The Revelation of Jesus Christ - The word Αποκαλυψις, from which we have our word Apocalypse, signifies literally, a revelation, or discovery of what was concealed or hidden. It is here said that this revelation, or discovery of hidden things, was given by God to Jesus Christ; that Christ gave it to his angel; that this angel showed it to John; and that John sent it to the Churches. Thus we find it came from God to Christ, from Christ to the angel, from the angel to John, and from John to the Church. It is properly, therefore, the Revelation of God, sent by these various agents to his servants at large; and this is the proper title of the book.
Things which must shortly come to pass - On the mode of interpretation devised by Wetstein, this is plain; for if the book were written before the destruction of Jerusalem, and the prophecies in it relate to that destruction, and the civil wars among the Romans, which lasted but three or four years, then it might be said the Revelation is of things which must shortly come to pass. But if we consider the book as referring to the state of the Church in all ages, the words here, and those in Revelation 1:3, must be understood of the commencement of the events predicted; as if he had said: In a short time the train of these visions will be put in motion: -
- et incipient magni procedere menses.
"And those times, pregnant with the most stupendous events, will begin to roll on."
The Revelation of Jesus Christ - This is evidently a title or caption of the whole book, and is designed to comprise the substance of the whole; for all that the book contains would be embraced in the general declaration that it is a revelation of Jesus Christ. The word rendered “Revelation” - Ἀποκάλυψις Apokalupsiswhence we have derived our word “Apocalypse” - means properly an that is, nakedness; from ἀποκαλύπτω apokaluptōto uncover. It would apply to anything which had been covered up so as to be bidden from the view, as by a veil, a darkness, in an ark or chest, and then made manifest by removing the covering. It comes then to be used in the sense of disclosing or revealing, by removing the veil of darkness or ignorance. “There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed.” It may be applied to the disclosing or manifesting of anything which was before obscure or unknown. This may be done:
(a) by instruction in regard to what was before obscure; that is, by statements of what was unknown before the statements were made; as in Luke 2:32, where it is said that Christ would be “a light to lighten the Gentiles” - φῶς εἰς ἀποκάλυψιν ἐθνῶν phōs eis apokalupsin ethnōnor when it is applied to the divine mysteries, purposes, or doctrines, before obscure or unknown, but made clear by light revealed in the gospel, Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 14:6; Ephesians 3:5.
(b) by the event itself; as the manifestation of the wrath of God at the day of judgment will disclose the true nature of his wrath. “After thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and “revelation” of the righteous judgment of God,” Revelation 2:5. “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation (Greek revelation) of the sons of God,” Romans 8:19; that is until it shall be manifest by the event what they who are the children of God are to be. In this sense the word is frequently applied to the second advent or appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, as disclosing him in his glory, or showing what he truly is; “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed,” 2 Thessalonians 1:7 - ἐν τῇ ἀποκαλυψει en tēn apokalupsei- in the revelation of Jesus Christ; “Waiting for the coming (the revelation - την ἀποκάλυψιν tēn apokalupsinof our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Corinthians 1:7; “At the appearing (Greek revelation) of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 1:7; “When his glory shall be revealed,” 1 Peter 4:13.
(c) It is used in the sense of making known what is to come, whether by words, signs, or symbols, as if a veil were lifted from what is hidden from human vision, or which is covered by the darkness of the unknown future. This is called a revelation, because the knowledge of the event is in fact made known to the world by Him who alone can see it, and in such a manner as he pleases to employ; though many of the terms or the symbols may be, from the necessity of the case, obscure, and though their full meaning may be disclosed only by the event. It is in this sense, evidently, that the word is used here: and in this sense that it is more commonly employed when we speak of a revelation. Thus, the word גּלה gaalaahis used in Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants.” So Job 33:16, “Then he openeth (margin, revealeth or uncovereth; Heb. יגלה yiglehthe ears of men”; that is, in a dream, he discloses to their ears his truth before concealed or unknown. Compare Daniel 2:22, Daniel 2:28-29; Daniel 10:1; Deuteronomy 29:29. These ideas enter into the word as used in the passage before us. The idea is that of a disclosure of an extraordinary character, beyond the mere ability of man, by a special communication from heaven. This is manifest, not only from the usual meaning of this word, but by the word “prophecy,” in Revelation 1:3, and by all the arrangements by which these things were made known. The ideas which would be naturally conveyed by the use of this word in this connection are two:
(1)that there was something which was before hidden, obscure, or unknown; and,
(2)that this was so disclosed by these communications as to be seen or known.
The things hidden or unknown were those which pertained to the future; the method of disclosing them was mainly by symbols. In the Greek, in this passage, the article is missing - ἀποκάλυψις apokalupsis- a Revelation, not ἡ hēthe Revelation. This is omitted because it is the title of a book, and because the use of the article might imply that this was the only revelation, excluding other books claiming to be a revelation; or it might imply some previous mention of the book, or knowledge of it in the reader. The simple meaning is, that this was “a Revelation”; it was only a part of the revelation which God has given to mankind.
The phrase, “the Revelation of Jesus Christ,” might, so far as the construction of the language is concerned, refer either to Christ as the subject or object. It might either mean that Christ is the object revealed in this book, and that its great purpose is to make him known, and so the phrase is understood in the commentary called Hyponoia (New York, 1844); or it may mean that this is a revelation which Christ makes to mankind, that is, it is his in the sense that he communicates it to the world. That this latter is the meaning here is clear:
(1)because it is expressly said in this verse that it was a revelation which God gave to him;
(2)because it is said that it pertains to things which must shortly come to pass; and,
(3)because, in fact, the revelation is a disclosure of eyelets which were to happen, and not of the person or work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Which God gave unto him - Which God imparted or communicated to Jesus Christ. This is in accordance with the representations everywhere made in the Scriptures, that God is the original fountain of truth and knowledge, and that, whatever was the original dignity of the Son of God, there was a mediatorial dependence on the Father. See John 5:19-20, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for whatsoever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him ( δεικνυσιν αὐτῷ deiknusin autō) all things that himself doeth.” “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me,” John 7:16. “As my Father hath taught me ἐδιδάξεν με edidaxen meI speak these things,” John 8:28. “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak,” John 12:49. See also John 14:10; John 17:7-8; Matthew 11:27; Mark 13:32. The same mediatorial dependence the apostle teaches us still subsists in heaven in his glorified state, and will continue until he has subdued all things 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; and hence, even in that state, he is represented as receiving the Revelation from the Father to communicate it to people.
