• Revelation 22:6-21 is the formal
conclusion to the entire book and it is
connected thematically with the
introduction 1:1-3 by identifying it as
the communication of God given to John.
In the introduction there was a blessing
for all those who read the book, now we
see a curse for those who disobey the
message of Revelation.
• ―The epilogue now shows clearly that the purpose of
the book is to induce holy obedience among God‘s
people so that they may receive the reward of
salvation‖ (Beale, Revelation, 1122).
• Poythress adds, ―The central, visionary part of
Revelation ends with 22:5. Revelation now concludes
with promise, exhortation, and confirmation, in order
to drive home to our hearts the message of the
visions, and to stir up hope for the coming of the Lord
Jesus (22:20). The major themes of Revelation
continue to be woven into this concluding section‖
(Poythress, The Returning King, 195).
• Verse 6 is the formal conclusion of the vision of the new heavens
and earth as well as for the entire book. Again we see the fact
that this vision and God‘s purpose if faithful and true.
• Revelation 22:6 is also an allusion to Daniel 2:45. As we should
recall from the introductory lectures and from chapter 1, Daniel 2
is formative on the structure of the entire book. Just as the
dream in Daniel is true and its interpretation is trustworthy, so
also the prophetic vision of revelation is true and it has divine
authority behind it.
• As Daniel 2 described the establishment of God‘s kingdom, here
we see Revelation functioning in the same manner.
• The vision is shown to the ―servants‖ and implies that this book
has an application to the seven churches (chs. 2-3) as well as to
• The preceding verse has already stated that these
things must take place quickly, now we are introduced
with the fact that Christ‘s coming will be soon. ―As in
1:1, the shortness of the time is from the standpoint
of the Old Testament prophecy, especially Daniel.
Daniel prophesied about things that were distant in
time. John prophesies about things that are even now
in the process of realization, since the resurrection
and ascension of Jesus Christ‖ (Poythress, The
Returning King, 195).
• This verse not only refers to Christ‘s final second
coming, but it also refers to inaugurated comings of
Christ in which he visits the church for the purpose of
• ● John identifies himself as the witness
of the book‘s revelation. In this
sense, John is in a long line of prophets
who witnessed God‘s covenantal
regulations. Just as the OT prophets
witnessed to the covenant
community, John witness to the
covenant community (the church).
• The worship of God is the ultimate main
point of Revelation, thus this angel is
pointing us toward the most desirable
glory in existence.
• Daniel was told to seal up the vision that he
had received (Dan. 12:4). ―What Daniel
prophesied can now be understood because
the prophecies have begun to be fulfilled and
the latter days have begun. That ‗the words of
the prophecy‘ are not sealed means that
now, at last, the OT end-time
prophecies, especially Daniel‘s, have begun to
be fulfilled and, in the light of that
fulfillment, can now be understood better‖
(Beale, Revelation, 1130).
• Verse 11 is an allusion to Daniel 12:10.
Theologically we have no problem with
encouraging those who are righteous to
continue to be righteous, but what do
with do with those who are doing
• ―Increasing the difficulty is that Daniel‘s statements are a prophecy and
so appear to describe a predetermined situation. Commentators try to
avoid these difficulties in a number of ways. (1) Some assert that the
expressions are not deterministic because humans have free will, and
there is always opportunity for anyone to repent until the last judgment.
But such an analysis does not correspond well with the OT prophetic
background of Rev. 22:11. (2) Wall contends that v 11 ‗refers to the
inviolate nature of John‘s prophecy such that any response to it, whether
obdurate or obedient, does not change its message.‘ But this dilutes the
full force of the imperatives. John does not say that prophecy will be
fulfilled regardless of whether or not people are sinful or righteous.
Rather, despite the theological difficulty, the most straightforward
reading of the imperatives is that sinners are commanded to continue
sinning and the righteous to continue doing righteousness…(3)
Hendriksen solves the problem by suggesting that v 11a is the ‗let of
withdrawal‘ whereby the wicked are no longer to be exhorted to obey
God while the ‗let of positive exhortation‘ is directed to true
believers…(4) Mounce suggests that ‗from the perspective of the Seer the
end is so close that there is no longer time to alter the character and
habits of men.‘…(5) Some propose that the bent of one‘s choices forms an
unchangeable character, so that the imperatives have the sense of ‗be
what you always have been as you face judgment.‘…‖
(Beale, Revelation, 1131-32). Beale concludes by saying that this fits into
the ―he who has an ear let him hear‖ formula. In this context unbelievers
are encouraged not to hear, and believers are encouraged to hear.
• Lack of understanding is part of God‘s
• In John‘s day the church has become
much like Israel of the OT. They are
getting lazy and lethargic. The words of
this prophecy are meant to shock the
believing into a repent lifestyle;
however, there is a negative side to this
prophecy. In the same manner that
there were some among national Israel
who were not true Israel.
