The Revelation

When we look into the Book of Revelation, every precaution seems to be taken to guard souls from hesitating to accept it as a God-breathed or inspired writing; so much so, that it appears as if the present widespread thought of its being a Book of such obscurity and difficulty that no one can
understand it, and that it was never intended to be read very much, had been anticipated. We are therefore not only told it is "the Revelation of Jesus Christ," but so thoroughly divine in its origin that it is what "God gave unto him to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass." John also was commanded by the Lord, saying, "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter [or after these]." Nothing then as to
inspiration can be clearer; and as if this would be to some not enough, John was "in the Spirit," in order to see the visions, and having seen them, he is told twice in the first chapter to "Write;" and write too not only what he had seen, but the things that are now going on, and the things that will be after these things. In the second and third chapters, which show us the things which are, we are seven times told to hearken to "what the Spirit saith unto the assemblies:" so fully are we in the region and sphere of the Holy Spirit's activities on earth.

And further, the Apostle was by the Spirit taught to distinguish between what was of Satan and what of God in the visions which passed before him. In chapter 17 he was in the Spirit, and saw the harlot in all her worldly attire and luxuriousness, and self-complacency in the wilderness: in chapter 21 the Spirit also showed him the bride so dear to our Saviour's heart, the Lamb's wife, but he had to go up in the Spirit for that blessed vision. He says the angel "carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God," etc. At the end of the Book of Revelation we are told that "the Spirit and the bride say, Come" in response to our Lord's presentation of Himself as "the bright and morning star." So that whatever we may think, the Bible does not close its communications to us without assuring us, that those led and taught of the Spirit will look up to our Lord Jesus Christ where He is, and say, "Come." Till that moment, His grace will be with us in all its sufficiency and reality.

But if the opening of the Book gives such encouragement to the reader of it, and to any who hear it read, the close is solemn beyond all thought in proof of its being divinely given truth: truth too which harmonises and is interwoven by lines running all through scripture, and this makes it so very solemn. It is said, "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." How solemnly all this admonishes us not only to read and hear what the Book saith, but to receive its sayings into our hearts and minds in all simplicity as it is written; for if our Lord sends this Book to us from heaven, we may be sure that He would say of it no less than when He spake on earth saying, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." We have then in reading scripture to do with God, "not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." (1 Thess. 2:13.)