Revelation 22:16

Friday, 17 September 2021

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” Revelation 22:16

Those who are allowed into, and those who are excluded from, New Jerusalem have been noted. With that thought now complete, come words from the Lord directly. It could be that these words are being transmitted through His messenger, or it could be that Jesus directly speaks. Either way, the words begin with, “I, Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things.”

That takes the reader right back to Revelation 1:1 –

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.”

The Lord has a message for His servants, and He has transmitted it through His angel to John. All three are a part of the transmission of the book. And this message, which is now the book of Revelation, is to be testified “in the churches.”

The Greek word, translated as “in” is epi. It is a word that generally means “on,” thus giving the idea of “that which fits.” As such, it is as if the message is alighting upon the churches. It is these seven churches that then represent all churches to follow throughout the church age. Each being a type, or pattern, of the various churches in various states before the Lord. As such, it is something the churches can wrap themselves in and feel blessed in. It is a beacon of hope for those throughout the church age who have no other place of hope.

John received the Revelation two thousand years ago. The utter stupidity of claiming that the message of Revelation is only for those of the tribulation period is made evident by the fact that churches for these past two thousand years have come to the book and found that hope they can hold on to in the most terrible of times.

There has been an unending stream of war, famine, pestilence, persecution, and martyrdom in the world since Revelation was penned, but through it all, churches – and those in the churches – have been able to wrap themselves in the contents of this book in order to know that there is a hope that transcends their present moments of affliction.

The church is given their notes of correction, and their promises of the glory ahead, in the first three chapters. From there, they are provided the assurances that there will be an end to the evil in the world during the tribulation period. During and after that, it is given the assurance that God is faithful even to His unfaithful people. God is upholding His word and will fulfill His prophecies spoken to Israel. In this display of faithfulness, the church is then given the absolute assurance that they too will receive the promises of glory set forth now by John.

Revelation has been, and it continues to be more so with each passing day, a book of hope in an often hopeless world. And yet, people tear it out of its proper context – for whatever perverse reason – and rob the church of the very hope the Lord has provided for them when the times of anguish, grief, or overwhelming sadness fill their souls.

To ensure that His words are to be accepted and clung to all the more, He next says, “I am the Root and the Offspring of David.” A human does not beget his father. Thus, this is a statement of the nature of Christ, being the God/Man. This was prophesied by Isaiah to Israel, but – importantly – Isaiah’s prophecy includes the Gentiles –

“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” Isaiah 11:1

“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,
Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
For the Gentiles shall seek Him,
And His resting place shall be glorious.” Isaiah 11:10

Again, the ludicrous nature of hyperdispensationalism is revealed in these words from Isaiah, and which Jesus refers to. Jesus is the Root of David, being the Lord God who fashioned Adam, and through whom David came. He is also the Offspring of David, the Messiah who came to receive all of the covenant promises given to him concerning an eternal kingdom – a kingdom that calls out to the Gentiles as well as to Israel. The next verse will reveal this more specifically with the word “whoever.” There are no limitations based on age, ethnicity, sex, tribe, or so on.

The thought is almost a mirror of what Paul states in the opening words of Romans –

“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:1-4

The message is to any who are simply willing to come, and it is a united message from all of the apostles in their letters. There is not one gospel to the Jew and one to the Gentile. The heresy of hyperdispensationalism becomes painfully evident when the word is taken as a whole, understanding that it has a unified intent for all of the people of the world.

With the assurance that this is so, the verse ends with, “the Bright and Morning Star.” It is a term similar to that of Revelation 2:28. The Greek of these two does show a difference though –

ton astera ton prōinon – the star the morning (2:28)
ho aster ho lampros ho prōinos – the star the bright the morning (22:16)

Christ is the Hope of mankind for an eternal future. Without Him, there will only be death, decay, and eternal darkness. But Christ is the One to come forth, leading the way to the everlasting Day that man has hoped for. In a world of darkness, He is our Beacon of hope. He offers that hope to us, to share in Himself, and to be a part of what He is doing to redeem fallen man. In placing our trust in Him, we will find the brightness of the eternal Day that He alone can usher us into.

