Revelation 22: Behold I Am Coming Soon!

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Bible Study Series: Revealing Jesus in Revelation

Revelation Chapter 22: Behold I Am Coming Soon! 

by I Gordon

Bible message on Revelation 22 Behold I am coming soon!Well here we are. Lucky last. We are at the final message in this book of Revelation series and for those of you who have followed me through this series, thank you! I trust it has been a blessing. I know I have really enjoyed this series and have loved doing this deep dive into this amazing book. This is the 35th message in this series and for those of you who like your numbers, 35 is 7 x 5. No great revelations thus far, but it seems appropriate for 7 speaks of perfect completion and 5 is the number of grace. So 35 is the multiplication of completion and grace. So here is a question... how does complete grace end? Or, to ask another way, can you give me the completion of grace in one word? Ok, that is a wee bit tough for this early in the morning so here is a clue: The word I am looking for has the same number of letters as 'grace' and even begins with the same letter. Alright... times up! The completion of grace is 'glory'.  

"Grace is but Glory begun, and Glory is but Grace perfected" - Jonathon Edwards

So we are exploring Revelation 22:12-21 today and as we go through these final verses in this incredible book, we see the Lord focus on His return... and so shall we. For the grace that you have received and experienced thus far as a believer is but a down payment on the glory that is coming. Grace will find its perfect completion when the Lord returns for His bride and we experience our new home. So we will focus on the following in this lesson:

  • We'll start with something Jesus said three times in this last chapter... If He repeats something three times it must be important!
  • We'll see, even in these last few verses, Biblical evidence for the deity of Christ
  • We'll explore the call to 'come'... both from the believer and for the unbeliever
  • We'll close by seeing the perfect way Revelation wraps up the Bible

Behold I am coming quickly

Rev 22:12-13 "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. (13) "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."

These two verses speak of 1) The swiftness of the One coming 2) The rewards of the One coming 3) The nature of the One coming

The swiftness of the One coming

'Behold, I am coming quickly' - Our passage starts with a phrase used three times in this last chapter. Now we should always take note when the Lord repeats Himself, but if He is going to say something three times... well, don't forget it! So what is it that He repeats three times? As the NASB and NKJV/KJV versions render it, 'Behold I am coming quickly!':

  1. Rev 22:7  "And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book."  
  2. Rev 22:12  "Behold, I am coming quickly..."
  3. Rev 22:20  He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly."

Some versions like the NIV have 'I am coming soon' and this has led to some confusion amongst believers for it has been 2000 years and Jesus has not yet returned. While God may see one day as a thousand years, and one thousand years as a day, from our point of view 2000 years doesn't exactly seem like a 'soon' return! The Greek word is 'tachús' (G5036) meaning 'prompt, swift, quickly, speedily, suddenly'. While it can mean 'soon' it is better understood as 'quickly'. Thus, the emphasis is not on how long it will take before His return but the swiftness of which His return, and the events surrounding it, occur once the time has come. In other words, it is the nature of His return and not the schedule, that is in focus. When it comes, it will be swift. If you are a believer. one minute you will be here and the next you will be gone. Having said that, 'Behold I am coming soon' definitely applies in this day, nearly 2000 years on from His departure back into heaven. Everything the Bible says about the end is lining up and 'soon' is an apt description for His return for His bride!   

The rewards of the One coming

'...and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.' - So what will believers experience when He returns at the rapture? Remember that He is returning to fulfill the promise He gave on the night of His betrayal, to take His followers to the heavenly home that He has prepared for them. This is the heavenly Jerusalem that we have spoken about in the previous two messages. After His return at the rapture, all believers will appear before the bema seat of Christ. Our lives and works as believers will be tested to see what has been built on the true foundation - Him! That is why we read here in Revelation that 'I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.' There are no eternal rewards for our life until He returns but there will be then and it brings home again how important our lives as Christians are in the here and now!

Note also that this part of the verse has its origin in the Old Testament where Isaiah saw and wrote:

Isa 40:10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him And His recompense before Him.

Thus, Jesus, who is coming with His reward, is the fulfillment of Isa 40:10 and is the Lord God of that passage. 

