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There have been numerous sermons and books and movies on the Book of Revelation, all of which have been taken out of context and distorted to meet man's desires.  There are very few in-depth sermons preached from the original Greek text and placed within it's proper place and time (70 AD).  

Rev. John C. Martin III

Rev. John C. Martin III is a graduate from Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson, Miss.)  He is the pastor of Community Presbyterian Church in Tyler, TX.  Email with comments or questions: john@johncmartin.com

  • Pastor Martin has spent eight years prior to the Revelation series preaching exegetically through the Book of Matthew.  Currently there are four books that have been published, with future plans to publish a six to seven volume complete series. 

Abomination of DesolationThe Beatitudes and the Lord's Prayer;

 Jesus on Divorce; and The Sermon on the Mount

 

 

 

 

We are pleased to announce that Rev. Martin now has his first three of seven volumes published on the complete Sermonic Exposition of the book of Matthew!  Volume 4 is in the process of being published.

 


Follow along with the sermon: http://toginet.com/podcasts/sermonsonrevelation/rev22part12.mp3?type=podpage

 

REVELATION 22:1-21 Part 12

 

1) And it showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, going forth from the throne of God and the Lamb

2) in midst of its streets, and the river flowing hence; and from there a tree of life producing twelve fruits each month, the tree rendering its fruit and its leaves into the healing of the nations;

3) and there will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in her, and His servants will serve Him;

4) and they will see His countenance, His name on their foreheads;

5) and there will be no night there, so they will have no need of a lamp or sunlight, for Kurios God will shine forth upon them; and they will reign into the ages of the ages.

6) Then it said to me ‘these faithful and true words Kurios God of the holy prophets sent His messenger to show His servants what is necessary to come to pass in quickness.

7) Lo, I come quickly. Blessed the one keeping the words of the prophecies of this scroll'.

8) I, John, the one hearing and seeing these things, when I heard and saw I fell down to bow before the feet of the messenger that is showing me these things;

9) and it said to me, ‘see not. I am a fellow servant of you and your brothers the prophets and of those keeping the words of this scroll. Bow to God'.

10) And it said to me, ‘you may not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the time is near;

11) the unrighteous be he yet unrighteous, the filthy be he yet defiled; the righteous be he yet work righteousness, the holy be he yet hallowed.

12) Lo, I come quickly, My wages with Me, to recompence each as is his work.

13) I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

14) Blessed those who wash their garments; for the tree of life will be their privilege, and they may enter the city by the gates.

15) Without.... the dogs and the sorcerers and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and all who love and practice falsehood.

16) I, Jesus, sent My messenger to testify these things to you in the Churches. I AM David's root and offspring; the bright morning star.

17) The Spirit and the bride say ‘come'; and he who hears say ‘come'. He who thirsts let him come; he who longs, let him take to himself the water of life freely.

18) I, I testify to all who hear the words of the prophecy of this scroll: if anyone impose upon them, God will impose upon him the plagues written in this scroll;

19) and if anyone take away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and the holy city as written in this scroll.

20) He Who testifies thus, says: ‘Yea, I come quickly'. Amen, come Kurie Jesus!

21) (The grace of Kuriou Jesus with all of the holy ones.)

 

 

As I mentioned last Lord's Day, I'm going to finish commenting on the text today, and I'm a bit "pensive" about it. No, in fact, I'm in mourning. I don't want it to be over yet.

But for me, it's been much like the guy who, when commenting about what he wanted his life to be like, said: "When I'm done, I want to be exhausted, and be able to say ‘whoa! What a ride!'"

It has been that! Now I can't imagine what it would be like without it!

When we all decided to do this, it was sometime toward the end of 2006. And the first introductory sermon was the first week in January 2007. I remember we were all hoping that God would give me enough time to preach through it.

I'm very thankful that I've been given this much time, because I've learned so much! It's been far-and-away more than I ever expected! And I'm thankful that you've been given to hear it. I can't think of anything that I would rather have done for you; and I'm sure there's nothing that would have served you better... especially if now you will hold the testimony of Jesus and keep His Commandments; and if you will now be bearers and messengers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After all, you have heard it all - front-to-back, line-by-line, word-by-word, precept-upon-precept! And mow you have an obligation; for if not you, then who?

After a couple of concluding messages in summation, we'll take a short break for some much needed rest, and for translation and exegetical work and, God willing, begin the letter to the Churches in Rome sometime in the latter part of January or early February.

 

Now... here in our text, the messenger that was sent directly from the mouth of Jesus appears to John and utters the words of Jesus regarding His imminent Parousia.

We've just heard Jesus say to the Churches that He is the King of Kings Who was "spoken" by David and all the former prophets; and that He is that Morning Star - the dawning of a new day; for previously there was only darkness and the shadow of death. But He will come quickly; and He will be light and life to all the world.

At that point, the end of what is our verse sixteen, He has completed the Revelation of all that was "about to be". And verse seventeen has to do with the anticipation of all that is about to be... at His Parousia.

From the beginning of this letter (which is our first three verses of chapter one) to the end of verse sixteen of chapter twenty-two, Jesus has revealed to John that it is the end of the age, and His Parousia is imminent. It's time for the fullness of all things written. It is "near"; "I Am coming quickly!" The entirety of the scroll makes that perfectly clear!

And now, at verse seventeen, the Spirit and the bride are to say "COME"! And he who hears is to say "COME"!

Before, Jesus said to His disciples that no one knows when the end of the age will take place. And, later, we heard that the blood of the "holy ones" cried out to God for revenge against those who had poured out that blood. "When", they said. And the answer came to them that they had to wait a little while until some more of their brothers were persecuted and their blood poured out on the land. And then would come the end.

And then we heard that every last one of the lost sheep of the house of Jacob were to be saved from the wrath to come; for the wrath of God was poured out on The Christ for all of His holy ones! Only those "remaining in the land" were to suffer that wrath to come in the last days!

And we saw that all those who Jesus called to the wedding feast came. And they were given the white robes of righteousness. She was His "betrothed" who would become "one" in Him -His "bride" - at Pentecost when Holy Spirit descended from the heaven to rebirth all of His holy ones into the body of Christ. And the "Second Adam" would have HIS bride with whom He would become "one". And she would be faithful and true (unlike the bride of the first Adam).

And Holy Spirit would abide IN her, and pray IN her, and direct her and connect her to the ONE Who betrothed her and came for her and called her and had died for her.

And now, at the conclusion of the Revelation, Jesus says to John that the Spirit and the bride say "Come!"

The One Who has made her alive in Christ, and Who prays in-her-and-for-her, and emboldens her, and excites her, and informs her, and invigorates her, and quickens her, and provokes her to bring forth the fruit of holiness and obedience, and reassures her, says "Come!" And she says "Come"! And anyone who hears is to say "Come"!

Having heard these things, the entire Church of Jesus Christ, prompted and aroused by His Spirit, will implore the Lord Jesus to "Come"! No matter what the doubters and pseudoprophets and pseudoteachers were saying, the entire body of Christ was to shout a petition to the Lord and Master of heaven and earth, imploring Him to come; for He said He was coming quickly!

 

He who thirsts for the water of life, let him come; he who longs for it, let him take it freely; for at the Parousia of Jesus, there will flow a river of water of life into a world that was formerly cursed and covered in darkness, and was a wilderness filled with beasts of prey.

And all who are thirsty for that water - anticipate it, yearn for it, crave it - may take it freely and be messengers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ - looking forward to the day when all the earth would once again be a lush paradise to the glory of God; for Jesus had said it... promised it. And it would be done.

Everywhere the river would flow, the tree of life would produce its fruit; and the leaves would be for healing and restoration of the world. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is life from death for all who belong to Him - to all who are written in His book of life. And from those who are raised up to life springs forth the fruit of the Spirit and the balm and healing and restoration of the earth.

And what "newborn" in Christ would not long for that water? What babe in Christ, having heard the Revelation of Jesus Christ, would not thirst for that water, that he might be the bearer and the messenger of life? Desiring it, he may take it freely! There's no "cost" to him; it's a gift! And the emphasis isn't on the gift - which gift, and how to use it; the emphasis is on the word "free"! A gift is free; it's at no cost! And one who thirsts for it and desires it may have it! He may take it without cost, and be a bearer and messenger of life in Christ Jesus.

 

Then John hears these words from Jesus - verse eighteen:

"I, I testify to all who hear the words of the prophecy of this scroll: if anyone impose upon them, God will impose upon him the plagues written in this scroll...."

Because Moses had said something similar to Jesus' words here, then most translations have used those words here at verse eighteen. Moses said, in Deuteronomy chapter four:

 

1) And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes - the laws that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that YAHVEH, the God of your fathers, is giving you.

2) You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of YAHVEH your God that I command you.

3) Your eyes have seen what YAHVEH did at Baal-peor, for YAHVEH your God destroyed from among you all who followed the Baal.

4) But you who held fast to YAHVEH your God are all alive today.

5) See, I have taught you statutes - laws, as YAHVEH my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

6) Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'

7) For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as YAHVEH our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?

8) And what great nation is there, that has statutes - laws so righteous as this law that I set before you today?

 

Because Moses said it like that; and because verse nineteen says "take away" from these words, then it's assumed that verse eighteen ought to say: if anyone "adds to" these words, God will "add to him" the plagues. "Add to", and "take away" are opposites; and it just "fits"! So, it must be the case that John meant "add to" here in eighteen.

That sounds reasonable; and it is certainly true that this is a deliberately "final word" from Jesus; and the Revelation of our Lord is one continuous Word that is unchanging from beginning to end... from Moses to John.

Therefore no one should "add" anything to what our Lord has revealed to John. There is truth there, you see. It "sounds" right; and it IS true! We shouldn't add anything to it.

However, that's not what the text says! And neither does the context support what the common translations say. The context is clearly the pseudoprophets and pseudoteachers and the jezebels and the baalams who (as Jesus had prophesied) were pursuing and persecuting the Lord's people and doing everything they could to subvert the Churches and cause doubt and unrest regarding Jesus' imminent Parousia (chapters two and three)!

The word that Jesus does use here (and that John writes to the Churches) has to do with a hostile environment toward the true and certain and faithful Word of God!

The prophetic Word, from Moses to John, is one continuous Word. And the Word of God is His Strong Right Arm! And HE was made flesh and dwelt among us! HE is the One Who spoke to the prophets of old; and HE is the One speaking to John. And HIS Word is faithful and true.

And an "imposition" toward that Word - to "impose" upon it - means to censor it, to depreciate it, to bring it into disfavor, to aggressively re-interpret it, to dissent from it, or otherwise impugn its integrity and perfections!

The sense of the word that Jesus uses here has to do with "aggression"; and He doesn't make any distinction between the act itself and the intent! Words and deeds that cause doubt or bring ill-repute to the prophetic Word are acts of aggression. They are an "attack" upon the prophetic Word! They "impose" upon it!

