[This is an excerpt from my book, Mankind’s Final 7 Years Before Christ Returns: A verse-by-verse explanation of the book of Revelation]
22 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.
The throne of God is in the new Jerusalem (Revelation 21:3). We saw this river of water of life in Revelation 21:6. Zechariah 14:1-8 mentions a river of life which begins flowing at the second coming of Jesus. Jeremiah 2:13 and 17:13 says the Lord is the fountain of living water.
2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, 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.
The tree of life was mentioned in Revelation 2:7. Ezekiel 47:1-12 also speaks of a river flowing from the temple, with trees growing from each side whose leaves are for the healing of nations. Yet, Ezekiel’s temple is generally believed to be the millennial temple.
3 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:
We are His bond-servants if He is our lord. In Revelation 7:9-17, we saw the tribulation saints standing before the throne, serving God.
4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Like the 144,000, during the sixth seal, they are symbolically marked as belonging to God.
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: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
The reigning begins at the second coming of Jesus (Revelation 20:4), and continues through eternity.
6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
“These sayings” refers to the entirety of the revelations to John. They are faithful and true because they were sent from God.
As we saw earlier, “shortly” does not mean soon, it means in rapid succession.
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Two more times, in this chapter, it is said that Jesus will come quickly. The word “quickly” also does not necessarily mean “soon” but means without unnecessary delay. Yet in verse 10, the angel states that His coming is near.
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 shewed me these things.
John restates the fact, from verse 1 of chapter 1, that these revelations were given to him by God. As in Revelation 19:10, John is so overcome by the message that he attempts to worship the messenger.
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.
Deuteronomy 4:19 says “And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.”
10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
The words “is at hand” means “near”. In the Greek text, it is the same word Jesus used just before His crucifixion, when He said “my time is at hand” (Matthew 26:18), and also when John 11:18 mentions that Bethany was near Jerusalem.
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.
This verse may be a little difficult to understand at face value. John is not encouraging the wicked to continue sinning, but is stating the fact that they will. As we saw throughout Revelation, the wicked refused to repent even when faced with the wrath of God (9:20-21; 16:9, 11, 21). Also, Daniel 12:10 says that the wicked will continue to be wicked. (See also- Romans 1:18-32; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11)
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
As we saw in verse 7, “I come quickly”, is not referring to the amount of time that will pass before Jesus comes. God knows that 2,000 years does not fit our understanding of “quickly”. Also, “quickly” does not mean “at any time”. As we have seen in Revelation, the Bible is very clear that there are certain things that must take place before His coming (see also- 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). Quickly refers to the manner in which Jesus will come. Once it begins, it will happen in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52).
We should focus less on the manner or timing of the coming of Jesus, and focus more on His judgment. Each, and every person will be re-payed according to what he has done (Matthew 16:27). (See also Romans 2:5-10)
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
“The first and the last” is a title for God, used three times in the book of Isaiah. This is the fourth time this title is used in Revelation. Twice it referred to the Father, and twice it referred to the Son.
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.
This verse mirrors the promise, in Revelation 2:7, to those who overcome.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Again, this could be referring to the millennial kingdom, or to God’s eternal kingdom on the new earth (see also- 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). If it is the eternal kingdom then, at this point, all sinners have faced judgment (Revelation 21:8) and no longer exist on earth, as they did during the millennial kingdom. (See also- Galatians 5:19-21)
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.
John gave us these revelations, which he received from an angel sent by Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1). Jesus is the spiritual root, and the physical descendant of David (Matthew 22:42-45).
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.
We saw the river of the water of life, in verse 1, flowing from the throne.
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:
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.
Revelation 1:3 offers a blessing to those who read the Revelation of Jesus Christ, but in this verse, we are given a warning to those who teach it.
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Isaiah 25:9 says, “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen