What Does the Book of Revelation Mean?

     "And so both east and west, Jew and Gentile — and the fullness of both — do come in and become one fold under one Shepherd for a thousand years (chapter 20), and one Kingdom under this 'Root of David' their king, King Jesus the Conqueror….   Isaiah 59:19 is fulfilled — where, after the final destruction of all Christ's enemies foretold in verse

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18, he says: 'They shall fear His Name from the east unto the west, and the Redeemer shall come unto Zion.'   Which words Paul interprets of the Jews' final call, and this restoration of the World with them — Romans 11:26.   Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!"   Cf. Revelation 22:20f 

     In my own first two paragraphs at the very beginning, I claimed that the above views of the famous Westminster Assembly Commissioner and godly Calvinist Dr. Thomas Goodwin were contained seminally also in the views of John Calvin (the father of Presbyterianism).   Goodwin himself states (op. cit. p. 136): "I rest assured that the light which hath broken forth in many of our reformed churches since Calvin's time, and which still increaseth…until Antichrist be consumed — is both in matter of doctrine, interpretation of Scriptures, worship, church government, &c., much purer."   To clinch these two claims of both Goodwin and this present writer (Francis Nigel Lee) — remembering the Calvinist Goodwin's concluding appeal to Isaiah 59:19 in our previous paragraph — I would now close simply by quoting from Calvin's Commentary on Isaiah (at 19:25 and at the same 59:19f  which also Goodwin cites). 

     In Isaiah 19:21-25, God predicts: “The Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day….   The Lord shall smite Egypt and heal it; and they shall return to the Lord….   In that day, there shall be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria….   The Assyrian shall

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come into Egypt, and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians.  In that day, Israel shall be the third with Egypt and with Assyria — even a blessing in the midst of the land….   The Lord of hosts shall bless, saying: ‘Blessed be Egypt, My People; and Assyria, the work of My hands; and Israel, My inheritance!’” 

      Here, Rev. Dr. John Calvin comments: “The Prophet says that the Lord will be gracious and reconciled to the Egyptians.   He at the same time shows that as soon as they have been converted, they will obtain forgiveness….   It will therefore be a true conversion – when it is followed by a calling upon God….   There is no man who ought not to acknowledge in himself what Isaiah here declares concerning the Egyptians, in whom the Lord holds out an example to the whole World.   The Prophet now foretells that the Lord will diffuse His goodness throughout the whole World!  As if he had said: ‘It will not be shut up in a corner or be known exclusively, as it formerly was, by [but] a single nation.’    

     “Here, he speaks of two nations [Assyria and Egypt] that were the most inveterate enemies of the Church [both in Old and in New Testament times]….   And if the Lord is so gracious to the deadly enemies of the Church — that He pardons and adopts them to be[come] His children! – what shall be the case with other nations?  This prophecy thus includes the calling 

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of all nations” – and hence of even diehard Islamic nations, like Iran!            “Through the undeserved goodness of God,” explains Calvin, “the Assyrians and Egyptians shall be admitted to fellowship with the chosen People of God….   There is a mutual relation between God and His People, so that they who are called by His mouth ‘a Holy People’ (Exodus 19:6) — may justly in return call Him their God.   Yet this designation is bestowed indiscriminately on Egyptians and Assyrians….    

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