This will begin by giving you the scripture from the King James Version of the Bible, then will go into our description of what the verses mean. You will be able to read various additional information contained in more specific files under "Research Materials".
Revelation chapter 22 contains God's Last Message to Humankind - Rev. 22 verses 6 to 9 takes us back to the early part of this book, when the faithful and true witness told us that He would send His angel to convey His message concerning the things that must come to pass.
Here at the close of the Bible we are reintroduced to the tree of life, which has not been mentioned in the Bible since Genesis 3, where Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Paradise is restored in the eternal state. All that was lost in the fall is redeemed by the lamb. The leaves of this tree will be used to heal the relationships of the nations toward each other so that we might live equitably and fairly in eternity.
The picture of eternal life in these verses indicates that we will be busy serving God for all eternity. We will both serve Him (v.3) and reign with Him (v.5). Since He is an infinite God, we can be sure He will have infinite things for us to do as we reign there forever. The phrase, "they shall see his face," means that, as believers, we will be granted an audience with the King on a regular basis.
22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
"Pure River of Water of life." Water of Life In one final glimpse into the future, John sees this river flowing from the throne of God. It is the source of eternal life that emanates from God. Even in heaven, we will drink water and eat food, probably not out of necessity for our health, but because of the pleasure and fellowship it will give us. This is symbolic of eternal life.
Jesus told the woman at the well if she drank of the water He gave her, she would never thirst again, John 4:14. This is the "water" He was talking about here. This "water" possessed life giving powers. The Source is the Father and the Lamb. This "water" springs up into ever lasting life. In our day of pollutions, it is hard to visualize water this clear. When the soldier pierced Jesus' side, water and blood gushed forth, John 19:34. This is the water of life.
Just like everything else in the New Jerusalem, the river was clear as crystal so that it could reflect the glory of God as it cascades down from the throne of God and of the Lamb in a dazzling, sparkling never ending flow of everlasting life from God's throne to His people.
22:2 In 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.
Here at the close of the Bible we are reintroduced to the tree of life, which has not been mentioned in the Bible since Genesis 3, where Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Paradise is restored in the eternal state. All that was lost in the fall is redeemed by the lamb. The leaves of this tree will be used to heal the relationships of the nations toward each other so that we might live equitably and fairly in eternity. Tree of Life
The tree bears twelve kinds of fruit that yields its fruit every month suggesting the infinite variety that will fill heaven.
Monthly, since time exists no more, emphasizes the expression of the joyous provision of eternity using familiar terms of time.
Nations: meaning the people that are in heaven. Sickness will no longer be, so the healing doesn't imply illness. The leaves therefore will be to promote general health or another way of stating that would be: life in heaven will be fully energized, rich and exciting continuously.
The scripture also doesn't tell us if we will eat the leaves or the fruit. Angels ate food on earth with Abraham and Sarah as did Jesus after the resurrection with his disciples. Perhaps the saints in heaven will eat for enjoyment and not out of necessity.
22:3 And 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:
The effects of the post-Edenic curse (Gen. 3:14-19) will be totally gone forever. There will be no more curse. No More Curse God's saints will serve him (Rev. 7: v.15) and reign with Him forever (Dan 7: verses 18 and 27).
The picture of eternal life in these verses indicates that we will be busy serving God for all eternity. We will both serve Him (v. 3) and reign with Him (v.5). Since He is an infinite God, we can be sure He will have infinite things for us to do as we reign there forever. The phrase, "they shall see his face," means that, as believers, we will be granted an audience with the King on a regular basis.
Here we see "throne of God" and on his right hand is "the Lamb" These "servants" that shall serve him are us. We Christians have been bought and paid for with the blood of the Lamb. We will be with the Lamb and the Father, but we will not be their equal. We will be their servants.
22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.
The greatest blessing of eternity is that they shall see his face (Matt. 5: v.8; Heb. 12: v.14). Though this is now impossible for an unglorified human being (Exodus 33: v.20), it will occur in the eternal state. The name of God in their foreheads shows ownership and consecration (Rev. 3: v.12; 13: v.16; Exodus 28: verses 36 to38).
Throughout the Bible, we have been taught that you could not look upon the face of God and live. Even Moses, who was so close to God, wanted to see God, and God told him no. He put His hand over Moses and passed by him, and Moses saw his back side, Exodus 33:22. There we will be in his presence all the time and can look in his face anytime we want to. We are sealed with the Lamb's seal. They Shall See His Face
The saints in New Jerusalem will see God's face. Being perfectly holy and righteous, they'll be able to endure the blazing, glorious light from God's presence without being consumed. That was impossible for mortal men.
22:5 And 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.
