Revelation 22 – River of life, Street of gold, I come quickly – sermon video audio notes

Once again in Revelation 22 John assured his readers these events would begin soon! John is told the time is at hand. The emphasis is to seal not the saying of the prophecy. It would be tremendously difficult to convince John’s readers the destruction of Jerusalem, and the termination of the house of Moses, was not the great tribulation Daniel spoke of. It would be difficult to convince any first century believer the A.D. destruction was not the fulfillment of what Jesus called the Great Tribulation.

Revelation 22 – River of life, Street of gold, I come quickly – sermon video audio notes

Revelation 22 – River of life, Street of gold, I come quickly – sermon video audio notes

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Revelation 22 – River of life, Street of gold, I come quickly -- sermon video

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Revelation 22 – River of life, Street of gold, I come quickly – sermon audio

Revelation 22 – River of life, Street of gold, I come quickly – sermon notes

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

1The first five verses of chapter twenty-two conclude the description of the Lamb’s wife, the Heavenly Jerusalem. It seems somewhat strange that King James partitioned the chapters at that point. However, they did, and we continue discussing the Lamb’s wife.

The Lamb’s wife (21:9, 10), the New and Heavenly Jerusalem, is the church (Gal 4:26; Heb 12:22-24). Thus, the Heavenly Jerusalem cannot be viewed as only futuristic. The New Jerusalem must be viewed as present and growing (Eph 2:20, 21). The pure river of water of life flows through the New Jerusalem. It is then through the church, the New Jerusalem, the Lamb’s wife, that the pure river of water of life flows (present tense). The river is not only something that will happen. It is something that is happening!

As previously seen, John draws many allusions from the book of Ezekiel. The book of Ezekiel includes prophecies against Judah and Jerusalem, its downfall because of its whoredoms, the judgment of the nations, then the restoration of Jerusalem. John’s revelation has followed a similar path. Ezekiel shows that after the invasion of Gog, from the land of Magog, (Eze 38-39) the temple is restored. Then Ezekiel goes into great detail describing that restored and regenerated temple (Eze 40-48). The Revelation does a similar teaching. After Gog and Magog it moves to the temple.

Ezekiel came to the point in His writings that John came to here in the Revelation. Ezekiel writes that he was shown “a river that could not be passed over” (Eze 47:5). John writes he showed me a pure river. Ezekiel’s Jerusalem was rebuilt and the temple was glorious, though never to the glory Ezekiel saw. Ezekiel was seeing in the Spirit, and there was supposed to be a river going into the nations, which Israel never became. John, following the similar path, shows again that Old Jerusalem was destroyed and the New Heavenly Jerusalem is now the wife. From her comes the true river of water of life.

John says the river was proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb. There is no temple; for the Lamb and God Almighty are the temple therein (21:22), but there is the throne. There is one throne showing the unity of the Father and the Lamb. Though it is projected as the personal throne of the Lamb, actually the Lamb sat down in the Father’s throne.

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

We will also sit in that throne with the Father and the Son. Naturally, this is not a literal “big chair in heaven.” The throne is what heaven actually is.

Isa 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

Mat 23:22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. 

Act 7:49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

The pure river proceeds from the throne or from those who sit therein. To think of a literal big chair with a huge river coming from it that flows through a city is absurd. Ezekiel’s river “issued out from under the threshold of the house” of the Lord (Eze 47:1), and was in such quantity that it was impossible to cross over. This is prophetic imagery showing the cleansing going forth from the throne (or house of the Lord in Ezekiel). The throne is positioned within the wife, who is the Heavenly Jerusalem. From the throne, Father, Son, and bride flows the river, through the New Jerusalem and into the nations.

Water is for baptism. To enter the kingdom people must be born of water and of the spirit. Jesus made water into wine--type of the Spirit. Jesus told the woman at the well that He had living water that when she drank, she would thirst no more. Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” The word is a water that washes the bride. All of this flows from the throne, through the bride, and into the nations.

The Lamb’s wife is clean and pure in contrast to the great whore who is called Babylon. She is a kingdom of priests and reigns with Him (Rev 5:10) on the earth! Within her is the throne, and from her proceeds the river that brings life.

There is also allusion to the garden of Eden. A river went out of Eden into the nations (Gen 2:10). As we will discuss later, John is not restoring Eden. Restoring back to Eden is not what Biblical restoration would be. Restoration is to the New and Heavenly Jerusalem. Eden is a very small thing compared to the New Jerusalem.

Revelation 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.

2It is street, not streets (see discussion 21:21). In the midst of the streetof the Lamb’s wife (now get this) and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life. Once again, in the middle of the street, on both sides of this massive river, is the one tree of life. This is not trees (plural), but tree (singular). And it is in the middle of the street, and on both sides of the river. The word translated tree is xulon (Greek) meaning “timber.” Many commentators want to describe this as a forest. However, this does not seem to be the flow Johns is projecting. Also Dispensationalists add streets, trees, and river tributaries. This is against the fulfillment of the tree. The tree must come to mean the cross of Christ (Gal 3:13). More than one cross would not fit. Also, from Genesis, there was projected one tree--the tree of life.

