what hath God wrought? Compare the first few chapters of Genesis and the end of revelation. After the fall, man wanted to run from god. He was a lost and fallen creature. but at the end, the Lord has a small company, washed in the blood of the lamb, with a song in their hearts, with the spirit of god indwelling, with a knowledge of coming events, with a fervent testimony to the world around, and with hearts longing for his return.
three announcements of christ’s Coming: it is the coming of Christ, not the fulfillment of prophecy that we wait for!
- v.7 – the hope of his coming will cause us to treasure the word of God.
- v.12 – The hope of His coming will spir us into active service for Him, in light of the coming time of reward.
- v.20 – The hope of His coming wil generate a response of love, and a desire to be in his presence.
In Each case, the word “quickly” is used. It seems to refer to the rapture, the Lord’s coming for his people.
- The Angel Authenticates the Prophecy (vv.6-7)
- The Natural and Spiritual responses to the Revelation (vv.8-9)
- The Nearness of the Second Coming (Rapture & Appearing) (vv.10-13)
- The Requirement to Enjoy the Sphere of Blessing (vv.14-15)
- The Author’s Return Welcomed by the Church (v.16)
- warnings about tampering with the word of God (vv.18-19)
- the last promise, the last prayer, the last provision (vv.20-21)
The Angel Authenticates the Prophecy (vv.6-7)
¶ 6a And he said to me, These words are faithful and true; v.6a God Himself from his throne had uttered this statement (Rev. 21:5); and here it is echoed by an angel. “These words” – are the book of revelation.
6b and the Lord God of the spirits of the prophets has sent his angel to shew to his bondmen the things which must soon come to pass. v.6b “Lord God of the spirits of the prophets” – the Lord identifies himself as the one who designed the visions, and grasped the pen of the old prophets… the student of prophecy shares a kindred spirit with every true prophet. “soon come to pass” – the great matter of prophecy is about to be fulfilled. see v.10. There is a moral effect that these things should have in us.
7 And behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book. v.7 this verse is the lord himself speaking, not the angel. a word for the student of prophecy. the last message to the overcomer. we are to “keep” these things treasured in our hearts, and to allow them to have the proper moral effect on our lives. For example: the “great” harlot, the “great” city was judged… we should not seek “great” things for ourselves.
The Natural and Spiritual responses to the Revelation (vv.8-9)
¶ 8 And I, John, was he who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to do homage before the feet of the angel who shewed me these things. vv.8-9A the natural response. John, in human weakness, overcome by the majesty of the vision, fails to lift his eyes to God. this is the second time that john has to be corrected for this error (Rev. 19:10). we need to not let our emotions in prophetic learning distract us from giving worship to god. We can have a tendency to worship “intersting” things in prophecy, rather than the person of God and His Son. Also, we have a tendency to get occupied with the vessel the Lord uses to teach us truth… need to get our focus right.
9a And he says to me, See thou do it not. I am thy fellow-bondman, and the fellow-bondman of thy brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. v.9a the elect angels (I Tim. 5:21) refuse to allow men to worship them. Evil angels (Psa. 78:49) might let men worship them. They are “fellow-servants” in that they are subject to God as creatures, just like men.
9b Do homage to God. v.9b The Spiritual Response. All worship be to god. This is the goal of all true prophecy.
The Nearness of the Second Coming (Rapture & Appearing) (vv.10-13)
¶ 10 And he says to me, Seal not the words of the prophecy of this book. The time is near. v.10 “Seal not” – Compare with Daniel 12:4… “Shut up the words and seal the book”. The bulk of old testament prophecies would not be fulfilled for a long time, althought a near-application would be fulfilled usually at the time of writing. But New Testament prophecies are on our doorstep. Daniel was given times, days of weeks, etc. But the church has never been given a timeline… the Lord’s coming is always looked at as “any-moment” (Heb. 10:37).
11 Let him that does unrighteously do unrighteously still; and let the filthy make himself filthy still; and let him that is righteous practise righteousness still; and he that is holy, let him be sanctified still. v.11 The “Freezing point” is approaching. The time will come when our state will be fixed. The righteous won’t be able to change their state, and the filthy won’t be able to change their state, etc. For those who “Receive not the love of the truth” this moment is at the rapture. For others, it is the moment of death. don’t wait… the window of time to change your state is closing!
12 Behold, I come quickly, and my reward with me, to render to every one as his work shall be. v.12 From v.12 on to the end the Lord takes over and speaks directly to His people. Most see this “reward” as the judgement seat of Christ after the rapture, but it may also include rewards in the millennium.
