THE BOOK OF REVELATION
~ The Revelation of Jesus Christ
Revelation Chapter 22
Water of Life, Tree of Life, Book of Life
Verse 1: And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Verse 2: In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Do you know that a river played an important part in the lives of Adam and Eve when they lived in the Garden of Eden? Do you also know that in the Age of the Regeneration there would be a river flowing out from under the Millennial Temple? These rivers bring life to everything around them. In the `Garden of Eden' scene, a river flowed eastward from Eden to water the Garden and from thence it parted into four heads. This river cut through the middle of the Garden where the Tree of Life was present and it brought life to all the living things in the Garden, from mankind down to the tiniest of flora. Wherever its water flowed there was life. As it left the Garden to the 'four corners of the world' outside, its nutrients also sustained all the living things around it. Adam and his Wife ate of the natural trees and drank of the natural water to sustain themselves naturally. They also ate of the spiritual Tree of Life and drank of the spiritual Water of the Word of Life which were in the midst of the Garden to sustain themselves spiritually. And in the 'Millennial Temple' scene, a river also flowed eastward. Ezekiel saw waters issued forth towards the east from under the threshold, from the south side of the altar. The waters became deeper with every measurement of a thousand cubits, and on the banks of the river were very many trees. Like the river in the beginning, this river was also full of life — a double waters, for it not only came from a mountain source (fresh spring) but it also came from where the Tree of Life (the Shekinah Glory of the Lord) was present. It came from the Temple ground. The waters of the river gave life wherever the river flowed as it moved eastward towards the Dead Sea. A great multitude of fishes would thrive in these waters. Except for certain swampy and marshy areas which would contain salt, the Dead Sea would be healed so that every kind of fishes which are now found in the Mediterranean Sea would be found in the Dead Sea. (The fishes in these waters could only be due to the topographical changes in fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 14:1-8.) It would be a great place for fishermen. (Read Ezekiel 47:1-12.)
Notice that the “pure river of water of life” does not flow in any specific direction. The Spirit of revelation once again draws our attention to the Truth that the Holy City, New Jerusalem is the Lamb's Wife who is the redeemed glorified saints of God and not a literal city. All natural rivers tend to flow in a specific direction. Now, in the time of Adam and Eve, there was a river which flowed from Eden eastward through the Garden; also Prophet Ezekiel said that there will be water flowing from under the threshold of the Millennial Temple and it will flow eastward, and on both sides of the river there will be many trees. Therefore, if the New Jerusalem is a literal city, then the river must also be literal, and to be scripturally consistent with the prophecy the river must flow eastward. Isn't that logical? However, would it be possible for natural water to flow from a height of 1,500 miles in space where there is no water vapour? And if water does flow down from such height, how will it flow? Would God create a mountain 1,500 miles high for the water to flow down, or will He just let the water splash onto the earth and form a lake?
What about “the street”? Would not a literal city have a network of many streets? Many Christians tend to think that because we have a supernatural God we can expect everything to happen supernaturally. Well, that is true. But supernatural does not mean something 'Walt Disney', or something magical. Unfortunately, that is what many Christians are drifting into. They are actually fantasizing. Do you know that the natural things we see around us are in fact supernatural? Look closely at the things around you, and if you care to see, you will notice that they are all ordained by God to obey certain sets of laws. These laws are God's supernatural, divine laws. But because we accept them the way they are we consider them natural. Because they have become part of our lives, we take them for granted. Beloved, God does not break His own laws. He fulfills them.
