The End and Beginning?
A. In our last study we saw a "new heaven" and a "new earth" created by the Lord as He wiped away the curse of sin and started over.
1. We also saw a new city called the "New Jerusalem" created by the Lord and "adorned" as a bride for her husband Jesus Christ!
2. It is the dwelling place of the saints!
a) What is important to remember here is not it's shape, (cubical) but that it is the dwelling place of the Lord, as well as His people!
b) He will be our source of light, water, laughter, happiness, joy, peace and yes, even our very existence!
c) There will be no more tears, no more death, no more sorrow, and no more pain!
3. This morning we will conclude our study of the book of Revelation and I for one am extremely grateful to the Lord for the new lives he has given during our study of this wonderful book!
a) I also want to thank many of you for your encouragement to me over the months of study. I have been blessed!
b) Now, lets begin the last chapter as John continues to explain what is inside the city!
II. Revelation 22:1-2 AND HE SHOWED ME A PURE RIVER OF WATER OF LIFE, CLEAR AS CRYSTAL, PROCEEDING FROM THE THRONE OF GOD AND OF THE LAMB.
2IN THE MIDDLE OF ITS STREET, AND ON EITHER SIDE OF THE RIVER, WAS THE TREE OF LIFE, WHICH BORE TWELVE FRUITS, EACH TREE YIELDING ITS FRUIT EVERY MONTH. THE LEAVES OF THE TREE WERE FOR THE HEALING OF THE NATIONS. (NKJV)
A. As we said last week, Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well, John 4:13-14 . . . "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,
14 "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." (NKJV)
1. The angel shows John the source of this water flowing through the city.
2. You see, he had already shown John that there would be no more seas on this new earth. No doubt John couldn't figure the nature, or the source of this water.
3. This "river of water of life", (the source of water in the New Jerusalem) has been referred to throughout Old and New Testaments.
a) Almost always, physical water would be used as an example of an even greater thirst!
b) Even our human "need" for water is symbolic of our need for the Lord!
c) We can go for40 days or so without food, but only a brief time without water!
(1) Likewise, the Lord never intended for us to live without Him!
(2) And it has always been His desire to be our "Thirst Quencher.
B. Evidently, right down the middle of the "street of gold", flows this river of life.
1. And both sides of the river are lined with the "trees of life".
a) These trees have fruit that constantly produces, and they produce a different variety each and every month for12months, then the cycle is repeated!
(1) The important part is that each fruit contains, (as does the river), LIFE!
(2) There is every indication that this is the same tree offered in the Garden of Eden, also called the tree of life!
b) The leaves on this tree also contain "health"!
(1) 2322therapeia ther-ap-i"-ah
(a) = healing, service rendered by one to another especially referring to medical service.
(2) Perhaps these trees are used by the Lord to provide eternal "wellness" for His people!
(a) Since there will be no more sin, or death, or pain!
III. Revelation 22:3-4 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.
4THEY SHALL SEE HIS FACE, AND HIS NAME SHALL BE ON THEIR FOREHEADS. (NKJV)
A. The curse of sin has been displaced with "the throne of God" and "the Lamb".
1. Please notice that "heaven" will not be a place where we do nothing!
a) Heaven is of course characterized as "rest" throughout scriptures.
b) The writer of Hebrews tells us the Christ has become our Sabbath rest!
c) There will be plenty of time for rest, and sharing the testimonies of the greats like Peter, Paul, Abraham, and even the Lord!
d) But, we will SERVE Him!
(1) Perhaps we will travel to distant galaxies to proclaim the beauty of the Lord!
(2) Whatever idea we might come up with would only be speculative since our entire "service" is not clearly defined!
(3) But, we will serve Him will a happy heart!
(4) We will have access to Him at all times, and we will bear His name on our foreheads.
(a) We do not know whether this is an actual mark or since we were created and even Revelation -created in His likeness, maybe we will so resemble our Father that we will be unmistakably His!!
