Vs 22: We continue with the vision of the city of the New Jerusalem. John notes that there is no temple in this new city. There is no temple because the symbol of God’s dwelling place (the temple) has now become the reality (God dwells among his people). There is no need for a temple because it has replaced by “the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb.” The reason John tells us there is no temple is not so much to describe the manner or design of heaven but to speak significantly to a people for whom the temple equated as the supreme dwelling place of God’s presence.
Vs 23: The New Jerusalem does not have a sun or moon to shine because it is everything is illuminated by the glory of God. John is not supplying his readers with information about future astrological changes but setting forth the splendor that will emit from the presence of God and the Lamb.
Vs 24 – 26: John does not envision salvation for a small handful of people and the destruction or annihilation of most of the humanity. This hope for the nations differs from Jewish sources that expected the Gentile nations to be annihilated at the end of the age or to be defeated and to bring tribute to Jerusalem as subject peoples.
The gates of the New Jerusalem are open because with the destruction of evil there is no need for security. Day continues forever without interruption because darkness never comes. Thus, there is no need of closing gates.
Vs 27: Everyone who enter the city are not evil or wicked, only those whose names are written in the book of life. Only those who dwell in the new city have access to it.
Vs 1: The central statement of this verse is that in the eternal state the faithful will live at the source of the life-giving stream that proceeds from the very presence of God. The river is described as “clear as crystal” and this describes the river as a sparkling rush of pure water. It comes from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In 7:15 and 12:5 we read only of the throne of God.
Vs 2: In the New Jerusalem the river in the street is pure and gives life. It is a sign of blessing. On each side of the river grew a tree of life and in the early chapters of Genesis we read that if Adam had eaten of the tree of life, he would have lived forever. Thus, the tree of life was a regular feature in Jewish portrayals of Paradise. To eat of its fruit would give eternal life. The tree bore twelve kinds of fruit and there was both an abundance and the variety of fruit that are emphasized. This is seen as God’s provision is new and plentiful.
The tree also has leaves that bring about healing. Is there need for healing in this New Jerusalem? This is intended to show that in the restored Eden everything has been reversed: originally eating of one tree brought the curse—now eating of this tree brings eternal life. The healing leaves signify the complete and total absence of physical and spiritual want. The life to come will be a life of abundance and perfection.
Vs 3 - 4: There will be no more curse. The curse that humanity brought upon itself in the Garden of Eden will be removed for all eternity. In return the greatest of all eternity’s blessings is reflected in the one phrase, “They will see his face.” Remember that Moses, the great lawgiver was not permitted to see the face of God because God had declared, “No one may see me and live”. To see God’s face means direct communion with him.
On the foreheads of God’s servants will be stamped the name of God. His name stands for his character. The followers of the beast bore the mark of the beast upon their foreheads, contrarily the faithful will bear the name of God upon theirs. This metaphor emphasizes ownership and likeness.
Vs 5: In the New Jerusalem God’s presence, and his glory makes all other sources of light unnecessary and pointless, thus there is no darkness or night. Revelation ends with the promise of the restoration of all things. In Romans Paul teaches creation is currently in bondage to deterioration, at it groans as it eagerly awaits the time when it will be freed from its captivity of death and decay. This takes place when the children of God are brought into the eternal glory that God has prepared for them. The Revelation of John is the final chapter in God’s eternal plan for his children. It brings us full circle to the original intent of God in his creation of all that is.
Verses 6–21 of chapter 22 form the Epilogue of the book of Revelation.
Vs 6: The angel verifies that this revelation is authentic throughout the whole vision. These words that relate the visions are trustworthy and true. The angel confirms that he was sent by God to show John all the things that must come to pass.
Vs 7: The speaker is now Jesus, and he informs the reader that he is coming soon. He announces a blessing to those who stand fast in the great persecution about to break upon the church. They are those who keep the prophetic commands of the book.
Vs 8 – 9: John now attests that he has heard and seen all the things that are recorded in the book. John once again falls to worship the angel but is prevented from carrying out his intention by the angel, who explains that he is a fellow servant with John, the other prophets, and those who keep the words of the book. The angel’s urging, “Worship God!” puts in the most concise form of the theme of the book of Revelation.
Vs 10: The angel now tells him that it is important is that the visions should not be sealed up and all that John has seen is prophetic and should be shared, heard and understood. Since “the time is near,” the message of judgment and hope is to be proclaimed among the churches.
Vs 11 – 22: Jesus announces again that he is coming soon and when he comes he will bring rewards to repay the deeds of the people.
The chapter closes out with another blessing to those who remained faithful to God during this time as they will have access to the eternal city. Those who denied him will be left and thrown outside the gates with the dogs.
The revelation comes to a conclusion with a stark warning against adding to or taking away from this message. This warning is not addressed to scribes who might be tempted to corrupt the text (but to “everyone who hears,” (the members of the seven churches of Asia) where the book was to be read aloud. The caution is against malicious alteration of the message.
The Apocalypse closes with Christ speaking again and informing everyone that he is coming soon to which John says, Yes Lord come soon.
The book of Revelation is complete. It is intended to inform the readers of that day (and for us) that God is sovereign, and his eternal plan will come to fruition. However, until that time there will be aggression and resistance, but this all must come to pass. People will be faced with the choice of pledging their allegiance to the beast or to the Lamb. Those who choose the mark of the beast will eventually share the same fate. The great city Babylon will fall. Those who choose to follow the Lamb, will be brought into eternal fellowship with God in the city of New Jerusalem. The end has been explained to the recipients of Revelation. Believers are encouraged to remain faithful and wait eagerly for the return of Christ, who will forever destroy evil and bring in the eternal state of blessedness.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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