Revelation 21-22

Sunday Evening Bible Study

July 15, 2001


We’ve moved into eternity, and are now going to look at our main dwelling place, the New Jerusalem.

Revelation 21

:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.

one of the seven angels

We saw these seven angels specifically mentioned starting in Rev.15, when they were preparing to pour out their bowls of wrath. Then in chapter 16 they poured out their bowls.

In Rev.17:1 one of the seven angels showed took John into the wilderness to show him the judgment of Babylon the great, the mother of harlots.

Now in contrast, one of them takes him to a great mountain to show him the bride of the Lamb.

the bridenumphe – a betrothed woman, a bride; a recently married woman, young wife

wifegune – a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow; a wife

:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

in the spiritIt seems that much of what John does is “in the spirit”, starting back in chapter 1.

descending out of heaven from God – Some think it might be entering into an earth orbit since it never says that it actually touches the earth.

:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

lightphoster – that which gives light, an illuminator; of the stars, sun and moon; light, brightness

most precioustimios – as of great price, precious; held in honour, esteemed, especially dear

jasper iaspis – jasper, a precious stone of various colours (some are purple, others blue, others green, and others the colour of brass)

I think the idea is a kind of translucence about it, a kind of glow.

clear as crystalkrustallizo – to be of crystalline brightness and transparency; to shine like crystal

:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

gatespulon – a large gate: of a palace; the front part of a house, into which one enters through the gate, porch

twelve angels – An angel is standing guard at each gate, not “Saint Peter”

It's interesting to point out here, at verse TWELVE, that the number 12 is very prominent in the New Jerusalem.

12 gates (vs.12) 12 angels (vs.12) 12 tribes of Israel (vs.12) 12 foundation stones (vs.14) 12 apostles (vs.14) 12 thousand furlongs is length (vs.16) 12 times 12 cubits is walls width (vs.17) 12 gates (vs.21) 12 kinds of fruit (22:2)

:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

When Israel was in the wilderness, God organized the nation by their tribes and they were organized into four main groups (Numbers 2). The group on the east was Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. The group on the south was Rueben, Simeon, and Gad. The Levites were in the center of the camp with the Ark. The group on the west was Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin. The group on the north was Dan, Asher, and Naphtali.

I wonder if this same grouping might be employed in the gates of the city.

:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

the twelve apostles of the Lamb – There are twelve foundation stones to this city wall. We will see what these stones are made of in verses 19-20.

Is Judas considered one of the twelve? If not, who is the “twelfth”? Perhaps Matthias (Acts 1:26); perhaps Paul (1Cor. 15:8).

Seeing these two groupings of twelve mentioned side by side (twelve gates, twelve foundation stones) is part of the reason why I believe the “twenty-four elders” in heaven would be composed of twelve from the church and twelve from Israel.

:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

reedkalamos – a reed; a staff made of a reed, a reed staff; a measuring reed or rod

:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

foursquaretetragonos (“four” + “corner”) – quadrangular, square

lengthmekos – length

breadthplatos – breadth; suggesting great extent

(twelve thousand) furlongsstadion – a space or distance of about 600 feet (185 m); total (12,000 x 600) is 1384 miles, almost halfway across the United States, roughly from here to Dallas.

heighthupsos – height

length and the breadth and the height – This place isn’t laid out in two dimensions but three. 

Remember, we'll have those new, updated, jazzy resurrection bodies that can go through walls, travel at the speed of light, and FLY.

Will the New Jerusalem be big enough to hold everybody?

The volume is 2.6 billion cubic miles.

If you planned on leaving 1/4 mile cubed for each person (8 people per cubic mile), that make room for over 20 billion people. There haven't even been that many people ever alive let alone being believers. Even if you got extravagant and gave each person 1 cubic mile, you'd have enough room for over 2 1/2 billion people.

Keep in mind, this is just one city that comes down onto a new heaven and new earth. There will be plenty of space.

:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

an hundred and forty and four cubits – a cubit is about 18 inches, the length from a man’s elbow to the tip of his middle finger. 144 cubits is about 216 feet (1.5 x 144), or 72 yards, the thickness of the wall.

the measure of a man – It sounds as if the angels use the same kinds of measurements that we humans do.  Interesting.

