. . . they shall mount up with wings as eagles . . . Isaiah 40:31

The Light of Heaven

Revelation 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

Men have been known to over-spiritualize the reading of the scriptures. Many things in the word of God should be taken literally. Yet it’s true that some things in the Bible, especially the things seen in visions and dreams, are often symbolic rather than literal. Pharaoh had a dream about seven cows coming up out of the Nile. The seven cows were symbolic of seven years, according to Joseph’s interpretation. They were not real cows coming up out of the Nile river, but rather they were symbolic of a certain number of years, and the healthiness of the cows symbolized the prosperity that those years would have.

We all know that Jesus is a man, the man Christ Jesus, the one mediator between God and men. He is not a lamb, yet He is referred to as the Lamb of God, symbolic of the sacrificial offering of Himself at Calvary. As a lamb, He is led to the slaughter, and He opened not His mouth, Isaiah says. He is not a lion but in the book of Revelation He is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The Holy Spirit is not a dove, yet John the Baptist saw in a vision the Spirit descend upon Jesus in the form of a dove. These are all legitimate examples of Biblical symbolism.

So, we can see that not always, but fairly often in the scriptures, things are not intended to be taken literally. Some are symbolic. In fact, in the first chapter of the Book of Revelation, the apostle John, who experienced the vision or the Revelation of Jesus Christ, as he refers to it, states that the book was given in symbols.

Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

John says here that God sent and signified it to him by His angel. The word “signified” means that He gave signs concerning things that would come. To give by signs is another way of saying He gave it by symbols, not by things that were necessarily literal, but things that must be interpreted from a spiritual perspective.

Having said all that, it is not a great stretch of imagination to believe that this verse about the forehead is symbolic of something rather than literal, and some have suggested that it depicts or represents the renewing of the mind, the mind being symbolized by the forehead.

The verse says that His name shall be in their foreheads. His name is indeed in the forehead or the thinking of believers in Christ, His mark is upon the way we think. Our minds have been renewed and forever changed by the word of God. God’s word, revealed to us by the Holy Spirit has branded us and is marking our thinking forever. He has marked us. And this is a present reality, not something that suddenly happens when we get to heaven.

The Light of the Word of God

Revelation 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

And they shall reign for ever and ever. Again, we see the idea of authority or reigning. Why? What is the source of their authority? The light that the Lord God gives them. What is the light of God, what is the light of the kingdom? It is the light that is in His word, the light revealed to us by the Holy Spirit as we ponder and feed upon God’s word. And what is that light in reality? It is the light of Jesus, the Living Word.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Someone said it this way, and I paraphrase; in Him was life, and the life was the light that enlightens the hearts of men.

The light of that heavenly place that we see in Revelation chapter twenty-two is the light of the Lamb, which is the light we receive from God’s word. It is not a natural light, but heavenly, and once we receive it, we conduct our lives accordingly, or, that is, we walk in the light of it. We walk in the light of heavenly truth, the truth that shines forth to us from the Lamb.

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jesus is the light of the world. The light that the book of Revelation describes, the light of heaven, is the light that emanates from the Lamb, Who is Himself the Living Word. And that light is available to each and every one who believes on Christ and who takes the time to meditate deeply in the word of God.

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

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