The nature of the One coming

'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end' - Notice also the title that Jesus declares concerning Himself in this passage for this theme of His deity continues. He says "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." The One coming back is God Almighty! Let the unbelievers hear that! While preparing the message I was emailed by someone who said they 'believe in Jesus' but don't believe that Jesus is God or even that He existed before His conception and birth to Mary. I've been a Christian over 30 years and I can't say I have come across someone that believes that before. Maybe I need to get out more! But the fact is that all through scripture His deity and pre-existence is declared. And here we have another example where Jesus declares that He is the Alpha and Omega. The 'alpha and omega' are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Thus this title expresses Jesus' eternal nature as God. He is the source and sustainer of all. He is also the end of all matters. The Old Testament background to this title are the important declarations of God in the book of Isaiah. It is of the only God, the great I AM. The one whose hand not only founded the earth but also declares future events before they come to pass. Listen to what He says:

Isa 44:6-8 "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last1, And there is no God besides Me. (7) 'Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place. (8) 'Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.'"

Isa 48:12-13 "Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last. (13) "Surely My hand founded the earth, And My right hand spread out the heavens; When I call to them, they stand together.

So it is not surprising that Biblical scholar A.T Robertson, one of the premier Greek experts of his generation, writes:

I am the Alpha and the Omega (Egō to Alpha kai to O). Applied to God in Rev 1:8; Rev 21:6, and here alone to Christ, crowning proof in this book of Christ’s deity.
Dr A.T Robertson

He is the focus for every Bible study!
There is an important practical application of this verse as well. As we have seen, Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. And He should be all that in our studies of His word as well, no matter what book of the Bible we are in!2 I love what Charles Spurgeon wrote concerning this. He quickly gets to the heart of all our Bible study, writing:
"Preach orthodoxy, or any form of doxy; if you have left out Christ, there is no manna from heaven, no water from the rock, no refuge from the storm, no healing for the sick, no life for the dead.  If you leave out Christ, you have left the sun out of the day, and the moon out of the night, you have left the waters out of the sea, and the foods out of the river, you have left the harvest out of the year, the soul out of the body, you have left joy out of heaven, yea, you have robbed all of its all.  There is no gospel worth thinking of, much less worth proclaiming in Jehovah's name, if Jesus be forgotten."

The blessing for those that are His

Rev 22:14-16 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. (15) Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. (16) "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."

This verse starts with a blessing and if you know God and the book of Revelation in particular, you won't be surprised that this is the seventh, and last, blessing given in this book. 

  1. Those reading Revelation: Rev 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
  2. Those martyred for Christ: Rev 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
  3. Those clothed with Christ: Rev 16:15 Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.
  4. Those who make the wedding supper: Rev 19:9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God."
  5. Those who are in the first resurrection: Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
  6. Those who keep the words of Revelation: Rev 22:7 Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.
  7. Those that have washed their robes: Rev 22:14 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.

This last blessing is given to all that have washed their robes so they can eat from the tree of life. And there is only one substance that can wash away our sins and that is the blood of Christ! For those that have done that, the blessing of entrance into the coming city with the tree of God, is given. That was the focus of the last message where we saw how amazing that would be! But outside are said to be the dogs, murderers, sorcerers and all immoral people. By this we should not think that they are literally just outside the walls of the city barking wanting to come inside! It means that they will not make it into the heavenly city that is to come. They will be separated eternally from all God's promises and joys. 

Now note also that it is Jesus who is saying these things and He is said to be both the root and descendant of David, and the bright morning star. This again speaks of Christ's pre-existence prior to His birth to Mary in that He is the root, or source of King David, as well as being His descendant. In His earthly ministry, Jesus stumped the Pharisees with this very thought:

Mat 22:41-46 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, (42) What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he? "The son of David," they replied. (43) He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says, (44) 'The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." ' (45) If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?" (46) No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.

William MacDonald in the Believers Bible Commentary writes saying:

"He speaks of Himself as the Root and the Offspring of David. As to His deity, He is David's Creator; as to His humanity, He is David's Descendant. The Bright and Morning Star appears in the sky before the sun rises. Christ will first come to the church as the Bright and Morning Star, that is, at the Rapture. Later he will come to the earth as the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings (Mal 4:2)."
William MacDonald

The Dual Call to Come!

Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

Given the declaration of Jesus that He is the bright morning star, whose coming will signify the dawning of a day day, the proper response of Spirit and the Bride are heard. They both cry 'Come!' That is their heart cry. That should be your heart's cry. It is sad that so many within the church lack this desire. Many want to have a good life down here and then, after they have accomplished all that they dream of, well then He can come. The true desire is that which the early church had, and any persecuted church has, and that is to have an inner cry of 'Come Lord Jesus!'. I believe this inner desire will strengthen as we get closer to the end and the rising of the morning star. Life will become more difficult on this planet as the birth pains increase and the beauty of this planet wanes thin. But the true believer's hope has always been heavenly, where our citizenship is, and from where we await our Savior! (Phil 3:20-21)  

Now there is a second 'come' in this verse. There is a call of the believer, to the Lord, to 'come' and a call from the Lord, to unbelievers, to 'come'. In view of the fact that the day of the rapture, when the morning star shall appear in the heavens, is close, the call goes out to unbelievers to come3 and be part of God's plan. Come and take the free gift of the water of life. That is God's heart until that door finally closes.

Whoever Wishes... Come!
'Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.'

This is one of many verses where the salvation call goes out to 'whoever wishes'. This call is mirrored in the Old Testament as well as in the words of Jesus:

Isa 55:1 Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Joh 7:37-38 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. (38) Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

And you will note that the water of life is said to be a 'free gift' for whoever is thirsty - yet the person must come and take it. This one verse stands against both strict Calvinists and those who believe in universal salvation. The call goes out to anyone and everyone to come! They do not have what it takes to purchase salvation but they can still 'come' and receive the free gift. And yet, if they don't take this gift then they shall not possess it. There is no universal salvation for all. Now is the day of salvation, not tomorrow! And if you do not receive salvation in this life, you do not receive it at all!

J. Vernon McGee writes "That is the invitation that goes out today. If you are tired of drinking at the cesspools of this world, He invites you to come. What an invitation this is to come to Him!"

One final warning

Rev 22:18-19 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. (19) And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

So in the final few verses of this incredible letter, we see the seriousness of its message once again. A solemn warning is given not to add or remove anything from this book. This has been stated before in the Old Testament (Deu 4:2, Deu 12:32, Pro 30:6, Jer 26:2) but as this is God's final written word to mankind, it is stated forcefully to make sure that none mess with His word! And it doesn't just mean changing what it says. A person who denies that this book is inspired and from God is 'taking away' from it. They are saying that they know better than God Almighty and won't heed His words. God will remove their access to the tree of life and the holy city4

One final promise and prayer

Rev 22:20-21 He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (21) The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

So finally we come to the last words of Revelation and the last words of Jesus in the Bible. What are the last words from Jesus? What is it that He would want to emphasize again? 'Yes, I am coming soon!' And how should we reply? 'Amen, Come Lord Jesus!' The time is here when the Spirit is increasing the cry and yearning for His return.

The first word we hear man address to the Lord in the Bible is the solemn word “I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid” (Gen 3:10). The last word addressed to the Lord by redeemed man is “even so, come, Lord Jesus.” And between these two utterances in Genesis and Revelation is the story of redemption. Well might this final prayer of the Bible be termed the forgotten prayer. But it is equally true, with the revival of the study of prophecy, more hearts and lips are praying today for His coming, than ever before. And the prayer will be answered. May the reader and the writer pray for His coming daily and may our lives too bear witness to the fact that we expect Him to answer the petition of His people.
A.C Gaebelein

A Vision of His Coming
I have shared before about a vision my Mum had about the rapture but I can't resist sharing it again as we close out this book of Revelation. It happened nearly 60 years ago but she can still recall it like it just happened. My mother was seeking the Lord at the time, but not about not about anything related to Bible prophecy or end times. She actually didn't know anything about this at that time. But as she sought the Lord God gave her a dream and in it she saw a vast number of people outside and everyone was looking up. Mum was one of them. She said that no one was speaking for they all knew that the Lord was coming. And as she looked she saw the Lord come down through the clouds surrounded by a vast amount of angels on every side. Now she didn't feel or see herself rise but suddenly the scene changed and she was in Heaven, worshipping the Lord, bowing at His feet. There wasn't a great crowd of people - it was her and the Lord. And she said that she had this complete understanding that He had done it all! She knew that she owed Him everything. There was nothing that she could claim. It was simply 'worthy is the Lamb'. She is nearly 88 now. I have asked her a few times whether she thought she was still alive at the time He came. She isn't completely sure but did say that amongst the people outside, looking up for the Lord, were some that seemed to be elevated off the ground. And she was one that was on the ground. Make of that what you will! But He is coming and the words of the prophecy of this book will all be fulfilled. 'Behold I am coming quickly' He said and so He will! And our reply is to say 'Amen! Come Lord Jesus!'   

