There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:5
John has shown that those in New Jerusalem shall “see His face” meaning the Lamb, and that “His name shall be on their foreheads.” He next says, “There shall be no night there.” This was already stated in verse 21:25. As noted then, this doesn’t mean that there is no night at all. If the city is descended from heaven to sit upon the earth, and if there are points on the compass by which the city is situated (see verse 21:14), along with other reasons given then, it tells us that there will be a sun, just not in the city itself. Inside the city, which is a cubed edifice, there will never be day and night. It is the place of the eternal Day of God’s rest where the light of God will be illuminated by the Lamb, who is the lamp, for all eternity. That is stated in John’s next words, saying, “They need no lamp nor light of the sun.”
This is substantially repeated from verse 21:23, where it says, “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it.” There will be such a brilliancy within the city that all will be evident even without a lamp (implying night, or at least shadow and darkness) nor the sun (implying day). Neither will there be the need of the sun (implying day).
The word translated as “lamp” is the Greek word luchnos. It refers to a type of oil burning lamp. It is symbolic of any artificially produced light. At John’s time, there were no wax candles or electric lights of any kind. As such, he uses terminology that was understood in his day. There will be no need for such artificial lighting. Nor will there be a need for natural lighting, such as the sun or moon. It will be a place of constant light that permeates all of the city. John explains this, saying, “for the Lord God gives them light.”
This is then also a close repeat of verse 21:23 which said, “for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” The glory of God is all that is needed to illuminate the entire city. There will be no points of darkness in this giant edifice. And it will be through Christ that this glorious light will be diffused. The splendor of Jesus Christ is what is on display as God will forever reveal Himself through Him. Everything about what is conveyed speaks of the divinity of the Lord Jesus.
With that stated, John next says, “And they shall reign forever and ever.” This is unlike the promise to the tribulation martyrs of Revelation 5:10. There it said –
“And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”
That was then fulfilled in Revelation 20:6 –
“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
What is now described for those in New Jerusalem is that of an eternal position before God. Man will serve Him, and yet he will reign with Him forever and ever. This then is the fulfillment of the promise by Christ to the seven churches in Revelation 1 –
“To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5, 6
God has granted man the right to rule with Him while also serving Him as priests. The words are a splendid note of the grace of God bestowed upon His creatures. With these words, the heavenly vision of Revelation is complete.
Life application: What is described by John is a completely different order and category of existence than we see in the universe today. Our universe is directed by certain laws which govern it, such as the Law of Gravity. One of the laws which it is bound to is the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
This law states that in a closed system, the amount of energy is decreasing. This is known as entropy. This is a fixed law and has no exceptions. As the universe is a closed system, if it existed eternally then we would’ve run out of energy an infinite amount of time ago. It also means that because there was a beginning, without a new order of things, at some point in the future all the energy would eventually be used up. This means that everything would eventually become absolutely dark, absolutely cold, and without any motion at all.
However, because God is the Creator of the Universe, He is before the creation and thus He is outside of time, space, and matter. He is eternal, His power is without limit, and His glory is infinite in nature. He is the Light that will eternally illuminate the New Jerusalem and which will eternally sustain those in it. There shall be no end to it because He will eternally reside there, streaming forth His glory to the redeemed of the Lord.
In this state, we shall partake of every benefit, joy, and honor of the most exalted of people who have ever lived, and then some. The reason for this is not because we have somehow merited this favor, but because of the work of the King of kings, Jesus. We shall share in His glory forever.
For those who have called on Jesus, we are considered as seated in this heavenly position already, as is noted in Ephesians 2:4-7. However, at some wonderful point in the future, this will be actualized when we are glorified and are like Him in both nature and being.
The honors bestowed upon us are not to be taken lightly. What God has prepared for those who love Him came at the highest cost of all, the death of our Lord. We need to come before God with all praise, laud, and honor for the incredible work He accomplished through Jesus on our behalf. This is a great God, a beautiful Savior, and a glorious plan He has worked out for us. Thank you, O God, for JESUS.
Lord God, it is beyond our comprehension to even imagine what lies ahead for us. You, O God, are glorious beyond compare. You are worthy of all our devotion, honor, praise, and contemplation. Forgive us for failing to pursue You as we should. May we endeavor to continually give You all of who we are as we await the glory which lies ahead. Amen.