To show unto his servants - That is, to his people, to Christians, often represented as the servants of God or of Christ, 1 Peter 2:16; Revelation 2:20; Revelation 7:3; Revelation 19:2; Revelation 22:3. It is true that the word is sometimes applied, by way of eminence, to the prophets 1 Chronicles 6:49; Daniel 6:20, and to the apostles Romans 1:1; Galatians 1:10; Philemon 1:1; Titus 1:1; James 1:1; but it is also applied to the mass of Christians, and there is no reason why it should not be so understood here. The book was sent to the churches of Asia, and was clearly designed for general use; and the contents of the book were evidently intended for the churches of the Redeemer in all ages and lands. Compare Revelation 1:3. The word rendered “to show” ( δεῖξαι deixai) commonly denotes to point out, to cause to see, to present to the sight, and is a word eminently appropriate here, as what was to be revealed was, in general, to be presented to the sight by sensible tokens or symbols.
Things which must shortly come to pass - Not all the things that will occur, but such as it was deemed of importance for his people to be made acquainted with. Nor is it certainly implied that all the things that are communicated would shortly come to pass, or would soon occur. Some of them might perhaps he in the distant future, and still it might be true that there were those which were revealed in connection with them, which soon would occur. The word rendered “things” ( ἅ ha) is a pronoun, and might be rendered “what”; “he showed to his servants what things were about to occur,” not implying that he showed all the things that would happen, but such as he judged to be needful that his people should know. The word would naturally embrace those things which, in the circumstances, were most desirable to be known. The phrase rendered “must come to pass” ( δεῖ γενέσθαι dei genesthai), would imply more than mere futurity; The word used ( δεῖ dei) means “it needs, there is need of,” and implies that there is some kind of necessity that the event should occur.
That necessity may either arise from the felt waist of anything, as where it is absent or missing, Xen. Cyr. iv., 10; ib. Revelation 7:5, Revelation 7:9; or from the nature of the case, or from a sense of duty, as Matthew 16:21, “Jesus began to show to his disciples that he must go ( δεῖ ἀπελθεῖν dei apelthein) to Jerusalem” (compare Matthew 26:35; Mark 14:31; Luke 2:49); or the necessity may exist, because a thing is right and just, meaning that it ought to be done, as Luke 13:14, “There are six days in which men ought to work” δεῖ ἐργάζεσθαι dei ergazesthaiAnd ought not this woman οὐκ ἔδει ouk edeiwhom Satan hath bound, etc., be loosed from this bond,” Luke 13:16 (compare Mark 13:14; John 4:20; Acts 5:11, Acts 5:29; 2 Timothy 2:6; Matthew 18:33; Matthew 25:27); or the necessity may be that it is conformable to the divine arrangement, or is made necessary by divine appointment, as in John 3:14, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must ( δεῖ dei) the Son of man be lifted up.” “For as yet they knew not the Scriptures, that he must ( δεῖ dei) rise again from the dead,” John 20:9; compare Acts 4:12; Acts 14:22, et al.
In the passage before us, it is implied that there was some necessity that the things referred to should occur. They were not the result of chance, they were not fortuitous. It is not, however, stated what was the ground of the necessity; whether because there was a want of something to complete a great arrangement, or because it was fight and proper in existing circumstances, or because such was the divine appointment. They were events which, on some account, must certainly occur, and which, therefore, it was important should be made known. The real ground of the necessity, probably, was founded in the design of God in redemption. He intended to carry out his great plans in reference to his church, and the things revealed here must necessarily occur in the completion of that design. The phrase rendered “shortly” ( ἐν τάχει en tachei) is one whose meaning has been much controverted, and on which much has been made to depend in the interpretation of the whole book.
The question has been whether the phrase necessarily implies that the events referred to were soon to occur, or whether it may have such an extent of meaning as to admit the supposition that the events referred to, though beginning soon, would embrace in their development far distant years, and would reach the end of all things. Those who maintain, as Prof. Stuart, that the book was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, and that the portion in 1 Corinthians 4:19, “But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will.” “Go out quickly into the streets,” Luke 14:21. “Sit down quickly, and write fifty,” Luke 16:6. “She rose up hastily ( ταχέως tacheōs) and went out,” John 11:31. “That ye are so soon removed ( ταχέως tacheōs) from him that called you,” Galatians 1:6. “Lay hands suddenly on no man,” 1 Timothy 5:22. See also Philemon 2:19, Philemon 2:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Timothy 4:9. The phrase used here ἐν τάχει en tacheioccurs in Luke 18:8, “He will avenge them speedily” (literally with speed). “Arise up quickly,” Acts 12:7. “Get time quickly out of Jerusalem,” Acts 22:18. “Would depart shortly,” Acts 25:4. “Bruise Satan under your feet shortly,” Romans 16:20; and Revelation 1:1; Revelation 22:6. The essential idea is, that the thing which is spoken of was soon to occur, or it was not a remote and distant event. There is the notion of rapidity, of haste, of suddenness. It is such a phrase as is used when the thing is on the point of happening, and could not be applied to an event which was in the remote future, considered as an independent event standing by itself. The same idea is expressed, in regard to the same thing, in Revelation 1:3, “The time is at hand” - ὁ γὰρ καιρὸς ἐγγύς ho gar kairos engusthat is, it is near, it is soon to occur. Yet.
(b) it is not necessary to suppose that the meaning is that all that there is in the book was soon to happen. It may mean that the series of events which were to follow on in their proper order was soon to commence, though it might be that the sequel would be remote. The first in the series of events was soon to begin, and the others would follow on in their train, though a portion of them, in the regular order, might be in a remote futurity. If we suppose that there was such an order, that a series of transactions was about to commence, involving along train of momentous developments, and that the beginning of this was to occur soon, the language used by John would be what would be naturally employed to express it. Thus, in case of a revolution in a government, when a reigning prince should be driven from his kingdom, to be succeeded by a new dynasty, which would long occupy the throne, and involving, as the consequence of the revolution, important events extending far into the future, we would naturally say that these things were shortly to occur, or that the time was near. It is customary to speak of a succession of events or periods as near, however vast or interminable the series may be, when the commencement is at hand. Thus, we say that the great events of the eternal world are near; that is, the beginning of them is soon to occur. So Christians now speak often of the millennium as near, or as about to occur, though it is the belief of many that it will be protracted for many ages.
(c) That this is the true idea hem is clear, whatever general view of interpretation in regard to the book is adopted. Even Prof. Stuart, who contends that the greater portion of the book refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, and the persecutions of pagan Rome, admits that “the closing part of the Revelation relates beyond all doubt to a distant period, and some of it to a future eternity” (ii., p. 5); and, if this be so, then there is no impropriety in supposing that a part of the series of predictions preceding this may lie also in a somewhat remote futurity. The true idea seems to be that the writer contemplated a series of events that were to occur, and that this series was about to commence. How far into the future it was to extend, is to be learned by the proper interpretation of all the parts of the series.
And he sent - Greek: “Sending by his angel, signified it to his servant John.” The idea is not precisely that he sent his angel to communicate the message, but that he sent by him, or employed him as an agent in doing it. The thing sent was rather the message than the angel.
