Revelation 22 Commentary - Part 3 (verses 16-21)
By Brother Mike (9-24-14; 35 minutes)
16 I Jesus have sent mine angel [messenger] to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star .
We first read in this verse that I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. This is just the fulfillment of what the Lord had commanded the apostle John to do in Revelation 1 where we read,
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 .
So in that Jesus had commanded John, His angel (messenger), to write in a book, and send it to the seven churches, it has now been fulfilled, for John obeyed the command of Jesus and not only wrote what he saw in a book, but he also sent it to the seven churches. And, since the seven churches represent the complete perfection of all the churches of God throughout time (see
Meaning of Bible Number 7
Next, our verse states, I [Christ] am the root and the offspring of David. By saying this, Christ is revealing Himself to be the Messiah that was promised in Isaiah 11 because there we read of the promised Messiah that would come from the roots of Jesse who was the father of David. We read,
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch [Christ] shall grow out of his roots
2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD . . .
And, we read in Romans 15:12,
Ro 15:12 And again, Isaiah saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he [Christ] that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust .
So, it appears here that God wants us to recognize that Jesus is the promised Messiah. The Messiah is not yet to come as the Jews think, but the Messiah has come, and He is the Lord, Jesus Christ.
Now, finally, we read that Jesus is not only the root and offspring of David, but He is also the bright and morning star. Why is He called the bright and morning star? We read in Numbers 24,
Nu 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star [Christ] out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth .
From this verse, we recognize that Jesus is the star that came out of Jacob, but why is He called the bright and morning star? Since the morning star is that star which rises at first morning light, it represents that star which shines as the darkness is being dispelled. So Christ is the bright and morning star because He is that light which arises at the end of the darkness. To put it another way, when He arises, the darkness vanishes. This is why He is called the bright and morning star.
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 .
Here we first read, And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. This is an invitation to come to Christ who is the Word of God. The Spirit is mentioned because it is the Spirit that inclines the hearts of the elect to desire, come to and understand the Word of God. And, the bride is mentioned because the bride represents the elect who are God's messengers (angels) entrusted with bringing the Word of God to the world in order to find all of the elect. So the Spirit and the bride always work together to bring all of the elect to Christ.
Now the message of both the Spirit and the bride was to come unto Christ throughout the Church Age from 33 AD to May 21, 1988 and during the Latter Rain from September 7, 1994 to May 21, 2011. And, their message continued to be to come to Christ after May 21, 2011, but not for salvation since salvation had come to an end, but for the elect to come to Christ in order to be nourished by the Word of God and become fully prepared for heaven which will shortly be manifest; perhaps as soon as October 6, 2015 (see
Could The End Come On October 6, 2015
Next, we read, And let him that heareth say, Come. Now the one who hears are the elect throughout the world who hear the message from the Spirit and the bride to come to Christ, and, as a result, they also begin to send out the message to come unto Christ. In other words, they participate in the spreading of the Word of God to the world for the sake of the elect. The goal is to send out the Word of God into all of the world in order to reach all of the elect not only so that they would be saved during the Church Age and the Latter Rain, but so that they would be nourished by Christ, the Word of God, during Judgment Day, and so be fully prepared to enter heaven by the end of Judgment Day, which began on May 21, 2011 and continues for what could be 1600 days to end on October 6, 2015 (see
Could The End Come On October 6, 2015
Next, we read, And let him that is athirst come. Once again, this refers to the elect. It is an invitation for all those who thirst to come to Christ, the Word of God. And, the only ones who truly thirst for Christ, the Word of God, the Bible, are the elect, so it is only they who can obey the command to come. Indeed, only the elect have been given a new heart that yearns and thirsts for Christ on an ongoing basis and has the power to truly come to and remain with Christ.
But, now, last, we read, And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Does this mean that anyone can come to Christ? I mean, it says, whosoever will, so doesn't this mean that anyone who wills it can come to Christ? Well, if we were to isolate this verse from the rest of the Bible, we would probably think so, but, as with any verse, we must compare it with the rest of the Bible to make sure that we understand things correctly, and when we do this, we must come to realize that no one in themselves can choose Christ. This is quite simply the case because, in themselves, no one seeks for God. As we read in Romans 3,
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God .
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one .
So, since there are none that seek after God, there are none, then, who, in themselves, would ever come to God freely. In fact, every unsaved person is dead toward the true God. They not only will not choose to come to Christ, but it is impossible for them to come to Christ because, spiritually, they are dead, and a spiritually dead person cannot will to come to God who is Spirit. In order to become saved, then, God Himself must bring them to spiritual life as we read in Ephesians 2,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us [brought us to life] together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved ;).
And, again, we read in Colossians 2,
Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened [brought to life] together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses . . .
