The keys To Understanding The Apocalypse- The Book Of Revelations
The Apocalypse- Revelations Study Six!
Revelation 20:1-10: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a housand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the housand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
We have already seen in our studies of the The Apocalypse- The Book of Revelation a rather detailed picture of the future. The next great event to end this age of Grace will be the Rapture when the Church will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Then will follow the Great Tribulation of seven years during which Satan will be permitted by God to use every means to fight Him and His people. The Battle of Armageddon and the return of Christ in glory will immediately follow.
During the Great Tribulation Satan will have two main companions as described in Revelation 13. These are called the beast out of the sea and the beast out of the earth. The first is the Antichrist the great political dictator who will gather all the nations into one great confederacy to destroy Israel and establish a false kingdom. The second is the False Prophet, the charismatic head of the one world religious federation of that time. When Christ returns these two men will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.
The Lake of Fire is the final Hell. The unsaved who die now go to Hell or Hades to suffer until the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20 when death and Hell will deliver up the dead which are in them. The first ones to be cast into the Lake of Fire will be the last great world-dictator the Antichrist and the False Prophet. The Lake of Fire is not a place of annihilation but a place of eternal torment. Revelation 19:20: "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them and had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
There is no annihilation in the lake of fire. These two men will be still in the lake of fire after a thousand years when the devil is cast into the same place with them. Revelation 20:10: "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
In Revelation 20 we first have the binding of Satan as recorded in the first three verses. Originally he was Lucifer, created full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. His position as guardian of God's throne was the most exalted in the heavens, next to that of our Lord Jesus Christ. Being a freewill agent like you and me, his heart became exalted by his beauty and power. He coveted God's throne. This rebellion led to his expulsion from heaven. Since then he has worked overtime to hinder God's purpose in the salvation of mankind and has tried to damn every soul in Hell. Here we find him a defeated foe and banished by the power of God.
Satan is described here in Chapter 20 verse 2 by four names. We saw these same identical names given in the same order in chapter 12. The first two names reveal his personality while the last two are his personal names:
"The dragon" speaks of his bestial leadership in the beast government of the world.
- "That old serpent" refers to his subtle nature. In the Garden of Eden, as a serpent, he deceived our first parents and caused them to sin.
- The word "devil" is Satan's real name. It speaks of him as a liar and a murderer. There is only one devil but many demons.
- The next title "Satan" means accuser. He is the one who brought death into the world and has always been the enemy of God and His people. He has opposed God from the beginning. Here we find God sending a mighty angel from heaven with a key and a great chain in his hand to shut the Devil up in the bottomless pit.
Satan will thus be restrained, isolated and prevented from deceiving the nations. The Devil's business today is to beguile the nations. He tells the world governments that man can make a better world without Christ. He deceives the nations into believing that world problems can be solved by war. If this fails he causes the leaders to believe that the world can be saved by education, reformation, religion and conferences. However, when Christ comes, Satan will be cast into the bottomless pit where he can practise his deception no longer.
After a thousand years he will be loosed from the bottomless pit for a short time. He will immediately gather all the wicked of the earth and once more attempt to defeat God and Christ. But Revelation 20:7-10 tells us that God will then send fire from heaven to devour Satan and his followers. Verse 10: "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
One question often asked is this: "Why must Satan be loosed again?" I believe there are three reasons:
(1) To prove that Satan never changes
(2) To show the justice of God in casting the wicked into the lake of fire for ever and ever.
(3) To perform a final test of Loyalty on all the inhabitants of the world.
While the Devil is bound for one thousand years there will be a multitude of people who give lip service to Christ but whose hearts have never been changed. They will be ready to follow Satan the moment he is loosed. All this is carefully explained in verses 7-9. God is going to prove that the heart is corrupt and it is only through a personal faith in Jesus Christ that men can be saved. The heart of man will not improve even during the thousand year of blessing and prosperity under Christ's reign of righteousness.
I want you to notice also that the words "a thousand years" are found six times in Chapter 20. They describe the reign of Christ on the earth after the Great Tribulation. Some argue that the word "millennium" is not found in the Bible. To this we reply that the teaching is found six times in this chapter. The word "millennium" means "a thousand years." It seems strange that so many a-millennialists deny the plain teaching of the Bible concerning the millennium period. It is the result of trying to spiritualize the Scriptures. Six times we are told here of the millennial reign of Christ and we believe what the Bible says.
