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A New Creation
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, JULY 15, 1915.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"He who sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new." Revelation 21:5.
Men generally venerate antiquity. It were hard to say which has the stronger power over the human mind— antiquity or novelty. While men will frequently dote upon the old, they are most easily dazzled by the new. Anything new has at least one attraction. Restless spirits consider that the new must be better than the old. Though often disappointed, they are still ready to be caught by the same bait and, like the Athenians of Mars Hill, spend their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. And as for ourselves, dear Friends, as we sometimes mournfully think of the flight of time, we are known to cheerfully look out upon the new epochs as they begin to dawn upon us. If our calendar suggests some dismal memories in the past, our calculation predicts some happier prospects in the future! And it will sometimes happen that we leave so much anxiety, adversity and chastisement behind us, that it is a relief to hope that the tide has turned, and that a course of comfort, prosperity and mercy lies before us. One weeps over the past and the lost. I suppose the best of men must do so at times. I am sure those of us who are not the best, feel often constrained to pour out some such a lamentation as this—
"Much of our time has run to waste— Our sins, how great the sum! Lord, give us pardon for the past And strength for days to come."
I do not know but it is sometimes as well, when one has been plunged in sorrow, or feels ashamed of his past life— after having regretted that which is bygone and repented of it, and over it—to feel as if he breathed another atmosphere and had started on a fresh career. Having thrown away the old sword, he is now about to see what he can do with the new. Having put off an old garment, he is desirous to walk more worthily of his vocation with fresh ones that are provided for him. Perhaps the thought of freshness, the fact of new times having dawned on our path, may be a little help to those of us who are dull and heavy. And we may be stirred up to action, or, if not to action, it may awaken earnest hope that the infusion of a new start into our lives, new vigor instead of the old lethargy, new love instead of the old luke-warmness, new zeal instead of the old death-likeness—new, pertinacious, persevering industry for Christ instead of the old idleness, may result. God grant that it may be so!
Looking at the text in this light, I think it speaks to everyone here present. Would you begin anew, lo, there is One who can help you to do so! From the Throne of God where sits the once Crucified but now Glorified Savior, there comes a whisper of hope to each and every soul who would be made new and would begin life anew. "Behold I make all things new." In trying to bring out the thoughts contained in this exclamation from the Throne—from the Emperor of the Universe, from the court of the King of Kings—we shall first speak, very briefly, of the new creation. Secondly, we should bid you adore the great Regenerator And, in the third place, we shall ask you to behold with attention, the fact before you, with a view of receiving benefit from it Observe the text speaks of—
I. A NEW CREATION.
"I make." That is a Divine Word. "I make all things." That, also, is Divine. "I make all things new." That seems to reach the third stage, wherein the thrice holy God appears glorious in the highest degree! "I make all things new." This our Lord Jesus Christ has done upon the greatest scale! We must view His purpose. It is the purpose and intention of the Lord Jesus to make this world entirely new. You recollect how it was made at first—pure and perfect. It sang with its
sister spheres the song ofjoy and reverence. It was a fair world, full of everything that was lovely, beautiful, happy, holy. And if we might be permitted to dream for a moment of what it would have been if it had continued as God created it, one might fancy what a blessed world it would be at this moment! Had it possessed a teeming population like its present one, and if, one by one, those godly ones had been caught away, like Elijah, without knowing death, to be succeeded by pious descendants—oh, what a blessed world it would have been! A world where every man would have been a priest and every house a temple, and every garment a vestment, and every meal a sacrifice, and every place holiness to the Lord, for the Tabernacle of God would have been among them and God, Himself, would have dwelt among them! What songs would have hailed the rising of the sun—the birds of paradise caroling on every hill and in every dale their Maker's praise! What songs would have ushered in the stillness of the night! Yes, and angels, hovering over this fair world, would oft have heard the strain of joy breaking the silence of midnight, as glad and pure hearts beheld the eyes of the Creator beaming down upon them from the stars which stud the vault of Heaven!
