Commentary on Revelation – [Chapter 22]

All Scripture quotations are from the 1901 American Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

 

 

Introduction

 

Verses 1-5 continue the description of the eternal city, the New Jerusalem of the New Earth (see introduction to chapter 21). The remaining verses consist of closing remarks, promises, and warnings.

 

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

 

Trinity of God:  The Trinity of God is clearly presented in this verse.

 

“ river of water of life”

 

This is not a literal river. This is a reference to the Holy Spirit, through whom we are regenerated, indwelt by, and given eternal life (see commentary Rev 21:6). It’s symbolic of both the Holy Spirit and our eternal security in Christ. It’s a promise that we will dwell in this “holy city” forever and ever.

 

“throne of God and of the Lamb”

 

The Father and Son are co-rulers of the Eternal Kingdom. The Kingdom of Christ is now in the form of the Church (Col 1:13), which extends to and includes those in Heaven now, and is, thus, a spiritual kingdom. In that sense, the Kingdom of Christ is eternal. However, according to Paul, Jesus “hands over the kingdom to God the Father”:

 

NET – 15:24 Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when he has brought to an end all rule and all authority and power. 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 15:26 The last enemy to be eliminated is death. 15:27 For he has put everything in subjection under his feet. But when it says “everything” has been put in subjection, it is clear that this does not include the one who put everything in subjection to him. 15:28 And when all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

 

So we see that when all the enemies of Christ are defeated, and He brings “all rule and authority and power” to an end, He gives honor to His Father and hands the kingdom over to Him — the spiritual kingdom yields to the physical kingdom. The “handing over” signifies that the current order and plan for mankind has been completed, and that God is making all things new.

 

However, as this verse in Revelation makes clear, the Father and Son are co-rulers in the eternal city. In our current world and dispensation, the Lord Jesus Christ is central; the emphasis is on Jesus as the Ruler of His kingdom – which is a spiritual kingdom – for in the New Covenant the focus is on Him as Lord and Savior and Redeemer of the world. However, while the Kingdom of Christ continues as a spiritual kingdom throughout eternity, the focus then becomes the Eternal Kingdom – which is physical in nature —  where the Father and Son reign together. All the redeemed will be resurrected in glorified, physical bodies, and will dwell in a physical kingdom. That’s our eternal state — thus, the focus shifts from the spiritual Kingdom of Christ to the physical kingdom of the New Earth.

 

“the Lamb”

 

This title of Christ, of course, points to the sacrifice He made for us on the cross. The Old Testament animal sacrifices were a type and shadow of the sacrifice Jesus would make for mankind — as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29). The shed blood of those animals always had the shed blood of Christ in view.

 

2 in the midst of the street thereof. And on this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve manner of fruits, yielding its fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
“tree of life”

 

(See commentary on Rev 2:7)

 

On each side of the river (the Holy Spirit), is pictured the “tree of life.” In the same way that this river is symbolic of the Holy Spirit and the eternal life that He gives, this tree of life is to be interpreted as symbolic, as well. This tree represents our salvation in Christ, as a tree of salvation (see commentary Romans 11:11-36). It pictures a tree that continually produces the “fruit” of eternal life…..representing our eternal security in Christ.

 

“healing of the nations”

 

As discussed in Rev 21:24, this does not mean that there will actually be nations in the eternal city. This simply refers to the people of the nations of our current world, individuals who died in Christ and dwell in the Eternal Kingdom. The “healing” refers to our eternal security in Christ. We’ve been healed spiritually, and will continue to be healed throughout eternity. While this primarily refers to spiritual healing, this may also refer to our physical healing, as well….for we will no longer dwell in a body of pain and suffering, but in a glorified, immortal body that will never again be in need of healing.

 

Note:  In 1 Corinthians 15:44-49, Paul reveals that we are raised as a “spiritual” body. But make no mistake, this is still a physical body that we’re raised in, but it’s unlike the one we have now. Paul compares the “natural body” with the “spiritual body.” The natural body is “earthy,” and the spiritual body is “heavenly” – in the likeness of Christ’s own resurrected body (also 1 Jn 3:2).

