The Last Word and Testimony of Jesus Christ

 

Text: Rev. 22:20-21
Title: "The Last Word & Testimony of Jesus Christ"
Thesis: The last words of our Lord is that He is coming again. 

Intro:  I must confess to a weakness for books, mainly theological books, and particularly old books.  My weakness recently caused me to purchase The World's Great Letters, an out-of-print book from 1940, edited by M. Lincoln Schuster of Simon & Shuster Publ.  Browsing through the book, I came across some letters written by "famous" people upon their impending demise.  What interested me were the thoughts of these individuals immediately before death.  Here regret and wisdom share the same page of advice for those left behind, and those yet to come.  Listen to these examples: 

Dostoevsky, the renown author, said, "When I look back at the past and think how much time has been wasted in vain, how much time was lost in delusions, in errors, in idleness, in ignorance of how to live, how I did not value time, how often I sinned against my heart and spirit--my heart bleeds." 

John Brown, the fanatical Abolitionist, said to his family, "I beseech you every one to make the Bible your dayly & nightly study.... You cannot imagine how much you may soon need the consolation of the Christian religion." 

Sir Walter Raleigh, historian & explorer, said to his wife, "The great God ruleth all in all, but if you live free from want, care for no more, for the rest is but vanity.  Love God, and begin betimes to repose your self upon Him, and therein shall you find true and lasting riches, and endless comfort: for the rest when you have travailed and wearied your thoughts over all sorts of worldly pleasures, you shall but sit down by sorrow in the end." 

From these last recorded words of men, I began to wonder about the last words of our Lord Jesus Christ.  What did He say?  Did He leave a blessing or a warning?  What words would He choose to sum up all that He wished to say as His last recorded legacy to His children, and to the world?  Certainly, His last recorded words would be of great interest and importance to all men in general and to believers in particular.

Rev. 22:20-21­"The Last Word & Testimony of Jesus Christ" ­­prayer. 

And so we see our Lord's last recorded words are a clear and concise affirmation of His soon return.  Consider: 

I. HE, WHO IS COMING.  II. THE TESTIMONY OF CHRIST TO HIS COMING III. THE COMING OF CHRIST.  IV. THE WILL OF CHRIST CONCERNING HIS COMING.  V. THE GRACE OF CHRIST TO AWAIT HIS COMING 

   I. HE WHO IS COMING ("He which") v20 

In other words, Who is this One Whose testimony Of His soon coming we are called upon to believe?  And not only to believe, but to conform the remainder of our lives to?
Can we take seriously His testimony?  What are His credentials? (con.)

      A. He is the Lamb (v1)
         1. The sacrificial Lamb of Calvary
            a. He appeased (propitiated) the wrath of God (1 Jn. 2:2) 

Note:  I believe that Christ's sacrificial death was, first and foremost, God-ward, secondarily man-ward.  The death was for God, the benefits were for man.  Christ's death on Calvary did not "atone" (cover) man's sin, it did not "expiate" (cancel) man's sin, it "propitiated" (satisfied/appeased) the wrath of God in regards to man's sin-nature.  In other words, His death made it possible for God to look with favor upon your repentance and faith unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ. 

            b. He became your substitute (1 Pet. 3:18), bearing your sins, so that upon your reception of Christ as your Saviour, you were justified (just as if you never sinned) before God.
            c. The Lamb Who was slain now sits on the throne!
            Our text is the testimony of the Lamb 

      B. He is God (v1)
         1. God's throne is also the Lamb's throne, making the Lamb and God One and the same (Jn. 10:30).
            Our text is the testimony of God. 

      C. I Am (v13, 16)
         1. Designation of the eternal, self-existing One (Ex. 3:14 & Jn. 8:58).  All time is present to the great I AM
            Our text is the testimony of the ever present One 

      D. The Alpha & Omega (v13)
         1. He is the sum of every or any letter of every or any language, therefore He is the fullness of the created universe (Col. 1:19).
            Our text is the testimony of the complete God. 

      E. The Beginning & the End (v13)
         1. He was there in the beginning, and He will be there at the consummation of all things (Jn. 1:1 & Heb. 1:2).
            Our text is the testimony of the eternal God 

      F. The First & the Last (v13)
         1. He is the First off all that God has determined, and He is the last of all that God will perform.    
         2. The preeminence (Col. 1:18) and the post-eminence.
            Our text is the testimony the First Cause. 

Note: Though these three titles are all used separately in the O.T. and the N.T., it is only here that they are gathered together in one grand exclamation. 

      F. Jesus (v16)
         1. Human sympathies (Heb. 4:15) united with the God-given prerogative that "God is salvation" (Acts 4:12)
That is why "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth" (Phil. 2:10).
            Our text is the testimony of the God-man. 

      G. Root and Offspring of David
         1. The source (root), and the heir (offspring) to occupy the earthly throne of David (Lk. 1:32)

Our text is the testimony of the King of the ages.
 

      G. Bright & Morning Star (v16)
         1. A glorious (bright) Light to dispel the darkness, and a guidepost to begin each day (Jn. 1:9)
            Our text is the testimony of the Light of the world. 

      H. Water of Life (v17)
         1. Spiritual water that satisfies the deepest thirst, cleansing water for the sin-sick soul, reviving water to the faint of heart, and sufficient water for every need (Jn. 4:14).
            Our text is the testimony of the Water of Life 

      I. Lord Jesus (v20)
         1. The "Lord" of the New is the Jehovah of the Old!  Jehovah-Jesus is Master!

Our text is the testimony of the Lord of both Old & New
 

      J. Lord Jesus Christ (v21)
         1. The totality of the redemptive purpose of God in Christ Jesus. 
            Our text is the testimony of the triune God 

Note: Each of these designations of Christ give credence and authority to the testimony of His soon coming.  He has all the abilities and attributes necessary to do as He wills.  And He wills to come quickly! 