And signified it - Ἐσήμανεν EsēmanenHe indicated it by signs and symbols. The word occurs in the New Testament only in John 12:33; John 18:32; John 21:19; Acts 11:28; Acts 25:27, and in the passage before us, in all which places it is rendered “signify, signifying, or signified.” It properly refers to some sign, signal, or token by which anything is made known (compare Matthew 26:28; Romans 4:11; Genesis 9:12-13; Genesis 17:11; Luke 2:12; 2 Corinthians 12:12; 1 Corinthians 14:22), and is a word most happily chosen to denote the manner in which the events referred to were to be communicated to John, for nearly the whole book is made up of signs and symbols. If it be asked what was signified to John, it may be replied that either the word “it” may be understood, as in our translation, to refer to the Apocalypse (Revelation), or refer to what he saw ( ὅσα εἶδε hosa eide), as Prof. Stuart supposes; or it may be absolute, without any object following, as Prof. Robinson (Lexicon) supposes. The general sense is, that, sending by his angel, he made to John a communication by expressive signs or symbols.
By his angel - That is, an angel was employed to cause these scenic representations to pass before the mind of the apostle. The communication was not made directly to him, but was through the medium of a heavenly messenger employed for this purpose. Thus, in Revelation 22:6, it is said, “And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.” Compare Revelation 1:8-9 of that chapter. There is frequent allusion in the Scriptures to the fact that angels have been employed as agents in making known the divine will, or in the revelations which have been made to people. Thus, in Acts 7:53, it is said, “Who have received the law by the disposition of angels.” “For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast,” etc., Hebrews 2:2; “and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator,” Galatians 3:19. Compare the notes on Acts 7:38, Acts 7:53. There is almost no further reference to the agency of the angel employed for this service in the book, and there is no distinct specification of what he did, or of his great agency in the case.
John is everywhere represented as seeing the symbols himself, and it would seem that the agency of the angel was, either to cause those symbols to pass before the apostle, or to convey their meaning to his mind. How far John himself understood the meaning of these symbols, we have not the means of knowing with certainty. The most probable supposition is, that the angel was employed to cause these visions or symbols to pass before his mind, rather than to interpret them. If an interpretation had been given, it is inconceivable that it should not have been recorded, and there is no more probability that their meaning should have been disclosed to John himself, for his private use, than that it should have been disclosed and recorded for the use of others. It would seem probable, therefore, that John had only that view of the meaning of what he saw which anyone else might obtain from the record of the visions. Compare the notes on 1 Peter 1:10-12.
Unto his servant John - Nothing could be learned from this expression as to what John was the author of the book, whether the apostle of that name or some other. Compare the introduction, section 1. It cannot be inferred from the use of the word “servant,” rather than apostle, that the apostle John was not the author, for it was not uncommon for the apostles to designate themselves merely by the words “servants,” or “servants of God.” Compare the notes on Romans 1:1.
The Title. â The translators of our common version of the Bible have given this book the title of âThe Revelation of St. John the Divine.â In this they contradict the very first words of the book itself, which declare it to be âThe Revelation of Jesus Christ.â Jesus Christ is the Revelator, not John. John is but the penman employed by Christ to write out this Revelation for the benefit of his church. There is no doubt that the John here mentioned is the person of that name who was the beloved and highly favored one among the twelve apostles. He was evangelist and apostle, and the writer of the Gospel and epistles which bear his name. (See Clarke, Barnes, Kitto, Fond, and others.) To his previous titles he now adds that of prophet; for the Revelation is a prophecy. But the matter of this book is traced back to a still higher source. It is not only the Revelation of Jesus Christ, but it is the Revelation which God gave unto him. It comes, then, first, from the great fountain of all wisdom and truth, God the Father; by him it was communicated to Jesus Christ, the Son; and Christ sent and signified it by his angel to his servant John.DAR 323.3
The Character of the Book. â This is expressed in one word, âRevelation.â A revelation is something revealed, something clearly made known, not something hidden and concealed. Moses, in Deuteronomy 29:29, tells us that âthe secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.â The very title of the book, then, is a sufficient refutation of the popular opinion of to-day, that this book is among the hidden mysteries of God, and cannot be understood. Were this the case, it should bear some such title as âThe Mystery,â or âThe Hidden Book;â certainly not that of âThe Revelation.âDAR 324.1
Its Object. â âTo show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass.â His servants â who are they? Is there any limit? For whose benefit was the Revelation given? Was it given for any specified persons? for any particular churches? for any special period of time? â No; it is for all the church in all time, so long as any of the events therein predicted remain to be accomplished. It is for all those who can claim the appellation of âhis servants,â wherever or whenever they may live.DAR 324.2
But this language brings up again the common view that the Revelation is not to be understood. God says that it was given to show something to his servants; and yet many of the expounders of his word tell us that it does not show anything, because no man can understand it! as though God would undertake to make known to mankind some important truths, and yet fall into the worse than earthly folly of clothing them in language or in figures which human minds could not comprehend! as though he would command a person to behold some distant object, and then erect an impenetrable barrier between him and the object specified! or as though he would give his servants a light to guide them through the gloom of night, and yet throw over that light a pall so thick and heavy that not a ray of its brightness could penetrate the obscuring folds! How do they dishonor God who thus trifle with his word! No; the Revelation will accomplish the object for which it was given, and âhis servantsâ will learn therefrom âthe things which must shortly come to pass,â and which concern their eternal salvation.DAR 324.3
His Angel. â Christ sent and made known the Revelation to John by âhis angel.â A particular angel seems here to be brought to view. What angel could appropriately be called Christâs angel? May we not find an answer to this question in a significant passage in the prophecy of Daniel? In Daniel 10:21, an angel, which was doubtless Gabriel (see Daniel, chapters 9, 10, and 11:1), in making known some important truths to Daniel, said, âThere is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.â Who Michael is we easily learn. Jude (verse 9) calls him the âarchangel.â And Paul tells us that when the Lord descends from heaven, and the dead in Christ are raised, the voice of the archangel shall be heard. 1 Thessalonians 4:16. And whose voice will be heard at that amazing hour when the dead are called to life? The Lord himself replies, âMarvel not at this; for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voiceâ (John 5:28); and the previous verse shows that the one here referred to, whose voice will then be heard, is the Son of man, or Christ. It is the voice of Christ, then, that calls the dead from their graves. That voice, Paul declares, is the voice of the archangel; and Jude says that the archangel is called Michael, the very personage mentioned in Daniel, and all referring to Christ. The statement in Daniel, then, is, that the truths to be revealed to Daniel were committed to Christ, and confined exclusively to him, and to an angel whose name was Gabriel. Similar to the work of communicating important truth to the âbeloved prophetâ is the work of Christ in the Revelation of communicating important truth to the âbeloved disciple;â and who, in this work, can be his angel but he who was engaged with him in the former work, that is, the angel Gabriel? This fact will throw light on some points in this book, while it would also seem most appropriate that the same being who was employed to carry messages to the âbelovedâ prophet of the former dispensation, should perform the same office for him who corresponds to that prophet in the gospel age. (See on chapter 19:10.)DAR 325.1
