Day 365

MALACHI 1:1 – 4:6 and REVELATION 22:1–21

Mal 1
The name Malachi means messenger of Jehovah. He prophesied during the time of Nehemiah who actually served two terms as governor of Jerusalem. In reading the Book of Nehemiah we discover that Nehemiah returned to Persia after about 12 years of serving as governor. This would have been around 433 BC. When he returned to Jerusalem he found the priests to be lax in upholding the laws of God. One of the primary nemeses of the Jews during the rebuilding effort around the city was a man named Tobiah. He was now being given preferential treatment by Eliashib the priest. Nehemiah strongly rebuked these priests and brought things back into order. The ministry of Malachi was prominent at this time and we find his message echoing the words and efforts of Nehemiah.

The people were losing hope and beginning to cast off restraint as they were awaiting an anticipated revival. The prophet Malachi is the last of the writing prophets who now pens the last book of the Old Testament. Many were departing from the faith and it was the encouragements and warnings of Malachi that sought to bring them back into alignment. He was especially direct with the priesthood seeing that they were being derelict in their duty. He prophesied after the restoration temple had been built.

Malachi is very relevant for our day for several reasons. First, he prophesied during a time when the Israelites were anticipating the coming of the Lord. It is similar to the expectancy that the church has today in looking towards the 2nd coming. Secondly, it is a message for the priesthood; an institution that is not regarded as it should be. Malachi will be very strong against those priests who tend to compromise. The priesthood of our day is in need of similar prophetic warnings. There are several promises that are directed towards the last day church that can be gleaned from Malachi.

1) Discernment-To distinguish between the wicked and righteous (3:16-18).
2) Healing-The Sun of Righteousness arising with healing in His wings.
3) The Law of Moses-An exhortation to remember the Law of Moses
4) Restoration of family Life-The ministry of Elijah (4:5-6).

The Book of Malachi can be broken down into 7 Parts; they are as follows:
1) Lord’s love for Israel                                                          (1:1-5)
2) Israel’s sinful condition                                                   (1:6-2:9)
3) Mixed marriages and Divorce                                        (2:10-17)
4) The coming of the Lord                                                    (3:1-6)
5) Repentance and Tithing                                                   (3:7-14; 4:1)
6) Promises to the godly                                                        (3:16-18-4:2-3)
7) Moses and Elijah’s return                                                (4:4-6)

The children of Israel were in some doubt as to whether the Lord really loved them. Their expectation had not been met especially after hearing form others of all the former glories that Israel once knew. The Restoration temple had been rebuilt but it paled in comparison to the stories of Solomon’s temple. There was a time under Solomon when all nations came to Israel to worship but now they were just an insignificant province within Persia. The Lord graciously reminded them of the love He had for them by speaking concerning Jacob and Esau. There is a reminder concerning Edom in the last days that should serve as a comfort to Israel. The antichrist will not touch Edom (Jordan) but it will be the Lord Himself that will judge. The prophet Isaiah speaks of this in greater detail (Isa 63:1-6). The Lord sought to prove to Israel his love for them by the way He judges their enemies. This does not excuse Israel from her sins but it should help for them to know that God does love them and has their interests at heart (vs 5-6).

The Lord will now speak to the sinful condition of Israel. Though He has a great love for them there are areas of great concern that are taking place. They were reverting back to ceremonial law which often happens when a people are going through a period of discouragement. They had no sense of the Fear of the Lord in their lives; it is the law of the heart that God seeks for within the lives of His people which is exemplified in verses like Micah 6:8.

Mic 6:8  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

The people had little or no regard for God’s law and the offerings that were being given were substandard. It was not their best. This is what helps to distinguish between the two offerings of Cain and Abel. Cain gave an offering out of convenience while Abel saw the Lord as being worthy of his best. The Lord looks for offerings that come from a broken spirit and contrite heart.

Psa 51:17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

The prophet is directed by the Lord to make a simple yet profound statement. He challenges them to consider if they would give that kind of offering to a governor; the kind of offering that they are now giving to the Lord. Can you see the folly of this? We are called to serve and worship the King of Kings. Our attitude of heart is what will determine how our giving is assessed. These priests were not giving unto the Lord their best. The prophet then challenges the people to assess the level of relationship that they have with the Lord (vs 9-10). Our lives must be in order if the Lord is going to receive our offering. It is important to seek the Lord and even ask to have an attitude of giving our very best. An interesting characteristic of the people was their wanting to be compensated monetarily for any services rendered unto the Lord. This truth is alive and well in many of our churches today. It should be seen as a joy and privilege in being able to serve the Lord. Our services should not be for hire. How many big name ministers have you heard about who put a high price upon their ministry. Naturally, a worker and minister is worthy of His work to be compensated but it should never be our primary motive. Let us trust the Lord to meet and even exceed needs as we concentrate on being a blessing to others.

