Graceful Perseverance: The Bible, New Testament; Part 2 – 9/08
Welcome to this week’s blog. For the past several weeks, I have focused on my favorite book, the Bible.
This week I am focusing on the last book of the New Testament, Revelation, Chapter 22. I have identified the purpose of each book, the author of each book, the date written, key verses and key people involved to help give you a better understanding of the Bible before you dive into it on your own.
When you open your Bible, you will find the New Testament has 27 books, starting with Matthew (28 chapters) and ending with Revelation (22 chapters). To date, I’ve completed the overview of the Old Testament (39 books), and the New Testament (22 books), the final chapter of Revelation this week, Chapter 22.
If you wish to revisit any of the Old Testament or New Testament blogs, you can find them on my website: https://www.thewitnesstoday.com/blog-archives.
The author and compiler of the final book of the New Testament is John, from the Island of Patmos. For hundreds of centuries there have been many approaches to interpreting the book of Revelation. Many of these approaches have supporters, but none of which have proved to be the only way to interpret or read this last book of the Bible.
The book of Revelation is written in “apocalyptic” form – a type of Jewish literature that uses symbolic imagery to communicate hope (in the ultimate triumph of God) for all of us who will be in the midst of persecution. The events in Revelation are ordered according to literary, rather than a traditional, chronological timeline. Revelation provides a powerful message of warning and instruction for end times or otherwise known as judgment day.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. – Revelation 1:3 (NIV).
The purpose of the book of Revelation is to reveal the full identity of Christ, and to give warning and hope to believers. The author, Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation approximately 95 A.D. (From the Latin word annō Dominī – stands for “In the year of the Lord”), from the Island of Patmos.
Below is the final chapter I covered in this week’s blog. This format has helped readers move through the book of Revelation at their own pace. I encourage you to study and jot down your questions as you go through each chapter and the supporting scripture.
Revelation - Chapter 22: Eden Restored, John and the Angel,
Epilogue: Invitation and Warning
The water of life is symbolic of an eternal life. A good example is when Jesus prophesized the story of the Samaritan woman. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give Me a drink. For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?
For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water. The woman said to Him, Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep.
Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?
Jesus answered and said to her, Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.
But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. – John 4:7-14 (NKJV).
The water of life is expressive of the fullness of life with God, and the eternal blessings that are available to us when we believe in Him, and allow Him to satisfy our spiritual thirst. The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. – Revelation 22:17 (NIV).
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city.
On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. – Revelation 22:1-5 (NIV).
The angel proclaimed to John that the words, and the events he shared with John, are all trustworthy and true, and must soon take place. The angel said to me, These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place. – Revelation 22:6 (NIV).
The symbolic visions, and the messages John received from the angel are that of God’s message to be passed down to His children through the ages. John wrote down, and recorded on scrolls all that the angel shared with him. Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.
Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll. – Revelation 22:7 (NIV).
I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God! – Revelation 22:8-9 (NIV).
We see in the Book of Revelation (22:10), that the angel tells John what to do after the vision had ended. Instead of sealing up what he had written, as Daniel was directed to do in the book of Daniel, John was instructed to leave the book open because the time is near.
But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank.
And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be? Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, My lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. – Daniel 12:4-12 (NKJV).
In Daniel’s day, Daniel wanted to leave the book open, but God instructed him to seal it up, as the time of the end was not near. To better clarify, the end of time was not to take place in Daniel’s generation. The time, times and half a time (3.5 years or 1,260 days) was not in Daniel’s period of time.
But John, unlike Daniel, was told that the book was to be left open so that all can read, and understand because the time is near. Then he told me, Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy. – Revelation 22:10-11 (NIV).
Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. – Revelation 22:12-13 (NIV).
Believers will wash their robes, and will be the ones who seek to purify themselves from a sinful way of life. Believers will strive daily to remain faithful, and be ready for the “Day of the Lord,” Christ’s return (2nd Coming).
Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. – Revelation 22:14 (NIV).