As I have mentioned, the NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH will be an EDEN. Everything will be made new — in God's ways. Everything that God had conceived in His Mind before He set forth to accomplish them in the beginning would have been finished by then. Everything would happen precisely the way He wanted them to be. Even His commandment to Adam: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” would be fulfilled in the New Earth. And after the earth is replenished with natural people, whose number is known only to God, there will be no more birth in the New Earth. Yes, there will be plenty of land. Everywhere there will be greeneries with fresh clean air all around, rivers of fresh crystal clear water and fruit trees in abundance. And the natural man will no longer eat meat. There will be no city of skyscrapers, highways, factories and motor vehicles; there will be no man-made machinery or 'hi-tech' equipment that will pollute the air or the water, no airplane, no ocean liner; there will be no misappropriation or ravaging of any natural resources. Basically, all living and non-living things will exist according to God's supernatural laws which have been violated in one way or another by mankind for some 6,000 years.
Now, we know from the Scriptures that the Throne of God and of the Lamb is in the Holy City, New Jerusalem. Did not our Lord Jesus say: “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (Jhn.14:20). Remember that the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of the Holy City, New Jerusalem, which is the Lamb's Wife, the Glorified Redeemed Saints (Rev.21:22). Yes, the Lamb's Wife is Yahweh's Resting Place even as He lives, walks, speaks and works through her (Acts 7:48-49). And she is scattered throughout the New Earth. Blessed be the Name of the Lord! And out of the Throne of the Eternal Presence of the Lord will flow a Pure River of Water of Life, clear as crystal — the holy and perfect soul-quenching Spirit of Life. Read John 7:37-39. It will flow through one channel – “the street” – the One and Only Water Way — Christ, the Anointed Word of God! See? It is the Life (Grk: Zoë) of God in Christ Jesus in the Holy City, which is the Tabernacle of God, flowing out into the whole New Earth. The Water of Life is not stagnant in the Throne of God, It flows forth like a river. And right “in the midst” of the Pure River of Water of Life, and “on either side” of It, is the Tree of Life.
The phrase “in the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river” does not mean that “the street” and “the river” are two separate things. Rather, they are one like a “waterway” for the water of life could only flow where there is a provided way. Amen. The Provided Way was ordained in the Book of Life before the foundation of the earth was laid. From that Book (Word) of Life came forth that River of Water of Life which brought forth the Tree of Life which bear Its fruits in its seasons. Yes, the redeemed glorified saints of God are Its fruits. And even now we are feasting on the Tree of Life as we continue on our pilgrimage by flowing along on this River of Water of Life guided by the Book of Life.
Notice, it says a “Tree of Life” and not “many trees” as some preachers are trying to imply in order to support their teaching that the Holy City, New Jerusalem is the Millennial Temple. Now, what is the Tree of Life? It is none other than the Divine Law and Truth of God which is in the Mind of God. Man must partake of the Spirit and the Word of God in order to live. The Spirit and the Word are One (cf. Jhn.3:5; 6:63). Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (Jhn.14:6). As the Pure River of Water of the Spirit of Life flows out into the New Earth of natural people, It carries with It the Divine Law and Truth of God, the Tree of Life, which is full of spiritual sap. (In the days of Adam and Eve, the Tree of Life was there in the midst of the Garden of Eden where the river of life flowed. And from the sap of this Tree of Life in the Presence of the Shekinah Glory, Adam and Eve partook daily of the Fruit of True Life until the Serpent deceived Eve with his knowledge of that other “tree”.) Everywhere It flows, It carries with It the Tree of Life “on either side of the river”. That is, in the Eternal Age, no matter where a man dwells upon the New Earth he will have access to that Spirit of Life to feed upon the Divine Law and Truth of God. He will not have to travel to any particular place or to 'cross over Jordan' (so to speak) to receive the Divine Law and Truth of God because the members of the Holy City, New Jerusalem will be scattered throughout the New Earth. The Lamb's Wife is One with the Tree of Life. In the Eternal Age, the life of each Glorified Saint will be filled with the twelve fruits of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, virtue, knowledge and wisdom (Gal.5:22-23; Eph.1:17; Col.1:9; 2:3). Yes, the natural people will eat of the Tree of Life eternally. In partaking of the Tree of Life, each individual will yield Its fruits (effects and results) faithfully throughout the twelve seasonal months. [Notice again the number 12 which represents perfect governmental rule, administration and control.] Even the leaves (growth and fellowship) of the Tree of Life will be for the healing (blessings and grace) of the nations of people everywhere. Hence, the Divine Spirit and Word of God will be administered to the natural people in the New Earth that they will bear God's fruits in their lives for a continual bliss, even the healing — well-being and breaches — of the nations (cf. Psm.1:2-3; Prov.11:30; Jhn.15:8; Mal.4:2; Isa.30:26). Amen.
