Revelation 22:1-21 Part 2

REVELATION 22:1-21 Part 2


1)      And it showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, going forth from the throne of God and the Lamb

2)      in midst of its streets, and the river flowing hence; and from there a tree of life producing twelve fruits each month, the tree rendering its fruit and its leaves into the healing of the nations;

3)      and there will no longer be any curse.  The throne of God and the Lamb will be in her, and His servants will serve Him;

4)      and they will see His countenance, His name on their foreheads;

5)      and there will be no night there, so they will have no need of a lamp or sunlight, for Kurios God will shine forth upon them; and they will reign into the ages of the ages.

6)      Then it said to me ‘these faithful and true words Kurios God of the spirits of the prophets sent His messenger to show His servants what is necessary to come to pass in quickness.

7)      Lo, I come quickly.  Blessed the one keeping the words of the prophecies of this scroll’.

8)      I, John, the one hearing and seeing these things, when I heard and saw I fell down to bow before the feet of the messenger that is showing me these things;

9)      and it said to me, ‘see not.  I am a fellow servant of you and your brothers the prophets and of those keeping the words of this scroll.  Bow to God’.

10)  And it said to me, ‘you may not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the time is near;

11)  the unrighteous be he yet unrighteous, the filthy be he yet defiled; the righteous be he yet work righteousness, the holy be he yet hallowed.

12)  Lo, I come quickly, My wages with Me, to recompence each as is his work.

13)  I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

14)  Blessed those who wash their garments; for the tree of life will be their privilege, and they may enter the city by the gates.

15)  Without…. the dogs and the sorcerers and the fornicators and the murderers and the idolaters and all who love and practice falsehood.

16)  I, Jesus, sent My messenger to testify these things to you in the Churches.  I AM David’s root and offspring; the bright morning star.

17)  The Spirit and the bride say ‘come’; and he who hears say ‘come’.  He who thirsts let him come; he who longs, let him take to himself the water of life freely.

18)  I, I testify to all who hear the words of the prophecy of this scroll: if anyone impose upon them, God will impose upon him the plagues written in this scroll;

19)  and if anyone take away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and the holy city as written in this scroll.

20)  He Who testifies thus, says: ‘Yea, I come quickly’.  Amen, come Kurie Jesus!

21)  (The grace of Kuriou Jesus with all of the holy ones.)


In the early days of our nation’s history (and before, and after, the war between the states), there arose the black Churches… mostly in the South.  Many slave-owners had taught the Gospel to their slaves and encouraged them to meet on Sundays to worship.

And from those gatherings there came forth a number of hymns and songs that have been preserved – a few of which are still included in the more “inclusive” hymnals; and they are called “negro spirituals”.  (At least they were once so-called.)

Some of them are quite lovely.  And if one were to look closely at the words, one would find that a few come right out of the text of the King James translation of the Bible.

Most of you probably wouldn’t remember any of them; but I grew up hearing them and being familiar with them in the forties and early fifties… even including them sometimes in my repertoire as a performing vocalist.

One of those spirituals is called “There is a Balm in Gilead”.

When the slaves sang it, and when the post-war black Churches sang it, the song was always applied directly to them (as a people in bondage) – rather than understanding it in its original context.  And they turned it to a positive application (for them) – rather than its purely negative context (for the first Jerusalem).

The words come directly from Jeremiah chapter eight, at which point God was putting words directly into the mouth of this lamenting prophet concerning the state and condition of His people Israel.

The context covers the whole chapter; and it’s a long one.  So I won’t read it.  I’ll just summarize it for you.

God said to Jeremiah that because of the gross idolatry of this people, they have chosen death rather than life.  And they hold fast to their self-deceit!  Not even one would repent.

Like a horse rushes into the battle, every one of them has set his own course.  And God contrasts His people with animals and birds, saying that even these creatures know what to do in their seasons, but His people don’t even know that they’re rushing to judgment and destruction.

