And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand (Rev. 22:6-10).
The book of Revelation has an epilogue, which begins here and continues through to the end of the vision. One of the angels who poured out one of the bowls of wrath is continuing to speak to John. He speaks words that are “faithful and true,” and here the angel is repeating an assurance which God Himself had spoken from His throne in the previous chapter (Rev. 21:5). God is identified by this angel as being the “Lord God of the holy prophets,” which seals for us something that has been obvious throughout the entire book of Revelation. The vision that John gives us is a vision that has been saturated in Old Testament prophecies. The Lord revealed here really is the Lord God of the holy prophets.
One of the great neglected themes of the book is that the Lord is coming quickly. This is not the same thing as saying that when He comes, whenever that is, it will be sudden. John has been telling us from the first verse on that these are things that must “shortly come to pass” (Rev. 1:1). Here he says that the Lord’s angel was sent in order to reveal to His servants what must “shortly be done” (Rev. 22:7). The word is the same in both instances (taxos)—the events predicted were barreling down on the denizens of the first century, and were overwhelmingly fulfilled at that time.
Another argument in favor of this conclusion can be derived from the fact that John is told something very different from what Daniel was told.
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4).
Daniel was told to seal up the words of his prophecy because it was going to be a while yet. This means that Daniel was told to seal up his prophecy for events that we not going to come to pass for another four centuries. So what sense would it make for John to be told not to seal up the words of his prophecy for events that would be 20 centuries or more in coming to pass? So not only does John not seal his words, but he also (in effect) unseals the words of Daniel, which were all coming to fruition at this same time—along with many glorious prophecies throughout the rest of the Old Testament Scriptures. The Lord God of the holy prophetshad sent this vision.
This passage contains the sixth blessing that is given in the course of the book— “blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” For all intents and purposes, this is the same blessing that the book began with. Not only so, but let us emphasize once again the reason why there is a blessing for the one who reads, and who hears, and who keeps the things that are written.
“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” (Rev. 1:3).
The angel who communicates all of this to John must have been an angel of great glory and magnificence because John makes the same mistake again (vv. 8-9), the mistake of attempting to worship a fellow creature, and a fellow servant of all who keep the sayings of this prophecy the way they should.
“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10).