“Surely I Am Coming Soon!”
6And he [the angel] said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”
7“And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
8I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, 9but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”
10And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”
12“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
17The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
18I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
20He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
With Jesus’ words “Surely I am coming soon” and John’s response of “Amen, Come, Lord Jesus” The Revelation closes. Immediately preceding that litany this passage tells us many things that are important and compelling.
First, the angel assures John that everything he has seen and heard is absolute truth. I know – the phrase “absolute truth” is not politically correct today. If you know me, you know I don’t care. What John has witnessed and heard will take place. All of God’s promises have been fulfilled up to this point and so will the promises made in Revelation.
Second, the sixth and seventh of the sevenfold blessing found in Revelation are articulated. We haven’t made much of those seven blessings in this study, but they are important. It is a worthy study, should you wish to look at them separately. They are found in Revelation 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14. For me, it is of special interest that the last blessing is for those who have washed their robes (in the blood of Jesus) thus receiving the right to partake in the Tree of Life. The first blessing, found in 1:3 states that anyone who even reads the words of Revelation will be blessed. You've completed that task - you are blessed!
Third, unlike what we find at the end of Daniel (Daniel 12:9 where Daniel is told to seal up the visions that he has received from God) John is told to spread the words of Revelation far and wide. These words are for the whole Church and we need to read them, study them, and allow them to inform and transform our lives and our faith. We also need to share them with the whole world. That is the reason we are here!
Fourth, Jesus claims for Himself three titles. The Alpha and the Omega / The Beginning and the End / The First and the Last. Two of these titles, “The Alpha and the Omega” and “The Beginning and the End” he shares with the Father. “The First and the Last” is a title that only Jesus claims because He is the One who lived a human life, died and is the firstborn from the dead.
“Thus these three titles in 22:13 represent a compilation of the Christology in Revelation—in fact of the entire Bible. Jesus Christ is the everlasting God together with the Father and with the Holy Spirit, who is mentioned here in the epilogue in 22:17. From and throughout eternity he has been with the Father; the magnitude of this eternity is far above and beyond all creation and forever—long before there was this present universe. And so the title “the Alpha and the Omega” is applied to the Lord Christ. Since he is “the Alpha and the Omega,” Christ is also, again together with the Father, the initial source and the end point, the goal, of all creation, in particular now of the new heaven and earth. And finally as “the Alpha and the Omega” and as “the Beginning and the End,” the Lord Christ is “the First and the Last” of God’s people, the church. He is this First and Last apart from God the Father because he alone died and rose again. This title “the First and the Last” is mentioned in between the other two because it is to be seen and understood in the forefront, for it is only through it that we can view the other two.”
Brighton, L. A. ©1999. Revelation (p. 651). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Pub. House.
Fifth, verse 17 points to the fact that all are invited to “Come.” This message is for the whole world. God wants His Kingdom to be full and it’s FREE!
Sixth, adding to are subtracting from God’s Word is a terribly bad idea. I was taught by my pastor 50 years ago that God’s Word is sufficient. Nothing needs to be added and certainly nothing can be taken away. It believed it then and I still believe it now.
Seventh, (the number of perfection!) Jesus promised that He coming back and I pray with John, please make it soon.