A River of Life flows through eternity. The events in the Book of Revelation will happen “soon.” Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. Come Lord Jesus! [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. He showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb,
a river of water of life. What is this water?
VERSE 2. in the middle of its street. On this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruits, yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
the tree of life. This hearkens back to the Garden of Eden, where there was the Tree of Life:
Genesis 2:9. Out of the ground the LORD God made every tree to grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Some people say the “tree of life” is the cross of Jesus Christ. It is a “tree” that bears fruit all the time.
- Jesus Christ is not perpetually crucified
- The brutal image of the crucifixion does not fit this peaceful scene in eternity
VERSE 3. There will be no curse any more. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will serve him.
no curse any more. The curse began after Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden. Now it is lifted.
his name will be on their foreheads. What is this name on our foreheads?
Some Catholics say it is the Anointing with oil that is done during a baptism. However, the verse says people have a name on their forehead, not oil. Plus, most Christian believers were not anointed with oil at baptism.
Some Catholics say that during a baptism, Mary is invisibly present. As the minister marks the forehead of the newly-baptized person with oil, Mary’s hand invisibly follows along. Thus,they say, Mary is the one who marks the forehead of believers. This seems preposterously unlikely.
VERSE 5. There will be no night, and they need no lamp light or sun light; for the Lord God will illuminate them. They will reign forever and ever.
VERSE 6. He said to me, “These words are faithful and true. The Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his angel to show to his bondservants the things which must happen soon.”
soon. The Greek word is τάχει (“tachei”). It means quickness, speed.
In the scale of eternity, it could mean five seconds from now. Or it could mean ten thousand years from now. It is like the Greek word ταχύ (“tacky”) in verse 7 below.
quickly. The Greek word is ταχύ (“tachy”). It means quickly, speedily. It is like the Greek word τάχει (“techie”) in verse 6 above.
VERSE 8. Now I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who had shown me these things.
VERSE 9. He said to me, “See you don’t do it! I am a fellow bondservant with you and with your brothers, the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”
your brothers, the prophets. The angel is equating John with the mighty prophets of the Old Testament era.
those who keep the words of this book. Anyone who obeys the Book of Revelation is a prophet like the prophets of the Old Testament.
VERSE 10. He said to me, “Don’t seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.
Don’t seal up the words … of this book. The Book of Revelation could be much more obscure than it already is. But the angel told John to not ambiguate it.
VERSE 11. He who acts unjustly, let him act unjustly still. He who is filthy, let him be filthy still. He who is righteous, let him do righteousness still. He who is holy, let him be holy still.”
VERSE 12. “Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work.
repay to each man according to his work. Many Christians speak of a sharp differentiation between “reward” and “eternal salvation”:
- Eternal salvation: by FAITH
- Reward: by WORKS
There is a law of “sowing and reaping” throughout the Bible. We don’t know how to fully reconcile it with grace and mercy. Here are the verses we’ve found »
I am the Alpha and the Omega. Jesus Christ calls himself the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega. Here are the verses about this »
VERSE 14. Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.
Blessed are those who do. We Christians say salvation is by faith. Yet the New Testament calls us to put our faith into action. Otherwise our faith is worthless. Read more »
VERSE 15. Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
VERSE 16. I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify these things to you for the assemblies. I am the root and the offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
Morning Star. This is a synonym for Jesus Christ.
VERSE 17. The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” He who hears, let him say, “Come!” He who is thirsty, let him come. He who desires, let him take the water of life freely.
He who is thirsty, let him come. The Bible concludes with an open-ended invitation: come to the Living Water!
John 4:13-14. Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
VERSE 18. I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to them, may God add to him the plagues which are written in this book.
if anyone adds to them. This is a severe warning that we NOT add anything. But add to what?
The Book of Revelation? However, nobody has added more chapters to it.
The entire Bible?
- Some people say the Catholic church added the Apocryphal (Deuterocanonical) books.
- Some people say the Mormons added the Book of Mormon.
may God add to him the plagues. The penalties for adding content are severe.
Proverbs 30:6. Don’t you add to his words, lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar.
VERSE 19. If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, may God take away his part from the tree‡ of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.
If anyone takes away from the words. This is a severe warning to NOT subtract. But from what? Here are three possibilities:
The Book of Revelation. However, nobody has subtracted chapters from it.
The entire Bible. However, nobody has subtracted chapters from it.
Mythologize. Many Christians explain away the Book of Revelation as myth. Their interpretation is incongruent with the Book of Revelation itself. And they make the Book of Revelation powerless.
may God take away his part from the tree of life. However you interpret this verse, there are big penalties for subtracting from the Bible.
VERSE 20. He who testifies these things says, “Yes, I come quickly.” Amen! Yes, come, Lord Jesus.
VERSE 21. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all the saints. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.