 

3 And there shall be no curse any more: and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be therein: and his servants shall serve him;

 

“no curse”

 

This refers to the curse pronounced upon the ground in Genesis 3:17. When sin entered the world, the ground was cursed, so that it was no longer without weeds, wild grass, and devouring insects and bugs. Before that, the Garden of Eden was perfect in beauty and order and without the need of maintenance. That all changed when sin entered the picture. From that point on, man would have to work hard to maintain the beauty and order of God’s creation.

 

In the eternal city, we will again enjoy something at least similar to what Adam and Eve first enjoyed — a creation that is perfect in beauty and without the need of care. We will forever enjoy a beautiful and perfect creation that is self-sustaining.

 

“throne of God and of the Lamb”

 

(See verse one)

 

“his servants shall serve him”

 

The New Jerusalem, the eternal city, will be a place of service, not idleness. We will forever serve God in various capacities. It’s not at all clear what we will be doing, but we will each have our assigned duties, and we will enjoy every moment of it! We will never grow weary of serving our God and King. This suggests (as God’s Word teaches), that we should be faithfully serving God now, for we are to be continuously growing in our position in Christ — which has its ultimate fulfillment in our new bodies in the new creation.

4 and they shall see his face; and his name shall be on their foreheads.

 

“they shall see his face”

 

As the hymn says:

 

“What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.”

 

“his name shall be on their foreheads.”

 

The name of God on our foreheads is a symbolic mark of identification. It identifies us as belonging to God as followers of Christ. God will never lose sight of our identification in Christ. It will be there forever and ever.

 

5 And there shall be night no more; and they need no light of lamp, neither light of sun; for the Lord God shall give them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

 

“the Lord God shall give them light”

 

(See commentary on Rev 21:23-25)

 

“they shall reign for ever and ever”

 

This refers to the reign of the redeemed (see commentary on Rev 20:4)

 

6 And he said unto me, These words are faithful and true: and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly come to pass.

 

“These words are faithful and true”

 

Every word written in the book of Revelation is “true,” as it comes from God Himself, in whom is no falsehood at all. Every word in this book is “faithful” — that is, every word is faithful to the truth and character of God, and every detail will come to pass as prophesied in this book. We can count on the promises of both the judgment of unbelievers, and of the eternal blessings that awaits the redeemed in Christ.

 

“God of the spirits of the prophets”

 

This reminds us of what Jesus said:

 

NET – Matthew 22:31 Now as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, 22:32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living!”

 

This reveals that those who die, continue to live on as spirits, and will also be bodily resurrected one day. Unbelievers will be resurrected unto judgment, while believers will be resurrected to enjoy the Eternal Kingdom of these final two chapters of Revelation.

 

Therefore, as the “God of the spirits of the prophets” (both OT and NT), just as He spoke through them of things to come, so He speaks through the Apostle and prophet John of things to come — and of things that are:

 

“things which must shortly come to pass”

 

Reference to things that must “shortly come to pass,” refers to the beginning of the things written in this book, even things that were already occurring in his own day. The time period of the events of Revelation is the entire Church age. Therefore, many of the things written in this book was soon to begin at the time of this revelation and writing, but would continue throughout the entire Church dispensation.

 

What these words do not mean, is that that the things written in this book would soon be completely fulfilled, as preterists teach. They believe that this book is about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and that that event would soon “come to pass.”

 

“to show unto his servants”
“His servants” are identified in verse 3 — which are all believers throughout history. This book is a revelation to all those who profess and follow and serve Christ their Lord. This is primarily a book for Christians (but also serves to warn and lead sinners to faith in Christ). As I’ve talked about throughout this book, Revelation is largely about the persecution of God’s people. Thus this is a book that is meant to comfort those who are persecuted and suffer for their faith in Christ. It’s meant to encourage them about what we have to look forward to in the eternal city of these final two chapters. The trials of this life are only temporary, and for those who endure in their faith, they will be richly and gloriously rewarded throughout eternity. Therefore, we Christians are not to lose heart over the things that we may have to go through in this life, for it will one day all be behind us, and we will forever enjoy living and serving in the very presence of God.

