The sermon text for today is Revelation 22:1-5. The Old Testament reading is Ezekiel 47:1-12. You’ll notice that we have read often from Ezekiel chapters 40-48 over the past couple of weeks, for that section of scripture clearly stands behind the visions shown to John and recorded for us in Revelation 21 and 22. Long before the first coming of Christ Ezekiel the prophet was shown something of what would happen at the end of time. He was shown a vision of a temple and a city. The book of Revelation makes clear that the visions shown to Ezekiel will be fulfilled, not in some millennium, but in the new heavens and new earth when Christ returns. Let us now turn our attention to the reading of God’s inspired, inerrant, clear and authoritative word.
Old Testament Reading: Ezekiel 47:1–12
Ezekiel writes, “Then he [that is, the angel] brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side. Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits, and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, have you seen this?’ Then he led me back to the bank of the river. As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. And he said to me, ‘This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh. And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.’” (Ezekiel 47:1–12, ESV)
New Testament Reading: Revelation 22:1–5
“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 through the middle of the street of the city; 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.” (Revelation 22:1–5, ESV)
These first five versus of Revelation 22 serve as a conclusion to the section that began at Revelation 21:1. In this section, which runs from 21:1 through 22:5, we are shown something about the new heavens and the new earth that will be established after Christ returns. Continue reading