Revelation Chapter 22
Verse 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 quality and supply is unending because it proceeds from the throne of God.
Verse 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. Verse 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: Verse 4.. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. So there will be nations on the earth. The earth will receive healing from the leaves and experience a lifting of the curse. If the New Jerusalem is in orbit around the earth one could imagine the river of life flowing out of it and spilling down upon the earth.
Verse 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. Notice it doesn't say that there is no sun but it is not required because the Lord God Himself lights the city. Reigning for ever and ever is the God given privilege of those who trust in His salvation.
Verse 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. It seems beyond our ability to comprehend; so the Lord reiterates that these sayings are faithful and true.
Verse 7.. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. When Jesus comes, it will be suddenly and without warning. With this in mind, how much more important to keep the sayings of the book.
Verse 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. Verse 9.. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. With the revelation of such awe inspiring events, we would be inclined to worship the messenger. But again, our worship is to be directed towards the creator.
Verse 10: And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. If the time was at hand 2,000 years ago, how much more so today?
Verse 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. If one has determined to remain unjust and filthy; If one has determined to reject God's offer of salvation; then, as stated, one will remain in that condition for ever.
Verse 12.. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Wait a minute. We're not saved by works. Galations 2:16.. Man is not justified by works but by faith of Jesus Christ. Wait another minute. James 2:17 says "Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. Is this a contradiction? Of course not. What this means is that we are not saved by works but our salvation will be evidenced by our works. In Acts 26:20 Paul says that people should repent and do works befitting repentance. What kind of works are befitting of repentance? In John 6:28 they asked Jesus "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said unto them, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." So works that are befitting repentance; works that will be rewarded; works that are of God involve believing on Him whom He hath sent. Believing on Him means that you cleave to, trust in, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger.
In Revelation 14:13 Jesus says "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on: Yea, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them. So our works done here are going to account for something in the hereafter.
Jesus says that He will give reward to every man and woman according as his or her work shall be. Some will have a greater reward. The woman of Luke 7:36 has a great reward in that she loved the Lord immensely and was overcome because of what He had done for her. Jesus said that she was forgiven much and that translated into a great love for God. Many have followed since a very young age. They have labored day in and day out. They have done the work. They have continued to trust in the Lord. They will have their reward. But some come later in life after experiencing darkness and dryness of soul and spirit for a long time. Then they experience the forgiveness of the Lord. They discover the joy and quality of life available to them through Him. Their love of the Lord is great. Their thankfulness can't be measured. Their reward is great. I think this is why Jesus said that those who are first will be last and the last first. Matt. 20:16.
Remember the prodigal son. Luke 15:11. The Father was overwhelmed with joy over the return of His lost son. So much so that he killed a fatted calf and hosted a great celebration. The other son whom had served his Father faithfully over the years received no such attention and was jealous. So just as there are different degrees of relationship here; so shall there be different degrees of relationship in the hereafter. How do we become great in the Kingdom of Heaven? Luke 9:48 "For he who is least among you all will be great." We are rewarded not with silver and gold, but with a degree of relationship. Relationship is the currency of the Kingdom. We should be working on our retirement account, drawing closer to the Lord, increasing our holy bankroll. Hebrews 11:6 says "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Some will have less of a reward. 1 Cor. 3:11.. says For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Verse 12.. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Verse 13.. Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. Verse 14.. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. Verse 15.. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. What type of works might be burned up? Well Jesus tells us how to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. "He who is least among you all will be great." So if we are all powerful and lord it over one another; these works will be burned up. If one is skilled in controlling and manipulating people and practices such instead of serving them; these works will be burned up. If you do works to be seen by others; to receive recognition for your works; these works will be burned up. Matt 6:5.
Let's say that you are partial to what you eat. By eating a certain way you feel that your relationship with the almighty is enhanced. That is good. For you. But when you try and manipulate and control others based on your convictions instead of God's word, then you impose a burden and a yoke upon others that Jesus died to release us from. Matthew 15:16 .. And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 17.. Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18.. But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. Acts 10:11.. And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12.. Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13.. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 14.. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15.. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. 16.. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
Let's say that you are a respecter of the days of the week. Saturday for instance. You feel that you are closer to God because of certain rituals you practice on a Saturday. That is good for you. But when you try and manipulate and control others based on your convictions instead of God's word, then you impose a burden and a yoke upon them. Matthew 12:3.. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; 4.. How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? 5.. Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? 6.. But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. 7.. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. 8.. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
We will also be rewarded with different degrees of responsibility. In Luke 19:11 Jesus tells us that we will receive authority to rule and reign in the hereafter based upon how we have managed that which we have received in this life. I hope I here the words of 19:17 "Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over then cities."
Verse 13.. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Verse 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. Verse 15, For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whore mongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Without has to refer to outer darkness which Jesus often referred to. Matt 8:12, 22:13, 25:30
Verse 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. We're to be talking about these things in the churches according to Jesus.
Verse 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. This is an open invitation to all. Come and enter into a blessed relationship with the creator of heaven and earth. Blessed peace and recreation to the soul is accessible through Jesus Christ.
Verse 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:
Verse 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. In other words, we can count on the things in this book happening as recorded. To deny the recorded account of this book is to stand with those who loveth and maketh a lie. Rev. 22:15.
Verse 20.. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Verse 21.. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.