There is no wisdom in them, and they won’t listen to the words of the prophets.  And the pens of their own scribes are vanity!  And their priests are all given to covetousness.

There are none among them who have any shame at all; they’ve all committed abominations against God; and their own scribes and priests and heads have done nothing to give healing and solace to His people.

So God, through the prophet Jeremiah, says to them that He would give their wives to another people, and their fields to another inheritor, and He would cast them down and consume them.

He would send plagues of serpents and insects; and a strong people would devour the city and the whole land; for they had provoked YAHVEH with their graven images and their strange vanities.

And God told Jeremiah that He had heard the cry of the Daughter of Zion in her misery.  The daughter of this people has been hurt!  And He asks the question “is there no healer among all of this people?”  “Is the daughter just to remain in grave condition and misery?”

“Is there no balm in Gilead?”

The water has turned to gall, and the trees bear no fruit, and their leaves have withered, and there is no healing for the “daughter” among these people.


Gilead was an area across the Jordan in the heights of Bashan that was renowned for its great variety of trees, many of which bore copious amounts of fruit, and the leaves of which were used as balms for the relief of human suffering, diseases and illnesses.

And who could possibly doubt that Jeremiah chapter eight is prophetic of all that John is shown here in the first two verses of Revelation twenty two?  The leaves of the “Living Tree” are for the healing of the Daughter of Zion and for the Gentile nations.

When our Lord appeared at the end of the age, He came to seek and to save the lost sheep of the tribes of Jacob.  She was the “daughter of Zion” that had been left in such terrible condition; for there were no “healers” among the idolatrous priests and elders and pharisees of Israel.  There was no “balm” for her in all of Gilead.

But when Jesus came, He healed her leprosy, and cast out her demons, and returned her sight and her hearing, and stopped her flow of blood, and straitened her limbs.  And when He called her, she came to the wedding festivities.  And He dressed her in the white robes of righteous virginity and gathered her to Himself as His Own.  And she was birthed out of the harlot nation before the wrath of God to come… all of it prophesied right there in Jeremiah chapter eight.

And what John is shown here in the last chapters of The Revelation of Jesus Christ is the New and holy Jerusalem that would be coming down from God upon the high mountain of the Kingdom of our Lord.

Jesus – Savior – had come (at the end of the age) to find the “daughter”… the chosen of God from the tribes of Jacob.  And just as a groom would do with his bride, He took her to Himself.

John saw them all earlier, you remember; and they were with Him, and they were robed with the white garments of righteousness.  For He had come for them; and He had found them; and He had healed them; and He had suffered and died for them.

He had saved them from the wrath to come; and the entirety of the “Daughter of Zion” belonged to Him and was united to Him.  She constituted the “holy ones” who God had kept for Himself.  And they were “holy” because God had kept them for Himself from the beginning!

She was the “true Israel” promised to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob.  And before the termination of the harlot Jerusalem, true Israel’s Messiah came for her!

She was not “holy” because of what she had done; she was not righteous due to anything inherent in her…..she was holy because God had chosen her!  And Jesus sought her out and took her to Himself and dressed her in righteousness… for she was raised from death unto life IN HIM.

In the same way that a groom takes unto himself a wife, and they become one flesh, so Jesus took the Daughter of Zion – true Israel – to Himself; and she was “united” to Him.  And therein – and only therein – is her righteousness.

And since the “daughter” is the true Israel; and since the first Israel and the first Jerusalem would pass away; the Daughter of Zion would have a New – and holy – Jerusalem; a true Jerusalem.

And John is shown what was about to be… it was the New and holy Jerusalem coming down from God atop the Kingdom mountain of Jesus Christ.  And she was bedecked and adorned with the gold and the stones of the first paradise; the names of the apostles on her foundation stones; upon her gates of pearl were written the names of the tribes of Jacob.

The New Jerusalem would be the “abode” – the tabernacle – of God and the Lamb Who was sacrificed for her.  His tabernacle would be “with man”.

