Revelation Bible Prophecy

Bible Prophecy really can be understood

Revelation 1:3
“Blessed is he who reads and
those who hear the words of this
prophecy, and keep those things
which are written in it for the
time is near.”
Revelation 1:1-3

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

Revelation Chapter 22

Revelation 22:1And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Pure river of water of life - An image often used in the Scriptures to represent salvation. It is compared with a fountain that flows in abundance where all may freely quench their thirst. Compare Ezekiel's description of the river. (Ezekiel 47:1)

Clear - Greek lampros - Meaning “brilliant,” “bright.” Compare the use of the word in Luke 23:11; Acts 10:30; Revelation 4:6; 15:6; 19:8; 22:16.

Out of the throne - Compare Ezekiel 47:1; Zechariah 14:8.

Revelation 22:2In 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.

Tree of life - Compare Ezekiel's “many trees.” (Ezekiel 47:7, 12) For the tree in the original Garden of Eden see Genesis 2:9. The tree is a symbol of eternal life from the source of life. Compare Revelation 21:10.

Twelve manner of fruits - There will be a constant abundance sufficient to meet the needs of the saved throughout eternity. Compare Ezekiel 47:12.

Healing - Greek therapeia - Meaning “service,” “healing,” sometimes collectively “household attendants.” There are only four occurrences of the word in the NT. (cf. Matthew 24:45; Luke 9:11; 12:42) In classical Greek therapeia has the various meanings of “service,” “nurture,” “care.” For the function of the tree of life in Eden restored, see references above under “tree of life.”

Revelation 22:3And 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:

Curse - Greek katathema - Meaning “the thing [or “person”] cursed.” The word is probably to be distinguished from anathema, a curse pronounced as a sentence upon some thing or some person.

Throne - This suggests that God and Christ will reign in the city. This is possible because no accursed thing will be found there.

Shall serve - Greek latreuo - Meaning “to serve,” “to worship,” “to minister.” The word refers to normal spontaneous serving and is distinguished from leitourgeo, the word that means official service in an appointed office. (Exodus 29:30)

Note: Hover your mouse over the word “in” for the tooltip.

Revelation 22:4And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

See his face - An expression denoting intimate relations with another person and mutual confidence. See Psalms 17:15; Matthew 5:8; Hebrews 12:14; 1 John 3:2. Compare the experience of Moses (Exodus 33:20-23)

In their foreheads - Rather “upon their foreheads.” The divine name in the forehead is a symbol of ownership and authentication. The saints' entire consecration in a life of worship to God is stressed here. (Revelation 7:3; 13:16)

Revelation 22:5And 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.

No night - This verse draws a word picture emphasizing the insignificance of created luminaries in the presence of God. These will pale into nothingness in the presence of the glory of the divine person. (see notes on Revelation 21:23)

Giveth them light - Textual evidence attests the reading “will illuminate them.” This condition represents a reestablishment and recommencement of harmonious relations, which relations had been severed by sin.

They shall reign - Compare Revelation 5:10. This does not mean they will reign over one another, nor over other worlds. It is probably a figure of the felicity of the redeemed. No longer will they be under the oppressive hand of some persecuting power. They will enjoy the freedom and abundance of kings.

Revelation 22:6And 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.

Faithful and true - A statement of the trustworthiness and genuineness of God's revelation. The prophecy as given by the angel is authentic.

Of the holy prophets - Textual evidence attests the reading “of the spirits of the prophets.” The “spirits of the prophets” may be regarded as a reference to the prophets' own spirits under the control of the Holy Spirit when they were in vision. The Holy Spirit illumined John's spirit as He had the spirits of the Old Testament prophets. (Revelation 1:10) The entire Revelation is a testimony to the control of John's spirit in vision by the Holy Spirit.

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

I come Quickly - The angel is quoting Jesus. The reference is to the second coming. See notes on Revelation 1:1.

Blessed - Another of the seven beatitudes of Revelation. (cf. Revelation 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:14)

The sayings - The various counsels and warnings of this book.

Revelation 22:8And 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.

Saw - The passage reads literally, “I John, the one seeing these things and hearing.”

Fell down to worship - Perhaps as an act of homage, which act the angel rejected. The grandeur of the vision must have completely overwhelmed the prophet and made him feel extremely humble. Moreover, the angel had been quoting Jesus Christ as if the Lord Himself were speaking.

Revelation 22:9Then saith he unto me, See you do it not: for I am your fellowservant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

Fellowservant - Literally “fellow slave,” “fellow bondsman.”

Which keep the sayings - Compare Revelation 19:10 where apparently the same group is described as “thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus.” “The sayings of this book” are the testimony of Jesus. (see notes on Revelation 1:2)

Worship God - See notes on Revelation 14:7.

