Revelation 22:14-21

Sunday Morning Bible Study

August 26, 2012


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved?


We have made it through the prophetic portion of the book of Revelation:

We saw the unfolding of the events of the horrible seven year Tribulation.

We saw the Return of Jesus Christ to the earth followed by His 1,000 year reign.

We saw the New Jerusalem, where eternity with God unfolds.

Now we finish the book by putting it all into perspective, kind of like putting a “bow” on the package. Why all this focus on the future? Is there anything we can do about it?

22:14-21 Wrapping it up

: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.

:14 Blessed are those who do His commandments

Blessedmakarios – blessed, happy

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

Some versions have “wash their robes” here.

Some of the manuscripts (Alexandrian) read “plunontes tas stolas” instead of “poiountes tas entolas” (Byzantine).

Don’t worry too much about the differences, the point is that you have to do something (washing or obeying).

You have to respond to God’s tug on your heart.
When we respond by admitting our need to God, He forgives us and washes us.
But there is also a sense of “obedience” involved too.
We aren’t saved because of our works, but because of our faith. We are saved because we “believe” in Jesus.
Yet if our lives never change after we believe, if our lives don’t turn towards obedience, then something is drastically wrong.

We’ll see this woven throughout our next book – 1John.

:14 tree of life … the gates …

These are all parts of heaven, the New Jerusalem.

The tree of life is in the New Jerusalem.

(Re 22:2 NKJV) In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life…

There are twelve gates to the city, each one made of a giant pearl.

(Re 21:21 NKJV) The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl…

If you do what God asks, you will be in heaven.

Only those who are saved will be allowed to enter eternity.

(Re 21:25–27 NKJV) —25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

:15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

:15 outsideexo – without, out of doors

Some think that in the end, every person who has ever lived will be saved. But the truth is, there are going to be people who will not be able to enter into heaven.

:15 dogskuon – a dog

I thought that all dogs went to heaven. What’s up with this?

The term “dogs” is used for more than puppies. In ancient Jewish culture, dogs weren’t pets, they were annoying animals, despised. This word is used to describe men of low character, men of an impure mind.

Solomon wrote,

(Pr 26:11 NKJV) As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.

(Php 3:2 NKJV) —2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!

(2 Pe 2:20–22 NKJV) —20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

:15 sorcererspharmakos – pertaining to magical arts

We get our word “pharmacy” from this Greek word.

In the ancient world, this was the use of drugs to create a religious experience, to try to connect with God through the use of drugs.

Paul lists this as one of many things that keep a person from heaven:

(Ga 5:19–21 NKJV) —19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

:15 sexually immoralpornos –a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse

This is a pretty broad word. It seems to cover any kind of sexual relationship outside of marriage.

Greg Laurie:  “But isn’t it okay if we practice safe sex?  You need to save sex for marriage”

:15 murderersphoneus – a murderer, a homicide

:15 idolaterseidololatres – a worshipper of false gods, an idolater

:15 whoever loves and practices a lie

lovesphileo – to love; to approve of; to like; sanction

practicespoieo – to make; to do

liepseudos – a lie; conscious and intentional falsehood

I can’t help but think of politicians as an example of this.

Don’t get me wrong, not every politician is a liar (Honest Abe). But sometimes it sure is hard to tell who is telling the truth and who is lying. It seems that sometimes both sides can’t be telling the truth.

Some people think you can only survive by telling lies.  Not so.

It makes me think of news networks that put their own spin on things.
It also makes me think of those of us who “prefer” certain news networks because we only want to hear what we want to hear … we “love” the “lies” we want to hear.
Some of you may be thinking that I’m talking everyone who isn’t watching your network. No, I’m concerned about all of us who don’t want to watch more than our own network.


In or out?

The choice is yours. Will you be “in” heaven or will you be “out”.
You might think that because you have done some of the things listed here, that this means you are automatically out.
Not so. You may be doing these things now, but you can change.
(1 Co 6:9–11 NKJV) —9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
When you turn to God, He can and will forgive you and wash you. He will give you a new start.

Will you respond to God’s tug on your heart or just blow it off?

An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him, “How do you expect to get into heaven?” The boy thought it over and said, “Well, I’ll just run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, ‘For heaven’s sake, Jimmy, come in or stay out.’”

You can’t wait until you die to choose.  You have to choose now.  Are you in or out?  Which are you?

: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.”

:16 sent My angel

This is the fellow that has been showing John these things.

