Revelation 22:6-13

Sunday Morning Bible Study

August 19, 2012


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved?


We have made it through the prophetic portion of the book of Revelation:

We saw the unfolding of the events of the horrible seven year Tribulation.

We saw the Return of Jesus Christ to the earth followed by His 1,000 year reign.

We saw the New Jerusalem, where eternity with God unfolds.

Now we will look at the last few verses that sort of “wrap up” the whole package and put a bow on it.

22:6-13 The Wrap up

:6 Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.

:6 faithfulpistos – trusty, faithful; that can be relied on

:6 truealethinos – real, true, genuine; the opposite of fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary

:6 which mustdei – it is necessary, there is need of, it behooves, is right and proper

:6 shortlytachos – quickness, speed

:6 the Lord God of the holy prophets

Other translations read something like this:

(Re 22:6 NASB95) the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets

This is an interesting title for God.  As far as I can tell, this seems to be the only place in the Bible where God is referred to in this way.

(2 Ch 20:20 NKJV) —20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”


Bible Reliability

The words that John has written down are “faithful and true”.  You can count on them.
That’s because the things we’ve been studying in the book of Revelation come from the same God that inspired the prophets of old.
A significant portion of the Bible is made up of “prophecy”, where God is speaking to His people and where He is telling them about things in their future.
(Am 3:7 NKJV) Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
There are some amazing, crazy, specific things spoken of by the prophets long before they happened.  And then they happened.
For example, there were quite a few specific prophecies that deal with the first coming of the Messiah.
What are the odds?
Peter Stoner wrote a book called Science Speaks (Moody Press, 1963), that applies the science of probability to some of the prophecies of Jesus.
First, Stoner looks at just eight of the prophecies and considers the probability of just these being fulfilled by one man. (from Evidence That Demands A Verdict… pg.174-176)

Being born in Bethlehem (Mic.5:2)

Preceded by a messenger (Is.40:3)

Enters Jerusalem on a donkey (Zec 9:9)

Betrayed by a friend (Ps.41:9)

Sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zec 11:12)

Betrayal money thrown in the temple, buying a potter's field (Zech 11:13)

Silent before accusers (Is.53:7)

Crucified (Ps.22:16)

Stoner concludes that the odds of any man that might have lived down to the present time fulfilling all eight of these prophecies are 1 in 1017. That's a one with seventeen zeroes after it!

To grasp the size of this number Stoner writes:

“Suppose we take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wished, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote them in their own wisdom.”

That’s just the chances that EIGHT of the prophecies could be fulfilled in a single person.

If we take 48 of the prophecies, the odds increase to 1 in 10157 (That’s a “1” with 157 zeroes after it). I’m not sure we can even comprehend that number.

And yet there were over 300 prophecies of Jesus.

And this is just the prophecies concerning His first coming.

If the prophecies concerning His first coming came true, how possible is it that the prophecies concerning His Second Coming will come true?

There are times when I get those ugly little thoughts running through my head that go something like this:
“You are such a fool for giving your life for this religion thing.  You are not an idiot, so why are you serving a God you cannot see?  Why are you spending your life for something that doesn’t give you much earthly rewards?”
And when I hear that voice, one of the things I look to is this – My Bible is VERY reliable.

I can count on it.  It is faithful and true.

The Bible tells me that I’m not wasting my time following this God I cannot see. When Jesus says,

(Jn 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

I can know it’s the truth.

And that’s one of the chief ways I deal with doubt.

:7 “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

:7 quicklytachu – quickly, speedily (without delay)

Related to the word translated “shortly” in verse 6.

:7 Blessedmakarios – blessed, happy

:7 keepstereo – to attend to carefully, take care of; to guard; to observe

This probably isn’t “keep” as in the idea of keeping a copy of your Bible locked up in a safe.  It’s the idea of obeying what the Bible says.

:8 Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

:8 sawblepo – to see, discern, of the bodily eye; metaph. to see with the mind’s eye

:8 heardakouo – to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf; to hear

:8 saw and heard

This is John’s testimony about what he is writing.

Some take the book of Revelation and say that John was simply writing a book using a strange form of writing, a form filled with symbols and metaphors.
These folks will tend to say that there is no “Second Coming” of Christ, because it’s all symbolic.
Yet John tells us here in his own words that he “saw and heard” these things.
The things we’ve looked at over the last year are the things that John actually saw with his eyes and heard with his ears.

John has been so blown away with all the things that we’ve been studying over the last year, that he falls down to worship this angel who has guided him through all these things.

