You Are Not A Real Christian If...You Are Not Looking And Hoping For The Return Of The Saviour Jesus Christ - Seiss

J.A. Seiss (1823-1904) was a prolific author but may be best known for his commentary on the Book of Revelation. From the time it was published to the present day it has been and still is, by other commentators, probably the most frequently referenced work on the Book of Revelation ever written. "Originally published in three volumes from 1870 to 1884, J.A. Seiss's lectures on the Apocalypse were among the first popular works based upon the futurist interpretation of Revelation. Considered by modern evangelical scholars to be among the most influential, the collected lectures have been called "a monumental work," "thoroughly scholarly and spiritual," and "the highest type of scholarship"" [link]. Seiss wrote from a dispensational, pretribulational, pre-millenial, absolutely literal viewpoint. In other words, from the only possible way to rightly approach and rightly understand the Revelation of Jesus Christ. While some of his conclusions have benefited from further development over the ensuing years since the 1870's, the work remains an invaluable resource. Below is one example, excerpted from his commentary on the final chapter of Revelation, the 22nd. Drawing an application in particular from the 17th verse, Seiss makes the point that as the Holy Spirit of God is ever calling out for the return of the Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, that this makes it an absolute impossibility for any man indwelt by the Spirit of God, and actuated by the Spirit of God, to ever do any different [Rom. 8:9]. Preterists, dominionists, amillenialists, pre-wrathers, partialists, nay-sayers of all stripes, this means you...
(The English word 'Revelation' is translated from the Greek NT word 'apokalupsis' [ἀποκάλυψις; ap-ok-al'-oop-sis; disclosure:--appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation]. In the Book of Revelation itself, other than the title, it is used only once, that being in the first verse - Rev. 1:1 "The Revelation [apocalypse] 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")
Excerpted from 'The Apocalypse: Lectures on the Book of Revelation' by J.A. Seiss

Revelation 22:17 'And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come...'

Ever, as the church moves on through time, and above all in the days in which we live, the next thing for every Christian to be looking for in this world is the coming of Christ to fulfill what is written in this Book [Revelation]. The Bible tells of nothing between us and that Day...[and every Christian should have] the proper spiritual affection toward the speedy accomplishment of these holy predictions.

The Apocalypse of Christ is the coming or revelation of Christ in the scenes and achievements which are here described [referring to the Book of Revelation - from the first verse to the last]. But it is not made known to us as a thing of cold and barren speculation. It is the living outcome of all our faith and hope as Christians. It is a thing to which every proper Christian impulse necessarily goes out. There can be no genuine Christianity, no true and living sympathy with what we profess to believe, if there be no going forth of the soul to what is thus set before us. This is here expressed with a depth and intensity which should not fail to impress every serious heart.

First of all, the Holy Ghost himself calls for the Apocalypse of Christ. "The Spirit says, Come;" that is, Come thou; as an answer made to the announcement of the preceding verse [Rev. 22:16 'I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star'].

When the promise of the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth, was given, Christ said: "He will guide you into all truth: and he will show you things to come." (John 16: 13.) Descending upon the Church always to abide with it, that Spirit has ever been active and operative in and through the Church. And in all these gracious operations there is a direct and constant reference to these things to come, to make them known, to awaken and nurture faith in them, and to prepare men to become partakers in their blessedness.

In all these operations there is therefore a constant looking and yearning for the fulfilment of what is thus to come, and hence an unceasing calling of the Holy Ghost to the bright and morning star to come, as promised and foreshown,—to consummate the great work by that Apocalypse to which all prophecy, all faith, all hope, and all the operative graces of the Spirit have reference. In other words, it is the very spirit, soul, and aim of divine grace to bring the great consummation, which comes alone through the coming of Christ. In the inspiration of prophets and apostles, in the regeneration and sanctification of men, and in all the appointments, endowments, and labors of the Church, in so far as the Holy Ghost is potent and active in them, there is one unceasing call and pleading for that return of the Godman (1Tim. 2:5), by whose coming again all things are to be completed and the whole work finished up. Two things, therefore, are thus certified to us; first, that there is no true and saving religion —no piety originating from and resting in the Spirit of God—which does not anxiously move toward and centre on Christ and his promised Apocalypse; and second, that the fulfilment of these predictions is absolutely certain, in that the operations of the Holy Ghost in the Church are all conditioned to and ever calling for the bright and morning star to come.

