Nothing Impure Will Enter the New Jerusalem

21: 22-27

   DIG: Why is there no Temple in the New Jerusalem? Why will nothing impure, shameful or deceitful be allowed to enter the Holy City?

   REFLECT: With all the filth in the world, can you imagine living forever with nothing impure to deal with? What will it be like to only have relationships with righteous people?

    With all the great structures and spectacular sights of the New Jerusalem, there does seem to be one surprising omission. In the old Jerusalem one great building had dominated both the landscape and the social life of the City. Set high on Mount Zion was the beautiful Temple of God. There sacrifices and offerings were brought by the people. But most importantly, it was where the Lord met His people.

    But during the Eternal State (see Fq - The Eternal State), ADONAI will dwell with His people in the New Jerusalem! The Lamb of God, who is the sacrifice for sins, will reign there on His throne. At that time, every believer will be a priest in service to the KING of kings. There will no longer be any need for a physical structure, and you could look for all eternity and not find such a building. Nevertheless, there is a Temple there.499

    John did not see a Temple in the City. In addition to the absence of the sea, the absence of the Temple is another difference between the millennial Kingdom and the Eternal State. Since all the purposes of the earthly Temple will have been completed, no physical structure will be built in the Holy City. Even the New Jerusalem, before its descent to the earth, had a Temple (11:19) and an altar (8:3-5), but both of these will be removed for all time once their purpose is served. There will be no need for a physical structure because ADONAI, God of heaven’s angelic armies (CJB) will be its Temple, as will be the Lamb (21:22). There will be no need for anyone to go anywhere to worship the LORD. Life will be worship and worship will be life. Believers will constantly be in His presence (21:3). There will never be a moment when they will not be in perfect, holy communion with God.500

    The City does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it. Since ADONAI is light and in Him there is no darkness at all (First John 1:5), it would be improper for the New Jerusalem to fall under the darkness of night. In the LORD’s intrinsic nature He lives in unapproachable light, which no one has seen or can see (First Timothy 6:16), at least in a natural body before the first resurrection (20:5-6). Just as the Shechinah glory of the LORD filled ancient Temple (First Kings 8:10-11), and then filled the Millennial Temple (Haggai 2:7-9; Ezekiel 44:4), so will His Shechinah glory illuminate the New Jerusalem. For the Shechinah glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp for the Eternal State (21:23).

    Neither the sun nor the moon will ever be destroyed because ADONAI has promised that they will endure forever and ever (Psalm 148:3 and 6; Daniel 12:3). Nevertheless, their light will not be needed anymore to illuminate the New Jerusalem, for the Shechinah glory will be its light. The sun and the moon, however, will continue to function as they always have, serving as lights by day and by night for the other parts of the world.

    Isaiah prophesied that the walls of this magnificent City will be called Salvation, and its gates will be called Praise. The inspired prophet wrote: The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for ADONAI 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 the days of your sorrow will end. Then will all your people 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. The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I AM ADONAI and in its time I will do this swiftly (Isaiah 60:19-22).

    The Gentile nations will walk by its light, as well as those who served as kings of the earth in the old order. The Gentiles will go to the New Jerusalem to give it glory and honor (21:24 and 26). The mention of the nations, or Gentiles, shows that the distinction between Jews and Gentiles will continue for all eternity. But in the Eternal State, there will be no functional difference between them as there was in the messianic Kingdom (see Fi – The Government of the Messianic Kingdom). In the Eternal State, believers will consist of peoples from every nation and tribe and people and tongue (7:9), but will not lose their national identity. John’s message is consistent with 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 Jacob” (Isaiah 2:3) . . . This supports the universality of the knowledge of God as promised in Jeremiah’s announcement of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-33).501

    On no day will its gates ever be shut throughout eternity, for there will be no night there (21:25). Unlike earthly cities, whose walls and gates were needed for protection, the Holy City has no enemies. All people are welcome. Like Yeshua said Himself: I AM the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture (John 10:9). The fact that the gates of the New Jerusalem will never be shut is a picture of complete security.

    When ADONAI created Adam and Eve He placed them in His perfect creation, the garden of Eden. Then He allowed Satan to enter the Garden and tempt them. The result was that sin entered the world. But the LORD will never allow this to happen again. The righteous will live in the Eternal City, but nothing unrighteous will ever be allowed to enter it. The New Jerusalem will be completely kosher! Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful (21:27a). It will not be possible for the purity of the City to ever be defiled by some unclean thought or impure motive. All believers will have long since been conformed to the likeness of Christ (Romans 8:29) and purified themselves just as He is pure (First John 3:3). However, all those who practiced wickedness will have been imprisoned long ago in the lake of fire, hidden somewhere in the corner of the universe, never to be heard from again.

    Those who enter the City are not the wicked and defiant, but those believers whose names have been written in the Lamb’s book of life (21:27b), saved before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). All who enter the New Jerusalem are the objects of God’s grace, otherwise they would be excluded. It will be a perfect environment in contrast to the centuries of human sin and misery. Believers will enjoy this perfect life throughout all eternity to come.502


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