Revelation 22:6-21

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

December 10, 1997

Introduction

We are at the end.

:6 These sayings are faithful and true

faithful Ė pistos Ė to be trusted or believed; trustworthy, faithful, reliable. It will never let you down.

true Ė alethinos Ė true in the sense of real, ideal, genuine. It's just what it appears to be.

This particular phrase is unique to the book of Revelation, found four times, and is used to describe two different things.

1. Jesus is faithful and true. (Rev.3:14; 19:11)

(Rev 19:11 KJV) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. (see also Rev. 3:14)

2. His Word is faithful and true. (Rev.21:5; 22:6)

(Rev 21:5 KJV) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (also here in Rev. 22:6)

Lesson:

You can count on Godís Word.

Just as Jesus is faithful, never letting us down, and genuine, being just what He appears to be, so is His Word.

God's Word is trustworthy, you can depend on it.

God's Word is genuine, its the truth, it means just what it says.

This is why we're promised a blessing is we "heed" the words, because they're the real thing and you can count on them to be true.

:6 the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants

This would appear to be the angel thatís been showing John around lately, one of the seven bowl-judgment angels (Rev. 22:1; 21:9,15)

The angel was sent to show God's bond-servants what would take place shortly.

It's not God's desire that the book of Revelation be some big, nebulous mystery. It's not God's desire that we be totally in the dark concerning the future.

We've been given a glimpse into the future.

Jesus said,

MAT 24:33 even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, {right} at the door.

God wants you aware of the future, and living accordingly.

:6 the things which must shortly be done.

shortly Ė tachos Ė ("tachometer") quickness, speed

Weíll seem this word in the next verse.

:7 Behold, I come quickly

Sometimes we look at verses like this and think, "I remember 25 years ago when I thought Jesus was going to come back soon, and He hasn't yet." And we also think, "John thought Jesus was coming back soon, and that was 1900 years ago!"

Lesson:

1st Caution: When it happens, it happens quickly

quickly Ė tachu Ė ("tachometer") quickly, speedily (without delay). This is the same basic word thatís translate "shortly" in verse 6.

Itís a word thatís used in Ė

Re 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

The idea is that when He comes, it will be speedily and without a chance to change direction. Thereís going to be lots of evidence that itís close, but when His actual coming happens, people arenít going to get a 10 minute warning!

Lesson:

2nd Caution: Itís good to keep on your toes!

Mat 24:45-51 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? {46} Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. {47} Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. {48} But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; {49} And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; {50} The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, {51} And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Which servant is the one that says My lord delayeth his coming? The wicked one.

Guys, have you ever had a day off while your wife had to work, and you goof off all day until the last Ĺ hour, when you quickly start getting all your "honey-do" chores out of the way? What if your wife came home early?

Peter wrote,

2 Pet 3:3-7 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, {4} And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. {5} For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: {6} Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: {7} But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

One of the signs of the times would be those who say that the Lord is delaying His coming.

It's interesting that the scoffers will have the mindset that all things have continued as from the beginning. This is the kind of mindset that evolution is based on. Evolution is based on the assumption that there have been no great catastrophes such as a worldwide flood.

It is a healthy attitude for a Christian to have, to be expecting Jesus Christ to come soon. Even if He doesn't come for us in the Rapture soon, we may find ourselves before Him at any time by dying suddenly.

:7 blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

We know that weíll be blessed if we obey Godís Word.

But here we are promised blessings not just in obeying Godís Word in general, but especially the things that are in this book, Revelation.

Lesson:

Live for the future.

Revelation isnít just a book about things to come, itís a book that encourages us to let our knowledge of the future affect the way we live.

Peter wrote,

(2 Pet 3:11 KJV) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

Donít let your knowledge of future events just be another one of those trivial treasures that you can wow your friends with at parties. It ought to change the way you live.

If you knew that the gymnasium weíre meeting in was going to burn to the ground in fifteen minutes, would it affect the way you live? Would you sit comfortable in your chair for the next fourteen and a half minutes? Or would you get up and try to evacuate the building?

Does your knowledge of future events affect your life?

:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them

In other words, John is trying to testify that he had actually witnessed the things he wrote down.

:8 I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things.

This is not a new problem with John. Heís forgotten that heís already done this to the angel back in chapter 19, and was quickly rebuked by the angel.

:10 Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book

Daniel was told that the words of his prophecy would be sealed.

(Dan 12:4 KJV) But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

This meant that they would not be understood until the time of the end.

(Dan 8:26 KJV) And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.

The fact that Revelation is NOT sealed indicates that it is the "end times".

(Dan 12:8-10 KJV) And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? {9} And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. {10} Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

The book of Revelation becomes in fact the key to understanding the book of Daniel, they are very closely paralleled

Also, what we learn from Daniel is that the closer we get to the end, the more we'll understand of these books.

:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still Ö

This passage seems to be saying that a person shouldn't change.

I wonder if somehow John is quoting Dan.12:10...

(Dan 12:10 KJV) Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

This is a tough passage to say the least...

One idea: What it is saying is that in the eternal state, what you are now is what you will be. There will be no opportunity for change in eternity.

:12 And, behold, I come quickly

Same wording as in verses 6,7. When He comes, it will be speedily.

:12 my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

reward Ė misthos Ė dues paid for work; reward: used of the fruit naturally resulting from toils and endeavours

Donít confuse this with "salvation by works".

