Good evening and welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Revelation. Tonight is study #1 of Revelation, chapter 22. I will be reading Revelation 22:1-2:
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, 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.
Well, we are in the last Book of the Bible, Revelation chapter 22. We started our study in the Book of Revelation a long time ago and we have done hundreds of Bible studies in this Book, working carefully through the entire revelation that was given to the Apostle John.
Now we have come to chapter 22. This Book (and its closing) is different than any other Book of the Bible in its conclusion because it is not just the concluding chapter of the Book of Revelation, but it is the concluding chapter of the entire Bible because of its placement. It is the last Book that God revealed to mankind. When God moved the Apostle John to record the things we find in this chapter and we get to Revelation 22:21, it says, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” This was the last divine communication from God to man. After that last word was given and God completed the Bible, it was done. It was the completion of the communication of God to His elect people within the world. Never again would God break the barrier of the supernatural to communicate with any person because the Bible was completed. The Bible was God’s revelation to the world and if anyone wanted to hear from God from that point on, they could only do so through the Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation.
So we are now going to go, verse by verse, through this last chapter of the Bible. It is interesting and we really did not plan to have the study of Revelation 22 coincide so closely with October 7, 2015. It just worked out that way. If we have some additional time after we go through this chapter, we will look at some other things to fill our Bible studies until October 7.
But, here we are and we are approaching the likely end of the world and God has permitted us to go through this last Book of the Bible to the last chapter. We are almost step in step with the last days of life in this world, if we are correct in our understanding about October 7, so it seems very appropriate that we are entering into a study of Revelation, chapter 22.
As God spoke to the Apostle John and John wrote what He said, it says in Revelation 22:1:
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Of course, the reference to a “pure river of water” and “clear as crystal” means that this water is unpolluted and uncontaminated by sin or error of any kind. It is perfect. There is no spot or blemish. There is no contamination or corruption by man. It is pure. Remember that this chapter follows chapter 21 in which the first heaven and first earth had passed away and there was a new heaven and new earth. It is continuing the discussion of the glorious point at which the promises of God for a new heaven and new earth have been fulfilled and He has brought His people into that eternal Promised Land where they will dwell for evermore. In that “land,” God says there flows a “pure river of water of life.”
When we read about a “pure river of water of life,” we are reminded of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. It says in John 4:5-10:
Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
Let us stop here for a second because that is what we are reading about in Revelation 22, verse 1. It is a “pure river of water of life.” It is “living water.” Jesus told the Samaritan woman that He could give her “living water.” She is curious about that and it goes on to say in John 4:11-14:
The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh 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.
Of course, Christ is talking of spiritual water, but the woman is thinking of physical water, the water in the well and the water that is common in the world. She wonders, “How can you give me living water? You do not have a bucket and the well is deep.” Then Jesus goes on to speak of the “spiritual water” and that water comes with salvation. It is the Gospel. The Word of God brings salvation to a sinner and, therefore, it is the “water of life” to a thirsty soul, even if that soul does not know it is thirsty. God says in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness.” In salvation, Christ brings His righteousness which quenches the spiritual thirst of those God was drawing in the day of salvation. When God saved sinners He would satisfy their thirst eternally and it would spring up as a well of water that brought the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. All of this is related to “water of life.”
