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Puritan Book Reviews – Christ’s Last Disclosure of Himself
Reviewed by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon
Christ’s Last Disclosure of Himself
by William Greenhill
Soli Deo Gloria Publications, Morgan, PA: 1999.
211 Pages, Hardback.
If you were the Lord of Glory, what would be the last thing you would say to your church? William Greenhill expounds and apply the words of Christ in Revelation 22:16-17, demonstrating that Christ is calling sinners to himself. He is particularly insightful in bringing to light the title of Christ as “Root and Offspring of David” which entails the very first chapter. His writing style is forceful and full of life, laying out his heart as a classical puritan preacher.
The work itself was a series of sermons preached to his congregation, though now it stands in “print form” as a treatise on the subject.
It is worth noting that the title which Christ used as his last designation of Himself was the “Root and Offspring of David.” For those who need stability under great persecution these words speak of establishment, power, authority, the source of all life (the root) and so on. It is a very helpful work to the suffering soul of the Christian.
In reading this volume (and knowing Greenhill from his excellent commentary of Ezekiel), his insight and observation on the subject were excellent. Where many preachers mistake the words of Christ here in Revelation 22, Greenhill does them justice. Many times preachers will use this as an “invitation” to all, where Christ uses it as an invitation to the sinners (in comparison to the righteous) and Greenhill expounds who sinners are and their disposition before Christ.
He does make a classic blunder, though, in one section of his chapter on “Christ’s willingness to save sinners, part 1.” He says that one of the texts used to call men to Himself evangelically is Revelation 3:20 (“I stand at the door and knock…”) Unfortunately Greenhill missed that Christ, at this point, is speaking to the church, not to the lost. It is a text often used out of context. Otherwise his chapter on this was excellent. Also, I disagree with use of the term invitation, and would rather use the word “command”. Christ commands men everywhere to repent, but nowhere do we find him inviting. Even in the text in hand (Rev. 22:16), Christ first states that we should “Come!” and then continues with an exhortation do so.
I would heartily recommend this book to preachers who desire to know how a Calvinist calls men to repentance and sets forth Christ in the form of the Gospel before a lost and dying generation.
“OBJECTION: But surely these invitations are in vain if a man cannot come when he is invited. To what end are they. ANSWER: The sun shines upon the rock, and the rain falls down upon the rocks, yet no man expects that the sun should melt the rocks or that the rain should makes the rocks fruitful. But the adjacent parts of the fields have the benefit; and so, though invitations fall upon the rocks, yet the other persons may have the benefit.”
“Both the Spirit of God and the whole church are desirous of Christ’s Coming.”
“It is an argument that the Lord Jesus is very desirous of saving sinners if you consider that the Lord takes sinners at the last moment, at the end of their days, when they have no time left to serve Him (such as the thief on the cross).”
“Does Christ invite us to come unto Him? Then let us examine and make inquiry whether we have come to Christ or not.”
“The offer of the water of life is free.”