Abraham's seed is chosen – the time of God's Kingdom came
Our first parents, who transgressed the Divine law, brought the death sentence upon themselves, "dying you will die" (Gen. 2:17; heb. mot tamut). By heredity this sentence passed upon their whole offspring: "In Adam all die..." (1 Cor. 15:22). Since more than six thousands years “the whole creation [of God] has been groaning in travail together until now.”
It will be so forever? No! The whole world of the human beings, still being tormented with various effects of sin, believes in God instinctively and waits of deliverance subconsciously. They are waiting "with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God." (Rome. 8:22, 19). Who are these sons? They are a promised seed of Abraham, which is to bless all the families of the earth. (Acts 3:25.) They are the Church of the first-born, who are enrolled in heaven. (Heb. 12: 23.) They are the class of individuals (144 000), who were selected from among all the mankind.
The choice of this class lasted almost two thousands years and has been finished already. The great tribulation, anarchy spreading all over the world there is biblical proof of this fact. This tribulation has an aim to destroy the unjust structures of the present world and to prepare human hearts to the work of "restoration of all things," When the great tribulation is over the road to great blessing of Restitution will be wide open for the whole mankind.
First chapters of the book Genesis are describing the man fall in sin, whereas the last chapters of the Revelation contain description of delivering the mankind from that wretched condition and restoration of her to the eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believs in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:15)
"A beautiful symbolic picture of the Millennial age and the blessings extending to all mankind under Israel’s New Covenant, is set before us in the Book of Revelation. First, the 'elect' Church is pictured as 'the New Jerusalem adorned as a Bride for her husband' descending from heaven to earth, establishing the Divine rule amongst men. Then follows a further symbolization: 'a river of the Water of Life, clear as crystal,' is represented as 'proceeding forth from the throne' of the New Jerusalem, flowing out to bless all the nations of the world. The result is Paradise with trees of life by both sides of the River and 'the leaves of the trees for the healing of the heathen.' Then we read the message of Free Grace (…) 'and the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him come and take of the Water of Life freely.' (Rev. 22:17)" (OV36)
(1) And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb,
There is no such river of life now as yet. Two thousand years ago, our Master himself being authority for this in his statement respecting his disciples, said, 'The water I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up to everlasting life.' During the Gospel's Age his followers were not invited to drink of a river of life, but invited to have a well-spring of water of life started in their hearts by the impartation of the Holy Spirit. These well-springs brought together in glory with the Lord were to constitute the source of the great river of life for the mankind. In 1977 the High Calling has ceased. In 1980/81 took place the marriage of the Lamb. From then on (1981), the world is plunging more and more into "the time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time." Climax of the great tribulation (total anarchy) is anticipated to be in 2015 (look: parallels from the Abraham's life; 3960 = 1945 + 2015). Our Lord promised that the days of the most terrible tribulation will be shortened. Therefore, it won't be long, the time of anarchy is over and then the river of the water of life will flow from the glorified Church, and then the Spirit and the Bride will say to the world of mankind, Come.
A pure river … The symbol river represents beautifully, forcefully, the blessings of refreshment and restitution being offered during the Kingdom of Messiah. The blessing of the Lord is to be through the spread of the truth to mankind during the Millennial age. It will proceed from the City of God – the glorified Church – and results in the complete blotting out of the curse and the restoring of mankind to communion with God.
Water of life … In Bible symbolic language, water represents truth. In this case it is truth teaching of possibility of an achieving of restitution blessings, everlasting life
Clear as crystal … No muddy traditions with false doctrines and various errors. No impurity of any kind will be in it. It will be the pure message of the Lord.
Proceeding out of the throne … Flowing out to bless all nations of the world. The blessings shall flow as a river of water of life out of the throne, what means that on the ruins of present institutions the Lord will erect the new government. A center of authority of this government established in the world will be the divine law and the divine power. It will be heavenly government, the New Jerusalem. The Little Flock will sit with Christ in his throne, and constitute the Temple of the living God, from which will flow the river of the water of life. The coming down this city out of heaven signifies the exerting of divine power on the world and urging of the all people to the rules of love and righteousness. Ancient Worthies, Abraham and others will be visible spokesmen of this heaven government.
