Revelation 22:10-15

Sunday, November 29th, 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.

In chapters 21-22 we are studying things as they will be in eternity future after the end of the millennium.

We have already seen -

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.

We have also already seen -

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 addition, we have already seen -

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.

Furthermore, we have already seen -

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.

Moreover, we have already seen -

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.

Finally, we have already seen -

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.

We move on to -

VII. THE COMMAND TO PROCLAIM THE PROPHECY - 22:10-11

Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:10-11 - (10) And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. (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.

According to verse 10, since there is a blessing for the one who keeps the sayings of the prophecy given, John is commanded not to seal it. This indicates that the prophecy is intended to be revealed or made known.

He saith unto me [i.e. the angel says to John].

What the angel says this time is found in the rest of verse 10.

Seal not is a negative command whose tense and mood indicate that this is never even to begin to happen. Hence, seal not is understood in the sense of do not begin to seal or never seal. It means that these things are not to be kept secret. A seal would keep people from reading these words. Rather than keeping them from the people, the people need to know them. Hence, they are to be left unsealed or kept open so that people will have access to them.

What John was never to seal is the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

The sayings is the words.

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. Hence, these words constitute divine revelation; and they are to be heeded by the readers.

For [i.e. because] the time is at hand provides the reason John is never to seal the words of the prophecy of this book.

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

The time is at hand means the time is near.

By contrast Daniel was told to seal up the words of the prophecy he was given.

Daniel 8:26 - And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.

Also, Daniel 12:4-10 says,

Daniel 12:4-10 - (4) But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (5) Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. (6) And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? (7) And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. (8) And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? (9) And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. (10) Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

Similarly, in Revelation of Jesus Christ 10:4 John had been told to seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 10:4 - And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

Back to Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:11

Revelation of Jesus Christ 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.

If the prophecies are rejected, there is no other message that will work. The warnings of the book are sufficient; and, therefore, God has no more to say on this matter.

It is reminiscent of Luke 16:27-31 in the story Jesus told about the rich man and Lazarus.

Luke 16:27-31 - 27 Then he (i.e. the rich man) said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him [i.e. Lazarus] to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets [i.e. the Old Testament Scriptures]; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Back to Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:11

The wicked must continue in their wicked ways and be judged by the Lord when He comes. The same rule also applies to the righteous. Neutrality is impossible.

He that is unjust is the one who is unrighteous, the one who is not upright, the one who does wrong, or the evildoer.

Let him be unjust still grants the individual the privilege of making his choice and experiencing its consequences. It means let the one who is unjust keep on being unjust, let the one who is unrighteous keep on being unrighteous, let the one who is not upright keep on not being upright, let the one who is doing wrong keep on doing wrong, or let the one who is an evildoer keep on being an evildoer.

Still is yet. The implication is that he has chosen his direction and can keep going this way if he chooses to reject the gospel message. However, there will come a time when it will be too late for him to change his mind, and his direction and his character will be set for eternity.

He which is filthy is the one who defiles or the one who pollutes. It is not speaking about air pollution or pollution with chemicals or with garbage.

The one who is filthy is commanded, Let him be filthy still, i.e. let the one who defiles keep on defiling or let the one who pollutes keep on polluting. If he chooses to reject the salvation God has provided in Christ, he can continue being filthy. There is no other option. He will continue in his wicked ways.

He that is righteous is the one who is righteous, the one who is just, or the one who is upright. It refers to a saved person who has trusted Christ as his personal Savior.

Let him be righteous still is let the one who is upright keep on being upright or let the one who is just keep on being just. He has made the right choice by trusting Christ. He should continue going in the direction he has chosen, and he will.

He that is holy is the holy one or the sanctified one.

Let him be holy still suggests the one who is holy must keep on being holy or let the one who is sanctified keep on being sanctified. He is heading in the right direction, and he should keep going. He has chosen Christ as his Savior and has been sanctified. He should not seek to go back to living a life characterized by sin; and if he has been genuinely saved, God will not permit him to do so.

The way people will continue to live will be consistent either with their lost condition or with their saved condition. It is also consistent with the statement in Matthew 7:20 , By their fruits ye shall know them.

Next, we see -

VIII. THE BLESSED HOPE AND ASSURANCE OF REWARD - 22:12

Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Christ is the speaker; so I refers to Him.

Behold is you see and is used to call attention to what is about to be said.

I come quickly is I am coming in a short time or I am coming soon. By this Christ refers to the rapture rather than to His second coming. It is the same phrase used in verse 7.

My is Christ, and my reward suggests the reward that Christ has which He will distribute.

As indicated by the italics, is has been supplied by the translators.

Is with me suggests that Christ already has in His possession the reward He will be distributing. It indicates that He is fully prepared or ready to come.

To give every man according as his work shall be indicates the purpose for which Christ is coming quickly or soon.

To give is to render, to reward, or to recompense.

To every man is to every (one) or to each (one) and includes females as well as males.

According as is simply as.

His work shall be indicates that every person will be rewarded in accordance with his own works. It will be totally fair and impartial. He that is unjust or filthy as a result of his rejection of Christ will spend eternity in the lake of fire. He that is righteous or holy as the result of his having trusted Christ as his Savior will spend eternity in heaven.

We see next -

IX. THE MAJESTY OF THE ETERNAL CHRIST - 22:13-16

Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:13-16 - (13) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (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. (15) For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (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.