Drawing this city in a way that will make sense is impossible. Because it is not to be seen as a literal city. It is to be seen as “the bride, the Lamb’s wife,” (21:9) the New Jerusalem, which is in contrast to the Old Jerusalem. To make this city literal is absurd and does not fulfill the portrait which John is painting for us.

John now goes all the way back to the garden with the allusion of the tree of life. Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden so they could not eat of the tree of life:

Gen 3:22 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:

Gen 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

Gen 3:24 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.

Now, however, found within the Lamb’s wife, the church, the New Jerusalem, is this very tree that humanity has been kept from. Many would say that man is, or will, be restored back to Eden. Though true, the New Jerusalem is far more than Eden. Chilton notes this and says:

“The blessing which Adam forfeited has been restored in overwhelming superabundance, for what we have gained in Christ is, as St. Paul said, ‘much more’ than what we lost in Adam: ‘But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Rom 5:15-21).”

Humanity has been given much more than Eden. John attempted to show this by the massive size of this tree. It was noted the unbelievable size of the city itself (see map chapter 20) as the walls crossed oceans and nations. The street would be massive as well, and the river more enormous than the street. This tree is in the middle of the street and on both sides of the river. The tree is larger than the enormous river! Think of the height of the tree and the size of the leaves. The giant Redwoods in California are but microscopic toothpicks in comparison to the tree of life. Through the church, humanity is given MUCH MORE than Eden.

Ezekiel writes of trees (plural) that heal, but not of the tree of life:

Eze 47:12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

John desires that his readers understand and have revelation that the church, the Lamb’s wife, is the key to all God has for us. Everything that God and the Lamb will bless humanity with, will originate from the throne, which is within the bride. As mentioned again and again, this magnificent city is not only futuristic. She is a present reality as well, yet so little is understood. It is in the church that all men from all nations can come and eat of the tree of life today. The tree is the cross of Christ, and how massive in size it was! How high can it grow? How wide can it reach? How many nations can it touch and feed?

The first century church was taught to know the cross as the tree:

Act 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

Act 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

Act 13:29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulcher.

Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

“This tree was an emblem of Christ, and of all the blessings of his salvation; and the leaves for the healing of the nations, mean that his favor and presence supply all good to the inhabitants of that blessed world.” 

Thus the tree of life is not only futuristic. Those who eat of the tree today live eternally in the city and in the throne (heaven). The tree does bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. From the cross is a never ending supply of life. This tree never goes dormant. Every month the tree is producing life, and that abundantly (John 10:10).

Amazingly, today, the most prosperous nations are the nations who partake of this tree. Those who remain in witchcraft and in the worship of idols are in poverty, war, and famine. Within the church is the endless river of the Word of God. It is massive and impossible to swim across even by the best of swimmers. There is a tree (one) that grows on either side of this massive river. That tree draws its nutrients from the river. Because of that, it is able to supply all the nutrients necessary for growth to the nations. Within the church, the Lamb’s wife, the New Jerusalem, is the tree so massive in size and height that it brings life today to the nations.

Revelation 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:

3It is interesting that the removal of the curseis associated with the thought that all servants shall serve Him. A primary aspect that the original curse was that Adam was disobedient. The serpent successfully brought expulsion of Adam from the garden, and from the tree. In the Heavenly Jerusalem, the dragon, who is the devil and Satan, is no more. He is in the lake of fire. There are no hindrances to serving the Lord God. However, it must be noted that people are not sitting around with their feet in the crystal river. People are servants. And His servants shall serve Him. Work(s) will continue. Ministries will continue.

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

4Those referred to as theyin verse 4 are the servants of verse 3. The servants shall see His face. The word translated servants doulos (Greek) actually means “a slave.” In our contemporary society, being a slave has a negative connotation. This is the result of Satan’s successful work in Eden, as mentioned above. By causing a negative attitude toward slavery within the minds of people, the blessings of God are missed. Many will never see His face because they will never be a slave to anything or anyone. The Scriptures teach that servanthood is the only way to achieve greatness in the Kingdom (Mat 20:27-28; Mar 13:34; Luk 12:37).

Though the Spirit is poured upon all flesh, a special pouring comes upon the slaves. They become prophetic:

Act 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

In God’s society, slavery to God is not seen as negative, but rather a point to boast in. It is a statement that says the serpent has not been beguiled. He has not caused removal from the garden the purpose of the slave.

Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Jam 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ:

Jud 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

People desire to know what the Revelation is all about. They study and study, but never seem to get it. They remain in Dispensational theology or some fantasy. Very possibly they have never become a servant slave. Revelation is to be shown to the slaves of God:

Revelation 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:

It is to those who submit to slavery, they shall see his face. The thought of seeing the face of God causes our thinking to go to Scriptures. Scriptures tell us that no one can look upon His face. Even Moses was denied the pleasure of seeing the face of God (Exo 33:20).

Jesus teaches that there will be a people who shall see God. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Mat 5:8). Now we have a link between the “pure in heart” and those who see His face. They are the servant slaves who are pure in heart.

These servants carry the mark of faithful slavery and are easy to identify. Their foreheads have His name written in it. Once again, this is not only literal nor futuristic. This particular truth has existed for millennia. The Lord has always marked His ministries and those who weep because of abominations (see discussion chapter seven).

Exo 28:36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.

Exo 28:37 And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.

Exo 28:38 And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

Eze 9:4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

The forehead often speaks of being hardheaded. The Lord gave Ezekiel a strong forehead so that Ezekiel could stand face to face with the rebellious house of Israel. The Lord told Ezekiel “I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house” [NIV] (Eze 3:8-9)

The ministry of God’s society, the Heavenly Jerusalem, is hardheaded in a good way. So much so, that His name can be chiseled into their foreheads.

Revelation 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.

5Naturally the allusion is to the wilderness time when the people of God experienced this no night walk. They experienced the pillar of fire by night (Exo 13:21). The actual thrust is that night relates to evil, and the unknown (not understood). Light relates to righteousness, vision, and understanding. In the wilderness, the pillar and revelation sufficiently provided an area that was necessary for a few million people to walk in. The Heavenly Jerusalem is projected as 1500 miles square. As noted in chapter twenty-one it would cover an area from Turkey to Africa, and from the Mediterranean Sea to India. What a fire ball that will be! Again, light in scripture is not electricity. A pillar of fire is the thought of scripture. We are talking about some more fire ball.

The picture John desires his readers to see is that the knowledge of the glory of the Lord covers the earth. The ability to see with no delusions and darkness is come. The devil, his darkness, his trickery, and his subtility are gone forever.

As discussed in 21:11 and 23, this is not only futuristic. This is available now. Jesus is the light of the world. The church is a city, set on a hill, giving light. The people of God are the children of light. The light is growing and becoming brighter and more glorious as revelation knowledge fills the earth. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee” (Isa 60:1). Natural light is not necessary for the people of God for the Lord God giveth them light. Our understanding does not come from the natural. It comes from the Lord God.

Interestingly those who do not need the natural light (candle, neither light of the sun), but live in the light of the Lord God, shall reign for ever and ever. There is a connection between walking in His light and reigning. Of course there is! He will not allow anyone to reign that does not walk in His light. Again the they in verse five will refer back to the servants (slaves) in verse three. Any other allowed to reign would be a contradiction of the words of Jesus:

Mat 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Mat 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Mar 13:34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

Luk 12:37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

This reigning will be on the earth (Rev 5:10). Those reigning will be “kings and priests” unto God. That means they operate in authority and serve in ministry to the people. These kings and priests know, as did the priest of the Old Covenant the correct way, according to the Word of God, to minister to people. One of the fallacies of today’s theology is that all will reign. That cannot be true according to the Word of God. They must be servants and they must walk in His light.

Revelation 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

6The angel showing John these things (21:9) tells John, These sayings are faithful and trueSayingswould refer to the visions which are portrayed for us. They are faithful. They can be trusted and depended upon. They are true.

The angel helps us understand how to interpret the sayings. The angel says the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show…. The angel links the sayings with the prophets. The correct way to interpret the Revelation is through the sayings of the holy prophets. The same God who gave the holy prophets their visions, and sayings, gave this vision and saying of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. When interpreted this way, the use of fantasy or speculation is not necessary. The Word of God interprets the Word of God.

Then the angel says something that drives modern theologians crazy. The angel said it at the most inappropriate place. After what must be the most distant point in futuristic theology, the place where the people of God are living on an orbiting satellite above earth, the angel makes a statement. The angel says he is showing John things which must shortly be doneShortly, tachos (Greek), means “a short space of time.” This word tachos is used elsewhere in the New Testament and never means an extended “shortly” as modern theologians would want us to swallow. It is far better interpreted as quickly as the following verses show:

Act 12:7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly [tachos]. And his chains fell off from his hands.

Act 22:18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly [tachos] out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.

In 1:1 we read the same admonition. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly [tachos] come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John” (Rev 1:1). The Revelation began with this thought and now as it ends, John emphasizes this thought again. Actually John will become redundant:

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

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

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

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

The Revelation was not addressed to a generation to come thousands of years later. It was addressed to John’s generation (Rev 1:4, 11) who needed to know how things would come about. They needed comfort as their families were literally being destroyed in martyrdom. They needed to understand why Jerusalem would soon be destroyed. To tell them “shortly” and “quickly” and mean thousands of years from then would be an untruth in anyone’s dictionary as they tried to define “shortly.”

