© Copyright 2010-2015
© Copyright 2010-2015

        Revelation 21 Commentary, Part 3 (verses 21-27) 
                                                    By Brother Mike (3-7-14, 38 minutes) 
 


Verse 21:
 
 

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

Let's first of all consider the 12 gates. The 12 gates represent the fullness of gates (see Meaning to Bible Number 12 ), which we had already learned in verse 12 of Revelation 21 part 2 is the one gate, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the door through which one must enter in order to be a part of the holy Jerusalem, which is the elect of God.  

But here we are told that the 12 gates [are] 12 pearls. Pearls are listed as one of the merchandises of the kingdom of heaven. We read in Revelation 18, 

11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more :
12
The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble . . .  

As we had learned back in these verses of Revelation 18 Part 2 , the merchants of the earth are those who send forth the gospel (the things or merchandise of the kingdom of heaven) into the world. But once May 21, 2011 came about, no man buys their merchandise any more because salvation came to an end. The point I want to make here is simply that pearls are symbolic of the things of the kingdom of heaven, or of the gospel. This being the case, we can now understand, for instance, Matthew 7:6, which states, 

Mt 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you

Pearls here represent the gospel or the things of the kingdom of heaven, and, to not cast your pearls before swine means to not give out the gospel, or the things of the kingdom, to those who have no interest in them, but who would rather trample such things under their feet, and then turn and attack you. 

Now, we read in Matthew 13, 

Mt. 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls :
46
Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it

What this verse portrays is Jesus Christ, the merchant man, seeking the things of he kingdom of heaven; that is, the pearls. But when He found one pearl of great price, namely the kingdom of heaven itself, He went and sold all that He had, and bought it; that is, He gave Himself up on the cross, and so bought the kingdom of heaven, the elect.  

Now let's return to our original verse, which says, 

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

We already declared the 12 gates to symbolize that one gate or door into heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ, but now what do the 12 pearls represent? The number 12 represents the fullness of the pearls (see Meaning of Bible Number 12 ), which is the one pearl, the kingdom of heaven. This is that one pearl of great price that our Lord bought through His sacrifice, which is the kingdom of heaven made up of all the elect. So what does it mean that the 12 gates are 12 pearls? It is simply telling us that our Lord Jesus Christ, who is symbolized by the 12 gates, is the kingdom of heaven, which is symbolized by the 12 pearls. This doesn't seem to make the best of sense until we see the kingdom of heaven as being made up of both the elect, who are the body of Christ, and Christ Himself, who is the head. Now it makes perfect sense: our Lord Jesus is the kingdom of heaven in that His body, the elect, and He as the head both make up the kingdom of heaven. In this way, we can say that Jesus represents the kingdom of heaven! 

But, now, we read, every several gate was of one pearl. What does this mean? A more literal translation will help to understand this verse. Literally, it can be translated: every each one of the gates was out of one pearl. This reveals that each one of the 12 gates was out of the one and same pearl. And what pearl is this speaking about? This is speaking about the same pearl of which the 12 pearls represented, namely that one pearl of great price, the kingdom of heaven. So in that the 12 gates, which represent Jesus Christ, were each of one pearl, which pearl represents the kingdom of heaven, this is simply stating what we have already learned that Jesus is of the kingdom of heaven. He is the head of the kingdom, and the elect are His body of the kingdom. 

Now as we continue with our verse, we read, and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. The word translated as street literally means a broad place. It is of the same word from which we get our English word plateau. In the Bible, it can mean the literal streets (Mt. 6:5), but can also be extended figuratively in representing the public places (Luke 14:21) where people gather such as in the churches (Rev. 11:8), or in the public square, or at the market place, or at the parks, auditoriums, or stadiums. Anywhere that people might gather to exchange information - in particular about the Word of God - can be referred to as the streets. So in that the street of the city was pure gold, the street is symbolic of the place of information exchange of the Word of God in the holy Jerusalem. I can only imagine that this place will be in Christ. It will be in Christ from which the elect will communicate with the elect, and it will be in Christ from which Christ communicates with the elect. And, this street of the city can be said to be of pure gold because it is in Christ who is represented by pure gold; that is, Christ is absolutely pure and holy as the elect in Him will also be pure and holy. This means that in Christ there will be no misspoken words, no filthy language; there will be no sin whatsoever in the communication which takes place in the holy Jerusalem, amongst the elect, in the street of the city, which is in Christ. 

