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by L.M. Grant
The five books written by the apostle John were all published later than any other writings of Scripture, his gospel considered to be written about A.D. 85, his three epistles about A.D. 90 and Revelation about A.D. 95. His own age would likely be between 85 and 95 during the time of writing, and therefore these books show evidence of a dignity and maturity gained by long experience, yet with no marks of the infirmity of old age. John has been called "the apostle of love," and his loving admiration of the person of the Son of God is specially evident in his gospel and epistles. However, God chose him to announce the awesome judgments of the Lord Jesus in this book of Revelation. This reminds us that genuine love is not weak and permissive, but faithful and true.
In this last book of the Bible God magnificently reveals the outcome of His sovereign counsels and of His ways with mankind. The book of Revelation stands in great contrast to the simplicity of the book of Genesis. The ravages of sin began their course in Genesis, but now, as we are nearing the day when Revelation is about to be fulfilled, sin has tremendously multiplied the world's problems and caused complicated involvements in every direction, whether among Gentile nations, Israel or the professing church. The confusion in all the world is so great that it has gone far beyond human ability to stem the tide. Therefore this closing book of the Bible is a revelation of how God will discern and judge with calm deliberation every evil work and every evil principle together with those who take sides with the evil. God has ends in view that He will accomplish in marvellous perfection, in righteousness and in love, but He will do so through many great and dreadful judgments.
"Revelation" means just what it says. Though many symbols are used in the book, they are intended to be understood, to be revealed, not hidden. It follows that every believer should be concerned about learning it well. I therefore urge every reader to keep his Bible open and consult it constantly when reading this commentary. The commentary is not a substitute for the Bible, but merely a help in understanding it. God is not concerned that you should know what the commentary says, but what His Word says. If the commentary encourages you to learn His Word better, it will serve a useful purpose. The New King James Version will be used, except as otherwise noted.
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17