“River of Water…Proceeding from the Throne” v1, Within this vision of the new Jerusalem we see detail of what God Himself issues out with the Lamb. Water! John 7:37-39 says this speaks of the Holy Spirit. This is who helps grow priceless fruit, Gal. 5:22-23. The blessings from God get bigger and better as the river flows, Ezekiel 47:1-12, Zechariah 14:1-8 & Joel 3:18 all have similar pictures of water flowing from the house of God. It is interesting that the “Lamb” is part of the Throne, clearly showing the New Jerusalem as being present tense, because Paul talks of the future of the Kingdom being submitted to God by Jesus. Here in John’s vision there is no submission, but rather, The Lamb is reigning from the Throne, see 1st Cor. 15:24ff.
“Twelve Kinds of Fruit” v2, The garden of Eden first had this tree to sustain eternal life, it’s image of fruit is the Spirit’s work being shown with the number 12, meaning authoritative power. The virtues of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Faithfulness, Kindness, Gentleness, Self-control, Holiness, Rom. 6:22, Righteousness, Eph 5:9, Heb. 12:11 & James 3:18 and Truthfulness, Eph. 5:9, are the 12 words which the New Testament uses to describe the Fruit. We are being taught that our power lay in the heart of a Christian where his virtue grows, share these virtues so that His power can be experienced and His Kingdom reigns over darkness & sin. “Healing of the Nations”, the world can only find forgiveness, friendship and citizenship in this city if they look upon the leaves representing the gospel, God’s word is often spoken of as food in the New Testament. Remember Adam used leaves to hide his shame or guilt, but here God uses leaves in the sense of healing, He doesn’t just cover up dirty laundry, He offers healing & new life with the gospel.
“Blessed is the one who keeps the words” v7, this is the fourth beatitude from Christ in the Revelation, and it is connected in thought to the necessity of perseverance. Real happiness is to remain steadfast by His strength and not our own, Eph. 6:10-14.
“The Time is Near” v10, Just as near as it was in 1:3, The entirety of this Revelation is applicable in the century the church was born in, as it is in today’s century the church grows in, till Jesus returns. From God’s perspective within this vision, there is no time with God, but He fits His victory for us within our understanding of time, see 2nd Peter 3:8.
“Still do Evil…Still be Holy v11, This is the same warning Paul gave Timothy in the face of establishing and spreading the eternal Kingdom of Christ, 2nd Tim. 3:13, and it’s the very reason we must persevere in growing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in order to be holy as He is holy. Our perseverance is guaranteed stronger and better than any force of evil, because the source of our holiness is Christ, not ourself.
“Blessed are they that wash their robes” v14, Promised happiness, deep contentment and eternal satisfaction from the cleanliness of doing what God wants, which is obviously seen in baptism. Robes represent the righteous acts of Christians sanctified and called saints, Rev. 19:8. These are indeed the labor that follows us into the city? Indeed, Rev. 14:13.
“Whoever loves and practices a lie” v15, the grammar literally conveys the idea of living a deceitful lifestyle, a pretence, as a hypocritical flip-flopping church hopping Christian. Remember Ananias & Sapphira, Acts 4:32-5:10. Our holiness should be a growing lifestyle, maturing the fruit of the Holy Spirit and sharing it.
“Things which are Written in this Book” v19, The whole of Revelation is practically written for the 7 churches of Asia primarily, It’s interpretation is for them foremost. Why? Because each congregation has a specific reward described if they remained faithful to the point & purpose of the entire message of visions in the Revelation. Chapter 22 has much in common with Chapter 1, proving it’s also written to all of us. Seven means perfect and total coverage in God’s work, like 7 days in a week of His creation, or the 7s used in Lev. 25:8-18 to discern the Year of Jubilee celebrating God’s work of Justice. Here the 7 churches, represent the work of God in creating the church as a whole for all time till Jesus comes again. Here is what Chapter 22 has in common with Chapter 1. Showing His servants what must soon take place, 1:1, 22:6,16. The Testimony of a Faithful Witness, 1:2,4,9 & 22:16,18,20. The Beatitude of Keeping This Word, 1:3 & 22:7, 9,14. The same “Churches”, 1:4 & 22:16. The Alpha & Omega, 1:8 & 22:13.
“Come Lord Jesus” v20, As John understood Christ coming as “soon” on his own time scale, it couldn’t be fast enough. Do we love the news of Jesus appearing? Or is that a frightful prospect for us? Read 2nd Timothy 4:8.