Follow along with the sermon on Revelation 22:1-21 Part 8

Follow along with the sermon: http://toginet.com/podcasts/sermonsonrevelation/rev22part8.mp3?type=podpage


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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