Revelation 22:20

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20

As a note, many manuscripts omit the word translated as “Even so.” With that understood, the verse is a follow-up to the warnings just cited in verses 18 and 19. It is a statement of surety, saying, “He who testifies to these things.” The verb is a present participle and is better translated as –

“he saith — who is testifying these things” (YLT)

It is the final witness of the book of Revelation, given by Christ Himself. What is stated about adding to or taking from the word is called forth to be considered. The words have come from Christ to show what is coming upon the world, and they are to be considered from that position of His authority. And His final words to His audience are, “Surely I am coming quickly.”

It is the same thought as verse 22:12, and it is a warning against slackness or doubt. It is a warning to those who would deride the thought of His ever coming again due to the passage of whatever length of time may pass. Christ Jesus has spoken, He has witnessed to the certainty of the matter, and those who hear are to be in constant vigilance as they await the promise of His return.

With that stated, the apostle follows up with his excited words of anticipation, beginning with, “Amen.” It is a confirmation of the words just expressed. The word itself means “a truth,” “so let it be,” “most assuredly,” and so on.  John is essentially saying, “As You have spoken, so may it be.” He then follows up with, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

As noted above, various manuscripts leave off the words, “Even so.” Either way, the expression directs the mind to the final words of petition. John, despite all of the many horrors that must come upon humanity as described in the book, still makes his appeal. Those who are unjust, will be unjust. Those who are filthy, will be filthy. Those who are righteous, will be righteous. And those who are holy, will be holy.

The masses of humanity will follow the course they choose, and delaying the inevitable beyond what the Lord determines would serve no purpose. And so, John calls for Him to come.

“Make haste, my beloved,
And be like a gazelle
Or a young stag
On the mountains of spices.” Song of Solomon 8:14

Life application: Based on the content, structure, intricacy, and continuity of this book in relation to the rest of the Bible, we have every confidence that Revelation is the authentic received word of God and the end of the official canon of the Bible. Jesus’ statement in this verse is the final note of authenticity given for our assurance of this.

It is important to consider that because Genesis shows us what was lost and the curse man could expect from His disobedience, and then immediately begins to show us what God is doing in and through history, that there must be a set and definite plan to return mankind to the paradise he had lost. There must be an end that will be revealed to show us what and how God would accomplish that goal. It would make no sense to show us the entrance of sin into the world and the consequences of that disobedience if nothing further was planned to resolve the breach, or if nothing else was expected for or of man after it occurred.

In other words, if man was fallen and separated from God, why would it matter what occurred or what man did after that point if the fall was irreconcilable? “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Corinthians 15:32).

The early Genesis account would simply be an executioner’s statement, lording the matter over the condemned. But right there at the fall, even during the sentencing of the crime, the plan of redemption was hinted at –

“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15

Every word of the Bible is given as a testament to the fact that man is worth redeeming and that God will redeem him. And so, the Bible unfolds in a manner that shows every imaginable permutation of how it could come about by our efforts and how at every turn we would fail in the task. But with each story, there remained the underlying hint that these failures were given to lead us to something better; to Someone far more capable. Like all of Scripture, the Law of Moses was to direct us to our utterly fallen state and to call our attention to God’s grace as the only possible way to be reconciled.

That grace of God is found in the Person of Jesus Christ, and it is He who testifies to us of the things set forth for us to consider. The reconciliation and restoration have been accomplished, and the eternal bliss that was intended for man has been restored through Him. And so, God – the Lord Jesus Christ – personally testifies that this is His plan and that it is true and reliable. It is important for us to realize that because all is accomplished with this verse, then nothing else can be added to it and nothing else can be considered in the plan.

This leads us to the assurance that any prophecy which somehow attempts to add to the Bible, or any book which has supposedly come after Revelation to reveal more of God’s will, cannot be true. In Revelation, Jesus Christ is revealed. In Revelation, Jesus’ plan is accomplished. In Revelation is the fulfillment of the ancient promise. And therefore, in Revelation is the completion of God’s prophetic word. Nothing is to be held as comparable and nothing is to be expected. Nothing from God will amend it, add to it, contradict it, or further clarify it.

Understanding this, we can reject any written utterance which claims to be authoritative concerning the redemption of man – either within or outside the confines of Christianity. No other religion is acceptable (John 14:6) and no other gospel can be considered (Galatians 1:6-9).

This is the warning and the admonition for those who look to God for restoration: stand firm on the Bible and nothing else. We cannot accept as inspired the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, the writings of Buddha, or any other religious or philosophical text which points to reunion with God outside of the confines of Christianity. And we also cannot accept as inspired supposedly “infallible” Papal utterances, the Book of Mormon, the “prophecies” of Ellen G. White, or any other writings or claims which come from within the context of the Christian world. The Bible stands alone and complete.

And then, after testifying to the received word, Jesus adds His final spoken reminder to the people of the world, Nai erchomai tachy, “Yes I am coming quickly.” The last words uttered by the Lord of Creation – our Redeemer, Savior, King, and God are an admonition and a warning. Be alert, be ready, and be vigilant with your life, your doctrine, and your conduct. The time is soon, meaning that the Lord’s return is imminent. We, therefore, need to have our eyes lifted and our lives in order.

In response, John jubilantly turns around and writes using the same expression used by Jesus – Amen. Nai ercho kurie Iesou. – Amen. Yes, come Lord Jesus. One can feel the anticipation in the flowing ink as he writes to his Lord, God, and Friend on behalf of all of those who, like him, so desperately look forward to the coming glories described in the book. The final prayer recorded in Scripture is given, and it is a prayer of acknowledgment that Jesus Is Lord, and it is a prayer of petition – “Amen. Even so, come, Lord JESUS!”

Lord God, my Lord God, how wonderfully great You are and how beautiful are the promises You have given us in Your precious word. Thank You, O God, for the surety that those things which have been promised will come to pass exactly as they have been spoken. Give us the presence of mind to stand fast on them as we await what is coming. Amen.