Revelation Chapter 22
Rev 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Rev 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.
First God brings judgment then we have repentance, and then the healing of nations. So we see the eternal purpose of God is to have an earth full of people, nations and life upon the earth. This was His purpose at the creation of the earth. He wanted to dwell with mankind and have fellowship with us.
Before the fall of man, God walked in the garden with Adam in the evening. When sin entered the picture, God had to leave for He could not dwell with sin. Since man sinned and brought both physical and spiritual death upon all of us, God had to send a man to undo the curse. The Son of God became a man and took on human flesh. He lived though without sin so that when death came upon Him, He died undeserving of that death.
He did not deserve to die for sin because He committed no sin. That made His death available for us to claim on our behalf. The just died for the unjust. He took our punishment for us so that all we have to do is believe this and accept this, repent of the sin which condemns the soul to eternal death and we can be saved from sin. When Jesus rose from the dead, He got victory over death. Those who believe in Him will also get victory.
To believe in something is to partake of it. If our bank says its going to give us 10000 dollars free if we ask for it and we do not have to pay it back, we would have to go to the bank and claim that offer. If we believed that the bank existed and was full of money yet we didn't believe they were really going to freely give us some of it, we would stay home and not claim the free gift.
Its not enough to just believe that God sent His Son to die for sins if we don't believe to the point of repenting of sin and turning over our life to Him. We start living for Him and forsaken our sin if we really believe. He will give us help if we just ask. He gives the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him. The Holy Spirit comes within us and is our helper. He will teach us if we allow Him to. We always have our free will to override the prompting and leading of the Holy Spirit though but He abides within the believer to lead him or her in the right direction.
The blood of Jesus has to cover our sin before we can receive the Holy Spirit. Its all free for the asking and the receiving. God gave us His best, it is up to us to receive His best and that is Jesus and all good things that come with following Jesus. I'm not talking of material wealth or things the world seeks after, I'm talking of spiritual things of God that can never even be compared with the things in this life.
Rev 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:
Rev 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
One day we shall literally see the face of God.
Rev 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 forever and ever.
Rev 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 show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the saying of the prophecy of this book.
We shall receive a blessing when we read this prophecy and when we keep the words in our hearts to live by its teachings and not forsake these warnings.
God is a God of peace, love, joy and all good things but He also is a God that has to put away sin and stop the evil that has come upon His creation. If we don't allow Him to cleanse us of the sin He sent Jesus to destroy, we will be destroyed along with the sin that has to be judged and destroyed. It has to be done or else suffering would continue forever in His kingdom and that is not God's will.
He cannot dwell with us in person until the sin is done away with. He can dwell with us now with the presence of the Holy Spirit within His believers but He can't come in person literally until all evil is removed from the earth. If we choose to stay in our sins, we will be removed along with the evil that is burned away. Since the soul never dies, we have to remember that it will spend eternity in heaven or in hell. The choice is ours to make.
Jesus was speaking to those that did not believe in Him and did not believe that God was His Father and that God sent Him as the Messiah that was to save them from sin. He warned them that their unbelief would cause them to die in their sins.
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Rev 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 showed me these things.
Rev 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
A true prophet of God or angel of the Lord will never except our worship but will direct our worship toward God. I realize that a false prophet or teacher can pretend to direct our worship toward God in order to make us think that he is of the truth but sooner or later the fruits would manifest itself and we can recognize one who exalts self and robs God of glory. A true soul winner for instance will prefer to see people run to the altar to seek the Lord even if he wasn't the one doing the preaching. He will desire to see this more than receiving compliments for his sermon.
Rev 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Unlike Daniel's prophecy which could not be understood at the time Daniel wrote it, the book of Revelation can be understood immediately after John wrote it down. We can now begin to understand Daniel's prophecy and compare the similarities with the book of Revelation.
Rev 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.
Whatever state of mind people are in when it comes to our physical death or the end times, is probably what state we will be in for eternity. Those in hell will not change. They will remain in whatever state of mind they were in when they were cast into hell. Those that are righteous will remain righteous forever.
We must choose this day who we are going to follow. We can follow Christ and achieve His character or follow Satan and be like he is. Whoever we choose to follow will determine where we spend eternity.
Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Jesus said that He would return quickly. To God this will be quick for in His eyes, one day is the same as a thousand years. In the mind of God, the end is shortly coming. If this was true in John's day, it certainly is more true today. We must take heed.
Here are the words of Peter on this subject:
2Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
We must be found without spot and wrinkle. We must be found in Christ and not moved away from that hope. If it wasn't possible to forsake the Lord and lose one's salvation, why is there so much warning in the word to take heed, watch and pray and many other warnings? We must strive to walk in love and walk in the spirit so that we do not become servants of the flesh.
We must be careful to not beat our fellow servants thinking the Lord delays His coming. This happened many times in church history. Some begin to think that the Lord wasn't coming as He said and thought in their hearts that they are supposed to set up His kingdom for Him and force everyone to obey he gospel or what they thought was the gospel. They began to beat their fellow servants, lord over them with harshness, do all their praying for them with rituals, ceremonies and the mass preformed by priests.
The clergy and laity were separated. The clergy did all the religious works and the laity was suppressed and kept from freely worshipping God unless the clergy was present. This may be what we saw in chapters 2 and 3 called Nicolaitism which Jesus hated. I believe He hated it because what He freed us from (the rituals of the law, sacrifices and such) the church put back. We are to worship Him in spirit and in truth, not in ceremonies and intercessions of a priesthood. We can worship God ourselves.
Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Rev 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.
Rev 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
We are to do His commandments as Jesus Himself pointed out many times:
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;
Rev 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.
Now we see the word church mentioned again when it was not mentioned after chapter 3. He is reminding us that this prophecy is sent to all the churches in John's day and has passed down to our generation. These words are not to be taken lightly and ignored like it is some mystical thing we can't understand. We are to study it diligently and keep the words written within.
Jesus came into the lineage of David enabling Him to rightfully ascend the throne promised to David and His seed after Him.
Rev 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.
This water of life is already given to us through the person of the Holy Spirit.
John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Rev 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:
Rev 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.
Any bible translator needs to be very careful not to add or take away the meaning of this prophecy. My words and explanations are never to be taken as God's word but only taken as my words and opinions that are surely subject to error and misunderstanding. God's word in any part of the bible is to be taken seriously and not changed except to translate it carefully into languages that all may read and understand. It is never to be withheld and kept from the laity by the clergy who presumes to know more than the laity. Never stand in the place of Christ and separate God from the common people. A good leader will gently show people the way to God but will then stand aside and let them seek God for themselves.
Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Rev 22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
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