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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

New Heaven and Earth,
Where the Water of Life Flows


< Revelation 22:1-21 >

"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 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. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Then he said to me, 'These words are faithful and true.' And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. 'Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.' Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, 'See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.' And he said to me, 'Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still. And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.' And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming quickly.' Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."



Exegesis

Verse 1: And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

It says here John was shown "a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal." The word water is used in this world as synonymous to life. The verse here tells us that this water of life flows in the New Heaven and Earth where the saints will live forever. Flowing from the throne of the Lamb, the river of the water of life moistens the Kingdom of Heaven and renews all things. In the phrase, "the throne of the Lamb," "the Lamb" refers to Jesus Christ, who has saved the mankind with the gospel of the water and the Spirit while on this earth.

In the New Heaven and Earth that God has given to His saints, the water of life flows. Since this garden is as clear and clean as a beautiful watercolor painting, it can only be described as fantastic. The water of life that God has given us is not just an ordinary river, but it is the water that gives life to all living things there. As such, life thrives in everything that comes in contact with this river of life. The saints who are to live along the riverside of this water of life will drink this water, enjoy eternal life and live forever.

The river of the living water flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb. The saints cannot help but praise the grace of God and of the Lamb in the new Kingdom of Heaven, for God has bestowed on them His grace of life. I am thankful that all the grace of this new life flows from the throne of the Lord.


Verse 2: In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

The parade of the Lord's wonderful blessings on His saints in Heaven continues, for the Word tells us here that the Lord will give us the tree of life on either side of the river and allow us to eat from its fruits. The tree of life, which bears twelve kinds of the fruits, yields its new fruits each month, bringing the strength of new life. It is also said here that its leaves are for the healing of the nations.

Because the grace that the Lord has bestowed on His saints is so great and grateful, all that we can do is just praise Him and God the Father. Now, all that the saints should do is not trying to do something valuable for the Lord on their own, but rather only praising the Lord with their thankful hearts for giving them the New Heaven and Earth and new life. I praise the Lord for making the saints' hearts to only shout, "Thank you, Lord! Hallelujah!"


Verse 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.

To the saints living in the Kingdom of Heaven, God has given the blessing of eliminating curse forever. That the throne of God and the Lamb is among the saints shows us that the saints who live in the Kingdom of Heaven place the Lamb at the center of their hearts. Therefore, the saints' hearts are always overflowing with beauty and truth, and their lives are filled with joy.

From the phrase, "His servants shall serve Him," we see that the saints living in the Kingdom of Heaven are clothed in the glory of serving the Lord very close to Him. The Kingdom of Heaven, where our Lord lives, is the most beautiful and splendid Kingdom.

As such, His servants who serve Him right next to the Lord can enjoy all His glory closely. This tells us that in the Kingdom of Heaven also, there would be the servants of the Lord. The word servant is a word that symbolizes lowliness, but the servants who can serve our glorious Lord close to Him are the most blessed in the Kingdom of Heaven also, for they are clothed in such an unspeakably great splendor. Those who have become the Lord's servants in the Kingdom of Heaven and on this earth also are the ones who would be clothed in all Heaven's glory and who are the happiest of all.


Verse 4: They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.

To whom do all the saints and servants of the Lord belong? They belong to the Lord. They are the people of the Lord and the children of God. Those who serve the Lord in the Kingdom of Heaven, therefore, have the Lord's name written on their foreheads. The Lord protects and blesses them always, for they have become His. That the saints have become His means that they have become clothed in one of the happiest and most glorious splendors. Those who are ashamed of being His and the Lord's servants are those who are ignorant of His splendor, and they can never become the citizens of Heaven.

On the foreheads of the saints living in Heaven, the Lord's name is written. This is a blessing bestowed by the Lord. From now on, the saints have become His. As such, even Satan cannot harm the saints who have become the Lord's. The saints and the Lord are to live forever in all the splendor of Heaven. That the saints would see the Lord's glorious face everyday means that they would live in His love and wondrous blessings forever and ever.

There is one more thing that the saints need to know: Along with the Lord Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit would also be with them as their family. We must not forget that in the Kingdom of Heaven, God the Father, His Son Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the saints, and the angels and all things would live together as one family and in perfect peace. I praise the Lord for making us His.


Verse 5: There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

As the Bible tells us here, the saints will reign the New Heaven and Earth with the Lord. Those who have become His saints by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have received the salvation that would enable them to reign in Heaven with the Lord and live in His wealth, splendor and authority forever. We are amazed once again by this gospel, for what a gospel of wondrous power and blessing we have!

I praise our God of Trinity for all these blessings and glory. The saints who believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit while on this earth will reign the Kingdom of Heaven. How marvelous this blessing is! We cannot help but praise the Lord. It is only most right and proper that they should so praise God.