But now we are told that the street of the city was not only pure gold, but as it were transparent glass. Transparent means that the glass can be seen through. And, since the transparent glass is being compared to the street of the city, which is in Christ, this is saying that the place in Christ where the exchange of information between Christ and the elect takes place is completely transparent. In other words, whereas in this life Christ, the Word of God, can be understood or comprehended dimly as though through a dark glass, in the holy Jerusalem of the new heaven and earth, He will be understood or comprehended much more fully as through transparent glass. As we read in 1Corinthians 13, 

1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known .  

So the street of the city being likened to transparent glass is revealing the remarkable view that the elect will have of Christ. They will know Christ even as also they are known of Christ. Just think of it: even as Christ knows us, we will know Him. And, since Christ knows us perfectly clear, we will know Him perfectly clear. It won�t be anything like this life wherein we are blessed to know even a fraction of whom He really is as we look through a glass darkly, but, in the holy Jerusalem, we shall see Him as He is because we will be like Him. Remember 1John 3: 

1Jo 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is


Verse 22: 

22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it

In this verse we learn that there will be no temple in the holy and New Jerusalem, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. To put it more precisely, there is no outward and physical temple in heaven such as there was during the Old Testament era and the New Testament era. In the Old Testament there was, first of all, after the children of Israel were delivered from Egypt, the temple made from tents, which was taken down and carried with the Israelites wherever the Lord would lead them through the wilderness. Then, a few hundred years later, Solomon built a most glorious temple at Jerusalem, and this became the place to worship God. And, then, about 1,000 years after this, Christ was crucified, and, at that time, the veil of the temple at Jerusalem was rent in two to signify that that temple would no longer be the temple of God, but God would now begin to dwell in and among His people by the Spirit. So the temple of God now became wherever it was that God's people would gather for worship, which became the local churches and congregations that sprung up throughout the world. For instance, we read of God addressing the local Corinthian church in 1Corinthians 3:  

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ?

And, again, in 2Corinthians 6, 

2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people .  

What we see in history, then, is God first appearing to dwell in a temple made by hands during the Old Testament period, but then just simply dwelling in the location of which His people gathered for worship in the New Testament period. This location of worship became known as the New Testament churches throughout the world; they became the temple of God. But, then, the end of the church age came on May 21, 1988 according to the biblical calendar. This is when the Holy Spirit left all churches so that it could no longer be said that the churches were the temple of God. Although the elect still remained in the churches for some years before following the Holy Spirit in departing out from them, God was no longer ruling the churches, but the churches were given over to Satan, the Man of Sin, the Antichrist, the false Christ, who set Himself up in the temple of the churches to begin bringing judgment at the house of God, for the time [had] come that judgment must begin at the house of God (1Peter 4:17). Now, since the churches were no longer the temple of God, the only thing left that could be called the temple of God were the elect themselves. But they soon departed out of all the churches, and are now to be found scattered all over the world as they seek truth through the Bible only and not through any church. The elect have obeyed the command of God to depart from all churches (see Why Leave All Churches ), and they are now being fed independent from any church. They themselves are the temple of God, but there is no longer any external representation of that temple such as was the case with the tabernacle in the wilderness, the physical temple at Jerusalem, and then the churches and congregations throughout the church age of the New Testament period.  

Now let's return to our verse, which states, 

22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it

We know now that in that [John] saw no temple therein means that he saw no outward physical temple of any kind such as was once in this world. No, rather, he saw a completely spiritual temple who is the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb. Both the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb, Christ, are actually both one and the same God (see God is revealed as a trinity ), but the terminology of the Lamb is used to place emphasis upon Christ as the sacrificial Lamb for His people. He, Christ, the Almighty God, is the temple in the holy Jerusalem. We also read of Christ being the temple in John 2: 

John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things ?
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up
.
20
Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days ?
21
But he spake of the temple of his body

So what we find is that Christ is the temple. But, we already mentioned that the elect are the temple as well. How can this be? Well, this can be because the elect are so closely associated with Christ that they can be called His body. This means that Christ is the temple, and the elect are the temple in that they are His body. The difference between Christ being the temple, and the elect being the temple is that Christ is the foundation of the temple, whereas the elect are built on that one foundation. Hence, we see once again that remarkable intimate relationship between Christ and His body, the elect. Yes, Christ will be the temple in the New, holy Jerusalem, but we know that so also will be the elect who are in Christ, and so a very intimate part of Christ Himself. 


