1. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
5. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever.
"No night shall be in heaven! no gathering gloom
Shall o'er that glorious landscape ever come;
No tears shall fall in sadness o'er those flowers
That breathe their fragrance through celestial bowers.
"No night shall be in heaven! no dreadful hour
Of mental darkness, or the tempter's power;
Across those skies no envious cloud shall roll
To dim the sunlight of the raptured soul.
"No night shall be in heaven! but endless noon;
No fast-declining sun nor waning moon;
But there the Lamb shall yield perpetual light,
'Mid pastures green, and waters ever bright.
"No night shall be in heaven! But night is here!
The night of sorrow and the night of fear;
I mourn the ills that now my steps attend,
And shrink from others that may yet impend.
"No night shall be in heaven! Oh, had I faith
To rest in what the faithful Witness saith,
That faith should make these hideous phantoms flee,
And leave no night, henceforth, on earth to me!"
6. 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.
8. 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 fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
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.
12. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
16. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come, And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
18. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
20. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Note.-- This testimony, "Surely I come quickly," is borne from the standpoint of the unfolding of events as presented in the prophecy. The words, "I come quickly," were not true in John's day, but they are true in our day. Surely we have reached that time in the unfolding of the events foretold in the Revelation, when we should make our own the acclaim, "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
Wonderfully do these two prophetic books of Daniel and the Revelation span the history of mankind from the creation of the world, and point onward to the great climax of human history - the dawn of the eternal world to come.
The book of Daniel takes up the story form the beginnings of world empire, in the days of Babylon of old. The panorama of all human history moves before us in these inspired prophecies. The centuries bear witness to the fulfillment of the prophecy. Empires rise and fall in the exact order foretold. Flinging their "colossal shadows" across the pages of Holy Writ, as Farrar says, we see in these writings --
It is no human book that thus from primitive times forecasts the march of history through the ages. By the aid of divine revelation, we see not only mankind moving across the stage of time, but we see the hand of a living God in the story of mankind. Angels from heaven mingle with the actors in earthly scenes. Evil angels are there too. And above all, we catch glimpses of the living God ruling and overruling, seeking to save, restraining and guiding, setting up and overturning, shaping all things for the eventual carrying out of His original purpose in the creation of the earth and of man.
The book of Revelation portrays yet more clearly the origin of the conflict between good and evil, and the fierceness of the controversy between Christ and Satan for the kingdom of man. In that twelfth chapter is described the beginning of the conflict with the rebellion of Lucifer in heaven:
"There was war in heaven: Michael [Christ] and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
The controversy between Christ and Satan that began in heaven is continued on earth. This old earth fell, by man's sin, under the dominion of the enemy. Satan was called by Christ "the prince of this world." But Christ came into this world to die in man's place. He bore man's sin and guilt, and paid the price of redemption. He has bought back this earth. It is His "purchased possession." One day this earth, renewed, will be the everlasting home of the redeemed. All who accept by faith the free gift of pardon and righteousness and eternal life, will inherit the sinless kingdom which the first man lost by disobedience. The divine plan in the creation will not be frustrated or turned aside by Satan's attack.
The Bible opens with a new earth, perfect from the Creator's hand; with man sinless upon it, having access to the tree of life in the midst of the Eden Paradise.
The Revelation closes the Sacred Volume with the earth, renewed, purified from every mark of the curse; with man redeemed through the love of God and a Saviour's sacrifice, man upright and sinless again, having right to the tree of life in the Paradise of God, restored to earth forever.
Blessed these pictures of a sinless world that open and close the Book of God! Between the two scenes spreads out the sad panorama of six thousand years of sin and death and warfare and turmoil, and of conflict between light and darkness. But the light will win the eternal victory. Christ conquered Satan forevermore as He went to the death for man, and triumphed over death and the grave by the power of His own endless life. The victory is won. And now, as the sure word of prophecy in these two books of Daniel and the Revelation makes plain to all who heed, we only await the time when Christ shall close His ministry in the temple of God in heaven, and come again in power and glory to usher in the scenes of the eternal world to come.
Then will come "the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:21.
From the earliest times God began to send the glad message to men that sin was not forever to reign on earth:
"Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all." Jude 14,15.
Christ's second coming was the "blessed hope" of the patriarchal age. In Job's dark hour of trial his heart clung to the promised resurrection to eternal life at Christ's coming:
"I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:... whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another." Job 19:25-27.
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He left the comforting assurance for all time till He should come again:
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:1-3.
He begs us to let Him pardon all our transgressions, and to let Him make us ready to meet Him and to live with Him forever.
It is the same Saviour's voice that speaks to us in these volumes of Daniel and the Revelation.
Of Daniel's prophecy He said: "Whoso readeth, let him understand." Matt. 24:15.
Of the Revelation He says: "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." Rev. 1:3.
In order that the very words of God in these two books may be yet more widely read, this little book has reprinted the sacred text with but the fewest of notes. May the voice of God speak to the reader in the inspired words of the prophecy, winning the heart to full surrender to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of men and the coming King.
"The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Rev. 22:17.
"And life's bright fountain springeth yet, as free, and fresh, and fair,
As when in Patmos' dreary isle it cheered the exile there!
And hark! the Spirit and the Bride repeat in mercy still,
That he who is athirst may drink-- yea, whosoever will!
"O blessed voices! be it ours your loving call to hear,
And so obey that when, at last, from yonder radiant sphere
The heavenly Bridegroom shall descend to claim His own again,
We may lift up our heads and say, 'Lord even so, amen!'"