The point I am making is that no one, in themselves, can or will freely come to Christ. In fact, it is quite the opposite: God must come to a person and impart spiritual life to them so that they will then come to Him. So why, then, do we read, And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely? Why would God say whosoever will if He didn't mean what He was saying? Well, He does mean what He says, but we must realize that the only ones whosoever will come and take the water of life freely, which is the Word of God, are the ones who have been brought to spiritual life by God. Only these ones can and will come to Christ. This means that when the Lord says whosoever will, the only ones whosoever will are the elect. This is because these are the only ones who have been brought to life and given that tremendous desire to come to the Word of God and to remain with that Word of God, namely Christ. So, yes, whosoever will means whosoever will, but whosoever will are only the elect. As we read in Romans 9,
For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy .
And, again, we read of the elect in John 1,
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God .
So, it is not us who can will to be saved, but it is God who wills who will be saved. And, whosoever God wills to be saved will come to the water of life, which is Christ, the Word of God.
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 :
In the previous verse, we read of an invitation to come freely to the water of life who is Christ, the Word of God. But, now, in this verse, every one that hears the words of the prophecy of this book is given a very grave warning that if [they] shall add unto these things, God shall add unto [them] the plagues that are written in this book. Now, upon first reading the phrase, the words of the prophecy of this book, you might think that this is just talking about the book of Revelation; after all, the book in the Bible in which this saying is found is in the book of Revelation, but, because the Bible is a cohesive whole with other parts of the Bible needed to understand the book of Revelation, and the book of Revelation needed to understand other parts of the Bible, we cannot legitimately separate the book of Revelation from the rest of the Bible. To add to the book of Revelation is to add to the Bible, and to add to the Bible is to add to the book of Revelation. This means that the words of the prophecy of this book must refer to the entire Bible and not just the book of Revelation. So what this verse is saying is that if anyone will add unto the words of the Bible; that is, claim in their heart that there is more to divine revelation than what is found in the Bible alone such as in dreams, visions, tongues, words of knowledge, prophecy, or other so-called divine writings, then such a one has added to the Bible, and is subject to the plagues that are written in the Bible; that is, such a one is unsaved and will suffer the wrath of God which will end in complete death and annihilation.
Now, since those who add to the Bible will suffer the wrath of God, it is important that we understand just what the Bible is. It is not the Catholic Bible which has added to it the apocrypha books, which in itself has placed the Catholic Church under the wrath of God for having added to the Word of God (see
The Bible and Catholicism
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 .
In this verse, we are first told that if any man shall take away from the words of the Bible (the book of this prophecy), God shall take away his part out of the book of life. Now to take away from the words of the Bible is to not hold to the whole Bible as being the Word of God, but something less as, for instance, the Jews do by only holding to the Old Testament as being the Word of God. Another example of people who take away from the whole Bible are those who believe that the New Testament is for the church today, but the Old Testament is no longer for the church. Whatever the case, we are told that if anyone takes away from the words of the Bible, God will take away their part out of the book of life. So how people view the Bible determines where they are at spiritually. If people believe in a wider authority than the whole Bible such as do Catholics, Mormons, and all those who say that they hold to the Bible, but still believe that God is giving messages in dreams, visions, tongues, words of knowledge, prophecy, and the like, then they are revealing by this that they are in a false gospel and religion, and, if people believe in a lesser authority than the whole Bible such as do Jews, Muslims and any others who hold to something less than the whole Bible in its entirety, then they are also revealing by this that they are in a false gospel and religion. The true gospel and religion is circumscribed by the whole Bible, and the whole Bible alone. Anything else has either a wider or lesser authority, and so by definition must be seen as false.
Now the book of life is a book wherein are written the names of all those who are destined for eternal life. The Bible looks at this book from two different vantage points. It looks at the book of life from the vantage point of redemption wherein everyone listed in the book is guaranteed to have eternal life because everyone listed are the elect only. And, it looks upon the book of life from the vantage point of creation wherein everyone who was ever created is initially listed in the book, but they are then later blotted out if they are not one of the predestined elect. Besides our verse which states, 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, another example of the book of life seen from a creation standpoint wherein people can actually lose their part in the book of life is Revelation 3:5. There we read,
Re 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels .
In this instance, we see that he who overcomes will not have his name blotted out of the book of life. This infers that all those who don't overcome, namely the non-elect, will have their names blotted out from the book of life. So the non-elect started out through creation being written in the book of life, but then they are blotted out at sometime before the end, which leaves, in the end, only the names of the elect remaining in the book of life.
Now, as previously stated, the Bible also views the book of life from the vantage point of redemption in which everyone in the book, from start to finish, are the elect only. For instance, we read in Revelation 17,
Re 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is .