The Benediction. â âBlessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy.â Is there so direct and formal a blessing pronounced upon the reading and observance of any other portion of the word of God? What encouragement, then, have we for its study! And shall we say that it cannot be understood? Is a blessing offered for the study of a book which it can do us no good to study? Men may assert, with more pertness than piety, that âevery age of declension is marked by an increase of commentaries on the Apocalypse,â or that âthe study of the Revelation either finds or leaves a man mad;â but God has pronounced his blessing upon it, he has set the seal of his approbation to an earnest study of its marvelous pages; and with such encouragement from such a source, the child of God will be unmoved by a thousand feeble counterblasts from men.DAR 326.1
Every fulfillment of prophecy brings its duties; hence there are things in the Revelation to be kept, or performed; practical duties to be entered upon as the result of the accomplishment of the prophecy. A notable instance of this kind may be seen in chapter 14:12, where it is said, âHere are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.âDAR 326.2
But says John, âThe time is at hand,â â another motive offered for the study of this book. It becomes more and more important, as we draw near the great consummation. On this point we offer the impressive thoughts of another: âThe importance of studying the Apocalypse increases with the lapse of time. Here are âthings which must shortly come to pass.â Even when John bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw, the long period within which those successive scenes were to be realized was at hand. If proximity then constituted a motive for heeding those contents, how much more does it now! Every revolving century, every closing year, adds to the urgency with which attention is challenged to the concluding portion of Holy Writ. And does not that intensity of devotion to the present, which characterizes our times and our country, enhance the reasonableness of this claim? Never, surely, was there a period when some mighty counteracting power was more needed. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, duly studied, supplies an appropriate corrective influence. Would that all Christians might, in fullest measure, receive the blessing of âthem that hear the words of this prophecy, and that keep the things which are written therein; for the time is at hand.ââ â Thompsonâs Patmos, pp. 28, 29.DAR 326.3
The Dedication. â Following the benediction, we have the dedication, in these words: âDAR 327.1
This revelation was given for the guidance and comfort of the church throughout the Christian dispensation. Yet religious teachers have declared that it is a sealed book and its secrets cannot be explained. Therefore many have turned from the prophetic record, refusing to devote time and study to its mysteries. But God does not wish His people to regard the book thus. It is “the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.” “Blessed is he that readeth,” the Lord declares, “and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Verses 1, 3. “I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.” Revelation 22:18-20. AA 583.1Read in context »
Let the truths that are the foundation of our faith be kept before the people. Some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. They talk science, and the enemy comes in and gives them an abundance of science; but it is not the science of salvation. It is not the science of humility, of consecration, or of the sanctification of the Spirit. We are now to understand what the pillars of our faith are,—the truths that have made us as a people what we are, leading us on step by step.—The Review and Herald, May 25, 1905. CW 29.1
The Message to Present—Our lesson for the present time is, How may we most clearly comprehend and present the gospel that Christ came in person to present to John on the Isle of Patmos,—the gospel that is termed “the revelation of Jesus Christ”? We are to present to our people a clear explanation of Revelation. We are to give them the word of God just as it is, with as few of our own explanations as possible. No one mind can do this work alone. Although we have in trust the grandest and most important truth ever presented to the world, we are only babes, as far as understanding truth in all its bearings is concerned. Christ is the great teacher, and that which He revealed to John, we are to tax our minds to understand and clearly to define. We are facing the most important issues that men have ever been called upon to meet. CW 29.2
The theme of greatest importance is the third angel's message, embracing the messages of the first and second angels. All should understand the truths contained in these messages and demonstrate them in daily life, for this is essential to salvation. We shall have to study earnestly, prayerfully, in order to understand these grand truths.—Letter 97, 1902. CW 29.3Read in context »
The words of the angel, “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God,” show that he holds a position of high honor in the heavenly courts. When he came with a message to Daniel, he said, “There is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael [Christ] your Prince.” Daniel 10:21. Of Gabriel the Saviour speaks in the Revelation, saying that “He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” Revelation 1:1. And to John the angel declared, “I am a fellow servant with thee and with thy brethren the prophets.” Revelation 22:9, R. V. Wonderful thought—that the angel who stands next in honor to the Son of God is the one chosen to open the purposes of God to sinful men. DA 99.1
Zacharias had expressed doubt of the angel's words. He was not to speak again until they were fulfilled. “Behold,” said the angel, “thou shalt be dumb, ... until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.” It was the duty of the priest in this service to pray for the pardon of public and national sins, and for the coming of the Messiah; but when Zacharias attempted to do this, he could not utter a word. DA 99.2
Coming forth to bless the people, “he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.” They had waited long, and had begun to fear, lest he had been cut down by the judgment of God. But as he came forth from the holy place, his face was shining with the glory of God, “and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple.” Zacharias communicated to them what he had seen and heard; and “as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.” DA 99.3
Soon after the birth of the promised child, the father's tongue was loosed, “and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judea. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be!” All this tended to call attention to the Messiah's coming, for which John was to prepare the way. DA 99.4Read in context »
In order to sustain erroneous doctrines or unchristian practices, some will seize upon passages of Scripture separated from the context, perhaps quoting half of a single verse as proving their point, when the remaining portion would show the meaning to be quite the opposite. With the cunning of the serpent they entrench themselves behind disconnected utterances construed to suit their carnal desires. Thus do many willfully pervert the word of God. Others, who have an active imagination, seize upon the figures and symbols of Holy Writ, interpret them to suit their fancy, with little regard to the testimony of Scripture as its own interpreter, and then they present their vagaries as the teachings of the Bible. GC 521.1
Whenever the study of the Scriptures is entered upon without a prayerful, humble, teachable spirit, the plainest and simplest as well as the most difficult passages will be wrested from their true meaning. The papal leaders select such portions of Scripture as best serve their purpose, interpret to suit themselves, and then present these to the people, while they deny them the privilege of studying the Bible and understanding its sacred truths for themselves. The whole Bible should be given to the people just as it reads. It would be better for them not to have Bible instruction at all than to have the teaching of the Scriptures thus grossly misrepresented. GC 521.2
The Bible was designed to be a guide to all who wish to become acquainted with the will of their Maker. God gave to men the sure word of prophecy; angels and even Christ Himself came to make known to Daniel and John the things that must shortly come to pass. Those important matters that concern our salvation were not left involved in mystery. They were not revealed in such a way as to perplex and mislead the honest seeker after truth. Said the Lord by the prophet Habakkuk: “Write the vision, and make it plain, ... that he may run that readeth it.” Habakkuk 2:2. The word of God is plain to all who study it with a prayerful heart. Every truly honest soul will come to the light of truth. “Light is sown for the righteous.” Psalm 97:11. And no church can advance in holiness unless its members are earnestly seeking for truth as for hid treasure. GC 521.3Read in context »
