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The Revelation

of [ST.] JOHN [THE DIVINE]*





EXPLANATORY NOTE

This posthumous work of Pastor Russell (arranged for use as a textbook) is much condensed, including the extracts from the Pastor's pen, all of which are referred back to his works. The abbreviations used are:

A, B, C, D,E, FThe six preceding volumes of "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES".
(Citations to E in italic figures refer to old editions, figures in ordinary type to later editions.)
B. S. M..........."THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY."
H....................."What Say the Scriptures ABOUT HELL?"
P-D................. "PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION" Scenario.
T....................."TABERNACLE SHADOWS."
S....................."SPIRITISM" Pamphlet.
Z......................"ZION'S WATCH TOWER," followed by year and page.

The citations to REVELATION and EZEKIEL refer to the comments herein, as well as to the Bible text.
Other abbreviations used are:

Barnes..........Barnes' "Revelation".
Brit................."Encyclopedia Britannica."
Buck..............Buck's "Theological Dictionary".
Coffin............Coffin's "Story of Liberty".
Cook.............Cook's "Revelation" ; a compendium of the presentations of seventy-two leading commentators on Revelation, in all languages and all ages of the Church.
Edgar............Edgar's "Pyramid Passages". Vol. II.
McC...............McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia.
Mosheim......Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History.
S. B. D...........Smith's Bible Dictionary.
Smith.............Smith's "Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation".
Weym............Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech.



REVELATION 22

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THE RIVER OF GRACE AND TRUTH

