Revelation 22 Commentary - Part 2 (verses 11-15)
By Brother Mike (8-30-14; 45 minutes)
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 .
In this verse we have revealed to us the spiritual state of things during the time period we are now in known as Judgment Day ever since May 21, 2011. During this time, the one who is unjust (unrighteous) will remain unjust, and the one which is filthy will remain filthy. Now, since the unjust and the filthy refer spiritually to the unsaved, this is telling us that during the Day of Judgment, which began on May 21, 2011 and continues until the end, the unsaved will remain unsaved still. There is no hope for them to come out of the spiritual condition in which they are now in; there is no salvation available for them. So this is simply revealing what is revealed in many other scriptures, namely that ever since May 21, 2011 salvation has come to an end: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still is the same as saying that the one who is unsaved, let this one remain unsaved because there is no longer any hope for salvation; it is Judgment Day!
Now, in contrast to the unjust remaining unjust, and the filthy remaining filthy, we read, and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. The righteous and the holy clearly refer to the saved, so in that the unsaved will remain unsaved, the saved, on the other hand, will remain saved still. And, why will they remain saved? Well, it has nothing to do with what they have done because a more literal translation of our verse reads like this:
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 [being made] righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be [being made] holy still .
This shows that the righteous and the holy are not righteous and holy because of any thing that they have done, or who they are, but they are righteous and holy because they are being made righteous and holy by God. The one who is righteous and the one who is holy are passive in the matter. But, with respect to the unjust and the filthy, they are unjust and filthy because of themselves. You cannot see this in the King James Translation alone, but in the original Greek, this is what is being declared: the unjust and the filthy are such because of who they are in themselves, but the righteous and holy are such because of the actions of God upon them. He has made and is making them righteous, and He has made and is making them holy. They are not involved in somehow doing something to make themselves righteous and holy, but they are passive agents as God molds them as a piece of clay into being righteous and holy. Praise our God and creator who molds us according to His perfect will!
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be .
Here, as in verse 7, we read the command, behold, I come quickly. The word behold is a command to be seeing or perceiving what follows, and that is that I [Christ] come quickly. God wants us to pay very careful attention to this fact: Christ will come back in a very short period of time from when this verse was first written near the end of the 1st century AD when the time period for His return is compared to the whole of history, and now that we are in Judgment Day almost 2,000 years later, we can know that quickly could mean that Christ will come back in a matter of days on October 6th, 2015 (see
Could The End Come on October 6, 2015
Now we read that when Christ comes, [His] reward is with [Him], to give every man according as his work shall be. This suggests that every person will be rewarded based upon their works, and this is true when we see things in the correct light. First, the unsaved people will be rewarded with death because the wages of sin is death (Ro. 6:23), and every unsaved individual has sinned,
Ro 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God . . . And,
Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all .
The elect, on the other hand, will be rewarded with eternal life not because their works were sufficient for eternal life, or because they did not sin, but because they have been imputed with the righteousness of Christ, and their sins have been paid for through the atoning work of Christ. Indeed, because Christ paid for the sins of His elect, and also imparted to them a sinless, new resurrected soul upon their having been saved, their works will be seen as sinless and worthy of eternal life not because they of themselves are worthy, but because Christ is worthy who dwells in them, and who works His good works through them,
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them .
So, therefore, the unsaved are rewarded death for their evil works, while the saved are rewarded eternal life for their good works that Christ works through them. None of their evil works will be counted against them because Christ, their Lord, paid for their sins by suffering death in the place of His elect so that they will never have to die. Instead of being annihilated on the Last Day like the unsaved, the elect will be changed to have new spiritual and sinless bodies, which will fit perfectly together with their resurrected and sinless souls that were already given to them when they were saved. Then they will have been made perfectly fit to dwell in the new heaven and earth that will be created for them to live in on the Last Day for all eternity.
But, now, the question arises, since the elect will be rewarded according to their works, albeit the good works of Christ through them, will there be different degrees or levels of reward for them in heaven? To put it another way, does Christ work more works through some of His people than others with the result that they receive greater rewards in heaven? Certainly, it would appear so when we examine the Parable of the Pounds. There we read in Luke 19,
He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come .
