The Tabernacle of God is with the Nations

Revelation 21:3 says, “And I heard a loud voice out of the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will tabernacle with them, and they will be His peoples, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.” In previous posts I presented the tabernacle of God as the mutual eternal dwelling of the Triune God and His people.

The tabernacle of God will be with men, God will tabernacle with them, and they will be His peoples. Who are these men and peoples? The plural “peoples” is significant. In the Old Testament Israel was God’s people (singular) and the nations were the peoples (plural). This same distinction is in Revelation 18:4 with “My people” and 17:15 with “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.”

These peoples are the nations that are on the new earth but outside New Jerusalem. These peoples have been restored in their human life but have not been regenerated with the divine life. They are plural in number, not partaking of the oneness in Christ where all national and other distinctions are eliminated (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11). They have kings (plural) who are subject to the King of Kings (Revelation 19:14).  They live outside New Jerusalem and bring their glory and honor into it (Revelation 21:24, 26).

God will be with these peoples and be their God. This is a great blessing but it is not as marvelous as the condition of those in New Jerusalem, who have the Triune God dwelling in them (Romans 8:9-11). The Triune God, dwelling coinherently with His people in New Jerusalem as the eternal tabernacle, will be with (but not in) the people of these nations surrounding New Jerusalem, and will be their God.

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