Christ is the speaker in verse 13; and He says, I am Alpha and Omega. The occurs in the Greek text before Alpha and also before Omega, indicating that these are the particular letters of the Greek alphabet known as Alpha and Omega.

Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the last latter in the Greek alphabet. It would be like someone saying in English, I am the A and the Z. This was previously stated of God the Father in Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:8 and of Christ in Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:11 . What is true of God the Father is also true of Christ.

It was also stated of God the Father in Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:8 that He is the beginning and the ending. Now in Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:13 the same thing is being stated of Christ: He is the beginning and the end. Again, what is true of God the Father is also true of God the Son, i.e. of Christ. In Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:8 God the Father is the speaker and says,

Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:8 - I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

In Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:11 Christ is the speaker and says,

Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:11 - . . . I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

By the beginning and the end Christ defines what He means by Alpha and Omega. Beginning and end is simply another way of saying the Alpha and the Omega. It is thus defining the meaning of Christ as the Alpha and the Omega. Christ is all there is from Alpha to Omega, i.e. from A to Z. He is also the beginning and the end as well as all that comes in between. The Greek text in Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:8 translated beginning and ending is identical to the Greek text in this verse translated beginning and end. Thus, the same things stated to be true of God the Father are also stated to be true of Christ Who is the exact image of the Father.

First and last is still another way of saying Alpha and Omega. Although not translated in the King James Bible, the appears before both first and last. By the first and the last, Christ means that He is the eternal One Who existed before the creation and Who will exist after the destruction of the present creation. It is another way of saying that there never has been and never will be a time when He did not, does not, or will not exist.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 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.

In verse 14, we learn that believers are the ones who do His commandments, who have right to the tree of life, and who may enter in through the gates into the city.

Jesus continues as the speaker in verse 14.

Blessed means happy.

As indicated by the italics, are has been supplied by the translators.

They that do his commandments are the ones who are blessed.

They that do are the ones who are doing and suggests that they are keeping or that they are obeying.

What they are doing, keeping, or obeying are his commandments.

By his Christ means God the Father's.

That they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city is used to show purpose or perhaps intended result. If it is used to show purpose, that is understood in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that. If, however, it is used to show intended result, that is to be understood in the sense of so that or with the result that.

They refers to the ones who are doing His commandments. They are saved people, but they are not saved by doing good works; instead, they are doing good works because they are saved.

May have is shall have. There is no question about it.

Right is their right where their refers to the ones doing His commandments. The word translated right is used in the sense of the right to act. It is a legal technical term used especially in wills.

To the tree of life is to the tree which gives life or to the tree which sustains life to which they have the right to come.

May enter in through the gates into the city. Of course, there is no way to enter the city other than through the gates. Thus, only those who have the right to enter the city through the gates will gain access to the new Jerusalem.

Into the city suggests into the new Jerusalem. These people, the ones who are doing, keeping, or obeying God's commandments, thereby evidencing their salvation, will be given access into the new Jerusalem.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Christ continues as the speaker in verse 15.

For seems to be understood in the sense of but, as introducing a contrast with what was stated in verse 14.

Without is outside and means outside the new Jerusalem. These persons are those who do not gain access into the city or who are excluded from it. The fact is, however, that they will actually be in the lake of fire.

As indicated by the italics, are has been supplied by the translators.

Dogs is literally the dogs, and the before dogs is used to show that the entire group (or the sum total) of people known as dogs is being treated or regarded as a whole, as a class, or as a group. It is not clear what John means by dogs. What is clear is that dogs were not highly regarded household pets or man's best friends in Bible times. They were repulsive scavengers who lived around trash heaps. Hence, to call someone a dog was not at all complimentary.

In the Scriptures three different groups are called dogs. In Deuteronomy 23:18 , male prostitutes are called dogs.

Deuteronomy 23:18 - Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the Lord thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

In Matthew 15:26 , unclean Gentiles are called dogs.

Matthew 15:26 - But he answered and said, It is not meet [i.e. it is not good, it is not right] to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.

In Philippians 3:2 , Paul calls the Judaizers dogs.

Philippians 3:2 - Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

No such thing as a dog will be in heaven. It implies that the sum total of all those known as dogs, i.e. as repulsive individuals, will be excluded from the new Jerusalem.

The same thing is true of sorcerers, of whoremongers, of murderers, of idolaters, and of those who love and make lies. The appears before each term in the Greek text in order to indicate that it refers to the entire group (or sum total) of people described by each of these terms. It is all the sorcerers, all the whoremongers, all the idolaters, and all those who love and make lies.

Sorcerers, i.e. magicians, will also find themselves outside the new Jerusalem. Every one of them will be excluded from the new Jerusalem.

Similarly, all the whoremongers will be excluded from the new Jerusalem. Whoremongers are fornicators or those who practice immorality generally.

All the murderers will also be outside the new Jerusalem.

All the idolaters will also be excluded from the new Jerusalem.

Whosoever loveth and maketh a lie is everyone who is fond of and makes a lie. Those who like or love lying and those who practice lying will all likewise be excluded from the new Jerusalem. There are no exceptions.

Does this mean that anyone who has ever been a sorcerer, a fornicator, a murderer, an idolater, or a liar will never be able to go to heaven? No. It refers only to those unsaved persons who have committed such terrible sins. I Corinthians 6:9-11 is pertinent.

I Corinthians 6:9-11 - 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified [i.e. declared righteous] in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

We are going to stop here, and we'll deal with verse 16 next time.

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.