Since in the New Jerusalem God is always present, His glory makes all other sources of light unnecessary (Rev. 21:23; Isaiah 60:19, 20; Zech. 14:7). There Shall Be No Night
We have talked so much about our Lord Jesus being the Light. He is the source of all Light. When the Light is on full power, you certainly do not need a candle. The sun has no more purpose any more either. This presence of this Light is all they need. This Kingdom has no end. It is for all of eternity.
As a final word describing the saint's heavenly experience, they are told it once again that it will never end. They shall reign forever and forever.
22:6 And 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.
Verses 6-21 form a conclusion or summary to the book. They emphasize two themes: (1) the authenticity of the book as a revelation from God; and (2) the imminence of the return of Christ.
These sayings refer to the entire Book of Revelation. They are authenticated as genuine by the angel whom God sent to give them through John to His servants, that is, the members of the churches (Rev. 1: verses 3 and 11).
Here is just a reassurance that all of this is not to be taken lightly. This is the absolute truth. The prophets such as Daniel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah (to name just a few), have all spoken of this special time in history. We even read this in the 24th chapter of Matthew and in the 21st and 22nd chapter of Luke. It is the same information, regardless of who pens it, because the author is God.
The angel's words reinforce an important truth: Everything John saw in Revelation will come to pass. John's words are not mystical and the Apocalypse is not a record of his bizarre dreams or the result of an over active imagination. Further it is not an allegory (a form of translation) from which readers can find hidden meanings of their own concoction. It is an accurate description of events and persons that are yet to come.
Verses 6 to 9 takes us back to the early part of this book, when the faithful and true witness told us that He would send His angel to convey His message concerning the things that must come to pass.
22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed [is] he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
This is Jesus speaking when He says, "Behold, I am coming soon".
Three times we find this expression in the last verses of this book. Some have been confused about the literal meaning of the expression because it was uttered almost 2000 years ago. It is more accurately translated, "Behold, I come suddenly." This saying does not refer to an appointed time soon to come but means that His coming will take place suddenly and without warning. Significant details are given in association with each of these three promises of our Lord.
There is a scripture that speaks of tiring of waiting and going back in sin, Hebrews 12: verses 3 and 4. We must not do this. We must watch and wait for we know not at what hour He cometh. Matt. 24: v.36. "Blessed is he that keepeth the saying of the prophecy of this book". Rev. 1 v.3: This is referring to the Book of Revelation.
But how in the world can you keep the sayings, if you don't know what these sayings are? Most people avoid Revelation like the plague, but if we must keep the sayings, then we must read and understand what they are.
Believers are called to guard or protect the book of Revelation. To defend against detractors who deny its relevance, against those critics who deny its veracity and authority as well as against confused interpreters who obscure its meaning. They are called to not only guard Scripture, but also to obey it.
You might ask, what does it mean to obey the book of Revelation? Think of it as a general command to long for Christ's return and our eternal fellowship with Him. It calls believers to desire heaven, to desire holiness, to desire to see Christ vindicated and for Him to triumph over His enemies, to desire the end of the curse and to desire the glories of Christ's earthly kingdom and the new heaven and the new earth.
To see God's face, to see an end of the Babylonian Harlot and the corrupt commercial and political system, to look forward to a life of peace and happiness.
Thus the purpose of Revelation is not to provide entertainment and to merely satisfy the curiosity of believers about the future but to reveal the glory of God's Son and call believers to live godly, obedient lives in light of His soon return.
22:8 And 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.
Several times in Revelation, we see John overwhelmed by the presence and the power this angel shows him. He, being overcome by the magnitude of it all, starts to worship this angel. Some people have false doctrine centered on angel worship. We must not worship angels. They are created beings. We must worship the Creator. We are warned over and over not to worship angels. John is told several times here in Revelation not to worship this angel.
22:9 Then 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.
The angel quickly reminds the apostle that he too, was a created being by his declaration. Not only his, but also of John's brethren the prophets, and of all believers that are defined here as "Them which keep the sayings of this book."
Then the angel commands John to worship God as God alone is the only acceptable Person to worship. The bible forbids the worship of anyone else including angels, saints, the Virgin Mary or any other created being.
22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
The command not to seal this prophetic message is quite different than what the Lord told Daniel, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end" (Dan 12:4). The reason for the difference in the instructions is simply stated, "the time is at hand." Until the death and resurrection of Christ, the time for this prophecy had not come. Since Jesus already opened the seven seals prophetically (Rev. 5 and 6) to reveal the future, it is only appropriate that the entire book remain open for us to read as well.
In contrast with Daniel, who was told to "seal" up his book of prophecy (since the end was still in the distant future, but here John is told to leave his book open (Seal not). The Messiah had come, His second coming is imminent, and thus now the time is at hand.
The reason for the difference in the instructions is that one lived after the time of Christ's crucifixion, the other before. In John's day it was possible to see the unfolding of the events prophesied; in Daniel's day they were a long way off.
