Revelation 22:1 Edit
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.
Revelation 22:2 Edit
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.
The water of life flows through the middle of the golden street of the city and on either side is the tree of life (as an orchard of the same type of tree, not one single plant). Read Psalm 46. The gospel is the center of the path Christians walk. The twelve fruits available each month shows the year-round results of Christian effort. The fruit itself harkens back to the garden of Eden in Genesis 1-3 and those who eat of the fruit of it may live for ever, or in a spiritual sense eternally.
That the leaves provide healing to the nations shows this cannot be Heaven at the end of the kosmos because there is no need of healing of nations in Heaven. Only one nation would remain, the Kingdom of God.
Those that overcome were given to eat of the fruit of the tree of life, hence those that overcome, the first resurrection all relate to the victory of the church over the Jewish persecutors, not to the end of the kosmos and the literal Resurrection that will take place then.
Revelation 22:3 Edit
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:
No more curse is a phrase that speaks of a fulfillment and taking away of the Law of Moses (Matthew 25:41; Galatians 3:10; Galatians 3:13). God the Father and Son are in the church (John 14:23). Christians are called to live lives of service while on Earth (Romans 12:1), but are granted rest in Heaven (Hebrews 4).
Revelation 22:4 Edit
4And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Just like Revelation 14:1, Christians have God forefront in their minds and are lead by His will rather than their own.
Revelation 22:5 Edit
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.
Christ is the Sun (King) now, the new heavens, and there is no more need of earthly light, no more need of earthly guidance for an earthly kingdom. Instead, Christians are led by the gospel, the Word of God. They (referring to the Christians) will reign for the rest of time (ever is a chronological term) over the rest of the world (1 Corinthians 4:8; 1 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Timothy 2:12; ) through their teaching and example. This is different than the reign of the martyrs, or the reign of the rest of the dead for the limited duration (symbolically and not even chronological in nature) of 1000 years. See also Hosea 11.
Revelation 22:6 Edit
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.
Here at the close, the statements found at the beginning are reiterated. John’s vision is now ended and he is writing in more literal terms such as he did in chapter 1.
“the Lord God of the holy prophets” is another reminder of the need to look at the Old Testament to understand the vision that John has had. The God who inspired the prophets of Old has sent His messenger to show John and the rest of the church things which must shortly be done (come to pass 1:1). The imminent nature of the events in this book from John’s perspective is unquestionable. Willful ignorance (stupidity), selfishness, and the traditions of men alone have caused this book to be interpreted as a set of still future events from our time.
Revelation 22:7 Edit
7Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Christ is coming soon relative to the writing of the book of Revelation. It is selfish and erroneous to apply this phrase to the 21st century or beyond. The person who understands the book of Revelation and uses it properly is truly blessed (and this does apply to our time in principle).
Revelaiton 22:8 Edit
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.
This is the second time John attempts to worship a simple messenger from God because of the visions he has seen and heard.
Revelation 22:9 Edit
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.
The messenger stops John and indicates that he is just another servant of God and that God (including the Lamb) alone is worthy of worship (Matthew 4:10).
Revelation 22:10 Edit
10And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
The great contrast to Daniel 8:26; Daniel 9:24; Daniel 12:4,9. Daniel wrote of things that would happen more than 400 years later. John writes of things that are “at hand” or near. And as already shown, Ezekiel sets the time-frame to within five years (Ezekiel 12).
Revelation 22:11 Edit
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.
This relates to the speed at which these events were coming. There is (in a figurative way) no more time for conversion because the destruction is upon them.
Revelation 22:12 Edit
12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Jesus will come very soon (5 times in this chapter alone this and similar indications of time are used. How is it possible to miss the point so horribly!). He will reward every man according to his faith only... No, every human will be rewarded according to their work, whether good or ill.
Revelation 22:13 Edit
13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
In Revelation 1:8; Revelation 1:11 God declares Himself as Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end. Here Christ is speaking claiming that property for Himself (as in Revelation 21:6) indicating once again His Divine nature.
Revelation 22:14 Edit
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.
This verse has a number of important truths wrapped up together.
1. Matthew 7:21-23. Those that obey God (do His commandments) may enter through the gates into the city-state, may enter the church of Christ. Faith alone is not enough. Work, obedience, action is required to become a part of the body of the saved, the church.
2. The tree of life, representing eternal life here spiritually, is something accessed once someone is in the city. It is not a fruit one can eat in order to enter the city. Eternal life is not salvation is not Divine Saving Grace. Eternal life is one of the many blessings Christians have once they are within the walls of the city, once they are saved.
3. The city is pictured as still open and enterable, showing that this is not Heaven pictured, but the church.
Revelation 22:15 Edit
15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
This is a present tense statement that speaks of those outside the church as John is writing. These all represent the state of the Jews before their fall within this context.
1. Dogs - Deut. 23:18; 2 Sam. 16:9; Matt. 7:6; 15:26-27; Phil. 3:2.; 2 Pet. 2:22
2. Sorcerers – e.g. Acts 13:6
4. Murderers – Matt. 23
5. Idolater – throughout the history of the Jewish nation, but specifically in this time period those who turned to Caesar worship
6. Liars - John 8:44
Revelation 22:16 Edit
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.
Jesus redeclares Revelation 1:1. He then identifies Himself as the root of David, the Lamb (Revelation 5:5), and the bright and morning star (2 Peter 1:19; Revelation 2:28), the Sun, the King of the new heavens and the new earth.
Revelation 22:17 Edit
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.
Whether this is the Holy Spirit or Christ or some earthly messenger, the point is the same. The bride is the church. The call here is the gospel call.
Revelation 22:18-19 Edit
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: 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.
In specific, those Christians who alter this letter will suffer the same fate as the Jews.
More generally, the principle of not altering God’s Word is taught here and those that do so sin.
Especially important here is the idea that those who have their names written in the book of life can have it blotted out again (Revelation 3:5) and can be removed from the holy city, the new Jerusaelm (which further proves its not Heaven or some glorified version of the church since one cannot be removed from those). The concept of eternal security is destroyed in this one verse.
Revelation 22:20 Edit
20He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Christ states one last time at the close that the events will take place soon. Opening and closing the apocalypse with that idea. Only a fool understands this book in any modern time frame.
John places his own desire at the end, pleading for Jesus to come soon even as Jesus has said.
Revelation 22:21 Edit
21The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
John closes with the salutation that Christ’s favor be with all who read the letter.
In Truth and Love,