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essay: Revelation Explained continued.

November 16, 2016

Chapter 20

20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

This “angel” is not Jesus Himself but is a ministering spirit that Jesus has given authority to. This angel comes from heaven (near the throne). We can assume from this that Jesus has turned the key to the bottomless pit over to this specific angel and has given him power and authority for this job. This “great chain” in this angel’s hand, shows the power God has given him over the devil for this task, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.

The key shows authority, and the chain depicts imprisonment and binding. Before the millennial kingdom begins, Satan is bound in the Abyss. Satan

When he bound the devil for the 1000 years, the angel put him in the abyss, not in the burning hell. This burning hell was reserved for his final punishment.

Here we see the devil spoken of as the dragon which we read about in a previous lesson. We also see him recognized as the serpent. You see, he was the one who deceived Eve in the garden. The devil will not be here on the earth to harass the Christians until the millennial 1000 year reign of Jesus is over.

20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

The seal indicates God’s authority and guarantee that Satan will not be released until a thousand years have passed. During the Millennium (Latin for “one thousand years”) Satan will not be able to tempt or deceive the nations. Any temptation to sin during the Millennium must come from within those people who are born after the kingdom begins. It must be assumed that all of Satan’s demons or fallen angels are also imprisoned at this time (Isaiah 24: verses 21-23). Christ will reign on earth without opposition, and His kingdom will be characterized by righteousness, peace, and love (Isaiah 2: verses 3 and 4; 11: verses 3-5, 2; Dan 7: verse14; Zech. 14: verse 9). However, after the thousand years Satan will be released for a short while (v.7-9).

At the end of the 1000 years, Satan will once again be released to deceive the nations. He will find many unsaved descendants of those who lived through the millennium. There will be a very large number as we are told in verse eight as they will be like the sand of the seashore or a vast uncountable multitude.

Satan’s deceptive way of getting those sinners to revolt against God is not revealed, but it will fit into God’s plan when He destroys those rebels. These rebels will come from the four corners of the earth and this is also known as Gog and Magog. The first mention of Gog and Magog was in Ezek. Chapters 38 and 39 (which I suggest reading), and is mentioned here in verse eight. Gog and Magog

20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Many of the writers do not believe that this thousand years is a literal time. I personally do. They believe that this is spiritual, and that Jesus bound the devil when He defeated him on the cross. If that were so, who is this terrible thing that has been nipping at my heels all the time that I have been working for God. The devil is real. Just as he brought trials and tribulation (with permission from God) on Job, Christians are allowed to go through tribulation here on this earth to make them strong. Believe me; the devil is not locked up now.

In the scripture above, we find that the martyrs and those who refuse to take the mark of the beast will reign with Christ right here on this earth. Christians, from all generations, will live here on this earth during the millennium and will rule and reign with the Lord Jesus. We will rule with Christ during those years but we will not be equal as we will reign as His subordinates. Won’t it be wonderful to reign with the martyrs like Stephen?

The thrones represent the administration of the messianic kingdom. Those whom John sees come to life are the Tribulation martyrs, who refused to worship the beast.

Christ will rule through three classes of kingdom administrators:

  1. Old Testament saints (Isaiah 26:19; Dan. 12:2), who will be resurrected at this time;
  2. The apostles and the church (Matt. 19: verses 28 and 29); and
  3. Tribulation saints (Luke 19: verses 12 to 27). Only believers will enter the Millennium at its beginning (John 3: verses 3 – 5).

God’s promises to Abraham (Gen. 12: v.2-3) and David (2 Sam 7: v.16) will be fulfilled (Luke 1: v.31-33; Rom. 11: v.15 and 29). After the Millennium, Christ will deliver the kingdom to God the Father and will then be appointed Ruler forever (1 Cor. 15:24-28).

20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection.

The first part of verse 5 is a parenthesis, and comes chronologically after verse 11.

A parenthesis is defined: A qualifying or amplifying word, phrase, or sentence inserted within written matter in such a way as to be independent of the surrounding grammatical structure.

The first resurrection is the resurrection included in verse 4. It has three principal phases:

  1. The resurrection of Christ (the firstfruits-1 Cor. 15: v.23; Rev. 1: v.5);
  2. The resurrection of the church (the dead in Christ – 1 Cor. 15: v.23; 1 Thess. 4: v.16); and
  3. The resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints (v.4; Isaiah 26: v.19; Dan. 12: v.2). The rest of the dead (unbelievers) will be raised in the second resurrection, described in verses 12 and 13.

The first resurrection is a resurrection to life The First Resurrection (John 5:28, 29), whereas the second resurrection is a resurrection to death.  The second death is eternal punishment in the lake of fire (see verses 14)

20:6 Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

We Christians are the blessed. You can easily see that the wicked dead have no part in this resurrection. We believers in Christ (the redeemed) are not subject to death because we have life (which Jesus breathed into us), when we were born again. We will never die. This second death mentioned here is for the lost. Not only will the Christians reign on this earth with Jesus for 1000 years, but we will live for all eternity in heaven with Jesus, because we have eaten of the Tree of Life which is Jesus Christ our Lord.

