REVELATION CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO PREFACE
At Revelation 22, we come to the last chapter of the last book in the Bible. In our study thus far, we have already come to the time-stop where eternity begins (in Revelation 21); therefore events in Revelation 22 clearly take place in eternity.
One qualification about this statement must be made: towards the end of Chapter 22, there is a repetition of material dealing with time. The chronology of the book actually closes in Revelation 22:5, which is very important, because, as we mentioned earlier, the last time the word "church" occurred was Revelation 3:22. Yet, now we find in Revelation 22:16, "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches." This has led Christians to say that the church wasn't "caught out" in Revelation 4 because here it shows up again in Revelation 22. But you must understand that in Revelation 22:6-21 the chronological element is no longer being given, but rather a series of exhortations and warnings are being given to people, in view of what is going to take place. You will find a warning to somebody in the Tribulation and Millennium in Revelation 22:14, and a warning to someone in the Church Age in Revelation 22:17, and you'll find a reference to the Second Coming in Revelation 22:20. Anybody knows perfectly well that by the time you get to Revelation 22:20, Christ has already come. He came in Revelation 19, He reigned on earth 1000 years in Revelation 20, and eternity began in Revelation 21. So from Revelation 22:6 on, you are dealing with final exhortations, final warnings, benedictions, and repetitions of matter given before. Therefore, the elements are no longer chronological.
The reason why we should go into so much detail about this thing is because some scholars, for some reason, have taken Revelation 22:1-6 and put it back into the Millennium. Now you can put Revelation 22:14 in the Millennium, and you can put Revelation 22:16 back in the Church Age, but you cannot put Revelation 22:15 back into the Millennium, because the events are still being given in chronological order. "God" and "the Lamb" in Revelation 22:1 are in the city, as in Revelation 21:22; the "nations" mentioned in Revelation 22:2 are the "nations" in Revelation 21:24. The "tree of life," which is "in the midst of the street of it," is a reference to the city in Revelation 21: 22-24. There is no doubt about it. Revelation 22 is not connected with the Millennial reign of Christ in Revelation 20, but with the eternal, everlasting reign of Christ in Revelation 21. The reason these expositors have put this back in the Millennium is that they do not know what to do with Revelation 21:24 and 22:2.
If these passages deal with eternity, it means that there will be flesh-and-blood people on the earth during eternity, and they would die unless they partook of the "tree of life," which is how they get their eternal life - not by believing on Jesus Christ! It has been taught for 1900 years that the events of Revelation 22:1-4 refer to the Millennium, and that the events of Revelation 21:23-27 occur in the Millennium, and they do not. The references are to eternal things.
Revelation 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.
This "water of life" is not the water described in Ezekiel 44 - 48. The "water" that comes out of the throne in Ezekiel comes out of the Millennial temple, and these are not the same. For example: the city in Revelation 22 is 12,000 furlongs square, and the one in Ezekiel 48 is 18,000 measures. There is a land divided up in Ezekiel 44 - 48, and there is no land divided up in Revelation 22.
"A pure river of water of life." Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14). So in eternity there is a real river "proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb," and it is called the "river of water of life" (Revelation 22:17).
This "water of life," which comes directly from God's throne, runs down alongside a street, and the trees that grow by this street have their roots in this water.
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.
The picture you get in your mind is that of one tree, and this one tree would have to grow in the middle of the street and on both sides of the river. But the "tree of life" is not a singular one of a species. For example: a man says, "The dog is a faithful animal." When he says this he means all dogs. A man says, "The lion is the king of wild beasts." He doesn't mean one lion, but a whole bunch of them. Then "the tree" is an individual term for a species. We see this in scripture in Ezekiel 47.
Ezekiel 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."
Notice, "trees" (plural) is the subject, and they are referred to as "it" (singular). This is the singular used for the plural, and it shows what we have in Revelation 22. In verse 2, where it says, "on either side of the river, was there the tree of life," it means the species of tree, and not one particular tree. There is a whole group of trees and each one is the "tree of life."
Revelation 22:2 - "In the midst of the street of it (the city), 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."
This passage is so similar to the one in Ezekiel 44 - 48 that people have supposed them to be identical. In Ezekiel 47:12 when one reads, "and the leaf thereof for medicine," and then reads in Revelation 22:2, "and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations," the natural thought would be that these two trees are identical. But the truth is that in the Millennium there was a setup on the earth that was only a type of what is going to take place in eternity. Because of this, many well-intentioned scholars have placed Revelation 22 back in the Millennium, where it does not belong.