But donít get to thinking that just because we think we believe that we donít have to have good works in our lives.

If there is true salvation in our lives, there will be good works.

God is looking for Faith that Works.

(James 2:14-18 NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, what's the use of saying you have faith if you don't prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can't save anyone. {15} Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, {16} and you say, "Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well"--but then you don't give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? {17} So you see, it isn't enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn't show itself by good deeds is no faith at all--it is dead and useless. {18} Now someone may argue, "Some people have faith; others have good deeds." I say, "I can't see your faith if you don't have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds."

:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Alpha and Omega Ė the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.

We talked about this back in Rev. 1:11.

:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments

Some of the Greek manuscripts read Ė

Re 22:14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. (as NAS)

For you trivia and numerology buffs...this is the seventh and last "beatitude" (blessed...) found in the book of Revelation. The rest are as follows... Rev.1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7; 22:14

:14 that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Talking about the tree of life in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:2) and the gates of the city of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:21)

:15 For without are dogs

or, "Outside are the dogs Ö"

There are some cat lovers who have built a case for cats being in heaven and dogs not.

As far as proof that cats are in heaven, where else would they get the strings for the harps? (ooooh)

And here weíre told that dogs are kept outside!

Cat lovers, donít get excited about this. This isn't talking about literal "dogs".

It is a derogatory term used for that which is to be despised, men of low character.

(Phil 3:2 KJV) Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

The "dogs", along with the rest on this list, will be "outside" of heaven.

It is the place known as "the lake of fire", the "outer darkness".

(Isa 66:24 KJV) And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.

In other words, the things that John wrote down were to be passed on to the "churches", specifically the churches of Revelation 2-3, but meaning all the churches.

:16 I am the root and the offspring of David

Jesus is quoting from a Messianic passage. He is simply stating that He is the Messiah. (Isaiah 11:1-5)

:16 the bright and morning star.

David Hocking: "The "Morning Star" implies that the dawning of a new day is at hand. Jesus Christ is our Hope of a new day. No matter how dark the night of present world history is, the "Bright and Morning Star" tells us that a better day is coming, a brand new world where all will be joy and peace forever."

(2 Pet 1:19 KJV) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Jesus promised to the overcomers in Thyatira Ė

(Rev 2:28 KJV) And I will give him the morning star.

To those who overcome the things of the world, God gives us the hope that thereís a new day coming.

:17 the Spirit and the bride say, Come.

Here's the final invitation of the Bible.

We know that "the bride" is the church (Eph. 5:25), and here itís the Spirit and the bride that speak together, itís the Holy Spirit speaking through us that gives this invitation.

Jesus said that we wouldnít be good "inviters" until the Holy Spirit came upon us Ė

(Acts 1:8 KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Lesson:

Be an inviter.

Jesus commanded us to go invite the world to Him Ė

MAT 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. "

What can you do if you have a hard time getting your nerve up to talk to people?

Pray for them.

I believe that if you start to sincerely pray for those you want to come to Jesus, that one of two things will happen. Either God will send someone to talk to them, or more likely, God will give you such a burden for them that you wonít be able to keep quiet.

:17 And let him that heareth say, Come.

In other words, the one that hears the words of this prophesy, as it was something that was to be read.

:17 And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Jesus said,

(John 7:37-38 KJV) In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. {38} He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Lesson:

The one that comes has knows their need.

This is one of the ingredients in a person coming to the Lord.

They have to know that they need Him.

If you are praying for a person to come to the Lord, then pray that God will help them to see their NEED for Jesus.

:18 If any man shall add Ö take away Ö

We often hear this in relation to Mormons, in that they've added to the Bible. I think there's some validity to this application of this verse, but we need to keep in mind that John wasn't writing about the entire Bible, he was just referring to the book of Revelation.

On the other hand, God gives us a similar warning in Deuteronomy concerning the Law:

De 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Lesson:

Donít mess with Godís Word.

Just take it for what it says.

If Godís Word is silent, we should be silent. When Godís Word speaks on a subject, we best pay attention.

:20 Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

From Walvoord's commentary, quoting a man named Seiss,

"Fiction has painted the picture of a maiden whose lover left her for a voyage to the Holy Land, promising on his return to make her his beloved bride. Many told her that she would never see him again. But she believed his word, and evening by evening she went down to the lonely shore, and kindled there a beacon-light in sight of the roaring waves, to hail and welcome the returning ship which was to bring again her betrothed. And by that watchfire she took her stand each night, praying to the winds to hasten on the sluggish sails, that he who was everything to her might come. Even so that blessed Lord, who has loved us unto death, has gone away to the mysterious Holy Land of heaven, promising on his return to make us his happy and eternal Bride. Some say that he has gone forever, and that here we shall never see him more. But his last word was, "Yea, I come quickly." And on the dark and misty beach sloping out into the eternal sea, each true believer stands by the love-lit fire, looking, and waiting , and praying and hoping for the fulfillment of his work, in nothing gladder than in his pledge and promise, and calling ever from the soul of sacred love, "EVEN SO, COME, LORD JESUS." And {one} of these nights, while the world is busy with its gay frivolities, and laughing at the maiden on the shore, a form shall rise over the surging waves, as once on Galilee, to vindicate forever all this watching and devotion, and bring to the faithful and constant heart a joy, and glory, and triumph which nevermore shall end."