What is the Millennium – Christ’s 1000 year reign upon David’s throne is the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, Israel and to David, but its more than that. It is the final proof of the incorrigible nature of man’s sinful heart. Christ is present in Jerusalem, ruling the world, and the saints of all ages in resurrected bodies administer the kingdom righteously under His direction. All evil is prohibited and punished immediately. Even Satan is locked away so that he cannot in any way influence mankind.

20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Satan and his demons will be imprisoned in the abyss for 1000 years while Christ rules with unopposed sovereignty. They are not permitted to interfere in the affairs of the kingdom in any way.

All those who initially went into the kingdom were without doubt redeemed sinners who had turned to Christ in faith. The bad news is that they still will possess a sinful human nature. That sin nature is passed on to their children, grandchildren, etc.

Thus each generation born in the millennium will have need for salvation. Many will come to salvation but amazingly despite the most moral society the world will ever know, a great number will love their sin and reject Him.

When Satan is loosed, he provides the leadership needed to bring the latent sin and rebellion to the surface of those unrepentant sinners. This act of rebellion will start immediately when he is released. Satan’s Final Conflict

20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea.

Gog and Magog: The use of these names here and in Ezekiel 38 – 39 has confused some readers. A thorough reading of the two passages will reveal that the events are not the same. The one thing these events have in common is that both national entities (Gog and Magog) are driven by the spirit of rebellion against God. In these two cases, God uses the same names because of the deceptively satanic spirit that motivates them both. Gog and Magog

They will muster their forces from one corner of the globe to the other and will march on Jerusalem, where they will “surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city.” But there will be no battle. No call to arms. No defensive strategy or late night negotiations or propaganda campaign or deploying of gigantic nuclear weapons.

The four quarters of the earth refers to the entire globe. Gog is used as a title for an enemy of God’s people, not a particular person. Magog seems to be the term used here to describe area where the sinful rebels of all the nations come from that gather together for the last war in human history.

The number of these rebels will be like the sand of the seashore which is a figure of speech used in the bible to define a vast and uncountable multitude.

Consider how when Joseph sent for his father and family that a total of 70 people came to Egypt. A little over 400 years later there were millions who God lead out of Egypt. There will be a lot more people left than 70 that will go into the millennium and there will be 250% more time for procreation. There will probably be many billions of people at that time so Satan could have a huge gathering that will join together for that final battle. “the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea.”

20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

These enemies of God here come against Jesus and the saints. In fact, they surround the saints. The “beloved city” here mentioned is Jerusalem. When the devil thinks he has won, fire comes down from heaven (from God) and devours them.

Again like in the battle of Armageddon before the millennium started, this battle too will in all reality be an execution. As the rebel forces moved in to attack, they are swiftly and totally exterminated. They will be physically killed and their souls will go into the realm of punishment awaiting final sentencing to the eternal hell that will shortly take place.

20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

The beast and false prophet have been waiting for Satan in the lake of fire and brimstone for the last one thousand years. Now their deceiver joins them.

There will not be a moment’s peace for them all the rest of eternity.

20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

This is judgment day. Now John describes the terrifying scene set before him. He sees the Judge who is seated on His throne of Judgment and all of the accused standing before Him. The verdicts handed down from this throne will be equitable, righteous and just.

We also remember Ecclesiastes 12 verse 14, which promises, “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” as well as Romans 2 verses 5 and 6, where Paul speaks of the day of God’s wrath “when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God will give to each person according to what he has done”.  It is a fearful thing even to imagine standing before God “from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away”, and have nothing but your own wicked works to show for the time on earth the Almighty had given you. On that day the words of Paul the apostle will come true: “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God”. (Rom 3 verse 19) The final word, of course, will be God’s.

This vision follows those of the Second Coming and those of the Millennium, immediately preceding that of the new heaven and new earth. New Heaven and New Earth

The use for the earth is over. The earth, heaven, and everything in them are under control of God, and if He tells them go they will have to. This is an amazing, incredible statement that is describing the un-creation of the universe. The earth was reshaped by the tribulation judgments, restored during the millennial kingdom, now God will create a new heaven and a new earth as it states in 2 peter 3, verse 13. “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness”

20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

The “dead” are those who are spiritually dead because of their rejection of Christ. They will stand in their resurrected state before Jesus to be judged by Him. Judgment

The books contain the record of every unsaved person’s life. Each unsaved person is judged in accordance with his works (Rom. 2: verses 6 and 16), which clearly show that each one is a guilty sinner (Rom. 3: verses 9 to19) deserving of eternal death (Roman 3: v.23; 6: v.23).