And if anyone "impose" upon it, God will impose upon Him all of the plagues written in this scroll! You see, it is the WORD of God - His Strong Right Arm. And HE is the One Who gave Himself for His people! And acts of aggression toward Him will elicit acts of aggression from God! And all of the plagues in the scroll will be his reward!

And the context has to do with judaists who have insinuated themselves into the Churches and are contending against the truth and faithfulness of the prophetic Word!

The "fullness" of all of the written Word - The Lord Jesus Christ - says He's "coming quickly". And there will be "active aggression" against all who have "imposed" upon the words of this scroll; for He will impose upon them all the plagues written in this scroll!

Not only will there come the plagues and the final end upon all remaining in the land; but the Churches are not to suffer the presence of any pseudoprophets and teachers, or any jezebels or balaams. There were some of them in the Churches!! And their presence there, and the suffering they caused, was to the end that those who belonged to the Lord were manifest!!

 

I want you to listen to the apostle Peter in his "rant" against all who "impose upon the words of prophecy" by their words and their deeds... written to the Churches shortly before John's Revelation was sent to them:

He wrote:

12) ...but these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will utterly perish in their destruction,

13) receiving the reward of unrighteousness. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you.

14) They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady persons. They have hearts trained in covetousness. Accursed children!

15) Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing,

16) but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

17) These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved.

18) For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who have barely escaped from those who live in error.

19) They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For of whom one is overcome, of the same he is brought into bondage.

20) For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.

21) For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.

22) What the true proverb says, happens to them: "The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire."

 

Here in our text, Jesus says to John that anyone who imposes upon the words of this scroll are already condemned; and they will receive the reward of their unrighteousness. For God will impose upon him the plagues written in this scroll.

And the Churches that suffer their presence among those who belong to Jesus Christ will receive a "visit" from Him at His Parousia. And their "lampstand" will be removed from them. No longer would they be allowed to be a "light" to the world of the salvation wrought in Christ Jesus the Lord.

And these are serious words to Churches now - nearly two thousand years later. For there is little light - if any at all - coming from many of them as they suffer the pseudoprophets and the jezebels and the balaams among them, and as they are moved along with every wind of doctrine, and as they "impose" upon the prophetic Word.

Now here's verse nineteen:

 

19) and if anyone take away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and the holy city as written in this scroll.

 

We just read this a couple of minutes ago from the apostle Peter:

 

"For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.

For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them."

 

Now, before we comment on that, we need to hear from the writer of the letter to the Hebrews, at chapter ten. Listen carefully now... this is really important to our understanding of what Jesus said to the Churches here at the end of the Revelation:

 

19) Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus

20) by a new and living way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh),

21) and since we have a great high priest over the house of God,

22) let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.

23) Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

24) And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works,

25) not staying away from our worship assemblies, as some do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

26) For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

27) but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries.

28) If anyone disregards Moses' law, he dies without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

29) How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

30) For we know the One who has said, Vengeance belongs to Me, I will repay, and again, The Lord will judge His people.

31) It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

32) Remember the earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured such a hard struggle with sufferings.

Sometimes you were publicly exposed to taunts and afflictions, and at other times you were companions of those who were treated that way.

33) For you had compassion on the prisoners and accepted with joy the confiscation of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves have a better and enduring possession.

34) So don't throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

35) For you need endurance, so that after you have done God's will, you may receive what was promised.

36) For yet in a very little while, the Coming One will come and not delay.

37) But My righteous one will live by faith; but if one draws back, I have no pleasure in him.

38) But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who faith and have life.

 

And, once again, the words of Jesus to John here in verse nineteen:

 

19) and if anyone take away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and the holy city as written in this scroll.

 

There are two things that are important to our understanding of this warning from Jesus.

The first one is this: both the letter to the Hebrews (i.e. the Jews), and the letter from Peter, clearly state that the day of His "coming" is imminent. Therefore the continuity is established with the final prophecy of John to the Churches. All three reveal the same thing.

If anyone in the Churches "take away" from, or remove, or cut off the words of this scroll of prophecy, his part in the tree of life, and his part in the new, and holy, city of Jerusalem, will be taken away, or removed, or cut off.

Obviously it is those in the Churches who retain their antagonism toward the Word of Prophecy, and who continue in their words and deeds of unrighteousness that are the ones who were "taking away" from the words of the scroll of prophecy, and who would be cut off from their part of the tree of life and the new holy city.

The second important point to remember here is that God's covenant was made with all members of the tribes of Jacob! They all were to be circumcised; and they all were to be participants in the annual passover feast in which their salvation was prophesied! And they all received the promises of blessing from God should they anticipate the Savior of the World and obey God's Law. And, too, they all received the warning of God's wrath should they not be faithful.

All members of the tribes of Jacob had "part" in the covenant; all members of the tribes of Jacob had part in the promises of God; all of them had part in the sacrificial Lamb of God; all of them had part in the tree of life in the promised land; all of them had part in the city of Jerusalem in which would be the man-made tabernacle of God.

And in our text, Jesus says that, by their words and deeds of unrighteousness, those who take away from the words of the prophecy of this scroll, their part in the tree of life and the holy city would be taken away, or cut off!

This final Word of Prophecy from our Lord Jesus was written to Jews. They were all members of the twelve tribes of Jacob who were rescued from Israel before the Parousia of Jesus Christ and the pouring out of the wrath of God upon the land.

Included in the rescue were not only the elect remnant of Jacob (the Daughter of Zion), but obviously there were members of the covenant who were not of the hundred and forty four thousand "holy ones" who Jesus came to seek and to save.

And in addition to those, there were many (Jesus Himself prophesied this to His disciples) there were many judaists who pursued and persecuted and slandered and tried the ones who belonged to the Christ; and they caused them great suffering.

Before our Lord's Parousia, it wasn't Romanists who persecuted the Church, you see; it was judaists!

Needless to say, there were some in the Churches who were covenantal members of the tribes of Jacob who were not of the elect Daughter of Zion, who were not among the hundred and forty four thousands who Jesus came to seek and to save. There were those who were already in the nations; and there were those who came out of the land with our Lord's elect!

And their words and deeds proved their intent to "take away" from the words of prophecy, to deny the Christ of God was the promised Messiah, to rail against His imminent Parousia, and to subvert the Churches with their high-sounding words and lascivious lifestyles!

They were deceivers and pseudoteachers in the Churches who participated in the assemblies; they feasted with them; they received all the benefits of the congregations of Christ's holy ones; they gained knowledge of God from the preaching and teaching and from the letters of the apostles, and from this last prophetic Word from John.

But as the letter to the Hebrews said, it would be better for them had they not received all of these benefits; for their latter state was worse than it would have been had they not been among the Lord's holy ones!

As Jesus said to John here in verses eighteen and nineteen, their covenantal "part" in the tree of life and the holy city (all promised to them by Moses) would be taken away from them, and they would be "rewarded" for their works with all the plagues in this scroll.

Then in verse twenty John writes the final Words from Jesus at the close of the prophecy. The Spirit and the bride say "Come!". And here He says "Yes", I come quickly". And John adds his own prayer to the others: "Come, Kurie Jesus".

There's some serious doubt as to whether verse twenty-one is in the original text; so I've included it but put it in parentheses. However, it is very appropriate (if it is, indeed, original); for, in the light of Jesus' warnings to the Churches in chapters two and three, and due to the presence of these deceivers in the Churches who imposed upon the Word of prophecy, a prayer to our Lord for His grace toward these Churches is pertinent and warranted.

 

Now, just as a "postscript", let's spend our last couple of minutes reflecting on the "tree of life" that grows up from the river of water of life. We haven't yet spoken about the "fruit" that it would continually bear for the nations in the new heaven and the new earth at the Parousia of the Christ.

What is that fruit?

Judaists "part" in the tree of life would be taken away from them; so they, obviously, would have no fruit. But the fruit would be plentiful, every month, for the Gentile nations of the earth. For as the river of water of life flowed into tribes and tongues and peoples, there would be that tree of life springing up from it; and there would be fruit; inevitably there would be fruit.

There are numbers of passages having to do with the fruit in the Gospels. We've dealt with lots of them in the past. And it is also true in the letters of the apostles, some of which differentiate between the fruit borne of an "evil" tree and that of a "good" tree.

We've also noted, from the psalmist, that one who obeys God's Law-word is like a tree planted by the river of water that brings forth fruit every season.

And there are many others.

But that passage that many call the premiere passage concerning the Spirit's fruit was written by Paul to all the Churches in Galatia some years before the Revelation to John.

Here it is from Galatians five:

 

22) But the Spirit's fruit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23) meekness, self-control; there is no law against these!

24) And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its vices and lusts.

25) If we are alive by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

 

Just a few things here... first, the Spirit's fruit is as a result of the rebirth from death unto life - dying to sin and death, being made alive in Christ. By the work of Holy Spirit we are made new creations in Him; and there's this wonderful connection to Him in which we are freed from our former heritage in Adam.

Secondly, since there is no law against the Spirit's fruit, we no longer come under the condemnation of the law against fornication, uncleanness, murder, drunkenness, gluttony, idolatry, sorcery, envy, strife, divisions, etc., all of which Paul wrote just before he wrote the Spirit's fruit!

Thirdly, all of us who are born of the Spirit in Christ Jesus have crucified the old adamic flesh with its vices and passions and lusts. And it's no different for us than it was for the firstfruit of the resurrection! And since we are alive by the Spirit, we are to walk by the Spirit in the Spirit's fruit - just like Paul told our Lord's "holy ones" in the first century Churches! The fruit of the "old man" is put to death; and the new creation in Christ exhibits the Spirit's fruit!

And, lastly, the Spirit's fruit is ubiquitous! All who are re-born into Christ - we all bear the fruit that is borne of the Spirit! We crucify the fruit (or works) of the flesh! We put them to death! But the Spirit's fruit is the nature and character of the Christ. And it is manifest - evident - in all who belong to Him!

And we shall know them by their fruit.

 

With this, we have completed the preaching of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. As I said, we'll have a few Sundays in summation during which we'll touch on a few topics of interest... and we'll be done.

My earnest prayer for each of us is that we will manifest the Spirit's fruit by holding the testimony of Jesus and keeping His Commandments, and that we will all be bearers and messengers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

 

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Follow along with the sermon on Revelation 22:1-21 Part 11

Follow along with the sermon: http://toginet.com/podcasts/sermonsonrevelation/rev22part11.mp3?type=podpage

 

REVELATION 22:1-21 Part 11 

1) And it showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, going forth from the throne of God and the Lamb

2) in midst of its streets, and the river flowing hence; and from there a tree of life producing twelve fruits each month, the tree rendering its fruit and its leaves into the healing of the nations;

3) and there will no longer be any curse.  The throne of God and the Lamb will be in her, and His servants will serve Him;

4) and they will see His countenance, His name on their foreheads;

5)and there will be no night there, so they will have no need of a lamp or sunlight, for Kurios God will shine forth upon them; and they will reign into the ages of the ages.

