Revelation 22:1-21 Part 4

REVELATION 22:1-21 Part 4


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.)


The benediction of Moses upon the children of Israel has been fulfilled, and is being fulfilled, in us who are the children of the firstfruits:  “May the Lord lift His countenance upon you… and give you peace.”

Moses knew that he had a depraved, covetous and idolatrous people on his hands.  But he also knew the prophetic promise of God to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob (he wrote all of that, you remember, in the Genesis book).

And he knew that from the tribe of Judah would be born The One promised of God.  And he knew that God would keep for Himself a remnant of all twelve tribes – the “children” of this people.

He had told the people what would happen to them should they not obey… all the plagues, death by the sword, and inundation by fire – all of which were about to occur as John writes to the Churches in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

But Moses blesses the “children” of the tribes with this final benediction.  God would lift His countenance upon them; He would abide with them, and they would see His countenance.

God did keep them; and they are called “the holy ones” all through the Scripture.  They are the children of Israel who are the “separated out” ones.

When you’re reading the English translations, you will encounter the word “saints” with reference to those who God had kept for Himself.  Bad translation!  They were not “saints” in the sense of goodness as opposed to evil ones.  God did not choose to keep the “good ones” over the “evil ones”.  They were all depraved and cursed mankind.

So, whenever you read the word “saints” in your Bible, think “holy ones”… the ones who were “separated out” from an idolatrous people.  They were the children of the tribes of Jacob – upon whom God would lift His countenance, to whom God would show favor.  And that’s why God referred to them as “holy ones” – the ones who He had separated out for Himself (which is what “holy” means).

And not only had God chosen the ones from whom would be born Israel’s Messiah, but had also “set apart” a perfect number from each of the twelve tribes.

And when Jesus came, His mission (in His Own words) was to find every last one of them - the lost sheep of the house of Jacob, “children” of Israel blessed by Moses, who God had chosen to keep for Himself from this desperately wicked nation.

And by His abundant love and mercy and favor toward His Own chosen “holy ones”, our Lord and His disciples found them.  And because God had chosen them and set them apart; and because He had blessed them by Moses and lifted His countenance upon them and favored them, they came when they were called!

Because of the ravages of the wicked nation, they were in desperate condition, for there was no “balm” in Gilead.  They were the “prey” for the wolves; they were in the pit of darkness… dispossessed, broken, crooked, blind and deaf, sick, and demon-possessed.  And the harlot-nation would pay dearly for the condition of God’s holy ones.  She would be dealt, in multiples, what she had dealt to “the daughter” – the children of Israel who God had kept for Himself.

As Jesus called God’s chosen ones to Himself, He was the “balm” for their miseries – reversing the ravages of this evil nation.  And He became the “offering” to God for their sin and the curse of God.  And in His resurrection out of death, they were united to Him in His resurrection; and He dressed them in the garments of His righteousness and saved them from the wrath to come.

The ones of the tribes of Jacob who God had chosen for Himself from the beginning were the firstfruits of our Lord’s resurrection.  They are His “firstborns”.

And from the firstborns of the resurrection, so also all of the multitude who belong to Him from the nations would see His countenance; for He would regard them; His attitude and demeanor would be toward them; and He would delight in them, and they would “see” it!  He would be “with” them.

They would all belong to the Christ – the Savior of the World; they would be In Him.  And His Father’s countenance would always be toward The Son and all for whom He had been sacrificed.

The Father would always delight in them; and they would delight in the Presence and countenance of God for all eternity.

All of this is what John is shown, and what he writes to the Churches, just before the Parousia of our Lord at the end of the age.  There would be no more curse; and God would abide with us.  First, the firstfruits – the firstborns of the tribes of Jacob; and then all of their “children” from the Gentile nations.

And since our Lord gave His body and poured out His blood for our sin, we who belong to Him are recipients of peace with God.  It’s a gift… a gift of life in Him.  Our having been raised up from death unto life in Christ, the Father’s countenance is no longer turned away from us in loathing and hostility; but He is turned toward us with love and grace and affection and pleasure.  And we are given to “see” it.


Now… as verse four continues: “His name on their foreheads.”

As John writes to the remnant of the twelve tribes, they are made aware, once again, of the event in history that prophesies what John is describing to them as he’s shown the New and holy Jerusalem; for they are set apart and marked with the Name of God between their eyes.  They are the firstborns – the firstfruits of the resurrection.

All of it prophesied during the time the twelve tribes of Jacob were in bondage in Egypt.  They had all participated in Passover, and they were about to be freed from bondage.  And God spoke to Moses and told him what all the people must do once they were in the “promised land”.

During the month in which they were freed from bondage in Egypt, they were to “set apart”, or “consecrate”, or “sanctify” the firstborns of the sons of Jacob.

