Home Columnist Reminder: No one will walk on streets of gold in the ages to come

Reminder: No one will walk on streets of gold in the ages to come

by Church Times
By Olatokunbo Odunuga
“But we were told in the Scriptures that Heaven is made of gold, and there are fruits to eat according to Book of Revelation, maybe it could be in the New Jerusalem where all Believers will abide forever”
A friend raised the above issue in the course of reactions to the last article I wrote on Heavenly Mansions- “But we are told in the scriptures that Heaven is made of gold……..”.
 Read also: Do not expect mansions in heaven: https://churchtimesnigeria.net/mansions-heaven-odunuga/
So I want us to focus attention on the topical issue of THE STREET OF GOLD.
How I desire that we earnestly hunger for truth and the path that the righteous of the ages tread, so that we like Mr. Christian in John Bunyan’s book, Pilgrim’s Progress may reach the Holy City, The New Jerusalem gloriously.
There are obstacles, hurdles, arsenals, snares, etc to overcome. The Christian in the Pilgrim’s Progress encountered several on the way.  Praise God that ultimately, Mr. Christian reached the celestial Holy City, the city of pure “gold” (Rev 21:18), whose street is also made of pure “gold” (Rev. 21:21).
I qualify the gold deliberately. But I want to emphasize to my friends in advance not to look forward to seeing any gold on the street of Heaven. I seek your pardon if you are deflated or demoralized because you might have been having sweet technicolor dreams that you will trek on the Street of Gold one of these days.
It is not intended to discourage but to prepare and rescue us from materialistic expectations on spiritual matters and carnal fantasy.

Gold signifies divine nature

2.0 Gold in poetic license or as a figure of speech in this context signifies the divine nature of God. The city being of pure gold signifies all things in the New Jerusalem will be according to the divine nature of God.
A street is a place one walks on, and its being of gold signifies that our daily earthly walk now and our heavenly walk then must conform to the divine nature of God.
Brethren, what difference will it make to us in Heaven whether we walk on the street of gold or marble or concrete. Bible even indicates it as ‘street’ ( singular) of gold, not as ‘streets (plural). Does it mean that there will be only one single lane or one street in the entire Heaven?
Or the billions throughout the ages who by grace will be redeemed would conglomerate around just one street-Rev. 3 :4. The Lord revealed some in the Church in Sardis who walk with Him in white. The white signifies purity and being spotless i.e. approved of God in their living.
It did not mean that the members of the Church in Sardis wore literal white garments as may be prevalent today. In the same vein, the twenty-four elders in Rev. 4:4 were clothed in white garments, which also symbolize their purity. Rev. 7:14, tell us of the saints who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
If these statements are all literal, then the robes washed in the blood of the Lamb should have become red or crimson and not white. This was the same orientation we had in two of my earlier churches where I wore white garment for about twenty years.

Book revelation not literal all through

3.0 Many of us may not realize the fact that the book of Revelation is neither a glib narrative nor a merely historical account. It was written in an apocalyptic language in many contexts, not literal all through. That is why the book is often titled APOCALYPSE.
In fact Rev. 1: 1 gives us a clue some may not have noticed. Because of the importance of this topic, I crave your indulgence that you let us please examine Rev. 1 :1 from diverse Bible versions:
* Recovery Version : “The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to him to show His slaves the things that must quickly take place; and he made it known by SIGNS, sending it by his angel to his slave John”.
* KJV :”….. He sent and SIGNIFIED it by his angel….”
* American Standard Version: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him…….. and He sent and SIGNIFIED it……..”
* A Conservative Version: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave Him……..and He SIGNIFIED…..”
* VW Edition 2006: “…..things which must quickly happen. And He sent and SIGNIFIED it……”
* Concordant Literal Version: ” The Unveiling of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him………….and He SIGNIFIES it……..”
* Holman Christian Standard Bible: “………He sent it and SIGNIFIED it…….”
* Jonathan Mitchell N.T.: “An unveiling of Jesus Christ…………. He indicated by SIGNS ( SYMBOLS)…..”
* Rotherham Translation : “….. And He shew them by SIGNS….”
To conserve space, you may further check Douay Rheim 1899 Version, KJV+, KJVA, KJVR, LITV, Living Oracle N.T., MKJV, Messianic Renewed Covenant Version, Murdock Version, NKJV, Webster Version, RYLT-NT, RNKJV, RV, WORNT, 1898 Young Literal Translation, etc.
They established that the book of Revelation is essentially about SIGNS. Alas many translations were not as diligent as others to capture this clue and so glossed over this SIGNS element and thereby deprive us of this vital key to understanding the book of Revelation
4.0 When the Holy Scriptures was being canonized (compiled), there were ‘heated’ debates and disputes on whether the book of Revelation should be included among the Canon as an inspired book for it seem many of the scholars on the Committee could not fully grasp it.
That was why it was classified among the Antilegomena. Please do not be intimidated by this term. It just means those books that some members in the Canonization Committee rejected as uninspired unlike many other books such as Matthew, Romans, John, etc which were classified as Homologoumena, meaning all members of the committee unanimously accepted them as inspired, and these were 20 out of 27 New Testament Books.
Even James, Songs of Solomon, Esther were among the Antilegomena; escaped utter rejection by their whiskers! The book of Revelation was placed at the back of the Bible not because it was the last book to be written as the books I, II, III John were written years after John the apostle returned from the Island of Patmos where he wrote the book of Revelation.
I learnt someone suggested that the book of Revelation was placed at the back so that it could be easily detached and discarded in the event it was later found to be uninspired.