(2) in the midst of the street thereof. And on this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve [manner of] fruits, yielding its fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
The restitution of that time is pictured in the leaves of the trees; the abundance of instruction and nourishment, mental, moral and physical, is represented in the fruit of the trees. More than this. According to the same prophecy in Ezech. 47:8, wherever the water of this river went life resulted, until finally it emptied into the Dead Sea with the effect that the waters of the latter were healed. The fish thrive well in sea water, but the water of the Dead Sea is five times as strongly impregnated with salts, and as a consequence, a fish taken from the Mediterranean and put into the Dead Sea die in a few minutes – hence its name, Dead Sea. From this symbolical standpoint the Dead Sea represents the dead world, and the coming of life-giving waters would represent the resurrection power of the Lord and the Church exercised amongst men during the Millennial age. As the Apostle expresses it, it would mean, for the Gentiles, life from the dead.
In the present life the prospective Church had a ministry of comfort to perform toward all who mourned in Zion – toward all the Lord’s people who were in any tribulation, physical or mental disquiet, disease, etc. In proportion as they were filled with this spirit during their earthly course, it was their privilege to bind up the broken-hearted, and comfort the mourning ones. No one could have this spirit of helpfulness, this disposition to comfort and to strengthen and to edify, and to support the house of faith, except he had in considerable measure the spirit of truth, the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of love. In proportion as each one was seeking to cultivate this privilege of brotherly helpfulness, in comforting and strengthening, in that same proportion he found the spirit of love developing and abounding in his own heart. In such manner all the followers of Christ, in the likeness of Him, underwent a process of qualification them to the future work of dealing with members of the sore human race. It will be great privilege of the Lord’s people in the Kingdom to 'comfort those that mourn,' and to be trees of righteousness, whose leaves will be for the healing of the nations.
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The river … The water of life which will there flow from the throne is a picture of the near future. The throne of the glorified Christ, Head and Body, has been established already (1981). By and by the devilish kingdom of the prince of this world will be overthrown completely. By and by the great tribulation is over. Then all the people will see gradually that their prayer "Thy kingdom come," has been answered finally. They will see for themselves that the symbolic river of water of life began to flow. The water of life is knowledge – truth – for which mankind famishes now. It will flow out abundantly when the tabernacle of God is with men. Then thirsty humanity, groaning and being in painful bondage of sin and death, will be refreshed and restored.
Tree of life … The trees of life seem to symbolize saints, whose leaves – professions – teachings, will heal men, and whose fruit will be adapted to the changing conditions of men as they are brought upward toward perfection – fruit suitable for each changing season, thus restoring man to man’s estate. It will be the abundance of instruction and nourishment, mental, moral and physical.
The leaves for the healing of the nations … This expression suggests nourishment and healing for the sin-sick and starving world Restitution – the healing of the woes of the groaning creation, its sin and sickness and imperfection. Before the nations, the world, will be ready for that blessing from the New Jerusalem, they must pass through a period of very deep humiliation – "A time of trouble." (Matt. 24:21)
"The fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaves thereof for healing." (Ezek. 47:12)
Of the nations … It will be a healing the repentant peoples of earth of all imperfections. It is showing that there will then be nations not in health, but capable of being healed. Undoubtedly, Israel will be the first of the nations to be blessed, but subsequently all the families of the earth.
(3) And there shall be no curse any more: and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be therein: and his servants shall serve him; (4) and they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] on their foreheads.