We have, as it were, been asleep regarding this matter. Let us now send forth the word with determined energy, that the world may understand the messages that Christ gave to John on the Isle of Patmos. PM 57.3Read in context »
Consider the circumstances of the Jewish nation when the prophecies of Daniel were given. TM 113.1
Let us give more time to the study of the Bible. We do not understand the word as we should. The book of Revelation opens with an injunction to us to understand the instruction that it contains. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy,” God declares, “and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” When we as a people understand what this book means to us, there will be seen among us a great revival. We do not understand fully the lessons that it teaches, notwithstanding the injunction given us to search and study it. TM 113.2
In the past teachers have declared Daniel and the Revelation to be sealed books, and the people have turned from them. The veil whose apparent mystery has kept many from lifting it, God's own hand has withdrawn from these portions of His word. The very name “Revelation” contradicts the statement that it is a sealed book. “Revelation” means that something of importance is revealed. The truths of this book are addressed to those living in these last days. We are standing with the veil removed in the holy place of sacred things. We are not to stand without. We are to enter, not with careless, irreverent thoughts, not with impetuous footsteps, but with reverence and godly fear. We are nearing the time when the prophecies of the book of Revelation are to be fulfilled.... TM 113.3Read in context »
We should ever cherish feelings of gratitude to those who have shown us favors in times of need. But these feelings that are so readily called into exercise by the kindness and disinterestedness of our friends should respond to the love and compassion of our benevolent heavenly Friend.... The friendship expressed by nearest and dearest relatives and friends is so far surpassed by the revelation of Jesus Christ that the former is dumb and expressionless when compared with the latter. It is natural that the heart should entertain sentiments of the warmest affection toward those who have done or suffered something for us. TDG 328.2Read in context »
On the isle of Patmos John saw the things which God desired him to give to the people. Here is a theme worthy of our contemplation. Here are large and comprehensive lessons, which all the angelic hosts are now seeking to communicate. Infinite wisdom, infinite love, infinite justice, infinite mercy—depths, heights, lengths, breadths! Numberless pens have been employed to represent the life and character and mediatorial work of Christ, and yet to every mind through whom the Holy Spirit works these themes are presented fresh and new, just in accordance with the mind and spirit of the human agent. The Lord Jesus promised that the Spirit He would send would recall His words to the minds of those prepared to receive them. After His resurrection He opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures. Up to that time the disciples had not comprehended them, for the rubbish of rabbinical lore had hidden the truth from their view. TMK 340.2Read in context »
The significance of the Jewish economy is not yet fully comprehended. Truths vast and profound are shadowed forth in its rites and symbols. The gospel is the key that unlocks its mysteries. Through a knowledge of the plan of redemption, its truths are opened to the understanding. Far more than we do, it is our privilege to understand these wonderful themes. We are to comprehend the deep things of God. Angels desire to look into the truths that are revealed to the people who with contrite hearts are searching the word of God, and praying for greater lengths and breadths and depths and heights of the knowledge which He alone can give. COL 133.1
As we near the close of this world's history, the prophecies relating to the last days especially demand our study. The last book of the New Testament scriptures is full of truth that we need to understand. Satan has blinded the minds of many, so that they have been glad of any excuse for not making the Revelation their study. But Christ through His servant John has here declared what shall be in the last days, and He says, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” Revelation 1:3. COL 133.2
“This is life eternal,” Christ said, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3. Why is it that we do not realize the value of this knowledge? Why are not these glorious truths glowing in our hearts, trembling upon our lips, and pervading our whole being? COL 133.3
In giving us His word, God has put us in possession of every truth essential for our salvation. Thousands have drawn water from these wells of life, yet there is no diminishing of the supply. Thousands have set the Lord before them, and by beholding have been changed into the same image. Their spirit burns within them as they speak of His character, telling what Christ is to them, and what they are to Christ. But these searchers have not exhausted these grand and holy themes. Thousands more may engage in the work of searching out the mysteries of salvation. As the life of Christ and the character of His mission are dwelt upon, rays of light will shine forth more distinctly at every attempt to discover truth. Each fresh search will reveal something more deeply interesting than has yet been unfolded. The subject is inexhaustible. The study of the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice and mediatorial work, will employ the mind of the diligent student as long as time shall last; and looking to heaven with its unnumbered years he will exclaim, “Great is the mystery of godliness.” COL 133.4Read in context »
Present Vital Matters—Suppose our teachers and students should have more to teach and write in regard to those things which are now to be fulfilled, and which concern the eternal welfare of souls. Suppose that pen and voice should give meat in due season to the old and the young, to saints and to sinners. Let the many things that might be said to awaken the church from its slumbers be spoken without losing any more time in dwelling on those things which are not essential, and that have no bearing upon the present necessities of our people or upon the ignorant who know not the truth. Read the first three verses of Revelation, and see what work is especially enjoined upon those who claim to believe the word of God.... CW 101.1
A Separating Message—My brethren, the recent productions in the papers reveal a blindness of spiritual discernment. When the eyes have been enlightened with the spiritual eyesight, then we shall see altogether clearly. The things of time and sense that now attract attention will lose their value, for there will be disclosed to men eternal interests. As God made known His will to the Hebrew captives, to those who were most separate from the customs and practices of a world lying in wickedness, so will the Lord communicate light from heaven to all who will appreciate a “Thus saith the Lord.” To them He will express His mind. Those who are least bound up with worldly ideas, are the most separate from display, and vanity, and pride, and love of promotion, who stand forth as His peculiar people, zealous of good works,—to these He will reveal the meaning of His word. The very first exhibition of God's power to the Hebrew captives was in showing the defective wisdom of the great ones of the earth. The wisdom of men is foolishness with God. The magicians revealed their ignorance of the light before the Lord revealed His wisdom as supreme. The wisdom of human agents who had misappropriated their God-given talents, God showed to be foolishness. CW 101.2Read in context »
Our lesson for the present time is, How may we most clearly comprehend and present the gospel that Christ came in person to present to John on the Isle of Patmos,—the gospel that is termed, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.” “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, ... for the time is at hand.” CW 175.1
We are to proclaim to the world the great and solemn truths of Revelation. Into the very designs and principles of the church of God these truths are to enter.... CW 175.2
We have a most important work to do,—the work of proclaiming the third angel's message. We are facing the most important issues that men have ever been called to meet. All should understand the truths contained in the three messages; for they are essential to salvation. CW 175.3
My brethren, will you not give the flock of God bread, and not a stone? Never print in our papers a word that will lower the standard that God expects His people to meet. Call no man brilliant who has not the wisdom to choose the Lord Jesus Christ—the light and life of the world. The excellence of a man is determined by his possession of the virtues of Christ. Let us not look away from Christ to sinful human beings. The truth must be kept before the people. The standard of purity, temperance, and holiness must be uplifted. CW 175.4Read in context »