Notice the differences (as we compare the two passages), so it will be very clear in our minds that the two cities are not the same. In Ezekiel 44, it is a literal earthly sanctuary, a literal earthly temple, that is attended to by the Levites (Ezekiel 44:15). They serve in a literal temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 45:6,7). They have a literal temple where they worship (Ezekiel 46:1). This literal temple in a literal land, is on land that is on this earth, which has been divided up (on this earth, Ezekiel 47:13 - 21). This is not a heavenly city with no temple. This is an earthly city, on land that has been divided up, and the boundaries of the land are named, and the people worship in a literal temple there (Ezekiel 46:3; 45:16). There's no doubt about the passage at all. This temple described in Ezekiel 40 - 42 is a literal temple, on the earth, during the Millennium that is attended by Levites.
With this clearly in mind, turn to Revelation and we'll see that the elements are completely different. In Revelation 21:22, there is no temple (but there is a temple in Ezekiel). Because there is no temple in Revelation, and therefore there are no Levites or "sons of Zadok" to serve. Again, this city in Revelation is not the same measurement as the one in Ezekiel. This city is 12,000 furlongs (Revelation 21:16), which is 1500 square miles. The city in Ezekiel is 18,000 measures (which is a perimeter of about 9 miles). They couldn't possibly be the same. The tree in Revelation 22:2 is the "tree of life," but the "trees" in Ezekiel are not said to be "trees of life." In Ezekiel 47:7 we read "at the bank of the river were very many trees," but it doesn't say what kind of trees. The passage in Ezekiel is for Israel in the land, and the waters come out of the "house of the Lord," and go south 4000 cubits into the country; the trees are growing on either side of this water in the country (Ezekiel 47:1-7). In Revelation 22:2 the river is in New Jerusalem (not old Jerusalem); the river is in a city which has no temple (the city in Ezekiel has a temple); the river in Revelation is in a city and it is not on any land, or even on the ground. Therefore, Ezekiel 40 - 48 is a picture, or a type, of eternity, and the passage in Revelation 22 is eternity, and not the Millennium.
Revelation 22:2 - "In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life (This is the tree that was forbidden to Adam, when God sent him out of the garden - "Lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever. "),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."
The trees in Ezekiel were for "meat and the leaf thereof for medicine." The "tree of life" has "leaves for the healing of the nations." (This means "nations" in distinction from Israel.)
Revelation 21:24 - "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it .... "
Then this "tree of life" is to heal "nations that are saved."
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."
Revelation 21:24 - "...and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour INTO it."
Revelation 21:16 - "And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations INTO it."
There are going to be nations on this earth in eternity, bringing their glory and honor into New Jerusalem through 12 gates. Why 12 gates?
Deuteronomy 32:7-9 - "Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. When the Most High D-I-V-I-D-E-D to the nations their inheritance, when he S-E-P-A-R-A-T-E-D the sons of Adam (God is not an integrationist! He is a separatist.), he (the most High) set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance."
Then the nations on this earth are divided into twelve boundaries. When God looks down and sees the nations, He sees twelve nations, each one of them represented by one of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. That isn't all! There just happens to be twelve months in a year, and we'll find the signs of the zodiac match the months - twelve.
Job 14:1-4 - "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? (Good question) not one."
(We have to be born again. We can't dress up, or varnish, or paint, or veneer the old man!)
Job 14:5 - "Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his B-O-U-N-D-S that he cannot pass."
"Bounds." Here "bounds" are not indicative merely of the national, geographic sense, but in the "time-element sense" of twelve months in the year.
Acts 17:24-27 - "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations (Revelation 22, Deuteronomy 32) of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined (1) the times (12 months) before appointed, and (2) the bounds (12 boundaries) of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us."
So the Bible plainly teaches that there are twelve boundaries on this earth, matching twelve months. These twelve "boundaries" have twelve nations in them, and these nations match the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. It could be that all twelve of these boundaries are in Europe, as these nations are "Gentiles." It could be that the boundaries are something like Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Russia, Africa, China, Japan, India, etc.; that is, these boundaries may all be in the Old World. But if we go clear around the world, we can find twelve natural boundaries, and they are very definite:
This gives twelve natural boundaries for the sons of men. But this may not be the distinction. The distinction may be in the Old World, as the Bible nearly always deals with events that take place in the Near East, Africa, and Europe. We'll find that nearly all the events that take place in the Bible are dealing with Palestine, Syria, Babylon, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Greece, Rome, the south end of Russia, and the north end of Africa.
