3251. Christ The Tree Of Life

by Charles H. Spurgeon on June 1, 2021
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No. 3251-57:241. A Sermon On Lord’s Day Evening, Delivered By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, May 25, 1911.

In the midst of its street, and on either side of the river, there was the tree of life, which bore twelve kinds of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. {Re 22:2}

 

For other sermons on this text:

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1233, “Healing Leaves” 1224}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3251, “Christ the Tree of Life” 3253}

   Exposition on Ge 2:1-17 Re 22 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3251, “Christ the Tree of Life” 3253 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Jer 5:1-6,10-31 Re 22:1-7 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2660, “Suffering Outside the Camp” 2661 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Re 21:22-22:21 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3282, “Preparing for the Week of Prayer” 3284 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Re 22 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2360, “Come, My Beloved!” 2361 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Ro 8:26-30 Re 21:10-22:5 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3526, “New Wine of the Kingdom, The” 3528 @@ "Exposition"}

 

1. You will remember that, in the first paradise, there was a tree of life in the midst of the garden. When Adam had offended and was driven out, God said, “Lest he put out his hand, and take from the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever, therefore the Lord God drove out the man.” It has been supposed, by some, that this tree of life in the garden of Eden was intended to be the means of continuing man in immortality, that his feeding on it would have supported him in the vigour of unfailing youth, preserved him from exposure to decay, and imparted, by a spiritual regeneration, the seal of perpetuity to his constitution. I do not know about that. If it were so, I can understand the reason why God would not have the first man, Adam, become immortal in the lapsed state he was then in, but ordained that the old nature should die, and that the immortality should be given to a new nature, which should be formed under another leadership, and quickened by another Spirit.

2. The text tells us that, in the centre of the new paradise, the perfect paradise of God, from which the saints shall never be driven, since it is to be our perpetual inheritance, there is also a tree of life. But here we translate the metaphor; we do not understand that tree to be literal. We believe our Lord Jesus Christ to be none other than that tree of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. We can scarcely conceive of any other interpretation, since this seems to us to be so full of meaning, and to afford us such unspeakable satisfaction.

3. At any rate, beloved, if this is not the absolute purpose of the sublime vision that John saw, it is most certainly true that our Lord Jesus Christ is life from the dead, and life for his own living people. He is their All in all; and by him, and by him alone, must their spiritual life be maintained. We are right enough, then, in saying that Jesus Christ is a tree of life, and we shall speak of him in the hope so that some may come and pick of the fruit, and eat and live for ever. Our desire shall be to use the sacred allegory so that some poor dying soul may be encouraged to lay hold on eternal life by laying hold on Jesus Christ.

4. First, we shall take the tree of life in the winter with no fruit on it; secondly, we shall try to show you the tree of life budding and blossoming; and, thirdly, we shall endeavour to show you the way to partake of its fruits.

5. I. And first, my brethren, I have to speak to you of JESUS CHRIST, THE TREE OF LIFE IN THE WINTER.

6. You will at once anticipate that I mean, by this metaphor, to describe Jesus in his sufferings, in his dark wintry days, when he hung on the cross, and bled, and died; when he had no honour from men and no respect from anyone; when even God the Father hid his face from him for a time, and he was made sin for us, so that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. My dear friends, you will never see the tree of life properly unless you first look at the cross. It was there that this tree gathered strength to produce its subsequent fruit. It was there, we say, that Jesus Christ, by his glorious merits and his wonderful work achieved on the cross, obtained power to become the Redeemer of our souls, and the Captain of our salvation.

7. Come with me, then, by faith, to the foot of the little mound of Calvary, and let us look up and see this thing that came to pass. Let us turn aside as Moses did when the bush burned, and see this great sight. It is the greatest marvel that earth, or hell, or heaven ever beheld, and we may well spend a few minutes in beholding it.

8. Our Lord Jesus, the ever-living, the immortal, the eternal, became man, and, being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself, and died the death of the cross. That death was not on his own account. His humanity had no need to die. He might have lived on, and had seen no death if he had so willed. He had committed no offence, no sin, and therefore no punishment could be inflicted on him.

 

   For sins not his own

   He died to atone.

 

9. Every pang on the cross was substitutionary; and for you, you sons of men, the Prince of glory bled, the Just for the unjust, so that he might bring you to God. There was no smart for him, for his Father loved him with a love ineffable; and he deserved no blows from his Father’s hand, but his smarts were for the sins of his enemies, for your sins and mine, that by his stripes we might be healed, and that through his wounds reconciliation might be made with God.