The time of Christ's coming, His anointing by the Holy Spirit, His death, and the giving of the gospel to the Gentiles, were definitely pointed out. It was the privilege of the Jewish people to understand these prophecies, and to recognize their fulfillment in the mission of Jesus. Christ urged upon His disciples the importance of prophetic study. Referring to the prophecy given to Daniel in regard to their time, He said, “Whoso readeth, let him understand.” Matthew 24:15. After His resurrection He explained to the disciples in “all the prophets” “the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27. The Saviour had spoken through all the prophets. “The Spirit of Christ which was in them” “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:11. DA 234.1
It was Gabriel, the angel next in rank to the Son of God, who came with the divine message to Daniel. It was Gabriel, “His angel,” whom Christ sent to open the future to the beloved John; and a blessing is pronounced on those who read and hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things written therein. Revelation 1:3. DA 234.2
“The Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants and prophets.” While “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God,” “those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” Amos 3:7; Deuteronomy 29:29. God has given these things to us, and His blessing will attend the reverent, prayerful study of the prophetic scriptures. DA 234.3
As the message of Christ's first advent announced the kingdom of His grace, so the message of His second advent announces the kingdom of His glory. And the second message, like the first, is based on the prophecies. The words of the angel to Daniel relating to the last days were to be understood in the time of the end. At that time, “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” “The wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Daniel 12:4, 10. The Saviour Himself has given signs of His coming, and He says, “When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:31, 34, 36. DA 234.4Read in context »
Preachers and people have looked upon the book of Revelation as mysterious and of less importance than other portions of the Sacred Scriptures. But I saw that this book is indeed a revelation given for the especial benefit of those who should live in the last days, to guide them in ascertaining their true position and their duty. God directed the mind of William Miller to the prophecies and gave him great light upon the book of Revelation. EW 231.1
If Daniel's visions had been understood, the people could better have understood the visions of John. But at the right time, God moved upon His chosen servant, who, with clearness and in the power of the Holy Spirit, opened the prophecies and showed the harmony of the visions of Daniel and John and other portions of the Bible, and pressed home upon the hearts of the people the sacred, fearful warnings of the Word to prepare for the coming of the Son of man. Deep and solemn conviction rested upon the minds of those who heard him, and ministers and people, sinners and infidels, turned to the Lord and sought a preparation to stand in the judgment. EW 231.2Read in context »
Every part of the Bible is given by inspiration of God and is profitable. The Old Testament no less than the New should receive attention. As we study the Old Testament we shall find living springs bubbling up where the careless reader discerns only a desert. Ed 191.1
The book of Revelation, in connection with the book of Daniel, especially demands study. Let every God-fearing teacher consider how most clearly to comprehend and to present the gospel that our Saviour came in person to make known to His servant John—“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.” Revelation 1:1. None should become discouraged in the study of the Revelation because of its apparently mystical symbols. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.” James 1:5. Ed 191.2
“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.” Revelation 1:3. Ed 191.3
When a real love for the Bible is awakened, and the student begins to realize how vast is the field and how precious its treasure, he will desire to seize upon every opportunity for acquainting himself with God's word. Its study will be restricted to no special time or place. And this continuous study is one of the best means of cultivating a love for the Scriptures. Let the student keep his Bible always with him. As you have opportunity, read a text and meditate upon it. While walking the streets, waiting at a railway station, waiting to meet an engagement, improve the opportunity to gain some precious thought from the treasure house of truth. Ed 191.4Read in context »
The most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is to be warned, and God's people are to be true to the trust committed to them.... Ev 120.1
Shall we wait until God's judgments fall upon the transgressor before we tell him how to avoid them? Where is our faith in the Word of God? Must we see things foretold come to pass before we will believe what He has said? In clear, distinct rays light has come to us, showing us that the great day of the Lord is near at hand, “even at the door.”—Testimonies For The Church 9:19, 20 (1909). Ev 120.2
Not to Miss the Mark—There must be no time uselessly employed in this great work. We must not miss the mark. Time is too short for us to undertake to reveal all that might be opened up to view. Eternity will be required that we may know all the length and breadth, the height and depth, of the Scriptures.... Ev 120.3
To the apostle John, on the Isle of Patmos, were revealed the things that God desired him to give to the people. Study these revelations. Here are themes worthy of our contemplation, large and comprehensive lessons, which all the angelic hosts are now seeking to communicate. Behold the life and character of Christ, and study His mediatorial work. Here are infinite wisdom, infinite love, infinite justice, infinite mercy. Here are depths and heights, lengths and breadths, for our consideration. Numberless pens have been employed in presenting to the world the life, the character, and the mediatorial work of Christ; yet every mind through whom the Holy Spirit has worked has presented these themes in a light that is fresh and new, according to the mind and spirit of the human agent.... Ev 120.4Read in context »
Great Themes—Up-to-Date Message—Those who stand before the people as teachers of truth are to grapple with great themes. They are not to occupy precious time in talking of trivial subjects. Let them study the Word, and preach the Word. Let the Word be in their hands as a sharp, two-edged sword. Let it testify to past truths and show what is to be in the future. Ev 151.1
Christ came from heaven to give to John the great, wonderful truths that are to shape our lives and that by us are to be proclaimed to the world. We are to keep abreast of the times, bearing a clear, intelligent testimony, guided by the unction of the Holy Spirit.—The Review and Herald, April 19, 1906. Ev 151.2Read in context »
Crowd in Clear-cut Prophetic Truths—The perils of the last days are upon us, and in our work we are to warn the people of the danger they are in. Let not the solemn scenes which prophecy has revealed, be left untouched. If our people were half awake, if they realized the nearness of the events portrayed in the Revelation, a reformation would be wrought in our churches, and many more would believe the message. Ev 195.1
We have no time to lose; God calls upon us to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Advance new principles, and crowd in the clear-cut truth. It will be as a sword cutting both ways. But be not too ready to take a controversial attitude. There will be times when we must stand still and see the salvation of God. Let Daniel speak, let the Revelation speak, and tell what is truth. But whatever phase of the subject is presented, uplift Jesus as the center of all hope, “the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star.”—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 118 (1896). Ev 195.2
In a Fresh, Impressive Way—Do not let the teaching be done in a dry, abstract way, which has been the manner of teaching in too many cases, but present the truths of God's Word in a fresh, impressive way.... Ev 195.3
The book of Revelation must be opened to the people. Many have been taught that it is a sealed book; but it is sealed only to those who reject light and truth. The truth it contains must be proclaimed, that people may have an opportunity to prepare for the events which are so soon to transpire. The third angel's message must be presented as the only hope for the salvation of a perishing world.—Letter 87, 1896. Ev 195.4Read in context »