These statements immediately call our attention back to the words of the Lord Jesus: “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs” (Luke 12 v.3). And “There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” (Luke 8 v.17)

Remember that the Christian dead have already won their victory. Those are judged by Jesus at the Bema Seat. Bema Seat Judgment Now is this final fearful scene, where these include all unbelievers who have ever lived. This is the resurrection of judgment and they stand before Christ now at the White Throne Judgment. Great White Throne Judgment

The scope of the scene is chilling. The great mass of these unbelievers before God’s throne includes everyone from presidents and kings, to paupers. There is no partiality with God as all will now face judgment.

“books” is plural here. There are books which contain a person’s every thought, word and deed. Book of Life – All Books Nothing will be hidden. Think about the fact that God knows the secrets of one’s heart.

God has kept perfect, comprehensive and accurate records of every person’s life (deeds), and those will be measured against God’s perfect and holy standard.

Those who didn’t accept Jesus will have to stand or fall on their deeds. Of course, they will all fall if they didn’t accept Him, because scripture clearly tells us that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

The Book of Life is the Lamb’s Book of Life where the names of all believers are written who have accepted, believed and followed Christ. The Christian’s sins have been done away by the blood of Jesus. Those Christians all have their names written in the Lamb’s book of life and will not taste of the second death. Second Death

20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Those who are lost wait in torment in a place of punishment until judgment day. The terrible thing is that they are aware that they will be thrown into the lake of fire on judgment day. These are all of the unbelievers though all ages who have died. They will be raised up by Christ for judgment called the second resurrection.

Before the sea was uncreated and disappeared out of existence, it gave up the dead that were in it. The sea may be mentioned as it is seemingly the most difficult place from which dead bodies could be resurrected. But God will summon new bodies for all who perished in the sea throughout history.

Death symbolizes all of the places on land from which God will resurrect new bodies for the unrighteous, unrepentant dead.

As the next scene in this courtroom drama unfolds, the lost will be summoned to appear before the judge. Since their deaths, their souls have been tormented in a place of punishment, now the time has finally come for them to be judged and sentenced.

20:14-15 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The second death is eternal punishment in the lake of fire, experienced only by the unsaved. Once this final judgment occurs, there is no further need for either death or hell (Hades) (1: v.18; 6: v.8, Isaiah 25: v.8; 1 Cor. 15: verses 26 and 55). An eternal separation is now made between those who have life and those who have “death” (Dan. 12: v.2; John 5: v.29).

It does not mean these places are thrown into the lake. It means the inhabitants of these places.

This final hell is described as the lake of fire. It may already exist but presently is not occupied until the beast and the false prophet is cast into it. They don’t arrive there until the end of tribulation.

Those who die in their sins in this world will die a second death in eternity. They will be sentenced to the lake of fire forever at the great White Throne Judgment.

And that’s it. In a ball of celestial flame, the rebellion is over. There will be no repeat of the plagues of the Tribulation, nor of the judgments of the Great Tribulation. Once and for all, human rebellion will have been wiped out of existence. And once and for all, it will be crystal clear to a watching universe that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is absolutely essential for making the unrighteous human heart into a receptacle of God’s holiness. The Millennium will prove that even the best of conditions, a thousand years of peace, prosperity, safety, long life, health, abundance, cannot change the wickedness of the unredeemed human heart. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can do that!

Chapter 21

21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. (2 Pet. 3 v.10)

“A new heaven and a new earth”: The “new heaven” is the atmospheric heaven around and above the earth. A New Heaven and a New Earth

This area has been the domain of Satan (see Eph. 2: verse 2) and must be purified before the heaven of God can come down to the new earth. This new earth will be a perfect environment similar to that of the Garden of Eden. A unique distinction of this new earth will be that the vast oceans of water that now cover three fourths of the world’s surface will not be included, leaving much more habitable land for the population of the redeemed.

This “new heaven and new earth” are actually a heavenly pattern of what the Garden of Eden was a miniature of on earth. We will see the Tree of Life restored with water that flows from the throne of God.  It didn’t rain in the Garden of Eden. Plants were watered from beneath the earth. The water in the Garden of Eden flowed out in four rivers (symbolic of enough for the whole world). This river that flows from the throne of God is the same water that Jesus told the woman at the well, if she drank it, she would never thirst again.

21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Now John sees the new holy city which is not heaven, but is called that since everyone who will be in it is holy. This is Christ’s Kingdom. “Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection.” (20 v.6)

New Jerusalem will be coming down to the new heaven and new earth mentioned in verse 1. The old heaven and earth which was in chapter 20 verse 11 fled away and was no more.

