“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 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 tree were for the healing of the nations. 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. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 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.” Revelation 22:1-5.
The above has been retained to maintain context. This post will be concerned with Revelation 22:6-11.
“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. ‘Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.’ 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. 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.’ And he said to me, ‘Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. 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 22:6-11.
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Revelation 22:7.
Jesus tells us “Behold, I am coming quickly!” These words tell us two things; Jesus is warning the members of this current church age that the rapture, His returning to take us to our home in heaven, will occur suddenly.
“But of [But concerning] that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:36-39.
Jesus tells us above that no one can know when He will rapture the church out of the world, opening the way for the tribulation to begin. Yet He chastised the Pharisees for not recognizing the time of His first appearing and birth in Bethlehem.
“Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, ‘When it is evening you say, “It will be fair weather, for the sky is red; and in the morning, it will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.” ‘Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.’” Matthew 16:1-3.
While there were numerous prophecies concerning Jesus’ first advent, what we celebrate as Christmas should not have been a surprise to the religious leaders.
In fact it was not a surprise, read Matthew chapter 2 which shows that King Herod and his staff knew that Jesus was born the promised Messiah, God incarnate.
In spite of all the prophecies the Pharisees and Sadducees conveniently forgot everything and persecuted their Messiah out of jealousy. This is why Jesus chastised them.
Christians on the other hand have no real indication as to when Jesus will return for His church, because no one knows the day or the hour.
However, there are some strong indicators which I believe is a good reason for Jesus to expect us to be ready for His return to take all Christians home.
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.” Matthew 24:6-7.
It is acknowledged by most Jewish scholars that the sentence, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” is a reference to a world war.
World War 1 and World War 2 are considered by historians to be one world war with World War Two being a continuation of World War One.
Knowing that these things have already come true, the Christian should be tipped off that since prophecies of the end times are now happening, Jesus could return to take believers home any moment now.
“Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning – lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” Mark 13:35-37.
This blessing for those who keep the words of this prophecy is similar to the one at the beginning of the book.
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” Revelation 1:3.
The blessing comes from knowing beforehand the signs of the times both for Christians of the church age and those of the tribulation period who wonder what has befallen them.
The Apostle John who wrote down this book of Revelation makes the confession that he “saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw…” this is the witness of a man who is not making these things up, but testifying to their truthfulness.
The Apostle Peter also made an eyewitness declaration about the Lord Jesus.
“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16.
In another place the Apostle John also penned the following words in Scripture.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:1-4.
John is in such awe of the things that that have been revealed to him that he falls down before the angel who showed them to him. The angel quickly corrects his error and tells him to worship God only.
This is a good warning to us in these days when angels are worshiped by many. No matter how powerful or majestic they are, it is just as this angel stated they are fellow servants along with believers and prophets of God.
“Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure. Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!” Psalm 103:20-22.
“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.
The first phrase of this verse should be frightening for every person who rejects Christ as his Savior. Those who die in their sins will be cast into the lake of fire on the day of judgment, meaning that they will be cast in with the full weight of their sins on them.
“He who is unjust, let him be unjust still…” an unjust person is someone who actively and habitually does wrong.
The ungodly who die in their sins are condemned to be eternally, unrelentingly, “unjust still”.
These individuals will constantly think on twisted unjust things, which will bring up memories of their many victims and they will actually feel the misery and the pain they inflicted as if they were the victims. This will form a loop tormenting their souls until another horrifying sin enters their mind – for eternity!
“He who is filthy, let him be filthy still…” a filthy person is morally defiled. Many of us have met individuals like this.
Every thought is filth, the words from their mouth are often shameful, the movies they make, and the books they write are not fit for decent conversation.
The filthy person will suffer the same fate as the unjust. Seemingly it would be pleasurable; however filthy thoughts in a place where there is no hope of acting them out throughout an unchanging eternity would only create a maddening frustration.
And like the unjust the imaginings would remind one of the victims of their filthy ways and they would live the misery, embarrassment, humiliation, and perhaps the painful death of their victims.
And the loop of guilt and pain goes on for the countless years of eternity where there is naught but the sounds of weeping wailing and gnashing of teeth.
“…where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” Mark 9:44, 46, 48.
“…he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11b.
Righteousness and holiness are imputed through the shed blood of Jesus Christ only, and from the day of Salvation all Christians should make it their goal to live and grow in those virtues.
For those who enter heaven these virtues will continue to grow on into eternity, “and when we have been there ten thousand years we will have no less days to sing God’s praise than when we had first begun”!
Unlike those who reject Jesus Christ who will suffer the guilt of sins for eternity, the blood of Christ has taken the believer’s sins away:
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4.
Revelation 22:6-11 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 3-22-17, updated on 12-15-22.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.