22:1. And he showed me a [pure] River of Water of Life, clear as crystal. — "One would think that, even with no knowledge of the symbols of Revelation, no thinking Christian should have any difficulty in realizing that the book portrays trouble for the Church throughout this Gospel Age and the triumphant Millennial Reign at its close." — Z.'05-170; Ezek. 47:1-12; Joel 3:18; Zech. 14:8; Psa. 46:4.
Proceeding out of the Throne of God and of the Lamb. — "The Scriptures nowhere speak of the River of the Water of Life now. There is none, and can be none until the Heavenly City descends, for the river must flow from the midst of it, from the Throne. Describing the condition of the Lord's saints at the present time very differently, the Lord declares that those who are His have in them a well of water springing up into life eternal." — Z.'05-172; Ezek. 47:1; Zech. 14:8.
22:2. In the midst of the street of it. — In the midst of the Highway of Holiness. — Rev. 21:21.
And on either side of the River. — Nourished and blessed by the life-giving Waters of Truth. — Ezek. 47:12.
Was there the Tree of Life. — The Christ, Head and Body.
Which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her [fruit] FRUITS every month. — Twelve kinds of fruit, twelve times a year, for a thousand years — a total fruitage of 144,000.
And the leaves of the [tree] TREES were for the healing of the nations. — "The symbolic picture suggests nourishment and healing for the sin-sick, starving world, which then may partake freely of all the blessings and privileges thus symbolized." — Z.'05-171; Rev. 21:24; Ezek. 47:12.
22:3. And there shall be no [more] curse. — "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it [the removal of the curse] shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." (Isa. 55:13.) "Upon no subject is the testimony of the Scriptures more positive, consistent and conclusive than on this subject of the curse, its effects upon man, the redemption from it, and its ultimate removal." — E421, 405.
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But the Throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it. — "A spiritual police force will have humanity under absolute control. Every misdeed will be punished as soon as it is determined upon and before it shall have been put into effect Likewise, every good act, good word and good thought will bring a blessing of restitution, health, strength  — mental, moral, physical." — Z.'15-267.
And His servants shall serve Him. — Beautiful inheritance of the Great Company class. — Rev. 7:15.
22:4. And they shall see His face. — This will be worth all they will be called upon to endure. — Matt. 5:8.
And His name shall be [in] ON their foreheads. — At present many of this class do not have clear perceptions of the Father's character. All misunderstandings will be cleared up shortly. They only await the departure of the last of the Little Flock.
22:5. And there shall be no MORE night [there]. — Doubtless, at first, the Great Company's memories of her dark night will be very keen. — Rev. 7:14; 21:23, 25.
And they need [no] NOT THE LIGHT OF A candle. — Light from the Church in the flesh.
[Neither] AND light of the sun. — The Gospel, through the Word.
For the Lord God [giveth] WILL GIVE them light. — "Blessed are they which are called unto the Marriage Supper of the Lamb." — Rev. 19:9; 7:16-17; Psa. 84:11.
And they shall reign for ever and ever. — They — Christ and His Bride, in whose blest Heavenly courts the Beloved Bridesmaids will always find their happy station. — Dan. 7:27; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 3:21.
22:6. And he. — The same angel mentioned in Rev. 1:1; 19:9, 10; representing Pastor Russell, beyond the veil.
Said unto me. — The John class, in the flesh.
These sayings are faithful and true. — "There hath not failed one word of all His good promise." — 1 Kings 8:56.
And the Lord God of the [holy] SPIRITS OF THE Prophets. — It is still possible to have the same spirit as filled the Prophets of old, even though the prophecies themselves have ceased to be miraculously uttered or interpreted. — 1 Cor. 13:8.
Sent ME His angel to shew unto His servants the things which must shortly be done. — Especially the events of the immediate future. — Rev. 1:1.
22:7. AND behold I come quickly. — See Rev. 16:15; 22:10, 12, 20. Jesus is the speaker.
Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. — The Elijah class, who see its clear import and accept the responsibilities implied. — Rev. 1:3; 3:14.
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23:8. And I John saw these things, and heard them. — Understood them. — Rev. 1:3.
And when I had heard and seen, I felt down before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. — "This may signify that in the end of this Gospel Age as the whole Church, the John class, comes to see the unfolding of the Divine Plan, there might be a spirit or disposition amongst them to do too much honor to the one used of the Lord in communicating to them the Divine light now due." — Z.'05-173; Judges 13:17, 18.
22:9. Then saith he unto me, see thou do it not: [for] I am thy fellowservant. — "The angel's refusal to accept homage should be a lesson to all ministers (servants-messengers) of God." — Z.'96-305; Rev. 19:10.
And of thy brethren the Prophets. — Prophets, in the New Testament use of the word, refer to Christian speakers.
And of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. — "God alone should be worshiped: He is the Author of the great Plan and will be the Finisher of it. It is brought to our attention now by Him because it is now 'due time' for His people to come to an appreciation of His plans." — Z.'05-173.
22:10. And he saith unto me, Seal not [the] THESE sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. — "Make no secret," he added, "of the meaning of the predictions contained in this book; for the time for their fulfillment is now close at hand." — Weym.
22:11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still. — "At the time that the features of this symbolical Revelation shall come to be understood and appreciated by the Lord's people, they may know that the time of the completion is near at hand. We are not to expect that the telling of this Message will have the effect of converting the world. It was not intended to do this and will not do it" — Z.'05-173; Dan. 12:10.
And he which is filthy, let him be filthy still. — "Present Truth, although full of comfort and encouragement to the Church in respect to their dear friends who are out of Christ, has no effect whatever upon those who love sin, who are filthy, who are unrighteous. The unrighteous and the filthy simply ignore this message and are not moved specially by it." — Z.'05-173.
And he that is righteous, let him [be righteous] WORK RIGHTEOUSNESS still. — "To lovers of righteousness, of truth, the revelations of the Divine Plan now unfolding commend themselves, and intensify their love for righteousness and appreciation of full consecration to the Lord." — Z.'05-173.
