Revelation Chapter 22 Continued
Revelation 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.”
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.
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.
Verses 12-13: Again, Christ declares the imminence of His return. “Reward” is always based on “work” (compare Jer. 17:10; Rom. 2:6; 1 Peter 1:17). For believers, there is the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10; compare Dan. 12:2 for Old Testament saints). For unbelievers, there are various judgments, culminating in the Great White Throne judgment (20:11-15; Matt. 25:31-46). The three designations (of verse 13), are virtually equivalent in meaning. By applying them to Himself, Christ claims unlimited, eternal equality with God (compare 1:8, 17; 2:8; 21:6).
Revelation 22:12 “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
“I come quickly” (see note on 3:11). Again, imminence is the issue (compare Mark 13:33-37).
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 (see article “Rapture”).
“According as his work shall be: Only those works which survive God’s testing fire have eternal value and are worthy of reward (1 Cor. 3:10-15; 4:1-5; 2 Cor. 5:10).
Our rewards will be for the things (treasures), we have stored in heaven. Rewards are always based on works done by believers based on their faithfulness in serving Christ in this life (see article “Rewards In Heaven For Christians”). 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. 3:13).
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 to seek the truth about Jesus and that will begin the largest soul harvest the world has ever known.
Revelation 22:13 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
“I am Alpha and Omega” (see note on 1:8).
The three designations of verse 13 are virtually equivalent in meaning.
(1) Alpha and Omega;
(2) The beginning and the end;
(3) The first and the last.
By applying them to Himself, Christ claims unlimited, eternal equality with God (Rev. 1:8, 17; 2:8; 21:6).
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.
Verses 14-15: “They that do his commandments” are believers (compare 12:17; 14:12; Matt. 7:13-21; 1 John 3:10). The “tree of life” indicates immortality and divine blessing (compare 2:7; 22:2). 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; compare verse 15; 21:8, 27). The “dogs” are impure and malicious people (compare Deut. 23:17-18; Phil. 3:2). “Sorcerers” are those who practice witchcraft (Greek Pharmakos). “Whoremongers” are those who practice all kinds of sexual immorality (Greek pornos; compare 1 Cor. 6:9-10). “Lie” (see 12:9; Prov. 6:16-19; 12:22; l John 8:44).
Revelation 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. “
“Blessed are they that do his commandments” (see note on 1:3). This symbolizes those who have been forgiven of their sins, who have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb of God (Heb. 9:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19; see note on 7:14).
These closing verses of the Bible make it perfectly clear that salvation is a matter of the will, whosoever wishes may come. This clearly implies that whosoever 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.
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. 12:17; 14:12; Matt. 7:13- 21; 1 John 3:6-10).
“Tree of life” (see notes on verse 2; Gen. 2:9).
The tree of life indicates immortality and divine blessing (Rev. 2:7; 22:2). 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 (see article “Tree of Life – River of Water of Life”).
All unbelievers are without (outside), the city, i.e. in the lake of fire (see Rev. 21:8), for a list of the type of sins that exclude people from heaven that was given to John. Also (read Rev. 21:27).
James 1:22 ” 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.
Revelation 22:15 “For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”
“Dogs”: Considered despicable creatures in New Testament times. The term when applied to people referred to anyone of low moral character. Unfaithful leaders (Isa. 56:10), and homosexual prostitutes (Deut. 23:18), are among those who received such a designation.
Sorcerers are those who practice occult or witchcraft. Greek “Pharmakos”, is the root of the English word pharmacy which often accompanies those practices (see note on 9:21).
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. 21:8).
Rev. 21:8 “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.
Verses 16-17: “Jesus” now authenticates His “angel” through whom He has given this revelation to John (compare 1:1). “You” is plural, indicating that the revelation is for all the churches. As “the root and the offspring of David”, Jesus is the fulfillment of the messianic promise of (Isaiah 11:1; compare 5:5; Rom. 1:3). As “the bright and Morningstar”, Jesus will shortly bring in the new age: the messianic kingdom (compare Num. 24:17; Rom. 13:11-12; 2 Peter 1:19).
Revelation 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 (see 1:1).
“The churches”: The 7 churches of Asia Minor who were the book’s original recipients (1:11).
