Revelation 22:1-9

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

CONCLUDING REVELATIONS AND EXHORTATIONS

INTRODUCTION:

In chapters 2-3 we have studied things that take place in the church age. In chapters 4-19, we have studied things which will happen in the tribulation; and in chapter 20, we have studied things which will occur in the millennium.

We have moved on to chapters 21-22 which deal with eternity future, things which will occur after the millennium.

We see -

I. THE RIVER OF THE WATER OF LIFE - 22:1

Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

He shewed me [i.e. the angel speaking to John] is he pointed out to me or he made known to me.

What he showed John was a pure river of water of life.

A pure river is a clean river. There are no pollutants whatsoever in this river.

Although all rivers have water, this one has water of life, i.e. water which gives life or water which sustains life.

Clear as crystal indicates that this river is transparent as rock-crystal. There are no impurities in this water.

Proceeding out [i.e. going out] of the throne of God and of the Lamb indicates that the source of the river is the throne of God and of the Lamb.

The throne of God is the heavenly throne on which God the Father sits and which Christ shares. This throne has been seen in Revelation starting in chapter 4.

And of the Lamb indicates that Christ is still on the throne in the eternal state.

Next, we see -

II. THE TREE OF LIFE - 22:2

Revelation of Jesus Christ 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.

In the midst of the street of it is in the middle of the street of the new Jerusalem.

The street is the wide road or the wide street.

And on either side of the river is and on each side of the river.

Was there the tree of life is (there was) the tree which gives life or (there was) the tree which sustains life. The picture is of a river flowing in the middle of a broad street. A tree is found in the middle of the street, and this tree spans the river. In other words, the river flows through the tree down the middle of the street. Some expositors regard tree as a collective noun and believe that a row of trees is on each side of the river rather than there being only one tree spanning the river. This is possible. We'll see it when we get to heaven, and we'll know for sure at that time.

Which bare is simply yielding, bearing, or producing and refers to the tree of life.

Twelve manner of fruits is simply twelve fruits.

Yielded her fruit every month is month by month, each one, giving back its fruit. It means that each month (for twelve months) a different fruit is produced by this tree. At the end of the twelve months, the cycle is repeated.

The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations, i.e. the leaves of the tree are for the treatment (or healing) of the nations (or of the Gentiles). In view of the fact that this is referring to something happening in eternity future, there is no need to heal the nations (or Gentiles) from things in the past resulting from sin. It seems best, therefore, to understand it as meaning that the leaves will keep them healthy forever.

The tree of life seems to have reference to a similar tree in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:22-24). Its character is revealed in Genesis 3:22 as being such that if Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of life, physical death would have been an impossibility. The tree in the new Jerusalem seems to have a similar quality and a similar intent.

Genesis 3:22-24 - 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

In addition, back in Revelation of Jesus Christ 22 , we see -

III. THE THRONE OF GOD - 22:3

Revelation of Jesus Christ 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.

There shall be no more curse clearly implies that every curse will no longer exist.

The curse came because of the sin of Adam and Eve. It is found in Genesis 3:17-19 .

Genesis 3:17-19 - 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

In the new Jerusalem there will be no curse at all and no possibility or need of such divine punishment. Rather, the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will serve Him unceasingly.

Shall be no more is predictive of a future situation which is definitely going to occur. When combined with a negative as it is here, it means that this future situation of being under a curse will never come to pass. In eternity future the curse which came on the entire creation as a result of Adam's sin in the Garden of Eden will be a thing of the past.

But introduces a contrast to the idea that there will be no more curse.

Instead of a curse there will be tremendous blessing: the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it.

The throne suggests the sovereignty of God Who sits on the throne in full control of all that takes place. It also suggests His personal presence which will provide a continuous blessing rather than a curse.

Of God refers to God the Father.

And of the Lamb refers to Christ and indicates that He sits with His Father on His Father's throne.

Shall be is predictive of a future circumstance which is definitely going to happen.

In it means in the new Jerusalem.

Furthermore, his servants shall serve him. It means that God the Father's servants will serve God the Father.

Servants is the term for slaves or bondslaves and refers to saved people. It is not used in the sense that they are forced to serve as slaves to Him; instead, it is a voluntary submission and service done out of love for Him. All those in the new Jerusalem are His servants; so it refers to all the occupants of the new Jerusalem.

Shall serve him is predictive of a future event which is definitely going to happen.

Furthermore, we see -

IV. THE BLESSEDNESS OF FELLOWSHIP - 22:4-5

Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:4-5 - (4) And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (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 for ever and ever.

They refers to God's servants from verse 3.

Shall see is predictive of a future event which is definitely going to happen.

What God's servants will see is his face, i.e. God's face. This has never been done before. During this life no man can see God and live. God told Moses in Exodus 33:20 , . . . Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. Accordingly, John wrote in John 1:18 ,

John 1:18 - No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

He also wrote in John 6:46 ,

John 6:46 - Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God [i.e. except Christ], he hath seen the Father.

Similarly, Paul wrote in I Timothy 6:15-16 ,

I Timothy 6:15-16 - (15) Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of Lords;

(16) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

John likewise wrote in I John 4:12 ,

I John 4:12 - No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Yet, Jesus stated in Matthew 5:8 that the pure in heart will see God.

Back to Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:4

His name refers to God the Father's name.

Shall be in their foreheads, i.e. will be on (or upon) their foreheads, indicates where God the Father's name will be. As such, it will mark each one of them as belonging to Him.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 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 for ever and ever.

There shall be no night there is literally night shall not be there and means that it will always be day.

Night implies darkness as well as much sin and wickedness that goes with it. None of these things will ever be there.

