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Through the gate of the Eternal City

Through the gate of the Eternal City
Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992. Click picture to visit her "Revelation Illustrated" site.

Revelation 21:21-27 & 22:1-6

21: And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
22: And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23: And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

[21:22, 23. There is no temple in the city, since both the Father and the Son will be present in their fullest manifestations. Its light will be provided by the Shekinah glory of God and of Christ (cf. Ex. 3:3, 4; 24:15-17; 33:14-16; Luke 2:9; 9:29; Heb. 1:3).]

24: And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25: And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26: And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27: And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

{21:24-27. The glory of God in the New Jerusalem will light the earth. Whether this is the new earth (v.1) or the millennial earth is not clear. Perhaps the New Jerusalem will give light to the earth during the Millennium as a satellite city (cf. Is. 60). The nations, ruled by various kings and levels of earthly authority, will honor the heavenly city as the dwelling place of God. The clause of them which are saved is found neither in the oldest nor in the majority of manuscripts, but clearly expresses the sense of the passage. The open gates show that security measures are no longer necessary (cf. Is. 60:11). Day is continuous since darkness never comes. Only redeemed and glorified people will have access to or dwell in New Jerusalem (cf. v. 8; 22:15; Is. 52:1; Ezek. 44:9; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; 2 Pet. 3:13). No sinful thing that defileth will enter God's presence.]

Revelation 22:1-6

1: And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2: In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

[22:1, 2. These verses depict the abundant life and continuous blessing of the New Jerusalem. One river, containing water of life (cf. 7:17; 21:6; 22:17), comes from God's throne and waters the entire city (cf. similar millenial blessings in Ezek. 47:1-12; Joel 3:18; Zech. 14:8). The tree of life pictures eternal sustenance and immortality (cf. v. 14; Gen. 2:9; 3:22). Both the variety and abundance of fruit are emphasized. The healing of the nations may indicate physical healing during the Millenium (cf. Ezek. 47:12) or (figuratively) the blessings of God in the eternal state.]

3: And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
5: And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

[22:3-5. The effects of the post-Edenic curse (cf. Gen. 3:14-19) will be totally gone forever. God's saints will serve Him (cf. 7:15) and reign with Him for ever (cf. Dan 7:18, 27). The greatest blessing of eternity is that they shall see his face (cf. Matt, 5:8; Heb. 12:14). Though this is now impossible for an unglorified human being (cf. Ex. 33:20), it will occur in the eternal state. The name of God in their foreheads shows ownership and consecration (cf. 3:12; 13:16; Ex. 28:36-38). Since in the New Jerusalem, God is always present, His glory makes all other sources of light unnecessary (cf. 21:23; Is. 60:19, 20; Zech. 14:7).]

6: And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

[22;6. Verses 6-21 form a conclusion or summary to the book. They emphasize two themes: (1) the authenticity of the book as a revelation from God; and (2) the imminence of the return of Christ. These sayings refer to the entire Book of Revelation. They are authenticated as genuine by the angel whom God sent to give them through John to His servants, that is, the members of the churches (cf. 1:3, 11).]

Revelation 22:12-20

12: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15: For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
16: I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
18: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
20: He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

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Artwork © 1992 Pat Marvenko Smith. All Rights Reserved.
Text copyright © 0095-0096, Jesus Christ, All Rights Reserved.
References and notes are © 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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