:18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

jasperiaspis – jasper, a precious stone of various colours (for some are purple, others blue, others green, and others the colour of brass)

The foundations of the wall are going to have different colors in them, but the majority of the wall is this “jasper”, which we’ve seen back in verse 11.

goldchrusion – gold, both that which lies imbedded in the earth and is dug out of it

pure katharos – clean, pure

glasshualos – any stone transparent like glass; glass

clear katharos – clean, pure

How can gold be clear (or, pure) like glass?

The word “like” (homoios) means “like”, “similar”, “resembling”. It could be that the gold is very, very shiny, resembling shiny, clean glass.

Some have suggested that it might be possible to refine gold to the point that it would be transparent. I haven’t seen any actual documentation on this though, and we don’t have that ability yet, humanly speaking.

:19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

Remember in verse 14 that there are twelve foundation stones, and each has the name of one of the twelve apostles.

This is pretty difficult stuff to interpret. We are looking at ancient Greek words, and are as yet unclear as to exactly what some of these stones are. There are also mentions of certain stones in the Old Testament, and it’s not altogether clear which Greek names of stones match up with the Hebrew names of stones.

jasper (iaspis) – clear? Greenish?

sapphire (sappheiros) – clear dark blue?

chalcedony – (chalkedon) – opaque white

emerald (smaragdos) – clear green

sardonyx – (sardonux) – opaque red and white layers

sardius (sardios) – opaque red stone

chrysolite (chrusolithos) – clear yellow; Greek literally means "gold stone".

beryl (berullos) – clear darker yellow; some say pale green.

topaz (topazion) – clear pink; some say greenish yellow.

chrysoprasus (chrusoprasos) – opaque light green

jacinth (huakinthos) – hyacinth, the name of a flower, also of a precious stone of the same colour, a dark blue verging on black.

amethyst (amethustos) – clear purple

Think about it …

As you get to think what these foundation stones are made of, what they look like, remember the size of the place.

If there are twelve stones and four walls, then it makes sense that there are three stones to a wall.
If there are three stones to a wall, then each stone would probably be about 460 miles long, and 72 yards thick. Imagine stones that big!!!
Another possibility is that each stone extends around the entire city, one on top of another. Each stone would be 1377 miles long, wrapping around the city.

Also, think of the sight this city will make, being lit up by the glory of God, with these huge stones, many of them translucent, with all their colors. Imagine!!!

There seems to be some kind of parallel with the stones in the breastplate of the high priest (Ex. 28:15-21).  It’s hard to match the stones exactly but this might simply be a difference between the Greek and Hebrew names of the stones.

If indeed these are the same stones as the High Priest’s Breastplate, perhaps the idea is to remind the people where they’re going. A little reminder of heaven while on earth.

:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.


(Rev 21:21 NASB) …each one of the gates was a single pearl…

This is where we get the phrase, “the pearly gates”.

A pearl is not a “kosher” thing. It comes from an oyster, which was considered an “unclean” animal.

What we see is a little something for the Gentiles. It’s not just going to be Jews in heaven.

It's pretty amazing to think that there would be a pearl big enough to be a city gate, especially for a city this huge. But what I'd really like to see is size of the oyster that made the pearl!

pure katharos – clean, pure

It seems that everything in the city is “pure”.

The city is of “pure” gold:
Re 21:18 And the building of the wall of it was [of] jasper: and the city [was] pure gold, like unto clear glass.
The streets are made of “pure” gold:
Re 21:21 And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
The river is of “pure” living water
Re 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.
There will be no “impurities” in heaven.

transparentdiaphanes (“through” + “shine”) – transparent, translucent

:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

templenaos – used of the temple at Jerusalem, but only of the sacred edifice (or sanctuary) itself, consisting of the Holy place and the Holy of Holies (in classical Greek it is used of the sanctuary or cell of the temple, where the image of gold was placed which is distinguished from the whole enclosure)

There will be no need of a structure to remind people to worship God.  We’ll be there with Him.

:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

glorydoxa – opinion; in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory; splendour, brightness

lightluchnos – a lamp, candle, that is placed on a stand or candlestick

This is a quote from Isaiah:

(Isa 60:19-20 KJV) The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. {20} Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

Read these passages carefully. They don’t say that there will be no sun or moon, only that the city doesn’t need their light, because it has its own light source.

The commentators disagree whether there will be an actual sun or moon. Some say there will be no sun or moon, others just say that there is no need for them.