IV. Revelation 22:5 THERE SHALL BE NO NIGHT THERE: THEY NEED NO LAMP NOR LIGHT OF THE SUN, FOR THE LORD GOD GIVES THEM LIGHT. AND THEY SHALL REIGN FOREVER AND EVER. (NKJV)
A. Somehow there will be "seasons" for the fruit to grow, but there will be "sunshine" as we know it. There will only be "Sonshine".
1. Notice again the reference to productivity.
a) We will reign forever and ever.
V. Revelation 22:6-7 THEN HE SAID TO ME, "THESE WORDS ARE FAITHFUL AND TRUE." AND THE LORD GOD OF THE HOLY PROPHETS SENT HIS ANGEL TO SHOW HIS SERVANTS THE THINGS WHICH MUST SHORTLY TAKE PLACE.
7 "BEHOLD, I AM COMING QUICKLY! BLESSED IS HE WHO KEEPS THE WORDS OF THE PROPHECY OF THIS BOOK." (NKJV)
A. The angel saw, and felt the need to reassure John that what he was showing and telling him was from the Lord!
1. He also reassured his that what was being revealed was consistent with scripture!
2. The Lord had in one way or another, revealed bits of this through the prophets of old!
3. The words "shortly and "quickly" mean "in haste".
a) There is an urgency in the voice of the angel and in his message to mankind!
4. A "blessing" is promised to those who keep the words of the prophecy of this book!
a) Again the word is "Logos":
(1) The verse could be translated Blessed is he who keeps the Jesus of the prophecy of this book!
VI. Revelation 22:8-9 NOW I, John, SAW AND HEARD THESE THINGS. AND WHEN I HEARD AND SAW, I FELL DOWN TO WORSHIP BEFORE THE FEET OF THE ANGEL WHO SHOWED ME THESE THINGS.
9 THEN HE SAID TO ME, "SEE THAT YOU DO NOT DO THAT. FOR I AM YOUR FELLOW SERVANT, AND OF YOUR BRETHREN THE PROPHETS, AND OF THOSE WHO KEEP THE WORDS OF THIS BOOK. WORSHIP GOD." (NKJV)
A. John gives another eyewitness account of what he sees!
1. He is so "taken out" by all of this that his natural response is to fall down in worship!
2. Notice the angel could not let it go! HE had to rebuke John for falling in worship at his feet!
a) Nothing nor no one is to be worshipped except the Lord!
(1) Herod was struck dead for accepting worship!
(2) Nebucadnezzer was driven mad because he accepted worship.
(3) and Lucifer was kicked out of heaven because he desired to be worshipped!
(4) Any saint, nor anyone who has ever loved the Lord would be appalled at the thought of Christians worshipping them!
(a) All of that is " Prayer of Manasseh -made" and blasphemy to the cross!
(5) The angel told John, "See that you don't do that, for I am a servant just like you are!" "WORSHIP GOD!"
VII. Revelation 22:10-13 AND HE SAID TO ME, "DO NOT SEAL THE WORDS OF THE PROPHECY OF THIS BOOK, FOR THE TIME IS AT HAND.
11 "HE WHO IS UNJUST, LET HIM BE UNJUST STILL HE WHO IS FILTHY, LET HIM BE FILTHY STILL HE WHO IS RIGHTEOUS, LET HIM BE RIGHTEOUS STILL HE WHO IS HOLY, LET HIM BE HOLY STILL."
12AND BEHOLD, I AM COMING QUICKLY, AND MY REWARD IS WITH ME, TO GIVE TO EVERY ONE ACCORDING TO HIS WORK.
13 "I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END, THE FIRST AND THE LAST." (NKJV)
A. The message in this book is not to be obscured! It is to be "open" to all!
1. The urgency is stressed again and again that word "logos" is used.
2. Jesus is to be "revealed" not hidden!
3. Verse11is best understood in the light of other scriptures: 2 Corinthians 2:16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? (NKJV)
a) 1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (NKJV)
b) To quote Dr. Henry Morris, author of The Revelation Record, "The Lord is saying, in effect: `Whatever you do, guard and proclaim the words of this prophecy: some of the wicked, when they hear, will be all the more confirmed in their wickedness. So be it! There are also those godly men and women who will be greatly blessed and more firmly fixed in their godly disposition.'"