Confederacies will increase in number and power as we draw nearer to the end of time. These confederacies will create opposing influences to the truth, forming new parties of professed believers who will act out their own delusive theories. The apostasy will increase. “Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” Men and women have confederated to oppose the Lord God of heaven, and the church is only half awake to the situation. There needs to be much more prayer, much more of earnest effort, among professed believers.—The Review and Herald, August 5, 1909. Ev 363.1
Danger in Ignorance of Our Past History—All genuine experience in religious doctrines will bear the impress of Jehovah. All should see the necessity of understanding the truth for themselves individually. We must understand the doctrines that have been studied out carefully and prayerfully. It has been revealed to me that there is among our people a great lack of knowledge in regard to the rise and progress of the third angel's message. There is great need to search the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation, and learn the texts thoroughly, that we may know what is written. Ev 363.2
The light given me has been very forcible that many would go out from us, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. The Lord desires that every soul who claims to believe the truth shall have an intelligent knowledge of what is truth. False prophets will arise and will deceive many. Everything is to be shaken that can be shaken. Then does it not become everyone to understand the reasons for our faith? In place of having so many sermons, there should be a more close searching of the Word of God, opening the Scriptures text by text, and searching for the strong evidences that sustain the fundamental doctrines that have brought us where we now are, upon the platform of eternal truth. Ev 363.3Read in context »
God would have us appreciate His blessings in His created works. How many children there are in the crowded cities that have not even a spot of green grass to set their feet upon. If they could be educated in the country, amid the beauty, peace, and purity of nature, it would seem to them the spot nearest heaven. In retired places, where we are farthest from the corrupting maxims, customs, and excitements of the world, and nearest to the heart of nature, Christ makes His presence real to us, and speaks to our souls of His peace and love.—Special Testimonies On Education, May 11, 1896. FE 424.1Read in context »
Ministers and people declared that the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation were incomprehensible mysteries. But Christ directed His disciples to the words of the prophet Daniel concerning events to take place in their time, and said: “Whoso readeth, let him understand.” Matthew 24:15. And the assertion that the Revelation is a mystery, not to be understood, is contradicted by the very title of the book: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.... 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.” Revelation 1:1-3. GC 341.1
Says the prophet: “Blessed is he that readeth”—there are those who will not read; the blessing is not for them. “And they that hear”—there are some, also, who refuse to hear anything concerning the prophecies; the blessing is not for this class. “And keep those things which are written therein”—many refuse to heed the warnings and instructions contained in the Revelation; none of these can claim the blessing promised. All who ridicule the subjects of the prophecy and mock at the symbols here solemnly given, all who refuse to reform their lives and to prepare for the coming of the Son of man, will be unblessed. GC 341.2
In view of the testimony of Inspiration, how dare men teach that the Revelation is a mystery beyond the reach of human understanding? It is a mystery revealed, a book opened. The study of the Revelation directs the mind to the prophecies of Daniel, and both present most important instruction, given of God to men, concerning events to take place at the close of this world's history. GC 341.3
To John were opened scenes of deep and thrilling interest in the experience of the church. He saw the position, dangers, conflicts, and final deliverance of the people of God. He records the closing messages which are to ripen the harvest of the earth, either as sheaves for the heavenly garner or as fagots for the fires of destruction. Subjects of vast importance were revealed to him, especially for the last church, that those who should turn from error to truth might be instructed concerning the perils and conflicts before them. None need be in darkness in regard to what is coming upon the earth. GC 341.4Read in context »
Honored by men with the responsibilities of state and with the secrets of kingdoms bearing universal sway, Daniel was honored by God as His ambassador, and was given many revelations of the mysteries of ages to come. His wonderful prophecies, as recorded by him in chapters 7 to 12 of the book bearing his name, were not fully understood even by the prophet himself; but before his life labors closed, he was given the blessed assurance that “at the end of the days”—in the closing period of this world's history—he would again be permitted to stand in his lot and place. It was not given him to understand all that God had revealed of the divine purpose. “Shut up the words, and seal the book,” he was directed concerning his prophetic writings; these were to be sealed “even to the time of the end.” “Go thy way, Daniel,” the angel once more directed the faithful messenger of Jehovah; “for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.... Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Daniel 12:4, 9, 13. PK 547.1
As we near the close of this world's history, the prophecies recorded by Daniel demand our special attention, as they relate to the very time in which we are living. With them should be linked the teachings of the last book of the New Testament Scriptures. Satan has led many to believe that the prophetic portions of the writings of Daniel and of John the revelator cannot be understood. But the promise is plain that special blessing will accompany the study of these prophecies. “The wise shall understand” (verse 10), was spoken of the visions of Daniel that were to be unsealed in the latter days; and of the revelation that Christ gave to His servant John for the guidance of God's people all through the centuries, the promise is, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.” Revelation 1:3. PK 547.2Read in context »
The False Claims of Satan—Satan, the rebel and apostate, works by every possible device to defeat the purpose of God. Because men have sinned, he claims that they have come under his dominion, and that the heavenly agencies, angels that excel in strength, should not take his subjects from under his control. Should men receive divine power, he knows that he cannot prevail against them, and work his will in cruelty upon body and mind; therefore he accuses them before God, and claims that the power of God shall not be imparted to them (The Review and Herald, June 20, 1893). 7BC 953.1
15 (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; see EGW on Genesis 6:3; Romans 3:19). Every Action Weighed in the Scales—[Jude 14, 15; Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14 quoted in part.] God places every action in the scale. What a scene it will be! What impressions will be made regarding the holy character of God and the terrible enormity of sin, when the judgment, based on the law, is carried forward in the presence of all the worlds. Then before the mind of the unrepentant sinner there will be opened all the sins that he has committed, and he will see and understand the aggregate of sin and his own guilt. 7BC 953.2
When the loyal overcomers are crowned, God would have present all who have transgressed His law and broken their covenant with Him. And not one of the righteous will be absent. They see in the Judge, Christ Jesus, the One whom every sinner has crucified. The Son of man shall come in His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations. The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son (Manuscript 77, 1906). 7BC 953.3
20-25. Most Earnest Work to be Done—The instruction given by Jude from verse twenty to the close of the chapter, will make our work a complete whole, teaching us how to conduct the warfare in the service of Christ. No one-sided extravagance is to be revealed, no indolence of shiftlessness is to be indulged. We are not to ignore any man's individuality, or in any way to justify cold-hearted criticism or selfish practice. 7BC 953.4
This scripture brings to view the fact that there is most earnest work to be done, and we need divine intuition that we may know how to work for souls ready to perish. There are souls to be plucked out of the fire, there are souls who are to be treated with the tenderest compassion. Workers are needed who have learned in the school of Christ His method of saving souls (Letter 7, 1895). 7BC 953.5Read in context »
