"No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever. The angel said to me, 'These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.' 'Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.' I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, 'Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!' Then he told me, 'Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong, and let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right, and let the holy person continue to be holy.' 'Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.'" (Revelation 22.3-14)✞
This is the final part of the description of life in the "City of God." There will not be any cursed thing there. That is to say, there will be none of the sins which harm the Christian life. The promise of Matthew 5.8 will come true in that the pure in heart will see God. As Jesus says, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."✞
The writer of the Book of Revelation says that they will see Jesus' face. We may best understand the greatness of this promise to see the face of God by remembering that the Christian is promised something which is denied even to Moses. Moses is told by God in Exodus 33.20, " 'you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.' Then the Lord said, 'There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back, but my face must not be seen.'" It is in Jesus' face alone that men and women, boys and girls can one day see God.✞
'Blessed are those who keep the words of prophecy in this book,' says Jesus in his Revelation blessings promises. 'Behold I am coming soon.' The sight of God produces the perfect worship scenario, where God is always seen and all life becomes an act of worship. It also produces perfect consecration for the inhabitants of the city who have the mark of God upon their foreheads, showing that they belong only to him. John of Patmos adds to his Revelation blessings promises in that there will never be any darkness in the city of God. There are seven Revelation Blessings Promises listed in the Book of Revelation. They are ✞
1. Revelation 1.3 "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near."
2. Revelation 14.1 "Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, 'Write: "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."'"
3. Revelation 16.15 "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame."
4. Revelation 19.9 "Then he said to me, "Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."
5. Revelation 20.6 "Blessed and holy is he who has a part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."
6. Revelation 22.7 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."
7. Revelation 22.14 "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.✞
John of Patmos records in Revelation 22.5a, "They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light." This vision ends in Revelation 22.5b with the promise that "the people of God will reign forever and ever." In perfect submission to him, they will find absolute freedom and true royalty. The angel who is the interpreter of these divine things to John of Patmos stresses the promises that John sees and hears. "The God who inspired the prophets" means "the God who breathed into the prophets." The promises that John receives are breathed into him by the same God that inspires the great prophets of the Old Testament and the Gospel Writers, and they must be treated with equal seriousness.✞
The Apostle John is a devout student who hears and sees that Jesus is coming soon. The speaker here is Jesus himself. He states that his return will not be delayed long. Then he pronounces his blessings on every devout student who reads and keeps the words of prophecy written in John of Patmos's book.✞
The faithful student is the best of all students. There are too many who are devout, that is devoted to service, pious and sincere, but not students. They will not accept the discipline of learning. They even look with suspicion upon the further knowledge which study brings. There are also too many who are students, but not devout. They are interested in intellectual knowledge and not in prayer and service of their fellow human beings. We need to be thankful for God's Word and to ask the Lord to show us the way. We need help to become devout students of God's word, to hear God speaking through it and to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest its contents.✞
John of Patmos identifies himself previously as the one who hears and sees these things in Revelation 22.8 saying, "I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things." He identifies himself as the one who copies down the Book of Revelation. Then, strangely enough, John delivers the same warning against angel-worship as he did earlier in Revelation 19.10. John is so aware of the danger of angel worship that he believes it necessary to give the same warning twice. He certainly leaves us in no doubt that worship of angels is wrong and that worship must be given to the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb alone.✞
This passage insists that the coming of Christ is close at hand saying, "the time is near." Here the risen Christ once again announces his speedy coming and that he brings rewards with him which he will give to each one according to what they do. "Behold, I am coming soon!" says Jesus. A special washing robes blessing will be given to those who are ready. "Those who wash their robes" have the right of entry into the city of God. This phrase shows our part in salvation. It is Jesus Christ who on the Cross provides the grace by which we can be forgiven, but we have to appropriate that sacrifice, to make it our own. To take a simple analogy, soap and water can be supplied, but we cannot compel a person to wash. We can offer the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ but we cannot force people to accept. Those who "go through the gates into the City" are those who accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. There follows a list of those who are barred from the city of God.
A very similar list appears in Revelation 21.8 of those who are cast into the lake of fire such as the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars. In ancient days, since all books are carefully checked and hand-copied by scribes it is a regular custom to insert at the end of a book a solemn warning against applying any change to one's liking. It is in the light of this custom that we read John's words to us today. How easy it seems to change the words of Scripture to suit our ideas, to be politically correct or even to leave out a few words that don't sit right with us. We need to beware!✞