 

I want to add, if this is a book for all the “servants” of Christ throughout history – as verse 3 positively indicates – then the events of this book has to be relevant for all servants of Christ. In other words, the events of Revelation has to occur throughout the entire Christian era. The idea that this book is primarily about a seven year period that occurs prior to the return of Christ – as Premillennialism teaches – leaves out all the “servants” of Christ leading up to that time, which is out of harmony with what is revealed in verse 3. Imagine as a Christian reading this book, with the understanding that nearly everything written in it has nothing to do with you….but only for the group of Christians that happen to be living in the end of days? Premillennialism fails to take enough into account. It’s an eschatological system that fails on many levels.

 

7 And behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book.

 

“I come quickly”

 

“quickly”  (Gr. Tachu – 5035)

 

Means quickly, speedily (without delay)

 

This is the same Greek word used in Rev 3:11 and in verses 22:12 and 22:20.

 

(For full explanation, see commentary on Rev 3:11)

 

“Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book.
As discussed in verse 6, in order for Christ’s servants to “keep the words of the prophecy of this book,” it must be applicable for all Christians throughout the entire Church age. Otherwise, the larger percentage of this book only applies to a small percentage of Christians who are alive just before Christ returns, as Premillennialism teaches. This is a position that is out of harmony with what’s being revealed in these verses. Again, it’s an eschatological position that fails take enough into account.

 

8 And I John am he that heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel that showed me these things.
9 And he saith unto me, See thou do it not: I am a fellow-servant with thee and with thy brethren the prophets, and with them that keep the words of this book: worship God.

 

(See Rev 19:10)
“heard and saw these things”

 

The Apostle John both heard and saw the things revealed in this book. Hearing confirmed what he saw. Seeing confirmed what he heard. There is no mistaking what was revealed to him. We can count on every word as being from God.

 

“I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel”

 

Quote from my commentary on Rev 19:10:

 

Quote:
It’s a bit difficult to understand why the Apostle John would fall down at the feet of this angel in worship, but he did. It was a severe mistake in judgment, and he was rebuked for it. This revealing angel reminded him that worship is reserved and deserved by no one but God alone, and that he is no one but a “fellow-servant” of the Lord, just as John was. (see Col 2:18)
Quote

 

That John should do this for a second time, after being sternly rebuked for it before, is doubly difficult to understand. I guess it shows that even the Apostles were susceptible to making serious mistakes in judgment. I like that this isn’t hidden from us, as it serves to encourage us when we fail in our own life. No one serves God perfectly.  

 

“I am a fellow-servant….with them that keep the words of this book”

 

This revealing angel is a “fellow-servant” not only with “John” and his fellow “prophets” (both OT and NT), but also with “them that keep the words of this book.” Who does that refer to? Just a small percentage of Christians that are living during the last seven years prior to the return of Christ? Is this angel a “fellow-servant” only with them? That idea is nonsense. “Them that keep the words of this book,” absolutely has to refer to all of God’s people throughout the history of the Church age. That the words of this book are applicable for all Christians throughout history, should be completely obvious.

 

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

 

“seal not”

 

John was instructed not to “seal” the words of prophecy of this book. “Seal” means not to reveal, not to disclose, to but to keep hidden or secret. It’s not known why John would do that, but the angel gives the reason for his instruction:

 

“for the time is at hand.”
“the time is near” (NET, ESV, NASB, NIV)

 

This is a major key in determining the time period of this book. This angel says that “the time is at hand,” meaning, that the events of this book are now at hand or soon to begin. This doesn’t mean that they are soon to be completed, but only that they are soon to commence — indeed, already occurring.

 

This statement also precludes the premillennial position that the events of this book occur in the latter years prior to the return of Christ. If that were true, this statement would make absolutely no sense — no matter how proponents of this position try to explain it.

