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Revelation 10 - Epilogue (22:10-21)

Julian Spriggs M.A.

Also available:

Introduction Four main views of Revelation
1: Prologue (1:1-8) 2: Letters to seven churches (1:9 - 3:22)
3: Seven Seals (4:1 - 8:1) 4: Seven trumpets (8:2 - 11:18)
5: Seven signs (11:19 - 15:4) 6: Seven Bowls (15:5 - 16:21)
7: Prostitute / Babylon (17:1 - 19:10) 8: Seven judgements (19:11 - 21:8)
9: Bride / Jerusalem (21:9 - 22:9) 10: Epilogue (22:10-21)
Millennium Rapture and tribulation
Jesus the Lamb

Outline

Testimony (22:10-20): To truth of prophecy, and warnings
Benediction (22:21): Grace with the saints

The Book of Revelation concludes with a brief epilogue, which contains a series of testimonies to the truth of the book, as well as promises and warnings, and a final benediction. It continues the scene of the angel talking to John which began at the end of the vision of the heavenly city Jerusalem.

Testimony (22:10-20): To truth of prophecy, and warnings

The angel tells John not to seal up the words of the prophecy, because the time is short. This is in contrast to Daniel, who was told to seal up the vision because it refers to a time many days in the future (Dan 8:26). Here is the same sense of immediacy seen before (1:1,3, 22:6), making the message particularly relevant to his readers, referring either to the coming of Christ, or to the imminent persecutions.

Jesus then declares he is coming soon to repay everyone according to their works. At the end, there will be a final separation between the righteous and the wicked (Mt 25:31-46). He will come to judge the wicked and to reward the faithful. He has the right to judge because he is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, and the beginning and end. Jesus gives himself three titles here which basically mean the same thing. In doing so, he also takes titles originally given to God the Father (1:8). This, once again, declares the deity of Jesus, as he is both the Creator and the judge.

Now comes the seventh and final blessing to the saints. It is given to those who wash their robes, presumably by washing them white in the blood of the Lamb (7:14). The only way to gain the right of access to the tree of life, and to pass through the gates of the city is by trusting in the death of Jesus on the cross to cleanse us from the sin which would otherwise permanently exclude us from God’s presence. By contrast, all others are excluded, and remain outside the city. All who have not washed their robes, showing they have not trusted in Jesus, will not be admitted to the city.

Jesus now gives his own testimony to the words of the book. It was Jesus who originally appeared to John on the Island of Patmos and told him to write to the seven churches (1:11). Here Jesus describes himself as both the root and descendent of David. He now answers the puzzle he set the Pharisees, when he quoted Psalm 110, and asked them how he could be both David’s Lord and his son (Mk 12:35-37). Jesus was the root of David because he created mankind together with God the Father in the beginning (Jn 1:3). He was also the descendent of David, having been born of the royal line of Judah (Mt 1:1-16). So these two titles show that Jesus is both totally divine and completely human. The final name he gave himself is, “the bright morning star”. The morning star is the planet Venus, which shines brightly at the dawn of a new day. Perhaps Jesus can be thought of is the morning star who shines at the start of the eternal day, when there is no more night (21:25). He is also the star out of Jacob that was predicted by Balaam (Num 24:17).

There now follows a series of invitations for people to come. During this life, the way is still open, and will remain open until death, or until Jesus returns. There is still time to come, and avoid all the judgements described in this book. This is an evangelistic appeal to the thirsty to come and drink the water of life as a gift. The Gospel is a free gift of grace, which cannot be earned. So if you are reading this, and have not trusted in Jesus as your Saviour, then, 'Come!'. Come and enjoy the blessings promised to the saints in this book. Jesus says he is coming soon, so don’t leave it until it is too late, and miss out! Believers who are reading this book are also urged to extend the invitation to other people to come. It is not often realised that the Book of Revelation is strongly evangelistic. It extends the invitation to unbelievers to come before it is too late, as well as giving believers a sense of urgency to reach out to others with the Gospel, and share the blessings of new life in Christ they are already enjoying.

There are two warnings: one against adding words to this book, and one against taking words away from the book. Anyone who adds words will have the plagues added to them. Anyone who takes words away will have their right to eternal life taken away. These are strong warnings about adding to, or taking away from the Word of God, and should be taken seriously. They can also be applied to the whole of the Bible, and to the Gospel. Both adding extra rules to the Gospel, and taking away from the Gospel of grace are to be condemned. Paul gave a similar strong warning, “If anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed” (Gal 1:9).

Jesus gives a final testimony, promising that he is coming soon, again making it sound imminent, calling his people to be ready to meet him. There is an anonymous response of agreement. “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”, an echo of a common prayer of the early church (1 Cor 16:22).

Benediction (22:21): Grace with the saints

The Book of Revelation concludes with a benediction. As noted earlier, this was the way first-century letters concluded, suggesting that this book is a letter. The benediction declares the grace of the Lord Jesus with all the saints. The book and the whole Bible ends with a message of grace. It is the unearned divine favour given through the death of Jesus and received by faith that sets the Christian faith apart from all other religions and belief systems. It is only the grace of Jesus that can change people from the inside and guarantee them a place in the glorious future described in this book.

Also available:

Introduction Four main views of Revelation
1: Prologue (1:1-8) 2: Letters to seven churches (1:9 - 3:22)
3: Seven Seals (4:1 - 8:1) 4: Seven trumpets (8:2 - 11:18)
5: Seven signs (11:19 - 15:4) 6: Seven Bowls (15:5 - 16:21)
7: Prostitute / Babylon (17:1 - 19:10) 8: Seven judgements (19:11 - 21:8)
9: Bride / Jerusalem (21:9 - 22:9) 10: Epilogue (22:10-21)
Millennium Rapture and tribulation
Jesus the Lamb