Shall be is predictive of a situation which will definitely occur in the future. When negated as it is here, it implies that this will never take place.

There means in that place and implies in the new Jerusalem.

They need no is they have no need of.

Inasmuch as it will never be night in the new Jerusalem, there will be no need for a candle (i.e. for a lamp) to light someone's way.

Neither light of the sun indicates a second thing which will never be needed in the New Jerusalem.

Light of the sun is light produced by the sun or sunlight. The reason there will be no need of the light of the sun is indicated by for the Lord God giveth them light.

For is the word ordinarily translated because and is to be understood in this sense here.

The Lord God refers to God the Father.

Giveth them light is shines upon them, i.e. shines upon the occupants of the New Jerusalem; and its tense denotes continuous and ongoing action. It is descriptive of a situation which will exist forever.

They shall reign for ever and ever.

They refers to saved people, the occupants of the new Jerusalem.

Shall reign is predictive of a future event which is definitely going to happen.

For ever and ever means that there will never be an end to their reign. However, the exact capacity or capacities in which they will reign is not revealed.

After this, we see -

V. THE CERTAINTY OF THE BLESSED HOPE - 22:6-7

Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:6-7 - (6) And 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. (7) Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Verses 6-7 reinforce the revelation given in verses 3-5.

He said refers to the angel, and unto me is to me and refers to John.

What he said is the rest of the verse.

These sayings are faithful and true is these words are faithful and true.

By faithful the angel means trustworthy, reliable, or dependable.

By true the angel means in accordance with truth. These sayings or words can be trusted and depended on. They are also true. There is absolutely nothing whatsoever deceptive in them.

The Lord God of the holy prophets is literally the Lord, the God of the holy prophets, and seems best understood as referring to God the Father although it is also true of Christ. God gave this revelation to Christ Who sent His angel to His servant John so that Christ's servants (who are also God's servants) would know the things which were to happen soon. This is made clear by a comparison of this verse with Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:1 and Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:16 .

Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:1 - The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 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.

Back to Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:6

He is not only the Lord God of the prophets, but He is also the Lord God of all other saved people as well.

Sent implies sent on a mission. It is the word from which the word apostle is derived.

The Lord God has sent his angel by which the angel speaking with John means himself.

His refers to the Lord God of the holy prophets.

The purpose for which He sent His angel is indicated by to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

To shew is to make known or to point out.

Unto his servants is to his servants or to his slaves.

Again, his refers to the Lord God of the holy prophets.

All the people in the new Jerusalem in eternity future will be the Lord God's servants who have voluntarily enslaved themselves to Him.

The things which must shortly be done is what things are necessary to happen soon.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Verse 7 introduces a change in speaker from the angel to Christ.

Behold is you see.

I come quickly is I am coming in a short time or I am coming soon. By this statement Christ is referring to His coming at the rapture rather than to His second coming. Christ then pronounces the sixth of seven blessings found in the Book of Revelation.

Blessed is, which means happy (is), describes he that keepeth.

He that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book indicates the one who is blessed.

He that keepeth is the one who keeps in the sense of the one who observes, the one who fulfills, or the one who pays attention to.

What he keeps, observes, fulfills, or pays attention to are the sayings of the prophecy of this book, i.e. the words of the prophecy of this book.

Of the prophecy of this book refers to the Book of Revelation whose words have come by prophecy, i.e. by direct revelation from God through Christ. These words constitute divine revelation; and they are to be heeded by the readers.

Moving on, we see -

VI. JOHN WORSHIPS BEFORE THE ANGEL - 22:8-9

Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:8-9 - (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 shewed me these things. (9) Then 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.

I John identifies the words in verse 8 as those of the Apostle John.

Saw these things, and heard them refers to the contents of what this angel has just shown John in Revelation of Jesus Christ 21:9-22:5 . He has seen and heard various things.

When I [i.e. John] had heard and seen is literally when I heard and saw, and it has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

I fell down to worship indicates the purpose of John's falling down before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

I fell down to worship means I fell down and worshiped, I fell and prostrated myself before, or I fell down to reverence.

Before the feet of the angel which shewed me is before the one showing me, before the one pointing out to me, or before the one making known to me.

Again, these things refers to the content of the vision of the holy city, the new Jerusalem, in Revelation of Jesus Christ 21:9-22:5 .

Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:9 Then 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.

Then saith he unto me is and (or but) he says to me and refers to the angel before whose feet John bowed down to worship.

Unto me is to me (i.e. to John).

What the angel says to John comprises the rest of verse 9.

See thou do it not suggests don't do it.

For I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book provides the reason John should not bow down before this angel to worship him.

For I am thy fellowservant means for I am your fellow-slave.

I refers to the angel and thy refers to John.

And of thy brethren the prophets indicates that this angel is not only John's fellowservant but that he is also the fellowservant of John's brothers the prophets. It does not mean that the angel is one of John's brethren the prophets.

Thy brethren the prophets refers particularly to those who were prophets in the New Testament era. The fact that they are John's brothers may mean that they are fellow-Jews. It may instead mean that they are fellow-believers.

A third group of whom this angel is a fellowservant is them which keep the sayings of this book, which implies all believers in the New Testament and tribulation eras. This includes us.

Them which keep is the ones who are keeping, the ones who are observing, the ones who are fulfilling, or the ones who are paying attention to.

What they are keeping, observing, fulfilling, or paying attention to are the sayings of this book, i.e. the words of this book, by which he means the words of the Book of Revelation.

Rather than worshiping this angel, John was supposed to worship God, i.e. to fall down and worship, to do obeisance to, to prostrate himself before, or to reverence God. It is the God of all creation Who is to be worshiped rather than the angel to whom John was speaking.