As we have said numerous times, this book is THE Revelation of JESUS CHRIST. It is not a revelation of a few things about CHRIST, nor merely a panorama of future events. Rather its subject from the first to the last is JESUS CHRIST. If a man misses the unfolding of the glory of the blessed SON of GOD; then he has totally misunderstood the purpose and import of the book, regardless of whatever else he may see or discover in its pages,
This is why, at the end of the book, John says, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall 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.” (Rev 22:19) A man may be mistaken about many doctrinal issues having to do with the gospel, the end of the world, and the role of men in fulfilling the purpose of GOD, but if a man misses the preeminence of the GOD-MAN, CHRIST JESUS, and HIS redemptive work in the behalf of HIS people, then that man is totally without a knowledge of the salvation of GOD. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Heb 1:1-3)
HE is the FAITHFUL WITNESS. “Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.” (Psa 89:35-37) CHRIST JESUS is the fulfillment of the promise made to David that his seed would not fail to sit upon his throne forever. HE is the ROOT and OFFSPRING of David and though it pleased HIM to be made in the likeness of sinful flesh, being born of Mary about 28 generations removed from David, HE is greater than David (see Mat.22:41-45) being the object of David’s worship.
HE does presently occupy that throne and has no rivals; having put down all powers and principalities, triumphing over them in HIS complete work of redemption. This is manifested by HIS perfect life of righteousness, imputed to HIS brethren; HIS satisfaction and fulfillment of the law of sin and death on the cross of Calvary; HIS complete victory over death in HIS resurrection becoming the “first fruits of them that slept” (I Cor.15:20); HIS calling of those whom HE has purchased, indwelling them with HIS SPIRIT and giving them faith without which it is impossible to please GOD; and ultimately HIS deliverance of them that are HIS at the last trump when HE shall bring those that sleep to eternal glory shouting “grace, grace unto it.” (Zec.4:7)
HE is the FAITHFUL WITNESS. “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” (Rev 3:14) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3) A faithful witness must testify of those things which HE has seen. JESUS CHRIST is the BEGINNING and the END and has ordered all things to occur according to HIS own divine purpose. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev 4:11)
HE is the FAITHFUL WITNESS. “A faithful witness will not lie.” (Prov 14:5)“According to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” . (Titus 1:1-2) “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (Jas 1:17) Since HE changeth not we are sure that what HE has promised HE will perform.
The fulfillment of HIS promise may have seemed a long time in coming, to those Jews who longed for the MESSIAH, but when the LORD was pleased to act, HE did indeed make a “short work in the earth” (Rom.9:28) and did deliver that which HE has testified. HE promised to write HIS law upon the hearts of HIS people and this ONE who is the FAITHFUL WITNESS has done exactly that. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10)
Men often go shipwreck on the matter of good works. There is a deep ditch on either side of that true narrow road. One error is that of the “carnal christian theory” which purports that a man can be said to be a follower of CHRIST who exhibits no desire to walk in paths of righteousness. The man who does not sorrow over, and long for deliverance from, his sin and is void of a desire to be found conformed to the image of CHRIST is yet in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity, regardless of what he may confess with his mouth or what religious affiliation he may have.
The other ditch into which religious men often fall, is the belief that “good works” are the “duty” of believers in the sense that they are to labor to perform them in the same fashion as those who are required to do so under the law. The man who prays because of duty is not the same as the man who cries unto the LORD saying, “Abba FATHER”, because he can do nothing else. The man who is “repentant” because he has been instructed to be by men, is not the same as the man who approaches HIM with a broken and contrite heart because the SPIRIT of GOD has convinced him of his innate wretchedness.
Works born out of “duty” are the product of the flesh, those which are the work of the SPIRIT cannot be prevented, enhanced nor diminished by the creature, but stem from the power of the HOLY GHOST who works in the sons of GOD both to will and to do of HIS good pleasure. The man who considers himself a performer of good works despises grace and robs the glory of HIM who alone is the PERFORMER of all righteousness for HIS people. Those who are the objects of HIS mercy must fall upon their faces and attribute to HIM all praise for the good works to which they are ordained and enabled. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1Cor 1:30)
HE is the FAITHFUL WITNESS. Job testified of HIM saying, “Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.” (Job 16:19) HE is the ADVOCATE for HIS elect before the throne of GOD as John records. (see I John 2:1,2) Those who are found in CHRIST need have no fear of the approaching judgment of this world since HE ever lives to make intercession for them, and HIS perfect record is laid to their account. HIS very presence before the throne of GOD is the joyous plea of all of those who are convinced of sin, righteousness, and judgment by the operation of the HOLY GHOST. “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” (Rev 1:5) “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Heb 10:14) “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb 9:24)mam