:16 to testify to you these things in the churches

At the beginning of the book, John told us that these things were written to the seven churches of Asia (modern Turkey).

:16 I am the Root and the Offspring of David

I amego eimi – the Greek equivalent to God’s name, the “I Am”.

Jesus is quoting from a familiar Messianic passage. He is reiterating that He is indeed the promised Messiah.

(Is 11:1 NKJV) There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The prophecy speaks of the Messiah coming from David, being the offspring of David.
Jesus goes a step further and says He is also the “Root” of David.

He is the God of David (the Root).

This concept of Jesus being both the God and Lord of David, as well as the much anticipated descendant of David was a concept that the Jews in Jesus’ day had trouble comprehending.

(Mt 22:41–46 NKJV) —41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: 44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’? 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.
A “son” is someone who should show respect to his father. Yet there was this ancient prophecy where David is calling his descendant “Lord”.
How so? Because Jesus is God who has always existed. And when He took on human flesh, He became the offspring of David.

:16 the Bright and Morning Star



The “morning star” is a name given to the planet Venus when it appears in the east just before the sunrise.
After the moon, Venus is the brightest object in the night sky, bright enough to even cast shadows.
When the planet appears before sunrise, it’s a picture of hope.
Nights can sometimes be very long, especially when you are sick.
Have you ever lay awake at night tossing and turning, waiting for the light of day?
The Morning Star is a hint that the dawn is almost here.
No matter how dark the night of present world history is, the “Bright and Morning Star”, Jesus, tells us that a better day is coming, a brand new world where all will be joy and peace forever.
It’s that hope that keeps us going on, making choices to do good instead of evil, knowing that in the end it will all be worth it.
It’s been said …
Man can live about forty days without food,
About three days without water,
About eight minutes without air,
But not a second without hope.
Hope Delivers
Hope delivers us from the despair that nothing we do matters, and enables us to tackle even the most menial job with vigor.
Elmer Bendiner tells the remarkable story of a B-17 bomber that flew a bombing mission over Germany in the latter days of World War II. The plane was hit several times by shells and flak, with some of the hits directly in the fuel tank. Miraculously, the bomber did not explode. When it landed, eleven unexploded twenty-millimeter shells were taken out of the fuel tank! The shells were dismantled, and to the amazement of everyone, all were empty of explosives. Inside of one shell was a note written in Czech. Translated, it read, “This is all we can do for you now.” A member of the Czech underground, working in a German munitions factory, had removed the explosives in at least eleven of the twenty-millimeter shells on his assembly line.
That worker must have wondered often if the quiet work he was doing to subvert the Nazi war effort was going to make any difference whatsoever to the outcome of the war.

- Ben Patterson, The Grand Essentials

He kept doing what was right because of he had “hope”.

Jesus is our hope.  He is our guarantee of a sure future in heaven.
Because of our hope in heaven, we can keep doing what is right and saying “no” to what is wrong.
God’s Word works in a similar way in our lives:
(2 Pe 1:19 The Message) We couldn’t be more sure of what we saw and heard—God’s glory, God’s voice. The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You’ll do well to keep focusing on it. It’s the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts.
Jesus promised to the overcomers in Thyatira –
(Re 2:28 NKJV) and I will give him the morning star.

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

: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.

:17 the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”

The “Spirit” refers to the Holy Spirit.

The “bride” refers to the church, the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:25)

(Eph 5:25 NKJV) —25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

The Spirit works through the church, giving an invitation to the world to “Come” and follow Jesus.

Jesus said that we (the church) needed the Spirit working through us in order to be the best witnesses:

(Ac 1:8 NKJV) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
It’s the Holy Spirit in our lives that gives us the ability to be good witnesses of Jesus Christ.

:17 let him who hears say, “Come!”

That’s us as individuals. We are the ones who have “heard”.  Now we say “Come”.



Some people just need us to say “Hi” to start with.
PlayJust Say Hi” clip.
To church
For some folks it’s not an easy thing to cross the threshold of a church. But if you invite them and sit with them, you take some of the pressure off.

There is even still time to invite a friend to the Harvest Crusade.

To Jesus
(Jn 1:40–42 NKJV) —40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus….
(Jn 1:43–46 NKJV) —43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
The biggest “invite” we can give is to invite people to think about Jesus, and to make a choice to follow Him. Don’t just share the gospel, invite them.
When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at a well, she was so surprised that He, a Jew, would say “hi” to her, a Samaritan. As they began to talk, she was blown away with who Jesus was.
(Jn 4:28–30 NKJV) —28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.