4. As the Lord returns, he brings rewards for His faithful servants.
a) Salvation is of course apart from works, but rewards are according to works!
(1) In other words, we can't get to heaven by being good, but when Jesus saves us we are rewarded for doing good! (His will)
5. Revelation 22:13 tells us that He was around even before Genesis, and He will be around long after Revelation!
VIII. Revelation 22:14-17 BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO DO HIS COMMANDMENTS, THAT THEY MAY HAVE THE RIGHT TO THE TREE OF LIFE, AND MAY ENTER THROUGH THE GATES INTO THE CITY.
15 BUT OUTSIDE ARE DOGS AND SORCERERS AND SEXUALLY IMMORAL AND MURDERERS AND IDOLATERS, AND WHOEVER LOVES AND PRACTICES A LIE.
16 "I, JESUS, HAVE SENT MY ANGEL TO TESTIFY TO YOU THESE THINGS IN THE CHURCHES. I AM THE ROOT AND THE OFFSPRING OF DAVID, THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR."
17 AND THE SPIRIT AND THE BRIDE SAY, "COME!" AND LET HIM WHO HEARS SAY, "COME!" AND LET HIM WHO THIRSTS COME. WHOEVER DESIRES, LET HIM TAKE THE WATER OF LIFE FREELY. (NKJV)
A. Scripture is very clear that salvation is by the grace of God and not by keeping that law!
1. Jesus also said in John 14:15 If you love Me, keep My commandments. (NKJV)
2. Therein lies the key! It is the love of Christ that both empowers and compels us to keep His commandments!
3. 1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us. (NKJV)
4. It is for that reason, placing a saving faith in Jesus and the cross, that we are allowed in the city while all those that have rejected are not!
a) All those have been eternally condemned to the lake of fire. Which of course, is "outside the city."
B. In verse16 is the first mention of the church since their "rapture" in Revelation 4!
1. No church is mentioned during the tribulation and not during the millennium. The church is not even mentioned, as such, in the New Earth!
a) Maybe that is because the word church in Greek means "called out ones", and in the New Jerusalem, we are the people of God and by His side.
b) It is the ungodly that is "cast out"!
2. This message in verse16 is for the present age: (to come to the Lord before it is too late!)
a) To all those who would ever sit in a church or be influenced by it's message of forgiveness.
b) Once again Jesus claims to be God in verse16!
(1) You see, only God could be the Root of David and his offspring at the same time!!!
c) There is something else very important in verse17.
(1) "Lucifer" is translated = "daystar" which means, "the bright star of the morning" and yet here, Jesus calls Himself the the Bright and Morning Star!
(2) The meaning is this:
(a) Lucifer, or satan, has been trying to get makind to believe that he is god from the beginning of time.
(b) He has decieved millions and robbed them of heaven!
(c) Jesus wants us and the world to know that He and He alone is the Bright and Morning Star that will shine for eternity!
IX. Revelation 22:18-21 FOR I TESTIFY TO EVERYONE WHO HEARS THE WORDS OF THE PROPHECY OF THIS BOOK: IF ANYONE ADDS TO THESE THINGS, GOD WILL ADD TO HIM THE PLAGUES THAT ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK
19 AND IF ANYONE TAKES AWAY FROM THE WORDS OF THE BOOK OF THIS PROPHECY, GOD SHALL TAKE AWAY HIS PART FROM THE BOOK OF LIFE, FROM THE HOLY CITY, AND FROM THE THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK.
20 HE WHO TESTIFIES TO THESE THINGS SAYS, "SURELY I AM COMING QUICKLY." AMEN. EVEN Song of Solomon, COME, LORD JESUS!
21THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BE WITH YOU ALL. AMEN. (NKJV)
A. There is a sober warning here not to mess with the Revelation!
1. Of course, anyone who would willfully and knowingly do this could not be saved!
2. It is also a warning to us who are saved, that God doesn't need any help with the book of Revelation, or for that matter any other part of Scripture!
a) He wrote it the way He wants it!!!!
b) It will all become increasingly clear as we study and as the time draws near for His imminent return!