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From the series: Revelation PREVIOUS PAGE

Revelation 22:6-21

Sunday (Revelation 22:6-7)

A Final Reminder

22:6 Then the angel said to me, “These words are reliable and true.

“The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets,

has sent his angel to show his servants what must happen soon.”

22:7 ”(Look! I am coming soon!

“Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy expressed in this book.)”

Prayer

Lord, You are the always-reliable One, the source of truth, and the keeper of the integrity of Your Word. May I be confident that no matter the schemes of man or fallen-angel, beast or deceiver, or Satan himself, Your truth and power and promise will always prevail.

Summary & Commentary

The angel quoted what Jesus had said to John previously about the reliability of the words; in the prior statement Jesus cited His deity and the self-affirmation of the Lord God.

“The Lord” is such because He is the only legitimate “God of the spirits of the prophets”, the One who gave to them authority, power, and wisdom.

The phrase “... to show his servants” implies via John, but given that John is the one to whom he is speaking and is the one who is recording what he hears and is shown, it was unnecessary.

The phrase “... what must happen soon” is a reminder to the reader that what John recorded had not yet occurred. In Biblical terms “soon” would refer to the earliest step in the process, rather than the entire process.

The angel then quoted Jesus again as to His imminent return and that He (Jesus) was the blessed One Who would keep (protect and share as well as to enforce the conditional quid pro quo's of) the prophesies of the Book.

Interaction

Consider

The Lord God was very intentional in His repetition of the credentials of His Word as truth.

Discuss

What are some examples of ways that you could demonstrate the integrity of the Word, and at the same time the integrity of the One Who has given it to us, by testing the accuracy of the prophesies?

Reflect

It was and is important that the Word is “shown” to “His servants”; we call that discipleship as the term refers to those who belong to the Lord God.

Share

When have you observed someone in discipleship where the sharing of the Word transformed them from confused and weak to confident and strong?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you an opportunity to share the Word.

Action:

Today I am choosing to make time to walk alongside someone in discipleship so that they may come to know and understand (gain wisdom) from the Word of God.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

Monday (Revelation 22:8-11)

22:8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things, and when I heard and saw them, I threw myself down to worship at the feet of the angel who was showing them to me.

22:9 But he said to me, “Do not do this! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets, and with those who obey the words of this book. Worship God!”

22:10 Then he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy contained in this book, because the time is near.

22:11 The evildoer must continue to do evil, and the one who is morally filthy must continue to be filthy.

The one who is righteous must continue to act righteously, and the one who is holy must continue to be holy.”

Prayer

Lord, You are worthy, none other than You are. Your story must be told as Your plan of justice and redemption unfold. May I share Your story and walk in Your light.

Summary & Commentary

John returned to the theme of his early text where he affirmed his first-hand experience which prompted his authorship.

He was also so overwhelmed by the whole experience that his reaction was to worship the first heavenly being before him – this is similar to the interaction described earlier, but may be a repeat because the angel refers to a completed “book” which John had not yet heard and seen and written in the first case.

Only the Lord God rightfully accepts worship – any other person or being who allows anyone to worship them in any way is a heretic to the true Biblical faith. (The terms recreant or deceiver or false god may be applied as well. This includes political leaders, religious leaders, celebrities, and fallen angels.

The angel explains to him that he is a peer with John “and … fellow prophets” as well as with all who obey the Word. He then directs John to “Worship [only] God!”

The angel reminded John to share the Word, repeating what Jesus had told him, and reminded him that the time was short (from a heavenly perspective) – so that there was urgency to tell The Story.

John was also reminded that the Lord would allow the fallen-away world to continue to thrash about, evil living evil, righteous living righteously (each influencing the other, the righteous accepting the guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit despite their weak flesh).

Evil is practiced constantly among the fallen angels and righteousness perfectly so in Heaven, here on the fallen-away earth both are somewhat unpredictable.

Prophesy mostly re-tells the past and only partly foreshadows the future; both are valuable to a right understanding of our Lord and His expectations of us. Prophesy serves to confront us all with truth.

Interaction

Consider

John may have repeated the error of attempting worship of the angel in his confusion and probable emotional and mental exhaustion.