:17 let him who thirsts come

Are you thirsty for God?

Are you thirsty for eternal life?

Then respond to God’s invitation

:17 Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely

desiresthelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to desire, to wish

freelydorean – freely, as a gift


Anyone can come

“Water of life” refers to salvation, the water of “eternal life”.
All you need in order to drink from the water of life is to “desire” it.
Some folks have this notion that they are not good enough to find eternal life, that they are not worthy of heaven.
Even some of the great Christians through history have had this struggle, thinking that they were not worthy of being saved. The great preacher Charles Spurgeon even grew up in a preacher’s family, but he thought that he wasn’t worthy of God’s love:

PlaySpurgeon Movie” clip

You may think that you are too great of a sinner.
You may think that you have committed the unpardonable sin.
You may think that you’ve asked for forgiveness too many times.
You may feel like you are just too big of a failure for God to ever love.
The truth is, God didn’t send His Son to die on a cross for you because you were good enough, but because you needed Him to pay for your sins.
(Ro 5:8 NKJV) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
All you need is a “desire” for God.
You too can simply “receive” what God has for you.

(Jn 1:12 NKJV) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

All you need is to have a “desire” for the things of God.
(Is 55:1–2 NKJV) —1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
It doesn’t cost you anything.

It cost God everything.

God loved you so much that He gave His Son for you, to die for you, to pay for your sins.

And now all you need to do is to say “yes” to Him.

:18 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;

:19 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.

:18 testifysummartureo – to bear witness with, bear joint witness

This is a “joint witness”. John isn’t the only one saying that you need to pay attention to this warning. God also wants to make sure that you pay attention.

:18 adds … will addepitithemi – to put or lay upon; to add to

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

This book has been filled with difficulties in the Tribulation period, as well as the eternal “plague” of the Lake of Fire.

:19 takes away … shall take awayaphaireo – to take from, take away, remove, carry off; to cut off

:19 his part from the Book of Life …

It sounds as if you could lose your salvation if you take away from this book.

:18-19 If anyone adds … takes away


Messing with truth

Keep in mind the context here. The warning is about adding or taking away from the book of Revelation.
It’s a dangerous thing to alter the words of Revelation.
There is a similar warning in the book of Deuteronomy:
(Dt 4:2 NKJV) You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

If you want to get specific, this is a warning about the “Law”, the first five books of the Bible.

Even though these warnings are about specific portions of the Bible, the principle applies to all of God’s Word.
There are religious groups that can cause a lot of trouble because of what they “add” or “take away” from the truth.
Some groups like the Jehovah Witnesses try to “take away” the fact that Jesus is God in the flesh.

They say He is just a created being, like an angel.

Other groups like to “add” to the truth by adding their own books, like the Mormons adding their “Book of Mormon” and a whole slew of other documents.

Mormonism teaches that all good Mormons will progress after death into becoming their own “gods” over their own planets.

There is a danger when things are not labeled like they should be.
I keep muriatic acid in our garage to help with the upkeep of our pool.  Muriatic acid is an incredibly dangerous chemical.  You will die if you drink it.

But what if I decided to keep some of it in a milk carton, and somehow it made its way into the refrigerator and I forgot to change the label on it?

What if one of my sons decides to pour himself a glass of “milk” and drinks it before paying attention to what he just poured out?

The Bible contains clear truth about who God is, who we are, and how we are to relate to God.
It’s really important that we don’t “mislabel” or distort the truth.

:20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

:20 He who testifies to these things

Jesus is the one that is telling the readers that these things are true.

And He is coming quickly.

:20 Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

This is John’s reply to Jesus saying He is coming quickly.

How do you respond to the truth that He is coming quickly?

Some of us live and plan our lives based on our “to do” list.  The busier you get, the more important it is that you learn to prioritize.  When things get busy, only the most important things stay on your calendar.

Would you be willing to rearrange your calendar and “to do” list if Jesus came tomorrow?

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

:21 gracecharis – grace; that which affords joy, pleasure, delight; unmerited favor

Grace is what God has done for us when we didn’t deserve it.

God sent His Son Jesus to pay for our sins, not because we deserved it, but because we needed it.

This is a great way to end the book about the future – we all need the grace of Jesus in our lives.

It’s only with God’s grace that we survive.  It’s only with God’s grace that we have eternal life.

Are you “In” or “Out”?  Are you ready to say “yes” to Jesus?

PlayCome Just As You Are” video.