NT Prophecy – Revelation 22

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”
Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

  • Revelation 22:1-21

Noted Biblical Scholars, Teachers, and Preachers Comments

Revelation 22:1-5 ‘The Throne of God and the Lamb’: “Apparently the only source of water (‘a river of water of life’) in the eternal state is that which comes ‘from the throne of God and of the Lamb’ (verse 1). In the old creation, water is a symbol of sustenance because it’s so crucial to keeping us alive. In the eternal state, however, water will symbolize new life. This water will come from the throne that is occupied by both God the Father and Christ the Lamb. Christ is described as the substitutionary Lamb of God (Isaiah 53:6-7; cf. John 1:29,36) twenty-eight times in Revelation, and that includes nine times in the final chapters of the book (chapters 19-22). Throughout eternity believers will be reminded that their salvation was made possible by Jesus’ death on the cross, in which He died as a sacrificial lamb for our sins.”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Revelation 22:2 ‘tree of life’: “A symbol of both eternal life and continual blessing (see Gen. 2:9). The tree bears twelve fruits, one for each month, and is symbolic of the abundant variety in heaven. The English word therapeutic comes from the Greek word translated ‘healing.’ The leaves somehow enrich heavenly life, making it full and satisfying.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Revelation 22:3-4 ‘The Face of God’: ”What a happy blending—service and communion—the hands busy but the eyes ravished with the wondrous sight of the face of God. To serve the Lord and to see his face at the same time—this is a double joy. This is to be like Martha and Mary in one person. There can be no fellowship better than that which serves, and no service sweeter than what sees the face of the Master while serving him.”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, from sermon notes

Revelation 22:5 ‘The Light’: ”While we are here, we need lamps and suns. It seems curious for John to put lamps and suns in the same sentence. But after all, compared with God, lamps and suns are much the same thing. Great lights and little lights are all limited. Even the sun is only worthy to be ranked with a lamp in comparison with the boundless, infinite God who is light and the source of all light in heaven above or on the earth beneath.”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, from sermon notes

Revelation 22:6-15 ‘The Final Message of Scripture’: “The angel who has accompanied John since Revelation 21:9 now gives his final message and appeal. He assures John that what the apostle has heard is accurate: ‘These words are faithful and true’ (verse 6). The Lord, the God who has spoken to ‘the spirits of the prophets,’ sent His angel to John to show ‘to His bond-servants the things which must shortly take place.’ Two related Greek words play an important role in helping us to get a clear understanding of the phrase ‘shortly take place.’ Tachos, here in verse 6 and in 1:1, carries the meaning of ‘speedily,’ ‘in swift succession,’ or with rapidity of action. When the Tribulation events begin to take place, they will happen ‘quickly’ with speed and certainty. The Greek adverb tachu (verses 7, 12, 20) can have a similar meaning. Christ, speaking of the rapture of the church, says that He is coming quickly (verse 7)—therefore the appeal, ‘Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.’ LaHaye and Ice observe,
“The book of Revelation ends with the same thought [of certainty and urgency]. When the terrible events described in the book begin, they will come about with rapidity. John goes on and uses from the
tachos family the adverb tachu and closes the book of Revelation by writing, ‘Behold, I am coming quickly’ (22:7,12), and finally at the very end of the book, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly’ (verse 20) (Charting the End Times, p. 296).”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Revelation 22:10-11 ‘Do not seal the words.’: “Cf. 10:11. Previous prophecies were sealed up (Dan. 8:26; 12:4-10). These prophecies are to be proclaimed so they can produce obedience and worship. the time is at hand. This refers to imminency, which means that the end is next.
“Those who reject God’s warnings will fix their eternal destiny in hell, where they will retain their evil and filthy natures for all eternity. Those who respond to the warnings will fix their eternal destiny in glory and realize perfect righteousness and holiness in heaven.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Revelation 22:11 ‘God’s holiness’: “Change is necessary in created things, but no change is necessary in God, therefore God does not change. And God, being the eternal, holy God, cannot change. He will not go from better to worse. You cannot think of God being any less holy than He is now, any less righteous than He is now. God must remain infinitely holy, fixed, forever unchanging in holiness. He cannot go from worse to better for the simple reason that God, being absolutely holy, cannot go beyond Himself. He cannot get any more holy than He is now, or go from less good to better.
“You and l, however, can. Thank God we can! ‘… he that is holy, let him be holy still.’ And I believe that since we are creatures and capable of mutation upward toward the image of God, we will become holier and wiser and better while the ages roll. But remember that in becoming holier and better and wiser, we will only be moving toward the perfect likeness of God, who is already all-wise and good and holy. God cannot become any better than He is.”