But there came a serpent and his craft spoiled it all. He whispered into the ears of Mother Eve—she fell, and we fell with her—and what a world this now is! If a man walks about in it with his eyes open, he will see it to be a horrible sphere. I do not mean that its rivers, its lakes, its valleys, its mountains are repulsive. No, it is a world fit for angels, naturally, but it is a horrible world morally! As I walked the other day down the streets of Paris and saw the soldiers with their pretty dresses—and the knives and forks which they carried with them to carve men and make a meal for death—I could not help thinking this is a pretty world, this is. Only let one man lift his finger and a hundred thousand men are ready to meet a hundred thousand other men, all intent upon doing—what? Why, upon cutting each other's throats! Upon tearing out each other's bleeding hearts and wading up to their knees in each other's gore till the ditches are full of blood, horses and men all mingled, and left to be food for dogs and for carrion crows! And then the victors on either side in the fray, return, beat the drums and sound the trumpets and say, "Glory! Glory! Look what we have done!" Devils could not be worse than men when their passions are let loose. Dogs would scarcely tear each other as men do. Men of intellect sit down and put their fingers to their foreheads, racking their brains to find out new ways of using gunpowder, and shot, and shell—so as to be able to blow twenty thousand souls into eternity as easily as 20 might be massacred by present appliances! And he is considered a clever man, a patriot, a benefactor of his own nation, who, by dint of genius, can discover some new way of destroying his fellow creatures. Oh, it is a horrible world, appalling to think of! When God looks at it, I wonder why He does not stamp it out, just as you and I do a spark of coal that flies upon our carpet from the fire! It is a dreadful world.
But Jesus Christ, who knew that we would never make this world much better, let us do what we would with it. He designed from the very first to make a new world of it. Truly, truly, this seems to me to be a glorious purpose! To make a world is something wonderful, but to make a world new is something more wonderful still! When God spoke and said, "Let there be light," it was a fiat which showed Him to be Divine. Yet there was nothing, then, to resist His will. He had no opponent—He could build as He pleased and there were none to pluck down. But when Jesus Christ comes to make a new world, there is everything opposed to Him. When He says, "Let there be light," Darkness says, "There shall not be light." When He says, "Let there be order," Chaos says, "No, I will maintain confusion." When He says, "Let there be holiness, let there be love, let there be truth," the principalities and powers of evil withstand Him and say, "There shall not be holiness, there shall be sin! There shall not be love, there shall be hate! There shall not be truth, there shall be error! There shall not be the worship of God, there shall be the worship of sticks and stones—men shall bow down before idols which their own hands have made!"
And yet, for all that, Jesus Christ, coming in the form of a Man, revealing Himself as the Son of God, determines to make all things new! And be assured, Brothers and Sisters, He will do it! Though He pleases to take His time and to use humble instrumentalities to effect His purposes, yet do it He will! The day shall come when this world shall be as fair as it was at the primeval Sabbath. When there shall be a new Heaven and a new Earth, wherein shall dwell righteousness. The ancient prophecy shall be fulfilled to the letter! God shall dwell among men. Peace shall be domiciled on earth and Glory shall be ascribed to God in the highest! This great work of Christ, this grand design of making this old world into a new one shall be carried into effect!
In order to accomplish this, it has come to pass that Christ has made for us a New Covenant The Old Covenant was, "Do this and live." That Covenant was a sentence of death upon us all. We could not do, therefore we could not live, and
so we died. The New Covenant has nothing in it contingent upon creature-doing, but it bases all its provisions upon Christ having done the work! "I will, and you shall," this is the language of the New Covenant? The Covenant of Law, in which we were weak through the flesh, left us mangled and broken. The Covenant of Grace reveals God's kindness towards us and our part, thereof, has been fulfilled for us by our Surety, Christ Jesus. Thus it runs, "Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more forever; a new heart also will I give them, and a right spirit will I put within them." The old world is still under the old Covenant of Works and its children perish, for they cannot carry out the conditions of the Covenant—they cannot keep God's Law—they break it constantly, and they die. But the children of Grace are under the New Covenant of Grace, and through the precious blood, which is the penalty of the old broken Covenant, and through the spotless righteousness of Christ, which is the fulfillment and magnifying of the old Covenant, the Christian stands secure and rejoices that he is saved! Christ has thus made His people dwell under a New Covenant, instead of under the old one.