Life application: We cannot skip over the book of Revelation without missing out on a part of the very word of the Lord who authored the entire canon of Scripture. We also must be extremely careful when handling this word. If we over-spiritualize its contents, we diminish the reality of what Jesus wants us to understand. However, there are also allegorical elements to the book which must be understood as such.

The only way to have the proper interpretive balance is to know the rest of the word which He has given to us through His prophets and apostles. Jesus is speaking to His church, just as He has all along. The church is to know and understand, based on the whole counsel of the Bible, that He has placed the church here in the Dispensation of Grace and that it will be removed to fulfill His plans for the nation of Israel.

After the tribulation period, the church will return with Him, and there will be a millennial reign of Christ on earth where the law will go forth from Zion. What the role will be for those who return with Christ during the millennium – if any – goes unstated. Eventually, there will be an eternal state with a literal city, the New Jerusalem, where God will dwell with man. All of these things have been spoken, and all of these things are to be understood from the book of Revelation. The church is to be the one to carry this message to the world until her job is complete.

God united with humanity in the womb of a virgin from the line of David, and thus He is the very point where the infinite meets with the finite. He is the Bridge back to God for mankind, and He is the Mediator between the two. And because this verse centers on the name of David, He is the greater King which David only prefigured. He is the ruler of the nations and the Almighty God whose throne and dynasty are eternal. He is Jesus.

Finally, Jesus states He is the Bright and Morning Star. Peter uses this term for Him in 1 Peter 1:19. Malachi 4:2 calls Him the “Sun of righteousness.” He is the one who revealed the Father’s glory to the apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration. He is the One who in Revelation 1:16 has a countenance “like the sun shining in its strength.” He is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being. He is JESUS.

O great God Almighty – How wonderful it is to know You intimately because of our Lord and Savior Jesus. What was far off and uncertain becomes close and intimate through Him. What was once a point of fear because of our sin has now become a point of freedom because of His shed blood. O God, thank You for our wonderful Lord. Thank You for Jesus. Amen.



Revelation 22:15

Thursday, 16 September 2021

But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. Revelation 22:15

In the previous verse, it referred to those who “have the right to the tree of life.” It further described them as those who “may enter through the gates into the city.” Now, the contrast is given, saying, “But outside are dogs.”

It should be noted that the first five categories are all preceded with the definite article in the Greek, and they should be translated that way to clearly define each category – “the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the sexually immoral, and the murderers, and the idolaters.” Also, several of these categories have already been explained in Revelation 21:8. Rather than skipping over them, they will be re-explained here.

Concerning “the dogs,” they are unclean animals according to Levitical law, but this is not what is being referred to. Dogs are also used in typology in Scripture when being equated to the wicked (Psalm 22:16), ignorance (Isaiah 56:10), destroyers (Jeremiah 15:3), and so on. Thus, they are given as a general category of that which is violent and without reasoning. But that is not what is being referred to here. Also, dogs are those things that eat up the dead, such as when they took care of wicked Jezebel in 2 Kings 9. But this also isn’t what is being referred to here. Rather, the symbolism goes back to Deuteronomy 23:18 –

“There shall be no ritual harlot of the daughters of Israel, or a perverted one of the sons of Israel. 18 You shall not bring the wages of a harlot or the price of a dog to the house of the Lord your God for any vowed offering, for both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God.”

These words are not speaking of an actual dog. Rather, it follows on with the thought of the previous clause which refers to the wages of a harlot. The word “price” is joined to that of a dog, meaning the male prostitute, the “perverted one” of verse 17. Moses was using parallelism –

ritual harlot (qedeshah) / wages of a harlot
perverted one (qadesh) / price of a dog

The idea is then the doglike manner in which the perverted one presents himself. Thus, this is its own category of perversion. The man who presents himself as a dog for religious prostitution will remain outside the city. The irony of this is that such a person who supposedly practices this act for a religious rite will never come inside the place that is the ideal for all religious hope. The means of attempting to obtain heaven excludes such a person from what he had striven to attain.