:8 to worshipproskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication

:9 Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

:9 Seehorao – to see with the eyes; to see with the mind, to take heed, beware

:9 See that you do not do that

In the Greek, it’s just “Watch out … NO!!!”

I kind of think that the angel is so startled by John’s reaction of falling down before him that the angel can’t even get out a complete sentence.

The angel says he’s just a servant of God, just like John is.

:9 your fellow servant

The angel lets John know that he is on the same level as John is.  He’s just another servant of God.

:9 Worship God

worshipproskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one; kneeling or prostration to do homage or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication


Healthy passion

The Jews have it very clear in their theology that they are to only bow to One person, God.
In the Ten Commandments it is very clear that they are not to have any other “gods” or to “bow down” to them. (Ex. 20:3-5)

(Ex 20:3–5 NKJV) —3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

You see it illustrated in the book of Daniel when three young Jewish men refuse to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s statue (Dan. 3)
You see it again in the book of Esther when Mordecai the Jew refuses to bow down to Haman the Agagite (Est 3:2)

(Es 3:2 NKJV) —2 And all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.

You see it in the book of Acts when God uses Paul and Barnabas to heal a lame man, and the people of the city respond by treating Paul and Barnabas like gods and trying to give them sacrifices (Act 14:8-18).  Paul was horrified that the people were trying to worship them.
Here, the angel is horrified that John is trying to worship him, because he is just an angel and is not God.
When the disciples were rowing their boat out on the stormy sea, Jesus came to them walking on water, and then He calmed the storm.
(Mt 14:33 NKJV) Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

What’s fascinating is that Jesus did not stop them from worshipping Him.

You will see this phenomena repeated throughout the New Testament, where Jesus allowed people to worship Him.  Why?  Because He is God.
What are you passionate about?
Are there things that stir your heart and you get excited about?

Play Sports Fan video clip

I love the way they define the best “fans” – loud and present.

I’m not going to make you feel guilty about cheering on your favorite team, but the chief thing we should be “excited” about is God.
What does “passion for Jesus” look like?

If you get an Angels’ fan talking about their ball team, you might find it hard to get them to stop.  It’s all they want to talk about.

We ought to be that way about Jesus.  It ought to be hard to get us to stop talking about Him.

It ought to affect the way we live our life.  It ought to even affect the way we sing when we are in church.

Do you sing like a “fan” of Jesus?

:10 And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.

:10 Do not sealsphragizo – to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal; since things sealed up are concealed (as the contents of a letter), to hide, keep in silence, keep secret

:10 Do not seal the words of the prophecy

Jesus broke the seven seals earlier in the book, opening up the scroll.

John isn’t supposed to hide anything in this book.

The book is intended to be read and understood.
People often think that Revelation is just too hard to understand, but when you spend time in the book, it’s not all that difficult.  Have you been surprised at how easy it is to understand?

In contrast, Daniel was supposed do “seal” up the book of his prophecy:

(Da 12:4 NKJV) “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

:10 the timekairos – a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time, hence:; a fixed and definite time, the time when things are brought to crisis, the decisive epoch waited for

:10 at handeggus – near; of times imminent and soon to come pass {Mt 24:32 26:18 Mr 13:28 Lu 21:30,31 Joh 2:13 6:4 7:2 11:55 Rev 1:3 22:19 }

:10 the time is at hand



This “wrap up” is about reminding us that Jesus is coming back.  Soon. 
vs. 6 “the things which must shortly take place”
vs. 7 “I am coming quickly”
vs. 10 “the time is at hand”
vs. 12 “I am coming quickly”
But wait, wasn’t this all said/written two thousand years ago?  That doesn’t sound very “quick”. Peter tells us:
(2 Pe 3:9 NLT) The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

The reason He hasn’t come back yet, is because He is waiting for just a few more to come to Him and spend eternity with Him in heaven.

And yet, as we look at the prophecies that speak of His Second Coming, we know that we are VERY close to the time of His Coming.
One of the chief prophecies that tells us that we are indeed in the last days is the fact that the nation of Israel exists when it had been scattered for 1900 years.
Another event found in the end times prophecies is a war that’s coming when Iran and Russia will attempt to invade Israel (Eze. 38-39).

We may see something of this happening in the next couple months.

We need to be ready, whether it for His coming, or our death.
(Lk 12:16–21 NKJV) —16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
I imagine that ever since they became engaged and then married, Drew has dreamed of the time when he would be able to bring his lovely bride Nadia home with him to the United States.

Yet there’s been a lot of glitches in the paperwork.  And the process they started now a couple of years ago seemed like it would never take place.

This week Drew got some really encouraging news – an email from the government that leads us to think we might see Nadia by October.

There is a Nadia.  And you will see her.

