A COMMENTARY ON REVELATION CHAPTER 22
INTRODUCTION TO REVELATION CHAPTER 22
The grand theme of the bible is the story of human redemption. This theme is well illustrated by how it is discussed in the first and last books of the bible.
l. Genesis begins with creation of the heavens and the earth. Revelation ends with the creation of the new heavens and earth.
2. Genesis begins with man in the garden of Eden. Revelation ends with man back in a garden with the tree of life.
3. In Genesis man meets Satan, is overcome and falls. In Revelation Satan meets the Son of God, is cast out of heaven and stripped of all his authority.
4. In Genesis man is cast out of Eden and deprived of the tree of life. In Revelation the redeemed are invited to eat of the tree of life and live forever.
5. In Genesis is a tree, the fruit of which was the curse of all nations. In Revelation is a tree, the leaves of which are for the healing of all nations.
6. In Genesis we see the beginning of sin, pain, sorrow and death. In Revelation we see the end of sin, pain, sorrow and death.
7. In Genesis we see Satan enter to deceive man and the world. In Revelation Satan is cast out that he may deceive the nations no more.
Heaven is pictured as a Holy City. All the cares of this life are over. There will be no sorrow in Heaven. Great joy will abound. This vision is both profound and exciting. Reader you can experience all these joys for the Spirit and the Bride say come!
EXPOSITION ON REVELATION CHAPTER 22
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
In the new Jerusalem; the happy abode of the redeemed. The phrase “water of life,” means living or running water, like a spring or fountain, as contrasted with a stagnant pool.
“but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
The allusion here is doubtless to the first Eden, where a river watered the garden (Gen. 2). This is a description of Eden recovered, or paradise regained. It does not spring up from the ground as some sources of water, but flows from the throne of God and the lamb. cf. this with Eze. 47:1-12.
2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
The supply never fails; the tree is never barren.
3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.
No more curse like that which broke out in Eden.
4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
One of the longings of mankind has been to see God’s face. Moses wanted to see God. Elijah wanted to see God.
5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
They shall need no artificial light. The sun and moon was not created until the fourth day. On the first day of creation there was light and darkness. Now we are told that the need of sun and moon will be no longer needed.
6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”
Compare this with my notes on chapter one verse one. Jesus is the one in whom we can put complete reliance. If these words are not trustworthy then whose word is trustworthy? Scores of pages have been written trying to prove from the words “soon take place” that all of this was to transpire in the first century, therefore, revelation had its fulfillment at the destruction of Jerusalem. If “soon take place” means what some say and others affirm, then we now have all that is promised in the last chapters. Would it not be a sounder interpretation to examine the whole book and then interpret it under the search light of hermeneutics? Remember that chapter four and verse one says “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” So I have interpreted the events from chapter four onward as things “hereafter.”
7 “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”
No other book has laid so much stress on keeping the “prophecy of this book.”
8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me.
Angel worship is forbidden! We are to worship God and him only.
9 But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”
This was no human being speaking. It was an angelic being. Don’t be confused with semantics.
10 Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.
The idea being that they should be communicated to the world.
11 Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.”
If you have been reading this book and seeing the fulfillment of prophecy. If you have received the testimony of the everlasting gospel and it still hasn’t made an impression on you then you will have to just go on doing wrong. When the Word of God does not awaken the conscience; alarm the fears or lay bare the secret feelings of the heart or cause you to tremble at the thought of coming judgment, then you will have to continue to do wrong; there is no power to stop you. God’s Word is like a sword it destroys the hope of a sinner, cutting him down under conviction; prostrating him as if a sword had pierced his heart. It slays the old man of sin.
12 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.
The fundamental truth of the whole Bible is that the saints shall be rewarded. Remember that “soon” doesn’t necessarily mean this generation. Remember the words of 2 Pet. 3:4.
13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
Cf notes on 21:6 He was our Alpha and Omega before the world was and shall be when the world is not.
14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.
This verse is further proof that the city is for real. The city is not as some claim, the church, but a place where the redeemed will enter into by going through the gates. Paul speaks of a washing of water by the word in Eph. 5:26. We are made clean by taking heed thereunto according to the word of God. The Psalmist said “wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereunto according to thy word.” Psalm ll9:9
15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
The term dogs means impure, lascivious persons. These wild people lead unregulated, unclean and offensive lives. They are more like a cur than a human being. Paul uses this term in Gal. 5:15 “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. See Rev. 21:8 for my comments on the sexually immoral etc.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you [The Greek is plural.] this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
The morning star is the harbinger of the day so likewise Jesus is the one who brings light, life, and joy. Jesus is the one who can make your day!
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
The Holy Spirit working through every Christian says come. Let every saint say come and he who is thirsty for the water of life say come.
18 I warn 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.
Such warnings are to be found frequently in the Bible.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Pet. 1:3
Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. Gal. 3:15
Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you. Deut. 4:2
See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it. Deut. 12:32
Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. Prov. 30:6
19 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.
Compare my comments on previous verse.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
This is the usual apostolic benediction. The term grace occurs 129 times in the King James Version, is translated “benefit” one time, “favor” six times, “liberality” one time, “thanks” four times. The primary definition of the term means sweetness, charm and loveliness. It therefore means that which affords joy, pleasure and delight. So Jesus brings us good will, loving kindness and favor. Has Jesus brought this charm, loveliness and good will to your life? If not, accept him today, and you will experience such good will.