The Revelation - A Book With 7 Seals ?
/ Ewald Frank
23. Chapter 22 - The river of life and the trees of life, The paradise-like condition during the Millennial Reign
- Chapter 1 - Introduction, The Day of the Lord, Origin and significance of the prophetic word
- Chapter 2 - The seven messages of the resurrected Lord, First message, Keep the first love
- Chapter 3 - The fifth message, The Reformation Age, Strengthening the weak in faith
- Chapter 4 - A glimpse into heaven
- Chapter 5 - The mysterious book with the seven seals
- Chapter 6 - The opening of the seals, The unveiling of the power of the antichrist, A general view
- Chapter 7 - The sealed from the Jews
- Chapter 8 - The seventh seal, The silence in heaven, Mercy seat becomes judgement seat, Introduction to the seven trumpet judgements, The first four trumpets
- Chapter 9 - The incomparable torment, The fifth trumpet the first woe
- Chapter 10 - An intermediate vision The open book, The Lord as the Angel of the covenant
- Chapter 11 - The second intermediate vision, The measuring of the temple and the ministry of the two witnesses
- Chapter 12 - The woman clothed with the sun, Christ and His Own, Satan the red dragon and his followers
- Chapter 13 - The visions of Daniel in review of and in connection with the Revelation
- Chapter 14 - The Lamb and the sealed 144,000
- Chapter 15 - The seven bowl judgements and the multitude at the crystal sea
- Chapter 16 - The seven bowls of wrath, The final judgements of Gods indignation
- Chapter 17 - The woman riding on the beast
- Chapter 18 - The destruction of the great Babylon
- Chapter 19 - The rejoicing in heaven over the destruction of Babylon, The marriage of the Lamb
- Chapter 20 - Binding of Satan, Completion of the first resurrection by the martyrs, The Millennial Kingdom
- Chapter 21 - Announcing of the new heaven and the new earth, The glory of the New Jerusalem, The terrible fate of the lost
- Chapter 22 - The river of life and the trees of life, The paradise-like condition during the Millennial Reign
- Appendix - The 70 weeks of Daniel and the current events with Israel in the light of Bible prophecy
In chapter 22 the earthly Jerusalem is shown unto us in various connections. The tabernacle of God, His dwelling place will then be visibly with man. He will fill heaven and earth, the old and the New Jerusalem with His glory. "The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool " (Isa. 66: 1; Acts 7: 49).
"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bore twelve kinds of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it " (22: 1-3a).
The Prophet Ezekiel gave this description long time ago and testified: "Afterward, he brought me again unto the door of the house, and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward; for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under, from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.
Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other.
And by the river upon its bank, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for food, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall its fruit be consumed; it shall bring forth new fruit according to its months, because their waters issued out of the sanctuary; and its fruit shall be for food, and its leaf for medicine." (Ezek. 47: 1+7+12).
All these descriptions make plain that the nations will still be around. Both will be in existence: the fruit of the trees for nourishment and the leaves of the trees for medicine. Everything will be blessed. The dividing of time into twelve months pertains to the Kingdom Age.
Also in this account we have to pay attention to every word in order to see the right connection and to place matters properly. In the blessed city nothing will be under a curse. But then the Prophet Isaiah describes the general situation on earth: "There shall be no more in it an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die an hundred years old, but the sinner, being an hundred years old, shall be accursed." (Isa. 65: 20).
The nations which are left over will continue living a normal life during the Millennial Reign. They will build and plant, eat and drink, children will be born etc. "They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them." (Isa. 65: 23).
" and his servants shall serve him;
And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
And there shall be no night there; and they need no lamp, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light, and they shall reign for ever and ever." (22: 3b-5).
We still see the Lamb beside God, because only when time merges into eternity, the manifestation of the Son will merge into God from Whom He came forth (Jn. 16: 27-30 a. o.). Then God will be all in all (1 Cor. 15: 28).
"Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet." (vv. 24-25).
Every time, regardless of whether the description is held in the plural, it winds up in the singular: " and his servants shall serve him;
And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads." In the New Jerusalem the Lamb is the light surrounded by the Bride. Here we are told that the Lord God is the light, and the Redeemed will reign with Him for ever.
In verse 6 we are reminded of the first chapter in which the One who speaks and works introduces Himself. "These words are faithful and true; and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done." After all the different comings of the Lord are shown and the various events connected to them, after the Wedding Supper, the Millennial Reign and the White Throne Judgement, we are still faced with the all important admonition in this last chapter: "Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the words of prophecy of this book." (v. 7). This shows that the chapters are not written in the sequence that the events occur.
Verse 7 can be compared with verse 3 in chapter one. The chosen ones will experience all the blessings promised in the Sermon on the Mount, and also in other places in the Scripture. They will be experienced by the true believers at the Return of Jesus Christ. They are the ones who took heed to the words of prophecy of this book, believed and did accordingly. God demands that we should believe in Him according to His Word and expect to receive what He promised therein.
After this announcement of the Lord, the seer speaks up as an eye- and ear-witness. He was the one who heard and saw and by a divine commission had written all down: "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 who showed me these things.
Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren, the prophets, and of them who keep the words of this book. Worship God."
From the experience he had, we can see how overwhelming it was for him. He stood in the presence of this heavenly messenger who on one hand was an Angel and at the same time a fellow servant of the brethren and of the prophets. As mentioned before, the word "angel" and "messenger" is the same. Whether the messenger is a heavenly being or an earthly one sent from God with a message, the worship and the praise belong to God alone, for He alone is worthy of adoration.
After the angel had admonished John, he said, "Seal not the words of the prophecy of this book; for the time is at hand."
At the end of the time of grace, when the final call goes forth, everyone remains in the state he is at that moment: "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he that 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." Whether good or bad, saved or lost, everyone remains in the state and position he has taken.
The justified will seek more godly justification, those who are sanctified in the Truth will seek to be more thoroughly sanctified. Then the Lord Himself speaks: "And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." (v. 12). After this He introduces Himself as He did in the first, second and third chapter and in 21: 6 once again: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." (v. 13).
After this last call, the promise is given: "Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
For outside are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (vv. 14-15). Also from this description it is obvious that the concern is the space of the Kingdom Age. Upon the new earth, there will never be such liars and murderers etc. who remain outside.
Finally, the Lord, our Redeemer, takes the responsibility for the complete Revelation: "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.
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.
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;
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
He who testifieth these things saith, Surely, I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (vv. 16-20).
This is a serious exposition addressed to all who heard or read the words of prophecy. Whoever does accordingly has nothing to fear, in the contrary: there should be a very deep inner joy penetrating our heart, if we do not add or take away from the words of this prophecy. Such people are living on earth now. They have received the revealed, living and original Word of God and have obtained the testimony of Jesus Christ. Soon they will be the manifested sons of God.
"He who testifieth these things saith, Surely, I come quickly."
Right at the very end, John answers, "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."