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40 - The Believers Response to Christ Return

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[i]

The Believer’s Immediate Response to Christ’s Imminent Return
(Revelation 22:6–12)

 

22:6 Then14 the angel15 said to me, “These words are reliable16 and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants17 what must happen soon.”

22:7 (Look! I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy expressed in this book.)1822:8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things,19 and when I heard and saw them,20 I threw myself down21 to worship at the feet of the angel who was showing them to me. 22:9 But22 he said to me, “Do not do this!23 I am a fellow servant24 with you and with your brothers the prophets, and with those who obey25 the words of this book. Worship God!” 22:10 Then26 he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy contained in this book, because the time is near. 22:11 The evildoer must continue to do evil,27 and the one who is morally filthy28 must continue to be filthy. The29 one who is righteous must continue to act righteously, and the one who is holy must continue to be holy.”22:12 (Look! I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to pay30 each one according to what he has done![1] (22:6–12)

Intro. Verses 6–21 of this chapter form the epilogue to the book of Revelation.

·         Having taken the reader through the amazing sweep of future history all the way into the eternal state, all that is left for John to record is this divine postscript.

·         By this point in the Apocalypse, all the glorious and gracious purposes that God ordained before the foundation of the world will have been attained.

·         The devastating judgments of the Tribulation will have been carried out, and their memory will remain only in the torment of the damned.

·         The Lord Jesus Christ will have returned in blazing glory, executed His enemies, and reigned on earth for a thousand years.

·         All rebels, both angels and humans, will have been sentenced to their final, eternal punishment in the lake of fire.

·         The present universe will have been “uncreated,” and the eternal new heaven and the new earth created, in which the King of Kings will be reigning with His Father.

·         The holy angels and the redeemed of all the ages will be dwelling in eternal bliss with Him in the new creation, particularly in heaven’s capital city, the New Jerusalem.

·         From His throne in the center of that majestic city, the brilliant, blazing glory of God will radiate throughout the re-created universe.

·         Absolute and unchanging holiness will characterize all who dwell in the universal and eternal kingdom of God.

·         They will constantly praise, worship, and serve Him throughout eternity in an environment of perfect peace, joy, and fulfillment.

1.          Bracketing the book of Revelation along with the epilogue is the prologue, recorded in 1:1–3:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

a.          The prologue introduces the theme of Revelation, the second coming of Jesus Christ.

b.          The epilogue provides a fitting conclusion to the Apocalypse by pointing out what is to be the believer’s response to the Second Coming (vv. 6–12).

c.          This postscript also, one final time in Scripture, invites nonbelievers to come to saving faith in Christ before it is forever too late (vv. 13–21).

2.          In a series of rapid-fire, staccato statements that move breathlessly from theme to theme, verses 6–12 delineate the responses every believer should have to the imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

a.          These verses convey a furious rush of energy, a wild flurry of excited effort to call forth immediate reaction to the vital truth they communicate.

b.          The text is pregnant with urgency, pressuring every reader to take action based on the truths it presents.

c.          Nothing more clearly communicates that sense of urgency than the repetition of the phrase “Behold, I am coming quickly” (vv. 7, 12; cf. v. 20).

i.         That declaration is the refrain of this passage. The phrase appears three other places in Revelation;

ii.        in 3:11 it is a promise of blessing, as it is in its three uses in chapter 22.

iii.      In 2:5 and 2:16, on the other hand, the phrase warns of Jesus’ coming in judgment.

iv.      In 3:3 and 16:15, Jesus likens His coming to the unexpected coming of a thief. (Unlike a thief, of course, Jesus will come not to steal, but to take back what is rightfully His.)

v.        Since Jesus could rapture His church at any moment, triggering all the end-time events culminating in His return, believers (and unbelievers) need to be ready.

d.          A natural reading of the New Testament yields the truth that to the early church Jesus’ coming was imminent; that is, that it could happen at any time.

i.         They believed that He could come back for them in their lifetime.

ii.        For the early church, imminence contained elements both of certainty and uncertainty.

iii.      They were certain that Jesus would one day return, but (unlike numerous modern date setters) were uncertain when. Not knowing when He might return, they wisely lived prepared for and hoping for Jesus to return at any moment.