There will be a church movement among the Gentiles that will bring before the Lord a purer sacrifice than that of Israel. This takes place later at the beginning of the early church. There will be praise resounding throughout eternity in heaven and later upon the earth as the Lord will later establish his millennial rule. “From the rising of the sun until the going down of the same, the Lord’s name will be praised.” In verses 12-13 we see the weariness of the people as they concluded that serving the Lord was not really worth it. They had no ability to speak to their souls like David did when he was in his time of despair. David knew how to encourage himself in the Lord and so should we (1 Sam 30:6) (vs 12-13) .

The subject of giving our best is once again revisited in verse 14. Do we have an Isaac that can be offered; something that is painful and costly? This shows the Lord the measure of our heart and whether we esteem Him worthy of the best that we have.

Mal 2
The primary indictment upon the priesthood was that they were not honouring the Lord with their best. The priests should be setting the standard for others. If they are not setting the pace by giving “Abel” type offerings than how can a congregation be expected to bless? Since this was the attitude of their heart the Lord said that He would curse their offerings. The Lord then follows up with the example and standard that He looks for in such offerings. He cites Levi who is the original pattern of what pleases the Lord. It was the tribe of Levi that distinguished themselves from all others when the cry went forth “Who is on the Lord’s side?” The Lord established a covenant with Levi because of life and peace. It is essential for us as last day’s priests to have the life of Christ flowing freely through us while being embodied with His peace. The peace of God is a powerful weapon against the enemy and it enables us to hold steady in the midst of any storm. This measure of peace is the result of being in a covenant relationship with God. It requires an all-out commitment leaving no room for compromise or half-hearted consecration. Levi also walked in the anointing of the fear of the Lord.  This should serve as the foundation for any priest seeing that it helps to keep one in check. The Fear of the Lord provides a healthy reverence for God while aiding in steering clear from the semblance of sin. A godly Fear keeps us focused on only doing the things that are pleasing to the Lord.

In verse 6 we see the mention of “the Law of Truth in His mouth” which speaks of the Word of God always being at the ready. The priest must uphold purity of doctrine; to speak it means that it first has to be in the heart. This means the priest the Lord is after must be a New Covenant kind of priest. When one walks closely with the Lord he helps others to learn righteousness resulting in them being turned away from iniquity. To walk in equity means that we are to walk in the ideals that define the Lord. This is a person who flows in wisdom, understanding and knowledge. A close harmonious walk with the Lord enables one to know how the Lord would handle a given situation. The true saints of the last days will have the ability to turn many into the ways of righteousness (Dan 12:3). A true priest is one who must continue to pursue the Word, meditate upon it and seek to do it (vs 7). The bottom line is that God is looking for those who will speak that which is on His mind and not that of man. This can be increasingly difficult when people refuse to become detached from the attraction and appeal of this life.

The indictment now comes down in verse 8. We mentioned Eliashib earlier from the time of Nehemiah. He was a priest who made allowance for Tobiah to gain access to the ministry work. The early restorers consisting of Zerubbabel and Joshua properly discerned the intents of the sons of Esarhaddon when they sought to involve themselves in the work (Ezra 4:1-4). The price for standing for truth was huge seeing that the work ceased for 16 years nevertheless they preserved the integrity of the work. Eliashib let down his guard and it was not until Nehemiah returned that things were placed back in order (Neh 13:5-9). The result is that many people stumble due to the laxity and compromised example of the priests. The wrong message is sent whereby people take license seeing that the priests are making allowance. The fruit was that priests began to take bribes; using their positon as a means of promoting their services. This is contemptable before God and an abomination.

The next section is a modern day problem in the church. The issue of mixed marriages and divorce is addressed. In verses 10-11 the Lord speaks on the problem of mixed marriages. The Apostle Paul picks up this subject in 2 Cor 6:14 where he speaks about being unequally yoked with unbelievers. There was a major problem amongst the early restorers as they were engaging in mixed marriages. The unsaved people worshipped other gods which then caused the believers to begin to do the same. This was the problem with Solomon (1 Kings 11:4). This also needs to be taken a step further seeing that it is not enough to just marry another Christian but one who has a similar call and vision.