The reason why there are twelve gates in Revelation 22 is because there are twelve nations that will go into New Jerusalem through separate gates. When the nations bring "their honor and glory" into New Jerusalem, they go in through these gates (Revelation 21:25,26) which are twelve in number (Revelation 21:13).
So in eternity, we might assume that if the people who are born do not partake of the "tree of life." they die. But in Revelation 20, we read that "death and hell were cast into the lake of fire." so this conclusion may not be the truth. Therefore, we will alter it just a little and say this: for 33,000 years (This is the period that Larkin calls the "Age of Ages" before eternity begins. See Deuteronomy 7:9 and 1 Chronicles 16:15-19.), or a period of time that only God knows, people will have to take of the "tree of life." There is a possibility that once a man partakes of the "tree of life," and reproduces seed, his seed receives eternal life and the offspring does not have to take of the "tree of life." This means that people in the Tribulation and Millennium who "keep His commandments," will be able to partake of the "tree of life" in their month - the month of their birth - and from then on their offspring are born with eternal life.
This is impossible to figure for certain because nobody knows what would have happened if Adam had taken of the "tree of life" before he fell (see Genesis 2:9,16). But the indication is that if he had taken of the "tree of life" before he fell, he would have lived forever, and the seed that he would have produced would live forever, too. That's the indication, however, let us drop a word of caution in saying that you can't prove it. Even though Adam was made sinless, and created in the image of God, he had the possibility of falling until he partook of the "tree of life." He did not partake of the "tree of life," and he fell and died. So there may be a slight chance that the offspring of saved people in eternity (the flesh and blood nations on the earth) (see Isaiah 66:20-24) get eternal life when they are born. You understand this has nothing to do with "Christians." We left the Christian a long time ago! In Revelation 21 they are in New Jerusalem, just like Jesus Christ. They don't "go into the gates of the city," they're already there. They don't have to partake of the "tree of life" to get eternal life. They got their eternal life when they received Jesus Christ (John 5:24). We shouldn't care anything about the "tree of life." We already have eternal life. "He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12). We shouldn't worry about "keeping His commandments" so that we may take of the "tree of life." We've already got eternal life and we didn't "keep His commandments." We broke them! Christ became a curse for us, and died on the cross for us because we didn't keep them (Galatians 3:13).
But somebody is going to partake of that "tree of life." We are left with two alternatives:
Revelation 22:14,15 - "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. For without (outside the city a reference to hell) are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."
It's a rough passage, but you can be sure that any man who comes through the Tribulation and the Millennium has to keep on dying unless he gets eternal life off the "tree of life." (See comments on Revelation 20:13.) The indication is that the only people who get a glorified body like Jesus Christ are people in the Church Age. The only people who get a 33-year-old sinless body are people saved in the dispensation of grace. All others get their eternal life by partaking of a tree, and they go into eternity male and female, exactly like Adam and Eve were before they fell.
God's plan, then, must be connected with the constellations and the galaxies. As sure as there are twelve nations, twelve months, and twelve gates, there are twelve groups of constellations in the heavens called "the zodiac." These are set for "signs and seasons" (Genesis 1:14), and have a bearing on the events that will take place on this earth. The twelve signs of the zodiac are as follows: 1. Aries 2. Taurus 3. Gemini 4. Cancer 5. Leo 6. Virgo 7. Libra 8. Scorpius 9. Sagittarius 10. Capricornus 11. Aquarius 12. Pisces You'll find these 12 constellations in any book on astronomy or any book on astrology. They match the months, which means (and the thought is tremendous) that God has ordained on this earth twelve boundaries, with twelve nations, who are destined to leave this earth (transported by angels Luke 16:22), and populate outer space infinitely and forever, beginning with the twelve constellations that are seen on the earth once every twelve months. We will find a confirmation of this teaching in Isaiah.
Isaiah 9:6 - "For unto us a child is born (Jesus Christ is born as the Son of man from Mary.), unto us a son is given: (He is the Son of God - born of the Holy Spirit.) and the government (It's political. The main subject of the Bible is a kingdom, not salvation.) shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Everybody is familiar with this verse, but look at the next one.
