Author: Ron Graham
The Beauty of Heaven (Revelation 21-22) >Seven Final Visions >7th vision >The presence of God
We continue to study the final vision that John saw and recorded in the book of Revelation. The emphasis in this lesson is God's presence in the New Jerusalem and its New Eden.
¶“3In this garden there will be no more curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be there. His slaves will worship him. 4They will see his face. His name will be on their foreheads. 5There is no night there. No one will need a lamp or light of the sun. The Lord God will shine on them. They will reign with him forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:3-5)
No more curse In the heavenly Eden John saw no more curse. Adam was cursed when he sinned. He'd toil in the soil, banished from the blessed ground of Eden. At earth-life's end, in the cursed dust he'd be buried (Genesis 3:17-19).
However a worse curse was pronounced before Adam's disobedience. "From the tree of knowledge of good and evil you must not eat. In the day you eat of it, you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:15-17). The very day he sinned, Adam became "dead in sin" (Ephesians 2:1-2).
Now in John's vision of the heavenly Eden, he sees no cursed tree, but only the tree of Life —no cursed ground, no cursed person, no more curse forever.
Throne of God and of the Lamb The source of the river is the throne of Christ. He has conquered all sin and death and thrown it all into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10,14-15). His kingdom is life eternal (Hebrews 12:22-29).
His slaves shall worship him The word translated "bondservants" here is doulos, slave. Joseph was a slave in Egypt yet at the same time reigned with Pharaoh as ruler of all Egypt. Likewise the slaves of Christ reign with Christ. By calling his followers slaves, Christ expresses their level of devotion and obedience in response to his great love for them (1John 4:9-10).
They'll see his face A test of our present faith is that we do not see Jesus. A promises of our present hope is that we shall see him face to face (1Peter 1:8-9, 1John 3:2-3).
His name on their foreheads In the visions of Revelation, everyone is marked —either with the name of the beast (Revelation 13:16-17, Revelation 14:9-11) or with the name of Jesus (Revelation 3:12, Revelation 14:1, cf Revelation 19:13,16). God’s decree and predetermined counsel has always been that every human being should wear Christ's name. People wear the beast's name by their own choice in rebellion against God’s will. God is able, and ever willing, to replace the mark of the beast with the mark of His Son's name.
God will shine on them After world's end, people will dwell where no sun shines —either in "outer darkness" (Matthew 22:13) or in "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2Corinthians 4:6). Again this is our choice.
They'll reign forever The thousand year reign (Revelation 20:6) represents the reign of Christ on earth between his first and second comings. After his second coming his kingdom does not end. Rather it continues in heaven where he and his faithful will "reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 22:5).