MP3: The Mighty Angels of Revelation 22
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
The Faithful and True Promise
Vic Batista: We are continuing our study of the mighty angels of Revelation with Revelation 22. We’re learning what life be like for God’s faithful during the Eternal State. What an exciting topic! Let’s briefly recap Revelation 22:1-5.
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. 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, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
Nathan Jones: Our study series is approaching Revelation from the perspective of the angels who serve God. One of the Seven Bowl Judgment angels, the bowls referring to the last seven of the 21 judgments meted out by God during the Tribulation, is now giving the Apostle John a look at what the Eternal State will be like. The Apostle John is getting a view of the Throne of God, the River of Life which flows out from it, and how that river feeds the Tree of Life which produces 12 crops, one for every month. The people of God come to the throne and eat the fruit and worship and see God face-to-face. They reign with Christ over the universe for ever and ever and ever.
Revelation 21-22 provides a beautiful picture of the restoration that God has been working on over thousands of years. God has been working on righting that perfect relationship with humanity, restoring it to what it was like when Adam and Eve could see God in the Garden of Eden.
Vic Batista: Awesome! The Curse cast over the Creation by God as punishment for our sins will be totally removed. The veil between God and Man will also be totally removed so that we are able to see God face-to-face. This incredible Tree of Life, which was last seen in the Garden of Eden, is active once more so that it produces fruit for the healing of the nations. All these wonders and many more paint a beautiful picture!
But, Revelation 22’s description isn’t finished, for verses 6-11 describe a most interesting encounter.
“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.
‘Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.’
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.
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.’ And he said to me, ‘Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. 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.'”
What a wonderful passage! There’s such an urgency to what Jesus Himself is proclaiming here. This is why Bible prophecy is so important, because verse 7 proclaims Jesus’ very own message that He is coming back very, very soon.
Nathan Jones: Yes, and that promise is faithful and true (verse 6). The Realtor Angel tells John that the Lord God sent him in order to witness what is going to happen in the last days. As we’ve studied through Revelation, we have seen that God gave His angelic messengers His prophetic word in order to provide both revelation and hope for His people.God's prophetic word provides both #revelation and #hope for His people. Click To Tweet
Now John is kind of closing up the Lord’s message as we near the end of the book. For, in verse 7, Jesus promises something amazing! He says, “Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” This is a reminder from back in Revelation 1 where were also promised a blessing for reading the prophecy of this book.
Vic Batista: I love that Jesus gives readers certain blessings just for reading a book. Revelation is the only book in the Bible that offers the reader a blessing for reading and taking it to heart by keeping the words of the prophecy found in the book.
Nathan Jones: Correct, two times in Revelation it’s promised that if a person was to read the book of Revelation, they would be blessed. Pastors and Bible teachers should then not give up on the book of Revelation. God promises twice that if we read this book and teach it to our congregations and Bible studies that their people will be blessed by understanding it. I believe that blessing is tied very much to the first half of verse 7 which is Jesus’ declaration, “Behold I am coming quickly!” In other words, knowing that Jesus Christ is coming soon is a blessing for those who know that information and make it a guiding part of their lives.
Vic Batista: Concerning what Jesus promised in Revelation 22:7, “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Some people say they’ve been hearing about this “coming quickly” for a long, long time now, but it’s been so long that they conclude his return just isn’t going to happen.
Nathan Jones: Skeptics have been saying that for 2,000 years! The Apostle Peter even warned that in the end times scoffers would come saying that they’d been told of Christ’s return, but believe He is never coming back. True that it’s been 2,000 years since Jesus ascended into Heaven, and for us mere mortals that seems like an eternity of time, for humans don’t live very long. But, for God, a thousand years is like a day. For God, the passage of time has only been like two days now, but for us it has been generations upon generations. So, in reality, the term “come quickly” or “shortly” isn’t that Jesus would have come quickly right after the First Coming, but that when He does come it will happen very quickly.
Vic Batista: Absolutely! I believe what the Bible in 1 Corinthians 15:52 says is going to happen is indeed going to happen. Christ’s return at the Rapture will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye.Christ's return at the #Rapture will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye. Click To Tweet
Nathan Jones: Yes, the Rapture will occur like a flash. Snap your fingers, and that’s how fast it will happen. When Jesus does return, it will be all of the sudden. It will happen quickly.
