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Rev 22:2. In the midst of the street of it means the street of the city, and the river of life flRev 22:2 n the center of the street. This description will give us no difficulty if we will think of the "divided highways" that grace our country in many places. Let us think of a river flowing from an inexhaustible fountain and proceeding on through a beautifuJoh 20:18 n each bank is a row of fruit trees that serve a double purpose, namely, furnish ornamentation for the crystal stream, and a source of food for those who are walking upon the section of the "divided highway" that one may be using. To clarify the description we think of it in this manner. First is a section of the street, next a row of trees, next the river, next another row of trees and then the other section of the street. Tree of life. This tree is promised to all who overcome the contests of life (Rev 2:7). The phraseology is based on the tree of life that was in the garden of Eden. It will be well for us again to remember we are still in a book of symbols, where the Lord is giving us a picture of Heaven in as strong terms as our human mind can grasp. The tree is spoken of in the singular number because there was but one in the garden. But the varieties are not limited to one, because this tree is pictured in connection with spiritual things. Here we have another instance of the numeral that has been so prominent throughout this book. That is twelve which is a multiple of four (the four creatures), and the number each of the two organized systems of salvation that God has given the world. The special significance of the twelve here is to show the fruit-bearing season is continuous and perennial, but a different kind of fruit will be produced each month, so that no occasion will exist for longing after a change; there will be one coming each month. Many kinds of fruit trees not only produce fruit, but also their leaves have medicinal value in them. Thus we are told that the leaves of this tree have healing qualities. Not that any citizens will become sick, but it is on the same principle of wiping away all tears Rev 21:4). The leaves of the tree will heal the people by keeping them in such a condition that sickness will be impossible.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
(2) The tree of life--Rev 22:2.
The word tree in the text is in singular number, but it must of necessity be considered collectively for the verse reads: On either side of the riJer 8:22 there the tree of life. The phrase either side means each side, as in the crucifixion of Christ (Joh 20:18) with the thieves, "on either side one." It was evidently the collective use of the word tree, as it was of the street also of the great and grand city, described a streetway, or a passage system; otherwise there was a vision of traffic Eph 1:3 ion in the New Jerusalem!
The tree of life was envi1Jn 1:7 asJoh 2:1-25 the banks of the river of life--on either side of it--affording to all inhabitants the source of perpetual spiritual blessings. It is not uncommon for a species of tree peculiar to a certain geography to be described in the singular term, but referring to its collective growth. The balsam tree of Gilead was not one treEze 27:17 her a kind that flourished in Gilead. So the reference to the tree of life on each side of the river of Jer 8:22 Jer 46:11 dJer 51:8 mit the picture to one tree, but rather to make known its kind--it was the tree of life, to be found only in the New Jerusalem. Its fruit was life-giving, and its balm was soul-healing. The concept adds to the force of these figures and enlarges the range of their truths.
The tree of life was further described as bearing twelve manner of fruits and its yield was every month. The numeral twelve in its use in chapter twentyRev 22:3 applied to the apostles, which must also be true here, to symbolize that apostolic teaching, or doGen 3:17 was the allsufficient source of spiritual sustenance. The yielding of the fruit every month, or the whole twelve months of the year, indicated that there were no seasons in this fruit-bearing, no unyielding intervals--the spiritual supply was perrennial and perpetual.
The spiritual vision was extended in the description: the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. As there will be no imperfections in heaven, and consequently no need of healing there, here is another proof that this whole vision was the symbolic description of the church in the state of triumph and victory over the persecutions.
The healing of the nations meant the source of salvation for all of every tongue or clime or race of man. The prophet Jeremiah used a similar figure (Jer 8:22) in reference to Israel: "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" The substance of the vision was that in the New Jerusalem, the church of the Redeemer and of the redeemed, there was an all-provident tree which produced the fruit of all spiritual blessings (EpRev 22:3 and which was the remedy for every ill or want (1Jn 1:7; Joh 2:1-25 ; John 25:1-2 ) Eph 5:5 lsam tree that grew only in the choice land of Gilead, which produced the balm known as balsamodendron Gileadense, was the similar and appropriate symbol of spiritual healing in the message of the prophet Jeremiah to the nation of Israel. This balm was highly esteemed for its healing properties (Eze 27:17), and was once an important article of merchaGal 3:13 ong the eastern people. The language of Jeremiah (Jer 8:22 Jer 46:11 Jer 51:8) cannot be exceeded in eloquence and tenderness in the expression of disappointment that "the daughter of Zion," the chosen people of God, should remain spiritually wounded and diseased, when there was healing balm of unfailing remedy within their reach. There could have been no finer figure of divine grace than the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations in the delineations of the New Jerusalem.
Rev 22:3. No more curse is an allusion to the curse pronounced upon the ground because of the sin of Adam (Gen 3:17). Instead of a curse there will be endless blessings because not only will the tree of life be in the city (as it was in the garden), but God and the Lamb will themselves be there. Also all creatures who would tempt the righteous will have been consigned to their eternal place in the lake of fire. Servants shall serve him. It is sometimes asked if the saved are to be entirely free in that city, since it is spoken of as the place of rest for God's people. The word serve does not necessarily mean labor or toil. The word is from LATREUO and at this place Thayer's definition (the words in italics) is as follows: "To render religious service or homage, to worship." It certainlRev 1:6 be only unspeakable pleasure to engage in such employment as worshipping God in his immediate presence, when faithful discipRev 5:10 taken real happiness from their worship of Him while in the world. In the words of one of the old songs of the church, it will be a service in a time and place "Where congregations ne'er break up, and rest days have no end."
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
(3) The throne of God and of1Pe 2:5 mb1Pe 2:92:3.
The divine rule of God and of Christ together in the "kingdRev 22:4 rist and God" (Eph 5:5) removed the penal judgment for sin from the inhabitants of the redeemed city--and there shall be no more curse--that is, no more of anything that was accursed, no accursed person or thing should have a place in the Holy City. The curse of sin was removed by Jesus Christ. The apostle declared that "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13), being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." It was this death of ignominy on the cross, as declared in the following verRev 14:9 that brought "the blessing of Abraham . . . on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; Rev 22:4 might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." In the Holy City Jerusalem there should be no more curse of sin to the redeemed inhabitants.
There was also a dual meaning a1Pe 3:12 to this symbol of the curse. In the perioRev 6:16 tribulation there had been the edict for the worship of the emperor in bowing to the Caesar-image, and all who refused submission were placed under the imperial curse. Having come out of the tribulation, the persecutors cast into the brimstone lake, the victors over oppressionPsa 31:16 bolized as delivered from the curse of the imperial edict. From this setting which remains always in the background of Revelation, and much of the time in the foreground, the progressive application was made to the spiritual state of the New Jerusalem church.