Discuss

What are some practical ways to motivate people to read and study the Word?

Reflect

We must expect the evil to act evil and the righteous to try to behave righteously; though evil may be a more natural path for the Godless than righteousness is for the saved person trapped in what the apostle Paul called “this body of death”.

Share

When have you observed the contrast between Godless people appearing unable to make good choices and the children of God trying to do so?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a fellow believer who would be blessed to read this and encouraged to know that while the Godless lack the power to resist evil, they do.

Action:

Today I will ask the Holy Spirit to use me as His vessel of discipleship and encouragement to a fellow believer so that they may persist in seeking righteousness and in resisting evil.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

Tuesday (Revelation 22:12-13)

22:12 (Look! I am coming soon,

and my reward is with me

to pay each one according to what he has done!

22:13 I am the Alpha

and the Omega,

the first and the last,

the beginning and the end!)

Prayer

Lord, You are returning, we have not been abandoned nor left alone. You are in control and you bring purpose where humankind has wrought chaos. May I be encouraged to know that You give purpose to Creation, even in its fallen-away condition.

Summary & Commentary

Our Lord is returning, His timing is perfect, and the term “soon” means that there is a definite time which is relative to all of Created time, though seen through the eyes of One who is eternal.

The Lord brings perfect justice.

The Lord has “books” which contain the records of our deeds.

Each will receive what they are due, although those whose names are in the Lamb's Book of Life are only due that remains after He paid for our sins, which leaves nothing punitive.

“Alpha” means the beginning, He has always been, and He is the Creator; the original Creation and the new Creation of a new and perfect heaven and earth.

“Omega” means the conclusion of things; the end of Creation, the end of conflict, the end of separation between the Lord and His beloved created beings.

He was the first to be worthy of salvation, because He (Jesus) lived without sin, and He is the last to do so, as He provided the way for all who followed Him.

He was there at the beginning of all Creation, and He is the end, as His purpose will have been completed and met.

The Lord God is not confined by anything in Creation, He is far above and apart from the constraints of linear time.

Interaction

Consider

There is a conclusion to everything, perfectly timed, and perfectly executed.

Discuss

How might making people aware that the Lord God is keeping a record of deeds make them more introspective?

Reflect

The perfect justice of the Lord God is tempered by His perfect grace.

Share

When have you paused in reflection, praise, and worship of a magnificent Lord Who is the beginning and the end?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a pattern of choices in your life which you'd not like to continue to show up in the books of the Lord God, even if covered by grace through Jesus.

Action:

Today I will humbly confess and repent of my sin, request and receive the forgiveness of the Lord, and then I will intentionally alter my life (including adding accountability from a fellow believer) to avoid failing the test – allowing it to become temptation and sin.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

Wednesday (Revelation 22:14-15)

22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes

so they can have access to the tree of life

and can enter into the city by the gates.

22:15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the sexually immoral, and the murderers, and the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood!”

Prayer

Lord, only those who are unreservedly and irrevocably devoted to You will receive eternal life from the “tree of life”. As it was in the beginning in the Garden, so it has always been, and always will be.

Summary & Commentary

The first phrase in this text returns to that found in Rev. 7:14; the washing of a robe describes the atoning value of the blood of Jesus - it was though their perseverance in the faith, not by their own strength but in the strength of the Holy Spirit, that they were rendered righteous.

Through the imparted-righteousness of Jesus they, and we, have our names written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

There is only one way into the eternal city of the Lord God, and that is through the gates; and the “gatekeeper” only allows passage to those whose name are in the Book of Life.

He then lists some generic illustrative categories of those who will not enter heaven as yet another affirmation that the Lord God will not allow anyone capable of sin into heaven.

It is not intended that one think of the “city” as surrounded by the unrighteous who assault the gates and walls seeking admission, there is no Biblical evidence for that, indeed the evidence points to the absence of any but those in the Book of Life at the conclusion of things.

Interaction

Consider

Righteousness comes from Jesus, the strength to endure from the Holy Spirit, all that we contribute is a surrendered heart.

Discuss

How would you help disciples to recognize the consistency of the Lord God's message from Genesis through Revelation, using the “tree of life” as an illustration?