Isaiah 9:7 - "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end (The passage is not talking about time, but about size. The time element follows.), upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice (Here comes the time!) from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
God has just told you in the passage that the Lord Jesus Christ is eventually going to have a government that is established forever, and that it will never cease to increase in size. Consequently, the whole trend of this age will be to counterfeit the Second Coming. Men try to control the seasons because they will be controlled in the Millennium. Men try to tame animals because they will be tame in the Millennium. Men try to do away with disease because it will be done away with in the Millennium. Men try to take care of integration because in heaven there is no segregation. Men try to make women equal with men because saved Christian women will be like men when Jesus Christ comes (1 John 3: 1-3). Every modern, scientific, progressive movement of man in this century is an unconscious attempt to over-rule God's word, and what mankind is trying to do now is to "increase the government'' and spread it out to the moon, and populate outer space with a political form of government, to imitate what Christ is going to do at the close of the Millennium !
Luke 1:30-32 - "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. (She did.) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. (She did.) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David." (He never did.)
If Jesus did not get this Davidic throne the first time He came, then He must come the second time to sit down on it in order to reign over a real, literal kingdom.
Luke 1:33 - "And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Yes!)
Christ is going to come back and sit down on the throne of David, and reign over a political, visible, Messianic, Davidic, earthly, Palestinian kingdom over the house of Jacob. This kingdom is going to branch out-with its branches named after the sons of Jacob - and go out to the solar system and galaxies, infinitely, and go out to the stars forever and ever and ever (Hebrews 1:14.)
2 Peter 3:12,13 - "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."
Then righteousness is not just going to dwell on a new earth, but in the "new heavens," too. The implications are staggering. It means that God is going to spread mankind out and fill out the whole universe indefinitely.
Ephesians 1:10-12 - "That is the dispensation of the ruiness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."
This "dispensation of the fullness of times" is supposedly based on a passage in Deuteronomy 7:9, the idea being that God made promises to Israel which will endure for 1000 generations. (Clarence Larkin has figured 33 years to a generation; the figure being based on the life of Christ. This would make a period of 33,000 years for this expansion before eternity begins.) If a generation is 100 years, as it is in Genesis 15, then the passage of time would be 100,000 years. If a generation is 47 years, as it is in Matthew 1:17, the figure would be 47,000 years. So, varying between 33,00; 47,000; and 100,000 years; there seems to be a period of time, marked off by days, weeks, and months, before eternity begins. In this time, outer space will be populated. Think of outer space being populated for 33,000 years! What a small slice of time was cut out for those of us who lived 70 or 80 years, and then died, worrying all our life about "making a living!" God is in no hurry. "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Peter 3:8). The fact that the Devil has detained God for 6000 years is of no concern to Him. His plans are going to take 33,000 years to carry out anyway, at a minimum.
Isaiah 45:11,12 - "Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker (the maker of Israel), Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. (God says, "Go on and ask me. I'll show you.") I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded."
Isaiah 45:17,18 - "But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. For thus saith the Lord that created the H-E-A-V-E-N-S; God himself that formed the E-A-R-T-H and made IT; he hath established IT, he created IT not in vain, he formed IT to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else."
Although the immediate context of the passage is the earth, the greater context is the "heavens" (verse 18), the "heavens" (verse 12).
The gist of Revelation 22:2 is that on the new earth, in eternity, there are twelve nations divided off by twelve boundaries, and these nations are composed of nations who were saved during the Tribulation (Matthew 25) and during the Millennium (Revelation 19). These "saved nations" go into the city, partake of the "tree of life" to get their eternal life, and then they spend eternity reproducing and multiplying infinitely, and going out into outer space, and populating first the twelve constellations that make up the zodiac, and then from there they move on out into outer space.
Revelation 22:3 - 5 - 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: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
"They shall reign for ever and ever." This reign began in the Millennium, and then goes out into eternity. Notice how the Millennial reign goes right on out into eternity without any noticeable interruptions.
Daniel 7:14,18 - "And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." "But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever."
The passage in Daniel is very clear. This is not a government lasting for 1000 years, but "forever, even for ever and ever." So, the Millennial reign begins on the earth for 1000 years, and it doesn't stop there but goes on out into eternity. (This explains something very peculiar in Genesis 1 and 2, where you will notice that there is no evening and morning to the seventh day.) In Genesis 1, you will notice that all the days had an evening and a morning, but when you get to Genesis 2:
Genesis 2:1 - "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them."
Notice the context is "the heavens and the earth," as in 2 Peter 3, Isaiah 65,66, Revelation 21,22, and Isaiah 44.