There is a sobering reminder of the consequences of marrying outside the will of God. A person will oftentimes make a decision for marriage when they are going through difficulty thinking that being in a marriage will solve all problems. There came a time when the people would regret the decision and wish to undo the marriage. The Lord said he would not hear their tears but that they would have to live with the consequences. Herein is the problem confronting the church today on this particular issue. The priests are making allowance by paving the way for compromise and watering down the standard that God enunciated from the very beginning. This is where the priest is put into a positon of either honouring God at the expense of offending people or siding with the people at the expense of God’s law and statutes. This is why the Book of Malachi is so relevant today. I want to add that God is able to take a couple who find themselves in this position and refashion a new vessel. He is the master potter and has ability to produce something precious even when a vessel is marred, provided there is repentance (Jer 18:3-4).

Marriage is a covenant relationship and it is the reason why God hates divorce. Marriage is the act of two beings being separated from their parents coming together and becoming one flesh. God puts a high value on faithfulness. It is seen in the covenant relationship that God has established for His Son. He is preparing a bride (The church) for his Son and marriage is the institution that brings all of this into view. When there is any deviation or violation from what God has intended for marriage it diminishes and distorts His purpose and plan for the marriage of His Son to the church (vs 15).

The situation regarding marriages in Malachi’s day was in a horrible state. God desires a godly seed and this comes about when a man and woman come together as believers who have the Lord as their focus and aim. The decision to marry should be based on a mutual calling that the couple shares. The key is asking the Lord to choose for us even when it comes to a marriage partner. In fact, it would be wisdom to do so seeing that He knows the end from the beginning. I have found that the Lord is more interested in our relationships than we tend to give him credit for. He delights to be asked to come into these situations. We may not always understand or appreciate the process initially but it all works for good if we come to the place of trusting Him. Nehemiah and Ezra had to deal with marriages that were in complete disarray. The children of some of these mixed marriages could not even speak the Jewish language (Neh 13). We see similar scenarios today when considering some of the children that have been born out of wedlock. The problems in mixed or ill-advised marriages may not show themselves immediately but it eventually comes out. One has to ask the honest question as to why there are an increasing number of divorces beginning to materialize in the church. Are the problems that Ezra, Nehemiah and Malachi had to address the same problems confronting us today? We need to look at the message of Malachi as a remedy.

The subject of divorce and God’s hatred of it is brought up in verse 16. The Lord Himself was challenged on this issue in His ministry (Math 19, Mark 10). The teachers of the law understood the Old Testament and cited the case where Moses made allowance fopr divorce (Deu 24). The Lord acknowledged that indeed Moses did make allowance but it was because of their hardened and unrepentant heart (Math 19:8). He goes on to raise the standard in the next verse about the consequences when one marries a divorced person. Jesus calls it adultery (Math 19:11). In Mark’s Gospel Jesus used this opportunity to acknowledge what Moses did but then used the expression “But from the beginning…” (Mark 10:6). This is the foundation of right doctrine; the ability to go back to the beginning and establish the Truth. This is how Jesus addressed some of the controversial matters of the Law. This is why John labels fathers as being those who know God from the beginning (1 John 2:12-14). One of the primary lessons we need to learn from this exhortation from Malachi is the dangers of a hardened heart. There comes a time when God will answer us according to what is in our heart. Some may think of this as a good thing; to me it is a scary proposition if we are not walking in the Fear of the Lord (Ezek 14:3, 7, 9, 20:25).

Mal 3
This portion of Malachi’s message speaks concerning the coming of the Lord. In verse 1 there is the promise of the Lord’s coming which will be preceded by a messenger who would go forth preparing the way. The messenger of course would be John the Baptist who would help prepare the way for the coming Messiah. John made clear that the coming Messiah would be one who would have a fan in his hand and that he would thoroughly purge His floor; gathering the wheat while burning up the chaff. This is a picture of what revival is like. It is the fire of God that brings conviction and remorse for sin. It is the manifest presence of God at work which produces great conviction. Christ Himself is likened to a refiner’s fire. Who can stand in His presence? Who can hide and seek to escape His all-consuming gaze? This is the preparation that is required for the New Testament priesthood. If we allow God to do this refining work within us it helps to produce an offering in righteousness. This is why the baptism in the Holy Ghost is so essential in the life of a believer. What is required is our actual body (Rom 12:1, Heb 7:27).