The city is illustrated as a bride because it contains the bride and takes on her character. John saw the bride adorned for her husband because the time for the consummation had arrived. The concept of the bride includes not only the church, but all the rest of the redeemed from all the ages who will live forever in that eternal city.

1 Cor. 15 v.28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.

The tabernacle of God is with men. The tabernacle was the original symbol of God dwelling with His people. In eternity, mankind will dwell with God. In that eternal state, we will not only enjoy fellowship with our redeemed loved ones but will also have actual fellowship with God Himself.

“Tabernacle” here means dwelling place of God. No longer will he be far off. No longer will he be “veiled” in the human form of Jesus Christ, in a cloud, a pillar of fire or in a Holy of Holies.

Just like God walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden, He will be in heaven with us continually. As Matthew 5 v.8 states: The pure in heart shall see God. Believers will see God as He is.

21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

All tears, pain, sorrow, and death will be removed in that heavenly New Jerusalem where Christians will live. This is the exact opposite of the curse that resulted from Adam’s sin (see Gen. 3: verses 16 to19). The effects of the curse are removed, and all things are made new. God does not merely repair the creation, He re-creates it for His children to enjoy for all eternity.

Just as the disciples knew security when Jesus was there to take care of all their needs, we will know perfect peace and joy in heaven. Jesus is the king of peace. Jesus defeated death on the cross. The biggest fear of mankind is death. We just read where the Christians will not taste the second death. This fear is gone away. Death will no longer hang over the Christian. The Christian has eternal life (not death).

There won’t be any reason to cry for in heaven. The devil and all his problems he brought upon the Christians have been thrown into the lake of fire. Every negative thing has been done away with.

21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

“The One who sits on the throne said”, is the same One “from whose presence earth and heaven fled away. (Rev 20 v.11)

Here we see God sitting on the throne saying that He “makes all things new” when we are saved we become a new creature. We know this saying is true for the believer. Just as He did not throw us away and get a new person: He says here “I make all things new”.

He did not say He made new things.  He just takes the old things and transforms them into new. Here we see that Jesus commanded John to write, because all the things He has been shown are true. Jesus is the truth.

21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

It is done. These words mark the end of redemptive history. This is a statement ( Gr. gegonan) of divine finality. It represents God’s promise that this new state will be forever. Alpha and Omega is the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Hence, this phrase represents the sum of all things. In Revelation 1: v.11 and 22: verses 12 to13 it is used of Christ. Here it is used of God the Father (“He that sat on the throne”), indicating the deity of both the Father and the Son.

Just as Jesus said on the cross “It is finished” You see, Jesus is the way to get to the water of life. In fact, He is the water. He is life. He who hungers and thirst after righteousness shall be filled.  There is nothing before Him and nothing after Him.

A citizen of heaven is described as one who “thirsts” signifying those who recognize their desperate spiritual need, “hunger and thirst for righteousness”, Matt. 5 v.6.

21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

An overcomer is one who exercises saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. A person who in faith drinks the water of salvation freely offered by God. Each of the seven letters to the churches in Rev. 2 and 3 end in the promise of he that overcomes will inherit these things.

Just as a bride is an equal inheritor of all that is her husband’s, so the Church, the Bride of Christ, will inherit all that is His. He even promises that He will be our God and we shall be His son. These terms of endearment are experiences we as Christians shall enjoy forever. How Do I Become a Christian

From this scripture, we see there is something we must overcome. If we are faithful to Him in the face of all odds, we will inherit eternal life. The New Testament is actually an inheritance to the believers. If we believe, we can collect on that inheritance. Who ever we are faithful to, is our God. If he is our God, He will claim us as His son.

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.”

The contrasts between verses seven and eight are graphic. They represent the age-old concept that there are only two kinds of people with God, believers and unbelievers. They experience two different lifestyles on earth and go to two different eternal destinies. Believers go to “eternal life” while unbelievers experience “the second death,” which is the lake of fire. Second Death

Fear is not of God. Fear is the opposite of faith. In fact, it is mentioned twice here by saying “fearful and unbelieving”. Jesus cannot be someone’s Savior, unless they believe that He is their Savior.

Abomination, meaning vile, polluted, detestable, wholly caught up in wickedness and evil. Here, we see those who do abominable things taking part in the second death.

Notice here this says “murderers” not accidental killing or killing in war. This is premeditated murder, or those who hate their neighbors.

We see here “whoremongers” (this means not only in the physical but also in the spiritual).

“Sorcerers” has to do with the occult and also drugs.

“Idolaters” has to do with anything or anyone you put ahead of God.

“Liars” can do more harm than you can imagine. Many have a tendency to tell little white lies, but any untruth is a lie.

Those whose lives are characterized by such things give evidence that they are not saved and will not enter into the heavenly city.

