Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Revelation - Chaper 22

A Study of the Book of Revelation
Chapter 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.
The angel showed John a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal originating in the throne of God.
The throne of God is prominent in the concluding vision John saw.
The river is pure, no germs, no diseases, no pollution, it is not muddy, but bright and clean.

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.
In the midst of the city stands the tree of life.  Here are symbols of eternal life:
1.      12 manners of fruits - number 12 stands for divine authority and power.  These fruits represent the joy and beauty of Heaven.
2.      Yielded her fruit every month - speaks of the bounty of Heaven.
3.      Leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations - notice nations are still around.
The saints of the heavenly city will eat of the fruit of the tree and nations shall use its leaves.  If we desire to eat of the fruit and drink of the water of life, we can do so.
The Scripture seems to indicate that we will not have to eat, but will be able to do so if we desire.
After the resurrection, Jesus ate literal food.  I believe the tree of life is for our pleasure and enjoyment.

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:
The curse of the Garden of Eden is gone.  The curse of sin is over and will not be there.  This speaks of His authority and power.  We will see Him face to face and we will serve and honor Him.

4. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
We will walk with Him, talk with Him forever.  This tells us that the believer will be identified with God for all eternity.

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.
God wants us to know that the night is over.  He tells us here and back in Revelation 21:25.  All through the Bible, God is associated with light.  Darkness is gone forever.  Jesus Christ will replace the candles, the sun, etc.  He will be the light of the city.

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.
God keeps his promises.  He has always been faithful and true to His word.  He is God of the past just as He is God of the present.
God used an angel to inform John and us through the writings of John.
Shortly be done here” covers a few thousand years, but they are short compared to eternity.

7. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
This is the promise of the Saviour.  In comparison to eternity it will be quickly.
Blessed – means happy.

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 says he saw and heard these things he has told us about.  John says this outline of world history is true.  John said when he saw them and heard them, he was so overcome he fell at the angel’s feet to worship the angel.  The angel is the one that had shown John these things.

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.
The angel speaks to John.  The angel said, “Don’t worship me, John.”  The angel identifies himself to John as a fellowservant…
Notice the angel told John to worship God!
The angel actually told John, “Hey, I am a member of the team.”

10. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
This is a point on the availability of the Scriptures.  This is an open book.
Since the book of Revelation is not a closed book, maybe we can understand it!  The very name of this book is unveiling.
In Daniel 12, God told Daniel to seal up the book and rest until the time of the end.  But the angel told John not to seal this book.
“For the time is at hand” refers to the coming of Christ.

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.
“He that is unjust” refers to those who have not been justified by Christ.
“And he which is filthy” means the polluted ones.
“unjust still and the filthy still” – indicates that the people formerly of the earth, now in hell are in a permanent state, which was fixed and determined at the second coming of Christ when all the wicked were judged and cast into the lake of fire.
“The righteous still” means those that are born again and will always be born again.
“Still” – means they had previously been caught up to meet Jesus and they are with Him and will forever be with Him.
“He that is holy” speaks of being born again and an abundant and spirit filled life.
“Still” in this verse means they are permanently fixed and will forever stay fixed.

12. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
And behold means to look suddenly.  The second advent of Christ will happen suddenly!
Notice the reward is singular.  The term rewards is not found in the Bible.  It appears that work on the part of the Christian is required to receive a reward.
The Bible also tells us about crowns.  In order to receive a particular crown and each on e is different.

Crown of
For Whom
2 Tim. 4:8
Matt. 24:42, 46
1 John 2:28
2 Peter 3:14
Those that love His appearing
Those right with God at His coming.
James 1:12
Rev. 2:10
Enduring, abiding, sticking with Christ even through suffering
The faithful’s crown or the martyr’s crown
1 Thess. 2:19
Phil 4:1
Rejoicing or Joy
The fruitful – brought others to Christ
The soulwinner’s crown
1 Peter 5:2
The spiritual leader an example to flock.
Pastors’, or leaders’ crown.
1 Cor. 9:19-27
Rev. 3:11
Phil. 1:20; 3:12-14
Incorruptible or Victor’s Crown
Those mature in every area.  The faithful from beginning to end in Christian life.
Those that practiced the Word and were Christlike.  If you get this you may get it all.

13. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
“I am” - A great name of God discussed in Exodus 3:14.
Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
Christ and none other can make these claims.  The Lord is the creator and at the end and forever He will be in complete control.

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.
Greek authorities tell us that in the original language, this should read, “Blessed are they who have washed their robes.”
These are the Christians or saints rewarded to the highest degree.  The word blessed in this verse means happy.
Not only does the blood-washed believers have right to the tree of life, but they will enjoy continued access to the city.  The saints will have all rights to enjoy the blessings of God.

15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
This verse does not mean just outside the city limits.  This verse refers to the same group mentioned in Revelation 21:8.
“Dogs” refers to those who followed the old sin nature.  This speaks of those in the lake of fire.  This is a contrast verse.  This is a colored photograph of unbelievers.

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.
“I Jesus” - The King of kings and Lord of lords. 
We are again assured that this is not a riddle, not a book of confusion, but it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
“In the churches” - We haven’t hear of the church since chapter 5.
“I am” – the great name of God
“Root” – Jesus Christ is God.
“Offspring of David” – refers to the fact that Christ came into the world through the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10,11). David was from the tribe of Judah.
“and the bright and morning star” – The bright star against a dark background means that Christ is a bright light against the darkness of human history.

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.
And the Spirit is the The Holy Spirit and the bride is the bride of Christ.  This is an invitation to the tribulational people to believe. 
Anyone that hears this invitation is urged to come.  The ones who are desperate are invited.  The invitation extends to all.
Water of life here is Jesus Christ and eternal life; and freely means come without price.

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:
Here is a warning for those who tamper with the Word of God.  There have been attacks on the Word of God in all ages, and the worst attack will come during the Tribulation.
God will add the judgements of the Tribulation to those who dare tamper with the Word of God.
“For I testify” – this is assured from Jesus Christ.
“Every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book.”  He is saying to all that hear or read the message in Revelation.
“If any man shall add unto these things.” – This means adding to the teachings of the book of Revelation.
The book of Revelation tells of many judgements of God, so the one adding to His message shall suffer under the same penalities of the judgment.
Dear sinner, don’t try to explain away the judgements of God.  What you sow, you shall reap.

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.
Here is a warning to those who deny or explain away the teachings of the book of Revelation.
This speaks of those who would subtract from this book of Revelation.
“Take away his part” means the same as “deny him any part”.
The whole passage therefore should be viewed as indicating an entire condition of the heart and life.
Adding to or taking away from gives insight to the attitude of a rejecting heart.

20. ¶ He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
“He which testifieth these things” - This is the Lord Jesus and these things are the sayings and promises of this book.
“Surely I come quickly” - Here is the final announcement of the second coming of Christ.
“Quickly” speaks of the suddenness in which the Lord will come.
John was convinced the Lord was coming – Amen means I believe it.
This is the prayer of the apostle John.  After all that John saw, he prayed for the coming of the Lord.  This is the last recorded prayer of the Bible.

21. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
This great book of Revelation ends on the basis of grace.
1.      We are saved by grace.
2.      We are kept saved by grace.
3.      We become spiritual by grace.
4.      We enter Heaven by grace.

Clark, Neal. Survey of the Book of Revelation. Pensacola, Florida: Thee WFBI Press, 1999. Print.
Falwell, Jerry. Liberty Commentary on the New Testament. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty Press, 1978. Print.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Revelation - Chapter 21

Chapter 21

 The next two chapters are very difficult chapters.  They present to us a picture of the future.  It is impossible to put into words an accurate description of Heaven.  Heaven is so far beyond our fondest imagination that words cannot adequately describe what it will be. 

When you get into eternity, there is little you can say.  It isn’t in our vocabulary to describe it.

1. ¶ And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 

John is permitted to see the new heaven and new earth.  This is discussed in 2 Peter 3:5.
The new heaven and new earth will have no sea.  The sea is a picture of unrest and trouble.  Isaiah 5:30 speaks of the roaring of the sea and Isaiah 57:20 refers to the wicked as being like the sea.  So in Heaven, there will be nothing to remind us of unrest and trouble.

2. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 

John is given a perfect view.  This is the headquarters for the universe of eternity.  It will be the personal residence of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Some think this may be the dwelling place of the bride.  

God’s dwelling place will never undergo any change at all.  His house is perfect, unmarred and unscarred by sin.  Neither evil nor enemy shall ever invade God’s new heaven and earth.
The term holy city appears three times in Revelation (11:2, 21:2, 22:19).  The first time it refers to the literal city of Jerusalem and the other two times, it refers to the holy city after the battle of Gog and Magog.

“New Jerusalem” here is in contrast to the literal city of Jerusalem.

The word new is used here three times, new heaven, new earth, and New Jerusalem.
Notice where all of this is coming from.  He does not say nor suggest that it came to rest upon the earth’s surface.  I believe that the holy city will be suspended between Heaven and earth.  This holy city illustrates the glory of eternity.  

“Prepared as a bride” - It was prepared at a point in the past and it will stand forever.
In John 14:2, Jesus said He was going to prepare this place and here it is complete and ready.
This is a literal city, thus we will occupy a real city.

“Adorned for her husband” - This lets us know there are not enough adjectives in all the languages of all the world to describe the magnificence of the city John saw coming down from God out of Heaven.

3. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 

This appears to be the voice of God. 
“Behold” - means to look.

This does not refer to the tabernacle in the Old Testament.  It refers to Jesus Christ himself.  Jesus will be in His glory in eternity.  Jesus dwelt in the tabernacle in the wilderness, but here He is the tabernacle.

This is the fulfillment of Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”  No mediator is needed, just “God with them.”

4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 

This is not the Lord Jesus wiping the tears, but, rather it is Jehovah God himself.
God’s people are assured that all tears are wiped from their eyes.  God has brought an end to the cause that sin brought upon man.  All memories are removed forever.  There will be perfect happiness in this eternal state.

5. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 

This is Jehovah God sitting on His throne, the throne of omnipotence, the throne of absolute sovereignty.  

God will not repair or improve on the old order, but rather, make all things brand new.

“Write…” - This is to emphasize the idea that God is going to keep His promises to us.  This is a command from Jehovah God.

6. 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. 

“It is done” means that it is a settled fact.  Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet, and here it refers to the eternity of Christ.  This tells us that all testimony on the earth began with God and will end in His glory.

The fountain is God, the water is promised to all that are thirsty.  The water of life is God’s gift freely given.  It cannot be bought.

7. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 

The overcomers are those who have trusted in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:4,5).  This is the fulfillment of the promise of eternal life. Notice the inheritance, all things.

The relationship we have with Christ in time is carried over into eternity.  Just one decision we make in time carries over into all eternity.  This is grace at its best.

8. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. 

In this verse is the list of characteristics of those that will have part in the lake of fire.
1.      fearful - cowardly.  Those afraid to trust and identify with Christ.
2.      Unbelieving - bold Christ rejecters.
3.      Abominable - filthy, despicable, dopers, sex maniacs, alcoholics from the gutter of the street of forgotten men.
4.      Murderers - groups like Judas, Hitler, Stalin, and many gangsters.
5.      Fornicators - lustful, immoral and unclean group.
6.      Sorcerers - ones who profess to talk with spirits of the other world, witches, devil worshipers, witchcraft, etc.
7.      Idolaters - ones who worshiped other gods or idols.
8.      Liars - those who couldn’t tell the truth, or those who misrepresented the truth.
9.      Whoremongers - rapists, the immoral, women chasers, harlots, prostitutes: both famous and not so famous.

These are the unbelievers in eternity.  They will have their part in the lake of fire.
They will burn and will continue to burn forever.  This is their place forever - the lake of fire.

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 shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. 

John is invited by one of the seven angels that poured out the seven vials to come with him to see the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

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

John is carried away in the spirit to a high vantage point.  Notice John saw this in the spirit, we will experience it literally.

