9 Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— 13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
The visions of the Book of Revelation preference two numbers: the number seven and the number twelve. The number seven is about evolution, the number twelve is about perfection.
We have reached the final stage of spiritual evolution. One of the angels whose task was to guide and direct our evolution shows us what perfection looks like, “the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.”
Both seven and twelve are composites of three and four. Seven is three plus four; twelve is three times four.
In Revelation three divine forces radiate into the world of the soul. These are the “one seated on the throne”, the Lamb, and the Spirit. The soul is created by four forces, called the four living creatures. Each creature has three pairs of wings, that is, they are raised up by the three divine powers. The number four represents the earth. Seven represents the divine added to the earth. The seven spiritual centres are where the divine energies should flow into our physical body. Twelve represents the transformation of the physical by the divine.
The culmination of evolution is that the soul should be transformed into the divine feminine. She will become the Bride of Christ. Christ consciousness does not mean that our own consciousness is extinguished; it means that our own consciousness becomes illuminated by the light of Christ. Perfection doesn’t mean that we become something different, it means that we become wholly who we are. At our present stage of evolution we are small children. The new Jerusalem shows us who we shall be when we grow into full maturity.
The City contains the glory of God. The glory of the divine will radiate out from the soul which has become clear and transparent. We experience this through the presence of certain souls. Their actions and words make the world clear to us. They light up what is important and help us to see the road ahead.
In its perfection the soul is bounded by a wall with twelve gates. These are arranged in four pairs of three. The formative forces of the soul; the four living creatures, have become part of the very fabric of the soul. Only the pure divine energies will now be able to enter into the soul.
At our current point of evolution we have become slaves to the masculine forces. A time of change however, is at hand. It is the feminine that is the template for the soul, and the feminine is entering more and more strongly into human evolution.
There are three aspects of the feminine that must enter into the soul, and into consciousness.
1. The feminine is receptive. We will learn to listen and respond.
2. The feminine nurtures. We will care for the elderly, the weak, the powerless amongst us. We will finally care for the earth.
3. The feminine brings to birth. Out of the feminine, the I AM is born. The I AM in its turn lights up the soul. The greater our inward light, the more clearly we see our path forward.
Perfection may be in our distant future, but the foundations have been laid. The wall of the soul is being raised on the deed of Christ represented by the twelve apostles. As this wall is raised, we are no longer invaded by hostile soul forces, instead the inner light becomes focused. Our understanding becomes clear, our thinking becomes enlightened and filled with compassion and love. We come into incarnation more and more to assist other souls. The glory of God, the radiance of the divine, flows out from us. We also are the light of the world.
The modern artist, Molly Walker Freeman, shows us the New Jerusalem descending into consciousness. Her painting depicts seven steps, seven degrees of consciousness which the City will descend through.
The New Jerusalem is the consciousness of God. This means it is the consciousness of love, for as St John reminds us in his first letter, “God is love.”
Let this be a day of love. Love expressed not just towards a family member, or a beloved partner, but love expressed to the whole of our connection with the earth. We should love our physical body, for it is the vehicle which carries us through to Christ. We should love the existence we have been given, for this also is the vehicle which carries us to Christ. And when we have experienced our love flow out to every aspect of life, then allow yourself to feel the love flowing back from the creation into your own soul. For the earth also is being transformed by love.
John is given the blueprint, in fact the whole of Revelation is a blueprint, of how to achieve the Christ consciousness. We may already follow the blueprint and to a certain degree receive a Christ consciousness.
What is the great mark of a Christ consciousness? I would say it is love for matter, love for your material body, love for the existence around you, love for your home, your possessions, not in a ‘hanging on’ way but in a caring manner.
Rev Mario Schoenmaker, The Book of Revelation, 1984 Lecture Series