In addition to the New Covenant, Christ has been pleased to make us new men. His saints are "new creatures in Christ Jesus." They have a new nature! God has breathed into them a new life. The Holy Spirit, though the old nature is still there, has been pleased to put within them a new nature. There is now a contending force within them—the old carnal nature inclining to evil and the new God-given nature panting after perfection. They are new men, "begotten again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." This new nature is moved by new principles. The old nature needed to be awed with threats, or bribed with rewards—the new nature feels the impulse of love! Gratitude is its mainspring—"We love Him because He first loved us." No mercenary motive now stirs the new creature—
"My God, I love You not because
I hope for Heaven thereby,
Nor yet because who love You not
Must burn eternally."
I love You, O my Savior, because on the Cross You did bear shame, and spitting, and manifold disgrace for me. New principles stir the new nature which God has given! And this new nature is conscious of new emotions. It loves what once it hated—it hates what once it loved. It finds blight where once it sought for bliss, and finds bliss where once it found nothing but bitterness. It leaps at the sound which was once dull to its ears—the name of a precious Christ! It rejoices in hopes which once seemed idle as dreams. It is filled with a Divine enthusiasm which it once rejected as fanatical! It is now conscious of living in a new element, breathing a fresh air, partaking of new food, drinking out of new wells not dug by men or filled from the earth. The man is new—new in principles and new in emotions!
And now the man is also new in relationship. He was an heir to wrath—he is now a child of God. He was a bondslave—he is now a free man. He was the Ishmael who dwelt in the wilderness—he is now the Isaac, and dwells with Sarah after the tenor of the New Covenant. He rejoices in Christ Jesus and feasts to the full! He was once the citizen of earth— he is now a citizen of Heaven. He once found his all beneath the clouds, but now his all is beyond the stars! He has new relationships. Christ is his Brother. God is his Father. The angels are his friends and the despised people of God are his best and nearest kinsfolk! And therefore the man has new aspirations. He now pants to glorify God! What cared he about the glory of God once? He now pants to see God—once he would have paid the fare, if it had cost his life, that he might escape from the Presence of the Lord! Now he hungers and thirsts after the living God. Yes, if his soul had wings, and he could break the fetters of this mortality, he would mount at once to dwell where Jesus is! Dear Friends, are you new men and women? If you are, you understand what it is. If you are not, I know I cannot explain it to you. Oh, to be born-again is a great mystery! Blessed is the soul that comprehends it! But he that knows it not will never learn it by the lips—he can only know it by the Spirit of God causing him to also be made a new creature in Christ Jesus.
Thus far I have said that the objective of Christ was to make a new world, and He began by making a New Covenant. Then, through His Spirit, He goes on to make new men under the New Covenant, and you will see that by this means He makes a new society. Swelling words have been spoken and great attempts taken in hand to renovate society, but you can never renovate society till you have renovated the individual members who compose society! You may build a brick house, if you please, but, build it as you like, it will be a house of brick upon whatever principles of architecture it may be constructed! Not until that brick shall be transformed to marble can you hope to "dwell in marble halls." So men may launch their divers theories and patent their social inventions, but after they have reshaped the society of sinners, it will
still be a sinful society! It is otherwise with Christ. By making new men, He makes a new society, which society He calls His "Church." That Church He sends into the world to act upon the rest of mankind. Verily, the day will come— whether it shall be at His Second Advent or before His Second Advent, I do not know—the day will come when, from the east to the west, and from the north to the south, there shall be a new world as far as men are concerned! There shall be no injustice towards the poor. There shall be no envying of the rich. There shall be no law to make men slaves. There shall be no power to oppress because there shall be no will to do it! Our Lord Jesus Christ shall put a new heart into earth's kings and then He shall come Himself to take their thrones and their crowns, and to be, Himself, our Universal King, and in His day shall the righteous flourish!