Verse 23: 

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

Here in this verse we see how different the holy Jerusalem in the new heaven and earth will be compared to this world. There will be no literal sun or moon to shine in it as there is in this world. Why? Because the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. The Lamb, of course, refers to Christ as having been the sacrificial Lamb for His people, and the light of the Lamb and the light of the glory of God are both the same light because both the Lamb and God are the same being (see God is revealed as a trinity ). Indeed, it is the light which shines from the Lord our God, Jesus Christ, in His glorified state in heaven. And, as we had learned once before, we get a sense for the brightness of this glorious light when we read of Christ in His glorified state as He appeared on the mount of transfiguration. There we read, 

Mt 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light .  

And, in the account when Christ in His glorified state appeared to the apostle Paul, we read, 

Ac 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me

Notice how the face of Christ did shine as the sun and His raiment was white as the light. Also, His light was above the brightness of the sun. Clearly, in His glorified state in heaven, there will be more than enough light to go around. There will be no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, for in His glorified state, Christ will shine brighter than the sun, but, unlike in this world, no one will ever be burnt because we will all be like Him; that is, we, the elect, will all be brighter than the sun. Yes, His face will shine brighter than the sun, but so will His body.

Now in that there will be no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, means there will be no need for the sun and the moon. And, with no need for the sun and the moon, we can infer that there will be no sun and moon in the holy Jerusalem of the New Heaven and earth. This carries with it ramifications which go far beyond that there will be no lights to lighten the day and the night. We read in Genesis 1,

Ge 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years . . .  

From this passage, we discover that the sun and the moon were placed in the heavens not just for light, but for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. In other words, the sun and the moon are the time keepers of this world. The position of the earth relative to the sun and the moon is what allows for us to keep time, and to keep it quite accurately. But, if there is no longer any sun and moon, then time can no longer be gauged, and, of course, there could no longer be any life on this planet. So when we are told that there will be no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, we are clearly being told that life in the holy Jerusalem of the New heaven and earth must be of a completely different order, and there will be no more time as we know it. The time keepers will be gone; time will become eternal. 


Verse 24: 

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

Here in this verse we are simply told that all those who are saved (the elect) from all the various nations of the world will walk in the light of the holy Jerusalem. As we learned in the previous verse, this light comes from the glory of the Lamb who is Christ. But what does it mean, then, that the elect will walk in the light which comes from the glory of Christ? What this means is that the elect will walk in perfect obedience to the light of Christ, which is the Word of God. That's right, in the holy Jerusalem of the new heaven and earth the elect will be in perfect obedience to the Word of God because they will have no more sin. Once these earthly bodies of sin are replaced by their new spiritual bodies of righteousness on the Last Day at the resurrection, then the elect will have no more sin, and, as such, they will walk in the light of their Lord in the holy Jerusalem with perfect obedience. 

But, next, we are told that the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. We have learned before that the kings of the earth can refer to three different categories of kings: the literal rulers of this world, the elect, or the false believers of Christ (see verse 2 of Revelation 17 ). In this case, because the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into the holy Jerusalem of the new heaven and earth, they must be referring to the elect since only they will come into the holy Jerusalem. In fact, we had already learned that they are the holy Jerusalem. So the kings of the earth [the elect] do bring their glory and honor into it.  

But what is this glory and honor that the elect bring into the holy Jerusalem? Certainly, it can't be any glory and honor which they have of themselves being that they were all sinners, and fell short of the glory of God. So, obviously, the glory and honor which they must bring into the holy Jerusalem is that of Christ Himself. It is He who paid for the sins of the elect. It is He who, as a result, came to dwell in the elect. It is He who will give the elect new spiritual bodies which are sinless. It is He who will create the new heaven and earth in which will be the holy Jerusalem, the elect. Without a doubt, it is He of whom whose glory the elect will bring into the holy Jerusalem; the brightness of which will be whiter than snow and brighter than the sun. 