iv.      There are a number of New Testament texts that reflect the early church’s belief in imminence.

v.        Paul commended the Corinthians because they were “waiting for the cominga of our Lord Jesus Christ: [2] ” (1 Cor. 1:7).

vi.      He further exhorted them, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God[3] ” (1 Cor. 4:5).

vii.     The apostle included the untranslated Aramaic word maranatha (“O Lord, come”) in a letter to the Greek-speaking Corinthians (1 Cor. 16:22).

viii.   That word had evidently become a familiar byword, expressing believers’ longing for Christ’s imminent return.

ix.      To the Philippians Paul wrote, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20).

x.        He commended the Thessalonians because they “turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven” (1 Thess. 1:9–10).

xi.      Later in that same epistle, Paul expressed his own hope that he might be alive at the Lord’s return: “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep” (1 Thess. 4:15).

xii.     The apostle rebuked those believers at Thessalonica who were so preoccupied with the Second Coming that they were not working: For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. (2 Thess. 3:10–12)

xiii.   Though they drew improper conclusions from it, they nonetheless believed in Christ’s imminent return. Paul reminded Titus that Christians are to be “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13).

xiv.   James encouraged his readers to “be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord” (James 5:7).

xv.     In his first epistle the apostle John exhorted his readers, “Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.… Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 2:28; 3:2).

xvi.   These passages demonstrate the early believers’ anticipation of their Savior’s coming again.

e.          The threefold repetition of the phrase “I am coming quickly” in this passage (vv. 7, 12, 20) reinforces the reality of the imminent return.

i.         The adverb tachu (“quickly”) does not refer to the speed at which Christ will travel from heaven to earth when He returns; instead, it has the connotation of “soon,” or “before long.”

ii.        The point is that “the Judge is standing right at the door” (James 5:9), poised to return at any moment.

f.           As the epilogue opens, John records that he (the angel who had shown him the New Jerusalem; 21:9; 22:1) said to me, “These words are faithful and true.”

i.         The angel’s words provide heavenly attestation to the validity of all that John had heard and seen throughout the Apocalypse.

ii.        The angel repeats the same affirmation given earlier to John by God Himself: “He who sits on the throne said … ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true’ ” (21:5).

iii.      The phrase faithful and true also appears twice in Revelation as a title for the Lord Jesus Christ (3:14; 19:11). The words of the Apocalypse are as faithful and true as the One who revealed them to John.

g.          The angel’s words reinforce an important truth: Everything John has seen in Revelation will come to pass.

i.         What the inspired apostle has written is not mystical; the Apocalypse is not a record of his bizarre dreams or the result of an overactive imagination. It is not an allegory from which readers can extract hidden meanings of their own concoction. It is an accurate description of events and persons yet to come.

h.          Verses 18 and 19 of this chapter give a sobering warning against tampering with Revelation: “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.”

i.         John affirmed the angel’s emphatic testimony to the truthfulness of what he had seen and heard, writing that the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.

ii.        The God who moved the spirits of His spokesmen the prophets to inspire both the Old and New Testaments is the same God who sent His angel to show to His bond-servants (believers; cf. v. 3; 1:1; 2:20; 7:3; 11:18; 15:3; 19:2, 5; Luke 2:29; Acts 4:29; 16:17; Rom. 1:1; Gal. 1:10; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:7; 4:7; James 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:1; Jude 1) the things which must soon take place (cf. Luke 1:70; 2 Pet. 3:2).

iii.      That is nothing short of a claim by John for the full and complete inspiration of Revelation. The prophecies recorded by those earlier biblical prophets were literally fulfilled, and those in Revelation will be also (see the discussion in chapter 16 of this volume).

i.            The exactness, detail, and precision with which earlier prophecies already fulfilled came to pass forms the pattern for those yet to be fulfilled.

i.         God’s prophetic record is perfect. He predicted Israel would go into captivity, and the nation did (Lev. 26:33–39).

ii.        He predicted the destruction of Babylon (Isa. 13:1–14:27; Jer. 50–51) and Tyre (Isa. 23:1ff.), and those cities were destroyed.

iii.      He predicted that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2), to a virgin (Isa. 7:14), and be killed by sinners (Isa. 53:7–10) and He was.

iv.      Thus, when God predicts future events, such as the rapture of the church, the rise of Antichrist, the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments, the Battle of Armageddon, the return of Jesus Christ, and His thousand-year earthly kingdom, those events will just as certainly come to pass. God will do exactly what He says He will do, as He Himself declares in Isaiah 46:9–11: Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, “My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure”; …Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.

v.        The reality of our Lord’s imminent return calls for four responses on the part of every believer: immediate obedience, immediate worship, immediate proclamation, and immediate service.

