Revelation 22: Heaven on Earth, Part 2

Posted on March 8, 2021

6


By David Ettinger

What This Is
Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, I taught a Sunday school class verse by verse on the Book of Revelation. This series represents my notes for each class. (I have done some updating as some of my understandings have changed over the years.) I came across them recently and decided to post them. If you wish to use these notes as a study guide, the way to do it is as follows: Read the verse first in your Bible, then look at the corresponding notes here for commentary.

For some reason, I don’t have notes for Chapters 1-3, therefore this series begins with Chapters 4-5. Following the Chapter 4-5 study notes, each chapter will be presented individually. This is the final study of the series.

Read Chapter 4-5 notes here.
Read Chapter 6 notes here.
Read Chapter 7 notes here.
Read Chapter 8 notes here.
Read Chapter 9 notes here.
Read Chapter 10 notes here.
Read Chapter 11 notes here.
Read Chapter 12 notes here.
Read Chapter 13 notes here.
Read Chapter 14 notes here.
Read Chapter 15 notes here.
Read Chapter 16 notes here.
Read Chapter 17 notes here.
Read Chapter 18 notes here.
Read Chapter 19 notes here.

Read Chapter 20 notes here.
Read Chapter 21 notes here.

Overview
* Chapters 21 &22 are not only the climax of the Book of Revelation, but also the culmination of the entire Bible.

Verse 1
* This chapter continues with the description of the New Jerusalem.

* We also see a flowing river in Zechariah 14:8.

* The water of life speaks of purity and the power and holiness of our lives with Christ.

* “… the throne of God and the Lamb”: We see Christ reigning with the Father.

Verse 2
* The tree of life takes us back to the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22, 24). God has again created a perfect environment for humanity, just as He did with the Garden of Eden.

* How can the tree of life be on each side of the river?

1) The tree could be very large, and the river narrow, hence the tree’s branches could be spread over each side of the river.

2) Some view “tree of life” as a collective term and see perhaps many trees.

* The word for “healing” means “therapeutic.”

* Some scholars believe that the leaves of the trees are described as bringing enjoyment of life in the New Jerusalem. (Why would healing be required in Heaven?)

* The nation could refer to those outside the city, or to the collective believers in the New Jerusalem.

Verse 3
* All sin and its penalties are wiped away in the New Jerusalem; there is no reminder whatsoever of sin.

* Where the throne of God and the Lamb is, there can be no imperfection.

* What will we be doing in the New Jerusalem? Serving God.

Verse 4
* Identification with God for those who overcome is found in Revelation 2:17, 3:12, 7:3, and 14:1.

* Seeing the face of God is impossible while we are in our mortal bodies. That the saints in the New Jerusalem can see the face of God demonstrates that we will be made perfectly holy by God’s grace.

Verse 5
* Darkness will be banished from the New Jerusalem.

* The city will be made of translucent materials as the light of God’s glory will shine through it and light up the city.

* Again, the sun and the moon cannot compare to God’s glory and will be of no use (21:23).

* The blessing of the saints will never end; it is “for ever and ever.”

Verse 6
* The angel is from 21:9, the one who poured out one of the 7 bowl judgments.

* John is assured that the words are true and can be trusted.

* He is also assured that this is the same God who gave His revelation to the prophets.

* The reason for the Book of Revelation is given: “… to show His servants the things that must soon take place.”

Verse 7
* After being given the glorious vision of the New Jerusalem, John – and we – are aware that we must continue living life as we know it. The conflict between good and evil continues.

* Jesus tells us all He is coming soon. This is a great admonition for us to live with the expectancy of His return.

* Also, we are encouraged to keep faithful to His revelation and wait for it.

Verse 8
* John confirms his identity as the book’s writer.

* John is so overwhelmed, he must worship something, and so bows down to the first thing he sees (a warning to us),

Verse 9
* The angel points John back in the right direction.

* We are told that angels, though much more powerful than humans, ultimately are no more than fellow servants with believers.

Verse 10
* The angel tells John not to seal up (Daniel 12:9) the prophecy. The prophecies of the Book of Revelation are meant to be studied and examined. They are for believers to study and understand as fully as possible.

* That the time is near indicates we should all be living with the belief that these things will happen soon.

Verse 11
* What we are told here is that once the Lord comes, it will be impossible for people – both good and bad – to change their ways. Change, in light of the Lord’s return, must come now!

Verse 12
* Again, Jesus promises He will return and that He will bring judgment with Him.

* He will return with rewards for the righteous and punishment for the wicked.

Verse 13
* Jesus identifies Himself as the “End” in terms of creation.

Verse 14
* Blessing awaits those redeemed by the blood of Christ.

* The washing of the robes refers to holiness as we can only appear before God without stain.

* Only the pure in God’s sight may enter into the New Jerusalem.

Verse 15
* “Dogs” refers to those sinful in character.

* The list is all-inclusive, especially because it concludes with the words, “those who live and practice falsehood.”

Verse 16
* Here we have the first mention of the Church since Chapter 3, indicating that all that has come in between HAS been intended for the churches.

* In opposition to those who believe that the Church will be raptured BEFORE the final 7-year period, the Church has been the intended recipient of the Book of Revelation all along. The Church will be present during much of the final 7 years.

* Jesus confirms that He is the fulfillment of God’s promises to King David (2 Samuel 7:12-14).

* That Jesus is the Morning Star speaks of the bright promise of the future.

Verse 17
* All who read this book – believer and unbeliever – are invited to partake of its promises.

* Believers are invited to cling to and cherish these promises. Unbelievers are invited to accept God’s free offer of spiritual salvation through the blood of Christ.

Verse 18
* It is a tremendous sin to tamper with the Word of God.

* Those adding anything to it will be severely judged.

Verse 19
* Also, it is not to be discarded as unworthy, trivial, or to be ignored. It is to be heeded.

* Similar warnings are given in Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32.

* “In the light of current neglect of the Book of Revelation in the church today, it points to a serious fault in failing to take into consideration the picture that is painted of end times.” John F. Walvoord, The Prophecy Knowledge Handbook.

Verse 20
* Jesus Himself testifies and confirms that the revelation given by the various angels of this book are all true.

* “I am coming soon.” When Jesus does come, it will be sudden.

* NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE OURSELVES FOR THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST!

* John, too, as we should, longs for Christ’s return.

Verse 21
* “Grace” is the ultimate theological word – mercy bestowed when judgment is deserved.

* “Amen.” So be it!

AMEN!