1 And he shewed me [John] a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Here we have two places that truth is flowing out of. One is the throne, the ruling position, and the other is of the Lamb. The Lamb represents our SAVIOR. He is the way, truth, and life, he is the anointing. We are instructed to eat of him; to partake of the way, truth, and life. The Lamb represents infancy and innocence. He is the Pattern-Son, who allowed himself to be crucified as the last Lamb sacrificed for the sins of all those under the first covenant. He was the physical pattern for all to follow into the new and better way. In the new covenant, all must pick up their cross (fig., exposure to death, i.e. self-denial) and follow the pattern Son to enter into life (Matt. 16:24). John saw the old man of sin crucified and the believers joined to Christ, becoming one with him.
John 7:38, “He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
Matt. 7:7-8, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
John 4:13-14, Christ, speaking to the woman at the well, said, “Whosoever drinks of this [natural] water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
2 In the midst of the street [wide place, ] of it [the pure river of life], and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Here, we see an allegorical narrative where the flowing out of information has nourished a tree called life. The tree symbolizes strength in righteousness as it bears 12 fruits every month.
Jer. 17:7-8, “Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat comes, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
John 15:5, Christ said, “I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.”
The branches of the tree (the body of Christ) produce leaves that are for the healing of the nations (see Eze. 47:12). The fruit in which the body of Christ produces is listed in Gal. 5:22-23. Fruit is that principle in which we are to become one with; not just imitators. The leaves represent gifts of the Spirit, which are given without repentance: good deeds, including the good deeds that didn’t seem productive, love or compassion that we show, the patience and endurance we have for the sake of others.
Through John’s vision, the churches were instructed to pick up their cross and follow the SAVIOR, to grow up spiritually and bring forth fruit of righteousness so others would be able to partake of the seed that is in the fruit which they are to produce. Through spiritual gifts, they and we are all introduced to the kingdom of righteousness. They were reminded of the importance of feeding and nurturing those still in the spiritual womb, those who have not been born from above (born again). They were in a time of spiritual tribulation, just as every generation faces.
Spiritual tribulation is brought on by Christians themselves; they preach the truth of the Word under the Anointing of the Holy Spirit and the Anointing brings judgment in their hearts. The non-Christian listens and turns and compares the message with the Christian’s lifestyle in comparison to their Anointed message; therefore, creating spiritual tribulation.
In Revelation 3:16, they were told that if they are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, the Holy Spirit would spue them out of his mouth. They could not be used in the ministry of the kingdom message. They had to love the principles of righteousness more than the works of the flesh. To function as leaders, patterns, and examples of righteousness. They had to accept the concept of a metamorphosis of the mind, a deliverance from their corrupt appetite, self-centeredness, haughtiness, etc., just as Christians must do today to be effective examples.
Rom. 12:2, “[B]e not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
2 Cor. 11:15, “Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
Leaves also represent that which people adorn themselves with: natural gifts, prestige, natural birthrights, etc. These are acceptable, but these are not what produces righteousness and life. To bare leaves that are for the healing of the nation, to bring forth life, ministers of the kingdom of heaven must be adorned with righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, they must produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
3 And there shall be no more *curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
*cursed: found only in Rev 22:3: an accursed thing, that which is given over or delivered (to God).
4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Here, John is assured that the believers will see the Father face to face according to the Father’s plan.
5 And there shall be no night there [in that realm]; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
In the kingdom of heaven, those who are joined to the Father are not dependent upon the light of others to see truth, for “they” have “become” the light of Life through the process of eating the Light and becoming one with Him.
6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
Those in the churches were considered servants of the Lord. These churches were going to have a spiritual change: in the way they saw Christianity, in the way they saw their responsibility in the ministry, in the way cause and effect works in both the negative and the positive. That change would have a ripple effect upon the development of the whole world.