Immediate Obedience

“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.” (22:7)

Kai (and) marks a change in speakers (cf. vv. 8, 9). The speaker is no longer the angel who spoke in verse 6, but the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who is coming quickly. He pronounces the sixth of seven beatitudes in Revelation (cf. v. 14; 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6): “Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.” Three other times the words of … this book (Revelation) are called prophecy (vv. 10, 18, 19). Though prophecy by definition can refer to any message about the past, present, or future, the Apocalypse is a book largely consisting of future predictions and promises. Heeds translates a participial form of the verb tēreō, which means “to keep,” “to hold fast,” or “to guard.” The same term is used in 14:12 to describe “the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.”

Believers are called to guard or protect the book of Revelation. It must be defended against detractors who deny its relevance, against critics who deny its veracity and authority, as well as against confused interpreters who obscure its meaning. In fact, all of Scripture is to be so guarded. Paul commanded Timothy, “Guard what has been entrusted to you.… Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you” (1 Tim. 6:20; 2 Tim. 1:13–14).

But believers are called not only to guard Scripture, but also to obey it. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.… If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 14:15; 15:10; cf. John 14:21, 23). The need to obey the commands of Scripture was a foundational theme in John’s first epistle: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3–4); “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2–3). Those who live as if Jesus could come at any moment will live in obedience to Scripture.

The question arises as to what words in Revelation believers are called to heed. Before this command, there are no specific commands addressed to Christians in the portion of the Apocalypse covering future events (chaps. 4–22), though there are some addressed to the seven churches (chaps. 2–3). What does it mean, then, to heed the book of Revelation? It is a general command to long for Christ’s return and our eternal fellowship with Him. It calls on believers to desire heaven, to desire holiness, to desire to see Christ vindicated and triumphant over His enemies, to desire the end of the curse, and to desire the glories of Christ’s earthly kingdom and the new heaven and the new earth. After reading Revelation, Christians should love Christ more, long to see Him vindicated in His glory, live in light of the reality that they will one day see Him, disconnect themselves from the perishing world system, pursue heavenly realities, seek to be made like Christ, hope for their resurrection bodies, and anticipate their eternal rewards. They should also understand the fearful judgment that awaits non-Christians, and call those sinners to repentance and saving faith in the Lord Jesus.

God does not command believers to read Revelation merely to satisfy their curiosity about the future. He did not inspire it to provide material for detailed chronological charts of end-time events. There is a seemingly endless stream of books on prophecy being churned out, with speculative prophetic schemes proliferating ad infinitum, ad nauseam. But it was not God’s purpose to give Christians a detailed analysis of the prophetic significance (if any) of contemporary cultural, political, military, and social events or trends. God inspired Revelation for one purpose: to reveal the glory of His Son and call believers to live godly, obedient lives in light of His soon return. The purpose of Revelation is not to provide entertainment, but to provide motivation for godly living.

The apostle Peter also taught that believers’ knowledge of end-time events should cause them to live holy lives. In a passage describing the future Day of the Lord, the destruction of the present universe, and the coming of the new heaven and the new earth, Peter wrote, “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God.… Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless” (2 Pet. 3:11–12, 14). The glorious future realities described in Revelation compel a commitment on the part of believers to lead holy lives. Christ’s imminent return demands immediate obedience.

