(All Bible texts are in the NKJV Bible unless otherwise indicated)
21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,
‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: 9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not,but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ’
12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16 Look, these women caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.
29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is.And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,
‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent oftheir deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, Iwill put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—
as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star.
29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.
31 And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. 32 Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. 33 And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.
20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
25 But hold fast what you have till I come.
1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,
‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; forHe makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.
10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the LordGod, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
8 And Ephraim said,
‘Surely I have become rich,
I have found wealth for myself;
In all my labors
They shall find in me no iniquity that is sin.’
15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
2 I sleep, but my heart is awake;
It is the voice of my beloved!
He knocks, saying,
“Open for me, my sister, my love,
My dove, my perfect one;
For my head is covered with dew,
My locks with the drops of the night.”
3 I have taken off my robe;
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet;
How can I defile them?
4 My beloved put his hand
By the latch of the door,
And my heart yearned for him.
5 I arose to open for my beloved,
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
My fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the lock.
6 I opened for my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and was gone.
My heart leaped up when he spoke.
I sought him, but I could not find him;
I called him, but he gave me no answer.
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ”
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.” [Revelation 1:1, 2.] In the next verse a blessing is pronounced by the Lord through His servant John upon all who read and all who hear read the book of Revelation: “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” [Verse 3.]
It is our privilege to know something in regard to this book that many ministers say cannot be understood. To many, the Revelation is a closed book. But we are to know “what saith the Scriptures,” and we are also to understand their meaning. We should understand the book of Revelation much better than we do. The blessing pronounced upon those who read and hear and keep the words of this prophecy may be ours. If we take up the study of this book in a receptive frame of mind, with hearts susceptible of divine impressions, the truths revealed will have a sanctifying influence upon us.
The Revelation was written to the seven churches of Asia, which represented the people of God throughout the world. “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.” [Verses 4, 5.] Banished to the solitudes of the Isle of Patmos, John was favored with the presence of Jesus Christ.
How comforting are the words of the aged apostle as he wrote of his Saviour to the churches! “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.” [Verses 5, 6.] Many, many times these words have comforted me.
“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.” [Verse 7.] Let us consider this prophecy. We should realize that whether we be saved or whether we be lost, we shall sometime see the Saviour as He is, in all His glory, and shall understand His character. At His second coming conviction will be brought to every heart. Those who have cast Him aside, those who have turned from Him to the trivial things of this earth, those who in this life have sought their own interests and glory, will in the day of His coming acknowledge their mistake. These are the ones who, in the language of the Revelator, are spoken of as “all kindreds of the earth,” who “shall wail because of Him.” Let us not be content to be numbered among the “kindreds of the earth.” Our citizenship is in heaven, and we are to lay hold on the hope set before us in the gospel.
“And they also which pierced Him.” [Verse 7.] Not only does this apply to those who last saw Christ when He hung on the cross of Calvary, but to those who by wrong words and actions are piercing Him today. Daily He suffers the agonies of crucifixion. Daily men and women are piercing Him by dishonoring Him, by refusing to do His will. And did He not suffer before He came to this earth as a man among men? The nation that He purposed to lead from Egypt into Canaan rejected Him more than once. During the forty years of wilderness wandering, even though He fed His chosen people with manna and protected them from harm, they resisted His evidences of truth, failed to recognize His light and power, were unmindful of His miracles, and as the result, fell in the wilderness, never entering the promised land. The Lord could not fulfil His purpose through them. And why?—Because they never left their childhood ways. They failed to overcome their wrong traits of character. Although grown up to the full stature of men and women, they brought into manhood and womanhood the defects of childhood.
So it is today. The Lord desires us to be men and women in Christ Jesus. Our natural dispositions are to be softened and subdued by His grace. Then we shall not be continually crucifying Him afresh. We have a Saviour who has lived a perfect life on this earth. He is our Example. He gave His life for our redemption. If in this life we follow Him, doing His will in all things, in the future life we shall live with Him forever. So long as I live, I desire to keep Christ in view. This is my life-purpose. This is what I am living for—to glorify Christ and to make sure of life eternal. This is the great purpose that should inspire every one. We want to know Him whom to know aright is peace and joy and life everlasting.
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. I, John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ [we need to cultivate Christlike patience], was in the Isle that is called Patmos.” Why was he there?—“For the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” [Verses 8, 9.]
In his old age the apostle was talking of Christ, and the people were tired of hearing his testimony, which was a rebuke of their stubborn refusal to accept Christ as their Saviour. They rejected the One who, if they had repented and believed on Him, could have given them power to become the sons of God. They thought that if they could rid themselves of John’s testimony, so annoying to their peace of mind, they would feel much more comfortable; so they banished him to this rocky Isle. But in sending him here, they did not place him beyond the reach of Jesus; for on this very Isle John was given a most wonderful revelation of His Saviour and of things that were to come to pass on the earth; and it was on the Isle of Patmos, too, that he wrote out the record of his visions that we are studying today. This testimony that Christ commanded John to write to all the churches was light that God designed should be immortalized and remain present truth until all the events foretold should come to pass.
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,” the prophet declared, “and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” [Verses 10-20.]
It may seem wonderful to us that John saw Christ as He is, and that Christ addressed Himself to the churches. But we should remember that the church, enfeebled and defective though it be, is the only object on earth on which Christ bestows His supreme regard. He is constantly watching it with solicitude and is strengthening it by His Holy Spirit. Will we, as members of His church, allow Him to impress our minds and to work through us to His glory? Will we hear the messages that He addresses to the church, and take heed to them? We desire to be among the number who shall meet Him with joy when they see Him as He is. We do not wish to be among those who “shall wail because of Him” when they see Him as He is. [Verse 7.] Let us make certain our redemption by listening to and obeying the messages that He gives to His church.
“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.” [Revelation 2:1-3.]
“Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.” [Verse 1.] Christ’s presence is constantly with His church. Constantly He is imparting knowledge and grace to His representatives; and He expects them to impart others the gifts they receive. To His disciples He says, “Go, go!” As the disciples were conversing with Him just before his ascension, He gave them the gospel commission. “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth,” He declared. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” [Matthew 28:18-20.]
Do we believe Christ’s words? If I did not, I assure you I would not be traveling from place to place as I have traveled for so many years to bear my testimony at large general meetings. Even this year I have attended three camp-meetings. The twenty-sixth of this month I shall be seventy-five years of age. Since I was sixteen years old, I have been working continuously, speaking in public congregations to the people as God bade me speak. I have passed through much suffering and affliction, but the Saviour has ever sustained me. What could I have done without His help? He sympathizes with me in every pang of anguish that I feel. Manifold are the times that His hand has been upon me for good. Time and again He has restored me from sickness and suffering to health. Even when my friends have thought I was dead, the Lord has brought me to life again and given me the message, “Go, go, and tell others the things that I have revealed to you.” This has been my work. The comfort of the Holy Spirit is worth everything to me. I understand what it means. I know that my Saviour is more glorious and lovely than any language can picture. He is the One altogether lovely, the Chiefest among ten thousand. I know by experience that He is a loving, compassionate Redeemer, and I desire that everybody else shall learn to love Him.
15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.