Reflect

The “gates” are symbolic of the limited access humankind has to heaven.

Share

When have you experienced or observed someone suffering for their faith, knowing that you or they lacked the strength to endure alone, and amazed at the strength they received from the Lord?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you someone who has been deceived about limited access to heaven and/or who is ignorant of the consistency of message from Genesis through Revelation.

Action:

Today I will humbly and respectfully share these texts with the one whom the Holy Spirit has made known to me. I will ask a fellow believer to pray in-agreement that I may be His vessel of freedom through truth.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

Thursday (Revelation 22:16-17)

22:16 “I, Jesus,

have sent my angel

to testify to you about these things

for the churches.

“I am the root and the descendant of David,

the bright morning star!”

22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!'

“And let the one who hears say: 'Come!'

“And let the one who is thirsty come;

let the one who wants it take the water of life free of charge.”

Prayer

Lord, You are indeed the “morning star” of hope and promise and of fulfillment of a new and perfect day. May I have joy, and may I share the reason for my joy, so that many may and find You as this broken vessel leaks and overflows with Your loving invitation.

Summary & Commentary

It is unclear how Jesus spoke with John, perhaps indirectly rather than directly.

The glory of the Lord God was returned to Jesus when He ascended, so it may have been that even “in the spirit” John could not have been in the true presence of Jesus, thus the sending of an angel to communicate the message.

Jesus affirmed the credentials of the message by associating Himself with it.

The message was given to John and again it was affirmed that it was for “the Church”, all believers. (According to the NET Greek/Hebrew reference the text could have fairly been rendered:

“... for the assembled believers.” or “... for the church universal.” or “... for all believers.”

Jesus echoes prophesy as He was the beginning “root” of humankind “... made in Our image”, he was of the “shoot of Jesse” (Isaiah 1:11) that led to being a “descendant” of David in His human form; then also, He is the new beginning “the bright morning star” bringing a new day of eternal life.

The “Spirit” and “the bride”, the church, both present the Gospel of invitation from Jesus “Come!”.

The one who hears responds to Jesus and says “Come!” and the Spirit inspires understanding in a teachable/willing heart.

The one who is made-thirsty by the Truth comes to Jesus for the water of eternal life and the constant-filling that is discipleship and later eternity in heaven.

This text includes yet another affirmation that salvation requires a mutual agreement.

Interaction

Consider

Jesus left nothing to chance as He personally addressed John to clarify the heart of the message he had been given, and to underline the divine authority and truth therein.

Discuss

How would you tell the story of the linkage between the “root” and the “descentant” history and prophesy of Jesus and David?

Reflect

The participants and steps to salvation are stated: The Spirit, the Church, the teachable person; the invitation “Come!”, the reply of the person to the Spirit and Church to teach, the “thirst” of the person for “living water” and the gift of that living water through salvation – and beyond as the life of discipleship and then of eternity in heaven.

Share

When have you visualize Jesus as the “bright morning star” of a new day of eternal life?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a new way to make Jesus the “bright morning star” of every day of your life until You are with Him in heaven.

Action:

Today I will humbly and joyfully accept the gift of Jesus to be my “bright morning star” every day as I put on the “full armor of God”, rest peacefully and safely in-Him by the “still waters”, “stand” in His strength, have courage as I tell His story, and joyfully allow my broken vessel to leak and overflow with His blessings for others.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

Friday (Revelation 22:18-19)

22:18 “I testify to the one who hears the words of the prophecy contained in this book:

“If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.

22:19 “And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.”

Prayer

Lord, You alone have the authority and holiness to create Your Word, and any who dare alter it are beyond-apostate. May I be careful to never add or subtract from Your sovereign Word, and watchful for those who may do so, warning them of their error and others against falling prey to their deception.

Summary & Commentary

Jesus, having just testified (vss 22:16-17) to His identity and deity, then to the authority and truth of His Word, now addresses the terms of protection of “the book”.

There has been some debate as to the intended meaning of the term “this book”.

Some believe it to refer only to the book of Revelation, or perhaps even a subset of Revelation, while others take it to refer to the entirety of the Lord God's Book, the Bible.

There is nothing in the text of Revelation to support a narrow application.