Immediate Worship

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.” (22:8–9)

Though not expressed in the New American Standard Bible Updated Edition, a form of kai (kagō; from kai, “and,” and egō, “I”) begins verse 8. As it did in verse 7, it marks a change of speakers; the speaker is no longer Christ, but John, who names himself for the first time since 1:9. The inspired apostle adds his testimony of the truthfulness of Revelation to that of the angel (v. 6), declaring I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. Then, overcome by what he heard and saw, John fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed him these things. He had the proper response, worship, but being overwhelmed with amazement, John inadvertently directed it to the wrong object. The apostle knew that angels were not to be worshiped; in fact, he had earlier been rebuked for attempting to do so (19:10). But like Ezekiel (Ezek. 1:28), Daniel (Dan. 8:17; 10:9), and Peter, James, and he himself at the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:6), John simply collapsed in wonder and worship.

Because God alone is to be worshiped (Ex. 34:14; Matt. 4:10), the angel said to John, “Do not do that.” He hastily reminded the apostle that he, too, was a created being, declaring I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Far from being a legitimate object of worship for John, the angel was actually his created fellow servant, and not only his, but also of John’s brethren the prophets, and of all believers, defined here as those who heed the words of this book. Throughout Scripture, angels are seen serving God’s people. They were involved in giving the Law to Israel (Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19; Heb. 2:2) and are frequently seen protecting believers (cf. Ex. 23:20; 2 Chron. 32:21; Ps. 91:11; Dan. 3:28; 6:22; Acts 5:19; 12:7–11). Summing up the ministry of angels to believers, the author of Hebrews asks rhetorically, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:14).

Calling the bewildered apostle back to the one and only object of worship, the angel commanded John to worship God. A proper understanding of Revelation should elicit worship; thus, worship is a major theme in the Apocalypse (cf. 4:8–11; 5:8–14; 7:9–12; 15:2–4; 19:1–6). As noted above, God alone is the only acceptable Person to worship. The Bible forbids the worship of anyone else, including angels, saints, the Virgin Mary, or any other created being (cf. Col. 2:18).

Immediate Proclamation

And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” (22:10–11)

Continuing his message to John, the angel commanded him, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book.” The message of the Apocalypse is not to be hidden (cf. 10:11); it is a message to be spread and proclaimed to produce obedience and worship. Thus, unlike Daniel (Dan. 8:26; 12:4–10), John was instructed not to seal up the words of Revelation. Immediate proclamation of this book is called for because the coming of Christ has been imminent for every generation from John’s day until the present.

That the specific words of Revelation are not to be sealed up stresses again that there is no hidden, secret meaning apart from the normal sense of the text. If the truth is not clear in those words then this command is nonsense. If the plain, normal understanding of the words of Revelation does not convey the meaning God intended its readers to grasp, then those words are sealed.

At the beginning of Revelation, John was commanded, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches” (1:11). The message of the Apocalypse, that Jesus will return bringing blessing for His own and horrifying judgment on the ungodly, is too critical not to spread. Thus, to fail to preach Revelation is not only foolish (cf. 1:3), but sinful. Any Christian who fails to learn its truths is forfeiting blessing; any preacher who fails to proclaim its truths is sinfully unfaithful to his mandate. Not to preach the book of Revelation is to fail to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ with the glory that is due Him. More than just a failure to teach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27), it is outright disobedience to the command not to seal up the words of the Apocalypse. It robs believers of the end of the divine story of history in all its wonder and fullness. No one should preach who doesn’t rightly divide and proclaim this book.

The angel’s next statement seems strangely out of place in this context: “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” Some may think its connection with the command that preceded it is not immediately apparent. But the truth it dramatically conveys is that people’s response to the proclamation of the truth will fix their eternal destinies. Those who hear the truth but continue to do wrong and be filthy will by that hardened response fix their eternal destiny in hell. On the other hand, the one who continues to practice righteousness and keep himself holy gives evidence of genuine saving faith. The adverb eti (still) may have the sense of “yet more.” In that case, the meaning is that those who do wrong and are filthy in this life will be even more so in eternal hell, where there will be absolutely no good influences to mitigate their evil. In contrast, those who are righteous and holy in this life will be perfectly holy in their glorified bodies in heaven.

