And John closes the book with a few personal paragraphs. The vision is complete. Now come the closing words. For the third time John is solemnly assured, "these words are faithful and true." And again comes the voice as of some One always standing by as John is being shown, "Behold, I come quickly." And again the words with which the book begins come to seal all its impressions,—blessed is he that reads, and prayerfully seeks to understand the simple message, and who sets himself to live his life in the light of this simple tremendous message.
And John is significantly told not to seal up the message. Daniel had been told to seal up the message given him, for it would not come to pass until the latter days after great intervening events had taken place. [Note: Dan_12:4; Dan_12:9.] But there are no intervening events before this message is to come true. It has been possible for the fulfilment to come in any generation since John saw and wrote. It is yet more possible, growing distinctly toward the probable, that these things shall come in our generation. The words remain open, waiting an expectant fulfilment. They are not to be sealed up but openly proclaimed, for the time when it is possible for these things to work out is at hand. This is a present practical issue.
And meanwhile, during these days of the waiting time each one who reads or listens, however reluctantly, to the message, will follow the bent of his own deliberate choice, but with ever increasing intensity. The pure will become more pure; the bad yet worse. There's no standing still as we listen.
And again come the solemnly repeated words: "Behold, I come quickly." His coming is the next step in the great plan. There were then, and there are now, no great intervening events to be worked out, and waited for. His coming is imminent. It is a thing to be expected. And He brings with Him the wages due each one.
And like the signature of certification at the book's beginning, [Note: Rev_1:8.] comes now the personal signature at its close: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." So He personally certifies to us the absolute accuracy and reliability of this message.
And with the signature come again the gracious pleading and warning intermingled. Any one who will may wash his robes in the fountain provided, and may eat of the life-giving tree, and come unto the God-lit city. And equally clear it is that any who insist on doing so may remain outside unwashed. Each one is free to do as he wills.
And once again comes the emphatic, solemn announcement of the accuracy and dependability of this message of John's Revelation: "I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things for the Churches." It is distinctively a Church message, and comes with all the direct authority of our Lord Jesus Himself. And He patiently reminds us of His authority,—I am both root and offspring of David, both before him and after him. I am the bright, the morning star, that rises while it is yet night and brings in the new day.
And again the spirit of winsome pleading breaks out to those unwashed ones who insist on staying outside the gate. Both the Spirit and the whole company of washed ones say "come." And let him that heareth that sweet word pass it out to those farther away until the last man hears and feels. And let them know that anybody at all who is thirsty may come freely and drink of the river of the water of life.
And yet once again comes the peculiar certifying of the contents of this Revelation message, and a solemn warning against any interfering with its meaning. Jesus says,—I hereby certify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any man add to them, making them mean something else than I intend, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away, or lessen the meaning, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and out of the holy city. It comes as a very solemn warning.
And yet once more comes the emphatic assurance both of the reliability of the book itself, and of the certainty of its great central message,—"He who testifieth these things saith, 'yea, I come quickly.'"
And John fervently adds, "Amen; come, Lord Jesus." And so says every heart in tune with His heart who is coming.