The Spirit and the Word are One, and they are Life and Blessing to all who feed upon them. They are soul-quenching, body-building and spirit-filling. Truly, the Eternal Age will be one of eternal bliss as the Spirit and the Word cover the earth and integrate all nations of people into one Family of the Living God. Blessed Be His Holy Name!
His Face, His Name, His Light
Verse 3: And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
Verse 4: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Verse 5: And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Saints of God, as long as this Pure River of Water of Life, together with Its Tree of Life, continues to flow from the Throne of God and of the Lamb that is in the Holy City, New Jerusalem, the nations of the saved people shall benefit and shall continue to walk in the Light of the Life within them, and they shall pay homage of glory and honor to the Lord. There will be “no more curse” (i.e. “no more an accursed thing” – see Rev.21:4) as the Devil and his horde of fallen angels will be cast into the Lake of fire and brimstone. As foreshadowed by the sons of Aaron (Ex.28:1) who ministered to God within the Sanctuary of the Tabernacle or Temple of old, and to His chosen people without, so shall we, the Glorified Saints of God, minister and serve the Lord within the Holy City, New Jerusalem, and reign over the nations of the people in the New Heaven and New Earth. Yes, in that day we shall say even as Jesus had said: “Our Father hitherto worked, so also His Christ, and now we work” (cf. Jhn.5:17). That's right. Work (activity) is a part of God's Eternal Plan. And as the Glorified Saints reign with God in that eternity of eternity, the revelation of His Name will be eternally sealed in their mind. They shall also have a continuous flow of the Light of the Glory of the Lord in their lives without ceasing for they shall have easy direct access to that Light in which He dwells in. Yes, they shall behold His lovely Face — the Fullness of the Presence of the Shekhina. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matt.5:8).
Little Bride of Christ, little flock of the Lord, it is the Father's good pleasure to give unto us the revelation of Jesus Christ, even as He has given us the Kingdom of God. By receiving the revelation that is given unto us, we shall then truly understand that we are gods (Psm.82:6; Jhn.10:34), gods as true gods — sons and daughters — of the Living God, the Father of us all. For being born of His Spirit and His Word, Whose Spirit and Word abide in us (1 Jhn.4:13; 1 Pet:1:23), we could be nothing else but God's “begotten”. Now, those who cannot believe it cannot receive it, and they shall all die like carnal men (cf. Psm.82:7). The carnal church world may try to dispute that and despise us. To them we are but a bunch of fanatics as they look at us through their so-called Christian fundamental creeds and dogmas. No doubt, in the days of Jesus Christ, His disciples were a bunch of misguided people in the eyes of the truly religious denominational cults — the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Scribes. The carnal churches have failed to realize that they are nothing but denominational cults of various faiths, a cage of unclean birds heading back to their harlot mother — Papal Romanism!
True And Faithful Sayings
Verse 6: And 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.
Verse 7: Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
What a testimony! Just as in Revelation 19:9: “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God” — the form of words used by the angel gives the saints a great assurance. Apostle Paul first used it in his writing concerning the great gospel: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Tim.1:15). The very form used to address the matter shows the degree of its importance. We are promised the blessings because of our faith and confidence in those sayings. Our Lord reiterates the certainty of His impending return by repeating what He had already said at the beginning of this Book of Revelation: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: …Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” (Rev.1:1,3).
