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Revelation chapter 22

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6And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. 8And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. 10And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 16I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

What does Revelation chapter 22 mean?

At the end of chapter 21, John described the beauty of New Jerusalem. This depiction briefly concludes here.

John sees a river of the water of life. This contrasts with the pollution and decay seen during the tribulation. It also echoes the original state of the garden of Eden. Water and life are often intertwined in Scripture, especially in the writings of John (John 4:14; 7:37–38). This city also contains a tree of life, something from which fallen man was specifically barred after the fall (Genesis 3:22–24). The reference to the leaves being used for "healing" leads some to suggest that New Jerusalem will exist somewhere above earth prior to the end of the millennium, others see this as a symbolic reference to permanent, eternal health and life. Light, as well, is a crucial metaphor in the Bible, representing truth and knowledge (John 8:12; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Matthew 4:16). John also notes that all evil, darkness, and night are gone from this holy city (Revelation 22:1–5).

Revelation then ends its description of the future and returns to more immediate commands from Jesus. The angel commends what John has seen as accurate and worthy of trust. This is followed by a statement reiterating the idea that "I am" is coming soon. This might have confused John, seeing as the words are those of Jesus, but it had been the angel speaking up to that point. Perhaps in confusion, John starts to worship the angel, but is immediately corrected (Revelation 22:6–9).

John is then told not to "seal up" the words of Revelation. Unlike older prophets such as Daniel (Daniel 12:9), John's visions come when there are few remaining events left between the prophecy and its fulfillment. These words are to be shared and understood, not guarded. The reference to evildoers and the righteous is not an endorsement of sin. Rather, it's an expression that Jesus' return is inevitable and unavoidable. This might be stated as "people can do whatever they want to, but the time is near, and Jesus is coming soon." Likewise, we are reminded that those who demonstrate their rejection of Christ through persistent, unrepentant sin will find themselves separated from God (Revelation 22:10–15).

John completes Revelation, and the final words of the New Testament, by including another reassurance from Christ that these are His words, and His testimony. John appeals to readers to accept the offer Christ makes for salvation, echoing other such pleas in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 6:2; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Peter 3:9). John also warns against those who would add to or take away from the words of Revelation. This would include a literal editing of the text, but it also implies attempts to twist, ignore, or insert meanings or interpretations. While the dire warning is technically aimed at the book of revelation itself, that general principle is found elsewhere in reference to all of God's inspired Word (1 Corinthians 4:6; Luke 4:1–13; John 10:35). John completes his message with a final statement from Jesus proclaiming His imminent return, and a prayer for grace (Revelation 22:16–21).
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