In the environment of the new state the constituency of the ransomed city should not only pay homage of worship to Him who was on the throne, but should also do service--his servants shall serve him (verse 3). At the beginning of the Revelation (Rev 1:6) John said that Jesus Christ hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father in his church and kingdom here; and in Rev 5:10 the Seer said that this kingly and priestly character of the saints redeemed from persecution is further indication that the descriRev 13:16-17 of the church, and not of heaven. It is full harmony with the general teaching of the New Testament that Christians are priests in the church now (1Pe 2:5; 1Pe 2:Rev 14:9-10 church therefore is "a holy priesthood."
Rev 22:4. Shall see his face is mentioned to indicate the great intimacy that will exist between God and tRev 15:2-3 es that have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Persons spending some time in a city where many others are present, may be seen with pennants attached toRev 15:2 lothing for the purpose of identifiRev 22:4 In this celestial city the name will be on the person, on the most conspicuous pRev 22:5 t, the forehead. How different this is from the Rev 21:25 of the members of the apostate church; they had the mark of the beast in their forehead (Rev 14:9).
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
(4) The mark of recognition and approval--Rev 22:4.
The citizenry should see his face in the sense of having the recognition and approval of the One whom they served. The face of the Lord was said to be against them that do evil (1Pe 3:12); and the wicked rulers of the nations (Rev 6:16) implored the mountains and the rocks to fall upon them for a cover to hide them from the face of the One on the throne. But the righteous s1Ti 6:16 ace in acceptable and approved service rendered to him. "Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies sake' (Psa 31:16); and, "Cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved." To see the face of God meant to bask under the smile of his approval. It therefore deno1Co 15:25-26 and the favor of God. The receiving of his name in their foreheads--and his name shall be in their foreheads --was the mark of submission and subservience to Christ the Lamb in contrast with the mark of the beast in the hand or on the foreheads of the devotees of emperor-worship, so frequently mentioned in the previous chapters of this Revelation.
The persecuting beast had "caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Rev 13:16-17); and, "If any man worship the beast and his Rev 22:5 nd receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God" (Rev 14:9-10); but the victors "over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name" were among the thRev 21:3 nding on the sea of glass (Rev 15:2-3) singing "the song of Moses, the servant God, and the song of the Lamb; and it wa2Co 6:14-16 ng which had the name of the Father written iAct 26:18 oreheads" (Rev 15:2). So the name in the foreheads of Rev 22:4 was the symbolic designation that they were the servants of God.
Rev 22:5. Shall be no night there. (See the comments at Rev 21:25.) Need no candle neither light of the sun. This is one of the most significant symbols used in this series, because it includes the two extremes on the subject. A candle is an artEph 5:11-14 ht and the weakest that man has devised. The sun is God's own direct work and is the strongest light in all the natural creation. In saying that neither will be needed in the celestial city, John is giving us the greatest possible picture of the strength of the light that will radiate from the throne of God; although he was to be the lawgiver, Moses was a natural man. And 1Ti 6:16 says God is "dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see." They shall reign for ever and ever.
The word reign may raise a question in connection with the truth that even Jesus is said to reign only until death has been conquored (1Co 15:25-26). The explanation lies in the definitions of the original word. The Greek original is BASILEUO, which means "to reign," but in our passage Thayer explains it to mean "to denote the supreme moral dignity, liberty, blessedness, which will be enjoyed by Christ's redeemed ones." Hence the word does not necessarily mean to rule as a king. It is a fDan 2:44 e term and denotes a situation where a certain condition prevails. It is like saying that "all difficulties were removed and peace again reigned." We have the blessed assurance from the apostle that the condition of such a reign will continue for ever and ever.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
(5) The reigning saints--Rev 22:5.
In repetition of previous statements in the context, verse five is a rephrasing of the words repeated: And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun, for the LorMar 1:14-15 h them light. (See comments on Rev 21:3). The use of the word night has applicaMat 4:17 the darkness of the whole heathen world, as so used in other epistles (2Co 6:14-16), in contrast with the truth of the gospel (Act 26:18) sent to all dark nations concerning which Jesus said to Saul: "to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith in me." The same Saul, after becoming the apostle of Christ to the world of heathen darkness, exhorted the Gentile church (Eph 5:11-14) to "have no fellowship with the unfruiJoh 18:36 s of darkness (heathenism), but rather reprove them . . . it is a shame to even speak of those things which are done in secret . . . for whatsoever doth make manifest is light . . . wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead (the state of darkness), and Christ shall give thee light." So the words of the Seer in verse five of this chapter--for the Lord God giveth them light--had specific reference to the absolute absence of any element of heathen darkness in the new and renovated state of the Holy City, the bride of the Lamb.
The apocalypse proper endDan 7:13-14 s verse, as verse six was the beginning of the Seer's own concluding comments on the vision which he had received. The apocalyptic descriptions were all completed, and the terse finale of the grand and majestic pageant was clothed in the crowning declaration: AND THEY SHALL REIGN FOREVER AND EVER.
The prophet Daniel foretold in the interpretation of king Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Dan 2:44) that in the days of the Roman kings the God of heaven would "set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed"; and he added in the words of the apocalypse that "it shall stand foreAct 1:8 he prophet envisioned in this interpretation the rise and fall of Babylonia, Media and Persia, and Macedonia or Grecia, and clearly indicated the reign of the Caesar's of the Roman empire as the fourth monarchy in the succession of kings. It was in the days of these kings, in fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy, that Jesus made the announcement (Mar 1:14-15) "the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand." In the record of Mat 4:17 it is stated that "from that time Jesus began to preach and to say: repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. It was named the kingdom of God because "the God of heaven" set it up; but it was called the kingdom of heaven because of its spiritual character-- it was from heaven. The people of that day understood the meaning of the word kingdom; they had lived Col 1:13-14 her form of government from the Babylonians to the Romans; but Jesus distinguished his kinEph 5:5 om all others in origin and in nature when hHeb 12:22-28 he kingdom of heaven. Before Pontius Pilate (Joh 18:36) he declared: Now is my kingdom not from hence. The phrase from hence meanRev 1:9 here; it is here but it is not from here--because it is the kingdom of heaven, and therefore from heaven. And the word now, the first word of the sentence--now is my kingdom not from hence-- meant that it would be established then, at that time, for Jesus had announced that the time is fulfilled.
