EPILOGUE (Final Word)

What John has seen/explained
22:6-13
v 6-7: Now comes another assurance that the sayings are faithful and true. The Lord's angel was sent to John, His servant, to show him all the things which will come about "shortly". What more could we expect now that everyone is righteous. We still do not know, and nobody else does, when the end will come. He will come quickly, "as a thief in the night". Blessed are all those who live the book; i.e. repent and accept Christ as Lord and Savior. The 2000 years since Christ's first coming to now is but a moment to God. So time is of no major value to God. What is of value (for Christ's second coming) is the state of the world. He will decide when "it is enough". God is giving a blessing to any person that keeps the sayings or writings of the Bible. Recall in the of Revelation (Rev. 1:3), God gives a blessing to anyone that reads and hears this book of Revelation. So, it appears He is reiterating the blessing.

v 8-9: John gives personal testimony that he saw the things written and heard the words from angels and Christ. Because of all the things which he saw, John again fell down to worship the angel (Rev. 1:9). Again John was rebuked and told not to worship the angel because he, like John, was a servant to God. Only God could is worshiped.

v 10: John was told NOT to seal the book. The time was at hand. EVERYBODY MUST KNOW! This is in contrast to Daniel when he was told to seal the book and not tell anyone. Because God was not ready to tell anyone yet (Dan. 12:4). God wants the actual words, not just ideas and thoughts or interpretations, guarded (make sure they are correct) and believed and preached. In other words, we better make sure the words let His say what He says. Revelation is not a mystery.

v 11-13: These words are apparently said by Christ. Because they were, they are very important.
  • All those who are unjust, let him stay unjust.
  • All those who are filthy, let him stay filthy (meaning morally filthy).
  • But those who are righteous, let them be righteous.
  • He that is holy, let him stay holy.
The word "still" could be expanded and understood to also mean "more". In other words, "let him be unjust more". Now is the time to tell others and give them the chance to redeem themselves with God. Human behavior is weird. Sometimes the reading and hearing of His words excites us and causes us to change our lives to live for Him. However, some people will be affected in the opposite manner. They will have hardened hearts and simply not accept the fact that Jesus is the Lord of all. To turn ourselves over to Him is somehow demeaning or simply not in agreement with their beliefs. But, those that do believe will be righteous and holy. The redeemed made righteous by my blood will forever remain righteous. While the others will retain their evil nature forever. I will give rewards. I am all, everything, beginning and the end, the alpha and omega (fourth time Jesus calls Himself), the first and the last. One of the important point of this verse is there will be unbelievers. As long as we do our part, make sure they know of Christ, we are not responsible for converting people. God is responsible for that. All we are to do is to do our part. God will do the rest.

He says again that He will come quickly. The words are used in several formats: warning (Rev 2:5, 16), promise (Rev 3:11, 22:7, 12, 20), as a thief (Rev. 3:3; 16:15), and shortly come to pass (Rev. 1:1; 22:6). This accent on His coming quickly must put a sense of urgency in the words. When Christ comes, there will be rewards for those who are righteous. Keep this is mind that the "giving of every man according as his work shall be" has nothing to do with works and salvation. SALVATION IS NOT DEPENDENT ON WORKS; REWARDS ARE DEPENDING ON WORKS. v 14: All the rights such as to the Tree of Life are for those who do the commandments of God. They are blessed. This is the seventh and last of the beatitudes of the Book of Revelation (see also Rev. 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7). Jesus again states words of separation of two classes of people: the righteous and the lost. The righteous may enter the gates of the city. All others will not enter. At the time of the new city, there are no evil persons. So all in heaven are righteous and are with God. However, Jesus is telling us for what we can be looking forward.

v 15: Those that will no be allowed in are the:
  • dogs -- describes particularly obnoxious group of people; various types of men whose characters goes in a direction of certain "dog like" behaviors (dumb, sloven, lazy, etc.); unsavory figure; male prostitutes (Phil. 3:2; Isa. 56:10-11; Deut. 23:17-18); synonym for "sodomite"; Gentiles were often called dogs by Israelites (because of the Gentiles association with homosexuals); drug users
  • sorcerers -- uses the underworld to accomplish "miracles"; false; warlocks; magicians
  • whoremongers -- technically a prostitute's customer; a pimp who procures whores; associated with wicked sexual practices of heathen peoples
  • murderers -- those who kill with premeditation and malice; not accidental; destroy bodies as well as souls
  • idolaters -- worshiping representations of God/Christ; worship (putting first) anything earthly
  • liars -- cannot trust; give false accusations; etc.
v 16: The rest of this book gives Christ the opportunity to give a final invitation to salvation AND a command not to change the text. He showed us all the things that are going to happen. Everything new (heaven, earth, Jerusalem) will come about.

Jesus sent His angel to testify to us the things happening in the churches (Rev 1-3). He declared He is from root and offspring of David, as prophesied, and the bright morning star. The churches were not mentioned in the book after chapter 3. There were no churches as we know them in the tribulation and millennium. They do not appear in the New Jerusalem because they have the ultimate church and leader, Jesus the Christ. The word "church" does not even have a meaning in the new world. The word "church" in Greek is ecclesia which means the "called-out ones". In the new world ALL people will be the people of God (already "called-out") and all the ungodly have been cast out. It is thought that the tribulation will have a multitude of churches that allow almost any belief, what conservative believers call liberal churches. All the TRUE churches will be raptured; so, the only ones left will be the ones that God did not support under the belief systems they had.