6) Then it said to me ‘these faithful and true words Kurios God of the holy prophets sent His messenger to show His servants what is necessary to come to pass in quickness.

7) Lo, I come quickly.  Blessed the one keeping the words of the prophecies of this scroll'.

8) I, John, the one hearing and seeing these things, when I heard and saw I fell down to bow before the feet of the messenger that is showing me these things;

9) and it said to me, ‘see not.  I am a fellow servant of you and your brothers the prophets and of those keeping the words of this scroll.  Bow to God'.

10) And it said to me, ‘you may not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the time is near;

11)  the unrighteous be he yet unrighteous, the filthy be he yet defiled; the righteous be he yet work righteousness, the holy be he yet hallowed.

12)  Lo, I come quickly, My wages with Me, to recompence each as is his work.

13)  I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

14)  Blessed those who wash their garments; for the tree of life will be their privilege, and they may enter the city by the gates.

15)  Without... the dogs and the sorcerers and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and all who love and practice falsehood.

16)  I, Jesus, sent My messenger to testify these things to you in the Churches.  I AM David's root and offspring; the bright morning star.

17)  The Spirit and the bride say ‘come'; and he who hears say ‘come'.  He who thirsts let him come; he who longs, let him take to himself the water of life freely.

18)  I, I testify to all who hear the words of the prophecy of this scroll: if anyone impose upon them, God will impose upon him the plagues written in this scroll;

19)  and if anyone take away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and the holy city as written in this scroll.

20)  He Who testifies thus, says: ‘Yea, I come quickly'.  Amen, come Kurie Jesus!

21)  (The grace of Kuriou Jesus with all of the holy ones.)

 

Until the "Light" shines, until the Morning Star arises, the Lord's people in the Churches were to hold fast to that which is written in the prophetic Word; for it is near at hand!

And that Word says that, in the latter days, One shall arise out of Jacob with the "scepter" of dominion - the "rod" of supreme authority; sovereign rule over all things; for He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  He is Kurios Kuriwn - Lord and Master of all that was made.

He IS the "Morning Star" Who would arise as the "dawn" of a new "day" over a world which existed in a state of gross sin-darkness and was under the curse of God. 

At His appearance He would destroy all the remainder of that nation which perverted the peoples and tribes and tongues of the earth with the wine of her fornication; for Israel (which was to be the city on a hill and the light of the world) was "worse" than the Gentile barbarians of the world.

And there would be a new heaven and a new earth and a new Jerusalem; and God would abide with man.

And there would no longer be a curse.  And the River of the Water of Life would flow freely unto the farthest reaches of this creation.  And the tree of life would be the fruit for the feeding of the nations; and the leaves for the healing and restoration of all things.

And during all the years of His reign and rule, the full "Light" of the Savior of the world would be witnessed in all the nations of the earth.  And they would "see".  And they would come.  And they would bring multitudes to worship God and the Lamb in His abode with man.  And there would be increasing "peace with God" - and peace among men, and great prosperity in the nations as the creation is progressively restored.

This that we're reading here at the end of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is the prophetic Word to the firstfruit of the resurrection, who were scattered among the peoples of the world; and that whole world was in wretched darkness.  He had kept this "remnant" of the tribes of Jacob; they were His; and they were the "firsts".

But this last prophetic Word (which connects to, and fills up, all of the former prophetic Word) was more sure that anything they were experiencing; and, certainly, more sure than anything said by the dogs and the Jezebels and the Balaams that were among them (and attempting to subvert them)!  Hold the testimony of Jesus (John wrote to them)!  Keep His Commandments!  The Root and Offspring of David had arrived at the end of the age, as prophesied, with the scepter of dominion in His hand!

And He, the Morning Star, would soon arise.  The dawn was soon to come; and the light would shine over the nations and peoples and tongues of the earth who have heretofore lived in gross darkness.

We need to explore this "darkness and light" during our time together this morning; for this is the "crux" of the matter here at the conclusion of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.  It is at the "heart" of the continuity of God's Word. When we get this, the whole of the text of Scripture comes into focus!

So, what is God's perspective here - with regard to death and darkness (on the one hand), and light and life?  And what was it that was about to happen in the fullness of the time?

Listen to what God revealed to Isaiah at chapter nine:

"But there will be no pall of darkness for her that was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter day he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, beyond Galilee of the nations!

The peoples that walked in darkness will see a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them will the light shine.

...

For a child will  be born to us, a son will be given unto us; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

His dominion will be vast; its prosperity will never end.  He will reign upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from henceforth and for ever. The zeal of YAHVEH of hosts will perform this.

 

"The peoples that walked in darkness will see a great light!"

What was it that was revealed to this apostle, John, as written in the first chapter of his Gospel?  He wrote:

"Life was in Him, and life was the light of man."

And what was it that was revealed to John as written in his third letter to the Churches at the end of the age... before our Lord's Parousia?  He wrote:

 

"Yet I am writing you a new command, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and very light is already shining."

 

And here in our text, as Jesus Christ reveals His imminent appearance seven times, He says to John (verse sixteen) "I AM the bright Morning Star".

Earlier in his Gospel, John wrote that the One by Whom all things were made was born into the world; but the darkness didn't perceive Him!  However, here in the Revelation, His sacrifice having been made, and having been glorified, and having received His inheritance, He tells John that His Parousia is imminent, and He is the light of the world... the Morning Star!

There is a hymn that was written in the late nineteenth century, and it's a favorite among fundamentalist Churches.  The first line goes like this:  "the whole world was lost in the darkness of sin; the light of the world is Jesus".

It so happens that that first line is the only part of the hymn that's worth singing, because all the rest of it is touchy-feely stuff.  But that first line is "right on"!

The whole world was lost and in "darkness"!

The darkness over all the world spoken by God to the prophets was a "thick" darkness... much like the three hours of darkness when Jesus hung on the cross.  There was NO light; no stars, no moon, no lamps... a complete absence of light - only darkness!  The darkness did not "know" Him.

God spoke His will and intent regarding the world's darkness and the coming of the Light at the end of the age.  Isaiah records one of those instances in chapter sixty:

 

1)      Arise, shine; for your light comes!  The glory of the Lord rises upon you.

2)      For, behold, darkness covers the earth, gross darkness covers the people; but YAHVEH shall arise upon you; His glory shall be seen upon you.

3)      And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

 

Thick, gross darkness is a state associated with, and simultaneous to, death.  It is the absence of Light; for there is no "life".  And this was the state of the world before the "rising" of the Morning Star.  Jesus Christ is the Morning Star; and In Him is light and life!

It is God's perspective of all that He has made and all that He wills and intends.  And therefore we have to perceive it as HE does!  This is the sure and faithful word of prophecy to the Churches just before Jesus' Parousia!

Well, what was the state of humanity and the creation at the beginning?  As Moses wrote, the creation was all in the full light of the glory of God!  It was a lush paradise with every good and beautiful thing!  He had made it all to reflect His glory.  And those who God had made in His Own image, and into whom He had breathed "life", had intimate communion with their Creator!

But what was it like after sin entered the world?  The first thing to be noted was the curse of God upon mankind and the creation.  No longer would there be the light of His Presence.  Henceforth He would abide above His tabernacle in the heaven; and there would be a glory cloud between Him and His cursed and wretched creation.  From that time there was gross darkness... an absence of His glorious light!  And although a promise was made of a coming Savior of the world, mankind was dead and blinded in thick darkness and could not see!

Cursed mankind died to life. Death reigned in his mortal body; and he was depraved in his very being and existence... being made unable to see light, or to have life, or to do anything to earn it!  How could he do anything to earn it if he couldn't see what it was that he should earn!!?  He was blind!  And he gave birth only to offspring just like himself, and there was no access to the tree of life and its fruit.

The earth itself, cursed as it was, brought forth briars and thorns; for there was a pall of darkness over it all.  And there set in an integral deterioration and dissipation of all that was made.  And man had to work by the sweat of his brow to bring forth any order to it.

And as he produced more of his own kind (all of them doing what was right in their own eyes), the destruction and disintegration was exponentially increased.

Squandering, indulging, lusting; degeneracy and perversion, debasement; idolatry, sorcery, murder and warfare filled the earth along with the increasing numbers of depraved humanity.

And the earth itself reflected that decadence; for it increasingly became an exhausted wilderness - a wasted earth - in dissolution and decline.

And later, even God's chosen people filled the earth with licentiousness; for she perverted the nations even more with her fornication!

And the whole earth became covered in blood as four savage, cold-blooded, merciless kings arose to subdue the world to themselves.  And everywhere they went, they left a wasteland occupied only by vultures that gorged themselves on human carrion.

Under the curse of God, you see, there was no light!  Only darkness and increasing decline and misery.  And the earth was in "random decay" (as they say) and deterioration... described by God through the prophets as a desert wilderness fit only for wild beasts lying in wait - ready to pounce upon their prey.  And the peoples of the earth were a violent and turbulent "sea" of humanity!

And the four kingdom nations of history were, indeed, described by God in His Word as "beasts".  And the priests and elders and pharisees of Israel were called jackals and wolves.

It was all a wilderness with no glorious light.  The whole world was cursed and in darkness.  It became worse and worse!  It deteriorated.  It came apart.  The very creation that God had made to reflect His glory was in a state of disintegration.

When the Savior of the world was born, Israel was in such "blackness", that it didn't know the One Who was prophesied... the Anointed One sent by God at the end of the age!  John wrote of the darkness.  He said: "the darkness did not know Him."  Along with all the rest of the world, the sons of Jacob were in deep, thick darkness.

Because she had been given the Law and the Prophets, Israel was "worse" than the Gentile nations!  She was blinded and in "palpable" darkness.

Everything and everybody in this world was covered in gloom, and there was no knowledge of God.  Israel didn't know David's Lord and David's Son when He appeared; and the rest of the world had never even heard His Name!

Once more, everyone was doing what was right in his own eyes; and the major industry was producing weapons of savagery.  The ones who God had made in His Own image were doing nothing more than what was instinctive to animals: copulate, kill and eat!

Oh, and some even built great shrines to themselves in which they could copulate, kill and eat... more leisurely!

Others formulated great philosophies by which they could justify themselves.  And many more made figurines and idols with which they could converse about themselves!

We could go on with that; but the point here is that from the creation to the end of the age there was only deterioration and disintegration!  God had cursed mankind and the world; and that was the result.