References to the kingdom which Jesus Christ came to establish all point either forward or backward to the Day of Pentecost, of Acts the second chapter, as the time of its establishment. The prophecy of Dan 7:13-14 connected its beginning with the ascension of Christ to heaven when it was given him "dominion, and glory, and a kingdom": and in description of the same ascension scenes by the apostle of Hebrews (chapter 1:8) he declaMat 16:18-20 was done. The gospel of Mark (9:1) records the statement of Jesus2Pe 1:11 me standing in his presence should not "taste of death" (would not die) until this kingdom had come "with power--they would be the livinHeb 12:28 es to its establishment. After his ascension, in conversation with his future apostles, he made the explanation to them (Act 1:8) that the coming of the kingdom would accompany the descent of the Spirit and the power, and it is a matter of gospel record (Acts 2:1-47 :1-4) that the Spirit and the power were received on the Day of Pentecost. It follows therefore as an inescapable scriptural conclusion that the kingdom of God and Christ, otherwise designated the kingdom of heaven, came on that day of Acts the second chapter;; and that it was in fulfillment of the time prophecies of the Old Testament.
After PentecosJoh 11:26 erences to the existence and presence of the kingdom pointed back to the second chapter of Acts, to the Day of Pentecost. The preaching of the kingdom was the subjJoh 14:3 epeated references in the book of Acts; and in the epistles to the churches the members were told that they had been Php 1:21-23 into it (Col 1:13-14); and that the church tRom 6:7-9 hey belonged is itself the Col 3:1-4 f Christ and of God (Eph 5:5); and that this kingdom had been received (Heb 12:22-28) simultaneously with the church, and that it is the church.
Finally, the SHeb 11:13 velation made his signatory to the churches (Rev 1:9) iPhp 3:20-21 : "I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ." Therefore, when the apocalypse of John was composed the kingdom of Christ was a present existing thing, and John the apostle was in it with his companions in tribulation.
The high note with which the apocalypse ended (chapter 22:5)--and they shall reign forever and ever--meant therefore-- in the light oRev 22:6 xtual and contextual teaching, and precept upon precept from other portions of the Old and the New scriptures--that the victorious saints reigned with Christ in the kingdom which would stand forever here, and forever and ever hereafter. Entrance into it here is entrance into the church. (Mat 16:18-20); and there will be no exit from it for the faithful hereafter (2Pe 1:11), for the eternal state is but an abundant entrance into an everlasting kingdom already received and possessed, which cannot be moved (Heb 12:28); and of which heaven will be the final and abundant fruition of its glorified realm.
Here ended the vision of the New Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb, the church of Christ. The remainder of the chapter is in the character of a conclusion to the apocalyptic disclosures. The complete symbolic picture of the fortunes of the church, standing on the threshold of the tribulation, had passed before John's enraptured view, to the vindication of the cause for which they were soon to suffer. The ending of the vision demonstrated that the church cannot die, as the believer himself who lives in Jesus Christ never dies. (Joh 11:26) The New Testament concept of the believer's life in Christ minimizes death and magnifies the transition to where he is: "That whereRev 22:6-11 e ye may be also" (Joh 14:3) and, "for me to live is Christ (to preach), but to die is gain . . . and to be with Christ; which is far better." (Php 1:21-23) In this world death has no more dominion (Rom 6:7-9) over the risen believer (Col 3:1-4), whose affections have been set on the things above where Christ is enthroned with God; for he views this life asRev 1:1-5 mage and as a place of sojourning (Heb 11:13), knowing that his abiding citizenship is in heaven. (Php 3:20-21)
The New Jerusalem was envisioned as the home of the sRev 1:8 but iRev 22:8 t in heaven--it descended out of heaven from God; it was descriptive of the new surroundings of the church with Judaism removed and heathenism overcome.
The apocalypse completed, John proceeded to his concluding observations concerning things both retrospective and prospective which were related to this wonderful visional panorama
Rev 22:6. He said means the angel said it to John. Faithful and true. These words are virtually the same in their fundamental meaning, and either could properly be used in place of the other for general purposes. Technically they mean the words or sayings just delivered by the angel are worthy Rev 1:1 g relied on because they are true. Of the holy prophets is referred to as an evidence that His sayings are worthy of being relied on, for the predictions that God enabled the in ophets to make were fulfilled in the proper time. For that reason tSent Rev 22:7 l. here should be no doubt concerning the predictions that He has authorized his servants to make in the present book. This refers to the angel who has been with John from the beginning of his vision on the isle. Must shortly be done. The Englishman's Greek New Testament renders this phrase, "must come to pass soon." The word in question is a relative term, for even a number of centuries would be short when compared with the endlessness of what will come after the judgment day. However, since this period in the vision of John is at the near approach of the last day (as to the events predicted), the end is literally close at hand.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
(1) The confirmation of the testimony of the angel --Rev 22:6-11.
Verse 6: These sayings are faithful and true: the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
This is the verification of the truth of the whole apocalypse by John after the vision was ended. Here the epilogue corresponded with the prologue. It was the reiteration and the re-affirmation of Rev 1:1-5. It corresponded to the introduction and reverted to the same theme. It was the claim of the authorship of the Revelation repeated in the expression I John in both Rev 1:8 and Rev 22:8. It was the seal of its being a revelation from God--John heard and saw these things. His epilogue was in verbal agreement with the prologue, and ends with the affirmation of direct communication with God and Jesus Christ.
1. These sayings are faithful and true. This unequivocal claim of integrity has parallel in the postulation of Hebrews 1:1-14:1-2, that the God who had spoken unto the fathers by the prophets had shown unto his servants these things by John, The same God who had inspired John and Revelation therefore possessed the same credentials of inspiration.
2. The things which must shortly be done. The verbal agreement with Rev 1:1 here emphasized that the things revealed were of high importance and attention to them was imperative because of the shortness of time. It again supports the main thesis of this treatise that the events belonged to this period of time.
Rev 22:7. Quickly is from the same word as "shoMat 23:36 the preceding verse. Blessed means happy, denoting a condition entirely satisfactory. Keepeth is from TEREO and in the King James Version it is translated hold fast 1 time, keep 57, observe 4, preserve 2, reserve 8, watch 2. It is a word with many shades of meaning which must be determined in each place according to the connection- If it is used in relation to things a man is required to do, then it means he must understand and do them. If used only of things stated as truths, whether they are predRev 22:8 or otherwise, then the word means we are to believe them and keep them in respectful remembranRev 19:10 resent verse applies the word to the prophecy of this book, hence it has the meaning just described. However, it would imply some activities on the part of man, for among the things predicted is the judgment day on which men will be judged according to their deeds. Hence if a man believes and respects that prediction, he will not forget it but will fashion his life in such a way as to be adjudged worthy of everlasting life. This explains why the angel Rev 19:10 e were blessed or happy who keepeth the sayings.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
Verse 7: Behold I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Here again John reverted to the first chapter of the book in order to affirm the truth of what had there been said prior to the beginning of the vision.