10. Think, then, of the Saviour’s death on the cross. Note well that it was an accursed death. There were many ways by which men might die, but there was only one death which God pronounced to be accursed. He did not say, “Cursed is he who dies by stoning, or by the sword, or by a millstone being fastened around his neck, or by being eaten by worms,” but it was written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” By no other death than that one, which God singled out as the death of the accursed, could Jesus Christ die. Admire it, believer, that Jesus Christ should be made a curse for us. Admire, and love; let your faith and your gratitude blend together.

11. It was a death of the most ignominious kind. The Roman law subjected only felons to it and I believe not even felons unless they were slaves. A freed Roman must not die like this, nor a subject of any of the kingdoms that Rome had conquered, but only the slave who was bought and sold in the market could be put to this death. The Jews considered Jesus worthy to be sold as a slave, and then they put him to a slave’s death for you.

12. Besides, they added to the natural scorn of the death their own ridicule. Some passed by, and wagged their heads. Some stood still, and thrust out their tongues at him. Others sat down, and watched him there, and satisfied their malice and their scorn. He was made the centre of all kinds of ridicule and shame. He was the drunkard’s song, and even those who were crucified with him reviled him. And all this he suffered for us. Our sin was shameful, and he was made to be a shame for us. We had disgraced ourselves, and dishonoured God, and therefore Jesus was joined with the wicked in his death, and made as vile as they.

13. Besides, the death was extremely painful. We must not forget the pangs of the Saviour’s body, for I believe, when we begin to devalue the physical sufferings, we very soon begin to drag down the spiritual sufferings too. It must be a fearful death by which to die, when the tender hands and feet are pierced, and when the bones are dislocated by the jar of erecting the cross, and when the fever sets in, and the mouth becomes hot as an oven, and the tongue is swollen in the mouth, and the only moisture given is vinegar mingled with gall. Ah, beloved! the pangs that Jesus knew, none of us can guess. We believe that Hart has well described it when he says that he bore — 

 

   All that incarnate God could bear,

   With strength enough, and none to spare.

 

You cannot tell the price of griefs, and groans, and sighs, and heart-breakings, and soul-tearings, and rendings of the spirit, which Jesus had to pay so that he might redeem us from our iniquities.

14. It was a lingering death. However painful a death may be, it is always satisfactory to think that it is soon over. When a man is hanged, after our English custom, or the head is taken from the body, the pain may be great for the instant, but it is soon over and gone. But in crucifixion a man lives so long that, when Pilate heard that the Saviour was dead, he marvelled that he was dead already. I remember hearing a missionary say that he saw a man in Burma crucified, and that he was alive for two days after having been nailed to the cross; and I believe there are authenticated stories of people who have been taken down from the cross after having hung for forty-eight hours, and after all their wounds have healed, they have lived for years. It was a lingering death that the Saviour had to die.

15. Oh my brethren, if you put these items together, they make up a ghastly total, which ought to press on our hearts, — if we are believers, in the form of grateful affection, or if we are unbelievers, provoking us to shame that we do not love him who loved the sons of men so much.

16. And the death of the Lord Jesus Christ for us, we must also add, was penal. He died the death of the condemned. Perhaps most men would feel this to be the worst feature; for, if a man shall die by ever so painful a death, if it is accidental, it misses the sting which must come into it if it is caused by law, and especially if it is brought by sin, and after sentence has been passed in due form. Now, our Lord Jesus Christ was condemned by the civil and ecclesiastical tribunals of the country to die. And what was more, “it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief.” Jesus Christ died without any sin of his own, yet he died a penal death, because our sins were counted as his. He took upon himself our iniquities as though they were his own, and then, being found in the sinner’s place, he suffered, as if he had been a sinner, the wrath that was due for sin.