22:11 He 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.
Verse 11 is not a command, but rather a statement of fact and a warning. Character tends to become fixed and unchangeable, determined by a lifetime of habitual action. The arrival of the end will prevent any change of destiny.
Those who hear the truth but continue to do wrong will by that hardened response fix their eternal destiny in hell. Conversely, those who continue to practice righteousness and keep himself holy give evidence of genuine saving faith.
When Christ returns, the deliberate choice of each person will have fixed his eternal fate.
We cannot cover up from God. God sees into the heart. If you are a sinner, He already knows it. You do not have to tell Him. If you belong to Jesus, He knows that, too. Whatever you are down deep, Jesus already knows.
22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Again Christ declares the imminence of His return. This is in red in the Bible, so this is Jesus speaking directly here. All Christians should be watching the eastern sky for In a moment when you think not, the eastern sky will open, the trumpet will blow, and Jesus shall shout. At that time, we will be called to heaven to be with Him forever.
Our rewards will be for the things (treasures) we have stored in heaven. Rewards Rewards are always based on works done by believers based on their faithfulness in serving Christ in this life. Their works will be tested and only those with eternal value "will be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." (1 Cor. 3 v.13)
The rewards believers will enjoy in heaven will be capacities for serving God. The greater their faithfulness is in this life, the greater will be their opportunity to serve in heaven, not to mention the crowns believers will receive.
Having knowledge that Jesus could return at any moment shouldn't lead Christians to a life of idle waiting for His coming. Instead it should produce diligent, obedient, worshipful service to God, and urgent proclamation of the gospel to unbelievers.
Try looking at it this way. By telling everyone you meet now about the good news of Jesus but they don't listen to you, then suddenly the Rapture happens, those people will then remember every word you said to them. That is why I personally believe that right after the Rapture, more people will begin immediately seek the truth about Jesus and that will begin the largest soul harvest the world has every known.
22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
The three designations of verse 13 are virtually equivalent in meaning.
By applying them to Himself, Christ claims unlimited, eternal equality with God (Rev. 1: v.8 and 17; 2: v.8; 21: v.6).
These three designations express Christ's infinity, eternity and boundless life transcending all limitation. These descriptions describe the completeness, timelessness and sovereign authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.
22:14 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.
These closing verses of the Bible make it perfectly clear that salvation is a matter of the will - whoever wishes may come. This clearly implies that whoever wills not to come is lost. This teaching abounds throughout the Scriptures. In contrast to those who reject Christ, we encounter the state of the blessed described here in verse 14. Those who have washed their robes in the righteousness of Christ have a right to the Tree of Life and thus are entitled to live forever. Tree of Life
He describes their state as "blessed," meaning "happy". Every individual wants happiness. The way to eternal happiness is to receive Christ as Lord and Savior, which entitles you to entrance into the Holy City, access to the Tree of Life, and the marvelous blessings of a loving God. If there is any question in your mind as to whether or not you have received the living Christ, I urge you, on the basis of His challenge, to change your will and receive Him as your Lord and Savior today.
They that do his commandments are believers John 14:15: If ye love me, keep my commandments. See (Rev. 12: v.17; Rev. 14: v.12; Matthew 7: verses 13 to 21; 1 John 3: verses 6 to10).
The tree of life indicates immortality and divine blessing (Rev. 2: v.7 and 22: v.2). To be able to enter in through the gates into the city is to have heavenly citizenship in the eternal dwelling place of God and redeemed mankind.
All unbelievers are without (outside) the city, i.e. in the lake of fire. See Rev. 21: v.8 for a list of the type of sins that exclude people from heaven that was given to John. Also read Rev. 21 verse 27.
In James 1:22 we read, "But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."
You see, we are to be about the Father's business. If we truly are sold out to God and have made Jesus the Lord of our lives, the desire of our hearts will be to do His Commandments. The Jews were the natural branches of the tree. We Christians (when we are born again), are grafted into the Tree of Life, who is Jesus Christ our Lord.
22:15 For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
The dogs are impure and malicious people or someone with a low character. The first time blatantly impure sinners were called dogs is in Deut. 23: verse 18. This is where male homosexual prostitutes were in view.
Sorcerers are those who practice occult or witchcraft. Greek Pharmakos is the root of the English word pharmacy which often accompanies those practices.
Whoremongers are those who practice all kinds of sexual immorality. Greek pornos is the root of the English word pornography.
Murderers: means pre-meditated murder. This has nothing to do with accidental killing or killing in war. They are included in the list given in Rev. 21 v.8: "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Idolaters are just those who put anything ahead of God which includes mammon (money) or the love of everything which takes one's attention off serving God. Someone once said: Show me someone's calendar and checkbook and I'll tell you where their heart lies. Think about that. Idolaters are also those who worship false gods or worship the true God in an unacceptable matter.