Now I believe the way for us to regard that happy day in which He will make all things new—that happy day when the lion shall eat straw like the ox and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, when the sword shall be turned into the sickle, and the spear into the pruning hook—the way for us to regard that day, I think, is not standing with our mouths open expecting it, but by setting to work after the Master's own fashion, seeking to bring it about! To gather out the elect from mankind, to illustrate the Gospel practically in our lives and so to do as Jesus did among the sons of men— promoting light, and peace, and truth, and holiness and happiness as God may help us!
I wish we had more time to enter fully into this part of the subject. We have not and, therefore, we must leave it, but may you and I have a part in this new creation! Turning to our second point, I want you to—
II. ADORE THIS GREAT REGENERATOR.
He says, "Behold I make all things new." Behold Him! He is a Man dressed in the common garments of the poor! He has no form nor comeliness and when you shall see Him there is no beauty in Him that you should desire Him. He has come to make the world new. He has no soldiery, no book of laws, no new philosophy. He has come to make the world new and to do this He has brought with Him—what? Why, Himself He spends a life of weariness and sorrow among those who despise Him—and if you want to know first and foremost how He makes all things new, you must see Him sweating great drops of blood in the Garden—that is the blood of the new world which He is pouring forth! You must see Him bound, scourged, spat upon, led to the accursed tree! While God's wrath for sin is yet unspent, the world cannot be new, but when that wrath on account of sin is all poured upon the head of the great Substitute, then the world stands in a new relation to God and it can be a new world! See the Savior, then, in groans and pangs which cannot be described, bearing the curse of God, for He made Him to be sin for us, though He knew no sin. The curse fell on Him, as it is written, "Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree." It pleased the Father to bruise Him. He has put Him to grief. He has made His soul to be an offering for sin." That dolorous pain, then, of the Master, was the world's new-making! It was then and there that the world was born-again. No mother's pangs, when she brought forth a man-child, were such as those of Christ when He brought forth the new creation! It was there in the travail of His soul—did you ever catch that idea, "the travail of His soul"?—it was there that the new world was born! "Behold I make all things new" is a mysterious voice from the broken heart of a dying Savior! From the empty tomb, as He rises, I hear it come in silvery notes, "Behold I make all things new." You must trace the birth of the New Creation up to the grave of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the place where the Cross stood and where His body lay.
But the actual operations of new-making the world takes place through the truth which Christ promulgated. After the relation of the world to God had been changed by the sufferings of Jesus, the world's thought concerning God came to be changed by the preaching of Jesus. He came and revealed God to man as man had never before seen God. It was through Him we learned that "God is Love." It was through Him that we understood that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." It is the preaching of the Cross of Jesus that is to make the world new! It is not the philosophies of men, but the Wisdom of God which effects the change! In the Presence of Christ your philosophies must sink into darkness as stars in the presence of the sun!
And it is also by the giving of the Holy Spirit, as the result of the Ascension of Christ on high, that the world is made new. Thus He gives power to the ministry. There were 3,000 new creations in one day when Peter preached the Gospel under the influence of the Holy Spirit! And that blessed Spirit of God is here tonight! Oh, I would that there might be some new creations tonight—that that Divine heavenly Spirit would come into some of your souls and drop there that vital spark of heavenly flame which shall never be quenched, but shall burn brightly in Heaven forever! Wherever the
Gospel is preached, the Spirit is present in that Gospel, and He gives faith to men, gives life to men, and so they are made new and the new-making thus goes on! I have not time—though thoughts crowd into my mind—to speak about the way in which Christ thus new-makes the world. It is quite certain that three parts of His history are connected with it. I have only referred to His death, His burial and His Resurrection, but I might go on to speak of His constant and prevalent intercessions, for His pleading before the Throne of God is also a part of the mighty operation! Nor can I doubt but that His Second Advent will be the bringing out of the top stone with shouts of, "Grace, Grace unto it!" Then shall be ful-filled—finally and exhaustively fulfilled—the saying that is written, "Behold I make all things new." The text begins with, "Behold!" and I am going to close with that same note of admiration. I want you to— III. BEHOLD AND TO BELIEVE.
