REV22

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  • 1-2 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

This is beautiful imagery, but it doesn't belong to John. He copied it more or less verbatim from Ezekiel 47:12:

And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

  • 3-4 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

Christian theology posits the need for a savior based on the sin of Adam in the Garden, which earned humanity a curse from God. In these verses, the curse is said to be ended, and humanity will enjoy a close relationship with God again.

  • 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

New Jerusalem is so wondrous that John can only tell us what it's like by telling us what is not there.

  • 6-7 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

At least one saying was not faithful and true. Jesus did not "come quickly". The sayings which must be "kept" are the commandments to the seven churches given in chapters 2 and 3. Those who do so are the overcomers.

  • 8-9 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

The angel which brought this revelation to John of Patmos identified himself as a fellow member of the Church with John and forbade John from worshipping him. In Roman Catholic theology, this verse is interpreted to mean the angels are part of the Church Triumphant. In LDS theology, the "angel" is a glorified man, and a former Hebrew prophet.

  • 10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

What this means is the text of Revelation was to be spread far and wide immediately, as opposed to keeping part of it hidden as secret knowledge which some gnostic cult could later claim to have "discovered". The reason was there was a sense of urgency when it was written. John of Patmos believed the remaining time was very short.

  • 11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

The entire message of the Bible can be boiled down to three words: "Turn or burn". Except not here in Revelation 22:11. It says let sinners remain sinners, and let the righteous remain righteous. Revelation is not an evangelizing work like the gospel of John, but a pep talk for the "saved".

  • 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

In the theology of Revelation, rewards and punishments are based on what you do. Good people get good things, bad people get bad things. Mother Theresa would do well, yet some Evangelicals insist she is burning in hell because she never "accepted Christ" with a Protestant style altar call or the sinner's prayer.

  • 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

This is one of the few passages in the scriptures to explicitly assign a divine nature to Jesus, equating him with God.

  • 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

This verse reverses Paul's teaching in Romans 3:28 that justification is apart from the Law. It says people must keep the commandments to have access to eternal life.

  • 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Apparently the blessed part of the new creation consists solely of the city of New Jerusalem, and if you're outside of this city, you are with the wicked part of the new creation. This seems to cede the rest of the planet to the sinners.

  • 16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

This is an interesting verse. Elsewhere in scripture the bright "morning star" was identified in Isaiah 14:12 as Lucifer, the devil, who was cast from heaven.

  • 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

This is to fulfill what Jesus promised in the gospels, water that quenches the thirst once and for all. It comes from Zechariah 14:8, which says that living waters will go out from Jerusalem in the latter days.

  • 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

Protestants use this verse to beat Catholics over the head because Protestants believe that Catholics "added" seven books to the Bible.

  • 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Catholics use this verse to beat Protestants over the head because Catholics believe Protestants "deleted" seven books from the Bible. It is important to note that doing so will result in the loss of salvation, according to the text.

  • 20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

This promise to come quickly was written in about 96 AD, and it is now 2011 AD.

  • 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
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