Shortly does not mean two or three thousand years. Jesus Christ as the Son of man came shortlyafter the writing and destroyed Jerusalem (Mat 24:27, 30, 37, 39, 44; 25:13). The bondwoman and her son (Old Jerusalem) were cast out as the promise came (Gal 4:21-31). The New Jerusalem began coming out of heaven. The people of God are translated into His kingdom (Col 1:13) and come to Zion to rule today (Heb 12:22-24). Shortly means shortly. If this was originally written around A.D. 65, then in the spring of A.D. 66 the Son of man came on the cloud with great glory, this would be shortly. He destroyed Jerusalem and gave the sign that the Son of man was in Heaven, (Mat 24:30) which is the throne.

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

7How could the seven churches (Rev 1:4, 11) keep the sayings of the prophecy of this bookif it were for a generation several thousands of years later? Not only does the Lord say “send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia,” He goes on to specifically name the exact seven churches He expects to get it. These are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Are we missing something or is this just too clear? The Lord tells these churches, Behold, I come quickly. He tells them to be sure to keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book. It is nearly 2,000 years later now. Those people at those churches have died. He came while it was possible for them to keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Revelation 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things.

Revelation 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.

8, 9At the declaration of “Behold, I come quickly” John fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed him these things. Exactly as in 19:10 this angel says, do it not for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book. As seen in 19:10 it is shown here again. The angel was not Jesus Christ as some believe. Neither is the angel a “celestial” being as we think angel, with large feathered wings, etc. The angel throughout the book was a prophetic ministry. The angel said he was of thy brethren the prophets. The angel was a fellowservant and of thy brethren the prophets. The angel was a fellowservant of the redeemed (see discussion 19:10). The angel was of them which keep the sayings of this book.It has just been declared in 22:7: “Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” Now the angel tells John that he is one of them which keep the sayings of this book. The angel must be a prophetic ministry of the body of Christ, the redeemed who keep the sayings of Jesus.

As it has been seen again and again throughout the Revelation angelic activity is closely related to ministry. This has been noted from the first mention of the seven angels of the seven churches to which the letters were addressed. These seven angels have been involved throughout. Angels are involved in the ministry of Jesus Christ and His church. In fact, they are the true laborers:

Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Revelation 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

Revelation 8:6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

Revelation 15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

Revelation 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

Revelation 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

Revelation 16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

Revelation 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.

There are 76 references to angels in the Revelation. These references refer to angelic functions to bring about the kingdom. Reading through this we will see not only the ministry of celestial beings, but also the ministry of pastors or messengers of God. We will see both the ministering angels of Christ and the ministering angels of Satan:

-They brought revelation (1:1).

-Angels were stars or heavenly lights in the churches (1:20).

-The Lord addressed them with both appreciation and correction (2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14).

-Those in the book of life had their name confessed before angels (3:5).

-There were strong angels who proclaimed (5:2).

-There were many angels around the throne (5:11).

-Specific angels held back the winds (7:1).

-Angels carried the seal of God (7:2).

-Specific angels were given power to hurt the earth and sea (7:2).

-They fell on their faces and worshiped God (7:11). --

-Angels sounded the trumpets (8:2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12; 9:1, 13, 14; 10:7; 11:15).

-Angels stood at the altar of incense as the prayers of the saints ascended from their hands (8:2, 3, 4).

-Angels threw the fire of the incense upon the earth (8:5).

-Angels moved through the heavenlies and proclaimed woe’s (8:13).

-There was an angel of the bottomless pit (9:11).

-There were angels bound in the great river Euphrates (9:14, 15).

-There were mighty angels (10:1).

-Angels made oaths (10:5).

-An angels brought a book (10:8, 9, 10) for John to eat.

-Angels gave directions to measure the temple (11:1).

-Michael had angels that went to war for him (12:7).

-The dragon had angels that went to war with him (12:7).

-The dragon’s angels were cast out of heaven (12:9).

-Angels proclaimed the everlasting gospel (14:6).

-Angels proclaimed the fall of Babylon (14:8).

-Angels proclaimed that if any man followed the beast, the wrath of God would be poured upon him (14:9, 10).

-Angels cried out to the Son of man upon the cloud (14:15).

-Angels carried the harvest sickle (14:17) and harvested for the wrath of God (14:19).

-An angel had the power over fire (14:18).

-Angels had the seven last plagues (15:1, 6, 7, 8; 16:1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 12, 17).

-Angels proclaimed the righteousness of the Lord (16:5).

-Angels showed the judgment of the whore (17:1); and told the mystery of it (17:7).

-Angels had great power and did light the earth (18:1).

-Angels cast the millstone into the sea showing the end of Babylon (18:21).

