion.
They hate the sin, but not the sinner. They rather understand him and embrace him. This is mercy.
Who can we think of in the Bible who showed this kind of mercy? Jesus showed the greatest mercy.
Of course, the heart of Jesus had all the spiritual hearts of the twelve jewels. Let me speak about how His mercy was demonstrated for us.
He showed His mercy to Judas Iscariot who would sell Him out. Jesus knew from the beginning that Judas Iscariot would betray Him.
Nevertheless, Jesus did not exclude him or keep His distance from him. He did not dislike or hate him in His heart either.
Jesus loved him until the very end and He gave Judas chances to turn back. This heart is the merciful heart.
Even when Jesus was nailed on the cross, He did not complain against or hate anybody.
He rather prayed in intercession for those who were inflicting pain and injury on Him.
Luke 23:34 says, “But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.”
Likewise, mercy is to forgive even those who cannot be forgiven at all. Stephen also had this kind of mercy.
Although Stephen was not an apostle, he was full of grace and power.
And evil people finally stoned him to death. But even while he was being stoned, he rather prayed for those who were killing him.
Acts 7:60 says, “Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.”
The fact that Stephen prayed for those who were killing him proves that he had already forgiven them.
He didn’t have any hatred against them. It shows us that he had the perfect fruit of mercy to have compassion on those people.
Now, is there anybody whom you hate? Among your family members or brothers in faith or colleagues at work, is there anybody you don’t like?
Is there anybody of whom you think, ‘I don’t like his attitude. He always opposes me, and I don’t like him.’?
Even though he is not trying to harm your life, if you just dislike and hate him for various reasons, how far is it from ‘mercy’?
We should not have anybody whom we dislike or hate. We should be able to understand, accept, and show goodness to everybody.
God the Father shows us the beauty of mercy with the jewel chrysolite.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, now, I will tell you about the eighth foundation stone of the city wall of New Jerusalem, beryl. This beryl has a light blue-green color.
What kind spiritual heart does beryl stand for? It symbolizes ‘endurance and patience’ in all things to accomplish God’s kingdom and righteousness.
But the patience here is not to suppress something with much restraint.
Some people clinch their teeth, tightly double up their fists, or their bodies may even shake to endure.
Anger, complaints, grievances, and hatred come up from their heart, but they try to suppress it and not express it outwardly.
This kind of enduring and restraint is not the kind of patience that God wants of us. What He wants is for us to be filled with only goodness without any evil. It’s the kind of patience in which there is nothing that requires being patient. God’s patience desired from us is this kind of patience.
2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
If we have no evil but only a fullness of goodness and love, then ‘patience’ itself is actually not necessary.
We just wait in faith and hope with peaceful hearts.
But God just expressed it as ‘being patient for a long time’ to let us understand.
The patience in Galatians, as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and the patience of spiritual love in 1 Corinthians 13 are both the patience that God wants.
But the patience in the fruit of the Holy Spirit has broader meaning, and it contains the patience of spiritual love.
The patience in spiritual love is to be patient to love others at a personal level.
But the patience as one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit has broader meaning, going beyond the personal level.
It is to be patient in all things to accomplish the kingdom and righteousness of God. The meaning of patience symbolized by beryl is same as the patience that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
And this patience to accomplish the kingdom and righteousness of God can generally be categorized into three kinds.
First, there is patience between God and us.
We have to be patient until the promise of God is fulfilled.
God the Father is faithful; once He has spoken something, He surely does it without reversing it. Thus, if we have received a promise from God, we have to be patient until it is fulfilled. God knows the best time to give us blessings.
Also, if we have asked God something, we have to be patient until the answer comes.
Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”
Jesus said, “Believe that you have received what you have prayed and asked.”
But some believers say something like the following, “I pray all-night and even fast, and still there is no answer.” They are actually complaining.
This is just like a farmer who sows the seed and soon digs up the ground because there is no fruit immediately. If we have sown the seed, we have to be patient until it sprouts, grows up, blossoms with the flower and then bears the fruit.
Then, does that mean we just have to wait? Not at all.