Behold the Lord Jesus is now enthroned in Heaven! He it is who makes all things new. Is not this what some of you here present deeply need? If you look within yourselves, you will see much to disgust and alarm you. Perhaps you dare not take stock of yourselves—you dare not consider where you are, nor what you are, nor where you are bound. "To speak candidly," you say, "I need reforming." Very likely, but you need a great deal more than mere reformation! I have heard of a being who habitually used to swear, "God mend me!" Somebody said, "Better make a new one." That is the case with full many of you. You are saying, "Well, I will turn over a new leaf." You had better shut the book up, altogether, and never turn over any more leaves, for all the pages are alike bad! "Oh, well," says one, "I shall try if I cannot alter." I wish you would try God's altering of you, instead of altering yourselves. "Well, but surely, surely, I may wash and be clean! I will try to make myself as clean as possible!" Yes, yes, that is all very well—but what if you have a corpse in the house? I would have you make it clean, yet that will not make it live! However much you may wash it, it is still corrupt. You may reform yourselves as much as ever you please—all your reformation will be futile—you need more, a great deal more than that! The fact is, you must be made new! Nothing less will do! You must be made new! You must be born-again!
"Ah!" says one, "if I could be made new, there might be a chance for me." Well now, Christ looks down from His Throne in Heaven and He says, "Behold I will make all things new." "Yes," you say, "but He will not make me new." Why not? Does He not say, "I make all things new"? "But my heart is as hard as a rock," you say. Well, but He says, "I will make all things news," so He can give you a new heart! "Oh, but I am so very stubborn." Yes, yes, but He makes all things new, and He can make you as tender and sensitive as a little child! Oftentimes a gray-headed sinner has looked back to his childhood and remembered the time when he used to sing his little hymn at his mother's knee—and he has said, "Ah! I have been in many strange places since then, and my heart has got seared and hard! I wish I could get back to what I was then!" Well, you can, you can! Christ can bring you there! No, He can bring you to something better than you ever were when those golden ringlets hung so plentifully about that pretty little head of yours, for you were not so innocent, then, as you now think you were! Christ can make you really pure in heart. He can make you a new creature, so that you shall be converted and become as a little child. "Oh," you say, "how can I get it? How can I prepare myself for Him?" You do not need to prepare yourself for Him! Go to Him just as you are—trust Him to do it and He will do it! That is faith, you know—trust, dependence. Can you believe that Christ can save you? Oh, can you believe that? Well now, will you try Him to save you? Will you trust Him to deliver you from your drunkenness, from your angry temper, your pride, your love of self, your lusts? Do you desire to be a new creature in Christ Jesus? If so, that very desire must have come from Heaven! I hope that He has already begun the good work in you and He that begins it will carry it on. Do not be afraid, however bad your character, or however vicious your disposition. "Behold," says Christ, "I make all things new."
What a wonder it is that a man should ever hate a new heart! You know if a lobster loses its claw in a fight, it can grow a new claw—and that is thought to be very marvelous. It would be very wonderful if men would be able to grow new arms and new legs, but who ever heard of a creature who grew a new heart? You may have seen a branch lopped off a tree, and you may have thought that, perhaps, the tree will sprout again, and there will be a new limb, but who ever heard of old trees getting new sap and a new core? But my Lord and Master, the Crucified and exalted Savior, has given new hearts and new cores! He has put the vital substance into men afresh and made new creatures of them! I am glad to notice the tears in your eyes when you think on the past—but wipe them away, now, and look up to the Cross and say—
Just as I am, without one plea, But that Your blood was shed for me,
And that You bid me come to Thee, O Lamb, O God, I come."