  II. THE TESTIMONY OF CHRIST TO HIS COMING (v20)
      A. Testifieth = "to witness with, bear witness together with others (at the same time and to the same effect) (Bull.).  Who or what testifies with Christ to His coming? 
         1. Creation testifies
Rom 8:22  "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
         2. New creation testifies­­You!
Rom 8:23  "And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body."
         3. The Word testifies
            a. O.T.
Mal  3:2   "But who may abide the day of HIS COMING? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he [is] like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap."
            b. N.T.
1Th 4:15  "For this we say unto you by THE WORD of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the COMING OF THE LORD shall not prevent them which are asleep".
         4. The Godhead testifies
Rev  1:1   "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." 

      B. These things
         a. What things? 

Note: Not just the "things" of v18-19.  Not just the "things" of the 22nd chapter.  Not just the "things" of the book of Revelation.  Not just the "things" of the N.T., but the witness to His coming, spans Gen. 1:1 to this last passage in Rev. 

 III. THE COMING OF CHRIST (v20)
      A. Sure Coming
         1. Surely = "Yes" "YES" "YES" He IS coming!!!
         2. Surely = "altogether, entirely, by all means, at all events" (Bull.) 

Note: Just as "these things" encompasses the entirety of the Bible's teachings on His second coming, so this term encompasses the sum of the events associated with His coming.  Just as nothing can stop His coming, everything spoken of will occur at His coming.  His coming is "sure," as to its fact, "sure" as to its entirety, and "sure" as to its effect. 

         2. 6 mentions, all in Rev. ("I come quickly")
            a. (2:5) Admonition to His church to "remember," "repent," "return," or He will "remove His candlestick."
            b. (2:16) Admonition to His church to "repent and remove" false teachers.
            c. (3:11) Admonition to His church to "hold fast" what we have or lose our crown.
            d. (22:7) His coming will be a blessing to those that keepeth ("keep an eye upon, observe attentively") the sayings ("words & thoughts") of the prophecy (His coming and all it includes) of this book.
            e. (v12) His coming will be a time of reward ("wages, payment") for every man according to his work.
            f. (v20) His coming is a call to readiness and expectation 

Note: Every aspect of this church and your life is to revolve around the truth of Christ's coming! 

      B. Quick Coming
         1. Quickly = "speedily, with haste" (Bull.)
            a. From God's viewpoint, not ours 

Note: Skeptics have always said, "And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation" (2 Pet. 3:4).  But what is the difference between a skeptic and us if the coming of Christ has no effect on our lives?      

      C. Approved Coming ("amen")
         1. Amen = "truly, certainly" 

  IV. THE WILL OF CHRIST CONCERNING HIS COMING (v20b)
      A. The work of the servants (v17)
         1. Spirit-controlled (how to be)
            a. Confess (agree with God
               1) Christians need to confess! (1 Jn. 1:9)
            b. Repent (change your mind)
               1) Christians need to repent! (1 Jn. 1:10)
            c. Yield (let go of your will)
Eph. 5:18 "And be not drunk (under the control of) with wine (the world), wherein is excess; but be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit."
         2. Identified with the bride (church)
Act 2:41,44,47  "Then they that gladly received his Word were baptized (immersed): and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And all that believed were together...  ...And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
            a. They work together (corporate) ("come")
         3. Hearing the Word, speaking the Word (individual)
Act 8:4 "Therefore they that were scattered abroad (after the death of Stephen) went every where preaching the Word."
         4. Causing others to thirst (lifestyle)
         5. Offering the water of life to whosoever will (active witnessing) 

      B. The wish of the servants (v20)
         1. Even so = "strongly affirm" (Bull.) 
            a. Despite the attachments to this world  

Note: It is said you can tell what a man is by what he is wishing for.  What are you wishing for? 

         2. Come = "the act of coming"
            a. As if He is on the way!
         3. LORD Jesus
            1. The One desired to come
               a. Come as Master (give an account to)
               b. Come as God (accept His judgment)
               b. Come as Jesus (have you become like Him?)
            His testimony is that He is coming--quickly.
            His will is that we desire His coming--continually 

   V. THE GRACE OF CHRIST TO AWAIT HIS COMING (v21)
      A. Grace = "unmerited favor, inclining toward, a friendly willingness" (Bull.)
         1. Personal grace ("our")
         2. Godly grace ("Lord"), all sufficient
         3. Human grace ("Jesus"), our example
Heb 2:18  "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted."
         4. Anointed grace ("Christ"), especially prepared and blessed of God
         5. Present grace ("be with you")
Heb 13:5  "[Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." 

Concl:  The watchword of the ancient Baptist church was the anticipation of the soon return of Jesus Christ. When you lose that, you lose your proper perspective of the circumstances you find yourself in and the world around you.  Sickness and infirmity seem much more serious.  Sin doesn't seem so sinful, hell doesn't seem so hot, and lost souls don't seem so destitute.  But the last word and testimony of our Lord has not changed over these 2000 years, "Surely, I come quickly."  The last word and testimony of Jesus Christ is a surety of His return, a warning of His return, and encouragement to live in the expectation of His return.

            Are you saved?            Are you ready?

            20__­­Lord!  Will it find me more like Thee? 

Return to the top of this page