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us .
15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading .
16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds .
17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities .
18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds .
19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities .
Now, in this parable the pound represents the riches of the gospel, and in that each of His servants received one pound means that they were each saved by the gospel of the kingdom in order to spread the gospel to the world. Now the efforts of the first servant in spreading the gospel resulted in the salvation of ten other servants, so, in this sense, his pound hath gained ten pounds. Likewise, the efforts of the second servant in spreading the gospel resulted in the salvation of five other servants, so, in this sense, his pound hath gained five pounds. Now what is of great significance is that the first servant who produced the ten pounds was rewarded with authority over ten cities while the second servant who produced but five pounds was rewarded with authority over just five cities. So, therefore, we see a difference in reward dependent upon their works in sending forth the gospel to the world. But, since we know that their works are actually the works of Christ working through them, we must admit that Christ works more or greater works through some of His servants than others, and the rewards for their works, therefore, vary accordingly. The answer to our question, then, does Christ work more or greater works through some of His people than others with the result that the elect receive greater or lesser rewards in heaven, the answer is yes. But, this is always with the recognition that Christ is responsible for any and all good works that come through any given person. He is the one who chooses one for greater works, and another for lesser works, which results in differing levels of authority in heaven for His elect according to the works of Christ through them.
Now, we can see that an elect person can only work and produce to the extent that the Lord has gifted them to do so by examination of the Parable of the Talents, which is very similar to the Parable of the Pounds, but differs in one very significant way. There in Mathew 25, we read,
For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey .
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents .
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two .
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money .
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them .
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more .
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord .
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them .
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord .
So, here in this parable, and unlike in the Parable of the Pounds, the Lord's servants are given varying amounts of their Lord's goods or money according to their abilities. They are not all given the same amount as in the Parable of the Pounds, but they are given varying amounts of talents according to their abilities. So the Lord is taking into account that each of His servants has a greater or lesser amount of God-given ability to spread the gospel to the world. The first servant with the greatest ability in the parable is given five talents because it is known that with his God-given abilities, he will gain five talents while the second servant is given two talents because it is known that with his God-given abilities, he will gain two talents. The idea is that each servant produces exactly what their Lord entrusts to them because what their Lord gives them is based upon their abilities to produce exactly what their Lord gives them. This clearly reveals that each servant can only produce to the extent to which the Lord has gifted them to do so, and different elect have different amounts and degrees of gifts, so they will each be given different amounts, and they will each produce varying amounts. But, the amounts that they produce are clearly foreordained by the Lord for each of His servants.
Now, in this Parable of the Talents, the servant who produced the five talents, and the servant who produced the two talents are each rewarded, but we are not told that they received varying rewards based on their works as in the Parable of the Pounds, but we are simply told this: Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. In other words, both servants are simply told that because they were faithful over a few things, they would each be made rulers over many things, but just how many things each of them would be made to rule over based on their works is not revealed. Nevertheless, we know that each servant received different rewards based on the works which the Lord worked through them because of what we found in the Parable of the Pounds. In that parable, those who produced more, received more, and those who produced less, received less. So, based on the Parable of the Pounds, we are justified in believing that the elect will receive varying rewards of rulership in heaven depending on the works of Christ through them, but that some have greater works and, therefore, greater rewards than others is solely due to the Lord's will and not dependent upon any elect person at all. The elect person simply produces the exact amount that the Lord has gifted him with, so all credit and glory goes to the Lord, and all rewards are dished out according to His will.
But, if the elect receive rewards based upon the works of the Lord through them, what do we do with those passages which do not say that the elect will receive rewards in heaven, but simply say that their reward is eternal life. For instance, we read in Mark 10,
Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee
29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's ,
30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life .
Notice that the reward for Jesus' disciples who had left everything for Him would be 100 fold in this life with persecutions, but in the next life, they will simply receive eternal life as do all the elect. We get no sense of there being higher or lower degrees of rewards for the elect in heaven. Rather, there reward is quite simply, eternal life. Similarly, we read in Romans 2,
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God
6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds :
7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life :
8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath . . .
