The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show to his servants things which must shortly come to pass…
I. TIMELY REVELATION. "To show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass." There was a time when we did not see into the evil of sin as we were afterwards led to do. There was a time when we did not see into the infallible certainty of the judgment of God as we did when the Lord was pleased to cause the weighty matters of judgment to sink down deep into our souls. Then the question was, How are we to escape this tremendous evil? What, then, is to be done? Some of us ran one way, and some another; but ere long the Lord showed unto us that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.
II. CONFIRMATION. Now these are the servants of the Lord that are thus brought to serve Him in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter; that are thus brought to serve Him, not at Mount Gerizim, nor at Jerusalem, nor any other earthly locality, but brought to serve Him in spirit and in truth, and consequently to worship Him everywhere. And we need confirming in these things, or else our unbelief, our many infirmities, our many trials, would put an end to His religion. And so we need confirming from time to time in God's truth in order to keep us pursuing. How does the Lord confirm us now? Is it not by a fresh manifestation of the redeeming power of the blood of the Lamb? Is it not by a fresh opening up unto us of the excellency of the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ?
III. DIRECTION. What a mercy this is! It is a great thing to be guided by the Lord; there is not anything too hard for Him. I have found it good in my time to watch the hand of the Lord in all these things. So, then, "to show unto His servants," to direct them; and He does in many of His dealings say, "What! do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter."
IV. THE THINGS THAT WERE SHORTLY TO COME TO PASS. How there are two orders of things that were shortly to come to pass; one very unpleasant, and the other exceedingly pleasant. Well, you and I know not what troubles lie in our path yet, but there is not anything too hard for the Lord. I am not going to look to coming troubles — that is not my business, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." So, then, if tribulation shall abound, consolation shall abound also. But now I must be careful in pointing out the pleasant circumstances — "things which must shortly come to pass." To speak plainly, it means that these people should soon be in heaven. You observe that every one of the promises is founded upon victory. "To him that overcometh." It is a legal victory, or victory of right. In righteousness did He judge and make war. He strove for the victory lawfully. Now the Lord shows unto His servants the way of victory, and that way is by faith in what the Saviour has done.
Parallel VersesKJV: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: