The Time is Near.
The River of Life. v1 - 5.
1. "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb."
In his vision of the New Jerusalem, John sees both of the bride of Christ and the bride's dwelling place - heaven. John is taken into heaven and is shown the River of Life flowing from the joint throne of God and the Lamb. This unmistakably shows that the source of the water of life is God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The "water of life" is the Holy Spirit. During His earthly ministry Jesus likened the Holy Spirit to water (John 7:37 - 39). In His conversation with the woman of Samaria He speaks of a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:13 - 14). In John 15:26 He says that He will send the Holy Spirit from the Father, He came from the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the first time in his vision of the bride of Christ and heaven that reference is made to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit shall flow through every part of the New Jerusalem.
2. "In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
The vastness of the tree of life is depicted as it stands in the centre of the square and yet reaches both sides of the river, draping itself over them. Unlike the fruit trees of earth that only bear fruit in its season, the Tree of Life continually bears twelve crops of fruit. [Note: The words, "all manner of fruits" in KJV give the impression of their being twelve different kinds of fruit - but this is generally agreed to be an addition by translators, the text original suggests the above rendering]. The leaves are for the eternal health of the redeemed.
3, 4. "And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads."
In contrast to the curse that came on the earth through Adam's sin there will be no effects of the curse in heaven - nothing evil or unclean. The Throne of God and of the Lamb will be there and all the redeemed of the Lord will minister to Him. They will look on Him and see Him in all His glory (1 John 3:2; 1 Cor. 13:12). They shall be sealed with His name as those whom He has redeemed.
5. "There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever."
There will be no night - they will not need lamp or sun, for God, who is Light, will give them light (1 John 1:5). They shall reign as kings for ever.
The Time is Near. v6 - 11.
6. "Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true. And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place."
The angel confirms that all John has been told is trustworthy and true. The Lord God who inspired His prophets had sent His angel to make known to all His people the things that would happen soon.
7. "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."
The voice of Christ breaks through to proclaim that He is coming without delay. Supremely blessed are those who observe and take to heart the truths of the prophecies contained in Revelation.
8, 9. "Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."
After John had seen and heard all these awesome things he fell down to worship the angel who had shown them to him. The angel prevents him from doing this for God alone is to be worshipped (Luke 4:8). The angels are ministering spirits of God (Heb. 1:14) and in that sense are fellow servants with the prophets and all those who keep God's word.
10. "And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand."
Unlike Daniel, who was told to shut up and seal the book since its contents concerned the distant future (Dan. 12:4 & 9), John was not to keep secret what he had written for the time of their fulfilment was near.
11. "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still."
When the time has come for all things that are made known in the Revelation to be fulfilled then those who are found unrighteous, outside of Christ, whose names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life, will remain so forever. He that is righteous, made righteous and holy in Christ, (1 Cor. 6:11) will be so throughout eternity (Matt. 25:46). "Every assurance is held out in the Bible that the righteous will be secure in holiness and happiness, and that there will be no danger -- no possibility - that they will fall into sin, and sink to woe; and by the same kind of arguments by which it is proved that their condition will be unchanging, is it demonstrated that the condition of the wicked will be unchanging also." (Barnes)
He's Coming Soon. v12 - 17.
12. "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work."
The Lord uses the word "behold" to emphasise the certainty of His near coming and of the rewards He brings with Him. Every man will be rewarded according to the works that he has done (2 Cor. 5:10). Amp. Bible [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing].
13. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."
As in Rev. 1:8 & 11 and 21:6 the Lord affirms that He is the "I Am", the Creator of all things (Rev. 4:11) and the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). He formed the world, He will destroy it; He originated the whole plan of salvation and He will determine its close.
14. "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city."
Exceedingly blessed are those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, who are clothed with His righteousness and whose names are written in The Book of Life. They alone have the privilege to enter heaven and possess eternal life.
15. "But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practises a lie."
The wicked, depraved and unclean are excluded from heaven, whoever's name is not found written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
16. "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."
The Lord confirms that He sent His angel to be a witness for Him, making all these things known to John for the Church. "The root and offspring of David" means that Christ was the creator of David as God but in His humanity He was of the lineage of David. The day or morning star is the star that is seen just before the dawn breaks. Jesus Christ "was the true Light that gives light to every man coming into the world (John 1:9). He is the "Light of the World" (John 8:12).
17. "And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely."
The cry of the Holy Spirit as the One who convinces the world of sin (John 16:8) and of the Church as the witness of Christ (Acts 1:8) and of all those that hear and respond to the Gospel is for whoever wills to come to Christ and receive Him (and with Him all the benefits spoken of in this book) freely by His grace.
A Final Warning. v18 - 21.
18, 19. "For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
It is not clear who the "I" in this verse is. It is most probably John who emphatically bears solemn witness to everyone who reads the book of the Revelation: If anyone adds anything to the words of the book, God will place on them the plagues that are written in it. If anyone takes away any of the words, God will take away his name from the Book of Life and they will not enter into heaven or receive the blessings contained in the book. The warning is intending for professing Christians. Whilst the warning refers to the book of Revelation it applies to the whole word of God for a similar warning is given in Deut. 4:2 and 12:32.
20. "He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"
It is the Lord Jesus Christ who had received the Revelation from God and made it known by the angel to John and so to the churches that bears witness to the truth of all things written in the book. It is He who says that certainly He is coming soon. Amen, so it will be. The response of the redeemed of the Lord to Christ's affirmation of His coming can only be, as John's was "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" Amen.
21. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."
John's final wish for the churches he was written to is that "the grace (unmerited blessing and favour) of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all." Amen.
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