Revelation 22:12-17 Jesus Testifies to the Churches

Persecuted for preaching the gospel, around A.D. 95, John was exiled to Patmos, an island on the Aegean Sea where he received a revelation from an angel of Christ.

Previously, Christ spoke to John through a vision that included seven candlesticks which represent the seven churches in Asia; the Loveless Church at Ephesus, the Persecuted Church at Smyrna, the Compromising Church at Pergamos, the Corrupt Church at Thyatira, the Dead Church at Sardis, the Faithful Church at Philadelphia and the Lukewarm Church at Laodicea.

Then, in the vision, Jesus revealed to John the Throne Room of Heaven as well as a scroll, sealed with seven seals which only the Lamb of God was worthy to loosen. Before He open the scroll, the Lamb was praised by all the creatures on the earth and in Heaven, as well as countless angels.

When the first seal was loosen, John saw the anti-christ riding a white horse. Next, the second seal was opened and revealed a rider armed with a sword on a fiery red horse, which meant worldwide bloodshed and inhalation of epic magnitude. When the third seal was loosened, John saw a black horse holding a pair of scales that would bring scarcity on the whole earth. After the fourth seal was loosened, Jesus showed John devastating death that would inflict a quarter or the earth’s population. Then, when the fifth seal was opened, John saw and heard the souls of the Christian martyrs cry for deliverance as each one was sleeping until judgment day. The sixth seal revealed cosmic disturbances and devastation on the earth, as well as the number the children of Israel who would be spared by God to one hundred and forty four thousand. When the seventh seal was loosened, John saw seven angels of God standing before God, each one holding a trumpet. The apostle also witnessed another angel who covered the whole earth with the judgment of God, inflicting pain and suffering throughout the world.

When the first angel sounded his trumpet, hail and fire covered the world, where one third of the trees were burned up, indicating massive destruction through a form of judgments over the whole earth. Then, along with the second trumpet came great devastation as one third of the sea became blood, and one third of the creatures of the sea were killed. Also, a third of the ships in the sea were destroyed. When the third angel sounded his trumpet, God’s judgment came in the way of a star that fell upon the earth where it caused a third of the fresh water on the planet to be ruined. The fourth trumpet caused a third of the sun, followed by a third of the moon then a third of the stars to go dark. The fifth trumpet unleashed smoke and locusts from the bottomless pit, causing pain and suffering throughout the whole earth. When another angel sounded the sixth trumpet, four angels were released from the Euphrates to kill one third of mankind. Then, John saw a mighty angel come down from Heaven holding a open little book, but its content would remain secret as the apostle was commanded to eat the small scroll, which was the word of God. After this, John is called to measure the temple court, or the church, as those not counted as part of the family of Christ as well as two witnesses of God are sent on a 1260 year march around the New Jerusalem. After they concluded their mission, the two witnesses were killed and their dead bodies were left on display in a city that dwelled in sin and bondage. When three and a half years had passed, Yahweh brought His witnesses back to life which overcame many with fear and reverence. Following this miracle, John had a vision of the the Seventh Trumpet as the Kingdom of God is proclaimed. Next, the expansion of church of Christ is threatened by the enemy as fallen angels abandon the peace and joy found in Heaven, for war, pain and suffering among the army of Satan, who is cast from Heaven along with his soldiers. To avenge his exile from Heaven, Satan then focused his attacks on the church of Christ which survived the offensive as it found itself divinely protected from harm at the hands of evil. Next came the beast from the sea, a satanic, dragon like warrior appointed by Satan to seek and destroy those in Christ, and this demon was followed by a second beast that came out of the earth to fulfill Satan’s plan to destroy Christianity.

But, God revealed His plan for those surrendered to Him as a multitude of believers were spared from doom at the hands of the beasts. After a large number of saint were spared, the Lord’s judgment was cast once again on the earth where, once sin was overcome, the saints were praised as the King continued to be worshiped. After this, the earth’s harvest was reaped by the Son of Man, Jesus in the flesh. Following the harvest, another angel of God came from Heaven to reap the grapes of wrath, a harvest of souls under God’s judgment. Following the reaper, John saw seven angels getting ready to pour out seven bowls, each containing God’s wrath in some form.

When the first angel poured out his bowl, the wrath of God was spread upon all those who refused to believe, bringing grievous, painful, malignant ulcers to those who sided with the anti-Christ. The second angel followed by pouring out the content of his bowl on the sea, killing every creature in it. The third angel went out and poured the content of his vial upon the rivers and streams which were turned to blood. The fourth angel pour out the content of his bowl on the sun, and epic suffering followed on the earth as unbelievers were scorched with fire. The fifth angel poured out the content of his bowl on the throne of the evil beast, bringing pain and suffering upon those who refused to believe. God’s wrath upon the unrepented is so severe, each one gnawed at his tongue in agony and deep anguish. The sixth angel poured out the content of his bowl on the Euphrates river, allowing the wise men of the East to partake in the forthcoming battle against evil. The seventh angel poured out the content of his bowl, there came noises, thunder and lightning, followed by an epic earthquake that shook the whole earth like never before. The mighty quake was so severe, it split Jerusalem, the great city into three parts as all other cities of the world are destroyed, just as Babylon, the fallen kingdom.

