Revelation 22

Revelation 22

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The River of Life

22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Jesus Is Coming

And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”

“And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has 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, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

(ESV)


Revelation 22 Commentary

by Hank Workman

At the beginning of creation – the Tree of Life was planted in the garden.  When Adam and Eve disobeyed, the tree was no longer accessible.  In fact, if you remember they were banished from the garden to work the ground cursed with thorns and thistles.  Yet now within John’s vision, we see redeemed humanity back in the garden, able to eat from the tree of life.  The curse has been removed and God’s people are able to see His face and serve him.

Can you imagine the fellowship with God and the Lamb?  And what makes it clear is redemption was necessary through the sacrifice and death of Jesus, the Lamb.  He was the remedy for the curse to be lifted.  And He did it for each of us and for this ultimate moment we observe.

So the vision of salvation history comes to a satisfying and magnificent conclusion.  In divine providence, the Bible ends with the ultimate restoration of the original creation.  Although sin has marred the history of the human race, God through redemption by His Son, set into motion something new.

In the present age, He rules the hearts of all who have turned to him in faith.  In the age to come, that reign finds its completion.  Sin forever removed.  And it truly brings us full circle to the original desires of God in his creation.

Beautifully, how this vision ends several key things are spoken.  First, the angel tells John not to seal the scroll.  In essence let it be open for inspection, for reflection and for change in reader’s hearts.  This is in complete contrast to the book of Daniel, where after he saw many things – was told several times to seal up these visions in a scroll.  To keep them private for many days.  (Daniel 8:26, 12:4,9)

But in the case of John’s message, the time is short and the churches need to hear the message now.  There is an immediate need of the message and yes response.

The second aspect is the Warrior Jesus Himself speaks giving a crisp message and warning that is to the point.  Everyone should expect to be treated with fairness and justice.  The repayment will be eternal.

“Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Revelation 22:12-13

Using the phrase that He’s the Alpha and Omega these are the first and last letters of the Greek Alphabet.  Together they express the absolute beginning and end all being wrapped up in Jesus.  As Peter pointed out in the passage we just looked at – God chose Jesus long before the world began to be the ultimate ransom of his creation.  And so he was there at the beginning, he will be there at the end.  All of these things show the absolute eternity that is found in Jesus the Christ.  And once again, we are either for Him or against Him.

Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. 15 Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.

Revelation 22:14-15

We read 2 starkly contrasting outcomes.  The first is couched in language previously used to describe the new New Jerusalem:  a return to the Garden of Eden and access to the tree of life (22:1-3 and chapter 14).  The reward amounts to everlasting life and unending companionship with the Lamb. The second is that what’s required is the washing of one’s robes – through the Blood of the Lamb.  We must have experienced this – the forgiveness of sins, through our confession of faith in Jesus.

This goes back to the spiritual transformation that must take place, and might I add, be evident in our lives. God’s expectation is that we are transformed.  We are not who we once were.  And as we see here – those who reject the Lamb, they forfeit entrance into the city.  The ominous word, “Outside” says it all.  It is a sheer exclusion.  One translation says they are spectators.

Jesus speaks again – “I have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches…”

The message of Revelation is for the church, for you.  Jesus states that.  He wants the church to read and to rally – wake up from their slumber.  He wants the church to turn from their ways and go back to following with their whole lives and heart.  This message is very relevant for us today – who have become so lost in so many ways.

Jesus offers the invitation to come.  The Spirit and the Bride say ‘Come’.  Come and drink freely from the water of life.

“On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!

John 7:37

Jesus opens the invitation to all – come to Him.  Come and drink freely from Him of the satisfying water He holds.  And this coming to Him is entering into worship and an obedient – there’s the word again, obedient relationship with Him.  By coming to Jesus, by accepting him as Savior and Lord, in the here and now, believers are guaranteed their eternal place in the there and forever.

The answers to the problems of life do not lie in people’s ability to create a better world but in the return of the One whose sovereign power controls the course of human affairs.  Redemptive history remains incomplete until Jesus returns.  It is for the final act in this great drama of redemption that we wait and long.  “I am coming soon…”  this is a very solemn declaration and promise.

John’s words end with “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.”

The word grace captures the absolute heart of what the gospel is all about.  It is the free and undeserved intervention of God’s saving power.  It’s easy to lose sight of this message of grace in this book.  But it is the overarching message.  Grace and mercy triumph over sin and death.  Satan and his cohorts do not have the last word – the last word belongs to Jesus, the Lamb.

And so we close our study of Revelation with an invitation.  It is an invitation to consider our own lives.  Where has the message of Jesus’ certain return placed us?  Where would we find ourselves if He were to return at this very moment?  What of our passion and zeal for Him?  How and where do we find ourselves this day with these critical leanings?  What has become that “first love” for us?  Is it Him?  Or is it someone or something else?

And what of the people who surround us day in and day out?  Those who have lost their way or have never found their way to begin with?  How are we interceding?  How are we living before them and engaging with them concerning the things of eternity?


Revelation 22 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Tree of Life

The final chapter of the Bible bookends the story that God started in the Garden of Eden. There, we saw a glimpse of the plan He had for mankind which was stifled by sin. Back in Genesis, we are introduced to the tree of life which was planted in the middle of the garden. Its fruit was forbidden. Now, in Revelation, we read of the tree of life which produces fruit and leaves of healing.

In Genesis, we also read that Adam and Eve were banished from the garden and forced to work the ground in order to survive; it was a result of sin. Here in chapter 22, humanity is again able to see God’s face and serve Him with joy because their sin has been removed forever.

It’s hard to comprehend exactly what Heaven will be like. In some ways, we tend to think it will be one giant church service that goes on forever. For some of us, that seems like a compromise. But this is simply not true.

From the beginning of time, God’s will for us has been to experience life the way He intended. The life we live today on Earth is a tiny slice of the glory we will experience once we are reunited with our Savior. Heaven will fulfill our greatest desire – to truly live in harmony with our Creator. There is no greater plan or joyous truth that can be imagined!

Just consider that in heaven we will experience….

  • Perfect joy (Ps 16:11)
  • Perfect knowledge (1 Cor 13:12)
  • Perfect comfort (Rev 21:4-5)
  • Perfect bodies (2 Cor 5:4-5)

Heaven is a place of perfection that is incomprehensible to the human mind! It is the definition of life as God intended and it goes on forever and ever!

Jesus Is Coming

“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”

Revelation 22:7 NASB

And he *said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.

Revelation 22:10 NASB

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

Revelation 22:12 NASB

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Revelation 22:20 NASB

The overwhelming theme that closes out Revelation is the fact that Jesus is coming back. This is both a comfort and a threat. Like a line drawn in the sand, Jesus reiterates that we will either welcome Him or fear Him when He comes. The latter part of Rev 22 is a potent dose of the larger theme contained in the overall book. We are either with Jesus or we are against Him. We are either longing for His return or indulging in the pleasure of the world. We cannot read this book seriously and then go on living the same complacent and compromised lives.

As believers, we know that fear does not have the last word. For those covered by the blood of the Lamb, we eagerly await Christ’s return knowing that because of His sacrifice and victory we too will have victory.

Additional Resources

Revelation 22 Sermon
The Boxcutter Podcast – Revelation 22: Jesus Is Coming Soon

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