With our horizon darkening with ever heavier clouds, and in a century of ever increasing tragedies, it is most blessed - and most necessary - to face our ideal outlook.  The vision of the child of God is totally different from the vision of the world, for we see beyond what the eye can see.  The eye or disc of a telescope recently constructed, the disc of which took five years to grind and polish at a cost of £1,200,000 and which is enclosed in a moving mechanism of 2,000 tons, shows us countless stars which no natural eye can ever see.  How marvellous that God has put in our hands a telescope - the Bible, at a cost of eleven martyred apostles and millions of martyrs since - which reveals the Holy City that is our eternal home, and which equally no natural eye can by any possibility now see.  “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth” - all that we can see now – “are passed away; and I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God” (Rev. 21: 1).  No angel is named: there is only one citizenship in the Holy City - “THEY WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE” (Rev. 21: 27), that is, all the saved, who (after the Millennial Reign of Christ) “shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 22: 5).



No Curse



Now let us turn our telescope on the City.  One vast negative in it blots out all the past.  “And there shall be NO CURSE any more” (Rev. 22: 3).  A curse fell upon an individual, as Achan; upon a city, as Jericho; upon a tribe, as Dan; upon a nation, as Israel; upon a third of mankind, in the person of Ham; upon all flesh, for broken law; and even on the very dust under our feet.  The moment the first curse fell we read,- “He drove out the man” - from the Paradise.  Above no man will ever be driven out, for no curse will ever enter.  And everything, therefore, that is born of Divine cursing disappears:- disease and death; sorrow, heart-break, bereavement; destitution, starvation; bitter estrangements, broken friendships, sobs : there is no curse any more for ever.  “And he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning nor crying, nor pain any more: the first things are passed away” (Rev. 21: 4).






Next the regenerate physique in a regenerate world is unfolded.  “And there shall be night no more”: that is, within the City, for day and night (we are told) remain on the new earth: “and they need no light of lamp, nor light of sun; for the Lord God shall give them light”.  The radiance of our Lord in the Transfiguration is permanent in the City, as Paul saw on the way to Damascus.  These citizens are the Immortals - they “serve him day and night in his temple” (Rev. 7: 15): with exhaustless energies and abounding life, that needs no sleep and knows no sunset, they are as superior to the Nations as the resurrection frame is to flesh and blood. Outside the City is no death, but inside the City there is not even sleep: without weakness, without weariness, without distraction, without interruption, without sin, they serve.



One Throne



The vast wonders that dominate the world to come are next revealed.  “And THE THRONE of God and of the Lamb shall be therein.”  It is a single Throne, the seat and centre of all power throughout the whole universe; ruling out for ever all anarchy, and wicked dictatorships, and lawless democracy, and savage militarisms.  No statement could express the Godhead of Christ more absolutely.  Not two thrones, but one throne, and the Lamb is its equal Occupant; not two Gods, but one God - “His servants shall serve him”: on the other hand, two luminaries - “the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp thereof is the Lamb” - but one light – “the Lord God shall give them light”: two Occupants of the Throne, but one Deity - “they shall see his face” - one Face.



A Changed Body



Now we reach our own activities.  “And his servants” - the officers of the palace, the officials nearest the Throne, through whom the Throne acts - “shall do him [priestly] service; and they shall see his face”: He is forever mirrored before their eyes, and they have access to Him at all times; “and his name shall be on their foreheads The picture, so simply worded, is extraordinarily suggestive.  Seven times death, for the believer, is described in Scripture as ‘entering into rest’: on the contrary in resurrection life, with a flawless body, work, not rest, will be our joy; and this Scripture reveals the mighty activities and responsibility of princes. Then the vision of God is the alchemy of man.  “We shall be LIKE HIM, for we shall see him” (1 John 3: 2): “with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, we are transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3: 18).  And then the royal insignia will be ours.  The Order of the Bath or the Order of the Garter outwardly stamps those whom the King delights to honour: so, but incomparably more distinguishing, “his name shall be on their foreheads”, - their sublime consecration and office are stamped upon their brows.






So our physical change is revealed in an astounding revelation.  We shall see God literally and physically, with our risen eyes actually looking into the face of God; and mentally and spiritually this vision will be so enlarged that we shall look into the soul and life of Christ and God, so as to understand His work, His love, Himself as never before.  And the glory of our new-made bodies is graded by the fidelity of earthly service.  “One star differeth from another star in glory” - but all shine – “so also is the resurrection of the dead” (1 Cor. 15: 41): “they shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars for ever and ever” (Dan. 12: 3).






The concluding word, one of the Bible’s most wonderful sentences, baffles all comment.  “And they shall reign for ever and ever The fellow-kings in our Lord’s millennial reign on the old earth were sharply limited in number, according to their equipment for royalty through training in discipleship: these, with all defect and failure dealt with and finished, are the redeemed of all ages - Patriarchal, Legal, Christian - reigning on the sole ground that their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Moreover the royalty, which is eternal, expands, in a degree known only to God; for while, as risen, their own number is for ever limited - for if there is no more death, there can be no more resurrection - the nations over whom they rule, still in the flesh, indefinitely expand; “unto all generations of the age of the ages” (Eph.2: 7) as Paul puts it.  So here is our eternal home.  No curse - perfect sinlessness; the Throne - perfect government; service - perfect power; visions - perfect joy; foreheads stamped - perfect security; light - perfect knowledge; reigning - perfect royalty.



The Lamb



Now see the final enormous consequence of a single phrase.  THE LAMB - the offered Sacrifice - is on the Throne for ever.  Therefore how certainly we can be totally saved.  For if Christ be God, He could bear the sins of the entire race: if Christ be God, the sacrifice on Calvary was an infinite sacrifice, and therefore totally efficacious: if Christ be God, death could not hold Him - He is risen: if Christ be God, God’s love to a sinning world stands proven for ever.  “Shall we throw away our chance of such an eternal home?  Shall we slight the offers and opportunities of blessedness like this?  Let fortunes pass; let friendships be forfeited; let earthly comforts go un-enjoyed; cast honours, titles, crowns, to the wolves and bats; but let not the privilege go by of becoming an immortal being with the Lamb in the Golden City” (Dr. J. A. Seiss).