17. Beloved, I wish it were in my power to describe Christ crucified, — Christ visibly crucified among you! Oh, that I could paint him so that the eyes of your heart could see him! I wish that I could make you feel the dolour of his griefs, and sip that bitter cup which he had to drain to the dregs. But if I cannot do this, it shall suffice me to say that that death is the only hope for sinners. Those wounds of his are the gates to heaven. The smarts and sufferings of Emmanuel are the only expiatory sacrifice for human guilt. Oh you who would be saved, turn your eyes here! Look to him, and be saved, all the ends of the earth. There is life in a look at him; but there is life nowhere else. Despise him, and you perish. Accept him, and you shall never perish, neither shall all the powers of hell prevail against you. Come, guilty souls! Jesus does not want your tears or your blood; his tears can cleanse you; his blood can purify you. If your heart is not as broken as you would have it, it is his broken heart, not yours, that shall merit heaven for you. If you cannot be what you wish, he was for you what God would have him to be. God is satisfied with him, so also be satisfied with him; and come and trust him. Oh, now may delays be over, and difficulties all be solved, and just as you are, without one plea, but that the Saviour bled, come to your heavenly Father, and you shall be “accepted in the Beloved.”

18. So, then, Jesus Christ hanging on the cross is the tree of life in its winter-time.

19. II. And now let me show you, as I may be enabled, THAT VERY SAME TREE OF LIFE WHEN IT HAD BLOSSOMED AND PRODUCED FRUIT.

20. There he stands, — Jesus, — still the same Jesus, — and yet how changed! The same Jesus, but clothed with honour instead of shame, able now to save those to the uttermost who come to God by him. My text says of this tree that it bears “twelve kinds of fruits.” I suppose that is intended to mean that a perfect and complete assortment of all supplies for human needs is to be found in Christ, — all kinds of mercies for all kinds of sinners; all kinds of blessings to suit all kinds of needs. We read, of the palm tree, that every bit of it is useful, from its root to its fruit. So it is with the Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing in him that we could afford to do without. Their is nothing about Jesus that is extraneous or superfluous. You can put him to use in every part, in every office, in every relationship.

21. A tree of life is for food. Some trees yield rich fruit. Adam in the garden lived only on the fruit of the garden. Jesus Christ is the food for his people, and what delicacies they have! What satisfying food, what plentiful food, what sweet food, what food precisely suitable for all the needs of their souls Jesus is! As for manna, it was angels’ food; but what shall I say of Christ? He is more than that, for — 

 

   Never did angels taste above,

   Redeeming grace and dying love.

 

22. Oh, how richly you are fed! The flesh of God’s own Son is the spiritual food of every heir of heaven. Hungry souls, come to Jesus if you would be fed.

23. Jesus gives his people drink also. There are some tropical trees which, as soon as they are tapped, yield liquids as sweet and rich as milk, and many drink and are refreshed by them. Jesus Christ’s heart blood is the wine of his people. The atonement which he has perfected by his sufferings is the golden cup out of which they drink, and drink again, until their mourning souls are made glad, and their fainting hearts are strengthened and refreshed. Jesus gives us the water of life, the wines on the lees well-refined, the wine and milk, without money and without price. What a tree of life to yield us both food and drink!

24. Jesus is a tree of life yielding clothing too. Adam went to the fig tree for his garments, and the fig leaves yielded him such covering as they could. But we come to Christ and we find, not fig leaves, but a robe of righteousness that is matchless for its beauty, attractive in its proportions, one which will never wear out, which exactly suits to cover our nakedness from head to foot, and when we put it on makes us fair to look at, even as Christ himself. Oh you who would be rearrayed until you shall be fit to stand among the courtiers of the skies, come to Jesus, and find garments such as you need on this tree of life!

25. This tree also yields medicine. “The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Lay a plaster on any wound, and if it is only the plaster of King Jesus, it will heal it. Only one promise from his lips, only one leaf from this tree, only one word from his Spirit, only one drop of his blood, and this is heaven’s court plaster {a} indeed. It is true that there was no balm in Gilead, there was no physician there; and, therefore, the injury of the daughter of Israel’s people was not healed. But there is balm in Jesus, there is a Physician at Calvary, and the injury of the daughter of God’s people shall be healed if she will only flee to Jesus Christ for healing.

