The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.Revelation 22:21(NASB)
The last chapter of Revelation is also the final chapter of the Bible, where we are treated to a glimpse of the Holy City - the New Jerusalem where the shining River of Life, with its wonderful healing properties, streams forth from beneath the throne of God and of the Lamb. It was the apostle John who was given this brief look into heavenly places. He saw the Tree of Life, which speaks of restoration, with its leaves for the healing of the nations, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, and growing on both sides of the crystal river.
The Bible begins with the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden, but due to sin, Adam was denied further access to its luscious, life-giving properties and he and his wife were banished from the glorious garden. But the same Tree of Life has reappeared in this final chapter of God's Word, with a promise from the Lord Jesus that He is returning soon to finish the good work He started at Calvary - and to establish in His kingdom of peace and prosperity.
The prophecy of Daniel was sealed up until the end of days, but John's vision of the New Jerusalem was not to be sealed because the time was fast approaching when God's perfect plan of redemption would be fully and finally acted out on the world stage. As the time for this to happen draws ever closer, the division between good and evil is becoming greater with every passing day and those who love and trust the Lord are called to practise righteousness: "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book," John was told, "for the time is near. Let the one who does wrong, continue to do wrong; and the one who is filthy, continue to be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy."
The return of Christ to set up His Millennial Kingdom when He will rule and reign in righteousness with His Bride, which is the Church, is drawing ever nearer. It is much closer than when we first believed! And we who are part of Christ's Body will be raptured from earth into heaven and remain with Him, while the seven-year Tribulation period rages upon the earth - when God will pour out His wrath on a God-hating, Christ-rejecting, sinful nation. We are not appointed to God's wrath and the Lord Jesus Himself sent His angel to testify to the truth of all that John saw during his astonishing vision - which he recorded in the final book of the Bible.
Today, we long for the return of Christ... when the trump of God will sound and the voice of the archangel will announce that this Church dispensation has reached its consummation, and we will be changed in a moment - in the twinkling of an eye - and be with the Lord forever. It is as the Church age closes that the Lamb on the throne will break the first seal and the four horsemen will gallop onto the world scene to deceive the whole world for seven long years, bringing war, bloodshed, disease, famine, and death upon a world that rejected God's offer of salvation.
Those who refused to believe in His Son will be punished, but a multitude without number will call on the name of the Lord and be saved, and the nation of Israel will finally preach the gospel of the kingdom to all the world and then - Jesus will return to save His people from certain annihilation. Yes, that day is coming when Israel will look on Him Whom they pierced and recognise that Jesus - the root and descendant of David - the bright morning star, will return to earth with His Church to save His people and to set up His kingdom on earth.
Today, we are being used by the Spirit of God to restrain the march of evil until the Restrainer is taken out of the way and the man of sin - the antichrist and son of perdition, begins his seven-long-year reign of terror. But when the time comes for Christ to return with His Bride to set up His kingdom, the Lord Jesus will consume him with the spirit of his mouth. The Messiah of Israel will destroy the antichrist with the brightness of His coming.
Today, the Church is being used to restrain evil, but at Christ's return, the Spirit of God and the Bride of Christ will cry, "Come Lord Jesus." And everyone who is thirsty for the truth will be invited to refresh themselves with the water of life that streams forth from the throne of God.
Revelation is an open book for all who want to know the truth. Revelation is an unsealed prophecy for all who want to know the end from the beginning. And John tells us that the One who testifies to these things is Jesus, Who will reply to the call of the Spirit and His Bride, with the words, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
God's gracious plan of redemption was formulated in eternity past and began to be played on the world scene when Adam sinned. God loved the world so much that in His goodness and grace He purposed to save ALL Who would trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ and it is fitting that the final sentence in God's book of redemption should be:
"The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen."
Hallelujah! Amen, and AMEN.