  • A. W. Tozer, The Attributes of God I

Revelation 22:14 ‘Blessed are those who do His commandments’: “See 1:3. The preferred reading is ‘Blessed are those who wash their robes,’ symbolizing those who have been forgiven of their sins—who have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb of God (Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19; see 7:14). tree of life. See verse 2; Genesis 2:9.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Revelation 22:16-19 ‘The Final Invitation of Scripture’: “In Revelation 22:16, Christ assures the reader that He sent His angel to testify to John of the aforementioned truths ‘for the churches.’ Jesus’ final appeal makes it clear that He intends for the book of Revelation to be read and taught in the churches. And He is not only the Savior of the church, He is also Israel’s Messiah, ‘the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.’ Christ is the descendant of king David (5:5; cf. 2 Samuel 7:12-16; Psalm 132:11; Isaiah 11:1,10; Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15-16). He is the one who has the right to rule on the throne of David in the millennial kingdom (Luke 1:31-33) and on the throne of God in the eternal city. He is also ‘the bright morning star’—the last star seen in the heavens as the new day dawns (cf. Revelation 2:28).”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Revelation 22:17-19 ‘Come!’: “This is the Spirit’s and church’s answer to the promise of His coming. let him. This is an unlimited offer of grace and salvation to all who desire to have their thirsty souls quenched. Cf. Isaiah 55:1, 2. water of life. See verse 1.
“Jesus offers extended testimony on the authority and finality of the prophecy. He commissioned John to write it, but He was its author. These are not the first such warnings (cf. Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Prov. 30:0; Jer. 26:2). These warnings against altering the biblical text represent the close of the NT canon. Anyone who tampers with the truth by attempting to falsify, mitigate, alter, or misinterpret it will incur the judgments described in these verses.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Revelation 22:17 ‘The church’s two ministries’: ”If the verse is read in connection with what precedes it, one is persuaded that it depicts the cry of the Spirit and the bride addressed to the Lord Jesus concerning his second advent. The Redeemer’s coming is the desire of the entire church. The ministry of prayer for the coming of the Lord ought to grow more and more fervent as the years roll on.
“But there is a second ministry of the church—the cry for the coming of sinners to Christ. It is a sad calamity when any church ceases from its mission work. Such a church is clearly of God and has ceased to work with him. For this purpose the Spirit of God dwells among humanity, and for this purpose there is a church left on earth.
“This, then, is the double ministry, and the first call is not opposed to the second. The fact that Christ is coming ought never to make us any the less diligent in pressing sinners to come to Christ. Let the two parts be evenly balanced. Let there be prayer to our Lord—’Come quickly!’-and an equal measure of entreaty to sinners—’Come to Christ!’ Let us blend the two in wise proportion and set both on fire. Let us tell of Christ’s coming for judgment and then invite people to come to Christ for mercy. Let us warn them that he is on the way but tell them that he waits to be gracious. While he lingers, they have time for repentance. Thus, we will both drive and draw, both convince and comfort.”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, from sermon notes

Revelation 22:20-21 ‘The Final Prediction’: “It is the Lord Jesus Himself who ‘testifies’ (Greek, marturon) to the book of Revelation and the writings of the apostle John (verse 20). Christ then says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’  John the apostle concurs and writes, ‘Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.’ The expression ‘I am coming quickly’ is used four times in Revelation (3:11; 22:7,12,20). The word ‘quickly’ is the Greek particle tachu, which has to do with coming suddenly. So when Christ comes back, the events of the last days will take place at a rapid rate—things will fall into place in rapid order. Couch observes, ‘This idea is reinforced by the Lord’s statements in 3:3 (‘I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you’) and 16:15 (‘I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked’) (Revelation, p. 306). This sudden and instantaneous return Christ speaks of would have to be the rapture of the church. This is why we are to keep watching—the apostle Paul writes that believers should be ‘looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus’ (Titus 2:13).”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Revelation 22:21 ‘ a benediction’: ”The Old Testament ended with a curse. The New Testament ends with benediction. Oh, that we might all have a share of it!”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, from sermon notes

