Revelation 22:1-21 Part 5

REVELATION 22:1-21 Part 5


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 only way to avoid the popular re-interpretations of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is to learn to think God’s thought after Him; and His thought has been written.  He is Creator, and He is sovereign Lord over all that He has fashioned; and we can’t take it upon ourselves to describe what He’s done from our own point of view!  That would just be “absurd”!  We can’t be as the pot that says to the potter: “you didn’t make me”, and “you have no understanding”.

Jesus said, “The meek shall inherit the earth”.  And the definition of meekness is receiving, understanding and submitting to what the Potter has made and how He defines it and how He describes it!

And if you approach The Revelation in that light (i.e. from the view of the creature), it is the height of arrogance (which is the opposite of meekness) - it is the height of arrogance – to re-interpret our Lord’s prophetic Word according to one’s own perception!

In other words, we have to have our God’s perception of what belongs to Him.  We have to think His thought about what He has made.  We have to conceive it as He conceives it.  We have to define it as He defines it.  And we have to describe it as He describes it.  Anything else comes from an exaggerated self-opinion.

It was thought to be necessary that a further reminder of these things be brought to our attention this morning due to the oft-misinterpreted words here in verse five: “for there would be no night there”; for God had warned the false prophets of Israel that He would bring “night” to their minds and hearts and understanding… that their incantations and divinations would be “as the night”.

But in the new and holy Jerusalem there would be no night there.

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” (in His prophetic Word) 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” in the false prophets of the first Jerusalem.

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.  The “contrast” here is in reference to the prophetic Word through Micah; and His servants 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 in His new holy city.

And, then, from Zechariah chapter fourteen we read this:


5)      …YAHVEH my God will 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 there 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 (all seasons, every season).

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 creation would not be in her – no cloak or shroud of blackness: for there would be no prophets bound by the night… there would be NO night there. 

And for His servants (the daughter of Zion), there would be no black “pall” of darkness over their eyes and hearts and minds (as there was in the first Jerusalem); for they would have no other light than the light of His righteousness and His truth.  There would be no night there.

This is how God conceives these things, you see.  The curse upon the earth and all humanity belongs to the “night”; for God, in all His glorious brightness, was separated from it in loathing and displeasure.

But at the death and resurrection of the one sacrifice for the sin of the world, atonement was made; and there would be no more curse!  And God would abide with us; and there would be no night there.  Even at evening there would be day because of the glorious Presence of God-with-us and the Lamb.

The Firstborn was sacrificed for the sons of Jacob and all of their children (Exodus chapter thirteen).  They are the firstfruits of His resurrection and the first, and original, members of the new and holy Jerusalem.

They would be “first”!  And then the Gentiles.  A River of the Water of Life would flow into all the nations, in a creation in which there was no longer a curse!  And it would all be watered; and the dark places would receive light.  And it would all flourish; for the Right Hand and the Strong Right Arm of God will destroy the “night” in every place; for there would be no more curse in all of God’s creation.

So, as you can see, “no night there” is definitely NOT an opportunity for imaginative minds to dream up things that God has never said!  As creations (new creations, at that!), we are to receive God’s concept of what He’s made and what He’s doing with it.

No arrogant “pots” here.  They aren’t allowed into the gates of the new, and holy, Jerusalem.


And then as verse five concludes, let’s consider this: (His servants) will reign into the ages of ages”.

You remember, in earlier chapters of the Revelation, that the elders that John saw in God’s tabernacle in the heaven had “crowns”.  And in one scene that John was shown, they cast their crowns at the feet of the One Who had been crowned King of Kings.  That was an “acknowledgment” that there was reign and rule only in Him and at His command.

Then, in a later scene, John was shown the firstfruits of the resurrection – the hundred and forty-four thousands of the tribes of Jacob; and they also were crowned (in addition to being robed with the garments of righteousness).

Throughout the older Scripture, those who were chosen as priests and judges and kings were “anointed” and dressed appropriately for their offices.  And when Jesus sought out and found the lost sheep of the house of Jacob, they too were “anointed” and dressed appropriately and crowned… all of which is prophesied; and all of which is filled up in the work of the Savior of the world.

