Ellen G. White Writings

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SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), Page 955

who have grown old in His service. The most glorious truths concerning the last chapters of this earth's history were given to the aged disciple whom Jesus loved (Manuscript 109, 1897).

9, 10 (Psalm 71:9; 92:14; Isaiah 46:4). John's Last Years—It was after John had grown old in the service of the Lord that he was exiled to Patmos. And on that lonely isle he received more communications from heaven than he had received during the rest of his lifetime (The Review and Herald, July 26, 1906).

Christ's aged representative was exiled that his testimony might no longer be heard; for it was a living power on the side of right. But though separated from his brethren, he was visited by Christ, whom he had not seen since the ascension (The Review and Herald, May 16, 1899).

9-15. God's Plan for Future Ages—The hand of persecution falls heavily on the apostle. He is banished to the Isle of Patmos “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” He writes, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day.” He was filled with unspeakable joy; for heaven seemed open before him. In clear, distinct tones a voice spoke to him, saying, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.” Turning, he beheld his Master, with whom he had walked and talked in Judea, on whose breast he had leaned.

But Oh, how changed is His appearance! John had seen Him clothed in an old purple robe and crowned with thorns. Now He is clothed with a garment of heavenly brightness, and girt about with a golden girdle. Writing of His appearance, John says, “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.” ...

God's plan for future ages was revealed to John. The glories of heaven were opened before his enraptured vision. He saw the throne of God, and heard the anthems of joy resounding through the heavenly courts. As we read his description of what he saw in his vision, we long to stand with the redeemed in the presence of God.

Half a century had passed since Jesus ascended to present His church before God, and to prepare mansions for His faithful ones. He still loved His people; for He came to His aged servant to reveal to Him God's plans for the future.

On the rugged, desolate island John was left alone with God and his faith. Here, among the rocks and cliffs, he held communion with his Maker. He reviewed his past life, and at the thought of the blessings he had received at the hand of God, peace filled his heart. He had lived the life of a Christian, and he could say in faith, “It is well with my soul.” Not so the emperor who had banished him. He could look back only on fields of warfare and carnage, on desolated homes and weeping widows and orphans—the result of his ambitious desire for pre-eminence (Manuscript 99, 1902).

10. Christ Appears on the Sabbath—The Sabbath, which God had instituted in Eden, was as precious to John on the lonely isle as when he was with his companions in the cities and towns. The precious promises that Christ had given regarding this day he repeated and claimed as his own. It was the sign to him that God was his.... On the Sabbath day the risen Saviour made His presence known to John. [Revelation 1:10-13, 17, 18 quoted.]

The persecution of John became a means of grace. Patmos was made resplendent with the glory of a risen Saviour. John had seen Christ in human form, with the marks of the nails, which will ever be His glory, in His hands and His feet. Now he was permitted again to behold his risen Lord, clothed with as much glory as a human being could behold, and live. What a Sabbath was that to the lonely exile, always precious in the sight of Christ, but now more than ever exalted! Never had he learned so much of Jesus. Never had he heard such exalted truth (The Youth's Instructor, April 5, 1900).

16, 20. See EGW on ch. 2:1, 1-5.

18-20 (John 1:1-3). The Self-existent, Unchangeable One—[Revelation 1:18-20 quoted.] These are wonderfully solemn and significant statements. It was the Source of all mercy and pardon, peace and grace, the self-existent, eternal, unchangeable One, who visited His exiled servant on the isle that is called Patmos (Manuscript 81, 1900).

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