 

To be clear, this angel doesn’t want John to seal up the words of this book, because the time of these events are both now and soon to occur (at the time of this writing), depending on which events are in view. The message of this book is for all Christians throughout duration of the Church age, for all the events occur throughout the history of the Church — up to the time when Jesus returns and God completes His plan for mankind and for this world.

 

11 He that is unrighteous, let him do unrighteousness still: and he that is filthy, let him be made filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him do righteousness still: and he that is holy, let him be made holy still.

 

“He that is unrighteous, let him do unrighteousness still: and he that is filthy, let him be made filthy still”

 

All through Scripture people are told to repent of their sins and turn to God. So the first part of this verse may seem contrary to what is normally taught. However, what’s actually being taught here is that there is to be a consistency of who we really are. In other words, the fruit of one’s life must be in harmony with what one professes to believe, for “a tree is known by its fruit” (Matt 12:33-37; Luke 6:43-45; Matt 7:15-21). Therefore, this instruction is primarily to those who profess Christ as Lord and Savior:

 

“he that is righteous, let him do righteousness still: and he that is holy, let him be made holy still.”

 

Those who are “righteous” and “holy” are those who have been cleansed of their sins through faith in Christ. A true faith will result in a life that is characterized by “righteousness” and “holiness,” and not by a life  that is “unrighteous” or “filthy.”

 

Therefore, the instruction of this verse is that those who make a profession of faith in Christ (the “righteous” and “holy”) must live lives that line up with that profession. If a person professes to be a Christian, but is living a life of “unrighteousness,” then they are deceiving themselves about their salvation. A true salvation will produce the fruit of salvation (see commentary on Rev 21:7) or the fruit of faith. When we stand before Christ, He will look at the lives we lived, and if does not see the fruit of salvation, we will be assigned a “place with the hypocrites,” which is in the lake of fire (Matt 24:51; 45-51; Rev 20:11-15).

 

Therefore, the instruction and message of this verse, is that a life of unrighteousness is for those who are unrighteous, and a life of righteousness is for those who are righteous. Our lives must line up with what we profess.

 

Use of the word “still,” means to continue. That means, first of all, that there must be a presence of such. True faith must have the presence of the fruit of salvation. Then it must continue. A true biblical faith is an enduring faith, one that lasts throughout our life. Faith is not a single act of a single moment that “gets us in the door.” No, true faith will endure, yes, it must endure.

 

That this is the correct interpretation of this instruction, is verified by what Jesus says in the next verse:

 

12 Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to each man according as his work is.

 

“I come quickly”

 

(See verse 7)

 

“my reward is with me, to render to each man according as his work is.”

 

Notice that Jesus does not say that He will render to each person according to what he or she professes to believe. He says that He will render to each one according to what each has done. Again, as discussed in verse 11, He will be looking for the fruit of faith. In other words, He will be looking for proof that we are who we say we are.

 

So then, upon the return of Christ, He will render to each person according to what they have done. First is the matter of salvation, or the lack thereof. Those who die in their sins without Jesus as Lord and Savior, will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 22:14-15). Those who died in Christ, who received forgiveness of their sins through faith in Him, will be welcomed into the Eternal Kingdom.

 

But notice that Jesus doesn’t state it that way. Instead, He uses the phrase, “according as his work is.” In other words, according to his or her works. While we are saved through faith in Christ as Lord and Savior, the outworking of faith is a life of faithfulness. True faith will be demonstrated by a sincere and genuine devotion to Christ. Those who profess Christ, but are not living the Christian life – but living for the world – are deceiving themselves about their salvation.

 

I believe also in view here, is the degree of punishment for the unsaved, and the degree of rewards for the saved. The degree of punishment for the unsaved will be determined by the kind of life they lived. The degree of rewards for the saved will likewise be determined by the kind of life they lived. A life of faithful service will be richly rewarded. Christians who did the bare minimum with their lives, will receive the bare minimum rewards.

 

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

 

“I am the Alpha and the Omega”

 

This is the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, thus: “the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Our God, the  true God, is the beginning and the end of all things. He is the eternal Creator of the universe. He is preeminent over all things. He is Sovereign God. Therefore, His plan for mankind and for this world will be fully carried out. In the final two chapters of this book, we see the total fulfillment of that plan.