The latter view parallels the teaching of Deuteronomy 4:2 “Do not add a thing to what I command you nor subtract from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I am delivering to you.”

Since Deuteronomy is one of the earliest books of the Bible, and Revelation is at the end, it is reasonable to conclude that the common phraseology is intentional – designed to defend the entirety of God's Word.

Interaction

Consider

Intentionally adding or subtracting from the sovereign Word of God might be considered equivalent to “blaspheming the Spirit” since it is essentially a declaration that the Serpent in the Garden was right, the Holy Spirit is wrong in declaring the sovereign authority of the Lord, and that one is therefore a peer - worthy to alter His Word.

Discuss

What are some examples of cults which claim to be “Christian” but clearly are not Biblical-Christian because their religious book adds and/or subtracts from “the book”?

Reflect

Adding to the Word brings the plagues of the Wrath, subtracting from the Word means certain banishment from eternity in Heaven, both are really the same thing – because believers are not exposed to the Wrath.

Share

When have you observed someone adding and/or subtracting in a subtle way from “the book” in an otherwise Biblical-Christian fellowship?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you something that you believe about the Bible that is a result of someone adding and/or subtracting from “the book”.

Action:

Today I will ask one who meets the Biblical definition of “elder” to assist as I seek clarity. I will share my experience with a fellow believer as an encouragement to them to do the same.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

Saturday (Revelation 22:20-21)

22:20 The one who testifies to these things says,

“Yes, I am coming soon!”

Amen!

Come, Lord Jesus!

22:21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.

Prayer

Lord, You have “returned” via Your Holy Spirit, via Your Word, and via Your communication with us through prayer. May I be found faithful in “praying without ceasing”, studying Your Word, and following the leading of Your Holy Spirit.

Summary & Commentary

John recorded a final declaration of the credentials of the Bible and then celebrated the coming of Jesus (yesterday, today, tomorrow, and at the end of created time) to bring hope and salvation.

Jesus will return because He promised redemption at the Fall in the Garden, the prophesies He placed in the Bible say that He will (and every prophesy has been fulfilled), He promised to return just before He ascended home to heaven, and now at the conclusion of Revelation He promised to do so yet again.

“Amen” at the conclusion of a text means that the contents are trustworthy, the fulfillment of promises are certain, and/or the speaker agrees to meet the requirements of conditional promises so that they may be kept.

“Lord Jesus” is an affirmation of the deity of Christ and of ones surrender to His Lordship.

The phrase “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” is a declaration by John of his longing for the return of our Lord, Jesus the Christ.

John's benediction “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.” does not mean universal salvation, though surely his desire would be that all would choose salvation, in this case the NET Greek-Hebrew reference explains that it is a reference to all of the “saints” (elsewhere described as believers).

Interaction

Consider

When the Lord repeats Himself He wants us to be sure to get the message – He has repeated His promise to return multiple times in His Word. He is coming back for us!

Discuss

In how many places in the Bible, old and new testaments, do you recall the promise of return and redemption?

Reflect

How must John have cried-out in existential angst for the quick return of he Lord, having been abused then imprisoned by man then lifted by the Lord in the spirit from his body into heaven, then about to be returned to that anti-heavenly place?

Share

How often have you, frustrated with this fallen-away world, cried-out for the Lord to hurry His return?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you some ways that the Lord has already “returned” in small but real ways into your life as His child.

Action:

Today I will pause and give grateful thanks for all that the Lord God has already done in my life and I will join the apostle John in a prayer of agreement for the return of my Lord Jesus.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated - http://bible.org

Note 1: These Studies often rely upon the guidance of the NET Translators from their associated notes. Careful attention has been given to cite that source where it has been quoted directly or closely paraphrased. Feedback is encouraged where credit has not been sufficiently assigned.

Note 2: When NET text is quoted in commentary and discussion all pronouns referring to God are capitalized, though they are lower-case in the original NET text.

Commentary text is from David M. Colburn, D.Min. unless otherwise noted.

Copyright © 2012 by David M. Colburn. This is a BibleSeven Study – “Revelation” Section – Revelation 4 – 5 – prepared by David M. Colburn and edited for bible.org in June of 2012. This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author.

Related Topics: Devotionals, Curriculum