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed [fortunate, happy] is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
This book, this revealing, is concerning the coming of the SAVIOR, the way, truth, and life, in a greater way than John had visualized. This coming was given in allegorical form just as all other visions of spiritual matters. John understood the meaning of each symbol, for he had seen the usage of allegories in the Sacred Writing and, no doubt, used them himself. He understood spiritual warfare and its side-effects. About thirty years before this time (Mark 9:1), Christ said, “Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” I believe the key word is “power”. It is one thing for the kingdom to be available and another to be active and transformed in that kingdom, for the kingdom of heaven is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).
9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant [co-slave], and of thy brethren [lit. or fig.] the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
It is obvious the natural world wasn’t coming to an end; the churches were told to keep the sayings of the book and to worship Yahweh.
10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy [prediction] of this book: for the time is at hand.
When this same event was given to Daniel, the angel told him to close up the book for it would be a long time before it came to be. But this time, the angel said the time was now at hand, therefore, the vision was getting ready to be fulfilled in the near future of that generation. Therefore, the spiritual understanding of this vision was heard, and there were those who joined in marriage to Christ and produced fruit of his Holy Spirit. The “gifts” of the Holy Spirit are given without repentance (Rom. 11:29). But, to be made one with the Holy Spirit demands repentance and spiritual maturity.
11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
The Spirit and Power of the Anointed Word, the Way, Truth, and Life had been, was and would be with them throughout their life. Their responsibility was to fulfill all righteousness and not fret over others. They were called to be patterns, examples, and lights of truth and love for those in the darkness of ignorance. Instead of just telling a person they are wrong, be an example of how to be right.
Gal. 6:7-9, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Rom. 8:18-19, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.”
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right [the force, the capacity] to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs [see Isa. 56:10-11], and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
1 John 2:27-28, “But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear [speaking of the promised event at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem when He came in His many-membered body that were raised from the dead.], we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
Though the kingdom of heaven was established in the churches, it did not dissanual the fact that there were those who were not able to see or function in that kingdom.
16 I Jesus [the SAVIOR] have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
Christ, the ANOINTING, is the Light of the world, he is the root (the basic cause, source, or origin) of David. He is the life-source that moved David to long for the way, truth, and life. For within David, as in all people, is a light of Life that stirs within for more light. Christ, the SAVIOR was also the offspring (the child of) of David; therefore, the Light of the world came forth out of David.
The “things” that were “in” the churches that were expected of them are found in chapters 2 and 3.
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Here, we see the kingdom’s message was to be spread by churches. This does not mean that the kingdom of heaven was not at hand when the Holy Spirit fell upon those in the upper room. The kingdom was at hand when Christ walked the earth; he made it available when he poured his spirit out upon the whole world. This vision was given to the seven churches. They were not in Jerusalem or converted at the time the Holy Spirit fell. This vision is fulfilled in every person in their own time.
1 Cor. 15:22-24, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.”
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
The “book” was whatever it was that the vision was written on and its content. John was not expected to remember all that was said and then write it down; he was writing it as he saw it. The events were to “shortly” come to pass. Those who were spiritually mature enough to hear the spirit of that word and were obedient to it were blessed. It was time for the manifestation of righteousness (Rev. 1:3). The concept that their sins were covered was long past; it was time for spiritual maturity.
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
See John 14: 15-21, to see how the SAVIOR came to the disciples. It is in this same way that he comes to us all. It is the same way that he came to the seven churches. When he quickens the mind, there is automatically a transformation of the mind and spirit. The truth that makes us free is a powerful truth. These seven churches were going to be transformed by the word of truth that was being opened up to them by the ANOINTING. Those who had ears to hear the spirit of the Word were transformed into walking epistles, they became the Word made manifest in flesh.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
We must remember that the instructions into righteousness is to all churches throughout the ages. All Christians can learn from the spiritual journey of the seven churches of Asia. Though today’s Christain may not be in the same physical place, under the same conditions, or called into the same physical actions as the first church, they are still called to righteousness and spiritual maturity. The Holy Spirit does not change his nature, the fruit of the Holy Spirit is pure, and the weapons of warfare against the wiles of the carnal mind are always the fruit of the Holy Spirit.