Here, once again, it just seems like the reward for being one of God's elect who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality is simply eternal life. We get no sense, once again, of there being higher or lower degrees of reward for the elect in heaven. So how can we reconcile verses like this with the fact that God's servants in the Parable of the Pounds are given varying amounts of reward in rulership based upon the works of the Lord through them? Well, we can reconcile this by recognizing that included in the gift of eternal life is the fact that there are levels of reward based upon the works of Christ through His elect, but it is simply not mentioned in all the verses unless that is the focus of discussion such as in the Parable of the Pounds. What I am trying to say is that these verses that speak of the reward as simply being eternal life do not deny that there are differing rewards in having eternal life, but they are simply assuming that these rewards are included in eternal life without mentioning them. So, to have eternal life means that you have been foreordained for a given amount of works and, therefore, a given amount of reward in heaven according to the will of God, and each of the servants of God will receive varying amounts of rulership based upon the amount of works that Christ foreordained to work through them in this life. This is an astounding revelation because it means that we can gauge to some extent how much rulership one of God's elect will be rewarded with in heaven based upon how much they were used for His kingdom in this life. Of course, only Christ can judge as to how much any given elect person has been used by Him, but, nevertheless, it is quite amazing that there is a reflection of what will be in the next life in this life. Some people might have problems with this, while others who are more mature will just surrender to the will of the Lord, and move on.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last .
We find the phrase Alpha and Omega in only three other places in the Bible. They are the following:
Re 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty .
Re 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea .
Re 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely .
As you can see, in two of these verses, Alpha and Omega is coupled with the phrase, the beginning and the end while, in one of these verses, it is coupled with the phrase, the first and last. But, in our verse, it is coupled with both of these phrases, so we read,
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last .
Now, since each phrase, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, and the first and the last are basically saying the same thing, namely that God is not only the start or beginning of all things, but He is also the last or end of all things because it is He who is sovereign over creation as well as being sovereign over the end of all things, this verse is emphasizing again and again and again the sovereignty of God over all things. In fact, although said in three different ways, it is stated three times, which means it is the purpose of God that He is sovereign over everything (see
Meaning to Bible Number 3
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 .
Here we are first told that Happy or Blessed are they that do his commandments. And, who are they who do His commandments? Why they are the elect, of course, for only they have the Spirit of God dwelling in them who empowers and motivates them to keep the commandments. And, they don't just do the commandments once or twice, but they do them as an ongoing life style. This is what the word do in the sentence, they that do his commandments means: it is in the present tense and active voice of the Greek language, and so carries with it the notion of doing the commandments in an ongoing or continuous manner. So, blessed are they that are doing [ongoing] His commandments.
Now we are told that blessed are they that are doing His commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. This makes it sound like the elect obtain the right to the tree of life, which is symbolic of Christ in the New and Holy Jerusalem, by their obedience to the commands, and, yes, this is true as long as we realize that their obedience is due completely to Christ working through them. It has nothing to do with the elect in themselves being able to keep the commandments, for we know that in themselves, they fall short, as does all of humankind, and cannot possibly keep the commands of God. It is only by having died with Christ in salvation and dieing daily to sin that the elect can keep the commands of Christ by the power of Christ doing His work through them, which He does to the glory of God the Father. So obedience to the commands is completely dependent upon the work of Christ in and through the elect. The elect don't earn the right for anything, but Christ working in and through them earns the right for them to the tree of life, and to enter in through the gates into the city.
Next, I already stated and we know that the tree of life is referring to Christ in the New and Holy Jerusalem, but what do the gates into the city represent because, if you will remember, we are told that blessed are they that are doing His commandments that they may not only have right to the tree of life, but, also, that they may enter in through the gates into the city? Well, we had learned back in Revelation 21 Part 3
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie .
In this verse, we are told that those who are without of the holy city, the New Jerusalem, are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Let's take a little closer look at each one of these descriptors to hopefully better understand their meanings.
First, we find that those outside of the holy city are dogs. This term, dogs, is normally used in reference to the unsaved, especially false prophets and false religious leaders. For instance, we read in Isaiah 56,
His watchmen [the leaders of Israel] are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber
11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter .
And, in Philippians 3, we read,
Php 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision [false religious leaders] .
In 2Peter 2 we read about those who were once enlightened, but have turned back from the truth to become false believers and prophets. We read,
2Pe 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire .
And, in Matthew 7, we read,
Mt 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you .
All of these verses reveal that the term, dogs, is symbolic for unbelievers, which includes false prophets, especially those who are the false religious leaders. In our day, the dogs would be the leaders of all the various churches as well as all those in them. But, in a broader sense, the dogs refer to any and all unsaved people in the entire world.
Now, second, we find that those who are without the holy city are called sorcerers. The term, sorcerers come from the Greek word pharmakon from which we get our word pharmacy, and it means a drug or spell-giving potion. So a sorcerer was one who prepared and practiced magical remedies. In our day, this would most commonly be referred to as witchcraft. So what this is telling us is that all those who practice witchcraft or sorcery are and will be outside the holy city, the New Jerusalem.
Third, those who are without the holy city are whoremongers. The word whoremongers can be equally translated as fornicators. It comes from the Greek word pornoi, which is a word from which we get our word pornography. It refers to those who have sex before marriage as well as sexual deviations of any kind such as pornography, incest, homosexuality, adultery, prostitution, masturbation, sex with animals, and so on. In its broadest sense, it refers to all of the unsaved people in the world since they worship false Gods of one kind or another, which, in the Bible, is called spiritual fornication.
Fourth, those who are without the holy city are called murderers. We all know that to kill another is murder, but not all of us know that to harbor hatred toward another is murder as well. We read in 1John 3,
1Jo 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him .
So the murderers who are without the New and Holy Jerusalem are not only all those who have literally killed someone, but they are also all those who have ever hated someone, which is a much larger proportion of, if not all of, all the unsaved people in the world.
Now, fifth, those who are without the holy city are called idolaters. We read of idolaters not inheriting the kingdom of God in quite a variety of passages. For instance, we read in 1Corinthians 6,
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God .
And, again, we read in Ephesians 5,
Eph 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God .
Here we are told that a covetous man is an idolater. This is because to lust after things that do not belong to you is the same as worshipping a false God, which is idolatry. We even read that if a brother or sister claims to be a brother or sister in the Lord, but he or she is involved in idolatry, then we should not even eat with such a one as we read in 1Corinthians 5,
1Co 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat .
Now, since every person who is unsaved worships a false God of one kind or another whether it is humankind, a false deity, or themselves, and whether they know it or not, every single one of them are idolaters. So in that idolaters are without the New and Holy Jerusalem, which is the kingdom of God, means that all unsaved people will be outside the New and Holy Jerusalem. In fact, we are told that they shall all have their part in the lake of fire on the Last Day, so they won't even be around after that to even possibly live in the New and Holy Jerusalem: as we read in Revelation 21:
Re 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death .
Now, let's define idolatry: it is the worship of false Gods, yes, but it is what you center your life around instead of the one true God of the Bible. If you have centered your life on money, then money has become your God and idol. If you have centered your life on materialism, then things have become your God and idol. If you have centered your life on the Koran, then Allah has become your God and idol. If you have centered your life on that humankind can solve all your problems (humanism), then humankind has become your God and idol. If you have centered your life on Catholicism, then the false God of Catholicism has become your God and idol (see
The Bible and Catholicism
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light .
Finally, we are told in our verse that those who are kept out of the holy city are whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Here, once again, everyone who is unsaved must be included in those who love and make lies. In fact, if any person does not worship the one and only true God, then they are living a lie. Their whole life is centered upon one lie or another, and we could say that they are delusional. Yes, everyone who is unsaved, which is the vast amount of the people, is living in a delusion, for they are blind. Of course, they don't see it as such because someone who is delusional cannot see that they are delusional. They believe what they believe with their whole heart even though it is a lie. Normally, without knowing it, they simply follow after their father, the devil,
Joh 8:44 . . . and the lusts of [their] father [they] will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it .
Now may the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.