No curse any more … There is a curse upon the world now, official, legal. It has been against us as a race for six thousand years. The opening chapters of Genesis give the entrance of the curse of sin and death, whereas the last chapters of Revelation reveal the success of the plan of God and the end of the curse. When the work of Christ is fully accomplished, then there will be no more curse for the former things, that is the evil incurred through Adam’s transgression, because it will be abolished legally by the sacrifice of Christ and put away in fact by his glorious reign. "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world." "For Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us."
Sin and Satan and the spirit of evil shall be forever extinguished. The curse will be lifted from all who come into harmony with God through Jesus the Mediator. All who do not avail themselves of this grace will be swallowed up of the second death. After Adamic death is destroyed, if a man dies it will be for his own sin. Messiah's great work of redemption will obliterate also unsatisfactory conditions from the earth. The great physical changes will bring about that the all destructive elements, which now are troubling and plaguing of men, as droughts, floods, earthquakes, etc., will be then excluded.
His servants shall serve him … These words refer to the servants of the God of the future Age, that is to all members of human race who will attain harmony with their Creator at the end of Millennium. When the curse is over, all the people have full fellowship with the Lord, and then the throne of his grace and the evidences of his favor will be theirs, and all who desire will have the opportunity to serve him.
They shall see his face … All who come into accord with the Lord shall see his face – that is, there will be no earth-born cloud between, no hindrances to the Father's love and favor. The world will see Father Jehovah, his Son Christ and the Church by mental perception. The people will see them not with the naked eye, for the reason that they are invisible spiritual beings, but by the eye of faith. For example: one day our Lord said to Philip, "he that has seen me [visible], has seen the Father [invisible]." (John 14:9)
“These developments of that Millennial age will bring the willing and obedient of the human family back to the original perfection, the image and likeness of God, and once more they will have direct communication with the Lord and not merely his written messages through apostles and prophets as now. (R3571:5)
His name on their foreheads … It means that they will confess him, they will have his likeness, the various elements which go to make up his glorious name and character will be theirs and will be manifest in their faces. If, even now, under present imperfect conditions, the light of grace and truth in the heart transforms the outward features and makes them more and more bright and glorious, much more, we are sure, will this be true of those who at that time shall come under the influence of the light of divine favor and have their hearts filled with the Lord's spirit and truth.
(5) And there shall be night no more; and they need no light of lamp, neither light of sun; for the Lord God shall give them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
No night there … It is the joy of the morning – a long, glad day before us; no evening with its lengthening shadows, no night with its chills and darkness. All the night of darkness, ignorance, superstition and sin will be past. No longer will the world be dependent for light upon the imperfect shining of such little candles the Lord’s people now are.
They shall reign … It will be the reign of those being found worthy of life eternal in the Millennial age. This is in full accord with Matt. 25:34. The nature of the reign then to be delivered to the world will be the same which at creation was bestowed upon father Adam, as it is written in Psa. 8:6, "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands. Thou hast put all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen with the beasts of the field and fowl of the air and fish of the sea." This dominion of earth was part of what father Adam lost by his disobedience, and was a part, therefore, of what our Lord Jesus purchased by his obedience even unto death, and is to be an element of the restitution to be accomplished during the Millennial reign of Christ. The whole world of the perfect people will be a world of kings.
For ever and ever … This does not refer to the Church, whose reign has been previously described. The reference is to the reign of those whom the Millennial age shall find worthy of life eternal. All the unworthy will be cut off then in the second death. The account here is in full accord with that of Matt. 25:34 – the sheep of that age will at its close be received into the fullest fellowship with the Lord, the goats of that period being destroyed.
At the close of that reign the kingdom will be delivered up to God (1 Cor. 15:24). Then it will be delivered up to those for whom the Father originally intended it, and who by that time of restoration will have been fully prepared to receive it. The whole world of perfect people will be a world of kings, though doubtless one of their number will serve particularly as representative, just as in the Republic every individual is a sovereign and from their own number they choose a sovereign, a servant.
(6) And he said unto me, These words are faithful and true: and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly come to pass. (7) And behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book.