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.
“The root and the offspring of David”: Christ is the source (“root”), of David’s life and line of descendants, which establish His deity. He is also a “descendant” of David, which establishes His humanity. This phrase gives powerful testimony to Christ as the God-Man (compare 2 Tim. 2:8).
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 2 Peter):
2 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:”
“Bright and morning star”: This is the brightest star announcing the arrival of the day. When Jesus comes, He will be the brightest star who will shatter the darkness of man’s night and herald the dawn of God’s glorious day (see note on 2:28).
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.
Verse 17 contains four invitations to the unsaved to “come” to Christ in faith for eternal life. The “Spirit” is the Holy Spirit, and the “bride” is the church (compare 19:7-9; 21:9). The Holy Spirit works through the church to evangelize the world. The “water of life” is eternal life, available “freely” by faith in Christ (compare 7:17, 21:6; Isa. 55:1; John 4:14; 7:37).
Revelation 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.”
“Come”: This is the Spirit’s and church’s answer to the promise of His coming.
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.
“Let him that heareth say”: This is an unlimited offer of grace and salvation to all who desire to have their thirsty souls quenched (compare Isa. 55:1-2).
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 (see article “Christian – How Do I Become a Christian?”).
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 (see note on verse 1). The water, Spirit, and blood testify for us and assure us of a heavenly home (John 5:8).
Verses 18-19: 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 (compare Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Prov. 30:6; Jer. 26:2). These warnings against altering the biblical text represent the close of the New Testament canon. Anyone who tampers with the truth by attempting to falsify, mitigate, alter, or misinterpret it will incur the judgments described in these verses. The speaker is Christ Himself (see verse 20), who thus claims a canonicity for the book (and the entire New Testament), equal to that of the Old Testament. Anyone who willfully distorts the message of the Book of Revelation shows himself not to be a genuine believer and will not participate in eternal life or the blessings of the New Jerusalem. Almost all Greek manuscripts read “tree of life” instead of “book of life”.
Revelation 22:18 “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:”
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.
Revelation 22:19 “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.”
This is one of the most awesome challenges in the Word of God against tampering with Holy Writing. 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 corruptors of the Word of God (2 Cor. 2:17).
Still it does serve as a soul stirring challenge to those who have taken in hand to write and preach on this marvelous book.
Verses 20-21: The final promise of Christ in the Bible is that His return is imminent (see also verses 7, 12). “Amen” means “truly” or “so be it”. The believer’s response is simply, “Come, Lord Jesus”, which is the equivalent of the Aramaic “Maranatha” (1 Cor. 16:22). The answer to the problems of life is to be found in the return of the sovereign Son of God. Verse 21 is a benediction of “grace” (compare Rom. 16:24; 1 Cor. 16:23; Phil. 4:23; 1 Thess. 5:28; 2 Thess. 3:18; contrast Mal. 4:6d).
Revelation 22:20 “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
“Surely I come quickly” (see note on 3:11). In light of this future expectation, what is now required of believers is outlined by Peter (see 2 Peter 3:11-18).
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. 4:8). 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 3:4). 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.
Revelation 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.
Without the “grace of our Lord Jesus” none of us would be saved. While we were yet in sin, Jesus died for us. Salvation is a free gift of God.
The letters of GRACE are commonly known as: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
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.
Revelation Chapter 22 Continued Questions
1. He that is unjust let him be __________ still?
2. Why does our character become fixed and unchangeable?
3. What is the reward Jesus brings with Him?
4. What will the works be tested with?
5. What three names does Jesus call Himself that means eternity?
6. What do these three designations express?
7. Describe what will happen at the catching away?
8. When you do the Commandments, what does this give you the right to?
9. Be ye _________ of the word and not _________ only?
10. Who are without?
11. Who are the dogs?
12. What are idolaters?
13. What did Jesus say He was to David?
14. What heavenly body is Jesus called?
15. Who can take of the water of life?
16. Who is the bright and morning star?
17. What is the Holy Spirit saying to the unsaved?
18. Who is the water of life?
19. What will happen if you add or take away words from this book?
20. What should be the cry of every Christian?
21. Explain grace.
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