Next are mentioned “the sorcerers.” HELPS Word Studies defines this as “properly, a sorcerer; used of people using drugs and ‘religious incantations’ to drug people into living by their illusions – like having magical (supernatural) powers to manipulate God into giving them more temporal possessions.”

Next are mentioned “the sexually immoral.” The word speaks of a male prostitute. However, in the New Testament, that is given as a type of any who engages in sexual immorality. Paul uses the term several times where it is translated as “fornicator,” “whoremonger,” and so on.

Next are “the murderers.” This refers to those who commit unjustified, intentional homicide. After them, are mentioned “the idolaters.” This speaks of a server or worshiper, either literally or figuratively, of idols. Being in a congregation where Christian images, such as crucifixes, statues of “saints,” and so on are served must be included in this. Without Christ’s atoning sacrifice to cover one’s sins, such actions merely heap up added guilt. They are no different than worshiping statues of Buddha. Such will be excluded from entry.

Finally, it says, “and whoever loves and practices a lie.” The verbs are present participles and should be rendered “and whoever is loving and practicing a lie.” It signifies those whose nature it is to do so. They have not come to Christ. As such, they are excluded from entry into New Jerusalem. The word “lie” is general in nature. It certainly includes liars, but it signifies false, deceitful, lying, and untruths, and even those practicing false religions.

Of those who fall into these various categories, it was said in verse 21:8 that they “shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.” Now, the contrast is given, they shall have no access through the gates into New Jerusalem. They shall remain outside of God’s favor and separated forever from His presence.

Life application: Although another set of warnings is given before the close of the book, this is the last direct mention of particular sins which will exclude entry into the New Jerusalem. This doesn’t mean that those who practice such things will be outside the city walls walking around on earth. Rather, it means that they will be taking an eternal swim in the Lake of Fire which burns with brimstone.

May we all continually evaluate ourselves and flee from the sins which separate us from our loving Creator. God has placed this final list of sins at the closing of His word to remind us of the severity of sin and the consequences which arise from practicing them.

Even if we have come to Christ, been cleansed by Him, and are no longer imputed sin (2 Corinthians 5:19), we need to remember that our actions will be judged at the Bema Seat of Christ. Let us strive to be pleasing to the God who has saved us from our sins by sending His beloved Son, our Lord JESUS.

Lord Jesus, throughout Your word we have been reminded many, many times of the importance of holy and right living. And even at the end of Your word, on its last page, You give stern warnings. Surely, You are just when You judge and especially when You have been so explicit in Your warnings. Help us to never diminish the severity of sin. Amen.



Revelation 22:14

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14

Manuscripts vary in this verse. Both of them are in the present tense. Some say, “those doing His commandments,” and some say, “those washing their robes.” Doing, or keeping, the commandments is referred to in verses 12:17 and 14:12. The washing of robes is noted in verse 7:14.

Though the translations are greatly different in wording, they are similar in thought. Doing the commandments of Christ refers to doing those things that are necessary for salvation, meaning accepting the gospel. First and foremost, it is to trust Him alone for salvation.

Washing one’s robes carries the same general meaning. One is stained with sin, but in receiving Christ, he is purified. The symbolism is that of standing in a right relationship with God, purified from all sin, and therefore justified because of what Christ has done. The idea is also conveyed in Revelation 3:5 –

“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

Either way, the idea is that of receiving the imputed righteousness of Christ. It is in this that the words state, “Blessed are those who do [doing] His commandments [or: are washing their robes].” This is the seventh and final time that such a blessing is stated in Revelation. All seven, listed together now, say –


“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Rev 1:3)

“Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,” says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.’” (Rev 14:13)

“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” (Rev 16:15)

“Then he said to me, ‘Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true sayings of God.’” (Rev 19:9)

“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Rev 20:6)

“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Rev 21:7)

Blessed are those who do His commandments [or: wash their robes], that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. (Rev 22:14)


Of these who do as is now stated, it says, “that they may have the right to the tree of life.” John 3:16 simply states –

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

If this is true, and if it is the “tree of life” that allows man to live forever (as is seen in Genesis 3:22), then the tree of life is a picture of life in Christ. This is why the gospel is called a stumbling block. It is so simple that people trip right over it. As humans, we attempt to rely on ourselves when things get dire. And the most dire state we can be in is that of death leading to hell. It is against our nature to say, “I will trust another to save me.” But that is what the gospel is. It is a message that we are in sin, we cannot save ourselves, but Jesus can. We are to put aside our own works and simply believe. When we do this, we receive the right to the tree of life, “and may enter through the gates into the city.”