-Angels gathered the fowls to feast at the great supper of God (19:17).

-An angel chained the dragon for one thousand years (20:1).

-The angel showed John the Lamb’s wife (21:9).

-Angels were at the gates of the Lamb’s wife (21:12).

-The measurements of angels and the measurements of man were the same (21:17).

-Angels were the Lord’s messengers, (22:6) who God’s people sometimes attempted to worship (22:8).

-Angels were sent of Jesus to testify in the churches (22:16).

Angels were intricately involved with the work of the ministry and the bringing about of the restoration of all things. They were the true laborers in the kingdom and by their ministries the New and Heavenly Jerusalem comes.

The angel explains to John that he was a fellowservant of the brethren the prophets and of those who keep the sayings. However, notice that the angel moved into prophetic language speaking, as though he is the Lord. This was the form in which the Old Testament prophets moved as they brought the Word of the Lord. This phrase, “Thus saith the Lord,” is found in 413 Old Testament Scriptures. Agabus, a New Testament prophet, said, “Thus saith the Holy Ghost….”

Act 21:11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

Obviously, this angel was not one with wings made of feathers. He was a messenger of God. He was a prophetic ministry. From this point on the angel will speak as though he was the Lord.

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

10Once again John’s readers are assured that these events will begin soon! John is told the time is at hand. The emphasis is to seal not the saying of the prophecy. This seal notis in contrast to Daniel’s instructions “to seal up the vision and prophecy,” (Dan 9:24) and again “seal the book, even to the time of the end” (Dan 12:4):

Dan 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Dan 12:4 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.

The vision and book that Daniel was told to seal was now opened, and John is told not to seal what Daniel was told to seal. This is because, for the time is at hand. In Daniel’s situation the time was to come. Thus we see that the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 and the holocaust of Daniel 12 was fulfilled in A.D. 70. It would be tremendously difficult to convince John’s readers that the destruction of Jerusalem, and the termination of the house of Moses, was not the great tribulation which Daniel spoke of. It would be difficult to convince any first century believer that the A.D. destruction was not the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy.

Hopefully, it has been sufficiently discussed that John was not telling his readers of events that would take place two-thousand years from the time of this writing. He was instructing his generation and the seven churches (1:4, 11). He linked the prophecies of Daniel’s abomination of desolation, with the destruction of Jerusalem.

Revelation 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.

11This cry from heaven is often difficult to understand. The bottom line is: if a person will not repent, and remains unjustand filthy, after being warned by the prophecies of Scriptures, let him be filthy and let him be unjust still. Jesus instructed His disciples to go and preach the kingdom of God, but if people would not receive them they were to “shake off the dust of your feet.”

Mat 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

Paul and Barnabas actually did this:

Act 13:50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.

Act 13:51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.

It is from the response of Paul and Barnabas that we gain insight to the meaning projected herein and to the instructions of Jesus to His disciples. Had the disciples or Paul and Barnabas remained in the cities, and with people who refused the message, other cities would not have the opportunity to receive. The progress of the gospel would bog down. Also this would have a very negative affect upon the messengers sent out. Jesus also said, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Mat 7:6). The problem with continually attempting to convince people who reject the message is two-fold. They will trample the pearls of the kingdom in the mire before others, convincing them not to heed. They will also turn and rend the messenger. They will destroy the messenger. Then, when the messenger is destroyed, no one will hear. This is the warning of Revelation 22:11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still. He which is filthy, let him be filthy still. Heaven declares that we concentrate on those who desire to become righteous and on the holy. The angel continues to prophetically speak as though he is the Lord.

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

12Again the emphasis is not upon events to take place thousands of years from the writing of the Revelation. The Lord is coming quickly which is tachu (Greek) meaning “shortly” (see comments 22:6).

His reward will come with Him. Today’s theology projects that we go someplace and get the rewards. In actuality, He brings the rewards with Him. Though the judgment seat of Christ (Rom 14:10; 2Co 5:10) will be “heavenly,” it may well be done upon the earth (Rev 5:10); where the rewards (holy and filthy) were earned:

Joh 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

Joh 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

1Co 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.

1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Col 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

1Ti 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward.

2Ti 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

2Pe 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

Jud 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah.

An interesting thought, definitely in context here, is that rewards are not all for the end of time. Surely many are and will determine our position in the age to come:

2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

However, the emphasis here is the soon coming, quick coming, imminence of His coming, to terminate the house of Moses. Hell and destruction are not always an end of the age event, any more than life and abundance are always an end of the age event. There are rewards in this life for both the just, and the evil:

Mar 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,

Mar 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

We have discussed at length the necessity of works. Here the Lord says, my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Again, it is the works that determine the reward. In 21:11-15 (see discussion) it was noted that works determine the names found in the book of life. If there were no works, there was no name. Here the reward is according to the works. Every man will receive a reward. Those who’s works are filthy will receive rewards for that work. Those who have good works will receive rewards for that. Works is an important biblical doctrine.

