Chapter 22


                        Keep in mind the VICTORY, PROMISE, HOPE, AND GLORY of which this prophetic book assures the FAITHFUL TO GOD. We saw in the last chapter the purity and priceless value of the church, the Lamb’s bride. Now, we see the revealing of the eternal promise and the crossing into that eternity. It is a great motivation for these who continue (in the flesh) fighting the good fight of faith that they may lay hold onto eternal life.[1] In this final chapter of this marvelous book, we will note the encouragement to continue in that faithful life …just as the recipients of this letter were encouraged (chapters 2 – 3) specifically and symbolically throughout the book. We mentioned in the beginning of this study, “THE CHURCH WINS.” But as to how, triumphantly, and gloriously this victory comes, one must read and understand the book. Here now is the last of that marvelous revelation of encouragement!

– 2. The “water of life” comes from Christ (John 4:10). With God and Christ both in this holy city, the water of life remains abundant (John 10:10) thus sustaining ALL within the city! In the midst of the street of this city and on either side of the street (thus “umbrelling” the street throughout the city) is the TREE OF LIFE. From this tree are twelve (note the number – religious relationship with God) kinds of life-giving fruit, yielding every month (constant availability). Even the leaves have “healing ability” for all souls who would enter the city BY OBEDIENCE and partake of the tree![2]

– 4. In this eternal city, there is no danger of curse: God is on the throne of rule and Christ is there also, thus preventing anything to which they would need to condemn WITHIN THE CHURCH! His servants serve Him, seeing His face, and bearing His name in their foreheads (minds – Phil. 2:5). From this description, we still see THE CHURCH … but as it is, PURE AND UNDEFILED. We can honestly make the statement – AS LONG AS CHRISTIANS LET GOD RULE, ALLOW CHRIST TO RULE AND WE CONTENT OURSELVES TO SERVE, THEN NOTHING CAN OR WILL HINDER THE CHURCH! Obviously then, it is when CHRISTIANS LEAVE THAT ORDER that they disturb the minds and contentment of other Christians … and of necessity they do so OUTSIDE THE CHURCH – for there is no curse (no condemnation) in the CHURCH – in CHRIST. [3]

As seen in 21:23, we are reminded there is no need for “artificial light,” since the Lord God gives THEM (the inhabitants of the city) their light. They (the inhabitants of the city) reign forever and ever. There is no end to this eternity!

The angel says to John, “These sayings are faithful and true.” Just as John began (Rev. 1:1) we are again reminded “These things must shortly be done.” Though hundred of years LITERALLY take place, remember this is in GOD’S time! Further, man’s time span is averaged (Ps. 90:10) to 70 – 80 years. It is THIS “short time” we are given to make our souls ready for eternity with Him. The appointed time is set (Acts 17:31) and therefore, our preparation time is NOW (2 Cor. 6:2).

Now we look at the CERTAINTY of this conclusion: “Behold I come quickly” is a statement of PROMISE. The Christian longs for it (Rev. 22: 20; Phil. 3:14 – 15; 2 Timothy 4:7 – 8; et. al.) The Christian KNOWS the blessedness of keeping the saying of the prophecy of this book!

– 9. John saw and heard these things. In his solemn appreciation for these sites, John again falls to worship the angel (Rev. 19:10) and is rebuked for the offer. “See thou do it not! I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets (teachers) and of them that keep (obey) these sayings. WORSHIP GOD!” The emphasis is plain: NO OTHER BEING IS WORTHY OF OUR HOMAGE!

He then said to John, “Seal not these things in this book. The time is at hand.” These matters are not to be concealed as the matters of the beginning of this prophesy were sealed! FOLKS WERE TO KNOW THE CONTENT. Since the time drew nigh, the sooner the message got to the people, the better for their souls!

As long as time continues, man has choice: God does not “force” the change – via His Word, He enacts the change upon the RECEIVING HEART. If the heart does not receive the Word of God, the soul continues in its evil state – his choice. If the soul receives it, it will indeed affect that soul as to change it from evil to good for the reason of HUNGRYING AND THIRSTING AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS – again, the choice of the soul! Only the OBEDIENT is changed AND THE RIGHTEOUS WOULD NOT WISH TO CHANGE. Yet, CHOICE itself does not change --- “let them be as they are.” This passage again shows we are examining the CHURCH and not heaven itself!

Judgment is certain and the Lord will reward every man according to the works of that man based in the standard of his obedience or disobedience to the Word of God. Throughout this book, evil is ALWAYS punished, and RIGHTEOUSNESS is always rewarded!

It is Christ who speaks and with His authority (from beginning to end and all in between) there is no alteration to this book – or any of His Word!

Blessing comes to the OBEDIENT. They have right to the tree of life (eternity with God in heaven) and thus may enter through the gates into the ETERNAL CITY. Note here that one cannot go into the ETERNAL CITY without first entering the HOLY CITY OF GOD – THE CHURCH!

Outside this city, are dogs (the violent who crave to do hurt), sorcerers (those who believe they can deceive and still find salvation), whoremongers (those who crave the lusts of the flesh instead of the wholesomeness of God) murders (those without respect to life either physically or spiritually), idolaters (including covetous folks) and whosoever loves or makes lies (the dependent upon fantasy for their lives instead of unquestioned TRUTH AND FAITHFULNESS.

Jesus declares He sent the messenger to testify these truths John beheld, and that he was to share with the churches. Jesus assures John of being the root (God provided source) and the offspring (promised production) of David (a man after God’s own heart). Jesus is that one and only bright and morning star!

The Spirit and Bride say come. The Spirit of course is the Inspirer of the Word. The Bride is the church. Both plead, “Come. If you are thirsty, COME. Whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely.” This means what it says: ALL are urged to obey God and gain the VICTORY over sin, the PROMISE of eternal life, the HOPE that anchors the souls, and the GLORY given only those who remain faithful unto death!

– 19. Neither addition nor subtraction to the inspiration of this book will profit the soul. To add to this book causes the one to sin and have the plagues recorded here added to his life – and the consequence is LOST. To remove from this book is to receive a removal of his part form the book of life, the holy city and from the things (PROMISES) written in this book. Obviously, this speaks to the CHRISTIAN who has received entrance into the book, into the city and into the promises; for one cannot have removed from him what one never had! Thus, this is a plea to REMAIN FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH. (Rev. 2:10; 14:13)

– 21. Jesus, the testifier of these things, again says, “Surely, I come quickly.” His return is nearer now that when we believed.[4] The assurance of these things being truth is indeed unquestionable! John answers, “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!” It is a longing for His return, that John might enjoy the eternity of which he wrote! By the Spirit, John conveys his desire of grace for all!

We have now concluded the study of what many (perhaps most) consider the most difficult book of the Bible! Yet, prayerfully, you have learned from this series of study. The lessons are many, while the GREATEST lesson is BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH. Both the beginning and the ending of this marvelous book assure us “these things must shortly come to pass.” As MAN counts the time, just over 1900 years have passed since John penned these words on Patmos. However, in God’s mind, it is just short of two days! The greater importance is that of READINESS. Throughout the study, we saw the necessity of “overcome,” “be faithful,” HEAR.” There is no excuse for any soul to avoid obedience to God and His Word. The opportunity continues as long as time continues. But time will expire – either by your death, or His coming. Therefore, with one last plea to all, OBEY HIM!!!

[1] 1 Timothy 6:12
[2] Revelation 2:7; 21:5
[3] Romans 8:1
[4] Romans 13:11