(Ch. 5:8; Psalm 141:2; John 1:29; Ephesians 5:2.) Incense Represents Blood of Atonement—[Revelation 8:3, 4 quoted.] Let the families, the individual Christians, and the churches bear in mind that they are closely allied to heaven. The Lord has a special interest in His church militant here below. The angels who offer the smoke of the fragrant incense are for the praying saints. Then let the evening prayers in every family rise steadily to heaven in the cool sunset hour, speaking before God in our behalf of the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour. 7BC 971.1
That blood alone is efficacious. It alone can make propitiation for our sins. It is the blood of the only-begotten Son of God that is of value for us that we may draw nigh unto God, His blood alone that taketh “away the sin of the world.” Morning and evening the heavenly universe behold every household that prays, and the angel with the incense, representing the blood of the atonement, finds access to God (Manuscript 15, 1897). 7BC 971.2Read in context »
These lessons are for our benefit. We need to stay our faith upon God, for there is just before us a time that will try men's souls. Christ, upon the Mount of Olives, rehearsed the fearful judgments that were to precede His second coming: “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.” “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” While these prophecies received a partial fulfillment at the destruction of Jerusalem, they have a more direct application to the last days. 5T 753.1
We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The Lord is at the door. There is soon to open before us a period of overwhelming interest to all living. The controversies of the past are to be revived; new controversies will arise. The scenes to be enacted in our world are not yet even dreamed of. Satan is at work through human agencies. Those who are making an effort to change the Constitution and secure a law enforcing Sunday observance little realize what will be the result. A crisis is just upon us. 5T 753.2
But God's servants are not to trust to themselves in this great emergency. In the visions given to Isaiah, to Ezekiel, and to John we see how closely heaven is connected with the events taking place upon the earth and how great is the care of God for those who are loyal to Him. The world is not without a ruler. The program of coming events is in the hands of the Lord. The Majesty of heaven has the destiny of nations, as well as the concerns of His church, in His own charge. 5T 753.3
We permit ourselves to feel altogether too much care, trouble, and perplexity in the Lord's work. Finite men are not left to carry the burden of responsibility. We need to trust in God, believe in Him, and go forward. The tireless vigilance of the heavenly messengers, and their unceasing employment in their ministry in connection with the beings of earth, show us how God's hand is guiding the wheel within a wheel. The divine Instructor is saying to every actor in His work, as He said to Cyrus of old: “I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me.” 5T 753.4Read in context »
The third angel's message, the great testing truth for this time, is to be taught in all our institutions. God designs that through them this special warning shall be given, and bright beams of light shall shine to the world. Time is short. The perils of the last days are upon us, and we should watch and pray, and study and heed the lessons that are given us in the books of Daniel and the Revelation. 6T 128.1
When John was banished from those he loved to lonely Patmos, Christ knew where to find His faithful witness. John said: “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” The Lord's day is the seventh day, the Sabbath of creation. On the day that God sanctified and blessed, Christ signified “by His angel unto His servant John” things which must come to pass before the close of the world's history, and He means that we should become intelligent with regard to them. It is not in vain that He declares: “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.” Revelation 1:9, 10, 1-3. This is the education that is to be patiently given. Let our lessons be appropriate for the day in which we live, and let our religious instruction be given in accordance with the messages God sends. 6T 128.2
We shall have to stand before magistrates to answer for our allegiance to the law of God, to make known the reasons of our faith. And the youth should understand these things. They should know the things that will come to pass before the closing up of the world's history. These things concern our eternal welfare, and teachers and students should give more attention to them. By pen and voice, knowledge should be imparted which will be meat in due season, not only to the young, but to those of mature years also. 6T 128.3Read in context »
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 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.” Revelation 1:1-3. 7T 158.1Read in context »
When John was old and gray-headed, he was given a message to bear to the persecuted churches. The Jews made several attempts to take his life, but the Lord said: “Let him live. I who created him will be with him and will guard him.” Constantly this aged disciple bore testimony for the Master. In beautiful language, with a musical voice, speaking in a way that impressed the hearts of all who heard him, he told of the words and works of Christ. He was sent as an exile to Patmos, but Christ visited him in his exile, and communicated to him the grand truths found in the Revelation. 7T 288.1
As those who have spent their lives in the service of God draw near the close of their earthly history, they will be impressed by the Holy Spirit to recount the experiences they have had in connection with His work. The record of His wonderful dealings with His people, of His great goodness in delivering them from trial, should be repeated to those newly come to the faith. The trials also that have been brought on the servants of God by the apostasy of some once united with them in labor, and the working of the Holy Spirit to make of none effect the falsehoods told against those who were holding the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end, should be related. 7T 288.2Read in context »
Let us go to the word of God for guidance. Let us seek for a “Thus saith the Lord.” We have had enough of human methods. A mind trained only in worldly science fails to understand the things of God; but the same mind, converted and sanctified, will see the divine power in the word. Only the mind and heart cleansed by the sanctification of the Spirit can discern heavenly things. 8T 301.1
Brethren, in the name of the Lord I call upon you to awake to your duty. Let your hearts be yielded to the power of the Holy Spirit, and they will be made susceptible to the teaching of the word. Then you will be able to discern the deep things of God. 8T 301.2
May God bring His people under the deep movings of His Spirit! May He lead them to arouse, to see their peril, and to prepare for what is coming upon the earth! 8T 301.3Read in context »
There is a day just about to burst upon us when God's mysteries will be seen, and all His ways vindicated; when justice, mercy, and love will be the attributes of His throne. When the earthly warfare is accomplished, and the saints are all gathered home, our first theme will be the song of Moses, the servant of God. The second theme will be the song of the Lamb, the song of grace and redemption. This song will be louder, loftier, and in sublimer strains, echoing and re-echoing through the heavenly courts. Thus the song of God's providence is sung, connecting the varying dispensations; for all is now seen without a veil between the legal, the prophetical, and the gospel. The church history upon the earth and the church redeemed in heaven all center around the cross of Calvary. This is the theme, this is the song,—Christ all and in all,—in anthems of praise resounding through heaven from thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand and an innumerable company of the redeemed host. All unite in this song of Moses and of the Lamb. It is a new song, for it was never before sung in heaven. TM 433.1
Again I ask, In view of the revelation made to John on the Isle of Patmos, which from the opening of the first chapter to the close of the last chapter is light, great light, revealed to us by Jesus Christ, who chose John to be the channel through whom this light was to shine forth to the world—with such wonderful, solemn truths revealed, with such grand truths unfolded before us in the events to transpire just prior to the second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, how can those who claim to see wondrous things out of the law of God, be found in the list of the impure, of the fornicators and adulterers, constantly evading the truth, and secretly working out iniquity? Do you think that they can hide their ways from the Lord? that God seeth not? that God taketh no knowledge? TM 433.2Read in context »