Verse 1 – And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
God is using a physical substance (water) to help explain a spiritual truth. Living water flows pure, clear, and fresh. It is not murky, stagnant, or polluted. It possesses life-giving qualities that man cannot live without. This is water that restores and refreshes, flows in abundance, and satisfies our thirst. The source of this water is the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Verse 2 – In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the trees were for the healing of the nations.
John is still describing all that is in the Holy City, but what is outside the walls of the New Jerusalem?
The leaves of the trees for “healing of the nations” was always confusing until I thought long and hard about what John was saying.
Isaiah 66:22 says, “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord, “So shall your descendants and your name remain.
We have to keep in mind, that after the 1,000 year reign has ended, there will be thousands alive that were born during this time, that did not follow Satan. These “nations” are populated with those people.
If God could save Noah and his family during the great flood and then repopulate the earth, God can certainly preserve those born in the Millennium to repopulate the “New Earth.” The Bible says, “Kings will come from every nation to the Holy City to bring honor and glory to the King of kings.” So if this is not true, then where do the people come from?
Verse 3 – And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
In the New Jerusalem there will be no more: death, mourning, crying or pain; no need for a temple; no sun nor moon; no night; impure, shameful, or deceit and no curse.
Verse 4 – They shall see His Face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
Verse 5 – And there shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. and they shall reign forever and ever.
This is hard for us to even imagine. There will be no need for any physical or artificial light because God will be the source. and it won’t kill us to look on the face of God.
Verse 6 – Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.
No man is to trifle with these words that were written by John, by spiritualizing or reducing them to meaningless symbols.
Verse 7 – “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
“Soon” or “shortly” means before long, but Jesus said He is coming “quickly,” meaning “suddenly,” very fast. This is significant, because unbelievers get the wrong impression when they hear Christians say that Jesus is coming soon. What we should say is, “When Jesus comes, it will happen very fast, in a blink of an eye.”
Prophecy is so important because it can change our lives and cause us to be more concerned for the lost, time is short.
Verse 8 – Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.
Verse 9 – Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”
This is the second time an angel told John not to worship him. We are not to worship or bow to anyone but the Lord Jesus, alone!
Verse 10 – And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.
When Daniel wrote his prophecy several hundred year before the birth of Christ, he didn’t understand some of the things God had showed him. He wanted an explanation, but the fulfillment of his prophecies were a long time off, so he was told to “Seal them up until the end time.” This Revelation is different with John. John’s prophecy was already unfolding, and the Church Age had begun. God wants His people to know these things now.
Verse 11 – “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”
This is a warning regarding the separation of the lost and the saved. A great “chasm” will separate the Lake of Fire from the Holy City that no one can cross. The decisions people make while living will determine their destiny for eternity.
Verse 12 – “And behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
Not much is said in the church today about rewards. For the most part it is a neglected message. None of us deserves a reward for doing the will of the Father, but we know rewards will be given because Jesus says so. If we would only let the goodness of God sink in, we would do more to honor Him. and we honor Him every time we help someone who can’t help themselves.
Verse 13 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning, and the End, the First and the Last.”
Verse 14 – Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
Some versions of the Bible says, “Blessed are those who wash their robes,” but the King James version, I believe, is the closest interpretation – “Blessed are those who do His commandments.”
Those who do His commandments will be offered two rewards: access to the tree of life and be able to pass through the gates to get to the tree of life.
Verse 15 – But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
Dogs are sometimes referred to as those who practice the occult. John just made a list of those who will be in the eternal lake of fire.
So who are those who “practice or maketh a lie?” False doctrines can be one, but some that come to mind are those which have convinced themselves that they are the opposite sex of what they were born with – that’s practicing a lie. Sexual immorality covers a lot of things and this is only one that falls into this category. Rape, incest , fornication are a few more which will have their part in the Lake of Fire, outside and far away from the gates of the Holy City.
Verse 16 – “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
The Root and the Offspring of David comes from the Old Testament and is reference to the Messiah. The Bright and Morning Star comes from both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus refers to Himself as the One who will appear near the end of the earth’s darkest hour.
Verse 17 – And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. And whoever desires let him take the water of life freely.
This is God’s final call for all believers and for believers to tell unbelievers to “Come!” The Holy Spirit works in and through the “Bride of Christ,” the Church, using believers to invite the lost to come to Jesus and drink of His salvation, the water of life.
To those that are tired of living without Jesus, who thirst after righteousness, come and drink and be filled.
Verse 18 – For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;
Verse 19 – and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Some denominations don’t include the entire book of Revelation. Some have changed such words as “Him,” “darkness,” and “blindness” because they do not want to offend anyone. Some have produced a “New Bible” that contain an approved “inclusive” language. Is this adding to or taking away? You bet it is.
Verse 20 – He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Verse 21 – The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
These last words of the Bible serve a s a reminder that “Grace” makes salvation possible. Grace will keep us out of the Lake of Fire , and let us pass through the gates of the Holy City.
Grace is God’s riches at Christ’s expense. Salvation: everyone needs it (Romans 3:23). Everyone can have it (John 3:16). Only Jesus can give it (John 14:6). Only believers receive it (John 3:36).