26. And what more shall I say? Is there anything else your spirits can want? Oh children of God, Christ is all! Oh you ungodly ones, who have been roaming through the woods to find the tree that should supply your needs, stop here. This “apple tree among the trees of the woods” is the tree which your souls require. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1120, “The Apple Tree in the Wood” 1111} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3249, “Under the Apple Tree” 3251} Stay here, and you shall have all that you need. For listen, — this tree yields a shelter from the storm. Other trees are dangerous when the tempest howls; but he who shelters beneath the tree of the Lord Jesus shall find that all the thunderbolts of God shall fly by him, and do him no harm. He cannot be harmed who clings to Jesus. Heaven and earth should sooner pass away than a soul be lost that hides beneath the boughs of this tree. And oh, you who have hidden there to shelter from the wrath of God, let me remind you that in every other kind of danger it will also yield you shelter; and if you are not in danger, yet still in the hot days of care you shall find its shade to be cool and congenial. The spouse in Solomon’s Song said, “I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” Get Christ and you have gotten comfort, joy, peace, and liberty; and when the trouble comes, you shall find shelter and deliverance by coming near to him.

27. He is the tree of life, then, yielding twelve kinds of fruits, those fruits being always ripe and always ready, for they ripen every month, all being free to all who desire them, for the leaves are not for the healing of some, but “for the healing of the nations.” What a large word! Then there are enough of these leaves for the healing of all the nations that shall ever come into the world. Oh, may God grant that none of you may die from spiritual sickness when these leaves can heal you, and may none of you be filling yourselves with the sour grapes of this world, the poisonous grapes of sin, while the sweet fruit of Christ’s love are waiting, which would refresh you and satisfy you.

28. III. And now I have to show you HOW TO GET THE FRUIT OF THIS TREE OF LIFE.

29. That is the main matter. It matters little to say that there is fruit, unless we can tell how we can get it. I wish that everyone here really wanted to know the way, but I am afraid many care very little about it. Dr. Payson had once been out for supper with one of his people, who had been particularly hospitable to him, and when he was going, the doctor said, “Well, now, madam, you have treated me very well, but how do you treat my Master?” That is a question I should like to ask some of you. How do you treat my Master? Why, you treat him as if he were not Christ, as if you did not want him. But you do need him. May you find him soon, for when you come to die, you will want him then, and perhaps then you may not find him.

30. Well, the way to get the fruit from this tree is by faith. That is the hand that picks the golden apples. Can you believe? That is the thing. Can you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died on the cross? “Yes,” you say, “I believe that.” Can you believe that, as a result of his sufferings, he is able to save? “Indeed,” you say. Can you believe that he will save you? Will you trust him to save you? If so, you are saved. If your soul comes to Jesus, and says, “My Lord, I believe in you, that you are able to save to the uttermost, and now I throw myself on you,” that is faith.

31. When Mr. Andrew Fuller was going to preach before an Association, he rode to the meeting on his horse. There had been a good deal of rain, and the rivers were very much swollen. He got to one river which he had to cross. He looked at it, and he was half afraid of the strong current, since he did not know the depth. A farmer who happened to be standing by, said, “It is all right, Mr. Fuller, you will get through it all right, sir; the horse will keep its footing.” Mr. Fuller went in, and the water got up to the girth, and then up to the saddle, and he began to get uncomfortably wet. Mr. Fuller thought he had better turn around, and he was going to do so when the same farmer shouted, “Go on, Mr. Fuller; go on; I know it is all right”; and Mr. Fuller said, “Then I will go on; I will go by faith.” Now, sinner, it is very like that with you. You think that your sins are so deep that Christ will never be able to carry you over them; but I say to you, — It is all right, sinner; trust Jesus, and he will carry you through hell itself, if that is necessary. If you had all the sins of all the men who have ever lived, and they were all yours, if you could trust him, Jesus Christ would carry you through the current of all that sin. It is all right, man! Only trust Christ. The river may be deep, but Christ’s love is even deeper. It is all right, man! Do not let the devil make you doubt my Lord and Master. He is a liar from the beginning, and the father of lies, but my Master is faithful and true. Rest on him, and all will be well. The waves may roll, the river may seem to be deeper than you thought it to be, — and rest assured it is much deeper than you know it to be; — but the almighty arm of Jesus — that strong arm that can shake the heavens and the earth, and move its pillars as Samson moved the pillars of Gaza’s gates, — that strong arm can hold you up, and bear you safely through, if you only cling to it, and rest on it. Oh soul, rest in Jesus, and you are saved!

