Author: Ron Graham
The Beauty of Heaven (Revelation 21-22) >Seven Final Visions >7th vision >Last words
In this lesson, we consider the Bible's last words (Revelation 22:6-21). These are the words of Jesus himself, John, and the angel.1
In the last chapter of Revelation, Jesus interjects three times. These are the last precious words we have from Jesus until he comes again.
I am coming quickly "Behold I am coming quickly" (Revelation 22:6-7,12,20). Revelation is not primarily concerned with the span of history. "With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2Peter 3:8-9).
When the souls under the altar cried, "How long?", God explains that he is concerned with the lives of their brethren still on earth (Revelation 6:10-11). Revelation is focussed on your lifetime. You are near to the last day because "it is appointed for man once to die, and after this comes judgment" (Hebrews 9:27-28).
Blessed is he who heeds "Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book." (Revelation 22:7). This is the final beatitude given by Jesus, repeated with a promise further down in verse 14.
My reward is with me "My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work." (Revelation 22:12). The word reward here is meant in the sense of recompense. This statement of Jesus is either a promise or a threat —depending upon whether or not one's work is to keep the commandments of Jesus.
I am the first and last "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. " (Revelation 22:13). In claiming to be the Alpha and Omega, Jesus is claiming to be God and equal with his Father. Only Almighty God can be called "The First and the Last" (Isaiah 44:6).
I Jesus have sent my angel "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify these things to you for the congregations." (Revelation 22:16) This is Jesus's own testimony about John's sources. We noted above that John said this, and the angel said it. Now Jesus says it. Nevertheless many people still think John made the book of Revelation up.
I am the... Morning Star "I am the root and the offspring of David —the bright and Morning Star" (Revelation 22:16). Jesus, even in heaven glorified, is still a human being. The Son of God is still the son of David (Matthew 1:1). Jesus is glorious like the sun, the star of the morning. Note: The name Lucifer means morning star and has been stolen by the Devil, the father of lies (Isaiah 14:12).
Whoever will, let him come "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." (Revelation 22:17). This invitation is for all, especially you. No invitation surpasses it. You may have missed out on a lot of things. But this is the best of all by far. Don't miss out on this. Accept God's invitation without delay.
I John am the one "Now I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things... shown me by the angel" (Revelation 22:8). Some think that John compiled the book of Revelation out of his own imagination, bits of the Bible, and other literature of his day. But John’s sources are impeccable. He got his visions from an angel sent by Jesus.
to worship the angel "When I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who had shown me these things" (Revelation 22:8). It is very big of John to share his mistake with us. He has previously mentioned mentioned the same mistake (Revelation 19:10). John is honest with us to impress on us that we should worship none but God. (The angel’s response, a gentle rebuke, is mentioned below.)
If anyone adds... or takes away "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 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" (Revelation 22:18-19).
People are often rather free with the word of God, adding their own doctrines to it and discarding parts of it. Here we are all severely warned against that. John's statement shows that he regarded his book as holy scripture not to be tampered with.
Amen, Come Lord Jesus! "He who testifies these things says, “Yes, I come quickly.” Amen! Yes, come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20-21). I suppose when John considers all that he had heard and seen, he is more than ready for the Lord to come quickly. We too, when we have considered his revelation, will respond just as eagerly.
These words are true "And the angel 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" (Revelation 22:6). Here the angel joins John and Jesus in asserting the source of the visions, and the stamp upon them of the Almighty God and his prophets of old.
Worship God "See that you don't do that. 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" (Revelation 22:9). This was the angel’s response when, awestruck, John fell down to worship the angel.The angel shows humility (not condecension) in making himself equal to us men and women of earth. It is amazing to think that our enslavement to Jesus puts us on a similar level as the angels.
Do not seal up the words "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand" (Revelation 22:10). When Daniel had completed his prophecy, the angel told him to seal up his book (Daniel 12:4). People could read it, but its fulfillment was far off. John's book is not to be sealed. It is being fulfilled already —it is the gospel message, The mystery revealed (Romans 16:25-26), the message for today.
Let him be holy still "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." (Revelation 22:11). The angel is not saying it is ok to be unjust or filthy, or that if you are unjust and filthy you have to stay that way.
He means that now is a time for decision. You can stay filthy if you wish —or you can become holy. You can stay holy if you wish —or you can become filthy. You won't always have the option, but for the time being you do. Don't waste that time —because in the state you are found on the last day, in that state you will remain forever.
Blessed are those who obey "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." (Revelation 22:14). Anyone has a right to the tree of life. Nobody is excluded. However there is a condition. You have to do Christ's commandments. If you don't do them, you forfeit any right that might have been yours.
Outside are dogs "Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood." (Revelation 22:15) The dogs are the wicked, those who don't do the commandments of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not mention many sins, although the few he did mention cover a fair scope. There's another list in Revelation 21:8, and even more lists throughout the Bible. The message is not about making lists of sins. The message is assuring us that there won't be any wickedness or wicked people in heaven.
1FOOTNOTE I have attributed the words to Jesus, John, and the angel, according to what seems to me most natural. It may be that other commentators would attribute them a little differently. This is not very important, because all three speakers are speaking the true word of God. For example, it hardly matters whether John or the angel or Jesus himself said, "Whoever desires may come and take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17). It is God’s truth, no matter who said it.