Rev. Rolf Preus, pastor of Trinity-Sidney & St. John-Fairview, Montana, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 22.
“On either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month.” As the final chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22 takes us back to the beginning. By the tree of the Cross, Eden’s tree of life is restored in the heavenly Jerusalem.
Yet the “river of the water of life” from Ezekiel’s vision also runs through the city streets. The 1400 mile–wide Jerusalem is not just a city, but one giant temple. More than that, the entire city is the Holy of Holies itself: in ☧ the High Priest, the whole twelvefold people of God are constantly in the immediate presence of God, an eternal Day of Atonement for all sins. Longing for this future, we cry “Come, Lord Jesus!” Yet we can go to this heaven every Sunday: every time we gather in ☧ for the Divine Service, heaven comes to us, as it did for John.
Thy Strong Word is a daily in-depth study of the books of the Bible with host Rev. AJ Espinosa and guest pastors from across the country. Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and produced by the LCMS Office of National Mission.
The River of Life
22 Then the angel[a] showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life[b] with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Jesus Is Coming
6 And he 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.”
8 I, 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, 9 but 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.”
10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let 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. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes,[c] so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside 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.”
17 The 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.
18 I 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, 19 and 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.
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.[d] Amen.
- Revelation 22:1 Greek he
- Revelation 22:2 Or the Lamb. In the midst of the street of the city, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life
- Revelation 22:14 Some manuscripts do his commandments
- Revelation 22:21 Some manuscripts all the saints