32. Once again. If at the first you do not seem to get the fruit from this tree, shake it by prayer. “Oh!” you say, “I have been praying.” Yes, but a tree does not always drop its fruit at the first shake you give it. Shake it again, man; give it another shake! And sometimes, when the tree is loaded, and is pretty firm in the earth, you have to shake it to and fro, and at last you plant your feet, and get a hold of it, and shake it with might and main, until you strain every muscle and sinew to get the fruit down. And that is the way to pray. Shake the tree of life until the mercy drops into your lap. Christ loves for men to beg hard from him. You cannot be too persistent. What might be disagreeable to your fellow creatures when you beg from them, will be agreeable to Christ. Oh, go to your rooms, go to your rooms, you who have not found Christ; go to your bedsides, to your little closets, and “seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him while he is near.” May the Spirit of God constrain you to pray. May he constrain you to continue in prayer. Jesus must hear you. The gate of heaven is open to the sturdy knocker who will not take a denial. May the Lord enable you to plead so that, at the last, you will be able to say, “You have heard my voice and my supplication; you have inclined your ear to me; therefore I will pray to you as long as I live.”

33. May God add his blessing to these rambling thoughts, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.


{a} Court plaster: [So called from its being used for the black patches formerly worn on the face by ladies at Court.] Sticking plaster made of silk (black, flesh coloured, or white) coated with isinglass, used for covering superficial cuts and wounds. OED.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Ge 2:1-17 Re 22}

2:1-8. So the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their host. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. These are the history of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

Everything was ready for man’s use, every fruit-bearing tree for his nourishment, every creature to do his bidding, for it was the will of God that he should “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God did not place the man formed in his image, after his likeness, in an unfurnished house or an empty world, and leave him to provide for himself all that he required; but he prepared everything that man could possibly need, and completed the whole plan by planting “a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.”

9. And the LORD God made to grow out of the ground every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

That tree of life in the midst of the earthly paradise was to be symbolic of another tree of life in the paradise above, from which the children of God shall never be driven as Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden.

10-14. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: it encompasses the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: it encompasses the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: it goes towards the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

That river in Eden also reminds us of the “pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb,” of which we read almost at the end of the Revelation that was given to John in Patmos. So the beginning and the end of the Bible call our attention to the tree of life and the river of life in the paradise below and the better paradise above.

15. And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

There was to be work for man even in paradise, just as those who are before the throne of God in glory “serve him day and night in his temple.” Idleness gives no joy, but holy employment will add to the bliss of heaven.

16, 17. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From every tree of the garden, you may freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat from it: for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”

Apparently, Adam was not forbidden to eat the fruit of the tree of life, though, after his fall, he was cast out of Eden, as God said, “lest he put out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.” He might freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden except one: “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat from it.” It was a slight prohibition, yet the test was more than man, even in a state of innocence, was able to endure; and, alas! his failure involved all his descendants, for he was the federal head of the human race, and “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed on all men.” Happily, there is another federal Head, and therefore we read, “For if through the offence of one many are dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, has abounded to many.”

Reading from Revelation: — 

22:1. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Rivers partake of the character of the source from which they come; what proceeds “out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” may well be “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal.” What but good and perfect gifts can come down from the throne of God? What but pure streams of mercy can flow from the throne of the Lamb?

2. In the midst of its street, — 

For heaven is a place of sacred fellowship and hallowed communion: “in the midst of its street,” — 

2. And on either side of the river, there was the tree of life, which bore twelve kinds of fruits,

Every variety of joy and blessedness,

2. And yielded her fruit every month:

For the felicities of heaven are always fresh and always new, we shall never be satiated or wearied with that heavenly fruit.

2. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Everything in heaven is the very best of the best. The leaves of the trees in earthly gardens are blown around by the blast, and we take very little notice of them; but the leaves of the tree of life are “for the healing of the nations.” Oh happy place, where even the leaves on the tree have such power in them!

3. And there shall be no more curse:

No more thorns or thistles, no more pangs of child-bearing, no more sickness, or sorrow, or death.

3. But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1576, “The Throne of God and of the Lamb” 1576}

They shall have nothing else to do, and it shall be their supreme delight to serve him perfectly and unceasingly.

4. And they shall see his face; {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 824, “The Heaven of Heaven” 815}

Not through a mirror dimly, but they shall behold their God face to face. Surely that will be the very heaven of heaven.

4. And his name shall be in their foreheads.

Aaron was to wear on his forehead a plate of pure gold, with HOLINESS TO THE LORD engraved on it, so that the children of Israel might be accepted before the Lord; but the saints in glory are to have the name of their God “in their foreheads.” In the very forefront of their glorified personalities there shall be the marks to indicate that they are the children of God.