"Having pictured the work of restitution down to its consummation in the delivery of the kingdom to man, in harmony with the Father’s intention, the address of the revelation changes. We are assured that these wonderful promises are faithful and true, that the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly come to pass. Then the Master speaks to his church who have ears to hear, saying, 'Behold, I come quickly; Blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book.' The intimation seems to be that the book being symbolical, none can understand it except as its seals are loosed, as its message opens before the Lord’s people, and that when its sayings, its teachings come to be appreciated, it may be recognized by those who do understand it as an evidence that the Lord’s second advent and the establishment of his kingdom are close at hand." (R3572:2)
God sent his angel … This angel was named by our Lord the faithful and wise servant. This expression describes an office rather than the individual. Why? C.T. Russell took the office at the beginning of the second presence of our Lord (1874) and left it when he died (1916). In this time he published six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures. Seven, however, is a complete number (not six) and signifies all or the whole of whatever it applies to. When brother Russell was asked a few days before the death, "What about the Seventh Volume?", he answered: "Someone else can write that." (Q646:2).
When the due time came, the sixties of the past century, the Lord filled the post of the faithful and wise servant with another individual, brother Tadeusz Wiśniewski from Poland (the class of Bible Students in Warsaw). Then, once again during the Lord's presence, came into being the second prophetic movement (1967-1981). Just at that time the entire book of the Revelation was explained and the Seventh Volume was published (Rev. 10:2-11).
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(8) And I John am he that heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel that showed me these things. (9) And he saith unto me, See thou do it not: I am a fellow-servant with thee and with thy brethren the prophets, and with them that keep the words of this book: worship God.
And I John … Apostle John on isle Patmos represented those favored members of the Church who, living in this end of the Gospel age, were granted the privilege of seeing and appreciating more and more the things of reality which he saw in symbol. They were enabled to see the scenes of unfolding of the Millennial age.
I fell down … Falling down of John before the angel who had given him the revelation may signify that in the end of this Gospel age there might be a spirit or a tendency on the part of many to give more than love, respect and honor to those the servants of God who, from time to time, have been used as his special servants in communicating to them the divine light in a due time. The Apostle Paul assures us that this disposition indicates a measure of carnality, and he inquires, who then, are Paul, Apollos and Peter, but merely God's servants or channels. Likewise there are hundreds of thousands who call themselves by the name of Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Campbell and others, giving more respect to their teachings and writings than to the Word of God.
The angel … Messenger, representing those of the John class who were used during the second presence of our Lord as God's instruments in drawing attention to the coming glory, and causing the John class to see them with the eye of faith.
I am a fellow-servant … God alone should be worshipped: He is the Author of the great plan and will be the Finisher of it. It was brought to believers attention by him because it was "due time" for his people to come to an appreciation of his plans. The action and words of the angel show the way in which the true messengers of God should to treat such honor. Do not worship me, for I am not the author of this plan. It is a word of caution to any disposed to worship the humble human instrumentality chosen of God as the channel for the blessing of Present Truth. All who are worshiping any church organization also should be warned.
The manly Christian will be always discountenanced because of worshipful reverence and flattery. The less mature will often court and receive it to their own injury. Thus the Apostle counsels choosing elders of established character, rather than a "novice."
The prophets … All true teachers or mouthpieces of God.
(10) And he saith unto me, Seal not up the words of the prophecy of this book; for the time is at hand.
Seal not … Do not feel that it is necessary to hide the matter.
Long ago, in the Old Testament epoch, the prophet Daniel received the vision of final times. God told him then to seal book, until the time of the end." (Dan. 12:4). It would be impossible to understand of the deep things pertaining to the Messianic age long in advance of that period.