Access to New Jerusalem signifies access to the presence of God. It is the state that Adam had before the fall. It is a place where man can intimately fellowship with Him, and where we will be able to worship and serve Him in the most intimate way. This is promised again to any who will simply do as the word instructs. And that is to have faith in what God accomplished in the giving of His Son for us.

Life application: Wonderful restoration! This is a major theme of the Bible. Man fell. Because of his disobedience, certain rights and privileges were lost. Jesus came to restore those to His people. However, there is more than just a one-for-one restoration. Man has the knowledge of good and evil which he lacked when he was created. Further, man has an understanding of the depth of God’s love because of the biblical story.

Without the fall, we never would have understood the extent to which God was willing to go for His creatures. What a wonderful, glorious story we have in God’s entrance into humanity through the Person of Jesus. Today we see the restoration of two concepts that were lost in the fall. The first is, as was noted in Revelation 22:2, the tree of life. The second, which was looked at in detail in Revelation 21, was access to New Jerusalem through the gates of the city.

Here is the Genesis 3 account referred to above –

“Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:22-24

Man gained the knowledge of good and evil, and lost access to Eden and to eternal life. Now, at the end of the Bible, man retains the knowledge he gained and receives the right to both eternal life and access to the city of God. It is “restoration plus.” As you may note in Genesis, an angel was placed at the east of the Garden of Eden which guarded the way to the tree of life.

It is noted in Revelation 21:12 that in the New Jerusalem there will be angels at each of the 12 gates. This signifies that access is still guarded, but that it is possible to enter. How and to whom is this possible? It is to those who receive Jesus, thus accepting God’s offer of peace and reconciliation. In the end, Jesus explains what is necessary to do what God expects and thus to have garments of white –

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’” John 6:29

When faith is placed in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to God, a person moves from unrighteousness to righteousness; from being sin-stained to being sinless; from being at enmity with God to being adopted into God’s family. It is by faith alone that this occurs. And thus, we see the marvel of God’s plan for the people of the world. It is a plan of reconciliation and restoration accomplished solely by the grace of God. What a wonderful story of God’s love. Thank God for JESUS!

O Lord God! How could You look upon us, Your fallen creatures, and see anything worth restoring? But You have, and what You did came at the highest price of all – the cross of Jesus. As David asked so long ago – “Is this your usual way of dealing with man, O Sovereign Lord?” Apparently so, but it is beyond comprehension. Wondrous are Your ways, O God. Amen.



Revelation 22:13

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Revelation 22:13

As a note, various manuscripts transpose the second and third clauses –

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. (BSB)

These follow after Revelation 1:8 and Revelation 1:11 –

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” Revelation 1:11

As noted, when evaluating those verses, they are speaking of Jesus Christ. That is clearly confirmed here where all three clauses are found in one verse. A detailed description is given of them in those commentaries, and a briefer one will be found in the life application section below.

In short, however, by bringing all three of these titles into one verse, it is a way of clearly and unambiguously communicating to us that Jesus Christ is the full explanation of the unseen God (Alpha and Omega). As such, He is the Word of God. He is also Yehovah Elohim of the Old Testament Scriptures (the First and the Last) as is clearly stated in Isaiah 46 (and elsewhere). And He is also the Initiator and the Concluder of all things (the Beginning and the End). As such, nothing occurs apart from Him.

The reason for repeating this at the end of the book of Revelation is the same as stating them at the beginning of it. It is a note that Jesus Christ is in control of the entire redemptive narrative. Indeed, He is in control of everything from the moment of creation and as long as creation exists. He fashioned the word; He will bring the world to a state of perfection once again. He formed man; He will bring man to a good end in His presence. Everything will be as it should be, and for those who simply trust Him, there will be a good end. The eternal state will be one of blessing, abundance, and joy in His presence.

