In Chapter 21 of Revelation, we hear God speak the words “it is done!”
In other words, His salvation plan is complete: The plan that began in the beginning of creation.
When God’s plan is complete:
- Christ shall submit to God, and we will no longer worship Him,
- we shall be like Him,
- we shall live forever, and
- The Father will be our God.
- 1 Christ will submit to God and we will no longer worship Him
- 2 The Conclusion: It is done!
Christ will submit to God and we will no longer worship Him
Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
1 Corinthians 15:28
Christ is only our Lord until the Lord’s Day; in that Day He will submit to God, and we will be as “brothers.”
It seems difficult to imagine that we will one day be as “brothers” with Christ. But, as we read in the last Chapter, this was the message of the Angel in Revelation 22:9: “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.”
The same message is also graphically illustrated for us in Revelation 19:10, where the Spirit of Christ told John not to worship Him, calling Himself John’s brother.
“Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.’”
Revelation 19:1–10 is also after the LORD’s Day and describes the marriage supper of the Lamb, the Day when Christ receives His Bride.
This passage is a bit difficult to understand, so let us go step by step:
The One on the Throne told John to “Write.”
In Revelation 19 and 21, the Spirit of Christ directed John to “write” just as He did in Revelation 1:11. But there is no mention of an Angel in either of these passages, because, in both passages, the Spirit of Christ appears as “the image of the invisible God.” These two passages are very similar:
In Revelation 19:9 we read: “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.”
And in Revelation 21:5, we read, “Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’”
In both cases, the speaker is the Spirit of Christ, who appears as “the image of the invisible God” sitting on the throne, asking John to “write,” just as He did in Revelation 1:11.
In Revelation 19:9, it may be difficult to see that He was sitting on the throne. In Revelation 19:5, the speaker was described as “the voice from the throne.” Verse 4 tells us, “the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne.”
The expression “One (God) who sits on the throne” also appears in Rev 4:9–11, 5:13, and 7:10 and signifies that God is in control of all things. In Revelation 5:13, it is very clear that the One on the throne is not Christ, “to Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.” But the One who “appears” and “speaks” as God from the throne is the Spirit of Christ.
John fell down to worship the One from the Throne
When the One who spoke from the throne (in verse 5) spoke to John (in verse 9), John thought he should follow the actions of the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures (in verse 4) and bow down to worship Him.
In fact, what happens in verse 9? The Spirit of Christ changes His identify from the “image of the invisible God” to either the Angel or the Son of man. For when He speaks, He says, “these are the true saying of God.” (This is not God speaking, but the Spirit of Christ.)
But this should not surprise us. In Revelation 1, the Spirit of Christ changed His identity from sentence to sentence! He first spoke as the Angel, saying, “write in a Book what you see” (verse 11). He then spoke for the invisible God, saying, “I am the first and the last (besides Me there is no God)” (verse 17). And finally, He spoke as the Son of Man, saying, “I was dead and behold I am alive” (verse 18).
If you have not yet understood the meaning of “manifest in the flesh” and not yet believed that the same Spirit appears in several manifestations, perhaps by now, you can believe it. The Spirit of Christ not only appears in many manifestations, but also speaks from all of those manifestations.
The Response of the Spirit of Christ
Did John think he was worshiping God, or Christ who he understood to be the image of the invisible God on the throne? We don’t really know. But, the response of the Spirit of Christ must have been just as confusing: “Do not do that. I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
We discussed why Christ called Himself a “fellow servant” in the last Chapter.
But why would Christ would say, “I am . . . of your brethren who have (hold) the testimony of Jesus?”
The phrase “who have the testimony of Jesus” comes from Revelation 12:17, which reads, “and the dragon went off to make war with the rest of her offspring who keep the commandments of God and have (hold) the testimony of Jesus.”
The same Greek words are used here:
ἐχόντων τὴν μαρτυρίαν Ἰησοῦ· Revelation 19:10
ἐχόντων τὴν μαρτυρίαν Ἰησοῦ· Revelation 12:17
In Revelation 12, Christ became our brother. The Woman in Revelation 12 is the Kingdom of heaven. She is the “New Jerusalem” who is “clothed with the Sun and Moon,” God and Christ (Rev 21:23), and surrounded by twelve stars, twelve Angels (Rev 21:12). The first of her offspring was Christ, “the Male Child.” After the dragon saw that Christ had become “the Male Child,” he “became enraged with the Woman” who gave birth to Him, and “went off to make war with the rest of her offspring who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 12:17).
When we understand that Jesus Himself is the first of the Woman’s offspring “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus,” it makes sense that Jesus Himself is also “of the brethren who have the testimony of Jesus.”
The meaning of “have (hold) the testimony of Jesus” is defined for us in the next sentence: “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” What is the spirit of prophecy? In the Targumim, the Aramaic translation of the Old Testament, the Spirit of Christ was called “the Word,” and the spirit of God was called “the spirit of prophecy.” Christ was the first to receive the spirit of God; He was the first to have “the testimony of Jesus.”
The Conclusion: It is done!
In Revelation 21:6–7, we are beyond the judgment Day, when we hear God say:
“It is done!
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the Beginning and the End.
I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
“He who overcomes will inherit these things,
and I will be His God and he will be My Son.”
There are three significant truths expressed here, about the conclusion of God’s salvation plan.
We shall be like Him
God’s plan, expressed in Genesis 1, was to make man in His image, through Christ: “Let Us make man in Our image” (Genesis 1:26).
Because His plan is now fully accomplished, He said, “It is done!”
Now we see in a mirror, dimly,
but then face to face.
Now I know in part,
but then I shall know
just as I also am known.
1 Corinthians 13:12
John promised that when we truly know Him, we shall be like Him:
We know that when He is revealed,
we shall be like Him,
for we shall see Him as He is.
1 John 3:2
God is love (1 John 4:8). His plan to make us perfect in love will be completed on that Great and Awesome Day (Acts 2:20), when we see Christ face to face.
God will give us freely the fountain of water of life
In the beginning of Revelation 22, we see the tree of life.
The water of life comes from the throne, and in the middle of this river is the tree of life (Revelation 22:1–2).
This water is of course the holy spirit that proceeds from God: “He will abide with you forever” ( John 14:16). Jesus promised that we can drink of the holy spirit forever.
The Father will be our God
The debate regarding the identity of the one true God must end here. The Father tells us that He will be our God when we resurrect in Christ.
Christ, who was first as “God” to Israel, and then our “Lord,” will be our brother, and fellow servant, for we shall be like Him, when we see Him.