BUT...God had covenanted; He had promised that, in the latter days, One would be born Who would be the Savior of the world.  And through the prophets He made it known from the beginning!

As the entire sacrificial and ceremonial system indicated, He would be sacrificed for the sin of the world; He defeated and destroyed death by coming up out of it; He ascended to the right of the Father, and was crowned King of Kings and received all the nations as His inheritance.

And at His Parousia a "new day" would dawn; for He would be the Light of the world.  The Morning Star would arise, and there would no longer be a curse!  And the One given absolute rule over everything in the heaven and on the earth would begin the reversal from gross darkness to the full light of His glory.

And over the course of all of the decreed years, the King of Kings and Savior of the world would bring light and life to all of His creation!  The death and disintegration and disorder and waste and chaos of a world - lost and covered in the gloom of darkness - would be rescinded, revoked... nullified!

He would reverse the disintegration.  Through all the years of His reign and rule, darkness would be increasingly decreated.

At His Parousia, there was the dawning of the Morning Star.  At first light, there was the beginning of a new heaven and a new earth in which there was no longer a curse.

And throughout all the years of His Kingdom there would be increasing light until all the earth would be in the full light of the world's Savior.  And kings and nations and peoples would come to His light.

And the river of the water of life would flow ever deeper and ever wider into the farthest reaches... the tree of life producing its fruit; and its leaves for healing and the restoration of all things.

 

1)      Arise, shine; for your light is come (Isaiah wrote), and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

2)      For, behold, darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people; but YAHVEH shall arise upon you, and his glory shall be seen upon you.

3)      And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

 

Multitudes of mankind would be raised out of death unto life in Christ Jesus (the second Adam).  There would be increasing peace with God; for the roiling, foaming sea of cursed humanity would be calmed.  The earth would no longer suffer deterioration, but would be increasingly restored to its order.  And the desert wastelands would be made lush and fruitful.

More and more, man would be obedient to God's Law-word; and they would transform their weapons of savagery into tools of production.  The serpent of old would be bound and sealed in the abyss; so newborns in Christ would be free to work and play in its former realm.  And the Lamb of God would soothe the bruises and scratches of His sheep with the balm of the leaves of the tree of life without fear of beasts of prey.

In the full light of Christ there would no longer be darkness and deterioration... but light and life, and the restoration of all things.  He made full payment and restitution for sin and death and the curse.  And God the Father is satisfied with that payment.  And His Anointed One - the Word of God - His Strong Right Arm, will cause it all to be reversed - and paradise restored, all for the glory of God.

There is the will and intent of God, from Whose perspective we must see.  From the creation to the Christ there was only darkness and death - and continuing, and increasing, deterioration throughout the age.

But at the Parousia of the Christ - The Savior of the World - there would be light and life and the continuing, and increasing, restoration of all things throughout the years of His reign and rule.

And as we see, and adopt, God's perspective on all that He has made, the focus of the entire Word of God comes into full view.

And that's what the firstfruit of our Lord's resurrection were enabled to see when Jesus sent this scroll for them to read and hear.  It is a majestic prophetic Word - to them and to us; for by no means is all of His prophesied work done!  There is much to come!

Even though the ever-increasing light of Christ shines in all the world, there are still many who are blind and refuse to see the light that's all around them; for there are many sons of the devil who won't submit to the King.

And even though there has been increasing peace and tranquility in many nations of the earth, there are still brutal men and tribes ravaging and raping and killing their neighbors.  These will all become fewer and fewer as the sons of God are made manifest.

And even though there are men who contest the kingship of Jesus Christ and try to replace Him with their own dominion, the worship of God in the Name of Jesus is multiplying exponentially all over the earth.  Men and women and children are flowing into the New Jerusalem in huge numbers; where, before, none had ever even heard His name.

And even though there are plenty of places around the world where populations still live with minimal provision, much of mankind now lives in greater wealth and prosperity than ever could have been imagined before the time of our Lord's Parousia!

And even though there are still some places in the world where the human life span is still short, much of the world has advanced medical care, good food and wine, and excellent nutrition, all used by our Lord to extend life far beyond that of humanity before Christ.  Even considering abortions and plagues among the perverted, life spans in peaceful and civilized societies are extended well up into the eighties - more than twice that of people who lived before Christ.  And life is promised to be increased even more.

And there is much more to come, you see!  Peace on earth; great prosperity; knowledge of God and His so great salvation in a vast majority of the earth's population; long life; deep renewal and restoration of the earth.  And judgment day, when all the works of the wicked will be judged.

All of these commenced at His Parousia; and in all the years of His reign and rule, these things are yet to be in their fullness!  For He will finish His work in order to bring glory to the Father.

As we finish this morning, let's read the words of prophecy to which our Lord refers just before His Parousia:

First, from Moses in Deuteronomy twenty-eight:

 

2)      And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.

3)      Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.

4)      Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock.

5)      Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

6)      Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

7)      "YAHVEH will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.

8)      The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God will give you.

9)      YAHVEH will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways.

10)  And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of YAHVEH, and they shall fear you.

11)  And YAHVEH will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that YAHVEH swore to your fathers to give you.

12)  YAHVEH will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.

13)  And YAHVEH will make you the head and not the tail; and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of YAHVEH your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them,

14)  and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

 

Then from Isaiah sixty-five:

 

17)  For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

18)  But be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

19)  And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and there shall be heard in her no more the voice of weeping and the voice of crying.

20)  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed.

21)  And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

22)  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree shall be the days of my people, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

23)  They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for calamity; for they are the seed of the blessed of YAHVEH, and their offspring with them.

24)  And it shall come to pass that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

25)  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, says YAHVEH.

 

And from the prophecy of Ezekiel, at chapter thirty-four:

 

22)  ...therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

23)  And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them... even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.

24)  And I, YAHVEH, will be their God, and my servant David prince among them; I, YAHVEH, have spoken it.

25)  And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell securely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

26)  And I will make them and the places all around my mountain a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in its season; there shall be showers of blessing.

27)  And the tree of the field shall yield its fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in the land; and they shall know that I am YAHVEH, when I have broken the bars of their yoke, and have delivered them out of the hand of those that made bondmen of them.

28)  And they shall no more be a prey to the nations, neither shall the beasts of the earth devour them; for they shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid.

29)  And I will raise up unto them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with famine .., neither bear the shame of the nations any more.

30)  And they shall know that I, YAHVEH their God am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says YAHVEH.

 

As the apostle Peter wrote to the Churches before the sending of this scroll, prophecy is more sure than anything they saw or experienced.  And although they were sent out into the world before the Parousia of the Christ, they were to rejoice in hope and anticipation of all that was about to take place.  They were to hear the Word of prophecy, and hold fast the testimony of Jesus, and keep His Commandments.  For the time was near for the Morning Star to arise, for the Light of the world is Jesus.

The decline and debasement and deterioration and decomposition of heaven and earth occurred over the course of millennia.  There was decay and fragmenting and coming-apart of the very structure of the creation itself due to God's curse.  It was all in thick darkness and death; and it would not hold together.

Had it not been for the covenant between Father, Son and Spirit for the salvation of the world, the entire creation would have dissipated.  It would not have held together to sustain life of any kind.

But when Jesus came - at the end of the age, in the fullness of the prophesied time in which all the world was in thick, palpable darkness - that first heaven and earth passed away in the dawn of a new day.  "And BEHOLD!  I will create a new heaven and a new earth", God said... as written by Isaiah.

"And there would be no more curse".

And God would abide with man.

And the light of the Morning Star, the Savior of the world, would decreate the darkness.  And throughout all the years, or millennia, of His Kingship, the effects of the darkness and death would be increasingly reversed until the knowledge of God would cover the earth as the water covers the sea.  It would all be in the full light of His Person and His salvation.

And it would no longer be subjected to death and darkness and deterioration; for IN HIM all things hold together.  All things are attached to the Rock Who is immoveable and unchangeable.

All of these words from Jesus to the Churches are faithful and true.  They are the prophetic Word which is more sure that any reason or experience of men... certainly more than any "manipulation" of His Words.

This is that "point of convergence" through which all the rest of God's Word is "sharpened".  It all comes into "focus" right here at the end of the Revelation.

Millennia of sin and darkness and death and the curse.  But at His Parousia that was all negated, revoked, invalidated... decreated; for He is the Word of God, the Strong Right Arm, the Anointed One Who would save His people and this creation to the uttermost - to the glory of the Father.

 

 

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Follow along with the sermon on Revelation 22:1-21 Part 10

Follow along with the sermon: http://toginet.com/podcasts/sermonsonrevelation/rev22part%2010.mp3?type=podpage

 

REVELATION 22:1-21 Part 10

 

1)      And it showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, going forth from the throne of God and the Lamb

2)      in midst of its streets, and the river flowing hence; and from there a tree of life producing twelve fruits each month, the tree rendering its fruit and its leaves into the healing of the nations;

3)      and there will no longer be any curse.  The throne of God and the Lamb will be in her, and His servants will serve Him;

4)      and they will see His countenance, His name on their foreheads;

5)      and there will be no night there, so they will have no need of a lamp or sunlight, for Kurios God will shine forth upon them; and they will reign into the ages of the ages.

6)      Then it said to me ‘these faithful and true words Kurios God of the holy prophets sent His messenger to show His servants what is necessary to come to pass in quickness.

7)      Lo, I come quickly.  Blessed the one keeping the words of the prophecies of this scroll'.

8)      I, John, the one hearing and seeing these things, when I heard and saw I fell down to bow before the feet of the messenger that is showing me these things;

9)      and it said to me, ‘see not.  I am a fellow servant of you and your brothers the prophets and of those keeping the words of this scroll.  Bow to God'.

10)  And it said to me, ‘you may not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the time is near;

11)  the unrighteous be he yet unrighteous, the filthy be he yet defiled; the righteous be he yet work righteousness, the holy be he yet hallowed.

12)  Lo, I come quickly, My wages with Me, to recompence each as is his work.

13)  I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

14)  Blessed those who wash their garments; for the tree of life will be their privilege, and they may enter the city by the gates.

15)  Without.... the dogs and the sorcerers and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and all who love and practice falsehood.

16)  I, Jesus, sent My messenger to testify these things to you in the Churches.  I AM David's root and offspring; the bright morning star.

17)  The Spirit and the bride say ‘come'; and he who hears say ‘come'.  He who thirsts let him come; he who longs, let him take to himself the water of life freely.

18)  I, I testify to all who hear the words of the prophecy of this scroll: if anyone impose upon them, God will impose upon him the plagues written in this scroll;

19)  and if anyone take away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and the holy city as written in this scroll.

20)  He Who testifies thus, says: ‘Yea, I come quickly'.  Amen, come Kurie Jesus!

21)  (The grace of Kuriou Jesus with all of the holy ones.)


