And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God… It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal… The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. .. I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light.. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there… They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
Revelation 21:3, 11, 15-16, 22-24a, 25; 22:4-5
Back in the days of Moses, God commanded that the people build a tabernacle in which the Ark of the Covenant was to be placed, within which the Spirit of God would dwell in the midst of His people. Years later when the temple was built in Jerusalem, God’s Spirit dwelt within the Most Holy Place, as God continued to dwell in the midst of His people. The problem with that arrangement was that the people had no access to God.
Years after that, Jesus Messiah came, He was “Emmanuel” which means “God with us”, and He walked literally in their midst, talking, healing, teaching, loving His people. After His death and resurrection, at Pentecost the Holy Spirit came to indwell the followers of Christ, and to this day, God is present with us in the person of the Holy Spirit within us. By His presence within us, we can have a direct relationship with Him, something no one in the Old Testament could quite do. After the consummation of the Kingdom, we will live in community as the New Jerusalem where Father and Son will be with us even more directly; face-to-face. Jesus will once again walk the street, so to speak, and we will have the best of both, the indwelling Holy Spirit and the face-to-face.
In the last section, I told you that the New Jerusalem would be a community, and that we the followers of Christ will in fact be the New Jerusalem. In this section, we can also see that the New Jerusalem will also be a temple, the dwelling place of God, thus it will truly be “Emmanuel”, God with us.