Listen to this carefully from the book of The Exodus at chapter thirteen:


1)      And YAHVEH spoke unto Moses, saying,

2)      Set apart unto me all the first-born, whatsoever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast.  It is mine.

3)      And Moses said unto the people, remember the day in which you come out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of His Hand YAHVEH will have brought you out from this place.  There shall no leavened bread be eaten.

4)      This day you will go forth… in the month Abib.

5)      And it shall be, when YAHVEH shall bring you into the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, which he swore unto your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you shall keep this service in this month.

6)      Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to YAHVEH.

7)      Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with you, neither shall there be leaven seen with you in all your borders.

8)      And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘it is because of that which YAHVEH did for me when I came forth out of Egypt’.

9)      And it shall be for a sign unto you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, and the law of YAHVEH be in your mouth; for with a strong hand YAHVEH has brought you out of Egypt.

10)  You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.

11)  And it shall be, when YAHVEH shall bring you into the land of the Canaanite, as he swore unto you and to your fathers, and shall give it to you,

12)  that you shall set apart unto YAHVEH all that first opens the womb,  every firstling which you have that comes of a beast; the males shall be YAHVEH’s.

13)  The firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; but you shall redeem all the first-born of your sons.

14)  And it will be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, what is this?  You shall say unto him, ‘by strength of His Hand YAHVEH brought us out of Egypt, from the house of bondage,

15)  and it came to pass, when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, that YAHVEH slew all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man, and the first-born of beast.  Therefore I sacrifice to YAHVEH all that opens the womb, being males; and all the first-born of my sons I redeem’.

16)  And it shall be as a mark upon your hand or between your eyes: for by strength of His Hand YAHVEH brought us forth out of Egypt.


All through the older Scripture the coming Anointed One is referred to as the Right Hand and the Strong Right Arm of God.  And as you remember, when our Lord ascended, post resurrection, into the glory-cloud/tabernacle in the heaven, He “sat” at the “Right” of glory.  That’s His place.

He is the Word of God, second Person of Triune God, and the power and authority of God.  He is the Right Hand Whose “strength” freed the tribes of Jacob from bondage in Egypt.

And this Exodus passage prophesies His sacrifice for the firstborns of Jacob’s sons – the “children” of the tribes.  The firstborn of the flocks were to be sacrificed for the firstborn of the sons!  And when The Christ did come at the end of the age, He was that sacrifice heretofore prophesied; for He is the Firstborn, and “only” Son of God.  And at His resurrection out of death, He freed the sons of Jacob from the bondage of sin and the curse.  And they became the firstborns – or the firstfruits – of the resurrection for whom the firstborn was sacrificed!

The Exodus chapter thirteen passage is the prophetic Word to which John refers when he wrote: “His name on their foreheads”; for not only were the firstborn of the flocks “marked out” for sacrifice, but that sacrifice was “as a mark between the eyes” of the firstborn sons of Jacob.  For, as God said: “they are Mine”.

And I would refer you back to what John had been shown earlier in the Revelation; for the sons of the beast were marked with its number, and the hundred and forty four thousands of the sons of Jacob were marked with the mark of God; for they belonged to Him.

Here it is from Revelation chapter thirteen:


15) And it was given to it to give life to the image of the beast that the image of the beast might speak, and (it was given to it to) cause even the least of those who would not adore the image of the beast that they be killed;

16) and it causes all, the menial and the great, the rich and the poor, the freemen and the servants, that they be provided a mark upon their right hand or upon their forehead

17) so that no one be able to buy or to sell without having the mark: either the name of the beast or the number of its name.

18) The wisdom is herein.  Let one having a mind calculate the number of the beast; for that number is man, and his number is six hundred and sixty six.


And then, at the beginning of chapter fourteen, John was shown this at verse one:


“Then I looked and, lo, a Lamb having been standing upon the mount – Zion; and with Him a hundred and forty four thousands having had His Name and His Father’s Name written on their foreheads.”


And then we read this in verse four:

“… these firstfruit were bought from the men to God and to the Lamb,

and falsehood was not found in their mouth; they are blameless.”  As the


Exodus passage had required, “there was no leaven among them”.


So, as in the prophetic event in Exodus thirteen, just before the “exodus” from Israel, the beasts were marked out for the slaughter; and the firstfruits – the firstborn of the resurrection – were marked on their foreheads (between their eyes) with the Name of God.

And it’s exactly what John is shown here in chapter twenty two as he sees the New – and holy – Jerusalem coming down from God; and His servants – the firstfruits of the resurrection – are with Him; and they all have the Name of God and the Lamb on their foreheads.

The curse is gone, their sin has been forgiven; they are robed in the righteousness of Christ; they shall see His countenance… for they belong to God.  As He said to Moses while they were in Egypt:  “they are mine”.

And from them would go the Gospel of Jesus Christ into all the Gentile nations of the earth.