• This verse is the basis for the exhortation in
verse 11. Christ is coming quickly. This
should be understood as quick unexpected
execution of judgment. Quickness could also
point to the fact that the second coming is the
next major event in salvation history.
• Christ‘s reward is with him. This is an allusion
to Isa. 40:10 ―Behold the Lord comes with
strength…Behold, his reward is with him, and
the work before him.‖
• Revelation has already called God the
―Alpha and the Omega, the beginning
and the end‖ (1:8; 21:6), now John uses
this title for Jesus. Christ has the ability
to conclude history at his second
coming. Therefore, we are right in
saying that the climax of prophecy is the
person of Christ and not exclusively an
• The metaphor of believers washing their robes
comes from 7:14, which relates to believers
steadfastness through persecution.
• Literally the saints receive ―authority‖ over
the tree of life, they are given power to use its
• The images that are combined here together
relate to salvation. John is developing OT
allusions of the tree of life in the Garden of
Eden (Gen 3) and the open gates of Isaiah 62.
See also Psalm 118:20.
• Unbelievers are blocked from entering into the
paradise of God. Keener talks about the background
of those listed in this verse, ――Dogs‖ probably refers to
the sexually immoral, specifically unrepentant
prostitutes (Deut 23:17–18). Elsewhere in Revelation
the imperial cult, combined with sorcery, martyrs
Christians; immorality (both literal and spiritual)
characterized the lifestyle of Gentile men. See also
comment on 21:8 and 27; cf. also Genesis 3:24‖
(Keener, IVP Background Commentary: New
• This list describes those who say that they are
Christians but are not. We have seen similar
descriptions in 21:8, 2:7.
• Outside of the city is probably associated with the
Lake of fire (21:8).
• This verse brings us back to the very
beginning of the Apocalypse (1:1-2). The
revelation of Jesus is not only directed to
John, but it is also directed to you (pl. the
• The self-identification of Jesus in this verse
echoes back to several identifications
• Root and off-spring of David (5:5).
• Bright and morning star (2:28).
• Root of David (Isa. 11:1 and Num 24:17)
• The bride represents the true people of God
who say through the Holy Spirit, Come!
• The image of the bride has been used in
Revelation to describe the community of
believers in a fully consummated state
awaiting their groom (19:7-9; 21:2).
However, there is also an application to the
present day church and to our own time (2
Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-27). In a sense the
church today is already the bride but we have
not yet experienced the fully consummated
• Only those who have ears to hear can say, ―come.‖
This should draw us back to the original message to
the seven churches. In John‘s address to each church
there was a repeated refrain, ―He who has an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.‖ Not all
who are in the church are really in the church; the
privilege of entering into God‘s presence (salvation) is
for those with spiritual functioning ears.
• ―Before Jesus can give water, the thirsty one must
‗come‘ to Jesus. This coming must be an entire life of
faith by which one has ‗overcome‘ temptations to
compromise…Therefore, the exhortations are not an
open-ended ‗invitation‘ to the world in general but
commands to the people of God to persevere. Indeed,
the same imagery serves in 21:6-7 to inspire believers
to endure and overcome until the end, so that they
will receive the reward of ‗water‘ and an ‗inheritance‘
(cf. similarly the imagery in 7:17)‖ (Beale, Revelation,
• Verses 18-19 serve as a new law code for the
new Israel. In the OT, God declares that his
Torah (law) must be preserved intact. There
can be no additions or subtractions from God‘s
law (Deut. 4:2; 7:32).
• ―Revelation 22:18-19 reminds us that God‘s
word is holy; it is distinguished from all merely
human words. No person is authorized to add
or to subtract from the word of God (Deut.
4:2; 12:32; Prov. 30:6; cf. Eccl. 3:14).
Revelation underlines its character as the
word of God by explicitly prohibiting
tampering‖ (Poythress, The Returning King,
• There is a legal nature to John‘s Revelation.
John has been charged to give his witness
(1:9) and here we see Jesus giving his witness
to these things. Jesus now assures the
churches of the veracity of this complete
vision and of his final coming.
• ―For the third time in this epilogue the voice of
Jesus is heard uttering the promise, ‗I am
coming soon‘. But here the promise has a new
and distinctive note. It stands in the liturgical
setting of the eucharist, and is answered by
the Eucharistic prayer Maranatha—Come, Lord
Jesus (cf. 1 Cor. xvi. 22)‖ (Caird, The
Revelation of St. John, 285).
• Revelation began as any typical Greek
letter, and it ends in the characteristic
fashion of a Greek letter (1 Cor. 16:22).
John‘s point is that it is his desire that
God‘s grace will enable the churches to
understand and obey what has been
written in his letter.