Then we have here the very important teaching regarding the first and second resurrections. Let me read verses 5,6, and 13: "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.... And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works"
Jesus Himself taught clearly that all men who die will be raised again at some future time. But there is no such thing taught in the Bible as a general resurrection of all men at the end of the world. Most church people believe that at the end of the world everyone will stand before God who will separate the sheep from the goats and only then will we know if we are going to enter Heaven. But this is not true. Jesus, in John 5:28,29 taught two resurrections and these two resurrections will be 1000 years apart. "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
This verse teaches three things:
1) The resurrection of all people.
- 2) The resurrection of the saved at the rapture.
- 3) The resurrection of the unsaved 1,000 years later.
A careful study of the Bible reveals that there are two resurrections - the resurrection of life and the resurrection of damnation. The first resurrection takes place at the rapture: "...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and soshall we ever be with the Lord"(1 Thess. 4:15-17). Here only the dead in Christ shall be caught up.
The unsaved dead will be resurrected at the Great White Throne Judgment: "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
If you are unsaved today and refuse to repent of sin and receive Christ as your Saviour you will one day stand before the Lord who died for you and, as your Judge, He will cast you into the lake of fire.
You are either saved or lost. You are either on the way to Heaven or on the way to Hell. You are on the narrow road or the broad road. You have either received Christ or rejected Christ. The choice you make today will determine your eternal welfare.
Revelation 21:1-4: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
The last two chapters of Revelation deal with the last great vision. Revelation 21:1-8 describes the new heaven and the new earth. Revelation 21:9 to 22:5 describes the holy city of God, the new Jerusalem.
Our study today has to do with the end of time and the beginning of eternity. God has dealt with sin and everything will be made new. He speaks of seven new things:
(1) A new heaven.
- (2) A new earth.
- (3) New inhabitants.
- (4) The New Jerusalem.
- (5) A new light.
- (6) A new temple
- (7) A new paradise.
The first new things will be the re-creation, the new redeemed creation. Three new things are mentioned as made by the hand of God: "I saw a new heaven and a new earth...and I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem."The Bible speaks of three heavens:
The first heaven is the atmospheric world around us through which the birds fly and the clouds float.
- The second heaven described in the Bible is the Cosmic heaven (Universe) of the galaxies, stars, the sun, and moon.
- The third heaven is the heaven of heavens, the dwelling place of God.
The "new heaven" referred to here is the heaven immediately above us or the atmospheric heaven. God will purify all that has been defiled by sin and Satan. The earth which was defiled by sin will be destroyed by fire. The atmospheric heavens which is the present home of the "prince of the power of the air" will also be purified by fire. The method of God's purifying is set forth in 2 Peter 3:7: "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
John also saw "a new earth." This present earth is blighted by sin and is under the curse of God. The desert places that are burned, the floods that visit so many places, the earthquakes and diseases and death are all evidences of sin. God will make a new earth, and earth without thistles and thorns, and earth without cemeteries, and earth without tears, and earth without death. All The works of Satan and man will be removed from the face of the earth and replaced with a new infrastructure produced by the hand of God.
When John saw the new heaven and the new earth with the first heaven and the first earth passing away it does not mean that the first ones were annihilated but rather they passed form one kind of situation to another. This simply means that the heaven and the earth underwent a tremendous change for they will then be redeemed by God Himself.
Peter makes it clear that this cleansing and purifying by fire will take place in the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men: "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word (God's Word) are kept in store, reserved unto fire (God's purging fire) against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (2 Peter 3:7).
The judgment of ungodly men takes place at the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15: "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;...and the dead were judged...and whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." That is God's way of judgment of ungodly men and in that day the old heaven and the old earth flee away.
Revelation 21:4: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." I know that this old world in which we live today is a world of tears. Until we enter Heaven itself God's children will be often found in tears. Not until we enter the New Jerusalem will God wipe away the tears from our eyes. The children of Israel were delivered form the bondage of sin but their journey towards the promised land was characterized by trials, heartaches and afflictions. So it is with the Christian journey from the Cross to Heaven. Even Jesus wept. He bowed His head in sorrow, strong crying, and tears. He poured out His soul unto God. Paul also speaks of his tears. During our pilgrimage from earth to Heaven, God's dear children know all about crying.
