Chapter 59 The Lamb In The Eternal City

The glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof (Revelation 21:23).

God’s plan for a perfect society is to be fully realized. This society is called “The new Jerusalem,” or “The holy Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:2, 10). It is seen by John as “coming down from God out of heaven,” which means that all residents are children of God and have a heavenly citizenship.

The City of God

Since the city is perfect in holiness there can enter in nothing “that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie” (Revelation 21:27). It is a place of supreme happiness, having no more curse, or death, or sorrow, or crying, or pain. In it, John was to see a flood of glory upon glory. Sin is without. Temptations have no place. Tears no more flow. Sighs are no longer heaved. Satan and his hosts are locked up in outer darkness. The world has passed away. There is no longer any fear of grieving God or bringing reproach to the Lord’s all-glorious name. Righteousness are the streets and highways. Eternal safety forms the battlements. Eternal praises sound from all the inmates. Eternal glory sparkles from every brow. Eternal pleasures breathe around. Each saint drinks a cup—so full, that it can hold no more—so pure, that it cannot be purer—so deep, that everlasting ages cannot exhaust it.

Such is the eternal city. All former things have passed away and all things have been made new. There will be no remembrance of anything of our sad history on earth, and all earthly relationships will have been dissolved. The chiefest joy of the city will be that God dwells in the midst of it—Jesus ever near—and seen without intervening cloud. Here below, oftentimes the Lord is hidden from our eyes because sin interposes, or distrust brings mist, or other scenes attract, or indolence deadens the soul. But in the city of God there shall be eternal vision and everlasting adoration, and our God will be intensely loved and adored.

The Centrality of the Lamb

I recall seeing the Taj Mahal in India by moonlight—the only building which ever brought tears to my eyes—so beautiful was it. It seemed a replica of the eternal city. What magnificence! What a spectacle! Oh, that the Spirit of God would clear our sight that we might have a delightful gaze at the new, holy Jerusalem. Oh, that the city of God would attract all pilgrims to where it can be shown us by the Spirit of God. There are seven things said about the city in the two chapters of Revelation 21 and 22.

In 21:9, it is spoken of as the bridal city—the residence of the Lamb’s wife. In 21:14, it mentions the apostles of the Lamb, whose names are upon the foundation stones of the city. In 21:22, we are told that there is no temple in it, but the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. In 21:23, we see the Lamb as the light or lampstand through which the glory of God shines to illuminate the city. In 21:27, we read of the Lamb’s book of life. In 22:1, the throne of God and the Lamb govern it. And in 22:3, the throne of God and the Lamb excludes every curse and all its happy residents serve Him.

In this city there is no need of any created light—“no need of the sun.” There is no need of transmitted light—“of the moon to shine in it.” There is also no need of any manufactured light—“they need no candle.” The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s Land. He is central, not only to the prophecies of the past and to all the course of human history but to all there is in the eternal future of the saints.

The Closing Appeal of the Lamb

“Behold, I come quickly” (Revelation 22:7). The Lord Jesus invites all to this holy city—the new Jerusalem. He describes Himself as the Alpha and Omega—the Beginning and the End—the First and the Last—the Root and Offspring of David—the Bright and Morning Star. Surely we should seek to release our minds from the grovellings of earthly things and seek elevation for our heart’s affections in this chart of the coming of the Lord. Before His coming, He issues one last plea and appeal for all to come. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come … And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). The Lord Jesus meets all our needs. Leaning on His arm, we may pass safely over Jordan’s waves. Safe by His side, we shall gain all of heaven’s joy. Pure in His righteousness, we shall stand welcome before God into His eternal city. It is the recompense of Jesu’s blood. We estimate homes by their price. The price of this eternal home for the saints is infinite. It must be a place and a treasure beyond all thought. May the Lord give us all an abundant entrance, and if we cling to Jesus we will have it.

O Jesus, King most wonderful,
Thou Conqueror renowned;
Thou sweetness most ineffable,
In whom all joys are found.

When once Thou visitest the heart,
Then truth begins to shine;
Then earthly vanities depart,
Then kindles love divine.

Thee may our tongues forever bless;
Thee may we love alone:
And ever in our lives express
The image of Thine own.

Grant us, while here on earth we stay,
Thy love to feel and know;
And when from hence we pass away,
To us Thy glory show.

—Latin Of 11th Century
Tr. By Edward Caswall