22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 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. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. ~ Revelation 21:22-27
In yesterday's text, we considered the view of The New Jerusalem from the outside. Today, we will look at it on the inside. All through the book of the Revelation we have seen a temple in heaven described. That temple remains throughout the millennium, as the original of which the earthly temple is a copy.
In v.22 we read, "I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple."
Literally the city will dwell within the temple, which is the very presence of God and Christ. In the new heavens and earth there will be no temple because the true temple, of which the one in the old heavens is a picture, is the True Man, the Lord Jesus Himself. God in man that will be the temple!
In v.23 we read, "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."
In eternity Jesus Christ, the Lamb, will have the glory that He had before He came to earth as the Messiah. He prayed, "Lord, give to Me the glory that I once had with You before the world was." Here, in today's text, the prayer is answered. Light emanates not only from the Father but from the Son. The Lamb will be its light.
When the Lord Jesus was on the earth, He was God, but His deity was veiled. He still created miracles. He could still read minds but it was veiled. So much so that every now and then the veil was lifted and it blew the disciples mind. While on the Mount of Transfiguration they saw the Lord Jesus transfigured in brilliant light like the light of the sun. In eternity, the veil will be lifted and the Lamb will be the light.
We will share the honor of being the dwelling place of God. And from Him will come radiant light. We will see all things by Him who is the truth. So glorious will He be that there will be no need for the sun or the moon. It does not say they are not there; it simply says there is no need for them in this city of God. There will never be night there because heaven will be lit continually by the glory which is God in man.
The new earth will not be an earth like we know now, because the earth as we know it now depends upon the sun and the moon. It depends upon time for the sun to shine, and time for darkness to run its normal cycles. So, whatever goes on in that new earth will be dependent upon a completely different structure, a completely different creation than anything we know today.
In v.24-25 we read, "24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there."
Notice the access of this city will be to everyone. All the nations, all ethnic peoples who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ. The word nations is ethnoi or ethnic groups. Gentiles, Jews, people from every tribe, every tongue, every nation gather together. In other words, heaven will not be limited to one group. There will be no prejudice in heaven. There will be no class warfare in heaven, just all of the people of God without any division. All as one in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In v.26-27 we read, "26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life."
The gates of heaven will never be shut because there will be no night there and therefore no need for protection. Cities close their gates at night because they are in danger. But there will be nothing to destroy in this new city to come. The kings of the earth will bring their glory in, not to compete with the glory of God, but to have it revealed by the light of God. Nothing impure will enter because only the redeemed will be admitted.
In heaven, everything that now makes us groan will be done away with. We will find ourselves in the very presence of God, where the purest and truest kind of pleasure is possible. Whatever pleasures we have known here on earth while living under the curse of sin will seem insignificant compared to the pure delights of heaven. When our souls are made new we will finally be able to glorify God perfectly and enjoy Him perfectly, as He intended. Since nothing is better or greater than God, the pure enjoyment of Him will be the very essence of bliss.