Maketh at Lie: Everyone sometimes during their life has lied as It's human nature. Some tell little white lies, even some Christians. But all lies are acts of deceiving and can be very harmful to others. Simply withholding some of the truth when asked a question is in itself lying.
Consider carefully how you answer and instead of a white lie or withholding a part of the truth, find another way. I would rather be told the truth no manner how bad it is rather than find later I had been deceived. Those who "loveth and maketh a lie" has to do with hurting someone else. Any time we hurt someone else, it is sin.
It is not all who have ever committed any of these sins listed above that will be excluded from heaven. But it is those who love and habitually practice these sins and stubbornly cling to them and refuse Christ's invitation to salvation who will be the ones cast into the lake of fire.
22:16 I 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.
"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify." This is the first time that the words "I Jesus" appear in the bible. It establishes that this final invitation in Scripture is not a human invitation, but a divine call issued personally to sinners by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
This verse is Jesus' seal of approval on the whole book of Revelation. It marks the first use of the word "church" since chapter three. Why is there no reference of the Church during the time of tribulation on earth described in chapters 6 through 18? Because the church, having been raptured to heaven, will not be on earth.
How can Jesus be "the root and the offspring of David" both? In the Flesh this is impossible. David, in the flesh, was the ancestor of Jesus. In the Spirit, Jesus was David's ancestor. Jesus was David's God.
We read in II Peter 1:19 "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:"
You see, it is not unusual in a symbolic way to speak of Jesus as a star. Here is our Bright Star. Until we receive this Star into our life, we are full of darkness.
22:17 And 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.
The Lord's Last Invitation to Humankind -The Lord Jesus Christ, ever concerned for the souls of the lost, closes His great revelation with a challenge for individual people to call on His name. He indicates that there are two who invite us to come to Him: the "Spirit" and the "bride". In addition, He will even use "him who hears."
God the Holy Spirit will use the printed page as well as those who are just repeating what they have heard but may not even believe what they are saying. He also uses the "bride", which indicated that the primary ministry of the Church of Christ during the entire Church Age is to tell others about the Savior. All Christians everywhere should be engaged in saying to their fellow human beings: "Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." Jesus Christ, of course, is the water of life. How Do I Become a Christian
The Holy Spirit, since the beginning, has been saying "Come". Unless the Holy Spirit of God woos you, you can forget being saved. It is God's wish that all should be saved. I really believe what this is saying, in this particular instance, is that the Spirit and the believers are saying, "Come quickly Lord Jesus". Salvation is open to whosoever will.
Everyone has a hungering and thirsting for God. Some do not know what they are hungering for. It is so simple just to give in and let Jesus bring you salvation, peace, joy, and life that lasts forever. When we take of this Water of Jesus, it brings Eternal Life. The water, Spirit, and blood testify for us and assure us of a heavenly home, John 5:8.
22:18-19 "For 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:" "And 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."
The speaker who testifies to the authority and finality of the words of the prophecy of this book is the Lord Jesus Christ.
A Severe Warning to the Detractors From This Prophecy - I (Jesus) warns everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
This is one of the most awesome challenges in the Word of God against tampering with Holy Writ. Far too many today glibly ridicule, detract from, and cast disparaging remarks on Holy Scripture. This is their day of opportunity, but their judgment will come upon them swiftly in God's good time. It is a fearful thing to disbelieve God, and it is unbelief that causes someone to detract from His Holy Word.
Although this is not a reference to Bible believing commentators of the Word who mistakenly translate some passage and inadvertently minimize it. The Lord's warning here is addressed to those who engage in deliberate falsification or misinterpretation of Scripture, those who Paul denounces as peddlers of the Word of God, (2 Cor. 2 v.17.
Still it does serve as a soul stirring challenge to those who have taken in hand to write and preach on this marvelous book.
22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
As previously stated, the translation is "surely I come suddenly", when least expected. The cry of every Christian should be "come quickly Lord Jesus", as I said before. My cry, as I go through the land telling people of my Savior and Lord, is "JESUS IS COMING".
John speaks for all true believers when he writes, "Come Lord Jesus", since Christians are those "who have loved His appearing" (2 Tim. 4 verse 8). Scoffers may mockingly ask, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation" (2 Peter 3 verse 4). But things will not continue forever as they are. Jesus will return, just as Revelation predicts. If the certainty of Christ's return to judge sinners does not motivate people to repent, then nothing will.
"Amen" means so be it.
22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen.
This scripture is an expression of God's grace toward fallen humanity.
The Lord of glory, as He promised in Scripture, offers heaven exclusively to those who accept His gracious invitation. Without the "grace of our Lord Jesus" none of us would be saved.
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