GN vol. 20, no. 10, 1 October 1929
The Patmos Vision
"The things thou hast seen"—the first section of Eevelation—is the Patmos Vision (c. 1: 12-18). It is the vision of the Glorified Son of Man in the midst of the seven gold candlesticks (or lampstands).
"The things which are"'
—the present things—begin the prophetic section of the Revelation. The second and third chapters of Revelation ("the things which are") contain the messages of our Lord addressed to the seven Churches of Asia Minor. These messages contain the first great prophecy of Revelation. In this we have the Divine history of the Church on earth. It is one of the most remarkable sections of the prophetic Word. Wnat this present age is to be religiously, and how it will end, is made known in other parts of the New Testament. Our Lord, in some of Sis.Kingdom parables (Matt. 13), reveals the characteristics of this age. The parables of the Sower—the evil seed sown into the field, the mustard seed, and the leaven—are prophetic, and teach, in part at least, what the Church messages reveal. The Holy Spirit, in the epistolar testimony, also reveals the religious and moral characteristics of the age, and depicts its departure from the truth, and its end. The destiny of the true Church is heavenly. She has
A "blessed hope,"
which is, to be with the Lord in glory. She is called "the Body of Christ," and He is the "Head of the Body." She is also called "the Bride of Christ," and He is the Bridegroom. The Body will be united to the Head in glory. The Bride will be joined to the Bridegroom. 1 Thess. 4: 13-18 is the Scripture which reveals this end for the true Church on earth. The professing Church, Christendom, which rejects the doctrine of Christ, and goes into apostacy, has a far different destiny. The Lord will disown that which hath denied His name, and judgment and wrath is to be poured out upon Apostate Christendom. (2 Thess. 1: 7-9.) Now all these previous predictions concerning the Church on earth are consummated in the seven Church messages. When we come to the close of the third chapter we find
A very significant promise
and equally significant threat: 'I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation (trial) which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth" (c. 3: 10). This is the promise. It tells of the removal of the true Church, composed of all true believers, from this earthly scene. "I will spue thee out of my mouth" (c. 3: 16). This is the threat to the Apostate Church. Both the promise and the threat will be fulfilled. After the third chapter the word "Church" does not occur again in Revelation. The reason for this is obvious. The history of the Church on earth terminates with the close of the third chapter, because the true Church is no longer here, but has been taken up into glory, and that which professes to be the Church is disowned by the Lord; therefore, no more mention of the Church is made in Revelation.
"The things which shall be hereafter."
The future things after the removal of the true Church from the earth occupy the greater part of this Book. It is of the greatest importance to see that nothing whatever after the third chapter of Revelation has yet taken place. Some speak of a past and partial fulfilment of some of the visions found in this section. In view of the scope of the book, this is impossible. The open door in heaven, the voice which calls the Seer to pass through that open door into heaven, is symbolical of the great coming event:—the realisation of the blessed hope of the coming of the Lord for His saints. That this open door is mentioned immediately after the third chapter, and John is suddenly in the Spirit in the presence of the throne in heaven, is very significant. It proves that the entire situation is now changed.
Chapters 3 and 4 describe the coming Parousia (Rapture).
The first great vision
is of the saints in glory, occupying thrones and worshipping God and the Lamb. With c. 6 the judgment visions of this book begin. These great punitive dealings with the earth are executed from above. All transpire after the Lord has taken His saints into glory. No seal can be broken as long as this event has not taken place. But after the Rapture the Seals of the Book which the Lamb received are broken by Him; the trumpet and the vial judgments fall upon the earth. All this takes place after the home-going of the true Church, and before the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. (C. 19: 11.) Now, this portion of Revelation, from Chapter 6 to Chapter 19, contains the events which transpire during the end of the age. It is the unfulfilled Seventieth Week of the great prophecy in the Book of Daniel. (C. 9: 24-27.) This
"End of the age"
will last twice 1260 days—that is, seven years. It is absolutely necessary to understand the scope of the Seventy Weeks' prophecy in Daniel in order to understand the greater part of these chapters in Revelation. We are led back to Jewish ground. Events in connection with the Jewish people and Jerusalem are before us. The times of the Gentiles have taken on their final form of Ten Kingdoms which Daniel saw on the Fourth Beast as "ten horns," and Nebuchadnezzar on the image as "ten toes." The empire in which these ten kingdoms come into existence is the Roman Empire. It will have a revival, and will come into existence again. Then
A wicked leader
will take the headship of that resurrected Roman Empire, and another beast, the false prophet, will domineer over the Jewish people and persecute their saints, the remnant of Israel, while the earth and the dwellers upon the earth experience the great judgments. The last half of these seven years is called "the great tribulation." We must also remember that our Lord left behind a great prophecy concerning the end of the age. This prophecy is contained in the Olivet discourse, the first part of which (Matt. 24: 4, 44) harmonises, in a striking manner, with the events in Revelation 6: 19. Our Lord calls special attention to Daniel, and likewise speaks of the "great tribulation."