Next, John marveled as he witnessed the mother of harlots, the cult made of impenitent souls be cast into Hades where pain and agony rules over those hypocrites who chose idolatry over Christ. After this, John saw the angel describes the ten horns of the beast as ten kings, to rule over unbelievers for a short time, leading each one to sin, the gateway to Hades. These kings, under Satan’s authority will rage war against God’s army, but lose the final battle as the sword of the Lord is victorious.

Then, an angel of God illuminated the earth and celebrated victory over sin and the false church, led by hypocrites who misled and deceived their followers until the great city, Babylon was overtaken by the Lord and His army. Next, the apostle hear the voice from Heaven chastise the merchants of opulence as their goods can no longer be sold, and their revenue stream as dried up. Then, the mighty angel revealed to John that all music, arts & crafts of all kinds and the processing of food stopped, forever, as those remaining unrepentant are cast into darkness where agony and suffering reign. God’s judgment upon the filth throughout the earth is now final and complete.

After this, the apostle heard another voice from Heaven giving praise to God, followed by more praise coming from a multitude of saints and angels honoring the mighty Creator and His overcoming evil on earth. Following the praising of God, John saw Jesus and His army on triumphant white horses go to war against and defeat the Antichrist and Satan’s army, leaving the corpses of the unrepented for vultures to feed upon. Then, John witnessed the angel of God get hold of Satan, bind him and throw the beast in the abyss where he would be imprisoned for a thousand years. As Satan sat in the abyss, John recognized those who were resurrected as part of the first resurrection, Christ Himself, His church and the old covenant saints.

When the thousand years were over, Satan was released from the abyss. This is when John saw Satan’s army surround Jerusalem, God’s beloved city where the unrepented soldiers would be punished by fire, then their souls cast into Hell along with Satan where they would suffer for all time, as each one is judged according to their works, as noted in the books kept by Yahweh, the almighty Judge. This is the second death, which awaits those who refused to believe in the risen Christ and Savior. Next, John recognized a new holy city coming down from the new Heaven, ready to host and serve those saved from the wages of their sin. Just as a bride ready for her husband, this new Jerusalem was prepared for the chosen, the church of the risen Savior and the saints who were slain in His name. The great city was then revealed to the apostle as both grand and holy, shining like a precious stone and measuring fifteen hundred miles wide by fifteen hundred miles long, and fifteen hundred miles high. Made of giant pearls, diamond and with streets of gold, the new Jerusalem redefined splendor.

Then, John noticed there was no temple in the new Jerusalem, since the city itself was created to be a temple where the church and those saved would worship God and Jesus along side each one, in the presence of both forever. And, the apostle also noticed the new Jerusalem had no need for light, either from the sun or moon as the glory of God, and the magnificence of the Lord were sufficient to illuminate the great, holy city, providing ample light for all the residents of the new Jerusalem, Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor.

Next, the angel of God showed John a river of water, symbolizing eternal life which stems from faith in the risen Savior. The water, pure and clear, flowed from God and the Christ to nourish all that is in the new Jerusalem, including those who were saved from the wages of sin even though they have no need for physical hydration, as the glory and magnificence of God and Jesus would suffice to provide for all those in Heaven. After this, the apostle saw paradise where the tree of life was found, a tree that yielded an abundance of fruit to be enjoyed by all those redeemed, not our of necessity of for our enjoyment as each one rejoices with the divine Creator and the Lamb in the new Jerusalem, as the curse that stemmed from sin is lifted forever. Then, John was commanded to share the content of his vision, and not keep his revelation hidden as the book was divinely inspired by God, and should be used as a driving force to lead the righteous to the new Jerusalem while acting as a warning for the impenitent, those souls whose inheritance is Satan’s instead of Christ’s reward which is eternal life in Heaven.

“12 And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” (Revelation 22:12)

Here, John hears Jesus Himself announce His return to earth when He will judge thee souls in it, both the living and those in God’s church who are asleep until the day of judgment to come. It is clear that the Christ will reward those who place their trust in Him according to their works, as each believer is rewarded in Heaven, fulfilling God’s promise to the church of the risen Savior.

“13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” (Revelation 22:13)

Next, Jesus identifies Himself as omnipresent and equal to God, the One who created the universe, the earth and everything in it.

“14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:14)

Jesus calls “blessed” those who obey God, citing that they have the right to eternal life, and are declared citizens of Heaven, the new Jerusalem.

“15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.” (Revelation 22:15)

Then, Jesus labels those who refused to believe, and obey God, as doomed as their eternal destination is the lake of fire where pain and suffering reign, forever. There, the lost will cry out to God in agony, but their voices will be ignored as each one dwells in his or her works, and choice to deny the deity of Jesus, the Savior and God, the Creator.

“16 I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:16)

Now, Jesus reveal His approval of John’s revelation, a book by which all are warned of His return and judgment. Christ then describes Himself as both the ancestor of King David, and his Offspring as well, which indicate He was indeed God in the flesh, a bright light among darkness.

“17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)

Lastly, John heard Jesus reveal it is by will believers are saved from the wages of sin, which is eternal death. Christ delivers a final invitation to the lost, that by faith in Him and through God’s grace, those who choose to believe will inherit a place in HEaven where each one will rejoice with God and Jesus, forever. Let’s pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant John,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through your revelation delivered by your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: danielstpierre@thrivethroughchrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.

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