We have before us the final words of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Churches just before His Parousia.  The words extend to the farthest reaches of the prophetic Word regarding our Lord and Savior, and referring the Churches, again and again, back to the original seven messages of chapters two and three.

These are words that cause us to extend ourselves to our own limits and to depend on Holy Spirit to teach us; for we are the "children" of the firstfruits of the resurrection... ones written in the Lambs book of life from the beginning!  So, it's incumbent on us to know as much as we're given to understand, no matter how difficult it may seem.

Here a little; there a little.  And the jots and tittles will grow into great pearls!  And the praise for our Redeemer will bring Him glory.

Before we come to verse sixteen though (which will drive us back to verse fifteen anyway), as you will remember, the explicatory and illustrative number by which God refers to man in the prophetic Word is "six".  Fallen mankind, in his desire to be "as God" in his own right, continues to be that way "ad infinitum".  Thus, the perfect "three" sixes - six, six, six.

Cursed and depraved man can never achieve the qualitative perfection (indicated by the number "seven"), nor can he be "as God" in perfect "threeness"!

The "threeness" permeates the Revelation of Jesus Christ; and we hear it once again in verse thirteen, at which point our Lord refers to Himself three times: He said: "I AM  the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End".

Yet, when He refers to fallen mankind (those who have no entrance into the tabernacle of God and the Lamb), there are six categories (verse fifteen): the dogs and the sorcerers and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and all who love and practice falsehood!  It is the gross darkness of mankind left in his sin and under the curse of God.

All who are written in the Lamb's book of life and are made alive in Christ and have washed their garments may enter through the gates of the twelve tribes of Jacob into the New, and holy, Jerusalem to worship and serve God and the Lamb.

However, all of the "sixes" are without!  And none of them are privileged to the fruit of the tree of life and entrance into the tabernacle of God with us!

Now.  In verse sixteen, Jesus verifies once again that it is He Who has sent His messenger to testify all of these things; and the message is for "all of you in the Churches".  The messenger is sent directly from Jesus and speaks His very words.  And the words are to "all of you holy ones".

The "seven" Churches to which were sent the messages in chapters two and three indicate the totality of the Churches and all of the holy ones who have been sent out into the nations.  The Revelation of Jesus Christ was to all of the Churches... all of the holy ones.

When you're reading through your Bibles, you may come across the word "saints" with reference to those of the tribes of Jacob who God had kept for Himself.  I really don't like the use of that word, because it indicates that there may have been something inherently "holy" about them... and therefore God had kept them.

Such is not the case.  They were "holy ones" because God had kept them from the beginning - not because they somehow had chosen to know Him and be obedient to Him.

The holy ones to whom this letter was sent were the ones who were present at Pentecost and sent back into the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and they were the ones in Israel who Jesus had come to seek and to save.  As He had called them in the older Scripture, so He called them here!  He had known them from the beginning, and He called them "holy ones".

All together they were the remnant of Israel, the Daughter of Zion, the elect of God from the tribes of Jacob, the firstfruit of the resurrection.  This was the Church of Jesus Christ, established in every nation on earth (all seventy of them).  They are the holy ones.  And the words of the prophecy of this scroll were sent to them in the last days when our Lord's Parousia was near at hand!

As Jesus said, here in verse sixteen, this message was sent by Him to "you (plural) in the Churches.  All of them.  All of the holy ones were to hear it and be strengthened in advance of the mighty things that were to come to pass "quickly".

And the words to them are also to be understood by us, as well.

And then Jesus says to them (second part of verse sixteen): "I AM David's root and offspring...."

The strengthening and confidence and assurance of all of His holy ones in all of the Churches in the nations would have been greatly enhanced by this statement from Jesus; for it drives down to the very core of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the King of Kings and Savior of the world.

So it's appropriate that we take time here at the end of the Revelation to understand it as best we can; for it will provide us the same confidence and assurance that it gave the original Churches of the firstfruit.

The first thing to note is the present tense "I AM".  And it's the same as at verse thirteen where Jesus said "I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  Here He says: "I AM David's root and offspring".

The first to hear the great "I AM" was Moses.  He asked "who should I tell them sent me?  And God said: "tell them I AM sent you".  That name, with the Hebrew markings included, is the name YAHVEH.

By the threefold I AM in verse thirteen, and the I AM here in verse sixteen, Jesus tells the Churches that He IS the I AM Who was the only one able to open the seven seals of the scroll (chapter five).  He IS the root and offspring of David.  And He IS the One Who spoke to Moses.

And He is the One to Whom Moses spoke later on regarding the people who had been freed from bondage in Egypt.

Recorded in Exodus 15, this is what Moses said of Him:


"You (YAHVEH) shall bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance."


The twelve tribes of Jacob, freed from bondage, would be planted in the promised land.  And they were to take root there and bring forth fruit unto YAHVEH among the nations of the earth.  And it's obvious throughout the text of Scripture (and here in the Revelation) that He is that "root".  I AM is the beginning and the end!  He IS the root of the planting!

But, Moses told them, should they not obey, curses would be brought against the nation; and it would be uprooted and burned.

Now, five hundred years later, King David wrote this in Psalm 110:


"The Lord said unto my Lord, ‘Sit at my right until I make your enemies your footstool". 

The Psalm is obviously about the coming Anointed One - the King of Kings and Savior of the world.  King David, by the Spirit, spoke of Him.

Jesus, in a confrontation with pharisees, quotes King David, as recorded in Matthew chapter twenty-two. Here it is:


41)  While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,

42)  saying, "What think ye of Christ (the Anointed One)? whose son is he?" They say unto him, ‘The son of David'.

43)  He said unto them, "how then does David in spirit call him Lord, saying,

44)  The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit on my right, until I make your enemies your footstool?

45)  If David then called Him Lord, how is He (then) his son?


The pharisees couldn't answer Him of course.  But we can!  It's right here in the text of the Revelation.  He is David's "root" and David's "offspring" (verse sixteen)!  David's "Lord" is the very One - I AM - from Whom David "sprang up".  And, He is the One born in the line of David - David's Son.

Not only was YAHVEH God the very source - the root - of David's existence and David's Kingship of Israel; but David's son (to be born at the end of the age) would also be David's Lord and Master!

The pharisees had no answer to Jesus' question.  He was the "root" and "offspring" of David.  There had been another "planting", you see.  The pharisees were not of this root and this offspring; so their eyes were blind and their ears deaf!

Moses had said that they would be "planted" in the promised land.  But if they did not obey the One Who planted them, then all the curses would come upon them; and there would be another "planting".

Some three hundred years after David, God spoke these things to Israel through the prophet Isaiah.  Listen at chapter eleven:


1)      And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch of his roots shall bear fruit.

2)      And the Spirit of YAHVEH shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of YAHVEH.

3)      And his delight shall be in the fear of YAHVEH; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither decide after the hearing of his ears;

4)      but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the land with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

5)      And righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins.

6)      And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

7)      And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8)      And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.

9)      They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of YAHVEH, as the waters cover the sea.

10)  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the root of Jesse (David's father), that stands as a sign to the peoples, unto him shall the nations seek; and His rest shall be glorious.


He is the "root" of all His holy ones.  And the nations (the Gentiles) will seek Him; and He will give them "rest".

Listen to the prophet Malachi at chapter four:


1)      For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that coms shall burn them up, says YAHVEH of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

2)      But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

3)      And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, says YAHVEH of hosts.


He shall leave them with neither root nor branch.

This people who God "planted" in the promised land will be left with neither root nor branch in the Day of the Lord.

Once again from Isaiah, this from chapter thirty-seven:


31)  And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall take root downward, and bear fruit upward;

32)  For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant... they that escape from mount Zion: the zeal of YAHVEH of hosts shall do this.


Jesus Christ the King of Kings was the very "root" of the Kingly line, traceable through King David and his father Jesse, back to Adam through his third son Seth.  These are ones who God kept for Himself - "rooted" in, and kept by, David's Master; for from them would be born the Anointed One - The Christ.  And He would seek out and save the remnant that belonged to God and "plant" them in the nations.

Planted and rooted in the promised land was a nation - among which would come forth the root and offspring of David.  And when He came (in the last days), the "planting" in the promised land was uprooted and burned.

As our Lord sends this message to the Churches, it was, indeed, the last days; and the city of Jerusalem, on Mount Zion, the house of God on the dome of the rock, and the land of Israel... would disappear in the fiery wrath of God.  And would come the new, and holy, Jerusalem in which God would abide with man.  And the Kingdom of the King of Kings - the root and offspring of King David - would be over all the nations.  And they would come and bring their glory into the new tabernacle of God and the Lamb.

His reference here to "David's root and offspring" would have brought to the minds of all of His holy ones in the Churches the whole-Bible fullness and continuity of the prophetic Word as it reveals the will and intent of God from the beginning; for the nation of Israel was planted and rooted in the land.

But the "remnant" was rooted in the Christ - the King of Kings - from the beginning!  They were His "holy ones" who were gifted with the righteousness of the One from Whom they "sprang up".  And they would be kings and rulers IN HIM.  And they would feed on the fruit of the tree of life (which was their privilege).  And they would never be uprooted and burned.

Just as the minds and hearts of those in the original Churches would have been filled with wonder at the words of Jesus in this scroll, so ours should be as well.  And I couldn't help thinking about Jesus' seven kingdom parables.

The Root and Offspring of David, He Who came to find His sheep who were lost among the wolves and jackals, kept on uttering the warning: "the kingdom has come upon you", "the kingdom is at hand".

And He spoke kingdom parables... all of them with content spoken previously in the prophets.

He was the Offspring of David Who would sit on David's throne.  It was at hand!  And He spoke in parables!

When His disciples asked why, He quoted Isaiah:  "So they won't hear."

The parable of the zizanium in the field (which had to be explained in detail to His disciples, and they still didn't understand it), was a parable about the Root and Offspring of David!

In the "planting" of the tribes of Jacob in the promised land, two different crops had been planted together; and they took root and grew.  One bore a foul-tasting evil fruit, and the other was the good one.

The Owner of the land determined that the two crops should grow together until the time when the good one could be identified and harvested, lest any of it be left behind with the evil crop.

When the time came, the good crop was harvested - in full.  And the evil crop (the zizanium) was burned!

The disciples of Jesus wouldn't have understood this until Pentecost!  But, as Moses prophesied, the tribes of Jacob that had been freed from bondage in Egypt would be "planted" by God in the promised land; and the crop would grow until the time of the harvest!

When it was time to reap, all who were rooted in the Root and Offspring of David were harvested and sent out into the nations; and all remaining were burned in the wrath of God... root and stalk.

The root and stalk of Jesse - David's Father, was the Son of God - God's Anointed King of Kings.  All of those He found were rooted in Him; and they would bear fruit for the nations and the leaves for the restoration of the earth.