And what the Spirit looks to and calls for is repeated in the spiritual consciousness of the Bride. The Bride is not the Church outwardly taken; for not all who have connection with the Church as a visible body shall be everlastingly joined with the Lamb. None are the Bride but those who in living inward fact are joined to Christ as the branches are joined to the vine. Only those who are spiritually in Christ, "members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones" (Eph. 5:30), are his Bride. And it is here given as a characteristic of the Bride, that she re-echoes and embodies the call of the Spirit, even the call for the bright and morning star to come. When men forget to think of the coming again of the Lord Jesus in his great Apocalypse,—when they cease to look and long for that as the crown and goal of their faith and hope,— when they make light of it, and treat it as a fable, and regard all concern about it as fanaticism,— they show and prove that they do not belong to that elect body of God's saints which constitutes the Bride of the Lamb; for
the deepest heart-voice of the Bride, with that of the Spirit itself, is," Come, Lord Jesus; come as thou hast promised and foreshown; come quickly." Taking all the precepts and inculcations of the sacred Scriptures with regard to Christ's return, it becomes a plain and evident impossibility for people to be true and obedient followers of the Gospel, and not to look, and watch, and long, and pray, and make it a great point in all their religious activity and devotion to be ready for the glorious coming of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

The Apostles and early Christians were all alive to this subject beyond everything else in Christianity. It was their life, their inspiration, the pole-star of their faith and hope. It was the thing which most marked them, set them apart from the world, and was their great distinguishing spirit, as compared with other people. And if it is not so with Christians now, it is because they have sunk away from the original life of their religion, and lost their proper fellowship with the true and only Bride of the Lamb; for the voice of the Bride to her Lord continually is, "Come." Nor can she be in the spirit and life of a true Bride without having this feeling ever living in her soul, and permeating her whole being. Destined for Christ, and having her chief joy and salvation in him and what he is ordained to accomplish for his people, she cannot but go out with all zeal and fervency for his revelation, or she ceases in soul from her character as his Bride.

And what the Spirit and the Bride say, every one that heareth is to say, and must learn to say, if ever he is to become partaker in these glorious things. The hearer is he who is made acquainted with these great purposes of God, and is informed of what is in reserve for God's true people. But his hearing will profit him nothing if it does not awaken his soul, kindle his desires, and draw him to devout longing and endeavor to possess and realize these things for himself. Nor is he rightly awake and appreciative to what he hears, so long as he does not care whether Christ is to come again or not, or does not centre his soul upon what can only come with Christ's glorious Apocalypse.

Therefore the word here is, "Let him who heareth say, Come." Redemption lies in that coming; and if men do not learn to desire it, they do not yet desire the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, and are not yet true and believing hearers. For all effectual hearing of the Gospel must come to fervent and loving desire and prayer for Christ to fulfil all his plan and purposes of grace...

Compare: 'But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming' - Matt. 24:45-51; ACG
So, can you say with John the apostle, writer of the Book of Revelation, "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20)


Anonymous said...

I just returned from a Christian womens retreat and the main speaker, a Christian author, was scheduled to discuss how a Christian can have joy. While at breakfast, prior to her time to speak, I asked her "why are there so many joyless Christians today?" Her response to me was "because of all the fear stemming from this Rapture stuff that's going around." Suffice it to say, I skipped her session.

Anonymous said...

The fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY...Gal 5:22-23