The Book Of Revelation, The Apocalypse, is the closing book and the only prophetical book of the New Testament canon. The author of this book was undoubtedly John the apostle. His name occurs four times in the book itself (1:1, 4, 9; 22:8), and there is every reason to conclude that the "John" here mentioned was the apostle. In a manuscript of about the twelfth century he is called "John the divine," but no reason can be assigned for this appellation. The date of the writing of this book has generally been fixed at A.D. 96, in the reign of Domitian. There are some, however, who contend for an earlier date, A.D. 68 or 69, in the reign of Nero.
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CHILDREN'S GREAT BIBLE TEXTS
THE BOOK OF REVELATION
Walking In White.
An Open Door.
Neither Counted They Their Lives Dear.
No More Sea.
A May-Day Sermon.
The Book Of Revelation, J. Hastings
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Germany
They shall walk with me in white ; for they are worthy. — Rev. iii. 4.
Did you ever notice how often the word " white " is mentioned in the Book of Revelation ? If you take the trouble to count you will find it occurs no fewer than nineteen times. We read there of a white horse and white horses, and of a white cloud and a white stone. The head and hair of Christ are said to be white, and so is the great throne of judgment. Then over and over again we are told of white linen, white robes, or white raiment, and our own special text speaks of " walking in white."
I wonder what John was thinking of when he spoke of "walking in white"? Well, perhaps he had a picture in his mind at the time, the picture of a Roman triumph. Some of you know what that was, and you, too, can make a picture of it in your mind. A triumph was the welcome home given to a victorious general by the people of old Rome. On that day the victor, crowned with laurel and seated in a chariot drawn by four horses, went in solemn procession through the city to the capitol. In front of him were the senate, the magistrates, the musicians the spoils, and the fettered captives; and behind him followed the victorious army. It was a great day for him and it was a great day for Rome. It was a general holiday, a day of rejoicing ; and in honour of the occasion the citizens all wore the white toga, the white robe that was kept for religious ceremonies and special occasions. You see, white was not only, as we count it, the emblem of purity and innocence, it was also the emblem of victory and triumph.
And so John gave the few faithful Christians in the town of Sardis this message from Christ — that because they had been true to Him, because they had remained pure and holy amidst many temptations to sin, they would walk with Him in white. They would share Christ's triumph. They would wear the white robes of heaven.
Now I wonder how we — you and I — may, like the faithful few in Sardis, become worthy to walk with Christ in white. Long ago — yes, and not so very long ago either ! — some men imagined that in order to become worthy to walk with Christ in white they must keep themselves apart from the world; they must live a life of penance and prayer to God, shut away from all the world's sins and sorrows. They hoped by so doing to keep themselves pure and holy.
Now, that is one way of trying to become worthy ; but it seems to me a very foolish way ; and I can tell you a better. How do I know it is better ? I know it is better because it was the way of Jesus, and surely He was the purest and holiest that ever walked this earth. Yet all the years of His busy life He moved as a man among men. He shared men's sorrows and He rejoiced in their joys. He healed their sickness and He helped in their troubles. Where He was most needed there He was found. He was not afraid to mix with those whom the proud Pharisees called "sinners" or "unclean." He was not afraid to dine with the publicans or to touch the lepers. He ever went about doing good. And if we try hard to copy His way, then one day He will say of us too, " Ye shall walk with me in white ; for ye are worthy."
Shall I tell you a story I heard the other day ?
Once upon a time a little pilgrim found herself on the road to heaven. She was given a fine white robe to walk in, and she knew that only if she kept it spotless would the gates of the golden city open to her. Very carefully she picked her steps, for the way was both rough and muddy. But as she went on she was horror-struck to find that not only was it rough and muddy, but it was actually built of pilgrims who had fallen in the march and who lay bleeding and unheeded in the mire. Presently one of these unhappy creatures cried to the little pilgrim, " Help ! Help me up for Christ's sake!" The little pilgrim was about to stoop, when suddenly she remembered her white garment. "No, no," she exclaimed, "I daren't. If I touched you I might be defiled." And she passed on. But even as she passed on she was aghast to see that the edge of her white robe was stained with scarlet. At every step she took the stain spread till at last her whole garment was scarlet. "What have I done?" she cried. But there was no reply save the moans of the fallen pilgrims.
In despair she turned back, " If I cannot keep my robe white," she said, " at least I can help a lost sister." So she knelt down on the dreadful road and put her arms tenderly round the poor pilgrim who had craved her aid. By exerting all her strength she managed to pull the fallen one out of the mire ; then hand in hand, with downcast eyes, the two passed on together. At last, sad and ashamed, they reached the golden gates. No hope had they of entering, for the robe of the one was scarlet, and the robe of the other was filthy rags. But, just as they reached the gates, lo, a miracle ! — the scarlet robe of the one and the filthy rags of the other turned in a moment to robes of dazzling white — white so dazzling that even the angels could not look. And the gates of heaven fell back.
An open door. — Rev. iii. 8 (AV),
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