Revelation 22:10And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

Seal not the sayings - This is opposite to the command given Daniel concerning his book. (Daniel 12:4) The messages of the book of Revelation were not to be sealed in view of the fact that “the time is at hand.” This had not been true in Daniel's day. The words “seal not” are a negative statement that means, “Publish the sayings of the prophecy of this book far and wide.”

The time is at hand - See notes on Revelation 1:1, 3.

Revelation 22:11He 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.

Unjust - The verse reads literally, “The one doing unrighteousness, let him do unrighteousness still; and the filthy one, let him be made filthy still; and the righteous one, let him do righteousness still; and the holy one, let him be made holy still.” These words are especially applicable to the time when each person's future is irrevocably settled. Such a decree comes at the close of the investigative judgment. (see notes on Revelation 14:7) Some see a wider application in these statements by comparing them with the words of Christ in the parable of the Tares: “Let both grow together until the harvest.” (Matthew 13:30) The free will of man is not to be interfered with. Men are to be permitted to live the life of their own choosing so that their true character may become apparent. Each person of each age will be made manifest in respect to the class in which he belongs at the second coming of Christ.

Revelation 22:12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

I come quickly - See notes on verse 7.

Reward - Greek misthos - Meaning “hire,” “wages,” “that which is due.” Compare the use of the word in Matthew 5:12, 46; 20:8; 2 Peter 2:13.

To give - Greek apodidomi - Meaning “to pay off,” “to discharge what is due,” “to recompense.”

Work - Greek ergon - Meaning “an act done.” The singular number suggests that the word is used collectively of the acts that make up the life as a whole that a person has lived. The effects of the grace of Christ or of the rejection of that grace are also taken into account when the “work” of man is examined. (Ezekiel 18:22, 24)

Revelation 22:13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Alpha and Omega - These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, used as descriptive of the Lord Jesus as the Creator of all things and as the beginning and final revelation of God to men. (cf. Revelation 1:8)

Beginning and the end - Same meaning as Alpha and Omega. The Beginning and the End of the Greek alphabet.

First and the last - Same meaning as Alpha and Omega. The First and Last letters of the Greek alphabet.

Christ created this world and brought about its beginning, and He will be there in its end at His second coming and will bring about its destruction. Thus Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, and the first and the last.

Revelation 22:14Blessed 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.

Blessed - Another blessing upon the faithful. (see notes on verse 7)

That do his commandments - A few manuscripts read “that washed their robes.” Most of the manuscripts read “that do his commandments.” The two clauses are very similar in the Greek and it is easy to see how a scribe may have mistaken the one clause for the other. The following transliteration will show the similarity:

hoi plunontes tas stolas auton, “wash their robes.”
hoi poiountes tas entolas autou, “that keep his commandments.”

Considering passage context the latter “that keep his commandments” is more likely. On keeping the commandments see Revelation 12:17; 14:12; cf. John 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 John 2:3-6. On washing robes, see Revelation 7:14 where a company of saints is described as having “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Our title to heaven is the righteousness of Christ imputed represented by the washed robes. The outward evidence of the righteousness of Christ imparted is perfect compliance with the commandments of God. Hence the two ideas of washed robes and obedience to commandments are closely related.

In the light of the problems of translation here discussed, it would seem wise to build the foundations of the doctrine of obedience to God's commandments on those other passages of Scripture dealing with obedience on which no question of textual evidence has been raised. There are many such.

Right - Greek exousia - Meaning “liberty,” “privilege,” “right.” It is to be the saints' privilege and liberty to partake of the tree of life and to enjoy immortality with Jesus Christ. (cf. verse 2)

Enter in - This is a further privilege. The New Jerusalem is to be the capital of the new earth.

Revelation 22:15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

For without are dogs - The word “without” means that they will not be in the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem. (Revelation 21:8, 27) The wicked, the depraved and the vile are such characters referred to as dogs, which is an unclean animal among the Jews and was regarded as a symbol. (Deuteronomy 23:18) See Philippians 3:2 for the meaning of the expression.

Sorcerers - For the category of sinners here enumerated, see notes on Revelation 21:8.

Revelation 22:16I 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.

Root and the offspring of David - See notes on Revelation 5:5.

The bright and morning star - The figure is probably taken from the prophecy of Balaam. (Numbers 24:17) Compare Peter's reference to Christ as the “day star.” (2 Peter 1:19) The messages to the churches of all ages can have no greater authentication than that here given.

Revelation 22:17And 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.

Spirit - The Holy Spirit, the one who energizes the Christian life of the believers, who gives them the strength to live the victorious life to overcome the devil and to go safely through the time of trouble.

Bride - No doubt the same figure here as in Revelation 21:9-10.