John saw a complete view of that glorious city.  The following is a comparison of this Jerusalem to the millennial Jerusalem.
1.      Millennial Jerusalem has natural light.
2.      New Jerusalem has spiritual light.
3.      Millennial Jerusalem has no walls.
4.      New Jerusalem will have walls 200 feet tall.
5.      Millennial Jerusalem will have animal sacrifices.
6.      New Jerusalem has no animal sacrifices.
7.      Millennial Jerusalem has living water coming out of the temple.
8.      New Jerusalem will have water coming out of the throne.
9.      Millennial Jerusalem will have some unsaved in it.
10.  New Jerusalem will have only saved in it.
11.  Millennial Jerusalem has trees for food.
12.  New Jerusalem has the tree of life.

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

We find here this city has “the glory of God.”  God made this city and it reflects His glory.  Jasper stone is a perfect diamond.

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: 

Here we have the description of the wall, great and high.  Angels are door keepers.
The names of the gates are the twelve tribes of Israel:  Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Nepthalim, Manasses, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zabulon, Joseph and Benjamin.

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

This verse tells us the location of the gates.  Three on east wall, three on north wall, three in south wall, and three on west wall.

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

This verse tells us about the foundation of this city.  There are twelve foundations.  This is like twelve floors, each being the same size.

Names of the 12 apostles written in the foundations:  Simon, Andrew, James, John, Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James, Lebbaeus, Simon.  This is eleven!

Judas Iscariot’s name will not be there, rather, Paul’s name will be there.

“Of the Lamb.” - this is Jesus.  Only two New Testament writers ever referred to Christ as the Lamb.  They are Peter and John.

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

This angel is talking with John. 
“golden reed” - is a measuring stick or rod.  He is measuring this beautiful place.
“the city” - is New Jerusalem.

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. 

This means the city was perfectly square. 
“the length is as large as the breadth” - The same in each direction. 
“Twelve thousand furlongs.” This is 1,500 miles long, high, and wide.

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. 

Here is the measurement of the wall thickness.
“An hundred and forty and four cubits” - 216 feet thick.
“According to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.: - A cubit was from the elbow to the tip of the finger of a man, about 18 inches.

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

Here we have a list of the building materials God used in the city.
Jasper is a perfect blue diamond.
Pure gold - not 10 or 14 carat, but pure gold.  What a city!
It is so translucent, you can see yourself in it.

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, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 

Here is a description of the foundations of the wall.  Here is a list of these precious stones:
1.      Jasper - perfect blue/white diamond.
2.      Sapphire - blue stone.
3.      Chalcedony - turquoise stone
4.      Emerald - green stone
5.      Sardonyx - red stone.
6.      Sardius - a ruby.  This was worn in the breastplate of the High Priest.  It was mined near Sardius.
7.      Chrysolyte - yellowish green silicate.
8.      Beryl - medium gree stone.
9.      Topaz - light yellow stone.
10.  Chrysoprasus - a bright green stone.
11.  Jacinth - an orange or brown stone.
12.  Amethyst - a purple stone.

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. 

Here is the description of the gates and what they are made of.
Each gate was made of one pearl.  Have you ever seen a pearl that big?  These gates are huge.
Streets are pure gold - without mixture.
It was so pure and shining it looks like glass.

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

No need for a place of worship.  We will be with Christ and that is enough.

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. 

Christ will be all the light that is needed.  He told us He was the light of the world.  There will be no darkness there ever.

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. 

Notice nations will be there.  This verse tells us the city will be the center of eternity and the saints shall enter it to bring honor and glory to the great God of glory.

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

The pearl gates will never be closed.  There is no nights there.  Darkness in the Bible often speaks of evil and wicked actions.

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

This is the eternal saints of God.  Saints will come to the city to give honor and glory to the Lord.  Notice nations will be there.

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.

This verse tells us no sin will ever enter the city, nothing will ever defile.  No fallen angels or unbelievers will ever be there.  Only God’s blood washed believers.

This book was once called the book of life, but here at the end, the only names in this book are those washed in the blood of Calvary’s Lamb.

Remember, this Lamb’s book is not the church book nor a book of religion.

Clark, Neal. Survey of the Book of Revelation. Pensacola, Florida: Thee WFBI Press, 1999. Print.
Falwell, Jerry. Liberty Commentary on the New Testament. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty Press, 1978. Print.