The Habitation of God

Revelation 21:22-27
The End Times

In my last post, we reviewed the Revelation 21:15-21 ~ The New Jerusalem ~ Part 2.  In this post, we continue to explore Revelation 21:22-27 ~ The Habitation of God.

22 I saw no Temple in the city, for Adonai, God of Heaven’s Armies, is its Temple, as is the Lamb.23 The city has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s Sh’khinah gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 Its gates will never close, they stay open all day because night will not exist there, 26 and the honor and splendor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure may enter it, nor anyone who does shameful things or lies; the only ones who may enter are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”  ~ Revelation 21:22-27 (CJB)

This section draws on the imagery of Isaiah 60: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of Adonai has risen upon you… Nations will walk at your light, and kings at the brightness of your rising… The wealth of the nations will come to you… Your gates will be open continually—day and night they will not be shut so that people can bring you the wealth of the nations, and their kings in procession… The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the moon give light to you for brightness, but Adonai will be for you an everlasting light, and your God your glory.” (Isaiah 60:1-5, 11, 16, 19-20)

I saw no Temple in the city, for Adonai, God of Heaven’s Armies, is its Temple, as is the Lamb. Adonai and the Lamb are the Temple of the new city. No longer is the structure necessary, for the saints are in the immediate presence of the Lord with no need for an earthly mediator or shadows of things eternal. The Temple is the same word used for the sanctuary, or God’s dwelling place, the Holy of Holies, in the Temple of Israel. Believers now have access to the most sacred, intimate fellowship with the Lord their God in fulfillment of the many promises given to the saints.

The city has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s Sh’khinah gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.  M. R. DeHaan explains further: [1]

Can you imagine what this glorious sight will be? Picture a new earth on which dwells the restored and redeemed nation of Israel, and around them are literal nations of redeemed people, consisting of the saved of the nations before the Cross and the nations which came through the Millennium. All dwell on the new earth. Hanging over that new earth, suspended in the sky, is this gigantic city, the New Jerusalem, the habitation of the bride of Christ. Christ is the light of it, and this light streams forth over all the earth, dispelling all darkness forever. Remember that the city is made of transparent gold, so that the light from the Person of Christ dwelling with His bride in the New Jerusalem streams forth from the lamp, fifteen hundred miles cube, lighting the entire earth.

The nations (or “Gentiles”) will walk by its light. There are not unregenerate nations living outside the city. Rather, as George E. Ladd says in his comment on this verse: [2]

“In the divine consummation, the redeemed will consist of peoples from every nation and tribe and people and tongue (7:9) who will not lose their national identity. John’s language means no more than the statements of the prophets: ‘and many peoples shall come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob'” (Isaiah 2:3)… This is the affirmation of the universality of the knowledge of God, as promised in Jeremiah’s presentation of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:30-33(31-34)).”

And the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 Its gates will never close, they stay open all day because night will not exist there, 26 and the honor and splendor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure may enter it, nor anyone who does shameful things or lies; the only ones who may enter are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

Oliver Greene states it right: [3]

Thank God for this verse! God will see to it that the episode recorded in Ezekiel 28 will never be repeated. God will see to it that the tragedy of Genesis 3 will never be repeated. God will see to it that in NO WISE—under no circumstances nor by any means—will anything enter into the Pearly White City to mar, scar, and defile. Nothing abominable shall enter there. Revelation 21:8 tells us that all evil ones are in the lake of fire, eternally imprisoned and sealed, never to be released, and the devil is there, too. Satan had access to God’s throne in the beginning when he was Lucifer, the shining one (Isaiah 14). But in the Pearly White City, there will be no devil—nor in the new earth or the heavenlies. Satan will be in the lake of fire the eternal prison of the damned. We need not worry about the sin—tragedy recurring. It will not because God Almighty will have put down evil once, for all, forever. Satan’s head will be crushed, his kingdom destroyed and his subjects in the lake of fire with him. Only those who have their names in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be in the Pearly White City.

I’m curious!  If the gates of the city are never shut, because in the city there is the eternal day, hence no night why are they built? Here again is a contrast to the Millennial situation in which day and night continue as the norm for the entire earth. The brilliant light of the city, however, dispels any possible darkness. Believers in their glorified bodies do not need rest, and their lives are full of continuous activity even like the holy angels.

Verse 27 indicates plainly that nothing will ever enter the city which is in any sense evil, as only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life are eligible for entrance. There does not seem to be any attempt made to keep them out. This fact is another reminder that all who are there have entered the city as the objects of God’s grace. Otherwise, they too would be excluded. This will be a perfect environment in contrast to the centuries of human sin, and the saints will enjoy this perfect situation through all eternity to come. The inhabitants of the city will be characterized by eternal life and absolute moral purity.

In my next post, we’ll examine Revelation 22:6-10 ~ Affirmation of God’s Word.

Click here for PDF version.

 

[1] A Layman’s Commentary on Revelation by Don Jones.

[2] Jewish New Testament Commentary by David Stern

[3] Ibid.

2 thoughts on “The Habitation of God

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