Rev 22:6, 7 "And he said unto me,
These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent
his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7
Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy
of this book."
The same God who moved the holy
prophets of the Old Testament to write also moved upon the Apostles and Prophets
of the New Testament to write. Thus, "All scripture is given by inspiration
of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly
furnished unto all good works."
The things that are set forth in the
book of Revelation came to fruition and manifestation in a very short period of
time. I know of nothing unfulfilled in the scriptures except for the
resurrection of the dead and the events leading up to the resurrection.
Obviously since the things revealed
unto John were to show God's servants things which must shortly be done, then
they are for his servants and beneficial in their service to God. Too many of
God's people fail to realize the profitability of reading, studying, and
applying the scriptures to their lives. God has promised that we are blessed in
keeping the sayings of the prophecy of this book. That should be reason enough
for us to search and apply the scriptures.
Rev 22:8, 9 "And I John saw these
things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship
before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. 9 Then saith he unto
me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the
prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God."
It is in our fleshly nature to worship
and serve the creature more than the Creator. When someone is blessed of God,
we are prone to give credit and honor to the man rather than to God. How many
times have we seen those who hear them idolize preachers, who were blessed to
preach in power and demonstration of Spirit. The scriptures say "Thou shalt
have no other gods before me."
The angel refused to receive the
worship of the Apostle. That should teach every one of God's ministers that we
are to refuse the worship of men and rebuke them when they begin to worship us.
We have examples of others who refused the worship and exaltation of men:
1. Acts 10:25 "And as
Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and
worshipped him. 26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also
am a man."
2. Acts 14:11 "And when
the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the
speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. 12
And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the
chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their
city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice
with the people. 14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of,
they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, 15 And
saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you,
and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God,
which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. 17
Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave
us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and
gladness. 18 And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people,
that they had not done sacrifice unto them."
Peter, Paul, and Barnabas refused the
worship of men. The angel refused the worship of the Apostle John. We should
both refuse to worship man or to receive the worship of men.
In harmony with this the Lord warned
about giving glorifying titles to men and to receiving glorifying titles from
men: Matt. 23:8 "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even
Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the
earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye
called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11 But he that is
greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt
himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."
Today we see multitudes of worldly ministers who either call themselves by
the very titles the Lord warned against or else allow others to call themselves
by these titles.
Similarly, the exalting title of
Reverend is used by most worldly ministers in the United States. Psalms 111:9
declares God's name is holy and reverend: "He sent redemption unto his
people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his
name." Since God's name is both Holy and Reverend, how can puny man allow
others to call them by such exalting titles? This is none other than creature
worship and is specifically condemned by our God.
Rev 22:10, 10 "And he saith unto me,
Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let
him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and
he that is holy, let him be holy still."
One of the meanings of seal is "to keep
secret." Also, one of the meanings of prophecy is "doctrine." Thus, the
essential meaning of "Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book"
is that we are not to keep secret the doctrines of the bible. Those doctrines
have plainly been set forth throughout the book of Revelation and we have
attempted to address them.
Some of the very basic of doctrines is
set forth in verse 11. "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still"
shows forth plainly that it is not up to men to justify themselves before God.
Furthermore, it is impossible for man to justify himself before God. Only
through the shed blood of the Lamb of God can any one be justified. The only
ones who are justified are those chosen in Christ before the foundation of the
world. This principle is set forth in Rom. 8:29, 30: "For whom he did
foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that
he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did
predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified:
and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
Next, it is not up to men to change
their essential nature. Man is by nature filthy through sin. Jer. 13:23
teaches the impossibility of man being able to change his filthy nature: "Can
the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do
good, that are accustomed to do evil." Evil man cannot make himself good.
Paul said, "I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing."
This fleshly nature can no man change. It is only through the miracle of the
new birth that we are given a new nature making us able to seek after,
understand the things of God, and do good. The new birth, however, does not
change the old fleshly nature. Thus, man in his filthy unregenerate state
cannot deliver himself from that condition.
A man can only be righteous through the
atoning blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. According to 2 Cor. 5:21, "For
he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the
righteousness of God in him." Those for whom Christ died will always be
righteous or just before God. The question is asked and answered in Rom. 8:33 "Who
shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth."
No charge can be brought before God against the elect for Christ justified
them. They are without fault before the throne of God.
We are made holy or saints through the
work of God in the new or spiritual birth. According to 1 Pet. 1:23, "Being
born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God,
which liveth and abideth for ever." The elect having been born of the
incorruptible word of God (Jesus Christ) are made incorruptible in the inner
man. It is impossible for them to sin in the inner man: 1 John 3:9 "Whosoever
is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot
sin, because he is born of God." Furthermore, that work is irreversible for
his seed remaineth in him.