13 “I” am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. v.13 Three expressions that declare the sufficiency of Chirst:
- Alpha and Omega – he is the embodyment of all that god has to say
- first and last – he is the embodyment of all that god is in his character
- beginning and end – he is the embodyment of all that god is doing
The Requirement to Enjoy the Sphere of Blessing (vv.14-15)
¶ 14 Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have right to the tree of life, and that they should go in by the gates into the city. v.14 There are seven “blessings” in Revelation… see note on page 1. This is the final one. “That do his commandments” – an artifact of the poor quality of the textus receptus for the book of revelation (see note on page 1). It is the application of the blood which gives title to the tree of life and fellowship (“go in by the gates”) with the glorified church (the city), in the midst of which is God and the lamb. The same cleansing blood gave the white-robed crowd right to stand before the throne (Rev. 7:15). nothing but the blood of jesus.
15 Without are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and every one that loves and makes a lie. v.15 Dogs – the unclean persons who have refused the offer of salvation, and are entrenched in their evil ways. We find a similar list in Rev. 21:8, but there it lists those who will be sent to the Lake of fire. The word for “sorcerers” here is really “pharmakois” (only found elsewhere in Rev. 21:8), or “drugger”, or “druggist”… we see that today. without – outside the sphere of blessing.
The Author’s Return Welcomed by the Church (v.16)
¶ 16 “I” Jesus have sent mine angel to testify these things to you in the assemblies. (1) “I” am the root and offspring of David, (2) the bright and morning star. v.16 Jesus, the Lord’s name as man, addresses these things to those in local assemblies. These things are very practical. He presents himself as:
- The object of Old Testament revelation – His connection with Israel in royalty. As divine He is the Root of David’s house. As man He is the Offspring of David. He is David’s Lord and David’s Son (Matt. 22:41-46).
- The object of New Testament revelation – His special relationship to the Church. Before the Millennial day dawns, before the Sun of Righteousness arises to in noon-day splendor (Mal. 4:2), before the judgments preceding the dawn, Jesus appears as the Bright and Morning Star to His bride. May He (the Person) arise as such in our hearts (2 Pet. 1:19)!
The Church responds to the Lord in both these characters. It is incorrect to say that the Church has no interest in Christ as the “root and offspring of David”, as if Israel alone looks for Him in that character. In reality both of those things are said to the seven churches of Asia. In other words, Christ having His rightful place as the son of David is as much a part of the church’s hope as the rapture. Paul’s revelation of the rapture in no way diminishes our looking for and longing for the appearing of Christ. Christians are to be those that “love His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8).
17a And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. v.17a the church hears the voice of her Beloved, and responds to Christ… the desire of the bride jointly with the Spirit is that the savior would come.
The spirit and the bride. The spirit’s voice is joined with the bride in saying, “Come”. This shows that the bride is completely in tune with the spirit. The church has largely given up the hope of the lord’s coming, but Spirit is still trying to stir up our affections. In Gen. 24 the servant seeks out the bride in a far country, speaks to her of the bridegroom, and leads her across the wilderness. The servant pictures the Spirit of God as the comforter. look at Gen 24:64-65. For this reason, we fell that The spirit leave the world with the church at the rapture, and will always be with her.
17b And let (1) him that hears say, Come. And let (2) him that is athirst come; (3) he that will, let him take the water of life freely. v.17b the Lord Jesus then speaks again, now inviting individuals:
- him that heareth – one priviledged to hear the word of God, the Lord’s voice in the scripture, they are invited to join in the cry, “Come”.
- him that is athirst – one without intelligence, but a felt need for god, invited to come to god for blessing.
- whosoever will – even the slightest turning in the heart toward God will be rewarded by eternal streams of joy and blessing without price.
warnings about tampering with the word of God (vv.18-19)
¶ 18 “I” testify to every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any one shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book. 19 And if any one take from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book. vv.18-19 these verses are speaking to those who are unbelievers, but they should also warn us to be careful in handling the word of God (see John 10:35, Prov. 30:5). the two pitfalls of the human heart are here divulged:
- Adding to the word – Superstition, ritualism
- subtracting from the word – skepticism, rationalism
“This book” – specifically the book of Revelation, but certainly it applies to the whole bible. this warning is not limitted to those who deny inspired portions of the word, or add non-connonical books, etc. It says “things” as well as “words”. If someone flatly denies truths in this book, or blatantly adds truths that are not of god, they will miss out on the blessings, and ineherit the cursings of the book of Revelation. It should be “tree of life” not “book of life”. the last six verses of this chapter were retranslated by Erasmus from latin back into greek to complete the text. Therefore, in the KJV, the text of Rev. 22:16-21 has gone from Greek → Latin → Greek → English! This shows that god’s heart is for every person to have a part of the tree of life. but those who corrupt the word of god will lose their part.
the last promise, the last prayer, the last provision (vv.20-21)
¶ 20a He that testifies these things says, Yea, I come quickly. v.20a the last promise – the Lord himself (in his coming at the rapture) is promised to the church, to be the hope that will save her through the long night.
20b Amen; come, Lord Jesus. v.20b the last prayer – an affirmation that she believes that he is coming, and an expression of her desire that he might come. See Song. 8:14.
¶ 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all the saints. v.21 the last provision – in all times and in all circumstances, the unfailing grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is to be our support and strength until he comes for us. So ends the word of God.