Genesis 2:2 - "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made."
Notice that nowhere does it say, "And the evening and the morning were the seventh day."
Genesis 1:5 - "And the evening and the morning were the first day."
Genesis 1:8 - "And the evening and the morning were the second day."
Genesis 1:13 - "And the evening and the morning were the third day."
Genesis 1:19 - "And the evening and the morning were the fourth day."
Genesis 1:23 - "And the evening and the morning were the fifth day."
Genesis 1:31 - "And the evening and the mormng were the sixth day."
But there is no evening and morning to the seventh day. Why? "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." Our Lord Jesus Christ comes back at the seventh Millennium and sets up a 1000 year period and this "day" never ends. The "evening" (technically speaking), of this day was the Tribulation, but its "morning" has no end to it! It isn't limited by a day following, and the Millennial morning goes right on out into eternity for ever and ever and ever.
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."
The "they" is a reference to people living in the city, and there is some indication in Revelation 22:4 that perhaps Tribulation saints are involved in occupying the city. This cannot be proven, but "His name shall be in their foreheads" is found in Revelation 14:1, where the reference is obviously to Tribulation saints, and not just to Christians.
"They need no candle, neither light of the sun." There is no sun or moon in the city (Revelation 21:23), but the sun and the moon are still there, and putting out light. For example, we couldn't have the months divided into months, if we didn't have a sun and a moon. The moon marks out the months, and the sun marks out the 30 days that make up the months. So although the people in New Jerusalem do not need the sun and the moon for "light," there is indication that people on the earth do still need them."
Psalm 89:29 - 37 "His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his (Christ's) children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod (He'll beat you.), and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail (You can't lose it!). My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed (It can't be Solomon.) shall endure for ever, and his throne as the SUN before me. It shall be established for ever as the MOON, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah."
The covenant of the believer's eternal security is conditioned on the sun and the moon until eternity begins. If the sun and the moon are going to be done away with in time, then our salvation is going to be done away with, also! (Psalm 89 is a passage on the eternal security of the New Testament believer in the Age of Grace. The passage also indicates that someone would be "born-again" of Christ's seed in some other dispensation!)
The sun and the moon are still present in Revelation 21,22, although the people in New Jerusalem do not need them for light themselves.
Jeremiah 33:19 - 22 - "And the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. As (illustration) the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me."
This passage brings up another prophetic problem: the Jews, as well as the nations, are going to multiply forever, and go out into outer space with them. The indication is that in eternity, as they go out to these other constellations, there will be Jews taking over the center of each one of these, and then the nations inhabiting the planets around that center. If this is not true, the Jew must stay on earth with a limited number of descendants.
"And there shall be no more curse." There was a curse on this earth once, placed on the earth in Genesis 3 - and it is never gotten rid of completely until here - Revelation 22:3. In the Millennium the earth is regenerated, and yet, it still has devils in it, it still has demons in it, it still has the lost in hell in the center of it, and it still has the Devil active at the end of it. The curse is not completely removed until eternity.
"The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it."
The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the city.
"And his servants shall serve him." This indicates that the saved will go right on serving the Lord. We don't just sit down on thrones with gold harps and play them - we do something! (The Bible would indicate that our job is inter-planetary space transportation and communication!)
Hebrews 1:13,14 - "But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
This reference is to angels being spirits, and you are told, in Luke 20:35,36, that in the resurrection, "They are equal unto angels." Collectively, the verses lay out the following picture of the Christian: in eternity, the Christian is in New Jerusalem; he is in his apartment house that is made out of transparent gold, like clear glass. His little "house" up there in glory has about 15 rooms out of solid gold, and there he enjoys holy company in eternity. He discusses with his fellow-perfect-beings what has taken place in the past, comparing notes, and studying further and learning about the word of God. In this condition, the Christian throughout all eternity is in a 33 year-old male, sinless body, just like Jesus Christ, and he enjoys fellowship with God and the saints forever.
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."
This, then, is the picture of "heaven" given the New Testament - a city, a sinless city with sinless inhabitants, no sewage, no death, no taxes, no conscription, no draft, no notes, no bills, no sickness, no medicine, no heartaches, no pain, no disease, no sorrow, and no cemeteries.
"There's no disappointment in Heaven,
No weariness, sorrow or pain;
No hearts that are bleeding and broken.
No song with a minor refrain.