Say - Or “are saying,” or “keep on saying.”

Come - Most commentators consider this a response to the promise of Jesus in verse 12, “Behold, I come quickly.” Christ is petitioned to fulfill His promise. This is a possible interpretation. It is possible also to understand the address as an appeal to the unbelieving world to accept the gospel.

Him that heareth - The singular number designates the individual. Men will be saved as individuals and not as churches or congregations. Salvation is strictly personal. In the New Testament the word translated “hear” (akouo) generally carries the thought of hearing effectively, meaning obeying the message heard. Such is its meaning here. Only those who hear and accept the message are qualified to repeat the call. See Matthew 7:24.

Let him - The singular suggests that each church member as an individual must add his cry of welcome, thus publicly displaying his eager longing for the second coming and his desire that others shall enjoy the blessings of Christ.

Athirst - For the things of God. He who feels his need of salvation and is longing to drink of the living fountain. (cf. Revelation 21:6) See Matthew 5:6.

Come - An exhortation for each needy one to take advantage of the promise of Revelation 21:6.

Whosoever will - The offer is universal. No one is excluded from the possibilities of salvation. Christ is a propitiation for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2) The false doctrine that certain ones are elected to be lost is denied by the revelator's statement. (Romans 8:29)

Water of life - Whosoever wishes to inherit immortality is invited to take of it. The living water is offered to all. (see notes on Revelation 21:6; cf. Isaiah 55:1-3)

Freely - Or “gratuitously.”

Revelation 22:18For 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 testify - The speaker is Jesus. (see verse 20) His testimony must be accepted.

Every man - Man's relation to God and His message is a personal matter. One cannot accept another's responsibility in such things.

Heareth - Not a reference to the mere falling of the sound of the words of this book upon one's ear, rather an allusion to one who hears and studies the import of the messages. (see notes on Revelation 1:3)

Of the prophecy - John is speaking of additions to the book of Revelation, though the same would apply to any book of the Sacred Canon.

Add - Compare Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32. Jesus is authenticating this book of the Revelation. He warns against deliberate changes in the message of the book.

God shall add - In justice, God can do no other than to give to each his due in harmony with his works.

Revelation 22:19And 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 away from - The one who takes away from the words of the Revelation is equally guilty with the one who adds to the words. (see notes on verse 18)

Take away his part - The guilty one in this case will suffer three major losses:

(1) the loss of immortality, and the consequent suffering of eternal death.
(2) loss of any part in the corporate life of the city of the new earth.
(3) loss of all the blessings and promises of the Revelation.

A complete and staggering loss is here presented that nothing in this life can even remotely compensate for.

Revelation 22:20He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

He which testifieth - He being Christ. The specific reference is to the testimony in verses 18-19.

Surely - Greek nai - A term of strong affirmation like the Old English “verily.”

I come Quickly - The Master reaffirms the surety and imminence of His second coming. (see Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12; see notes on Revelation 1:1)

Amen - Compare Revelation 1:6-7, 18; 3:14; 5:14; 7:12; 19:4. For the meaning of the term see Matthew 5:18. This Amen is probably spoken by the apostle. If so it should be connected with what follows thus: “Amen, come, therefore Lord Jesus.”

Come, Lord Jesus - Textual evidence may be cited for the reading, “come, Lord Jesus Christ.” This exclamation is John's response to the testimony of Jesus who assures the apostle that He is coming quickly. (cf. Revelation 1:1) John was probably reminded of that night in the upper room more than half a century before when he heard Jesus declare, “I will come again,” (John 14:3) and of that day a few weeks later on the Mount of Olives when he had heard the angels say, “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11) While in holy vision, John is given one last assurance that his blessed Lord is to return and quickly. This assurance comes from the lips of his Master Himself being the faithful and true witness. His heart thrills at the words and with eager anticipation he looks forward to the day when in reality and not in vision he will see his blessed Lord face to face.

Revelation 22:21The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

The grace - This verse is a benediction deep from the heart of the apostle reaching out to all who read the words of his visions. The benediction is similar to that used by Paul in concluding his epistles. (Romans 16:24; 1 Corinthians 16:23; 2 Corinthians 13:14; etc) The words form a fitting climax to the canon of Scripture appearing as they do at the end of the collection of sacred books as we know them.

Christ - Important textual evidence may be cited for the omission of this word.

You all - Textual evidence favors the reading “all the saints.” Textual evidence may also be cited for the reading “the saints.” The word “saints” occurs frequently throughout the Revelation. (Revelation 5:8; 8:3, 4; 11:18; etc)

Amen - Textual evidence may be cited for the omission of this word.

This concludes the study on Revelation Bible Prophecy. Select the following link for the companion study on Daniel Bible Prophecy.