Therefore thy gates shall be open continually - The main idea here is, probably, that the accession from the pagan world, and the consequent influx of converts, would be so great, that there would be a necessity that the gates should never be closed. It is possible, also, that the prophet meant to describe that time as a period of security and peace. The gates of cities were closed in time of war, and at night, to guard them from danger. But in those times, such would be the prevalence of peace, and such would be the purposes for which the multitude of strangers would come from all parts of the world, that the gates might be left open, and the city unguarded at all times. The sense is -
1. That there will be immense multitudes that shall enter the true church from the pagan world.
2. That the gospel will be constantly and unceasingly offered to people. The doors of the church shall at no time be closed. By day and by night, at all seasons and in all places, people may come and obtain salvation. None shall be excluded because the gates shall be closed upon them; none because they are strangers and have come from distant lands; none because there will be no room; none because the conflux shall be so great that the provisions of mercy will be exhausted.
3. It will be a time of safety when the world shall be brought under the influence and the dominion of the Prince of Peace. There will be no need of closing the gates of cities, or of building walls around them. There will be no need to guard against hostile armies or the intrusions of hordes of banditti. There will be no need of guarding against the fraud, oppressions, and dishonest arts of other people. If the principles of the true religion everywhere prevailed, there would be no need of wails to cities, or gates, or bars; no need of ramparts, of ships of war, and of fortifications; no need of bolts and locks and iron chests to guard our property. No true Christian needs to guard himself or his property against another true Christian. No lock, no bolt, no wall, no gate, no iron safe has been made in order to guard against a man who is the sincere friend of the Redeemer. They are made to guard against wicked people; and when universal truth and righteousness prevail, they may be suffered to rust and rot for want of use. Should the principles of Christianity be everywhere diffused, the walls of all cities might be suffered to fall down; their gates to stand open until they should decay; ships of war to lie in the dock until they should sink to the bottom, forts and fleets to be dismantled; and the whole business of making locks and shackles, and of building prisons and manufacturing instruments of war, would come to an end.
That men may bring unto thee - So many shall be coming with the wealth of the Gentiles, that the gates shall be continually open.
The forces of the Gentiles - The wealth of the pagan (see the notes at Isaiah 60:5).
And that their kings may be brought - Lowth renders this, ‹That their kings may come pompously attended.‘ Noyes, ‹May come with their retinues.‘ The Chaldee renders it, ‹And their kings be brought bound,‘ or in chains. But the Hebrew word used here (נהוּגים nehûgı̂ym ) denotes simply that they would be led or conducted in any way; and the idea is, that they would be induced, by the force of truth, to come and devote themselves to the service of God, They might be expected, indeed, to come, as Lowth says, pompously attended, but this idea is not in t the Hebrew text.
Not in their own power did the apostles accomplish their mission, but in the power of the living God. Their work was not easy. The opening labors of the Christian church were attended by hardship and bitter grief. In their work the disciples constantly encountered privation, calumny, and persecution; but they counted not their lives dear unto themselves and rejoiced that they were called to suffer for Christ. Irresolution, indecision, weakness of purpose, found no place in their efforts. They were willing to spend and be spent. The consciousness of the responsibility resting on them purified and enriched their experience, and the grace of heaven was revealed in the conquests they achieved for Christ. With the might of omnipotence God worked through them to make the gospel triumphant. AA 595.1
Upon the foundation that Christ Himself had laid, the apostles built the church of God. In the Scriptures the figure of the erection of a temple is frequently used to illustrate the building of the church. Zechariah refers to Christ as the Branch that should build the temple of the Lord. He speaks of the Gentiles as helping in the work: “They that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord;” and Isaiah declares, “The sons of strangers shall build up thy walls.” Zechariah 6:12, 15; Isaiah 60:10. AA 595.2
Writing of the building of this temple, Peter says, “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4, 5. AA 595.3Read in context »
The prophet heard the voice of God calling His church to her appointed work, that the way might be prepared for the ushering in of His everlasting kingdom. The message was unmistakably plain: PK 375.1
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come,
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. PK 375.2
“For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And gross darkness the people:
But the Lord shall arise upon thee,
And His glory shall be seen upon thee.
And the Gentiles shall come to thy light,
And kings to the brightness of thy rising. PK 375.3
Not to Take Means From the Cause—The tithe is set apart for a special use. It is not to be regarded as a poor fund. It is to be especially devoted to the support of those who are bearing God's message to the world, and it should not be diverted from this purpose.—Review and Herald, Supplement, December 1, 1896. WM 277.1
The cause of God should not be overlooked that the poor may receive our first attention. Christ once gave His disciples a very important lesson on this point. When Mary poured the ointment on the head of Jesus, covetous Judas made a plea in behalf of the poor, murmuring at what he considered a waste of money. But Jesus vindicated the act, saying: “Why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on Me.” “Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.” By this we are taught that Christ is to be honored in the consecration of the best of our substance. Should our whole attention be directed to relieving the wants of the poor, God's cause would be neglected. Neither will suffer if His stewards do their duty, but the cause of Christ should come first.—Testimonies for the Church 4:550, 551. WM 277.2Read in context »
The city of God with all its attractions is saying, “Come.” If we can by a holy life, by entreaties, by prayers, by warnings, point the sinner to the way of escape and fasten their attention to the heavenly gates open to receive them; if by faith they can see that the entrance into life is an open door, everything is gained. The earthly attractions will fade away, the heavenly will win and charm the soul.... TDG 212.5Read in context »