But let us remember that while this journey is characterized by burdens, trials and death, there is a marvellous reward on the other side of the river: "For our light affliction (the sorrows of this life) which is but for a moment (even 90 years), worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor. 4:17) Paul says by inspiration that the things we suffer here-the tears, the burdens, the heartaches, will make Heaven more meaningful to us.
Oh, joy! oh, delight! should we go without dying, No sickness, no sadness, no dread and no crying. Caught up thro' the clouds with our Lord into glory, When Jesus receives His own.
If, on the other hand, we should die before the Lord's coming, what a glorious prospect is ours! While I personally look for the rapture to go directly to be with the Lord, that great powerful preacher, C. H. Spurgeon said he would rather die and go to the grave to be resurrected at the Lord's coming. I shall quote Mr. Spurgeon: "If I had the choice between being raptured at the coming of the Lord and taken up into glory and changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; if I had my choice between being raptured to the Lord and dying and being resurrected, I would choose to die in the agonies of death for my Saviour suffered and died and only through this did He experience the power of God in His resurrection.. I would like to experience the suffering of my Lord, the pangs of death, to die and to be buried that I also might experience the power of the resurrection of God as He raises me up unto glory."
This perhaps will be an encouragement to many of you who have loved ones with the Lord but whose bodies are in the grave. One day the "dead in Christ" shall be raised to go to be with the Lord forever.
"And there shall be no more death." Can you even imagine a world without death? So many of you have broken and lonely hearts today because of death visiting your home. The shadow of death has probably visited some hearing me today, - a mother or father, wife or husband, child or friend is gone.
There is no flock, however watched and tended, But one dead lamb is there! There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended, But has one vacant chair. - Henry W. Longfellow, "Resignation".
But in Heaven all this will be changed. There will be no wreaths on the mansion doors in the sky. There will be no graves on the hillsides of Heaven. There will be no obituary columns in the newspapers. There will be no funeral processions on the streets of gold. "Death is swallowed up in victory." Death, the last enemy to be destroyed, is cast with the false prophet and the Devil into the lake of fire.
"And there shall be no more...sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain." Every heart knows the bitterness of sorrow. Pillows are wet at night because of the sorrows of this world. And there shall be no more pain. Many of you are in pain today but one day there will be no more pain.
Oh, how sweet it will be in that beautiful land, So free from all sorrow and pain. With songs on our lips and with harps in our hands, To greet one another again.
This is the hope that every believer has in the hour of trial. While we are here, however, the Lord is with us to give us the strength and courage to go on with Him and to live for His glory.
If you are not saved and have no hope, you can come today as a sinner, as a guilty, lost, Hell-bound sinner and receive Christ by faith because He died for you and rose again the third day. He paid the penalty of your sin. He shed His precious blood for your redemption.
Oh, come today. He waits to save to the uttermost all who come to Him by faith.
Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee, Oh Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Here we have the vision of John concerning the New Jerusalem. He first of all sees the city from the outside as it descended from Heaven. Then he describes it from the inside. It is impossible to imagine the beauty of this city but I believe the entire description is to be taken literally just as it is pictured here.
Let me now read to you the glorious sight that awaits us as we approach this holy city, New Jerusalem: "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, and hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, and emerald; the fifth, sardonynx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelve, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass" (Rev. 21:10-21).
We will now view the inside of the city: "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. And he showed 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. 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. 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" (Rev. 21:22-22:5).
This will be God's eternal gift to those who have trusted in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and who belong to the family of God. Nothing could be more wonderful. It will be a universe without sin and Satan, a universe of holiness and righteousness. It will be a city of God with pearls and imperishable foundations. The Lord Himself will be the temple and the light. People, redeemed by the blood, both Jew and Gentile will be there from every kindred, tribe, and nation. What an encouragement this should be to every believer to be steadfast and unmoveable in the truth of God's Word.
