Revelation 22:6-21 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. According to verse 6 (printed below), when will the things revealed in the Book of Revelation take place? How would you interpret this? Note: The Greek may be translated, “the things that must take place swiftly.”

The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.” (Revelation 22:6)

Verse 6 speaks of “the things that must soon take place” (or, “the things that must take place swiftly.”) The Greek phrase used here may be translated “in a short time,” or, “in a swift manner” (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Arndt & Gingrich, pp.814-815). If we say that something will happen “soon,” we are speaking about when an event will happen. If we say that something will happen “swiftly,” we are speaking about how an event will happen. The New Testament seems to be using this phrase in the sense of “swiftly,” or, “quickly;” telling us how these events will take place rather than when they will happen (cp. Matthew 24:37-39,42-44,48-50; Mark 13:33-37; Luke 21:34-36; 2 Peter 3:10a).

2. How is the Lord Jesus identified in verse 6 (printed above under question #1?)

Whereas on the occasion of His first coming the Lord Jesus appeared in humility as the babe born in the manger, at His second coming He will appear in His full divine identity. He will return as “the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets.” Note: The phrase, “the spirits of the prophets,” may be a reference to the Holy Spirit as He employed the prophets to speak the Word of God. Jesus will be revealed as the God who has spoken from heaven (Deuteronomy 5:22-28).

3. What are we told about the Lord Jesus in verse 12 (printed below?)

“Behold, I am coming soon! I am bringing my rewards with me, and I will repay each man what he deserves for his work.” (Revelation 22:12)

The Lord Jesus will return as the great Judge who will “repay each man what he deserves for his work.” God the Father has given to Christ “the authority to execute judgment” (John 5:27); the Lord Jesus will carry out this divine judgment on the day of His return (Matthew 25:31-32).

4. What do we learn about Jesus’ divine identity for verse 13 (printed below?) Note, also, Isaiah 44:6 (printed below)

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. (Revelation 22:13)

This is what Jehovah declares—the one who is the King of Israel and his Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; there is no other God besides me. (Isaiah 44:6)

Jesus will return as “the Alpha and the Omega…the Beginning and the End.” Christ will return in His full divine identity as JEHOVAH, the true and sovereign God: the One who is the Source and Sum of all existence (cp. Romans 11:36; Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 2:17-18).

5. According to Revelation 22:7 and 14 (printed below), how are we as Christians to prepare for our Lord’s return?

“Behold, I am coming soon!” Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book…(14) Blessed are they who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to eat from the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:7,14)

We are to prepare ourselves for the Lord’s return by keeping “the words of the prophecy of this book.” That is to say, we are to receive the message of promise and warning that is presented in the book of Revelation; take this message to heart; and allow it to impact and transform our whole perspective on life (cp. Luke 21:34-36). According to verses 14-15, we are to prepare ourselves for our Lord’s return by washing our robes. “Washing,” as it occurs here in the present continuous Greek tense, is a reference to developing the Christian life of holiness and devotion to God, what the Bible calls “sanctification.”