As the apostle Paul had written earlier, there would be no difference between the flesh of Jews and Gentiles; for all would be alike in Christ - the firstborns of the resurrection and all of their children from among the peoples and tribes and tongues of the world.

Now, verse five of our text says: “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….”

Previously in this passage (which began at verse nine of the former chapter) John wrote this:


23) The city has no need for the sun or the moon that they should appear in her, for the glory of God was manifest in her and her light - the Lamb;

24) the nations will walk by her light, and kings of the earth bear their glory into her

25) by day (none of her gates will in any way be closed, and there will be no night there),

26) and they will bear the glory and honor of the nations into her.


In that former passage, John is describing the city – the holy city – coming down from God.  The city would have no need for the sun or the moon as the first Jerusalem did; for there is no night there.

However, in this later passage (chapter twenty-two, verse five), His servants – those who serve in the new holy city – will have no need of lamps or sunlight; for there is no night there.

So, we have two references to the glorious light of the Presence of Almighty God and the Lamb, both here at the end of John’s letter to the Churches – the first having to do with the city, and the second having to do with the servants.

And there is no more powerful revelation of Triune God in all of Scripture!

In that which was about to be, John is shown the tabernacle of God (above the firmament) coming down from the heaven.  He would no longer be separate and unapproachable; for by the one sacrifice, there would no longer be a curse.  So our God would abide “with us”!  And the brightness of His glory would illumine the city.

And all His servants would have no need for lamps; for the Lamb of God (previously described by John) has seven eyes “as lamps”, from Whom proceeds the “seven spirits of God” – the “seven” indicating the fullness of the work of Holy Spirit in every place in the creation!

The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, is also shown to John with the seven horns of absolute authority.  He is King of Kings, and the bright “morning star” who destroys the darkness.  Over the course of His “arising”, He brings full sunlight to every gross darkness on the earth; and all the earth will be renewed and restored.

And here, in all His glory, is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.

And the Church in congregation is the earthy representation of the tabernacle of God-with-us.  From us must shine the light of the new and holy Jerusalem… the tabernacle of God.  From us the world must see the light of the Morning Star as He proceeds to enlighten the world and subdue it all to His Kingship.  From us must go forth the lamps of the eyes of the Lamb of God as God the Spirit brings light and life to the dead who are in gross darkness.

And we must thirst for that water of life (which, if we do, it will be given to us freely); for from it will spring forth life in all the wilderness places.

So there is no clearer exposition of the essential triune nature of our God in all of the prophetic Word.  He is shown here to John in all His glory as He tabernacles with us in the new, and holy, Jerusalem.

His “tri-unity” is the foundational Revelation for the Church of Jesus Christ.

And let me say this once again, for it can’t be overly stressed: the Word of God through John to the Churches is prophetic Revelation; and it is in the language of prophecy.  It’s the language through which God spoke to all the former prophets.

It is the last prophetic Word of God in a long line of prophecy; and it is understood only when seen in that light.  We’ll have a lot more to say about this when we’re finished and are reviewing all we’ve done during the last six years.  But it is enough right now to say that any description of the Revelation of Jesus Christ that represents the language as being “imaginative”, or “extraordinary”, or “eccentric”, or “peculiar”, or even “bizarre” (as most of them do), indicate that there is no understanding of the continuity of the prophetic Word of God throughout the Scripture.

And verse five of our text is a very good place to illustrate that, since almost every explanation of the Revelation is a re-interpretation that omits its continuity with the former prophecies.

So when John writes all that is “about to be”, which includes the New Jerusalem in which there will be “no night there”, it is almost always “assumed to be” some variation or another of “heaven” at the end of time.

Well, we’ve learned never to “assume” anything regarding John’s Revelation.  An “assumption” could be construed as an attack on the words of the scroll which could land one neatly within the category of “anathema”.  Plus, the fact that nowhere in the Scripture is there a “heaven” – a place where people go who have done good in this life (rather, John sees that God would make His abode with us, since there’s no more curse).  Plus, nowhere in the Bible is it ever said that there would be an end to time!

So, when John writes to the Churches about what was about to be, he describes the New and holy Jerusalem coming down from God upon the great mountain of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.  It is the tabernacle of God with us; and the “Seat” of God and the Lamb would be in her, and there would be no night there.

And the hundred and forty-four thousand “firstborn” servants of God and the Lamb would have no need of lamps or sunlight; for there would be no night there.

Is this one of the places where the imaginations of modern false prophets go crazy? this the “heaven” that they prophesy when there will no longer be a sun and a moon?......where there is no longer an earth rotating in its God-ordained orbit?

Is this the place where the “true Church” is taken away before the earth is burned up in the fiery wrath of God?...a place “somewhere up there” where there is no sun and no moon and no time?...a place that exists in which there is no “night”?