That’s the Rapture, the first stage of Christ’s two-stage Second Coming. At the end of the seven-year Tribulation, Christ returns with His Saints and defeats the Antichrist and his False Prophet. That return, while sudden and possibly surprising to those in rebellion against God, when it does finally happen, He comes mightily out of the sky. The Tribulation world will have seven years of signs proceeding His return. So, each time when Jesus says that He is coming back quickly, it will happen very quickly when it actually comes time to return.
Vic Batista: Throughout the different generations, people should still be alert for His return. They should be sober and vigilant, because He could come today. Jesus left us hanging, with the the order from Matthew 24 to be expectant.
Nathan Jones: Exactly! It’s interesting that every generation in the Church Age has been anticipating the Lord’s return in their lifetime. Paul was absolutely sure of it back in the First Century. The early Church Fathers were so sure during the Second Century. The Puritans in the 1600’s were so sure that Jesus Christ was coming back during their lifetime.
Every generation that had been sure that Jesus Christ was coming back had been motivated towards holy living and evangelism. And, those generations that could care less about Jesus returning were apathetic about evangelism. They started to become introspective and their churches started falling apart. So, it’s vital to the health of the Church to be excited about the return of Jesus Christ.It's vital to the health of the #Church to be excited about the return of #JesusChrist. Click To Tweet
Vic Batista: And, it’s vital to keep our own hearts pure. If we’re not keeping the thought behind our actions that the Lord could return at any moment, we can make poor choices. Knowing Christ could return at any moment encourages Christians to live pure and holy lives. That is why I believe so many individuals are being disqualified in doing ministry because they are getting distracted by being focused on the wrong goals.
Titus 2:11-13 teaches, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us to deny ungodly and worldly lusts. We should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Christ’s return in victory is the knowledge that helps keeps Christians going, keeps them working towards being pure, and motivates them to work for the goals of the Lord.
Nathan Jones: Exactly! Vic, I love what you do at Calvary Aventura. Your church integrates a lot of Bible prophecy into its teachings.
Vic Batista: I sure do. I try as much as I can because I believe that there’s such a lack of prophetic teaching that motivates Christians to keep alert and be aware of the times we are living in.
Nathan Jones: Verse-by-verse through the Bible is a great way to study. What you’ll receive intertwined throughout Scripture is the hope of Jesus Christ. The return of Christ victorious is the theme of Bible prophecy. One can find that message integrated even in biblical sermons about marriage and daily living. When you apply that truth to your daily life, the Church is always hopeful, always expecting, and always growing. I believe churches today are really hurting because they are not obeying what Revelation 22 promises us, and that is that we are to be looking forward to the return of Jesus Christ. We will be blessed with hope for having that knowledge.The return of #Christ victorious is the theme of #BibleProphecy. Click To Tweet
Vic Batista: The message of Bible prophecy also contains the call for people to remain alert and be aware of the times that we are living in.
Nathan Jones: I’d imagine the teaching of Christ’s return in the Calvary Chapel Movement for 40 years or so now has caused their churches to grow and flourish while other denominations have been falling apart. Churches that teach Bible prophecy provide a clear testimony to that fact. Our churches then need to embrace the excitement of Jesus Christ’s victory, for to do so will invigorate our churches and motivate their congregations to living holy lives.
What a bunch of nonsense one can hear from people who could care less about Bible prophecy, especially when they claim those who study Bible prophecy are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good. You hear that claim all the time from them. That’s pure nonsense! When one studies God’s prophetic word, it gets you excited. Jesus promised to come back, and that causes Christians to become excited and motivated to get the Gospel preached. The churches that embrace Revelation 22:7 are the churches that are growing.
Vic Batista: Absolutely! There are blessings for those who hope in the Lord’s return and who keep the words of the prophecy of this book.
In the eighty-first segment of our series “The Mighty Angels of Revelation,” we’ll marvel at a mighty angel who refuses to be worshiped.