I AM the Alpha and the Omega,

the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End

22: 10-15

   DIG: What do you make of God’s summary of human destiny? In contrast to those inside the city and those outside, what is implied about the basis for our salvation and judgment? What does it mean to wash one’s robe?

   REFLECT: Is it ever too late for people to change their ways, or to come to Messiah in faith? Why or why not?

    When Dani'el wrote his prophecy several hundred years before the birth of Christ, because of progressive revelation, he did not understand some things that the LORD had shown him. He wanted an explanation, but the fulfillment of his prophecies were a long time off, so he was told to seal them up until they could be explained by later revelation (Dani'el 12:4a and 12:8-9). With the book of Revelation, much of the book of Dani'el was clarified, expanded, detailed and explained. So John, in contrast to Dani'el, was told not to seal up his book because John’s prophecy was already unfolding and the Church Age was underway. For that reason, the message was to be left unsealed. For that reason, the angel told the aged prophet, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near" (22:10). We are to guard the words of this book. God is surely capable of speaking plain words, through His angel, through John, to us, and He wants people to hear this message today.

    It is an amazing paradox of human nature that the preaching of the Gospel draws and wins some, while at the same time it offends and hardens others. The same sun that softens wax also hardens clay. The Rabbi Sha'ul said: We are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death, but to the other, the fragrance of life (Second Corinthians 2:15-16). Although a great multitude will be saved during the judgments of the Great Tribulation (7:9 and 14), there will be even more who determine to resist all the more stubbornly (6:15-17, 9:20-21, 16:9). Similarly, the teaching of the book of Revelation today will bring great blessing to many but repel others, bringing only ridicule or anger.521

    Therefore, an remarkable principle is stated here. The greater the awareness of the full implications of the Gospel and its ultimate conclusion in the book of Revelation, the more divisive it becomes. Nevertheless, it must still be proclaimed. The angel is speaking here, but obviously echoing the words of Messiah, saying: Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile. The unrighteous will confirm their unrighteousness by continuing in it, which will naturally happen when ADONAI's revelation is rejected. But, on the other hand, let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy (22:11). The righteous, however, will confirm their righteousness by continuing to be righteous, which will naturally happen if Christ’s revelation is accepted (Dani'el 12:10; Ezeki'el 3:27).522 It is sobering to realize that your response to God’s revelation will determine your eternal destiny. When you die, or when the Lord returns, your position with regard to Yeshua will be fixed forever. Those who respond to the warning of Revelation and accept Christ will spend eternity in heaven; however, those who fail to repent and reject Him will live forever apart from Him in a sinful state. The teaching of Revelation draws this line in the sand for everyone. Life has many choices, eternity has only two. Which one do you choose?

    The speaker is no longer the angel but the Messiah, saying: Behold, I AM coming quickly! Twice He has indicated that He will come like a thief (3:3, 16:15), first as a threat, then as a promise. My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what they have done (Revelation 22:12, also see Psalm 62:12; Isaiah 40:10 and 62:11). The coming of the Rapture will bring reward to believers (see Cc – The Judgment Seat of Christ) for their ministry done while in the Body of Christ, and the purpose of the Second Coming will be to give judgment to unbelievers. Date setting is not warranted. Family Radio, based out of Oakland, California, foolishly set the date of May 21, 2011, as the end of the world! The Jehovah’s Witnesses have also set dates of 1914, 1918, 1925, 1975, and 1989 as the end of the world with similar success. Rather, believers should live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:12b-13).

    Once again Christ is described as the Alpha and the Omega (the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet), the First (existing before anything) and the Last (who will live forever), the Beginning and the End (22:13). Messiah is before all Creation and He will continue to exist after the present creation is destroyed. He is the Eternal One (1:4, 8, 17, 2:8 and 21:6; Isaiah 44:6).523

    Blessed are those believers who wash their robes in the blood of Christ because they will receive reward for their deeds. This is, of course, an earlier reference to the Tribulation martyrs who washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (7:14). They will have access to the New Jerusalem and its tree of life and permission to go through the gates into the City (22:14). This is the last of seven blessings in the book of Revelation (1:3, 14:13, 16:15, 19:9, 20:6, 22:7, 22:14).

    It is only those who keep His commands who will have the right to the tree of life, not because they have obeyed the commands, but because their saving faith in Messiah has both compelled and enabled them to keep them. Their faith cannot be seen outwardly, but their love of Christ’s commands is obvious, and will demonstrate to all the genuineness of their inward faith.524 These have taken the narrow gate that Yeshua said leads to life and only a few find it, but most will enter through the wide and broad gate that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

    In contrast to these believers, judgment is pronounced on the rebels who have rejected the grace of our Lord. Their names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life (21:27) and they will be confined for eternity in the lake of fire (20:15). Outside of the holy City are the dogs. The book of Deuteronomy illustrates the figurative use of the word dog in the Bible to mean a homosexual male prostitute. Deuteronomy reads: No daughter of Isra'el is to be a female prostitute (k’deshah), nor is a son of Isra'el to be a male prostitute (kadesh). You are to bring neither the wages of a female prostitute (zonah) nor the wages of a dog, or a male prostitute (kelev), into the house of ADONAI your God in payment of a vow; both of them are an abomination (Deuteronomy 23:17-18). For the B'rit Chadashah's attitude toward homosexuality see the commentary on Romans Ak - God's Wrath Against Sinful Humanity).

    In addition to the homosexuals, outside are those who practice magic arts (9:21, 18:23, 21:8 and 27), the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and the vile. And lest anyone feel self-righteous because they are free from such gross sins, the Lord adds liars, or those who practice falsehood, to the list as well (22:15). Although some believers have been guilty of these very same practices, they have had their robes washed in the blood of the Lamb and are acceptable to Him. But those who refuse to come to Messiah will receive their just reward for their sins. Though the world is very wicked, the Lord is faithful. Jesus will bring every single sin into judgment.


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