Revelation 22:4

Friday, 3 September 2021

They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. Revelation 22:4

John’s words just noted that there would be no more curse, that the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the city, and that the people of God (His servants) will serve Him. He now says, “They shall see His face.” Of these words, the previous verse provides the explanation.

In 1 Timothy 6:16, while speaking of the brightness of the glory of God in Christ, it says –

“who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.”

It is Christ, the Lamb, who makes it possible to behold God. He is, as noted in Chapter 21, the lamp through which God’s light is seen. This is understood from verses in both the Old and New Testaments. Job had an inkling of what it would be like –

“For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
27 Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:25-27

John speaks of this coming time in his first epistle –

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2

David understood this as well –

“As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.” Psalm 17:15

These are but a few of the verses that anticipate this verse in Revelation. We shall be like Jesus in our glorified state, and we shall see the glory of God as it is revealed in Him. An entirely different order of existence shall be realized at that time. With that said, John next says, “and His name shall be on their foreheads.”

Some translations incorrectly state “in the foreheads.” The Greek means “upon” or “on.” It could be that this is referring to something symbolic, as if the name is written upon the forehead. However, because the previous verse said that “His servants shall serve Him,” it is probably referring to their priestly status before God.

In Exodus 28, a plate of gold was affixed to the turban of the high priest that stated qodesh l’Yehovah, or “HOLINESS TO THE LORD.” He was the one who directly served the Lord and the plate signified him as being set apart to the Lord. This same expression is then noted for all of the implements in Jerusalem in Zechariah 14 –

“In that day ‘HOLINESS TO THE LORD’ shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.”

This is a statement that all such implements will be dedicated to the service of the Lord at that time. In New Jerusalem, this will be the case with all who serve before the Lord. It is a note of complete sanctification and separation to the Lord. His people will be holy, and this is signified by the thought that “His name shall be on their foreheads.”

The words of this verse speak of complete familiarity (seeing His face) and of complete identification with Him (His name on their foreheads). What lies ahead for the redeemed of the Lord will be unlike anything we can yet fully grasp. It will be a marvelous and blessed state.

Life application: When I was young, there were refrigerator magnets all over the front of the fridge in our home. One of them became the first Bible verse I ever learned –

“Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

What does it mean that these will “see God”? God doesn’t have parts and cannot be seen as noted in Paul’s words of 1 Timothy 6:16 (above). 1 John 4:12 confirms this, “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.”

People who speak about seeing God and then describing some type of form have made a category mistake. God has no form at all. However, speaking of Jesus, we read this in Hebrews 1:3 – “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person.” The visible manifestation of God and the One who reveals Him to His creation is Jesus. Again, we go to Jesus’ words in John 14:9 to understand this, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”

Now, in our sin-filled state, we cannot see the radiance of Jesus Christ in His fullness. Mortal man would be utterly consumed by the glorious display. Moses discovered this in Exodus 33:20, “But He said, ‘You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.’”

However, when we are glorified, this will no longer be the case. When we are like Him, He shall be revealed to us in His fullness. Isaiah understood this and proclaimed it to Israel –

“Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will see the land that is very far off.” Isaiah 33:17

It is Jesus Christ who will endlessly reveal the glory of God to us as, through Him, we perceive this glorious Creator. Based on Scripture, the Trinity must be true because without the Son to reveal the Father to us, we would never be able to see this glory of God. Jesus is the link between the infinite and the finite. He is the point where God’s glory is revealed.

And there is only one way to participate in this eternal revelation of who God is. That is to be like Him. We must share in the same nature and the same goodness that He has. We must be “pure in heart.” But we are defiled – both through Adam and also because of our own sins. So how do we attain freedom from defilement? It is through the work of Christ Jesus.

He lived the perfect life we couldn’t live, and then He gave His life as a sacrifice of atonement, a substitute suitable to an eternally perfect Creator. Now through faith in His work, we can be elevated from a fallen, earthly state to His perfect and heavenly state. As He said and as we can now more fully realize –

“Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.”

Because of this purity resulting in blessedness, the name of God and of the Lamb shall be on our foreheads as we serve Him. We will be identified as belonging to Him, and the stamp of approval shall be evidently displayed.

Marks have been used to identify people elsewhere in the Bible. The forehead is the spot where this mark is almost always explicitly noted. The reason is surely that it has resulted from a mental assertion concerning a particular issue. In the case of our mark, it is the result of the mental assertion that “Jesus is Lord” as is noted in Romans 10:9. When this assertion is accepted as truth in our lives, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of God, In this, we move from death to life, from condemnation to salvation, from darkness to light, and from the devil to Jesus.

And all of it comes by the grace of God alone. Thank the Lord, even now, for the glorious work of Jesus Christ that made all of this possible! Yes! Thank God for our Lord JESUS!

Oh, God! It is the most glorious thing to know that we shall behold Your glory in its fullness and search out Your wisdom, beauty, and perfection for all eternity. We know that nothing here on earth will ever compare to seeing You and living in Your glorious light as it shines through the lamp – our Lord and Savior Jesus! Hallelujah and Amen.