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

Revelation 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.

13, 14The angel, speaking by the Holy Spirit, in prophetic form says, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. This is exactly the way the Revelation began (see 1:8). He is the beginning. This is the way it will end, because He is the end. The prophetic language is given to add validity to the prophecy. It is a signature of assurance. This was about to happen, and it did happen.

The blessing was about to be realized as the Son of man comes. Here, the blessing is for those who do his commandments. There is a difference between “knowing” and “doing.” The wise man not only hears, but also does the sayings of Jesus Christ (Mat 7:24-27). The Lord proclaims, through His prophetic ministries, that access or right to the tree of life, and even through the gates into the city, is only by those that do His commandments. This is very different from the “greasy grace” preached so often today. Salvation is not a “pray after me” and receive your ticket to the golden city. There is obedience demanded. Matthew Henry comments on this verse saying:

“Never let us think that a dead or disobedient faith will save us, for the First and the Last has declared that those alone are blessed who do his commandments.” 

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

15This verse once again shows and declares the present, as well as the future, fulfillment of the Heavenly city, the Lamb’s wife. She is in existence and will only become more glorious with age. A day will come when “whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (20:15), but for today there are dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. All these are very self-explanatory, except perhaps the dogs. The term refers to those who settle for, and are satisfied with scraps, when they could excel to eat from the tree of life. It refers to those who eat the unclean (Exo 22:31) and are compared to the “hire of a whore” (Deu 23:18). The dead who had no family and those defeated in battle who were left for dead, were eaten of dogs (1Ki 14:11). The dogslicked up wicked Ahab’s blood and feasted on Jezebel (1Ki 21:23, 34; 22:38; 2Ki 9:10, 36). They are the wicked and worthless (Psa 22:16) who make noise (59:6). Dogs return to their vomit (Pro 26;11; 2Pe 2:22). They are the greedy which never have enough (Isa 56:11). Jesus said, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Mat 7:6). All of these give us an understanding of the meaning of dogs. We are given one more by Paul:

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

Phi 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Phi 3:2 Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. [NIV]

Paul states that the Jews who continue to preach the circumcision were dogs. They are those who put confidence in a circumcised organ rather than in those who worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus. These would be religious, yet very worthless.

The dogs are the worthless wicked who could attain to the tree of life, but settle to eat the scraps of Judaism and feast of Jezebel. They make noise and lick blood, but will not eat of the tree of life. Associated with them are the sorcerers, and whoremongers (a male prostitute), and murderers, and idolaters (those that worship a thing), and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie (utter untruths).

Revelation 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.

16The angel continues to prophesy in the present tense as the angel says, I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you. The Word of the Lord is to find its way to the churches. The Lord Jesussays He sent His angel to testify. Again we see the thought, the angel is not a celestial being. Rather the angel is one sent of the Lord.

This message of Revelation had a specific destination. The destination was the churches that were in Asia (Rev 1:4, 11). Though all generations, and churches since, have read and been blessed by the Revelation, it was specifically written to and for the churches mentioned in Revelation 1:4 and 1:11:

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

Revelation 1:11 Saying, 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.

Jesus is the root and the offspring of David. This is a very unique statement. My last name is Young. It would be like me saying I am the root of the Young’s and the offspring of the Young’s. Humanly that is impossible. I could not both, begin the name, and then millennia later, be an offspring of the name. However, this is exactly what Jesus says. It seems that David would be the root of David. However, the Lord said He is the root of David. This phrase has already been used in 5:5:

Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. (emphasis added)

The Lord promised the throne forever to David. David did rule Judah and Israel and was never limited to only Judah and Israel. David expanded the borders. The root began with David and was the throne which would be established everlasting over the entire earth.

2Sa 7:26 And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee.

1Ki 2:45 And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the LORD for ever.

2Ki 21:7 And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house, of which the LORD said to David, and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:

1Ch 17:24 Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee.

2Ch 13:5 Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?

2Ch 21:7 Howbeit the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons for ever.

Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

The thought of root is the source of substance for the tree. Christ was saying that He was the source of David. Jesus said “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (Joh 8:58). So, before David was, the “I Am” was. John Wesley writes that the

“I -- as God. Am the root -- And source of David’s family and kingdom; a man, and descended from his loins.” 

Christ Jesus is God and root. He was made man, who came through David, thus promised the throne.

Jesus also refers to Himself here as the bright and morning star. Again, this phrase has previously been used in 2:28 to explain who it was speaking to the church at Thyatira. Jesus is the morning star. He was the last star to be seen before the new day began. He began David, and now was the offspring and the final fullness of the throne. He was the last star as the New Covenant came into its position as the new day began with the new age. Jesus is the fulfillment of all the prophets and all the Scriptures.