The clouds of our earthly horizon
Will never appear in the sky,
For all will be sunshine and gladness,
With never a sob nor a sigh.
We'll never pay rent for our mansion,
The taxes will never come due;
Our garments will never grow threadbare,
But always be fadeless and new.
We'll never be hungry nor thirsty,
Nor languish in poverty there,
For all the rich bounties of Heaven
His sanctified children will share.
There'll never be crepe on the door-knob,
No funeral train in the sky;
No graves on the hillside of Glory,
For there we shall never more die.
The old will be young there forever,
Transformed in a moment of time;
Immortal, we'll stand in His likeness,
The stars and the sun to outshine.
I'm bound for that beautiful city
My Lord has prepared for His own;
Where all the redeemed of all ages
Sing "Glory!" around the white throne;
Sometimes I grow homesick for Heaven,
And the glories I there shall behold:
What a joy that will be when my Saviour I see,
In that beautiful City of gold!"
This is not "poetry"; it is the "dying truth." If there is any doubt, look at Revelation 22:6.
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.
The "shortly be done" refers, primarily, to somebody in the Tribulation. But I have called this to your attention before, showing how the chronology gives out in Revelation 22:5; therefore, you'll find admonitions to people in the Tribulation in Revelation 22:6,7,20, but admonitions to the Church Age in Revelation 22:16.
Revelation 22:7 - Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
In the final exhortation, you have "this book" mentioned six times (Revelation 22:7,9,10,18 [twice], and 19) and "the book" (a reference to "this book"), is mentioned one time (Revelation 22:19). (In Revelation 22:19 it is "the book," "the book of life," and "this book." "The book" matches "this book," and not "the book of life.") The six references to "this book" and one reference to "the book" makes a complete seven, and then an eighth new book, "the book of life."
Revelation 22:7 - "Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book."
"This book" refers to the Book of Revelation, primarily. (But in another sense, it applies to the whole Bible, because this final warning, placed at the end of this Book of Revelation, is found at the end of no other book, and Revelation is placed last in the New Testament.)
Revelation 22:8,9 - And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when ! had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he (the angel) 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.
This leads to a peculiar conjecture, that perhaps the angel who is speaking to John is Daniel. In the resurrection, the saints are "as the angels" (Matthew 22:30), and the angel who has shown all this to John. has shown it to him in the past tense. (Remember, John has been caught up to the "day of the Lord," into the future, and of course, Daniel had been dead for many years and had gone on to glory.) Daniel had a "little (?) book," which he was told to "seal the book, even to the time of the end" (Daniel 12:4), and yet in Revelation 22:10 -
Revelation 22:10 - And he (the angel) saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of THIS book: for the time is at hand.
Since we know that the study of Daniel and Revelation go together, there is a possibility that "the angel" is Daniel, but this also cannot be proven.
"See thou do it not." The angel said, "Don't worship me. Don't fall down before me." Again, there is a peculiar sound here that is reminiscent of Daniel. Do you remember that there was a king who bowed down before Daniel, and Daniel let him do it? This time when John falls down, the angel is careful to say, "See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets (Daniel was a prophet), and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God."
"Worship God." What a tremendous statement! Only two words, but these two words sum up everything that is right, and point out by contrast everything that is wrong. "Worship God!!" Don't worship the "god of this world," "WORSHIP GOD." Don't worship the "great Architect of the universe," the "man upstairs," the great neuter deity - "WORSHIP GOD!" Worship the real God, the right God. "God is spirit." "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Don't worship "Mary," don't worship sacraments, don't worship the church, but "WORSHIP GOD." Don't worship Joseph, don't worship Education, don't worship Science, but "WORSHIP GOD!!!"
Revelation 22:10 - "And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand."
"This book." This is a reference to the Book of Revelation, primarily. "The time is at hand" for the Book of Revelation to be fulfilled. (Don't forget that John is in the future at the "day of the Lord." So we can't apply all the statement to back around 500-1900.)
"The time is at hand." This is the time of the Lord's Coming. "Behold, I come quickly" (Revelation 22:12). "Behold, I come quickly" (Revelation 22:7). "Surely I come quickly" (Revelation 22:20). You see that this passage is aimed primarily at somebody right up at the end of this dispensation.
"Today? Perhaps! Perhaps today!
The Lord may come and catch away
His ransomed Church, His blood-bought Bride
To take her place at His blest side;
When dead and living saints shall share
One trumpet summons to the air.
Today? Perhaps! 'Tis true! Today!
