There shall in nowise enter into it any thing that defileth - See Isaiah 35:8; Isaiah 52:1. Neither an impure person - he who turns the grace of God into lasciviousness, nor a liar - he that holds and propagates false doctrines.
But they which are written - The acknowledged persevering members of the true Church of Christ shall enter into heaven, and only those who are saved from their sins shall have a place in the Church militant.
All Christians are bound by their baptism to renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh; to keep God's holy word and commandments; and to walk in the same all the days of their life. This is the generation of them that seek thy face, O God of Jacob! Reader, art thou of this number? Or art thou expecting an eternal glory while living in sin? If so, thou wilt be fearfully disappointed. Presuming on the mercy of God is as ruinous as despairing of his grace. Where God gives power both to will and to do, the individual should work out his salvation with fear and trembling.
And there shall in no wise - On no account; by no means. This strong language denotes the absolute exclusion of all that is specified in the verse.
Anything that defileth - Literally, anything “common.” See the notes on Acts 10:14. It means here that nothing will be found in that blessed abode which is unholy or sinful. It will be a pure world, 2 Peter 3:13.
Neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie - See the notes on Revelation 21:8.
He who has given his life to God in ministry to His children is linked with Him who has all the resources of the universe at His command. His life is bound up by the golden chain of the immutable promises with the life of God. The Lord will not fail him in the hour of suffering and need. “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19. And in the hour of final need the merciful shall find refuge in the mercy of the compassionate Saviour and shall be received into everlasting habitations. MB 24.1
The Jews were so exacting in regard to ceremonial purity that their regulations were extremely burdensome. Their minds were occupied with rules and restrictions and the fear of outward defilement, and they did not perceive the stain that selfishness and malice impart to the soul. MB 24.2Read in context »
The faithful, praying ones are, as it were, shut in with God. They themselves know not how securely they are shielded. Urged on by Satan, the rulers of this world are seeking to destroy them; but could their eyes be opened, as were the eyes of Elisha's servant at Dothan, they would see the angels of God encamped about them, by their brightness and glory holding in check the hosts of darkness. 5T 475.1
As the people of God afflict their souls before Him, pleading for purity of heart, the command is given, “Take away the filthy garments” from them, and the encouraging words are spoken, “Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” The spotless robe of Christ's righteousness is placed upon the tried, tempted, yet faithful children of God. The despised remnant are clothed in glorious apparel, nevermore to be defiled by the corruptions of the world. Their names are retained in the Lamb's book of life, enrolled among the faithful of all ages. They have resisted the wiles of the deceiver; they have not been turned from their loyalty by the dragon's roar. Now they are eternally secure from the tempter's devices. Their sins are transferred to the originator of sin. And the remnant are not only pardoned and accepted, but honored. “A fair miter” is set upon their heads. They are to be as kings and priests unto God. While Satan was urging his accusations and seeking to destroy this company, holy angels, unseen, were passing to and fro, placing upon them the seal of the living God. These are they that stand upon Mount Zion with the Lamb, having the Father's name written in their foreheads. They sing the new song before the throne, that song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” 5T 475.2
Now is reached the complete fulfillment of those words of the Angel: “Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth My servant the Branch.” Christ is revealed as the Redeemer and Deliverer of His people. Now indeed are the remnant “men wondered at,” as the tears and humiliation of their pilgrimage give place to joy and honor in the presence of God and the Lamb. “In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even everyone that is written among the living in Jerusalem.” 5T 476.1Read in context »
Men professing godliness offer their bodies upon Satan's altar and burn the incense of tobacco to his satanic majesty. Does this statement seem severe? Certainly, the offering is presented to some deity. As God is pure and holy, and will accept nothing defiling in its character, He must refuse this expensive, filthy, and unholy sacrifice; therefore we conclude that Satan is the one who claims the honor. SL 31.1
Jesus died to rescue man from the grasp of Satan. He came to set us free by the blood of His atoning sacrifice. The man who has become the property of Jesus Christ, and whose body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, will not be enslaved by the pernicious habit of tobacco using. His powers belong to Christ, who has bought him with the price of blood. His property is the Lord's. How, then, can he be guiltless in expending every day the Lord's entrusted capital to gratify an appetite which has no foundation in nature? SL 31.2
An enormous sum is yearly squandered for this indulgence, while souls are perishing for the word of life. Professed Christians rob God in tithes and offerings, while they offer on the altar of destroying lust, in the use of tobacco, more than they give to relieve the poor or to supply the wants of God's cause. Those who are truly sanctified will overcome every hurtful lust. Then all these channels of needless expense will be turned to the Lord's treasury, and Christians will take the lead in self-denial, in self-sacrifice, and in temperance. Then they will be the light of the world. SL 32.1Read in context »
All who enter the City of God will enter through the strait gate—by agonizing effort; for “there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth.” Revelation 21:27. But none who have fallen need give up to despair. Aged men, once honored of God, may have defiled their souls, sacrificing virtue on the altar of lust; but if they repent, forsake sin, and turn to God, there is still hope for them. He who declares, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life,” also gives the invitation, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” Revelation 2:10; Isaiah 55:7. God hates sin, but He loves the sinner. “I will heal their backsliding,” He declares; “I will love them freely.” Hosea 14:4. PK 84.1
Solomon's repentance was sincere; but the harm that his example of evil-doing had wrought could not be undone. During his apostasy there were in the kingdom men who remained true to their trust, maintaining their purity and loyalty. But many were led astray; and the forces of evil set in operation by the introduction of idolatry and worldly practices could not easily be stayed by the penitent king. his influence for good was greatly weakened. Many hesitated to place full confidence in his leadership. Though the king confessed his sin and wrote out for the benefit of after generations a record of his folly and repentance, he could never hope entirely to destroy the baleful influence of his wrong deeds. Emboldened by his apostasy, many continued to do evil, and evil only. And in the downward course of many of the rulers who followed him may be traced the sad influence of the prostitution of his God-given powers. PK 84.2
In the anguish of bitter reflection on the evil of his course, Solomon was constrained to declare, “Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.” “There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler: folly is set in great dignity.” PK 85.1Read in context »