Jerusalem City Temple
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83. Jerusalem City Temple
Revelation 21.22-27

"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, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 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)

Holy of Holies

Tabernacle in WildernessThe Revelation writer John of Patmos lays down a unique feature of the Revelation Jerusalem, the city of God. In it, there is no "Jerusalem City Temple" at all! This is amazing when we consider how precious the Temple is to the Jews. But we already note that the city is built in the shape of a perfect cube, indicating that it is in itself the replacement for the "Holy of Holies" which is also a perfect cube. It needs no "Jerusalem City Temple" because the presence of Almighty God and the Lamb are continuously there.

Three Essential Elements

Jerusalem MountAn important principle here is that buildings do not make a church or a temple anyway! Three essential elements make any place into a center of worship. These are Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and Christian believers. Note, that there is no mention here of bricks or stones even timber in a church or temple! Without any one of these three, there can be no church. Without these three, no gathering of people and no building is a real church. Without these three, no place can be called a place of Christian worship. Furthermore, this new city needs no lighting system! William Barclay's Daily Study Bible reminds us, "The city of God needed no created light because God the uncreated light was in the midst of her." "In thy light," says the Psalmist in Psalm 36.9, "do we see light." Dr. Barclay continues, Only when we see things in the light of God, do we see things as they are. Some things which seem vastly important are seen to be unimportant when seen in the light of God. Some things which seem permissible enough are seen to be dangerous when seen in the light of God. Some things which seem unbearable are seen to be a path to glory when seen in the light of God."

Isaiah's Nation's Light

Seven Golden LampstandsIsaiah's nation's light shines in the Jerusalem City Temple. The glory of the Lord is its light and the Lamb is its lamp. The city of God needs no created "light," because God is in the midst of her. The prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 60.19-21 "The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. Then all your people will be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor." Only when we see things in the light of God, do we see things as they are. "For you are the fountain of life, in your light we see light," says King David in Psalm 36.9. Some things which seem vastly important at the moment are unimportant in the light of God.

Gentiles Will Come

Jesus Lord of GloryIsaiah has a vision in Isaiah 2.2-4 "In the last days the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.'" Isaiah speaks of the day when "all nations" will go up to Mount Zion to be taught the law and to learn to walk in the ways of God. Isaiah 11.12, also adds, "He [God] will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth." It is Israel's privilege said Isaiah 49.6. "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth." Nations who don't know God will run to him says Isaiah 55.5, "Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor." Jeremiah 16.19-21 adds, "Lord, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good. Do people make their gods? Yes, but they are not gods!' Therefore I will teach them — this time I will teach them my power and might. Then they will know that my name is the Lord." The Gentiles will come to God from the ends of the earth, confessing and repenting of the error of their ways.

Nations Walking Light

CrownThe nations walking light in the Jerusalem City Temple is Jesus, the Lamb of God. The kings of the earth will bring their splendor and honor into it. Daniel 7.14 informs us that all peoples, nations, and languages will serve the Lord. "He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." The kings of the earth will bring their splendor and honor into the New Jerusalem. Saint Paul writes of Christians in Philippians 2.15, "you shine as lights in the world among a crooked and perverse generation." The holy city of New Jerusalem will be inhabited by thousands and thousands of the saints of God, and it may well be that this is "the light" from these saintly lives which will give it its glittering glow. Christ himself may be the light of the Jerusalem City Temple. Zephaniah 3.9 adds, "Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder." God will give all a pure language in which they might with one voice call upon and praise him. Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will come to the New Jerusalem. Zechariah 14.9 explains, "The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name."

No Night There

Afraid of the Dark?The Lamb will be the Jerusalem light and will cast out all darkness. The gates of the city will always be open. More than once John of Patmos insists that there will be "no night" in the city of New Jerusalem. Many ancient peoples, like many children, are afraid of the dark. In the new world, the frightening darkness would be no more, for the presence of God will bring light to Jerusalem. Even in this world of space and time, according to Psalm 139.12, "even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you."

Kings Gifts

Three Kings GiftsAgain and again, an age of brilliance has been followed by a dark age. But in the new age, the darkness will be gone forever and there will be nothing but light forever. John of Patmos, like the ancient prophets, repeatedly speaks in specifically in Revelation 21.24 "The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it." The day will come when the Lord will be king over all the earth, over all language groups, over all nations and all other kings would bring their splendor and honor to him. The nations will indeed bring their gifts to the Christ in the New Jerusalem.✞

Roman World Government

Roman GovernmentThe Roman world government from the Latin "Imperium Romanum" with its small but efficient bureaucracy was the greatest asset to the empire, but it was totally against God's will. It was a wonderful gift of God to Christianity. To the church, the Roman government brought the ability to organize, to administer and to formulate the law. Rome is the largest city of the ancient world (BC 100-400 AD) with a population of up to a million people. "When people enter the Church, they bring their gift with them." The writer brings his power in words, the artist in color, the sculptor in the mastery of line and form and mass, the musician his music, the craftsman his craft. There is no gift that Christ cannot use.✞

Nothing Impure

Corridor DoorsRevelation 21 ends with a threat. "Those who will not lay aside the evil of their ways are barred from the city of God." There is a sinner who has sinned against God's will. There is another who deliberately sins. It is not the repentant sinner, but the defiant sinner, who is barred from the City of God.✞

"Jerusalem City Temple"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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