Two crops growing together until the end of the age.  One foul and evil; the other rooted in Christ and written in the Lamb's book of life from the beginning.

Two crops growing together - all of them of the tribes of Jacob.  Some were "holy ones" who were kept by God for Himself.  The other crop were sons of the devil.

All growing together in the same "field" until the end of the age when the Offspring of David assumed His Kingdom.  And "all Israel would be saved".  All whose "root" was the Christ of God were true Israel!

Now, Jesus also said to the Churches (verse sixteen): I AM the bright morning star!  We'll read the words He sent to the Churches in chapter two shortly; for that's what He's referring to.

But, first, let's read the older prophetic Word!

As the tribes of Jacob moved from the Sinai desert to just across the Jordan River from Jericho, they brought great fear to the kingdom of Moab.  So, King Balac sent messengers to the most renowned magi/sorcerer in the East - Balaam.  He offered to pay him an enormous sum to come and pronounce a curse on this fearsome people who had recently been freed from Egypt, in order that his forces could then overtake them and defeat them!

Balaam agreed; and he traveled to Moab from the East.  But before he could curse the tribes of Jacob, YAHVEH spoke to Him and told him what to say to King Balac.  And Balaam did!  Three times this happened!

Where we pick up reading is at the third occasion; and the king is angry and frustrated that the most famous of all sorcerers, who he had hired at great expense, would do nothing except bless the people that God had freed from Egypt!

Here it is, from the book of Numbers chapter twenty-four:


10)  And Balac being angry at Balaam, clapped his hands together and said: I called you to curse my enemies, and you, to the contrary, have blessed them three times.

11)  Return to your place!  I had indeed determined to honour you greatly, but YAHVEH has deprived you of the honour designed for you.

12)  Balaam answered King Balac: Did I not say to your messengers who you sent to me, saying:

13)  If Balac would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the words of YAHVEH, to do any thing of my own mind either good or evil; whatsoever YAHVEH speaks, that I will speak?

14)  But now, before going back to my people, I will give you counsel, what this people shall do to your people in the latter days.

15)  Therefore taking up his saying he said: Balaam the son of Beor says, the man whose eyes are opened says,

16)  who hearing the words of God says, who knows the knowledge of the Most High, and sees the vision of the Almighty, who falling down has his eyes opened says:

17)  I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not near. A STAR SHALL RISE out of Jacob, and a sceptre spring up from Israel, and He shall dash the corners of Moab and destroy the sons of tumult.

18)  ....

19)  Out of Jacob shall he come that shall rule, and shall destroy the ones remaining of the city.


I want you to listen again to Psalm 110 as I add one verse to what I read earlier:


1)      The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right until I make your enemies your footstool.

2)      The Lord will send forth the sceptre of Your power out of Zion: rule in the midst of your enemies.

3)      From the beginning Your strength is with You, You have shone in the brightness of the holy ones.  From the womb before the "morning-star" I begot You.


And now hear the words of the birth of Jesus from Matthew chapter one:


1) When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came magi from the east to Jerusalem

2)      saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him.

3)      And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4)      And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born.

5)      But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Judea. For so it is written by the prophet:

6)      And you Bethlehem in the land of Judea art not the least among the princes of Judea; for out of you shall come forth the ruler that shall rule my people Israel.

7)      Then Herod, privately calling the magi, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them;

8)      And sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come to adore him.

9)      Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was.

10)  And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11)  And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.


The magi/sorcerers of the East knew the sayings of their famous forebear Balaam.  And when they heard of the star that had arisen out of Jacob, and the Great King with the scepter Who would destroy all who remained, they came to see for themselves - and adore Him; for Balaam had said: "I shall see Him; but not now.  I shall behold Him; but not near."

And now hear Jesus' message to the Church at Thyatira (chapter two of the Revelation).


18)  And write the message for the Church in Thyatira:   The Son of God Who has eyes as flames of fire, and Whose feet are burnished bronze, says these things.

19)  I know your works and the love and the faithfulness and the service and your perseverance, and the last works greater than the first.

20)  But I have against you that you suffer the woman Jezabel who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and deceives My servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols;

21)  and I gave her time that she might repent, and she is not willing to repent from her fornication.

22)  Lo!  I cast her into bed and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation unless they repent from her works,

23)  and I will destroy her children in death, and all the Churches will know that I Am He Who searches reins and hearts, and I will give to each of you according to your works.

24)  But to the rest of you in Thyatira, in as much as you have not this teaching, who do not know Satan's depths (as they say), I lay on you no other charge.

25)  However, hold fast what you have until I come.

26)  And he who overcomes and keeps My works throughout [until the consummation] I will give to him authority over the nations,

27)  and he shall tend them with a scepter of iron, dashing them in pieces as the potters' vessels as I also have received of My Father.

28)  And I will give to him the morning star.

29)  He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.


And lastly, the words of the apostle Peter to the Church:


16)  For we have not made known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ by following (made up) fables; but we were eyewitnesses of his greatness.

17)  For he received from God the Father, honour and glory; this voice coming down to him from the excellent glory: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear him.

18)  And this voice we heard brought from heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount.

19)  And we have the more firm prophetic word: whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star arises.

20)  Understanding this first in your hearts, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation.

21)  For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by Holy Spirit.


The apostle Peter, in this letter to the Churches before our Lord's Parousia, wrote only that which had been written previously by Moses (Numbers 22 - 24) and by David (Psalm 110) and by Matthew in his account of the birth of Jesus.  And it is exactly what Jesus said to John here at the end of the Revelation.

Therefore these aren't "fables",  Peter said... fairy tales, or inventions, or allegory, or mythology, or divination, or legend, or improvisation... this is the prophetic Word of God, which is more sure than anything having to do with personal experience!

This is men writing the very Words of God, having been moved along by God the Spirit.

And until the "Light" shines, the Lord's people in the Churches are to hold fast to that which is written in the prophetic Word; for it is near at hand!

And that Word says that in the latter days, One shall arise out of Jacob with the "scepter" of dominion - the "rod" of supreme authority, sovereign rule over all things.  For He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  He is Kurios Kuriwn - Lord and Master of all that was made.

He is the "Morning Star" Who will arise as the "dawn" of a new "day" over a world which was in gross darkness of sin and the curse.  And He would destroy all the remainder of that nation that perverted the nations and peoples and tribes of the earth with the wine of her fornication.

And there would no longer be a curse.  And the River of the Water of Life will flow freely unto the farthest reaches of this creation.  And the tree of life will be the fruit for the feeding of the nations; and the leaves for the restoration of all things.

And during all the years of His reign and rule, the full "Light" of His glory will be witnessed in all the nations of the earth.  And they will "see".  And they will come.  And they will bring multitudes to worship God and the Lamb in His abode with man.  And there will be increasing "peace with God" - and among men, and great prosperity in the nations as the creation is progressively restored.

This that we're reading here at the end of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is the prophetic Word to the firstfruits of the resurrection, who were scattered among the peoples of the world; and the whole world was in wretched, obscene, hellish darkness.

But the prophetic Word was more sure that anything they experienced, more sure than anything said by the dogs and the Jezebels and the Balaams.  Hold the testimony of Jesus!  Keep His Commandments!  The Root and Offspring of David has arrived at the end of the age with the scepter of dominion in His hand!

And the Morning Star will soon arise; the dawn is soon to come; and the light will shine over the nations and people and tongues of the earth who have heretofore lived in the grossest darkness.



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3/3/13 10:00am EST - Follow along with the sermon on Revelation 22:1-21 Part 9

Follow along witht the sermon: http://toginet.com/podcasts/sermonsonrevelation/rev22part9.mp3?type=podpage

 

REVELATION 22:1-21 Part 9


1)      And it showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, going forth from the throne of God and the Lamb

2)      in midst of its streets, and the river flowing hence; and from there a tree of life producing twelve fruits each month, the tree rendering its fruit and its leaves into the healing of the nations;

3)      and there will no longer be any curse.  The throne of God and the Lamb will be in her, and His servants will serve Him;

4)      and they will see His countenance, His name on their foreheads;

5)      and there will be no night there, so they will have no need of a lamp or sunlight, for Kurios God will shine forth upon them; and they will reign into the ages of the ages.

6)      Then it said to me ‘these faithful and true words Kurios God of the holy prophets sent His messenger to show His servants what is necessary to come to pass in quickness.

7)      Lo, I come quickly.  Blessed the one keeping the words of the prophecies of this scroll’.

8)      I, John, the one hearing and seeing these things, when I heard and saw I fell down to bow before the feet of the messenger that is showing me these things;

9)      and it said to me, ‘see not.  I am a fellow servant of you and your brothers the prophets and of those keeping the words of this scroll.  Bow to God’.

10)  And it said to me, ‘you may not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the time is near;

11)  the unrighteous be he yet unrighteous, the filthy be he yet defiled; the righteous be he yet work righteousness, the holy be he yet hallowed.

12)  Lo, I come quickly, My wages with Me, to recompence each as is his work.

13)  I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

14)  Blessed those who wash their garments; for the tree of life will be their privilege, and they may enter the city by the gates.

15)  Without…. the dogs and the sorcerers and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and all who love and practice falsehood.

16)  I, Jesus, sent My messenger to testify these things to you in the Churches.  I AM David’s root and offspring; the bright morning star.

17)  The Spirit and the bride say ‘come’; and he who hears say ‘come’.  He who thirsts let him come; he who longs, let him take to himself the water of life freely.

18)  I, I testify to all who hear the words of the prophecy of this scroll: if anyone impose upon them, God will impose upon him the plagues written in this scroll;

19)  and if anyone take away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and the holy city as written in this scroll.

20)  He Who testifies thus, says: ‘Yea, I come quickly’.  Amen, come Kurie Jesus!

21)  (The grace of Kuriou Jesus with all of the holy ones.)

 

Popularly called “The Sermon On The Mount”, Jesus began teaching His disciples, saying:

 

3)      Blessed the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of the Heavens.

4)      Blessed the ones who are mourning, for they shall be comforted. 

5)      Blessed the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6)      Blessed the hungering and thirsting after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

7)      Blessed the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8)      Blessed the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9)      Blessed the peacemakers, for they shall be called Sons of God.

10)  Blessed those who are enduring persecution on account of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of the Heavens.

 

Forty years later, in the text of Revelation chapter twenty-two, He speaks two more (what are often called) “beatitudes”.  The first one is found in verse seven.  It says:

 

‘Blessed the one keeping the words of the prophecies of this scroll.’

 

The second one is in verse fourteen:

 

‘Blessed those who wash their garments; for the tree of life will be their privilege, and they may enter the city by the gates.’