A farmer pulls out the weeds and protects the crops from harmful insects. He does a lot of work with much sweat to gain good fruit.
Likewise, to receive the answer to what we have prayed, we have things that have to be done.
We have to fulfill the proper measure according to the seven-spirits – namely faith, joy, prayer, thanks, hard-working faithfulness, keeping the commandments, and love.
God answers us immediately only if we fulfill the required amounts according to measures for our faith.
Let us understand that the time of patience with God is the time to receive a more perfect answer, and let us rejoice and give thanks even more.
Secondly, there is patience between men. The patience of spiritual love belongs to patience of this kind.
1 Thessalonians 5:14, latter part says, “encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
To love any person in all kinds of human relationships, we need patience.
We need patience to believe in any kind of person, endure with him, and hope that he will be prosperous. Even if he does something that is opposite of what we have expected, we have to be patient in all things.
We have to understand, be accepting, forgive, yield, and be patient.
Those who evangelize many people are likely to have much patience. Even if those who are being evangelized do not like it, the evangelist keeps on visiting them. Even if they curse and persecute them, they visit them again with smiles on their faces.
With love to save that particular kind of person, they rejoice and give thanks, and never give up.
When we show this kind of patience with goodness and love for a person who is being evangelized, what will happen in the spiritual realm?
The enemy Satan, who had been holding that person, cannot bear it any longer and leaves the person.
Because the evangelist acts constantly with goodness and love, the darkness goes away because of that light.
Then, the person who is hearing the gospel can open his heart, accept it, and receive salvation.
Thirdly, there is patience to change the heart.
To change our heart is to pull out untruths and evil from our heart and plant truth and goodness instead. To the extent that we change our heart, our faith also grows.
Our faith grows up from the faith of a new-born baby to that of a child, and to a youth, a man, and finally a father.
God the Father wants us to reach the level of a father’s faith. It is the faith of the true child whom God really wants to gain.
And to reach the full measure of faith, we must change our heart. To change our heart is similar to clearing a field.
We have to remove the rocks and pull out the weeds. Sometimes, we have to plow the soil.
Then, it can become a good field, and whatever we sow, it will grow and bear fruit.
It’s the same with men’s hearts.
To the extent that we find evil in our heart and cast it off, we can have good fields of the heart. Then, when the word of God is sown, it can sprout, grow well, and bear fruit.
And just as we have to sweat and work hard to clear land, we have to do the same when we change our heart.
We have to cry out earnestly in prayer with all our strength and with all our heart. Then we can receive the power of the Holy Spirit to plow the fleshly heart that is like barren land.
This process is not as easy as one might think. That is why some people may feel burdensome, get disheartened, or fall into despair.
Therefore, we need patience.
Even though it seems that we are changing very slowly, we should never be disappointed or give up.
We should remember the love of the Lord who has died on the cross for us, receive new strength, and keep on cultivating the field of the heart.
Also, we should look up to the love and blessings of God that He will give to us when we will have completely cultivated our heart. We should also keep on working with greater thanks.
Therefore, now I hope you will be patient with yourself, too.
It doesn’t mean you just have to wait without any effort thinking, ‘It will be done someday. ‘
For example, this year you may not be able to cultivate the whole field, and you don’t have an abundant harvest. But you can gain as much as you have worked.
Then, we can be thankful for that, and we can work harder next year.
We can just keep on working with hope that we will cultivate the field even more and bear more abundant fruit.
We can have the patience to change our heart, not with burdensome feelings but with joy and thanks. I pray in the name of the Lord that you will all have this kind of patience and change into a true child of God who has a field with good soil.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, I talked to you about the seventh foundation stone chrysolite and the eighth, beryl. Chrysolite stands for ‘mercy’, and beryl ‘patience’ in spiritual sense.
How happy you will be when you bear the spiritual heart-like jewels in your heart? Your heart itself will become the kingdom of heaven.
If you cling to the word, pray, and try hard with patience, you can feel the kingdom of heaven even on this earth.
It’s because the faithful God gives us grace and strength, and the Holy Spirit helps us.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will look up to New Jerusalem in faith and hope and keep marching on vigorously!