1. Behold, I come quickly. At this point Jesus himselRev 19:10 speaking, as when these words were first uttered by him; but John was here quoting the words of JesuAct 10:25-26 previously been spoken. Here the person sent was speaking for the Sender.
There are three keys words in the context: signify and shortly and quickly. These words were significant of the method of conveying the revelation through signs; and the time for the fulfillment was impending; and the coming of the Lord would be in relation to the events and concurrent with them. The three words together meant that everything relevant to the catastrophMat 2:2 alamities predicted and depicted were about to come to Rev 22:9 rily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation--Jesus in Mat 23:36.
2. Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. But the book had not yet been written, yet its message was imperative and the reading of it to his servants was urgent. The fact that this somewhat ominous statement was made in the first chapter and repeated in the last chapter, thus before and after the vision was received, accentuates the immediacy of its contents. Why the urgency of this command if the events were so remote as the future theory represents?
Rev 22:8. These things refer to the vision of the celestial city and what the angel said about it. IRev 19:1010 John attempted to worship the angel but was prevented. Hence the things of our verse would have to apply to what had come before him since that time. The word worship is one of the terms in the Greek New Testament that have many shades of meaning, because it is from a dozen original words with about that many different definitions. Hence not every form or kind of worship would be condemned. The word as used in our verse and the following one, also in Rev 19:10, means to prostrate oneself before another as a recognition of superiority in rank. Such an attitude is due only to God and his Son. Angels are not superior to men as to their personal merit nor even in authority. In the great sphere of service to God the angels are only some of Rev 19:10 nts. That is the reason that the angel assigned for his instructions to John in this place and also in Rev 19:10 refused to be worshipped. And it is the same reason why Peter refused the worship from Cornelius in Act 10:25-26 saying, "Stand up; I myself also am a man." This does not condemn the acts of homage that are paid to kings or other dignitaries as was the custom in old time and is yet in some countries. Those performances pertain to matters of social or legal standing, while the word under consideration in our passages has to do with authority in religion. For a complete analysis of this word according to the lexicon and concordance, see the comments at Mat 2:2 in the first volume of the New Testament Commentary.
Rev 22:9. Many comments that would be suggested on this verse were made on the preceding one. There were two phases of devotion to God in which John and the angel were in the same class, namely, fellowservant and prophet. The first will apply to all of the Lord's disciples while the second pertains to their work in predicting future events. But neither of these services entitles a man to receive worship from another, so the angel told John to worship God.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
Verses 8-9: And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things.
John had been previously commanded not to worship the angel, but God only. (Rev 19:10) It is inconceivable that he would disobey the order by doing so here. It has been explained that John wRev 22:10 en in the identity of the angel in this instance, believing him to be Jesus. But there is no such intimation in the context. John's memory was not so short as to have forgotten, even under the overwhelming circumstances of an angel's appearance, the so recent prohibition against the worship of the angel. To the contrary, a reappearance of the angel would have reminded him of the previous command. The obviously correct view therefore is that John was here restating what had previously occurred for a necessary emphasis, just as he had quoted the words of Jesus in verse 7.
In the restatement of what had Dan 12:1-4 n the record of Rev 19:10, John added that the angel had said: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethen the prophets. This word of the angel links the apocalypse of John with those of the Old Testament, and as being of the same character, content and source; and of the same application as to their respective periods in their current history. A prophetic spiritual brotherhood had been displayed by the apocalypse, inspired by the same Spirit; even in the repeated use of the same words and phrases and the employment of the same symbols. The visions of the Old Testament prophets related to the judgments on Babylon and Egypt anDan 9:24 aeDan 12:4 veDan 12:9 om exile; and the visions of John in like manner pertained to the destruction of Jerusalem and the victory of the church over Judaism and heathenism. But the statement of the angel exalted John's inspired credentials and authority as the author of Revelation to that of the prophets oRev 10:4 d dispensation.
The words of the angel further included them which keep the sayings of this book. This numbeRev 22:10 d all to whom John had addressed the letters and this apocalypse and who were exhorted to read, heed and keep the things written in it. The aDan 8:26 ssed himself as being among them all, therefore was not the object of their worshipRev 22:10 t that no man or angel is to be revered or worshiped: worship God. The Son of God said to Satan, the head of the diabolical realm who was commanding his worship: "It is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."
Rev 22:10. Seal is from SPHRAGIZO, which Thayer defines at the passage, "keep in silence, keep secret." In the beginning of our study of this book, we were told that the future experiences of the church in its relations with the governments were unrevealed. That was indicated by a book (containing visions of the future) that was sealed, and it required the inspiration of Christ to rMar 1:15. At some time before the Christian Dispensation (we know not how long) God composed the subject matter that makes up the book of Revelation, but since the events were not toRom 13:12 lled "for many days" as Daniel was told (Dan 12:1-4), He sealed them up in the book we are studyingRom 16:20 e time came to begin making them known He enabled the "Lion of the tribe of Judah" to break the seals. But at the point reached by us in the vision there is nothingPhp 4:5 ing on future develop-ments--the time is at hand1Pe 4:7 there is no reason for sealing it up.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
Verse 10: Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
The metaphor of sealing in respect to visions denoted secrecy, or that which was not ready to be disclosed. The prophet Daniel was instructed to "shut up the words, and seal the book" (Dan 9:24; Dan_2Th 2:2 an 12:9) for the events prophesied were far distant and were not at hand nor shortly to come to pass; therefore the prophet was commanded to "seal up the vision"; and he was told that the words of it were "closed up and sealed till the time of the end." So it was with the vision of John in Rev 10:4 --the things which were not intended for disclosure he was commanded to seal up and write them not.
But in Rev 22:10 the angel enjoined John to seal not the contents of this book; and the reason was stated--for the time is at hand. For comparison again, in Dan 8:26, the prophet was directed to shut up the vision for it shall be many days; but in Rev 22:10 John was ordered to seal not . . . for the time is at hand. The time had come for the public announcement of the things enfolded in the seals and the trumpets-therefore, let it be known. This is the obvious distinction iJas 4:7-8 nificance of theRev 22:11 ands in the phrases seal up and seal not up.
The use of the phrase the time is at hand before the visions were introduced, and in exactly the same words following so closely the order to seal not up the sayings of the vision, certainly implied with necessary inference the immediate importance of the visions; and it undeniably has the same import of immediacy as the announcement of Jesus (Mar 1:15) that the kingdom of God is at hand. The uses of this phrase in several other passages bear the same meaning and are subject to the same application. The statement of Paul (Rom 13:12) that "the night is far spent, the day is at hand" must be considered with his further statement (Rom 16:20) that "the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly, both of which declarations were the anticipations of the impending events.