So John ends his letter, and the written word of God as a whole, with 'the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen'. Like I said, when Mum saw herself bowed at the feet of the Lord Jesus in heaven, she knew that He had done it all. It was grace, beautiful grace. It was as scripture instructs 'Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord'. And as much as possible, may we learn that while here. For, as I quoted at the start of this message:

"Grace is but Glory begun, and Glory is but Grace perfected" - Jonathon Edwards


So with that we conclude not only this message but the entire book of Revelation. As we have seen, and I trust you agree, Revelation is an incredible book and I very much hope you have enjoyed this study series. We've seen that:

  • It ties all of scripture together, placing a fitting conclusion to what Genesis began and all of scripture continued5
  • It reveals the outworking and fulfillment of a plan that was made from before the foundation of the world
  • It presents Christ as the great champion, the King of kings! He is the Lamb that was slain in his first coming and the victorious Lion of the tribe of Judah the next!
  • It sharply contrasts the fortunes of the saved and the unsaved, giving tremendous hope to the former, and fearful expectation to the latter!
  • And more so than any other book I know, it importantly focuses the believer on eternal matters... that which really matters! 

It is the perfect ending to the story of redemption, showing the wisdom and power of God to right the wrongs of both the angelic realm and mankind.

Genesis Revelation
Creation of heaven and earth 
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
Creation of a new heavens and a new earth 
Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away
The sun and moon to rule the day and night 
Gen 1:16 God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.
Sun and moon are no more - God's glory is the light! 
Rev 21:23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
River flowing out of Eden 
Gen 2:10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden
River of life flowing from God's throne 
Rev 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
Bride formed for her husband, marriage of Adam
Gen 2:18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
Bride prepared, marriage of second man, Jesus 
Rev 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
God walking with His people, face to face.
Gen 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day,
God again dwelling with His people, face to face 
Rev 21:3 "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.'
Access to the Tree of life blocked after the fall 
Gen 2:9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow... In the middle of the garden was the tree of life.
Access to the Tree of life restored 
Rev 22:2 On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations
Satan opposing and deceiving 
Gen 3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
Satan banished and judged 
Rev 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone... and ... will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Death is introduced with the body returning to the dust 
Gen 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.
No more death 
Rev 21:4 There will be no more death... for the old order of things has passed away."

Let me close this series with a quote from the last book in 'The Chronicles of Narnia' series by C.S Lewis, as it gives a great glimpse into the promise and hope Revelation gives. It is about Aslan, the great lion, and reminds us once again of the day when the Lion of Judah will make all things right!

“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them... But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

Behold, He is coming soon! And nothing will ever be the same.

May God bless you and come Lord Jesus!


  1. Jesus also used 'the first and the last' as a title for Himself in Rev 2:8 "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life...

  2. I was reading the end of Luke again recently and the Bible study Jesus gave the two on the road to Emmaus stood out to me again. It says:
    Luk 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
    Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible so it is saying that right from the very start, it is all about Him! He has been, and ever will be, the focus of this website wherever we are in the Bible as well!

  3. Speaking of the need to come and the excuses sometimes given not to, Pastor David Guzik writes:
    i. "I don't understand all the Christian doctrine and theology" - come anyway, because it doesn't say whoever understands, let him take the water of life freely.
    ii. "I can't repent the way that I should. My heart is hard and I can't even weep over my sins or feel bad over them as I should" - come anyway, because it doesn't say whoever feels, let him take the water of life freely.
    iii. "I don't know if I can live the Christian life the way that I should" - come anyway, because it doesn't say whoever can, let him take the water of life freely.
    iv. "I don't know if I am worthy to live the Christian life" - come anyway, because it doesn't say whoever is worthy, let him take the water of life freely.
    v. "But mark thee, sinner, it says, 'whosoever.' What a big word that is! Whosoever! There is no standard height here. It is of any height and any size. Little sinners, big sinners, black sinners, fair sinners, sinners double dyed, old sinners, aggravated sinners, sinners who have committed every crime in the whole catalogue, - whosoever." (Spurgeon)"

  4. John Walvoord writes: "What a solemn warning this is to critics who have tampered with this book and other portions of Scripture in arrogant self-confidence that they are equipped intellectually and spiritually to determine what is true and what is not true in the Word of God."

  5. The following table is adapted from a previous and more extensive list here:

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