Verse 8: And 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.
Verse 9: Then 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.
Once again John was so overwhelmed by the wonder and the greatness of the things which he had seen and heard that he made a similar mistake previously of worshipping the angel who had showed him the things (cf. Rev.19:10).
Verse 10: And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Yes, the time is at hand; there is not a moment to lose. Things are quickly coming to pass just as are revealed in this Prophetic Book. Let us not ignore nor disregard these great and important prophetic truths but take heed and be very mindful of them. The hour of the Lord's coming is nearer than we dare to think.
Therefore, beloved, seeing the revelation of the beauty of this glorious Holy City, let us press towards it, walking faithfully in the Light of the Holy Baptism that we have received. For truly the Holy Spirit has purified us by faith, and has translated us into the Church of the Firstborn (not of the General Assembly – Heb.12:23), and even now, has endowed us with the power to be a part of that celestial regime. Yes, the hour is late, and the Spirit of prophecy has even declared:
Verse 11: He 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.
Verse 12: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
So be it! Let every man and woman, young and old, prepare themselves — change while there is yet time. The saints of God will receive their just rewards at the coming of the Lord Jesus. Likewise, the wicked will duly receive their punishments.
Verse 13: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
This is the fourth and last time that this saying is uttered in this Revelation of Jesus Christ (cf. Rev.1:8,11; 21:6; 22:13). Time began with the Lord's Christ and time will end with Him — the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. Surely, Jesus Christ will soon come for the final fulfillment of God's Redemption Plan.
Verse 14: Blessed 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.
Verse 15: For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
“Blessed are they that wash their robes…” is the actual correct phrase for the Revelation of Jesus Christ is for the Church — those who are born again. Yet, the whole of verse 14 is an admonition to the saints, especially in this closing hour of the Church Age, to come right out and be separated from anything that would contaminate and corrupt their robes with blemishes and wrinkles. Otherwise, they would need to have their robes washed in the Great Tribulation (Rev.7:14). Yes, only the Blood-washed, Word-washed and Spirit-washed saints of God shall have the God-given authority to enter into the REVELATION of that Tree of Life and have the right to be spiritual glorified citizens of the Holy City, New Jerusalem. Amen. Saints, this is the hour – a serious hour – to receive and hold fast to the TOKEN of the Spirit of the Only One Who has the authority to put us in the Holy City. We must put on the Mind of Christ (cf. 1 Cor.2:16; Phi.2:5) which is the Tree of Life. Remember, God is building His Holy City, New Jerusalem right now.
“For without are dogs (that is, impure and filthy persons) and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” Truly, nothing sinful, wicked or evil can enter into the Holy City. The flaming Sword of God will make sure that nothing that defiles ever get pass through the gates. Every unclean thing will be left outside to be disposed of in the Lake of Fire after the Great White Throne Judgement. Read Revelation 21:5-8.
Verse 16: I 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.
Here Jesus attests the good faith of His angelic messenger who has brought all these beautiful things to the Apostle John for the churches throughout the world. He establishes the authenticity of this Book of Revelation. It is “I Jesus”, and not John, Who is the Author of the Book. He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah Who had prevailed as the Lamb of God and was worthy to open the Scroll which was sealed with Seven Seals. He is the very same One Who plainly and clearly declares Himself that He is the “root-shoot” and “off-spring” of David — the true Messianic progeny of King David foretold in the Scriptures, the beginning and the end of the whole economy associated with the Davidic family, and the True Sabbath Who was to bring in the Glory of the Eternal Rest (cf. Isa.11:1,2,10). He is also the Star that never sets as He brings in the Glorious Eternal Day for those who “watch for the morning” (Psa.30:5 cf. 2 Pet.1:19; Rev.2:28).