Revelation 22 corresponds to the 22nd letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet, tav. In Christ’s proclamation, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” He is saying the same thing as, “I am the Aleph and the Tav.” Omega and Tav are the final letters of the aleph-bet. In picture, tav is the sign, mark, signal. It is represented by crossed sticks and is revealed in the cross on which the Lamb died.

Life application: In verse 8, John erringly fell at the feet of the angel in worship. To understand why this probably occurred, a review was made of the verses which preceded it. In this verse, Jesus makes absolute claims about Himself. Likewise, to understand why He has done so, we should review what has transpired since verse 8.

But to understand the “why” we need to grasp the “what.” What are these claims He is making? First, He is the “Alpha and the Omega.” This is a repetition of His claim in Revelation 1:8, 1:11, and 21:6. Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last. There must be a beginning to an alphabet in order for there to be an alphabet. Every alphabet has an end as well.

In other words, there is a logical sequence to how we grasp concepts. Without such, there is chaos. Jesus is the One who establishes the order of all things, and He is the One who completes the order as well. Within Him then is the perfection of all order, and there is in Him all knowledge that can be derived from all things, just as an alphabet is the basis for a language by which things are described, cataloged, analyzed, etc. Thus, Jesus is the Word, the explanation of all things – why they exist, how they exist, and what their purpose is.

His second claim is that He is the Beginning and the End. This is a repetition of His claim from Revelation 1:8 and 21:6, and it is a build upon the thought of Isaiah 46:9, 10 –

“Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure.”

If there is a temporal existence, then there must have been a beginning to that existence because an infinite regress is impossible. For one to state, for example, that the universe always existed is illogical. If there were no beginning, then there could be no present. An infinite regress of time is possible mathematically, but not actually.

The “line of books” argument explains this. Consider each book as an interval of time. If you have an infinite series of black books and between each black book there is a red book, you have one infinite series of books. If you take out all the red books and put them in a pile, you haven’t decreased the number in the line by even one, and yet you have an infinitely large pile of red books which would fill all the space in the universe. Time really had a beginning, and you could not reach “now” if it didn’t. But here we are, right now.

Because there must have been a beginning, there must have been a “Beginner.” The universe could not create itself because it would have had to exist before it existed; a logical contradiction. Thus, there must be a Beginner who is outside of time; this is God – the eternal one. Paul reveals this to us in 2 Timothy 1:8, 9. This is something that was postulated by scholars and philosophers for eons, but it wasn’t proven until Einstein penned the General Theory of Relativity in the early 20th century –

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” 2 Timothy 1:8, 9

Jesus claims to be the one who began all things, including time. He is also the End. He is the One who will bring everything to its consummation. He has made a promise to those who call on Him that they will live eternally. An eternal existence implies that each moment of eternity is new and unexplored. Therefore, each moment is an end in itself. He is that End because He is the fulfillment of every desire of the soul that longs for eternity. Therefore, as each new moment occurs, it is a new beginning. It is an endless stream of existence where we will explore the infinite glory of who He is.

His third claim is that He is the First and the Last. This concept is given three times by God in Isaiah, such as in Isaiah 44:6 –

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,
And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
‘I am the First and I am the Last;
Besides Me there is no God.’”

The claim is also stated in Revelation 1:11, 1:17, 2:8, and 2:19. In the Isaiah verse, God ties being the only God in with being the First and the Last. In other words, there is – and there can be – only one Creator. If there were more than one “God,” then each god would lack something the other god possessed. They then could not be God at all because the very nature of God is that He lacks nothing and is perfectly complete within Himself.

It is God, the One true God, that is the First and He is also the Last. Because He created time, He is outside of time. When we look back to the creation, He is there as the First, and when we look forward to the eternal state, He is there as the Last. He is “All in all.”

With this (albeit limited) understanding of Jesus’ claim, we can see why the claim is made based on the preceding verses. The first reason is the fact that John made the mistake of offering worship to (or simply before) a created being. In order to show why this was wrong, Jesus proclaims His nature. In this understanding, there is no excuse to ever offer worship to anything but God. And this is what the angel proclaimed in verse 9 – “Worship God.”

