Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Revelation 22


Revelation 22:1-7 – The River of Life

The angel showed John the river of life.  It was as clear as crystal that flowed from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the street.  On each side was the tree of life which bearing 12 crops of fruit yielding fruit every month.  The leaves are for the healing of the nations.  No longer be any curse.  The throne of God and the Lamb will be in the holy city and servants to serve Him.  They will be able to see His face.  His name will be written on their foreheads.  There will be no more night nor a need for light for the Lord God will give them light.  They will reign forever and ever. (Rev. 22:1-5)

Have you received new life by believing in Jesus as Savior?  What a great honor to carry His name.  It is thrilling to be identified with Him.  He promises a glorious future of hope, peace and security for all who believe in Him.

The tree of life has not been mentioned in the Bible since Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden.  If you remember, God provided all they needed and told them they could eat of any tree in the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  When they disobeyed God, He cursed them and banned them from the garden and they could no longer eat from the tree of life.  If they had eaten from the tree of life, they would live forever in their sin.  So He kicked them out of the garden.  Because of their sin, they would have to work for their food.  That Paradise is now restored.  All that was lost is redeemed by the Lamb.  Now the fruits from the tree of life show God will always provide and give us what we need.  The leaves on the tree were like medicine for all the people showing there will be always be good health. 

Are you eating from the tree of life or worldly junk?
What name do others see written on you?

We are the servants.  We will have the honor of serving Him.  The Bible tells us no one can see the face of God and live, but in the New Jerusalem we will have glorified bodied and we will be able to see His face.  There we will be in His presence all the time and can look on His face anytime.  This will be the greatest blessing. 

Jesus is the source of all light.  The sun and moon will have no purpose.  His presence is all we will need.  This Kingdom has no end.

What is your source of light?

The angel told John, “These words are trustworthy and true.  The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.  Behold, I am coming soon!  Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”Rev. 221:6-7  Here the angel shows the authenticity of the book of Revelation and refers to the entire book and is reinforcing the importance of all that is in it.  Everything John saw will come to pass.  This prophecy is true and we must believe it.  We don’t know when these things will happen, but we know they will.

Revelation 22:8-21 – Jesus Is Coming

 “Behold, I am coming soon!  Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”Rev. 22:7   Three times Jesus says He is coming, Rev. 22:7, 12, 20.  He will be coming suddenly and without warning.

John testifies that he actually heard and saw and saw these things.  He didn’t imagine it.  It came from the Lord.  John fell down and to worship the angel that showed him all these things, but the angel said, “Do not do it!  I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words in this book.  Worship God!”Rev. 22:9 

“Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.  Let him who does   wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.”Rev. 22:10-11. 

In Daniel 12, Daniel had to close the words of the scroll and seal them until the time of the end.  Now the Messiah has come and the time is much closer so now John was told to not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book and to keep everything he saw open.  Nothing is this book is secret.  The Lord wants us to read it and understand what these things mean.  We know that Jesus will return at anytime and the events in Revelation will happen, but we don’t know when.  There will come a time when it will be too late to repent and change.  The person who does wrong will not change.  But for now, we have time to repent and change.

“Behold, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”  Rev. 22:12   Jesus said He is coming soon and when He does He will be the judge.  He will punish those who have done evil things and reward those who serve Him.  The reward for believers will be in heaven based on their faithful work here in this life. 

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Rev. 22:13   These words describe His completeness, timelessness and sovereign authority.  Jesus was there before creation and will be there after the old earth and old heaven has gone.  He is one with God.  He is God.

Jesus tells us that we must be holy and ready for His return.  Clean clothes means to live holy lives.  We can’t do that by ourselves.  Only the death of Jesus can we be made holy.  His blood has washed our clothes clean.  If you have accepted Him into your life, you will receive the benefits in this book.  Those who don’t accept Him will not be able to come into the city.  Jesus gives a list of those who cannot enter. (Rev. 22:14-15)  Those who make a habit of doing the types of things listed in Rev. 22:15 will not enter the city.

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.  I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” - Rev. 22:16 This is the 1st time “I, Jesus” appears in the Bible.  This is a personal and final invitation for all to come to Jesus for salvation.

“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”Rev. 22:17  This is the final invitation to salvation.  It is an invitation from the Holy Spirit and the church.  They work together to bring people to Christ.  The Holy Spirit woos us to come to Him.  Christ offers eternal life to those who really want it.  It is a free gift from God.  You can’t work for or earn it.  It comes by faith in the Lord Jesus alone.  We all hunger and thirst for God even though some don’t really know what they are hungering for.  They are really hungering for peace, joy and life that lasts forever.  Jesus will give this to everyone who believes.

What do you thirst for and does it satisfy you?
Deep in your spirit, are you dry, empty and thirsty?

We are warned that anyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book and adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.  If anyone takes away words, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life.  He will take away your part of the Book or Tree of Life, the Holy City, and the things written in this book.  (Rev. 22:18-19) 

Believers are called to guard and protect this book.  We are to defend it from those who deny its relevance, authority, and also those who misinterpret its meaning.  God’s Word is already perfect as He is perfect.  If we add or take words away from the Bible, we corrupt it.  Then it may cause someone to believe things that are not true.

In what areas of your life is God warning you?
What sin will you ask God to help you turn from and seek Him?

Jesus tells us again that He is coming soon.  John expected Him to come – “Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.” Rev. 22:20b  We should have the same anticipation and attitude, too.  We should live holy lives and be ready for Him.

Have the images of sin and judgment in this book shocked or frightened you?
Has your love for God increased?
Why is it important to take to heart God’s Word?
What ways are you preparing for His return?

Revelation is a book from God telling us Christ will return.  Everything revealed to John will come to pass, because God is the author.  His Words are trustworthy and true!  “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him.” Rev. 1:7

How has this study changed your understanding of God and His character?
How has it changed your relationship to Christ?
How do you plan to glorify God and help others know Jesus as Savior?

Well we have finished the book of Revelation. WOW!  What a book!  What a description John has given us on Heaven.  Heaven is a physical place and a joyful place.  I believe we will recognize our loved ones and all the saints there.  We will eat together and fellowship together.  In Matt. 8:11 Jesus tells us, “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”  It will be heaven because Jesus will be there with us.  Hallelujah!

Have a great summer and join me in the fall for more Bible studies.  Until then I will be posting throughout the summer on a variety of subjects so I hope to see you here.  Stay firm and stay awake until He comes.

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