The first Israel and the first Jerusalem upon the first Mount Zion, rather than being the light of the world, corrupted the entire earth with the wine of her fornication.  But the light of the New Israel and the New Jerusalem upon the New Mount Zion would destroy the gross darkness over all the nations of the earth.

And a River of the Water of Life would flow from her; and a living tree would be food for the nations; and its leaves would be a “balm of Gilead” for the health of the nations; for God has chosen many from the peoples and tribes and tongues of the earth.  And they, too, are written in the Lamb’s book of life!  And ALL Israel – the true Israel – will be saved!

And there would no longer be a curse upon the earth; for the Lamb of God has poured out His blood for the sin of the world.  And God would abide with us!

From the “seat” of God and the Lamb would flow that crystal clear river of the water of life, and that living tree bearing copious amounts of fruit to feed the nations, and the leaves of which are for the “healing” of the nations.

And the tree will never die, nor its leaves wither; for there are multitudes of the nations and peoples and tribes and tongues who belong to The Christ.

They are “holy ones” who God has loved from the beginning, and who He has kept for Himself, and for whom God has provided His Own sacrifice.

The River of Water of Life will flow into the “sea” of humanity, and the sea would be healed; and the great multitude promised to Abraham will be raised up out of death unto life, united to Christ, and come under full influence of Holy Spirit.

And they will thirst for that water; and it will be given to them freely.  And the River will flow hence ever wider and deeper into the wilderness places.

And through all the years decreed, the nations that our Lord has inherited will be healed and fed from the “Living Tree”; and they will thrive and prosper and flourish; for they will increasingly be “at peace” with God.

This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that the world must hear.  And as we’ve seen so many times, it isn’t just here in the last chapters of the Revelation!  It’s all through God’s Word from the beginning!

Right now I want you to hear the prophetic Word of God through the prophet Isaiah.  This is the passage in which God reveals His eternal covenant of peace with His creation.

In Christ Jesus the Redeemer and Savior of the world, the curse of God is satisfied, all His people will be united to Him in the New Jerusalem, and all the earth will be redeemed and restored.  And by the grace of Almighty God, the wilderness and thorns and briars of the curse will go away; and in their place will arise great trees under which the creatures will take refuge, and in which the birds will make their nests.  And all the earth will thrive and prosper.


The promise of God of an eternal covenant of peace follows the wonderful Revelation (Isaiah chapter fifty three) of the One Who would be stricken of God and afflicted; He Who would be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquity; and by His stripes we would be healed.


And listen to what comes right after that in chapter fifty-four…!


1)      Sing, O barren one, you that did not bear; break forth into singing and cry out, you that did not travail with child; for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the betrothed wife, says YAHVEH.

2)      Enlarge the place of your tabernacle, and let stretch forth the curtains of your habitations; spare not; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.

3)      For you shall spread abroad on the right and on the left; and your seed shall possess the nations and make the desolate places to be inhabited.

4)      Fear not; for you shall not be ashamed; neither will you be confounded; for you shall not be put to shame; for you shall forget the shame of your youth; and the reproach of your widowhood shall you remember no more.

5)      For your Creator is your husband; YAHVEH of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; the God of the whole earth shall He be called.

6)      For YAHVEH has called you as a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God.

7)      For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you.

8)      In overflowing wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting lovingkindness will I have mercy on you, says YAHVEH your Redeemer.

9)      For this is as the waters of Noah unto me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be wroth with you, nor rebuke you.

10)  For the mountains may depart, and the hills be removed; but my lovingkindness shall not depart from you, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed, says YAHVEH Who has mercy on you.

11)  O you afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted; behold, I will set your stones in fair colors, and lay your foundations with sapphires.

12)  And I will make your pinnacles of rubies, and your gates of pearls, and all your wall of precious stones.

13)  And all your children shall be taught of YAHVEH; and great shall be the peace of your children.