I believe that there just might be a sun and moon, but since God Himself will radiate the city with His glory, their purpose won't be to light it up.

:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

which are savedsozo – to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; to save in the technical biblical sense

Some Bibles don’t have “of them which are saved” because some Greek manuscripts contain the phrase, and some don’t. The King James and New King James translate from one set of manuscripts, while the NAS and NIV use another.

It really doesn’t make a difference anyway, because only those who are saved will make it this far anyway.


In the new heaven and earth, there will be some sense of national identity that is carried over from the old earth.

It seems that the New Jerusalem will be orbiting the earth, and on the earth there will be inhabitants made up of those who have been saved.

:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

shutkleio – to shut, shut up

This is a quote from Isaiah again:

(Isa 60:11 KJV) Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.

In the ancient days, the gates of a city were closed at night to keep attacking armies from marching straight into the city without a fight.

With this city, there will be no night since the light source will be around all the time. The gates won’t ever be shut.


Heaven is always open

Even in the current heaven, the same “light source” is there. God is always on His throne.
You can call on heaven at any time of day or night. There is no “night” in heaven.
God never takes a break.
(Psa 121:4 KJV) Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

they – the kings of the earth

:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

that defilethkoinoo – to make common; to make (Levitically) unclean, render unhallowed, defile, profane; to declare or count unclean

abominationbdelugma (“stinky”) – a foul thing, a detestable thing


Heaven is a wonderful place

You’ll want to go there.  There will be nothing yucky about heaven!
This 85 year old couple, having been married almost 60 years, had died in a car crash. They had been in good health the last ten years mainly due to her interest in health food, and exercise. When they reached the pearly gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen and master bath suite and Jacuzzi. As they “oohed and aahed” the old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. “It’s free, “ Peter replied, “this is heaven.” Next they went out back to survey the championship golf course that the home backed up to. They would have golfing privileges everyday and each week the course changed to a new one representing the great golf courses on earth. The old man asked, “what are the green fees?”. Peter’s reply, “This is heaven, you play for free.” Next they went to the club house and saw the lavish buffet lunch with the cuisine’s of the world laid out. “How much to eat?” asked the old man. “Don’t you understand yet? This is heaven, it is free!” Peter replied with some exasperation. “Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol tables?” the old man asked timidly. Peter lectured, “That’s the best can eat as much as you like of whatever you like and you never get fat and you never get sick. This is heaven.” With that the old man went into a fit of anger, throwing down his hat and stomping on it, and shrieking wildly. Peter and his wife both tried to calm him down, asking him what was wrong. The old man looked at his wife and said, “This is all your fault. If it weren’t for your blasted bran muffins, I could have been here ten years ago!”

Revelation 22

:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Remember that John is still being shown around the New Jerusalem by one of the seven angels with the bowls (Rev. 21:9)

purekatharos – clean, pure

water of life

There are no definite articles (the word “the”) in this phrase, so it’s not that we’d say that John is looking at “the water of life”, but it almost seems that the picture is that of pure “life” flowing from God’s throne, flowing like a river of water.

It looks as if this river, whatever it actually is, is something we’ll be drinking from.

(Rev 22:17 KJV) 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.

clear lampros – shining; brilliant; clear, transparent; splendid, magnificent

I kind of get the idea that this river is glowing.

crystalkrustallos – crystal, a kind of precious stone


True life comes from God

John 4 – drink from this well and you’ll thirst again

:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life

tree of life

This is the same tree that was found in the Garden of Eden.

The "tree of life" is found in 7 places in the Bible.
To start, we need to go way, way back in time, when the world was young, and God had just created everything...
Gen 2:8-9 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. {9} And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
God put man in charge of the garden, to take care of it, and simply gave man one commandment...
Gen 2:15-17 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. {16} And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: {17} But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
It was only the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that man was forbidden to eat. Man was allowed to eat from the tree of life. Apparently he never took the opportunity.
But we know how the story goes...and man blew it. Adam ate from the forbidden tree, and sin and death entered man. God was concerned that man might eat the fruit from the tree of life and end up living forever in his sin...
Gen 3:22-24 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: {23} Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. {24} So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Note: Eating from this tree results in living forever.