The Spirit, The Word, The Bride
Finally, as the complete Revelation of Jesus Christ is unfolded to the Bride of Christ in this last age, the mystery of the settings in the Garden of Eden in the days of Adam and Eve, the Tabernacle that Prophet Moses built according to the pattern shown to him on Mount Sinai, the Temple that Solomon built and the Temple that will be built in the Millennial Age of Regeneration — all of which revealed the Shekinah Glory and the Presence of God “in the midst” — is revealed in this Heavenly Holy City, New Jerusalem, where “in the midst” of It dwells the Almighty God forever! Ultimately, there is Only One Place where the Living God has truly chosen to put His Holy Name — the Temple in the Holy City, New Jerusalem! (cf. 2 Chr.6:6; Neh.1:9). Amen! That is where His Word is. What our Father Abraham had seen in his days of this City, which was not built by hands, was then “afar off”. But today, as his seeds, we are seeing right before our very eyes the final process of its completion. The mystery has now been revealed. Yes, we have the revelation of it. We no longer need to wonder and try to figure out what this Holy City is all about. Then, beloved, where are we at in the calendar of God's prophetic time? Note carefully the Word at the closing of the Revelation of Jesus Christ:
Verse 17: And 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.
Everywhere in the Scriptures we see that THE SPIRIT AND THE WORD ARE ONE (Zech.4:6; Jhn.1:1-2; Eph.6:17). But towards the end of the Book of Revelation, the Spirit of prophecy reveals that THE SPIRIT AND THE BRIDE ARE ONE. Do you see? If The Word is in The Bride, then The Word and The Bride must be One. They both testify of the same (cf. Jhn.15:25-27; Acts 5:32). Hence, “The Spirit and The Bride say” because The Word is in The Bride! Amen. We ought to be One with the Spirit now since we have received the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ — especially of His parousia to His Bride and of the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation. It has to be so if we have been in the Marriage Chamber (Heb: Chuppah) of His Word, having heard and obeyed the Message of God's seventh and last Church Age Messenger, William Marrion Branham. Hence, the revelation of the Holy City, New Jerusalem! And now that this Truth is made known to the Elect, the hour is later than we dare to think. So, let us speak and testify of what we have received and cry out “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Inasmuch as we wish to hasten the Lord's quick return, we must also bid those who are athirst to come, if they will, and drink of the Water of Life freely.
Verse 18: For 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:
Verse 19: And 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.
As in the beginning of this Book of Revelation a blessing was promised to those who would read and hear the words of its prophecies. But having read and heard them all, right to the end, a stern warning is given to those who might purposely distort the message by adding to or taking away “from the things which are written in this book”.
O brethren, do we have a deep conviction in our hearts that “these things” are indeed of supreme importance at this very hour? In fact, the weight of the threefold testimony of our Lord Jesus Himself (recorded in this last chapter of the Book) should awaken and establish that conviction in us. Verse 16: “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things…”; verse 18: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book,…”; and finally:
Verse 20: He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
What assurance! Truly, the Lord Jesus is coming soon! He is coming in the corporeal form, coming with clouds (the way His disciples had seen Him go – Acts 1:11) to catch away both the dead and living saints. There will be a meeting in the air (1 Thess.4:16,17). It will be a glorious jubilee!
Yes, He is coming quickly, He has promised that — “BEHOLD, I come quickly” (Rev.3:11; 22:7,12). This is not only the fourth and final utterance of the Lord Jesus concerning His return but in this final utterance He asserts and declares, “SURELY I come quickly” or “YES: I come quickly!” Because the Seven Seals have been revealed and the Book of Redemption is opened in the hand of the Mighty Angel in these last days these words are apropos only for us. This is the day of redemption! Christ has come for His Bride and all that belong to him. And soon He will make His entrance (Grk: eisodos, cf. Acts 13:24 – coming) for the Rapture.
O how precious is the Revelation of Jesus Christ to His Bride! MARANATHA! EVEN SO, COME, LORD JESUS!
Verse 21: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
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