14)  In righteousness shall you be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and you shall be far from terror, for it shall not come near you.

15)  Behold, they may gather together, but not by me.  Whosoever gathers together against you shall fall because of you.

16)  Behold, I create the smith that blows the fire of coals and brings forth a weapon for his work; and I create the waster to destroy.

17)  But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall judge.  This is the heritage of the servants of YAHVEH, and their righteousness which is of me, says YAHVEH.

55:1) Lo, every one that thirsts, come ye to the waters; and he that has no money come, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2)      Why spend money for that which is not bread? and labor for that which does not satisfy?  Listen diligently unto me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

3)      Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live: and I make an eternal covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

4)      Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander to the peoples.

5)      Behold, you shall call a people that you don’t know; and a people that doesn’t know you shall run unto you because of YAHVEH your God and the Holy One of Israel; for he has made you glorious.

6)      Seek YAHVEH while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.

7)      let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto YAHVEH, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

8)      For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says YAHVEH.

9)      For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10)  For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven and doesn’t return, but waters the earth and makes it bring forth and yield, and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

11)  so shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth.  It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

12)  For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace.  The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing; and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands.

13)  Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree; and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree: and it shall be to YAHVEH for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.


There is the revelation of the eternal covenant of peace prophesied through the mouth of Isaiah some seven hundred years before the birth of the Redeemer Who would come for the Daughter of Zion, and Who would be stricken and afflicted of God for the sin of the world. 

And that which is spoken by YAHVEH will not return unto Him void; for it would accomplish all that He wills.

In the fullness of the time, God’s Anointed One – the Holy One of Israel – was led to the horns of the altar; and the sin of the world was laid on Him; and as a Lamb led to the slaughter, the full fury of Almighty God was poured out on Him, and God was satisfied with the sacrifice.  And there would be no more curse.  And the thorns and briars of the cursed earth would be replaced with mighty trees that would clap their hands at His restoration of all the earth.

And His promise to Israel was fulfilled when the Daughter was taken unto Himself and united to Him; for the Redeemer had saved every last one of God’s chosen ones from the tribes of Jacob.

And they would all be with Him, and would serve Him in the New Jerusalem.  And from them would go forth the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Savior of the world.  And peoples of all flesh would be united to Him.  And they would be called the “children” of the Daughter of Zion!

And the birds would sing and make their nests in the mighty trees that replaced the thorns and briars.  And the fields would produce.  And kings and rulers would lead their people into the New Jerusalem.  And weapons of warfare would no longer be needed; and they would be beaten into plowshares.

What we’re seeing here is the restoration of all the earth to its original paradise; for there would no longer be any curse; for God had spoken an eternal covenant of peace.


Before we go further in the text, I want to spend our last few minutes this morning in a reminder of Reformed Theology and our Lord’s “reformation” of His Church.

During all the years of the decree for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and the restoration of all the earth, there have been many messengers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  There has never been a time since our Lord’s Parousia when the light of God and the Lamb did not shine in the darkness of the nations; and there has never been a time when the River of the Water of Life did not flow, ever wider and ever deeper, into the dry and wilderness places of the earth.  And there’s never been a time when the tree of life was not feeding and healing the nations.

The curse is gone, you see; and the Daughter of Zion has many, many children.  It’s an eternal covenant in Christ Jesus for the redemption of His creation!

No matter what we see happening around us, and in different places around the world, there are children of the Daughter preaching and teaching the Gospel.  And our Lord is adding to Himself all who are written in His book of life.

This has all been taking place ever since the Parousia when God made His abode with man.  Every period of time is filled with faithful men and women Who the victorious Overcomer has raised up from death unto life.  And that will continue, and increase, until all the earth is filled with the knowledge of God and His so great salvation of the world.

And we’re so blessed to have a fairly good written record of the preaching and teaching of the faithful during the period called The Reformation.  And that record is available – not only in print, but also on the internet.