Question: What happened to the tree of life? What happened to Eden?
They were probably destroyed in the flood of Noah's time. Don't bother trying to find them now.
Man was banned from the tree of life...until he could be redeemed and cleansed from his sin.
How was man redeemed?
(Gal 3:13 KJV) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Interesting that another tree comes into the picture. In a sense, the cross too is a tree of life.

The next time we see the tree of life, it is in a promise to the church of Ephesus:
(Rev 2:7 KJV) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Finally, when we see it in our passage, it is in the New Jerusalem, waiting to be harvested!!! As citizens of the New Jerusalem, we'll be making tree-of-life-fruit salads!!
(Rev 22:14 KJV) Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

:2  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.

twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month

The picture seems to be that this tree will bear fruit every month, not just once a year, but continually. It’s possible that every month might be a new fruit, or it could be just that each month a new crop of fruit appears.

healingtherapeia – service rendered by one to another; spec. medical service: curing, healing

It is felt that this should better be translated "the leaves of the tree were for the good-health of the nations".

It’s not that the nations are going to get sick in eternity, but that the leaves promote good health.

:3 And there shall be no more curse:

cursekatanathema (kata + anathema) – curse

Literally, “and every curse shall be no more

This could be talking about the curse that has been on humankind since Adam (Gen. 3), but I wonder if there’s more to it than just that.

anathema is used to express a great curse or condemnation on a person, such as –

1Co 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
Ga 1:8-9 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be (anathema) accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed (anathema).
A person who is anathema will not be in the New Jerusalem.


A burden for the lost.

This also shows us how great a love Paul had for his own Jewish countrymen –
Ro 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed (anathema) from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

Not that we could actually make ourselves accursed for another person’s sake, but this is still a pretty strong statement.

What kind of a burden do you have for the lost?

:3  but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

servantsdoulos – a slave, servant; a term often used to describe us (“well done good and faithful servant”)

shall servelatreuo – to serve for hire; in the NT, to render religious service or homage, to worship; to perform sacred services, to offer gifts, to worship God in the observance of the rites instituted for his worship


Practice for heaven

Grow to serve
(Luke 22:20-27 KJV)  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. {21} But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. {22} And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! {23} And they began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.
Jesus had never told the disciples who it was that was going to betray Him.  Judas wasn’t the apostle wearing the black leather jacket.  Nobody had a clue that Judas was the betrayer.  In fact, Matthew records (Mat. 26:22) that the disciples all asked, “Is it me?”
{24} And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.
Somehow the disciples moved from wondering if they were each the betrayer into arguing over who was the greatest.  Perhaps John said, “Is it me?”   And Peter answered, “You sure look like a traitor to ME!”  Maybe James replied, “Well who are you?”  And Peter replied, “I’m the ROCK!”
{25} And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. {26} But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. {27} For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
Jesus was trying to tell the guys that being the most mature means being the most like a servant.
Maturity in the Lord doesn’t mean that you grow to the place where others can do what you order.  Maturity in the Lord means that you grow up to serve others.
You see this with the disciples even after Jesus was raised from the dead.  Jesus gave Peter a hint about how Peter was going to die, and it didn’t sound too thrilling to Peter:
(John 21:18-22 KJV)  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. {19} This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. {20} Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? {21} Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? {22} Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

Peter’s reply was a lot like ours when we think that we’re getting a bad deal from the Lord.  We want to know if God is being fair and ruining someone else’s life as much as He’s ruining ours.  But Jesus simply replies, “Hey pal, it’s none of your business what happens to someone else, you just focus on following Me!”

Do you serve or do you expect to be served?
If you’ve been a Christian for a little while, there ought to be a point in your life where you give more to others than you receive.

When you come to church, how much do you give and how much do you receive?  If you’ve been coming to this church consistently for the last six months, the challenge is to you.

There is a point as a Christian where you can only grow so far until you start giving out, when you start serving others.  You will start plateau in your Christian walk and aren’t going to go much further until you serve.

So – you want to be a servant?  What kinds of things could you do to serve at church?

:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

they shall seeoptanomai – to look at, behold

faceprosopon – the face

his name shall be in their foreheads – the 144,000 have the seal of God, which is the name of God, on their foreheads (Rev. 7:3; 14:1). Those who worship the antichrist will have the mark of the beast on their right hand and their foreheads (Rev. 13:16).


True satisfaction is in Him.