This ends the vision that John received. Our eternal city will be a real city. The inhabitants are called the bride, the Lamb's wife. It is the eternal home of all the redeemed of the Lord both in and out of the Great Tribulation, of the Gentiles and the Jews alike, first the church of those Raptured and secondly the Jews and Gentiles Martyred in the Great Tribulation, for their names are written on the gates and on the twelve foundations. All who have trusted in the precious blood will be there after the marriage supper of the Lamb.
John saw the city coming down from God out of heaven (verse 10). This beautiful city will be the eternal home of those who die in the Lord. In God's time, out of heaven, will descend this beautiful city-the city where the saints, that is those taken in the Rapture and Those Martyred in the Great Tribulation will live forever.
When Jesus went away, He went to do two things. One was to pray for us as our High Priest who enters within the veil to plead for His own. "Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). We have direct access to the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not need Mary to help us. We do not need man to intercede on our behalf.
The second work of Christ since His ascension has been to prepare a place for us. No architect could ever dream of such a glorious building. Its size is tremendous - a vast cube. The measurement of each side will be the distance from Maine to Florida. It is so vast in length, breadth and height that the city would cover all of Ireland, Great Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy and half of European Russia.
As we enter the city through the gates of pearl it speaks to us of suffering and travail. A pearl is a jewel made by a little animal that is wounded. So it is that we enter heaven through the Lord Jesus Christ who suffered and travailed, shed His blood and agonized on the Cross. The streets are of pure gold. No defilement enters heaven.
There is no need of a temple in heaven. The city itself is God's sanctuary. God's presence is there. God is present as He was in the Garden of Eden. We shall see Him face to face. There will be no sun nor moon for the glory of God will lighten it. Moses' face shone after talking with the Lord. Paul met the Lord on the Damascus Road and the light of his face was brighter than the noonday sun. The Lamb of God is the Light of this glorious city.
There is a pure river of water of life and the fruit of the trees are for the nourishment of God's immortal saints. We shall have wonderful feasts in Heaven. People often have the idea that there will be nothing to do in Heaven and that we will just sit idle throughout all eternity. But that is not so. There are servants in Heaven who shall serve God. There will be something for everyone to do.
The climax is found in Revelation 22:4: "And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads." What a glorious prospect - to see His face! It will not matter where we live. As long as we can behold Him who loved us and died for us and rose again, it will make no difference which golden avenue we dwell on.
When my life work is ended, and I cross the swelling tide, When the bright and glorious morning I shall see; I shall know my redeemer when I reach the other side, And His smile will be the first to welcome me. Thro' the gates to the city in a robe of spotless white, He will lead me where no tears shall ever fall; In the glad song of ages I shall mingle with delight, But I long to see my Saviour first of all.
Revelation Chapter 22 is a tremendous closing of the Book of Revelation and of the Bible itself. Here we have portrayed the climax of God's redemption. Sin is banished. Man is forgiven, justified, redeemed, and restored. The garden from which he was banished in Eden is now man's possession and is even more beautiful and wonderful. The water of life with the tree of life are both available and will be eternally enjoyed.
Let us notice Revelation 13: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."
We find this phrase four times in Revelation:
*The first time is Revelation 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." Here we have set forth the omnipotence of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and the Omega is the last letter. Christ is all God, the Almighty.
*The second time we find this title is in Revelation 1:10,11: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 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." Here Christ presents Himself as the Lord of time and of history.
*The third reference is found in Revelation 21:5,6: "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me. It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end." Here the Lord is seen as the Lord God of the new order and of the new creation.
*The fourth time we find these words is in relation to Christ as the Judge of all men. Revelation 22:12-13: "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." He is the Judge of the universe, sitting in power upon time, history, and creation.
This wonderful title of our Lord simply means that Christ is all in all. He is the Alpha and Omega of our salvation, the beginning and the ending of it all, and of everything in between. He is the Alpha and Omega of the Christian life. He is the Alpha and Omega of the Christian hope. He is the Alpha and Omega of Heaven. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
Salvation is not of the church, not by baptism alone, not by confirmation, not by christening, not by the mass, not by Mary, not by a lifetime of good works, not by self effort, not by religion, not by religious reformation, not by turning over a new leaf, not by doing the best you can, not by being as good as the next person, not by being honest, not by reading your Bible, not by praying, not by the preacher nor by the rabbi nor by the pope, not by any man, and not by yourself. Salvation is in Christ and Christ alone, the Alpha and Omega, the One who died for you and rose again. He paid the penalty of your sins and now waits to save to the uttermost all who come to Him by faith, repentence and obedience.
