The Golden Reed (2):
A Living According to
God’s Divine Standard
When we as Christians live by
our new, divine nature,
we meet the standard of
the New Jerusalem
In Revelation 21:15, the Apostle John tells us that the angel showing him the New Jerusalem had:
“…a golden reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall.”
As we saw in our previous Brief Note, God measures everything that belongs to Him by the standard of this “golden reed”(cf. Rev. 11:1; if you haven’t read that Note yet it is available here: The Golden Reed (1): A Different Standard).
Of course, the book of Revelation is a book of signs (1:1), including the sign of the golden reed. By considering these signs in the light of the rest of the Bible, and according to what they are in themselves, we can understand their spiritual significance. So, to understand the significance of the golden reed, we must first consider why it is made of gold.
Throughout the Bible, gold signifies God’s divine nature; for example, in the Ark of the Covenant, the gold signifies the divine nature of Christ, and the wood, His human nature (Exo. 25:10-11). At the end of the Bible, the New Jerusalem, which is the church as the Bride of Christ (Rev. 21:9-10), is composed mainly of gold (21:18). So, the divine nature is the main element of the New Jerusalem.
The other materials of the New Jerusalem, the pearls and precious stones (Rev. 21:21,19), are things that come into being by processes that take a good deal of time. They signify, respectively, the redemptive work of Christ and the transforming work of the Spirit (cf. 1 Pet. 2:5-7).
The gold, however, exists in its original state, and therefore in a symbolic sense it simply “is,” just as God Himself is the “I AM.” It is also extremely weighty and solid, one of the heaviest of all metals. Moreover, unlike other metals it does not corrode, because there are almost no other elements it reacts with. And of course, gold is extremely precious.
All of these factors surely make gold a fitting symbol of God’s unchanging, eternal, divine nature!
But what does all this have to do with us?
It is a glorious fact that when we believe in Christ we are made partakers of this marvelous divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4) as the very children of God (John 1:12-13). What a blessing this is to us! Now, day by day, we should be learning to live by our new, divine nature, rather than by the old nature we had when we were apart from Christ.
And this is why this measuring reed is made of gold; it is to show us that, when we live by the “golden” divine nature we received in our new birth, we meet the standard of the New Jerusalem in our daily living. That is to say, we are living, even today, in the very same manner as we will when we dwell with God for eternity. Such a living today even prepares us to live this way in eternity.
And even though we all fail so many times, this is still the standard we should aspire to in our Christian living today.
We will develop this thought further in our next Brief Note.
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— 2 September 2021 —