The Signs of the Times


January 28, 1903

Lessons From the First Chapter of Revelation

Verses 1-10


The 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; who bare record of the word of God and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.” ST January 28, 1903, par. 1

There should be a closer and more diligent study of the Revelation, and a more earnest presentation of the truths it contains,—truths that concern all who are living in these last days. Into the very designs and principles of the church of God these truths are to enter. If we take up the study of this book in a receptive frame of mind, with hearts susceptible of divine impressions, the truths revealed will have a sanctifying influence upon us. ST January 28, 1903, par. 2

To encourage a study of this book, God declares: “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.” ST January 28, 1903, par. 3

The Revelation is regarded by many as a closed book. Not a few ministers declare that it can not be understood. But it is our privilege to know something in regard to it. By no means should we become weary of looking into it because of its apparently mystical symbols. Christ can give us understanding. The benediction pronounced upon those who read, and hear, and keep the words of this prophecy, may be ours. ST January 28, 1903, par. 4

The Revelation was written to the seven churches in Asia, which represented the people of God throughout the world. “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.” ST January 28, 1903, par. 5

Banished to the solitudes of the Isle of Patmos, John was favored with the presence of Jesus Christ. How comforting are the words of the aged apostle as he wrote to the churches of his Saviour! “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.” ST January 28, 1903, par. 6

“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” Whether we be saved or lost, we shall sometime see the Saviour as he is, in all His glory, and shall understand His character. At His second coming, conviction will be brought to every heart. Those who have turned from Him to the trivial things of this earth, seeking selfish interests and worldly honor, will in the day of His coming acknowledge their mistake. These are the ones spoken of by the Revelator as “all kindreds of the earth,” who “shall wail because of Him.” Let us not be content to be numbered among the “kindreds of the earth.” Remembering that our citizenship is in heaven, let us lay hold on the hope set before us in the Gospel. ST January 28, 1903, par. 7

“And they also which pierced Him.” These words apply not only to the men who pierced Christ when He hung on the cross of Calvary, but to those who by evil-speaking and wrong-doing are piercing Him today. Daily He suffers the agonies of the crucifixion. Daily men and women are piercing Him by dishonoring Him, by refusing to do His will. ST January 28, 1903, par. 8

The Lord desires us to be men and women in Christ Jesus. Our natural dispositions are to be softened and subdued by His grace. Then we shall not be continually crucifying Him afresh. Our Saviour lived on this earth a perfect life. He is our Example. If we now follow Him, doing His will in all things, we shall in the world to come live with Him forever. Let us keep Him constantly in view. It should be our life-purpose to glorify Christ. This is the great purpose that has inspired Christians in every age. It is by cherishing this purpose that we make sure of eternal salvation. Let us learn to know Him whom to know aright is peace and joy and life everlasting. ST January 28, 1903, par. 9

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” ST January 28, 1903, par. 10

“I, John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the Isle that is called Patmos, for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” ST January 28, 1903, par. 11

In his old age the apostle talked continually of Christ, and the people tired of his words, which rebuked their stubborn refusal of Christ as their Saviour. To rid themselves of John's testimony, they banished him to Patmos. But in sending him to that lonely isle, they did not place him beyond the reach of Jesus. It was there that he was given a wonderful revelation of his Saviour and of the things that were to come to pass on the earth; and it was on Patmos, too, that he wrote out the record of his visions that we have in the book of Revelation,—a record that will be present truth until all the events foretold shall have taken place. ST January 28, 1903, par. 12