Ere nightfall we may be away;
Transported home! How blest, how grand!
Transported home to gloryland!
One twinkling moment, then to be
With Him for all eternity.
Perhaps today! Then why the fear?
Tomorrow we may not be here!
The thing so dreaded may not come
Till we are safely gathered home!
The threat'ning storm-cloud may not break
Till, in His presence, we awake.
Perhaps today! Oh, lonely soul,
Thy heart shall reach its longed-for goal;
The fellowship, the joy, the bliss,
Which now thy heart doth sorely miss,
Perchance may be thy heart's delight
Ere closes in another night.
Perhaps today! Then much-tried saint.
Look up, nor let thy spirit faint;
The stretching road thine eyes may see
May never be traversed by thee
One moment's space and then above,
To find thyself in cloudless love!
Perhaps today, afflicted life,
Thou shalt be taken from the strife;
From all that hatred to thy word
Which comes as thou dost please thy Lord.
And then, ah then, how small the pain
Compared with all thou then shalt gain.
We'll meet again - perhaps today,
The dear ones who have passed away,
The loved ones who now softly sleep,
When Jesus now doth safely keep;
Oh wondrous joy to meet them there
At that blest union in the air!
Perhaps today this mortal frame
With all enfeebled nature's claim
Shall be exchanged, and we shall own
A 'temple' where shall not be known
A sense of weakness or decay,
Or strength that surely ebbs away.
Today perhaps! Perhaps today!
Yes, He may come! Then watch and pray!
This 'Blessed Hope' keep much in view;
Nor deem it dead though taught by few.
And be as urgent as you may
In winning souls, while 'tis 'Today'!!"
J. Danson Smith
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.
The word "still." here is in the sense of "continuing," in the sense of "yet more." or in the sense of "the same condition." The truth is, that whatever condition we are in when the Lord comes, that's it! There is no time to change or do anything. We are what we are, and that's it! Whatever we're going to do, we better do it before He comes. There is another terrible thought in the text: if a man dies in one of these conditions, there is no chance to change. There is no "purgatory" to remedy this; if a man dies filthy, he is filthy for eternity; if he dies righteous, he is righteous for eternity, if he dies holy, he is holy for eternity. (It also implies that if a man is unjust, he'll get worse. If he dies filthy, he'll be more filthy after 1000 years in eternity than he is right now.)
Revelation 22:12 - And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
This can be for the Christian in this age, who is waiting for the Judgment Seat of Christ, or it also can be for the Tribulation saint, who is waiting for the Second Advent of Christ.
Revelation 22:13 - I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Then we have a repeated warning given to the people in the Tribulation and the Millennium:
Revelation 22:14,15 - 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. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Notice the word "dogs" used in reference to people (2 Peter 2:22).
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.
"Morning star." The morning star is Venus, or the Sun. Our sun is a star, and He comes up in the morning (Malachi 4:2).
Then we have the final invitation:
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.
The Holy Spirit says, "Come on!" The Bride, the Church, says, "Come on! .... Let him that heareth say, Come." This could be the invitation of a saved man, or even an unsaved man.
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." (If a man's thirsty, he can get the right drink: no limit!)
"F-R-E-E-L-Y." A very significant word, and it was the first word in the Bible that was ever "revised." (We'll find the revision by Mother Eve in Genesis 3:2.) The first word in the Bible that the Devil ever got revised, he used a woman to change it, and the first sin ever committed on the face of this earth had to do with God's word.
Genesis 3:2 - "And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden."
This is subtraction, because the original statement of God was:
Genesis 2:16 - "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest f-r-e-e-l-y eat."
The first time anybody sinned on this earth, they omitted a word in a verse of scripture, and this omission had to do with, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; It is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9). IT'S FREE! For the significance of the word, notice in Genesis 2:9 that one of the trees that they could have eaten of was the "tree of life." They could have had eternal life free!
"And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
Notice an application right in the passage to the Church Age. In Revelation 22:16, we have the local church; in Revelation 22:17, we have the Holy Spirit and the Body; and at the end of Revelation 22:17, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Notice the "commandments" in Revelation 22:14, but "freely" in Revelation 22:17; there has been a "switch.")
Then there is the final exhortation and warning:
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.
The reference is primarily to Revelation, but in a greater sense it must refer to the whole Bible because there are only three times in the Bible that you are warned about tampering with it. Their placements prove conclusively that this one refers to everything right back to the middle of the Bible. The first warning is found in Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy 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."