What does it take to satisfy you?
David wrote,

(Psa 17:15 KJV) As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

There ought to be a part of us that is only satisfied when we’re with the Lord.
The Sailor and the Lady
John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn’t, the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind.
In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner’s name, Miss Hollis Maynell. With time and effort he located her address. She lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II. During the next year and one month the two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn’t matter what she looked like. When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting - 7:00 PM at the Grand Central Station in New York.
“You’ll recognize me,” she wrote, “by the red rose I’ll be wearing on my lapel.” So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he’d never seen.
I’ll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened:
A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips. “Going my way, sailor?” she murmured.
Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own.
And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her.
This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful. I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. “I’m Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?”
The woman’s face broadened into a tolerant smile. “I don’t know what this is about, son,” she answered, “but the young lady in the green suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!”

For years now we have grown to know more and more about our God through the letters He’s written to us. The more we read His love letters, the more we fall in love with Him. Yet there will be a day when we won’t just know Him by His letters, we will SEE Him face to face.

(1 Cor 13:12 KJV) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

: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:

candleluchnos – a lamp, candle, that is placed on a stand or candlestick

giveth … lightphotizo – to give light, to shine; to enlighten, light up, illumine

We saw this back in Rev.21:23.

Again, it may not indicate that there will actually be no sun or moon, only that there is no need for them since God lights up the whole city.


Night’s almost over

I think that sometimes the middle of the night can be the worst part of life.  Sometimes you’re the one that’s sick.  Sometimes it’s a little one with a fever.  Our lives are like a bad night waiting for the dawn.
I have hope in the future. The Bible speaks about bodies being glorified. I know the meaning of that now. It's the time after my death here when I, the quadriplegic, will be on my feet dancing.

-- Joni Eareckson Tada, quoted by John R. W. Stott, "The Up-to-the-Minute Relevance of the Resurrection," Preaching Today, Tape No. 79.

Keep going.  Work until morning.

:5  and they shall reign for ever and ever.

they shall reignbasileuo – to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign

What will we be ruling over?

Who knows???? The Bible doesn't make that part clear.

:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

faithfulpistos – trusty, faithful; of persons who show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties; one who kept his plighted faith, worthy of trust; that can be relied on

truealethinos – that which has not only the name and resemblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name, in every respect corresponding to the idea signified by the name, real, true genuine; opposite to what is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretended; opposite to what is imperfect defective, frail, uncertain; true, veracious, sincere

servantsdoulos – a slave, bondman, man of servile condition; a servant, attendant

shortlytachos – quickness, speed

Literally, “the things which are necessary to be done in quickness

:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

I come – the verb is a “present” tense, meaning that He is continually, currently coming.

quicklytachu – quickly, speedily (without delay)

blessedmakarios – blessed, happy

he that keepethtereo – to attend to carefully, take care of; to guard; to observe

sayingslogos – word

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!"


When it happens, it happens quickly

quicklytachu – (“tachometer”) quickly, speedily (without delay). This is the same basic word that’s translate “shortly” in verse 6.
It’s a word that’s used in –

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. There’s going to be lots of evidence that it’s close, but when His actual coming happens, people aren’t going to get a 10 minute warning!


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.
Jesus wants all of us to live as if He could home at any moment.
Guys, have you ever had a day off while your wife had to work, and you goof off all day until the last ½ hour, when you quickly start getting all your “honey-do” chores out of the way?

There’s a commercial on TV about a gal leaving for the day and she gives her husband one job to do.  Then the commercial shows the guy sitting on the sofa watching TV, dozing off, watching cartoons, time passing, and he hears the sound of her car in the driveway.  Panic sets in!  He goes on his computer and gets the job done, but just barely!

Don’t expect to wait for the last minute until Jesus returns.  He has lots for us to do.

: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 showed me these things.

to worshipproskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence; in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication

:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

fellowservantsundoulos – a fellow servant, one who serves the same master with another

This isn’t the first time that John has tried to worship this angel. John had already tried this back in Rev. 19:10; and was rebuked back then. But John is again overcome with emotion at all that he’s seen and forgot and worshipped the angel again.

:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

sealsphragizo – to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal; since things sealed up are concealed (as the contents of a letter), to hide, keep in silence, keep secret

at handeggus – near, of place and position; of times imminent and soon to come pass

Daniel’s prophecy was to 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.