There will be a process that both Judah and Jerusalem will have to go through to produce this pleasant work. They will be purged as silver and gold. The refining process is also to be applied to the church as well. The process of refining gold and silver involves intense fire and heat. This is what removes the dross and taint from the vessel. It is a process we must be willing to submit to. Christ is coming for a glorious church in the last days so we must see Malachi’s message as having a dual application. There was the initial advent of the Lord which was preceded by John the Baptist. The 2nd coming of the Lord will have a similar precedent. The spirit and power of Elijah and Moses will help to prepare and set the stage for the 2nd coming of the Lord. Will their testimony and ministry be appropriated? Will the standards that Moses raised be esteemed or rejected? The spirit that moved upon John the Baptist will be resident upon Elijah but will the last day church give heed? It is amazing to consider the similarities between the Lord’s first coming and His 2nd coming which is close at hand.

The revival that will be seen in the last days will consist of judgement and conviction. Will it be enough for people to prepare the priests, the church and people for the 2nd coming? These events are oftentimes short lived as life seems to carry on afterwards. The revival and move of God to come is to prepare a people for the soon 2nd coming of the Lord.

It is imperative that we understand that the Lord does not change. On the surface this sounds like a no-brainer but is there not an altering of God’s unchangeable laws? The cultural tide of our day is putting great pressure on the true priesthood to conform to its evolving standards. The goalposts are moving constantly and the church is dutifully acquiescing. This was the problem that got Israel into trouble in the first place and this tendency is again being seen in Malachi’s day. Thankfully, there was a strong priesthood in place to help correct the problem. There was also a strong prophetic voice that aided in the correction while giving hope and encouragement. This precedent needs to be appreciated and upheld for our day. A clear blueprint is being placed right before the church of our day. Are we hearing and are we heeding?

Malachi now speaks on the subject of repentance. The well-established principle is stated in verse 7 of the fruits of returning unto the Lord. If we turn back to the Lord He would return unto His people. This is echoed by the Apostle James. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8). The prophet Zechariah also speaks along similar lines (Zech 1:3). The fruits of True Repentance goes beyond just being sorry over a transgression; it is an about face from the direction that one has been heading in. It is something we can never take for granted, it is God given. Esau sought repentance but it was not granted so we must never assume that God will automatically grant repentance. The key is to turn wholeheartedly unto the Lord with a whole heart. The Lord will respond to such a person in kind.

The subject of tithes and offerings is brought out in verses 8-10. We rob God when we do not tithe. It is His and must not be held back for one’s own use. If we develop a heart of giving we will not have to worry about tithing since it will come naturally. Whatever we have or gain in life that we may possess comes from God. A good gauge that can be used to determine one’s ability as a tither is to contrast the example of Cain and Abel. Cain gave an offering but it was one given out of convenience. It really did not cost him much. This helps to indicate the value and esteem that Cain had for God. Abel gave the very best of His flock to God. He deemed the Lord worthy of that which was precious. How do we view the Lord? Is he worthy of our very best? The joy of giving is something that should never be minimised. The truth of the matter is that we can never out give God. We not only rob God when we fail to tithe, we are also robbing ourselves. The Lord challenges us to prove Him and see if this is not true (vs 10). The nations shall look upon you as being blessed. It also provides the Lord the opportunity to rebuke the devourer on our behalf. He will protect and look after our investments as well as our harvest provided we practice the principle of tithing and giving.

The Israelites were testifying that it was not worth serving the Lord (vs 13-15). They were seeing the prospering of evildoers and as a result became jealous of them. This is nothing new seeing that the Psalmist had the same struggle in Psalm 73. It was not until the time he went into the sanctuary that he understood the big picture (Psa 73:17). The big picture reveals that serving the Lord has eternal benefits that cannot be measured in this life. The Lord takes stock of our words and the things we say about him.

The fruit of speaking right words are recorded in verses 16-18. There are wonderful promises given to those who fear the Lord and think upon His name. This speaking of one to another is a picture of what an intimate marriage should be like. It is the anointing of the Fear of the Lord that helps provide that conscious awareness of his presence. The Lord does record the things that we say about Him. This is especially true when going through a time of difficulty because it is here where the heart speaks. Think of how the heart of the Lord is pleased when people speak well of Him while in adversity. Think of the damage this brings to the enemy as he seeks to exploit these times for his advantage. One of the most needful spiritual gifts in the end times will be that of discernment. If we seek to live a righteous life it will be reflected in our ability to discern right from wrong. The Lord should be front and center in our thoughts and in the things we say. It is our life, especially our private life that speaks the language of where we are spiritually.