It is sobering to realize that people’s response to God’s gospel truth in this life will determine their eternal destiny. When they die, or when the Lord returns, their character will be forever fixed. Those who respond to the warnings in Revelation will live forever in heaven. But those who fail to heed those warnings and repent will remain forever in their sinful state. It is also true that God’s Spirit will not always call sinners to repentance, and Scripture warns sinners not to harden their hearts to the point where God judicially abandons them (Ps. 95:7–8; Heb. 3:15; 4:7). Yet, tragically, those warnings often go unheeded, and the opportunity to repent and believe the gospel is wasted (cf. Matt. 25:1–13; Luke 13:24–25). Speaking of the wayward sinners of the northern kingdom (Israel), God declared, “Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone” (Hos. 4:17). Jesus said of the equally hardened Pharisees, “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind” (Matt. 15:14; cf. Matt. 23:16, 24; Luke 6:39). Both of those passages express God’s wrath of abandonment (Rom. 1:18–32), when He turns hardened, unrepentant sinners over to the consequences of their own choices.

Preaching Revelation draws the line. Its truths will melt the hearts of the repentant and harden the hearts of the unrepentant. Those same truths thus become either an instrument of salvation, or an instrument of damnation (cf. 1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Cor. 2:15–16). They must be proclaimed so men and women can hear them while there is still time.

Immediate Service

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. (22:12)

The speaker is no longer the angel, but the Lord Jesus Christ, who repeats His declaration of verse 7, “Behold, I am coming quickly.” As noted in the introduction to this chapter, Jesus’ statement means that His coming is imminent. It teaches the same truth that He expressed in Mark 13:33–37:

Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. What I say to you I say to all, “Be on the alert!”

When He comes, Jesus will bring His reward … with Him, to render to every man according to what he has done. Believers’ eternal rewards will be based on their faithfulness in serving Christ in this life. Their works will be tested, and only those with eternal value will survive (1 Cor. 3:9–15; 2 Cor. 5:9–10). The rewards believers enjoy in heaven will be capacities for serving God; the greater their faithfulness in this life, the greater will be their opportunity to serve in heaven (cf. Matt. 25:14–30). Knowing that, John exhorted believers, “Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward” (2 John 8).

The knowledge that Jesus could return at any moment should not lead Christians to a life of idle waiting for His coming (cf. 2 Thess. 3:10–12). Rather, it should produce diligent, obedient, worshipful service to God, and urgent proclamation of the gospel to unbelievers.

[4]


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30 30 tn The Greek term may be translated either “pay” or “pay back” and has something of a double meaning here. However, because of the mention of “wages” (“reward,” another wordplay with two meanings) in the previous clause, the translation “pay” for ἀποδοῦναι (apodounai) was used here.

[1]Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Re 22:6-12). Biblical Studies Press.

vv. verses

cf. confer (Lat.), compare

v. verse

a coming: Gr. revelation

[2]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (1 Co 1:7). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (1 Co 4:5). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[4]MacArthur, J. (2000). Revelation 12-22 (289). Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press.


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[i]MacArthur, J. (2000). Revelation 12-22 (283). Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press.

14 14 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.

15 15 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the angel mentioned in 21:9, 15; 22:1) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

16 16 tn Grk “faithful.”

17 17 tn See the note on the word “servants” in 1:1.

18 18 sn These lines are parenthetical, forming an aside to the narrative. The speaker here is the Lord Jesus Christ himself rather than the narrator.

19 19 tn Or “I am John, the one who heard and saw these things.”

20 20 tn The pronoun “them” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

21 21 tn Grk “I fell down and worshiped at the feet.” BDAG 815 s.v. πίπτω 1.b.α.ב. has “fall down, throw oneself to the ground as a sign of devotion or humility, before high-ranking persons or divine beings.”

22 22 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present here.

23 23 tn On the elliptical expression ὅρα μή (hora mē) BDAG 720 s.v. ὁράω B.2 states: “Elliptically…ὅρα μή (sc. ποιήσῃς) watch out! don’t do that! Rv 19:10; 22:9.”

24 24 tn Grk “fellow slave.” Though σύνδουλος (sundoulos) is here translated “fellow servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. See the note on the word “servants” in 1:1.

25 25 tn Grk “keep” (an idiom for obedience).

26 26 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the vision.

27 27 tn Grk “must do evil still.”

28 28 tn For this translation see L&N 88.258; the term refers to living in moral filth.

29 29 tn Grk “filthy, and the.” This is a continuation of the previous sentence in Greek, but because of the length and complexity of the construction a new sentence was started in the translation.

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