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And he that is holy, let him be holy still. — "The word seems to denote development and crystallization of character, immediately preceding the coming of the great Judge of all." (Weym.) "Love is patient and kind. Love knows neither envy nor jealousy. Love is not forward and self-assertive, nor boastful and conceited. She does not behave unbecomingly, nor seek to aggrandize herself, nor blaze out passionate anger, nor brood over wrongs. She finds no pleasure in injustice done to others, but joyfully sides with the truth. She knows how to be silent. She is full of trust, full of hope, full of patient endurance." — 1 Cor. 13:4-7. — Weym.
22:12. [And] behold, I come quickly. — See Rev. 16:15; 22:7, 10, 20. The Lord Himself becomes the speaker.
And My reward is with Me, to [give] BE GIVEN every man. — Every man in Christ.
According as his work [shall be] IS. — The Church's work is practically finished. The reward is given on the basis of the work already done, in character development and in the natural outgrowth of that development — works.
22:13. I am Alpha and Omega, THE FIRST AND THE LAST, the Beginning and the End, [the First and the Last].  — "Our Lord tells us over and over again (See Rev. 1:8, 11, 17; 2:8; 3:14; 21:6), that He is the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last, of the creation of God." — Z.'93-115.
22:14. Blessed are they that [do His commandments] WASH THEIR ROBES. — The Great Company class. — Rev. 7:14.
That they may have right to the Tree of Life. — Rev. 22:2.
And may enter through the gates into the City. — "Whose Builder and Maker is God." (Heb. 11:10.) To these dear brethren we would say, The object of your trials is to remove the dross (Ex. 30:7; Mal. 3:2) that you may be fit companions of the Christ. (Ex. 12:8; Heb. 2:17; Rom. 5:3; Col. 1:11.) Do not think it strange. (James 1:12; 1 Pet 1:7; 4:12; 5:10.) When you get the right viewpoint, you will rejoice in your sufferings. (Deut. 13:3; Psa. 23:4; 119:67.) The trials will not last forever (Psa. 39:1); and in them all you may hear the songs of deliverance. (Psa. 32:6, 7.) There is nothing to turn back to (Heb. 10:38); but there is joy untold to look forward to, and it is nigh. — Rev. 19:9; Psa. 45:14, 15.
22:15. [For] without are dogs. — There will be no clergy class, as such, in the Kingdom. — Isa. 56:10; Phil. 3:2; 2 Tim. 3:8, 9.
And sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters. — See Rev. 21:8.
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And whosoever [loveth and] maketh AND LOVETH a lie.  — The old lies will die hard; and some may try to carry them far into the Time of Trouble, on the well-known principle that if a pigeon's brains are removed, and the wound allowed to heal, the bird will no longer seek its food, though it can still swing on a perch and ruffle its feathers and show fight. Ere long, however, the Truth will be so manifest that all must give way before it.
22:16. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. — All down the Age the Church has had this Message; all down the Age holy men of God have sought to understand its mysteries; all down the Age it has remained a closed book. But now the Mystery of God is finished; and the object of keeping the book closed is accomplished. God wished the world to know when the time for the complete removal of error and for the establishment of His Kingdom would come; and so He enables the last members of His Church to give the Message.
I am the Root and the Offspring of David. — "According to the flesh, our Lord Jesus was, through His mother, the Son, the Branch, the Offshoot or Offspring of David. It was by virtue of His sacrifice of His undefiled life that He became the 'Root,' origin, source of life, and development of David." — E150, 136; Rev. 5:5.
And the bright and morning Star. — "And I will give him the Morning Star." (Rev. 2:28.) Christ's gift of Himself to the Bride is the greatest of all gifts. — Job. 38:7; Psa. 118:22-25.
22:17. And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. — "The Gospel Age makes ready the chaste Virgin, the faithful Church, for the coming Bridegroom. And in the end of the Age, when she is made 'ready' (Rev. 19:7; 21:2, 9), the Bridegroom comes; and they that are ready go in with Him to the Marriage. The Second Adam and the Second Eve become one, and then the glorious work of Restitution begins. In the next Dispensation, the New Heaven and the new earth, the Church will be no longer the espoused Virgin, but the Bride." — A98.
And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. — "Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled." — Matt. 5:6; Isa. 55:1.
[And] whosoever will, let him take of the Water of Life freely. — "Now the prospective members of the Bride class have the Lord's Spirit in them, 'a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.' (John 4:14.) By and by these well-springs brought together in glory with the Lord shall
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constitute the source of the great River of Life which shall bless and heal all nations. By and by the prophecy will be fulfilled: 'He that believeth in Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.'"
22:18. [For] I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. — To all who ever understand it.
If any man shall add unto these things. — As was done in many instances during the Dark Ages, even in this very verse. — Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Prov. 30:5,6.
God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. — His penalty will be, when he comes forth from the tomb in the Times of Restitution, that he will have to read the Seven Volumes of Scripture Studies, and get the matter straightened out in his own mind.
22:19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy. — Shall seek to nullify or minimize its teachings, now that the time has come for it to be understood.
God shall take away his part [out of the Book] FROM THE TREE of Life. — He will not be a part of the life-giving Tree described in Rev. 22:2; not a part of the Little Flock.
And [out of] the Holy City, [and from the things] which are written in this book. — He will not be one of the Lord's jewels, counted worthy of a place in the New Jerusalem.
22:20. He which testifieth these things TO BE saith, surely I come quickly. — The apokalupsis is at hand! See Rev. 16:15.
[Amen. Even so] come, Lord Jesus. — The union with) the Bridegroom draweth nigh.
22:21. The grace of [our] THE Lord Jesus Christ be with [you all] THE SAINTS, Amen. — The first of the saints to whom will be extended the unmerited favor of a raising up out of death to perfection will be the Little Flock; the next class of saints to be reached will be the Great Company; next in order will come forth the Ancient Worthies; and finally the millions and billions of mankind, until at last Adam, himself, shall come forth from the prison-house in which he has lain so long, and may, if he will, receive again by the will of God, as a favor or grace at the hands of Christ, the unspeakable boon of eternal life.

"The sweet persuasion of His voice
Respects thy sanctity of will,
He giveth day; thou hast thy choice
To walk in darkness still" — Whittier.

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