The book of Revelation is a prophecy, and not a literal epistle. Its name, Revelation, signifies the uncovering, and implies something hidden. It abounds in symbols and signs and visions, which were evidently designed to barricade its mysteries completely from the world, whereas its special great and important truths even from the saints, until the time was due for the secrets to be revealed. This due time was the second presence of Jesus Christ (1874). Since then our Lord began to open consecutive seals. Within 1874-1916 six first seals have been broken (in USA). The last, seventh seal was opened in 1967 (in Poland). Just then, when prophetic events confirming Christ presence started to happen, all things concealed up to now under separate seals became possible to understand.
When from the dawn of the Lord's presence the whole Divine Plan of the Ages is understood, when today is even disclosed the time of the end of High Calling (1977), the time of the glorifying of the Church (1981) and the beginning of Restitution of the mankind (1984), our Lord gave an order for the John's class not to conceal of these explained truths but to announce them publicly; "You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and tongues and kings." (Rev. 10:11). In preliminary period of parousia (1874-1981) only few, thanks to biblical signs, recognized the fact of the Lord's coming. The time of epiphaneia of His presence (1981), however, is a crucial moment from which the mystery of God began to be finished, at first by the events of the great tribulation, anarchy, and briefly after it by a proclamation of New Era by Abraham and other Ancient Worthies from earthly Jerusalem – of the future throne of the Lord. (Luke 13:28,29; Jer. 3:17)
"At the time that the features of this symbolical revelation shall come to be understood and appreciated by the Lord’s people, they may know that the time of the completion is near at hand. They are not to feel it necessary to hide the matter. 'Seal not the sayings of this book, for the time is at hand.' Furthermore, we are not to expect that the telling of this message, the explaining of the divine plan, will have the effect of converting the world. It was not intended to do this and will not do it. Notwithstanding, the unfolding of the divine plan, this knowledge will only be for a special class for whom it was intended, namely, the Lord’s people – 'None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.' So far as the revelations of the divine plan are concerned they are not intended to turn the filthy to make them righteous, nor will they be inclined contrariwise to turn the righteous to sin." (R3572:3-5)
(11) He that is unrighteous, let him do unrighteousness still: and he that is filthy, let him be made filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him do righteousness still: and he that is holy, let him be made holy still.
"It appeals only to those who are already righteously inclined. This does not mean that it appeals only to those who are saints, who are holy. There are some who are not saints because they have never properly grasped the conditions of the divine call of the present time, but who are nevertheless, righteous persons, persons who desire to live uprightly, honorably, honestly, who are sincere and truthful in their own hearts and in their dealings with others so far as their knowledge permits. To these lovers of righteousness, of truth, as well as to the holy, the revelations of the divine plan now unfolding commend themselves, and intensify their love for righteousness and appreciation of full consecration to the Lord."
"On the other hand the unrighteous and the filthy simply ignore this message and are not moved specially by it. During the Millennial kingdom time, however, we may expect that the vigorous processes of the kingdom will correct many of these filthy and unrighteous, and ultimately develop many of them into lovers of the light and the truth and the way, bringing many of them into full fellowship with the Lord, which will secure to them life everlasting." (R3572:6)
(12) Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to each man according as his work is.
I come quickly … The main meaning of Greek parousia is presence (from: to be near, at hand), whereas Greek erchomai, often occurring in the Revelation, means: come, appear, enter, etc. This difference of the meanings is very important. Our Lord's parousia is the period of the whole thousand of years, when He is engaged in the work of the restitution of the mankind. Various activity of Jesus Christ being connected closely with his work is defined by the word, erchomai. Here, our Lord announces taking over the matter of judging the world of mankind.
My reward is with me … These words evidently applies to the great Judgment Day, at the beginning of which the Church will be rewarded and during which the world will have their trial, retribution and reward. The second advent of Christ was to bring the resurrection as, first, the hope of the Church, and, second, the hope of the world.
