Osborne, Grant R. Revelation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002. Location: Ellis BS 2825.53.O73 2002
“VI. Epilogue (22:6-21)” pp. 777-799.
Osborne, with many others, considers Revelation 22:6-21 as an epilogue. However, the overall organization of the epilogue and any potential liturgical purpose remains relatively elusive (Osborne 2002, 777). Verses 6-7 claim authenticity for the book. The words, revealed by God and His angels, are true. God’s messengers gave them to John. Osborne finds the wording slightly oblique when it refers to “of the spirits of the prophets.” However, he thinks the reference is to the Holy Spirit who speaks to the prophets (Osborne 2002, 780). The events of the end are to be “soon.” Osborne does note that apocalyptic use of “soon” does not always appear immediate to us (Osborne 2002, 781). Many commentators have observed that, since the ascension of Christ and the day of Pentecost have passed, “soon” may refer to there being no remaining intermediate events, so it is next in line. In verse seven a blessing is upon the one who hears, keeps, or heeds the words. The Christian is to live ready for all the things in Revelation to take place (Osborne 2002, 783).
Revelation 22:8-11 describe three more important statements of an angel (Osborne 2002, 783). First, John makes it plain that he is the recipient of the visions, but he again falls into the trap of worship toward his angelic messenger. This is rebuked again by the angel (Osborne 2002, 784). Worship is intended to be directed to God alone, not to any other being. For this reason, the angel commands John not to seal the prophecies. Osborne sees this as a time for revealing truth rather than concealing secrets (Osborne 2002, 784). Finally, the angel in verse 11 speaks to the need to choose righteousness or wickedness. Osborne debates different ways the statement can be understood, concluding that the angel is giving a warning in light of the imminent return of Jesus (Osborne 2002, 786).
Revelation 22:12-19 contain seven sayings of Christ. First, in 22:13, Christ is coming with his reward. God in the Bible does speak of rewards or recompense, even as the Bible speaks of grace. Those who believe on Christ, in some way, are treated in accord with their belief (Osborne 2002, 788). The second saying of Christ, in verse 13, identifies him again as the Alpha and Omega, restating “the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Osborne notes it as an “all-embracing” statement of Christ’s power (Osborne 2002, 789). The third saying, in verses 14-15, givs a blessing to those who heed the words, and a warning to those who do not heed God’s words. Osborne notes this is a common theme in Scripture, often implicit in the idea of a separation or a washing (Osborne 2002, 790). Here various groups of people who choose to reject God’s Word are categorically excluded from God’s favor. Fourth, in Revelation 22:16a, Jesus says he has sent word to the Church (Osborne 2002, 791). In 16b Jesus further identifies himself as “the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star” (NKJV). Osborne sees this as an emphasis on Jesus as the victorious Davidic Messiah (Osborne 2002, 793). Verse 17, which some commentators suggest as showing Jesus still speaking, calls for the second coming to be soon. Osborne does think the invitation for the reader to come points to Jesus as the speaker. The call to “come” is likely addressed to all humans, regardless of their standing or need (Osborne 2002, 794). The final word, in 22:18-19, cautions against adding to or taking away from the book. Osborne finds roots of the statement in Deuteronomy 4:2. The idea is that we are to accept the entirety of what God has said to us (Osborne 2002, 795). The Christian faith is not to be rearranged. The message of the Bible is to be interpreted in accord with God’s intention and character.
Revelation 22:20 pleads again for Christ to return (Osborne 2002, 797). There is an urgency to the second coming of Christ. The book concludes in 22:21 with a benediction. Osborne takes this to indicate the book was to be viewed not only as an apocalyptic prophecy, but also as an epistle (Osborne 2002, 798).