After we are forgiven of our sins and born again, we must practice salvation. We must not have the habit of sinning. We may slip and sin, but if we do, we have an advocate with the Father. Repent and ask forgiveness, and then as Jesus told the woman who the Pharisees had caught in the art of adultery, “Go and sin no more”. Do not practice sin. The horror of it all if you do not change from these evils, is that you will be thrown into the lake of fire.

21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

From the past, at the beginning of the millennium, one of the seven angels who poured out a bowl or vial appeared to John.

Now the angel was to show John the Lamb’s bride, the Lamb’s wife. New Jerusalem is likened to a bride because the redeemed are forever united to God and the Lamb.

At this point, the marriage has already taken place in 19 v.7 and now is referred to as “The Lamb’s Wife.

21:10-11 “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,” ” “Having the glory of God: and her light [was] like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;:

That great city, the holy Jerusalem. The Lamb’s wife is described as the new city of Jerusalem. This magnificent city is where the bride of Christ (the Church) will live forever. The most dominant characteristic of the holy city is the presence of God’s Glory, which personifies God’s presence with His people. The Glory that departed from the Old Jerusalem (see Ezek. Chapters 8 to 11) is restored to the New Jerusalem of the future.

John’s incredible vision began when the angel carried him away in the Spirit in Rev. 1 where he received the visions that make up the book of Revelation. John’s visions were not dreams, but spiritual realities, like the one’s Paul saw when he was also caught up to the third heaven.

From John’s vantage point atop a great and high mountain, he repeats his observation of verse 2 that New Jerusalem came down out of heaven from God, emphasizing its divine origin.

Note what is described here is not the creation of heaven, but the descent of what already existed from eternity past. Now it’s being situated in the center of the new heaven and the new earth.

“The Glory of God”: The brilliance radiating from New Jerusalem caused by the full manifestation of God’s glory will be so much, the city will have no need of the sun or the moon as the glory of God will illuminate it.

21:12 And had a wall great and high, [and] had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are [the names] of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

The inclusion of the names of the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles in the foundations and gates of the city  (see 21 v.14), indicates that both Jewish and Gentile believers will all be part of the family of God and share eternity as one. Although it would seem that the Jews are distinct from the Church during the Millennium, they will all be one as children of the living God for eternity.

If you have ever been to Jerusalem in Israel, you know the old city has a large wall around the city. The physical Jerusalem here has 12 gates. You see, this earthly Jerusalem is a replica of this heavenly Jerusalem.

Here we see their names (twelve tribes), celebrating God’s covenant relationship with Israel, the people of the promises, covenants, scriptures and the Messiah.

These angels are stationed to attend to God’s glory and to serve His people.

21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

This is reminiscent of the way the twelve tribes camped around the tabernacle in numbers 2 and the allotment of tribal lands around the millennial temple. (Ezek. 48)

21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

The foundation of Christianity was established by Jesus through the twelve apostles. You can easily see, this is not only a city but stands for the Christians as well.

These stones commemorate God’s covenant relationship with the church of which the apostles are the foundation of.

The layout of New Jerusalem’s gates picture God’s favor on all His redeemed people from both the old and new covenant.

21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

This is like Ezek. 40 v.3 and the measuring of the millennial temple. Also, the measuring of the Tribulation temple described in chapter 11 v.1.

All three measurements is showing the significance that shows what belongs to God.

21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

The city lies foursquare. The size of this city indicates that each border is approximately fifteen hundred miles long. Thus the dimensions of the city would be equal to the area from the eastern seaboard of the United States to Colorado on one side and from the Canadian border to the southern tip of Florida on the other. In addition to the length and breadth, the city will be fifteen hundred miles high. This great size will afford sufficient space for the habitation of the saints from all ages of history.

We see here that this city is a cube. Twelve thousand furlongs is 1500 miles. This city is 1500 miles square and 1500 miles high.

21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred [and] forty [and] four cubits, [according to] the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

A cubic is 18 inches or 1-1/2 feet. Times 144, the wall was 216 feet across. Just as in Babylon the walls, were wide enough for chariot races. This is even wider.

To emphasize the city’s dimensions are literal and not mystical, John tells us that the measurements are given according to human measurements.

21:18 And the building of the wall of it was [of] jasper: and the city [was] pure gold, like unto clear glass.

The massive walls a material called jasper. This is the same diamond like stone that was mentioned in verse 11. (Clear as crystal)

Next the city itself was pure gold, like clear glass. Imagine how God’s glory will radiate throughout and light up the entire city.

21:19-20 “And the foundations of the wall of the city [were] garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation [was] jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;” “The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst”.

Jasper = Diamond

Sapphire = A brilliant blue stone

Chalcedony = Sky blue with colored stripes

Emerald = Bright green stone

Sardonyx = Red and white striped stone

Sardius = Various shades of Red

Chrysolite = Transparent gold or yellow

Beryl = Shades of green, yellow and blue

Topaz = Yellowish green

Chrysoprasus = Gold tinted green

Jacinth = Blue or violet colored

Amethyst = Purple stone

These brightly colored stones will refract the shinning brilliance of God’s glory into a spectrum of beautiful colors that will flash from New Jerusalem throughout the re-created universe.