Revelation 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.

17The prophetic angel moved from relaying the words of the Lord to speaking as the Spirit, then as the bride, and finally as all who hearthe words of the prophecy.

The cry was to the beloved to come and complete the age, as the day star displays the termination of night. Then the invitation was given to whosoever will. If anyone is athirst then come and come quickly. There was water of life, as Jesus told the woman at the well. There was water available to drink that will eternally quench the thirst.

The cry was both to the Lord to come, and for whosoever will to come. It is though the Spirit cried for the Lord to come with great desire, but then cried for the people to come with desire as well. The church cried for her husband to come, but then cried for people to come as well.

Is that not the way it would be? They knew the Lord was going to come and judge Jerusalem and begin the New Covenant. Yet, they desired so deep that their loved ones would come. Here we can well relate. Though we desire the Lord would come in His day of resurrection, we also desire that all would come into the kingdom.

Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

v. 18, 19As John has done throughout the Revelation, he does once again. He alluded to Old Testament passages as He showed the reality of the New Covenant. It was noted in chapter four that John was invited into the cloud to record, as a mediator, the events of the New Covenant. This was the same cloud in which Moses stood in the millennia past and recorded the Old Covenant. As Moses warned of changing the writings which he was given of God, so the warning comes concerning the writings John is given:

Deu 4:1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.

Deu 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Deu 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

Deu 29:20 The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.

Deu 29:21 And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law:

Theologians have different interpretations about who was speaking in this passage. Some say it was the angel. Some say it was John. Some say it was the Lord Jesus. The point is that it does not matter. It is the Word of God and is given with a powerful warning. The admonition is: ‘Do not change what is written in this prophecy.’ This is best understood when remembered that the writing would be transcribed at least six times. Seven total prophecies would need to be written to give each church its own book. That would require six copies and then the original making seven total copies. The warning is: do not add your thoughts and do not remove anything with which you disagree. That is the literal meaning.

However, to us today the admonition sounds just as loudly. A person does not have the right to change the prophecy because they do not agree with the prophecy. Neither can they change it because they do not understand the prophecy. Apocalyptic style writing is never meant to be so exact that it only means one point. We know the sky is blue, but often as we look, the sky is gray or at night the sky is black. It is the same sky and no one can change that. The point is this, it’s the same sky though seen differently. Though gray today, tomorrow it will be blue and tonight it will be black. The warning given in Revelation 22:18, 19 is do not change it.

If one does change it, there is a price to pay. God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if that is not sufficient grounds to stop one from changing then the final warning is, 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. How terrible that would be. A person could live an entire life with their name in the book of life with a guaranteed residence in the holy city. Yet, because one did not agree with this prophecy and changed it, miss the book of life, and the holy city. Let the ear hear what the Spirit says.

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

20Again the Lord says Surely I come quickly. This time He says, Surely… “Surely I come quickly.” There is a double emphasis with “Surely” and “quickly.” As mentioned throughout this chapter, and in chapter 1, these things were to happen to the first century church. When the Scriptures are allowed to interpret this book of Revelation, it is easily understood that they did happen quickly. It is when the Saints allow those with fairy-tale interpretations to interpret the Scripture, that fear and dread becomes a part of the Revelation.

We studied the Amen. We saw how it was used in Deuteronomy to bring the curses upon the nation when they broke covenant with the Lord (see discussion 3:14). Here, the come quickly is followed by Amen, spoken by the church. The Lord says, Surely I come quickly. The church, from an imprecatory position says, Amen. Whatever it takes to fulfill your will, let it come. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The context in itself shows the anticipation of His coming, but also the Amen of it. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Revelation 22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

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Contemporary Theological View(s)

Naturally the Dispensationalists continue attempting to interpret the Revelation literally. However, it cannot be done. What they do is a little bit of both. They try to make it literal, but then note that it is a symbol of something else. Note what Swaggart says about the pure river.

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

“Among all the great rivers that will be in the New Jerusalem, there will be one great river called ‘a pure river of water of life.’ It proceeds out of the throne of God and the Lamb--meaning the Lord Jesus Christ….. It must be understood that this river of water of life, that is clear as crystal, is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. This river will run through all of the New Jerusalem (fifteen hundred miles).” 

Well, which is it? Is it a real river or is it symbolic of the Holy Spirit? John Phillips goes to great detail explaining how this river is crystal clear and never muddy or polluted. Then Phillips says:

“The Lord Jesus likened the Holy Spirit to a river (Joh 7:38), and no doubt He is the reality behind the symbol.” 

John R. Rice does the same thing. It is as if they know it is symbolic, but to be a Dispensationalist, they must interpret it as literal. Rice says:

“I believe there will be a literal river. But the ‘water of life’ is surely a picture and symbol of salvation. In Revelation 21:6 the Lord promised, ‘I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of water of life freely.’ And in this chapter, verse 17b says, ‘And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’ In a spiritual sense, one has salvation by partaking of Christ, who is spiritually the Water of Life; but in some physical sense, too, our bodies will be saved, kept and preserved, and this heavenly water of life has something to do with that.” 