It says in John 7:37:
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
Christ speaks of this water at a time that was said to be on “the last day, that great day of the feast,” so some people come to these verses and they say, “You see, Jesus is saying that anyone that thirsts can still come to Him and, therefore, it is a call to come to Him for salvation.” But they do not know what they are talking about. It seems they have not read Revelation 21 or Revelation 22 and other Scriptures where God indicates when He is going to complete the giving of eternal life to His elect. When will it be fulfilled? Ultimately, it is fulfilled on “the last day, that great day of the feast.” The spiritual fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles is the last day of earth’s existence and the day of the resurrection. Christ said, again, and again, in John 6, “And I will raise him up at the last day.” Martha said to Jesus, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” The “last day” is when Christ equips all of His people with new resurrected bodies and He creates the new heaven and new earth and places them in that glorious new creation, the Promised Land, to live for evermore. There is the pure river of the water of life! This is what Jesus had in mind when He said to the Samaritan woman, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” It is at the very end of this world and the beginning of that future eternal world that this “water” flows forever and ever. It is the final completion of God’s salvation program and this is what John had in view in John, chapter 4 or in John 7:37-38:
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
The “living water” identifies with eternal life. The water that quenches thirst and truly satisfies is not the vain water that we physically drink of now. We drink and thirst again. It is temporal and it cannot quench the thirst of man because we constantly have to go back for more. It is much like the high priest of Israel had to continually offer sacrifices, but Christ, once for all, offered up the payment of Himself from the foundation of the world and He never had to offer payment for sin again. And the “water of life” satisfies in that kind of way – eternally. That is the water we see in view on the “last day” because Revelation 21 and Revelation 22 are talking about the “last day” when this present heaven and earth have passed away and the new heaven and new earth begin.
Let us go to Revelation 21. We recently looked at this, but let us read Revelation 21:1:
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Then it said in Revelation 21:4-6:
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Why does God say this at this point, after speaking of the old heaven and earth being passed away, as well as all former things? Then He says, “It is done.” He says He is “the beginning and the end,” indicating that the end has come, and then He says, “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” It is because it is the “last day, that great day of the feast,” and it is time to come and drink of that “water of life” for all eternity. The “water of life” is eternal life and the “last day” is the time when God opens up the veil and pulls back the curtain that has separated the spiritual kingdom of heaven from this world. He destroys this present earth and its unsaved inhabitants and He shows His people the reality of what He has done: “Here is what I have promised. Here is the confirmation.” This will reveal and show forth that God is faithful and true to every Word He has spoken in the Bible and here is the “water of life.” Drink of it for evermore. It will flow for evermore and it will never cease to flow. The river of eternal life will continue forever and God’s people will live forever and ever.
We also find the term “water of life” in Revelation, chapter 7, in a very significant place after God shows us the great multitude that no man can number and the question was asked, “And whence came they?” Then it says in Revelation 7:14-15:
And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
These two verses apply to our present situation because it makes reference to “day and night,” which is a time reference. And we have come out of Great Tribulation and we are still alive and remaining on the earth waiting for that “last day.”
Then it says in Revelation 7:16:
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
Verse 16 also applies to our present time. Hunger and thirst identifies with hungering and thirsting after righteousness, but God’s elect do not hunger and thirst after righteousness because they have all been saved and, therefore, they have all obtained the righteousness of Christ.
Then it says in Revelation 7:17:
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Now it is all “future tense.” Here, we have come out of Great Tribulation and we are serving God “day and night” throughout this time period of the Day of Judgment, but then comes the “last day” and on that “last day” God destroys this earth and creates the new heaven and new earth and leads us to the “living fountains of waters,” the “pure waters of life.” They flow forth from where? It says they are “proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Should we be concerned that the source of the “river of life” would dry up at some point? No, because the Lord Jesus Christ is the source of the flowing “river of life,” so there will never be a concern and there will never be a possibility that this water would dry up and stop its flow or there that may not be eternal life. What if it were only an extended life, but it would end at some distant point? No, that is not possible. That is a thought that can only come from our sin-weary minds in this present world because this world disappoints and this world is corrupt and tainted with sin. In this world, such a thing would be worrisome to us, but not in that new heaven and new earth. There is no death. There are no tears, no sorrow and no pain. There is no sin and, therefore, there is eternal life and God guarantees it. Eternal life springs forth from God and the Lord Jesus Christ who purchased it for His people. He paid the price and penalty that was required to deliver His people from death and now they have “life.” God would not say we had eternal life unless we would live forever.