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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

January 28, 2015

Revelations 22:6-21

  1. Verses 6-7a. The timeline and the images have concluded. John seems to be left with the angel as the angel gives his final directions to John and the readers of the book. The words of this prophecy given in the book of Revelation are trustworthy and true. The Lord who inspires the prophets has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place. This statement reiterates what we read in the very first verse of the book of Revelation (Revelation 1:1). Jesus then adds more to this message. “And behold, I am coming soon.” We have learned that the coming of Christ is found in a sequence of events. The book of Revelation has revealed the fall of the Jewish nation and the destruction of Jerusalem. The book of Revelation has also revealed the fall of the Roman Empire. Further, the book has revealed the calamity of the world after the fall of the Roman Empire. Finally, Revelation revealed the final judgment against Satan. The beginning of the book of Revelation stated that these “things must soon take place” (1:1) and “the time is near” (1:3). The end of the book of Revelation states the same. These things “must soon take place” (22:6) and our Lord “is coming soon” (22:7). None of these things can be said to be happening soon if the book is all about things that will happen at the second coming of Christ. None of the things were soon if the book is referring to things that have not happened yet. Let me challenge you also that there is nothing soon about the message of the book of Revelation is only about the fall of the Roman Empire, which would occur hundreds of years after this book was written. However, the book can be said to be happening soon if we see the book as a chronology of events that began within one year after the book was written. Christ is coming in a series of judgments for the Jewish nation, the Roman Empire, and Satan. The fall of Jerusalem was described by Jesus as the coming of the Son of Man in the clouds (Matthew 24:29-31). The judgment of the Jewish nation was the first event of the coming of Christ and the city’s fall would happen very shortly after the writing of this book. Any other interpretation of Revelation cannot deal with the time markers given at the beginning and end of this book.

  2. Verses 7b-l0 concludes with another call for faithfulness and endurance. Blessed are those who keep the words of the prophecy of this book. The message has been to be faithful even to death and not to worship the false idols of the world. John is so overcome at the message that he again falls down to worship at the feet of the angel. The angel again tells John not to do this for only God must be worshiped. Do not worship any form of idolatry, not even angels. God is the only one deserving of Worship. The angel then tells John not to seal up the words of the prophecy found in this book because the time is near (22:10). This is a parallel to the end of Daniel’s prophecy. However, at the end of Daniel’s prophecy the angel tells Daniel to seal up the book until the time of the end because the time was not near (Daniel 12:4, 9). It was going to be a time, times, and half a time before all these things would be finished (Daniel 12:6-7).

  3. Verse 11 of Revelation 22 also shows a direct connection to Daniel 12. Notice the parallel (Revelation 22:11 and Daniel 12:10 ). Daniel’s prophecy is the best explanation of what the angel is saying to John. The wicked are not going to understand that their doom is predicted and sealed. The wise, that is the righteous, will understand and remain faithful through the prophesied tribulations. The end is determined. Preach this prophecy understanding that many of the wicked are going to remain wicked. I see this truth from Revelation still in the preaching of the gospel. The righteous learn from the preaching of God’s word and are strengthened. The wicked do not care and continue in their evil ways. This does not mean we stop preaching. It means we understand that in the face of the glory of God’s blessings and revelation, the wicked will continue to be wicked.

  4. Verses 12-15 reminds all the readers that as the Lord will come in these judgments he is bringing recompense with him. Christ will repay everyone according to what they have done. The wicked will be repaid and the righteous will be repaid. Christ is the sum of all things. He is the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city of God. The imagery of washing robes was introduced to us in Revelation 7:14. The picture is not merely being baptized, though that is certainly included in being faithful to God. Washing our robes in the blood of the Lamb means following him to our death for him even as he went to the death for us. Our robes are washed when we have fully given every ounce of our lives to the Lord in obedience and submission, Those who have fully given their lives to wickedness and evil are on the outside of this glorious city. Dogs were regarded as despised creatures throughout the scriptures and is used metaphorically of unbelievers (cf. Matthew 7:6).

  5. Verses l6-l7. Jesus has given his testimony assuring that these events will certainly come. Christ is the fulfillment of the previous promises concerning the Messiah and his kingdom. Now the Messiah promises that the things you have read in the book of Revelation will certainly happen. The Holy Spirit through this prophecy, God’s holy Word, says, “Come!” The people of God, the bride, also says come. Join with the rest of the victorious servants of the Lamb. Let those who are thirsty seek the Lord and receive the water of life freely (cf. Isaiah 55:1-2). Come to the Lord and find life. Come to the Lord and receive the eternal blessings.

  6. Verses l8-21. The book of Revelation concludes with one final warning. If anyone adds to the prophecy of this book, God will add to that person the plagues described in the book. If anyone takes away from the words of the prophecy of the book of Revelation, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city. Do not change the message of the book. I fear that many will suffer the consequences described in verses l8-l9 because they have falsely taught from this book. They have distorted and perverted the message of Revelation for their own financial gain and notoriety. God will judge anyone who adds or takes from God’s holy word. “There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16 ESV). The result is destruction to those who twist the scriptures. God’s word is holy and must not be altered in any way. Our Lord testifies that his judgments are coming. Be ready for the fulfillment of these words found in the book of Revelation. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

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