To the Philippians (Php 4:5) he said: The Lord is at hand; and Peter said (1Pe 4:7) that "the end of all things is at hand"--that is, the end of the Jewish state and all things pertaining to it. To impart any other meaning to the phrase at hand in these passages, and apply them to the end of time, would amount to convicting the inspired apostles of contradictions and of teaching error on the second coming of the Lord, which was not at hand (2Th 2:2)--for he did not so come, neither as yet has done so. And if at hand can be stretched to the end of time in these instances, it obliterates the meaning of the same expressions in reference to his kingdom. It adds up to one conclusion: the siege and destruction of Jerusalem, the demolition of the temple and termination of the Jewish theocracy, together with the end of the Jewish state with its attendant tribulations, were the impending ominous events before the New Testament churches and the object of many references in the epistles of the apostles.
Admonishing the Jews of the Dispersion, James exhorted : "Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." The Lord's second coming was not nigh--it did not occur; so it is evident that the apostle's monitory declaration referred to the imminent events envisioned in John's apocalypse. (Jas 4:7-8)
Rev 22:11. The preceding verse must be remembered in connection with this one in order to get the full meaning of the passage--it is very vital. We are arrived at the judgment day (in the vision) when the final and eternal lot of all intelligent creatures will be announced for good. After this there will never be any change either for better or worse with anyone. The unjust and filthy will always be so, and the righteous and holy likewise will remain so. That is why there will never be any sin committed in Heaven by angel or man after the judgment. Neither will there be any chance for reformation on the part of the creatures in the lake of fire.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
Verse 11: He that is unjust, let him be unRev 22:12 l: 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.
These admonitions were coupled with the warnings that the 1Co 15:24-26 hand; and the events being so near, so shortly to come to pass, no change in the characters of the wicked devotees of the imperial beast or of conditions in the heathen world could be expected; but all others were exhorted to maintain their state of righteousness and holiness, as the storm approached.
The words of this category of2Th 1:6-7 rs were significant. The unjust were the unbelievers in general; the filthy were those who were defiled by heathen practices; the righteous were the justified, who had obeyed the gospel; and the added term holy implied the maintaining of the life Rev 22:12-13 n from sin into which they had entered by justification. They had become righteous through justification by obedience to the gospel; they would remain holy by living apart from sin and its defilements.
The passage contains a judicial declaration upon the incorrigible heathen enemies and was indicative of the ultimate destiny where there can be no reformation; combined with an appeal to the righteous and the holy to pass through tribulation with washed robes and undefiled garments, for the threat of heathen influence would continue to be a reality, after the persecution itself had ceased. John had reverted to a pre-persecution exhortation based on what he had heard and seen in the vision; and he was obeying the command to seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book. The purpose of the admonition was to ready and steady them for the impending onslaught.
There is an extended and continuous application of the solemn words of verse eleven. When all of the events of time shRom 2:6-29 raRom 3:1-31 ndRom 4:1-25 enRom 5:1-21 avRom 6:1-23 d Rom 7:1-25 haRom 8:1-39 ecRom 9:1-33 l Rom 10:1-21 esRom 11:1-36 heRom 12:1-21 oRom 13:1-14 ctRom 14:1-12 have been unchangeably fixed for eternity. Here may be the proper application to the everlasting state of all people in the world that has no end. The basis ofRev 22:13 alyptic warning is that eternal truth.
Rev 22:12. I come quickly is explained at verse 7. My reward is with me. When Jesus comes again it will not be for the purpose of setting up another reign on the earth, for all of His reign will then come to a close (1Co 15:24-26). The lot of both just and unjust will have been decided at that time, and Christ will be coming to bestow the reward according to that decision. It is in that sense that the reward will be with Him--not coming merely to announce what it is going to be. He will at that time recompense either "tribulation" or "rest" upon mankind (2Th 1:6-7), which is the meaning of the present passage. The basis on which the rewards will be distributed is according as his work shall be.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
(2) The corroborative testimony of Jesus to that of John and of the angel--Rev 22:12-13.
Verse 12: ARev 22:14 d, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
The imminence of the things envisioned was here reemphasized in the word quickly to the degree of having become repetitious, but for that precise purpose--the alerting of the saints in every part of the Roman world.
The reminder that my reward is with me was a dual pronouncement of threat and promise. There would be the execution of judgment on the characters represented by the beasts and their followers; and the bestowal of the trophies of victory and reward to the saints of the tribulation. This distribution of reward and retribuTit 1:2 s 2Ti 2:13 d in the words: to give every man according as his work shall be. Here again was the statement of an eternal principle with an everlasting application, the basis of which was in the fact as applied to the visional circumstances; but was nevertheless indicative of the truth couched in numerous epistolary references (Rom 2:6-29; Rom 3:1-31; Rom 4:1-25; Rom 5:1-21; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 7:1-25; Rom 8:1-39; Rom 9:1-33; Rom 10:1-21; Rom 11:1-36; Rom 12:1-21; Rom 13:1-14; Rom 14:1-12; 1 Corinthians 3:8-- 5:10)--that judgment by works is not subject to a single judicial decision, but is a continual process in the lives of men.
Rev 22:13. This is virtually the same as chapter 1:8; see those comments.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
Verse 13: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
The title of this verse, Alpha and Omega, belonged to Christ alone in this connection, and represented the finality of the sayings of the vision--the first and the last, the beginning and the end, were the words of his authority--the yea and the amen from which there could be no appeal and for which there could be no repeal.
The vision, as previously shown, had closed and these words of Christ were being quoted by John to corroborate and verify his post-vision sayings of this last chapter, and to vindicate all of the claims of credibility. The worRev 1:3 erse thirteen meant--so be it, all in all as here recorded, for it came from Christ the All In All of divine jurisRev 14:13 and justice.
Rev 22:14. Blessed is from MAKARIOS, and in the King James Version it has been rendered "blessed" 43 times and "happy" 6 times. The reason forRev 16:15 essedness or happiness is their right to the tree of life. The word right is from the word EXOUSIA, which also means power or authority. It is a very serious passage in view of the notions oRev 19:9 eople as to the lot of the unsaved. As an outburst of sentiment or emotion it is said, "How could God refuse to admit any person to the eternal happiness when He has it within his power to grant it." But the last part of the statement is not true, for God cannot do that which is not right. (Tit 1:2; 2Ti 2:13.) If those who do the commandments are the ones who have the right to the tree of life, then it wouRev 20:6 e right for others to have access to it. And if they would not have a right to it, it would be wrong for them to have it. And since God cannot do wrong it follRev 22:7 He cannot admit any person to the city who has not done the commandments. It is clear that having right to the tree of life requires the right for entrance into the city, for we learned at verse 2 that the tree is growing inside the city.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
(3) The seven apocalRev 22:14 titudes of the bride of the Lamb, the victorious church--22:14-16.