The book of Revelation is meant to be instruction to all true churches of what is expected and what is to come. It is from Jesus Himself who purchased each church will His own blood (Acts 20:28). Throughout the book He is expressing Himself to us in what is required. He continuously kept "stopping" all the judgments to wait for converts to God. Then He tried again, and again. Finally, He ended it all to give all people, who turned to Christ, the eternal life that Jesus had promised since the beginning of the earth.

Jesus is a descendent of David (Matt. 22:41-46). This is the only verse in the Bible that calls Jesus the "bright and morning star" ("day star" in KJV). That would infer something special. In the KJV, the word for "morning" in Greek is orthrinos. This was a Greek term to refer to the very unique very brilliant Venus. In other places where "morning" is used, The Greek proinos is used for early day. So it appears Jesus meant this particular use was to be a very unique, bright star called Jesus. In some Bible versions, the term "star" is used for angels. Also Lucifer, himself, was called a "daystar" and star of the morning. So we must be careful when we refer to a star to fully define the star. It appears the word "bright" is referring to the light never dimming, always being bright.

v 17: This may be one of the most important verses of Revelation. A final plea is put out. Now the Holy Spirit and the Bride ( the saints) speak to us. Come. All those who have heard, come. Anyone who is thirsty for the water of life, come. If you want it, it is yours for the asking. The first "Come" some say refer to the Holy Spirit and the bride asking Jesus to come. Then the next "come" refers to all of us.

v 18: The book of prophecy is finished. The directive to all of us is that we must accept the words of prophecy of Revelation. THERE SHALL BE NO ADDITIONS. If anyone adds to the book, he will have to answer to the God Almighty. After reading Revelation, who would want the plagues to be upon himself. Precise words are needed to convey precise thoughts. Do not listen to anyone who has a new revelation of Jesus. This "no addition" philosophy was not only for adding chapters, etc. but was especially for the future false prophets that would want to change the text to satisfy their beliefs. Remember, God wrote the books of the Bible by inspiration. This statement made the declaration that the Bible was complete; i.e. it was not open ended to add as people would want.

Sometimes we question the false doctrines taught by Mohammed (Islam), Joseph Smith (Mormon), etc. How will they go through the plagues when they were dead before the tribulation. This is similar to asking about Hitler, etc. It does not appear they will actually go through the tribulation since they are already dead. But, as for the billions of people that have died on the earth, the answer will come in the final judgment. However, somehow, there will be grave punishment for anyone who would add anything to the book of Revelation. With the charismatic people out there now who can get almost anyone to follow them, the warning from God is all important.

v 19: Now comes the statement of warning for anyone who REMOVES words from the book. God will take his name out of the book of life. He will not be allowed in the Holy City (eternal life with Jesus). All goods things written in the book will be taken away. Adding false information is bad enough; however, removing certain unwanted words of God from the bible will destroy the message and truth. That is what is happening to the cults. Many try to "sell" the cult is Christian. However, they adapt the Bible to satisfy their own desires. Some religions say over the years we have corrupted the Bible therefore, what is written is not correct. So, they give their words as they wish. Please understand, thousands of people are sold on this every day. That is one of the major reasons for the growth of Mormonism and Islam in the world. This is very real today. Christians must fight tooth and nail every day, especially our missionaries in foreign countries who literally put their lives on the line every day. The tendency is for cults to add to the book and the liberals take away from the book. "The Scripture cannot be broken." (John 10:35). Moses said the same (Deut. 4:2). Many arrogant writers since have done exactly what Moses said NOT to do. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will guide us to the truth (John 14:26; 16:13-14). Jesus gave the information through the apostles and prophets (Eph. 3:5). That is truth. The penalty affects your eternity; your name is removed from the book of life. How more terrible can it be?? Many atheists, high critics and scholars, liberals, false intellectuals have tried over the years to trivialize, question, of even ridicule the books of Job, Daniel, Isaiah, Jonah, Acts, Peter, AND Revelation. Genesis is a joke to some ministers. I have seen doctorates in theology laugh at the first 11 chapters of Genesis. We are in a very touchy situation of spreading God's word, as directed, and being "politically correct". So let us watch ourselves. Watering down God's word is the same thing is making the Bible what WE want it to say. As you can see from the Bible, that is very, very serious to God.

v 20: This verse states the prophetic testimony of Jesus Christ is ending. All "these things" include all the events, promises, and warnings in Revelation. The ending of not changing the Words of God is THE end. He WILL come again and soon (though it is soon on God's timing, not ours). The promise is ended with "Amen", so be it.

REFERENCES:
Ezek 47:1; Zech 14:8-9; Gen 3:7, 22, 14-19; Matt 5:6; 21:19;
John 4:13-14; 21:24; 1 Cor 7:22; 10:4; Exod 17:6; 28:36-38; Rom 1:1;
Isa 9:7; 11:1, 5; 55:1-3; 65:16; Acts 1:11; 14:11-18; Dan 12:4; 2 Pet 1:19;
1 Kings 12:11; Prov 10:22; 1 Sam 12:19; Deut 18:1; Josh 22:25,27


v 21: The final closing of the Bible is the most appropriate closing for this study:

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"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Amen."
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