It’s called the reformation because some parts of the Church had fallen into evil hands.  And men and women who held the testimony of Jesus stood against them; and the Water of the River of Life continued to flow in spite of them!

And, as I said, we have a pretty good account of the faithful lives and work of a few of them.  (I’m certain that there were many more who labored faithfully in historical obscurity.)  And through the preaching and teaching and prolific writing of a few, all the world has been blessed and made more fruitful; for the written record of their faithful message has reached every place on earth.

We call it “Reformed Theology” as if something new had been “added” or “discovered”.  But nothing had been added… nothing new had been “discovered”.  It was the Gospel of Jesus Christ held faithfully and continually since the beginning.

It was apostolic doctrine; and before that it was the testimony of the Daughter of Zion – the remnant of the house of Jacob Who Jesus came to seek and to save.  These men of the Reformation were the Biblical “children” of the hundred and forty four thousand (the firstfruits of the Resurrection).  The Reformation was just a continuation of the salvation of the world as our Lord raised up men to hold His testimony in the face of pagan incursions into His Church.

The first name that always comes to mind when we think of the Reformation is John Calvin, who always wrote his sermons, and whose other writings (including the “Institutes of the Christian Religion”) have also been preserved for the posterity.

But there were many others who were faithful to the Scripture during that time, and who were also prolific in their preaching and writing, and who also stood strong amidst idolatry and persecution.  And we should hold them in as high esteem as pastor Calvin.

Among those who we could mention would be Peter Martyr Vermigli in Italy; and Girolamo Zanchi, also in Italy; Francis Turretin, the Frenchman who came to Switzerland sometime after Calvin; William Perkins and John Owen in Britain; and Herman Witsius of Holland.  And there are many more (way too many to list here!)  There wasn’t just “one” who stood strong.  Our Lord always had a “host” of messengers preaching the Gospel!  And these (and others) left a treasure of written material… which has circulated throughout the world.

If one were to read all the written work of these preachers and pastors that I just mentioned, all he would be doing would be reading!  But, you see, these over here would be the recipients of the work of Zanchi; and these over there the writings of Calvin; and up there the work of Witsius; and then others the faithful preaching of John Owen.  It was the same River of Life, you see.

And common to all of them was the eternal covenant of peace with God in Christ Jesus the Lord (as we read earlier from portions of Isaiah fifty four and fifty five).  Covenant Theology.

And you’ll notice that I said “peace with God IN Christ Jesus”; for the only way to have peace with God is to be raised from death unto life IN HIM.  It is “union with Christ” from which flows the doctrines of salvation so freely and powerfully preached by our reformed forebears.  And it is the one Biblical doctrine that is so adamantly opposed by pagan notions.

It is the one Biblical doctrine from which irrevocably arises the total depravity of all mankind.  It is the one doctrine from which irrevocably arises unconditional election.  It is the one doctrine from which irrevocably arises the atonement of Jesus Christ for all of His Own Who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.  It is the one doctrine from which arises the irresistible grace of God the Spirit.  And it is the one doctrine from which arises the perseverance of every last one of His holy ones.

It is that which was shown to John (as recorded by him in chapter twenty).  It is the first resurrection.  It’s the resurrection from death unto life.  It’s the resurrection from death unto life IN Christ Jesus!  It is union with Him in rebirth.

It is union with Christ in His death and His burial and His resurrection.

It is IN HIM that there is forgiveness of sin.  It is IN HIM that the curse of God is satisfied.  It is only IN HIM that the dead become new creations.

Union with Christ – the resurrection from death unto life in Him – was the center of Reformation preaching and teaching and writing; for it is the water of life proceeding from the SEAT of God and the Lamb.

And it was apostolic doctrine before them.

And when we’re finished with this last prophetic Word from God to the apostle/prophet John, we’ll see Covenantal Theology and Union with Christ all through the letter to the Churches of the Daughter of Zion in Rome.