Revelation 22

The Word Made Fresh

1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life. It is as bright as crystal, and flows from God’s throne and from the Lamb’s throne 2through the center of the city’s street. The tree of life with twelve kinds of fruit is on each side of the river. It puts forth fruit each month, and its leaves are for the healing of the nations. 3Nothing cursed will be found there, but the throne of God and the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5Night will be no more, and there will be no need for light from lamps or from the sun. The Lord will be their light and they will reign forever.

6Then the angel told me, “These words are true. They can be trusted. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what will take place soon. 7Look! I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the prophetic words of this book.”

8I, John, am the one who saw and heard these things, and I fell down to worship the angel who had shown them to me. 9But he told me not to do that. He said, “I am a fellow servant like you and the prophets who are your brothers, and like all those who keep the words of this book. Worship God only!”

10Then he said, “Don’t seal the words of prophecy from this book, for the time is drawing near. 11Let the sinner sin and the let the filthy be filthy. Let the righteous do right and the holy remain holy.”

12“Look! I am coming soon! I bring rewards with me to repay everyone according to their work. 13I am the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

14Those who wash their robes are blessed and will have the right to the tree of life and may enter through the city gates. 15Scumbags, witches, those who engage in illicit sex, murderers, idol worshipers, and all who practice lies will remain outside.

16“I, Jesus, sent my angel to you with this confirmation for the churches. I am the source and the seed of David; I am the bright and radiant morning star.”

17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let whoever is listening say, “Come!” Let whoever is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes to do so take the water of life as a gift.

18I give this warning to everyone who hears the prophecies of this book:

If anyone adds to these words, God will add to him the plagues described here.

19If anyone removes words of this book of prophesy, God will take away that one’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city described here.

20He who attests to these things says, “Surely I will come soon!”      

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

22The grace of the Lord Jesus be with the saints.


1-5: In Ezekiel’s vision there was a river flowing from the temple (Ezekiel 47:1-12) which grew deeper as it flowed. John sees a river flowing not from the temple but from the throne of God. It is lined with the tree of life which produces fruit all year round and leaves which are for “the healing of the nations.” This must be taken to mean the healing of the oppression and tyranny perpetrated by Rome and other governments. John sees God and the Lamb being worshiped by “his servants.” The identity of the servants is revealed by the comment that they will have his name written on their foreheads; they are the 144,000 set apart earlier in his vision (see 14:1). There will be no darkness in New Jerusalem.

6-7: John’s vision ends with the angel assuring him that the vision he has been given is authentic, and it will begin happening very soon.

8-9: Once again John falls down to worship the angel, and once again the angel tells him to worship only God. The angel is only a fellow servant and not deserving of worship (see 19:10).

10-11: In Daniel’s apocalypse, Daniel is told to seal up the scroll, for the things foretold are still a long way off (Daniel 8:26). John, on the other hand, is not to seal up the book for the time is near for the things revealed to begin. The angel tells John to let people be people; they have a choice to make and each one must decide how he or she is going to live.

12-13: The voice now speaking is the voice of Christ. All will be judged according to their deeds. Christ was at the beginning when the world was made and will be at the end when the new creation comes into being (compare 1:8, 21:6).

14-15: Christ blesses those who have “washed their robes,” that is, those who have repented and are seeking to live holy lives. There is a bit of a contradiction in verse 15 because we were told earlier that all the wicked people would be thrown into the lake of fire and the only people inhabiting the new world will be those who are righteous (see 21:8).

16-17: Jesus is identified as the source of John’s vision, and an invitation is extended to all who hear and are thirsty for the water of life; that is, all who sincerely seek to be doers and not just hearers of the word.

18-19: A warning is given not to alter anything that John has written under threat of losing the gift of eternal life in the new creation.

20: John repeats what Christ said to him in the last vision: “See, I am coming soon!” (verse 7), to which he adds an “Amen!”

21: Finally, John closes his book with a typical benediction. Satan and evil (Nero and his ilk) have been defeated. Pain and grief and even death itself have been banished. The faithful have entered the new world where they will live forever in company with God and the Lamb.

The Bible thus ends as it began; with creation. “Behold, I make all things new.” Even so, Lord Jesus, come!


Difficult times are always ahead, until the reign of Christ begins. Keep the faith; God is in charge and Jesus saves.

Congratulations! It has been estimated that only one in every quarter of a million Christians have actually read through the entire Bible. It is not an easy read. Much of the Bible is difficult to read and understand, and some of it is, to be honest, rather appalling. God doesn’t sugar-coat life! Life must be lived! But, if you live your life in the shadow of God’s word, you will be blessed beyond your expectations and well beyond your needs. Thank you for joining me in this journey.