The Spirit and the Bride Say, Come
Primary Truth Taught-Jesus says that He is coming soon and the church gives a hearty Amen.
Chapter 22 is a very interesting chapter. It begins with yet another camera angle of the New Heavens and New Earth. This time we get a picture of the New Tree of Life. So thoroughly has God renewed creation that there is the Tree of Life planted in the Great City of the King. We’ll see that there isn’t just one but the street in the city is lined with them.
I believe with this great vision in mind, Jesus then gives us a call to obedience based on the fact that He is returning quickly. We’ll see together that His call is based on His promised return.
We see very vividly in this final section Peter’s words…
1 Peter 1:3–9 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Human Need Met
We need to live in light of eternity. The need we have that is met by this text, is the need to believe Jesus is coming quickly. Over and over again we’ll read this. We must take it at face value. Jesus is coming quickly.
22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
There is something we are to see here in this final chapter of Revelation and final chapter of the Bible…What do the opening chapters of Genesis have as their subject? First, we see God’s creation of heaven and earth don’t we. Each creative day, God speaks and makes each piece of the heavens and the earth. As far as geographical this go, God’s greatest creation was the Garden of Eden.
When he made mankind, He immediately placed them in the garden.
Genesis 1:26–30 (ESV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Genesis 2:15–17 (ESV)
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
A few things Adam and Eve were to do:
1) Guard the Garden
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Literally cultivate and guard the garden. I wonder who or what they were to guard against?
2) Have dominion over creation
And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
3) Be fruitful and multiply
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion
Here shows God’s desire for Adam and Eve to extend the borders of the Garden of Eden and expand it to cover the entire globe. This is the authority and dominion and extending the people by being fruitful and multiplying not just having babies but raising godly children in a setting where there is no sin
Again we see God doing what we failed to do…
He recreates heaven and earth and then places a renewed garden of eden in the midst. The New Heavens and New Earth are literally the Garden of Eden covering the entire Earth with Jesus seated on the throne judging in righteousness, something Adam should have done.
Planet earth waits for salvation much like we wait for the consummation of the work of Christ…
Romans 8:18–23 (ESV)
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Notice in our text for today, there is a tree growing in the garden in the New City.
22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
In the New City God has planted another Tree of Life. This tree will heal.
First we should see that there is a special river flowing out of the city watering this tree.
Ezekiel wrote about this river (47:5); Zechariah wrote about it…
Zechariah 14:6–8 (ESV)
6 On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost. 7 And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.
8 On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter.
The original Garden of Eden had a special river…
Genesis 2:10 (ESV)
10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.
Notice where this water comes from…flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
The picture is this: John shares with us that there is a pure river flowing down main street in this New City, origination from the throne of Jesus Christ. This river has on both sides along the banks trees (plural) and these trees collectively are called the tree of life.
3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
As we learned last week that this city is the place where God’s people dwell. It’s a place of perfect peace and rest. The place where sin never enters. The place where there is no more tears, morning, or death because all this things have died.
God shows us a second camera angel of the New Jerusalem. I pray that John’s description causes you to desire it and to desire to be there.
Last week we learned that one purpose God had in showing us a glimpse of the New Heavens and New Earth was to cause us to think, dwell, literally daydream about it so that Christ and the New City would become our treasure. For where the heart is there his treasure is also.
I think we can see a second reason why God would show us this next picture of heaven: He wants us to desire it now and act quickly to secure it. This is what we’re going to see in the rest of the chapter…
Notice with me how many times in these final verses there is the call to act quickly…
6 And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”
7 “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, 9 but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”
10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”
12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
These verses are pretty much self-explanatory. As we view the King enthroned in the Holy City our desire is to be there with Him. This desire should drive us to walk very carefully in the world as we wait for our Lord’s return.
I want to close this morning by looking a one verse in this last section.
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
What does John mean by 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes?
To answer that question we must turn back to…
Revelation 7:9–14 (ESV)
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Sin is removed and even the stain of sin as we are partakers of Christ’s shed blood. Our sin stained robes are made pure white through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Next we look to the wonderful promise of Jesus…
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!