The Last Word (Revelation 21:5-7)
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. [7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.] —Revelation 21:5-7
These verses present themselves like a treasure chest overflowing with immeasurable riches. There are diamonds of delight, rubies of revelation, emeralds of ecstasy, sapphires of salvation, gold of glory, jaspers of joy. These verses speak of the heart and character of God, of refreshing and renewing, of truth and knowledge and wisdom, of finality and completion, of final victory, of ultimate satisfaction, of eternal contentment, of everlasting love. These declarations and assertions, full of sovereignty and promise, excite the mind, entice the heart, and empower the spirit. This is fertile ground for faith. This is a verdant garden of hope. This is an artesian well of joy.
There is so much here to explore and enjoy. Let me take only one part, the most glorious, majestic part of all, to which every other part subscribes: “He who was seated on the throne.”
John introduces us to “the one who sits upon the throne” in Revelation 4:
"After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said,
'Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.'
2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.
And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,
'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!'
9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 'Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.'”
It is not that we do not know the one who sits on the throne. We have heard His gospel. We have seen His word. We have believed and received His Spirit. No, this is not the introduction of a new acquaintance. This is a reminder of the glory of the beloved King. This is a refreshing vision of one whose love we know but who has perhaps been hidden from our sight by the bluster and fog of this world. “Glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever!”
John returns often to the scene around the throne. Jesus keeps opening the curtain of heaven and inviting him in so that he can record what he sees and report to the rest of us. Curious, though, is the fact that though we often see activity around the throne, and hear voices of praise and instruction from those who surround the throne or are sent by the one who sits upon the throne, it is not until the final outpouring of the wrath of God upon the world, the seventh bowl of Revelation 16:17, that we hear direct, distinct words from the one who sits upon the throne himself, “It is done!” It is only after that incredible, long-awaited pronouncement of divine accomplishment and sovereign satisfaction that John records the voice of him who sits on the throne speaking directly to his beloved people. And all the other direct expressions of divine speech come in Revelation 21!
Revelation 21:3, "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God."
Revelation 21:5-8. "And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' Also he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.' 6 And he said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.'”
Dear brothers and sisters, elect of God and hidden with Christ in God by the Spirit of God in the grace of God according to the word of God, listen! “He who sits upon the throne” has the last word. The heathen rage. The demons shout. The beast deceives and the false prophet lies. The world, bound in pride and enslaved to a lifelong fear of death, mourns with unrepentant ferocity. But our God has the last word! Our God speaks the last word of victory, and healing, and life. He has the last word of restoration and justice and righteousness and holiness and glory, eternal and infinite, unbound and unhindered by sin or rebellion!
Today is not a day to be overcome with fear and deceived by lies. Today is not a day for despair and gloom. Today is no day to resign in hopelessness. No! Today is a day to stand with the myriads of angels and inhabitants of heaven and rejoice! Today is a day to live by faith and not by sight! He who sits upon the throne neither abdicates His position nor abandons His people. Jesus reveals to John what is already true in heaven and will one day be fully realized on earth. The one who sits upon the throne has the last and best word, the new word, the trustworthy and true word, the fully revealing, life-giving word, the word of God to the children of his love and choice!
Look up! Look beyond the chaos of this world. Listen to the voice beyond the cacophony of human culture. He who sits on the throne speaks eternal truth. Trust Him!