Mal 4
Whenever God brings forth a sovereign move of revival there will be accompanying judgement. In revival you will often find great conviction that comes upon the people; an opportunity for the Lord to exercise judgement within the heart and life of a believer. In verse 1 we see a picture of the judgement that will come upon the earth at the time of the Lord’s 2nd coming. It is critical in allowing the Lord to bring judgement into our lives now so that we can be spared the open judgement in the day of the Lord’s wrath.

1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

1Co 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

There are sobering reminders of what happens at the time of a mighty move of God. The sin of Achan affected the whole camp of Israel (Josh 7). In the New Testament there is the account of Ananias and Saphira (Acts 5:1-11).  To the extent that we hunger and thirst after God is to the extent we will know and experience the Sun of Righteousness rising upon us. If we have this level of intimacy with the Lord it will allow for a flowing forth of healing and compassion from our lives. It is a cultivated relationship that produces this measure of release and outpouring.

Phm 1:5  Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

Phm 1:6  That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

The above verses are the reverse of what is seen in 2 Pet 1:5-7. Peter exhorts for us to add to the foundation of our faith several different attributes of God culminating in agape love (2 Pet 1:7). Once one is functioning from a position of agape love there will be a natural flow of “compassion” that will touch lives and make a difference.

Jud 1:22  And of some have compassion, making a difference:

It is interesting to note what happened whenever Jesus was moved with compassion upon a person. There would be a notable miracle. This is a promise for the saints of the last days. It is not a gifting that just comes upon a person; it is a natural outflowing of a cultivated relationship. In verse 3 we see the judgement of God coming down upon those who oppressed God’s people. They have a season when all seems to be going well. These are the times when the people of God can become discouraged thinking that God has abandoned them or that He is not fair. It is critical to have God’s perspective at all times and to see from the bigger picture.

The final portion of Malachi has to do with the eventual return of Moses and Elijah. These two men can be seen throughout the Word of God. They are identified as the two anointed ones or the two Olive trees from Zechariah 4. These two men stood alongside Jesus at the Mt. of Transfiguration (Math 17). These two men are spoken of in Revelation 11 where they will have a ministry for 3 ½ years before they are both killed by the beast (antichrist). In many ways there death will be a similar re-enactment of what happened to Christ. They will die, be left for dead for 3 ½ days and then resurrect and be brought to heaven. Why will there be the ministry of Moses before the end? He was given the Law and if Israel would have only kept and abided by the Law they would have been spared. The Law helps to define who God is and therefore should be something that is highly esteemed. Moses and those who are aligned with him will be elevating the Law in the lead up to the 2nd coming. Just like Israel of old and the church today many will reject the standards of God’s law and the standards of holiness which will result in an alliance with the antichrist. The antichrist will be well veiled up to this point and will have an appeal to many in the church of an uncircumcised heart.

Why will there be the ministry of Elijah before the end? He is likened to John the Baptist in Math 17:11-13.

Mat 17:11  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.

Mat 17:12  But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

Mat 17:13  Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

He will come as John the Baptist did in helping to prepare the way of the Lord. He will help to prepare a people made ready for the return of the Lord (Luke 1:17). He will have a ministry of Restoration whereby hearts of the fathers are restored to the children. Elijah represents God’s heart of Restoration. The Lord Jesus Christ is the embodiment of Restoration in His becoming the Passover Lamb. It is Elijah who will strongly reinforce this message while at the same time declaring a strong message of preparation for the Son of God. His message, just like Moses will be rejected by many in the church because they will find it to be offensive. To those who seek after righteousness and holiness it is a message of great hope and promise.

Malachi is a modern day prophet because he strikes all the important issues that are confronting the last day church. If this book is truly heeded it will result in a revival that will feature great conviction of sin. The anointing of the Fear of the Lord will be that which keeps God’s people in alignment to His agenda. It will also provide a roadmap as to where the church is and where it is heading. This prophetic Book is the last Old Testament Book for a very good reason.