All of that prophetic Word, and all that John is shown that was about to be at the Parousia of the Christ, clearly indicate that there is a co-priesthood and a co-judgeship and a co-kingship –with Him and In Him – of all who belong to Him, beginning with the firstborns of His resurrection.  They would receive the crowns that had been cast at His feet!

As John says here at the end of verse five, “and they shall reign into the ages of the ages”.

These doctrines (especially the priesthood of all believers) have been hashed out through the history of the Church, so we won’t spend much time rehearsing the implications… only to say that Reformation Theology (in the face of the Roman hierarchy of the priesthood) returned the Church to Biblical Theology with respect to the offices that each of us has been given to occupy in Christ.


What I do want to do with you today is re-enforce the continuity of Scripture by reading a few passages having to do with the priestly and prophetic reign of God’s Anointed One, culminating in our co-reigning with Him and in Him in His priesthood, judgeship and Kingship.  Once again, as John writes here in verse five: “and they shall reign into the ages of the ages.”


Here is Moses in Exodus chapter thirteen:

13)  You in thy lovingkindness will lead the people that You have redeemed; You will guide them in Your strength into Your holy habitation.


16)  … By the greatness of YOUR arm (the peoples) are as still as a stone. Till thy people pass over, O YAHVEH; till the people pass over that You have purchased.


And here is Moses as he wrote in Exodus fifteen:

17)  You will bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, the place, O YAHVEH, which You will make for Yourself to dwell in… the tabernacle, O YAHVEH, which Your hands will establish.

18)  And YAHVEH shall reign in the ages of the ages.


And listen to Isaiah at chapter thirty-seven:

31)  And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.

32)  For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.


And from Isaiah fifty-two:

1)      Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean.

2)      Shake yourself from the dust; arise, sit on your throne, O Jerusalem: loose yourself from the bonds around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

3)      For thus says YAHVEH, you were sold for nought; and you will be redeemed without money.


7)      How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace, that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation, that says unto Zion, “your God reigns!

8)      The voice of your watchmen! they lift up the voice, together do they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when YAHVEH returns to Zion.

9)      Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for YAHVEH will comfort his people, he will redeem Jerusalem.

10)  YAHVEH will make bare his holy Arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.

13)  Behold, My Servant shall deal wisely, He shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.

14)  Like as many were astonished at you (his visage was so defaced….. more than any man, and his form (distorted) more than any of the sons of men),

15)  so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths at him; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they understand.


And from Isaiah sixty-two:

1)      For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness go forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns.

2)      And the nations shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of YAHVEH shall name.

3)      You shall also be a crown of beauty in the hand of YAHVEH, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

4)      You shall no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall your land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shall be called Hephzibah (a delight), and your land Beulah; for YAHVEH will delight in you, and your land shall be married.

5)      For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.


10)  Go through, go through the gates; prepare the way of the peoples; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up an ensign for the peoples.

11)  Behold, YAHVEH has proclaimed unto the end of the earth, ‘Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your salvation is coming; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.

12)  And they shall call them “the holy people, the redeemed of YAHVEH”; and you shall be called “Sought Out”, a city not forsaken.


And once again from Micah chapter four:

1)      But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of YAHVEH's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples will flow unto it.

2)      And many nations shall go and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of YAHVEH, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of YAHVEH from Jerusalem;

3)      and he will judge between many peoples, and will decide concerning strong nations afar off: and they will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

4)      But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig-tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of YAHVEH of HOSTS has spoken it.


6)      In that day, says YAHVEH, will I assemble that which is lame; I will gather that which is driven away, and that which I have afflicted;

7)      and I will make that which was lame a remnant, and that which was cast far off a strong nation: and YAHVEH will reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth even for ever.

8)      And you, O tower of the flock, the mountain of the daughter of Zion, unto you shall it come, yea, the former dominion will come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.


