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22 Part 2 The Time Is Near

The Apocalypse – Chapter 22

Today we finalise our study of the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse adapting portions from the Matthew Henry Commentary. It is surely a blessing to read and study this book in light of current events around the world. To know that a time is coming when the long-suffering of Christ toward His enemies will draw to a close and He will come to put all things right. Even so ‘Come, Lord Jesus’. The Time is Near!

 Heaven’s Colours
  
 Looking back you’ll see
 That every step was planned 
 Leave all to Me
 To My directing hand.
  
 Each stone in the mosaic fits
 Into the perfect pattern of My will.
 I am the Designer; the Artist Master
 Remain in Me, perfectly still.
  
 It is all so wonderful
 Of how I desire to enrich the soul
 But you cannot bear to gaze
 As yet on the whole.
  
 Your eyes are dimmed
 They remain pale
 To the colours of heaven’s hues
 Until you are beyond the veil.
  
 But, stone by stone
 The reality I bring to be.
 As you continue to trust the 
      pattern to the Designer
 Your longing eyes will see.
  
  
 By the late Andrew Feakin 
 [passed away 16th March 2019]
   

Keys – The Time Is Near

  • Know that these things written will shortly happen. Christ will make haste, He will come quickly, and put all doubting away. Those who have believed and kept His Words will prove to be wise and happy men.
  • This book of prophecy has been left uncovered to be perused by all. That they might labour to understand it and compare the prophecy with events unfolding.
  • To those who are upright with God it will confirm, strengthen, and further sanctify them. It will be a savour of life.
  • It confirms Christ’s rule of judgment at the Great Day. He will dispense rewards and punishments to men according to how their works agree or disagree with the Word of God.
  • It is the Word of Him who is the author, finisher, and rewarder of the faith and holiness of His people
  • He will by this Word give to His people, who conform themselves to it, a right to the tree of life, and an entrance into heaven.
  • It is an open and general invitation to all to come and partake of the promises and privileges of the gospel. These streams of the water of life offered to all who feel in their souls a thirst which nothing in this world can quench.
  • He is not slack to His people, but long-suffering to His enemies. His coming will be sooner than they are aware, sooner than they are prepared, sooner than they desire. Yet to His people it will be seasonable.
  • Let this word be always sounding in our ear, and let us give all diligence that we may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless.
  • We will never be satisfied till we find such a spirit breathing within us causing us to look for the blessed hope, and glorious appearance of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • What comes from heaven in a promise should be sent back to heaven in a prayer, “Come, Lord Jesus, put an end to this state of sin, sorrow, and temptation. Gather thy people out of this present evil world, and take them up to heaven.” Amen!
  • Nothing should be more desired by us than that the grace of Christ be with us in this world, to prepare us for the glory of Christ in the other world.
  • It is by His grace that we are kept in a joyful expectation of His glory, fitted for it, and preserved to it. His glorious appearance will be welcome and joyful to those that are partakers of His grace and favour here.
  • He is a sun and a shield, He gives grace and glory, and no good thing will He withhold from those that walk uprightly.

The Time Is Near

Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still, he who is filthy, let him be filthy still. And he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”

Jesus Testifies to the Churches

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 

But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

A Warning

For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

He is Faithful and True

Henry says – Here is a solemn ratification of the contents of this book confirmed by the name and nature of God who gave these discoveries: He is the Lord God, faithful and true, and so are all His sayings. He chose to reveal these things to the world through His messengers – the holy angels. These showed these things to holy men of God. They are things that must shortly happen. Christ will make haste, he will come quickly, and put all doubt away. Those who have believed and kept His Words will prove to be wise and happy men.

The angel who delivered the message was so tender toward the honour of God, and so displeased with what was a wrong to God. There was an order given to leave the book of the prophecy open, to be perused by all. That they might labour to understand it and compare the prophecy with events unfolding. This book kept open causes men that are filthy and unjust to take the occasion to be more so. But to those who are upright with God it will confirm, strengthen, and further sanctify them. It will be a savour of life to some and of death to others.

An open invitation to all

It confirms Christ’s rule of judgment at the Great Day. He will dispense rewards and punishments to men according to how their works agree or disagree with the Word of God. Therefore that Word itself is needful of being faithful and true. It is the Word of Him who is the author, finisher, and rewarder of the faith and holiness of his peopleRev. 22:13, 14. He is the first and the last, and the same from first to last, and so too is His Word. He will by this Word give to His people, who conform themselves to it, a right to the tree of life, and an entrance into heaven.

It is a book that condemns and excludes from heaven all wicked, unrighteous persons, and particularly those that love and make lies (Rev. 22:15). It is confirmed by the testimony of Jesus, which is the Spirit of prophecy. He is the fountain of all light, the bright and the morning star, and as such has given to His people this ‘morning light’ of prophecy. It is an open and general invitation to all to come and partake of the promises and privileges of the gospel. These streams of the water of life offered to all who feel in their souls a thirst which nothing in this world can quench.