21:21 And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

The twelve gates were twelve pearls. Every gate will be one pearl, each large enough to cover the gateway to this huge city. In addition, the street of the city will be “pure gold, like unto clear glass,” indicating that believers will walk on golden streets. The holy city of God will be so magnificent that believers will literally walk on precious metals that today are used for costly adornments.

There is no silver in the city. Silver means redemption and we have already been redeemed. These stones show us things that are important here on the earth are plentiful in heaven. You see, God owns all the wealth in the world. God has so many rare stones He even puts them in the wall. Each gate is made of just one pearl.

And remember the height of the cube is 1500 miles. That makes for a very large pearl.

The streets in New Jerusalem is made of the highest quality of pure gold which is like everything else, transparent. We are not familiar with transparent gold here on earth, but everything in heaven is transparent to let the light of God’s glory blaze unrestricted.

21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

“No temple therein:” There will be no need for a temple in heaven to provide a means for a man to fellowship with God. Because of Jesus sacrificial death on the cross, sin will not exist there. God and the Lamb are the temple of the eternal city. This clearly emphasizes the deity of Christ as equal in essence to that of the father.

There will be not need for anyone to go anywhere to worship God. Believers will constantly be in His presence. There will never be a minute when they are not in perfect, Holy Communion with the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. Therefore there will be no need for a temple, cathedral, church, chapel or any other house of worship. Believers will be the true worshipers God has always sought.

21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof.

No more day and night but there will be one eternal day. The Glory of God will illuminate New Jerusalem and its lamp will be the Lamb Jesus, who is the Light, and does away with darkness.

21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

The reference to “nations” reminds us that our national distinctions, like our personal appearances, are God-given. Revelation 7: v.9 refers to “a great multitude of all nations,” and Revelation 5: v.10 refers to believers as “kings and priests” who reign with Christ.

Not that any national identities will be preserved in the eternal state, but rather just the opposite. People from every tongue, tribe and nation whether Jews or Gentiles, will be united as God’s people. Every believer will be fully equal in the eternal capital city.

This just means that God doesn’t care whether you are Chinese, African, or American. If you accept Jesus, you will be in heaven regardless of what country you’re from.

21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Its gates will never be closed. This depicts the city’s complete security and that there is no need to close them.

New Jerusalem is a place of rest, safety and refreshment where God’s people will “rest from their labors.” Never again will anything have to be shut up for fear of loosing it by thieves and robbers. None of that will ever exist again.

21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

All who enter heaven will surrender their earthly prestige and glory when they enter. All who enter heaven “will cast their crowns before the throne” of God”. (Chapter 4 v.10)

21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

This Scripture just means that this is a holy city (a place of true worship). There will be no evil of any kind in it. The residents are the redeemed, those washed in the blood of the lamb. Those who have been made righteous in Christ.

Once again, we are confronted with the significance of having our names written in the Lamb’s book of life assuring us that Christ knows each believer personally, by name. Lamb’s Book of Life

What a wonder this will be – to continually see God’s face (Rev. 22 v.4) and to walk in the light of His presence (Rev 21 v.23 and  22 v.5) No wonder John tells us there is no temple in heaven (21: v.22) for as Paul wrote, “who hopes for what one already has” (Romans 8 v.24). What need could you have for a temple when everywhere you go is God? But a temple is not the only thing missing in heaven. What else does it lack?

Consider the following short list:

It would be enough to call this place “heaven” just from that list of what it lacks. But that wouldn’t tell half of the story! Now consider some of the remarkable features eternity will boast:

Chapter 22

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.

“Pure River of Water of life.” Water of Life In one final glimpse into the future, John sees this river flowing from the throne of God. It is the source of eternal life that emanates from God. Even in heaven, we will drink water and eat food, probably not out of necessity for our health, but because of the pleasure and fellowship it will give us. This is symbolic of eternal life.

Jesus told the woman at the well if she drank of the water He gave her, she would never thirst again, John 4:14. This is the “water” He was talking about here. This “water” possessed life giving powers. The Source is the Father and the Lamb. This “water” springs up into ever lasting life. In our day of pollutions, it is hard to visualize water this clear. When the soldier pierced Jesus’ side, water and blood gushed forth, John 19:34. This is the water of life.

Just like everything else in the New Jerusalem, the river was clear as crystal so that it could reflect the glory of God as it cascades down from the throne of God and of the Lamb in a dazzling, sparkling never ending flow of everlasting life from God’s throne to His people.

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.