It fascinates me that they know it is symbolic. The Revelation is so easily interpreted when we allow the scriptures do it as Rice did above. Yet, they will not allow the scriptures to interpret it. They change it to their own images.

Revelation 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. 

As we have discussed, the city is impossible to draw, much less be literal. In this verse we have a street (one) that has a river (one) going down the middle of the street. So the street is on both sides of the river. Then we have a tree of life (one) in the middle of the street and at the same time on both sides of the river. As we saw from 21:21, and again here, there is only one street in this huge city. To make their doctrine and interpretation work, the Dispensationalists make many streets (see discussion 21:21 and Contemporary Theology of 21:21). If many streets, then many rivers must be added. If there are many streets and many rivers are added then they must add many trees. John’s emphasis of ‘oneness’ is lost. Swaggart says:

“The second verse indicates that there will be a great broad way (the street) that will run on either side of the river. It seems that it’s similar to a four-lane highway with the river in the middle. On either side of the river was a tree of life. The Scripture portrays it as rows of trees along the river on both sides of the length of the highway and the river.” 

The scriptures may portray rows of trees to Swaggart, but it says tree, as in singular, to me.

Revelation 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.

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

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

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

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

It sounds to me like the book of Revelation was to be fulfilled “shortly,” and “quickly.” Naturally, that is not the avenue the Dispensationalists approach. Even though Jesus said, “The time is at hand,” that does not matter to the Dispensationalists. Jesus Christ desires to make sure we don’t miss that fact, so again He says, “Surely I come quickly.” To me that means that from the time John received the Revelation, till the time Jesus Christ fulfilled the Revelation, would be short. Seems clear does it not? Let’s see how the Dispensationalists interpret this.

Van Impe says:

“In verse 6, our Lord told John that the things written in this Book of Revelation must shortly be done or ‘come to pass speedily.’ Then He adds in verse 7, Behold, I come quickly [or speedily]. The term speedily is not used in relationship to hours, days, months, or even years. Rather, it speaks of a series of events happening in rapid succession once they begin. In other words, when these things begin to come to pass (see Luke 21:28), the signs and events will fall into place so speedily--one after another--that a state of preparedness should be maintained.”

Did you get that explanation? Van Impe says that the term “speedily” means the quickness of the events happening. It does not mean the quickness of the fulfillment of Revelation. Look at the verse and see if you see the word “speedily.” I don’t see “speedily” used. I see “quickly” and “shortly.”

In verse 6 it does speak of the “things which must be shortly (even speedily) done.” However the remaining verses speak of the coming of the Lord to do them. He said, “I come quickly.” He said, “The time is at hand.” He said, “Surely I come quickly.” The emphasis is not only on the thing happening quickly once they began. The emphasis is also on the Son of man coming quickly, shortly, or even “speedily.”

In no one’s timing is 2,000 or 3,000 years quick or short. The Lord would not deceive His people with jargon. He meant that “the time was at hand” and He was coming “shortly” and “quickly.” The Revelation was written in the mid 60 A.D. (around 65 A.D.) The Romans came upon the land of the Jews in the spring of 66 A.D. Now that is what I call quickly, shortly, and the time being at hand. Makes sense to me, but let’s get one more Dispensational view. Swaggart says:

“The meaning of the phrase, ‘the things which must shortly be done,’ speaks of the fulfillment of the book of Revelation. This started in John’s day--and in the light of eternity, even though the past two thousand years already seem to us a long time; yet, it will be very short in comparison to ‘forever and forever‘….When he used the term ‘for the time is at hand,’ he was speaking of the immediate fulfillment of the events which were to happen in consecutive order from John’s day into eternity….” 

According to the Dispensationalist “quickly” does not mean quickly and “shortly” does not mean shortly. It means eternity. I guess that makes sense to somebody. I doubt it would make any sense to John or to the seven churches in Asia in A.D. 65.

Revelation Chapter 22 – River of life, Street of gold, I come quickly – sermon video audio notes

Other Related Sermons:

 
 
 

 Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Bible Research Systems, Austin Texas

 Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Bible Research Systems, Austin Texas

 John Wesley’s Notes On The Whole Bible, The New Testament, Revelation, page 1006

 Jimmy Swaggart, The Prophecies and Symbols of Revelation, page 190

 John Phillips, Exploring Revelation, page 272

 John R. Rice, Behold He Cometh, page 328

 Jimmy Swaggart, The Prophecies and Symbols of Revelation, page 190

 Dr. Jack Van Impe, Revelation Revealed, page 306

 Jimmy Swaggart, The Prophecies and Symbols of Revelation, page 191, 193

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