In the beginning, the Book of Genesis, in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil because if they did, they would die. Because they disobeyed God’s command to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and they listened to the serpent and his deception, sin fell upon Adam and Eve. But because Jesus died for our inherited sin, sin will be no more in the New Jerusalem.
In the New Jerusalem, God’s people will be allowed to eat from the tree of life because our sins were washed away when Jesus was crucified, died and then resurrected from the cross. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. – Revelation 22:2 (NIV).
Because Jesus paid our sin debt on the cross, our sins have been washed away. The washing of our robe is symbolic of purity, and free from sin. Therefore, those who have washed their robe are free to eat the from the tree of life, and will live forever.
Surrounding the outer perimeters of the New Jerusalem will be the dogs. Dogs are symbolic for the sinners, and the evil doers.
Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. – Revelation 22:15 (NIV).
I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star. – Revelation 22:16 (NIV).
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. – Revelation 22:18-19 (NIV).
As we have acknowledged throughout our book, not one of us knows the day or the hour of the “Day of the Lord.” But we are certain of is this, Jesus is coming soon, and He will come unexpectedly, just like scripture tells us - like a thief in the night if we are not ready.
For the wise, this is good news, but for the foolish this is a disturbing message that they refuse to accept as truth. Why the difference? Let’s see how scripture defines the wise, and the foolish.
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching. – Matthew 7:24-29 (NIV).
The wise are the believers, the followers of Christ, who fully trust, and believe in God’s promises. It is the believer who has a foundation built from rock. God is our rock. For the foolish, the unbelievers, well, they have refused God as the only one true God, the maker of heaven and earth.
They have built their foundation on sand, false gods and false doctrines. They have refused Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They refute God’s Law, and God’s Word as the only divine truth. They have out right rejected Christ as their Lord and Savior. On the “Day of the Lord” it is the foolish who will stand under horrific, and dreadful judgment, and punishment of God.
He who testifies to these things says,
‘Yes, I am coming soon!’
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.
Amen. – Revelation 22:20-21 (NIV).
This is an urgent request for the body of believers: “Come, Lord Jesus!” We live in a secular, tainted world of persecution, evil and immorality. Christ has been calling our attention to endure our faith, for the time is near. We are to live by faith, not by sight. For we live by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV).
He has been warning people for centuries through natural disasters that He is in control. He has been sending invitations to mankind to repent, and follow His truth. He has given us biblical prophecy, and history to warn us of what is yet to come.
Our efforts to better the world is significant, but our results will never compare to the transformation that Jesus, one day soon, will bring about the earth on the day of His return. It is God, and God alone who is in control of the human race, our history, and our forthcoming. He is a forgiving God. He is a loving God. But His wrath will come upon the earth, and He will destroy the earth, and all of its sin and evil. But He has also promised us a New Heaven, and a New Earth, with lasting peace.
In the beginning of the world God created paradise, where Adam and Eve walked and talked with God. And then an evil serpent showed up in the Garden of Eden. This is when sin came upon the earth.
In the end of the world, there are two distinct differences. The New Jerusalem will be a city free of sin, and we will worship God face to face. In the beginning, the Garden of Eden was destroyed by sin, but in the end, paradise will be recreated in the New Jerusalem. Sin will be no more.
This is the anticipation of all believers. Regardless of what materializes on earth, God is in control. We believe that evil will not last forever. We also believe that God has proclaimed throughout the Bible, through the prophecies, parables, testimonies, and scrolls His promise of our reward, and an eternal life with Him is trustworthy and true.
Let’s recap. This week we completed the last chapter of Revelation, Chapter 22 (Eden Restored, John and the Angel, Epilogue: Invitation and Warning). I hope that you have found the last several weeks of blogs, the study of the Old Testament and the New Testament and the book of Revelation, helpful, enlightening and educational.
Next week I will cover “Are you Ready?”
Blessings until next week,
Debra Pauli Unstoppable Believer
Scripture Quoted From: New International Version Bible (NIV) Archived Blogs: https://www.thewitnesstoday.com/blog-archives