The glorious climax
is the visible manifestation of the Lord out of heaven crowned with many crowns (compare Rev. 19: 11-21 with Daniel 7: 11-14 and Matt. 24: 27-31), the defeat and overthrow of the beast and the false prophet, and the kings of the earth and their armies, the binding of Satan, and the reign of Christ with His saints for a thousand years. After that follows the great White Throne Judgment, which is the judgment of the wicked dead, the glories of the New Jerusalem, the eternal destiny of the redeemed, and the eternal destiny of the lost. If this great last book of the Bible is studied in this Divinely given order it will no longer be, as is
 GN vol. 20, no. 10, 1 October 1929
Often said, a sealed book. All fanciful interpretations and applications of these great visions to past and present history can no longer be maintained as soon as-we reckon with the fact that these visions are not yet fulfilled, but are going to be fulfilled after the true Church is no longer on the earth.
The Promised Blessing.
"Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein, for the time is at hand" (Eev. 1: 3). A blessing is promised to him who readeth, and who hears and keeps. It does not say that a blessing is for him who understands and knows everything which is in the Book. If such were the condition, the writer and his readers would have no claim on the promised blessing. The Bible-teacher or any other man who says he knows and understands everything found in this great finale of God's Word is very much mistaken. We cannot be sure about everything in some of these visions, and the full meaning of some may not be understood till the world sees the fulfilment. The blessing is promised to all His people who give attention to the Revelation of Jesus Christ. What is the blessing we may expect through the reading and prayerful study of the words of this prophecy? First of all, we receive through this Book
A wonderful vision
of our Saviour and Lord. This is what we need as His people above everything else, and it is this which brings blessing into our lives. As stated before, the Book is pre-eminently His Eevelation—a biassed unveiling of His person and glory. But we also get another blessing. In reading through this Book we see what is in store for this age, what judgments will overtake the world, and how Satan's power will be manifested to the full upon all those who reject God's grace. Judgment, tribulation, and wrath are swiftly coming on this age. Out of all this our gracious Lord has delivered us. There is no judgment or wrath for us who know Him as our Sin-bearer and our Hiding-place. Praise must fill our hearts when we read the words of this prophecy, and remember the grace which has saved us from all which is coming upon this age. Another blessing is the assurance of
Ultimate victory and glory.
Dark is the age, and becoming darker; but in Revelation we behold the glory which awaits His saints first of all; and, after the judgment clouds are gone, which awaits Jerusalem, the nations, and the earth. Reading Revelation fills the heart with the assurance and cer tainty of the outcome of all. A solemn atmosphere fills the whole Book. As we continue to read and continue to breathe this heavenly and solemn atmosphere it will result in a closer walk with God, more spiritual worship, and a greater and more unselfish service for Him "Who loveth us and hath washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us priests and kings '.into God our Father."
—Selected from "The Dawn."
HOLD THY TONGUE.
In this connection I feel we can none of us afford lo ignore that little prayer of David of old: "Set a watch, 0 Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." It is a prayer beautiful in its simplicity. It is so simple that any child can say it and pray it. But make no mistake—it's a man's prayer and a woman's prayer, it's a girl's prayer, and it's a boy's prayer.
A TRAGIC CONFESSION. By EVANGELIST J. E. CONANT.
I was helping to get up a big convention, and was full of enthusiasm over making the session a success. On the opening day my aged father, who came as a delegate to the convention, sat with me at luncheon at the hotel. He listened sympathetically to my glowing accounts of the great features that were to be. When I paused for breath he leaned towards me and said, while his eye followed the stately movements of the head waiter, "Daughter, I think that big head waiter over there is going to accept Jesus Christ. I've been talking to him about his soul." I almost gasped. I had been too busy planning for a great missionary convention. I had no time to think of the soul of the head waiter.
When we went out to my apartment a negro man was washing the apartment windows. Jim was honest and trustworthy, and had been a most satisfactory helper in my home. Only a few moments passed De-fore I heard my father talking earnestly with Jim about his personal salvation, and
A Swift Accusation
went to my heart as I realised that I had known Jim for years and had never said a word to him of salvation.
A carpenter came in to repair a door. I waited his going with impatience to sign his work ticket, for my ardent soul longed to be back &G my missionary task. Even as I waited I heard my father talking with the taan about the door he had just fixed, and then simply and naturally leading the conversation to the only door into the Kingdom of God.
A Jew lives across the street. I had thought that possibly I would call on the folks who lived in the neighborhood—some time—but I had my hands so full of my missionary work the calls had never been made; but, as they met on the street, my father talked with my neighbor of the only Saviour of the world.
A friend took us out to ride. I waited for my father to get into the car, but in a moment he was up beside the chauffeur, and in a few minutes I heard him talking earnestly with the man about the way of salvation. When we reached home he said, "You know, I was afraid I might never have another chance to speak to the man."
The wife of a prominent railway man took him out to ride in her elegant limousine. "I am glad she asked me to go," he said, "for it gave me an
Opportunity of Talking
with her about her salvation. I think no one had ever talked with her before."
Yet these opportunities had come to me also and had passed by as ships in the night, while I strained my eyes to catch sight of a larger sail on a more distant horizon. I could but question my own heart whether my passion was for souls, or for success in getting up conventions.
And just here is the vital difference between sentimental and practical interest in missions. No mattei how much enthusiasm we show in talking and planning missionary work, if we haven't enough interest in the African, or the Jap, or the Italian who does our work to make the first attempt to lead him to a saving faith in Christ, our interest in missions is nothing but sentiment, and it scarcely touches the fringes of Satan's soul-destroying work.
Ye shall be witnesses unto Me—beginning in the -Jerusalem of your own home and community !
Prayer is still God's ordained method by which His blessing comes.
The Advent clouds are heavy with Pentecostal storms.