Other symbols of divine nature

5.0 In the book of Revelation, we read of lampstands, white stones, stars, jasper, sardius, pearls, glass, etc which are symbols of divine imports or realities. If these are literal things, then Heaven will be more of metallurgical archives or eternal museum than the abode of God.
(Even “Seven Spirits” in Rev. 1:4, 3:1, does not mean that there are seven Holy Spirits but the seven symbolizes completion and perfection, in fact, sevenfold intensification. Isaiah 11:2,3 references to the seven aspects of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit (1) of the Lord (2) of wisdom (3) of understanding (4) of counsel (5) of strength (6) of knowledge and (7) of the fear of the Lord) is still about one Spirit.
The head and hair said to be as white as white wool in Rev. 1: 14 does not mean that the Lord has become an old man with grey hairs but symbolizes his “ancientness” or eternal existence. Golden lampstands symbolize the seven Churches in Asia, which were expected to be of divine nature to shine in the dark localities.
It is even explained in Rev. 1: 20 that the seven Stars are messengers (or overseers) of the seven churches and that the seven lampstands are the seven churches in Asia. “Golden” symbolizes that the churches should be of divine nature and as lampstands, expected to bear the lamp that would shine to illuminate darkness that pervades the people.
We had shared before somewhere that one of “wise men” that visited baby Jesus [ three of them- Melchior, a Persian, Caspar, an Indian, and Balthazar, an Arabian, according to secular history, not according to Scriptures] gave a gift of gold, signifying acknowledgment of the divinity and royalty of Christ.

No earthly word can express heavenly glory

6.0 Brethren, let us by His divine grace, walk closer with Him, in accord with His divine nature. It is not about living in a city of pure gold and walking on a street of gold. If it is literal gold, it will be opaque, and not transparent like clear glass as established in Rev 21: 18,21.
These symbols are SIGNS, just to signify. No earthly words can adequately express the glory of the New Jerusalem, hence the apocalyptic language. Paul also could not express what he saw there (2 Cor. 12: 4). But if and when we get there, everything will be made plain to us; we will no longer be seeing as through a mirror darkly, as Paul expressed.
By then it will not even make any difference, whether golden or diamond or concrete street but for now, the issue is to get there by His mercy. And brethren, let us reflect and reason together. While we are still on this side of the veil, some believers, especially women disdain the use of gold earrings and ornaments (not even in modest use) as worldly.
Why should they now be gleefully anticipating walking on a street of gold? Could it be some of them have a subtle, quiet desire for the gold ornaments but for the restraints by their denominational concepts? Such an attitude, wherever found will only portray such “bare-eared” sisters as being in bondage because it is not of free-will choice or conviction not to use the gold ornaments.
7.0 Ironically, from personal observation, I have seen Christian ladies without earrings but with gold wristwatches and golden buttons that may be worth a thousand-fold the value of earrings! People living in a less-privileged environment like Mushin with due respect, or not too far from there like myself may regard those in mansions in Asokoro, Lekki, or Banana Island as carnal or worldly.
Meanwhile many of such look forward to opulent ‘heavenly’ mansions in the hereafter. But these expectations, as in the case of Street of gold, when laid bare before scriptures are mere “quixotic” materialistic fantasies.
In closing, please let us share a related extract from the book THE HIDDEN GOSPEL by our beloved brother, David W. Dyer: “Oh, the songs which have been written and the hymns which have been sung about ‘mansions’ which are not scriptural, true or real.
Countless Christians for many generations have been misled by this one mistranslated word. With this inaccurate translation as a basis, many have gone on to believe in ‘streets of gold’ filled with luxury cars, all sorts of physical and soulish pleasures, riches such as piles of gold, etc.
Yet all this is just a fairy tale, a fable. It had nothing to do with the genuine gospel. Therefore, it cannot truly inspire Christians to seek what God had for them in the future……” True talk!
Beloved, while we are still here, I believe that consecration, commitment, and conformity to the agenda of the kingdom should be our primary concerns so that we can integrate and resonate with the divine milieu in the hereafter, literal street of gold or none.
God bless you. SHALOM
Pastor Odunuga is an elder in the Redeemed Christian Church of God

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1 comment

Olayinka June 28, 2021 - 7:25 pm

Thank you sir for ds write-up, a true eye-opener for me sir. God bless you abundantly.


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