'BEHOLD, I COME QUICKLY"
“BEHOLD, I COME QUICKLY”
April 30, 2023, the Year of Our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
(Our Lord Cometh-or will Come—Our Lord Comes)
I love the Book of Revelation. Our message today is the beginning of the Church’s glorious’ victory and spiritual ascension to eternity with Christ as His Bride glorified in heaven.
The number of God’s elect is accomplished; the bridal day of the Church triumphant has arrived. It is the clear shining after rain; the morning without clouds; “The darkness is past and the true light shines.” All the Church’s fierce Armageddons are fought; the great assize is dissolved; the Books are closed, the inquiry hushed, the wide moral gulf is fixed forever.
Revelation 22:7: Behold I come quickly.” Blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
As the worshipers are gathering to take their places in the Heavenly Temple, again, and again, and again, and yet again (four times in this closing chapter) these words ring out to a waiting and expectant church.
1. Verse 7 – Behold, I come quickly.
2. Verse 12 – Behold, I come quickly.
3. Verse 17 – The Coming One announced Himself as “the Bright and Morning Star.” In blended harmony, the Church on earth and the Church in Heaven respond, “And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come.”
4. Verse 20 - The Divine record is closed with this blessed hope: “He which testified these things says, ‘Surely, I come quickly.’”
Every book and prophecy of the Bible carries a seal. Only in the Book of Revelation did the Lord tell John, "do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand" (Rev. 22:10). The Lamb opens the seals in the Book of Revelation. There are only two times the Angel of the Lord told John to seal the Word.
1. Rev. 10:4: Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.
2. Rev. 20:3: the Devil was cast into the bottomless pit and the angel set a seal on him that he should not deceive the nations for a thousand years.
Rev. 22:10: And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.”
The book of Revelation ends just as it began with a blessing upon people who hear, read, and keep the truth of this prophecy (1:1-3). These truths were to be understood and kept by all; hence they are not hidden truths. things which he saw”; “things which are” and “things which must be hereafter” (4:1b); things which must shortly be done (22:6). The truths of the prophecies of Revelation are simple and clear to all who believe them; but hidden from those who refuse to believe (2 Cor. 4:4).
John has finished his detailed description of the New Jerusalem and now adds an epilogue to the book. He wants his readers to understand that his words are directly from heaven, and he uses testimonies from the Lord and the angel to reinforce his words. This is the Holy angel who has been the apostle’s guide and interpreter in these visions.
Rev. 22:6-7:And he said to me, “These sayings are faithful and true; and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly be done.” Behold, I come quickly blessed is he that keeps the saying of the prophecy of this book.
Over 2000 years have now gone by since these words were penned by the Apostle by the appointment of the Lord Himself. Some teach all the prophecies have already come to pass. Yes, many have, but I am persuaded the prophecies are outside of earth’s time (under the sun) and are on Heaven’s time and perpetual until “At Christ’s coming, then comes the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the father, when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he has put all enemies under his feet (1 Co. 15:23-25). We as Christ’s body are the “feet of him.” The glorious church will rise triumphant. These prophetic things will mark God’s intervention into the affairs of men from John’s day perpetual through time and eternity.
We also understand that there have been many visitations of the Lord on the earth in the past 2000 years; and will continue until the Second Coming. The Day of Visitation will either be a day of promotion or judgment individually or corporately. The Lord has intervened many times into the affairs of men; some of these events are happening now and some have already happened. Until he returns, he has come within his saints as we yield ourselves to reveal Christ. We are the Lord’s Temple. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit tabernacle within us.
When all the prophecies are accomplished, when all the seals are broken, the vials exhausted; when the power of the false Prophet is crushed, and the great Dragon cast out, Apollyon the deceiver and destroyer vanquished; when the gospel angel has covered the earth; when the Jews have received Jesus Christ, and mingle with the Gentiles, then I shall come quickly.
“In the Christian doctrine of the Last Things, the imminence of the end is moral rather than chronological; each successive Christian generation, may be the last generation. In that sense the time is always near. It is therefore the path of wisdom for believers to be ready to meet their Lord. When He comes and institutes the final judgment, the verdict will be that which men by their attitude to God and their way of life have already incurred for themselves (Jn. 3:18) (F.F.B.).
Rev. 1:1: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him (Jesus), to show to his servant’s things which must shortly come to pass, and He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.”
he apostle has faithfully written down in black and white all that he heard and saw, as he was instructed at the beginning. In chapter 22 as in chapter one, he affirms, confirms, and reaffirms that he has faithfully written all that he saw and heard.
22: 8-9: I John saw these things and heard them. When I had heard and seen, I fell to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. Then says he to me, “See you do it not; for I am your fellow servant and of your brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book. Worship God!”
It is my persuasion just as Michael spoke to Daniel; Gabriel spoke to Zacharias and Mary; the Angel of the Lord has spoken to men from the Book of Genesis through the renewed heaven and earth; a prophetic angel, a celestial being, spoke and delivered the message to John. Prophetic angels are still delivering visions and revelations to God’s Holy Prophets.