Daniel’s prophecy was not for his time in history. It’s not until recently that we are seeing the things of Daniel unfold. It was meant for the “time of the end”, for the times we’re in right now.

John’s prophecy is for now. It is meant to be understood.

:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

unjustadikeo – to act unjustly or wickedly, to sin,; to be a criminal, to have violated the laws in some way; to do wrong; to do hurt

filthyrhupoo – to make filthy, defile, soil; to be filthy (morally)

righteousdikaios – righteous, observing divine laws; in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God

holyhagios – most holy thing, a saint; probably as its fundamental meaning separation, i.e., from the world to God’s service. This separation, however, is not chiefly external, it is rather a separation from evil and defilement.

This passage seems to be saying that a person isn’t going to change.

It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t let the things written in Revelation affect us because Jesus just said,

(Rev 22:7 KJV)  Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

There does seem to be a parallel in 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:  Perhaps Jesus is talking about being “real”.  If you are really an unjust person, don’t pretend to be “just”.  If you are really inside a “filthy” person, don’t try to cover it up.  Just be real.

:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

quicklytachu – quickly, speedily (without delay)

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

rewardmisthos – dues paid for work; wages, hire; reward: used of the fruit naturally resulting from toils and endeavours

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

Alphaa – first letter of Greek alphabet

Omegaomega – the last letter in the Greek alphabet

God the Father also claimed this for Himself earlier:

(Rev 1:8 KJV)  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

(Rev 21:6 KJV)  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Just like God (because He IS God), Jesus is the beginning of everything and the end of everything.  Everything starts with Him.  Everything ends with Him.  He is God.  He is the one who says “Go”.  He is the one who says, “Stop”.

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

blessedmakarios – blessed, happy

commandmentsentole – an order, command, charge, precept, injunction; a commandment

rightexousia – power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)

Some of the newer translations based on other Greek manuscripts read completely differently in the first phrase:

(Rev 22:14 NASB)  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.

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

:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

withoutexo – without, out of doors

This is referring to those who are in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 21:8)

dogskuon – a dog; metaph. a man of impure mind, an impudent man

Cat lovers, don’t 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.

sorcererspharmakos – pertaining to magical arts; one who uses pharmakeia, the use or the administering of drugs

whoremongerspornos – a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire; a male prostitute; a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator

murderersphoneus – a murderer, a homicide

idolaterseidololatres – a worshipper of false gods, a idolater

lovethphileo – to love; to approve of; to like; sanction; to treat affectionately or kindly, to welcome, befriend; to show signs of love; to kiss; to be fond of doing

liepseudos – a lie; conscious and intentional falsehood

: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.

unto you – the “you” is plural, Jesus is addressing the churches, not John here.

I am the root and the offspring of David – Jesus is both the source of David (“the root”) as well as the descendant or son of David (“the offspring”)

staraster – a star

brightlampros – shining; brilliant; clear, transparent; splendid, magnificent

morningorthrinos – early; from orthros – daybreak, dawn; at early dawn, at daybreak, early in the morning

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.”

: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.

whosoever willthelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to be resolved or determined, to purpose; to desire, to wish; to love; to like to do a thing, be fond of doing; to take delight in, have pleasure

Here's the final invitation of the Bible.

We know that “the bride” is the church (Eph. 5:25), and here it’s the Spirit and the bride that speak together, it’s the Holy Spirit speaking through us that gives this invitation.

Jesus said that we wouldn’t be good “inviters” until the Holy Spirit came upon us –

(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.


Extend the invitation

You are among those who are “hearing” this prophecy.  You have been invited to extend the invitation to those who need Jesus.
Jesus said –
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. "

:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

I testifysummartureo – to bear witness with, bear joint witness

shall addepitithemi – to put or lay upon; to add to

plaguesplege – a blow, stripe, a wound; a public calamity, heavy affliction, plague,

:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

take awayaphaireo – to take from, take away, remove, carry off; to cut off

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.


Don’t mess with God’s Word.

Just take it for what it says.
If God’s Word is silent, we should be silent. When God’s Word speaks on a subject, we best pay attention.

:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

testifiethmartureo – to be a witness, to bear witness, i.e. to affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something, or that he knows it because taught by divine revelation or inspiration

surelynai – yea, verily, truly, assuredly, even so

quicklytachu – quickly, speedily (without delay)


Keep watching and waiting

From John Walvoord's commentary, quoting 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.”