Revelations 22:11 Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.
These are words given in the final chapter of the final book of the bible. An angel of the Lord spoke these to John just before Jesus proclaims that He will come quickly to render to every man according to what he has done.
But what does this mean? To understand what this means we must first understand what each of these things are.
What is wrong? The word wrong in Greek is Adikeo (ad-ee-keh’-o) it means to act unjustly or wickedly, to sin, to be a criminal, to violate the laws, to do hurt, to act wickedly toward someone, to damage or cause harm. Everyone at some point does wrong. Some wrongs seem more wrong than others, but the truth is wrong is wrong in God’s eyes.
Filthy is an interesting word. You would think it means to be very dirty, and yes it does. If you look at the Greek word for filthy it is Rhuparos (rhoo-par-os’) and the definition says to be dirty, to grow filthy, but it also says to be defiled with iniquity.
What does it mean to be defiled with iniquity? It means that you live in unrighteousness and lawlessness, or wickedness and sin.
The Greek word for Righteous is Dikaios (dik’-ah-yos). It means to observe divine laws, to keep the commands of God. It also means to be innocent, faultless, and guiltless, to be approved and acceptable of God. I found this definition which I really like: “used of him whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God, and who therefore needs no rectification in the heart or life.”
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. Romans 2:13
You can’t just hear and know what the law is; you must follow it and obey it in order to be righteous.
Lets look for a minute at the statement “to be wholly conformed to the will of God and needs no rectification in the heart or life.”
To be conformed means to be in agreement or to be obedient. And rectification means to purify or set right. So a righteous person would be in agreement with God’s will or obedient to God’s will and would need no purification of their heart or life. Our hearts are made pure when it is washed with the blood of Jesus.
To be obedient to God’s will would be to love the Lord God with all your heart, your soul and your mind and to love your neighbor as yourself ( Matthew 22:37-39).
There are many who believe that you do not have to follow the commandments set forth by God(Exodus 20) because they are now covered under Grace. But as Jesus himself said He did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill the law. And notice what Jesus goes on to say. He says unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and teachers of the law, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-20
This means that you must not only follow the laws set forth in the Ten Commandments, but you must to it with the love of God in you. The Pharisees could judge a person and condemn them, but that would not show love the way God wants you to see it. Repentance and forgiveness is what God is looking for. This is what Jesus teaches us. Remember, none of us are better than another because we have all sinned. The Pharisees always thought they were better than the “common” people and judged without love. Jesus teaches us not to judge, but to love and forgive.
And lastly we have Holy. The Greek word for holy is Hagios (hag’-ee-os). It means to be a most holy thing – a saint. It is to be sacred, approved by God; to be holy, pious, chaste and pure.
Sacred means to be set apart for service to the Lord. Pious means to show reverence to God, to worship God with all your heart. Chaste means to be pure in thought, and to be pure means to be free from moral fault or guilt, to be free from sin.
I believe each of these reflect a level of faith in our walk with God. The more faith we have, the more pure we become. It is in learning the truth about the will of God, and following His will that we come more and more holy.
It is important for each of us to seek to grow in faith. We need to learn to listen to the voice of the Lord. It is wisdom to seek God with all your heart because with wisdom comes understanding. The more you seek God, the more you learn the truth. We should strive to be holy, for without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:8
Wisdom shouts in the street, she lifts her voice in the square; At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: How long, O naïve ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
Turn to my reproof, behold I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; and you neglected all my counsel and did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but they will not find me, because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof. So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices. For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.
But he who listens to me shall live securely and will be at ease from the dread of evil. Proverbs 1:20—33