By the end of the Gospel age, all sins tracing to the Adamic fall will have been atoned for; and God will not hold any of these against the human race, despite the fact that their handicaps during the new dispensation (the Millennial age) will often trace to these; "stripes" will be borne by some, the effects of sins will follow after! (1 Tim. 5:24) The world’s judgment, however, will be based, not upon the past, but on their response to the principles of truth and righteousness during the Millennial Day. In the past, what people have suffered of judgment was because of the "sour grape" their fathers had eaten; but during the Millennial age each man that dies, if die he must, will die for his own iniquity. (Jer. 31:29, 30.) This is the "reward" he will then give "to every man according as his work shall be" – i.e., then is!
"Many will feel rebellious against that perfect and equitable rule because accustomed in the past, under the rule of the present prince, to lord it over their fellow mortals, and to live wholly at the expense of others without rendering compensating service. And many and severe will be the stripes which a present life of self-indulgence and gratification will naturally demand and receive under that reign before such will learn the lessons of that kingdom – equity, justice, righteousness. (Psa. 89:32; Luke 12:47, 48)" (E303)
"So, you see, the condition into which a man gets himself now has a great deal to do with his future. Many will be so degraded that when they come forth from the tomb they will have a very difficult time." (R4992:1)
To give every man … This scripture is rendered meaningless by the acceptance of the theory that each member of the Church at death passed immediately into glory.
(13) I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. (14) Blessed [happy] are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
The beginning and the end … "The Scriptures harmoniously teach, that as Jehovah’s agent he [Jesus Christ] is the beginner and the finisher of the wondrous plan, though not its author. In a word, he was the only direct creation of Jehovah – born 'from the womb of the morning,' as the Psalmist expresses it (Psa. 110:3) – all other creations being through him, as Jehovah’s agent, or representative; as we read: 'To us there is one God – the Father – of whom are all things and we in him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.' (1 Cor. 8:6.) He is the firstborn of every creature (born before all creation); for by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or principalities or powers; all things were created by him and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist." (R1060:4)
His commandments … The commands of our Lord, and not the Ten Commandments of Israel's Law Covenant. These commandments will not grievous and impossible to obey as were those of the Jewish Law Covenant, because in the Millennium each man restored gradually to human perfection will be able to fulfill the Law of the New Covenant.
Through the gates … The Ancient Worthies from the various tribes of Israel will be the visible representatives of the invisible spiritual Kingdom. The approval of them will permit the nations to enter the blessings of the Kingdom.
The city … In symbolic prophecy a city signifies a religious government backed by power and authority. It is the symbol used to represent the established Kingdom of God, the New Jerusalem.
(15) Without are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie.
Without … In Gehenna, the valley of destruction, an appropriate figure of the second death, the utter extermination of all things abominable and filthy in the close of the Millennial age. There is no intimation that God will ever compel any one to accept of the gift of life everlasting. The course of incorrigible people who are persisting in evil will end in death – the second death.
"None can become identified with that city (kingdom) who has not first been thoroughly tested; none who work or love to work, deceit and unrighteousness; only those whom the Lamb will write as worthy of life everlasting; and to whom he will say, 'Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you'." (A296)
"So all the world of mankind who will come into harmony with God will come into that city, into the New Jerusalem and kingdom of God, and outside of that city will be found all impure characters. We have them pictured in this statement, that liars and murderers, etc., shall have their portion in the 'lake which burns with fire and brimstone.' This 'lake of fire and brimstone' is as symbolical as is the city. As the city is not a literal city of gold, neither is the lake a literal lake of fire and brimstone. That city was pictured by Jerusalem, and the 'fire' by Gehenna. As the offal of the literal city of Jerusalem was put into the Valley of Hinnom for destruction and for the purification of the city, so all the offal of the Millennial kingdom will be destroyed and be kept outside of the Golden Jerusalem. That will be a glorious kingdom, free from anything that would be a blight or blemish or sin; and all who love unrighteousness, in any sense of the word, will be destroyed in 'the lake of fire,' which is, we are told by the Revelator, the second death. (Rev. 21:8)" (R4992:5)
Dogs … A term of disrespect, referring to the wild dogs which roamed the country and were pests, in contrast with house dogs, which were esteemed and petted by the family.