5. And there shall be no night there;

The saints in glory will have no need of sleep, so “there shall be no night there,” but one perpetual day of holy, unwearying service. There shall be no night of ignorance, of sorrow, of sin, of death; there shall be no powers of darkness there, and no darkness in which they might work their evil deeds.

5. And they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light:

Directly and distinctly, without using any means, by his own immediate presence, “the Lord God gives them light”: — 

5. And they shall reign for ever and ever.

Earthly kings die, or their empires on earth are taken from them; but as for us whom God has chosen by his grace, our kingdom is like that of our Lord and Saviour, it is an everlasting kingdom.

“They shall reign for ever and ever.” I wonder that some wise man does not try to prove that this means that the saints shall reign only for a short time; they have whittled “everlasting punishment” down to next to nothing, why do they not try to reduce the duration of heaven’s bliss in the same way? The same words are used concerning the one as concerning the other, so we shall always hold to the eternity both of the one and the other, the bliss and the woe are equally “for ever and ever.”

6, 7. And he said to me, “These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show to his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he who keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book.”

You have the witness of God, you have the witness of the angel of God, you have the witness of Christ, you have the witness of John, and all of them agree that “these sayings are faithful and true,” and that they relate to facts that shall in due course be established.

8. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

And, according to the Church of Rome, he was quite right; but, according to the Word of God, he was quite wrong.

9. Then he says to me, “See that you do not do this: for I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the sayings of this book: worship God.”

Worship no one but God; take care not to break the first two of the ten commandments either by worshipping another God or by worshipping the true God under any form of similitude whatever.

10. And he says to me, “Do not seal the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

“There is no need to roll it up, and set a seal to it; since it is so soon to be fulfilled, leave it open.”

11. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he who is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he who is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he who is holy, let him be holy still.

The Lord’s messenger speaks as if “the time” were so nearly come that there was no opportunity left for any change to be made; and this is what will happen, sooner or later, to all men. When they die, their characters will be fixed for ever. The wax will cool, and the impression that it bears will be retained eternally.

12, 13. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 546, “Alpha and Omega” 537}

These must be the words of the Lord Jesus Christ himself; no mere messenger, however high his rank, would have dared to say, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”

14, 15. Blessed are those who do his commandments, so that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For outside are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.

We thank God that they are shut out of heaven; for, albeit that we wish all men could be there, yet we would wish no one to be there whose characters are of such a kind as this, unless they were washed and cleansed. Heaven would be no heaven if such men could be admitted there. They shall not be; they must, by infallible justice, be excluded from the realms of bliss.

16. I Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

So glory is dawning, for Christ, the bright and morning star, has risen.

17. And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let him who hears, ‘Come.’ And let him who is thirsty, come. And whoever wishes, let him take the water of life freely. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 279, “Come and Welcome” 271} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1331, “The Two ‘Comes’” 1322} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1608, “The Double ‘Come’” 1608} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2685, “The Oft-Repeated Invitation” 2686}

Here we have the last invitations in the Word of God; may all who have not yet accepted them do so now, lest they should never again be uttered in their hearing.

18-21. For I testify to every man who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plaques that are written in this book: 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. He who testifies these things says, “Surely I come quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

So the blessed Book closes appropriately with grace, for it is grace that — 

 

      All the work shall crown

      Through everlasting days;

   It lays in heaven the topmost stone,

      And well deserves the praise.

 

C. H. Spurgeon’s Useful Books at Reduced Prices.

The Salt-Cellars. Being a Collection of Proverbs, together with Homely Notes on them. By C. H. Spurgeon. “These three things go to the making of a proverb: Shortness, Sense, and Salt.” In 2 vols., cloth gilt, published at 3s. 6d. each, offered at 2s. 6d. each; Morocco, 7s. 6d. each.

“For many years I have published a Sheet Almanac, intended to be hung up in workshops and kitchens. This has been known as ‘John Ploughman’s Almanac,’ and has had a large sale. It has promoted temperance, thrift, kindness to animals, and a regard for religion, among working people. The placing of a proverb for every day for twenty years has cost me great labour, and I feel that I cannot afford to lose the large collection of sentences which I have brought together; yet lost they would be, if left to die with the ephermeral sheet. Hence these two volumes. They do not profess to be a complete collection of proverbs, but only a few out of many thousands.” — Extract from Preface.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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