In the New Heaven and Earth where the saints are living, there is no need of lamps, electric bulbs, or the sun. Why? Because God Himself has become the light of the New Heaven and Earth, and there shall be no night there. God has allowed the saints to reign in there forever as His children. This blessing reminds us once again just how great the grace that the saints have received from the Lord is.

We the saints must realize how great the blessings of Heaven bestowed on us after our salvation are. The grace that our Lord has bestowed on His saints is higher and greater than the sky. The saints must not let this wondrous blessing that the Lord has given them pass them by. The saints can only give eternal thanks and praise to the Lord for His greatness, glory, and the blessing that He has bestowed on them, and live in wealth and splendor forever. Amen! Hallelujah! I praise our God!


Verse 6: Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.

"These words are faithful and true." The Lord will surely fulfill all His promises that He has revealed to the saints through Revelation. This is why our Lord has told everything to all His saints beforehand speaking as the Holy Spirit through the servants of God. What is the most blessed Word in the Book of Revelation? There are many blessed Words in Revelation, but the most blessed Word is that God will allow the saints to reign with the Lord in the New Heaven and Earth and live in authority and glory.

Because God will most certainly fulfill this work soon, the saints can never allow their faith to fall apart or be trapped in despair. The saints must overcome all trials and tribulations with their faith of hope. Our Lord will not fail to make all His prophecies and promises made to the saints and God's Church come true. Our Lord sent His servants to this earth and made them speak the Words of prophecy, so that He could tell His saints and Church about all these blessings.


Verse 7: "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

Because the Words of the prophecy of this Book of Revelation tell us of the saints' future martyrdom, it reveals to us that the time will come when the saints would be persecuted by the Antichrist and would have to defend their faith to death. Because it is God' will, the saints must embrace their martyrdom. They will then participate in their resurrection and rapture, reign in the Kingdom of Christ for a thousand years to come, and then live in the New Heaven and Earth forever. As such, the saints must trust in all the Word of God that our Lord has spoken to them and keep their faith. The most blessed ones of the end times are those who believe in the Word of our Lord and live by faith.

God has told His saints that He would come quickly. The Lord will come to us without any more delay. To fulfill all the blessings of God flowing from the Word of the water and the Spirit, the Word that brings to the saints their salvation from sin, our Lord will come to this earth quickly.

After being saved, the saints must hold onto to the Word of the blessings of the Lord promised to them, and keep their faith. If their hearts ever lose their faith in the Word of the Lord, they would be losing everything, and this is why they must defend their faith in the Lord's Word. God tells the saints, in other words, to keep their faith in the Lord.


Verse 8: Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

It is the prophets and the saints who spread God's Word of prophecy. We must therefore praise God who works as He has spoken to them, and we must worship only Him. At times some people try to raise themselves high as God and be treated as such. They do so because they are either frauds or the false prophets. Only God is worthy to receive all praise, worship, glory, and service.


Verse 9: Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."

What must we do to become God's true prophets? We must first believe in the mystery of the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. We would then become God's people, saints, and brothers and sisters to each other. Only after this can God charge them with His works. Those who have become the servants of the Lord must also believe in His Word and keep it with their faith. These are the ones who give all glory to God instead of keeping it for themselves. Our Lord is worthy to receive all worship and glory from everyone in this world. Hallelujah!


Verse 10: And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand."

The Word of promise written in Revelation must not be kept hidden. Because it is soon to be fulfilled, it must be testified to everyone. Amen! Let us all believe in the Word of prophecy in the Book of Revelation and preach it.


Verse 11: "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still."

When the day of the Lord's return nears, He will let those who seek after sin continue to seek after sin, those who are holy to continue to be holy, and those who are filthy to continue to be filthy. When the end times come, those whose hearts have become sinless by believing in the Lord's gospel of the water and the Spirit will still serve the gospel on this earth, and those who have kept their holiness given by the Lord and lived their lives with faith will continue to live so. Our Lord advises us to keep the faith that we have now.

Verse 12: "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work."

Our Lord will come soon, in other words, and give the Paradise on earth and the New Heaven and Earth to the saints who have served and labored to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit, to reward them for their sacrifices. When the saints believe in the Word of prophecy in Revelation, they will be able to defend their faith until the very end, for they would have placed their hope in the Lord. We must realize and believe that the Lord will reward the saints' labor with far greater blessings, for our Lord is glorious and merciful.


Verse 13: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."

Our Lord is the beginning and the end of everything. He is our Savior and God Himself, who will bring us the completion of the salvation that only He can give us. All history in the entire universe, the history of both Heaven and earth, began from the Lord and will be ended by Him.


Verse 14: Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

Because what the Lord has spoken to us is all life, the saints believe in His Word, preach and defend it. They do so because the Word that our Lord has spoken to His saints and to all things in the universe are all true. This is why the saints and servants of God keep the Lord's Word in their minds. They defend their faith by believing the Word of God even more strongly, so that they would have the right to eat the fruits of the tree of life planted in the New Heaven and Earth.