Murderers … Not that a man who has once been a murderer might not reform and become a saint and an heir of the Kingdom. One murderer, guilty of the murder of St. Stephen, was Saul of Tarsus.
And whosoever … Evildoers for whose permanent reform there would be no hope, because before their sentencing to the second death, the righteous Judge had given every opportunity possible to repent.
Makes a lie … The dishonest, like the Pharisees of old, say that they see when in their hearts they know they are blind. Not now worthy of the truth, by and by they will get honest enough to receive the truth, or else be cut off in second death, as those who make and love a lie.
(16) I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright, the morning star.
The root and the offspring of David … Jesus must be both Son of David and the Lord of David. He must be both the branch out of David's root, and in some way David must be seen to be a branch out of Christ as a root.
The … offspring of David … When our Lord was born as the man Jesus, He became related to Adam’s race through his mother. (Heb. 2:14-18.) According to that relationship to the human race and to David, He was the son, the branch, the offspring of David, not a root.
The root … of David … The "root" of David signifies the origin, source of life, and development of patriarch David. When and how did Christ become David’s root or father? By the same means and at the same time that he became David’s Lord. The means was his death, the virtue of sacrifice of his undefiled life, by which He purchased life-rights of Adam and all the human race, including David’s. The time was when he was raised from the dead as Adam’s Redeemer, the race’s Redeemer and hence David’s Redeemer. The word "root" differs somewhat from that furnished in the word "Lord."
It was, therefore, not the pre-human Logos, nor yet the man Christ Jesus that was David’s Lord and David’s Root, but the resurrected Messiah. When David in spirit (i.e., speaking under the prophetic influence) called Jesus Lord, saying, "Jehovah said unto my Lord (Jesus), Sit thou on my right hand," etc., the reference was not to the sacrificing one, "the man Christ Jesus," who had not yet finished his sacrifice, but to the victor Jesus, the Lord of life and glory, "the firstborn from the dead, the prince of the kings of earth." (Rev. 1:5) It was of this one that Peter said, "Him God raised up the third day."
Morning star … Jesus Christ is the Light of the World (John 1:4, 9) and the Sun of Righteousness. (Mal. 4:2.) It was some time before sunrise of this symbolic sun, very early, when a light is not enough yet, that the watching followers of the Christ recognized the Lord's coming and received Him as the light of the Morning Star.
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(17) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come: he that will, let him take the water of life freely.
A river of water of life is seen, and trees of life whose fruit sustains life, and whose foliage heals the people. How this calls our minds back to the paradise from whence Adam was driven on account of sin, and to the tree of life in the midst of Eden, from which he was debarred, and from the lack of whose fruit Adam and his race died. It is a picture of the "restitution of all things which God has spoken" – the healing of all the curse, the blotting out of sin, and with it, of misery, pain, and death, because a ransom has been paid and he who ransomed is the one who gloriously restores.
"What a blessing it will be to attain to such glory, honor and immortality as is offered to the Church in the First Resurrection! And what a grand privilege it will be to be associated with our Lord in dispensing the divine favors to the entire groaning creation, and bidding whomsoever will, to Come to the water of life, and partake thereof freely!" (F336)
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The Spirit … The Spirit clearly refers to Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom. The Lord Jesus is named the Spirit of the Word (2 Cor. 3:17). He is also named “a life-giving spirit.” (1 Cor. 15:45). By and by, our Lord, the last Adam, the invisible spiritual Being, will be restoring life to dead members of human race, whereas his Bride, his Church, the second Eve, will be nursing each of them. Then obedient to the God will receive life to live forever.
Bride … The faithful followers of Jesus, as the chaste virgin being espoused to the Son of heavenly Father in the beginning of the Gospel Age (33), have been united to the Bridegroom already (1981). The Church is no longer the virgin, she is the glorified Bride now, the Lamb's wife and joint-heir. She has within her a "well of water (life) springing up," whereas the rest of mankind may come to the fountain to drink.