God has set a fence

It is confirmed by the joint testimony of the Spirit of God, and that gracious Spirit that is in all the true members of the church of God. Thus the Spirit and the bride join in testifying the truth and excellency of the gospel. It is further confirmed by a most solemn sanction, condemning and cursing all who should dare to corrupt or change the Word of God, either by adding to it or taking from it, Rev. 22:18, 19. He that adds to the Word of God draws down upon himself all the plagues written in this book. He who takes anything away from it cuts himself off from all the promises and privileges of it. This sanction is like a flaming sword, to guard the canon of the scripture from profane hands.

God set a fence like this around the law (Deut. 4:2), and the whole Old Testament (Mal. 4:4), and now in the most solemn manner about this book. That it is of the most sacred nature, divine authority, and of the last importance, and therefore the peculiar care of the great God.

It shall not be long

Now in conclusion we have Christ’s farewell to His people. It seems now after disclosing these things to His people on earth that He returns to heaven. But He parts with them in great kindness, and assures them it shall not be long before He comes again to them. Behold, I come quickly. As when He ascended into heaven, after His resurrection, He parted with a promise of His gracious presence, so here He parts with a promise of a speedy return.

If any say, “Where is the promise of His coming, when so many ages have passed since this was written?” Let them know He is not slack to His people, but long-suffering to His enemies. His coming will be sooner than they are aware, sooner than they are prepared, sooner than they desire. Yet to His people it will be seasonable. The vision is for an appointed time, and will not tarry. He will come quickly. Let this word be always sounding in our ear, and let us give all diligence that we may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus

Amen, so it is, so it shall be the church’s hearty echo to Christ’s promise. This declares her firm belief of it and then expresses her earnest desire of it: Even so, come, Lord Jesus; make hast, my beloved, and be thou like a roe, or like a young hart on the mountain of spices. Thus beats the pulse of His people. We will never be satisfied till we find such a spirit breathing within us causing us to look for the blessed hope, and glorious appearance of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

What comes from heaven in a promise should be sent back to heaven in a prayer, “Come, Lord Jesus, put an end to this state of sin, sorrow, and temptation. Gather thy people out of this present evil world, and take them up to heaven. To that state of perfect purity, peace, and joy, and so finish Your great design, and fulfil all that word in which You have caused Your people to hope.”

As we earnestly thirst

It closes with the apostolical benediction: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen. The Spirit of God teaches the apostle to bless His people in the name of Christ, and to beg from Christ a blessing for them, which is a proper act of adoration. Nothing should be more desired by us than that the grace of Christ may be with us in this world, to prepare us for the glory of Christ in the other world.

It is by His grace that we must be kept in a joyful expectation of His glory, fitted for it, and preserved to it. His glorious appearance will be welcome and joyful to those that are partakers of His grace and favour here. Therefore to this most comprehensive prayer we should all add our hearty Amen. As we earnestly thirst after greater measures of the gracious influences of the blessed Jesus in our souls. That His gracious presence be with us, till glory has perfected all His grace towards us. For He is a sun and a shield, He gives grace and glory, and no good thing will He withhold from those that walk uprightly.

Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary

Prayer for the Day

Father, we come to You. Thank You for the assurance that these things written will shortly happen. Christ will make haste, He will come quickly, and put all doubting away. May we be of those who have believed and kept Your Words and prove to be wise and happy. Cause us to labour to understand Your Word and be watchful as events unfold in this world. May Your Word confirm, strengthen, and further sanctify us. Let it be a savour of life to us. Help us keep in mind that at the Great Day Christ will dispense rewards and punishments to men according to how their works agree or disagree with the Word of God. May our lives agree fully with Your Word that we conform themselves to it and so obtain the right to the tree of life, and an entrance into heaven.

Let our souls thirst with an unquenchable thirst for the streams of living water offered to us. Knowing that nothing in this world can quench it. Help us bear in mind that You are not slack to Your people, but long-suffering to Your enemies. Let this word be always sounding in our ear, and let us give all diligence that we may be found in peace, without spot and blameless. May these promises be sent back to heaven in a prayer, “Come, Lord Jesus, put an end to this state of sin, sorrow, and temptation. Gather thy people out of this present evil world, and take them up to heaven.” Amen!

Let our hearts desire nothing more than the grace of Christ to be with us in this world, to prepare us for the glory of Christ in the other world. Thank You for Your grace that keeps us in a joyful expectation of Your glory. You are a sun and a shield, You give grace and glory, and no good thing will Your withhold from those that walk uprightly. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

The Time Is Near

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