Closing Warnings and Admonitions

Revelation 22:6-15
The prophetic character of these communications is shown in every possible way. In Revelation 19, as we have seen, John is told, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Ch. 19:10); and here again the angel, who was sent to show John the things that must shortly come to pass (Rev. 1:11The 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: (Revelation 1:1)), says, “I am...of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book” (Ch. 22:9). It is needful to bear this in mind, in order to understand the nature of the book, and the application of the revelations made. It is because this has been forgotten, together with the fact that the church is not the subject of prophecy, that so many mistakes have been made in the interpretation of the apocalyptic visions. These closing warnings and admonitions are therefore of great importance, as affording abundant confirmation of the view taken in this exposition, that the whole of the book after chapter 3 is yet future; and as demonstrating the untenability of what is termed the “historical view,” namely, of regarding all the visions up to chapter 19 as already fulfilled in past historical events, and of the consequent contention, that we have now only to wait for the appearing of our Lord as described in Revelation 19:1111And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. (Revelation 19:11). This theory could not be accepted by those who understand the true character of the church as the body of Christ, and of the church’s hope as given by the apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-1815For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:15‑18). These know that the church’s immediate prospect is the coming of the Lord to receive His people, and that the judgments and woes revealed in this book (whatever premonitions of these there may have been in past ages) cannot be visited upon this poor world, until the church has been rapt away from the scene, and is on high with the Lord. To miss this distinction is to lose the true nature of the dispensations, and especially of the church period, which embraces the time from Pentecost until the coming of the Lord.