Here at the close of the Bible we are reintroduced to the tree of life, which has not been mentioned in the Bible since Genesis 3, where Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Paradise is restored in the eternal state. All that was lost in the fall is redeemed by the lamb. The leaves of this tree will be used to heal the relationships of the nations toward each other so that we might live equitably and fairly in eternity. Tree of Life

The tree bears twelve kinds of fruit that yields its fruit every month suggesting the infinite variety that will fill heaven.

Monthly, since time exists no more, emphasizes the expression of the joyous provision of eternity using familiar terms of time.

Nations: meaning the people that are in heaven. Sickness will no longer be, so the healing doesn’t imply illness. The leaves therefore will be to promote general health or another way of stating that would be: life in heaven will be fully energized, rich and exciting continuously.

The scripture also doesn’t tell us if we will eat the leaves or the fruit. Angels ate food on earth with Abraham and Sarah as did Jesus after the resurrection with his disciples. Perhaps the saints in heaven will eat for enjoyment and not out of necessity.

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:

The effects of the post-Edenic curse (Gen. 3:14-19) will be totally gone forever. There will be no more curse. No More Curse God’s saints will serve him (Rev. 7: v.15) and reign with Him forever  (Dan 7: verses 18 and 27).

The picture of eternal life in these verses indicates that we will be busy serving God for all eternity. We will both serve Him (v. 3) and reign with Him (v.5). Since He is an infinite God, we can be sure He will have infinite things for us to do as we reign there forever. The phrase, “they shall see his face,” means that, as believers, we will be granted an audience with the King on a regular basis.

Here we see “throne of God” and on his right hand is “the Lamb” These “servants” that shall serve him are us. We Christians have been bought and paid for with the blood of the Lamb. We will be with the Lamb and the Father, but we will not be their equal. We will be their servants.

22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.

The greatest blessing of eternity is that they shall see his face (Matt. 5: v.8; Heb. 12: v.14). Though this is now impossible for an unglorified human being (Exodus 33: v.20), it will occur in the eternal state. The name of God in their foreheads shows ownership and consecration (Rev. 3: v.12; 13: v.16; Exodus 28: verses 36 to38).

Throughout the Bible, we have been taught that you could not look upon the face of God and live. Even Moses, who was so close to God, wanted to see God, and God told him no. He put His hand over Moses and passed by him, and Moses saw his back side, Exodus 33:22. There we will be in his presence all the time and can look in his face anytime we want to. We are sealed with the Lamb’s seal. They Shall See His Face

The saints in New Jerusalem will see God’s face. Being perfectly holy and righteous, they’ll be able to endure the blazing, glorious light from God’s presence without being consumed. That was impossible for mortal men.

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.

Since in the New Jerusalem God is always present, His glory makes all other sources of light unnecessary (Rev. 21:23; Isaiah 60:19, 20; Zech. 14:7). There Shall Be No Night

We have talked so much about our Lord Jesus being the Light. He is the source of all Light. When the Light is on full power, you certainly do not need a candle. The sun has no more purpose any more either. This presence of this Light is all they need. This Kingdom has no end. It is for all of eternity.

As a final word describing the saint’s heavenly experience, they are told it once again that it will never end. They shall reign forever and forever.

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 shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

Verses 6-21 form a conclusion or summary to the book. They emphasize two themes: (1) the authenticity of the book as a revelation from God; and (2) the imminence of the return of Christ.

These sayings refer to the entire Book of Revelation. They are authenticated as genuine by the angel whom God sent to give them through John to His servants, that is, the members of the churches (Rev. 1: verses 3 and 11).

Here is just a reassurance that all of this is not to be taken lightly. This is the absolute truth. The prophets such as Daniel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah (to name just a few), have all spoken of this special time in history. We even read this in the 24th chapter of Matthew and in the 21st and 22nd chapter of Luke. It is the same information, regardless of who pens it, because the author is God.

The angel’s words reinforce an important truth: Everything John saw in Revelation will come to pass. John’s words are not mystical and the Apocalypse is not a record of his bizarre dreams or the result of an over active imagination. Further it is not an allegory (a form of translation) from which readers can find hidden meanings of their own concoction. It is an accurate description of events and persons that are yet to come.

Verses 6 to 9 takes us back to the early part of this book, when the faithful and true witness told us that He would send His angel to convey His message concerning the things that must come to pass.

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

This is Jesus speaking when He says, “Behold, I am coming soon”.

Three times we find this expression in the last verses of this book. Some have been confused about the literal meaning of the expression because it was uttered almost 2000 years ago. It is more accurately translated, “Behold, I come suddenly.” This saying does not refer to an appointed time soon to come but means that His coming will take place suddenly and without warning. Significant details are given in association with each of these three promises of our Lord.