Verse 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.
This beautiful beatitude was the last of a cluster of the blessed passageRev 22:14 lation, and it rises to the highest heights of the mountain ranges of the visions of the blessed in the descriptions of their trials. After the first pronouncement of blessing in chapter one, their contexts appear as a sort of parentheses in the subject matter of the visions.
There are seven of these beatitudes in Revelation, which deserve to be listed as a parenthesis here:
The first beatitude was the blessing for them that read, heard and kept the words of the Seer, because the time was so near--Rev 1:3.
The second was the benedictory for the future martyrs who should die in the cause of the Lord from henceforth-- Rev 14:13.
The third was in praise of the state of grace for those who were aware of the imminence of ominous events and who lived in sustained preparation to meet the crisis-- Rev 16:15.
The fourth included the faithful saints who survived the persecutions and participated in the renewed and continuous fellowship of the victorious Bride in the marriage supper of the Lamb--Rev 19:9.
The fifth was the blessed state of victory shared by the martyrs who "livRev 22:15 igned with Christ" in complete victory, which was symbolized by elevating the souls under the altar (chapter 6) to positions on the throne (chapter 20) and which symbolized the resurrection of the cause for which they died, and therefore figuratively designated the first resurrection in which the enthroned souls had part --Rev 20:6.
The six2Pe 2:12 xhortatory to all who had received the completed apocalypse, and maintained faithful adherence to all of the sayings embodied in the visions--Rev 22:7.
The seventh was the blessing of reward for all, after the scenes of persecution had been accomplished, and the trials of the tribulation were ended, who through obedience entered the opened gates into the city of the new Jerusalem, the Deu 23:18 Bride of the Lamb, the victorious church of Christ--Rev 22:14.
This high note of hope in the form of beatitudes permeated the apocalypse from the first chapter to the last, and the character of them adds to the accumulation of evidence that the visions of Revelation belonged to the tribulation period of the early churches.
Returning to the text of Rev 22:14, the important words do his commandments constitute an imperative command. The condition of entering this City of God, the church, was obedience to the gospel.
The revisions that have changed the phrase "do his commandments" to "wash their robes" have served only to weaken the text and obscure its meaning. It is a specific gospel text which should not be generalized by a tampering with its words, a thing that all of the late so-called revisions appear to be specializing in doing. The text is sublime as it reads and it means that the gospel must be obeyed.
The clause that they may have right to the tree of life meant the title to it. The word right does not here merely mPro 17:22 ht or privilege of entering the city--but indicates the title of inheritance. The one who enters "through the gates into the city" has right to the tree of life--to the inheritance of the life which is the fruit1Co 6:18-20 e, as set forth in the comments on verse three of this chaGen 4:8 t is an edifying concept of the source of spiritual life in the church of God and of Christ.
Gen 9:615. Without means on the outside of the eternal city. The precedin1Jn 3:15 reveals who will be permitted to enter the city and this one tells some of the kind that will not enter. Dogs. It would be foolish to think this is used with reference to the dumb brute, for it would not be more true of the dog than of all others of the animal kingdom. 2Pe 2:12 informs us that the beasts are destined to be destroyed; theCol 3:5 be no "hereafter" for them. The word is from KUON and Thayer says that some authorities define it to mean "sodomites." The word corresponding to it in the Old Testament is keleb which Strong defines, "A dog; hence (by euphemism) [substitution of a milder word as being less offensive to the ear] a male prostitute." In Deu 23:18 the word is used in that sense where it is associated with an immoral woman in designating "tainted money." The "hire of a whore" means money an immoral woman receives from her male patrons. While on that subject it was appropriate to name another immoral person and that is a man who practices unnatural immorality for money, and that is what is meant by "the price of a dog." It seems very fitting to call a Sodomite a dog, for that animal is the only creature of the brute creation that is inclined to gratify his lust on one of his own sex. And we have the same appropriateness of the two kinds of immoral characters that the Old Testament passage showed, namely, the dogs and very soon the whoremongers. The dogs are men who have immoral relationDeu 23:18 her men, and whoremongers are men who patronize womenPhp 3:2 e immoral as an occupation. Thayer says a sorcerer is "one who prepares or uses magical remedies." It is similar to those who are engaged in the "dope" business today. The scriptures tell us that medicine does good (Pro 17:22), but any kind of drugs or narcotics that produce unnatural feelings of gaiety, or the opposite one of abandonment to lasciviousness, will damage the body and that will bring the curse of God upon the guilty. (1Co 6:18-20.) The first sin committed by man against man was murder (Gen 4:8). That crime is so great that God finally gave the decree of capital punishment against all who cRev 21:8 Rev 21:27. But literal murder is not the only kind that can be committed. 1Jn 3:15 says a man who hates his brother is a murderer, and of course all such persons will be on the outside of the holy city. Idolaters are those who worship anything or any person besides the true God. It may be images made with hands or the works of creation such as the planetsRev 22:16 ls, etc. Also Paul says that covetousness is idolatry (Col 3:5), hence there will be no covetous persons in Heaven. Chapter 21:8 shows that liars of all kinds will be cast into the lake of fire. Our verse expresses the same thought as to its comprehensiveness by taking in all who love the liars.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
Verse 15: For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
These all were the aggregation of the enemies of Christ and the saints and the persecutors of the church and their followers. The characters of all who were without the city were in contrast with all who were within it. The expression without are dogs had the implication that all who were without were of that classification, a term of various1Ch 3:5 ations. It was descriptive of the evil and impious characters that inhabit the outside.
Among the Jews the dog was typical of that which was unclean and vile. The Mosaic laMatthew 1 thatLuke 3 ire of a harlot and the price of a dog were abominable to God and were not acceptable for the offerings and the vows of the law. (Deu 23:18) Paul warned the Gen 49:10 ns to beware of the dogs (Php 3:2) which meant the cautious avoidance of Gentile influence and affiliation. The JewsExo 2:1-10 e Gentiles dogs; but here the unbelieving Jews had so classified themselves and the term had boomeranged and fallen back upon them. Jesus said to his disciples; "Give not that which is holy to the dogs," meaning that the pure principles of his teaching should not be compromised or mixed with the inferior philosophies and practices of the heathen world surrounding them. None of these evil things could enter the city of God--all dogs were without.