13)  Arise!  Thresh O daughter of Zion; for I will make your horn iron, and I will make your hooves brass; and you shall beat in pieces many peoples: and I will devote their gain unto YAHVEH - their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.


And also hear the “extent” of the reign and rule of Christ and His people from the messenger to Mary before the birth of Jesus.


Luke chapter one:

31)  And behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS.

32)  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David;

33)  and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.


Paul, the apostle of Biblical Theology to the house of Jacob scattered in the nations, expounds on union with Christ – not only for the remnant of Jacob, but for the Gentiles as well.  In Christ, Paul says, all who belong to Him are priests and judges and kings.


Here is Romans chapter five:

17)  Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.


Again…..Paul in First Corinthians chapter four:

6)      Now these things, brethren, I have, in a saying, turned them toward myself and Apollos for your sakes; that, in us, you may learn not to go beyond the things which are written; that none of you be puffed up - the one against the other.

7)      For who makes you to differ? and what do you have that you did not receive?  And if you received it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?

8)      Already are you filled, already you are become rich, you have come to reign without us: yea and I would that you did reign, that we also might share the reign with you.


First Timothy chapter two:

10)  Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sake, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

11)  Faithful is the saying: For if we died with him, we shall also live with him;

12)  if we persevere, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us….


Paul’s theology is really very clear.  It’s all in advance of the Parousia of Jesus Christ; and it’s written to the elect remnant of the house of Jacob scattered in the nations; and it’s concerning their perseverance in the faith.  Stick to what is written, he says.

And if they are “IN CHRIST”, it was given to them; so they shouldn’t boast of something that was given to them.  And if they are in Him they will persevere; but if not they will deny Him – and He will deny them.  So, prove your election sure.

Those who persevere are priests and judges and kings in Christ, and will reign with Him – In Him; and the extent of His Kingdom will know no end – spacially, temporally, numerically; for Jesus Christ is the “second Adam”, the “Head” of a reborn “mankind”; and all the Gentile nations, promised to Abraham, will come and bring their glory; for they, too, will receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness.

And then there shall be a great resurrection!  And these elect of the house of Jacob are the “firstborns” of the resurrection and the “messengers” to the Gentiles of the Savior of the world.

As you may remember, the former chapters of John’s Revelation of Jesus Christ have powerful and captivating views of the daughter of Zion who Jesus came to seek and to save.  Remember, she is called the “Sought Out” one in the Isaiah sixty two passage.

They are shown to John wearing garments of righteousness – His righteousness; for they were In Him and With Him.  And John is shown them wearing crowns; and they are said to “reign” with Christ.

Let’s hear them again.


Here are John’s words, written in chapter five:

7)      And in midst of the throne and of the four creatures and in midst of the elders I did see a lamb standing as slain, having seven horns and seven eyes which are the Spirits of God sending forth into all the earth.

8)      And He did come and He takes from the right of the One sitting upon the throne.

9)      And when He did take the scroll, the four creatures and the twenty four elders fell before the Lamb, each having a harp and golden bowls filling with incense which are the prayers of the holy ones,

10)  and singing new songs, saying “worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals, for You were slain, and You did buy for God in Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

11)  and You did make them a kingdom, and priests for our God, and they will reign upon the earth.


And in Revelation twenty:

4)      Then I saw seats; and the lives of those who had been stricken because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the Word of God, and who did not adore the beast or its image and did not take its mark on their forehead or on their hand, sat on them; and judgment was granted to them; and they did live; and they prevailed with The Christ a thousand years.

5)      The remaining dead did not live until the thousand years was completed.  This is the first resurrection.

6)      Blessed and hallowed is one having part in the first resurrection.  The second death has no authority over them!  They will be priests of God and The Christ and reign with Him a thousand years!


And our text here at the end of verse five says: “and they will reign into the ages of the ages”.

His servants will reign with Him into the ages of the ages.


Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, is the High Priest of God and Savior of the world prophesied throughout Scripture; He is the Word of God, so He is the foremost prophet; and He is the prophesied King of Kings and Judge and Ruler of all in the heaven and on the earth.