"Oh, make me a new creature!" If you have said that from your heart, you are a new creature, dear Brother or Sister, and we will rejoice together in this regenerating Savior!
Let me just say a few words to those of you who love the Lord. You may have some very bad children, or you may have some relatives who are going on in sin from bad to worse. I earnestly recommend you attentively consider my text. "Behold," says Christ, "I make all things new." "No, no," says the old father, "I used to pray for my boy. He broke my heart. He brought his mother's gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. But he has gone away and I have not heard from him for years—and I am almost afraid to wish I ever hear from him again—for did seemed so reckless that my only comfort is in trying to forget him." "Yes," says a husband here, "I have prayed for my wife so many times that I feel tempted to give it up—it is not likely that I shall ever live to see her saved." Oh, but, Brothers and Sisters, we do not know! Since the Lord saved us, there cannot be any limits as to what He can do! Look at the text, "Behold I make all things new." I will pray, "Lord, make my children new." You shall pray, "Lord, make my wife new." You godly wives who have ungodly husbands, you shall pray, "Lord, make our husbands new." You who have dear friends who lie upon your bosom, as you anxiously think of them, pray the Lord Jesus to make them new! When our friends are made new, ah, what a great comfort they are—just as much so as they formerly were a sorrow. The greater the sinner, the greater the joy to loving Believers when they see him saved! "Behold," says Christ—I do like that word—"Behold it! Stand and look at it! See how I took the man when he was up to his neck in sin and made him preach the Gospel! Can I not do the same again? Look there and see the dying thief upon the cross, black with a thousand crimes—I washed him and took him to Paradise the same day! What can I not do? Behold I make all things new."
Courage, my Brothers and Sisters. We will not entertain any more doubt about Christ's power to save! Rather, by God's Grace, may we henceforth believe more in Him and, according, to our faith, so shall it be done unto us. If we can only trust Him for those of our friends whose faults seem to us few and light, our little trust will reap little reward. But if we can go with strong faith in a great God, and bring great sinners in our arms and put them down before this mighty Regenerator of men and say, "Lord, if You will, You can make them new"—and if we will never cease the pleading till we get the blessing, then we shall see ever-accumulating illustrations of the fact that Jesus makes all things new—and calling up the witnesses of His redeeming power, we shall cry in the ears of a drowsy Church and an incredulous world, "Behold, behold, behold! He makes all things new." The Lord give us to see it! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: REVELATION 1:1-14.
Verse 1. 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. Twice is that title used— "servant." This is a revelation to Christ's servants, made first unto His servant, John. There is no higher honor under Heaven than to be the servant of such a Master. His servants we are this day, and we find in that service perfect freedom and the highest imaginable delight. This, then is to us.
2-3. Who bore record of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that reads and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand It is not said, "Blessed is he that understands the Book of Revelation," or else I am afraid very few would come in for that benediction, but, "Blessed is he that reads and they that hear," for it is a blessed thing to hear our Father speaking, even when we cannot understand it. When you were a little child, how did you learn to understand your father but by at first hearing him say a great deal which was far above you and out of your reach? I love to read those parts of God's Word which I cannot yet understand, because I remember there are some parts which I do understand, now, which I did not once—and it was by reading them, hearing them and thinking of them, that gradually light broke into my soul! Why, then, should I not go on reading this Book of Revelation, though as yet I may be able to sustain no theory about it, may not as yet, indeed, understand it? But notice this. The Doctrine of this Book is practical after all. I think this Book has been trailed in the mire by being used as a sort of astrologer's book to tell us about the future, in-
stead of being used practically to humble us before God, and to teach us to lean upon eternal wisdom, which knows all things from the beginning. Oh, that we might more practically use the Doctrine of the Second Advent than has generally been done—not to speculate upon it—but to be warned by it to be on the watch for the coming of the Lord!