 

The one in verse seven has to do with the scroll, the seals of which have just been loosed by the Lamb of God at the end of the age.  So the things written in it are now “imminent”.  And one who “keeps” them is blessed!

And the one in verse fourteen has to do with access to the tree of life and the new, and holy, Jerusalem wherein is the seat of God and the Lamb.  Just as with the first temple in the first Jerusalem, entrance into the new, and holy, tabernacle of God requires satisfaction by substitute sacrifice… and clean garments. 

So all who repent of sin, and hold the testimony of Jesus and keep His commandments, are blessed.  They have “washed their garments”; and they are privileged to eat the fruit of the tree of life that grows by the river of water of life; and the gates to the city and the seat of God and the Lamb are open to them.

Blessed the one keeping the words of the prophecies of this scroll; and blessed the ones who wash their garments!

You remember from the messages that Jesus sent to the Churches, as recorded in chapters two and three, there were those within some of those congregations who grumbled and debated (and even mocked), the prophecies regarding our Lord’s Parousia at the end of the age.

And there were others in the Churches who obviously had not repented from sin… and therefore had not “washed their garments”.  And so they were not privileged to eat the fruit of the tree of life; and they were not given access to the new tabernacle of God and the Lamb through the gates!

Our Lord, in those seven messages, warned those Churches about condoning and/or tolerating those things.  The Church was to be the earthy representation of the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and the tabernacle of God-With-Us!  And anyone who would not keep the words of the prophecies of this scroll was to be removed from the congregation!

And those who would not wash their garments (repenting from sin) were not blessed; they did not have the privilege of the fruit of the tree of life; they did not have entrance through the gates to the seat of God and the Lamb… and they were to be cast out from the congregations.  Otherwise, Jesus said, He would “visit” those Churches at His Parousia!

That meant “serious trouble”, of course.

The Churches were congregations of the firstfruits of the resurrection!  The Churches were congregations of “messengers” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentile nations!

The Churches were visible, earthy representations of our God’s “abode” with us… from which flows the river of water of life to the world!

The Churches were to be the public worship of God in His new tabernacle with man. 

The Churches were to be congregations of servants of God and the Lamb in the new, and holy, Jerusalem.

The Churches were to be filled with judges and prophets and priests and kings in the new heaven and the new earth!  Members were to anticipate the imminent Parousia of Kurios Kuriwn – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords - and they were to know that all belonged to Him and therefore to them!!

The Churches were the “Body of Christ – The Head”.  Their members fed on the fruit of the tree of life; and they served God and the Lamb in His tabernacle!  From them – through them – flowed the river of water of life to the nations!

No one who mocked the coming Parousia of Christ was to be tolerated!  And the Churches were not to suffer the presence of anyone who had not turned from sin – thereby washing their garments!  How was one to serve God in His tabernacle having filthy garments?  How was anyone with filthy garments ever to be permitted through the gates?  Those seven original messages from Jesus to the Churches were stern warnings about all who were “without” (verse fifteen)… outside the new, and holy, Jerusalem!

He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  He has kept them from the beginning; and He has many, many more from among the nations who He will keep to the end of all the years.

Blessed those who wash their garments; for the tree of life will be their privilege, and they may enter the city by the gates.  Without - “outside”, with no access through the gates to the abode of God with man, are the dogs,  sorcerers, fornicators, murderers, idolators, and all who love and practice falsehood!

Let’s take them one at a time again this morning.  And remember, this is our Lord’s instruction to the firstfruit of His resurrection (those who He came to seek and to save from the tribes of Jacob).  And it would be sent to them at the end of the age… just a short time before His Parousia.

These who He lists here in verse fifteen are the ones who have not washed their garments; therefore they cannot enter the new tabernacle (abode) of God with man.  And the first that He identifies are the “dogs”.

 

Hear what the psalmist says, at Psalm twenty-two.  And you’ll recognize the very words of Jesus at His crucifixion – prophesied a thousand years before.  The Psalmist says:

 

14)  I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

15)  My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and You have brought me into the dust of death.

16)  For many dogs have compassed me.  The assembly of the wicked have enclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet.

17)  I can count all my bones: they look and gloat over me.

18)  They part my garments among them, and cast lots for my vesture.

 

He called them “dogs”.  The  assembly; the council.  The priests and elders and pharisees encircled Him.  Wicked men.  Feral dogs.

Listen to what God said through the prophet Isaiah, as recorded in chapter fifty-six:

 

4)      For thus says YAHVEH unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;

5)      Even unto them will I give in my house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

6)      Also the sons of the stranger that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keeps the sabbath from polluting it, and takes hold of my covenant;

7)      Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their offerings and sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.

8)      The Lord God, Who gathers the outcasts of Israel says, Yet will I gather others to him, besides those that are now gathered unto him.

9)      All you beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all you beasts in the forest.

10)  His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs that can’t bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.

11)  Yea, they are greedy dogs that can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand; they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

12)  Come, say they, I will get wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be just as this day, and much more abundant.

 

The shepherds of Israel – the watchmen of Israel – are “dumb dogs” that only sleep and eat and drink.  The prophetic Word had been spoken, yet all they can think of is sleeping and eating and drinking tomorrow… and even more abundantly than today!

Here’s the apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippian Churches – chapter three:

 

1)      Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write these same things to you, to me indeed is no trouble, but it is protection for you.

2)      Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the concision:

3)      for we are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in the flesh….

 

The ones who Paul describes as “dogs” are those of the “concision” … the circumcised who put all their hope and confidence in their heritage.  That’s what he meant by “the flesh”.  But Paul tells the Churches that they are the true ones of the “circumcision”; for they glory in Christ Jesus and worship by the Spirit of God.

The dogs are “judaists” – the assembly of whom had encircled Him and tortured Him and crucified Him.  Rabid dogs who would then pursue and persecute and kill those who He came to seek out and to save.  None of them would have entrance into the tabernacle of God-with-us.

Now.  The second in the list of those “without” (i.e. outside) are “sorcerers” (verse fifteen).  The Greek word used is “pharmakoi”.  You can hear the root of our English words “pharmacist” and “pharmaceutical”.   This Greek word is used here to include such practices as witchcraft, soothsaying, magic; fortune-tellers, enchanters and diviners.

And since this word is used to include all of the above, there’s no way to avoid the use of “mixtures” or “potions” or “substances” that enhance the experience of the craft.

 

Paul uses the word in the list of the works of the flesh, found in Galatians chapter five.  He wrote:

 

19)  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20)  idolatry, (pharmakoi) sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties,

21)  envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

Also hear what God said through the prophet Nahum at chapter three:

 

4)      because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well-favored harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that sells to nations through her whoredoms, and to families through her witchcrafts.

5)       Behold, I am against you, says YAHVEH of Hosts, and I will uncover your skirts over your face; and I will show the nations your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame.

6)      And I will cast abominable filth upon you, and make you vile, and will set you as a gazing-stock.

 

Israel, in all her harlotry with the nations, had many practitioners of sorcery, witchcraft, soothsaying, necromancy, divination, and enchantments (all subsumed under this word “pharmakoi”).

It wasn’t that long ago that we heard these same things from Revelation twenty-one.  Hear them again:

 

1)      Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, (the first heaven and the first earth went away, and the sea is no more),

2)      and the new holy city Jerusalem coming out of the heaven from God having been made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

3)      Then I heard a great sound from the seat saying “Lo, The tabernacle of God with man.”  He will tabernacle with them, they will be His people, God Himself will be with them;

4)      and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, the death will be no more, neither sorrow nor crying nor pain will be any more, for the firsts passed away.

5)      Then the One sitting upon the seat said: “Lo, I make everything new!”  And He says, “write; for these words are sure and true”;

6)      He said to me, “they are come to pass.  I, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, will freely give from the source of the water of life to him who thirsts;

7)      and the one overcoming will inherit these things, and I will be  God to him and he will be My son.

8)

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REVELATION 22:1-21 Part 8

1)      And it showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, going forth from the throne of God and the Lamb

2)      in midst of its streets, and the river flowing hence; and from there a tree of life producing twelve fruits each month, the tree rendering its fruit and its leaves into the healing of the nations;

3)      and there will no longer be any curse.  The throne of God and the Lamb will be in her, and His servants will serve Him;

4)      and they will see His countenance, His name on their foreheads;

5)      and there will be no night there, so they will have no need of a lamp or sunlight, for Kurios God will shine forth upon them; and they will reign into the ages of the ages.

6)      Then it said to me ‘these faithful and true words Kurios God of the holy prophets sent His messenger to show His servants what is necessary to come to pass in quickness.

7)      Lo, I come quickly.  Blessed the one keeping the words of the prophecies of this scroll’.

8)      I, John, the one hearing and seeing these things, when I heard and saw I fell down to bow before the feet of the messenger that is showing me these things;

9)      and it said to me, ‘see not.  I am a fellow servant of you and your brothers the prophets and of those keeping the words of this scroll.  Bow to God’.

10)  And it said to me, ‘you may not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the time is near;

11)  the unrighteous be he yet unrighteous, the filthy be he yet defiled; the righteous be he yet work righteousness, the holy be he yet hallowed.

12)  Lo, I come quickly, My wages with Me, to recompence each as is his work.

13)  I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

14)  Blessed those who wash their garments; for the tree of life will be their privilege, and they may enter the city by the gates.

15)  Without…. the dogs and the sorcerers and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and all who love and practice falsehood.

16)  I, Jesus, sent My messenger to testify these things to you in the Churches.  I AM David’s root and offspring; the bright morning star.

17)  The Spirit and the bride say ‘come’; and he who hears say ‘come’.  He who thirsts let him come; he who longs, let him take to himself the water of life freely.

18)  I, I testify to all who hear the words of the prophecy of this scroll: if anyone impose upon them, God will impose upon him the plagues written in this scroll;

19)  and if anyone take away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and the holy city as written in this scroll.

20)  He Who testifies thus, says: ‘Yea, I come quickly’.  Amen, come Kurie Jesus!

21)  (The grace of Kuriou Jesus with all of the holy ones.)

 

The Word of God will accomplish all His intent!  It will not return to Him void!  The Word is His Right Hand and Strong Right Arm.  And in the fullness of the time, He was made flesh.

As John had written earlier in His Gospel, “in the beginning was The Word; and the Word was with God; and the Word was God.  He WAS in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him.  And without Him nothing was made that was made.”

At the end of the age He appeared in order to do all that had been spoken through the prophets.  The will and intent of God had been spoken.  It was the Word of God “spoken”; and it was faithful and true.  And in the fullness of the time it would be done.

Until the fullness of the time (i.e., the end of the age), the Word would be “sealed”; and it would be sealed because it was not yet time for the things spoken to come to pass.