This first warning comes at the end of the Pentateuch - the first five books of the Bible.
The second warning is found in Proverbs.
Proverbs 30:6 - "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."
This warning comes right in the middle of your Bible. The final warning is found in Revelation 22:18, right at the very end of the Bible. This indicates that the first warning takes care of the first five books; the second warning takes care of every book to the middle; the last takes care of everything from the middle of the books up to the end.
"If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book." And there are some "plagues written"! There was a sore put on men that they couldn't get rid of, and they were scorched with a burning heat. They were stung by scorpions, smitten with diseases, starved, hit by hailstones, and the water that they drank turned to blood (Revelation 6 - 16).
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.
Notice the first warning was general, "these things," but the second warning has to do with specific words, "The words of the book of this prophecy." The Amplified Version says, "Takes away from the statements of the book of this prophecy." This is the teaching of the Roman Catholic "Pope" - that only the sayings, or statements, doctrines in the Bible are inspired, and that you can't go by every literal word. The Amplified Version takes the Catholic position in its version of the New Testament in spite of John 14:23. They've changed "words" to "statements,'' and this is Roman Catholic doctrine.
The surest proof that the Bible is inspired is the fact that infidels have to change the individual words to destroy the meaning of the verses. We can't change the meaning without changing the words, and we can't change the words without changing the meaning (Jeremiah 1:9; 11:6; 22:5; 23:9). Of course, the Greek scholars deny this in their new "translations," but they lie. If we change "son of God" to "son of man," we've changed something (see John 9:35 in an ASV); if you change "virgin" to "young woman," you've changed something (see Isaiah 7:14 in an RSV); if you omit the word "blood," you've changed the meaning of a verse (see Colossians 1:14 in an ASV). Infidels don't just change "what the Bible teaches," they change the words in the verses.
"God shall take away his part out of the book of life." All the new translations say "tree of life" instead of "book of life." Again, the change is uncalled for, the Receptus reads "bibliou." "Tree of life" is sheer conjecture
The Bible begins with God and it ends with man, and as man approaches the end of the Bible, he finds written the final warning that he is not "to mess" with the Book. We're not to take from it, and we're not to add to it. We can begin to take from it, but as soon as we do, there is no end to how far we can go. Infidels and Fundamentalists only disagree on how much has to go. If some of it should go, then how much of it should go is just a guess! (Judges 21:25.)
Revelation 22:20 - He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
"Amen." So be it! ("That's so," or "that's right.") John says, "Let it be, Lord!"
This is actually the end of the epistle, and the benediction is:
Revelation 22:21 - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
The "grace of our Lord Jesus Christ" is described by Paul in 2 Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 8:9 - "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich."
So the Bible closes with this last great and final reminder that the only way we can get a share in this heavenly city, the only way we get this free salvation, the only way we can look forward to the Second Coming of Christ with joy, is to receive the "grace of our Lord Jesus Christ," and remember that "though he was rich" - and owned all these things we've been talking about, and had this eternal glory before the world began- "He became poor." He came down, was born in a stable, walked across this earth cursed and hated, and died the death of a criminal in your place, "That ye through His poverty might be rich!"
In Herrnhut, Germany (until 1933), the night watchman went through the city and gave a "cry" for each hour of the night. The night watchman had given this cry since the days of Martin Luther. The cry is as follows:
"Ye brethren, hear the midnight clock is humming
At midnight, our great Bridegroom will be coming."
At one o'clock:
"Past one o'clock the day breaks out of darkness
Morning star appear and break our hardness."
At two o'clock:
"Tis two, on Jesus wait this silent season
Ye two, so near related - will and reason."
At three o'clock:
"The clock is three, the Blessed Three doth merit
The best of praise from body, soul, and spirit."
At four o'clock:
"This four o'clock, when three make supplication
The Lord will be the fourth on that occasion."
At five o'clock:
"Five is the clock. Five virgins were discarded
When five with wedding garments were rewarded."
At six o'clock:
"The clock is six. I go off my station
Now, brethren, watch yourselves, for your salvation."
Revelation 22:21 - "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."
Here ends God's "Holy Bible."
Please share your questions with the Home Group.
This is the end of this study of Revelation. Many thanks to several fundamental Bible scholars for having insight that I have never had about God's truth. Always remember that no commentator is infallible and it ALL right, only the Bible has perfect purity.
Is there something our home group can pray with you about?