They have no concept of prophecy and God’s prophetic language!  They don’t know that John is the last prophet in a long line of prophets.  They have little perception of, and scant appreciation of, Biblical Theology and the continuity of God’s Word.

And lastly they just dispense with the Parousia of our Lord Jesus Christ at the end of the age, and make assumptions that all of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is “yet to come” sometime in the future.

And “no night there” is somewhere “out there” where God is busy making a “place” for us called “heaven”!  And when Jesus comes back, he’ll take all who believe in Him to that place!

It’s just a small “remnant” of humanity (they say) – believers, pilgrims wandering around in this cursed world that’s ruled by satan.  But Jesus will save them (the ones who have accepted Him), and send the rest to another place called “hell”, and burn this cosmos that God so “hates”!

But, you see, none of that is found in the Scripture!  Just like the false prophets of Israel, they’ve turned the Gospel of Jesus Christ upside down and inside out!  They follow the false prophets instead of God’s prophets.


There is an unbroken, undivided, unimpaired continuity of the prophetic Word from Moses to John.  It’s full, and it’s complete.  There’s no deviation in it.  And the language is the same.

So, when we read (concerning the tabernacle of God with Man) that there is “no night there”; for the glorious light of God and the Lamb is its light; and we read that the servants of God (the firstfruits of the resurrection) will have no need of lamps or sunlight, for there’s no night there, what do we do with it?

Do we make something up and try to fit it into a preconceived scheme?  Or do we find out what God has shown to John by reading the former prophets!  God has put His Word into the mouths of an unbroken line of prophets; so what’s not obvious?!

Is it too primitive?  Is it just too simple?  Is it not clever enough for vivid imaginations?

Just listen for a moment to what God said through His prophet Micah as he wrote in chapter three:


5)      This is what YAHVEH says concerning the prophets (false prophets) who lead my people astray, who proclaim peace when they have food to sink their teeth into but declare war against the ones who have nothing to put in their mouths.

6)      Therefore, it will be night for you — without your visions; it will get dark for you — without your divination.  The sun will set on these (false) prophets, and the daylight will be black over them.

7)      Then the seers will be ashamed and the diviners disappointed. They will all cover their mouths, because there will be no answer from God.


You see, God’s concept of the “night” is a state of “darkness” of wisdom and understanding; it is a state of “blackness” regarding anything of God.  It is an absence of any “light”.  But in our text here, John is shown that there will be an absence of “night”!  There will be no “night” in the holy Jerusalem coming down from God….no darkness; for they would see the countenance of God and the Lamb.  The brightness of God and the Lamb would shine upon them; and there would be no darkness of understanding of the Truth and Righteousness of God.

Listen to God’s Word to Isaiah at chapter twenty-nine:


13)  And YAHVEH said, Forasmuch as this people draw nigh unto me, and with their mouth and with their lips to honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment of men which hath been taught them;

14)  therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.

15)  Woe unto them that hide deep their counsel from YAHVEH, and whose works are in the dark (night), and that say, Who sees us?  who knows us?

16)  You turn all things upside down! Shall the potter be esteemed as clay, that the thing made should say of him that made it, He didn’t make me; or the thing formed say of him that formed it, He has no understanding?

17)  Is it not but a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?

18)  And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of their former gloom and darkness.


Here’s what God said to Isaiah about His coming Anointed One (chapter forty-two):


5)      Thus says God, YAHVEH, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it:

6)      “I am YAHVEH; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,

7)      to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.

16)  And I will lead the blind in a way that they don’t know.  In paths that they have not known I will guide them.  I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground.  These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them.


And then from Isaiah chapter sixty:


1)      …Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord will arise upon you.

2)      Behold, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his countenance will be seen upon you.

3)      And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.


And, lastly, from Zechariah chapter fourteen:


5)      …YAHVEH my God shall come, and all Your holy ones with You.

6)      And it shall come to pass in that day, that there shall not be light; the bright ones shall have withdrawn themselves;

7)      but it shall be one day which is known unto YAHVEH; not day, and not night; but it shall come to pass, that at evening time there shall be light.

8)      And it shall come to pass in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the east, and half of them toward the west; in summer and in winter shall it be.

9)      And YAHVEH shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall be one God, and his name one.


11)  And men shall dwell in her, and there shall be no more curse; and Jerusalem shall dwell securely.


And John sees that, very shortly, there would be that Jerusalem – the new and holy one, coming down from God, in which God would abide securely with us.  And there would be no night in her!

The deep, gross darkness of cursed and condemned humanity would not be in her… there would be NO night there.  And for His servants, there would be no black “pall” of darkness over their hearts and minds, and they would have no other light than the light of His righteousness and His truth.

Now!  Isn’t that so much easier than having to make up a whole new narrative?

John’s prophecy was the same as that of the former prophets… the only difference being that it was about to be – in quickness!