  1. Verse 7 contains the promise, “Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.” This may be a reference to the Rapture of the Church. “Happy are those” who are sufficiently aware of the prophecy of this book to be ready when that Day arrives.
  2. “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done”. (Rev. 22 v.12) Added to Christ’s promise of his second coming, this verse proclaims a reward by way of judgment, a standard part of the state of believers after the Resurrection.
  3. On the basis of this reward we will reign with Christ forever.

There is a scripture that speaks of tiring of waiting and going back in sin, Hebrews 12: verses 3 and 4. We must not do this. We must watch and wait for we know not at what hour He cometh. Matt. 24: v.36. “Blessed is he that keepeth the saying of the prophecy of this book”. Rev. 1 v.3: This is referring to the Book of Revelation.

But how in the world can you keep the sayings, if you don’t know what these sayings are? Most people avoid Revelation like the plague, but if we must keep the sayings, then we must read and understand what they are.

Believers are called to guard or protect the book of Revelation. To defend against detractors who deny its relevance, against those critics who deny its veracity and authority as well as against confused interpreters who obscure its meaning. They are called to not only guard Scripture, but also to obey it.

You might ask, what does it mean to obey the book of Revelation? Think of it as a general command to long for Christ’s return and our eternal fellowship with Him. It calls believers to desire heaven, to desire holiness, to desire to see Christ vindicated and for Him to triumph over His enemies, to desire the end of the curse and to desire the glories of Christ’s earthly kingdom and the new heaven and the new earth.

To see God’s face, to see an end of the Babylonian Harlot and the corrupt commercial and political system, to look forward to a life of peace and happiness.

Thus the purpose of Revelation is not to provide entertainment and to merely satisfy the curiosity of believers about the future but to reveal the glory of God’s Son and call believers to live godly, obedient lives in light of His soon return.

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 shewed me these things.

Several times in Revelation, we see John overwhelmed by the presence and the power this angel shows him. He, being overcome by the magnitude of it all, starts to worship this angel. Some people have false doctrine centered on angel worship. We must not worship angels. They are created beings. We must worship the Creator. We are warned over and over not to worship angels. John is told several times here in Revelation not to worship this angel.

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.

The angel quickly reminds the apostle that he too, was a created being by his declaration. Not only his, but also of John’s brethren the prophets, and of all believers that are defined here as “Them which keep the sayings of this book.”

Then the angel commands John to worship God as God alone is the only acceptable Person to worship. The bible forbids the worship of anyone else including angels, saints, the Virgin Mary or any other created being.

22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

The command not to seal this prophetic message is quite different than what the Lord told Daniel, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end” (Dan 12:4). The reason for the difference in the instructions is simply stated, “the time is at hand.” Until the death and resurrection of Christ, the time for this prophecy had not come. Since Jesus already opened the seven seals prophetically (Rev. 5 and 6) to reveal the future, it is only appropriate that the entire book remain open for us to read as well.

In contrast with Daniel, who was told to “seal” up his book of prophecy (since the end was still in the distant future, but here John is told to leave his book open (Seal not). The Messiah had come, His second coming is imminent, and thus now the time is at hand.

The reason for the difference in the instructions is that one lived after the time of Christ’s crucifixion, the other before. In John’s day it was possible to see the unfolding of the events prophesied; in Daniel’s day they were a long way off.

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.

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.

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

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.

Our rewards will be for the things (treasures) we have stored in heaven. Rewards Rewards are always based on works done by believers based on their faithfulness in serving Christ in this life. 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 v.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 seek the truth about Jesus and that will begin the largest soul harvest the world has every known.

22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

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: v.8 and 17; 2: v.8; 21: v.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.

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.

These closing verses of the Bible make it perfectly clear that salvation is a matter of the will – whoever wishes may come. This clearly implies that whoever 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. Tree of Life

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: v.17; Rev. 14: v.12; Matthew 7: verses 13 to 21; 1 John 3: verses 6 to10).

The tree of life indicates immortality and divine blessing (Rev. 2: v.7 and 22: v.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. See Rev. 21: v.8 for a list of the type of sins that exclude people from heaven that was given to John. Also read Rev. 21 verse 27.

In James 1:22 we read, “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.

22:15 For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

The dogs are impure and malicious people or someone with a low character. The first time blatantly impure sinners were called dogs is in Deut. 23: verse 18. This is where male homosexual prostitutes were in view.

Sorcerers are those who practice occult or witchcraft. Greek Pharmakos is the root of the English word pharmacy which often accompanies those practices.

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 v.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.

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.

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.

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 II 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:”

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.

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.

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. How Do I Become a Christian

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.

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. The water, Spirit, and blood testify for us and assure us of a heavenly home, John 5:8.

22:18-19 “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:” “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.”

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.

This is one of the most awesome challenges in the Word of God against tampering with Holy Writ. 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 peddlers of the Word of God, (2 Cor. 2 v.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.

22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

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 verse 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 verse 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.

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.

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.