What does Revelation 21:21 mean?
You stated that John says in Revelation 21:21 that “the great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.” You wanted to know if that verse meant that there were no secrets in heaven. You wondered if the “gold” in heaven meant truth and “clear” or “transparent” meant that nothing would be hidden in the truth—that all would be revealed.
The book of Revelation is highly symbolic. The entire 21st chapter of Revelation is about the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. We believe that the New Jerusalem represents an all-powerful religious government, composed of our Lord and his saints (the Church in glory) that will exercise a most blessed and lasting influence for good over the earth’s people.
We derive this meaning from the declaration in Revelation 21:9-10, “’Come I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ . . . and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” The walls of the city are living stones, such as the Apostle Peter describes (1 Peter 2:5); the foundation stones are the twelve Apostles of the Lamb. The coming of that City to earth is the symbolic representation of the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth, for a city is a symbol representing government or control.
The verse you called to our attention, Revelation 21:21, describes part of the city. “The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.” Each gate is made of one global-like pearl. The pearl represents Jesus’ costly sacrifice.
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46)
Therefore, since each gate is a pearl, no person can enter the city without first recognizing Christ as his Redeemer. The street of the city was made of “pure gold” like “transparent glass” so that one could look with deep penetration into the body of the street and observe that there were no flaws. The street was perfect and clear as crystal: it contained no specks or impediments of any kind. This broad avenue paved with transparent gold was the one and only main street in the city. Gold is representative of the divine nature.
The fact that the city was “pure gold” like unto clear glass, is indicative, we believe, that the glorified Church who are the symbolic City, are not only partakers of the divine nature, but are resplendent in their glory.