Journal Rev 22 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Then the angel showed me the river of the Water of Life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb…; also, on either side of the river, the Tree of Life, with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month—the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
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; they will see his Face, and his name will be on their foreheads—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…
(skipping further into Chapter 20) And he (the angel) said to me, ‘Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book for the time is near.
Let the evil doer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.’” (excerpts from Rev 22:1-10)
Observation: Reading the end first, then before the end. Our hope is described in verses 1-8, and something else puzzling in verses 9-10…
Praise God. Alone. Only the Trinitarian God is worthy of any and all praise.
Application: Concerning the Gospel, this Rev 22:1-8 description is the total objective for Creation from before time began.
As difficult as it is to conceive, my perception of time and history is linear: I can only experience moment by moment, tick and tock of the clock.
God, being omniscient, perceives all of Creation and Eternity as a single comprehension—He is not limited to the restriction of time. Therefore, this description is what God wanted from “let there be light!” Jesus was not “Plan B” concerning the Fall; Jesus on the Cross was always “Plan A.” Jehovah Witnesses get this wrong from the get-go.
Why is getting this concept of time-bound vs. time-unbound, completely Sovereign over time and space important? Otherwise, if I don’t, it skews what is understood about God.
Like Danny wrote a week ago, we can rest in Him.
The second part of the reference above is resting from our works. This one is harder to get my mind around. I will bet it is difficult for others as well.
The instruction of, “Let the evil doer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy…” contrasts with my innate combativeness; I want to fight against evil, to oppose them, etc. If someone is “filthy”, I want to tell them to stop or move away from them. Letting evil and filthy go unopposed grates at my soul.
And yet this is what this scripture says.
Is it because of the certainty that there is a proscribed process and end of all things that believers cannot change? Is Christianity in some way repeating the error of 1st Century Judaism that the Messiah is to bring a physical “peace on earth?”
Certainly, I cannot abide evil when it slaps me in the face (like abortion for instance), but looking at the broad historical picture, can evil ever be curtailed? Only until the Coming of our Lord.
I suppose until then, the so-called battle is for our own souls, longing for and pursuing godliness, and the preaching of the Gospel.
Prayer: Father, I am just thinking aloud, for I know these are “stretch” thoughts (like “stretch objectives” in business). Help me to shake these out and apply what You want me to think and perform.
If I am not pursuing (with fierce intent) godliness in my own life first, then is crying after others in evangelism is under false pretences?
Ricky Two Shoes