For comments on the terms sorcerers, whoremongers and liars turn to Rev 21:8 Rev 21:27. These were terms to designate heathenism and to define their practices; and these words of John constituted a pronouncement for the eternal exclusion of all cla2Pe 1:19 ch these evils represented, and of all who do not obey his commandments--the gospel which Jesus Christ had commissioned his ambassadors to preach to all the world.
Rev 22:16. This book starts out by telling us that it is the revelation of Jesus Christ (not of "Saint John the Divine" as the heading title erroneously states), and this verse reveals Him introducing himself directly. However, He does not overlook the services of the angel, but faithfully backs up his work by saying that He sent him. To testify means to transmit the testimony to the churches. That is, to bear testimony to the things that have been showed him throughout the vision of this book. Root and offspring of David. This means that Jesus was in the direct line of genealogy that came down from Abraham through David. That great man was not the only prominent Hebrew in the line, but •there was a distinction in his case. David had two sons by the same woman, Bathsheba, and those sons were Solomon and Nathan (1Ch 3:5). At this place the blood line divides and on Solomon's side it comes down to Joseph the husband of Mary. On Nathan's side it comes down to Mary the mother of Jesus. (See Matthew 1 aAct 2:29-33 There is another fact that makes David of special iAct 13:34. He was the first king of the Israelites Act 15:13-17 be of Judah, and it had been predIsa 22:22 n_4Rev 3:7 hat the tribe of Judah was to give law to God's people in latter times. The Mosaic law was of the tribe of Levi (Exo 2:1-10). David was the first king of the tribe of Judah to sit upon the throne of God's ancient people. That kingdom was destined to be set aside and replaced by another. But God assured David that his throne would not always be vacant. There was to be one of his descendants who would reign on the throne, only by that time it would be spiritual and not one with temporal government as its purpose. Such a king was worthy of coming to John with an authoritative commission such as this vision. Bright and morning star is what He says of himself in chapter 2:28. The significance of this phrase is due to iRev 22:17 ness as it precedes the sun in rising, thus announcing that a new day is beginning. (See 2Pe 1:19.) And truly did the rising of Jesus come as a star to announce that a new day was about to come, the day of the Christian Dispensation.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
Verse 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.
This passage is one of the pinnacles of John's utterances in the book of Revelation, of which there had been many. It affirmed that He who had commissioned his angel to testify the things of the apocalypse was the rightful heir to the kingdom and throne of Judah's sceptre as the legal and regal descendant of David. The statement forms an epexegetical insertion of a leading point for special emphasis--that is, an additional explanatory point, put or set in the text for extra accen2Co 11:2 n this instance the purpose was to Eph 2:22 e attention on who had spoken in the visions. He who was the Son of David according to flesh, the fulfillment of all Davidic prophecies and promises, was in these visions the Bright And Morning Star to herald tEph 3:21 for t1Ti 3:15 cuted church. In numerous other passages he was said to occupy the throne of David (Act 2:29-33); and to bring the blessings and mercies of David (Act 13:34); and to set up the tabernacle of David (Act 15:13-17); and to hold the key of David (Isa 22:22 - Rev 3:7).
All of the prophecies relMat 5:6 o David's throne have been fulfilled in the ascendancy of Jesus Christ to the throne in heaven; from which throne He had been the Speaker of the apocalypse. As the Root and Offspring of David, he had spoken with a sovereign and royal authority above kings of the nations or the emperors of the imperial dynasty; the throne of David was greater than the throne of Caesar; and kingdom of heaven was superior to the dominions of any earthly government. He was the victorious Rider of the white horse and his Cause had triumphed. Christ was the Victor; the persecutorJoh 4:10-14 vanquished; and the saints of tribulation were the rewarded in the visions that had been concluded.
Rev 22:17. The subject running through this verse is along the line of invitations. It has been stated more than once that as to the relative place of the items in the over-all vision of this book, the time of the judgment has been reached. From that standpoint there would be no reason to give anyone an invitation to come for sal-vation--that opportunity has passed. Yet in reality, aside from the symbolized feature of the book, the basic purpose of the book of Revelation is to give the world a final document from Heaven as an incentive for preparing to meet the day of all days, the second coming of Christ and the judgment of the world. Otherwise there would be no point in inviting men to come and drink of the water of life. Nor would there be any call for the warning sounded in the two verses following this. Hence we shall consider the important phrases of this combined invitation. The bride is the (espoused) church (2Co 11:2) and the Spirit is in the church (Eph 2:22). The church of Christ has a standing invitation to people of the world, wishing them to accept the salvation offered so freely. In truth, it is the only organization that has any right to make such an offer (Eph 3:21 and 1Ti 3:15). But others as individuals have the right to repeat the invitation, hence the verse says for those who hear to repeat the call. That makes it the duty of every individual to be active in the salvation of souls. Let him that is athirst come. This is in line with the statement oRev 1:3 in Mat 5:6 that they who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled. That is logical, for unless a man is thirsty he will not be interested in the opportunity to drink. Whosoever will signifies the same as the preceding comJoh 4:14 at unless a man is willing it would do him no good to go through the formality of obeying the Gospel. Let it be observed also that the blessing is to those who come. Man must come to the fountain for it will not be moved towards him for his convenience. The water of life is the same that Jesus made known to the woman of Samaria (Joh 4:10-14). This water is the word of God and it will be in man "a well of water springing up into everlasting life." It is offered freely which means abundantly and without the price such as silver and gold.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
THE INVITATIONAL AND BENEDICTORY CONCLUSION
Verse 17: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let hiRev 22:18 athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
As heretofore mentioned, these concluding admonitory words were the sayings of John himself, not of Jesus, in which he sounded the note of an unlimited invitation, bu1Pe 4:11 unconditional one. This seventeenth verse of the last chapter of Revelation has had a first place in gospel preaching for centuries. It has been proclaimed the high note of redemption and has been compared to ringing the bells of heaven. It was the call to all men to come to the river and the tree of life within the wonderful city of verse fourteen. The city was the New Jerusalem, which has been specifically and repeatedly designated the Lamb's Bride--the church of Christ.
The Spirit which joined in this invitation was the One Spirit before the apocalyptic throne, from wRev 22:19 seven spirits of the vision had proceeded. Joined with the Spirit in this great invitation was the Bride, bidding all to come within her walls. And the Seer himself exhorteHeb 2:2 ne who heareth--who had heard the Spirit and the Bride say, Come--to ring the bell and join the refrain by saying, Come. And all who would thereafter hear this book of Revelation read in the churches (Rev 1:3) should join the glad chorus and say, Come. All who were athirst, without the water of salvation, were entreated to come, to the river which flowed the thirst--quenching water of life, to drink of which one would never thirst again. (Joh 4:14) And to make this gospel call all inclusive John said: whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Salvation full and free was offered to all, but within the sphere of salvation-- the church. And it was made conditional by in saying whosoever will, and in the accompanying word take. These words expressed conditions. They required that the will of man shall yield to the will of God in the doing of the commandments of verse fourteen. The phrase let him come implies that the gospel is persuasive, not coercive. No one can shoot the gospel into a sinner nor machine-gun Christianity into a heathen--but he that will, whosoever or wheresoever he may be, can come without hindrance or restraint.