The saints who have become sinless by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord try to defend their faith, for they have the right to eat the fruits of this tree of life in Heaven.


Verse 15: But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

Those who are mentioned in the above passage are the ones who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and thus are not born again even until the end times. The Antichrist and his followers, misleading people with his signs and miracles, have deceived them time after time by falsely proclaiming that the Antichrist is the Savior. They had led people to their own destruction by making them worship the Antichrist's image. Our Lord keeps such people outside the gates of the Holy City, so that they may never enter the New Heaven and Earth. The Lord's City is open only to the saints who have defended their faith that believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.


Verse 16: "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."

For the sake of God's Church and the saints, our Lord has sent us God's servants, and He has made them testify all the things that would come to pass. The One who made them testify these things is Jesus Christ, God Himself who has become the saints' Savior.


Verse 17: And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

To all on this earth who hunger and thirst after the righteousness of God, our Lord has invited them into the Word of the water of life. Anyone who thirsts and hungers after the righteousness of God has been given the blessing of coming to the Lord, believing in gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Him, and thereby drinking the water of life. This is why our Lord says to everyone to come to Jesus Christ. Anyone can receive the truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit freely. But the water of life is excluded from those who do not have this desire. If you desire, you, too, can drink the water of life given by the Lord by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.


Verse 18: For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book;

The Scripture is the Word of God. As such, when we believe in this Word, we can neither add to nor subtract from it. This verse tells us that because the Word of the Scripture is the Word of God, no one can believe in it by adding or subtracting from the written Word of truth, nor believe by leaving the written truth out. We must therefore be careful. Every Word spoken by God is important; none can ever be left out as unimportant.

Yet people still continue to ignore the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. This is why they are yet to be delivered from their sins, why they still remain sinners, and why are entering into their own destruction-even as they claim to believe in Jesus as their Savior. To deliver the sinners from sin, our Lord has given them His water and blood (1 John 5:4-5, John 3:3-7). Yet many people place importance only on Jesus' blood on the Cross; as such, they still have not been delivered from their sins, and will thus face all the plagues written in the Book of Revelation.

Those who claim to believe in Jesus and yet continue to ignore the truth that Christ took care of all the sins of the world with His baptism from John will face the even more fearful punishment of hell. Why? Because they do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has given them, and therefore have not been born again yet. Anyone who ignores the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord will enter into the lake of fire burning forever and face eternal suffering-the day of regret will surely come to all such people.


Verse 19: and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Is there anyone among us whose Christian faith leaves out the Word of truth, that Jesus took upon all the sins of the mankind upon Himself by receiving baptism from John, and that at once He cleansed away all the sins by being crucified? If so, such people will surely all lose the right to enter God's Holy City, for they do not believe in the baptism that our Lord received from John to take upon the sins of the mankind upon Himself all at once. They are ultimately committing the sin of ignoring the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord.

As such, Christians must take to their hearts the truth that Jesus took upon the sins of the mankind with His baptism received from John. Unless they do so, they will all be excluded from the glory of entering the Holy City given by the Lord. If you believe that Jesus is your Savior, you must then be cleansed of all your sins by wholeheartedly believing that Jesus came to this earth, was baptized by John at the Jordan River to wholly save all the mankind from the sins of the world, and that He thereby cleansed away all the sins committed by the mankind by so taking them upon Himself. The spring whereupon you can be cleansed of all your filthiness is the baptism that our Lord received. Having thus taken upon Himself our sins of the world, our Lord shed His blood and died on the Cross to pay the wages of all our sins with His own death.

The baptism that Jesus received from John is the confirmed evidence of our salvation from sin. 1 Peter 3:21 tells us, "There is also an antitype which now saves us-baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." We must realize that Jesus carried the sins of the world to the Cross and shed His blood in order to pay the wages of the sins of the mankind with His own death, all on our behalf.

This is why God is once again giving His Word of warning to the entire mankind in verse 19. We must believe in the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit as it is, without adding to or subtracting from it.


Verse 20: He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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Our Lord will soon come again to this world. And the saints, who have received the remission of their sins by believing in the Lord and are clothed in the glory of Heaven, are earnestly waiting for the Lord's second coming. Because those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are all prepared to meet the coming Lord even now, they are waiting for the Lord to return and clothe them in His blessings promised to the saints. As such, the saints are hoping ardently for the Lord's second coming, in faith and thankfulness.


Verse 21: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

The Apostle John concludes the Book of Revelation with a benedictory prayer for the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to be with those who desire to enter the Holy City given by God. Let us, too, become the saints who enter the Holy City given by Jesus Christ through faith without fail.

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