“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.” Revelation 22:11.
This rarely quoted verse has a depth most do not comprehend and the last half, which speaks of righteousness and holiness, is one of a glorious promise.
The entire book of Revelation speaks of the things which the apostle John has, “seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this”, Revelation 1:19.
While the things mentioned in chapter twenty-two above, take place in the future, this verse also speaks directly to us now.
“And when I saw Him [Jesus], I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.’” Revelation 1:17-19.
Concerning our salvation, we have a holiness and righteousness imputed to us through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Romans 3:20-23.
“…the deeds of the law” mentioned above means the keeping of the Law of Moses, the Ten Commandments, and other things mentioned in the whole law.
That is to say that in Christ, God looks at us as though we are the righteousness of Christ, and in fact we are told that we are new creatures in Christ Jesus.
“Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16b.
In other words, we take the righteousness given to us and in our new nature we grow more righteous, and more holy day by day in our thoughts and actions as we draw nearer to God.
This is an exciting promise for those of us who find ourselves continually falling back into old patterns of sin.
However it is not an entirely passive thing, desire for God draws us to His word, and by this we are washed.
“…that He might sanctify and cleanse it [the church] with the washing of water by the word…” Ephesians 5:26.
We are washed by the word of God, the Bible, this is how the inner man is being renewed day by day, and I might add that this process will go on at the pace that the Christian sets to some degree.
People have different perceptions of God and His plans for us. On the one hand, a person may think that God and the world are compartmentalized, with God demanding a certain amount of our time and the world which operates under a different set of rules taking up the rest.
Someone like this may only concern themselves with the things of God at church while another person will be thinking of Him continually.
The world calls the person who thinks of God continually an unstable fanatic, and they sneer at the one who only thinks of God in church calling them hypocrites.
The idea that God only wants our time at church and cares little about how we spend the rest of it is completely contrary to the reason we were created to begin with.
Several reasons for our creation come immediately to mind, to glorify God, to serve Him, as companions, as children, to see His glory, and to share in it.
In Ephesians chapter three, the Apostle Paul elaborates on this subject.
“To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all people see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Christ Jesus; to the intent that now the manifold [many faceted] wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” Ephesians 3:8-12.
To assume that God fits only in church is shortsighted and an insult to the Lord Himself, as you can see by the expansive plans outlined above.
We were put here for a purpose, and that purpose will stand whether we accept Christ as Savior or reject Him; whether we as Christians, walk with Him or not.
In Psalm 139, God is depicted as continually thinking about you and I even to the point of saying that His thoughts of us are more than the sand of the seashore.
“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:17-18.
He ponders all our ways; this would indicate that He desires more of a relationship than an occasional thought or prayer when we are in trouble.
“For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders [weighs] all his paths [habits].” Proverbs 5:21.
“You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for Your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 32:19.
The Scriptures tell us that we are to love the Lord our God with, all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, this does not leave any room for sunshine soldiers.
“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved [burned up in the end times], what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness…” 2 Peter 3:11.
Is it some sort of insanity or form of madness to want to draw closer to God? The world will tell you yes, a little of God is okay, but too much is a way of escaping reality, and is a sign of weakness.
Never mind that they immerse themselves in entertainment, drugs and alcohol. There is no balance here because the world is at enmity with God. So we are in the world but not of the world, we need to live here but we do not need to assimilate their methods of dealing with each other.
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:8-10.
Godliness flows into every sphere, without exception.
“…he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11b.
God is in an ongoing process of bringing out more and more righteousness and holiness in our lives.
In other words, we are being sanctified (set apart) throughout our lives, and the amazing part of this is that this sanctification will go on right into eternity.
Today we as Christians can look back on our lives even a few months or years and hardly believe that we were the same person back then. Even more so when we look back on our lives on earth after two or three thousand years in heaven, it staggers the imagination!
This is the meaning of the last half of this verse in Revelation, the process will never stop because our loving Father is infinitely holy, and the closer we draw to Him the more holy we will become as He is.
“… I, [Apostle Paul] being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…” Philippians 1:6.
“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12.
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3.
Here ends The Dark Room, Part 1. The first half of Revelation 22:11 will be taken up in the next post, The Dark Room, Part 2.
The Dark Room, Part 1 taken from godisrevealed.com updated on 12-4-18 reposted on 2-20-22.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.