 

The One speaking is Jesus. This is a declaration of His Deity, for the same thing is said of God in Rev 1:8:

 

8 I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.  (Rev 1:8)

 

With this statement, Jesus declares to be Almighty God. He is the Second Person of the Trinity:  God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit — not three Gods, but three Persons of the Godhead. The teaching of the Trinity is central to the Christian faith.

 

14 Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have the right to come to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.

 

“wash their robes”

 

This is figurative language for those who have been cleansed of their sins by placing their faith in Jesus. Thus it’s symbolic of salvation.

 

“that they may have the right to come to the tree of life”

 

(See verse 2)

 

This speaks of our eternal security in Christ. Those who have been cleansed of their sins, will have “the right to come to the tree of life” — that is, they will be given life in “the city” forever and ever. It’s an everlasting cleansing and an everlasting life in the presence “of God and of the Lamb” (vs. 1-2).

 

“the gates into the city”

 

(See commentary on Rev 21:25-27)

 

These are one-directional gates into the “the city” (Rev 21:2,10). Not only are we admitted entrance to these gates, but we will never have to leave. There is no exit!

 

15 Without are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone that loveth and maketh a lie.

 

(See commentary on Rev 21:8)

 

“Without” (outside)

 

This is referring to unbelievers who have their place in the lake of fire. Given here is a sampling of sins that characterize those “outside” of Christ and the Eternal City. They will never ever be able to gain entrance into this city.

 

16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright, the morning star.

 

“I Jesus”

 

It’s important to know who the true author of this book is. The fact that it’s Jesus who sent His angel to reveal the things in this book, shows that this is a God-given book, and that every word is true and every word will come to pass. Furthermore, Jesus is central in this book. It is, in fact, the revelation of Christ Himself (see commentary on Rev 1:1).

 

“for the churches

 

While this likely refers directly to the “seven churches” of Rev 1-3, it’s with the whole Church in view (see commentary on Rev 1:4,11). Thus this book is a revelation and message to all Christians throughout the whole Church age. It’s all relevant to all believers in Christ.

 

“I am the root and the offspring of David”

 

(See commentary on Rev 3:7 and Rev 5:5)

 

Refers to the Kingship of Christ, who is King over His kingdom, which is the Church (Col 1:13). His kingdom is now, and reigns over His people now, and includes those who are in Heaven now. His kingdom is forever and leads into the Eternal Kingdom described in these last two chapters of Revelation (see verse 1).

 

“the bright, the morning star”

 

I go into a lengthy explanation of this in Rev 2:27-28, but here is a brief quote from that commentary:

Quote:
Therefore, I think it’s clear that what Jesus is referring to is the eternal light that we have in Him, a light that overcomes all darkness. It speaks directly of our eternal salvation in Him. That fact that He uses the “morning star” to describe it, is significant, because just as Venus is seen when the darkness of night turns to the light of day, so do we go from the darkness of sin and death to the light of life in Christ.”
Unquote

 

In Rev 2:27-28, we see that there is a connection between the “rulership” (Kingdom) of Christ and the “morning star.” We see that same connection in this verse. Thus the reference to the “morning star” is significant, because what it represents relates to all Christians of all time, and not just a group of Christians at the end of of the age prior to the return of Christ, as Premillennialism teaches. This connection indicates that the Kingdom of Christ is now and applies to all Christians throughout the whole Church dispensation — especially when you tie in Jesus’ words, “for the churches.” Thus this whole book is relevant to – and about – all Christians throughout the history of the Church, and is not primarily about the group of Christians who are alive at the time of Christ’s return.

 

The book of Revelation begins and ends with the Kingdom of Christ and the Church. We see this in Rev 1:5-6 (see commentary) and now here in these verses of the last chapter. That suggests that all the events in between (except the last two chapters) occur during the Church age.

 

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come: he that will, let him take the water of life freely.