Note, though, that it wasn’t as if the Word of God couldn’t be read.  And it wasn’t as if the Word couldn’t be heard!  The Words were written!  Isaiah wrote them; Jeremiah wrote them; and Ezekiel and Micah and all the rest….  It was all available for the people.  They could read the texts; they could hear the texts.  The texts weren’t “sealed” from sight or from hearing.  The Word of God was sealed until it was time.  God had spoken; therefore what He spoke would be!  But only in the fullness of the time!

Listen to the Word to Daniel at chapter twelve:

1)      And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who stands up for the children of your people; and there shall be a time of tribulation such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time your people will be delivered, every one of them that shall be found written in the book.

4)      But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the scroll, even to the time of the end, while many go back and forth increasing their own knowledge.”

5)      Then I Daniel looked and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.

6)      And one said to the one clothed in linen who was over the waters of the river, ‘How long shall it be to the end of these wondrous things?’

7)      And I heard the one clothed in linen, who was at the head of the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swore by Him Who lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when He shall have accomplished scattering the power of the holy ones, all these things shall be finished.

8)      And I heard, but I didn’t understand.  Then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?

9)      And he said, Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.

10)  Many shall be purified and made white, and tried; but the wicked ones will still be doing wickedness, and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise will understand.

 

That Word was spoken to Daniel more than five hundred years before the birth of Jesus.  It was a time during which the nation of Israel was in captivity for seventy years (that’s over two generations!)… when there was hardly anyone left who could even remember what Jerusalem had looked like!

But, as we read here in the Revelation, as John received the prophetic Word, it was the end of the age, the fullness of the time.  These were the days during which all the things revealed to Daniel would take place, and about which Daniel wrote!  The time was near for the spoken Word of God to come to pass – the consummation of the age.  Therefore none of these things were to be sealed any longer.

 

Listen to what John wrote (at chapter six);

1)      And I did see a scroll on the right of the One sitting on the throne

2)      having been written front and back having been sealed with seven seals.

3)      And I did see a mighty messenger announcing in a great sound, “who worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?”

4)      And no one in the heaven or upon the earth or under the earth was enabled to open the scroll or to see it.

5)      And I was weeping greatly because no one worthy had been found to open the scroll or to see it.

6)      And one of the elders says to me, “don’t be weeping!  Lo!  The Lion from the Judah tribe, the David Root, did overcome to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

 

The time was near; and the Lamb of God – the Word of God made flesh – would loose the Words that had been sealed, one at a time, and all that had been prophesied would then come to be.

 

And at verse ten of our text here in Revelation twenty two he writes:

10)  And it said to me, ‘you may not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the time is near….’

 

The Word of God is “loosed” (as John looks on), and it is no longer to be sealed; for it is time for all things written to be fulfilled.  Just as Luke had written in His Gospel:

 

20)  But when you see Jerusalem encompassed with armies, then know that her desolation is at hand.

21)  Then let them that are in Judea flee unto the mountains; and let them that are in the midst of her depart out; and let not them that are in the country enter therein.

22)  For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

 

Let’s hear again what Jesus told His disciples when they asked, ‘what will be the sign of Your Parousia and the end of the age’?  Here is some of what He said to them from Matthew twenty-four:

 

7)      For there shall be raised up a nation against a nation, a kingdom against a kingdom; and there shall be famines and shakings from place to place,

8)      and all these ‘beginning of travails.’

9)      Then they shall deliver you, and you shall be the ones detested by all the nations because of My Name.

10)  And then many shall be entrapped, and they shall deliver one another and kill one another;

11)  and many false prophets shall be raised up, and they shall deceive many;

12)  And because of the lawlessness to be multiplied, the love of many shall be caused to expire.

13)  But the one persevering to the end, this one shall be saved.

14)  And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the habitable world in a testimony to all the nations, and then shall come the end.

15)  When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, the thing spoken through Daniel the prophet, stand in a holy place (let the one reading understand),

16)  then let those in Judea escape into the mountains;

21)  for then there will be great tribulation such as has not happened from the beginning of the cosmos until the present, nor shall there ever be.

27)  … just as the brightness comes out from dawnings and shines until settings, so will be the Parousia of the Son of Man.

34)  Amen I say to you, in no way will this generation pass until every one of these things comes to be!

 

What was unspoken (but clearly implied) in the disciples’ question to Jesus was, “the word spoken to Daniel concerning the fullness of the time was sealed to the end of the age!  So, what will be the sign of your Parousia and the end of the age?  What are we to look for?”  And Jesus answered them with a number of things to occur during the following forty years – culminating in His Parousia.

Here in our text, John writes to the Churches what he heard from this messenger: ‘you may not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the time is near….’

There probably couldn’t be a “better” example of the continuity of Scripture anywhere; for that which was spoken to Daniel is the same as that which was spoken to John… the only difference being the fullness of the time!

The Word spoken to Daniel was that which would come to pass at the end of the age.  The Word had been spoken; therefore it would be done.  However, when spoken to Daniel, it wasn’t yet “imminent”.  So that which was “willed” to be done (and already spoken) was “sealed” until the time in which it would be done!

And when these same things were revealed to John, it was imminent; so they were no longer to be sealed!  All the things spoken before would now be done quickly!  For the time was near.  It was the end of the age – the fullness of the time.

And when the Lord’s people in the Churches received this letter, they would have been strengthened in the truth and faithfulness of all that had been spoken and written.

And verse eleven of our text is a continuation of the immanency of that which had previously been spoken.  Here it is :

 

11) the unrighteous be he yet unrighteous, the filthy be he yet defiled; the righteous be he yet work righteousness, the holy be he yet hallowed.

 

John hears these words from the messenger, and he would have known instantly that they, too, were from the Daniel passage.  As we read… until the fullness of the time this Word of God was sealed.  And during the interim, the wicked would continue to do wickedness – going to and fro seeking their own understanding.  But the ones written in the book of life were the holy ones.   And they would continue to be the holy ones!  And they would be made clean (purified).  And having been made righteous, they would hear and understand and do righteousness.

And, too, we’re also reminded of Ezekiel chapter three where it was spoken to the prophet:  “he who hears, let him continue to hear.  And he who refuses, let him continue to refuse….”

And also the time leading up to the flood, when Noah and his family did what was spoken to them; and they were baptized and saved by the waters.  But all the rest would not hear.  And they were carrying on their daily lives as if God had not spoken.  And they were overtaken in the flood of God’s wrath.  And so it would be at the end of the age; for the unrighteous would continue to be unrighteous, and the filthy would continue to be defiled.

But the holy ones would be saved from the flood of wrath to come, which would be worse than anything had ever been for any nation from the beginning of creation itself.

Now, in verses twelve and thirteen, the messenger that is speaking the words directly from the mouth of Jesus pronounces once again the imminence of His Parousia… “Lo I come quickly.”

And at His Parousia, there would be the fullness of all things written. There would be the final judgment upon Jerusalem and all of Israel; there would come the new heaven and the new earth, and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ over all the nations; there would be the New and holy Jerusalem, and God abiding with us (for there was no longer any curse); and the redemption of the world.  And He would pay His wages… recompensing all according to their works.

And let’s be sure that we understand this.  There is only one faithful and true servant, the “Suffering Servant”/Lamb of God Who did all His Father’s will.  All others are of their father Adam… all are descendants of Adam.  That includes not only the nation of Israel, but also the elect remnant of the tribes of Jacob - and all us Gentiles as well!  All of us are born of Adam; all of us are conceived in sin and are of Adam’s nature.

Only one human – God the Son/Son of Man – was well-pleasing to the Father.  He is the spotless Lamb of God Who paid the price for the redemption of humanity and for the healing and restoration of the cosmos.  It is His perfections and His sacrifice that are credited to the account of all who belong to Him.

Their humanity in Adam is put to death in rebirth-into-Christ, and they are made alive in Him… His righteousness given to them and counted as theirs.  Their “Adam nature”, and their works in Adam, are forgiven them; and they wash their garments in confession and repentance and obedience.

You see, the wages of sin is death.  And our Lord paid the wages for all His people in His death.  All who belong to Him die to death in His death!  We are no longer “dead” in sin, for the wages have been paid!

But for those who are not His, the wages have not been paid.  And at our Lord’s Parousia He had His wages with Him (verse twelve).

For those from the tribes of Jacob who were written in the Lamb’s book of life, and those from the peoples and nations of the earth who were written in the Lamb’s book of life, the wages of sin were paid in the death of Christ.  And none would suffer the second death, but be raised again in the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

But for those who were not written in the Lamb’s book of life, the wages will be paid them according to their own works – all of which are as filthy rags.  And the wages is death – the second death.

The evangelical and fundamentalist objection to the Eternal Word of God regarding what belongs to Him is that it isn’t “fair”.  It isn’t fair that the potter would make one vessel a vessel of honor and another unto dishonor!  So they transfer the will of the potter to the will of the pot!

It’s only fair (they say) that the pot can say to its potter “you don’t understand me!  I can choose to be what I wish to be”!

But from our Lord’s perspective (and He is Kurios Kuriwn – the Master of the house Whose will and intent is unimpeachable), (from His perspective) all are of the nature of Adam – a nature which is dead in sin and cursed.

And since that’s the case, it is of the eternal love and grace of God that any are the recipients of the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  It is of the eternal love and grace of God that any are counted as “holy ones”.  He was under no compulsion to be merciful to any.  He was under no obligation to be merciful to any.  And it is certainly nothing about us that would cause Him to look upon any of us favorably, and to love us and to be gracious to us.  His decision to do that is completely free; it is “unconditional”… which means there are no conditions under which He exercises His volition; and His integrity cannot be questioned! For He is Almighty God – Kurios Kuriwn – our Creator.

It is an undeniable fact that our Lord sought out and saved and rescued a certain number from the tribes of Jacob… those who God had kept for Himself from a depraved, idolatrous and adulterous nation.  And they did not choose to know Him or accept His righteousness.  They were written in the book of life from the beginning, and He sought them out by name.  And every single one was found.  And they were given – freely given – the righteousness of Christ, and were made new creations in Him.  And they washed their garments in repentance and faithful obedience.

And He then scattered them among the nations and peoples and tribes and tongues of the earth; for there were many, many others who were also numbered and written in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the cosmos.

Those from the tribes of Jacob would be the firstfruit of the resurrection, servants of God and the Lamb, and the “messengers” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world.  They were freely chosen of God and kept for Himself and called “holy ones”… even before our Lord came to find them!  He came to find them – not because they were “holy”.  They weren’t!  He came to find them because God unconditionally chose them and knew them and loved them from the beginning!

And His love for them was boundless and incalculable considering the fact that His Own Son – the Word of God made flesh – was made sin and was abandoned to death and hades for them.

At the Parousia of the Christ, all who remained in Jerusalem and the land were put to the sword and consumed by vultures; aReturn to the Sermons on Revelation Show Page
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