Revelation 22 - Outline of Revelation (Book Notes menu page)
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.
A river will flow out of the Millennial Temple, into the seas. Eze 47:1,8,12; Zech 14:8
But here...
  • there is no temple (21:22)...
    The river flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
  • there is no more sea (21:1)...
    The stream of life flows directly to each of God's people, who are "the holy 'dwelling places' of the Most High" (Psa 46:4-5).
Because God & the Lamb are mentioned separately...
  • Some say this must be prior to the consummation of all things (see note at 21:3),
    and therefore, applies to the Millennium. [JBS]
  • Others say that this shows only that Christ remains eternally King of kings,
    even after all is turned over to the Father. The Eternal State is in view. [JFWalvord]
God is eternally Triune. Where, then, is the Holy Spirit in this passage?
He is tangibly present as the water of life. Isa 44:3; Joh 7:37-39
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.
street- broad expanse (see note at 21:21b).
of it- "it" is feminine and cannot refer to "river" or "throne" (which are both masculine.).
"It" must refer to the "city" ('city' is feminine, 21:23).
The river flows to and through every part of the city.
on either side of the river- GK= enteuthen, on either side one (cp. word use in Joh 19:18)
the tree of life- Apparently refers not to an individual tree but to a type of tree,
which grows throughout the city and on either side of the river, wherever it flows. cp. Eze 47:7,12
leaves...for healing- The need for healing will be obvious during the Millennium,
with Tribulation wounds to mend, and with pain, sorrow, and death still present.
But can this apply to the Eternal State (where there is no more curse, v.3; 21:4)?
     Yes, because the word for 'healing' {GK= therapeian, health giving} refers, not only to that which is health restorative (curing), but also to that which is life and health sustaining. The source of life is the One on the throne. The saints have no life in themselves. They remain eternally dependent upon Him for the continual flow of nourishment.
     Sustained by His provision, the saints receive preventative medicine to ensure that the tragedy of Eden is not repeated. (JOYoder) (cp. Psa 1:2,3)
twelve fruits- The diet is balanced. But how? We'll understand in season.
22:3 And there shall be no more curse:
but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it;
and his servants shall serve him:
The future tense of the verbs in v.3-5 express:
(A) These things were yet future to John.
(B) The continuing nature of these things when they come.
no more curse- ie., "every curse shall exist no more." [Wuest]
Gen 3:17-19; Isa 55:12,13; Gal 3:13
His servants shall serve Him- "serve"- GK= latreuo, spiritual service as a priest (cp. Heb 9:1,6).
In that day, we will be able to serve Him fully:
-- unhindered by the world, the flesh and the devil.
-- perfectly suited to the role which He assigns.
22:4 And they shall see his face;
ie., They will be fit to look on His glory unveiled. cp. Ex 33:18-23; Psa 17:15; 1Joh 3:2
and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.
ie., They will be permanently identified as His own.
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.
They will enjoy unbroken fellowship with the One in whom there is 'no darkness at all.' 1Joh 1:3-5
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.
{ie., must shortly come to pass}
The purpose of this book, stated at its start (1:1), is restated here, near its close.
The following verses briefly summarize major points foretold in this book.
things which must 'shortly' {GK= en tachei, with speed} be done.- (cp. a related word, in v.7, below)
22:7 Behold, I come quickly:
blessed [is] he that keepeth the sayings
{ie., the words} of the prophecy of this book.
behold- Consider for yourself the implications of the following:
I come- The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is the great theme of this book.
It is a Revelation (unveiling) of Him.
quickly- GK= tachu, rapidly, suddenly (not necessarily 'soon', but 'quickly' when the time is right).
(cp. word usage in 2:16; 3:11; 11:14)
When the events described begin to unfold, Christ's return is very near. Mat 24:33
blessed is he that keeps...- This is not a book for the merely curious.
We are to observe to do, according to what we read. cp. Rev 1:3; Luk 8:18; 2Pet 3:11
22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard [them].
And when I had heard and seen,
I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
I... saw... heard... these things-
John affirms that he personally received the entire message of this book.
when I had heard and seen, I fell... to worship...-
John's reaction demonstrated that he was powerfully moved by the message. - Are we?
22:9 Then saith he unto me, See [thou do it] not:
for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets,
{cp. 19:10}
and of them which keep the sayings
{ie., the words} of this book:
worship God.
22:10 And he saith unto me,
Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book:
for the time is at hand.
seal not... -
Contrast: Daniel was told to seal his book, "until the time of the end" (Dan 12:4,9).
Contrast: Today's teachers who say that Revelation is too obscure to be understood.
  • Christ sent this message to reveal (not obscure) the things which must shortly come to pass (Rev 1:1).
  • His Words are faithful and true (v.6).
  • His message bearers (whether angels or prophets, v.9) must not hide, neglect, or scoff at His Word. Rev 1:19; 2Pet 3:3,4
the time is at hand-
The Church is nearing the end of the periods of her history described in ch. 2 & 3.
The things which "shall be" after the Church Age (1:19) may be nearer than we think. Rom 13:11-14
22:11 He that is unjust {unrighteous}, let him be unjust {let him do unrighteousness} still:
and he which is filthy, let him be filthy
{let him be made filthy} still:
and he that is righteous, let him be righteous
{let him do righteousness} still:
and he that is holy, let him be holy
{let him be made holy} still.
still- ie., 'yet more.' The sense is: 'Let him be made yet more... '
  • This verse implies not only permanence of condition and "fixity of destiny" [JBS], but a deepening of the condition. An individual (or society) is moved along by the momentum of its chosen direction. While evil men wax worse and worse, the children of God grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.
    cp. 2Cor 3:18; Eph 5:25,26; 2Tim 3:13,14; 2Pet 3:17,18
  • This verse also provides warning:
    Now is the accepted time. Now is the day of salvation. 2Cor 6:2
22:12 And, behold, I come quickly;
and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
behold- consider this for yourself:
I come quickly (GK= tachu, suddenly, cp. v.7)-
His coming is imminent. Are you ready? Mat 24:42-44
my reward is with me-
Lest we take His words lightly,
He identifies Himself (in v.13), as the One who started all things, and who will bring all of God's purposes to completion. That He is the Author and Finisher of all things is illustrated by the placement of these titles at the beginning and ending of this book.

