Without are dogs - All those who are uncircumcised in heart. The Jews call all the uncircumcised dogs. "Who is a dog? Ans. He who is not circumcised." Pirkey Elieser, chap. 29.
And sorcerers - See the note on Revelation 21:8.
For without are dogs - The wicked, the depraved, the vile: for of such characters the dogs, an unclean animal among the Jews, was regarded as a symbol, Deuteronomy 23:18. On the meaning of the expression, see the notes on Philemon 3:2. The word “without” means that they would not be admitted into the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:8, Revelation 21:27.
And sorcerers, - All these characters are specified in Revelation 21:8, as excluded from heaven. See the notes on that verse. The only change is, that those who “love and make a lie” are added to the list; that is, who delight in lies, or what is false.
Dog is the Bible symbol of a shameless and impudent man. Who would wish to be left in the company of those whose lot is outside of the city of God? yet how many will stand condemned as idolaters, how many as those who make lies, and how many more as those who love them, and love to circulate them after they are made!DAR 722.2
13-17 (ch. 1:8). The Alpha and Omega of Scripture—[Revelation 22:13-17 quoted.] Here we have the Alpha of Genesis and the Omega of Revelation. The blessing is promised to all those who keep the commandments of God, and who cooperate with Him in the proclamation of the third angel's message (The Review and Herald, June 8, 1897). 7BC 990.2
14 (ch. 20:12, 13; see EGW on Genesis 3:22-24; Romans 3:31; 2 Corinthians 3:7-11). City of God for Commandment Keepers—None who have had the light of truth will enter the city of God as commandment breakers. His law lies at the foundation of His government in earth and in heaven. If they have knowingly trampled upon and despised His law on the earth, they will not be taken to heaven to do the same work there; there is no change of character when Christ comes. The character building is to go on during the hours of probation. Day by day their actions are registered in the books of heaven, and they will, in the great day of God, be rewarded as their works have been. It will then be seen who receives the blessing. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (The Review and Herald, August 25, 1885). 7BC 990.3Read in context »
“No fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” Ephesians 5:5, A.R.V. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14. “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” Revelation 22:14, 15. GC 541.1
God has given to men a declaration of His character and of His method of dealing with sin. “The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” Exodus 34:6, 7. “All the wicked will He destroy.” “The transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.” Psalm 145:20; 37:38. The power and authority of the divine government will be employed to put down rebellion; yet all the manifestations of retributive justice will be perfectly consistent with the character of God as a merciful, long-suffering, benevolent being. GC 541.2
God does not force the will or judgment of any. He takes no pleasure in a slavish obedience. He desires that the creatures of His hands shall love Him because He is worthy of love. He would have them obey Him because they have an intelligent appreciation of His wisdom, justice, and benevolence. And all who have a just conception of these qualities will love Him because they are drawn toward Him in admiration of His attributes. GC 541.3
The principles of kindness, mercy, and love, taught and exemplified by our Saviour, are a transcript of the will and character of God. Christ declared that He taught nothing except that which He had received from His Father. The principles of the divine government are in perfect harmony with the Saviour's precept, “Love your enemies.” God executes justice upon the wicked, for the good of the universe, and even for the good of those upon whom His judgments are visited. He would make them happy if He could do so in accordance with the laws of His government and the justice of His character. He surrounds them with the tokens of His love, He grants them a knowledge of His law, and follows them with the offers of His mercy; but they despise His love, make void His law, and reject His mercy. While constantly receiving His gifts, they dishonor the Giver; they hate God because they know that He abhors their sins. The Lord bears long with their perversity; but the decisive hour will come at last, when their destiny is to be decided. Will He then chain these rebels to His side? Will He force them to do His will? GC 541.4Read in context »
Those who allow a covetous spirit to take possession of them cherish and develop those traits of character which will place their names on the record books of heaven as idolaters. All such are classed with thieves, revilers, and extortioners, none of whom, the word of God declares, shall inherit the kingdom of God. “The wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth.” Covetous attributes are ever opposed to the exercise of Christian beneficence. The fruits of selfishness always reveal themselves in a neglect of duty, and in a failure to use God's entrusted gifts for the advancement of His work.—The Review and Herald, December 1, 1896. CS 26.1Read in context »