 

“the Spirit and the bride”

 

As we discussed in chapter 21, the “bride” is both the Church and the “holy city, which is the “New Jerusalem” of the “new heaven and new earth” (Rev 19:6-9; 21:1-3,9), who is indwelt and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Together as one, they say “come” and “let him take the water of life freely.” This is the invitation to all the people of the world to turn from their sins and receive Christ as Lord and Savior. It’s through the Church that the gospel of Christ is spread, both corporately and individually.

 

“he that heareth, let him say, Come”

 

I understand this to refer to individual responsibility and personal enthusiasm to respond in faith to this wonderful message of life.

 

“he that is athirst, let him come: he that will, let him take the water of life freely.”

 

(See verse 1 and commentary on Rev 21:6).

 

18 I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which 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 from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.
NET – 22:18 I testify to the one who hears the words of the prophecy contained in this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 22:19 And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.

 

In regard to the “tree of life,” the NET Notes provide helpful information:

 

Quote:
The Textus Receptus, on which the KJV rests, reads “the book” of life (ἀπὸ βίβλου, apo biblou) instead of “the tree” of life. When the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus translated the NT he had access to no Greek mss for the last six verses of Revelation. So he translated the Latin Vulgate back into Greek at this point. As a result he created seventeen textual variants which were not in any Greek mss. The most notorious of these is this reading. It is thus decidedly inauthentic, while “the tree” of life, found in the best and virtually all Greek mss, is clearly authentic. The confusion was most likely due to an intra-Latin switch: The form of the word for “tree” in Latin in this passage is ligno; the word for “book” is libro. The two-letter difference accounts for an accidental alteration in some Latin mss; that “book of life” as well as “tree of life” is a common expression in the Apocalypse probably accounts for why this was not noticed by Erasmus or the KJV translators. (This textual problem is not discussed in NA27.)
Unquote

 

22:18 – “I testify to the one who hears the words of the prophecy contained in this book:”

 

Here is one final clue that this book is a revelation of what occurs throughout the whole Church age, because those who “hear” has to include everyone who hears during that time, and not just during the so-called final seven years of Premillennialism.

 

“If anyone adds to them”
“And if anyone takes away from”

 

Both those who “adds” and “takes away” must be understood as referring to the unsaved only. I also understand this to refer to those who deliberately set out to change the message and meaning of this book. I believe this also likely refers to those who ridicule and discredit this book. In no way should this be understood as referring to sincere Christians who are doing their best to understand, interpret, and teach this book.

 

22:18 – “If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.”

 

Though the “plagues” in Revelation are obviously a big part of the discussion of this book, I believe here they’re used as figurative language to represent greater punishment in the lake of fire. When sinners stand before Christ and the degree of punishment is pronounced for each person, this “adding” to the words of this “book of prophecy” will be taken into account for those who are guilty of it. Considering that those who add and those who take away are guilty of the same type of sin, I believe this condemnation also holds true for those who “takes away from the words of this book of prophecy.”

 

22:19 – “And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.”

 

Those who “take away from the words of this book of prophecy,” will not have access to the “tree of life” (vs. 2) or entrance into the “holy city” (vs. 14). In other words, those who are guilty of doing this will not obtain salvation, as mentioned above. In fact, both those who add and those who take away, refer to the unsaved, and neither will be given access to the tree of life or to the holy city…..assuming, of course, that they never come to faith in Christ.

 

In regard to where Jesus says, “God will take away his share in…..,” I believe He is indicating that there is a share of this tree (of salvation) and of this city that is available to them – that the opportunity is there –  if they would only receive it in the humility of faith — for Christ died for all and salvation is available to all who hear the gospel message. Thus their available share is forever taken away once they die and stand before Christ in judgment.

 

20 He who testifieth these things saith, Yea: I come quickly. Amen: come, Lord Jesus.

 

“I come quickly”

 

(See verse 7)

 

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with the saints. Amen

 

A very fitting ending considering the persecution of Christians that is so prominent in this book. It’s only by the “grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” that His “saints” are able to endure persecution and suffering for their faith in Him.