4. 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 Is not this the Father, Jehovah, the I AM, who lives in all tenses and fills all time?
4. And from the seven Spirits which are before His throne. Are not these the symbols of the Holy Spirit, whose varied and perfect work are seen today among men, not only on the Throne of God, but before the Throne, working in the midst of the people of God?
5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness. Telling us the Truth of God and only the Truth—the Witness to be relied upon, deserving of our faith.
5, 6. And the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth; unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood. And that made us kings andpriests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7. Behold. Regard it attentively. Think of it, and meditate upon it.
7. Behold, He comes with clouds. This is a grand Doctrine which should never be kept in the background! The Scriptures are not fully to be understood, except with this addition—they are not, indeed, complete unless we understand that there is something yet to come. The Old Testament without the first coming of Christ is a riddle without a key—and the New Testament without the Second Coming of Christ is somewhat in the same condition.
7. Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him. Your eyes, dear Friend, and mine. "Every eye shall see Him." Whatever in the future we shall not see, we shall see Him! We may depend upon that. "And they also which pierced Him." What a sight it will be for them—not only for those Romans and Jews who actually put Him to death, but for all of us who by our sins have pierced Him, by our evil words, our backslidings, have put Him to shame!
7. And they also which pierced Him: and all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen. It is certain—here is the seal, the great Divine Affirmative put to this—"Even so, Amen."
8, 9. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. 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 Being there for having preached the Gospel—no doubt sent there as a punishment that that eloquent tongue also might, for a while, be silenced, and that his loving precepts might not so build up the Church. "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's-Day"—the first day of the week, especially set apart for the Lord's worship. Notice that John observed this day. Though he was on a desert island, though he was far away from all Christian companionship, yet he took care to spend that day in worship, to draw near to God! Let us, then, never make excuses when we are travelling, and when we are away for purposes of recreation. The Lord's-Day is as much the Lord's-Day to us in one part of the world as another, and let us take care that we get the advantage of it. He has fenced it about on purpose for our benefit. It is not a day of bondage, but a day of holy joy and rest. Let us not miss the blessings which are so ripe this day. "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's-Day"—that is the Spirit of God came upon him, gave him to understand, and see, and feel spiritual things. Oh, that this might be the condition of all God's people here this morning!
10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's-Day, and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet Clear, shrill, musical.
11. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last and what you see, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia: unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos and unto Thyatira, and unto Sar-dis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. There were Churches in each of these places. It is not the custom of the Holy Spirit to talk of the Church of England, but He would speak of the Church in London, the Church in Birmingham, the Church in Newcastle. These are each separate and distinct, independent Churches, though they are one in Christ Jesus—yes, each Church is, in itself, complete and entire if it is ordered according to the mind of the Holy Spirit.
12. And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. Very naturally. When we hear a voice, we like to see the person from whom the voice comes. Hence I believe the reason why we often like the portrait of the preacher, and it is not, after all, anything more than an innocent infirmity that a man should wish to see the face of him who has spoken to him.
12. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlestich. Or candelabra or lamp stands. Not, as you get in the Old Testament, one great seven-branched golden candlestick, but seven distinct candelabra, for these Churches are separate and entire, each Church in its own individuality.
13. And in the midst of the seven candlesticks One like unto the Son of Man Or probably unto a son of man—like unto a man, for, notwithstanding all the majesty, the Person was that of a Man, and we are never to forget that, glorious as is the Godhead of Christ, and majestic as He is in all His sublime offices, yet, nevertheless, He most surely is Man—a very sweet consoling thought.
13. Clothed with a garment down to the feet.
13. And girt about the chest with a golden band A royal robe. A band all decked and adorned with jewelry.
14. His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow. For He is the Ancient of Days, and all the wisdom that is supposed to belong to gray hair is with Him.
14. And His eyes were as a flame of fire. Discerning, burning into everything.
Upon a throne of light, One of a human mother born, In perfect Godhead bright."
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