Bible Symbolism

Revelation 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. AKJV


     The word saved in the Bible has a common usage. What something, someone or in this case nations are saved from depends on the context. For instance many times in the NT when someone is physically healed that word for healed or made whole is the Greek word for saved. So, they have been "saved" from a disease or affliction.  This is being pointed out to avert the temptation to look at the word saved as if any time it is used in the NT is talking about being saved from hell and going to heaven. In this verse nations are "saved." and since nations cannot go to hell or heaven it is referring to the  preservation of nations. In this prophecy nations were to be saved by walking in the light of the New Jerusalem, Gods people of faith. This without question implies their transformation according the light the people of faith have through the Word of God. In fact his subject can be taken all the way back to some of the first major prophecies in the Bible. The promise to Abraham.

      Genesis 18:18 And in your seed (descendant) shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice. Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He says not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to your seed, which is Christ......26 For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  29 And if ye be Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

      The context of the promise to Abraham was the nations being blessed and "saved" in the context of Revelation 21:24 through Jesus Christ. As one of the most well known scriptures in the New Testament says: John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. The concept is ever so simple. God saves and transforms individuals, verse 16,  who then, verse 17,  under the right circumstances quite naturally transform their nations resulting in those nations preservation and blessing. That was the plan all the way in the beginning. Verse 17 plainly teaches that God did not send the Son into the world to pass sentence on it and destroy it but that through the Son it would be saved from that condemnation. How awkward is it that most of the world's Christians under the spell of  pop culture end times teachings pronounce from their pulpits and 24\7 on the airwaves that the plan of God is in fact to pass sentence on the world and destroy it! They of course site the end times prophecies to justify this but be reminded. Those end time prophecies are past tense, before all these scriptures about the New Jerusalem. They were specific prophecies to nations and empires that were not going to be saved because not only were they not walking in the light of the New Jerusalem but they were warring against it. Further, those same prophecies taught that though individuals would be saved from hell and gaining heaven; the endeavor to save and bless the nations would not begin to succeed until the last part of the Roman Empire fell. This did not occur until 1453 A.D.  Historically speaking, it's quite evident that since that time nations that are saved or blessed have been so because they are walking in varying degree's of the light of the New Jerusalem.

     This prophecy about the New Jerusalem has a lot to say about the light of the nations. Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen on you. 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise on you, and his glory shall be seen on you. 3 And the Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. 4 Lift up your eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to you: your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. 5 Then you shall see, and flow together, and your heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted to you, the wealth of the Nations shall come to you. (The sea is an illustration of the nations.) 6 The multitude of camels shall cover you, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the LORD. 7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you: they shall come up with acceptance on my altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. 8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? 9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, to the name of the LORD your God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he has glorified you. 10 And the sons of strangers shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you: for in my wrath I smote you, but in my favor have I had mercy on you. 11 Therefore your gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring to you the wealth of the Nations, and that their kings may be brought. 12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; yes, those nations shall be utterly wasted. 13 The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. (Trees, plants, animals are used to illustrate nations all over the Bible.) 14 The sons also of them that afflicted you shall come bending to you; and all they that despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of your feet; and they shall call you; The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. AKJV

      Isaiah 49:6 He says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”...8 Thus said the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you: and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

      Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Nations seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

      Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace; that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation; that said to Zion, Your God reigns! ..... 10 The LORD has made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.... 13 Behold, my servant (the messiah) shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonished at you; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

     Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, (the messiah) whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit on him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Nations. 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment to truth. 4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. 5 Thus said God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; he that gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to them that walk therein: 6 I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Nations; 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

      Psalm 82: 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for you shall inherit all nations. Psalm 86: 9 All nations whom you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord; and shall glorify your name.

      Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come you, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

This is another direct prophecy about the New Jerusalem:  Isaiah 54:1 Sing, O barren, you that did not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you that did not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, said the LORD. 2 Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations: spare not, lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes; 3 For you shall break forth on the right hand and on the left; and your descendants shall inherit the Natiuons, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. 4 Fear not; for you shall not be ashamed: neither be you confounded; for you shall not be put to shame: for you shall forget the shame of your youth, and shall not remember the reproach of your widowhood any more. 5 For your Maker is your husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and your Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

     Psalm 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yes, you shall diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

     Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. ....14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


This link leads to an article in Wordservice.org about how the nations are blessed, or in the context of this verse in Revelation 21:24, saved. The verse it uses as its subject line comes from Isaiah 60's prophecy about the New Jerusalem.
Isaiah 60: 12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; yes, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
How The Nations Are Blessed


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