Rev. 22: 10-11: He says to me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he who 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.
Daniel was commanded to seal up the record of his visions until the time of the end (Dan. 12: 4; 9). From the time of Daniel’s vision, centuries were to elapse between the third year of Cyrus (Dan. 10:1) and the fulfillment of the visions which bear that date; but no such time-lag is envisaged here.
The Parousia is the presence of the Lord whether by visitation, revealed in the Sons of God, or the Second Coming. Because the time is short, there will be little opportunity for repentance and change; the wicked are confirmed in their wickedness, the righteous in their righteousness.
Rev. 22:12-13: Behold I come quickly; and My reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning, and the end, the First and the Last.
In a book so full of judgment, here we again find the gospel message extended so plainly and freely. However, the Lord announces His swift advent, to recompense everyone according to what he has done.
Christ declares His return to earth many times (1:7; Mt: 29-31; 25: 31-46; Lk. 17).
Also, at Jesus’ ascension into Heaven, two angels spoke the same, (Acts 1:11) “You men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you in heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven.”
Rev. 22:14-16: 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. For outside are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie. I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and Offspring of David and the Bright and Morning Star.
Blessings symbolized by the tree of life are ours now. Fruit is the reproduction of Jesus Christ’s own character and nature in the hearts of the redeemed. The tree of life is in the paradise of God, a paradise in a city or a whole city in a paradise. This tree of life is fed by the pure waters of the river that comes from the throne of God. We are invited now to partake of these fruits and to rest under that shelter. “Christ who is our Life…we shall appear with Him in Glory (Col. 3:4). Christ is the tree of life.
The gates of the city are twelve experiences which progressively unfold from the Christ (the divine nature within us). These are the twelve entrances into the Glory of God. There is more than one entrance into the “Glory”.
Those who are excluded from the City (the glorified community of saints) belong to the categories listed here and already indicated in 21:8, 27; 1 Cor. 6, 9; Gal. 5: 1, 9-21.
His eternal being as the Bright and Morning Star and the root of the offspring of David are set in as a paradox. The star…out of Jacob or scepter… out of Israel was foretold by Balaam in Num. 24:17. This was primarily a reference to David and his conquering career. It is prophetic of great David’s greater Son, Jesus Christ.
2 Pet. 1:19: We have also a surer word of prophecy; where unto you do well that you take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.
Rev. 22:17: The spirit and the Bride say, “Come”! The spirit of God and the Saints and let him who hears say, “Come”. Whoever is thirsty, let him come, and who ever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
“The Spirit is indwelling the beloved community (the Bride) and inspiring it to respond to the Lord’s promise of verse 12. Dualistically it is the Holy Spirit speaking to the Spirit of Prophecy; in which case the Spirit and the Bride are equivalent to the prophets and the saints.” (H. B. Sweet).
The blindest idolater, the worst sinner, the fiercest persecutor, the prostitute, the drunk, the thief, the liar, the backslider, the miserable, the downtrodden, those who are in debt, fallen ministers, saint and sinner, may all come if they will and accept the full and free benefits which the gospel provides.
Let him who hears say, “Come”; Everyone who listens to the reading of the book must at this point break in with his personal response: Maranatha, Come, and O Lord! The water of life is the fountain-head---the throne of God and the Lamb. All our springs of grace, comfort and glory are in God; and all our streams from him are through the Lamb.
If any man is Holy, let him come; if any man is not, let him repent.
Rev. 22: 18-19: For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will 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.
This is a severe warning. The prophetic truths of the book are from God and woe to the person who dares add or take away from them. This is why it is imperative for us to teach every word, line, verse, and chapter.
As the years unfold, the Lord will send His angel of Prophecy to interpret His sequence of advents into the affairs of men.
Rev. 22:20: He who testifies these things says, 'Surely I come quickly', Amen, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
This is Jesus’ response to the Christians who long for his glorious appearance. “I am coming soon”. The Maranatha is confirmed by Amen. He who testifies is Jesus.
Rev. 22:16: I, Jesus have sent my angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.
It is my persuasion that the same angel (Jesus’ angel, with the spirit of prophecy, who was sent to John) is still present when we read, hear, preach, and teach the Book of Revelation to the churches. This is why and how we are all blessed into another realm of the Lord’s blessing every time we read, hear, preach, or teach this Book of prophecy.
We the Bride join our voice with the Spirit and the Word with the same cry---“MARANATHA.”
Rev. 22:21: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen.
“The Bible begins with a garden and ends with a city. It starts with a morning followed by a night and ends with a day that shall know no more night. It breaks the silence with, “In the beginning” and it hushes the universe to sleep with, “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.’”
Message given to Carolyn Sissom by the Holy Spirit.
Scripture quotes are from K.J.V.,
I entered into the labors of C.S. Lovett, Matthew Henry; F.F. Bruce International Bible Commentary; Bible Study Notes, Rev. 22 by: Carolyn Sissom, 1/29/13; Memories of Patmos, John Ross Macduff (1818-1895).