Revelation Chapter Twenty Two
Introduction: In the last chapter, of the last book in the Bible, God is going to summarize all things and come to the conclusions He wants us to hear. God is going to win the battle with Satan, and He will restore all things to His people.
1And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Author: In this verse Jesus takes us back to Ezekiel 47:1-12 where the river comes out of the “door of the house” (Ezekiel 41:1-4). This river goes into all of the rivers and the seas to bring healing to them. (Ezekiel 41:8-9). This river is also referred to by Jesus as the “well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14. See also Genesis 2:10-14).
The source of the river of water of life is from the throne of God. This would indicate that the water that is provided from God is as much a blessing as that which God handled in John 2:1-11. God uses this water to bless all nations with an awareness of His love for them. God uses this water to wash away all sins. (Ephesians 5:26).
2In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Author: In the New Jerusalem it would appear that there is only one street (Revelation 21:21), or one way, and that way is in God’s sanctuary – It is Jesus. (Psalm 77:13; John 14:6).
In the midst of that “way” was the tree of life. (Genesis 2:8-17; 2:24). This tree was removed from Earth, with the Garden of Eden:
“The Garden of Eden remained upon the earth long after man had become an outcast from its pleasant paths. The fallen race were long permitted to gaze upon the home of innocence, their entrance barred only by the watching angels. At the cherubim-guarded gate of Paradise the divine glory was revealed. Hither came Adam and his sons to worship God. Here they renewed their vows of obedience to that law the transgression of which had banished them from Eden. When the tide of iniquity overspread the world, and the wickedness of men determined their destruction by a flood of waters, the hand that had planted Eden withdrew it from the earth. But in the final restitution, when there shall be "a new heaven and a new earth" (Revelation 21:1), it is to be restored more gloriously adorned than at the beginning.
Then they that have kept God's commandments shall breathe in immortal vigor beneath the tree of life; and through unending ages the inhabitants of sinless worlds shall behold, in that garden of delight, a sample of the perfect work of God's creation, untouched by the curse of sin--a sample of what the whole earth would have become, had man but fulfilled the Creator's glorious plan.” Patriarchs and Prophets 62.
God also refers the tree of life to that tree listed in Ezekiel 47:12. This tree is also presented in the temple that Solomon built in I Kings 7:15-22 (II Chronicles 3:15-17) and in the lives of God’s people as revealed in the fruit that they bear through the presence of Jesus. (Proverbs 11:30; Matthew 7:15-20; John 15:1-8; Galatians 5:22-23).
3And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
Author: God promises that there will be no more curse from sin. (Genesis 2:17; 3:9-19; Daniel 9:11; Galatians 10-13). But instead the power of God and of the Lamb shall be the earth and His servants shall serve Him in peace and no longer under the threat of death from the curse.
4And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Author: God promises that there will no longer be a shadow over His face to protect them from His glory but that now they shall see Him forever face to face. God also promises His people that since they see His face they will also have His name written in their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1). God’s people will be His people, and He will be their God. (Hebrews 8:10).
5And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Author: In the New Jerusalem there will be no need for any outside source of light for God gives them light directly from Himself. This does not mean that the sun, moon, and stars are no longer in the heavens, but that in the Holy City God is the source of light, unborrowed, and underived.
6And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
Author: God assures us that all of this good news comes directly from Him. He, the Lord God of all of the Holy Prophets, is sending this information through His angel, Gabriel (Daniel 8:16-17; 9:20-23; 10:10-21; Luke 1:11-20), to His servants to the prophets, and then on to the people, and then on to the world. God wanted us to know about the things which must shortly be done.
7Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Author: God promises us a blessing, as always, when we read His Words and His prophecies. We will be blessed, and happy, when we hear what He has to say. (Revelation 1:3; Deuteronomy 4:1-2). God wants us to read His Word and then to act upon what He says. He wants us to keep His Word and Adam should have kept the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 2:15; 3:24; Deuteronomy 8:1-3; Matthew 4:4).
8And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
Author: When John saw and heard all of these wonderful promises and assurances, he fell at the feet to worship the angel who had been sent to pass these thoughts on to John.
9Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
Author: The angels of God forbade John from worshipping him. The angel claimed to be on the same level as John, and denied any worship for he, the angel, was a created being just like John. The angel claimed to be united to the prophets, and the people, and declared that worship belonged to God only. This angel was clearly not Michael for this angel denied worship.
10And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Author: The angel tells John to not seal the sayings of this prophecy for the time of the events that happened in Revelation were to happen soon. (Daniel 9:24 – 12:4).
11He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Author: This text is a paraphrase of Ezekiel 3:27 “But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.”
God is telling us that the end product of His preaching will be to confirm people in rebellion or in salvation. He that responds to these messages will be righteous and holy, and those who rebel against these messages with be unjust and filthy. There is no neutrality in God’s kingdom. All must decide as the people did in the times of Noah. We will either get on the Ark or turn away because God is calling us to decide this day.
12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Author: God wants us to decide, and to decide quickly for He will not wait forever. He is going to come quickly and when He comes He will give every man His gifts, according to what that persons works will be. The greatest work that we can do for God is to accept the gift of His Son Jesus as our Saviour. (John 6:26-40).
13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Author: Jesus again reminds us that He is the Alpha (the A of the Greek Alphabet) and He is the Omega (the Z of the Greek Alphabet). Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2).
14Blessed 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.
Author: God tells us that we will be happy and peaceful if we do His commandments for His commandments are not difficult. (I John 5:3). God promises if we allow Christ to do His commandments in us and through us (Galatians 2:20; Ezekiel 36:27; Zechariah 3:1-8) He will allow us to enter in through the gates into the Holy City.
15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Author: Those who will not do God commandments (Revelation 14:12) will end up outside of the Holy City. Those who do not make it are those who practice homosexuality, false preachers, and rebellious people. (Deuteronomy 23:17-18; Isaiah 56:10; Psalm 22:16-20). God also considers those who practice, or love sorcery, and who pretend to talk to the dead, who love inappropriate sexual behaviors (adultery, pornography, clubbing, seducing children) and who murder, literally or in their hearts, will not make it. Then those who love to make a profit off things which have no value, who love anything more than Jesus, and who love telling lies, these will not make it into the Holy City. No sinful behavior, as defined by Jesus in His law, can come to heaven with Him. People can not love Jesus and love something else more than Him – it can not be done.
16I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
Author: God says He has sent His angel to testify of these things and He expects us to learn from the mistakes of Zacharias the father of John the Baptist in Luke 1:5-24, 57-80. He doubted what Gabriel had said to him and he could not talk until the birth of John. We can learn about these things and tell others what a wonderful, and truthful, God we serve, if we will obey.
Jesus again identifies Himself as the Author and Finisher of David. (Revelation 5:5-6). Jesus is the focal point of the Book of Revelation. He is the bright and morning star. Jesus is the sun of righteousness. (Malachi 4:2; Luke 1:78 – Dayspring is the equivalent of sun.).
17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Author: The Holy Spirit – the third person of the Godhead, tells us to come to Jesus while there is time. The Bride – the kingdom of God, tells us to come and partake of Jesus. The angel says that he that is thirsty should come and partake of the water of life freely. (Isaiah 55:1; John 4:4-42). Whoever wants to drink of the water that comes from the throne of God can freely do so. No one will hold them back but by their own decision.
18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Author: Again God warns people away from altering, or neglecting, the warnings of this book. If one does do these things they will receive of the plagues of Revelation 16 and 14:9-11.
19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Author: If anyone removes the words of this book, by intent, or neglect, God will remove that person’s name from the book of life, and out of the Holy City. They will not receive of the promises of this book, and they will receive of the curses.
20He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Author: The focal point of this book, Jesus the Son of God, testifies of the things He has written in this book. He will come quickly so be ready.
21The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Author: The writer of this book, John, asks for the grace (the power and mercy of God II Corinthians 12:9; II Timothy 2:1; Titus 2:11-13) of God to be with all who read. Praise God He will come quickly to receive His own unto Himself.