The first five verses of this chapter picture for us the eternal Eden which God has prepared for those who are redeemed. There shall be no more curse, sorrow, disease, or death. From the river of life flows a stream that is life-giving and life-sustaining. It speaks to us of eternal joy, activity, and blessing which comes to the Bride because the source is in the throne of God and the Lamb.
In this city of God there is also the tree of life. It is on both sides of the river and is found throughout the city for it is available to all. It bears twelve kinds of fruit and yields each month so that it is never barren. The joys and blessings of Heaven will be for all eternity and ever full and overflowing. In the Garden of Eden man lost his right to the tree of life. Here it is restored. The church in Ephesus (Rev. 2:7) was promised that if she overcame, she might eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Now all the redeemed in Christ Jesus are given access to this tree of life. In the Garden of Eden the curse was pronounced. Sin resulted in pain, separation from God, and death. Now the pronouncement is in Chapter 22:3: "And there shall be no more curse."
Sin is finally taken away. There shall be no more curse, no more sin, no more Devil. Just think how glorious it shall be to be free from evil and from sin, and from death. Yes, and we shall see His face. The full reality of redemption will then be ours.
There is something else in this chapter which is very precious. In verse 17 we have not only the last invitation in the Book of Revelation but also the last invitation of the whole Bible. "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."
Let us consider briefly the reply of the Spirit, of the Church, and of the individual believer. The Spirit says, Come. Throughout this Age of Grace the Holy Spirit has been at work but He has been rejected over and over again by a Christ-rejecting world. But when our Lord announces: "Behold, I come quickly." the Spirit replies: "Even so, come." It is the ministry and desire of the Holy Spirit to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
"And the bride (says), Come." The bride of Christ, His glorious church, has been waiting throughout the years and has been in prayer for her Lord's return. What a glorious day it will be when the Lord comes, when the wedding supper is celebrated, and the Lord shall truly possess His own.
Yes, and every true believer, all who hear God's Word, also says, Come. As we read God's Word and hear that glorious promise, "Behold, I come quickly" our immediate heart response is, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." This is indeed the sign of those who are truly born again. No unsaved person awaits the coming of the Lord for that will be a time of judgment and damnation. The unsaved scoff at the second coming and say, "Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were" (2 Peter 3:4). The redeemed child of God, however, hears the promise and shouts with joy, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
There is another "come" in verse 17. The Spirit and the bride say, Come. Let them that heareth say, Come. Then we have the message of our Lord to every sinner: "And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
Over and over again our Lord God has used that word "Come". When God's judgment was about to fall upon the earth in Noah's day we read in Genesis 7:1: "And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark." When Moses came down from the mount and found God's people in idolatry he cried: "Who is on the Lord's side? Let him come unto me" (Exod. 32:26).
This is still the message of the Gospel to every sinner. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).
As the invitation goes forth to you today as a sinner before a Holy God, won't you come in your sin need and receive Christ by faith as your own personal Saviour? The Spirit speaks today and says, Come. The bride joins in the invitation saying, Come. Our blessed Lord who died for you and rose again says, Come.
Have you heard His voice? Do you know that He died for you and shed His blood because of your lost condition? Does not your soul thirst after reality and satisfaction and God? God loves you. Christ died for you. The final invitation of the Bible is for you personally.
Come and receive Christ as your own Saviour.
I heard the voice of Jesus say, "Behold, I freely give The living water, thirsty one, Stoop down and drink, and live." I came to Jesus and I drank Of that life-giving stream. My thirst was quenched, my soul revived, And now I live in Him. "Let him that is thirsty come."
The Final Warning
Revelation 22:18-19: " 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: 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."
Revelation 22:20-21: "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."
Let Us Pray Together --
PRAY: "God be merciful to me a sinner. Receive me now for Christ's sake. Cleanse me from my sin by your precious blood, shed on the cross for me; lead me to be Baptized and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Teach me to pray each day; to read Your will for my life from your word, the Bible; and help me to worship and serve You in the fellowship of your church. I thank you Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN!
This is the end of this lesson series!