After this, John was told to not seal the words of the prophecy of the book. Why? It is because God has spoken, and they will come to pass. The people God has created must be ready. John was then given the explanation for this – “the time is at hand.” After this, he was told that each person will remain in the state they were in for eternity, and therefore it is the wise one who will ensure that he is ready for that eternal state. And finally, leading us to today’s verse is Jesus’ statement that He is coming quickly, that His reward is with Him, and that rewards will be meted out according to one’s work.

Because of all of these things, Jesus proclaims His nature and being. The logical progression of Revelation is astonishing and shows the wisdom of God and the care He has taken in proclaiming His beautiful word. We all stand at the threshold of eternity, and we all must be ready for the moment of Christ’s coming – either through our death, through rapture, or through His second advent. God has offered; now we must accept. Be ready and call out today for JESUS!

Oh God, how beautifully glorious You are. May we never stop pursuing the knowledge of You and of Your glory. Praises, honor, and majesty belong to You! Amen.



Revelation 22:12

Monday, 13 September 2021

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. Revelation 22:12

With the admonition and warning of the previous verse stated, Jesus again says, “And behold, I am coming quickly.” It is a repeat of the words of verse 22:7. As noted then, this does not necessarily signify “soon,” but rather when He comes, it will be suddenly. It is a note for those who hear to be prepared. With that understood, He next says, “and My reward is with me.”

This is noted as a prerogative of the Lord (YHVH) in the book of Isaiah when speaking of exactly this thought that is again being described now in Revelation, and yet it is Jesus who makes the statement –

“Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand,
And His arm shall rule for Him;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.” Isaiah 40:10

“Indeed the Lord has proclaimed
To the end of the world:
“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Surely your salvation is coming;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.” Isaiah 62:11

This then is an absolute confirmation that the Lord of the Old Testament is revealed in Jesus of the New. The two are One and the same. The reward is that which He alone possesses for those just described in the previous verse. Depending on which category they fall into, there will be life or death. There will be the granting of heaven or the casting of the soul into hell. There will be honor and glory, or there will be shame, corruption, and contempt.

With Christ and His reward with him, He next says, “to give to every one according to his work.” The word “give” is insufficient. It signifies to give back or to return. Therefore, it should be translated as “render” or “repay.” Further, this is a quote from Job –

“For He repays man according to his work,
And makes man to find a reward according to his way.” Job 34:11

Again, these words, spoken by Elihu, refer to the Lord (YHVH). But Jesus claims them as a right He possesses. The reward of life is based on a “work,” but that work is simply a work of faith –

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’” John 6:29

What God expects is that we believe in Christ. That is our work. Any “work” beyond that which is worthy of reward still must be a “work” of faith. Without faith in the Lord, in whatever we do, there can be no reward for it. But when a deed is done in faith, it is pleasing to God. Everything that man does must be done with Christ Jesus in mind. And when it is done in this way, it is worthy of God’s approval and His reward. It is Jesus who grants them to man on behalf of God.

Life application: Jesus has now stated for the fifth time that He is coming quickly. As seen, this is speaking not as much as a “when” but a “how.” When Christ returns, it will be suddenly and without warning. From the inception of the church age, there has been no time when He could not have come, and therefore His return is always imminent. As such, the church and the believers in the church are to live in constant expectation of His coming.

And in His coming, He will be the Dispenser of rewards. In whatever way our lives have been conducted, that is how we will be recompensed. But everything returned to us will be based on what we have already done. That is the purpose of repaying.  We shall be rewarded according to the measure of our faith, and how it is directed to God through Christ.

As noted above, our works must, by necessity, be works of faith in order to be rewarded. Ensure today that what you do is for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ. If it is, you will be rewarded by our great God who overlooks nothing. Let us be ready when we stand before JESUS.

Lord, though we fail You continually, You know our hearts and our love for You. Spur us on to great deeds of faith, and to works that will demonstrate this love. Thank You for every good blessing You have given us. Help us to pass those blessings on to others as well, noting that they came from You. To Your glory, we pray. Amen.