Verse 25:
 

25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there

Here we are told that the gates shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. We already learned that the gates represent the one and only door to heaven who is the Lord Jesus Christ (see verse 12 of Revelation 21 Part 2 ). Thus, in the new heaven and earth, the door to heaven, the door into the holy Jerusalem, which is the door into the elect, will always be open, which infers that the elect will be able to go in and out of heaven without hindrance. This, in turn, infers that the elect will always be saved, for if they could ever become unsaved, the door could not be always open. And why will the door be always open? Because, we are told, there shall be no night there. Since, in the Bible, the word night is symbolic of wickedness, evil, or judgment, this is telling us that the gate will always be open because there will be no wickedness, evil, or judgment taking place in the new heaven and earth. The idea is that if these things were present in the new heaven and earth, the door to heaven must be closed even as it is now closed to the entire world ever since judgment came upon them beginning on May 21, 2011. Indeed, it has become night-time for the world, but, in the new heaven and earth, it will never become night; it will always be day. Praise and glory is to our Lord Jesus Christ! 


Verse 26: 

26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it .  

The word they refers back to the kings of the earth in verse 24, so this verse is saying that the kings of the earth shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. Why? Because the kings of the earth are the elect as we had learned in verse 24, and they will bring the glory and honor of the nations into the holy Jerusalem because they not only have Christ dwelling in them who is the glory and honor of the nations, but they come from all the different nations of the world into the holy Jerusalem. So in that the elect will come into the holy Jerusalem from the nations, they bring in the glory and honor of the nations, who is Christ, with them. 


Verse 27:
 

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

In this last verse of this chapter, we read of three things which will in no wise enter into the holy Jerusalem: any thing that defileth, whatsoever worketh abomination, and whatsoever maketh a lie. By listing three things like this, God is revealing that it is His purpose that any thing that defileth, whatsoever worketh abomination, and whatsoever maketh a lie will NOT enter into the holy Jerusalem of the new heaven and earth (see Meaning of Bible Number 3 ). 

Let's now look a little more closely at each of these things. First, we are told that anything that defiles will not enter into the holy Jerusalem of heaven. The word defiles literally means to make common, so we are being told that anything that makes common will not enter into the city. And, since to make something common is to pollute, contaminate or defile it, what our verse is revealing is that anything or anyone that pollutes, contaminates, or defiles will not enter into heaven. Furthermore, since it is sin that contaminates, pollutes, or defiles, this is another way of saying what we have already learned in previous studies, namely that there will be no sin in the holy Jerusalem of the new heaven and earth. 

Next, we are told that whatsoever works abomination will not enter into the holy Jerusalem. This means that everything or everyone who does sin in opposition to the truths of the Word of God will in no wise enter into the holy Jerusalem, which city is the elect. Something that is an abomination to God is anything or anyone who stands up in sin against the teachings of the Bible. This is abomination! So this is once again revealing that sin and sinners will not enter into the holy Jerusalem.

Finally, we are told that whatsoever or whosoever makes a lie will not enter into the kingdom of God, the holy Jerusalem. Since a lie is considered to be anything in thought, word, or deed that goes contrary to the truth - the teachings of the Bible - it is easy to realize that everyone has lied; indeed, everyone has sinned. Once again this reveals that no sin or sinner will enter into the holy Jerusalem. 

But, if no sin or sinner will enter into the New Jerusalem, and all have sinned, how is it that anyone will enter into the New Jerusalem? In answer to this question, we read, but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. In plainer words, only they which are written in the Lamb's book of life will enter into the holy Jerusalem. And why is this so? Because it is only they who will have had their sins paid for and covered by the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ, so it is only they who will be able to enter into the New Jerusalem without sin at the end of this world. First, they were given a new resurrected soul that is sinless upon their having been saved, and, next, they will also be given on the Last Day a new resurrected spiritual body that is sinless. So they which are written in the Lamb's book of life will become completely sinless in every respect on the Last Day of this world, and it is at this time that they will be able to enter into what we call the holy or New Jerusalem in the new heaven and earth. And they will be able to enter in because they are sinless. May the Lord be magnified!


Now may the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Part 1 
Part 2 
Part 3
aaaaaaaaaaaaiii