Rev 22:18. It is asked if the phrase this book refers to the book of Revelation or to the whole Bible. Its direct application is to this book for it is the one that John was engaged to write. But the principle applies to the entire word of God, for 1Deu 4:2 commands "any man" who speaks to do so as the oracles of God1Co 4:6 would not be done were he to make any change in the Sacred Text, eith2Ti 3:16-17 g to it or by taking from it. To add unto these things would not be done only by literally writing some uninspired words to the document; no person is apt to do that. But when a man assumes1Ti 1:19-20 ege2Ti 2:17-18 ing things not authorized in the book, he thereby adds to Rom 1:22-25 ip2Th 2:8-12 agues were symbolized and were repeated in various forms. The idea is that such a man will be plagued as severely as those described.
Rev 22:19. There is nothing put in the book of God that is not necessary, therefore it is sinful to take any of it out. That would be done by rejecting any of its requirement. (See Heb 2:2.) Take awRev 22:20 rt. No man actually has possession of any part of the things in the holy city,Rev 1:1 d has prepared a part for each person who will prepare himself for it by faithfulness to the word.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
Verses 18-19: If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this boo2Ti 4:8 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.
These verses were prefaced by the statement of John for I testify unto every man. The preposition for connects this verse with the preceding verse seventeen. It conveys the meaning: in view of which, or in consideration of whiRev 22:20 th reference to which--that is, the universal invitation brought forth a universal admonition, a caution and a warning: the fateful consequences of adding to or taking from the Word of God. Though the restriction in itself was limited to these things and this book, the other portions of the Word of God in the other epistles are not less important than the book of Revelation, and the injunction therefore applies with equal appeal and penalty to all of the inspired scriptures. It means that any alteration of them in any degree is criminal in the sight of God.
The same injunction was included in the Mosaic law (Deu 4:2); and the principle was embodied in the apostolic epistles (1Co 4:6). The effect in its application of all scripture would be the same (2Ti 3:16-17) and the consequences therefore the same. An instance of the evil results of presumptuous men changing the truth was put into the recoMat 23:36 casMat 24:34 enaeus, Alexander and Philetus (1Ti 1:19-20 ; 2Ti 2:17-18); and the direfRev 19:11-13 ch presumption is damnation. (Rom 1:22-25 ;2Th 2:8-12)
The consequences of such interpolation and deduction were the anathemas of the plagues and forfeiture of all portion in the book of life, the holy city, or the promised rewards. The names of all who would thus divert and pervert divine revelation would be erased from the registry of the citizens of the city of God.
Rev 22:20. He which testifieth these things means Christ according to the statement in Rev 1:1. I come quickly is also stated in verses 7 and 12 and explained in Rev 22:21 n with those passages. The word surely is added at this place for the sake of emphasis. The attitude of John to that announcement is that which every faithful disciple will have. In 2Ti 4:8 the apostle Paul is speaking of the crown to be given him at the coming of Christ. He says it will be for him but not for him only; it will be unto all them also that love his appearing. If a man is living a right-ous life he will not dread to think either of death or the judgment.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
Verse 20: He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Rev 22:20) Since John was here writing the epilogue to the apocalypse, and the vision had been completeRev 22:20 ference to these words of Jesus was the quotation of what he had said to John in the vision. And the words, surely, I come quickly, were not in reference to the second coming of the Christ; but rather the promise to the churches in tribulation. He had so promised, and that repeatedly, to come in the events ready to occur; and the promise had been repeated to each of the seven churches in various forms. These events were shortly to take place and Jesus would therefore in keeping with his promise come quickly. John had testified that Jesus had so promised--and he consistently, believingly and confidently responded, Even so, come, Lord Jesus. And it is the recorded fact that their Lord Jesus did come in the events of that generation to which John belonged, the words of Jesus himself being true (Mat 23:36 to Mat 24:34 --and He whose very name was THE FAITHFUL AND TRUE and THE WORD OF GOD (Rev 19:1Mat 23:36 theMat 24:34 or their fulfillment at that time. The word amen meant so may it be; and Rev 19:11-13 t, exactly in that manner. The word even connected with so meant "precisely," and precise means minutely exact, not varying in the slightest degree from truth and accuracy; and so is an adverb of manner--therefore, the words amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus, meant "so may it be in this manner, come Lord Jesus." This was the apostle's six-word closing prayer to the Lord who had testified to him these things on the Aegean island.
Rev 22:21. The grace of the Lord is the favor that is bestowed upon all who are living in faithful service to Him. All can be faithful regardless of human weaknesses, hence no reason exists why anyone should be rejected when He comes. John lovingly thinks of his brethren to whom he is to commit this book and wishes for the favor of Christ to be with them. When Amen is used at the close of a sentence or composition, it means "so be it, may it be fulfilled." John has no regrets about anything he has been told to write, and hence closes the great book with the sincere endorsement.
Comments by Foy E. Wallace
Verse 20: He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Rev 22:20) Since John was here writing the epilogue to the apocalypse, and the vision had been completed, the reference to these words of Jesus was the quotation of what he had said to John in the vision. And the words, surely, I come quickly, were not in reference to the second coming of the Christ; but rather the promise to the churches in tribulation. He had so promised, and that repeatedly, to come in the events ready to occur; and the promise had been repeated to each of the seven churches in various forms. These events were shortly to take place and Jesus would therefore in keeping with his promise come quickly. John had testified that Jesus had so promised--and he consistently, believingly and confidently responded, Even so, come, Lord Jesus. And it is the recorded fact that their Lord Jesus did come in the events of that generation to which John belonged, the words of Jesus himself being true (Mat 23:36 to Mat 24:34 --and He whose very name was THE FAITHFUL AND TRUE and THE WORD OF GOD (Rev 19:11-13) was the surety for their fulfillment at that time. The word amen meant so may it be; and even so meant, exactly in that manner. The word even connected with so meant "precisely," and precise means minutely exact, not varying in the slightest degree from truth and accuracy; and so is an adverb of manner--therefore, the words amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus, meant "so may it be in this manner, come Lord Jesus." This was the apostle's six-word closing prayer to the Lord who had testified to him these things on the Aegean island.
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 22". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/revelation-22.html. 1952.