At the end of John’s encounter with Christ that is recorded in the book of Revelation, an angel gives him a final tour. First they see the new heaven and new earth. John notices there is no sea. Next he sees the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. The City is the Bride of Christ.
Then comes a declaration from Heaven. “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 22:3-4). That is the awesome wonder of the Day of God, the Perfect Day.
Then He who sat on the throne declares, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Talk about an overwhelming assignment! Good thing John has the Holy Spirit within him to direct his effort and bring everything back to his memory.
Next comes another astounding announcement: “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son (Rev. 22:6-8).
We were told in the first chapter of the book that the Revelation is given to show His servants the things that must take place shortly. So how can He declare “It is done?” For one thing, God has already declared the end from the beginning. And God’s Word always accomplishes what it is sent to do (Isaiah 55:11).
What we’ve seen unfolding in Revelation shall come to pass. There’s no way around it, for the seal of the Lord shall perform it (Isaiah 9:8). It doesn’t matter whether or not the people of the earth believe it. This is what shall come to pass. That is why God then directs John, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.”
The tour concludes with Jesus affirming that He will indeed come a second time. Now we know that we shall all see it unfold literally. Then Jesus issues a stern warning.
“For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
So how do we keep from adding or subtracting from this prophecy, and the many others throughout God’s Word concerning the end-times? We let Scripture interpret Scripture. But how does that work, exactly? It’s a lot like saying the Bible is like a jigsaw puzzle with the pieces scattered throughout the “box.” All we have to do is match the markings or colors and fit the shapes together. It’s a nice analogy, but again, how do we do this practically speaking?
Glad you asked. We’ll discover the answer in the next blog! Stay tuned!