Say, Come … Inviting all the families of the earth to come and obey Christ and receive eternal life. In the very beginning of restitution era, mankind, in general, will not yet have come to a position of acceptance of the Mediator, and still will be then in the present-day attitude. It will be a first need of every creation to find out then, what the water of the life is, to come to the knowledge of the truth. None will begin to live until they partake of this symbolic water of life. It will require all the Millennial age for the delivery of this message to every creature and for them to avail themselves of the privileges.
He that heareth, let him say … The obedient will be privileged to repeat the invitation to others.
He that heareth … and he that is athirst … Both these cases of the invitation to benefit from blessings of Millennium will be directed only to those who desire the water of life; only they may have it. It will not be forced upon any. The possible obstruction or limitation to the enjoyment of life then offered will be solely the will of the hearer.
Whosoever will … A worldwide invitation. The completeness of the ransom is the very strongest possible argument for the restitution of all mankind. During the Gospel Age the favor of God was limited to the task of electing of the Little Flock, but in the Millennium it will be free grace for the all people in the fullest measure. It will include all babies, little and big; the foolish, both by nature and by false reasoning; the blind, the lame, the dumb and the deaf.
"Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people" (Luke 2:10), "in due time [in the time of Millennium]." (1 Tim. 2:4-6)
Let him take … And, if they will be obedient, to obtain the full measure of divine favor, as represented in the offer of everlasting life. Here begins the world's probation, the world's great judgment day – a thousand years.
Water of life … Divine favor. Water is a symbol of truth. The invitation is to accept or partake of the favor of everlasting life through obedience to the truth. These glorious favors coming to mankind will all be earthly. All who accept may have its blessings, but those who do not accept and render obedience to the Lord shall not receive a blessing.
Freely … God's grace is ever free, in the sense of being unmerited. During the Gospel Age it was restricted to certain classes, whereas in the coming age of Millennium all the world will be invited to share the favors.
(18) I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto them, God shal add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: (19) and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.
Shall add … "It would appear that the expression of Rev. 22:18,19, has always, more or less deterred men from falsifying the canonical books. We believe that very few interpolations into the text of the Bible have been made intentionally (that of 1 John 5:7 being a bold and notable exception). Other interpolations were, we believe, generally the result of accident – usually the copying of a marginal comment into the text, at a time when all copying was done by pen." (R1210:2)
(20) He who testifieth these things saith, Yea: I come quickly. Amen: come, Lord Jesus. (21) The grace of the Lord Jesus be with the saints. Amen.
I come quickly … "We find this longing for and hoping for and waiting for the coming King in the writings of all the apostles. It is John who exclaims, 'Come, Lord Jesus!' It is James who says, 'Be patient, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.' It is Peter who encourages the brethren, by pointing out that shortly, when the chief Shepherd will appear, they shall receive a crown of glory, which fades not away. It is Jude, who speaks of the Lord’s coming, with myriads of his holy ones. It is Paul who urges faithfulness, and assures the brethren that not only himself, but all who love his appearing, shall then receive a crown of righteousness. (Rev. 22:20; Jas. 5:7; 1 Pet. 5:4; Jude 14; 2 Tim. 4:8)"
The book, being symbolical, cannot be understood except as its seals are loosed. When its sayings come to be appreciated it may be recognized as an evidence of the Lord's second advent.
Amen: come, Lord Jesus … Written some 26 years after the destruction of Jerusalem, proving that the second advent of our Lord was not fulfilled by that event. The Apostle John looked with loving longing to the Kingdom and to the second coming of our Lord, and knew nothing about an intermediate Millennial reign.
"Nearly all the scriptures follow the course of addressing the Father in prayer and I think of this one as the only one that is different." (Q541:T)
The Lord Jesus promised to his faithful followers: "And little while, and ye shall my see" (John. 16:16). This promise fulfilled for entire Church in the spring 1981.
Added by: Andrzej