Since the man – Jesus – arose out of death and entered (one time) into the Presence of Almighty God above the firmament to make intercession for us; and since we who were “in Adam” were raised up out of death and have “died to death” in the first resurrection; and since we are united to Christ the second Adam; and since God now abides with us, and we have immediate and bold access to Him; and since our prayers and petitions are a “sweet savor” to Him in Christ, we are priests with Him and in Him in His High Priesthood.

In theological circles it’s called “the priesthood of all believers”.  Whether we take issue with that terminology, it is the case that all of His Own – the ones who have been “given” His righteousness, having been raised out of death unto life – are received into the Presence of God and the Lamb with delight; His countenance is toward us, and He hears our praise and thanksgiving and our intercessory prayers for one another and for the world.

That’s why our morning prayer during worship is called the “prayer of intercession”.  God is most glorified in the praise and prayers of His people in public congregation.  After the order of the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples, we pray for that which God has promised, for that is a faithful prayer.

And as priests in the priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ, we all have access to the “seat” of God and the Lamb individually as well.  He abides with us.  And He is attentive to our faithful prayers in the Name of Jesus.  In family; and at work; and at play, the “awareness” of our priesthood in Christ should predispose us and arouse us to remain connected to the “seat” of grace and mercy.  As Paul commanded, we are to be “constant” in prayer.

As the Scripture says, and as John was shown, our Lord Jesus is the “Judge” of all the earth.  And we are judges in Him!  He is the Word of God and His Right Hand and His Strong Right Arm.  His judgments are faithful and true; and He judges in righteousness.

And so we In Him must also judge; and we must judge in His righteousness.  If any man judge with some other standard than His standard (which is righteousness), then he will be judged with the standard with which he judges; for it is a false standard… is not judgment with the righteousness of Christ!

Should there be righteousness and faithfulness, then we must judge it so.  And should there be that which is faithless and unrighteous, then we must judge it so.  As judges of the earth in Christ; and since we are to have the mind of Christ, that which displeases Him must also displease us.  And that which pleases Him must also please us.

Our Lord is Savior of the World.  He has inherited all the nations; and He rules as King of Kings.  And we are kings In Him.  We are marked with His mark between our eyes; it is the crown of life; and we are rulers of this creation in Him.

As children of the Daughter of Zion, we are messengers of the Gospel of salvation in Christ Jesus.  And there is no more curse.  And through all the years as His Kingship is acknowledged by kings and rulers and leaders, we are vice-kings In Him.

This creation belongs to Him; therefore it belongs to us In Him.  And it must never be denied.  That’s why apostle Peter says that we must always be ready to give an answer.  The magisterial Kingship and Lordship of Jesus Christ, and our kingship in Him, is that with which we approach the world; and the world must see it and know it.  We mustn’t give up one inch of this creation to aliens.  Those who are the seed of the serpent must be confronted with the claim of the King.  “It doesn’t belong to you; it belongs to Him.”

Fornicators and adulterers and murderers and idolators and lying prophets have no rights here; and all of their attempts at primacy and authority are illicit and fraudulent; and they are doomed.

That’s the “stance” of vice-kings in Christ.  Keep His Commandments; hold His testimony.  Speak the message of the salvation of the world in Christ.  You “reign” with Him!

Lastly, we are “prophets” in Him… not that we prophesy additional prophecy.  But, as apostle Paul said to the Churches:  “stick to what is written”.  We speak what is written.  It is God’s Word and it is complete with the prophecy of John.

Our speaking is the speech of co-prophets in Him.  It is the speech of that which God has said, and nothing more or less.  And the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God into salvation for all who are faithing.

So, we are co-prophets, co-priests, co-judges and co-kings in Christ our Savior.  And we reign with Him just as did the “firstborns” of the resurrection at the Parousia of the Christ.  We are the children of the Daughter of Zion; and we are of the Royal Priesthood of Jesus Christ – prophets, judges, priests and kings in Him.  We own all of this in Him; it belongs to us in Him.

And just remember that the seed of the serpent is powerless when you’re unafraid.