Play Conception to Birth video clip
Some of you know what it’s like to go through a pregnancy.

You get that first positive test result back and its exciting!

And then the tummy starts to “show”.  And it keeps growing.  You see that first ultrasound, hear the heartbeat for the first time, and you know you have a baby on the way.

You read your baby books to learn how the baby is growing.

And the tummy gets bigger and bigger.

You set up the baby’s room.  You work on names.  You go to your birthing classes. You get ready…and wait.

It starts to look like the baby is going to pop out any minute.  And you’ve still got two months to go.

And then things start to happen.  Maybe it’s the water breaking, maybe it’s the contractions getting stronger and stronger.  Sometimes it seems like the deliver takes FOREVER.

Yet the baby will come just like Jesus will come. Are you ready?

:11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”

We’ll come back to this at the end of today’s study…

:11 unjustadikeo – to act unjustly or wickedly, to sin,

:11 filthyrhupoo – to make filthy, defile, soil; to be filthy (morally)

:11 righteousdikaios – righteous, observing divine laws; virtuous, upright

:11 holyhagios – holy, separated to God, pure


:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

This is Jesus speaking.

:12 quicklytachu – quickly, speedily (without delay)

:12 rewardmisthos – wages; reward: used of the fruit naturally resulting from toils and endeavours

:12 to give toapodidomi – to deliver, to give away for one’s own profit what is one’s own, to sell; to pay off, discharge what is due

:12 My reward is with Me

Some of you have a very specific skill set.

You might be a mechanic, in construction, an accountant, a gardener, or a doctor.
If you are particularly good at what you do, you will find that from time to time your “friends” will ask you to help them … for free.
They won’t even offer to pay you, they just expect you to do it for free because you’re a “friend”.
Jesus is not that kind of “friend”.
When He asks His “friends” to do something, He will indeed pay them, and pay them well.
You may not see the payment in this life, but you will see it.

And since eternity lasts forever, I’d rather get my payment in eternity than get it now – I’ll enjoy it much longer.

:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

:13 Alpha … Omega

The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.

All three pairs of words are talking about the same thing, but in three different ways.  Jesus is the beginning of everything and He’s the end of all things.

:11 He who is unjust …

Could this be a hint at the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

:11 unjust … filthy … righteous … holy

John uses two pairs of words that are opposites of each other.

“Unjust” is the exact opposite of “righteous”.
“Filthy” is a good opposite of “holy”

What is John saying here?

This is a difficult passage because it looks as if John is saying that bad people will be bad people, good people will be good people, and that people just don’t change.
And yet the Bible says just the opposite.
Over and over again, the message of the Bible is “Repent”, or “Turn around”, or “You can change”.
Some suggest that it is saying is that in the eternal state, what you are now is what you will be.  There will be no opportunity for change in eternity.

For extra credit – compare this passage (vs. 10-11) with Daniel 12:9-10.

It’s possible that John is saying something similar to what Daniel wrote, especially when you look at our previous verse about “sealing”.

(Da 12:9–10 NKJV) —9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.

Both passages talk about “sealing” (though actually opposites – one says to “seal”, the other says “don’t seal”).

Both passages say something along the lines that wicked people will do bad things, and good people will be purified and understand.


Time to Change

I think the best way to understand this passage is to keep in mind the verse before it and the verse after it.
Verse 10 says “the time is at hand”.
Verse 12 says “I am coming quickly”.
Perhaps what the angel is saying to John is this:
When Jesus returns, it will be quick, and it will be too late to make any changes.
NOW is the time to change, not later.
Some of us play a risky game of waiting before we make any big changes.

You go to the doctor and he tells you that you have some serious health issues.

He warns you that your cholesterol is too high.  He warns you that your blood pressure is too high.

And you leave the doctor’s office a little mad at the doctor because the doctor also said that you are just “too fat” and need to lose weight.

How dare he hurt your feelings!

And then the day comes when you have your heart attack and if you are lucky enough to survive and find yourself lying in the hospital, you will wish you had done something about your health earlier.

I spent time with a dear pastor friend back in May who has lost 100 pounds.  It was a good kick in the butt for me.  I got to thinking, “Hey, I can do this”.

I have found that I can change.  Can you?

Don’t get too sidetracked about health issues here – because the issue that John is dealing with is this – are you ready to meet Jesus?

Have you been telling yourself you want to live it up a few more years first before becoming a Christian?

Who said you will be around another few years?  And do you realize that the more times you say “no” to the Lord, your heart gets harder towards Him?

If you wait another few more years, your heart may be too hard to turn to Jesus.

This is the day to say “yes” to the Lord.