Rev 22
The final chapter now speaks of a pure river of water that is as clear as crystal proceeding out from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It would be a similar picture of the water that flows from the Millennial Temple as recorded in Eze 47. There will be different fruits that will manifest on either side of the street from which this river flows. It seems to suggest that there will be seasons and times as we know it today that are measured in monthly cycles. It will be a blissful existence in this new creation and the leaves from these trees will provide needed healing for anything that would be ailing. There will be no curse since the initial curse from Adam has been removed and done away with. There will also be an ability to see God who is seated upon the throne. In being able to look upon Him the people who dwell in this city will become like Him. The Lord will shine as the only needed light. There is no sin or evil so darkness will have no place in this city (1 John 3:2). This is the level of relationship that the Lord has desired from the beginning. It is a far more intimate relationship than what Adam first had. In the beginning we were created after the image of God but we were not holy or like Him. Sin brought a grievous separation between God and man and it was only through the work of the Cross that man could be reconciled unto God. In fact, the work of the Cross now gives man the opportunity to become more like God. This is because the Son of God became man through the agency of the Holy Spirit. It is that same Holy Spirit than enables man to now become more like God. What a wonderful God we serve.

The message of keeping and doing the message of Revelation is enunciated in verse 7-9. This phrase is emphasized several times signifying the important and weight that the Lord gives to this Revelation. This Revelation is overwhelming to John resulting in his falling before the angel. This is not the first time he did this. One can only imagine what this experience must have been like (Rev 19:10). It also needs to be pointed out that a true angel of the Lord will never accept worship. In verse 10 we can make a correlation to a portion that was written by Daniel some 2600 years earlier. In the last days the prophecies of this Book of Revelation are to be opened. The Words given to Daniel were to be sealed until the time of the end. (Dan 12:4). That which was sealed is now being unveiled before our eyes today. It is the wisdom of God to conceal a matter but the honor of kings to search it out. God is looking for kings and priests in these last days. There is a wisdom, knowledge and understanding that God is looking to pour out; much in the same way that was seen in Daniel and his three friends. It will not be given to the complacent or half-hearted believer. As we shall see the church of the last days is dividing.

Rev 22:11  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.

The divide may be subtle at first but the gap between the two is lengthening. The question is which of the two streams will we be flowing in? We can note the  following verse in Proverbs 4:18. The path of the just is a path that eventually divides into two streams. Both start out pure but one becomes increasingly murky as it goes forward. There are many factors that help to distinguish between the two streams. We need to bear in mind that these two streams exist in the church.

The Lord reiterates the fact that He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. That which He starts He finishes. The Book of Revelation finishes that which God has purposed even before the foundation of the world. The 7th “Blessed” that is found in Revelation speaks of the promises in the keeping of God’s Laws and Commandments. Has this not always been the case. It is all about the keeping of His moral Law; that which was given to Moses in the form of 2 tables of Stone.

The qualifications of being able to enter the city become clearer from verse 15. The listing includes no dogs, no sorcerers, no whoremongers, no murderers, no idolaters’ and no one who purports lies. This listing is very similar to that which was seen regarding those who would not be partakers of the millennium (Rev 21:8).  It seems evident that those who reign with Christ in the millennium will be among those who can enter the gates of the new city.

In verse 16 the Lord is the one who now speaks to John. He affirms the message that the angel has presented to him. This makes clear that the teaching of Revelation and the subject of the 2nd coming needs to be taught. We also see the intimate work of the Holy Spirit in verse 17. The Spirit and the bride now say come. Here we see another one of the precious ministries of the person of the Holy Spirit. He helps to prepare the bride for the bridegroom. We are called to be the temple of the Holy Spirit; do we let Him have His way? Do we allow the fullness of the Spirit to work within our lives? In verses 18-19 there is a warning given to the adding or taking away from anything written in this Book. This is in contrast to what John wrote in chapter 1. He spoke of the blessing in the reading of the Book. There is not a curse in not understanding what is written. There needs to be an honest seeking of the Lord and a trusting for the Holy Spirit to reveal and teach Truth (John 16:13). If we are sincere in our heart He (Holy Spirit) will help us.

The Revelation, the prophesy of the Lord Jesus Christ ends with the exhortation that these things shall surely come to pass and that it will happen quickly. It does seem that the days of which the Book of Revelation speaks of could well relate to our day. It is a Book that needs to be given our attention. There are many mysteries and things yet not known but a careful deliberate seeking of God will help to bring clarity and needed insight and guidance. We close this brief summary of the Book of Revelation with this final reminder from Isaiah.

Isa 33:6  And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.