|Overview - Revelation 22|
|1||The river of the water of life.|
|2||The tree of life.|
|5||The light of the city of God is himself.|
|9||The angel will not be worshipped.|
|18||Nothing may be added to the word of God, nor taken therefrom.|
Revelation 22:21 (King James Version)
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
- 1:4 Romans 1:7 ; Romans 16:20 Romans 16:24 2 Corinthians 13:14 ; Ephesians 6:23 Ephesians 6:24 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:18 The obscurity of this prophecy, which has been urged against itsgenuineness, necessarily results from the highly figurative andsymbolical language in which it is delivered, and is, in fact, astrong internal proof of its authenticity and divine original."For it is a part of this prophecy," as Sir Isaac Newton justlyremarks, "that it should not be understood before the last ageof the world; and therefore it makes for the credit of theprophecy that it is not yet understood. The folly ofinterpreters has been to foretell times and things by thisprophecy, as if God designed to make them prophets. By thisrashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought theprophecy also into contempt. The design of God was muchotherwise. He gave this, and the prophecies of the OldTestament, not to gratify men's curiosities by enabling them toforeknow things, but that, after that they were fulfilled, theymight be interpreted by the event; and his own providence, notthe interpreter's, be then manifested thereby to the world. Forthe event of things, predicted many ages before, will then be aconvincing argument that the world is governed by Providence.For, as the few and obscure prophecies concerning Christ's firstcoming were for setting up the Christian religion, which allnations have since corrupted, so the many and clear propheciesconcerning the things to be done at Christ's second coming, arenot only for predicting, but also for effecting a recovery andre-establishment of the long-lost truth, and setting up akingdom wherein dwells righteousness. The event will prove theApocalypse; and this prophecy, thus proved and understood, willopen the old prophets; and all together will make known the truereligion, and establish it. There is already so much of theprophecy fulfilled, that as many as will take pains in thisstudy may see sufficient instances of God's promise; but then,the signal revolutions predicted by all the holy prophets, willat once both turn men's eyes upon considering the predictions,and plainly interpret them. Till then we must content ourselveswith interpreting what hath already been fulfilled." And, asMr. Weston observes, "if we were in possession of a complete andparticular history of Asia, not only of great events, withoutperson or place, names or dates, but of the exactest biography,geography, topography, and chronology, we might, perhaps, stillbe able to explain and appropriate more circumstances recordedin the Revelation, under the emperors of the East and the West,and in Arabia, Persia, Tartary, and Asia, the seat of the mostimportant revolutions with which the history of Christianity hasever been interwoven and closely connected." History is thegreat interpreter of prophecy. "Prophecy is, as I may say,"observes Bp. Newton, "history anticipated and contracted;history is prophecy accomplished and dilated; and the propheciesof Scripture contain the fate of the most considerable nations,and the substance of the most memorable transactions in theworld, from the earliest to the latest times
- Daniel and St. John, with regard to those latter times, are more copious andparticular than the other prophets. They exhibit a series andsuccession of the most important events from the first of thefour great empires to the consummation of all things. Theirprophecies may really be said to be a summary of the history ofthe world; and the history of the world is the best comment upontheir prophecies
- ...and the more you know of ancient and modern times, and the farther you search into the truth of history, themore you will be satisfied of the truth of prophecy." TheRevelation was designed to supply the place of that continuedsuccession of prophets, which demonstrated the continuedprovidence of God to the patriarchal and Jewish churches. "Themajority of commentators on the Apocalypse," says Mr. Townsend,"generally acted on these principles of interpretation. Theydiscover in this Book certain predictions of events which werefulfilled soon after they were announced; they trace in thehistory of later years various coincidences, which so fullyagree with the various parts of the Apocalypse, that they arejustly entitled to consider them as the fulfilment of itsprophecies; and, by thus tracing the one God of revelationthrough the clouds of the dark ages, through the storms ofrevolutions and wars, through the mighty convulsions which atvarious periods have agitated the world, their interpretations,even when they are most contradictory, when they venture tospeculate concerning the future, are founded on so muchundoubted truth that they have materially confirmed the waveringfaith of thousands. Clouds and darkness must cover thebrightness of the throne of God, till it shall please him toenable us to bear the brighter beams of his glory. In the meantime, we trace his footsteps in the sea of the Gentile world,his path in the mighty waters of the ambitions and clashingpassions of man. We rejoice to anticipate the day when thebondage of Rome, which would perpetuate the intellectual andspiritual slavery of man, shall be overthrown, and day-spring ofunited knowledge and holiness bless the world."