These Titles of Christ (in 22:13), appear near open & close of Revelation.
22:13 I am Alpha and Omega,1:8,1121:6; 22:13
the beginning and the end,1:821:6; 22:13
the first and the last.1:11,17; 2:822:13
This is our Lord, who has preeminence in all things (Col 1:17-20).
There is nothing hidden from "Him with whom we have to do." Heb 4:13
22:14 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments {some MSS: that wash their robes},
that they may have right
{ie., authority} to the tree of life,
and may enter in through the gates into the city.
blessed- This is the last of the 7 beatitudes in Revelation.
(For others, see 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7)
Access to the tree of life & to the New Jerusalem is limited to:
"they that do his commandments" (KJV) - [or] - "they that wash their robes" (NIV) -
     JFWalvoord notes that both readings are accurate descriptions of the righteous.
  • The latter reading shows that salvation is only for those washed in the blood of the Lamb.
    cp. Rev 1:5; 7:14
  • But the former reading includes this meaning (cp. Joh 6:29) and also fits the context of rewards (v.12) and the contrast with the unrighteous (v.15).
22:15 For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers,
and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
without {GK= exo, outside, away from, estranged} are...-
This word refers to those who are outside of the faith (the unregenerate).
     (See this word in 1Cor 5:12-13; Col 4:5; 1The 4:12.)
The people mentioned, here, are not sitting just outside the city gates.
Rather, they are excluded, banished completely, from the eternal kingdom,
for their place is in the Lake of Fire (21:8).
dogs- persons of low character, the ungodly (cp. Isa 56:10,11; Mat 15:21-28; Php 3:2)
whosoever loves and makes a lie- "everyone who is fond of and practises falsehood" [Wuest].
The fact of their exclusion - Rev 21:27
The fate of those excluded - Rev 21:8
The tragedy of their exclusion - Cleansing is available for anyone, if only they will turn to Christ in faith. 1Cor 6:9-11.
The closing verses of this book (v.6-21) are not intended as a description of the eternal city and its environs. (A vivid description was provided in 21:1 - 22:5). Rather, these words are directed to the reader, as both a warning and an invitation. The Lord sets before us life and death, and urges us to choose life. cp. Deu 30:19
22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.
I am the root and the offspring of David,
[and] the bright and morning star.
I, Jesus...- This is the only such occurrence in scripture, and
is emphatic of the authority behind the message.
The revelation "which God gave unto Him" is now complete (1:1). testify unto you these things in the churches-
The message was sent to the local churches (1:1-6 and ch. 2-3).
The Lord has committed His Word to believers. We, who have received it, are responsible to heed what He has said, and to bear testimony by life and word concerning our Lord. It is through the lampstands of the churches that Christ's light penetrates the darkness of the unbelieving world. eg., 2:1-5; 3:7,8
     We dare not neglect any portion of God's Word, which includes this book, which the Lord has specifically sent to our attention.
I am the root and offspring of David- In Him the promises to Israel are begun & completed.
He is the promised King who will occupy David's throne forever (Luk 1:32,33).
See the note at 5:5.
...the bright and morning star- The morning star appears just before the dawn,
shining brightly against the surrounding darkness.
For those who watch for Him, He will appear at the end of sin's dark night, and will usher in the dawning of a new day. See Numb 24:17-19; Mal 4:2; 2Pet 1:19; Heb 9:28
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.
Here is a final invitation to those who are "without" (v.15).
The message is transmitted by...
  • the Holy Spirit (Joh 16:7-11).
  • the Bride- ie., the corporate witness of the Church (2Cor 5:17-21).
  • him that hears- ie., the witness of individual believers (Rom 1:14-17).
The message is the preaching & teaching of the Word of God: Rom 10:8-17
The message is God's own invitation to the thirsty: Isa 55:1-4; Joh 7:37-39.
22:18 For I testify {ie., it is I who testify}
unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book,
If any man shall add unto these things,
-- eg., by supplementing God's Word with the words which man's wisdom teaches. [JBSmith]
Deut 4:2; 12:32; Prov 30:6
God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy,
-- eg., by editing out of God's Word that which man's wisdom deems foolish.
God shall take away his part out of the book {some MSS: from the tree} of life,
and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.
Those who are excluded from these things are consigned to the Lake of Fire (Rev 20:15).
It is no small thing to trifle with God's Word. 1Cor 4:2; 2Cor 4:2; James 3:1
22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.
surely- GK= nai, yes, surely, assuredly so, even so (a strong affirmation).
quickly- GK= tachu, suddenly (cp. v. 7,12)
Amen. {ie., 'So it is!' or, 'So let it be!'}
In this verse, the Bridegroom speaks the first sentence, and the Bride responds with the last. Together, Bride and Bridegroom voice this intervening word.
The one counts on the promise. The Other makes it sure.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
even so- GK= nai, yes, surely, assuredly so, even so (a strong affirmation).
The Bride echoes back the Bridegroom's sure promise,
and waits in eager expectancy of His coming.
22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen.
John closes with the same prayer (for believers) with which Paul closed each of his epistles.
Only by His grace will we "overcome" and endure unto His coming. Rev 3:11,12; Titus 3:4-7

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