In this instance, the context is the Great Tribulation period from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011 when the beast (Satan) had ascended out of the bottomless pit, and all the unsaved people on the earth admired him, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. This infers that all those who did NOT admire Satan were written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, and this would be in reference to all the elect. So those in the book of life in this example are only the elect since the book of life is here being pictured from the point of view of redemption. We see this also in Revelation 13 where we read,
Re 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [Satan], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world .
Here, once again, the book of life is being viewed from the vantage point of redemption, and all those who do NOT worship Satan are those whose names [are] written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. So from this vantage point of redemption, everyone in the book of life are the elect; there are none to be blotted out of the book because only the elect are found in the book from this vantage point of redemption.
Now, returning to our verse, we read,
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 . . .
This is revealing to us that everyone who takes away from the words of the Bible; that is, has an authority less than the entire Bible, will be taken away from their part in the book of life, which means they will not have eternal life because they are not saved. Such an individual began in the book of life because they were given life through creation, but they will end in death because they were never truly saved, and this is why they could be found to be taking away from the authority of the Bible by their participation in false belief systems such as Judaism, or Islam, or even so-called Christians who hold to some scripture, but deny the rest. They pick and choose what verses they like, but then deny those verses which do not please them. No! The Bible must be seen in its entirety, and we must be willing to look at everything in the Bible, or we are simply following a false Christianity and religion.
Next, our verse mentions three things: 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. First, we find that people who take away from the Bible will be taken from the book of life. This means that they will be removed from having any life, which means they will be given over to death. Second, we find that people who take away from the Bible will be taken away from any part in the holy city. The holy city is the New Jerusalem, which is symbolic of the very elect themselves. So to be taken from the holy city is the same as being taken away from ever being one of the elect, which means, once again, that they are given over to death. Finally, we find that people who take away from the Bible will be taken away from the things which are written in the Bible. This means they will be taken away from all the blessings both in this life and the next, but, instead, will be given over to eternal death. So all three things listed are basically saying the same thing: that those who take away from the words of the Bible will be given over to death forevermore. And, because three things are listed, we know that it is the purpose of God that all those who take away from the words of the Bible will suffer death (see
Meaning of Bible Number 3
Now, in summary, we have learned that all those who either add to or take away from the words of the Bible will suffer eternal death, and it is the purpose of God that these things be so. So it is crucial that we, ourselves, do not add to or take away from the whole Bible. We do this not to earn our salvation, but we do this because we are already saved, and desire to be faithful to God in every respect. This means we must always be willing to compare scripture with scripture to make sure that what we believe is really what the Bible teaches. It means we do not lift of certain parts of the Bible over others. It means that we see the Bible as a cohesive whole with each part painting its part of the most glorious Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus .
This is the third time in this chapter that it is stated that Christ comes quickly. But one may say, this is a lie because this was written way back in the 1st century, and now almost 2,000 years later Christ has still not come. So how can it be said that Christ comes quickly? In response we would say, quickly does not mean that Christ would return in the 1st century, but it means that in comparison to all of history, Christ would be coming back in a very short period of time. Now, up until the 1st century, about 11,000 years had transpired (see
Now immediately after reading, Surely I come quickly, it is stated, Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The word Amen comes directly from the Hebrew, and it has now been carried over to so many different languages that it has come to be known as the best known word in human speech. It means truly, or so be it, or so be it fulfilled. In the context of our verse, it modifies, Surely I come quickly, and so means, Surely I come quickly, truly, or so be it, or so be it fulfilled. Its use was carried over from the Jewish synagogue into the New Testament churches, and it was said by all the people after the prayer, which followed immediately after the discourse or reading took place. It's an exclamation of agreement with. To say amen means you agree, truly, with what was previously said. And, in that the apostle John stands for all the elect, the amen said by John after Christ says, Surely I come quickly, is an exclamation which comes from the hearts of all the elect. They all agree, truly, that Christ comes quickly. In fact, they all as represented by John say further, Even so, come, Lord Jesus. So the Lord comes quickly, truly, and the elect are in full agreement with this: Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen .
Finally, we are told, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. This is something said to the elect only. Only they can have the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, for only they have been granted unmerited favor (grace) through the atoning work of our Lord. This is truly unconditional love! He loved His elect before they were even born, and before they could either do good or bad. As we read in Romans 9,
. . . Jacob [the elect] have I loved, but Esau [the non-elect] have I hated
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid .
15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion .
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy .
Indeed, the Lord chose to love His elect regardless of their sins, but He saved them while they were yet sinners, gave then a new resurrected soul that loves the Lord above all else, and He has committed Himself to them right to the very end when He will give them new spiritual bodies to match their new souls, and create a new heaven and earth wherein they will dwell forevermore with their Lord in glory. This is what it means for the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to be with all the elect. Amen, truly, so be 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.