Revelation 22 ‘challenge’: “God takes great pleasure in having a helpless soul come to Him simply and plainly and intimately. He takes pleasure in having us come to Him. This kind of Christianity doesn’t draw big crowds. It draws only those who have their hearts set on God, who want God more than they want anything else in the world. These people want the spiritual experience that comes from knowing God for Himself. They could have everything stripped away from them and still have God.”

  • A. W. Tozer, The Attributes of God I

Coffee and Revelation – Introduction
In going to the website of the Wee Flea, you can search for any episodes of “Coffee and Revelation” that may have been uploaded pertaining to these chapters.  At the time this post was published, Rev. Robertson had not finished his video series.

My Thoughts

The last chapter of the Bible hints at something unusual.  While the previous chapter talks of no night, the river of the water of life feeds fruit trees that bear fruit each of the twelve months of the year.  Does that mean that the seasons go away?  There would be no death.  This must extend to plant life.  And Rev. MacArthur suggests that the same trees will bear different fruit each month.

In the discussion of the last chapter, there was discussion on the natural laws, but those laws were created by God and in this new heaven and new earth there seems to be some major shift in those laws.

Why?  We are in God’s presence.

Then the final charge to the Apostle John is to not seal this scroll.  It must be spread to the churches.  The churches must make themselves ready, not because Jesus is coming “soon” but that once these events start to occur, Jesus is coming quickly.  In the overall view of eternity, the history of mankind is only a fraction of an eye blink.  Thus, to God, who lives outside space and time, it is soon.  For us who suffer from impatience, not so very soon.  But each generation finds things in the news that point to us being closer.

In Revelation 22:11, there are four commands that are all pretty much the same command.  Let those that do wrong, keep doing wrong; those that are vile, be vile; those that do right, do right; and those that are holy, be holy.  As someone who sees people on the wrong path, I want to turn them around, but that is up to God.  And notice that this is two sets of comparisons.  One in deeds, doing wrong versus doing right, and one in the condition of the heart, being vile versus being holy.  We cannot turn people around.  We can talk to them, but if they are vile within, and God has not convicted them as being vile, they will be vile.  There is no one in heaven who got there by someone else dragging him or her there.  God only wants willing converts.  But for those that you know, and you see they are vile, you weep for them, but once in heaven, God will wipe away each tear.

And Revelation 22:15 is sobering.  While I try to be good, there are times when I have said a falsehood.  I have in the past idolized certain sports heroes.  Have I ever lusted?  I cannot place myself above President Jimmy Carter, who admitted in a Playboy interview that he had lusted.  Yet, with Christ in our heart, God does not see that.  While none of us are truly holy, God sees us as holy, for He has forgiven our sins and He sees us as washed as clean as snow (without the pollution of today).

And the warnings about the adding or subtracting from the prophecy, many try to interpret the signs versus current events.  They fall short.  They say, “It is just like the book of Revelation if you ignore this or add that.”  Thus, with this warning, let us prepare ourselves.  It could happen in our lifetime.  And we can leave those interpreters to their interpretations.

And the Bible fittingly ends with a benediction.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”

  • Revelation 22:21

Some Serendipitous Reflections

Revelation 22: “1. How have you prepared yourself for Christ’s second coming? Do you feel more (or less) ready for it, after reading the Book of Revelation than you did beforehand?
“2. How have your perceptions of Jesus, Satan, heaven, and hell changed? Why?
“3. How will these new perceptions affect your worship? Your lifestyle?
“4. How would you sum up the central truth of this book?”

  • Lyman Coleman, et al, The NIV Serendipity Bible for Study Groups

There is one set of questions for this chapter.

Substitute whatever group for any reference to a small group or ask who could come to your aid.

If you like these Thursday morning Bible studies, but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Thursday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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