Summary: The vision God gave John of the New Jerusalem is a vision of precise and exquisite order. Pythagours said, everything can be described in numbers. That was a profound insight, for numbers are the ultimate symbol of order. God is the great mathematician, and everything He has made has a number.
In the sixth century B. C. a boy by the name of Pythagorus grew up with his father, who was a
gem-engraver. He noticed that gemstones came in regular geometric shapes. The beryl was a
hexagon, the garnet was a 12 sided crystal, and each gem had it's own unique order. This
observation was the beginning of what we call science. If gems have a special order to their nature,
that makes it possible to classify them. This carries over to the study of all reality. He went on to
discover that a pitch of a note on the seven string lyre depends on the length of the string. Music is
thus, also, a matter of order. The whole universe was a cosmos--a creation of order.
He saw order everywhere, and modern science has confirmed his view. It has discovered that
every atom of the universe has a very specific order with a certain number of electrons. The simplest
atom has just one electron, and the next two, and the next three, and without skipping a number, on
up to 109 electrons. Each is a different element--one of the building blocks of the universe. The last
few are created by man, and are not natural. What is fascinating is, it all began with the order seen
in gemstones. Jewels led man to the discovery of order in his world, and we will see that jewels also
lead us to the discovery of the order of heaven. The task of science is to discover order in God's
creation. The task of theology is to discover order in God's revelation.
The vision God gave John of the New Jerusalem is a vision of precise and exquisite order.
Pythagours said, everything can be described in numbers. That was a profound insight, for numbers
are the ultimate symbol of order. God is the great mathematician, and everything He has made has a
number. 12 is the number of the heavenly city. If we could send mail to those in heaven the address
would always be 12 Gold Street. It has 12 gates with 12 angels at them, and the 12 tribes of Israel
written on them. It has 12 foundations with the names of the 12 apostles on them. It is 12,000
stadia long, wide, and high. A perfect square of 12ness. It's walls are 144 cubits thick, that is
exactly 12 times 12. The foundations are decorated with 12 precious stones, and there are 12 gates
which are 12 pearls. In case you haven't guessed, it is no accident that everything about the
heavenly city is described by the number 12. This is a significant number all through God's Word.
If we look at the element with 12 electrons in it's atom, we will be looking at magnesium. It just
so happens that this element is basic to light and life. When you see an old movie with a
photographer under a hood, and an explosive flash, that is magnesium powder. Today we have flash
bulbs, with a network of magnesium wires, to give the flash. The flares used to light the battlefield
at night are burning magnesium. This number 12 element, not only gives light, it is the key to using
light to produce life. Chlorophyl traps the energy of the sun that keeps all green plants alive. Every
chlorophyl molecule contains one atom of magnesium. Without it chlorophyl will not work, and all
plant and animal life will die. There is only about three fourths of an ounce of magnesium in our
bodies. Most of it is in the bones, but without it our bodies would not survive. The number12 is
vital to the order of life in both time and eternity.
The point is, God is God of order. The first picture we have of God in the Bible, is that of a
Creator, who takes a formless chaotic mass, and turns it into an orderly universe. He does so by a
systematic and orderly process. He did not say, let there be animals, and then, when they began to
die like flies from starvation, say, I guess I should have started with plant life. God is not
haphazard. George Adam Smith, the great scholar, said, "The All-mighty and all-merciful is also
the all-methodical too."
Every science is a study of some aspect of God's creation, and in each case it is a study of order.
If there was no pattern in the movement of the sun, moon, planets, and stars, there could be no such
thing as astronomy. Science depends upon order, and mathematical precision for it's existence. You
cannot classify chaos. If there was no pattern--no rhyme or reason why anything worked the way it
does--there could be no science. It only exists because God is a God of order. We see it in His